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- H.G. Sankarshan das Adhikari, USA: Thursday 11 November 2010--The Purpose of Life Revealed--and--Where to Find a Spiritual Master?
- Vraja Kishor, JP: Krsna on Religion
- Srila Prabhupada's Letters
- Srila Prabhupada's Letters
- Srila Prabhupada's Letters
- Srila Prabhupada's Letters
- Srila Prabhupada's Letters
- Srila Prabhupada's Letters
- Srila Prabhupada's Letters
- Srila Prabhupada's Letters
- Akrura das, Gita Coaching: EVERYTHING IS GOOD
- Akrura das, Gita Coaching: IF GOD IS ALL GOOD, WHY DOES EVIL EXIST?
- Vraja Kishor, JP: “I Can’t Make Any Spiritual Advancement”
- Devadeva Mirel, Alachua, USA: Plum Pomelo Marmalade
- Krishna-kripa das, Mayapura: Travel Journal#6.18: Ukraine, London, Philly, Stuyvesant (NY)
- ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Srila Prabhupada's Disappearance Day
- Gaura Vani, USA: The Long Awaited Sacred Sounds At Rutgers University 11/11/10
- ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Today's Darsana
- H.H. Sivarama Swami
- ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Daily Class - Gopa-Vrndesa Dasa
- Kurma dasa, AU: Delhi-style Sprouted Mung Bean Salad
- Bharatavarsa.net: Bhakti Vikasa Swami: why we dress the Deities in very opulent fashion
- H.H. Sivarama Swami: Remembrances of H.H. Gaura Govinda Swami
- Japa Group: Relationship With The Holy Names
- Devadeva Mirel, Alachua, USA: ITALIANS DO IT BETTER!
- Dandavats.com: Govardhana Puja/Go Puja/ Annakuta Festivals at ISKCON Vrindavan
- Dandavats.com: Govardhan Puja at Sri Mayapur International School
- Dandavats.com: Deputies Investigating Explosion in New Vrindaban
- Dandavats.com: 2010 Govardhana Puja Krishna-valley Hungary
- Dandavats.com: GBC Proposals - AGM 2011
- Subhvavilasa das ACBSP, Toronto, CA: Lord Chaitanya's Moon is Rising
- Caitanya Mangala, CA, USA: Kulimela Australia: Limited Time Registration Discount
- Akrura das, Gita Coaching: THE TRUTH
- Akrura das, Gita Coaching: SIMPLE
- Akrura das, Gita Coaching: CARING CLIMATE
- H.H. Sivarama Swami: Reading the last passages from TKG’s diary on Srila Prabhupada’s passing and chanting Gurvastaka
- H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Sunday, November 7th, 2010
- H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Saturday, November 6th, 2010
- Yoga of Ecology, Bhakta Chris, USA: Project Sprout: From A Humble Idea, A Garden Grows
- Mayapur Online: Coming up! Sri Kshetra Parikrama 2010 (23 -26 Nov)
- ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Daily Class - Gangesvara Prabhu
- Vraja Kishor, JP: When God Cries and Blushes – Damodarastaka
- ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Daily Class - Gangesvara Prabhu
- Gouranga TV: Govardhan Puja Celebration @ TKG Academy
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H.G. Sankarshan das Adhikari, USA: Thursday 11 November 2010--The Purpose of Life Revealed--and--Where to Find a Spiritual Master?
================================================================== Thought for the Day--Thursday 11 November 2010 ================================================================== Dedicated with love to ISKCON Founder-Acharya: His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and to you, our treasured readers. Our purpose is to help everyone awaken...
When Krsna was just a young boy, he saw his dad doing something interesting with the other vrajabasi men. “Papa, what are you doing?”
“We are getting ready to worship the rain god, Indra.”
“Why, papa, why?”
“Because we are farmers, we need rain to be prosperous and wealthy.”
“So, papa, if we don’t worship Indra, it wont rain and we wont be wealthy?”
“Thats right, little Krsna.”
“But dad, doesn’t it rain on the ocean?”
“Does anyone live on the ocean? Did they worship Indra to get rain?”
Nanda-baba fell silent and all the other men gathered around Krsna, astonished, to hear more.
“It rains in uninhabited places too, sometimes quite a lot. So it seems really silly to think that we have to worship a god to get it to rain! Actually what happens is that everyone in this world gets exactly what they deserve as a result of the previous good and bad things they have done throughout the countless lifetimes of their existence. If it is our karma to be wealthy, we will get lots of rain and our crops will be bountiful and our animals happy and healthy. Even if we don’t worship Indra this will still happen! And if it is our karma to be poverty stricken, we will get drought and famine no matter how many times or in how many ways we worship Indra. That is just how the world works, dad.”
The adults were completely astonished. And this little philosopher boy was so divinely cute no one could even offer a counter argument. But one of them asked, “Krsna, how are you so smart when you are barely six years old? You must not be any ordinary human being! You be our guide and guru. Tell us, what should we do for religion?”
Krsna smiled and said, “Put all your efforts into getting love of Godhead. Everything else material will come and go of its own accord. Only love of Godhead will make you truly happy anyway. Be practical and take good care of the those who love God, and whom God loves. This alone will bring you true prosperity.”
