lunes, 8 de marzo de 2010

ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Daily Class - Kadamba Kanana Swami


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"Planet ISKCON" - 21 new articles

  1. ISKCON Toronto, Canada: Deity Darshan: Sunday March 8, 2010
  2. ISKCON Toronto, Canada: Sunday Feast Recordings - March 7, 2010
  3. ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Daily Class - Kadamba Kanana Swami
  4. HH. Satsvarupa das Goswami: 368
  5. Caitanya Mangala, CA, USA: Kuli Mela 2010 – New Mayapur, France
  6. Japa Group: Change The Temper Of The Mind
  7. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  8. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  9. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  10. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  11. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  12. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  13. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  14. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  15. Madhava Ghosh dasa, New Vrndavan, USA: Battery Farm For Cows: 8,000 Animals To Be Housed In Milk Factory
  16. Krishna Dharma dasa, UK: Time for real change
  17. Book Distribution News: Secret behind the Secret
  18. Yoga of Ecology, Bhakta Chris, USA: India's Holy Ganges To Get A Cleanup
  19. Bhakta Chris, New York, USA: No Time: A Disease Of The Common Man
  20. Hari Sauri das, Mayapura, IN: Australia 1974 — Jet-age parivrajakacarya
  21. Gouranga TV: Hare Krishna Kirtan – Aindra Das – Vrindavan – 9-11-2009 Part 3/3
  22. More Recent Articles
  23. Search Planet ISKCON

ISKCON Toronto, Canada: Deity Darshan: Sunday March 8, 2010

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ISKCON Toronto, Canada: Sunday Feast Recordings - March 7, 2010

The recording for this week's Sunday Feast can be viewed by clicking the image below.
As a reminder, the recordings from our weekly live web broadcasts are stored on our ISKCON Toronto Video Archive Blog.

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ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Daily Class - Kadamba Kanana Swami

Daily Class - Kadamba Kanana Swami - Srimad Bhagavatam 11.18.16

Class given on 07-03-2010
Srimad Bhagavatam 11.18.16 - Get the higher taste in the purifying activities of Krishna consciousness.
Posted by Kanapathy Ramasamy at 8/3/10; 8:25:14 AM to the Daily Class dept

Download: Daily Class - Kadamba Kanana Swami

SB 11.18.16: A saintly person should step or place his foot on the ground only after verifying with his eyes that there are no living creatures, such as insects, who might be injured by his foot. He should drink water only after filtering it through a portion of his cloth, and he should speak only words that possess the purity of truth. Similarly, he should perform only those activities his mind has carefully ascertained to be pure.

SB 11.18.16: Una persona santa debe caminar o poner su pie en la tierra solamente después de verificar con sus ojos que no haya criaturas vivas, tales como insectos, que pudieran ser dañadas por su pie. Él debe beber el agua solamente después que la filtre a través de un paño, y debe hablar solamente las palabras que poseen la pureza de la verdad. Semejante hombre, debe realizar solamente esas actividades que su mente ha comprobado cuidadosamente que son pura.

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HH. Satsvarupa das Goswami: 368

4:04 A.M

I woke up during the night with a headache at ten o'clock and subdued it. I got up from bed at 2:30 and began my chanting. I didn't try isolating the mantras the way Bhurijana Prabhu recommends. I can't seem to do it. My eyelids were heavy. But I pushed on and did rapid chanting in my mind. I heard the syllables and paid attention to them. I've chanted ten rounds so far, which is pretty good. But it has not been a very deep chanting with concentration on the pastimes of Radha and Krishna, what to speak of Their qualities and forms. At least I am chanting the names and deriving the greatest benefit. I hope to do the remainder of my rounds in a better condition after my shower.

Heavy eyelids but
speedy mantras, you
hang in there with
concentrated effort. My
head doesn't ache
but it's not clear awake.
The mantras roll in
like surf from the sea
and I count them accurately.
At this rate I will finish
my quota before too late
but I'll be chased by
heavy eyelids which is
not good japa. I
pray to improve and with determination I
will push on through to sixteen. Not the best,
not the worst,
you will have to
improve if you
wish to reach

Prabhupada Smaranam

Here are pictures of Prabhupada traveling in New York City. In 1965 he went out into the streets by himself. He took long walks just to acquaint himself with the city and he rode the buses and subways. Sometimes he went to bookstores like the "Orientalia" and placed his books there on consignment. They would pay him only if they sold the books. He survived the winter of 1965-66 without boots for the snows. One day he woke up and looked out the window and saw snow for the first time covering the side of the wall of a building. At first he thought it was whitewash but soon he walked outside in his rubber slippers to go shopping at the local small grocery. He kept accounts of his expenditures in a small record book. He had very little money and postage stamps to India—to his godbrothers and to possible donors asking for assistance—ate up considerably from his meager funds. He gathered some money from the sales of his books, but not much. He was poor and except for the hospitality of Doctor Misra who gave him a windowless studio to stay in, he was homeless. When he moved to the Bowery as a roommate to Mr. Paul, he didn't have to pay rent, but Mr. Paul's taking LSD drove Prabhupada out of the Bowery loft for his own safety. Only when he moved to 26 Second Avenue did more serious followers attend who donated from their salaries enough to pay his food and rent.

