"Planet ISKCON" - 43 new articles
Gaura Yoga will be closed on Saturday 4 September & Sunday 5 September
On Wednesday, September 1st, Hare Krishna Temple (243 Avenue Road - click here for a map) will be celebrating the biggest birthday party of the year, Lord Krishna's appearance day, Sri Krishna Janmastami!!!!
here for a detailed view. Parking is $3.00 after 5:00pm.
The evening program will be full of kirtan, bhajans, discourses and more! The highlight of the evening is the countdown to midnight! The momentum builds as the abhisheka (bathing ceremony) is performed and the Temple is filled 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!
Please note, prasadam (vegetarian feast) will be served in the dining hall from 7:00 pm onwards. The full feast will be served after midnight.
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 by HH Bhaktimarga Swami
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
8:30-9:10 pm – Class by Vishaka devi dasi
9:10 to 9:40 pm – Kalash Abhisheka
9:40 to 10:00 pm - Reading from Krsna Book
10:00 – 11:00 pm – Special Pesentation
11:00 – 11:20 pm – Drama
11:20 – 12:00 am - Abhisheka
Midnight - Arati: Flower Outfit Darshan
Srimad Bhagavatam 11.23.42-43
Amala Kirtan singing a Hare Krishna bhajan that turns into a nice ecstatic Kirtan.
Download: 2010-01-09 - 4 - Home Program - Amala Kirtan das - Hare Krishna.mp3
In the 1970s Srila Prabhupada, a pure devotee of Lord Krishna, travelled to the Western world to teach the bhakti spiritual tradition introduced by Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. But in this modern age, who was going to accurately remember and record Srila Prabhupada's activities and teachings, the way devotees 500 years before had recorded Lord Chaitanya's? What would become of them, and how would they be preserved and shared amongst the devotees to come?
Soon after Srila Prabhupada came to the West, he bought himself a reel-to-reel tape recorder. What happened next is unprecedented in religious history. Thousands of hours of recordings, and thousands of photographs, moving images and documents were created, providing the clearest record ever available of a spiritual figure.
Srila Prabhupada dictated his books and many of his lectures directly onto tape. During his regular truth-dispensing morning walks, his disciples followed him carrying the reel-to-reel to capture every word. Much of his communication with well-wishers and disciples was hand-written or typed. And many of his activities were photographed or filmed.
A worldwide religious movement arose and was documented not hundreds of years later, not even fifty years later, but as it happened. The letters and other documents, the sound, the images and the film are still here with us, calling us home.
Since 1978, the Bhaktivedanta Archives have been preserving this legacy of Srila Prabhupada. Their challenge is to preserve the source so that it can be passed on for generations of spiritual seekers. On their website, the Archives say that their creed is to preserve and perpetuate—and sure enough, they have done a wonderful job of it.
In the past thirty years, with significant developments in the field of technology, our ability to access information has increased rapidly. Recent reports suggest that the Internet population has passed the one billion mark. Ubiquitous access is becoming a reality for many people.
The future of preserving Srila Prabhupada's legacy includes finding a way to provide access. In the past, providing access required much industry. Even recently, access meant making many copies of books, audio tapes and video tapes for mass distribution. But today's technology provides the opportunity for enormous mass distribution of the entire record of Prabhupada's activities, by making them available digitally and online.
An example of this is Vanipedia.org, developed and implemented by Visnu Murti Dasa and his team. Not only an indexed catalogue of the written work of Srila Prabhupada, Vanipedia is also highly accessible. Anyone with Internet access can log on to the site and browse or search through Prabhupada's works. And if your cellular phone or handheld device can access the Internet, you can search Srila Prabhupada's works from almost any location at almost any time.
This level of access has been available for some time at another incredible resource, Vedabase.net. Vanipedia's unique attribute, however, is that its staff are indexing and categorizing by subject the complete texts of Srila Prabhupada's books. Someone interested in a particular subject within Prabhupada's teaching or pastimes will be able to find it in the index, and to use hyperlinks to review the relevant sections of text. The Vanipedia project also aims to produce a compendium of articles which will provide the reader with in-depth information describing the subjects they are interested in and the teachings within them. There will also be a dictionary, and many more useful tools.
Both Vanipedia and Vedabase have great value. The real story is not the difference between one website and the other—it is that high-speed, data-rich access via mobile devices is becoming the norm.
Around the world, a variety of devotees are quietly working on their own small projects to provide access to Srila Prabhupada's work. Some are producing e-books which can be downloaded and read off-line; many others are producing websites containing audio and video.
Some devotees plan to distribute CDs containing text, video, audio, or all three. Others are producing editions of Srila Prabhupada's books that you can download onto your cell phone and read wherever you are.
The question we need to ask is this: what form must Prabhupada's legacy take to allow full advantage of the current levels of information access? For people of the not-so-distant future, hard copies are not enough.
Many modern organizations have to deal with the need to provide access to large amounts of data, and the question always arises as to what form it should take. Access is almost always achieved by digitizing the information and storing it in on-line databases, from where it can be retrieved using a variety of tools. A well-constructed database can give access to information from a variety of devices and formats.
