lunes, 26 de julio de 2010

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"Planet ISKCON" - 31 new articles

  1. Japa Group: Please Join The Japa Group
  2. ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Interfaith Program
  3. ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Daily Class - Aniruddha Prabhu
  4. ISKCON Toronto, Canada: Deity Darshan: Sunday, July 25, 2010
  5. Ananda Subramanian, Iowa, USA: about the things we love
  6. Bharatavarsa.net: Book distribution seminar: Finance person gets mercy.
  7. Book Distribution News: Finance person gets mercy.
  8. Bharatavarsa.net: Bhakti Vikasa Swami: very sweet and transcendental relationship
  9. Radha Priya dd, Austin, TX, USA: Where’s Your Head At?
  10. Gaura Nitai das, Mayapura, IN: Modus operandi
  11. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  12. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  13. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  14. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  15. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  16. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  17. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  18. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  19. Sastra Dana, San Diego, USA: July 2010
  20. H.H. Sivarama Swami: A host of questions
  21. Madhava Ghosh dasa, New Vrndavan, USA: Getting Sick Eating Peaches
  22. H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: 20
  23. H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: June 1974 with Prabhupada
  24. H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: Qualifying to Hear Madhurya-lila
  25. H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: Dream of Swami R.
  26. Japa Group: Gaining Strength &Chanting More
  27. H.H. Sivarama Swami: Pictures from Bucsu
  28. Maddy Jean-claude Durr, New Govardhana, AU: A Journey Across to Poland: [P11] A Bit Off Track (Nierchorze)
  29. Yoga of Ecology, Bhakta Chris, USA: ISKCON's 2nd Generation Go Green At French Mela
  30. H.H. Sivarama Swami
  31. Gouranga TV: Jayapataka Swami – Harinama in Barcelona 2007 – Part 3/4
  32. More Recent Articles
  33. Search Planet ISKCON

Japa Group: Please Join The Japa Group

Please share your realisations with other devotees from around the world...simply send me an introduction email and I will be happy to make you a member:

rasa108@gmail.com

ys

Rasa Rasika dasa

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ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Interfaith Program

Bhakta Prabhu was invited to a talk at the Middle Park's Carmelite Centre on 'The Spirit of Generation Y: Young People's Spirituality in a Changing Australia'.

carmel Dr Andrew Singleton, Senior Lecturer in Sociology at Monash University shared the findings of his survey based around religion in the life of those between 13 and 24 years old. Then a panel of 3 young women from Star of the Sea College shared their personal approach to God, religion and spirituality.
The most instructive factors that came out of this interaction were: to attract young people closer to God, there has to be good music that they can identify with and respond to, the mood has to be very relaxed and casual for them to open up fully and they are mostly impressed by actions based on the words of the scriptures and not so much by the words themselves. They are really into physically engaging in activities rather than only praying for things to happen.
These are elements to be taken into consideration in our own preaching mission to win the younger population over. Bhakta Prabhu is giving a talk at the Carmelite Centre on the 4th August between 7.00 and 9.00 pm on 'The life and Beliefs of Krishna Consciousness'.Here's a slideshow of the past event.

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ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Daily Class - Aniruddha Prabhu

Srimad Bhagavatam 11.22.35-36 - Everything is taken care of by doing devotional service.

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ISKCON Toronto, Canada: Deity Darshan: Sunday, July 25, 2010


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Ananda Subramanian, Iowa, USA: about the things we love

we always meditate and talk about the things we love.

I love my job, I constantly work on my job and try to make it better.
I love money, I constantly meditate and talk about how to make money.
I love my car, I constantly discuss about cars and the quality of my car.
I love my wife and family, I constantly meditate and serve my family.

Therefore, this is a natural process.

Similarly, if we love Krishna, then constantly we will meditate, serve and talk about Krishna thus fulfilling Mahaprabhu's prayer of "yare deko tare kaho Krishna upadesh".

This is preaching. Therefore preaching is but a natural output of one's love for Krishna.

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Bharatavarsa.net: Book distribution seminar: Finance person gets mercy.

Hare Krishna ! All glories to Sri Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga ! All glories to Srila Prabhupada ! All glories to all the sankirtan devotees at all the times !

