jueves, 29 de julio de 2010

H.H. Sivarama Swami: Tejasri dd asks questions about the gentleman who sponsored the Hungarian deities



PLANET ISKCON

 

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"Planet ISKCON" - 39 new articles

  1. Caitanya Mangala, CA, USA: 21st Annual Los Angeles International Gurukuli Reunion
  2. ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Daily Class - Gangesvara Prabhu
  3. Doyal Gauranga dasa & Gadadhar Pandit dasa, NYC: Food Inc.
  4. Caitanya Mangala, CA, USA: A Little Encouragement Goes a Long Way…
  5. Sastra Dana, San Diego, USA: Lucky D's
  6. Japa Group: Should Be Done Early In The Morning
  7. Bharatavarsa.net: Bhakti Vikasa Swami: experience of incompleteness
  8. Bhakti Lata, Alachua, USA: My Escape
  9. Dandavats.com: Understanding Glorious Departure of Sripad Aindra Prabhu
  10. Bharatavarsa.net: Book distribution seminar: An Appeal for the Book Distributors
  11. Sastra Dana, San Diego, USA: Loving It
  12. Book Distribution News: An Appeal for the Book Distributors
  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. Ananda Subramanian, Iowa, USA: we are alone here - who am I kidding?
  22. Vrndavana Vinodini dd, Toronto, Canada: Close Friendships
  23. H.H. Bhakti Caitanya Swami: Photos from Baikal
  24. H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: 23
  25. H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: His Energy
  26. H.H. Sivarama Swami: Tejasri dd asks questions about the gentleman who sponsored the Hungarian deities
  27. H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: Old Paintings
  28. H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: Introducing Joey
  29. H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Saturday, July 24th, 2010
  30. H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Friday, July 23rd, 2010
  31. H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Thursday, July 22nd, 2010
  32. H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Wednesday, July 21st, 2010
  33. H.H. Sivarama Swami: The following is Kesava Bharati Maharaja’s letter to Aindra Prabhu
  34. Ekendra dasa, AU: Janardana's Blissful Kirtana
  35. Japa Group: Good Japa Produces More Good Japa
  36. Kirtan Australia.com: Canberra 24 Hour Kirtan Recording
  37. H.H. Sivarama Swami
  38. Gouranga TV: Bhajan – Kalindi dasi – Nrsimhadev Prayers
  39. Sita-pati dasa, AU: Amala Kirtan at Sydney's Harmony Centre
  40. More Recent Articles
  41. Search Planet ISKCON

Caitanya Mangala, CA, USA: 21st Annual Los Angeles International Gurukuli Reunion

Following last year’s amazing breakthrough event: KulimeLA 2009 – 20th Anniversary of the Los Angeles International Gurukuli Reunion, we are proud to start a new tradition with our gatherings. Please join us on Saturday July 31st, the day before the Festival of the Chariots, to enjoy an afternoon of reconnecting with friends and enjoying the only 360° view of all metropolitan Los Angeles!

This year, the reunion will be held at a new park called Blair Hills Park, with a back trail entrance into a hilltop area with a spectacular view known as the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook. Entrance located off Jefferson Blvd. several blocks east of the original Culver Park on Duquesne Ave.

We will have an informal gathering, picnic, sports, activities for children, Bhajans, and Prasadam. Lunch will be provided at approximately 1:00 pm. The annual reunion photo will be at 3:00 pm at the Scenic Overlook, after which time all are invited for Harinam in Santa Monica at the Promenade after 5:00 pm; followed by an informal gathering at Dockweiler beach in Playa Del Rey for a bonfire, if there is sufficient interest.

Of course, Lord Jagannath is at the heart of our gatherings, so the following day is The 34th Annual Festival of the Chariots (Ratha Yatra) which will be held on Sunday, August 1st at Santa Monica and Venice Beaches.

The Reunion is free. Limited-edition reunion t-shirts will be given to anyone who volunteers a little of their time to help.

T-shirt designed by Mahanta prabhu and Rasikananda dasa.

Kuli Reunion organizers: Kamal Vyas, Sridevi Fournier, Ram Prasad & Shakuntala Zakheim.

This event is sponsored by the Kulimela Association, a 501(c) Non-profit organization dedicated to serving an international community by supporting and encouraging its members to come together as friends in service, association and empowerment with a focus on spirituality.

Please visit our Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/kulimela


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ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Daily Class - Gangesvara Prabhu

Srimad Bhagavatam 11.22.39 - A devotee of Krsna absorbs themselves in pleasing Him in so many ways.

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Doyal Gauranga dasa & Gadadhar Pandit dasa, NYC: Food Inc.

Last Wednesday we watched a portion of the documentary Food Inc., which exposes some unpleasant and unknown realities of the food industry. Beyond that, we touched upon the idea that a wholesome approach to spirituality is to be aware of and show compassion to all aspects of life around us, including the Earth and the people and animals that inhabit it.

Check out the link below to get a great preview of the film
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QqQVll-MP3I

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Caitanya Mangala, CA, USA: A Little Encouragement Goes a Long Way…

A Little Encouragement Goes a Long Way…

By Chaitanya Mangala dasa

In his article entitled, “Mini Skirts… Skirting the Issue,” Kapila, one of the lead organizers of the Kuli Mela Association, eloquently and succinctly elaborates on the moods, mindsets and intentions behind the events. He also offers more details about the Gala Evening at the Ford Theater from KulimeLA 2009. Recently we released the Ford Theater video on the Internet and it seems an elaboration is needed to explain some of the deeper contexts of the Melas, and the 2009 Gala Evening in particular. There’s a lot of history contained in that video and it might be a challenge for some to understand and appreciate it without more information.

From the the recent discussions and articles I’m glad to see that we can view these things with a little light-hearted humor and detachment. Thanks for that. It is much appreciated.

