martes, 22 de junio de 2010

H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: Japa Triathon


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"Planet ISKCON" - 34 new articles

  1. ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Daily Class - Kesava Prabhu
  2. H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Pictures from Italy
  3. H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Tuesday, June 15/th, 2010
  4. H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Monday, June 14th, 2010
  5. Japa Group: Hold On To Your Beads!
  6. Gauranga Kishore das,USA: Scientists Create Life?
  7. Bhakti Vikasa Swami: what is required to please Krsna
  8. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  9. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  10. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  11. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  12. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  13. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  14. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  15. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  16. H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: 474
  17. H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: A Representative of God
  18. H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: Japa Triathon
  19. H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: A Tree
  20. H.H. Bhakti Caitanya Swami: Photos from Barnaul
  21. Madhava Ghosh dasa, New Vrndavan, USA: Krsna is the Farm Acarya
  22. H.H. Sivarama Swami: Balarama dasa
  23. Corrupt Leader Exposed!
  24. London’s Ratha Yatra 2010 - with photos
  25. Maddy Jean-claude Durr, New Govardhana, AU: The Journey to the Castle (Travelling to Radhadesh)
  26. Ananda Subramanian, Iowa, USA: Difficult but possible
  27. ISKCON Toronto, Canada: Bhagavad-Gita Course Starting Monday!
  28. ISKCON Toronto, Canada: No Sunday Feast Recording this week :(
  29. H.H. Bhakti Caitanya Swami: Photos from Novosibirsk
  30. H.H. Sivarama Swami
  31. Japa Group: Punched Out All The Obstacles
  32. Gouranga TV: Bhajan – New Year’s Eve 2010 – Mukunda Datta das
  33. David Haslam, UK: London Ratha Yatra 2010
  34. Maddy Jean-claude Durr, New Govardhana, AU: As On BDN: Mind Reader
  35. More Recent Articles
  36. Search Planet ISKCON

ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Daily Class - Kesava Prabhu

Srimad Bhagavatam 11.21.28 - The understanding of relationship between male and female.

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H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Pictures from Italy

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H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Tuesday, June 15/th, 2010

Roaming in Rome

Rome, Italy

My friend Madhu Sevita, is not a clairvoyant. Light-heartedly he claimed ‘I was an Italian in my past life.’ He thought
I would fit in with his countrymen.

So here I am in the heart of the Roman Empire feeling somewhat like I belong. Was I a gladiator?

Mukunda and I started out early reaching the Colosseum by 6am before the tourists crowds set in. Hmmmm. It’s impressive, a piece of the past.

Two thousand years ago it was a stadium which held 50.000 spectators. Unfortunately, it was a genuine place of death featuring horror entertainments.

Our next stop was St. Peters Basilica but while taking to walking there you see more grandeur of the past such as god ruins and great architecture preserved. A stop over at the Pantheon where all the gods were once worshiped allowed us the chance to check out the acoustic in this huge dome shaped structure. The sound of the maha-mantra set well in that space.

St. Peter’s was stunning. You won’t help your head from turning every which way.

Every direction displayed art. Personally I enjoyed a modern piece of Francesco of Assisi outside the Basilica near the war memorial.

Mukunda insisted I see at least one more spot, the Crypt of the Capuchins. There stacked together artistically arranged are the skulls and bones of hundreds of monks from the Capuchin mission. Its message is clear though: death closes the gates of time, and opens those of eternity.

Mukunda and I roamed the city, and then returned to his home to a gathering of eager devotees to hear something I might be able to inspire them with. Of course I can’t take any credit for words that enthuse. It’s all the mercy of guru.

10 KM

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H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Monday, June 14th, 2010

Corrections, Ruins and Pasta

Calcata, Italy

At Villa Vrindavana I was asked to speak again this morning from the book Bhagavatam, Canto 4.

The theme of the day was “punishment” and it's place in our world. Its a touchy topic in some way.

Some people have naturally been at the recipients’ end and did not feel that it helped matters. Some people will tell you that discipline is highly necessary in order for there to be correction. We also talked about punishments of the past that have been clearly causes of abuse. Surly the role of Guru is to give direction and correction when needed and physical punishment is never even a consideration. One of the key points addressed in the purport explanation by our guru, Srila Prabhupada, is that all things be done with sensitivity and compassion and as he puts it “without vengeance and with love”

We spoke about the mood of “sentimentality” and how the world with its combination “senses and mind” can get you into trouble. We could try to steer away from self-pity scenarios, be less of a victim and more of a victor kind of person.

