martes, 11 de mayo de 2010

Planet ISKCON - 35 new articles


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"Planet ISKCON" - 35 new articles

  1. Sita-pati dasa, AU: Prahlad painting
  2. Sita-pati dasa, AU: Maha Kirtan 1 Canberra after party
  3. ISKCON Toronto, Canada: Interpersonal Devotee Relationship Seminar - Recording
  4. ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Daily Class - Kesava Prabhu
  5. Sita-pati dasa, AU: Krishnapada's kirtan from Maha Kirtan in Canberra
  6. Sita-pati dasa, AU: Learn to play harmonium
  7. ISKCON Toronto, Canada: Sunday Feast Recording - May 9, 2010
  8. Ekendra dasa, AU: Bad Advertising
  9. Sita-pati dasa, AU: Sitapati's kirtan from Maha Kirtan 1 Canberra
  10. Rupa Madhurya das, TX, USA: Lecture - Guru-prasad Swami - CC Adi 2.30
  11. Bhakti Vikasa Swami: be convinced what kind of civilization we are trying to introduce
  12. Jahnavi, UK: Crunching in the Big Apple
  13. Akrura das, Gita Coaching: I CAN GET NO SATISFACTION
  14. H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: '432' from The Yellow Submarine
  15. H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: 'Reviving His Memory' from The Yellow Submarine
  16. H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: 'To Prabhupada' from The Yellow Submarine
  17. H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: 'Dramas for Krishna…' from The Yellow Submarine
  18. New Vrndavan, USA: Restoration of Srila Prabhupada's Palace
  19. Queen's day Harinam in Amsterdam
  20. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  21. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  22. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  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. H.H. Sivarama Swami: Caitanya-priya from Coventry asks
  29. Mukunda Charan das, SA: Chanting On Japa Mala: An Introduction To The Chanting Of Hare Krishna On Beads
  30. H.H. Sivarama Swami
  31. Kirtans in Oxford, UK: The Merry Month of May
  32. Japa Group: Becoming A Merciful Soul
  33. H.H. Sivarama Swami: Nature loss ‘to damage economies’
  34. Yoga of Ecology, Bhakta Chris, USA: The Crisis Comes Ashore
  35. Gouranga TV: Sacinandana Swami – Hare Krishna kirtan – Varshana japa retreat 2009
  36. More Recent Articles
  37. Search Planet ISKCON

Sita-pati dasa, AU: Prahlad painting

A couple of snapshots of Param Satya and Prahlad doing some painting.

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Sita-pati dasa, AU: Maha Kirtan 1 Canberra after party

After the Maha Kirtan had officially finished, kirtaniyas from Sydney and Melbourne, who met for the first time in Canberra, continued doing kirtan until late into the night. Here are a few moments that I managed to grab with my camera.

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ISKCON Toronto, Canada: Interpersonal Devotee Relationship Seminar - Recording

The recording for the seminar by HG Rohini Priya das 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 - Kesava Prabhu

Srimad Bhagavatam 11.20.21 - The best way to control the mind is harinama-sankirtana.

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Sita-pati dasa, AU: Krishnapada's kirtan from Maha Kirtan in Canberra

Here's Krishnapada's kirtan, again from Naveen's stereo recording:

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Sita-pati dasa, AU: Learn to play harmonium

A few people have asked me about learning to play harmonium lately.

Here are some websites:

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ISKCON Toronto, Canada: Sunday Feast Recording - May 9, 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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Ekendra dasa, AU: Bad Advertising

This photo amazes me. Factually, this is a very caring initiative where the workers at ISKCON's Mayapur center can bring their children for an education for which they may not otherwise get the opportunity. But the sign is a shocker. The look of the building and the sign combined make for really bad PR. I couldn't believe it when I saw it.

