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February 03 2011 - Planet ISKCON - 28 new articles

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"Planet ISKCON" - 28 new articles

  1. H.G. Sankarshan das Adhikari, USA: Thursday 3 February 2011--Turn On the Light and Destroy the Darkness--and--Hoping for a Miracle
  2. Australian News: ISKCON Mauritius Vs McDonalds
  3. Kurma dasa, AU: Carob
  4. Australian News: TURN OFF YOUR LIGHTS LIGHT UP YOUR SOUL: ISKCON Sydney hold Earth Hour Kirtan
  5. Doyal Gauranga dasa & Gadadhar Pandit dasa, NYC: Spinach Filos
  6. Doyal Gauranga dasa & Gadadhar Pandit dasa, NYC: Drum Major Instinct
  7. Doyal Gauranga dasa & Gadadhar Pandit dasa, NYC: Sweet and Sour
  8. ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Today's Darsana
  9. Japa Group: Focus On One Mantra
  10. Devadeva Mirel, Alachua, USA: Recipe : Vegan After-School Cake
  11. ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Daily Class - Prahladananda Swami
  12. Rupa Madhurya das, TX, USA: Bhajan - Amala Purana das - Hare Krishna
  13. New Vrndavan, USA: Bhakti-sastri Course Return to New Vrindaban!
  14. Bhakti Vikasa Swami: Srila Prabhupada is not crazy; he is right
  15. H.H. Sivarama Swami
  16. Devadeva Mirel, Alachua, USA: Sweet Dreams Free Scoops!
  17. H.H. Prahladananda Swami: Four New ISKCON Sannyasis Bring Total to Eighty-Four in 2011
  18. H.H. Bhakticharu Swami: ISKCON Ujjain Update 2nd February 2011
  19. Nityananda Chandra Das, Dallas TX: Texas Faith 29: What religion stories should the media focus on?
  20. H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Tuesday, February 1st, 2011
  21. Madhava Ghosh dasa, New Vrndavan, USA: “Our Father” Prayer Remix
  22. Subhavilasa das ACBSP, Toronto, CA: Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (Who is non-different from Krishna Himself) - Part 3
  23. H.H. Sivarama Swami: The following is the trailer for the documentary on Isvara Krsna’s “Nature’s IQ” produced by Krsna Lila dd
  24. H.H. Sivarama Swami: Lajos Hüvelyes asks
  25. ISKCON Toronto, Canada: In For a Challenge?
  26. Japa Group: A Long Term Habit Change
  27. Manoj, Melbourne, AU: 203. Big Day Out – for the 3rd time !
  28. Gouranga TV: Initiation Lecture & Ceremony – Radhanath Swami
  29. More Recent Articles
  30. Search Planet ISKCON
  31. Prior Mailing Archive

H.G. Sankarshan das Adhikari, USA: Thursday 3 February 2011--Turn On the Light and Destroy the Darkness--and--Hoping for a Miracle

