jueves, 20 de mayo de 2010

Planet ISKCON - 37 new articles


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"Planet ISKCON" - 37 new articles

  1. Japa Group: So Much Attraction Within Me
  2. ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Daily Class - Gangesvara Prabhu
  3. Krishna-kripa das, Mayapura: Travel Journal#6.8: NYC, London, Radhadesh, Amsterdam
  4. Bharatavarsa.net: Bhakti Vikasa Swami: understanding the universe according to sastra
  5. David Haslam, UK: Who is a devotee, and how do we treat devotees?
  6. H.H. Prahladananda Swami: Lecture – SB 8.22.5 Queen Kunti's Instructions – Video
  7. H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: 'The Songs of A Hare Krishna man (last take)' from The Yellow Submarine
  8. ISKCON News.com: In India, Hitching Hopes on a Subway
  9. ISKCON News.com: Famous Folks Launched Careers After 50
  10. ISKCON News.com: Europe Finds Clean Energy in Trash, but U.S. Lags
  11. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  12. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  13. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  14. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  15. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  16. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  17. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  18. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  19. H.H. Prahladananda Swami: Lecture – SB 8.22.4 Kind Encouragement – Video
  20. ISKCON News.com: Meet Spider Goat - The Future Solution for Broken Bones
  21. ISKCON News.com: U.S. Clears a Test of Bioengineered Trees
  22. ISKCON News.com: New York Midwives Lose Right to Deliver Babies at Home
  23. ISKCON News.com: Diet of Mud and Despair in Indian Village
  24. Rupa Madhurya das, TX, USA: Lecture - Gunagrahi Goswami - BG 12.13-14 - Qualities of a Devotee
  25. H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: '441' from The Yellow Submarine
  26. H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: 'His Travel' from The Yellow Submarine
  27. H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: 'Discrimination against hippies…' from The Yellow Submarine
  28. Sastra Dana, San Diego, USA: 4.0 Deli
  29. Kaunteya das, Mayapura: Present and potential leaders of ISKCON invest in the future
  30. Madhava Ghosh dasa, New Vrndavan, USA: Trying To Bounce Back
  31. New Vrndavan, USA: New Vrindaban Hosts North American Leadership Conference
  32. ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Brahmakunda and Bhakti Lata's Wedding Photos
  33. H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Monday, May 17th, 2010
  34. H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Sunday, May 16th, 2010
  35. Yoga of Ecology, Bhakta Chris, USA: A New Vision For the 2012 Farm Bill?
  36. Gouranga TV: Lecture – Guru-prasad Swami – CC Adi 2.30
  37. Mayapur Online: Nrsimhadeva Saves Translators Auntie
  38. More Recent Articles
  39. Search Planet ISKCON

Japa Group: So Much Attraction Within Me

O Krsna! There is so much attraction within me, but why don't I have any attraction to Your holy names? I am attracted to so many sweet sounds, forms, tastes, smells and objects of touch. But all these material attractions pull me further and further away from You. My favorite attractions are in reality nothing but distractions from You. O Krsna!

From the Art of Chanting Hare Krsna by Mahanidhi Swami
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ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Daily Class - Gangesvara Prabhu

Srimad Bhagavatam 11.20.31 - The supreme potency of bhakti-yoga.

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Krishna-kripa das, Mayapura: Travel Journal#6.8: NYC, London, Radhadesh, Amsterdam

Diary of a Traveling Sadhaka, Vol

Diary of a Traveling Sadhaka, Vol. 6, No. 8
By Krishna-kripa das
(April 2010, part two)
New York, London, Radhadesh, and Amsterdam

(Sent from Leipzig, Germany, on May 19, 2010)


Harinama in New York City

A Sweet Visit to Tompkins Square Park

Notes on a Vegetarian Cooking Class at Columbia University

Notes on a Brahmacari Meeting

Queen's Day 2010

Radhanatha Swami Speaks at New York University (NYU)

Brahmananda Prabhu Speaks About Srila Prabhupada

Insight from Srila Prabhupada, Kadamba Kanana Swami,
Laksmi Nrsimha Prabhu, and Many Others

Where I Am and What I'm Doing

The second half of April was an unexpected adventure for me. Krishna says in the Gita that He is adventure, and so I can see it was a good thing. I planned to fly from JFK to London on April 17, and thus I took the Chinese bus from Philadelphia to New York. I spent the better part of that day at Yajna Purusa's Bhakti Center in Manhattan at their monthly 12-hour kirtana program. Before leaving for the airport, at the advice of devotees, I checked with the airlines, and found the flight I had already done online check-in for was cancelled due to volcanic ash. As it turned out, the ten days I planned to spend in London, I spent in New York, doing harinama almost every day with devotees from the Bhakti Center. I had been thinking of visiting our Manhattan ashram as my friends Bhaktas Blake, Tim, and Ross, all had nice experiences there and I was attracted by Gadadhara Pandit Prabhu's description of the college outreach they do when he came to Gainesville last year. I didn't have time in my schedule for a visit this year, so Krishna made an adjustment to fit it in!

In New York, I also heard Brahmananda Prabhu tell about Srila Prabhupada's early days in New York, I heard Radhanatha Swami speak to students at NYU, and I had a nice experience chanting at Tompkins Square Park. I spent part of April 28 in London, speaking at their lunch program and going on harinama. Then I took an overnight bus to Brussels where I caught the train to Barvaux, the town near Radhadesh, where I attended Kadamba Kanana Swami's Vyasa Puja on April 29. In three lectures on the day, Kadamba Kanana Swami shares practical insight about the guru-disciple relationship. Finally on April 30, over 150 devotees boarded two buses and several other vehicles and drove Amsterdam for eight hours of kirtana at Queen's Day, the world's biggest street festival.

Harinama in New York City

While in the Bhakti Center I joined harinama regulars Om Hrisikesa Prabhu, the party leader, and Bhakta Dan, and Bhakta Alex (who has the nickname Vaishnava Das because he likes to serve the devotees), going out almost every day to do congregational chanting. On Sunday the devotees went out for almost three hours and on a couple of weekdays they would go out during the day as well, instead of distributing books. Almost every evening there was harinama from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m.

Om Hrisikesa Prabhu can sing for quite a while and has a great love for harinama which makes him a good leader. Dan is steady on the drum. Alex impressed me by his enthusiasm. In the day he works as a lawyer in the city, but comes out on weekends and evenings on Manhattan's Lower East Side and distributes often as many as 30 small books during the harinamas. This makes him the biggest book distributor in the temple.

The daytime harinamas were surprisingly well received by vendors who have tables of their wares set up along some New York sidewalks. Often they would smile, clap, move with the music, and even say a few words of the mantra as our joyful party passed. You could see that they had developed a fondness for the devotees that was beautiful to see. There were also employees who worked in front of the restaurants who took great pleasure in dancing along with the devotees whenever they passed.

Once we chanted at 34th St. subway station for an hour because it was raining outside. I could see the interest in the faces of the some of the people, and we distributed invitations and prasadam to them. Then we had to stop because of the police. Next we chanted at Union Square for half an hour next since the rain had stopped. Then the rain began again, so we took the "L" train to another subway station and chanted another hour there. One young lady sat on the bench to wait for the train, and began chanting the mantra along with us. She told me she was a regular at the Bhakti Center 12-hour kirtanas. She said she just finished reading a text message she got from Ananta telling of a kirtana program at 7:00 p.m. at the Center, when she heard our karatalas ringing and thought, "Why 7:00 p.m? There is kirtana now!"

A Sweet Visit to Tompkins Square Park

My last day in America I went to Tompkins Square Park, inspired by one Bhagavan Dasa, a disciple of Hridayananda Dasa Goswami, who I met in San Diego, and became reacquainted with during my visit to New York. At the Bhakti Center, he was telling me he felt this block with 26 Second Ave. on one side, and the present Bhakti Center, 25 First Ave. on the other, was a very spiritual place on the level of Mayapur. This spiritual dhama, he explained also extends to Tompkins Square Park, where Srila Prabhupada and his early disciples chanted back in 1966, when the New York Hare Krishna temple was the only one in the movement. At first I did not appreciate my friend's spiritual vision, but as I was playing my harmonium under the Hare Krishna tree in Tompkins Square Park, I felt the same emotions I did in Mayapur, as I chanted, meditating that this was the place the Hare Krishna movement began. On this earth, the Hare Krishna movement began in Mayapur, and in the West, the Hare Krishna movement began in New York's Lower East Side, and chanting under that tree, thinking about Srila Prabhupada's noble ambition of a worldwide spiritual movement was one of the most powerful spiritual emotional experiences I have had in recent years. As I continued to sing, some people sitting on the benches around the tree left, and a few others came.

