miércoles, 10 de agosto de 2011

Kripamoya dasa, UK: Narasimha kainkaryam


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"Planet ISKCON" - 52 new articles

  1. H.G. Sankarshan das Adhikari, USA: Friday 20 May 2011--Serving Srila Prabhupada's Mission--and--What Motivates You to Guide Everyone?
  2. ISKCON News.com: Our Phone Calls May Be Killing the Bees
  3. ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Upcoming Visitors
  4. The Loft, Auckland, NZ: Queens Birthday Weekend
  5. The Loft, Auckland, NZ: The Conformity Game – 1st June
  6. ISKCON Melbourne, AU: KCU at Krishna Fest
  7. ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Today's Darsana
  8. Vraja Kishor, JP: How do you explain Krsna Consciousness to people with no idea what it is?
  9. Japa Group: Causeless Mercy
  10. ISKCON News.com: A New Video By The Mayapuris
  11. Devadeva Mirel, Alachua, USA: Vintage Lustreware Elephant
  12. Subhavilasa das ACBSP, Toronto, CA: Mayapuris NEW Music Video Release TODAY. "Mridanga"
  13. Bharatavarsa.net: Bhakti Vikasa Swami: Swarupa Damodar is such a nice devotee
  14. Subhavilasa das ACBSP, Toronto, CA: In the News: The Mayapuris, Mridangum and Mother's Day: A Divine Experience at ISKCON
  15. Sita-pati dasa, AU: Mayapuris video
  16. H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami (Ret.): 315—Poem for May 19
  17. H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami (Ret.): OLD FRIENDS
  18. David Haslam, UK: Vows
  19. Dandavats.com: Report from the GBC’s Strategic Planning Outreach Committee
  20. Dandavats.com: Our sankirtana - tainted with BLOOD OF SLAUGHTER!
  21. Dandavats.com: Celebrate Festival of Anartha-nivritti
  22. Dandavats.com: Vaishaka Sudh Pournami -Appearance day Sri Radharaman
  23. Dandavats.com: Secrets of the Bible
  24. Dandavats.com: A Story
  25. Dandavats.com: Chanting, Dancing & Feasting. London’s Ancient Festival of Chariots
  26. Dandavats.com: Looking For Vegetarian Roomate To Share Rent In Beautiful Brand New Apartment
  27. Caitanya Mangala, CA, USA: KulimeLA 2009: Goura Riggan Performs at the Ford Theater in Hollywood
  28. ISKCON Toronto, Canada: Monthly Temple Clean-Up this Saturday @ 10am!
  29. Kripamoya dasa, UK: Narasimha kainkaryam
  30. Nityananda Chandra Das, Dallas TX: TEXAS FAITH 41: Is science leading to a new literalism?
  31. Madhava Ghosh dasa, New Vrndavan, USA: Evolution at Work
  32. Devadeva Mirel, Alachua, USA: Tipster : Edible Bread Bowl
  33. Akrura das, Gita Coaching: PASSED THE TEST
  34. Akrura das, Gita Coaching: CONSCIOUS MANAGER - AN ONLINE MAGAZINE
  35. Rupa Madhurya das, TX, USA: Bhajan - 24hr Kirtan - Gopi Gita dasi - 23/26
  36. Subhavilasa das ACBSP, Toronto, CA: A follow up to last post ~ Local Govinda's Vegetarian Dining Club
  37. Subhavilasa das ACBSP, Toronto, CA: In the news: Grove's Hare Krishna temple adds vegan dining club
  38. David Haslam, UK: More archive classes by HH Devamrita Swami added
  39. H.H. Sivarama Swami: Sulalita dd asks to what extent should devotees watch the news on the internet, be aware of current affairs or even listen to speeches of politicians
  40. Japa Group: The First Two Processes
  41. Maddy Jean-claude Durr, New Govardhana, AU: Bhaktivedanta College Belgium (Promotional Video)
  42. Akrura das, Gita Coaching: LEADER
  43. Akrura das, Gita Coaching: NIRANJANA SWAMI ON DEVOTEE CARE
  44. Bhakta Chris, New York, USA: Radhanath Swami and Dr. Cornel West Bond In A Conversation On Faith
  45. Mayapur Online: Salila Vihara - Boat Pastimes
  46. Yoga of Ecology, Bhakta Chris, USA: The Strange Organism That Might Kill Monsanto?
  47. Toronto Sankirtan Team, CA: April Newsletter - Now online!
  48. Mayapur Online: Mayapur Melodies Audio CD
  49. H.H. Devamrita Swami: The Most Successful Failure
  50. ISKCON Melbourne, AU: KCU Harinama
  51. Gouranga TV: Chandan Yatra. The festival of the hot season.
  52. Hari Sauri das, Mayapura, IN: 2011 tour – Sufferer’s Paradise
  53. More Recent Articles
  54. Search Planet ISKCON
  55. Prior Mailing Archive

H.G. Sankarshan das Adhikari, USA: Friday 20 May 2011--Serving Srila Prabhupada's Mission--and--What Motivates You to Guide Everyone?

A daily broadcast of the Ultimate Self Realization Course Friday 20 May 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: Serving Srila Prabhupada's Mission Uploaded from Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas USA Srila Prabhupada shines with the luster of pure Krishna bhakti. His resplendence is sufficient to illuminate the entire material world and deliver everyone back to their original positions of eternity, knowledge, and bliss in that wondrous spiritual sky. Therefore my eternal existence is dedicated to assisting him in this most glorious of all missions. Even though I am most unqualified and unfit to serve in his mission, he has very kindly accepted me as his disciple and given me the name Sankarshan Das, the servant of that Lord who attracts everyone. Sankarshan Das Adhikari My Resplendent Spiritual Master, Srila Prabhupada http://www.backtohome.com/images/Prabhupada/sp_point2.jpg Answers According to the Vedic Version: Question: What Motivates You to Guide Everyone? Dear Srila Gurudeva! Please accept my humble obeisances. 1. Even in such a busy life, you openly welcome questions. Your email and contact details are available for every one. What motivates you to do this? 2. If someone cannot become your disciple, or may not like to become your disciple or may happily want you to make his or her siksha (instructing) guru only rather than making you diksha (initiating) guru, but asks you questions related to Krishna consciousness, would you be happy to answer? 3. Apart from respecting you and serving you, what else are the things you like to find in your disciples that can give you deep pleasure ? 4. My last question, suppose I am a householder looking for a full time job, and also have some loans to pay others. What should I do so that I can come out of such difficulties without leaving devotional service and Krishna? Your servant, D.B. Answer: Whole World Becoming Krishna Conscious Here are the answers to your four questions: 1. My motivation for being so readily available for guiding anyone in the world who sincerely wants to learn about the ultimate science of Krishna consciousness is that I desire that the whole world should become relieved as soon as possible from its present miserable, chaotic condition so that all people can become happy. 2. Thus, I give guidance to all whether they are my initiated disciples or not. But at the same time it should be noted that the student receives benefit according to his degree of surrender. One who only inquires and does not serve the spiritual master does not receive as much benefit as one who both inquires and tries to please the spiritual master by humble, submissive service. 3. My desire is that all of my disciples may awaken the dormant pure love for Lord Krishna within their hearts because this will be the perfection of their existence. 4. Chant at least 16 rounds of Hare Krishna japa mala every day as early as possible in the day to put yourself in the proper Krishna conscious mindset for the day. Also keep yourself pure by strictly avoiding illicit sex, intoxication, meat eating, and gambling. Then you may put your full energy into securing income to pay off your debts. Because of your chanting and strictly avoiding sinful activities, you will remain in a state of pure Krishna consciousness without being contaminated by the material energy. Sankarshan Das Adhikari Transcendental Resources: Receive the Special Blessings of Krishna Now you too can render the greatest service to the suffering humanity and attract the all-auspicious blessings of Lord Sri Krishna upon yourself and your family by assisting our mission. Lectures and Kirtans in Audio and Video: Link to High Definition Videos Link to Over 1,000 Lecture Audios Lecture-Travel Schedule for 2011 http://www.ultimateselfrealization.com/schedule Have Questions or Need Further Guidance? Check out the resources at: http://www.ultimateselfrealization.com or write Sankarshan Das Adhikari at: sda@backtohome.com Get your copy today of the world's greatest self-realization guide book, Bhagavad-gita As It Is available at:http://www.ultimateselfrealization.com/store Know someone who could benefit from this? Forward it to them. Searchable archives of all of course material: http://www.sda-archives.com Receive Thought for the Day as an RSS feed:http://www.backtohome.com/rss.htm Unsubscribe or change your email address Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/Daily_Thought Sankarshan Das Adhikari on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SDASITE Thought for the Day on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Ultimate.Self.Realization 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: http://www.backtohome.com Our records indicate that at requested to be enrolled to receive e-mails from the Ultimate Self Realization Course at: This request was made on: From the following IP address:

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ISKCON News.com: Our Phone Calls May Be Killing the Bees

By Angela Braun for care2.com on 20 May 2011

Soon we may face the serious conundrum of having to hang up moblie phones to save the honey. A new study has concluded that cellular phone calls disrupt a vital honeybee communication signal, causing the bees to become terminally confused and die.

