"Planet ISKCON" - 33 new articles
Le Carnaval Spirituel in Australia for your upliftment and enjoyment.Share this story your way:
Starts 6.30 pm.
Bhajan, Abhishek, Kirtan and a Discourse by HH Ramai Swami.
Special Vegetarian Dinner will be served. All welcome. Bring a friend.
Some years ago I noticed a pain in my outer thigh, as if I had been hit with a “ball peen” hammer. “I feel like I’ve been hit with a ‘ball peen’ hammer,” I thought.
This would have made perfect sense, except I had not been hit with a “ball peen” nor any other kind of hammer, nor had I received any injury in that spot on my leg, at all, that I could possibly remember. There was no bruise. Yet the pain wouldn't go away. Sometimes I woke up in the middle of the night it hurt so much.
As was my mode with such things, I let it go for a while, until the fact that It wouldn't go away became more annoying than the pain itself.
"How long has this been bothering you?" my darling wife asked, when I told her about it.
"A month or so."
"A MONTH? You've been in pain for a month and you didn't SAY anything? Why not?" she demanded, in her darling, alarmed way (subtext: "I'm going to hurt you!").
"I dunno," was my perfectly lucid explanation.
I made an appointment to see a doctor. I can't remember what kind of doctor he was, besides the "overweight with poor complexion" kind. I explained my pain, he gave me a cortisone shot, which hurt, and the original pain didn't go away. Neither did his bills, which kept coming months after I had paid.
"Never agree to be treated by a doctor who looks worse than you do," was my Confucius-like wife's advice. Meanwhile I began to wonder if my leg pain indicated some kind of life-threatening blood clot or what the hell.
One day we were at a health food store that had a natural healing book section. For I-don't-know-what reason, one on Chinese medicine caught my eye. On the cover was a map of the meridians (channels through which chi—"life force" flow).
On this map, I noticed a dot on the exact spot my leg hurt—right, outer, middle thigh—labeled "GB 31." The index told me GB 31 corresponds to "Gall Bladder."
"What does the gall bladder do?" I asked Mrs. Right, and showed her the meridian map.
"It processes fats." I had been eating way too many fried foods lately, not eating enough water, and my tongue was black (a symptom which is only good if you're a Chow Chow).
"You know any herbs that are good for gall bladder?" I asked Mrs. Confucius. We looked this up in another book. Wild Yam and Fennel were recommended. I started taking them right away, laid off the Lays, and the pain went away.
Saturday 28th August – Srimad-Bhagavatam class North Sydney Temple 7:45am
Sunday 29th August – Srimad Bhagavatam Class 203 North Rocks Rd, NORTH ROCKS 7:15 am + Tulasi Arati, Deity Greeting, Siksha program and Breakfast prasadam
6:00pm Discourse at North Sydney Temple
Monday 30th August – Srimad-Bhagavatam class North Sydney Temple 7:45am
His Holiness Vedavyasapriya Swami Maharaja was born in an Audichya Sahasra Brahmin family on 1st August 1944.
Vedavyasapriya Swami worked as a research biochemist in purvasrama both in East Africa and USA. Within a week of arrival in the USA, he had association of the disciples of His Divine Grace, Bhaktivedanta Srila Prabhupada.
Circumstances led Vedavyasapriya Swami to give up mundane research and take full shelter of the Supreme Absolute Truth. Since before his first initiation by His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada in 1977 in New York, Vedavyasapriya Swami has served the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) in various capacities including personal secretary to the GBC, President of ISKCON of Queens, NY, Director of Bharatiya Community Services in New Vrindavan, West Virginia.
After 1987 Vedavyasapriya Swami shifted attention to serving India following the instruction of Srila Prabhupada that every Indian trained in the West must help to serve in India.
Since 1991 Vedavyasapriya Swami Maharaja has been based in Vrindavan, India, and his services have included overseeing the functioning of one asrama in Vrindavan and also the Bharatpur Asrama; and wider services of Regional Secretary in Punjab and Haryana, and as Chairman of North Indian Temples Divisional Council for the seven years following its inception.
