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  1. H.G. Sankarshan das Adhikari, USA: Tuesday 29 March 2011--Back to Home, Back to Vrindavan--and--How to Find Permanent Bliss?
  2. Sri Nandanandana dasa: A Cure for the Corruption in India, By Stephen Knapp
  3. H.H. Bhakticharu Swami: TOWACO LECTURES SB 10.3.1-5
  4. ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Devamrita Swami at Krishna Fest - TOMORROW!
  5. ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Today's Darsana
  6. Japa Group: Chanting Rhyme
  7. ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Ratha Yatra Video
  8. Bhakti Vikasa Swami: Working women are not liberated
  9. Kurma dasa, AU: Vegetarian Cooking with Kurma @ La Trobe University - Last Week to Enrol
  10. H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami (Ret.): 263—Poem for March 28
  11. H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami (Ret.): OLD FRIENDS
  12. Bhakti Lata, Alachua, USA: Happy 4th Blogiversary!
  13. Devadeva Mirel, Alachua, USA: I’m Pregnant With My General Contractor’s Baby…And Other Things That Can Go Wrong With Your Kitchen Remodel
  14. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  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. Subhavilasa das ACBSP, Toronto, CA: Srila Prabhupada's Pandal Preaching programs continue.
  23. Mayapur Online: Ekachakra Dham Project : Construction Update
  24. H.H. Sivarama Swami: How to distinguish between Maya’s and Kali’s influence and what is the meaning of sva-dharma
  25. Mayapur Online: Srivas Pandit's Appearance
  26. Mayapur Online: Gallery Updated
  27. H.H. Sivarama Swami: Sunday 27th evening bhajana
  28. Colorful parade prompts smiles
  29. Euro RGB minutes Mayapur 2011
  30. ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Daily Class - Candrasekhara Prabhu
  31. ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Daily Class - Gangesvara Prabhu
  32. Malati dd, USA: Tofu Adobo (Updated)
  33. Gouranga TV: 2009.06.23. Kirtan by H.H. Bhaktividya Purna Swami – Riga, LATVIA
  34. Gaura Yoga, NZ: Guest speaker, not to be missed!
  35. Gaura Yoga, NZ: New course starting Wed 30 March
  36. Japa Group: Nourish Your Faith
  37. More Recent Articles
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H.G. Sankarshan das Adhikari, USA: Tuesday 29 March 2011--Back to Home, Back to Vrindavan--and--How to Find Permanent Bliss?

A daily broadcast of the Ultimate Self Realization Course(TM) Tuesday 29 March 2011 The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krishna, and His eternal consort, Srimati Radharani are enjoying transcendental pastimes in the topmost planet of the spiritual world, Sri Goloka Vrindavan. They are beckoning us to rejoin them. (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: Back to Home, Back to Vrindavan Uploaded from London, England Monday 28 March 2011--After a blissful stop in London to lecture on the Bhagavad-gita and to hold a Krishna conscious questions and answers session at ISKCON's Soho Street temple in London, we are heading out today for the Lord's most wonderful transcendental abode, Sri Vrindavana Dhama. A pilgrimage to this most sacred abode is an incredibly sublime opportunity for strengthening our Krishna consciousness and for regaining our original eternal identities as Krishna's eternal servants. Sankarshan Das Adhikari Vrindavan, the Wondrous Land of Krishna WT/vrindavan.jpg Answers According to the Vedic Version: Question: How to Find Permanent Bliss? Hare Krishna, Maharaja, Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada. Day in and day out, I am trying very hard to become an ardent student of Krishna consciousness, but I always end up overwhelmed by miseries stemming from my work, people, corporate politics, mood swings, and other emotional disturbances. I am feeling very sick and tired of these day to day nuances. In my office everyone is playing so much politics and mind games, and they don't understand the pain I am going through. I have to work to take care of my social and financial needs, and I do not have good support either financially or morally. How to survive in this dog-eat-dog world? Every day it's a great struggle to survive and face the odds. Sometime I am getting suicidal thoughts. But I also think of my aged parents. I am 35 years old and not yet married and am finding great difficulty to get married because of poor financial position and poor health. How can I be happy and blissful if I keep on facing these emotional disturbances daily which wreck my interest in spirituality? How can I get rid of these disturbances and achieve permanent bliss. Hare Krishna, Your servant forever, N.S. Answer: Beg for Krishna's Mercy It's very simple. All you have to do is see that this suffering is all the mercy of Krishna to help you give up the idea of trying to enjoy this material world so that you can easily take complete shelter of Him. Call out to Krishna regularly like a small child in anxiety calling out to his mother. Take shelter of the bona fide spiritual master. He will teach you how to perfect your chanting. In this way, you will be able to cut through the curtain of the material energy and enter into the spiritual world of unlimited bliss. 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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Sri Nandanandana dasa: A Cure for the Corruption in India, By Stephen Knapp

            Martin Luther King once said that he had a dream of when men would be judged not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. But I say it is up to the individual to put some content in his character. Otherwise a man will be judged by whatever traits are perceived by others. And corruption in the activities of a person is a sign of a lack of proper content. And if there are numerous individuals, especially in high places, involved in crime and corruption, so goes the character and reputation of the country.

            Therefore, it is of utmost importance that the state or government provides the means and education for its citizens to develop the right content in their character. This is the importance of character development with nation building.

            Throughout my travels in India, while lecturing at so many cities and venues, it is not unusual for businessmen, industrialists, or even professors to ask me what I think should be done about all the corruption in India, which exists on every level. We all hear about the corruption in politics, and what intrigue goes on amongst the politicians, but it goes on in so many small enterprises, too. Like paying the bribes to get a phone line in your house. Innocent people have to bribe bureaucrats, police and even judicial officials to get anything done. Or how, as one friend told me, he took a test for his driving license three times, and they never even looked at the test but denied him each time, until he realized he had to pay a bribe for it. After he paid the clerk an extra Rs. 2000, he then took the test a fourth time and they still never looked at it, but this time he got his license.

            Another example of corruption that a friend told me about was when he was riding on a train and met a government inspector who told him the story of how the military men were getting sick from all kinds of digestive problems. They narrowed down the cause to the cooking oil that was being used in preparing the food served to the men in the military. They identified a possible source for the oil, and the inspector went to the company that was producing the oil and discovered that the owner of the company was adding all kinds of polluted oil to the regular oil he was making, which is what was causing the men to get sick. The inspector told the owner of what had been found, and the owner asked how much the inspector wanted in order for him to write a positive report for the military. So the company owner paid a large bribe to the inspector who took the money and gave a good report about the company and the oil it was producing. So the military went on purchasing this contaminated oil that is probably still making the military men sick at several bases.

            One more example is that some years ago the Japanese had offered to help with cleaning the Yamuna River, which is so contaminated around the Delhi area that it cannot support any life. It is a dead river there. So, the Japanese offered $20,000,000 to build a cleaning plant to help clean the water before it continued on its way. By the time all the bribes had been taken out, all that was left was $1,000,000. So, you can still see the small cleaning plant that had been built in the Vrindavana area, but a far bigger plant should have and could have been built to actually help the country and the people that depend on the water of the Yamuna River.

No doubt, much of what is wrong with India in this sense can be found everywhere. It is not only India. And I have often said that if you could see the corruption that goes on behind closed doors amongst politicians in America, you would be shocked. Or maybe not, depending on how aware you have been of what really goes on. But things have to change.

            The British also helped jump start this corruption by two things: First the bureaucracy they established in their managerial system which they used against the Indians, most of which was adopted by the Indians in the form of a Parliamentary government and which allows for the loopholes and cracks in the system for the continuation of so much corruption. Secondly, while under the British, the citizens of India were forced to struggle so hard to exist that it forced them to think in terms of the survival of their own immediate family while giving up the consideration of the whole community. After so many years of that conditioning, this need for self-preservation and the desire to fulfill selfish concerns went from one generation to the next until it became a general trend to get whatever you need regardless of the consequences or how it affects others.

            The Indian constitution itself, under the guise of freedom and fairness for the minority religions, fuels corruption and inequality by favoring the few at the expense of the majority Vedic or Hindu population. How can this inspire a united vision?

Furthermore, dishonesty and fraud in India has reached even the Supreme Court Chief Justices and several High Court Justices, which have been involved in prominent levels of corruption. We also have seen the reports about those presently in power (March, 2011) who are looting millions of rupees from India, and depositing it into secret accounts abroad. And they only pave the way for more of their own kind to be elected in order to make things easier for themselves.

