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Rupa Madhurya das, TX, USA: Lecture - Giriraj Swami - SB 10.3.14 - Praising God's Activities


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  1. H.G. Sankarshan das Adhikari, USA: Saturday 4 June 2011--Deliberate on This and Do What You Like--and--Free from Darkness by Chanting "Light"?
  2. ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Aspiring For Initiation Between June and August?
  3. ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Today's Darsana
  4. ISKCON News.com: A Biblical Blueprint Meets the Fire Code and the Neighbors
  5. ISKCON News.com: Mumbai, Bangalore ISKCON Factions Come to Blows
  6. Rupa Madhurya das, TX, USA: Lecture - Giriraj Swami - SB 10.3.14 - Praising God's Activities
  7. Japa Group: Please Follow Very Carefully
  8. Bhakta Chris, New York, USA: Is Google Making Us Stupid?
  9. ISKCON News.com: Work As Worship
  10. H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami (Ret.): 330–Poem for June 3rd
  11. H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami (Ret.): OLD FRIENDS
  12. ISKCON News.com: India's Highways of Death
  13. ISKCON Toronto, Canada: Sankirtan Seminar with Vaisesika das - LIVE!
  14. Subhavilasa das ACBSP, Toronto, CA: Happy Birthday Hari!
  15. Mukunda Charan das, SA: From Calcutta To Mayapur, 17 March 2001
  16. ISKCON News.com: Varnashrama: How It Works and Why It Works?
  17. ISKCON News.com: Dalai Lama Gives Up Secular Powers, Thwarting Alleged Chinese Plans
  18. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
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  25. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  26. Nitya Navina dd, New Jersey, USA: Seeing through the eyes of the Sastra
  27. Ekendra das, Alachua, USA: The Hundred Dollar Rebate
  28. Vraja Kishor, JP: The Most Beautiful Person in the Worlds, Ever
  29. Vraja Kishor, JP: La Persona más Hermosa del Universo
  30. H.H. Sivarama Swami: Ananda Caitanya gives the example of mixed devotees like Kardama and Nabhi who saw the Lord and asks
  31. Yoga of Ecology, Bhakta Chris, USA: The Yoga Of Cooking And Eating
  32. Akrura das, Gita Coaching: KEEPING AGREEMENTS
  33. Japa Group: Bhaktivedanta College Japa Retreat
  34. Sutapa das, BV Manor, UK: A.W.O.L
  35. Gouranga TV: Ecstatic kirtan -Sri Nrsimha Caturdasi festival in New Vraja Dham 2011!
  36. Australian News: Sunday Feast Program with HG Hari Sauri Prabhu: ISKCON Perth
  37. Australian News: Registration for Diploma in Arcana course 2011/12 already begun
  38. Toronto Sankirtan Team, CA: Morning class with Vaisesika prabhu - LIVE!
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H.G. Sankarshan das Adhikari, USA: Saturday 4 June 2011--Deliberate on This and Do What You Like--and--Free from Darkness by Chanting "Light"?

A daily broadcast of the Ultimate Self Realization Course Saturday 4 June 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: Deliberate on This and Do What You Like Uploaded from London, UK Surrendering to Krishna is voluntary. Krishna has given everyone the free will to do what they would like to do. If someone wants to serve Krishna, that all-merciful Lord gives them full facility to do so. And if someone wants to defy Krishna's existence and try to imitate Him, Krishna will give them full facility as well. One therefore has to be intelligent to understand what is in his best self interest and act accordingly. Sankarshan Das Adhikari Answers According to the Vedic Version: Question: Free from Darkness by Chanting Light? Krishna means light, which is everywhere. Krishna consciousness means becoming light. So can a a person come out of darkness by simply sitting in a dark room and saying, light, light, light? Is chanting enough, or is there anything else? S.N. Answer: Free from Darkness by Chanting Krishna. Krishna does not mean light. Krishna means that person who is the source of unlimited light. If we sit in a dark room and say light, light, light, the room will still remain dark. However, if we utter Krishna, Krishna, Krishna, then we will liberated from the darkness of material existence and brought into the resplendent spiritual existence, in which everything is eternal, full of knowledge, and full of bliss. Chanting is sufficient for liberation if it is done in the mood of full surrender unto the will of the Lord. 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 Melbourne, AU: Aspiring For Initiation Between June and August?

Are you aspiring to take shelter or to receive first or second initiation between June and August?

ExaminerAwayDates.jpg Your examiner is serving in Perth from June 22nd. till July 30th.

Please make the necessary arrangements to complete your candidature: contact Rasanandini dasi on  0424-776-188 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            0424-776-188      end_of_the_skype_highlighting or rasanandini@gmail.com by June 18th.

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ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Today's Darsana

We thought is most appropriate to quote from the heartfelt prayers of Vasudeva Ghosh once again and join this great soul in imploring the mercy of Gaurangadeva:


"Since I have tightly grasped hold of Your feet, please keep me here by always bestowing their soothing shade.

Please keep me at Your feet, keep me at Your feet. Making me the humble servant of Your servant, please keep me situated at Your feet. Making me the humble servant of Your servant, please show Your mercy either in this life or perhaps the next. Making me the humble servant of Your servant, please keep me situated at Your feet. Be merciful and keep me under the cooling shade of Your feet."

And here is the darsana of our only hope for salvation in this degraded age of Kali.

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ISKCON News.com: A Biblical Blueprint Meets the Fire Code and the Neighbors

By John Tagliabue for The New York Times on 4 Jun 2011

If Noah had run into the modern nanny state, or nimby, or a few of the other obstacles that Johan Huibers has been facing, the animal kingdom might look a lot different today. Mr. Huibers, 60, the successful owner of a big construction company, has spent the last few years building an ark, identical in size to the one Noah is said in the book of Genesis to have built.

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ISKCON News.com: Mumbai, Bangalore ISKCON Factions Come to Blows

By Contributor for deccanherald.com on 4 Jun 2011

Police were out in large numbers following reports that an Iskcon team from Mumbai would attempt to take control of the premises after the Karnataka High Court rejected the Bangalore temple authorities’ claim of ownership.

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Rupa Madhurya das, TX, USA: Lecture - Giriraj Swami - SB 10.3.14 - Praising God's Activities

Rupa Madhurya das, TX, USA: Lecture - Giriraj Swami - SB 10.3.14 - Praising God's Activities

Lecture on Srimad Bhagavatam, Canto 10, Chapter 3, Text 14 titled "Praising God's Activities" by Giriraj Swami.

Dallas, TX

sa eva svaprakṛtyedaḿ
sṛṣṭvāgre tri-guṇātmakam
tad anu tvaḿ hy apraviṣṭaḥ
praviṣṭa iva bhāvyase


My Lord, You are the same person who in the beginning created this material world by His personal external energy. After the creation of this world of three guṇas [sattva, rajas and tamas], You appear to have entered it, although in fact You have not.


In Bhagavad-gītā (7.4) the Supreme Personality of Godhead clearly explains:

bhūmir āpo 'nalo vāyuḥ
khaḿ mano buddhir eva ca
ahańkāra itīyaḿ me
bhinnā prakṛtir aṣṭadhā

This material world of three modes of nature — sattva-guṇa, rajo-guṇa and tamo-guṇa — is a composition of earth, water, fire, air, mind, intelligence and false ego, all of which are energies coming from Kṛṣṇa, yet Kṛṣṇa, being always transcendental, is aloof from this material world. Those who are not in pure knowledge think that Kṛṣṇa is a product of matter and that His body is material like ours (avajānanti māḿ mūḍhāḥ). In fact, however, Kṛṣṇa is always aloof from this material world.

In the Vedic literature, we find the creation described in relationship to Mahā-Viṣṇu. As stated in the Brahma-saḿhitā (5.35):

eko 'py asau racayituḿ jagad-aṇḍa-koṭiḿ
yac-chaktir asti jagad-aṇḍa-cayā yad-antaḥ
govindam ādi-puruṣaḿ tam ahaḿ bhajāmi

"I worship the primeval Lord, Govinda, the original Personality of Godhead. By His partial plenary expansion as Mahā-Viṣṇu, He enters into material nature. Then He enters every universe as Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, and He enters all the elements, including every atom of matter, as Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu. Such manifestations of cosmic creation are innumerable, both in the universes and in the individual atoms." Govinda is partially exhibited as antaryāmī, the Supersoul, who enters this material world (aṇḍāntara-stha) and who is also within the atom. The Brahma-saḿhitā (5.48) further says:

yasyaika-niśvasita-kālam athāvalambya
jīvanti loma-vilajā jagad-aṇḍa-nāthāḥ
viṣṇur mahān sa iha yasya kalā-viśeṣo
govindam ādi-puruṣaḿ tam ahaḿ bhajāmi

This verse describes Mahā-Viṣṇu as a plenary expansion of Kṛṣṇa. Mahā-Viṣṇu lies on the Causal Ocean, and when He exhales, millions of brahmāṇḍas, or universes, come from the pores of His body. Then, when Mahā-Viṣṇu inhales, all these brahmāṇḍas disappear. Thus the millions of brahmāṇḍas controlled by the Brahmās and other demigods come and go in this material world through the breathing of Mahā-Viṣṇu.

Foolish persons think that when Kṛṣṇa appears as the son of Vasudeva, He is limited like an ordinary child. But Vasudeva was aware that although the Lord had appeared as his son, the Lord had not entered Devakī's womb and then come out. Rather, the Lord was always there. The Supreme Lord is all-pervading, present within and without. praviṣṭa iva bhāvyase: He only seemed to have entered the womb of Devakī and to have now appeared as Vasudeva's child. The expression of this knowledge by Vasudeva indicates that Vasudeva knew how these events took place. Vasudeva was certainly a devotee of the Lord in full knowledge, and we must learn from devotees like him. Bhagavad-gītā (4.34) therefore recommends:

tad viddhi praṇipātena
paripraśnena sevayā
upadekṣyanti te jñānaḿ
jñāninas tattva-darśinaḥ

"Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized soul can impart knowledge unto you because he has seen the truth." Vasudeva begot the Supreme Personality of Godhead, yet he was in full knowledge of how the Supreme Lord appears and disappears. He was therefore tattva-darśī, a seer of the truth, because he personally saw how the Supreme Absolute Truth appeared as his son. Vasudeva was not in ignorance, thinking that because the Supreme Godhead had appeared as his son, the Lord had become limited. The Lord is unlimitedly existing and all-pervading, inside and outside. Thus there is no question of His appearance or disappearance.

