viernes, 19 de febrero de 2010

Planet ISKCON - 40 new articles

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"Planet ISKCON" - 40 new articles

  1. Japa Group: We Should Take Full Advantage
  2. ISKCON Melbourne, AU: March Seminar Series Detailed Schedule
  3. Madhava Ghosh dasa, New Vrndavan, USA: Proposed Autism Diagnosis Changes Anger “Aspies”
  4. Rupa Madhurya das, TX, USA: TKG Academy - Kindergarten Presentation - Thanksgiving Lunch 2/2
  5. ISKCON Toronto, Canada: Deity Darshan: Sunday February 14, 2010
  6. H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Tuesday, February 16th, 2010
  7. ISKCON Toronto, Canada: Cake Decorating Classes March 7-28, 2010
  8. Akrura das, Gita Coaching: DEVOTEE MUTUAL COACHING
  9. ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Daily Class - Yamuna Lila Mataji
  10. Bhakti Vikasa Swami: The benefit of the sankirtan movement
  11. Bhakti Vikasa Swami: Query from Sri Bhaktisiddhanta Vaibhava
  12. Sita-pati dasa, AU: Kirtan Australia
  13. Gauranga Kishore das,USA: Simone Weil: Draft for a Statement of Human Obligation
  14. Gouranga TV: TKG Academy – 1st-8th Grade Bhajan – Thanksgiving Lunch 1/2
  15. HH. Satsvarupa das Goswami: 351
  16. ISKCON Is the BBC Marginalising Religion?
  17. ISKCON Should Religion Be an Excuse For Carrying Daggers?
  18. ISKCON December 2010 Conference: Food, Farming, & Faith
  19. ISKCON Devotees needed in Mayapur
  20. ISKCON 11th Annual Symposium On "Cultivation of the Human Spirit"
  21. ISKCON Aindra Dasa and Krishna Balarama 24 hour kirtan (13 oct 2007 - part 2)
  22. ISKCON Aindra Dasa and Krishna Balarama 24 hour kirtan (13 oct 2007 - part 1)
  23. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  24. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  25. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  26. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  27. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  28. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  29. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  30. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  31. Live from Sri Mayapur Candrodaya Mandir! HG Badrinarayan Prabhu
  32. ISKCON Toronto, Canada: Temple Cleanup this Saturday!
  33. Mayapur Online: Make an Offering!
  34. Maddy Jean-claude Durr, New Govardhana, AU: Another Aussie Journey. Travel 7: Making a Move to the North on Nityananda's Appearance Day
  35. Ananda Subramanian, Iowa, USA: The Person beyond the Post
  36. Sita-pati dasa, AU: Artist Profile: Madhava
  37. Yoga of Ecology, Bhakta Chris, USA: ISKCON's Eco-Valley Project At The Copenhagen Climate Summitt
  38. Bhakta Chris, New York, USA: Merton's Gita intro
  39. Mayapur Online: GBC Meeting Report #5
  40. Manorama dasa: Torkos csütörtök
  41. More Recent Articles
  42. Search Planet ISKCON

Japa Group: We Should Take Full Advantage

I was thinking this today before chanting Japa....we have the knowledge how to chant properly and we know about the offenses and how to avoid inattention - the next step we must take is to put this knowledge into practise and to take a step towards the show Him we are serious about knowing Him and having a relationship with Him through the Holy names.

In the end it's all up to us - to take that step towards the Lord and to chant with great attention and avoid the offenses. We have this extremely rare chance to chant the Holy names, this is our greatest fortune and we should take full advantage to chant the Holy names properly with devotion.
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ISKCON Melbourne, AU: March Seminar Series Detailed Schedule

Here is the detailed schedule for Atul Krishna Prabhu's March seminar series. I am linking you to download of it here.

There may be some minor changes because we have not been invited to chant in the Moomba Parade this year. Bhakta says this year's organisers want to try 'something new': no Chinese Dragon and no Hare Krishnas. What do they say? Absence makes the heart grow fonder? However, there is a chance we will do Harinama Sankirtana after the Parade.


Thursday 4
Inauguration ceremony 1:00 pm
Lesson 1 Introduction/ Overview / Expectations / Norms 7:00 - 9:00 pm

Friday 5
Lesson 2 Knowledge, Skills & Values & Facilitation Styles 7:00 - 9:00 pm

Saturday 6
Lesson 3 Speaking Skills (Workshop 1) 10:30 am – 1:00 pm
Lesson 4 Speaking Skills (Workshop 2)
Lunch Prasadam
3:00 – 6:00 pm
Lessons 8 Empathic Listening
Lesson 5 Positive and Negative Learning Experiences

Sunday 7
Lesson 6 Facilitation Skills 10:00 am – 1:30 pm
Lesson 7 Facilitation Workshops
Lunch Prasadam
Lesson 10 Effective Use of Learning Resources 3:00 – 4:30 pm

Monday 8
Scheduled classes may be held today to free up the timetable

Tuesday 9
Lesson 11 Aims 7:00 - 9:00 pm

Wednesday 10 7:00 - 9:00 pm
Lesson 12 Objectives

Thursday 11
Lesson 13 Assessment and Oral Feedback 7:00 - 9:00 pm
Lesson 14 Presentation Preparation

Friday 12
Presentation Preparation 7:00 - 9:00 pm

Saturday 13
Presentations with Feedback (1) 10:30 am – 2:00 pm
Presentations with Feedback (2)
Presentations with Feedback (3)
Lunch Prasadam

Presentations with Feedback (4) 3:30 – 5:45 pm
Lesson 15 Evaluation of Week & Awards

ISKCON Melbourne
MI Bhakti-sastri Teacher Training Course

Tuesday 16
Aims of Sastric Study 7:00 - 9.30pm
Lesson 1 Introduction / Overview / VTE Aims 60 mins
Lesson 2 Aims & Needs 90 mins

Thursday 17
Bhakti-sastri Course Overview 7:00 - 9.30pm
Lesson 3 BS Course Overview & Materials 60 mins
Lesson 4 Lesson Planning Workshop 90 mins

Saturday 20
Bhakti-sastri Course Assessment 10.30am -1.30pm
Lesson 5 Implicit Delivery & Ethics 75 mins
Lesson 6 Bhakti-sastri Assessment 1 90 mins

3.30pm -6.30pm
Lesson 7 Bhakti-sastri Assessment 2 90 mins
Lesson 8 Car Park / Round up 75 mins

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Madhava Ghosh dasa, New Vrndavan, USA: Proposed Autism Diagnosis Changes Anger “Aspies”

By Lindsey Tanner

AP Medical Writer= CHICAGO (AP) — In the autism world, “Aspies” are sometimes seen as the elites, the ones who are socially awkward, yet academically gifted and who embrace their quirkiness.

Now, many Aspies, a nickname for people with Asperger’s syndrome, are upset over a proposal they see as an attack on their identity. Under proposed changes to the most widely used diagnostic manual of mental illness, Asperger’s syndrome would no longer be a separate diagnosis.

Instead, Asperger’s and other forms of autism would be lumped together in a single “autism spectrum disorders” category. Some parents say they’d welcome the change, thinking it would eliminate confusion over autism’s variations and perhaps lead to better educational services for affected kids.

But opponents — mostly older teens and adults with Asperger’s — disagree.

Liane Holliday Willey, a Michigan author and self-described Aspie whose daughter also has Asperger’s, fears Asperger’s kids will be stigmatized by the autism label — or will go undiagnosed and get no services at all.

Grouping Aspies with people “who have language delays, need more self-care and have lower IQs, how in the world are we going to rise to what we can do?” Willey said.

Rebecca Rubinstein, 23, a graduate student from Massapequa, N.Y., says she “vehemently” opposes the proposal and will think of herself as someone with Asperger’s no matter what.

Autism and Asperger’s “mean such different things,” she said.

Yes and no.

Both are classified as neurodevelopmental disorders. Autism has long been considered a disorder that can range from mild to severe. Asperger’s symptoms can vary, but the condition is generally thought of as a mild form and since 1994 has had a separate category in psychiatrists’ diagnostic manual. Both autism and Asperger’s involve poor social skills, repetitive behavior or interests, and problems communicating. But unlike classic autism, Asperger’s does not typically involve delays in mental development or speech.

