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January 20 2011 - Planet ISKCON - 15 new articles

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"Planet ISKCON" - 15 new articles

  1. H.H. Sivarama Swami: Discussion with Kaviraja on Jan 16th (Part 2)
  2. Devadeva Mirel, Alachua, USA: Grapefruit Jelly
  3. Subhavilasa das ACBSP, Toronto, CA: Spirtual Master
  4. Dandavats.com: What’s the best way to celebrate the New Year?
  5. ISKCON Toronto, Canada: Wishing Bhaktimarga Swami the Best as He Undergoes Minor Surgery
  6. H.H. Sivarama Swami: Kirtana in South London Jan 18th
  7. Mayapur Online: Sri Radha-Madhava in Flower Outfits-Pusya abhisheka pictures
  8. H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Monday, January 17th, 2011
  9. H.H. Sivarama Swami
  10. Akrura das, Gita Coaching: EXCELLENT QUESTIONS
  11. Akrura das, Gita Coaching: FUNERAL
  12. Akrura das, Gita Coaching: THE INDIAN TALKING STICK
  13. Yoga of Ecology, Bhakta Chris, USA: The Facts On Factory Farms
  14. Gouranga TV: Janmastami – Dance – Swagatam Krishna
  15. H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: 195
  16. More Recent Articles
  17. Search Planet ISKCON
  18. Prior Mailing Archive

H.H. Sivarama Swami: Discussion with Kaviraja on Jan 16th (Part 2)

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Devadeva Mirel, Alachua, USA: Grapefruit Jelly

Yesterday some friends came over and we made grapefruit jelly. We had good intentions to document our canning session. But, you know. There were so many of us working this jam session that the entire process was downright leisurely and...well, barely noticeable. Nobody felt like they did much of anything, thus producing some hesitation when it came time to divide up the sealed jars and part ways. Big spotlight on The Babu, who not only bought us a new juicer with more horsepower, but who also juiced two big bags of fruit that was given to us by Damodar Krishna. Thanks, boys! Padi and I peeled. Radz stirred. Pishi measured. Bindu grunted. And Mohini...ate chocolate.


I am still adjusting to life with a baby. It's been a long time since I was a baby mama. Here are some pics of our recent life. My daughter loves helping in the kitchen and telling me when Bindu needs milkies. My son has been trying to teach me chess. Bindu is a cute little button. I had my first outdoor diaper change challenge in years and my husband is super wonderful--a bouquet buying, baby wearing, housekeeping pillar of love supporting us all during our Time of Bindu.

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Subhavilasa das ACBSP, Toronto, CA: Spirtual Master

So the next picture from this envelope we found is of Srila Prabhupada in our family home in 1975. I titled this as "Spirtual Master" because of how Srila Prabhupada is observing Uttama Sloka Prabhu (former President of ISKCON Toronto).

Really like the famous Srimad Bhagavatam picture on the wall. (Subhavilasa is sitting on the far right and Indresh is the kid next to him).  As a note, the chadar Srila Prabhupada sat on as well as the pillow covers, table, lamps, carpet and sofa have all been saved.

Note the vase with flowers Srila Prabhupada is holding in his hands. This flower vase will have relevance on tomorrow's post with the next picture.

Spirtual Master

I was born in the darkest ignorance, and my spiritual master opened my eyes with the torch of knowledge. I offer my respectful obeisances unto him.
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Dandavats.com: What’s the best way to celebrate the New Year?

By Parasuram das

1. Chant extra rounds 2. Sit around in the temple room doing bhajans 3. Watch a movie and space out 4. Go wild on Hari Nama I know where I was, and it was grrreaat! nobody knows how to party like the sankirtan party

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ISKCON Toronto, Canada: Wishing Bhaktimarga Swami the Best as He Undergoes Minor Surgery

On Friday, January 21st, Bhaktimarga Swami will be undergoing minor surgery due to a hernia. The surgery has been scheduled for some time now and we certainly hope all devotees will wish Maharaj the best as he undergoes this procedure. The thoughts and prayers of devotees are always welcome! So please chant a few extra rounds for Maharaj's speedy recovery, post-surgery.

Maharaj will be staying at the hospital from the 21st to the 23rd. If anyone would like to follow-up on Maharaj's condition or would like to visit him at the hospital (Maharaj would love to have devotees visit him) during his recovery period, please feel free to email Madhavendra Puri das.
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H.H. Sivarama Swami: Kirtana in South London Jan 18th

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Mayapur Online: Sri Radha-Madhava in Flower Outfits-Pusya abhisheka pictures

Pusya Abhisheka purnima is a much awaited festival in Mayapur. Flower outfit darshan of Sri Radha-Madhava & Astasakhis and spectacular flower abhisheka are the highlights of the festival and happen only once in a year. Around 60 devotees including children lovingly engaged themselves in sewing flowers and making flower ornaments, for the pleasure of Their Lordships. They started off at 1 p.m.

