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December 16, 2010 - Planet ISKCON - 27 new articles

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"Planet ISKCON" - 27 new articles

  1. ISKCON Melbourne, AU: 12-hour Kirtan: This Coming Sunday
  2. ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Today's Darsana
  3. Japa Group: I Have No Time To Chant
  4. Bhakti Vikasa Swami: =?Windows-1252?Q?=93That_is_not_education.=94?=
  5. Book distribution seminar: IT'S COLD!
  6. Book Distribution News: IT'S COLD!
  7. H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: 163
  8. H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: Prabhupada Meditations
  9. H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: Hare Krishna
  10. H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: Free Write
  11. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  12. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  13. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  14. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  15. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  16. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  17. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  18. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  19. Subhavilasa das ACBSP, Toronto, CA: A story of book distribution to Muslims.
  20. H.H. Sivarama Swami: More on the all-knowing guru
  21. H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Monday, December 13th, 2010
  22. Japa Group: Faith In Chanting Japa
  23. Gouranga TV: Madhava Dasa kirtan
  24. Caitanya Mangala, CA, USA: KulimeLA 2009: Internet Release of the Main Video
  25. Caitanya Mangala, CA, USA: Kulimela Australia: Countdown…
  26. H.H. Sivarama Swami
  27. Bhakti Lata, Alachua, USA: Refuge
  28. More Recent Articles
  29. Search Planet ISKCON
  30. Prior Mailing Archive

ISKCON Melbourne, AU: 12-hour Kirtan: This Coming Sunday

Hare Krishna Kirtan-adepts!!!
Here we have it AT LAST: the 12-hour Kirtan roster, featuring our guest of honour -
Vaiyasaki Prabhu.

10:00am – 11:00am    Vaiyasaki
11:30am – 12:00pm    Sitapati
12:00pm – 12:30pm    Vraja Dhama
12:30pm – 1:00pm    Giri
1:00pm – 1:30pm    Krsna Bhavana
1:30pm – 2:00pm    Jada Bharata
2:30pm – 3:00pm    Les
3:00pm – 3:30pm    Rhythm/Bhakti Sara
3:30pm – 4:00pm    Girish
4:00pm – 4:30pm    Rasa Krsna
4:30pm – 5:00pm    Harsha
5:00pm – 5:30pm    Silpa Karini/Aditi
5:30pm – 6:00pm    Kunda Lata
6:00pm – 6:30pm    Vasudha Priya
6:30pm – 7:00pm    Jaya Radha
7:00pm – 7:30pm    Aniruddha
7:30pm – 8:00pm    Vara Datri Radha
8:00pm - 8:30pm    Gaura Mantra
8:30pm – 10:00pm    Vaiyasaki

Once again, kirtaniyas are asked to please stick to their allotted time and chant the Maha-mantra only.

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ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Today's Darsana

Chota Radha Krishna are smiling under a cloud of jasmine, as does Subhadra Mayi today.

Swarupa Sakti Mataji has decorated Srimati Radharani so skillfully with Her favourite flower while Kamaleshwari Mataji attended to Subhadra Devi in the same expert mood.

In fact, all 3 altars are emanating this sweetly intoxicating fragrance.

Let the scent and scene of Their Lordships'
darsana carry us through this day and many more to come.

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Japa Group: I Have No Time To Chant

I was reading an interesting article talks about how we should organise our time around our Japa and not organise our Japa around the time that we have left in the day. Here is a quote from the article:

I Have No Time to Chant
Most of us who are raising families are challenged to find two undisturbed hours a day to solely focus on our rounds. Yet many of the activities that take our time away from chanting are activities that we specifically have chosen to do. Afer the second retreat I thought that the reason I have so much on my plate that takes me away from chanting is simply because I don't like chanting enough. It's what Prabhupada calls the "self created burden." If I am finding it difficult to finish my rounds because of a lack of time, I am ultimately the one who chose to do all the activities that are getting in the way of my chanting. Even when I can't really avoid all the work and responsibilities, still I am the one who is organizing those activities in a way that chanting often takes a back seat to the other things I do.
  • Email to a friend Bhakti Vikasa Swami: =?Windows-1252?Q?=93That_is_not_education.=94?=