As Kulis, we do not think we are pure devotees. Far from it. We openly say we are not. We are further from the center than some, and a bit closer than others. Most of us are members of the wider ISKCON Community and not full-time, initiated, priestly temple devotees. At the same time, that doesn’t mean we should be seen as outcasts because of it.

For the record, the Kuli Mela organizers do not promote the breaking of the regulative principles, or any other progressive guidelines set forth by Srila Prabhupada. In fact, we hold them in the highest regard, follow them as best we are able, and encourage participants at our events to do the same. Our hope is to inspire devotees, the youth in particular, to find strength in being open and honest about where they are at and to make progress from there. It is our firm belief that in such an atmosphere, real advancement can be made.

One important mission for Kuli Mela Association is to bring people together and offer them a place to share their talents with one another, regardless of the spiritual practices they may or may not be following. As a result, sometimes the offerings reach new heights and sometimes the offerings are a bit questionable. Most fall somewhere in between. The main thing is we allow people the space to express sincere offerings to their peers, the gathered devotees, their guru, Srila Prabhupada, right on up the line to Krishna. The person offering this year’s “questionable” offering could very easily become the next year’s “advanced devotee.” Over the 21 years that I’ve been volunteering I’ve seen that happen enough times to keep me inspired in this service.

Sometimes a little controversy can be a good thing. It increases the focus on a particular issue, even if we don’t want it to. Seen in the right light, it can be opportunity for us to create a space for meaningful dialog. It allows us to continue to build a vibrant community based on love and trust, with all the dynamic and diverse layers that entails. Of course, at the center is finding ways for us to connect on deeper, more spiritual, levels, which ultimately lead us back to the Source…

Yours in (imperfect) service,

Chaitanya Mangala dasa

For those who appreciate/prefer a quote from Srila Prabhupada to qualify our statements, please read the following excerpt from a Room Conversation With Srila Prabhupada in Hawaii – May 3rd, 1976:

Siddha-svarupa: “There are a lot of devotees here who follow the principles but cannot completely… (break) …shaved up, and they still wear karmi clothes pretty much, but they’re clean, they’re devotees, and in this way they’re attracting many of the local people, because they’re able to relate to them.

Prabhupada: So that…

Siddha-svarupa: They’re not lowering your standard.

Prabhupada: No, naturally, but when they are initiated they must shave. They must keep to the standard. If one becomes initiated and he still keeps the hippie form, that does not look nice. Do you think that is all right? No, that is not good. So long they are coming as outsider, joining kirtana, they may have their own dress, it doesn’t matter. They are coming to kirtana, that must be (indistinct). But when they are to be initiated, they must follow the rules and regulations given by the spiritual master.

Siddha-svarupa: So…

Prabhupada: Otherwise they should not be initiated. It is simple thing. Let them go on chanting, taking prasadam; we have no (indistinct). But when they are to be initiated, they must follow. This is the clear (indistinct). If you don’t want to disturb them, let them come, chant, dance, take prasadam We have no objection. But don’t recommend them for initiation unless he agrees to the rules and regulations given by the spiritual master. Where is the wrong? Where is the difficulty? You can talk with him like that.

Siddha-svarupa: I think they only feel that because…

Prabhupada: No feeling, if you…, when you are surrendering to the spiritual… Sisyas te ‘ham sadhi mam prapannam. Find out this verse. Tad viddhi pranipatena pariprasnena sevaya.

Hari-sauri:

tad viddhi pranipatena
pariprasnena sevaya
upadeksyanti te jnanam
jnaninas tattva-darsinah

“Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Enquire from him submissively…”

Prabhupada: Mm? Where are they? Mm.

Hari-sauri: “Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Enquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized soul can impart knowledge unto you because he has seen the truth.”

Prabhupada: You have to submit. You cannot remain independent. That is the first condition. Sisyas te ‘ham,sisya. Sisya means voluntarily accepting the rules offered by the spiritual master. That is sisya: “Ah, yes, I agree to abide by your order.” Then he becomes sisya. Otherwise where is the question… “I am thinking like this, I am thinking…” So long you are thinking otherwise, you don’t try to become a sisya. You remain outside and you are welcome: chant, dance, take prasadam, and remain independent. There is no objection. But when you become sisya, then you cannot remain independent. These things convince him. Then you don’t become sisya. Remain as friend, there is no harm. Just like so many people, they come. So if these things (indistinct). This way. What is the wrong there?”


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Sastra Dana, San Diego, USA: Lucky D's

kevin1

This is Kevin, a cool guy I met at our temple in San Diego. He at the time worked at Lucky D’s hostel in downtown. He helped us place our newspaper rack in the hostel.

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Japa Group: Should Be Done Early In The Morning


Chanting japa should be done early in the morning with full concentration preferably during the Brahma Muhurta time. Concentrate fully on the sound vibration of the mantra, pronouncing each name distinctly and gradually your speed in chanting will increase naturally. Do not worry so much about chanting fast, most important is the hearing.

Letter to Radhaballabah das - 6 January, 1972
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Bharatavarsa.net: Bhakti Vikasa Swami: experience of incompleteness

All forms of incompleteness are experienced due to incomplete knowledge of the Complete Whole.

from Srila Prabhupada's purport to Sri Isopanisad's Invocation Mantra.

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Bhakti Lata, Alachua, USA: My Escape

Tell me: what does it mean to escape?

And where would you go? A shimmering white beach? The summit of a mountain that touches the sky? Or maybe a holy village, a temple, or a sacred river?

But still, I ask you: have you really escaped?

***

I get out of the car and walk along the sandy driveway in the velvet summer evening. Light slants through the majestic oak trees, and Spanish moss forms golden canopies above my head. My mind whirs with a thousand plans and a thousand anxieties.

I reach the front door of a renovated barn and sigh. I slip off my shoes and enter a room with warm wood floors and saffron walls. I join the other students in front of the wall-to-wall mirrors and we fold our palms and recite prayers in unison.