1965 November 10: "Under the guidance of a bonafide devotee the way is open. Americans, Kirata, Pulinda, Pukkasa, Yavana, all can be trained up under the pure and bonafide devotee. That is the instruction of Sukadeva Goswami."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1965
1970 November 10: "All of our success is due to following the regulative rules of devotional service. So our good standing will be diminished if we join with groups who permit intoxicants, etc. If we wish to remain pure and strong we should not compromise on this point."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1970
1975 November 10: "As a child going to the neighboring Mallik temple, I was thinking when will I have such nice Deity. Now Krsna is so kind, I am establishing temples all over the world."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1975
1975 November 10: "This is the way for the neophyte devotee to absorb his mind. The more the Deity is decorated, the more your heart will be decorated with Krsna consciousness. Never think stone or wood. Krsna is personally present."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1975
1975 November 10: "The Deity is proof of the sincere service. It is the duty of GBC to maintain this. Their duty is how to enthuse and maintain. Now I want that there should be established 108 temples before my death, so you think how to do it."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1975
1975 November 10: "I have introduced this Deity worship amongst the non-believers, the mlecchas and yavanas. I pray to Krsna, I am inviting You, come. And may He not be insulted by disrespectful behavior."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1975
1975 November 10: "Now the GBC has become more than Guru Maharaja? GBC is simply for looking after pounds, shilling, pence? The GBC does not look after spiritual life? They will have to become Guru, but our students are not qualified - this is a difficulty."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1975
1975 November 10: "As soon as one thinks that he is greater than the Spiritual Master that is the greatest offense. Krsna will give one everything, but to these offenders - everything is lost."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1975
A devotee sees in this material world everything is good.
Visva purnam sukhaya.
People are complaining they are in distressed condition, but a devotee sees that there is no distressed condition, that it is all happy condition, because he lives with Krsna, he dovetails everything with Krsna, he dovetails himself also with Krsna.
Therefore for him there is no misery.
- Srila Prabhupada
If God is all good, then why is there evil in the world?
For God there is no evil, just good.
Just as my chest is as important to me as my back, if there is pain in my back I take care of it.
I do not ignore it thinking that the front is more important.
Evil is compared to the back of God.
It is not different from His front, or goodness.
If everything is good from God's point of view, then how can there be evil?
It is just like the sun.
On the body of the sun there is no shadow.
We create shadow by turning our back to the sun.
Similarly, when we turn away from God there is evil.
Evil is the absence of good, just as darkness is the absence of sunlight.
If you keep yourself always in the light, where is the question of darkness?
God is all-good.
So if you keep yourself always in God consciousness, then there is no evil.
And why was the world created with evil men?
Why was the police department created?
Because there is a necessity.
Some living entities want to enjoy this material world, therefore God creates it.
He is just like a father who gives a separate room to his mischievous children to play in.
Otherwise, the naughty boys would always disturb Him.
This world is something like a prison.
Therefore, there is suffering here.
In the prison house you cannot expect comfort, because unless there is suffering, there is no lesson for the prisoners.
Evil is undoubtedly created by God, but this was necessary due to the human being's misuse of his free will.
God gives man good directions, but when man is disobedient, evil is naturally there to punish him.
Evil is not desired by God, yet it is created because it is necessary.
The government constructs prisons not because it wants to but because they are necessary.
The government prefers to construct universities so that people can attain an education and become highly enlightened.
But because some people misuse their independence and violate the state laws, prisons are necessary.
We suffer due to our own evil activities.
God does not desire to create evil, but man's evil activities obliges God to create an evil situation.
- Srila Prabhupada
Although there are unlimited varieties of things which are antithetical to divine love, all of them fall into four general categories:
- Sufferings that distract one from bhakti
- Enjoyments that distract one from bhakti
- Offenses to the elements of bhakti
- Distracting side effects of bhakti
The first two types are the good and bad results of karma. These are not really all that serious in the bigger picture, because devotional practices get rid of them rather automatically as previously discussed regarding how bhakti extinguishes suffering.
The fourth category is what we were just talking about at the end of the previous chapter. The seriousness of this category is not a trifle, but is short lived in the overall scheme of things.
The third category, however, is by far the most pernicious and persistent obstacle to advancing from one stage of devotional development to the next: being offensive towards the elements of bhakti. Of all the elements of bhakti, the holy name of Krsna is the most powerful and important. Therefore violations of the holy name are the most significant of all the these category-three impediments. Of all offenses towards the holy name, offensiveness towards the person who chants that name is the most malignant.
I cannot possibly overstate the fact that nothing blocks a person from realizing divine love with more power and vengeance than the offense of harboring and expressing animosity towards those who take shelter of Krsna’s holy name. If I am stuck in my spiritual progress and want to know why, there is no more simple or accurate answer than my offenses to bhaktas and the elements of bhakti!
It is as simple a diagnosis as seeing a person with the symptoms of malaria and saying, “you have malaria.” He might protest that he has no memory of being bit by a carrier mosquito, but who cares? We still know that he has malaria, regardless of if he knows how, when and where he contracted it or not. Similarly, I may not know when, where, or how I committed offenses to bhaktas and bhakti, but I know I must have done so because I display the symptom: a lack of divine love for Krsna.
The result of these offenses take a very long time to wear off, but I can make efforts to speed my recovery. The general treatment for offenses to bhakti is to take feel sorry for those insults and take thus better shelter of bhakti with deeper sincerity. Since only love can create love, only love can cure the insults I have made to my beloved. There is no other alternative.
Winter is creeping towards us. Even here in the south. A few scarecrows remain up on Main Street, although they are now lit by Christmas lights wrapping the lamp poles.
Winter is citrus season. The fruit stands in the market are filling with local, Florida grown oranges and grapefruit at increasingly lower prices. I am looking forward to December/January when the Meyer lemons are ripe. Of course, my own Meyer lemon will be ripe at the same time, so I probably won’t be doing much canning around then.