Factually, it was dangerous for Prabhupada to wander around Manhattan alone, and especially when he moved to the Bowery and took morning walks. Only in the second picture do we see him accompanied by a young companion. The young man is Gargamuni. Prabhupada used to playfully tease him for not shaving his head and for maintaining "Shakespearean locks." But Gargamuni was a loyal follower and he raised money for the temple by buying loose incense and packaging it and selling it in the head shops and in the temple. For his ability to raise money, Srila Prabhupada nicknamed him "Gargamoney". Here they are riding on a city bus. Prabhupada looks full faced, healthy, strong, and not very old. I once traveled alone with Prabhupada to see a lawyer on Chamber's Street for his immigration status. Walking in the crowded streets I commented, "The city is like a jungle. Except it has no snakes." Prabhupada quipped "What about Mr. Payne?" referring to a real estate man who had tried to cheat us out of five thousand dollars. On the bus going back to 26 Second Avenue I pulled the buzzer one block too early and Prabhupada corrected me. "You pulled it too soon. It is the next stop." I had lived in the city for three years but he knew his way around better than I did. In all things material and spiritual he was as sharp as a tack and could not be cheated, even by New Yorkers.

I Would Like to Be Your Poet

Low batteries, replace them, while you have new ones.
I am not about to die yet.

I can tell stories of Krishna.
He is not a make-believe
cottontail rabbit or
a horror figure in a
modern movie. He is
the truth all-pervading.

Yet He is a supreme person
with tenacity and charm
and friends and pastimes.
Once He walked off the
battlefield as Ranchor
and let the Yavana pursue
Him to the sleeping man's
cave where the Yavana burned
to ashes.

Once He was a tiny child and kicked the cart demon
with His little legs,
crashing the cart
to collapsing and causing the demon to die
and be delivered.

He used to love to give His
affection to the mothers in
the neighborhood so He went
to their houses and stole
their butter which caused
them delight and they
complained to mother

Krishna is janmady asya yataha,
the source of everything that
be. Radha is His source of
great enjoyment, His
hladini-sakti and from
Her emanates the universes
as stated in Vedanta-sutra
to those who know the secret.
She and Krishna share the
power and powerful.

I need to write poems
describing Krishna because
it's my life-breath. There's
nothing else to say. Writing
poems without the face and
form of Krishna is emptiness,
the field of void and bluff.

Krishna roams the world in
search of pleasure with His
pure devotees. They seek to
satisfy Him in every way. The
asuras deny Him and try
to take His sacrificial objects
of worship. Through the external
energy He punishes them for
their audacity until they
come to their senses in
one of their incalculable

Please be kind to me Lord,
and let me praise You
and never deny You or
slight Your holy name
and fame. I need You
to survive. I die without
You being pleased with me.

When You lifted Govardhana
Hill it was a great occasion
although easy for You.
When You killed the
Kauravas through Arjuna it
was the greatest war in
history but easy work
for You.

You are the supreme and
I am Your servant.
please never deny me my
place in Your entourage.

I have so little power
to praise You yet I want
to do it mightily. If
You could empower me
I'd make songs like
rainbows and thunderbolts
and sunny days, I'd
show how You reveal
Your beauty even through
the material nature and
I'd be able to point to
Goloka where Your
beauty is truly sublime.

I would like to be Your
poet and pray to gain the inspiration and
words to do it so
devotees could take
pleasure in my lines,
if you desire.

Here are pictures Antonio Machado partly described in his poems.
"I remember fields under snow,
and pine trees of other mountains.
And you, Lord, through whom we all
have eyes, and who sees souls,
tell us if we all one
day will see your face."

Free write

The beautiful nature scenes are incomplete without the vision of the Supreme Lord. A nature lover might say the pictures as they are contain the vision of the Lord and in a sense that is true. The man with outstretched appears to be worshiping the divine effulgence streaming in sunlight through the pines. The sun pouring down on the tumultuous ocean surf which crashes on the rocks is like the Brahman effulgence from the body of the Lord. Beauty in nature is a reflection of the personal beauty of God. In Bhagavad-gita Krishna says "For one who sees Me everywhere and sees everything in Me, I am never lost nor is he ever lost to Me." (Bhagavad-gita 6:30) Prabhupada writes of a pure devotee, "Such a person may appear to see all separate manifestations of the material nature, but in each and every instance he is conscious of Krishna, knowing that everything is a manifestation of Krishna's energy. At this stage, Lord Krishna never disappears from the sight of a devotee, nor does a devotee ever lose sight of the Lord." (Bhagavad-gita, 6:30 purport) So the pure devotee sees the form of Syamasundara in the material world being transformed.