We all know that a politician or person of influence is not to amass wealth dishonestly, and then indulge in extravagance or ostentatious living. Nor is he or she meant to give favors to their relatives, or their supporters or business associates by conferring special privileges or kickbacks to them. This is nothing but the misuse of the power and position of the office, a misappropriation of public funds, and the abuse of power, as well as the root cause of the rampant corruption that has become so noticeable throughout India. 

We have also seen the wealthy spend millions of dollars on nothing more than a marriage ceremony for their children, just for the sake of mainly creating a spectacle to be noted in the press, or to outdo some other wealthy person’s wedding. This kind of thing is but a huge black spot of selfishness on the character of the persons who make such arrangements when certainly the ceremony could have been limited in its expense, and the money that was saved could have been used for something far more practical or beneficial. That would have been worth noting in the media. In fact, people should make an example of spending less on their momentary weddings and then giving more money to a worthy cause. 

            So, obviously, the kind of corruption we are pointing out goes on because of a lack of morals in the content of one’s character. This is what has to change. India is obviously progressing economically and technologically, but this corruption really slows down the amount and speed of the progress that, otherwise, could be made for the benefit of everyone in the country at a much faster pace. Therefore, it hinders the well-being of everyone, and many countries outside of India hesitate to put full confidence in their business dealings with India when this corruption is so obvious.

Today, as Shahroz Raza said in his article “Corruption Bigger Factor Than Secularism” (Pioneer, January 8, 2011), India’s economy is “growing” at over 9%, yet every second child in India is malnourished. Less than one-fourth of the rural population has access to proper toilets. Eighty percent of India’s population lives on $2 a day or less. And what is most shameful is that only four of every 10 girls who enroll for schooling complete eight years of formal education. So, as anyone should question, is that real progress? Is that real growth?    

Let’s put this into perspective. Corruption has secular implications. The money looted by the rulers of India becomes food that is snatched away from the mouth of the newborn and the hungry; or the death that is caused for want of care in a ramshackle hospital; or the unemployment for an adult. This should be avoided by proper adjustments by India’s leaders. But the problem is that politics has simply become a business, which means they use the position and perks that come with it to look out for themselves and family and friends, and collect large amounts of property and money in whatever way necessary at the expense of the masses.

            As long as this corruption is allowed to continue, which lends to the reason why certain sections of society remain poor and hungry, then India, and the world, actually is not truly civilized. Swami Vivekananda has also explained, “So long as millions live in hunger and ignorance, I hold educated man a traitor who, having been educated at their expense, pays not the least heed to them.”

A civilized society does not mean merely technological advancement or economic progress. It means that society has a unified civil code and unified vision of everyone having the right to the same basic facilities as everyone else, meaning food, shelter, clothing, and the means to an education so they can maintain themselves, however simple or sophisticated that may be. In other words, a starving sector of society means that society is uncivilized due to the wealthier section of society hoarding or profiting from the loss of others. 

            This goes back to the point that there is no real lack of anything in this world in regard to resources needed to survive. The only real lack is God-consciousness and the higher vision to see that spiritually we are all the same and that we are only barrowing things from the Supreme during the short duration of the life we are given. Thus, the world’s resources need to be distributed in a way so everyone benefits, and that it is not monopolized by greedy people in prominent positions.

            Even Mahatma Gandhi once said that the deadliest form of violence is poverty. It is poverty, whether it is planned, arranged, or merely allowed, that kills more people than all the wars that take place. In fact, all the money used for military spending could otherwise be used for solving many of the world’s problems. It is poverty which also causes much of the behavioral violence and criminality that affects us all. The problem is that as poverty expands, it becomes more difficult for the people who are affected by it to do anything about it.

            If corruption increases, the general well-being of everyone will decline, and the poor are the ones to feel it first, and feel it the most. But from there, it trickles up and affects everyone. As the people suffer, with poor people becoming poorer, farmers committing suicide, businessmen wasting or ruining the environment, we see the money launderers, smugglers, the land mafia, and others continue to plunder and loot money. Experts warn that if the existing state of severe corruption continues the way it is, then it will lead to greater national and international instability, economic failure, increased poverty, and environmental collapse. In other words, this is simply not sustainable. Things must change soon or all that will bring things back to some semblance of sanity is a people’s revolution to demand the removal of all corrupt politicians, judges, military personnel, bankers, etc.

However, the citizens of India cannot be apathetic and remain blind or tolerant to this, if they ever expect to put an end to it. And, fortunately, they are starting to realize that if anything is going to change, it is up to them to do something about it because the corrupt elitists will only do whatever it takes, and in whatever way they know, to perpetuate their kind and their ways, which has not been to the good of the people or the planet. Not all, but many of these politicians and wealthy elitists, criminals actually, are really but demons in human form, living a pampered life at the expense of the many, and driving the uplifting spiritual culture of India into extinction. They care little for anyone but themselves and have no feelings of compassion or the propensity to uphold justice towards the people they are cheating. In that way, they are like insensitive reptiles while portraying themselves to be good and qualified public leaders.

            Those in poverty in India often face a life and death struggle, where they have to make such decisions as whether to buy either medicine or food because there is not enough money for both. And even now those in poverty cannot afford certain foods, like dals, pulses, various fruits, and other foods that can provide necessary protein. The cost is too high for them. And, thus, malnutrition begins to affect an increasingly larger section of the population. So what does that say about the future potential of India? 

The latest government statistics on food inflation in India says it went up by 18.3% in the Christmas week of 2010. Even a common Indian knows the relationship between corruption and food inflation. And presently the Agriculture Minister and his cohorts are making plenty of money through their speculation in food prices, bidding on them while knowing prices are going up, or even working with those who manipulate the fundamentals to make sure the prices go up. Plus, they are allowing essential commodities to be hoarded and exported while the vast majority of India’s children are going hungry every night. This is nothing but a repeat of the same crimes that the British did to the Indian population in the late 1800s, when they exported so much food back to Britain, or used it for their own military while the people in India starved. Because of this profit-making tactic of the thoughtless British, it is estimated that between one-third and one-half of the entire population of India at the time—at least 10 to 15 million people—died from the famine. If there was ever a crime against India and its people, this was one. And now, to whatever degree, it is being repeated by the elitist Indians against their own people.

            At present, India has many multi-generational politicians who have become a caste unto themselves, making rules, or ignoring existing laws, in whatever way they choose in order to fill their own coffers at the expense of everyone else’s well-being. These politicians and similar people suffer from a value disorder, which is the addiction to the rush or thrill of acquiring more power, more money, more property. They are addicted to it and cannot control their mind or senses. If this disease cannot be cured, then they should be put out of office and forced to serve prison time for their crimes against humanity.

            Such a disease can only be cured or purged in society by having the proper training, especially while young and still growing up, in order to add the appropriate character building traits necessary to know what is a decent and balanced human being and how to be one.


             Naturally one of the first things people would say is that we have to vote out of office those culprits that cheat the people, and are engaged in so much corruption, and vote in those who really care, if we know who they are. But where do we find those politicians who will truly help society and lead properly?

Plus, we need to work with all others who have the same realization and vision for India’s future, and want to clean up the mess we are presently in. For this to happen, people need to be aware of what is really happening and who is responsible. They need to be educated in how the corruption takes place. Therefore, ongoing meetings should provide this information.

Then there is a need of transparency and accountability in all government activities. For this to happen, we need a total constitutional reform. It is time for the majority to unite, to value the cultural tradition of India, or at least what is left of it, and take appropriate legal action to restructure the political and judicial system and eradicate the incompetence and treachery that seems to pervade so much of India. 

However, let us remember that, although necessary, these are all short term solutions. But there also has to be a long term plan to cure these previously mentioned criminal tendencies in people and create a positive effect throughout society that would make a change that would last for generations.

As I said earlier, I am often asked when I am in India what to do about all of this corruption. I always answered that the best thing that I know of is to continue to teach the ethical and moralistic standards as found in Vedic Dharma. Fortunately for me, this was reaffirmed while I was in Bangalore with my visit with the eminent M. Rama Jois, the retired Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. He told me that this was indeed the best way to relieve the country of all the corruption that we see, but he explained the best means to do that.

