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January 06, 2011 - Planet ISKCON - 35 new articles

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"Planet ISKCON" - 35 new articles

  1. Krishna-kripa das, Mayapura: Travel Journal#6.21: Tucson
  2. Krishna-kripa das, Mayapura: Travel Journal#6.20: Gainesville and Tucson
  3. Aisvarya dasa: I have a question:
  4. ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Falls Festival 2010
  5. ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Today's Darsana
  6. Bhakti Vikasa Swami: ISKCON's first widow
  7. ISKCON Toronto, Canada: A Drama Presented by the Halifax Brahmacaris!
  8. Kurma dasa, AU: Changing Bodies
  9. Japa Group: Japa Workshop #3 of 6
  10. H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: 181
  11. H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: Prayer in Illness
  12. H.H. Sivarama Swami: Srila Prabhupada said: The Deity should have a new dress every day or twice or four times a day – as many times as possible
  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. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  20. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  21. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  22. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  23. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  24. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  25. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  26. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  27. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  28. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  29. Subhavilasa das ACBSP, Toronto, CA: I love Krishna!
  30. H.H. Sivarama Swami: Opening of the new building of the Budapest Bhaktivedanta College
  31. H.H. Bhakticharu Swami: Quote Of Guru Maharaja
  32. H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Monday, January 3rd, 2011
  33. Gouranga TV: H.H. Sacinanadana Swami ,Hare Krishna maha mantra-bhajan
  34. Gaura Yoga, NZ: Opening hours
  35. Japa Group: The Meaning Of The Mantra
  36. More Recent Articles
  37. Search Planet ISKCON
  38. Prior Mailing Archive

Krishna-kripa das, Mayapura: Travel Journal#6.21: Tucson

Diary of a Traveling Sadhaka, Vol. 6, No. 21
By Krishna-kripa das
(November 2010, part one)
Tucson, Arizona
(Sent from Tallahassee, Florida, on January 5, 2011)

Where I Was and What I Did

   Except for a day trip to Phoenix to do harinama in yet another town, I stayed in Tucson, Arizona, USA, the first half of November, chanting three hours daily with my book table at the University of Arizona. It was an eventful time with a Diwali Festival, a meeting with the U of A Skeptics Club, Ratha-yatra in the All Souls Procession, and a program at Pima, the local community college. During that time, I took notes on some lectures by Srila Prabhupada, Mother Sandamini's report on her trip to Vrindavana, the Following Prabhupada DVD #9 (including Srutakirti Prabhu), a class on Govardhan Puja by Jaya Nitai Prabhu, and a few other classes. I also gave a lecture on "Scientific Evidence Supporting Krishna Consciousness" at the Sunday feast which you can hear online by clicking the above link.

Upcoming Itinerary (If Krishna is Willing)

Tallahassee, FL: January 4–9
Gainesville, FL: January 10–31
Tallahassee, FL: February 1–6
Gainesville, FL: February 6–14
Ocala Rainbow Gathering: February 13
Tucson, AZ: February 15–March 15 (tentative)
Gainesville, FL: March 25–March 29
Tallahassee, FL: March 30–April 3
Northeast USA: April 5–April 26
London, UK: April 27
Radhadesh: April 28–29
Amsterdam: April 30
UK: June
Scandinavian Ratha-yatras: beginning of July
Poland Woodstock: last week of July, beginning of August
Croatian Harinama Tour: rest of August
Ukraine Festival: second week of September

Diwali Festival in Tucson

   While visiting Tucson to increase our outreach at the university, I attended the Diwali festival at our Hare Krishna temple there. When I was a new devotee, Diwali festivals were not common. Thus I tend to think they are not so much a part of our practice of Krishna bhakti as given by Srila Prabhupada and his predecessors but something tacked on to it to please the Indian congregations, and for that reason, I am not so inclined to them. Still, they are an opportunity for people to engage in devotional service in different ways so I enthusiastically promoted the Diwali festival at the university, as well as our restaurant, Sunday feast, and my Gita seminar.

   The devotees did a good job organizing the festival, transforming the temple parking lot into an outdoor auditorium and making arrangements for prasadam, a book display, a cooking demonstration, and the chance to offer lights to the deity. It was exciting to see all the people coming, many for the first time. And many of the first timers were genuinely happy they had come. One high school history teacher told her students about it, and many came, some delighting in the face painting as well as the prasadam. A community college Asian religions professor also informed her students about our program, and many of them came as well. Students from both classes promised to give my contact information to their teachers, so they could invite me to speak and the students were very excited about that. Some neighbors came to the Diwali festival as well. Our book table did really well, with several people buying more than one book.

   The stage show consisted of Sruti, a local group that has been playing Indian music and Indian instruments for 25 years. Their music was relaxing and put one in a good mood. Then the Urvasi Dance Troupe, with girls of various ages, performed five different Indian dances. Finally Michelle of Elemental Artistry, with some of her friends, performed different dances with illuminated hoops and some very exciting dances with fire. Inside the temple, was a gloriously decorated altar, with the offering of lamps to the deity, and one college student said for her, that was the best part.

   A couple of university students told me they had a wonderful time and were very happy to have come. I took down their contact information in hopes they would be willing to help staff our club on the campus. Another young man later came to my Gita seminar, saying that he heard about it at the Diwali festival.

   Rather than wait in line for prasadam, some friends and I played bhajanas at the book booth as the line dwindled. Fortunately there was enough prasadam for everyone to get something.

   As a result of the festival, I could see how quite a variety of people came to the temple for the first time and had a good experience, so I felt very good about being part of it. I felt indebted to the Tucson devotees, headed by Mother Sandamini, for having put on such an effective festival for the spiritual benefit of the people in general.

Tucson Ratha-Yatra
(Lord Jagannath Blesses the All Souls Parade)

   I never saw so many people dressed as skeletons as in Tucson’s All Souls Procession, an annual event, which in 2010 was on November 7. Even dogs were dressed as skeletons, either wearing a black coat sporting bones on their backs or having the bones drawn on their backs with white chalk. We Hare Krishnas actually had a cart with small deities of Lord Jagannath, Lord Baladev, and Lady Subhadra, so it could be called a Ratha-yatra. Our cart was steered from the back, a challenging design making it difficult to go straight. Before the parade got moving, many people took pictures of the deities, their cart, and the lively chanting and dancing of the devotees. I think the scene was a new one for them, and they were eager to capture it on camera. Devotees distributed packets containing literature, spiritualized lollipops, and invitations to our Govinda’s Restaurant. Bhakta Geno was the most enthusiastic at making sure every kid got a lollipop. Different devotees sang, and some of the time I played along on my portable harmonium. Unfortunately the event was at the same time as our Sunday feast, and not only that, but the same time as our celebration of Govardhan Puja, so it was not largely attended, but we may have had ten devotees altogether. Some old friends of the devotees were glad to come in contact with them again.

Skeptics Invite the Hare Krishnas

   Ananta Dev Prabhu said one of the members of the University of Arizona Skeptics Club told him they would like us to speak sometime as they are familiar with the Judeo-Christian tradition, but not Hare Krishna, so I decided to schedule a meeting with the club. Hanumat Preseka Swami was in town the night of the meeting, and he gave a entertaining and thought provoking lecture. Many students asked more serious questions than one usually hears. Then we chanted and distributed spiritual food. Some students took seconds on the coconut sweets. We found the skeptics were more serious thinkers than your average student group, and both we and them were pleased with the gathering. Bhakta Sean had previously joined the club with the plan of bringing prasadam to the meetings and engaging the skeptics in devotional service unknowingly, an innovative strategy, and I am sure that helped facilitate the positive reception.

