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January 25 2011 - Planet ISKCON - 31 new articles

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"Planet ISKCON" - 31 new articles

  1. H.G. Sankarshan das Adhikari, USA: Tuesday 25 January 2011--What Could Be More Astounding and Sublime?--and--Why Krishna Sent Me to this Earth?
  2. Vraja Kishor, JP: Kirtan 1: The Melody of the Moon
  3. Australian News: From Vishram Ghat to Varshana A parikrama of Vraja Dham
  4. Akrura das, Gita Coaching: MOTHS ARE CAPTIVATED
  5. ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Sruta Kirti Prabhu In Melbourne
  6. ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Today's Darsana
  7. H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Sunday, January 23rd, 2011
  8. H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Saturday, January 22nd, 2011
  9. H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Friday, Janurary 21st, 2011
  10. H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: 200
  11. Japa Group: Japa Seminar Chandramauli Swami P4
  12. Madhava Ghosh dasa, New Vrndavan, USA: Insect Eyes Inspire Improved Solar Cells
  13. Mukunda Charan das, SA: First Initiation
  14. Matsyavatara das (ACBSP), Italy: Family Matters (Part Three) - By Matsya Avatara Dasa (Marco Ferrini)
  15. Ananda Subramanian, Iowa, USA: Bug Mac
  16. Akrura das, Gita Coaching: CURIOUS
  17. Subhavilasa das ACBSP, Toronto, CA: Honoring Jayadeva Goswami
  18. ISKCON Toronto, Canada: Deity Darshan: Sunday, January 23, 2011
  19. Rupa Madhurya das, TX, USA: Initiation Lecture & Ceremony - Radhanath Swami
  20. Australian News: Bhajan Babas Play Big Day Out concert on Australia’s Gold Coast
  21. H.H. Sivarama Swami: Initiation talk at Birmingham temple Jan 22nd
  22. H.H. Sivarama Swami: Initiations in Birmingham
  23. Book Distribution News: Sankirtan Bliss
  24. H.H. Sivarama Swami
  25. Mayapur Online: Ambulance Needed!
  26. H.H. Sivarama Swami
  27. Mayapur Online: Can You Entertain Us?
  28. H.H. Bhakticharu Swami: Srimad Bhagavatam, Canto 10 Chapter 2 Text 29
  29. Sita-pati dasa, AU: Temples and Ashrams - two distinct things
  30. Gouranga TV: Lecture – Mukunda Datta das – Bhagavad-gita 4.9
  31. Japa Group: Japa Seminar Chandramauli Swami P3
  32. More Recent Articles
  33. Search Planet ISKCON
  34. Prior Mailing Archive

H.G. Sankarshan das Adhikari, USA: Tuesday 25 January 2011--What Could Be More Astounding and Sublime?--and--Why Krishna Sent Me to this Earth?

A daily broadcast of the Ultimate Self Realization Course(tm) Tuesday 25 January 2011 The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krishna, and His eternal consort, Srimati Radharani are enjoying transcendental pastimes in the topmost planet of the spiritual world, Sri Goloka Vrindavan. They are beckoning us to rejoin them. Our Mission: To help everyone awaken their original Krishna consciousness, which is eternal, full of knowledge and full of bliss. Such a global awakening will, in one stroke, solve all the problems of the world society bringing in a new era of unprecedented peace and prosperity for all. May that day, which the world so desperately needs, come very soon. We request you to participate in this mission by reviving your dormant Krishna consciousness and assisting us in spreading this science all over the world. Dedicated with love to ISKCON Founder-Acharya: His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, our beloved spiritual master, and to you, our dear readers. Today's Thought: What Could Be More Astounding and Sublime? Uploaded from New Dwarka--Los Angeles, California, USA Srila Prabhupada explains in his purport to Sri Caitanya Caritamrita Adi Lila, Chapter 7, text 83: A sincere student aurally receives the holy name from the spiritual master, and after being initiated he follows the regulative principles given by the spiritual master. When the holy name is properly served in this way, automatically the spiritual nature of the holy name spreads; in other words, the devotee becomes qualified in offenselessly chanting the holy name. When one is completely fit to chant the holy name in this way, he is eligible to make disciples all over the world, and he actually becomes jagad-guru. Then the entire world, under his influence, begins to chant the holy names of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra. From these wonderful words of Srila Prabhupada we can see the amazing potency of Krishna's holy name. Simply by properly serving the holy name according to the instructions of the spiritual master, by the power of the holy name the sincere student becomes qualified to chant the holy name offenselessly and is thus eligible to make disciples all over the world and actually become jagad-guru by influencing the entire world to take up the sublime path of Krishna bhakti. What could be more astounding and sublime than this? Sankarshan Das Adhikari ISKCON--Los Angeles, California, USA http://www.backtohome.com/images/2009-Fall/ISKCON_LA.jpg Answers According to the Vedic Version: Question: Why Krishna Sent Me to this Earth? Please accept my humble obeisances, and also my apologies if I've been writing too many emails asking different questions to you from time to time. But I like to hear from you and somehow feel that you can show me the path. I'm very much thankful to you for all the answers you have been sending me. The question that is coming to my mind even after hearing so many lectures and chanting daily is: Why Krishna sent me to this earth? From spiritual understanding I get the answer to realize myself and go back to His kingdom. From materialists I get the answer that everybody is sent here for purpose to achieve (dreams, goals, etc) something in life. I also heard in one of your lectures that we wanted to enjoy separately from Krishna. So does that mean we were not happy with Krishna? But Krishna is so merciful even in this world He has given us facilities to enjoy life in different ways (both materialistic and spiritual). Why we wanted to enjoy separately from Krishna? Were we not happy doing his service in the transcendental Vaikuntha world? If so, then it means we were not perfect. Then still how were we in Vaikuntha? Initially before the material world started everybody must have been in Vaikuntha. If the spiritual Vaikuntha world is our real home, why was this material world created? Please enlighten me with your loving words and free me from my doubts as this has started affecting my sadhana, my devotional practices. Thank you Sushant Answer: To Fulfill Your Desire to Be God I am very pleased by your inquiring. Please continue to do so until your intelligence is fully satisfied. Kindly note that the import of these teachings will become clarified according to the degree of our surrender at the Lord's lotus feet. Therefore always try to become more and more absorbed in the mood of bhakti. In this way your intelligence will become more and more transcendentally empowered. Because love must be voluntary, it cannot be forced, part of the Lord's perfect arrangement is to give the living beings free will so they can have a genuine loving relationship with Him. Free will means the independence to love Him or leave Him. Although everyone has perfect happiness in the Vaikuntha realm, because everyone has independence sometimes someone may think that there might be more happiness in being the Supreme rather than serving the Supreme. When the living entity desires in this way, the Lord, as His affectionate father, fulfills that person's desire by giving him a world in which he can imagine that he is the Supreme. And then when the foolish living being realizes his mistake and wants to return to being the Lord's servant in the spiritual world, the Lord gives him all facility by providing him with a spiritual master, saintly teachers, and bona fide scriptures to illuminate his pathway back to home, back to Godhead. Sankarshan Das Adhikari Transcendental Resources: Receive the Special Blessings of Krishna Now you too can render the greatest service to the suffering humanity and attract the all-auspicious blessings of Lord Sri Krishna upon yourself and your family by assisting our mission. Lectures and Kirtans in Audio and Video: Link to High Definition Videos Link to Over 1,000 Lecture Audios Lecture-Travel Schedule for 2010-2011 http://www.ultimateselfrealization.com/schedule Have Questions or Need Further Guidance? Check out the resources at: http://www.ultimateselfrealization.com or write Sankarshan Das Adhikari at: sda@backtohome.com Get your copy today of the world's greatest self-realization guide book, Bhagavad-gita As It Is available at: http://www.ultimateselfrealization.com/store Know someone who could benefit from this? Forward it to them. Searchable archives of all of course material: http://www.sda-archives.com Receive Thought for the Day as an RSS feed: http://www.backtohome.com/rss.htm Unsubscribe or change your email address Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/Daily_Thought Copyright 2005-2011 by Ultimate Self Realization.Com Distribution of this material is encouraged. Simply we request you to acknowledge where it is coming from with a link to our sign up page: http://www.backtohome.com Our records indicate that at requested to be enrolled to receive e-mails from the Ultimate Self Realization Course at: This request was made on: From the following IP address:

