lunes, 30 de agosto de 2010

Sita-pati dasa, AU: Nothing comes from Nothing - The First Cause Argument



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"Planet ISKCON" - 54 new articles

  1. Devadeva Mirel, Alachua, USA: Cooking With Kids
  2. Australian News: Maha Kirtan 7: THE VIDEO… Don't miss it!
  3. ISKCON Brisbane, AU: Srila Prabhupada's appearance day - 3rd Sept.
  4. ISKCON Brisbane, AU: Janmastami 2010
  5. ISKCON Toronto, Canada: Sri Krishna Janmastami!!!!
  6. Sita-pati dasa, AU: Maha Kirtan 7 Video - 10 hours of kirtan in 2.5 minutes
  7. Kurma dasa, AU: Mangrove Musings Part 1
  8. ISKCON Toronto, Canada: Deity Darshan: Sunday, August 29, 2010
  9. Ananda Subramanian, Iowa, USA: Scientific evidence for Krishna's existence
  10. Japa Group: Please Join The Japa Group
  11. Japa Group: Brilliant Path
  12. Krishna Camp, USA: Krishna Camp 2010
  13. Kurma dasa, AU: Feed the World
  14. Sita-pati dasa, AU: Nothing comes from Nothing - The First Cause Argument
  15. Bharatavarsa.net: Book distribution seminar: Voodoo Priest Gets the Mercy
  16. Bharatavarsa.net: Bhakti Vikasa Swami: pre-Janmastami meditation; invocation to NoD
  17. David Haslam, UK: Car Maintenance. spiritual maintenance a thought
  18. Book Distribution News: Voodoo Priest Gets the Mercy
  19. H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: 55
  20. H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: Prabhupada Smaranam
  21. H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: Poem from Under Dark Stars
  22. H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: Free Write
  23. Rupa Madhurya das, TX, USA: Lecture - Prahladananda Swami - CC Adi 4.21-22 - Do Something Practical
  24. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  25. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  26. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  27. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  28. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  29. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  30. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  31. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  32. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  33. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  34. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  35. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  36. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  37. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  38. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  39. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  40. Australian News: Kulimela Australia "Let's get the party started!"
  41. Maddy Jean-claude Durr, New Govardhana, AU: A Journey Across to Poland: [P27] Wrecked In Rewal
  42. Gauranga Kishore das,USA: Things are Starting to Pile Up
  43. H.H. Sivarama Swami: The story of Saksi Gopala begins with a description of Vidyanagara
  44. H.H. Sivarama Swami: Kirtana on Sunday morning August 29th
  45. Hari Sauri das, Mayapura, IN: Q&As: On Chanting and Buddhists
  46. Mayapur Online: Janmastami Special Lectures in Mayapur
  47. H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Wedesday, August 18th, 2010
  48. H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Saturday, August 21st, 2010
  49. H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Tuesday, August 24th, 2010
  50. Kurma dasa, AU: Ello Ello..
  51. ISKCON Brisbane, AU: Sanskrit to everyone - this 4th & 5th of September
  52. Gouranga TV: Govinda Maharaja 4
  53. H.H. Sivarama Swami
  54. Australian News: SSSShhhhh… Confidential Reasons for Krishna's Advent
  55. More Recent Articles
  56. Search Planet ISKCON

Devadeva Mirel, Alachua, USA: Cooking With Kids


It's clobbering time!
My kitchen is an island galley and I love it. Long and narrow, it accomodates multiple cooks. The island maximizes work space by allowing cooks to spread out. This is really helpful when I find myself in the kitchen with my two little sous chefs, something that happens more and more these days.
I love being in the kitchen with my kids. It feels all homey and lovey and warm and good. Our biggest problems with the kids Is that they are happy. Pathologically so. Laughter, smiles—all in extremes. Their joy is contagious to a point. And then it just becomes…enough.
Not that I don't want them to be happy. I do. I just want, you know, some quiet. Cooking requires thinking and I find absurd youthful happiness an impediment to that process.
Friday the children demanded that we make Chinese dumplings. We had success with our veg dumpling filled raviolis, but they wanted to get more authentic and use the bamboo steamer I picked up at Bed Bath & Beyond with my Discover Card Reward Points (courtesy of the kitchen remodel).
I had dumpling wrappers from the Asian market in my freezer, but the ingredients in them are a bit superfulous and, honestly, I found the smell unappetizing. Plus, I heart my pasta maker and knew that we three Mirels could do better than the frozen wraps that were grossing me out.
Flour. I chose organic bread flour with a high gluten content because I thought that would add a nice chew to the wrapper. I didn't like it—tasted too endospermy to me. But the kids didn't mind. They each had at least six in one sitting. A great way to get spinach into them.
Venumadhava and Madhumati pretty much did everything, save for making the filling and mixing the dough. Okay. That sounds like I did a lot, but they were the key assemblers. Child labor rocks!

Vegetarian jiaozi filling: spinach, mushrooms, tofu, ginger.


Madhumati rolling the dough through the pasta maker.


We used the 4th setting because our favorite dumplings @ Yuan Fu are thick and doughy.


I need to get a slightly bigger cutter, but this one worked okay.


Each child was given a wad of dough to roll, cut, fill and pinch. 


Next time...when I have "alone time"....I will bi-fold them and pinch. But this was an easier styling for the kids.


They loved arranging cabbage leaves in the steamer, setting their dumplings in it and stacking the baskets.


Our finished dumpling dinner!


But wait. There's more! After we ate the children assisted me *again* in the kitchen. Cleaning up? Ha ha ha. No. I needed lemons juiced for the next day's salad dressing so I let them play with our latest toy, courtesy of kitchen remodel reward points. And yes, my countertop is now etched. And no, it does not bother me one bit. Viva!


I candied the lemon peels. Not as great as when I made them last January since I only had brown sugar and sucanat (I used the brown). I need to get me some crystals soon. The kids wanted to cut the peel but this requires some nimble knife work. The kids love cutting. Damn Montessori education. Unfortunately, there is not a drop of Amish blood in my body so it worries me silly. My solution? Don't look!


Oops. Forgot to mention that we ran the leftover dough scraps through the pasta maker to make noodles...


...which we fried in coconut oil...


...admired them for their crisp bubbled golden crunch....


...and then continued to photograph like the crazed food obsessed person that I am. "Can we eat them now?" Ho-hum. "Yes you may."

Cooking with Kids: The Recipe

Due to the nature of working with kids, this recipe is rather ad hoc and can be adjusted depending on the kids you have on hand.

*Take lots of time. Now double it.

*The space requirement for this recipe is excessive, although you will find the children sticking to you regardless of room in the kitchen. Make sure you continue to spread them out, however keep checking on them to make sure they are on task and not eating the raw ingredients. Ahem, my daughter.

*Step stools, elbow room, spare dough and wet towels should all be on hand ready to go.

My hope is that having my kids in the kitchen with me will be something they look back on fondly as adults. The children really are more interested in what’s for dinner if they have a part in making it, although making it does take about 4 times as long. But hey, if you are a stay at home mom, what else do you have to do? Besides laundry.


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Australian News: Maha Kirtan 7: THE VIDEO… Don't miss it!

Kirtan Radio was there, click here and find out.

Share this story your way:PrintFacebookTwitterGoogle BookmarksStumbleUponYahoo! Buzzdel.icio.usDiggLiveMySpacePDF

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ISKCON Brisbane, AU: Srila Prabhupada's appearance day - 3rd Sept.

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ISKCON Brisbane, AU: Janmastami 2010

Dear Friend, come and join us to take advantage of this wonderfull festival, The appearance day of Lord Sri Krishna
We will be celebrate it on
Thursday,2nd September 5.30pm-1:00am &
Saturday,4th September 5:00pm-9:00pm


Sponsorship opportunities
If you would like to take the opportunity to sponsor,
please contact Syamarani, Mon – Fri 9:00am – 1:00pm
syamarani.ids@hotmail.com  Ph 07 3379 5455

 

 

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ISKCON Toronto, Canada: Sri Krishna Janmastami!!!!


On Wednesday, September 1st, ISKCON Toronto will be celebrating the biggest birthday party of the year, Lord Krishna's appearance day, Sri Krishna Janmastami!!!!