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Japa Group: Please Follow Very Carefully

Please follow very carefully the four restrictions of no eating of meat, fish or eggs; no gambling; no illicit sex; and no taking of any kinds of intoxicants. Chant at least sixteen rounds on your beads daily without fail and avoid the ten offenses in the matter of chanting the Holy Names of the Lord. They are:

1) Blaspheming the Lord's devotee;
2) Considering the Lord, Krsna, on the same level with the demi-gods or assuming that there are many Gods;
3) Neglecting the order of the Spiritual Master;
4) Minimizing the authority of the Scriptures;
5) Interpreting the Holy Name of God;
6) Committing sin on the strength of chanting;
7) Instructing the glories of the Lord's Name to the unfaithful;
8) Comparing the Holy Name with mundane piety;
9) Inattention while chanting the Holy Name; and
10) Attachment to material things while engaged in the practice of chanting.

Letter to Aditi Devi Dasi - 29 September, 1970

* Note: Inattention is included in the list of 10 offenses
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Bhakta Chris, New York, USA: Is Google Making Us Stupid?

A renowned contemporary meditation from Nicholas Carr at The Atlantic

"Dave, stop. Stop, will you? Stop, Dave. Will you stop, Dave?” So the supercomputer HAL pleads with the implacable astronaut Dave Bowman in a famous and weirdly poignant scene toward the end of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. Bowman, having nearly been sent to a deep-space death by the malfunctioning machine, is calmly, coldly disconnecting the memory circuits that control its artificial “ brain. “Dave, my mind is going,” HAL says, forlornly. “I can feel it. I can feel it.”

I can feel it, too. Over the past few years I’ve had an uncomfortable sense that someone, or something, has been tinkering with my brain, remapping the neural circuitry, reprogramming the memory. My mind isn’t going—so far as I can tell—but it’s changing. I’m not thinking the way I used to think. I can feel it most strongly when I’m reading. Immersing myself in a book or a lengthy article used to be easy. My mind would get caught up in the narrative or the turns of the argument, and I’d spend hours strolling through long stretches of prose. That’s rarely the case anymore. Now my concentration often starts to drift after two or three pages. I get fidgety, lose the thread, begin looking for something else to do. I feel as if I’m always dragging my wayward brain back to the text. The deep reading that used to come naturally has become a struggle.

I think I know what’s going on. For more than a decade now, I’ve been spending a lot of time online, searching and surfing and sometimes adding to the great databases of the Internet. The Web has been a godsend to me as a writer. Research that once required days in the stacks or periodical rooms of libraries can now be done in minutes. A few Google searches, some quick clicks on hyperlinks, and I’ve got the telltale fact or pithy quote I was after. Even when I’m not working, I’m as likely as not to be foraging in the Web’s info-thickets’reading and writing e-mails, scanning headlines and blog posts, watching videos and listening to podcasts, or just tripping from link to link to link. (Unlike footnotes, to which they’re sometimes likened, hyperlinks don’t merely point to related works; they propel you toward them.)

For me, as for others, the Net is becoming a universal medium, the conduit for most of the information that flows through my eyes and ears and into my mind. The advantages of having immediate access to such an incredibly rich store of information are many, and they’ve been widely described and duly applauded. “The perfect recall of silicon memory,” Wired’s Clive Thompson has written, “can be an enormous boon to thinking.” But that boon comes at a price. As the media theorist Marshall McLuhan pointed out in the 1960s, media are not just passive channels of information. They supply the stuff of thought, but they also shape the process of thought. And what the Net seems to be doing is chipping away my capacity for concentration and contemplation. My mind now expects to take in information the way the Net distributes it: in a swiftly moving stream of particles. Once I was a scuba diver in the sea of words. Now I zip along the surface like a guy on a Jet Ski.

I’m not the only one. When I mention my troubles with reading to friends and acquaintances—literary types, most of them—many say they’re having similar experiences. The more they use the Web, the more they have to fight to stay focused on long pieces of writing. Some of the bloggers I follow have also begun mentioning the phenomenon. Scott Karp, who writes a blog about online media, recently confessed that he has stopped reading books altogether. “I was a lit major in college, and used to be [a] voracious book reader,” he wrote. “What happened?” He speculates on the answer: “What if I do all my reading on the web not so much because the way I read has changed, i.e. I’m just seeking convenience, but because the way I THINK has changed?”

Bruce Friedman, who blogs regularly about the use of computers in medicine, also has described how the Internet has altered his mental habits. “I now have almost totally lost the ability to read and absorb a longish article on the web or in print,” he wrote earlier this year. A pathologist who has long been on the faculty of the University of Michigan Medical School, Friedman elaborated on his comment in a telephone conversation with me. His thinking, he said, has taken on a “staccato” quality, reflecting the way he quickly scans short passages of text from many sources online. “I can’t read War and Peace anymore,” he admitted. “I’ve lost the ability to do that. Even a blog post of more than three or four paragraphs is too much to absorb. I skim it.”

Anecdotes alone don’t prove much. And we still await the long-term neurological and psychological experiments that will provide a definitive picture of how Internet use affects cognition. But a recently published study of online research habits , conducted by scholars from University College London, suggests that we may well be in the midst of a sea change in the way we read and think. As part of the five-year research program, the scholars examined computer logs documenting the behavior of visitors to two popular research sites, one operated by the British Library and one by a U.K. educational consortium, that provide access to journal articles, e-books, and other sources of written information. They found that people using the sites exhibited “a form of skimming activity,” hopping from one source to another and rarely returning to any source they’d already visited. They typically read no more than one or two pages of an article or book before they would “bounce” out to another site. Sometimes they’d save a long article, but there’s no evidence that they ever went back and actually read it. The authors of the study report:

It is clear that users are not reading online in the traditional sense; indeed there are signs that new forms of “reading” are emerging as users “power browse” horizontally through titles, contents pages and abstracts going for quick wins. It almost seems that they go online to avoid reading in the traditional sense.

Thanks to the ubiquity of text on the Internet, not to mention the popularity of text-messaging on cell phones, we may well be reading more today than we did in the 1970s or 1980s, when television was our medium of choice. But it’s a different kind of reading, and behind it lies a different kind of thinking—perhaps even a new sense of the self. “We are not only what we read,” says Maryanne Wolf, a developmental psychologist at Tufts University and the author of Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain. “We are how we read.” Wolf worries that the style of reading promoted by the Net, a style that puts “efficiency” and “immediacy” above all else, may be weakening our capacity for the kind of deep reading that emerged when an earlier technology, the printing press, made long and complex works of prose commonplace. When we read online, she says, we tend to become “mere decoders of information.” Our ability to interpret text, to make the rich mental connections that form when we read deeply and without distraction, remains largely disengaged.

Reading, explains Wolf, is not an instinctive skill for human beings. It’s not etched into our genes the way speech is. We have to teach our minds how to translate the symbolic characters we see into the language we understand. And the media or other technologies we use in learning and practicing the craft of reading play an important part in shaping the neural circuits inside our brains. Experiments demonstrate that readers of ideograms, such as the Chinese, develop a mental circuitry for reading that is very different from the circuitry found in those of us whose written language employs an alphabet. The variations extend across many regions of the brain, including those that govern such essential cognitive functions as memory and the interpretation of visual and auditory stimuli. We can expect as well that the circuits woven by our use of the Net will be different from those woven by our reading of books and other printed works.

Sometime in 1882, Friedrich Nietzsche bought a typewriter—a Malling-Hansen Writing Ball, to be precise. His vision was failing, and keeping his eyes focused on a page had become exhausting and painful, often bringing on crushing headaches. He had been forced to curtail his writing, and he feared that he would soon have to give it up. The typewriter rescued him, at least for a time. Once he had mastered touch-typing, he was able to write with his eyes closed, using only the tips of his fingers. Words could once again flow from his mind to the page.

But the machine had a subtler effect on his work. One of Nietzsche’s friends, a composer, noticed a change in the style of his writing. His already terse prose had become even tighter, more telegraphic. “Perhaps you will through this instrument even take to a new idiom,” the friend wrote in a letter, noting that, in his own work, his “‘thoughts’ in music and language often depend on the quality of pen and paper.”

Also see: Living With a Computer (July 1982) "The process works this way. When I sit down to write a letter or start the first draft of an article, I simply type on the keyboard and the words appear on the screen..." By James Fallows

“You are right,” Nietzsche replied, “our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts.” Under the sway of the machine, writes the German media scholar Friedrich A. Kittler , Nietzsche’s prose “changed from arguments to aphorisms, from thoughts to puns, from rhetoric to telegram style.”

The human brain is almost infinitely malleable. People used to think that our mental meshwork, the dense connections formed among the 100 billion or so neurons inside our skulls, was largely fixed by the time we reached adulthood. But brain researchers have discovered that that’s not the case. James Olds, a professor of neuroscience who directs the Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study at George Mason University, says that even the adult mind “is very plastic.” Nerve cells routinely break old connections and form new ones. “The brain,” according to Olds, “has the ability to reprogram itself on the fly, altering the way it functions.”

As we use what the sociologist Daniel Bell has called our “intellectual technologies”—the tools that extend our mental rather than our physical capacities—we inevitably begin to take on the qualities of those technologies. The mechanical clock, which came into common use in the 14th century, provides a compelling example. In Technics and Civilization, the historian and cultural critic Lewis Mumford described how the clock “disassociated time from human events and helped create the belief in an independent world of mathematically measurable sequences.” The “abstract framework of divided time” became “the point of reference for both action and thought.”

The clock’s methodical ticking helped bring into being the scientific mind and the scientific man. But it also took something away. As the late MIT computer scientist Joseph Weizenbaum observed in his 1976 book, Computer Power and Human Reason: From Judgment to Calculation, the conception of the world that emerged from the widespread use of timekeeping instruments “remains an impoverished version of the older one, for it rests on a rejection of those direct experiences that formed the basis for, and indeed constituted, the old reality.” In deciding when to eat, to work, to sleep, to rise, we stopped listening to our senses and started obeying the clock.

The process of adapting to new intellectual technologies is reflected in the changing metaphors we use to explain ourselves to ourselves. When the mechanical clock arrived, people began thinking of their brains as operating “like clockwork.” Today, in the age of software, we have come to think of them as operating “like computers.” But the changes, neuroscience tells us, go much deeper than metaphor. Thanks to our brain’s plasticity, the adaptation occurs also at a biological level.