A daily broadcast of the Ultimate Self Realization Course(TM) Thursday 3 February 2011 The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krishna, and His eternal consort, Srimati Radharani are enjoying transcendental pastimes in the topmost planet of the spiritual world, Sri Goloka Vrindavan. They are beckoning us to rejoin them. Our Mission: To help everyone awaken their original Krishna consciousness, which is eternal, full of knowledge and full of bliss. Such a global awakening will, in one stroke, solve all the problems of the world society bringing in a new era of unprecedented peace and prosperity for all. May that day, which the world so desperately needs, come very soon. We request you to participate in this mission by reviving your dormant Krishna consciousness and assisting us in spreading this science all over the world. Dedicated with love to ISKCON Founder-Acharya: His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, our beloved spiritual master, and to you, our dear readers. Today's Thought: Turn On the Light and Destroy the Darkness Uploaded from Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas USA In this dark materialistic age of Kali the overwhelming predominance of ignorance and out-and-out madness can be very discouraging and depressing at times. But there is no reason to be affected by all of this negativity. All we have to do to destroy this ocean of darkness is turn on the light of transcendental knowledge by reading the Bhagavad-gita carefully, seeing everything in its light, and then living every day in accordance with its amazingly lucid principles. In this way we will live in an eternal, blissful enlightened adventure always doing the highest good for all living beings throughout this universe and all the universes. Sankarshan Das Adhikari Answers According to the Vedic Version: Question: Hoping for a Miracle In one of the daily thoughts I read this question about chanting and being pure, that one should chant when pure, but even while impure one should start with the chanting because the chanting is purifying. Now I read that one has to reach the nistha stage, firm faith, before approaching guru. But I also read that one can only reach the state of nistha by the mercy of guru (after initiation). So can you please clarify this to me? In any case the gap between my practice and the minimum formal qualifications seems too big to be crossed. So I just hope for some miracle and try to be in a prayerful state as much as possible. Y.F.S. Answer: You've Already Got It. You already have the miracle. The mercy of the spiritual master is causeless and miraculous because he represents the inconceivable mercy of Lord Nityananda, who was so kind to the most unqualified rascals: Jagai and Madai. There are two types of faith on the path of spiritual perfection. The first is called sraddha or preliminary faith, and the second is called nistha, firm faith. Without preliminary faith a person would have no interest to approach the spiritual master. So it is preliminary faith which is required to approach the spiritual master, not nistha or firm faith. You obviously already possess preliminary faith. Otherwise you would not be approaching the spiritual master. The second type of faith, nistha or firm faith, will come after you are initiated and you have freed yourself from all bad habits. That is a very advanced stage in which one fully realizes the Vedic wisdom within his heart. Now that you have sraddha or preliminary faith, I encourage you to take initiation from a bona fide spiritual master so you can clean your heart from the the dust accumulated over millions of lifetimes. To get initiated simply you need to become steady in chanting at least 16 rounds of Hare Krishna mantra japa mala daily along with strictly avoiding illicit sex, meat eating, intoxication, and gambling. In this way you will attain firm faith, the nistha stage, and will then easily progress from there to the perfectional stage, pure Krishna prema. Sankarshan Das Adhikari Transcendental Resources: Receive the Special Blessings of Krishna Now you too can render the greatest service to the suffering humanity and attract the all-auspicious blessings of Lord Sri Krishna upon yourself and your family by assisting our mission. Lectures and Kirtans in Audio and Video: Link to High Definition Videos Link to Over 1,000 Lecture Audios Lecture-Travel Schedule for 2011 Have Questions or Need Further Guidance? Check out the resources at: or write Sankarshan Das Adhikari at: Get your copy today of the world's greatest self-realization guide book, Bhagavad-gita As It Is available at: Know someone who could benefit from this? Forward it to them. Searchable archives of all of course material: Receive Thought for the Day as an RSS feed: Unsubscribe or change your email address Follow us on Twitter: Copyright 2005-2011 by Ultimate Self Realization.Com Distribution of this material is encouraged. Simply we request you to acknowledge where it is coming from with a link to our sign up page: Our records indicate that at requested to be enrolled to receive e-mails from the Ultimate Self Realization Course at: This request was made on: From the following IP address:

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Australian News: ISKCON Mauritius Vs McDonalds

Once again McDonalds desires to open a store next to the ISKCON temple at Jumbo Phoenix in Mauritius.

Several Hindu organisations, have voiced support for the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) who’s temple is near the complex where the McDonald’s franchise intend to do business.

ISKCON Mauritius is working on a major project to build a new temple which would be only 34 metres from the proposed McDonald’s restaurant.

“The restaurant that proposes to start operations immediately next door to ISKCON is considered as a symbol of cow slaughter. It is a prominent visual representation of the exact opposite of what we preach,” an ISKCON spokesman says. “We are only asking that the new restaurant be relocated inside the food court at Jumbo Phoenix.”

McDonalds have previosly desired to open a restaurant at the same location but backed down after protest by ISKCON devotees.

Currently the proposed 250 seat McDonalds is preparing to open in mid-February.

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Kurma dasa, AU: Carob


RP from Ireland asks:

"What ingredient is carob? I read it in a vegetarian cake dish and where do we get it? Can you please suggest me with some vegetarian cakes as well if you don't mind."

I reply:

The Carob tree (from Arabic: kharoub and Hebrew: Charuv), Ceratonia siliqua is an evergreen shrub or tree native to the Mediterranean region, cultivated for its edible seed pods.

Also known as St John's Bread, Carob is not actually a staple, but provides good sustenance during times when other crops are scarce and is a traditional feed for livestock in many areas.

In Egypt, it is used as a snack or treat. It is said to have laxative qualities. Moreover, the crushed pods are used to make a refreshing drink with a distinctive taste. Carob syrup, available in Middle Eastern Grocers, makes a great drink base.

Carob is often eaten fresh, put in cakes, icing, and sometimes cookies. The seeds themselves, also known as locust beans, are used as animal feed. They are also the source of locust bean gum, a thickening agent.

Dried carob fruit is traditionally eaten on the Jewish holiday of Tu Bishvat.

carob powder:

Carob pods were the most important source of sugar before sugarcane and sugar beets became widely available.

