lunes, 15 de febrero de 2010

Planet ISKCON - 31 new articles

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"Planet ISKCON" - 31 new articles

  1. Candidasa dasa, UK: My wedding (with photos)
  2. H.G. Sankarshan das Adhikari, USA: Monday 15 February 2010--Shun Herd Mentality and Realize Yourself. ...
  3. ISKCON Melbourne, AU: St Kilda Festival - Sunday 14 February
  4. Japa Group: Everything Depends On Practice
  5. Kurma dasa, AU: Calling all Kannada- or Tamil-Speaking Kitchen Ladies
  6. Kurma dasa, AU: Upma
  7. H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Tuesday, February 9th, 2010
  8. H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Saturday, February 13th, 2010
  9. HH. Satsvarupa das Goswami: 347
  10. H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Friday, February 12th, 2010
  11. Akrura das, Gita Coaching: DEVOTEE MUTUAL COACHING
  12. Bhakti Vikasa Swami: get a little power, become puffed up
  13. Bhakti Vikasa Swami: delays
  14. Japa Group: Attainment Of Prema Bhakti
  15. ISKCON Toronto, Canada: Sunday Feast - Live!!
  16. New Vrndavan, USA: NV's New Temple President Weathers His First Storm
  17. Bhakti Lata, Alachua, USA: A Glorious Encounter
  18. Live from Sri Mayapur Candrodaya Mandir! HH Bhakti Vinoda Swami
  19. Madhava Ghosh dasa, New Vrndavan, USA: Energy Diversification: A National Security Imperative
  20. H.H. Jayadvaita Swami: "Gita changes" for Chapter 3 now online
  21. ISKCON Mayapur GBC Meetings: Day 5
  22. Mayapur Online: Gaura Purnima Festival 2010- Inauguration pictures!
  23. GBC Meeting Report #3
  24. Friends of the BBT: Meet the New Editor
  25. Friends of the BBT: Amplifiers, Adrenaline and an Arsenal of Bhagavad-gitas: The Warped Tour Book Distribution Team
  26. Hanuman das, Croatia: Lotusimprints Blog » Blog Archive » All those years ago…
  27. David Haslam, UK: seek and you will find
  28. Yoga of Ecology, Bhakta Chris, USA: Govardhana Hill Finds A New Heritage
  29. Manorama dasa: Zöld rendőrség
  30. Gouranga TV: Nitai Pada Kamala
  31. ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Daily Class - Ram Krishna Prabhu
  32. More Recent Articles
  33. Search Planet ISKCON

Candidasa dasa, UK: My wedding (with photos)

It seems about time I posted something on this blog. I has been quite a while. News of the moment: I have gotten married. On the 1st of January 2010 I, Candidasa dasa, married the lovely Visnumaya devi dasi. Or, if you prefer, our western names: Julian Malik Seidenberg and Susan Elizabeth Burrows (now Seidenberg).

Lots of great pictures from the event (thanks to Thakur Saranga and Sukanthi Radha for taking the pictures):

Candidasa Visnumaya Wedding

Candidasa & Visnumaya Wedding Photos

The wedding was traditional Vedic/Hare Krishna style. Here are some of the fun traditions depicted in the photos:

  • showering the deities with flowers (pushpa abhishek) and then showering those flowers over the audience and married couple to counteract any bad astrological influences
  • the groom leaving the wedding with his Bhagavad-Gita and umbrella to meditate in the forest as a celebrate monk (brahmacari) for the rest of his life (but being convinced otherwise by the spiritual master - representing the father of the bride)
  • exchanging garlands
  • tying the hands together with a flower garland and sealing it with water
    tying the couple’s clothing together with a knot
  • a fire sacrifice (agni-hotra) where various grains, seeds and fruits are thrown into a fire to purify any bad karma reactions
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H.G. Sankarshan das Adhikari, USA: Monday 15 February 2010--Shun Herd Mentality and Realize Yourself. ...

Nowadays it is considered very egalitarian to think that no matter which pathway one takes it will lead to the same goal. Try to going to an airport to see if you can make this philosophy practical by taking any airplane and reaching the same destination. While such notions of doing anything and getting the same result may be the embodiment of political................. ================================================================== Thought...

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ISKCON Melbourne, AU: St Kilda Festival - Sunday 14 February

Yesterday's harinama at the St Kilda Festival was a total success!
Around 15 devotees started singing from the usual spot, corner of Park and Fitzroy streets, and danced their way right through the heart of the festival. As the momentum was building up, more and more onlookers responded and joined the party. Some enthusiastic teenagers even stayed with the sankirtan party till the end and didn't want it to end. So much so that the harinama went for one hour longer than planned.
Kanapathy Prabhu got so much taste out of that morning outing that he arranged an evening harinama that ended up being even more successful. Almost twice as much devotees assembled and this time hundreds of people joined in from the festival.
This really goes to show that harinama sankirtan is indeed the '
yuga-dharma' or recommended practice for this age of Kali. Harinama Sankirtan Yajna ki, jaya!