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List Building for Bloggers: Proven email stategies that build your audience, increase engagement and grow your income. Launch pricing available thru May 23, 2011.

ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Upcoming Visitors



We will have the utmost pleasure of relishing Hari Sauri Prabhu's visit in Melbourne from the 23rd to the 30th May.

His program will be posted some time during the weekend so please stay posted.

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The Loft, Auckland, NZ: Queens Birthday Weekend

The Loft will be shut for Queens birthday weekend. That means no Krishna fest on Sunday the 5th June and no yoga on Monday the 6th.

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The Loft, Auckland, NZ: The Conformity Game – 1st June

Hear from a world traveling Bhakti Yoga teacher who will be discussing The Conformity Game – “Yes, Make Me Over”. Break through the subtle powers of conformity and be your true, happy & individual self! At the Loft 6pm $8 with dinner and desert. More Details:

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ISKCON Melbourne, AU: KCU at Krishna Fest



Here are some more pictures from the Kuli Catch Up saga, at Krishna Fest, our urban centre on Swanston Street this time.

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ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Today's Darsana

"mama mana mandire raha niśi-din krsna murāri śrī krsna murāri

bhakti pritī mālā candan tumi nio he nio citta-nandan

jīvana maraṇa tava pūja nivedan sundara he mana-hāri..."


Please abide in the temple of my heart both day and night, O Krsna Murari, O Sri Krsna Murari!

Devotion, love, flower garlands, and sandalwood- please accept them, O Delighter of the Heart!

In life or in death I worship You with these offerings, Beautiful One, O Enchanter of the Heart!


(Mama Mana Mandire by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura)

Here is the darsana of our local Sri Krsna Murari, Sri Radha Ballabha, that Enchanter and Delighter of our hearts.



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Vraja Kishor, JP: How do you explain Krsna Consciousness to people with no idea what it is?

About 15 minutes ago a respectable friend of mine told me that he is going to a university to explain Krsna-Consciousness to a group of students with little to no prior exposure to it or even to global religions. He asked for my suggestion on a class outline. Here is what I came up with.

1) What is the meaning of life?

Let them offer suggestions.

Then say “Raso Vai Sah” and “Ananda Moya Abhyasat” and explain that Vedic wisdom says that the meaning of life is to relish joy and bliss – to be happy.

Suggest that the validity of this answer is self-evident.

2) Explain the 4 goals of life, as different milestones or facets of understanding how to attain that goal.

Kama – happiness through sensations, Artha – happiness through security (to stabilize our ability to enjoy quality sensations), Dharma – happiness through morality (to cooperate with one another so that no one wants, and thus no one steals our enjoyable sensations), and Moksha – happiness through enlightenment (to attain an enjoyable sensation beyond the confinement of this world, i.e. time).

3) Explain the 5th goals of life, Prema.

After exploring all 4 goals we evolve to understand that joy does not come by having enjoyment, rather it comes by giving enjoyment. Prema means, love, and love is the desire to give enjoyment to the beloved.

4) Explain the proper vishaya for prema.

Once we understand love it also has to evolve to find the most joyous and blissful person to love (“Vishaya”). First we will love a limited person, but (a) that excludes other persons, and (b) that person is temporary and (c) that person has faults. Eventually to fully realize the meaning of life we seek love of God.

5) Explain the 5 stages of love of God.

At first love of god is merely an awestruck wonder at God’s position – shanta rasa. Then it can evolve to actually interacting with that awe-inspiring and worshipable being – dasya rasa.

These are the common conceptions of God, but beyond that are secret conceptions that are rare. The 3rd stage is where love of Godhead evolves so that we interact with Godhead without the limitations imposed on the relationship as a result of God beings so, “God-like” and imposing. This is Sakhya Rasa.

It can evolve beyond that so that the love intensifies so much that one expresses superiority to the beloved and takes care of him like a parent takes care of a child. This is Vatsalya Rasa.

It can finally evolve to the most intimate state, in which there are no limitations whatsoever on the intimacy of one’s joyous blissful loving relationship with God. This is romantic divine love – the sweetest bliss – therefore called Madhurya Rasa.

Mention that there are further evolutions within that category beyond the scope of current discussion.

6) Name the Vishaya.

There are various forms of Godhead to reciprocate with various people in various relationships. But the higher three relationships become more exclusively focused on the original, intimate form of Godhead known as Krsna, the “all attractive.” Krsna is Godhead at his most open and intimate.

7) Now the sadhya (goal) as been explained, so next explain the sadhana (means to achieve it): Nothing but love creates love. Therefore to attain divine love one needs only to practice it. (sadhana-bhakti-yoga).

The practice mainly centers on Sravana-Kirtana-Smarana: hearing about the beloved, and speaking about the beloved – with the effect of remembering the beloved.

There are many ways of doing this, but extra emphasis is given on the most effective way: nama-sankirtana – coming together with others who desire to love Krsna and together singing and listening to songs about Krsna, especially about his sweet name.

There is one particular Mantra, the “maha-mantra” especially suited and empowered for this practice:

Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna
Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare
Hare Rama, Hare Rama
Rama Rama, Hare Hare

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Japa Group: Causeless Mercy

Hare Krsna dear devotees, I hope your week has been fine and your chanting with lots of love and devotion. I got a really beautiful prayer from Pralada Maharaj to Lord Nrsimhadeva.

O my Lord, O Supreme Personality of Godhead, original spiritual master of the entire world, what is the difficulty for You, who manage the affairs of the universe, in delivering the fallen souls engaged in Your devotional service? You are the friend of all suffering humanity, and for great personalities it is necessary to show mercy to the foolish. Therefore I think that You will show Your causeless mercy to persons like us, who engage in Your service - the service of Your devotees.
SB 7.9.42

In this age of Kali we are all suffering and the Lord came and gave us the medicine, the chanting of the Holy Names, if we stick to this method we will be saved and cured not only the external body but the soul will be relieved from endless suffering.

your servant,

Aruna devi

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ISKCON News.com: A New Video By The Mayapuris

On May 19th the Mayapuris have released their new video called "Mridanga". To watch video please visit


The making of the video by Gauravani and Rasa Acarya:

For more information visit www.yogajournal.com

If the selection above is hosted by YouTube then after the video plays there will be several links presented to other videos. ISKCON News Weekly has no control over the selections presented and is not responsible for their contents.
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Devadeva Mirel, Alachua, USA: Vintage Lustreware Elephant

Retail Therapy: Recently I purchased this little lustreware elephant for less than 50 cents at my local Salvation Army store. When I washed him up and put him on my shelf, the husband just shook his head and laughed, saying that he'll never understand my taste. In August we will be married 10 years, yet he still is surprised by the things I pick out. Also, he told me that if he brought the same little item home for me, I would hate it. Am I really that fickle? I think my tastes are pretty predictable. What's do you think?

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Subhavilasa das ACBSP, Toronto, CA: Mayapuris NEW Music Video Release TODAY. "Mridanga"

The video is above using "embed" option as offered by Yoga Journal, the exclusive media outlet to officially release the Video today.  
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Bharatavarsa.net: Bhakti Vikasa Swami: Swarupa Damodar is such a nice devotee

Swarupa Damodar is such a nice devotee; he has the quality of always making friends, not enemies – no one speaks against him. I have great hopes in the scientific preaching Swarupa Damodar and other educated devotees can engage in to defeat the rascal, materialistic theorists who claim such nonsense as "life comes from matter." More and more in the future Swarupa Damodar and others like him will be working to force the educated public to accept that there is God. Whatever cooperation you can give in this connection will help your own spiritual life and will give the greatest benefit to others.

