martes, 3 de agosto de 2010

Hari Sauri das, Mayapura, IN: 2010 Tour – Split Croatia



PLANET ISKCON

 

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"Planet ISKCON" - 36 new articles

  1. Dandavats.com: Exploiting Humility
  2. Dandavats.com: Stop and Smell the Roses at Prabhupada's Palace of Gold
  3. Dandavats.com: Kirtan in the fields: four days of drums, dance & prasadam
  4. Japa Group: Chanting With Devotees
  5. Japa Group: Please Join The Japa Group
  6. Bharatavarsa.net: Book distribution seminar: a correction and a story
  7. Bharatavarsa.net: Bhakti Vikasa Swami: Patience and self-control
  8. Akrura das, Gita Coaching: ADVERSITY
  9. Book Distribution News: a correction and a story
  10. Devadeva Mirel, Alachua, USA: Vegan Lemon Curd Recipe
  11. ISKCON Toronto, Canada: Deity Darshan: Sunday, August 1, 2010
  12. Devadeva Mirel, Alachua, USA: Hayton Family Bon Voyage Dinner
  13. Hari Sauri das, Mayapura, IN: 2010 Tour – Split Croatia
  14. Rupa Madhurya das, TX, USA: Drama - The Appearance of Lord Nrsimhadev
  15. H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: 28
  16. H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: Fingering Japa Malas
  17. H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: Krishna-Gopis Centered
  18. Gauranga Kishore das,USA: Essential Wisdom for the spiritual path from Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati
  19. H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: The Party and Vrndavana
  20. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  21. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  22. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  23. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  24. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  25. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  26. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  27. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  28. Clemens Both, Germany: from Melbourne to Kuala Lumpur to Thailand
  29. David Haslam, UK: Surrender to Krishna, means to deal with self
  30. H.H. Sivarama Swami
  31. Yoga of Ecology, Bhakta Chris, USA: After Elevated Park's Success, Other Cities Look Up
  32. H.H. Sivarama Swami: Chanting for the protection of baby Padma
  33. Gaura Yoga, NZ: Getting Real! with Devamrita Swami
  34. Japa Group: The Cooperation Of Your Mind
  35. Mayapur Online: Suffering in Rajapur...!
  36. Gouranga TV: Aindra Prabhu – Hare Krishna kirtan – ISKCON Vrindavan kartik – October 29, 2009 – 3/3
  37. More Recent Articles
  38. Search Planet ISKCON

Dandavats.com: Exploiting Humility

By Kesava Krsna Dasa

Sometimes our fixation on who's "junior" and who is "senior" within our ranks, can inhibit proper devotee relationships. And introducing corporate ideas for managing our devotees can hinder, rather than promote healthy interactions between ourselves

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Dandavats.com: Stop and Smell the Roses at Prabhupada's Palace of Gold

By New Vrindaban Communications

"The fact that the Palace of Gold Rose Garden in New Vrindaban has been AARS-accredited since 1987 is one of the best-kept secrets in the Ohio Valley," says Wheeling, WV, native Betty Hickey, the Palace of Gold rosarian since 1985

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Dandavats.com: Kirtan in the fields: four days of drums, dance & prasadam

Bala Krishna dasa: Join us this year for Saranagati's special festival of presentations, performing artists, teachers, authors and special guests

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Japa Group: Chanting With Devotees

Jaya Radhe!

Inspired by H.H.Rasamrita Swami we have started to embhasize the style that all the devotees of the temple chant japa together in a temple room.

It brings very nice mood when everyone is trying his or her best to chant seriously. Japa-culture we could say. It should be the general standard in the temples that early morning, before Deity greeting is reserved for japa. If everyone starts e-maling, sending sms, going back to sleep etc immediately after mangala-arati there is no encouragement for chanting seriously. Pujaries and cooks are exception, but for the rest of us, if there is no emergency in the morning, forget your computer, phone, management lists etc and try to chant with focus.

Full morning program, the ISKCON sandwich, means from it´s very beginning to it´s very end. Mangala-arati, two hours of japa, Deity greeting, guru-puja, lecture. If there is only 3 or 6 rounds of japa there, the full benefit is not there. If there is early morning seva, that´s different story, but as a general rule, japa is best to be done in the early morning.




