martes, 8 de febrero de 2011

Krishna-kripa das, Mayapura: Travel Journal#7-1: North Florida

8 feb 2011


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"Planet ISKCON" - 31 new articles

  1. ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Daily Class - Kesava Prabhu
  2. H.G. Sankarshan das Adhikari, USA: Tuesday 8 February 2011--Beyond the Gross and Subtle Bodies--and--Karma and Free Will
  3. Krishna-kripa das, Mayapura: Travel Journal#7-1: North Florida
  4. ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Today's Darsana
  5. Australian News: Instant personalisation on Facebook: Get the facts here NOW!
  6. Australian News: Vaiyasaki CD review: The Video
  7. Subhavilasa das ACBSP, Toronto, CA: Speaking of Khir...Today is Raghunatha dasa Gosvami's appearance day!
  8. Australian News: Stay Strong Project: The Video
  9. ISKCON Toronto, Canada: Prayers for Bhadra Priya devi dasi
  10. Subhavilasa das ACBSP, Toronto, CA: In Toronto Gopinatha eats Khir in Shri Kanda Gopinatha ate half a ladoo!
  11. Madhava Ghosh dasa, New Vrndavan, USA: The Score Is Not What Matters
  12. Bhakti Vikasa Swami: the greatest anomaly
  13. New Vrndavan, USA: Zsa Zsa the New Vrindaban Goat leaves her body
  14. Japa Group: Does Not Earn One Hundredth Part
  15. Subhavilasa das ACBSP, Toronto, CA: Appearance Day of Sri Pundarika Vidyanidhi. 5th of 7 Vaishnava celebrations today.
  16. Subhavilasa das ACBSP, Toronto, CA: Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura Disappearance day
  17. Matsyavatara das (ACBSP), Italy: Family Matters (Part Five - Last) - By Matsya Avatara Dasa (Marco Ferrini)
  18. Ananda Subramanian, Iowa, USA: Egypt's Green Lantern - 1.19?
  19. Ekendra das, Alachua, USA: Everybody’s Talkin’
  20. Subhavilasa das ACBSP, Toronto, CA: Today Sarasvati Puja is listed on the on-line Vaishnava calendar.
  21. ISKCON Toronto, Canada: Deity Darshan: Sunday, February 6, 2011
  22. Subhavilasa das ACBSP, Toronto, CA: Appearance Day of Srimati Visnupriya Devi
  23. H.H. Sivarama Swami: Silpa-karini dd asks how one can please Lord Caitanya if one lives in a place where public preaching activities are prohibited
  24. H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Sunday, February 6th 2011
  25. H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Saturday, February 5th, 2011
  26. H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Friday, February 4th, 2011
  27. Kripamoya dasa, UK: New Arts Magazine available
  28. H.H. Sivarama Swami
  29. ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Gaura Vani at Krishna Fest
  30. Japa Group: Thought of the Day
  31. Gouranga TV: Lecture – Prahladananda Swami – Bhagavad-gita 5.29 – Inconvenient Jail (Evolution)
  32. More Recent Articles
  33. Search Planet ISKCON
  34. Prior Mailing Archive

ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Daily Class - Kesava Prabhu

Srimad Bhagavatam 11.30.4 - Offenses block spiritual advancement.

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H.G. Sankarshan das Adhikari, USA: Tuesday 8 February 2011--Beyond the Gross and Subtle Bodies--and--Karma and Free Will

A daily broadcast of the Ultimate Self Realization Course(TM) Tuesday 8 February 2011 The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krishna, and His eternal consort, Srimati Radharani are enjoying transcendental pastimes in the topmost planet of the spiritual world, Sri Goloka Vrindavan. They are beckoning us to rejoin them. Our Mission: To help everyone awaken their original Krishna consciousness, which is eternal, full of knowledge and full of bliss. Such a global awakening will, in one stroke, solve all the problems of the world society bringing in a new era of unprecedented peace and prosperity for all. May that day, which the world so desperately needs, come very soon. We request you to participate in this mission by reviving your dormant Krishna consciousness and assisting us in spreading this science all over the world. Dedicated with love to ISKCON Founder-Acharya: His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, our beloved spiritual master, and to you, our dear readers. Today's Thought: Beyond the Gross and Subtle Bodieszx Uploaded from Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas USA In the First Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam, Third Chapter, verse 33 it is stated: yatreme sad-asad-rpe pratisiddhe sva-samvid avidyaytmani krte iti tad brahma-daranam Whenever a person experiences, by self-realization, that both the gross and subtle bodies have nothing to do with the pure self, at that time he sees himself as well as the Lord. So just see how important it is for the aspiring transcendentalist to be firmly convinced that he is not his gross body or his subtle body, which consists of the mind, intelligence, and false ego. This transcendental conviction gives him the all-important and essential access to realize his true self as an eternal spirit-soul servant of God and to realize the Supreme Self, as his eternal master, Lord Sri Krishna. Sankarshan Das Adhikari Answers According to the Vedic Version: Question: Karma and Free Will Please explain what is karma and what is free will. When we consider these words it seems that they are contradictory. But the shastras or scriptures speak of these two principles existing simultaneously . Sandeep Answer: Make Your Choice Karma means that for every action there is a reaction. When you do something good, you are rewarded. And when you do something bad, you are punished. The law of karma acts upon those who are serving the Lord's illusory energy here in this material existence and binds one to cycle through an endless repetition of births and deaths in the material world. Those who opt to serve the Lord's spiritual energy are freed from the good and bad reactions of this material existence and enter into the Lord's transcendental abode at the time of death to live an eternal life, full of knowledge and full of bliss. Free will means that you can decide whether you want to serve the Lord's spiritual energy to become free from karma's clutches and attain the spiritual world, or whether you want to serve the Lord's material energy and remain in karma's clutches in the endless cycle of birth, death, old age, and disease. Sankarshan Das Adhikari Transcendental Resources: Receive the Special Blessings of Krishna Now you too can render the greatest service to the suffering humanity and attract the all-auspicious blessings of Lord Sri Krishna upon yourself and your family by assisting our mission. Lectures and Kirtans in Audio and Video: Link to High Definition Videos Link to Over 1,000 Lecture Audios Lecture-Travel Schedule for 2011 Have Questions or Need Further Guidance? Check out the resources at: or write Sankarshan Das Adhikari at: Get your copy today of the world's greatest self-realization guide book, Bhagavad-gita As It Is available at: Know someone who could benefit from this? Forward it to them. Searchable archives of all of course material: Receive Thought for the Day as an RSS feed: Unsubscribe or change your email address Follow us on Twitter: Copyright 2005-2011 by Ultimate Self Realization.Com Distribution of this material is encouraged. Simply we request you to acknowledge where it is coming from with a link to our sign up page: Our records indicate that at requested to be enrolled to receive e-mails from the Ultimate Self Realization Course at: This request was made on: From the following IP address: 

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Krishna-kripa das, Mayapura: Travel Journal#7-1: North Florida

Diary of a Traveling Sadhaka, Vol. 7, No. 1
By Krishna-kripa das

(January 2011, part one)

North Florida

(Sent from Gainesville on February 7, 2011)

Where I Went and What I Did

After attending the harinama at the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, Florida, on New Years Day, I spend a week in Tallahassee chanting and promoting our programs there. There had one great harinama at Lake Ella attended by eight devotees, a lot for that small community. Then I returned to Gainesville for most of the rest of the month to chant at the UF campus and teach a new meditation course for students and The Nectar of Devotion course for the new devotees.

I share insights from lectures by Srila Prabhupada, Kalakantha Prabhu, Mother Laksmimoni, Mother Nanda, Puskara Prabhu, and others.

