lunes, 15 de marzo de 2010

Madhava Ghosh dasa, New Vrndavan, USA: A Promise to Be Ethical in an Era of Immorality


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"Planet ISKCON" - 23 new articles

  1. ISKCON Melbourne, AU: April Pancanga Bhakti Seminars
  2. Gaura Yoga, NZ: Sustainability Month at Gaura Yoga
  3. Japa Group: Worshipping Lord Nityananda
  4. ISKCON Toronto, Canada: Sunday Feast Recording - March 14, 2010
  5. ISKCON Toronto, Canada: Deity Darshan: Sunday, March 14, 2010
  6. ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Daily Class - Yamuna Lila Mataji
  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. Japa Group: Steer Your Thinking To The Sound
  16. Nityananda Chandra Das, Dallas TX: TEXAS FAITH 25: What's the role of religion in public education?
  17. Madhava Ghosh dasa, New Vrndavan, USA: A Promise to Be Ethical in an Era of Immorality
  18. David Haslam, UK: Does the dhoti color matter? (my half inch of expression)
  19. ISKCON ISKCON Scholar's Tour Could Spark Change in Indian Educational System
  20. Bhakti Lata, Alachua, USA: Radha Madan Mohan, Gaura Purnima
  21. Yoga of Ecology, Bhakta Chris, USA: Country Getaway: New Vrindaban Looking For Landscape Assistance
  22. Shilanyas at ISKCON Guwahati Assam
  23. H.H. Devamrita Swami: Monk Apprentices in the Wild West? Part 1
  24. More Recent Articles
  25. Search Planet ISKCON

ISKCON Melbourne, AU: April Pancanga Bhakti Seminars

April in Melbourne brings the Panchanga Bhakti seminars.

The panchanga (five primary limbs of sadhana bhakti) are: association with devotees; chanting the holy name; reading Srimad-Bhagavatam regularly; residing in Mathura, the birthplace of Krishna; and worshiping the Deity with great respect and veneration.

Caitanya Mahaprabhu says,

'These five limbs of devotional service are the best of all. Even a slight performance of these five awakens love for Krishna.' (spoken to Sanatana Goswami, cited in Caitanya Caritamrta Madhya 22.129)

The seminars will be facilitated by Mother Narayani. Narayani is a disciple of Srila Prabhupada and a Vrindavana Institute of Higher Education lecturer. Please take advantage of her visit to Melbourne Mahaprabhu Mandir to hear about these essential processes of sadhana bhakti. Classes will run from 7-9pm., Wednesday the 14th. to Saturday the 17th. of April.

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Gaura Yoga, NZ: Sustainability Month at Gaura Yoga

Sustainability Month

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Japa Group: Worshipping Lord Nityananda

Hare Krsna my dear devotees, I hope your week of chanting has been blessed with nice realisations and also that you were able to focus on the sound vibration of the names.
Today was the cooking service day, so I woke up early chanted some rounds and started preparing everything for the offering of the day, the boys helped me bathing the Deities and doing the arati, we still have this mercy of growing our own spicies and flowers for Krsna. We offered a beautiful jasmine flower and cooked with rosemary, basil, coriander and mint from our garden.

I made sure that the boys chanted their rounds before starting the service so they could be more prepared to worship the Lordships with their hearts opened and dedicated to the service. All the cooking was peaceful and nice - we prepared everything on time and all looked very tasty. The Deities had some aromatic rice, lentills dhal, cake with lemon cream on the top and a zuchinni lasagna. I could understand how important is to serve Krsna in association of devotees.
By the association of devotees we can become more focused on chanting and understand some things about our spiritual path. We are all in different levels of service and only Krsna really knows our hearts, we can't judge other persons service or advancement....that's why we need to offer service and respect to everyone so we can be free from offenses that will impede our chanting to develop.

I still have this bad habit of observing and judging - even if it's without noticing I do....maybe because of my teacher's side, I like correcting and changing things in others into my own style and this is not right. We do have a lot to learn from others, specially devotees and when we need them....they will always be there for us. When we chant with attention we perceive this in ourselves. We tend to offer more respect to others because we know devotees are important to our spiritual life and that we can develop our love for Krsna through service towards the vaisnavas. In order to improve this mood of service I got a verse from Sri Nityanandastakam that describe the glories of Lord Nitai and how we should approach devotees.

