lunes, 18 de julio de 2011

Subhavilasa das ACBSP, Toronto, CA: Tulasi Jala Dan has begun...


----- Original Message -----
From: FeedBlitz
Sent: Saturday, April 16, 2011 7:56 AM
Subject: Planet ISKCON - 43 new articles

Your email updates, powered by FeedBlitz

Here are the latest updates for  

"Planet ISKCON" - 43 new articles

  1. H.G. Sankarshan das Adhikari, USA: Saturday 16 April 2011--For a Devotee More Sadness Means More Bliss--and--How to Do Perfect Japa?
  2. ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Today's Darsana
  3. Bhakta Chuck, CT, USA: Friday Night Oxen #52
  4. 16 Rounds to Samadhi Magazine, LA, USA: Bombarack- Learning from Forced Situations?
  5. 16 Rounds to Samadhi Magazine, LA, USA: Why is There Suffering in the World?
  6. Subhavilasa das ACBSP, Toronto, CA: Tulasi Jala Dan has begun...
  7. ISKCON Donate to the Temple Of Vedic Planetarium Online
  8. 16 Rounds to Samadhi Magazine, LA, USA: Austerity- The Bliss of Restraint
  9. ISKCON The Spiritual Warriors Return to Guyana
  10. 16 Rounds to Samadhi Magazine, LA, USA: The Grim Reaper
  11. ISKCON Armed Agents Kidnap Child From Mother Who Refused To Use Pharmaceutical Drugs
  12. 16 Rounds to Samadhi Magazine, LA, USA: The Spring Lesson
  13. Japa Group: Surrender With Faith
  14. New Vrndavan, USA: Early April Garden update
  15. ISKCON Amazing Cambodia
  16. Bhakti Vikasa Swami: Chanting bona fide songs and following the previous acaryas
  17. Bhakti Vikasa Swami: My schedule
  18. ISKCON Controversy over Creation and Evolution: Christians Battle it Out
  19. ISKCON Jobless Ultra-Orthodox Weigh On Israel's Economy
  20. ISKCON Toronto, Canada: A Positive Review!
  21. H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami (Ret.): 281—Poem for April 15
  22. H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami (Ret.): OLD FRIENDS
  23. Akrura das, Gita Coaching: CHOICE MAP
  24. Cambodia the Amazing
  25. Ananda Subramanian, Iowa, USA: Realize God in Truth
  26. A Submissive Submission :-)
  27. Navadwipa Mandala Parikrama 2011
  28. WSN February 2011 - World Sankirtan Newsletter
  29. Rupa Madhurya das, TX, USA: Bhajan - 24hr Kirtan - Neha - 15/26
  30. Gaura-shakti Kirtan, Toronto, CA: Total Health Show 2011 - Spiritual Sounds Stood Out!
  31. H.H. Sivarama Swami: Remembering Navadvipa-mandala parikrama 19 years ago when, as Govinda Maharaja wrote “we were lean and full of fire.”
  32. Madhava Ghosh dasa, New Vrndavan, USA: Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us
  33. H.H. Sivarama Swami: Food prices: World Bank warns millions face poverty
  34. Matsyavatara das (ACBSP), Italy: Being or becoming conscious of God. By Matsya Avatara dasa
  35. Ananda Subramanian, Iowa, USA: Man
  36. Bhakti Lata, Alachua, USA: Mystic Moment
  37. ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Today's Darsana
  38. Gouranga TV: Lecture – Mukunda Datta das – SB 1.16 – How Parikshit Received the Age of Kali
  39. ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Japa Retreat Briefing
  40. ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Seminar - Narayani Mataji
  41. ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Daily Class - Nanda Mandir Prabhu
  42. Vraja Kishor, JP: “Pure” (Gita 10.31)
  43. Japa Group: Krsna In The Wrestling Arena
  44. More Recent Articles
  45. Search Planet ISKCON
  46. Prior Mailing Archive

H.G. Sankarshan das Adhikari, USA: Saturday 16 April 2011--For a Devotee More Sadness Means More Bliss--and--How to Do Perfect Japa?

j A daily broadcast of the Ultimate Self Realization Course(TM) Saturday 16 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: For a Devotee More Sadness Means More Bliss Uploaded from Riga, Latvia Although it seems quite illogical and contradictory, the more a devotee feels sadness within his heart to see the suffering condition of the world population, which is completely lost in illusion, the more he realizes deep transcendental bliss within his heart. How can this be? The way it works is this: Unhappiness is due to selfishness. The more we think only of ourselves, the more we become miserable. And the more we become selfless, concerned for the well-being of others, the more we become happy. Therefore that person who is trying to do the highest good for all living beings, who finds it intolerable that the entire world is lacking Krishna consciousness, and who thus is devastated to see its deplorable condition, realizes the highest happiness within himself. This is why a Vaisnava is said to be an ocean of mercy and is described in the Sanskrit language as para-duhkha-duhkh, one who suffers to see the suffering of others. Sankarshan Das Adhikari Compassionate Srila Prabhupada Chanting On San Francisco's Hippy Hill in 1967 Answers According to the Vedic Version: Question: How to Do Perfect Japa? What is the proper method, technique, or way of doing perfect japa? How one can avoid different kinds of thoughts while doing japa? Renu Answer: Precisely Follow These Instructions The perfection of japa is to hear and chant each syllable and to call out to the Lord and His energy like a small child crying for its mother begging to be engaged in their pure devotional service. If you will totally absorb yourself in such a way, you will experience such a sweet taste from Krishna's name that you will not want to turn your attention anywhere else. Sankarshan Das Adhikari Transcendental Resources: Receive the Special Blessings of Krishna Now you too can render the greatest service to the suffering humanity and attract the all-auspicious blessings of Lord Sri Krishna upon yourself and your family by assisting our mission. Lectures and Kirtans in Audio and Video: Link to High Definition Videos Link to Over 1,000 Lecture Audios Lecture-Travel Schedule for 2011 Have Questions or Need Further Guidance? Check out the resources at: or write Sankarshan Das Adhikari at: Get your copy today of the world's greatest self-realization guide book, Bhagavad-gita As It Is available at: Know someone who could benefit from this? Forward it to them. Searchable archives of all of course material: Receive Thought for the Day as an RSS feed: Unsubscribe or change your email address Follow us on Twitter: Copyright 2005-2011 by Ultimate Self Realization.Com Distribution of this material is encouraged. Simply we request you to acknowledge where it is coming from with a link to our sign up page: Our records indicate that at requested to be enrolled to receive e-mails from the Ultimate Self Realization Course at: This request was made on: From the following IP address:

Email to a friend

ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Today's Darsana

Sri Sri Radha Krishna have dived in a stream of pearls today, which reminds us of that verse where Krishna affirms that:

"Everything rests upon Me, as pearls are strung on a thread."
(Bhagavad Gita 7.7)

On the same thread of thoughts, here is a string of pictures of Krishna's pearl-like

Email to a friend


Bhakta Chuck, CT, USA: Friday Night Oxen #52

Dear Friends,

This weeks Friday Night Oxen marks week 52 and the last of the regular weekly presentations. And with it, this phase of my seva to the Oxen has come full circle. I want to thank everyone for sharing this journey with me, for not only the kind words of encouragement and thoughtful comments, but for your unique insights and challenges, as well. I hope you have benefited in some small way from this journey too.

I do not know in what direction I will take the blog from here. I want to continue to post, though less frequently and it is my hope to seek out and share more direct experiences with Oxen. I will keep you up to date with Jigger & Jolly…tomorrow we are celebrating Earth Day a week early by travelling the back roads near Local Farm, picking up litter along the roadside left behind by the long winter.

“Padayatra is a Sanskrit word and consists of two terms. ‘Pada’ means foot, and the meaning of the word ‘Yatra” is a festival.” I become captivated by this idea sometime ago last year and was very fortunate to have email contact with Gadadhar das in the Czech Republic. He tells us that Bala is the nigh ox and is grey and Nanda in the off ox and is brown. Bala is Hungarian Steppe and Nanda is Czech Limousine. Bala is now about 15 and since he is a “great veteran” of the Padayatra since about 1996, he has been retired. Nanda at 8 years now shares his service with 4 year-old Dharma. You will recognize Dharma as the nigh brown Jersey.

They are trained mainly by their Padayatra driver Paramahamsa prabhu and are living on the ISKCON farm near Prague.

To find out more, click here 

Have a nice weekend, in further service to the Oxen

ys, Chuck
Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Hare Hare 
Hare Rāma Hare Rāma Rāma Rāma Hare Hare


Email to a friend


16 Rounds to Samadhi Magazine, LA, USA: Bombarack- Learning from Forced Situations?

People naturally want to have a say in the decision making process of their own destinies. Probably one of the worst feelings one can have is a lack of freedom to make decisions about one's own fate.

With all the rapidly happening things in the world today, events in Egypt are quickly sinking into history. However, while thinking about the dramatic events in the recent history of that country, I am reminded of wise teachings.

The Trouble

When did the trouble of the Egyptians start? It is hard to say. It probably always existed in one form or another. Hosni Mubarak became the president of the country in 1981. Like all the presidents of Egypt, Hosni too had a military training background. He was certainly an educated, cultured, and sophisticated person. Perhaps he also had his fellow citizens’ interest in mind when taking up the post of the president. Whatever his motivations might have been, I can only speculate about it. The fact is that the people of his country wanted a democratic government. They wanted to have a say in the decision making process of their own destinies. Probably one of the worst feelings one can have is a lack of freedom to make decisions about one’s own fate. However, Mr. Mubarak managed to hold on to the absolute power for thirty long years.

Not only did his fellow countrymen have to humbly accept the results of his personal decision making which were in many ways directly deciding Egyptians’ present and future, but they were also living in poverty while Mr. Mubarak’s wealth, and that of his personal family, was increasing to ridiculous proportions. No one knows exactly how much is the Mubarak’s family’s worth. The British Guardian newspaper cites Middle Eastern sources estimating the Mubarak wealth to be between $40 billion and $70 billion. ABC News came up with similar estimates. Compare that to the wealth of Bill Gates whose worth is $53 billion. If Guardian’s and ABC’s numbers are correct, that would make Mr. Mubarak one of the richest people on the planet if not the richest. Now we can begin to understand the anger of the Egyptian people. To amass that kind of wealth as a president of a rather poor country is much more than shady. As I write this, Egypt’s General Prosecutor has issued an order prohibiting the Mubarak family from leaving Egypt. A criminal investigation is underhand. Even Switzerland’s government froze Swiss bank accounts possibly related to Mubarak’s family.