Satadhanya das: The Congress government was in power in West Bengal. I was very much interfacing with the VIP’s, ministers and others; and the Education Minister, one Mritunjay Banerjee, I invited him to Mayapur when Prabhupada was there. I told Prabhupada just before I brought him in, “I have brought the Education Minister of West Bengal, and he’s here. Can he come in and speak to you?” Prabhupada said, “Yes, bring him in.” I brought him in and he kind of gave his shrug obeisances, and Prabhupada bade him to sit down right in front of his desk there in his room. Then I said, “Srila Prabhupada, this is the Honorable Minister of Education for West Bengal.” Then the man looked at Prabhupada, and then Prabhupada just looked at him and said nothing to the point where I flinched, I was embarrassed. I thought maybe he didn’t hear me. So I said, “Srila Prabhupada, this is the Education Minister of West Bengal.” And then Prabhupada looked at the man and he said, “That is not education.” I almost died. Then Prabhupada fell silent again, and then a few words were said. Then it was all over, I took him out. Prabhupada, of course, gave a couple of qualifying sentences to say what is real education is understanding the difference between the body or matter and the soul and explained a little to the fellow that this education should also be distributed. Sometimes Prabhupada just could pin a guy, who he was, and it wasn’t simply worth it to go beyond that point.

  • Email to a friend Book distribution seminar: IT'S COLD!

Letter to Kisora -- Bombay / 25 December 1972

"I can understand that it may be sometimes difficult by material consideration for our preaching work there [Scotland] -- I could not bear so much cold even in August -- but because you are so much sincere to serve Krishna, never mind a little cold, what is that, only something touching my flesh, that's all. Because you are thinking in this way and pushing on the mission of preaching work despite any conditions, therefore you are getting the best advantage of Krishna consciousness movement. Because you have worked so hard for Krishna, making all sacrifice without any personal selfish motive, therefore you are making such nice advancement in spiritual life. Thank you very much for helping me in this preaching work. May Krishna bless you more and more.

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Book Distribution News: IT'S COLD!

Letter to Kisora -- Bombay / 25 December 1972

"I can understand that it may be sometimes difficult by material consideration for our preaching work there [Scotland] -- I could not bear so much cold even in August -- but because you are so much sincere to serve Krishna, never mind a little cold, what is that, only something touching my flesh, that's all. Because you are thinking in this way and pushing on the mission of preaching work despite any conditions, therefore you are getting the best advantage of Krishna consciousness movement. Because you have worked so hard for Krishna, making all sacrifice without any personal selfish motive, therefore you are making such nice advancement in spiritual life. Thank you very much for helping me in this preaching work. May Krishna bless you more and more.

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H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: 163 SDGonline Daily updates

4:53 A.M.

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

Disobeying or disrespecting the spiritual master:

“Srila Haridasa Thakura said, ‘O Lord, kindly allow me to explain the third nama-aparadha.  This aparadha is to disobey the orders of the spiritual master or to disrespect him.’

“The soul travels through many lifetimes in different bodies and at last gets a chance at the rare human birth, which is auspicious in every respect. The soul has rotated through 8,400,000 different species; by ajnata-sukriti or unintentional pious activities the soul finally attains a human body.  A birth in the human form is most uncommon, because only in that body are spiritual activities possible, not in any other species. A demigod or denizen of the heavenly planets is destined only to enjoy the reactions of his past pious activities. He cannot voluntarily initiate any saintly activities. Animals are likewise bound by karmic reactions and are too steeped in gross ignorance to undertake any pious activities independently. The human birth alone is most conducive for spiritual life and for service to the Supreme Lord.

“A spiritual master is essential for everyone:

“Yet the fact remains that this body is transient. If one does not carefully endeavor for self-realization, which is the greatest benefit, then he returns again to the endless cycle of birth and death. An intelligent person will therefore utilize this rare opportunity. He will search out a spiritual master who can lead him to the Supreme Lord Krishna. Such a spiritual master who is truly a helmsman who can help the drowning jiva cross over the ocean of material nescience. Only the most foolish persons will attempt to cross this ocean by their own intelligence. The achievement of any success in this world requires the help of a guru’s instructions. How than can one obtain perfection in the best of all subjects, spiritual science, without the aid of a guru?  Only one who is self-realized and fully proficient in spiritual knowledge is fit to be a spiritual master.”

Haridasa Thakura goes on to describe the qualities of the spiritual master and then he describes how a renunciant must have a renounced guru. Further details or the relationship of the guru and a disciple are described and the importance of respecting the spiritual master is emphasized. I rose in the middle of the night with indigestion but got back to sleep and got up at 3:00 A.M. My chanting went well and by 4:45 I have chanted over twelve rounds. I still felt sleepy, and my mind drifted like a boat without rudder. But on the whole I kept fixed in the business of chanting and maintained a steady count. My body is still worn down, and I’m not chanting with full physical vigor. But trying the best I can.

