sábado, 11 de diciembre de 2010

Sastra Dana, San Diego, USA: At Mesa College


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"Planet ISKCON" - 33 new articles

  1. Sastra Dana, San Diego, USA: At Mesa College
  2. Bhakta Chuck, CT, USA: Friday Night Oxen #34
  3. ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Today's Darsana
  4. ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Daily Class - Aniruddha Prabhu
  5. Devadeva Mirel, Alachua, USA: Recipe : Eggless Pumpkin Pie
  6. Bharatavarsa.net: Book distribution seminar: samadhi
  7. Japa Group: Slow And Steady Wins The Race
  8. Akrura das, Gita Coaching: ASSUMPTIONS AND BELIEFS
  9. Bharatavarsa.net: Bhakti Vikasa Swami: If You Are Not Ashamed
  10. Book Distribution News: samadhi
  11. H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: 158
  12. H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: Prabhupada Meditations
  13. H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: In the Eye of the Beholder
  14. H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: The Dialogue
  15. Doyal Gauranga dasa & Gadadhar Pandit dasa, NYC: Finding Gratitude
  16. Vrndavana Vinodini dd, Toronto, Canada: Lessons Series- Tolerance
  17. Kripamoya dasa, UK: Trouble in the streets
  18. Dandavats.com: Krishna conscious activities for children aged 2-6
  19. Dandavats.com: Vaishnavis Ashram at Bhaktivedanta College 2010/11
  20. Dandavats.com: Latest Bhaktivedanta Manor Newsletter
  21. ISKCON News.com: Motherly Love
  22. Subhavilasa das ACBSP, Toronto, CA: The Lover of the Lord who can Enlighten the whole world!
  23. ISKCON News.com: Book Distribution - A Complete Form of Worship
  24. ISKCON News.com: University Challange by UK`s Pandava Sena
  25. ISKCON News.com: Were the Three Wise Man from China?
  26. ISKCON News.com: India Says Local Islamists Bombed Hindu Pilgrim City Varanasi
  27. ISKCON News.com: Global Restrictions on Religion
  28. H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Wednesday, December 8th, 2010
  29. H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Tuesday, December 7th, 2010
  30. ISKCON News.com: Restoring Holy Dwarka`s Mangrove Forests
  31. H.H. Sivarama Swami: Is the spiritual master all-cognizant
  32. Gouranga TV: Chakrini Devi dasi kirtan
  33. H.H. Sivarama Swami
  34. More Recent Articles
  35. Search Planet ISKCON
  36. Prior Mailing Archive

Sastra Dana, San Diego, USA: At Mesa College

Mesa College is a public, community college, the largest in the San Diego area and one of the largest in California. Annually it enrolls over 20,000 students. Most importantly it hosts several Sastra Dana newspaper racks.

“16 Rounds To Samadhi”, the Sastra Dana’s newspaper, helps educate the Mesa College students about the benefits of a spiritually oriented life in general and Krishna consciousness in particular.

Thus far, our publication, 16 Rounds To Samadhi, has been coming out quarterly. Starting January of 2011, we will be printing it once a month. Keep your fingers crossed, we are attempting to make prominence in Southern California, make a serious impact.

Here are a few photos recently taken on the Mesa College campus.

Make a donation towards printing future issues of the Sastra Dana’s newspaper. Any amount is valuable. Thank you.

To donate, click this button:

Related posts:

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Bhakta Chuck, CT, USA: Friday Night Oxen #34

Hello Everyone,

…just really loved these picture…

Have a nice weekend, in service to the Oxen,

Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Hare Hare
Hare Rāma Hare Rāma Rāma Rāma Hare Hare

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ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Today's Darsana


The Deities seem to be bathing in a flamboyant sunset on a warm evening in Their orange and gold-hued set.

May the life-giving sun of Their merciful
darsana never set in the skies of our otherwise-gloomy lives.

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ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Daily Class - Aniruddha Prabhu

Srimad Bhagavatam 11.28.5 - To get out of the illusory reflections of shadows, echoes and mirages (maya) one must surrender to Lord Krishna.

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Devadeva Mirel, Alachua, USA: Recipe : Eggless Pumpkin Pie

Eggless Pumpkin Pie. For The Client. All organic food rules apply.


The Client is back! Not permanently back in my life, but back from some international travel. A few days ago he Facebooked me from India asking if I could have a pumpkin pie ready for him on the 10th, since he missed Thanksgiving. Of course, all The Client’s food rules applied: all organic, whole wheat, sucanat, no soy, no aluminum. As if I would forget!