In this Back to Godhead article, “Time and Again,” Mathuresa Dasa presents a detailed account of time and creation according to the Vedic scriptures. The Krishna conscious view of the world is highly personalized. Devotees of Lord Krishna recognize Him as the Supreme God who easily accomplishes everything He desires, including creating universes. Without diminishing Himself, Lord Krishna appears in various forms to attend to the task of creation while He enjoys with His devotees in His eternal spiritual abode.
Everything Krishna does, including creating this word, is called lila, or pastime. His devotees find special satisfaction in recalling the lilas He enacts when He comes to this world. In “Lord Nityananda Delivers the Thieves,” Mohini Radha Devi Dasi recounts a lila of Lord Nityananda, a form Balarama, who is Krishna’s first expansion, equal in power to Him.
Like Krishna Himself, His pure devotees are also transcendental to this world, and their activities are also considered lila. Though many Back to Godhead readers are familiar with the lila of Srila Prabhupada’s voyage to the West, in “Passage from India” Satyaraja Dasa tells us more about the woman who no doubt reaped great spiritual benefit for helping Prabhupada begin his momentous journey.
Please find attached the parking map for Krishna Janmastami this coming Thursday.
For a better view, please click on the link "map" at the bottom of the window, next to "PDF document".
The day following Krishna Janmastami is the glorious appearance day of our beloved Founder Acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. Please come and pay your respects and give homage to Srila Prabhupuda and you can even bring a gift for him as a sign of love and appreciation.
The program for the day is on the poster attached.
For a better view click on the link "Srila Prabhupada App2010" at the bottom of the window, next to "PDF document".
Journey of Martial Arts Performance
Read the interview with Dina Dayal by Maharani Vrinda Devi Dasi (Maharani Vrinda). Text is provided by Gopi Gita Devi Dasi on Indradyumna Swami’s web site.
Maharani Vrinda: How did you begin performing martial arts for the tour?
Dina Dayal: In 2004, I had just been attending the tour. Several weeks before the tour started, we were cleaning and washing the tents. I took a broomstick and was whirling it, just for my own pleasure for a few moments. Mother Sri Radha Sakhi Vrinda saw it and immediately decided that I was good for the stage, although personally I was very shy and couldn't imagine doing that. That year, I was in the first part of Ramayana for 30 seconds only and gradually started to do more.
Maharani Vrinda: The performance looks quite professional. So how often do you practice? Do you follow some specific diet?
Dina Dayal: To do it perfectly one needs to practice at least six hours a day. But sometimes because of the traveling, or costume making, I do not have that much time. I try to practice an hour every day. Regarding diet, I avoid fried things, like pakoras and sweets – the rich food. As professional sportsmen, I also have to eat small quantities 5-6 times a day.
Maharani Vrinda: We noticed that this year you are having more partners and action in the performance; could you explain a bit about this development?
Dina Dayal: I had an injury during one performance in Australia last year, and Gurudeva was worried. So I wanted to reduce the intensity of performance and had to fill the gap in between. So I started to create a drama, and Gurudeva liked it and said I should go in this direction. I also added some new actors, to make it more colorful and professional.
H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: Video broadcast — Janmastami Stories from Caitanya Bhagavata and Prabhupada Lila
Janmastami and other lila pastimes, new Vyasa Puja book from Jayadvaita Maharaja and readings from the book Remembering Srila Prabhupada. Early days with Prabhupada in SF.
The word jiva-himsa (envy of other living entities) actually means stopping the preaching of Krsna consciousness. Preaching work is described as paropakara, welfare activity for others. Those who are ignorant of the benefits of devotional service must be educated by preaching. If one stops preaching and simply sits down in a solitary place, he is engaging in material activity. If one desires to make a compromise with the Mayavadis, he is also engaged in material activity. A devotee should never make compromises with nondevotees. By acting as a professional guru, mystic yogi or miracle man, one may cheat and bluff the general public and gain fame as a wonderful mystic, but all this is considered to be dust, straw and grains of sand within the heart. In addition, one should follow the regulative principles and not desire illicit sex, gambling, intoxicants or meat.