A finance director of an oil exploration organisation visited New Delhi ISKCON Temple. He met His Holiness Gopal Krishna Goswami Maharaj who was on his Delhi visit.

The visitor explained the oil situation in the world today and in the future times to come. His Holiness Gopal Krishna Goswami Maharaj discussed the oil and natural gas situation in Russia, Canada, America and China then Maharaj got to the real point and spoke about the spiritual solutions for a happy world. He explained to the man about Srila Prabhupda and his transcendental books. Thereafter, the gentleman ordered five thousand Bhagavat Gitas As It Is with 100% advance payment.

with best regards, your servant, Bhakta Rakesh - New Delhi.

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Book Distribution News: Finance person gets mercy.

Hare Krishna ! All glories to Sri Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga ! All glories to Srila Prabhupada ! All glories to all the sankirtan devotees at all the times !

A finance director of an oil exploration organisation visited New Delhi ISKCON Temple. He met His Holiness Gopal Krishna Goswami Maharaj who was on his Delhi visit.

The visitor explained the oil situation in the world today and in the future times to come. His Holiness Gopal Krishna Goswami Maharaj discussed the oil and natural gas situation in Russia, Canada, America and China then Maharaj got to the real point and spoke about the spiritual solutions for a happy world. He explained to the man about Srila Prabhupda and his transcendental books. Thereafter, the gentleman ordered five thousand Bhagavat Gitas As It Is with 100% advance payment.

with best regards, your servant, Bhakta Rakesh - New Delhi.

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Bharatavarsa.net: Bhakti Vikasa Swami: very sweet and transcendental relationship

The relationship between the Lord and His servitor is very sweet and transcendental. The servitor is always ready to render service to the Lord, and, similarly, the Lord is always seeking an opportunity to render some service to the devotee. He takes greater pleasure in His pure devotee's assuming the advantageous position of ordering Him than He does in being the giver of orders. Since He is master, everyone is under His orders, and no one is above Him to order Him. But when He finds that a pure devotee is ordering Him, He obtains transcendental pleasure, although He is the infallible master in all circumstances.

>>> Ref. VedaBase => Bg 1.21-22

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Radha Priya dd, Austin, TX, USA: Where’s Your Head At?

I decided it is time to dust off the blog for a post or two to try and sort out a lesson that my Guru Maharaj & Guru Mata are trying to teach me at present namely it’s not about the externals but rather about where your head is at. We may have sadhu-sanga, we [...]

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Gaura Nitai das, Mayapura, IN: Modus operandi

Too often when people speak of "scripture" the images of flimsy belief systems, outdated stories or conduits of damnation are conveyed. It is the belief of many that scripture is absolutely opposed to anything practical. I hypothesize that this is not the case and that if we experiment with some scriptural quotations from the Srimad Bhagavatam we will observe some beneficial results. I will leave the conclusion up to you.

Below is a description of the different qualities that manifest in material nature. For all of you relativists out there I am sorry to say that some are indeed labeled good and some are labeled bad.

The qualities are placed into three catagories: goodness, passion and ignorance. We can endlessly discuss all of these qualities and their applications into daily life, but here we will just list the qualities. If I may, I will also suggest that throughout the day you observe your actions and thoughts in light of these descriptions.

I cannot resist in making one point. In order to realize truths such as our spiritual identity, the qualities of God, and the workings of the world around us we must situate ourselves in the mode of goodness.

Goodness:: Mind and sense control, tolerance, discrimination, sticking to one's prescribed duty, truthfulness, mercy, careful study of the past and future, satisfaction in any condition, generosity, renunciation of sense gratification, faith in the spiritual master, being embarrassed at improper action, charity, simplicity, humbleness and satisfaction within oneself.

Passion: Material desire, great endeavor, audacity, dissatisfaction even in gain, false pride, praying for material advancement, considering oneself different and better than others, sense gratification, rash eagerness to fight, a fondness for hearing oneself praised, the tendency to ridicule others, advertising one's own prowess and justifying one's actions by one's strength.