I am indiscriminately loading pie pics to this post. Since the pie was for sale, there was no slicing it up for the camera. Nevertheless, I will give you whatever I’ve got, including the recipe.



*Laminated Pie Crust Recipe (click here)

The first thing to do is begin the pie dough. even if you are not laminating your pie dough, it is a good idea to make your dough and stick it in the fridge so it is cold when you are rolling it out. The pie dough can even be made a couple of days ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator. Leftover dough can be frozen for later use.


1 pie pumpkin

1/2 c arrowroot powder

1 cup heavy whipping  cream

2 cups sucanat

big pinch o’ salt

1 tablespoon butter

2 tspn ground cinnamon

1/2 tspn nutmeg

1/2 tspn ground ginger

pinch o’ cloves

1/2 tspn cardamom


1) Wash outside of pumpkin, removing any stickers. Slice in half, bake at 400 on a cookie sheet for about an hour or until a knife easily pierces pumpkin.

2) Remove pumpkin from oven, cool, remove seeds and strings. Much easier to do after pumpkin is cooked than before. Baking of pumpkin can be done hours or even as much as a day ahead of time

3) Preheat oven to 400. Combine in bowl or food processor the scooped out pumpkin and all the other ingredients.

4) Roll out pie dough and press into pie plate.

5) Pour mixture into pie plate, evenly spreading.

6) Put pie in oven. Reduce heat to 350. Bake for one hour. Remove from oven to cool.

7) Serve pie once cooled.

Love my Ikea pie plate!

In the past I’ve baked my pies in a 9″ pyrex pie plate, a new skool Jadeite pie plate and in a Fiestaware pie plate. They are all rather deep dishy. But on a recent voyage to the Swedish Embassy, aka Ikea, I purchased the 11″ SMARTA pie plate for seven dollars and seven dollars ONLY (plus tax). It is more quichey and I have no idea how easily the pie scoops out since I left the honor of cutting to The Client, but I love that it is not as deep. Seems like a more even bake. Next time I get my passport stamped at Ikea, I am definitely picking up a few more of these. The simple white design is perfect for food photographing and the priset är rätt! Also, I’m seriously thinking of stockpiling them for thrifty gifts.

Don’t feel like you can’t repeat pumpkin pie for your Christmas dessert table. As long as they are selling fresh pumpkins in the store, the season is right for this pie!

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Bharatavarsa.net: Book distribution seminar: samadhi

"In our Krsna consciousness movement, all our activities are concentrated upon distributing Krsna literature. This is very important. One may approach any person and induce him to read Krsna literature so that in the future he also may become a devotee. Such activities are recommended in this verse. Kriyesu yas tvac-caranaravindayoh. Such activities will always remind the devotees of the Lord's lotus feet. By fully concentrating on distributing books for Krsna, one is fully absorbed in Krsna. This is samadhi." (purport, Bhag. 10.2.37)

"Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is the most benevolent personality in human society because His only desire is to make people happy. His sankirtana movement is especially meant for the purpose of making people happy."

(purport, Cc. Adi 9.45)

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Japa Group: Slow And Steady Wins The Race

Today I was thinking of these words of wisdom. We don't need to be in a hurry to chant our Japa, we just need to concentrate and steadily chant with determination and conviction to get back to Godhead. Don't be like the rabbit and race ahead to the end of your 16 rounds....relish the Holy names as you would relish delicious prasadam.

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Akrura das, Gita Coaching: ASSUMPTIONS AND BELIEFS

Are you open enough to question your assumptions and beliefs?

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Bharatavarsa.net: Bhakti Vikasa Swami: If You Are Not Ashamed

Swamiji was aware of what we were going through in our conversion from "hippy to happy." He said, "You can wear your chanting beads around your neck when you go outside the temple -- if you are not ashamed."

"What does that mean Swamiji? S.M.?"

"Not S.M.," said Swamiji, "I said ashamed. If you are not ashamed.

Prabhupada meant, "If you are not ashamed of being a devotee."

>From Prabhupada Meditations by SDG

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Book Distribution News: samadhi

"In our Krsna consciousness movement, all our activities are concentrated upon distributing Krsna literature. This is very important. One may approach any person and induce him to read Krsna literature so that in the future he also may become a devotee. Such activities are recommended in this verse. Kriyesu yas tvac-caranaravindayoh. Such activities will always remind the devotees of the Lord's lotus feet. By fully concentrating on distributing books for Krsna, one is fully absorbed in Krsna. This is samadhi." (purport, Bhag. 10.2.37)

"Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is the most benevolent personality in human society because His only desire is to make people happy. His sankirtana movement is especially meant for the purpose of making people happy."