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Japa Group: Everything Depends On Practice

Hare Krsna my dear devotees. I hope your weekend is going well and your japa too. Here today everything was very peaceful. As I normally do, I cooked for the Deities some salad, pasta and a nice fruit salad with some strawberry lassi...the Summer in Brazil is being very strong, today was very hot and almost impossible to do anything but by the Lord's mercy we could prepare everything....bathe our Deities and serve Them properly.

I will be having 2 days holidays here because Brazil celebrates a Carnival these days so I am happy because I don't need to work and can concentrate more on my service and japa.
I found a quote from Srila Prabhupada talking about the importance of practice and how we should stick to chanting and hearing.

Srila Prabhupada: "Practically everything depends on practice abhyasa-yoga- yuktena cetasa nanya-gamina - Bhagavad-Gita 8.8. Abhyasa-yoga means yoga practice. Practise it. The whole Krsna consciousness movement is a practice to learn how to transfer from one kind of consciousness to another. For that we require practice. Just like one man can run a few miles. I cannot run even one mile. The difference is, he has practice. The strength of the heart is increasing by practice. By practice everything can be attained. Life is short and it is so much disturbed. So how is it possible to practise? Therefore this one practice—chanting Hare Krsna and hearing—that is very nice and praying to Krsna: "Please give me strength." "Hare," "O energy of Krsna, o Krsna, I am fallen, I have no strength. Please accept me." That's all. I have no qualification. I am frail. I am trying, but I am failing. All these appeals should be made. And Krsna is all powerful, He can do everything."
Morning walk, March 23, 1968

I liked very much this part that Srila Prabhupada talks about the importance of chanting, hearing and praying....asking the Lord to accept our service, putting ourselves in a humble position and saying we have no qualifications to chant but still we want to have the Lords mercy to be accepted by Him. Krsna is so merciful that He reciprocates with every little effort we make. I notice how my efforts of cooking, even in the hot weather, became successful because I had good japa with the boys before - this made me more powerful and I could be calmer and experience the nectar of my service.

I really wish you can have nice realisations on your service and experience the Lord's mercy in any situation.

your servant,

Aruna devi
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Kurma dasa, AU: Calling all Kannada- or Tamil-Speaking Kitchen Ladies


A. M. from Chennai wrote me:

"Can you please tell me what are these called in kannada/tamil:

1. Water chestnut (singhada/singhoda in hindi) flour

2. Amaranth seed (Amaranthus) (rajgira in marathi) flour

3. Buckwheat (kuttu in hindi) flour

Any ideas, dear readers?

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Kurma dasa, AU: Upma

Rohini from South Africa wrote asking for a recipe for Upma

Here's my Upma recipe:

Breakfast-time Cashew-Studded Upma

Upma is a traditional grain dish much loved all over India. It consists of roasted semolina (sooji) and sauteed spices, with added vegetables and nuts combined with water to form a moist, savoury pudding. Though upma's texture resembles Italian polenta or North African couscous, its flavour is unique. Served with fresh lemon juice and a little yogurt, it makes a delicious breakfast. Serves 6 - 8 persons.

upma for breakfast:

1½ cups coarse-grain semolina, ¼ cup ghee or oil, 1½ teaspoons black mustard seeds, 2 teaspoons split urad dal, 1½ teaspoons cumin seeds, 2 hot green chilies, seeded and minced, 2 cups cabbage, finely shredded, 1 red pepper, seeded and diced, 1 cup peeled potatoes, cubed, 1 cup orange-fleshed sweet potato, ½ teaspoon turmeric, 3 cups hot water, 1 cup green peas, cooked if fresh, thawed if frozen, 1½ teaspoons salt, 1 cup roasted cashew pieces, 2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander leaves, 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, Toast, yogurt, lemon wedges, or chutney to accompany (optional).

Dry-roast the semolina in a large, heavy dry frying pan over moderate heat for 6 - 8 minutes or until the grains darken a few shades. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Heat the ghee or oil in a heavy 4 or 5-litre/quart saucepan over moderately high heat. Saute the black mustard seeds in the hot oil until they crackle. Add the urad dal and cumin seeds and saute them until they darken; add the chilies and, stirring, add the cabbage, peppers, zucchini, potatoes, and turmeric. Stir-fry for 2 or 3 minutes.

Reduce the heat to moderate and continue to cook for another 4 or 5 minutes or until the vegetables are limp and partly cooked. Carefully add the hot water and bring to the boil. Add the cooked fresh peas or thawed frozen peas. Add the semolina, stirring continuously. Add the salt; reduce the heat to very low, and half-cover with a lid, stirring often until the upma becomes a light, fluffy pudding (about 5 minutes). If the upma appears too dry, add a little warm water.

Remove the upma from the heat, stir in the cashew nuts, lemon juice and fresh coriander leaves, and serve hot with suggested accompaniments.

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H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

Someone Has Gone

Mayapura, West Bengal

We had lost one of our devotees. She's gone, as in passed away! She died from a stroke during her sleep. It was just ten days ago and it all happened very peacefully. Her name was Gita and she originally hailed from India.