As far as how I’m being treated goes, all I can say is that everyone in Italy is very loving. I was taken to a new destination, the home of Mukunda, a 34 year devotee just outside of Rome. He drove me to a conservation area along the Treja River. As we walked the trail he pointed out to me a wild boar with her piglets. Then he pointed up to an ancient town, Calcata (sounding like the city in India). These beyond the thick vegetation on the top of volcanic cliffs is a city occupied by hippies and artists-

A city sat there since 700 A.D

We decided after the trek to drive up to what could have been ruins if it had not been for the rescue of the free spirit people. A patron saint of the town, Antonio, is remembered with a memorial image at the entrance of the tight and narrow nooks and lane ways.

What a charmer of a place this is.

Mukunda also took me to a cave at the edge of a cliff, a place he’s thinking of purchasing.

“It could be ideal as a retreat place” he said.

“Imagine the chanting and the music you could have here”?

I could see his point

Our day ended with some pasta in our bellies, compliments of Mukundas wife, Anubhava.

9 KM

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Japa Group: Hold On To Your Beads!

In the beginning, the rock stubborn, lazy mind will rebel with a thousand excuses and obstacles to foil one's attempt to implement the three M's. Persevere; hold on to your beads! By the mercy of Sri Guru and Gauranga one will patiently progress through the three stages of method, mood and mellow.

From the Art Of Chanting Hare Krsna by Mahanidhi Swami
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Gauranga Kishore das,USA: Scientists Create Life?

With the recent announcement by the scientific community of the creation of a living organism using synthetic DNA many people are wondering about the religious implications of this achievement? Religion has long claimed that God created life, will the developments of modern science disprove this crucial piece of the religious world view.

In response to the latest achievements of a group of scientist of the Venter Institute headed by microbiologist Craig Venter headlines read, Scientists Create First Self-Replicating Synthetic Life. Such headlines may have the religiously faint of heart amongst us worried that science is laying seige on the very capital of the empire of theistic belief, the idea that life comes from God, the idea that there is more to life than physical laws, the belief in a soul that resides within and animates the body.

Should we be questioning our beliefs in light of this new discovery?

First we should be clear on exactly what has been done because some of the headlines like the one above may be misleading. The scientists of the Venter institute have not created life, they have synthetically replicated the DNA sequence of a micro-organism, removed it's original DNA and replaced it with the synthetic DNA. The experiment was a success and the cell began to reproduce.

So what has really been done could be described as a DNA transplant, which is significantly short of creating life, from the ground up.

When asked in an Interview on CNN whether he had created life Venter responded, "We created a new cell. It's alive. But we didn't create life from scratch. We created, as all life on this planet is, out of a living cell."

Venter and his team did not create life they implanted synthetic DNA into a living micro organism. Practically this is a big breakthough in the field of microbiology that could have some very important implications in the future but despite this new breakthrough in genetics the core philsophical issues still remain untouched in regards to the fundamental nature of life.

The most fundamental question of religion and philosophy is how we get here? Until Darwin came along there was no non-religious answer to this question. Darwin made it possible for a person to be an intellectual atheist, at least superficially. Darwin's answer was random variation or what we now call random mutation. Darwin's basic scientific idea of variation and natural selection was an amazing insight into how species can change and adapt over time but huge questions still remain.

Is it really possible for one species to change into another? Up till now there is not really any evidence of this. The fossil record has been unforthcoming in its support of Darwin's hypothesis. Species seem to appear in the fossil record fully formed and disappear the same way when new fully formed species take their place.

Genetic evidence seems to strongly confirm Darwin's idea of common ancestry however common descent doesn't prove Darwinian evolution to be true, because what really makes Darwin's theory controversial is not the idea of common descent but the idea that the primary force at work in the evolutionary process in randomness, not divine intervention.

Ofcourse all questions about evolution aside there are still many questions about how the very first living organism arose. The Miller Urey experiment proved that amino acids could be randomly generated in a certain environment but this is far different from life. Even if it is someday shown exactly how life could've come about by totally material processes, and exactly which genetic mutations led to the creation of every organism on the plant, even if we could have a totally naturalistic explanation for all life, we are still left with the problem that these events are so highly improbable that a naturalistic explanation is insufficient to explain them.

The odds are so stacked against the creation of life and the evolution of species by Darwinian processes that the generation of life from natural elements and the creation of new species requires a supernatural explanation. The esteemed Carl Sagan estimated that the possibility of human life being randomly generated at 10 to the 2,000,000,000. This number is so large it is practically impossible to even fathom.

Borel's law states that any event with odds of less than one in 10 raised to the fiftieth power is impossible, this is because the number of atoms in universe is only estimated to be ten raised to the eightieth power.

The odds against the creation of life are almost infinitely more than the number atomic particles in the universe!

The improbability of life can be extended out further into the universe to include the fundamentals law of nature and the specific events in our universe and when we do find that life is even more improbable which lends even more strength to a supernatural explanation.

