martes, 21 de septiembre de 2010

Krishna-kripa das, Mayapura: Travel Journal#6.15: Berlin, Hamburg, Polish Tour, Leipzig



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"Planet ISKCON" - 35 new articles

  1. Japa Group: Please Join The Japa Group
  2. ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Daily Class - Kesava Prabhu
  3. Giridhari das, Brasilia, Brazil: Fire Strikes ISKCON Again
  4. Krishna-kripa das, Mayapura: Travel Journal#6.15: Berlin, Hamburg, Polish Tour, Leipzig
  5. Bhakti Vikasa Swami: the bed bug
  6. Kurma dasa, AU: Yamuna Devi Recipe # 4 : Carrots, Cashews and Dates in Smooth Yogurt (Gajar Kaju Raita)
  7. David Haslam, UK: Should we choose the day we die?
  8. Sutapa das, BV Manor, UK: Motherly Love
  9. H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Sunday, September 19th, 2010
  10. Rupa Madhurya das, TX, USA: Bhajan - Amala Kirtan das - Hare Krishna
  11. ISKCON Toronto, Canada: Deity Darshan: Sunday, September 19, 2010
  12. H.H. Sivarama Swami: Radhastami festival and initiations
  13. H.H. Bhakticharu Swami: Ramayana Day 4, Vraj, Pennsylvania, USA
  14. Book distribution seminar: A Body Builder
  15. New Vrndavan, USA: Indian Cultural Fest – 2010
  16. Devadeva Mirel, Alachua, USA: Buy Our House
  17. Hari Sauri das, Mayapura, IN: Bon Voyage to Bahrain
  18. Book Distribution News: A Body Builder
  19. H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: 77
  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. Ananda Subramanian, Iowa, USA: Scientists, God and the power of objective inquiry
  24. Australian News: Dear Congregation of the ISKCON Brisbane Yatra
  25. Devadeva Mirel, Alachua, USA: Vegetarian Kid's Birthday Party
  26. H.H. Sivarama Swami: 2 Part Class by Giriraja Swami on Radhasatami in Krsna Valley (Part 1)
  27. H.H. Sivarama Swami: One of the highlights of Radhastami festival, Radha-Syama anthem chorus directed by Jayadeva Prabhu
  28. H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Saturday, September 18th, 2010
  29. H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Thursday, September 16th, 2010
  30. Yoga of Ecology, Bhakta Chris, USA: U.S Meat Farmers Brace For Limits On Antibiotics
  31. Japa Group: Chanting With Quality
  32. H.H. Bhakticharu Swami: Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur's Appearance Day
  33. Gaura Yoga, NZ: New schedule! starting on Monday 11 October
  34. Gouranga TV: The Box Radhastami Play Part 2
  35. H.H. Sivarama Swami
  36. More Recent Articles
  37. Search Planet ISKCON

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:


Rasa Rasika dasa

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ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Daily Class - Kesava Prabhu

Srimad Bhagavatam 11.24.9-10 - The Lord descends Himself and more frequently He sends His pure devotees to reclaim the fallen conditioned souls. The life of Bhaktivinod Thakore.

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Giridhari das, Brasilia, Brazil: Fire Strikes ISKCON Again

First we lost Aindra Prabhu to fire, then a fiery explosion took out our Leicester Temple in the UK. Now, a massive wild fire has engulfed Pandavas Paradise, our 1000 acre Hare Krishna retreat center in the grassy plateaus of central Brazil (Chapada dos Veadeiros).

Though a common occurence in this time of the year, this wild fire was allied with a powerful wind. We are coming to the end of the dry season here, it is very dry and we haven’t had a drop of rain for about 120 days now.

Despite the best efforts of the team of 13 volunteers fighting the fire, we lost our best guesthouse, recently renovated and redecorated, with three comfortable guest rooms and a storage area.

Here’s a picture of the guesthouse and one of its rooms before:

And here’s what’s left:

The landscape now appears bleak but by Krishna’s mercy our other buildings were saved, despite the land around them being badly burnt. A spark of fire, carried by the wind, landed on the grass roof of our temple and the roof caught but one of our volunteers bravely climbed up and managed to put out the fire. Fortunately nobody was hurt and the deities are safe.

The fire has left us with a loss of tens of thousands of dollars, but we have wasted no time in lamentation, knowing well that everything Krishna does is for our benefit. We have started a campaign to raise funds for reconstruction and have already received dozens and dozens of emails and donations are beginning to come in.

If you can help too, please let us know.

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Krishna-kripa das, Mayapura: Travel Journal#6.15: Berlin, Hamburg, Polish Tour, Leipzig

Diary of a Traveling Sadhaka, Vol. 6, No. 15

By Krishna-kripa das

(August 2010, part one)

Berlin, Hamburg, Polish Tour, Leipzig

(Sent from Kharkov, Ukraine, on September 20, 2010)


Berlin Harinama and Ratha-yatra

Hamburg Harinama and Sunday Feast

Book Distribution Seminar in Berlin

Visit to the Polish Tour

Leipzig Ratha-yatra and Sunday Feast

Insights from Indradyumna Swami, Kavicandra Swami,

Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami, Kadamba Kanana Swami,

Anuttama Prabhu, Prithu Prabhu, Mother Sitala, and Others

Berlin Harinama and Ratha-yatra

This year I went to Berlin the day after the Polish Woodstock to do harinama to promote their Ratha-yatra the next Saturday. The lull between harinamas in previous years made me feel empty, and I was glad Krishna gave me this solution. I was accustomed to passing out invitations to the Woodstock attendees, who mostly are eager to take them, and the Berlin crowd was tougher by comparison. Still I recall one girl from near Cologne who loved the devotees singing and listened for sometime with a bright smile. I gave her the contact information for the temple near her home in addition to a Ratha-yatra invitation.

It was my sixth Berlin Ratha-yatra in a row, and the day was predicted to have a 90% chance of rain, but by the grace of the Lord, the downpour did not happen till the next day. There was a little rain at the temple on the Ratha-yatra day, but it did not rain at the site.

Kadamba Kanana Swami was there with his lively kirtana, and Kavicandra Swami with his faith in the holy name. Prithu Prabhu was there with his strong words meant to motivate people spiritually. For me, that Sacinandana Swami was not present this year, made it less lively than it usually was.

I distributed invitations and met many favorable people, including a number of tourists. Some I told about our festivals and temples in their homeland.

I liked the stage show, which had a lot of kirtana, including some with more contemporary music, and a very funny drama as well. I found a variety of different types of people developed an interest to learn more by viewing the stage show, and they took invitations and the very attractive German mantra cards with the face of Jagannatha on them along with a description of the mantra.

One little girl asked me to put tilaka on her, and I found a devotee lady who understood her request, and I lent her some tilaka to do that service.

The prasadam was very nice and was served out sooner and longer than other years.

Click here for one very professional video on the Berlin Ratha-yatra.

Hamburg Harinama and Sunday Feast

Dhruva Prabhu increased my outreach this year by urging me to come to Hamburg where he knew a devotee named Vasudeva, also originally from India, who lived in the temple.

The devotees do harinama there each Sunday, the day the most devotees are free from work, before the feast program.

The site is at the harbor, along the boardwalk, which is crowded with tourists. They let me play the harmonium, and I sang this Bada Hari tune that Madhava sings, and everyone liked it. The harinama was almost two hours. The Sunday feast program was only attended by about 20 people, but sometimes it is more. During the kirtana, four or five of the ladies were so enthusiastic, their dancing took out them out of the temple room, and into the next room, and maybe even further. They allow me to speak and because they are promoting study of the scriptures there and my talk had many scriptural references, several leaders like it.

Book Distribution Seminar in Berlin

By Navina Nirada Prabhu

Let new devotees watch and not start book distribution until the desire naturally arises. The people you approach can feel if you believe in what you are doing.

The first time I just carried the books for other devotees and took notes, and then I tried it myself. Some things in the presentation I changed. Everyone has his own style.

Krishna is interested in our love and affection, and sankirtana is a powerful process to cultivate this love.

When the demigods churned the ocean, first came the poison and then came the nectar, so it is often with sankirtana.

I was in Hungary where I distributed some books without knowing the language. If you are just enthusiastic it is possible.

"We are showing these books to all the nice people in XYZ. Are you one of the nice people? Thank you for taking your valuable time."

If we give attention to the people, they will automatically reciprocate.

When you go door-to-door, when they open the door, you ask, "Do you live here?" (Make a small joke.) Great, then let me show you one of these...

"Are you more philosophical or more spiritual?" "Are you more a head person or a heart person?" "Oh, you are qualified." Make it simple.

People like to be in treated in a personal way according to their nature but even beyond this, if they detect that we respect them, we will be successful. If the person sees we are making a great effort just for them, they will be inclined. If Krishna sees we really want the people to take the book, He will sanction it.

If you know a person is not interested, just tell him the price, and he will give the book back to you, and you can leave nicely and go on to the next person.

Ask the right questions. If a person says three times "yes," he will buy the book. So ask questions that he will reply to in a positive way. If he says three times "no," he won't buy the book. Open ended questions are best, i.e. "How are you doing today? How is your karma?"

My goal is to give everyone something. Some can take only a smile or an invitation card. Some take a book the first time. Leave everyone with a good impression. Consider yourself an ambassador of goodwill.

Visit to the Polish Tour

It is always nice to visit the Polish festival hour, with their team of enthusiastic devotees, led by the incarnation of enthusiasm, Indradyumna Swami himself. I love the harinamas with sixty or more people, and I always find a people to give invitations to that the other distributors did not notice. I try to distribute the extra ones on the last day of the festival, and despite our previous two or three days of distributing thousands, still some new people take them and are very happy to hear of the festival.

Leipzig Ratha-yatra and Sunday Feast

Kavichandra Swami praised the route of the procession, which included the heart of the market district. During the parade, I went into a department store to use the bathroom on the fourth floor, and as I ascended the escalators, I noticed on each floor the kirtana was so well amplified everyone could hear it.

I felt happy because two girls I gave an invitation to during the parade came to the stage show and heard the kirtana for at least an hour, finally dancing happily with the devotee ladies. The prasadam was excellent, especially the srikhand and gaja. Later the following week, Navina Nirada Prabhu asked almost everyone he met what they were doing on Saturday, and he many were very happy about our Ratha-yatra festival.

Many people looking at the kirtana at the stage show took the temple invitations I gave them.