The evening program will be full of kirtan, bhajans, discourses and more! The countdown to midnight will kick-off with an abhisheka and the temple will be resounding 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. Special parking rates have been arranged on Pears Ave. ($3.00 for 5:00 pm to 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
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
8:30-9:00 pm – Class
9:00 to 9:10 pm - Reading from Krsna Book
9:10 to 9:40 pm – Kalash Abhisheka
9:40-9:50 pm – Mrdanga Demonstration
9:50-10 pm - Ratha-Yatra Fundraising Presentation
10:00 – 11:00 pm – Special Pesentation
11:00 – 11:20 pm – Drama
11:20 – 12:00 am - Abhisheka
Midnight - Arati
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Sita-pati dasa, AU: Maha Kirtan 7 Video - 10 hours of kirtan in 2.5 minutes

Go here to see it on Youtube.

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Kurma dasa, AU: Mangrove Musings Part 1

My final Mangrove Mountain Anna Yoga Retreat for 2010 is over. Here's a few photos from Sunday, day #2 of our two-day cooking intensive. The photos for day #1 are on someone else's camera, so 'the cheque's in the mail' on that one.

Kurma Anna Yoga Retreat August 2010:

Our group poses for an inaugural photo in the room above the kitchen complex as the warming rays of the final days of winter pour through the window.

menu planners still-life:

Our menu for the day, along with pistachios for the kheer dessert, and slabs of rich organic-milk panir cheese, poised to fry and baste to perfection.

Laura and Katherine stir the Kheer:

Sisters Laura and Katherine came with their Mum and seemed to really enjoy themselves. Laura perfected the art of making chapatis the day before. Maybe we'll have some pictures of that.

miss menaka means business:

Menaka found a new vocation over the weekend - the more physical side of cooking. The heavenly Carrot and Ginger Soup meets it's end.

panir steak supreme:

And what Panir Steaks! Truly the most succulent I have ever tasted.

kheer:

The Pistachio and Cardamom Kheer Sevian was highly delicious.

saffron lemonade:

Always a surprise, the Saffron Lemonade delighted many palates.

asparagi:

Raw asparagus ready for it's 15 minutes of fame.

flamin' asparagus!:

Flamin asparagus! Literally. I have perfected the art of barbecuing asparagus using an exceedingly hot wok. So hot that when a drizzle of oil and seasonings hit the pre-heated surface, it flame-cooks the asparagus.

breath of the wok:

The flames were alight for close to 3 minutes, and the asparagus were truly the most delectable I have ever tasted.

best BBQ asparagus ever:

Asparagus along with the mysterious 'breath of the wok' flavour.

Lunch at Mangrove:

A sample of our delights! Come and join us next time.

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ISKCON Toronto, Canada: Deity Darshan: Sunday, August 29, 2010


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Ananda Subramanian, Iowa, USA: Scientific evidence for Krishna's existence

Krishna: History or Myth from Saraswati Films on Vimeo.

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Japa Group: Please Join The Japa Group

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

rasa108@gmail.com

ys

Rasa Rasika dasa

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Japa Group: Brilliant Path


Hare Krsna my dear devotees, below is an experience of H.H. Sacinandana Swami that I would like to share with you:


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.
What else will happen to this fortunate ant?

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.

your servant,

Aruna devi
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Krishna Camp, USA: Krishna Camp 2010

Hey Everybody! This is the biggest and best year ever so far at Burning Man! Krishna Camp is partnering with Sacred Spaces Village, Red Lightning and Entheon Village, providing yummy nutritious vegetarian/vegan/raw prasadam delicacies with a healthy dose of Kirtan, sound Krishna philosophy and of course LOVE So if you’re coming to the Playa we’re [...]

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Kurma dasa, AU: Feed the World

a plan for global food supply 1:

global food supply2:

global food supply 3:

global food supply 5:

global food supply 4:

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Sita-pati dasa, AU: Nothing comes from Nothing - The First Cause Argument

Having presented points of agreement with Professor Richard Dawkins, I am now going to present points of difference.

These are not in the area of evolutionary biology, which is Professor Dawkin's area of authority, and not mine, but rather in the area of metaphysical conclusions that Professor Dawkins presents, extending his research into other areas of human concern. In this area and these conclusions he is joined by other notable contemporary philosophers and rhetoricians such as Daniel Dennett and Christopher Hitchens.

I will not quote their arguments verbatim, as I do not have access to all the literature to do so "chapter and verse". I will present the broad structure of their arguments, basing it mainly on the "Atheist Pocket Debater" app for iPhone - a preaching resource for secular humanists that is inspired by the thinking and argument of these modern exponents of scientific atheism.

The first argument that I will examine is the Argument of First Cause.

This argument states that the universe must have a cause, because something does not come from nothing, and therefore God must exist to have created it.

Dawkins rightly points out that arguing that something must have a cause, because nothing comes from nothing, actually argues against the existence of God.

If the universe must have come from somewhere, because nothing can come from nothing, then where does God come from? Nowhere?

Dawkins would say that positing the existence of God is simply removing the problem of origin of existence to the next level.

The response to this is to say that God is eternally existing, and has no beginning or end.

The extension of Dawkins' argument would be to say: "If you say that something cannot come from nothing, and you're going to say that something exists eternally, why not just say that the universe, which we can see does exist, is eternally existing, and has no need of a transcendent creator, who is a speculation from the empirical point of view?"

This is the application of Occam's razor, the scientific principle of choosing the simplest explanation when in doubt, to the First Cause Argument. This argument for the existence of God has the fatal weakness that Dawkins has pointed out and that I have expanded by applying Occam's razor. Dawkins and company like to use this refutation of the argument from First Cause as an argument against the existence of God, but it is a refutation of the First Cause argument, not a refutation of God's existence.

You cannot establish reality on the basis of argumentation, but you can influence what people think, and as a result what they do with their lives.

Now for where the Vedic school differs from this.

The First Cause Argument is not Vedic, and you will never hear me use it. According to the Vedic worldview, the manifested universe is eternal and beginningless (anadi). Whatever exists has always existed and will always exist. Whatever does not exist will never come into existence. Existence is eternal.

nasato vidyate bhavo
nabhavo vidyate satah
ubhayor api drishto 'ntas
tv anayos tattva-darsibhih

Those who are seers of the truth have concluded that of the nonexistent there is no endurance and of the eternal there is no change. This they have concluded by studying the nature of both.

- Bhagavad-gita 2/16

Sat means eternal. Bhavah means coming into being. That which is eternal does not come into being. That which comes into being does not exist.

So both the material universe and the Supreme Lord are eternally existing. There is no argument from First Cause for the existence of God in the Vedic worldview, because the Vedic worldview does not agree with the scientific perspective that this world came into existence from a previous state of non-existence. It's that point of agreement between Christian philosophy and modern science that gives rise to both the First Cause argument and its fatal flaw.

Just to elaborate on this Vedic idea of eternal existence and coming into being.

Just remaining within our immediate experience here - we can see that the material elements have persistence but manifestations of categories do not.

As an example, the elements of the material body have persistence - from dirt to plants, to bodies, to reproduction, to death, to dirt - the cycle of life uses and reuses the same elements, recycling them over and over again. Apparently at this point we all have some atoms in us that were in Shakespeare's body.

However, the material body itself is not persistent. The elements of your body do not have a beginning, but your body does. In the Vedic worldview this means that your body does not exist. It is like a shadow or the flicker of a candle. Does the "flicker of a candle" really exist, or is it merely the transient side effect of some other more substantial underlying manifestation - the flame?

The Vedic idea is that the body and the life we are now experiencing is like the "flicker of the candle", and that underlying it is a more substantial reality. Each of the material bodies is transient, however the underlying elements are persistent, and the "archetype", if you like, of the human body is also persistent, though not always manifested.

Just like I may have a cookie cutter and some cookie dough. With the cookie cutter I stamp out a gingerbread man. The gingerbread man is then eaten. He's gone. Temporary. However, with an unlimited supply of cookie dough (the persistent material elements), and the cookie cutter (the archetype of the form), the substance and the form are both be persistent while each manifestation is only the temporary coming together of the two.

In the same way, eternal elements combine together to give rise to a temporary manifestation - our body and our life in it. According to the Vedic world view this is as substantial as the temporary transient effect of the flickering of a candle.

If we focus on the temporary combination of the form and substance into the human body, and engross our consciousness in that, we find the sands of time slipping through our fingers, and the illusion is dispelled - the fog lifts, the clouds disperse, the candle flickers again, and it is all over.