"I perpetually worship Sri Nityananda, the root of the tree of krishna-bhakti, who is very dear to the son of Saci devi and who is worshiped by the entire universe. He is the embodiment of happiness and out of infinite mercy he is chanting the holy names of Lord Hari, thus delivering the souls drowning in the age of Kali and eradicating the swelling false pride of the ocean of repeated birth and death."
Sri Nityanandastakam 3

May Lord Nityananda bestow His shining rays of mercy towards us so we can develop our love for Krsna and chant the holy names with deep affection and proper respect. All glories to Harinam Sankirtan and All glories to the assembled devotees of the Lord that devotee their lives to this preaching.

your servant,

Aruna devi

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ISKCON Toronto, Canada: Sunday Feast Recording - March 14, 2010

Unfortunately, due to technical issues, we were able to record only the first 45 minutes of the special Sunday Feast with Vaisesika das. We hope to resolve this issue soon. Also, we will be posting the recordings of his special Bhagavatam classes soon, so please stay tuned for that!

Please click here to watch the short Sunday Feast Recording.

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ISKCON Toronto, Canada: Deity Darshan: Sunday, March 14, 2010

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ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Daily Class - Yamuna Lila Mataji

ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Daily Class - Yamuna Lila Mataji - Srimad Bhagavatam 11.18.25

SB 11.18.25: One in the vānaprastha order of life should always practice taking charity from others, for one is thereby freed from illusion and quickly becomes perfect in spiritual life. Indeed, one who subsists on food grains obtained in such u humble manner purifies his existence.

SB 11.18.25: Uno en la orden de vida de vānaprastha debe practicar siempre el tomar la caridad de otros, porque de ese modo se libera de la ilusión y llega a estar rápidamente perfecto en vida espiritual. De hecho, uno que subsiste de los granos alimenticios obtenidos de tal humilde manera, purifica su existencia.

Srimad Bhagavatam 11.18.25 - The final stages of life is a time to intensify our service to the Supreme Lord.

Posted by Kanapathy Ramasamy at 15/3/10; 8:28:21 AM to the dept


ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Daily Class - Yamuna Lila Mataji - Srimad Bhagavatam 11.18.25

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1949 March 14: "Some way or other your mill area has been named as the Jagannatha Puri and I suggest that an actual temple of Sri Jagannathaji may be erected for the benefit of these mill workers."

Prabhupada Letters :: 1947-64

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1966 March 14: "I have lost today the good fountain pen given to me by Gopal. I am very sorry for this but I should not lament because it was given by somebody and it is taken by somebody else."

Prabhupada Letters :: 1966

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1967 March 14: "They are never for public show. They are very confidential and meant for advanced devotees who know Krishna fairly well. The neophytes will be misguided by such pictures. I hope you will understand me right."

Prabhupada Letters :: 1967

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1969 March 14: "There is no material advancement here, I am seeing practically. The Western type of civilization, industrialism and capitalism, is not material advancement. It is material exploitation."

Prabhupada Letters :: 1969

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1970 March 14: "I am very happy your son is growing strong and blissful. That is good news. We need as many Krishna Conscious souls as possible, trained from the very beginning of their lives, to carry on our mission and purify society."

Prabhupada Letters :: 1970

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1972 March 14: "Proceed Vrindaban immediately. Await instructions. Bhaktivedanta Swami."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1972

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1974 March 14: "As he is their elder, they should show the proper respect. It is sometimes difficult for elderly people to live in our ISKCON society, so you have to make it as congenial as possible for them."

Prabhupada Letters :: 1974

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1975 March 14: "It appears these scientists have become intelligent. Try to meet with them and make arrangement for them to meet with me when I come for Rathayatra. That will be nice."

Prabhupada Letters :: 1975

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Japa Group: Steer Your Thinking To The Sound

What if you think of the day's devotional service when chanting your rounds? It is not so easy to stop the flow of our thoughts. So better you are thinking of devotional service than maya. But as far as possible try to steer your thinking back to the sound vibration of the holy name. Then after such absorption in chanting you can go forth to your day's activities in the best condition.
From Japa Reform Notebook by SDG
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Nityananda Chandra Das, Dallas TX: TEXAS FAITH 25: What's the role of religion in public education?

Dallas Morning News,

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

Texas' State Board of Education is no stranger to controversy. One of the most watched races in the Texas primaries on March 2 was the Republican contest between incumbent SBOE member Don McLeroy and challenger Thomas Ratliff. Ratliff prevailed, in part because he campaigned on the idea that the board shouldn't get into cultural war debates over issues like teaching evolution.
The 15-member elected panel also was the subject of a New York Times Magazine cover story last month. Dr. McLeroy and Cynthia Dunbar, a lawyer who's also getting off the board, made their case in the piece that they thought America was founded by Christian leaders and put together with Christian precepts. They want students to know that so they can take that knowledge with them as they become leaders of future generations.

