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Krishna-kripa das, Mayapura: Travel Journal#6.17a: Janmastami/Vyasa Puja in London

Diary of a Traveling Sadhaka, Vol. 6, No. 17a
By Krishna-kripa das
(September 2010, part one, section one)
(Sent from Tucson, Arizona, on October 30, 2010)


Where I Was and What I Did

My traveling partner, Dhruva Prabhu, a 59-year-old devotee from an Indian background, wanted to go to Janmastami at Bhaktivedanta Manor. Festivals with 70,000 devotees do not really appeal to me, and I would never have chosen to go to such an event on my own, but as we were traveling together, I came anyway. Janmastami turned out to be especially interesting for me because the Soho Street devotees do harinama on crowded Oxford Street, and at the Bhaktivedanta Manor, Parasurama and Govinda Prabhus do harinama through the crowd of tens of thousands who visit there, both on the Janmastami day itself and the following Sunday. I attended the Soho harinamas, but I got there late for the Manor harinamas. Still I was able to sing and dance in the Manor kirtana tent from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. on Sunday and help Parasurama Prabhu distribute halava prasadam to the people in the audience. The Vyasa Puja events are scheduled so you can hear the offerings at the Manor, and then go to Soho Street for the feast and the afternoon Vyasa Puja Day harinama, and then hear the offerings at Soho Street in the evening. The offerings are an opportunity to understand the vision of gratitude that motivates the individual devotees to serve Srila Prabhupada throughout the year, and can inspire us to increase our own devotional motivation. The net result of the London Janmastami/Vyasa Puja schedule at the Manor and Soho Street was I went on more harinamas and heard more offerings that at any Janmastami/Vyasa Puja festival I ever attended, so it was a pleasant surprise!

Before my flight to Ukraine the following Wednesday, I stayed at the Soho Street temple and gave classes and went on harinamas, relishing the opportunities afforded by crowded Oxford Street and the enthusiastic devotees at the Soho Street temple.

Vyasa Puja Offerings

[This is not a complete summary of all the offerings or even those mentioned. I just noted points that were unique or which resonated with me from a variety of the offerings I heard, both at the Manor and Soho Street.]

Vyasa Puja Homages at Bhaktivedanta Manor

Srila Prabhupada [quotes from a beautiful multimedia presentation by Rupa Vilasa Prabhu]:

“So when I was seventy years old I decided, ‘Now I must do and execute the order of my Guru Maharaja.’ I was not hopeful. I thought when I would say, ‘So my dear sir, you have to give up meat-eating and illicit sex and intoxication and gambling.’ They would say, ‘Please go home.’ That was my experience of my godbrother, who when he told one Englishman that he would have to follow these four principles to become a brahmana, received the reply, “Impossible.”

The argument that ‘we did not have a previous life because we cannot remember it’ is not strong, as we do not remember so many experiences in our childhood.

Death means when this body is useless, you do not come to this body, but to another body. A sober man thinks if I am eternal, then why should I take on a temporary body.

Our proposition is that, “If you do not know who is God, and if we present how Krishna is God, then why do you not accept Him?” If all the acaryas (great teachers) have accepted Krishna is God. I am not presenting something whimsically.

If you are not prepared to give up [your own ideas], you cannot accept God.

You pay the treasury, and it is distributed to each department. You can give to each department, but it will not be effective. It will be incomplete. Similarly if you love Krishna, then you will love everyone. You will love even the ant.

They [the scientists] cannot create even an ant, and they are trying create super beings. Just see the foolishness!

They say, “No one has seen God.” But how can they say that? Have they talked to every person? It means they have not seen God, and they have not seen a person who has seen God.

One Berkeley reporter remarked, “After hearing these Hare Krishnas chanting for a few minutes, I chanted it all the way home.”

Just as the majority of persons live outside the prison house, similarly the majority of persons live in the spiritual world, not the material world.

Just as the government knows a certain percentage will be criminal so they create the prison house. Similarly the Lord creates the material world for the rebellious souls.

Rancora Prabhu:

The 40th anniversary of Radha-Londonisvara was significant. It shows how we have matured over the course of the years.

Jyestha dd:

Thank you teaching us how to live and how to die.

Kripamoya Prabhu:

It inspires me to see new devotees taking your instructions seriously in the lives.

It is you who have given me whatever qualifications I have.

Bless me I can continue to take your message to the many towns still left in England.

Sruti Dharma Prabhu:

The older I get, the more I realize whatever you said is true.

Guru Carana Padma dd:

When I read your Bhagavad-gita, I experienced clarity I never experienced before. Other teachings I had heard all fell into place.

Please protect me from feeling false pride considering I am your disciple. Let me feel rather great fortune that I have some connection with you.

Jagannathesvari dd:

At the end of your life, you still were concerned simply for your disciples. Your selfless love for your disciples is your greatest quality. You have never abandoned us and never will abandon us.

Smara Hari Prabhu:

This is the most wonderful day on the Vaisnava calendar. If it were not for Srila Prabhupada, none of us would be here.

Once there was a very successful collection program going on, but some of the devotees were burning out. Srila Prabhupada canceled the program saying, “I do not want to lose a single devotee.” Srila Prabhupada considered each individual person to be valuable.

Rupa Vilasa Prabhu:

My father said, “(1) Don’t bow down to anyone, and (2) I do not know if there is God and nobody knows if there is God.”

Srila Prabhupada defeated the first by saying that we had to bow down to birth, death, disease, and old age.

Later I told my father Prabhupada’s argument, “Just because you do not know if there is God, does not mean no one knows if there is God.” He said, “I never thought of that.”

Someone asked you what it was like to be a self-realized soul, and you answered in two words, “No fear.” We actually all experienced complete fearless just hearing these words from Srila Prabhupada.

“We were totally exposed by your laser look of love.”

I am floundering, but I will never forget you and I will never stop trying to serve you.

Asta-sakhi dd:

As Kishor had encouraged us, we would bow down to the people in Glasgow and beg them to take a Bhagavad-gita. I thought it was crazy, and the only way we could do it was think of your great humility in coming to the west on a cargo ship to enlighten us. We became the biggest book distribution party in the world.

In dream you appeared and told me to learn the siddhantic truth in the talks between Ramananda Raya and Lord Caitanya.

I pray that you will continue to instruct me and that I will be willing to share what you have given.

Urmila dd:

Srila Prabhupada told his lady disciples to offer dandavats, but I never do it because I am too much affected by prevailing social customs.

Bhaktisiddhanta Saravati Thakura was asked how many disciples he had, and he said, “Four. My arms and legs.” One godbrother said, “Four or five, maybe eight.”

I do not know how good a disciple I am. I pray to Srila Prabhupada that he might accept what I am able to offer.

There is a story of a master who gave coins to his disciples. The ones he gave the coins to, who by investment doubled them, he was most pleased with, but the one who buried his for safekeeping, he was the least satisfied with, and told him to give back what he had given him.


Sang Srila Prabhupada’s offering of a poem to Bhaktisiddhanta Saravati Thakura, saying that we used to sing this.

Moksa-laksmi dd:

Thank you for all you have given.

Thank you for sacrificing your ideal situation in Vrndavana to struggle on a boat to come to the West.

Thank you for showing by your life there may be struggles but we must continue with enthusiasm.

Thank you for your expert dealings, for letting me go on preaching programs with you to see you in action.

Thank you for introducing us to the dhama. I saw my initiation video, and I could see you handing me my beads.

Thank you for a life full of adventures, padayatra, Ratha-yatras, and festivals.

Without you, our life would be mere shell of a life.

Ksirodakasayi Prabhu:

I relish listening to my godbrothers and godsisters each year I come here.

Mahaksa Prabhu:

There are minor rules and regulations that can occasionally be broken, like showing the Deities to an important man who was briefly in Vrndavana, although the Deities were asleep.