We offer our respects to the earth, to God, to our guru, to the audience, and then we turn to the corner of the room to offer obeisance to the deity of Lord Nataraj – the Lord of Dance.

We begin to dance, and the room resounds with the rhythm of our feet. One by one, my thousands of thoughts drop away. My worries, daydreams, plans, schedule... my excitement, sadness, anger…

Everything.

When I dance Bharatanatyam, my mind washes clean. If I think about a single plan, even form a single sentence in my head, my hands slip, my feet fall off beat, and I lose my expression. It's impossible to dance and to think.

Every moment I feel the fire circulate through my body; I focus on every moment to bend, jump, smile, and shift my gaze. Just to breathe is an adventure. Every moment is alive. I am alive.

This is my addiction to Bharatanatyam dance.

Amazing how in life so often we want to escape the present moment into an other world.

But dance is an escape from my world into the pure and present moment.

"The same stream of life
that runs through my veins night and day
runs through the world
and dances in rhythmic measures."
 Rabindranath Tagore 

Anapayani dasi, my dance guru




So please tell me now: what is your escape? 


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Dandavats.com: Understanding Glorious Departure of Sripad Aindra Prabhu

Vibhava Krsna Dasa: It was amazing to read offerings of various devotees on the sudden departure of Sripad Aindra Prabhu. As I read, I was happy to see so many people receiving his personal association and instructions

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Bharatavarsa.net: Book distribution seminar: An Appeal for the Book Distributors

Hare Krsna Prabhus,

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

In 2002 the GBC asked me to be the minister of book distribution. Since then I have been traveling around the world trying to encourage book distribution. One of the obstacles to book distribtuon that I often see as I travel in the third-world countries, and sometimes in first- and second-world countries as well, is that many temples cannot afford books or vehicles.

This letter is an appeal to you for donations to the book distributors around the world. Since I've been in this position I have helped four sankirtana teams (in third-world countries) get vehicles for book distribution. You have no idea how happy these sankirtana devotees were to get them. If anyone would like to help in this way, you can either go to Paypal and put my e-mail - vijaya.hdg@pamho.net - as the receiver, or you can write out a check to ISKCON and send it to me at the LA temple: Vijaya Dasa, c/o ISKCON, 3764 Watseka Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90034.

It doesn't mater how big or small the donation is -- $5, $10, $50, or thousands.

Below are some statements Srila Prabhupada made in his books about the importance of giving charity to spread Krsna consciousness.

BG 16.1. purport: "Charity is meant for the householders. The householders should earn a livelihood by an honorable means and spend a portion of their income to propagate Krsna consciousness all over the world. Thus a householder should give in charity to institutional societies that are engaged in that way. Charity should be given only to propagate Krsna consciousness all over the world. That is charity in the mode of goodness."

BG 11.54 purport: "As far as charity is concerned, it is clear that charity should be given to the devotees of Krsna who are engaged in His devotional service to spread the Krsna philosophy throughout the world. Krsna consciousness is a benediction to humanity. Lord Caitanya was appreciated by Rupa Goswami as the most munificent man of charity because love of Krsna, which is very difficult to achieve, was distributed freely by Him. So if one gives some amount of his money to persons involved in distributing Krsna consciousness, that charity, given to spread Krsna consciousness is the greatest charity in the world.î

There is also this statement by Krsna in the Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.22.35): Etavaj janma-saphalyam dehinam iha dehisu/ pranair arthair dhiya vaca sreya-acaranam sada: "It is the duty of all living beings to perform welfare activities for the benefit of others with their life, wealth, intelligence and words." You may not be able to give your life for preaching or your intelligence or your words. But everyone can give some of their wealth for preaching. Prabhupada wanted his householder disciples to give 50% of their income for preaching. I only know of one devotee that does that. Of course, it isn't easy now because times are difficult, but at least everyone can give something. If a lot of people give a little, it becomes a lot.

So if anyone would like to help book distribution around the world, either by monthly donations, occasional donations, or just a one-time donation, then certainly Krsna and Srila Prabhupada would be pleased.

Your servant, Vijaya das

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Sastra Dana, San Diego, USA: Loving It

peoples-rack-thumb

Lots of great news from your favorite program, Sastra Dana!!!

Our publication, 16 Rounds to Samadhi newspaper, has been growing. We now print 30,000 copies per issue. That is 10,000 copies more than what we used to print. We are now making significant presence in the streets and shopping malls of San Diego and Los Angeles. Our newspaper racks can be found at almost every health food store in San Diego and numerous other places.

Our goal is to print 100,000 copies per issue. It costs $2,300 to print 30,000 copies. So far the printing costs have been covered by the donations of our readers. Thank you.

To further increase the growth of this operation we will need more funding. The plan is to sell ad space in the newspaper. To sell ads, we need to be visually present in public. That involves having hundreds of our newspaper racks all over the city.

Racks are of two kinds: wire and metal or plastic outdoor racks. Wire racks cost $25 a piece. Plastic outdoor racks cost $80 a piece. Metal outdoor racks cost $250 a piece. At the time we are barely covering the paper’s printing cost. We absolutely have no funds for purchasing racks. Any donations you make towards the purchase of racks will greatly help.

To cope with this problem we’ve been searching out abandoned racks, restoring them, painting our logo on them, and putting them back in the streets, now loaded with our publication. In this way we are hopping to make the needed visual presence in order to provoke interest of business to advertise in our publication.

We are also going to incur about $1,000 in legal fees to obtain all the needed permits for placing our racks in public.

Krishna consciousness is meant to change and uplift the world. We have lots to offer to the world and particularly to the fellow American. The content of our newspaper is precious, invaluable, and urgently needed by the people. We wish to make at least as much presence in public, if not more, than the City Beat and San Diego Reader for example.