But for ourselves, as neophytes, how much we have to strive and be sincere, and not bluff that we are seeing Krishna in the woods or in the surf. He is there but we can't see Him with our imperfect vision. The starting regimen for seeing Krishna everywhere is to chant His holy names. When this is done offenselessly, it leads to perceiving the qualities and finally the form of the Lord. We can also see Krishna now in worshipful reception of the arca-vigraha.

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Caitanya Mangala, CA, USA: Kuli Mela 2010 – New Mayapur, France

The Organizing Team for Kuli Mela 2010 – New Mayapur France is happy to officially announce the dates and place for this second European reunion, after the first successful gathering which took place in Radhadesh, Belgium in 2008.

This Kuli Mela will start on Wednesday, the 4th of August, arrival day, through Monday, the 9th of August 2010, departure day. The event shall take place in the special surroundings of New Mayapur, France, a community set around a historic castle on a site spreading over 80 hectares. In this place that Srila Prabhupada destined to self sufficiency and simple living, it seemed obvious to choose these values as symbols. Which is why the theme of the event will be: Ecology!

This gathering invites a great number of Gurukulis and Vaishnavas of all generations to a 6 day festival where seminars, workshops and conferences will be held to encourage encounters and reunions as well as discover the links that bring us together and share our experiences in an atmosphere of inspiration…

An “Open House” day in the spirit of the festival “L’Inde dans l’Indre” will be held on Sunday 8th August for neighbouring people to discover our movement in positive and summery circumstances in which they will attend the shows, walk around the “mini market,” and listen to bhajans and kirtans in the temple.

The achievement of this special event requires subsequent funds for the rental of the circus and other canvas tents for the shows and activities, shower and “dry toilet” settings to receive participants on the campsite arranged for the occasion, the rental of a sound system, as well as, of course, cooking up memorable feasts for all!

So we are appealing to your generosity to help the successful outcome of this project, by asking for a financial participation of your own choice. We thank you in advance.

Jai Shree Radhe!

The Organizing Team for Kulimela 2010 – New Mayapur France

General email:


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Japa Group: Change The Temper Of The Mind

Hare Krsna my dear devotees, I hope your week has been blessed with lots of nice realisations, service and peaceful chanting of the precious names of the Lord. I was thinking today how we are always trying hard to engage our minds in chanting and concentrating on the sound vibration of the holy names, actually we shouldn't think too much about the mind but just chant and hear, because by doing this our mind will be trained to concentrate and won't bother us with so many thoughts about what we should be doing - how, future, present, past and so on. Here is a nice quote from Srila Prabhupada about the mind, hope you like it.

It Is One's Mind that generates different kinds of bodies for suffering different kinds of material pangs. Therefore as long as the mind is absorbed in fruitive activities, the mind is understood to be absorbed in nescience, and thus one is sure to be subjected to material bondage in different bodies again and again until one develops a transcendental love for Godhead, Vasudeva, the Supreme Person. To become absorbed in the transcendental name, quality, form and activities of the Supreme Person, Vasudeva, means to change the temper of the mind from matter to absolute knowledge, which leads one to the path of absolute realization and thus frees one from the bondage of material contact and encagements in different material bodies.

Srimad Bhagavatam 2.9.36 purport

Engaging our minds in the chanting of the holy names facilitates and helps us to focus on the Lord's names and we know that this is the right consciousness for the time of death which can be anytime....we never know. My son said he was going to make my astrological chart in India, so I told him I didn't want to know when I was going to die and he told me, maybe its good because you can prepare yourself so I felt so scared, what will I be thinking of this day - will I be able to chant properly? Am I prepared to die now? Definitely not...I hardly concentrate when I am chanting, but I would like to become a nice chanter, serious and also improve in japa.

This is necessary in my spiritual advancement and also to my devotional service. For me it doesn't matter much when I am going to die, one day my gurudev said in a lecture that for a devotee this doesn't really matter, a devotee's service is eternal - here or everywhere he the main thing is to be able to develop this relationship with the Lord through chanting and obtain a taste for chanting by doing that we can be fearless because we are in Krsna and He is in us.

May we become so absorbed in chanting that we won't do anything else but wish the Lord's company through the sound vibration of the names.

your servant,

Aruna devi

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1966 March 7:
"Lord Chaitanya's Birthday. Seven ladies and gentlemen attended today's meeting. There was topics on Gita and Kirtan. The collection made out of contribution & books -- $28.00"
Prabhupada Journal :: 1966

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1967 March 7: "The interpretation that one has to be naked before the Lord is mayavada philosophy. The pictures are certainly unauthorized. In future before publishing any picture you must consult me."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1967

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1970 March 7: "Our students, either Brahmacari or Householder, are being trained up for constant engagement in Krsna Consciousness service without any personal interest. This is perfect order of Sannyas."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1970

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1970 March 7: "So in accordance with your recommendation, I have accepted him as my bona fide disciple. Please keep him nicely advancing in Krsna Consciousness under your guidance."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1970

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1972 March 7: "If outsiders want to send their children to us, it will not be for accreditation, but because they will get the best education for relieving them of all anxieties of material life."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1972

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1972 March 7: "Let the children learn our method of Krishna Consciousness by rising early, knowledge of Sanskrit, English, a little Mathematics, history, that's all. We haven't got to take any help from the government by getting so-called accreditation."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1972

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1973 March 7: "Meanwhile he can be encouraged to continue his literary contribution of articles, editing of the smaller books, etc. We shall see what he can do, and if at all possible he should be brought back to the standard."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1973

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1973 March 7: "Four things can be surrendered: Our life, our words, our intelligence, and our money. So just try to gradually engage these things in Krishna's Service."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1973

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Madhava Ghosh dasa, New Vrndavan, USA: Battery Farm For Cows: 8,000 Animals To Be Housed In Milk Factory

By David Derbyshire

A factory farm housing more than 8,000 ‘battery cows’ will be built in the English countryside.