The Hope

However, all that is now over. Mubarak is off the throne and democracy is ascending. People are excited about the new, bright future with the draconian system behind. Now Egyptian Muslim extremists are killing Egyptian Christians. The members of the Muslim Brotherhood party are demanding, out of fear, that Egypt be an exclusively Muslim-run country. Thus one set of problems has been replaced by another set of problems. However, people still have hope. After all, who could live, or exist on any level, without hope.

Short Blanket On A Cold Night

I would hate to see the poor people of Egypt’s hope crushed again. I would not want to see them at the crossroad where they will have to make a choice between suicide or hope against hope. Actually, I would hate to see anyone being brought to this intersection.

It is the nature of the physical existence that something must be hurting. Material existence is like having a short blanket on a cold night. No matter how you position yourself, a part of the body will be uncovered and exposed to the cold. We may solve one problem, but another one will manifest. Krishna teaches (Bhagavad-gita 8.15) that the material creation, although containing happiness, is permeated by pain and it is ultimately temporary.

It is not possible for peace and happiness to last. Disturbance comes unsought. No one goes to the forest to set a fire. Yet somehow by the friction among trees, forest fire takes place. The First World War, for example, was so gory and horrific that all people decided to do everything they could to ensure that nothing like it would ever repeat in history. The First World War, according to some estimates, took 17,000,000 lives and left 22,000,000 wounded. However, just some short twenty years later, the Second World War broke out taking more lives and painfully impacting more people than the First World War (World War Two took nearly 80,000,000 lives.) On the material, physical plane happiness and distress are like summer and winter (Bhagavad-gita 2.14). When one is over, the other one sets in.

So what should Egyptians do? Give up and let Mubarak and other such scavengers reign supreme? Should they withdraw themselves into their internal world and simply tolerate whatever extremes might be taking place outside? I guess they could try that. However I would advise them to consider Krishna’s teachings.

Krishna says that we should carefully cultivate the spiritual source of our happiness while dealing with the external world as a matter of duty. We should not get elated when in material comfort because it will not last. Neither should we feel desponded when in material discomfort because that will not last either. As the summer is followed by winter and as winter is followed by summer, happiness and distress take each other’s place. The trouble called Mr. Mubarak might be over for Egyptians, but something else will surely replace him. Think of the short blanket on a cold night example for a minute. Something is bound to be left uncovered and cold. One may manage to cover and keep warm one’s chest, but his legs are going to sooner or later get cold. At that time one will cover his legs but will be forced to expose his chest. After covering the chest, one will feel warm and happy, but only for a while until he gets woken up by the cold due to having his chest uncovered. Thus one will indefinitely continue to alternate the solutions. Something is bound to be cold.

By attaching oneself to material pleasure, one is certainly attaching oneself to material pain! To see this is crucial. Material pain is repulsive and material pleasure is attractive. However, it is impossible to separate the two. Thus, acceptance of material pleasure necessitates opening the door to material pain. To avoid getting attached to material pleasure, Krishna advises that we go about our external life as a matter of duty. By doing something as a matter of duty we don’t get attached to it. In this way we can eliminate, to whatever degree that is possible, the unnecessary material disturbance and use the acquired time and peace to cultivate our internal, spiritual world, the garden where eternal and unconditional happiness can exist.

Internal Solution

Even if somehow we are to manage to eliminate all sources of external discomfort, we would still not achieve happiness. Happiness is not a matter of external arrangements. Happiness is an internal experience, independent of the external world.

"It is my certain conviction that no man loses his freedom except through his own weakness." -Mohandas K. Gandhi

Imagine a person that is externally very comfortable. If that person is not internally comfortable, he or she is certainly an uncomfortable person. On the other hand, a person might be externally even extremely uncomfortable, but if he or she is internally comfortable, that person is a comfortable person.

It is interesting to note that often the people with means to produce lots of external comfort tend to be internally uncomfortable people. It is painful to see all the wealthy celebrities who just can’t get a grip on their own lives. While pursuing the top limits of the external comfort, too many are eroding internally.


It is impossible to completely eliminate external discomforts. One should focus on the internal pleasure. Even if one is to completely eliminate all external discomforts, it would not be enough to produce happiness, which is an internal experience. One should deal with the external world as a matter of duty and in that way escape getting attached to the external comforts which are always followed by external discomfort. The time and peace thus gained should be used for spiritual cultivation.

By attaching oneself to material pleasure, one is certainly attaching oneself to material pain! To see this is crucial. Material pain is repulsive and material pleasure is attractive. However, it is impossible to separate the two. Thus, acceptance of material pleasure necessitates opening the door to material pain.

I wish you a happy and successful journey.

Email to a friend


16 Rounds to Samadhi Magazine, LA, USA: Why is There Suffering in the World?

It's usually the sufferings of this world that serve as an impetus for us to not just theoretically try to understand what is beyond, but to feel the urgent need to do something about it, to realize and experience the essence of the self.

According to the Bhagavad-gita, as well as according to the teachings of Lord Buddha, the source of suffering is in the fact that the body is temporary, that life is temporary, and therefore everything is subjected to birth, old age, disease, and death.

The Vedas explain that there are three types of suffering: Adhyatmika, sufferings of one’s own body and mind; Adi-bhautika, sufferings due to other living beings; and Adi-daivika, sufferings due to natural circumstances like heat or cold, or earthquakes. These sufferings are always there, potentially posing threat to the physical body at any moment.


The soul, Krishna explains, is never born and never dies. That source of life within the body, the source of consciousness, is the atma or the soul. The soul is transcendental. In Sanskrit: sat, cit, ananda – the soul is eternal, full of knowledge, and full of bliss. That is who we are.

The soul is like the driver of the car, and the body is like the car. We are seeing through our eyes, hearing through our ears, smelling through our nose, tasting through our tongue, touching through our skin, thinking through our brain. But who are we? Are we a brain or a heart or an eye or an ear?

We are the witness – the soul. That is who we are. That soul is by nature full of love and always fulfilled. But when that soul identifies itself with the body and becomes immersed in that state, then the soul has to identify with all of the vulnerabilities and frailties of this body. That is the source of all suffering!

The Purpose

In many ways, the sufferings in this world are blessings because they help us to take life very seriously, if we make that choice, to really understand what is deeper, what is higher than all these temporary pleasures and pains, honor and dishonor, happiness and distress, health and disease, success and failure, birth and death.

The world around us is constituted on the basis of dualities. One brings pleasure, the other one brings pain. To the degree we are attached to something that gives us pleasure, to that same degree we suffer when it is lost. Ultimately, because everything is under the consumption of time, everything will be lost.

So going through these experiences, thoughtful people contemplate, “Is there something higher?” “Is there something deeper?” “Is there something more to life than this?”

All the great saintly teachers and all the great sacred scriptures are leading us in that direction, that “There is something more.” This world is just a temporary place but this world can be a launching pad to help us realize the inner treasures within our own heart.

It’s usually the sufferings of this world that serve as an impetus for us to not just theoretically try to understand what is beyond, but to feel the urgent need to do something about it, to realize and experience the essence of the self.

The Light

In the Bhagavad-gita Krishna tells, dukhalayam asasvatam, that the nature of this world, when we are in ignorance of our true self, is suffering. Potentially there can be suffering at any moment, whoever we are, however wealthy, however educated, however powerful. Disease, people, natural circumstance, etc., they all could create a disaster, create a tragedy. So whatever happiness anyone has in this world, it is so tottering. It is like a drop of water on a lotus leaf – at any moment it could slip away. So where is permanent happiness? Where is freedom from suffering? It exists only on the spiritual platform. And that is what all the great sages have come to tell us.

In the Bible it is said, “Make your treasure not in this world, but make your treasure in the kingdom of God. In this world your treasure will be stolen by thieves, or rusted by the elements, or eaten by moths. But if you make your treasure in the kingdom of God, it will be perfect and infallible.” And then Jesus said, “The Kingdom of God is within.”

Similarly, Lord Krishna tells in the Bhagavad-gita, “One should find pleasure within”. One should find satisfaction within. One should be enlightened and illuminated from within. The life of such a person is of substantial quality and real intelligence.”

We should seek that eternal reality beyond all the sufferings of this world and thus find real happiness.

Email to a friend


Subhavilasa das ACBSP, Toronto, CA: Tulasi Jala Dan has begun...

Tulasi Jala Dan and Kesava Vrata has begun and will end on May 15th, 2011. During Keshave Vrata  our austerities can increase in order to increase our focus and service to Lord Krishna and Krishna's devotees. Of course  one of the greatest devotees is Srimati Tulsi Devi  and to increase worship of Tulsi devi  during this month of Keshava Vrata some devotees place a dripping pot of water  over Tulsi Devi. 

In our house we actually do not place this pot over Tulsi Devi or perform all the austerities of Keshava Vrata, but focus on the importance of remembering Tulsi Devi during this important month.  This directly affects our worship of Krishna and His deveotees.  So over the next month we will share a few stories of Tulsi Devi with full realization that in the process of blogging and sharing this nectar we ourselves are actually recieving great benefit . 

So on this auspicious day and to increase our meditation of Srimati Tulsi Devi, I would like to share 2 verses. 

From the Skanda Purana: Let me offer my respectful obeisances unto the Tulasi tree, which can immediately vanquish volumes of sinful activities. Simply by seeing or touching this tree one can become relieved from all distresses and diseases. Simply by offering obeisances to and pouring water on the tulasi tree, one can become freed from the fear of being sent to the court of Yamaraja [the King of death, who punishes the sinful]. If someone sows a tulasi tree somewhere, certainly he becomes devoted to Lord Krsna. And when the tulasi leaves are offered in devotion at the lotus feet of Krsna, there is the full development of love of Godhead.

From the Srimad Bhagavatam 3.15.19: Although flowering plants like the mandara, kunda, kurabaka, utpala, campaka, arna, punnaga, nagakesara, bakula, lily and parijata are full of transcendental fragrance, they are still conscious of the austerities performed by tulasi, for tulasi is given special preference by the Lord, who garlands Himself with tulasi leaves.

Jaya Tulasi Devi!
Email to a friend


ISKCON Donate to the Temple Of Vedic Planetarium Online

By Vraja Vilasa Das for ISKCON News on 15 Apr 2011

The Temple of the Vedic Planetarium is now under construction in Sridham Mayapur. Ambarisa Das has funded the initial construction, and with more generous gifts, the Deities of Sri Sri Radha Madhava and the Asta-sakhis, as well as Lord Nrsimhadeva and the Panca Tattva, can move to Their new temple as early as Gaura Purnima, 2014.

Email to a friend


16 Rounds to Samadhi Magazine, LA, USA: Austerity- The Bliss of Restraint

The topic of austerity became something of a web sensation, and was named the word of the year by Merriam-Webster online dictionary in 2010 because of the number of web searches this word generated that year. News articles on the Net and elsewhere have brought the idea of forced austerity into the mainstream causing many people to wonder what austerity is, which is likely because they haven’t experienced directly applying it themselves or even heard about it being practiced by others—and certainly not in the spiritual sense of the word.

