"Planet ISKCON" - 35 new articles
“We need grass roots revolution. That means YOU and ME. I’m part of the grass roots…For years and years and years, at least 21 years, I’ve personally been here trying to somehow or other bring it to the attention of the lay devotees… Nama Sankirtana will come back, I guarantee it, with the co-operation of a few good people who are willing to step forward in their various localities all over the world and help to generate tha…t faith, that consciousness in the Holy Name. So please help, wherever you may go and do the real thing, to actually implement the Yuga Dharma.” – Aindra Dasa.
27th August, 2010
Time: Friday · 7:00pm – 8:30pm
At the Hare krishna Temple in Ainslie, Canberra, devotees and well-wishers celebrated the grand occasion of the birth of Lord Balarama. The celebrations included kirtan, abhiskeka, arati, class by HH Veda Vyasa Priya Swami Maharaj, and a prasadam feast.
Go and have a look at the web site Hare Krishna Canberra.com and you can join in the celebrations, listen to the kirtan and the lecture, and see the photo stream.
You can have ‘manasa prasada‘ by thinking about eating the prasadam that was offered to Lord Balarama on the day.
I made this into a song for Campak Gaur about 8 months ago but I still have to record the vocals properly.
Its pretty much straight from 11th Canto.
Once a prostitute named Pingala, desiring to bring a lover into her house,
stood outside in the doorway at night showing her beautiful form.
This prostitute was very anxious to get money,
and as she stood on the street at night
she studied all the men passing by, thinking,
"Oh, this one surely has money. I know he can pay the price.
And I'm sure he will enjoy my company..."
Thus, with vain hope, she remained leaning against the doorway, unable to go to sleep.
As the night wore on, Pingala gradually became morose, and her face dried up.
Thus being most disappointed, she began to feel a great detachment from her situation,
and happiness arose in her mind.
She felt disgusted with her material situation and thus became - indifferent to it.
Indeed - detachment acts like a sword, cutting to pieces the binding network
of material hopes and desires.
"Just see how greatly illusioned I am!
Because I cannot control my mind,
Just like a fool I desire lusty pleasure from an insignificant man.
"A person who has not developed detachment never desires to give up the bondage of this material body.
I am such a fool that I have given up the service of that person who is actually most dear to me.
That most dear one is Krishna, the bestower of real love and happiness and the source of all prosperity.
Although He is in my own heart, I have completely neglected Him.
"Instead I have ignorantly served those men who can never satisfy my real desires.
They have simply brought me unhappiness, fear, anxiety, lamentation and illusion.
Oh, how I have uselessly tortured my own soul!
I've sold my body to lusty, greedy men who are themselves objects of pity.
"This material body is like a house in which I, the soul, am living.
The bones forming my spine, ribs and arms are like the crossbeams and pillars of the house,
Besides me, what woman could be so foolish as to devote herself to this body,
thinking that she might find pleasure and love in this contraption?
"Certainly in this city of Videha I alone am completely foolish.
I neglected Krishna, who awards us everything,
and instead I desired to enjoy with many men.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead is absolutely the most dear one for all living beings
because He is everyone's well-wisher and Lord.
"Men provide sense gratification for women,
but all these men have a beginning and an end...
They are all temporary creations who will be dragged away by time.
Therefore how much actual pleasure could any of them (ever) give to their wives?
"Although I most stubbornly hoped to enjoy the material world,
somehow or other detachment has arisen in my heart,
and it is making me very happy.
Therefore Krishna must be pleased with me.
"A person who has developed detachment can give up the bondage of society, friendship and love,
and a person who undergoes great suffering gradually becomes, out of hopelessness,
detached and indifferent to this world.
Thus, due to my great suffering, such detachment awoke in my heart;
yet how could I have undergone such merciful suffering if I were actually unfortunate?
"With devotion I accept the great benefit the Lord has bestowed upon me.
Having given up my desire to enjoy separate from Krishna, I now take shelter of Him.
"The intelligence of the living entity is stolen away by activities of sense gratification,
and thus he falls into the dark well of material existence.
Within that well he is then seized by the deadly serpent of time.
Who else but the Supreme Lord could save us from such a hopeless condition?"
Thus, her mind completely made up, Pingalā very happily went to sleep.
1958 August 26: "The cult of Hinduism is not being utilized in the spirit of the Bhagavad-gita and is waning day by day. We should take serious note of this deterioration and you should not allow anymore the gross misuse of the cult of Sanatana Dharma."