>>> Ref. VedaBase => Letter to: Dr. W.H. Wolf-Rottkay, 7 February, 1977

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Subhavilasa das ACBSP, Toronto, CA: In the News: The Mayapuris, Mridangum and Mother's Day: A Divine Experience at ISKCON

Visvambhar Sheth (left) & Krsna Kishor Rico (right) in the midst of their mrdanga set, while Vrinda Devi keeps the beat with kartals
By Shobana Muratee

After a exhaustive day at Ifest (Houston International Festival) on Sunday, May 8th, serving delicious vegetarian food at the ‘Holy Cow’, singing kirtans and passing out information on Krishna consciousness in the sweltering heat, members of the Hare Krishna Dham, Houston were treated to a delightful evening of spiritual upliftment at the temple.

The Mayapuris, a kirtan band, distinguished by their powerful mridangum beats in punk rock style, performed to a packed audience gathered at the temple’s Gauranga Hall. Currently, on their ‘Southern Hospitality Tour’, the Mayapuris, will be moving next to perform in Dallas. Graced by the presence of His Holiness Rtadhvaja Maharaja, senior disciple of A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Founder Acharya of ISKCON,  the Mayapuris gave a memorable performance of pure and uplifting music.

Dedicating the program to mothers, the Mayapuris sang the kirtan ‘Jai Sri Krishna bolo Jai Radha’ to the delight of the entire audience that joined them in unison. The Mayapuris accompanied by the ‘Temple Dancers Troupe’ presented a breathtaking ballet by Vrinda, a Bharatnatyam exponent from world’s finest Bharatnatyam dance institution in India, Kalakshetra Academy. The ballet choreographed by the Mayapuris and performed by Vrinda depicted nature, its creativity and its mindless destruction by the demon Hiranyaksha when it was eventually being restored by Varaha (Krishna avatar) was visually mesmerizing and equally enriching.

Chief Guest, Col Raj Bhalla, president, India Culture Center, commented that the Mayapuris were, “Simply awesome and spiritually charged.” In his address, he recounted his first impressions about the people of Krishna consciousness during the 60s and remembered them as “young men and women of shaved heads, with saffron robes chanting Hare Krishna outside malls.” Col. Bhalla then narrated the story of a boatman and scholar often told by  Srila Prabhupada, Founder Acharya of ISKCON to his followers that he found very interesting. Col. Bhalla said, “It is heartening to know of the spiritual service of the people of ISKCON,” Especially, in this kaliyuga when truth and morality are at their lowest,” he added.  He also gave a brief outline of the India Culture Center and its various activities.  His Grace Shayamsunder Dasa, temple president, welcomed and honored the Chief Guest and spoke a few words on the occasion.

Named after the very town that brought modern kirtan to the world 500 years ago, the Mayapuris launched the band performing academic-style music demonstrations but quickly developed their own wild showmanship style. With a deadly combination of talent and tenacity, the Mayapuris: Vishvambhar Das (Vish), Balarama Tirtha Das (Bali), and Krsna Kishore Das (Kish) are on their ‘Southern Hospitality Tour’, promoting their album Mridanga, created and dedicated  to Krishna consciousness into which they all grew up.

Vish grew up in two worlds: his father a Vedic priest, his mother an Italian-American, enjoying a childhood in India and teen years in the American South, a student of classical sitar and bass player in a straight-edge hardcore band. By nine he was living in an ashram in Krishna’s childhood home of Vrindavan, India, where he studied Sanskrit, Vedic texts and traditional Indian instruments until returning to the States in time for punk rock teenhood.

Kish and his brother Bali, both native Columbians, were raised by their artistic parents in a small Krishna community in central Florida, to sing and chant kirtans every day. At twelve, Kish set off with Bali for spiritual schooling in the holy city of Mayapur in West Bengal, India. For two years Kish engulfed himself in studying traditional music and martial arts. His music is inspired by the Gypsy Kings and Santana, Kish adds Latin passion and reggaeton layers to the Mayapuri sound.

Bali grew up in a small Krishna community in central Florida. The Ricco’s first born showed signs of a child prodigy when in second grade he read on a seventh grade level. When Bali was called to study in Mayapur, he took notes from the elderly Bengali Vaisnavas. Bali returned to the US and enrolled in a traditional American university, graduating with a 4.0 and a psychology degree. He’s half way to a doctorate in pharmacology. Bali brings non-traditional rhythms, contemporary harmonies, dance, drama and lightheartedness to the Mayapuris.

Vrinda born to an artistic family grew up in Swedish Krishna community, a rural ashram with its own dairy cows, lake, school and temple where the few dozen devotees took all of their meals together. Dance is so interwoven with Vrinda’s soul that even crossing the street looks naturally choreographed. As the

Mayapuris gelled into a band; it became clear that Vrinda’s dance style had the power to transfix audiences around the globe. For more info you visit Mayapuris.com.

The Hare Krishna Dham, Houston is known to bring such rich cultural and spiritual experiences to its devotees and residents in Houston. The Mayapuris was yet another spiritual extravaganza organized by them this year. Sasi Murali along with her team, emcee Swati Murali, the Jiv Jago (musical group) and others gave a fitting tribute to Mother’s Day that was well appreciated by the jubilant audience.  Prior to this final program the Mayapuris had wowed audiences at Ifest, and several yoga studios in Houston.

Article at: http://www.indoamerican-news.com/?p=2451
From left: Balarama Tirtha Rico, Visvambhar Sheth & Krsna Kishor Rico - the Mayapuris
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Sita-pati dasa, AU: Mayapuris video


Coming to Australia in October!

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H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami (Ret.): 315—Poem for May 19

www.sdgonline.org. SDGonline Daily updates

5:16 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 35 years. I hope this variety will be pleasing.

Poem for May 19

After lunch, after
the guests left, I got
a migraine, took med
and lay back in the lazy-boy
chair downstairs. Baladeva was
beat from entertaining and lay
back in the other lazy-boy.
And we both chilled out in silence
while a loud fly buzzed through
the room. The house is quiet

There are two kinds of living entities,
nitya-mukta and nitya-baddha.
The eternally liberated souls are
with Krishna and His associates
in the spiritual world in bliss and knowledge.
The eternally conditioned souls wander
from the top planets to the low
always suffering from birth,
old age, disease and death.
Human life is a chance to transfer
to the spiritual abode.

The autobiog. is dormant
now. I spent my morning time
in the basement drawing three
sadhus and a self-portrait
with triple chins and
orange hoody. I’ll
go back and color more today.
It’s not autobiog., but
I do it instead, a kind
of life story in art.

The birds chirping
in the outdoor trees
with rarely visible sky
are my music to write by.
There are varieties to listen
to, the chirpers, the
melodists, and the
mourning doves. I
rest my case in nature’s
symphony, and I
listen in peace
and harmony.

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

www.sdgonline.org. SDGonline Daily updates

From 108 Japa Poems

Time After Time

“Time after time I
sit to do my japa.
Again and again
it turns into a struggle.

“Morning after morn,
it turns drowsy.
I lose my attention.
I lose my quota count.

“Time after time,
I find it is refreshing
The exciting challenge
fills the air.

“It’s never boring,
though time after time,
entering into japa,
finds me interested
and challenged.

“Time after time,
I rise early and
grab my beads
and try not to live a lie.

“Each time I try,
I stumble after a little while
and lose my attention.
I repeatedly grow
tired in the eyes
and sometimes get headaches.

“Time after time I
enter a romance,
a love affair,
me and my beads
me and harinama.

“I know it’s Krishna
and try to realize it
beyond the theory,
but time after time
I fail to perform
perfect chanting

“I’m doing aparadhas
and sometimes namabhasa
but never at the perfect
stage although I
try time after time.

“Every morning I am there,
sitting in the early morn,
starting off with hesitation,
I grow determined and
continue for two hours
but never do I see
the Lord in His names.

“Time after time
I’m a failure, yet
a success. It’s hard
to explain: I love
to do it but can’t
do it well.

“I’m avoiding hell
but not entering Goloka
by my harinama in
Lord Caitanya’s
golden footsteps.

“Time after time,
I never miss a day .
I always reach sixteen,
But always it’s mechanical
and not the heart of prayer
the way You want it.

“Time after time you grasp
your mala and strongly
go ’round the circle.
Never are you perfect
round the mantras.
You never receive an
‘A’ from the mentor
of the japa session.
If you get a ‘B,’ even
that’s mechanical and
not a crying out with
tears. You’re trying, you
don’t get the taste for
chanting because you
commit offenses.