There were many flyers with descriptions of the Ratha-yatra and devotees eagerly distributed them.

Two devotees dressed up as Lord Caitanya, in yellow, and Lord Nityananda, in blue, and they swung each other around in circles as they danced before the cart, to the happiness of the devotees.

Click here to see more pictures.

Suggestions I made for next year were: The description of the Ratha-yatra we distributed to onlookers could include the route and the place of the stage show. We had to give a separate invitation with the place of the stage show, and we had no information about the route until I asked, and then I was able to pass that information on to two or three guests who asked. It is good to think about how to improve the festival each year, and it was progress the devotees had a meeting about that soon afterward.

Bhaktivinoda Thakura says Ratha-yatra is the essence of all the festivals and those who take part are preparing themselves to become residents of the spiritual world.

This includes even onlookers like these girls who, knowingly or unknowingly, swept the street for the pleasure of the Lord and His devotees.

Although usually the Leipzig devotees have a feast program every other Saturday, they have a special one on the Sunday, the day after the Ratha-yatra. After the feast, they had a spontaneous kirtana that burst out of the temple room into the adjoining room and which continued for two hours.

Insights from Lectures

Indradyumna Swami [from introductory lectures at the Polish festivals]:

[I love Indradyumna Swami's lectures on Bhagavad-gita to the attendees of his Polish festivals. He presents the philosophy using simple analogies people can relate to, and he makes it sound very reasonable.]

The human being has higher intelligence for self-realization. Even the smartest animal is not as smart as the dumbest human being.

Unless your know who you are, you will not know what to do to make yourself happy.

Just was we accept food from other cultures, we should also accept bona fide spiritual knowledge from other cultures. Everyone in Poland likes pizza, but pizza was not invented in Katowice!

This wisdom appeared in India, but it not just meant for people of India. The sun also appears in the east, but it travels to the west to benefit us here. Similar this spiritual knowledge from India is meant to benefit the whole world.

If you are evicted from your apartment, you find another place before the date of eviction. Similar you must plan for where you go in the next life.

Bhagavad-gita can help all persons understand where they are going when they die.

If we have unfulfilled desires, even if we are old, the desires will cause us to take another birth.

As a book has many chapters, our soul has many lives. We have been a king, a poor person, an American, a Polish person, an Australian.

How do you explain one person is born into opulence and another is born into poverty? Is God kind to some and not others? No, everyone is getting the results of their actions in a previous life.

An intelligent person uses the frustration of a life of mixed happiness and distress to seek a higher realization where we are always happy.

A man accused me of being an escapist, but if you are in a burning building, escape is the best strategy.

We should be like a sailor, who does his duties at sea nicely, but knows he is ultimately going back to the land. We should sail through this world, knowing it is not our real home, and keep our sight on the spiritual world.

God is not an old man. Why should He be subjected to the laws of the material world? We learn from the Vedic literature that God, although the oldest person, is eternally youthful.

These devotees are happy because they are coming close to the happiest person God.

Kavicandra Swami:

To be attentive is most important. Even if the speaker is Lord Siva, if you are not attentive, you will not get the full benefit.

If the audience is really alive, the speaker finds he has more to say.

Srila Prabhupada was so attentive to recording his classes, if the tape jammed, he would wait until his disciples corrected it.

Srila Prabhupada said in a class, "You may say you have no love for Krishna, but I see you are coming every time. I am always saying the same thing, and yet you are still coming. Therefore you must have some attachment for Krishna."

If we do sankirtana to become famous we will not take the bliss we experience doing it for Krishna.

Q: What makes the difference that makes one continue his whole life?

A: One must be tolerant and humble as Lord Caitanya recommends in Siksastaka 3. Enthusiasm is another key, and patience in the face of delayed success. Prayer is also powerful and essential. After the very successful opening of Krishna-Balarama in Vrndavana, Srila Prabhupada said, "Now Lord Balarama is here. You can pray to Him for strength." Thus each year I go to Vrndavana, I thank Lord Balarama for giving me strength, and ask Him to continue for another year. Krishna will keep you around if you realize you have no place to go.

Q: Can people change their character?

A: Yes, people become from their bad qualities. We want to change. We want to be purified, to become gentlemen, to become good people.

Preaching involves confronting the unwanted things in one's heart, and that is too much for some people, so they leave.

Singapore church weekly sayings, "Melt me, mold me, and use me." "Let go, and let God."

Prabhupada said controlling the mind means thinking of how to distribute the holy name.

Revealing your mind confidentially means, if you have some wonderful experience in Krishna consciousness, tell somebody.

Thank Krishna. Even if all you can do is chant the holy name, that is Krishna Himself. It is not an ordinary thing.

Some one told me he was praying that the Prabhupada disciples all live to 160 years old. That is a nice sentiment but unlikely. Better pray that you will be able to take up their preaching work.

On initiation:

Second initiation is for connecting more to Krishna, deepening the commitment.

We should not push people to get initiated artificially, but rather inspire them to surrender to Krishna. Initiation will come in due course.

Krishna Himself had a guru.

During the early days of this movement, there was one rascal who claimed to be Krishna. He said you do not need books. His idea was that books are required in Kali-yuga, but because he had advented, they were not necessary.

Lord Caitanya wanted everyone to become a guru. Every one should be come a instructing (siksa) guru or a vartmapradarsaka-guru.

It is an amazing thing that Srila Prabhupada installed so many Deities and arranged for their worship.

None of Srila Prabhupada godbrothers believed westerners could become brahmanas, but Srila Prabhupada understood the power of Lord Caitanya's mercy.

The Ratha-yatra in Leipzig was so nice because it was in the crowded shopping area where all the people were and couldn't get away.

Dhruva put tilaka on so many people, and I didn't see anyone refuse him. Wearing the tilaka makes them feel more a part of the festival.

Envy comes from lust. If you want something I have, you become envious.

Srila Prabhupada said Krishna consciousness is simple.

Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami, Vihara Bhavan, no. 28:

"Once a disciple lost his beads and wrote to Prabhupada to please chant on another set. Prabhupada wrote back that there was no need to chant on another physical set of beads. 'Once the blessing is given it is eternal.'"

Kadamba Kanana Swami:

Why so much austerity? If we do not follow the austerities, we will act in ignorance and passion and suffer even more. In the animal kingdom, one animal eats another, and when we do not restrict ourselves, we live like an animal, with all the anxiety that comes with that kind of life.

In this world, Krishna, out of his kindness, is always with us in the heart.

Nitzshe said as humans we can achieve so little, and then with religion, we have to give that little bit up. God is watching this and enjoying it so much that recreates the universe to do it again and again.

In dasyam, there is general service, and personal service (kinkara), where one considers the actual desire of the master.

"I am limited, but let me do as much as I can for Krishna", can be our meditation.

These austerities of the body like celibacy are practical. If you have sex with a variety people your life becomes complicated. If you practice not having sex outside marriage, then a certain faith and trust develops that makes existence more palatable.

In my family we did water skiing for some time and then we stopped doing it. In the beginning, there was some excitement, but that waned.

Bhakti liberates us and makes us free for Krishna.

Austerity is only austerity in the beginning. For example, no meat, fish, or eggs, is now not a difficulty. Similarly, giving up alcohol or smoking is not an austerity, if you consider all the unpalatable ramifications of these habits, the expense, the filth, the inconvenience. As far as the love in the material world, our beloveds are a very sad second to Krishna. The romance wears off, and even if it lasts to the end, we become like two skeletons. In reality we are together for a limited time only, and we cannot expect such relationships to provide all that we might hope.

In this world, people walk around in their bubbles, and sannyasis walk around with needles and pop them.

In this world as people trade in their cars or i-Phones for new ones, too often we similarly trade in our husbands or wives for new models.

In any otherwise comfortable household life, without higher aspirations there is an emptiness. Like monkeys in the zoo that stay because there are well fed, the householder may feel inclined to stay in family life.

Our disease as a neophyte devotee is that we want God to catch us before we are willing to let go. A madhyama adhikari has faith that Krishna will reciprocate, and so he can act as Krishna desires.

By false ego we are absorbed in the distinctions based on that body, instead of seeing all beings as spiritual souls.

Yudhisthira was fighting but not seeing anyone has his enemy.

The main meditation for the Vaisnava is to see everyone as a devotee of the Lord. In truth, even demons are devotees of Lord Krishna because the eternal identity of all souls is that of servants of Krishna.

Actually the false ego is weak as it is comprised of the illusory energy. As long as we are serving the devotees, we are progressing.

If we see the Lord as always judging people will not be attracted.

On harinama, we can see the variety of reactions of the people.

Some people say they do not believe in hell, but hell is around us.

If we see the various diseased conditions of the living beings are all curable by Krishna consciousness, our vision will be very optimistic.

We may not think we are so successful in our preaching, but actually many souls are becoming purified.

People needed to accumulate a lot of ajnata-sukrti so they can come to the point of desiring Krishna.

The Vedic culture is to treat your enemies in such a way that they forget their enmity.

In the west, we people tend to be inimical to people in general and have a few friends. Our task is to become friends of everyone.

In the west, even if people get together, they still maintain a sense of their space around them, but in India it is not like that.

The demonic people like to be in ignorance, and they cannot hear about the Lord and His philosophy so they protest again it.

Our faith must develop into conviction.

Spiritual life may not be easy, but material life does not work out.

We do not think of devotees as our enemies, but sometimes we do not think devotees are our friends. Some devotees have different ideas about serving Krishna. Those who have similar ideas can cooperate and serve together.

Once we had more aspiring devotees than we had rooms in Mayapur. I suggested we use some of the guesthouse rooms for bhaktas, and so there was some disagreement.

When the Ganges comes to the heavenly planets, the demigods become eager to carry her in different pots instead of letting her run her course, because they want to get her mercy.

It is said the speaker of the Bhagavatam benefits the most, then the inquirer, and the next those who listen passively, for they are less involved.

When Srila Prabhupada was taking rest, he would not mind hearing kirtana.

By hearing about Krishna we are associating with Him. Our worship of Krishna is not just some quick thing like an arati. This is nice but as time goes on we learn how to worship in the way that those who know how to please Krishna worship Him.

Srila Prabhupada said, "People always had to do what I said. Even my parents had to do what I said. My classmates had to do what I say." And even now so many people are doing what Srila Prabhupada said. He was always a leader.

