"Planet ISKCON" - 36 new articles
S from London writes:
"Is it possible to make eggless ice cream at home? If yes, can I have a recipe for vanilla ice cream?
My reply: "It is possible, yes. Here's my recipe:
Quick and Easy Vanilla Ice Cream
The vanilla plant is an orchid which grows as a massive vine needing a frame or trellis to support it. The fruit takes the form of a long thin pod, containing a pulp in which is found a mass of minute black seeds. Each of the pods must be handpicked just before they are ripe enough to split open naturally. Then they are fermented to enable the pods to develop their concentration of vanillin crystals which are chiefly responsible for the unique, haunting perfumed flavour of vanilla.
The subtlety and delicacy of vanilla makes it a perpetual favourite. The vanilla required for this most popular ice cream is in the form of pure vanilla extract, available at gourmet food suppliers. Avoid imitation, or alcohol-based essences, usually found on supermarket shelves.
PREPARATION TIME: 10 minutes, CHILLING TIME: 2 hours, FREEZING TIME: 6-10 hours, YIELD: about 4 cups (1 litre).
3 cups (750ml) whipping cream (up to 40 per cent milk fat), 1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract, 1 cup plus 1½ tablespoons sweetened condensed milk, 400g
Combine the ingredients in a large bowl. Cover, and chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
Remove the mixture from the refrigerator. Beat the mixture until it holds firm peaks. Spoon into a metal freezer container and freeze for 6-10 hours, or until firm. Return the ice cream to the refrigerator to soften slightly before serving.
Thursday 5th August, 2010.
The questions on the Top 12 List evolved out of Marilee Adams' work with coaching clients and workshop participants over many years. The list can be used in at least three ways:
Maddy Jean-claude Durr, New Govardhana, AU: A Journey Across Poland: [P13] Rolling Off to Woodstock (2010)
Sunday 25th, July 2010. Today we were making our way to the Woodstock base. All the devotees were packing and moving around. I sat at my computer to finish off some business. Jayatam Prabhu was passing by. He called my name and I was startled. "What service would you like to do for Woodstock?" he asked. I was sure, after all the doctors checks, that I was going to help with Prasadam but now I was doubtful. It was a strange question for him to ask, because I was expecting Jayatam to tell me what my service would be, not me telling him. I was a little confused about the whole ordeal but he proposed a solution; "I need someone to help with the VIPs." This service meant that I would be a menial servant to HH Indradyumna Swami and all the other exalted Vaisnavas. I was naturally a little nervous with the proposition but very much enthusiastic. I thanked Jayatam for such an opportunity and he simply walked on, carrying on with his business.
I checked my emails and heard news from Australia. In New Govardhana, Amala Kirtan had just performed. They held a twelve hour kirtana over the weekend, with a massive attendance. My good friend from high school, Eugene, was one of the many who went. I heard all the news through him, this being his first big kirtana experience. It was inspiring to see Krsna dishing out the mercy to all my friends and relatives in Australia. I finished off all my diary business also, just in case there was no internet access at Woodstock, and called it a day.
We packed our bags and stacked them outside, on the pavement. It was like a forest of luggage and devotees were weaving around like busy bees. Soon enough the rain began to pour and all the devotees retreated to the hive. Some of us had hard cases so we left them in the rain, entering at the end of the congested line of devotees. Now there was a luggage jungle inside and the devotees impatiently waited as, one by one, the buses came to pick us up.
As we drove off, someone started Nrsimha prayers. The bus stopped, only a little drive down the road, and we were already facing our first complications. The bus seemed to have some problem with the pneumatic system (gas lines) but the bus driver worked it out after a little time. We drove a short distance and the same thing happened again. If it happened once more I was going to have someone call Jayatam (I was already suspicious that this year's bus drivers were only in it for the money and I was hoping to catch them out so we could boot them out). Finally, by Krsna's arrangement, we were off and didn't stop for an hour or so. We finally popped into a petrol station for a junk food stock up. The line at the counter stretched like the Himalayan mountain range, covering the whole store.
I looked at my watch - I had been timing the trip. It had been a few hours so I asked the classic line, "are we there yet?" All of a sudden people were paying attention to their surroundings. "I think we are" came a surprised reply. We stopped by the Red school, the base for most of the devotees. It looked as spooky as ever (reputed for being haunted over the years that we had used it). I was happy to be free from this ghostly mayhem, moving to the Green school (aka VIP school), somewhere across town. We took some time to organise the bus and then we were off. The trip was a little longer than I realized it would be but it was a nice location.