            M. Rama Jois told me that before the independence of India in 1947, there used to be government pre-schools where the children would go to learn, not necessarily how to read and write, but about the basic rules of Dharma. Then the children would also hear of the examples of Dharma from the great epics, like the Mahabharata and Ramayana or Puranas, and about those great heroes who acted in various situations under the rules of Dharma. This way, before the children ever went to general school to learn reading and writing, etc., they were already educated in the proper content of character to know how to act as a proper human being, and know how to judge what is right or wrong in the various situations of life.

            Unfortunately, it was after 1947 when the new administration of independent India decided that learning the ethics of Dharma was religious study, and that the new secular government could no longer support such pre-schools. Thus, all such education of basic moralistic principles under Dharma were no longer to be taught in the schools of India. And since that time, the materialistic selfishness, greed, and the insensitivity to the situation of others for the benefit of oneself, have all increased to the point where now it is almost all-pervasive. 

            As M. Rama Jois explains in his book Dharma: The Global Ethic, “All our present day problems are a direct result of disregarding Dharma, under the influence of a materialistic philosophy, in the belief that it alone can usher in happiness and secure the welfare of the people. Now it is becoming clear that human problems increase as we go on multiplying our lust and desire for material wealth and pleasure, and that the solution to all the problems, whether they be social, economic or political, and in particular the crash of our moral edifice which the world and our nation are facing, is Dharma alone. There is no alternative to Dharma. This is the eternal truth. This can be realized if we understand the real meaning of Dharma.”

            So, what is Dharma? I have already written more extensively about this, but to put it simply, the Mahabharata (Shanti Parva, 109.9-11) says: “Dharma has been explained to be that which helps the upliftment of living beings. Therefore, that which ensures the welfare of living beings is surely Dharma. The learned rishis have declared that which sustains is Dharma.”

            A little more clarity can also be provided by Madhavacharya, a Minister to Hakka and Bukka, founders of the Vijayanagar Empire, in his commentary on the Parashara Smriti: “Dharma is that which sustains and ensures progress and welfare of all in this world and eternal bliss in the next world. Dharma is promulgated in the form of commands (rules both positive and negative, Vidhi and Nishedha).”

           The Mahabharata (Shanti Parva, 90.3) also says that “The proper function of the king [or any ruler or politician] is to rule according to Dharma and not to enjoy the luxuries of life.” Thus, a politician is not meant to take advantage of his position, but to execute his duties with the welfare of the people in mind, under the guidance of the rules of Dharma.

            This means that Dharma is not the teaching of a religion, but it is the global ethical standard that we all need to learn. It is the very content that forms good character, proper intentions, the means for making fair and just decisions, and good and effective plans for our future.

            The basic rules of Dharma, as explained in the Manu-samhita (10.63) are:  “Ahimsa (non-violence), Satya (truthfulness), Asteya (not acquiring illegitimate wealth), Shoucham (purity), and Indriyanigraha (control of the senses) are, in brief, the common rules of Dharma for all classes of men.”

            These are the Yamas and Niyamas, which also includes Santosha–satisfaction or contentment of mind with what one has without undue endeavor; Tapas–voluntary austerity and tolerance in body, mind, and speech for a higher cause; Swadhyaya–self-analysis, introspection, scriptural research, and reflection to understand and perceive who and what is our real identity and how we are progressing; Ishwara-pranidhana–acceptance, devotion, and surrender to God, or the offering of the fruits of one’s actions to God; and Brahmacharya–following the eternal principle of Brahma, or the control of sensual passions in thought, word, and deed, particularly in the student stage of life.

            Therefore, by learning these rules, how to apply them in all aspects of life, and by hearing the examples of the great souls in India’s history and great epics, a child would develop and build his character to be a truly strong, balanced and properly motivated individual who can continue to develop him or herself, and be a true contribution to the rest of society. When this kind of training is received at a young age, it can last for one’s whole life. This is what makes a difference in all aspects of society.

            Training in Dharma, which is certainly at the heart of India’s Vedic tradition, can help provide for an orderly society. And an orderly society is the result and an expansion or even incarnation of Dharma.

            This leads us to understand that the real happiness and prosperity of any nation is directly proportional to the number of men of character it has produced. This is why it is in the interest of the state or government to supply the means by which all children can understand these principles through appropriate education.

            Being trained in and understanding the principles of Dharma do not mean this is promoting a particular religion. It can still be considered secular training, and not going against the Indian constitution. The Yamas and Niyamas, or the codes of Dharma, are basic moralistic principles. Religion means a mode of worship of God by believers of a particular faith, and calling God by a certain name, or using a particular book and set of rituals. Religion actually divides or separates by its distinguishing characteristics between them, while Dharma unites by its unified code of conduct and seeing everyone equally. Dharma can be applied to all human beings. Thus, it sustains and harmonizes society, it does not create conflict. After all, regardless of whatever our theological beliefs may be, we can all agree on the need for kindness and honesty, self-control, compassion and respect for one another, and the need for fellowship in society to maintain harmony and cooperation, and the ways to establish these things. And the Yamas and Niyamas are merely codes of conduct to follow that will help everyone develop this content to their character.

            Even in places like America, it has been reported that over 60% of hapless Indian parents in metropolitan U.S. cities are aghast and powerless to the decadent metamorphosis of cultural changes in their children. This is especially noticeable in teenagers and the increase in behavior abnormalities, such as rudeness, rowdiness, disobedience, disparaging elders, and vulgarity and profanity in the language. There is also the deviance from traditional norms, a rise in selfishness, and little reciprocation for favors shown to them.

            However, such traits are also increasing in India. We are finding a rise in rebelliousness, lack of respect, an increase in the use of drugs and alcohol with both boys and girls, both of whom also show a higher tendency for premarital sex, which has given rise to abortions and later divorces. The traditional Dharmic culture of India is becoming lost, and the balance and harmony that once accompanied it is also becoming a thing of the past.

            Presently, humans are acting inhumanly, even using what should be blessings in the form of modern scientific knowledge and technological advancement against each other. Why? Because human beings have not been educated in the simple moralistic knowledge that provides the reasons and ways to exercise control over the mind, speech, and bodily activities, and not to inflict injury on others because of selfish motives. The point is that this is the most fundamental education that is meant to be imparted to all individuals right from their childhood. It is this education by which human beings develop the capacity and the reasons for controlling the mind, speech and actions. It is through this understanding that a person can realize that even though one might satisfy their greed or desire by indulging in illegal or immoral acts, and may secure a momentary enjoyment or thrill, but he will also cause deep trouble for himself and lose mental peace and real happiness.

            Therefore, it is this education that again needs to be offered and supplied to young students in India. This can be done by the government re-establishing the pre-schools, as previously mentioned, to teach the principles of Dharma. Or, as I have seen on my 2010 trip to India, through a grassroots effort of individuals, or husband and wife teams who give such classes on Dharma to the children of their neighbors or friends on weekends, such as Sunday mornings, they begin to influence each child who attends. This is very effective and will have long range results. Thus, everyone can do something. But people should team up and work together to make this possible and duplicate these methods that are successfully used in order to expand this process all across the country. They should also work with those honest and reputable politicians to help again establish such pre-schools throughout the nation so that gradually India can again return to being a country where corruption is not so pervasive. Then the character of the country will reflect the content of the character of the people who inhabit it.

Of course, there will be those cynics, those critics who will say that this is all too idealistic. But what other true options are there? It is either this, or let the country continue to become more hellish with each successive generation that has less and less knowledge or respect for Dharma and its universal code of ethics.  

            Therefore, the solution is through the education of the principles of Dharma that one adds to the content of one’s character, by which the person knows how to live a useful, purposeful and honest life which can give him real happiness and enable him to devote his time, energy and talents to the service of other human beings in a productive manner, and prevent him from exploiting others for selfish interests. Thus, the more such individuals populate the country, the more the whole nation will also uplift itself with a positive future.

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H.H. Bhakticharu Swami: TOWACO LECTURES SB 10.3.1-5

FOLLOWING IS A LECTURE ON SRIMAD BHAGAVATAM CANTO 10, CHAPTER 3, TEXTS 1-5, GIVEN BY HIS HOLINESS BHAKTI CARU SWAMI IN ISKCON TOWACO, USA, ON 22 MAY 2009. Transcription : Her Grace Radhika Ranga Devi Dasi Editing : Her Grace Hemavati Radhika Devi Dasi Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya Today [...]