In fact, as one might expect in a capitalist-dominated world, in popular usage, the word is defined primarily, even solely, in terms of economic policy. According to Wikipedia, “In economics, austerity is a policy of deficit-cutting, lower spending, and a reduction in the amount of benefits and public services provided. Austerity policies are often used by governments to reduce their deficit spending while sometimes coupled with increases in taxes to pay back creditors to reduce debt.” In light of this one-sided use of the word, I thought it would be interesting to look at a more spiritual perspective, since it is an important word in Eastern spiritual circles and found throughout the writings of my spiritual teacher, Srila Prabhupada.

In other dictionaries I didn’t find much help in looking up austerity as it was defined as “the quality of state of being austere.” So I had to look up austere to see how the word is generally used. The usual definitions of the word I found in the Merriam-Webster online dictionary don’t give the meaning as used in a Vedic or spiritual sense throughout Srila Prabhupada’s writings. Yet, for comparison sake, here are the meanings I found: 1) a : stern and cold in appearance or manner; b : somber, grave <an austere critic>;  2) : morally strict : ascetic; 3) : markedly simple or unadorned <an austere office> <an austere style of writing>; 4) : giving little or no scope for pleasure <austere diets>.

“Austerity of the body consists in expressing devotion to Godhead, the brahmanas, the spiritual teacher, and superiors like the father and mother, and in cleanliness, simplicity, celibacy and nonviolence.”

“Austerity of speech consists in speaking words that are truthful, pleasing, beneficial, and not agitating to others, and also in regularly reciting Vedic literature.”

“Satisfaction, simplicity, gravity, self-control, and purification of one’s existence are the austerities of the mind” [Bhagavad-gita 17.14-16]

Does it sound like something you would like to do? Probably not. Who would want to practice voluntary austerity? What about being forced to live an austere life? Could there be any benefit in any type of austere living?

For example, in current economic times, is there any advantage to having to reduce spending or in being thrifty? Or what about losing one’s freedom while being held hostage? Although most people would not pray for either possibility, if we study those who have experienced forced thrift, restricted freedom, or the increased possibility of death, there are surprising benefits which are possible.

In the first case, when spending must be limited or curtailed, many people naturally contemplate what is really of value in their lives. Going against the values of consumerism, a common discovery is that true value in life does not come from possessions or money, but through their family relationships, and facilities like having time and freedom. Those are certainly good realizations. However, in the second case of forced austerity, there can even be more benefit, especially spiritually.

Any circumstance where a person’s life is threatened or their freedom is reduced can have the effect of bringing about deep thought about the purpose of life, its meaning, the pondering of death, and the existence of God. Being in prison is another example of forced austerity. When there is limited external stimulation (or distractions), coupled with the increased possibility of death, existential introspection seems to be a natural consequence. These last effects give us a clue about why voluntary austerity is considered the wealth of the brahmanas or those whose lives are engrossed in spiritual study and practice. Srila Prabhupada taught the idea of simple living and high thinking. We find that by simple or uncomplicated, stress-free living, existential inquisitiveness or “high” spiritual thinking is often fostered.

A Sanskrit word for austerity is tapasya. This word is frequently used in the Bhagavad-gita and other Vedic texts. Penance is often used conjointly or sometimes synonymously with austerity. Tapasya means voluntary acceptance of some material trouble for progress in spiritual life. There are many recommendations for spiritual life given in the Vedas, such as rising early, internal and external cleanliness, giving up the eating of meat and intoxications, fasting on special days, studying Vedic literature, and chanting Vedic hymns and prayers. Such activities may be materially troublesome, yet they are helpful for spiritual advancement, and those interested in such advancement gladly embrace them.

There are three consecutive verses in the Bhagavad-gita which delineate austerity of the body, speech, and the mind. They are considered in the mode, or quality, of goodness, and are thus favorable for the practice of spiritual life. Within these verses favorable practices for a spiritually balanced life are outlined.

“Austerity of the body consists in expressing devotion to Godhead, the brahmanas, the spiritual teacher, and superiors like the father and mother, and in cleanliness, simplicity, celibacy and nonviolence.”

“Austerity of speech consists in speaking words that are truthful, pleasing, beneficial, and not agitating to others, and also in regularly reciting Vedic literature.”

“Satisfaction, simplicity, gravity, self-control, and purification of one’s existence are the austerities of the mind” [Bhagavad-gita 17.14-16]

Austerity is also one of the qualities attributed to the brahmanas, the traditional Vedic teachers in society:

“Peacefulness, self-control, austerity, purity, tolerance, honesty, knowledge, wisdom, and religiousness — these are the natural qualities by which the brahmanas work.” [Bhagavad-gita 18.42]

And finally, austerity is considered one of the four basic principles of spirituality given in the Srimad-Bhagavatam. They consist of austerity, cleanliness, mercy and truthfulness. Although these principles can be considered as corollary factors which support the most important practices of devotional life, they are essential principles which promote a pure lifestyle.

Although sometimes Srila Prabhupada would say that human life is meant for austerity, on the path of devotion, we don’t engage in greatly difficult and austere practices like the traditional yogis do. From our perspective such austerities can make the heart hard, while bhakti is about softening the heart through loving Krishna. Our austerity is the natural austerity which comes in relationship to service to Krishna. For example eating (or honoring) the sanctified vegetarian food, although enjoyable, is also an austerity, as one doesn’t eat food that cannot be offered to Krishna. Alcohol and meat are some of the foods that cannot be offered to Krishna as they are considered impure and polluting. Once we become attracted to Krishna and center our life on his service, many activities fall away that we used to think nothing about doing. Some would call this austere, but for a devotee it becomes a source of joy. Such natural austerities help us fix our minds and hearts on Krishna and make spiritual progress.

Email to a friend


ISKCON The Spiritual Warriors Return to Guyana

By Krishnanandini Dasi for ISKCON News on 15 Apr 2011

After experiencing the mercy of Lord Caitanya last year in a fantastic sankirtana effort, the spiritual warriors are returning to Guyana, South America, from June 20--June 30, 2011.

Email to a friend


16 Rounds to Samadhi Magazine, LA, USA: The Grim Reaper

This experience also helped me realize that treating death in a trivial fashion may close doors to deep realizations about our very existence. Life escapes us when we huddle within the defended fortress of our invulnerability. It's not that we should be paralyzed and depressed at the thought of death and renounce enjoying the precious and deep moments that life has bestowed upon us, but not taking death seriously enough may be as good as not taking life seriously enough.

The silent tears at the other end said it all. “Is everything alright?” I asked Priya. I have known Dr. Priya Venkat, a pediatrician, for nine years. I was a witness to her strength and determination as she fought through many challenges in her college years. I felt a sense of satisfaction to have personally contributed to her welfare and finally see her settled in a happy married life. That is why her call was tough. Priya, who was six-months pregnant, barely managed to utter the words: “Miscarriage.”

Two conspicuous emotions emerged simultaneously — helplessness and shock. Helplessness because I could not even find the words to console her or myself, and shock because two minutes before I received that phone call, I was talking to my roommate Ari about the fragility of our life and the constant, undercover companionship of our death. Little did I realize that the conversation was just the beginning of a series of deathly events in the span of one week. The news of the miscarriage was followed by a suicide of the 17-year-old son of a good friend, the demise of my 23-year-old student who was suffering from cancer, and finally a fatal heart attack that consumed my 60-year-old cousin.

Thousands of people die every day, and the world still moves on. We read and hear about deaths and tragedies almost everyday in the news. It may grab our attention for a moment, but the sports section seems more interesting. Is death really that trivial? Or have we unconsciously or consciously tranquilized ourselves from its impact?

The topic of death has the wondrous potential of concentrating the mind. It opens up a deeper sense of inquiry into our true nature and makes us question the very purpose of our existence. The Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard once said that the real education of mankind means facing up to death. In most spiritual traditions, especially those from the East, the problem of death seems to open up the doorway to deeper spiritual inquiry.

The Buddha renounced his wealth and riches to seek enlightenment when he saw the unpleasant sights of disease and death and realized that he had to go through the same. Similarly, in the Bhagavad-gita, which is India’s classic text on yoga and spiritual wisdom, prince Arjuna faces a similar existential crisis as he is called upon to fight a gruesome war against his own kinsmen, led by his wily and unrighteous cousin Duryodhana. Although Arjuna was a veteran of many wars, he confronted death like never before because on the opposing side were members of his own family that he deeply loved and respected, but he was forced to fight them because of political intrigue.

The first chapter of the Bhagavad-gita is called “The Yoga of Arjuna’s Crisis” — an appropriate title because the word “yoga” means “to link” or “to connect”. In this chapter, Arjuna’s crisis makes him connect through deep inquiry to his own identity. What follows is a beautifully composed and spiritually profound dialogue between Arjuna and his charioteer and dear friend Krishna. Although I grew up with three different editions of the Bhagavad-gita at home, this text made a much deeper impact on me after my own encounter with death.

My spiritual journey began when I first confronted the problem of death at the age of 17. After securing admission to the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology, I faced deep insecurity about the fact that all achievements in my life will be invariably stripped from me at the time of death.

The issue was like a thorn in my side until one day, during dinner, I expressed it to my mother. Very affectionately, she mentioned that I was letting such thoughts rob away my real joys of life. It is important to live in the moment and experience life to the fullest. Her affection touched my heart, but her response left me dissatisfied. I felt that her response was urging me to be in denial of the terror of death. It was like trying to enjoy a delicious, elaborate feast on the eve of a really tough exam for which I have not prepared one bit.

Although I pursued the thought for some time, the intensity waned — helped by my own “confidence” of being able to “manage” the world. I invested myself in “hero projects” that I hoped would leave a mark in this world. It was not until my second date with death that I realized that the human brain just does not have the capacity to comprehend the magnitude of the terror.

The rendezvous occurred when I was a first year MBA student at Cornell University in September 2005. I had just finished a major exam in accounting and was one of few students in the class to secure full marks. My performance gave me complete confidence and security that I would ace my MBA program and secure a top job as an investment banker. That same afternoon I proceeded to Cornell University’s medical center for a regular blood test. After the doctor obtained the required samples, I was sitting in the reception area scouring the Wall Street Journal. Suddenly, I saw darkness in front of me.

So, is it a good or a bad thing?