Upcoming Itinerary (Krishna Willing)

Gainesville, FL: February 7–14
Ocala Rainbow Gathering: February 12
Tucson, AZ: February 15–March 16
Gainesville, FL?: March 17–March 29
Tallahassee, FL: March 30–April 3
Gainesville, FL : April 4
Northeast USA: April 5–April 26
London, UK: April 27
Radhadesh: April 28–29
Amsterdam: April 30
UK: June
Scandinavian Ratha-yatras: beginning of July
Prague Ratha-yatra?: mid July
Lithuanian Festival?: last week in July
Poland Woodstock: beginning of August
Croatian Harinama Tour: rest of August
European Kirtana Festival?: last weekend in August?
Ukraine Festival: second week of September
Boston Ratha-yatra and Prabhupada festival?: third week September

Harinama at the Gator Bowl

About thirty-five devotees from Alachua, Gainesville, and Jacksonville attended the New Years Day harinama at the Jacksonville Stadium. I was so happy to see such a nice attendence.

Guru Vagmi Prabhu supplied lots of Chanting Hare Krishna pamplets, Mother Dvijapriya took lots of photos, and Godruma Prabhu and Mother Vishnu Priya provided a nice meal for the devotees after the harinama.

We sang from the parking lot to the stadium.

I chanted, danced, and gave out pamphlets.

As usual some people danced with us.

A few were curious about what we were doing.

It was a great way to start a New Year, doing the yuga dharma, harinama-sankirtana, and at a venue where thousands could hear and become purified!

Harinamas in Tallahassee

I always like to see increases, and on Sunday, January 9, we had a new record attendance for harinama at Lake Ella, eight regular attenders, and five guests. In addition to myself, Dina Bandhu Prabhu, Padma, Pritha, Rafael, Kruti, Stan, and one former attender, who had moved away from Tallahassee, chanted for a couple hours and were joined for half an hour by about five young people from the Quaker meeting, who had come to the lake after their service and who were friends with some of the devotees. One of them asked about purchasing a Journey of Self Discovery. Padma took a video when her sister, Pritha, was leading the chanting. It was a sunny day, but a little cold, being January, and that is why you do not see so many other people there. On the previous day, fewer of us went to chant, but there were more people to interact with because it was warmer.

Click here to see the video:!/video/video.php?v=518874714692

Insights from Lectures

Srila Prabhupada:

We are teaching how to be first-class yogis—chant Hare Krishna and be happy.

The government has a university and a criminal department. The citizen has free choice. He can go to the university or the prison. The government does not canvas, “Please go to the prison.” Still people go. And if you are in the prison, you cannot complain that it is uncomfortable. It is meant to be uncomfortable so the people will understand, “I should not act like that.” And so it is with this material world. We cannot expect this material world to be free from miseries for it is the criminal department of the Lord.

You can ask questions after you are fully surrendered, not before. Otherwise, it will not act.

Nowadays religion is just sentiment. One may change from one religion to another, but the man does not change. Real religion is a change of consciousness—a spiritual education that awakens the love of God that is there in everyone's heart. First-class religion is to accept principles which awaken our love of God.

There are many Indians here in London. Your duty is to take this Krishna consciousness seriously and preach it in these western countries.

Kalakantha Prabhu:

Having goals helps us to progress both spiritually and materially.

Goals should be SMART:






Mother Laksmimoni:

King Yadu could see that the avadhuta brahmana could have made it in the material world but chose not to, so he inquired, why?

The material energy teaches us positively and negatively, so we can learn to avoid the modes of material nature.

The brahmana learned from the trees and mountains to use one's resources to benefit others.

At first when I had the stroke, I couldn't speak and I fell over. Then I wasn't thinking about anything, but once I got to the hospital everything reminded me of Krishna. The doctor was Indian and talked about Krishna. The nurse was a devotee and talked about Krishna. The Indian lady who took blood was eating lugloos. When I went into surgery, I gave someone the mantra to chant if things went wrong. That person told me how he met devotees on the plane yesterday, and how his daughter ate Krishna Lunch and was curious about Krishna.

In the hospital there was a ninety-old lady who had a ninety-year-old boyfriend, a childhood sweetheart with whom she was reunited after many decades. It was the talk of the floor. But for me it, was like a story from the Bhagavatam illustrating the power and illusion of material attachment in a most graphic way.

The saintly person is like water who cleanses everywhere.

Inattention toward a saintly person can burn like a fire.

The moon is not affected by its waning and waxing as we are not affected by the good times and bad times in this world. The material world will go on in its own way, and we are powerless to change that, but we will continue to exist through all the changes.

From the pigeon story we can learn that excessive attachment causes us to lose our discrimination. Unfortunately, we lose our consciousness by so many diversions like TV, etc.

Krishna has created the material world with enough bitterness so we can realize it is not a very nice place. One reason we avoid intoxication as devotees is so we do not filter out the bitterness [and thus fail to learn the important lesson that this world is miserable].

Nothing in the material world is inherently good or bad; it is neutral, but if we can engage it in Krishna's service, we should accept it and thus engage it.

Q: We emphasize detachment, but how can that practically be there within relationships without there being neglect.

A: Affection is natural, so to pretend it does not exist is artificial. The challenge is how to keep affection under control, so affection does not cloud our intelligence. If exchanges of love become a diversion, than it is a problem, but exchanges of love can be had with Krishna in the center and then it is progressive for spiritual advancement.

Mother Nanda:

There is very little freedom: just our choice of the material or spiritual energies.

Besides Krishna, what friend would accompany you as you descend to species like dogs and insects and remain your well-wisher?

If you ignore Krishna's warnings from within not to do stupid things, He gives you fewer and fewer such warnings because you cover Him with your nonsense desires. If you pay attention to Krishna's guidance, He will give you more guidance.

Srila Prabhupada explains that bhakti-yoga is so powerful that once one starts it, he will ultimately attain perfection.

Comment by Kalakantha Prabhu: We must practice counting our blessings. We may have 99 good things happening and just one bad thing, yet we are only focused on the bad thing. It takes two weeks to break a bad habit and another two weeks to establish a new one.

Puskara Prabhu:

At Advaita Acarya's house all food preparations that are known in Bengali and Orissa were offered to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

When devotees would get absorbed in chanting “Haribol,” Srila Prabhupada would say, “What are they chanting this 'Haribol'? They should chant Hare Krishna.”

People are attracted by our chanting and dancing. Srila Prabhupada would say they are advertising bliss everywhere. It is what they are looking for in their bars, etc., but it in its original pure feature in kirtana.

We read that.prayala, or devestation, is symptomized by a mixture of happiness and distress without any sense of either of them. If we are think I am experiencing a mixture of happiness and distress without being conscious of them, then we are pretending.

Anyone who sees that to this day Lord Caitanya's pastimes are still going on is most fortunate.

Lord Caitanya considered Himself ignorant, but felt by the association of His devotees, He was able to gain some valuable understanding.

Sthita-dhi Muni Prabhu [from a meeting about Sadaputa Prabhu's work]:

The atheists say that the appearance of design is actually a product of chance. But someone could just as easily say that the appearance of chance is actually by design.

Rabid atheists are often just as simplistic as rabid creationists. They are two simplistic ideological extremes that feed off each other.

Yugala Kisora Prabhu:

We have faith in our parents, our teachers, in city officials, etc., why then can we not have faith in God?

We do not need great resources to perform devotional service. If we have nothing to give, we can give ourselves.

We cannot understand Krishna. He has to be experienced.

Our faith is transcendental when we have faith in nothing of this material world.

Everyone is looking for a resting place, the scientists, the sense gratifiers, the devotees. That resting place is Krishna.

Srila Prabhupada explains that the first symptom of a devotee is freedom from fear. We do not fear anything because nothing is lost. Sometimes we have a dream, and we are in a fearful situation. But then we realize we are in a dream, and we realize we just have to wait and it will be over.

We have to have experience in devotional life in order to give it to others. If we are doubtful, we cannot give it to others.

When I was undergoing a big upheaval in my life, someone told me, “You are not the first person to experience this and you will not be the last.”

Krishna Sharana Prabhu:

Krishna is with us, not just for one life, but life after life. Even though we take what He gives us, and use it for our own purposes, life after life, He still accompanies us. How compassionate is Krishna!

Patanjali lists the powers attained through yoga in chapter three of his yoga sutras, but in the first verse of the fourth chapter he mentions they can be attained by other means.