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Vraja Kishor, JP: Kirtan 1: The Melody of the Moon

The First Kirtan from Ter Kadamba

Kirtan 1 – The Moon’s Melody

Recorded in the middle of the Frozen Season (Shishira), this is our first attempt to record Kirtan. We hope that you will all overlook all the flaws and enjoy the honest intention of making a very nice “musical outfit” for the divine name to wear during this cold time of year.

We hope that all who listen to this kirtan will release all other thoughts from their minds – like releasing tension from your shoulders – and let the intention of the sound within the sound permeate their awareness and fill them with uninterrupted connection to the divine couple, Sri Sri Nandini Nandana.

The raga (melodic base) of the Kirtan is Chandra Lekha – which can mean “The Moon’s Melody.” You will probably find that your mind sinks most pleasantly and deeply into this kirtan during the later hours of the night, for the raga is specially attuned to those hours. Perhaps this kirtan will be gloriously successful in bringing to our minds thoughts of Sri Sri Nandani-Nandina dancing amidst the most excellent kirtana in the spiritual forests surrounding Ter Kadamba in the wee hours of the divine night?

The recording contains a single clay Bengali drum – a Khol Mrdanga.This is a special Mrdanga made for us by a very accomplished and excellent kirtan musician and wellwisher in Vrindavana, India. You can hear four pairs of hand-cymbals, timekeepers called Karatala.Of these, two are from Vrindavana, the others are from South India, donated to Ter Kadamba Mandir by two different kind friends. One set of much larger cymbals also enter the sound-scape midway through the kirtana. Around that time you can also hear two strands of dancing bells, also from Vrindaban. A single stringed percussion instrument also enters the sonic picture here, an Ektar. There is a Harmonium, Bina Model 8, selected for and delivered to us by our very dear friend and godbrother whose dedication to kirtan is most sublime and pure. You can also hear the temple Conch shell, and altar bells.

The voices of several Ter Kadamba Mandir characters make up the response group. They are idealic personalities who prefer to go unnamed. :) .

The kirtan was recorded using two microphones – a Sure SM57 and Blue Baby Bottle, plugged directly into a Digidesign 002 audio I/O feeding into ProTools LE 7. The mix was done using only the stock Digidesign EQ and Compression on only a few of the tracks. Some yellow T-Racks equipment was used on the master track as well. The idea was to keep the recording and mixing as simple and transparent as possible.

We do not mention these details to inflate the importance of what is most clearly a very humble first attempt at recording Kirtan. Rather, it is out of childish enthusiasm that we enumerate all these facts, or even post the kirtan for the public ear. Still we hope you somehow find the Kirtan fascinating and deeply enjoyable.



You are welcome to save the file to your computer, iTunes, etc. We grant you full rights to enjoy this recording as you like, short of selling it, of course, or otherwise utilizing it for material gains.

There are various ways to access the link. Try a “right-click” and then “Save link as…” to download the file to your computer. It is a large file, over 10Mb and over 10 minutes of music. You may need to wait a bit for the internet to download all that data to you.

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Australian News: From Vishram Ghat to Varshana A parikrama of Vraja Dham

This year is the 40th Anniversary of the installation of their Lordships Sri Sri Radha Gopinatha in Sydney Australia. Srila Prabhupada brought the deities to Australia himself.

To ignite the celebration Sydney devotees organised a 40 hour kirtan and burned down the curtain of maya over the entire weekend.

Gaura Vana and As Kindred Spirits, Gitanjali devi Dasi, Sri Prahlada, the Satyananda Kirtan Band and many talented devotees from around Australia and across the world came to join in the ecstatic event.

www.kirtanaustralia.com.au provided a live internet video stream of the event.

Devotees are still swooning from the experience and sharing stories about the waves of bliss that rippled through the temple and out into the world.

“That is the best experience in my life…”

“I never felt so much a part of the consciousness…”

“I’ve never seen anything like this, ever, I can’t believe it…”

“When you are singing in the kirtan with so many happy people it is as if nothing else matters at all, this is it, nothing else is real…”

“If we could capture 1% of this bliss it is enough to go around…”

“It’s like Mercy on tap…”


“AWESOME !!!!”

Click on the video and start dancing (part two coming soon)

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Akrura das, Gita Coaching: MOTHS ARE CAPTIVATED

The deluding energy, or material nature, can act upon the living beings proportionately in terms of the living beings' falling prey to the deluding attraction of maya.

Moths are captivated by the glaring brightness of light, and thus they become prey to the fire. Similarly, the deluding energy is always captivating the conditioned souls to become prey to the fire of delusion, and the Vedic scriptures warn the conditioned souls not to become prey to delusion but to get rid of it.

The Vedas warn us to go not to the darkness of ignorance but to the progressive path of light. The Lord Himself also warns that the deluding power of material energy is too powerful to overcome, but one who completely surrenders unto the Lord can easily do so.

But to surrender unto the lotus feet of the Lord is also not very easy. Such surrender is possible by persons of austerity, cleanliness, mercy and truthfulness.

