Srimad Bhagavatam 11.24.8 - Stay in the shower of devotional service.
On day six of the Japa Retreat, Sacinandana Swami talks about the important subject of chanting Japa with quality.
He said there is nothing lower than a dog, yet even dogs have one good quality -- faithfulness. And he told me a story about a man, a dog and a baby: The man had to leave his house for a few minutes, so he placed his baby on a bed and left his dog in the room to guard it. When he returned a short while later, the room was empty. He was horrified to find a trail of blood leading out into the garden. Following it, he suddenly came upon the dog running out from the bushes, its mouth covered in blood. The man was shocked. He thought that the dog must have attacked the baby, dragged it into the bushes and killed it. He angrily rushed inside, got a gun, and returned to face the dog. As he pointed the gun at the dog, the animal sat obediently before his master, making no attempt to run away. Bang! He killed the dog. But at the loud report of the gun, the cry of a baby rent the air. Confused, the man ran inside and found his child lying under the bed, unharmed. Now perplexed, the man retraced the trail of blood into the garden. Behind the bushes he found the body of a dead fox covered in blood. It was clear what had happened: The fox had threatened the baby, so the dog put the baby under the bed to protect it. It fought and killed the intruder and dragged it out into the garden. The man lamented his hasty action. The dog was so faithful that, although he knew he had fulfilled his duty in a valiant way, still he did not protest when his master shot him.
Arkadiusz108 | Posted May 27, 2010
Lecture – Srimad Bhagavatam 2.3.17 Skip Death’s Appointment 2000-09-26 Radhadesh
List of new names
Bh. Csernus Tibor
Dīna-nātha dāsa – servant of Kṛṣṇa, the Lord of the miserable
Bh. Déri Péter
Pada-kamala dāsa – servant of the lotus feet of Lord Nityānanda
Bh. Smidth Berci
Bṛhat-mṛdaṅga dāsa – servant of the great mṛdaṅga, saṅkīrtana
Bh. Farkas Ádám
Hari-kīrtana dāsa – servant of the kīrtana glorification of Hari
Bh. Jakab Gábor
Gopa-kumāra dāsa – servant of Kṛṣṇa, the cowherdboy
Bh. Sipos Attila
Venu-gītā dāsa – servant of the song of the flute
Bh. Jakoda József
Jīva-pāvana dāsa – servant of Caitanya, the seviour of the living entities
Bhn. Lakatosné Judit
Jayadā Rādhikā devī dāsī – servant of Rādhā, who gives victory
Bhn. Csernus Csilla
Cāru-candra devī dāsī – servant of Caitanya Mahāprabhu, the beautiful moon
Kātyāyanī devī dāsī – servant of Yogamāyā-devī
Rasāmṛta devī dāsī – servant of the nectar of devotional mellows
Bhn. Maria Snep
Maṅgala-sakhī devī dāsī – servant of a friend of Rādhā
Lecture – Srimad Bhagavatam 2.3.15 Fix Our Activities On Krishna 2000-09-23 Radhadesh
Lecture – Srimad Bhagavatam 2.3.14 A Dream Of Gain & Loss 2000-09-22 Radhadesh
This beauty should not just be seen, but it should be drunk, imbibed, and consumed, deeply, continually, and without cessation, like a bottomless heavenly draught.
Namamrta by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada:
'The test of successful chanting is eagerness to render service to the Lord:
[Mohammedan governor to Lord Caitanya]: The Mohammedan governor then said, "Since You have so kindly accepted me, please give me some order so that I can render You some service." The Mohammedan governor then prayed for liberation from the sinful activities he had previously incurred by being envious of Brahmins and Vaisnavas and killing cows.
"If one is purified by following Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's orders—that is, by chanting the holy name of Krishna—one must certainly be eager to render service to the Lord. This is the test. When one engages enthusiastically in the Lord's service it is to be understood that he is reaping the results of chanting the names of Krishna and Hari…After being released from one's sinful reactions (karma), one becomes eager to serve the Lord. This is the test. Since the Mohammedan governor was immediately purified in the presence of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu he could utter the names of Krishna and Hari. Consequently he was anxious to render some service.
