----- Original Message -----From: FeedBlitzTo:Sent: Sunday, December 12, 2010 7:53 AMSubject: Planet ISKCON - 31 new articles
"Planet ISKCON" - 31 new articles
- Australian News: Exclusive video of Melbourne devotees firing up and going off – don’t miss it!
- ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Harinama with Deena Bandhu Prabhu
- ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Today's Darsana
- Kripamoya dasa, UK: Christmas cards
- Bharatavarsa.net: Bhakti Vikasa Swami: Srila Prabhupada gets a telephone
- Japa Group: Present By The Vibration
- H.H. Sivarama Swami
- Kripamoya dasa, UK: French news agency features New Gokula farm
- Dandavats.com: The Sacred Necklace
- Vrndavana Vinodini dd, Toronto, Canada: Lessons Series: Filling in the Gaps
- H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: 159
- H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: Prabhupada Meditations
- H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: Holiday Lights and Fir Tree
- H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: Free Write
- ISKCON News.com: Havi Das Wins Latin Grammy Award
- H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: Remembering Srila Prabhupada Live – Prabhupada and Mayapur
- ISKCON News.com: New Moscow Mayor Approves Five-Acre Plot for Krishna Temple
- Madhava Ghosh dasa, New Vrndavan, USA: Jiva Goswami Recovering
- ISKCON News.com: Devotee Scholars Attend Cosmology Conference in Bangalore
- ISKCON News.com: Three Russian Book Distributor Devotees Die in a Car Crash
- ISKCON News.com: New Photographic Edition of God's Song Arrives for Gita Jayanti
- H.H. Sivarama Swami: Jatinder Mehta asks
- Akrura das, Gita Coaching: QUESTION YOUR THOUGHTS
- Subhavilasa das ACBSP, Toronto, CA: World Enlightenment Day - Prabhupada Marathon Quote: "First of all Books!"
- ISKCON News.com: Vaishnavi Ashram at Bhaktivedanta College Radhadesh
- ISKCON News.com: Rethinking Darwin – New from the North European BBT
- Akrura das, Gita Coaching: CREATIVITY IN KRSNA CONSCIOUSNESS
- Australian News: Sri Harinam Sankirtan is calling your name – The Video
- H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Thursday, December 9th, 2010
- Japa Group: Slow And Steady Wins The Race
- Gouranga TV: 08 Jagannath Kirtan Dasa kirtan
- More Recent Articles
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- Prior Mailing Archive
Melbourne devotees really show us all how it is done. In the videos the Harinam Sankirtan party drives a tidal wave of Krishna, in the form of His name, across the city which penetes every living being in it’s path – on screen – don’t miss it.
This is an epic production. Watching is the perfection of the eyes and ears. Where is your nearest harinam? Make a plan to go at least once in a while. If there isn’t one, get one fired up.
Here they are at last:
the rest of the segments to the video posted on the Maha-Harinama.
You can scroll down that Youtube page for all the 6 links.
The Goloka bees are buzzing around Their Lordships in Their blossoming pink outfits.
Bhakti Man Prabhu attended to SS Radha Ballabha today;
Sri Murti Mataji to chota Radha Krishna;
Aditi Mataji to SS Gaura Nitai;
Ananda Ballabha Prabhu to chota Gaura Nitai and Srila Prabhupada;
and Kamaleshwari Gopi to SS Jaganatha, Baladeva and Subhadra Mayi.
Since Srimad Bhagavatam class sweetly referred to Krishna's pastimes with the gopis and Yasoda Mata involving His dancing expertise,
here's a slideshow of our Vrindavana Natabara and His eternal associates.
Every year, starting from about now, the postman delivers Christmas cards each morning. They come from all sorts of old and new friends, from all over the country. I like receiving Christmas cards, especially the ones containing kind thoughts, blessings and good wishes from people I know. I display them all, and they transform my home into a little art gallery. Some go along the window ledges, but most hang from a string running around the room. There’s traditional ones with winter scenes of snow, robins and Christmas trees; religious ones with the stable scene, baby Jesus, or the three wise men; then there’s cheesy ones or funny ones. I like them all.