SB 1.17.24 Purport

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ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Sruta Kirti Prabhu In Melbourne


... and another nectarean wave of mercy coming our way...

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ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Today's Darsana


The regal blue, white and gold of today's set accentuates the royalty of Their Lordships.

Here's Their

Vrajendra Nandana, Krishna the son of the King of Vraja;

Vrindavanesvari, Srimarti Radhika the Queen of Vrindavana;

Jagannatha the Lord of the Universe and His honorable family;

and Sri Sri Gaura Nitai the Emperors of the Holy Names.

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H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Sunday, January 23rd, 2011

You Adjust

Thornhill, Ontario

Serious waling is next to impossible after surgery. All hernia patients wake up stiff and in some pain. Exercise is recommended though. You try your best edging your way up and down the hallway. Daily, patients are treated to formalized exercise classes. It begins with graceful movement like Tai Chi to the sound of soft piano. Then it wound up to Elvis', "I'm All Shook Up" where participants bend knees while moving around the room like a locomotive steaming down a curved track.

Next to me was an elder from the Ojibway tribe. Normally this type of dance with a different twist on music would be regular fare as in a Pow Wow. The though came that perhaps in the future the Shouldice will introduce kirtan music and for motion, the swami step.

It is my last full day here and I thank God it is. People here are nice and the atmosphere is peaceful. They are even eager to hear about the ABC's of my spiritual lifestyle, but frankly, football grabs their attention and for some, hour after hour in front of the wide screen. It's not my cup of tea. I'm ready for home - the temple.

Word got out in our community if you're going to visit the swami at the Shouldice, then bring him some juice. And so it came to pass that at visiting hours, as on the previous days, each new well-wisher would bring not one, but two bottles of the ambrosial stuff. Always carrying a bag, as soon as the kind donor would pull out the content, it would create a stir of laughter. Oh well, all is done in love and service. My patient's room was looking like the juice compartment of a convenience store.

I have my juice, my meditation beads, devotional company, something to read and something to write. A little food with specifications - vegetarian, no onions, garlic - would be something I would quickly offer mantras to make it prasad and in silence in front of my co-eaters. I'm all set.

Wherever you are, as a monk, you adjust and you are happy.

0 KM

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H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Saturday, January 22nd, 2011

It's All About Meeting

Thornhill, Ontario

A doctor came to relieve me of half of the stitches. He noticed my kurta.

"Are you with Zen?"
"I'm with Krishna," I said as he snipped away.
"Oh yes, that's the root of it all, isn't it?"
"Yes, it is," I said with some exhaustion recovering now from surgery.

I had lunch with all patients but I'm treated to a strict diet. I believe I'm the only one who is vegetarian in the hospital. Everyone, however, knows people who are. The fellow next to me at the table claims his two daughters are on a meatless diet. Rose is an ex-hippie who hung out at Yorkville during hippie heyday. And across the table was a gentleman with a Dutch name - Vander something-or-other. He looks like Jimmy Stewart. I told him so. His wife, next to him, said many people have told him that.

"I've been called Kevin Spacey, even though I've never seen the actor." Mrs. Vander .... said, "Yes, I can see that."

From there we dropped the small talk to discuss more about spirituality. They wanted to know. So I began, "We are all divine sparks of life, regardless of gender, race, or species. We have a chance to purge ourselves and if we fail this time around we are given another opportunity in the next. Our teachings are based on the ancient text called Bhagavad-gita and I am a Bhakti Yoga instructor."

"Yes, I have played the role of chaplain at a school," said Mr. Vander Jimmy Stewart (take no offence).

I meet just about the nicest people at the Shouldice. I believe I have some purpose here apart from the cut and the stitches. In fact, Mr. Vander Jimmy Stewart was willing to accept that his Catholicism was influenced by the 'root' culture from India.

I was fortunate to meet these and other folks. Other visitors came at the two designated visiting hours. The first batch of devotees from the temple could not resist a soft chant in my hospital room. That terminated when one of the nurses came in to see the packed room and asked, "What are you doing?" She sternly questioned.

So everyone drilled their way quietly down to the spacious solarium to resume our metting.

0 KM

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H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Friday, Janurary 21st, 2011

Before and After

Thornhill, Ontario

You hear nothing but praise about the Shouldice Hospital. The remarks will go something like this (coming from patients): "I had an operation some years ago elsewhere and I realize I had to come her to do it right." Or, "Hernia is all they focus on, they're specialists here." Also, "For healing, this is great. It's quiet, a friendly atmosphere, like family and the natural surroundings are beautiful."

I will agree that this is a terrific place for care. People come from all over the world for treatment. It's rumoured that Clint Eastwood was here last week. In any event, remarks such as the above conjure up a desire to have people say that about our temples. Mind you, some do. Pilgrims or just curious browsers come for an experience, of the deities (sacred images), the incense pervading the air, the soft chanting in the background. The temple generally provides that but to be self-critical I would like to see that we step up on the quality of care from our personnel. People should have an experience they'll never forget. It should be very human and mystical.

Speaking of which, after sedation, then operation executed in its own designated floor, I found myself in my usual patient’s bed. The drugs were that strong that I don't recall moving.

Family and friends came and phone calls as you can imagine streamed in. That, if anything, eases the pain, plus the friends you make on the premises. The patients (mostly men) are curious about my lifestyle, the kurta (monk's shirt), my vegetarianism and the marathon walking.

Outside of mechanics being worked on, friend raising and catching up on rest, reading and writing, I do have the mantra. It is so profound, before or after surgery, before or after anything and everything, there is the mantra, "Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare."

0 KM

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H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: 200

www.sdgonline.org. SDGonline Daily updates

10:26 A.M.

Once the family members of Lord Krishna and all the princes of the Yadu dynasty went on a long picnic in the forest near Dvaraka. In the course of their excursion they became thirsty and began to try to find a well where water was available in the forest. When they approached the well they found that there was no water in it, but within the well was a wonderful living entity. It was a large lizard, and all of them became astonished to see such a wonderful animal. They could understand that the animal was trapped and could not escape so out of compassion they tried to take the large lizard out of the well. Unfortunately they could not get the lizard out, and so they returned home and told their story to Krishna. Krishna personally went to the well and easily got the great lizard out simply by extending His left hand. Immediately upon being touched by the hand of Lord Krishna the great lizard gave up its former shape and appeared as a beautiful demigod and inhabitant of the heavenly planets. How the demigod had been obliged to accept the body of a lizard was not a secret to Lord Krishna but for others’ information the Lord inquired of him, “My dear fortunate demigod, now I see that your body is so beautiful and lustrous. Who are you? I think that you are not meant to be in this situation. It must be due to the result of your past activities that you have been put into the species of lizard-life. Still I want to hear from you how you were put in this position. Please tell your identity.”