We hope you are sharing the same vision and want to join the spiritual revolution.

  • Plastic outdoor racks cost $80 a piece.
  • Wire racks cost $25 a piece.
  • To print 30,000 copies of our newspaper costs $2,300.
  • Make a DONATION
kevin

Our newspaper rack at Lucky D's hostel in downtown San Diego.

This is what the racks look like when we get them.

This is what the racks look like when we get them.

dsc00917

And this is what they look like when we fix them.

Some of our racks. They are waiting to be distributed in public places.

Some of our racks. They are waiting to be distributed in public places.

Sastra Dana's newspaper at Von's gas station in Pacific Beach, San Diego.

Sastra Dana's newspaper at Von's gas station in Pacific Beach, San Diego.

Sastra Dana's newspaper at Von's gas station in Pacific Beach, San Diego.

Sastra Dana's newspaper at Von's gas station in Pacific Beach, San Diego.

Sastra Dana's newspaper on Garnet Ave. in Pacific Beach, San Diego.

Sastra Dana's newspaper on Garnet Ave. in Pacific Beach, San Diego.

This rack is located in Ocean Beach, San Diego, by the People's store.

This rack is located in Ocean Beach, San Diego, by the People's store.

This rack is located in Ocean Beach, San Diego, on Newport ave.

This rack is located in Ocean Beach, San Diego, on Newport ave.

Newport Ave in Ocean Beach, San Diego.

Newport Ave in Ocean Beach, San Diego.

plastic &wire racks

plastic & wire racks

  • Plastic outdoor racks cost $80 a piece.
  • Wire racks cost $25 a piece.
  • To print 30,000 copies of our newspaper costs $2,300.
  • Make a DONATION
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Book Distribution News: An Appeal for the Book Distributors

Hare Krsna Prabhus,

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

In 2002 the GBC asked me to be the minister of book distribution. Since then I have been traveling around the world trying to encourage book distribution. One of the obstacles to book distribtuon that I often see as I travel in the third-world countries, and sometimes in first- and second-world countries as well, is that many temples cannot afford books or vehicles.

This letter is an appeal to you for donations to the book distributors around the world. Since I've been in this position I have helped four sankirtana teams (in third-world countries) get vehicles for book distribution. You have no idea how happy these sankirtana devotees were to get them. If anyone would like to help in this way, you can either go to Paypal and put my e-mail - vijaya.hdg@pamho.net - as the receiver, or you can write out a check to ISKCON and send it to me at the LA temple: Vijaya Dasa, c/o ISKCON, 3764 Watseka Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90034.

It doesn't mater how big or small the donation is -- $5, $10, $50, or thousands.

Below are some statements Srila Prabhupada made in his books about the importance of giving charity to spread Krsna consciousness.

BG 16.1. purport: "Charity is meant for the householders. The householders should earn a livelihood by an honorable means and spend a portion of their income to propagate Krsna consciousness all over the world. Thus a householder should give in charity to institutional societies that are engaged in that way. Charity should be given only to propagate Krsna consciousness all over the world. That is charity in the mode of goodness."

BG 11.54 purport: "As far as charity is concerned, it is clear that charity should be given to the devotees of Krsna who are engaged in His devotional service to spread the Krsna philosophy throughout the world. Krsna consciousness is a benediction to humanity. Lord Caitanya was appreciated by Rupa Goswami as the most munificent man of charity because love of Krsna, which is very difficult to achieve, was distributed freely by Him. So if one gives some amount of his money to persons involved in distributing Krsna consciousness, that charity, given to spread Krsna consciousness is the greatest charity in the world.î

There is also this statement by Krsna in the Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.22.35): Etavaj janma-saphalyam dehinam iha dehisu/ pranair arthair dhiya vaca sreya-acaranam sada: "It is the duty of all living beings to perform welfare activities for the benefit of others with their life, wealth, intelligence and words." You may not be able to give your life for preaching or your intelligence or your words. But everyone can give some of their wealth for preaching. Prabhupada wanted his householder disciples to give 50% of their income for preaching. I only know of one devotee that does that. Of course, it isn't easy now because times are difficult, but at least everyone can give something. If a lot of people give a little, it becomes a lot.

So if anyone would like to help book distribution around the world, either by monthly donations, occasional donations, or just a one-time donation, then certainly Krsna and Srila Prabhupada would be pleased.

Your servant, Vijaya das

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1958 July 28: "Some years ago Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Goswami Maharaja attempted to preach this message throughout the world but unfortunately after His departure the movement was not carried by the entrusted successors. I am feeling for it and I have come to Bombay for organizing this movement."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1947-64

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1965 July 28:
"Rs 25/- remitted by m.o. to Gorachand Goswami before leaving for U.S.A. June, July, August, September, to October. My "P" Form & Visa for U.S.A. obtained by Choksi."
Prabhupada Journal :: 1965

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1969 July 28: "Amongst the disciples of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati there may be some controversy, but the central point is how to preach the mission of His Divine Grace. If the central point is fixed up then there is no harm in such controversy."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1969

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1969 July 28: "Last week Sankirtana collection was $1,000, and they have already sold out 3,000 copies of BTG. I know you are now engaged for Rathayatra Festival and your sales are not very encouraging. But still it is my duty to remind you as I am your Spiritual Master."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1969

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1971 July 28: "Whatever prestige we have got is due to our magazines and books. So you are all in India for at least one year but still you cannot publish a second issue of Hindi BTG? So immediately arrangement should be made."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1971

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1973 July 28: "I thought you had become angry because I did not go to your place but came instead to London. But at that time I was so sick - attacked by dysentery. The people became afraid for my life. So somehow or other I recovered."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1973

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1975 July 28: "It is your responsibility. You should always be thinking how to spread Krsna consciousness. This is our mission. You should simply stick to our principles and everything will come out all right in our preaching work."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1975

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1975 July 28: "You are already collecting money, so it is not required that they send money. Rather the money there should be used for printing. Not that we should use all collected money for maintenance. Better to print books and distribute."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1975

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Ananda Subramanian, Iowa, USA: we are alone here - who am I kidding?


