miércoles, 20 de julio de 2011

Mukunda Charan das, SA: Remembering Krishna While Engaging In Our Occupational Duties


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"Planet ISKCON" - 41 new articles

  1. ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Today's Darsana
  2. H.G. Sankarshan das Adhikari, USA: Wednesday 20 April 2011--The Science of the Meaning of Life--and--Misinterpretation of the Mayavadis
  3. ISKCON Brampton, Canada: Sunday Feast - Presentation - April 17 2011 by Satchitananda Dasa
  4. ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Nrsimha Caturdasi - 16th May
  5. H.H. Prahladananda Swami: Q & A’s–Preliminary & Mature Spiritual Happiness
  6. H.H. Prahladananda Swami: Q & A’s – Black Market and the Meat Industry
  7. ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Daily Class - Aniruddha Prabhu
  8. Bhakti Lata, Alachua, USA: Whirlpool of Words
  9. H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami (Ret.): 285–Poem for April 19th
  10. H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami (Ret.): OLD FRIENDS
  11. Devadeva Mirel, Alachua, USA: Repurpose : From Empty Bottles to Faux Milkglass Props
  12. Bharatavarsa.net: Bhakti Vikasa Swami: Surrender
  13. Mukunda Charan das, SA: Remembering Krishna While Engaging In Our Occupational Duties
  14. H.H. Prahladananda Swami: Lecture – SB 6.5.19 Krishna, Don’t Protect Me Too Much 4-19-2011
  15. Japa Group: Raising The Bar
  16. Krishna-kripa das, Mayapura: Travel Journal#7.6: Gainesville and St. Augustine
  17. Dandavats.com: Double-voice amplification kirtans in Iskcon Mayapur
  18. Kripamoya dasa, UK: Preserving the Vaishnava past – for the future
  19. H.H. Prahladananda Swami: Lecture – BG 10.8 Sunday Feast- Napoleon’s Dynamite 4-17-2011
  20. Nityananda Chandra Das, Dallas TX: TEXAS FAITH 40: Is Hell Dead?
  21. Krishna Dharma dasa, UK: Verses from Vidagdha Madhava
  22. Madhava Ghosh dasa, New Vrndavan, USA: Separation
  23. Ananda Subramanian, Iowa, USA: Devotees from Dravida-desa
  24. David Haslam, UK: Clarification
  25. Mayapuris, USA: Southern Hospitality Tour!
  26. Maddy Jean-claude Durr, New Govardhana, AU: March Magic (Radhadesh)
  27. Dandavats.com: New Dwarika Dham, Iskcon Nyali Temple Opening
  28. Dandavats.com: Food for Life Tsunami relief in Japan
  29. Dandavats.com: Festival Of Inspiration 2011 Schedule
  30. Mayapur Online: Admissions open at SMIS
  31. Dandavats.com: Health Crisis Forces Sale Of Custom Built Eco/vastu Home On Five Acres In Saranagati
  32. Dandavats.com: New life sprouts in Old East Dallas neighborhood
  33. Dandavats.com: Another reason to be vegetarian
  34. H.H. Sivarama Swami: Vijaya Krsna took initiation in Gaudiya-math 2 years ago and when his father took ill and passed away he lost faith in Krsna and now only chants one round and feels his bhakti is gone
  35. Subhavilasa das ACBSP, Toronto, CA: "I never left the country, but Krishna House felt like another world."
  36. Toronto Sankirtan Team, CA: Monthly Sankirtan Festival - Ramanvami Special
  37. Atma Yoga, Brisbane, AU: Atma Closed for Easter Holiday
  38. Bhakta Chris, New York, USA: The Intersection-Spirit Not Commodity
  39. Gouranga TV: Lecture – Vishvambhar das – SB 10.2.9 – Lord Balaram
  40. ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Rama Navami Photos
  41. ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Today's Darsana
  42. More Recent Articles
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ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Today's Darsana

"O Krsna, O supreme mystic, how shall I constantly think of You, and how shall I know You? In what various forms are You to be remembered, O Supreme Personality of Godhead?"
(B.Gita 10.17)


darsana will help us to remember the Lord in the way prescribed by our acaryas:

two-armed Krsna in His three-bended form, with a peacock feather tucked in His cowherd turban and joyfully playing on His flute, Venu, to enchant the minds of His devotees.

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H.G. Sankarshan das Adhikari, USA: Wednesday 20 April 2011--The Science of the Meaning of Life--and--Misinterpretation of the Mayavadis

j A daily broadcast of the Ultimate Self Realization Course(TM) Wednesday 20 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: The Science of the Meaning of Life Uploaded from Riga, Latvia Just as the thirst for water indicates the existence of water, similarly our thirst to know the meaning of life indicates that life does in fact have meaning. And when we are serious to discover that meaning and fully dovetail our thoughts, words, and deeds with it, the Supreme Absolute Truth Personality of Godhead, who is seated within our hearts will manifest before us externally in the form of the spiritual master to enlighten us fully with scientific understanding of that meaning and how to always live in perfect harmony with it. Sankarshan Das Adhikari Revealing the Meaning of Life 18 April 2011, Riga, Latvia http://www.backtohome.com/images/2011-Spring/illumination.JPG Answers According to the Vedic Version: Question: Misinterpretation of the Mayavadis My dear Srila Gurudeva, Please accept my most humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and to Your Grace. I have a question after listening yesterday to a devotee preaching. He was saying that although we have lots of different groups in the Hindu religion, we have the same books. It raised a question to my mind: Do these groups interpret the books differently or do they choose what they find the most important and stress on that? He gave the example of Mayavadis and explained that in the books, both are explained that Krishna has no form, and that Krishna has form. We read that Sri Krishna has a form but not like us on earth, whereas Mayavadis choose to read that He does not, although it is written clearly that He has a form. Your Grace's eternal servant, J.D. Answer: Twisting and Taking Out of Context It is very common for spiritual organizations to identify themselves with a certain sect such as Hinduism, Christianity, etc. But this belies their lack of deep spiritual realization. God does not give us sects. It is man's materialistic conception to conjure up so many different sects. Real religion is one, to become a pure lover of God. As long we take the words of the scriptures exactly as they are stated, there can be no difference of opinion because the scriptures are as clear as the bright sun in the sky. What creates confusion is when different commentators instead of taking the clear, direct meaning of the scriptures proudly make their own interpretations. This is compared to the clouds that sometimes fill the sky not allowing us to see the sun. The Mayavadis give more stress to certain verses which they interpret to support their impersonal agenda and completely ignore other verses which defeat their agenda. For example the impersonalists argue that God is impersonal and formless on the strength of the vetvatara Upanisad (3.10): tato yad uttarataram tad arpam anmayam ya etad vidur amrts te bhavanti athetare duhkham evpiyanti In the material world Brahma, the primeval living entity within the universe, is understood to be the supreme amongst the demigods, human beings and lower animals. But beyond Brahma there is the Transcendence, who has no material form and is free from all material contaminations. Anyone who can know Him also becomes transcendental, but those who do not know Him suffer the miseries of the material world. The impersonalists takes the word arpam out of context arguing that it means no form instead of no material form. Their argument completely falls apart if we analyze the vetvatara Upanisad verses which immediately precede the above verse. Here are the preceding verses (vetvatara Upanisad 3.8-9): vedham etam purusam mahntam ditya-varnam tamasah parastt tam eva viditvti mrtyum eti nnyah panth vidyate 'yanya yasmt param nparam asti kiñcid yasmn nnyo no jyyo 'sti kiñcit vrksa iva stabdho divi tisthaty ekas tenedam prnam purusena sarvam I know that Supreme Personality of Godhead who is transcendental to all material conceptions of darkness. Only he who knows Him can transcend the bonds of birth and death. There is no way for liberation other than this knowledge of that Supreme Person. There is no truth superior to that Supreme Person, because He is the supermost. He is smaller than the smallest, and He is greater than the greatest. He is situated as a silent tree, and He illumines the transcendental sky, and as a tree spreads its roots, He spreads His extensive energies. The cheating method of the impersonalists is to emphasize verses which can be twisted through grammatical word jugglery to support their impersonal agenda and completely ignore those verses which solidly defeat their agenda. Sankarshan Das Adhikari Transcendental Resources: Receive the Special Blessings of Krishna Now you too can render the greatest service to the suffering humanity and attract the all-auspicious blessings of Lord Sri Krishna upon yourself and your family by assisting our mission. Lectures and Kirtans in Audio and Video: Link to High Definition Videos Link to Over 1,000 Lecture Audios Lecture-Travel Schedule for 2011 http://www.ultimateselfrealization.com/schedule Have Questions or Need Further Guidance? Check out the resources at:http://www.ultimateselfrealization.com or write Sankarshan Das Adhikari at: sda@backtohome.com Get your copy today of the world's greatest self-realization guide book, Bhagavad-gita As It Is available at: http://www.ultimateselfrealization.com/store Know someone who could benefit from this? Forward it to them. Searchable archives of all of course material: http://www.sda-archives.com Receive Thought for the Day as an RSS feed:http://www.backtohome.com/rss.htm Unsubscribe or change your email address Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/Daily_Thought http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=714185709 Copyright 2005-2011 by Ultimate Self Realization.Com Distribution of this material is encouraged. 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ISKCON Brampton, Canada: Sunday Feast - Presentation - April 17 2011 by Satchitananda Dasa

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ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Nrsimha Caturdasi - 16th May


"...kandiya nrsimha-pade magibo kakhana
nirapade navadvipe jugala-bhajana
bhaya bhaya paya yan'ra darsane se hari
prasanna hoibo kabe more daya kari..."

Weeping, I will beg at the lotus feet of Lord Narasimha for the benediction of worshipping Radha and Krsna in Navadvipa, perfectly safe and free from all difficulties. When will this Lord Hari, Whose terrible form strikes fear into fear itself, ever become pleased and show me His mercy?

(Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura - "Sri Navadvipa Bhava Taranga", 36-40)

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H.H. Prahladananda Swami: Q & A’s–Preliminary & Mature Spiritual Happiness

BG 10.9: The thoughts of My pure devotees dwell in Me, their lives are fully devoted to My service, and they derive great satisfaction and bliss from always enlightening one another and conversing about Me.

BG 10.9: Los pensamientos de Mis devotos puros moran en Mí, sus vidas están plenamente consagradas a Mi servicio, y ellos sienten gran satisfacción y dicha en iluminarse siempre entre sí y en conversar siempre acerca de Mí.

BG 10.9: Mes purs dévots toujours absorbent en Moi leurs pensées, et leur vie, Me l'abandonnent. Ils s'éclairent les uns les autres sur Ma Personne, s'entretiennent de Moi sans fin, et par là trouvent une satisfaction et une joie immenses.

H.H. Prahladananda Swami: Q & A’s–Preliminary & Mature Spiritual Happiness


Can you help me to understand this sentence from BG 10.9
In the preliminary stage of devotional service they relish the transcendental pleasure from the service itself, and in the mature stage they are actually situated in love of God. Once situated in that transcendental position, they can relish the highest perfection which is exhibited by the Lord in His abode.


In the beginning of devotional service there is the purification of the heart this brings one from the mood of ignorance to passion to goodness. Gradually, the devotee is freed from sinful reactions and develops godly qualities which give him satisfaction.
At the higher stages of devotional service, when one is constantly under the protection of the internal energy of the Lord, the devotee experiences transcendental pleasure that is only understand by the liberated souls situated on the transcendental platform.
I hope you are well.
Your well-wisher,
Prahladananda Swami

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H.H. Prahladananda Swami: Q & A’s – Black Market and the Meat Industry

H.H. Prahladananda Swami: Q & A’s – Black Market and the Meat Industry

Caution Watch Dog by Baldwin, Mike


In the Bhagavad Gita Srila Prabhupada purport for 16.16 states.

BG 16.16: Thus perplexed by various anxieties and bound by a network of illusions, they become too strongly attached to sense enjoyment and fall down into hell.

BG 16.16Confondu par des angoisses multiples et pris dans un filet d'illusions, il s'attache par trop au plaisir des sens, et sombre en enfer.

BG 16.16Perplejos así por diversas ansiedades y atados por una red de ilusiones, ellos se apegan demasiado al disfrute de los sentidos y caen en el infierno.

The demoniac man knows no limit to his desire to acquire money. That is unlimited. He thinks only of how much assessment he has just now and schemes to engage that stock of wealth further and further. For that reason, he does not hesitate to act in any sinful way and so deals in the black market for illegal gratification.

Saucam means cleanliness, not only in mind and body but in one’s dealings also. It is especially meant for the mercantile people, who should not deal in the black market.

however it is stated in 18.48

BG 18.48: Every endeavor is covered by some fault, just as fire is covered by smoke. Therefore one should not give up the work born of his nature, O son of Kuntī, even if such work is full of fault.