Transcription : Her Grace Radhika Ranga Devi Dasi
Editing : Her Grace Hemavati Radhika Devi Dasi

Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya
Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya
Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya
Today we are beginning the third chapter of the tenth Canto of Srimad Bhagavatam. So, I’ll just read the chapter summary. This chapter is entitled as ‘The Birth of Lord Krishna.’ As described in this chapter, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna, Hari in His original form, appeared as Vishnu so that His father and mother could understand that their son was the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Because they were afraid of Kamsa, when the Lord appeared as an ordinary child they took Him to Gokula, the home of Nanda Maharaja. Mother Devaki, being fully transcendental, sac-cid-ananda, does not belong to this material world. Thus the Supreme Personality of Godhead appeared with four hands, as if born from her womb. Upon seeing the Lord in that Vishnu form, Vasudeva was struck with wonder, and in transcendental happiness he and Devaki mentally gave ten thousand cows in charity to the brahmanas. Vasudeva then offered prayers to the Lord, addressing Him as the Supreme Person, Parabrahman, the Supersoul, who is beyond duality and who is internally and externally all-pervading. The Lord, the cause of all causes, is beyond material existence, although He is the creator of this material world. When He enters this world as Paramatma, He is all-pervading (andantara-stha-paramanu-cayantara-stham), yet He is transcendentally situated. For the creation, maintenance and annihilation of this material world, the Lord appears as the guna-avataras -Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesvara. Thus Vasudeva offered prayers full of meaning to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Devaki followed her husband by offering prayers describing the transcendental nature of the Lord. Fearing Kamsa and desiring that the Lord not be understood by atheistic and materialistic non devotees, she prayed that the Lord withdraw His transcendental four-armed form and appear like an ordinary child with two hands. The Lord reminded Vasudeva and Devaki of two other incarnations in which He had appeared as their son. He had appeared as Prishnigarbha and Vamanadeva, and now this was the third time He was appearing as the son of Devaki to fulfill their desire. The Lord then decided to leave the residence of Vasudeva and Devaki, in the prison house of Kamsa, and at this very time, Yogamaya took birth as the daughter of Yashoda. By the arrangement of Yogamaya, Vasudeva was able to leave the prison house and save the child from the hands of Kamsa. When Vasudeva brought Krishna to the house of Nanda Maharaja, he saw that by Yogamaya’s arrangement, Yashoda, as well as everyone else, was deeply asleep. Thus he exchanged the babies, taking Yogamaya from Yashoda’s lap and placing Krishna there instead. Then Vasudeva returned to his own place, having taken Yogamaya as his daughter. He placed Yogamaya on Devaki’s bed and prepared to be a prisoner as before. In Gokula, Yashoda could not understand whether she had given birth to a male or a female child. [End of Summary]

This chapter begins with first few verses together, five verses together. So I’ll just read them through andīI’ll read them through the first four verses and the fifth verse we can go through. His Holiness Jayadvaita Swami ki jaya! So Maharaja, we are starting the third chapter of the tenth Canto. I just read the chapter summary, then the five verses are together. The chapter begins with five verses together. So I was thinking of reading the first four verses and the fifth one probably we can read together. Is it alright, Maharaja?

SB 10.3.1-5

śrī-śuka uvāca

atha sarva-guṇopetaḥ

kālaḥ parama-śobhanaḥ

yarhy evājana-janmarkṣaḿ


diśaḥ prasedur gaganaḿ


mahī mańgala-bhūyiṣṭha-


nadyaḥ prasanna-salilā

hradā jalaruha-śriyaḥ


stavakā vana-rājayaḥ

vavau vāyuḥ sukha-sparśaḥ

puṇya-gandhavahaḥ śuciḥ

agnayaś ca dvijātīnāḿ

śāntās tatra samindhata

manāḿsy āsan prasannāni

sādhūnām asura-druhām

jāyamāne 'jane tasmin

nedur dundubhayaḥ samam


sri-sukah uvaca — Sri Sukadeva Gosvami said; atha — on the occasion of the Lord’s appearance; sarva — all around; guna-upetah — endowed with material attributes or facilities; kalah — a favorable time; parama-sobhanah — all-auspicious and very favorable from all points of view; yarhi — when; eva — certainly; ajana janma-riksham — the constellation of stars known as Rohini; santa-riksha — none of the constellations were fierce (all of them were peaceful); graha-tarakam — and the planets and stars like Asvini; disah — all directions; praseduh — appeared very auspicious and peaceful; gaganam — all of outer space or the sky; nirmala-udu-gana-udayam — in which all the auspicious stars were visible (in the upper strata of the universe); mahi — the earth; mangala-bhuyishtha-pura-grama-vraja-akarah — whose many cities, towns, pasturing grounds and mines became auspicious and very neat and clean; nadyah — the rivers; prasanna-salilah — the waters became clear; hradah — the lakes or large reservoirs of water; jalaruha-sriyah — appeared very beautiful because of blooming lotuses all around; dvija-ali-kula-sannada-stavakah — the birds, especially the cuckoos, and swarms of bees began to chant in sweet voices, as if praying to the Supreme Personality of Godhead; vana-rajayah — the green trees and plants were also very pleasing to see; vavau — blew; vayuh — the breeze; sukha-sparsah — very pleasing to the touch; punya-gandha-vahah — which was full of fragrance; sucih — without pollution by dust; agnayah ca — and the fires (at the places of sacrifice); dvijatinam — of the brahmanas; santah — undisturbed, steady, calm and quiet; tatra — there; samindhata — blazed; manamsi — the minds of the brahmanas (who because of Kamsa had always been afraid); asan — became; prasannani — fully satisfied and free from disturbances; sadhunam — of the brahmanas, who were all Vaishnava devotees; asura-druham — who had been oppressed by Kamsa and other demons disturbing the discharge of religious rituals; jayamane — because of the appearance or birth; ajane — of Lord Vishnu, who is always unborn; tasmin — in that situation; neduh — resounded; dundubhayah — kettledrums; samam — simultaneously (from the upper planets).


Thereafter, at the auspicious time for the appearance of the Lord, the entire universe was surcharged with all the qualities of goodness, beauty and peace. The constellation Rohini appeared, as did stars like Asvini. The sun, the moon and the other stars and planets were very peaceful. All directions appeared extremely pleasing, and the beautiful stars twinkled in the cloudless sky. Decorated with towns, villages, mines and pasturing grounds, the earth seemed all-auspicious. The rivers flowed with clear water, and the lakes and vast reservoirs, full of lilies and lotuses, were extraordinarily beautiful. In the trees and green plants, full of flowers and leaves, pleasing to the eyes, birds like cuckoos and swarms of bees began chanting with sweet voices for the sake of the demigods. A pure breeze began to blow, pleasing the sense of touch and bearing the aroma of flowers, and when the brahmanas engaging in ritualistic ceremonies ignited their fires according to Vedic principles, the fires burned steadily, undisturbed by the breeze. Thus when the birthless Lord Vishnu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, was about to appear, the saints and brahmanas, who had always been disturbed by demons like Kamsa and his men, felt peace within the core of their hearts, and kettledrums simultaneously vibrated from the upper planetary system.