A few years ago, when waves of misplaced political correctness were affecting even people of good sense, some old friends – and a lot of new ones who didn’t wish to upset me – questioned whether it was alright to send cards celebrating a Christian festival to a Vaishnava. As I’ve explained for many years to anyone who will listen, the birth of Christ and the spreading of the gospel messages are a cause of celebration for Vaishnavas. The Christian message brought much light to parts of the world that were in comparative darkness, and we live in gratitude that Europe received that message.
But that doesn’t mean my Vaishnava credentials are fading. Nor does it mean that I’ve turned a blind-eye to the man-made institutions and theological contrivances that have created the many Christianities we know today. And I must also make it clear to my readers in India that I feel no sympathy for the overly-aggressive, American-funded, Pentecostal/Evangelical invasion of India’s tribal regions, often at the expense of the local Vaishnava culture.
But whatever elements of Christianity are in pursuance of bhakti should be welcomed and celebrated. Although the festival has been covered by a veneer of commercialism, there are still many thousands of people each year who come in touch with their inner spiritual feelings at this time, and that’s one very important reason why Christmas – and Christmas cards – can make us all cheerful. So, dear readers, please keep sending them. I promise you I won’t be offended.
...we are advancing in science, but at the same time, the so-called science, at the same time we are creating many disadvantages. Many disadvantages. >From practical experience I say that when I came to your country... In India it is very difficult to get a telephone. You have to wait in the waiting list at least for two years or you have to bribe the authorities, say, five thousand, two thousand, like that. So when I got this facility of telephone... Because as soon as I deposited forty dollars... Forty dollars? The next day the telephone was in my room. So I was very glad. But after getting my telephone, I was disturbed always. (laughter) Some of my students asking, phoning me, (telephone sound) cling, cling, and "Swamiji, how you are feeling?" At twelve o'clock at night. (laughter). Yes. So I asked him, it is the time to inquire? I am very sorry. Not only one, I become so much disturbed. Then I asked them, get out this telephone.
>>> Ref. VedaBase => Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.3.10 -- Los Angeles, September 16, 1972
Every single day of chanting makes us more aware of our relationship with Krsna - we think He is the supreme and we are His servants....our natural position as eternal servants shines more and more, and the holy names take control of our mind and we surrender to the Lord through chanting.All kinds of obstacles are vanquished when we make efforts to improve chanting. The Lord and His devotees help us to achieve our spiritual goals and we realize we are on the right path back home, back to Godhead.We will always notice we are improving if we have this desire to serve devotees and offer the best to the Lord and not to ourselves.Reading a lecture by Srila Prabhupada he mentions we should always associate with the Lord by His vibration, this means when we hear the sastras, and when we chant He is present in the sound, by doing that we will never be far, the Lord will always be with us:So next time you associate with the Lord give Him your full attention and remember this is your time with Him, dedicate to it and make Him a feast with your love.your servant,Aruna devi
Those favored by God find their paths set by thorns.
- Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura
French news agency AFP this week featured Bhaktivedanta Manor’s newly opened Goshalla in its broadcasts. The news company syndicates features in six languages and is a well-used media outlet. This video is 2 mins 42 secs. Have a look:
By Indradyumna Swami
One morning in Vrindavana, I was sitting in my house chanting my rounds when my disciple Narottam Das Thakur Das came to see me. He offered his respectful obeisances and then spoke. "Guru Maharaja," he said, "it's been a long time since I have visited Govardhana Hill. If you don't have any service for me today, I would like your blessings to go on Govardhana parikrama."
Ever try to really focus at a task at hand? So difficult! As aspiring chanters, we get a daily reality check when we sit down to chant our japa. Is it any wonder that we either can't focus, get easily distracted or even worse don't even bother attempting?