One example is the expansion rate of the universe in relationship to the forces of gravity. Stephan Hawking comments, “Why did the universe start out with so nearly the critical rate of expansion that separates models that recollapse form those that go on expanding forever, that even now, 10 thousand million years later, it is still expanding at nearly the critical rate? If the rate of expasion one second after the Big Bang had been smaller by even one part in 100 thousand million million, the universe would have recollapsed before it ever reached its present size. . .It would be very difficult to explain why the universe should have begun in just this way, except as the act of a God who intended to create beings like us.”

Even Francis Crick had to admit, "An honest man, armed with all the knowledge available to us now, could only state that in some sense the origin of life appears at the moment to be almost a miracle, so many are the conditions which would have had to have been satisfied to get it going."

The huge improbabilities in the existence of life ranges all the way from the physical laws of the universe, to the creation of the universe, to the individual events in the creation of life, and the evolution of one species into another lead me to believe there is a conscious force guiding the apparently random processes.

Although the latest achievement of molecular biology are amazing achievement which may have profound implications for the advancement of science and technology, it is still far short of creating life. And the creation of life in a laboratory would still be far far short of life being randomly generated in a universe that is perfectly suited to support life.

I personally don't think that life will even be able to be created artifically BUT even if life is created artificially I don't think it weakens the theological position. Venter and his team spent the last 15 years and over forty million dollars to create and implant their synthetic DNA into a living cell. There doesn't seem to be anything random about that. Rather it only seems to strengthen the design hypothesis.

Rather than disprove the God hypothesis the advancements of modern science only seem to strengthen it. The more we learn about the Universe, the more we learn about life, the less likely it seems that it could all just be an accident. The more we learn we more we see the evidence for design, the more we see the unseen hand of God at work in the universe.

I think Harry Rimmer said it perfectly when he said, “I fail to see how the natural man can scoff at the faith of a Christian who believes in one miracle of creation, when the unbeliever accepts multiplied millions of miracles to justify his violation of every known law of biology and every evidence of paleontology, and to cling to the exploded myth of evolution.”
Email to a friendRelated Bhakti Vikasa Swami: what is required to please Krsna

In class Prabhupada explained what is required of us if we want to please Krsna and get His blessings. "We have to surrender. That will please Krsna. And without pleasing Him? You cannot see Krsna. You may have your eyes, big, big eyes, but you cannot see Krsna. You have to please Him. That pleasing activity is bhakti.

"Without that bhakti, it means sitting down silently... 'No, no, I am chanting. I do not want to go out. I am busy.' This means excuse. What you will chant? You will think of money and woman, that's all. Just work. Go to sell books and work hard. That is wanted. Therefore we do not give that opportunity. My Guru Maharaja did not give this opportunity, and we are following the same principle. No opportunity of sitting idle. No, you must work. That will rectify. Yes."

>From Transcendental Diary

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1968 June 21: "We can endeavor for money making if it doesn't hamper our devotional service. Otherwise, we shall prefer to starve and chant Hare Krishna. That should be the pivot of all our activities."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1968

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1969 June 21: "Rupa Goswami spent 50% for Krishna, 25% for emergency, and 25% for relatives. You can also try to follow this principle as far as possible. Your main business is to keep in Krishna Consciousness, and if you keep that point in view, you can deal with others according to social conventions without being attached."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1969

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1970 June 21: "So I do not know why you have asked about my previous life. So far my present life is concerned, I do not remember when I was forgetful of Krishna. Throughout my whole life I do not know what is illicit sex, intoxication, meat-eating or gambling."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1970

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1970 June 21: "A bona fide Spiritual Master is always liberated. In any condition of His life He should not be mistaken as ordinary human being. This is achieved by sadhana siddha, krpa siddha, or nitya siddha. These are the three features of the perfection of life."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1970

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1971 June 21: "Just yesterday I arrived in Moscow. We are trying to arrange through the embassy some talks. Afterward I will go to Paris and then fly to San Francisco Rathayatra. Then I will go to London Rathayatra and return to New York. All mail can go to LA."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1971

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1972 June 21: "Collect foodstuffs profusely. If you collect more, distribute more and if you collect less, distribute less, but only distribute what you have collected. If there is no food, do not contribute our own funds for this purpose."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1972

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1973 June 21: "Why are you giving them spiritual names? You are not authorized to do this. Spiritual names are given by the bona fide Spiritual Master at the time of initiation. It is not to be done as a whimsical act. It is done strictly according to regulative principles."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1973

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1975 June 21: "I want to take up one project of constructing a Varna Ashrama College and Temple in Kuruksetra. I am presently negotiating for this. The world is suffering on account of not taking up Krishna consciousness, so we have to try to save them. You kindly help me to do this."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1975

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H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: 474 SDGonline Daily updates

3:50 A.M.

