lunes, 18 de julio de 2011 Attention Vendors: FESTIVAL OF INSPIRATION


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"Planet ISKCON" - 42 new articles

  1. H.G. Sankarshan das Adhikari, USA: Friday 15 April 2011--Perfect Chanting Means Perfect Relationship with Krishna--and--Change the Radha Krishna Picture
  2. Ekendra das, Alachua, USA: Don’t Make Me Chant in Public. I Might Enjoy It, and That Would Spoil My Bad Mood.
  3. Akrura das, Gita Coaching: TOO MUCH ENDEAVOR
  4. Bhakta Chris, New York, USA: Is Hell Dead?
  5. Kurma dasa, AU: Cooling with Kurma?
  6. Bhakti Lata, Alachua, USA: Mystic Moment
  7. Devadeva Mirel, Alachua, USA: Thurston Garden Design : An Edible Oasis in North Florida
  8. Subhavilasa das ACBSP, Toronto, CA: Spud Love...
  9. Bhakti Vikasa Swami: No need to look for Maya
  10. David Haslam, UK: A need for wider community sharing
  11. H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami (Ret.): 280—Poem for April 14
  12. H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami (Ret.): OLD FRIENDS
  13. Japa Group: Krsna In The Wrestling Arena
  14. H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Wednesday, April 13th, 2011
  15. H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Tuesday, April 12th, 2011
  16. H.H. Prahladananda Swami: The old days–two chapatis and some apple chutney for the day
  17. Toronto Sankirtan Team, CA: Smart box Bhagavad Gita
  18. H.H. Bhakticharu Swami: UJJAIN UPDATE, 14 APRIL 2011
  19. Toronto Sankirtan Team, CA: Perfection of yoga
  20. ISKCON Rama Navami At Bhaktivedanta Manor
  21. ISKCON Just How Long Did Jesus Stay In The Tomb?
  22. “The Second Chance”. Blockbuster No2
  23. Akrura das, Gita Coaching: "MY VIEW"
  24. Syamesvari dd: The Magical Flute
  25. Jahnavi, UK: Raga Notes
  26. Quality of a Devotee : He Does not Make anyone his enemy
  27. New! Donate to TOVP Online
  28. Festival of Encouragement
  29. The Glorious Passing of Bhaktin Edna Galicia
  30. Message from Mother Narada Priya
  31. Akrura das, Gita Coaching: CHOOSE TO CHOOSE
  32. H.H. Sivarama Swami: Rasajna d.d. and Yuvaraja Pr. ask
  33. New Vrndavan, USA: March 27-28th Management Meetings with the GBC
  34. Madhava Ghosh dasa, New Vrndavan, USA: The “Green” Thing
  35. Ananda Subramanian, Iowa, USA: Relationship building with God
  36. Book distribution seminar: enthusiasm is contagious
  37. Book Distribution News: enthusiasm is contagious
  38. Gouranga TV: Bhajan – 24hr Kirtan, Dallas New Years Eve
  39. Japa Group: While The Body Is Fit
  40. Kurma dasa, AU: Cooking with Kurma in Perth
  41. LIVE Srimad Bhagavat Katha
  42. Attention Vendors: FESTIVAL OF INSPIRATION - update
  43. More Recent Articles
  44. Search Planet ISKCON
  45. Prior Mailing Archive

H.G. Sankarshan das Adhikari, USA: Friday 15 April 2011--Perfect Chanting Means Perfect Relationship with Krishna--and--Change the Radha Krishna Picture

j A daily broadcast of the Ultimate Self Realization Course(tm) Friday 15 April 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: Perfect Chanting Means Perfect Relationship with Krishna Uploaded from Riga, Latvia The quality of our relationship with Krishna is manifest in proportion to the quality of our japa. Sloppy, deficient japa means a sloppy, deficient relationship with Krishna. Perfect japa means a perfect relationship with Krishna. If we do not have perfect japa, we do not have a perfect relationship with Krishna. Imperfection in our relationship with Krishna means that we are still flirting with Maya, the material energy. Such a love affair with the material energy is suicidal for the eternal living being in that it relegates him to rotate perpetually in the cycle of birth and death. Therefore to be saved from the clutches of the material energy we have no alternative. We must perfect our japa by diving deep into transcendental meditation each time we chant our rounds. Sankarshan Das Adhikari Srila Prabhupada Chanting Perfect Japa Answers According to the Vedic Version: Request: Change the Radha Krishna Picture Please keep our request. Change the icon image of Sri Radha Krishna which appears daily in Thought for the Day. There are so many dynamic and brilliant images. Forgive me for my mistakes. S.B. Answer: You Are Seeing It With Material Eyes I am surprised by your request to change the picture of Radha and Krishna. This means that when you look at the image you are not seeing Radha and Krishna. You are seeing instead the external material features of the painting without connecting with the Supreme Personality of Godhead who is fully present and manifesting His unlimited power, beauty, renunciation, knowledge, wealth, and fame through this extraordinary painting by a great devotee. That you are not perceiving the dynamic brilliance of this painting means that you are not seeing it with the eyes of love. You are seeing it instead with material eyes. This means that you should go deeper into your heart by awakening the love of God within. Then you will see how Sri Sri Radha and Krishna are both so splendorously present in this magnificent painting. Mistakes are forgiven, but by submissive hearing from the spiritual master we have to learn how to avoid making foolish mistakes. It is not that we should continue making mistakes without learning how to avoid them, thinking that we can continue counteracting them by repeatedly begging for forgiveness. The proper mood is to hear carefully and remold our consciousness according to the directions received from the spiritual master and other Vedic authorities. Sankarshan Das Adhikari Transcendental Resources: Receive the Special Blessings of Krishna Now you too can render the greatest service to the suffering humanity and attract the all-auspicious blessings of Lord Sri Krishna upon yourself and your family by assisting our mission. Lectures and Kirtans in Audio and Video: Link to High Definition Videos Link to Over 1,000 Lecture Audios Lecture-Travel Schedule for 2011 Have Questions or Need Further Guidance? Check out the resources at: or write Sankarshan Das Adhikari at: Get your copy today of the world's greatest self-realization guide book, Bhagavad-gita As It Is available at: Know someone who could benefit from this? Forward it to them. Searchable archives of all of course material: Receive Thought for the Day as an RSS feed: Unsubscribe or change your email address Follow us on Twitter: Copyright 2005-2011 by Ultimate Self Realization.Com Distribution of this material is encouraged. Simply we request you to acknowledge where it is coming from with a link to our sign up page: Our records indicate that at requested to be enrolled to receive e-mails from the Ultimate Self Realization Course at: This request was made on: From the following IP address:

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Ekendra das, Alachua, USA: Don’t Make Me Chant in Public. I Might Enjoy It, and That Would Spoil My Bad Mood.

Notes from Chowpatty, Mumbai, Radha-Gopinath temple

This morning, I got a surprise when it was time for Srimad-Bhagavatam class: there wasn’t any. Bewildered, I asked somebody what was up. He said, “It’s Monday. Harinam.”

Harinam? What about Srimad-Bhagavatam class?” I thought. “Well! (huff of righteous indignation) since I wasn’t informed about this well ahead of time, I’m certainly not prepared to go. But God bless those devotees for going on harinam. I’ll finish my rounds, maybe write something. . .”