Actually this large lizard was King Nrga and when he was questioned by the Supreme Personality of Godhead he immediately bowed down before the Lord, touching to the ground the helmet on his head which was as dazzling as the sunshine. He said, “My dear Lord, I am the son of King Iksvaku, and I am King Nrga. I’m sure that You must have heard of my name as one who has been charitably disposed. But since nothing can be hidden from You and since You ordered me to explain my history, I shall narrate my full story.

King Nrga then proceeded to narrate the story of his degradation caused by his karma-kanda activities. He was very charitably disposed and had given away so many cows that he said the number was equal to the amount of dust on the earth, the stars in the sky and the rainfall. According to Vedic ceremonies a man who is charitably disposed is commended to give cows to the brahmanas, but according to King Nrga’s statement it appears that he followed the principle earnestly but as a result of a slight discrepancy in his action he was forced to take his birth as a lizard. King Nrga continued to say how he gave out beautiful cows to the brahmanas, and they were all valuably decorated and the brahmanas were all qualified. But in spite of this, unfortunately one of the brahmanas’ cows chanced to enter among his other cows. Not knowing this, he gave it in charity to another brahmana. As the cow was being taken away by the brahmana its former master claimed it as his own stating, “This cow was formerly given to me so how is it that you are taking it away?” Thus there was arguing and fighting between the two brahmanas, and they came before King Nrga and charged that he had taken back a cow that he had previously given in charity. This was a great sin. The king was puzzled how it had happened and with great humility he offered each of them 100,000 cows in exchange for the one cow that was causing the fight between them. He prayed to them that he was their servant and that there had been some mistake, but the brahmanas disagreed with the king’s proposal and both brahmanas left the palace in anger thinking that their lawful possession had been usurped.

After this incident when the time came for the king to give up his body, he was taken before Yamaraja the superintendent of death. As Yamaraja asked him whether he wanted to first enjoy the results of his pious activities or first suffer the results of his impious activities. Yamaraja hinted that since the king had executed so many pious activities and charities the limit of king Nrga’s enjoyment would be unknown to him. There was practically no end to the king’s material happiness. But in spite of this he was bewildered. He decided to first suffer the results of his impious activities and then to accept the results of his pious activities, therefore Yamaraja immediately turned him into a lizard.

The king continued to say, “My dear Lord, I had a great desire that someday I might be able to see You personally. I think that my tendency to perform ritualistic and charitable activities combined with this great desire to see You personally has enabled me to retain the memory of who I was in my former life even though I became a lizard. By worshiping the Supreme Lord those who desire material opulence are given the bodies of powerful demigods. Sometimes these demigods can see the Supreme Personality of Godhead eye to eye but they are still not eligible to enter into the spiritual kingdom, the Vaikuntha planets. However if the demigods continue to become devotees of the Lord, the next chance they get they will enter into the Vaikuntha planets.

King Nrga praised the Lord and thanked Him for appearing before him in His personal form. He begged mercy for him that he might never forget His lotus feet no matter what form of life or planet he might be transferred to. Lord Krishna granted mercy to King Nrga and allowed him to return to the heavenly kingdom. So although he was not able to go directly to Vaikuntha he got out of the lizard’s body and had a future promise that he would one day enter Vaikuntha. Since Lord Krishna was amongst so many of His relatives He took the opportunity to teach them through the exemplary character of King Nrga. He said, “Even though a ksatriya king may be as powerful as fire it is not possible for him to usurp the property of a brahmana and use it for his own purposes. If this is so, how can ordinary kings who falsely think of themselves as the most powerful beings in within the material world usurp a brahmana’s property?” Lord Krishna elaborated on the crime of taking or even thinking of taking a brahmana’s property from him. He warned all His relatives present that they should never think of doing this but if they are offended by a brahmana they should smile, tolerate him and offer their respects to him. He said that even He offered His respects to the brahmanas and they should follow His example. He cannot forgive anyone who does not follow the brahmanas and He shall punish them.

I am still in a sleeping condition, feeling myself forced to take naps in the early morning, late morning and afternoon. I am something like Mucukunda in the cave. I have fought so long and exhausted myself that my primary desire is to rest, to sleep. I’m looking forward to pulling out of this and returning to a normal state of desiring to be awake. I don’t want to be like Nrga or Mucukunda slumbering in the cave or well. My body is unable to move about and wants only to lie in bed on pillows, drowsing or falling asleep. I can only tell a Krishna story and then relax and pray to regain my brightened, writing form.

In the mood of my tiredness I will tell another story of Krishna that seems befitting. This is the story of Lord Balarama visiting Vrndavana. Lord Balarama became very anxious to see His father and mother, and He started for Vrndavana. The residents had been very anxious to see Krishna and Balarama for a long time. When Lord Balarama returned all the cowherd boys and gopis had grown older. On His arrival they embraced Him, and Balarama embraced them in reciprocation. The residents embraced Balarama and sitting among their laps they began their perpetual crying, wetting Balarama with tears. Lord Balarama then offered His respectful obeisances to the elderly cowherd men and accepted the obeisances of the younger cowherd men. Then according to their different ages and relationships Lord Balarama exchanged feelings of friendship with them. Lord Balarama came down feeling satisfied, and they all surrounded Him. They began to ask Him different questions. The inhabitants of Vrndavana had sacrificed everything for Krishna, simply being captivated by the lotus eyes of the Lord. They never cared for anything but Krishna, and they were absorbed in thoughts of Him. In His absence their voices faltered, and they began to inquire from Balaramaji. They asked how Balarama and the family friends like Vasudeva and the other family members were doing. They asked if Krishna sometimes remembered His father and Yasoda. It is good news that King Kamsa has been killed, He said, and the other demons have been harassed.