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Sita-pati dasa, AU: Sitapati's kirtan from Maha Kirtan 1 Canberra

Naveen recorded all of the Canberra MK1 kirtans on a Tascam stereo recorder. Additionally, Krishnapada has most of the kirtans recorded multitrack on his laptop. I'd say that soon cleaned up versions of the mp3s will be available as well as some mix-downs of the highlight kirtans of the day (doing that mix-down is quite time-intensive).

In the meantime, by popular demand, here is the recording of my 1:00pm kirtan, from Naveen's stereo recording.

This melody is a new one that I've been working on, and would like to sing at the 24 hour kirtan in New Vrndavan in June, Krishna willing. The third part was inspired by Tribhuvanesa's lunchtime kirtan, where he would sing a standard melody and change the chord voicings beneath it. Prema Yogi and Vrajadhama helped me with the structure of the kirtan.

A bunch of devotees came up from Melbourne, and Visnuji played mrdanga for me in this kirtan.

Visnuji playing mrdanga at MK1 Canberra

Special thanks also to Krishnapada and Gitanjali for singing backing vocals.

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Rupa Madhurya das, TX, USA: Lecture - Guru-prasad Swami - CC Adi 2.30

Lecture on Chaitanya Charitamrita, Adi Lila, Chapter 2, Text 30 by Guru-prasad Swami.

Dallas, TX


"O Lord of lords, You are the seer of all creation. You are indeed everyone's dearest life. Are You not, therefore, my father, Narayana? Narayana refers to one whose abode is in the water born from Nara [Garbhodakasayi Vishnu], and that Narayana is Your plenary portion. All Your plenary portions are transcendental. They are absolute and are not creations of maya."


This statement, which is from Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.14.14), was spoken by Lord Brahma in his prayers to Lord Krishna after the Lord had defeated him by displaying His mystic powers. Brahma had tried to test Lord Krishna to see if He were really the Supreme Personality of Godhead playing as a cowherd boy. Brahma stole all the other boys and their calves from the pasturing grounds, but when he returned to the pastures he saw that all the boys and calves were still there, for Lord Krishna had created them all again. When Brahma saw this mystic power of Lord Krishna's, he admitted defeat and offered prayers to the Lord, addressing Him as the proprietor and seer of everything in the creation and as the Supersoul who is within each and every living entity and is dear to all. That Lord Krishna is Narayana, the father of Brahma, because Lord Krishna's plenary expansion Garbhodakasayi Vishnu, after placing Himself on the Garbha Ocean, created Brahma from His own body. Maha-Vishnu in the Causal Ocean and Kshirodakasayi Vishnu, the Supersoul in everyone's heart, are also transcendental expansions of the Supreme Truth.

Download: 2010-03-08 - Guru-prasad Swami - Lecture CC Adi 2.30.mp3
Email to a friendRelated Bhakti Vikasa Swami: be convinced what kind of civilization we are trying to introduce

Your material desires, eating, sleeping, mating--fulfill it like a gentleman and save time and make spiritual advancement. This is to be introduced. Why you are inventing so strenuous work and spoil time, valuable time of human life? This we want to preach. Save time, be spiritually advanced, and other necessities, make it gentlemanly short-cut. If you save time, you can read all these literatures, understand what is value of life. Therefore, the literature here. Not for all. The brahmanas, educated. And they'll distribute the knowledge by speaking. Others, those who are less intelligent, simply by hearing, they will be guided. Just be convinced what kind of civilization we are trying to introduce. We should not be carried away. Then finished. In order to check others, if we become carried away, (laughing) then finish all business. To save them from being washed away by maya, if we become washed away, then where is the hope? Therefore Caitanya Mahaprabhu said, janma sarthaka kari' kara para-upakara [Cc. Adi 9.41]. Be strong so that you may not be rascal, and then you can do; others you can check. Otherwise, it will be impossible. How it is possible? A man is drowning. If you are strong enough, you can save. But if you also become drowned, then how you'll save him? So the everything is there. Save yourself, save others. This is our Krsna consciousness movement. First of all save yourself; then try to save others. Or both things can go on simultaneously. The same example. If you want to save somebody who's drowning you must know that I may not be washed away. I have to remain strong; then I can save him.