The lower species
and impious people
are not qualified to
approach a spiritual master.
One who is able to do so
is most fortunate
and able to receive the helmsman to guide
his boat in chanting harer
nama. All active obeisances should be
offered to the spiritual
master who should
never be disrespected. That is
the greatest catastrophe.

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H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: Prabhupada Meditations SDGonline Daily updates

Dancing for Swamiji

You go downstairs from Swamiji’s room into the courtyard and into the storefront by the hallway door. As soon as you open the door, you see the people and look for your regular sitting spot. As you sit down, you’re thinking, “If I can get into it, I would like to get up when they’re dancing and also dance. I’ll have to see if I can actually do it. It would be nice if Swamiji would see that I can do it.”

It’s Friday night and so there are extra people, and some unusual ones. You hope they have the faith to hear what he’s saying. But whether they do or not, you’re going to get into it.

I keep thinking about wanting to dance. I don’t want to show off, but if I can do it. . There might be somebody in the audience who knows me, and they might laugh. Unless you’re doing it in spiritual consciousness, you’ll feel funny. You have to raise your hands. The girls are there. Sometimes when I see devotees dance, I think they’re on an ego trip. But if you can do it seriously, it’s okay.

Everything depends on Swamiji. If he doesn’t come down to the storefront, then nothing can happen. But he won’t be late. Everybody is waiting for the show to begin with Swamiji’s arrival. Then he actually comes in. He steps out of his slippers and smiles. He steps up on the dais and sits down gracefully. His khadi robes are flowing, especially the top piece, which is long and flung around his shoulders. His tilaka is clean and newly put on. There’s a mystical look in his eyes. His hand is reaching out for the karatalas. He wraps the cloths around his fingers.

It’s hot and muggy. It has been a hard day at the office. The room is close, and I’m perspiring under the arms. But I don’t want this to get me down. I admit that I’m tired, but I’ll try to transcend. Swamiji sure looks fresh. He’s starting the kirtana, so let’s just get into it.

Hare  Krishna Hare  Krishna  Krishna  Krishna Hare Hare. Prabhupada chants and then we chant. Hare  Krishna Hare  Krishna. He is playing the drum. The waves keep coming again and again as we sing. The chanting is full force and you get out of the body. You just keep chanting, led by the Swamiji. After awhile, a few devotees get up and start walking around in a circle. I also get up and do the Swami step. Once you’re up standing, you see everything from a different perspective. Swamiji noticed when I got up, just like he noticed the others. He’s cool, he doesn’t make a big thing about it, but he sees what you’re doing. He likes you to be dancing. It’s another surrender. To get up and dance means that you’re feeling the ecstasy of the chanting. Now you have to live up to it and not worry what the people are thinking. Be daring and keep dancing with the devotees who are going around in a circle. It’s not hard.

Hare  Krishna Hare  Krishna  Krishna  Krishna Hare Hare. I know I look foolish, but I don’t care, because I’m not this body. I’m chanting Hare  Krishna; it doesn’t matter how I look; I’m not this body. I don’t care what the people in the storefront think, or my parents or the people at work. It doesn’t matter because I’m into this, and this is what counts. This is what I love. If it looks foolish or whatever, I don’t care.

By dancing you get close to Swamiji. When you go around in the circle you get very close to him and see the objects on his desk, like the pocket watch and his reading glasses. And the book is there, and you notice the sink by the right side of Prabhupada. You see his face closer and the drum, and the brass rivets around the head of the drum and the two different colors of the wood of the drum. His hand is playing on the bongo head. The circle you’re dancing in goes out towards the side where the audience is, and you see the people in the room. Hayagriva is playing that big cymbal with a shimmering sound. Someone’s got a flute, and he’s going with that. Someone is strumming the strings of the old piano set up by the door.

Swamiji goes the full half hour and over—because he loves to chant. He’s really happy when a lot of people are chanting together, and his devotees are up dancing. We don’t know what he’s thinking, he’s so beyond us, but at least we know he’s deeply in the kirtana, feeling the rasa within himself. He’s within himself and at the same time, he’s doing everything. We’re all chanting because he’s leading.