We come into this world alone and leave alone. In the middle, we accumulate layers of stuff in the name of family, friends, entertainment, career, hobby, sports, science etc.

All these so called layers are built by man to forget our lonely condition. Loneliness brings depression which is all-miserable. Just to deny this singular truth of loneliness, we have created a complex fabric of conflicting egos and myriad joy rides. One day up and one day down...all for what? - to forget that I am actually lonely. Actually we like to go up and then swivel down. Although we lament for the downs, still, we like it because the downs we face in life is better than the bare truth - that is - we are alone in this place. This loneliness is actually gripping and dark. That is why people lament when "loved" ones die. Death is seen as the end. If we think about it, everyone knows we will die but then why do we lament over death? But it is not death per se which is sad but the void the person leaves behind is what is depressing. This feeling of void was there from the beginning but just we managed to forget it by occupying our minds with shadow truths. That feeling void actually is the eternal truth of "loneliness".

So, let us get real for a minute. If "loneliness" is indeed the eternal truth here, then is there a way out? Krishna says in BG 5.29, that He ONLY is the REAL and TRUE friend. This is a welcome relief. So its not all dark after all. The sooner we face the truth that this place is only "alone" and any amount of relationships will not alter the fact of "alone", then why not accept we are "alone" and call a spade for a spade. The sooner we realize that we are indeed alone which then takes away all fun of life, then we will stop romanticizing this world.

You see this "romanticizing" or as Srila Prabhupada puts it "spirit of enjoyment" stems from the notion that we are not alone and that we can actually enjoy here. I have my wife, husband, money etc etc to enjoy. Therefore, if I plan properly, I can enjoy to the maximum. This fallacy of thought is the fundamental motivation to the myriad of things present in todays world. Now, if we accept our "alone" condition, then the wife, husband, money etc will no longer entice our spirit to enjoy thus making us depressed.

When we get depressed and when we know we are actually alone, we will seek a real solution to the lonely depression. That solution is putting faith in Krishna (BG 5.29).

Krishna is our only true friend. Everything else is simply progressing a lie (an illusion). The truth is bitter. Yes, how can my wife, and children be a lie? How can my hard earned money be not mine? How can the knowledge I have gained not be mine? Yes, the truth is bitter. Nothing is ours, nothing belongs to us thus making us penniless, alone and homeless. Everything simply belongs to Krishna.

When we constantly meditate on our penniless, homeless and alone position, what is there to be proud of? why is there a need to decorate the body? Why do we have to stress and lament over our unfulfilled plans? Everything will all of a sudden look simple and uncomplicated. Everything and every body will remind us of Krishna as He is the ONLY owner and we are alone here.

Therefore, the more we accept our alone position, our pennliess position, our homeless position, the more we want to be with someone and have a home. That someone is Krishna, and that home is Goloka Dham. By abandoning that which does not belong to us and abandoning the myriad roles we have taken to fool our lonely position, in that mood, seek the companionship of Krishna we can be happy.

This world was created for this purpose - to show us we are alone here and only Krishna is our true friend, family and shelter.

Hare Krishna.
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Vrndavana Vinodini dd, Toronto, Canada: Close Friendships

In the past two days I was reflecting on how important it is to have genuinely close devotee friendships. In today's day and age it's a challenge.

Most of us don't live in temples and the only time we may see one another is once a week at the Sunday feast. How is it possible to develop a friendship based on seeing someone once a week, especially if our "busy" lives don't allow us to communicate with one another during the week?

I know for myself, many of my close friendships during my university days came through school. The main reason being that you see one another EVERY day and go through the same experiences together. This brings those close bonds.

Similarly my closest devotee friends are those that I have had the great fortune of living with. Somehow Krsna has showered his unlimited blessings upon me and I have had the great fortune of living with so many wonderful devotees (though I doubt they would say the same thing! :)) Whether it be in Radhadesh, Mayapur, Toronto or Montreal, I cherish those/these times. I have learned and continue to learn so much from them.

In fact, just yesterday, two such friends were speaking to me about how much they feel Krsna in their lives. They were giving examples of different situations they were in and giving their realizations as to how they see Krsna's hand guiding their lives. It was just so powerful. Younger devotees who are genuinely Krsna conscious.

But these precious bonds don't come so cheaply. The investment one has to make is time- the most expensive commodity. I remember HG Kripamoya prabhu once saying that the main reason people stay in a spiritual organization is due to friendships. Everything may be perfect, but if one doesn't feel genuinely cared for, it is very easy to leave.

I feel so overwhelmed thinking of how many people have put effort into cultivating friendships with me. I would like to thank them from the bottom of my heart because I know it is because of their love and care, that I am where I am today.

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H.H. Bhakti Caitanya Swami: Photos from Baikal

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H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: 23

www.sdgonline.org. SDGonline Daily updates

3:48 A.M.

I slept alright but woke only when the alarm went off at 2 A.M. I like to get an earlier start. I woke with a headache and took medicine but I still have a groggy head. My first four rounds were not done in a clearly awake state, and I was groggy when Yadunandana came up at 3:30. My next two rounds have improved, and I'll do better for the balance. But it's quite different from yesterday when I had all sixteen done in a row before 3:30. I will take time after breakfast to complete my quota. Nevertheless I am dutifully at my post doing my chanting and depending on the holy names as my only shelter.

A slow start day,
your head is groggy,
and you have only
six rounds done when
it's time to write your
poem. You must make
up your balance in the
late morning, chanting
alertly and reaching
numerical strength.
Baladeva was teasing
me last night for going
to bed so early, but
it's required if you
want an early start.
Shape your life for
the advantage of Hari
Nama, the highest
priority of your day.
Early to bed and early to
rise, makes a japa chanter
healthy, wealthy and wise.