>>> Ref. VedaBase => Conversation on Roof -- February 14, 1977, Mayapura

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Jahnavi, UK: Crunching in the Big Apple

So I’ve been here in New York City for two weeks now. In this time the weather has transformed from dreary grey to startling blue skies and sunshine, making me feel I’ve passed much more than a season here already.

It’s been an adventure so far – living at Radha Govinda Mandir in Brooklyn – a cavernous old building that used to be a church, but has been a Hare Krishna temple for the past couple of decades. It’s the first time I’ve ever stayed in an ashram setting for so long, and though it’s quiet here, it’s great to be able to take advantage of the temple program. Getting up early and having the day begin with prayers, sweet smells and beautiful sights is always a wonderful thing. I’m not a city girl so it’s been interesting getting used to the rhythms of the environment here. Noise of some kind is ever present – whether wailing sirens, juddering trucks, petty fights on street corners or the startlingly sweet song of the birds that alight on the rooftop where I go to chant and see the sun rise.

There’s been so much to digest, record, share and reflect upon – I’m struggling to keep track of it all, but I do hope to write more and more whilst I’m here. For now, just a quick note to say I’m alive and well, despite tumbling headfirst down a dark staircase this morning! Never a dull moment in the big city…

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Akrura das, Gita Coaching: I CAN GET NO SATISFACTION

So ultimately I love God. But there are so many impediments. I have forgotten.

I am thinking sometimes to love my body, my mind, like that. But real love is because I am spirit soul, therefore I love myself. And why I love myself? Because it is part and parcel of Visnu. Therefore ultimately you love Visnu. But we have forgotten it.

In relationship with Visnu we have learned to love... Not love. That is our lust. Real love is with Visnu. Because by nature there is love.

Just like the child. It loves the mother. And in the absence of the mother he cries, and when the mother comes he becomes satisfied. So our real love is for Krsna but that we have forgotten. And you are offered, "Why you are crying? You take this. You take this. You take this." No. Nothing will satisfy us unless we again come back to love our original source of life.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.6.2 -- Vrndavana, December 3, 1975

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H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: '432' from The Yellow Submarine SDGonline Daily updates

4:09 A.M.

I finally got out of bed at 2:30, which is a little later than I've been getting up, and began rapid chanting. My focus was on accumulating the rounds as quickly as possible. I had no pain, and I was wide awake. I couldn't reach sixteen rounds by 4:15, but I've done twelve. They were not of the deep variety although not the least bit drowsy. I have to learn to give myself plenty of time to chant and then go within myself and chant Krishna's names with awareness that I am with Krishna Himself in the sound vibration. It's not just a counting time but a time to be with the most wonderful person in all the universes.

Clicking off the structured
thirty-two syllable mantra
and immediately beginning
a new one, a constant
stream of mantras pouring
forth. You do them with
the motive to complete
the quota, but that should
not be your main intent.
Move closer to Krishna
with full faith and emotion,
taste the nectar for
which you're always anxious,
chant better than
the mechanical count.
Can you do it in the
balance of your japa
today? Can you make
your brother mind your friend?

read more from SDGonline - daily updates from The Yellow Submarine: My Bhajana Kutir journal 
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H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: 'Reviving His Memory' from The Yellow Submarine SDGonline Daily updates

Prabhupada Smaranam

To be young and walking with your spiritual master on the beach in his morning walk is the happiest time of your life. You are aware it is a wonderful opportunity, but only when you are seventy years old and Prabhupada has disappeared for thirty years do you realize how blissful it actually was. You realize with hindsight how much you have lost. You served simply, walking beside him and holding a microphone to catch his precious words. Because of his supervising presence you had not committed any big mistakes or falldowns. He was kind to you and pleased with you, and you felt privileged to be in his intimate association. The morning walk of Juhu Beach in 1974 with both Prabhupada and yourself in good health, and your Godbrothers and Godsisters beside you…You were aware it was a glorious time, but now you are even more aware of its rarity and how much you have lost.