A person who chants Hare Krishna gradually becomes free from the conception of "I and mine" and becomes attached to the Lord's transcendental loving service in one of the five transcendental relationships. The prayer of Hare Krishna is "Hare Krishna—Oh my Lord, oh energy of the Lord, please engage me in Your service." So this is a direct result of chanting Hare Krishna: it invokes the service attitude. One doesn't simply chant inactively but generates a desire to render service to Lord Caitanya's movement. This is the real effect of prayer. As Radharani and Krishna are so attractive, when one chants Their names he wants to serve Them.
I slept peacefully and woke at 12:30. I began chanting my rounds then and concentrated on accumulation of numerical strength. I chanted as quickly as possible in order to finish my sixteen rounds before Narayana came up at 2:30. I barely managed to do this by taking a racing attitude. I was a little too much concentrated on getting them done and not savoring the grave meanings of the names. But I was wide awake and without a headache. I have to count it as a fairly decent session despite the shortcoming.
I've chanted my rounds,
and now I want to serve.
The japa has invoked
the service spirit, the
desire to write. Chanting
the vibrations is satisfying
in itself, but it provokes
you to do more, just
as the Mohammedan governor
wanted to render some
practical service to Lord
Caitanya after he'd been
liberated by chanting.
In the beginning the Swami
engaged us in kirtana and japa and then
one by one the boys
came forward and asked
what they could do to
help him in his mission.
He gave out service,
and it was complete.
One Hundred Prabhupada Poems #33
"You are not fit for nirjana or bhajana," Prabhupada
told his disciple Syama dasa
who was chanting 150 rounds in Mayapur.
He said and did…He did and said…
Let me get fresh images of Prabhupada,
the little things and
big decisions noted by Hari-Sauri.
It's a way to be with him.
Reading his books is another way.
You fit the pieces together
for a composite Prabhupada.
You are one of many
many, many disciples and you don't
shoulder the most burdens.
But he keeps a place for you
and doesn't forget
you've been with him since
the beginning in New York City.
He is your own
spiritual master, and you have a right
to keep him very close.
You can treasure the statements he made
which make you feel special—
go ahead and take them.
It's not that I want some illusion or
false propaganda that I'm the best son.
But I want my own relationship.
I admit I'm insignificant
but at the same time I care
for my Prabhupada devotional creeper.
You do that by cherishing
his love for you.
Is it unrealistic to say Prabhupada
is always with you?
No, he can do it.
Therefore I call them my Prabhupada poems,
and there's nothing wrong in that.
He is a father,
he's got work for me to do.
Lecture – Srimad Bhagavatam 2.3.12 No Other Business But To Please 2000-09-20 Radhadesh
Varieties in this poem,
mostly takes place in
New York with the hint
of moving to CA for
more seclusion. Some
fictive touch, and a strong
finish with estimation
of the value of the poems.
Here it is:
"All varieties is the world of spirit
and material as well. I can't
talk long with anyone so leave
How well he can live in his
own house constructed by a
friend on a California hill,
where no one will see you.
You will get lonely, but you
can work that out in paint.
"Oh it's strenuous,"
I told him, and keep the dogs
and even exalted Vaisnavas
away from my door.
My borrowed room they say
they'll call it "Govinda's Barn."
The inhabitant plays checkers
and likes to bring people
together for an old time comedy.
That's his idea of time well-spent.
Obviously fallen. I was not taught
at any university to overcome
anxieties or to stop pinches in the
right eye or cope with society. I
like a simple meal like
Mother Kaulini's baby food.
Six minutes is all you're given
and then the next reciter takes
his turn. You are nervous and egoistic.
You are kidding about weakness.
I told him the roto-tiller
noise won't bother me and
it doesn't. But if you knock on the
door, it will. Don't need a
He'll catch the commas,
he said, just blow from
the bridge. So I did.
Such a hip, encouraging
editor. Won't people like
it when you're laid to
rest and all these quirky religious
poems are left? Some will reject but
some, like Dat, will understand
and I better not make the
slightest claim, don't expect
the slightest reward but just
pray it's not all in vain,
it can uplift
make you think of Krishna
right in the face and in
the way He likes best,
He likes and craves his solitude
wherever he lives. I never played
checkers in Govinda's Barn.
(It had that name because my
Deities lived there. Now it is the
Swami's Barn, the room of
DD Swami and the upstairs is
the yoga studio. Radha-Govinda
are nicely situated on an altar
in the main house).