One life member snuck into a darsana and invited Srila Prabhupada to his village and he immediately agreed, asking when we were going.

He could understand time, place, and circumstances, and make decisions on the spot.

One time although Srila Prabhupada had been lying in bed for days, when I was telling him about a life member who had left his body recently, he sat up to hear attentively.

Srila Prabhupada said you should bring the gurukula children to the forest for picnics.

With a leader like Srila Prabhupada, you can take over the world in eighteen days. I have no doubt it will happen when Krishna desires.

Ranchor Prabhu:

Krishna has made arrangements for me to take shelter of the association of devotees more, and I am grateful for that.

Krishna-vesa dd:

I was bobbing in a semiconscious state. I am now in a dance with my wonderful Vaishnava friends by your mercy.

You have taught me that I am an observer of my body, mind, and intelligence. Some disturbing things arise, so I am not disturbed, because of your protection. I hope to expand my dealings with each of the devotees before they leave this section of the dance floor.

Bhakta Vinaya, our lawyer, and the communication team:

You are there, reminding us to tend our creepers of devotion.

On behalf Sangiv Agarwal, patrons council:

Thank you for creating this wonderful house in which we can live in.

The commentary by Visvanatha Cakravati Thakura on Bhagavad-gita 2.41 fixed you in devotion to your guru’s mission and can fix us in our determination to execute your instructions.

Once you said, “If you just hold on to my lotus feet. I will take you back to Godhead. I have a key to the back door.”

The Krishna Avanti school received the award for the most “green” in the country.

Krishna Dharma Prabhu:

The pen cannot describe your glories but time will. Your qualities defeat our words.

Visvambara Prabhu [sankirtana leader]:

I am a lame, dumb, and blind man. We cannot repay the guru because he has given us everything. What can we give to him?

When we wake up and realize how fallen we are, then our spiritual life starts.

I hated book distribution in the beginning. Now after so many years, that same activity, which is his heart, is now entrusted to me.

We became devotees because of these books.

It was so inspiring to see the Janmastami guests taking books, Prabhupada’s heart, in their hands.

Vyasa Puja Homages at Soho Street

Sundara Nitai Prabhu (author of the Soho St. offering):

Preaching is the essence, cooperate and tolerate. By following you our destiny is assured. Only you could understand Lord Gaurasundara’s plan. You delivered those devoid of trust and full of lust making them bright faced. From Oxford St. you said we can reach the world. When McDonald’s becomes Govinda’s . . . When we have a goshala in Hyde Park . . .

Ranchor Prabhu:

Until three years ago, we all went to the Manor for this day. Except once fifteen years we did have Vyasa Puja offering in Soho. I was struck by the emotions expressed by those who had never met Srila Prabhupada. When Srila Prabhupada was present we had Vyasa Puja and made offerings. It was an opportunity to demonstrate how well you knew the philosophy. After Srila Prabhupada left, the offerings became so emotional. The first few years, it was so emotional people would have to be helped away afterward. Srila Prabhupada said that the disciple should speak his realizations on Vyasa Puja day and that is why the early devotees’ offerings were very philosophical. Srila Prabhupada got us to love him and that was basis of this movement. It is still based on love and that is something that cannot be taught in classes.

Seeing all the devoted followers of Srila Prabhupada, those initiated by him, those initiated by his disciples, those not even initiated, I see the distinction begins to blur. The commitment to Srila Prabhupada appears present in all, I feel honored to be in your association.

There are times I felt distance from you but not now as I write this offering, I do not feel that.

Thank you for giving my life shape and purpose.

Bhakti Brhat Bhagavat Swami:

You said that we can develop gopi-bhava through preaching.

Thank you for manifesting ISKCON as not different from yourself.

Prabhupada das Prabhu:

I used to see the devotees chant on Oxford St. I was a barrister, and based on what I heard from others, I thought they were all drug addicts, and so I did not want to have anything to do with them. Ranchor was a friend of mine and invited me to the temple. It was the day Radha-Londonisvara were installed. I gradually came to realize there was some good in the devotees. I put my name, address, and profession on their list as they invited the guests to do. In 1973, two devotees told me Srila Prabhupada said, “There is one Indian barrister, and I would like to speak to him.” The devotees were kicked out of Bury Place, and Prabhupada asked me to help. He said he heard the lawyers were expensive, and he wanted me to do the work for free. My father and grandfather told me to never charge the devotees of the Lord, and so I could understand. Through association, I realized Srila Prabhupada was not the guru of drug addicts but the guru of those who were to help benefit human society and the Indian community. I know I would not have become a devotee of Lord Krishna, despite my initiation and background in the Ramanuja sampradaya, were it not for Srila Prabhupada and his devotees.

Krishna-kripa das:

Dear Srila Prabhupada,

namo om vishnu-padaya krishna-presthaya bhu-tale
srimate bhaktivedanta swamin iti namine
namaste sarasvati deve gaura-vani pracine
nivesesa-sunyavadi pascatya-desa tarine

Thank you for making it clear through your writings and your lectures that human life is simply meant for self-realization. We have no other business.

Thank you for creating a worldwide spiritual movement so we can associate with those who are serious about self-realization wherever we may be.

Thank you for describing the soul so authoritatively that we can appreciate its reality.

Thank you for exposing the illusion of material happiness.

Thank you for revealing the forms, instructions, and pastimes of the Supreme Lord to humanity in general.

Thank you for revealing the variety of relationships we eternally have with Krishna, so we can become inspired to aspire for one.

Thank you for giving us this confidential knowledge that there is no difference between the Supreme Lord and His holy name, so we can always be with Him by chanting.

Thank you for revealing the Hare Krishna mantra as the recommended configuration of holy names to chant in this age.

Please bless me that I might become an ideal representative of your ISKCON movement and that I might attain Krishna at the end of life.

The servant of your servants,
Krishna-kripa das

Rajni dd wife of Prabhupada das:

Thank you for giving us beautiful temples and devotees to help us become Krishna conscious.

Candravali dd [servant of Radha-Londonisvara for 25 years]:

I want to thank Srila Prabhupada for bringing Krishna consciousness to the west, and creating this temple in which we are performing service.


I became a life member in 1972. My wife said she thought I should do it, so I did. I got some land in Mauritius on a couple occasions and built a couple of temples and donated them ISKCON. My wife liked the Soho temple. She discouraged me from associating with drunkards, etc, and instead come to the temple, so I did.

Satyanarayana Prabhu:

Srila Prabhupada gave me my second birth. Srila Prabhupada can inspire us to work tirelessly for him, even though we never met him personally.

Murali Manohara Prabhu:

[He lived in Soho St. for 22 years. This is famous as a pressure cooker. Someone said the devotees were like coal. Srila Prabhupada said, “Yes, but I am applying pressure, and by pressure coal can become a diamond.” Murali Manohara is such a diamond.—Jai Nitai Prabhu]

Krishna handpicked you to appear in this world of darkness. Who could appreciate your appearance in the West, but some sages and demigods? By your example and your words, the movement of Lord Caitanya has become established. Reading your books, purified my heart. Through your appearance, hundreds of thousands have been given the gold of devotional service to Krishna.

Bhaktin Priya [South London]:

To say you have given me shelter is an understatement. I always feel at home at the ISKCON temples all around the world. I hope I can always serve your devotees and that you may one day become proud of me.

Gaura Kisora Prabhu:

Until I was much older I did not appreciate what Srila Prabhupada had given us. I did not notice until I went to a temple in another country. When I saw the Mayapur complex, I appreciated the genius of Srila Prabhupada even more.