Chanting is a reflection of how determined and how sincerely we are attempting to become conscious. Even in doing seemingly "mundane" activities we often hear others bemoan that even simple tasks take them so long because it's impossible to focus. I realize that in myself it's not even a question of trying sometimes, but more a matter of simply giving up.
I was mentioning this to a senior devotee today. In my efforts to become more determined and directed in my life, it's hard to be patient when we are endeavoring for something. "There's only so many hours in a day I can try to focus, if even that!" I proclaimed. Sympathizing with me, she stated, "The most important thing is to fill in those gaps of time, when we are not focused on a specific task, properly. We must do our due diligence in endeavoring, but it's when we don't utilize the remaining time in strengthening our sadhana, that's when doubts may start to creep in. An idle mind is a devil's workshop."
Reflecting on her powerful words, I realized my problem. It's not only about focusing on one's efforts on specific tasks, it's about always endeavoring to remain focused. Oftentimes I say to new people, "Krsna consciousness is a way of life." But am I living the statement that I make? It should mean that every "gap" I have in my day should be used more productively. Whether it be reading, chanting or listening to Krsna katha, it's our choice whether we want to be focused.
Of course one should not artificially try to jump to an elevated level, but recognition is the beginning. Little by little, even if it is in increments of five minutes a day, switching from space out mode to KC mode can make a huge difference. It's my hope and goal that I can fill in the gaps by becoming more Krsna focused which will naturally help me become more Krsna conscious.
Excerpts from Sri Harinama Cintamani (spoken by Haridasa Thakura to Lord Caitanya and written by Bhaktivinoda Thakura):
Remedies for sadhu-ninda:
“If anyone offends a sadhu in a moment of delusion and madness, he must fall at the sadhu’s feet and repent bitterly; weeping and full of contrition, he must beg forgiveness. He should declare himself a fallen wretch in need of a Vaisnava’s grace. A sadhu is very merciful; his heart will soften and he will embrace the offender, thus exonerating him from his offenses.
“I offer this explanation of the first of ten namaparadhas at Your lotus feet.”
“One who is like a bumblebee attracted to the lotus feet of Srila Haridasa Thakura will find the power of life itself in this Harinama Cintamani.”
To actually fall at the feet of a sadhu, declare oneself a fallen wretch and repent with bitter tears may be a little extreme action for a fallen person. If he cannot express himself fully in this way in public, then he must do so within himself. Internally he must feel the great regret and tears and declare himself most fallen. If this is done sincerely, he can get the effects of being forgiven by the Vaisnava. We will notice that this recommended act of contrition is offered as a remedy for many of the ten aparadhas, or offenses. In this sense, superficially, Sri Harinama Cintamani appears to be lacking in variety and inventiveness. However, taking Sri Harinama Cintamani as an authoritative text, we must take it that this one means of remedy is applicable for most of the offenses.
I woke with the alarm clock at 2:30 A.M. when Narayana Kavaca came into my room. My chanting was slow and somewhat lacking in attentiveness I have chanted eight rounds up to 4:30. I will attempt to finish my rounds without too much anxiety. Today I have to do the video broadcast at 10:00 A.M., and then at 2:00 P.M. I’m scheduled to attend a recital of Handel’s Messiah at the children’s school. Along with this I have to fit in my writing, so it will be a busy and stressful day.
The remedy for the offense
of blaspheming a sadhu
is to go to him and beg his
forgiveness, with tears and
heart of contrition. We have seen
in the case of the offender of
Ambarish that it was not good
enough to go directly to Vishnu and
ask for pardon. The Supreme
Lord told him to go directly to Ambarish,
who was in anxiety awaiting
him and desiring to
forgive him. I have stated
in relative terms, that if one
lacks the gumption and
courage to directly approach
the person who he has offended,
he should sincerely do so
in his mind.