The real use of this human form of life - the temporary coming together of the material elements, the archetypical form of the human body and mind, and our consciousness of that wave on the eternal ocean of becoming and unbecoming (bhava-sindhu), is to understand this and strive to understand our real nature:

What is it that is conscious of and experiencing this eternal ocean of becoming and unbecoming, of eternally temporary transformations of eternal matter?

Having attained this very rare form of human birth, we should make sure to realise its true worth by seeking after our eternal nature. Even if it turns out that there is nothing beyond an eternally existing universe and a temporary life as some chemicals thinking they are a person, as a materialist would argue, we have nothing to lose....

And the atheist's take on that argument, Pascal's wager, I will look at next.

In the meantime, you can read more about the First Cause Argument here.

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Bharatavarsa.net: Book distribution seminar: Voodoo Priest Gets the Mercy

In the evening, after a blissful day of book distribution in New Orleans's French Quarter, Raya Nitai Prabhu, Bhakta Steve and I were preparing to go on harinam. After we blew a conchshell to signify the beginning of harinam, a tall skinny man with a goatee, French beret, and long hair walked through a black gate from a dimly lit ally and approached us.

He asked, " Are you Hare Krishnas?"

We replied, "Yes."

He smiled and said, "That's wonderful! Tonight is the anniverssary of our head priest's passing away. Can you do a kirtan in his memory?"

It turns out that he was a voodoo priest and we were invited to his voodoo temple.

The walls were full of religious icons, pictures of saints and tribal statues including a murti of Lord Vishnu on Garuda.

There were several people in the temple, and they really enjoyed the kirtan. They were swaying back and forth. Raya Nitai lead a New Orleans style kirtana that got their emotions moving, and afterward we spoke a little about Krishna consciousness. They even purchased a hardbound Bhagavad-gita As It Is.

Lord Caitanya's movement is spreading to every town and village and hopefully every voodoo temple. Everyone gets the mercy.

Bhakta Vassilios

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Bharatavarsa.net: Bhakti Vikasa Swami: pre-Janmastami meditation; invocation to NoD

Lord Sri Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the cause of all causes, the reservoir of all rasas, or relationships, which are called neutrality (passive adoration), servitorship, friendship, parenthood, conjugal love, comedy, compassion, fear, chivalry, ghastliness, wonder and devastation. He is the supreme attractive form, and by His universal and transcendental attractive features He has captivated all the gopis, headed by Taraka, Palika, Syama, Lalita, and ultimately Srimati Radharani.

>>> Ref. VedaBase => NoD Introduction

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David Haslam, UK: Car Maintenance. spiritual maintenance a thought

Several months ago one of my youngest clients dropped a small metal object into the power point in the car fusing it completely; so this meant that I could no longer listen to my music on the iPhone nor charge it up whilst driving. Further highlighted when I was giving HH Mahavishnu Swami a lift [...]

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Book Distribution News: Voodoo Priest Gets the Mercy

In the evening, after a blissful day of book distribution in New Orleans's French Quarter, Raya Nitai Prabhu, Bhakta Steve and I were preparing to go on harinam. After we blew a conchshell to signify the beginning of harinam, a tall skinny man with a goatee, French beret, and long hair walked through a black gate from a dimly lit ally and approached us.

He asked, " Are you Hare Krishnas?"

We replied, "Yes."

He smiled and said, "That's wonderful! Tonight is the anniverssary of our head priest's passing away. Can you do a kirtan in his memory?"

It turns out that he was a voodoo priest and we were invited to his voodoo temple.

The walls were full of religious icons, pictures of saints and tribal statues including a murti of Lord Vishnu on Garuda.

There were several people in the temple, and they really enjoyed the kirtan. They were swaying back and forth. Raya Nitai lead a New Orleans style kirtana that got their emotions moving, and afterward we spoke a little about Krishna consciousness. They even purchased a hardbound Bhagavad-gita As It Is.

Lord Caitanya's movement is spreading to every town and village and hopefully every voodoo temple. Everyone gets the mercy.

Bhakta Vassilios

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H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: 55

www.sdgonline.org. SDGonline Daily updates

3:48 A.M.

Namamrta by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

The meaning of the name "Hare."

 Hare is the vocative form of "Hara," the supreme pleasure energy of the Lord:

"The word Hara is the form of addressing the energy of the Lord and the words Krishna and Rama are forms of addressing the Lord Himself. Both Krishna and Rama mean "the supreme pleasure," and Hare is the supreme pleasure energy of the Lord, changed to Hare in the vocative. The supreme pleasure energy of the Lord helps us to reach the Lord.” (The Science of Self Realization)

Hara is Krishna's internal potency, Srimati Radharani or Laksmi:

 "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, "O Radharani! O Hare! O energy of the Lord!" (Teachings of Lord Kapila, the Son of Devahuti)

And so we have the explanations of both Hare and Krishna. Hare is addressed first. Srimati Radharani comes first. Her name is mentioned more times than Krishna's in the Hare Krishna mantra. Without Radharani there is no meaning to Krishna, and without Krishna there is no meaning to Radharani. They come together in the Hare Krishna mantra. And thus when we chant we should try to think of both Radharani and Krishna and Their pastimes. Sometimes we chant in front of the Deities of Radha and Krishna or we think of Their activities together. But the chanting is not just abstract syllables, it is the name-forms of the Divine Couple. We hope to reciprocate with the Divine Couple when we chant, and thus Prabhupada has paraphrased the translation of the maha-mantra to mean "O Radharani, O Krishna, please engage me in Your service."

Last night I woke up at 11.30 P.M. and had to pass urine. I went back to sleep and got up at a quarter after 1:00 A.M. My chanting was steady but heavy-eyed and mechanical. Occasionally I broke through and felt myself crying to Hare and Krishna. Despite the heavy eyes, I paid attention to the syllables and chanted all of my sixteen rounds before Baladeva came up at 3:30. So it was not the worst of times, but it was not the best of times either. Too much stress on the mechanics without emphasis on heart feelings.

First you call on Radha, then
you call on Krishna. The potency
comes first, and then the Potent.
Radharani is the tender
feminine counterpart of Krishna,
and we call on Her first. If
we get Her favor then Krishna
is obliged to bless us. Hare Krishna,
They are together and we never
try to separate Them in our japa.
It is the yugala-mantra for
worshipers of Them both.
As you cruise through your
quota, keep this always in mind.

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H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: Prabhupada Smaranam

www.sdgonline.org. SDGonline Daily updates

One Hundred Prabhupada Poems #12
“Offer your breakfast,
bowed head, pranams

“I want to stop this tongue-only ritual.
Put head down and think and feel,
‘Only if you accept, master,
can we offer food to God and
save ourselves from eating sin.
Please take it just as if you are in
your room in L.A. and I bring it in
to you on a silver plate, some hot
cereal and milk a lady prepared in the
kitchen. We all love you and serve
our spiritual master in his headquarters.
And I'm so lucky to bring it to you!’"

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H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: Poem from Under Dark Stars

www.sdgonline.org. SDGonline Daily updates

1.
It's becoming a strain to
keep this up, to connect the
old abstruse poems to a
new commentary. The old
poems are clear enough
in their own way or if
they are not, it's hard to
show what they mean. But
for now I'll keep trying
because some came out
well and it's a new form
to work with. Here goes:

2.
Here is a poem from Under Dark Stars:

read more from SDGonline - daily updates Viraha Bhavan journal 

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H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: Free Write

www.sdgonline.org. SDGonline Daily updates

I hope the expert technician, Rasacarya, comes to properly work the live video we have planned for this morning. If we botch it up people will stop watching. While I'm still alive I want to collect live videos for the future. You have to plan for that sort of thing. My webmaster wants me to make the videos more interesting by making them interactive with people phoning in and with people in the studio, not just me as a "talking head" reading from the book. But the extra entertainment is just not my style. This is who I am, a sober person reading from his book. If you want to come and see me that's what you'd get, so why should I make up all these extra frills? I'll try to put my feeling into the reading of the words and my voice.

Jayadvaita Maharaja and a few extra people will be coming for Janmastami. But Narayana K. is going to observe it in Trinidad. I'll participate as much as I can according to my health. I suppose most of it will happen in the afternoon. Not all of the guests are planning on staying up until midnight, nor will the children and neither am I planning on fasting until midnight. Migraineurs are advised not to fast. I would like to hear Jayadvaita Maharaja read from some more of the book he's writing, the commentary on Ecclesiastes.