I had my usual nine o’clock headache but got back to sleep and got out of bed at 2 A.M. I felt my chanting was like sweeping with a broom, cleaning the mind from dirty thoughts. But it was like a cleaning man’s duty, not a prayer-maker. I chanted quickly though, and I’ve chanted over eight rounds so far. You have to concentrate and be very serious if you want your chanting to be more than just sweeping with a broom. You have to remember your place in this material world, remember that you’re a spirit soul seeking to retain your original consciousness. This kind of concentration is required in order to make the japa a holy time. Entering a life of prayer you have to crawl humbly and plead with Krishna to please let you remain fixed on the actual business of japa. Otherwise it becomes a mechanical duty which is alright but not topmost.

Sweeping the mirror
of the mind so you can
see yourself as spirit soul.
But you have to pay
attention to the name, or
you won’t see the enlivened,
clean face. Just doing the
job as a cleansing chore
brings about removal of sins
but doesn’t put you in
touch with who you are
and your relation to Nama Prabhu.
Listen more closely the remainder
of today’s quota,
and you
will hear and see
the real self,
the servant of Hari.

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H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: A Representative of God SDGonline Daily updates

Prabhupada Smaranam
SP with umbrella held over his head and girl fanning him with peacock feather. SP with umbrella held over his head and girl fanning him with peacock feather.

Here is Prabhupada being honored at the airport in San Francisco in the late 1960s. A unsympathetic observer might think he is accepting too much worship with Gaura-Hari holding a big ceremonial umbrella over his head and a lovely young girl waving a peacock feather fan from his other side. Shaved head men sit adoringly and submissively at his feet. Perhaps they are holding kirtana. He is sitting quietly with thick wads of flower garlands around his neck. He appears grave, yet at ease, as if he is accustomed to this. Once at a similar reception a reporter asked him what was the special occasion, and Prabhupada replied that it was nothing special but he was received like this wherever he went in the world.

The spiritual master is the representative of God and should be treated as good as God. When a reporter in Australia criticized him for being picked up in a Rolls Royce, Prabhupada replied that the spiritual master should be treated as good as God, and God is carried in a golden chariot so this Rolls Royce “tin” car was not sufficient. Prabhupada was not puffed up personally but patiently received this honorific treatment by his disciples because it is the parampara etiquette to give an honorable reception to the pure devotee. He knew it made critical observers envious and so sometimes he did not accept vyasasanas or too grand receptions, but he did not deny his disciples the right to satisfy themselves by showing their love for him and fulfilling the etiquette of guru-disciple parampara.

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H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: Japa Triathon SDGonline Daily updates

In his novel he had a
neophyte ask the young guru,
”What does the chanting feels like?”
The guru answered, “Like a
shower of nectar.” I thought it
was an exaggerated reply. I
doubted the young guru even knew
what a “shower of nectar” was
or how it would be a pleasurable
experience. Why not just say
”It’s hard to describe. It’s
like a cool shower on a hot

What is the chanting like? It
is like a routine train ride,
passing quickly through
pleasant places. “It’s
freedom. It’s peace, I feel
like I’m floating through
the air.” When I stop
and think, it’s God’s
names that gives me a
certain charge, but not
so much, because I still
haven’t realized He is the
same as His name.

What is it like? It is like sucking on a straw, vanilla
ice cream through root
beer, like being hungry and eating the Mexican menu,
hot capati with salsa,
beans, sprouts, and other
spreads—sheer delicious,
especially sandwiched in the
hot capatis.

It’s drowsy. It’s absent
minded, it’s dragging it out,
it’s accumulating more slowly
than I had wished. (But even
in World War II, although the allies
would lose heavily, they’d
push on and make another
victory, Iwo Jima, Guam, Hiroshima!
Nagasaki! Berlin!)
You don’t cave in. you suffer casualties,
Pearl Harbor, Dunkirk,
but you gradually hang
in there and persevere.

What is it like?
A shower of nectar.
For who?
For Haridasa Thakura?

Only four rounds.
And you’re tired,
four more is eight.
You are halfway close.

What is this Triathalon?
First you swim four miles.
Some do it with one arm.
Then you ride on your bike
some hours then run for most of the
way over gravel, soft
sand, hard pavement, up
the cliffs of doom, up
the staircase of logs and
dirt. Is your sneaker
coming off? Is your heart
going to collapse? Look
who is ahead, look who is
second, here comes the
pack, running, running,
the people on the sidelines cheer and offer you
Gatorade. You are not number
one, that’s a guy from New Zealand.
You’re not number two or three,
but you will finish. Your
legs are cramped, you’re sleepy
eyed, you’re afraid your head
may crash but—know you stay
clear and pass the finish
line, and people are there
to tell you you did well.
You finished the race,
you are an iron man.