1968 August 26: "I want to present before Consulate General this cover of the Bhagavad-gita when I visit him but I am returning it back to you. If you can secure advance order with it that is more important business than showing it to a Consulate General."
1971 August 26: "So much money spent unnecessarily for travel and only big, big plans will be made. So what is the use? By this system of submitting final decision to me for approval there is no necessity for holding such GBC meetings."
1972 August 26: "It is said that child is father of man. My Spiritual Master knew it that alone I could not do this great work. Therefore He has very kindly sent you all to help me in this task. I accept you therefore as representatives of my Guru Maharaja playing as my affectionate disciples."
1972 August 26: "I have requested Siddhasvarupa Ananda to meet me but if he is not able then I am coming to Hawaii and I can meet him there and take him with me to India. Do not be disturbed. Everything is alright."
1972 August 26: "So far what is the actual birth site of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, we do not bother about these things. This is a long controversial point, do not bother with it. We accept our predecessor's version, that's all."
1975 August 26: "In 1954 I think I met you. I was trying to organize my movement with the help of some young men at the Bhakti Bhavan, Jhansi. So after years of struggle I went to USA and by the grace of Krishna this movement has become successful all over the world."
1975 August 26: "In the foreign countries they are accepting us as bona fide religion but in our own country they are giving so many hindrances. If prominent people are giving us respect, why are others making false propaganda?"
Srimad Bhagavatam 11.23.29-30 - Approach Krsna in desperation to be rid of life's problems.
SB 01.17.25_Disregarding Truth_2004-10-21 Lecture – Srimad Bhagavatam 1.17.25 Disregarding Truth 2004-10-21 Houston
The devotee should make it a regular practice to spend a little time alone in a quiet place and concentrate deeply on the holy name. He should utter and hear the name distinctly. It is impossible for the jiva to singlehandedly avoid and overcome the illusion of distraction. By the mercy of the Lord, however, this is accomplished with ease. Therefore it is essential to prayerfully beg for the Lord's grace with great humility, for this is the only means to salvation from this offense.
Vedavyasa Priya Maharaja in Sydney
Morning Classes 7:45am-9am on Friday,
29th of August- Evening Class at 6pm
From Namamrta by A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada:
"The chanting of the maha mantra is the most practical form of yoga in the present age:
"Lord Caitanya practically demonstrated Krishna consciousness yoga simply by chanting the holy names of Krishna, as they are mentioned in the Vedanta, the Srimad-Bhagavatam, and many important Puranas. The largest number of Indians follow this yoga practice, and in the United States and other countries also it is gradually growing in many cities. It is very easy and practical for this age, especially for those who are serious about success in yoga. No other process can be successful in this age.
"The meditational process in right earnest was possible in the Golden Age, Satya-yuga, because the people at that time lived for a hundred thousand years on the average.
"In the present age, however, if you want success in practical yoga, take to the chanting of Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare, and feel for yourself how you are making progress."
The Science of Self-Realization
The popularity of yoga at the present moment is deceptive. According to the many quotes in the Namamrta, which are drawn from authoritative scriptures, hatha-yoga cannot be successfully practiced in the age of Kali. The asanas may be beneficial for physical fitness and for therapeutic healing, but they cannot bring one to the higher spiritual status. That kind of mechanical yoga is actually very difficult and could be practiced only in former ages. To achieve the real state, love of God, one has to chant the Hare Krishna maha-mantra in japa and in kirtana. As it is taught now, in yoga classes, the higher stage of meditation is a vague thing, not focused on the object of the Personality of Godhead. Krishna has to be the object of meditation for it to be successful. The best way to meditate on Krishna is to utter His names, and this can bring one to further stages of elevation.
I had a good morning. After a peaceful night's sleep, I woke up around 1:00 A.M. and got up to chant. I was lucky in that I was wide awake and chanted at a steady, rapid pace. My mind wandered sometimes, but I brought it back under the control of the mantra. I was able to chant all 16 rounds by 3:30 A.M. and chant my gayatri as well. I'm satisfied that it was an exceptionally good morning, and only wish I could keep this standard every day and build on it for higher accomplishments. Unless I am steady and awake and concentrating on the holy name, the sessions are really not up to standard. Good chanting means fully awake, fully attentive and hearing the syllables of the Hare Krishna mantra.
