lunes, 13 de junio de 2011

Subhavilasa das ACBSP, Toronto, CA: Reminder: Pandava Nirjala Ekadasi is tomorrow


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"Planet ISKCON" - 29 new articles

  1. Japa Group: Please Join The Japa Group
  2. Akrura das, Gita Coaching: GITA COACHING 4X4
  3. H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami (Ret.): 338–Poem for June 11
  4. H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami (Ret.): OLD FRIENDS
  5. Toronto Sankirtan Team, CA: An early start to sankirtan
  6. Bhakti Vikasa Swami: Just see the effect of Srila Prabhupada's books
  7. H.H. Sivarama Swami
  8. Subhavilasa das ACBSP, Toronto, CA: Reminder: Pandava Nirjala Ekadasi is tomorrow.
  9. Krishna Lounge, LA, USA: Kirtan June 9 2011
  10. Subhavilasa das ACBSP, Toronto, CA: Jaya Tripathaga Ganga Devi!
  11. Krishna Lounge, LA, USA: Fool Has No Enemy
  12. Subhavilasa das ACBSP, Toronto, CA: From Princess to Gosvamini...the greatness of Srimati Gangamata Thakurani
  13. Madhava Ghosh dasa, New Vrndavan, USA: “Ways of Talking” by Ha Jin
  14. Subhavilasa das ACBSP, Toronto, CA: Honouring the disappearance day of Sri Baladeva Vidyabhusana
  15. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  16. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  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. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  23. Devadeva Mirel, Alachua, USA: Mood Board : Cotton Shower Curtains
  24. Japa Group: Regards Any Little Effort Favorably
  25. Japa Group: Art Of Chanting Hare Krsna
  26. H.H. Sivarama Swami: After hearing about how separation nourishes attachment to Krsna
  27. H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Thursday, June 9th, 2011
  28. Mukunda Charan das, SA: Nirjala Ekadasi
  29. Gouranga TV: Lecture – Giriraj Swami – SB 10.3.15-17 – Being Vegetarian Isn’t Enough
  30. More Recent Articles
  31. Search Planet ISKCON
  32. Prior Mailing Archive

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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Akrura das, Gita Coaching: GITA COACHING 4X4

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

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

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

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

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H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami (Ret.): 338–Poem for June 11 SDGonline Daily updates


A Writer of Pieces

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

Poem for June 11th

You woke up past two
a late start on japa bouncing
them wide-awake but not
concentrated. Still chanting when
Narayana came up. I told him
it’s a luxury that he’s here. He
said he’s trying to preach his
duties by writing letters.

Krishnadasa Kaviraja inserts verses
from the scriptures and words spoken
directly by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu
which later appeared verbatim
in the Goswamis’ books. Thus
He spoke: adau sraddha tatah
sadhu sanga:
In the beginning there
must be faith. Then one becomes
interested in associating with devotees .  .  .
Gradually emotions intensify and
finally there is an awakening of love.
This is the gradual development of love of
Godhead for the devotee interested
in Krishna consciousness. (BRS 1.4.15-16)

I have re-read two-thirds of
Sanatorium. It is a good book with compassion for the inmates
of the hospital. I have read the
section of explicit sex when the
girl Andrea tries to seduce
Sandy’s fiancé in Sydney.
The GBC committee did not
read the whole wonderful
book but just this one
brief section and they
threatened me with expulsion
from ISKCON and stripping
me of sannyasa. It was
an unfair case of censorship,
and I had to turn in to
them all our unsold
copies and take it off
the Internet. It is a
banned book. Someday
justice will have to come
for Sanatorium and
this fine novel, one of
my best, should be
available to the

The poem rises to a pitch
and I go with it. Each morning we hear the
music and weave it into
the lines of poesy focused
on Krishna. He accepts
the offering I believe because it is done sincerely
with the rhythmic tune.
Krishna is the Cowherd Boy
who plays the flute
which bewilders the gopis
and all those who hear
it so He knows music
and how to play it. He is the King of Music
and can be the recipient
of a musical offering
in His name if
it is done with
consummate skill
and swing. This
morning I did it, confident and humble.
I go out on a limb
and claim it’s
a kind of kirtana
because it’s so charming.

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

From Niti-Sastras: Sayings of Canakya and Hitopadesa, as Quoted by Srila Prabhupada

“Translation: If you want to make spiritual advancement, you should think that death will come in the next moment, but if you want to be materially happy, you should think you will never die.