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H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: A Tree SDGonline Daily updates

Free write

This venerable tree has ax chops on its bark, but it is not mortally wounded. Whoever hacked the tree has done a wrong thing. The tree has taken hundreds of years to grow to this stoutness, and it is one of God’s creatures.
read more from SDGonline - daily updates from The Yellow Submarine: My Bhajana Kutir journal

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H.H. Bhakti Caitanya Swami: Photos from Barnaul

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Madhava Ghosh dasa, New Vrndavan, USA: Krsna is the Farm Acarya

Letter from Tamal Krsna Goswami, Secretary to Srila Prabhupada, to Hari Sauri Das, ISKCON Melbourne, August 10th, 1977 (sent from Krsna Balarama Mandir, Vrndavana):

Srila Prabhupada always enjoys hearing from you as you have gained an eternal position at His Divine Grace’s lotus feet. Srila Prabhupada appreciated your opening prayers.

Srila Prabhupada was most enlivened to hear the report of New Govardhana Farm. His Divine Grace in the last month or so has been stressing the importance of these farm projects, and said, “This is the next aspect of Krsna consciousness which I wish to push forward. If I am able to travel again, then I shall visit the farms and make them perfect. On these farms we can demonstrate the full varnasrama system. If these farms become successful then the whole world will be enveloped by Krsna consciousness.

“From your letter I can understand how nice this farm is. I am very happy to see fresh vegetables, fresh fruits, grains, the devotees taking sumptuous prasadam and chanting Hare Krsna. This is the actual meaning of human life. It is a very good farm, from your letter I can understand. Whatever you build, get the building materials locally. If you can manufacture tiles locally, then your house problem is solved. Build up bamboo frame, and on it place tiles. In any event get everything locally. I wish to make a farm tour and then I shall surely visit your farm.”

I suggested to Srila Prabhupada that he was the Farm Acarya, but Srila Prabhupada said, “Krsna is the Farm Acarya. Baladeva is holding a plow, and Krsna is holding the calf. Krsna advised Nanda Maharaja not to perform Indra puja but to worship the land, Govardhana because it was supplying all foodstuffs for the residents of Vrndavana and the cows as well.” So Srila Prabhupada wants you to develop this farm very nicely as it will be the future program to present to the world as the ideal of Krsna consciousness. In the cities, we are interested for preaching but we cannot present the ideal varnasrama system, this is only possible at the farms, so they are very important.

Filed under: Cows and Environment
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H.H. Sivarama Swami: Balarama dasa

Dear Guru Maharaja how can i make you more satisfied on the day of the Pandava Nirjala Ekadasi, if I chant as many rounds as I can, or if I go out and distribute as many books as I can?

Email to a friendRelated Corrupt Leader Exposed!

By Akruranatha Das

It is fashionable to criticize leaders these days, especially on the internet, but there is one extremely powerful leader whose perfidious deeds should immediately be exposed before he hurts more devotees

Email to a friendRelated London’s Ratha Yatra 2010 - with photos

By Radha Mohan Das

Thousands of festival-goers, pilgrims, and devotees from all over the world hand-pulled the three 40-foot high colourful chariots carrying the sacred deities of Lord Jagannatha, Lady Subhadra and Lord Balarama from Hyde Park to Trafalgar Square

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Maddy Jean-claude Durr, New Govardhana, AU: The Journey to the Castle (Travelling to Radhadesh)

[I only wrote this due to demand. At first I thought it was overly egotistical, as all my writings are, but I found Krsna within it. I hope you can find the gold within the dirty place. Hare Krishna!]

I came to the Sunday feast in New Govardhana to say goodbye to all my friends, and to say goodbye to Sri Sri Radha Govardhandhari and all of my beloved Deities. While serving Prasadam to the devotees, Alanatha Prabhu took my hand and brought me before the crowd. He informed everyone of my plans to move to Radhadesh for study and made some exaggerations of my activities. I sat in a back corner to honour Prasadam and people approached, one after the other, to say goodbye. I answered a couple questions repeatedly: “so when are you leaving?”, “how long will you be gone for?” and “will you come back in the holidays?” It was sinking in that my three year journey was about to begin.

I spent the next few days with my family, for some quality conversation and some home cooked meals. Most of my days were spent smoothing over the final hiccups in the trip and it was starting to look like a plausible passage. I was going to be on the road, or in the skies, for four days straight, stopping in different countries every night. On the last night in at home my high school friend, Eugene, came and said goodbye. We had a discussion of Bhakti Yoga philosophy over dinner before heartily saying our farewells.