Your servant Muniraja dasa

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Japa Group: Please Join The Japa Group


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

rasa108@gmail.com

ys

Rasa Rasika dasa

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Bharatavarsa.net: Book distribution seminar: a correction and a story

Hare Krsna Prabhus,

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

I my last posting I mentioned that Bn Radhika was the only femal in the top fifty book distributors in the world, that was a mistake. Mohanasini dd was for the month of June in thirtieth place in the world, a very steady book distributor and a disciple of Srila Prabhupada.

Krishna Is All-attractive

This is the third year ISKCON Hong Kong participated in the Hong Kong Book Fair. One evening during the fair a lady visited our booth and I struck up a conversation with her. I learned she was quite fond of religion and was a vegetarian, so I recommended that she purchase the Bhagavad-gita. She refused, claiming she was too busy to read, and then left with her two full shopping bags.

After a little while she returned and started chatting with other devotees. Then she told our booth manager that she would take the Gita if we would give her a discount. We explained that our policy was never to give discounts and suggested that we give her a small book as a bonus for her purchase of the Gita. Her smile disappeared and she left again.

About ten minutes before closing time we started a kirtan at the booth. We chanted Hare Krishna in ecstasy in front of our Srila Prabhupada murti. The lady returned and made a wise decision: She bought the Gita and a few other books. One devotee invited her to join us, and she chanted with us for a little while.

The Lord is nondifferent from His names and instructions. Both can attract every living entity in this world. Sri Krishna Sankirtan Ki Jaya!

Vrajendra Kumar Dasa ISKCON Hong Kong

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Bharatavarsa.net: Bhakti Vikasa Swami: Patience and self-control

We should not try to hurry Krishna up. Our thoughts and our speech should also be controlled. We will see Krishna when He chooses. We should render service without reservation to the spiritual master.

>>> Ref. VedaBase => Notes transcribed from a lecture given September 8, 1966

from BTG #4

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Akrura das, Gita Coaching: ADVERSITY

Adversity is an opportunity, not an excuse.

The more you worry, the less you dream. Dreaming is more fun.

You can only do one thing at any time - dream, plan or worry.

Adversity is a step to something greater, not a wall to stop progress.

If you're going through a rough time, God is preparing you for something greater.

Adversity is an opportunity meant to shape you into something greater.

We stumble, we fall, we get back up again.

When was the last time worry ever solved a problem?

The problem is not that there are problems. The problem is expecting otherwise and thinking that having problems is a problem.

Nobody's perfect. We all fall down. What matters most is how quickly we get back up, learn from our mistakes and move on.

We will go through pain in our life. How we choose to respond to it is our choice.

Nothing eliminates pain and difficulty in our life faster than a greater purpose.

If you keep your goal in your heart, no road will be too long or too rocky.

Things only happen to elicit the reaction to something we need to change.

Adversity forces us to focus on things we need to learn.

Adversity can be turned to opportunity simply by adjusting our perception and attitude.

In retrospect, some of the greatest blessings in my life, have come from adversity.

Adversity is a part of any worthwhile adventure. It's a matter of how badly you want your dream!

Adversity happens to everyone. It is not an excuse for abandoning your dream.

Adversity could be the greatest gift in our life, in retrospect.

Adversity provides an opportunity to remember who we are and what's important.

Allow adversity to be your teacher.

Our strength and resilience is always in direct proportion to our adversity.

Adversity provides the opportunity for the best part of us to shine. Dig deep.

ALL people have adversity. What separates the good from the great is how we choose to react to it.

You can't achieve greatness without first befriending its gatekeeper, adversity.

Feeling stuck? The best way to get unstuck is to go do something for someone else.

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Book Distribution News: a correction and a story

Hare Krsna Prabhus,

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

I my last posting I mentioned that Bn Radhika was the only femal in the top fifty book distributors in the world, that was a mistake. Mohanasini dd was for the month of June in thirtieth place in the world, a very steady book distributor and a disciple of Srila Prabhupada.

