martes, 1 de marzo de 2011

Sita-pati dasa, AU: The glories of Justin Bieber






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"Planet ISKCON" - 44 new articles

  1. H.G. Sankarshan das Adhikari, USA: Tuesday 1 March 2011--Unstable, Artificial Economy--and--Why Preference to Krishna?
  2. ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Daily Class - Kesava Prabhu
  3. Vraja Kishor, JP: Does Enlightenment Depend on Our Efforts?
  4. H.H. Prahladananda Swami: Lecture – SB 6.16.38 The Real Standard Of Happiness
  5. H.H. Prahladananda Swami: Lecture – SB 6.16.38 Mirror, Mirror On The Wall Who Is The Greatest Of Them All
  6. H.H. Prahladananda Swami: Lecture – SB 6.16.37 To Accept Krsna Means Humble Servant Of Krsna
  7. H.H. Prahladananda Swami: Lecture – SB 6.16.36 Everything Is Manifested By The Energy Of The Supreme Lord
  8. ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Today's Darsana
  9. Subhavilasa das ACBSP, Toronto, CA: Today is Vijaya or Victory Ekadasi. Jaya Lord Rama!
  10. Subhavilasa das ACBSP, Toronto, CA: Happy Ekadasi!
  11. Sita-pati dasa, AU: The glories of Justin Bieber
  12. H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami (Ret.): 235
  13. H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami (Ret.): 234
  14. H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami (Ret.): Poem, February 28
  15. H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami (Ret.): Poem, February 27
  16. Japa Group: Let Other Things Wait
  17. Bharatavarsa.net: Bhakti Vikasa Swami: Farm-opening, that is good idea
  18. Toronto Sankirtan Team, CA: Vaisesika Prabhu's seminar from Dallas
  19. Sita-pati dasa, AU: The glories of Isvara Puri
  20. ISKCON Toronto, Canada: Deity Darshan: Sunday, February 27, 2011
  21. Dandavats.com: Live From Sri Mayapur Candrodaya Mandir! HH Bhanu Swami
  22. Kripamoya dasa, UK: The King’s Speech; a good teacher, and a good wife
  23. H.H. Sivarama Swami: Discussion on women giving class in Mayapura, their being called “Prabhu” and taking the service of diksa guru
  24. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  25. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  26. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  27. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  28. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  29. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  30. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  31. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  32. Akrura das, Gita Coaching: MEANINGFUL COMMUNICATION
  33. Akrura das, Gita Coaching: SPARK AND FIRE
  34. Giridhari das, Brasilia, Brazil: Retreat With Chandramukha Swami in Pandavas Paradise
  35. Madhava Ghosh dasa, New Vrndavan, USA: “The Wind Cries Mary” by Jimi Hendrix
  36. The Loft, Auckland, NZ: A Dance Party of Kirtan Music
  37. H.H. Sivarama Swami: Converstaion with Jagannatha dasa about the Gulab-sila and other interesting topics
  38. Dandavats.com: Interview with Kalakantha Das
  39. Dandavats.com: GBC Meeting Report 2
  40. David Haslam, UK: Goodbye iPhone hello HTC Desire HD
  41. Gouranga TV: Indradyumna swami -Jaya radha madhava kunja vihari .
  42. Bharatavarsa.net: Book distribution seminar: The purpose of the Hare Krsna movement....
  43. Book Distribution News: The purpose of the Hare Krsna movement....
  44. Dandavats.com: Report from the GBC Strategic Planning Meeting Part One
  45. More Recent Articles
  46. Search Planet ISKCON
  47. Prior Mailing Archive

H.G. Sankarshan das Adhikari, USA: Tuesday 1 March 2011--Unstable, Artificial Economy--and--Why Preference to Krishna?