Ignorance: Intolerant anger, stinginess, speaking without scriptural authority, violent hatred, living as a parasite, hypocrisy, chronic fatigue, quarrel, lamentation, delusion, unhappiness, depression, sleeping too much, false expectations, fear and laziness.
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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1968 July 25 : "Krishna is approached through the transparent via media of Spiritual Master. Unless you fix up your mind to serve your Spiritual Master, Who is direct representative of Krishna, it is not possible to approach Krishna."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1968

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1970 July 25 : "These elevated souls are not to be questioned by us. They have a higher purpose which we cannot determine. One should not try to imitate those who are very powerful - but one should simply follow their instructions."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1970

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1971 July 25 : "From India I went to Moscow, Paris, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Detroit and then Boston. Now I am in New York and from here I shall go to Gainesville University and then London. You may write to me in London."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1971

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1972 July 25 : "I suggest when you return to India that you take sannyasa in your ripe old age without any family responsibility and let us together do something tangible in India. I shall request you to think this over very seriously."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1972

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1972 July 25 : "As long as the classes are going on well, the rules and regulations are being observed sincerely, the sankirtana party is going out with enthusiastic mood - if these things are going on, then everything is first-class."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1972

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1972 July 25 : "That is not very good proposal. We are always thinking these kind of changes, why is that? I simply want things to be developed which we have got - not to make so many big, big plans and changing all the time."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1972

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1973 July 25 : "All respectable gentlemen will come. That quarter is aristocratic and our temple is unique. It is the only Krsna Balarama temple in Vrindaban and so attractive people will automatically come and see."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1973

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1975 July 25: "I am accepting the following as my initiated disciples and the others as twice-born initiated brahmanas. Please see they are chanting 16 rounds and following the four regulative principles - this is your responsibity."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1975

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Sastra Dana, San Diego, USA: July 2010

Click on images to see them full size:

1203-1

1203-2

1203-3

1203-4

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H.H. Sivarama Swami: A host of questions

from Jesper, Balanuja, Nara-Narayana, Abhinanda and Rupesvara Gauranga ranging from how not to be complacent to making a witch go away that has been with a family for 17 years.

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Madhava Ghosh dasa, New Vrndavan, USA: Getting Sick Eating Peaches

We were a couple of days late starting peach harvest so some of them have soft spots.  I was freezing some yesterday and whenever there was one with a soft spot I was sorting them out for fresh eating or giveaway (anyone stopping by in the next few days will leave with organic peaches. (consider this an invitation)).

Some were mostly good with a small area of softness. These are fine for fresh eating but the recommendation is to not use them for freezing so as I came upon a soft spot slice, I would eat it.  This is not an austerity because although small these peaches are so sweet and flavorful it is almost like eating candy.

As I had already eaten my evening meal, I soon got to a point where I had eaten so many I was starting to feel a little sick. Remember when you were a little kid and got into the candy stash and no adult around? Remember overeating to the point of  of stomach uneasiness? Well, that is what happened.

After that I was putting them in a bowl for Tulasi to eat, a chore he had no resistance to performing.

Recipe for freezing peaches.

Peaches need to be covered in a sugar solution for freezing according to all the recipes I found. I didn’t want to make a sugar syrup but one alternative was to use white grape juice so I did that. It was recommended to add one tablespoon of citric acid or lemon juice per quart of solution to help keep them from browning.

I sliced the peaches right into the solution so they weren’t exposed to air, then ladled them into one quart freezer bags using a mason jar funnel to make it easier.  The idea is to make sure there is enough solution to cover all the slices and to leave an inch of head space for expansion. I don’t have a vacuum packer so I slid the tab on the top of the freezer bag until it is almost closed then I push out as much air as I can before closing it completely.

Then it was off to the freezer.

I know they won’t be as good once they are frozen but they will still be better next winter than the insipid and flavorless peaches that sell in the supermarkets.


Filed under: Cows and Environment
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H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: 20

www.sdgonline.org. SDGonline Daily updates

3:47 A.M.

I woke up to the alarm clock at two o'clock and began my chanting. I was a little sluggish, and I've only chanted five rounds. Toward the end of that limited period I began to improve and chant faster and clearer. My start was a little late this morning and not wide awake. I will hope to improve and hear better.

Starting a little
late and sleepy,
your prayers move slowly
today. You will have
to catch up later,
but it is no calamity.
Days like this are
less than enthusiastic and
cause some anxiety,
but you have to compose
yourself and do them
later in a good frame
of mind. Tell yourself
nothing is lost, and
you will meet
your quota down
the road in the
later morning.

