miércoles, 3 de marzo de 2010

Daily Class - Aniruddha Prabhu - Srimad Bhagavatam 11.18.11-12


Lalita Priya

Lalita Priya

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"Planet ISKCON" - 34 new articles

  1. HH. Satsvarupa das Goswami: Dear Sky Reading 1
  2. HH. Satsvarupa das Goswami: Dear Sky Reading 2
  3. Rupa Madhurya das, TX, USA: Gaura Purnima - Lecture - Mukunda Datta das - Evening
  4. Sita-pati dasa, AU: Eva Naumi Gaurasundaram
  5. Japa Group: Blessings From Vaisnavas
  6. HH. Satsvarupa das Goswami: 363
  7. Sita-pati dasa, AU: Rain in Brisbane
  8. Sita-pati dasa, AU: "As It Is" and other hermeneutical approaches to scripture in Gaudiya Vaisnavism
  9. ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Daily Class - Aniruddha Prabhu
  10. ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Jaya Radha Madhava - Aniruddha Prabhu
  11. Gauranga Kishore das,USA: Shri Shri Nitai Saci-Suta Deity Welcoming
  12. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  13. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  14. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  15. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  16. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  17. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  18. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  19. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  20. Pandu das: awkwardness at the temple
  21. Madhava Ghosh dasa, New Vrndavan, USA: Still Some Good People Around
  22. Ekendra das, Alachua, USA: "You can't be swinging Deities around like that"
  23. Japa Group: Don't Get Distracted
  24. Rupa Madhurya das, TX, USA: Gaura Purnima - Drama - Jarikanda Forest
  25. Manorama dasa: 3 éves kisgyerek kirtanozik
  26. Yoga of Ecology, Bhakta Chris, USA: Energy From Osmosis
  27. Sita-pati dasa, AU: 24 hour kirtan at New Govardhana
  28. Mayapur Online: Gaura Purnima Special lecture by HH Bhakti Charu Swami
  29. H.H. Mukunda Goswami: 'Religious activities' aren't necessarily 'our line'
  30. H.H. Bhakti Caitanya Swami: Photos from the Navadvipa Mandala Parikrama
  31. H.H. Bhakti Caitanya Swami: Navadvipa Mandala Parikrama
  32. H.H. Bhakti Caitanya Swami: Photos from Mayapur
  33. H.H. Bhakti Caitanya Swami: Believe it or not my nose almost stopped functioning
  34. Gouranga TV: ISKCON Coventry 3 year old Leads Kirtan 2/2
  35. More Recent Articles
  36. Search Planet ISKCON

HH. Satsvarupa das Goswami: Dear Sky Reading 1

Video of today’s readings from the book Dear Sky (1994). Part 1.

Also includes readings from Prabhupada Smaranam and the Poem: Vrndavana Gardens…

There are gardens in Vrindavana,
blooming with flowers known
only to that region, like
and malatis.
Radha and Krishna and
Their friends, gopas and
, make garlands
from these flowers to
decorate the Divine Couple.
is a garland [...]

[See post to watch Flash video]
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HH. Satsvarupa das Goswami: Dear Sky Reading 2

Video of today’s readings from the book Dear Sky (1994). Part 2.

Video recording of the reading from the book originally published in 1994, titled Dear Sky: Letters from a Sannyasi. It is take a format of individual sections, ‘letters’, with some of them ‘addressed’ to the sky.

[See post to watch Flash video]
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Rupa Madhurya das, TX, USA: Gaura Purnima - Lecture - Mukunda Datta das - Evening

Rupa Madhurya das, TX, USA: Gaura Purnima - Lecture - Mukunda Datta das - Evening

Evening lecture given on Gaura Purnima (Lord Chaitanya's appearance day) by Mukunda Datta das.

Dallas, TX

2010-02-28 - Gaura Purnima - Mukunda Datta das - Evening Lecture

Download: 2010-02-28 - Gaura Purnima - Mukunda Datta das - Evening Lecture.mp3

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Sita-pati dasa, AU: Eva Naumi Gaurasundaram

prema-dhama-devam eva naumi gaurasundaram
"At roadsides, temples and sanctuaries He would chant in sweet tunes, 'Krsna,krsna, krsna, krsna, krsna, krsna hey!' Sometimes carried away by some indescribable divine exultation, He would sing 'Rama! Rama!' and dance sweetly in ecstatic rhythm. He would deliver one and all, irrespective of time, place orcircumstances, by magnanimously inducing them to chant the Holy names of Lord Krsna. I sing with joy the unending glories of my golden Lord Gauranga-sundara; the divine abode of pure love.

- Prema-dhama-deva Stotram 22

Just arrived in my email inbox.

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Japa Group: Blessings From Vaisnavas

Hare Krsna my dear devotees, I hope your Festival of Gaura Purnima was great and you were able to remember how important is the advent of Lord Gauranga to this world and how lucky we are to have got the holy names of the Lord to chant. I was reading a very beautiful message on H.H. Sacinandana Swami 's site and I got this beautiful article from him, I hope you like it.