My last trip to the market I bought a pomelo. I’ve seen them before but never took the plunge. One of my kids’ teachers is having a birthday soon, so I thought this was the perfect opportunity to get my jam on with pomelo.
Diary of a Traveling Sadhaka, Vol. 6, No. 18
By Krishna-kripa das
(September 2010, part two)
Ukraine, London, Philadelphia, Stuyvesant (NY)
(Sent from Tucson, Arizona, on November 10, 2010)
Where I Went and What I Did
After the Ukraine festival, I went to Kharkov, Ukraine, where we did some nice harinamas on Saturday and Sunday nights. I got to give a class on Bhaktivinoda Thakura on his appearance day, which Sahasra Jit Prabhu, the temple president liked, and along with other devotees, so I put it on iskcondesiretree.info to share it with you (Russian translation included):
Then I went on to Lvov (Lviv), Ukraine, where I did harinama on Wednesday. These Ukrainian harinamas I describe in my blog on World Holy Name Festival harinamas: http://krishnamonk.blogspot.com/2010/10/world-holy-name-festival-harinamas.html
I spent a day traveling to Katowice, Poland, where I flew to London, and stayed a half day, doing a morning harinama, before flying to New York, and taking the Chinese bus to Philadelphia for the Ratha-yatra on Saturday. Then I returned to Stuyvestant, New York, with my guru, Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami, and assisted him and his helper, Baladeva, for a week, mostly waking his deities, reading, and washing dishes. My mother and sister, and Victor, my sister’s friend, all got to meet my guru and have some great spinach and panir cooked by Baladeva, as well as a great apple crisp, and other great preps.
(Saturday, September 25)
Philadelphia Ratha-yatra was one of my favorite ones. I was really anticipating it, as I heard about it while in Europe, and I got a flight to America specifically so I would get there in time for it. Another treat for me was it was the first time in a while I had been to a Ratha-yatra where all the onlookers spoke English.
For me the best part was talking to interested people during the parade and during the festival at the end. I talked to three different parties of people who were neither fulltime Hare Krishna devotees nor congregational members, but just residents of Philadelphia who had developed a liking for Ratha-yatra and in two cases had come twice before and in the other case had come once before. It is inspiring to me that there are many Philly residents who love the festival so much they come every year.
Philadelphia had special treats this year—Haryasva Prabhu’s Panca-tattva deities from Govinda’s riding on a chariot before Lord Jagannath and several swamis visiting, Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami, Sacinandana Swami, and Giriraja Swami.
During the parade, the sound system was great, and there were at least two amplified kirtanas during the parade, one with Vishnu Gada Prabhu leading, with the musicians on their own cart, between the Pancatattva and the Jagannatha deities, and one just before Lord Jagannatha’s cart as usual.
Special features of the post-parade festival, which was held on the grassy area in front of the art museum, included a tent in which instruction in japa [chanting on beads] was given every hour on the half hour, and the instructors included senior devotees like Giriraja Swami. In addition, there were other workshops on different topics, in addition to the usual stage show withkirtana and traditional Indian dances. The congregation members seemed really cooperative and the free feast serve out seemed very efficient.
I hope I can attend the Philly Ratha-yatra again in future years.
See the official Philly Ratha-yatra slide show:
Visiting Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami
I was amazed that my Guru Maharaja, Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami, decided just the day before to attend the Philadelphia Ratha-yatra, since in his journal he often speaks of satisfaction with his secluded lifestyle of chanting and writing, and often mentions that traveling is problematic for him. His disciple, Sastra Prabhu, pushed him in the parade in a wheelchair. At the festival afterwards, he spent almost three hours signing his books and talking with people, including his godbrother, Giriraja Swami. During the event, Guru Maharaja’s health held up, but a few days afterwards were difficult for him because of the greater than usual exertion.
I rode with Guru Maharaja back to Stuyvesant, New York, and spent a week waking up his Radha Krishna deities and his Srila Prabhupada murti, and washing almost all the dishes, often reading to him at meals, and occasionally going on walks with him. The deity wakeup time was 2:30 a.m., and every single day I came to do the service, Guru Maharaja was sitting in his chair chanting japa. Considering he is seventy years old and has chronic health issues, his dedication to early morning chanting was quite remarkable and inspiring.
I showed him pictures of his Russian disciple, Isani Devi Dasi, her husband, Ivan, and her book table at the Ukraine festival, filled with the many Russian translations she has done of his books. See more pictures at:
I also was given a special service of printing poems from the online San Diego Reader’s poetry page for him to read.
My mother and sister both live within forty minutes of my guru, and because his helper, Baladeva, loves to cook and I just tolerate cooking, they and my sister’s friend, Victor, came over a couple of times for prasadam, and Baladeva made their favorite, spinach and panir.
Guru Maharaja even took some time out of his life to socialize with them, out of his great liberality and despite his health. It turns out that both he and my sister have an interest in painting, She appreciated his work, and they discussed merits of different painting techniques.
While living at Vihara Bhavan, Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami’s place, I celebrated my 51st birthday by making walnut burfi for my guru’s lunch, and sharing it with the other devotees in the neighborhood and with my relatives. I also bought and shared some maple walnut cupcakes from Kaulini, Saci Suta Prabhu’s thirteen-year-old daughter who has a cupcake business, “Love Cakes.” I asked if she offered them to Krishna, and she replied in an interesting way: “No, when I make them for the devotees, I let them offer the cupcakes, but when I make them for others, I offer them.” I gave them to Guru Maharaja’s for his meal so they got offered to his Radha-Krishna.