śrī-śuka uvāca
atha sarva-guṇopetaḥ
kālaḥ parama-śobhanaḥ
yarhy evājana-janmarkṣaḿ

diśaḥ prasedur gaganaḿ
mahī ma‰gala-bhūyiṣţha-

nadyaḥ prasanna-salilā
hradā jalaruha-śriyaḥ
stavakā vana-rājayaḥ

vavau vāyuḥ sukha-sparśaḥ
puṇya-gandhavahaḥ śuciḥ
agnayaś ca dvijātīnāḿ
śāntās tatra samindhata

manāḿsy āsan prasannāni
sādhūnām asura-druhām
jāyamāne 'jane tasmin
nedur dundubhayaḥ samam

śrī-śukaḥ uvāca—Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī dijo; atha—con ocasión del advenimiento del Señor; sarva—alrededor; guṇa-upetaḥ—dotado de atributos o facilidades materiales; kālaḥ—un momento favorable; parama-śobhanaḥ—completamente auspicioso y muy favorable desde todos los puntos de vista; yarhi—cuando; eva—ciertamente; ajana-janma-ṛkṣam—la constelación de estrellas denominada Rohiṇī; śānta-ṛkṣa—ninguna de las constelaciones se mostraba hostil (todas irradiaban paz); graha-tārakam—y los planetas y estrellas como Aśvinī; diśaḥ—todas las direcciones; praseduḥ—se presentaban muy auspiciosas y gratas; gaganam—por todo el cielo o espacio exterior; nirmala-uu-gaṇa-udayam—en el que eran visibles todas las estrellas auspiciosas (en los estratos superiores del universo); mahī—la Tierra; ma‰gala-bhūyiṣţha-pura-grāma-vraja-ākarāḥ—cuyas muchas ciudades, pueblos, campos de pastoreo y minas se mostraban auspiciosos, muy limpios y sin tacha; nadyaḥ—los ríos; prasanna-salilāḥ—las aguas se volvieron claras; hradāḥ—los lagos o grandes estanques de agua; jalaruha-śriyaḥ—se mostraban muy hermosos con las flores de loto que se abrían en torno a ellos; dvija-alīkula-sannāda-stavakāḥ—las aves, especialmente los cucos, y los enjambres de abejas, cantaron con dulces voces, como si orasen a la Suprema Personalidad de Dios; vana-rājayaḥ—los árboles y plantas verdes también eran muy agradables para la vista; vavau—soplaba; vāyuḥ—la brisa; sukha-sparśaḥ—muy agradable para el tacto; puṇya-gandha-vahaḥ—que estaba llena de fragancia; śuciḥ—sin contaminación debida al polvo; agnayaḥ ca—y los fuegos (en los lugares de sacrificio); dvijātīnām—de los brāhmaṇas; śāntāḥ—sin agitarse, estables, serenos y silenciosos; tatra—allí; samindhata—ardían; manāḿsi—las mentes de los brāhmaṇas (que siempre pasaban miedo por culpa de Kaḿsa); āsan—se volvieron; prasannāni—plenamente satisfechas y libres de perturbación; sādhūnām—de los brāhmaṇas, todos los cuales eran devotos vaiṣṇavas; asura-druhām—que habían sufrido la opresión de Kaḿsa y de otros demonios que causaban molestias en el desempeño de los rituales religiosos; jāyamāne—por el advenimiento o nacimiento; ajane—del Señor Viṣṇu, que es siempre innaciente; tasmin—en esa situación; neduḥ—resonaron; dundubhayaḥ—timbales; samam—al unísono (desde los planetas superiores).


En el auspicioso momento de la venida del Señor, todo el universo estaba colmado de cualidades de bondad, paz y belleza. En el cielo apareció la constelación Rohiṇī, y también estrellas como Aśvinī. El Sol, la Luna y los demás planetas y estrellas irradiaban gran paz. Todas las direcciones presentaban un aspecto sumamente agradable, y hermosas estrellas titilaban en un cielo sin nubes. En la Tierra, decorada con ciudades, aldeas, minas y campos de pastoreo, todo eran buenos augurios. Las aguas de los ríos discurrían muy claras, y los lagos y grandes estanques, llenos de nenúfares y flores de loto, se mostraban en la plenitud de su belleza. En los árboles y plantas verdes, llenos de hojas y flores muy gratas para la vista, los cuclillos y otras aves, junto con los enjambres de abejas, cantaban dulcemente para satisfacer a los semidioses. Se dejaba sentir una brisa muy pura, plácida para el sentido del tacto y cargada con el aroma de las flores. A su paso, las llamas de los sacrificios de fuego, que los brāhmaṇas ocupados en ceremonias rituales habían encendido conforme a los principios védicos, ardían sin agitarse. Así, cuando el innaciente Señor Viṣṇu, la Suprema Personalidad de Dios, estaba a punto de aparecer en el mundo, los santos y brāhmaṇas, que se habían visto perturbados por demonios como Kaḿsa y sus hombres, sintieron paz en lo más profundo de sus corazones, mientras en el sistema planetario superior resonaban timbales.

Con el Permiso de: ISKCON (Sociedad Internacional para la Conciencia de Krishna).

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ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Devamrita Swami at Krishna Fest - TOMORROW!


Maharaja will give a talk about:

"Walking the wild side"!

That sounds promising, doesn't it?

If, like me, you are intrigued about that particular path that Maharaja will lead us on, then you know where to be tomorrow at 6pm:

3rd Level of the Crossways Restaurant,
123 Swanston Walk in the city.

We will discover what it is all about together.

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ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Today's Darsana

34 fotos


Dear Devotees,
Please view today's
darsana with rapt attention. Through complete absorption of the mind and senses in the daily and unending pastimes of the Lord we can experience true happiness, which is beyond this material realm.

Bhismadeva said:

"Let me now invest my thinking, feeling and willing, which were so long engaged in different subjects and occupational duties, in the all-powerful Lord Sri Krsna. He is always self-satisfied, but sometimes, being the leader of the devotees, He enjoys transcendental pleasure by descending on the material world, although from Him only the material world is created."

(S.B. 1.9.32)

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Japa Group: Chanting Rhyme

There is a rhyme that I invented for my son to encourage him to concentrate while chanting Japa. It's very simple, but underlines two important points....hearing and pronounciation.

Chant the words so you can hear,
the Maha mantra loud and clear

In spiritual life, simple concepts are very important and these simple aspects of chanting are very important for our progress in Japa.
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ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Ratha Yatra Video

ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Ratha Yatra Video


The nectar from our February 2011 Ratha Yatra is still flowing in full force.

Here's another
video covering the last programs towards the end of that most blissful day.

Email to a friend Bhakti Vikasa Swami: Working women are not liberated

Just like in India, when we were children, I saw one advertisement by the Remington typewriter machine company that 'This machine has given emancipation to the woman class because they have found some job for typewriting.' In this way they were advertising. ...Instead of being dependent at home, they have to go and become a secretary of a third-class person... So is that emancipation? But it was advertised as emancipation. Similarly, whatever material advancement we are making in the name of facility, emancipation, we are simply bungling the whole affair.

>>> Ref. VedaBase => Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.9.11-13 -- Hawaii, March 24, 1969

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Kurma dasa, AU: Vegetarian Cooking with Kurma @ La Trobe University - Last Week to Enrol

La Trobe:

You'll have to hurry to grab a place at this exciting class.

team bendogo 2010:

La Trobe University, Melbourne will soon be hosting its 4th annual hands-on cookery workshop with Kurma Dasa.

Amira takes a peek...:

Cooking and feasting! It's as good as it sounds.

daikon radish:

Date: Saturday, 9 April 2011 Time: 9:30 am - 4:30pm Venue: Life Skills Cafe, La Trobe University, Bundoora Campus Bookings and enquiries: email Manoj / phone 0430 1008 17

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H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami (Ret.): 263—Poem for March 28 SDGonline Daily updates

I have lost a typ­ist for my daily post­ing. I’m request­ing a vol­un­teer to take at least a few days and do the typ­ing so that I can con­tinue to post them daily. If any­one would like to vol­un­teer please write to Cai­tanya can­dro­daya at

5:24 A.M.
A Writer of Pieces

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

Last night we saw the
movie, Harvey, about a man
who keeps a 6 foot 8 inches rabbit
by his side but no one else can
see it. Unfortunately it was on
my mind during japa, but I
managed to smoothly slip through
the mantras in rapid wide awake
accumulation with comfort that
I was chanting the holy names

My daily life is comfort,
ability to write a life
episode and do yoga,
sit on the porch, come down
for lunch. Although my days
are limited, I don’t feel panic,
but use them easefully in
a kind of devotional service,
hearing of Krishna’s activities.

Baladeva said if people
heard us claiming that God
is a blue cowherd boyk
and He’s present in everyone’s
heart as thumb-sized four-armed,
they’d think we were crazy
like the man in Harvey.

But Prabhupada came in
the 60s, and it was acceptable
to the counterculture mindset.
He made enthusiastic disciples of
himself and Krishna with
no thought of fantasy or
craziness. The Vedic scriptures
carry the Absolute Truth in
Bhagavad-gita, that Krishna is the
Supreme Personality of Godhead.

We accept it as transcendental
wisdom despite the vox populi
opinion to the contrary.
Krishna is present in His
name and in the arca-vigraha,
and we render Him service
in all our acts.

We are sane and fixed
on the creator of all the
worlds, and we know
how His energies work
and what is actual delusion,
the attempt to enjoy in this body.
”Who is crazy?” Prabhupada wrote
in an early pamphlet
saying it was those who
take the temporary body
as real. Those who accept guru,
and sadhu know
what is what.