Rama Sakti [Dedicated pujari]

Thank you for giving this highest transcendental knowledge by which we can transcend all material problems and attain the spiritual world and service of Radha Krishna. You are the embodiment for compassion. Thank you for the association of the devotees, the most intelligent people in the world. Thank you for these wonderful temples. Thank you for engaging us in the highest service, that of the Supreme Lord.

Ranchor [accountant]:

Srila Prabhupada gave a way that literally anyone can come to the level he himself was on.

Mother Bhava Bhakti:

I am grateful for the service without which I would be bored and for his giving me my guru. Sometimes we think the buck stops with our guru, but we forget Srila Prabhupada.

Insights from Lectures

Srila Prabhupada [lecture on Kapila’s verse on sound] :

Omkara and Hare Krishna are vibrations from the spiritual sky and so they are immediately effective. Narottama Dasa Thakura describes “goloka prema dhana harinama sankirtana [the congregational chanting of the holy name comes from the spiritual world].” A material sound you will get disgusted three or four times, but a spiritual sound you can chant 24 hours and not be disgusted. The Vedic injunction is to transfer ourselves from the temporary to eternal worlds. That is the only business in our human form of life.

Both Krishna are ourselves are sac-cid-ananda vigraha. The difference is that Krishna is the supreme controller.

By spiritual sound you can be immediately in touch with the spiritual world and gradually you can become directly in contact with the Supreme Lord.

The water substance is different from the word water so it cannot quench your thirst. In the spiritual world, the name and the named are the same. The name is pure, so by chanting and chanting, even though offensive in the beginning, we become pure.

So ’ham” means we are spirit, like Krishna, but not that we are Krishna.

If we are not self-realized, we are not better than the cats and dogs. If you want to become happy, you must get this knowledge that you are not the body.

The Hare Krishna mantra should be chanted without attraction for sense gratification. That is perfection.

Some cinema song the artists get fifteen thousand rupees for—just see the attraction we have for these material sounds. So we have attraction to sound. Let our attraction be transferred from material sound to spiritual sound. The Hare Krishna movement is teaching people to do this.

Don’t become disturbed by the happiness or distress of this world. Chant Hare Krishna and be happy. That is propaganda of this Hare Krishna movement.

Bhakti Brhat Bhagavata Swami:

Brahmacari class:

When I was temple president in Vrindavana, many of the brahmacaris protested when I tried to engage them in cleaning the temple. “That is the work of the banji class. We are frombrahmana families.” I lead a group of them in the cleaning work, and then they saw I was serious.

Q: How do you remain brahmacari?
A: It is easy to get blessings from brahmacaris and sannyasis to be brahmacari, but if you offend even one chaste women, you will not be successful. The whole Kuru army was defeated because they offended one chaste woman.

Every woman and every child can be satisfied by care, affection, and protection.

We can see all women as chaste if we consider what appears to be unchaste behavior as caused by exploitation of unscrupulous men.

It may appear to be difficult to see all women as mother, but if we see ourselves as son it is easier. Even if the women do not possess the attitude of a mother, we can still try to see ourselves as sons, for that is possible, easier, and that will help us.

When I was a kid in apartheid South Africa, the Indian teachers would alternate the Indian boys and the Indian girls to maintain discipline because the culture was that the boys and girls would not talk to each other. I sat next to a girl who I did not talk with for three years. This is not Krishna conscious but Indian culture.

Our goal is not be brahmacari but to be in an asrama that helps us make spiritual advancement.

Agitation when associating with the opposite sex is normal, but to aggravate it is not normal. This is clear from Bhagavad-gita 5.23.

The Indians try to imitate the Western world, but all they can do is imitate because it is so foreign to their nature.

Everyone who claims to be in complete control of his mind and senses is a bluffer and cheater of the first order. As devotees, Krishna controls our senses.

I did thousands of high school and university programs when I was in my late twenties. I got no less than seventy proposals from high school girls. I took full advantage of it and would visit their homes and put full sets of Bhagavatams in them. Sometimes I would do university programs and meet the same girls again. Five even became devotees, but by then they understood I was not interested in marrying them, and they ultimately married other brahmacaris. In these situations, we have to consider what is the purpose of our preaching. If we are fixed in our purpose, we will not be disturbed.

One wealthy life member once said, “If you just agree to propose to my daughter, I will put two million dollars in your bank account.” I said, “Do you think I am so cheap?” He thought I wanted more money.

Q (by me): I appreciate Radha-Londonisvara dasa’s point about becoming agitated by his solo college preaching. Once I did college preaching in one location for four months, and I felt I was becoming too friendly with the ladies involved in the program and those attending the program, so I said I would stay one month the next year.
A: It is our responsibility to do what is required to maintain our asrama.

Q: In ISKCON sometimes brahmacaris in leadership roles have difficulties when they have to manage women. When we explain our situation to brahmacaris in India, they say, “You should not have to deal with women as a brahmacari. But that appears not to be a practical solution.
A: You are right. You cannot have the brahmacaris never talk to the women in every circumstance. It is not practical.

Sometimes a sannyasi becomes weak and falls down and some grhastha may criticize, “Oh, he associated too much with money. Oh, he associated too much with women.” Thus we blame the sannyasi, but it could be said that because the brahmacaris, grhasthas, and vanaprastha were not doing their duties nicely, the sannyasi became weak.

If we have difficulty with a service in an asrama, we may change our asrama to maintain our service, or we may change our service to maintain our asrama, but some service must be maintained for service is more important than asrama.

Janmastami lecture:

Srila Prabhupada once said we celebrate Janmastami to attract the nondevotees. For the devotees, Krishna is appearing at every moment. When we are chanting Hare Krishna, Krishna is always present as His holy name, whether we are neophyte, middle, or advanced devotees, so for us there is no question of Krishna appearing.

If you tell Yasoda that Krishna takes birth from her, she will be quite opposed to the idea, as she sees herself as eternal Krishna’s mother.

Is Mother Yasoda both in Bhauma Vrndavana and Goloka Vrindavana?

From our perspective Yasoda gives birth, but from hers she does not.

In the Vedic culture, when a mother with a male child rests, she lies on her left side with the boy on her arm, and she caresses the boy with her right hand.

Vasudeva carried baby Vasudeva not baby Syamasundara in Vrindavana. Syamasundara from his unmanifested state enters into Vasudeva Krishna when he reaches Vrindavana.

When Kamsa picks up Subhadra, to dash her to the floor to kill her, she manifests as Durga, and as Subhadra she takes shelter of the Vindhya Hills. Until Kamsa was killed, Subhadra could not manifest, and so there is no history of Subhadra from her appearance until she was a young women in Dvaraka.

So Gaudiya Vaishnavas consider that Krishna appears in Mahavana in Vrndavana while others may consider He appeared in Mathura.

Devaki is Yasoda, but Yasoda is not Devaki. Yasoda is not Devaki for Syamasundara. Vasudeva is Nanda Maharaja. Nanda Maharaja can become Vasudeva, but Vasudeva cannot become Nanda Maharaja.

Krishna takes birth in aisvarya-bhava. As madhurya-bhava He is always sweet, he doesn’t have to become sweet. Yasoda who is in madhurya-bhava, expands as Devaki as aisvarya-bhava.Similarly Vasudeva who is in madhurya-bhava, expands as Vasudeva as aisvarya-bhava.

Srila Prabhupada once said about understanding the Lord’s appearance and activities, “If you understand that you do not fully understand, then you understand.” This is because the Lord and His devotional service are acintya, inconceivable. If you get a drop of this understanding of the inconceivability of Krishna, then you will understand that you cannot fully understand.

So many people come to Vraja in the month of Sravana, which includes Balarama Purnima and Janmastami. They do not come specifically to become Krishna consciousness, but they become Krishna conscious by coming there.

There is no question of age for Krishna in Goloka Vrndavana [the spiritual world]. There is no observance of Janmastami there.