Under the controversial plans, Britain’s largest ever dairy herd will be kept in industrial-scale sheds with little access to pasture or sunshine.

The cows will be milked around the clock to produce 430,000 pints each day - while their slurry will be recycled to generate power for the national grid.

automatic milking shed
No room to move: An automatic milking shed

The complex is the first ’supersize’ cattle factory planned for Britain and follows growing concerns about the spread of ‘zero-grazing’ farming.

Justin Kerswell, of animal rights group Viva, said: ‘This is factory farming - and it blows out of the water the pastoral image the dairy industry likes to portray.’

The £40million farm will be built near Nocton, Lincolnshire, later this year. It will have eight hangars for 8,100 cattle and two 24-hour milking parlours.

The animals, fed on fodder, will spend most of their days inside where they will stand and sleep on sand rather than pasture.

Pugh cartoon

And they will be milked three times a day, while a typical dairy cow is milked just twice.

Waste will be removed each day and fed into an anaerobic generator to produce enough electricity for more than 2,000 homes.

Robert Howard, a farmer behind the Nocton Dairies project, said the farm will be the largest in Western Europe and help the dairy industry compete against imports.

‘Campaigners think cows should be like in the Anchor butter advert, with 50 to 100 cows dancing in a field,’ he said. ‘It is a lovely idea, but not the reality.’

His colleague Peter Wiles said the cows would have access to open pasture when they were not producing milk. The sheds would have open sides, he added.

‘We will have a visitor centre to show the public around,’ he said. ‘We are aiming to have exceptional standards.’

The company’s website played down the industrial scale of the farm, saying: ‘The layout is designed so the cows get plenty of exercise and fresh air.

‘A vet will be on site 24 hours a day, seven days a week to support the trained dairy staff in their daily inspections of every single cow to check they are healthy and happy.’

But animal campaigners are fighting the plans. Linda Wardale, of the group Vegan Lincs, said the conditions would be akin to ‘ battery farming for cows’.

‘Cows should be in the fields, nibbling on grass, but here they’re going to keep them in sheds,’ she added.

cows in a field
Open air: Campaigners say cows should be free to roam in fields, not in a factory

And Patrick Holden, an organic dairy farmer and director of the Soil Association, said the farm was a wake-up call.

‘Will consumers be happy to know that they are drinking the milk from one of 8,100 cows that will never get out to grass?’ he asked.

‘There is also a greater risk of disease - and the spread of new diseases, as we saw with BSE.’

In addition, the move away from family farming would make Britain more vulnerable to rises in energy prices and trade crises, he added.

The Nocton Dairies’ farmers hope to have planning permission by the end of next month and milk the first cow by September.

Filed under: Cows and Environment
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Krishna Dharma dasa, UK: Time for real change

"The only constant is change." In this world that is certainly true. Nothing stays the same, not even for a moment. All things are forever moving from one state to another. In the case of political parties and leaders that often seems to be from a state of grace to one of disgrace. Sooner or later we will inevitably tire of them and elect someone else.

Those therefore hoping for election often campaign on the word 'change'. "Change we can believe in," was Barack Obama's rallying cry, and now here in the UK the Conservative party are urging us to "Vote for Change." Even Prime Minister Gordon Brown at the recent Labour party conference declared that his party would be the "change makers" for the "many and not the few".

It's a good platform. We all want change, an improvement to our present situation. It is a rare person who is content. Most of us are striving to make things better, our finances, job, homes, health, relationships, peace of mind or whatever. It seems to be human nature to be dissatisfied with our lot, no matter how good it may be.

What do we really want though? What are we looking for? When will we finally stop struggling to change our lives? According to Vedic wisdom we are trying to get back to our original true nature, which is eternal, blissful and full of knowledge. However, we face an uphill battle as this world is described as being intrinsically the very opposite; temporary, miserable and full of ignorance. Hence science, technology, industry, indeed human endeavour in every field never ceases to embrace change as we strive to attain the unattainable.

No matter how hard we try to secure our situation and make it permanent, through building solid houses, good healthcare, strong defences and whatever, eventually everything will fall apart and we ourselves will die. "All valiant dust that builds on dust." We may work hard to achieve a state of uninterrupted bliss, but it will be always marred by the onset of diseases, anxiety, disasters, wars, and an inventive array of miseries we inflict upon one another. And our endeavours to attain knowledge will be never ending, for there is no end to our ignorance. As it is said, the more we know the more we realise we don't know. But we want to know. Information or knowledge - the 'news' - is thrust at us from all sides these days, day and night. It seems we can't get enough.