BG 18.48A todo esfuerzo lo cubre algún tipo de defecto, tal como al fuego lo cubre el humo. Por consiguiente, uno no debe abandonar el trabajo que nace de su naturaleza, ¡oh, hijo de Kunt…!, ni siquiera si el mismo está plagado de defectos.

BG 18.48Comme le feu est couvert par la fumée, toute entreprise est voilée par quelque faute. Aussi, ô fils de Kunti, nul ne doit abandonner l'acte propre à sa nature, fût-il empreint de taches.

Similarly, a merchant, however pious he may be, must sometimes hide his profit to stay in business, or he may sometimes have to do business on the black market. These things are necessary; one cannot avoid them. Similarly, even though a man is a sudra serving a bad master, he has to carry out the order of the master, even though it should not be done. Despite these flaws, one should continue to carry out his prescribed duties, for they are born out of his own nature.

Could you help me to understand the apparent difference between the purport for 18.48 and the purports from Chapter 16 describing a demon and a devotee?  Also can you help me to understand this section of the Bhagavad Gita  (18.41-48)?  In the class that I was giving on these verses I was trying to express why a devotee should not work serving meat.  Yet I have heard that one devotee has told other devotees that the cows in America were all animal slaughters in their previous lives and therefore it is somehow not so bad to be involved serving meat.  My attempt to express that point was to say that everyone has a right to perform their duties per their varna but they must be trained as to what are the do’s and don’t for that varna.  Not that “I have a job and therefore it is my varna and whatever it is, it is fine, just see BG 18.48?


One may be forced out of necessity and circumstances to do something forbidden.  This does not mean that there will be no reaction for such activities.  Still, as Srila Prabhupada says one should continue to carry out his prescribed duties.

Killing any living entity or being involved in such slaughter by working in a restaurant which is serving meat involves sinful activities and sinful reactions.  It does not matter why the animal has been slaughter, anyone involve in such activities will still get reactions.

I hope you are well.
Your well-wisher,
Prahladananda Swami

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ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Daily Class - Aniruddha Prabhu

ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Daily Class - Aniruddha Prabhu

Daily Class - Aniruddha Prabhu
Srimad Bhagavatam 12.4.7-27 : In the process of universal annihilation, gross elements merge into subtler elements.
Posted by Kanapathy Ramasamy at 20/4/11; 9:56:54 AM to the Daily Class dept
ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Daily Class - Aniruddha Prabhu

Srimad Bhagavatam 12.4.7-27 : In the process of universal annihilation, gross elements merge into subtler elements.

SB 12.4.7: As annihilation approaches, O King, there will be no rain upon the earth for one hundred years. Drought will lead to famine, and the starving populace will literally consume one another. The inhabitants of the earth, bewildered by the force of time, will gradually be destroyed.

SB 12.4.7: Cuando la aniquilación se acerca, ¡Oh rey!, allí no habrá ninguna lluvia sobre la tierra durante cientos años. La sequía llevará el hambre, y el populacho muerto de hambre se consumirá literalmente los unos a los otros. Destruirán a los habitantes de la tierra, desconcertantes por la fuerza del tiempo, gradualmente.

SB 12.4.8: The sun in its annihilating form will drink up with its terrible rays all the water of the ocean, of living bodies and of the earth itself. But the devastating sun will not give any rain in return.

SB 12.4.8: El sol en su forma aniquiladora se beberá (evaporará) con sus terribles rayos toda el agua del océano, de los cuerpos vivos y de la tierra en sí misma. Pero el sol devastador no dará ninguna lluvia a cambio.

SB 12.4.9: Next the great fire of annihilation will flare up from the mouth of Lord Sankars?an?a. Carried by the mighty force of the wind, this fire will burn throughout the universe, scorching the lifeless cosmic shell.

SB 12.4.9: El gran fuego de la aniquilación señalará por medio de luces salidos de las bocas del Señor Sańkarṣaṇa. Llevado por la fuerza poderosa del viento, este fuego quemará a todo el basto universo, chamuscando la covertura cósmica sin vida.

SB 12.4.10: Burned from all sides — from above by the blazing sun and from below by the fire of Lord Sankars?an?a — the universal sphere will glow like a burning ball of cow dung.

SB 12.4.10: Quemado por todos los lados - de antedicho por el sol ardiente y por debajo por el fuego de Señor Sańkarṣaṇa - la esfera universal brillará intensamente como una bola ardiente de estiércol de vaca.

SB 12.4.11: A great and terrible wind of destruction will begin to blow for more than one hundred years, and the sky, covered with dust, will turn gray.

SB 12.4.11: Un viento fuerte y terrible de la destrucción comenzará a soplar durante más de cientos años, y el cielo, cubierto con polvo, se tornará gris.

SB 12.4.12: After that, O King, groups of multicolored clouds will gather, roaring terribly with thunder, and will pour down floods of rain for one hundred years.

SB 12.4.12: Después de esto, ¡Oh Rey!, grupos de nubes multicolores recolectará, rugiendo terrible como trueno, verterá las inundaciones de las lluvias durante cientos años.

SB 12.4.13: At that time, the shell of the universe will fill up with water, forming a single cosmic ocean.

SB 12.4.13: En aquel momento, la covertura del universo se llenará de agua, formando un solo océano cósmico.

SB 12.4.14: As the entire universe is flooded, the water will rob the earth of its unique quality of fragrance, and the element earth, deprived of its distinguishing quality, will be dissolved.

SB 12.4.14: Cuando se inunde el universo entero, el agua le absorberá a la tierra su única cualidad de la fragancia, y el elemento tierra, privado de su cualidad de distinción, será disuelta.

SB 12.4.15-19: The element fire then seizes the taste from the element water, which, deprived of its unique quality, taste, merges into fire. Air seizes the form inherent in fire, and then fire, deprived of form, merges into air. The element ether seizes the quality of air, namely touch, and that air enters into ether. Then, O King, false ego in ignorance seizes sound, the quality of ether, after which ether merges into false ego. False ego in the mode of passion takes hold of the senses, and false ego in the mode of goodness absorbs the demigods. Then the total mahat-tattva seizes false ego along with its various functions, and that mahat is seized by the three basic modes of nature — goodness, passion and ignorance. My dear King Pariks?it, these modes are further overtaken by the original unmanifest form of nature, impelled by time. That unmanifest nature is not subject to the six kinds of transformation caused by the influence of time. Rather, it has no beginning and no end. It is the unmanifest, eternal and infallible cause of creation.

SB 12.4.15-19: El elemento fuego entonces agarrará el gusto del elemento agua, que, privada de su cualidad única, el gusto, se fusionará con el fuego. El aire agarrará la forma inherente en el fuego, y después la enciende, privado de forma, las fusionará en el aire. El elemento del éter agarrará la cualidad del aire, a saber el tacto, y ese aire entra en el éter. Entonces, ¡Oh Rey!, la ignorancia del ego falso agarrará el sonido, la cualidad del éter, después de lo cual se fusionará el éter con el ego falso. El ego falso en el modo de asimiento de las tomas de la pasión de los sentidos, y el ego falso en el modo de cualidad absorbe a los semidioses. Entonces el mahat-tattva total agarrará al ego falso junto con sus varias funciones, y ese mahat es agarrado por los tres modos básicos de la naturaleza - calidad, pasión e ignorancia. Mi estimado Rey Parīkṣit, estos modos es más futuro alcanzados por la forma más original e inmanifestada de naturaleza, impulsada por el tiempo. Que la naturaleza más inmanifestada no está conforme a las seis clases de transformación causadas por la influencia del tiempo. Aquello que, no tiene ni principio y ni fín. Es la causa más inmanifestada, eterna e infalible de la creación.

SB 12.4.20-21: In the unmanifest stage of material nature, called pradhāna, there is no expression of words, no mind and no manifestation of the subtle elements beginning from the mahat, nor are there the modes of goodness, passion and ignorance. There is no life air or intelligence, nor any senses or demigods. There is no definite arrangement of planetary systems, nor are there present the different stages of consciousness — sleep, wakefulness and deep sleep. There is no ether, water, earth, air, fire or sun. The situation is just like that of complete sleep, or of voidness. Indeed, it is indescribable. Authorities in spiritual science explain, however, that since pradhāna is the original substance, it is the actual basis of material creation.

SB 12.4.20-21: En la etapa más inmanifestada de la naturaleza material, llamada pradhāna, no hay palabras para describirlo, ninguna mente y ninguna manifestación de los elementos sutiles que comienzan del mahat, ni están los modos de la bondad, de la pasión y de la ignorancia. No hay aire o inteligencia de la vida, ni ningún sentido o semidioses. No hay arreglo definido de sistemas planetarios, ni están presente las diversas etapas del sentido - sueño, ensueño y sueño profundo. No hay éter, agua, tierra, aire, fuego o sol. La situación es apenas como la del sueño completo, o del vacío. De hecho, es indescriptible. Las autoridades en ciencia espiritual explican, sin embargo, que puesto que el pradhāna es la sustancia original, es la base real de la creación material.

SB 12.4.22: This is the annihilation called prākṛtika, during which the energies belonging to the Supreme Person and His unmanifest material nature, disassembled by the force of time, are deprived of their potencies and merge together totally.

SB 12.4.22: Ésta es la aniquilación llamada el prākṛtika, durante la cual las energías que pertenecen a la Persona Suprema y a su Naturaleza Material están inmanifestadas, desmontadas por la fuerza del tiempo, se privan de sus potencias y se combinan juntas totalmente.

SB 12.4.23: It is the Absolute Truth alone who manifests in the forms of intelligence, the senses and the objects of sense perception, and who is their ultimate basis. Whatever has a beginning and an end is insubstantial because of being an object perceived by limited senses and because of being nondifferent from its own cause.

SB 12.4.23: Es la Verdad Absoluta solamente quién manifiestada en las formas de inteligencia, de los sentidos y de los objetos de los sentidos, y de quién es su última base. Lo que tiene un principio y un fín son insubstanciales debido a ser un objeto percibido por los sentidos limitados y debido a ser indiferente de su propia causa.

SB 12.4.24: A lamp, the eye that views by the light of that lamp, and the visible form that is viewed are all basically nondifferent from the element fire. In the same way, intelligence, the senses and sense perceptions have no existence separate from the supreme reality, although that Absolute Truth remains totally distinct from them.

SB 12.4.24: Una lámpara, el ojo que ve por la luz de esa lámpara, y la forma visible se ve que son toda básicamente indiferente del elemento fuego. De la misma manera, la inteligencia, los sentidos y los objetos de los sentidos no tienen ninguna existencia a parte de la realidad suprema, aunque esa verdad absoluta siga siendo totalmente distinta de ellos.

SB 12.4.25: The three states of intelligence are called waking consciousness, sleep and deep sleep. But, my dear King, the variegated experiences created for the pure living entity by these different states are nothing more than illusion.

SB 12.4.25: Los tres estados de la inteligencia se llaman despertar el sentido, el sueño y el sueño profundo. Pero, mi estimado Rey, las experiencias abigarradas creadas para la pura entidad viviente por estos diversos estados no es nada más que la ilusión.

SB 12.4.26: Just as clouds in the sky come into being and are then dispersed by the amalgamation and dissolution of their constituent elements, this material universe is created and destroyed within the Absolute Truth by the amalgamation and dissolution of its elemental, constituent parts.

SB 12.4.26: Apenas pues las nubes en el cielo se forman y después son dispersadas por la amalgamación y la disolución de sus elementos constitutivos, este universo material es creado y destruido dentro de la Verdad Absoluta por la amalgamación y la disolución de sus componentes elementales.

SB 12.4.27: My dear King, it is stated [in the Vedanta-sutra] that the ingredient cause that constitutes any manifested product in this universe can be perceived as a separate reality, just as the threads that make up a cloth can be perceived separately from their product.

SB 12.4.27: Mi estimado Rey, se indica [en el Vedanta-sutra] que la causa del ingrediente que constituye cualquier producto manifestado en este universo se puede percibir como realidad separada, apenas como la trama de los hilos que componen un paño se pueden percibir por separado de su producto.

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Bhakti Lata, Alachua, USA: Whirlpool of Words

My brain swirls in whirlpools of words.

I write this in those suspended midnight hours. For hours now - hours - I have labored over three speeches that I am writing for my Speech Writing class.

What do I have to show for it? 500 measly words each. For weeks I have contemplated these words, I have hammered out these words, sometimes I have been close to weeping over these words. I have wrung out my soul.

Yeah, 500 words.

And how long does each speech need to be?

1,000 words.

How long do I have to finish?

3 days.


Despair sucks. 

Still, I am learning. I am grateful. The other evening I attended a live theater performance, and one of my professors stepped in to say the lines: "Writers aren't sacred, words are."

When for the Lord, sacred indeed.


To pray is to serve; to serve is to love; to love is to live. I pray to serve my spiritual master with love for as long as I live.  

The Lord is my North Star when I am lost and I have lost everything; the Lord is my sun when I am found and I have found everything. 
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H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami (Ret.): 285–Poem for April 19th

www.sdgonline.org. SDGonline Daily updates

4:59 A.M.