Our nature may also stay the same and that is alright. If we are stubborn, we can be stubborn for Krishna. When I was sent to Vrndavana, I had so many plans for what I wanted to do. But I found Krishna wanted me to use my stubbornness in His service. He wanted someone who would stay there no matter what and deal with all the problems. I did not want to the quality of stubbornness in Krishna's service, but it was His will. Our program is to use what is favorable for Krishna's service and to reject that which cannot be used to serve Krishna. In Bg. 18.66 says in the first half of the verse that we must surrender to him, and in the second half Krishna says that he will remove the sinful reactions—the negative things that do not help us.

Prithu Prabhu suggested in the Prabhupada Samadhi that we have an artistic panel which on the outside that says "Tell everyone you meet about Krishna" and on the inside "Krishna is the original Supreme Lord.—krishnas tu bhagavan svayam."

Initiation lecture:

The holy name being Krishna Himself is sufficient to grant all perfection, what then is the need of initiation?

The difficulty is that we are very lazy and not determined, and therefore, accepting initiation is useful. We need to take shelter of the Vaishnava to progress.

If we give lust something it wants, it will still not be satisfied.

"Unless one is properly initiated, he can descend again into the animal species."

In previous ages, they did not take vows—they were so responsible they did not need to.

The second initiation is not just a formality. We are expected to acquire the qualities of the brahmana.

Srila Prabhupada said in the material world one needs the qualification to attain a post, but in Krishna consciousness we attain the post and then acquire the qualifications.

Jananivasa Prabhu in Mayapur said, "It is very difficult to be a brahmana. I do not know whether I can do it this life." If he cannot do it, what to speak of me.

After initiation one is never the same because he has a new responsibility. He may not take it seriously but the responsibility is there, nonetheless.

Anuttama Prabhu:

In Philly in '75 when we gathered for Ratha-yatra, Srila Prabhupada gave a morning class on Ajamila. The temple was so full of East Coast devotees it was hard to find a good place to hear. Listening through the window, I remember Srila Prabhupada said, "Just like the police are everywhere and you can call an emergency number and they quickly come, similarly the Yamadutas are everywhere and come when needed."

Illicit sex has been around since the beginning. By the grace of Lord Caitanya, the holy name, and the instructions of the guru, we are not affected as we chant on the beach.

We all have the potential to fall. It is our minute indepenence. Each day, we can do Krishna consciousness or something else. We do Krishna consciousness because material pleasure is limited and unsatisfying.

That Krishna expands for his ever-increasing bliss according to Prabhupada's Bhagavad-gita 3.37 purport means Krishna wants someone to play with.

Even if we do not experience the higher taste, at least we know it is out there.

It is foolish to think maya has no effect on us. Maya is always testing us.

Bilvamangala Thakura also had a relationship with a prostitute like Ajamila, but because she was a devotee, she advised him to give his love to Krishna, thus in the middle of his life, he surrendered to Krishna and attained perfection. Ajamila, on the other hand, remained sinful throughout his life, until by chanting the name of his child, who was named after Lord Narayana, he was freed from sin and given the chance to engage in devotional service.

We need good association because we have a tendency for maya. With good friends and a good spouse, we can be woken up if we fall into the slumber of maya.

Srila Prabhupada never condemned any devotee who fell into maya. He always wished they would come back.

Ayana means wandering, and ayana means resting place, so Narayana guides the wandering of all entities or is the resting place of all entities.

Srila Prabhupada said, "It takes a gallon of my blood to make one devotee."

Q: Lord Caitanya prayed, "Na dhanam . . . na sundarim… Some devotees have these and not distracted…"

A: We do not need these for ourselves but for preaching.

Prithu Prabhu:

Q: Should the householders come to the temple or make their home a temple?

A (by Prithu Prabhu): No temple is well managed unless all the orders of spiritual life are present. Householders can participate in temple activities, support such activities, preach to new householders about how to do it, etc.

It is not enough just to have Deities in your home. Every Hindu family has Deities in their home. Govardhan, a big gunda (thief), would have deities of Radha-Krishna in his home. I got a property from him so I became friends with him. He invited me to come for breakfast. He offered the food to his Radha Krishna Deities. He would pray to Them for people to rob. I asked him about the inconsistency in this. He replied, "I am a thief. It is my occupation. My father was a thief."

A (by Kavicandra Swami): Making the home a temple means you invite people and engage them in Krishna activities. The people who do not feel comfortable coming to the temple can come to the householders houses.

Ignorance means you hurt yourself and others. A '60s band member told a journalist his bad health was due to "the sins of his youth." In passion, you succeed at the expense of others. Goodness means you know you are God's son, and therefore, we have an obligation to Him.

In Russia it is so hot this August that people take shelter of the rivers to cool off, but because they are drunk on vodka and do not know how to swim, they are drowning by the hundreds. This is ignorance.

People with spirituality do not try to unnecessarily exploit the resources of nature. To make more such people is the solution to the environmental crisis.

Nothing else matters but that we cut the chain of material existence. Anything that does not cut it is maya.

When we chant Hare Krishna, even the pigs laugh at us, but it does not matter.

Sanatana Goswami had a touchstone in his rubbish because it had no value for him.

People my age, who led a material life, look like they just came out of the grave. They do not know what they are doing or where they are going. But we know where they are going.

They sing, "I can't get no satisfaction." That they try for their own satisfaction means they are demons.

The real question is how to get out of the prison of the material world. We must know "aham brahmasmi" [I am spirit]. There are 4 million people in Berlin. If you ask them, "Who are you?" How many will answer "Aham brahmasmi." That is the best answer, but how many know?

In this world, we strive for money and reputation. I want to be a big kirtana leader. I want to be a big rock star. It is all stupid. It is all maya. But it is very difficult to overcome. Krishna says only by surrender to Him can it be overcome. Maya keeps the insincere people away from Krishna. We all have some insincerity, which drives us to activities that have nothing to do with cutting the cycle of birth and death. Attachment to matter is very strong. The question is how to get out. Srila Prabhupada was very kind. He was not attached to matter. He came and he started this society of Krishna consciousness. He is one in a million people. We have not seen anyone on the level of Srila Prabhupada who kindly came to set us free from material existence. Of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati's disciples, our Srila Prabhupada was a diamond among a bunch of jewels.

In Mayapur once Prabhupada said in a lecture, "Because we have a temple, so many people are coming to hear. Without a temple that would not be."

This is the anniversary of the incorporation of ISKCON. Prabhupada understood that unless there is a society the people will drift more and more into the material energy. They will go to the football matches, the universities, so much "asat-sanga [association with the impermanent]."

Hearing the holy name and chanting the holy name will protect us from being polluted by the material existence. But more is required. Temples are needed to help people to hear and chant the holy name.

I was temple president of Amsterdam. One man lived in a boat on the temple property. He just came for the Sunday feast, just for prasadam. I tried to convince him to do some service. He would not do anything. I finally kicked him out. He complained to Srila Prabhupada. Prabhupada asked him what his service was. He said he had no service now. Prabhupada asked him what his service was in the past. Prabhupada asked, "How many books did you distribute? How many temples did you open?" When he said, "None," Prabhupada agreed, "Prithu was right in kicking him out."

Facility to live on the temple grounds helps us to participate in the temple programs. Like an ivy bush needs a tree to climb up, we need a structure, an institution, to support our spiritual practice.

Prabhupada went around the world and established one temple after another. That is what he did. Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati wanted temples everywhere. That is Lord Caitanya's desire that the chanting go everywhere. So there must be temples everywhere. Of course, we cannot miss the individual's needs while supporting the institution. Both the development of the individual and the institution are important.

Some people leave temples and focus on their own spiritual development but that is not the desire of Srila Prabhupada. Every idea outside the idea of the acarya is useless.

Both a well-organized society and competent devotees are required. To focus on one or the other is immature and incorrect.

There must be brahmacaris and grhasthas both in a temple community. Both are required. Grhamedis should be criticized but not grhasthas.

Some temples in America have not seen brahmacaris for three decades. Because brahmacaris keep getting married, you have to keep making new brahmacaris. When there are no new brahmacaris, the temple dies. We see this in places like Heidelberg.

We have to go out distribute books, chant Hare Krishna, and create new devotees and build new temples. This is Prabhupada's program.

There has to be an institution. We should not minimize it. We also must take care of the needs of the individual. To do one at the expense of the other is a materialistic idea.

If you preach something different from Srila Prabhupada, your swami hat will not save you. Renunciation means you give up your desire and follow the acarya.

The principle is not difficult. The application is difficult. This is a young society. We had these new gurus. One stressed the needs of the society but not the personal development of the individual. I talked to this guru. I said I understand we need gurus, but I do not understand how one can become a self-realized soul overnight by decree. He accused me of wanting to swallow him. I said, "I do not want to swallow you. I just want to discuss with you." He replied, "Well, I want to swallow you, but because I cannot swallow you, I will spit you out. You have ten minutes to leave." So my wife, kid, and I were on the street with no money for a meal the next day.

Hitler was a minority. How did he attain power? He offered to give the church whatever they wanted if they supported him. If the church opposed him from the beginning, there would be no concentration camps.

Krishna writes the script for Kali-yuga where people are bad.

I could beat you and say, "It is your karma, otherwise, I could not beat you."

The fall of communism in Russia is directly a result of the Hare Krishna movement. They murdered and tortured so many devotees, Krishna had enough.

If there are enough devotees, we can change the whole history of the world.

Initiation comments:

I was sitting right next to Srila Prabhupada when he was talking about 1st class, 2nd class, and 3rd class men, etc. Someone in the audience accused him of claiming to be a 1st class man, but I could see that because of Srila Prabhupada's natural humility, he was shocked. "No", he said with complete sincerely and tears in his eyes, "I am actually a 5th class man because I am serving the 4th class men."

The whole thing is about being connected and presenting what we have heard from the acaryas [previous teachers].

If we do not recruit new people, we will perish.

Srila Prabhupada said after the Mayapur temple opening, that without temple, if I speak a thousand people may come and then go away, but now that we have this temple, then will come again and again, and become devotees.

Devamrita Swami said that the people who come from yoga, come and remain interested only in yoga, but those who come from Srila Prabhupada's books, become interested in the philosophy and become devotees.

Mother Sitala dd:

What we think about is important. First there is contemplation in the mind before some falling down. We must watch our mind and speech as they are an indication of where our consciousness is at.

Srila Prabhupada wrote me that we must be consciously engaged in devotional service 24-hours a day.

Srila Prabhupada repeatedly said, "Chant 16 rounds a day."