When the gopis arrived Lord Balarama glanced over them with loving eyes. Lord Balarama has His own set of gopis with whom He exchanges in conjugal love. These are a different set than the intimate lovers of Krishna. But Krishna’s gopis began to ask Balarama about Krishna and about the welfare of the two brothers. They specifically asked Balarama whether Krishna was enjoying His life surrounded by the enlightened women of Dvaraka-puri. They asked if He sometimes remembered them and did He have any plans to come there to see them? They said Krishna might had forgotten them, but as far as they were concerned, they were still remembering Him by collecting flowers and sowing them into garlands. When He does not come however we simply pass our time by crying. If only He could come here and accept these garlands that we have made. Dear Balarama, You know that we would give up everything for Krishna’s friendship. Even in great distress one cannot give up the connection of family members, but although it might be impossible for others, we gave up our fathers, mothers, sisters and relatives without caring at all about our renunciation. Then all of a sudden Krishna renounced us and went away. He broke off our intimate relationship without any serious consideration and left for a foreign country. But He was so clever that He manufactured very nice words. He said, “My dear gopis, please do not worry. The service that you have rendered Me is impossible to repay.” After all, we are women so how can we disbelieve Him. Now we can understand that His sweet words were simply for cheating us.” The gopis went on in this bittersweet way, expressing some anger for Krishna but always love for Him. They said that maybe they should not talk about Krishna since it gave them so much pain, but they couldn’t do anything else but talk about Him. Balarama began to narrate the stories of Krishna so tactfully that the gopis became satisfied. In order to keep the gopis in Vrndavana satisfied Lord Balarama stayed there continually for two months. He kept Himself among the gopis and passed every night with them in the forest of Vrndavana in order to satisfy their desire for conjugal love. Lord Balarama had a special pastime with Yamuna Devi at that time, and it was settled with her submissive behavior. Lord Balarama enjoyed transcendental pastimes together with the gopis every night for two months, and the time passed away so quickly that all those nights appeared to be only one night. In the presence of Lord Balarama all the gopis and inhabitants of Vrndavana became as cheerful as they had been before in the presence of both brothers, Lord Krishna and Lord Balarama.

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Japa Group: Japa Seminar Chandramauli Swami P4

Chandramauli Swami talk more about the mind and how to ignore it when chanting Japa.

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Madhava Ghosh dasa, New Vrndavan, USA: Insect Eyes Inspire Improved Solar Cells

(PhysOrg.com) — The eyes of moths, which allow them to see well at night, are also covered with a water-repellent, antireflective coating that makes their eyes among the least reflective surfaces in nature and helps them hide from predators in the dark. Mimicking the moth eye’s microstructure, a team of researchers in Japan has created a new film, suitable for mass-production, for covering solar cells that can cut down on the amount of reflected light and help capture more power from the sun.

In a paper appearing in Energy Express, a bi-monthly supplement to , the open-access journal published by the Optical Society (OSA), the team describes how this film improves the performance of photovoltaic modules in laboratory and , and they calculate how the anti-reflection film would improve the yearly performance of solar cells deployed over large areas in either Tokyo, Japan or Phoenix, Ariz.

“Surface reflections are an essential loss for any type of photovoltaic module, and ultimately low reflections are desired,” says Noboru Yamada, a scientist at Nagaoka University of Technology Japan, who led the research with colleagues at Mitsubishi Rayon Co. Ltd. and Tokyo Metropolitan University.

The team chose to look at the effect of deploying this antireflective moth-eye film on solar cells in Phoenix and Tokyo because Phoenix is a “sunbelt” city, with high annual amount of direct sunlight, while Tokyo is well outside the sunbelt region with a high fraction of diffuse .

They estimate that the films would improve the annual efficiency of solar cells by 6 percent in Phoenix and by 5 percent in Tokyo.

“People may think this improvement is very small, but the efficiency of is just like fuel consumption rates of road vehicles,” says Yamada. “Every little bit helps.”

Yamada and his colleagues found the inspiration for this new technology a few years ago after they began looking for a broad-wavelength and omnidirectional antireflective structure in nature. The eyes of the moth were the best they found.

The difficulty in making the film, says Yamada, was designing a seamless, high-throughput roll-to-roll process for nanoimprinting the film. This was ultimately solved by Hideki Masuda, one of the authors on the Energy Express paper, and his colleagues at Mitsubishi Rayon Co. Ltd.

The team is now working on improving the durability of the film and optimizing it for many different types of . They also believe the film could be applied as an anti-reflection coating to windows and computer displays.

More information: Paper: “Characterization of antireflection moth-eye film on crystalline silicon photovoltaic module,” Noboru Yamada, Toshikazu Ijiro, Eiko Okamoto, Kentaro Hayashi, and Hideki Masuda, Optics Express, Vol. 19, Issue S2, pp. A118-A125. Available at: http://www.opticsi … -19-102-A118


Mukunda Charan das, SA: First Initiation

ISKCON Chowpatty, Mumbai, 30 January 2001

Radhanath Maharaja’s quarters were at the end of a prefabricated metal corridor, paved with what appeared to be shower tiles.  My hands carried a photocopied ‘Letter Of Recommendation For First Initiation’  from my Temple President, Sikhi Mahiti prabhu.  The letter was for Maharaja.

The narrow corridor opened into a small seating area outside Maharaja’s room.  I sat on one of the chairs next an older devotee, dressed in white.  His name was Trai prabhu.  His wife, dressed in a colourful sari, was sitting to his right.  We could see into the room from where we were sitting.  The room was covered with straw mats.   Maharaja was sitting on an asana on one side of a low, wooden desk.  Malati Mataji, a very senior disciple of Srila Prabhupada, was also seated on an asana on the other side of the table.  She was wearing a saffron sari.  They were both laughing.

Trai prabhu was looking at some photographs.  He also had a copy of the Bhagavad-gita in his hands.  While waiting to meet with Maharaja we spoke about Harinamas, devotees we both knew, Prabhupada’s books and what we would be doing in India.  After some time, Maharaja stood up, and walked Malati out of the room.  Trai went inside.  After an hour or so, Maharaja bade me enter.  I sat down.  ’Who are you?’ Maharaja asked.  ’Bhakta Michael, from Cape Town’, I nervously replied.  He asked, ‘How can I serve you?’  The question threw me.  Maharaja was the senior devotee.  Maharaja was the guru.  Shouldn’t it be the other way around.  So I said, ‘I should be asking you that question.  How can I serve you?’  Sitting with straight back and legs crossed Maharaja spoke in a deep voice, ‘Surrender to Krishna!’  His voice carried the weight of millenia.  Maharaja said, ‘I don’t take visitors after 6:30pm’.  It was 8:15pm.  I said, ‘Should I go?’  He said, ‘Stay.’  I felt privileged that he was letting me stay in his room.

Maharaja asked what I was doing before I met the devotees.  I told him that I had studied a Master’s degree in History at the University of Cape Town.  He asked me, ‘What kind of History you studied?’  I explained to him that I had written a thesis on the abolition of the Slave Trade to the Cape at the turn of the 18th Century.  I further explained how unhappy I was studying Law.  I had wanted to be successful, materially.  I found some solace in studying History.  He then asked specifically how I met devotees.  I explained that I had met a devotee at a book-stall near the University and shortly after had visited the Temple.  ’How did you like Pune Yatra? What was the thing you liked the most?’  I liked the Harinam.  I asked Maharaja if he had received my letters.  He said that he hadn’t received any.  I mentioned to Maharaja that I had distributed books 108 Bhagavad-gitas as a Vyasa Puja (birthday of the guru) offering to Maharaja.  He smiled.