Our small Canadian contingent from Room 505 in the Gada Building ventured over to see her husband, Madan Mohan, who I've regarded as one of our comrades from Digby, Nova Scotia. We usually walk with a purpose. Today was special. Mohan was happy to see us at his door. We did come unannounced. He did admit to us that he was staying within the confines of his home and refrain from going to the temple as many traditions in India will uphold. If there is a deceased person in the family you would not enter the temple for several days if you follow orthodoxy.

Madan Mohan, was always a resilient man. He always takes tough things well. I asked about his daughter. "for two days she was really affected, but she seems now to have gotten over the worst." She's 9 now and she's strong like her Dad.

We need only to reflect on the message of the Bhagavad-Gita which resounds in the message of transcendence. The soul moves on. The body lies with us. Life goes on or we make certain adjustments. What we are left with is inspiration, the kind that reminds us that here was a good soul, in the form of Gita, dutiful, kind, devoted, responsible, a believer in the spirit, one who knew of the impermanence of the body and who bravely marched on. This message is as it always is, death doesn't exist for the soul.

4 KM

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H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Saturday, February 13th, 2010

Don't stop Checking!

Mayapur, West Bengal

Physical illness is one thing; spiritual illness is another. It is unfortunate that as leaders we must sometimes hear about someone's defeat in the battle against maya. It is especially distasteful when a renounciant falls prey. This can happen to anyone because we are at war and it is a vicious war. We may refer to Chapter 11 of the Bhagavad-Gita to understand the overwhelming nature of combat when odds seem to be against the individual.

We can wave the flag of the many glorious tasks undertaken by spiritual leaders the world over. When someone of good charisma and good character loses grip it becomes a great defeat for the world. It is like when a marriage fails it impacts the whole human race. When a person of inspiration shows symptoms of weakness do we rally around and provide sufficient support? Sometimes it's hard to catch it in time. I believe a better job can be done by us in observing symptoms, and better still, implementing systems to safeguard against…it is a sin to be a bystander. It is better to be pro-active than reactive or better to be satvic (in thoughtfulness) than to be rajasic (in passion).

While the world is troubled with ambitions and lusts a special effort can be made to protect the leaders of inspiration. Let's more carefully analyze pitfalls such as too much adulation, isolation, overwork, overeating, access to funds, etc.

It's a hard job to check advances of illusion or maya but that's what war is all about. Don't stop checking!

5 KM

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HH. Satsvarupa das Goswami: 347

Lord Caitanya's elders advented before He did—Saci Mata, Jagannatha Misra, Advaita Acarya, Nilambara Cakravarti, Baladeva, Srinivasa Thakura, Haridasa Thakura. Lord Caitanya stayed in the womb of His mother for thirteen months and was born in 1486 A.D. His childhood activities were naughty, like Lord Krishna's. He would steal milk and break pots from the neighboring homes, and if He could not find anything He would pour water in the ears of the younger children. He would go down to the Ganges where the twelve-year old girls were making offerings and prayers to lord Shiva for good husbands. Without the girls' permission, Nimai would steal the offerings and tell the girls not to worship lord Shiva but to worship Him. Big heaps of snow are piled up in the streets were the plow trucks cleared a way. When we walk there, there are ice patches and puddles. People are still out shoveling their driveways and car-paths. "Is your free write sufficiently Krishna conscious?" "Yes I think it is. I think I got the birth date right for Lord Caitanya's advent." "Have you noticed how close it is to the sailing of Christopher Columbus westward in 1492?" "There is nothing important about that coincidence. Lord Caitanya's appearance is immensely more important although most historians are not aware of it. Columbus was not even the first sailor to discover the "New World", whereas Caitanya Mahaprabhu is the first to deliver sankirtana, which is the process of pure love of God. Prabhupada's 1965 sailing to America is a follow-up of Lord Caitanya's work and is of infinite more importance than Columbus' "discovery" of the land in the western hemisphere. Even our little groups' joining the Swami and founding ISKCON in 1966 is more important than Columbus' voyage." "How can you say that? The discovery of the New World opened the way for the discovery of the United States of America as well as South America and Canada. Surely they are more important than the forming of the Indian religious sect in New York City and its subsequent world-wide spread as ISKCON." "Not true. Even materially speaking, the establishment of ISKCON saved the west from its downward path in immorality and vice of Kali yuga. Without the chanting of Hare Krishna the world as we know it would be in the dark ages. There is no other means of God realization in Kali yuga except the chanting of Hare Krishna. Spiritual evidence is more conclusive than historical records or growth of commerce and nationalism. Time will prove this true."

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H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Friday, February 12th, 2010

I'm Happy / I'm Sick

Mayapur, West Bengal

It is a magical drawing card – these play practices that we have been conducting in the Samadhi auditorium. The volunteer kids with their parents are so enthralled by the various exercises that we are undertaking. For them it's just chill-out time and a time for the young and older to come together on common ground.

We are developing the drama, 'The Witness' the story of the walking deity of Krishna. It is a tale of the force of an icon of the Lord that traveled on foot to the village of Vidyanagar in the more southern part of India from Vrindavan, a town in Uttar Pradesh, northern India. The story centers around a promise which the deity of Krishna gives witness to. It also highlights the nature of family dysfunctionality and how faith in Krishna can indeed resolve a difficult situation.