You have a memory and a photograph to revive your reminiscences, and it reminds you that it was actually a fact, you were there with him, and it is a service that never suffers loss or diminution—and can save you from the greatest fear. The fact that Prabhupada allowed you on his walk is permanently etched in your life, and you are grateful for it, and somehow it is eternal.

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H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: 'To Prabhupada' from The Yellow Submarine SDGonline Daily updates

Prabhupada taught about Krishna
in a certain way and that
is how I wish to know Him.
From the very beginning he said He
was the Supreme Personality of
Godhead, and he told us stories
of His lilas in Vrndavana.

He spent much time defeating
the impersonalist conception of
the Absolute, and we should
do that too. He told us
Lord Caitanya said if you
read the Mayavada comments
your spiritual life will
be doomed. He taught
bhakti in all its aspects
and held it as supreme.

He taught about Krishna and
the gopis, but not too much,
giving us just what we could
safely digest. He warned
us not to bring it into
public. He emphasized
preaching and selling his
books, and wanted us
to live in the temples.

In his Bhaktivedanta purports
he gave countless angles of
vision and taught what
Krishna was like. If you read
them you become learned
and bright. You learn
what Krishna wants and
how important it is
to live to please Him.

In Prabhupada's person we
saw one dedicated to spreading
Krishna consciousness with all
his might. All his
energy was used for
Krishna and engaging others
in His service.

Prabhupada knew Krishna
and how best to spread His
mission and make jivas into bhaktas.
He called out to Krishna
in his bhajanas and his
japa and led kirtanas to bring
others to the calling stage.

He was always doing something
practical to achieve Krishna's cause,
and he lamented the lack of actual
devotees in the world. He spoke
strongly against the nondevotees
and made arguments that
tore down their position.

He was regal, with thousands
of disciples and beautiful
temples, but he was humble
and austere, never enjoying
Krishna's property but serving
Him and using matter
in His devotional service.

Prabhupada was very close
to Krishna, having taken
shelter at His lotus feet.
He kindly delivered
the countries of the world
from voidism and impersonalism,
asking nothing for himself
except to praise the glories
and rescue souls from maya.

He is honored in the spiritual
world, and we should
follow him astutely
and with all our hearts.

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H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: 'Dramas for Krishna…' from The Yellow Submarine SDGonline Daily updates

Free write

Dramatic presentations capture the imagination. Here are two versions. One is a full-dress play like the Ramayana with actors in costumes. The other is three persons giving a public reading from a manuscript, such as Dylan Thomas' Under Milkwood or Rupa Gosvami's Vidagdha-madhava. When we sit in an audience and watch a drama we suspend our disbelief and imagine that the story is actually taking place. We are frightened at the appearance of Ravana when he screams "I am Ravana!" and forcibly kidnaps Sita before our eyes, and we are later thrilled and satisfied when Ramacandra kills Ravana with His bow and arrow. If the actors are actually skillful and convincing, we can experience spiritual emotions in a transcendental production of a skit from the Ramayana or Mahabharata or a play by Rupa Gosvami. The twelve rasas of spiritual exchange can be tasted and an audience may even feel emotions of tears, hair standing on end, etc., as in the bodily transformations experienced by devotees in advanced states of bhava.

Lord Caitanya and His associates used to play dramas before qualified audiences at Srivas Thakura's house in Navadvipa. Lord Caitanya sometimes played the Goddess of fortune and amazed all the participants. When Srila Prabhupada was young he played Advaita Acarya in a play put on by a famous Bengali director. The director agreed to work with the young actors only if they rehearsed so hard that their audiences would break into tears. The play was successful and people broke into tears as Srila Prabhupada spoke the words of Advaita Acarya in a play taken from sastras.