Program at Pima Community College

   Holly, a student of Asian religions, showed up at our Diwali festival all decked out in a sari. Learning from her that her teacher encouraged her Asian religions class to come to our temple, I offered to speak in her class, and her teacher invited me on the final day of my stay in Tucson. I made a traditional Indian coconut sweet for the occasion. Ananta Dev Prabhu and two bhaktas who are starting a center in Flagstaff, Tyler and Alex, also came, and Bhakta Geno took pictures. The teacher asked me to speak about our practice and how it differed from Christianity. I mentioned about how all living creatures, including plants and animals, are eternal souls living in temporary material bodies, and that we human beings can realize our identity as souls by the universally accepted process of chanting the holy name of the Lord, especially in congregation with other faithful people. Among other things, I explained that Krishna teaches in Bhagavad-gita that devotion is the only way to attain the Lord and because Christ was preaching devotion to God, we can accept that he was teaching the only way. In the Vedic tradition, however, there have been many empowered preachers like Jesus Christ, who could heal the sick, forgive sins, conquer over death themselves, and instill faith in God in others, so we do not see him as uniquely empowered as many Christians do. The reverence for and worship of the saints, the repetition of prayers on beads, and the use of incense in worship which is found in Catholicism is also there in Hare Krishna practice. Many Psalms glorify the power of the holy name of the Lord to deliver one, and the Hare Krishna also have that understanding of the power of the holy name to deliver one from a materialistic way of life. Different devotees shared how they became attracted to Krishna consciousness, and their stories were interesting for the students. In talking with the teacher, I learned she remembered seeing the devotees chanting in Greenwich Village in her youth. I told her I had chanted the previous month at the Hare Krishna tree in Tompkins Square Park, where Srila Prabhupada had chanted in 1966 when he began his international society, and I sent her a picture of the tree and the plaque describing its significance, for which she was grateful. At the end of the program, we chanted and distributed spiritual food. Almost all the students took the coconut sweets and a couple students stayed at least half an hour to talk more with us. In fact, the teacher later told us, “Everyone in my class really enjoyed your visit. . . . I hope you will be able to speak to my Asian Religions class in February when you come back to Tucson. Maybe you can discuss the Gita. I’m sure the students would love it.”

Insights from Lectures

Srila Prabhupada:

   Although in America we have all material facility, because we are not also taking care of the soul, there is no balance, and thus we are not happy.

   The soul is different from the body and has a different need. We need to make the soul comfortable.

   One who is free from hankering can taste the Bhagavatam, holy name, or anything else in relation to the Lord.

   “Bhava” means become. The repetition of birth and death is called “bhava” because we are always “becoming” something else.

   “Atyantika-duhkha-nivrtti” means ultimate relief from suffering.

   “It does not matter how fallen a man is. If he follows our instruction, he can be turned.”

   People say Krishna comes for this purpose or the that purpose, but actually

   He comes for the benefit of the devotees.

   Even scientists turn to God in danger, but when there is no danger, they defy God. Therefore danger has to be there to teach these rascals.

   There are natural divisions in nature, like crows and swans. Crows do not associate with swans, and swans do not associate with crows. Krishna consciousness can transform the crow class man into the swan class man.

   from his article in the January 2011 Back to Godhead I was proofreading:

   “If the government has the right to exact income tax from you, has not Krishna the right to exact income tax? He is supplying you so many things. What is the government supplying?”

Mother Sandamini [report on her trip to Vrindavana]:

   Her notes on Bhurijana Prabhu’s Japa book:

   Causes of lack of taste:

  1. lack of spiritual depth leading to false ego

  2. desire for temporary things
  3. desire for fame
  4. committing offenses

Problems resulting from inattentive chanting:

  1. crookedness
  2. faithlessness
  3. slackness
  4. pride in devotional achievements

   Solution to inattentive chanting: Give the mind the simple task of hearing one mantra with attention.

   When the ashes of deceased persons touch the Ganges River, the souls become free from all their karma.

   They have a laser gun with a red beam that you can get to scare the monkeys.

   Rupa Raghunatha Prabhu has two amazing schools and a hospital, which are greatly benefit the poor children in Vrindavana.

   Mother Sandamini’s notes from a class by Vaisesika Prabhu in Vrindavana:

  1. Voltaire said, “If you appreciate someone you imbibe their qualities.”
  2. It is hard to stop people on book distribution because they have no time. They are too busy taking care of their “time-saving” devices.
  3. In an airport, I met a man who bought a book from a devotee in San Francisco 35 years ago. “That could have been me,” I said. He had just taken the book off the shelf and was appreciating it, so he was happy to see me.

Notes on Srila Prabhupad DVD #9:

   Vasudeva Prabhu, an Indian businessman, had a butcher shop in his grocery store. The devotees were surprised and asked if they should tell him to close it. Srila Prabhupada said not for now, that would come. Later most of Vasudeva’s family ended up also becoming devotees.

   They say Kaliya lives in a secluded lake in the mountains of Fiji. Persons who go there either never come back or come back insane. One devotee got a guide and tried to go there but a typhoon made it impossible. Because of that story about Kaliya the devotees started Kaliya Krishna temple in Fiji.

   One devotee recalled Srila Prabhupada coming to Los Angeles. When I saw him, I bowed down, and my eyes will filled with tears. The most amazing thing was that the eyes of two businessman who watched the devotees’ reception of Srila Prabhupada were also filled with tears.

Srutakirti Prabhu:

   When we came to Fiji, our hosts served a meal at 1:30 a.m. and took rest at 2:30 a.m. but Srila Prabhupada was ready for his morning walk at sunrise. Jet lag did not exist for him. We hoped he would take a nap after breakfast, which he did, but only 15 minutes. We were all completely out, and he called us in and reprimanded us for sleeping.

   We simply follow the predecessor’s instructions. That is all. We do not have to invent.

   Srila Prabhupada said in Los Angeles, “If you will print my books in all the languages of the world and distribute them, this Krishna consciousness movement will automatically spread.”

   Srila Prabhupada was reading the Krishna book and told me, ‘If you read just this one book [the Krishna book] you can become Krishna conscious. You do not even have to read the whole book, just one chapter, and you can become Krishna consciousness. You do not even have to read the whole chapter, just one page, and you can become Krishna consciousness. You do not even have to read a whole page, you can just read one line. You do not even have to read a whole line. If you read just one word you can become Krishna conscious.’ He said that about three books over the course of a year, Nectar of Devotion, Bhagavad-gita, and the Krishna book.”

   One someone gave Srila Prabhupada a gold watch, and he gave his old watch away. Then someone else gave him a gold Rolex watch, and he gave the other gold watch away, that gold Rolex must have been worth $3,500, then someone gave him a $100 Seiko watch, and he gave the gold Rolex away. He did not keep it for himself.

   Badrinarayana Prabhu explained that Srila Prabhupada was teaching the devotees mantras from Isopanisad but few of them took it seriously enough to memorize them. Srila Prabhupada could see this and told us, “I am writing these books for you.”

Jai Nitai Prabhu from Tucson on Govardhan Puja:

   It is said Krishna looked within His heart and found the essence of love, and it manifested as a seed which grew into Govardhan Hill.

   In Upadesamrita, Rupa Goswami explains that Govardhan Hill is more sacred than Vrindavana itself.

   Nanda Maharaja surrendered to Krishna and abandoned the Indra sacrifice, not in the sense of surrendering to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but by agreeing to execute the will of his son who would not have it any other way.

   The residents of Vrindavana were satisfied by performing the sacrifice for Govardhan because they had served Krishna.

   Krishna lifted Govardhan so its top was above the clouds and so the animals on it were given shelter by Krishna in this way.

   We can learn from the Govardhan pastime that Krishna is always ready to forgive His repentant devotee, even if he made a big mistake.

   Q (by me): We may say or think something bad about a devotee, and we understand that is very bad for our spiritual life, but here Indra had a program to wipe out Krishna’s closest associates in Vrndavana. Could you say something about the magnitude of that offense?
A: (1) Demigods [like Indra] do things on a larger scale.
(2) The pastime shows just how merciful Krishna is.

Krishna-kripa das:

   Srila Prabhupada created these Hare Krishna centers just to give people the chance to hear about Krishna. He said, “If I sit under a tree, who will come to hear? Therefore I have built this big, big temple in Mayapur.”

   Simply hearing about Krishna is very powerful as these scriptural references indicate:

   Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.14.3: “Those who, even while remaining situated in their established social positions, throw away the process of speculative knowledge and with their body, words and mind offer all respects to descriptions of Your personality and activities, dedicating their lives to these narrations, which are vibrated by You personally and by Your pure devotees, certainly conquer Your Lordship, although You are otherwise unconquerable by anyone within the three worlds.”

   Krishna to Rukmini: “My dear honored wife, although I have thousands of wives, I do not think that any one of them can love Me more than you. The practical proof of your extraordinary position is that you had never seen Me before our marriage; you had simply heard about Me from a third person, and still your faith in Me was so fixed that even in the presence of many qualified, rich and beautiful men of the royal order, you did not select any one of them as your husband, but insisted on having Me.”

   Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.2.17: “Sri Krishna, the Personality of Godhead, who is the Paramatma [Supersoul] in everyone's heart and the benefactor of the truthful devotee, cleanses desire for material enjoyment from the heart of the devotee who has developed the urge to hear His messages, which are in themselves virtuous when properly heard and chanted.”

Radhapada Prabhu:

   Ambarisa showed the whole world how to engage completely in devotional service. We have many duties to do in the world, but we must not forget that it is also our duty to remember the Lord.