I was up early in the morning for the flight. It was ekadasi the day before and I broke fast in the airport. I stashed what was left of the Prasadam for the plane trip. My luggage was just the tolerable weight, a couple kilograms over the usual allowance. I said a sad goodbye to my parents at the security terminal and then quickly located my gate. I texted my brothers and parents as I boarded the plane and then switched my mobile off, removed my sim card from the phone and boarded the plane.

The first trip was relaxed. I read Caitanya Caritamrta and some Srimad Bhagavatam on my laptop. I paused in my reading, not sure if I had the suitable power adaptor for Malaysia for charging back up the juice for my upcoming day’s sadhana session. I napped the rest of the way and was very soon into Kuala Lumpur LCCT airport.

The scene reminded me of India. The only difference was that it was a little cleaner and the predominant religion of Islam was evident everywhere in the dress. My mother suggested I catch a taxi valued at about $15AUS but I was already feeling my India mood and was keen to find an easy bargain. I found a city map, spotted my motel and showed it to one of the men at the bus booth. They showed me a quick route, with only one change over, valued at $5AUS. Now we were talking. I asked some nice Hindu cleaners where the bus terminal was and I was soon on my way.

The bus was heading to Kuala Lumpur Central. It was taking quite a while to get there and I was beginning to worry, seeing as my motel was supposed to be close to the airport. I studying my tourist map a little closer and then examined my motel reservation. The street address didn’t add up and I realized I was in trouble. I put my case before Krsna, the almighty, and hoped he would see me through. Not long after this meditation, we passed a Hindu section of the city. It looked like shopping in Calcutta. I saw deities in the stores and looked for someone to answer my prayers. Ganesh, Siva, Durga….no I want Krsna. Then I saw beautiful Radha-Krsna Deities and I felt appeased.

I jumped off the bus, hoping to complain my way into scoring a free trip back. A helpful gentleman came to my aid straight away. I soon realized he wasn’t with the bus service but was an independent taxi driver. I had to take his offer because it was too soon in my four day travels to do any exhausting measures. He was apparently a Muslim man, not too fond of Hindus. I levered my way into the conversation my trips to India, Radha-Krsna and whatever I could get away with without upsetting him, feeling the looming danger of being abandoned or shot by any fanatic fundamentalists. He licked his fingers, smoked, texted and constantly told me this story about a Polish gentleman he drove yesterday. The story was, in essence, a story about how he had raised my taxi fair another 20% for some silly reason. I was reassured in my crazy journey by the window sticker on the back of the car in front of me which read “Chant Hare Krishna and Be Happy!”

I arrived safely, heckled with my driver to no avail, checked in and slept soundly. I awoke early for some reading and chanting before looking into my “free breakfast”. I judged the scene of the buffet and decided that the orange juice was all I was having. I pretended to browse the menu as I went for continual refills of the fruity goodness. I booked my shuttle to the airport from a Hindu lady who commented, “are you Hare Rama Hare Krsna” which translates to “are you a member of ISKCON?” I sat next to a Polish couple in the lobby and tried to tell them about “Festiwal Indii” [Polish for: Festival of India], our tour in Poland with HH Indradyumna Swami. In the shuttle I sat next to an Irish girl, who was living in Australia and tried to tell her about the “community” I come from, with a temple and organic farming. She pretended to be interested but I didn’t feel the notion that she was attracted by the notion I suggested.

My luggage weight somehow crept up a little since my last stop. It was still tolerable but I still had a few more pit stops that it might magically creep up on until the weight is not tolerable. The flight consisted of chanting, reading and resting. I kept my body clock on Australian time. This was an austerity because night in Australia was a rough day nap on the plane. I decided this was a good technique for my journey because I had morning flights coming up and my next stop didn’t leave much time to sleep.

I rushed out of the airport, straight for the bus bay. I missed my shuttle so I had to wait for another. I was given a rough estimate “platform 4 or 5” the man said. A shuttle came into the bay. It seemed to have the right logo but the name was questionable. I checked with the driver, having learned my lesson in Kuala Lumpur. It was definitely a different company and, on closer inspection, the logo, which encompassed the same letter, was slightly different. The receptionist of my motel was Polish so I began to tell her about Festiwal Indii before heading off to bed.

I rolled up for bed at midnight. I tried to sleep for an hour and a half but then decided it was an over endeavour. I put on a Bhagavad-gita lecture while I found a new use for a non-steam iron: gamsa dryer. The receptionist was surprised to see me, only a couple hours later, as I checked out. I was back in the airport bright and early waiting for the next flight, whilst chanting on my beads.