Happy to complete
How could devotees gather
Going through the samsara song,
Prabhupada, I am happy,
“Ladybird robin is our friend
Up early and chanting your rounds. Narayana said I looked "comfy." I was relaxed in my yajna and for the most part recording it well. Narayana wrote a poem about japa. He read a devotee's description of japa which said, If you are just hearing the syllables, you are not chanting the mantras. Real chanting is to have the bluish Cowherd Boy present and dancing on your tongue. His poem honored and accepted the mystic experience of one who claimed Krishna was actually present when he chanted, but he defended the practice of chanting by paying attention to the syllables of the name. He cited Rupa Goswami's verse, "I do not know how much nectar is in these syllables 'Krish-na.'" I thought it was an important support for those of us who confine our chanting to "just hear" and was in Prabhupada's mood. In my japa poem I berated myself for not chanting rapidly enough, but the important thing is quality, careful attention to Nama Prabhu and crying out for better attention and intimacy.
The poems from Under Dark Stars continue in series. They could be made into a book. Narayana likes them but says that some are better than others. When I go off on a new story and develop it at length by unpacking a brief reference, it's better than a mere summary repetition. The one about the visionary garden was good with its painful admissions but statements of creativity. The past is so valuable and rich. It's worth digging up the loam again. It's best to do it with an attitude of not knowing what to expect and being ready for surprise. Don't assume from the present that you remember everything.
One man talking to another but they are not making communication because they have such different viewpoints. I like to change that and bring them closer together.
A woman says, "The man I thought was number one turned out to be different and left my life." The man left her for a different reason. This happens over and over. I think my mother and father stayed together because they honored holy vows. People consider that less nowadays. There is more a preyas mentality: do what brings you immediate satisfaction.
Confident that you can write without telling about the Little League World Series. Baladeva made enough kichari so that he could distribute extra to the two houses nearby. Three baseballs and about 25 walnut shells lying on the lawn. It has rained three days, but it is too little too late for the corn crop.
You write what comes to your mind. You are so tired your penmanship is near illegible. Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This writing is like my old poems. The words are coming. Dig for them. And here you hear the siren ring from the firehouse at noon on Saturday and noon on Wednesday. Other than that brief interruption, it is quiet (except for the dog). Write the worthy story of the people in the neighborhood who work hard at various jobs. They stopped to chant Hare Krishna. Every evening at Woodstock there's a kirtana somewhere. The Kripalu Institute for Yoga, the Omega Institute. Snap the boys out of their sleep. Let us run. In the movie "The Sound of Music" they sang, and after the concert they fled from the Nazis, walking quickly over the mountain into Switzerland. A boy died in the fire, he was the same age as our son. He spoke to his mother on the cell phone in the last moments. He was not afraid, not much. I keep going writing. The American troops are exiting from Iraq. Now let us see what happens. You are not going to Las Vegas for long, are you? Because I have to keep in touch with you. He looks surprised. His plans could be interrupted. He said he'd be back soon. This is not making sense. The setback of our bad roads is the advantage of your good roads. They dismantled roadside bombs , and they blew up on them. Over 4,000 American soldiers died in Iraq. Afghanistan continues.
In my morning japa writing, I am quoting from Namamrta. I'm taking from the section that harinama is the dharma for Kali-yuga, but I'll move on to other sections. Then I make a comment on the quote. From my experience, there is something I can say if I think about it. Then I give a "daily weather report" on how my first twelve rounds went on this day. It varies, but is similar for the climate I live in my present state of realization. Then a little japa poem. I contribute it to the general discussion of japa.
We should preach Krishna's word to whomever we meet, but in so doing, we should not try to manufacture a new religion. People want a new religion, but what is there new to preach? We are as old as eternity, so what need have we of the new? Nature's law is not new -- the sun still rises in the East and sets in the West, as it has always done. We still eat and sleep. God is not new. Sometimes, to make people listen, it is necessary to explain the old religion in new terms. This is like putting old wine in new bottles. There is nothing wrong with this, as long as the wine is not adulterated in the process.
>>> Ref. VedaBase => Notes transcribed from a lecture given September 8, 1966
from BTG #4
I was speaking to a dear friend today and we were talking about determination and enthusiasm in practicing bhakti yoga. She was mentioning how sometimes she finds it difficult to be steady and I just looked at her and said, "Only sometimes? Wow, you're doing well!"
Q: What is the most valuable use of my time right now?
Here is current information about the New VrindabanArt Seminar with Dhriti & Ram das that runs from Sept. 13 th through Sept 22 cd.
Costs are as follows:
10 -day course & materials:
$200 (covers materials & travel expenses for Dhriti & Ram)
The following supplies should be brought by each participant:
* Sketch book 12×16
We recommend purchasing supplies at ASW.com best prices . Vermeer mongoose brushes are also available. Further information as things develope.