How to Obtain the Merciful Gift of Lord Gauranga
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu distributed the treasure of divine love primarily through the chanting of His Holy Names. It is said He garlanded the whole world with the Holy Names, strung on the thread of prema. That means anyone who wishes to be garlanded by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu must accept His gift of chanting the Holy Name with affection. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu will give this garland to almost anyone. The only exception is a person who wilfully commits offences against His devotees. In Caitanya Mahaprabhu's own words:

"I turn My face away from someone who offends My devotees."

"Let us today pray to become full of Caitanya Mahaprabhu's mercy and let us also turn our face away - away from vaisnava apraradha."

I liked very much the part that maharaj says that we were garlanded with the holy names and we must accept it with affection, means we should give great value to this chanting and avoid commiting the ten offenses, this is the only reason way we stop chanting, because we may have offended devotees or the holy names by being inattentive, so we must always be reminded that we have to have this humble state of mind to approach the vaisnavas, accept their blessings and always seek in them the good qualities they own, also we should pray every single day to Lord Gauranga in order to be free from these offenses so we can constantly chant the holy names and purify our hearts from false ego and the desire to be in control of the Lords properties.

I start by asking the vaisnavas that bless my life so I can always chant the holy names of the Lord and that I can serve them and understand through their precious preachings why I am here and how I can be free from material desires.
I thank all the humble vaisnavas that contribute to the preaching of the holy names of the Lord and pray so the Lord showers lots and lots of nice realisations to their lives bringing to them pure devotion and affection to chanting.

your servant,

Aruna devi
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HH. Satsvarupa das Goswami: 363

3:56 A.M

I woke from a dream at 10 P.M. last night. In the dream I had a headache and I tried to subdue it by taking pills while drinking from a can of beer. But I couldn't swallow the pills and the actual headache did not go down. Nevertheless I somehow fell asleep again. I woke up at 1:30 with the same headache. I took more medicine and my headache went down. I was glad to be up so early chanting. I was distracted for about forty-five seconds thinking of Disneyland but then I got on the track of japa-yajna and it was like straight as a railroad track without deviation, clacketiclack, clacketiclack, Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/Hare Rama , Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. "Just hear". It was my standard chanting in good form with complete alertness and speed and paying attention to the mantras in my mind. I could not go further but warmed my hands in the fire of the syllables of harinama. I have chanted all my sixteen rounds and I'm grateful for that. It's so comforting to finish your quota at an early hour. While I was chanting I thought a little bit about the poem I'll write this morning but I don't consider that a major distraction.

Chanting in regular form,
all my quota done before
4 A.M. It's a cause for
quiet celebration and
satisfaction. The mantras
went smoothly but not
with deepest penetration
to the inside meaning. I
won't lament today but
always keep in mind how far
you have to go from your
good days to your better
to your best. At least
you were not at your
worst today although the last
two rounds became a little
heavy-eyed and I had
to endure some head
pressure to keep up the
pace. I thought it was
worth it, a little
in this
sense gratifier's life. You
need to work at
even when it
strains. Haribol.

Prabhupada Smaranam

Here are pictures of Prabhupada off the vyasasana, with his legs crossed casually and in relaxed positions in different sitting chairs. We mostly saw him formally in the half-lotused asana with back straight sitting formally on a vyasasana. In that position he delivered to us the all important vani of Srimad-Bhagavatam and Bhagavad-gita with his improvised Bhaktivedanta lectures. (He also sat before a low table in his writing in the morning, composing his books into the Dictaphone). But it was a treat to see him informally relaxed and lieing back in a chair with his legs loosely crossed, and talking something more informal, especially when it made him smile or laugh. Prabhupada also stripped down to his gamsha to take his 11 A.M. massage and sometimes spoke then, although not like in a lecture.

There are several prayers I recite to Prabhupada daily. I first recite his pranama mantras before I even begin my japa. "I offer my obeisances to His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, who is very dear to Krishna on this earth having taken shelter of the lotus feet of the transcendental Lord. Our obeisances unto you, O spiritual master, servant of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati. You are so kindly delivering the message of Lord Caitanya and delivering these western countries, which are filled with voidism and impersonalism." I like this prayer because it is so venerable and personal, having been composed and given to us personally by Srila Prabhupada. First he gave us the first pranama mantra and about a year later, the second. It is the most important prayer in my life. When I bow down at holy pilgrimage sites I recite these prayers and I say them before starting a lecture. It contains the direct thankfulness and obeisances from the disciple to the spiritual master and so it is so revered. I like it because it says he is very dear to Krishna and because it states our mission to combat all sorts of voidism and impersonalism opposed to the conclusions of Krishna consciousness.