“Time after time
you like to do it,
and you begin
not late but after
only a few you’ve
begun to slump,
and your average
of good mantras
diminishes. You start
to do them in your mind
‘so you don’t get a headache,’
and your pronunciation is
less than perfect.

“I never complain,
I do not bash myself,
I’m an optimistic chanter who keeps himself
encouraged, but as for progress,
I don’t find it in my soul.

“Oh, what shall become of me? Will I
one day reach the standard taste
and call for the score-
keeper and ask him to mark me
a ‘perfect’? Or will
I time after time make incomplete
passes, all short gains and
occasional touchdowns
in a losing game?

From Japa Transformations

“I wanted to chant with care in my moral and spiritual feelings toward Nama Prabhu. Seeing Radha-Govinda helped because They are tenderness personified. I wanted to chant like a lover. I chanted in a subdued way, because I had to because of my head. But it also lent itself towards feelings of warmth and sympathy, gentle and delicate. One should handle the holy name in that way. It was a nice feeling. I’d like to always chant in that way. Narayana Kavaca was in and out of my room, kindly arranging my things, but I continued to chant. I chanted twelve rounds. They were good rounds, listening to the holy names and trying to appreciate as they passed through my mind. Krishna is so kind to come in this way. The early morning is such a great opportunity.

“I finished sixteen rounds by 4:50 A.M. It was a satisfying session. The most important thing was that I was alert and awake. Drowsiness is deadly. I skipped through the mantras with rapid accumulation and attention to the syllables.

“The path from Mathura to Vrndavana is described to Uddhava by Krishna as He asks Uddhava to go there to give relief to the gopis. The places of His favorite pastimes are pointed out. This is in Uddhava-sandesa. The opposite route, from Vrndavana to Dvaraka, is pointed out by Lalita-sakhi to the swan in Hamsaduta. The swan can see the rasasthalis from the sky. Suddenly I thought I was taking part in Krishna’s pastimes. The words of the poet brought me into Krishna’s presence. He was crying tears of pity and love from his eyes. He didn’t want to cause pain to the cowherd people by letting them know the pain that he was in.

“I just took a nap, and now the morning is getting late. Radha-Govinda are wearing lovely yellow-and-blue outfits that were sent from Vrndavana. Yesterday Narayana, with my help, bathed the Deities, polishing Them with gopi-candana, and changed Them into Their new outfits. I’m grateful They are here and lift up my spirits. They bring a Vrndavana atmosphere to the Yellow Submarine. My inability to put something into the free write speaks of the emptiness of my life. But it is just a superficial silence. There’s a covering over a bubbling, interesting consciousness. It is a writing block. I have an interest in life, but it is covered by a pot-covering. It is foolish to think I have nothing to say. If I allowed myself, I would gush forth with expression from many worlds.”

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David Haslam, UK: Vows

Do we or should I be more pacific and say “I” really take note of the vow’s we make; the promises and commitments made over our life-time. Vow’s are made and broken each and every day; some are unavoidable due to circumstances time changes everything. But we see even in relationships there is a vow [...]

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Dandavats.com: Report from the GBC’s Strategic Planning Outreach Committee

By Kaisori dasi

I don't think anyone in ISKCON doubts the importance Srila Prabhupada gave to preaching. Like his own spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada considered preaching - or outreach, as we tend to call it these days - proof that ISKCON was alive and well. "Preaching is our real business, preaching and distributing books. If your preaching work is strong, then your management of temple affairs will also become automatically very strong. Just like if the head wills it, the hand will move. Preaching is like the head of our KC Society - if the head is removed, the whole body dies." (Letter, December 8, 1971)

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Dandavats.com: Our sankirtana - tainted with BLOOD OF SLAUGHTER!

By Bharat Chandra das

I remember, in my first few days in ISKCON, I had asked someone about how mrdangas were made and where were they made. Clearly, I was not satisfied with the answer and always thought, one fine day, I will get into the details. Surely enough, I now know, our performance of sankirtan all over the world is tainted with the blood of slaughter!

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Dandavats.com: Celebrate Festival of Anartha-nivritti

By Raxit Jariwalla

The Monthly Sankirtana Festival (MSF) of Anartha-nivritti*, which was held to celebrate the divine appearance of Lord Nrsimhadeva, was concluded yesterday (May 16th) at dusk, at which time the final results from the MSF were read out and offered to their Lordships at the ISV (Iskcon of Silicon Valley) temple in San Jose

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Dandavats.com: Vaishaka Sudh Pournami -Appearance day Sri Radharaman

By Rajaram dasa

17th May 2011, Vaishaka Sudh Pournami -Appearance day Sri Radharaman Ji. The Deity whom the Goswamis named, "Sri Radha-Raman Deva" made His appearance on the full moon day of Vaisakha in the year 1542. The appearance of Sri Radharaman occurred on the day after Sri Nrisimha Chaturdasi, and is celebrated to this day in Vrindavan

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Dandavats.com: Secrets of the Bible

Hare KrishnaBy Abhaya Mudra Dasi

Once my friends used to tell me that there is a key which can unlock the Bible, and they hinted that some priests here or there might have that secret key. But actions speak louder than words. How could I believe either my friends or their teachers when their behavior told me that they do not pursue the teachings of the Holy Book they claim to follow? Nobody can understand the Bible unless his life is absorbed in sattvic qualities

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Dandavats.com: A Story

Sunil Hariyani: I was walking around in a store. I saw a Cashier hand this little boy his money back saying “I’m sorry, but you don’t have enough money to buy this doll.”

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Dandavats.com: Chanting, Dancing & Feasting. London’s Ancient Festival of Chariots

London Rathayatra Media: London’s 'Ratha-yatra’ Festival of Chariots returns to the streets of the capital on Sunday 12th June 2011. London will be illuminated by the wonderful colours and sounds of the annual Hare Krishna festival, a vibrant celebration of Indian culture and spirituality in our city

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Dandavats.com: Looking For Vegetarian Roomate To Share Rent In Beautiful Brand New Apartment

Kyra Arena: Come and live in association with many senior Prabhupada disciples and endless devotional activities. Take Darsana of SriSri RadhaShyamsundar,Beautiful Krishna Balaram ,Gaura Nitai and Nrsimhadeva

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Caitanya Mangala, CA, USA: KulimeLA 2009: Goura Riggan Performs at the Ford Theater in Hollywood

Goura Riggan performs a Kathak dance during the KulimeLA 2009 Gala Evening at the Ford Theatre in Hollywood, CA.

In the ancient Sanskrit language, “Kuli Mela” is “A Celebration of Community.”

The main theme for KulimeLA 2009 was to “Honor the Past, Celebrate the Present & Envision the Future.”

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Los Angeles Gurukuli Reunion, the John Anson Ford Amphitheater, nestled in the Hollywood Hills, was chosen as an ideal location for Kulis to come together to acknowledge their collective history and appreciate the many accomplishments of the pioneer Gurukulis throughout the past two decades.

Dressed in formal and elegant attire, approximately one thousand Vaishnavas gathered to walk the red carpet and participate in an amazing evening that beautifully showcased “A Mosaic of Our Generations.”

CLICK HERE to check out the growing Kuli Mela video and audio selections on Krishna.com.

The Kuli Mela Association is a 501(C)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to connect our diverse and dynamic global community. We believe that by encouraging each other along our individual paths and by serving together in our shared goals we can make a positive difference in the world.

For more information please visit our KMA Facebook Page.

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ISKCON Toronto, Canada: Monthly Temple Clean-Up this Saturday @ 10am!

CDM (Ceto Darpana Marjanam) is a project which entails the organized cleaning of the temple as a group. This month, the CDM team i s excited to announce that they will be having the RATHA-YATRA COMMITEE join in for the clean-up. Everyone will be coming together to help make the temple shine and there will also be a fun activity at the end of the clean-up day!

SPECIAL UPDATE - If weather allows there will be a PIZZA party OUTSIDE IN THE PARK!!!

The clean-up will have an earlier start time than normal, at 10 am, in order to finish early so that everyone can attend to their evening plans. Please join in as we clean our temple and our very hearts as well in a fun way together!

The schedule will be as follows:
10pm to 1.30pm - Maha clean-up
1:30pm to 3:00pm - Special pizza party in the park, activity and nectar-filled conversations

An inspirational quote by Srila Prabhupada:
"Everything within the temple should be kept very, very neat and clean. And the more you keep the temple neat and clean, you will be neat and clean within your heart. And then your understanding will be very easy. We cannot understand Krsna because our heart is piled up with many garbages. That we have to cleanse."
-- Srila Prabhupada Melbourne, May 22, 1975

Please come out and bring your family and friends for this unforgettable experience!