A Writer of Pieces

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

Poem for April 19th

Krishna is the way,
the center of the poem.
I chant His holy names
in concentrated meditation
early in the morning as
japa-yajna. No other thoughts but
the names pass through
me and I finish sixteen
by 4:00 A.M.

Narayana comes up to wake
the Deities and exchange
with me about personal affairs. I’m attached
to his association and like
it when he stays in
the house.

Now our guests are gone and
I have a big manuscript
to read and trying to
find the mood for
personal episodes from
my life. It’s a struggle
but I can find
something to say when
I let myself go
and write freely.

Caitanya Mahaprabhu teaches
Rupa Goswami how rare
it is to receive the bhakti-lata
and how to fence your garden
against the mad elephant attack.
These things are helpful guidance
for my journey on the path.

I can’t think of what to say
and plead with Krishna to
infuse me with inspiration
for a while to give you
Krishna conscious nectar
in a humble way.
We are living in the best
season of the year when
everything is just coming to life.
I should be grateful
for the generous breaths
He gives me in a
largely unhampered old
age lived with friends
in a congenial atmosphere.
The neighborhood is filled
with Vaisnavas and
yoga and visitors pass
through giving variety
of life.

I am glad I am able
to speak on behalf
of the parampara in
my own voice and follow
a regular daily schedule
of early to bed and early
to rise. I feel prosperous
and in reciprocation with the Lord.

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H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami (Ret.): OLD FRIENDS

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From The Daily News: All Things Fail Without Krishna

Wet Stool, Dry Stool

“There are two kinds of journalism: cheap journalism and high-ethics journalism. Cheap journalism is nauseating and immoral; high-ethics journalism without Krishna is a failure. It’s only a case of dry stool being better than wet stool.

“That’s what the parampara says. I know it’s not easy for the public to accept our absolutism. Therefore, let me try to explain our position carefully so they don’t write us off as fanatics who judge everything by one narrow standard.

“Those who argue against high-ethics journalism say they have to give the public what they want, even if it’s perverse and slimy. High-ethics journalists protest that tabloid journalism doesn’t even concern itself with the facts: ‘When every story is bought and sold, what you find is that you’re not completely sure of any information.’

“Here is an example of how bizarre this can get. High-ethics journalists recently produced a ‘made-for-TV’ movie satirizing an ambitious programming chief of pay-per-view entertainment company. He was making plans to televise the execution of a convicted murderer. As the execution neared, new evidence arose supporting the man’s innocence. Sixty million people were waiting to watch the man die. What would the programming chief decide to do?

“What does any of this have to do with Krishna consciousness? Devotees aren’t really concerned about these issues, although if we were pressed we would root for ethical journalism. Why? Because at least ethical journalism tries to be based on morality.

“But that’s not exactly true either. Srila Prabhupada once asked an audience, ‘What is morality? Do you have any idea?’ No one responded. I listened to the silence and imagined the many possible roundabout answers going through people’s minds.  Prabhupada stated it simply: ‘Morality means to satisfy the Supreme Personality of Godhead.’

“Krishna conscious morality, like high-ethics journalism, excludes seamy stories and dishonest reportage, but it goes much further than that. Krishna conscious morality is transcendental, whereas the goal of the high-ethics journalists is to stay squarely rooted in the mundane.

“If Krishna consciousness ruled in the minds and hearts of the masses, people wouldn’t want to hear the gory details of sex scandals or murders. They simply wouldn’t pay for it. Journalists wouldn’t be able to pander to gutter tastes. If the media was God-conscious, it would use its technology to present the pastimes and teachings of the Supreme Lord and His devotees.

“But the media is not God-conscious. Therefore, although the high-ethics people protest that things are getting too low, they themselves are dragged down. After all, they want to keep their jobs.

“I say, let the devotees stay as distant as possible from the world. Let the world wrangle about its own relative issues. We can use the media in our service to Krishna by intelligently packaging the Krishna conscious message. Unfortunately, our ‘news’ is not of interest to them.

“One reporter, commenting on the Michael Jackson scandal, said, ‘It has all the elements for the orgy of press coverage to occur: it’s celebrity, it’s sex, it’s children, it’s crime, it’s everything.’ Another said that the Jackson story and how it relates to ‘tabloidization’ of news is ‘the story of the decade. Probably one of the great stories of the century.’ What do we have to offer by comparison?

“Therefore we have our own ways to disseminate information about Krishna consciousness. We distribute Prabhupada’s books, we hold festivals, and we try to set an example in our own lives. Our efforts are not necessarily successful when you measure them against ‘the journalistic achievements of the century,’ but the effects of our distribution are lasting. People’s lives are being changed. Our product is worth selling year after year, and we don’t have to introduce novelties or scandals to keep it interesting.

“Let us continue to use all our energy in this independent broadcasting of Krishna consciousness. Let’s stay out of materialist’s wrangling, reported in unreliable news stories. The news is too full of ignorant, low-class and illusory tales. It’s not irresponsible of us to drop out of mainstream news reception. Rather, it’s required if we want to keep our sanity and purity of thought.

“‘A person desiring to advance in spiritual understanding should be extremely careful to avoid reading ordinary literature. The world is full of ordinary literature that creates unnecessary agitation in the mind. Such literature, including newspapers, dramas, novels and magazines, is factually not meant for advancement in spiritual knowledge. Indeed, it has been described as a place of enjoyment for crows. Anyone advancing in spiritual knowledge must reject such literature.’” (Bhagavatam 7.13.7, purport)

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

Translation: Excessive leniency will produce many faults, while strictness will build good character. Therefore, be strict, not lenient, with the son or disciple.


For example, the devotees in Vrndavana had to get their checks signed by Prabhupada and by a man in Delhi whom Prabhupada trusted before they were able to spend any money. Prabhupada was strict about how money was spent, and he didn’t trust his disciples’ discretion in spending it. It’s true, however, that if the devotees could prove their trustworthiness,  Prabhupada would relax his strictures. The system of checks and balances would remain intact, but Prabhupada would allow the devotees to take the responsibility upon themselves and sign the checks themselves.

“Also, there may be an age where the child is too old to take to strict discipline anymore. Applying that discipline may no longer be psychologically effective.

“When Prabhupada visited the Dallas gurukula, he instructed the teachers in how to employ the principles of strictness and leniency in training young children:

“Question: ‘Should we be strict?’

“Srila Prabhupada: ‘It is all on basis of love. Strict is not very good. They should do it automatically out of love. Superficially some stricture is not a good idea … The basic principle should be love.’

“Prabhupada went on to say that rules and regulations should be required for the children, and the teachers should set the example by being strict with themselves. ‘If you don’t practice but force them, that is not good . . . If you are too lenient, there will be many faults. If you discipline them, that is good. Don’t be lenient. Not out of “love” see your disciples go to hell, that is foolishness.’

“Srila Prabhupada himself exemplified loving discipline. I don’t know how he was able to do it, but he attracted people to him and they loved him. Then he ruled with force and strictness. At the same time it was clear that he loved them, and that discipline was being imposed on them for their own good.

“I remember walking with Prabhupada out of the apartment we had rented for him in Boston in 1969. He saw a newspaper lying in the hall and stopped to read the headlines: ‘Nixon Warns Students … ’ At that time the colleges were rebelling against the Vietnam War. Prabhupada said that Nixon’s warnings wouldn’t work. He said you can’t force without love. He gave the example that, ‘Just as I ask you to do something, you immediately do it because there is love.’ And he was right. Even when Nixon called out the National Guard, the students refused to obey.

“Prabhupada’s disciples wanted to please him because they loved him. He attracted us to Krishna. He offered us a life of eternity, knowledge and bliss. He fed us delicious prasadam. He let us live in his temples and gave us the responsibility for the buildings’ upkeep. He gave us japa and kirtana. We were obliged to him. We were willing to accept his strictures as the price for living a life we loved with the person we loved.

“We also had faith he was a pure devotee who could give us Krishna. That faith took some of the sentimentality out of our following. Although in one sense it’s a mystery how Prabhupada could have imposed discipline on so many young people, it was really our sense of obligation to him that made it possible. By fulfilling our obligation to him, we came to realize that the discipline was for our own good.

“I personally liked his strictness. I know others did too. It made us feel safe and righteous, not in an arrogant way but in a religious way. Prabhupada’s discipline gave us the strength to avoid outside influences, to follow the regulative principles and chant sixteen rounds, to get up early and talk about Krishna instead of something mundane.  Within that discipline, which we soon learned to impose upon ourselves, Prabhupada developed a personal relationship as guru, which was as real and familial and loving as any other relationship. We gave up everything—our girlfriends or boyfriends, our buddies, and often our families—to follow that one relationship.

“Prabhupada carried out much of his discipline through his correspondence. He guided his disciples, now a little to the left, now a little to the right, and kept them on the track. His letters helped his disciples fine-tune their understanding in service and feel the truth of their ongoing relationship with him.

“Prabhupada was able to maintain discipline because he was always strict with himself.  He wasn’t strict in the sense that he was controlling his senses even though he had a taste for sense gratification. His strictness was a natural purity for Krishna consciousness. He was like a lotus flower rising above the material pool. He appeared strict with himself because he wouldn’t touch anything that wasn’t strictly and purely Krishna consciousness.

“His disciples were affected by that purity. Someone might  approach him with a material desire they were trying to dovetail, but when they came face to face with his purity, they would feel their lowness and realize they should renounce that desire. His discipline and example pushed all of us to aspire for the highest standard.”

From A Litany for the Gone

“Young people come into the movement and leave it through the big revolving door. In and out. A pure devotee goes on preaching and worshiping regardless. If someone comes in, then revolves out, then comes in again, great. But why does he come back, to disturb us? To bring new ideas into the society of devotees? He must surrender to guru and Krishna to live with us. Otherwise, he should go and live his life as he thinks best.

“Some are borderline cases. We used to call them ‘fringies,’ which was a derogatory word. Maybe I’m a fringie now according to someone’s estimation. Who is in and who is out? Who is furthest in by appearance might actually be out, or eventually out. You know the story of the respectable brahmana and the prostitute. The brahmana used to publicly denounce the prostitute. Every time she had a customer he would note it by adding a stone to a pile. Eventually he built a wall as evidence of her sinfulness. At the time of death, the brahmana thought of the prostitute’s sins, so he wasn’t liberated. The prostitute died feeling remorse for her sins and was purified and liberated by her contrition.

“Therefore who has left, and how am I to judge? Should I complacently praise myself and those on a list who are still active? I cannot make a judgment on devotees or Krishna will judge me. Do I want Him to forgive me? Then I had better forgive others.

“We’ll have to watch as this roll call goes on, iof there is no other Sri Gopala dasa, then this is the Gopala who is Prabhupada’s disciple by first initiation, offer obeisances to him, ask forgiveness, and offer a handshake. Don’t assume he is pumping gas, that he has become a ne’er-do-well or that he is in maya. Say, ‘How are you doing?’ and mean it. Do you think that just because someone took initiation from you and later dropped out of your sight that he has dropped out of the universe, out of God’s sight? Don’t think like that. But I am entitled to my litany, I guess. It’s a free country. I can remember if I want to. And if I like, I can wish them to return to this specific shelter in the Swami’s movement, the life of chanting Hare Krishna and following the four rules.”
From My Dear Lord Krishna: A Book of Prayers Volume II


My Dear Lord Krishna: A Book of Prayers is a classic, and it is better than the more ‘official’ books I wrote about my relationship with Krishna. It’s a mature book and very personal, talking to Krishna. My writings emphasize the need for the devotee to search his authentic self in self-awareness.

“These are some inspiring words near the beginning of St. Augustine’s Confessions:

“‘Or are men to pray to You to know You through their prayers? Only, how are they to call upon the Lord until they have learned to believe in Him? And how are they to believe in Him without a preacher to listen to?

“Those who look for the Lord will cry out in praise of Him. Because all those who look for Him shall find Him, and when they find Him, they will praise Him. I shall look for You, Lord, by praying to You, and as I pray, I shall believe in You, because we have had preachers to tell us about You.”  (Confessions, translated by R.S. Pine-koffin, Penguin Classics.)

“Similarly, I can pray to Lord Krishna for help and simultaneously to praise Him. ‘Those who look for the Lord will cry out in praise of Him.’ And when looking for Him, I shall find Him, and when I find Him I shall praise Him.

“Of course, I cannot just sit down with Him (or bow at His feet) and make inquiries and expect to get immediately conversational replies from Him. It is not as easy as that. I can pray to Him and talk to Him from my side without expecting an immediate response but expecting that He does hear me. In Bhagavad-gita He said, ‘To those who worship Me with love I grant the understanding by which they can come to Me.’ We can come to Him with our prayers, and He will hear us. He also sends His representative, the spiritual master, with whom we can have an intimate relationship based on submissive inquiries and service. My spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, disappeared from the planet thirty-three years ago and so I have to serve him in separation, receiving instructions through his books and by association with my Godbrothers.