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H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Monday, January 17th, 2011

The Sport of Sankirtan

Toronto, Ontario

The scraping, scratching and slicing sounds of blades on ice bounced off the walls of the outdoor rink. The occasional 'bang' of the puck slamming against the wall was a sure sign of passion at play. It was just another hockey game and until I got around the corner of the utility building I did not see the young men out there and in a way in defiance of the indoor geek culture. Good for them! And for building team spirit!

I climbed up the slippery stairs of ice and snow (it's fun, really) to reach Building 50 on floor 15 for a visit to Hadai Pandit, a Swiss-born devotee of Krishna. He cooked a hernia-surgical-friendly meal for me. And we talked about spiritual progression as well as psychological advancement. By that I mean the value of things such as team work and good sportsmanship within both the spiritual and material context (as a youngerling, I had a passion for baseball and volleyball, always relishing the synchronized work involved). I went on lingering during the trek back to the ashram, pondering the asset of team spirit and the practicality that follows it. The sport which I came to rally love, however, was of another nature. I joined the sankirtan team.

Chaitanya inaugurated sankirtan five hundred years ago. He was a teamster who organized the various roles played out by various people as vocalists, musicians and dancers. Especially for events like Ratha Yatra, the devotional band of Chaitanya stirred the public with the aid of organization, planning and teamwork. It was the sound, with teamwork behind it, that took people to newer heights. According to predictions, the good work (or sport) of sankirtan was to continue for centuries to come.

5 KM

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H.H. Sivarama Swami

Real Krsna consciousness means good-bye to this material world.

- Srila Prabhupada

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Akrura das, Gita Coaching: EXCELLENT QUESTIONS

Are you willing to take responsibility for your mistakes — and for the attitudes and actions that led to them?

Are you willing — however begrudgingly — to forgive yourself, and even laugh at yourself?

Will you look for value in your experiences, especially the most difficult

In summary:

Are you willing to learn from what happened and make changes accordingly?


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Akrura das, Gita Coaching: FUNERAL

Q: What would you like people to say at your funeral?

A: He ruined my illusion. He ruined my sense gratification. I hated him but later I understood - he is my well-wisher.

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Akrura das, Gita Coaching: THE INDIAN TALKING STICK

After I trained Indian chiefs who head up Indian nations in the United States and Canada, the chiefs gave me a beautiful gift — an intricately carved, five-foot-tall Talking Stick with the name Bald Eagle inscribed on it.

The Talking Stick has played an integral part in Native American government for centuries. In fact, some of the Founding Fathers of the American Republic (particularly Benjamin Franklin) were educated in the ideas behind the Talking Stick by Indian chiefs of the Iroquois Federation. It is one of the most powerful communication tools I've ever seen, because, while it is tangible and physical, it embodies a concept that is powerfully synergistic.

This Talking Stick represents how people with differences can come to understand one another through mutual respect, which then enables them to solve their differences and problems synergistically, or at the very least through compromise.

Here's the theory behind it. Whenever people meet together, the Talking Stick is present. Only the person holding the Talking Stick is permitted to speak. As long as you have the Talking Stick, you alone may speak, until you are satisfied that you are understood. Others are not permitted to make their own points, argue, agree or disagree.

All they may do is attempt to understand you and then articulate that understanding. They may need to restate your point to make sure you feel understood, or you may just simply feel that they understand.

As soon as you feel understood, it is your obligation to pass the Talking Stick to the next person and then to work to make him feel understood. As he makes his points, you have to listen, restate and empathize until he feels truly understood. This way, all of the parties involved take responsibility for one hundred percent of the communication, both speaking and listening.

Once each of the parties feels understood, an amazing thing usually happens. Negative energy dissipates, contention evaporates, mutual respect grows, and people become creative. New ideas emerge. Third alternatives appear.

Remember, to understand does not mean to agree with. It just means to be able to see with the other person's eyes, heart, mind and spirit. One of the deepest needs of the human soul is to be understood. Once that need is met, the personal focus can shift to interdependent problem solving.

But if that very intense need for understanding is not met, ego battles take place. Turf issues arise. Defensive and protective communication is the order of the day. Sometimes contention, even violence, can erupt.

The human need to feel understood is like the lungs' need for air. If all the air were suddenly sucked out of the room you are in, how motivated would you be to get air? Would you be interested in having a discussion or working out some difference between you and everyone else? Of course not. You'd want just one thing. You'd be open to other things only after you got air. Feeling understood is the equivalent of psychological air.