The American Psychiatric Association’s proposed revisions, announced Wednesday, involve autism and several other conditions. The suggested autism changes are based on research advances since 1994 showing little difference between mild autism and Asperger’s. Evidence also suggests that doctors use the term loosely and disagree on what it means, according to psychiatrists urging the revisions.

A new autism spectrum category recognizes that “the symptoms of these disorders represent a continuum from mild to severe, rather than being distinct disorders,” said Dr. Edwin Cook, a University of Illinois at Chicago autism researcher and member of the APA work group proposing the changes.

The proposed revisions are posted online at for public comment, which will influence whether they are adopted. Publication of the updated manual is planned for May 2013.

Dr. Mina Dulcan, child and adolescent psychiatry chief at Chicago’s Children’s Memorial Hospital, said Aspies’ opposition “is not really a medical question, it’s an identity question.”

“It would be just like if you were a student at MIT. You might not want to be lumped with somebody in the community college,” said Dulcan who supports the diagnostic change.

“One of the characteristics of people with Asperger’s is that they’re very resistant to change,” Dulcan added. The change “makes scientific sense. I’m sorry if it hurts people’s feelings,” she said.

Harold Doherty, a New Brunswick lawyer whose 13-year-old son has severe autism, opposes the proposed change for a different reason. He says the public perception of autism is skewed by success stories — the high-functioning “brainiac” kids who thrive despite their disability.

Doherty says people don’t want to think about children like his son, Conor, who will never be able to function on his own. The revision would only skew the perception further, leading doctors and researchers to focus more on mild forms, he said…

Read complete article here.

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Rupa Madhurya das, TX, USA: TKG Academy - Kindergarten Presentation - Thanksgiving Lunch 2/2

TKG Academy hosted a lunch at Thanskgiving. This is a presentation from the Kindergarten students.

Dallas, TX
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ISKCON Toronto, Canada: Deity Darshan: Sunday February 14, 2010

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H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

Krishna Breaking!

Mayapur, West Bengal

In the morning we passed-by fields of sugar cane, chick peas, coriander and sun-flower. When I say we, I mean that I'm never alone in Mayapur. There is always a half a dozen to a dozen of us pilgrims taking the time to step to the sound of transcendence, the maha-mantra. Tierry from Mauritus came to India for the first time. Also Kalpesh from Calgary, a young man from the business world in oil-rich Alberta, decided he needed a break. He expressed, "I came here to Mayapur not sure if I would know anyone. Fortunately I found you" (meaning us).

Tierry caught a whiff of the coriander aroma. It hit his notrils like it did all of us. The next major scent to greet us all happened at the Goshala, the cow shelter. Laksmi, a fine queen amongst the bovine, dropped her mercy to release fragrant methane plops.

We were informed that one man who had serious respiratory problems was advised by his Ayurvedic doctor to live near the Goshala. For weeks he was exposed to the gaseous sweetness of the place until his breathing complications were over.

My evening took a turn from scents to sounds and sights. It was the premiere of our play 'The Witness' in Mayapur. The audience was thrilled especially when Dustin and Prem danced. After the presentation came feedback. Apparently one influential person took some opposition to the short break dance segment by Prem who played Krishna.

I'm willing to take my criticism as mentioned before but on this one I will say break-dance is non-sensual. The execution was expert. It gave Krishna a playful edge but nothing less-reverential than He deserves.

5 KM

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ISKCON Toronto, Canada: Cake Decorating Classes March 7-28, 2010

Festivals at Toronto's Hare Krishna Center are never complete without the stunning cakes that are offered to the Deities. Lila Katha devi dasi, is responsible for these beautiful offerings. She will be teaching a four week cake decorating course at the temple from March 7th - 28th. Classes will run every Sunday from 1:30-3:30 pm. There is a fee of $65 for the course which includes a cake decorating kit. Registration is required in order for the course facilitators to prepare the required materials.

For more information or to register please contact Lila Katha devi dasi.

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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 success in all areas of life.

Some of the benefits:
• 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 Partner Roles

As Coaching Partner, each devotee plays three basic roles for the other:
• 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 he feel safe enough to be completely honest with me?
• Will he be fair?
• Will 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 and specific.
• 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 ground rule: Help more, judge less.

One important point: It's key that the devotee chooses a goal he is enthusiastic about. Enduring change requires commitment over time. Success is much more likely if the devotee is working toward something he truly desires.


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 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.
• Be quick – two minutes may be long enough.

Some Important Things to Remember

• Devotee's recommendations are accurate reflections of how you can improve from his 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.
• Discuss suggestions with your Coaching Partner.
• Ask yourself, "What would happen if I implemented this suggestion?"

Your success in getting better in your chosen area is directly related 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.

Positive Mutual 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.

Personal 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. One of the effective method for staying on track and making maximum progress is a process called "Personal Questions".

Give your Coaching Partner questions that you want him 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 his 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?"

Questions 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.

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ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Daily Class - Yamuna Lila Mataji

Srimad Bhagavatam 11.17.45 - Become God's dog, not a servant of dog.

Email to a friendRelated Bhakti Vikasa Swami: The benefit of the sankirtan movement

Devotee (1): Prabhupada, when we're chanting on the street and the people walk by and hear us chant or we give them prasadam or they give a small donation, to what extent is the benefit they receive? They can go on walking by and hearing us chant.

Prabhupada: The benefit is... Just like the bank sometimes gives you a box, "Whatever little money you save, put it in this." And when it is filled up, it becomes a big amount. Similarly, these people, abodha-jata, rascals, if they little appreciate, "Oh, these people are nice," that is one asset. This is called ajnata-sukrti, accumulation of the result of pious activities. And when one is fully pious, at that time, he can understand what is God. So we are helping them, by and by, to advance in the matter of understanding God. This is our propaganda.

>>> Ref. VedaBase => Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.16.23 -- Hawaii, January 19, 1974

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> Who are the two devotees being referred to here?

It is figurative language, meaning "very few."

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Sita-pati dasa, AU: Kirtan Australia

This morning we finally unveiled the Kirtan Australia website. A huge thanks to Bhakticandrika, Vrajadhama, Prema Yogi, David Jorm and Nath0rn for the hours of work that they put into it.

The core concept of Kirtan Australia is discoverability.

We want to make it easy, at the first level, to discover what national kirtan tours are going on. One single place that you go to check who is coming when, and where, and what time. For this we will rely on visits to the site and the rss feed.

Going down another level, we want to make it easy to find a regular on-going kirtan in your local area, wherever that may be.

Conversely, we want to make it easy to publicise your regular kirtan circle or one-off event. For this we will rely on visits to the site, and email notifications.

Going down another level, we want to make it easy to discover quality suppliers of instruments, especially exotic and imported instruments.

And going down a further level from there, we want to make it easy to discover lessons and teachers to learn to lead or accompany kirtan.

It's about creating community through connection, facilitated by "discoverability" - a function of sattva.

Check out the site: Kirtan Australia.

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Gauranga Kishore das,USA: Simone Weil: Draft for a Statement of Human Obligation

I just found this amazing piece written by Simone Weil. She is one of my favorite authors because she is talks seriously about political philosophy from a spiritual perspective. Below she offers a draft of what could be a counter to the Universal Declaration of Human rights, but rather than a declaration of rights she offers a "statement of obligations." I'll put something from her on rights vs obligations a little later. There's a lot that could be said about this little piece but for now I'll just put it up for you to read.

Draft for a Statement of Human Obligation

Profession of Faith

There is a reality outside the world, that is to say, outside space and time, outside man's mental universe, outside any sphere whatsoever that is accessible to human faculties.

Corresponding to this reality, at the centre of the human heart, is the longing for an absolute good, a longing which is always there and is never appeased by any object in this world.

Another terrestrial manifestation of this reality lies in the absurd and insoluble contradictions which are always the terminus of human thought when it moves exclusively in this world.

Just as the reality of this world is the sole foundation of facts, so that other reality is the sole foundation of good.

That reality is the unique source of all the good that can exist in this world: that is to say, all beauty, all truth, all justice, all legitimacy, all order, and all human behaviour that is mindful of obligations.

Those minds whose attention and love are turned towards that reality are the sole intermediary through which good can descend from there and come among men.

Although it is beyond the reach of any human faculties, man has the power of turning his attention and love towards it.

Nothing can ever justify the assumption that any man, whoever he may be, has been deprived of this power.

It is a power which is only real in this world in so far as it is exercised. The sole condition for exercising it is consent.