The Internet promises to have particularly far-reaching effects on cognition. In a paper published in 1936, the British mathematician Alan Turing proved that a digital computer, which at the time existed only as a theoretical machine, could be programmed to perform the function of any other information-processing device. And that’s what we’re seeing today. The Internet, an immeasurably powerful computing system, is subsuming most of our other intellectual technologies. It’s becoming our map and our clock, our printing press and our typewriter, our calculator and our telephone, and our radio and TV.

When the Net absorbs a medium, that medium is re-created in the Net’s image. It injects the medium’s content with hyperlinks, blinking ads, and other digital gewgaws, and it surrounds the content with the content of all the other media it has absorbed. A new e-mail message, for instance, may announce its arrival as we’re glancing over the latest headlines at a newspaper’s site. The result is to scatter our attention and diffuse our concentration.

The Net’s influence doesn’t end at the edges of a computer screen, either. As people’s minds become attuned to the crazy quilt of Internet media, traditional media have to adapt to the audience’s new expectations. Television programs add text crawls and pop-up ads, and magazines and newspapers shorten their articles, introduce capsule summaries, and crowd their pages with easy-to-browse info-snippets. When, in March of this year, TheNew York Times decided to devote the second and third pages of every edition to article abstracts , its design director, Tom Bodkin, explained that the “shortcuts” would give harried readers a quick “taste” of the day’s news, sparing them the “less efficient” method of actually turning the pages and reading the articles. Old media have little choice but to play by the new-media rules.

Never has a communications system played so many roles in our lives—or exerted such broad influence over our thoughts—as the Internet does today. Yet, for all that’s been written about the Net, there’s been little consideration of how, exactly, it’s reprogramming us. The Net’s intellectual ethic remains obscure.

About the same time that Nietzsche started using his typewriter, an earnest young man named Frederick Winslow Taylor carried a stopwatch into the Midvale Steel plant in Philadelphia and began a historic series of experiments aimed at improving the efficiency of the plant’s machinists. With the approval of Midvale’s owners, he recruited a group of factory hands, set them to work on various metalworking machines, and recorded and timed their every movement as well as the operations of the machines. By breaking down every job into a sequence of small, discrete steps and then testing different ways of performing each one, Taylor created a set of precise instructions—an “algorithm,” we might say today—for how each worker should work. Midvale’s employees grumbled about the strict new regime, claiming that it turned them into little more than automatons, but the factory’s productivity soared.

More than a hundred years after the invention of the steam engine, the Industrial Revolution had at last found its philosophy and its philosopher. Taylor’s tight industrial choreography—his “system,” as he liked to call it—was embraced by manufacturers throughout the country and, in time, around the world. Seeking maximum speed, maximum efficiency, and maximum output, factory owners used time-and-motion studies to organize their work and configure the jobs of their workers. The goal, as Taylor defined it in his celebrated 1911 treatise, The Principles of Scientific Management, was to identify and adopt, for every job, the “one best method” of work and thereby to effect “the gradual substitution of science for rule of thumb throughout the mechanic arts.” Once his system was applied to all acts of manual labor, Taylor assured his followers, it would bring about a restructuring not only of industry but of society, creating a utopia of perfect efficiency. “In the past the man has been first,” he declared; “in the future the system must be first.”

Taylor’s system is still very much with us; it remains the ethic of industrial manufacturing. And now, thanks to the growing power that computer engineers and software coders wield over our intellectual lives, Taylor’s ethic is beginning to govern the realm of the mind as well. The Internet is a machine designed for the efficient and automated collection, transmission, and manipulation of information, and its legions of programmers are intent on finding the “one best method”—the perfect algorithm—to carry out every mental movement of what we’ve come to describe as “knowledge work.”

Google’s headquarters, in Mountain View, California—the Googleplex—is the Internet’s high church, and the religion practiced inside its walls is Taylorism. Google, says its chief executive, Eric Schmidt, is “a company that’s founded around the science of measurement,” and it is striving to “systematize everything” it does. Drawing on the terabytes of behavioral data it collects through its search engine and other sites, it carries out thousands of experiments a day, according to the Harvard Business Review, and it uses the results to refine the algorithms that increasingly control how people find information and extract meaning from it. What Taylor did for the work of the hand, Google is doing for the work of the mind.

The company has declared that its mission is “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” It seeks to develop “the perfect search engine,” which it defines as something that “understands exactly what you mean and gives you back exactly what you want.” In Google’s view, information is a kind of commodity, a utilitarian resource that can be mined and processed with industrial efficiency. The more pieces of information we can “access” and the faster we can extract their gist, the more productive we become as thinkers.

Where does it end? Sergey Brin and Larry Page, the gifted young men who founded Google while pursuing doctoral degrees in computer science at Stanford, speak frequently of their desire to turn their search engine into an artificial intelligence, a HAL-like machine that might be connected directly to our brains. “The ultimate search engine is something as smart as people—or smarter,” Page said in a speech a few years back. “For us, working on search is a way to work on artificial intelligence.” In a 2004 interview with Newsweek, Brin said, “Certainly if you had all the world’s information directly attached to your brain, or an artificial brain that was smarter than your brain, you’d be better off.” Last year, Page told a convention of scientists that Google is “really trying to build artificial intelligence and to do it on a large scale.”

Such an ambition is a natural one, even an admirable one, for a pair of math whizzes with vast quantities of cash at their disposal and a small army of computer scientists in their employ. A fundamentally scientific enterprise, Google is motivated by a desire to use technology, in Eric Schmidt’s words, “to solve problems that have never been solved before,” and artificial intelligence is the hardest problem out there. Why wouldn’t Brin and Page want to be the ones to crack it?

Still, their easy assumption that we’d all “be better off” if our brains were supplemented, or even replaced, by an artificial intelligence is unsettling. It suggests a belief that intelligence is the output of a mechanical process, a series of discrete steps that can be isolated, measured, and optimized. In Google’s world, the world we enter when we go online, there’s little place for the fuzziness of contemplation. Ambiguity is not an opening for insight but a bug to be fixed. The human brain is just an outdated computer that needs a faster processor and a bigger hard drive.

The idea that our minds should operate as high-speed data-processing machines is not only built into the workings of the Internet, it is the network’s reigning business model as well. The faster we surf across the Web—the more links we click and pages we view—the more opportunities Google and other companies gain to collect information about us and to feed us advertisements. Most of the proprietors of the commercial Internet have a financial stake in collecting the crumbs of data we leave behind as we flit from link to link—the more crumbs, the better. The last thing these companies want is to encourage leisurely reading or slow, concentrated thought. It’s in their economic interest to drive us to distraction.

Maybe I’m just a worrywart. Just as there’s a tendency to glorify technological progress, there’s a countertendency to expect the worst of every new tool or machine. In Plato’s Phaedrus, Socrates bemoaned the development of writing. He feared that, as people came to rely on the written word as a substitute for the knowledge they used to carry inside their heads, they would, in the words of one of the dialogue’s characters, “cease to exercise their memory and become forgetful.” And because they would be able to “receive a quantity of information without proper instruction,” they would “be thought very knowledgeable when they are for the most part quite ignorant.” They would be “filled with the conceit of wisdom instead of real wisdom.” Socrates wasn’t wrong—the new technology did often have the effects he feared—but he was shortsighted. He couldn’t foresee the many ways that writing and reading would serve to spread information, spur fresh ideas, and expand human knowledge (if not wisdom).

The arrival of Gutenberg’s printing press, in the 15th century, set off another round of teeth gnashing. The Italian humanist Hieronimo Squarciafico worried that the easy availability of books would lead to intellectual laziness, making men “less studious” and weakening their minds. Others argued that cheaply printed books and broadsheets would undermine religious authority, demean the work of scholars and scribes, and spread sedition and debauchery. As New York University professor Clay Shirky notes, “Most of the arguments made against the printing press were correct, even prescient.” But, again, the doomsayers were unable to imagine the myriad blessings that the printed word would deliver.

So, yes, you should be skeptical of my skepticism. Perhaps those who dismiss critics of the Internet as Luddites or nostalgists will be proved correct, and from our hyperactive, data-stoked minds will spring a golden age of intellectual discovery and universal wisdom. Then again, the Net isn’t the alphabet, and although it may replace the printing press, it produces something altogether different. The kind of deep reading that a sequence of printed pages promotes is valuable not just for the knowledge we acquire from the author’s words but for the intellectual vibrations those words set off within our own minds. In the quiet spaces opened up by the sustained, undistracted reading of a book, or by any other act of contemplation, for that matter, we make our own associations, draw our own inferences and analogies, foster our own ideas. Deep reading, as Maryanne Wolf argues, is indistinguishable from deep thinking.

If we lose those quiet spaces, or fill them up with “content,” we will sacrifice something important not only in our selves but in our culture. In a recent essay, the playwright Richard Foreman eloquently described what’s at stake:

I come from a tradition of Western culture, in which the ideal (my ideal) was the complex, dense and “cathedral-like” structure of the highly educated and articulate personality—a man or woman who carried inside themselves a personally constructed and unique version of the entire heritage of the West. [But now] I see within us all (myself included) the replacement of complex inner density with a new kind of self—evolving under the pressure of information overload and the technology of the “instantly available.”

As we are drained of our “inner repertory of dense cultural inheritance,” Foreman concluded, we risk turning into “‘pancake people’—spread wide and thin as we connect with that vast network of information accessed by the mere touch of a button.”

I’m haunted by that scene in 2001. What makes it so poignant, and so weird, is the computer’s emotional response to the disassembly of its mind: its despair as one circuit after another goes dark, its childlike pleading with the astronaut—“I can feel it. I can feel it. I’m afraid”—and its final reversion to what can only be called a state of innocence. HAL’s outpouring of feeling contrasts with the emotionlessness that characterizes the human figures in the film, who go about their business with an almost robotic efficiency. Their thoughts and actions feel scripted, as if they’re following the steps of an algorithm. In the world of 2001, people have become so machinelike that the most human character turns out to be a machine. That’s the essence of Kubrick’s dark prophecy: as we come to rely on computers to mediate our understanding of the world, it is our own intelligence that flattens into artificial intelligence.