I gave Maharaja Sikhi Mahiti’s letter, which he carefully perused.  One of the notable things about this darshan (or audience) with Maharaja was the feeling that he was listening to me with great attention and sympathy.  He asked me if I had his lecture tapes.  I said I had about fifty.  I explained why I wanted to take shelter from him.  He asked me what I planned to do in India.  It was my intention to follow Maharaja to Mayapur and then spend some time in Chowpatty.  I also mentioned that His Holiness Mahavishnu Swami had invited me to serve him in Bangladesh.  Maharaja intimated to me that it would be better if I stayed in Chowpatty.  Words came out from my heart to my mouth, ‘I am fallen compared to the brahmacaris here, Maharaja.  I often find myself in compromising situations in Cape Town.’  Maharaja consoled me, ‘Stay here some time.  It will be good for your brahmacharya.’

I offered Maharaja pictures of our Deities and a maha mangala sweet (a sweet offered to the Temple Deities in South Africa).  Maharaja gently dissuaded me from this action by saying, ‘Just wait.’  He gave me a sweetball, then accepted my gifts.  The mercy comes from above, not from below.

I have never felt a sense of inner happiness as I did after my meeting with Maharaja.  I couldn’t stop smiling.  My heart experienced new emotions during our time together.  Radhanath Maharaja was very gentle, understanding and patient.  Maharaja was very positive.  I never, for one moment, felt any negativity from Maharaja during our conversation in his room.

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Matsyavatara das (ACBSP), Italy: Family Matters (Part Three) - By Matsya Avatara Dasa (Marco Ferrini)

Right and Wrong Decisions

We should try to be honest and serious, first of all with ourselves. We should have a balanced vision and not accept the people’s vow of lifelong celibacy at a young age, without having shown tangible signs of maturity and dominion over the senses. This maturity should be on different planes: cognitive, emotional and behavioral. A choice that is the best in absolute terms, can produce serious damages if made at the wrong time, due to the person's lack of preparation. If not properly helped, the person who incurs in such difficulties generally develops a sense of self-failure and a heavy sense of guilt, which eventually cause inhibition, depression, emotional blocks and a stop to spiritual progress. This sense of guilt can be defined as pathological, whereas a healthy and beneficial sense of guilt arises when the person is aware of his mistakes and deeply repents them, finding in himself, guru and Krishna, the energies to rise above them.
Regarding such sensitive issues, specifically connected to life in the grihastha ashrama, over many years I have noticed a vast symptomatology and many damages produced by hasty decisions and a rigid mentality. Many marriages have failed because the person experiencing difficulty in restraining the senses―when confronted with an overly rigid partner―has looked for satisfaction outside the marriage, starting love affairs and betraying the spouse, thus producing a hellish condition for all the people involved.
I recall a whole list of rigid people who first ruined their family members and then ruined themselves. Real affection means to come forward to the needs of others, and I believe that every real need in the family has to be taken into serious consideration. If a person thinks that he or she can't or shouldn’t concede anything, absolutely nothing, such person should not get married. And if he does get married, throughout his whole matrimonial life he will be bitterly reminded that he should not have married. Couple means two people, two people who promise to help each other for the rest of their lives. If one is in need and the other doesn't help, I don't know how this refusal could be beneficial for his spiritual advancement, and how it could be done in the name of devotion for Krishna. Of course there can be embarrassment, little enthusiasm and whatever else, but something has to be done to help.
I have seen so many cases of conflict and I have come to the deep conviction that there must be a mediation, there must be reciprocal affection, reciprocal care. When the desire for intercourse assumes a dangerous psychological proportion―producing a "fixed idea," a true neurosis―we should act as with any other disease, looking for a remedy and a cure. When I acted as a direct witness and I advised people in this way, they often solved their problem brilliantly, gradually finding balance, detachment and serenity, discovering a type of affection that was not based on sexual intercourse. Real affection, spiritual affection, has no need for sexual intercourse or physical contact. Such affection is the achievement of the target of bhakti, and is obtained after a long practice; it is not a starting point. At the beginning the couple might endeavor to overcome the problem, but to rise above it, the effort must be equipped with enough capacity and experience, and above all enough cultural and spiritual maturity in Krishna consciousness.

Cultural Conditioning

I spoke about religious duties, but now I wish to mention the cultural environment where each of us―consciously or unconsciously―lives. Over the last century, Western culture has been increasingly fascinated by rationalism and materialism, progressively polluting itself with a pseudo-scientific literature that has considerably contributed to the development of a dangerously permissive sexual behavior. Such literature has induced people to think of eroticism and sexual acts as something physiologically necessary, comparing sex desire to the need for food and air. Not only they have presented the satisfaction of such an urge as inevitable; they have even declared that whoever neglects it will develop psychological disorders. It is difficult to calculate the extent and harm that such mentality has caused and is causing. It is truly a social and psychological plague, both on the collective and on the individual level.

Spiritual Affection

On the plane of spiritual realization, of spiritual affection and friendship, sexual intercourse becomes totally needless, extraneous and artificial. But, as we know, people acquire perfection after long efforts. According to the shastra, a married couple that can transcend illicit sex is on the direct, true path towards perfection. Until there are distractions, spiritual realization is overcast and shadowed.
Besides, the authoritative sastric statements in this regard, the results of scientific research made by some American universities (Wisconsin, 1968) demonstrate that numerous couples can live well without sexual intercourse, provided they cultivate their interest for elevated ethical values.
First of all―as I said at the beginning of my answer―people should try hard to abstain from extra-conjugal sex, because this generates hellish conditions in the society, in the family, in the couple and in the relationship between parents and children. Such illicit connections, metaphorically speaking, create hell; they create great embarrassment and pain; they condemn children to experience distress and harmful life-models, and condemn the spouse to anguish and deep suffering. Illicit sex in family life is like giving methadone to a heroin-addict. Methadone is better than heroin (extra-conjugal sex), but better than methadone is to rise above the problem. Methadone also creates addiction, but not as strong and devastating as the addiction created by heroin. Illicit sex in family life creates dependence, addiction and identification with the body, besides being a great waste of energy―but there is no comparison with illicit sex out of the wedlock.
When my students intend to get married I ask them to get to know each other very well, and should thoroughly inquire about the other's choices and priorities in life. They should become deeply aware of the responsibility, the obligation, and the onerousness they assume in getting married. Then, I become the witness, and I commit myself to help both of them to overcome all the difficulties and to face their responsibilities, which include economical, social, and emotional aspects. These are all comprised in the sphere of family responsibility and, consequently, of spiritual realization.
As I told you many times, ultimately to solve this type of problems the real solution is to seriously adopt a Krishna conscious mentality... But now I believe I should stop here with the answer. Obviously, given the magnitude and complexity of the theme, this answer will not satisfactorily exhaust the various topics touched, but it will merely serve as an orientation tool for deeper study and meditation.
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Ananda Subramanian, Iowa, USA: Bug Mac

Dutch student Walinka van Tol inspects the worm protruding from a half-eaten chocolate praline she's holding, steels herself with a shrug, then pops it into her mouth. "Tasty ... kind of nutty!" the 20-year-old assures her companions clutching an array of creepy crawly pastries at a seminar, which forecast that larvae and locusts will invade Western menus as the price of steak and chops skyrocket.