I like a simple life with
not too much stress, coping
is hard with your headaches
and desire for living alone.
Talk about the writing and
the editor. Dat is gone
now, served me well
in permissive editing
encouraging I blow deep
as possible and he'd
catch the commas.
It is the way I like to
go. Thinking of the writing after
I'm gone. Will it live? What will people think
of it? I call poems quirky and religious.
By that I give the
"A peculiarity of character,
mannerism or foible.
An unexpected thrust or turn, a quirk of fate.
A flourish as in handwriting." I want them to live
after I'm dead. I don't need to demand
they are great things. Don't expect the
slightest reward. Keep
but pray it was not a
waste of time, pray Krishna
and guru accept them
and pray they can help
others. Time won't
fade them or make them
outdated, you hope.
You want people of
the future to read them
and think of Krishna directly—"A Hare Krishna
person wrote it"—yet
it's quirky and indirect
in the way I've heard He
likes best. There's
a special meaning to that,
and I've read it applies
to the acaryas. I just
hope it applies to mine also.
That's all I ever wanted.
I turned at random to Srimad-Bhagavatam, Second Canto, Chapter 9, verse 30:
"O my Lord, the Unborn, You have shaken hands with me just as a friend does with a friend [as if equal in position]. I shall be engaged in the creation of different types of living entities, and I shall be occupied in Your service. I shall have no perturbation, but I pray that all this may not give rise to pride, as if I were the Supreme."
The Supreme Lord was so pleased with Brahma that He shook his hand. Brahma is in the humor of friendship with the Lord. When one becomes a completely pure devotee he enters into an eternal relationship or rasa with the Lord. It may be as servant, friend, parent or lover. But all the devotees know they're servants of the Lord. None of them think they are superior to the Lord or that they have become Supreme. Sometimes the Lord allows His devotees to do something that even He can't do, but the devotees always know this is a power (vibhuti) delegated from the Lord. Thus Hanuman leaped over the ocean to Sri Lanka, whereas Lord Rama had to build a bridge. The gopis sometimes dominate Krishna in their loving affairs and so do His parents. But the devotees always engage themselves in the loving spirit, only wanting to please Krishna. Foolish philosophers like the mayavadis become puffed up and think they have become God. This is a ludicrous notion, since the "Gods" are becoming kicked at every moment by the material nature. Brahma created the living entities but he was fully aware that he was doing it only as an instrument of the Lord. Thus Krishna protected Brahma's mentality and was pleased to shake his hand as a servant and friend. Whatever accomplishments we are able to perform, we should never abandon the position of being a servant of a servant of the Lord and know our sakti, or power, was given to us by Krishna.
I rise before 2 A.M. and do my japa. Then I start dictating the journal. Before 4:30 I start to get sleepy. I take a shower then, and that usually revitalizes me afterwards to write a poem. But sometimes in the middle of the poem I become sleepy again. I try to stay awake and finish it before taking a nap. And this all depends on whether I catch a headache. It is a strenuous early morning program, but I like it because it is productive. I hope I can keep it up. As I get older it may be harder to keep up, but I will make an adjustment so I can keep the essence of it. A devotee wants to be engaged in the Lord's service in one way or another. "Whatever you do", Krishna says, "do it for Me."
Sitting calmly but nervously, waiting for the time to pass before I do the Saturday video broadcast. There is always the possibility that we will have technical difficulties in broadcasting. But I have my poems picked out for reading, Remembering Srila Prabhupada. He is a worthy subject to talk about, snatches of memories of what we did together, a spiritual father and his children, early in the movement.
The video broadcast apparently went alright. The computer registered that twenty machines were watching. It will be permanently posted on the web site so people can watch it at their leisure. Devotees watching asked me questions which I answered at the end of the reading. Some were a bit sensitive. I asserted that Prabhupada wanted us to be chaste to him as disciples, and during his lifetime he didn't encourage us seeing other Gaudiya Math gurus. Someone asked if we were lonely and afraid when Prabhupada wasn't with us in New York. I told how he had written us when he first went to San Francisco and explained that vani was more important than vapu, and how, even though we were raw neophytes, we had grasped the instruction and carried out our duties at the storefront in a brave mood of separation. Someone asked me how I took Prabhupada's statement, "I do not know Krishna. I only know my Guru Maharaja." I said I took it as a wonderful statement of his faith in his spiritual master. But I pointed out that on occasion Prabhupada had said things like "I do not remember a time when I ever forgot Krishna." Someone asked if I thought ISKCON was still a family after Prabhupada's disappearance. I said that in families there were quarrels and sometimes schisms, but I asserted that ISKCON was still Prabhupada's family. I could have spoken more broadly and said that even outside of the official ISKCON, Prabhupada still has loyal followers, but I didn't get into it.