>>> Ref. VedaBase => Madhya 12.135
I am sitting before the bhajana kutira of Tinkari Baba, a saint who chanted here 192 rounds of the maha-mantra every day, fifty years ago. My tree is the same tree, and it seems to have "recorded" the transcendental sound vibration of this siddha purusa (perfected being). I feel empowered in my chanting, and I have a vision of Vrindavan and a memory of his lilas. By the blessings of a sadhu, even a blind man can see the stars in the night sky. I am surely a black ant, on a black stone in the moonless night, but Srila Prabhupada found me, and with a ray of His mercy He revived me and allowed me to walk the brilliant path of Krishna consciousness.
Personal Retreat in India, Kartik 2009: Contemplations of a Hermit
It's very enthusing to see how chanting brings us to a peaceful life and makes our hearts grateful to have been touched by the spiritual master's mercy. I personally own a lot to devotees and my spiritual master for being so merciful and teaching me this process which I can feel the eternal love of Krsna through the chanting of His Holy Names.
I wish you a wonderful weekend being blessed by Nama Prabhu.
From Namamrta by A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada:
"Of all the holy names of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the name ‘Krishna’ is the most powerful:
Krishna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead
We can be confident that in chanting Hare Krishna we are chanting the topmost names of the Lord. The name Krishna means all-attractive, so if any particular name can be given to God, that name is "Krishna." It includes everything. Just once chanting the name "Krishna" brings all benefits. When combined with the name of Radharani in the vocative sense, "Hare," the Hare Krishna mantra becomes a yugala-mantra, or the combined names of Radha and Krishna, and reaches its highest perfection in madhurya rasa. Thus we are the Hare Krishna people.
This morning I chanted my quota decently. I slept until 1:00 A.M. and then got up to chant. Before Baladeva came up at 3:30 A.M., I had finished my 16 rounds. I chanted somewhat mechanically but paid attention to all the syllables as far as I was able. My mind wandered sometimes, but with mental power and the attraction of the name I pulled it back to focus on the topmost sound vibration. Rupa Goswami has said we do not know how much nectar is contained in these syllables "Krish-na," so I do not even know the great benefit I am gaining. But I stumble forward fortunately and gather in the benefit.
The topmost form of the Lord,
To counteract his sins, Subuddhi Raya
From One Hundred Prabhupada Poems
He couldn't keep the drumbeat slow
Where is Srila Prabhupada? He is in his picture over the vyasasana.
Srila Prabhupada, please accept our obeisances.
You go back and sometimes
Here's a prose-poem called "Parks Department Saves Your Soul:"
I began my dictation of the journal early, and Narayana interrupted me coming up to fill the Deities' cups and my cups with water. He saw me dictating and said he would come back in 15 minutes. When he came back I was still working, but I stopped to let him fill the water. I said, "Now I have to drink the water," because I am notorious for not drinking enough water each day. He said, "I'll leave you to your work." But I was just about finished dictating the material for the morning. Now I'm alone, and I have to generate new writing.
We read about Sivananda Sena becoming attached to a dog and paying its fare on a boat so it can go with the pilgrims to go see Lord Caitanya in Jagannatha Puri. One day Sivananda Sena neglected to feed the dog its rice and it disappeared. But when the pilgrims arrived in Nilacala, they saw that the dog was in the company of Lord Caitanya and His associates. The Lord was tossing the dog scraps of food. The next day the dog disappeared, and it was understood that he had gone back to Godhead. In his purport, Prabhupada then makes an unusual connection to this dog receiving the mercy of the Vaisnavas, and his own being born of a Vaisnava father. He states that his father used to pray that his son would become a servant of Radharani. Prabhupada writes that he is now engaged in that service. I thought it unusual that Prabhupada connected the mercy the dog received in Lord Caitanya's lila to the mercy he received from his father. His main point was that you have to receive the mercy of a Vaisnava. I was touched by Prabhupada's feeling of indebtedness to his father for his spiritual advancement. It was a substantial thing in his life. This is shown in several purports in his books and his dedication of the Krishna Book to "My father, Gour Mohan De, a pure devotee of Krishna, who raised me as a Krishna conscious child from the beginning of my life… He was kind to me, and I imbibed from him the ideas later on solidified by the spiritual master, the eternal Father." That was quite a significant gesture, to dedicate such an important book to his father.