It is not because of our practice we reach the goal, but because Krishna sees we are sincerely trying.

Srila Prabhupada explains Ajamila forgot Krishna, but Krishna did not forget Ajamila. Krishna thought, "Ajamila is attached to his child, so I will tell him to name him Narayana." Krishna is so kind. Krishna thought, "He is a rascal. He made a big mistake. Let me help him."

Srila Prabhupada was so grave it was frightening when he spoke on Ajamila in Vrindavana.

I have a friend whose mother, who was inimical to Krishna consciousness, was dying. She described being tormented by these creatures whenever she closed her eyes. She describes them just as they are in the Srimad-Bhagavatam. Her daughter chanted Hare Krishna, and they went away. She wanted her daughter to stay by her side and chant.

I was in a car crash with a few devotees. As the car was turning over out of control, the devotee next to me yelled "Oh, sh__! I'm gonna die." I thought "yikes, that's not the right thing to say if this is it, and if she's gonna

die, I probably am to," and I started yelling, "Hare Krishna!" Now, this devotee next to me, was a very, very nice devotee, and she was certainly happy that it was just a trial run and not the actual moment of death. But, the point is that any moment we can be confronted with death, so we need to practice and practice chanting the holy name so we can do the right thing at the right time.

Raghunandananda Thakura gave invocation at Kheturi festival. Cupid, Pradyumna, is his identity. Mukunda, who was previously Vrinda Devi, was his father.

Raghunandananda Thakura was so insistent the deity eat his offering, the deity actually consumed it. His father had some doubt, as this never happened before, and so he secretly watched. Deity Gopal looked at Mukunda after eating half a laddu and stopped.

Prahlada Nrsimha Prabhu:

Because our kids are named in relation to Krishna we are always chanting Krishna's names. This is very good. In South India they are always chanting om namo narayanaya. Vaikuntha reverberates with this mantra. Prahlad chants this and Narada also.

Ramanujacarya's guru gave him a mantra that could grant liberation, but he was told to keep it a secret. Instead, he went to a prominent public place and announced to the people they could get liberation simply by chanting this mantra, om namo narayanaya. When his guru asked him why he did that, he explained he did not mind going to hell for disobeying his guru if so many others could be liberated. The guru realized that Ramanujacarya's realization surpassed his own and blessed him.

The Krishna Deity, now installed in Udupi, which Madhva found in a block of gopi-candana a ship captain gave him, originally belonged to Queen Rukmini.

In Udupi, brahmanas bathe in a pond in front of the temple with their clothes on and do puja in that wet condition to remove contamination encountered enroute to the temple.

Only brahmanas and ksatriyas could see deity who faced north. One sudra sang sons of Vraja on the western side. The brahmanas wanted to stop him, but the wall crumbed, and the deity turned to face west.

Ratha-yatra is there each night in Udupi.

The Lord never forgot Ajamila's service, and so He inspired him to name his son Narayana.

We have to follow the Vedic culture, like naming children after Krishna, because it is all good for us.

The red dot on ladies takes away lust in men. If the ladies do not cut their hair, their husbands have a long life.

We do not study as much as we hear the pastimes of the Lord. How do you study a sweet ball? No, you taste it.

We each feel a personal relationship with Krishna, and each of His forms and each of his devotees have relationship with each of us.

Vaishnava pranamas include all Vaishnavas in the universe, Hanuman, etc., because one day we will be in their midst.

Q: Only chanting Hare Krishna is said to be necessary, why Vedic culture?

A: It is the Lord's culture. By chanting we develop this consciousness, and we learn how to act. Chanting bring us to this culture automatically.

Krishna-kripa Das:

Seeing Krishna is not easy.

a. Out of thousands among men one may endeavor for the perfection of understanding he is spirit not matter, but hardly one who has that perfection knows Krishna in truth. (Bg. 7.3)

b. Muktanam api siddhanam narayana parayana/ sudurbhatma prasantaya kotisvapi maha-mune. Out of millions of liberated and perfect beings, a peaceful devotee of Lord Narayana is very rare. (SB 6).

1. Kumaras—many births. Dhruva—six months. How long will it take us?

a. Srila Prabhupada said one life, if you follow the four rules and chant Hare Krishna.

b. Determination is very important.

c. Srila Prabhupada says although our austerities are nothing compared to what Dhruva Maharaja performed, we should emulate his enthusiasm.

2. Dhruva regretted his desire for material prosperity.

a. It delayed his return to the spiritual world.

b. It does not satisfy the soul. (SB 1.2.6)

3. Dhruva regretted his revengeful attitude.

a. He attained the Vaishnava quality of compassion.

b. He understood that others are acting as instruments of our karma.

4. What can we learn from this?

a. We should not desire materially or we will be detained in the material world.

b. We must be very pure in our intentions.

1. Demigods try to obstruct devotees.

a. Indra stole the horse from Prithu Maharaja's sacrifice.

b. Siva was tempted by Cupid.

c. demigods send dancing girls to distract ascetics: Indra sent Menaka to allure Visvamitra.

2. If you approach Krishna for material things, he is kind and gives you His lotus feet.

a. Whatever you desire if you worship Krishna with one-pointed attention, you'll attain the perfection of devotional service (SB 2.3.10).

b. Lord Caitanya expained, "Krishna says, 'If one engages in My transcendental loving service but at the same time wants the opulence of material enjoyment, he is very, very foolish. Indeed, he is just like a person who gives up ambrosia to drink poison. Since I am very intelligent, why should I give this fool material prosperity? Instead I shall induce him to take the nectar of the shelter of My lotus feet and make him forget illusory material enjoyment.'

"Whenever Krishna is requested to fulfill one's desire, He undoubtedly does so, but He does not award anything which, after being enjoyed, will cause one to petition Him again and again to fulfill further desires. When one has other desires but engages in the Lord's service, Krishna forcibly gives one shelter at His lotus feet, where one will forget all other desires.

"When someone engages in Lord Krishna's devotional service for the satisfaction of the senses and instead acquires a taste for serving Krishna, he gives up his material desires and willingly offers himself as an eternal servant of Krishna." (Cc. Madhya-lila 22.38-41)

Dhruva Prabhu:

That Ajamila was saying Narayana, "Narayana come eat. Narayana come drink. Narayana go to sleep," means that Ajamila was remembering the Lord in all of his activities. To remember Krishna somehow or other in all our activities is the perfection.

In our neophyte stage we take more pleasure in finishing our sixteen rounds than in chanting our sixteen rounds.

We are fortunate that we are struggling together to chant rather than struggling alone for it is more difficult to struggle alone.

In the beginning chanting is a difficulty and later stopping chanting becomes a difficulty.

Our practice pays off in that we can remember Krishna at the time of death.

Ajamila saw one incident of an improperly dressed woman and man embracing, but at Woodstock we see thousands.

It is Srila Prabhupada's mercy that wherever we go there is devotee association.

Q: If we have a job to do and do not do it, our authorities bring it to our attention, but if we do not chant our 16 rounds before taking rest, no one will say anything.

A: Just like no authority has to tell you to brush your teeth, because it is your own responsibility, similarly it is your own responsibility to chant your sixteen rounds.

Sad-bhuja Das KKS [temple president of Leipzig]:

Living in the country to try to make a spiritual life, one can see that he brings his city mentality with him, so that alone does not work. From attending Rainbow Gatherings, I see that the people there understand this and call it "Bringing Babylon to the Rainbow."

People who know a lot of things do not inspire one much as those who have realization.

Q: So by doing service we become purified?

A: By absorbing our minds in service, we have no time to think of sense gratification.

Srila Prabhupada says if we think of 'illicit sex' we should see that Krishna reminding us not to engage in it.

We should try to find our own level of absorption in devotional service rather than being fully absorbed for one week and then abandoning devotional service altogether.

My comments:

My nirjala realization.—I found I could get absorbed in my computer services that six hours went by on nirjala Ekadasi, and I forgot completely about eating and drinking.

Both hearing and chanting are practical service.


hare krishna hare krishna

krishna krishna hare hare

hare rama hare rama

rama rama hare hare

iti sodasakam namnam


natah parataropayah

sarva-vedesu drsyate

"The sixteen names of the Hare Krishna maha-mantrahare krishna hare krishna krishna krishna hare hare, hare rama hare rama rama rama hare hare—destroy all the inauspiciousness of the age of Kali. This is the conclusion of all the Vedas." (Lord Brahma in the Kalisantarana Upanisad 5,6 of the Krishna Yajur Veda)

  • Email to a friend Bhakti Vikasa Swami: the bed bug

There is the story of the bed bug. In the winter season the bed bug appears to be only skin, but in summer season as soon as it gets the opportunity of biting and sucking blood, it becomes fatty. Sometimes we may artificially renounce the world, but as soon as the opportunity of sucking blood is there, we turn again into a bed bug. Therefore it is said in the Bhagavad gita: daivi hy esa gunamayi mama maya duratyaya mam eva ye prapadyante mayam etam taranti te [Bg. 7.14] "This divine energy of Mine, consisting of the three modes of material nature, is difficult to overcome. But, those who have surrendered unto Me can easily cross beyond it.'' Unless everyone of us sticks to the regulative principles of chanting, there is no other alternative than fall-down. That is a fact. I repeatedly say this, so if people do not follow, what can I do?

>>> Ref. VedaBase => Letter to: Karandhara: — Bombay 19 October, 1973

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Kurma dasa, AU: Yamuna Devi Recipe # 4 : Carrots, Cashews and Dates in Smooth Yogurt (Gajar Kaju Raita)


The serialising of recipes by my cooking guru, Yamuna Devi continues. Before attempting to cook any of her recipes, make sure you are aware of the difference between US measures and Australian/metric measures. See below*

This colorful raita comes from good friend Mandakini Devi, an accomplished cook. The cashew and date combination can be replaced by almonds and golden raisins or pecans and currants. The yogurt is drained for 2-3 hours before being mixed into the salad to make a thick, rich sauce without the extra calories of added cream.

Preparation and draining time (after assembling ingredients): 2-3 hours, Serves: 4 to 6.

2 cups plain yogurt, preferably homemade, 3 medium-sized carrots (about ½ pound/230g), peeled and shredded, 6 pitted dates, sliced into thin rounds, or 2 table spoons raisins or currants soaked in hot water for 10 minutes, then drained, 3 tablespoons dry roasted chopped cashews, almonds or pecans, 1 teaspoon grated orange or lime zest, 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice, strained, 2 tablespoons granulated maple or date sugar, ¼ teaspoon cardamom seeds, coarsely crushed.