Krishna Is All-attractive

This is the third year ISKCON Hong Kong participated in the Hong Kong Book Fair. One evening during the fair a lady visited our booth and I struck up a conversation with her. I learned she was quite fond of religion and was a vegetarian, so I recommended that she purchase the Bhagavad-gita. She refused, claiming she was too busy to read, and then left with her two full shopping bags.

After a little while she returned and started chatting with other devotees. Then she told our booth manager that she would take the Gita if we would give her a discount. We explained that our policy was never to give discounts and suggested that we give her a small book as a bonus for her purchase of the Gita. Her smile disappeared and she left again.

About ten minutes before closing time we started a kirtan at the booth. We chanted Hare Krishna in ecstasy in front of our Srila Prabhupada murti. The lady returned and made a wise decision: She bought the Gita and a few other books. One devotee invited her to join us, and she chanted with us for a little while.

The Lord is nondifferent from His names and instructions. Both can attract every living entity in this world. Sri Krishna Sankirtan Ki Jaya!

Vrajendra Kumar Dasa ISKCON Hong Kong

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Devadeva Mirel, Alachua, USA: Vegan Lemon Curd Recipe

sweet cherry pie topped with lemon curd

Super simple, this recipe is a great way to turn your sweet sour. No dairy, no eggs, just pure plant based pucker.

Ingredients:

Zest and juice from 6 large-ish lemons (not talking Meyers here)

1 to 1.5 c natural sugar (the darker you go with the sugar, the less pure yellow the color of the curd)

3 T arrowroot powder (corn starch, tapioca flour, etc make okay subs)

Pinch o’ salt

1/2 c H2O

Approx. 8 oz coconut milk (half a can, get the organic kind!)

Methodology:

1) Zest and squeeze those lemons! Make sure no seeds get into the mix. Put in pot.

2) Whisk in your sugar, arrowroot powder, salt, agua.

3) On medium heat, cook for about 15 minutes, stirring constantly. When mixture thickens and starts to pull from bottom of pan, add coconut milk.

4) Continue whisking on a low heat until mixture thickens up again.

5) Cool! The more it cools, the more it thickens.

*The picture above shows hot lemon curd. After a few hours cooling, the mixture was much more jammy.

* I used turbinado sugar, which definitely darkened it up a bit. If you are after purity of color, use evaporated sugar cane juice.


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ISKCON Toronto, Canada: Deity Darshan: Sunday, August 1, 2010


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Devadeva Mirel, Alachua, USA: Hayton Family Bon Voyage Dinner

Our friends Satya Sara and Krishna Bhajan are moving back to England. Due to vacation plans, we weren’t going to be able to make it to their going away party. So, we had them over for dinner.

Their daughter, my BFF Padi, is vegan, so I tried to plan the menu accordingly. Dairy items marked with an *.

MENU:

Broccoli Rabe
Cheese Raviolis*
Fettuccine
Butternut Squash Raviolis w/ Pesto
Cesar Salad
Cherry Shrikand*
Sweet Cherry Pie with Lemon Curd Topping

Yum!

The vegan lemon curd topping was the perfect accompaniment to the sweet cherry pie, which lacks all the charm of a traditional sour cherry pie otherwise.

Thanks to our guests, Martinelli’s, vegan ice cream and sorbet were also served to the masses of children.

I really will miss SS and KB who have shown nothing but kindness to our children. SS babysat the kids when I was attending classes and, even though she got my daughter hooked on chewing gum and spoiled the kids with candy, she was always extremely loving and kind. And she often cleaned up my kitchen.

Have a great trip to your Motherland!


vegan cherry pie, to be topped with lattice


lunch break: fried bitter melon


homemade raviolis


homemade fettuccine


hostess gift: Ribena squash from our guests


broccoli rabe


vegan entree: butternut squash raviolis w/ pesto


homemade cheese raviolis


ready to serve: homemade fettuccine


sweet cherry pie topped with lemon curd


dinner guests


late comers

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Hari Sauri das, Mayapura, IN: 2010 Tour – Split Croatia

The last stop on my tour of Croatia was the southern Adriatic port and holiday resort of Split. Split goes way back, more than two thousand years, first as a Greek colony and then part of the Roman empire.  It is currently the second largest urban center of Croatia.