In his journal he mentioned the activism he observed in my family:
“Krishna-kripa’s mother is a Quaker peace activist and stands at vigils at the state capital several times a week protesting some action of the government. In her youth, Krishna-kripa’s sister spent 100 days in prison for civil disobedience in connection with the peace movement, and Krishna-kripa travels around the world going out on harinama with devotees in different countries.” I am not used to being listed among the activists in my family, so it was humorous to me.
I was glad I went to spend time with Guru Maharaja. It is, of course, the duty of the disciple to personally serve the guru. It was nice to witness the steadiness of his sadhana and his dedication to his daily writing. Sometimes he would push me and Baladeva to make sure his journals came out in a timely way. I hope I can regularly spend some time there every year.
Insights from Lectures
Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami [from his journal and a conversation]:
Prabhupada used to say that if a salesman has a good location, he can make more money staying in one place than by traveling.
Line by a disciple selling her guru’s books: “Krishna is in your heart. Krishna is in your wallet. Give what you can.”
Murali Manohara Prabhu [London]:
We may make requests of the Lord, and He is inclined to His devotees, but ultimately He is supremely independent, and He has His own reasons for His actions, which we cannot always understand.
Srila Prabhupada very much wanted to finish translating Srimad-Bhagavatam, but the Lord wanted to take him back before he finished.
Tamal Krishna Goswami, Bhakti Tirtha Swami, Sridhara Swami, and others were great assets to this Hare Krishna movement, but for His own reasons, Lord Krishna took them back to Him.
If there is a slight challenging spirit, one will not understand. This is an important point.
Hearing must be submissive. Once a western hippy demanded a microphone to speak at one of Srila Prabhupada’s Cross Maidan pandals. Srila Prabhupada gave him a chance to speak. He inquired about the age of Bhagavad-gita. Srila Prabhupada said it was five thousand years ago. The man began to argue with Srila Prabhupada about the age of the Bhagavad-gita. Srila Prabhupada made the point that he should inquire submissively to understand, but he stubbornly argued, and so Srila Prabhupada argued back. Some people could not understand, but the devotees understood Srila Prabhupada was making important spiritual point.
Why are the devotees dancing? Because they are free from the material miseries. The devotees are willing to give up so many material things and are willing to bow down to the Lord’s representative, and thus they get so many revelations. One may eulogize the scientists for dedicating their life to pursue truth, but if you analyze it, you will see the devotees are willing to sacrifice more for the truth and thus they get so many revelations.
We should not accept initiation until are willing to do whatever the guru says. We should wait until our faith increases to that point.
Yajna Purusa Prabhu [Manhattan]:
Two sentences of Srila Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-gita As It Is made me decide to take Krishna consciousness seriously: “By nature’s own way the complete system of material activities is a source of perplexity for everyone. In every step there is perplexity, and therefore it behooves one to approach a bona fide spiritual master who can give one proper guidance for executing the purpose of life.” (Bhagavad-gita 2.7, purport) When I read this, I understood that is what I need. Deep inside I did not have a clue what I was doing, and this verse really spoke to me. We just have a fraction of the story.
We need a deity. We are not given one in this society, so we create false deities.
We cannot score in material life. Sometimes people try to convince us that we have scored, but we do not feel it ourselves.
Everything you want to find is there in Srila Prabhupada’s Bhaktivedanta purports. They are fastest, more profound, and safest way to self-realization.
Srila Prabhupada could push his books so much because they were not his books; they were Krishna’s books.
Our job is to provide a safe environment where people can hear from Srila Prabhupada.
We hear so much, we naturally follow.
śṛṇvatāḿ sva-kathāḥ kṛṣṇaḥ
hṛdy antaḥ stho hy abhadrāṇi
vidhunoti suhṛt satām
“Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Personality of Godhead, who is the Paramātmā [Supersoul] in everyone's heart and the benefactor of the truthful devotee, cleanses desire for material enjoyment from the heart of the devotee who has developed the urge to hear His messages, which are in themselves virtuous when properly heard and chanted.” (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 1.2.17)
Yesterday's celebration was a very intimate and moving one.
Year after year, Srila Prabhupada seems to be a bit more present each time for the commemoration of his transcendental departure from the materail realm.
A big 'thank you', on behalf of everyone to:
- Aindavi Mataji and Rasa Vilasini Mataji for the grand flower arrangements in the temple room and Srila Prabhupada's room,
- Swarupa Sakti Mataji and her team for organising the temple and altar decorations,
- Jaya Saci Prabhu and his kitchen crew for a most delectable feast.
Isn't it so enlivening so see such sincere devotees endeavouring so hard to please our founder Acarya!
Here is a slideshow of the festivities.
View the Website for Sacred Sounds Event Here
The Deities' attire today is quite similar to yesterday's...
except for the soft pink that stands out from the still blue as fairy-floss clouds would stand against the sky...
Here's a slideshow.
The devotee should regard desirable and undesirable conditions equally. The householder should be detached from his family. He should take care of his family and fulfill his responsibilities, but he should not let his family stand in the way of his service to Krishna.
- Srila Prabhupada
Srimad Bhagavatam 11.26.31 - By serving devotees all dullness, fear & ignorance goes away.
Mrs. Ketheesh Balachandran wrote, "Kurma, I have heard that mung bean sprouts are very nutritious. Can you send me a recipe that includes sprouted mung?
That's Delhi-style, not Deli-style.
My reply: Hello! Yes, sprouted mung are indeed very healthy! I love to make my own. You won't get them as long as the ones you buy at Asian markets, but short-tailed homemade sprouts like the ones pictured above are bursting with juicy succulence and crisp nutrition. How's that for a mouthful!
You can sprinkle them in salad, eat them straight with a sprinkle of sea salt or Indian black salt and a squeeze of lime juice, or cook with them.