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ISKCON News.com: Work As Worship

By Sutapa Das for Sutapamonk.blogspot.com on 3 Jun 2011

Is it possible to work in this dog-eat-dog world and simultaneously maintain your spirituality? Can one connect to the higher reality via their worldly profession? The Bhagavad-gita offers the “3R” formula, which gives a succinct but comprehensive checklist on how to spiritualize your daily work.

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H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami (Ret.): 330–Poem for June 3rd

www.sdgonline.org. SDGonline Daily updates

5:01 A.M.

A Writer of Pieces

New format–I will begin with the poem written on the day of its printing. Then I will print random excerpts of books I have published over the last 35 years. I hope this variety will be pleasing.

Poem for June 3rd

I woke with a headache
and it moved to a twinge in the
right eye. Narayana gave me med
but I winced instead of meditating on
the syllables of nama. At least I
got them done in speedy time.

Prabhupada was explaining the difference
between vaidhi bhakti and spontaneous
love. He said in the beginning a student
doesn’t want to study and he has to be forced
to go to school. But eventually he
learns to read and write and loves it
and becomes a learned scholar. And
he gave the example that in the beginning
one doesn’t know how to operate the
typewriter but by using a manual
he learns the keyboard and soon is
able to type even without looking at the
keys. These are good examples to
understand the position of

When Narayana came up I
was indisposed but would have
liked to ask him how he feels and
thinks about life in ISKCON.
Yesterday I spoke on Skype
with Caitanya-Candrodoya and he
assured me he’s making progress
in editing Prabhupada Smaranam.
He wants me to speak on Skype
to my disciples in Belfast and
I’m willing to do it. Now
they are struggling with shortage
of manpower. I’ll try to help
by speaking of the beauty and
validity of sadhana bhakti.

Baladeva is still prodding
me to continue the autobiog.
He says that he will supply me
topics and he will interview me
for oral autobiog. I am willing
to do it. But I hoped for a
new project. Narayana and I
like the daily poem with its
telling of my life and readings.
I just got a letter from my
old friend Bhurijana Prabhu and
that makes me happy. He says
next year he may come to
the USA and visit me. That
would be nice to talk in
an openhearted way
and discover new channels
of communication.

It is nice to hear the
music in the morning,
the birds starting up
by 4:15 and the
music that I write too,
that Bhakta Ricard
and I share in a
confidential way.

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

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From A Poor Man Reads the Bhagavatam, Volume I

“TEXT 1.1.8

“‘And because you are submissive, your spiritual masters have endowed you with all the favors bestowed upon a gentle disciple. Therefore you can tell us all you have scientifically learned from them.’


“In the previous verse, the sages describe Suta as a great scholar of religious scriptures and of related knowledge. In this verse, they reveal the secret of his success: ‘You have been given all the favors bestowed upon a gentle disciple.’

“Suta was blessed because he was submissive. The sages at Naimasaranya, therefore, assume that his gurus have given him confidential knowledge, and so they ask him to impart it to them.

“Materialists are usually not fond of submitting to others. In spiritual life, however, we are attracted to those who are submissive, who have humbled themselves in obedience and yielded to the power and authority of the Vaisnava guru. Coming under the guru’s influence can transform anyone into a first class devotee. Prabhupada compares the relationship between guru and disciple with the relationship between a ‘critical student’ and an expert master. The student, by submitting to the master, in turn becomes a master himself.

“Submission offered out of respect and affection makes us gentle. The guru does not bribe the disciple; there is no need for the disciple to submit out of fear or coercion. Rather, because the guru is himself completely dependent on Krishna, the disciple becomes attracted to hear from him and to offer service. When a guru sees that the disciple is eager and willing to pay any price to learn—to himself become gentle and submissive to Krishna—he feels impelled to help him in any way he can. We don’t become dead or worthless by submitting to the spiritual master because spiritual submission is active and creative. We have to surrender our intelligence and actively employ it creatively and constantly to serve the guru’s orders. When we approach the guru in this way, the spiritual master is won over by our sincerity and attempts at devotion.

“Therefore, The Nectar of Devotion list submission as a devotional principle. Prabhupada writes that devotees may offer their submission to Krishna (and guru) by ‘very feelingly offering prayers’ composed from their own hearts.’  The disciple does not remain proud of any education or any other qualification but faces his insignificance and prays for the perfectional stage of spiritual life. Submission leads to laulyam, which is sometimes expressed in tears of eagerness: ‘ . . . One should learn how to cry for the Lord. One should learn this small technique, and he should be very eager and actually cry to become engaged in some particular type of service . . . Such tears are the price for the highest perfection.’ (NOD, p. 83)

“In the Bhagavad-gita (4.34), Krishna states, and Prabhupada concludes in his purport, that submissive inquiry accompanied by service is the key constituent to spiritual advancement. ‘In this verse both blind following and absurd inquiries are condemned. Not only should one hear submissively from the spiritual master, but one must also get a clear understanding from him, in submission and service and inquiries. A bona-fide spiritual master is by nature very kind toward the disciple. Therefore when the student is submissive and is always ready to render service, the reciprocation of knowledge and inquiries becomes perfect.’

“I don’t know how I measure up in terms of submissiveness. Some say it doesn’t matter as long as we speak the truth, but we would have to be dead stones or mindless hypocrites not to question our level of submission to the spiritual master. ‘By pleasing the spiritual master, one pleases Krishna; if one displeases the spiritual master, his destination is unknown.’ How do we know whether we are pleasing the spiritual master? Sometimes we can’t know, and we just have to continue without knowing. Other times, it may become more obvious. We can, however, always analyze our position and try to understand how to improve.

“A disciple should want to milk his guru; he should want to learn as much as possible from him. Tasmad gurun prapadyeta jijnasu sreya uttamam. ‘Only when one wants absolute knowledge is he a candidate for approaching a spiritual master.’

“The sages in the Bhagavatam want to hear; they’re prepared to listen for a thousand years! What will they do out there in the forest besides hear the Bhagavatam? Not much. Live simply, without sense gratification. A little eating and sleeping, no mating, no intoxication. That’s how they can go on hearing. They must have been powerful and controlled, not fidgety sitters who suddenly have to run off to make a phone call or send a fax.

“They say Suta is saumya, ‘one who is pure and simple.’ We can become saumya too, but first we have to remove ourselves from all controversies. It’s good that some people deal with controversy, attend meetings and develop their communications skills, but it’s also good that some people don’t. Those who don’t learn to sit like sages, silent and saumya, prepared to hear long discourses from Suta’s representatives. They can remain undiverted. The success of either type of person is his ability to please his spiritual master.

“Someone is talking in the hall: ‘Accha. Thank you, Prabhu.’ I hear a chair scraping against the floor somewhere in the building. Sounds rise up—birds’ notes and bhajanas, monkeys and children. If we follow each sound, we can become lost to ourselves. One man told me that he has been spaced out for months, ever since he got married. Now he’s in Vrndavana, but he still feels spaced-out. His older, serious friend preached to him and told him to use his opportunity of being in Vrndavana. Therefore, he said, he’s going to try again to hear and chant.

“I have an older friend in my mind who preaches to me. ‘Seek clarity,’ he says. I imagine the future outside Vrndavana and wonder whether I will remember the unfathomable, sweet mystery of Vrndavana, which I have felt even though I have stayed in my room.

“I want to be a gentle disciple. Husbands and wives quarrel, but in Kali-yuga a person divides himself and then quarrels with himself. These sages gathered to bring peace to the heart of the world. They are like the older sons of a family who wish it well.

“They start by congratulating Suta as ideal. If we please the spiritual master, he will give us knowledge. If we receive that knowledge, we will have received his blessings. We don’t have to be extremely intelligent, because his giving and our receiving is based on mercy, not intelligence. However, it is also based on inquiring and reason. ‘The disciple can receive such teachings not exactly intellectually, but by submissive inquiries and a service attitude.’ (Bhag. 2.1.10, purport)

“We say that everything depends on sastra and that evidence must be given, but people twist and torture it to prove their own points. ‘That is another thing,’ Srila Prabhupada said. He admonished those who would misuse sastra. If we use sastra to support our material motivation, then it beomes dangerous. An institution can go awry when we disobey the spiritual master.

“Therefore, Prabhupada’s books in the association of Vaisnavas are our ultimate shelter. We too can join in the discussion with the sages at Naimisaranya. It doesn’t matter what else goes on, we will always be sustained by Krishna-kathah. The sages’ discussion is full of knowledge, goodness and sincerity, and it has been extant for thousands of years. It cannot be destroyed. Remember Prabhupada’s words from the 1962 edition? ‘The foreign invaders of India could break down some of the monumental architectural work in India, but they were unable to break up the perfect ideas of human civilization so far kept hidden within the Sanskrit language of Vedic wisdom.’

“Krishna consciousness, as it is expressed in the Bhagavatam, cannot be destroyed. Srila Prabhupada went on to say that he had just rendered the Bhagavatam into English with a broader outlook. He wanted Krishna consciousness not merely preserved in the Sanskrit but available outside India. He said it was the duty of all Indians ‘to spread this culture all over the world at this momentous hour of need.’

“It’s time for Krishna consciousness to enter our culture too. Even a poor man can help spread it. I’m appealing here to anyone who will hear, including myself: don’t be cruel. Don’t abuse others in the name of religion. Uphold only the truth.”


Readers inspired by this excerpt from the Krishna conscious volume A Poor Man Reads the Bhagavatam: Volume I are encouraged to visit www.amazon.com

From ISKCON in the 1970s: Diaries

“Hartford, Connecticut Airport – En Route to Chicago for a Three-day GBC Visit

“Last night only three people attended our Yale bhakti-yoga club. This morning I woke up in the motel and could not at first remember what I was to do today. I have been preparing myself mentally to see the professors and sell books. I woke thinking of that as my duty. It was a sense of heavy burden, but then I thought, ‘Spiritual life doesn’t mean to wake up and think, “Today is a holiday. I shall enjoy myself today.”’ The sense of the pressure of difficult engagement to please the spiritual master is tapasya, and that is the heart of spiritual progress. Now the success is when the heart is light, despite the difficulty, when the mind is calm and transcendentally situated despite the difficult challenge of the service.

“I take it as auspicious—an increase in my service at a time when it is necessary to personally strengthen the library party, not with inspirational words over the weekend, but going out myself and facing it. Facing what they are facing, facing what I am asking them to face.