Line a colander with three thicknesses of cheesecloth (about 16 inches/40 cm square) or a white handkerchief. Place the yogurt in the cloth, gather up the four corners, and tie closed with a piece of kitchen twine. Hang the yogurt from a knob on a kitchen cabinet or a sink faucet where it can drip and drain into a bowl or sink. Let it drain undisturbed for 2-3 hours.(note from Kurma: I sit the cloth-lined colander in the fridge over a bowl).

Press the carrots between your palms to excess juice. Place the drained yogurt in a 1-quart/liter bowl and whisk with a fork until smooth and creamy. Add the remaining ingredients, and stir until blended. Serve at room temperature or chill for 1-2 hours.

*Note that since Yamuna wrote her recipes using US measurements, the weights are in US with metric in brackets.

More importantly, her tablespoons are US (15ml) whereas Australian/metric tablespoons are 20ml. So if you follow these recipes using metric measures, your tablespoons should be scant.

Similarly, the US cup is 240ml as distinct from the Australian/metric 250ml cup. The same scant measuring should thus apply to Australian/metric cup users.

The teaspoon is a universal 5ml.

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David Haslam, UK: Should we choose the day we die?

If we asked two simple questions what do you think the answer would be? If say they were surrounding the day we die. If you were to die today would you feel you have completed all that you wish to achieve? If you could choose the precise day and time you could die could you [...]

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Sutapa das, BV Manor, UK: Motherly Love

It's easy to take mothers for granted. Some researchers recently followed around one such mother for a week in an attempt to estimate the monetary value of her 'motherly love'. She took the kids to school, so they calculated how much a taxi driver would cost. She cooked the breakfast, lunch and dinner so they approximated the wage bill of a cook. The mother also played the role of a cleaner, psychologist, accountant and nurse to name but a few. They calculated the overtime the mother put in, and how she would often go on for years without any time off (every family holiday she was fully on-call). After crunching the numbers, they concluded that to employ such a mother would set you back in the region of £150,000 a year!

To be honest, however, that doesn't tell you the full story. The quality of the job is what really stands out. The service of a mother is quite unmotivated and practically uninterrupted. They don't really stipulate any expectation in return for their services, and are delighted when offered the opportunity to go beyond the call of duty. What to speak of receiving benefits, even when the child acts in irrational and ungrateful ways, the mother happily continues to serve. Their service unfailingly goes on day after day, and even when the child becomes a grown adult the outpouring of motherly love doesn't subside.

In the same way, the ancient scriptures tell us how our actions towards God and all living beings should be completey devoid of selfish intent. By offering our lives in service, completely unmotivated and uninterrupted, we discover an amazing satisfaction and fulfilment which otherwise remains elusive. While this may be hard to conceptualise, the living example of millions of magnanimous mothers give us an insight into what selflessness really is. Our teacher, Srila Prabhupada, explained how the love between mother and child is the purest form of love found in this world. How wonderful if we could take that spirit, foster a mood of gratitude, and share that same spirit with the entire world.

Disclaimer: I am sure many fathers fit the descriptions above as well :)

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H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Sunday, September 19th, 2010

The Young in Joy

Halifax, Nova Scotia

I had taken a real brisk walk from Charlottetown to the Trans Canada Highway when I met some young party goers whom I greeted with a "Good morning!" to which they at 4 AM became a bit disoriented. One of them as they looked at their watch in a stupored sort of way said, "Oh, yah, morning!" as she giggled.

An hour later the van pulled up with five of our Halifax monks. We moved onto the ferry docks for the mainland. While on the ferry whales coasted along with us - appearing and disappearing - as passengers left their seats to see the spectacle. Alice, a middle-aged woman from Nova Scotia, approached me.

"I don't mean to seem ignorant but what are the clothes all about?"

I went on to explain about our order of monks, which she had never heard of before, but it sparked new questions. As we were talking she looked at our two young monks Kurt and Marshal from British Columbia and remarked, "you don't eat meat or take drugs?"

"No, not at all," I said.

"That's amazing. At that age they could be doing all sorts of crazy things. Do you get married?"

"Yes," I said. "Most of us do get married but now while they are young they are receiving some training and it establishes a great foundation for them." Alice was satisfied and we reached the dock.

This evening the Halifax boys and I held a Sunday Program of chant and talk with predominantly young folks and the free-spirited. They could have been doing all kinds of 'crazy things' but they were indeed thrown into the ecstasy of kirtan (chanting) and philosophy and they were blown away.

I hope they will stay frozen in the joy of Krishna Consciousness and avoid all the nasty things that can spoil lives.

7 KM

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Rupa Madhurya das, TX, USA: Bhajan - Amala Kirtan das - Hare Krishna

Another ecstatic Hare Krishna Bhajan led by Amala Kirtan das.

Amala Kirtan (vocals), Hari das (drum), Sri Rupa (other drum)

Dallas, TX

Download: 2010-02-13 - 4 - Home Program - Amala Kirtan das - Hare Krishna.mp3
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ISKCON Toronto, Canada: Deity Darshan: Sunday, September 19, 2010

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H.H. Sivarama Swami: Radhastami festival and initiations

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H.H. Bhakticharu Swami: Ramayana Day 4, Vraj, Pennsylvania, USA

THE FOLLOWING IS A CLASS GIVEN BY HIS HOLINESS BHAKTI CHARU SWAMI ON THURSDAY JULY 1ST 2010, AT THE NORTH AMERICAN RETREAT, VRAJ, PENNSYLVANIA (RAMAYAN DAY 4) Transcription  : Suvarna Manjari Dasi Editing : Hemavati Radhika Dasi HH Bhakti Charu Swami leads a sweet, melodious kirtan, thereafter starts the class. Hare Krishna So out of [...]

  • Email to a friend Book distribution seminar: A Body Builder

I was distributing books at a university when I motioned for a student to come to my table. He came over, and I began explaining some of Krsna's teachings in the Bhagavad-gita. He didn't show much interest. From his bulging muscles I could tell he lifted weights and worked out a lot. I said, "It's good that you're taking care of your body, but did you know that while we're talking right now your body is dying? Every second you're getting closer to death, and in a relatively short time your body will be dead. But you, the soul, will never die."

He said, "So you say I'm wasting my time trying to stay physically fit?"

"No, it's good to be physically fit. I go on power walks and do yoga to stay physically fit. But I know that although this body is going to die eventually, I, the soul, will never die. So I'm also trying to become spiritually fit so I can become self-realized. If you read the book I've shown you, it will help you become spiritually fit."

I told him the story of the lady with the bird in a birdcage. She was so enamored of the beautiful and valuable birdcage that she forgot about the bird inside -- and it died. So I told him, "Don't be like this foolish lady who forgot about the bird and thus caused its death. The body is like a cage for the soul. If you forget the soul and become enamored of the body, that would be very unfortunate."

"I like what you're saying. Very interesting. I'd like to read the book."

He gave a nice donation, and hopefully, by the mercy of Krsna and Srila Prabhupada, he will become spiritually fit.

Your servant, Vijaya das (Text D:3568628) -------------------------------------------

------- End of Forwarded Message ------

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New Vrndavan, USA: Indian Cultural Fest – 2010

Dear Friends,

Hare Krishna!

Indian Culture is a beacon to give direction to the world especially in the current times. Yoga, which is a great gift of the east is now popular all over the world and is helping people improve their physical and mental health. Not only this but vast gamut of Indian culture which includes music, dance and food has a lot to offer to the world. It is easy for those who have had some access to it, to help distributing this gift to others.

As an effort to distribute this gift to the residents of Pittsburgh, we are glad to announce the 2nd Annual India Cultural Fest on September 25th. ICF-2009 was a good success considering the fact that it was the first festival of its kind.

With great enthusiasm and high spirits we are getting ready for the 2nd festival. Like last year, the cultural events will include Dance, Dramas, Devotional singing and kirtans.

A new feature of this years ICF will be “The First Gita Sloka Recitation Competition”. Children from ages 5-15 will have the opportunity to participate in this and overall we will be able to cover a few important chapters of the Gita. The Gita recitation will bring in great auspicious for the festival. Please visit for details of sloka competition, registration, donation page.

We would like to request and encourage you to please participate and attend the festival to help us spread the glories our great Indian heritage and culture.

Date: September 25th 2010

Venue: SV Temple Auditorium

Time: 4:00pm to 8:00pm



If you would like to participate or volunteer time for the festival please contact us ASAP.

For further questions, please contact:

Vanamali Gopal Das at 412-725-3442/ or visit

Thank you again.

Yours in the service of Lord Krishna,


(Shyamsundar Das, Vanamali Gopal Das, Radhika Sundari Dasi, Laxman Pulumati and Annapurna Manchella)

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Devadeva Mirel, Alachua, USA: Buy Our House

Please buy our house.

It is for sale.

It is in Pennsylvania.

We live in Florida.

It is an old house.

It is a  nice house.

It is centrally located in the middle of nowhere.

There are fruit trees.

There are berry bushes.

There are ridiculous amounts of flowers.

Old growth pine floors.

Brandy-new kitchen.

Clean air.

Rich soil.

Please buy our house.

It is for sale.

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Hari Sauri das, Mayapura, IN: Bon Voyage to Bahrain

I just spent three days from September 16-19 in the excellent company of several hundred enthusiastic devotees in Balaram-desha aka Bahrain.

A 55 minute flight from Dubai Bahrain is an independent kingdom consisting of an archipelago of 33 islands in the Persian Gulf. It borders Saudi Arabia and Qatar and is famous for being the first Gulf country to discover oil in the early 1930s. It also has a reputation for providing high quality pearls.

But its liberal attitude towards other religions is what sets it apart from many of its neighbors, and which gives it special interest for devotees. The devotees are officially registered as “The Indian Religious and Social Group” and have two temples in operation.

I was met at the airport by Satya Harinama prabhu, a disciple of HH Jayapataka Swami,

who is in his late 60s and now almost retired. He has lived in Bahrain for 40 years. Interestingly he and his wife married in Kosi, part of Vraja mandala in 1966.

The main Radha Bahrain-isvara temple is in an area populated by nearly a dozen different Christian churches and consists of two spacious adjoining halls.