Srila Prabhupada explained to his disciple Bhavananda, “Bhavananda means the bliss of the material world. What bliss is there in the material world that is not there in the spiritual world? The bliss of preaching. Therefore, you should preach.”

Q: When Krishna and His devotees come to this world, are they still in the spiritual world?
A: Just as Srila Prabhupada can be in different places as once, like in your temple, in Vrndavana, and in Mayapur, similarly Mother Yasoda can also be in more than one place at a time.

We always have to ask ourselves whether we have come to Krishna consciousness to enjoy or to serve. If we have come to enjoy then we cannot deepen our relationships in a spiritual way. If we come to enjoy we will not be satisfied but if we come to serve, you will enjoy. But we do not come to enjoy.

The more people between Krishna and ourselves the more devotion we have because we imbibe the devotion from all the people in the line before us.

Q: What is the best way I should meditate today?
A: Well, to answer that in a specific way can be a little impersonal in the sense that my meditation may be different from yours and yours may be different from someone else’s.

We should never break friendships with people. They may break them with us, but we do not have to break them.

Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but the Supreme Personality of Godhead is not Krishna. Therefore, Krishna is original.

Q: How do you know if you are ready for initiation?
A: If you are following nicely but you do not think you are ready for initiation, then you are ready for initiation. Actually it is not a question of initiation. Chant, follow the rules, serve the devotees, and do something to share Krishna consciousness. Initiation will come by higher arrangement.

Class on Bhagavad-gita 2.49:

We have basic need for food, clothing, and shelter. When we take more than our basic needs, then some people are deprived of these basic necessities.

Persons who give in charity are not actually detached if you analyze it. They have more than they need, and then they give in charity to those who have less than they need, but the reason those people receiving charity have less than they need is because those who give charity had taken more than they need in the first place.

In Krishna consciousness you do not have to give up anything because nothing was yours in the first place.

The devotee utilizes that which Krishna has temporarily given him custody of in Krishna’s service before the time of death when he would lose custody of it anyway.

People without knowledge of devotional service either engage in unrestricted sense enjoyment or artificial excessive renunciation.

Krishna consciousness is active renunciation and is the perfect balance.

Krishna declares in Bhagavad-gita 10.8 that both the spiritual and material emanate from him, and therefore both can be connected to Krishna through service.

Q: Bg. 6.3 says we have to give up the desires not the desired objects.
A: We can do what we like for Krishna or do what is Krishna’s desire for us. If we do what we like for Krishna, we are engaging our nature in Krishna’s service. Ultimately we will become purified and understand what is actually Krishna’s desire for us.

If your desire is identical with Krishna’s desire, then you are full empowered by the Panca-tattva.

Q: What is the danger of acting not according to your nature?
A: (1) You will be frustrated.
(2) You will not naturally be detached from your own nature by engaging it. The natural process will not be followed.

Spiritually you have to allow yourself to be monitored and very few can do that.

One devotee was initiated by Srila Prabhupada one day and left the next day. One leader inquired from Srila Prabhupada how that was. Srila Prabhupada replied, “I may have initiated him, but he was never my disciple.”

Mother Urmila:

People tend to form alliances based on superficial similarities and consider those who are somehow different to be “enemies.” These friends and enemies are based who fulfills our desires.

Whatever we have difficulty with in spiritual life, Krishna will create situations to help us get passed it. A materialistic person will be frustrated by such situations but an advancing devotee will see them as sent by Krishna for his spiritual development.

We imagine “our people” will take care of us, but in reality no enemy can hurt us without the sanction of Krishna, and no friend can help us without the sanction of Krishna. Thus there are no friends or enemies. No one can hurt me, unless Krishna thinks I need to be hurt for some reason.

We all have the same father and the same mother. We are all in the same family.

If we love someone, then we will love those who are dear to that person. Because everyone is dear to Krishna, one who loves Krishna loves everyone.

Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura explains in Madhurya Kadambini that Krishna is neutral, but the devotees go out and give people opportunities to get spiritual credits by harinama andprasadam. Therefore, the bhakti of the devotee creates bhakti in the heart of the people in general.

If two of our friends have a disagreement, we feel like helping them to work it out. Similarly the devotees help the people in general by helping them improve their relationship with Krishna.

Being equal to everybody does not mean to treat everyone the same.

There has to be death because we cannot fulfill all the desires we have in one kind of material body.

The Lord does not love us a pinch less than his eternal associates in the spiritual world.

Yugala Kisora Prabhu from the Manor:

Baladeva Vidyabhusana discussed three categories of devotees:
Sa-nistha cares more about social duties than devotional service.
Pari-nistha performs social duties only to set an example for others or to attract others.
Nirupesaka is a sannyasi who beyond all social duties.

“Unfortunately as long as we are in the material world, we have to follow our social duties so as to avoid criticism by others. That is Lord Caitanya’s desire.”

Lord Caitanya was hard like a thunderbolt as in the case of Junior Haridasa, but soft like a rose as in the case of the Orissan lady who climbed on Him to see Lord Jagannatha.

Bhaktisiddhanta Saravati Thakura introduced saffron cloth for the sannyasis and the brahmana’s thread.

It is rare that one goes from mode of passion to transcendence; gradual progress is the normal.

Krishna-kripa das:

Lord Caitanya chanted a fixed number of holy names. His followers also chanted a fixed number. Haridas Thakura chanted 300,000 names or 192 rounds. Raghunath Das Goswami chanted 100,000 names or 64 rounds. Lord Caitanya would only eat at the home of a master of 100,000 names or one who chanted 64 rounds. Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura advised his followers to chant 64 rounds, but insisted his busy leaders must chant at least sixteen. Srila Prabhupada originally proposed that his devotees chant thirty-two rounds, but he then quickly reduced it to sixteen. On several occasions, Srila Prabhupada promised those who chanted sixteen rounds and who followed the four rules to abstain from sinful acts would attain the spiritual kingdom at the end of life. Srila Prabhupada advised if one could not chant his sixteen rounds on one day, he must make up the remaining rounds the next day.

Haridasa Thakura considered, “I am in diseased condition,” when in old age he had difficulty keeping his great vow.

Dhruva performed great austerities, which we cannot imitate, but Srila Prabhupada felt we could follow Dhruva’s spirit of great determination in our own practice of chanting the sixteen rounds and following the four rules, which we were given.

If the dharma is sankirtana, the congregational chanting of the holy name, one may ask why do we chant japa softly on our beads? The answer is because Lord Caitanya and His followers did it.

Many verses explain that in this age, chanting the holy name is the dharma.

This is regulated chanting of japa is our sadhana, or practice of devotion, which is needed to rise to the spontaneous devotion of bhava and prema [love of God].

Japa is the most essential of Srila Prabhupada’s instructions as he mentions in one Caitanya-caritamrita Madhya-lila purport.

How can we improve japa? Here are several ideas:

Bhaktivinoda Thakura explains in Harinama Cintamani that even if one does not commit any offense except inattention, that inattention alone will keep one from attaining love of God. Yet if one still commits other offenses, but can chant with attention, he will become free from all offenses and attain love for God by the power of his attentive chanting.

My experience is that if I try to chant with attention, I will look forward to chanting the next day.

We can increase our japa quota on special days, and that will increase our realization of the power of japa.

We can pray to advance spiritually.