Media mergence is already well underway. This is the process where two or more technologies combine to provide greater facility. What was once available on movie film, and seen only through a projector, can now be viewed using Internet technologies on personal computers, televisions, smart phones and a range of other portable devices such as PDAs.
Hare Krishna web forums and email lists have already begun discussing the question of access. This discussion has rarely resulted in accord or resolution so far, but it is being had. It is important to start somewhere.
There are many devotees of Krishna who have wonderful technical abilities, who can make technology sing and dance. There are many Internet sites which bear tribute to this. The Internet can, however, provide an illusion where a small group of devotees can produce what appears to be a large structure which attracts many people. Fully answering the access question, however, requires a large scale effort from many people. This seems to be what is holding us back.
There is also a debate growing around the kind of access discussed in this article. Some think that full access is going too far. Previously, everyone had to rely on personally studying the material or going to some other knowledgeable person. There seems to be a concern that if unlocked for the masses, the legacy of Srila Prabhupada will have some negative impact.
Perhaps this confidential information should not be widely available. It may decrease respect for those gurus and teachers who currently pass it on. It may increase the potential dangers of knowing without understanding. People will be able to search easily through volumes of text looking for points they can criticize.
Recently I spoke to Ekanath Dasa from the Bhaktivedanta Archives, who reports that the Archives are currently devoting their efforts to digitizing the audio and video they have in storage.
Devotees can expect to eventually see more audio and transcriptions being made available. The goal is a complete, searchable archival collection of both the written and spoken word.
A recent Friends of the BBT newsletter made reference to the ongoing work to archive Prabhupada's legacy "in one digital repository—one digital 'box'." The newsletter advised that one purpose is to provide a free, open-source, up-to-date replacement for the Folio VedaBase, both online and for personal computers.
There are many problems to overcome, the most fundamental being the requirement for skilled human resources as well as the significant cost of such an exercise. You can sponsor a variety of projects at the Friends of the BBT website (www.friendsofthebbt.org/sponsor-project) to assist bringing the online future into reality. If you have the skills, you can also assist the BBT by offering assistance.
In hindsight, it appears that Krishna had a plan that is slowly bearing fruit. No one could have predicted the digital revolution which is taking place all around us. Still, Srila Prabhupada left a record that will one day be available digitally to more than a billion people.
And that is just the beginning.Share this story your way:
Here's an old blog that improves with age:
Madan Mohan Mohini Dasi from Sandy Ridge, North Carolina, USA wrote:
'I was reading through one of your cookbooks and came upon a recipe with spinach. I just thought I'd let you in on an old secret about cleaning greens.
You fill your (kitchen-size) sink with water and add salt (maybe a handful or so) and clean your greens in that. (I suppose if you were to use a much larger sink, you would use more salt) Anyway, it takes all the dirt off.
I do this all the time - even with muddy spinach right out of the garden. You don't even have to do a second rinsing; however, just to play safe I do a second rinsing in clean water (without salt). This really works well and saves a lot of time.'
I conducted a griha-pravesh ceremony yesterday, the ritual of entering a new home, and the householders very kindly presented me with a good quantity of fresh, sweet smelling jasmine flowers and a large pink lotus bud, just about to bloom. I was happy to have some exotic flowers to use in my daily puja, and I combined the ivory-coloured jasmine this morning with some bright orange calendula.
Srila Prabhupada was right when he quoted an old Indian maxim that: “You can buy anything in London – even tiger’s blood.” The idea behind the expression was that tiger’s blood was a commodity obviously difficult to acquire – yet even the most difficult things could be acquired in the British capital city. With many temples here in London, and thousands of worshipers who frequent them, the market for traditional flowers for offerings to the Deities has increased in the last few years.
Another increase for the worship of our Lord Krishna here in London just a couple of weeks ago was the offering of a new altar in our central London temple in the West End. After thirty years of one altar, and a slightly cramped configuration for the priests, the new double altar looks very attractive and is easier with a more traditional layout. You can see it here.
"Dear Lord," the demigods prayed, "when You appear in Your different incarnations, You take different names and forms according to different situations. Lord Krsna is Your name because You are all-attractive; You are called Syamasundara because of Your transcendental beauty. Syama means blackish, yet they say that You are more beautiful than thousands of cupids. Kandarpa-koti-kamaniya. Although You appear in a color which is compared to that of a blackish cloud, You are the transcendental Absolute, and therefore Your beauty is many, many times more attractive than the delicate body of Cupid. Sometimes You are called Giridhari because You lifted the hill known as Govardhana. You are sometimes called Nanda-nandana or Vasudeva or Devaki-nandana because You appear as the son of Maharaja Nanda or Devaki or Vasudeva.
>>> Ref. VedaBase => SB 10.2: Prayers by the Demigods for Lord Krsna in the Womb
When we are chanting the maha-mantra we are actually addressing God and His energy Hara. Hara is Krishna's internal potency, Srimati Radharani, thus the Vaisnavas worship Radha-Krishna, Laksmi-Narayana and Sita-Rama. In the beginning of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra we first address the internal energy of Krishna, Hare. Thus we say, "Oh Radharani! Oh Hare! Oh energy of the Lord!