Srila Prabhupada once said that philosophy means to always keep death in front of you. Try to save yourself from birth and death. Life’s miseries are janma mrtyu jara vyadi—birth, death, disease and old age. An intelligent person always keeps these in mind. Furthermore, because of his Krishna consciousness, he is not afraid of them. Prabhupada says, ‘Death is coming, that’s all right. What is wrong there? Provided he knows that after giving up his body, I am going to Krishna.’ One who is not afraid of changing bodies is called dhira. He is not disturbed even though there is cause for disturbance.

“Canakya’s advice to the materialist is an ironic witticism. Material happiness is illusion. If one is so crazy as to try and enjoy material life, his best policy would be to forget about death. Of course, it’s a false hope. Canakya can’t be seriously recommending it. Therefore I say its an ironic statement, presented with all deadpan seriousness.

“A man who is told to think like that will automatically question, ‘Wait a minute.  I will die.’

‘Well, you want to enjoy, don’t you? Then better you forget about death and imagine you’ll live forever.’ Canakya is giving the materialists something impossible to think about, a false philosophy. A materialist is living in an illusory world. He needs a false philosophy to accompany him through it. It is hoped that the materialist will eventually realize that he would rather live by the truth than by a false doctrine.

“What is most amazing, though, is that although it is a false hope, many people grab onto it. They plan not to die. When death comes, they wonder where it came from, and they realize their foolishness. Srila Prabhupada used to say that if a materialist accepts the facts of transmigration, he will shudder with fear. How can he face the truth that he will have to descend to the lower species and still continue to enjoy in this world? Therefore the materialists prefer to not think about it at all. They prefer to think that transmigration is a concept discussed in some foreign religions, and that it has neither basis in truth nor any relevance.

“No one is independent of the fourfold miseries of birth, death, disease and old age. No one is able to solve these problems with more material life. Krishna consciousness, however, can bring relief from these insurmountable problems. Prabhupada told a large audience in South Africa, ‘So we are pushing on this Krishna consciousness movement to solve the ultimate problems of life. Our request is that you take to the Krishna consciousness movement very seriously to solve the ultimate problems of life.’

“To live in the consciousness that death can come at any moment takes strength of mind. Sometimes Krishna helps us to develop this realization more. For example, some devotees have had near-death experiences, and many of us have known someone who has died. These events sober us. We can look around ourselves and see the signs of passing time and impending death. The sastras are full of examples, but even right around us, we can look in the mirror and see the signs of old age coming on. We can watch the changing seasons, and notice the birth, death, disease and old age in a natural world. These phenomena can remind us of our own inevitable death.

“The existential philosophers also face the inevitability of death, but because they are atheists, they have to face that inevitability as meaningless.  Prabhupada used to say death is a matter of fact, and for a devotee, going to Krishna at death is also a matter of fact. The sastras teach us this, and we can have faith in it because it is the truth. The atheist existentialist has faith in his doctrine as taught by writers like Sartre and Camus. These philosophers teach that everything is absurd. The existentialist thinks their philosophy is better and more profound than any religious understanding. Such philosophers follow their ‘gurus’ into absurdity and often suicide. Devotees follow Krishna, who says that life does have meaning in the spiritual world. While existentialist has realized something about the illusory nature of the material world, his philosophy leaves him hopeless. This is not the kind of meditation a devotee aspires for. Our facing death has to deepen our faith in taking shelter of Krishna.”


From Memories

“Spring Potpourri

“I remember stepping outside Matsya Avatara Prabhu’s house with him and his saying that May is the best month because it is neither too hot nor too cool. Trees bloomed in his yard and over the neoclassical statues he has placed here and there, and I found I agreed with him. It was nice to think I could do something with that feeling: I could come back another May.

“Then he and I and his son sat together while his wife and mother served prasadam from the kitchen. He has a nice painting of Srila Prabhupada on the wall, an original, rather small; it has a triptych effect because on either side there are doors that can be closed over the picture.

“The different places we visit have a kind of finality to them, especially places we won’t visit again. Even places like Matsya Avatara’s house, where we will go again, won’t be the same forever. I won’t be able to sit at his table and enjoy the prasadam his mother has prepared and go out the door together to decide that May is the best season. Things will change despite our attempts to remain stable and fixed. ‘Time I am, the great destroyer of the worlds.’

“During another spring we arrived at a German farm, and a small group of devotees came forward to meet us. Their kirtana was soft. I didn’t recognize Astharata Prabhu among them or Krishna-ksetra Prabhu because I didn’t know them well and they were such unassuming brahmacaris. How I have come to like their company.