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

Prabhupada Appreciation, Srila Prabhupada as theologian

Srila Prabhupada was a theologian. We do not often think of him as such, but according to the dictionary, theology is “A science which treats the facts and phenomena of religion,” and a theologian is “One who is learned in the science of religion.” Upon hearing the phrases “science of religion” or “science of God” it becomes evident that Prabhupada was a theologian. Srila Prabhupada himself translated the verse kiba vipra kiba nyasi as “Whoever knows the science of Krishna is guru.”

Prabhupada described Krishna consciousness as a science. Although it is not exactly the same as material science, it has scientific laws of cause and effect and can be studied both trough theory and practice. Prabhupada wanted to appeal to peoples’ respect for scientific authority in his use of the phrase “Krishna conscious science,” but he also wanted to show that Krishna consciousness was a process with a definite and determinable outcome for one who followed it carefully. In the Srimad-Bhagavatam, Srila Prabhupada uses the word “science” in many places.

Krishna Himself says in Bhagavad-gita 10.32, “Of all sciences I am the science of the self.”

But Prabhupada was not a theologian in the western academic speculative sense of the term, and he criticized such persons. He used the word “theologian” in the Sixth Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam, in a translation of the prayers of Vrtrasura:

“Many modern theologians argue about right and wrong without knowing what is actually right. Their arguments are always false and their judgments inconclusive because they have no authorized process with which to gain knowledge of You. Because their minds are agitated by scriptures containing false conclusions, they are unable to understand the truth concerning You. Furthermore because of polluted eagerness to arrive at the right conclusion, their theories are incapable of revealing You, who are transcendental to their material conceptions.” (Bhag. 6.9.36)

The interesting part of Prabhupada’s purport to this verse is that it exposes theologians as being baffled by the contradictions in the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He says, “Nondevotees cannot understand the contradictions present in the Supreme Lord and His devtoees. Therefore in the Bhagavad-gita, the Lord says bhaktya-mam-abhijanati: The transcendental pastimes can be understood through devotional service. To nondevotees they are inconceivable”. Prabhupada translated the phrase “because of polluted eagerness to arrive at the right conclusion” is also interesting. Theologians may eagerly want to know the truth, but they are polluted. This is similar to the phrase avisuddha buddhaya, impure intelligence.

My Letters from Srila Prabhupada, Volume 1, With Srila Prabhupada in the Early Days

December 30, 1967

My dear Satsvarupa,
Please accept my blessings. I have received back the tape which you have type written. The inquiry about pores should be force. Today I am sending you two Krishna conscious lectures, tape recorded into the Dictaphone. Please write them properly and send me one copy. The best thing will be as soon as you type the tapes send me one copy after editing as you would do informally. I’ll keep one copy with me, you keep one copy with you and if further editing is required another copy should be kept with you.

You will be glad to know that yesterday I have signed the agreement with Macmillan for publishing Gitopanisad, and also Mr. B.K. Neru was met by me the day before yesterday, and he has promised to help me in getting the permanent visa.

So far as my health is concerned, Gaurasundara is keeping me quite fit by massaging and Govinda dasi is supplying me upma. Perhaps you have never tasted what is upma? But if Yadurani can prepare it, I shall send the formula. Hope you are well.

Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

For me this was the essence of Srila Prabhupada’s return to the U.S.—again he was translating Srimad-Bhagavatam, and again I was receiving tapes. Life was back.

The tapes began to arrive at the Boston temple—plastic reels of Grundig dictation tapes, wrapped in a simple business envelope, stapled and addressed in Prabhupada’s own hand. First they came at a rate of once a week, then more quickly, two or three a week. It was a strain for me to keep up while working full time on my job and manage the affairs of the temple. But the dictation work gave me pleasure and satisfaction. It was what touched me, delighted me, and intrigued me most. In the early morning hours, before going to work, even before the others had risen from bed, I would sit on the kitchen floor listening to Prabhupada’s voice through earphones and I would type. It was better than getting a letter. Prabhupada alone in his room was speaking the philosophy of Krishna consciousness into my ears. Sometimes while riding on the bus to work I would fall asleep and dream of Prabhupada’s voice in my ears as I rapidly typed. It was very personal service.

In this letter Prabhupada suddenly introduced me to the benefits of upma prasadam. He enticed me “Perhaps you have never tasted what is upma?” And that made me immediately inquire for the formula from the devotees in San Francisco. Upma is now a great favorite of mine, mostly due to the mention of it in this letter. It is cooked with a procedure similar to that used for halava. First farina is cooked in a pan until it is brown then instead of mixing in the grains with sugar water, you mix them with vegetables (which are cooked separately). The combination of simply cooked vegetables along with grains of halava-like texture makes a nice hot dish of prasadam. In this letter Prabhupada gives us a glimpse into his daily life, which was pleasing to all of us. He took massage from his servant and directed others how to cook nice prasadam like upma.

Japa Transformations (2010)

Initiated devotees who don’t complete their rounds are missing out on spiritual life. Krishna forgives them, but they have let themselves down in a basic way. Once a devotee who was not chanting anymore told me that he took the vow when he was only nineteen years old, and he did not feel responsible for a decision made at such a young age. But that is not the right attitude. There may have been a risk involved in taking a life-long vow at a young age, but one should feel responsible for it and not take it as an immature decision. You came before Krishna with an innocent and open heart and made the promise, and He accepted it. Life is short enough, and not that much changes in growing from 16 to 29 to 39 and so on. At least not that much changes in a vow made to God, although much may change externally in one’s worldly affairs.

Losing faith in chanting is another thing. Such a basic commitment should not waver, even though one does not feel he is making progress spiritually by his daily chanting. We realize that we have a mountain of dirty things to chip away at, so it is no surprise that a lifetime can go by of steadily chanting and still unwanted things remain in the heart. That is not a reason to abandon the only chance one has for eradicating the dirt. It is important to keep the other parts of the vow made at the initiation, the promise to follow the four rules—no intoxication, no meat-eating, no gambling and no illicit sex. If these promises gradually drop away then it will be hard to cling to the one promise of chanting in isolation in a life that has become totally materialistic. But even if all that remains is the chanting, one should cling to it like a life saver in the ocean and not drop it, thinking that one is too offensive or too sinful to chant.

I chant my rounds
as daily vow,
it’s not so hard to
find two hours
when you have decided
it’s a must.

Two hours out of twenty-four
as a promise made
long ago to the spiritual master
”I can do it, I will do it,” is
the required resolution
to complete a task
of sustaining holy utterance.

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Bhakti Lata, Alachua, USA: Happy 4th Blogiversary!

Exactly four years ago I coined the name "Seed of Devotion" (which is derived from the name given to me at birth, Bhakti lata bij) and I opened up blog shop on March 28th, 2007.

I had no idea where my blog would take me - all I knew was that I needed to share my inspirations. I felt that purity and good writing was the force, and if people wanted to read my blog, they would come. For over a year, my subscriber base hovered at around 15.

Then one day after I had reported live from the KuliMela Festival in Belgium, I checked my subscriber count and froze in shock. Overnight, subscribers had nearly tripled to 70. To my amazement, that number began to grow and grow over the following months and years. People from all over the world whom I have never even met have contacted me to express their appreciation for this service.

With so many readers, I began to deeply reevaluate the purpose and mission of Seed of Devotion.

I have concluded:

* Seed of Devotion is not a platform to air out my opinions, and it is not a news agency.
* This is not a place to declare heavy grievances or to make political statements.
* Seed of Devotion is a service.
* This blog strives to share only experiences and realizations upon my spiritual path to the Lord.
* Seed of Devotion is an expression of my heart.

This is who I am. Thank you for sharing the journey with me.
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Devadeva Mirel, Alachua, USA: I’m Pregnant With My General Contractor’s Baby…And Other Things That Can Go Wrong With Your Kitchen Remodel

A year ago this month we began planning our knock-down, tear-out kitchen remodel. By the end of April, a dust wall was up and there was no turning back. Out with the old, in with the new. On the cusp of improving our quality of life, we soldiered on through hot plate meals and utter disorganization. And I found out, a week into it, that I was pregnant with baby number 3.

Thankfully, our General Contractor was not the father, although he was the first person to whom I broke the news.