“Swamiji says, ‘Let us have kirtana,’ and he starts playing the drum. He sings solo for quite a few minutes. He begins with ‘vande ’ham’ and builds up. You become a little anxious, hoping that the guests won’t go away. If they can just wait, everything will be great. But even if they don’t like it, it’s great. Finally, Swamiji begins to sing the Hare Krishna mantra. We look up to him and sing in response, Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
“The whole room is filled with the kirtana, with no energy left over for anything else. Most of the guests are singing. By giving yourself to this singing, you go out of yourself. Swamiji said this is cosmic consciousness. You can do it without taking any drugs.
“Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. We chant, then Swamiji chants. His head moves slightly from side to side. He has very nice fingernails, cuticles, half-moons, and you can see all that as he plays, his hands and fingers working on the drum and singing.
“After the kirtana, there was a transition before he began to speak. As people quieted down, he opened the book and started. But some people would leave because they didn’t want to hear the philosophy.
“Now the mood was intellectual philosophy, argument, spiritual knowledge. Swamiji explained that the chanting is Krishna, and Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. It’s all described in the Bhagavad-gita. As he spoke, everything became clear and defined. Sri Krishna is the Supreme Person according to the previous acaryas. ‘Krishna,’ ‘Vrndavana,’ ‘Goloka,’ ‘Bhagavad-gita;’ everything was being explained.
“I faithfully heard, believing in what he said, accepting the arguments. I tried to grasp the philosophy, the language, although sometimes missing points.
“Krishna consciousness was substantial knowledge and could be reached only by devotion. There were glimpses—that you could actually attain pure bhakti and live forever with Lord Krishna. The Swami explained things which no one else talked about, that life is filled with problems and miseries that no one can solve, birth, death, disease, and old age . . . the atma is free, and you don’t die. We were sharing and accepted what he said. I couldn’t directly experience much of it, but when he said, “It’s such a nice thing”—we all respected he was in an elevated consciousness beyond us. He was a self-realized soul. He was far-out—because he had so much devotion and realization of Krishna. And that was the difference between he and us.”
I asked Baladeva to purchase
Christmas lights for the front
door and to get a little living
fir tree in a pot and decorate it
with flashing blue and green and red lights.
At first he was reluctant:
“You might as well have Santa on
the roof. A Krishna-conscious
person doesn’t do this.” I didn’t
want the Santa but the fir
and lights because it reminds me
when I was a little boy and
because we are in the Western
world, where people celebrate
this way, and I want to
I don’t see it as outside
of Krishna. The many lights
in the evening brighten the
house, telling people we celebrate
too. We are part of the peace
on earth to men of
It’s Krishna’s message in a Christian world.
It’s lights on when
there’s a blackout on others’ front lawns,
and we are there too
for Radha and Krishna.
Merry Christmas to
I turned at random to Srimad Bhagavatam, Canto 3, chapter 27, text 30:
“When a perfect yogī‘s attention is no longer attracted to the by-products of mystic powers, which are manifestations of the external energy, his progress towards Me becomes unlimited, and thus the power of death cannot overcome him.
“Yogīs are generally attracted to the by-products of mystic yogic power, for they can become smaller than the smallest or greater than the greatest, achieve anything they desire, have power even to create a planet, or bring anyone they like under their subjugation. Yogīs who have incomplete information of the result of devotional service are attracted by these powers, but these powers are material; they have nothing to do with spiritual progress. As other material powers are created by the material energy, mystic yogic powers are also material. . . . A devotee’s attention is concentrated only upon the eternal loving service of the Lord, and therefore the power of death has no influence over him. In such a devotional state, a perfect yogī can attain the status of immortal knowledge and bliss.”
Exploring what a writer is. Listening to the books of writers on writing. They say don’t say “flower,” say “geranium.” Say what’s in front of your nose.