When I came to external consciousness, I heard screams all around. I was on a stretcher surrounded by a whole bunch of medical personnel frantically rushing me to the emergency room. I felt excruciating pain in my hands and feet. They were twisted in an awkward fashion and to my greatest shock I could not move them. Then I felt numbness creeping up my body from my feet. I could barely speak and my eyes were getting heavier. Much to my horror, I realized that this could well be the end. Every moment seemed dilated. My entire life began to play out in front of me like a movie. All the people that I loved and all the things that I felt deeply attached to filled up my thoughts. The pain of sudden separation from all of them was intense and tears welled up in my eyes. A distinct feeling enveloped me — a state a despair resulting from an inevitable contradiction — the strong desire for immortality in a situation that had mortality written all over it.

I was given heavy dosage of painkillers and other medicines and woke up 14 hours later feeling like I had run a marathon on my hands. I was relieved to be alive. Nothing else mattered at that moment. The doctors described the episode to be an extreme case of a vasovagal reaction or neurocardiogenic syncope — an abnormal reflex to wounds or punctures that results in a blood pressure drop leading to decreased blood flow to the brain. Amazing what a harmless blood test can cause!

This experience opened my eyes to the fact that death could come at any time — even when it is least expected. It only takes a moment for life to change by 180 degrees, and when it does, the first reaction is shock. I say shock because the built-in narcissist in the human psyche believes that he will never die; he only feels sorry for the man next to him. Freud’s explanation for this was that in man’s inner organic recesses he feels immortal.

I once read a story in the Mahabharata, a text on India’s ancient history that resonates well with this. The great king Yudhisthira, who was very famous for his wisdom and unwavering sense of integrity, was once put to a test. He had to answer 100 questions that tested his intellect and wisdom, and his success was a matter of life and death for his dear brothers. Yudhisthira impressed his interrogator with the first 99 questions. The last and the most open-ended question of the test was, “What is the most wondrous thing in this world?” To this, the king deeply pondered and responded, “Every person sees many others around him die everyday, but refuses to believe that he will ever have to go through it. On the contrary, they make plans for a permanent settlement in this world. To me, this is the greatest wonder and the biggest irony!” Of course Yudhisthira won the contest.

Confronting the fragile nature of my existence was a very humbling experience. I realized that at the time of death, the physical body that I so carefully nurture, the adoration and distinction that I strive for and treasure as fortifications of my greatness can all get uprooted and scattered like trees in a tornado. I was forced to re-examine the reliability of social, political and financial power-linkages that gave me the sense of being grounded. Facing the truth of this situation opened up spiritual inquiry yet again. For the first time, the concepts from the Bhagavad-gita made deep and logical sense.

This experience also helped me realize that treating death in a trivial fashion may close doors to deep realizations about our very existence. Life escapes us when we huddle within the defended fortress of our invulnerability. It’s not that we should be paralyzed and depressed at the thought of death and renounce enjoying the precious and deep moments that life has bestowed upon us, but not taking death seriously enough may be as good as not taking life seriously enough. It may very well rob us of the opportunity to develop the humility and gratitude to appreciate the abundant gifts of life.

One bit of profound advice that Socrates gave to his disciples was to practice dying everyday. Although this may sound impractical, the undertone to this insight is very useful — to cultivate awareness of and face our deep-rooted insecurities, the epitome of which is death itself. Such awareness, when dealt with in a healthy and honest fashion, leads to a deliberate dismantling of our defense mechanisms of denial and repression. It makes us take life seriously enough to deliberate on our actions and makes routine activity impossible. It increases the discovery of new possibilities of choice and action and new forms of courage and endurance. It gives rise to a new and more meaningful way of life.

Email to a friend


ISKCON Armed Agents Kidnap Child From Mother Who Refused To Use Pharmaceutical Drugs

By Ethan A. Huff for Natural News on 15 Apr 2011

Recently, armed officers from the Detroit Police Department unlawfully kicked down the door of Maryanne Godboldo's home and kidnapped her 13-year-old child. Her crime? She chose to take her daughter off a pharmaceutical drug treatment recommendation for psychosis that was worsening the child's symptoms, and instead chose to use natural remedies.

Email to a friend


16 Rounds to Samadhi Magazine, LA, USA: The Spring Lesson

I wrote the following on March 21st, the first day of spring.

After a month long touring of India’s holy places, I am now visiting my family and old friends on the Adriatic coast in Europe. The nature here is truly beautiful. Exotic islands and the warm Mediterranean climate make it very pleasant here. The first day when I arrived to Dalmatia the weather was cold and gloomy, but on the following day the spring powerfully manifested itself. Now it is sunny, warm, and pleasant wherever you look. It even smells great. Everything looks as if it is waking up or as if it’s been released from imprisonment, an unwanted confinement.

To those who develop a sense of possession over this beauty, this loveliness will become their prison. One should be satisfied to simply be a happy witness of God’s glory.

Possessiveness over people, things, and all other phenomena, even though it tends to initially present itself as pleasurable, leads toward an increase in entanglement, confusion, tension, loss of freedom, and unhappiness.

Email to a friend


Japa Group: Surrender With Faith

Hare Krsna dear devotees, it's always nice when we have tools that motivate us in our spritual life and that make us more willing to serve, chant and dedicate our time to the Lord. So many things happen in this world and day by day we can realize we are nothing without the Lord and His holy names. When we face difficulties, hard times and hardships in our lives it's actually the Lord's mercy so we can get advanced and surrender to Him more - we develop strong faith and we become more in love with our goals....eternal love to Krsna. Below is a beautiful prayer Srila Prabhupada made that serve to boost our enthusiasm.

I have no devotion, nor do I have any knowledge, but I have strong faith in the holy name of Krishna. I have been designated as Bhaktivedanta, and now, if you like, you can fulfill the real purport of Bhaktivedanta.

Signed - the most unfortunate, insignificant beggar
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

your servant,

Aruna devi
Email to a friend


New Vrndavan, USA: Early April Garden update

New Vrndavan, USA: Early April Garden update

Email to a friend


ISKCON Amazing Cambodia

By Bhakti Raghava Swami for ISKCON News on 15 Apr 2011

I first visited Cambodia in the year 2006. What amazed me at the time was the uniqueness of its cultural connection with India. The Surabhi like cows, the Khmer language with its heavy accent of Sanskrit, the local customs mixed with Hinduism and Buddhism, and the general mood of the Khmer people simply capture the hearts of any visitors.

Email to a friend Bhakti Vikasa Swami: Chanting bona fide songs and following the previous acaryas

One should chant the bona fide songs received from the disciplic succession. In Bhagavad-gita it is said that the chanting is powerful when one follows the disciplic succession (evam parampara-praptam imam rajarsayo viduh [Bg. 4.2]). Manufacturing many ways of chanting will never be effective. However, chanting the song or the narration left by the previous acaryas (mahajano yena gatah sa panthah [Cc. Madhya 17.186]) is extremely effective, and this process is very easy. Therefore in this verse Prahlada Maharaja uses the word anjah ("easily"). Accepting the thoughts of exalted authorities through disciplic succession is certainly much easier than the method of mental speculation, by which one tries to invent some means to understand the Absolute Truth. The best process is to accept the instructions of the previous acaryas and follow them. Then God realization and self-realization become extremely easy. By following this easy method, one is liberated from the contamination of the material modes of nature, and thus one can certainly cross the ocean of nescience, in which there are many miserable conditions. By following in the footsteps of the great acaryas, one associates with the hamsas or paramahamsas, those who are completely freed from material contamination. Indeed, by following the instructions of the acaryas one is always freed from all material contamination, and thus one's life becomes successful, for one reaches the goal of life.

>>> Ref. VedaBase => SB 7.9.18

Email to a friend Bhakti Vikasa Swami: My schedule

I am now near Hyderabad, India

25 April to Persian Gulf

30 Ap to Mumbai, arr 20.25

1 May morning to Mangalore, afternoon to Udupi

13 May afternoon to 16th Guruvayur yatra

18 to Persian Gulf

21 to Delhi

May 23 to Ireland

27 to UK

May 31 to New York, then traveling in USA (more details will be given later)

Approx 25 June, to Toronto

Approx 28 June to Mumbai

3 Jul Sun Ratha Yatra in Baroda

Aug 2 Tu to 7 Su Lika Camp, Croatia

Email to a friend


ISKCON Controversy over Creation and Evolution: Christians Battle it Out

By Rebekah Page for Religious Press Release Services on 15 Apr 2011

The notion that the Catholic Church is monolithic on the questions surrounding creation and evolution is hardly accurate. In fact, Christians are deeply divided over the issues. There is an intense debate among believers about how to interpret the Creation account of Genesis, the age of the earth, and whether Darwin was right.

Email to a friend


ISKCON Jobless Ultra-Orthodox Weigh On Israel's Economy

By Maayan Lubell for on 15 Apr 2011

Ultra-Orthodox Jews, or "Haredim," are a devout tight-knit community who make up 8-10 percent of Israel's 7.7 million population, with eight children per family on average. Many are supported by the state and live well below the poverty line.

Email to a friend


ISKCON Toronto, Canada: A Positive Review!

Our community is more than accustomed to our larger-than-life festivals that bring so much colour and excitement. Whether a dramatic Gaura Purnima festival or celebrating New Year's in style - you can always expect an enlivening experience. However, we rarely get a chance to hear from those who arrive at one of our grand festivals for the FIRST time. Below is an excerpt of an article written by someone who came for our Holi festivities for the first time:

Unlike other Hindu festivals we’ve been to recently in Toronto, the Hare Krishna’s festival was more a group affair than a place for individual acts of worship. The congregation of at least two hundred sang, clapped and danced together. They were livelier and noisier.

To read the rest of this article by Ruth Lor Malloy, please click here.

Image©Ruth Lor Malloy 2011
Email to a friend


H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami (Ret.): 281—Poem for April 15 SDGonline Daily updates

4:42 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 15

I woke very early with a
headache but subdued it
with medicine and rapidly
stayed very close to the mantras
passing through my mind. Got
them all done by 3:00 A.M.
Radha-Govinda are still
resting in bed, but mighty
Hanuman stands on the altar
giving full protection against
the force of Ketu. I received
a booklet of prayers to him
called Sri Hanuman Chalisa.
They are very nice, mentioning
that if you take shelter of
Hanuman you will be rid
of of fears and evil, he is so

Yesterday Baladeva scratched
his arms helping neighbor
Jody feeding wood into a
chipper machine. They are
clearing all the yards of debris
wood, but it is dangerous.
Narayana read to us of
King Yudhisthira’s brave
going independent from his
brothers and living like an
urchin rapt in thought of
Krishna for going back to Godhead.
Prabhupada says at that time
each person is like a pilot
flying his own plane and
no one else can help him.
But we can get instructions
on the ground from our spiritual
master and apply them in
our solo flights. This means
at death I’ll be all alone in
transferring, but I can follow
Prabhupada’s directions.