I'm not here to argue whether America was founded by Christian leaders and with biblical precepts. But what I would like us to debate is this issue:

What role should religion play in public education?

Read on for our panelist' thoughts:

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

For this week's answer, I want to draw upon the wisdom of an associate of mine Dr. Howard Resnick. (HH Hridayananda Das Goswami) He holds a PhD in Sanskrit and Indian Studies from Harvard University. Here is how he has framed this issue:

Undoubtedly, religion has played a fundamental role in human history, and schools should not hide or censor this fact. Also, America is a diverse country with many religions, and students must know basic facts about important religions in order to function as informed citizens. This is about information, not preaching or favoring one religion over another.

At times, the court system is irrationally paranoid about curriculum. For example, some form or other of intelligent design theory is an ancient philosophical position, and not necessarily religious. Of course many religions espouse intelligent design, but the theory itself, stripped of any specific religious doctrine, clearly is a philosophical, not a religious, theory and therefore cannot be banned or censored in schools.

Finally, we know that children must learn 'values' in school or many of them eventually harm society and themselves. Yet values are metaphysical, they are not physical facts.

For example, democracy is based on a religious idea, namely equality. All of empirical science tells us that equality is nonsense, we are all unequal -- artistically, athletically, intellectually, financially etc etc. Yet our entire political and social system is based upon a metaphysical belief for which there is no 'scientific' evidence -- equality of all people.

Thus certain moral and ethical principles are necessary to have a civilized society at all.

Again, the fact that this or that religion also teaches it does not make it automatically

'religious' in nature."

Hare Krishna :)
Your humble servant,
Nityananda Chandra Das
To see all the responses from the Texas Faith Panel click here

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Madhava Ghosh dasa, New Vrndavan, USA: A Promise to Be Ethical in an Era of Immorality

In my opinion, the last word, the final word and therefore the most important word, in the Bhagavad-Gita is “morality”. We can abandon all varieties of religion, but morality is essential.

“Wherever there is Krsna, the master of all mystics, and wherever there is Arjuna, the supreme archer, there will also certainly be opulence, victory, extraordinary power, and morality. That is my opinion.”

Bhagavad-Gita 18.78

When a new crop of future business leaders graduates from the Harvard Business School next week, many of them will be taking a new oath that says, in effect, greed is not good.

Nearly 20 percent of the graduating class have signed "The M.B.A. Oath," a voluntary student-led pledge that the goal of a business manager is to "serve the greater good." It promises that Harvard M.B.A.'s will act responsibly, ethically and refrain from advancing their "own narrow ambitions" at the expense of others.

What happened to making money?

That, of course, is still at the heart of the Harvard curriculum. But at Harvard and other top business schools, there has been an explosion of interest in ethics courses and in student activities — clubs, lectures, conferences — about personal and corporate responsibility and on how to view business as more than a money-making enterprise, but part of a large social community.

"We want to stand up and recite something out loud with our class," said Teal Carlock, who is graduating from Harvard and has accepted a job at Genentech. "Fingers are now pointed at M.B.A.'s and we, as a class, have a real opportunity to come together and set a standard as business leaders."

At Columbia Business School, all students must pledge to an honor code: "As a lifelong member of the Columbia Business School community, I adhere to the principles of truth, integrity, and respect. I will not lie, cheat, steal, or tolerate those who do." The code has been in place for about three years and came about after discussions between students and faculty.

In the post-Enron and post-Madoff era, the issue of ethics and corporate social responsibility has taken on greater urgency among students about to graduate. While this might easily be dismissed as a passing fancy — or simply a defensive reaction to the current business environment — business school professors say that is not the case. Rather, they say, they are seeing a generational shift away from viewing an M.B.A. as simply an on-ramp to the road to riches.

Those graduating today, they say, are far more concerned about how corporations affect the community, the lives of its workers and the environment. And business schools are responding with more courses, new centers specializing in business ethics and, in the case of Harvard, student-lead efforts to bring about a professional code of conduct for M.B.A.'s, not unlike oaths that are taken by lawyers and doctors.

"I don't see this as something that will fade away," said Diana C. Robertson, a professor of business ethics at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. "It's coming from the students. I don't know that we've seen such a surge in this activism since the 1960s. This activism is different, but, like that time, it is student-driven."