“I know that by reading the verses of Bhagavad-gita and the Bhaktivedanta purports, I will receive direct personal instructions, and so I seek them out and consider them as good and specific as if He has spoken to me, so I will be looking for that.

“We can call these prayers also conversations. Conversation is two-way, so let me be silent and try to hear back from You by different feelings that may come from time to time.

“In a book about Teresian prayer, they say, ‘The  conversation with our Lord is primarily an intimate union with him, and only secondarily a petition of benefits from Him.  God in turn converses with us through the medium of inspirations and illuminations.’ (Peter T. Rohrbach, Conversations with Christ: The Teachings of St. Teresa of Avila about Personal Prayer. Tan Books, 1994).

“So it’s not like a telephone that I expect to hear the same voice that I hear on a lecture speaking back to me, or that I expect to find an amazing letter in the mail that you’ve written from the spiritual world. But inspirations may come, and we can know that ‘Prabhupada was responding to me.’ He’s giving the intelligence and illumination, enlightenment. I hope to see a change in my spiritual life by praying, but I know it will be hard also. I would like to be able to speak frankly, and I hope it improves my life so that I can pray to You in so many different occasions.”

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Devadeva Mirel, Alachua, USA: Repurpose : From Empty Bottles to Faux Milkglass Props

Inspiration came from this month's Food & Wine magazine.


I am not without ideas. Creative vision. In my mind’s eye things look a certain way. My food pictures are beautiful. Delicious details are sharp  against a colorful blur of background. In my mind’s eye, my pictures make you drool. But my camera is not very mighty. My hand not very steady. I cook and click on the fly. A little boy with lizards competes for my attention along with items on the stovetop. My daughter is always washing her hands and pulling up a stool, ready to do her part. Even when there is no part to be done. And Baby Bindu coos and cries and fusses and squirms. She smiles, too. A lot. But that’s mostly when she’s in my arms. I love those smiles. That’s why I give myself a 3 minute time limit to plate and photog anything for this blog. Considering, I don’t think I do such a bad job.

Still, I am not without ideas.

I really liked the white bottles pictured in Food & Wine this month. And, inspired by this adorable squirrel, figured I could get similar props for close to nothing with a can of spray paint and some empties. I am not a very patient person, which makes me ill suited for DIY projects. But thanks to the hot Florida sun, I didn’t have to be too patient. Three coats of spray paint later and I have my props. Not that I think it is really going to make a difference any time soon in my overall scene setting.

But still, I can have my ideas.

The white wine bottles used as props are superior to my screw top bottles but close enough.


Ginger beer, Italian soda, rose water, balsamic vinegar, Perrier, Aqua di Nepi and lemon extract



Bindu patiently sat out my spray painting.


Finito. I am pretty happy with the result. For a minimal investment of time and money, I have a new set of props for food photogging. Now all I need is a babysitter ;)

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Bharatavarsa.net: Bhakti Vikasa Swami: Surrender

You write to say that simply you want to surrender, but according to the preface of T.L.C. you'll find that surrender means (1) to Act favorably to develop Krishna Consciousness; (2) to reject everything unfavorable; (3) to have full faith in Krishna that He will give protection to His pure devotee; (4) to keep oneself as one of the dependent devotees of the Lord; (5) to have no separate interest besides the interest of the Lord; (6) to always feel meek and humble. These six things are surrender, And it is then that there is no question of weakness. Our spiritual strength lies in steadfastly following the regulative principles also, and once stopped, then immediately there is falldown and all that has been accomplished becomes choked up. So to keep ourselves fit in spiritual life, we must strictly follow the principles, and chant at least 16 attentive rounds of beads daily and without fail. Otherwise, everything else loses its potency. At first there may be some inconveniences, and they may appear like poison, but we must tolerate them and Krishna, seeing our sincerity, will surely help us. This material world is such a miserable place that if we were not tolerant, we couldn't stay here for a moment. So simply continue this process diligently and my full blessings are there.

>>> Ref. VedaBase => Letter to: Jitendriya, 22 February, 1971

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Mukunda Charan das, SA: Remembering Krishna While Engaging In Our Occupational Duties

‘After about an hour we returned to the temple for guru-puja and Srimad Bhagavatam class. The verse described how Kardama Muni kept his mind fixed on Lord Visnu, and in his short talk Srila Prabhupada gave a few good examples of how one can do one’s work and still remain thinking of Krsna. ‘In South India there is a class of professional dancer. They take a big jug on the head and without any ring, it is kept as it is. The head is shaved, but they are so practiced to keep the balance that the pot does not fall down. It remains exactly. This is an art – they will dance, and the pot on the head will never fall down, keeping the balance.

So by practice it is possible. There are many professional vendors, they keep their basket on the head and taking a child, going and canvassing, ‘We have got this fruit.’ It never falls down. They are keeping the balance. So this is a crude example that everything can be done by practice. There is another example Rupa Gosvami gives, that a woman who has got an extra lover besides the husband. So she’s always thinking of that lover although she’s busy with household affairs. That means if you want somebody very seriously, you can think of him always, twenty-four hours, in spite of your being engaged in so many duties. It is possible. So we have to practice this Krsna consciousness’

[Cf. Hari Sauri Das, Transcendental Diary]

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H.H. Prahladananda Swami: Lecture – SB 6.5.19 Krishna, Don’t Protect Me Too Much 4-19-2011

H.H. Prahladananda Swami: Lecture – SB 6.5.19 Krishna, Don’t Protect Me Too Much 4-19-2011

SB 6.5.19: [Nārada Muni had spoken of a physical object made of sharp blades and thunderbolts. The Haryaśvas understood this allegory as follows.] Eternal time moves very sharply, as if made of razors and thunderbolts. Uninterrupted and fully independent, it drives the activities of the entire world. If one does not try to study the eternal element of time, what benefit can he derive from performing temporary material activities?

[Nārada Muni avait parlé d'un objet physique constitué par des lames acérées et des éclairs. Les Haryaśvas interprétèrent ainsi cette analogie:] Le temps éternel évolue de façon fort tranchante, comme s'il était fait de lames de rasoir et d'éclairs. Ininterrompu et parfaitement indépendant, il dirige les activités de l'univers entier. Par suite, quel avantage pourrait-il retirer d'actes matériels éphémères celui qui ne s'efforce pas de comprendre l'élément éternel qu'est le temps?

[Nārada Muni había hablado de un objeto físico hecho de rayos y cuchillas afiladas. Los Haryaśvas entendieron esta alegoría de la siguiente manera:] El tiempo eterno discurre a gran velocidad, y corta como si estuviera hecho de cuchillas y rayos; fluye sin interrupción y con absoluta independencia, dirigiendo las actividades del mundo entero. Quien no trata de estudiar este elemento eterno, el tiempo, ¿qué beneficio puede obtener de las actividades materiales, que son temporales?

H.H. Prahladananda Swami: Lecture – SB 6.5.19 Krishna, Don’t Protect Me Too Much 4-19-2011

SB 06.05.19 Krishna, Don’t Protect Me Too Much 2011-04-19

Lecture – Srimad Bhagavatam 6.5.19 Krishna, Don’t Protect Me Too Much 4-19-2011 Los Angeles

SB 06.05.19 Krishna, Don't Protect Me Too Much 2011-04-19 Lecture - Srimad Bhagavatam 6.5.19 Krishna, Don't Protect Me Too Much 4-19-2011 Los Angeles
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Japa Group: Raising The Bar

I had a dream last night...it was very clear. I was with my godbrothers and we were sitting in a circle talking about the importance of Japa. In the dream I spoke up and recalled what I had heard in a Japa retreat with Bhurijana dasa - he had said that we should raise our standard of chanting so that when we chant, we can remember that this is for the pleasure of Krsna and not just for our own purification.

We have a default setting with our chanting and this dream reminded me that we should always be striving to raise the bar of our Japa so we can come to stage of chanting with devotion for Krsna's pleasure.
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Krishna-kripa das, Mayapura: Travel Journal#7.6: Gainesville and St. Augustine

Diary of a Traveling Sadhaka, Vol. 7, No. 6
By Krishna-kripa das
(March 2011, part two)
Gainesville and St. Augustine
(Sent from New York City on April 19, 2011)

Where I Was and What I Did

I came back from Arizona to observe the Gaura Purnima festivals with my friends in Gainesville and Alachua, and I wasn’t disappointed. There were lots of chanting, talks on spiritual wisdom, a couple different opportunities to bathe Lord Caitanya, lots of friendly devotees, and great prasadam. [I include my Gaura Purnima lecture notes in the section of Gaura Purnima and not with the others lectures.] The next week was St. Augustine Ratha-yatra, a great festival, in some ways better than the previous year. Mother Vaikuntha-lila, Damodara Prasada, Sagar and I did a dorm program at University of Florida, teaching yoga, japa, and kirtana, as ways students can become free from stress. Some students left after the yoga, others left after the kirtana, but the three who stayed to the end, all of foreign backgrounds, including the residence director who arranged the program, were all very happy they had come. The residence director said he would be glad to recommend us to others. March was a difficult month for the Krishna Lunch team, because Stacie Lavendar, who served out lunch for three years, left her body unexpectedly due to head injuries resulting from a motorcycle accident. It is always extra sad when a good person dies at an early age. We thought a lot about how the soul is eternal, that life in this body is temporary and uncertain, and we heard about Stacie and her qualities and activities, noting that her natural concern for others is a characteristic of great devotees. The reassuring thing is that all the spiritual activities that she did like, eating and serving spiritual food and chanting the names of God, have eternal benefit which goes with her soul to next situation. As Krishna says in Bhagavad-gita, One who does good, My friend, is never overcome by evil.” (Bg. 6.40)


Philadelphia: April 20–April 24
New York City: April 25–26
London: April 27
Radhadesh: April 28–29
Amsterdam: April 30
Antwerp, Amsterdam, Cologne: May 1–11
Munich: May 12–15
Simhacalam: May 16
UK: May 18–July 6
Scandinavian Ratha-yatras: July 8–16
Prague Ratha-yatra?: mid July
Lithuanian Festival?: last week in July
Czech Padayatra?: usually 4th week in July
Poland Woodstock: August 1–6
Croatian Harinama Tour: rest of August
Kirtana-mela, Leipzig?: August 29–September 4
Kharkov, Ukraine: September 6–beginning of Ukraine Festival
Ukraine Festival: second week of September
Boston Ratha-yatra and Prabhupada festival: September 17–18
Albany: September ?
Philadelphia Ratha-yatra: September 24
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Gaura Purnima in Gainesville and Alachua


Gaura Purnima, the celebration of Lord Caitanya’s appearance in this world, was special for me this year in many ways. We started celebrating by transformating our weekly Friday program in Gainesville into a Gaura Purnima festival. That afternoon I went on harinama with the Alachua devotees at the corner of University and 13th, and I told almost everybody who I met on the street about our special evening program. One family actually came by my invitation and even got to bathe the Deities of Lord Caitanya and Lord Nityananda, a rare success. I played a little bit of a role in the bathing ceremony, and although deity worship is not my favorite item of devotional service, it was nice to participate in the Gaura Purnima festival in that way.


Kalakantha Prabhu gave one of his best lectures on Lord Caitanya. Here are some notes.

Kalakantha Prabhu [on Gaura Purnima]:

The happiness of material life is short-lived and surrounded by suffering, like that of prisoner repeatedly let up for air after being repeatedly dunked into water.

Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s appearance is predicted in Srimad-Bhagavatam. He was not just another upstart claiming to be God.

Caitanya Mahaprabhu was a social reformer as well as a divine avatar and spiritual teacher. He did not accept the caste system based on birth which is based on illusion, but taught that social divisions are based on one’s qualifications and activities and not by birth. Furthermore, he taught one can perfect one’s devotion to God no matter what his social position.

As soon as I tell people it is the age of quarrel, they will object, “What do you mean?”

Caitanya Mahaprabhu spread His mission throughout India and left it to the International Society of Krishna Consciousness to spread it all over the world.

Bhaktivinoda Thakura studied many religions and philosophies and came to the conclusion that Lord Caitanya’s philosophy was the most comprehensive. He envisioned the day when people all over the world would celebrate the appearance anniversary of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

Srila Prabhupada said preaching Krishna consciousness is India is like trying to wake up someone who is pretending to be asleep. It is easy to wake up a person who is actually sleeping but very difficult to wake someone who is pretending to be asleep.

Never mind your caste, your country, your background. Lord Caitanya does not care. Everyone who wants to take part in His movement can do so.

God is like a father who always loves the children no matter what they do.

If you are interested in Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s movement, you will become at odds with the people in the world, because they are absorbed in their bodies and not interested in their souls. Yet to take part in His movement, you may remain in your social position, your work, or your home. You do not have to wear robes and move into a temple.