As mentioned before the kids are happy to participate and see before their very eyes how our characters are shaped. I also became excited after a day in illness. Tummy problems persisted. It's called 'the Delhi bully' so I've heard. Weakness had overcome me and it was hard to stand let alone do any serious walking today.

It just so happened that our morning session for meetings was free so I didn't miss anything. In the afternoon session a presentation was done by Hungarian delegates on Eco Valley, a sustainable vegetarian based community. I felt so much hope from that. Under one of our more disciplined monks, Sivarama Swami.

Great job, Maharaja! The presentation got my mind off my physical ailment.

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Akrura das, Gita Coaching: DEVOTEE MUTUAL COACHING

In Mutual Coaching, each devotee acts as both the coach and the coachee (or client). The likely result is increased personal and interpersonal effectiveness in all areas of life.

Some of the benefits:
• Mutually benefit by Helping Each Other Succeed
• Create a personal success plan
• Reduce isolation among devotees
• Enable devotees to give and receive ideas
• Share successful practices
• Transfer learning to day-to-day situations or the place of service
• Encourage deep thinking
• Develop more cohesive community culture
• Accelerate personal development and spiritual advancement of each devotee
• Enhance collaboration among like-minded devotees

What Mutual Coaching is and isn't:
• It is observation based
• It is not an evaluation tool
• It is developmental
• It is not a competition
• It is supportive
• It is confidential
• It is based on individual growth
• It is voluntary
• It is based on trust

Mutual Coaching Roles

As Coaching Partner, each devotee plays three basic roles for the other. From the Coaching Partner's point of view:
• I'm your thinking partner
• I'm here as objective support
• I'm here to help you be accountable

Thinking Partner

It's always easier to see someone more objectively than yourself. Even if I'm struggling to improve in the same areas as you, I am much more capable of suggesting a solution for you than I am for myself. It is difficult to know what to do when we find ourselves in the heat of an improvement opportunity. Having someone I can turn to for direction when I'm lost in my old patterns is enormously helpful, especially when this person is someone who knows me and is someone I can trust enough to reveal my blind spots and vulnerabilities.

Objective Support

Devotees who know me know my old patterns well because they've lived and worked with them over time. You as my Coaching Partner come from a fresh point of view. You can see beyond our history, and you can see many more possibilities and strategies that are way outside the box of my habitual experience.


I know you're going to ask me how I'm doing with the goals I set last week. You're the one I entrusted with my list of what I really want to accomplish, and what I've committed to actually do. I'm counting on you to remember to ask me.

The coaching process may focus on discovering the answers to the following questions:
• What are you doing well?
• How could you improve?
• What suggestions do I have for your future?

Based on the answers, you can create a very clear and specific development plan.

Some considerations when choosing a Coaching Partner:
• Does (s)he feel safe enough to be completely honest with me?
• Will (s)he be fair?
• Will (s)he take a few minutes on occasion to give me suggestions?

How can a Coaching Partner be most effective?
• Make a commitment to forgive and forget the past.
• Make your observations constructive, specific and behavioral.
• Be positive and supportive.
• Be honest and fair.
• Understand the devotee won't be able to act on all of your suggestions.
• Your role is to become a helpful coach to the devotee. Set aside any impulse to be a cynic, critic or judge. Follow the simple rule: Help more, judge less.

One important point: It's key that the devotee choose a goal they are enthusiastic about.

Enduring change requires commitment over time. Success is much more likely if the devotee is working toward something they truly desire.


How excited do we get when someone tells us they want to give us some feedback?

What usually follows this type of offer? Usually something that sounds much more like criticism, blame, and analysis of what we did wrong. Not many of us find this very appealing.

If instead of focusing on feedback (looking in the past to create a list of past sins), we focus on FeedForward (making and soliciting suggestions for the future), it becomes a very constructive and productive experience. Some even call it 'fun'!

How does this work?

• Choose something you'd like to improve
• Ask devotees for their suggestions

FeedForward is a process of gaining positive suggestions from others that are pertinent to improving your performance in a specified area.

Why not rely on feedback alone? Why do we need FeedForward?

• Many people are afraid that you will not be able to handle the feedback so they do not tell you the truth.
• People rarely feel like they are improving relationships or strengthening friendships when they give feedback.
• Feedback is often a negative experience and can cause hard feelings.
• It is difficult to change when all you have is information about the past.

Why does FeedForward work?

• When you make it clear to devotees that you need their help in order to improve in an area of development they become willing to share their ideas and thoughts on how to get better. They finally feel like they have a stake in the process.
• FeedForward is focused on giving positive, future-oriented suggestions.
• By following up on the suggestions you receive, you demonstrate your commitment to grow and devotees you serve with will develop an increased desire to help you and to share their thoughts and ideas.

How do I Implement the Process?