Formerly in debate, if you lost, then you had to become the disciple of the victor, and your disciples also became the disciples of the victor.

Sankaracarya was debating the leader of the mimamsakas and the wife of the man he was debating used an analogy involving mundane romance which he could not understand as a lifelong brahmacari. He asked to put the debate on hold for 100 days, and by his mystic power, he entered the body of a recently deceased hedonistic king and engaged in studying Kama-sutra in the day and applying his knowledge in relationships with women at night, and thus he came to understanding the meaning of the analogy. Then he returned to his former body and won the debate.

Although we neglect Krishna life after life, He does not become angry because He is not proud. He does not think, “I have so many transcendental qualifications. How is it this rascal does not care for Me?”

Pride jeopardizes the many achievements we may have made, so we have to be careful.


ataeva āmi ājñā diluń sabākāre
yāhāń tāhāń prema-phala deha' yāre tāre

[Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu said,] “Therefore I order every man within this universe to accept this Krishna consciousness movement [the fruit of love of Godhead] and distribute it everywhere.” (Sri Caitanya-caritamrita, Adi-lila 9.36)

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ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Today's Darsana

Today is the disappearance day of:
* Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura.

It is also the appearance day of:
* Srimati Visnupriya,
* Pundarika Vidyanidhi,
* Raghunandana Thakura and
* Raghunatha Dasa Goswami.

We remember and pray to those great personalities who, most of them, played important parts in the Gaura lilas.

Here is the darsana of Their Lordships on such an illustrious day.

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Australian News: Instant personalisation on Facebook: Get the facts here NOW!

If you’re on Facebook you should make yourself familiar with Instant Personalisation.

Facebook will share the data you make public with their business partners so when you visit their web sites they will display details based on your information. If any of your friends have ‘liked’ the site you will see that. If they have left a comment you will see that.

If you don’t want to share your information with web sites so you can see what your Facebook friends are up to you can switch the service off inside of Facebook, or you can switch it off at site you do not wish to share with.

If you make all your information private this also prevents Instant Personalisation from sharing your info

See more detail here at Mashable

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Australian News: Vaiyasaki CD review: The Video

Click on the video below to play

“KIRTAN EXPLOSION – High energy kirtans.” is a tidal wave of divine love filled with heart evoking emotions and joy. This new live CD from Vaiyasaki Das was recorded in Slovenia with 300 enthusiastic devotees immersed in the ecstasy of chanting the divine names.

After the great success and demand of his two previous live albums Kirtan Rasaand Hari-Nam-Ananda, Kirtan Explosion by Vaiyasaki Das comes with renewed shakti, bringing the listener to a wonderful explosion of love. The songs include mantras like ‘Govinda Jaya Jaya,’ ‘Radha-Ramana Haribol,’ and ‘Namaste Sri Radhe’ among other kirtans.

This CD not only captures the spirit of the live concert, but the recording quality is superb -a truly devotional live recording of spiritual voices raised in song. Kirtan Explosion is a must-have for your spiritual music collection.

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Subhavilasa das ACBSP, Toronto, CA: Speaking of Khir...Today is Raghunatha dasa Gosvami's appearance day!

So the last post was about Gopinatha's Ladoo and I was thinking of Gopinatha's khir that is offered here at ISKCON Toronto daily to their Lorships Sri Sri Radha Ksira Chora Gopinatha! So what a perfect story for the last post of today.

This is the 7th festival being celebrated today, February 7th on the Vaishnava calendar. The glories of Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami can fill volumes but the above picture showing his personal association with Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu tell it all. The story below is even more nectar. As we soak up the transcedental literature and nectar of Vrindavan we must honor the Six Goswami's and the mercy of our guru Srila Prabhupada that has allowed us to taste these sweet droplets.

So tonight's nectar...

Raghunatha dasa Gosvami used to always serve Sri Sri Radha-Govinda in his mind. One day in his meditation he cooked sweet rice and offered it to Sri Sri Radha and Krishna. In great pleasure they accepted the offering and the other sakhis also relished this prasadam. Then Raghunatha himself honored the remnants of their prasadam and in great ecstasy, due to the pleasure of having been able to satisfy Sri Sri Radha-Govinda and Their loving attendants, he ate a little more than was his custom.

In the afternoon Raghunatha dasa used to speak about Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. However, this day when the devotees came in the afternoon to hear him speak, they found that the door to his kutir was closed. They waited for some time but when it appeared that there was no movement inside they became a little anxious and called out, "Gosvamiji, are you all right?" Sri dasa Gosvami answered, "My body is not well."

The devotees became concerned and immediately sent word to Sanatana Gosvami in Mathura. At that time Sri Sanatana Gosvami was staying with Sri Vallabhacarya's son Sri Vithalnathji, who immediately sent two physicians to Radha-kunda to examine Sr Raghunath dasa Gosvami. After checking his pulse, the doctors concluded that, "due to eating a combination of rice and milk his body is feeling very heavy."

Hearing this diagnosis everyone was struck with wonder. That Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, who subsisted on only a little buttermilk each day, should fall ill from eating too much sweet rice was astonishing, especially because it was eaten only in meditation.

"Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu had three Raghus among His associates--Vaidya Raghunatha, Bhatta Raghunatha and Dasa Raghunatha. Dasa Raghunatha became celebrated as the Raghunatha of Svarupa." Caitanya-caritamrta, Antya lila 6:203 

Raghunatha dasa Gosvami ki Jaya! 
Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu ki Jaya! 
Ananta koti vaishnava-vrinda ki jaya!

I hope you enjoyed the series of posts. It was certainly enlivening to read so many Vaishnava gems today and to pick out some droplets of nectar to share. Our humble obeisances for allowing us to share and beg forgiveness for any offences or typos.  
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Australian News: Stay Strong Project: The Video

Stay Strong is a song and video featuring prominent chant and yoga luminaries who have come together to unite their hearts and voices for a worthy environmental cause. 100% of the proceeds go to Global Green USA.

The Stay Strong Project began in May, 2010 when chant artist and singer songwriter David Newman (Durga Das) heard a melody in his sleep. Upon waking in the middle of the night, he sang the melody into his phone and went back to bed. Several months later, on July 4th, he was reflecting on the devastating effects of the American Gulf Coast oil spill disaster. He then pulled out his phone and listened to that melody he had recorded in the middle of the night in May. Soon thereafter, these words accompanied the melody, ‘Stay Strong, Keep Your Faith Alive’. More lyrics followed and a special song had taken shape.

During the time that the song was written, David and his wife Mira, had been exploring ideas for supporting and empowering the global community during this time of crisis and were feeling called to action to bring healing and love to Mother Earth. It suddenly occurred to them that this new song, ‘Stay Strong’ provided the perfect vehicle!

Participants include: David Newman, Mira, Krishna Das, Wah, Jai Uttal, Sharon Gannon, Snatam Kaur, Seane Corn, Donna De Lory, Sean Johnson, Gaura Vani, Dave Stringer, Girish, Shantala, Shyam Das, Govindas and Radha, Suzanne Sterling, Kirtan Rabbi, C.C. White, Saul David Raye, Bob Wisdom, Yvette, Prema Hara, Brenda McMorrow, Gina Sala, Zat Baraka, Terra Gold, Radhanath Swami, and more.

“The vision of The Stay Strong Project is to create a global message that shows the community coming together through music, song, and prayer, to unite and uplift people and strengthen their ability to help in times of need.

The project

The money goes here

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ISKCON Toronto, Canada: Prayers for Bhadra Priya devi dasi

*** UPDATE - Devotees will be gathering tomorrow evening (Tuesday, February 7, 2011) to have kirtan and japa to pray for Bhadra Priya devi dasi. We will also try to connect with her and her caregivers to pass along a message, live, on behalf of the Toronto Hare Krishna community. ***

With heavy hearts, we would like to call for all devotees in our community to pray for Bhadra Priya devi dasi who is in an active state of leaving her body. Bhadra Priya devi dasi joined the Hare Krishna movement in Montreal in the early 1970's and was then part of our Toronto community for many years.