We ate angel-hair spaghetti and sat around and small-talked. Baladeva first read from Srimad Bhagavatam. The book said spiritual subject matter is ever-fresh, but material subject matter gets stale. You can go on reading Bhagavad-gita and Srimad Bhagavatam your whole life and you’ll get new light. I believe that. It takes some work and diligence. But you’ll always find new subject matter in Krishna-conscious writing. It’s not like the journal writing. But I like journal writing because I admit what is happening. It was not really interesting talk at lunch about the devotees in Ireland. It would have been better to go on reading Srimad Bhagavatam. All the gramya-katha about what the different devotees are doing. Manu is struggling financially with his high-priced art gallery. Sastra is struggling too. Krishna was seven years old when He lifted Govardhana Hill, it says in Krishna Book. In Srimad Bhagavatam Canto I, published in India, it says Krishna was six years old. Laksmana is eight years old. Baladeva commented, “now he is ready for the rasa dance. But I said he is more interested in the New York Yankees and the New York Giants and the Syracuse University basketball team, following his father’s support – like father, like son. They asked me if I played sports. I said yes, but I was not good enough for varsity. When am I going back to Ireland? Caitanya said I wouldn’t recognize many of the devotees.
Reading sastras in your room. Singing Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna in the yoga studios. Gaura Vani is a leading sankirtana singer.
So we are going to the basketball game this afternoon. We’ll get a phone call when to go. We will watch Kaulini dribble down court, and make a pass, and take a shot at the basket. We’ll cheer her if she scores. Kirtida asked how long the game is. I said it was an hour. That sounds like a long time. We may get bored with the girls making their sloppy shots and intercepted passes. (As I write this, CC has just come upstairs with copies of my new books. I’ll take some time to read them.) The clock is ticking away.
It’s getting close to Christmas. They call Santa Claus “Father Christmas” in Finland. They have a tourist spot in Lapland, Finland, which is advertised as Father Christmas’ North Pole, and people go there for sleigh rides, touristic things. Christ is born in the religious heart of the church, from the Gospel of St. Luke. It is not a Krishna conscious holiday. We celebrate every day as Krishna’s day of appearance in our hearts, and pray to Him to bring us back to Godhead. It is a cowherd village, Goloka Vrndavana, with Govardhana and Radha-kunda, but now they are covered over by Kali-yuga, and it takes penetrating, faithful eyes to see Krishna in the dhama. You go there and become annoyed by the monkeys and begging pandas and the unsanitary conditions and the heavy car traffic and noise.
Fifteen days before Christmas. I will probably stay here on that day. I don’t think we will have a program. On December 17th I leave here for Philadelphia and stay overnight in a hotel. On the next day at 10:00 A.M. I’ll give a talk. Be upbeat, not guilty but humble. Being a spiritual master means you bring your disciples back to Godhead. How can I claim that I can do that. I properly say I am trying to bring my own self back to Godhead. Can they go if I don’t? Do I have to lead them? What if I am just sincere but don’t immediately transfer to that different world, can they still go? Can they go if I don’t? Is there evidence of that? Srila Prabhupada writes that “even though I think I am very crippled, I think that if one of my disciples becomes pure, he may take me back to Godhead.” What if I leave them sufficient nuclear firepower so that they can go, and I teach them how to use it. What if they go and I can’t? Can they pray for me to go back to Godhead? Do we know where we go? I try to give them books. Bring them to Krishna’s abode. Keep trying. Isopanisad prayer: “Please remember all that I have done for You, and let there be no hindrance in my progress.” Do what I say, not what I do. I have fooled around. I have fallen with another man’s wife, and I am not allowed to initiate. I am slowing down in my outgoing mainstream preaching.
Look at my case. Make the judgment. If you ask me where I want to go, I would say I would like to take them back to Godhead. Where is this jiva going. The soul is like (donkey-mud). The particle of Godhead will cleanse his self. Spare me. I will do what is best. Spare me. We want to be spared and allowed to go back to Godhead.