   Like the director in a play tells each player how do his part, Krishna tells living entities what to do.

   Durvasa Muni is so named because (1) he lived a long time, (2) he was difficult to live with, and (3) he lived a difficult of austerity subsisting on durva grass.

   Whenever any trouble comes, the devotee remembers Krishna. That is devotee.

   Ambarisa was not disturbed by the demon created Durvasa Muni because he knew that if Krishna wanted to protect him, no one could kill him, and if Krishna wanted to kill him, no one could protect him.

   Krishna could have easily killed Durvasa Muni immediately with his Sudarsana cakra, but He wanted to teach Durvasa Muni about the greatness of His devotee.

   The Lord says makes arrangements to break his devotee’s attachment to family and relatives, but that is only necessary when those relationships are impediments to his devotional service.

   In Ramayana, one squirrel got caught up in the enthusiasm to assist Lord Rama in building the bridge to Lanka. He could not carry anything substantial, so he rolled in the sand to collect some on his body, and then shook it off on the developing bridge. Lord Rama was very pleased to accept his small service.

Gangeya Prabhu:

   Material life appears very attractive on one level but is ultimately disappointing.

   American people use two-thirds of the illegal drugs in the world because their society of consumerism and unrestricted sense gratification does not satisfy their souls.

   Vijaya Prabhu says he uses the interest of people in peace, personal and collective, to sell Srila Prabhupada’s books.

Ananta Dev Prabhu:

   Our situation is like that of a duck who has just lived on a farm and never been exposed to water. Although the water environment is natural for him, he will take time to get used to living in pond again because of his conditioning.

Bhakta Geno:

   Envy, evangelist, and equality have the same root, meaning a sense of leveling the ground.

   To deny the Personality of Godhead is to deny your own unique relationship with Him.

   Materialistic people look for others to serve them, but Krishna takes pleasure in serving His devotees, like on the battlefield, when He drove Arjuna’s chariot.

   All time engaged in Krishna consciousness is gain. All time engaged in a material activities is a loss.

   The Lord is more eager to see His son than the son is to see the father. When my foster child was in jail he was ashamed to see me, but I was eager to see him, thus I could see how that is true.

   It is not so much that we clean ourselves, but that we are cleaned by the Lord.

   Even when a small animal is killed by a man, God is disturbed, because that animal is also dear to him.

   Comment by Sandamini dd: Even modern psychology recognizes that negative emotions like envy have a self-destructive effect.


āpannaḥ saḿsṛtiḿ ghorāḿ
yan-nāma vivaśo gṛṇan
tataḥ sadyo vimucyeta
yad bibheti svayaḿ bhayam

“Living beings who are entangled in the complicated meshes of birth and death can be freed immediately by even unconsciously chanting the holy name of Krishna, which is feared by fear personified.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.1.14)

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Krishna-kripa das, Mayapura: Travel Journal#6.20: Gainesville and Tucson

Diary of a Traveling Sadhaka, Vol. 6, No. 20
By Krishna-kripa das
(October 2010, part two)
Gainesville, Tucson
(Sent from Albany, New York, on December 26, 2010)

Where I Was and What I Did

Because I am a Ratha-yatra addict and because of attending the Gainesville one for years, I decided to return to Gainesville in mid-October for the Ratha-yatra, although I was happy doing outreach in New York and Philadelphia, and normally would have stayed a little longer.

Back in April, Pratik Desai (now Prema Rasa Das) invited me to Tucson where he was enrolled in a Ph.D. program at University of Arizona. The adventure of doing college outreach in a new place appealed to me, and I planned to go in November. Ultimately, Prema Rasa changed his mind and returned to India, but I decided to keep my plan and go to Tucson, and so from October 20 to November 17, I had a great time trying to promote the study of Bhagavad-gita on the campus there. Hanumat Preseka Swami came to visit while I was there, and he shared some nice realizations in his classes.

I also found some nectar in recorded classes by Srila Prabhupada and video recordings of Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami reading his Remembering Srila Prabhupada and commenting on it. I also share realizations from devotees in Gainesville and Tucson, and some notes I took in preparing my own classes in Tucson.

Gainesville Ratha-yatra

Lord Jagannath and His associates bless the University of Florida’s Homecoming Parade each year by their presence and the congregational chanting of the holy names. What was special about this year for me was the fact about four male students from the opposite side of the street saw the jolly devotees dancing and decided to join in. They entered our party behind the ladies dancing in front but ahead of the instrumentalists. Usually people who decide to dance with us, stop after a minute or two, but these guys kept dancing for a few blocks. While they were dancing, for a couple of minutes two girls joined them. Never I have seen bystanders actually join a parade and dance with the devotees and rarely do those who dance with our other public chanting parties, do so for so long. They must have some kind of attraction to be willing to do that.

After the parade, we served lunch to the devotees and our friends in a park, chanting the whole way there from the end of the parade, and the prasadam was wonderful. I talked to some former students who used to eat Krishna Lunch but hadn’t since their graduation. They were happy to reconnect with the devotees and their spiritual food again.


I decided to chant and do a book table for three hours each day, as I have done on other campuses. In addition, I advertized a four-part seminar on topics from Bhagavad-gita to be held at a venue near the campus as we had no club president to reserve campus rooms.

Within a week, Sam Shumaker, a staff photographer from the Arizona Wildcat, took a picture of me chanting with my harmonium and book table. It made the “Worth Noting” section of page two, itself called “Odds and Ends.” The caption mentioned my Bhagavad-gita seminar.

Talking to the students, I found many had heard of Govinda’s Restaurant, and all of those liked it. There were a large number of veterinary students, wildlife conservation students, and environmental studies, most of whom were happy to hear about our vegetarian restaurant, and some to consider spiritual ideas. The wind blew the flyers and even the small books off the table, and more often than not, students would help pick them up. Once four students chased after my flyers, one returning them, along with a rock to keep them from blowing in the future. Even though campuses are slow on the weekends, I found much more interest among the few students on the campus than the Tucson residents, so the last three weekends I went to campus. Twice, I sold four books to a single person, something I do not recall ever having done before, once on a Saturday. In both cases, I was able to sell the additional books because I did not have enough change and I had suggested they take more books. I carefully monitored which of my advertizing strategies was most successful at getting people to come to my Bhagavad-gita seminars. I found that posters were much more successful than flyers, and that the posters placed in the libraries were the most successful of all.

One nice experience was a conversation I had with a girl who was brought up as a Lutheran but who had no present spiritual practice. I usually tell people I am here at their campus to popularize Bhagavad-gita, a great spiritual classic from India. I decided to tell her the things I appreciated that the Gita mentioned that were new to me when I first encountered it myself. I talked about how the soul is symptomized by consciousness and that anything that manifests consciousness is an eternal soul, situated in a temporary material body. I mentioned how we can practically see, if we have pets, that animals have perception of pleasure and pain, much as we do, and studies show that plants also have consciousness. All souls are brothers and sisters on the spiritual plane, as children of God, and thus violence against any innocent creature is irreligious. I also explained that if God is all good and all powerful, if this is our first life, then it is difficult to account for people being born in an unfortunate condition from the very beginning of life. If we had a previous life, we could say an unfortunate position is a reaction to past deeds, and is therefore, fair. If a thief takes birth in poverty it is just. Otherwise, it looks like God is not equal to all, is not all powerful, or does not exist. I also explained that according to the Gita, one suffers temporary suffering for sinful acts, but that after that suffering, one gets another life to improve oneself. Perpetual suffering as a reaction to one life’s misdeeds doesn’t make sense, especially if God is said to be all merciful. Even an ordinary person will give his son another chance. After I stopped speaking, she said to my surprise, “OK I’ll buy it,” and so she did, giving me the standard price of ten dollars. I had forgotten I was trying to sell a book. I was just telling what I liked about the philosophy, and she apparently thought it made sense.

Insight from Lectures

Srila Prabhupada:

Peacefulness cannot be attained without Krishna consciousness. In the spiritual world there is peacefulness, but in the material world there is enviousness.

The essence of the body is life. Without life, the body alone is useless. Similarly, this whole cosmic manifestation has an essence without which it has no value. The great souls seek to understand this essence, for by understanding the Absolute Truth, everything becomes understood.

If you understand Krishna, you can teach even the greatest scientist.

If we understand Krishna, even slightly, in truth, our life becomes perfect. Hearing and chanting [about Krishna] means you will become perfect.

We are opening so many centers just to give people a chance to hear about Krishna.

from a lecture in London on September 17, 1969, on SB 5.5.2:

This Krishna consciousness movement is so nice it can change debauchees into mahatmas [great souls].

Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami, Remembering Srila Prabhupada reading:

Because of the austerity, Srila Prabhupada said preaching for one year in India is like ten years in the west.

In India Prabhupada kept his door open, and devotees could see him anytime they wanted.

Prabhupada found that because of Mogul and British domination for so many years, the intelligentsia in India came to think of their own culture as backward. He reasoned that if he could show them that westerners were taking to Krishna consciousness, they would think it was valuable.

Srila Prabhupada said about himself, “I was always the same. I just gained men and money.”

It is possible the greatest follower of Srila Prabhupada has not yet appeared. After all, Krishnadasa Kaviraja Goswami appeared forty years after Lord Caitanya’s disappearance, but what a great devotee of Lord Caitanya he was!

Srila Prabhupada wanted to spread Krishna consciousness both to the masses through kirtana and prasadam and to the most influential people through more intellectual presentations.

Srila Prabhupada would always carry a book that contained commentaries by nine Vaishnava acaryas which he used to help him with his own commentaries. He also carried an English dictionary.

Srila Prabhupada said early in his preaching in America, “If they write a biography about me, they should say that I am like one who transplanted a tulasi [holy basil] from one continent to another. Great care must be taken or it will die.”

Later he spoke about a biography to be written about him, especially his later life, and he suggested I write it.

You did not have to wear sikhas and saris, but he welcomed the devotees adopting them.

Although Srila Prabhupada did not emphasize Lord Nityananda over Lord Caitanya, I mention Srila Prabhupada as being especially empowered by Lord Nityananda because of his ability to enlighten the westerners, who were so fallen according to the standard of Vedic culture [because Lord Nityananda is famous for delivering the fallen].

Hanumat Preseka Swami:

In Bengal, Ramakrishna used to be most prominent. Now the governor of Bengal mentioned at one Gaudiya Math gathering, “Now I am beginning to appreciate Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and for the rest of my life, I promise you I will take this all more seriously.”

If you can chant sixteen rounds and follow the four rules, then you are empowered by the parampara [the line of spiritual teachers]. It is a contract that Srila Prabhupada has made with his followers. If you were not empowered, you couldn’t do it.

Srila Prabhupada said, “I am writing these purports so that after I am gone you can sit together and read them and enjoy spiritual bliss.”

India was always the place to go for advanced spiritual knowledge.

is the center of Srila Prabhupada’s books, the center of our tradition and the center of the Kali-yuga.

Srila Prabhupada said, “Become self-realized, build your character, and preach.”

On Balarama Purnima all the peacocks in Vrndavana dance in ecstasy. One devotee thought it was just a Vaishnava fairy tale, but he was awakened at 10 p.m. by the cries of the dancing peacocks.

Marriage is an austerity undertaken by husband and wife for the self-realization of both.

Abe Lincoln said democracy is a terrible form of government, but the others are so much worse.

You may criticize ISKCON for disagreements between factions of devotees, but some things are very exemplary. How many organizations have 500 centers worldwide where everyone is vegetarian? How many organizations are still intact so many years after their leader left?

I tell my disciples in leadership positions, “Put Vaishnava [spiritual] relationships before administrative relationships.”

80% of people in the USA believe in God, but only 40% of the media in USA believe in God.

Comment by Jai Nitai Prabhu: Another thing about ISKCON is we are the first religious group with a worldwide conflict resolution program, with over eighty trained mediators and ombudsmen.

From a lecture on Hanuman’s prayer#1, SB 5.19.3:

Rupa Goswami says it is the duty of the spiritual master to teach his disciples Srimad-Bhagavatam.

Vrindavana Das Thakura says his only desire is to study Srimad-Bhagavatam from Lord Nityananda, life after life.

Srila Prabhupada said that Bhagavad-gita is the culture of the intellect and that Srimad-Bhagavatam is the culture of the soul proper.

The different avatars manifest different aspects of Krishna’s personality, but Krishna Himself can reciprocate any kind of relationship one can desire.

Knowing that we are not the body is something but not much. It is just knowing what we are not.

Hanuman glorifies Lord Rama for His steady character.

In the west spiritual and material knowledge were taught together until the Cartesian split, when the priests were separated from the intellectuals.

Each Veda has a samhita which is the essential text. Then there are the brahmanas, which are directions for sacrifice. Aranyakas are for the vanaprasthas, who are beginning to renounce. The Upanisads are the more philosophical sections.

People doubt the authenticity of oral traditions, but what are the odds that 400 brahmanas chanting mantras will make the same mistake at the same time. Whereas in printing a book it is easy to introduce a mistake and make many copies of it.

The BBC has a video called “Science…Fiction” which was considered one of the best by American Association for the Advancement of Science and describes the history of how science came to be accepted as a source of knowledge. It ends with a rocket blasting off, and the comment, “Science is not powerful because it is true. It is true because it is powerful.”

In India they had batteries before Christ. They had iron columns that didn’t rust for centuries.

Hanuman’s prayers to Rama are very philosophical descriptions of His greatness.

In 1975 Bahulasva Das was driving on an unpopulated road in the desert and saw an accident and decided to help. One robust lady in the damaged camper was screaming and her thigh was bleeding and the muscle was exposed. He screamed, “Krishna!”, and wondered, “how could the Lord allow such thing to happen!” Just then the camper refrigerator door opened and some bacon fell out. He looked at the bacon and the ladies’ leg. The similarity surprised him, and then he understood.

The Universal Form Video:

Our problem is we want to reign in hell more than we want to serve in heaven.

Only when we have a higher spiritual taste can we be satisfied just to meet our needs.

The first step is to realize God in nature. This includes seeing God in the different kinds of people who make up society. The next step is introspection.

The way to become Krishna consciousness is to engage your passions in Krishna’s service, not to give them up.

The material world is a temporary picture of the eternal spiritual world. It is not false.

Srila Prabhupada describes that we can meditate on different aspects of the creation as parts of the universal form of the Lord, and we can fix our mind completely on the Lord in this way.

Some are attracted to Vaikuntha, others to Goloka, some are attracted to one relationship with Lord, and other people are attracted to another. Who is more advanced? We try to figure it out from a neutral position, but in reality, who is in a neutral position?

Everyone is created for a certain purpose, so no one can take away our service. We just have to become enthusiastic to attain our eternal position.

Q [by Sandamani dd]: How did you come to Krishna consciousness?
A: I was at Univ. of California, and I graduated and was wondering what to do. Buddhimanta Prabhu was distributing books, and I got a
Krishna book, and looked at it for over a year. There were so many amazing things. After a while, I decided either this is an absolute lie or the absolute truth, but in any case, it is absolute.

Q[from Hanumat Preseka Swami to Vaisesika]: What is the best sankirtana technique?
A: Get a lot of books. Stack them up so you can see them. And think of ways to get them out.

Kapila says religion in the mode of ignorance is motivated by fear, in the mode of passion is motivated by desire, in the mode of goodness is motivated by duty, and in transcendence is motivated by love.

One example of ignorance is a beer commercial with the slogan, “Why ask why?”

Q[by Sandamini dd]: Can you give us a couple things we can practically do to advance spiritually?
A: Associate with some spiritually-minded people whose association will purify your heart.

Some disciple had a doubt which he expressed to Srila Prabhupada, “What happens if I become ready to receive knowledge of my eternal relationship with Krishna and you are not here.” Srila Prabhupada said not to worry but that knowledge would be revealed to him from within.

The grinding pot was also part of the conspiracy, because Krishna stood on it to steal the butter, so His Mother Yasoda also tied it up.

From a lecture on Hanuman’s prayer#2, SB 5.19.4:

The word “godhead” comes “godhood”.

All the holy places in Vrindavana are retreating, and by the end of Kali-yuga all that is left that is sacred is the dust of Vrindavana. Thus it is concluded the dust of Vrindavana is most merciful.

Srila Prabhupada told his disciples they could print Brahma-samhita, but without changing a single word of it, as it was his guru’s translation.

When a pickpocket sees a saint, he just sees his pockets. Thus we see according to our desire.

We see Krishna better through the transparent medium of the chain of spiritual masters, as a person sees better through spectacles.

Lord Ramacandra manifests the relationship of friendship, which Lord Vishnu never does.

In Gokula there are demons in Krishna’s pastimes and the gopis have husbands, but in Goloka there are only rumors of demons, and the husbands of the gopis never really show up.

There is a psychological experiment which shows time is not linear. They play a tape with a click, whistle, or buzz, and ask the hearer to write down the order in which they appear. They increase the speed until the hearer hears that the click, whistle, and buzz all appear to be present simultaneously although they are not.