“Of course, I remember our late-spring visit to Cozzile. We drove the winding roads up out of the city one year and arrived on an Ekadasi. Sridama and his wife were waiting for us at the house, the front door open. It was dusk, and they served us Ekadasi biscuits and milk. I ate with pleasure in a room upstairs. It was a strange room with a high bed and pictures of Christ’s crucifixion and one of Mary. The room was dark, but I could feel my readiness to write there. Nine days later, I had completed From Imperfection, Purity Will Come About. What I didn’t write of in that room, I wrote while sitting outside at a shaky white patio table under the cherry trees. After that, I really struggled with free writing and came out with a book called What Shall I Write? It’s half-sunk in the sand now—it was never published—but I like the fact that I struggled so much and tested the writing process. At the end of it, I discovered the numbered writing session, something just my own.

“I also took walks with Sridama in Cozzile. It was a happy time although it has now become tinged with sadness because Sridama has left me.”


From  From Imperfection, Purity Will Come About: Writing Sessions While Reading Bhaktivinode Thakura’s Saranagati

“The first section in Saranagati is titled ‘Dainya, humility.’ This section closely follows a section in the Third Canto of Srimad Bhagavatam, where the human embryo prays to God:

“‘He is unlimited, but He is perceived in the repentant heart . . .  I am separated from the Supreme Lord because of my being in this material body . . . although I am essentially spiritual . . . My dear Lord, by Your causeless mercy, I am awakening to consciousness, although I am only ten months old . . .  there is no way to express my gratitude but to pray with folded hands . . .  therefore, without being agitated any more, I shall deliver myself from the darkness of nescience with the help of my friend, clear consciousness . . . Simply by keeping the lotus feet of Lord Visnu in my mind, I shall be saved from entering the womb of many mothers, from repeated birth and death.’   –-Bhagavatam 3.31.13-14, 18, 21

“The unborn child sees the Lord in his heart and promises to always remember Him. He suffers terribly and doesn’t want to experience another birth. But as soon as he is b0rn he is in the hands of people who know neither his physical nor his spiritual needs.

“Bhaktivinode Thakura describes an entire life in the first song, stanzas 4-7:

“’As a fondled son in the laps of my relatives, I passed my time smiling and laughing. My parents’ affection helped me to forget the pangs of birth, and I thought the world was very nice.

“’Day by day I grew and soon began playing with other boys. Shortly my power of understanding emerged. I read and studied my lessons incessantly.

“’Traveling from place to place, proud of my education, I grew wealthy and maintained my family with undivided attention. O Lord Hari, I forgot You!

“’Now in old age, Bhaktivinode is sad. He weeps. I failed to worship You, O Lord, and instead passed my life in vain. What will be my fate now?’

“Under the spell of maya, most people don’t think of these activities as a waste of time, but as the goal of life. Bhaktivinode Thakura’s life appears successful—he has affectionate parents, a nice worldview, a taste for his studies, and a competitive edge, wealth, the ability to travel, devotion to his family. ‘Why is he complaining?’ the materialist wants to know.

“‘O Lord Hari, I forgot You!’

“He is speaking through the eyes of scripture. A human life is wasted without God consciousness. It becomes no better than the life of an animal. Even a half-intelligent person can taste the bitterness of his or her own experiences. And when old age approaches, what is left? ‘What will be my fate now?’ In youth, the life of scholarship increases our hopes. We didn’t know anything as children, but then we discovered books, writers, philosophers, poets, psychologists, political scientists, the physicists, art, culture . . . ‘Confidently I spent my time in the pleasures of mundane learning and never worshiped Your lotus feet, O Lord . . . reading on and on, my hopes grew, for I considered material knowledge to be my life’s true path. (Saranagati, 1.2.2)

“Knowledge-acquiring becomes a passion when a student triues to glean all he can from books and teachers. The rewards may not be as intense as those gained by other pursuits, but learning produces prestige, power and pride. It also produces intellectual snobbery.

“Eventually the scholar finds material knowledge cannot answer the crucial questions: ‘Who am I? What is the cause of creation? Why is there so much suffering and how can it be overcome? And what can knowledge do to stop death?’ The scholar meets contradictions and differing opinions wherever he turns.

“As stated in the Mahabharata, ‘Dry arguments cannot give us the truth, and neither can the philosophers because they always differ.’ This differing nature of the world’s teachers is an illusion created by maya for the purpose of further bewilderment by Godless thinking.

“Bhaktivinode Thakura concludes that material knowledge makes a man an ass. His future is bleaker that that of an ordinary man. He is more entangled and confused. The Isopanisad declares, ‘Those who engage in the culture of nescient activities shall enter into the darkest region of ignorance. Worse still are those engaged in the so-called culture of knowledge.’ (Mantra 9)

“In his purport to this mantra, Srila Prabhupada states:

‘Advancement of learning by a Godless people is as dangerous as a valuable jewel on the head of a cobra. The cobra decorated with a valuable jewel is more dangerous that one not so decorated . . . In Hari-bhakti-suddhodaya, the advancement of education by a Godless people is compared to decorations on a dead body.’”