A decade ago, Wharton had one or two professors who taught a required ethics class. Today there are seven teaching an array of ethics classes that Ms. Robertson said were among the most popular at the school. Since 1997, it has had the Zicklin Center for Business Ethics Research. In addition, over the last five years, students have formed clubs around the issues of ethics that sponsor conferences, work on microfinance projects in Philadelphia or engage in social impact consulting.

"It's been a dramatic change," Ms. Robertson added. "This generation was raised learning about the environment and raised with the idea of a social conscience. That does not apply to every student. But this year's financial crisis and the downturn have brought about a greater emphasis on social ethics and responsibility."

At Harvard, about 160 from a graduating class of about 800 have signed "The M.B.A. Oath," which its student advocates contend is the first step in trying to develop a professional code not unlike the Hippocratic Oath for physicians or the pledge taken by lawyers to uphold the law and Constitution.

Part of this has emerged by the beating that Wall Street and financiers have taken in the current economic crisis, which can set the stage for reform, Harvard students say.

"There is the feeling that we want our lives to mean something more and to run organizations for the greater good," said Max Anderson, one of the pledge's organizers who is about to leave Harvard and take a job at Bridgewater Associates, a money management firm.

"No one wants to have their future criticized as a place filled with unethical behaviors," he added. "We want to learn from those mistakes, do things differently and accept our duty to lead responsibly. Realistically, we have tremendous potential to affect society for better or worse. Let's humbly step up. We are looking out for our own interest, but also for the interest of our employees and the broader public."

Bruce Kogut, director of the Sanford C. Bernstein & Company Center for Leadership and Ethics at Columbia, said that this emphasis did not mean that students were necessarily going to shun jobs that paid well. Rather, they will think about how they earn their income, not just how much.

At Columbia, an ethics course is required, but students have also formed a popular "Leadership and Ethics Board," that sponsors lectures with topics like "The Marie Antoinettes of Corporate America."

"The courses make people aware that the financial crisis is not a technical blip," Mr. Kogut said. "We're seeing a generational change that understands that poverty is not just about Africa and India. They see inequities and the role of business to address them."

Dalia Rahman, who is about to leave Harvard for a job with Goldman Sachs in London, said she signed the pledge because "it takes what we learned in class and makes it more concrete. When you have to make a public vow, it's a way to commit to uphold principles."

Filed under: News, Ramblings or Whatever
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David Haslam, UK: Does the dhoti color matter? (my half inch of expression)

What’s in a dress? Several weeks ago I was listening to a class from Soho Street and the devotee talked very briefly on the fact he has a couple of inch’s on his dhoti, were as bramacarya life doesn’t even offer you that amount of expression. My mind had not contemplated that I had a small couple [...]

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ISKCON ISKCON Scholar's Tour Could Spark Change in Indian Educational System

By Madhava Smullen on 14 Mar 2010
A recent lecture tour of India by ISKCON scholar Radhika Ramana Dasa (Dr. Ravi Gupta) could lead to the introduction of religious studies into Indian university level education.
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Bhakti Lata, Alachua, USA: Radha Madan Mohan, Gaura Purnima

My dear friend and roommate, Shalagram Shila, used to dress Radha Damodar in Gita Nagari. So on Gaura Purnima morning, I invited her to come dress Radha Madan Mohan with me.
She dressed Radha.
I dressed Madan Mohan.

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Yoga of Ecology, Bhakta Chris, USA: Country Getaway: New Vrindaban Looking For Landscape Assistance

Due to a forceful winter, there is a lot of "getting ready" needed before the opening of New Vrindaban's Pilgrimage Season, which kicks off with Festival of Inspiration (May 7,8,9th).

Our wonderful landscaper, Matreiya das, is an aging trooper who could use the help of a couple younger folks.

Time frame is as soon as possible. Depending on the duration of your commitment, you will receive room, board, basic needs plus free attendance to Festival of Inspiration.

Experience in landscaping is nice but not a requirement. A valid driver's license would be helpful, but not a "must." What is a "must" is that you are willing to follow the regulative principals and go shoulder to shoulder alongside Maitreya. You can count on learning a few things and pleasing Their Lordships, Radha Vrindaban Chandra as well as seeing the results of your seva unfold.

References required. Depending on location, travel assistance may be available.

Contact: or 304-845-9591 and ask for Malati dasi or Bhaktin Rita.