I found my spot in the "VIP + Prabhus" room, which the sign read on the door. Bhakta Bruno, a veteran from 2008, was already settled in the room, along with HG Kaliyapani Prabhu. Cidananda Gaura and Radheya popped in also, on their way to site. They were going to do a bit of seva, just as the sun was going down. I heard Mahavana out in the hallway and I directed him into our room. I wasn't sure how long the VIP luxuries were going to last for me but I presumed maybe I would be staying in their room for the whole time so I could be on standby for their every need.
I popped into Gurudeva's room while he was out. I found Sri Prahlada in there and we had a great little catch up. He showed me some photos of his recent trip to China. I let him rest up and returned to my room. I finished the night reading Caitanya Caritamrta. Lord Caitanya was travelling from one country to the next (India being divided into different countries at the time), distributing the holy name. Sri Prahlada had also been travelling from country to country, on a similar mission, and we were all travelling from one base in Poland to another, ready to distribute the holy name wherever it was needed. The Woodstock Yajna was soon to come on it's way and the Nama Rupa was going to dance again.
I went to bed at 7:15 P.M. as usual, but I was wide awake at 11:00 P.M. I took some sleep medicine, but I remained sleepless. I got up from bed at midnight and began chanting. I didn't feel sleepy but dazed at being up so early. I felt no pain. My chanting went quickly with concentration on the numerical strength. I wanted to get as many rounds done as possible. I guessed that perhaps I couldn't sleep because I was anxious and anticipating seeing Nara for the first time in two months. He was supposed to have arrived last night and was scheduled to come to my room at 3:30 A.M. I kept my attention on the syllables of the names and thrived in the absolute stillness of the house and outdoors. Before 2:00 A.M. I had finished 14 rounds. I stopped to write this little japa report and poem, but decided I would finish the 16 rounds before 3:30 A.M. Since I haven't seen Nara in two months, he will probably want to talk more than usual while waking the Deities, and I'll be late in getting back to writing the Prabhupada Smaranam. Anyway, I will be glad to see him again.
Chanting so early like
Here Prabhupada is looking very pleased holding a bouquet of a few roses. When he walked among devotees, they would often hand him flowers, and he would sometimes hold them for a long time. A soft look would come on his face, and he would sometimes smell the aroma of the flower. It was wonderful how he could be charmed and absorbed in the simple act of someone handing him a flower or two. Sometimes he would talk about the flowers, say what kind they were, and the devotee who handed it to him would be thrilled that he had done something to please Prabhupada. At an airport a young daughter of a devotee gave Prabhupada a flower, and he said she was doing as much service as anyone else by this simple exchange. In his lectures he said, "There are many flowers, but the rose is the best." Similarly, there are many gods and incarnations, but Krishna in Vraja is the best. Of course, in Vedic literature and poetry the lotus flower is most often mentioned in metaphors to compare the beauty of the eyes and feet, etc., of Radha and Krishna. But lotus flowers were rarely available to hand to Prabhupada.
Here he appears so relaxed and peaceful in his room. He was always in an ecstatic mood thinking of Krishna within and pleased to be with his disciples. He had many managerial worries in conducting his movement, but he could always step back from them and enjoy simple, sublime moments. He had the great satisfaction of seeing his movement grow worldwide and be able to stop in innumerable cities and receive honor and worship from his disciples. Most important, he was always with Krishna, and pleasing Him, and this gave Prabhupada his lovely, restful demeanor.
For the third year in a row, we organized a bhakta training program in Pandavas Paradise, called JIVA (Jornada Intensiva de Vaishnavismo). It’s probably our favorite retreat, because it’s such a pleasure helping sincere devotees in their Krishna Consciousness. It’s also our longest retreat, a full seven nights.
We had participants from far away places, such as Aracajú, in the far northeast and Erechim, a city in the far south (the young man endured a 36 hour bus ride, a sleep over in a roadside motel and a further 3 hour bus ride to get to us!). We also had two college professors, a physiotherapist, a lawyer, a fligh attendant and an office worker (and a six-year old little devotee girl).
We teach them about our Vaisnava philosophy, literature, sadhana, etiquette, cleanliness, our principal songs, basic sanskrit pronunciation, even how to apply tilak.
We also teach them everything about prasadam (what it is, how to prepare it, how to offer it, how to serve it) and the basics of home Deity worship (a major topic of interest). And finally, we teach them about Srila Prabhupada, ISKCON, BBT and the importance of preaching.
One of the major threads that run through the retreat’s classes is the importance of japa and studying Prabhupada’s books. We especially emphasize the Srimad Bhagavatam and every year we sell many sets. This year we sold 5 full Bhagavatam sets (the sixth participant already had her set).
The participants feel deeply moved and inspired by the retreat. Here are some things they wrote to us later:
We are now thinking of organizing an additional week-long bhakti retreat, focusing on the four bhakti-shatri scriptures.