As I was retrieving my beads, determined to not break out of my inertia for any reason, I heard the whompers, drum, and the singer’s megaphone-enhanced voice already bouncing off the lacquered sandstone walls of the temple courtyard. I peeked down over the railing to see how many devotees were going out. The brahmacari dancing with the megaphone looked up and seemed to motion me down Indian style—with upraised arm and fingers gently flapping downwards like a baby waving goodbye.

“He can’t be flapping his fingers at me,” I thought. “Surely he means the guy next to me, who’s probably an old friend of his. I’m just visiting here anyway—how can I be expected to just drop everything and go out on harinam? I don’t even know where they’re going, or how long they’re going out for. What if this is an all-day event? Even if I did go, I’d have to go all the way back to my room first, put on socks and shoes, and explain to my wife that there’s no class. Probably she’ll just be getting around and won’t have the slightest interest in going out either, and by that time all the devotees will be long gone and forget I ever existed. . .”

As the kirtan crew began a carefree sashay around the front of the building. I decided to at least walk with them towards my guest room. I chanted one mantra with them, just so I could say that technically I had been on harinam. Then I broke ranks and took the elevator up to our room.

“Oh, I was just getting ready to go over for class,” my wife said, surprised to see me return from the temple earlier than expected.

“No class today; harinam,” said I, with a hint of bitterness.

After an “I-spent-all-this-time-dressing-up-to-go-somewhere-I’m not-going-now” look quickly passed over her face, she said, “So, you wanna go?”

“Sure,” I said, as if I’d been planning to all along. “I just have to put on socks.”

“These guys have got it goin’ on!” she said, grabbing her video camera. “You go down and see where they’re going, so we don’t miss them.”

I headed down the stairs to the now empty courtyard. The kirtan party was within earshot, but with the sound reverberating off all the buildings in the neighborhood, it was hard to figure out where to go.

“Which way harinam?” I asked the security guard in front. He pointed right. I stood in the street and watched devotees file out on their way to join the party, and waited for my darling wife, who seemed like she was taking forever to make it down the elevator shaft.

She finally emerged and I indicated the direction of sankirtan action, like an airport landing strip traffic director, whereupon she began practically running. I had to walk fast just to keep up. We found the kirtan down Munshi Marg and across the divided road near the banana salesmen. Traffic wasn’t so thick, so we were able to cross and join them within a couple of minutes.

The sankirtan party consisted of about twenty-five men and only two women, my wife and Madhavi-sakhi dasi, from Germany, whom we’d just met the day before. We were probably the oldest people there. As the kirtan leader moved down the street, I made up my mind to dance the whole way, thereby increasing my energy. I was determined to keep up a good public face, dance like a silly person, and have a good time showing the Mumbai-ites that white men can indeed boogie and chant Hare Krishna.

The streets at eight a.m. seemed mostly quiet, though we did pass plenty of cars as we walked and danced toward the bay. I tried to catch people’s eyes as they drove by, and wave to them. I made eye contact with one security guard at a high rise apartment building. I raised my arms in a two-handed wave, and he waved back. Success!
We stopped at one corner and a mother was driving a late model Toyota Corolla with her two elementary school age daughters in the back seat. They had the windows rolled up, no doubt enjoying the air conditioning, but the girls’ eyes got big as they stopped at the corner our kirtan was. I smiled at them and waved as mom hit the gas and drove past us.

I felt no inhibition about dancing as crazy as I liked. I pulled out every Krishna Kripa move I could think of, every swilk (a combination of swimming and walking) I knew, every arm movement that came to mind I employed in the service of harinama sankirtan. And I felt great. It had been a long time since my last street kirtan. I wondered if the devotees brought any mantra cards out, but I didn’t see anyone passing any out.

As it turns out, the devotees chose a circular path leading back to the temple, mostly passing through residential back roads. We passed people getting into their cars, strapping on their scooter helmets, opening up their shops. Security guards with apparently nothing else to do watched us pass by. I attempted to beguile their minds by enlisting my arms in every conceivable arm dance. I thought of how, when I was fourteen and fifteen, I’d dance so crazy at punk clubs that people would come up and compliment me. Finally I was putting that energy to work for a higher purpose.

I’d already had breakfast, so once I was in gear I was prepared to be out for hours. I had kirtan melodies picked out and ready on the off, off chance someone invited me to lead. But as soon as it had started, it was over, and we paid our obeisances in the temple courtyard after one final crescendo.

We arrived back at the temple way too soon, as far as I was concerned.

“That was sweet.” I told Tulasi-priya dasi. “short, but sweet.”

“Yeah!,” she said. “Who says a kirtan has to go on for more than an hour?”

I do, I thought.

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Akrura das, Gita Coaching: TOO MUCH ENDEAVOR

By Sacinandana Swami

Preserve your spiritual status - avoid stress.

In the name of service, we often overburden ourselves with impossible schedules, high expectations from ourselves and others and big projects and goals. Sometimes we end up stressed out and frustrated. We have lost the Higher connection.

At that time, our happy Krishna conscious mood leaves us, our spiritual practice might become compromised, and instead of gratitude, we feel burned out, bitter or anxious.

Of course, there is something like "healthy stress," an excitement which brings out the best in us, but here we are addressing unhealthy stress that brings about distress. This stress should be avoided. It harms us.

Here is a letter by Srila Prabhupada that will guide you further:

Krishna Consciousness means we should always be satisfied and happy. Not that we try to do some impossible work, become overburdened, and then because we are unhappy by so much trouble we lose enthusiasm altogether and give up all hope. No. Too much endeavor should be avoided. By all means we must preserve our spiritual status. That is the point. Not that we are mad after big buildings, many devotees, life-members, and this and that. No. These are only ways to engage the devotees so they may apply the principles of devotional living to some kind of work for practical realization of these principles. It is not the result of the work we want. If we only sincerely preach to one person a day, that is sufficient. Never mind big, big programs. So my request to you is that you do not be bothered by these things.... Krishna does not like to see his sincere devotee suffer or become frustrated or depressed. He will not stand by idly in such a case. Krishna has some plan for you. Always think in that way, and very soon he will provide everything to your heart's desire.
(Letter to Tejiyas, 19 December 1972)

Srila Prabhupada reminds us here that preserving our spiritual status is our primary project. The many engagements we have are really meant to help us realize our devotional principles. By bringing these principles out into the open field of practical life and engagement, we are supposed to understand them in a deeper way, not lose them. Spiritual life always comes first, in the middle and at the end.

What can we do from our side?

Again and again contemplate: what is this visible world? Who am I really? Who is Krishna and what is my relationship with Him? These questions will help us to get back on track, in case we get lost.

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Bhakta Chris, New York, USA: Is Hell Dead?

Click here to read the full article from TIME magazine

As part of a series on peacemaking, in late 2007, Pastor Rob Bell's Mars Hill Bible Church put on an art exhibit about the search for peace in a broken world. It was just the kind of avant-garde project that had helped power Mars Hill's growth (the Michigan church attracts 7,000 people each Sunday) as a nontraditional congregation that emphasizes discussion rather than dogmatic teaching. An artist in the show had included a quotation from Mohandas Gandhi. Hardly a controversial touch, one would have thought. But one would have been wrong.