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New Vrndavan, USA: Restoration of Srila Prabhupada's Palace

"The Festival of Inspiration inspires devotees to do amazing things!,"said Nityodita dasa, President of New Vrindaban Community Board of Directors. "The Palace restoration project actually began when Ramesvara Prabhu attended the Festival of Inspiration in 2009."

Ramesvara Prabhu went for darshan of Srila Prabhupada and took notice of the serious deterioration on the Palace exterior. He could see that although devotees have been working on the Palace one section at a time, there was no comprehensive restoration being done.

Ramesvara, who currently specializes as a building restoration project manager in Manhattan immediately approached Malati, one of the GBCs for New Vrindaban. Malati and Nityodita then spoke with Ramesvara together, and asked him to make recommendations for a comprehensive restoration of the entire Palace.

Ramesvara gave his firm opinion that New Vrindaban take a professional approach to the task. Thus, during the fall and winter of 2009, Ramesvara researched three well established restoration firms and after reviewing their portfolios, the New Vrindaban Community Board of Directors unanimously selected Kayafas Architects of Wheeling, WV. They were contracted to create a master plan for all the areas that need renovation and to supply quotes from various contractors for the work.

"Kayafas is a local firm with an excellent reputation for historic preservation," said Nityodita. "They worked on the historic Strand Theater, the Wesbanco Arena, as well as other prominent local projects."

In April 2010, Kayafas' team of nine specialists met with approximately twenty devotees for five hours. During that meeting, each specialist reported his initial assessment of Palace conditions and his recommended immediate measures. Those recommendations included roofing work; restoring the steel slabs over the restaurant / gift shop; restoring the cupolas; heating system upgrade; plumbing upgrade; and water run-off. Kayafas is now evaluating each of these areas of immediate concern in more depth. Their next report to the Palace Board will include their findings and contractor quotes for the work.

Prabhupada's Palace of Gold is the puspa samadhi of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the Founder-Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. The Palace is the heart of the New Vrindavan Community and has attracted hundreds of thousands to hear Srila Prabhupada's teachings! It was truly a community effort. Hundreds of young devotees…. men, women and children took part in its construction and did not get paid but did it all as…..selfless devotional service! We must preserve this monument of pure devotion so that whoever visits the Palace will be able to witness with their own eyes the power of Srila Prabhupada's loving influence on his followers, thus opening their hearts to the message of Krsna!

Email to a friendRelated Queen's day Harinam in Amsterdam

Parasuram das: 30 April 2010 was a special day. the queen of Holland's birthday, and as followers of vedic culture we honour the queen as one of our mothers. So we packed ten devotees in a van and travelled from England to honour her birthday... or not.

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1966 May 10:
"Sasthi. Today also did not go out. Two letters received one from Robert Nelson who tried Harper Row for publication. Two letters written about Khola, Kartal and Harmonium -- one to Brindaban and the other to Captain Pandya. Received back the old Pass Book. Transferred to Grand St. $109.87. Paul Paid $1.00 for expenditure."
Prabhupada Journal :: 1966

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1967 May 10: "The devotees of the temple must keep themselves engaged otherwise they cannot make progress in Krishna consciousness. The maya is very strong and as soon as there is opportunity the Maya will come and attack. And the only effective defense is remain Krishna consciousness always."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1967

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1968 May 10: "I have no particular instruction save and except the instruction I heard from my Spiritual Master. All instruction in the disciplic succession comes from the Supreme Person directly. To follow the instruction of the bona fide Spiritual Master is to follow the instruction of the Supreme Person."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1968

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1970 May 10: "Why do the students who are supposed to be leaders fight amongst themselves for supremacy? Prabhu means master; and the leader of the masters is Prabhupada. So if the Prabhus have surrendered to the Prabhupada, why there shall be such mentality for occupying the superior position?"
Prabhupada Letters :: 1970