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Toronto Sankirtan Team, CA: An early start to sankirtan

I saw this young lady with really long dreadlocks and interesting dots and tatoos - she stopped and started to look at the Books and ask questions. She really related to the reincarnation picture too and then she told me about her and her boy friend's passion with spirituality. So I showed her the bhagavad Gita that she deeply appreciated. While she was looking I tried to hand a perfection of yoga to het friend who immediately backed off saying I had talked to him before and he is not into spirituality and would not take it. So I didn't push him but me and this warm girl continued our discussion. So she decided to take the Gita and gave me a donation. Now I started to think of how to engage her in some service and somehow Krishna inspired from within and I asked her to give a book to her friend. So she took the perfection of yoga from me and started convincing her friend to take it- he was determined not to take it and she to convince him - her sankirtan spirit was coming alive and then she told him to take it if the past few hours of their conversation meant something to him. Ultimately he started to give in and I told her to ask him for a donation of even 1 c- he started to laugh and tell me I am a good sales person - I laughed it off but that young girl ended up selling the perfection of yoga to the young man. Her sankirtan career just started. 

Email to a friend Bhakti Vikasa Swami: Just see the effect of Srila Prabhupada's books

I am so much grateful that you have enjoyed studying my books. Many young intelligent persons such as yourself are studying these books in the colleges and universities all over the world. Actually anyone who tries to understand these books will become a great realized devotee of Lord Krsna gradually. The original potency of the sastra remains in these books because I have not added or opinionated anything of my own. I have simply presented the scriptures such as Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam as they are. Therefore just see the effect they have on the world.

Srila Prabhupada's letter to Miss Nedungadi, 19th March, 1975

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H.H. Sivarama Swami

There are prescriptions for fasting on certain days of the month. One may not be inclined to practice such fasting, but because of his determination to make advancement in the science of Krishna consciousness, he should accept such bodily troubles when they are recommended. …fasting done in terms of the Vedic injunctions enriches one in spiritual knowledge.

- Srila Prabhupada

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Subhavilasa das ACBSP, Toronto, CA: Reminder: Pandava Nirjala Ekadasi is tomorrow.

We were requested a few months ago to post about Ekadasi the day before the Ekadasi as a reminder. There have already been 3 posts today honouring Sri Baladeva Vidyabhusana, Srimati Gangamata Gosvamini and Sri Ganga Puja. So this is just a reminder of Nirjala Ekadasi for tomorrow and the story will be posted tomorrow.

Tomorrow's Ekadasi is austere and special. Many devotees keep a complete fast...even water. (Some devotees only take charanamrta and achamana water but in usual prescribed amounts).  The mercy of Ekadasi is that it increases spirtual strenghth and realizations which allows for increased vigor in chanting and preaching.  Nirjala Ekadasi also allows us to "repair" any discrepencies in the 24 annual Ekadasis including circumstances where it was forgetten, unable to be kept or accidently broken.

How do you accidently break ekadasi? Usually after a full day of Ekadasi (fasting from grains and beans) and as the day is winding down with something inconspicuous like maha-prasadam, hidden peas or french cut green beans or even coated peanuts :-)  Hopefully some devotees are chuckling as they read this if they have had the "accident".

Keeping your mind off prasadam is not always easy but it gets easier by chanting more rounds as many devotees strive to chant 64 rounds on this special day.

So t Happy Nirjala Ekadasi & Happy Chanting.
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Krishna Lounge, LA, USA: Kirtan June 9 2011

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Subhavilasa das ACBSP, Toronto, CA: Jaya Tripathaga Ganga Devi!

Puja of Sri Ganga Devi - Sridham Mayapur (ISKCON)
Gauranga! Gauranga! Today is Ganga Puja.
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu would offer puja to Mother Ganga and bathe in her holy waters again and again and we can take shelter of these same waters.

She is Mother Ganga because  just like a caring mother, Ganga nourishes and protects the tender bhakti creeper of those who take shelter of  her. Simply by bathing in her sacred waters, praying or worshiping her this shelter is readliy available.

Ganga-devi emanates from the lotus feet of the Lord. She is flowing throughout the universe bestowing mercy to all.

I like how Jaya Vijaya Dasa summarizes her pastimes... Sri Ganga-devi personally appeared to Maharaja Bhagiratha before the river descended from Brahmaloka onto Lord Siva’s head. Ganga then descended onto the Himalayas prior to Jahnu Rsi swallowing the river. Later, Jahnu released Ganga, which marks the rivers re-appearance. Afterwards, Ganga descended to Rasatala, liberating Sagar’s sixty thousand sons. Then Ganga appears as Bhogavati in the netherworlds before appearing as the Vaitarani encircling Pitrloka.