Three times a day I also recite the guru-gayatri mantras among the seven gayatri mantras. They are my favorite and most significant of all the gayatri mantras. Although some of the madhuryatry to understand our spiritual master who is always in blissful Krishna consciousness.” We may not be able to understand his Krishna-ananda, his internal identity or mood of loving Krishna, but we may try. And I like thinking of how Srila Prabhupada enthuses us. He is enthused and he enthuses us. The service to the spiritual master produces a mutual reciprocation of utsaha or enthusiasm, which Rupa Gosvami cites as the first criteria for bhakti-yoga. It is important to realize these mantras, both in Sanskrit and translation and do so thoughtfully. Saying them mindlessly, we do not enter the actual meaning of the precious and vital obeisances to the spiritual master. mantras may be more exalted, I cannot approach them without the mercy of my spiritual master. "I offer my respectful obeisances to my spiritual master". Let us meditate on him as he enthuses us. I like the phrase "let us

Warnings and Sravanam

Don't be condescending to
your guru. Don't tease
him that his habits of
personal cleanliness are
not the highest. And don't
minimize his shoulder injury.
Don't mock him when
he watches the last eight
minutes of the Lakers basketball
game to see how Kobe Bryant
is doing. It can be dangerous.

And the guru has to watch his
own behavior. We permit him
some Coltrane because he's justified
it and it's in his blood. But he
should not watch too many movies
or fail to wear his proper
clothes every day. Even more
importantly, he had to learn
to chant the holy names by
not just reciting the outer
covering. He should try to
improve his quality of loyalty
to Srila Prabhupada and
be kind and considerate to
everyone he meets, especially
his own men.

These are warnings.
It's best to stay immersed
in Krishna katha because
just by hearing about the
Lord and His consorts
and devotees you can
be purified of all your
sinful and trivial
habits. They will all
disappear just by
faithful hearing.

Krishna pained the gopis

by not appearing before
them and the two sets
of gopis responded
in different ways.
The submissive ones
said He was wonderful and the contrary ones said
He was a killer of women.
They both were concerned
that He hurt His soft
feet walking among the sharp
grasses and pebbles in Vrndavana when
He was chasing after
the cows. The submissive
fainted at
the pain it caused them
and the contrary ones said He
did it just to hurt them—
or something like that.

I cannot completely understand
the intricacies of union
and separation with Krishna.
It's something that requires
constant hearing from an
advanced devotee. You
can hear it in one way
one time and then hearing
it another time you'll
understand it differently
and better. You must
always think of Krishna
in separation from
the gopis.

As for being condescending
toward the guru I should
never do that toward
my Srila Prabhupada. He
is always right in the
exact way he presents
things and I should be
careful not to take
on a different shade
of meaning from
another source. He is my
narrow gateway toward
entry to understanding
Krishna with the gopis

and Krishna in His other
aspects which are also
important to know as
long as Prabhupada has
rendered all them in Srimad-
. Be careful
you follow him by reading
his books and savoring
his presentation and
never going a day without
his vani association.
And let’s hope you can
continue to write your
"Prabhupada Smaranam".

Free write

The picture at Gem Spa is as vintage as you can get. This is the quintessence of Hare Krishna on the Lower East Side circa 1967. Gem Spa was a neighborhood landmark, an icon candy and ice cream hangout frequented by all sorts of people. This picture shows the Hare Krishna movement at the height of its integration with the counter culture. The people sitting down singing include initiated devotees, seekers willing to put their bodies on the line as chanters, and magnetized onlookers. Gem Spa kirtanas were not a regular occurrence and it's almost surprising the proprietor is allowing it to go on right in front of the entrance to his store. It is wonderful that the devotees chose this spot for harinama, which is almost as iconic as Tompkins Square Park. I think the photo may have appeared in a news paper. What a happening! You can almost tangibly feel the grassroots historicity of this event.

The second picture is taken at the fountain on the Boston Commons around 1968. There is not so much communion here with the crowd who stand at a distance and watch. There was a crowd in front of the devotees as well, but they also kept their distance. Boston didn't embrace the devotees as did the hippies of the Lower East Side in New York City. But the devotees are bravely performing the sankirtana-yajna, risking jeers and even violence. Three times a day in the summer a group of devotees would be singing on the Boston Commons, and some newcomers did join. We followed Prabhupada's order to "set off the big cannon" in Boston.

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Sita-pati dasa, AU: Rain in Brisbane

On the left, the Warrapa dam during the drought. On the right, the dam at 9am on Wednesday.

Brisbane has received half its annual rainfall in the first two months of 2010.

Dams are at 80% of capacity now, the highest since 2002. Water restrictions introduced in 2005, and ramped up over the next three years to "extreme", have now been relaxed to allow residents to use water for activities such as watering their gardens.

More information.

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Sita-pati dasa, AU: "As It Is" and other hermeneutical approaches to scripture in Gaudiya Vaisnavism

Recently a god-brother of mine, Vidyapati (Mikey), has been writing about his experience of Krishna Consciousness in ISKCON over the past 7 years. His blog is at xkrishnax.blogspot.com.

I find his writing lucid, reflective, insightful, and respectful.

I would like to point out here that ISKCON is a federation of allied local communities, and is by no means a homogenous entity, so his experience is the personal experience of one person in one particular situation. It has been very useful as a topic of conversation here, and I have had several in-depth discussions about issues around it with my friends here, especially with David Jorm and Vrajadhama.