Teachings of Lord Kapila, the Son of Devahuti
On Wednesday, September 1, millions of people around the world will observe the ancient Vedic festival called Krishna Janmastami. Technically, Janmastami marks the day on which Lord Krishna descended from the spiritual world to the planet earth 5,000 years ago. Commonly, however, Janmastami is known as the joyful celebration of Lord Krishna's birth.
The ritual is to fast the entire day of Janmastami, followed by a midnight celebration with singing, dancing, and a free vegetarian feast commemorating the birth of Lord Krishna. "Last year, New Vrindaban had approximately 100 different preparations. The midnight feast is a great opportunity to try out a smorgasbord of eastern and western dishes, all of which are made with love," said Malati Dasi, one of New Vrindaban's GBCs. For those who may feel hunger pangs earlier in the day, Govinda's Snack Bar and Restaurant will be open all day.
"New Vrindaban is holding four Janmastami celebrations this year, due to the large number of out-of-town we will receive," explained Malati. "We hold one celebration on August 28, and we will hold two more during Labor Day on September 4 and 5. But there is only one midnight celebration – on the actual day of Janmastami. On the other days, the celebration is earlier in the evening."
The story of Lord Krishna's birth, described in the ancient Vedic treatise Srimad-Bhagavatam, is a story full of political intrigue and mystic occurrences. Just after the marriage of Vasudeva and Devaki, Devaki's brother, the powerful King Kamsa, heard a celestial voice call to him and say that the eighth child of Devaki would kill him. Immediately after hearing this prophesy from the sky, Kamsa caught hold of Devaki's hair and was about to kill her with his sword. Vasudeva, who was shocked by the behavior of his cruel, shameless brother-in-law, immediately tried to pacify Kamsa in order to save Devaki's life. Finally, in desperation, Vasudeva offered to bring all of Devaki's future children to Kamsa as soon as they were born. At first, Kamsa agreed to this proposal. Later, however, Kamsa reneged on the agreement and imprisoned Vasudeva and Devaki in a cell in his kingdom of Mathura. Years later, Lord Krishna was born at midnight in the jail cell in Mathura. Just after his birth, Krishna unlocked the jail cell and put the guards to sleep by his mystic power. Vasudeva then carried Krishna across the Yamuna River to Vrindaban, where Krishna was raised by his foster parents, Nanda and Yashoda. "Every year, millions of pilgrims visit the jail cell of Krishna's birth in Mathura, located in north-central India. This jail cell really exists and it matches the description in Srimad-Bhagavatam, which dates back over 5,000 years," said Malati. "There are also innumerable artifacts in Vrindaban that match descriptions in Srimad-Bhagavatam. This is proof that Krishna is a historical figure, and not simply a mythological figure as propounded by the nineteenth-century British who colonized India." Although Janmastami has been celebrated for thousands of years in India, this festival was introduced world-wide in the 1960's and 1970's by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the Founder-Acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON). "The first Janmastami celebration by westerns and for westerners was in 1966 at ISKCON headquarters in New York City," said Malati. "Since then, Janmastami has grown into a non-sectarian festival of India's ancient culture and tradition." On Thursday, September 2, the day following Janmastami, Hare Krishna devotees around the world will observe Prabhupada's birthday. "Although there will be festivals all over the planet, the celebration in New Vrindaban is special for North Americans. Prabhupada's Palace of Gold, located in New Vrindaban, is the official memorial site for Prabhupada in North America, and a special evening celebration dedicated to his life and memory will be held at the Palace," said Malati. New Vrindaban Community and Prabhupada's Palace of Gold are located south of Moundsville – Wheeling, off Route 250. For more information about the Janmastami festival or about Prabhupada's birthday celebration, contact (304) 845-9591 or mail@NewVrindaban.com.
Thursday, September 2nd is the Vyasa-puja of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. This is an annual celebration where members of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness offer homage to their guru, or spiritual teacher. For More information on Srila Prabhupada, click here.
"Krishna by His practical example taught us to give all protection to the cows and that should be the main business of New Vrindaban. Vrindaban is also known as Gokula. Go means cows, and kula means congregation. Therefore the special feature of New Vrindaban will be cow protection, and by doing so, we shall not be loser."
Letter to Hayagriva 14 June 1968 (Montreal)
“Yes! Go on acquiring the surrounding lands and in this way we will establish a local self governing village and show all the world a practical example of spiritual life as Krsna Himself exhibited in Vrindavana. Agriculture and protecting cows, this is the main business of the residents of Vrindavan, and above all simply loving Krsna. The cows, the trees, the cowherd men and gopis, their chief engagement was loving Krsna, and in New Vrindavan we want to create this atmosphere and thereby show the whole world how practical and sublime our movement is.”
Letter from Srila Prabhupada to Kirtanananda Swami…27th July 1973
“You say we must have a gosala trust, that is our real purpose. krsi-goraksya-vanijyam vaisya karma svabhava-jam, [Bg 18.44]. Where there is agriculture there must be cows. That is our mission: Cow protection and agriculture and if there is excess, trade. This is a no-profit scheme. For the agriculture we want to produce our own food and we want to keep cows for our own milk. The whole idea is that we are ISKCON, a community to be independent from outside help. This farm project is especially for the devotees to grow their own food. Cotton also, to make their own clothes. And keeping cows for milk and fatty products.”