Venezuela celebrated on November 11th, when one of their most cherished singers and composers, Ilan Chester, won an award for “best folk or traditional album of the year” for his collection “Tesoros de la música Venezolana” ( Treasures of Venezuelan Music) at the Latin Grammys in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Russian authorities have finally allocated land for the construction of a Krishna temple in a northern suburb of Moscow, after many years of petitioning from the ISKCON and Hindu communities.
Got this from Jiva Goswami:
“Now recovering from open heart surgery, look at this nice video with me! (Or “else?”) I won’t be bowling for a while! :) Thank you for your fine good welcome and needed best wishes! Merry Christmas!
“jiva on Big Wheeling Creek”
The video he is linking to I had never seen but had heard about (that he is in it is a joking mood). This guy went around the world recording street musicians and then synced them all up. Wouldn’t it be interesting if someone did it with chanting Hare Krishna?
Older devotees would remember that Jiva did the town runs for New Vrindaban for years and also spent a of of time as a pujari.
Here are the search results from the Brijabasi Spirit for “Jiva Goswami” most of which are articles he wrote about his time in NV.
Filed under: News, Ramblings or Whatever
A “Global Conference on Cosmologies – Perspectives of the Universe” took place from December 2-4, 2010, at Bangalore. Three ISKCON devotees, Basu Ghosh Das (ISKCON Baroda), Rasaraj Das (Bhaktivedanta Institute) and Antardwip Das (Bhaktivedanta Academy) were invited to speak.
On November 29, three Vaishnavas from Nizhniy Novgorod, Russia died in a car accident. The devotees - Ananga Mohan Das, Adhi Yagya Das and Bhakta Lev Khramilov - were in a hurry to Izhevsk, taking part with enthusiasm in the traditional Srila Prabhupada book distribution marathon.
A new edition of the Bhagavad-gita by Visakha Dasi, a disciple of ISKCON's founder Srila Prabhupada, has arrived just in time for Gita Jayanti, which commemorates the day, 5,000 years ago, when Lord Krishna instructed the warrior Arjuna on the Battlefield of Kuruksetra.
“Please tell us what sort of austerities need to be done for the pleasure of Krishna.”
"We suffer when we believe the thoughts that are not true."
Question your thoughts with these four questions:
1. Is it true?
2. Can you absolutely know that it's true?
3. How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought?
4. Who would you be without the thought?
Turn around the concept you are questioning, and be sure to find at least three genuine, specific examples of each turnaround.
- Byron Katie
Subhavilasa das ACBSP, Toronto, CA: World Enlightenment Day - Prabhupada Marathon Quote: "First of all Books!"First of all Books!
We cannot hold up printing.
That is not possible.
This you must always keep in view.
~ His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada
Can it be any clearer than that? Just a bit of nectar for all those fortunate and dedicated souls that are doing Srila Prabhupada's greatest service...distributing his books.
Have a Good Sankirtan day and Happy World Enlightenment Day.
My obeisances unto you!
Jaya Srila Prabupada!
The mataji 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. A video by Bhaktin Hilary.If the selection above is hosted by YouTube then after the video plays there will be several links presented to other videos. ISKCON News Weekly has no control over the selections presented and is not responsible for their contents.
The BBT has published Rethinking Darwin: A Vedic Study of Darwinism and Intelligent Design. Rethinking Darwin may be the first publication of its kind for the BBT. The book is authored by Danish devotee and science writer Lalitanatha Dasa (Leif A. Jensen), but contains chapters from some of the world’s leading scientists in the field of Intelligent Design.
An Artist Speaks
Navayauvana: What is your background as an artist?