This act of consent may be expressed, or it may not be, even tacitly; it may not be clearly conscious, although it has really taken place in the soul. Very often it is verbally expressed although it has not in fact taken place. But whether expressed or not, the one condition suffices: that it shall in fact have taken place.

To anyone who does actually consent to directing his attention and love beyond the world, towards the reality that exists outside the reach of all human faculties, it is given to succeed in doing so. In that case, sooner or later, there descends upon him a part of the good, which shines through him upon all that surrounds him.

The combination of these two facts — the longing in the depth of the heart for absolute good, and the power, though only latent, of directing attention and love to a reality beyond the world and of receiving good from it — constitutes a link which attaches every man without exception to that other reality.

Whoever recognizes that reality recognizes also that link. Because of it, he holds every human being without any exception as something sacred to which he is bound to show respect.
This is the only possible motive for universal respect towards all human beings. Whatever formulation of belief or disbelief a man may choose to make, if his heart inclines him to feel this respect, then he in fact also recognizes a reality other than this world's reality. Whoever in fact does not feel this respect is alien to that other reality also.

The reality of the world we live in is composed of variety. Unequal objects unequally solicit our attention. Certain people personally attract our attention, either through the hazard of circumstances or some chance affinity. For the lack of such circumstance or affinity other people remain unidentified. They escape our attention or, at the most, it only sees them as items of a collectivity.

If our attention is entirely confined to this world it is entirely subject to the effect of these inequalities, which it is all the less able to resist because it is unaware of it.

It is impossible to feel equal respect for things that are in fact unequal unless the respect is given to something that is identical in all of them. Men are unequal in all their relations with the things of this world, without exception. The only thing that is identical in all men is the presence of a link with the reality outside the world.

All human beings are absolutely identical in so far as they can be thought of as consisting of a centre, which is an unquenchable desire for good, surrounded by an accretion of psychical and bodily matter.

Only by really directing the attention beyond the world can there be real contact with this central and essential fact of human nature. Only an attention thus directed possesses the faculty, always identical in all cases, of irradiating with light any human being whatsoever.

If anyone possesses this faculty, then his attention is in reality directed beyond the world, whether he is aware of it or not.

The link which attaches the human being to the reality outside the world is, like the reality itself, beyond the reach of human faculties. The respect that it makes us feel as soon as it is recognized cannot be shown to us by evidence or testimony.

This respect cannot, in this world, find any form of direct expression. But unless it is expressed it has no existence. There is a possibility of indirect expression for it.

The respect inspired by the link between man and the reality alien to this world can make itself evident to that part of man which belongs to the reality of this world.

The reality of this world is necessity. The part of man which is in this world is the part which is in bondage to necessity and subject to the misery of need.

The one possibility of indirect expression of respect for the human being is offered by men's needs, the needs of the soul and of the body, in this world.

It is based upon the connection in human nature between the desire for good, which is the essence of man, and his sensibility. There is never any justification for doubting the existence in any man of this connection.

Because of it, when a man's life is destroyed or damaged by some wound or privation of soul or body, which is due to other men's actions or negligence, it is not only his sensibility that suffers but also his aspiration towards the good. Therefore there has been sacrilege towards that which is sacred in him.

On the other hand, there are cases where it is only a man's sensibility that is affected; for example, where his wound or privation is solely the result of the blind working of natural forces, or where he recognizes that the people who seem to be making him suffer are far from bearing him any ill will, but are acting solely in obedience to a necessity which he also acknowledges.

The possibility of indirect expression of respect for the human being is the basis of obligation. Obligation is concerned with the needs in this world of the souls and bodies of human beings, whoever they may be. For each need there is a corresponding obligation; for each obligation a corresponding need. There is no other kind of obligation, so far as human affairs are concerned.

If there seem to be others, they are either false or else it is only by error that they have not been classed among the obligations mentioned.

Anyone whose attention and love are really directed towards the reality outside the world recognizes at the same time that he is bound, both in public and private life, by the single and permanent obligation to remedy, according to his responsibilities and to the extent of his power, all the privations of soul and body which are liable to destroy or damage the earthly life of any human being whatsoever.

This obligation cannot legitimately be held to be limited by the insufficiency of power or the nature of the responsibilities until everything possible has been done to explain the necessity of the limitation to those who will suffer by it; the explanation must be completely truthful and must be such as to make it possible for them to acknowledge the necessity.

No combination of circumstances ever cancels this obligation. If there are circumstances which seem to cancel it as regards a certain man or category of men, they impose it in fact all the more imperatively.

The thought of this obligation is present to all men, but in very different forms and in very varying degrees of clarity. Some men are more and some are less inclined to accept — or to refuse — it as their rule of conduct.

Its acceptance is usually mixed with self-deception, and even when it is quite sincere it is not consistently acted upon. To refuse it is to become criminal.

The proportions of good and evil in any society depend partly upon the proportion of consent to that of refusal and partly upon the distribution of power between those who consent and those who refuse.

If any power of any kind is in the hands of a man who has not given total, sincere, and enlightened consent to this obligation such power is misplaced.

If a man has willfully refused to consent, then it is in itself a criminal activity for him to exercise any function, major or minor, public or private, which gives him control over people's lives. All those who, with knowledge of his mind, have acquiesced in his exercise of the function are accessories to the crime.

Any State whose whole official doctrine constitutes an incitement to this crime is itself wholly criminal. It can retain no trace of legitimacy.

Any State whose official doctrine is not primarily directed against this crime in all its forms is lacking in full legitimacy.

Any legal system which contains no provisions against this crime is without the essence of legality. Any legal system which provides against some forms of this crime but not others is without the full character of legality.

Any government whose members commit this crime, or authorize it in their subordinates, has betrayed its function.

Any collectivity, institution, or form of collective life whatsoever whose normal functioning implies or induces the practice of this crime is convicted ipso facto of illegitimacy and should be reformed or abolished.

Any man who has any degree of influence, however small, upon public opinion becomes an accessory to this crime if he refrains from denouncing it whenever it comes to his knowledge, or if he purposely avoids knowledge of it in order not to have to denounce it.

A country is not innocent of this crime if public opinion, being free to express itself, does not denounce any current examples of it, or if, freedom of expression being forbidden, the crime is not denounced clandestinely.

It is the aim of public life to arrange that all forms of power are entrusted, so far as possible, to men who effectively consent to be bound by the obligation towards all human beings which lies upon everyone, and who understand the obligation.

Law is the quality of the permanent provisions for making this aim effective.
To understand the obligation involves two things: understanding the principle and understanding its application.

Since it is with human needs in this world that the application is concerned, it is for the intelligence to conceive the idea of need and to discern, discriminate, and enumerate, with all the accuracy of which it is capable, the earthly needs of the soul and of the body.
This is a study which is permanently open to revision.

Statement Of Obligations

A concrete conception of obligation towards human beings and a subdivision of it into a number of obligations is obtained by conceiving the earthly needs of the body and of the human soul. Each need entails a corresponding obligation.

The needs of a human being are sacred. Their satisfaction cannot be subordinated either to reasons of state, or to any consideration of money, nationality, race, or colour, or to the moral or other value attributed to the human being in question, or to any consideration whatsoever.

There is no legitimate limit to the satisfaction of the needs of a human being except as imposed by necessity and by the needs of other human beings. The limit is only legitimate if the needs of all human beings receive an equal degree of attention.

The fundamental obligation towards human beings is subdivided into a number of concrete obligations by the enumeration of the essential needs of the human being. Each need is related to an obligation, and each obligation to a need.

The needs in question are earthly needs, for those are the only ones that man can satisfy. They are needs of the soul as well as of the body; for the soul has needs whose non-satisfaction leaves it in a state analogous to that of a starved or mutilated body.

The principal needs of the human body are food, warmth, sleep, health, rest, exercise, fresh air.

The needs of the soul can for the most part be listed in pairs of opposites which balance and complete one another.

The human soul has need of equality and of hierarchy.

Equality is the public recognition, effectively expressed in institutions and manners, of the principle that an equal degree of attention is due to the needs of all human beings. Hierarchy is the scale of responsibilities. Since attention is inclined to direct itself upwards and remain fixed, special provisions are necessary to ensure the effective compatibility of equality and hierarchy.

The human soul has need of consented obedience and of liberty.
Consented obedience is what one concedes to an authority because one judges it to be legitimate. It is not possible in relation to a political power established by conquest coup d'etat;nor to an economic power based upon money.