Feel free to contact me with any questions: 304-845-9591 or
Hari das singing a Hare Krishna bhajan.
Download: 2010-01-09 - 3 - Home Program - Hari das - Hare Krishna.mp3
Today I went to Google images to find a map of Tamil Nadu, the Southern
specifically bring you to the certifiable hot ones) Tamil actress blue film (This actress or category of actresses is not only hot, she also generously
exhibits her hotness in indecent movies) Tamil actress (This one may not necessarily be particularly hot, but still apparently
qualifies as a very popular object of enquiry) Tamil actress namitha breast (Apparently this actress' claim to fame resides in the topography of her
chest region) Tamil actress ranjitha (Actually I had heard before about this one; lately there was a scandal
involving her friendly dealings with a "Swami" - dealings that most people
considered too friendly) Tamil hot (For those who don't need many words to get to the point ) Tamil actress bhuvaneswari (Great name; but I can't guarantee her qualifications as a role-model or her
acting skills) Tamil movies (A generic entryi still in the realm of entertainment but, who knows, if you
are very lucky you might even get to some gorgeous 1950' Hindu Deity movie
by following this suggestioni) Tamil actress ragasudha (Back to the Southern constellation of local stars, starlets, asteroids,
meteors and meteoroids) And so I sit here, in cynical amusement, thinking that Tamil Nadu is the
land of the Alvars and of Ramanujacarya, the land of astonishingly powerful
and beautiful Deities such as Ranganatha, Varadaraja and Partha-sarathi.
This is the land where Kartikeya resides in various shrines. This is the
land that saw the splendor of imperial dynasties such as the Chola and the
Vijayanagar. A land with a great tradition of architecture, music and
poetry; home of Siddha yogis and of the holy Kaveri Riveri Even its mundane
modern politics showcase colorful characters... Tamil Nadu is one of the areas of the planet where cosmic and ultra-cosmic
dimensions intersect the human experience, but what people search most on
Google are its actresses; especially hot ones. The temptation is to think that these people are gliding down to various
hells, especially hot ones.
Finally it was time for the international headline act, Sri Prahlada and the Bhakti Band. Sri Prahlada began by reminding us that kirtan is not a spectator sport. What made Kirtan Magic so magical was the heartfelt participation by everyone present. The room was full of people all singing their hearts out, clapping, swaying and dancing in unison. The feeling of connection was palpable – connection to the music, connection with one another, connection within, connection with the divine.
Sri Prahlada is a master of building that feeling of connection. In one kirtan he guided just the men to chant together, then just the women together. We repeated this several times, building the energy, until at last we joined together to sing as one. Pure bliss!! Spiritual stories were artfully woven between the kirtans, keeping the flow going while settling the energy, and allowing us to develop a deeper appreciation of the yoga tradition underpinning the practice of kirtan.
It was an ecstatic experience of oneness, togetherness and openness. Kirtan connected us to an overpowering energy that consumed us heart and soul. It was a high like no other – completely natural, with no nasty side-effects. Afterwards we felt inspired, energised and re-focused on our respective spiritual journeys.
Date: Date: August 21st, 2010 - Dvadasi
mukam karoti vacalam
pangum langhayate girim
Australian News: Memorial service for Bhakta Ian Harker, New Govardhana Temple, Friday 27th of August
It is with great sadness we inform you that Ian Harker sadly passed away on Wednesday 18 August 2010.
A memorial service will be held at the New Govardhana Temple this Friday 27 August at 1.30PM.
For more information please contact Mandakani devi dasi: 02 6672 8506
JHABUA, India — Inside the drab district hospital, where dogs patter down the corridors, sniffing for food, Ratan Bhuria's children are curled together in the malnutrition ward, hovering at the edge of starvation. His daughter, Nani, is 4 and weighs 20 pounds. His son, Jogdiya, is 2 and weighs only eight.
Landless and illiterate, drowned by debt, Mr. Bhuria and his ailing children have staggered into the hospital ward after falling through India's social safety net. They should receive subsidized government food and cooking fuel. They do not. The older children should be enrolled in school and receiving a free daily lunch. They are not. And they are hardly alone: India's eight poorest states have more people in poverty — an estimated 421 million — than Africa's 26 poorest nations, one study recently reported.
For the governing Indian National Congress Party, which has staked its political fortunes on appealing to the poor, this persistent inability to make government work for people like Mr. Bhuria has set off an ideological debate over a question that once would have been unthinkable in India: Should the country begin to unshackle the poor from the inefficient, decades-old government food distribution system and try something radical, like simply giving out food coupons, or cash?