After about twenty minutes, one man, perhaps in his sixties, who was sitting about thirty feet from me the whole time, came closer to sit, perhaps just ten feet away. Before relocating, he said something to me that I had never heard anyone say before, "Thank you for clearing the air by your singing." I smiled and thanked him for his appreciation and continued singing, and he continued sitting, reading some book. His comment reminded me of Lord Caitanya's glorification of the congregational chanting of the holy name for its cleansing effect. I marveled that here an ordinary New Yorker sitting on a bench reading a book was sharing his realization of this truth. After twenty minutes or so, when he got up to leave, I gave him the flyer I made for our public chanting programs, with the mantra, an a explanation of why we chant it, and web addresses for our centers, our music, and more information. I told him. "These are the words to the song. Our founder started singing in front of this tree in 1966. He envisioned a worldwide movement. People did not believe it would happen, but it did." He smiled and said, "Thank you."

A four-year-old girl rode her little tricycle around the tree a couple times, stopping to stare at me for half a minute each time as I played the harmonium, moving my head with the music and watching her. I wonder what spiritual benefit she gets for circumambulating the Hare Krishna tree. A group of kids with a couple teachers came by, and they were collecting odds and ends from around the park. They decided to include some bark from the tree and dirt at the base of the tree. It seems a lot of people unknowingly had a lot of association with that special tree.

I recalled as I made that visit to Tompkins Square Park, that I do usually go there when I visit New York, and I had not yet this time, until just one hour before leaving for the airport. It is like when I go to Mayapur, I visit places like Lord Caitanya's birthplace and Bhaktivinoda Thakura's home. Similar, when I go to New York, I visit Radha-Govinda, the first Radha-Krishna deities I ever saw, and I visit 26 Second Ave. and Tompkins Square Park, where Srila Prabhupada started his worldwide International Society for Krishna Consciousness against all odds, desiring to share the most voluminous spiritual knowledge with the maximum number of people.

Notes on a Vegetarian Cooking Class at Columbia University

Although Gadadhara Pandit Prabhu and the other brahmacari who does the program dress as Krishna monks, additional devotees who visit dress in western clothes so as not to intimidate the students.

If the oil is smoking, it looks too hot.

You can use a variety of colors of bell peppers to make the preparation look attractive.

Stroganoff was originally named after a Russian diplomat named Count Pavel Stroganov (1772-1812).

I was impressed to see a hundred people came, a usual size crowd for them. Gadadhara Pandit Prabhu mentions a local student article on their club: http://www.columbiaspectator.com/2010/04/13/food-meditation. He also advertises his weekly meditation program near the campus with a great breakfast. He also mentions a once per semester lecture with Radhanatha Swami, the last one being, "The Quarter-life Crisis," and the next one, come up next week, being "How Superficial is Our Spirituality?" Then head of the new Bhakti Café on the first floor of the Bhakti Center told the students that when his café opens in mid May they can eat for half price for the first two weeks or so, a special deal just for them.

Gadadhara Pandit offers the food to the Lord with folded hands and chants the prayers silently, asking for the others to be silent. At the end, everyone rushes with enthusiasm to get into line for prasadam. Some regular students help serve out. He recommends people give at least a dollar to help maintain the program and purchase the food.

The students were sweet, and I spoke to at least five, personally inviting them to Radhanatha Swami's lecture, telling how both my mother and I really loved his lectures and his autobiography. I also sent a halava recipe to one girl who really liked that traditionally popular prasadam item and became a Facebook friend of one who knows a devotee friend of mine. I told one committed student, originally from Paris, who serves out each week, about the youtube video of the very positive Paris TV news clip on our metroyoga program there.

Notes on a Brahmacari Meeting

Why strong sadhana?

1. It is essential for purity in thoughts, words, and actions.

2. Strict sadhana helps create the proper atmosphere in the ashram.

Radhanatha Swami's definition—striving with all strength.

Sacinandana Swami asked Radhanatha Swami to describe devotional service in one word, and he replied, "Absorption."

Effects of weak sadhana:

1. Material desires flood the heart, and the desire to fight them goes away.
2. We start paying more attention to things other than Krishna.

3. We become expert in justifying our illusory attachments.

4. We lose taste for devotional service.

5. We become too concerned with our health.

When two people with weak sadhana get together, they start fueling each other's material desires.

When we isolate ourselves from devotees, especially those with strict sadhana, it is a bad sign. It means that we want to be alone with our material desires.

If you have weak sadhana and your health becomes weak, if you do not have a good program for taking care of your health, then you look for someone to take care of you and that person is usually a lady.

A brahmacari does not point fingers at the lady and saying she is at fault.

According to Radhanatha Swami, if you are entering the grhastha life because you are feeling it is the best situation for you to execute spiritual life, that is alright, but if you decide to enter grhastha life because of the influence of a women who desires to marry you, that is not a laudable nor hopeful situation. Such relationships based on infatuations are short-lived.

If you cling tightly onto one of the five most important items of devotional service, you can easily make it as a brahmacari. Strong sadhana is necessary to attain this.


1. Lack of taste, leading to lack of inspiration.

2. Lack of personal initiative. [If we do not have that, we will become attached to some lady who will motivate us to work for her.]

3. Mind.

We must learn to take pleasure in going against the demands of the mind.

As soon as you think you are a man, you need a woman. We have to think that we are the servant of the servant of Krishna.

Queen's Day 2010

I have written in previous years of Queen's Day, a street festival in Amsterdam attended by 1-2 million people at which 200 Hare Krishna devotees chant with enthusiasm, so I shall be brief. This year was extra special because Sacinandana Swami came (and promised to return in future years) and Parasurama Prabhu came from the UK, along with his band. As last year, Kadamba Kanana Swami arranged to bring two buses of devotees from Radhadesh, many who attended his Vyasa Puja the previous day. See Parasuram's video and Queen's Day videos from Bhakta Michel of Rotterdam to experience the transcendental excitement.

Radhanatha Swami Speaks at New York University (NYU)

Compassion is the greatest need in this world. Most of the million slum kids in Mumbai do not go to school because they are too hungry. The government asked us to help and we provide 210,000 plates. They want us to do 500,000, and we will do more as we have funds. Other problems like ecology are results of lack of compassion. Companies care more for their profits than the environment. Para-duhkha-duhkhi means one who becomes upset with the pain of others. Most of us limit our compassion to some only, but there is more satisfaction the wider our expression of our compassion. The great commandment in the Christian tradition is to love God with one's heart, mind, soul, and that manifests as love for one another. A great soul sees equally all living beings because there are conscious souls. If we understand our own spiritual essence, we can see appreciate it when we see it in other living beings. Some say caring for the soul makes people callous toward hurting the body, but caring for the soul also means respecting the way the soul is embodied.

In Delhi at a roadside café, I saw a mother cow and her calf, closer than I had ever seen before. I saw they were playing, much in the same way as a human mother and her child. My host brought some food, and offered to explain it. There was meat and for the first time I made the connection between the cows and the meat. I excused myself because I couldn't eat. I was vegetarian from then on.

Happiness is not about what you have, prestige, money, but inner fulfillment, which is based on our values. Ultimately fulfillment is to love and be love. This chanting of mantras has the purpose of awakening that love. The mirror of our mind is covered with dust, and we cannot see the love, but only the dust of selfish desires. Spirituality means to cleanse the mind to awaken the original qualities of you and me.

I was talking to the wife of a billionaire who invited me to go with him to Zimbabwe. He was telling me all his things did not satisfy him, only loving, being loved and helping others. His wife reflected how she was happier in her previous simple village life. It is not a matter of being this or that religion. It is a process of cleaning the mind to experience love of God and compassion for others. If we do not see our religion as a process that is meant to evoke our divine qualities, it will be an impediment not a solution. Satyagrahi is one who grasps the essence of the opportunity in every situation to grow in love and compassion. The externals have meaning only when connected with the essence.

When I lived on the bank on the Ganges, one friend Narayana, who was 85, would take me to his friend, Mohammed, and for one or two hours they would share their views on spirituality, and I would share mine. I asked how they could be such friends in the midst of so much strife over different religions. My friend said, "A dog will identify the master no matter how he dresses. God is the master of all. If we cannot identify Him in his different appearances, we are less than a dog."

The mantra we chant helps awaken the love. Our action radiates and affects others.

Three days I was with a sister who was dying of cancer. Her husband told me she had said something very special. She was in the last stages of cancer, paralyzed and emaciated. In the final days she told her husband with a smile, "I feel I have unlimited eternal value because God loves me." We all have the value because we are all part of God. Why can we not see this?

As educated people, you will have power, and power in the hands of compassionate persons makes a tremendous positive effect for changing the world. We should be so grateful for all the gifts we have, ever morsel of food, every drop of rain. A grateful heart is fertile for compassion to develop.