The flesh of the carob pods are described by some to be 'chocolatey' in taste, but contain no theobromine or other psychoactive substances. When mixed with saturated fats like butter fat or palm oil, it is used as a hypoallergenic, drug-free substitute to chocolate, usually referred to simply as 'carob'.

You can buy carob powder from Health Food Stores or well-stocked supermarkets.

Here's a recipe for a nice carob cake:

my carob cake:

Carob Fudge Cake

This two-tiered carob cake is light in texture without the use of any eggs. The cake's light texture is due to the sour milk. Filled and iced with Carob Vienna Icing, it is an irresistible dessert.

Preparation time: 15 minutes Baking time: 30 minutes Makes: 1 two-tiered 20 cm (8-inch) carob fudge cake

125g (4 ounces) butter, room temperature 1 cup caster sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla essence 1 cup carob powder ½ cup hot water 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice 1 cup milk 1 2/3 cups plain flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda pinch salt Carob Vienna Icing

Cream the butter, sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Blend the carob powder in the hot water and mix to a smooth paste. Gradually add the carob mixture to the butter and sugar mixture.

Add the lemon juice to the milk to sour it.

Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, and salt and add it to the creamed mixture alternately with sour milk. Mix thoroughly.

Spoon the cake mixture into two buttered 20 cm (8-inch) cake tins and bake in a moderate oven 180°C/355°F for 30 minutes or until the tops spring back when lightly pressed.

Allow the cakes to cool in their tins for 10 minutes. Turn out and allow to cool completely. Fill and ice with Carob Vienna Icing.

Carob Vienna Icing

125 g (4 ounces) butter 2½ cups icing sugar 4 tablespoons carob powder 2 tablespoons hot water

Beat the butter until creamy.

Sift the sugar.

Blend the carob powder with the hot water.

Add the icing sugar to the butter alternately with the carob mixture until it reaches a spreading consistency.

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Australian News: TURN OFF YOUR LIGHTS LIGHT UP YOUR SOUL: ISKCON Sydney hold Earth Hour Kirtan


Devotees and Deities at Sri Sri Radha Gopinatha temple in Mandir, Australia, will join millions of others worldwide in making a statement on climate change and energy consumption.

On Saturday, March 26th, people across the world will act together to switch off their electric lights for an hour. The event is intended to be a symbolic gesture to empower political leaders to act against climate change and to encourage people to seek ways to use energy more appropriately.

At the temple in Sydney, Australia, a special kirtana has been organized with acclaimed kirtan singers Gitanjali Devi Dasi, Madhava and Sri Prahlada. You are all invited to come together with us and chant in glorification of the Supreme.

At the same event last year the soft light given off by candles and lamps spread around the temple produced a very special atmosphere for the devotees and visitors. Outside in the temple forecourt a vegetarian BBQ was served throughout the event, providing spiritual nutrition for those who came along throughout the night. This year again prasadam will be offered to all who attend.

Earth Hour was started in Australia and is now celebrated by people from all over the world. So get your diary out now and make a plan to visit Sri Sri Radha Gopinatha Mandir. See you there.

26 March · 7:30 – 10:30

180 Falcon St
North Sydney

Come to facebook and let us know you are attending

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Doyal Gauranga dasa & Gadadhar Pandit dasa, NYC: Spinach Filos

Spinach Filo Triangles (Spanakopita)

Spinach Filo Triangles feature the salty white Greek sheep's cheese called feta and wafer-thin continental filo pastry (both available at delicatessens and large stores). If you are not partial to the rather strong taste of feta, substitute ricotta cheese or home-made curd cheese (panir) or a combination of both. Include the optional cheddar cheese if you're using a substitute for feta. I have omitted salt from the recipe because feta cheese and spinach are both naturally salty. Add 1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt if you are not using feta. These crisp, savoury, baked pastries are great for party catering.

PREPARATION TIME: 1 - 1 1/2 hours

BAKING TIME: 15 to 20 minutes

YIELD: About 24 triangles

2 large bunches spinach, washed and coarsely chopped 5 tablespoons (100 ml) butter

1 teaspoon (5 ml) ground black pepper

1 teaspoon (5 ml) yellow asafoetida powder

1/4 teaspoon (1 ml) nutmeg

2 tablespoons (40 ml) plain flour

3/4 cup (185 ml) milk

250 g (9 ounces) chopped feta cheese

(or ricotta or curd cheese plus 1 1/2 cups (375 ml) tasty cheddar cheese, grated)

375 g (13 ounces) filo pastry

2 tablespoons (40 ml) bread crumbs (optional)

1 cup (250 ml) melted butter (for brushing on the pastry layers)

1. Place the spinach in a large, heavy saucepan over moderately high heat with 3 tablespoons (60 ml) of butter, salt, and pepper. Bring the spinach to a boil, reduce the heat, and cook uncovered until the spinach is tender and the liquid has evaporated.