Sri Ganga-devi continually appears in her unlimited pastimes for the pleasure of the devotees.

So today on Ganga Puja we pray to Mother Ganga to shelter us in Krishna Consciousness.  
Srila Prabhupada bathing in Holy Ganga
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Krishna Lounge, LA, USA: Fool Has No Enemy

To use discrimination is natural. Those persons who say, “Don’t judge!” are they themselves guilty of using discrimination. So, the real question is, what is the basis of our discriminations? Materially, we will not be able to find true equality, because factually we are completely different in every way. Therefore, unless we develop a spiritual vision it will be impossible to achieve a solid foundation for unity and peace within ourselves and the world at large.

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Subhavilasa das ACBSP, Toronto, CA: From Princess to Gosvamini...the greatness of Srimati Gangamata Thakurani

Saci Devi was the only daughter of King Naresanarayana of Puntiya in the district of Rajsahi.
Although born a princess, Saci Devi was endowed with a religious temperament from childhood and within a short time Saci became conversant with vedic scriptures.

As Saci Devi grew up, her beauty and grace charmed everyone. However, Saci felt no attraction for any man however handsome or wealthy he might be. Her heart belonged to her Madanagopala.
When she came to know that her parents were concerned about her marriage, Saci very firmly told them that she would never marry a mortal being.
The king and queen were so disturbed by their daughter's decision that they both passed away, leaving Saci to shoulder the responsibility of running the royal administration. She performed her royal duties for some time, but after a short while she set out on a pilgrimage, leaving the royal administration to her relatives.

Saci Devi could not find peace of mind anywhere and he search took her to Puri.
She felt inspired after spending a few days there and then left for Vrndavana. There Saci had the good fortunate to meet Haridasa Pandita, an great devotee of Gaura-Nitai and a disciple of Ananta Acarya. Saci fell prostrate at the feet of Haridasa and with tears in her eyes prayed for his refuge.

Haridasa tested Saci's conviction:
"Since it is not possible for a princess to practice bhajana in Vrndavana without relinquishing all worldly possessions, it would be better for you to go back and perform your bhajana at your own house."
Although Saci understood the significance of Haridasa's remark and shecontinued performing her bhajana with great renunciation. Gradually she gave up wearing costly garments and refrained from using any ornaments.

One day Haridasa said to Saci, "If you can give up your sense of pride, dignity, and fear and go out in Vraja with a begging bowl, then and then only the divine grace shall be showered upon you."

Saci was very pleased to hear Haridasa's advice and from then on went out regularly begging, covering herself with only a tattered garment. Despite being dressed as vairagi, when she went from door to door in Vraja, her graceful appearance led people to believe that she was not a common woman. Saci gradually became very thin and looked emaciated.
Nevertheless, she went on with her daily routine; bathing in the Yamuna, cleaning the temple yard, parikrama, attending arati and religious discourses.

Seeing Saci meticulously carrying out his instructions, Haridasa became compassionate towards her. One day he called Saci before him and said:
"Although you are a princess, your personal sacrifice and devotion to Krsna has pleased me greatly. You may prepare yourself to receive mantra diksa right now."

Thus Saci devi was initiated in Radha Krsna mantra from Haridasa on the thirteenth day of the bright fortnight in the month of Chaitra, and thereafter devoted herself fully to the service of guru and Govinda. Everyday she attended discourses on Gosvami sastra given by Haridasa and listened with rapt attention. Within a short period of time, to everyone's pleasure, Sacidevi became thoroughly conversant with Gosvami-siddhanta.

Around that time Laksmipriya, an ardent devotee of Haridasa who was known to regularly chant Harinama, arrived in Vrndavana. Under Haridasa's instructions, Laksmipriya and Sacidevi began regularly practicing bhajana at Radhakunda. They also performed Govardhana parikrama together daily.

When Haridasa was convinced of Saci's purity in bhajana and total devotion, he called her one day and instructed her to move to Puridhama to perform her bhajana there and to preach the teachings of Lord Caitanya among the respectable residents of Puri.

By the time she arrived at Puri the majority of Lord Caitanya's companions had disappeared from the world. In Puri Saci devi lived and performed her bhajana in the dilapidated house of Sarvabhauma Pandita. Of all the Deities worshipped during Sarvabhauma's time only the Damodara saligrama still remained there.

Everyday Saci devi would recite from Srimad Bhagavatam in the presence of the respectable residents of Puri. Very shortly she became well-known as an accomplished commentator of Srimad Bhagavatam.