Bhadra Priya prabhu has been dealing with life-threatening cancer for a few years now. It prompted her return to Krsna consciousness after many years of living away from a temple and she is currently in Alachua, Florida, surrounded by devotees. In recent years, she joined us here in Toronto for many festivals, programs and events in our community.

We ask for all devotees of our Toronto Hare Krishna community to pray for her during these final stages of her life. Hare Krishna.
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Subhavilasa das ACBSP, Toronto, CA: In Toronto Gopinatha eats Khir in Shri Kanda Gopinatha ate half a ladoo!

The 6th of 7 celebrations on today's Vaishnava calendar is the appearance Sri Raghunandana Thakura. One option is to narrate the story of his appearance and life but one particular story provides the ultimate nectar and demonstrated how great of a Vaishnave Sri Raghunandana Thakur was.

In the house of Sri Mukunda Das, who lives at Sri Khanda, Lord Sri Gopinath is served with great devotion. One day Mukunda was called out to do some work, and then he instructed his son Raghunandan to worship the deity and asked him to serve the Lord Gopinath that day. He explained to him that this deity is in our family for many generations and thus He has been worshipped by my father and his father and his father on and on, in this way for many years. Just as your mother feeds you and I everyday, so also He has to be fed everyday. Having explained to Raghunandan that this is a very big responsibility and he should be very careful to give his full attention to this service, Mukunda went out.

Raghunandan meanwhile having been instructed by his father, collected the items for offering to Sri Gopinathji and entered into the deity room. Raghunandan was at that time barely 5 years old and therefore, when he saw that Gopinath hadn't eaten the offering after he had imitated how his father offered the bhoga, he became very worried. Ultimately he simply requested Gopinath with tears in his eyes: "Please eat! Eat!" Gopinath became completely subjected by Raghunandan's simple request, which was made entirely in love, and thus he stealthily ate up everything without leaving any remnants.

After some time Raghu-nandan's father, Mukunda, returned and asked his son if he had done as he was told? When his son replied "Yes", then Mukunda asked him to bring some of the prasadam. Raghunandan replied, "Prasadam? I offered everything just like you told me, and Gopinath ate everything; so what should I bring you now?" Mukunda was completely taken aback. "This boy is not naughty and is always accustomed to speak the truth. I doubt if he could have eaten everything. I wonder what actually happened?"

Musing on this matter in this way for some time, on another day his curiosity was so stirred that he again requested Raghunandan to offer the bhoga to Gopinath on that day. On this day however, having gone out of the house, he again came in by another way and remained hiding in one place. Raghunandan was very happy to be able to serve Sri Gopinathji again and brought everything into the deity room. As before, he again very insistently persuaded Gopinath to take his meal. As Gopinath had eaten half of a laddu, he espied Mukunda peering out from his hiding spot. He didn't try to cover up the fact that he had eaten what he had, but neither did he eat anymore.

Seeing all this Mukunda was completely immersed in ecstatic love and picked up his son and put him on his lap. He extolled his virtues in a voice trembling with ecstasy, all the while torrents of tears of joy falling from his eyes. Even today, those who are greatly fortunate can still see that half-eaten laddu in Gopinatha's lotus hand.

Jaya Gopinatha!
Jaya Sri Raghunandana Thakur!

Content compiled from Jaya Tirtha Caran Prabhu
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Madhava Ghosh dasa, New Vrndavan, USA: The Score Is Not What Matters

31-25 :-(

“What I am saying is this: the score is not what matters. Life does not have to be
regarded as a game in which scores are kept and somebody wins. If you are too intent
on winning, you will never enjoy playing. If you are too obsessed with success,
you will forget to live. If you have learned only how to be a success, your life
has probably been wasted.”

Thomas Merton. Love and Living. (New York: Harcourt) p. 12

“A person in Krsna consciousness is always transcendental to the material modes of nature. He has no expectations for the result of the work entrusted to him, because he is above false ego and pride. Still, he is always enthusiastic till the completion of such work. He does not worry about the distress undertaken; he is always enthusiastic. He does not care for success or failure; he is equal in both distress and happiness. Such a worker is situated in the mode of goodness. “

Bhagavad Gita 18.26

Filed under: Sports, Thomas Merton  
Email to a friend Bhakti Vikasa Swami: the greatest anomaly

If even for a moment remembrance of Väsudeva, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is missed, that is the greatest loss, that is the greatest illusion, and that is the greatest anomaly.

>From Visnu Purana, quoted in SB 2.9.36 purport.

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New Vrndavan, USA: Zsa Zsa the New Vrindaban Goat leaves her body

Lord Krsna made a wonderful arrangement today.

Around 12:15 today, Chaitanya Jivan Prabhu, Prabhupada disciple visiting from Philadelphia happened to go over to see the goats at the barn.
He saw that Zsa Zsa the white goat was laying down and listless.

He told Tapahpunja and we went over to see the goats. Zsa Zsa was bleating in distress and couldn’t move. We brought her some blankets and chanted to her. Then Tapah sat down and put her head in his lap and held her and chanted the Holy Names of Sri Krsna as she left her body. (We pray that she was thinking of Lord Krsna and not Tapahpunjah at the moment of death.)

There was no such thing as left over prasadam at New Vrindaban with Zsa Zsa around because she had a huge capacity to eat whatever leftovers were given to her. Zsa Zsa has eaten more prasadam in her lifetime then any hungry brahmachari and was greatly loved by all the residents. She brought immense delight to all the visiting children and their parents. We pray for her continued progress back to Home, back to Godhead.

Your servant, Kamalavati dasi

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Japa Group: Does Not Earn One Hundredth Part

Even if one distributes ten million cows in charity during an eclipse of the sun, lives at the confluence of the Ganges and Yamuna for millions of years, or gives a mountain of gold in sacrifice to the brahmanas, he does not earn even one hundredth part of the merit derived from chanting Hare Krishna.

Srila Sanatana Gosvami - Laghu Bhagavatamrta 
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Subhavilasa das ACBSP, Toronto, CA: Appearance Day of Sri Pundarika Vidyanidhi. 5th of 7 Vaishnava celebrations today.

A disciple of Sri Madhavendra Puri, Pundarika Vidyanidhi was Sri Gadadhara Pandit's guru, and an intimate friend of Svarupa Damodara. Once in Jagannatha Puri, Pundarika Vidyanidhi met Svarupa Damodara after a long separation. In a joyful mood of friendship Pundarika and Svarupa wanted to take the dust from each other's feet. A scuffle began as they tried to simultaneously catch the feet of one another, but at the same time, avoid having their own feet caught. Both being quite strong, neither won. But Sri Gauranga enjoyed their sporting play and everyone laughed.

Pundarika Vidyanidhi has other names—Sri Vidyanidhi, Acaryanidhi, Bhaktyanidhi, and Premanidhi (given by Lord Caitanya). "Simply by hearing his name," said Sri Gaura, "the whole world becomes purified." Premanidhi's pure devotion caused Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu to sometimes cry profusely and call out loudly, "Bop, (father) Pundarika! Pundarika is My father, My dearmost friend. When will I see him again?" Pundarika Vidyanidhi is King Vrsabhanu, Sri Radha's father, in Vrndavana lila.

Continually floating in the sea of Krishna prema, Pundarika often showed ecstatic bodily symptoms of tears, horripilation, fall­ing unconscious. "Whoever recites or hears the following narration of the meeting of Pundarika Vidyanidhi and Sri Gadadhara Pandit will receive the treasure of love of God." (Sri Caitanya Bhagavata)

When he first arrived in Navadvipa Pundarika Vidyanidhi dis­guised himself as a worldly sense enjoyer. Besides Mukunda, nobody knew that Pundarika Vidyanidhi was pure a Vaisnava. "Today, I will introduce you to a most exceptional Vaisnava," said Mukunda, as he took Gadadhara Pandit to meet Pundarika Vidyanidhi.