We are reading a favorite chapter in Adi-lila C.c., where Rupa Gosvami reads the drama he is composing to Lord Caitanya and His close associates. Rupa Gosvami is too shy to read the verse where he describes the mind of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and rewrote the romantic verse that Lord Caitanya was chanting at Ratha-yatra. Svarupa Damodara recites the verse out loud. Lord Caitanya says to Svarupa Damodara, "How did Rupa Gosvami know my mind?" Svarupa Damodara says to the Lord, "When you empowered Rupa Gosvami at Prayag that meant that he would be able to know Your mind in esoteric subjects." On being asked, Rupa Gosvami then reads the verse glorifying the holy names—"I do not know how much nectar is contained in these syllables ‘Krish-na.’" On hearing the verse, namacarya Haridasa Thakura begins to dance and praise the quality of the verse. Lord Caitanya asks Rupa Gosvami to read the verse in which Rupa Gosvami praises his worshipable Deity. Rupa Gosvami reads a beautiful verse describing Lord Caitanya as the Supreme Person who has given what no incarnation ever gave, the radiant luster of conjugal love. Because the verse was of Himself, Lord Caitanya disapproved it and said it was an exaggeration.

How potent and wonderful that Prabhupada spoke at the "spiritual" nudist colony Morningstar and didn't get contaminated but took away leaders for his movement like Tamal Krishna, Madhudvisa, Gaurahari and others that I cannot recall now. He didn't see the bodies, he saw the souls. And later he converted the whole Hawaiian group led by Sai and reinitiated him as Siddhasvarupananda Maharaja. George Harrison became attracted and gave generously. New people are still being picked up, by the yoga class, by the kirtanas, and by the devotees. On Vyasa-puja day, Prabhupada's glories will be told and memories will be told.

Visvambhara wandered through the towns of Nadia. He was as beautiful as Kamadeva. He displayed the pastime of arrogance and superiority and defeated everyone He met in debates. He didn't reveal Himself as a devotee of Krishna. The Vaisnavas were sad that such a wonderful person was not a worshiper of Krishna. He used to ask the different merchants for their wares, cloth, milk, conch shells etc, and say He had no coins to pay them. They gave Him their goods and said He could pay later or not at all. He went to see an all-knowing sage and asked him what He was in His past life. When the sage meditated, he saw his worshipful Lord Krishna in his vision. He thought Visvambhara was maybe a magician or another all-knowing sage like him come to test him. He asked him to return tomorrow, and he would meditate again. Visvambhara particularly liked to spend time with Sridhara, who was a poor seller of bananas, banana roots and leaves. He asked Sridhara to give Him goods, but unlike the other merchants, Sridhara would argue over a price. Besides, the Lord would come every day. Visvambhara was so aggressive, Sridhara thought, "This brahmana may hit me." They actually had a very friendly relationship, but it revolved around arguing for the bananas. Sridhara used to always wind up giving Visvambhara the bananas for free. Later, when the Lord revealed His identity as Lord Vishnu and asked the devotees to take a boon from Him, Sridhara said he just wanted to go on life after life as a banana salesman and again argue with Visvambhara about the price. For the time being Visvambhara wandered around the towns, debating pandits and keeping His identity hidden.

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Rupa Madhurya das, TX, USA: Lecture - Prahladananda Swami - CC Adi 4.21-22 - Do Something Practical

Lecture on Chaitanya Charitamrita,  Adi Lila, Chapter 4, Texts 21-22 titled "Do Something Practical" by Prahladananda Swami.

Dallas, TX
2010-07-11

Śrī Caitanya Caritāmṛta Ādi 4.21-22
mora putra, mora sakhā, mora prāṇa-pati
ei-bhāve yei more kare śuddha-bhakti
āpanāke baḍa māne, āmāre sama-hīna
sei bhāve ha-i āmi tāhāra adhīna

SYNONYMS

mora — my; putra — son; mora — my; sakhā — friend; mora — my; prāṇa-pati — lord of life; ei bhāve — in this way; yei — those who; more — unto Me; kare — do; śuddha-bhakti — pure devotion; āpanāke — himself; baḍa — great; māne — he regards; āmāre — Me; sama — equal; hīna — or lower; sei bhāve — in that way; ha-i — am; āmi — I; tāhāra — to him; adhīna — subordinate.

TRANSLATION


"If one cherishes pure loving devotion to Me, thinking of Me as his son, his friend or his beloved, regarding himself as great and considering Me his equal or inferior, I become subordinate to him.

PURPORT

In the Caitanya-caritāmṛta three kinds of devotional service are described — namely, bhakti (ordinary devotional service), śuddha-bhakti (pure devotional service) and viddha-bhakti (mixed devotional service).

When devotional service is executed with some material purpose, involving fruitive activities, mental speculations or mystic yoga, it is called mixed or adulterated devotional service. Besides bhakti-yoga, the Bhagavad-gītā also describes karma-yoga, jñāna-yoga and dhyāna-yoga. Yoga means linking with the Supreme Lord, which is possible only through devotion. Fruitive activities ending in devotional service, philosophical speculation ending in devotional service, and the practice of mysticism ending in devotional service are known respectively as karma-yoga, jñāna-yoga and dhyāna-yoga. But such devotional service is adulterated by the three kinds of material activities.

For those grossly engaged in identifying the body as the self, pious activity, or karma-yoga, is recommended. For those who identify the mind with the self, philosophical speculation, or jñāna-yoga, is recommended. But devotees standing on the spiritual platform have no need of such material conceptions of adulterated devotion. Adulterated devotional service does not directly aim for love of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore service performed strictly in conformity with the revealed scriptures is better than such viddha-bhakti because it is free from all kinds of material contamination. It is executed in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, solely to please the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Those who are spontaneously devoted to the Lord and have no aims for material gain are called attracted devotees. They are spontaneously attracted to the service of the Lord, and they follow in the footsteps of self-realized souls. Their pure devotion (śuddha-bhakti), manifested from pure love of Godhead, surpasses the regulative principles of the authoritative scriptures. Sometimes loving ecstasy transcends regulative principles; such ecstasy, however, is completely on the spiritual platform and cannot be imitated. The regulative principles help ordinary devotees rise to the stage of perfect love of Godhead. Pure love for Kṛṣṇa is the perfection of pure devotion, and pure devotional service is identical with spontaneous devotional service.

Flawless execution of regulative principles is exhibited in the Vaikuṇṭha planets. By strictly executing these principles one can be elevated to the Vaikuṇṭha planets. But spontaneous pure loving service is found in Kṛṣṇaloka alone.

TRANSLATION

If one cherishes pure loving devotion to Me, thinking of Me as his son, his friend or his beloved, regarding himself as great and considering Me his equal or inferior, I become subordinate to him.

PURPORT

In the Caitanya-caritamrita three kinds of devotional service are described -- namely, bhakti (ordinary devotional service), suddha-bhakti (pure devotional service) and viddha-bhakti (mixed devotional service).

When devotional service is executed with some material purpose, involving fruitive activities, mental speculations or mystic yoga, it is called mixed or adulterated devotional service. Besides bhakti-yoga, the Bhagavad-gita also describes karma-yoga, jnana-yoga and dhyana-yoga. Yoga means linking with the Supreme Lord, which is possible only through devotion. Fruitive activities ending in devotional service, philosophical speculation ending in devotional service, and the practice of mysticism ending in devotional service are known respectively as karma-yoga, jnana-yoga and dhyana-yoga. But such devotional service is adulterated by the three kinds of material activities.

For those grossly engaged in identifying the body as the self, pious activity, or karma-yoga, is recommended. For those who identify the mind with the self, philosophical speculation, or jnana-yoga, is recommended. But devotees standing on the spiritual platform have no need of such material conceptions of adulterated devotion. Adulterated devotional service does not directly aim for love of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore service performed strictly in conformity with the revealed scriptures is better than such viddha-bhakti because it is free from all kinds of material contamination. It is executed in Krishna consciousness, solely to please the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Those who are spontaneously devoted to the Lord and have no aims for material gain are called attracted devotees. They are spontaneously attracted to the service of the Lord, and they follow in the footsteps of self-realized souls. Their pure devotion (suddha-bhakti), manifested from pure love of Godhead, surpasses the regulative principles of the authoritative scriptures. Sometimes loving ecstasy transcends regulative principles; such ecstasy, however, is completely on the spiritual platform and cannot be imitated. The regulative principles help ordinary devotees rise to the stage of perfect love of Godhead. Pure love for Krishna is the perfection of pure devotion, and pure devotional service is identical with spontaneous devotional service.