An interview with my mother and sister that gives a picture of life in the first half of the last century.
Internal happiness doesn't always follow external, material success. We have a certain conception of what will bring us happiness in life, whether it's money, prestige, position, achievement, etc., but the case of Amanda Beard shines light on the deeper side of the issue. An excerpt of a recent New York Times article is below. Her picture, left, is from the 1996 Olympic Games, where she was 14 years old.
Throughout her teens and well into her 20s, Beard presented an image to the world that was as airbrushed as her photographs in magazines. Her toothy smile and surfer girl insouciance hid deep emotional pain. In a series of interviews over the past year, she revealed for the first time her struggles with anger, depression and self-injury.
"I'd go to swim practice, put my face in the water, and I didn't have to talk to anybody," Beard said. "Swimming was like my escape, but it was also like this huge prison because I felt like I had to swim up to people's standards."
"I just kind of put a smile on my face and just pretended a lot of the time," Beard said, adding, "I always felt like I didn't want to be a role model because if people knew the real me or the things I was doing or going through, there's no way they'd want their kid to be like me."
Beard said: "I'd go back to this whole self-hating thing, where I had this record player repeating to me, 'You're stupid, you're ugly, you're fat, you're nobody.' You're in so much emotional pain, and you don't know how to express it." ]
What are we actually looking for in life? Where does that internal peace, fulfillment and satisfaction come from? As we progress materially, we also must progress and cultivate values internally, or spiritually. Otherwise, we may up with everything we always wanted, but nothing we were really looking for.
For the complete article, visit http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/01/sports/01swimmer.html?pagewanted=2&_r=1&sq=amanda%20beard&st=cse&adxnnl=1&scp=2&adxnnlx=1284908462-fWUnkoS0FhFeyoKrimPn6w.
Last Tuesday we kicked off our first Bhakti event of the year with our most-beloved Vegetarian Cooking Class. Pandit was at the healm, teaching us his favorite Tomato Spinach Eggplant subji with Chickpeas. Filled with a variety of colors, texture, flavors, protein and served along side spiced rice with carob-peanut-butter halava, this meal went over well with everyone. Check out the recipe below.
Recipe: Spinach, Tomato, Eggplant & Chickpea Stew
½ cups ghee or oil
1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
2 hot green chilies minced
1 tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp black mustard seeds
10 dried curry leaves
¼ tsp asafoetida pwdr
1 medium eggplant (½ in. cubes)
4 med. tomatoes ½ in. cu
1 pound spinach
1 tsp turmeric
1 ½ tsp salt
2 cups chickpeas canned
1 ½ tsp sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
(serves 6-8 persons/Prep. time 40 minutes)
1) Heat the ghee or oil in a heavy saucepan or large wok over moderate heat.
2) When the ghee is hot, add the ginger, chilies, cumin seeds, and mustard seeds.
3) When the mustard seeds crackle, add the curry leaves, asafoetida powder, & eggplant.
4) Stir fry the eggplant for 8 to 10 minutes or until the eggplant is a little softened.
5) Stir in the tomatoes, spinach, turmeric, & salt.
6) Partially cover and reduce the heat to moderately low. Cook until the eggplant is soft and the spinach is reduced in size, stirring when required.
7) Add the cooked chickpeas and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the sugar and lemon juice now.
8) Remove from heat and serve hot.
(Note : please click on the picture to get the enlarged view) Article sent by His Grace Mukunda Prabhu Pictures : Their Graces Mukunda and Naiyka Prabhus The morning unfolded with Guru Maharaj offering arati to Sri Sri Radha MadanMohan. Darshan arati was at 7.15am and everyone could not take their eyes of the Deities [...]