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H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: His Energy

www.sdgonline.org. SDGonline Daily updates

Prabhupada Smaranam

We always knew Srila Prabhupada as an elderly person. He came to us at 71 years old and lived until he was 82. As a senior citizen, he did not do any physical exercise except for his approximately one hour walk in the morning. He sat for a massage daily and that was a kind of exercise without moving. He remarked that his walk and his massage kept him alive. He began taking his daily walk on the recommendation of a doctor in New York City after his 1967 stroke. He began taking his massage at about that time also. But aside from these things he was a sedentary person in his old age. He did not engage in any hatha-yoga or workout or swimming or cycling or sport. Sometimes in the afternoon he paced in his room while chanting japa but mostly he sat whenever he could. When traveling on airplanes he had to sometimes briefly stand on queues before boarding or on immigration lines, but whenever possible he would sit in a seat. Once arriving at a temple he would sit in quarters his devotees provided for him in temples all over the world. That is, he would lean against bolster pillows and fold or stretch his legs under a low table. He sat on the vyasasana during ecstatic kirtanas and only on extraordinary occasions did he stand and dance or walk in a Ratha-yatra procession.

Yet he was always expending energy. He did as shown here, by vigorous talking and gesturing. He spoke to large audiences in his daily Bhagavatam lecture, and he spoke to smaller groups in his room. He was always speaking Krishna conscious philosophy, which required logic and argument and quoting of Sanskrit verses. He also taxed his brain in each place he visited to discuss the management of the temple affairs, personal differences and financial matters. Daily he expended energy with his sitting with his secretary and dictating letters in answer to problems that came in the mail from all over the world.

He said it required great concentration to write his books. He strained his body by keeping his sleep at a minimum and rising around one in the morning to work on his translations and purports. He had to provide the synonyms for each Sanskrit word and then arrange a flowing English translation of the sloka. This was not easy because English was not his first—or second—language. Then he consulted the Bhagavatam commentaries of the past acaryas, Sanatana Gosvami, Rupa Gosvami, Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati and several others. After assembling their comments on the verse he spoke his Bhaktivedanta purport into the dictaphone. Much of his commentaries came from his own personal realization and experience as the founder–acarya of the Hare Krishna movement.

So although Prabhupada was sedentary, and also suffered illness periodically, he led a very energetic old age. Even considering his travels alone, he outpaced the rigors of younger men and he expended all his energy purely as service to his Guru Maharaja and Krishna, as service to the conditioned souls of the world.

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H.H. Sivarama Swami: Tejasri dd asks questions about the gentleman who sponsored the Hungarian deities

The original temple of Jagannatha and where the first Jagannatha installed by Indradyumna Maharaja is?

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H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: Old Paintings

www.sdgonline.org. SDGonline Daily updates

I plan to visit Saci after
breakfast and talk with
him about plans a man
has to visit here. I like
sitting in his house and
watching his family
go by, and then I like
to return to my private
life, upstairs in the
Viraha Bhavan.

In my light-green painted
room I feel no particular
separation of Radha from
Krishna except when we
sometimes read those
excellent poems from
Padyavali. Too bad the
book will soon be over.

I write from hand to
mouth getting just
enough each day to
get by. Krishna is kind
to supply me lines
even when my heart
is so lacking.

In the Viraha Bhavan
plenty of sunlight comes
into the windows.
Summer is still hanging
on. The leaves are green
although it was breezy yesterday.

I go downstairs for
lunch with the men,
and then I come up for
alone again. D. Swami
is very busy. He's become
the mentor for a prestigious
yoga center in New York City
and has many speaking engagements
he travels to. By contrast I take
notes and hunt my
brain and interview my
friends to find characters
for Healing House. I
live in an imaginary
world and try to increase
and find more people
for my semi-fictional
Swami to talk to.

It's all a virtual reality.
Not flesh and blood
but language and expression.
I prefer it this way
and reach out to people
with stories.

I say I have to stay this
way because of my headaches,
and that's true too. But
I like to stay alone and
write my way through a
daily quota like the
quota on my beads.
By the time the morning
is done there's only a
little time for relaxation
and a walk and I take it.

We are putting my old
paintings on the walls.
They are from a time when
I was a passionate painter.
I like to look at them
and imagine I could
do it again. There
appears to be no room
in the garage, and
I'm not sure I have
the strength for it.
At least I have these
old ones on the
walls, and they
are a joy to look at.

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H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: Introducing Joey

www.sdgonline.org. SDGonline Daily updates

Healing House

One day an elderly man knocked on the front door of the Healing House and Ollie answered. The man introduced himself, "Hi. I'm Joey. Can I come in?" Ollie was very sociable so he wasn't taken aback much and he let the man in. Joey seemed about 65 years old, but he still had black hair. He was short, gentle and well-mannered. Ollie didn't tell Swami Rupa at first about Joey because it was morning and the Swami was busy writing. Joey sat down in the kitchen while Ollie prepared to cook today's lunch.

"Where do you live?"

"Down the street," Joey answered vaguely.

"Do you have a family?" Ollie asked. Joey hesitated in answering. He was absorbed in watching Ollie operate the bread machine.

"What's that?" Joey asked. Ollie explained it was a machine for making bread. "Does it work?" asked Joey.

"Sure" said Ollie. "I'm making pumpernickel bread today. And pasta with tomato sauce and cauliflower and sour cream. And chocolate chip cookies too. Would you like to stay for lunch?"

Joey snapped his fingers at Ollie's face and made a merry wink. "Okay!" he said with enthusiasm. Ollie asked Joey if he would like to help prepare the lunch by cutting the cauliflower. Joey agreed and did as he was told. Ollie then noticed Joey was wearing a tag around his wrist and he asked him what it was.