Brahmananda Prabhu Speaks About Srila Prabhupada

[Brahmananda Prabhu is the first president of the ISKCON, 26 2nd Ave., and personal secretary of Srila Prabhupada for many years, and he spoke at the Sunday Feast at Radha-Govinda Mandir.]

In February 1966, Srila Prabhupada wrote his Introduction to Bhagavad-gita.

At Srila Prabhupada's sannyasa initiation, he was asked to speak in English, because his mission was to preach in the English language. Later he would tell different people of his plan to go to America. At that time, the India government required you have a sponsor who could take of you financially, and one Mr. Agarwal offered his son as a sponsor, for the young man had married an American girl and lived in America.

In New York, Srila Prabhupada rented an office to live in and would go to Dr. Misra's to use his bathroom and kitchen. It was winter and sometimes the wind would be so icy, he had to turn back and that meant no bath and food that day.

Prabhupada sold a set of books to the captain of the Jaladuta for $20, so he had that when he arrived in New York. In those days, $20 was a lot of money as gas was $0.25 a gallon and the subway was $0.15. Prabhupada bought a tape recorder for a price that was the equivalent of a month's rent. He would have regular evening kirtana (chanting) and lectures and sometimes no one would come. He would record them both, and then play them back. Srila Prabhupada remarked, "So in this way, I was hearing and chanting." He also recorded himself reading his Introduction to Bhagavad-gita on February 19, 1966. Later the tape recorder and a typewriter were stolen, and Srila Prabhupada suspected the superintendent of the building he lived in.

Before meeting Srila Prabhupada, I had studied the Gita in college and written my thesis on Gita. I made it clear to Srila Prabhupada, that I unlike the other boys, knew Bhagavad-gita. Srila Prabhupada smiled approvingly that I knew Bhagavad-gita.

My professor said the Gita was written by unknown forest sages. My idea was that Krishna was a literary figure. Srila Prabhupada asked which Gita I was reading. I was reading Aurobindo's version. Srila Prabhupada had me read a page of it, close the book, and recall it. I try but failed. Srila Prabhupada smiled and said, "That is alright. Aurobindo has written in such a way that nobody can understand."

Brahmananda Prabhu has produced a multimedia disk of Srila Prabhupada reading his Introduction to Bhagavad-gita, as the text appears on the screen along with beautiful pictures of Krishna and Srila Prabhupada.

Insight from Lectures

Srila Prabhupada [from a lecture given in Honolulu on the verse in the beginning of the Sixth Canto of the Srimad-Bhagavatam which explains that anyone who has not undergone atonement must suffer. ]

The guru is as good as God because he gives real knowledge. That is his qualification. He cannot be a speculator; otherwise he is bogus.

The ultimate goal of life is to escape the transmigration process.

Nonviolence is the beginning of religious life because every living being is a son of God.

"Surfer," I see as "sufferer." He is preparing himself to get the body of fish. It will take him a long time to become human being again. He will have to go through 900,000 species of fish, then 2 million plants, etc.

If you like, you can go back to Godhead. Krishna has come to give such nice instruction. He has come as Lord Caitanya. Lord Caitanya came because people thought that Krishna's instruction to surrender was too much.

Spiritual life begins with surrender. You can make your life perfect in a moment, simply by surrendering to Krishna.

Even after punishment and atonement, people still commit sins.

Mrgari , the hunter, lived in Prayag. [a fact I do not recall hearing before]

Srila Prabhupada says in the purport to Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.18.10, "Demons and atheists do not try to understand the Lord and so are subject to birth and death."

Kadamba Kanana Swami [on his Vyasa Puja day]:

I stress reading since sometimes we neglect it because we promise to chant at initiation, but we do not promise to read.

The only line I recall from Rupa Sanatana's father's speech at his son's marriage is, "I hope they soon have a house so they can argue in peace."

Taking shelter of scripture is the only way to make life auspicious.

It should be possible that the disciples can cooperate together and serve the guru because that is what the guru wants. No just that we have to do because of scripture but naturally.

Krishna can do so much, but what can his representative to do? Very little. Only desire. He can desire that his disciples take advantage of their human form of life. Even Srila Prabhupada, although a very powerful spiritual master, could only humbly ask people to follow.

We are so tiny, we are always agitated by the material energy either positively or negatively, and therefore, we cannot seriously serve Krishna's representative, our spiritual master.

Our feet are slipping, in other words, our minds are always distracted by the material energy. Thus we need the stick of support of the saints' mercy.

Srila Prabhupada said in the presence of Tribhuvatha Prabhu, who told Kadamba Kanana Swami, "Krishna consciousness is so simple, you might just miss it."

We may argue about whether we are right or wrong, but if we are differing from what our guru said, we are wrong right off the bat.

I got a lot of mercy from the Vaishnavas in this life, for example, Brahmananda Prabhu stood on my hand. So many instructions, I got from different devotees. Tamala Krishna Goswami invited me for lunch, and personally served me piping hot pakoras, when my water glass was empty, and offered me some words of chastisement.

Once I left the association of devotees. I went to the movies and there were Hare Krishnas, though not real, in the movie I saw. One devotee Maha Vira vowed to fast until I returned. I returned in three days.

My guru [Jayadvaita Swami] is very liberal and broadminded and had more faith in me than I had in myself. Many people are afraid of his karate blow use of language, but he has always been very encouraging with me.

If I have any strength it is the blessing of all these Vaishnava. I humbly request that you take seriously the practice of Krishna consciousness. I do not care if you want to live in the mountains or the city. I do not care if you dress very conservatively or in a way that is a little bit freaky. All I ask is please simply take shelter of the holy name, read Srimad-Bhagavatam, live near the temple or often visit, and do not disagree with the spiritual masters, but admit it is you who are wrong or in maya.

Mercury controls material intelligent. Jupiter controls a deeper, spiritual intelligence.

When we turn away from Srimad-Bhagavatam, we become Puranjana who is trying for enjoyment in the body.

Prabodhananda Saravati Thakura said that either we immerse ourselves in the ocean of devotional service, or we will immerse ourselves in the ocean of unwanted deeds.

Sometimes Vaishnavas disagree but immediately come together again because they are completely dedicated to the Lord's service.

[After Vyasa Puja offerings:] I want to thank you for all you have done and all you have said. After all, it is voluntary, and it is rare that people ignore the glare of maya and surrender to Krishna.

After a few days in the movement, they made me a manager. My relatives were executives in Shell and Phillips, and the last thing I wanted to do was manage. I wanted to preach.

Krishna consciousness is so inconceivably exalted and we are so fallen, we just look at Krishna consciousness and marvel at it. I am afraid I may miss this opportunity. I had a chance to live in Vrindavana where there were many senior devotees. I could see that sannyasis were different, and I puzzled as to why.

What I desire to achieve individually is to be a strong individual, strong in integrity and character—someone who lives by principles whether it is easy or difficult. I wish to understand the illusory energy affects the mind and senses, but I want to merely observe that and not be affected by it. To do this, I must be strong in knowledge. We must think through, "I am not by body but spiritual soul." What does it practically mean? "I am always the servant of Krishna" in all circumstances. I spend a lot of time thinking about the implications of these things. I want to support my disciples. I want to them to develop to be independently thoughtful people. I learned by the activities of Tamal Krishna Goswami that a guru must give the disciple a greater vision of his life than he has on his own. If there are things that are unfavorable in our lives, we have to remove them. That we are doing together. Essential are hearing, chanting, and remembering Krishna, and performing service. Another thing is kindness. We all want to receive kindness. It is part of being a strong individual. If my disciples were known for their exemplary kindness, that would be wonderful for me. We need challenge to grow. It is not enough to be part of ISKCON or be initiated. I compare the initiation vows to pearls that must be planted as Krishna once did to produce trees of pearls. There must be a balance between being natural and sacrificing. All together you are a talented bunch—singers, actors, movie makers, fire jugglers (even indoors). If we can bundle our talents in the service of Krishna, that would be nice. There is no difference between the gurus in that they are giving the same message. We are representing Srila Prabhupada and are resting on Srila Prabhupada. Srila Prabhupada said in Portland that anyone who chants and follows the four rules can go back to Godhead at the end of this life. Thrice he said, "I guarantee it." I believe in naturalness. We have our natural talents and must engage them. Yet we must be willing to sacrifice it in a moment for our own spiritual advancement or the furthering of this movement.

The other point is to make a contribution. Once one devotee told me thrice that you could be Krishna consciousness without being in ISKCON. I thought about it and decided that philosophically it was possible, but that I wanted to make a contribution to ISKCON. We have our propensity and inclination. In Srila Prabhupada's presence, everyone had to adjust, and many times it was tough, outright difficult, to do what he wanted as he was demanding. I do not have so much love for God that I can demand to the extent Srila Prabhupada did. We can only demand to the extent that people have love for us.