I was transported down by Sudama prabhu & his wife Vinata dasi,

It took us over four hours but a decent highway made it a pleasant journey. Vinata also provided excellent translation for my seminars.

In Split I was hosted by a real clown

His name is Madhucchanda dasa and he earns a living entertaining kids with magic tricks and good humor.  He is a perfect man for the job, always jolly and eager to serve. Along with his wife Acyuta Priya, I was made to feel completely at home. Their new flat commands  a wonderful view of the harbour, and directly over the waters lies our temple.

However to get to it you have to go the long way around the bay.

The devotees have had the same temple facility for a number of years. Although it doesn’t look much from the outside,

the temple room is light, clean and spacious enough for about 80 devotees.

And it houses very beautiful Deities of Sri Sri Gaura Nitai.

The Sunday feast was well attended by about 40+ devotees

and the morning and evening sessions of “Srila Prabhupada The Living Bhagavatam – Writing” during the week were well appreciated by the dozen devotees who took their time off from work and other duties to attend.

All in all it was a very pleasant and enlivening visit. I fondly remember my previous trip several years ago and I hope by Sri Sri Gaura Nitai’s mercy that They bring me there again.

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Rupa Madhurya das, TX, USA: Drama - The Appearance of Lord Nrsimhadev

The youth of ISKCON Dallas present the drama "The Appearance of Lord Nrsimhadev".  The lighting was very challenging (backlit by the altar) so the video quality is substandard.

Dallas, TX
2010-05-26 

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H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: 28

www.sdgonline.org. SDGonline Daily updates

3:40 A.M.

I woke up at 1 A.M. and began chanting. For some reason my chanting wasn't as fast as yesterday, and I only completed twelve rounds by 3:30. The rounds were attentive enough but not so speedy. Yesterday I talked about japa with Haridasa Prabhu. He said he had read a statement in the Krishna book were Prabhupada defined Krishna consciousness. He said it is thinking of Krishna attentively and offering all your love to Him. He said he felt he was lacking in doing this in his japa. I feel I have room for improvement in that direction also. It is hard to conceive of Nama Prabhu as nondifferent from Krishna and offer your love to Him. But that is what is required for suddha-nama. Around three o'clock while chanting I got a headache and took medicine but persisted in my chanting. Now I'll have a few rounds to make up later in the day.

Chanting not as speedy as
you'd like. Why is that?
Something in your body
and mind. But you press
on and utter the holy
names with attention
and composure. You wish
you could chant with
love and share it with
all chanters. But japa
is a private thing.
At least you can set
an example to others
and be true to yourself.
Today was a little
slower and you are
sorry for that. Japa
should be full of verve.

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H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: Fingering Japa Malas

www.sdgonline.org. SDGonline Daily updates

Prabhupada Smaranam

Srila Prabhupada fingers japa beads and there are more japa beads sitting before him in an open book. He appears to be performing initiations, perhaps in Hawaii. Wherever he visits there were devotees waiting to be initiated by him, recommended by their temple presidents. It was a great fortune for them to be personally accepted by him and for him to chant on their beads. In this way Prabhupada increased the numbers of disciples. One of the principles of devotional service is that a spiritual master should not accept too many disciples. The reason is he has to accept the sinful karma of his disciples and taking too many can become a burden, such as physical illness or spiritual weakness to the spiritual master. But Jiva Gosvami says that a spiritual master should accept as many disciples as possible to increase the numbers of the sankirtana movement. The solution to the dilemma is that if the spiritual master is very strong he can accept unlimited disciples without any adverse effects. Prabhupada was so purified by his constant preaching and by his internal mood that he did not suffer from accepting many disciples.

He always remained humble and thought of himself as a servant of his own spiritual master, Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati. He went forward with full strength on this basis and accepted thousands of disciples by the initiation process. Here he is chanting on a disciple's beads to give him special blessings. Once a disciple lost his beads and wrote to Prabhupada to please chant on another set. Prabhupada wrote back that there was no need to chant on another physical set of beads. "Once the blessing is given it is eternal." The connection established with the spiritual master at initiation is permanent, and it is said that the spiritual master will even come back in the next life to rescue his disciple. "But you should all go back to Godhead. Don't make your spiritual master come back to save you from this material world."