We must attain love for God before we die, otherwise we will have to accept another material body, with all its miseries, and that fact alone can give us the impetus to chant nicely while we can.

paritrānāya sādhūnām vināśāya ca duskritām dharma-samsthāpanārthāya sambhavāmi yuge yuge
“To deliver the pious and to annihilate the miscreants, as well as to reestablish the principles of religion, I Myself appear, millennium after millennium.”—Sri Krishna (Bhagavad-gita 4.8)

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The Loft, Auckland, NZ: Dance Party

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Australian News: The Month of Damodara: Sydney Temple

The Month of Damodara
(Karttika Masa)
23rd October – 21st November 2010
Offering lamps to the Deities each evening after 7 o’clock arati
Each year at this time the festival of ‘Kartikka’ or the month of Lord Damodara is celebrated, which commemorates the sweet pastime of Mother Yashoda tryijng to bind her son Lord Krishna to a wooden grinding mortar with ropes.
Each time she tried the ropes were too short, despite repeatedly tying more rope together. Krishna’s mystic power prevented Him being bound, until He saw that by her love she wanted to chastise Krishna, then He let her bind Him out of affection.
Please join us each evening at 7pm for arati, kirtan and offering of lamps whilst the beautiful Damodarastakam prayers are sung.
Click here to see the latest ISKCON Sydney Newsletter
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Australian News: Preparing For Summer… at Hare Krishna Valley

This week at Hare Krishna Valley we constructed the outer sheeting for the summer hot house in which we will grow many of our summer vegetables such as tomatoes, eggplant, basil, etc. However, the day after we attached the sheeting a wind came along and loosened it, meaning that we will have to attach it again with more weight. We will also need to construct strong end pieces for the hot house to stop it becoming a wind tunnel.
We had another catering job at a small music festival close to the farm called “Little Buckley”. For the whole weekend we were the main caterers for the event, which attracted over 200 people, and promises to grow in the future.
We look forward to speaking to you again next week.
Until then, I remain yours in the service of Srila Prabhupada.

Keshava Dasa.
Click here to visit the Hare Krishna Valley Web site
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Australian News: Kartik Month Audio Nectar: Canberra

Get your MP3 player ready for another todal wave of sound from Hare Krishna
Kartick Month Audio Nectar is waiting for you to dowlnload now. Clear some space on your hard drive.
Click here to go to
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Australian News: Transcendental Visit: Brisbane

Janananda Swami in Brisbane. Get your diary out and make notes
Click here to see more on the Brisbane Temple Website

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H.H. Bhakticharu Swami: Message From Guru Maharaja

Sent by His Grace Bhimal Krishna Dasa The following is a message from His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami Maharaja that was read out at the International Yoga Seminar – Therapeutic & Prophylactic Aspects of YOGA, being held in Ujjain between 29-31 October 2010. —————————————————————————- First of all, I wish to convey my apologies to everyone [...]
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Australian News: The Temple of the Vedic Planetarium

Published by
Hare Krishna WELCOME to an ISKCON INTERNET NEWS report.
In this story we visit Mayapur, India, and the site of the CONSTRUCTION of the TEMPLE of the VEDIC Planatarium.
It’s built ON the site of ISKCON world headquarters at Sri Mayapur
When its open it will contain a giant model representation of the universe as its described in Srimad Bhagavatam.
It will also have MUSEUMS and EXHIBITS to teach VISITORS about vedic culture and science of the VEDAS.
So lets hear from Sadbhuj Das Managing DIRECTOR of the construction project and he’ll tell us how things are going.

Temple of Vedic Planetarium from citraka dasa on Vimeo.
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  • Email to a friend Bhakti Vikasa Swami: Srila Prabhupada and Indira Gandhi

The following is from a transcript of conversations with Srila Prabhupada's Godbrother Srila BR Sridhar Maharaja. "Swami Maharaja" refers to Srila Prabhupada.
Indira [Gandhi] was very affectionate to Swami Maharaja, because when she was a child, she used to come with her father to purchase medicine from the shop of Swami Maharaja in Allahabad, because the National medical shop was only in Bengal, Bengal Chemical, the first medicine was produced in Bengal, and he was the agent of that Bengali country made medicine in Allahabad, and Jawarlal, because they were Nationalists so they liked the Indian production of that medicine, anything which is produced in India, to encourage that industry, so they were customers to Swami Maharaja's shop, and when Indira was a girl, she also followed her father to purchase medicine from Swami Maharaja. At that time she was a girl of 9 or 10, maybe. In 1930, when I met Swami Maharaja, Indira was a girl of twelve at that time, so even from before, she used to come with her father to purchase medicine from Swami Maharaja. So, 8, 10, 9, she used to come to Swami Maharaja's. The only agents of the National production of medicine in India at that time. No Bombay production in Maharastra they began. Only Bengal, they produced first medicine. So, he, Swami Maharaja addressed her as "Indu", her family name. And also she told, I heard from Swami Maharaja perhaps, direct, she told, "You need not come to me for this concern, you may send your secretary. That is sufficient. She gave assurance to Swami Maharaja. Hare Krishna. Gaura Hari.
On October 31, 1984, Indira Gandhi was shot to death.
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Kurma dasa, AU: Sukkah Dukkah and The Wandering Mind