Letter to: Yasomatinandana — Vrindaban 28 November, 1976
“Prabhupada: Yes. Anyway, just inquire. These are our garden flowers.
Room Conversation With French Commander — August 3, 1976, New Mayapur (French farm)
“Without protection of cows, brahminical culture cannot be maintained; and without brahminical culture, the aim of life cannot be fulfilled.”
Srimad-Bhagavatam Canto 8: Chapter Twenty-four, Text 5: PURPORT
“One cannot become spiritually advanced without acquiring the brahminical qualifications and giving protection to cows. “
Srimad-Bhagavatam Canto 6: Chapter Eighteen, Text 52:PURPORT
“The basic principle of economic development is centered on land and cows.”
“Prabhupada: …They are interested with these bricks and stones, not green vegetables. Such a rascal government. Give them facility. We know how to do it. Annad bhavanti bhutani parjanyad anna-sambhavah, yajnad bhavati parjanyah [Bg. 3.14]. Let them engage in kirtana. There will be more water for gardening, and it will be moist, and then produce fodder for the animals and food for you. And animal gives you milk. That is Vrndavana life. And they are absorbed in this so-called opulence. Krsna has taken birth.
“They are bringing so many nice, pleasant foodstuff, very well-dressed and ornamented. These are description. In the morning we were reading. How they were happy, the inhabitants of Vrndavana with Krsna and living and cows. That I want to introduce. At any cost do it and… Don’t bother about big, big buildings. It is not required. Useless waste of time. Produce. Make the whole field green. See that. Then whole economic question solved. Then you eat sumptuous. Eat sumptuously. The animal is happy. The animal even does not give milk; let them eat and pass stool and urine. That is welcome. After all, eating, they will pass stool. So that is beneficial, not that simple milk is beneficial. Even the stool is beneficial.
“Therefore I am asking so much here and…, “Farm, farm, farm, farm…” That is not my program — Krsna’s program. Annad bhavanti bhutani [Bg. 3.14]. Produce greenness everywhere, everywhere. Vrndavana. It is not this motorcar civilization. If it has taken in his brain, then it is to be understood that he can do this plan. He’ll be able. “
Conversation Pieces — May 27, 1977, Vrndavana
Letter from Tamal Krsna Goswami, Secretary to Srila Prabhupada, to Hari Sauri Das, ISKCON Melbourne, August 10th, 1977 (sent from Krsna Balarama Mandir, Vrndavana):
“Srila Prabhupada always enjoys hearing from you as you have gained an eternal position at His Divine Grace’s lotus feet. Srila Prabhupada appreciated your opening prayers.
“Srila Prabhupada was most enlivened to hear the report of New Govardhana Farm. His Divine Grace in the last month or so has been stressing the importance of these farm projects, and said, “This is the next aspect of Krsna consciousness which I wish to push forward. If I am able to travel again, then I shall visit the farms and make them perfect. On these farms we can demonstrate the full varnasrama system. If these farms become successful then the whole world will be enveloped by Krsna consciousness.
“From your letter I can understand how nice this farm is. I am very happy to see fresh vegetables, fresh fruits, grains, the devotees taking sumptuous prasadam and chanting Hare Krsna. This is the actual meaning of human life. It is a very good farm, from your letter I can understand. Whatever you build, get the building materials locally. If you can manufacture tiles locally, then your house problem is solved. Build up bamboo frame, and on it place tiles. In any event get everything locally. I wish to make a farm tour and then I shall surely visit your farm.”
“I suggested to Srila Prabhupada that he was the Farm Acarya, but Srila Prabhupada said, “Krsna is the Farm Acarya. Baladeva is holding a plow, and Krsna is holding the calf. Krsna advised Nanda Maharaja not to perform Indra puja but to worship the land, Govardhana because it was supplying all foodstuffs for the residents of Vrndavana and the cows as well.” So Srila Prabhupada wants you to develop this farm very nicely as it will be the future program to present to the world as the ideal of Krsna consciousness. In the cities, we are interested for preaching but we cannot present the ideal varnasrama system, this is only possible at the farms, so they are very important.”
“In My last birth I was born in the family of cowherd men, and I gave protection to the calves and cows. because of such pious activities, I have now become the son of a brahmana.
“The words of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the greatest authority, herein clearly indicate that one becomes pious simply by keeping cows and protecting them. Unfortunately, people have become such rascals that they do not even care about the words of an authority. “
Adi-lila: Chapter Seventeen, Text 111
Filed under: Cows and Environment
By Antony Brennan
Internet access has provided ISKCON members with the opportunity to create web sites which reach out to the world in a variety of ways. These web sites become transcendental when they continue Srila Prabhupada's mission.
In the 1980′s Padmapani Dasa published the The Vaisnava Journal which he posted to devotees in many countries. "I’ve always wanted to help spread Srila Prabhupada’s glories around the world," Padmapani says.
"When I saw the potential of the World Wide Web, I immediately wanted to find a way to serve Srila Prabhupada and the devotees through this exciting technology, which is like the brhat-mrdanga of the modern age, Padmapani says.