A visitor to the exhibit had stuck a note next to the Gandhi quotation: "Reality check: He's in hell." Bell was struck. (Vote on Rob Bell's influence in the 2011 TIME 100 poll.)

Really? he recalls thinking.

Gandhi's in hell?

He is?

We have confirmation of this?

Somebody knows this?

Without a doubt?

And that somebody decided to take on the responsibility of letting the rest of us know?

So begins Bell's controversial new best seller, Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived. Works by Evangelical Christian pastors tend to be pious or at least on theological message. The standard Christian view of salvation through the death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth is summed up in the Gospel of John, which promises "eternal life" to "whosoever believeth in Him." Traditionally, the key is the acknowledgment that Jesus is the Son of God, who, in the words of the ancient creed, "for us and for our salvation came down from heaven ... and was made man." In the Evangelical ethos, one either accepts this and goes to heaven or refuses and goes to hell.

Bell, a tall, 40-year-old son of a Michigan federal judge, begs to differ. He suggests that the redemptive work of Jesus may be universal — meaning that, as his book's subtitle puts it, "every person who ever lived" could have a place in heaven, whatever that turns out to be. Such a simple premise, but with Easter at hand, this slim, lively book has ignited a new holy war in Christian circles and beyond. When word of Love Wins reached the Internet, one conservative Evangelical pastor, John Piper, tweeted, "Farewell Rob Bell," unilaterally attempting to evict Bell from the Evangelical community. R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, says Bell's book is "theologically disastrous. Any of us should be concerned when a matter of theological importance is played with in a subversive way." In North Carolina, a young pastor was fired by his church for endorsing the book. (See 10 surprising facts about the world's oldest Bible.)

The traditionalist reaction is understandable, for Bell's arguments about heaven and hell raise doubts about the core of the Evangelical worldview, changing the common understanding of salvation so much that Christianity becomes more of an ethical habit of mind than a faith based on divine revelation. "When you adopt universalism and erase the distinction between the church and the world," says Mohler, "then you don't need the church, and you don't need Christ, and you don't need the cross. This is the tragedy of nonjudgmental mainline liberalism, and it's Rob Bell's tragedy in this book too."

Particularly galling to conservative Christian critics is that Love Wins is not an attack from outside the walls of the Evangelical city but a mutiny from within — a rebellion led by a charismatic, popular and savvy pastor with a following. Is Bell's Christianity — less judgmental, more fluid, open to questioning the most ancient of assumptions — on an inexorable rise? "I have long wondered if there is a massive shift coming in what it means to be a Christian," Bell says. "Something new is in the air"

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Kurma dasa, AU: Cooling with Kurma?

I stumbled upon this very odd item online.

cooling with Kurma:

No, I did not commission it, and no, I receive no royalties from Amazon for it.

Not sure what else to say...

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Bhakti Lata, Alachua, USA: Mystic Moment

I sit upon the stone ledge in the temple of Radha Raman. The sun slants through the courtyard and holds my face. Incense fills the cool air, sweet and smoky. An old sadhu sings to his lord, Radha Raman. His voice spirals through the air like...

... like birds that loop through the sunset over the Yamuna River.

Amazing. I had just closed my eyes to find the words to describe the sadhu's singing. Suddenly, I felt something fall over my head. I jerked open my eyes.

A pujari had placed a garland from Radha Raman around my neck. The fragrance of roses encircled me in an embrace.

I breathe in deep. Every moment in Vrindavan is edged with the ethereal.

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Devadeva Mirel, Alachua, USA: Thurston Garden Design : An Edible Oasis in North Florida

My friend AV works  at  THURSTON GARDEN DESIGN in Alachua. They carry a great assortment of fruit trees, perennials and native plants. Plus, they do all kinds of lanscaping and such. My husband and I went out there last week to pick rose petals and ended up filling ourselves with fresh berries as a bonus. Thanks so much Av + Tom!

Thurston Garden Design: 386 462 9641 20114 NW 78TH AVE     ALACHUA freshly dug turmeric root organic florida strawberries blooms floral white roses pointy berries berry bucket potted figs rose petal jam in the raw yellow jasmine fresh feast av + bindu


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Subhavilasa das ACBSP, Toronto, CA: Spud Love...

Hari (Subhavilasa das' grandson holding up the love spud
Okay, today is ekadasi and this heart shaped spud came out of the potatoe bag. It has become a "protected" spud by the kids and we are not allowed to chop it up. So  we took pictures instead.

What better way to say "I love Ekadasi" than a heart shaped potatoe!
Hari 3 Ekadasi because he gets fries.
Email to a friend Bhakti Vikasa Swami: No need to look for Maya

Srila Prabhupada said, "Maya is on the back side of Krsna. You do not have to go looking for Maya. Simply you forget Krsna and Maya is there."

Laksmimani d.d., Memories of Srila Prabhupada, DVD 51.

(Available from

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David Haslam, UK: A need for wider community sharing

The one thing I don’t like doing is self publicity it sort of goes against the grain but following a time when some questioned the preaching work here in my home town a senior devotee suggested I have photo’s taken and put them on the net; explaining at times self publicity is needed. Despite this [...]

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H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami (Ret.): 280—Poem for April 14 SDGonline Daily updates

4:40 A.M.

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

Poem for April 14

Yesterday while writing
on the porch between 9:20
and 10:20, I saw and heard
Dhanurdhara Swami walking in the
street wearing khakis and carrying
a walking stick, speaking loudly
by himself, he may have had
an earphone in his ear and
was broadcasting. I heard the
words ‘manifestation’ and
guru maharaja.’ I will ask him about
it when we have him for lunch
tomorrow having bow-tie pasta with tomato sauce.
I’m sure it will be interesting because
he is an interesting person.

Meanwhile Tripurari Swami and
his crew keep going out to do
speaking programs in New Jersey
and New York and will do two
here this weekend and then
leave, but Radhanatha Swami
is scheduled to come here the
end of April.

The season slowly burgeons
with buds growing on trees
and flowers already blooming.
Yesterday I wrote claiming
that Prabhupada accepts me
in a corner of his heart
despite my mistakes
and that I pray to join
with him after death,
at least I want to
leave with that aspiration
on my mind. I trust
we both remember each
other, and he is living
in some realm and
won’t reject me. I
wrote this while
Dhanurdhara Swami was
walking in the street.

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

From Japa Transformations (2010)

“I received a letter from a Godbrother lamenting that he does not have access to taking part in kirtanas. He cited a statement by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura: ‘Proper japa chanting is possible only in the mind. Then the chanter will achieve the desired perfection. Chanting audibly with lip movements is kirtana; it is more effective than japa and brings about the greatest benefit to the hearer. Sankirtana means ‘complete kirtana, for it is unnecessary to perform any other devotional activities if one performs sankirtana” (from Srila Bhaktisiddhanta’s purport to the first sloka of Sri Siksastakam). My Godbrother wrote, ‘I know philosophically that the holy name is no less potent in japa than in sankirtana, but the issue is not Sri Nama’s potency; rather, it is my ability to be absorbed. It seems that sankirtana is the particularly applicable and potent way to capture the consciousness in this age.’