2. Melt another 2 tablespoons (40 ml) butter in a separate pan, add asafoetida, and saute for a few moments. Add the nutmeg and flour and saute for about 1 minute. Add the milk and stir carefully until the sauce boils and thickens. Remove from the heat. Combine the spinach, cheese, and sauce. Place the mixture in a bowl and allow to cool. If the mixture is too moist, add the optional bread crumbs.

3. Cut all the pastry sheets into long, 9 cm (4-inch) wide strips. Using a pastry brush, brush 2 strips with melted butter. Layer one buttered strip on top of another.

4. Place 1 heaped tablespoon of filling on the end of each double pastry strip and fold over to form a triangle, covering the filling. Lifting the triangle up and over to form a second triangle, continue folding until you reach the end of the pastry strip. Adhere the last edge of the pastry with butter.

5. Fill all the triangles in this manner, brush the tops with butter, and bake on unbuttered baking sheets in a preheated oven 180°C/355°F for 20 to 30 minutes or until golden brown.

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Doyal Gauranga dasa & Gadadhar Pandit dasa, NYC: Drum Major Instinct

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Doyal Gauranga dasa & Gadadhar Pandit dasa, NYC: Sweet and Sour

Sweet and Sour Subji

6 oz (175 g) tamarind
2 tablespoon ghee
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
2 green chillies, sliced
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon asafoetida
1 1/4 cups (275 ml) whey
2/3 cup (100 g) brown sugar
1 pineapple, trimmed and cubed
3 carrots, sliced
2 teaspoon mango powder
2 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoon ground coriander
10 oz (275 g) pressed paneer, cubed –OR- TVP
3 zucchinis, cubed
4 tomatoes, quartered
3 stalks celery, diced
3 teaspoon salt
3 green plantains, sliced

Heat the ghee in a large saucepan and fry the cumin seeds, then the grated ginger and green chillies. Next toss in the ground pepper and the asafoetida and fry for a few seconds more. Then pour the whey into the masala and simmer for a moment. Add the tamarind juice, brown sugar, pineapple chunks, sliced carrots, mango powder, paprika, and ground coriander. Allow to boil and thicken, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching. Meanwhile, deep-fry the paneer cubes until light brown and set them aside.
Add the zucchini and celery to the masala, cover the pan, and cook until barely tender. Then add the fried paneer cubes, tomatoes, and salt. Stir well. If you are using sliced green plantains, add them at this point. If you are using fried potatoes, add them after the paneer cubes have soaked up some of the sauce and become juicy. Cover the pan, and cook until all the ingredients are tender.

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ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Today's Darsana


Happy Chinese New Year of the Rabbit.
The Deities have stepped into Their auspicious gold and rich pearl attire for the occasion.

Radha Carana Prabhu strikes 2 days in a row with his superb service to Sri Sri Radha Ballabha; the Divine Couple look absolutely exquisite.

Gangesvara Prabhu elegantly dressed Sri Sri Gaura Nitai and Bhaktilatta Mataji embellished Sri Sri Jagannatha, Baladeva and Subhadra Mayi with refined accessories and jewelry.

Here's the
darsana of Their Lordships in all Their splendour and glitter.

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Japa Group: Focus On One Mantra

When I was chanting today. I remember this advice given in most Japa Seminars. The advice is very sound - just hear the present mantra you are chanting....focus on one mantra at a time and be in the present with it - absorb the sound into yourself and feel the Lord's spiritual energy.

By giving respect to the Hare Krsna mantra....respect that comes from pronouncing and hearing with attention....then Krsna accepts that devotion and reciprocates. He reciprocates by giving us drops of spiritual energy and purification by His association through the Holy Names.
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Devadeva Mirel, Alachua, USA: Recipe : Vegan After-School Cake

Ever need to throw together a baked good in a jiffy and don’t want to reach for a recipe or dirty up a lot of kitchen paraphernalia? Super short on time and not too concerned about the results? Well this is an easy recipe to commit to memory. It is virtually fool-proof because you are not that concerned with the results. This cake isn’t going to win you any bake-offs but it definitely will win you the vote for best no-think cake in a jiffy. Maybe the name of that award should have been capitalized…

So instead of calling this recipe “Doesn’t Really Matter Cake,” I’m dubbing it “After-School Cake”–because I quickly mixed it together today in need of an after school snack for my kids. Keeping their mouth full of good enough cake makes the car ride home smoother.