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1973 may 10: "Most people cannot approach Krsna Consciousness. Like a rare gem, only a few are capable of grasping it's importance. If just .01% of the world's population becomes Krsna Conscious, the whole situation on the earth will change."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1973

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1973 May 10: "Just see what has happened. I started alone and in seven years now we are three thousand. If the intelligent men of the world cooperate with this all-important mission we can save the world from the misery and chaos that now prevails."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1973

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1974 May 10: "Everyone has some potency. You have special potency. Do not waste it in the service of maya, but use it in the service of Krsna. Although there is inconvenience, we must endure it with a vow and finish our business in Krishna conscious service."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1974

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1975 May 10: Our men should go from village to village distributing prasadam. Mahatma Gandhi wanted this village organization. It is solid program. Let the people eat sumptuously - not voraciously and make them fit for working and chanting. In this way, they will be purified and everything will be nicely organized."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1975

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H.H. Sivarama Swami: Caitanya-priya from Coventry asks

“Why did Dhrtarastra not become enlightened upon hearing the Bhagavad-Gita from Sanjaya? Why did he only wake up at the end of his life?”

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Mukunda Charan das, SA: Chanting On Japa Mala: An Introduction To The Chanting Of Hare Krishna On Beads

This is an attempt to explain japa meditation on chanting beads or japa mala. This article is meant to assist those who are interested in mantra meditation, particularly the Sanskrit maha-mantra or the Holy Names of Krishna. Again, it is dedicated to Emina, Inno and Simone.

The Sadhana Of The Holy Names

The chanting of the maha-mantra is the principle sadhana or spiritual practice of the Hare Krishna movement. The maha-mantra or ‘great prayer of deliverance’ – Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna/Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/Hare Rama, Hare Rama/Rama Rama, Hare Hare – can be sung, chanted or repeated in the mind. Chanting Hare Krishna is not something confined to the Hare Krishnas; it is, according to the Vedas, the recommended process of self-realization in this modern age.

Chanting On Beads

When the chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra is sung in a call-and-response manner, congregationally, it is called kirtan. Kirtan is usually accompanied by traditional instruments like karatalas, mridanga and conchshells. When the mantra is spoken softly (the Sanskrit word is jalpana) with the assistance of prayer beads or japa mala, it is called japa. This kind of chanting can be performed alone or in the company of others.

Each japa mala has 108 wooden beads. The number 108 is considered very auspicious in Vedic culture. For example, there are 108 Upanishads. Another example is that of ancient Vedic kings performing a 108 ashvameda or horse sacrifices to invoke auspiciousness. On a more esoteric level, however, the 108 beads represent the 108 principal gopis or female assistants of Radha and Krishna. The bead at the top of the japa mala, the one between the biggest and smallest bead, is called the visarga. The visarga represents the Divine Couple, Radha and Krishna. No mantras are chanted on this bead.

The chanting beads are usually carved from sacred tulasi wood. In Vaishnava culture, tulasi beads are believed to invoke bhakti or devotion to Krishna. To avoid offences to the holy tulasi plant, beginners are advised to chant on beads made from the sacred neem tree. The japa meditation begins by holding the biggest bead between the middle finger and the thumb. As each mantra is completed, the chanter works his/her way down from the biggest to the smallest bead. When the chanter reaches the smallest bead, he/she turns around, beginning the next ’round’ of chanting from the smallest bead to the biggest. When the big bead is reached again, the chanter begins another ’round’ on the big bead. And so on.

Serious chanters usually chant a daily quota of japa. Each ’round’ of a 108 mantras is measured by the chanting beads. The number of ’rounds’ chanted is measured by a separate bead counter. Those initiated into the chanting of the maha-mantra take a vow to chant a minimum of sixteen ’rounds’ of the maha-mantra every day. That is about two hours of chanting a day. The Vedas recommend the best time for chanting is during the brahma-muhurta period – an hour-and-a-half before sunrise. The brahma-muhurta hour is the most auspicious time for spiritual activity, subduing the effects of tamas guna and rajas guna – the modes of ignorance and passion.