Joey said, "Oh that's just something they gave me in case I get lost."

Ollie looked at the tag. It read "My name is Joey Resident. If you find me please call 518–8272020.
read more from SDGonline - daily updates Viraha Bhavan journal 

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H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Saturday, July 24th, 2010

To and In Michigan

Novi, Michigan

It has been a good trip to Michigan so far. We are not anticipating any trouble. Our drama troupe had popped by to my memory lane. On the Canadian side we drove down Old Tecumseh Road, my first walking trail ever, to and from school. We stopped by that school which is still standing but no longer operational. St. Peter's Church, established in 1802 is right next to it and is still functional. We also took a break in Chatham, my birth place, and also a destination poinit for former African slaves and the end of the underground railway line. Jim Burgess, my bro-in-law, was manning his bookstore when we went in to do the human thing – see a relative – and with pleasure.

After the border crossing at customs (since 911 things arent' the same) we had practiced for today's performances at the Iskcon Fisher Mansion, then slept at the home of Bhakta Guru in Canton, Michigan.

The day did start with lightning, and its affiliate, rain. The Ratha Yatra festival got off to a wet start but with a dry invocation. The Mayor and city councilors participated with us indoors at the Novi Civic Centre. Monk, Romapada Swami and Bhaktivasudeva Swami with monkess Malati and I were all in a neat row. Overall, the festival was joyful, well managed by a great group of people.

At the end of the day, I felt something was terribly amiss. And that was that no walking other than the procession had occupied the day. So I was committed to trek for two hours towards the home of our host, Bhakta Guru. Sing Lung from Toronto took to my side. We were surprised by one thing, Michigan is relatively flat which is perfect for cycling and walking yet consistent ride-walks in these prim and proper residential zones are few and far between. A sidewalk will go two or three blocks and then abruptly end. It would manifest on the other side and follow the same pattern.

Michigan people are nice. The state is the bastion of the automobile but at present is not pedestrian friendly. I pray for the day when the whole globe can be a haven for pilgrims and their feet.

8 KM

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H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Friday, July 23rd, 2010

Better to Be Safe Than Have It On Your Saree

West on the 401, Ontario

I had contemplated the safety measures taken for our ashram dwellers. Bearing in mind that one of our senior monks from India, Aindra, had lost his life, a victim of a gas leak from a propane tank that fuelled flames, I questioned just how safe are our ashrams and temples.

In the 90's we lost a pujari priest to serious flames arisen from Diwali candles placed on the altar floor. A flame crawled up his dhoti and then it was all over. A young woman visiting from the States was cooking when the end of her saree caught on fire from the gas range at the stove. She survived but the burns were serious enough. I have heard of more fire horror stories in addition to this. In general more could be done to protect the people in such sacred domains.

We also hear of lives being lost to the waters of the Ganges. Almost every year a bather, one of our pilgrims, is swept away by the serious currents of this turbulent but holy river. Perhaps safe docks for bathing could be constructed or designated zones be established. What about life guards being engaged at least during heavy trafficked festival times.

It seems fire and water continue to consume our family. There is, however, another culprit or cause for the death of the spiritually bound and that is ourselves. How many death tolls have you heard of that have been the result of nighttime driving or over fatigue behind the wheel?

While we have our mantras to protect our souls, some time needs to be reserved to look at the practical end of things. Securing safety is a use of our God-given intelligence. There is no guarantee for security in this world but those who are thoughtful (sattvic) make an effort.

I would put this subject under "Devotee Care" and reserve some time to see to the increased safety of our monastic people, the deities and people in general.

0 KM

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H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

Clown and Monk

Toronto, Ontario

We have all heard the saying that the whole world loves a clown. I think that the phrase could be "the whole world loves a monk" and not that there is anything in common between the two professions. I say this in regards to the public affinity for the renounced person. I can give testimony.

I took to an afternoon walk near the old Brickworks Factory. The trails out in that area are really great. So were the encounters with people; joggers, cyclists and walkers. The warm greetings may have something to do with the decent weather, its holiday time or just the fact that the natural environment becomes conducive for amiable exchange.

I do believe it's more than that. If it is your intent to be friendly then the reciprocation will come. In other words if you send out warmth then it will come back to you. It becomes interesting to see who sends it first. It's kind of a warm bombing that goes on. You just have to have the ammunition ready before blasting it off. In any event people seemed real cheerful with the monk – me.

After a two hour trek, I stepped into a drama practice for an upcoming performance of "Krishna, the Eighth Boy" at Meadowvale Theatre. I was conducting the practice when I saw that one of the devotee actors could push out more emotions and feelings of wonder because his part called for it. To help him an idea came to mind. We imagined, "Let's be cavemen who spent our whole life in primitive darkness. We were somehow discovered by civilized man (so-called) and put into the room where we were practicing and were let loose to explore."

The three of us who went through the pretense of wonder and discovery through analyzing textures, colours, soft foam, light switches and what they do, did bring out the excitement I was looking for. Just as we were wrapping up our little exercise on one of our monks from Assam poked his head over to look at us. He was curious about us after hearing the sounds of wonder which came in the form of grunts, mostly. He had a good laugh and so did we. I guess he thought we were clowning around.

Hmmm! Perhaps the gap between clown and monk had closed.

9 KM

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H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

The Woods, The Peace and People

Thunder Bay

It was the first time ever that I walked to an airport, all the way to the departure's entrance of a terminal. It's a small terminal , mind you. From my host's home it's a mere 8 kilometers from Mountain Rd. to the airport and much of that stretch is boreal forest on both sides of the road.

I was reading about this boreal forest as the top protected woodlands in the world which take in an area from New Foundland all the way to British Columbia. It's those boreal song birds that make those unique sounds that melt the heart. They vibrate like miniature flutes. In my mind I picture cowherd boys, mischievously hiding behind those trees, tooting their hollow pipes.