It’s Friday night and so throughout the Lower East Side, people are getting drunk and many are on LSD trips and other things but our scene is goodness, in the shelter of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and the shelter of the pure devotee.

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H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: Hare Krishna SDGonline Daily updates

Gather around me, says Krishna,
and many pious ones do.
They gladly take His shelter.
Even if they’re talking, they are protected
and the life immortal
is in His arms.

But you have to really love
Him and believe Him
and stay at His lotus feet.

Those who don’t believe Him
enter into nowhere
in a body full of suffering.

A devoured elephant,
a squashed caterpillar,
illusory demigod –
you may get a birth
in over 8,400,000.

If you think there is nothing
after life, roll the dice and see,
it’s not possible it’s all zeros.

You came from something,
and you’ll return in new numbers
but bound
in fear. It depends
on karma where you go.
If you killed an
ant, he has a right to get you

Only if you call out
to God “Hare Krishna”
can you be released from
this bizarre cycle
and go to His abode.

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H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: Free Write SDGonline Daily updates

I turned at random to Canto Three, Chapter 25, verse 41: “The terrible fear of birth and death can never be forsaken by anyone who resorts to any shelter other than Myself, for I am the Almighty Lord, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the original source of all creation, and also the Supreme Soul of all souls.” Purport: “It is indicated herein that the cycle of birth and death cannot be stopped unless one is a pure devotee of the Supreme Lord. One cannot surpass the cycle of birth and death unless one is favored by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The same concept is confirmed herewith: one may take to the system of understanding the Absolute Truth by one’s own imperfect sensory speculation, or one may try to realize the self by the mystic yoga process; but whatever one may do, unless he comes to the point of surrendering to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, no process can give him liberation.”

Vyasadeva was despondent, at that point his spiritual master, Narada Muni, arrived. Narada asked him why was he feeling down. Vyasadeva said he didn’t know why. But he had an idea that it was because he did not concentrate on devotional service. He had compiled all the Vedic literatures, the Vedanta sutras and the Mahabharata. Vyasadeva had asked Narada to tell him what was wrong with him because he knew that Vyasadeva could see through all things. He asked Narada to find a deficiency in him despite him being absorbed in transcendence under disciplinary regulations and vows. Narada replied, “You have not actually broadcasted the sublime and spotless glories of the Personality of Godhead. That philosophy which did not satisfy the sense of the Lord is considered worthless.” Narada said that although Vyasadeva had broadly described the four principles beginning with religious performance he had not exclusively described the glories of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vasudeva. Those words that do not describe the glories of the Lord are like a place of pilgrimage for crows. They are not like the place for the swans. Then a verse occurs, which is like a prophetic one, prophesying Srila Prabhupada’s coming five thousand years later. It says that even the descriptions of the Lord are described imperfectly in composition they are heard, sang and accepted by purified men who are thoroughly honest. Prabhupada admitted that his presentation of the Srimad Bhagavatam had faults in it because it was written in a foreign language, but he had confidence that those who are sincere would accept it. He gave an example, that if there is a fire in the house and the neighbors speak a foreign language, they will nevertheless understand the danger, when it is presented to them by their neighbors. Prabhupada’s English was actually good enough to be understood. When his books printed in India were re-edited in America the BBT edited them into good academic English while keeping Prabhupada’s original voice.

After Narada spoke with Vyasa, Vyasa entered meditation. But first he asked Narada to tell his life story. Narada told how he was the son of a maidservant, but got association with Bhaktivedantas and came to appreciate Krishna consciousness. Vyasadeva asked Narada what he did after the sages left. Narada told how his mother died early and he left home at only five years old. He had a vision of Krishna. He traveled the rest of his life chanting and playing on the vina. He met with death but returned in the next millennium along with Lord Brahma.

After Narada left Vyasa, Vyasa set down in meditation and saw Krishna, along with Krishna’s material energy and the living entities.