If we have had enough of the troubles of the material world, Lord Caitanya is offering us relief.

If you render service to the Lord, you will experience His reciprocation. I can talk about it all night, but you actually have to experience it.

Lord Caitanya taught that everyone is a servant of God. The conception of becoming God is a mistaken idea. One Godbrother of mine wrote in a poem:

“If to become God is your ambition,

Why should God help His own competition.”

After the program, a few of the devotees were enthusiastic enough to do harinama (group chanting with instruments) downtown. One of these was Zulay, who has only been coming to Krishna House programs since January. I always feel victorious when we go out chanting, especially in celebration of Lord Caitanya’s appearance, as it was He who personally inaugurated this movement of chanting in West Bengal five hundred years ago. To be chanting past 10:00 p.m. and then to get up by 3:30 a.m. to drive to Alachua was a little austere, and it was nice to see a few people were willing to do a little extra austerity to share the chanting with others.

There were lots of people for the early morning worship in Alachua as usual on holy days. Varsana Swami, visiting from New Vrindavana, gave a nice class. Here are some highlights:

Varsana Swami [on Gaura Purnima]:

Persons who were willing to consider deeply the pastimes of Lord Caitanya realized that they are greater than those of all the other avatars. Such especially wonderful pastimes include giving the divine love of the residents of Krishna’s abode to the rogues Jagai and Madhai, the deliverance of the Mayavadi Prakasananda Sarasvati, the inspiring of the flora and fauna of Jarikhanda Forest to chant and dance in ecstasy. Lord Caitanya manifested indiscriminate, unreserved mercy surpassing any other avatar.

Lord Caitanya blessed all those who contacted Him in any way, positive or negative, with liberation.

Dasya rasa, service to the Lord with reverence, is natural to be offered to the yuga avatar. Yet Krishna says that he is not controlled by love made feeble by reverence.

Krishna wrestles sometimes with Sridhama and sometimes with Srimati Radhanani. Sometimes Radharani wins.

The higher rasas do not exist in this world but descend from the spiritual realm.

In this world, we worship the yuga-avatara in daysa-rasa. But as our heart becomes purified, and we appreciate that Lord Caitanya and Lord Nityananda are Krishna and Balaram of Vrindavana, and we become attracted to Their pastimes in Vrndavana.

Just as Balarama engages us in the service of Lord Krishna, Lord Nityananda engages us in the service of Lord Caitanya.

At the Vyasa Puja function, everyone requested Lord Nityananda to place the garland on the picture of Srila Vyasadeva, but he stood there and did not do anything. Finally Lord Caitanya made the same request of Nitai, but Nitai put the garland on Lord Caitanya, who then manifest His sad-bhuja form, a form revealing Him to be both Krishna and Rama as well.

In Christianity, Jesus Christ appears and that is the culmination, and similarly, in Islam, Mohammed is the last prophet. But in the Gaudiya Vaishnavism, the understanding is that it is necessary that the Lord comes periodically to remind the people of the spiritual path.

After Lord Caitanya attained love of God, he could not continue to teach grammar. The reason is that at the beginning of the class, the students would chant the holy name “Hari Hari” as an invocation. Then Lord Caitanya would go into ecstasy and become absorbed in thinking and speaking only of Krishna. Lord Caitanya told them to find another teacher, but after studying with the Lord, they had no desire to study from another.

Even the devotees cannot recognize the Lord until He wills it.

Advaita Acarya asked that Lord Krishna come Himself because only He can offer the intimate love of residents of Vraja, sakhya (friendship), vatsalya (parenthood), and madhurya (conjugal love).

All the mercy available during Lord Caitanya’s manifest presence is also available on His auspicious appearance day, Sri Gaura Purnima. The same is true with Krishna’s mercy on Janmastami.

How can we always think of Krishna as He requests in Bhagavad-gita? Only if we have love for Him.

It is offensive to imagine ourselves as direct servants of Krishna. Only Radharani and Balarama offer direct service to Krishna. By Radharani it is in the conjugal mellow, and by Balarama it’s in the other mellows.

There was a bathing ceremony of the deities in Alachua, and Ramanya Prabhu encouraged me to take part in it. Because it was pleasant to take part in the one the day before, I decided to do it.

There were so many priests, we each took part half of the time, and I would listen to Badahari Prabhu’s kirtana and dance the other half of the time.

I did service in the kitchen to help out for an hour or so.

Amrita-keli dd was too sick to sing her half hour slot in the all day kirtana, and I found out about it ahead of time, so I got to sing for that time myself. Usually there is so much competition to sing, I do not have a chance. Fortunately, there were a couple of expert Vaisnava youth kalatala and mrdanga players to accompany me.


I planned to not fast from water, but as I survived to 4:00 p.m. without drinking, I decided to continue to the end. I planned to take a nap during the day, but it never worked out. Despite these physical challenges, I was less disturbed by the fast than usual. I think Lord Caitanya must have given me some special mercy.

From the feast, I remember the mango sweet rice and gulab jamuns best of all. I always did like the desserts. I think having first class desserts is important because the dessert is at the end, and it leaves a final good impression on the mind! Thank you Kripa Sindhu Prabhu for the great sweet rice and Madhava Prabhu for the great gulab jamuns! Sri Gaura Purnima ki, jaya!


St. Augustine Ratha-yatra


Although Cordova Street was not as good a route for our Ratha-yatra procession in St. Augustine, we were allowed a one-hour chanting precession beforehand on St. George Street, one of the most crowded streets in that tourist town. Initially just a few people took the small plastic bags with nuts and raisins and invitations to our festival in the park, but after a few minutes, the atmosphere was transformed by the many chanting devotees, and almost everyone would take. We also passed out pamphlets to many people. We went down the street, moving away from the cathedral, and then came back to the park in front of the cathedral, but the snacks and invitations ran out half way. Usually I am just a distributor, but this time I was in charge of all the distributors, and I was told I would be in trouble if we had any left over. Now I know for next year, we need twice as many.

The high points of the stage show for me were the number of newcomers who were really attracted to the music and to the whole atmosphere. One girl, Emma, originally from Connecticut but studying in Jacksonville stayed for the whole program. I promised to give her the details about the Ratha-yatra in New York City, so she can attend that when she goes home for the summer. I also especially appreciated Bada Hari Prabhu’s chanting at the end of the program which got a lot of people, both young and old, dancing. In Tallahassee I met one new devotee who used to live in St. Augustine and was there for the Ratha-yatra. He said a lot of the locals he knew really liked our program this year. Of course, Sunanda Prabhu’s wonderful prasadam was also a hit.

On the whole, I thought that the St. Augustine Ratha-yatra was a very successful event.


Stacie Lavender: An Exemplary Krishna Lunch Worker
(May 1, 1989-March 15, 2011)

It was a shock for everyone involved with Krishna Lunch that Stacie Lavender, a University of Florida senior, aged 21, who had worked with Krishna Lunch for three years, was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident and left her body a couple days later, when doctors determined she could never recover and life support was cut off.

The nurses in the hospital were amazed that she had so many friends coming to see her, wishing for her recovery.

As a server at the lunch, she was always in a jolly mood, and anyone who got frazzled would be pacified by her kind words and behavior.

I did not know her very well, as I am not so social anyway, and as a brahmacari it is not my business to get to know the girls too well, especially the more attractive ones. I told her this semester, as I had seen her helping out for so long, that I was impressed with her steadiness in her service to Krishna Lunch, and I could see she was a likeable person from her response. In January, she was sick for a week, and then I went to Tallahassee the next week, so I had not seen her for two weeks, and I told her I was glad she was back, and that is probably the last thing I said to her before I left for Arizona. She left her body the night before I returned to Florida. Not many of the student Krishna Lunch workers, who are not part of the Krishna House educational programs, sit and chant with us on the campus during their breaks from serving, but she would from time to time, and I always appreciated her making that choice. For a student to sit with the Hare Krishnas and chant with them on the campus in view of all one’s friends and teachers takes a certain amount of courage. As for what she thought of me, her friends at Krishna Lunch say she liked my dancing at the campus.

Kalakantha Prabhu spoke about the problem of death in general, and Stacie’s death in particular, at the morning class a few days after:

Kalakantha Prabhu began by quoting many of the Bhagavad-gita verses from Chapter Two, which describe the immortality of the soul, such as: “Never was there a time when I did not exist, nor you, nor all these kings; nor in the future shall any of us cease to be. As the embodied soul continuously passes, in this body, from boyhood to youth to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body at death. A sober person is not bewildered by such a change.” (Bg. 2.12–13)

He then described that in India, the body of the deceased is carried on a procession so everyone sees. The body is taken to the crematorium, which is on the bank of a sacred river, and in front of everyone the body is burned. This creates a sense of detachment, which lasts a day, a week, or month. Witnessing this repeatedly one becomes serious about life. We are not allowed to do this in America, but actually that is a violation of our civil rights.

We imagine we have entitlement to a certain duration of life and a certain number of family members, and when that is violated, we become indignant.

God acts for purposes higher than our own. He does not owe us an explanation, and we are left to try to understand why. Sometimes it is many decades before we get a clue to the reason why, and sometimes we never do.

Srila Prabhupada said philosophy means to keep death at the front. He also said material life means shock after shock.

Stacie’s death can be an occasion for us to understand the temporality of our situation in this world and become sober and serious about life.

Sam: “We should appreciate every day as if it is your last,” is something that I have heard before, but now I am taking it more seriously.

Kalakantha Prabhu: Once we take to Krishna consciousness, Krishna takes care of us. It is not our karma anymore. For some reason, Krishna plucked Stacie out of this situation.

Srila Prabhupada explains the liberation that the family members of devotees get is that they get to become devotees.

Jude [Stacie’s boyfriend]:

I never saw Stacie sin, although she was surrounded by it.

I felt that Krishna blessed me and her family that we were able to handle her unexpected death much more peacefully than would be expected.

Duane: Her family and friends appreciated her compassion and other good qualities and became more inclined to adopt them.

Kalakantha Prabhu: Her sister said every time Stacie spoke to her and her husband she talked about Krishna Lunch.

That Sunday for the Krishna Lunch Sunday Lunch program we had a memorial service for Stacie. I made my pineapple-almond coconut sweet for the feast. Many people spoke very nicely, but I did not take notes as I got there late and there was little room to sit. I stood outside the door listening in. I recall Stacie’s sense of adventure, her friendliness, and her compassion were qualities repeatedly coming up in the speeches. When she and her friends went skydiving, she wanted to be the first one out of the plane. She would talk to new people for hours to get to know them and would be happy she made another friend. Malati, who was a Krishna Lunch server who came to America from abroad, said that Stacie told her, “Now that you are in America, you are going to have to learn how to say ‘Hi!’ to people.” Before Stacie trained her up, people thought that Malati was upset with them because she never smiled or greeted them. Duane said that he never met a person who could tolerate her own distress to the extent that Stacie could in order to help other people. Hanan said Stacie asked to learn how to meditate, and he taught her to chant Hare Krishna, a practice she would do an hour or two each morning. He also mentioned she told him she planned to focus more on her spiritual life after her graduation, when she would move to a new situation.

Hanan once saw Stacie doing some service that was not given to her, but which needed to be done. When Hanan asked why she was doing it, she replied that one of the devotees had told her, “If you see something that needs to be done and no one is doing it, it becomes your service.” When Nic heard that, he recalled that he was the one who gave her that advice. Nic also said Stacie became vegetarian when she was just eleven or twelve, and that because her parents would not cook vegetarian food for her, she learned to cook for herself. Once Stacie told him that she chanted Hare Krishna sixteen times around the string of beads, as do the initiated Hare Krishna devotees

To go to Krishna Lunch, and beyond that, to work for Krishna Lunch, and then to try chanting Hare Krishna as a meditation, all were part of Stacie’s life of adventure, and they all benefited herself and many others who came to Krishna Lunch and even worked for Krishna Lunch because of her enthusiasm for it.

Acts of devotion to the Lord, such as chanting His names and eating and distributing food offered to Him, are remembered by Him eternally and ultimately culminate in one’s spiritual perfection. As Krishna says in Bhagavad-gita 2.40: “In this endeavor there is no loss or diminution, and a little advancement on this path can protect one from the most dangerous type of fear.”

So I rejoice in these acts of supreme good fortune of hers, and in the fact that she shared her fortune with her friends, many of whom came to eat and some of whom came to work with Krishna Lunch, thus getting permanent spiritual gain.

Stacie’s sudden exit reminded me that any of us can leave this world at any time, and so if we want to say anything to anyone or do anything for anyone, today is the best time, for we may never get another chance.

We might also remember that our acts of devotion to the Lord are our only imperishable asset, and so we should take our spiritual practice with utmost seriousness. The date of life’s final exam is not given and may be sooner than we think or wish.

Insights from Lectures

Hridayananda Goswami [from a recording]: It is one thing to not worship God because of too much love for Him, and yet it is another thing to not worship God because of too little love for Him.