My luggage weighed in a little heavier yet again but they still didn’t blink. I was frustrated when I looked at the flight menu when all I could see was meat and wine. I was just hoping to buy some water but they didn’t even advertise soft drinks. I later observed that the flight included complimentary treats, which included water. I had been deprived of such luxuries due to my budget bookings so I enjoyed the change from temporary misery to temporary happiness. My flight was a quick jump to Dusseldorf, Germany, for a connection flight.

I did some reading and waited at my departure gate. I triple checked I was at the right one. I waited and waited and then the flight number came off the screen. I asked someone about the flight “oh, it has left” they said! They made no boarding calls (in English) and I had approached one of them and they didn’t hurry me on the plane at all. I went to the airline’s counter, where they tried to make out like it was my fault (I will admit now possibly 10% responsibility for not annoying the counter lady in the first place, which is my usual habit) and they tried to charge me for another ticket. I wasn’t taking pay for an answer and they very quickly made me a new ticket. I was thinking of Lord Caitanya the whole time, knowing that nothing would happen without his sanction.

I now had two hours to find my luggage and to check back in. Another catch was, although I had been holding it like it was precious gold, I had lost my luggage receipt. I talked with the boy at the lost and found counter. He was from Africa and I asked him if he had heard of Hare Krsna in Africa. He said that he had, or pretended he understood what I was saying. He talked to his supervisor, who made calls in German, searching out my luggage. The boy from Ghana then suggested that my luggage was probably already in Berlin, just as I had previously checked it in. I doubted him and then he reassured me. Just as I was about to board my flight, without my luggage, the supervisor spotted my suitcase. I checked in quick smart, had some basic hassles with security and then was back at the same gate, waiting. It was another quick jump to Berlin, which I spent preaching to the Polish people who by Krsna‘s arrangement were placed next to me.

I finally arrived in Berlin, the heart of German efficiency. I quickly found the bus Govinda Dev Prabhu had informed me to catch, one we had caught many times before. I told the bus driver where I wanted to go. He seemed to point off the bus but I was stubborn. I sheltered in the back and asked a local, to confirm I was going in the right direction. I was having a free bus ride it seemed because the bus driver simply dismissed me. Later I realized he was telling me to go buy a ticket from his ticket machine, which had been behind me, but it was too late - I had to jump off!

I caught the Berlin ring, carefully watching the stops on the map, while I absorbed some more Krsna conscious nectar through my headphones. I enjoyed travelling alone because I knew I could always count on two companions - Krsna and my mind, preferring the first over the latter. I jumped out, checking my compass and hand map. I had one last, hellish hike to my motel room and then I was in the safe zone. I closed the blinds to block out the early evening sun and slept well.

I awoke many hours before my flight and checked out. The bus that the reception lady said I could catch wasn’t even operating. I had to book a taxi through the man at the reception so I could make it to the airport on time. I waited in a couple long lines, for my budget flight, while I fingered at my beads. I found yet another group of Polish people but I wasn’t in any mode for preaching at this point. I sold myself short on three out of four opportunities that Krsna had sent me. I found myself fully absorbed in Caitanya Caritamrta for the whole flight and was soon in Brussels airport. I was thinking of Krsna whilst rushing out of the terminal. I was hoping to catch an early train to make my arrival at the Castle a little smoother. There was no more English signage so I had to rely on my lacking vocabulary of Latin and the Supersoul.

I made it to my first station stop, simply by the arrangement of Krsna. With my speculation of Latin I almost caught the wrong train but Krsna allowed me to double check with a conductor moments before my actual train left from the airport. Moments before, some Indian boys had asked me for directions and I sent them on their way with a “Hare Krsna”. Now I was at the Brussels Nord station (I think Nord means North). I was supposed to call my pickup at this point and I had to settle for a payphone on the terminal. It didn’t take coins and I soon found out that it didn’t take my credit card either. I decided that Utility is the principle and offered a man some coins to use his mobile phone. With the help of the man’s wife, I managed to call Darmaketu Prabhu, my driver for the other end, and I was on my way. Yet again, by Krsna’s arrangement, the train was coming later than planned so I had enough time to make the crucial phone call, which otherwise would have made me miss my passage.

I took note of the stops, counting my way off to my destination, while I sat in a corner of a compartment and read some sastra. Soon I was out of the train, seeing devotees again and sharing a fare with an Indian family. I talked some Krsna conscious small talk with Darmaketu Prabhu as we drove and we soon pulled up at the Castle. I was in Radhadesh, by Krsna’s grace. I had finished my few days’ journey soon to start another journey, lasting a few years.


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Ananda Subramanian, Iowa, USA: Difficult but possible

What does it mean to be humble?
Real humility is to truly from one’s heart accept I am the servant. How can I serve you and mean it. Not just say it but mean it. Back your words by action and be the servant.

What does it mean to be the servant?
To not be the enjoyer. To live for the pleasure of Krishna.