• Make it informal.
• You can ask for FeedForward suggestions in person, on the phone or via email.
• Don't wait for scheduled meetings. Pay attention to what is being said and what you are doing and use the natural opportunities to ask devotees for help.
• Keep your conversations focused.
• The purpose of the FeedForward conversation is to answer the question, "What can I do to get better in my area of development?"
• Avoid using this time to talk about other items or concerns.
• Keep the conversation very simple.
• Ask, for example, "I am working on becoming a better listener. Can you give me a positive suggestion on how I can do this? What can I do to become a better listener? What are some positive things you have noticed that good listeners do?"

What are the Major Roadblocks to Doing FeedForward?

• It feels awkward.
• I think it needs to be a formal process.
• It is difficult to change culture; this is not reflective of the current culture.
• I am so busy already, how do I fit it all in my schedule.
• I don't know how to give FeedForward.
• I don't know how many devotees I need to involve.

How can I overcome these roadblocks? What are some of the best practices used to create success?

• Don't put too much pressure on yourself.
• Make it an informal experience. Fit it into your regular conversations.
• Create a reminder in your paper or electronic planner.
• Practice what you are going to say with your Coaching Partner.
• Cast a wide net and include as many people as you possibly can.
• Be quick – two minutes may be long enough.

Some Important Things to Remember

• Devotees' recommendations are accurate reflections of how you can improve from his/her perspective.
• The responses you receive are current indicators of your behavior.
• FeedForward is a way for devotees to support you in achieving your goal and challenge you to get better.

Say Thank You

• The answer to every suggestion is "Thank you".
• You are not thanking them for the content of their ideas.
• You are thanking them for willingly helping you.
• Avoid the temptation to grade or debate responses. Just say "Thank you".

• You do not need to implement every suggestion.
• Discussion suggestions with you Coaching Partner.
• Ask yourself, "What would happen if I implemented this suggestion?"

Your success in getting better in your chosen area is directly correlated with the amount of follow-up you have with devotees.

The fascinating part of this exercise is that you're often asking people you don't know at all - and amazingly enough their suggestions can be pretty useful!

Another surprise - we find many other people have the same issues we have! And we can help them even if we feel lost helping ourselves!

The magic of FeedForward is that it's a positive way to get many more ideas than one could ever actually use - and there's no obligation to use the ideas!

The only requirement - just say "Thank you". Don't argue, complain, analyze - just say "Thank you" and write down the idea verbatim.

Mutual Coaching Support

Here are some tips to help you provide effective support to each other, to help each other succeed:

• It's easy to focus on the negative. Help each other look at the good news in information gained from devotees interviewed. Give equal airtime to the good as well as the more challenging areas.

• Remind each other it's not about the past. Reframe everything in the form of what can be done in the present and future.

• Avoid criticism, judgment, analysis, blame. Remember, this is Mutual Coaching so both of you are sometimes getting comments that aren't easy to hear! It requires courage, honesty and humility to admit past mistakes. Look at them as clearly as you can without dwelling on them, make your sincere apologies and move on. Your only point of effectiveness is what you do with this information in the future.

• Help each other move past and look forward to how you can create a positive outcome for the future.

Daily Questions

Accountability is a key ingredient in a successful Mutual Coaching relationship. How often you check in with each other depends on your schedules and how you've set up your goals. The most effective method we've found for staying on track and making maximum progress is a process called "Personal Questions".

Give your Coaching Partner questions that you want them to ask you every day or every week. These questions will usually cover the most important areas of your life. If you miss a day or two, simply 'catch up' later.

Some keys:
• Each devotee writes their own questions.
• No negative feedback. No comments that might produce any form of negativity.
• Yes to positive feedback! If you can make positive comments to reinforce success, by all means go ahead!

When writing your questions, you might think about different areas of your life, such as health, sadhana, service, relationships, things you want to accomplish but don't seem to get to.

Some questions for improving relationships: "Did you say or do something nice for devotees? your wife? your son? your daughter? your friend?" For tasks you would like to do: "How many minutes did you spend doing X", or "How many hours did you do X?"

This process works well because it forces each Coaching Partner to confront how they actually live their values - every day. You will see more clearly what really matters most to you. If it really matters, you can give it even more time. If it does not, you can face reality and stop kidding yourself or worrying about it.

Email to a friendRelated Bhakti Vikasa Swami: get a little power, become puffed up

This material nature is such thing that as soon as you get little power, you become puffed up. That is demonic nature.


Email to a friendRelated Bhakti Vikasa Swami: delays

Probably until early April I won't be able to regularly attend to email, so please excuse delays in replies.

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Japa Group: Attainment Of Prema Bhakti

Hare Krsna my dear devotees. I hope your week has been blessed by the mercy of the Lord, we all need this mercy to carry on with our service and sometimes because we want to act as a naughty child we tend to live our lives as if we are the proprietors of this body, world and feel like controlling. We are all here because we were envious of the Lord but now we are learning how to put Krsna in our lives and understand that He is first in everything we do.
Chanting the holy names makes us more aware of our consitutional position of eternal servants. Here is a nice quote from the Sri Caitanya Candramritam:

svadam svadam madhurimabharam sviya namavalinam
madam madam kimapi vivasibhutavisrastagatrah
barambaram vrajapati gunan gaya-gayeti jalpan
gauro drstah sakrdapi na yairdughata tesu bhaktih

Always absorbed in chanting and relishing his own holy names, Gaurasundar becomes intoxicated with ever-increasing passion. Sometimes he swoons, falling to the ground in a display of ineffable exultation. The Lord invites everyone, repeatedly encouraging them to sing the wonderful qualities of Sri Krishna, the prince of Vraja. But those who have never seen or perceived him in meditation, even only briefly, for them the attainment of prema bhakti is almost impossible.