They found Pundarika reclining on an opulent brass bed covered with red satin sheets, silk pillows, and topped with a three-tiered canopy. A gem-studded pan box stuffed with fragrant spices and betel nuts waited within arm's reach. Two shiny brass spittoons stood as silent sentries beside the bed. Seeing the mirror stained red from his chewing pan, Pundarika laughed heartily. Two servants cooled him with peacock fans.

Was this a Vaisnava or a prince wallowing in luxury wondered Gadadhara Pandit? Doubts arose in Gadadhara's mind about Pundarika's spiritual status. Reading his mind, Mukunda decided to reveal the highly exalted transcendental identity of Pundarika Vidyanidhi. Mukunda recited Srimad Bhagavatam (10.6.35): "Al­ways hankering to taste the blood of small children, Putana came to kill baby Krishna. However, because she offered her breast to the Supreme Lord Putana attained the greatest blessing of being accepted as a mother of Sri Krishna."

Hearing this verse totally transformed Pundarika Vidyanidhi. A Ganges river of tears flooded his eyes. Perspiration rained from his body, his hairs stood erect. He ripped off his embroidered silk shirt and wildly thrashed his legs about. Rolling on the ground, he wailed, "The Lord is infinitely merciful. Yet He deprives me of His mercy." His clothes, brass bed, fine bed sheets, mirror, spittoons, all his opulent trappings were ripped to shreds-smashed to bits. Ten men tried but couldn't restrain the force of Pundarika's ecstasy. The manifestations of Pundarika Vidyanidhi's pure love for Krish­na competed with one another for some time. Finally, his spiritual emotions reached their peak and he lost external unconscious.

After witnessing this spectacular display of transcendental feelings Gadadhara Pandit realized his offense in misjudging Pun­darika Vidyanidhi to be a materialistic devotee. To rectify his mistake he wanted to take initiation from Pundarika Vidyanidhi. Six hours later, Sri Pundarika returned to external consciousness. Now he seemed calm and composed. Happily he initiated Gadadhara Pandit.

Information compiled from His Grace Nandanandana dasa
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Subhavilasa das ACBSP, Toronto, CA: Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura Disappearance day

On todays Vaishnava Calendar the 4th of 7 events being marked is the disappearane day of  Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura.

The following article appeared in the monthly magazine "Gaudiya", 18th volume, number 18 in 1922 A.D.  The magazine was founded and edited by His Divine Grace Sri Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura.

The names of all the Vrajvasi Gosvamis who were living during the time of Sri Mahaprabhu are very well known. Later, after their disappearance, the flow of pure devotion for the Lord took shelter of the three famous Prabhus -- Srinivasa Acarya, Thakura Narottama, and Syamananda Parbhu -- and surged on with full force. In the disciplic succession coming from Thakura Narottama, Sri Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura appeared in the fourth position.

The story of Sri Visvanatha Cakravarti is more or less know only among the Gaudiya Vaisnavas. They speak of the outstanding excellence of achievement demonstrated by Srila Cakravarti Thakura in his examination of the Srimad Bhagavat and the Bhagavad Gita, as well as his complete understanding of the opinions expressed by the Gosvamis in their own books. Our Thakura is the protector, guardian and acarya of the middle period of Gaudiya Vaisnava dharma's historical developement.

Nowadays amongst the Vaisnavas, there is the following saying in relation to Cakravarti Thakura's three most famous books: "kirana bindu kana, e tin niye vaisnava pana"
"These three books, Ujjvala-Nilamani-Kirana, Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu-bindhu, and Bhagavatamrta-kana, are taken and used by the Vaisnavas as their wealth." In this connection, we also hear the following verse sung everywhere:

visvasya natha-ripo 'sau
bhakta-cakre varttitatvat
cakravarty akhyaya bhavat

"Because he has shown the visva-vasis (residents of the material universe) the path of bhakti, he is called 'Visvanatha'; and because he is situated amongst the cakra (circle) of devotees, he is called 'Cakravarti'."

Srila Cakravarti Thakura Defends Sri Narottama's True Position

Previously, Srila Narottama Thakura Mahasaya had achieved fame as Rasika-raja, or The King of those devotees who know how to relish the mellows of the topmost madhura-rasa. And he certainty is that. However, certain persons who are envious of Lord Hari -- who are loyal servants of that energy which completely surrounds the fallen souls with strict difficulties -- have dared to attempt to forcibly throw such a wonderful, true rasika as Narottama into their own well of material rasa. Needless to say, they have not been successful. Being unable to understand the purely spiritual activities of Sri Narottama Thakura, many prakrta-sahajiyas had given him the title "Sahajiya-kula-bhusana" (the ornament of the family of cheap imitators). Therefore, Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura appeared in time to check the spread of this concocted sahajiya mentality, and to truly defend the factual spiritual rank of Srila Thakura Mahasaya.

Visvanatha's Family Lineage, Birth & Studies

Srila Visvanatha took birth in a family of brahmanas found in the Radha-desa area of Nadia District, West Bengal (Radha-sreniya-vipra-kula). According to some, he also used the pen name 'Hari-vallabha'. He had two older brothers named Ramabhadra and Raghunatha, and he stayed in Deva-grama during his childhood. Upon the completion of his studies in vyakarana (Sanskrit grammar), he moved to Saiyadabad-grama Murasidabad District, where he studied the bhakti-sastras (literature of devotion) in the home of his guru Sri Radha-ramana Cakravarti. This Radha-ramana was the disciple of Sri Krsna-carana Cakravarti, who was in turn the disciple of Sri Ganga-narayana Cakravarti (one of the chief disciples of Thakura Narottama.) Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura later composed Sanskrit prayers describing this disciplic succession --Sri Gurudevastika, Sri Parama-gurudevastika, Sri Pratapara-gurudevastika, and Sri Parama-parat-gurudevastika. All these stotrascan be found, along with many other compositions, in his book named Sri Stavamrta-lahari (Waves of Nectarean Prayers).

His Residence in Sri Vraja Mandal

By the mercy of his spiritual master, Srila Visvanatha Cakravarty Thakura lived in many different places within Vraja-dhama, and composed various transcendental literatures there. Most of these books are very difficult to find nowadays; however a few of them are well known, and are considered to be the supremely honorable wealth of the Gaudiya Vaisnavas.
Sometimes Srila Cakravarty Thakura lived at Sri Govardhana, sometimes on the bank of Sri Radha-kunda, sometimes at Sri Yavata and sometimes in Sri Vrindavana within the compound of Sri Gokulananda's temple. His movements here and there are made very clear by the statements found at the end of his books.

The Date of His Birth

In Attempting to ascertain the time of Cakravarty Thakura, we see that he states at the end of Sri Krsna-Bhavanamrta that this book was completed on the full moon day of the month of Phalguna, 1607 Saka (1685 A.D.). This was the day commemorating the auspicious appearance of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu on the full moon in February-March. Additionally, in his commentary of the Srimad Bhagavatam named saratha-darsini, we see that this tika was written during the month of Magha, 1626 Saka (1704 A.D.). Therefore, estimating that his time of birth was approximately 1560 Saka (1638 A.D.), and determining his time of death as 1630 Saka (1708 A.D.), we can calculate that he was present in this world for 70 years.

His Disciplic Succession

Sri Ganga-narayana Cakravarti was a disciple of Srila Narottama Thakura Mahasaya, and a resident of Balucara Gambila (the place of Narottama's disappearance). By the Lords desire, he had no sons; however, he had one daughter named Visnu-priya. Srila Thakura Mahasaya also had a famous disciple known as Sri Rama-krsna Bhattacarya (a Barendra-sreniya-brahmana). The youngest son of this Bhattacarya was named Sri Krsna-carana, who was accepted by Sri Ganga-narayana as his own son (since he had none of his own.) This Krsna-carana is the parama-guru, or grand spiritual master of Srila Cakravarti Thakura. In Visvanatha's Bhagavatam commentary named Sarartha-darsini, at the beginning of the famous Rasa-pancadhyayi (five chapters describing Lord Sri Krsna's rasa-lila dance), we find the following verse:

sri rama krsna ganga caran natva gurun uru premnah
srila narottama natha sri gauranga prabhum naumi

"Having bowed down while absorbed in the most exalted divine love at the feet of all my gurus in disciplic succession -- Sri Radha-ramana Cakravarti, Sri Krsna-carana Cakravarty, Sri Ganga-narayana Cakravarty, Sri Narottama Thakura and Sri Lokanath Gosvami -- I now offer my respectful obeisances unto my Lord Sri Gauranga Mahaprabhu."