H.H.Radhanath Swami

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ISKCON Toronto, Canada: Bhagavad-Gita Course Starting Monday!

The Hare Krishna temple is very excited to announce that HG Uttama Sloka das will be once again visiting our temple to conduct the third and final part of his Bhagavad Gita Course. Uttama Sloka das has visited Toronto in the last two years and facilitated courses that were attended by over 50 devotees!

He is a disciple of HH Indradyumna Swami and serves part time as Maharaja's traveling assistant, secretary and translator. Apart from his personal services to Indradyumna Swami, he spends his time conducting educational and training courses covering 20 countries on four continents. He is qualified as a Bhakti Sastri teacher, mediator and counsellor. This will be his fourth visit to Canada.

Uttama Sloka prabhu will be teaching a week-long seminar on the Bhagavad Gita particularly on Chapters 13-18. Normally, Bhagavad Gita courses and seminars focus on studying the deep intricacies of the ancient spiritual text. The unique feature of this course is that it will focus on real-life applications of the Bhagavad Gita! Imagine learning real lessons from the Gita about leadership, time management and empowerment!

The course will go on from Monday, June 21st till Sunday, June 27th. The course timings are:

Monday, June 21st, 2010 - 6:30pm - 9:00pm
Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010 - 6:30pm - 9:00pm
Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010 - 6:30pm - 9:00pm
Thursday, June 24th, 2010 - 6:30pm - 9:00pm
Sunday, June 27th, 2010 - 10:00am - 4:00pm

All programs will be followed by dinner prasadam and will be held in ISKCON Toronto. If you like to get a glimpse of what to expect at the seminars. please come for the Sunday Feast and listen to Uttama Shloka das give class!

Please click here to register for the seminar. Feel free to email us if you have any questions! We look forward to seeing you at these seminars!
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ISKCON Toronto, Canada: No Sunday Feast Recording this week :(

Due to technical difficulties with the temple internet connection, we were unable to broadcast or record our live broadcast of the Sunday Feast and so we are unable to post a recording this week. We apologize for any inconvenience as many devotees wanted to listen to Uttama Shloka das's amazing class again! However, if you want to listen to him again, come out for the Bhagavad Gita Seminars starting today!

We hope to resolve the problem and to resume with live broadcasts and videos with the upcoming Sunday Feasts!

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H.H. Bhakti Caitanya Swami: Photos from Novosibirsk

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H.H. Sivarama Swami

Our principle is that we are against nothing and for nothing. Only for Krishna. We want whatever is favorable for Krishna.

- Srila Prabhupada

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Japa Group: Punched Out All The Obstacles

My japa was good in fighting all the way although it was a strange way to go about it. I listened to the syllables of the holy names and punched out all the obsta­cles that come to good chanting such as pramada inattention, the great difficulty, and blasphemy of a pure devotee and not having faith in the scriptures and so on.

From Bhajan #450
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Gouranga TV: Bhajan – New Year’s Eve 2010 – Mukunda Datta das

Bhajan – New Year’s Eve 2010 – Mukunda Datta das

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David Haslam, UK: London Ratha Yatra 2010

For devotees it’s one of the most ecstatic festivals but also one of the busiest when it comes to service. So at 2am the transcendental cooking begins by a few souls cooking the prasadam needed for such a large crowd before catching the coach from the Manor into London. Here is two rough edits of the [...]

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Maddy Jean-claude Durr, New Govardhana, AU: As On BDN: Mind Reader

It was mid year marathon in Sydney city. I was distributing books outside a busy shopping mall with HG Yasodeva Prabhu. I was amazed that books were actually going out for a change. It was a strange crowd and I was throwing out every sankirtana line I knew. I saw a group of young islander girls. "Are you girls students, workers or dancers?" I said. They seemed too preoccupied to hear what I was saying but they somehow managed to catch the last line. "Oh my god, how did you know we were dancers?" they responded. (Apparently they were a dance troupe.) I had caught their attention and it was time to seal their fate. "I'm psychic" I replied. Now they were totally amazed. "Can you tell me what I am thinking right now?" the leader said. "A magician never does the same trick twice" I replied. I told them I was a monk and they were genuinely convinced I could read their minds. One even took a few paces back, almost as if to stay out of my reading radius. I decided Krsna was using his illusory potency to make these young girls interested in taking a book. I showed them a Perfection of Yoga because it looked genuinely mystical and the art work blew their minds (not that I could read that it blew their minds). They scrambled out some change and decided they would read one of these books. I then sent them on their way, even though some were still very persistently demanding me to tell them some of my monk mystic powers. Little did they know that I had done nothing and the Supersoul had simply told me what to say.

Your servant, Madhavendra Puri Dasa.


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