Van Tol and about 200 other tasters were guinea pigs for a group of Dutch scientists doing groundbreaking research into insects replacing animal meat as a healthier, more environmentally friendly source of protein.

"There will come a day when a Big Mac costs 120 euros ($163) and a Bug Mac 12 euros, when more people will eat insects than other meat," head researcher Arnold van Huis told a disbelieving audience at Wageningen University in the central Netherlands. "The best way to start is to try it once," the entomologist insisted.

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Window into the future of Kali Yuga! What else can I say!

Hare Krishna
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Akrura das, Gita Coaching: CURIOUS

"I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious."

- Albert Einstein

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Subhavilasa das ACBSP, Toronto, CA: Honoring Jayadeva Goswami

Today marks the disappearance day of Sri Jayadeva Goswami on the Vaishnava Calendar. To honor Sri Jayadeva Goswami and his literary contributions including the transcedental nectar found in Gita Govinda, please read a brief biography on this great Vaishnava below.
     Shri Jayadeva Goswami was the court pandit of Shri Lakshman Sena, the King of Bengal. Jayadeva's father was Bhojadev, and his mother's name was Bamadevi. They lived in the Birbhum district of what is now West Bengal in a village called Kenubilva Gram. He was born at the beginning of the twelfth centrury AD.

     Jayadeva Goswami's wife was named Shri Padmavati. When he was the court pandit of Laksman Sen, he lived on the banks of the Ganges. Approximately three hundred years before the appearance of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Shri Jayadeva Goswami lived in Bengal. He was the author of Shri Gita Govinda, which is mentioned by  Krishnadas Kaviraja Goswami in the Chaitanya Charitamrita as follows (CC ML 2/11): "Day and night, in teh company of Svarupa Damodara and Ramananda Raya, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu used to hear with great ecstasy the songs of Vidyapati and Chandidas, as well as a drama composed by Ramananda Raya. He also used to relish hearing the Krishna-Karnamrita and the Gita-Govinda.  In his introduction, Jayadeva says that the Gita Govinda is a scripture describing the intimate pastimes of Shri Radha and Govinda. It may be worshiped and served by those who are extremely qualified in devotional piety.  For those  who are constantly remembering the rasik pastimes of Shri Hari within his mind, Shri Jayadeva has composed this divine poetic song glorifying the Lord's internal pastimes. He requests the topmost spiritually advanced souls to hear it with gravity and attention.

     There are many many traditional stories regarding the life of Shri Jayadeva.  The following story is generally accepted as authoritative.  One day, Shri Jayadeva Goswami was composing a particulary sensitive section of the Gita-Govinda, describing Krishna's relationship with the gopis headed by Radharani. He meditated deeply on what he had written and became  concerned that he had perhaps gone too far in describing the exalted character of the gopis. What he had written seemed to represent Krishna's position as being, in a sense, subordinate to that of the gopis.  And yet Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.  How could he be subordinate to the gopis? He had been inspired to pen a line stating that  Krishna bows down to touch the lotus feet of Shri Radha.  But his hand shrank from the page.  He hesitated thinking,  "How can I commit such an idea to writing? How can I have the audacity to put such a thing it in black and white?"  At that time he decided to go bathe in the Ganges, in hopes that perhaps some inspiration would come to him.

     Jayadeva Goswami went off to take his afternoon bath, leaving his wife Padmavati behind to cook the offering for the Deities.  While he was away, Krishna arrived at his house in the dress of Jayadeva. Krishna went over to Jayadeva's writing desk, and there found the sheaves of palm upon which the Gita-Govinda was written. Krishna picked up Jayadeva's pen and wrote the verse with the line  "dehi padapallava-mudaram," wherein it says "Krishna bows down his head to the lotus feet of Shri Radha." With this Krishna, disguised as Jayadeva, sat down and took the prasadam prepared by Padmavati.  After finishing his prasadam, Krishna stepped outside and vanished.  Just at that time, Jayadeva returned from bathing at the Ganges. When he asked about prasadam, his wife was perplexed. When she told Jayadeva what had just happened, Jayadeva was astonished. He was he went over to his book and saw there in wet ink the verse he had thought of writing before he had gone to bathe in the Ganges: dehi padapallavam udaram: Krishna bows down his head to the lotus feet of Shri Radha.  Upon seeing that verse he said to Padmavati, "It is a miracle! See here: what I told you I was reluctant to write has been written here exactly as I thought of it."  Tears of ecstasy flowed in rivers from his eyes as he understood the mystery of what had just transpired. "Padmavati!" he said, "You are most fortunate.  Krishna Himself has written the line, dehi padapallavam udaram, and accepted prasadam from your own hand."   

     Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has written that although Chandidasa, Vidyapati, Bilvamangala, and Jayadeva lived before Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was externally manifest within this world, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's conception of bhakti had arisen within their hearts and was expresed in their writings.  Besides the Gita Govinda, Jayadeva Gowsami has written another book called Chandraloka.

     The famous Dasa-Avatara-Gita, describing the ten avatars of Vishnu is from Gita-Govinda.  Jayadeva Goswami's disappearance day is on Pausha-Sankranti. At present, at Jayadeva's birthplace in Kendubiva Gram, there is a festival every year on this day which is known as the Jayadeva Mela.

After finishing Gita Govinda Jayadeva visited Vrndavana and then lived his last in Jagannatha Puri. He introduced daily reading of Gita Govinda in the temple for the pleasure of Lord Jagannatha.
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ISKCON Toronto, Canada: Deity Darshan: Sunday, January 23, 2011

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Rupa Madhurya das, TX, USA: Initiation Lecture & Ceremony - Radhanath Swami

Initiation ceremony with Radhanath Swami and many devotees from Dallas and Houston.

Dallas, TX

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Australian News: Bhajan Babas Play Big Day Out concert on Australia’s Gold Coast

Australian Kirtan Band The Bhajan Babas play the Big day Out on Australias Gold Coast on Jan 23rd 2011. Alongside 40 exceptional acts, from Australia and around the world, The Bhajan Babas delivered a set of their well known solid rocking kirtan to thrill the crowd. Organisers say a 50,000 strong crowd herd the holy names riding the beat of The Bhajan Babas sound.