I posted a comment on a recent post of Mikey's, one in which he talks about difficulties that he and others experienced in reconciling the hermeneutical approach (that means how scriptures are interpreted) advocated in their community, with their own independent thinking and intellectual integrity.

I'm reproducing my comment here on my blog to put it front of a wider audience. Understanding the philosophy of Krishna Consciousness to this level is what works for me. My realization is that to stay interested and engaged in Krishna Consciousness over the long term, you have to find out what works for you. Krishna Consciousness is simple for the simple, but if your intellectual capacity is more complex, then Krishna Consciousness does not lack depth of philosophy; and I wouldn't let someone else harangue you into thinking that it's just for dummies and that intellectuals are evil. When this starts to happen we end up with an organisation that runs on a personality cult (religion without philosophy + guru), and would resonate with statements such as: "When I hear the word intellectual, I reach for my Luger". Just to further invoke Godwin, I'd like to point out that Nazi Germany also ran on the twin principles of guru-bhakti (Heil Hitler!) and "Purity is the Force". It is a very dangerous dynamic - a razor's edge. Independently thoughtful, intellectually honest philosophers loyal to the core values of Krishna Consciousness (brahmanas) are necessary to keep it real. These people derive their validity from their own internal conviction, not from social convention, and thus can be a real pain in the ass, and a valuable counter-balance to excessive swings due to group think.

Below the line is my comment from Vidyapati's blog:


In terms of epistemology, we had some interesting discussions at our recent retreat, where we discussed the six philosophical systems over three days. One point that came out is that Prabhupada's explicit hermeneutical strategy ("As It Is") is largely rhetorical. For example, he contradicts it in Bg. 3.29, where he renders a purport practically in contradiction to the verse, using an interpretative strategy other than "As It Is".

His rhetorical choice of hermeneutic is linked to a previous philosophical interpretation that he is seeking to refute - Advaita Vedanta. Advaita Vedanta had in turn refuted a previous school, Karma-mimamsa, which used exactly the hermeneutical strategy of "As It Is". The Karma-mimamsa epistemology was that scripture was of divine origin, and so everything in it was literally true. Thus, if you perform the rituals in there, since the scripture must be true, the result must come.

Everything there was literally true: "as it is". They de-emphasised metaphysics by saying that anything that wasn't an instruction on how to achieve a result was not important.

To undermine the influence of this school, Sankaracarya accepted the Vedic scripture, but introduced a different hermeneutic.

Sankaracarya stated that pramanas (epistemological sources) have their domain of authority. The authoritative domain of scripture is transcendence. In other mundane areas, such as cosmology, if sastra-pramana (scripture) contradicted pratyaksha and anumana (empirical observation and logic), the description of scripture could be retired. Sankara called these paramarthika (the transcendental part), and vyavaharika (the mundane part)

With this hermeneutical strategy many modern-day ISKCON controversies, such as the relative distances of the Sun and the Moon, or the structure of the universe, disappear.

However, Sankara then applied this hermeneutical strategy to descriptions of Brahman, designating some of them as saguna (mundane) and others as nirguna (transcendental). I personally feel that he overstepped the mark with this, and I'm not the only one.

Rather than quibble over where this distinction should be applied, Prabhupada has opted for the Karma-mimamsa hermeneutical approach. This gets rid of some problems - such as Sankara's characterisation of some descriptions of Brahman as mundane, but introduces others - such as cosmological controversies, and instances where Prabhupada violates his own stated hermeneutical strategy.

Once you understand that, it becomes possible to consider the Bhagavatam using Sankara's hermeneutic, but without his fault of over-extension (ativyapti in Sanskrit - where a definition is so broad that it includes within it things that should not be included). This is precisely what Bhaktivinode Thakur does in his book Sri Krishna Samhita. Bhaktivinoda Thakura also uses Sankara's terms paramarthika and vyavaharika often, while you won't find them at all in Prabhupada's writing.

You can understand why this approach isn't a standard practice amongst ISKCON devotees too - most people would be thoroughly confused just reading this, what to speak of trying to apply it.

However, it is also part of the tradition.

Keep it simple for the simple, but remember - Krishna Consciousness is also complex for the complex.

I have to say that in a number of cases of my godbrothers who have given up on the philosophy, my feeling is that it is because they didn't go deep enough into it. Of course, that is discouraged in some circles, but at some point we have to own our own relationship with the tradition.