(purport, Cc. Adi 9.45)

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H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: 158

www.sdgonline.org. SDGonline Daily updates

4:38 A.M.

Excerpts from Sri Harinama Cintamani (spoken by Haridasa Thakura to Lord Caitanya and written by Bhaktivinoda Thakura):

The Kanistha-Vaisnava:

“The neophyte devotee (kanistha-adhikari) Vaisnava displays a faith that is formal, even worldly. He worships the Deity but has not developed an interest in serving a Vaisnava sadhu. He is almost a Vaisnava, but is not a real Vaisnava yet, hence he is not able to take full spiritual advantage of sadhu-sanga. A neophyte will have to receive a pure Vaisnava’s blessings to advance spiritually.

The Madhyama-Vaisnava

“If a madhyama Vaisnava (intermediate devotee) develops loving affection for Lord Krishna, friendship with Lord Krishna ‘s devotees, compassion for the innocent, and evades the company of atheists, he quickly becomes a pure devotee. He alone becomes eligible to chant the pure name.

The Uttama-Vaisnava

“A pure devotee of the highest level sees Lord Krishna manifest everywhere and knows that everything rests in Him. Indeed, he sees that Lord Krishna is his life and soul. He is unconcerned with distinctions of who is a Vaisnava and who is not; his whole life revolves around chanting the holy name. To him, the holy name is the evidence of everything.

These are the three stages of devotees. The kanistha-Vaisnava is not even fully considered a Vaisnava because of his worldly attachments. His saving grace is that he worships the Deity. But he does not see the Deity’s devotees. His worship is confined between himself and the Deity. Not being able to take advantage of sadhu-sanga, his progress is stopped. He cannot advance until he receives the mercy of a pure devotee, and then he can go on to the higher stages.

The madhyama-Vaisnava. It has been said that the madhyama-Vaisnava is the one capable of distributing Krishna consciousness to others. The uttama-Vaisnava is capable, but he already sees everyone as a Vaisnava and so does not usually preach. In order to preach, the uttama-Vaisnava comes down to the stage of madhyama-Vaisnava. So the Vaisnava in the madhyama stage is the real preacher. He displays active friendship for innocent persons and is compassionate toward them.  His relationships with the other Vaisnavas are as follows: he serves and worships the uttama-Vaisnava, he acts on an equal, friendly basis with madhyama-Vaisnavas, and he is compassionate towards the innocent, or ignorant but inoffensive nondevotees. His is a very auspicious position.
The uttama-Vaisnava sees Lord Krishna everywhere, but he is so humble he sees everyone as a Vaisnava except himself. Seeing that everyone already has a connection with Krishna, he does not usually preach. When he preaches, he comes out and steps down to the madhyama Vaisnava standard and is active among the non-devotees. He is sometimes called the gosthyanandi, or an active preacher, or when he does not preach he is a bhajananandi. The gosthyanandi is at a higher stage, and it has been said the best gosthyanandi is a bhajananandi who preaches. He is the most capable to preach, although he may not always do so.

I woke up at 2:30 A.M. when Narayana came into my room. I began my chanting at a good pace, but toward the end of an hour I began to get drowsy. I chanted twelve rounds by 3:35. I am not feeling guilty about my japa yajna and feel that I will be able to chant my remaining quota in a good condition. I was more concerned with maintaining good mechanics of chanting than I was with praying for fallen souls or meditating on the Divine Couple. This is a shortcoming.

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H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: Prabhupada Meditations

www.sdgonline.org. SDGonline Daily updates

“In one recall session with Baladeva, he asked me for strong impressions and exact details. But I could hardly remember anything exactly as it happened. However, I do know in a general way the rasa or flavor of being with Swamiji. So with your permission, I may recreate an evening’s activity in Swamiji’s apartment just before he would go down to the storefront for kirtana on Monday, Wednesday or Friday night:

“When I come into his room he recognizes me. I say I’m feeling better now in Krishna consciousness, and I’m getting through the days at the welfare office by thinking and working for Krishna. Prabhupada says something to encourage me, like, ‘I told you it would be like that, and you will see it is true more and more. It is such a nice thing.’ Then he turns to Raphael and says, ‘When are you going to fix the lock on this door?’ Raphael replies, ‘I’m sorry, Swamiji, I didn’t get around to it.’ Then Gargamuni comes in with a report, ‘Swamiji, today I put one of your pamphlets in a head shop, and the guy said, “Is this the same Hinduism that has the caste system? We don’t want this here.” So I said to him, “Everywhere in the world there is this system of four divisions.”’