Here's a delicious favourite recipe of mine that includes sprouts.
Delhi-style Sprouted Mung Bean Salad
Known as moong ki chat, this very popular salad is eaten as a road-side snack in India, especially in Delhi. The chili, lemon, and tongue-tingling spice combination chat masala give it a pleasant bite. Home sprouted mung beans taste best. Serves six.
1 medium potato, 1 small green chili, minced fine, 1 tablespoon coriander leaves, chopped fine, 250g (9 ounces) sprouted mung beans, about 1¾ cups – tender ones with tiny sprouts about 1.5cm (½-inch) are best, 1 medium tomato, diced, 1½ teaspoons chat masala, or more to taste, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 teaspoon salt.
Boil the potato until tender, peel and dice it.
Combine all the ingredients.
Regarding your question about why we dress the Deities in very opulent fashion and not as simple cowherds boy and girl, this is an intelligent question and the answer is that according to the regulative principles we cannot worship Radha-Krishna now. Radha-Krishna worship is meant for persons who have already developed spontaneous love of God. In the training period we are only worshiping Laksmi-Narayana. We worship Radha-Krishna because Laksmi-Narayana is there also, but actually we do not worship Radha-Krishna with our present Deity ceremonies; we are worshiping Laksmi-Narayana. Narayana is there when Krishna is there, but actually we do not worship Radha-Krishna in Their Original Form. This is why we should worship Radha-Krishna in Their Laksmi-Narayana feature with all respect and reverence. If we deviate from this standard then we shall be prakrta sahajiya, or a person who takes things very cheap. We worship Laksmi-Narayana, and because Radha-Krishna includes Laksmi-Narayana, there is no necessity of installing a Laksmi-Narayana Deity. It is just like a king who is engaged in administering justice. Actually that business belongs to the justice department. But what is that justice department? It is all part of the kings energy, and the king also has the power to execute this function.
>>> Ref. VedaBase => Letter to: Madhusudana -- Los Angeles 24 January, 1969
Papa Don’t Preach! You know Madonna declared, via her t-shirt, eons ago that Italians Do It Better! Now check out this Tuscan inspired Ikea kitchen on a budget and tell me what you think!
By Lakshman das
Govardhana Puja, Go-Puja and Annakuta are all connected with the story of Lord Krishna's lifting of Govardhana Hill to protect the inhabitants of Vrindavan. As part of the festivities today, devotees prepared a big hill out of sweets, rice and halva in the middle of our temple courtyard
Gunacuda Dasi: The Primary School students Of Sri Mayapur International School spent a happy afternoon recently celebrating the festival of Govardhan Puja. Bhajans and kirtan were expertly led by girls from grades 7 and 8
nvcommunications: Members of the New Vrindaban community are working with the Marshall County Sheriff's Department and prosecutor's office to find out whether a recent incident was a serious threat or a prank
Bh. Tibor: The hungarian congregation of Krishna consciousness kept their annual ceremony of Govhardana-Puja on the 6th of nov. 2010 in the Krishna-valley
By the GBC Corresponding Secretary
The Annual General Meeting of the ISKCON GBC Society will begin on February 20, 2011. Following the ISKCON GBC Society's Rules of Order, the GBC Secretariat requests proposals, duly sponsored by a GBC member, to be submitted by December 15, 2010. This will allow adequate time for the GBC Secretariat and Deputies to prepare the proposals for presentation at the meeting
I logged onto Facebook yesterday morning and it asks "What's on your mind?" Well actually it should have been "Who is on your mind?" and it was Srila Prabhupada. I closed my laptop and asked my son for a pen and paper. I wanted to write an offering to Srila Prabhupada and it is just more personal to do it by hand.
All I wanted to say to Srila Prabhupada was that I miss you and thank you for saving me. I want to stay in your shelter and at your lotus feet. Use me as you wish.
A Godbrother called last week and said we should share memories and I threw a couple of them in but as I wrote, I thought there are thousands upon thousands of personal memories Srila Prabhupada created with so many devotees and this itself is the Glory of Srila Prabhupada. He touched so many of us in his own and unique way.
I could not be there personally since I am recovering from surgery but thank you Krishna das Kaviraj das for reading my offering in front of Srila Prabhupada. I feel Srila Prabhupada in New Remuna Dham and it was nice to know Srila Prabhupada could hear the offerings and memories of many of his Toronto disciples. We are all fortunate to have these Godbrothers and Sisters serving Srila Prabhupada.
My wife, Ashalate d.d. used to not want to go to Srila Pabhupada's Disappearance day since it was too painful to remember the day our guru physically left. A devotee convincing us that we must come no matter what used the preaching that a Sunrise and Sunset are both beautiful and to be appreciated. So it got me thinking of a recent video clip I saw of Srila Prabhupada with the song Lord Chaitanya's moon is rising. I cannot find the one I saw a few weeks ago with different footage but the one attached here is excellent as well. I guess after the Sunset the moon rises and thanks to Srila Prabhupada that is happening.
When my kids came back from the temple yesterday they happily told me there was a marked improvement in attendance over last year. On Srila Prabhupada's disappearance day I understand everyone has there own way of coping and marking the day.
On Srila Prabhupada's Appearance day it is my hope and prayer that the temple rooms should be packed to capacity. Every disciple, grand disciple, bhakta, follower and member should be there. It is Srila Prabhupada's ISKCON and Srila Prabhupada's temples in which we enjoy khata, kirtan, association, prasadam, instruction and transcendental literature. Srila Prabhupada is the head of the ISKCON family and no matter which guru or affiliation our allegiance to Srila Prabhupada should be shown Loudly and Proudly. So happy to hear about yesterday and the temple management and youth always organize excellent festivals and hopefully this year on Srila Prabhupada's appearance day we will see ALL the grand-disciples and devotees with their hands up chanting in ecstasy for His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada.