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H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: Krishna-Gopis Centered

www.sdgonline.org. SDGonline Daily updates

My new book of prayers
manuscript has me doubting
whether I'll print it. The
first prayers seemed wordy
and repetitious. I'll have
to study it more carefully.
You only want the best.
Can you write to Krishna?

Of course he said you can,
even if your prayer is in broken words.
If you say, "Oh my Lord!"
the intensity can be acceptable.

What about this morning?
I recited harinama rapidly.
What about right now?

Krishna seems far away,
and I feel like a poetaster.
Will He let me rise to
the occasion and write
something nice?

Only talk of Govinda,
Narottama dasa Thakura says,
don't waste your time in
anything else. Tell of Krishna in Vraja
where He is most splendid
in His original form.

His eyes are beautiful as
He casts oblique glances
at the cowherd girls
when He comes walking home
in the evening leading His
innumerable cows. The
dust from the cows' hoofs
covers His body making it
more lovely, and He plays His flute which
enchants all moving
and nonmoving living entities
in the universe.

Krishna in Vrndavana is the
cynosure of everyone's eyes.
He's the life of the lotus flower,
the peacock's dance in joy to
see Him and the river Yamuna
offers her waves in loving embrace.

But it's the gopis most of all
who bring out Krishna's charm.
Without them His wonder is
not fully displayed. When
He's in their midst He's like
a sapphire stone in a gold ring.
The gopis break their shyness
and vows of chastity to their
husbands to run to the call
of Krishna's flute. He plays coy
with them until they speak
in anger, "You should not be
so cruel! We have come to You for love."
Then He embraces them and
they begin the rasa dance.

These are the topics to write on.
Make your composition Krishna-
centered, gopi-centered, and
even if you cannot make
great verse you will be
on the mark and pleasing
to the Vaisnavas.

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Gauranga Kishore das,USA: Essential Wisdom for the spiritual path from Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati


Each one of these statements are a powerful meditation and have the power to transform our spiritual practice if we apply in our lives. Try memorizing and repeating one of them that seems particularly relevant to your spiritual practice. 

We are put to test and trial in this world. Only those who attend the kirtana of the devotees can succeed.

Every spot on earth where discourses on God are held is a place of pilgrimage.

Possession of objects not related to Krsna is our main malady.

Let me not desire anything but the highest good for my worst enemies.

As dalliance with the body in luxury increases, so wanes the spirit of service of the Lord.

Those favored by God find their paths set by thorns.

There is no peace or happiness in our worldly life. Circumstances create turmoil and annoyance.

Chant the maha mantra loudly and with attachment. This will drive away inertia, worldly evils and pests.

Be indifferent to bazaar gossips, stick firmly to your cherished goals, no lack or impediments of the world will ever stand in your way.

Pay due respects to the extroverts of the world, but do not be appreciative of their manners and conduct. They are to be shaken off from your mind.

A devotee feels the presence of God everywhere, but one averse to the Lord denies His existence anywhere.

You cannot appreciate transcendental matters with the reasoning of the world. It is sheer nonsense to decry them with the measuring stick of your intellect.

To recite the name of Sri Krsna is bhakti.

Life is for the glorification of topics on Hari. If that is stopped, then what need is there to carry on life.

Physical illness with Hari-bhajana is preferred to physical fitness without Hari-bhajana.

Our span of life on earth is short. Our life will be crowned with success if the body wears out with constant discourses on Hari.

We are here on earth not to work as artisans for making big buildings with wood and stone but to work only as messengers for the teachings of Sri Caitanya Deva.

A sycophant is neither a guru or a preacher.

To transform the adverse desires of the jivas is the supreme duty of the most merciful. To rescue one person from the stronghold of Mahamaya is an act of superb benevolence, far superior to opening innumerable hospitals.

Unless we are devoted to God, secularism shall not leave us.

Look within. Amend yourself, rather than pry into the frailties of others.

In this world of Maya, averse to the Lord, full of trials and tribulations, only patience, humility and respect for others are our friends for Hari-bhajana.