I dreamt I was out walking in the streets traveling behind a marching harinama party. I was trailing way behind with a few toddlers. It was in a foreign country. A man came up to me and tempted me to go into a club and see three musicians called "The Three Dead Men." I resisted. I felt I had to protect the toddlers, but there was no way I could catch up to the singing party led by Hridayananda Maharaja. This is my factual position. With my bad ankle and shortness of breath, I can't keep with any walking group. My harinama days are over unless I can be pushed in a wheelchair or chant in one spot. Even then, how long can I sing?
On Saturday I will do a live video from Remembering Srila Prabhupada, poems of Prabhupada in 1967. First I'll speak on themes of the Vaisnava holidays which are coming up, Janmastami and Vyasa-puja. When he was a child, Lord Nityananda and His friends used to constantly play at scenes of Krishna-lila. For Janmastami they would begin with a group of boys going down to the Ganges, representing Lord Brahma, Mother Earth in the shape of a cow, and several demigods. Brahma revealed his mind to Lord Vishnu in the purusa-sukta prayer in his mind, that the demons in the guise of ksatriyas were causing a burden to the earth. One of Lord Nityananda's friends was hiding nearby, and he played Krishna and spoke out that the Supreme Lord would come to the earth and kill the demons. He instructed the boys to take birth in families before Krishna's appearance. Later the boys constructed a prison, and Krishna appeared to Devaki and Vasudeva as their child. The ISKCON temples celebrate Janmastami in grand fashion, with readings, kirtanas, abhiseka and greeting of the Deities at midnight. Prasadam is served throughout the day to guests, while many devotees fast until midnight. The festivities end late at night, but late the next morning all the devotees gather and speak homages and memories of Prabhupada for his Vyasa-puja. At noon a feast is served, and later in the evening more homages may be spoken. This year Jayadvaita Swami published a book, Srila Prabhupada Tributes, which contains homages by all of Srila Prabhupada's disciples, more inclusive than the BBT ISKCON Vyasa-puja book.
We drive a hundred miles away to see a friend, but often neglect to even greet our neighbours every morning. In the tube everyone is buried in a newspaper or plugged into an mp3, glancing occasionally at the reflection of someone in the window but quickly turning away before the eyes meet. The person sitting 5 metres away from me just sent me a message via email – what to say, I guess he didn't want to disturb me! You even have to be careful about smiling or saying hello to someone on the street, unless of course you want to be perceived as an eccentric character.
Recently the devotees at ISKCON Canberra installed a murti of Srila Prabhupada. The festival was hosted by HH Veda Vyasa Priya Swami Maharaj. Maharaj also lead the installation of Srila Prabhupada’s murti. The program was complete with Abhishek, Kirtan and Prasadam.
On Wednesday, September 1st, ISKCON Toronto will be celebrating the biggest birthday party of the year, Lord Krishna's appearance day, Sri Krishna Janmastami!!!!
The evening program will be full of kirtan, bhajans, discourses and more! The countdown to midnight will kick-off with an abhisheka and the temple will be resounding with wonderful rocking kirtan, at the stroke of midnight, the Deity doors will open and their Lordships Sr Sri Radha Ksira-Chora Gopinatha will be revealed in a stunning flower outfit!
The Schedule of the evening is as follows (subject to change):
6:00 pm -Arati
6:30-6:40 pm – Welcome & announcements
6:40-7:20 pm – Class
7:20-7: 25 pm – Japa session
7:25-7:45 pm – Bhajan
7:45-8:00 pm – Children's program
8:00 – 8:30 pm – Arati
8:30-9:00 pm – Class
9:00 to 9:10 pm - Reading from Krsna Book
9:10 to 9:40 pm – Kalash Abhisheka
9:40-9:50 pm – Mrdanga Demonstration
9:50-10 pm - Ratha-Yatra Fundraising Presentation
10:00 – 11:00 pm – Special Pesentation
11:00 – 11:20 pm – Drama
11:20 – 12:00 am - Abhisheka
Midnight - Arati
HH Jayapataka Swami Maharaja has expressed his blessings to the Mayapur Online Education team for their endeavour to reach Bhagavad Gita study courses in the internet. In a video interview, he said: "I am very happy to learn that here in Mayapur they are having a type of Bhakti-sastri and other Internet-based teachings, that one can take these courses over the Internet.