Severe morning sickness ensued, making the screech of power tools against cinder block that much lovelier. Decisions and details I swore would matter to me to make this the most perfect kitchen were neglected. The ounter top templater laid out his dixie sticks and I sat nearby watching him until my churning stomach allowed me to stay no longer. I didn’t hover. I didn’t chime in. I didn’t question every measurement.  I planned for the overhang a half inch deeper. I wanted the sink reveal negative. Every small detailed was accounted for in my plans. Except conception. Of mice and men,  people.

But I am a role with it kind of woman. Especially since my kitchen is very near perfect for me and my baby came in December without incident–a wonderful bonus.

Nevertheless, I thought it a great idea to make a list of common problems people face during their remodel so you can plan ahead and avoid these pitfalls.

Follow these tips and get the kitchen you love.

1) General Contractor Woes Shop around, choose wisely and check references. The start of the relationship with a GC is often hearts and flowers but may deteriorate rapidly if the homeowner makes changes mid-remodel, the job goes longer than planned or other things that cut into the GC’s profit margin come up. Check and double check the materials you are getting and remember, just because you hired a GC doesn’t mean it is going to be an easy ride. You still need to stay on top of things and make sure you get what you are paying for. Read and re-read your contract. Make sure every detail is spelled out so there are no surprises.

2) Cabinets Dis-Order You specifically told your kitchen designer you wanted all plywood boxes, easy close drawers and no stile in the middle. What you got was MDF boxes, drawers that slam shut when you look at them and a mix of double door cabinets with and without stiles. Now you are on the phone cursing and crying, trying to get what you paid for. First, check your contract to make sure that all these details are spelled out in black and white. Avoid agreeing to terms like “standard” without researching what the cabinet line considers standard. Buying cabinets is a lot like closing on a house. The contract is long and there are a lot of boring details, but you really need to know what you are getting ahead of time. Don’t neglect the details such as what style and size crown molding you are getting. Throw the word “standard” out the window because unless you are purchasing stock cabinetry, nothing is standard. Order door samples, look at them in the natural light of your kitchen space. Be aware that some woods, like cherry and exotics, darken as they age. The more you educate yourself on the details of your materials, the less surprised you will be when the packaging comes off your cabinet boxes.

3) Tile Trouble Most of the problems that arise with tile are related to installation. Make sure the person doing your install is comfortable working with your specific tile choice. Not all tile is created equal. There are a varieties of thicknesses that contribute to the ease or difficulty of installation. If you have a specific pattern in mind, lay it out on graph paper for your installer. Using natural or handmade tile? Specify that you want the installer to alternate boxes when choosing tiles so the lots are properly mixed. Your tile setter should begin from the center of the wall to assure symmetry at the edges. And don’t forget to seal your tile and grout as part of the installation.

4) Counter Top Crisises The number one complaint I see people bemoan is the placement of seams. First of all, be realistic. If you have a monster sized island and pick a stone that requires multiple slabs, you are going to have a seam. So much hullabaloo about not having seams has been made and I want you to know this: having a seam or two is not a sign of kitchen design failure. A good fabricator will closely match the color of the stone with epoxy when joining the seam. Since stone slabs are cut like a loaf of bread, the movement or design of the stone can be bookended to create symmetry and continuity. That being said, if a poor seam is done with mis-matching epoxy, do know that the epoxy can be dug out and the seam re-done. This is easiest to do when the epoxy is wet so don’t be afraid to speak up.  Another big issue with stone counters is placement and cutouts. Make sure you go to the stone yard with your design and have them blue tape the template onto the slab so you can see exactly where the cuts are going. Once the cuts are made, it is impossible to change.

5) Hardware Horrors Placement of cabinet pulls and knobs can really make a homeowner take up drinking. So much money spent on cabinets and this final detail–the jewelry of the kitchen–can really make it or break the look. Decide ahead of time if you want the hardware centered or a bit towards the top of the drawer. Have a preference for where your knobs go? Speak up before the drill bit gets spinning. Don’t assume the installer will know what you want if you don’t speak up. While errors on wood door fronts can be puttied and stained, painted cabinets will show the damage of a misplaced pull. Better to get this right the first time.

6) Fireclay Flubs  & Plumbing Pitfalls You’ve fantasized for years about your white fireclay apron front sink and now it is finally here. The custom cabinet has been carefully cut. The heavy sink hoisted into place with a few creaks and groans but both the sink and cabinet survived. All that’s left is the installation of your garbage disposal, a no-brainer for your plumber who’s been in the business for decades. Okay. Stop right there. Does your plumber have experience installing garbage disposals on fireclay sinks?  Seriously. Go ask him now. This is not a typical installation. If he over-tightens the flange your warranty is null and void an you will be staring at a web of hairline carcks every time you wash at your high end sink. If you  must have a garbage disposal on your fireclay sink, make sure the plumber does not over-tighten the flange. Hover. Nag. Repeat. Don’t worry if he rolls his eyes, talks about you on his cellphone in his truck or simply tells you flat out that you are the biggest pain in the ass. There are other plumbers out there. But this sink…once installed, it’s yours. You will have to take your countertops off to get it out. Fixing this one is a big expense that you will be on your own with so make sure it goes right the first time. The flange should be tight but just tight enough.

7) Domestic Disputes You’ve both been looking forward to this remodel for years. You are happily married, in love and now you are about to complete the dream by getting a new kitchen. You’re having a blast shopping together, discussing details. And then one of you starts to fatigue. And then the credit card bills start arriving. And you’re both hungry. And your house is a mess. Be warned: you will fight. There is hardly a marriage that can make it through a major remodel without a down and dirty spat. Just know it is the spackle speaking. Get out of the house, get yourself a decent meal and for crying out loud, talk about something other than switch plate finishes.

8) This Old House Remodeling an old house is both fun and rewarding–a project that definitely appeals to those of us with an inherent love for old things. However, once those ancient walls get opened up, be prepared for the unexpected. Chimneys, dumbwaiters, plumbing, dead bodies–you never know what you are going to find once the horse hair plaster is broken up and hauled away. You may discover a threatening mouse infestation that prompts you to spend money on a pest control contract as well as new wiring. Appliances may need to be relocated due to structural elements that cannot be worked around without a considerable upcharge.

9) Seasons Change Your GC told you it was a 4 week job. That was 6 weeks ago and the walls still need to be mudded. Plan for the remodel to take longer than you could possibly imagine. Don’t plan to have Thanksgiving dinner at your house if your remodel is scheduled to start end of October.  It’s a possibility that things will go smoothly and you will have a sink and stove to cook at, but it is also a possibility that your stove is on backorder and your relatives’ plane tickets are non-refundable. Our remodel began in April. My daughter’s birthday was in June. We ended up holding her birthday party in  September. Just saying.

10) Money Matters You are a master at the spreadsheet and think you’ve got your costs under control. Great. Still, add on an extra 10 to 20% because you will go over budge. Don’t argue with me. It is a given. Have that money on hand or at least access to it through a line of credit because the work will take longer than planned, you will be eating out longer than expected and sometimes the very thing you think is going to save you money will end up costing you. For example, that sand and finish wood floor that cost dollars less than the pre-finished is going to cost you double to install.

Think of this list as a prophylactic against unplanned…events. You can avoid costly errors that will be with you for the lifetime of the kitchen or however long you are in your house.  You may move. You may remodel again once your kitchen turns 18. But what you do during construction definitely influences the outcome of the kitchen. Everyone wants a smart, beautiful kitchen. Pay attention to the above details, eat well, get plenty of rest and exercise and you will have a healthy remodel.