“I look forward also to personally backing up the others and preventing them from falling into lax habits and nonsense talk.

“‘And if there is any reluctance to execute such a stern order … that reluctance should be thrown off.’ –Bg. 3.30, purport

“I’m at O’Hare Airport, ready to fly back to Connecticut and Amherst. This weekend, reform the library party, and out we go on Monday. Thinking, ‘How can I face the professors in my wig? How can I speak so that they take Srila Prabhupada’s books. And aside from a professor of religion or India, can I presume to tell a professor he should use these books? How can I? Brush up on the business tactics this Saturday and Sunday–then go.

“Thinking of my spiritual master. Please save me, Srila Prabhupada, from calamities, when I may forget to chant Hare Krishna. Please allow me to remain in your service. Please keep me. Now out of my own strength I have to fight in the world to serve you, even in the camps of the demons (so uncongenial to spiritual thoughts), and by fighting and asking and surrendering, you will save me and make my effort victorious.

“Cold feet before I go out as a library party salesman. But I’m going. Got my wig and suit and bookbag. Today as trainee. In this way, do whatever is the needful service. Proud of my important role as a GBC member and party leader. A dangerous attitude. Better to do the needful and not try to build a subtle empire of reputed sainthood. This service is humbling. I come to the point where I am don’t want to surrender any further. Standing in the hall, unwilling to see another contaminated face. But I’m going to try.

“Went out three days, now next week we plan a heavy schedule at New York City colleges, and I’m getting ready to go out every day. I wear out by noon, and I’m reluctant to go further. The bookbag is heavy for me. It is all good for me and good for the party.

“Kali=yuga parents and a district attorney in New York have created nationwide bad publicity against ISKCON indicting two devotees for ‘brainwashing two disciples and holding them against their will.’ Absurd charges, but people in general will believe it. Now we are faced with a dangerous case against us. If we lose, the devotees will not be safe, either from kidnappers sent by their parents or by the government. Krishna, Lord Nsrimha, please protect this movement. ISKCON has hired big lawyers to fight it. I pray we win.”


Readers inspired by this excerpt from the Krishna conscious volume ISKCON in the 1970s: Diaries, Volume I are encouraged to visit www.amazon.com

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ISKCON News.com: India's Highways of Death

By Contributor for The New York Times on 3 Jun 2011

Every day in India, 320 people are killed in traffic accidents, the highest rate in the world. What will happen as new roads are built and thousands of drivers are taking the wheel?

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ISKCON Toronto, Canada: Sankirtan Seminar with Vaisesika das - LIVE!

Live TV by Ustream

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Subhavilasa das ACBSP, Toronto, CA: Happy Birthday Hari!

Hare Krishna to you! Hare Krishna to you! Hare Krishna dear Hari! Hare Krishna to you!
May you always take shelter in Krishna's Lotus feet.
May you always follow Srila Prabhupada.
Hari got a home baked brownie cake with carob baked and decorated by the blog editor (aka Indresh).  One of these days Hari may take over this blog after we got word last week that a story he wrote (and submitted by his school) won an award and was chosen to be published nationally.  Not bad for a 6 year old and as the grandson of Subhavilasa we cannot help but be proud of him.

On his birthday his Grandpa asked do you love Krishna more or Radharani more and he aswered he loves Prabhupada more. The reason he gave was that Prabhupada shows us Radha and Krishna!

Jai Prabhupada and all of his little devotees.  
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Mukunda Charan das, SA: From Calcutta To Mayapur, 17 March 2001

Our small group arrived at Howrah Station at 8:30am on the 17th of March 2001. We were looking forward to visiting ISKCON Mayapur, the Headquarters of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness and Birthplace of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.  Mayapur is one of the nine islands near the Ganges estuary, opposite the small town of Navadvipa - 105 kilometres from Calcutta.

Unsure of how I was going to get to Mayapur, I enquired at the ticket office about trains from Howrah to Navadvipa.  Meanwhile, Padmanabha prabhu silently arranged a taxi for us.  He had a way of arranging things in such a way that neither of us paid.  It was the culture, after all, in India for householders to take care of brahmacaris and sannyasis.  

Calcutta  looked like a big, sooty machine.  The timeless Ganga slowly made her way out of the city, passing carnival lights, crows, street vendors, ferries, and metropolitan pilgrims.  I thought of Joseph Conrad’s Heart Of Darkness.  British Imperialism stuck like a fading tattoo.  We left the ornate Victorian ‘Old Station’ and edged our way, through a sea of hooting taxis, over Hoogly Bridge.

People and cars…crowding and competing…crowding and competing.  Victorian statues and statues celebrating Independence from British rule.  Corrugated iron structures.  Corrugated iron roofs.  Rusty Victorian warehouses.  I saw typically British parklands through the cab window as we veered around the stately Indian Rajbhavan.  Billboards offered contemporary western delights against a gothic background of Imperial architecture.  The stop-start driving subsided as we encountered the more pleasant atmosphere of suburbia – schools, parks and gymnasiums.  Twenty minutes later we were out of the city.

Tar became gravel.  Palm trees and brilliant green rice paddy fieds flanked us on either side.  I thought of the poem Prabhupada was fond of quoting, ‘God is in the country; man is in the town’.  Every now and then we’d pass a small town.  Padmanabha asked the driver to stop.  The South American couple were tired. We got out, and sipped some dobs (drinking coconuts) through thin plastic straws.  The driver disappeared somewhere (no doubt to get a cup of chai) and resurfaced 15 minutes later.   Padmanabha prabhu gravely pointed to one of the small towns we were passing and said, ‘Shantipur’.  Shantipur was the town of Lord Chaitanya’s personal associate and expansion, Advaita Acharya.  The beauty and serenity of Gauradesa soothed the heart.  And now we were approaching the very heart of Gauradesa – Sri Mayapur Dhama.

The taxi braked as we entered the back gates of the Sri Mayapurachandrodaya Mandir. Padmanabha and I took the elderly South American couple’s bags, and helped them check into the guesthouse.  Padmanabha, silent and mystical as ever, arranged comfortable lodging for us in the brahmacari ashram.  We had hardly put down our bags when he said in his matter-of-fact way: ‘Prabhuji, fetch your gamcha.  We going to take bath in Ganga.  Afterwards, we take darshan of Srila Prabhupada, Radha-Madhava and Sri Pancha Tattva’.

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ISKCON News.com: Varnashrama: How It Works and Why It Works?

By Niscala Dasi for The Eight Petals on 3 Jun 2011

ISKCON is not a movement for book distribution and festivals, nor for big feasts, sugar overdoses and sore feet, nor even are we a movement for making devotees- we are a movement for Krishna consciousness. “Love and trust” was a dynamic model developed by Srila Prabhupada, creating all those smiles exploding with joy.

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ISKCON News.com: Dalai Lama Gives Up Secular Powers, Thwarting Alleged Chinese Plans

By Contributor for religionclause.blogspot.com on 3 Jun 2011

Last Sunday in India, the parliament of the Tibetan government in exile passed, and the Dalai Lama signed, amendments to the Constitution of the Tibetan exile government. By giving up his temporal powers and proposing to change the succession system, the Dalai Lama has demolished the hopes of Beijing.

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1975 June 3: "I am dispatching this letter through my disciple Sriman Jayananda Adhikari. I shall be very glad to meet you again. You have taken so much pain for writing this book and I thank you very much. May Lord Krishna bless you more and more."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1975

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1975 June 3: "We are very strict. We are not after large numbers. Since I cannot personally interview you, please request the temple manager to recommend you to me for initiation. By this process, it may be possible."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1975

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1974 June 3: "As GBC your first responsibility is to keep yourself spiritually fit and see that all the devotees in your zone of management are strictly avoiding the sinful activities. If they are doing this - then management will be at your finger's end."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1974

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1974 June 3: "As far as counsel is concerned, simply keep up your fresh utsaha (enthusiasm) for service. That will accomplish wonders. And always remain ideal yourself by strict adherence to the bhakti principles."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1974

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1966 June 3:
"Purnima. In the evening there was class and it was the best than all previous classes. There was attendance about twenty and contribution was $19.00."
Prabhupada Journal :: 1966

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1969 June 3: "Our principle is to enter into the family life of Krishna. In the Vaikuntha world there are many devotees who have their wives, but they are so much absorbed in Krishna Consciousness they forget the idea of sex-life."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1969

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1970 June 3: "If you follow my instructions there is no doubt that through me, my Spiritual Master will be pleased, and through His mercy, Lord Nityananda. In this way Lord Caitanya and ultimately Radha Krsna will be pleased - and thus your life will be successful."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1970

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1969 June 3: "They are gradually deviating on account of stereotyped presentations by sophisticated priests. Modern youths want something dynamic, progressive in spiritual understanding, but the priests cannot satisfy them."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1969

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Nitya Navina dd, New Jersey, USA: Seeing through the eyes of the Sastra

It was almost 1 AM, Saturday morning, the streets were still busy with vehicles. But the street where we live was calm and quiet and the only sound was the melodious bhajan Sri Rupa Manjari pada,playing on our car stereo. We had yet another late Bhakti Vriksha gathering and were just pulling into the drive way when the hysterical screams of  a female voice penetrated the still, spring air. Not

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Ekendra das, Alachua, USA: The Hundred Dollar Rebate

The nice company who sold us our Internet router (up front cost: $100) gave us a $100 rebate form to fill out and return. Rebate forms are, I’m sure, a big source of revenue for big fat Internet service providers. On the pretense of giving you a modem for “free,” they give you a rebate form which you have to fill out in just the right way at just the right time sent to just the right place — or you can kiss your hundred bucks goodbye.

The “deal” we got included a $100 rebate form we had to fill out and mail in within 90 days. I read the instructions carefully. They’re always very specific. “Include the original rebate form, a copy of the sales receipt for the modem, the UPC symbol cut off the box, addressed to such and such. Offer only good from such and such date until midnight on such and such date only.” The first rebate form they gave us had dates that were in the past. I had to go back and get another one.

I’m sure companies who offer “rebates” are well aware there will always be some lazy, procrastinating, no-count slackers who just won’t be able to get it together enough to gather all the required information and send their bloody rebate forms in on time. Thus such companies profit mightily from calculating the Mode of Ignorance Factor.
Instead of immediately gathering everything on the list and mailing it in, this no-count slacker demoted the task to “later” and then forgot where I had put the darn UPC symbol, which I so carefully cut out of the corner of the box with my Stanley brand box cutter which some absent-minded mechanic had left on my engine block many years ago.