“Prabhupada says, ‘Yes, he doesn’t know the varnasrama system because he’s less than a sudra.’ We all laugh at that and Gargamuni says, ‘Swamiji, he wouldn’t want to hear that from me! Maybe you could go talk with him.’

“Swamiji says to Gargamuni, ‘So how much did you collect for those pamphlets?’

“‘Well, I only got two dollars.’ Then Swamiji turns to me. ‘Brahmananda says you have not signed all the invoices. But you’re the secretary, and you have to sign when any money is given out.’

“‘Well, Swamiji,’ I say, ‘I did sign them, but I was at work today and they didn’t give me the latest ones.’

“Swamiji says, ‘Anyway, see that everything is done properly. Whatever money we’re getting is coming in by Krishna’s grace, and we have to account for it all.’ Gargamuni confirms, ‘Oh yes, Swamiji, we’re very careful with all the money.’

“Then someone asks, ‘What time is it? When do we have to go down to the storefront?’

“We are all aware that it’s a kirtana night, and soon we will go down to the storefront and met the guests. But first we go to the next room and put on tilaka with Swamiji. He is very attractive to us, his smile and his willingness to flow from one thing to another according to whatever comes up.

“In the next room we all sit down and wait for Swamiji to put on his tilaka , and we watch him. When he puts tilaka on one part of his body, then we do it in the same way. Swamiji looks over from his corner to see Jadurani painting and he says, ‘Oh, you’re improving. This is very nice. Yes, Lord Caitanya used to dance like that. He was very beautiful with a golden form. He used to dance and everyone in Navadvipa would come to take part in that kirtana. So make it like that.’

“She asks him, ‘Swamiji, should Lord Nityananda have an effulgence around His head?’

“‘Oh yes, He also.’

“‘And what about Gadadhara?’


“‘Should he have long hair?’

“‘No, this one should be shaven-headed just like a Hindu brahmacari, but the others may be like that.’
“Swamiji says that if we can get a good Indian mrdanga it would add to the kirtanas. Someone says he saw a mrdanga like that in an uptown store and will try to get it. Swamiji then mentions that the harmonium should not be played the way we play it, as a drone.

“‘No, Swamiji? I thought it was a drone instrument.’

“‘No,’ Swamiji says, ‘it is not a drone instrument. It is played with melody. I will show you one day how to play, but for now you can play it like that. The drone instrument is that tamboura.’
“Madhusudana comes up and says, ‘Swamiji, there’s about twenty people down in the storefront, and I think most of us should go down now.’

“‘Yes,’ Swamiji says, ‘you all go down, and I will join you.’ Swamiji has just taken his shower and so his skin, which is always soft and smooth, is especially fresh. He holds the wet tilaka clay and a mirror in his left hand, and his wrist is turned in a delicate way. Keeping his back straight he glances down to the mirror, bending his neck a bit forward. With his pinky extended gracefully, he starts to apply the tilaka with the ring finger of his right hand. Then he offers several sticks of burning incense and rings a bell before the picture of the Panca-tattva. We don’t know what he is praying or what bhajana he is singing, but we watch. He is barefoot in his apartment, but on leaving, he will put on his white rubber shoes with the pointy toes.

“We go down to the temple and mix with the guests or talk among ourselves, waiting. Although we have just been with Swamiji upstairs, now there is more anticipation that he will soon come in and start the program. We are proud and thrilled to see him suddenly appear through the door. Swamiji is a real sadhu from India, wrapped around with khadi saffron, with his tilaka so fresh going up his long forehead and the arrow point on his nose very nicely done. He stands at the door a moment and steps out of his slippers.

“There is a slight tilt to the floor. It is not uncommon to see cockroaches. It’s a narrow room, and everyone is crowded in. I watch from my own spot on the floor where I like to sit—in the front half of the room (closer to Swamiji) and on the right hand side of the room. I feel happy with new well-being, thinking with pleasure: ‘I’m going to stick to this Krishna consciousness no matter what anyone says. I’m following Swamiji. Tonight I’m going to listen to what he says, and I’m going to get into the kirtana.’

“As you dedicate yourself, you look above Swamiji’s head to the circular canvas of Radha and Krishna. They look almost like puppets or mannequins, but it’s still Krishna with His flute and Radharani, and so it’s very nice. The form of Sri Krishna and Radharani, focused above Swamiji, is made of bright reds and blues and yellows and filled with jaunty angles, Krishna’s flute, His elbows and legs, and Radharani holding onto His shoulder.”

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H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: In the Eye of the Beholder

www.sdgonline.org. SDGonline Daily updates

Krishna is not an oath or a curse
He’s a holy name.
He’s not a dry lecture,
He’s jelly and jam.