I’m going to keep this short and sweet!
It’s time to get excited as we are only 7 WEEKS AWAY from Kulimela Australia!
The dates are from the 27th of December 2010 through the 9th of January 2011, with the 4 day Kulimela part running from Thursday the 6th of January to Sunday the 9th.
You have only until Nov 14th to register yourself at the discounted “Child’s” booking rate.
This means AU $64 per week, which is almost half off the regular adult registration fee (AU $108).
We are on track to set the standard of these events with world class Kirtan leaders and the ideal location. Plus, of course, Seminars, Workshops, Japa Walks, Kuli Association, Sports Activities, Arts, Fashion, Music, Performances & Amazing Prasadam!
For all you internationals, there has never been a better time to come to Australia. Please, come for Kulimela!
Please RSVP now to let us know you’re coming and pay your registration at www.kulimela.com.au.
Your Friend & Servant,
Nitai – Festival Coordinator
“Any questions – Just ask! I look forward to meeting you all!”
The truth can either help you or hurt you - depending on your attitude.
The truth can free you if your attitude is humble.
The more recollected a man is, and the more simple of heart he becomes, the easier he understands sublime things, for he receives the light of knowledge from above.
The pure, simple, and steadfast spirit is not distracted by many labors, for he does them all for the honor of God.
And since he enjoys interior peace he seeks no selfish end in anything.
- Imitation Of Christ
On of the best ways to create a caring climate is to engage people collectively in an activity that benefits another human being or any other living being.
H.H. Sivarama Swami: Reading the last passages from TKG’s diary on Srila Prabhupada’s passing and chanting Gurvastaka
Tel Aviv, Israel.
After a restless night on El-Al airlines to Tel-Aviv, I finally hit-the-sac, so to speak, at the residence of a Russian household in a community called Ariel. It was not my intent at all to
give Israel a consideration as a walking venue. But when host Radhikatma downloaded a map of the country (I was curious to get a grounding of where I was) the seed of a pedestrian desire
There was some apprehension, of course, considering the political climate of the nation. Hey, but this is not Iraq or Lebanon, it's Israel. Why not go for an adventure? I talked it over with my host and also Vrikodar, another Russian, whom I first corresponded with, and we all got sold on the idea. So just to firm up the expedition, I asked to be dropped off in Tel Aviv, where the evenings program was going to be held, and along with 22 year old, Boris, we strode along the east end of the Mediterranean Sea, Israel's beachfront, for an almost two hour stretch.
There, beach lovers, mostly Russians again, enjoyed sand and water, while we ambled by them. Our time line for this venture brought us into the early night as we were clocked to make it
to the local Bhakti-Yoga center. We were greeted by a lively group, mostly Israeli and Russian Jewish Vaishnavas.
I was asked to speak about the significance of the day called Govardhan Puja. I began with a "thanks for having me" and then spoke about the uniqueness of the Krishna Culture, where all things are regarded as sacred - trees, plants, water, air, stones, people, animals, the sky and even hills. The last item led me to speak about one particular hill in Northern India, a hill called Govardhan and how Krishna, as a young boy, identified this outcropping of rock in a virtual flat terrain as extremely sacred.
As is done in many temples around the world a mock Govardhan Hill was made out of Indian sweets, and the lively group circumambulated its natural-looking structure. We received some flak from tenants below, a warning that my monk friend from America, Kavichandra Swami, foretold would happen.
I was made to feel right at home in Israel and I am looking for to the anticipated adventure ahead.
The entire night sounded like a war zone. The New Year Diwali festivities resounded throughout the city - explosions of fire works popping continuously and lighting up the night. I had never seen anything like it, as I peered out the window from the five story room I stayed in. The coloured meteors punctuated the dark sky.
And the powerful banging did not let up, when Ekachakra, my walking companion, and I went south and then north at Juhu Beach. Upon reaching the temple after a sweaty walk I learned of another passing - a devotee woman Devaki, from South America. She died as a result of an automobile accident.
Someone described her as a young princess, beautiful in body and spirit. Her husband I know well. Ekanath Gaura has our condolences.
This world is a place of death. In Sanskrit the word is "martyaloka". Life exists but it is always followed by death. In this way the wheel of action persists. In the Bhagavad-Gita this concept of life is underscored by Krishna when he says "one who has taken his birth is sure to die and after death one is sure to take birth again". (B.G. 2.27)
Death is all around and many of us are ill-prepared to deal with it. If you live a full life covering a span of perhaps 7 or 8 decades then you may be in a better position to receive death. Of course there is never a guarantee when it will happen.
I have wound up my stay in ISKCON Mumbai. The hospitality was incredible; the prasadam (sacred food) was a delight. The only thing that leaves me baffled is the arrangement for female
pilgrims who come for darshan (deity viewing). They are situated in the back of the room. This is something that I have not seen in a Hindu temple anywhere, what to speak of an ISKCON center. It certainly was not a standard established by our Guru, Srila Prabhupada.
I would consider this a very bad arrangement. It should be adjusted so that there is fairness and encouragement. My suggestion is that one half of a temple floor or even a third, be reserved for
the women, up close near the deities. The current system is unacceptable as far as I am concerned.