Leaders then have a real struggle on their hands to satisfy the people they lead. Unless, that is, they base their policies upon an understanding of our real spiritual nature, and how we can be restored to that happy condition.

This knowledge is given in the Bhagavad-gita. First of all Krishna explains that the main change confronting us is the changing body. It is constantly transforming and bound for ultimate destruction, but the soul, the person within, is not. Through all the external changes the soul remains the same. We all have experience of our body growing through so many stages, but we know that we are still the same person. Knowing this unchanging person is self-realisation, or realising our true nature.

That is the change we need, that our leaders should lead us toward; changing our consciousness. Right now we are absorbed in bodily consciousness, identifying with so many temporary designations that pertain only to the destructible body. Hence we suffer, as we also identify with all the miseries that attend the body. It is only when we are free of this false consciousness that we become free of suffering, which means reinstated in our constitutionally joyful condition.

We are not meant to suffer, and hence our never ending battle to overcome misery in all its unwanted forms. Leaders always claim that they will somehow alleviate our suffering and increase our happiness, and allured by this promise we give them our vote. But until they understand how to move us toward pure spiritual awareness they will always fall short on their promises.

They need only turn to the Gita. Krishna explains that we can attain our spiritual nature by approaching him, the Supreme Spirit. One Vedic text says, "Come out of the darkness and into the light, out of ignorance and into knowledge." Krishna is compared to the brilliant sun and when we approach him the darkness of ignorance and forgetfulness is completely dissipated. Just as the sunlight purifies all contamination so the brilliance of God purifies our contaminated consciousness and we shine forth as our eternal ecstatic selves.

How to make such an approach is also explained by Krishna. "Do everything as an offering to me, for my pleasure, while always thinking of me." That's Krishna's campaign slogan. A bit different from the usual message of course, which always entails somehow increasing our own pleasure, but that's the point, before we can please ourselves we need to know who we are. If we are not the changing body there's no point simply trying for bodily pleasure. As eternal beings we are a part of the Supreme, and his pleasure is automatically ours. The closer we get to Krishna the closer we get to our real self, our eternal identities as pure spiritual beings, full of bliss and knowledge.

Somehow I doubt that our leaders' enthusiasm for change will encompass any change in consciousness. Except that we become conscious of their undoubted eligibility for our vote. But until they incorporate Krishna's message into their manifestos we will be voting for more of the same, changing only from one state of dissatisfaction to another.

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Book Distribution News: Secret behind the Secret

Jadu Thakur Prabhu a devotee in the Brahamchari Trainee group of Sri Sri Radha Gopinath Mandir, Chowpatty recalls this interesting experience from last year's Marathon:

I was distributing books in the train with Pitambar Prabhu, when I saw this man reading a book. He was so absorbed in reading that he just looked up for a split second to see what Pitambar Prabhu was announcing and immediately went back to his book. I edged closer and saw that it was the bestseller, Secrets. I had read an article in BTG about this book. It is about desiring something so badly that eventually the cosmos arranges it for us. Although very simplistic in approach, the book is widely popular. I went to the man and said, "Excuse me sir, may I have a moment, please?" He looked up. "I see that you are very interested in this book. It is nice to see someone so spiritual." He smiled. "But," I continued, "There is a fundamental flaw in this book." "What is it?" he asked. "It ignores a very basic law of this cosmos-the law of karma. You see, so many people in this world want things, some of them really do so desperately-they may even pray for them-yet they do not get them. Do you know similar people from your life?" He pondered for a moment, and then nodded in affirmation. "Why don't they get the things that they so badly desire for?" Everyone wants happiness and no one wants distress. Yet we don't get happiness all the time and we keep on getting distress. Who decides this allocation of joy and sorrow? Is our quota of pain and pleasure destined by some higher authority, or is it under our control?" He was listening intently. "Here is a book," I handed him 'Laws of Nature,' that explains karma in a lucid and simple way. It teaches you the laws that bind us and what is the process that will free us. Give it a try. It will teach you the real secret of success, and even give you a mantra for achieving it." He took the book gave a donation and asked for my phone number. (Text D:2263015) -------------------------------------------

------- End of Forwarded Message ------

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Yoga of Ecology, Bhakta Chris, USA: India's Holy Ganges To Get A Cleanup

By KRISHNA POKHARELFrom The Wall Street Journal
VARANASI, India—More than a million devout Hindus bathed in the Ganges River Friday, braving the risk of terrorist attack, stampede and petty crime for the chance to wash away the sins of a lifetime and open the gateway to heaven after death.

But perhaps the greatest threat to the devotees who flocked to Haridwar, India, on one of the most auspicious days of the triennial Kumbh Mela festival, was the water itself.

The river is intensely polluted with sewage and industrial waste. Water-treatment facilities have been unable to keep up with India's rapid growth, often held back by a shortage of funds and other resources.