Presented by the CDM Organizing Team
(Toronto Sankirtan Team and Pandava Sena Toronto)
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Kripamoya dasa, UK: Narasimha kainkaryam

The first pouring of milk in what would be a two hour long abhishek.

Last night I returned home from the Simhacalam farm in Bavaria, Germany, where I was fortunate to take part in what must be one of ISKCON’s very special religious festivals: Nrsimha Caturdasi.

I think we do our major festivals quite well in ISKCON and there are a few that have become world famous over the years. From where I live here in London, England, the Los Angeles Festival of the Chariots is well known, as are its counterparts over in New York and up in Toronto and Vancouver, Canada. And I should mention that the London Rathayatra is very well managed and attracts thousands of people every year now. Krishna Janmashtami Festival at Bhaktivedanta Manor outside London is another famous festival. Then there are major festivals spanning a few days, where devotees of a locality assemble for a spiritual break of camping and kirtan. Many sannyasis gather to speak and inspire. Of particular note these days are the very large gatherings in Ukraine and Russia.

I have written before about the festival for Nrsimha that takes place every year in Germany; I am a fan. But I still think that the festival deserves more attention. The scenery is beautiful, the classes and worship services first class, and the Deity of Prahlada-Nrsimha completely enchanting. Please make a note to yourself for early 2012 that you will seriously consider going there and having a unique spiritual experience.

I would like to share a new animation with you which tells the story of the divine appearance of this avatar:

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Nityananda Chandra Das, Dallas TX: TEXAS FAITH 41: Is science leading to a new literalism?

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

British theologian and Anglican cleric Keith Ward contends that the growing role of science in the world, where countries depend upon scientists and inventors to drive their economies, has led to a growing literalism.
Or so reports Michelle Boorstein on the Washington Post's On Faith blog. Writes Boorstein;
"Keith Ward, a British philosopher who was for years the canon of Oxford's cathedral, argued that the rise of science has led in the Judeo-Christian world to two things: literalism, because people no longer value things they can't prove, and secularism, because critical thought can tend to shift people to look at the Bible like any other book.."
(For more about Ward's thinking, you can read the lecture he gave in 2009 about science and religion at
this link.)
Let's put aside the secularism point and focus on the scientific angle. We certainly live in a world where science and technology are on the rise. Many of us benefit from that reality, whether through advances in health care, being able to say hello to friends and family around the world through new technologies or learning more about the origins of our universe.
But does Ward have a point?

?: Has science, with its emphasis on empiricism, led to a new literalism, where we value things we can prove more than things we cannot?

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

The attraction to modern science is its practicality. Put some food in the microwave, turn it on, and the food comes out hot. No belief, just practical results. Similarly religion is not supposed to be based on belief but rather its ability to produce practical results. The foremost of which is happiness.

Religion without philosophy is simply sentiment or fanaticism and science and philosophy without religion is simply mental speculation. Real faith is attained with practical results.

Therefore I feel that they problem is that religious groups have moved away from practical experiences of a spiritual connection to the realm of blind faith.

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Madhava Ghosh dasa, New Vrndavan, USA: Evolution at Work

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Devadeva Mirel, Alachua, USA: Tipster : Edible Bread Bowl

The edible bread bowl: totally eco.


Recently I hosted my very own garden party to ring in spring. Okay. The party was a bit of a set-up. The only guests were my baby and my camera. But such is the lonely, pathetic life of a blogger. One of the ideas I wanted to photograph was an edible salad bowl. I wanted to make such a thing for my birthday, but since I had just given birth 8 days prior, it seemed like a bit of a hassle at the time. Now that Bindu is well into her fourth month, I felt ready to go for it. Inspiration came from the assortment of posts I’ve read on edible cornucopias. You can use this for either individual serving bowls or as a large salad bowl. 

bread bowl how to make an edible bread bowl how to make an edible bread bowl how to make an edible bread bowl beehive bread
  • I used a stainless steel bowl as my mold. Oven safe glass would also work.
  • I cut strips for both the beehive bowl and the basketweave bowl. The beehive bowl is made of strips of dough wrapped around bowl. The basketweave is made like a lattice pie crust and then placed over the mold and trimmed.
  • If you are going to use it for individual servings, I recommend using the inside of a small bowl as your mold. I used the outside of a 3 cup bowl and the amount of salad that fit inside was entree sized.
  • Use your favorite bread recipe and roll out the dough to about a 1/4″ thickness. Cut into strips. A beehive pattern (strips layered in rounds) will yield a thinner bread bowl than a basketweave. I actually prefer the beehive for individual servings and the basketweave for the big salad bowl.
  • Make a flat disc for the base. Roll it out evenly to avoid a lopsided bowl.
  • Allow to cool approximately 10 minutes after removing from oven. Carefully run an offset spatula in between mold and bread to loosen and release bread.
  • If you are tossing salad with dressing, do so in a separate bowl and then transfer to bread bowl. The bread will soak up dressing and taste delicious!


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Akrura das, Gita Coaching: PASSED THE TEST

Ljubljana, Slovenia

If we do not become angry when attacked or insulted for no apparent reason, and if we do not become enlivened when glorified or worshiped, we have passed the test of self-realization and are considered to be firmly fixed in spiritual intelligence.

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Click on the title to access it.

It offers a holistic approach to self, business and life. You may find many of my texts there under Alex Todorovich and Conscious Coach.

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Rupa Madhurya das, TX, USA: Bhajan - 24hr Kirtan - Gopi Gita dasi - 23/26

Gopi Gita dasi singing a Hare Krishna bhajan for Dallas' New Year's 24hr Kirtan.

Dallas, TX

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Subhavilasa das ACBSP, Toronto, CA: A follow up to last post ~ Local Govinda's Vegetarian Dining Club

Govinda's in Toronto
After the last post about Govinda's in Miami, we would be amiss to not also mention the local Govinda's Vegetarian Dining Club in Toronto. And trust me the prasadam (sanctified food) is delicious and varied.

So if you were tempted by the last post and Miami is a bit too far, check out
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Subhavilasa das ACBSP, Toronto, CA: In the news: Grove's Hare Krishna temple adds vegan dining club

By Linda Bladholm

Govinda’s Dining Club offers satisfying meatless meals in a peaceful garden setting behind the Hare Krishna Temple in Coconut Grove. Anyone who comes is considered a member, no fee or dues required.

Open four months, the humble spot is named for the youthful Krishna, the blue-skinned Indian deity who was a cowherd and played with the Gopis (milkmaids) in his early days. The atmosphere is serene, and there’s no proselytizing on behalf of the Hindu-based sect.

Vanesa Dejanovic, a Bosnian from Sarajevo, runs the kitchen with Pam Scott, a Detroit native. Both women were searching for meaning when they joined the Krishna consciousness movement. Dejanovic arrived in Orlando as a refugee with her husband and his family, and ran a vegetarian food truck until moving to Coconut Grove last year. Scott, who ran a health food store, arrived two years ago and lives in the temple ashram.

They cook together, making everything from Bhima veggie burgers, named for a mighty warrior from the epic Mahabharata, to whole-wheat pizza. On Friday and Saturday evenings, there’s a thali platter with basmati rice, puffy puri bread, vegetable curries, dal, pickle and chutney.

Lunch specials the day I visited included a pureed soup of carrots, fennel and bok choy that tasted creamy without any dairy, stir-fried vegetables with pan-seared tofu over brown rice, strawberry semolina pudding with soy whipped cream and lemon grass tea.

There are also pakoras (vegetable fritters), potato- and pea-stuffed samosas served with tart tamarind chutney, hummus, tabbouleh, three-bean chili and spaghetti with “bolognese” sauce made with soy crumbles. (A real-cheese option on the pizza is the only non-vegan element.)

Try the avocado sandwich with egg-free Vegenaise, sesame seeds and sprouts. The house salad is huge, with leaf lettuce, cabbage, chickpeas, sunflower sprouts, walnuts, raisins, and flax seeds in almond dressing.

Save room for chocolate peanut butter tofu tarts or pumpkin pie at this center that nourishes the soul.

Linda Bladholm’s latest book is “Latin and Caribbean Grocery Stores Demystified.”

Read more:
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David Haslam, UK: More archive classes by HH Devamrita Swami added

Being so inspired by the classes by my Guru Maharaja HH Devamrita Swami I have been steadily making them available to anyone who wishes to listen or download them; the page with all the titles are available at Classes by HH Devamrita Swami I continue to pray that this meets with some approval, and brings [...]