The Lord, Gaurasundara, puts His devotees in various difficulties and associations to test their patience and strength of mind. Success depends on their good fortune.

When faults in others misguide and delude you - have patience, introspect, find faults in yourself. Know that others cannot harm you unless you harm yourself.

I wish that every selfless, tender-hearted person of Gaudiya Math will be prepared to shed two hundred gallons of blood for the nourishment of the spiritual corpus of every individual of this world.

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H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: The Party and Vrndavana

www.sdgonline.org. SDGonline Daily updates

Healing House

Yadunandana Swami and Rupa Swami didn't go to the wedding, but Ollie and Baladeva from Trinidad went. Ollie was paired-off with the bride's uncle, Uncle Russell and spent the whole evening with him. The groom didn't want a religious ceremony so Russell gave the speech and the exchange of vows. The night before the wedding he came to see Ollie for some input. He said he had a little ecumenical speech prepared and had Buddhist and Christian parts ready but asked Ollie for Hindu ideas. Ollie told him the two main themes were service and devotion. When the husband and the wife developed this in their relationship with each other they can develop it in its highest expression, towards the wider family and ultimately to God.

Ollie arrived fifteen minutes late after the vows had already been exchanged but he sat with Uncle Russell and got to know him. The uncle was from the University of California in Berkeley where he was an activist in the anti-war movement during Vietnam. He had gone on to get masters and Ph.D. degrees in other universities but he maintained his revolutionary spirit. What he wanted to know from Ollie was what is enlightenment? He said he wasn't satisfied with explanations he'd received. He'd like to sit down with the Dalai Lama and find out what it was. He wanted an "ah-ha!" a whammy experience, something like an electric shock or what he had read in The Autobiography of a Yogi. Ollie told him the main enlightenment is to know you are not the body. Uncle Russell challenged that he had read in a book that all religions are metaphorical. Ollie countered by saying the Vedic literatures are classic Sanskrit texts in which the answers to questions were given in calculated, scientific ways.

read more from SDGonline - daily updates Viraha Bhavan journal 

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1958 August 2 : "Now you have gone to foreign countries on business so begin these Paropakara activities there. I shall be in touch with you by correspondence so that I may give you my humble suggestion for this service."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1947-64

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1967 August 2 : "Physical presence is not essential; Krishna is present by His message which was delivered 5,000 years ago. Never think I am absent; presence by hearing is real touch."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1967

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1970 August 2 : "I hope by now you have occupied the house. On receipt of your reply I shall send you at least ten brahmacaris as you desired. I have not heard anything about the Mayapur land - this is also essential."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1970

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1972 August 2 : "I wish that combinedly you may all pool your resources and purchase one nice van for spreading this Movement in India. Please all cooperate for procuring this dream of mine."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1972

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1972 August 2 : "We are not canvassing for people to convert or criticize, we are canvassing that people utilize their time for loving God either they are Christian, Catholic or Jew."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1972

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1972 August 2 : "When Hare Krishna mantra is vibrating on your tongue, and you are hearing attentively, then your consciousness becomes clear, or Krishna conscious, and there is no question of Maya."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1972

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1972 August 2 : "So preach like this, very simply. We are servants of God. We are after God, that's all. And hold sankirtana widely and everything will be increasingly successful."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1972

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1973 August 2 : "I simply want to see that the work is going on vigorously and the money used only for construction. If I go to Vrindaban by Kartika Vrata may my quarters be at least habitable."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1973

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Clemens Both, Germany: from Melbourne to Kuala Lumpur to Thailand

preparing for the Ratha Yatra in Kuala LumpurMalaysia has over 10 ISKCON temples and carries out 32 Ratha Yatras per year: astounding!they put me in saffron! yes! finally ;) since malaysia is a very religious country, everybody knows how a sadhu dresses, so for the sake of successful book distribution, saffron does help a lot... this picture is at Batu Caves where Lord Kartikeya resides.flying

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David Haslam, UK: Surrender to Krishna, means to deal with self

When we look at the pictures of the British Rage in India we see them in expensive Rolls Royce cars and opulent homes so the impression is that the ruling class at the time was rich and wealthy; but the true story was that actually the cars and homes were not owned by the British [...]