Sam Levin is one of three co-founders, along with Sarah Steadman and Natalie Akers, of Project Sprout, an organic, student-run garden on the grounds of Monument High School in Great Barrington, Mass. Now in its second year, Project Sprout supplies the school’s cafeteria with fresh fruits and vegetables, helps feed the hungry in the community and serves as a living laboratory for students of the Monument school system.
Sam, a Sophomore at Monument, gave a speech at the opening ceremony of Terra Madre ‘08 in Italy, and inspired thousands of delegates from around the world who traveled to Turin for the event. The Slow Food USA blog is thrilled to share his remarks with our readers.
Exactly one year ago Monday, I walked through the doors of my public high school in Massachusetts planning on presenting the idea of Project Sprout to my Guidance counselor. And that’s all it was, an idea. I had not one detail worked out, only that I wanted the students of my school and the people of my community to begin paying more attention to their food, and in turn the natural world around them. I was already an avid naturalist, and when I wasn’t in the woods or swamps, I was spending time on the farm down the road from my house, playing soccer with the pigs or riding the cows. So, after talking to my guidance counselor, Mr. Powell, I connected with two other students, Sarah a junior who loved gardening and children and Natalie a sophomore who was desperate for delicious vegetables in the cafeteria, and together we began refining the idea and figuring out the details of the project. Within weeks we had a plan.
The plan was simple. Create a student-run organic vegetable garden on school grounds, that would be used as an educational tool for students ages 2-18, provide delicious produce for the school lunches, and ultimately build connections with nature and food for the children of our district. And with that plan, along with some energy, excitement, and motivation, we began working towards our goal.
We met with local farmers and gardeners, landscapers and designers, teachers and groundskeepers. We worked with non-profit leaders and most importantly, we worked together. I couldn’t walk by Mr. Powell’s office without stopping in to talk to him. Sarah and Natalie and I met in between classes and during lunch, after school and before school. Although we hadn’t even known each other before October, as time went on, our relationship became unbreakable. As we know, food brings people together. But as I have learned, working to save food creates unbelievably powerful bonds between people.
It’s amazing what an idea can become. But until you have witnessed that evolution, from thought to existence, you truly cannot trust that it will happen. So for the first three months, we worked almost nervously. We were preparing for the school committee meeting, where we had to present for approval of our project. We had been warned again and again to be prepared for rejection, that the School Committee was likely to turn us down, and we were still unsure what would happen. But quickly we replaced that fear with an immense excitement. We read book after book on gardening, and studied every project we could find that was somewhat related to what we were doing.
Meanwhile, something important happened. We found a potential location: an old soccer field across from the high school. Suddenly, our intangible idea gained some tangibility, and we began working at full speed. We took soil samples, and measured water tables and hours of sunlight. We plotted out potential locations for the first year’s garden. And by the time the School Committee meeting January came along, it felt like we had worked too hard, and too long to be told by a bunch of people sitting around a table that we couldn’t grow this garden, that we couldn’t make a difference. So we decided to simply blow them away. We realized we would have to be ready for every question they asked or challenge they posed with ten answers and a whole packet research to back us up. And on January 15th 2008, we were approved.
Afterwards, we realized that it was an important formality that needed to happen, but that we had actually been approved 3 months before when we decided we were going to do this.
We started working with Bridghe, our garden designer and professional gardener, to design yearly plans of the garden. We met with more and more farmers. We sold native plants as our first fundraiser, and sent hundreds of fundraising letters to businesses around the area. We planned our first benefit, a pig roast at a local farm to table restaurant, with all local food donated by local farmers, and live music from a student band. At the pig roast, we raised over nine thousand dollars and had over three hundred community members gathered together enjoying some local food and talking about gardening and farming.
And as time went on, there were more and more successes like that. We built a unique water catchment system that collected rainwater to water our crops. We have raised over thirty thousand dollars to date, and have implemented the first steps of our education program, by having a kindergarten class come every Monday to the garden to learn.
In August, at the Slow Food Nation eat-in in San Francisco, I pledged on a tablecloth that within a year we would get something into the school lunches. One month later, we served lettuce with cherry tomatoes, carrots, and green beans in the high school and elementary school cafeterias.
And slowly, we have proven ourselves. We proved to the school committee that we were organized and dedicated, and that we had thought through the challenges we would face. We proved to our teachers that we weren’t just out to scatter some seeds across the earth. And most importantly, we proved to ourselves that youth can make a difference. We did it by doing big things and little things. We did it by donating over five hundred kilograms of produce to low income families around the region, and by putting a cherry tomato in the mailbox of every staff member and teacher at our school.
On Monday, exactly one year after walking into my school to talk to Mr. Powell about this idea of getting kids to think about food and the natural world more, I once again walked through those doors. This time, I had just come up from the garden, where I had been looking at the lines that had been drawn out for the expansion of the garden, and the area that had been marked for a fruit orchard. I was going into school to talk to Mr. Powell, but this time, I needed to make sure that that the head of the cafeteria had received our thirty kilograms of potatoes for the Project Sprout Mashed Potatoes. I also had to confirm the meeting with students from the nearby school who want a garden as well. I wondered in two Octobers from now when I’m a senior, when I walk through the doors of the school, what I would be going to talk to him about. And I wondered who would be checking up on the garden before school in 20 years, when even Mr. Powell is gone. And I knew, that no matter who it was, someone would be there, and the garden would even more beautiful than it is today.
This last year, has been the best year of my life. I have had the most amazing moments working on Project Sprout. Moments like seeing a class of kindergarteners run into the garden, actually excited about pulling up weeds. One girl informed Sarah that “he hated sweet peas, but that the ones at Project Sprout were delicious.” Moments like, when students in detention started coming down to the garden, and they started asking for more jobs because they were having so much fun. One kid, who most of the time I’m afraid is going to beat me, told me that Project Sprout kicked ass. Or moments like, one night after a follow up school committee meeting in September, when the whole team hung out in the parking lot of the school eating our fresh picked watermelon on the back of Mr. Powell’s truck.