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H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: June 1974 with Prabhupada

www.sdgonline.org. SDGonline Daily updates

Prabhupada Smaranam

On the property viewing trip with Prabhupada

This is Prabhupada looking out at a stretch of land on some property he was considering purchasing. It is June 1974, and I am standing beside him as his personal servant-secretary. My oversized book bag is stuffed full of his belongings. It was so rare, precious and important to be given this permanent service as his traveling companion. He personally chose me and asked me to leave my party of brahmacaris to join him. I was at the top of the world when I joined him. I have told this story numerous times and especially in my concise book Life With The Perfect Master. After a half a year of being always beside him as his bodily servant, masseur, cook and letter writer, I began to grow restless and wanted to go out and preach. I saw him meeting with his other sannyasis and leaders and encouraging them in their fields where they served in separation from him, and I wanted to do like that. I began to feel claustrophobic being confined to the kitchen in Bombay where I had to chant my rounds silently so as not to disturb him.

I have reasoned this out thoroughly over the years and don't think I created an offense by finally volunteering for another service, heading up the Library Party. But what I wish to express while looking at this photo of my standing beside him, is that those seven months were very important and fortunate in the growth of my relationship with Prabhupada. I wasn't able to endure longer like Srutakirti and Harisauri Prabhus, but whatever I got was great mercy and I am grateful for it. Being able to accompany Prabhupada to various countries and be his intimate servant is what  every devotee aspired for. If I could have controlled my mind and considered things more deeply I could have stayed with him until the end of his life in 1977. But it is a great pressure living so close to the pure devotee and giving up all your proclivities just to serve his needs. I could not do it. Fortunately, I pleased him with the service of the Library Party, and he was big-hearted enough not to resent my desire for a transfer. He was always kind to me and accepted me despite my shortcomings. This is another testimony to his greatness. Now serving him in separation, I treasure the period in 1974 when I massaged him daily and answered the bell when he rang it.

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H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: Qualifying to Hear Madhurya-lila

www.sdgonline.org. SDGonline Daily updates

1.
Baladeva from Trinidad is
reading the Padyavali verses to
me. We are up to the madhurya
section. Radha says to Krishna
"My mother-in-law is suspicious.
My sisters-in-law watch my every move…
I cannot go with You now."

Krishna arrived at Radha's
courtyard for Their rendezvous.
He heard the arrogant Jarati
call out, "Who is there?"
He became pained at heart.
He spent the entire night
hiding in a tree.

A gopi told Radha, "Why
do You not take Your hands
from this housework and
go to Him? There is not
a moment to lose."

Playful, blinding darkness
now comes to Vrndavana forest.
My heart hopes that
I will meet Lord Krishna, the
Prince of the gopas.

These verses and others
like them, lots of them,
are nectar to the ears.
The attempt of the Divine Couple

to come together
is the greatest aspiration.
And they do not
always satisfy
Their desires. We sit
in the kitchen
and hear the verses and
read some more.
Rupa Gosvami has
compiled so many
like a garland of roses,
of the best poems
of Radha and Krishna in Vrndavana.

2.
You are able to hear
them by permission of
your spiritual master. Understand it in the
right way, never
thinking like the cow
who saw red and cried
"Here is fire!"—remembering
sex desire from your previous
life.

This is spiritual essence,
finer than the meditation
on the Supersoul or
the impersonal Brahman.

Radha-Krishna affairs
can be truly understood
only by those who are
free of material desire
and even lesser
religious teachings.

Radha is the pleasure potency
of Krishna so it is like
He is enjoying Himself
in the mirror. There is
no taint of sensual desire
in Her heart. She only
wants to make Krishna happy
and if that means that
She is unhappy then
that is Her greatest joy.

At least understand it is
the purest thing and do not
jump over into areas
where you are not yet
qualified to hear. Be
patient in your sadhana
bhakti
and go on relishing the memorable
mercy of Padyavali
which does not
take you where you
don't belong.

Relish all His pastimes
including childhood and
boyhood, and killing of
demons and you'll
come to qualify to hear of Krishna hiding
in the tree and
embracing the innocent
girl who told Him
to go away but who is
thrilled by His touch.