One day Mukunda-deva, the Maharaja of Puri, came to hear Saci devi's recital from Srimad-Bhagavatam. He was very impressed by her speaking and felt inspired to offer her something as a token of his appreciation. That very night Lord Jagannatha appeared to the Maharaja in a dream and commanded him to award Saci devi a site close to Sveta-ganga. Accordingly, Mukunda-deva met Saci devi the following morning, explained his dream, and requested Saci to accept his humble offering of the land near Sveta-ganga.

At first Saci devi declined, but later, in consideration of the command of Lord Jagannatha, and repeated requests of the Maharaja, Saci devi accepted the offering.

Incidentally, the fact that Saci devi was a princess by birth was generally known to the people of Puri. Once Saci devi expressed her desire to take a bath in the Ganges on the auspicious day of Varuni. However, she gave up the idea as it was her guru's order that she stay at Sriksetra.
That night Lord Jagannatha appeared in her dream and said, "Saci, do not worry, on the day of Varuni you take your bath in Sveta-Ganga, the Ganges will flow to meet you at your bathing place."

When the auspicious day came Saci devi went out alone at midnight to take a dip in Sveta-Ganga. As soon as she touched the water, Saci felt herself being swept away by swelling waves, similar to that of the Ganges. Saci devi was carried along in the current until she finally found herself inside the private restricted bathing place within Lord Jagannatha's temple premises.
Therein Saci devi saw herself amidst thousands of people of Puri taking bath in great joy while the chanting of hymns filled the air.

Hearing unusual sounds emanating from within the temple, the security staff of the temple woke up. The Maharaja was informed of the incident and under his order the temple door was opened.
To everyone's surprise they found the well known reader of Srimad Bhagavatam, Saci devi, standing alone inside the temple.

The sevaka pandas of the temple suspected that she had intended to steal the ornaments of Lord Jagannatha, although some others thought the idea of Saci devi being a thief was incredible . Ultimately, Saci devi was taken away and locked up in prison.
Saci devi, completely oblivious to the external circumstances, simply chanted Krsna nama happily.

Very late that night Maharaja Mukunda-deva saw Lord Jagannatha in a dream.
This time the Lord angrily commanded him: "It is I who brought the Ganges, under My feet, in order to enable Saci to take a bath in the Ganges as she desired. Go and release Saci immediately. Also you, along with your priests and pandas, pray at her feet for forgiveness and receive mantra-diksa from her."

Early the following morning Maharaja took his bath and went to Saci devi.
After releasing her from prison he fell prostrate at her feet, begging for mercy.
He explained his dream to her and sought refuge at her feet.
In compliance with the Lord's wish, on the next auspicious day Saci devi gave Mukunda, and numerous priests, Radha Krsna mantra diksa.
From that day Saci devi came to be known as Gangamata Gosvamini.

As a token offering to his guru, Maharaja Mukundadeva expressed his desire to donate some land to Gangamata. At first she declined to accept any material gift, but after repeated humble requests from Mukundadeva, Gangamata had to relent. She permitted the Maharaja to offer certain items and nothing else; two vessels full of mahaprasada of Lord Jagannatha for the Vaisnavas to relish, one vessel of vegetable, one piece of cloth first offered to the Lord and some small coins. 

(compiled and consolidated from Lives of the Vaisnava Saints and other texts)
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Madhava Ghosh dasa, New Vrndavan, USA: “Ways of Talking” by Ha Jin

We used to like talking about grief
Our journals and letters were packed
with losses, complaints, and sorrows.
Even if there was no grief
we wouldn’t stop lamenting
as though longing for the charm
of a distressed face.

Then we couldn’t help expressing grief
So many things descended without warning:
labor wasted, loves lost, houses gone,
marriages broken, friends estranged,
ambitions worn away by immediate needs.
Words lined up in our throats
for a good whining.
Grief seemed like an endless river—
the only immortal flow of life.

After losing a land and then giving up a tongue,
we stopped talking of grief
Smiles began to brighten our faces.
We laugh a lot, at our own mess.
Things become beautiful,
even hailstones in the strawberry fields.

Filed under: Poetry
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Subhavilasa das ACBSP, Toronto, CA: Honouring the disappearance day of Sri Baladeva Vidyabhusana

A very important statement is made when Srila Prabhupada dedicates the his "flagship" book, Bhagavad-gita As It Is to Sri Baladeva Vidyabhusana. Srila Prabhupada presentation was firmly placed in Gaudiya siddhanta and he presented to the world this jewel in a conclusive format from an authorized and established sampradaya.