Krishna-lila is in the eye of the beholder;
to the impersonalist, He has no spiritual
head, He’s everything, and I am Krishna
too. But to the devotee, Krishna is specific
form. A powerful man, a thunderbolt
to the wrestlers and a little boy to
His mom.

I want to know about the people
in the wrestling arena—who
saw the real Krishna? What
about the vision of the gopis that
He was an inconceivably beautiful boy?
Weren’t they right?
Kamsa was right too—
he saw Krishna as the death of his life.
And Kamsa feared Him to hate Him
up to his last breath.
He tried to kill Him.

Krishna lies in the eye of
the beholder. He is
all the stars and galaxies
the planets and suns.

He’s the clock within
the hour of destruction.
He will control the collapse
of all existence, and start it
up again.

He is the powerful conqueror.
You should take shelter
at His lotus feet if a serpent
comes, cry out, “Krishna!
Please come and save my daddy.”
Krishna please come and
Krishna is with us always.
Let us chant Your
holy name and come to know
You are God. Please
teach us who You are
and how to serve You.

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H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: The Dialogue

www.sdgonline.org. SDGonline Daily updates

I turned at random to Srimad Bhagavatam, Canto 3, Chapter 25, text 43:

“The yogis, equipped with transcendental knowledge and renunciation and engaged in devotional service for their eternal benefit, take shelter of My lotus feet, and since I am the Lord, they are thus eligible to enter the kingdom of God without fear.

Purport: “. . . The conclusion is that one cannot be sure of entrance into the spiritual realm—in either the impersonal brahmajyoti effulgence of the Lord or the Vaikuṇṭha planets within that Brahman effulgence—unless he is surrendered unto the lotus feet of the Supreme Lord. The surrendered souls are doubtless and fearless, and their entrance into the spiritual kingdom is guaranteed.”

I took some of my books on journaling out from my library, and I started browsing through them. Some are about free writing; just write what comes. Some are more ordered, like “write about a childhood memory,” etc. All are meant to bring out the best. Free writing: Chiquita banana. There was a cartoon comic where Scrooge McDuck hitchhikes a free ride from the Caribbean by hiding in the hold of a banana boat. He has been at sea for three months. When he arrives home, he asks his wife to prepare his supper. She made him a banana cake! He’s been eating bananas only for months, and she serves him bananas!

The journal book One to One recommends writing in dialogue. Just take two sides and talk.

X: I’ve been sleeping late and taking extra rest and feeling that I have to get all my rounds done and free writing done.

O: Well you know what you can do. They say take the extra rest, and if you have to write less, then do it. But don’t push yourself to get less sleep. You wind up having trouble writing and can’t even read your handwriting.

X: Yeah, but I’m very reluctant to cut down. And I can’t chant Hare Krishna less than sixteen rounds. Caitanya Candrodaya even suggested that I do not have to do my video broadcast this Saturday, but I do not want to skip it. Baladeva said that on my last broadcast I did look sleepy. People will start finding fault with you if you do it.

O: I just have to find some interesting topics to write on. But actually my life is not very eventful. You can write of your inner life. One to One recommends writing about the past and being very candid about things in the present.

X: Write about the past. I used to be very active in ISKCON. One reason I am no longer is I am gun-shy about the difficulty I had. But that can be overcome. When I go to lecture I am accepted honorably. There’s no reason to fear your past. It’s more a case of my health in the present. I get frequent headaches even by staying at home, and if I travel and lecture it creates stress and more illness. I should be satisfied with my cyberspace preaching. It’s ambitious and enjoyable, and it’s definitely preaching, reaching out to people. Readers go onto my web site.

X: These two voices in the dialogue are not very distinct. They are not producing two points of view. But I’ll keep going. Do you feel that journal-keeping is getting stressful for you?

O: Just recently I’m finding it hard to get everything done because I’m getting up at 2:30 A.M.  instead of 1:30, and then I’m taking an extra nap from 9:00 to 10:00 A.M.
I feel I need this, and if I don’t do it I’m drowsy and can’t stay awake to chant and write effectively. So I’m going through a physical change that’s making it hard to keep up.

X: What’s the answer? The alternatives?