Australian News: Appearance Day of a great Vaishnava Acarya: His Divine Grace Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura
SRILA BHAKTIVINODA THAKURA’S HOUSE AT "SRI GODRUMADVIPA" ISLAND OF NAVADVIPA-MAYAPUR DHAM
Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s room is the first room at the top of the stairs. It has some of his personal belongings. This is where he wrote many of his newsletters and books. The verandah outside this room is where Bhaktivinoda Thakura saw the visions of Lord Caitanya and Lord Nityananda in kirtana and the golden city of Mahaprabhu. Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvatl Thakura’s room is next to his father’s.
Hare Krishna! On 21 Sep10, Tuesday is the auspicious Appearance Day (fasting till noon) of a great Vaishnava acarya His Divine Grace Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. Srila Bhaktivinoda was an unalloyed devotee of Lord Sri Krishna and a pioneer of the program to bless the entire world with Krishna consciousness.
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura is an eternal associate of Lord Caitanya and his eternal spiritual form is Kamala Manjari. His name was Kedamatha Datta. He later became a District Magistrate (High Court judge) under the British Government. This was the highest position an Indian could hold under British rule. As the District Magistrate in Puri, he was also overseeing the activities of Lord Jagannatha’s temple. In that position he raised the standard of worship of Lord Jagannatha and also increased the offerings to sixty-four offerings a day.
He led a life of incessant labor and activity for Lord Sri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He effected such immense good in the world that his work is only to be compared with the unbounded works of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu Himself and the Six Goswamis. It was the spiritual attempts and divine writings of this individual that turned the scale and led the intelligent and educated community to believe in the noble precepts and teachings of Lord Caitanya.
BEAUTIFUL "SRI SRI GAURANGA MAHAPRABHU & SRI SRI GADADHARA PANDITA", THE PERSONAL DEITIES WORSHIPED BY SRILA BHAKTIVINODA THAKURA AT HIS HOUSE
LALITA SAKHI’S GROVE
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura named his house Svananda Sukhada Kunja. It is non-different from Svananda Sukhada Kunja, the private grove of Lalita sakhi located on the bank of Radha-kunda in Vrindavana. Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s songs reveal how he is eternally living in this kunja serving the divine couple, Sri Sri Radha and Krishna.
“My small cottage is shining beautifully within that most enchanting garden called Svananda Sukhanda Kunja. Living there I will sing Lord Krishna’s holy name and I will greedily hanker for that time when I will get the service of Him and His associates." (Gita-mala)
"On the banks of the celestial Ganges, I will dwell in a cottage at Surabhi Kunja in Godruma Dhama. This land of Godruma is very conductive for performing devotional worship of the Supreme Lord and is non-different from the sacred place called Nandagram, located in the holy district of Mathura (Saranagati)."
Recieved via email from chandan bhatiaShare this story your way:
Article sent in by Ramananda Raya Dasa To a devotee who was inquiring about which websites to read, Guru Maharaja recommended ‘Vanipedia.org’ as the best ISKCON website during his recent visit to Radhadesh, Belgium. Vanipedia is a collaborative project that devotees can participate in. It’s an amazing site to really focus on and deeply study [...]
Sunday School at the Sydney Temple
Fortnightly at 5.00pm
Would you like your child to learn more about the Vedic culture in a fun filled, hands on atmosphere with other children their age? If yes, bring them along to Sunday School at the temple. We are running two classes – one for younger children (6 – 9 years) and one for older children (10 – 13 years).
Term 3, 2010 classes commence on Sunday 1st August and continue fortnightly until the next school holidays.
Register your child at the registration table in the temple foyer on Sunday 25th July or by sending an email to Vilasa Manjari dasi: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0434 624 111.Share this story your way:
By Karnamrita Dasa
In my study of the great spiritual text the Bhagavad-gita I have collected over 10 Vaishnava commentaries both ancient and modern—among them "Krishna's Song" by Steven Rosen (Satyaraja Dasa). I have greatly appreciated his insights and analysis and thought I would share my impression of it with my friends.
The subtitle is fitting as indeed it is a different look at the Bhagavad-gita, at least in the way we usually think of it. The book draws from well known Western authors from the last few hundred years, as well as contemporary books and movies to discuss many of the Gita's major philosophical ideas. It is actually a collection of bite size and tasty essays or lectures combined to form chapters which draw the educated, inquisitive reader in with catchy, compelling chapter titles. To give you a flavor, my favorite ones are: "Fight or Flight: Violence and the Saga of the Pandavas"; "A Banyan Tree Grows in Brooklyn"; "Explosive Devotion: Robert Oppenheimer and the Universal Form"; Dante's Song: Was the Famous Italian Epic Influenced by the Bhagavad-gita?"; "Bagger Vance: The Mystical Underpinnings of a Contemporary Golf Tale"; "Yoda and Yoga: Star Wars and the Hindu Tradition"; and finally, "From Ear to Eternity: The Spiritual Dimension of Sound".