Before I die, I would like there to be 1,000 sannyasis in ISKCON. I said in a lecture that one should start thinking about sannyasa the day he gets married.

I know many of you are very good writers. Please use this in Krishna consciousness.

Jayadvaita Swami decided to create a BBT in Africa. He had been thinking about it for years. This year he took it up with enthusiasm. He organized a meeting that made everyone realize that they had to make a change in their priorities to put Srila Prabhupada's books more in the center. The more we put Srila Prabhupada's books in the center, the more we will find inspiration that would not be possible to get on our own.

I pray that whatever I have done to get some of Krishna's mercy, that I pass that mercy on to you. I hope you will give Krishna consciousness to many conditioned souls and return to Godhead at the end of life.

Kadamba Kanana Swami initiation lecture:

We do not need to look for too many hidden meanings in the holy name. Krishna is the all-attractive Lord. By chanting we become attracted to serve Him.

To a candidate for brahmana initiation: "You will have enough time to play with the thread later on."

We should not think we can do anything we want and expect it will all be made up for if we chant Hare Krishna. We must strive for purity.

We must always think that home is Vrindavana or Mayapur. Every place else we are visiting. In Vrindavana everything is favorable for devotional service.

We must preach something, but to the faithless we do not tell the intimate pastimes of the Lord.

Life is not a japa retreat. Sometimes will have maximum days, other times minimum days, but our minimum days should never be less than 16 rounds.

That you are taking intiation in front of Gopinatha, means you have a special relationship with Radha-Gopinatha. If you have difficulty, you can always come here and pray to Them for help.

Laksmi-Nrsimha Prabhu:

Lying to oneself is one of the greatest impediments of the advancing devotee. We have to be sincere enough to overcome this.

The sincere spiritual aspirant has the responsibility to know the qualities of a genuine spiritual mentor.

Notes on the Yadubara Prabhu DVD about Srila Prabhupada in New Vrindavan:

Prithu Prabhu: The first time I saw Srila Prabhupada he waved, and I bowed down. I laughed and cried, and had so many emotions at once. Previously I could never understand his accent, but when he spoke in person I could understand every word. It was practically a miracle. After that I had no trouble understanding his taped lectures.

Krishna Kumari Prabhu: When Srila Prabhupada was there at New Vrindavan we were like one big family. The senior devotees were very open and took prasadam with all of us and were liberal answering anyone's questions.

Amarendra Prabhu: Someone asked how to show love for the guru. Prabhupada said by keeping the vows you made to him and the Deity at the time of initiation.

Satyanarayan Prabhu: At New Vrindavan, Baradraja led kirtana, Vishnujana took over with very melodious maha-mantras. Then Srila Prabhupada took over and led with such ecstasy and it seemed that sky opened up and love of God descended, everyone was crying in ecstasy. I cried for an hour afterward.

Visakha Prabhu: Srila Prabhupada spoke on Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.2 at Rupa Goswami's Samadhi, where the Six Goswamis used to study scripture together, during Karttika and although we had heard it before, it was so powerful to hear in the setting, that it was one of the most memorable experiences in my life.

Ananda-maya Prabhu: In Hyderabad, 5,000 to 10,000 people came every night to hear Srila Prabhupada and 1,000 in the morning. There had been a drought for some time, but after four or five days, it began to rain and Srila Prabhupada explained it was due the sankirtana. The papers mentioned that.

Dinanatha Prabhu: I wanted to pursue a simple renounced life, but my mind and body protested so was trying to decide what to do. I told Srila Prabhupada about my plan to go to Hrishkesa and be an ideal brahmacari. Srila Prabhupada said, "Please do not do that. I wasted 12 years alone in Vrndavana. Just tell everyone you meet about Krishna."

Yajna Purusa Prabhu:

Despite ideas of selfless love that I had from my family upbringing and from intuition, I came to realize at the end of the day, people are looking out for themselves. The great love stories in the material world are all tragedies. We hurt people, although we do not mean to hurt people. We destroy relationships, and yet we do not want to destroy relationships. And thus we become disillusioned. But when we come to spiritual life, we realize that the selfless love that we hoped for, yet could not find, is a reality and its attainment is possible.

'Not dealing with things' is another way of dealing with things.

The associates of Lord Caitanya were so happy in their spiritual ecstasy that they naturally felt sorry for those who were missing out. This is an idea that is beyond all religious sectarianism.

In Krishna consciousness, anything that is conscious is sacred, part of God, and deserving protection.

The more spiritually advanced we become, the more our own problems are solved, and we have time to help others. To see people stuck in a miserable situation with no alterative is the greatest pain. If we are freed, it is natural to free others.

Q: How do we benefit people who do not want to be benefited?

A: If you have a sincere desire to benefit people, Krishna will detect that and make an arrangement to benefit them. The book distributors have this realization all the time. The people do not wake up intending to buy Krishna conscious literature, but because of the devotee's sincere desire, Krishna tells them in the heart to buy it, and sometimes they do not even know why.

Rasanatha Prabhu:

Viewing how we act in a temple environment, we see we still have the seeds of desire that originally brought us to this material world

Determination is the expression of sincerity.

Rationalization is using honesty in the service of the false ego.

In the beginning we ask "why?" later we ask "how?" and as time goes on the "how?" becomes more specific. In time, your guru becomes like your conscience.

When I gave my guru daksina [a donation of gratitude] after initation, I said to Radhanatha Swami, "Thank you for accepting me as your disciple." Radhanatha Swami said, "Thank you for accepting me as your servant." That sealed the relationship for me.

One devotee who works in the corporate world commented, "My personal trainer always tells me, 'Don't tell me what you can't do. That is your mind telling you that. I am here to tell you what you can do.'"

Tolerance is the armor of a saintly person.

When one takes to spiritual life, we must develop tolerance, and if we take up the work of spreading spiritual knowledge, we must develop even more tolerance.

Tolerance means tolerating internal and external impediments. Our own minds are like a roommate who is always babbling nonsense.

The first effect when someone does not appreciate our service is to lose enthusiasm. Therefore we have to practice tolerance. Without becoming tolerant, we cannot maintain steady determination in our devotional service.

Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura seemed to become more encouraged the more obstacles he encountered. He regarded opposition to be evidence that his propaganda work was becoming effective.

Not one saintly personality has been spared. Everyone has been given some test by the Lord.

Q: Sometimes demoniac people seem to flourish more than we are. How do we attain mental satisfaction in such a state?

A: We are just seeing a small part of the picture, like seeing five minutes of a movie.

A (by Rasikananda Prabhu) I just think about the people I am trying to please. If they are satisfied by my endeavors, I can be happy.

Krishna-kripa das:

Srila Prabhupada writes, "'Mayavadi's cannot understand the Lord has feelings." In the material world, feelings pertaining to the state of the body have no ultimate value, so material feelings are negated. Even Krishna negated Arjuna's feelings of compassion based on the body. The Mayavadi's understand Brahman is spiritually blissful, and material feelings are illusory. Devotees understand material feelings are illusory, but the Lord has real feelings, and the devotees, in relation to the Lord, have real feelings too.

Mayavadi philosophers are described as "almost demons." Here Srila Prabhupada is being a little kind.

(1) Sometimes he argues that since the demons who are killed by the Lord attain the brahmajyoti that the Mayavadis aspire for, both have the same demoniac mentality.

(2) Other times he argues that the demons try to kill Krishna physically, and the Mayavadis try to kill Krishna philosophically, by their impersonal explanations, that he has no hands, no legs, no eyes, etc. In reality according to the Gita (13.14), the Lord has these things everywhere: "sarvatah pani padam tat…" "Everywhere are his hands, feet, eyes, head, faces, ears. In this way the Supersoul exists, pervading everything.

One reason Krishna is displeased with the blasphemy of the demons is because the statements are incorrect, and He is a lover of the truth.

"The conclusion is that God is as sentient as we are." This reminds me of the statement Srila Prabhupada in a Vyasa Puja to his own spiritual master:
"Absolute is sentient thou has proved

Impersonal calamity thou has moved."

What can we learn from this verse and purport?

We can please the Lord by offering nice prayers, such as prayers offered by the great teachers:

"My Lord, I know that young girls have natural affection for young boys, and that young boys have natural affection for young girls. I am praying at Your lotus feet that my mind may become attracted unto You in the same spontaneous way."

Arjuna offers nice prayers in response to Krishna's revealing his divinity, "You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the ultimate abode, the purest, the Absolute Truth. You are the eternal, transcendental, original person, the unborn, the greatest." (Bg. 10.12)

Demons consider the Lord to be an ordinary person. Here the Lord is playing along with that conception, claiming that He has no place to go due to having created enmity with Hiranyaksa. Demons claim property to be their own. What to speak of demons, even great demigods become attached to property. Indra even fought with Lord Krishna to keep the heavenly parijata tree, just a few hours after, by his calculation, he had been humbled by Krishna in His Govardhan Hill pastime.