“My mind has not been wandering but has been staying fixed on the utterance of the names, so I’ve come to expect this. It’s a gain from my previous years’ chanting. My chanting of eight rounds was below seven minutes a round. Aside from hearing the sounds of the syllables, my mind did not sink into the Radha-Krishna meditation. But I am calling out just by basic faith in the japa operation. As when I speak to Krishna in my afternoon free write, I have confidence in Krishna’s being open to me when I chant japa. My fixation on accumulating mantras is not the highest stage, but it is important work. For now, it is the heart of my practice. I pay attention and quickly add one mantra to the next. I try to do something besides counting. This morning I thought of the vintage Lough Derg diary I’m reading, and I was eager to read some more. I also anticipated my journal writing and prayed to be able to do some today. Aside from this, I could not think of Krishna aside from the counting. After all, Srila Prabhupada did advise, ‘Just hear.’ The names are absolute. You benefit just by touching them with your tongue. When you put your hands in fire, you’ll be burnt. When you say the Hare Krishna mantras, you become Krishna-ized.

“This morning my chanting was at a low audible whisper. When I chant in the mind, I think it’s due to fear of overstraining (and getting a headache), or maybe it’s laziness. But I remain attentive. Prabhupada said we should cry like a child calling for the mother. That is a wonderful quality. He said that Mother Hara (Srimati Radharani) would hear our cry and respond with Her mercy. Am I crying, at least a little? I think so.

“I remember in 1966 I once walked out of a kirtana engagement we devotees held at a public hall. I wasn’t yet committed to being a devotee, to restrict my association to only devotees. I walked out of the building and wandered into the streets of the Lower East Side, observing the lights and the people. But then I felt a strong sense of estrangement from everything in the streets and a pull to go back and join my new devotee friends. I walked back to the hall and met them just as they were leaving. They joked with me about my walking out but welcomed me back to their group. That was maybe the last time I did anything like that. From then on, I always stayed exclusively within the ISKCON group.

“You want to be on the side of good and free of maya. Some taints remain until you are perfectly pure. By hearing and chanting, which are pious acts, Krishna in the heart works to cleanse out the remaining dirt. Prabhupada once said, “When you are seventy-five percent pure, you can go back to Godhead.” He said that immediately after saying you had to be a hundred percent pure. Krishna decides.

“Writing to Krishna. Running to You with my eyes closed. Praying to You with the maha-mantra. Not knowing what to do for You. The best thing is to give people Krishna consciousness. That is better than food or medicine or weapons or ‘education.’ Give them direct Krishna consciousness. There are tactics for that. They used to do it largely by dressing as civilians and approaching people to sell them Prabhupada’s books. Dressing as devotees and going in the streets to sing the Hare Krishna mantra. Lectures in the colleges. Giving out prasadam to materially needy people. Festivals on Sunday at the temple or Ratha Yatras in the streets and parks. Setting the example by running a ‘self-sufficient’ farm, growing crops and protecting cows (never really done self-sufficiently). Bringing people to the holy dhamas of India. Teaching astanga yoga. Holding lectures, kirtanas and feasts in your home and inviting neighbors and friends. Publishing books and Back to Godhead magazine; selling CDs, videos on the Internet; running a webpage on the Internet; building temples. And many more tactics performed by enthusiastic preachers.

“From the beginning, sraddha, to the end, prema, faith is the essential ingredient.  A doubting person cannot make progress. Acting on our original faith, we can progress to associate with devotees, take vows of initiation, become steady, attached, and develop taste. Then the first bud of love of God begins to open. Faith is cultivated by good association and by chanting and hearing. Please, Lord, keep my faith protected and always growing, so that I may not stagnate at the neophyte stage of doubting. I shall practice faith and attain devotion to Radha-Krishna without disruption or delay. That is my earnest request.”

From Churning the Milk Ocean (Collected Writings 1993–1994)

Calling Out to Srila Prabhupada#3

“Dear Srila Prabhupada,

“I remember you on morning walks. I remember you sitting behind your low desk, playfully fingering an object—an envelope opener or a tilaka mirror on your desk. I remember seeing your lotus feet facing us as we sat opposite you. I remember coming into your presence, falling flat like a rod. I remember feeling that I could surrender to you and surrendering at that moment. I remember looking up, prepared to hear anything you had to say.

“My sankirtana partner and I were newly-made sannyasis. We traveled to American colleges. We told you the reception was discouraging. You said you knew what we meant, but you encouraged us. You were also ready to analyze whether our service was the best and whether we could do something better. Whatever it was, you thought it over and gave us your conclusion. We were always ready to leave your room, our chests filled out like brave soldiers, ready to fight. You enlightened us.

“Prabhupada, you are a great acarya, and I am a small person born in the West. Only lately I have been trying to understand the meaning of Krishna consciousness. There is no reason for me to become puffed up or to think myself your equal, but neither should I think I need a teacher other than you. I have so many faults. They don’t seem to go away. We live in an ocean of vice. I have my share of anarthas. In this age, there is one good quality, and that is that you, Srila Prabhupada, the bona-fide deliverer of Krishna’s holy name, appeared. You have entered my life and my heart. You have taken charge of this ship and are guiding me back to Godhead. All I have to do is remain alive and obedient. Despite my faults, I ask you again and again to please accept me and keep me in your charge.

“Prabhupada I can never express what I feel for you in a positive way. It also seems like I can never come to the end of the trouble I experience when I try to be a wholehearted lover of Your Divine Grace. There is no fault in you. You told me that if we see fault in the spiritual master then we are at fault. Please help me banish all disgusting things from my mind. I want to be your child, but a worthy son with a cool brain, one who knows the philosophy but is always ready to preach Krishna consciousness. I don’t want to jump over you, I don’t want to misrepresent you, I don’t want to be displeasing to you. Please help me.

“I wish to be submissive to my Godbrothers and also a good influence on them. Most of all, I crave to be determined to follow you. I want to clear the dirty mirror of my mind to see my spiritual master as dear to Krishna. You are enthusing me. Let me enthuse you the way you enthuse me.

“Prabhupada, I want to be happy in the congregation of your devotees. Certainly I want your sidelong glance to fall on me, but I am also one in a crowd. I belong in this assembly. It would be nice if sometimes, just occasionally, you could call me apart from the others and just say a few words, but please know that, for the most part, I am happy to ‘stay in Boston’ in separation.

“Prabhupada, you know what I want. I want that clear consciousness whereby I always look up to you. I feel genuine enthusiasm when reading your books and while doing tasks that you ask me to do. Sometimes you may ask me something that may not be to my liking, but I want to be able to carry out your request with absolute surrender. Have I lost some of the enthusiasm I had as a young man serving his guru? Or maybe I was never as surrendered as I thought I was. In any case, you are always my leader. I want to use my intelligence and creativity in your service.

“Prabhupada, you walked down so many streets, got into so many cars, and stopped for prasadam in so many places. One time, you stopped by the roadside in France, and your servants set up a little box for you to eat on. You seemed to be at home wherever you went. You were regulated, but you were also willing to disrupt your routine to do the needful. Your custom was to take a massage and bath around noon, but if you had to travel on that day you would take your massage early in the morning and then go out clean, gentlemanly, sweet-tempered and determined.