Brahman in Sanskrit means that which expands unlimitedly and thus it is often translated as spirit.

Sunday feast lecture:

In the encyclopedia Brittanica they talk about different features of the different countries, but only for India do they mention the philosophy, and for that they need a whole separate entry.

One Bengali, proud of his culture, said we Bengalis are the French people of India.

Plato said that highest development of love of God is conjugal love.

If pigs and dogs have food and sex, there must be something better for human beings.

In the Christian tradition, Saint Bernard of Clairvaux talks about the degrees of love of God, the kiss of the feet, the kiss of the hand, and the kiss of the lips. [I found more information on Saint Bernard of Clairvaux at this web site:]

Marriage in Indian culture is more of a marriage of families rather than a marriage of two people.

Vastu tells where to place buildings within the nation, within the city, and within the property.

You should never put your bathroom in the northeast corner of the house for that is where the head of the Vastu purusa is situated, and he will not appreciate it, and life will be difficult for you.

God is too big for one religion, but we need someone to follow.

Krishna is interested us because we have free will.

Krishna’s mercy is greater than His justice.

The essence of justice is mercy.

Krishna is determined to find a way to take us back to Godhead, but if we do not cooperate, it will take a very long time to make it.

Krishna is perfect, so His reform school is all perfect.

We are different. Men cannot listen, and women cannot read maps.

Hearing from self-realized souls is a universal principal.

Buddha taught no weapons, so people learned out to kill with their bare hands.

To call yourself a Buddhist, and in a time of plenty, to kill animals unnecessarily for food, is a great oxymoron.

Just as people look at different colleges, and then choose one, and go with it, similarly we should commit ourselves to one spiritual path.

Hanuman’s prayer#3, Srimad-Bhagavatam 5.19.5:

Lord Ramacandra taught his devotees that it is better not to enter household life which full of tribulations.

He also taught that a husband should be dutiful to protect his wife, although it may be inconvenient.

Sugriva said to Rama, “I am a monkey and I lost my wife, but I am not lamenting as much as you are!”

Every experienced person knows that sex, licit or illicit, is a big problem.

A tigress is chasing a man. The man runs down a path. The path ends at a cliff. But there is a root that he grabs onto, but there are just rocks below. So he is holding on, with the tigress above, and the rocks below. Then a rat comes on the scene and starts gnawing on the root. But there is some honey dropping from a tree, and the man finds if he stretches his neck backwards, he can taste it. These drops of honey are symbolic of the pleasure of material life in this otherwise precarious world.

Why varnasrama [the traditional Vedic social structure]? I can think of three reasons:

1) If we fail at pure devotional service, at least we will fall to sane, regulated life.

2) Varnasrama is best way to organize the sankirtana mission.

3) Varnasrama is the best example to teach the society in general.

In every situation, there is an opportunity to be exploited, but we may be aware that no one gets more exploitation than others.

Mother Arundhati:

Only Krishna can destroy this universe by the blink of His eye, and similarly, only Krishna can create the material universe by His glance.

Srila Prabhupada explains that “what is the duty of a man at the time of death?” is a more important question than “what is duty of a man in general?”

We surrender to Krishna by hearing, chanting, and remembering Him.

By chanting the holy name we associate with the Lord who is not different from His name.

Srila Prabhupada explained that if we could be convinced that Krishna is our only friend, we would be so happy.

Devotional service seems difficult until we attain the humility and tolerance recommended by Lord Caitanya.

We have to act in a way that attracts Krishna’s attention.

We should not be so concerned about what we are doing but rather that we are cultivating the proper attitude.

Krishna-kripa das:

We have heard serving the devotee is better than serving the Lord. Srimad-Bhagavatam 9.4.63 is one place where the Lord personally says it.

This comes up in the daily songs we sing, as Srila Prabhupada mentions in “Guruvastakam”, verse 8.

Also in the Tulasi song we pray, “koro nija dasi”, “Make me your own maidservant.” Just by serving tulasi nicely we can enter the eternal Vrndavana.

In the “Guru Vandana,” we sing “Guru carane rati, ei sei uttama gati.” “Attachment to the spiritual master’s feet is the supreme destination.”

Because My devotees are completely devoid of material desires, I sit only within the cores of their hearts.”

In other words, the Lord is attracted by the pure love of His devotees.”

Because we are part of the Lord, we are also attracted by pure love.

If someone is nice to us because they want us to do them a favor, we may do them that favor, but we will not be impressed, but if someone does us a favor just because they like us, that is so much more endearing, and so it is with Krishna.

Devananda Pandit offended Srivasa Thakura by allowing his students to physically throw the Thakura out of his Srimad-Bhagavatam recitation because he was crying in ecstasy, but by serving another devotee, Vrakresavara Pandit, he attained the mercy of Lord Caitanya.

Sivananda Sena took care of a dog who joined the party of devotees traveling from Navadvipa to Puri to see Lord Caitanya. Ultimately, by the association of Sivananda Sena, the dog attained the mercy of Lord Caitanya and attained spiritual world.

Prabhupada’s comments on the pastime:

Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Thākura has therefore sung, tumi ta’ thākura, tomāra kukkura, baliyā jānaha more (Śaranāgati 19). He thus offers to become the dog of a Vaishnava. There are many other instances in which the pet animal of a Vaishnava was delivered back home to Vaikunthaloka, back to Godhead. Such is the benefit of somehow or other becoming the favorite of a Vaishnava. Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Thākura has also sung, kīta-janma ha-u yathā tuyā dāsa (Śaraṇāgati 11). There is no harm in taking birth again and again. Our only desire should be to take birth under the care of a Vaishnava. Fortunately we had the opportunity to be born of a Vaishnava father who took care of us very nicely. He prayed to Śrīmatī Rādhārānī that in the future we would become a servant of the eternal consort of Śrī Krishna. Thus somehow or other we are now engaged in that service. We may conclude that even as dogs we must take shelter of a Vaishnava. The benefit will be the same as that which accrues to an advanced devotee under a Vaishnava's care. (CC Antya 1.24, purport)

The next day, no one saw that dog [of Sivananda Sena], for it had obtained its spiritual body and departed for Vaikuntha, the spiritual kingdom.

This is the result of sādhu-sańga — consequent association with Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and promotion back home, back to Godhead. This result is possible even for a dog, by the mercy of the Vaishnava. Therefore, everyone in the human form of life should be induced to associate with devotees. By rendering a little service, even by eating prasādam, what to speak of chanting and dancing, everyone can be promoted to Vaikunthaloka. It is therefore requested that all our devotees in the ISKCON community become pure Vaishnavas, so that by their mercy all the people of the world will be transferred to Vaikuṇṭhaloka, even without their knowledge. Everyone should be given a chance to take prasādam and thus be induced to chant the holy names Hare Krishna and also dance in ecstasy. By these three processes, although performed without knowledge or education, even an animal went back to Godhead. (CC Antya 1.32 translation and purport)

Associating with devotees means taken shelter of spiritual energy.

Radhanatha Swami explains how to get a taste for serving the devotees: by serving the devotees.

We need to serve the pure devotees for our own spiritual benefit and by doing so, become pure devotees, so that by cooperating with us, the people will become delivered, just as Sivananda Sena’s dog was.

Also Haridas Thakura was beaten in 22 market places without protest on his part.

This is an advanced state. The neophyte devotees pray for protection.

I am still neophyte. The only time I ever cried out to Krishna in complete helplessness was at the Puri Ratha-yatra when the pilgrims behind me were rushing forward, pulling the chariot, and those in front of me were walking leisurely and were so numerous as to completely block me from moving fast enough to escape the ones running toward me from behind. Seeing no escape, I yelled, “KRISHNA!!!” as loud as I could. I got trampled by the crowd but was unharmed. I lost my shoes but, amazingly enough, later found them.

Srila Prabhupada used the analogy of the child who is fearless in the presence of his parents to explain why the pure devotee takes the Lord’s protection for granted so much so that he does not pray for it.

The secret is “depending fully on the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.”

Why don’t we? Doubts about the existence of God. Doubts about our own ability to surrender. If we know God is all good, present everywhere, and all powerful, then we should not have any fear.

What to do? Hear from the faithful.

A devotee is never fearful of his death, for he meditates on the Supreme Personality of Godhead always, not for any material profit, but as his duty.”

Goodness means duty. Not for profit but because it is the right thing to do.

1) whenever goodness is described, duty is mentioned.

2) We have an eternal duty, jivera svarupa haya, krishnera nitya dasa

3) Because we are part of Krishna, we should serve the whole.