Kalakantha Prabhu:


These descriptions of Krishna’s activities are transcendental pastimes and not mythology. Persons who just study them in an academic way, because of lack of faith, do not experience their transcendental nature. But a person who realizes he does not know who God is, and therefore that Krishna may be God, by listening to the pastimes with that theoretical acceptance of Krishna, understanding that God can easily perform such wonders, will experience a transcendental effect. This effect is not empirically understandable; one must experience it for oneself. However, reading just some mythology will have no such effect.

The cowherd men are repeated confused about Krishna because they have paternal affection for him, yet He continually performs such superhuman activities.

Krishna arranged that plants would bloom out of season to make a nice atmosphere for the rasa dance.

In the beginning of the pastime there was a competition among the gopis to have Krishna for themselves, but Krishna then disappeared. But when the gopis were lamenting together in separation, then Krishna reappeared and manifested a form of Himself personally to enjoy with each and every gopi, thus satisfying their desires. One thing we can learn from this is that when we cooperate to please Krishna, we will be satisfied individually, but when we try to please Krishna on our own, without regard for others, we will not be satisfied.

Sesa Prabhu:

One of the first times I went on book distribution as a new devotee, the very first person I spoke to, said to me, “I know you Seth Spellman, but you probably do not remember me. We were in school together and you spoke very harshly to me.” [She had some physical disability and sometimes the kids spoke to her insensitively because of it.] She was gracious and may even have taken some literature, but how much more I could have benefited her if she had memories of me speaking nicely to her.

Our speech must be controlled, according to Bhagavad-gita, otherwise the results can be catastrophic, not just to the object of our speech, or to ourselves, but to the whole world.

Duryodhana ordered that Draupadi be stripped naked in the assembly and his brother Dusasana hastily went to do it. Vidura told the assembly of the Kurus to stop insulting Draupadi, but no one else would dare say a word in protest. Millions of soldiers were killed in the Mahabharata War simply due to the harsh speech of Duryodhana.

Sometimes harsh words are needed to keep a person from taking the wrong path, but if we have not invested in developing a good relationship with the person, such harsh words may not be taken in the right way.

Comment by Sukhada Prabhu: Perhaps you did not personally insult your classmate, but remained silent when others did and thus she considered you a party to it. So we also have a responsibility to speak out against injustice and not remain silent.

There is one Indian poet who says that many people will be willing to hear you, if you speak sweetly like a cuckoo and not harshly like a crow.

Sunanda Prabhu:


The holy name is always pure, but conditioned souls are covered by a mist, which makes it difficult to perceive the pure name.

Not blaspleming the devotees who are preaching the holy name includes devotees in other traditions, and even all living entities.

The other offenses arise because of inattention.

Even if we become free of all offenses, if we cannot give up thinking in terms of “I” and “mine,” we will not attain Krishna prema [love of God].

Some people say that Srila Prabhupada made mistakes by arranging the marriages of devotees who later broke up. But it was not Srila Prabhupada’s fault the marriages broke up. The individuals involved lost their focus on pleasing Krishna and sought sense enjoyment through the marriages, and when the marriages did not meet their expectations in that way, they abandoned them, but that was in ignorance of Srila Prabhupada’s instructions.

The distinguishing feature of a sadhu is unalloyed devotion to Krishna. Superficially one may criticize Arjuna saying his violence in killing is not characteristic of a sadhu, but because he was actually following Krishna’s instructions, he was not actually acting out of violence.

Chanting one pure name can destroy all sins, but in the beginning some traces of sinfulness may remain. If one criticizes, such a sincere devotee, he falls under the wrath of Krishna.

A pure devotee is infused with the spiritual energy of the Lord, and when we contact such a person, the spiritual energy moves within us.

Sometimes people criticize a Vaishnava for his caste, previous sinful activities, traces of sinful reactions, unpremeditated sinful acts, but these reasons are not justified because the devotee is so dear to the Lord for chanting the holy name, He does not consider these faults to be significant.

Giving up association with those who are not devotionally inclined is important because by associating nondevotees we can become implicated in blaspheming the devotees of the Lord.

If a guru becomes a impersonalist or  a sense gratifier, he can be rejected.

Q [by Ali Krishna]: From my study of other religions, I see many recommend isolating themselves from those not following their practice. Is that a universal spiritual principle?

A: It is true that monks stay in monasteries, etc., so it is an important principal.

Some devotees, who have a particular skill, after many years practicing devotional service, decide they will go, and for example, play rock music and try to preach to other rock musicians. But Prabhupada wanted us to convince musicians to engage their talent in Krishna’s service and not to become professional musicians to do it.

In trying to creating an ideal situation for us to progress spiritually, we can end up getting in a spiritual rut.

Tamohara Prabhu [from a Sunday feast lecture in Alachua on faith]:


Sometimes intellectual people think that faith is for the ignorant, but in reality, faith leads to knowledge and realization.

Much of our lives we spend in our mind. It is easier to understand that we are not the body, but to understand we are not the mind is more difficult. When we understand we are not the mind, then we can spend less time lost in our own mind.

The whole process of devotional service begins with faith, which drives one to associate with devotees and take up devotional service.

The devotee maintains faith, despite inevitably difficulties, that Krishna is there and understands our heart and is our well-wisher.

If you go to the White House you cannot demand to see the president, similarly we cannot demand to see God.

We accept what God gives us and what is His plan for us.

Lord Caitanya is the most merciful incarnation because He comes in the mood of Srimati Radharani.

In Kali-yuga, we are very stubborn because we have been around in this material world for a long time. Thus Krishna does not demand our surrender but just asks that we chant His holy name.

“Work is love made visible”, a quote by Kahil Gibran, describes bhakti, devotional service.

Krishna Kesava Prabhu:

Ignorance causes fear and misery.

It is good that people are worried about 2012 because it may motivate them to take shelter of God.

No one asks for problems, but Queen Kunti is such a pure devotee, she recognizes that she always remembers Krishna when she is in distress, and thus she asks Krishna for more distress so that she will always remember Krishna.

We cannot really help each other at the time of death, but Krishna can help us because He is the supreme controller.

I am not seeing you, and you are not seeing me. I am seeing your body, and you are seeing my body, but I am not my body and you are not your body. When someone dies, we say that person is gone although the lifeless body may be present before us. That conscious soul that leaves at death we have never seen.

If Krishna wants to save you, then no one can kill you, and if Krishna wants to kill you then no one can save you. Therefore it is intelligent to take shelter of Krishna.

Q: Why does the sadhu bless the brahmacari to die immediately?

A: His life is so perfect now, it is better that he dies before he falls down, for then he will attain perfection.

One who is with God is always joyful.

Each morning a devotee is grateful that the Lord has allowed him to survive the night, and he knows this day might be his last, so he takes his devotional duties to God very seriously.

If you are a servant of a rich man, then you may swim in his pool, when he is not around, but if you become a servant of Krishna, he will fulfill all your needs.

These sixteen words, thirty-two syllables, of the Hare Krishna mantra, have so much power that we cannot imagine it. They can cleanse us from lifetimes of material reactions.

Just as the prisoners have to tolerate all the inconvenience of prison life, we as prisoners in the material world have to tolerate all the things that go on here.

Krishna-sharanam Prabhu:

As energies of Krishna we are all female in relationship to Krishna therefore we should not be envious Krishna for having many queens.

Although in the gopi vastra hara lila, Krishna steals away the gopis cloths, in Mahabharata when Draupadi was being disrobed, Krishna supplied additional cloth to protect her dignity. This is evidence that Krishna was not a selfish enjoyer. Krishna knew the gopis desired to have Krishna as their husband, and His stealing their clothes was His way of showing that He accepted their desire. Krishna fulfills everyone’s desire, but He may not do so in a way one expects.

Since I made the resolution “Go to mangala-arati or die!” I have been coming every day, and it has been wonderful.

Nanda Kumar: There is a pastime that Mother Sita fed Agastya Muni and his associates sumptuously but did not have sufficient water to quench their thirst. Lord Rama said in the future, when He lifted Govardhan, He would have plenty of water for them. Thus Agastya went into meditation waiting for that time, and he and his associates drank the torrents of rain supplied by Indra.


Ankush Prabhu:

According to Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, Krishna’s name-giving ceremony actually occurred before the demons Putana and Trnavarta were killed.

Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu is mentioned in the Vishnu Sahasra Nama in the Mahabharta.


Radhanatha Swami mentions while commenting on the pastime of Krishna’s denying that He ate dirt. “Here you have the Absolute Truth telling lies.”

Pride in wealth is more dangerous than pride in family or pride in knowledge, because it is the cause of all kinds of sinful activities.

Comment by Kalakantha Prabhu: That due to my karma I have little to offer to Krishna is not as important as that I offer Krishna whatever I have.

In Lord Krishna’s damodara-lila, the flowers fell from Yasoda’s hair to her feet, seeing the greatness of her devotion to Krishna.

Damodar Prasad Prabhu:

According to Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, the fruit vendor was so overwhelmed by Krishna’s beauty she ignored the fact the He offered her very few grains in exchange and gave her more fruit than an ordinary child could carry, and then He not only filled her basket with valuable jewels but also filled her heart with love of God (krishna-prema).

Krishna began taking care of the cows at age three, although as the Absolute Truth, He had no real duty.

According to Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, Krishna whirled Vatsasura into a tree because that would give pleasure to his friends.

The rascal Aghasura’s plan was to kill Krishna and his friends and offer them as pinda to benefit his forefathers who were killed by Krishna.

Sometimes Srila Prabhupada would describe imitators who pretend to be Bhagavan (God, the possessor of all opulence) as being Aghavan (the possessor of all sin).


When the cowherd boys raced to touch Krishna first, Krishna accepted their enthusiasm but said philosophically stated, “It does not matter which one of you touched me first. I consider you all fortunate because you all came to see Me.”

Derrick Prabhu:

It is said the disc on Krishna’s feet is symbolic of the destruction of the six material illusions of the aspiring devotee.

Gopastami is the other time, in addition to Radhastami, which one can see the lotus feet of Radharani.

Manu Prabhu [at the Holy Name gathering each Thursday in Alachua]: That you can be benefited so much by chanting indirectly indicates how eager Krishna is to accept whatever little we do to see us advance and come back to Him.

Mother Dipti:


Caitanya-caritamrita states that faith in Krishna alone is sufficient, and in Bhagavad-gita Krishna says those who worship demigods are less intelligent.

Krishna manifested a very huge form to convince the cowherd men that He is nondifferent from Govardhan Hill.

Prabhupada reminds us that even if a demigod becomes angry, a devotee of Krishna does not need to worry because Krishna will protect him.

The residents of Vrndavana did not feel hunger or thirst for the seven days while Krishna was holding up Govardhan Hill because their minds were absorbed in Him. Similarly Krishna was enchanted by the beauty of the gopis and also was not disturbed by hunger or thirst.

Hanan Prabhu:


“To be wrong is nothing unless you remember it.”

If I understand that I am a spiritual soul, that will make a difference in how to approach life, and how I act.

“Working in love is freedom in action.”—Tagore

Sagar: By acting in love, we less focus on ourselves.

Most people want to be more loved, but few people realize that by loving others, they will be more loved automatically.

Suzie: It is really cool when through meditation you can see that you are not your thoughts.

Walt: Being a teacher, can help you become free from your ego, because you are benefiting others.



anarpita-carīḿ cirāt karuṇayāvatīrṇaḥ kalau

samarpayitum unnatojjvala-rasāḿ sva-bhakti-śriyam

hariḥ puraṭa-sundara-dyuti-kadamba-sandīpitaḥ

sadā hṛdaya-kandare sphuratu vaḥ śacī-nandanaḥ


“May the Supreme Lord who is known as the son of Śrīmatī Śacī-devī be transcendentally situated in the innermost chambers of your heart. Resplendent with the radiance of molten gold, He has appeared in the Age of Kali by His causeless mercy to bestow what no incarnation has ever offered before: the most sublime and radiant mellow of devotional service, the mellow of conjugal love.” (Śrī Caitanya-caritamṛta, Ādi-līlā 1.4)

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Dandavats.com: Double-voice amplification kirtans in Iskcon Mayapur

By Chandrashekhara Acharya das

What I mean by double-voice amplification kirtan is a kirtan in which the leader sings into the microphone, after which a second devotee also sings into the microphone. It is a style of kirtan in which amplification takes place on both the call and on the response throughout the kirtan; in other words, there is constant amplification

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Kripamoya dasa, UK: Preserving the Vaishnava past – for the future

I am still troubled by the attack on a historical Vaishnava site that took place recently. I felt the same way when the Taliban blew up the ancient Buddhas in Afghanistan. I’m not a Buddhist, but something precious was lost to the world when they did that.

Desecrating a site of great spiritual significance to thousands of people is bad enough, but when ancient artifacts are destroyed we lose some of our links with history. Some things in this world just cannot be replaced, and when we lose personal items of the Vaishnava saints or their writings I feel that is a tremendous loss.