A dip in the Ganges River in India is believed by devotees to wash away all sins. But increasingly it has become heavily polluted with sewage and industrial waste. Now, a $4 billion government program aims to clean the river.

Now, the spiritually cleansing waters of the Ganges are about to get some cleaning of their own. The Indian government has embarked on a $4 billion campaign to ensure that by 2020 no untreated municipal sewage or industrial runoff enters the 1,560-mile river.

Only 31% of municipal sewage in India undergoes treatment, according to the Central Pollution Control Board, a government agency in New Delhi, while the rest gets discharged into the country's rivers, ponds, land and seas, contaminating underground and surface waters. More than 500,000 of the 10.3 million deaths in India in 2004 resulted from waterborne diseases, according to the most recent comprehensive mortality data from the World Health Organization.

The filth in the Ganges holds special resonance for this majority-Hindu nation. The Ganges basin supports more than 400 million of India's 1.1 billion people, the majority of whom are Hindus, who revere the river as "mother" and "goddess."

The cleanup initiative, which is supported by the World Bank, includes the expansion of traditional treatment facilities and, for the first time in India, the introduction of innovative river-cleaning methods.

Veer Bhadra Mishra, a 70-year-old priest and hydraulics engineer in Varanasi, the holy city downstream from Haridwar, has been a prominent advocate of treatment methods used abroad but not yet in India. His plan: to introduce a system to divert sewage and effluents, before they enter the river, to a series of specially designed ponds, for treatment and ultimately to be used use in irrigation or directed back into the river.

His efforts were mired in court and by opposition from local bureaucrats. The bureaucrats had a "difference of opinion" with Mr. Mishra about the best way to clean the river, says Ramesh Singh, general manager of Ganga Pollution Control Unit, the local government body charged with running government treatment facilities in Varanasi.

Mr. Singh says the technologies already in use were time-tested and reliable, but suffered from a lack of trained manpower and proper infrastructure, and a shortage of funds for equipment maintenance.

Last summer, after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh identified cleaning up the river as a national priority, the government in New Delhi increased funding to operate and maintain conventional treatment facilities, and also approved Mr. Mishra's plan—giving $184,000 to his organization, the Sankat Mochan Foundation, for the design of a new sewage treatment plant.

The foundation is working with GO2 Water Inc., a Berkeley, Calif., wastewater-technology company. In the plan, 10.5 million gallons of sewage a day—13% of the daily output from Varanasi's 1.5 million people—will be intercepted daily at the riverbank, and diverted. In a nearby village, water will pass through a series of ponds, where sunlight, gravity, bacteria and microalgae will clean the water. A larger pond system is planned, to process 33% more of the city's sewage.

Olivier Culmann/Tendance Floue for The Wall Street Journal GANGA

Devout Hindus come from all over to cleanse themselves in the Ganges for the festival of Kumbh Mela, celebrated every three years. The government has started a massive campaign to clean up the polluted river itself.

The treatment system "will be the best solution for dealing with huge amount of domestic sewage being discharged into Gangaji and other rivers in India," Mr. Mishra said, using the honorific "ji" with the river's local name, Ganga.

In Haridwar, the National Botanical Research Institute is developing a wetland with local species of reeds to absorb the polluting elements from the wastewater, according to U.N. Rai, a scientist heading the project. Other wetlands will be developed in other areas "to ease the current pollution load in the river," Mr. Rai says.

The load is heavy. On a recent winter morning in Varanasi, lab technician Gopal Pandey descended the stone stairs of Tulsi Ghat, one of the holy city's 84 bathing platforms, to fetch some Ganges water for testing at the Sankat Mochan Foundation, an organization run by Mr. Mishra.

In the laboratory, Mr. Pandey found that each 100 milliliters of the river's waters were laden with 29,000 fecal coliform bacteria, which potentially cause disease. India says a maximum of 500 per 100 milliliters is safe for bathing in the river. Another sample from downstream, after the Ganges meets a tributary carrying a black mass of thick industrial effluents, showed 10 million bacteria—mostly E-coli—in the same amount of river water. Mr. Pandey's verdict: "The pollution is at very, very dangerous level."

Write to Krishna Pokharel at

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Bhakta Chris, New York, USA: No Time: A Disease Of The Common Man

In Union Square, Manhattan, on your average sankirtana afternoon, they rush and swoop and meander by, all shapes and colors and demeanor, all in a rush to be somewhere, perhaps to be nowhere.

"Excuse me sir, we're showing this wonderful book of spiritual wisdom, the Bhagavad-Gita....Sorry, I've got no time...I'm in a rush" Some mean it and apologize. Some walk by me at approximately .32 mph and say it, and I have to restrain myself to not point out their obvious lie to me.

It's certainly bewildering, and hopefully a little inspiring to help us knights of faith to keep on keeping on to find those not rushing into one abyss after another.

In the March 16, 1956 edition of Back To Godhead, Srila Prabhupada shares his own sankirtana observations of those with "no time."

