"Planet ISKCON" - 44 new articles
By Bhakti Purusottama Swami
With great pleasure, ISKCON Mayapur invites devotees worldwide to celebrate the Gaura Purnima festival 2011 at Sri dham Mayapur. On 5th of March 2011, the festival inauguration will take place, followed by various festivities, Navadwipa Mandala Parikrama and the grand celebration of Gaura Purnima on 19th March. Please find below the detailed festival schedule
This morning I woke at 1:30 A.M. and began chanting my rounds. They were some what mechanical, but I strung them all together with out becoming sleepy or greatly distracted. It was a typical decent session for me. I managed to chant all sixteen rounds by 3:40 A.M.
From Bhajan Kutir #49
TUESDAY 24 AUG. 2010
5:15PM___5:30PM: Special dance performances by devotee children!
5:30PM___6:00PM: Balarama Quiz – special surprises for winners!
6:00PM___7:00PM : Class by Malati Devi Dasi
7:00PM___7:30PM : Artik
7:30PM___Feast in Honor of Lord Balarama’s Appearance Day
Amala Kirtana Dasa lives in Dallas and is active in chanting Hare Krsna there. For a breif period in time earlier this year he chanted Hare Krishna here in Australia. Born in Brazil, Amala has been performing kirtan for over 20 years. As a young man he spent a great deal of time in Bengal, India, studying the Bengali style of singing.
Raised in a family of kirtaniyas Amala, who has been called the "Pavarotti of Kirtan," has fused the Brazilian sound with the traditional Bengali kirtan to produce something unique.
On his Australian tour Amala, who is based in Dallas, Texas, was supported by the "World Sankirtan Party", the same kirtan band who supported Dave Stringer, Jai Uttal, and Madhava on their recent Australian tours.
Tomorrow (Tuesday, August 24, 2010) marks the auspicious appearance day (birthday) of Lord Balarama, Lord Krishna's older brother! Lord Balarama symbolizes strength and compassion and we invite you to take part in the celebrations at the Hare Krishna Temple. Our schedule for the evening will be:
This report finally brings us up to date with all things bloggy.
We held our first Cookery Retreat at Krishna Valley, in country Victoria, two weekends ago. Krishna Valley, surrounded by State Forest, is 200 acres of beautiful rolling countryside a couple hours outside of Melbourne, Australia. Here are some images:
This is us, in our great farm kitchen, the 'action-central' for all things culinary over the weekend. We had loads of fun.
We made our cheese from scratch, pressed it, and fried it on our giant red-hot smokin' griddle, splashing it with tamari and home-made sweet chili sauce in it's final moments of basting glory.
The oldest member of our group, who wished to be known only as Teddles (to his friends) had a great deal of fun blending our heavenly carrot and ginger soup to a creamy puree. He said he would like to take the giant Professional Bamix home to his 'shed', but alas, he had to hand it in at the door. (Teddles also won the 'silliest bandana of the weekend' prize).
Our next and final retreat for this year will be in October 2010, but alas that is fully booked out. Stay tuned for the opening of enrolments for 2011. Better still, contact Veda on the number below and book ahead. (Pssst...rumour has it that there will be one at the beginning of April...ssshhh...)
Bhakti Yoga Cookery Retreat, Hare Krishna Valley, Bambra, Victoria, A weekend of cooking, learning and eating! 2011 dates to be announced, Bookings/reservations/enquiries call Veda 0405 577 453.
It was my Dad's 86th birthday a few weeks ago. I cooked a bit of a feast for the close family. Notable was the cake. Here's a few images.
WARNING: do not cast thy glances upon them on an empty stomach, for ye shall be smitten with a cake-lust that cannot be fulfilled. Look away, look awaaaayyyy...
Yes, it's home made. By me.
Whichever way you look at it, it looks good.
There's none left, sorry. All that remains of this cake are the memories, and these electronic images. Life is cruel.