Krishna talks at length about divine and demonic (Bg. 16). What is the critical difference? The divine accept scripture and follow it, while the demons ignore it. To ignore the scripture is foolish. From our periodic mistakes, we can readily see our own knowledge is imperfect, and therefore, if an all-knowing being has given perfect advice, it is wise to consult it. Krishna explains in Bhagavad-gita 16.23, that those who disregard scripture and act according to their whims cannot attain perfection, happiness, or the supreme destination.

Gadadhara Pandit Prabhu:

Hiranyaksa could understand from Varuna that the Lord could give him a good fight, but he did not accept Varuna's version that the Lord would be victorious. The acceptance of only part of what one hears from an authority is a demonic quality.

Association with devotees is like fire. It can do great benefit or great harm. We cannot live without fire, yet fire can be incredibly destructive. Similarly by association with devotees, we can attain the spiritual world or if we are offensive, we can lose interest in spiritual life altogether.

By loose speech that offends the devotees we can delay our progress back to Godhead. It can be so subtle that we do not even notice this delay.

Lord Caitanya's program is simple: chant and do not offend the devotees.

We see that great souls like Radhanatha Swami and Bhakti Caru Swami glorify each other when they meet in a deep way. We might try to follow this example.

Rajendra Prabhu:

Just by naming principles of nature such as gravitation, scientists erroneously think they have understood them.

One of the largest groups of people who have rejected the idea of evolution are doctors, who, because of their training and work, can appreciate the great complexity of the human body.

In the womb, we are in complete sedation for nine months and then we take birth and we are completely helpless and have no clue who we are or where we are. Then we become completely addicted to our mother's milk. Nothing else has any meaning. If we do not get it, we cry like anything.

This world is a shocking experience, and we are keeping ourselves in illusion so we do not have to deal with it.

Divya Prabhu:

Due to the volcanic ash, 67,000 flights were canceled. The recent earthquakes can be seen as the earth reacting to all our abuse of her.

Because the earth is the wife of Lord Varaha, when we honor the earth, we are honoring the wife of the Lord.

By your practice you can see how the Lord takes care of you.

When I was in my twenties, I had a book table in Bulgaria, and one atheistic man came by and started shouting "These books are all illusion. Don't buy them. You are deluding people." He went on and on, saying all kinds of insulting words and attracted a crowd. I prayed to Krishna and felt inspired to tell him, "Please sir, I have legal permission to be here, kindly step over to the side and attract attention to yourself there." Initially, I was upset by the man, but then I concluded that Krishna sent him for some reason. A few days later, he came up to my table. I was apprehensive, but he said he wanted to buy a book. I asked why he had changed his mentality. He said he had a dream in which I told him he should buy some books. And so he asked which one I recommended, and I suggested Life Comes from Life.

At my cooking classes, I always cook extra and encourage the people to take some to their family members, and they love to do this.

Mohammed quote, "Die before you die."

Martin Luther King quote: "A man who won't die for something is not fit to live."

Notes on a Caitanya-caritamrita class on Sunday by speaker whose name I forgot:

Bhakti is very natural. There are so many songs on the radio. But who is singing about knowledge? Who is singing about austerity? No, everyone is singing about love.

Focusing on our intention to please Krishna, we can more easily become detached from the results of our work.

Advaita Acarya cried out to the Lord repeatedly to successfully induce Him to come.

Jayadvaita Swami tells a story that Srila Prabhupada and the devotees were at an airport, and one boy wandered away from the group. Srila Prabhupada noticed and commented that that boy was very bold. Then the boy suddenly realized that he could not see his parents, and he started crying like anything. Srila Prabhupada made the point that this is actually our situation when we boldly leave Krishna.


yasya deve para bhaktir

yatha deve tatha guroh

tasyaite kathita hy arthah

prakasante mahatmanah

"Only unto those great souls who simultaneously have implicit faith in both the Lord and the spiritual master are all the imports of Vedic knowledge automatically revealed." (Svetasvatara Upanishad 6.23)

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Bharatavarsa.net: Bhakti Vikasa Swami: understanding the universe according to sastra

Regarding details of the universe, be satisfied by reading only Bhagavatam. What is the use of reading other books -- you are not going there. Some portion of the earth is flat. When you stand in any place you see flat, so for us to some extent it appears flat, but it is round.

Simply keep faith that whatever we describe, that is a fact. After all, we are an insignificant creature in the universe, so whether you take the modern scientists or Sukadeva Goswami, it is inconceivable. It is best to keep faith in Sukadeva Goswami, because actually our only business is to go back to home, back to Godhead. So whether Sukadeva Goswami or the modern scientists are right or wrong, it is nothing interesting to us. We want to go back to home, back to Godhead -- yanti mad-yajino'pi mam.

>>> Ref. VedaBase => Letter to: Madhava -- Vrindaban 3 October, 1976

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David Haslam, UK: Who is a devotee, and how do we treat devotees?

This is an amazing class given by HH Atmanivedana Swami who not only clarifies who is a devotee but also how we are meant to treat devotees. It is a class I would say all those who say there devotees but have found fault or criticised others should listen to I am sure like me you [...]

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H.H. Prahladananda Swami: Lecture – SB 8.22.5 Queen Kunti's Instructions – Video

Lecture on Srimad Bhagavatam, Canto 8, Chapter 22, Text 2 by Prahladananda Swami.

Dallas, TX


Since Your Lordship is indirectly the greatest well-wisher of us demons, You act for our best welfare by posing as if our enemy. Because demons like us always aspire for a position of false prestige, by chastising us You give us the eyes by which to see the right path.


Bali Maharaja considered the Supreme Personality of Godhead a better friend to the demons than to the demigods. In the material world, the more one gets material possessions, the more he becomes blind to spiritual life. The demigods are devotees of the Lord for the sake of material possessions, but although the demons apparently do not have the Supreme Personality of Godhead on their side, He always acts as their well-wisher by depriving them of their positions of false prestige. By false prestige one is misguided, so the Supreme Lord takes away their position of false prestige as a special favor.


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H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: 'The Songs of A Hare Krishna man (last take)' from The Yellow Submarine

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In Songs I wandered
from my own sadhana
to the conjectures of what
I'll be next life and the boy
in Ballykissangel kept
taking stolen goods from
the mine, but I turned it
off. They celebrate your
birthday once you die
and remember the good
things you've done and be
discreet with the bad.

"As the gull  flies over the lake
and glides down, your own words
are also borrowed plumes because
everything comes from Krishna
everything is Krishna,
everything is stated in sastra
and you are free to do
as you like and get the reaction."

I want to love Krishna
and have Krishna love me
in return. I want
to be detached from
the pains and fatigue
of my body. But it's
harder to skip and play,
your old age wears
you down and you
can't think of what to say.
You are like a detective
who can't find any clues
and the case
has gone cold
so they close it out
and the more time
goes by the
colder the case goes
until they just
put it aside
as unsolved.

My chanting and hearing
is like that. The cleaning
woman keeps coming
in each day to
dust and sweep,
but photos on
the wall start to
curl and dust gathers in the corners.
Some days are better, and
I feel uplifted. But
some days my eyes grow
heavy, and I can't skip
it. It's called up
and down.
Are you up more than down?

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ISKCON News.com: In India, Hitching Hopes on a Subway

By Lydia Polgreen for The New York Times on 13 May 2010
Instead of dry procedural manuals, senior managers of the Delhi Metro are given a copy of the Bhagavad-Gita, one of Hinduism's most important texts.
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ISKCON News.com: Famous Folks Launched Careers After 50

By Ethan Trex for CNN / Mental Floss on 15 May 2010
Srila Prabhupada, founder of the Hare Krishna movement, is among those who achieved remarkable success after the age of fifty.
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ISKCON News.com: Europe Finds Clean Energy in Trash, but U.S. Lags

By Elisabeth Rosenthal for The New York Times on 12 Apr 2010
New plants that convert local trash into heat and electricity have become both the mainstay of garbage disposal and a crucial fuel source across Denmark.
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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1966 May 19: "Amavasya. Paul paid $2.00 for Expenditure. Today one letter received from Mr. Paul C. Sherbert and he is replied also."
Prabhupada Journal :: 1966

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1971 May 19: "So far your questions, the demigods are having fair complexion with golden hue. Golden means milk mixed with a tint of reddish or yellowish color. Garuda is yellow in color; Kalki is bluish. Matsya is a full fish, bluish in color. Kurma is tortoise color."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1971

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1972 May 19: " I am coming to London and if you like perhaps I can come to Amsterdam also if there is sufficient engagement. I like that country very much, there are many cows so if you can arrange some big engagement there then I shall gladly come. At that time we can see about installing Lord Jagannatha."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1972

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1972 may 19: "I am giving them the sannyasa order of life and you may also come here and see me. However, there is certainly no urgency for taking sannyasa. But if my senior disciples wish to take sannyasa then I shall give it."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1972

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1972 May 19: "Now you must do the work that I am doing. This traveling extensively is for the GBC men, just as I am doing it. Traveling and preaching, that is the Sankirtana movement. But now I am old man; let me retire for writing books in my last years."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1972

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1975 May 19: "Find enclosed copy of draft agreement with my corrections. The money requested can be paid, but unless there is solid transfer of land how can we invest? Immediately send me copy of original trust document. After I have examined it, I will give my further instruction."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1975

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1975 May 19: "Continue your drawing work nicely. This is your business. Krishna has given you special talent and you are using it for spreading His glories. This is wanted. I will be arriving soon and at that time I can see you and we can talk sometimes."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1975

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1975 May 19: "Our real business is to print and distribute my books. By doing this business you will all become recognized by Krishna. Make your program simple - always make sure that you are somehow or other engaged in Krishna's service and the best service is preaching or engaging others in Krishna's service."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1975

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H.H. Prahladananda Swami: Lecture – SB 8.22.4 Kind Encouragement – Video

Lecture on Srimad Bhagavatam, Canto 8, Chapter 22, Text 4 by Prahladananda Swami.