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ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Daily Class - Aniruddha Prabhu

Daily Class - Aniruddha Prabhu - Srimad Bhagavatam 11.18.11-12

SB 11.18.11: If the vanaprastha is overtaken by old age and because of his trembling body is no longer able to execute his prescribed duties, he should place the sacrificial fire within his heart by meditation. Then, fixing his mind on Me, he should enter into the fire and give up his body.
SB 11.18.12: If the vanaprastha, understanding that even promotion to Brahmaloka is a miserable situation, develops complete detachment from all possible results of fruitive activities, then he may take the sannyasa order of life.
SB 11.18.11: Si el vanaprastha se alcanza por una edad avanzada y debido a que su cuerpo tiemble no podrá más ejecutar sus deberes prescritos, él debe poner el fuego sacrificatorio dentro de su corazón a través de la meditación. Entonces, fijando su mente en mí, él debe entrar en el fuego y dar para arriba su cuerpo.
SB 11.18.12: Si el vanaprastha, entendiendo esa incluso promoción a Brahmaloka es una situación desgraciada, desarrolla la separación completa de todos los resultados posibles de actividades fruitiva, después él puede tomar la orden de vida de sannyasa.
Srimad Bhagavatam 11.18.11-12 - Srimad Bhagavatam 11.18.11-12 - The austerities of vanaprastha life are like the light of a match compared to the fire of devotional service.
Posted by Tirthapada Dasa at 3/3/10; 8:06:57 AM to the Daily Class dept

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ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Jaya Radha Madhava - Aniruddha Prabhu

Jaya Radha Madhava - Aniruddha Prabhu

Length: 7:07
Posted by Tirthapada Dasa at 3/3/10; 8:02:58 AM to the Bhajana dept

Download: Jaya Radha Madhava - Aniruddha Prabhu

Length: 7:07

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Gauranga Kishore das,USA: Shri Shri Nitai Saci-Suta Deity Welcoming

Sorry I haven't posted anything recently, things have just been a little crazy, but here are some pictures from our diety welcoming ceremony on Gaura Purnima. Vaisesika prabhu named the dieties Nitai Saci-Suta because of thier childlike appearance. The program was very nice, friends from Alachua and the Krishna house devotees were there along with Kalakantha prabhu and his wife, Bada Hari Prabhu, Purusartha Prabhu and his wife, and my mom as well. In all about twenty five devotees by the end of the program. Badahari Prabhu led us in beautiful kirtans while we performed abhisekha Thier Lorships shoes. Then Lacie and I dressed them and Lacie performed the arati and then we served prasadam, it was just about moonrise by the time the program ended. Then we all went to Alachua for the mega Gaura Purnima celebration there.

More news coming in the near future.
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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1966 March 2: "In every step of his life the Spiritual Master guides. To take such guidance means the Spiritual Master should also be a very perfect man. Otherwise, how can he guide? It is not a formality. It is a great responsibility both for the disciple and for the Spiritual Master."
Prabhupada Lecture :: 1966

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1969 March 2: "These so-called religious principles are all simply cheating formulas in different forms according to different circumstances of candidate, place and time. Our Krishna Consciousness movement does not belong to any such cheating process. We should train our disciples in such a spirit that even if the whole world is against us the Sankirtana Movement must be pushed on."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1969

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1969 March 2: "Never mind if one is Christian, Jew, or Moslem, most people are Godless and don't care for God. They simply take an official stand, but actually, from the depth of their heart they have no idea what is God. So we have to invoke the dormant understanding of God-consciousness; that is the principle of Krishna Consciousness Movement."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1969

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1969 March 2: "Our Hare Krishna Movement is awakening the dormant transcendental emotion of the human being without any consideration of religious faith. In our camp all of my disciples are coming from different faiths. Why are they accepting this Sankirtana Movement, unless there is the awakening of mystical emotion described by a great scientist like Albert Einstein."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1969

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1969 March 2: "Apart from this killing process within the embryo, there is also killing process in the slaughterhouse. If we want to criticize it will simply increase our enemies. Better let us try to invoke the dormant transcendental emotion by chanting and dancing."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1969

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1970 March 2: "Krsna Consciousness means full cooperation with Krsna. To love Krsna means to love Him along with all His Name, His fame, His qualities, His entourage, His abode, His devotees, etc."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1970

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1970 March 2: "It is said the Goswamis were very much advanced having conquered over eating, sleeping, and mating. I am very glad that you are gradually coming to that stage. Try to realize it yourself and teach the method to all your younger brothers and sisters."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1970

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1970 March 2: "A devotee of Lord Jesus Christ is one who is strictly following the ten commandments. Similarly Lord Buddha also emphasized ahimsa paramadharma. So these instructions are for the sinful men. Thus devotees of Lord Jesus Christ, they can go to heaven, a planet in the material world, that is all."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1970

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Pandu das: awkwardness at the temple

I haven’t been writing much here in the past several months, I think largely because its being fed to PlanetISKCON. My relationship with Iskcon just isn’t what I hoped it would be. I feel like Iskcon has chewed me up and spit me out, and so it’s hard to write on the bright side all the time. So what usually happens is that I write but do not publish the drafts.

That’s not why I created this blog. I started it to document my experiences pursuing Krishna consciousness, which, at the time, I thought would be increasingly estatic. Circumstances changed a few months later, but I felt it was only right that I keep writing anyway. Some devotees didn’t like what they saw, and they called my guru. He then called and ordered me to stop writing, threatening to stop my training for second initiation. His threat didn’t work, and instead I lost respect for him. That was just one factor in a series of disturbing interactions with him and some others during that time period.