Weeks went by, to the tune of “almost ninety days.” The rebate form, copies of the form and the sales receipt floated around from my backpack to the car seat to the dining room table to the sofa to the bookcase to various piles of “doable stuff” I sorted through occasionally. Then yesterday I decided to mail that darn rebate form in once and for all. I found the form, made sure the date was correct, made sure I had copies of that and copies of my original sales receipt, but I couldn’t find the UPC symbol anywhere. I looked in the car. I looked on the dining room table. I looked in all my piles of doable stuff. I couldn’t find it anywhere. I began to get very upset, thinking how there was a hundred dollars out there that was rightfully ours but that we would not be able to recoup unless we had he original UPC symbol off the side of the box.

And all because I didn’t mail the thing in immediately. What an advertisement for the mode of goodness. “Look at this man. He’s practically at the point of tears. Why? He didn’t mail in his rebate form in a timely manner, and now he’s out a hundred bucks. Don’t let this happen to you. Try the mode of goodness now, for thirty days, and see what a difference it makes in your life. . .”

Then I remembered to ask the Boys. Whenever my wife or I lose something, we remind each other to ask our Gaura Nitai Deities (nicknamed “the Boys”) for help. We go to Them face to face, explain the situation, acknowledge that we’re foolish and helpless without Their help, that They’re omniscient, and the best Friends of all living beings, they know exactly where (whatever lost item) is, so won’t They please help us? I prayed to the Boys that way, and asked that They intervene within the next ten minutes, so I could get back to the other important work I was trying to do on Their behalf.

Then I went out again, like a drug sniffing dog, to search the car, the dining room, the sofa, the various piles for the third time, determined to flush out the missing piece of my rebate puzzle. Then, as if a little trapdoor had suddenly opened in my mind and let a stream of semi-dusty light stream through, I remembered I had stuffed a stack of Internet service-related papers in the original modem router box itself on the top shelf of the closet. I moved toward the box like a hungry man moving toward a sandwich. There it was, the envelope containing the lousy UPC symbol. I lay down and offered thanks again and again. It’s a wonder I didn’t fall asleep there, mode of ignorance poster child that I am.

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Vraja Kishor, JP: The Most Beautiful Person in the Worlds, Ever

Krishna dances

Image by Andrea Kirkby via Flickr

In Bhagavad Gita 11.50 we finally come to the end of the terribly mesmerizing vision of God’s form within the all-devouring unstoppable powers of material nature – what we call the “Universal Form” or virāṭa-rūpa in Sanskrit.


I will give my own translation of the original Sanskrit shloka, with an emphasis of expressing the essence in English without distorting the pure meaning revealed in Guru-Parampara. You may ask why I do so. Isn’t there already a fine translation? What is the need for another one?


Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja answered a very similar question once, in his Caitanya Caritāmṛta (311 pada of the last chapter of Adi Lila):

likhita granthera yadi kari anuvaada

tabe se granthera artha paaiye aasvaada


Which means: If I repeat in my own words what has already been written, then I can better taste the true merit and meaning of it.


I find that by endeavoring to re-express the words of the acaryas in my own words I come to much more fully understand what they are saying. Indeed, I think this is the whole point of discussing the scriptures rather than just reciting them. Here is my own translation of Gita 11.50. It is nothing special, but it helps me understand the meaning of the text much better because I take the effort to write it.


Sañjaya said:

After Vāsudeva said that to Arjuna

He returned the vision of his natural form

To encourage Arjuna, who had become fearful.

Then the great soul again returned to his most beautiful, pleasing form.


Now let’s examine why Prabhupāda mentions “four-armed forms” and “two-armed forms” in his translation. There are three forms that Kṛṣṇa displays in the 11th Chapter of Bhagavad Gita. One is the “Universal Form” – which is terrifying. Then in 11.46 Arjuna specifically asks to see the four-armed form of Kṛṣṇa as Viṣṇu. Kṛṣṇa granted this wish. Sanjaya is now describing it. He says that Kṛṣṇa returned Arjuna the darśan (audience or vision) of his svakam rūpa (natural form).


Now you can justifiably ask, “Why do you say that ‘natural form’ is the Vishnu form and not Kṛṣṇa himself?”


The answer is that Arjuna asked to see the Vishnu form, and Kṛṣṇa is prema-karṣiṇī  (controlled by the wishes of his beloveds). Therefore Kṛṣṇa most certainly showed Arjuna the form he requested to see. So this must be what is happening here – this must be what Sanjaya is referring to as svakam-rūpa.


The explanation of this verse by our great predecessor Teacher, Śrīla Viśvanātha Chakravarti, states without a shadow of uncertainty that this svakam-rūpa is the four-handed Vishnu form that Arjuna desired to see. Our Founding Guru, A.C. Bhaktivedānta Swāmī  Prabhupāda wrote his Bhagavad Gita As It Is by following the commentary of  Śrīla Viśvanātha Chakravarti. He included in the translations the clarification that Śrīla Viśvanātha Chakravarti made in his commentary. That is why the translation Prabhupāda wrote includes the mention of four-armed forms and two armed forms.


The four armed form is very sweet compared to the terrible power of the horrible Universal Form. But in the ultimate picture Vishnu is a mixture of sweetness and majesty. Not pure sweetness.


The form of Godhead exhibiting pure sweetness, unbound by the connotations of majesty and grandeur, is Śrī Kṛṣṇa – the son of the Maharaja Nanda and Maharani Yashoda. This form is called saumya-vapuh. This is the two armed form of Kṛṣṇa, who plays wonderously upon a flute, expressing his love to all his beloved associates with the honey-thick ragas he produces from it.


In jyotish (Vedic Astrology) there are two categories of planets: saumya and krura. The saumya planets are gentle, pleasing, generous, and soft. The krura planets are rough, strong, stern, and relentless. The Universal Form of God exhibits the krura nature of Absolute Reality. It is unyieldingly powerful and absolutely more powerful than us. Many world religions try to instill appreciation for this terrifying and fearful power of God in a krura form. I don’t really know why. Maybe they feel that most people respond well to fear? Or maybe they are so inclined to use fear as a tool to empower their ulterior political motives. I have no idea. I am not that interested to find out either.


Vishnu is the form of Godhead who is mostly saumya, but still has a little krura. Vishnu is very kind, humble, generous, helpful, etc. Therefore his nature is saumya. But still he is distant and very, very powerful at all times. Therefore there is still some of the krura aspect mixed into this manifestation of Godhead.


Kṛṣṇa, is Godhead manifesting in a completely pure state, not having to exert any power to accomplish any ulterior aims, interested only in his primary objective: the bliss of sharing divine love. Thus Kṛṣṇa is the purely saumya Godhead. Purely gentle, giving, sweet, open, inviting, approachable, and kind.


Now let’s review Śrīla Prabhupāda’s brief purport on this text.


“When Kṛṣṇa appeared as the son of Vasudeva and Devakī, He first of all appeared as four-armed Nārāyaṇa…” Here Prabhupāda suggests to us that Kṛṣṇa many times first appears as Vishnu and then reveals his more intimate nature as Kṛṣṇa. This sequence of events is not unique to the Bhagavad Gita.


“The word saumya-vapuḥ is very significant. Saumya-vapuḥ is a very beautiful form; it is known as the most beautiful form.” Prabhupāda is here telling you to pay attention to Sankrit and learn it, if you want to really appreciate the Gita and appreciate how Prabhupāda wants to give it to you.


Now Prabhupāda will talk about just how saumya sweet is Kṛṣṇa’s vapuh (form).


“When He was present, everyone was attracted simply by Kṛṣṇa’s form.” Recently I heard my Gurudev, Śrīpad Dhanurdhara Swāmī  express this very beautifully. He said, “Kṛṣṇa is so attractive. We cannot even imagine how attractive Kṛṣṇa is. We cannot even imagine how attractive are the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa. We cannot even imagine how wonderful it would be if even a drop of that attractiveness would enter for a moment into our chanting. We cannot even image what it would feel like for even a drop of hankering for that would come into our chanting.”



Prabhupāda concludes his discussion of the verse by saying, “In the Brahma-saḿhitā (5.38) it is stated, premāñjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena: only a person whose eyes are smeared with the ointment of love can see the beautiful form of Śrī Kṛṣṇa.”


Have you seen Kṛṣṇa? I cannot see Kṛṣṇa. Because if I were to see Kṛṣṇa all of my attractions to anyone and anything besides Kṛṣṇa would be pulverized and vaporized. Therefore I actually have my vision recognition brain centers closed and blinded to seeing Kṛṣṇa.


But to some small extent I do desire that all my attractions to anything besides Kṛṣṇa be destroyed. It is a small desire, but that small desire has reopened the vision recognition centers in my consciousness a small  amount. Therefore I can see pictures of Kṛṣṇa. I can see my lovely saumya-rūpa deities, Śrī Śrī Nandinī Nandana. And now and then I can have images of Kṛṣṇa placed into my heart by hearing the descriptions of Kṛṣṇa from the mouths of those who are in love with him.


The extent to which we want to be attracted FULLY to Kṛṣṇa is exactly the extent to which we can see Kṛṣṇa. Therefore full vision of Kṛṣṇa, directly with ones senses, face to face, does not come until Prema Bhakti arises in perfection.


Thank you for the opportunity to speak about Śrī Kṛṣṇa. I pray that the speaker and the listener will increase their interest in the topic.


Gaura Hari Bol.

Vraja Kishor, JP: La Persona más Hermosa del Universo

Krishna dances

Image by Andrea Kirkby via Flickr

En Bhagavad Gita 11.50 finalmente llegamos al final de la terrible visión cautivadora de la forma de Dios dentro de las imparables energías Todo Devoradora de la naturaleza material - qué llamamos en sánscrito la “forma universal” o virāṭa-rūpa.

Daré mi propia traducción del sánscrito original del shloka, con un énfasis en la expresión de la esencia en inglés sin variar el puro significado revelado por nuestro Gurú-Parampara. Usted puede preguntar, ¿porqué lo hago?. ¿No hay ya una traducción fina? ¿Cuál es la necesidad otra?

Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja contestó a una pregunta muy similar cierta vez, en su Caitanya Caritāmṛta (Ādi-līlā, 17.311):

likhita granthera yadi kari anuvāda
tabe se granthera artha pāiye āsvāda

CC Ādi 17.311: If I repeat what is already written, I may thus relish the purpose of this scripture.