Email to a friendRelated Shilanyas at ISKCON Guwahati Assam

By Basu Ghosh Das

On the auspicious day of papamochani ("freedom from sins") ekadashi, Thursday, March 11, 2010, the Governor of Assam, His Excellency Sri Janakivallabh Patnaik, launched the efforts to construct a new Jagannath temple, on a fifteen thousand square foot property at Jaynagar Charali Beltola, Guwahati, Assam, donated to ISKCON by Smt. Shantidevi Kamikya Prasad Sharma

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H.H. Devamrita Swami: Monk Apprentices in the Wild West? Part 1

For progressive human beings, the classic Vedic social and occupational system designates at least the first part of a man's life for training as a celibate student, a monk in training, a brahmachari. When human society still had some notion of virtue, integrity, and sense-control, the social advantages for the entire human population were quite obvious. Srila Prabhupada gives a succinct overview in a Bhagavatam purport:

"The main purpose of ashrama-dharma is to awaken knowledge and detachment. The brahmachari asrama is the training ground for the prospective candidates. In this ashrama it is instructed that this material world is not actually the home of the living being. The conditioned souls under material bondage are prisoners of matter, and therefore self-realization is the ultimate aim of life. The whole system of ashrama-dharma is a means to detachment. One who fails to assimilate this spirit of detachment is allowed to enter into family life with the same spirit of detachment. Therefore, one who attains detachment may at once adopt the fourth order, namely, renounced, and thus live on charity only, not to accumulate wealth, but just to keep body and soul together for ultimate realization. Household life is for one who is attached, and the vanaprastha and sannyasa orders of life are for those who are detached from material life. The brahmachari-asrama is especially meant for training both the attached and detached." (S. bhag. 1:9:26)

In Part 2 we'll get back to that last statement, about the best training for all men, but for now let's think about the Wild West, where civilization would be a good idea. Is brahmachari life possible, outside of India? Is a concentrated program for men's walking the talk that the material world is not our home feasible in this century? Looking at the number of real brahmachari ashrams in Western ISKCON, one certainly has grounds for doubts. I'm not speaking of temples where a young man happens along who gets it in his head to "move in" or "join up," and then immediately he's clad in saffron, assigned a spot somewhere in the building, where he can fend for himself--until he becomes frustrated and leaves, to the wider congregation, or to marry, or to go away entirely.

For example, in all of the USA and Canada, where ISKCON has been established from its beginning in the sixties, now you can easily count the number of serious, dedicated brahmachari operations on just one hand. Down-under, where the distances are huge and the population small, you'd find two. Indeed, outside of India, brahmacharis in ISKCON have made it onto the list of endangered species. The social environment of the West during the past decades didn't help. Consider the intense careerism and the drive for money--that is, before the Great Recession hit--and the tsunami of wanton sensuality, especially the destructive lifestyles of the party, club, and drug scene so essential to contemporary urban life. Combine these woes with the reality that most ISKCON temples in the West have been unable to offer genuine brahmachari training for quite some time, and you can see the result at Sunday gatherings: a speck of saffron at best, amidst a sea of white kurtas, multi-colored saris, and conventional western attire.

Let us recall the original purpose of the classic Vedic social and occupational system. Revisiting the same Bhagavatam purport, we may note: "to accelerate transcendental qualities of the individual person so that he may gradually realize his spiritual identity and thus act accordingly to get free from material bondage, or conditional life." Brahmachari life is a highly focused career-calling, an accelerated intensive for attaining freedom from material existence. Unimpeded by the normal material priorities, pursuits, and ambitions, it offers a substantial swim in the endless ocean of selfless devotional service. Chop out of life that aim, to escape material bondage and climb aboard the spiritual plane, and I agree--entering brahmachari life makes no sense. Hence, to many Western eyes, it is incomprehensible. Last week in New Zealand a media controversy arose about a popular mega-church. At the top of the news articles, the prime controversies were paraded: a pastor pushy about getting money and who--God forbid--arranged, among his congregation, meetings for only men . . .

Sometimes even our own ISKCON devotees have difficulty grasping the contemporary importance of brahmachari life. That's understandable, I think, owing to the lack of serious, "purpose built and purpose driven" men's ashrams. Honestly, I do believe it better men live a lifestyle in the wider congregation, as an upstanding bachelor or householder, than they enter into a pseudo brahmachari situation, where--minus the critical elements of leadership, camaraderie, facility, and training--only the dye in the cloth is there to give support.

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