O: I could write less. I’m not going to sleep less. Just “keep on truckin’,’’ make your maximum effort, find a way to do a free write to fill up the pages. Saci just started reading to me this morning about a giant bull named Vatsasura that attacked Vrndavana. The cows began to flee. Everyone panicked because the bull was so huge and ferocious and destructive. It seems there is never prolonged peace in Vrndavana, but every calamity becomes an occasion for Krishna to show His stuff. He grabbed this bull who had charged Him and threw him at a distance. The bull got up and charged him again. This time Krishna broke his horn. Then He began kicking him like a washing rag. It didn’t take long for Krishna to finish him and for peace to return as usual. We are coming to the stage where Krishna sends Akrura to go bring Krishna to Mathura. Akrura is an enigmatic figure. On his journey to Vrndavana he falls into a trance of devotion toward Krishna just by seeing His footprints on the ground. Yet he’s on a mission for Kamsa. He gets complicated in his loyalties.

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Doyal Gauranga dasa & Gadadhar Pandit dasa, NYC: Finding Gratitude

"An aspect of Thanksgiving I’ve always had trouble with is the part about giving thanks. I’m not against gratitude, but things to be grateful for just don’t naturally spring to mind."

This was the opening quote of a NY Times article that we read for our final Reflections of the Fall semester. It's not always easy to be grateful, but, as we discussed, it's a skill worth developing. We have to work at it throughout our lives, learning how to perceive each circumstance and situation in life through a certain lens that enables us to experience a greater joy and satisfaction that we might have otherwise missed out on with the wrong outlook.
For the full article, click on the link below:
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Vrndavana Vinodini dd, Toronto, Canada: Lessons Series- Tolerance

Every moment, every encounter and every situation is actually a lesson if we just take the time to recognize it. Personally, I think I am afraid of lessons for the simple fact that I'm afraid to fail. So instead of recognizing it as an opportunity to grow and learn, I instead try to ignore it and pretend they don't exist.

Sometimes, however, no matter how hard we try to run and hide, Krsna arranges a situation where you can't help but introspect. Yesterday that lesson was tolerance. I was getting onto a bus mentally preparing myself for a five hour drive. I carefully tried to pick a seat and prayed and prayed that nobody would sit next to me. Just as I thought I was in the clear, someone sat down. "Grumble, grumble," was the state of my consciousness.

Resigning myself to the fact that this was the way things were, I settled in for the ride. Immediately my ears were assailed by really loud music. I'm not talking just loud- it was ear-splitting. Twisting myself in my seat, I searched for the source. Behind me, earphones in his ears was a gentleman playing music on his laptop. What could I say? He had earphones in his ears and yet the music was blaring.

Fuming silently, I mentally was wondering "Why, oh why, did I choose this seat? Why am I being subjected to this?" As I was wondering, it suddenly dawned upon me- he wasn't just listening to any music but some Gospel music talking about the power of God.

Although it was loud, and one could argue intrusive to the others surrounding him, it made me realize how little tolerance I have. I wasn't in a situation where there was jarring rock music pounding in my ears or even worse a string of obscenities blasting out, instead the refrain kept repeating "The power of God, the power of God."

In his own way, this person was sharing the Lord's glories. Instead of looking at the positive, I was absorbed in my own comforts and was failing to recognize that. As I pulled on my own headphones and searched for some kirtan, I realized that tolerance is not something superficial. It means having true understanding and respect for others. Although I am not tolerant and didn't practice tolerance in that situation, I got a glimpse of my own progress in that regard.

Apparently though, Krsna didn't think that was enough! My strategy when taking long rides is to sleep. An ignorant escape, but at least one that makes the time pass by faster! As I listened to some kirtan, I slowly fell asleep only to wake up suddenly. There was a tapping noise that persisted.

Barely containing my frustration, I didn't know what to think. On one hand it sounded like someone was pounding on a keyboard and typing very quickly. Immediately I assigned the culprit to be this poor gentlemen behind me. Turning up the volume, I tried to escape. Slowly, intelligence sunk in and I realized that I had assigned blame too hastily. Indeed, it was the chair I was sitting in and no one else!

There was no where to move and nothing to do but tolerate. Such a small thing that could cause me to react so drastically internally. There was no way to take it other than recognizing it was Krsna's arrangement.

Upon reaching home, I could only laugh. Krsna is such a trickster! Normally I would do everything in my power to try to change or get out of a situation that requires tolerance, but he kept me trapped. Looking back, I recognize it was great mercy. I had an opportunity to listen to kirtan, try to absorb myself in some lectures (as a means of escaping the tapping sound) and introspect. Things I like to do, but often "don't have time to do."

I pray that I develop this most valuable jewel of tolerance. As aspiring chanters, it is the ornament we all must wear that will enable us to chant constantly.

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Kripamoya dasa, UK: Trouble in the streets

The ferocity of yesterday’s student demonstration in London took the city’s police force by surprise. 3,000 police, dozens on horseback, were called in to patrol the large protest march and to protect Parliament where a vote was taking place on the increase of higher education student fees.