Inspired by the possibilities, Padmapani Dasa logged on to the Internet and began work on The Prabhupada Connection. (www.prabhupadaconnect.com) "Even if I went out on the streets 24 hours a day," Padmapani says, "I could never come close to reaching as many people as I could through the Internet, which affords people the time to learn about Srila Prabhupada and Krishna Consciousness in the comfort of their own homes or offices." More than 80,000 people have made enquiries about Srila Prabhupada and Krishna consciousness in the seven years since the web site was created.
At The Prabhupada Connection you will find Prabhupada's essays and other selected writings, including many of his letters. There are also photos of Srila Prabhupada and his pastimes, as well as photos of beautiful deities from temples all around the world.
Padmapani Dasa says one of the reasons he created the web site was to provide devotees with an opportunity to share their love and realizations about Srila Prabhupada. At the site you will find fascinating memories and realization from those who had the good fortune of Srila Prabhupada’s personal association.
“People from all over the world have experienced the pure joy of receiving and distributing Srila Prabhupada’s mercy in so many ways,” Padmapani says. His web site has a section where you can share that joy by reading Prabhupada-related stories, poems and reports.
There are videos to watch, painting and pictures by devotees as well written offerings for the glorification and satisfaction of Srila Prabhupada. The guest-book is filled with messages left by visitors from many countries.
Everyone is invited to participate in The Prabhupada Connection. “Please feel free to submit your offerings, artwork and memories of Srila Prabhupada,” Padmapani says. “Your contributions are highly valued and appreciated. It’s an honor to serve you. I hope that you enjoy your visit.”
By Bhakta Shiv
After more than 18 months of planning, the much anticipated moment arrived on Sunday 22 August when a breathtaking new altar was finally unveiled and officially offered to Their Lordships Sri Sri Radha Londonisvara to commemorate Their 40th anniversary
Regarding your question about thinking about sex, is that also one form of illicit sex or against our four principles? Yes, even thinking sex is the same as illicit sex, but one who is not advanced cannot avoid it. But that does not disturb our regular procedure.
By Food for Life Global
Food for Life Global in partnership with affiliates in Pakistan and India are mobilizing teams to provide meals to survivors of the recent floods in Pakistan
By Urmila Dasi
Great NY Times article on reincarnation and it looks like one of our devotees is there quoted and in a pic!
By Abhaya Mudra Dasi
Did we choose the Polish (Przystanek) Woodstock festival this year, or were we magnetically drawn to this biggest rock gathering in Europe? Last year some 450,000 mostly young enthusiasts were in attendance. Our computers became covered with a thick layer of dust from the passing parade. The experience was surreal...
Vanamali Das: Food for Life projects. If we can get a confirmation that there is a team willing and able to head up a prasadam relief project to help survivors of the floods, Food for Life Global will initiate a fundraising campaign through our social network. We will also solicit for volunteer help as needed
Your servants at Bhaktivedanta College: We are pleased to announce Bhaktivedanta College's first term courses for the academic year 2010/11
Today we visited Tri-veni-tirtha, Mukta-kunda, Bahulavana, Andhera-ghat and Man-sarovara.
Vrndavanlila dd (Dr Vrinda Baxi): With the blessings of Sri Sri Guru and Gauranga, tenth issue of Varnasrama Newsletter: THE EIGHT PETALS for Trivikrama Mas is available
Ila devi dasi MVS: By popular demand the second Mayapur Street Harinama CD will soon be released. With 7 new tunes, some never heard before in any other part of the world, it promises to be an inspirational masterpiece that will get even the reluctant solitary japa chanter out of the forest and into the jumping crowds on harinam!
nvcommunications: On Wednesday, September 1, millions of people around the world will observe the ancient Vedic festival called Krishna Janmastami.
Radharaman das: I Introduce myself as a devotee and life member and doing seva by car rental from Delhi Temple I have started web-site WWW. avancetravels. com for Iskcon devotee and other visitors to India, helping them to avoid Tour hassles and cumbersome Planning and for Relaxation to rejuvenate your energy
(Translated by Madhupti dasa)
According to Gerard Colas (p 253, Blackwell Companion to Hinduism, G. Flood, ed.), Keshava Kashmiri Bhatta was born in 1479. For Caitanyaite Vaishnava history, this date serves to make historically possible that, as Krishnadas Kaviraja relates in his Caitanya-caritamrta (Adi 16), Keshava Kashmiri met “Nimai Pandit” (Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, 1486-1533) in a contest of Sanskrit [...]
Namamrta by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada:
Krishna's name is identical with His form.