No Time: A chronic disease of the common man

When we approach some gentleman and request him to become a reader of "Back to Godhead" sometimes we are replied with the words "NO TIME".

They say that they are too busy in earning money for maintaining the body and soul together.

But when we ask them what do they mean by the 'Soul', they have nothing to reply.

Dr. Meghnath Saha a great scientist was busily going to a meeting of the Planning Commission. Unfortunately while going in his car on the road he died and could not ask Death to wait because he had no time at that moment.

Dr. Ansari, the great Congress leader, while dying in a moving train, on his way to home, said that he was himself a medical man and almost all his family men were so, but Death is so cruel that he was dying without any medical treatment.

Therefore, Death has been described in the Bhagwat as (In Devanagari:) "durantavirya" or the indefatigable. Death is awaiting everyone although everybody thinks that he may not die. There is life after death. The busy man should try to know this also as to whither he is going.

This life is but a spot in his longest sojourn and a sane person should not be busy with a spot only. Nobody says that the body should not be maintained-but every body should know from "Bhagwat Geeta", that the body is the outward dress and the 'Soul' is the real person who puts on the dress. So if the dress is taken care of only, without any care of the real person-it is sheer foolishness and waste of time.

When God is served, everything is served. Because God is everything, but everything is not God. When something is served, everything is not served for something is not everything. It is something like pouring water at the root of the tree or filling the stomach with foodstuff. That is the standard of service.

In the 'Bhagwata Geeta' Shri Krishna said (Bg. 7.13-14):
"All the world is enchanted by the three modes of natural qualities and thus they don't know Me, behind all these phenomenon, who am the Supreme ever-existing Lord." "All these illusions are certainly amusing or transcendental and they are insurmountable also. But those who serve Me only-can overcome all these."

Nobody can go "Back to Godhead" or know Him as the Supreme Personality, because everyone is under the grip of the qualitative material nature. The material nature as she has three modes of qualities namely, goodness, passion and ignorance, even the highest intelligent person who may have possessed all the mundane good qualities, down to the lowest mass of people, mostly uneducated, lazy and overwhelmed with immense varieties of anxieties, none of them can know the Lord for the above reason.

The natural laws are so made that they appear before us as so many problems. They are stiff because of the three qualities. The qualities are said to be amusing because everyone is satisfied by the quality of his sense-enjoyment.

Beginning from the highest civilized man (a type of living being) down to the stool-eater Swine (another type of living being) everyone is satisfied by the object of sense gratification, even though they are all of different qualities.

A learned Brahmin who is said to be the highest qualitative living being in the mode of goodness, down to the dog or the dog-eater man, who is considered to be the lowest qualitative living being, everyone is captivated by his own qualitative nature. And as long as one is conditioned by different modes of nature one cannot know the Supreme Person the cause of all causes.

All of them are imprisoned by the different modes of qualitative shackles, one is bound up by the shackles of gold while the other is bound up by the shackles of iron.
The material nature is so powerful, that she can keep under her conditions, all such illusioned living being in different categories of material modes. As the prisoner cannot himself break the shackles by his own effort so also nobody can surmount the laws of nature by his own tiny effort.

No amount of plans either of five, ten, or thousands and millions of years can therefore bring in permanent happiness to us, unless and until we take up the plan of the Supreme Lord and execute it sincerely. That is called the Standard Service.
It is therefore essential that we should all take up immediately, the execution of the plan of Shri Krishna the Personality of Godhead by our standard service as chalked out in the lessons of "Bhagwat Geeta."

The wrong type of civilization, which is too much materialistic, is dragging the total population of the world gradually towards a fall down into the lowest status of conditioned life. Conditioned life means to be more and more entangled by the laws of physical nature. The function of the physical nature is explained above. And those who are too much enamored by such physical laws are called the Ashuras or the Atheist. The Atheist does not like to accept the Standard service which is recommended by the Supreme authority of the Personality of Godhead.

Such atheists, however they may be great religionists, scholars, scientists, politicians, philosophers, poets, artists, administrators, businessmen, lawyers, educationists etc., are befooled by the laws of nature and therefore they do not recognize the Supreme authority of the All-Powerful.

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Hari Sauri das, Mayapura, IN: Australia 1974 — Jet-age parivrajakacarya

In 1973 Srila Prabhupada had promised to attend the Melbourne Rathayatra. We had built two new rathas, but the main factor in attracting him to come was the prominence of the small Australian yatra in the book distribution listings. Inspired by Buddhimanta prabhu, (seen in this photo from NY July 1976 on the right holding the mrdunga)

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the Australians were leading the world in their attempts to spread Krsna consciousness and Srila Prabhupada therefore promised to attend the 1973 Rathayatra. Unfortunately he got sick in India and had to cancel:

My Dear Madhudvisa,
Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your letter dated May 29, 1973 and have noted the contents carefully.
So, everything is going on so nicely there. So many books are being distributed. There are good prospects for a new temple. You are going to introduce three rathas this year for Rathayatra. This is all very pleasing and inspiring to me. I would very much like to come there for Rathayatra, but now I am not in very good health, and it is the opinion of Tamal Krsna Maharaja, Bhavananda Maharaja, Jayapataka Maharaja and Jagadisa that it is best for me if I stay here for now so that I may get my health back. However, you may again invite me next year and, if Krsna wants, I will surely come there. Thank you very much.
>>> Ref. VedaBase => Letter to: Madhudvisa – Mayapur 12 June, 1973

Letter to: Madhudvisa – Mayapur 12 June, 1973

My Dear Madhudvisa,

Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your letter dated May 29, 1973 and have noted the contents carefully.