We are still inviting Dhanurdhara
Swami to lunch, but he says
today he has an appointment to
eat with Tripurari Swami. I
spoke on Skype with Nandarani,
and she told me she’ll be here
Saturday and will catch up
on the typing of the autobiography.
This is very important to me
to get an idea how the
book is evolving, so I’m
anxious for her arrival.
She is very dedicated
but distracted by her present
life. I should just be
patient and consider in
past times I would have to
wait a whole year
to get writings typed.
Things are all right,
I assure myself.

Email to a friend


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

From A Poor Man Reads the Bhagavatam, Book I

Canto I, Chapter 2, Texts 28–29

“In the revealed scriptures, the ultimate object of knowledge is Sri Krishna, the Personality of Godhead. The purpose of performing sacrifice is to please Him. Yoga is for realizing Him. All fruitive activities are ultimately rewarded by Him only. He is supreme knowledge, and all severe austerities are performed to know Him. Religion [dharma] is rendering loving service unto Him. He is the supreme goal of life.”


“The Bhagavatam begins with the invocation om namo bhagavate vasudevaya. As explained in the first purport, obeisances unto the Personality of Godhead, Vasudeva, directly indicate Lord Sri Krishna, who is the divine son of Vasudeva and Devaki. The name of Vasudeva is now chanted in each of eight Sanskrit lines establishing that He, Lord Krishna, the son of Vasudeva, is the only object of worship. After these two verses, anyone who asks, ‘Who is God?’ must either be slow or stubbornly rebellious.

Each line of the sloka focuses on a particular process for realization of the Absolute, and in each case the goal is service to Lord Vasudeva. For example, vasudeva-para veda. That means that throughout all the Vedic literatures, ‘there is only one objective described: establishing one’s relationship and ultimately reviving our lost loving service unto Him [Sri Krishna].’ Some of the Vedas may teach this in an indirect way, but they are part of the comprehensive Vedic scheme to gradually elevate one to worship the Supreme Lord in the mode of pure goodness. Those who claim that the Vedas lack an overall purpose, as some Indologists do, have no insight into Vedic siddhanta. “The Vedas are to know Me,” Lord Krishna says in the Bhagavad-gita, “and I am the knower and compiler of Vedanta.”

“Similarly, the Vedic process of yajna or sacrifice is meant for realizing the truth about Vasudeva. Lord Vishnu is sometimes called Yajna. All sacrifices are meant for His satisfaction. In the present age there is little trace of bona find yajnic ceremonies. Those who performed such sacrifices used to offer huge amounts of grains, ghee and gold. The sacrifices were performed according to the exact science of chanting of Vedic mantras. In the absence of wealth and brahminical expertise, the acaryas have recommended only sankirtana yajna for this age: ‘There is no other way, there is no other way, there is no other way, in the Age of Kali except to chant the holy names of the Lord.’

“This verse also mentions yoga. Yoga is meant to help an aspirant contact the Supreme Lord. Asanas, meditation, and breath control performed separate from the desire to link with Krishna are just physical exercises. They calm the mind, but they have no essence. Those who are serious in their practices of mystic or astanga-yoga concentrate on the Paramatma form of Vasudeva. Prabhupada writes, ‘Paramatma realization is but partial realization of Vasudeva, and if one is successful in that attempt, one realizes Vasudeva in full.’

Vasudeva-param jnanam. The Bhagavad-gita analyzes the eighteen items useful in culturing knowledge. All of these culminate in devotional service to the Personality of Godhead, Krishna. ‘Culture of knowledge leading one to the transcendental plane of meeting Vasudeva is real knowledge.’ This is also stated in the Bhagavad-gita where Krishna says bahunam janmanam ante, one may try to culture knowledge for many births, but only when he realizes vasudevah sarvam iti, that Vasudeva is everything, does he become a person of knowledge. If we accumulate knowledge at a university by studying in so many specialized departments, we don’t become knowledgeable. We may learn how to run machines or how to think astutely on subtle subjects, but we won’t gain liberation. If we don’t know how to do that—if we prolong our miserable lives in this material world—then all we know is nescience.

“This doesn’t mean, however, that worldly and academic knowledge cannot be used in Krishna’s service. Prabhupada sometimes compares material knowledge to a string of zeros. If we put the one, Krishna, in front of all the zeros, then two zeros become 100 and three zeros become 1,000. That kind of knowledge leads the way to spiritual understanding. Therefore, science, psychology, and the arts can contribute to the sankirtana movement when utilized by a pure devotee.

“‘Tapasya means voluntary acceptance of bodily pains to achieve some higher end of life.’ Prabhupada does not count the pains a demon may take to gain power as tapasya. Real austerity is to accept bodily inconvenience for the sake of knowing Vasudeva.

“The meaning of religion has already been discussed in the Bhagavatam, and Prabhupada has offered many insights about the words dharma and ‘occupational duty.’ Prabhupada has defined dharma as the unavoidable, constitutional nature of every living being. Our dharma is to render service to someone; in the highest sense, this ‘someone’ means Krishna. Therefore, vasudeva-para dharma.

“All jivas are in the same predicament. We are pure souls outfitted in material bodies due to the misuse of our free will. The embodied jiva’s true purpose in life is to become free from this awkward combination of the temporary body and the eternal self. The conditioned soul is forced to act under God’s laws for the material energy. The laws are just suitable to govern a prison. A person in this world, therefore, has to show Krishna his reformed state by sincerity if he wants to be released from the material energy and allowed to re-enter his original spiritual nature.

“When a person becomes liberated, even if he still lives in this world, he is transferred to Krishna’s internal energy and his affairs are then directly guided and protected by the Lord. This is described in the Bhagavad-gita: mahatmanas tu mam partha daivim prakrtim asrita. Those who are broad-minded, the mahatmas, are constantly engaged in the Lord’s service without deviation. In fact, all enlightened persons, such as the demigods, devotees, and enlightened sages, are serving Krishna in different ways. The demigods are ‘assisting hands of Lord Vasudeva,’ and the pure devotees enjoy with Krishna in His lilas in the internal energy.

“Verses 28–29 are a musical hymn in praise of the one Supreme, Vasudeva. Memorize it and chant it from time to time in your day: vasudeva-para vedavasudeva-para gatih.

“Now get friendly
now get relaxed
fill your page with
berry tax.
“Now be playful and juice the way
with currants, pecans, and daisies.
Now abandon the sorry frown,
kick on apes and
lacy gowns.
Muddy your boots in
Vrndavana’s ground
and sing the mighty chant.

“Now be true to oxen’s pull,
now slide over mud and ice,
throw a snowball and run
and hide—be young and warm
in cold outdoors.
Now face truth or hide from it,
admit your anger and
tongue’s demand.

“Now write admissions and lists
and quests—let your hand speak
and your intellect admit
it’s small
and bawl away the mighty
playful chant.

“I admit
I remember
Diary’s day is just an ember flaming still with
little life of
56-year-old monk.

“Why be the center and not Vasudeva?
Why be the hero and not
the Lord? Why your list and not
His? This
you got to explain.

“Why so quick to write it
in? Why do you love it, ink
and smell? And pictures. Can’t you tell
us why you cartoon so?

“Now’s the time to write these
things, or if you won’t then
chant instead the mighty hymn
to Vasudeva
you said you’d memorize.

“I like to write on mountaintops or by the sea or in any quiet room. I want to write before it’s too late—before the dying out fact of candlelight at its gut end.

“I do not know Vasudeva. I’m an outsider to the nectar of His name and pastimes. But this Bhagavatam quest is doing me good, bringing me in from the cold.

“This is the time to relax and be
a bee of little consequence.
This is the hive of workers’ stings
of tired hands and springs of steel,
this is the India I feared,
the book of no smoking, no hallucinations, the book
of preferred pure goodness or whatever I
can get of God’s mercy from His
work-table. This foolish writer
may be given some toys or sawdust
on the Carpenter’s floor.

“In such a way I stay at His feet,
writing plenty
Vasudeva, Vasudeva, Vasudeva
para makhah, para yoga
para kriyah
para jnanam.

Email to a friend


Akrura das, Gita Coaching: CHOICE MAP

Click on the title to download the Choice Map by the Inquiry Institute. Under the picture are instructions for using it.

In any situation, be a Learner by asking Learner Questions, instead of a Judger.

It is simple and very effective.

Try it, and if you have any questions how to use it, email me on

Email to a friend Cambodia the Amazing

By Bhakti Raghava Swami

We have but a few devotees serving in the Kingdom of Cambodia at their base camp in Siem Reap, the gateway to the former Khmer empire where some 200 intricately carved stone temples towered the skyline of this once most powerful Asian kingdom

Email to a friend


Ananda Subramanian, Iowa, USA: Realize God in Truth

Modern system of education which is famous for evidence based knowledge promises bright futures. Today, modern science has captured the minds of the common masses. Hand held gadgets such as i-pods, mp3 players etc have captured the imagination of people. If you take it to scale, space age technology gadgets that only fits sci-fi movies such as the CERN particle accelerator has promised a innovative future with myriad opportunities. Our lives at the microlevel have changed dramatically since the creation of “internet” in the past two decades. No doubt scientific advancement and innovations have reached people at every nook and cranny of our world. We can all sit back and pat ourselves in the back hailing our technological advancements ushering us swiftly into the 21st century.

Still, I say, modern science is but a pin-prick to our modern day lives. It has created, as Srila Prabhupada put it, unnecessary necessities. One of the biggest fallout of modern scientific knowledge is the span of inequality it has created among the global population. Sure…if I have enough money in the bank living a Rolls Royce life, then, modern science and its innovations are a plus. However, the story is different for an individual (worse if he is married and with children) who is barely making ends meet traveling two or three times the distance just to get to the job site. The inequality we face today is the biggest ever in the history of modern man. The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. According to the 2005 World Bank statistics, approximately 80% of the world population are earning below $10 per day that is 5.15 billion people we are talking. In other words, only 1.3 billion people earn above the poverty index while 80% are below. One may ask why I blame modern science for such inequalities?

Well…today local and central/federal governments pass policies and resolutions based on research done by scientists, sociologists and economists. The federal budget and the economy are run based on “research” based and “evidence” based studies. People invest money based on the national flow of currency which in turn is based on industrial sector growth which in turn is influenced by governmental policies created by a few elite people. The industrial growth machines are run by brains trained in modern day educational system in the fields of physical, social and behavioral sciences. Therefore, modern science not only is responsible for the “cool” gadgets it spits out but also responsible for the economical and social reforms that by and large impact the poor people. It seems, these intellectual reforms have had little effect on the global population, thus in my analysis, modern day economical and social reforms which is based on modern scientific methods of enquiry has only caused more inequalities among the people at large. I have not even touched upon the negative impact of modern technology on our environment.