The altar has four segments, housing Sri Sri Prahlada Nrisimhadeva,

Sri Sri Gaura Nitai and Their Lordships Jagannatha, Subhadra and Balaram

Sri Sri Krsna Balaram

and Sri Sri Radha Bahrain-isvara.

The Deities are somewhat unusual in Their appearance, at least compared to most of our temples. When I inquired where They were originally made I was informed They were all purchased and shipped over from the famous elephant temple of S. India, Guruvayor.

There are no full time pujaris, but each family takes turns to do the three offerings and aratis per day and everything runs very smoothly.

I spent three days staying at the Sri Sri Radha Bahrain-isvara temple delivering 1-2 hour sessions of my seminar “Srila Prabhupada the Living Bhagavatam” with the topic ‘chanting’.

My first program was at the smaller Sri Sri Radha Gopal Krsna mandira.

About 150 devotees turned out for an enlivening session of Prabhupada-lila.

It was a wonderful experience to talk about Srila Prabhupada to hundreds of eager, humble devotees, especially when one considers that they all work during the day and then spent several hours in the late evenings to attend. Classes went from 8.00-9.30AM and again from 8.00-11.00PM and were always well attended.

The next day was Friday, which is equivalent to the western Sunday, when everyone has the day off and the main temple was packed with over 300+ devotees that night.

I showed a 40-minute power point presentation on the Bhaktivedanta Research Centre in Kolkata before delivering the Prabhupada Katha. The reception to the BRC was gratifying and many devotees came forward afterwards to offer their support for this important project.

The Gulf temples have a nice system for honoring any preachers who come to their temples. At the end of the talk, they produce a large tray of dried fruits and nuts, and one by one line up to receive Krsna prasadam from the guest. As they come forward they generously offer some dakshina as a token of gratitude.

On my last afternoon Satya Harinama prabhu and Udhara Kirti Caitanya, the temple president, took me for a sight-seeing tour. Not much to see. Most buildings are less than 50 years old so you don’t get much sense of the original culture. The usual huge skyscrapers poke up from the city center area, but the rest of the place is like a small country town atmosphere, with wide streets and most housing not more than 3 stories high.
Apparently they are planning to build the biggest skyscraper in the world, even higher than the Burj in Dubai. Called the Murjan Tower, this one is aiming for 1,022 meters high (3,325 feet!). Talk about the tower of Babel, or Ravana’s stairway to heaven…

On our afternoon drive we passed Bahrain’s Formula One race track.

But the point of interest on our little outing was some 20+ kilometers outside the city along one of the longest causeways in the world.

Linking up several islands and splicing the Gulf of Bahrain, the King Fahd Causeway links Bahrain with Saudi Arabia. It was built in the early – mid 80s and nearly 50,000 people a day cross over.

It wasn’t busy at all when we got there. We drove as close to the border as we could and parked under a towering edifice that was once a popular restaurant but is now disused.

We took a walk along the seaside pathway. It was refreshing to feel a moderate and warm breeze blowing off the sea.

We got as close as we were permitted to the boarder

hoping that the guy in the car wouldn’t turn around and tell me off for taking photos and then headed back-and were delighted to be greeted with “Hare Krsna” by a man and his elderly Sikh father and mother.

“Are you from ISKCON?” he asked. We smiled and informed him we were. “Do you have a temple here?” It turned out his sister-in-law is our life member in Mumbai.

So here it goes again, the old well worn, ever-truthful adage/cliche/whatever — its a small world. And very gratifying that here on the border of Saudi Arabia Hare Krsna is known and chanted. This sign means all the more when you are touring on Srila Prabhupada’s behalf.

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Book Distribution News: A Body Builder

I was distributing books at a university when I motioned for a student to come to my table. He came over, and I began explaining some of Krsna's teachings in the Bhagavad-gita. He didn't show much interest. From his bulging muscles I could tell he lifted weights and worked out a lot. I said, "It's good that you're taking care of your body, but did you know that while we're talking right now your body is dying? Every second you're getting closer to death, and in a relatively short time your body will be dead. But you, the soul, will never die."

He said, "So you say I'm wasting my time trying to stay physically fit?"

"No, it's good to be physically fit. I go on power walks and do yoga to stay physically fit. But I know that although this body is going to die eventually, I, the soul, will never die. So I'm also trying to become spiritually fit so I can become self-realized. If you read the book I've shown you, it will help you become spiritually fit."

I told him the story of the lady with the bird in a birdcage. She was so enamored of the beautiful and valuable birdcage that she forgot about the bird inside -- and it died. So I told him, "Don't be like this foolish lady who forgot about the bird and thus caused its death. The body is like a cage for the soul. If you forget the soul and become enamored of the body, that would be very unfortunate."

"I like what you're saying. Very interesting. I'd like to read the book."

He gave a nice donation, and hopefully, by the mercy of Krsna and Srila Prabhupada, he will become spiritually fit.

Your servant, Vijaya das (Text D:3568628) -------------------------------------------

------- End of Forwarded Message ------

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H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: 77 SDGonline Daily updates

3:18 A.M.

Namamrta by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada:

'By chanting the holy name, one achieves liberation from material existence and direct engagement in the service of the Lord.

[Isvara Puri to Lord Caitanya]: "Simply by chanting the holy name of Krishna one can obtain freedom from material existence. Indeed, simply by chanting the Hare Krishna mantra one will be able to see the lotus feet of the Lord."

"In the Anubhasya, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami says that the actual effect that will be visible as soon as one achieves transcendental knowledge is that he will immediately become free from the clutches of maya and fully engage in the service of the Lord. Unless one serves the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Mukunda, one cannot become free from fruitive activities under the external energy. However, when one chants the holy name of the Lord offenselessly, he can realize a transcendental position which is completely aloof from the material conception of life. Rendering service to the Lord, a devotee relates to the Supreme Personality of Godhead in one of the five relationships—namely, santa, dasya, sakhya, vatsalya and madhurya—and thus he relishes transcendental bliss in that relationship. Such a relationship certainly transcends the body and mind. When one realizes that the holy name of the Lord is identical with the Supreme Person, he becomes completely eligible to chant the holy name of the Lord. Such an ecstatic chanter must be considered to have a direct relationship with the Lord."

This describes the scientific proof of the ultimate goal of chanting Hare Krishna. It is by chanting Hare Krishna that we can gain our spiritual relationship with the Lord in one of the five kinds of relationships that exists in Goloka Vrndavana. In preliminary chanting one concentrates on hearing the sound vibration and prosecutes japa and kirtana in the vaidhi-bhakti standard. When one chants in raganuga-bhakti he chants following an associate of Krishna in the spiritual world. Thus the chanting becomes elevated and one renders direct service to the Lord. Chanting is the only method that will bring this about. Direct service of the Lord is the result of offenseless chanting, and one should always have faith that this is true, and one should strive to reach this platform. Mechanical chanting or offenseless chanting is not the ultimate result of chanting Hare Krishna. One has to attain his direct relationship with the Lord in order to be completely successful.

This morning I woke at 1:47, which is a little late by my standard. But my head was clear, and I felt fully awake. I have been chanting with steady attention to the syllables and though I have not realized my direct relationship with the Lord as indicated in the Namamrta, I am striving for that goal. By vaidhi-bhakti the raganuga stage will evolve. I pray for that success in chanting. My chanting has not been distracted and my mind has been under control. I've chanted twelve rounds, and Narayana has encouraged me not to worry about not getting up earlier and not chanting sixteen rounds before 3:30. The important thing is not to rush through them but to say them thoughtfully with awareness of the kind of thing described in this morning's quote from Namamrta: chanting brings our direct relationship with the Lord.

Chanting japa for many
years but I have not
yet realized my direct
relationship with the
Lord. I know I am
His servant and that
is enough for now. The
ultimate liberation will
take place when Nama
Prabhu is fully satisfied
that I am an offenseless
chanter and desire, more
than anything, to please
Radha-Krishna in a specific
service in Goloka Vrndavana.
Until then, I perform my
duty conscientiously every
morning and I do it humbly
and with hope.

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H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: Prabhupada Smaranam SDGonline Daily updates

One Hundred Prabhupada Poems, #34

"All glories to Prabhupada," I said and I
meant good night, like a person might say,
"God bless you" or "God protect us."
I wasn't in a personal mood but you
don't have to have six Prabhupada memoirs on
the tip of your tongue. You just say it,
"Jaya Prabhupada" because you've
lived through another day in his service.
And in your way you are true to him
and he walks with you.

A Godbrother
was joking about the fanfare of the
1996 Prabhupada Centennial.
He said people are asking him, "What are
you going to do for the Centennial year?"
"I don't know," he says to them,
"I hope I don't bloop!"

I say "I am waiting for the year
1997 when the fanfare will be over."
We will love him on our own
even without publicity
and official speeches of his greatness.
Love him by your actions and plain prose
and print more books as Prabhupada praise
in 1997, even though you can't
sell it at Centennial prices.

"All glories to Prabhupada." I said it
without thinking,
which is the best way,
like breathing,
like the heart beating until death.
When Prabhupada guides you to the next
life. Where?

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H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: Poem from Under Dark Stars SDGonline Daily updates

Children are mentioned in
this poem. They are playful
but swing like pendulums
and have to be watched over.
They were present in 2003
and still in 2010, they are
the second generation and
have a chance to become Hare
Krishnas. The poem also mentions
the heaviest topic—of mortality
and I'll try to expand on that.
And it tells of the spiritual world
and the parisads.
Here it is:

"Is this loud enough? I want you
to be aware that I have black
shoes and laugh at my mortality.
You can do that when you think
you are at a distance from death.

Now the happy time of life is for
babies? All blond around here and
honoring prasadam with great gusto.

read more from SDGonline - daily updates Viraha Bhavan journal 

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H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: Free Write SDGonline Daily updates

I turned at random to Srimad-Bhagavatam, Second Canto, Chapter 3, "Pure Devotional Service", verse 15. "Maharaja Pariksit, the grandson of the Pandavas, was from his very childhood a great devotee of the Lord. Even while playing with dolls, he used to worship Lord Krishna by imitating the worship of the family Deity." In his purport Prabhupada mentions devotees who are born into Vaisnava families and have the chance to worship and serve Krishna in the very beginning of their lives. He gives the example of his own life and gives credit to his father, Gour Mohana De, a pure devotee of Krishna, whom Prabhupada imitated in performing Deity worship. His father also gave him facility to perform the Ratha-yatra ceremony and spent money liberally to distribute prasadam to his son and his friends. Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati also took birth in a Vaisnava family and got all inspirations from his great Vaisnava father, Bhaktivinoda Thakura. Worshiping Krishna from childhood is a symptom of a maha-bhagavata and they are called nitya-siddhas or souls liberated from birth. But there are others who may not be liberated from birth, but later develop a tendency for devotional service by association, and they are called sadhana-siddhas. There is no difference between the two in the ultimate issue and so anyone can become a devotee of the Lord simply be association with pure devotees. The example is given of Narada Muni, who in his previous life was a boy of a maidservant but through association of great devotees became a very great devotee.