Liberty is the power of choice within the latitude left between the direct constraint of natural forces and the authority accepted as legitimate. The latitude should be sufficiently wide for liberty to be more than a fiction, but it should include only what is innocent and should never be wide enough to permit certain kinds of crime.

The human soul has need of truth and of freedom of expression.

The need for truth requires that intellectual culture should be universally accessible, and that it should be able to be acquired in an environment neither physically remote nor psychologically alien. It requires that in the domain of thought there should never be any physical or moral pressure exerted for any purpose other than an exclusive concern for truth; which implies an absolute ban on all propaganda without exception. It calls for protection against error and lies; which means that every avoidable material falsehood publicly asserted becomes a punishable offence. It calls for public health measures against poisons in the domain of thought.

But, in order to be exercised, the intelligence requires to be free to express itself without control by any authority. There must therefore be a domain of pure intellectual research, separate but accessible to all, where no authority intervenes.

The human soul has need of some solitude and privacy and also of some social life.

The human soul has need of both personal property and collective property.

Personal property never consists in the possession of a sum of money, but in the ownership of concrete objects like a house, a field, furniture, tools, which seem to the soul to be an extension of itself and of the body. Justice requires that personal property, in this sense, should be, like liberty, inalienable.

Collective property is not defined by a legal title but by the feeling among members of a human milieu that certain objects are like an extension or development of the milieu. This feeling is only possible in certain objective conditions.

The existence of a social class defined by the lack of personal and collective property is as shameful as slavery.

The human soul has need of punishment and of honour.

Whenever a human being, through the commission of a crime, has become exiled from good, he needs to be reintegrated with it through suffering. The suffering should be inflicted with the aim of bringing the soul to recognize freely some day that its infliction was just. This reintegration with the good is what punishment is. Every man who is innocent, or who has finally expiated guilt, needs to be recognized as honourable to the same extent as anyone else.

The human soul has need of disciplined participation in a common task of public value, and it has need of personal initiative within this participation.

The human soul has need of security and also of risk. The fear of violence or of hunger or of any other extreme evil is a sickness of the soul. The boredom produced by a complete absence of risk is also a sickness of the soul.
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Gouranga TV: TKG Academy – 1st-8th Grade Bhajan – Thanksgiving Lunch 1/2

TKG Academy – 1st-8th Grade Bhajan – Thanksgiving Lunch 1/2

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HH. Satsvarupa das Goswami: 351

Prabhupada Smaranam

These are pictures of Prabhupada (it was during this visit to Boston in the spring of 1968 that he changed his name from Swamiji to Prabhupada) taken in the storefront temple on Glenville Avenue, Allston, a student suburb of Boston. The storefront was about same size as the 26 Second Avenue. From the photos of the devotees bowing down while Prabhupada pours ghee into the fire, it appears to be the triple wedding that he performed. He married Baradraj and Rukmini, Nanda-kishora and Jahvana and Vaikuntha-nath and Saradiya. It was a very primitive setting. Prabhupada stayed at in an apartment ten blocks away. The devotees lived in the storefront. The only opulence of the temple was the many paintings done by Jadurani. Although we were located in the neighborhood of apartments of students from Boston University, hardly anyone attended our nightly classes and kirtanas. We got a fair attendance for our Sunday feast. Teenage rowdies from the nearby neighborhood used to harass us and challenge us to fights and once they threw a rock through our plate-glass window. We advertised heavily with posters all over Boston and its suburbs and the first evening of Prabhupada's appearance the room was filled. But after they heard Swamiji's lecture denouncing sense gratification and not teaching anything cheap and flashy, they stopped coming.

Prabhupada in boston temple

It was a little risky inviting Prabhupada to such a rough neighborhood but there were no incidents during his month long stay. Once an eccentric elderly woman from next door opened the door while Prabhupada was lecturing and yelled, "God damn this house!" Prabhupada looked up and said, "What did she say? God bless this house?" Prabhupada looked so calm and regal in these photos. He gave about half a dozen lectures at the famous universities and colleges in the Boston- Cambridge area and they were a success. At Harvard University a student asked him, "Are you happy?" Prabhupada replied, "If I tell you 'yes', will you believe me?" "No," the student answered. Prabhupada replied, "Then why do you ask me?" He was asked the same question at the storefront. This time he answered differently. He said he had been married and had several children but none of them had made him happy. Now that he had left household life he has hundreds of disciples and they are all simply serving him and trying to please him. "So you can judge for yourself whether I am happy." I had to go to work every week day at the welfare office and didn't get to see Prabhupada in the mornings or daytime. But the evening lectures and the sheer presence of Prabhupada in our midst made it a very happy and memorable month.
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ISKCON Is the BBC Marginalising Religion?

By Paul Woolley for Theos Think Tank on 11 Feb 2010
It is important that the BBC produces programs that reflect the diverse interests and belief commitments of its audience.
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ISKCON Should Religion Be an Excuse For Carrying Daggers?

By Rebecca Roache for BBC News on 9 Feb 2010
Sikhs should be allowed to carry ceremonial knives in schools and other public places, says Britain's first Asian judge. But can religion ever justify loopholes in the law?
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ISKCON December 2010 Conference: Food, Farming, & Faith

18 Feb 2010

First Announcement and Call for Participation.

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ISKCON Devotees needed in Mayapur

18 Feb 2010

A 2-year commitment is required.

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ISKCON 11th Annual Symposium On "Cultivation of the Human Spirit"

18 Feb 2010

First Announcement and Call for Participation.

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ISKCON Aindra Dasa and Krishna Balarama 24 hour kirtan (13 oct 2007 - part 2)

If the selection above is hosted by YouTube then after the video plays there will be several links presented to other videos. ISKCON News Weekly has no control over the selections presented and is not responsible for their contents.
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ISKCON Aindra Dasa and Krishna Balarama 24 hour kirtan (13 oct 2007 - part 1)

If the selection above is hosted by YouTube then after the video plays there will be several links presented to other videos. ISKCON News Weekly has no control over the selections presented and is not responsible for their contents.
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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1966 February 18:
"Received letter from Suryakumar asking me to write to the Prime Minister so I sent one letter to the Prime Minister. Two other letters also despatched as follows: The Ambassador of Nepal for an interview and the Ambassador of India requesting him to arrange for my meeting with the President of USA. Dr. Mishra asked me to come to the Ashram. But I didn't go. Simply waste of time."
Prabhupada Journal :: 1966:

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1949 February 18: "Your honour is well known as the iron man of India but I know that you are the most practical man who can take things as they are. With this idea in view I venture to approach your honour for submitting the following few lines for your consideration and necessary action."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1947-64

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1967 February 18: "Arrange for Kirtana and lectures by me in every school, college, clubs, association, etc in New York. Now we have Mrdangas and cymbals. By outdoor Kirtana and lectures we shall be popular to everyone and successful in raising fund."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1967

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1968 February 18: "Too much risky thing is not for us. We should think of Krishna without being hampered by material disturbances. If something comes very easily we welcome it. You have got already a center so make propaganda that people may come there in throngs."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1968

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1970 February 18: "Your touring in different places and preaching Krsna Consciousness is fulfilling my dream. May Krsna bless you on and on for such exalted work. There is a great future for this Krsna Consciousness movement in every part of the world, and I am getting such indications from every where so please continue."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1970

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1972 February 18: "I think he is feeling morose about his wife, that is not good so he will not be able to work. Therefore better let him come and live with me here in India and I shall train him properly in sanskrit language. He may come immediately, in time for Mayapur festival."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1972

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1973 February 18: "Right from the beginning the association of Radha and Krishna. In my childhood also, my father gave my sister and I Radha Krishna and to this very day my sister is worshiping still these very same Deities in Calcutta. Like this the children should be trained."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1973

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1973 February 18: "If you decide to have Ratha Yatra there, then you must do it very opulently, as they are doing in San Francisco. This is very important. Now you please arrange it so that the Deities are worshipped very very properly and always remain humble in their presence."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1973

Email to a friendRelated Live from Sri Mayapur Candrodaya Mandir! HG Badrinarayan Prabhu

By Badrinarayan dasa

A single object is appreciated differently by different senses due to its having different qualities. Similarly, the Supreme Personality of Godhead is one, but according to different scriptural injunctions He appears to be different

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ISKCON Toronto, Canada: Temple Cleanup this Saturday!