From "THE 8TH HABIT" book by Stephen Covey

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Yoga of Ecology, Bhakta Chris, USA: The Facts On Factory Farms

Click here to check out a state-by-state fact check on the effects of factory farming from Factory Farm Map.

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Gouranga TV: Janmastami – Dance – Swagatam Krishna

Janmastami – Dance – Swagatam Krishna

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H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: 195

www.sdgonline.org. SDGonline Daily updates

It snowed in the early hours of the morning and built up to about three inches and then stopped. Still, there is a considerable accumulation out there. The municipal trucks have not come and scraped the roads yet. School is closed. I woke up thinking that it was the day before my colonoscopy and that I couldn’t eat today, but Baladeva came and told me it was only Tuesday, not Wednesday. I’m still anxious whether it will snow more today or tomorrow and cancel my appointment after I’ve fasted. I’ve been lying in bed and dreaming and not able to dictate the journal.

I like to tell the John Steinbeck war stories, but I have to connect them with the Krishna Book. He had a nice chapter in which he was telling about soldiers carrying lucky amulets. They do it to protect themselves from getting wounded or killed. The Catholics, or even non-Catholics, carry St. Christopher medals. And rabbit’s feet are very popular. Snipers carry American Indian pennies, and they hold them on the outside of their rifle. They say it gives them better aim. In the Krishna Book we’re reading of one of the biggest wars of all. It’s the battle between Lord Krishna and Lord Siva. The demon’s daughter Usa fell in love with Aniruddha, the son of Pradyumna and grandson of Krishna. He was whisked to her chambers by the mystic gopi Citralekha, and Aniruddha made Usa pregnant. When the demon found out, he went to his worshipable deity, Lord Siva, and asked for war against Krishna. Siva and Krishna personally fought hand to hand. They would use counterweapons. Siva would use a water weapon and Krishna would counter it with a fire weapon. In this way they would use all counterweapons, but Krishna always came out triumphant. Finally Krishna used the yawning weapon, which made Siva fall asleep and lose his desire to fight. Then Krishna didn’t have to pay attention to Siva and could pay attention to the demon Bhaumasura. Bhaumasura had a thousand arms, and he was always looking for someone who would be worthy of his combat. He found his worthy combatant in Krishna, who cut off all his arms. Even Krishna’s commander-in-chief, Kartikeya, was wounded in the battle. It was such a big war that demigods like Lord Brahma hovered above to watch the debacle. Krishna defeated the demons, and Usa and Aniruddha ran off together to be married. There is no mention of lucky amulets, but they all took shelter of Krishna’s lotus feet and that was their good luck.

I am not chanting so nicely but chanting with a rushed attitude and silently. If I want an amulet, I should pray with inner mood and ask Krishna that there not be a snowstorm and that I can go to my medical appointment without a hitch and with benign results. Of course, a devotee should not even pray for good results but just take whatever Krishna sends him. But I am a devotee with attachments, and so I dovetail my attachments with prayers to Krishna. May He protect me. As Prabhupada wrote on a piece of paper to me, “May Krishna protect you from dilemmas.”

Perhaps I should carry a lucky rabbit’s foot in the form of a little Nsrimha statue, Jagannatha statue or something I can keep in my pocket. Some devotees keep kavacas around their neck, and some keep little lockets which contain sand from Vrndavana, and these are their good luck charms. Jayadvaita Maharaja wears a string around his wrist which he was given several years ago at a Jagannatha Ratha-yatra in London. He asked a devotee who is expert in these things how long he should wear the string. Dr. Kenneth Valpey told him to wear it as long as he wanted, and he’s been wearing it for several years just because he feels like it. Religious and magic houses sold many amulets during World War II, but the soldiers preferred their homemade magic pieces to the store-bought ones. In the stores they used to sell steel New Testaments, which were meant to be worn over the heart to give you religious protection and protection from a bullet. But the soldiers preferred to keep their cigarettes in their breast pocket, and if they carried a New Testament, they carried it in their pocket. One soldier carved an insert in his revolver where he kept a picture of his children. I know a devotee who carries a locket with a picture of Radha and Krishna in it, and another who carries a picture of his wife and children. The soldiers say they should not call upon the magic of these amulets too often because they can become exhausted. They keep them just for special occasions of extreme emergency. One man kept a small wooden duck but prayed to it only on certain occasions. During big bombings he would say to the duck, “If this bomb gets me, it gets you too.” When the teenage hoodlums used to rattle our front door and bang on our wooden shutters in the first storefront in Boston, I used to keep a little stone statue of Hanuman and sing to it, “Sri Rama, Jaya Rama,  Jaya Jaya Rama, Sri Rama, Jaya Rama, Jaya Jaya Rama.” When Srila Prabhupada was a little baby, his mother used to put the spit from her mouth on his forehead, and there is a rumor that she used to let blood from her breast for the same purpose.

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