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H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: Dream of Swami R.

www.sdgonline.org. SDGonline Daily updates

Healing House

Swami Rupa took his morning nap (before breakfast) and had a dream. It was the beginning of the semester at Brooklyn College, and he arrived on campus with some other student friends. Pradyumna met him with a friendly smile and gave him a book bag. He had enrolled in a course on psychology. He and the other students didn't know what room or building the course was being held in. In anxiety they began running through the campus hoping they would find their room on time. (This was a recurring dream with the Swami.) He imagined that when he found the room the professor would begin the course by asking, "What is psychology?"

The professor himself would be unsure of the answer. Then in the dream the Swami began to think of things he valued. Whatever he thought of he eliminated. He thought of women, cars, cigarettes, marijuana, career, nothing had value. Then he thought of Prabhupada, his spiritual master. He had value. But it was so long ago that he lived on the planet. The Swami thought he had to do something to rejuvenate his relationship with the Swawi. Then he woke from his dream. He had only been sleeping a half hour.
read more from SDGonline - daily updates Viraha Bhavan journal 

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Japa Group: Gaining Strength &Chanting More


That's an important part of chanting, gaining strength and chanting more and more, but it is not the topmost aspect of chanting. The top most is the quality, the feeling of attachment for Radha and Krishna and the deep attention to Nama Prabhu. I had some of that, but it would have been better if I had more. But I'm satisfied I stayed completely awake and finished my quota so early.

From Bhajan Kutir #20
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H.H. Sivarama Swami: Pictures from Bucsu

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Maddy Jean-claude Durr, New Govardhana, AU: A Journey Across to Poland: [P11] A Bit Off Track (Nierchorze)

Tuesday 20th, July 2010. HH Indradyumna Swami came into the room multiple times so he could wake us up. My service was starting later today so I cheated the waking attempts to catch some much needed rest. Our day off ended up being a dancing marathon and it could not be counted on for any actual physical rest, merely a spiritual recharge and communal. I was asked, last night, to give Bhagavatam class this morning but the samosa duty overrode this request. It was lucky for the devotees because, instead, HG Prahlada Nrsimha Prabhu gave class.

I spent some time with Govinda Dev, in the day, and we planned some ideas for after tour. "Nrsimha farm? Polish Rathayatra? Berlin temple? Where to go?" Govinda Dev left for the festival but I stayed behind. It was the first festival, in my three years of Polish tour, that I didn't attend. I could read the signs of my body and took a proactive attempt to stop myself from crashing and burning, ending up sick. You had to look after your machine on Polish tour, because it was a heavy and active scene, which one could easily become distracted with.

It was a strange day at base. I managed to get a lot done but the day filled up rather surprisingly. The devotees came back in the night. Some concerned folk asked me if I was sick, because they were shocked not to see me at the festival. It was nice to know I was missed by some. Rasarani Priya Mataji came back, being carried by two strong men. She had badly twisted her ankle and was out for the rest of the tour. She was in almost all of the stage dramas so I was worried what the stage show would do without her. One devotee was mentioning that more devotees were becoming sick or injured on this tour than usual. I suspected that Krsna was dishing out a little bit of extra purification, allowing us to become less attached and less on the bodily concept. It was merely another barrier which we had to persevere through and could only be seen for our overall benefit.

Wednesday 21st, July 2010. I bounced out of bed with new enthusiasm. I was more ecstatic to do service now that I had had some proper rest. Some of the boys had darsana with Indradyumna Swami in the morning. He was checking that they were behaving properly and was giving them some nice instructions. Cidananda Gaura and some of us other boys weren't in the meeting. Maharaja passed Cid later and gave him a little cheeky slap on the face. "How come I have no problems with you?" said Maharaja. Cid shrugged. "Maybe it's because you are a good boy" said Maharaja, answering his own question.

I sat at the back, with the boys, on the bus trip in the afternoon. Dina Dayal was with us, watching constant streams of ninja videos. This was Dina Dayal's service, any little boy's dream. The days had cooled down and the skies had greyed. We were no longer experiencing the heat waves of the days before. We had a cool ride, shaded by a curtain of cloud.

We arrived in Niechorze, aka Train Track Town. We used to have a site next to a touristy train track, but now we were positioned a little out of town, underneath the luring glare of a massive light house. (I suppose our nickname for the town needed to be rethought. Maybe Lighthouse Land?) As soon as we stepped out of the bus, it began to rain. We all ran to the tents, Prasadam distribution being conveniently delayed.