I awoke with a craving for something bready and salty and nutty. But it was 3.30 am. What's going on? The mind! Heat and cold, happiness and distress, hunger and satiation - these are all dualities of life. I remembered the famous phrase from Bhagavad-gita (you know the one - where Krishna recommends that we try to be equipoised in the face of happiness and distress).
Sukha means happiness in Sankrit. And Dukha means distress. Two sides of the same coin. I looked up the verse to remind myself of the exact wording, and voila! This olde blogge came to mind. Why is that, I wonder?
Stephanie Munsch from Boise, Idaho wrote me, 'Dear Kurma, Maybe you can help me. I was overseas recently and tasted a very interesting entree at a restaurant. It was a crumbly, nutty, sesame dippy stuff, served with bread and oil. Can you perhaps identify it for me?'
My reply: Hello Stephanie! Yes that sounds like the Egyptian spice, seed and nut blend called Dukkah. I have a recipe for it in my latest cookbook. Here it is. You might like to duplicate it at home. Very tasty and nutritious.
Happy cooking!
Egyptian Crumbly Spice & Nut Dip (Dukkah)
Dukkah is a loose, coarsely-ground mixture of sesame seeds, hazelnuts and aromatic cumin and coriander. It is delicious eaten on oil-dunked bread for breakfast, or as a snack. It has of late started appearing quite regularly on Western restaurant menus as an appetizer.
Variants of dukkah are found all over the Middle East, and this version is from Egypt. It is a very personal and individual mixture that varies from one family to another; hence no two versions are exactly the same.
The important thing to remember about dukkah is that it should be dry and crumbly. It is easy to over-grind the ingredients, especially the nuts, which makes the mixture too oily. To prevent this, cool the ingredients after roasting, then proceed slowly. Makes about 2½ cups.
½ cup hazelnuts, ¾ cup sesame seeds, ½ cup coriander seeds, ½ cup cumin seeds, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper, olive oil and crusty bread for serving.
Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F.
Roast the hazelnuts on an oven tray for about 15 minutes, or until fragrant. Remove them from the oven, and when a little cool, rub away as much of the brown skin from the nuts as you can.
Toast the sesame seeds in a heavy frying pan over moderate heat, stirring often, for about 4 minutes, or until golden brown and aromatic. Empty the toasted seeds into a bowl. Toast the coriander seeds in a similar manner for about 2-3 minutes. Repeat for the cumin, toasting for about 2 minutes.
Pound the seeds and nuts using a mortar and pestle, or whiz them in a spice or coffee grinder. The mixture should be dry and crumbly, not oily. Combine the crushed nuts and seeds with the salt and pepper.
Serve as a dip with olive oil and crusty bread.
Note: The mixture will keep in a sealed container for many weeks.
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H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: 117 SDGonline Daily updates
3:49 A.M.
From Namamrta by A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada:
“A neophyte should not retire to a secluded place to chant:
“[Lord Caitanya to Kasi Misra]: ‘Please give that room to Me, for I have need for it. Indeed I shall remember the lotus feet of the Lord sitting in that solitary place.’
“The statement of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is significant. ‘I shall sit down there in that solitary place and remember the lotus feet of the Lord.’ Neophyte devotees are not to imitate sitting in a solitary place and remembering the lotus feet of the Lord by chanting the Hare Krishna maha-mantra. We should always remember that it was Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu Himself who wanted such a place, either for Himself or for Haridasa Thakura. No one can suddenly attain the level of Haridasa Thakura and sit down in a solitary place to chant the Hare Krishna maha-mantra and remember the lotus feet of the Lord. Only an exalted person like Haridasa Thakura or Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, who is personally exhibiting the proper behavior for such an acarya, can chant in such a practice…Only after maturing in devotion can he sit down in a solitary place and chant the Hare Krishna maha-mantra as Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu Himself did. Although Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, He nevertheless traveled all over India continuously for six years, and then retired at Jagannatha Puri to teach us a lesson. Even at Jagannatha Puri, the Lord chanted the maha-mantra in a great meeting at the Jagannatha temple. The point is that one should not try to imitate Haridasa Thakura at the beginning of one’s transcendental life. One should become very mature in devotion, and thus receive the approval of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Only at such a time may one actually sit down peacefully in a solitary place to chant the Hare Krishna maha-mantra and remember the lotus feet of the Lord.” (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila 11.176).
Sitting in a solitary place and executing devotional service is known as nirjana-bhajana, and it is not possible for the neophyte devotee. Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati has written a song in this connection: “My dear mind, what kind of a devotee are you? Simply for cheap adoration you sit in a solitary place and pretend to chant the Hare Krishna maha-mantra, but this is all cheating.”Srila Sukadeva Goswami advised Maharaja Pariksit at the beginning of the Second Canto that every conditioned soul should engage himself in hearing and chanting the transcendental pastimes of the Lord. Srila Sukadeva Goswami also informed King Pariksit that previously many kings and emperors went to the jungle to prosecute severe austerities and penances in order to go back home, back to Godhead. In India it is still practiced that many advanced transcendentalists give up their family lives and go to Vrndavana to live there alone and completely engage in hearing and chanting of the holy pastimes of the Lord. This system is recommended in the Srimad Bhagavatam, and the Six Gosvamis followed it, but at the present moment many karmis and pseudo-devotees have overcrowded the place of Vrndavana just to imitate this process recommended by Sukadeva Gosvami. It is said that many kings and emperors formerly went to the forest for this purpose, but Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Goswami does not recommend that one take up this solitary life in Vrndavana prematurely. If he attempts the process prematurely he will fall a victim to sleep and lust, and try to get cheap popularity for becoming a great devotee.
Last night I woke up at 10:30 with a headache. I took medicine and went back to sleep. But I did not wake up until the alarm clock went off at 2:00 A.M. I like to start earlier in the morning than 2:00. So by 3:30 I have only chanted four rounds. They were good rounds but beneath the quota for my personal schedule. I will have to make them up later in the day. Today is my day for doing the video broadcast at 10:00 A.M., so that will further complicate my making up of the chanting.

Retiring from preaching
and spending all of one’s
time sitting in a solitary
place to chant Hare Krishna
is criticized by Bhaktisiddhanta
Sarasvati. He said it is just
the attempt to gain cheap popularity
and that it will not be successful.
Prabhupada gave the example of
active preaching and writing of
books. The sadhu must be
compassionate to the forgetful
souls and tell everyone he
meets about Krishna. But to be
fit, the preacher must chant
at least sixteen alert rounds
of japa early in the morning.
I am behind today, and my
preaching will be restless
until I complete my
meditative quota. The
best gosthyanandi is a
bhajananandi who preaches.

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H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: One Hundred Prabhupada Poems SDGonline Daily updates

They have written their non-Prabhupada poems
by the hundreds and thousands.
Now it’s time we spoke out.
Tell them how nice he looks when he smiles,
show a photo of him on the roof in Bombay.
But they won’t appreciate, most people.
Then start with myself.
I worship him within.
As I close my eyes,
he’s the same Prabhupada as in the photo, but…
I am praying that he retain me.

It’s good to have his photos in frames
on the walls. In this room
where I am a guest, I looked up yesterday
while laughing at one of my jokes,
then I saw him
with his palms joined, in a mood
different than mine. It calmed me down. It tested me.
Prabhupada in the picture, Prabhupada within,
as the life-sized murti, as his disciples…

He was born a hundred years ago.
He is a youthful, spiritual person.
He’s moving blissfully in Krishna’s service.
As mysterious as Krishna is to us,
so is His pure devotee…
And one time he said…

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H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: Please Help Me SDGonline Daily updates
Krishna, please let me come near
You, soothe me and assure
me that You will care for me.

Is that too much to ask? You are
playing beautiful music for all to
hear, but only the pure devotees
are able to appreciate.

I want to be comfortable
and painless and in Your
arms for a servant’s hug.

I want to live in Your town
and see the pastimes You
enact there. But I have
to work for You and cast
off my material desires.

I’m not sure how worthy I am
to do that. I want it to
be sweet and easy,
floating to me like the
bars of a Beethoven string quartet.

I don’t want to dig a ditch
or give a long lecture
or have to hear someone’s troubles
for so long that I get a

But You want to see a
sign from me that I’m
willing to work for my place.
I’ve done many wrongs, and You
want to know I am
repentant for them. You like the
idea that I’m jolly
and joyful with You,
but You want me to earn it.

I agree. I should be compassionate
to others and get down on
my knees and offer them
mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
I should share my food and
apartment with the survivors
of the hurricane. I should
tell them about You
and Your glories and
chant to them.

I should be more kind to
You and Yours. I phoned
You tonight to talk to You
about this, but You weren’t
home. Shouldn’t I know already
what to do? Please help
me to do it right.
Please give me the

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H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: Arguments of the Lord SDGonline Daily updates
Free write

I turned at random to Srimad Bhagavatam Canto Three, Chapter 23, Text 56:

“Anyone whose work is not meant to elevate him to religious life, anyone whose religious ritualistic performances do not raise him to renunciation, and anyone situated in renunciation that does not lead him to devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, must be considered dead, although he is breathing.
“Devahuti’s statement is that since she was attached to living with her husband for sense gratification, which does not lead to liberation from material life, her life was simply a waste of time. Any work one performs that does not lead to the state of religious life is useless activity. Everyone is by nature inclined to some sort of work, and when that work leads to religious life and religious life leads one to renunciation and renunciation leads one to devotional service, one attains the perfection of life. Unless one is gradually elevated to the position of devotional service, beginning from his natural activity, he is to be considered a dead body. Work which does not lead one to the understanding of Kṛiṣhṇa consciousness is considered useless.”
Devahuti considered herself cheated by the illusory energy because despite achieving the association of a sadhu-husband who had given her liberation, she did not seek liberation.
While walking in the countryside, Lord Caitanya met a saintly boy who was chanting, “Hari!” No one else in that area was chanting. Lord Caitanya asked how far away was the Ganges, and He was told three hours. He said the breezes from the Ganges had influenced that boy. He then declared He wanted to dive in the Ganges. He began walking fast like an infuriated lion and no one could keep up with Him but Lord Nityananda. By sunset the two Brothers reached the Ganges and dove in.  They swam and recited prayers. Mother Ganges was embarrassed to hear herself glorified by the Lord. In the morning, the rest of Lord Caitanya’s party caught up with Him. Lord Caitanya ordered Lord Nityananda to go to Navadvipa and to meet Him at Santipura. He would first go to Lord Jagannatha at Nilacala and then proceed to Advaitacarya’s house. Lord Nityananda set off in bliss. When He reached Mother Saci’s house, He found that she had been fasting for twelve days. She was constantly crying and in an internal state of consciousness, and everyone she met she asked, “Are you coming from Mathura? Are Krishna and Balarama well?” All the devotees cried out when they saw Lord Nityananda. Mother Saci cried, “Son!” He told her that Lord Caitanya was coming, and that they should all prepare to go to Santipura. Lord Nityananda asked Mother Saci to cook for Krishna. He said He wanted to taste her cooking. Mother Saci broke her mood of separation and began cooking. She fed Lord Nityananda and all the devotees, and then she broke her fast. Then thousands and millions of persons began crossing the Ganges to go to Santipura. There were not enough boats to accommodate them. Hundreds of persons climbed into a boat and when the boat sank, they were not disturbed but continued to swim across. Even those that did not know how to swim discovered they were able to swim. Even the blind and lame crossed. How many people crossed the Ganges the author cannot count.
The argument between Krishna and the elderly cowherd men gets a little complicated and is finally won by Krishna. Not by logic but by His insistence that this is what He wants, and the cowherd men desire to please Him. They say the rain is Indra’s mercy, and they need it for successful agriculture. Krishna says whatever benefit is supposed to be derived from the demigods is actually granted by the permission of the Personality of Godhead. Indra had become puffed up, thinking himself the supplier, and Krishna wanted to humiliate him. Speaking like a karma-kandi, Krishna said, “The rains come  as a result of good reactions. There’s no need to worship demigods. Just do your work nicely.” Nanda Maharaja said he would perform a separate yajna for the brahmanas and cows, but not stop the Indra yajna. “No,” Krishna said, there was no time for two yajnas. Krishna said worship of Govardhana Hill was as good as worship of Himself. The feast and sacrifice is known as annakuta, and sometimes prasadam is thrown to the crowd, and they pick it up from the ground. Krishna assumed a gigantic form and declared it was as good as He Himself. Govardhana is also worshiped in the form of small stones, as good as Krishna, and Deity worship is performed to these stones. Krishna said whoever  doesn’t worship Govardhana in the Govardhana puja will be bitten by poisonous snakes that live on the mountain.
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Japa Group: Be Aware Of What You’re Doing

The chanting is always absolute and so you can be sure of that, but to get full benefit you must be aware of what you’re doing and give it your full mind and heart.

From Viraha Bhavan #116
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H.H. Sivarama Swami

…we may be in the imperfect stage of devotional service, but if you follow the instruction, then gradually you come to the perfectional stage. There is no hopelessness. Continue. It is not that immediately one becomes perfect. But if you continue with the process, then you’ll become perfect.
- Srila Prabhupada
  • Email to a friend Book distribution seminar: Weekend Warriors at Kingston upon Thames

The devotees from Soho Street in London went to Kingston upon Thames with the weekend warriors on a recent Saturday. They had a table, prasadam, books and instruments.
Decked out in brahmacari robes, I wasn't attracting many customers for some reason. Then I saw a lady with a big smile approach me.
She comes from Saudi Arabia, she said, so she has a Muslim background. She is a lawyer and a life coach. She is reading a book about Buddhism and also writing a book about how science and religion discuss the same truth, but have different ways to reach that goal. She was interested to hear about our scientific branch, the BI.
I showed her books and said that the Bhagavad-gita resembles a law book, while the Srimad-Bhagavatam is like a law journal, with case studies. She could relate to that, and she thanked me for taking time with her.
She gave forty pounds. She took 5 books: BG, SB1.1, VEDA, HT, SRI ISO. She gave me her e-mail address and phone number and felt grateful. She promised to visit the temple.
Transcendental book distribution, ki jai! Wweekend warriors, ki jai!
Your servant, Sundar Nitai dasa
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Book Distribution News: Weekend Warriors at Kingston upon Thames

The devotees from Soho Street in London went to Kingston upon Thames with the weekend warriors on a recent Saturday. They had a table, prasadam, books and instruments.
Decked out in brahmacari robes, I wasn't attracting many customers for some reason. Then I saw a lady with a big smile approach me.
She comes from Saudi Arabia, she said, so she has a Muslim background. She is a lawyer and a life coach. She is reading a book about Buddhism and also writing a book about how science and religion discuss the same truth, but have different ways to reach that goal. She was interested to hear about our scientific branch, the BI.
I showed her books and said that the Bhagavad-gita resembles a law book, while the Srimad-Bhagavatam is like a law journal, with case studies. She could relate to that, and she thanked me for taking time with her.
She gave forty pounds. She took 5 books: BG, SB1.1, VEDA, HT, SRI ISO. She gave me her e-mail address and phone number and felt grateful. She promised to visit the temple.
Transcendental book distribution, ki jai! Wweekend warriors, ki jai!
Your servant, Sundar Nitai dasa
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Gaura Vani, USA: Kartik 24 Hour Kirtan Live!

Schedule is posted here.
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ISKCON ISKCON Entrusted With Two Laddu Counters in Tirumala

By Express News Service for on 19 Oct 2010
Two of the laddu counters in the Laddu Prasadam Complex beside the Srivari temple on Tirumala were formally entrusted to the International
Society for Krishna Consciousness.

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H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: Live Video Broadcast SDGonline Daily updates

Remembering Srila Prabhupada, Book Four: “To India” (p. 194-199), “Traveling Throught India,” (p. 200-202), “A Pandal” (p. 202-203)
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ISKCON Hungary`s Krishna Valley Devotees Elected to Local Mayor’s Council

By Madhava Smullen for ISKCON News on 30 Oct 2010
Since 1998—for the past three elections—one of the seven people on the Mayor’s council in the village of Somogyvamos in Hungary has been an ISKCON devotee. This year, there will only be four people on the Mayor’s council, as well as the newly elected Mayor Mrs Marianna Dekanyne Karoly—and three of them will be devotees.
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ISKCON Get Him to the Hindu? On Russell Brand's Sanskrit Brand

By Vineet Chander (Venkata Bhatta Das) for on 5 Jun 2010
With Russell Brand's highly-anticipated (and raunchy) comedy "Get Him to the Greek" hitting theaters right about now, the controversial British comic is becoming quite the talk of the town this side of the pond.
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ISKCON Devotees Open New Temple in Sigatoka, Fijian Islands Style

By Madhava Smullen for ISKCON News on 30 Oct 2010
Hundreds of local and international devotees will flock to Sigatoka on the beautiful island of Fiji this November 19th to 27th to attend the opening of a stunning new temple, followed by a unique spiritual festival.
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ISKCON Our Srila Prabhupada A Friend To All, Early Contemporaries Remember Him

By Nityananda Das for ISKCON News on 28 Oct 2010
The book "Our Srila Prabhupada A Friend To All, Early Contemporaries Remember Him" has been reprinted. Inside the readers will find a rare glimpse into the early years of the most important spiritual figure of modern times; a man who has transformed the spiritual landscape of the entire world.
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ISKCON Odyssey Networks Welcomes First Non-Abrahamic Faiths to Membership

By Mary Dickey on 30 Oct 2010
For the first time since its founding in 1987, Odyssey Networks has opened its membership to faith groups and individuals beyond the Abrahamic faith traditions, such as the International Society for Krishna Consciousness.
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ISKCON Where did the Hare Krishnas go?