Skip forward a few years, and I became convinced that Srila Prabhupada never authorized anyone to take disciples, and instead intended to continue initiating via rtviks. Iskcon calls this heresy and labels such believers as enemies, but their position has no basis. They used to have official position papers, but I’ve heard they were rescinded due to false facts. Now there’s just a paragraph order in Iskcon Law.

Anyway, last year my views were brought to the attention of our temple president, who requested that I not take up this issue with devotees in the our community. I thought it seemed fair, considering the GBC’s fear of rtvik supporters, but in practice it often leads to awkwardness. It makes me sometimes feel reluctant about coming around. I need to be me, and but that’s not acceptable.

Last weekend, a week before Gaura Purnima, we had a temple meeting that was predominantly about sending the temple Deities away. Most of the devotees were pretty upset, but I didn’t feel like there was much I could say because I don’t have second initiation and can’t help with Deity service. After the meeting, during prasad, the TP’s wife asked my wife and me our views, and I said that I don’t have much I can say because I don’t have second initiation. She was surprised, and asked if I was aspiring for it.

I mostly just said No. What else could I say? I was rejected for second initiation and lost faith in my Iskcon guru. I don’t even consider him my real guru anymore, because I don’t believe in Iskcon’s method of initiating disciples. I’ve given a lot of thought to my position now, and really I don’t believe my first initiation was genuine. For this reason I prefer using my English name, Paul Howard, but still sometimes use the name Pandu Das to avoid excessive awkwardness. Rejecting my Sanskrit name at the temple would open that whole can of worms that I agreed to avoid.

Then during the feast on Gaura Purnima, one devotee asked me if I had cooked anything. I hadn’t, and it was awkward because my reasons for not doing so were complicated and I wasn’t at liberty to get into it. I said that I thought only second initiated devotees were permitted to cook for the Deities. I realize that exceptions can be made in emergencies, but I hadn’t been informed of any such concession. Really, though, I’m a little bitter about this. A substantial part of me feels that if Krishna wanted me to cook for Him, He would not have given me an Iskcon-guru who would reject me for second initiation simply for writing honestly about my feelings and experiences in Iskcon.

Ironically, I’m still fighting similar restraints, though now it’s unspoken. I know some local devotees read my blog, presumably through PlanetISKCON. In general I feel like the PlanetISKCON community wants a certain style of writing, and where I’m at doesn’t fit. Certainly I did not intend to develop a non-ecstatic relationship with Iskcon but it happened anyway. I just want to take shelter of Srila Prabhupada, and Iskcon doesn’t like that at all. I don’t know how long I can put on a facade at the Iskcon temple scene, because it’s very unsatisfying and not good for my spiritual life. One should not have to choose between being honest and being in the association of devotees.

As Srila Prabhupada said, “Kut??n?t??, or diplomatic behavior, cannot satisfy the ?tm?, the soul. It cannot even satisfy the body or the mind. The culprit mind is always suspicious; therefore our dealings should always be straightforward and approved by Vedic authorities. If we treat people diplomatically or duplicitously, our spiritual advancement is obstructed.”


Hare Krishna.

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Madhava Ghosh dasa, New Vrndavan, USA: Still Some Good People Around

Before I tell the story, do the following, and if you can’t now, as soon as possible. Take all the cards out of your wallet/purse/cell phone carrier/whatever and photocopy them, both sides. Your driver’s license, credit card(s), bank card and any other cards you would need to get replaced if were to lose your wallet etc.

For me that includes an AARP card (good for discounts at motels), two medical cards, a AAA card and a card from UPMC Transplant Center with contact info including my post transplant coordinator’s name, and a list of all the medications I take for any EMT that would have to deal with an unconscious me in case of an accident.

In Vidya’s case, it includes sales tax exemption cards from Crafts 2000 and Michaels where she buys supplies for her craft business. You may have any number of discount cards or other forms of ID.

The point is what happens if you lose your wallet etc or it’s stolen? If you have a photocopy of what was in it, the process of replacement is simpler having all the numbers of the cards, plus phone numbers in one location.

You may not even remember what is in your wallet etc until you need it at some point.

This is also an opportunity to evaluate if you really need to have all that stuff in there, a spring cleaning of sorts. Back to the story.

Our driveway has walls of snow on each side from shoveling out the succession of snow storms. On Gaura Paurnima Vidya was backing out and too close to one side and got stuck so she got a shovel and was digging it out which only took a few minutes it wasn’t that bad.

She had a small purse around her neck and it was in the way shoveling so she took it off and made a mistake. Instead of walking around the car and putting it inside, she set it on the trunk.

After shoveling, she drove away, forgetting about the bag until she got to the swimming pool and then had an instant realization of what she had done. She immediately called me and all our close neighbors thinking it would have fallen off early in the trip and asked everyone to look at the road outside their homes.

I started walking out the ridge until she came back and picked me up. She had looked all the way coming back from town no luck. We drove out again to Rte 88 thinking it would have fallen off by then, real slow and both of us looking no luck.

We came back home and there was a message on voice mail from someone who had found it. We immediately went to fetch it, Vidya taking one of her hand painted gourd birdhouses as a reward for the finder.