As the first chapter describes, human beings are meant to be thoughtful, and so this book, as well as the Bhagavad-gita are for thoughtful persons interested in contemplating life's mysteries, the meaning of life, life after death, and God or the Source of everything. Thus we begin from a discussion in the second chapter as to who we are—a small spark of divinity inhabiting a mortal frame—to the last chapter where the perfection of yoga is outlined—Divine union in love of God. In between these chapters we travel on a fascinating journey through the timeless wisdom of the Gita, through the lens of an adept, contemporary, spiritual practitioner.
If the Gita truly explains the "Perennial Philosophy" (as many thinkers have asserted) then it should speak to our times, resonating with modern spiritual seekers and the metaphysically thoughtful. Indeed, "Krishna's Song" masterfully demonstrates this very fact. One of the many strengths of this book is that it reveals the influence of the Gita's philosophy in ways that most people—and many who live by the Gita—have not considered before.
Realization of a subject, as contrasted to mere theory, means that a person is able to simplify complex ideas and philosophy to make them accessible and can use contemporary experiences, examples and culture to explain them. Throughout the book Mr. Rosen demonstrates that his book is not written by an armchair philosopher but by one who has considerable realization and insight in the subject matter. Therefore, anyone who reads “Krishna’s Song” will deepen their understanding of the Bhagavad-gita as well as the philosophy it explains. It is a very readable, accessible book that I thoroughly appreciated and benefited from.
September 19 1950 – A special day to note. Its my wife Sitala’s birthday. Today she completes 60 years in this body.
Its a special day to remember, not because I happen to be her husband, but because she is also completing 40 years as the dedicated servant of our spiritual master His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada.
Over that period she has done many services with expertise and dedication, and she is especially known for having supervised the making and shipping of at least 20 sets of Deities for various ISKCON temples, and a few individual devotees. She has worked for over 30 years designing and supervising the making of at least 500 sets of Deity clothing for temples around the world, a service she continues to date, working with Ashok Ladliwala (Jariwala) from Vrndavana.
She has also been largely responsible for the excellent upbringing of our daughter Rasarani-priya devi dasi,
who is now a twice-born disciple of HH Indradyumna Swami (whom Sitala preached to when he was a new bhakta in Detroit)
and, most impressively, she has tolerated having a rascal like me as her husband for the last almost 21 years.
She is one of the unsung heroes of Srila Prabhupada’s transcendental army of preachers. Even despite suffering sometimes debilitating disease for many years, she was out this year on the Polish festival tour teaching seminars to the fortunate souls who came into her tent.
She is an ideal example of a dedicated, sincere soul and I am quite sure that this will be her last birth in the mrtyu-loka.
Happy birthday devi, may you never take birth again!
Sriamd Bhagavatam 11.24.7 - The false ego is the illusory combination of the eternal conscious soul and the temporary unconscious body.
A Bridge, A Park and A Hall
New Glasgow, Nova Scotia
Rain forced me under a bridge where you find a convenient foot path. While in a constant pace I spanned the width of the East River repeatedly back and forth keeping perfectly dry under the bridge. There I met Gary, a teenager who took refuge as I did. He had woken up to the sudden rush of rain after a full night's sleep outside next to a nearby park's gazebo.
I was curious to know if he was homeless or not.
"No, I live in a house," he said as he plucked meticulously at the mattress stuffing that clung to his clothes.
I introduced myself to him as a monk travelling the country. I offered him a mantra card explaining that one who chants this mantra can achieve inner peace. He really appreciated it and said, "I'm putting it in my pocket so it will keep dry." He said he had to get ready for school and was off but with a smile.
Our outside venue for chanting today was at King's Square, the uptown park in Saint John, New Brunswick. People and pigeons populate this little green haven. We arrived at 3 pm, just in time to experience the convergence of students from two secondary schools in the vicinity. Finally our indoor venue was a church hall off of Adelaide St. A good figure of eighty people or so, came to hear katha, a talk about Krishna Consciousness. We were excited to see some of the people we met at King's Square come to the hall to be with us for the second time in one day.