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H.H. Sivarama Swami

The devotees may fail, the temples might fail, but my books will live for ever.

- Srila Prabhupada

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Yoga of Ecology, Bhakta Chris, USA: After Elevated Park's Success, Other Cities Look Up



By KATE TAYLOR
Published: July 14, 2010 in the New York Times

Detroit is thinking big about an abandoned train station. Jersey City and Philadelphia have defunct railroad beds, and Chicago has old train tracks that don't look like much now, but maybe they too...

The High Line's success as an elevated park, its improbable evolution from old trestle into glittering urban amenity, has motivated a whole host of public officials and city planners to consider or revisit efforts to convert relics from their own industrial pasts into potential economic engines.

In many of these places there had already been some talk and visions of what might be, but now New York's accomplishment is providing ammunition for boosters while giving skeptics much-needed evidence of the potential for success. The High Line has become, like bagels and CompStat, another kind of New York export.

"There's a nice healthy competition between big American cities," said Ben Helphand, who is pushing to create a park on a defunct rail line in Chicago. "That this has been done in New York puts the onus on us to do it ourselves and to give it a Chicago stamp."

The High Line, an elevated freight spur that runs along the West Side of Manhattan and overlooks the Hudson River, was also nothing more than a crumbling eyesore 10 years ago. But since it opened as a park last year, its plantings and vistas, tasteful design and intricate weave through the redbrick bastions of New York's meatpacking past and contemporary buildings by Frank Gehry and Jean Nouvel have been a hit. Though the High Line is not fully completed — plans have it potentially extending as far north as West 34th Street — more than two million people have already visited.

Developers from Rotterdam and Hong Kong have come looking for ideas. Officials from Jerusalem are hoping to visit. Recently a team from Singapore (Is there really anything old and rusty in Singapore?) spent time on the landscaped walkways that stretch from Gansevoort Street to West 20th Street.

"We could have a full-time job if we wanted to just do tours," said Lisa Tziona Switkin of James Corner Field Operations, the lead designer on the project. She has walked the park with people from Memphis, Atlanta, Chicago and elsewhere. Many of these visitors are interested in the potential for using outmoded infrastructure to add green space and transportation options as well as to promote cultural and commercial revitalization. Part of the fascination with the High Line, which is operated by the city and the nonprofit Friends group, is that it is more than just a pretty place. The neighborhoods it runs through — the meatpacking district and Chelsea — were already glamorous with many restaurants, bars and art galleries. But the opening of the High Line has made those areas even more of a destination and encouraged the Whitney Museum of American Art to build a museum there.

In the early days the founders of the Friends of the High Line, Joshua David and Robert Hammond, drew their own inspiration from the development of the Promenade Plantée in Paris, an elevated park built beginning in 1988 on an abandoned railroad viaduct.

Now their success is encouraging others. In Philadelphia the idea is to turn the Reading Viaduct, which is 60 feet wide, into an elevated park and bike path.

"Our viaduct is much wider, which gives us more opportunity in some way," said Paul R. Levy, the president of a business improvement group that is exploring the plan there.

The proposal is the brainchild of John Struble, a furniture maker, and Sarah McEneaney, an artist, who live near the viaduct and who met Mr. David in 2003 when he walked the span with them.

"He totally inspired us," Ms. McEneaney said. "We got a lot of advice early on." Still, she said, the project had little momentum until the High Line opened. "That sparked a lot more interest from the city administration," she said.

Now the business-improvement quarter, known as the Center City District, is conducting a feasibility study focused in part on whether building the park would bring new development to the neighborhood, where many buildings are vacant.

"I was a nonbeliever until I actually walked on the High Line," Mr. Levy said. "It was a complete turnaround for me."

Alan Greenberger, the deputy mayor for economic development in Philadelphia, expressed caution about whether what was done in New York could be reproduced elsewhere. "People do look at the economic success and say that's inspiring," he said. "Can you replicate it? That's another story."

In Chicago, Mr. Helphand is president of Friends of the Bloomingdale Trail, a group modeled after the organization that Mr. Hammond and Mr. David direct. He acknowledged that Chicago does not have the army of private philanthropists that New York does, but said there was still lots of enthusiasm.