Dallas, TX


Although a father, mother, brother or friend may sometimes punish one as a well-wisher, they never punish their subordinate like this. But because You are the most worshipable Lord, I regard the punishment You have given me as most exalted.


Punishment meted out by the Supreme Personality of Godhead is accepted by the devotee as the greatest mercy.

tat te ‘nukampam susamikshamano
bhunjana evatma-kritam vipakam
hrid-vag-vapurbhir vidadhan namas te
jiveta yo mukti-pade sa daya-bhak

“One who seeks Your compassion and thus tolerates all kinds of adverse conditions due to the karma of his past deeds, who engages always in Your devotional service with his mind, words and body, and who always offers obeisances to You is certainly a bona fide candidate for liberation.” (Bhag. 10.14.8) A devotee knows that so-called punishment by the Supreme Personality of Godhead is only His favor to correct His devotee and bring him to the right path. Therefore the punishment awarded by the Supreme Personality of Godhead cannot be compared to even the greatest benefit awarded by one’s material father, mother, brother or friend.


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ISKCON News.com: Meet Spider Goat - The Future Solution for Broken Bones

By Peter Farquhar for news.com.au on 17 May 2010
On a farm in Wyoming, USA, goats are being milked for their spider webs.
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ISKCON News.com: U.S. Clears a Test of Bioengineered Trees

By Andrew Pollack for The New York Times on 12 May 2010
Eucalyptuses with a foreign gene meant to help them withstand cold weather might become a new source of wood for pulp and paper, and for biofuels, in the Southern timber belt.
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ISKCON News.com: New York Midwives Lose Right to Deliver Babies at Home

By Ed Pilkington for The Guardian (UK) on 14 May 2010
The closure of hospitals leaves practitioners without backing or insurance, driving home births underground.
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ISKCON News.com: Diet of Mud and Despair in Indian Village

By Chris Morris for BBC News on 15 May 2010
"We live on a day-to-day basis," Suraj says, as the faint sound of hammering echoes across the village. "What we earn is what we spend on our families in a day."
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Rupa Madhurya das, TX, USA: Lecture - Gunagrahi Goswami - BG 12.13-14 - Qualities of a Devotee

Lecture on Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 12, Texts 13-14.

Dallas, TX


One who is not envious but is a kind friend to all living entities, who does not think himself a proprietor and is free from false ego, who is equal in both happiness and distress, who is tolerant, always satisfied, self-controlled, and engaged in devotional service with determination, his mind and intelligence fixed on Me -- such a devotee of Mine is very dear to Me.


Coming again to the point of pure devotional service, the Lord is describing the transcendental qualifications of a pure devotee in these two verses. A pure devotee is never disturbed in any circumstances. Nor is he envious of anyone. Nor does a devotee become his enemy's enemy; he thinks, "This person is acting as my enemy due to my own past misdeeds. So it is better to suffer than to protest." In the Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.14.8-) it is stated: tat te 'nukampam susamikshamano bhunjana evatma-kritam vipakam. Whenever a devotee is in distress or has fallen into difficulty, he thinks that it is the Lord's mercy upon him. He thinks, "Thanks to my past misdeeds I should suffer far, far greater than I am suffering now. So it is by the mercy of the Supreme Lord that I am not getting all the punishment I am due. I am just getting a little, by the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead." Therefore he is always calm, quiet and patient, despite many distressful conditions. A devotee is also always kind to everyone, even to his enemy. Nirmama means that a devotee does not attach much importance to the pains and trouble pertaining to the body because he knows perfectly well that he is not the material body. He does not identify with the body; therefore he is freed from the conception of false ego and is equipoised in happiness and distress. He is tolerant, and he is satisfied with whatever comes by the grace of the Supreme Lord. He does not endeavor much to achieve something with great difficulty; therefore he is always joyful. He is a completely perfect mystic because he is fixed in the instructions received from the spiritual master, and because his senses are controlled he is determined. He is not swayed by false arguments, because no one can lead him from the fixed determination of devotional service. He is fully conscious that Krishna is the eternal Lord, so no one can disturb him. All these qualifications enable him to fix his mind and intelligence entirely on the Supreme Lord. Such a standard of devotional service is undoubtedly very rare, but a devotee becomes situated in that stage by following the regulative principles of devotional service. Furthermore, the Lord says that such a devotee is very dear to Him, for the Lord is always pleased with all his activities in full Krishna consciousness.

Download: 2010-04-11 - Gunagrahi Goswami - Sunday Feast - BG 12.13-14.mp3
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H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: '441' from The Yellow Submarine

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4:27 A.M.

I had a peaceful night without a headache, slept well and woke up at 2 A.M. My chanting however was distracted, and the quota went slowly. It's almost 4:30 now, and I've chanted only twelve rounds. Different bits of scripts for dramas went through my mind in an imaginary way. I couldn't pay attention well to the syllables of the holy name as they passed through my mind. I don't know the cause of this poor chanting because I was not sleepy. But I was distracted. At least I have chanted a good amount of the quota with only four to go. But that is not saying very much. I have to concentrate and think of Krishna and think of Krishna's names as I utter them, or my chanting will be offensive.

Blank japa, the
clock moves very fast
but the numbers of japa
move slowly. I can
blame myself but self–
berating doesn't help. I
have to climb up to a
better standard, faster
and more attentive or
you'll break records for
the poorest japa. Pray
for relief and reform.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Give
yourself credit for
what you did right.

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H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: 'His Travel' from The Yellow Submarine

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Prabhupada smaranam

Prabhupada is on the go. He might like to stay where he is, but he has to travel. In a lecture in Berkeley he said, "I travel to keep my disciples alive." He rarely traveled long distances in a car. Mostly he used the auto just to drive to a park or beach for a morning walk or to go to and from an airport. Once Syamasundara drove him to Portland, Oregon, in his father's car. Syamasundara was driving over eighty miles an hour, and Prabhupada asked him to slow down. Prabhupada rode in a Radha-Damodara bus from New York City to Gita Nagari. At one point a disciple proudly announced, "Prabhupada, we are now doing eighty miles an hour." Prabhupada curtly replied, "Slow down."

His main travel was the airplane. The common saying is that he travelled around the world twelve or fourteen times. Prabhupada never took the airplane catering meals. He carried prasadam cooked in the last temple he visited and ate it off a silver plate. He didn't like many devotees traveling in the same plane with him. He wanted the devotees to stay in their temples and not travel whimsically with him without any particular service. He only allowed his two or three servants and secretaries to travel with him. On long flights he didn't engage in long conversations with his traveling companions. He preferred to pray on his beads or read a book or sit silently withdrawn. On occasion he would engage in a conversation with a curious flight attendant or even the captain of the plane.

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H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: 'Discrimination against hippies…' from The Yellow Submarine

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Free writeDiscrimination against hippies. This may be some high class hotel or snobbish joint that doesn't like the appearance of the long-haired, tight jeans and generally uncouth appearing clientele. It's like the old time segregation against Afro-Americans. If I were a hippie I wouldn't even want to enter this place. The day may come when those dressed in Hare Krishna apparel are not allowed to enter the front door. In India, white-skinned persons, even dressed in neat Hindu kurta, dhoti or sari are not allowed to enter some temples, such as the temple at Jagannatha Puri. The same prohibition may be used in the mosques of the Muslims against the Hindu appearing "infidels." The purpose of the holy place is to give sanctuary to those who want to be purified and steps taken to ban their entry are hypocritical and paranoid.
Hippies not being able to enter the front door is a strange standard. Some of the richest entertainers of the world dress like hippies. Prabhupada had no such stricture at his first Hare Krishna temple, and he said hippies were his best customers. He expected the hippie would eventually transform into a respectable looking devotee, but he didn't bar them on their first entrance when they were still hippies.
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Sastra Dana, San Diego, USA: 4.0 Deli


4.0 Deli is a restaurant/bar close to the San Diego State University and it is a popular hang-out place for the SDSU students. Sastra Dana has a newspaper rack there. In these photos you will see Radhika Devi Dasi and a fellow that Radhika and Rohini found at the restaurant. He was reading our publication.