But working on Project Sprout, I have also had some of the worst weeks and days of my life. Like when it seemed our entire fundraising event would fall through after two months of planning. Or when we didn’t get the first grant we applied to, that we spent four weeks working on. At one point in the spring, I missed a science competition to go to an important Project Sprout meeting, and the people I let down didn’t talk to me for months. There have been nights where I didn’t sleep at all, and I thought I would never recover. But I would take a thousand more of those nights, for just one of the amazing things that have happened over the last twelve months.
But it is not just what has happened in the past twelve months, although those things were incredible. It is about how it happened, and it is about what is going to happen. Because, the truth is, Sarah and Natalie and I are not special. We don’t have some awesome gift or power. We just have two things. We have youth, which is found in every town in every part of the world, and we have motivation, which is out there. A lot of it is out there. Mount Everett, the school in the town south of us, has asked for help starting their own Project Sprout. So has the school in the town North of us. As well as Lincoln Academy in Maine, over five hundred kilometers away. Youth Radio in California, almost five thousand kilometers away wants a version of Project Sprout, and even a school in Kedougou, Senegal all the way across the Atlantic wants to become our sister project, in the development of a Project Sprout Kedegou. That’s the most exciting part that—that it is spreading. There are kids all over the world who want to make this happen, all they need is a little hope and inspiration.
What all of you (at Terra Madre) have started is an unbelievable beginning to a powerful revolution. But I know that all of you are wondering if my generation will be able to continue that revolution, and carry it to the extent of its mission.
I’m here today because I want you to know, that we got it. I want you to know, that from know on, people can stop saying “Kids these days,” and start saying, “kids these days!”.
That’s why I’m here today. Not because the story of Project Sprout is a success story. This project is still very young and we still have a long way to go. Who knows what challenges and obstacles lie ahead. It is not a success story. It is something else entirely. It is a window through which all of us can get a glimpse at the power of youth. It is a promise to our parents, to all of you, that we will continue what you started. The story of Project Sprout is a message from our generation to all those that came before us that says, “We will be the generation that reunites mankind with the earth.”
Welcome to Sri Kshetra Parikrama 2010. A very promising event of the year is just around the corner. An opportunity of life time awaits the participants as several senior leaders will be giving their association in Puri dhama. HH Jayapataka Swami, HH Lokanath Swami, HH Gauranga Prem Swami, HH Bhakti Siddhanta Swami, HH Gourava Narayana Swami and many Srila Prabhupada disciples will speak on the pastimes of Lord Jagannatha and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu in Sri Kshetra during the parikrama.
SB 11.26.30 - Srila Prabhupada, a pure devotee, played the part of a neophyte coming to the devotional service. Srila Prabhupada disappearance day. PART 2
This is my rendition of an ancient Sanskrit song composed by Sage Satyavrata when speaking with the Sages Narada and Shaunaka, as recorded in the Padma Purana.
Let me focus on the Supreme Being
Manifest adorably in the intimate, loving setting of pastoral Gokula
Eternity, awareness, and ecstasy compose his lovely form
His earrings sway
As he fearfully descends from a big spice mortar
And runs away from his mother, Yashoda
Who eventually catches him from behind!
His hands, two lotus flowers
Rubbing the tears from two lotus eyes
Blossoming wide in childlike fear!
The pearl necklace he wears is shaking
And the three wonderful lines on his neck quiver
She puts a rope around his waist
The Supreme Being…
Tied up and bound by the power of love!
Everyone in Gokula
Dips into a blissful pool of ecstasy
And those outside Gokula
Who think of the Supreme Being as some powerful commander
Are shaken by the power of sweet divine love!
Let me sing about him
Voice full of such love
Hundreds and hundreds of times!
God can grant any wish, even liberation.
But I do not seek liberation!
Nor anything higher than liberation!
Nor anything lower!
All I want is that you will forever manifest in my heart
A vision of your wondrously divine form
As a simple cowherd boy
In that sweet land of Gokula.
I want to always see your face,
So beautiful like a lotus flower
Encircled with the blackest hair, glossy and curling so softly.
I want to see your blushing face
Filled with kiss marks
As your mother kisses you again and again
With her lips as red as pomegranates!
If this vision should come to my heart for even a second
Millions of other wishes would become instantly worthless!
Let me bow to you,
You are God
Bigger than the universe
But you let a rope bind you around your infinite stomach
Out your kind desire to return the love of your devotee
You are so kind, be pleased with me, please!
I am sinking in an ocean of grief, while tied by a net of misery
Show your merciful glance
To me, who have sunk so low.
You can accept anyone you choose,
So please accept me, though I have no worth!
Please, out of compassion, come before my very eyes now!
You did something similar
For the two sons of Kuvera
When they had fallen to the lowly form of trees.
You liberated them
And filled them with devotion and love.
I too want that!
Not liberation or anything else,
But to be filled with this sweet divine love for you
I adore you
I adore the effulgent rope around your waist
I adore the effulgent place this happened, Gokula
I adore your beautiful waist, the shelter of the of the universe itself
I adore your most beloved Sri Radhika
I adore your unlimited pastimes
And I adore you
Whose sweetness is beyond all power and greatness!
SB 11.26.30 - Srila Prabhupada, a pure devotee, played the part of a neophyte coming to the devotional service. Srila Prabhupada disappearance day. PART 1
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