I didn't get the association of a pure devotee until the relatively advanced age of 26. I had led an impure life up to that point and my karma was very dangerous. Fortunately I met a very great maha-bhagavata, in his Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada and was saved from the hellish path. I became submissive to him and saved myself and engaged in helping others to become Krishna conscious. My case certainly proves that it's "better late than never." The way I was living I had no good chance for fortune. But Prabhupada, acting as an aggressor, came to New York City and I happened to be lying in his pathway, in the gutter. He compassionately picked me up and cleared me of external dirt and engaged me in the Lord's service for the rest of my life.

I've just been browsing through some of my free-write books, the first one, Shack Notes, then Last Days of the Year, written in 1994 and I am Prabhupada's Servant: September Catchall. There are many others. I often can't think of what to say and sometimes I just combine words in a poem without much sense. Or I steer for Krishna consciousness. But they are basically books written at writing retreats with no theme. They are statements (repeated shots) at Krishna consciousness. I write of the little things we are doing to maintain a routine on the writing retreat, like feeding the wood fire in Collnecopagh, county Kerry, walking out to the flimsy, screened-in shack in Stroudsberg, PA. for Shack Notes, and hearing the hum of tires on Route 80, and saying things are not so bad. From my room here in Stuyvesant Falls, I hear work noises coming from the first floor and grind gears searching for a topic. In writing the long series, some seventy volumes (of Every Day Just Write) I used to get up at midnight and spend my first time in writing. There are lots of quotes and references to the Srimad-Bhagavatam which I am reading. It is easy, casual writing but I face myself with important things. It is good to have written all those books and to want to continue at least at that standard in free-writes and the other items in this daily newspaper, Viraha Bhavan. What is the use of solitude? The attainment of it, then what will you do with it? Did you like doing it? Confess “ yes”. One said I got in trouble for isolating myself. Mary Oliver writes "Ordinarily I go to the woods alone, with not a single friend / For they're all smilers and talkers and therefore unsuitable." Someone is talking loud on the first floor, and I can hear it through the stairs.

read more from SDGonline - daily updates Viraha Bhavan journal 

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Ananda Subramanian, Iowa, USA: Scientists, God and the power of objective inquiry

1. Little science takes you away from God but more of it takes you to Him - Louis Pasteur, Founder of Microbiology

2. All things are indeed contrived and ordered with singular providence, divine wisdom, and most admirable and incomprehensible skill. And to none can these attributes be referred save to the Almighty – Sir William Harvey, Founder of Modern Medicine

3. In God there is Power, which is the source of all, also Knowledge, whose content is the variety of the ideas, and finally Will, which makes changes or products according to the principle of the best – Wilhelm Leibniz, Founder of Infinitesimal Calculus

4. For me the idea of a creation is inconceivable without God. One cannot be exposed to the law and order of the universe without concluding that there must be a divine intent behind it all – Wernher Von Braun, founder of Aeronautics

5. We feed our Bodies; our Souls are to be fed: The Food of the Soul is Knowledge, especially Knowledge in the Things of God – John Ray, Founder of Modern Biology

6. For religion, God is at the beginning; for science, God is at the end – Max Planck, Nobel Laureate in Physics

7. I only trace the lines that flow from God – Albert Einstein, Nobel Laureate in Physics

8. The wonderful arrangement and harmony of the cosmos would only originate in the plan of an almighty omniscient being. This is and remains my greatest comprehension – Isaac Newton, Founder of Classical Physics

9. When I reflect on so many profoundly marvelous things that persons have grasped, sought, and done, I recognize even more clearly that human intelligence is a work of God, and one of the most excellent – Galileo Galelei, Founder of Experimental Physics

10. I saw in it (the atom) the key to the deepest secret of nature, and it revealed to me the greatness of the creation and the Creator – Max Born, Nobel Laureate in Physics

11. I think only an idiot can be an atheist – Christian B. Anfinsen, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry

If these great modern day scientists' can recognize the existence of God and give credit to Him, then not sure as common man why we should not? Everything we study right from kindergarten till Phd has been written, discovered and invented by one or more scientists listed above. In other words, our knowledge that we have obtained since childhood is attributed to the brilliant brains of these great scientists. How we think, and feel today to an extent is molded and shaped by these great thinkers and scientists. All the great advancements in science and technology cannot happen without the inventions and discoveries of these famous people. If these renowned and brilliant modern scientific brains can, after the countless hours of studying, analysis and critique, can ultimately recognize and give credit to God, then, in my opinion, God wins the race and not modern science.

I know I can never be Newton or William Harvey in this life, but if people like Newton and Harvey can conclude God exists and that because of God we have such complex reality, then I can save time studying complex biology and physics and simply accept the words of the brilliant minds as authority.

So why waste time breaking my head over this complex reality...why don't I just seek the person who created this complex reality...and that is God?

If this mundane reality is so complex that it requires multiple brains of brilliance over years of knowledge transfer, hours of studying and experimenting, imagine how much knowledge and time it would take to know the creator of such complex reality?

Clearly, from these quotes above, we should at the least take a position of doubt if we do not believe or position of inquisitiveness if we believe as to who the creator really is?

Who is God and what is He look like and why did He create our reality so complex?

Please inquire objectively. As humans, this is our gift given by "God". If you are not convinced, that is ok but at least you can be happy you tried.

Hare Krishna
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Australian News: Dear Congregation of the ISKCON Brisbane Yatra

Dear Congregation of the ISKCON Brisbane Yatra,
Please accept my humble obeisances,
All glories to Srila Prabhupada,

I hope you all find yourself in happy Krishna Consciousness after the many festivals that we have been celebrating. Especially many devotees have expressed their appreciation of the big Janmastami festival that was organized. Personally also I think it has been a wonderful success, and I wanted to express my heartfull thanks to all the devotees that have served in any of the festivals to make it a pleasing experience to others.

I wanted to express my personal thanks to Param Satya devi dasi and Yadunath das who have feared no inconvenience in organizing the setup, programe, prasada etc. of the festivals of the last month. I will soon send a list of many more devotees I wanted to personally thank for their input, but I prefer to do it in another e-mail in order to make this one not too long.

The pupose of this letter specifically is to ask you kindly to send us please your comments and suggestions how to improve our festivals, especially Janmastami for the upcoming years. We want to improve year after year and would like to have your input, good or bad, for our feed back meeting that the main organizers are going to have in a few days. Please send your opinions to .

I also take advantage of announcing and inviting you cordially to our next community presentation on the 3rd of october 2010 at 3 p.m. at our Brisbane temple. (Free prasadam will be served out at 2 p.m.) The topics of the presentation will be the following: initiations, the ISKCON department structure and screening procedures, as well as an update on the new temple project.

I hope this meets you all very well, and thank you all again, you are a wonderful congregation to work with,

Your servant,
Adikesava dasa
President ISKCON Brisbane

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Devadeva Mirel, Alachua, USA: Vegetarian Kid's Birthday Party

vanilla lime cupcake vegan chocolate cupcake/cream cheese frosting organic milk from sam's club giant sprinkle cookie, eggless one 3 gallon pot, 2 five gallon pots eggless chocolate chip cookies little girl in sari homemade vanilla yogurt homemae dumpling wrappers and filling cookie-a-thon party favors gyoza, jioaxi, pan fried dumplings giant sprinkle cookies wrapped homemade birthday cake craft for kid's party

As you may have noticed, I am not feeling very bloggy right now. But, as part of my duty to enhancing your Google search for ideas on vegetarian kid’s birthday party ideas, here is this post.

A weekend or so back, we held a belated birthday party for my daughter, who thinks she has a lot of friends. So, despite trying to limit the guest list, we needed to plan an outdoor party to host all the little ones without requiring ridiculous amounts of planning and precaution involving my house. Because the party venue was a local park, it was important that the menu be full of stuff that fared well at room temp.

Despite there being no room and the thermometer climbing well into the 90′s. In retrospect, I probably could have put out watermelon and ice cream and everyone would have been happy and refreshed. But you know what? I find the task of procuring a delicious watermelon daunting.

So, a week before the party, I put on my apron and got prepping.

We are not a Boca Burger/Tofu Pup kind of family. Real food was required. And my daughter, the dictator in training, had ideas. Lots of ideas. And far be it for me to discourage a budding foodie.

And….everything was vegan except the cheese and sweets.

The Menu:

Barbecued Gluten Kebabs


Summer Rolls w/Spicy Peanut Tamarind Sauce

Rice Noodle Salad



Bread Rolls (turned out horrible but thankfully it was too hot for anyone to want to eat)


Choco Chip Cookies

Cupcakes and Birthday Cake

Spring rolls were originally on the menu but got axed at around 5 am the day of the party when I thought I was going to die and had the realization that, “She is only five. She has plenty of years ahead of her to deal with the disappointment.”

The big challenge of the event was two-fold. This was not a drop off party, so nom noms were required for sweating, sweltering parents. Also, this was not a party where the guests in attendance were exclusively vegetarian. I would say it was a 50/50 split. Thankfully, the non-veg crowd was a pretty international bunch, so the  Asian-inspired menu would not be seen as, you know, weird.

While the foods listed above may not strike everyone as obvious kid friendly choices, I come from the eating school of thought that 1) it is good to expose kids to new tastes/dishes 2) we need not dumb down the menu to make kids happy 3) as long as there is cheese, grapes, baby carrots and popcorn the children will survive until the next meal.

I did, however, compromise big time by using disposable/compostable plates. We have a ton of stoneware dishes that we use for parties, but I didn’t want to schlep them all to the park and deal with people accidentally throwing out my stainless steel forks (we used plastic and I felt guilty about it).