Radhika Devi Dasi


Radhika and a 16Rounds reader/admirer


Radhika and a 16Rounds reader/admirer


inside the 4.0 Deli restaurant


This visitor to the 4.0 Deli restaurant is holding our publication.


4.0 Deli restaurant

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Kaunteya das, Mayapura: Present and potential leaders of ISKCON invest in the future

I came back to Mayapur from presenting the course "Building Vibrant Vaisnava
Communities" in both Siliguri (West Bengal) and Panchgani (Maharasthra).
ISKCON LEADS - an educational initiative under the umbrella of the GBC
Succession Committee - organized the courses as part of their planned
seventeen courses, to be covered within three years.

I must say that the experience and the reception appeared positive; the
devotees seemed to appreciate the approach of the course, which focused on
larger issues of culture, mood, cooperation and so on, rather than on the
nuts and bolts of, say, running a Bhakti-vriksha group or similar topics. Of
course the results will be seen in the future, on how these leaders apply
the teaching that we shared.

We plan to follow up with them in a number of ways, for instance:

1. Creating an email conference where we can keep in touch - which many

2. Sending them the PowerPoint files used in the course - some
seventeen of them - for their own presentations.

3. Collect, edit and circulate the surveys they designed during the

4. Visiting those who already invited us to their temples (and those
who will invite us in the future).

5. Checking on the initiatives they committed to implement in their
places, such as the Damodara Program or the Siksa Program.

We had some seven temples representing the Eastern India Division and eight
the Western India Division. Some temples - such as Kolkata, Pune and Juhu -
sent strong delegations; other temples managed to send smaller groups or
were represented by a single participant. It was a bit saddening to see that
important centers didn't send anyone (their reason being that didn't have
enough devotees to spare for days of the training).

Important Vaisnava places like Manipur or Bhubaneswar weren't represented at
all; same for many smaller temples in those Divisions. From the whole state
of Orissa only one devotee came; and only a single devotee came from the
whole of Gujarati

Besides the "separation" we felt from those projects that weren't
represented, the concern is that a class of present and future leaders is
growing exposed to a common wealth of information through this ISKCON LEADS
program. They will be able to "speak the same language" when interacting
among them on the local, divisional, national or international level; they
will have shared the same training and undergone the same thought processes.
They will be familiar with specific Srila Prabhupada instructions in
different fields of management and administration. In this way these courses
are helping to create a body of Vaisnavas with unified or compatible views.
But what to say about those who don't come to these courses? Can we
realistically expect that they will enrich themselves to a comparable level
of education in their own, often culturally isolated, temples?

Another striking feature was the absence of women at the courses; all 75-80
devotees in attendance were men - often brahmacaris. I understand that
adding ladies would be logistically and socially challenging (although I am
told that there are women in the courses presented in the Southern and
Northern Division), but I also understand that this is India, a country were
the President is a woman, the most powerful politician is a woman, a country
who had a woman as Prime Minister and in which many influential state
leaders are also womeni I am only concerned that we are not missing some
valuable opportunities due to some myopic prejudice.

Anyway, these are the topics we presented:

1. Overview of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura's, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta
Sarasvati Thakura's and Srila Prabhupada's approaches to Congregational
2. "Why Religious Movements Succeed or Fail" sociological
considerations - (based on Prof. Rodney Stark 10 propositions)
3. Congregational Development depends on vision (like a block of
marble: it's what the artist sees in it and how good he is in bringing it
4. Analysis of various types of groups (Bhakti-vriksha, Counselor,
etc.); Essence rather than System; Introducing the G12 model
5. "ISKCON Membership & Social Development" (the importance of
creating small groups)
6. "Strong Roots, Strong Results": principles of successful community
7. Community Builders as Cultural Engineers - establishing and managing
the three dimensions of culture
8. Five tools for Congregational Development (Damodara Program,
Sraddha-kutir, Each-One-Teach-One, Sadhana-charts, Siksa Program - and
9. Designing a survey
10. "Congregational Life Cycle" (based on a ppt from the Episcopal
11. Fund raising and the 50 percent principle
12. Unity in Diversity
13. Polarity Management
14. Congregational Development in tamas-, rajas- and sattva-guna

Some participants were lavish in their appreciation of the services we

"It was really very inspiring to see the great endeavors you had taken to
prepare the ppts and other course materials and hand down a wealth of
information to us in the most genuine, lucid, easy to understand and
light-hearted way."

On the feedback form, at the question "What aspects of the course you found
most useful?" one participant wrote: "Its design and implementation,
Balanced schedule, thinking and doing. Facilitator's richness/profound depth
of realization, knowledge and skills of presentation."

With this type of reactions, I feel encouraged to travel and teach more;
that's for sure.

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Madhava Ghosh dasa, New Vrndavan, USA: Trying To Bounce Back

Sunday I got a lot done some weeding and planting marigolds and weeding and planting sweet peppers and weeding.  It was predicted to rain and it did Monday and Tuesday so I felt I was mostly prepared for it.

Walking in the garden I see a lot of bare rooted weeds laying on the soil surface still green, and another cloudy day in store so some of them will have rerooted by the time the sun comes out so I will have to go back through and hoe them out when it dries up enough.

I need to be doing a bunch of mulching but I guess I am behind on that.

The peas and fava beans are blooming but I don’t think we will have some peas by the time we stop picking the asparagus in the next week. Usually the seasons overlap but we had a hot first week of April which kicked the asparagus in early and now May has been cool so the peas are coming on slowly so there is probably going to be a gap we normally wouldn’t have.

The fall planted spinach is starting to bolt so we will be left with the spring planted spinach and radishes  fresh from the garden in the meantime and beets and carrots from last fall still good in the root cellar.

After Sunday’s exertions, I spent the next two days mostly laying on the couch and today I will try get back up and be productive again.  Although I have the agility and flexibility of a 50 year old, I have the stamina of an 80 year old and that is frustrating to me.  There is always so much more that could be done.

Filed under: News, Ramblings or Whatever
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New Vrndavan, USA: New Vrindaban Hosts North American Leadership Conference

by NV Communications

This past weekend, 45 administrators from 40 Hare Krishna centers met in New Vrindaban for the semi-annual North America Leadership Conference for the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON). ISKCON was founded in 1966 by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. As ISKCON’s first generation of leaders reaches retirement age, the organization is planning a smooth transfer to the next generation.

Ali Krishna devi dasi of Gainesville, Fla., is one of the new young faces in ISKCON leadership. The Buffalo native joined ISKCON in 2006 in New Vrindaban, and lived in the community for nearly one year. “I was 25 years old at the time, and I wasn’t satisfied with my life,” said Ali Krishna. “Although I had lived in agricultural communities before, I had never lived in a God-centered community. I later moved to New Vrindaban and spent nearly one year here.”

In 2008, Ali Krishna became the Director of the newly formed Institute for Vaishnava Studies (IVS) at Krishna House, a student housing facility at the University of Florida, Gainesville. Krishna House allows students to simultaneously pursue spiritual life and a secular education. The Institute provides education in the ancient science of bhakti yoga, or devotion to God. “IVS is an unqualified success,” said Ali Krishna. “This past school year, Krishna House was filled to capacity. We had 20 full-time undergraduate and graduate students in residence. Next year, half the students will be coming back.”

Ali Krishna was part of a panel that discussed innovative outreach strategies. Many of the other panelists were also young people who are successfully reaching out to youth. “I felt comfortable at the conference,” she said. “Quite a few of the older people told me that they felt inspired to see a young woman in a leadership role.”

New Vrindaban Community is located south of Moundsville – Wheeling, off Route 250.

For more information, contact (304) 843-1600 x 105 or mail@newvrindaban.com

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ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Brahmakunda and Bhakti Lata's Wedding Photos

Here is a slideshow of the wedding from the pictures taken by Alyona Mataji

...and here is part 2 of the slideshow.

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H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Monday, May 17th, 2010

What's Not Sacred?

Thunder Bay, Ontario

Daruka, my former cross Canada support person, joined me for the morning trek around Boulevard Lake. This is not a sacred pool of water or place of pilgrimage such as Vrindavan where Krishna roamed, played and touched every square inch of space. It is a pool of water thousands of miles from India which was dammed to produce electricity over a century ago and ultimately spills into Lake Superior, one of the Great Lakes in Canada.