  • 2 c flour
  • 3/4 c sugar
  • 1/4 c oil
  • pinch salt
  • pinch ginger
  • 2 tspn cinnamon
  • 1 Tbspn baking powder
  • 3 ripe medium bananas
  • 1 Tbspn vanilla extract
  • some more sugar (preferably turbinado)


  • 1) preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • 2) mush or put bananas in food processor
  • 3) combine all ingredients
  • 4) dump everything into cake pan (8 or 9 inches or thereabouts)
  • 5) sprinkle turbinado sugar on top before baking
  • 6) reduce oven heat to 350
  • 7) bake for approx. 25-30 minutes until done (use a toothpick!)
  • 8) remove from oven, cool

That’s totally it. I was one banana short so I subbed a third of a block of tofu for the missing ingredient. You could add  a little flax egg or yogurt if you like. If it is a bit thick, add a little water to the batter. Super flexible. Super not-fantastic. But super easy and ready in a jiff!

Tagged: baking, brunch, cake, desserts, food, recipe, vegan, vegetarian
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ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Daily Class - Prahladananda Swami

Srimad Bhagavatam 11.29.40-44 - Krishna doesn't say surrender at the start of the Bhagavad-Gita.

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

Amala Purana das singing a Hare Krishna bhajan.  He was traveling with the Youth Bus Tour.

Dallas, TX

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New Vrndavan, USA: Bhakti-sastri Course Return to New Vrindaban!

From Radha Sundari (dd) RNS (Secretary GBC EC):

After much anticipation and repeated requests from the worldwide assembly of devotees, New Vrindaban’s world-class Bhakti Sastri Course will recommence this summer!

From June 20 to July 23, 2011, immediately following New Vrindaban’s world famous 24 hour kirtan, our team of learned instructors will join together to present an in-depth study of Sri Isopanisad, Nectar of Devotion, and Nectar of Instruction.

This year, our revered instructors will be:

HH Bhakti Charu Swami HG Nanda Devi Dasi (Mayapur Institute) HG Braja Bihari Das (Vrindavan Institute for Higher Education)

New Vrindaban is situated in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains and declared by Srila Prabhupada to be non-different from Sri Vrindavana Dhama. With thousands of acres of beautiful forest, New Vrindaban is an ideal setting to immerse oneself in sastra. And what could be more inspiring than daily darsana of Srila Prabhupada’s favorite deities, Sri Sri Radha-Vrindavan Candra, along with ecstatic kirtans, unrivaled association, and the shelter of Srila Prabhupada’s puspa samadhi, the Palace of Gold? Please join us for this rare opportunity for a wonderfully Krsna conscious experience that will serve as an eternal inspiration.

Accommodation and prasadam will be provided in the beautiful Sri Sri Radha-Vrindavan Candra Temple. Additional accommodation options are also available. For further information, please contact Radha Sundari devi dasi

Email to a friend Bhakti Vikasa Swami: Srila Prabhupada is not crazy; he is right

I have never studied science, but I am challenging them. They may take me as crazy, but I am not crazy. I am right.

>>> Ref. VedaBase => Letter to: Hamsaduta: -- Bombay 12 November, 1974

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H.H. Sivarama Swami

For a person who is suffering in the fire of countless miseries and who desires
to cross the insurmountable ocean of material existence, there is no suitable
boat except that of cultivating devotion to the transcendental taste for the
narrations of the Supreme Personality of Godhead’s pastimes.

- Sukadeva Gosvami

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Devadeva Mirel, Alachua, USA: Sweet Dreams Free Scoops!

Yes, it’s true. Sweet Dreams of Gainesville–the best ice cream in food forsaken Central Florida–is giving away a free scoop to anyone who comments on their Facebook page. The catch? You have to get 6 friends to comment on your thread. No double dipping! Can’t start your own thread once you’ve commented on someone else’s. But it’s ice cream seven ways once you meet your quota. You have three days to get your post up!

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H.H. Prahladananda Swami: Four New ISKCON Sannyasis Bring Total to Eighty-Four in 2011

Taken from from ISKCON News  by Madhava Smullen on 21 Jan 2011

Four dedicated devotees took the vow of sannyasa—renounced, traveling celibate monks—in 2010, bringing the number of ISKCON sannyasis up to eighty-four.

Devamrita Dasa, Makhanlal Dasa, and Siddharta Dasa, all based in India, became Bhakti Rasamrita Swami, Bhakti Madhurya Govinda Swami and Sidharta Swami, while Nitai Chaitanya Goswami, based in Russia, became Nitai Chaitanya Goswami.