Flawless execution of regulative principles is exhibited in the Vaikuntha planets. By strictly executing these principles one can be elevated to the Vaikuntha planets. But spontaneous pure loving service is found in Krishnaloka alone.


Download: 2010-07-11 - Lecture - Prahladananda Swami - CC Adi 4.21-22 - Do Something Practical.mp3
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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1967 August 29 : "Physically I may be present or not; but the work must continue. Our Guru Maharaja injected his Spiritual Vision in some of us, and I hope, even in my absence, that the spirit of Krishna Consciousness will be spread."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1967

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1967 August 29 : "You may know that I am also feeling your separation. Physically I am trying to go back to your States as soon as possible. I have got a fancy for your country, and being inspired by that, I first went there, and still I feel that way."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1967

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1967 August 29 : "Krishna wants that everyone should utilize his talent as far as possible. That is real sannyasa. As you are devoted already to the service of the Lord, without any personal consideration, you are always sannyasa at heart."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1967

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1967 August 29 : "The best preparation for the coming of the child is just for the parents to remain perfectly Krishna Conscious and the best means for that is by chanting the holy Names and listening to Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1967

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1972 August 29 : "If there is good reason, you may have to become angry just to chastise the evil-doers and blasphemers. So if there is offensive behavior to the pure devotees you may become like Nrsimhadeva and punish them severely."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1972

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1974 August 29: "So you have returned, but now you must be very careful not to become rubbish. If you are keeping long hairs, they must be removed. All of my disciples must be clean shaved. Even anyone who stays with us must be clean shaved."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1974

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1975 August 29: "Even from the lower modes, a human can come up to the higher stage. That is our Movement. Animal stage of life is very dangerous. There is no chance, only in the human form. Unfortunately modern education is to kill that chance."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1975

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1975 August 29: "I am glad that you have keen interest in the Institute program. Be ready, as I am negotiating. In the meantime request all GBC's to send lists of all our disciples who have B.A., M.A. or Ph.D. degrees."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1975

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1968 August 28: "I am reaching New York at 5:50. I wish to meet Satyavrata; if he does not like to come to our temple, then I wish to go there to his place. Please arrange for this on Sunday. More when we meet."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1968

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1969 August 28: "There is immense potency of preaching the philosophy of Krishna Consciousness under the guidance of Lord Caitanya, and I wish that all my Godbrothers should go to different parts of the world and preach this sublime message everywhere, because that is the desire of Lord Caitanya."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1969

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1970 August 28: "If you all continue to follow the rigid schedule with vow, going on Sankirtana and studying our literatures, it is sure and certain to increase your spiritual power to attract more and more sincere persons to Krsna Consciousness."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1970

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1972 August 28: "My special blessings for those who are doing so much for our Lord. They must be specifically blessed to go back home, back to Godhead without any delay for waiting for the next life. Thank them very much on my behalf."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1972

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1973 August 28: "If you can arrange for meetings with Professor Dimock and other professors then do it and I shall come. Krishna is very kind upon you. He has given you so many responsible tasks. Bhaktivinode Thakura used to say all difficult tasks he had to execute for Krishna were considered as great pleasure for him."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1973

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1973 August 28: "Regarding the criticism from others, that may be there but we have to follow our own principles. If we maintain these principles rigidly there is no question of fall down and without any difficulty our progressive march will advance."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1973

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1974 August 28: "Regarding the illegal taking of the Japanese currency from the country, do not do these things. Also stop the pen stealing. This is not good, and should be stopped."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1974

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1975 August 28: "If you can't sell the land then you can lease to us for 99 years. The land is lying vacant from a long time 50 years. Now if it can be utilized for the benefit of the Institute why there should be objection."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1975

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Australian News: Kulimela Australia "Let's get the party started!"

Fellow Kulis, Vaishnava youth, devotees of Krsna, and associates

Kulimela France has come and gone and by all reports it was an excellent gathering so congratulations to the entire team who organised and pulled off that event and made it what it was, and to all of the people who attended and participated in it.
It is now time to start looking forward to the Australian Mela at the end of this year/start of next year. It is not too early to start planning ahead for your journey down under and now would be a great time to book flights as there are a number of very cheap flights available ($1000 return from LA as an example) so it would be wise to book early to save your dollars to give you more spending money for when you're over here.

Just a reminder that the Kulimela week will be from the 3rd to the 9th of Jan 2011 while the week before that (27th of Dec to 2nd of Jan) will be packed with tours and adventures and give everyone a chance to get to know each other while exploring this beautiful country. There will be day trips to the pristine beaches, a trip to the national parks, local wildlife adventures, bushwalking, sightseeing and a number of other activities to keep you entertained while the international Kulis get over their jet lag and acclimatise to our wonderful summer.
We would like to encourage people to come in that first week as it will be a great way to begin to get to know each other and an easy way for you to see some of the local attractions. A full schedule for both weeks will be announced shortly but so far our plans for the first week are:

Monday the 27th of December – Registration, relaxation
Tuesday the 28th of December – A day trip to beautiful Byron Bay with options for surfing lessons, snorkelling or scuba diving
Wednesday the 29th or December – A trip to Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary where you will get an opportunity to get up close and personal with Australia's unique wildlife, followed by a trip to the nearby rock pools for a refreshing swim
Thursday the 30th of December – Climb nearby Mt Warning – an extinct volcano with spiritual significance to the local Aboriginal people
Friday the 31st of December – A trip up to the sunny Gold Coast with opportunities to check out many of the pristine beaches, Surfers Paradise, and the nearby theme parks followed by bhajans on the beach through till midnight to bring in the new year in an auspicious manner.

We have many exciting plans and special guests already for the Mela week, including; HG Dina Bhandu Prabhu, HG Sruti Kirti Prabhu, hopefully Radhannath Swami, cooking with Kurma workshops, valuable and relatable seminars, and a long list of quality entertainment and music with names such as: Gauravani, Sri Prahlad, The Ghost Brothers and Azitiz already confirmed as attending with many more local and international acts yet to be confirmed.

We would like to welcome people to start getting in early and expressing their interest to attend so that we can start to formulate a rough guide of numbers. If you have any special need or requirements or would like to arrange a particular level of accommodation, please contact us as soon as possible so that we can point you in the right direction. I have a list of local motels, hotels, hostels and caravan parks so if you would like to book accommodation at one of those places I suggest you get in early and let me know so I can pass the information on to you, or it's all on the Kulimela Australia Facebook group page.

We still require a number of volunteers to head up different areas and we need representatives from all parts of the globe to help us promote this event. So if you would like to get involved in any way please let us know and we will be sure to put your talents to good use. Whether you would like to conduct a seminar or workshop, perform on stage, participate in the fashion show, put your art on display, sell your products, help man the registration booth, help out with decorating, sing some bhajans in the kutir, or help cook or distribute prasadam, any and all offers will be much appreciated and will contribute towards the overall success of this Mela.

This event is for us by us so it is important for its success that we all get involved and help out where we can. It is about bringing us all together so even if you can not attend yourself it is a worthy cause so I would still encourage you to get involved in some way – even if it is just volunteering to put up a poster at your local temple.

We have a website in the final stages of production that should be up and running in the next week or two so once that is going we will upload all of the info to that and begin processing registrations. At this stage we are anticipating the festival fee to be AU$108 for the full week for the early birds with that price rising slightly as we get closer to the dates. So prepare to get in early and register as soon as possible.
We will send out a message once the website is running and once we figure out accommodation costs. The majority of the accommodation will be camping – in either small one or two man tents or bigger capacity 10 man ones, so if you require a higher level of accommodation, please let us know as soon as possible so that we can try and help you out.

I think that's enough info for one day, and hope that you have read it all up to here.
Stay tuned for further updates in the coming weeks as we finalise more of the details and please let us know of your attendance plans as soon as possible so that we can provide all of the facilities required for the number of people attending.
Please don't hesitate to get in touch with us if you have any questions or concerns.

Your servants,

the Kulimela Australia organisation team.