Last month a very special project was launched at the Hare Krishna Centre. The project is named "Ceto Darpana Marjanam" (Project CDM) and entails regular cleaning of the temple as a group. "Ceto Darpana Marjanam" literally means cleansing the heart of all the years and years' worth of accumulated dust. Last month a group of intrepid spiritualists took on the task of cleaning the temple kitchen, click here for pictures and a report of the first Project CDM.

This Saturday, February 20, 2010 Project CDM will be in full force again tackling another area of the temple, the tentative schedule is :

12:00 pm-5:00 pm: Temple Cleanup
5:00 pm-6:30 pm: Pizza Party
6:30pm onwards: Bhajans

To assist in better organization please RSVP by Friday, February 19th, 2010.

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Mayapur Online: Make an Offering!

Now, from anywhere around the world, you have the opportunity to personally participate in the Gaura Purnima celebrations in Mayapur. You can offer transcendental gifts to the Lord like silver lamp, brass lamp, golden shoes or silver shoes or offer conch or kalash for bathing the Lord on His appearance day. If you are not physically present in Mayapur, these offerings will be offered to Mahaprabhu on your behalf.

read more

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Maddy Jean-claude Durr, New Govardhana, AU: Another Aussie Journey. Travel 7: Making a Move to the North on Nityananda's Appearance Day

Wednesday 27th, January 2010. Indradyumna Swami was giving his last class in Sydney. It was a painful churn of the stomach and a hard hit to the heart when he mentioned the fall from the spiritual world. He paused for a moment to acknowledge Tamal Krsna Maharaja's brother, Bhakta Carl, who had snuck into the back row of the temple. HH Indradyumna Swami continued to speak. "We should be in Vaikuntha, free from misery; but instead we chose Kuntha." His words were like thunderbolts, although he was talking in a light mood. The painful truth was making it's mark on my weary heart. I felt like such a fool for choosing this land of misery over the eternal life of bliss and I felt weak for not holding onto that position as tightly as I could.

After the class, Vara Nayaka Prabhu again thanked all the tour devotees. It was proper to do so again because now there was an audience of the congregation, who had come to hear Maharaja speak. He told the sad news to them that this was the last class Maharaja would give and that tomorrow we would be leaving. It was sad to go, after spending so much time in the warmth of the Sydney hospitality but we had another leg of the journey to complete and more people to perform for.

My day's tasks were pretty simple; I had to take the temple vehicle, go a few places, drop some things off and pick some things up. I took the little car, putting our power converter unit in the back seat. I easily found my way to Smithies, our old sound tech contact. I had some warranty issues with the converter so I was suspecting some conflict. I dropped the gear and they quickly handed me a repair receipt - this was first smooth thing to happen on tour with such matter. It was my custom last year, whenever I was driving, to continually find myself lost. This year was no exception, I had just been avoiding driving altogether. Indeed although I easily found my way to Smithies, I struggled to find any signs back to the city so I had to speculate my way around the western suburbs. Some how I found myself passing through Newtown, which was in the total opposite direction of where I was navigating but at least I could find my way home from here.

As soon as I returned to the temple, I had enough time to collect some Laksmi and an extra passenger and I was off again. I headed out to Riverstone, where the BBT warehouse was. I checked out some google maps before I left but I otherwise was driving from memory. For the most of it, I was heading in the right direction. Kaushal was accompanying me and we both laughed when we had to make a u-turn and head our way back down one of the many roads.

We baffled Kaustuba with the usual financial jugglery of BBT accounts. We were trying to refund books on one account, while trying to buy books on a cash account and I was also trying to purchase some goodies to add to the complications. After about a quarter of an hour of number jugglery and recounting, the books were in the bag.

We took the long way back, not by choice but by default of our navigation . Where is a GPS navigator when you need one? Dominik Prabhu had flown up to Brisbane that morning and had returned in the same night with the vehicle that we would be using to carry our gear to the Brisbane leg. We were supposed to have a large van but the timing belt had broken (this is what happened to my car the year before). Dominik now had a tiny Holden Barina style, Brisbane temple, sankirtana wagon. My small amount of luggage now looked enormous, in light of the tiny vehicle. I was now beginning to worry that not all of my possessions would make it to Brisbane.

Thursday 28th, January 2010. I tried to sleep but the noise was relentless. The rest of the room had woken up, turned the lights on and the twins were sitting in the corner, having a conversation in Russian, while they pondered around some tilak. It wasn't late in the morning but I think everyone was just sick of sleeping. I broke my ekadasi fast at the appropriate time and then read some Caitanya Caritamrta. The cool hours of the morning, combined with the transcendental reading was making me feel rather blissful. It was Nityananda's appearance day and by some uncommon arrangement, I just so happened to be up to the chapter of the Adi-lila dedicated to glorifying Lord Nityananda.

I didn't want to stop my reading but I was equally enthusiastic to see the Lordships just after the conch blew. I left my comfortable seat in the ashram and started to head towards the temple room. I paused for a moment; I was curious, due to it being a festival day, if the deities were going to be shown at a later time. I inquired from a passing bhakta. It was indeed the case so I blissfully ran back to the shelter of my VedaBase and the shelter of Lord Nityananda's lotus feet.

I looked at the clock, it was now seven thirty. A passing thought slipped into my mind; I had seen the class schedule a few days earlier and was certain that Janananda Goswami was giving class at this time. I then realized that there was going to be Srimad-Bhagavatam class before the greeting of the deities. I once again rushed down the stairs and found a place at the back of the temple room. Janananda Goswami was taking the devotees through some bhajans as I arrived.

The class was a total bliss fill. HH Janananda Goswami was speaking, as he normally does, in a relishing tone, pausing at every interval to soak in the nectar that he was speaking or hearing. Bhakta Simon, our faithful chariot driver from the Melbourne leg, slipped into the back of the temple room. He had been following HH Janananda Goswami around the country. I gave him the best greeting I could muster, in the silence of the class. Janananda Goswami then started to ask the devotees to all hint at pastimes that they knew of Lord Nityananda but he didn't allow them to go into them. "Maybe Sri Prahlada will be speaking them later this evening" he would say as an excuse. He was trying to increase our hankering and desire to search out and hear the glories of Lord Nityananda. Sri Prahlada was scheduled to speak about such topics later that night but we would all be on our flights to Brisbane (Sri Prahlada would be arriving some time the next day).

Soon the class had to end and the deities manifested. I prayed intensely to little Lord Nityananda, who had presided over my parents preaching efforts for many years. I tried to cheat the Lord within my prayers, thinking 'perhaps you could favour me as you favoured my parents.' I knew I was finished without the mercy of Lord Nityananda. Staring at the tiny deity of the amazing Lordship brought me memories of staring up at the giant deity in Mayapur. One of my favourite spots I had in the Pancatattva temple room in Mayapur was right in the big, blissful gaze of Lord Nityananda. I prayed as helplessly as I did there, hoping that maybe Lord Nityananda might remember me, as I crept under the eyes of his many arca vigrahas.

The darsana was over and gurupuja soon began. Gaura Hari took the lead. The kirtana was amazing; Gaura kept a mellow but dynamic melody, while keeping the drums in good rhythm. The whole temple room couldn't contain themselves and they were soon dancing all over the place. I found myself dipping into everything, like a bumble bee high on nectar. I sung my lungs out, danced, played karatalas and even picked up the wampers (my old favourite) to finish it off.

After the kirtana, outside the temple room, HH Janananda Goswami grabbed Gaura Hari's hand and wouldn't let go. It was almost as if Gaura was receiving instant reciprocation for his kirtana offering to Lord Nityananda. I toggled along to the Prasadam hall while Janananda Goswami started to talk intimate words with Gaura.

I was quickly running back to my readings of the glories of Lord Nityananda. Nityananda is indeed Balarama and Balarama expands into the many Visnus that pervade the cosmos. The chapter went on, mentioning all of Nityananda Balarama's expansions, praising His services all over the spiritual and material creations.

While I was reading, everyone was packing their bags around me. I had done most of my packing the day before so I felt privileged to absorb myself in the nectar of Caitanya Caritamrta. Everything looked like it was in chaos. I was shocked that we could make it out the door in time. We waved long and sad goodbyes to our friends in Sydney and headed towards the airport.