4) Yatha taror mulam nisecanena . . . Just by watering the root of a tree, all the branches are nourished. Just by nourishing the stomach, all the senses of the become stronger.

5) Machine analogy. Unless placed in the machine in proper orientation, a small screw has no value. Similarly unless we are properly engaged in the Lord’s service, our activities have no value.

This protection is offered to a devotee even from the very beginning of his devotional service.”

1) Dhruva’s stepmother was condemned by Krishna for insulting Dhruva ever before he began his devotional service.

2) Dhruva apparently was not even a devotee when insulted.

3) Therefore, we should not offend someone who may later become a great devotee.

4) Nehabhikrama-naso ’sti [Bg. 2.40] . . . even a little advancement on this path can save one from the greatest fear of losing the human form of life.

5) Brhad-sloka Prabhu tells how he had an appointment to deliver cheese cake at the World Trade Center. He forgot the cake, and when he went to get it, he saw the plane sticking in the side of the building, and so he did not go back to deliver the cake.

Although an enemy of a devotee may be very strong, he is compared to an angry serpent before the fire of devotional service.”

Prithu Prabhu tells about how a man who was angrily plotting against the devotees died in a car bombing in Ireland before he could execute his plans.

Notes on SB 9.9.46:

In The Nectar of Devotion, Prabhupada mentions that we should mold our life so our spiritual life takes precedence.

If we only aspire for service, we will not be frustrated, because there is always something one can do. If there is nothing in particular to do, you can always chant Hare Krishna.

Madhava Prabhu:

One time the GBC made some rule that no unmarried women and children could live in the temple. When Srila Prabhupada heard that he said that it was not his idea to turn anyone away from Krishna consciousness.

There are failures in each ashrama, brahmacarya, grhastha, vanaprastha, and sannyasa. The failure is that we forget Krishna. Narottama Das Thakura prayed, I do not care for your status, if you are a follower of Lord Caitanya, I want your association. Similarly, Bhaktivinoda Thakura advises both renunciates and householders to chant the holy name of the Lord.

Srila Prabhupada advised that it is best for the men to be brahmacaris, unmarried celibate monks, but it was best that the ladies were married. When asked how that was possible, he replied, “That is the art of management.”

Comment by Kalakantha Prabhu: I learned to be less selfish as a result of being married. You love the people, so that draws it [the tendency to be unselfish] out of you.

Jai Nitai from Tucson:

Doing our duty (dharma), meeting our needs (spiritual and material), and rendering service can help us have a peaceful life.

If we are doing our dharma, we will not be so disturbed by the vacillations of our mind.

Bhakta Geno:

Because it is the age of quarrel (Kali), it is appropriate that we are discussing offenses.

Although Krishna gives us a choice to serve Him or not, other people are sometimes unwilling to give others a choice.

In this pastime, Ambarisa Maharaja is trying very hard not to commit offense, while Durvasa is taking every opportunity to take offense.

Before his fighting with Drona, his teacher, Arjuna shot an arrow at his feet as a gesture of respect. Drona replied by sending a arrow, the feathers of which grazed his head as a blessing.

In our many lives, we have been honored, we have been rich, we have been treated as lowly, we have been poor. None of it has given us eternal pleasure.

We take shelter of Krishna because our other shelters failed. Then nourished by devotional service, we develop, but when our distress goes away, we can forget Krishna is our only shelter, and end up returning to our previous state. So we have to be careful about this.

It is said the theme of the Torah is, “May we remember, oh Lord our God.” Once a devotee asked Prabhupada what he was praying to Krishna for, and he said, “That I always remember Krishna and never forget Him.”

Durvasa’s hitting rock bottom by being chased from the Surdarshan cakra will prove to be an opportunity to once again remember Krishna.

Although the demigods are more powerful than we are, when they get into trouble, they immediately take shelter of Krishna. This is their example.

Comment by a mataji whose name I didn’t know: Prabhupada said pushing is required in the practice of Krishna consciousness, because we tend to be lazy, but the pushing should be done with love.


ananya-cetah satatam
yo mam smarati nityasah
tasyaham surlabhah partha
nitya-yuktasya yoginah

For one who always remembers Me without deviation, I am easy to obtain, O son of Prtha, become of his constant engagement in devotional service.” (Bhagavad-gita 8.14)

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Free Shipping and Free Returns

Aisvarya dasa: I have a question:

A "truth act" is a term that refers to a situation that is found many times throughout the Vedas and their corollaries and is performed by a variety of men and women. An instance of a truth act generally involves an individual who states a situation that he or she is in, that always tends to be an exemplary situation in respect to that person's dharma or something that has happened as a result of that person following his or her dharma, and, from that basis, that person makes a statement to the effect that he or she implores or expects something to happen to fulfill a certain wish. This wish can include the reversing of events or can be the desiring of a miracle. Since the wish is made in respect to dharma, it is very powerful and always comes to fruition. The question is whether the reason for the person performing the truth act is solely for the purpose of fulfilling his or her dharma or whether it is just a selfish desire that, by divine providence, becomes dharmic? Or whether each situation is different?

An example of a truth act is in the story of Damayanti who wants to marry Nala in the Mahabharata. To cut a long story short: Indra, Yama, Agni and Candra have disguised themselves as Nala and, standing with the real Nala, ask Damayanti to choose one from between them. Damayanti then states how she has followed her dharma as a woman and then basically tells all the Nalas in front of her to reveal their true identities. This truth act was so powerful that they do what she says.

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ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Falls Festival 2010

Bhakti Sara Dasa shares with us his experience of last weekend's catering gig:

"9 devotees headed by Adrian Prabhu went to Falls Music & Arts Festival Catering from Dec 28 to Jan 1 on a beautiful farm nestled in the Otway rainforest above Lorne.

Prasadam distribution at Falls festival was fun as many people loved the Hare Krsna Food especially the Kofta Balls. Adrian Prabhu kept the crew happy with special items like pasta, noodles, chips & plenty of juices & ginger drink.

Devotees also spread the holy name by daily harinams in the camping areas & in front of food stall. Many people joined in and the main attraction was Jack from Adelaide who loved the sound of kartals. He joined the harinam party, came to the food stall with two other friends, took a book, washed pots and came back again in the evening for more kirtan.

There was a People’s Stage where we performed for more than half an hour. We managed to sneak in the singing roster as some band did not turn up.

Prasadam Distribution Ki Jay!!"

Here's a
slideshow of their ascent-to-stardom adventure!

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ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Today's Darsana


After yesterday's Australian patriotism, the Deities flag the French colours today
in blue, white and red.

While the tricolored emblem bears a totally different meaning to France,
in Goloka it can easily depict Krishna's enchanting smile;

His dark blue complexion standing against His pearl white teeth that are contoured by His bimba red lips.

Since our good friend the 7D camera is gone to Murwillumbah till Monday we will be seeing the spiritual world through the eyes of our other good friend, the 40D;

here's a
slideshow of what to expect for the coming 5 days.

  • Email to a friend Bhakti Vikasa Swami: ISKCON's first widow

The first widow in ISKCON was Manamohini Dasi. Her husband had left Krsna conciousness and shortly thereafter died, when she was in her early twenties. She wanted to remarry, and asked Srila Prabhupada about doing so. Srila Prabhupada said, "I will not forbid you, but my opinion is, don't do it. What is the guarantee the next one will be different? In this age the women are not trained in chastity and the men are not trained in dharma. Marriage is for union. Krsna has already given you one child. Give your boy all your love." To the proposition that she wanted to remarry for protection, Srila Prabhupada rhetorically asked, "You are not protected? Just see: there is no faith." He went on to explain that in relation to Krsna, the only purusa, all others are prakrti. A man cannot actually protect his wife from disease, old age, or death; only Krsna can give protection.

Redacted from Memories of Srila Prabhupada DVD # 50.

(Available from

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ISKCON Toronto, Canada: A Drama Presented by the Halifax Brahmacaris!

During our Prabhupada Festival on January 1st, the brahmacaris (student-monks) visiting from the east coast treated the crowd to a wonderful little comedic drama. It was centred on fun (and maybe slightly-exaggerated) stories of adventures while distributing books. The brahmacaris performed the same drama the next day at ISKCON Scarborough and we found the video online. Enjoy!

Part One:

Part Two:
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Kurma dasa, AU: Changing Bodies

My father cleaned out his cupboard today and presented me with a slim, dusty old book that I had never set eyes on. It's name: 'My Baby'.

I opened the musty cardboard cover and began a surreal journey of regression. The baby was me. A tiny, yellowed news-clipping was glued to the inner cover: "Born...a son, at King's College Hospital (London) on December 26 to Essie and Geoffrey..."