Turns out it was someone who had had Marken as a student in Sherrard Middle School and remembered him. It was such a blessing that a nice person had found the bag and returned it. In a lot of parts of the country, that may not have happened. So there are still some good people out there.

“If a hundred-dollar bill is lying on the street, someone may pick it up and put it in his pocket. Such a man is not honest.

“Another man may see the money and decide to let it remain there, thinking that he should not touch another’s property. Although this second man does not steal the money for his own purposes, he is unaware of its proper use.

“The third man who sees the hundred-dollar bill may pick it up, find the man who lost it and deliver it to him. This man does not steal the money to spend for himself, nor does he neglect it and let it lie in the street. By taking it and delivering it to the man who has lost it, this man is both honest and wise.”

Nectar of Instruction: verse 2

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Ekendra das, Alachua, USA: "You can't be swinging Deities around like that"

I was awakened at four a.m. by a great flash of light. I don't remember the flash, but it must have opened my eyes, because they were already open when I heard a single, compact, focused BOOM that shook the room, freaked me out, and echoed for a few seconds. "Wow!" I whispered, in the dark, expecting DW to have heard it. No response from my sleeping better half. "Did you hear that?" No response again. "Hare Krishna." My third whisper received no attention, either. She really could sleep through a war, I thought. There was no sound of rain, so I began to imagine that it was a bomb, until I heard the first tentative sprinkles tapping on the metal roof.

I was disoriented. I looked around the darkened room. A twinkle of distant streetlight came in through the cracks in the venetian blinds. I tried to remember which walls were which, but I couldn't figure out the floor plan—one of those "where am I? who am I?" moments. Faced with the chance to rise at four, unsure where I was or how I got there, after being shocked awake by a sudden, close explosion of lightning, I turned over and went back to sleep.

the angels are bowling

I dreamt I was in front of my old house in North Syracuse. Three tall, dark-haired girls were playing with dolls in the street. The fact that they were tall, dark-haired girls provided excitement, but then I noticed that the dolls they were playing with were actually deities of Jagannath, Baladeva and Subhadra. Except they didn't look like Jagannath, Baladeva, and Subhadra. They had long black hair, like those girls. My mood changed from "excited anticipation of possible romantic conquest" to "hey, you can't be swinging deities around like that."

The dream scene transitioned, and we were all in someone's living room. The deities were back on the altar, and I was beginning to explain to these girls Who these "dolls" were they were playing with. I wanted to instill the understanding that they're not dolls, and you don't go playing with Them in the street. (the concept of Rathayatra didn't occur to me in the dream).
"Do you think we are so foolish that we are worshipping dolls?"

"This one's name is Jagannatha. Jagat means 'universe,' and natha means 'Lord.' He's Krishna. This one's name is Subhadra. Su means 'really,' and bhadra means 'auspicious.' Usually, They look different, with really short arms, really big eyes, and really big smiles." I love it whenever I'm able to explain any piece of Krishna conscious information in a dream. I'm extremely surprised and pleased that somehow, somewhere in my subconscious, something (Someone) is working even while I'm asleep, giving me clarity on transcendental topics.

I never got around to describing Baladeva, but instead began telling them about Lord Nrsimhadeva. My wife showed up and reminded me Who He was, since my transcendental clarity failed at that point. Just like when I'm awake.

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Japa Group: Don't Get Distracted

This was going through my mind today...the mind wants to be distracted away from the Holy names, it wants to think about everything going on in the future and what has happened in the past. If these distracting thoughts enter, then we need to ignore them and push them out, much the same as you would remove furniture from a room.
Distraction is the enemy of the Japa chanter...by concentrating on the sound and focusing on the Holy names we can defeat this enemy with the sound of the Holy names.

I hope your chanting is going well and that you are able to overcome obstacles with determination.
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Rupa Madhurya das, TX, USA: Gaura Purnima - Drama - Jarikanda Forest

Rupa Madhurya das, TX, USA: Gaura Purnima - Drama - Jarikanda Forest

The children from the Sunday School present the drama "Jarikanda Forest" on Gaura Purnima

Dallas, TX

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Manorama dasa: 3 éves kisgyerek kirtanozik

Már biztosan sokan láttátok az alábbi videókat. Coventryben (Anglia) egy 3 éves kisgyerek kirtant vezet a vasárnapi program végén. Gondolom sokan szeretnének 3 évesen ilyen videót magukról. Kicsit más samskara :)

Manorama dasa: 3 éves kisgyerek kirtanozik

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Yoga of Ecology, Bhakta Chris, USA: Energy From Osmosis

From our friend Madhava Ghosh's blog "View From A New Vrindaban Ridge"


The Norwegian company Statkraft opens the world's first facility for osmotic power generation. Statkraft says a full-scale commercial osmotic power plant could be ready by 2015.

Salt is good for you. When salt and fresh water mix, you can  generate clean energy. (Photo: Statkraft)

Salt is good for you. When salt and fresh water mix, you can generate clean energy. (Photo: Statkraft)

Osmotic power could contribute around 1,600 TWh on a global basis annually. Only in Norway osmotic power has the potential to cover 10 percent of the total power consumption.