Click here to see more pictures of the JIVA retreat.
Sripad Aindra Prabhu
The morning is black here,
Aindra Prabhu spoke in
My eyes grow heavy as I
Yadunandana Swami and Baladeva
They will have to take his
Dan had a relapse in his spiritual practices. He had taken to them out of urgency as a result of his traumatic experiences, and under the influence of Swami Rupa. But now he returned to his former ways, and stopped chanting, reading, and attending the kirtanas. He still felt a bond of friendship, and so he went and told the Swami about his changes. Swami Rupa was sympathetic and did not attempt to preach to Dan to take up Krishna consciousness. The Swami was older than Dan, but Dan reminded him of his father with his military and police background and his rough exterior. The Swami's father had been in World War II and stayed on as an officer in the Naval Reserve. He became a firefighter and rose in the ranks to become a captain. When the Swami first took to the Hare Krishna movement as a young man, his mother and father had disowned him. The break had already begun when the Swami became a budding intellectual in college, whereas his father was an anti-intellectual. Young Rupa had taken a somewhat fanatical stance in preaching to them, and they broke off all relations with him—which lasted for their entire lives. The Swami didn't want to make the same mistake with Dan. He asked Dan to express how he felt, and he tried to listen with compassion.
Like many other Vietnam veterans, Dan felt that he had been cheated by his participation in the war. He had entered with an idealism that he was defending his country against communism, but gradually he learned the war was provoked by corrupt political and economic considerations. He saw combat and was traumatized by the brutal killing on both sides. He lost his faith in God and stopped participating in the Catholic religion in which he had been raised. When he was discharged from Vietnam, he felt misunderstood back in the United States, where the war was so unpopular. He joined the police force as a natural continuation of his "ksatriya" military spirit. He experienced more violence as a cop, and saw corruption within the police force itself. His marriage was at first a solace, but it had reached a point of diminishing returns. He felt his relationship with his wife had become stagnant and cold, and he was anxious about his teenage children. His son was scholarly and wanted to attend the university and become a professor, which Dan didn't appreciate as a manly profession or something that would make a lot of money. His daughter was becoming independent-minded as a typical teenager, and he was worried about her interests and choice of boyfriends. He was feeling somewhat alienated from his family and his job, without much promotions, and felt it was becoming a grind. His buddies and authorities on the force were all conservative and not conducive to a spiritual rejuvenation. In the course of hearing Dan out, Swami Rupa told his own story. He told how he served two years active in the Navy and four in the Naval Reserve. His attitude was that of a short-timer, and he couldn't wait to get out. Before going into the Navy, he had gone four years for a Bachelor of Arts degree in English literature, and that was incompatible with life in the Navy. After the Navy, he went to live on the Lower East Side of New York City, where many young people had migrated to live a hip life. Rupa practiced writing as his religion, but he took LSD for mind-expansion and part of his spiritual search. He regularly smoked marijuana. But he wasn't satisfied. He felt his friendships weren't deep. Then by chance he met his guru, a 70-year-old sadhu from India who had just opened a storefront in the neighborhood. Rupa surrendered to him and dedicated his life to his service. He had worked hard and opened temples in Boston and Dallas and had entered the renounced order of life. But as the Hare Krishna movement grew over the years, it changed. It became more of an institution than a family. Especially after his guru passed away, the appointed leaders competed for power, and many of them fell down from spiritual principles. Rupa grew disillusioned. He also had a health crisis and started getting migraine headaches. The pain of the headaches made him unable to participate in the meetings of the Governing Body Commission, which he had long been a member of, and so he had resigned. He told Dan more, but not everything.
He gently suggested to Dan that time and fate were putting him in an ideal position for renunciation. It would not be long before he resigned and his family grew up, and that was a natural period of life for spiritual considerations. He urged him not to take his recent interest in Hare Krishna as just a response to the spate of violence in his life. The Swami went no further in trying to pressure Dan. He wanted to be there as a friend and possibly a counselor. He suggested that Dan keep a journal and even said that they could express themselves to each other in letters. Rupa Swami gave Dan his three volumes of Journal and Poems, which he had written during his migraine crisis and the crisis in the Movement. The Swami tried to impress Dan that he understood his feelings about corruptions in institutions and disillusion with family life and that he had shared some of his experiences.
They parted from their meeting as friends. Dan was relieved that the Swami didn't judge him or put pressure on him to start chanting again. He felt open to future expressions. They were neighbors and friends.