A daily broadcast of the Ultimate Self Realization Course(tm) Tuesday 1 March 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: Unstable, Artificial Economy Uploaded from Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas USA Presently the world economy is based on oil, which is in limited supply and will eventually run out. Therefore to base the global economy on oil is artificial and not a very intelligent way of organizing the human society. We are told that there will be alternative sources of energy such as solar power to take the place of oil before it is gone. But where is the proof that alternative sources of energy can sustain the human civilization? We already have the time-proven Vedic economic system that is based on the land, cows and bulls. Why are the current world leaders not encouraging these natural energy sources for economic stability in this time of an ever-increasingly unstable global economy? It's time they wake up and start doing their jobs properly before it's too late. Sankarshan Das Adhikari Which is Better for Long Run Economic Stability? Ox Power http://www.backtohome.com/images/oxen.jpg or Oil Power? http://www.backtohome.com/images/gulf-of-mexico-oil-rig.jpg Answers According to the Vedic Version: Question: Why Preference to Krishna? Please accept my humble obeisances I have a question: We chant the mahamantra giving preference to Krishna more than Rama. Why? O.M. Answer: Krishna is the Original Supreme Person Krishna is naturally preferred because, according to the Vedic scriptures and the great acharyas who guided the Vedic civilization for thousands of years, He is the original Supreme Personality of Godhead. 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 http://www.ultimateselfrealization.com/schedule Have Questions or Need Further Guidance? Check out the resources at: http://www.ultimateselfrealization.com or write Sankarshan Das Adhikari at: sda@backtohome.com Get your copy today of the world's greatest self-realization guide book, Bhagavad-gita As It Is available at: http://www.ultimateselfrealization.com/store Know someone who could benefit from this? Forward it to them. Searchable archives of all of course material: http://www.sda-archives.com Receive Thought for the Day as an RSS feed: http://www.backtohome.com/rss.htm Unsubscribe or change your email address Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/Daily_Thought 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: http://www.backtohome.com 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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ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Daily Class - Kesava Prabhu

Srimad Bhagavatm 12.1.4-8 -  Srimad Bhagavatam establishes that Krsna is the original Personality of Godhead.

 
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Vraja Kishor, JP: Does Enlightenment Depend on Our Efforts?

An eight holed Indian classical flute

Image via Wikipedia

Today I was asked a fantastic question:

There is no other cause to bhakti than bhakti itself. We need the causeless mercy of Srimate Radharani, Nityananda Rama and our guru to attain pure love. Does that mean that it is actually Srimate Radhikas love for Krishna that we, when we …are back with our spritual bodies, experience and offer to Krishna??? Is thinking that love of Krishna has it’s source in us a form of bewilderment, just like it is complete illusion to think that we are the doers of activities and the source of different qualities in this world? What we really are responsible for is our desires, but if we desire to put ourselves in a position where we can accept causeless mercy and bhakti, isn’t that a form of love already?

What a wonderful, wonderful question! I hope Sri Sri Radha and Krsna bless you immensely just for asking this excellent question!

Your question 1: Since only love can cause love, all love therefore comes from the original goddess of love – Srimati Radharani. Does that mean that the divine love we eventually attain for Krsna is really her love, not ours?

To answer: imagine an international music store, and look at all the different types of instruments that make music by being blown into. Flutes, Saxophones, Clarinets, etc. And in each group there are thousands of sub-types: Indian bamboo flutes, Japanese bamboo flutes, European silver flutes, Piccolos, South American pa-pipes, etc. etc. etc. etc.

Every single instrument makes music as a result of your breath blowing in it. Therefore the only cause of any music produced is your breath. It is similar to the fact that any love that we experience or express (divine or mundane) is ultimately the love expanded by the Goddess of love, Srimati Radharani.

But the sound produced by each and every instrument is individual and unique! The same breath blowing into different flutes produces uniquely different sounds. This is similar to the fact that each and every one of us experiences and expresses love as our own unique individual experience and expression.

So, the answer to your question is “simultaneously yes and no.” Yes Radharani’s love is the “life’s breath” of all love that exists. But when we offer our love to Krsna (or in anyway) it is actually our own unique individualized expression of Radharani’s love – so it is also our own.

Thus it is neither complete illusion nor complete reality to think that love of Krishna has it’s source in us. Love of Krsna has it’s source in Radhrani, the Goddess of Love just like the musicians breath emanates from her mouth. But that love of Krsna finds expression by coming THROUGH our individual, unique identities – just like the musicians breath creates unique music as it passes through unique types of instruments.