Advaita Chandra Das
advaitamyler@hotmail.com

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Maddy Jean-claude Durr, New Govardhana, AU: A Journey Across to Poland: [P27] Wrecked In Rewal

Friday 20th, August 2010.

It was the holy day of Ekadasi.  The weather in Poland was wet, and it was effecting my seva in a disproportionate way; as the rain soaked up the festivals, the samosas demand was drying out.  Rain meant less people; less people meant less samosas.  I decided to use Ekadasi for what it is designed for: reading and chanting.  I know that this was a frequent option I was taking, as the tour was reaching its end, but I was taking a proactive approach to sickness.  Often people become sick at the end of the tour, from not resting, and then it can spread around to the unsuspecting.  This year I wasn't going to fall victim to the post Woodstock cold, capable of ruining the remainder of my tour.  I waved goodbye to the early bus, as the boys headed off to set up another massive festival in Rewal, and I stayed back the base for material and spiritual recuperation.

The tour's looming end was being felt by many.  For me it was symptomatic when I checked my emails; I was receiving emails from Radhadesh, where I was going to spend the next chunk of my life.  This was my next big journey, a journey more of the mind than the body; a journey that would be experienced from a stationary place, whilst my mind wandered through countless material.  Although these emails should have been pushing my mind into preparation for the upcoming major time investment, studying my life away, I was more interested in looking at my scheduled holidays (which arrived in my email), hoping to book in some extra checkpoints in my spiritual strategy to experience the big world of Krsna consciousness.  Where to go next?  Which country?  Which continent?  Which festival was awaiting my overly exposed diaries?

The internet left me (cutting out again) and I crept back to my room.  I jumped in surprise, as I saw a large man in a gamsa, walking to his private bathroom; the Swami was still around.  I hid so he would not see me, catching me missing another festival.  I snuck in for my japa mala and then raced back out.  I was off for my walk, beyond the forest, which I had been imagining up for days.

I headed down the path, murmuring the holy name and cultivating a small handful of four leaf clovers from the shrubs.  I passed along the forest path, past the spooky "Tree House".  There were no wild boars and the thunder clouds could only be appreciated from a distance.  I made it through the wilderness and peered out to new horizons.  It was an anticlimax; the earth was all but barren, desecrated by the modern farming machines.  I felt a touch of sadness; Kali Yuga looked so ugly.  My sentiment was paused as I heard a strange yelp.  I looked behind me, to a stray wheat field.  I saw something jumping, ears flopping.  Was it a boar?  Was it a dog?  It was coming right for me.  I froze, chanting very attentively.  Moments passed and nothing came out of the overgrowth.  Was it real?  Whatever it was, I took it as a message from Krsna to remind me to focus on the holy name, my only shelter.

I fled the scene when I knew it was safe.  I chanted on the walk back, occasionally running from giant harvesting machines, which seemed to swallow up the tiny dirt pathways.  These were the desecrators, carving their long talons into the Mother earth, weighing down with brute force.  I saw my friend, the deer, galloping in terror at the vision of the mechanical monstrosities.  I returned to our little school base, taking shelter of my writing and an early bed time.  In the day I dreamt of what the world could be, the higher potential; at night I also dreamt of what the world could be, the degradation that was awaiting us, almost in a visionary vividness.  How long could we last on our karmic capital, harvesting away our futures?  I was glad I was part of the revolution, building up the spiritual potency that was in dire need.

 

Saturday 21st, August 2010.

The water was barely trickling out of the taps.  The popular options for a bath this morning were: bottle bath and bucket bath (I wont comment on those who didn't even try to take bath).  For me it was the usual deal (my trusty bucket), only it took a little longer to load up, but for others it was a terrible calamity.  Naturally the kitchen was also in despair.  The head cooks were stashing drums of water (filled from taps next-door I presume), while my own supplies were being stolen, every time I turned a blind eye.  I would leave my jug under the tap, while I prepared the rest of my paraphernalia, but then my once "good friends"  were using my water when my back was turned.  I salvaged what I could and managed to roll out another bunch of samosa dough.

There was a gathering of familiar faces outside our room.  They were mostly devotees from the Australian tour.  'What are they doing here?' I thought for a moment.  It wasn't long before I realized; They were going to Gurudeva's room for an Ista-Gosthi on Brazilian tour.  The next adventure was nigh; but I was not to be a part of it.  I pondered up to Cidananda Gaura's penthouse (aka Sri Nama Vanamali Krsna Dasa's penthouse also, but he wasn't present at this time).  We chilled in the blue carpet and window light.

I returned to the kitchen for some Bhakti fringe benefits; Manjari Swarupa Mataji (aka: Braja's wife) was making the restaurant crew some pizza.  I stuck around, taking my share, and then passed on my compliments.  I told no one about the pizza party (almost until now) but those who already knew.  The little, unexpected rewards were always sweet (or sometimes savoury if you take the statement literarily).

I ran for the bus.  I sat with Cid, the current penthouse master.  I checked instinctively under the seat of the bus when we were jumping off (because I had lost something on the last trip so I didn't want it to happen again).  I arrived and entered the changing tent.  Vana and Radheya were there, waiting for me.  "Maddy, let's go to the beach!" came the usual suggestion.  I felt like Vana had contacted me with his psychic powers (I am convinced he has some) because today I had actually brought my swimmers.  We quickly headed down to the beach, in a bundle of excitement.  It was a typical material world situation - we were excited but for what?  I jumped into the green ocean, which was complimented by flat waters (where are the waves?).  On closer inspection, I noticed that this supposed ocean was almost salt free.  I felt a little nostalgic, which the boys could both relate to (Radheya had spent most of his life in California and Hawaii after all).

I enjoyed watching the last Gita play for the season (one of the first I watched myself).  Radheya played up a little extra, just for fun.  He jumped off stage for his portrayal of the Mind (my same role in Australia).  He threw in a few extra stunts, which the rest of the crew improvised into, making the drama a little bit more entertaining for this tour veteran.  I'm sure the audience thought it was all part of the usual show.

We finished final kirtana, and I checked my gear.  My bag was extra light today; I wondered why that was so?  The answer soon struck my mind; where was my laptop?!  My trusty writing tool was missing.  I traced my steps and decided that it might be on the bus.  I checked the floor, where I had sat on the way to the festival site.  The floor was dark and the case was black, so maybe I missed it on my previous inspection.  I was relieved to find it, under the seat in front of me, and I sat down peacefully.

I sat near the back row, in my original seat.  Maharaja came up to the door and looked in a little.  I hid, only out of instinct (probably because I am a milk sweet thief?).  "We need matajis!  We need matajis onstage to dress the girls in saris" he said.  This year we had changed our policy; normally there would be a dancing competition and the winners would receive saris, but this year we were giving them out to whoever came on the stage.  It was a lot more work for us but a lot less tears for the poor little girls who lost the dance offs.  The matajis complied to Maharaja's order, running off the bus, and I peacefully continued chanted.

When I returned home I came to silly conclusion that, while frantically looking for my lost computer, I left my swimmers in the changing tent.  It was one thing after the other.  I prayed they wouldn't go missing but I had a bad feeling about it.  Krsna was playing with me it seemed, teaching me to be a little more detached.

 

Sunday 22nd, August 2010.

I slept through my alarm!  I slept so long that when I woke up, it was when I was already supposed to be in the kitchen.  I was so programmed, waking the same approximate time everyday, that even within my dreams I knew I was sleeping in.  I felt bad, letting down the crew on the last day of the festivals.  I walked down to the bathroom to have a shower, rushing as fast as I could.  I passed Rasikendra Prabhu (my service charge) who was also only just waking up.  The guilt slept away and we both laughed it off.

I came back after my seva.  I sat with Braja Kishore and we shared a few nectar preaching stories.  He recycled one story that HH Indradyumna Swami had told him.  While Maharaja was on harinam, a middle aged lady came up to him and thanked him.  She said she had been suffering with depression and was seeing a psychiatrist.  The psychiatrist reassured her that everything would be ok; "you just go down to the Festiwal Indii and hear the man speak, then all your problems will go away" he said.  The lady took her doctor's advice and it worked a wonder.  The spiritual wisdom that Indradyumna Swami was sharing with the people really touched someone and changed their life.  She told Maharaja that since she heard him speak, life was worth living again.