So I was heartened today to read of a project to locate and record for posterity some of the mediaeval scriptures associated with the Vaishnava line of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Manuscripts on crumbling materials are still being preserved and protected in remote parts of West Bengal. Writings by such persons as Srila Gadadhara Pandit, Srila Ishvara Puri, and Srila Vrindavan Das Thakur still exist today. You can read a report of the latest progress on Hari Sauri’s website ‘Lotus Imprints’ right here

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H.H. Prahladananda Swami: Lecture – BG 10.8 Sunday Feast- Napoleon’s Dynamite 4-17-2011

H.H. Prahladananda Swami: Lecture – BG 10.8 Sunday Feast- Napoleon’s Dynamite 4-17-2011

H.H. Prahladananda Swami: Lecture – BG 10.8 Sunday Feast- Napoleon’s Dynamite 4-17-2011

BG 10.08 Sunday Feast- Napoleon’s Dynamite 2011-04-17

Lecture – Bhagavad Gita 10.8 Sunday Feast- Napoleon’s Dynamite 4-17-2011 Los Angeles (cows) (evolution)

BG 10.08 Sunday Feast- Napoleon's Dynamite 2011-04-17 Lecture - Bhagavad Gita 10.8 Sunday Feast- Napoleon's Dynamite 4-17-2011 Los Angeles (cows) (evolution)
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Nityananda Chandra Das, Dallas TX: TEXAS FAITH 40: Is Hell Dead?

Dallas Morning News,
Each week we will post a question to a panel of about two dozen clergy, laity and theologians, all of whom are based in Texas or are from Texas. They will chime in with their responses to the question of the week. And you, readers, will be able to respond to their answers through the comment box.

For Christians, this is Holy Week, culminating in the Easter pageant being celebrated over the weekend.
With that as its hook,
TIME has once again weighed in with one of its meaty cover stories dealing with religion. In the 1960s, TIME shook up things by posing this question: Is God Dead?
Now, the magazine is featuring a cover story by journalist and author Jon Meacham, who is exploring this question: Is Hell Dead?
Meacham's essay is spurred by the work of none other than evangelical minister Rob Bell, author of the book "Love Wins." As Meacham notes, the book is a stir because it's the work of an evangelical, whose tradition is rooted in the saved being guaranteed acceptance into heaven because of their acceptance of Jesus as their Lord and Savior. But Bell, writes Meacham, has been asking whether hell exists. Here's an excerpt from the article, which you can read in full at the above link:
"When we get to what happens when we die, we don't have any video footage," says Bell. "So let's at least be honest that we are speculating, because we are." He is quick to note, though, that his own speculation, while unconventional, is not unprecedented. "At the center of the Christian tradition since the first church," Bell writes, "have been a number who insist that history is not tragic, hell is not forever, and love, in the end, wins and all will be reconciled to God."
Of course, as Meacham notes, there are many ramifications to the answer. Writes Meacham, who also pioneered the Washington Post's On Faith blog:
"From a traditionalist perspective, though, to take away hell is to leave the church without its most powerful sanction. If heaven, however defined, is everyone's ultimate destination in any event, then what's the incentive to confess Jesus as Lord in this life? If, in other words, Gandhi is in heaven, then why bother with accepting Christ? If you say the Bible doesn't really say what a lot of people have said it says, then where does that stop? If the verses about hell and judgment aren't literal, what about the ones on adultery, say, or homosexuality?"
With that as the backdrop, here is this week's question:

Is Hell Dead?

If you think so, please explain your position. If you don't believe so, please explain that view.

NITYANANDA CHANDRA DAS, minister of ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness), Dallas

It is not just the illogical concept of eternal hell that many religions of this world struggle to validate but also the illogical circumstances of innocents (children) suffering in the presence of an omni-benevolent Lord. For both these topics, intelligence and logic only reveal their heads when another factor is present -- rebirth, also known as reincarnation.

In our society we have what is called correctional facilities because compassion dictates that not only should punishment be a source of discouragement towards future sinful acts, but also a form of reformation from our present and past acts. Therefore it is called a correctional facility. If hell were eternal, there would be no opportunity of correction.

In my own meager heart I could forgive an assaulter of my family say after millions of years of suffering. Is my compassion more full and is my justice more just than that of the Lord Krishna Himself? No.

Everyone in this world enjoys or suffers according to their past deeds of previous lives, karma. It is God's perfect law of protection, Karma, that one cannot suffer anything that is not due to oneself. Thus in this world people are born into unequal circumstances. Not due to an unequal Lord but rather under the perfect arrangement of an all-loving God.

If one has done terrible misdeeds (murder) in this life, then birth on Earth may not be terrible enough to exhaust one's sinful debts. Therefore, there are other planets in this universe that one can take birth on that have more suffering than the Earth can offer. However, such hells are never eternal, rather one is only forced to live in such circumstances as per their misdeeds. It is not that 80 years of sin equals an eternity of suffering. There is no logic and intelligence behind this.

Because time is not only relative to space and speed but also to pain and pleasure, time in a hellish life is experienced slower. Try holding on to a red hot iron rod and watch the seconds go by and you will see what I mean. So because of this, time in hell may be experienced longer than the actual time that passes on Earth. Those who lack mathematical sophistication cannot understand time periods of 10,000 years or 100,000 years. Therefore, when communicating to such persons it is most practical to use the word eternal.

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Krishna Dharma dasa, UK: Verses from Vidagdha Madhava

Purva raga

My friend I am severely struck and all my sense departs
when Krishna’s name enters my ears and lodges in my heart.
And then there is another one whose flute enchants my mind,
seizing it with such madness, that I can no peace find.
Again there is a third one, whose brilliance I see
in pictures of purest beauty that are entrancing me.
Shame upon my sinful self for loving all these three
at once, and thus I think it best if death did now take me.

My dearest love, your loveliness within my mind impressed
does agitate my aching heart with pangs of deep distress.
For you are gone and in this grief I know not where to flee.
For here and there and on all sides your face I simply see.

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Madhava Ghosh dasa, New Vrndavan, USA: Separation

“A devotee in love with God feels always the pangs of separation and is therefore always enwrapped in transcendental ecstasy.”

Srimad Bhagvatam 1.6.20

“We could not seek God unless He were seeking us. We may begin to seek Him in desolation, feeling nothing but His absence. But the mere fact that we seek Him proves that we have already found Him.”

A Merton Reader, ed. by Thomas P. McDonnell, (New York: Image Books, 1989) 134

Filed under: Thomas Merton
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Ananda Subramanian, Iowa, USA: Devotees from Dravida-desa

My dear King, the inhabitants of Satya-yuga and other ages eagerly desire to take birth in this age of Kali, since in this age there will be many devotees of the Supreme Lord, Narayana. These devotees will appear in various places but will be especially numerous in South India. O master of men, in the age of Kali those persons who drink the waters of the holy rivers of Dravida-desa, such as the Tamraparni, Krtamala, Payasvini, the extremely pious Kaveri and the Pratici Mahanadi, will almost all be purehearted devotees of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vasudeva. – SB 11.5.38-40

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David Haslam, UK: Clarification

I have been asked recently to clarify my position in regards to the centers here in Wales and why travel so far and undertake service in one of the London Temples. So I have decided that it is best not only to address this in a public forum but also to reiterate an undertaking that [...]

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Mayapuris, USA: Southern Hospitality Tour!

Well I do declare!

We’re hitting up the South this time, guys. Though we’re based in Florida, we have done most of our touring abroad, and now we’re bringing it home! From the bayou to the borderlands, follow us as we hit up yoga studios, music festivals, and cultural expositions from the white beaches of the panhandle to the swelter of good ol’ Texas. Here are the dates and venues:


April 28th- Agame Yoga & Meditation Center (Baton Rouge)
April 30th- Ifest (Houston)
May 1st- Ifest (Houston)
May 5th- Yoga Rasa (Houston, Tx)
May 6th- Ekam Yoga (Atascocita, Tx)
May7th- Asian/Pacific American Heritage Association (Houston)
May8th – Gouranga Hall @ Hare Krishna temple (Houston)
May 10th- Kalachandji’s (Dallas)
May 12th- JoyFlow Yoga (Jackson, Ms)
May 13th- Wild Lotus Yoga (New Orleans)
May 14th- Space 301 (Mobile, Al)
May 15th- Fish Tree Yoga (Pensacola, Fl)

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Maddy Jean-claude Durr, New Govardhana, AU: March Magic (Radhadesh)

March was a magic month.  I discovered the beauty of the Radhadesh countryside and the vigour of walking.  There are many walking tracks and even more interesting things if you delve off a little.  It was the first time that I noticed the return of sunshine, and with it came the return of lingering tourists.  My daily walks also included daily visits to the Gosala, to see the cows, and the sunshine incited devotees to go on spontaneous harinams in the local towns.

We had a lot to celebrate in the month of March.  Firstly we partied hard for Nimai.  My present for him was to arrange a Hare Krsna trivia game, based on America’s Jeopardy.  It was intense and philosophical, and I was fearful for my life at times.  We also celebrated finished essays and generally met up a lot in the abode of Nimai and Vinod Mataji (our/Nimai’s mum).  And, for the most of it, (something very significant for me) the dish of choice was pasta.

The big news for me this month, from outside of Radhadesh, was that my brothers were coming to Polish tour this year.  It started out with one (Nitai), then the next was soon confirmed (Rupa) and finally it was the whole gang (adding on Bhisma).  For the rest of the Radhadesh crew the talk was summer camp.  They had a successful camp last year and they were looking to do another.  It seemed like everyone had a great summer planned out.

The only course work for the start of the month was a Care for Devotees seminar, led by HH Yadunandana Swami.  Some appreciation for the course was curbed by the intensity of essay deadlines; we had our Modern Interpretations of the Bhagavad-Gita essay to do and the other years had built up a fair load work.  It was tough but we learned some nice lessons.  Finally we all came together at the restaurant for a big pizza bash to celebrate another successful term of Bhaktivedanta College.

It wasn’t all over after our final exam; we still had a pending deadline that weekend for our final essay on Modern Interpretations to Bhagavad-Gita.  For some reason, it was hard to produce it in the time allocated but it was somehow managed (by the Krsna factor).  Many students, besides me, opted for extensions and indeed the other years of College had essays all holidays.  Nonetheless we made the best to have some time out and see the world.

The first agenda for the holidays was some peace of mind.  The walks continued and the visits to the Gosala increased parallel.  Eventually Surya Kunda Prabhu (the care giver of the cows of Radhadesh) invited us to milk Ganga (the mother cow).  It just so happened that we walked down there at an appropriate time in the afternoon, when the cows were giving milk.  We were in a small group, I took one side of the cow and Katyayani Mataji (from Brussels) took the other and then Surya finished it off.  It was the first time in my memory that I ever milked a cow.  The whole experience made me feel closer to Vrndavana Krsna, the eternal cowherd bow.

We had an outrageous weekend.  It started with Partha Sarathi, his Sankirtana Saturday and an amazing parallel of Gaurapurnima day.  We continued on to Antwerp the next day, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Deities there.  The temple was too small for the event so we found ourselves in a spacious community hall.  Our crew did kirtana for the crowds, while an abhiseka went on and I mingled with some of the Radhadesh devotees who were spending their holidays on sankirtana in Antwerp.  We ended up that night in Brussels, tired and satisfied.

We spent a couple days in Brussels, Katyayani showing us around her local city.  We saw all the sights, did some much needed shopping and had some crucial relaxation time.  The mood was a lot like my old friends from New Govardhana gurukula, so I was feeling very nostalgic and at the same time was satisfied to fill some gaps that were empty for some time in my consciousness.

We returned to Radhadesh and found ourselves back in the forest; the difference now was that we had an enlarged group.  We took great solace in exploring the vast landscapes that the Lord had provided and our minds finally had some time to unwind, and think of deeper subjects outside the hustle and bustle.  This soon dissipated as we started back up the new term, starting with our intensely intellectual classes on Vaisnava Vedanta.  We were well refreshed and keen to dig into another term of Bhaktivedanta College.





Read original post: [http://maddmonk.wordpress.com/2011/04/19/march-magic]




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Dandavats.com: New Dwarika Dham, Iskcon Nyali Temple Opening

By Sri Gauranga Das

On 12th of April 2011, Mombasa, Kenya celebrated a very special Ram Navami festival as a beautiful new ISKCON temple was opened and Their Lordships Sri Sri Sita Rama Laksman Hanuman were installed and welcomed to reside in Nyali to give Their blessings to all the residents of Mombasa

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Dandavats.com: Food for Life Tsunami relief in Japan

Food for Life Global: Food for Life Global affiliates ISKCON Japan and Govindas Restaurant with the generous support of international and local donors embarked on a 5 hour car ride from Tokyo to five refugee shelters in North Eastern Japan. Cooks from the Govindas restaurant in Funabori (Tokyo) began cooking around 3.30am. At 5.30am a convoy of three SUVs filled with cooked food and fresh fruits and vegetables, left Govinda’s vegetarian restaurant, finally arriving at the first of five shelters in the Miyagi prefecture around 11am Sunday morning

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Dandavats.com: Festival Of Inspiration 2011 Schedule

Malati dasi: Festival Of Inspiration 2011 Schedule

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Mayapur Online: Admissions open at SMIS

Sri Mayapur International School is now accepting applications for admission for the new academic year beginning on the  1st August 2011. The school takes students aged between 3-18 years of age and provides both spiritual and academic studies .  The closing date for applications is 16th June 2011.