“Prabhupada, my Godbrothers and I also travel on your behalf. May we travel like you. When we leave the temples, may we place our heads at Krishna’s feet and pray to do His bidding. May you grant us a safe journey. When we arrive, may we speak on your behalf, may we remember you as a transcendental gentleman, as a traveler, as a swanlike person.

“Prabhupada, I want my rasa with you. Please understand that I am unintelligent. You have to teach me again and again. I’m bound to make mistakes like a dog who chases the wrong stick again and again. But I am faithful. I want to see you smiling, and I want to find a whole heart of my own which I can surrender to you. I pray to Krishna that these things can come about.

”All glories to Prabhupada, who came and left us before we even knew what had happened. All glories to Prabhupada, who is increasing our desires to know him even after his disappearance. All glories to Prabhupada, who lives in his samadhi mandir and in the hearts of all his devotees, who lives in his books and who sits on his vyasasana, who is actually a humble servitor of his spiritual master and who accepts the honors in parampara. All glories to Prabhupada and the secrets in his heart. All glories to the open secrets which he teaches us and teaches the world: chant Hare Krishna and be happy.”

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Japa Group: Krsna In The Wrestling Arena

Sacinandana Swami speaks about Krsna pastimes in relation to the Holy names.

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H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

The Island’s First Day

Bon Accueil, Mauritius

I had been greeted at the airport in Mauritius by an employee who yanked me out of an endless customs line-up to be brought to a moving VIP line. I'm not complaining. Having cleared customs and the long wait for luggage, I came out of the terminal with a substantial microphone coming at me. It was MBC, Mauritius Broadcasting Corporation.

The news interviewer asked me questions after welcome,

“When did you start walking?”

“When I was five, one mile to school and one mile back.”

“What is your purpose for walking Mauritius?”

“To promote the notion of pilgrimage. These legs were made for walking. To encourage more the spiritual side of life."

The questions kept pouring out, most of which I just can’t recall. It went all so fast. I guess it’s big news on this small island which was first discovered by the Portuguese. It would not be a major marathon. I would be starting tomorrow at a planned 20 KM a day. It’s less than my usual distance.

I was told by Thierry, a French native devotee of Krsna that there was no large wild animals here.

“Oh, that’s no fun,” I thought.

“Oh, but there are people,” he corrected himself.

“You are right, it’s the worst kind of animal.”

“Do you have Hell’s Angels?”

“A few Harleys are on the island but no one looks tough around here, really.”

“Again, well, that also sounds flat,” I thought.

Before a shower, sleep or eat, I was led to the Krishna Balarama temple on Vrindavan road at Bon Accueil at noon. There I was asked to conduct a kirtan, chanting. It’s perfect. You get to meet everyone through chanting.

Personalities stand out by the mere response to the mantra; who is extra or intra / verted; who smiles; who remains stern looking; who plays the instruments with you or tries to or who is in their own world.

It’s like sports. When engaging in a game of volleyball which I do from time to time, within twenty minutes of the game you’ve become acquainted with everyone. A second kirtan in the evening drew a full house. At this kirtan there were just too many to discern who’s who and what’s what. I’ll get my opportunity to meet everyone. It will be a happy getting-to-know the slightly over a million Mauritians. At least I hope so.

0 KM

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H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

In Transition

Dubai, U.A.E

You heard about the book “Eat, Pray, Love”. Today I felt like writing a novel “Stand, Sit and Chew”. I’m spending time mostly in the air and it’s port. You stand in line-ups, sit in the plane and eat a little food now and then. I’m not complaining. That never does any good. I’m just taking note of a day in the life in air culture. To some degree I guess you could say I’m eating, praying and loving (loving Krishna of course, via the chant).

At least I was lovin’ it and a packed house was lovin’ it, at a rented hall in Dubai. The community really was immersed in Kirtan, and given that it is the official birth anniversary of Rama all went ecstatic and on their feet singing their hearts out. There is no better pre-occupation.

Because of the global economic down turn, Dubai got hit like much of the world. Devotees tell me that companies are imposing layoffs while some are stipulating “you want to stay on the job then we reduce your salary to a third of what you used to get. Take it or leave it”. Some people have left Dubai to return to their places of origin for greater hopeful prospects.

Be the situation that it is, community members here value the power of chanting all the more for its social spiritual potency and have come to terms with the tighter times. It’s quite a resilient group. Their enthusiastic co-coordinator, Sri Vallabha, asked me to read from the book Bhagavatam, Canto One, describing Ramas’ appeal for the ocean to co-operate.

The place where Rama sat in meditation calling on the assistance of the samudra, the Indian Ocean, is located in the South of India, Ramesvaram. The ocean reduced its turbulence and became calm allowing for boulders to float on its surface, hence creating a causeway for him to reach Sri Lanka’s northern shore.

With this pastime we capitalized on the term of “co-operation”. The message was one of “Listen, Follow, Enjoy!” Hey, we’ve got material for a new book!

0 KM

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H.H. Prahladananda Swami: The old days–two chapatis and some apple chutney for the day

I showered up (there is a fair bit of dust up there, tucked on top of those awnings) and came back for HH Prahladananda Swami’s class.  He was telling lovely stories of the Prabhupada days and book distribution.  One time he mentioned was when Srila Prabhupada sent him to open a center.  He arrived and found he was living in a park, with a sannyasi and his servant.  All the sannyasi would give them to eat was two chapatis (and some apple chutney).  They would cook chapatis all day and distribute them to hippies and then be rewarded at the end with only two.  Finally he was asked to join the Radha Damodara party instead and had to leave this other arrangement.  He made his way, with no money, to the town that the party was located.  He had no idea where they were and had to search them out.  Finally, when he found them, they gave him some prasadam.  He was a little confused when they gave him six chapatis and instructed him to eat them all, as he was conditioned to think that everyone in ISKCON must only be eating two chapatis (with some apple chutney).  Naturally he ate all the chapatis up, hungry from travelling and felt the mercy from Krsna in a new fashion.

From Leading To Gaura Purnima and Sankirtana Saturday by MESSAGES FROM MADD MONK

from this lecture - Book Distribution Lecture – BG 18.68-69 – Not Krishna’s Vacation, No He Comes To Enlighten 3-18-2011

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Toronto Sankirtan Team, CA: Smart box Bhagavad Gita

Waiting at Yonge and Finch I saw this girl walking on with her pink jumper and we started to talk. She was very appreciative of yoga and meditation. She was wary of checking out if I was into a religious group and if I was Hindu. I explained that we are not Hindus, we are Vaishnavs. I showed her the picture of reincarnation and explained the nature of the soul and how if we lived our lives with this consciousness world would be a different place. She gave a nice donation and took two books. So I started to inquire how come she was interested in such knowledge. She told me she is very interested and is reading the Bhagavad Gita and I inquired if she had the Bhagavad gita as it is. She told me she was reading it and I found that she had a few months ago bought it from a store in Gerrard street where our books were available. I am guessing she got it from a smart box perhaps. All glories to the Smart box project

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H.H. Bhakticharu Swami: UJJAIN UPDATE, 14 APRIL 2011

Sent by His Grace Mukunda Prabhu   Ujjain update 14th April, 2011 The dry hot summer has arrived and the temperature is already around 40’C in the daytime however nights are cool specially around Mangal arati. Guru Maharaj departed for Australia from Mumbai yesterday morning and for the last few days he was vividly describing [...]