Is it received at the time of initiation or is there more than one bija coming from the limbs of devotion of which the one received at initiation is chief?
Dear Friends and Devotees of Lord Krishna,
Saturday Aug. 28th (pre celebrations)
This is your once a year opportunity to personally bathe the deities of Radha and Krishna in the ceremony known as Maha Kalash Abhishek.
May 14-17 took me and daughter Sachi back to my Mum’s house in a small village called Gunness, nearby a small town called Scunthorpe in the north east Midlands.
Its where I was born and grew up. No need to say much about a town that had one third of its population of 70,000 working in three different steel works at the time I left school in 1967. It was the UK’s biggest steel processing center, euphemistically called the “Industrial Garden Town”.
I had a couple of years working in the bowels of hell before I got wise and quit. That’s a story in itself. Let’s just say that I was glad to get out at the age of 20 with a “10 pounds Pom” free ticket to Australia.
Mum has lived in the same house since about 1947. Two of my brothers, Alan and Gary, and my sister Linda live in close proximity and my eldest brother Brian lives in Wales. Linda is at least a vegetarian and has some belief in the soul and reincarnation.
Mum’s a good soul, has a deep and abiding faith in God. She always says ‘Hare Krishna’ whenever I ring, and is really very happy that I became a devotee.
Mum is old now, 87, and getting frail. She’s lived by her self since 1986 when my Dad died and has been pretty independent and self-sufficient since then. However this year she has started to struggle to maintain herself. Her body is riddled with arthritis which makes it painful to even sit down, what to speak of walk around. She spends most of her time in a reclining chair and hadn’t been out of the house since Christmas.
Time is upon us all, and we feel it not more so than in the deterioration of these bodies. Mum has a picture of her wedding day in 1943 up on the wall, and I couldn’t help but be struck by the contrast.
There go I.
While I was there I took the opportunity to visit my old school friend Chris Hall, whom readers of this blog will perhaps remember was one of the two friends I emigrated to Australia with in 1971. I posted a picture of him taken on the night I shaved my head and committed myself to Srila Prabhupada’s service on Feb. 14 1972.
He returned to Scunny and still works at the steel works as a metalurgist. We remain good friends although his spiritual inclinations are about nil. At least he appreciates my choice, and knows it was made after serious and deep search. He does love prasadam, so that’s a plus.
I went with Sachi to visit Alan, the second oldest brother. He’s retired and lives in another small village the other side of Scunny. We had a pleasant couple of hours together and finally he got round to asking me a question he had always meant to ask but never got round to. “So what made you join the Hare Krishna’s?”
Better late than never. After 38 years he finally expressed his curiosity. So I told him in brief about the events leading up to my ‘epiphany’ and my internal transformation. It was a journey to reality rather than a ‘religious’ quest. I wasn’t looking for God, but that’s where my search for answers about the meaning of life took me. Srila Prabhupada and the devotees gave me answers I couldn’t find anywhere else. Alan listened and so did Sachi. She hadn’t heard me speak about it before either and both appreciated it.
Sachi returned on the train to Cambridge on Sunday night, with a promise to meet up again in New Delhi. She signed up for a one month course on ecology and alternative energy from mid-July to mid-August. More about that later.
Shortly after my visit Mum made the decision to move into an aged care home. It was a big wrench, giving up her privacy and a house she’s lived in for 60+ years, but she’s made the adjustment quite well and the advantage of having instant care and help on hand now out weighs the loss of individual privilege. The house has to be sold to help meet the cost.
She’s philosophical about it. When I phoned her the day before she moved, she told me, “This is it, this is the last stage.” She’s not hankering to stay on. She’s told me quite a few times that she wants to move on. She’s had enough of her old body and she told me, “When I go to sleep at night, I pray that I won’t wake up. I don’t want to take another birth.”
We’ve talked about what she should do when the time comes to leave, that she should take shelter in God and chant the holy names. At least she agrees in theory, and for my part I pray to Srila Prabhupada to be there to guide her onto her next transitionary stop. At least I hope she will take birth in a devotee family.
Mum with my younger brother Gary, Sachi, and Gary’s boys.
"What could be better than a grilled panini smeared with pesto mayonnaise, melted mozzarella cheese, grilled eggplant, avocado, tomato, fresh basil leaves and field greens? "
Thus spake Bhumi Devi, Kitchen Queen.
To have a vision of sandwich heaven, click here.
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