Festival Volunteers Wanted
Our biggest celebration of the year is approaching. Soon, we will all join together to celebrate Sri Krishna’s appearance day – Sri Krishna Janmastami!
Although Krishna proclaims in Bhagavad-Gita that He is eternal, we know that for the pleasure of His devotees, as well as to perform His unlimited pastimes, He appears in this material world. Janmastami is the opportunity for all of us to render some service to the Lord and to immerse ourselves in remembering His divine appearance.
The best way to please Krishna is to offer Him something with affection. We all have some God-given gifts in the form of our skills or talents; by using them in Krishna’s service we not only please Him but also purify our lives. Janmastami is a great opportunity to come together, serving in union to sanctify our existence.
We would like to encourage everyone to volunteer some time during the upcoming Janmastami and Srila Prabhupada’s Vyasa Puja. There is a lot to choose from; it’s really up to you as to where and for how long you would like to serve. Your desire to contribute and your devotional attitude are what counts, and we will be there to assist you in being appropriately engaged.
We will start preparation days before Janmastami, so even if you’re not available on the actual day, you can come before or after the event. Of course, we especially require help on the festival days themselves.
There are many varieties of services available. You could help in decorating the temple, making garlands, cleaning, setting up our outdoor stage, serving prasadam, giving a hand to our cooks and so on. We would greatly appreciate every sincere soul helping us during Krishna Janmastami.
Please write to email@example.com, or call 0404 187 390 to express your interest in helping out. Feel free to ask questions regarding services. We will help you find a service that is right for you.
At your service,
Anyone who has not contacted a relationship with Nityananda is understood to have spoiled his human birth.
- Srila Prabhupada
The following text is reproduced from the wonderful newsletter of Sri Sri Radha Gopinatha Mandir, Sydney Temple.
H.H. Sivarama Swami: In the Adi-Lila Lord Caitanya said the acceptance of the order of sannyasa is forbidden
How to understand the above in relation to Mahaprabhu, Prabhupada and many others in disciplic succession accepting the sannyasa order of life? Also, is it necessary for one, if one wants to go back home to Krsna’s abode, to conclude grihasta order and move on to vanprastha and then to sannyasa orders of life in this age? Rajiv (Ann Arbor, Mich)
Still, aggressive national policies to accelerate renewable energy use are succeeding in Portugal and some other countries, according to a recent report by IHS Emerging Energy Research of Cambridge, Mass., a leading energy consulting firm. By 2025, the report projected, Ireland, Denmark and Britain will also get 40 percent or more of their electricity from renewable sources; if power from large-scale hydroelectric dams, an older type of renewable energy, is included, countries like Canada and Brazil join the list.
The United States, which last year generated less than 5 percent of its power from newer forms of renewable energy, will lag behind at 16 percent (or just over 20 percent, including hydroelectric power), according to IHS.
To force Portugal's energy transition, Mr. Sócrates's government restructured and privatized former state energy utilities to create a grid better suited to renewable power sources. To lure private companies into Portugal's new market, the government gave them contracts locking in a stable price for 15 years — a subsidy that varied by technology and was initially high but decreased with each new contract round.
Compared with the United States, European countries have powerful incentives to pursue renewable energy. Many, like Portugal, have little fossil fuel of their own, and the European Union's emissions trading system discourages fossil fuel use by requiring industry to essentially pay for excessive carbon dioxide emissions.
Portugal was well poised to be a guinea pig because it has large untapped resources of wind and river power, the two most cost-effective renewable sources. Government officials say the energy transformation required no increase in taxes or public debt, precisely because the new sources of electricity, which require no fuel and produce no emissions, replaced electricity previously produced by buying and burning imported natural gas, coal and oil. By 2014 the renewable energy program will allow Portugal to fully close at least two conventional power plants and reduce the operation of others.
"So far the program has placed no stress on the national budget" and has not created government debt, said Shinji Fujino, head of the International Energy Agency's country study division.
Tune into Kirtan Radio and allow the transcendental stream to pour into your ears. “Radhe Radhe… Radhe Radhe…”
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