Jayarama: I can say that my painting started off with music, because as a child I studied music more than I studied art. I spent most of my time practicing and playing the piano. When I reached sixteen or seventeen I started to become more interested in visual arts, and I began drawing quite a bit. Then I went to study drawing at Washington University, In St. Louis, at the school of fine arts there. I studied under one teacher for two years, and in my third year I was majoring in painting. A lot of problems came up, because my idea of painting and the idea of the teachers was entirely different. They were into very contemporary trends, and I guess they thought of me as a reactionary, because all my paintings were full of detail and mostly visionary. They thought my work was too insubstantial; it wasn't outrageous enough. So I spent my whole third year in college fighting it out with these teachers. Finally I just left, about six weeks before the end of that year, and I went to Europe to see the museums and all the great paintings that I'd been studying for years. Then I came back and kept painting. I went to live in an isolated little spot in Arkansas for awhile so that I could paint in a more peaceful atmosphere. Then I went back to St. Louis, where I started finding out about Krsna consciousness - going to the temple now and then, and learning about Krsna. I was always looking for beauty in art, truth in art, and I always appreciated art that pointed in a high direction. I was looking for beautiful form, and when I started to hear about Krsna, His form was something I naturally became interested in. So I read the Bhagavad-gita As It Is and got to know a few devotees. It was all very attractive. It made a lot of sense to me, and I turned toward Krsna consciousness for inspiration in my art work.
Navayauvana: Previous to this, were there any influences in your art work?
Jayarama: I've always been influenced by Leonardo da Vinci. Leonardo's work -- the more I study it, the more real it become to me. His landscapes are so endlessly deep and mysterious. They're full of a vital, creative energy that's always pulling upwards. Also, Fra Angelico, as far as devotional painters go -- to me he's the greatest. He said that before he would even pick up a paintbrush he'd pray, and as he was painting the face of Christ he would be crying. For him Christ was a very real experience. That devotion he felt for Christ can be seen in his compositions. Everything he painted was glowing with devotion and simplicity. It's the sort of simplicity that reflects higher truths, right in the line and right in the color. Also, I've always like Indian sculpture, because it's the finest example of perfect form and ideal beauty. The, too, there's always the symmetry of a leaf, or the color of sky.... All these things influence me as an artist.
Navayauvana: Now that you're painting for Krsna, do you find any difference in your role as an artist?
Jayarama: I've always felt a kind of need to glorify God in my work, because painting is something He's given me. And now I have that desire even more. I'm mostly interested in trying to show how beautiful Krsna is. He's great and H's beautiful; He's kind and He's compassionate. I just want to try to remind people that God is actually a very beautiful and kind. Person. Whether it takes me ten years to do a painting or ten days, I have to glorify Krsna the best I can. Anything less than that I consider very unsatisfactory and very frustrating.
Navayauvana: Did you ever want to become a great artist?
Jayarama: I don't care if I'm a ‘great artist' or not. I just want my art to point toward the mysteries and the beauties of the truth, that's all. Whether it comes into the context of being great or famous, that doesn't matter so much If I feel that it evokes the desire to understand something higher and to appreciate a higher beauty, that's what I care about -- because that's the experience I have with it, and that's the experience I would like to share. And if it becomes ‘great,' fine; if it doesn't, fine. That doesn't matter, as long as I can somehow point toward that higher direction.
Navayauvana: How has chanting Hare Krsna affected your work?
Jayarama: Well, I can just follow my own progression. My conception of form, my standards of beauty - they've all become so much higher since I've taken chanting seriously.
Navayauvana: Specifically, I'd like to know how the chanting affects your creativity.
Jayarama: I guess a lot of people think that it limits individuality and kind of groups everyone together, right? Because everyone's chanting in the same place, doing the same thing, externally it seems very uninteresting. But, internally, I know if you take it seriously... I mean, I don't take chanting nearly as seriously as I should... but when I do take it seriously, there's nothing but very positive results. Chanting is a link with God, and we're eternally individual parts of God - whole, complete parts. When you chant, your completeness, your individuality, becomes more manifest. And as your individual personality begins to come out, your higher perceptions begin to open up. It's a spiritual vibration, so naturally spiritual vibrations are going to open up all those higher channels of consciousness. And chanting can also manifest itself in form. Not that I've experienced this directly myself, but indirectly I've experienced it within my work - a spiritual sense of beauty, color, and form. Chanting opens a new spiritual dimension.