Goodie Bags. My daughter wanted these. Badly. Filled with candy, dollar store plastic Chinese imports and party blowers. I couldn’t bring myself to do it. Take-away garbage. Last year, with my son’s party, I started the Mirel family tradition of take-away baked goods. I thought, by this year, the idea would have surely caught on with my kids. Instead, my daughters exclamation, “Ugh, cookies!” complete with eye roll gave me insight into the joy she is going to be as a teenager. Nevertheless, I made giant butter cookies, covered in sprinkles, reminiscent of the ones I got as a kid at the Royal Bakery in my hometown of Sayreville, NJ. While my daughter debates whether or not I am the biggest killjoy to hit the five year old party circuit, the kids at the party seemed to be psyched about their parting gift.

Pinata. We had one. And I apologize to the parents for stocking it with the crappiest, sugariest, most artificial candy I could procure, courtesy of Dollar General. But I swear, everything else available at the party was organic/homemade/fresh/good/etc.

So there you have it. No magic macaroni and cheese recipe. No vegan s’mores. Just regular vegetarian food served to a regular crowd of veg and non-veg friends. Everyone was happy. No one was hungry. Although there were a few inquiries about when the ice cream was to be served….

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H.H. Sivarama Swami: 2 Part Class by Giriraja Swami on Radhasatami in Krsna Valley (Part 1)

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H.H. Sivarama Swami: One of the highlights of Radhastami festival, Radha-Syama anthem chorus directed by Jayadeva Prabhu

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H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Saturday, September 18th, 2010

To the Smallest Province

Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

Several crows were creating a ruckus. They were squaking and flapping their wings like there was no end to the party. "What is all that about?" I wondered as they clammered around a tree set at the edge of Cedar Hill Field of Honour Cemetary. I chose this spot for a solitude walk, and that it was, until those boys with their black feathers went wild.

Then I figured it out. From the base of the trees emerged this red fox. Oh, he was beautiful. He was looking for food no doubt. He looked at me for a brief few seconds (and I admiringly at him) until he swiftly disappeared to the other side of the fence. I was sure to never see him again.

One thing I wanted to make sure of was before departing from the city of Saint John was to visit Mr Greg Kennedy. The last time I saw Greg, who's now 76, was 3 years ago on the trek across Canada. He is a Korean War veteran and is suffering from Alzheimers. He didn't remember me as I approached him in Liberty Ward at the Health Services Centre. He does recall the book 'Bhagavad-Gita' however when I asked him.

He told me, "that Bhagavad-Gita is the best thing that ever happened to me." And I recall how the book came into his life. A sister of his found the text abondoned on the beach. She picked it up and it eventually ended up in her brother's hands. He read it and shared its wisdom with all of his boys, Jason, Justin, and Jamie and one more (I can't remember the fourth one. Don't worry!) From the discovery of the book the Kennedy family let their father take the lead on the vegetarian diet and on Krishna.

"I can't complain," said Greg. "It's been a good life." I left Greg, Mr Kennedy, whom I have so much respect towards, reflecting, perhaps, on his good life. I might not see him again.

The major chunk of today was spent with five monks in Prince Edward Island. The remaining three were obliged to attend a wedding in Halifax. Prince Edward Island, or PEI for short, is known for many things, among them is the fictitious character Ann of Green Gables. Tourists come from all over the world to Cavendish, the site of where this much loved tomboy grew up.

In any event this weekend's Shellfish Festival attracted many folks to the island and we were near the site at the waterfront to chant for the public. In the end we conducted a program for the local Hindu community telling the story of the walking avatar, Vamanadev. Vamana is one of my heros.

9 KM

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H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Thursday, September 16th, 2010

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' vittles 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.'

10 KM

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Yoga of Ecology, Bhakta Chris, USA: U.S Meat Farmers Brace For Limits On Antibiotics

Brian C. Frank for The New York Times

At Elite Pork, a large pork farm in Ralson, Iowa, pigs are fed antibiotics for weeks after weaning to ward off possible illness.

RALSTON, Iowa — Piglets hop, scurry and squeal their way to the far corner of the pen, eyeing an approaching human. "It shows that they're healthy animals," Craig Rowles, the owner of a large pork farm here, said with pride.

Brian C. Frank for The New York Times

The questions over antibiotics come at a time when animal confinement methods and other aspects of so-called factory farming are also under attack.

Brian C. Frank for The New York Times

Craig Rowles, the owner of Elite Pork, said that antibiotics help keep down the cost of his pork.

Brian C. Frank for The New York Times

Excenel RTU antibiotic at Elite Pork.

Readers' Comments

Readers shared their thoughts on this article.

Mr. Rowles says he keeps his pigs fit by feeding them antibiotics for weeks after weaning, to ward off possible illness in that vulnerable period. And for months after that, he administers an antibiotic that promotes faster growth with less feed.

Dispensing antibiotics to healthy animals is routine on the large, concentrated farms that now dominate American agriculture. But the practice is increasingly condemned by medical experts who say it contributes to a growing scourge of modern medicine: the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, including dangerous E. coli strains that account for millions of bladder infections each year, as well as resistant types of salmonella and other microbes.

Now, after decades of debate, the Food and Drug Administration appears poised to issue its strongest guidelines on animal antibiotics yet, intended to reduce what it calls a clear risk to human health. They would end farm uses of the drugs simply to promote faster animal growth and call for tighter oversight by veterinarians.

The agency's final version is expected within months, and comes at a time when animal confinement methods, safety monitoring and other aspects of so-called factory farming are also under sharp attack. The federal proposal has struck a nerve among major livestock producers, who argue that a direct link between farms and human illness has not been proved. The producers are vigorously opposing it even as many medical and health experts call it too timid.

Scores of scientific groups, including the American Medical Association and the Infectious Diseases Society of America, are calling for even stronger action that would bar most uses of key antibiotics in healthy animals, including use for disease prevention, as with Mr. Rowles's piglets. Such a bill is gaining traction in Congress.

"Is producing the cheapest food in the world our only goal?" asked Dr. Gail R. Hansen, a veterinarian and senior officer of the Pew Charitable Trusts, which has campaigned for new limits on farm antibiotics. "Those who say there is no evidence of risk are discounting 40 years of science. To wait until there's nothing we can do about it doesn't seem like the wisest course."

With the backing of some leading veterinary scientists, farmers assert that the risks are remote and are outweighed by improved animal health and lower food costs. "There is no conclusive scientific evidence that antibiotics used in food animals have a significant impact on the effectiveness of antibiotics in people," the National Pork Producers Council said.

But leading medical experts say the threat is real and growing. Proponents of strong controls note that the European Union barred most nontreatment uses of antibiotics in 2006 and that farmers there have adapted without major costs. Following a similar path in the United States, they argue, would have barely perceptible effects on consumer prices.

Resistance can evolve whenever drugs are used against bacteria or other microbes because substrains that are less susceptible to the treatment will survive and multiply.

Drug use in humans, including overuse and misapplication, clearly accounts for a large share of the surge in antibiotic resistant infections, a huge problem in hospitals in particular. Yet biologists and infectious disease specialists say there is also enormous circumstantial and genetic evidence that antibiotics in farming are adding to the threat.

Livestock and poultry have been identified as the most likely sources of drug-resistant strains of microbes like salmonella and campylobacter that have caused outbreaks of severe intestinal illness in people and of E. coli strains that cause serious bladder, blood and other infections. (Resistant strains have not been implicated in the recent outbreak of salmonella contamination in eggs.)

In a letter to Congress in July, Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cited "compelling evidence" of a "clear link between antibiotic use in animals and antibiotic resistance in humans."

As drug-resistant strains of microbes evolve on the farms, they are passed along in meat sold in grocery stores. They can infect people as they handle the uncooked product or when eating, if cooking is not thorough. The dangerous strains can also enter the environment via manure or the clothes of farm workers.

Genetic studies of drug-resistant E. coli strains found on poultry and beef in grocery stores and strains in sick patients have found them to be virtually identical, and further evidence also indicated that the resistant microbes evolved on farms and were transferred to consumers, said Dr. James R. Johnson, an infectious-disease expert at the University of Minnesota. Hospitals now find that up to 30 percent of urinary infections do not respond to the front-line treatments, ciprofloxacin and the drug known as Bactrim or Septra, and that resistance to key newer antibiotics is also emerging. E. coli is also implicated in serious blood, brain and other infections.

"For those of us in the public health community, the evidence is unambiguously clear," Dr. Johnson said. "Most of the E. coli resistance in humans can be traced to food-animal sources."

The proposed Food and Drug Administration guidelines focus on the use of antibiotics to speed growth. Just how antibiotics have this effect, which has been known for decades, is unclear, but scientists suspect that the drugs improve the absorption of nutrients as they prevent low-grade disease.

Mr. Rowles, the proprietor of Elite Pork and a trained veterinarian himself, estimates that by feeding his pigs an antibiotic in their final months he is saving $1 to $3 per animal in feed costs. For the consumer, this is negligible, but from his perspective it looms larger because, he said, in good years his net profit is only $7 to $10 per animal.

More contentious is the routine use of antibiotics to prevent disease, as Mr. Rowles and other pork producers do with newly weaned pigs.

Dr. James McKean, an extension veterinarian at Iowa State University, said experience in Denmark, Europe's leading pork producer, showed that ending the practice would result in more illness, suffering and death among pigs, and cause a jump in antibiotic treatments of actual disease.

Dr. McKean estimated that a ban on most nontreatment uses of antibiotics would raise the cost of pork by 5 cents a pound.

Others counter that farmers in Denmark have learned to hold down illness in young pigs by extending the weaning period, altering feeds and providing more space and veterinary scrutiny of the animals. Some of the drugs used in prevention by farmers like Mr. Rowles would also be permitted under the measure before Congress because they are not used in human medicine.

"In the end, the producers will do what is right," Mr. Rowles said. "We will make sure we deliver a product that meets the needs of consumers."

"My only concern is that we make decisions in a scientific fashion, not a political fashion," he said.

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Japa Group: Chanting With Quality

On day six of the Japa Retreat, Sacinandana Swami talks about the important subject of chanting Japa with quality.

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H.H. Bhakticharu Swami: Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur's Appearance Day

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur in Vanipedia : click here Click here for more

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Gaura Yoga, NZ: New schedule! starting on Monday 11 October

The same number of yoga classes but now over two days, Monday and Wednesday.

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Gouranga TV: The Box Radhastami Play Part 2

The Box Radhastami Play Part 2

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H.H. Sivarama Swami

A pure devotee must engage in the service of the Lord twenty-four hours a day, without cessation; his life is so molded that at every minute and every second he engages in some sort of devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

- Srila Prabhupada

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