The line up featured some of the hottest artists in the world today including Tool, Rammstein, Iggy and The Stooges, M.I.A. and Grinderman, alongside some of Australia’s best live acts including John Butler Trio, Wolfmother, Bliss n Eso and Angus & Julia Stone to name but a few.

“First we played on the Lilly World stage and then we went into the crowd for harinam.” Says Subhangi Devi Dasi. “It was pretty epic, rock and roll Hares at the Big Day Out.”

Rumour has it that Sri Prahlad will lead devotees at the coming Sydney Big Day Out.

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H.H. Sivarama Swami: Initiation talk at Birmingham temple Jan 22nd

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H.H. Sivarama Swami: Initiations in Birmingham

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Book Distribution News: Sankirtan Bliss

Zagreb, Croatia

Hare Krishna, dear devotees!

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Lord Caitanya's most wonderful Sankirtana movement!

Today I'm very happy because I had a chance to be an instrument in distributing Bhagavad-gitas! At first I wasn't so enthusiastic to distribute and was thinking, "Maybe because today is my birthday Krishna will cheer me up somehow at the start." And look! In one minute, before I even managed to turn my mp3 player off and take the books from my bag, there appeared two ladies wanting Gitas and some other books. They both gave big donations and told me, "Today is your lucky day!" Afterwards hardly anyone didn't stop. Thank you, Krishna, for such a wonderful birthday present.

Another time, at around 11 at night I was coming back from the Simhacalam Sankirtana Festival in Germany with devotees from Slovenia, when suddenly we heard some noise coming from below the van. So we drove off the highway and parked near a village.

We got out of the van and saw that there was another van nearby that had also broken down. Since we had a van full of sankirtan devotees, they immediately took it as an arrangement for special night book delivery to the occupant of the other van. Soon a "Matchless Gift" and some prasadam cookies had gone in that direction with Lomancita Prabhu and Bhakta Dennis. There was a young guy in the van, which had run out of petrol. He happily accepted the book and prasadam and went for petrol. Then we fixed our van and got back on the highway.

Distributing a "Matchless Gift" and prasadam in the middle of nowhere in Germany in the middle of the night . . . sankirtan bliss!

Ys, Gokulendra das

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H.H. Sivarama Swami

If you study my books very carefully, then I am sure you will find out the means for applying this Krsna Consciousness philosophy in all spheres of life.  There is no limitation.  Simply it requires a little common sense practicality.  The main point is that Krsna is the center of all activities, whatever is going on.

- Srila Prabhupada

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Mayapur Online: Ambulance Needed!

Now that work on the Temple of Vedic Planetarium has begun in Mayapur, more and more devotees are moving in to join ISKCON Mayapur’s Vaishnava community. We now have around 2,000 resident devotees (400 brahmacharies, 700 international grihastha devotees from 59 countries,around 900 local grihastha devotees).

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H.H. Sivarama Swami

Somebody says “in my opinion.” So what is the value of your opinion? You are imperfect. If the child says “in my opinion,” what is the value? Therefore we don’t say, “in my opinion,” “our opinion.” We say “Krsna says this,” that’s all.

- Srila Prabhupada

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Mayapur Online: Can You Entertain Us?

This year the Gaura Purnima festival main stage entertainment will run from the 5th to the 7th of March (3 nights) and from the 14th to the 18th of March (5 nights). All those wishing to perform from the main international stage during the festival, please communicate the same to the following e mail address:info@govindas.ie

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H.H. Bhakticharu Swami: Srimad Bhagavatam, Canto 10 Chapter 2 Text 29

THE FOLLOWING LECTURE ON SRIMAD BHAGAVATAM CANTO TEN CHAPTER TWO TEXT TWENTY NINE, WAS GIVEN BY HIS HOLINESS BHAKTI CARU SWAMI IN TOWACO USA ON 09 APRIL 2009. Transcription : Her Grace Ranga Radhika Dasi Editing : Ramananda Raya Dasa Audio Version : http://audio.iskcondesiretree.info/index.php?q=f&f=%2F02_-_ISKCON_Swamis%2FHis_Holiness_Bhakti_Caru_Swami%2FSrimad_Bhagavatam namo om vishnu-padaya krsna-presthaya bhu-tale srimate bhaktivedanta svamin iti namine namas [...]

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Sita-pati dasa, AU: Temples and Ashrams - two distinct things

A challenging feature of 95 Bank Rd, our local ISKCON facility here in Brisbane, is that the temple and the ashram are in the same building.

I will address two issues arising from this.

The first is that the qualifications for ashram residence and for temple residence are different, although overlapping. Only a very few people are qualified for both. It would be easier if there were an ashram separate from the temple.

Historically temples (places where Deities are worshiped) and ashram (where sages live) are two distinct things.

In addition to this, an ashram is not an impersonal space existing in a vacuum. There is no impersonal ashram as we frequently conceive of it in the contemporary context. This is betrayed by our language - we talk of "the ashram". In fact, there is only "an ashram" - Vyasadeva's ashram, Parasurama's ashram, or the ashram of any other saintly person.

Brahmacaris - the single, celibate students we usually think of when we hear the word "ashram" - live in the guru-kula, the "family of the guru". The guru is a brahmana householder. The wife of the guru is one of the seven mothers. Consider the story of Krishna's gurukula life. He lived with Sandipani Muni in Sandipani Muni's ashram, along with Sandipani wife, who acted as Krishna's surrogate mother, and Sandipani's son, Sudama.

Brahmacaris are drawn from the three different psychophysical tendencies - the financial entrepreneurs, the executives, and the pious scholars.

However, residents of a temple are drawn from only one group - the pious scholars.


1. Colocating a temple and an ashram creates a sub-optimal situation for a significant number of potential ashram residents. Only pious scholarly types, whose personality is characterised by tolerance and forgiveness (ksantih in Sanskrit - vis Bg.18.42), are likely to thrive in a temple environment.

2. Having an impersonal ashram with no resident sage (who may not sleep in the building but whose presence must permeate it) is an artificial contrivance.

Sitapati recommends:

  • Put only brahmanas in a combined temple / ashram situation such as 95 Bank Rd.
  • Establish an ashram separate from the temple, under the auspices of a sage.
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Gouranga TV: Lecture – Mukunda Datta das – Bhagavad-gita 4.9

Lecture – Mukunda Datta das – Bhagavad-gita 4.9

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Japa Group: Japa Seminar Chandramauli Swami P3

Chandramauli Swami talks more about the mind and how to keep focused on the words of the Maha mantra.


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