"Oh Lord", the demigods say, "the impersonalists, who are non-devotees, cannot understand that Your name is identical with Your form." Since the Lord is absolute there is no difference between His name and His actual form. In the material world there is a difference between form and name. The mango fruit is different from name of the mango. One cannot taste the mango fruit simply by chanting, mango, mango, mango." But the devotee who knows that there is no difference between the name and the form of the Lord chants Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare, and realizes that he is always in Krishna's company. (Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.2.36)
This is the wonderful and materially inconceivable quality of the holy name of Krishna. We may not be fully aware of this but we should have full faith in this extraordinary potency of the Hare Krishna mantra. We long to see the form of Krishna (saksad-darsana) and realize that it is very difficult to attain. Even Narada Muni could only see the Lord once in his meditation and the Lord told him he would not be able to see it again. One has to be completely pure to see the form of the name but Lord Caitanya in His munificence has given us the sound vibration of Krishna's names which is completely transcendental. That means simply by making a sound vibration of "Hare Krishna" we attain the stage of attaining the form of Krishna. In fact it is said that the form of Krishna is not as merciful as the name of Krishna. With this in mind, how careful we should be in our japa and kirtana and how grateful we should be that the Lord comes in His most easy to attain form. All glories to the holy names of Krishna which bring us into the presence of His form.
Last night I slept all right and woke about one o'clock. I got up and chanted my japa in a steady way. I was not completely alert but pushed on. I felt a stress and strain in doing so but I did not let up out of fear of a headache. I did however confine my chanting to the slightest whisper out of fear of pain. My chanting went slowly but steadily and with decent attention to the syllables. Krishna is very kind and by chanting His names I must have faith that there is no difference between this and His form. I chanted all sixteen rounds before Baladeva came up at 3:30 and I am satisfied with that accomplishment. I have done my minimum quota despite the strain.
Chanting with confidence
One Hundred Prabhupada Poems #13
Open young faces,
After mangala-arati, a reading of NOD.
A dangerous little voyage
I lived on the Lower Eastside. I
Knew nothing of the rigors of life.
I was standing alone
I grew afraid
Back in New York
I was still reacting from
Later I got my
I look back now at
I took to it like a duck
The desire for the life
The little hitchhiking memory
But sooner or later I would have met ruin
Narayana told me I once gave him some advice how to solve a problem when he couldn't think of any solution. I told him to take one of Srila Prabhupada's books and open it at random and by reading he would find the answer to his problem. I have a problem now. I cannot think of what to say in my free write. So I asked Baladeva to open a book at random. He backed up to the shelf containing the Srimad-Bhagavatam volumes and without looking he felt around till he had touched a book he decided to pull out. He opened to pages 282-283 of Canto 5, chapter 8 "The Character of Bharata Maharaja" The verses describe Maharaja Bharata being fully enamored by his adopted fawn and not able to think of anything else. Prabhupada writes in the purport "While trying to meditate, he would simply think of the deer, wondering where it had gone. If ones mind is distracted from worship a mere show of worship will not bring any benefit. The fact that Bharata Maharaja had to get up at intervals to look for the deer was simply a sign that he had fallen from the spiritual platform." (Srimad-Bhagavatam 5.8.14, purport) This applies to japa. Sometimes I have to get up in the middle of Gayatri mantras and go answer the call of nature. Rather than stop the Gayatri and start again later from the beginning I sometimes continue saying the mantra during the urgent call. This is not good. Fortunately I don't have a pet around to distract me but my mind is like an animal who calls me away from my meditation. If I started from the beginning every time I have an interruption, I would never be able to complete a round of japa. I have to accept the offensive nature of some of my mantras and chant them to completion. In Franz Kafka's story The Metamorphosis, Gregor Samsa wakes one morning and discovers he has become a great roach. He then acts out his new life, trying to survive in his parents' home. If a devotee remains determined he can bring his mind under his control and continue attentive chanting.
Again, I can’t think of something to say. Shall I take another book and open it at random or is there another way to tap into a source of something to say? How about memories? Sacisuta was just here and he told me how he took his son Laksmana to the Baseball Hall of Fame at Cooperstown, New York. On the second floor it is like a museum with special sections dedicated to Babe Ruth, Jackie Robinson and lots of uniforms of players. There is lot to read about the all-time great and photos of them. On the first floor are all the plaques of the players who are inducted into the Hall of Fame. He showed me pictures he took of Laksmana posed against exhibits. There is a predominance of New York Yankees' memorabilia in the World Series section since they have won twenty-seven championships. Laksmana got a bat with his name engraved on it and he will remember the day forever.
I remember going out every day in the summer to the Boston Commons to chant Hare Krishna. About twenty devotees would go out and we would stand and dance in a long single file. We wore light clothing in the warm weather. Giriraja and others would circulate in the croud with big conch shells collecting money and distributing Back to Godhead magazines. After forty minutes of chanting one of us would give a five or ten-minute speech about the philosophy. A crowd would come and go but there were always people in attendance. We brought a lunch out and had a picnic. There was always some tension with hecklers in the crowd but it was an ecstatic routine to go out every day.
Sunday feasts in the Boston temple on Beacon Street were memorable. The temple would be packed with young Americans. The feast was lavish. We put on a dramatic skit. I often gave the lecture and tried to make it relevant to the youth who comprised our audience. The devotees used to sit with the guests while they feasted and talk Krishna consciousness with them. It was a warm atmosphere. A woman devotee even applied Vaisnava tilaka to each guest as they entered the temple.
We would go out on the main downtown streets during the week and distribute Back to Godhead magazines. Prabhupada had written us that "Every gentleman will give a quarter for Back to Godhead" and we tried our best to extricate it from them. We would get in stride with their walking and flip through the pages of the magazine showing them the pictures. The women were the best sales persons and we would sell over a hundred copies on a day.