They follow Yadunandana Dasa, principal of Bhaktivedanta College in Radhadesh, Belgium, and Bhakti Vinoda Swami from India, who both took sannyasa in 2009.

Sannyasa Minister Prahladananda Swami, who has been a sannyasi for twenty-eight years, says that each of the new sannyasis were especially qualified candidates.

“Bhakti Rasamrita Swami is a detached and learned devotee who has been engaged in serious preaching and service over many years, and Siddharta Swami is a serious devotee who has done pioneering and preaching work in India,” he explains. “Meanwhile, Nitai Caitanya Swami is a compassionate devotee who is traveling extensively in Russia and helping to organize the preaching there, and Bhakti Madhurya Govinda Swami is a very senior Srila Prabhupada disciple who has been dedicated through his devotional life to preaching and is serving currently in India.”

Recently, one of the four new sannyasis, Bhakti Rasamrita Swami, spoke to ISKCON News about the experience of receiving sannyasa initiation and what it’s like to be a sannyasi.

The Mumbai-born former ISKCON Vrindavana temple president was a rare exception to the several year waiting process the GBC Sannyasa Ministry currently imposes, applying for sannyasa in October 2009 and being awarded it in March 2010 due to strong endorsements from many senior devotees around the world.

“I was given sannyasa initiation by my guru Radhanath Swami on March 24th 2010—Lord Rama’s Appearance Day—at the Sri Sri Radha-Gopinatha Mandir in Chowpatty, Mumbai,” he says. “I was blessed to have over a thousand devotees from various places present at the ceremony, including several senior devotees.”

He explains that he first went to take the customary bath at the holy Banganga pond near Chowpatty, where, it is said, Lord Rama once drew the holy waters of the Ganga by shooting an arrow into the earth.

“Then I returned to the temple, where Bhakti Vidya Purna Swami, who later performed the fire sacrifice, prepared me for the ceremony,” says the former Devamrita Dasa. “I went into a room to change into my sannyasa robes, and when I returned, Radhanath Swami whispered the sacred sannyasa mantra into my ear, before announcing, “Your name will now be Bhakti Rasamrita Swami.”

Currently based in Belgaum in Karnataka State, India, where he oversees a temple and a farm project, Bhakti Rasamrita Swami says he took sannyasa to facilitate his preaching, and because he was urged to do so by several senior devotees.

He obviously understands the increased spiritual responsibilities of sannyasa, as well as the expectations of perfection that can come with the post. But he remains humble and no frills. After all, sannyasis are just people too—people who have taken on a lot of responsibility and an increased dedication to the spiritual path—but people nonetheless.

“There is more respect, and there are very high expectations from devotees,” he says of being a sannyasi. “It’s difficult to satisfy the demands of the devotee community. I’m trying to do my best with that. Apart from that, life remains much the same as before.”

Most challenging for Bhakti Rasamrita Swami is trying to fulfill the requests of devotees all over the world to visit and preach in their area, on top of his existing responsibilities. Apart from overseeing his farm project in Belgaum, he spends a lot of his time giving classes and meeting with devotees, helps with the development of communities and brahmachari ashrams, and has initiated a project to help ISKCON temples in India become eco-friendly. He is also working on a two-year course for new brahmacaris (celibate students)—which can be adapted to suit the needs of other devotees. And he’s developing new materials to be used in outreach efforts.

So life is busy. And maintaining good health amidst so much activity and traveling can be difficult.

“But there have been many positive experiences since taking sannyasa too,” he says, “Especially pertaining to increased opportunities for preaching, as well as reciprocation from devotees.”

Considering the high amount of stress and the stellar expectations inflicted on sannyasis, it’s important that sannyasa candidates are extremely qualified and genuinely dedicated to the service of the Lord for this post highly respected in Vaishnava culture. Since in the past, many devotees who have accepted the role of sannyasa have had difficulty maintaining their vows—creating controversy and scandal—ISKCON responded by developing a system that better ensures the maturity and qualification of candidates.

“Our assessment of a sannyasa candidate is an elaborate process that has become more rounded with various evaluations—personal, as well as from peers, subordinates and superiors,” says Sannyasa Minister Prahladananda Swami.

New candidates are sysemtatically assessed by the GBC Ministry for Sannyasa Services every year at the GBC General Meeting in Mayapur, and recommendations are given to the GBC Body.

Every candidate must have a sponsor, usually a senior devotee in their location. The sponsor must hand in an initial report of the candidate’s qualifications according to the GBC Rules of Order, "The Qualifications for Sannyasa."