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1973 December 15: "Enclosed find three sacred threads and three gayatri mantras for the second initiates. Hold a fire yajna, after which they may listen to the mantra once through the right ear from from the cassette tape I have made."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1973

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1966 December 15: "My mission is to develop the glories of Srila Jiva Goswami all over the world. Of course there is ample land in Vrindaban but my aim is to start a nice International Institute in the land of Sri Sri Radha Damodara Temple."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1966

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1967 December 15: "In the Absolute world there are no such relativities as success or failure. The one thing in the Absolute world is to serve Krishna. Krishna must know that we are working very seriously and that is our success of life."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1967

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1969 December 15: "People are invited to come to the temple to see the behavior of the devotees specifically in the matter of purification. By your exemplary character, the general mass of people will be benefited."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1969

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1969 December 15: "I very much appreciate your noble example, but it is my order that whenever you are in such trouble, you must have the best kind of treatment available, and you can spend from the money you are collecting on behalf of Krishna."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1969

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1972 December 15: "I, the undersigned, shall be the sole operator of the Account; furthermore, in the case of any emergency the two Members of the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, besides myself, may be called upon to enter and withdraw funds into and from the Account."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1972

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1972 December 15: "I shall be the last man to give up to this rogue. He has taken our money but tactfully not given us the conveyance. But the land is still in our possession and we are not going to leave so easily."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1972

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1972 December 15: "We have neither changed our plan nor have we any intention of changing our plan of developing our Land. We shall stick to the place to the last moment and we require your cooperation very much."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1972

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Subhavilasa das ACBSP, Toronto, CA: A story of book distribution to Muslims.

Allah Akbar - God is Great!
by Minakshi devi dasi

Last Saturday, me, my daughter Radhapriya and my mother, Ashalata devi dasi went out for book distribution at a local grocery store.
Initially it was going slow, so I prayed to Srila Prabhupada and soon people were actually stopping and listening. Our opening remarks were in reference to this being the month that Krishna spoke the Gita 5000 years ago.  I proceeded to show them the beautiful picture of Krishna speaking to Arjun and to explain that this is the Bhagavad Gita is AS IT IS - the words actually spoken by Lord Krishna and given to us by Srila Prabhupada. 

I also particularly loved showing kids the Krishna Book and especially the pictures, explaining to them that this book is better than Harry Potter!  There are stories of Kings, Queens, Heroes, Demons, Fire, Wind and more.  Some kids would turn to the parent and ask them to get one. 
So getting to the nectar of the sankirtan…

There were a lot of Muslims at the store and many would say, "I am a Muslim" and try to quickly move on. We did the same grocery store last year and I picked up a great way to convert this objection from my brother, Indresh.  In Chant and Be Happy there is a page where it says “All God’s names are Hallowed” and then lists Krishna, Jehovah, Allah, etc.

For example, in one case there was a lady just finishing her grocery purchase.  I noticed that she was well-dressed and seemed to be a professional lady.  I began my opening as she was passing the table. She exclaimed "I am Muslim!" Undeterred, I explained to her that these books are about spirituality, that the feed the soul and go beyond concepts of Hinduism, Sikhism, Islam and Christianity. I quickly showed her the page from "Chant and Be Happy" with Allah and then proceeded to speak to her about Yoga for the Mind and Soul and showed her the pictures of the Changing body with the same soul passing through on the cover of "Beyond Birth and Death".  By the end of our conversation, she was clearly interested and actually purchased 3 books!

ast year we were reading memories of Srila Prabhupada where it recounted how especially pleased he was with book distribution to Muslims and I hope in these small ways we are pleasing Srila Prabhupada. 

This is just one story from countless stories around the world that took place on World Enlightenment Day.

My obeisances to all of Srila Prabhupada book distributors around the world!

Jaya Srila Prabhupada!
This page appears in Chant and Be Happy.
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H.H. Sivarama Swami: More on the all-knowing guru

Rasika dasi asks questions relating to the podcast of this title last week.

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H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Monday, December 13th, 2010

Quote Quotes

Conception Bay, Newfoundland

Outside of the Bhagavad-gita some of your best quotes are found on people's refrigerators. At the home of our host, Dr. Rikin Patel, a young pediatrician, is a quotable magnet on his cool food box which reads:

“Many people will walk in and out of your life,
But only true friends will leave footprints in your heart.

To handle yourself, use your head;
To handle others, use your heart.

Anger is only one letter short of danger.
If someone betrays you once, it is his fault;
If he betrays you twice, it is your fault.

Great minds discuss ideas,
Average minds discuss events,
Small minds discuss people.

He who loses money, loses much;
He who loses a friend, loses much more;
He who loses faith, loses all.

Beautiful young people are accidents of nature,
But beautiful old people are works of art.

Learn from the mistakes of others.
You can't live long enough to make them all yourself...

There is no beginning or end.
Yesterday is history.
Tomorrow is mystery.
Today is a gift.