To our delight new immigrants from Bhutan turned up. As genuine refugees to a tough government under Buddhist domination these folks recently arrived from Nepal to a situation of new opportunity. And now that they have also begun chanting we anticipate that they will take it up on a regular basis.
At the end of the day when I lay down to rest I thought again of Gary from the morning and I hoped that Gary would have a decent mattress, without holes to sleep on.
A Burst of Sun
Halifax, Nova Scotia
I set out at a dark 5:30 in the morning on the Johnny Miles trail in New Glasgow. Johnny Miles lived to be almost a century. He was a runner competing in the olympics in the 20's and 30's winning awards on behalf of Canada. He hailed from this area in Pictou County and so in his honour we have this great trail to take advantage of.
I also ventured through the town itself and made it past a foundry where men were hard at work. I somewhat startled a couple of workers. Remember, it's early, it's dark and it's a sleepy town; in other words it's rare to see a human walking.
I reached the home of our host to find the eight monks hard at work, chanting their japa on their meditation beads. We facilitated a sadhana and a talk based on the Teachings of Queen Kunti. Breakfast comprised of scrumptuous left-overs from the night before. I have no apprehensions about consuming portions of 'past' viddles provided it is prasadam, blessed food.
We then set out for Halifax and a bursting day of sun. Our two new boys from Victoria, two brothers, Marshal and Kurt, were learning the art of book sales, which is special because these are books about spirituality.
The street called Spring Garden Road is the place and I saw that our monks who had returned after a summer's absence from Halifax were well received by the public. They have accomplished something wonderful here in warming people up to Krishna Consciousness. They know how to make friends.
The other component to today's success was the several hours of chanting to the beat of the drum and the clang of the kartals on Spring Garden. The public was charmed and so were the yellow jackets buzzing around us all afternoon.
Here's a saying:
'The happiest people don't have the best of everything. They make the best of everything.'
Hare Krsna dear devotees, tomorrow is the auspicious appearance day of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur. He is very recognized by his amazing songs and by his writings. Everything he made he put his heart on it and its also very inspiring to read and sing his songs. I remember hearing a devotee singing this song with my Guru Maharaj and everytime I see this song I remember what mood we should have when we chant and when we perform service in our everyday life.
This is the translation of this song, I am sure you will feel this mood by reading it.
Kabe Ha'be Bolo
1) When, O when, will that day be mine? When will you give me your blessings, erase all my offences and give my heart a taste [ruci] for chanting the Holy Name in purity?
2) When will I taste the essence of the Holy Name, feeling myself to be lower than the grass, my heart filled with tolerance? When will I give respect to all others and be free from desire for respect from them?
3) When will I cry out that I have no longer any desire for wealth and followers, poetry and beautiful women, all of which are meant just for bodily pleasure? O Gaura Hari! Give me causeless devotional service [bhakti] to your lotus feet, birth after birth.
4) When will my body be covered with goose bumps and my voice broken with emotion as I pronounce Krishna's name? When will my body change colour and my eyes flow with endless tears as I chant?
5) When will I give up all thought of the world and society to run like a madman along the banks of the Ganges in Navadvipa, singing and danvcing and sincerely calling out the names ofGaura and Nityananda?
6) When will Nityananda Prabhu be merciful to me and deliver me from the enchantment [maya] of the sense objects? When will he give me the shade of his lotus feet and the right to enter the market place [nama-hatta] of the Holy Name?
7) When will I buy, borrow or steal the ecstasies of the Holy Name? When will I lose myself in the intoxication of the Holy Name? When will I immerse myself in the nectar of the Holy Name after grasping the feet of a saint who constantly relishes the flavours [rasa] of devotion?
8) When will I feel compassion for all living beings [jibas]? When will I forget my own pleasure in genuine humility? And when will I, Bhaktivinode, meekly go from door to door, preaching your message of love?
This is an amazing song and for me I just need to meditate in one verse for the rest of my life and pray so I can have this mercy :
"When will you give me your blessings, erase all my offences and give my heart a taste [ruci] for chanting the Holy Name in purity?"
May our Lord as Nama Prabhu bless our chanting so we can achieve a taste and purity in japa.
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