Purifying The Heart

On rising, devotees chant the Holy Names of Krishna and various other mantras to remind themselves of the Lord and their spiritual position as servants of God. We remember Krishna even before we take bath.

During the course of our early morning purificatory rituals, we chant mantras such as this one from the Garuda Purana (cf. the Hari Bhakti Vilasa): Om apavitrah pavitro va/sarvavastham gato ‘pi va/yah smaret pundarikaksam/sa bahyabhyantarah sucih – ‘Whether pure or impure, or having passed through all conditions of material life, one who remembers lotus-eyed Krsna becomes externally and internally clean’. Our morning bath helps us to become externally clean. Our remembrance of Krishna, by chanting of the maha-mantra, however, helps us to become internally clean. The purification of the heart by chanting Hare Krishna is what will ultimately bring us to spiritual perfection.

His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada explains the transformation of consciousness from worldly to spiritual in his purport to Bhagavad-gita 3.37: ‘When a living entity comes in contact with the material creation, his eternal love for Krishna is transformed into lust, in association with the mode of passion. Or, in other words, the sense of love of God becomes transformed into lust, as milk in contact with sour tamarind is transformed into yoghurt. Then again, when lust is unsatisfied it turns into wrath; wrath is transformed into illusion, and illusion continues the material existence. Therefore, lust is the greatest enemy of the living entity, and it is lust only which induces the pure living entity to remain entangled in the material world. Wrath is the manifestation of the mode of ignorance; these modes exhibit themselves as wrath and other corollaries. If, therefore, the mode of passion, instead of being degraded into the mode of ignorance, is elevated to the mode of goodness by the prescribed method of living and acting, then one can be saved from the degradation of wrath by spiritual attachment’. This elevation of consciousness is easily achieved by the chanting of Hare Krishna.


The Sanskrit word bhajan is derived from the root word bhaja which means ‘to worship’. When devotees or sadhus (saints) refer to their bhajan, they are usually referring to the solitary spiritual discipline of chanting on beads. The followers of Lord Chaitanya would chant in a Holy Place in a cottage called a bhajan kutir. Nowadays, devotees perform their bhajan in Temples or at home.

The Holy Names can be chanted anywhere and at any time, but the brahma-muhurta is considered the best time to chant. The chanter should chant in such a way that the words of the mantra – Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna/Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/Hare Rama, Hare Rama/Rama Rama, Hare Hare – are distinctly heard. If the mind wanders from the mantra, we should bring it back by hearing the Holy Names. Chanting is a prayer to Krishna that means, ‘O energy of the Lord [Hare], O all-attractive Lord [Krishna], O Supreme Enjoyer [Rama], please engage me in Your service’. If we chant the Holy Names with attention, we can make rapid spiritual progress.

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H.H. Sivarama Swami

As soon as you will lose the spirit of service, this temple will become a big go-down, that’s all. No more temple. So we have to maintain that service spirit. [...] Who can worship Krsna? When there is bhava. But if you have no bhava, then it is simply a show. A show cannot go on many days. Show will be finished very soon.

- Srila Prabhupada

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Kirtans in Oxford, UK: The Merry Month of May

We have two scholars lined up to lead us in kirtan this month: Dr Kenneth Valpey who received his DPhil in Oxford a few years back, has returned this term to engage in a research project into the Sanskrit text, the Bhagavata-Purana.

Kenneth has a musical bent, which led him to take part in the Gauranga Bhajana band in the 1990s, performing kirtan in various venues across Europe, including in Moscow to an audience of 35,000. He was also a member of the St Cross college choir, while a student here in Oxford. He led kirtan for us in 2007 and we're very happy to welcome him back for another session.