Sri Caitanya Candramritam by Prabodhananda Sarasvatipada

- Excerpt of his prayers.

The symptoms of one who is fully engaged in the process of chanting with love is difficult to describe but we have an idea of the love our acharyas showed while chanting, first feeling lots of mercy and love for every living entity trying to engage every one of them in Harinam Sankirtan. Goura Purnima is coming soon and this verse is to remind us of the great love Lord Chaitanya showed so we can have an idea of this pure love of Krsna, prema.

I pray so I can constantly chant the holy names of the Lord and receive association of the great vaisnavas so I can always be reminded of my position as eternal servant of the Lord.

Wishing you all a very good week of chanting and lots of inspirations and blessings coming from the Lord.

your servant,

Aruna devi
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ISKCON Toronto, Canada: Sunday Feast - Live!!

Live Broadcast by Ustream.TV

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New Vrndavan, USA: NV's New Temple President Weathers His First Storm

New Vrindaban recently experienced a 3-1/2 day power outage. Although this was Sikhi Mahiti’s first winter storm in NV, he remained calm throughout the outage and assisted the devotees in their service. As a result, the Deity service and devotee care continued uninterrupted throughout the entire storm.

This was the first major crisis for Sikhi Mahiti dasa, who assumed the post of Temple President in July 2009. "It was not that bad considering what I used to do before I came to New Vrindaban," said Sikhi Mahiti with a smile. "Before becoming Temple President, I worked for AT&T for twelve years. One of my jobs was to handle the major outages of AT&T's most important clients. So I was prepared to handle this snow storm."

By the mercy of Sri Sri Radha – Vrindaban Chandra, New Vrindaban
finally owns a brand new generator. This generator is powerful enough to light all three altars and the vyasasana, and supply the boiler with electricity for the circulation pumps for the hot water heating system. In other words, the generator is powerful enough to keep the temple room lit, and to supply the entire building with heat and hot water.

During this snow storm, New Vrindaban made an urgent appeal on its website for donations to cover the cost of the generator. Within hours, a single guest made a donation to cover the entire cost. Until Sikhi Mahiti installed the new generator, however, Ranaka dasa generously lent the generator from his own home. Thus, although Ranaka and his family were without light, the service of Sri Sri Radha – Vrindaban Chandra continued uninterrupted.

During the storm, Sikhi Mahiti gave special protection to the women and children of New Vrindaban. Many families and single women stayed in the guest rooms and offices next to the temple. Thanks to the guests, the kirtanas at mangala arati were ecstatic!

This storm was actually a blessing in disguise. It forced many devotees to come and take shelter of the Deities and the temple. The storm also gave many devotees the opportunity to view first-hand some of the positive new changes in New Vrindaban. Jaya Prabhupada! Jaya Sri Sri Radha – Vrindaban Chandra!

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Bhakti Lata, Alachua, USA: A Glorious Encounter

(image by TrekEarth)

In Mexico, there is a mystical place called Agua Azul where a series of waterfalls cascade down a mountain. Once a year, the Bus Tour visits for one glorious day.

So after many adventures, towards evening I made my way to the main waterfalls to chant japa. Tourists crowded behind the railing, snapping pictures.

I grinned and ducked under the railing. I nimbly walked along a narrow strip of rock until it ended in a little spot just big enough for one person to sit. I had dubbed this The Radhanath Swami Rock, so named because once Radhanath Swami had sat upon a rock in the middle of the Ganges River in meditation for one whole month. When he had committed to a final act of surrender, the Ganges had given him the holy name, the maha mantra.

I settled on the little promontory. The majesty of the waterfalls enfolded my vision, and the roar drowned out the sounds of tourists. I unwound my beads from their bead bag and held them between my hands so that anyone who saw me would know I was meditating, and not just mumbling to myself.

I chanted and fell into a trance. I wondered if I listened closely enough the roar of the waterfalls would reveal the holy name to me. I've tried this a lot around large bodies of water ever since I heard Radhanath Swami's story, but mostly I just get an earful of water.

Suddenly, I heard someone call my name. I turned around to see a friend from the Bus Tour behind the railing, holding a plate of prasadam for me. I rose, walked to the railing, gratefully took the plate, and then my friend left. I ate the pasta as fast as possible - I wanted to return to chanting. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw an elderly couple observing me in silence.

"Excuse me," the woman suddenly asked in Spanish, "But were you chanting 'Ha-dee Kish-na Ha-dee Kish-na...'" she recited the entire maha mantra.

Dumbstruck, I replied in Spanish, "Yes,"

"And you go around the beads 16 times?"

"Yes! How do you know this?"