There was another particular significance in Prabhupada's choosing Krsna and Balarama as the central object of worship in his Vrndavana temple. Lord Balarama is the first expansion from Lord Krsna, and in His incarnation of Sankarsana, He upholds all the universes. The Vaisnavas, therefore, worship Balarama for spiritual strength. "You can pray to Lord Balarama," Prabhupada said, "to help you in your deficiency." As the source of spiritual strength, Lord Balarama is also known as the original spiritual master.
>>> Ref. VedaBase => SPL 43: Beginning the Temple of Krsna-Balarama
Balarama Purnima, His appearance day, is upcoming
Asking relevant questions is important to help us:
H.H. Prahladananda Swami: Lecture – SB 1.2.16 How do you know Srila Prabhupada's a pure devotee? – Video
Lecture on Srimad Bhagavatam, Canto 1, Chapter 2, Text 16 by Prahladananda Swami.
Srimad Bhagavatam 1.2.16
O twice-born sages, by serving those devotees who are completely freed from all vice, great service is done. By such service, one gains affinity for hearing the messages of V?sudeva.
The conditioned life of a living being is caused by his revolting against the Lord. There are men called deva, or godly living beings, and there are men called asuras, or demons, who are against the authority of the Supreme Lord. In the Bhagavad-g?t? (Sixteenth Chapter) a vivid description of the asuras is given in which it is said that the asuras are put into lower and lower states of ignorance life after life and so sink to the lower animal forms and have no information of the Absolute Truth, the Personality of Godhead. These asuras are gradually rectified to God consciousness by the mercy of the Lord’s liberated servitors in different countries according to the supreme will. Such devotees of God are very confidential associates of the Lord, and when they come to save human society from the dangers of godlessness, they are known as the powerful incarnations of the Lord, as sons of the Lord, as servants of the Lord or as associates of the Lord. But none of them falsely claim to be God themselves. This is a blasphemy declared by the asuras, and the demoniac followers of such asuras also accept pretenders as God or His incarnation. In the revealed scriptures there is definite information of the incarnation of God. No one should be accepted as God or an incarnation of God unless he is confirmed by the revealed scriptures.
The servants of God are to be respected as God by the devotees who actually want to go back to Godhead. Such servants of God are called mah?tm?s, or t?rthas, and they preach according to particular time and place. The servants of God urge people to become devotees of the Lord. They never tolerate being called God. ?r? Caitanya Mah?prabhu was God Himself according to the indication of the revealed scriptures, but He played the part of a devotee. People who knew Him to be God addressed Him as God, but He used to block His ears with His hands and chant the name of Lord Vis?n?u. He strongly protested against being called God, although undoubtedly He was God Himself. The Lord behaves so to warn us against unscrupulous men who take pleasure in being addressed as God.
The servants of God come to propagate God consciousness, and intelligent people should cooperate with them in every respect. By serving the servant of God, one can please God more than by directly serving the Lord. The Lord is more pleased when He sees that His servants are properly respected because such servants risk everything for the service of the Lord and so are very dear to the Lord. The Lord declares in the Bhagavad-g?t? (18.69) that no one is dearer to Him than one who risks everything to preach His glory. By serving the servants of the Lord, one gradually gets the quality of such servants, and thus one becomes qualified to hear the glories of God. The eagerness to hear about God is the first qualification of a devotee eligible for entering the kingdom of God.
From Namamrta by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada:
“Lord Caitanya introduced the sankirtana-yajna for the deliverance of all men in this age of Kali:
"[Lord Krishna to Arjuna] In the beginning of creation, the Lord of all creatures sent forth generations of men and demigods, along with sacrifices for Vishnu, and blessed them by saying, "Be thou happy by this yajna [sacrifice] because its performance will bestow upon you all desirable things."