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Toronto Sankirtan Team, CA: Perfection of yoga

Waiting for someone to stop I was simply chanting when I met Soudha. I didn’t remember her but she remembered the book I was holding. While I was thinking she would not even stop, she told me she had taken a book from me a few months ago. And to my greatest surprise she said she had actually read the Perfection of yoga and really enjoyed it. I asked her about her experience and she said it was very relaxing and not only her but her husband also read it. This time I gave her the Bhakti Yoga and asked her to read it and to keep in touch. She left with a smile and a promise to read her second book even though English wasn’t her first language.

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ISKCON Rama Navami At Bhaktivedanta Manor

By Editor for on 14 Apr 2011

The Ramanavami celebration observes the birth of Lord Rama, and is one of the most auspicious days in the Vaishnava calendar. At Bhaktivedanta Manor, celebrations for Ramanavami include special decorations, drama, discussion of Lord Rama’s pastimes and a harinama chanting procession in a local town.

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ISKCON Just How Long Did Jesus Stay In The Tomb?

By Daniel Burke for on 14 Apr 2011

As Christians worldwide prepare to celebrate Easter, they will follow a familiar chronology: Jesus was crucified on Good Friday and rose from the dead on "the third day." But if Jesus died at 3 p.m. Friday and vacated his tomb by dawn Sunday morning - about 40 hours later - how does that make three days?

Email to a friend “The Second Chance”. Blockbuster No2

By Parasuram das

The Srimad Bhagavatam is full of pastimes describing how the living entity comes in touch with Krishna Consciousness. Whether it's the story of Druva Maharaj, or Prahlad Maharaj, or the four Kumaras. So here is the story of how Finnegan regained his spiritual life.

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Akrura das, Gita Coaching: "MY VIEW"

This is the conclusion of a conversation that took place between His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and biochemist Thoudam Singh, Ph.D., in Bhubanesvara, India, on February 3, 1977.

Dr. Singh: Nowadays it seems everyone has his "view."

Srila Prabhupada: Yes. Every rascal will give his own "view." But we don't have to accept this. "Modern world" means "I think," "in my opinion," "in my view." This is going on. But we don't accept this.

Dr. Singh: We hear these very words all the time from so-called scientific authorities. "In my opinion." "In my view."

Srila Prabhupada: In your opinion. In your view. But first of all, who are you? A soul shackled inside a material body, totally under the control of the material laws. So what is the value of your view?

This is ahankara, false ego. Ahankara-vimudhatma kartaham iti manyate: one wants to give his view when he thinks, foolishly, "I am this big, proud material body. I am something." Kartaham iti manyate: he thinks, "I am doing such great things." But actually he is vimudha, a great ass. He does not understand that in fact he is not the material body, and that material nature -- not he -- is carrying out his so-called great activities.

In fact, material nature is pulling him around by his ear: "Come here. Lie down and sleep." And he has to lie down and sleep. He's so independent. So what is the value of his "view"?

Prakrteh kriyamanani gunaih karmani sarvasah. As Lord Krsna explains, "The spirit soul bewildered by false ego thinks himself the doer of activities that in reality are being carried out by the modes of material nature." He doesn't realize that he is totally under the control of nature.

Now, you rascal scientists, just try to understand. From the spiritual world you have fallen into this prison, this material world. You have your prison uniform, this material body. So shall I have to accept your view? You are a fallen criminal, and I have to accept your view? What is the value of your view?

Dr. Singh: These rascal scientists are so arrogant. They won't listen.

Srila Prabhupada: Make them listen. "What is the value of your proud view? You have become a criminal. You are being punished. And we have to accept your view?"

Again, what is the value of this materially imprisoned living entity's view? No value. At least we Krsna conscious, God conscious, people will not accept it. This position we shall maintain. "No 'view' from you, sir. Only Krsna's view shall we accept -- only God's view."

That's all. "Who are you to propound some view, rascal scientist? Your view? We don't give your view any value." Stick to this point. And maintain it scientifically. Then it will stand. Don't compromise.

Mattah parataram nanyat kincid asti dhananjaya. "I am the supreme truth," the Lord says. "There is no truth superior to Me." This is the Supreme's view. The Supreme's view we shall accept.

Why accept some puny rascal's view? We are getting knowledge from the supreme person -- nobody is greater than Him; nobody is equal to Him. So why shall we accept some puny nonsensical rascal's view?

All over the world, people are becoming godless cats and dogs in the mere dress of human beings. So para-upakara: we have to rescue them from this nonsense and make them truly happy -- restore their God consciousness. The first step is to disprove their nonsensical pseudoscientific "view" that life comes from matter, with no need for the soul or the supreme soul. This is simply incorrect.

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Syamesvari dd: The Magical Flute

Syamesvari dd: The Magical Flute

Whenever I hear great artists like Hariprasad Chaurasia or Kudamaloor Janardanan play the flute, I am captivated by the rich timbre of its sound and the lilting sweetness of the ragas played. And my mind is always swept to the same thought.... If a mere mortal can create such an exquisite sound, what must it sound like when, to His sweet lips, Krsna places His bamboo flute?? It made me think of a poem I recently came across, in a book entitled "White whispers: Selected poems of Salabega", Salabega being a 17th century Oriyan poet and Vaisnava. Despite being born to a Muslim father, he was utterly and completely devoted to Lord Jaganath, who is none other than Krsna Himself. His poem is titled, 'Who Plays on the Magical Flute?' That is what is must be like when Krsna plays His flute...magical!

Who is it on the magical flute
from beneath the kadamba tree?
Blowing it, He stole away
my heart's glittering gold.
Listening to its mellowed song
rocks melt away, withered twigs
merrily dance with new foliage.
And listening to it my eyes do away with sleep.

Listening to its sorcerous songs
the mild Yamuna goes wild,
and her multicoloured trouts
wince on the bank's unkind bosom.
Will there be no meeting
of my Lord with His hearts priceless gem?
Thus prays Salabega,
the down-trodden, the lowborn.
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Jahnavi, UK: Raga Notes

I’ve been playing two ragas in my violin classes lately. Valaji and Garudadhwani. They are both beautiful, distinctive and so nuanced.

I had never heard of Garudadhwani when I started learning the piece composed by my teacher’s guru – Sri Lalgudi Jayaraman. It is a restrictive raga – it has all seven notes on the ascending scale, but only five on the descending. This means that certain patterns are created which make the raga both instantly recognisable, as well as hard to elaborate on for long. It is bright, playful, optimistic and powerful. It also has a fascinating name. I know the meaning of the Sanskrit words ‘Garuda’, the eagle carrier of Lord Vishnu and ‘dhwani’ – ‘sound’, but wasn’t sure what this meant in reference to the raga. I asked my guru why it has this name, and his answer wasn’t abstract at all – ‘It means the sound that the divine eagle, Garuda makes.’ Of course it does!

I love that a raga exists, based on the sound of a divine eagle’s cry. Here’s an example of the raga – what do you hear?