So who is Sri Baladava Vidyabhusana?  
Sri Baladeva Vidyabhusana was a niskincana-parama bhagavata, fully-renounced topmost devotee of Lord Krishna. His 24 plus books have helped Vaisnavas understand the sublime philosophy of Krishna consciousness as well as the writings of the six Gosvamis. Since he was devoid of false prestige, he never wrote about his birth, parents, lineage or personal life. Thus, honouring his disappearance day takes on even more importance.

About 300 years ago the Ramanuja samradaya challenged on many fronts including the Gaudiya Vaisnava sampradaya and the combined worship of Radha and Krishna.  To defeat this challenge Sri Baladeva Vidyabhusana was called upon.
As far as the combined worship of Radha and Krishna is concerned, Sri Baladeva Vidyabhusana
"ordered" it after defeating the Ramanandis.

"You object to our worship of Radha with Govinda on the superficial grounds that They are not married. In verses forty through forty-two I have presented the true position of Radha in relation to Krsna. Radha is the eternal energy of the Krsna and is never separated from Him.
Their relationship may be parakiya or svakiya, but that does not affect the eternality of Their union." He went on to chastise them for seperating Srimati Radharani from the Lord. "The separation of Radha and Govinda you have effected is artificial and therefore offensive to the Lord, who holds deep affection for His female energy."

In a brilliant display of siddhanta not only did he conclusively defeat the challenge but he left us with the fruits of this vedanta, which nectar is still being enjoyed through the authorized parampara link, namely His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada. 

Sri  Baladeva Vidyabhusana returned to Vrndavana, where he assumed leadership of the Gaudiya community and continued to write. Faithful to Jiva Gosvami and devoted to Lord Caitanya, he produced commentaries on ten principle Upanisads and nine works of the Vrndavana Gosvamis. He remained the unquestioned authority on Vaisnava theology until his disappearance day which we are marking today.

Refering back to one of our old blog posts from February 7th which cites an article which appeared in the monthly magazine "Gaudiya", 18th volume, number 18 in 1922 A.D.  The magazine was founded and edited by His Divine Grace Sri Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura. An excerpt can be found below:

At that time, at Sri Govindadeva's temple at Gulta-grama (just outside Jaipur), the acaryas of the Sri Ramanuja-sampradaya issued a challenge against the Gaudiya Vaisnavas. The King of Jaipur consequently invited the most prominent Gaudiya Vaisnavas of Sri Vrindavana to attend. Knowing them to be followers of Srila Rupa Gosvami, he called them to council with the followers of Sri Ramanuja. This happened in 1628 Saka (1706 A.D.), when Srila Cakravarti Thakura was very old (about 68 years). So he consulted his foremost student, Gaudiya Vaishnava Vedantacarya Mahamahopadhyaya Pandit-kula-mukta Sripada Baladeva Vidys-bhusana. Thereafter, Sri Vidya-bhusana left Vrndavana to join the assembly in Jaipur, accompanied by his own student (and disciple of Srila Cakravarti Thakura), Sri Krsnadeva Sarvabhauma.

The caste Gosvamis had completely forgotten their own loyalty to the Sri Madhva-sampradaya. Being ignorant of the true facts of the disciplic succession, and being disrespectful to Vaisnava Vedanta, they had fallen into such a degraded condition that Sri Blaldeva Vidya-bhusna was onliged to write a separate commentary on the Vedanta-sutra, according to the philosophy of the Gaudiya -sampradaya. This was done just to refute their false conclusions. Srila Cakravarti Thakura gave his full sanction and approval to this task of counteracting the challenge, which simultaneously resulted in allowing the Gaudiya Vaisnava parampara to continue preaching freely.

Our respectful obeisances again and again to Sri Baladeva Vidyabhusana
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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1966 June 11: "Due to my absence from India the publication is stopped and therefore it disturbs my mind. This publication work is my main function. I can stop my foreign activities but I cannot stop my publication work. "
Prabhupada Letters :: 1966

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1968 June 11: "I wish to form a nice Kirtana party consisting of 2 mrdanga players, 1 harmonium player, 1 tambura player, and at least 6 cymbal players. Backed by our books, we can make nice propaganda in all the European cities."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1968

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1971 June 11: "So if we make all over India the example that the leading persons are becoming our life members, then all influential and important people will become. Millions of life members can be made."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1971

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1971 June 11: "So far as Indira Gandhi attending the function, we shall accept a day according to her convenience and we shall hold the function on her arrival."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1971

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1972 June 11: "Simply by this full-time preaching activity all financial problems will be solved. What is that financial security? Real security is only there at the Lotus Feet of Krishna."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1972

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1972 June 11: "It is the duty of the brahminical class to advise the leaders, not that they shall themselves serve as leaders. In your country many fools elect the biggest fool to be their leader, it is like one blind man leading so many other blind men."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1972

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1974 June 11: "If you have money of your own that you want to spend for running for office you can do that. By competing with the politicians we may drop from our spiritual ideal. Our actual business is to become brahmanas."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1974

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1975 June 11: "Even there may be some problems, always try to remain in Krishna Consciousness. Do not give up chanting simply due to some external difficulties. Under all circumstance you should always chant Hare Krishna."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1975

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Devadeva Mirel, Alachua, USA: Mood Board : Cotton Shower Curtains

I recently received an email from a blog reader asking if I knew of any cotton/natural shower curtains that were not too plain nor too cutesy. Bathrooms aren’t my passion, but why deny a reader help. Here are my suggestions.