A Doctor Boss, assisted by Nurse Finch, delivered me at 10.10 am 'via instrumental delivery' (they weren't playing music, the instrument was a pair of forceps).


While staying at the hospital, my first visitors were my Daddy, my Grandma, my Uncle P and Aunty L. Then at home to greet me were a host of other relatives, and well-wishers, the list too lengthy to mention here. I suspect my initial distress of a breech, mid-forceps delivery was starting to fade as I found myself the centre of a new universe.

My first gifts were four pounds and four shillings from Uncle P, and a nylon dress from Aunty E. Perhaps Aunty was expecting a girl and didn't want to waste the gift. I am wearing it in the photo above. In the section 'Mother's Notes', in my mother's distinctive handwriting (many years before Parkinson's disease took away her ability to put pen to paper) was written:

"P eats and enjoys everything I give him, even cod liver oil. Doubled his birth weight (+10 ounces) of 8 pounds 12 ounces at 5 months. Started weaning him at 6 months.

Rolls over on his tummy then back again. Cannot quite sit up without support. He smiles at everybody. Bright colours attract him. Rustling papers frighten him. Loves to play with rattle, grasps it firmly and loves to bite on his teething ring.

At 10 months he shakes his head when one says "no!", waves his arm when one says "bye bye", looks up for "birdie", and pulls funny faces. Blows raspberries, climbs up cot. Puts head on one side when one says "I see". Eats almost everything."

I turned the pages and read how I started eating semi-solids at 5 months, stopped my 2.00am feed at 4 months, and a host of other intimate details. I first slept in a cot in my own room at 4 months, first sat up in my high chair at 5 1/2 months.

My Dad wrote at the bottom of page 6: "P watched Coronation Street on television and also saw the England vs Australia Test Match (we regained Ashes)."

At 6 months I sprouted my first teeth - 2 centre bottom. I got my first shoes at 9 months, and my first word was 'asafetida'. No, only joking, my first word was 'birdie'.

My Dad wrote on page 12 "at 10 months P bounces up and down and sings, especially to violin and piano concertos". What the..??

And so it went on, page after page. My first car journey this lifetime was from Dulwich Hospital to Clapton at 2 weeks. The first real outings were 'a caravan holiday at Bognor, September 1953, a holiday at Mrs Andrews at Stow-in-the Wold, Glos. and a whirlwind tour of Hull, Bridlington, Torquay and Felixtowe".

The book ended with many blank pages. Perhaps the novelty of my appearance was wearing off.

And now I'm fast approaching 60, with children and grandchildren, and a body quite different from those above. I'll leave you with some perceptive words by The Great Bard:

"All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players: They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts, His acts being seven ages.

At first the infant, Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms.

And then the whining school-boy, with his satchel And shining morning face, creeping like snail Unwillingly to school.


And then the lover, Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad Made to his mistress' eyebrow.

Then a soldier, Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard, Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel, Seeking the bubble reputation Even in the cannon's mouth.


And then the justice, In fair round belly with good capon lined, With eyes severe and beard of formal cut, Full of wise saws and modern instances; And so he plays his part.

The sixth age shifts Into the lean and slipper'd pantaloon, With spectacles on nose and pouch on side, His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice, Turning again toward childish treble, pipes And whistles in his sound.

Last scene of all, That ends this strange eventful history, Is second childishness and mere oblivion, Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything."

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Japa Group: Japa Workshop #3 of 6

In this third episode of the Japa Workshop, Mahatma dasa encourages feedback from participants as well as emphasizes the principle of having goals in Krsna Consciousness.

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H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: 181 SDGonline Daily updates

10:39 A.M.

Krishna sent Akrura to Hastinapura to see what the situation was regarding Dhrtarastra’s treatment of the Pandavas. He spoke to him in a cautionary way, telling him that he should treat his sons and the sons of Pandu equally. Akrura hinted that if Dhrtarastra did not treat the two camps of cousins as equals, then surely there would be a fight between the two camps of cousins. Since the Pandavas’ cause was just they would come out victorious, and the sons of Dhrtarastra would be killed. This was a prophesy told by Akrura to Dhrtarastra. In plain words Akrura hinted to Dhrtarastra that his staunch family affection was due to his gross ignorance of fact. Although we appear to be combined together in family, society or nation, each one of us has an individual destiny. Everyone takes birth according to individual past work. Therefore, everyone has to individually enjoy or suffer the result of his own karma. Akrura advised Dhrtrastra not to be blind about the fact of his material existence. He should live peacefully for the spiritual advancement of Krishna consciousness. After hearing the moral instructions from Akrura, Dhrtarastra replied, “My dear Akrura, you are very charitable in giving me good instructions, but unfortunately I cannot accept it. A person who is determined to die does not utilize the effect of nectar although it may be administered to him. I can understand your instructions are very valuable; unfortunately, they do not stay in my flickering mind. I can understand only that no one can stop the onward progress of the Supreme Will. I understand that the Supreme Personality of Godhead has appeared in the family of the Yadus in order to decrease the overburden of the earth.” Dhrtarastra gave hints to Akrura that he had complete faith in Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead; at the same time, he was very much partial to his family members. So despite what would happen to him with Krishna’s will, Dhrtarastra would choose to side with his sons in unlawful affection. After hearing this statement, Akrura could clearly understand that Dhrtarastra was not going to change his policy of discriminating against the Pandavas in favor of his sons. He at once took leave of his friends at Hastinapura and returned to his home in the kingdom of the Yadus. After returning home he vividly informed Krsna and Balarama of the actual situation of Hastinapura and the intentions of Dhrtarastra.

After Kamsa’s death, his two wives became widows. They then became under the care of Jarasandha. Jarasandha was a demon, and he decided on the spot that he would rid the world of all the members of the Yadu dynasty. He decided that since Krishna had killed Kamsa, the whole dynasty of the Yadus should be killed. He began to make extensive arrangements to attack the kingdom of Mathura with his innumerable military phalanxes consisting of many thousands of chariots, horses, elephants, etc.
Jarasandha had gathered a huge army, but Krishna and Balarama had just a small army.  Nevertheless, they faced them and decimated the army of Jarasandha. All the soldiers of Jarasandha were killed, and he was the only one left. He certainly became very depressed at this point. Balarama arrested him, but Lord Krishna, with a greater plan for the future, asked Him not to arrest him. Jarasandha was then given release by Krishna. As a fighting hero, Jarasandha became very ashamed, and he decided he would no longer live as a king but would resign from his position in the royal order and go to the forest and practice meditation under severe austerities and penances. But as he was returning home with his royal friends, they advised him not to retire but to regain strength to fight with Krishna in the near future. The princely order encouraged King Jarasandha. His fighting, they said, was certainly heroic; therefore, he should not take his defeat very seriously, as it was only due to his past mistakes. After all, there was no fault in his fighting.

It is always marvelous to hear how Krishna with a small group of soldiers defeats a huge army of soldiers. He can do this because He is all-powerful and can never be outnumbered. Krishna returned to Mathura, and everyone was very happy to see Him, and they glorified Him and celebrated in the city.

Jarasandha, however, did regroup his armies and besiege the city of Mathura seventeen times. Each and every time he was defeated and all of his soldiers killed by Krishna. And each time he returned disappointed in the same way. Each time he was shamed, and he returned home. After one defeat, Jarasandha was met by a powerful demon named Kalayavana, who had 30 million soldiers. He made an alliance with Jarasandha, and they decided to vengefully attack the kingdom of Mathura. At this time, Krishna made a new plan. He constructed a fort in the midst of the sea. Remnants of the fort which Krishna constructed are still existing in the Bay of Dvaraka. This wonderful architectural act covering a space of 96 square miles, was executed by the architect of the demigods, Visvakarma. It was well-planned with gates, skyscrapers, grains, and beautiful palaces. The demigods made contributions to the city of Dvaraka and presented their respective gifts, making the city of Dvaraka unique within the universe. Krishna put Balarama in charge of Dvaraka, and He went to Mathura to confront Kalayavana, who had already seized the city. Krishna, however, rather than fight Kalayavana hand to hand, walked ahead of him, eluding him. Kalayavana tried to capture Him, but he could not capture Him because Krishna was walking with the speed of the mind. Krishna left the city and entered the cave of a hill with Kalayavana following, chastising Him with various words. Krishna suddenly disappeared from the demon’s sight, but Kalayavana followed and also entered the cave. The first thing he saw was a man lying down asleep within the cave. Kalayavana was very anxious to fight with Krishna, and when he could not see Krishna but saw instead only a man lying down, he thought that Krishna was sleeping within this cave. Kalayavana was very puffed up and proud of his strength, and he thought Krishna was avoiding the fight. Therefore he very strongly kicked the sleeping man, thinking him to be Krishna. The sleeping man had been lying down for a long time. When he awakened by the kicking of Kalayavana, he immediately opened his eyes and began to look around in all directions. At last he began to see Kalayavana, who was standing nearby. The man was untimely awakened and therefore very angry, and when he looked upon Kalayavana in his angry mood, rays of fire emanated from his eyes, and Kalayavana burned into ashes within a moment.