In the cold light of day this morning, the full extent of the damage could be seen. Buildings and monuments in  Parliament Square and Whitehall had been daubed in spray-paint graffiti, windows smashed, and the large Christmas tree in Trafalgar square burned. Even the car transporting prince Charles and his wife was attacked last night by protesters who kicked it and threw paint. News watchers in countries beyond Europe might have been surprised at these violent scenes and confused about the underlying causes.

In a majority of countries of the world, education is regarded as a privilege, and secondary education even more so. Going to a university is a relatively rare achievement for a young person, and often involves the family going into debt – even before the son or daughter goes to the university. The UK has a system of either subsidizing some courses or helping students with loans. The loans must be repaid when the graduate finds employment. The legislation debated and passed yesterday will allow universities to charge – in some cases – up to three times the previous tuition fees.

This ruling upset many, and the students took to the streets to register their peaceful protest. Among the thousands there yesterday, however, were some who had come to make trouble and cause chaos with violence. They came prepared with paint, distress flairs, and a complete disregard for public order or property. Self-styled ‘anarchists,’ not even the Cenotaph was worthy of their respect.

If they were anything like the ‘anarchists’ I have come across on my travels, they will not actually be in full-time education; will be living by cheating the UK’s benefit (welfare) system, and filled with hatred of law and order that make living in a peaceful society possible. The downside of one generation creating a society where the poor are protected by a welfare system; education subsidized and health care is free, is that the next generation take it as their inalienable right.

Education is never an inalienable ‘right’ and neither is health-care. These life-enhancing elements of a civilized society are created by the exercise of an ethical response to the disadvantage of others; what Vaishnavas would call dharma. The dharma for students is to approach the teacher (guru) with humility and offerings of service, not to demand education as a right. And the dharma for anarchists is to avoid the embarrassment of living at the expense of others.

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Dandavats.com: Krishna conscious activities for children aged 2-6

By Mira Rose-Dewil

Here are some practical ideas for creating a Krishna conscious environment for kids at home, many based on Montessori principles that I have found successful in my school. They are geared toward the 2-6 age group. I would love to hear from anyone who might have more ideas for this age group or for older children

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Dandavats.com: Vaishnavis Ashram at Bhaktivedanta College 2010/11

Bhaktivedanta College Radhadesh: The girls' ashram at Bhaktivedanta College in Radhadesh is a unique place, where nineteen girls from fourteen countries live, study, and serve together. The college is a place of endless adventures and wonderful spiritual friendships

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Dandavats.com: Latest Bhaktivedanta Manor Newsletter

Radha Mohan das: Please visit the following Bhaktivedanta Manor website page to access the most recent Newsletter, as a PDF file

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ISKCON News.com: Motherly Love

By Sutapa Das for sutapamonk.blogspot.com on 19 Sep 2010

It’s easy to take mothers for granted. Some researchers recently followed around one such mother for a week in an attempt to estimate the monetary value of her ‘motherly love’. After crunching the numbers, they concluded that to employ such a mother would set you back in the region of £150,000 a year!

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Subhavilasa das ACBSP, Toronto, CA: The Lover of the Lord who can Enlighten the whole world!

I love this video and and as a lead up to tomorrow, which is World Enlightenment Day, this is to honour Srila Prabhupada who has mercifully given the Torch to Enlighten the world.

Srila Prabhupada, we pray at the dust of your lotus feet that one day we can feel a fraction of this "Love of the Lord" which you so evidently demonstrated when you were amongst us. 
Even Uttama-Adhikari does not adequately describe your position and you were, are and always will be the center of ISKCON and in this way can all flourish. 
You vani and siksa has and will take all of your sincere devotees from the darkest ignorance to Enlightenment.   
All Glories to you Srila Prabhupada!
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ISKCON News.com: Book Distribution - A Complete Form of Worship

By Giriraj Swami for dandavats.com on 6 Dec 2010

Book distribution is sankirtana. `Kirtana` means `glorification` and `sam` means `complete`. Glorification of Krishna is complete when many devotees participate. Who worships Lord Caitanya by sankirtana? Those who are highly intelligent. Of course, sometimes someone might not be so intelligent–he might just be fortunate.

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ISKCON News.com: University Challange by UK`s Pandava Sena

By Editor for Bhaktivedanta Manor Newsletter on 10 Dec 2010

Being a ‘fresher’ at university is an unforgettable experience. Taking this spirit to heart, the award winning Pandava Sena Krishna Consciousness Society (KC Socs) University Team is offering students the chance to experience a real-life ‘University Challenge’ - or as the Pandava Sena motto goes, ‘A Life Less Ordinary’!