In Vrindavan, pilgrims circumambulate a temple before entering. In many cases such foot pilgrims take to parikrama marg, the footpath that encircles the entire town. Either that or it is common practice to circle around the tomb of a saint or the sacred Tulasi plant. That is the tradition of revering an object or grounds that are sacred.

Daruka and I are not in India but we had taken to mobilizing ourselves going clockwise around this lake. It is not the Radha Kunda or Shyama Kunda of Vrindavan, two sacred ponds in that district. The two of us must reconcile this dilemma and authenticize our action. Here are my thoughts on this which I have mentioned before:

We have to insist that the lake before us is also sacred. What qualifies it as such is simply that it's the energy or the product of God. That's all! This is not to marginalize the well established sacredness of a place like Vrindavan but rather to capitalize on the sacred potency of all that is around us.

6 KM

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H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Sunday, May 16th, 2010

Fourth Year

Thunder Bay, Ontario

Thunder Bay is a unique place in Canada. Geographically situated fairly central in the world's second largest country, all the country highways funnel through this place. For the three cross-country walks that I've ventured, this city is undeniably and most hospitably unavoidable. Today it hosted its fourth Yoga Fest where people come to do more than just stretch leg muscles.

Superior Yoga Fest, named after the nearby glorious lake, is organized by our very own bhakti yoga practitioner, Prem, aka Dr. Jani. The program expanded this year from the use of one auditorium at Lakehead University to include also a gymnasium as well as outdoor grassy sections of the campus.

Our little drama/ kirtan troupe drove sixteen hours from Toronto to insert the bhakti yoga portion of the event. We performed the drama "Lonely People." It was well received as a provocative piece. Chanting was also highly praised.

At the Yoga Fest's closing, people enjoyed yoga food which we Vaishnavas call prasadam. Yoga instructors appreciated the masterful work of Prem, the facilitator, and many of the teachers I spoke to expressed their love for kirtan.

After all, the prophet's passages found in the established books of yoga emphasize that to make yoga endeavours complete (or any endeavour for that matter) kirtan tops it off. Kirtan or chanting is the crown jewel of all yoga activities.

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Yoga of Ecology, Bhakta Chris, USA: A New Vision For the 2012 Farm Bill?

From Paula Crossfield at the Huffington Post

House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (D-MN), who last year called those who spend money on organic produce "dumb," may become the unlikely champion of a Farm Bill in 2012 that could create opportunities for more sustainable farmers.

This week, the House Agriculture Committee held the first hearing on the 2012 Farm Bill, the main piece of legislation that every five years establishes our nations food and agriculture policy. The Farm Bill affects farm payments, supplemental nutrition assistance programs (SNAP, formally called food stamps), international trade, conservation programs, the opportunities in rural communities, agriculture research, food safety, and more. Currently 70% of farm payments go to the wealthiest 10% of producers of corn, soybeans, wheat, cotton and rice. These kinds of oversights are the result of a Farm Bill that has been largely cobbled together over time.

But it seems the House Agriculture Committee is gearing up for a more serious overhaul this time around. Peterson said that he called the Farm Bill hearing Wednesday in order to get a head start on the process, saying "I think it will be very difficult to pass a status-quo farm bill in 2012." As the Environmental Working Group pointed out, Peterson has said that all options will be "on the table" for the planning of this Farm Bill.

Due to budgetary constraints affecting all areas of government, Peterson and his committee will specifically be re-considering the efficiency of direct payments, disaster relief programs, crop insurance and conservation programs. He said in an interview following the hearing that subsidy programs could phase out over the next 20 years as crop insurance programs strengthen and become less focused on commodities. "Is it right to be doing [crop insurance] by commodity, or should we be doing this with whole-farm type of situation with crop insurance and revenue?" said Peterson. He went on to say that the idea of crop insurance is easier to sell to urban voters than the conventional subsidy programs. If the new Farm Bill includes this change, it could spur farmers to diversify their crops, spreading out their risk, thereby creating new opportunities for local food systems.

Peterson has also expressed concern that direct payments could be affecting land values and rents, asking "is that making it more difficult for young farmers to get started?"

This openness could pave the way for a broader conversation about who the Farm Bill serves, what it is suppose to do, and what the long term goals of such legislation should be.

One of the ideas that the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) hopes will be a part of the discussion is an expanded "green payments" program, which would reward farmers for environmental stewardship instead of placing the incentives on overproduction. "In light of the increasing questions coming from within parts of the Agriculture Committee leadership about the commodity programs--especially direct payments," said Aimee Witteman, Executive Director of NSAC, "We think 2012 represents an important opportunity to make [the Conservation Stewardship Program] an even bolder program that shifts financial resources away from environmentally-destructive practices."

Writer and farmer Wendell Berry, plant biologist Wes Jackson and other advocates of sustainable agriculture have called for a 50-year Farm Bill in order to deal with environmental issues like soil degradation, water pollution and climate change, all exacerbated by the way we produce food now in the US.

"While we need to look at short term problems in agriculture, we also need to look further ahead than 5 years," said Jim Goodman, organic dairy farmer and Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy fellow. "Issues of water quality, soil erosion, increasing local food production, revitalizing rural communities and decreasing agriculture's dependence on fossil fuel should be addressed with a long range focus."

Daniel Imhoff, author of the book, Food Fight: The Citizen's Guide to a Food and Farm Bill, said long-term thinking on the Farm Bill should focus on "Getting Perennial by the Next Centennial." The idea would be to "[use] the 5-year farm bills to push land use from monocropping of annual feed grains to broad acreages of deep rooted perennial plants that sequester carbon, filter water, protect the soil, provide habitat, and can support fewer numbers of healthier grazing animals."

Imhoff also said that this Farm Bill should take a stance of "No Subsidization without Social Obligation." "We must put an end to commodity subsidy programs that simply encourage overproduction and insurance of cheap ingredients for industrial foods," he said. "What we subsidize should contribute to an all around healthier food system"

Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore's Dilemma and frequent speaker on food issues, agrees. "[The] whole bill needs to be viewed through the lens of improving public health and, perhaps specifically, supporting the first lady's Let's Move initiative," he said. "In the same way bills in congress get "scored" by [the Congressional Budget Office] for their impact on the deficit, the [Farm Bill] should be scored on its various provisions likelihood of improving or damaging public health."

Another major issue is funding the research needed to turn the tables on climate change and the other environmental byproducts of this food system. "The federal food and agriculture research budget and agenda need to be more robust and diversified," said Michael Dimock, President of the organization Roots of Change. He continued, saying that we need "agro-ecological and organic research that will allow us to scale up the work of Joel Salatin, Wes Jackson, and others that are showing farmers how to work with diversity [and] to break out of the industrial mindset that seeks to eliminate diversity."

It is still too early to tell how this dialog about the 2012 Farm Bill will turn out, but Aimee Witteman at NSAC has some advice. "Get to know your legislators and identify champions for your issues early on," she said. "Also, don't underestimate the freshmen. We had several first-year Congress members step up and champion issues like beginning farmers and organic agriculture, folks such as Rep Tim Walz (D-MN) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)," who was a Representative when the 2008 Farm Bill was written.

Because the 2008 Farm Bill mostly followed the status quo of the bills that had come before it, despite an active base supporting change, I asked Witteman what should be different about the approach to reform this time.

"It's important for the 'good food movement' to not demonize farmers in their media and advocacy work," she said. "I think there was a tendency in the media last time for the "change" story to be written as a power play between the urban elite and the big conventional farmers supposedly living high on the hog. Not only is that depiction inaccurate, it does nothing to forge a strategic relationship between urban and rural stakeholders, or win the hearts and minds of members of the Agriculture Committee. The biggest winners from our existing farm policies are not farmers or eaters, but agribusiness companies that benefit from cheap feed inputs and unenforced antitrust regulations."

The House Agriculture Committee will hold four field meetings in the coming weeks in Des Moines, Iowa; Boise, Idaho; Fresno, California; and Cheyenne, Wyoming that are open to the public, giving individuals a chance to weigh in on the direction of the legislation.

Follow Paula Crossfield on Twitter: www.twitter.com/civileater

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Gouranga TV: Lecture – Guru-prasad Swami – CC Adi 2.30

Lecture – Guru-prasad Swami – CC Adi 2.30

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Mayapur Online: Nrsimhadeva Saves Translators Auntie

The Spanish version of Lord Nrsimhadeva’s Pastimes in now online at www.narasimhalila.com. Her Grace Srimate Rasa Sundari devi dasi from Malaga has spent hours of her time translating it to bring the nectar of these pastimes to Spanish speaking devotees around the world.
It is amazing that as she finished the translation, Lord Nrsimhadeva saved her Auntie from death, as described below.

read more

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