The second, Valaji, is a pentatonic scale – it has five notes on the way up and down. It is languid, confident and I think, bluesy.  Aside from anything else, it reminds me so much of the classic blues minor pentatonic scale that my Dad once showed me on my old Casio keyboard.  I’d love to hear a Valaji collaboration with a blues clarinet. Here’s an example that goes part of the way. Valaji on electric guitar – they say almost any stringed instrument can be adapted to Carnatic music…

Email to a friend Quality of a Devotee : He Does not Make anyone his enemy

Chirag Dangarwala: “All the demigods and their exalted qualities, such as religion, knowledge and renunciation, become manifest in the body of one who has developed unalloyed devotion for the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Väsudeva.”

Email to a friend New! Donate to TOVP Online

By Vraja Vilasa Das

Mayapur is the root of the ISKCON tree. Completing this temple, predicted by Bhaktivinode Thakur, will uplift the entire world. Every gift makes a difference, no matter how large or how small. To contribute to this historic project, you can now use Paypal

Email to a friend Festival of Encouragement

By Raxit Jariwalla

The Monthly Sankirtana Festival of Encouragement, held last weekend to honor the Divine Appearance of Lord Sri Ramacandra, was concluded on Rama-navami (Tuesday, April 12th), on which day the final results were offered to Srila Prabhupada, Sri Rama and their Lordships at the ISKCON of Silicon Valley (ISV) temple in San Jose, CA.

Email to a friend The Glorious Passing of Bhaktin Edna Galicia

Vaisnavananda das (ACBSP): Whenever someone passes away, it becomes a cause for bereavement and lamentation. However, when a Vaisnava or Vaisnavi passes, it is a jubilant and glorious occasion. This was highly exemplified by the passing of my former wife, Bhaktin Edna Galicia

Email to a friend Message from Mother Narada Priya

Mother Narada Priya: "Since I did not post my 'Brief Against Feminism' article here (and I have no idea who did)--I will not be responding to any comments at that location. Rather, I only have time for the comments that are usually sent to me via my email address, which may be found at my blog

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Akrura das, Gita Coaching: CHOOSE TO CHOOSE

We cannot control what happens to us or how people will behave. But we can control how we react to what happens to us and how people behave.

We have a freedom to choose our response.

We can always choose to choose our freedom of choice, in any given situation.

Life becomes interesting if we see it as a test of our responses - will we react wisely or not to what life brings us.

We can choose to be a victim or a volunteer, and victim or victor.

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H.H. Sivarama Swami: Rasajna d.d. and Yuvaraja Pr. ask

H.H. Sivarama Swami: Rasajna d.d. and Yuvaraja Pr. ask

Sivarama Swami

Rasajna d.d. and Yuvaraja Pr. ask
April 14th, 2011
If everything is in Krsna’s hands how much should parents make effort for their children’s health, and about the concept of free will and destiny.
[ 11:50 ]
H.H. Sivarama Swami: Rasajna d.d. and Yuvaraja Pr. ask

If everything is in Krsna’s hands how much should parents make effort for their children’s health, and about the concept of free will and destiny.

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New Vrndavan, USA: March 27-28th Management Meetings with the GBC

Present: GBC members, INMV Board of Directors and ECOV (GEETA) board members.

The first day of meetings began with a progress report from Ramesvara Prabhu and Gaura Shakti Prabhu regarding the Palace renovations. A local architectural firm had been hired to prepare concept drawings, and expand them into construction documents and construction specifications. Due to the large scope of the project and the high cost of doing the work, the project has been divided into several phases, each with its own budget.

The discussion was focused on the first two aspects of Phase 1 renovation, both of which are meant to solve the problem of water damage. Several attempts have been made in the past to repair the roof but there is still major water leakage, both in the temple room and in the courtyard/gift shop areas. Although the overall project will cost over 5-6 million, and take many years to complete, the initial work to stop the leakage will cost approximately $400,000. The devotees spent considerable time discussing how to raise funds for this endeavor and whether to make the project a priority within the community. Included in the discussion was how the devotees themselves could do as much of the Palace renovation work as possible while maintaining a quality standard that will sustain Srila Prabhupada’s Palace well into the future.

The Palace discussion was followed by a brainstorming session on Community Vision and Planning. The New Vrindaban Community has immense potential and many aspects of the community are underdeveloped. The goal of the new Community Vision and Planning Team will be to involve community members, using their various skills and propensities, along with creating an overall integrated plan.

Chaitanya Mangala and Madhava Gosh Prabhus presented a compilation of quotes from Srila Prabhupada outlining his vision for New Vrindaban. The main points from these quotes were expanded into the following main categories: cow protection, agriculture and food production/storage, sustainability, education, outreach, new temple construction, the Palace, deity worship, land and housing for devotees, guest services, devotee care, economic development, asset protection, and art/culture.

Three devotees accepted the task of heading up this planning team. They are Daivirya Prabhu, Gaura Shakti Prabhu and Soma Prabhu. Since this is a very large undertaking the Board of Directors requests that devotees come forward to offer assistance to this start-up team.

The first phase of the Community Vision and Planning Team will be to interview all the community members to ascertain everyone’s personal realizations of how they want to see the community develop. By combining that list and filtering it through the instructions of Srila Prabhupada, they will be able to offer the community and board a prioritized list of projects for the immediate needs, mid-range (2-5 years) and long term goals. Included in the survey will be questions to determine what aspects of the rebuilding of New Vrindavan are of particular interest to each devotee and how they would like to be involved.

This first report by the Vision and Planning Team will be offered within three months with progress reports coming to the board every two weeks leading up to and following the initial report. The second phase will involve developing a plan to address the prioritized goals and to design a working but flexible model showing how New Vrindavan will look in the future

After discussing the financial needs of the Palace renovation project, a preliminary list was made of projects in the temple area that require immediate attention. This list was based on the realizations of those in attendance but requires the input of the community members before it can be completed. This includes the lodge roof, cabin remodeling, water infrastructure, temple renovations, lodge renovations, liability insurance, school upkeep and maintenance, tax case settlement, additional payments to the Palace architects and electrical infrastructure upgrades. All of these items when combined with the Palace renovations presented serious budgeting challenges.

There were also discussions of projects that could begin immediately as the monetary requirements were minimal. These included but were not limited to; a room in the temple for hospice, a room in one of the surrounding buildings for a clinic, an area in the upper garden for individual plots for those living around the temple that would like to have a personal garden.

Some of the meeting time was spent exploring the various legal corporate structures that could be utilized by both ISKCON and ECOV (GEETA) to insure continued tax exemption, legal compliance, and to protect the assets of the corporations. The board will be seeking legal advice before making any final decisions in this regard.

In conclusion, ECOV (GEETA) offered to sponsor a fund-raising capital campaign that would provide money for the Palace renovation. Both the INMV board and the ECOV (GEETA) board made solid commitments to work together and move forward to accomplish these challenging goals.

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Madhava Ghosh dasa, New Vrndavan, USA: The “Green” Thing

Reprinted from an email I received:

In the line at the store, the cashier told the older woman that plastic bags weren’t good for the environment. The woman apologized to her and explained, “We didn’t have the green thing back in my day.”

That’s right, they didn’t have the green thing in her day. Back then, they returned their milk bottles, Coke bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, using the same bottles over and over. So they really were recycled. But they didn’t have the green thing back her day.

In her day, they walked up stairs, because they didn’t have an escalator in every store and office building. They walked to the grocery store and didn’t climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time they had to go two blocks. But she’s right. They didn’t have the green thing in her day.