"The Lord created this material world for the conditioned souls to learn how to perform yajnas for the satisfaction of Vishnu, so that while in the material world they can live very comfortably without anxiety. Then after finishing the present material body they can enter into the kingdom of God. That is the whole program for the conditioned soul. By performance of yajna, the conditioned souls gradually become Krishna conscious and become godly in all respects. In this age of Kali, the sankirtana-yajna (the chanting of the names of God) is recommended by the Vedic scriptures, and this transcendental system was introduced by Lord Caitanya for the deliverance of all men in this age. Sankirtana-yajna and Krishna consciousness go well together. Lord Krishna in His devotional form (as Lord Caitanya) is mentioned in the Srimad-Bhagavatam as follows, with special reference to the sankirtana-yajna:
"’In this age of Kali, people who are endowed with sufficient intelligence will worship the Lord, who is accompanied by His associates, by performance of sankirtana-yajna.‘ (Srimad Bhagavatam 11.5.32)
“‘Other yajnas prescribed in the Vedic literatures are not easy to perform in this age of Kali but the sankirtana-yajna is easy and sublime for all purposes.’” (Bhagavad-gita As It Is 3.10)
So yajnas are to be performed that people can live comfortably and then go back to Godhead. They were introduced personally by Krishna at the beginning of creation. But there are different yajnas for different ages. In Kali-yuga the only yajna that is possible is sankirtana. "Sankirtana-yajna and Krishna consciousness go well together." Lord Caitanya personally introduced it in Kali-yuga, and this is stated in the 11th Canto of Srimad Bhagavatam. It is stated that people who are sufficiently intelligent will worship Lord Caitanya by sankirtana. They are sufficiently intelligent because they know that other yajnas are not possible and so they don't attempt them. It is intelligent to take the easy system and not the impossible, difficult system. Prabhupada has referred to "lazy intelligence" by which a person does the possible thing and does not exert himself in things that are impossible to do.
I must always remember that I am rightly situated when I am chanting the names of Krishna and that it is the prescribed yajna. This morning I woke at 1:30 A.M. and began chanting my rounds. They were somewhat mechanical, but I strung them all together without becoming sleepy or greatly distracted. It was a typical decent session for me. I managed to chant all sixteen rounds by 3:40 A.M. It was easy to do, but I did not reach a sublime condition which is the possibility of chanting when it is done without any offenses and is done in full devotion. My chanting was done counting the mantras and getting them done, but not crying to Krishna for reinstatement in my eternal position or crying for my lack of greed. There is that certain complacency which is part of my japa, part of my routine. We call it mechanical chanting, and it is something to go beyond.
The prescribed yajna
From One Hundred Prabhupada Poems:
You as the teacher, the explainer . . .
Read carefully and underline in pencil.
It is chilly now in the morning. Upstate New York. We have New York State license plates, but there is still a lot more paperwork before we get social services. I'm wearing a hoodie, and Baladeva is wearing a V-neck sweater which he stole from me. He said he will have to come back in his next life for taking the guru's clothes. He just had his blood tests and his B12 level is up, so he says his memory will get better and he has given me a list of twenty-one meals to choose from. Today I chose spinach and panir and rice and dhal and puris. "This I can do," he said. Narayana does not eat at lunch when we do. He sits at the table and reads Caitanya-bhagavata. He has unusual regulated eating habits. I'm very happy to be living in the Viraha Bhavan with these inmates.
There is a fat groundhog living under our porch. He roams and eats in the yards of Saci's and Kaulini's houses. Mother Kaulini recently had her eye on a big tomato that was ripening in her garden. She is fond of tomato sandwiches. Yesterday she went to collect it and saw the groundhog run away. He had eaten half the tomato. She took the remaining half and made a sandwich. Baladeva told me farmers shoot groundhogs or keep dogs to kill them because cows and horses can easily break their legs in groundhog's holes. But this groundhog has no predators above it. Saci's cat just attacked it and ran away screaming, while the groundhog just grunted after defending itself. He's fat and happy and dangerous if attacked. There is no danger at every step for him.