Friday Night, September 3rd @ 7pm · (19:00 – 20:30)
Location: Harinama Party will leave from Govinda’s Restaurant –
99 Elizabeth Street
Please come and participate in this Friday’s *MAHA HARINAMA* in honour of Srila Prabhupada’s Appearance Day!
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Australian News: All Glories to their Service: The Pujaris of Sri Sri Radha Gopinatha Mandir (and friends)
HG Nrsimha Kavaca Dasa (Front row, second from the left), ISKCON Deity Worship Minister, with a group of Pujari’s (and well-wishers) from Sri Sri Radha Gopinatha Mandir, in Sydney Australia.
Nrsimha Kavaca recently visited Sydney and whilst here spent some time with the temple pujaris. The pujaris took advice and direction from the Deity Worship Minister asking questions and presenting situations to clarify practice and assist them in understanding their role and their service.
By ERIK ECKHOLMWEST MANSFIELD, Ohio — Concessions by farmers in this state to sharply restrict the close confinement of hens, hogs and veal calves are the latest sign that so-called factory farming — a staple of modern agriculture that is seen by critics as inhumane and a threat to the environment and health — is on the verge of significant change.
Kirk Irwin for The New York Times
Kirk Irwin for The New York Times
Readers shared their thoughts on this article.
A recent agreement between farmers and animal rights activists here is a rare compromise in the bitter and growing debate over large-scale, intensive methods of producing eggs and meat, and may well push farmers in other states to give ground, experts say. The rising consumer preference for more "natural" and local products and concerns about pollution and antibiotic use in giant livestock operations are also driving change.
The surprise truce in Ohio follows stronger limits imposed by California voters in 2008; there, extreme caging methods will be banned altogether by 2015. In another sign of the growing clout of the animal welfare movement, a law passed in California this year will also ban imports from other states of eggs produced in crowded cages. Similar limits were approved last year in Michigan and less sweeping restrictions have been adopted in Florida, Arizona and other states.
Hoping to avoid a divisive November referendum that some farmers feared they would lose, Gov. Ted Strickland of Ohio urged farm leaders to negotiate with opponents, led by the Humane Society of the United States. After secret negotiations, the sides agreed to bar new construction of egg farms that pack birds in cages, and to phase out the tight caging of pregnant sows within 15 years and of veal calves by 2017.
Farmers in Ohio have accepted the agreement with chagrin, saying they sense that they must bend with the political and cultural winds. Tim Weaver, whose grandparents started selling eggs in the early 20th century, is proud of his state-of-the art facilities, where four million birds produce more than three million eggs a day. In just one typical barn here at his Heartland Quality Egg Farm, 268,000 small white hens live in cages about the size of an open newspaper, six or seven to a cage.
Mr. Weaver said that after his initial shock at the agreement, he has accepted it as necessary. He will not be immediately affected since it allows existing egg farms to continue but bars new ones with similar cages. He defends his methods, saying, "My own belief is that I'm doing the right thing."
Egg production is at the center of the debate because more than 90 percent of the country's eggs are now produced in the stacked rows of cages that critics call inhumane.
Ohio is the country's second-largest egg producer, after Iowa. In the modern version of an egg barn, hordes of hens live with computer-controlled air circulation, lighting and feeding, their droppings whisked away by conveyor belt for recycling as fertilizer. As the hens jostle one other, their eggs roll onto a belt to be washed, graded and packed without ever being touched by human hands.
Mr. Weaver insists that his chickens are content and less prone to disease than those in barnyard flocks, saying, "If our chickens aren't healthy and happy, they won't be as productive."
Keeping chickens in cages is cruel and unnecessary, counter advocates like Wayne Pacelle, chief executive of the Humane Society of the United States, which has played a central role in the state-by-state battles. "Animals that are built to move should be allowed to move," he said in an interview, and for chickens that means space for dust-bathing, perching and nesting.
The assertion that animals must be "happy" to be productive is not accurate, Mr. Pacelle added, pointing to abnormal behaviors like head waving or bar-biting and to a loss of bone density in confined animals.
In the mid-20th century, developments in animal nutrition and farm technologies as well as economic competition spurred the emergence of large-scale farms, often driving out small farmers who could not afford the large capital investments or survive the lower prices.
Now, the United Egg Producers, a national trade group, says that egg prices would rise by 25 percent if all eggs were produced by uncaged hens, putting stress on consumers and school lunch programs. Animal proponents say that better noncage methods could be developed and that price is not the ultimate issue anyway.
The American Veal Association, under pressure from consumers, agreed in 2007 to phase out the close confinement of calves by 2017. The requirement in the California law and the Ohio agreement to phase out the use of "gestation crates" on hog farms will have much wider effects.
The family of Irv Bell, 64, has been growing hogs in Zanesville, Ohio, since the 19th century. Where males and females were once put into a pen to mate, sows are now inseminated artificially and most are kept through their pregnancy in a 2-by-7-foot crate, in which they can lie down but not turn.