We understand from this sloka that Sri Radha-ramana's abbreviated name is 'Sri Rama', and that Sri Krsna-carans's abbreviated name is 'Krsna'. The word 'natha' is understood to mean Sri Lokanatha Gosvami.

Refuting the Faulty Conclusions of Rupa Kaviraja

Srinivasa Acarya's famous daughter, Srimati Hamalata Thakurani, rejected an envious disciple named Sri Rupa Kaviraja from the Viasnava society. This Rupa Kaviraja is counted amongst the sub-branch of the Gaudiya Vaisnava sampradaya known as atibadi. He spread his own concocted philosophy (counter to the Gaudiya tradition) that only a person in the renounced order of life is capable of acting as acarya. He claimed that it was not possible for a householder to become a spiritual master. Fully disregarding the vidhi-marga, or path of devotional rules and regulations, he also tried to preach a philosophical path of raga-marga, or spontaneous devotion, which was completely unregulated and undisciplined. He also preached that smarana (remembrance) was possible without the help of sravana and kirtana (hearing and chanting.) Thus, this Rupa Kaviraja propogated a path which was unfavorable to the path shown by the Gosvamis. Therefore, Srila Cakravarti Thakura has refuted all these false conclusions in his sarartha-darshini commentary on the 3rd canto of Srimad bhagavatam. Actually, this refutation is a rendering of the truths outlined in Srila Jiva Gosvami's Bhakti Sandarbha.

Refuting the Caste Gosvamis

The later descendants of Sri Rupa Kaviraja, as well as the descendants of Sri Nityananda Prabhu's son Sri Virabhadra and the descendants of Sri Advaita Acarya's rejected sons all gave the title "Gosvami" to their disciples, even if they are householders. In preaching his refutation of this bogus practice, Srila Cakravarti Thakura has stated, citing scriptural evidence, that such a title of "Gosvami" is not at all improper for a befitting offspring of an acarya. However, it is highly improper to simply tack the word "Gosvami" onto the ends of names of offspring who are born in unfit families, even though descendants of an acarya -- especially when there is a motive of greed for increasing wealth and followers. For this reason, even one conducting the activities of an acarya should never use the title "Gosvami". Srila Cakravarti Thakura maintains that such foolish persons, who are bereft of proper behavior -- are so ignorant that they are not even fit to be seen.

The Gaudiya Sampradaya's Conquest at Jaipur

During the time of Srila Cakravarti Thakura, the offspring of acaryas were signing the title "Gosvami" next to their own names, thereby displaying their foolish ignorance. Being envious of the Lord and averse to the scriptures, they were very proud to announce the name of their vamsa-parampara (family lineage). At that time, at Sri Govindadeva's temple at Gulta-grama (just outside Jaipur), the acaryas of the Sri Ramanuja-sampradaya issued a challenge against the Gaudiya Vaisnavas. The King of Jaipur consequently invited the most prominent Gaudiya Vaisnavas of Sri Vrindavana to attend. Knowing them to be followers of Srila Rupa Gosvami, he called them to council with the followers of Sri Ramanuja. This happened in 1628 Saka (1706 A.D.), when Srila Cakravarti Thakura was very old (about 68 years). So he consulted his foremost student, Gaudiya Vaishnava Vedantacarya Mahamahopadhyaya Pandit-kula-mukta Sripada Baladeva Vidys-bhusana. Thereafter, Sri Vidya-bhusana left Vrndavana to join the assembly in Jaipur, accompanied by his own student (and disciple of Srila Cakravarti Thakura), Sri Krsnadeva Sarvabhauma.
The caste Gosvamis had completely forgotten their own loyalty to the Sri Madhva-sampradaya. Being ignorant of the true facts of the disciplic succession, and being disrespectful to Vaisnava Vedanta, they had fallen into such a degraded condition that Sri Blaldeva Vidya-bhusna was onliged to write a separate commentary on the Vedanta-sutra, according to the philosophy of the Gaudiya -sampradaya. This was done just to refute their false conclusions. Srila Cakravarti Thakura gave his full sanction and approval to this task of counteracting the challenge, which simultaneously resulted in allowing the Gaudiya Vaisnava parampara to continue preaching freely.
This event marks the second illustration of Srila Cakravarty Thakura's preaching of the Vaisnava dharma. Specifically, this is a brilliant example of his endeavor to reform the Vaisnava acaryas who happened to be born in impure brahmana families.

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Matsyavatara das (ACBSP), Italy: Family Matters (Part Five - Last) - By Matsya Avatara Dasa (Marco Ferrini)

Rigid versus Rigorous

Many times, listening to his tapes and reading his books, I heard Srila Prabhupada say that illicit sex is illicit sex. Very true, but I have heard him thundering against extra-conjugal illicit sex and have heard him being understanding, compassionate―not approving, not accomplice―towards those who, out of weakness, break the principles in family life. Pay attention to this point: I don't approve the breaking of principles and I am not accomplice of those who break them, even within family life. But I am ready to be quite tolerant, ready to provide help to overcome these weaknesses―without an air of catastrophe, without excessive criminalization―because those instincts, if negated or brutally repressed, slide into the unconscious and create much more damage than when they are dissolved in the sunlight. One can't avoid taking them in consideration. Either accepting such instincts or rejecting them should be done consciously, with awareness. One should use all one's resources to sublimate these instincts to a higher level, the spiritual one. And even if one succeeds nine times out of ten but the tenth time bangs his head, he should try again till perfection.
There are spirit souls who are more reawakened and those who are less reawakened; those who have more success and those who have less success, but the important thing is not to embark in disasters. I believe that in the past many tragedies occurred due to interpreting things, although in good faith, in a rigid manner instead of in a rigorous manner. There is great difference between these two concepts. What is rigid is unfortunately also very fragile. What is rigorous is much better. Rigid has a negative connotation while rigorous has a positive one. A rigid, crude, hard, radical negation―which, I repeat, could be in good faith―means repression, but if these impulses don't act on the conscious level they act, and even more powerfully, on the unconscious level. In a moment of distraction or in a moment in which our perception of God is a little hazy, in a moment of tiredness or in a moment of disappointment, these impulses surge out like a torrent overflowing its ridges and flood our consciousness. And the apparently faultless person becomes abominable.
This is a school of life. We have to learn the art of living. We have to be comprehensive towards the needs of others. We should help all those who are sincere but conditioned and with weak willpower to canalize and orient their urges upwards―without brutally negating them. If one is addicted to tobacco, let him smoke a cigarette once in a while. If one is an alcoholic, let him drink a glass once in a while. If one is addicted to sex, let him have an intercourse once in while. In this way the mind organizes itself to do always better, to improve. If a devotee is helped, cared for and inspired spiritually, receiving guidance and mercy by the spiritual master and understanding by the vaishnava, and behaving sincerely, then this process will lead to a purification of one’s samskara and desires. Bhakti is especially meant for the correction and transformation of one’s deep, unconscious tendencies (vasana). Brutal negations are a terrible teaching and it's for this reason that great thinkers have classified also organized religion―or rather the Churches―as one of the neurosis-generating environments: family, work and religion. Religions, when interpreted rigidly, to the letter, are dangerous means of serious conditioning, of neurosis, but religion, when explained by the spiritual master, sadhu and realized persons, is an extraordinarily effective means of spiritual realization.
In the same 'tree' category there are hundreds and thousands of different trees, similarly there are many different human beings. We can't make one law for everyone and make it so rigid that it doesn't work for anyone. There must be general moral definitions, but they can’t be applied in the same way to every individual. We should have general definitions because man lives in community, is a social being and can't negate his social needs. General definitions drive the group to grow; comparison among peers generates the drive for improvement, also among spiritualists. But even in law, the general definitions are not applicable to all individuals in the same way. Therefore the legislator―in our case the spiritual master, the vaishnava―has to understand the peculiarities of each person. The law remains one for everyone, but there should be personal considerations in the application.
Question: I would like to verify if I understood properly: we should see our spouse as a person who is helping us dissolve that attachment that is not spiritual―and which causes damage―and therefore we see him or her as a friend, with a sentiment of reciprocal help. This relation is like one of the various camps established in climbing a mountain, right?
Yes, if you feel alone and incapable of reaching the summit you might be overcome by desolation and by anguish. You might lack the energy to even start the climb. But you do have the desire to reach the summit and therefore we are not talking of grihamedhi but of grihastha, whose aim is spiritual realization. Sometimes it's necessary to make this journey in two, because by oneself one doesn't have enough strength, even psychologically. It's crucial that the spouses remind each other of why they got together. When a spouse has a difficult moment, the other must remind him or her of the original motivation in a consistent way. Otherwise, if they both forget, they go somewhere else.
Question: It's about continence, abstinence from sex. Sometimes the couple fails to control the sexual urge and becomes so "confidential," so familiar that they reach a point where they don't value each other any more; they can't see each other's good qualities anymore.
This is a very interesting question. There is a confidentiality that doesn't diminish respect. That's confidentiality on a spiritual basis. When familiarity becomes excessive and it's reduced to the material plane, it inevitably creates disrespect and causes disappointment. Step by step this darkness envelops the zone of light until the relation is largely consumed, depleted. During the excitement, the enthusiasm of the moment one doesn't perceive that this is happening, but it does actually happen. One whose vision is sufficiently detached―but attentive, profound, discriminating―can understand when this happens. Therefore we should try to define what love is, because this helps a lot, it helps enormously in creating categories. Life needs categories; otherwise we don't understand what's happening.