(Baladeva saw my written reference to his stealing my sweater, and he showed me it has a hole in the collar—but then he returned it. He also dared me to confess how many sweaters I own, but I'll just say "a lot." I've collected them as gifts over many years and use only a very few of them. I also had more than my present collection but gave many away.)
Prabhupada wanted his disciples to become "regular gurus." Many had trouble and couldn't do it. I had trouble. I recovered and was accepted back by the society and some of my disciples. Some of them rejected me. I am performing this service. To those who accept me I offer them guidance, and I set a good example of regulative sannyasi. I'm finishing up with a clean record. Some are too disappointed and have accepted others to lead them, or they just follow Prabhupada. I offer a “virtual relationship” via the journal. And in person. But mainly my words, as always, in books of honest record and instruction. I pray to cover the last years in good order.
We just had all of Saci's family, except for Laksmana, over for Saturday lunch. They enjoyed Baladeva's excellent cooking. It included a dessert of banana bread with iced topping and a choice of three kinds of ice cream. Everyone's tummy was filled, and we saw a slide show of their Cape Cod vacation. They are already planning other outings today and tomorrow–a very active family.
Butterflies are out. Walnuts in green shells on the trees and on the ground in Saci's yard. This morning I saw the groundhog foraging around. He wanders freely in all the yards here. But he is not aggressive like a monkey. He runs away when you come by. If you attack him he'll fight back, and he's got good bulk and claws and teeth. Some big dogs are trained to run after an animal, but until they are grown up they don't know how to fight. Big German Shepherd puppies ran after the groundhog, but when he turned around, they fled. They know only the chase, not the follow-through. Garuda and Hanuman were not bluffing. They were great fighters. They fought against the enemies of Vishnu.
Shanti Music Monthly Kirtan
Let music, rhythm, melody and mantra transport you into a state of peace, bliss and tranquility. Experience healing through sound. Explore the essence of the divine spark within you as your heart chakra expands, through this ancient practice made magical by some wonderful musicians and kirtanists.
August 21 – Sushumna and Shankara
WHERE: Shanti Mission Harmony Centre Sydney
I was on my first day of book distribution with HG Navina Nirada Prabhu. We headed down to our local spot, Byron Bay. We did a harinam, sought the blessings of the ocean and then purified ourselves with some Prasadam. Now that we felt sufficiently purified we were ready to engage in the sankirtana yajna of book distribution.
I stopped one young woman. She seemed very interested in the concept of Krsna consciousness but didn't seem totally inclined to take for some mysterious reason. She held onto the book for the whole time we talked and then handed it back. She moved on down the street where I saw Ekendra, ready to stop her again. I tried to signal that I had already stopped her but he just couldn't see me. I wandered over to see what he had to say. He showed her another Krsna book. She was still very interested in holding the book but revealed she was very financially down. She had a few more weeks of her vacation and she was only sure she could afford a potato for lunch.
She seemed a bit down and we wanted to give her some of Krsna's mercy in any shape or form. I wrote a note to Dhruva (Veteran book distributor in Australia). He was working in the local Hare Krsna restaurant. I gave the note to the young woman and pointed her toward the restaurant. The note was asking Dhruva to give her a free meal.
We kept distributing. It was a little slow. Half an hour later the same woman came back. She said the Prasadam was the best meal she had ever had. She asked me for a flyer to our local temple, New Govardhana.
We returned to New Govardhana for a book distribution class by HG Navina Nirada. He was talking about utility being the principle. "Sometimes you have to do something out of the ordinary. Like today the boys gave a young women a free meal of Prasadam." Ekendra, who was sitting in the audience, shot up his hand and informed us that the same women, who's name was Elana, had called the temple and was coming to stay on the New Govardhana farm for a few days. Elana thoroughly enjoyed her stay in New Govardhana. On her first day she asked for some japa beads. She came to the Sunday feast in a sari and tilak. On her last day on the farm she took a few more books. After this she flew back home.