"There are Hare Krishnas in Veracruz, where we are from," she said. "Wonderful people."

"Tell me," the husband asked. "What do you believe?"

I lowered my plate. "Well... Ah... This is the science of how to love God, and how to love one another. It is the same in all religions, is it not? This," I gestured to my beads, "is how I connect with God, by calling out His name with love. God may have many different names, but ultimately, God is God."

"Beautiful." the woman said.

"God is so miraculous, isn't He? He created all this," the man gestured to the panorama in front of us. The sun was setting behind the turquoise waterfalls, the jungles were lit in emerald, and the sun danced through the mist in golden clouds.

"God is amazing," I said.

"God is amazing," they agreed.

We bowed farewell to each other, enlightened. I threw away my plate and once more tiptoed out onto The Radhanath Swami Rock. Just as I had settled down, an undulating black ribbon began to stream from behind the waterfalls and fill the sky.

Bats! Hundreds and thousands emerged from the waterfalls in the twilight to loop through the sky in dizzy circles, and then flew off into the jungles for their evening hunt.

Had the elderly couple witnessed this glory of creation, too? I twisted around to look for the couple, but they had vanished.

I closed my eyes and began to chant. Suddenly I realized that the waterfalls had revealed to me the holy name - the elderly woman, in her broken way, had recited the entire maha mantra.

Even out here, in this far-flung country of Mexico, the mercy of Srila Prabhupad had found an elderly couple; and in the jungles of Agua Azul, that mercy had found me.

Sometimes I see so little difference between the glory of God and the glory of His devotee.
Email to a friendRelated Live from Sri Mayapur Candrodaya Mandir! HH Bhakti Vinoda Swami

By Bhakti Vinoda Swami

Philosophical research culminates in understanding the Supreme Personality of Godhead. After achieving this understanding, when one becomes free from the material modes of nature, he attains the stage of devotional service. Either by devotional service directly or by philosophical research, one has to find the same destination, which is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

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Madhava Ghosh dasa, New Vrndavan, USA: Energy Diversification: A National Security Imperative


by T.J. Buonomo, Former U.S. Military Intelligence Officer

According to the Energy Information Administration, the U.S. imports about 60% of its oil, with more than two-thirds of it used for transportation. Oil is essential to the basic functioning of the global economy, from the production of goods in factories overseas and across the country to their delivery to local markets. Without oil our military would not be able to defend the country from external threats. In short, we are critically dependent on this non-renewable resource.

The vital importance of oil and the corresponding impulse to control or safeguard its supply and price has led to repeated Western interventions in the Middle East and other parts of the world, sparking militant nationalist and revolutionary movements and causing deep and lasting resentments. In the case of the Middle East, outside intervention against secular nationalist movements has led to the rise of Islamist terrorism as an alternative solution for a relatively small but very determined minority.

Though limited military action may be necessary in the short term to respond to this threat, America’s long-term security ultimately requires intelligent public policy in support of a vibrant domestic market for renewable energy. Our dependence on foreign sources of energy has made America vulnerable to militant religious fundamentalists spawned by repressive regimes — elites whom our government has in some cases covertly placed in power and whom it is pressured to continue to support, either due to lack of friendly, viable alternatives or fear of the unpredictable outcomes of successful popular movements.

To minimize such vulnerabilities and the moral and security dilemmas they create, we must put an end to the mad pursuit of fossil fuels across these war-torn and politically volatile parts of the world.

As a matter of civic responsibility and obligation to the men and women who keep us secure, the American people should press their elected representatives to accelerate the transition to a clean energy economy. The longer our elected officials remain beholden to powerful private interests, the more our families and communities will suffer. Supporting our troops means not only taking care of them when they get home but also working to minimize the likelihood of them being sent into harm’s way in the first place.

This effort will not be without formidable political obstacles. Supposed conservative media figures have in recent months frequently insinuated that subsidies to the renewable energy industry are socialistic — a damning term among true conservatives — while conspicuously neglecting to point out that the much more well-established fossil fuel industry received over $72 billion in federal subsidies from 2002-2008.

Federal subsidies to the wind and solar industries amounted to about one-sixth of this figure in the same time period based on the Environmental Law Institute’s figures.

Since America was founded, our government has always provided limited support for innovation in emerging markets that further the national interest. Clean energy should be no exception.

Alexander Hamilton, Founding Father and first Secretary of the Treasury, was a strong advocate for government support of industrialization as a matter of national security. The case for government support to the renewable energy industry is no less urgent but will require sustained public pressure from across the political spectrum against entrenched private interests conflicting with the national interest.

T.J. Buonomo is a former Military Intelligence Officer. He holds a B.S. in Political Science and Middle East Studies from the U.S. Air Force Academy and has spent the past 5 years researching the nexus between multinational corporations, markets, U.S. covert operations and political instability in developing countries, with a primary emphasis on the Middle East and Latin America.

Filed under: Cows and Environment
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H.H. Jayadvaita Swami: "Gita changes" for Chapter 3 now online

BBT Press release

The “changes” for chapter three of Bhagavad-Gita As It Is are now online at

Perhaps the most notable feature of this chapter is that the revisions to the purports are so few. As in the rest of the book, when revisions are warranted they are made, and otherwise the text is left unchanged. In this chapter fewer revisions are needed, so fewer are made.