Natural process

Osmotic power is based on the natural process of osmosis. In an osmotic power plant, seawater and fresh water are separated by a membrane. The seawater draws the fresh water through the membrane, thereby increasing the pressure on the seawater side. The increased pressure is used to produce power.

Supply of fresh and salt water

The Statkraft prototype plant is built at the paper pulp manufacturer SodraCell Tofte's plant at Hurum in Buskerud, Norway. The location will provide the osmotic plant with a good supply of fresh water and seawater, along with access to the established infrastructure.

Large investment

When Statkraft started the establishment of an osmotic power plant prototype, the company had invested more than NOK 100 million to develop a new, renewable energy technology. The research work was supported by The Research Council of Norway, the prototype is also being supported by the the public enterprise Enova SF. Enova SF is owned by the Royal Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy and its main mission is to contribute to environmentally sound and the rational use and production of energy.

The prototype is meant to provide Statkraft with a better understanding of the challenges involved in developing osmotic power technology. StatoilHydro says the prototype built at Tofte is a necessary platform for the further development of the technology.

1970s idea

The idea to generate power through osmosis originates from the 1970s. But back then the membranes were not sufficiently effective and the power prices were too low to enable anyone to profitably invest in such projects. Scientists at the research organisation SINTEF brought the idea to Statkraft in the 1990s.

Can be built out of sight

Around the world, rivers flow out into the sea in urban and industrial areas where it will be possible to construct osmotic power plants. A power plant the size of a football stadium could supply around 10,000 households with electricity. These power plants can be built underground, e.g. in the basement of an industrial building or under a park, minimising their visual impact. Statkraft points out that osmotic power plants give off no polluting discharges to the atmosphere or water, and that they do not affect the fauna or flora of rivers or the seafloor.

About Statkraft:

The Statkraft Group generates hydropower, wind power and district heating and constructs gas power plants in Norway and Germany. Statkraft is a major player on the European energy exchanges. In Norway the company supplies electricity and heat to around 600,000 customers through its shareholdings in other companies.

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Sita-pati dasa, AU: 24 hour kirtan at New Govardhana

Come to chant the Holy Names in at the 24 hour kirtan at New Govardhana, NSW, on the weekend of March 26-27, 2010.

Special guests include Madhava and Sri Prahlada, and bhakti kirtaniyas from New Govardhana and around Australia.

Please contact Radha on 02 6672 8549 to arrange accommodation, and contact Sitapati at sitapati@worldsankirtan.net if you want to be on the roster to lead kirtan.

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Mayapur Online: Gaura Purnima Special lecture by HH Bhakti Charu Swami

Date: February 28th, 2010
Verse: Caitanya-caritamrta Adi 1.4
Speaker: HH Bhakti Charu Swami

Listen here HH Bhakti Charu Swami's class

Hare Krishna. Today is Gaura-purnima day. The purnima, the full moon of the month of phalgun. These two months, phalgun and caitra is the vasanta season, springtime in India. In India there are six seasons and each season consists of two months. Vasanta, spring is considered to be the king of all seasons – rthuraj.

read more

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H.H. Mukunda Goswami: 'Religious activities' aren't necessarily 'our line'

Here's an interesting excerpt from a purport in the 3rd Canto, Chapter 32, Text 22:

"There are two kinds of religious activities: one for material advancement and the other for spiritual advancement. By taking shelter under the lotus feet of Krsna, one is endowed with both kinds of prosperity, material and spiritual. Why then should one go to any demigod?"

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H.H. Bhakti Caitanya Swami: Photos from the Navadvipa Mandala Parikrama

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H.H. Bhakti Caitanya Swami: Navadvipa Mandala Parikrama

Dear devotees, Please accept my best wishes. All glories to Srila Prabhupada. The GBC meetings have come and gone, and some interesting things happened. Two devotees were approved to take sannyasa - Devamrita prabhu from Chowpatty (who used to be the Temple President in Vrindavana) and Nitai Caitanya prabhu from Russia. One of our South African devotees, Campakalata [...]

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H.H. Bhakti Caitanya Swami: Photos from Mayapur

[Show as slideshow]

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H.H. Bhakti Caitanya Swami: Believe it or not my nose almost stopped functioning

Dear devotees and friends, Please accept my best wishes. All glories to Srila Prabhupada. Now I’m here in Mayapur. The GBC meetings are going on and everything is very busy, but at the same time very nice. It’s been an interesting few weeks since I last wrote to you. I had been in Siberia at the japa retreat, [...]

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Gouranga TV: ISKCON Coventry 3 year old Leads Kirtan 2/2

ISKCON Coventry 3 year old Leads Kirtan 2/2

ISKCON Coventry 3 year old Leads Kirtan 2/2 Sudarshan Das joined ISKCON Coventry at only 6 months old and since then he has been associating with devotees at the hare krishna temple!!! 2 and a bit years later, Sudarshan DAS,

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