The candidates must then fill in a thorough application form which includes age, marital status, a devotional career resume, a letter explaining their reasons for wanting to take sannyasa, information about any criminal record, and information about their opinions on certain controversial subjects.

It is held in high importance that sannyasa be taken responsibly. For instance, if a candidate was previously married, they must provide legal separation or divorce papers, explain how their former wife and children are currently maintained, and even include a written statement by their wife that she is in agreement that her former husband is taking sannyasa.

They must also sign an oath of loyalty to ISKCON, and give names of ten senior devotees who will vouch for their qualification to accept sannyasa and five others whom they can trust to act as their mentors.

They must also pass scriptural tests—passing the Bhakti Sastri exam is a minimum qualification for sannyasa application.

After all this, if the candidate is accepted, they don’t take sannyasa immediately, but go on a waiting list according to their age—at forty-five, the wait is three years, at forty, it’s four years, and at thirty-five, five years.

Once they do take sannyasa, their sponsor must send in annual reports on them, as well as making sure that any discrepancies on their conduct, behavior or attitude are rectified. Each year, the new sannyasis themselves must also submit reports on their preaching, devotional practices, and finances.

All this ensures that the sannyasa ashram is protected and thrives within ISKCON. And Prahladananda Swami feels that this is a very important thing.

“Good sannyasis give our society good examples of dedicated and detached service to Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s sankirtan movement,” he says.
And so as we go forward into 2011, we welcome these four new sannyasis, and future qualified renunciants approved by the GBC.
Meanwhile, the sannyasis themselves keep their sights trained on the essence of their new post.

“I just hope that I continue to be a humble instrument of this mission for the pleasure of the Lord, our disciplic succession, and all the Vaishnavas,” says Bhakti Rasamrita Swami.

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H.H. Bhakticharu Swami: ISKCON Ujjain Update 2nd February 2011

Sent by His Grace Mukunda Dasa and Her Grace Arcana Dasi Guru Maharaj arrived on 29th January around 3pm. After paying obeisances to Srila Prabhupada he sat down in the temple room flanked by His Holiness Subhaga Swami Maharaja and His Grace Purnapragya Prabhu. Guru Maharaja mentioned that this would be one of his shortest [...]

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Nityananda Chandra Das, Dallas TX: Texas Faith 29: What religion stories should the media focus on?

Dallas Morning News,Each week we will post a question to a panel of about two dozen clergy, laity and theologians, all of whom are based in Texas or are from Texas. They will chime in with their responses to the question of the week. And you, readers, will be able to respond to their answers through the comment box.I'm pleased to announce the participation of two new panelists: Dr. James

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H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

On the Street and At the Stairs

Toronto Ontario.

I had walked an awesome ten kilometers day walking downtown while simultaneously searching for luggage with prospects to purchase for the coming trip to India. The pieces of luggage I inspected weren't impressive from a durable point of few. When ending up in Chinatown I actually admired modest prices while the quality there was unchanged. My search for baggage wasn't my preoccupation.

I peered at the construction going on in the downtown while trekking. I am astounded by the costs of condos going up. While some have a going rate of 1/2 million it wasn't uncommon to read the signeage from 1 million to 17 million dollars. A Canadian dollar these days is neck to neck with America. So That's astronomical. And this is the way people prefer to live? In a box? In the air?

When I completed my physical work-out I returned to the precincts of my nesty room at the peak of the stairs of the temple ashram. I unlaced my trekking shoes and readied myself for my indoor slip ons. There at my eye level is a penantrating look at a master picture by photographer Haidee Malkin, showing a woman from India, squatted down at her produce of fruit and veggies. I had delibrately hung it there as well as it's mate a photo from rural Gujarat displaying a turbonned farmer employing two oxen yolked to a turning device for irrigation.

The reason I said "deliberate" is that I wanted to always remind myself of what our guru challenged his students to do- to support and implement natural living entailing the securing of land, the production of food and placing value on the animals.

In the long term, I don't see sustainalibility in condo culture, no more than I do in condoms culture. It's all rather unnatural isn't it?