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H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: Prayer in Illness SDGonline Daily updates

I pray to Radha and Krishna
may They hear me and save
me from death. I know
I have to go but not yet, not
to the hospital, that prison
of coughing and needles and
IVs and lying in bed with incontinent feces.

Please save me from going
there. Let me stay in the Viraha Bhavan
in my chair. Praying my chant.
Save me from coughing, coughing
and limping, limping

I pray to Radha and Krishna to keep me
in my house, without fever
without the phlegm. I want
to be at peace.

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H.H. Sivarama Swami: Srila Prabhupada said: The Deity should have a new dress every day or twice or four times a day – as many times as possible

The more we dress Krsna, the more satisfied we become.

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1972 January 5: "I am very encouraged by your enthusiasm for preaching. You are Sannyasi so preach in this way and become parivrajakacarya. The intelligentsia and leaders must be preached to. Kirtana will soften their hearts."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1972

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1972 January 5: "I have written a Bengali poem on the Bhagavad-gita called Gitargan. So please take quotation for printing--page 5' x 3 1/2', with very nice paper and softbound, about 100 pages long. Print these books immediately."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1972

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1973 January 5: "That your center has become too much crowded is a good sign. If Krsna Consciousness is there, Krsna means that He is eternally increasing, so I can understand Radha Gopinatha have very much appreciated their new home."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1973

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1973 January 5: "Everything we have done has rested on these books. Without books we make no progress. We shall not be very much concerned with properties and big big temples. We shall henceforward concentrate our full energy on distributing books."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1973

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1973 January 5: "New devotees will send me their letters as usual, and I will give them names myself and enter in our records, simply you must chant on their beads and then return to them. Is that clear? In other parts of the world, I shall chant them as always."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1973

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1974 January 5: "Please cooperate and become very serious about Krsna Consciousness. By your pure example you will be spiritually strong and attract so many others who are looking for the actual meaning of life."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1974

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1975 January 5: "Your idea is a little utopian. First thing is understand Srimad Bhagavatam fully. If you simply explain the first verse, it will take volumes and volumes. So study my books intensely. This will make everything perfect."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1975

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1975 January 5: "Regarding sending men to Bangkok, let us see who is a spare man. But our policy is not to import devotees, but to make devotees out of the local men there. That is better."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1975

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1971 January 4: "So I am glad that you are preaching in the outlands. That is very nice. The real life of a man is preaching. If one has got any life at all in him then he will preach."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1971

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1972 January 4: "Have nice Deity program, always have lots of Kirtana, serve ample Prasadam very sumptuously and speak something from my books. If this is done in every center our movement will very soon become the world religion as has now been predicted."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1972

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1973 January 4: "My Dear George: Yes, if one simply comes to that platform of spontaneous love for the Spiritual Master, then very quickly he will get love of Krishna. It is not by accident that you are coming gradually to the right point, neither it is very common thing."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1973

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1973 January 4: "Not that they shall become your disciples, but you will be empowered by me to chant their beads and that is the same effect of binding Spiritual Master and disciple as if I were personally chanting. Is that all right?"
Prabhupada Letters :: 1973

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1973 January 4: "Why you are asking these things? Who has given you such freedom? I have given you everything already, there is no need for you to add or change anything."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1973

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1973 January 4: "The greatest danger to our movement will come when we manufacture and create our own processes. Unless I order you to change, just follow to the exact standard as I have given you, that's all."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1973

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1974 January 4: "Yes, if we have too much money then unwise spending enters. You have just enough to get by and you are therefore having to spend wisely."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1974

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1975 January 4: "You have finished three chapters of Gita already. So they can be immediately printed and then as soon as you translate three chapters more they can be printed. In this way the whole book will be done in six volumes."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1975

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Subhavilasa das ACBSP, Toronto, CA: I love Krishna!

I love Krishna. Saw this picture and had to share! Jaya Sri Krishna.
Seeing an adorable picture like this increases Krishna Consciousness!
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H.H. Sivarama Swami: Opening of the new building of the Budapest Bhaktivedanta College

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H.H. Bhakticharu Swami: Quote Of Guru Maharaja

Sent By Bhakta Kartik Agarwal

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H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Monday, January 3rd, 2011

"Devotional Milestones for 2010"

Toronto, Ontario

A wrap up or review of the past year would look something like the following with regards to my feet and heart at home or other territory.

1. Early in February a sweaty walk got me through the nation of Trinidad.

2. Along the Mediterranean bare foot I went in October covering half of Israel.

3. Prem Kishor aka Dr. Joni, dear friend and devotee, hosted the first Festival of India in Thunder Bay at the shore of the world's largest lake, Lake Superior, in July. It was a grand success.

4. Montreal ISKCON launched its first devotional talent show called Natakam featuring dance, drama, and music of a unique kind.

5. The brahmacaris (monks) from Halifax purchased a bus, compliments of kind donors, for the purpose of travelling Canada throughout the year.

6. A Tamil gang leader turned pious and joined our Scarborough ISKCON centre. He now chants mantras on japa meditation beads.

7. Devotees of Brampton cooked up a storm serving thousands at the India Panorama.

8. Saskatoon is the latest city to open Krishna Consciousness programs led by team Kasyapa and Pancomi.

9. Ottawa ISKCON celebrated the 35th Anniversary of Guara-Nitai deity installation in August.

10. Vancouver ISKCON has finalized drawings for a new temple, a unique monolithic domed structure.

11. The village of Saranagati, an eco-friendly rural and devotional community, hosted a grand Balarama Festival in the summer, fusing indigenous and Vedic culturals. A huge teepee was erected to symbolize unity.

12. The Krishna Youth Bus Tour drove into Regina for its fifth year of devotional talents. Regina was the first city to host indoor stage events with the tour.

13. The Toronto Star, Canada's most widely read major city newspaper featured an article "Hare Krishnas Go Mainstream," a favourable update on the city's Krishna community. It was sourced to other papers nation wide.

14. Sunday school (Krishna Conscious style) is increasing in Calgary at the Radha Madhava Cultural Centre in age group up to age 21, thanks to co-ordinators Twani and Gopika.

15. Toronto's downtown Urban Edge Yoga Centre is enjoying its second year of operation catering to U of T spiritual seekers.

16. Alas this humble self, the Walking Monk, travelled in addition to Canada, to the USA, Guyana, Trinidad, Cuba, Italy, Argentina, South Africa, India and Dubai.


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Gouranga TV: H.H. Sacinanadana Swami ,Hare Krishna maha mantra-bhajan

H.H. Sacinanadana Swami ,Hare Krishna maha mantra-bhajan

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Gaura Yoga, NZ: Opening hours

Gaura Yoga will re-open for 2011 on Monday 17 January

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Japa Group: The Meaning Of The Mantra

O Hari! Having captured my mind, please free me from material bondage.

O Krsna! Please attract my mind by pulling it to You.

O Hari! Please capture my mind by Your unsurpassed sweetness.

O Krsna! Please purify my mind with knowledge about devotional service given to me by Your own devotee.

O Krsna! Please make me able to relish Your transcendental name, form, qualities, pastimes, etc.

O Krsna! Please make me able to relish Your transcendental name, form, qualities, pastimes, etc.

O Hari! Please make me fit to serve You.

O Hari! Please make me able to relish Your transcendental name, form, qualities, pastimes, etc.

O Hari! Please direct me to do some particular service for You.

O Rama! Let me hear about Your most cherished pastimes in the company of Your dearest devotee.

O Hara (Radha)! Please reveal to me Your most cherished pastimes with Your beloved Sri Krsna.

O Rama! Please reveal to me Your most cherished pastimes with Your beloved sri Radha.

O Rama! Please engage me in remembering Your transcendental name, form, qualities, pastimes, etc.

O Rama! Please make me fit to serve You while remembering Your transcendental name, form, qualities, pastimes, etc.

O Hari! Having accepted me as one of Your own servitors, please enjoy me as You please.

O Hari! Please enjoy with me in Your transcendental way.

This is my humble request at Your lotus feet.

By Bhaktivinoda Thakur

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