Navayauvana: In other words, rather than restricting your creativity, chanting does just the opposite.
Jayarama: Oh, definitely. Anyone who can think that chanting is restricting creativity doesn't know anything about chanting.
Navayauvana: So overall, creativity seems to have an important role in your devotional life.
Jayarama: I think creativity should be there in all aspects of life. Why be uncreative? Krsna is the most creative person, and we all come from Him. So why not be creative? We can create beautiful things and give them back to Krsna.
Navayauvana: In what ways do you think Krsna conscious art is unique?
Jayarama: It's unique in that it's presenting a clear understanding of what truth is, a clear understanding of the original person, Krsna - what He looks like, what He does, how He relates to people... When we talk about truth, until we talk about Krsna we're missing so much. Even if Krsna is not mentioned, there are still high forms of art. But art remains incomplete until it contains an awareness of Krsna. Then art can express the highest aspects of truth.
Navayauvana: Do you have any personal goals as an artist?
Jayarama: Oh, yes. I just want to become more honest and sincere in my work. Hopefully, that will give some pleasure to my spiritual master and anyone else who sees it.
From the Back To Godhead magazine (1977)
Sri Harinam Sankirtan is calling for you to come and join us every thursday at 7pm on the cotner of George St and Bathurst Street. Please come you will not regret it. You will go home feeling eleated, you will be satisfied beyond measure. Your soul will rejoice that it is participating in the yuga dharma fulfilling your lifes purpose.
There will forever after be a spriing in your step, everything will become clear and you will wonder why you put of coming to Sri Harinam Sankirtan Thursday nights. Please watch this video and imagine yourself dancig along with us.
where-ever you are in the world, go along yo your local Harinam, if there isn’t one start one up. You know you want to.
Sri Harinam Sankirtan Ki Jay
CLICK ON THE IMAGE BELOW TO START THE VIDEO
I Took A Stroll
I took a stroll. A slight flu restricted my speed, so in all honesty I couldn’t call it a walk. My stroll was on Yonge St., a place where they go all out decorating the street for Christmas. I must admit it was odd to see a plastic snowman on someone’s yard next to a palm tree in Miami where I had just returned from. In Canada, it’s more like the real thing. I guess Santa’s closer to home here. Once the Russians and Canadians settled the dispute over who the North Pole belongs to, Santa, who supposedly resides there can claim his citizenship.
That brings me to a related topic about myth figures. Starting this week, public buses in this city will carry large signage, which will read in bold “Extraordinary Claims Require Extraordinary Evidence.” The subtitles read, “Allah. Big Foot. UFOs. Homeopathy. Zeus. Psychics. Christ.”
‘The Centre for Inquiry’ is campaigning to question the authenticity of everything from God to Easter bunnies. This group that brought Canadians the ‘There’s probably no God’ ad campaign are at it again. Personally I have no qualms about beings skeptical or to questioning. I do have to shake my head when the group puts the Creator and the boogieman on the same mythological page. The group is attempting to probe your intelligence and to yield to scientific evidence for proof.
My logic, call it scientific thinking or not, is that there is a creation and there are creatures and therefore there must be a mastermind called a Creator. And if you want my opinion on scientific achievements then I will venture to say that technology has helped the human race towards conveniences. But if we were to weigh the scales between the pros and cons of science I believe it has been more to our detriment. What has caused the spoils of our environment? Would it be science behind our greed? Has scientific evidence disproved God and actually proved Darwin’s evolution? No.
I got myself kind of worked up thinking about these things. My pacing started to pick up which eventually broke away from a stroll. I was walking again.
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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