On the whole, while modern science and its technological advancements is portrayed as a boon to society, analyzing this holistically, we see there are huge gaping holes in the areas of social and economic inequalities and environmental damage, both of which is causing and will cause irreversible damage that we will have to pay the price dearly.

The only solution is to put the brakes on technological advancements and seriously try to solve the social, economical and environmental inequalities as one big global human community. Stop exploiting people, animals and plant resources in the name of “scientific advancement” and bring back a balanced ecosystem to our planet. It is time we break our regional and national barriers and unite under one banner as the residents of planet earth. I don’t just mean human beings but all living beings created by God should be given the right to live.

All this is possible only if we have one global reason to unite. Srila Prabhupada called that reason Realize God in Truth (beyond sentimental and ritualistic ceremonies)- to put God in a real way in the center of our lives.

For all this to happen, every single individual should be sincerely motivated to understand who is God and what is my relationship with God. With a sincere yearning to know God beyond sectarian boundaries, every individual should put that God in the center of his or her lives. Only this can solve our current problems. As Gandhi famoulsy quoted "Be the Change you want to see in the world". Seek and you shall find Him. Seek that one Supreme Lord of our hearts, and He will reveal Himself to you.

Hare Krishna

Email to a friend A Submissive Submission :-)

By Madhava- nanda das

This year is the tenth anniversary for Sri Krishna Kathamrita Bindu, the free e-magazine from ISKCON Gopaljiu Publications. To date 249 issues have come out and there are nearly 4,000 devotees subscribing. Our thanks to all of our readers and devotees who have made this milestone possible

Email to a friend Navadwipa Mandala Parikrama 2011

Lakshman (das) Vrindavan (IN): The NavadWipa Mandala Parikrama is held every year in the Pahalguna month (middle of March). People from all over the world take part in the week long festival held at Navadvipa in West Bengal

Email to a friend WSN February 2011 - World Sankirtan Newsletter

By Vijaya das

For the pleasure of Srila Prabhupada this page contains the following results for the month of February 2011

Email to a friend


Rupa Madhurya das, TX, USA: Bhajan - 24hr Kirtan - Neha - 15/26

Rupa Madhurya das, TX, USA: Bhajan - 24hr Kirtan - Neha - 15/26

Neha singing a Hare Krishna bhajan for Dallas' New Year's 24hr Kirtan.

Dallas, TX

Neha singing a Hare Krishna bhajan for Dallas' New Year's 24hr Kirtan

Neha singing a Hare Krishna bhajan for Dallas' New Year's 24hr Kirtan

Email to a friend


Gaura-shakti Kirtan, Toronto, CA: Total Health Show 2011 - Spiritual Sounds Stood Out!

A few weeks back, Gaura-Shakti was invited to lead kirtan at the annual Total Health Show at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre on Sunday, April 10th. Given that we were going to be the first stage item for the day, I thought to myself that we should expect a small crowd and a simple kirtan. The whole group had decided to go into this event without any expectations.

In fact, a few days earlier, during a group conference call, we emphasized to each other a quote that was made by our spiritual father and loving guide, Srila Prabhupada, in reference to leading kirtan when nobody is there, " even the walls, they hear, then our kirtan is sufficient."

In this mood, we gathered on a crisp spring morning and made our way to the Covention Centre. Our goal was just to go out and chant with all of our hearts and let the results take care of themselves. Unfortunately, one of our members, Nitai Priya, couldn't join us due to illness, but she was with us in spirit!

It was 9am when we entered the convention floor and Demi, who miraculously runs the always-busy Govinda's booth at the show (and who helped book us for the stage), was very happy to see that we had arrived early!!! :D

Kirill, our bass player was already on-site, setting up his massage booth for his own business, "The Divine Touch". We proceeded to the stage and started to hook-up our sound equipment, trying to ensure that our microphone volumes were not too loud so as to disturb the surrounding vendors.

As a crazy and excited team, with big smiles, the girls from our group, Radha, Arusha and I, along with our friend Puja then went around the show floor to invite exhibitors and people who had arrived early to join us for the kirtan. Once we reassembled at the stage, we collectively chanted our traditional prayers and then took our positions to start the kirtan!

Amazingly, even though the crowd was so thin, the spiritual sounds of the kirtan pulled people to the stage and, soon enough, we had a small crowd! Those who came, brought so much warmth and encouraged us to sing with all of our hearts! For us, a successful kirtan is when everyone is chanting and clapping... and it happened!!!

After the 45-minute kirtan, the responses that we got were so beautiful! As we made our way from the stage, even exhibitors who couldn't join us, remarked that they could hear us from their booths and that they loved the sound! So, why were people so attracted to these sounds? Well, because these divine chants are not from this world! They are spiritual and eternal in origin.

Filled with positive energy, we then lined up for a delicious lunch, courtesy of our own dear Demi at Govinda's who, as usual, gave us everything she could. Life is perfect when you connect with the Supreme and others through the spiritual sounds and the Holy Names of the Divine!

The fun doesn't stop there, we're back at the Convention Centre this upcoming weekend during the annual Yoga Conference & Show. We'll be chanting on Saturday, April 16th from 5pm to 5:30pm in the Yoga Garden! Hope to see you there!

-- Tara
Email to a friend


H.H. Sivarama Swami: Remembering Navadvipa-mandala parikrama 19 years ago when, as Govinda Maharaja wrote “we were lean and full of fire.”

H.H. Sivarama Swami: Remembering Navadvipa-mandala parikrama 19 years ago when, as Govinda Maharaja wrote “we were lean and full of fire.”

Sivarama Swami

April 15th, 2011
Remembering Navadvipa-mandala parikrama 19 years ago when, as Govinda Maharaja wrote “we were lean and full of fire.”
Home Podcasts Bhajans/Kirtans Articles Photos & Videos Books Projects Magyar

Remembering Navadvipa-mandala parikrama 19 years ago when, as Govinda Maharaja wrote “we were lean and full of fire.”
April 15th, 2011

3 Responses to “Remembering Navadvipa-mandala parikrama 19 years ago when, as Govinda Maharaja wrote “we were lean and full of fire.””

Krishna-lila Dasi says:
April 16, 2011 at 5:13 pm
Guru Maharaja, I have noticed Gauranga and Krishna Caitanya at the background. I think it was 1993, at Sacimata`s birthplace. I remember standing a little further away with Haripriya, watching you all singing, dancing and ecstatically rolling in the dust. You were supposed to stop for lunch, but you just went on and on, almost till the evening. That sight was burnt into my memory and heart for ever, as it was a turning point in my Krishna-consciousness: I understood that what it looks like dirt to my eyes, it is actually the holiest of all places. Also, although you were not talking to and even looked at me me during the entire parikrama, I felt you were the closest to me that I had ever felt before. I kept a diary about those special days. I`m sending my love from New York, Ys. Kldd

Rohini devi dasi says:

April 16, 2011 at 6:40 pm
Dear Guru Maharaja,

Please accept our humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
I was so happy to hear of your plan to go on the Navadvipa Mandala parikrama next year. We have a strong desire to go visit the holy places this fall/next spring, please bless us that we may do so.

Your servant,

Rohini devi dasi and family

Caitanya Candra das says:
April 18, 2011 at 4:35 pm
The place looks like Bel Pukur. I was serving Govinda Maharaja on the parikrama. Maharaja was going wild in the kirtans and rolling in the dust of the Dham – I remember because I was the one washing his clothes :-)
H.H. Sivarama Swami: Remembering Navadvipa-mandala parikrama 19 years ago when, as Govinda Maharaja wrote “we were lean and full of fire.”

Email to a friend


Madhava Ghosh dasa, New Vrndavan, USA: Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us

Sudras, persons in the mode of ignorance, are generally in deep illusion about the purpose of life, accepting the gross material body as the self. Those in passion and ignorance are called vaisyas and hanker intensely for wealth, whereas ksatriyas, who are in the mode of passion, are eager for prestige and power. Those in the mode of goodness, however, hanker after perfect knowledge; they are therefore called brahmanas.

Srimad Bhagvatam 11.25.21

That action which is regulated and which is performed without attachment, without love or hatred, and without desire for fruitive results is said to be in the mode of goodness.

Bhagavad Gita 18.23

Email to a friend


H.H. Sivarama Swami: Food prices: World Bank warns millions face poverty

SRS: Again, 30% rise in food prices.

Email to a friend


Matsyavatara das (ACBSP), Italy: Being or becoming conscious of God. By Matsya Avatara dasa

24th march 2011
Morning class at Bhaktivedanta ashrama,
Perignano (PI)

In the conditioned state it is a difficult undertaking to be Krishna conscious, due to the heavy and uninterrupted conditionings we are subject to. A thought which has helped me many times and which I offer you, hoping it will help you too, is the one which leads you to concentrate your attention non only on being, but on becoming Krishna conscious. The idea as well as the wish of “becoming” it, has an enormous power, extraordinarily greater and stronger than the one of “being”. Indeed, “becoming” points out a dynamic movement, it implies that you have to apply yourself to a task with devotion and clear orientation. While the idea of “being” is static, the one of “becoming” includes the awareness of the need of one’s application and engagement to reach what we know is the result of a daily achievement. To become Krishna conscious means thus uninterrupted devotion and engagement, considering that at the moment our consciousness is conditioned. We live neither inside a bell-glass which protects us from every contamination, nor in a state of definitely and irrevocably obtained bliss. In the most blissful moments we can taste states of happiness which follow one another, but each of these is the result of an uninterrupted work on ourselves to renew in every moment our connection to God. Unfortunately we are not Krishna conscious, but thanks to His unconditioned mercy, we are trying to become it. I think that the following image could be of some inspiration: let’s think about ourselves as on the way, marching towards perfection, towards spiritual realization, liberation and, beyond that, towards bhakti. As we live states of consciousness which are still subject to conditioning, we should always keep a good watch on ourselves, pointing straight towards the goal. We haven’t yet reached our destination, so anything but resting or taking our attention off: it can take just a moment to be heavily off road. For us it’s essential to have a constant sadhana, an uninterrupted discipline, abhyasa. The mood we have when we know we have to conquer something is much more stimulating and productive than the thought that we already achieved a goal and just have to maintain it. To tell the truth, to maintain an achievement is very difficult, because the idea of having already achieved the goal leads you to a condition of mental steadiness and makes the task even harder. As it is difficult to keep the balance on a stationary bike, similarly it is difficult to maintain personal balance or the achieved spiritual goal if our interior life is not dynamic. Only if you pedal you can win the trend of losing the balance, and even more: you can restore the balance by pedalling. This uninterrupted movement and acting in view of the goal is essential and exactly in this lies the sadhana carried on unceasingly, abhyasa. For the mentioned reasons, maintaining oneself Krishna conscious is much more difficult than becoming it. Becoming conscious of God doesn’t imply in this case greed for contaminating material objects. Having the wish of becoming God conscious means acting to escape from the snare of the gunas and it is the most beautiful and the biggest discovery we can make: it’s the discovery of our divine nature. In the ordinary state of embodied life our consciousness is dominated by two basic impulses: sexuality and aggressiveness, which are functional to the survival of the species. The reconquest of a divine consciousness, which exceeds the limits of the ordinary, conditioned one, is the result of an uninterrupted effort, undertaken deliberately thanks to an aware and strong will which, blessed by Divine Grace, can lead us where we always long to be and stay. I wished to offer you this reflection in an attitude of spiritual friendship; as during time, always with a renewed consciousness, it has been helpful to me, I hope it will be for you, too. All that is true, that concerns spiritual reality, blossoms again and again as in spring, bringing renewed vision, faith and enthusiasm and stimulating an always greater effort in order to reach the goal”.
Email to a friend


Ananda Subramanian, Iowa, USA: Man

Here’s a question that was posed to the Dalai Lama:

“What thing about humanity surprises you the most?”