Months later, 1000 km away, in Sydney, we were doing books with HH Devamrita Swami's squad. We had just finished our last day of a mid year marathon before I was flying off to Europe. We went to Govindas for a celebratory Prasadam feast. We were in a massive line up for the Prasadam, behind many guests. I was curious why it was such a busy night. I anxiously looked ahead to see if any devotees were in the line ahead of us, hoping to catch some sat sanga. The women in front of me turned around and it was Elana! She was there for her birthday and had brought thirty of her friends. This explained the big line. It was good to see Elana was still attracted to Krsna, the kind devotees, and still hooked on Prasadam.
Your servant, Madhavendra Puri Dasa.
From bears to Monks
1965 August 23: "Today Annada Ekadashi. We are floating now on the Arabian sea. My sea sickness again began. Headache, vomiting tendency, no hunger, dizziness and no energy to work. It is continuing."
1968 August 23: "The sound of press goes long long distance, long distant places, so the organization of press and literature and public sales, should be our main business. Pondicherry was made famous on account of press work."
1968 August 23: "I have decided to print Srimad-Bhagavatam in 12 volumes, naming them differently; 1st vol., Creation; 2nd vol., Cosmic Manifestation; 3rd vol., Status quo; 4th vol., Mercy of God; 5th vol., Creative Energy; 6th vol., The Rulers of the Universe; 7th vol., Activities of God; 8th vol., Dissolution; 9th vol., Liberation; 10th vol., Ultimate Goal; 11th vol., General History; 12th vol., The Age of Deterioration."
1970 August 23: "I am the Spiritual Father of you both and I have prayed all along to Krsna for bringing you back to your good conscience. Your service to Krsna will never go in vain even though accidentally something contrary has been done."
1970 August 23: "We have a great task before us to preach this Krsna Consciousness all over the world and for this purpose you have to gather sufficient spiritual strength. Without being empowered by Krsna nobody can preach and the only means for acquiring this spiritual strength is to abide by the orders of the bona fide Spiritual Master."
1971 August 23: "Regarding Indira Gandhi there is no hope. The high commissioner has informed. So it is Lord Caitanya's desire that a Vaisnava shall lay down the cornerstone instead."
1972 August 23: "Yes, President Giri can open the foundation ceremony. Let us invite many responsible persons - the Prime Minister, Governors. Let us place our philosophy before a very respectable assembly. People have not yet understood how glorious is our philosophy."
1973 Auugst 23: "We recruit a person to join us after spending gallons of blood. It should be our definite policy that nobody is ill treated that he may go away. Whoever joins us they are not under any obligation - our only tie is Love of Godhead."
How Much Sleep?
Move to Encourage
There is no question of your falldown. Chant 16 rounds regularly and no power in all three worlds will make you fall down. Krishna will save you always.
Letter to Himavati - 19 August, 1971
1965 August 22 : "At about 10 a.m. we are now in the dockyard of Cochin. I saw my books from Bombay arrived in five cases and the agents loaded them on the ship at 4 p.m. on 22/8/65."
1967 August 22 : "It is very good news that you are going to have $5,300 soon, and I thank you very much for offering the entire amount to me. I think the whole amount should be utilized for further publication of my books."
1968 August 22 : "I must offer you my heartiest blessing because it is due to your endeavor that we are finding our Bhagavad-gita to be published by a great publisher and through your grace also we are going to publish Teachings of Lord Caitanya."
1968 August 22 : "We the Krishna Conscious people are soldiers of the Lord, Arms of the Lord, and because all living entities are energy of the Lord, so energy is always kept on the left side. Radharani is also on the left side of the Lord."
1970 August 22 : "My Spiritual Master, Sarasvati Gosvami Thakura, may appear to be physically not present, but still, because I try to serve His instruction, I never feel separated from Him. I expect that all of you should follow these instructions."