Back then, they washed the baby’s diapers because they didn’t have the throw-away kind. They dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling machine burning up 220 volts “wind and solar power” really did dry the clothes. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing. But that old lady is right, they didn’t have the green thing back in her day.

Back then, they had one TV, or radio, in the house not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a pizza dish, not a screen the size of the state of Montana. In the kitchen, they blended and stirred by hand because they didn’t have electric machines to do everything for you. When they packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, they used wadded up newspaper to cushion it, not styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap.

Back then, they didn’t fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. They used a push mower that ran on human power. They exercised by working so they didn’t need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity. But she’s right, they didn’t have the green thing back then.

They drank from a fountain when they were thirsty, instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time they had a drink of water. They refilled pens with ink, instead of buying a new pen, and they replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull. But they didn’t have the green thing back then.

Back then, people took the streetcar and kids rode their bikes to school or rode the school bus, instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service.

They had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And they didn’t need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest pizza joint But that old lady is right. They didn’t have the green thing back in her day.

Filed under: Cows and Environment, Jokes
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Ananda Subramanian, Iowa, USA: Relationship building with God

Many times, when Srila Prabhupada was physically present on earth especially the years after ISKCON was established (1966 to 1977), he was approached by numerous reporters, journalists and professors on how to resolve apparently social ills such as crime, poverty, over-population etc etc Srila Prabhupada gave various answers but all of them had one common moral and that is the people today are enjoying the kingdom of God without God. In other words, because we have become Godless in our consciousness and day-to-day life, we are suffering the various social problems plaguing modern society.

Scholars, academicians and politicians may think that Srila Prabhupada’s answer is idealistic and not in touch with reality, that it is too simple of an answer. Become genuine servants of God, we will solve all our problems social, economical, environmental and political. Actually, this solution is the highest truth and the most confidential. Krishna Himself declares in the Gita that the most confidential knowledge is that where one completely dedicates his or her life in the service of God. In other words, whatever occupation we are engaged in or whatever we do, we perform it in the consciousness as the servants of God and not as the enjoyer of the fruits of our occupation. We offer the fruits of our labor whole heartedly to God. If we follow this ideal, we can solve all our modern day problems. This truth is simple yet difficult by many to follow.

The singular reason that we think that it is difficult to follow is because our perception of God is either agnostic, sentimental (ritualistic) or impersonal. We do not see God in a personal way like we see our own father and mother. When we are young, all our needs are fulfilled by our parents. We do not live in fear of not being taken care of…why...because we relate and interact with our parents on a day-to-day basis that we believe that they are our well-wishers. This interaction and relationship is lacking when it comes to our Supreme father – that is- God. We cannot see and relate with God as we see our own mother and father. Therefore, it seems impractical to use God as our all-in-all solution to modern day problems. Srila Prabhupada has given us practical guidelines to engage on a day-to-day basis that by doing we will be able to relate and interact with God on a personal level just as we do with our parents and friends. This relationship as it gets stronger, our faith that God will take care of all our needs will increase just as we have faith on our biological parents.

One paramount relationship-building strategy with God is calling out His names in a mood of helplessness. This calling out of His names in a humble mood is called Mantra Meditation or simply Chanting. Chanting the Names of God is the simplest yet significant method to relate with God and interact with Him in today’s fast paced age. It can be done anywhere, anytime. There are no hard or fast rules. Performing chanting daily will make our relationship with God “real” beyond sentimental attachment and impersonal attachment. This attachment will nourish our soul and give meaning to our daily lives helping us to transcend the social, economical, political and environmental problems. If every individual on this planet chants the names of God, we will reform our own bad habits and live a simple life. Living a simple life with simple needs means less exploitation of people and natural resources thus reversing the damage we are doing to the people, society and the planet earth at large. Chanting God's name is not a sectarian formula. It is universal to all race, class and religions.

Please chant

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

and interact with God and save the planet and its people.

Hare Krishna

Email to a friend Book distribution seminar: enthusiasm is contagious

Berlin, Germany,

I met one young kid and after going through the normal opening lines handed him a few books. It turns he was from Sweden, and as is normal with people of Scandinavian descent, was a dedicated atheist (studying molecular chemistry in Berlin), and had a very one-dimesional personality. He was very skeptical of the books and began to fire off a load of very mechanical questions- "What is this?" "What will it do?" "Why do I need that?" "Does it work?" After 2 minutes of such "conversation" I was just about to give up when two elderly (must of been in their late 70's) Polish women came up. One of them was VERY fired up to see a devotee, and she grabbed me and started shaking me telling me how wonderful it is that we are distributing these books. Then she starting preaching to the Swedish boy about how she was into yoga, and that the Bhagavad-Gita was a great book. Anyway, to make a long story short, the woman bought two books for herself, sold two more to her sister (the other woman with her), and after they left, the Swedish kid was so inspired that he bought three books for himself!

Your servant, Jayananda dasa

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Book Distribution News: enthusiasm is contagious

Berlin, Germany,

I met one young kid and after going through the normal opening lines handed him a few books. It turns he was from Sweden, and as is normal with people of Scandinavian descent, was a dedicated atheist (studying molecular chemistry in Berlin), and had a very one-dimesional personality. He was very skeptical of the books and began to fire off a load of very mechanical questions- "What is this?" "What will it do?" "Why do I need that?" "Does it work?" After 2 minutes of such "conversation" I was just about to give up when two elderly (must of been in their late 70's) Polish women came up. One of them was VERY fired up to see a devotee, and she grabbed me and started shaking me telling me how wonderful it is that we are distributing these books. Then she starting preaching to the Swedish boy about how she was into yoga, and that the Bhagavad-Gita was a great book. Anyway, to make a long story short, the woman bought two books for herself, sold two more to her sister (the other woman with her), and after they left, the Swedish kid was so inspired that he bought three books for himself!

Your servant, Jayananda dasa

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Gouranga TV: Bhajan – 24hr Kirtan, Dallas New Years Eve

Bhajan – 24hr Kirtan, Dallas New Years Eve

Gouranga TV: Bhajan – 24hr Kirtan, Dallas New Years Eve

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Japa Group: While The Body Is Fit

While the body is fit, there­fore, why should we not chant the holy name loudly and distinctly? If one does so it is quite pos­si­ble that even at the time of death, he will properly be able to chant the holy name of the Lord with love and faith.
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Kurma dasa, AU: Cooking with Kurma in Perth

entrees are served:

If you live in Perth and would like to arrange a dinner party in your home, let me know. I may be flying over there in the not-too-distant future.

More details here.

Email to a friend LIVE Srimad Bhagavat Katha

Sriji Devi Dasi: Watch Srimad Bhagavat Katha given by H. H Radha Govinda Goswami Maharaj live on the following link from 7.30pm to 9.00pm (ISD). Date 11th -17th April 2011. Topic : Mathura Leela

Email to a friend Attention Vendors: FESTIVAL OF INSPIRATION - update

Malati devi: We welcome Prasad vendors, informational booths, publications (ISKCON related - non-rtvik), devotional paraphernalia and clothing, arts and crafts, children’s items, educational material, etc. Vending will be outdoors

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