I was sitting in the performers' changing tents. I heard the harinam, which had just returned from the streets. I was already in the Nidra Yoga Asana and wasn't planning to move, but I felt it was an offence not to join in the passing harinam. I shook off my ignorance and began to stand up, my desire now confirmed. All of a sudden, the harinam party came into the tent. I didn't have to go to join the procession because the procession had now come to me. The speakers overpowered the ether and the atmosphere was pervaded with joy. We danced and chanted, as the winds and rains surrounded our tent.

As the harinam dissipated so did the rain. I came out of the tent and met up with the rest of our young crew. The sun was out and now the weather was heating back up. Within moments it seemed like it was summer again. I talked with Radheya, who had a story that I have deemed "The Advent of Lord Jagannatha." The day before, on harinam, Radheya had found a log that had been floating in the sea. He and Sundara Caitanya had agreed that it would make a lovely Jagannatha Deity. Indeed Sundara suggested that if Radheya took it with them then Sundara would carve it into Deities. Radheya picked up the sizable sea log but Maharaja told him to put it down (because it would probably be a sizable distraction from the harinam party).

They went back out on harinam today and the leader, HG Adikarta Prabhu, began to sing "Jaya Jagannatha!". Sundara Caitanya and Radheya both looked at each other instantly. Radheya was also wearing his Jagannatha shirt so he took these as signs from the Supersoul. Radheya abandoned the harinam and found Jagannatha, still where he left Him on the beach. He carried Him all the way to the festival site, which was a great effort on Radheya's part. Some day, in the future, Lord Jagannatha was going to manifest from this very log.

I passed HH Indradyumna Swami, as I walked around the site. "It's really hot today, isn't it?" he asked, as if I was the authority on hot weather (I suppose because I am from Australia?). I agreed, nodding with a bit of a dull look on my face. "Real storm weather" he added. The air was humid and the site was filled with tiny little beetles, flying everywhere at will. Apparently these little insects were attracted to yellow or, in my case, faded saffron. There was no escape from the plague of these little monsters but they slowly seemed to fade out, along with the heat, as the evening kicked in.

Later, I found Sundara Caitanya. "Where is Jagannatha?" I asked. He looked at me strangely at first but then quickly realized what I meant. He pointed far, far away. "At the beach" he said. "No" I replied, shaking my head sternly. He looked back in surprise. "He's here? Where? Show me!" he demanded. I wasn't too sure myself but I took him to where Radheya suggested he left Him. There it was, a giant beach log, effulgent as ever. Sundara eyed it and then gestured measurements, where he would cut out the three Deities.

I finished my rounds and reading before the festival began. I found myself a little Samadhi cell , which helped me chant some sweet, attentive rounds and I was planning to later use it to write some epic diaries. Finding a quiet, solitary place on tour is one of the hardest things for most people and is some what of an austerity for many to tolerate. Earplugs are always a useful item in this regard.

I went for a walk around the festival. The Rasika Dance Company (ie Sanatani & Sivanjali) were pulling out an old dance from the previous Australian tour. It was one of their regular dances but they were utilizing some backup dancers, to increase the visual intensity of the act. Four matajis, from our previous Australian tour, were now in the background, doing the familiar steps. The Gita also had a new makeover. Dina Dayal had stepped down from his role as Krsna, to focus on his Ninja-Brahmana regime, and now Govinda Dev had stepped into his shoes. Everything was changing, now that the tour was well on the road and the devotees were constantly coming and going (more so getting sick or injured than going).

When the show was finishing up, I ran out of my Samadhi chamber and joined the dancing. It was a serene scene; melodic kirtana, elegant dancing, all under the backdrop of the shining lighthouse. I looked around and had, what seemed like, a profound realization. Everyone of these people were souls, their bodies and designations all different but, deep down, their goals were all one. They were all designated to serve Krsna and praise Him. We were bringing that to the people and, although it seemed foreign to them, it was the most natural thing any of us could be doing. This realization gave me a taste of what it was like to be freed of lust and envy, knowing that no individual was present to be enjoyed by me but were only there to be enjoyed by Krsna. With this passing meditation I danced and smiled.