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Japa Group: Regards Any Little Effort Favorably

If we chant the holy name, Krishna takes that as giving love even though our hearts are hard and devoid of feeling. Krishna regards any little effort favorably.

From Japa Reform Notebook
by Satsvarupa dasa Goswami
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Japa Group: Art Of Chanting Hare Krsna

Here is a very interesting and nice class about the Art of chanting the Hare Krsna mantra.

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

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

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H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Thursday, June 9th, 2011


Toronto, Ontario

Sri Kanta from Zürich came to visit us in Canada for the first time. He's here to accompany Uttama Sloka, an outstanding monk from the Ukraine. With a fascination for the wilderness I agreed to take Sri Kanta down a trail in the best that an urban area can offer. I took him down my training path at dusk.

He was most keen to see North American wildlife.

"You're not going to find bison in the city. No moose and no bears. If lucky perhaps fox, maybe coyote but most likely raccoons and skunks."

He settled for that and was prepared with camera in the left hand while his right was immersed in his japa beads.

"These are nocturnal creatures and that's why we are roaming in the nights," I explained. I had a long day of administrative tasks and so this wind down time was perfect for me.

Unfortunately the best we could find, after two hours walking, in the dark were no ring-tailed creatures or white-on-black stinkers but a woman. Resting her laurels on a bench of a dark park was a young woman with her arm extended. If it hadn't been for seeing her lit cigarette I would have tripped over her stretched out leg.

"Are you guys Buddhists or something?" she queried.

That was the beginning of our dialogue with a very nice person who identified herself as a vegetarian. It was also the end of our search for wildlife. (Sri Kanta struck it lucky the next morning when he photographed a plumb raccoon nestled in a tree)

Eventually we will be searching for Krishna. As the Goswamis of Vrindavan were gripped by the mood to look for God in amongst the trees perhaps we may follow in their footsteps.

11 Km

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Mukunda Charan das, SA: Nirjala Ekadasi

Tomorrow is Nirjala Ekadasi.  Ekadasi is the Vaishnava fast-day that occurs on the eleventh day of the waxing or waning moon.  Pandava Nirjala Ekadasi is observed on the bright fortnight of the moon (sukla-paksha) in the month of Jyestha (May-June).  It is called Nirjala Ekadasi because one should not even drink water on this Ekadasi.  It is also called Jyestha-sukla Ekadasi.

The Mahabharata, relates to us how the Pandavas strictly observed all Ekadasis.  Bhima, however, who was known for his herculean strength and for being a ‘voracious eater’ (Bhagavad-gita 1.15), was not able to fully observe Ekadasi like his brothers.  He approached Vyasadeva to ask him how he could avert incurring sinful reactions as a result of not being able to follow Ekadasi strictly.  Vyasadeva, in turn, advised him to strictly observe Nirjala Ekadasi once a year and in this way derive the full benefit of following all the Ekadasis in the year.  Nirjala Ekadasi, therefore, became Pandava Nirjala Ekadasi.  It is also referred to as Bhima Pandava Nirjala Ekadasi.

Devotees who have, therefore, broken their fast during the year can make up for this on Nirjala Ekadasi.  The Sanskrit word nirjala means ‘no water’ (nir means ‘no’ and jala means ‘water’).  Strictly speaking, all Ekadasis should be nirjala - without food or water (water is also considered food).  Srila Prabhupada gave some concessions to his followers – who, for the most part, fast from grains and legumes on Ekadasi.  Nirjala Ekadasi should, however, be strictly followed.  One should not eat or drink.  Ideally, we should absorb ourselves in hearing and chanting about Lord Krishna for 24 hours.  This may not, however, be possible for all devotees.  At least we should try to refrain from food and water.

Filed under: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Spiritual Life, Vegetarianism
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Gouranga TV: Lecture – Giriraj Swami – SB 10.3.15-17 – Being Vegetarian Isn’t Enough

Lecture – Giriraj Swami – SB 10.3.15-17 – Being Vegetarian Isn’t Enough

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