By Curtis Rush for The Toronto Star on 24 Oct 2010
So, whatever happened to the Hare Krishna movement? Back in the 1970s, robed members of the sect were frequently seen on street corners, chanting the “Hare Krishna” mantra, with their hair shorn. Krishna devotees haven’t gone into hiding, but they have toned down the missionary zeal from those crazy days of counterculture movements.
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ISKCON Festival of the Cows in New Talavana

By Yogindra Vandana Das for ISKCON News on 30 Oct 2010
Saturday, November 6th brings New Talavana's (Mississippi, USA) Fourth Annual "Go Puja Mela- The Festival of the Cows".
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ISKCON Vatican Sends Divali Wishes

By The Pontifical Council For Interreligious Dialgue for on 30 Oct 2010
The Vatican`s Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue sends a message for the feast of Dipavali 2010 to the Hindus all over the world.
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H.H. Sivarama Swami: Questions from Adi-gopi, Bharata and Vraja Kumara

About the Oneness between Radha and Krsna, how to become my personal servant (wow) and how devotees practice ahimsa.
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Yoga of Ecology, Bhakta Chris, USA: Brace your self: here comes Enviropig!

From The Healthier Life via our friend Madhava Ghosh

Dear Reader,

Well we’ve had Swine Flu, so why not Enviropig?

That’s right... The Enviropig has been developed in Canada and is genetically modified (GM) to excrete less polluting phosphorous in it’s faeces... Get this, this little piggy is also trademarked!

I regret to say, ladies and gentlemen, we are entering the age of Genetic Modification...

Old McDonald had a farm...

And on that farm, he had a GM chicken, capable of laying eggs that can fight cancer!

This may sound like a good thing, but wait there’s more...

In this menagerie, you will also find a goat that produces a spider’s web protein – paving the way for silk-farming and GM goats developed to produce human breast milk and also to deliver a special protein for people whose blood cannot flow smoothly.

Not crazy enough yet?

Well, there’s also the Aedes mosquito capable of sterilising female mosquitoes and the GloFish, a fluorescent zebrafish that comes in ‘three striking colours’ — starfire red, electric green and sunburst orange...

All of this may sound more suited to the crazy experiments of some mad scientists taking place in the far corners of the world, but the reality is it’s all too true and sadly we are slowly but surely entering an age in which large corporations want to exercise power over mother Nature and ultimately every living organism on this planet...

Frankly, if you ask me, someone is over-stepping the mark...

Something’s fishy

Recently there’s been a major uproar about the production of GM foods, in particular meat and fish. Whilst Americans have been consuming GM grains, vegetables, and milk for years now, the words "genetic engineering," still make people nervous, especially in Europe.

The stakes suddenly got much higher when the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was faced with approving, for the first time, genetically engineered food animals.

It all started with a company, AquaBounty, who came up with an answer to satisfy the world’s seemingly insatiable appetite for fish.... GM salmon — dubbed Frankenfish — that mature to market weight twice as fast as their natural cousins do.

Whilst the global consumption of farmed fish can easily outpace global beef consumption by 10 per cent within the next 5 years, according to the United Nations (UN), GM salmon is far from a desirable solution... the impact it will have on consumers and the environment is a major concern, not to mention animal welfare issues.

Unfortunately, the FDA thinks Frankenfish is safe for human consumption, posing no environmental threat (they are sterile) and has no "material difference" that would require the fish, once approved, to carry a special label...

The opposition has a different story to tell...

Whilst the FDA maintains there is "no biologically relevant difference" between the AquaBounty engineered fish and regular Atlantic salmon, research on GM trout in Canada found that while they grew faster and were much bigger, a number developed misshapen heads and bloated bodies.

Because the FDA sees no "material difference" between GM salmon and its natural counterpart it will not require the Frankenfish, once approved, to carry a special label... Which means the consumer will not know whether they are bying organic or GM. This works massively in favour of GM corporations, because the phrase "genetically engineered" on a label still has a very negative connotation for many consumers, and would probably prevent them from buying GM food...

Unfortunately, this also deals a big blow to the salmon industry, because people may now simply avoid all salmon rather than run the risk of getting a piece of Frankenfish on their plates...

Aqaubounty expects to receive the final nod of approval from the FDA by the end of this year. Knowing the FDA, we shouldn’t be surprised if GM fish production is allowed to go full steam ahead, which will have enormous implications for global food production.

Whilst it is difficult to tell how GM animal foods will affect consumers in the long run, I have a funny feeling the impact won’t be pleasant... The old saying ‘If it’s not broken don’t fix it’ comes to mind...

Instead of producing our own animals and fish in an attempt to satisfy growing consumption and prevent the depletion of natural sources, why don’t we spend millions on investing in responsible, organic farming? That way Mother Nature can do what she does best and perhaps our planet with all it’s inhabitants will be left a little less unscathed...

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ISKCON Meet the Chief Enlightenment Officer

By Pronoti Datta for The Times of India on 24 Oct 2010
It's structured like an MNC, complete with CEO, governing council, HR department and website. Welcome to the new-age spiritual organization.
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Gouranga TV: Holy Name Day Talk

Holy Name Day Talk His Holiness Sivarama Maharaj

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New Vrndavan, USA: 24 Hour Kirtans

As everyone prepares for the Oct 30 noon-Oct 31 noon EST 24 Hour Kirtan in New Vrindaban, don’t forget to listen and download the recordings from the June Kirtan from Mantralogy’s site. And if you were there and made your own recordings, please let us know as a few of ours got lost somehow. . . .
Also click here to watch/listen to this 24 Hour Kirtan!
Kirtan Debris, 12:30 pm, June 20, 2010
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H.H. Bhakticharu Swami: “MURARI GUPTA” – A Very Intimate Associate Of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu

By His Grace Dvarakadish Prabhu “SRI MURARI GUPTA’S HOUSE” AT “SRI ANTARDVIPA” ISLAND OF SRI NAVADVIPA-MAYAPUR DHAM “Murari Gupta, the twenty-first branch of the tree of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. was a storehouse of love of Godhead. His great humility and meekness melted the heart of Lord Caitanya.” – Caitanya-Caritamrta Adi Lila 10.49 INTIMATE ASSOCIATE, INTIMATE [...]
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Ekendra das, Alachua, USA: Man Joins Cult In Order To Escape Dangerous Cult

I’ve been practicing Krishna consciousness since 1989—for over half my life. Today, my mother asked me, “Is your mind your own? What do the “Krishnas” do with their money? Isn’t Krishna a cult? Do you have to do what ‘they’ tell you to do?”
No matter how many times I tell her that there is no “they,” that the Krishna consciousness movement scrapes by on private donations, or that Christianity was also seen as a cult in its early days, or that Krishna consciousness means the same thing as God consciousness, it seems my words cannot find any unbiased shelf space in her heart on which to rest.
I have never asked her (but perhaps I should) if, considering how much television she watches, her mind is her own, or what she does with her money besides buy cigarettes, or isn’t it a little cult-y to watch endless reruns of the Waltons. For the past twenty years, she’s chosen to entirely base her opinions on Krishna consciousness on the many anti-cult books she’s read. To me, most of these books are far more fanatical in their presentation than any cult ever was. They’re often highly sensationalized accounts which play on the reader’s fears, and vigorously dig only the nastiest dirt on their subjects.
I equate this kind of “information” with the many “tell-all” books about the “secret lives” of famous personalities—the kind that appeal to the lowest, most perverse reader of true crime novels and ignore the whole point of why the personality in question is famous in the first place.
To my disappointment, my mom has never asked me to explain to her what Krishna consciousness is. Or, if she has, it’s only been with her arms folded across her chest and her head tilted back, frowning and nodding slightly—the kind of body language universally translatable as “Oh, yeah, right. Sure.” She has never read any of the books I’ve sent her—academically respected translations and commentaries on the most comprehensive, time-honored spiritual writings on the planet, which explain, in great and carefully worded detail, everything anyone could want to know about the very practical science of the self.
Instead, she has chosen only a steady diet of reports focusing on and magnifying every fault, legal transgression, pathological and criminal behavior ever perpetrated by any person affiliated with the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, and wholeheartedly believes every word of it as “What Hare Krishna is Really All About.”
So what can I do?
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