That's why they call it the 'present' “(Unknown)

No doubt these are words of inspiration but I find a greater charge comes from just reciting a Sanskrit verse as was done at the evening Lotus Center on Prescott St. To commence my talk on pilgrimage pastimes I recited a verse from the gita, 2:13 about the soul's journey from body to body.

Dehino' smin yatha dehe
kaumaram yauvanam jara
tatha dehantara praptir
dhiras tatra na muhyati

The soul travels in this life from boyhood to youth to old age, and then at death transfers to a new body. From this, tolerance is understood by the wise.”

Accompanying me on the coastal walk was Jaya Kesava, an outgoing monk from Liberia. Always an inspiration!


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Japa Group: Faith In Chanting Japa

A very nice video of Mahatma dasa and his young daughter, who has a taste for chanting...she has some very amazing realisation on Japa.

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Gouranga TV: Madhava Dasa kirtan

Madhava Dasa kirtan

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Caitanya Mangala, CA, USA: KulimeLA 2009: Internet Release of the Main Video

CLICK HERE to watch the much anticipated internet release of “KulimeLA 2009: The Video.”

The main theme for KulimeLA 2009 was to “Honor the Past, Celebrate the Present & Envision the Future.”

The year 2009 marked the 20th Anniversary of the Los Angeles Gurukuli Reunion, an annual gathering of second-generation Hare Krishnas, known informally as Gurukulis, or Kulis.

Throughout this five-day festival, over one thousand Vaishnavas from around the world came together in an amazing cultural experience – called KulimeLA – to share, reflect, and appreciate what the Gurukulis have accomplished over the past 20 years.

This 40 minute film offers an overview of the entire festival, including highlights from the performances at the Ford Theater, The Rose of Vidarbha play, Art Show, Fashion Show, Seminars, Workshops, Kid’s Camp, Bhajan Kutir, LA Ratha Yatra and more…

CLICK HERE to check out the growing video and audio selections at the Kuli Mela Outlet on

PLEASE NOTE: The first 400 people who register for Kulimela Australia 2010/2011 will be getting a complimentary copy of the KM09 DVD at the event. CLICK HERE for more information about the upcoming festival. If you plan on going, we encourage you to take advantage of the early bird discounts and pre-register now!

In the ancient Sanskrit language, “Kuli” refers to a member of a “Community” and “Mela” means “Festive Gathering.” Combined, “Kuli Mela” transforms into “A Celebration of Community.”

The Kuli Mela Association is a 501(C)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to serving an international community by supporting and encouraging its members to come together in service, association and empowerment, with a strong emphasis on spirituality.

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Caitanya Mangala, CA, USA: Kulimela Australia: Countdown…

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H.H. Sivarama Swami

A devotee feels the presence of God everywhere, but one averse to the Lord denies His existence anywhere.

- Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura

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Bhakti Lata, Alachua, USA: Refuge

It was my last night in Vrindavan, and I wound my way through the bustling temple grounds to the rooms of Srila Prabhupad. When I entered, I felt washed with that clean scent of home; wherever Srila Prabhupad resides is where my heart finds refuge.

I chanted for awhile and was about to leave when a brahmachari came and turned on a CD of Srila Prabhupad singing the Brahma Samhita. Prabhupad's tone was so grave. The brahmachari set down an arati tray, and everyone stood up.

I decided to stay. I gazed upon Srila Prabhupad's writing murti, which captures the essence of his mood so exquisitely.

Then my eyes fell on several framed photos hung on the wall across the room. I believe they were all of Srila Prabhupad here in his house. In the photos he was singing, conversing, taking prasad...but the last photo of the series jarred me a little - it wasn't sweet, happy, or even meditative. It was actually stark and intense, and seemed out of place. It was a photo of Srila Prabhupad lying on his deathbed in this very room. He was covered in a blue blanket, his face was sunken, his eyes were closed, and two disciples were watching over him.

I crossed the room to get a closer look at the picture. I saw something close up that I had not seen from a distance.

A reference book lay open on the side table.

Someone was holding a dictophone up to his mouth.

Chills raced all up and down my body. That photo brought my heart to its knees. In that moment, I glimpsed just a spark of Prabhupad's purity and his beauty; he was thinking of all of us with his dying breaths. Tell me, who will pray for you when you are on your deathbed?

Tell me, who?

Tears were streaming down my face. I gazed and gazed at that picture, listening to the arati bell and Prabhupad's grave voice. In those moments, I felt as though I had been picked up and placed in the hands of Srila Prabhupad, and he would protect me forever.

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