CC Ādi 17.311: Si repito lo que ya está escrito, podré saborear el propósito de esta Escritura.

Que significa: Si repito en mis propias palabras lo qué ya se ha escrito, puedo mejorar el gusto, mérito y el significado verdaderos de él, después.

Encuentro que si nos esforzáramos re-expresaría las palabras de los acaryas con mis propias palabras y así entendería mucho más completamente lo que han dicho. De hecho, pienso que éste es el punto completo para discutir las escrituras incluso aunque sean recitandolas. Aquí está mi propia traducción de Gita 11.50.

BG 11.50: Sañjaya said to Dhṛtarāṣṭra: The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, having spoken thus to Arjuna, displayed His real four-armed form and at last showed His two-armed form, thus encouraging the fearful Arjuna.

BG 11.50: Sañjaya dit à Dhṛtarāṣṭra: Tenant ces propos, Kṛṣṇa, Dieu, la Personne Suprême, dévoile à Arjuna Sa Forme à quatre bras, puis reprend Sa Forme à deux bras, pour réconforter le prince terrifié.

BG 11.50: Sañjaya le dijo a Dhṛtarāṣṭra: La Suprema Personalidad de Dios, Kṛṣṇa, después de hablarle así a Arjuna, mostró Su verdadera forma de cuatro brazos, y finalmente mostró Su forma de dos brazos, animando con ello al temeroso Arjuna.

No es nada especial, sino que me ayuda a entender el significado del texto mucho mejor porque hago el esfuerzo de escribirlo.

Sañjaya dijo: Después de que Vāsudeva le dijera esto a Arjuna

Él volvió a la visión de su forma natural

Para animar a Arjuna, que había llegado a ser temeroso.

Entonces la gran Alma volvió otra vez a Su forma más hermosa, más agradable.

Ahora déjenos examinar del porqué Prabhupāda menciona “la forma de cuatro-brazos” y “la forma con dos brazos” en su traducción. Hay tres formas que Kṛṣṇa que exhibe en el 11ª capítulo de Bhagavad Gita. Una es la “forma universal” - que es aterrorizante. Entonces en la B.G.11.46 Arjuna pide específicamente ver la forma de cuatro-brazos de Kṛṣṇa como Viṣṇu. Kṛṣṇa le concedió este deseo. Sanjaya ahora la está describiendo. Él dice que Kṛṣṇa dejó ver a Arjuna el darśan (audiencia o visión) de su svakam rūpa (forma natural).

Ahora usted puede pedir una justificación, “¿porqué dices Usted que la forma natural es la forma de Viṣṇu y no la forma de Kṛṣṇa mismo?”

La respuesta es que Arjuna pidió ver la forma de Viṣṇu, y Kṛṣṇa es prema-karṣiṇī (controlado por los deseos de sus queridos). Por lo tanto Kṛṣṇa ciertamente le mostró a Arjuna la forma que él le pidió ver. Esto debe ser lo que está sucediendo aquí - esto debe ser a lo que se refiere Sanjaya cuando habla de svakam-rūpa.

La explicación de este verso de nuestro gran maestro precursor, Śrīla Viśvanātha Chakravarti, es que no hay ni una sombra de duda de que este svakam-rūpa es la forma de cuatro-manos de Viṣṇu que Arjuna deseó de ver. Nuestro gurú fundador, A.C. Bhaktivedānta Swāmī Prabhupāda escribió su Bhagavad Gita como siguiendo el comentario de Śrīla Viśvanātha Chakravarti. Él incluyó en las traducciones la clarificación que Śrīla Viśvanātha Chakravarti hizo en su comentario. Éso es porqué la traducción que Prabhupāda escribió incluye la mención de las formas de cuatro-brazos y las formas de dos brazos.

La forma de cuatro mano es la más dulce comparada a la forma universal horrible que posee energías terribles. Pero en el último cuadro Viṣṇu es una mezcla de dulzor y de majestad. No puro dulzor.

La forma que Dios exhibe puro dulzor, desatada por las connotaciones de majestad y de grandeza, es Śrī Kṛṣṇa - el hijo del Mahārāja Nanda y Mahārānī Yaśodā. Esta forma se llama saumya-vapuh. Ésta es la forma con dos brazos de Kṛṣṇa, que toca dulcemente Su flauta, expresando su amor a todos sus queridos asociados con Sus dulces ragas o dulces melodías que él produce con ella. En la jyotish (astrología védica) hay dos categorías de planetas: saumya y krura. Los planetas del saumya son apacibles, agradables, abundantes, y suaves. Los planetas del krura son ásperos, fuertes, severos, e implacables. La forma universal de Dios exhibe la naturaleza krura de la Realidad Absoluta. Es inflexible y de gran alcance y absolutamente de más gran alcance que nosotros. Muchas religiones del mundo intentan inculcar el aprecio para esta energía aterrorizante y temerosa de Dios en la forma de krura. No sé realmente por qué. ¿Siento quizá que la mayoría de la gente responde bien al miedo? O están inclinados quizá para utilizar el miedo como herramienta o como medio para autorizar por motivos políticos más ulteriores. No tengo ninguna idea. No estoy interesado en descubrirlo.

Viṣṇu es la forma de Dios que es sobre todo saumya, pero todavía tiene un poco de krura. Viṣṇu es muy bueno, humilde, abundante, provechoso, etc. Por lo tanto su naturaleza es saumya. Pero él sigue estando distante y muy poderoso, y muy muy distante. Por lo tanto todavía hay un aspecto de mezcla de krura en esta manifestación del Dios. Kṛṣṇa, es Dios que Se manifiesta en un estado totalmente puro, no teniendo que ejercer Sus energías para lograr Sus Objetivos más ulteriores, está interesado solamente en Su objetivo primario: la dicha de compartir Amor Divino. Así Kṛṣṇa es puramente el Dios del saumya. Puramente apacible, donante, dulce, abierto, acequible, accesible, y bondadoso.

Ahora repasemos el breve significado de Śrīla Prabhupāda en este texto.

“Cuando Kṛṣṇa apareció como el hijo de Vasudeva y de Devakī, Él en primer lugar apareció como Nārāyaṇa de cuatro-brazos…” Aquí Prabhupāda nos sugiere que Kṛṣṇa muchas veces primero aparece con la apariencia de Viṣṇu y en seguida revela su más íntima naturaleza como Kṛṣṇa. Esta secuencia de evento no es única al Bhagavad Gita.

“La palabra saumya-vapuḥ es muy significativa. Saumya-vapuḥ es una forma muy hermosa; se conoce como la forma más hermosa.” Prabhupāda aquí le está diciendo prestén atención al Sánscrito y aprenderla, si quiere apreciar el Gita y apreciar realmente cómo Prabhupāda quiere dartelo.

Ahora Prabhupāda hablará apenas cómo el dulce del saumya es vapuh de Kṛṣṇa (forma).

“Cuando él estaba presente, cada uno fue atraído simplemente por la forma de Kṛṣṇa.” Oí recientemente a mi Gurudev, Śrīpad Dhanurdhara Swāmī expresar esto muy maravillosamente. Él dijo, “Kṛṣṇa es tan atractivo. No podemos incluso imaginarnos cómo es Kṛṣṇa de atractivo. No podemos incluso imaginarnos cómo son atractivos Sus Hermosos pies de loto de Kṛṣṇa. No podemos incluso imaginarnos cómo sería de maravilloso si incluso una gota de esa atracción entrara por un momento en nuestro canto. No podemos incluso imaginarnos qué sentiriamos si incluso una gota de apetencia de esta entrara en nuestro canto.”

Prabhupāda concluye su discusión del verso diciendo, “en El Brahma-saḿhitā (5.38) que se indica, premāñjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena: solamente una persona cuyos ojos se manchan con el ungüento del amor puede ver la forma hermosa de Śrī Kṛṣṇa.”

¿Usted ha visto Kṛṣṇa? No puedo ver a Kṛṣṇa. Porque si viera a Kṛṣṇa todas mis atracciones hacia cualquier persona y hacia cualquier cosa además de Kṛṣṇa serían pulverizada y vaporizada. Por lo tanto tengo realmente en reconocimiento mi mente por la visión centrada y cerrada por haberme cegado al ver a Kṛṣṇa.

Pero en un cierto pequeño grado deseo que todas mis atracciones de cualquier cosa además de Kṛṣṇa estén destruidas. Es un pequeño deseo, pero ese pequeño deseo ha abierto de nuevamente los centros del reconocimiento de la visión en mi sentido en una pequeña cantidad. Por lo tanto puedo ver cuadros de Kṛṣṇa. Puedo ver mis deidades encantadoras del saumya-rūpa, Śrī Śrī Nandinī Nandana. Y ahora y después puedo tener imágenes de Kṛṣṇa puestas en mi corazón oyendo las descripciones de Kṛṣṇa de labios de los que lo Aman.

El grado al cual queremos ser atraídos COMPLETAMENTE a Kṛṣṇa es exactamente el grado al que podemos ver Kṛṣṇa. Por lo tanto por completo la visión de Kṛṣṇa, directamente con unos los sentidos, cara a cara, no viene hasta que Prema Bhakti se presente en la perfección.

Gracias por la oportunidad de hablar sobre Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Ruego que el locutor y el oyente aumenten su interés en el asunto.

Gaura Hari Bol.

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H.H. Sivarama Swami: Ananda Caitanya gives the example of mixed devotees like Kardama and Nabhi who saw the Lord and asks

H.H. Sivarama Swami: Ananda Caitanya gives the example of mixed devotees like Kardama and Nabhi who saw the Lord and asks

Sivarama Swami

June 3rd, 2011
“What is the qualification for the Lord’s darsana?”
[ 6:49 ]
2 Responses to “Ananda Caitanya gives the example of mixed devotees like Kardama and Nabhi who saw the Lord and asks”
Varsana dd says:
June 4, 2011 at 8:37 am
Hare Krsna! This podcast is in Hungarian, could we have the english version please. Thank you! Ys Vdd
Nandagopa Dasa says:
June 4, 2011 at 4:03 pm
Sorry. It is OK now. Thank you.