The festival came to an end. It was a short, two day festival and tomorrow we would be in Rewal. We battled for the buses, across the street. Sundara Caitanya made sure that Jagannatha received a secret seat underneath. There were three packed buses of devotees, ready to head back to base; now I realized how much our numbers had increased, just over the period of a few weeks. More and more were coming to taste the nectar. I sat in our room with Braja and we talked about the festival. "Nandini said that, because we didn't do a festival in Pobierowo this year, a whole group of people hired a bus from the town to take them to Niechorze so they could experience it there. Indeed, although we were a little bit off the train track, so many people made a special effort to come. Maharaja's prophetic words from his previous Ishta Goshti had come true. He suggested that "it will not be as large as our other festivals but I am sure Krsna will send some special souls."

[http://maddmonk.wordpress.com/2010/07/25/p11-a-bit-off-track-niechorze]

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Yoga of Ecology, Bhakta Chris, USA: ISKCON's 2nd Generation Go Green At French Mela

By Madhava Smullen for ISKCON News on 9 Jul 2010
The chateau of New Mayapur in France

This August, 350 "Kulis," or members of ISKCON's second generation, from France, England, Italy, Spain, Germany and Belgium will converge on the rural community of New Mayapur two hours south of Paris, France.

In a way, their journey will be a spiritual trek; one that will end at Europe's second Kuli Mela in as many years. Kuli Mela—meaning a gathering of community—arose from an effort to mature annual Kuli reunions from mere social events into productive sharing of attendees' lives and talents.

After its inaugurative festival in New Vrindaban, West Virginia in 2006, Kuli Mela became something of a phenomenon, kicking off a spate of regional events around the world—each with its own theme and mission.

And France's Kuli Mela promises one of the most interesting themes yet: Ecology. "With high pollution levels around the world, global warming, environmental disasters such as the BP oil spill, and general mistreatment of Mother Earth, it's an extremely important subject," says Chandra Bellamy, one of Kuli Mela France's ten-strong organizational team.

It's no accident that the team has chosen New Mayapur, an 85-hectare rural community set around a historic castle, as the location for the event. "Srila Prabhupada's dream for New Mayapur when it was established in the 1970s was to have it become a self-sufficient community," Chandra says. "And our goal at this Mela is to inspire a return to the simple life of gardening, working the land, and taking care of cows that he taught."

Many of the workshops offered over the five days of the Mela, from August 5th to 8th, will pursue this goal. Dhanesvara Dasa, author of Lessons in Spiritual Economics from the Bhagavad-gita and inspiration behind village communities in Lithuania and Ukraine, will speak on spiritual economics and how to understand and apply Vedic Dharma in managing a rural community.

Yamuna Dasi from the UK, meanwhile, will speak about climate change, and about how to resist a globalized and capitalized world.

And French native Prema Rasa Dasa, herbalist and author of The Art of Cooking With Wild Plants, will conduct an experiential workshop were attendees will learn how to recognize, choose and pick wild herbs in the forest land around New Mayapur, before cooking up and eating them.

Several films with ecological themes will also be shown at the event. There's "The Lost Village," a documentary produced by Bhakti Vaibhava Swami and starring Lokanath Swami, which examines the destruction of traditional village life in India by urbanization. There's Food, Inc., an Oscar-nominated documentary that explores the food industry's detrimental effects on our health and environment. And there's Solutions Locales pour un Désordre Global—or "Local Solutions for a Global Disorder"—a French film by director Coline Serreau, who traveled around the world for three years with her camera, seeking community village initiatives across India, Brazil, and Russia.

The environmental consciousness of Kuli Mela France even extends as far as dinnerware. "We will give each attendee their own plate and cup bearing the Kuli Mela logo, which they will use for the entire event," Chandra says. "At the end of the Mela, they will either keep them as souvenirs, or we will return them to the company they came from for recycling."

The meals themselves—breakfast, lunch, and a light dinner every day—will be organic, with half of the vegetables used to be grown by Kulis themselves or donated by devotee farmer Kutastha Dasa, and the other half to be purchased locally. Chef duties will be performed by Rupanuga Dasa, an expert with five years of experience cooking for organic fair crowds.