FOI: I’ve been invited to speak this Saturday morning at a TeleConference organized by Rasala Krishna dasa. It’s been on-going since 2006. Details below if you would like to join us.
ys, Sankirtana das
Class Topic: In It For The Long Run
Sankirtana Dasa is a long time resident of New Vrindavan. For many years he was involved in performing Krishna Conscious themed dramas, including presenting Mahabharata to Off Broadway audiences in NYC. Now he offers dramatic Krishna Katha programs at New Vrindavan as well as at colleges and temples. He is also a multicultural storyteller, offering programs in schools, libraries, and special events. He is a recipient of a WV Artist Fellowship Award. For more info see www.nytsanga.blogspot.com and www.sacredvoices.com He has also authored a site on New Vrindavan sponsored by Hanover College at www2.Hanover.edu/NewVrindavan.
Date: Saturday August 7th, 2010
Time: 08:00am – 09:00am EDT
Conference Number: 1-218-862-1300
To Self Mute: Press 4* on your handset
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H.H. Sivarama Swami: Sadhana means striving to become a pure devotee and tasting the ecstasies of love of God
A step Into Heaven
Through It All
H.H. Sivarama Swami: Today in answer to a question by Szentgyörgyi Sándor I am privileged to be able to sing some of the glories of Srimad Bhagavatam
I hope that you are trying to follow the regulative principles and that both you and your husband are chanting your beads regularly daily. These two duties are essential for advancement in Krsna Consciousness, and if they are made the center of our activities, then Krsna will begin to answer all questions from within how to become further advanced in His loving devotional service.
- Srila Prabhupada
1958 August 5: "I am in recept of your invitation. What sort of Bhagavata week can be observed by Mayavadins for misleading the innocent public and therefore I not only restrained myself from attending but also I advised many others not to attend."
1969 August 5: "You have asked me about my plans: My plan is for preaching with your help. You arrange for everything, and I shall talk about Krishna Consciousness for any length of time, anywhere. That is my mission."
1970 August 5: "I am getting ready to to lead a Sankirtana Party to Japan and then to India. Everyone has a mother and father but only a very few are fortunate enough to have a bonafide Spiritual Master."
1972 August 5: "I am very happy to hear of your daily walk through that Brooklyn neighborhood with the Deities. Let all the neighbors come out and offer incense, garlands and other gifts for Radha and Krsna. Their lives will be very much improved."
1972 August 5: "It is not necessary for you to return to University. Your education is to be found in our books. This material education is finished. Our system of scholarly learning comes from the Spiritual Master."
1974 August 5: "I am very pleased how the Christian community are appreciating our movement. If we stick to our principles they will come to respect us and our philosophy. Therefore I stress so much the devotional rules and regulations."
1975 August 5: "If one does not follow the regulative principles, then he will leave. That is a fact. This is the function of the GBC - to see that one may not be taken away by maya."
1975 August 5: "I am in the initiator guru, and you should all be the instructor guru by teaching what I am teaching and doing what I am doing. This is not a title - you must actually come to this platform."
1958 August 4: "My dear Pandit Ji Jawaharlal Nehru: My humble advice to you, as I am your old friend from Allahabad, is that you should now take leave from your present responsibility as Prime Minister and by pushing on this authorized spiritual movement you can make a real contribution."
1958 August 4: "Do you think that horseless carriage or telephone or radio can bring in material prosperity? No they cannot. Do you think your different plans have brought in the ideal standard of material prosperity? The unrest will continue."
1967 August 4: "Whenever you meet someone important you should strictly speak the Truth without any consideration of future material gains. If we are sincere servants of Krishna, our material necessities will never be hampered."
1967 August 4: "My declaration of war against maya is certainly a great battle. Maya saw me very successful so it was a great reverse. Therefore she took advantage of my old age weakness and gave me a death dash. But Krishna saved me."
1970 August 4: "We can understand the Absolute Truth by hearing, that is how we become perfect. Simply by hearing and chanting the Glories of the Supreme Lord from the Srimad-Bhagavatam one can become perfect, this example is shown by Sukadeva Goswami and Maharaja Pariksit."
1971 August 4: "We cannot be dictated by others. That is not possible. So if she is making so many demands there then it is not advisable to stay on. Yes, the touring program, preaching and distributing our literatures, is more important."
1975 August 4: "All over the world we are training men to produce their own grains, milk, and cloth. The attraction is Krishna consciousness, spiritual enlightenment. The foreigners in Europe and America is where we have already started such centers."
1975 August 4: "Regarding the retired persons, vanaprastha, one room should be for two or three retired men. So there will be no accommodation together with the wife. And, husband and wife must follow all the rules and regulations."
By Indradyumna Swami
The splendid path of pure devotional service, which bewildered the great sages in the past, which material intelligence has no power to enter, which Sukadeva Goswami was not able to understand, and which merciful Lord Krsna never revealed even to His closest friend, is the place where the dear devotees of Lord Gaura happily enjoy pastimes
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