H.H. Sivarama Swami: Ananda Caitanya gives the example of mixed devotees like Kardama and Nabhi who saw the Lord and asks

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Yoga of Ecology, Bhakta Chris, USA: The Yoga Of Cooking And Eating

From our good friend and fellow monk Gadadhar Pandit Dasa at The Huffington Post

Click here to check out Pandit's website

For the first 27 years of my life, I didn't step into the kitchen until the food was on the dining table. Mom took care of all the cooking. The kitchen was a complete and total mystery for me. The only thing I felt comfortable doing in the kitchen was making toast, putting my cereal together and boiling water. My first cooking experiences took place when, at the age of 27, I moved into a monastery and was put on a weekly cooking rotation. It was on-the-job training ... learn as you go. It's quite ironic then, that for the last 10 years one of my main activities has been teaching vegetarian cooking classes.

I had always thought that cooking was something you did to feed yourself and your family. However, monastic life has continued to teach me that cooking, if done with the right consciousness, can be a kind of yoga practice. I'm not referring to the yoga practice where you try to turn yourself into a pretzel. I am sticking to the original meaning of the term, which arises from the Sanskrit root yuj, which means to harness or bind back. Yoga means you are trying to reconnect with the divine.

Whether or not that reconnect actually takes place depends on one's consciousness. During my vegetarian cooking demonstrations at Columbia University, I tell my students that our consciousness during our cooking should be that we are "cooking for the pleasure of God and that we want to share our food with others."

Knowing that we're cooking for someone else can help remove some of the selfishness we harbor in our hearts and can increase the quality of selflessness. Since the process of yoga is meant to purify the heart and mind of negative tendencies, cooking with the right consciousness can be transformed into a yoga practice.

This entails that the cook isn't allowed to taste the food while the cooking is taking place. As soon as one hears this, the immediate response is that of complete surprise. How is it possible to cook without tasting what we are doing? It takes practice and a recipe should be followed. Since the food is being cooked for the pleasure of God, God should be the first individual to taste it. It gets even more difficult, as the cook isn't even supposed to be thinking of eating or enjoying the food while cooking.

As bizarre as all this might be sounding, this is the method of cooking adopted by those who adhere to the Bhakti or devotional path within Hinduism. One way to express our love for people we care for is to cook for them. So a similar way to cultivate our love for God is to cook delicious preparations with a mood of love and devotion for God.

I think most people will agree that the best meals are often prepared by a loving mother. Every time I visit my folks in Jersey City, my mom cooks for me. Perhaps because I'm so thick-headed, it took me a really long time to figure out why my mom enjoys cooking for me. She gets pleasure from watching me eat what she's cooked.

The food she's prepared is imbued with her feelings of motherly love and care. Her consciousness has entered the food and is being transferred to me. That transference of consciousness creates a powerful bond. So, even though she may or may not use the perfect amount of turmeric, hing or cumin, the most important ingredient is bhakti, or love.

Consciousness affecting material things may seem a bit farfetched, but we witness this effect taking place with works of art and music, and how they're embedded with the consciousness of the particular artists. When we listen to or examine a work of art or music, the artist's mood also becomes apparent and many times we can be emotionally impacted by that mood. Similarly, cooked food is no less a work of art than traditional art or music and is invested with the emotions and consciousness of the cook.

When we eat, we're not only eating the food and it's ingredients, but we're also eating the consciousness of the cook. A very important question we can ask ourselves before our next meal is, "Whose consciousness am I eating?"

In the Bhagavad Gita, one of the main spiritual texts of India, Krishna, or God, offers a very salient point: "If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, fruit or water, I will accept it." The point being made here is that God isn't looking for elaborate and complicated offerings from the devotees. Instead, Krishna is looking for the love and devotion, or the bhakti, behind the offering.

The other very important facet of the offering is that it can't be a product of cruelty. It is a well known fact that animals undergo tremendous emotional and physical suffering when killed. In the classic Hindu text Manusmriti, it is stated, "Having well considered the origin of flesh-foods, and the cruelty of fettering and slaying corporeal beings, let man entirely abstain from eating flesh." Such food items are not only unhealthy for the our bodies, but also unhealthy for our consciousness.

When food is offered to the Divine or God, it becomes sanctified. In the bhakti tradition, food is offered through devotional mantras that focus our intention. It is understood that God then accepts the offering of food and partakes of it. Because the food came in contact with the divine, it also adopts divine qualities. In this way, matter is transformed into spirit.

When an individual consumes this offered or "karma-free" food, one's mind, senses and consciousness get purified of such tendencies as greed, anger, envy and selfishness. One comes simultaneously closer to the divine. This is known as the yoga of eating.

Advancing spiritually and elevating one's consciousness can often involve rigorous practices. However, it's nice to know that just by engaging in simple and creative endeavors, such as cooking and eating, one can move closer to that ultimate spiritual goal.

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Akrura das, Gita Coaching: KEEPING AGREEMENTS

Click on the title to get an excellent article.

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Japa Group: Bhaktivedanta College Japa Retreat

A very nice interactive Japa Retreat where devotees give responses to Sacinandana's question on Japa.

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Sutapa das, BV Manor, UK: A.W.O.L

A young investment banker recently approached me. Frustrated with the corporate climate, demanding lifestyle, and the stresses and strains of worldly responsibility, he was seriously considering giving it all up. Such cases are not uncommon. In numerous passages of the Bhagavad-gita even Arjuna proposes he leave the battlefield and retire into the contemplative, secluded life of a hermit. Would such renunciation be wise? Is it possible to work in this dog-eat-dog world and simultaneously maintain your spirituality? Can one connect to the higher reality via their worldly profession? The Bhagavad-gita offers the “3R” formula, which gives a succinct but comprehensive checklist on how to spiritualize your daily work.

Righteous – Firstly, one must endeavor to engage in righteous work. Certain occupations and livelihoods are based on exploitation, violence, dishonesty, and generally cause harm and disruption in the world. Such work is neither progressive for the individual or for society at large. While every type of work in today’s world is covered by some fault or imperfection, as far as possible the spiritualist endeavors to pursue a career which promotes harmony, upliftment, kindness and compassion.

Results – Secondly, our work in this world will yield certain 'fruits'. Such fruits come in the form of monetary remuneration, knowledge, expertise, skills and influence in a particular field. While such fruits help us to survive in the world, providing the necessities of food, clothing and shelter, a certain portion should be reserved for a spiritual cause. By offering charitable contributions towards the spiritual upliftment of others, one develops the qualities of detachment, selflessness and compassion which are the very hallmarks of a spiritualist.

Remembrance – Thirdly, one should attempt to cultivate an active spiritual consciousness while at work. When a famous king, also renowned as a deep spiritualist, was asked by some sages how he managed to think of the worldly and the spiritual simultaneously, he answered by inviting them over for lunch. Hanging above each dinner plate was a huge sword on a thin piece of string. The sages were reluctant to sit down, but after some reassuring words from the king they agreed and proceeded to quickly finish their meal. Later, the king inquired whether they had eaten sufficiently and also digested the food, to which they replied “yes”. He then asked them what they were thinking of while eating – “the swords!” they replied. “My life is like this” the king replied, “I perform my daily tasks with attention and care, but in the back of my mind, I am constantly remembering the ultimate purpose – in this way I can contemplate the worldly and spiritual simultaneously”.

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Gouranga TV: Ecstatic kirtan -Sri Nrsimha Caturdasi festival in New Vraja Dham 2011!

Ecstatic kirtan -Sri Nrsimha Caturdasi festival in New Vraja Dham 2011!!!!!!!!!!

Subido por danaharibol el 31/05/2011

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Australian News: Sunday Feast Program with HG Hari Sauri Prabhu: ISKCON Perth

By Dipen Gohe, Iskcon Perth

05 June · 5:00pm – 8:00pm
Kalamunda, Perth

Hari Sauri Prabhu was initiated by Srila Prabhupada in 1971 and was Srila
Prabhupada’s personal servant for two years between 1975 and 1977. As such
he has a wealth of first hand knowledge and experiences of Srila
Prabhupada’s pastimes, teachings and instructions.Hari Sauri Prabhu was also
Governing Body Commisioner for Australia between 1979 and 1985 a period
where the movement grew in Australia dynamically from four to twelve

I hope you can all come along and take advantage of Hari Sauri Prabhu’s

Click here to go to the facebook page for this event

Click here to go to ISKCON Perth web site

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Australian News: Registration for Diploma in Arcana course 2011/12 already begun

Registration for Diploma in Arcana course 2011/12 already begun

by Gauranga Simha Das

Please accept my humble obeisances, all glories to Srila Prabhupada


If you are interested in studying the art of deity worship and becoming a

qualified pujari, capable of preserving and propagating this extremely vital

aspect of devotional life, then come to the Mayapur Academy.


Our next diploma course starts on the 24th of October 2011 and will run for

approximately four months. Registration has already begun so please make

your applications as soon as possible.


Successful candidates will receive training in all aspects of Deity worship

and learn how to offer service that is genuinely pleasing to the Lord, while

at the same time assist in establishing the standard of worship that Srila

Prabhupada wanted for ISKCON temples around the world.


Our teachers are among the most talented and experienced in the world in

their respective fields, headed of course by H.G. Jananivasa Prabhu, we

therefore urge you to seize this rare opportunity to study with the best.


“When a devotee with all his heart and soul serves Krsna, dresses Him in

nice garments and gives Him a flower, Krsna smiles. If you can get Krsna to

smile upon you just once, your life’s goal is fulfilled.”


(Lecture SB 3.25.12, 12 November 1974)


Please contact us: Mayapur.Academy@pamho.net

Visit our website: www.mayapuracademy.org

Call us: +91 03472 245480

Mobile: +91 993 2866739


Thank you

Click here to see the Mayapur Academy’s Blog

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Toronto Sankirtan Team, CA: Morning class with Vaisesika prabhu - LIVE!

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ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Today's Darsana

"O Lord Gauranga! Please do not neglect to show me Your mercy! Making me Your very own property, kindly keep me situated at the reddish soles of Your feet.


Please keep me situated at Your reddish feet, situated at Your feet. Considering me to be Your personal property, please keep me situated at Your reddish feet. Making me the humble servant of Your servant, please keep me situated at Your reddish feet. For my entire life I am simply maddened-please keep me situated at Your reddish feet."

(Gauranga Tumi More Doya Na Chadiho: "Don't Neglect Giving Me Your Mercy")


Here is the darsana of the most cherished treasure of Vasudeva Ghosh.

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