So, everything is going on so nicely there. So many books are being distributed. There are good prospects for a new temple. You are going to introduce three rathas this year for Rathayatra. This is all very pleasing and inspiring to me. I would very much like to come there for Rathayatra, but now I am not in very good health, and it is the opinion of Tamal Krsna Maharaja, Bhavananda Maharaja, Jayapataka Maharaja and Jagadisa that it is best for me if I stay here for now so that I may get my health back. However, you may again invite me next year and, if Krsna wants, I will surely come there. Thank you very much.”

Srila Prabhupada kept his promise the following year:

Letter to: Madhudvisa – Bombay 6 April, 1974

“I am presently fixing a traveling schedule for visiting Paris, France in the second week of May. Then I will visit, Geneva, Rome, Stockholm, and three or four cities in Germany, each place for no more than four or five days. So since I will not have to return to India until August, after Europe I can go to Australia for your Rathayatra if you can purchase our tickets. You can reply to me here in Bombay until the second week of May, when we shall go to Paris.”

Letter to: Jayatirtha – Bombay 5 May, 1974

“Regarding your invitation that I attend the Rathayatra festival in San Francisco, on July 7th, it is possible that I may attend depending on when I finish my European tour. I am due to arrive in Rome on May 23, then after a week Geneva, the Paris and possible Stockholm, Germany and England. If there is time I can fly directly from Europe to Los Angeles and go to the festival, then as you suggest, go to Australia Rathayatra via Hawaii. This is known as jet-age parivrajakacarya.”

He flew into Melbourne on June 25 1974 for his fourth trip to Australia with his secretary Satsvarupa Das Goswami. This time he only visited Melbourne whereas for his first three trips he had visited Sydney as well.

The Rathayatra on June 29 was glorious and Srila Prabhupada, after joining up with the rathas in the main city square, walked the whole route, terminating at the Royal Exhibition Gardens.

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above: Srila Prabhupada dances before the 15′ high murti of Lord Caitanya; Gopinatha Acarya plays kartalas

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on the parade: Buddhimanta’s forehead; Bhakta “Greek” George; Srila Prabhupada with secretary Satsvarupa das Goswami behind; my first wife Mohini-sakti dasi

The full glorious account of the parade, and Srila Prabhupada’s visit, is narrated by Kurma prabhu in his excellent book “The Great Transcendental Adventure.”

The rathas were taken right inside the main hall and Srila Prabhupada delivered his address from his vyasasana on the ratha.

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Satsvarupa Maharaja, Srila Prabhupada and Madhudvisa Swami

Apart from the Rathayatra, Srila Prabhupada followed his normal routine during his visit, going on walks in the Botanical Gardens

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Madhudvisa Swami; Sabhapati dasa; ?; Antaratma dasa; Srila Prabhupada

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Bhutanatha dasa; Srila Prabhupada; Satya dasi

and lecturing each morning at the temple at 14 Burnett Street, St. Kilda

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He also gave some wonderful lectures at several outside venues, such as this one at Ormond Hall Prahran

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Srila Prabhupada; Ugrasrava dasa

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I particularly remember the Ormond Hall engagement, which was held the day after the Rathayatra because the string broke on Srila Prabhupada’s karatals. Madhudvisa Swami, who was leading the kirtana, noticed and immediately handed Prabhupada his own kartals. He took a set of ‘whompers’ from me and gave me Srila Prabhupada’s karatals to re-string, all the while keeping the kirtana going. Srila Prabhupada noted his smooth management and mentioned it in a subsequent letter:

Letter to: Madhudvisa – Vrindaban 18 September, 1974

My Dear Madhudvisa Swami

Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your letter dated August 3rd, 1974 and have noted the contents. I have also received the enclosed pictures of the proposed house. I am thinking that you are a very sincere devotee. I am remembering that during my recent visit there in Australia how during the kirtana you were seeing to my personal and not letting anybody come forward and still leading the kirtana. When you begin the chanting, everybody becomes captivated, and you can go on without stopping. I feel happy that even after my departure, things will go on. I am happy that I have got so many sincere devotees who will carry on. That is my happiness.

I like Australia very much because of your book distribution. So sell books and secure money and purchase the house and pay BBT conveniently. …”

As for my own service, I was so spaced out that I failed to re-string Srila Prabhupada’s karatals and instead I simply kept them in my locker at the temple, procrastinating about the matter. One or two days later Srila Prabhupada was still waiting for his karatals to be returned and I had to ignominiously hand them back, the job still not done.

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