We went down to the buses.  Only one bus pulled up, filling up so fast that I couldn't even grab a seat.  Was I going to miss out on the last day of festivals?  I found Jayatam Prabhu and he reassured me that there was another bus coming soon.  The rain begun to bucket down so we took shelter inside.  We waited, from our points of safety, until the bus finally came.  We were off again, for one last festival.

The rain was pouring down around us.  There were streams gliding down the glass and the curbs were all converged with water, which the bus wheels sprayed up for almost the whole trip.  We arrived to a festival grounds that was half ground and half water.  We prayed to Krsna and, surely enough, the people still came.

I looked for my swimmers but they had been moved.  I was considering that they were stolen (by the public or by the devotees?) but I kept looking, determined to find them.  Finally I found them on the stage, with all the drama costumes.  The security had moved them in the night so they would be better protected.  I thanked Krsna for not encouraging me to renounce my virtually useless swimmers (because where can I swim in Europe anyway?).

I jumped around, from island to island.  I tried to soak in as much of the festival as I could without soaking in too much of the ground water.  I knew this was my last chance to experience everything from our Festiwal Indii for this year.  I passed HH Indradyumna Swami and we both laughed.  There was mud, water and mess, but still there were crowds in our seats.  "And they still come?!" said Maharaja, in a chuckle.

The final kirtana raged on like never before.  Krsna blessed us with some dry land so we could dance the night away.  The program dragged on a little later than usual.  The Police were quick to catch on.  They drove up to the side of the festival and turned on their sirens.  The lights and sound of the festival drowned out their attempts to grab our attention.  We laughed, knowing that Indradyumna Swami couldn't see or hear them.  Eventually they drove behind the stage.  Vanamali passed the message onto the stage that we had to rap it up.  I saw Tribi run up to Maharaja and whisper something in his ear.  Very soon after that, the kirtana came to a close and so did our festivals on the Polish coast for 2010.

 

[http://maddmonk.wordpress.com/2010/08/29/p27-wrecked-in-rewal]


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Gauranga Kishore das,USA: Things are Starting to Pile Up


Well I just finished my first week of graduate school, it was awesome, I am taking three classes, a philosophy of science class, a symbolic logic class and an introductory graduate philosophy seminar. As well as teaching three discussion sections of an introductory philosophy class.

I really like all my class and also really enjoyed teaching but unfortunately it means I have pretty serious amounts of reading and writing due every week, which I love but it means that I will definitely be posting here less frequently. I'll still try to post something regularly, hopefully at least once a week but I can't promise anything.

It is only the first week and things are already starting to get crazy. I'm not quite sure just how crazy things will get, but I think they will get pretty crazy as readings and papers start to pile up, on top of papers and tests to grade, and classes to teach, and somewhere in the middle of the semester our daughter will be born!!! Although things will be pretty crazy, especially this semester I love what I am doing.

I love reading philosophy, doing research and writing papers. It is like writing for my blog but I actually get paid for it. :)
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H.H. Sivarama Swami: The story of Saksi Gopala begins with a description of Vidyanagara

Gopala’s temple and the six kinds of people given protection in Varnasrama Society

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H.H. Sivarama Swami: Kirtana on Sunday morning August 29th

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Hari Sauri das, Mayapura, IN: Q&As: On Chanting and Buddhists

Here’s a question I just got in from Bhakta Fernando in Brazil:

Q: I am writing to Your Grace to ask a question about a discussion that i had with a person who knows both Iskcon and eastern paths of philosophy and metaphysics.
He was making comparison and criticism. He said for instance that Iskcon temples are a mess, dirty, noisy with lots of fighting amongst devotees and buddhist, taoist temples are very clean, organized, quiet, peaceful, satvic.

He said that many Iskcon devotees don’t have basic manners, culture, education, etiquette whereas budhist, taoist, astanga yoga practitioners are educated, well mannered people. He also said that these people seems to have much more sense control than the devotees.

He said that Iskcon doesn’t have organization, planning, structure, stability whereas these groups are very well organized, structured with years, decades, centuries or more of work and tradition.
His point is that you judge something or someone by the results and symptoms, so if the devotees are the topmost transcendentalists and if Iskcon and the Sankirtana movement is the most elevated spiritual movement then there should be example, results and symptoms of such superior position. His reasoning is that these eastern paths and their followers seems to be more advanced, self controled etc. than the devotees.
I know his thinking comes from a neophyte understanding but i want to know what i could say to him. Could Your Grace tell me what i can say to him?
Bhk Fernando

Answer:

Your friend’s analysis is very sweeping and contains negative generalizations which would likely not hold up under close scrutiny. His assessment of the devotees is very subjective and personally I doubt very much that he has had direct experience of dealing with all the different organizations you have listed.

To really understand a world wide organization like ISKCON an objective observer would want to spend at least several months in at least a dozen or more different temples or asramas to gain an overall experience. If he has visited one or two temples and spent just a few hours in each how can he say that
a) his experience is typical of all ISKCON temples
b) his experience is typical of an extended stay in even one temple
Has your friend ever spent time in any of our Indian temples? Has he spent time in our European temples, or American temples etc? The experience will differ to some degree from place to place. However, the activities should remain consistent, especially in regard to the standards of Deity worship and sadhana.
Has his association been with neophytes or advanced Vaisnavas? How much time has he spent with senior devotees of ISKCON?

Quite apart from this, what does he actually understand about the true value of devotional service and the mercy of Lord Caitanya?
What is his idea of genuine advancement on the spiritual path? What does he understand about Lord Krsna’s statements in the Bhagavad Gita that even a little advancement on the path of bhakti can save one from the greatest danger? That even a leaf or flower offered with love is accepted by Him, but many years of austerities and penances, or lifetimes of yoga practice devoid of genuine bhakti is useless?

Does he know that all forms of yoga spring from the Vedas and that Krsna states unequivocally that He alone is to be known by all the Vedas?
Therefore any yoga practice that does not culminate in devotional service to Krsna is not yoga at all.

He speaks of education. Does he know that Bhagavad Gita is ‘raja vidya raja guhyam’ the highest form of education?
Does he know that Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead and that the highest form of knowledge is realized when one concludes ‘sarva dharman parityjaja mam ekam saranam vraja’? If someone does not know this, his education is incomplete.

As far as cleanliness goes, I don’t know where your friend has visited but our temples are famous for being clean and neat. Srila Prabhupada put great stress on personal and institutional cleanliness.
Apart from this, real cleanliness is internal, which comes from chanting the holy names.
Ceto darpana marjanam means our whole process is based on cleanliness. Is the heart of any non-devotee who is adverse to worship and surrender to the Supreme Lord really as clean as that of even a neophyte devotee who is trying with sincerity to please the Lord by his service?

As for sense control, we have our four regulative principles. Do the groups your friend associates with have such regulations? Do they follow them? I know many so-called yoga practicioners who once they are outside the yoga school indulge in intoxicants, illicit sex and indiscriminate eating. At least ISKCON espouses the highest standards in this regard. If not everyone follows them, that is another thing, but at least ISKCON as an organization has very clear and strict guidelines, especially for its initiated followers.

As for infighting, one only has to look to the history of Buddhism to see how many offshoots have formed. The fact that there are many Buddhist sects speaks of their history of fighting and factionalization, so that is not a good example of peaceful coexistence. The fact is that in Kali-yuga, disagreement is the hallmark of the age, and there are no examples of perfect harmony. In ISKCON we have also experienced that tendency and we regret it, but what can be done? Why single out ISKCON when the whole human society is rife with it?

I am not saying here that everyone in ISKCON is perfect. Far from it. But that is the whole point. ISKCON is a vehicle for transporting the imperfect to the platform of perfection, whereby they become fit for personally serving the Supreme Lord and His devotees. Naturally when one is a neophyte, there will be so many discrepancies, but by constant practice eventually such persons will become the best of all living beings. A pure devotee is beyond the sum total of all the demigods, what to speak of ordinary human beings.

Even the leader of the Buddhists, the Dalai Lama can only speak about ahimsa and compassion and sense control but in practice the man is a first class hypocrit because he eats meat.
He is also an atheist. Even if the Buddhist does not eat meat and avoids violence against the bodies of other living beings, the Buddhists are still the most violent because they espouse the annihilation of their selves and anyone who will listen to their rascal philosophy.  Their aim is nothing less than the destruction of the soul, so what could be more violent than that? So who is the better spiritual practicioner? Anyone of our devotees is better than the Dalai Lama or any other Buddhist.