Still, there are several revisions worth seeing.

You’ll see:

  • Four places where a typist has skipped from one occurrence of a word to the next—for example, from “teach” to “teach”—leaving out the text in between. The second edition restores the missing text.

This happens twice in the purport to text 20 and once each in the purports to texts 30 and 37.

You’ll also see:

  • What Srila Prabhupada actually said about duties that “complement one’s psychophysical condition.” (purport to text 35)

The changes for the Preface, the Introduction, and the previous chapters are already online. See them all at

read more

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ISKCON Mayapur GBC Meetings: Day 5

By Sraddhadevi Dasi on 14 Feb 2010
Leaders relish the poetry of Rupa Goswami while working to secure ISKCON's future.
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Mayapur Online: Gaura Purnima Festival 2010- Inauguration pictures!

Once a devotee asked Srila Prabhupada that why he is insisting in devotees attending Mayapur festival. As the traveling costs in those days will be around $500, he said,’Srila Prabhupada, wouldn’t be better if we use this money in preaching activities instead of buying flight tickets to Mayapur’. Srila Prabhupada replied that it would be even more better if we stop eating and save that money for preaching. In other words, Srila Prabhupada wanted his disciples to attend Mayapur festival, as it was very necessary for their progress in spiritual life.

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Email to a friendRelated GBC Meeting Report #3

By Sraddhadevi Dasi

Day five of the Annual General Meeting of ISKCON's Governing Body Commission began with presentations by the Succession and Leadership Training Committee and Devotee Care Committee. Tamohara dasa, on behalf of the Succession and Leadership Training Committee reported that replacement of GBC and Zonal Secretary positions most often occur in emergency situations and are subsequently rapid appointments, many times without thorough training. In order to better this situation, the Succession and Leadership Training Committee developed and initiated a second stage of Leadership Training Courses in North America, Europe, and India.

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Friends of the BBT: Meet the New Editor

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Friends of the BBT: Amplifiers, Adrenaline and an Arsenal of Bhagavad-gitas: The Warped Tour Book Distribution Team

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Hanuman das, Croatia: Lotusimprints Blog » Blog Archive » All those years ago…

Lotusimprints Blog » Blog Archive » All those years ago…

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David Haslam, UK: seek and you will find

As some of you that read my blog you will be aware that I came from a background of being raised and for some time a full time preacher within the Jehovah’s Witness faith; which was actually a happy time for me. But one scripture always came to mind that simply states "seek and you will [...]

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Yoga of Ecology, Bhakta Chris, USA: Govardhana Hill Finds A New Heritage

From Express Buzz

MATHURA: American landscape experts, who are drawing up a conservation plan for Mount Govardhan -- significant in Hindu mythology -- feel the hill deserves to be recognised as a world heritage site."Goverdhan hill is unique in the world, visited by more than ten million people annually. However, its ecosystem is in a shambles, the water bodies have been destroyed and the green cover almost disappeared,"

Amita Sinha of the Department of Landscape Architecture, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, US, told IANS.Sinha and her team have completed a weeklong study of Goverdhan hill, which Lord Krishna is believed to have lifted on his little finger to protect residents from the wrath of Indra the god of rain.The study is to be presented to the university and the Braj Foundation, which is currently engaged in the restoration of ancient heritage sites in the entire Braj Mandal area in and around Vrindavan, Mathura and Agra, filled with references to Lord Krishna.

The team will prepare a watershed map of the hill. They have identified vegetation patterns, surveyed historic and other structures, observed pilgrimage rites and conducted interviews with pilgrims and resident devotees.A member of the team told IANS: "The experience was truly amazing. The information we gathered through intensive interaction with pilgrims, priests and the ordinary people helped us work on a holistic project keeping the spiritual and cultural features of the area in mind."

The team will come out with a detailed report in August.The report will be useful in putting together a conservation plan for Mount Govardhan that will be taken forward by The Braj Foundation in association with the Uttar Pradesh government for getting Govardhan Hill world heritage site status, said Raghav Mittal, project director at Vrindavan.

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Manorama dasa: Zöld rendőrség

2 videó. Mind a kettőt nézzétek meg. Az első nagyon vicces, a második pedig interaktívan játszható. Egy igazi zöld rendőr tesz fel neked kérdéseket :)

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Gouranga TV: Nitai Pada Kamala

Nitai Pada Kamala

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ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Daily Class - Ram Krishna Prabhu

Srimad Bhagavatam 11.17.40 -The different types of vidya (the knowledge); avidya, aparavidya and paravidya.

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Nitai Pada Kamala

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Bhajan By: Narottama Dasa Thakura

Sung by: Jahnavi, Tulasi & other Bhaktivedanta Manor youth on Nityananda Trayodasi

Parama Karuna Pahu Dui Jana

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Bhajan By: Locana Dasa Thakura

Sung by: Jahnavi, Tulasi & other Bhaktivedanta Manor youth on Nityananda Trayodasi

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