"Even the snacks we serve will be organic and healthy," says Chandra, ticking off a list of delicacies including French crêpes and Indian chaat snacks such as pani puris, dahi puris, and aloo tikkis. "You won't find any pizza, Coca-Cola, or fries at this event!"

As well as emphasizing the importance of self-sufficiency, the Kuli Mela France organizers hope to create a consciousness of valuing ISKCON's rural farm communities, and to inspire Kulis to get involved so that they don't disappear.

This is not merely theoretical—after fifteen years in decline, the New Mayapur property narrowly missed getting sold off several years ago. And the community—which many French Kulis grew up in—is still struggling, with only a handful of devotees living in the temple and maintaining the Deities.

"We see this Kuli Mela as an opportunity to get the community back on track," Chandra says. "A group of youth are already interested in settling in New Mayapur and building up the project. And we feel that the Mela may attract more young people to start something there, or at least contribute six months of their time.
And little by little, something can happen."

That vision will start with hundreds of Kulis arriving at New Mayapur for the Mela's opening ceremony on August 4th. The next day, meanwhile, will begin bright and early.

"Our Deities at New Mayapur—Sri-Sri Radha Govinda, Krishna-Balarama, and Gaura-Nitai— are so beautiful, adorned with locally grown flowers and beautifully decorated by the head pujari (priest) Visesa Dasi," says Chandra. "But They don't see many devotees throughout the year. So we're really encouraging all the Kulis to attend the temple program every morning and give Them as much devotion and attention as possible."

Breakfast on each day of the Mela will be served at 9am, followed by workshops from 10:00am to 1pm. After lunch, another session will follow, from 3pm until 6pm. As well as those with an ecological theme, a total of fifteen workshops will cover a wide variety of topics such as yoga, massage, dance therapy, pottery, transformative communication, and self defense using martial arts.

Bhajan singing will be held throughout the day in the temple room, while evenings from 7pm till midnight will see a wide variety of musical entertainment.

Singer Prana Ji and guitarist Mathura Dasa of the Bindoo Babas, an alternative reggae/jazz band based in the UK, will have Kulis jiving to their '70s inspired easy-going grooves. Michi, former frontman of the Spanish hip-hop group Dhira, will appear solo with his energetic and catchy melodies and rhymes. Hardcore metal band Bhimal from Poland are sure to inspire a head-banging mosh pit. And acoustic folk artists Jaya and Govinda from France and Chakrini from the UK will bring a more chilled-out vibe with their soulful sets.

Meanwhile, kirtan singer Madhava Naidoo will have everyone chanting and dancing their hearts out, sending the Holy Name of Krishna soaring into the sky.

"There will also be a lot of electronic music and DJs," Chandra says, "Including Ashirvad, who will play a set based on their epic musical journey across sacred India; Silly Pundit and Haridas from the UK, DJ Veda from France, and DJ Sanj with his Bollywood beats."

The festival will be rounded out with an evening of Indian music and dance featuring dancers from France and Belgium, including bhajans, classical Odissi dance and Bollywood Dance.

"As well as Kulis, the Mela will be attended by friends of ours from neighbouring cities whom we've invited to experience our culture," says Chandra, "So we hope the event will bring everyone together."

Senior devotees from around the world will also be a strong presence at the event—ISKCON had a large, thriving community in France in the 1980s, and Kuli Mela will be an opportunity for all those who have since moved to the US, Australia, and other countries to reunite at New Mayapur and spend some time together.

"We would like this Mela to leave people with an enthusiastic feeling of happiness and creativity, and to inspire them to become active in the New Mayapura community," says Chandra.

The New Mayapur guesthouse has already sold out for Kuli Mela, although space remains in two large tents to be used as men's and women's dormitories. Attendees also have the option to camp using their own tents or to stay at one of several hotels in the area. Shower and toilet facilities will be provided on site. For more information, please write to contact@francekulimela.com.


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H.H. Sivarama Swami

Being impatient due to prolonged sadhana, some people fall from the path to the ultimate goal; therefore a practicing devotee who desires to achieve his goal attains that result only when he becomes patient.

- Bhaktivinoda Thakura

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Gouranga TV: Jayapataka Swami – Harinama in Barcelona 2007 – Part 3/4

Jayapataka Swami – Harinama in Barcelona 2007 – Part 3/4

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