"We don't have Diane von Furstenberg," he said, referring to a prominent supporter of the High Line, "though we do have a celebrity chef." (The first two sections of the High Line cost $152 million, $44 million of which was raised by Friends of the High Line.)

Recently, Chicago commissioned a design master plan from a team that includes a firm that was a runner-up in the competition to design the High Line.

Not everyone in Chicago, or other cities for that matter, embraces the notion that all good ideas start in New York. Janet Attarian, a project director for the Chicago Transportation Department, said that the plan for the Bloomingdale Trail has been around since the late 1990s. "It is something that we have been cogitating for a while," she said.

The Bloomingdale Trail is almost three miles long, twice the length of the High Line, and is wide enough to accommodate bike traffic, which will give it a certain functionality that the High Line lacks.

"In the mornings there will be a rush hour of bicycles," Mr. Helphand predicted. "It's the east-west nonmotorized transportation route that we don't have."

Jersey City officials, who can practically see the High Line across the Hudson River, want to turn a downtown railroad embankment into an elevated park and transportation corridor. The effort is complicated by a legal battle with a developer that is now in mediation. The City Council on Wednesday voted to raise funds to acquire the embankment should the city win the fight.

Maureen Crowley, a coordinator for the Embankment Preservation Coalition, said that Mr. David and Mr. Hammond have advised the group, and that Mr. Hammond recently joined its advisory board.

The coalition organized a tour of the High Line last year for Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy and several other Jersey City officials, who were impressed, Ms. Crowley said.

Other recent participants in a High Line tour were from Paris, a group of officials from La Défense, that city's business district. They sought ideas for shaping development in their own neighborhood. The group's leader, Philippe Chaix, had been involved in developing the Promenade Plantée, the High Line's muse a decade ago.

"When we were beginning to take the High Line around," Mr. David recalled, "being able to point to the Promenade Plantée was huge to us. It's exciting that the High Line can act in the same way — be something that other projects can point to and say, 'This may sound unusual, but look, they've done it here, and look how successful it is.' "

A version of this article appeared in print on July 15, 2010, on page A1 of the New York edition.

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H.H. Sivarama Swami: Chanting for the protection of baby Padma

And urging everyone not to while away the time like a cricket, but be prepared for the winter of hardship like the grasshopper.

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Gaura Yoga, NZ: Getting Real! with Devamrita Swami

Devamrita Swami is a world travelling monk and author with thirty-eight years of practical experience in Krishna Consciousness. In 1972 after graduating from the prestigious Yale University, he came across the books of A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada which he discovered was the start of his real education.

Devamrita Swami's charismatic, entertaining style will make you smile, will make you frown and will make you think outside the box. He will be speaking this Sunday 8 August at 5pm, then after dinner run a Q&A session in the Gaura Yoga Lounge. Please come and ask any question you so desire about the realities of life… and be prepared for some serious answers!

Further more on both Thursday 12 & 19 August Devamrita Swami will be leading his famous open discussion style workshops going into even more deeper understandings, which will leave you feeling inspired to take on life with a new perspective!

These are three not-to-be-missed evenings.

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Japa Group: The Cooperation Of Your Mind


It was good. I chanted all 16 rounds in a row and kept my attention on the silent mantras without wander­ing to other thoughts. It is an easy process when you get the cooperation of your mind. There's nothing to do but adoringly hear the repeated names of Hare, Krishna and Rama. It is mantra meditation and the most recommended form of God real­ization for this age.

From Bhajan Kutir #26
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Mayapur Online: Suffering in Rajapur...!

Sridhama Mayapur is a wonderful place full of special devotees. Due to their magnanimous nature they sometimes give me their association and I get the glorious opportunity to discuss philosophy with them.

One day we were discussing a verse from the Caitanya-caritamrta Antya Lila verse 20.52

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Gouranga TV: Aindra Prabhu – Hare Krishna kirtan – ISKCON Vrindavan kartik – October 29, 2009 – 3/3

Aindra Prabhu – Hare Krishna kirtan – ISKCON Vrindavan kartik – October 29, 2009 – 3/3

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