We were all decked out in our Vaisnava attire. This was Maharaja's preaching idea. It was a great idea but unfortunately some of our devotees seemed to act like they were from another planet (not Goloka Vrndavana…maybe the star or moon of Ukraine though). We looked a little unique to say the least. We sat and stood, decorated with suitcases and bags. Gaura gave an urgent call to the Matajis, who were looking very close to missing their check in time. Everything seemed to eventually smooth out. Almost every single person came and asked me if I had any extra room in my luggage or if I could carry anything else. I was flying on Madhava's ticket, so I had no luggage and I was already carrying three items for my single hand luggage. "No problem" I heard multiple times, in an eastern European accent. I wasn't at all convinced.

I was a little paranoid as I passed through the metal detectors, just because I knew they might send me packing with my multiple bags. The sarcasm coming from the angry toned, masculine security lady didn't make me feel any better. Once I passed through the security check in though I knew I was safe. Another lady called me over, for an explosives scan. I was pretty tired from yesterday's fast but I was ready and willing to cooperate. From my travel companions' opinion, I looked like I was being caught with an ounce of illegal substances and the security lady must have thought the same, because she did a more than thorough check of every pocket, zipper and opening of my three items of gear.

We waited a long time in the terminal. At one point Dhira asked, "are we even in the right place?" It was a couple minutes passed our scheduled departure time so I very quickly double checked. I had to run around the airport to round up the wandering Manipuris also. Finally our gate opened and we went to board the plane. Some of us were travelling on other people's boarding passes (including myself) so I was still slightly paranoid that they wouldn't let us on the plane. It was the moment of truth and someone had said earlier that the check in ladies had no record of my online registration. Kaushal went first (he was on Rasa Rani's pass) and the scanning light went red!? They paused, checked their computer and flashed him through. Upon seeing this happen, I confidently walked up to the lady and added "oh yes, we all checked in online so this will probably happen with a couple more tickets in our group." It did happen to some more of our tickets, including my own but it otherwise ended up being a smooth procedure. We were on the plane with no sweat.

Kaushal and I sat in one seat and all the seats behind us were filled with our troupe, in groups of two, and some other scattered individuals. I soon found out that our newly acquired company were on board flight attendants, on a joining flight to an international voyage. Kaushal and I exchanged stories with the middle aged flight attendant next to us. Kaushal sat between myself and the flight hostess while we all chatted away. Like the rest of the airport staff, this lady was curious what we were doing. She was off to LA (where all the slick book distributors fly) and we were off to Brisbane, on tour. As soon as you say "on tour" everyone's eyes light up. I often used this as an ice breaker, just to lighten up the moods of people.

The plane took off. The flight hostess engaged herself with her free access to plane television while I chanted the remainder of my rounds. The lady gasped, on her television screen was a blue skinned man with a beard. My first impression was that Srila Vyasadeva had come out of hiding and was preaching to the mlecchas. Reality sank back in and I realized it was not the case. I took advantage of her ignorance and spoke with a rather academic like guise and I gave her the purport on the astonishing situation. "Actually, there is a lot of evidence in history that many years ago people had blue skin. It was some what of a common thing but it was simply bread out of the human species to an extent. This man here probably just had a reoccurring gene spasm" I said. Later I found out the man was having an allergic reaction to silver but I fancied my little class nonetheless.

Between my little bewildering speech, my japa and a short power nap, the trip was all but over. We arrived at the other end and quickly exited the aircraft. A small handful of devotees were waiting for us at the airport, many of our key players for the weeks to come. I had no luggage but I had to wait anyway, because I stashed one bag in Vraja Kumari's luggage (I already had three carryon bags).

I greeted my host for the next couple weeks, Ketan Prabhu, and then bided him farewell. I enjoyed the stay with Ketan, his wife Bindhu and the family, last year and I was eager to join them again, but for now I was on a mission home. All the assembled devotees went one direction and I went in the other. I booked a train ticket to the Gold Coast. The ticket boy suggested that the next train leaves in five minutes. He was sorely wrong and it had left already. I had around half an hour's wait until the next train, according to the lady at the platform.

I sat down and soon found out that I was in a wireless hot spot. I pulled out my notebook laptop and accessed the link. I talked with my older brother, Nitai, and arranged my trip home from the very spot. I hopped into the train and ended up waited a super long time. Just as the train was about to leave I was informed that it was the wrong train (they were both heading in relatively the same direction but I didn't want to wait at another station further down). I jumped out, just as the doors were closing, and entered the other waiting train. My trip was an extra half an hour and I sadly counted down the time before I was home. With the last limits of internet connection, as the train was gliding away, I accessed pictures of Mayapur. I was blissfully meditating on the new temple, soon to begin it's climb into the sky. I had a dream of being in Mayapur as they were building so I took this as a sign that my dreams would come true.

While I was travelling on tour, the government extended the train track towards the bottom of the Gold Coast. I arrived at a newly built train station, even closer to home than usual. My father was waiting at the curb side and I very ecstatically greeted him. We talked on the way to Rupa's school, while I nibbled on some of the Prasadam from Burleigh Heads' Govindas. I gave Rupa another good greeting, as he hopped in the back of the car. After this little pit stop, it was off home.

We parked in the garage and climbed up the stairs in the block of units. At the door was my lovely mother, whom I missed dearly. I gave her a big warm hug as I burst into the door. Bhisma was also in the house and I tracked him down for a tackle. I spent the night downloading behind the scenes stories from the tour on my folks. They had been keeping up with the diaries and emails so I was just filling them in on all the fiddly bits that are just too much trouble to write down or simply confidential. I felt peaceful and sheltered, now that I was back at the home base. I knew with some time, in the parent's grha (apartment), I would be mentally readjusted for the upcoming finishing marathon of the tour. I would at least be bale to catch up on some solid resting hours, which were much lacking in the Sydney temple.

I jumped on the internet and saw instantly updated photos from the ceremony at the Brisbane temple. Krsnapada uploaded them faster than a cowboy in a shoot out and I blissfully meditated and talked about Lord Nityananda with my parents. I was settled for the next couple of nights, soon to move on like a wind blowing through the trees. The Brisbane leg was soon to begin and the final shows of tour were ready to unfold. Nityananda ki jai!

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Ananda Subramanian, Iowa, USA: The Person beyond the Post

President's Day was celebrated this week. I am not sure about the significance of the day but I am assuming it deals with celebrating the Presidents of USA. When we celebrate President's day, are we remembering Obama as the President as he is the current President or remembering the post regardless of who the President is or simultaneously remembering both? I am guessing the different Presidents are remembered and the impact they had on public policy and international relations that come with the post. Either way, there are two distinct features. One is the person and the other is the post (ignoring the person).

If we extend this logic, when religion talks about God, is it talking about God the person or the post of God? In other words, normally world religions portray God as Omnipotent, Omniscient, Just, All Powerful etc etc. Omnipotency, Omniscience etc are functions of God. They give us little information about God per se. They do not tell me who God is? Because Religions do not explain about God the Person beyond its post, there is either a speculative and sentimental approach to Godhead or an impersonal/atheistic approach to Godhead. People in general do not know why to go to the sacred place of worship. Should I worship for my daily needs or worship because it is my tradition? Therefore people who are self-sufficient and less tradition sensitive care less about understanding God. The scientists and rationalists go one step further and declare there is no God beyond natural laws. Can you blame them especially if the places of worship don't offer anything beyond the job duties of God?

In Krishna Conscious philosophy, we fix that void. God has many names and the most apt name is Krishna because Krishna means the "all attractive". Krishna or God is blackish blue in color and always youthful around the age of 16. He never gets older than that. He has a flute, a peacock feather on His head and ever-fresh beautiful garland embracing his neck and chest. He especially loves His cows. He has many friends. He likes food stuff mostly made from milk products such as milk, yogurt, ghee etc He always roams about the forests of Vrindavan with His cows and friends from sunrise to sunset. He like us has likes and dislikes. He likes His devotees and dislikes people who criticize His devotees. These are some of the qualities of the person God. When we approach God the person beyond the post, there is a desire to engage in a relationship. When this relationship is on the pure spiritual platform far from material qualities, we are immediately transported to the spiritual world where our relationship is eternally facilitated. This relationship is exchanged in a loving mood of devotion towards one another. You love God as much as God loves you. This is all possible only if we approach the person God beyond the post. This Krishna Conscious philosophy is the only philosophy, I dare say, on this planet nay the entire creation that can facilitate and fructify this relationship.