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H.H. Sivarama Swami: Sulalita dd asks to what extent should devotees watch the news on the internet, be aware of current affairs or even listen to speeches of politicians

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Japa Group: The First Two Processes

While thinking of something to post on the Japa Group, I sometimes struggle to come up with a new or interesting quote or video/audio recording but then I remembered Srila Prabhupada's instruction that all devotees should write daily realisations.

Today I wanted share a realisation - our spiritual life hinges on chanting the Holy names, it's the basis of Krsna consciousness....sravanam and kirtanam hearing and chanting as enunciated by Lord Chaitanya.

When we understand the importance of these two processes....then we can realise how this affects the rest of our sadhana - for example attentive Japa will mean we can hear class with attention.

The first two processes of devotional service are the most important.
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Maddy Jean-claude Durr, New Govardhana, AU: Bhaktivedanta College Belgium (Promotional Video)

The College promotional Vid: http://maddmonk.wordpress.com/2011/05/19/bhaktivedanta-college




Video: http://www.vimeo.com/23522678


(or):  http://maddmonk.wordpress.com/2011/05/19/bhaktivedanta-college



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Akrura das, Gita Coaching: LEADER

Ljubljana, Slovenia

Often, a leader’s priority of running a service or a business takes precedence over running themselves, and yet the first depends on the second.

If you don't put the gas in a car it will stop at some point because it will run out of gas.

So you must take time to renew yourself, to take care of your body, mind and spirit.

If you don't do it, who will?

If you want to be useful for others, you must take care of yourself.

This also includes that your thinking is right, that your motives are right and that your heart is in the right place.

It means that you need to see whether you care about the people you lead and serve, whether you have their best interest at heart.

The top priority for a leader is thinking how to benefit his people, how to help them succeed.

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At Trai dasa's (ACBSP) home in the mountains near Bologna, Italy

(Note: This is an audio transcript so "+++" means that the words at that place are inaudible.)

"We are trying to avoid the phenomenon that expansion of Krsna consciousness means many people are coming but many people are also leaving."
– Niranjana Swami


Ramacandra dasa ( RNS), from Villa Vrindavana, Italy:
What can we do besides hearing and chanting to better care for devotees?

Niranjana Swami:
It is definitely a faith. It's a primary responsibility for anybody who's preaching Krsna consciousness. Preaching means hearing and chanting. But we have to protect the faith of the devotee. Bhaktivinoda Thakura gives the example. He speaks about sraddha, faith, in Tattva Viveka. He says, "Appearance of faith is like a birth of a new-born baby girl. When baby girl is born the parents are very careful to protect their +++ from hunger, from thirst, from heat and cold +++ dangerous features. And also, they give nourishment to the baby.
Therefore, he says, the awakening of the faith in the heart of a living entity is like a birth of a new-born baby girl. Once the faith is awakened, it needs to be protected. Protected from karma, jnana, mystic yoga perfections. Srila Rupa Gosvami says, bhukti-mukti-sprha yavat pisaci hrdi vartate. Bhukti and mukti are like two witches that haunt one like a ghost. As long as these two witches are within your heart then one will never be able to taste +++ of devotional service.
Bhaktivinoda Thakura used that analogy +++ of birth of a new baby girl in connection to faith. What we can do to help others +++ protect their faith in devotional service. As he said, faith is the most valuable currency. When you protect that faith and nourish, like a baby girl, +++ protect from dangerous elements but also need to be nourished. Nourishment in sanskrit is pusti.
When we nourish sombody's faith that's the way to show our care for them. Nourishing their faith in devotional service and protect them from dangerous features of bhukti and mukti. And when somebod gets care in this way, they can undergo any difficulties. They can accept austerity. They can accept inconvenience. All +++ care is automatically fulfilled by caring for their faith.
It doesn't mean that we don't care for their bodies also. We also can do that too. +++ we have to be indifferent to their suffering. Vaisnava is never indifferent to other's suffering. But it's +++ how to protect their faith. That's how you can show care for others.

Akrura dasa:
How do you induce people to become counselors and caregivers?

Niranjana Swami:
By caring for them.

Akrura dasa:
How long does it take?

Niranjana Swami:
It depends on the person.

Akrura dasa:
Many devotees say they are not qualified to be a spiritual guide.

Niranjana Swami:
Yes, that's true. Therefore, they are not forced to do it. Nobody is forced. It has to be voluntary. One is supposed to want to do it for the right reasons. There is no personal benefit for being a counselor. So they have to do it for the right reasons.

Akrura dasa:
What do you mean there is no benefit?

Niranjana Swami:
Material benefit. Theya are not starting a separate preaching center. They are not extracting resources from the people they are taking care of. So there is no personal material benefit. Benefit is a satisfaction they get from caring for others. And the mercy that comes down for doing that confidential service. Tamal Krsna Maharaja told me in 1978. I was in the temple in Manhattan in Ney York City. We had about 40 devotees at the temple.
I was in charge of all the new devotees and guests. That was my responsibility. Some times there were as many as 30-40 people that I had to help. Tamal Krsna Maharaja said that Prabhupada told him that if you take care of Krsna's devotees Krsna takes care of you.
So you read the book ("Taking Care Of Krsna's Devotees")?

Akrura dasa:
Oh, yes. It's a gem.

Niranjana Swami:
This year devotees are waiting for the number two. Either volume two or revised edition.

Akrura dasa:
Many devotees say they would like to be a caregiver or a counselor, but they don't have time. They have so many things to do. How do you respond to that?

Niranjana Swami:
Recently I was asked to help in Hungary. They are just staring their (devotee care) system there. Last week we had a meeting with devotees who live outside and we discussed that in detail.
It can go either way. Sometimes they have a good reason why they cannot. That's why they shouldn't be pushed. Sometimes there is no proper utilization of time. And sometimes people are not really convinced. If they are convinced the'll find the time. They'll set their priorities in such a way that they'll find time. What I experienced, devotees who really get absorbed in it, especially the grhasthas who are working and maintain their family, that what it really comes down to, it's recreation.

Akrura dasa:
Many are afraid it will be a burden.

Niranjana Swami:
It is true, but when they get mercy starts flowing, it's a higher taste.

Akrura dasa:
How many counselors you have in Ukraine?

Niranjana Swami:
160. Not all of them are active. Some of them are "in training".

Akrura dasa:
Thank you.

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Bhakta Chris, New York, USA: Radhanath Swami and Dr. Cornel West Bond In A Conversation On Faith

By Madhava Smullen for ISKCON News on 7 May 2011
Radhanatha Swami and Dr. Cornel West

On one seat sits Dr. Cornel West, a distinguished African-American gentleman in an elegant black suit and tie, sporting a dramatic Afro and a black goatee shot through with gray. One of the most well-loved and respected professors at Princeton University, he’s a Baptist and is outspoken about his faith, especially his love of Jesus as the force that defines him and guides him in everything he does.

A scholar and somewhat of a celebrity academic, Dr. West is very active in the public sphere—he weighs in on politics, is a champion of social injustice causes, and is a prominent figure in the field of African American studies. His 1993 bestselling book, Race Matters, changed the way Americans look at race. During the last election a popular magazine called him “Obama’s conscience.” He even made an appearance in the Matrix sequels as a councilor of Zion. He’s a deep thinker and highly learned, yet in many ways very “Of the world.”

In the other seat sits Radhanath Swami, looking rather otherworldly with his shaved head and shining orange robes. Years ago, he was Richard Slavin, a Jewish kid from suburban Illinois, until in 1970 at the age of nineteen he left his normal life and hitch-hiked to India, where he soon found himself meditating in the Himalayas. After many years searching as a wandering monk, he found his guru in ISKCON founder Srila Prabhupada. And today he remains a Swami, serving the Lord in the renounced order of life, and leading the spiritual community of Radha Gopinath Ashram in Chowpatty, Mumbai.

Yet like Dr. West, he has also made his contribution to the world, launching acclaimed social action programs such as missionary hospitals and eye camps, eco-friendly farms and schools, and the Midday Meal program, which feeds more than 260,000 plates of nutritious vegetarian food to underprivileged children daily.

Two men who have much in common, yet have taken very different spiritual journeys.

East meets, quite literally, West.

Just two men having a conversation.

On stage at Princeton University, with about, well, 800 people eavesdropping.