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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1968 March 2:"I am expecting you to be very powerful preac8hers in the near future so that this Movement will be spread all over the world. You keep yourself in that very humble mentality and Krishna will be very pleased upon you."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1968

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1971 March 28: "Your reports of Sankirtana are all very much encouraging. There is great potential there for spreading our Movement. So work with determination and sincerity and Krishna will give you all facility."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1971

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1974 March 28:"If you can establish a strong center in Taiwan it will be a great idea. We have one branch in Moscow, if we get a branch in China, on the mainland, it will be a great achievement."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1974

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1960 March 28: "The best thing is to hear the from the highest authority Sri Krishna or His devotee representative coming down in the chain of disciplic succession. I shall be very glad if you join my mission (The League of Devotees)."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1947-64

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1966 March 28:
"Astami. One letter received from Sri Teertha Maharaj. The state of the country is too much perplexing on account of food situation. It is understood that loss of life and property in Bengal is beyond imagination."
Prabhupada Journal :: 1966

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1967 March 28: "We must get possession of the house for Krishna's Temple or we must get back the money for Krishna's service. Forget the great loss. Work sincerely in Krishna Consciousness and everything will be in order."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1967

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1970 March 28: "I understand some of you have moved to George Harrison's place. What is the program there? Also you were in Paris with George for a television engagement. Did you find our Paris Temple? Give George my blessings."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1970

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1973 March 28: "Tokyo is unlimited. They are distributing large amounts of BTGs there, 500 to 1000 per day. I expect to visit Tokyo soon and I can see you at that time."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1973

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Subhavilasa das ACBSP, Toronto, CA: Srila Prabhupada's Pandal Preaching programs continue.

Srila Prabhupada used to hold huge pandal programs and I personally witnessed the great mercy that Srila Prabhupada would bestow upon thousands. Reading this article in Times of India brought this memory back and it is wonderful to see Srila Prabhupada's pandal preaching programs continue by the next generation of Srila Prabhupada's followers.
 Thousands gather to 'see' Lord Krishna

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Mayapur Online: Ekachakra Dham Project : Construction Update

Since the last few years we have been endeavoring to construct a temple for Lord Nityananda at His sacred birthplace Sri Ekacakradhama. With some starting funds, the construction is now in progress. The temple consists of two floors. We have already completed the superstructure of the ground floor and we have almost completed the superstructure of the first floor. But due to shortage of funds we are unable to proceed further.

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H.H. Sivarama Swami: How to distinguish between Maya’s and Kali’s influence and what is the meaning of sva-dharma

H.H. Sivarama Swami: How to distinguish between Maya’s and Kali’s influence and what is the meaning of sva-dharma

Sivarama Swami
March 28th, 2011
Skype conference with Russian disciples – English only.
[ 11:59 ]
H.H. Sivarama Swami: How to distinguish between Maya’s and Kali’s influence and what is the meaning of sva-dharma

Skype conference with Russian disciples – English only.

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Mayapur Online: Srivas Pandit's Appearance

Srivas Angan is the birthplace of Sankirtan movement. Lord Caitanya inaugurated harinam sankirtan in the house of Srivas Thakur. In Pancha-tattva, the bhataakhya (pure devotee) is Srivasa and other great devotees as well.

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Mayapur Online: Gallery Updated

Hare Krishna the Daily Darshan gallery has finally been updated with what pictures we have, and will be kept up to date from now on, we apologize for any inconvenience or sadness this lapse of darshan may have caused. The Gaura Purnima festival pictures are on the way and should be up by tomorrow. We had technical, and Internet difficulties, which are now resolved.

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H.H. Sivarama Swami: Sunday 27th evening bhajana

H.H. Sivarama Swami: Sunday 27th evening bhajana

Sivarama Swami
March 28th, 2011
Sunday 27th evening bhajana
[ 26:20 ]
H.H. Sivarama Swami: Sunday 27th evening bhajana

Email to a friend Colorful parade prompts smiles

By Anthony Dematteo

"My life is surrounded by God," said Ganga Sheth, as hundreds of the young woman's fellow members of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness sang and danced in Plaza de Constitucion. "Everyone has their own way of loving God. We chant. We dance. We eat food."

Email to a friend Euro RGB minutes Mayapur 2011

Euro RGB: Minutes of the Euro RGB Meeting at Mayapur, India on 4 March 2011. Present: 1. HH AC Bhaktivaibhava Swami 2. HH Bir Krishna Goswami 3. HH Kavicandra Swami 4. HH Prahladananda Swami 5. HH Sivarama Swami 6. HG Dina Sharana dasi 7. HG Hridaya Caitanya dasa 8. HG Madhu Sevita dasa 9. HG Praghosa dasa 10. HG Ravindra Svarupa dasa 11. HG Tattvavada dasa Proxy Votes: Radhanatha Swami, Yadunandana Swami, Radha Krishna dasa, Vedavyasa dasa

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ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Daily Class - Candrasekhara Prabhu

Daily Class - Candrasekhara Prabhu - Srimad Bhagavatam 12.3.16-18

Sivarama Swami
Srimad Bhagavatam 12.3.16-18 - We should be detached from the dualities of material world because they are temporary (matra-sparsas tu kaunteya sitosna-sukha-duhkha-dah...).
Daily Class - Candrasekhara Prabhu - Srimad Bhagavatam 12.3.16-18

Srimad Bhagavatam 12.3.16-18 - We should be detached from the dualities of material world because they are temporary (matra-sparsas tu kaunteya sitosna-sukha-duhkha-dah...).

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ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Daily Class - Gangesvara Prabhu

Daily Class - Gangesvara Prabhu - Srimad Bhagavatam 12.3.15

Sivarama Swami
Srimad Bhagavatam class given on Sunday, 27th March, 2011
Srimad Bhagavatam 12.3.15 - Chanting of Holy Name destroys everything inauspicious in the heart (ceto darpana marjanam...)
Daily Class - Gangesvara Prabhu - Srimad Bhagavatam 12.3.15

Srimad Bhagavatam class given on Sunday, 27th March, 2011

Srimad Bhagavatam 12.3.15 - Chanting of Holy Name destroys everything inauspicious in the heart (ceto darpana marjanam...)

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Malati dd, USA: Tofu Adobo (Updated)

Adobo is a very popular method of cooking in the Philippines. Perhaps, it’s the most popular and most distinguished among all Filipino cuisines, unfortunately, it’s commonly associated with meat. It has simple ingredients and very flexible procedures, so I come up with my own version of vegetarian adobo. You can either cook it right away, or have it marinated and cook the next day. Either way, the result is the same, yummy!

Tofu Adobo


sliced tofu (sliced as you like but just thick enough in size; I cut mine in triangular shape)

1/2 cup lemon juice

6 pieces of slice lemon

1/2 cup of soy sauce or Bragg aminos

dried bay leaves

1 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp black pepper

sliced ginger (about 1/4 cup)

1 tbsp of oil

1 tsp of sesame oil


1. Drained and sliced the tofu and deep fry (you can pan fry also), set aside.

2. Slice the lemon and ginger and set aside.

3. In a bowl combine, the soy sauce, lemon juice, bay leaves, salt, pepper and sugar stir well, this will be our adobo sauce.

4. In a hot pot, put the oil and sauté’ the sliced lemon, ginger and about 3 pieces of bay leaves.

5. Stir in the fried tofu, and let it simmer for 2 minutes.

6. Add the adobo sauce,mix well and make sure that the tofu are fully coated with the sauce, simmer for 2 -3 minutes then add the sesame oil.

7. Offer and serve with love :) Hare Krishna!

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Gouranga TV: 2009.06.23. Kirtan by H.H. Bhaktividya Purna Swami – Riga, LATVIA

2009.06.23. Kirtan by H.H. Bhaktividya Purna Swami – Riga, LATVIA

Gouranga TV: 2009.06.23. Kirtan by H.H. Bhaktividya Purna Swami – Riga, LATVIA

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Gaura Yoga, NZ: Guest speaker, not to be missed!

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Gaura Yoga, NZ: New course starting Wed 30 March

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Japa Group: Nourish Your Faith

Hare Krsna dear devotees. Here is a nice question someone asks H.H. Radhanath Swami and I will post part of his reply for it. Hope you can get alot from it and get affected by this mood of love and faith towards the Lord and His holy names.

Question: Sometimes we start chanting God’s names praying for some self interest. And it so happens that it is not fulfilled. Then we either stop chanting or we loose the mood of chanting. How can we cope up with this kind of situation?

Answer: "....What is this faith? Faith is not just a superficial belief. Real faith is scientifically and philosophically substantiated by authorities, realized by others, realized by ourselves, and can be practically perceived and proven in our lives. Real faith in God can be established on a scientific, philosophical, and logical basis, whereas atheism can never hold ground on this basis. Faith comes by associating with people who have faith and engaging in activities that nourish faith. And when we have that faith, even when things are not going our way, we are equally enthusiastic. It really doesn’t matter whether things go our way, what really matters is our integrity and our sincerity. A great person is one who maintains integrity and enthusiasm whether or not he/she gets what he/she wants....."


Wishing you a great week of chanting.

your servant,

Aruna devi
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