Because one of the natures of God is absoluteness, all His personality and qualities are included within His names as well. Hence by chanting Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare/Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare without offense, we can reestablish our lost relationship with the person God beyond His post.

To all the Obama fans, will it not be fun to know the person Obama versus just the President Obama?

Please chant and personalize with God!

Hare Krishna

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Sita-pati dasa, AU: Artist Profile: Madhava

Madhava's "Yoga is Music" Tour visits Australia March 26 - April 18, 2010. Stay tuned for tour dates for your city.

Artist Information


With a tuft of matted dread-locks erupting from his otherwise shaven head, a sculpted goatee, and a host of piercings and tattoos, you expect Madhava to be a punk rocker — that is until the moment he closes his eyes, opens his mouth, and begins to sing. Before he completes one line, the sweetness captures your mind. And by the time you are repeating the refrain, you are his—hook, line, and sinker. If you had any plans for the next few hours go ahead and cancel them, and instead make yourself an appointment with the ecstatic chanting of sacred mantras. Welcome to kirtan, Madhava-style.

About Kirtan:
Kirtan is a folk form that arose from the devotional Bhakti movement of 15th century India. The primary musical feature of kirtan is the use of call and response, a figure that also deeply informs Western bluegrass, gospel music and jazz. The form is simple: a lead group calls out the melodies and the mantras. The crowd responds, clapping and dancing and the rhythms build and accelerate.

The mantras that are used in kirtan are mainly Sanskrit names for the Divine. Sanskrit is the oldest language known, and its sounds and their meanings are primordial. Kirtan is a consciousness-transforming and raising activity, where music and song are used to bring everyone together in a beautiful experience of collective expression of the divine. The mantras quiet the mind, the music frees the heart.

About Madhava:
A native of Mauritius, Madhava – né Joy Naidoo – was given his first drum at the age of 5. At 18, he moved to Vrindavan, a place of pilgrimage in India where kirtan has been practised continuously for centuries. He spent the next seven years living in an ashram, doing kirtan daily with the Krishna Balarama 24 Hour Kirtan Mandali, under the direction of legendary 24-hour kirtan leader, Aindra Dasa. While there he played the mrdanga drum for hours on end, day after day, honing his rhythmic skill and sensitivity. Unbeknownst to himself, through bootleg recordings he was also becoming an influential figure in the global kirtan scene, all while sitting on the dusty floor of a small temple in a village in India.

When Madhava left to return to the West, his mentor Aindra impressed on him that he had to take the kirtan back with him from Vrndavan — telling him: "Now it is you who must lead the kirtan".

Now based in Switzerland, Madhava travels extensively through Europe and the US with his partner Radhika and his band Gaura Prema, enlivening audiences with the power of devotional kirtan. He fuses his Mauritian roots with the influences of India to produce a unique style of kirtan, but one in which the main ingredient is the heartfelt bhakti. This year Madhava visits the shores of Australia for the first time.

Others on Madhava:
"Madhava's kirtan is one of the most transcendent kirtan experiences I've ever had. He sings with so much heart and dedication that every one who is present is effortlessly transported to another universe on waves of his chanting. His melodies are rich and inviting, his voice is honest and true, and he always surrounds himself with beautiful musicians and artists - all part of his artful way of revealing a doorway to the divine world through sacred chant. Madhava is a treasure to hear and to join with in kirtan. I pray that I'll be chanting with him for many years to come, basking in the warm glow of the names of the divine."
Gaura Vani
Bandleader - As Kindred Spirits
Creative Director - Mantralogy

"Madhava is a powerful and inspirational devotional singer and master of mantra singing. His music and melodies bring ecstacy to our singing and dancing, bathing us in happiness as we respond to his illuminating voice."

Loren Russo
Yoga teacher, Miami FL, USA

"Madhava's singing touches the heart.... his chanting is always sweet and full of energy. It is a wonderful experience being in his kirtans."
— Dr. Nisha Vastani
Research Scientist, Uni Hospital- Zurich, Switzerland

"The kirtana of Madhava has an almost magnetic influence. The mind and heart get totally attracted, then drawn into the inside world where one can meet the soul of the universe. Tune in and you will have a deeply rewarding, spiritual experience."

Sacinandana Swami
Inspirational speaker and spiritualist

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Yoga of Ecology, Bhakta Chris, USA: ISKCON's Eco-Valley Project At The Copenhagen Climate Summitt

ISKCON's Eco-Valley Project at the Copenhagen Climate Summit

By Krishna-lila devi dasi (Krisztina Danka, PhD.) on 16 Jan 2010

From ISKCON News

Recently, ISKCON News reported that about nine devotees were arrested while chanting Hare Krishna outside the 2009 UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. However, it should also be remembered that ISKCON had another type of presence at the Conference—with a much more fortunate outcome. While his fellow devotees were waiting for their fate to be decided at the police station, Radha Krishna Dasa (Zoltan Hosszu) from Hungary, oblivious of the events going on outside, was giving one of his five official presentations about ISKCON's Eco-Valley project at the Climate Bottom Meeting: this time to dozens of curious Chinese environmental specialists.

The international meeting of civil activists and spiritual and religious leaders to which Radha Krishna Dasa, as director of the Eco-Valley Foundation, was invited, was held parallel to the big climate summit, aiming to influence and offer "windows of hope" to the political leaders. In fact, the decision-makers gathered in Copenhagen frequently attended the Bottom Meeting's events, lectures, exhibitions and films where they learned about a number of sustainable cities and eco-village initiatives, as well as other fresh ideas to overcome the world's ecological, social, spiritual and economic challenges. Many of them heard Radha Krishna's presentation about the Eco-Valley farm community in Hungary, an internationally known and appreciated eco-village project that is based on the spiritual principles of sustainability established by the ancient Indian scriptures, the Vedas.

Following the instructions of Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Eco-Valley (or Krishna-valley) was established in 1993 by ISKCON leader Sivarama Swami and a handful of dedicated devotees. Their aim was to create a community where members of each household can lead a sustainable, environment-friendly and God-centered life. Sixteen years later, there are 150 devotees living on 550 acres of beautifully cultivated land. They have built sixty-three buildings including a new temple, family homes, cow stables, a school, an art studio, a bakery, a guesthouse and several new roads. They grow their own grain, fruits, herbs and vegetables, and have planted 250,000 trees, which give shade to tens of thousand of tourists visiting and learning from them each year. The Eco-Valley community is 100% self-sufficient when it comes to food, producing ten times more grain and seven times more honey than its residents actually need. Their biggest challenge for the next couple of years will be to increase their energy sufficiency by planting more windmills and solar panels and taking advantage of the geothermic energy sources.

Although the Hungarian Eco-Valley project is considered to be one of the world's most successful self-sustaining communities, Radha Krishna Dasa says that there are many similar eco-villages around the globe. ISKCON itself has several dozen, but unfortunately, it appears, there is not enough communication and cooperation between them.

"The Copenhagen Climate Conference was a great venue to meet similar-minded, dedicated people," Radha Krishna says. "It inspired me even more to reach out and exchange ideas with all those who are willing to work together for a better future."

Then, the question naturally arises: with all the good intentions, valuable presentations, yearlong negotiations and enormous efforts by thousands of people from all over the world, why did the Copenhagen Climate Summit ultimately fail?

Radha Krishna Dasa explains that as long as the main considerations of the politicians remain closely connected to economic gain or loss, there will be no breakthroughs in solving the critical environmental problems. "Unfortunately, the leaders of society are very reluctant to inspire people to change their habits and live more responsibly, get out of their cars and consume less. What to speak of asking them to become vegetarians and shutting down the slaughterhouses, which are responsible for 51% of the world's greenhouse gas emission, and are even more polluting than cars."

According to Radha Krishna, there are no shortcuts or easy ways out. The only solution is a substantial change of consciousness on the individual level: each and every person`s commitment resulting in actions towards a more sustainable life. "We should all pull our heads out of the sand, for one is not only responsible for what he does, but for what he does not do."

Visit the Krishna-valley's official website at

Watch a 3-minute excerpt from the Krishna-valley documentary screened at the UN Climate Summit in Copenhagen.