His answer was as follows: “Man”

"Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money Then he sacrifices his money to recuperate his health And then he is so anxious about the future that he doesn’t enjoy the present, And as a result he doesn’t live in the present or the future And he lives as if he’s never going to die, and then he dies having never really lived"

Email to a friend


Bhakti Lata, Alachua, USA: Mystic Moment

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

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

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

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

Every moment in Vrindavan is edged with the ethereal.

Email to a friend


ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Today's Darsana

Their Lordships'
darsana will help us achieve the goal of our Krishna Consciousness movement: to always remember Krishna and never forget Him.

As Srila Rupa Goswami states in his Upadesamrta:
"The essence of all advice is that one should utilise one's full time- twenty-four hours a day- in nicely chanting and remembering the Lord's divine name, transcendental form, qualities and eternal pastimes, thereby gradually engaging one's tongue and mind..."

Email to a friend


Gouranga TV: Lecture – Mukunda Datta das – SB 1.16 – How Parikshit Received the Age of Kali

Lecture – Mukunda Datta das – SB 1.16 – How Parikshit Received the Age of Kali

Email to a friend


ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Japa Retreat Briefing

Registration for next weekend's Japa Retreat has closed.


Here is a briefing from Bhurijan Prabhu:

'Saturday is a 32 rounds day and Sunday a 64 rounds day...Everyone who attends should be familiar with the first ten chapters of the "Japa" book. It would also be helpful if everyone has a copy of the book with them.'

Let there be all victory for the chanting of the holy name of Lord Krishna, which can cleanse the mirror of the heart and stop the miseries of the blazing fire of material existence. That chanting is the waxing moon that spreads the white lotus of good fortune for all living entities. It is the life and soul of all education. The chanting of the holy name of Krishna expands the blissful ocean of transcendental life. It gives a cooling effect to everyone and enables one to taste full nectar at every step. (Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita Antya Lila 20.12)

Email to a friend


ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Seminar - Narayani Mataji

ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Seminar - Narayani Mataji – The Prayers of Queen Kunti - Part 1

The Prayers of Queen Kunti
Part 1 - Seeing Krsna throughout our day.
srimad-bhagavatam puranam amalam yad vaisnavanam priyam
Posted by Bhakti Sara Dasa at 15/4/11; 2:41:32 PM to the Daily Class dept
ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Seminar - Narayani Mataji – The Prayers of Queen Kunti - Part 1

Email to a friend


ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Daily Class - Nanda Mandir Prabhu

Srimad Bhagavatam 12.3.49 - By reading Caitanya Caritamrita we can understand the mind of Supreme Lord (sri-rupa-raghunatha-pade yara asa caitanya caritamrta kahe krsnadasa).

Email to a friend


Vraja Kishor, JP: “Pure” (Gita 10.31)

pavanaḥ pavatām asmi

The wind, among purifiers, is I

rāmaḥ śastra-bhṛtām aham

Rāma among warriors, is I

jhaṣāṇāḿ makaraś cāsmi

Among aquatics, the Makara is I

srotasām asmi jāhnavī

Of flowing waters, I am Jāhnavī  (the Ganges)

The Wind Among Purifiers

Modern wind energy plant in rural scenery.

Image via Wikipedia

The wind appears to purify more fully than the sunlight! The wind blows away foreign particles. Pure means to be free from foreign particles. Our soul is impure when it is caked over with foreign particles: material senses, and the material mind. The central “ion” of filth-particle which attracts all other filth to our soul is the ego which is illusioned. The sense of myself not being an atom of Kṛṣṇa’s internal energy is this core of filth which attracts all other filth.

When the Mrdanga is struck – the air moves due to the waves in the ether. This movement of air is the “wind” that purifies my soul. When a person who loves Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa speaks, the vibrations of those words is the wind that removes the foreign particles from my soul.

The supramundane vibration of “Kṛṣṇa” is not of this world – it causes a magnitude 11 quake in the material ether, generating a supernova of hurricane force wind that instantaneously blows all impurity off the soul.

The wind is “pavana” because it purifies common things. Kṛṣṇa-katha – sound waves related to Krsna – are patita-pavana because they purify the most uncommon thing: the soul itself.

Rāma among Warriors

Meeting of Rama and Parasurama

Image via Wikipedia

Warriors are those who bear weapons (śastra-bhrtām). What is the right purpose of bearing weapons? It is to protect others. Protect others from what? From harm. Harm comes from where? From impure elements of society. Therefore warriors are another type of purifier.

Among all such warriors who fight to keep the pure citizens protected from the corrupted citizens – the greatest of all is Rāma. Who is Rāma?

In the current edition of Srila Prabhupāda’s Bhagavad Gita As It Is – the commentary does not mention anything about Rāma. Merely the translation says “Rāma” and no further information is given. In the original edition of Bhagavad Gita As It Is, the commentary is much longer! In it Prabhupāda says, “Lord Rāmacandra, of the Rāmāyaa, an incarnation of Kṛṣṇa, is the mightest [sic] of warriors.”

Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura’s commentary states that the Rāma mentioned here refers to Paraśurāma.

Either one is a proper figure to refer to for the sake of remembering Kṛṣṇa by seeing Kṛṣṇa’s vibhuti. Since “vibhuti” – the topic of the chapter – refers to things in the Material world, we might favor the shatyavesha avatar Parashurama over the lila-avatara Rāma. But either one is fine. This part of the purport which identifies Rāma as Rāmacandra may have been removed from subsequent editions for this purpose.

Both Rāma’s weild weapons to purify the world of corrupt elements. Parashurama is very interesting because he was a scholar (brahmana) who decided to learn Martial Arts because he evaluated all the warriors of his time as being selfish and corrupt. When the persons who are supposed to protect from corruption themselves become corrupt, what is to be done? Extreme measures must be taken. This is why the scholar became a warrior. He became empowered by God to live immortally and weild weapons with the power of Godhead. It is said that he has performed his duty of annihilating entire generations of corrupt warriors/leaders 21 times.

 Makara Among Aquatics

A sketch of the goddess Ganga on her Vahana (m...

Image via Wikipedia

What is a “Makara”? An easy way to translate it is a “Shark” – and that is how Srila Prabhupāda translates it. A shark is the closest modern descendent commonly seen of the fabled Makara, and is therefore fit to be used as a translation.

However it is good to know the difference between a Makara and a shark. A Makara is a chimera creature (a conglomeration of other entities). It has the jaws of a crocodile, the tail of a dolphin, and the legs of a ram. In other words it is the most fearsome and intimidating of all creatures. It’s special quality is that it is amphibious, not limited to water like a shark, and not slow like a crocodile but fast due to the shark/dolphin tail fin. The Jaws of the Makara cannot be escaped.

The Makara appears in several important places.

  • In the tale of Gajendra the lord of elephants, a Makara (not a mere “crocodile”) bites him on the leg and will not let go. Gajendra only survives by keeping the Makara out of the water and by praying to Vishnu for salvation.
  • All gods and goddesses have animals upon whom they depend and travel. The goddess of the Ganges river rides upon a Makara.
  • The “shark-shaped” earrings Kṛṣṇa wears (and Shiva, who wears only one) are actually in the shape of Makara.
  • The year turns from deterioration to growth on Makara-sankranti – the day the Sun enters the Makara portion of the zodiac, equivalent to the winter solstice.
  • Makara is the 10th sign (rashi) of the zodiac. The western name is Capricorn. Srila Prabhupāda, Aindra Prabhu (and probably many other spiritual leaders in the recent Gaudiya Sampradaya) were born when this constellation – Makara – was rising.

The constellation of Makara belongs to Saturn. Saturn is the planet responsible for dealing with all the filth in our lives, all the grief and suffering, and enabling us to survive and detach from it all. The role of the Makara then, is to be the warrior of the waters, and to purify the world of weakness.

Ganges Among Rivers

Yogi meditating in the Ganges

Image by Spyros P via Flickr

Wind is not the only thing that purifies. Warriors, and warrior creatures also purify. The sunlight and fire/heat also purifies. Water also purifies. Especially water that flows is pure (flowing water is called srotasam). Rivers always flow and so they are more purifying than still water in ponds or lakes. Of all the rivers the Ganges is the most purifying because it not only purifies the body – it also purifies the mind, and also purifies the soul. This is because it washed the toe of Trivikrama (the incarnation of Vishnu).

The Yamuna is a special branch of the Ganges which is particularly purifying and special.


In this section of Bhagavad Gita, Śrī Kṛṣṇa is advising us how to practice meditation in the midst of living an ordinary life of contemplating ordinary sense object, and other objects that exist or have existed within this material world. In this text, he advises us to be reminded of him whenever we encounter things that are purifying. He gives four examples of purifying things – the wind, the moral warriors, the ferocious animals, and the river Ganges.

Kṛṣṇa himself is more pure than any of these things – but he is telling us that when we see these things, which are more pure than the other things in our experience, we should remember him and how wonderfully purifying he is.

What is the good of purification? Inherent in the soul is an atom of infinite bliss. When the soul is dirty that atom is eclipsed and covered by filth. To become purified would uncover that bliss and we would feel limitless joy eternally. Therefore purification is worth our full effort and endeavor. The highest purification comes by putting ourselves directly in touch with Śrī Kṛṣṇa.

How can we come in touch with Śrī Kṛṣṇa to be purified? Indirectly by appreciating the purifying things reflected into our material worlds. But more powerfully, we can directly touch the Deity of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, we can eat the foods offered to the deity, we can put the pure form of the deity into our EARS, and thus into our hearts by hearing the sound of the deity – which is the name of the Deity, “Hare Kṛṣṇa.”