"I work with the hogs every day, and I don't think there is anything wrong with gestation crates," he said. "But I have to be aware of things on the horizon, the bigger things at work."
Formally, the new Ohio agreement only makes recommendations to a state livestock standards board, and getting opponents to recognize the authority of that board was an important achievement, said Keith Stimpert, a senior vice president of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation. "We all know change is coming," Mr. Stimpert said, adding that farmers would also respond to demands by consumers and restaurants for free-range products.
"But is this how we're going to deal with these issues, on a state-by-state basis?" he asked. That timetables and rules differ among states is going to cause economic harm, he said.
The Humane Society of the United States, for its part, is already picking new targets. The advocates have the most leverage, Mr. Pacelle said, in the states that permit referendums. He said that the issues were likely to be pressed in Washington and Oregon. Winning concessions may be harder, he acknowledged, in states without referendums, including Iowa and the South.
Meanwhile, a new dispute over chicken cages is already brewing in California. The breakthrough 2008 law said that animals could be confined only in ways that allowed them "to lie down, stand up, fully extend their limbs and turn around freely." Egg producers and even some animal advocates say this may permit housing hens in larger "enriched cages," with perches and nesting spots.
Mr. Pacelle asserts that no form of caging can meet a chicken's needs for "running, flying and wing flapping" and that denying these impulses can cause a rise in stress hormones.
"There's going to be a legal wrangle over this," Mr. Pacelle predicted.
Monday 23rd, August 2010.
I woke up, well rested and feeling newly energized. I checked my email and found my book distribution story published on BDN. It was an old story, that was some how neglected, from my first day of book distribution. I published it again, on Messages from Madd Monk.
Some devotees were helping Dominik pack up all our gear, while others were helping Rajesvari Mataji cook up the festival feast for tomorrow. We took some time to play some sports, share realizations and just let out any excess stress. We went down to the local store, to fetch some snacks. I caught Rasikendra Prabhu (who was in charge of the Restaurant division) filling up bag, after bag of ice-creams. I told him it reminded me of our dealings on Australian tour. I knew that he was going to host a big party for the Restaurant crew that night, thus the large stash of frozen goods. I wasn't sure if I was invited (besides Rasikendra Prabhu, I am the only other male in the Restaurant team, so most of the parties are a no go for Brahmacaris, haha).
I came back to the school and Rajesvari caught sight of me. "Maddy, can you help me? I need someone to make samosa dough" she said. I had a strange feeling, with the coming feast, that someone would ask me to make samosas. I didn't become too detached from the service, knowing that it would probably come up again. I submitted myself to the seva with enthusiasm. Rather than mixing a one kilo ball at a time (each making about thirty samosas) I was mixing up a ten kilo ball, enough to feed three hundred devotees. I mixed away the big ball, as Rasikendra crowded the room with his Restaurant party.
I claimed my ice-cream and Dhira Mataji also gave me a big plate of treats, leftover from what she made for Maharaja's lunch. It was like the best of two worlds, my Restaurant fringe benefits on the coast and the VIP fringe benefits in Woodstock. I joined some of the boys in the stairwell for a mini feast. HH Indradyumna Swami came past, just on my last bite, and he had a little laugh. He heard all the noise from the kitchen and came down to offer some inspiring words to the Restaurant staff. It was our one last, mad Monday on tour, and none of us failed to appreciate it.
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.
Padmapurana states that, “Of all types of worship, worship of Supreme Lord Hari is the best, but better than that is the worship of His devotee”. On 29th August, a grand four days of Srila Prabhupada Vyasapuja Celebrations began with bullock cart procession and Adhivas ceremony. Srila Prabhupada was pleased with the Padayatra report and in Vrindavan he once expressed his desire to go around the holy tirthas in the bullock cart.
A personal highlight of the evening for me was the Green Bean, New Potato, Chickpea Salad. I’ll share the recipe below. But first, pictures.
Green Bean, New Potato, Chickpea Salad
Just a delight! This cooked and chilled salad feels light and picnic-y but need not be limited to summer. Very versatile, can be paired with all sorts of entrees or served as a main dish along with some soup and a crusty slice of sourdough.
7 cups chopped new potatoes (I used red petites)
4 cups green beans–prepped into 2 inch lenghts
2 cups cooked chickpeas
*Put the potatoes in a baking dish and drizzle with olive oil. Roast in a pre-heated oven for 30 minutes. Remove from oven, cool and refrigerate.
*Boil a pot of water, toss in green beans to blanch for one minute. Remove beans and transfer to a bowl of cold water. Drain and refrigerate.
*Boil chickpeas in salted water until done. Rinse and remove skins. Refrigerate.
For the dressing:
1 cup lemon or lime juice *or* light colored vinegar (I prefer lime juice but used apple cider vinegar)
1 cup olive oil
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup dijon mustard
*1.5 tspn salt
1/4 to a 1/2 cup fresh tarragon leaves *or* 1 to 2 tablespoons of dried tarragon
*Combine dressing ingredients in a blender
*Combine salad ingredients and toss with dressing. Marinate in refrigerator a few hours before serving.
*Right before serving, mix in fresh parsley, if available.
*Top with course ground salt and black pepper and serve cold.
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