yasya deve para bhaktir
yatha deve tatha gurau
tasyaite kathita hy arthau
prakashante mahatmanau

"Only unto one who has unflinching devotion to the Lord and to the spiritual master does transcendental knowledge become automatically revealed."(Svetashvatara Upanisad VI.23)
In the path of bhakti, love is defined as the sentiment for guru and Krishna. Just like food has to be inserted in the mouth; there are innumerable other ways of inserting food but they don't work. One could make little balls of rice and stick them in one’s ears, but it doesn't work. One could even try intravenously, and also in that case there would be nourishment, but it won't give pleasure and real strength. Shrila Prabhupada said: "We teach all men to love Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. If you learn how to love Krishna, which is very easy, then immediately you love every living being simultaneously." (Letter of 10th March 1970) Only the unflinching love for God gives the strength to love all other creatures. This is an essential point; the capacity to love all others is the result of loving God. Otherwise love undergoes devolution, degeneration; it becomes egoistic. Slowly, slowly it shrinks to the level of ahamkara, false ego, the reflected self, the atman reflecting on the mental field.
What is the ahamkara? It's the sum of all the psychic contents with which we identify. Love in this form shrinks to the minute field of the psychic contents, thus practically negating all the real needs of the living being. The effect of love for God, or love "in God"(yasya deve para bhaktir―deve is in the locative case) is not like falling inside a well and getting locked up. Love of God multiplies in love for the husband, for the wife, for the children, for the parents, for the neighbors, for the so-called enemies and for the so-called friends. Therefore through bhakti we can enter into respectful affection. There is morbid affection, which has no respect―think of the pedophiles and the rapists. Criminologists working on the psychological profiles of criminals, would assure that they always talk of affection, of an overflowing affection, but they often cause huge disasters. Love of God is that affection that bubbles over, overflows, and benefits everyone.
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Ananda Subramanian, Iowa, USA: Egypt's Green Lantern - 1.19?

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Ekendra das, Alachua, USA: Everybody’s Talkin’

Today’s the day after the Super Bowl, and I’m in Jagannath Puri on the east coast of India on the Bay of Bengal. No one here watches the Super Bowl. They do say “Hari Bol” (chant the names of God), though.

We’ve been out of the USA for almost four months. We missed the whole commercial buildup for Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, and Valentine’s Day. I forgot there even was such a thing as the Super Bowl until a few weeks ago, when I started feeling the first symptoms of homesickness in the form of random memories. “Gosh, I’d like to watch the Super Bowl,” I thought, but I don’t even know who was playing and even if I did what possible difference could it make?

So when I first went to type the words “Super Bowl,” my fingers automatically hit the keys for Super Bol instead, which much better describes what’s going on around us.

I wish I could explain exactly how life is different here than the life I see in the States. Not too many people have televisions here for one. When we hear that, as Americans, we tend to think, “Oh, they’re deprived! How unfortunate! How backward! How desolate and poverty-stricken they must be!”

But you know what I see here? People talking to each other. It’s a huge, nonstop social scene. The streets are full of people walking and talking to each other. In their homes, they’re talking to each other and/or chanting Hare Krishna or something similar. They’re sitting on benches outside of tea stalls, walking arm in arm down crowded alleyways, standing around the waterpumps, in front of roadside shops, or just standing in the street, and they’re all talking to one another, laughing, shouting, dancing, and dodging bicycle and scooter traffic.

The people I see here haven’t lost the art of communication. Nobody’s planted in front of the television with blank expressions on their faces, oblivious to those around them. They know each other, they touch each other, they understand each other.

In our house, when I was growing up, the TV was almost always on, and I was almost always watching it. I absorbed the sitcoms and cartoons and televised sporting events and brutally chopped-up televised movies. Conversations took a back seat to “whatever someone was watching.” Some of my earliest impressions of human behavior were not from watching actual human behavior but from watching actors performing rehearsed lines written by other people, with the ultimate aim of selling cars, alcohol, breakfast cereals, laundry soap, and dog food.

I remember before we had television. We played cards and talked to each other. Neighbors and family would come over to visit. I’d hear the grownups talking for hours, and laughing, shouting. People would come over for dinner, unannounced, no problem. They’d stay and talk, tell stories, tell jokes, until the sky went dark and the crickets were chirping and the fireflies flashed outside the windows. They’d sit around bonfires and talk. Then we got television and it was all over.

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Subhavilasa das ACBSP, Toronto, CA: Today Sarasvati Puja is listed on the on-line Vaishnava calendar.

O jiyat kaisora-caitanyo
murti-matya grihasramat

lakshmyarcito ’tha vag-devya
disam jayi-jaya-cchalat


Long live Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu in His kaisora age! Both the goddess of fortune and the goddess of learning worship Him. The goddess of learning, Sarasvati, worshiped Him in His victory over the scholar who had conquered all the world, and the goddess of fortune, Lakshmi devi, worshiped Him at home. Since He is therefore the husband or Lord of both goddesses, I offer my obeisances unto Him.
(Sri Chaitanya Charitamrta. Adi lila 16:3.)
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ISKCON Toronto, Canada: Deity Darshan: Sunday, February 6, 2011

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Subhavilasa das ACBSP, Toronto, CA: Appearance Day of Srimati Visnupriya Devi

Continuing with the 7 posts to mark this special day of February 7 which contains 7 celebrations on the Vaishnava calendar...

This day marks the auspicious appearance of Srimati Visnupriya Devi. She is the eternal consort of Sri Gaurasundar and according to scripture she is none other than Satyabhama in Krishna's pastimes.

Srimati Visnupriya Devi exemplifies self-surrender at the lotus feet of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.

When she was only fourteen, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu took sannyasa, and she lived the rest of her life in penance. From early morning she would take the Holy Name all day. Some say that for every Mahamantra that she chanted, she would put one grain of rice into a clay pot. After chanting she would take that rice and cook it and offer it to the Lord. She had a Deity of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and she would worship Him in this form. Since that time when Visnupriya did  the worship herself to the present this same  worship is continuing in a temple in Navadvipa known as Mahaprabhura Badi.
So by honoring Srimati Visnupriya Devi and her example of surrender to Chaitanya Mahaprabhu we can learn to glorify, serve and surrender to Gaurasundar so we may be part of His sankirtan movement and one day return to His abode.