For more information, or  to apply online, please see our website www.mayapurschool.com

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Dandavats.com: Health Crisis Forces Sale Of Custom Built Eco/vastu Home On Five Acres In Saranagati

Karunamayi dd: If you appreciate quality, value and craftsmanship, consider this piece of paradise called Bhakti Kutir, lovingly built and developed by Yamuna devi and Dinatarini devi

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Dandavats.com: New life sprouts in Old East Dallas neighborhood

Jessika L. Huseman: The garden is the mission of a church member who goes by the spiritual name Shalagram. He presented the idea to the temple’s governing council, and it rents plots to residents regardless of their membership in the temple

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Dandavats.com: Another reason to be vegetarian

Shyamasundara Dasa: Another reason to be a vegetarian. Video about "Meatglue - Gluing meat together". Unbelieavable!

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H.H. Sivarama Swami: Vijaya Krsna took initiation in Gaudiya-math 2 years ago and when his father took ill and passed away he lost faith in Krsna and now only chants one round and feels his bhakti is gone

H.H. Sivarama Swami: Vijaya Krsna took initiation in Gaudiya-math 2 years ago and when his father took ill and passed away he lost faith in Krsna and now only chants one round and feels his bhakti is gone

Sivarama Swami

Vijaya Krsna took initiation in Gaudiya-math 2 years ago and when his father took ill and passed away he lost faith in Krsna and now only chants one round and feels his bhakti is gone
April 19th, 2011
What to do?
[ 8:19 ]
H.H. Sivarama Swami: Vijaya Krsna took initiation in Gaudiya-math 2 years ago and when his father took ill and passed away he lost faith in Krsna and now only chants one round and feels his bhakti is gone

What to do?

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Subhavilasa das ACBSP, Toronto, CA: "I never left the country, but Krishna House felt like another world."

Ashkuff shared the below comment on the original post from April 11th  which included the article that appeared in the "Alligator". So we wanted to  share his blog link below (which has some great pictures) as well as the excellent film he produced.

Comment from Ashkuff:
Hey, hey!
Glad to see news got out.
If you want to see the "Krishna Cooking Show" film, and photographs of the presentation, just check out
Thanks for posting!

A favorite line:
Song, dance, a hungry blue-skinned God, kitchen religion, food and MORE FOOD. I never left the county, but Krishna House felt like another world.

Presenting the film:

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Toronto Sankirtan Team, CA: Monthly Sankirtan Festival - Ramanvami Special

On April 30th, we will be celebrating the 23rd Monthly Sankirtan Festival with a very special Ramanavami Theme! When Sita was kidnapped by Ravana and was held hostage in Lanka, Lord Rama was able to rescue Sita from the evil clutches of Ravana with the help of Hanuman and his enthusiastic monkey army!

In the special mood of Hanuman and his monkey army, we will be heading out on the streets to help bring back Sita to Lord Rama and we will be doing this by sharing the love of Krsna Consciousness through kirtan, books, prasadam and a friendly smile!

There is service for everyone - help before, during or after the sankirtan festival in whichever way you like. This festival is an ideal opportunity to meditate on Lord Rama and his glories! Please join us for this amazing festival!

“Ramacandra's life… if we hear, that means we are associating with Ramacandra. There is no difference between His form, His name, His pastimes and Himself. He's absolute. Therefore either you chant the holy name of Rama, see the statue of Rama, or talk of His pastimes ;it means you are associating with the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
So we take advantage of these days when the incarnation of God appears or disappears and try to associate with Him. By His association we become purified.”
- Srila Prabhupada lecture, March 27, 1969, Hawaii

See you soon! Please email toronto.sankirtan@gmail.com for more information.

4:30am Mangal Arti, Japa
7:45am Bhagavatam Class
9:15-10:00 am Building the Mood - Training & Goals
11:00am-2:00pm Street Sankirtan
2:00pm Maha-Harinama
2:30pm Lunch Prasad at the temple

How can YOU help?

1. Prepare Prasadam for distribution: From the comforts of your home prepare dry non-perishable prasad for distribution. Our goal is to distribute 5,000 pieces of prasad.
2. Package Prasadam for distribution: Friday 25th March 2011, 6:30-8:30pm
3. Stamp and pack books for distribution: Friday 25th March 2011, 6:30 PM - 8:30pm
4. Help with Logistics/Transportation: Saturday 26th March
5. Prepare Prasadam for Sankirtan team: Saturday 26th March 6:00-10:00am
6. Participate in Harinam - sing along, lead kirtan, play an instrument, hand out cookies or distribute books: Saturday 26th March; 11:00-3:00pm

Though the weather is improving, it is Toronto and sometimes, we are subjected to very strange weather patterns! Please bring a light jacket and an umbrella!

See you on April 30th!

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Atma Yoga, Brisbane, AU: Atma Closed for Easter Holiday

Atma Yoga will be closed from Friday the 22nd of April until Tuesday the 26th of April.

Classes will recommence on Wednesday the 27th April.

See you all then, and have a safe and relaxing holiday!

The Atma Crew

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Bhakta Chris, New York, USA: The Intersection-Spirit Not Commodity

Spirit Not Commodity

The strength of Thomas Merton's prophetic voice was particularly potent is his ruthless observations of what mass media, mass industry, and mass technology were doing to the human spirit, leading us to a potential abyss of Orwellian visions come alight to destroy our privacy, our integrity, and our worth as individuals. Speaking from the platform of the 1960's, his observations, concerns, and calling out reach to us even sharper today, as we look towards a “Blade Runner” future that looms like a whirlpool before us, inexorably sucking us in.

He writes:

The Greeks believes that when a man had too much power for his own good the gods ruined him by helping him increase his power at the expense of wisdom, prudence, temperance, and humanity until it led automatically to his own destruction.

What I am saying is, then, that it does us no good to make fantastic progress if we do not know how to live with it, if we cannot make good use of it, and if, in fact our technology becomes nothing more than an expensive and complicated way of cultural disintegration...The fact remains that we have created for ourselves a culture which is not yet livable for mankind as a whole.”1

This immersion in the glittering silicon progress becomes a drowning of our spirit when the flickering of the TV and computer screen replaces the connection to our conscience, and when the voices from these screens become unquestioning authorities in our life beyond philosophical and moral reproach.

One question essentially sticks out: Is our technological age, an age of human progress beyond apparent limit, even the “limitation” of sacrifice and obligation to God, actually creating a better present and a better future? Are we actually progressing, or is this a terrible illusion?

Merton is not hopeful of this progress if the forces of material science and technology are allowed to rule without careful consideration of their consequences, or without any link to the spiritual realities and obligations of selfless love and care. He writes:

The central problem of the modern world is the complete emancipation and autonomy of the technological mind at a time when unlimited possibilities lie open to it and all the resources seem to be at hand. Indeed, the mere fact of questioning this emancipation, this autonomy, is the number-one blasphemy, the unforgivable sin in the eyes of modern man, whose faith begins with this: science can do everything, science must be permitted to do everything it likes, science is infallible and impeccable, all that is done by science is right.

The consequence of this is that technology and science are now responsible to no power and submit to no control other than their own...Technology has its own ethic of expediency and efficiency. What can be done efficiently must be done in the most efficient way-even if what is done happens, for example, to be genocide or the devastation of a country by total war.”2

This struggle between forces of power blind to ethics going against the spiritual way of life, of a developed humanity steeped in compassion and the depth of awareness, goes to the very heart of our individual and collective existences. If our society is geared to the mass forces of blind power and profit, buttressed by the increasing paradoxical sense of control/anarchy that comes from the misuse of science and technology, then we are only geared to our lower nature, to our lust, greed, and envy. We will remain senseless in all senses to our spiritual heritage, what to speak of the realm of ethics which comes from that heritage.

We are fully dynamic spiritual individuals, capable of the highest and deepest love with each other and with God. If we choose to give ourselves without compulsion and contemplation to this inhuman and impersonal machine of power and profit, we become like that machine, like unfeeling and incomprehensible animals running only on a perverted instinct.

We have chosen to become numbers, commodities, products, anything else but who we actually are, anything else but our natural, spiritual being. From this, we suffer in unspeakable ways, bringing this pain deep into our own existence and into the existence of all other sentient life.

Merton writes:

It is by means of technology that man the person, the subject of qualified and perfectible freedom, become quantified, that is, becomes part of a mass-mass man-whose only function is to enter anonymously into the processes of production and consumption.

He becomes one side an implement, a 'hand', or better, a 'bio-physical link' between machines: on the other side he is a mouth, a digestive system and an anus, something through which pass the products of his technological world, leaving a transient and meaningless sense of enjoyment.

The effect of a totally emancipated technology is the regression of man to a climate of moral infancy, in total dependence not on 'mother nature'...but on the pseudonature of technology, which has replaced nature by a closed system of mechanisms with no purpose but that of keeping themselves going.”3

The basic problem is that our character is stained on a very fundamental level at the base of our being. This stain is, as mentioned above, our deep inner hypocrisy and selfishness. The rise of technology is, in many ways, reflecting this stain out into our external world. Somehow, by our unyielding and often merciless intelligence, we have discovered how these mystic powers can be best used to shape our way of life, but because we have largely lost our sense of responsibility towards our self and towards each other, we use these powers to create a situation largely intolerable towards the cultivation of our deeper spiritual reality.

From his vantage point in the early 1960's, before our time of instant thought transmission and criticism via 24/7 news cycles and all-pervading social networking and observation, Merton's prophetic voice rings out to us to understand our stain, to understand our sickness, and to do something about it. He writes:

The greatest need of our time is to clean out the enormous mass of mental and emotional rubbish that clutters our minds and makes of all political and social life a mass illness. Without this housecleaning we cannot begin to see. Unless we see we cannot think.”4

He continues:

Nothing can take the place of thoughts. If we do not think, we cannot act freely. If we do not act freely, we are at the mercy of forces which we never understand, forces which are arbitrary, destructive, blind, fatal to us and to our world.

If we do not use our minds to think with, we are heading for extinction, like the dinosaur: for the massive physical strength of the dinosaur became useless, purposeless. It led to his destruction. Our intellectual power can likewise become useless, purposeless. When it does, it will serve only to destroy us. It will devise instruments for our destruction, and will inexorably proceed to use them...It has already devised them.”5

The committed spiritual activist thus deeply understands the imperative need to purge and purify the consciousness and the space in which our consciousness interacts. Through this cleansing, the truth, the actual spiritual truth, can shine through, can be visible again. When this torchlight of actual knowledge shines through, the darkness born of ignorance has no place to stand.

We may take to the streets to protest and to even give our lives against the corporate, industrial, and military structures representing and implementing the interests of this cold, impersonal machine. We may consider ourselves as no longer a “blind follower” of this machine, of possessing an individual integrity that refuses to be crushed under tank wheels and wireless radiation.

Despite this conviction, we need to look at the actual, bigger picture. Do we actually succeed in what we set out to do, in the revolutions we attempt to create? Do we actually overthrow what we set out to overthrow? Do we even understand what success is? Do we know what it takes to set one apart from the impersonal flow towards an actualization of being? What the committed spiritual activist can offer in this arena is an understanding of our self and our predicament that transcends the cold, impersonal machine within us, a machine that runs on the oil of selfish greed. Within us instead is a greater and more bold power, the power of God nourished and nurtured by our faith put into action, into expression, and into an undeniable reality.

1Merton, Conjectures Of A Guilty Bystander, 73

2Merton, 75

3Merton. 77

4Merton, 77

5Merton, 79

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Gouranga TV: Lecture – Vishvambhar das – SB 10.2.9 – Lord Balaram

Lecture – Vishvambhar das – SB 10.2.9 – Lord Balaram

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ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Rama Navami Photos


...and here is the second
slideshow of the Temple celebrations on Lord Rama's appearance day.

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ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Today's Darsana

In his 'Akrodha Paramananda Nityananda Raya', Srila Locana dasa Thakura discloses that Nitai Candra never gets angry!:

"...He is always in the ecstasy of supreme bliss. He has no false ego. He wanders to every town and village in Nadia, chanting Hare Krsna, dancing and offering krsna-prema indiscriminately to everyone..."

By taking the
darsana of Nitai Gosai may He liberally infuse some of His qualities in us also, afflicted residents of this age of Kali.

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