10 KM

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Madhava Ghosh dasa, New Vrndavan, USA: “Our Father” Prayer Remix

(courtesy of Bhakta Ed)

Our Head Coach, who Art in Hall of Fame
Hallowed be Thy game plan
Thy touchdowns come
Thy will be done
On Offense
As it is on Defense
Give us this game our time of possession
And forgive us our fumbles
As we scoop up the fumbles before us
And lead us not into the loser’s locker room
But deliver us from Rogers
For Thine is the Division
The Lamar Hunt and the Lombardi Trophies
NFL without end

Filed under: Jokes, Sports
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Subhavilasa das ACBSP, Toronto, CA: Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (Who is non-different from Krishna Himself) - Part 3

ito ‘ham krita-sannyaso ‘vatarisyami
 “I will descend as a sannyasi, a tall, fair, and saintly brahmana devotee, after four to five thousand years of Kali-yuga have passed. I will appear on earth near the Ganges shore and with all the signs of an exalted person, free from material desires. I will always chant the holy names of the Lord, and, thus, taste the sweetness of My own devotional service. Only other advanced devotees will understand Me.”
~ Atharva-veda

tathaham krita-sannyaso bhu-girbanah avatarisye
the Supreme Being says that He will descend to earth as a brahmana-sannyasi at a place on the shore of the Ganges. Again and again He will chant the names of the Lord in the company of His associates to rescue the people who are devoured by sins in the age of Kali.
~ Sama-veda

“When one realizes the golden form of Lord Gauranga, who is the ultimate actor and the source of the Supreme Brahman, he attains the highest knowledge. He transcends both pious and impious activities, becomes free from worldly bondage, and enters the divine abode of the Lord.”
~ Mundaka Upanishad (3.3)
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H.H. Sivarama Swami: The following is the trailer for the documentary on Isvara Krsna’s “Nature’s IQ” produced by Krsna Lila dd

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H.H. Sivarama Swami: Lajos Hüvelyes asks

How it is that people like Daksa or Dhruva have the Lord’s darsana and still remain in this world or how Bharata Maharja as a deer in Krsna consciousness had to take birth again as a human.

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ISKCON Toronto, Canada: In For a Challenge?

As some may know, one of the tenets of the Hare Krishna philosophy is maintaining a vegetarian diet. A challenge started in Britain by AnimalAid, encourages those who are not vegetarians to try it out on Mondays, referring to it as 'Meat-Free Mondays'. Please check out their video below!

Already a vegetarian? Why not encourage a friend? It's not only great for the environment but beneficial for us spiritually too!
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Japa Group: A Long Term Habit Change

So to have a long term habit change…in other words we want to change our bad habit, once and for all, so that from this day forward we are always chanting with attention and never being distracted (or whatever behavior we want to do) and never slip back into the wrong chanting or the wrong behavior, wrong habit.

From Process Of Improving Habits
by Mahanidhi Swami
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Manoj, Melbourne, AU: 203. Big Day Out – for the 3rd time !

And it was hard. Really hard. And none of us were really aware of how bad it was going to be. What went wrong? Just the weather. It was a nice hot 40 C in Melbourne ! And we reckon that the temperature within the tent reached 45 C atleast. Maybe 48 ! Second, it was Ekadashi and third, we had to provide food to thousands of starving teens, almost non-stop from 9:30am – 9:30pm. The event pulled in 52,000 youngsters and 1400 spectators were treated for heat related illness.

They could have said, "Hari bol !!!!" **

But we gave everything we got. We cooked and served with a smile ! Why do we give all our energy on a tough Sunday like this when most prefer to stay at home? Because Prabhupad said so !

Go and chant Hare Krsna and give them food. They are hungry. Then it will be successful. Chant Hare Krsna, let them come and dance with you, and give them prasadam. They are hungry. It will be success. It is not difficult at all. That was Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s preaching to the mass of people. — Bhagavad-gita 7.3 -Nairobi, October 29, 1975:

We are after God, that’s all, we are servants of God. So preach like this, very simply, and hold sankirtana widely all over the city, and distribute prasadam profusely, especially to the young people and the students, and everything will be increasingly successful more and more.” — letter to Danavir, 2 August 1972

The rich man should distribute prasadam through Krsna consciousness to the poor man, and the poor man should not be envious of the rich man. Then there will be happiness and prosperity. Not that to form the political party and to become envious.” — Lecture on Bhagavad-gita 4.22 – Bombay, April 11, 1974

Just like feeding the poor. It is also yajna. But the same thing, if it is dovetailed in consciousness, that becomes perfect. People are very much inclined to feed the poor with sumptuous food, but it can be done in a little different way, that the foodstuff offered to Visnu, prasada, that distribution foodstuff is better than ordinary distribution of foodstuff. Ordinarily, that is punya, pious activities, but when it is connection with Krsna, this is called yajna. Dravya-yajna. To distribute food and cloth, that is called dravya-yajna, but yajna can be said when it is done, dovetailing the activities with Krsna consciousness. That is yajna.” — Lecture Bhagavad-gita 4.28 – Bombay, April 17, 1974

**Inserted Photo from the online version of the newspaper THE AGE. This image and more images can be seen at this link at

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