The conclusion is that bhakti yoga as taught in ISKCON is designed to raise fallen souls to the level of genuine liberation, whereby they can enter into the spiritual realm at the time of leaving this body, and never come back here again.
Can the Buddhists, or the yogis, or the taoists etc. offer this opportunity? They can make a show only, but they cannot maintain because, as Lord Brahma says in Srimad Bhagavatam, their intelligence is polluted due to not taking shelter at the lotus feet of the Lord. Therefore they must at some point fall down from their practice.

Your friend’s assessment seems to be prejudiced and ill-informed. The best thing is to simply feed him prasadam.
Even if he cannot appreciate anything else, he may at least appreciate something good to eat.

Your humble servant,
Hari-sauri dasa

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Mayapur Online: Janmastami Special Lectures in Mayapur

As Janmastami is nearing by, special lectures on Sri Krishna Lila has started in Mayapur. For the past three days, verses from “Prayers of Queen Kunti” are being discussed. Today HG Sankarshan Nitai prabhu beautifully described the reasons for appearance of Lord Krishna as stated in Caitanya Caritamrita and how Krishna appears in the life of a devotee with vivid analogies. These special classes are uploaded now.

read more

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H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Wedesday, August 18th, 2010

Nighttime City Trail

Toronto, Ontario

The overnight red-eye flight from Vancouver brought Gaura and Nitai, my devotee actor protégés, and myself back to Toronto. The day allowed no space for walking, the night did.

As I took to the steps descending the exterior stairs of the temple ashram for a night time trek a vehicle pulled up. Out emerged a monk from India, Nava Yogendra Swami. As he was coming in I was making my way out.

We offered dandavats (full obeisance) to each other on the sidewalk and then I explained by reason for the trek despite the late hour (9:45pm). "I didn't have a chance today yet, now I have to go." The Swami concurred, " It is so important to walk everyday". In a punctuating Punjabi – like passion. "I do it everyday ", he went on, endorsing man's most simple and natural activity.

I took to Bloor St. only to witness that I'm not the only one savoring the summer night's coolness. Cafes and pubs were busy enough. I don't feel the least bit out of place. My robes always protect me from the night-type of life because I am different and the clothes define that so well. They always, always grab the public's attention.

From the veranda of a tenant's apartment a woman hollered out, "Hare Krishna", but I couldn't detect the source. I was just happy that she uttered those mantric words as the sound vibration has this potency about it.

A week ago in Kelowna, B.C. a young man questioned me on the efficacy of that chant. "It doesn't do anything for me", he remarked. In response I suggested that he consider that when medicine is taken the patient usually is not aware of all the good properties found in the content. The healing properties do act whether we are enlightened about them or not. The healing power works nevertheless.

The man broke out with a big smile on his face as if he swallowed a big dose of good medicine.

6 KM

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H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Saturday, August 21st, 2010

Call Me Strange

Ottawa, Ontario

I disappointed someone today. A tall East Indian man, single, by the name of Geet had come freshly dressed in devotional garb at the brightest spot of the day 4:30 am. He requested if he could join me on walking after early morning aarti. He had 'Anticipation' written all over him for such a prospect.

But I said, "no! I'm sorry. I already have walked." It was true. I've no need to fib. In fact I had just come from an early bird pre aarti walk.

"Did you really walk already?', he asked.

"Yes, I'm afraid so."

Geet then said, "I was told by Karuna Sindhu (another monk in the ashram) that you are up all day and sometimes all night."

I had to admit that that might be a perception but that I do sleep and usually catch a cat nap here or there.

After communicating with Geet it was time to leave for Ottawa to attend the 35th Anniversary of the ISKCON Centre's installation of diety's. It included a dinner, chanting and our drama presentation. Called "Gaura Nitai". Bada Hari and wife Kosa came from Florida to lead in the serenade mantras. The program was sweet especially after a five hour drive from Toronto. Frankly automobiles have always been a pet peeve.

They are a necessary evil but if given choice I could change the world and abolish all of them. I would like for us all to get real and go for early morning meditative japa-chanting walks. I would vote for using legs again, horses and chuck wagons.

Call me strange! I don't mind.

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H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

New People

Toronto, Ontario

On this day all honours went to the brother of Krishna whose name is Balarama. His birth was completely mystical. You can say it was a result of an immaculate conception. His father, Vasudev, meditated on Vishnu. Those thoughts were transmitted to the mind of His spouse, Devaki. In this was she was impregnated – through meditation. When she was about to give birth the child was subliminally transferred from the womb of Devaki to the womb of Rohini, a second wife of Vasudev. The child was safe under the care of Rohini and foster father, Nanda as Balarama's biological parents were imprisoned by Kamsa, a tyrannical ruler of the time.

Balarama led a humble life as a cowherd boy along with His brother Krishna. What makes him a personal hero for me is that he took up long-distance walking as a pilgrimage at a certain period in His life.

What was amazing for me at the evening's festival in Balarama's honour was to see some new faces. Not that new guests area a novelty. Unique this evening was that these new faces, numbering twenty people or so, were the fruition of the careful nurturing of our Urban Edge Yoga studio co-ordinators. The Urban Edge which opened in October last year, was an attempt to draw yogis, jnanis, or just simply sincere seekers of the truth to the bhakti yoga approach.

We were finding that local people were not taking so much interest in our temples in Canada. Large buildings and the "organized religion" stigma was hurting our efforts to attract. The experiment with "Urban Edge" has worked as I saw from the results. The newcomers had stepped into our larger building for the first time but only after a soft and more gradual people –centered approach was applied to them. They loved the evening.

Large buildings with congregants largely of one type of ethnic group can be intimidating to local folks. The charm of a cozy place of atmosphere for developing a person's spiritual life seems to succeed. I would deem the yoga center a success because of the intelligence put behind the program.

I would urge other city temples who struggle to draw visitors to look at this model. www.urbanedgeyoga.com

7 KM

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Kurma dasa, AU: Ello Ello..

chapati police:

What's this then? No blog? Come along with us sir...

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ISKCON Brisbane, AU: Sanskrit to everyone - this 4th & 5th of September

Registration / Inquiries :
Syamarani dd : 33795455
Jaya Radhika dd: 0402991168

Course Objectives

This course is designed to give participants the ability to pronounce Sanskrit verses

confidently with up to 70% accuracy. No knowledge of Sanskrit is necessary. The medium

of instruction is Simple English. [An insight into the course can be had by viewing this TV

interview: www.dina-gj.on.to]

 

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Gouranga TV: Govinda Maharaja 4

Govinda Maharaja 4

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H.H. Sivarama Swami

A devotee desires only to serve the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This servitude exists eternally; the Lord exists eternally, His servitor exists eternally, and the service exists eternally.

- Srila Prabhupada

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Australian News: SSSShhhhh… Confidential Reasons for Krishna's Advent

Krishna, the Supreme Mystic

By Karnamrita Dasa. Many important perspectives can be expressed for Janmastami or the birth/appearance day of Krishna—who is considered in Gaudiya or Chaitanya Vaishava tradition to be the original Supreme Personality of Godhead. To begin with he is not forced to take birth as we are, but "appears" or manifests himself in his original form for many external and internal reasons. Externally he appears to teach the method of self-realization for the age, to annihilate the "miscreants" or sinful, materialist people (which is done by his Vishnu aspect) and more confidentially, to protect his devotees.

However, Krishna's most confidential reason for appearing is to taste the sweet essence of love of God (prema) as a way to also propagate this standard of pure devotional service on the platform of spontaneous attraction. This is the opposite of formal reverential adoration as expressed in the hymns of the Vedas. Although there is certainly a place for respectful worship, awed by the Lord's majesty (as offered to Lord Vishnu or in vidhi bhakti), it doesn't truly satisfy Krishna. Why? The reason is because Krishna means the heart of God, or God in forgetfulness of his own Godhood in the madness of love. Krishna wants to be himself without the Godly profile. This is important to understand since the more "aishvarya" (awe and reverence) present in him, then the less intensity of friendship and love (and visa versa) that is shared.

Even within our experience we find that famous movie stars get tired of all the limelight and want to just be themselves without being honored or swooned over. So this nature is also in God. In particular to Krishna, "madhurya" means his sweetness and unrivaled beauty. The relationships Krishna shares with his devotees are dripping with the unparalleled sweetness of loving intimacy.

Read the rest of Karnamrita’s blog here at Krishna.com

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