This was East Meets West: Hindu and Christian Perspectives on God, Love, and Spiritual Activism, an event held in Richardson Auditorium at Princeton University on April 19th.

The story of this remarkable meeting between faiths and cultures goes back several years, when Radha Vallabha Dasa of ISKCON New York, who is currently working on a documentary on spiritual activism, envisioned a public conversation between Cornel West and the late ISKCON guru Bhakti Tirtha Swami. It made sense: Radha Vallabha admired both, they were both from the same generation, they were both from African American backgrounds and had similar experiences growing up, and they were both influential spiritual leaders.

In 2005, however, Bhakti Tirtha Swami passed away. Some time later, Radha Vallabha casually mentioned his idea to his friend Venkata Bhatta Dasa (Vineet Chander), who was just interviewing for the position of Coordinator for Hindu Life at Princeton.

“Of course, it’s no longer possible to arrange a meeting with Dr. West and Bhakti Tirtha Swami,” Radha Vallabha said. “But wouldn’t it be neat, and just as interesting in a different way, to have him meet with Radhanath Swami?”

The idea very much appealed to Venkata Bhatta, and as he got the job, and settled into his new position at Princeton, he let it germinate. If this was to happen, he wanted it to happen organically, and finally in fall 2010, the time semed right.

“The biggest challenge was just getting the time to sit down with Dr. West and and pitch the idea to him,” says Venkata. “He’s so incredibly busy that just to get a sit-down meeting with him requires months of scheduling in advance. But when we were finally able to match up schedules and I sat down with him, I was pleasantly surprised by how personable he was.”

Venkata gifted Dr. West with a signed copy of Radhanath Swami’s memoir The Journey Home, and began to share with him Radhanath Swami’s story, as well as that of Bhakti Tirtha Swami, to whom the prospective event would be a tribute.

Within a few minutes, Dr. West became very enthusiastic about the idea. A date was set, Princeton students and staff began a major promotional campaign on campus, as well as at yoga studios and bookstores in the area. They also used Facebook and other social networking sites to reach a broader audience beyond the campus.

“Although the idea came from the Princeton Hindu Life program—part of the Office of Religious Life—everyone from the Anthropology department, to the Center for African American Studies, to both Hindu and Christian student organizations helped to organize the event,” Venkata says. “It was amazing—this was the first time that Hindu and Evangelical Christian students were invested in and helping to organize an event together.”

Everyone’s combined efforts paid off, and by the day before the conversation, nearly all the seats in the auditorium had been booked—it would be a full house.
On the day itself, a private dinner was held for Dr. West, Radhanath Swami, several chaplains and religious leaders on campus, and a handful of student leaders from various organizations. As they ate the delicious full-course meal catered by Govinda’s restaurant in Philadelphia, the two guests of honor immediately hit it off, chatting like two old friends, joking, and referencing memories from their childhoods.

After the meal, there was some downtime, and the two spontaneously decided to spend some more time at Dr. West’s office getting to know each other a little more before their onstage conversation.

“From all reports, their rapport grew even deeper during this time,” says Venkata. “At one point, Dr. West expressed appreciation for his mother, mentioning that she continues to be the biggest influence in his life. Touched by this, Radhanath Swami said that he would really love to meet her someday. At which point Dr. West responded, ‘Let’s call her up.’ So they did! And so you have this funny scene where Radhanath Swami and Cornel West are spontaneously phoning up
Dr. West’s eighty-year old mother, and just chatting away to her. That should give you an idea of how this grew beyond a mere formal event into the start of a beautiful relationship.”

At 7:30pm, a diverse crowd gathered in Richardson Auditorium, consisting of faculty members, students of many different backgrounds, members of the the Princeton Community, Christians, members of the greater Indian community in New Jersey, and ISKCON devotees from New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C.

Host Venkata Bhatta Dasa welcomed everyone, before turning proceedings over to his colleague Paul Raushenbush, who was officially moderating the event. Formerly a Dean at Princeton’s Office of Religious Life, and now moving on to become senior religion editor of the Huffington Post, Paul introduced the two speakers, and set the tone for the evening.

Radhanath Swami spoke first for roughly twenty minutes, sharing his perspectives on the relationship between devotion to God and activism, as well as his own experiences of how the two things intersected. Dr. West then did the same. Next, guided by Paul, they discussed each other’s faiths and journeys in a two-hour talk. Everyone was riveted to hear about how each of the speakers had their own very personal relationship with God, and how they used that relationship to serve, and try to bring positive change to, the world around them.

“The audience was struck by the many similarities in their perspectives,” Venkata says. “Both Dr. West and Radhanath Swami spoke about the idea that love has a private face and a public face. The private face can be expressed as devotion, full of intimacy and tenderness. And the public face, Maharaja said, is manifested as compassion, while Dr. West commented that it can manifest as justice. So a theme that emerged strongly in the discussion was that as people who are aspiring to be servants of God, we have a responsibility to express that love and live out that faith in the world around us.”

There was also much appreciation for the differences in each other’s faiths. When Radhanath Swami spoke of extending love beyond national boundaries, beyond racial boundaries, and even beyond the boundaries of species—perhaps delicately hinting at the benefits of a more compassionate diet—Dr. West very much appreciated the point and picked up on the hint.

Then, with great humility and sincerity, he shared that although his own tradition doesn’t speak much about the importance of a compassionate diet, it was an element of other traditions that he was inspired by and hoped to develop more in himself.

“The overall tone of the conversation was one of two people really connecting in an honest way, and going far beyond the formal academic exercise that many of
these lectures can become,” says Venkata. “They were just very genuinely sharing what it is about their faith that allows them to be agents of change and service in the world, and inspiring one another with that sharing.”

The talk concluded with prearranged members of the audience handing in questions on index cards which both speakers answered. These ranged from ‘How do you explain the problem of evil?’ to ‘How can one balance living a God conscious life with school and work responsibilities?”

The conversation ended at around 9:30pm and was followed by a reception for all, which, like the private dinner, was catered by ISKCON devotees. There, audience members had an opportunity to meet Radhanath Swami and Dr. Cornel West, as well as to purchase their books at the University bookstore, which had been specially contracted to sell them.

“Looking back at the dialogue, what came across was that these are two people who can recognize commonalities, but can also be very honest about the differences in their faiths, and even appreciate the differences,” Venkata says. “I think that the dialogue left us all feeling like Radhanath Swami was a better practitioner of Krishna Bhakti as a result of the conversation, and that Dr. West was a more inspired Christian, or, as he says, a ‘lover of Jesus.’”

Venkata concludes: “For all of us, it was a profound lesson that when real interfaith exchange happens, it’s not about glossing over the differences or trying to convert one another. It’s about using those differences, and one’s appreciation for those differences, to go deeper in one’s own faith, and one’s own love for God.”

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Mayapur Online: Salila Vihara - Boat Pastimes

Salila Vihara is one of the sweet summer festivals celebrated here in Mayapur for the divine pleasure of Sri Sri Radha-Madhava. After finishing the Boat and Swing festivities Chota Radha Madhava were having in the Samadhi Kunda, Chota Chota Sri Sri Radha Madhava will now be seated in a lotus pond inside a flower bunglow on the sub altar of Sri Sri Radha Madhava.

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Yoga of Ecology, Bhakta Chris, USA: The Strange Organism That Might Kill Monsanto?

From Melanie Warner at Bnet.com

Back in January, a noted plant scientist who spent much of his career at Purdue University sent a letter to the USDA informing the agency that he’d discovered a mysterious new disease-causing organism in Monsanto’s (MON) genetically engineered Roundup Ready corn and soybeans. Now, that scientist — Don Huber — has written a follow-up letter to the USDA and appears in a videotaped interview where he presents an even scarier picture of the damage he claims Monsanto’s herbicide chemical glyphosate (the main ingredient in Roundup) is doing to both plants and the animals who eat them.

In the 20-minute interview, which was conducted by Food Democracy Now’s Dave Murphy, Huber makes a strong case for his own credibility, appearing as a droll, erudite Midwestern scientist with deep connections to corn and soybean growers and livestock farmers. Although Huber’s findings have not yet been verified by outside scientists or published in a peer reviewed journal, the severity of his claims is such that the USDA ought to give them immediate attention.

It’s not the genes, it’s the herbicide

Huber’s issue is not with genetic engineering per se, but with the huge amounts of glyphosate (185 million pounds in 2007) in herbicide now used on America’s farms. Use of glyphosate has soared thanks to widespread use of Monsanto’s soy and corn seeds, which are genetically modified to survive its effects.