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ISKCON News.com: Were the Three Wise Man from China?

By Michelle Healy for USA Today on 7 Dec 2010

The story of the Three Wise Men is one of the most familiar and beloved parts of the Christmas story. But for all of their popularity, the mysterious travelers from the East — known as the Magi — appear in only one short passage in the New Testament. Many religious scholars aren't even sure they really existed.

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ISKCON News.com: India Says Local Islamists Bombed Hindu Pilgrim City Varanasi

By C. J. Kuncheria for Reuters on 8 Dec 2010

India said Wednesday a home-grown Islamist group with ties to Pakistani militants was behind a bomb attack in one of its holiest cities, and local media reported two people were questioned over the attack.

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ISKCON News.com: Global Restrictions on Religion

By Pew Forum Analyst for Pew Forum on 10 Dec 2010

A new study finds that 64 nations - about one-third of the countries in the world - have high or very high restrictions on religion. But because some of the most restrictive countries are very populous, nearly 70 percent of the world's 6.8 billion people live in countries with high restrictions on religion, the brunt of which often falls on religious minorities.

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H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

Warm Treatment

Miami, Florida

Climate Change!

A year or two ago when Miami was hit by a cold blast the chief of the fire department set on his home a heating system which was underused. The system was defective and it started a fire which forced him to call the fire department. So tells the flight agent at the Westjet counter.

On the plea of having walking companions this morning I convinced a group that the trek would keep us warm (some of us are bundled up with winter coats and hoodies while attending sadhana in the ashram temple walls). The persuasion worked. The walk gave warmth. Even though we tread our way along the ocean's bay heading north from Peacock Park, the air was still and the sun rose to greet our left sides on the return journey. At Kennedy Park our feet hit a sidewalk entirely constructed of cork. My guess is that it was a good 3 kilometers with its myriad loops. What a great bounce that was. It is particularly designed for runners and walkers.

My trip to Miami came to a finish. I always enjoy my visits here. Perhaps it is the warmth of the dominant Hispanic blood that brews here and makes it so pleasurable. This is not to discredit any other places I visited on this trip in Pennsylvania or elsewhere in Florida. There is a delicious flavour to all locations.

Of course, people always seem to treat their swamis well and I am one hundred percent sure that not everyone who comes through our doors gets the same level of hospitality. There is sentiment in India that it someone comes to your home it means Bhagavan has come.

Bhagavan is another name for God.

Last note: Yesterday we spoke about George Harrison. Today marks the day of the passing away 30 years ago of John Lennon. Imagine! Time!

7 KM

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H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Tuesday, December 7th, 2010

Hey George!

Miami, Florida

At the Commodore Plaza, Coconut Grove, we sang his song:

My Sweet Lord
Mmm My Lord
Mmm My Lord
I really want to see you
I really want to be with you
I really want to see you Lord,
But it takes so long my Lord

My Sweet Lord
Mmm My Lord

I really want to know you
I really want to go with you
I really want to show you Lord that I won't take long
My Lord

My Sweet Lord
My, my Lord
Over a dozen of us monks and lay members made our way to sing George Harrison's song, "My Sweet Lord" where Mark, a big fan of his hung this huge banner "Strawberry Fields" at the Arts and Mind School. George passed away in 2001, November 29th and for several days, as a memorial ceremony, Mark invited the Krishnas to chant.

The school has its windows adorned with pictures of George over the years and the popular nighttime area resounded with the song preceded by many, many mantras of Hare Krishna.

Why does George continue to be a hero for Krishna devotees?

Through his music a whole generation of people explored the Krishna theology and for many fans of that era, their lives were changed FOREVER. Strawberry fields!

8 KM

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ISKCON News.com: Restoring Holy Dwarka`s Mangrove Forests

By Karan Wallia for ISKCON News on 10 Dec 2010

Dwarka has been submerged in the sea six times in its history. Environment specialists agree that restoring mangroves will help protect the coastline, support the shore life and beautify the area.

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H.H. Sivarama Swami: Is the spiritual master all-cognizant

Some disciples claim that the guru knows everything, about everyone and everything and to think otherwise is an offense. What is the scriptural conclusion on this topic?

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Gouranga TV: Chakrini Devi dasi kirtan

Chakrini Devi dasi kirtan. Festival of the Holy Name, Alachua 2010

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H.H. Sivarama Swami

Let me not desire anything but the highest good for my worst enemies.

- Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura

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