Lord Caitanya - ISKCON desire tree

Image by ISKCON desire tree via Flickr

Thus, coming together to announce and hear the glorious pure name of Kṛṣṇa is praised by Śrī Gaura-Hari: sarvaatma-snapanam (it is the purifying bath for the soul to bathe in!) param vijayate sri Krsna sankirtanam (topmost of all special exaltations to the congregational glorification of Śrī Kṛṣṇa!).

Vraja Kishor, JP: “Puro” (Gita 10.31)

pavanaḥ pavatām asmi
entre los purificadores, soy Yo El Viento

rāmaḥ śastra-bhṛtām aham
entre guerreros, soy Yo Rāma

jhaṣāṇāḿ makaraś cāsmi
Entre los acuáticos, Yo soy Makara

srotasām asmi jāhnavī
entre las corrientes de agua, Yo soy jāhnavī (el Ganges)

El viento entre los purificadores

Modern wind energy plant in rural scenery.
Image via Wikipedia

¡El viento parece que purifica más que la luz del sol! El viento sopla (barre) las partículas extrañas en suspensión. El medio más purificador para limpiar las particulas extrañas. Nuestra al se contamina cuando se pone en contacto con las partículas extrañas (impuras): los sentidos materiales, y la mente material. El “ion central” de la partícula inmunda que transporta el resto de la inmundicia a nuestra alma es la ilusión del ego. El sentido de que no es un átomo de la energía interna de Kṛṣṇa es esta base de la inmundicia que atrae el resto de la inmundicia.

Cuando toco la Mrdanga - los movimientos del aire debido a las ondas en el éter. Este movimiento del aire es el “viento” que purifica mi alma. Cuando una persona que ama a Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa habla, las vibraciones de esas palabras son el viento que quita las partículas extrañas (impuras) de mi alma.

La vibración supramundana de “Kṛṣṇa” no es de este mundo - causa un temblor de la magnitud 11 en el éter material, generando una supernova de viento con la fuerza del huracán que sopla (barre) instantáneamente toda las impurezas del alma.

El viento es “pavana” porque purifica cosas comunes. El Kṛṣṇa-katha - son las ondas acústicas relacionadas con Krsna - o sea patita-pavana porque purifican la cosa más infrecuente: el alma misma.

Rāma entre guerreros 
Meeting of Rama and Parasurama
Image via Wikipedia

Los guerreros son los que llevan las armas (śastra-bhṛtām). ¿Cuál es el propósito correcto de llevar las armas? Es proteger a los demás. ¿Protejer a los demás contra qué? Contra el daño. ¿El daño viene de donde? De elementos impuros de la sociedad. Por lo tanto los guerreros son otros tipo de purificadores.

Entre todos tales guerreros que luchan para mantener a los ciudadanos puros y protegidos contra los ciudadanos corrompidos - el más grande de todo es Śrī Rāma.

¿Quién es Śrī Rāma? En la edición actual de Bhagavad Gita Tal Como Es de Srila Prabhupāda - el comentario no menciona nada sobre Śrī Rāma. La traducción dice simplemente que no se da “Rāma” y ninguna otra información. ¡En la edición original de Bhagavad Gita Tal Como Es, el comentario es mucho más largo! En él Prabhupāda dice, “Señor Śrī Rāmacandra, del Rāmāyaṇa, una encarnación de Śrī Kṛṣṇa, es el más poderoso de los guerreros.”

El comentario de Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura indica que el Śrī Rāma mencionado aquí se refiere a Śrī Paraśurāma.

Uno y otro es una figura apropiada para referirse y por recordar a Śrī Kṛṣṇa viendo el vibhuti de Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Puesto que el “vibhuti” - el asunto del capítulo - se refiere a cosas en el mundo material, puede ser que favorezcamos al avatar Śrī Paraśurāma del shatyavesha sobre el lila-avatara Śrī Rāma. Pero cualquiera de los dos sería bueno. Esta parte del significado que identifica a Śrī Rāma mientras que Śrī Rāmacandra se pudo haber quitado de las ediciones subsecuentes con este fin.

Ambos Śrī Rāma maneja las armas para purificar el mundo de elementos corruptos. Parashurama es muy interesante porque él era un erudito (brahmana) que decidió aprender artes guerreras porque él evaluó a todos los guerreros de su tiempo como siendo egoístas y corruptos. ¿Cuándo las personas que se suponen deben proteger contra la corrupción ellos mismos llegan a ser las corruptas, qué se puede hacer con ellos? Se deben tomar medidas extremas. Esta es la razón por la cual el erudito se hizo un guerrero. Él fue autorizado por Dios para vivir inmortalmente y para manejar las armas con la energía Señor Dios. Se dice que él ha realizado su deber de aniquilar las generaciones enteras de guerreros y de líderes corruptos 21 veces.

Makara entre los Seres Acuáticos

A sketch of the goddess Ganga on her Vahana (m...
Image via Wikipedia

¿Quién es “Makara”? Una manera fácil de traducirlo es un “tiburón” - y es así cómo lo traduce Srila Prabhupāda. Un tiburón es el descendiente moderno más cercano comúnmente - visto del Makara legendario, y es por lo tanto puede ser utilizado como similar. Sin embargo es bueno saber la diferencia entre un Makara y un tiburón. Un Makara es una criatura de la quimera (una mezcla de otras entidades). Tiene las quijadas de un cocodrilo, la cola de un delfín, y las piernas de un espolón. Es decir es el más temible y e intimidatoria de todas las criaturas. Su cualidad especial es que es un anfibio, no está limitado a navegar como un tiburón, y no es tan lento como un cocodrilo sino rápido debido a la aleta del tiburón/del delfín. De las quijadas del Makara no se puede escapar.

El Makara aparece en varios lugares importantes.

  • En el cuento de Gajendra el señor de elefantes, un Makara (no un mero “cocodrilo") lo muerde en la pierna y no lo dejaba ir. Gajendra sobrevive solamente manteniendo al Makara fuera del agua y rogando a Vishnu para la salvación.
  • Todos los dioses y diosas tienen animales sobre los cuales montan y viajan. La diosa del río Ganges monta sobre un Makara.
  • Los pendientes que usa Kṛṣṇa tiene la imagen de “Tiburón” (y Shiva, que usa solamente uno) tiene realmente la forma de un Makara.
  • El año da vuelta de la deterioración al crecimiento en Makara-sankranti - el día en el que el Sol entra en la porción de Makara del zodiaco, equivalente al solsticio de invierno.
  • Makara es la 10º signo (rashi) del zodiaco. El nombre occidental es Capricornio. Srila Prabhupāda, Aindra Prabhu (y probablemente muchos otros líderes espirituales en la reciente Gaudiya Sampradaya) nació cuando se levantaba esta constelación de Makara -.

La constelación de Makara pertenece a Saturno. Saturno es el planeta responsable de tratar con todo tipo de inmundicia en nuestras vidas, toda las penas y los sufrimiento, y permitirnos sobrevivir y separarnos de todo lo inmundo que hay en la vida. El papel del Makara entonces, es ser el guerrero de las aguas, y purificar al mundo de la debilidad.

Entre los ríos Yo soy el Ganges

Yogi meditating in the Ganges
Image by Spyros P via Flickr

El viento no es la única cosa que purifica. Los guerreros, y las criaturas guerreras también purifican. La luz del sol y el fuego y su calor también purifican. El agua también purifica. Riegue especialmente que los flujos son puros (la agua corriente se llama srotasam). Los ríos fluyen siempre y así que son purificadores y aún riegan las charcas y los lagos. De todos los ríos el Ganges es el más excelso en cuanto a purificación se refiere, porque no sólo purifica el cuerpo - también purifica la mente, y también purifica el alma. Esto es debido a que lavó el dedo del pie de Trivikrama (la encarnación de Vishnu). El Yamuna es una rama especial del Ganges que es aun mas excelso que el Ganges en cuanto a purificación se refiere, por los pasatiempos infantiles y juveniles de Sri Krishna. 


En esta sección de Bhagavad Gita, Śrī Kṛṣṇa nos está aconsejando cómo practicar la meditación en el medio de la vida una vida ordinaria de comtemplar el objeto ordinario del sentido, y otros objetos que existan o han existido dentro de este mundo material. En este texto, él nos aconseja que lo recordemos a Él siempre que encontremos las cosas que son puras. Él da cuatro ejemplos de las cosas que purifican - el viento, los guerreros morales, los animales feroces, y el río Ganges. 

Kṛṣṇa mismo es más puro que ninguno de estas cosas - pero Él nos dice que cuando vemos estas cosas, que son más puras que las otras cosas en nuestra experiencia, debemos recordarlo y cuan maravillosamente purifica Él.

¿Qué es lo bueno de la purificación? Inherente en el alma es un átomo de la dicha infinita. Cuando el alma está sucia ese átomo es eclipsado y cubierto por la inmundicia. Para purificarse destaparía que la dicha y nosotros sentiríamos alegría ilimitada eternamente. Por lo tanto la purificación vale nuestro esfuerzo y esfuerzo completos. La purificación más alta viene poniéndose directamente en contacto con Śrī Kṛṣṇa.

¿Cómo podemos ponernos en  contacto con Śrī Kṛṣṇa para que nos purifique? Indirectamente apreciando las cosas de la purificación reflejadas en nuestro mundo material. Pero más de gran alcance, podemos tocar directamente a la deidad de Śrī Kṛṣṇa, nosotros podemos comer los alimentos ofrecidos a la deidad, podemos poner la forma pura de la deidad en nuestros OÍDOS, y así en nuestros corazones oyendo el sonido de la deidad - que es el nombre de la deidad, las “Hare Kṛṣṇa.”

Así, viniendo junto anunciar y a oír el glorioso nombre puro de Kṛṣṇa que es elogiado por Śrī Gaura-Hari: sarvaatma-snapanam (es el baño de la purificación para que el alma se bañe en él!)param vijayate sri Krsna sankirtanam (superior de todas las exaltaciones especiales a la glorificación en congregación de Śrī Kṛṣṇa!).

Email to a friend


Japa Group: Krsna In The Wrestling Arena

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

Email to a friend

More Recent Articles

ProFlowers - Send ProFlowers starting at $19.99


Your requested content delivery powered by FeedBlitz, LLC, 9 Thoreau Way, Sudbury, MA 01776, USA. +1.978.776.9498


Pagina de


SOUV2BalaramScaGoudyFOLIO 4.2Biblica Font

free counters

Disculpen las Molestias

Planet ISKCON - 2010  ·  Planet ISKCON - 2011

No hay comentarios:

Publicar un comentario

Archivo del blog