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Bhakta Chris, New York, USA: Merton's Gita intro

Christian scholar, teacher, monk, and mystic Thomas Merton's introduction to original Macmillan printing of Srila Prabhupada's Bhagavad-Gita As It Is,

The word Gita means "Song." Just as in the Bible the Song of Solomon has traditionally been known as "The Song of Songs" because it was interpreted to symbolize the ultimate union of Israel with God (in terms of human married love), so The Bhagavad Gita is, for Hinduism, the great and unsurpassed Song that finds the secret of human life in the unquestioning surrender to and awareness of Krishna.

While The Vedas provide Hinduism with its basic ideas of cult and sacrifice and The Upanishads develop its metaphysic of contemplation, The Bhagavad Gita can be seen as the great treatise on the "Active Life." But it is really something more, for it tends to fuse worship, action and contemplation in a fulfillment of daily duty which transcends all three by virtue of a higher consciousness: a consciousness of acting passively, of being an obedient instrument of a transcendent will.

The Vedas, The Upanishads, and The Gita can be seen as the main literary supports for the great religious civilization of India, the oldest surviving culture in the world. The fact that The Gita remains utterly vital today can be judged by the way such great reformers as Mohandas Gandhi and Vinoba Bhave both spontaneously based their lives and actions on it, and indeed commented on it in detail for their disciples. The present translation and commentary is another manifestation of the permanent living importance of The Gita.

Swami Bhaktivedanta brings to the West a salutary reminder that our highly activistic and one-sided culture is faced with a crisis that may end in self-destruction because it lacks the inner depth of an authentic metaphysical consciousness. Without such depth, our moral and political protestations are just so much verbiage. If, in the West, God can no longer be experienced as other than "dead," it is because of an inner split and self-alienation which have characterized the Western mind in its single-minded dedication to only half of life: that which is exterior, objective, and quantitative.

The "death of God" and the consequent death of genuine moral sense, respect for life, for humanity, for value, has expressed the death of an inner subjective quality of life: a quality which in the traditional religions was experienced in terms of God-consciousness. Not concentration on an idea or concept of God, still less on an image of God, but a sense of presence, of an ultimate ground of reality and meaning, from which life and love could spontaneously flower.

Realization of the Supreme "Player" whose "Play" (Lila) is manifested in the million-formed, inexhaustible richness of beings and events, is what gives us the key to the meaning of life. Once we live in awareness of the cosmic dance and move in time with the Dancer, our life attains its true dimension.

It is at once more serious and less serious than the life of one who does not sense this inner cosmic dynamism. To live without this illuminated consciousness is to live as a beast of burden, carrying one's life with tragic seriousness as a huge, incomprehensible weight (see Camus' interpretation of the Myth of Sisyphus). The weight of the burden is the seriousness with which one takes one's own individual and separate self. To live with the true consciousness of life centered in Another is to lose one's self-important seriousness and thus to live life as "play" in union with a Cosmic Player.

It is He alone that one takes seriously. But to take Him seriously is to find joy and spontaneity in everything, for everything is gift and grace. In other words, to live selfishly is to bear life as an intolerable burden. To live selflessly is to live in joy, realizing by experience that life itself is love and gift. To be a lover and a giver is to be a channel through which the Supreme Giver manifests His love in the world.

But The Gita presents a problem to some who read it in the present context of violence and war which mark the crisis of the West. The Gita appears to accept and to justify war. Arjuna is exhorted to submit his will to Krishna by going to war against his enemies, who are also his own kin, because war is his duty as a Prince and warrior. Here we are uneasily reminded of the fact that in Hinduism as well as in Judaism, Islam, and Christianity, there is a concept of a "Holy War" which is "willed by God" and we are furthermore reminded of the fact that, historically, this concept has been secularized and inflated beyond measure.

It has now "escalated" to the point where slaughter, violence, revolution, the annihilation of enemies, the extermination of entire populations and even genocide have become a way of life. There is hardly a nation on earth today that is not to some extent committed to a philosophy or to a mystique of violence. One way or other, whether on the left or on the right, whether in defense of a bloated establishment or of an improvised guerrilla government in the jungle, whether in terms of a police state or in terms of a ghetto revolution, the human race is polarizing itself into camps armed with everything from Molotov cocktails to the most sophisticated technological instruments of death.

At such a time, the doctrine that "war is the will of God" can be disastrous if it is not handled with extreme care. For everyone seems in practice to be thinking along some such lines, with the exception of a few sensitive and well-meaning souls (mostly the kind of people who will read this book).

The Gita is not a justification of war, nor does it propound a war-making mystique. War is accepted in the context of a particular kind of ancient culture in which it could be and was subject to all kinds of limitations. (It is instructive to compare the severe religious limitations on war in the Christian Middle Ages with the subsequent development of war by nation states in modern times-backed of course by the religious establishment. )

Arjuna has an instinctive repugnance for war, and that is the chief reason why war is chosen as the example of the most repellent kind of duty. The Gita is saying that even in what appears to be most "unspiritual" one can act with pure intentions and thus be guided by Krishna consciousness. This consciousness itself will impose the most strict limitations on one's use of violence because that use will not be directed by one's own selfish interests, still less by cruelty, sadism, and mere blood lust.

The discoveries of Freud and others in modern times have, of course, alerted us to the fact that there are certain imperatives of culture and of conscience which appear pure on the surface and are in fact bestial in their roots. The greatest inhumanities have been perpetrated in the name of "humanity," "civilization," "progress," "freedom," "my country," and of course "God."

This reminds us that in the cultivation of an inner spiritual consciousness there is a perpetual danger of self-deception, narcissism, self-righteous evasion of truth. In other words the standard temptation of religious and spiritually minded people is to cultivate an inner sense of rightness or of peace, and make this subjective feeling the final test of everything. As long as this feeling of rightness remains with them, they will do anything under the sun. But this inner feeling (as Auschwitz and the Eichmann case have shown) can coexist with the ultimate in human corruption.

The hazard of the spiritual quest is of course that its genuineness cannot be left to our own isolated subjective judgment alone. The fact that I am turned on doesn't prove anything whatever. (Nor does the fact that I am turned off.) We do not simply create our own lives on our own terms. Any attempt to do so is ultimately an affirmation of our individual self as ultimate and supreme. This is a self-idolatry which is diametrically opposed to "Krishna consciousness" or to any other authentic form of religious or metaphysical consciousness.

The Gita sees that the basic problem of man is his endemic refusal to live by a will other than his own. For in striving to live entirely by his own individual will, instead of becoming free, man is enslaved by forces even more exterior and more delusory than his own transient fancies.

He projects himself out of the present into the future. He tries to make for himself a future that accords with his own fantasy, and thereby escape from a present reality which he does not fully accept. And yet, when he moves into the future he wanted to create for himself, it becomes a present that is once again repugnant to him. And yet this is precisely what he has "made" for himself-it is his own karma.

In accepting the present in all its reality as something to be dealt with precisely as it is, man comes to grips at once with his karma and with a providential will which, ultimately, is more his own than what he currently experiences, on a superficial level, as "his own will." It is in surrendering a false and illusory liberty on the superficial level that man unites himself with the inner ground of reality and freedom in himself which is the will of God, of Krishna, of Providence, of Tao.

These concepts do not all exactly coincide, but they have much in common. It is by remaining open to an infinite number of unexpected possibilities which transcend his own imagination and capacity to plan that man really fulfills his own need for freedom. The Gita, like the Gospels, teaches us to live in awareness of an inner truth that exceeds the grasp of our thought and cannot be subject to our own control. In following mere appetite for power, we are slaves of our own appetite. In obedience to that inner truth we are at last free.

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Mayapur Online: GBC Meeting Report #5

The GBC deputies began the eighth day of the Annual General Meeting of ISKCON's Governing Body Commission with another session of voting. GBC members discussed and voted on GBC Ministry and GBC Committee member appointments, such as the Minister of Book Distribution, Minister of Education, and Guru Services Committee members.

A report was also given by Praghosa dasa on behalf of Mayapur management.

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Manorama dasa: Torkos csütörtök

Govinda étterem

A Magyar Turizmus Zrt idén is meghirdette a Torkos Csütörtök napot, amikor is 1300 étterem ajánlja féláron termékeit. Természetesen a Govinda Éttermek is csatlakoztak a kezdeményezéshez. Felkészültünk a nagy rohamra, a konyhánkban a szokásosnál többszörös mennyiségű ételt készítünk. Ha van kedved ugorj be hozzánk :)

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