When you find yourself in a social network on a daily basis you feel the need for some solitude. That's why in most cases I walk solo or perhaps with a companion making that time practically a time for silence save and except the chanting on beads. This chill out time is absolutely necessary for keeping sane and saintly. The woods in the north are ideal providing the solitude that is so essential.

Now the latest in Cross Canada marathons is a Mr. Dave Nash. He's running 60-70km a day to raise awareness about equal shared parenting. He just came through Thunder Bay and informed people there that the current legal system drains families emotionally and financially through court battles. According to Dave the law needs to change to spare kids of the sad war that happens in the home.

It sounds like something worthy. I pray that the spiritual component becomes an option for consideration during such struggles that people go through.

8 KM

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H.H. Sivarama Swami: The following is Kesava Bharati Maharaja’s letter to Aindra Prabhu


My dear Aindra Prabhu and all his dedicated followers,

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Well, Prabhu, you were never one to do things in an ordinary way. And you
are certainly perfectly situated now, so there’s nothing to lament for you.

But here we lament, for us. I offer my deepest condolences to those who were
very close to you. Surely your dramatic and shocking departure is affecting
them deeply. And your departure is causing all of us to contemplate more
deeply the ramifications of our lives in this world, especially as family
members under the shelter of our dearmost Founder-Acarya Srila Prabhupada.

The conclusion of Srimad Bhagavatam is that the will of the Supreme Lord
Krsna is impossible to fully understand from our position here in this
material world. So I will not be presumptuous and attempt to come to
absolute conclusions about what happened and why you have left us the way
you did.

Whatever the reasons, may your departure act as a catalyst to unite us, not
to fracture us further. We need each other more than ever, especially our
godbrothers and godsisters. Let us all take this moment, the passing of a
great soul among our dwindling numbers, to meditate deeply on our
relationships, our attitudes towards one another and towards the history of
our movement, our commitment to Srila Prabhupada, to unite behind the
chanting of the maha-mantra as you would have wanted us to, Aindra Prabhu.

I remember our first meeting in Washington DC. Vaisesika Prabhu, Kasiram
Prabhu (now Prema Kisore) and I were stationed at the temple distributing
books at the airport. I remember how fiery you were, and how your enthusiasm
for chanting was contagious even then as a new devotee.

And later, when you constructed your traveling temple in New York, I
remember going out with you and marveling at the innovative ways you were
thinking of how to spread the holy names. I also remember you saying how
pained you felt seeing the condition of the people on the sidewalk as you
parked your little temple in various places around the city and seranaded
them with nama-sankirtana.

It didn’t come as a surprise to me, then, when you decided to stay in
Vrndavana. Neither did it surprise me to see how you orchestrated the
twenty-four hour kirtana against all odds, at first with paid kirtaniyas,
and finally with all pure devotees of Krsna. It’s a stunning accomplishment
that gives you an eternal place in the hearts of Srila Prabhupada, our
previous acaryas, and followers of Srila Prabhupada’s movement for
generations to come.

The currents of time took us different places in our service to Srila
Prabhupada as the years went by after His Divine Grace’s departure, and now
I’m left to lament that I did not have more of your company as your kirtana
developed to the ecstatic state it did. I failed to take full advantage of
your sanga in kirtana.

But having lived in Govardhana for so many years and having shared some
brief but affectionate moments with you during that time in Govardhana gives
me some solace.

I’ll miss you Aindra Prabhu. I’ll miss hearing devotees visiting Vrndavana
and Govardhana tell me how enlivened they were in your kirtans.

But you have left many kirtaniyas behind who carry the fire you fanned from
a spark, who will represent you well.

Now that you don’t have to stop kirtana for anything, as you always wanted,
please put in a good word for those of us who hanker to join the pastimes of
Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Sri Sri Radha and Syama in Goloka.

Hare Krsna

The humble servant of your servants,
Kesava Bharati Dasa Goswami

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Ekendra dasa, AU: Janardana's Blissful Kirtana

If 10,000 suns were to rise simultaneously in your heart, I reckon it might sound something like this:

Janardan Kewin - Hare Krishna Maha Mantra by go-run-ga

These recordings are from the 12 hour Kirtan hosted by ISKCON New Govardhana, Australia on the 25th of July 2010, organized by Krishapada Dasa and Sitapati Dasa from Kirtana Australia kirtanaustralia.com. Recordings by Ekendra Dasa (go-run-ga productions).

Check out my Facebook page for more kirtans. I'll upload them as I finish editing.

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Japa Group: Good Japa Produces More Good Japa


I was chanting today and had this realisation about good chanting and how it produces more good Japa. Our association with the Lord is achieved through good quality Japa and it's the way we feel the Lord in the morning.

Please chant with great concentration and feel the Lord each day.
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Kirtan Australia.com: Canberra 24 Hour Kirtan Recording

KirtanAustralia.com will release a 2mp3 CD set of the recent Canberra 24 Hour Kirtan featuring Amala Kirtan Das from 17-18th July 2010 on the Disappearance day of His Grace Sripad Aindra Prabhu.

CDs will be available on 30th of July (for purchase online/in person) at a  cost of $15 or $10 for students (if purchased in person).

24 Hour Kirtan Canberra 2010

24 Hour Kirtan Canberra 2010

Please contact Vrindavanchandra Das (ved.gupta@gmail.com) for more details.

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H.H. Sivarama Swami

When they try to satisfy the senses of Krsna, His glory, then the Ph.D. is perfect. And if continues to talk nonsense, then it is useless waste of time and labor.

- Srila Prabhupada

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Gouranga TV: Bhajan – Kalindi dasi – Nrsimhadev Prayers

Bhajan – Kalindi dasi – Nrsimhadev Prayers

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Sita-pati dasa, AU: Amala Kirtan at Sydney's Harmony Centre

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