Srimati Visnupriya Devi ki Jaya!
Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu ki Jaya!
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H.H. Sivarama Swami: Silpa-karini dd asks how one can please Lord Caitanya if one lives in a place where public preaching activities are prohibited

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H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Sunday, February 6th 2011

Oh Happy Day!

Russell, Ontario

Gaurachandra and I slept the night at Russell's Music Academy, also the home of newly-weds, Kasper and Vraja. I woke up very content from the previous evening's successful workshop on the nine steps of devotion. As mentioned in a part entry to this blog, if my memory serves me correctly, there is often times a tendency within a devotional gathering to routinely execute the process in a formal way and to forfeit the heartfeltness of bhakti itself.

When assessing the workshop I asked the participants which aspect of the presentation they liked the most. The consensus was 'befriending someone'. It appears that while we give all of our reverence to the Divine (Krishna) we may forget the people around us who are also expressing adoration. It's easy to lose sight of the need to acknowledge the others around us. Let's not forget the parts and parcels of the Supreme as we remember Him.

The joy I felt from the participants' happiness carried over into this morning and as I explored practically every street of the town which had been snow-shovelled minutes before I trekked its sidewalk. Indeed snow accompanied my japa journey as it does fairly regularly these days. Once completing the trek I volunteered to shovel the Academy's driveway with pleasure. Pushing snow out of the way feels like removing karma from the heart. This chore merely extended these feelgood hours.

Gaurachandra and I drove off to Montreal for the evening's Open House program which included initiations of candidates into the process [formally]. Kasper and Vraja from Russel also came. Kasper asked me what gives me the fire to forge ahead, to which I answered, "All the nine steps (beginning with hearing and chanting) and which includes pushing snow (and karma)."


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H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Saturday, February 5th, 2011

Big Time Exploitation

Ottawa, Ontario

Enroute to Ottawa along highway 7, a brand of the Trans Canada Highway, I was fortunate to step out of a car and walk a humble 3 kilometers. My companion, Gaurachandra, feeling the effects of driver's drowsiness, needed the break while I needed the stretch. I walked the town of Marmora and beyond. Dog sled competition were taking place as the townsfolk converged for a Winter Fest.

Dog sledding was learned from the natives. While trekking I thought of the Ojibway living in this very area that I walked my short distance. As a sequel to our drama of last summer "Lonely people" I am preparing a new script "Greedy People." There is countless evidence that Europeans came here, learned from the First Nations people how to survive, but exploited them. The research for the topic greed led me to a "Touch the Earth" by T.C. McLuhan about indigenous people, mostly chiefs, declaring how they are forced to change their ways. It's an eye-opening read. Here's an excerpt from Chief Luther Standing Bear:

"Our first resentment was in having our hair cut... Short hair being the mark of gentility with the white man, he put upon us the mark, though he still retained his own customs of keeping the hair-covering on his face. Our second resentment was against trousers, based upon what we considered the best of hygienic reasons. Our bodies were used to constant bathing in the sun, air, and rain, and the function of the pores of our skin, which were in reality a highly developed breathing apparatus, was at once stopped by trousers of heavy, sweat-absorbing material aided by that worst of all treatments- red flannel underwear... Many times we have been laughed at for our native way of dressing, but could anything we ever wore compare in utter foolishness to the steal-ribbed corset and the huge bustle which our girls adopted after a few years in school?

"The Indian, essentially an outdoor person, had no use for the handkerchief; he was practically immune to colds and like the animal, not additced to spitting. The white man, essentially an indoor person, was subjected to colds, catarrh, bronchitis, and kindred diseases. He was a cougher and a spitter, and his constant use of tobacco aggravated the habit. With him the handkerchief was a toilet necessity."

In another excerpt by Chief Red Jacked of the Senecas who made an address to a council which included a young missionary named Cram. Here we get to a point about greed.

"Brothers, our seats were once large, and yours were small. You have now become great people, and we have scarcely a place left to spread our blankets. You have got our country, but are not satisfied; you want to force your religion upon us."

Red Jacket moved to shake hands with the missionary; Cram refused saying, 'There was no fellowship between the religion of God and the Devil.' The Indians smiled and retired peacefully.


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H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Friday, February 4th, 2011

The Beauty of the Sear

Toronto Ontario

We had completed an event "An Evening of Bhakti" organized and performed by this city's own bhajan group "Gaura Shakti" I was introduced as special guest for the program. Once the mic was handed to me I raised a mild protest "How could that be? I live here!"

Within the walls of our temple ashram in Govinda's Dining Room an evening of chant, dance, and try to trance took place culminating with a tasty chow mein (we stretched the concept of the meaning of "eastern"). Yoga students from curious groups broke from the strick asana formations to ride the smooth wave of kirtan.

At 10pm during mingling period I realized thta I hadn't yet hit the sidewalk for the day. I donned winterwear and took to walking, as self-obligation. But while body was street-bound for some while, mind stayed in the room where kirtan permutated the others. "What a soothing experience!" I thought.

My mind walked back to nine hours before when I sat at a table of the same room talking with someone about the same thing I had two weeks prior-surgery.

"The stitches pinch, don't they?" I remarked.
"My doctor said he was proud of the sear he created" said my visitor a patient of a form of cancer.

"Okay" we thought. Doctors have to revel in something. I guess its something like a warrior who boasts of his wounds and scars. The history of war events in India tell that a wound is a mark of heroism. One Rujput Queen refused her husband's entrance into the palace since he returned from battle with no injury. I guess its the sign of chivalry.

Before retiring for the night I looked at my hernia sear and had to admit my innate-quary at seeing it as a beauty mark. What to do? Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. I'm so programmed from my generation. I still don't necessarily regard even a tatoo as "cool." Forgive me for my being so square. Conditioned that I am I try to see the beauty of God, His form, His name...

I really got to see "the scar" and the beauty of the name as I completed my mantra meditation for the day. The clock struck midnight. I rested.

8 KM

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Kripamoya dasa, UK: New Arts Magazine available

The second edition of the new Vaishnava Arts magazine, Creation, is available here:

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H.H. Sivarama Swami

If even for a moment remembrance of Vāsudeva, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is missed, that is the greatest loss, that is the greatest illusion, and that is the greatest anomaly.

- Visnu Purana

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ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Gaura Vani at Krishna Fest


The wave of bliss is building up before this weekend's Ratha Yatra.

Gaura Vani Prabhu is back and will be performing at Krishna Fest on Thursday as part of his Australian Tour 2011.

Make sure you and your trendy friends are part of the fun!!!

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Japa Group: Thought of the Day

Today after Srimad-Bhagavatam class here in Sri Mayapur Bhakti Vidya Purna Swami had questions and answers, there were some questions concerning chanting and hearing also.

It was mentioned that on the level of suddha-nama there is already the realization of our relationship with Krsna and devotee is chanting for Krsna's pleasure, feeling Krsna's interaction, chanting is not just because it's our sadhana/duty. Holy name is always Krsna, but on the beginning level we don't understand this.

A few hours later I was chanting japa and recalled how many years ago when we were small kids, some friends got number to the White House, and they thought it cool to call the house where the president of USA is working. Of course it was useless to call there, but behind there was the conception to have some interaction with very powerful man.

Similarly, maha-mantra is direct phone line to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the lover of Srimati Radharani, performer of unlimited nectarian pastimes, controller of unlimited universes and demigods. And not just that, He is also very pleased if we call Him with attention and He is ready to interact with us, if we call Him with attention. If we just remember this fact always, we should be very eager to chant constantly!

Your servant,

Muniraja dasa
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Gouranga TV: Lecture – Prahladananda Swami – Bhagavad-gita 5.29 – Inconvenient Jail (Evolution)

Lecture – Prahladananda Swami – Bhagavad-gita 5.29 – Inconvenient Jail (Evolution)

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