The problem with glyphosate, Huber says, is that it effectively“gives a plant AIDS,” weakening its defenses and making it more susceptible to pathogens, such as the one his team discovered. The scientists have taken to calling the bug “the electron microscope (EM) organism,” since it can only be seen with an electron microscope.

A big part of the problem, Huber says, lies with the way glyphosate prevents plants from absorbing vital nutrients, particularly the mineral manganese. In the Food Democracy interview, Huber says some studies have shown that Roundup Ready soybeans and corn have up to 50% less manganese than conventional varieties. Huber claims that the double whammy of weakened defenses and the new EM organism have contributed to “unexplained epidemics” of disease on farms — sudden death syndrome of soybean crops and Goss’ wilt on corn.

The problem in pictures

Here are photos he included with his follow-up letter, which was also sent to EU and UK officials at their request, showing dead or dying Roundup Ready corn and RR soybeans planted side by side with their thriving non-GE brethren:

Huber says the same thing has happened in animals. He’s heard from cattle farmers who are struggling because they’re experiencing a 15% infertility rate and 35% rate of spontaneous abortions among their herds. When the farmers switch to non-GE soy and corn for feed, the problems decline dramatically. Huber has talked to other animal vets who’ve experienced high death rates and have found that their GE-fed animals are severely deficient in manganese.

And whenever Huber has worked with vets to analyze tissue samples from GE-fed animals that were inexplicably sick or had fertility problems, the tests always come back positive for the EM organism.

It’s anecdotal, not data — but it’s still scary

Of course, all this is merely anecdotal. Whether it can be scientifically proven that farm animals are suffering because they’re eating Roundup Ready soy and corn is another story. But since GE food crops are such a fundamentally new part of agriculture (first planted in 1996) and Huber’s account — if accurate — spells disaster for American agriculture, it’s worth finding out what’s going on before allowing more of Monsanto’s RR crops onto the market.

But that’s not what the USDA did. A week and a half after Huber had his letter hand delivered to secretary Tom Vilsack, the agency gave the greenlight for Roundup Ready alfalfa. Huber was deeply disappointed:

I would have hoped that there would have been a delay and the resources allocated to answer the questions, to verify that we’re not going to further increase the severity of this organism…. Can we afford to just open the floodgates wide open before we have the answers. What’s the urgency?


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Toronto Sankirtan Team, CA: April Newsletter - Now online!

Hare Krishna!

By popular demand, we have decided to start putting an e-copy of our Sankirtan Newsletter online!

click here to download the April copy of the newsletter.
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Mayapur Online: Mayapur Melodies Audio CD

A two hours of live kirtan lead by Naru Gopal prabhu in Sri Mayapur Dham. Praised by HH Lokanath Swami as the “long awaited debut CDi deeply spiritual and soul stirring”, Mayapur Melodies brings you two hours of live kirtan lead by Naru Gopal prabhu in Sri Mayapur Dham. Naru Gopal prabhu is a long time Mayapur resident, and received his musical training in the Mayapur Gurukula for 14 years.

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H.H. Devamrita Swami: The Most Successful Failure

Everyone loves the Prahlad-Nrsimha story. During the children's drama at Lord Nrsimhadeva's appearance festival in Brisbane, Australia, I studied parents' faces, as they watched the kids perform. How happy the adults were, to see the children blissfully engaged. I was engladdened too.

Parenting brings such great hopes and dreams. "Will my kids fulfill my  expectations—both material and spiritual. Dear Lord, grant them material achievement combined with pure bhakti—if not the latter then, oh well, at least the former."

Face it, Prahlad was a failed son. His demoniac father branded him as most unfortunate, because Prahlad blew it—by his taking up krsna-bhakti, the vast inheritance meant to pass from Hiranyakasipu to him was voided.

Besides material failure, though, we could easily say that Prahlad's spiritual, missionary outreach was also a fiasco. The more he delivered bhakti instruction, the more his father raged. A pragmatic person adjudging the situation might wonder, could little Prahlad could do anything that, by ordinary parameters, turned out right?

His outreach efforts, however, according to bhakti standards, actually did attain a success. The ogre Hiranyakasipu's violent reaction to the gentle boy's bhakti instructions triggered the appearance of Lord Nrsimhadeva. 

Despite his father's terrorism on a cosmic scale and constant attempts to murder his little son, Prahlad always wished him all the best. Now the Best ferociously manifested from a pillar and dispatched the materialistically mad dad quickly. Ultimately, Hiranyakasipu, prayed for by Prahlad and touched by Lord Nrsimhadeva, would return back to Godhead. 

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ISKCON Melbourne, AU: KCU Harinama

kcuHarinam For those wondering what could KCU stand for, you have guessed right if you said "Kuli Catch Up".

Indeed our fired-up Australian Gurukulis as well as their equally enthusiastic friends took over Melbourne on the weekend of the 29th April till the 1st May.

Here is a slideshow of their roaring Friday-night harinama.

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Gouranga TV: Chandan Yatra. The festival of the hot season.

Chandan Yatra. The festival of the hot season.

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Hari Sauri das, Mayapura, IN: 2011 tour – Sufferer’s Paradise

On May 10 we drove down from Brisbane to New Govardhan farm, just over the Queensland/NSW border in Murwillumbah. On the way we dropped off to see an old friend and Godbrother Yamal Arjuna prabhu.

Yamal, niece Kalindi and her new daughter, and Subhangi

Yamal and his wife Subhangi are doing amazing things in the holiday mecca of Australia, Surfers Paradise.

The name says it all. When Srila Prabhupada was in Hawaii in May 1976 he sometimes walked on the sea front and observed the surfers riding the waves:

[TD2] May 8 1976 – Honolulu

“Class continued with verse seven of the first chapter of the Sixth Canto, describing how a person takes with him the reactions created by the activities of his kaya (body), mana (mind) and vakya (words) into the next life where he suffers accordingly, unless he makes suitable atonement. Therefore Prabhupada said that murderers must be executed in order to free them from reactions to their misdeeds; otherwise they will suffer very severely in their next lives-four times as greatly. One must follow the dharma-sastras to counteract offenses, and he pointed out that if one follows sastra then he will not kill in the first place. He said that because ksat means “injury,” it is the government, or ksatriya’s duty, to protect the citizens from anyone who is unnecessarily injuring their bodies. Then he gave a broad vision of who should be protected. “The tree has taken birth. The man has taken birth. Why simply man should be saved, not the cows, not the trees? He must be saved. Unnecessarily there cannot be any killing. Lord Christ also, ‘Thou shalt not kill.’ Yes, this is the beginning of religious life. If you are accustomed to kill somebody, either man, animal, trees, fish, anything, there is not entrance to religious life because every living entity is the son of God.”

Giving the surfers as an example, he explained how the soul becomes contaminated by contact with different mixes of the modes of material nature. Combining the words “surfer” and “suffer” he made everyone laugh with an excellent and piercing pun. “This morning we were talking about the sufferers; what is called? The sea suffers? Surfers, yes. I call ‘sea sufferers.’ Yes, contamination … so that in the next life he will become a fish. He’ll be very free to dance in the ocean.” He said they would indeed get such a birth and then spend millions of lifetimes coming once again to the human form. This perhaps struck home to some of his audience since a few young men in attendance had longish hair and were of the beach-going type.”

Anyway, Yamal is doing his bit to save the sufferers and all the millions of tourists who visit the Gold Coast by operating Govinda’s, a first class prasadam restaurant in one of the main shopping malls

just leave your boards on the side

transcendental treats                                                             Brihaspati the jolly chef

Subhangi mata our gracious host                                  sumptuous prasadam

Yamal and Subhangi are hard workers. They have seven shops on the Gold Coast, selling imports from India and Bali. They also run a small but nice preaching center in a building appropriately named Trust House. They put on several programs a week.

Anyone who has done door-to-door painting sankirtana will be struck by the irony of this sign as you enter the building to the Hare Krishna center

They have a small oasis of spiritualism, with beautiful Deities of Sri Sri Gaura Nitai and Lord Jagannatha, Baladeva and Subhadra

A few days after my visit I returned to do their Saturday night program, delivering a half hour of Prabhupada katha and showing my powerpoint presentation on the BRC Mission for Manuscripts.

One young man, Vijaya, from S. India, who is working as a chef, became so inspired that he signed up as a $1 per day Nitya Sevak member – thanks Vijaya, may you get all the  blessings of Srila Prabhupada!

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