1972 August 22 : "You get the seed of devotion through the mercy of the Spiritual Master and Krishna. And upon your surrender, They take responsibility for your sins. Therefore, it is the disciple's duty not to commit sin again."
1975 August 22: "The purpose of sannyasa is that now one has no hindrances for preaching work. The purpose is to increase preaching. So if one takes sannyasa and does not increase preaching, then there is no value."
1975 August 22: "Do not waste any time, but work always to please Krishna within your heart. He is witnessing everything. He only wants us to constantly remember Him. Is it very difficult?"
Remembering He who is the source of unlimited strength.
27th August, 2010
Time: Friday · 7:00pm - 8:30pm
Location:Harinama Party will leave from Govinda's Restaurant - Friday Night @ 7pm
99 Elizabeth Street Brisbane, Australia
"We need grass roots revolution. That means YOU and ME. I'm part of the grass roots...For years and years and years, at least 21 years, I've personally been here trying to somehow or other bring it to the attention of the lay devotees... Nama Sankirtana will come back, I guarantee it, with the co-operation of a few good people who are willing to step forward in their various localities all over the world and help to generate tha...t faith, that consciousness in the Holy Name. So please help, wherever you may go and do the real thing, to actually implement the Yuga Dharma." - Aindra Dasa.
*PLEASE INVITE MORE PEOPLE!*
*Myer Centre Parking - $15 maximum after 4pm.
God loves each of us as if there were only one of us.
- St. Augustine
I was on my first day of book distribution with HG Navina Nirada Prabhu. We headed down to our local spot, Byron Bay. We did a harinam, sought the blessings of the ocean and then purified ourselves with some Prasadam. Now that we felt sufficiently purified we were ready to engage in the sankirtana yajna of book distribution. I stopped one young woman. She seemed very interested in the concept of Krsna consciousness but didn't seem totally inclined to take for some mysterious reason. She held onto the book for the whole time we talked and then handed it back. She moved on down the street where I saw Ekendra, ready to stop her again. I tried to signal that I had already stopped her but he just couldn't see me. I wandered over to see what he had to say. He showed her another Krsna book. She was still very interested in holding the book but revealed she was very financially down. She had a few more weeks of her vacation and she was only sure she could afford a potato for lunch. She seemed a bit down and we wanted to give her some of Krsna's mercy in any shape or form. I wrote a note to Dhruva (Veteran book distributor in Australia). He was working in the local Hare Krsna restaurant. I gave the note to the young woman and pointed her toward the restaurant. The note was asking Dhruva to give her a free meal. We kept distributing. It was a little slow. Half an hour later the same woman came back. She said the Prasadam was the best meal she had ever had. She asked me for a flyer to our local temple, New Govardhana. We returned to New Govardhana for a book distribution class by HG Navina Nirada. He was talking about utility being the principle. "Sometimes you have to do something out of the ordinary. Like today the boys gave a young women a free meal of Prasadam." Ekendra, who was sitting in the audience, shot up his hand and informed us that the same women, who's name was Elana, had called the temple and was coming to stay on the New Govardhana farm for a few days. Elana thoroughly enjoyed her stay in New Govardhana. On her first day she asked for some japa beads. She came to the Sunday feast in a sari and tilak. On her last day on the farm she took a few more books. After this she flew back home. Months later, 1000 km away, in Sydney, we were doing books with HH Devamrita Swami's squad. We had just finished our last day of a mid year marathon before I was flying off to Europe. We went to Govindas for a celebratory Prasadam feast. We were in a massive line up for the Prasadam, behind many guests. I was curious why it was such a busy night. I anxiously looked ahead to see if any devotees were in the line ahead of us, hoping to catch some sat sanga. The women in front of me turned around and it was Elana! She was there for her birthday and had brought thirty of her friends. This explained the big line. It was good to see Elana was still attracted to Krsna, the kind devotees, and still hooked on Prasadam.
Your servant, Madhavendra Puri Dasa.
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