Gopal needs no introduction to our regular chanters. He's one of our stalwart and popular kirtaniyas and is currently working on his DPhil in Hindu Studies, here in Oxford, working out the intricacies of karma, destiny and time in the Srimad Bhagavatam. We hope none of the forementioned will prevent him from turning up on Sunday, at 4.00 p.m at the Friends Meeting House, 43, St. Giles, to lead us in deep and joyful kirtan.

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Japa Group: Becoming A Merciful Soul

Hare Krsna my dear devotees. Today we celebrated Mother's Day, I woke up dreaming of my son Uddhava who is living in a bramacari ashram - I missed him a lot and he came and gave me a gift in the dream, it's a very nice experience dreaming of a devotee and I am blessed to have such nice devotees in my family. My sons are the Lord's blessings in my life and I always bless their lives and ask the Lord to keep engaging them in service because for us parents, this is the only certainty we have they will be protected.

I read today that Mother Yasoda used to pray for Krsna and also Srila Prabhupada's mother. This is always very helpful and we, as mothers and fathers, need to be blessing our kids with prayers and spiritual life. Another main important aspect is to engage them in chanting the Holy Names, even when your child is very small we can chant for them or even in the womb. I remember when Kesava was in my womb I used to eat only maha prasadam since I used to do all the offerings to Lord Jagannath and Krsna Balaram - so now I can see how devotional and inclined to chanting he is, able to concentrate on the mantra but it's my duty to keep reminding him of the importance of chanting and showing by example by engaging in service myself so he will always remember that when he is alone and having to follow spiritual by himself.

When we get to spiritual life we have many fathers and mothers that show us how to follow things properly and they are able to train us because they were trained one day so we need to become one of these trainers and show by our own example how we can serve the Lord giving emphasis to chanting and devotee's service. On this day we could meditate on our own service and evaluate it in order to rate our devotion....chanting and service to the vaisnavas who are our kids and family as well. Engaging family in spiritual life is a household duty and distributing prasadam and the holy names is the duty and mercy of every single devotee. So let's show by example and distribute the endless mercy of the Lord in our daily lives.

May you all have a great week of chanting and that your realisations are great!

your servant,

Aruna devi
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H.H. Sivarama Swami: Nature loss ‘to damage economies’

SRS: Destroying nature costs money. Eg: annual loss of forests is at $2-5 trillion, dwarfing costs of the banking crisis.

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Yoga of Ecology, Bhakta Chris, USA: The Crisis Comes Ashore

by Al Gore from The New Republic. Click here to read the full article.

One important difference between the oil spill and the CO2 spill is that petroleum is visible on the surface of the sea and carries a distinctive odor now filling the nostrils of people on shore. Carbon dioxide, on the other hand, is invisible, odorless, tasteless, and has no price tag. It is all too easily put "out of sight and out of mind." Because the impacts of global warming are distributed globally, they often masquerade as an abstraction. And because the length of time between causes and consequences is longer than we are used to dealing with, we are vulnerable to the illusion that we have the luxury of time before we begin to respond.

But neither assumption is correct. Most of the heat trapped by greenhouse gases is stored in the oceans and reemerges over time into the atmosphere. As a result, we are capable-–through inaction—of making truly disastrous consequences inevitable long before the worst impacts are manifested. Our perception of the dangers of the climate crisis therefore relies on our ability to understand and trust the conclusions reached by the most elaborate and impressive scientific assessment in the history of our civilization.

In other words, rather than relying on visceral responses, we have to draw upon our capacity for reasoning, communicating clearly with one another, forming a global consensus on the basis of science, and making a choice in favor of preventive action on a global scale.

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Gouranga TV: Sacinandana Swami – Hare Krishna kirtan – Varshana japa retreat 2009

Sacinandana Swami – Hare Krishna kirtan – Varshana japa retreat 2009

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