Although the breath of the musician is fundamentally important, the shape and quality of the instrument is also essential.

(This is also the case in how the living soul does activities within the world, while not entirely being the “doer.” All activity originates with the will of the individual soul – but that will is powerless to have any effect except when the supersoul enables that will to generate a tangible effect on the world.)

You say, “What we really are responsible for is our desires.” I think you hit the nail on the head!

You go on to say, “But if we desire to put ourselves in a position where we can accept causeless mercy and bhakti, isn’t that a form of love already?”

Again, you hit the nail on the head. Ontologically it becomes rather rigorous:

Q: How to we become enlightened to divine love of the divine beloved?

A: We cannot manufacture love, it most come of its own accord.

Q: Than how to we get it?

A: You must catch it, like you catch a disease from a person infected with a disease. So you must get divine love by coming into contact with a person who has divine love.

Q: Is this pure chance, then – determining who has the fortune to come into contact with lovers of the divine?

A: Not at all. To catch a disease from an infected person requires more than chance distant contact. There must be an intimate transaction between the two parties for the germ to be able to transfer. To get love of godhead you must OPEN yourself up to it. Be WILLING to accept it. Be DESIROUS of accepting it.

Therefore although we cannot manufacture realization of divine love, we CAN manufacture the situation that will cause divine love to descend into our hearts. In fact it is our first and foremost duty and adventure and quest and mission to do so!

Think of it like being a poor person and begging money from a rich person. TWO things have to coincide: (1) you have to make the EFFORT to beg, and (2) she has to have the MERCY to respond. This is how we attain divine love – it is a combination of our effort to beg for the rarest of all rarities, and the merciful response to our begging by those who have been blessed by the Mercy of Sri Radha.

I hope this helps. Thank you for the opportunity to attempt to express these wonderful topics.


 
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H.H. Prahladananda Swami: Lecture – SB 6.16.38 The Real Standard Of Happiness

SB 06.16.38 The Real Standard Of Happiness 1993-01-04 Lecture – Srimad Bhagavatam 6.16.38 The Real Standard Of Happiness 1993-01-04 Radhadesh

 
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H.H. Prahladananda Swami: Lecture – SB 6.16.38 Mirror, Mirror On The Wall Who Is The Greatest Of Them All

SB 06.16.38 Mirror, Mirror On The Wall Who Is The Greatest Of Them All 2009-07-02 Lecture – Srimad Bhagavatam 6.16.38 Mirror, Mirror On The Wall Who Is The Greatest Of Them All 2009-07-02 Bhaktivedanta Manor

 
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H.H. Prahladananda Swami: Lecture – SB 6.16.37 To Accept Krsna Means Humble Servant Of Krsna

SB 06.16.37 To Accept Krsna Means Humble Servant Of Krsna 1993-01-03 Lecture – Srimad Bhagavatam 6.16.37 To Accept Krsna Means Humble Servant Of Krsna 1993-01-03 Radhadesh

 
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H.H. Prahladananda Swami: Lecture – SB 6.16.36 Everything Is Manifested By The Energy Of The Supreme Lord

SB 06.16.36 Everything Is Manifested By The Energy Of The Supreme Lord 1993-01-02 Lecture – Srimad Bhagavatam 6.16.36 Everything Is Manifested By The Energy Of The Supreme Lord 1993-01-02 Radhadesh

 
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ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Today's Darsana

01/03/11
Their Lordships are drapped in the colours of the French Republic: blue, white and red interlaced with bold gold sequences.

Sri Sri Jagannatha and Baladeva especially wear Their turbans as France's flag. Could They be in a poetic mood today?

Here is Their
darsana; you can judge for yourself.

 
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Subhavilasa das ACBSP, Toronto, CA: Today is Vijaya or Victory Ekadasi. Jaya Lord Rama!

Picture
Yudhisthira Maharaj said, “Oh Lord Sri Krishna, O glorious son of Vasudeva, please be merciful to me and describe the Ekadasi that occurs during the dark fortnight of the month of Phalguna.”

Lord Sri Krishna replied, “Oh Yudhisthira, Oh king of kings, gladly I shall tell you about this great fast, known as Vijaya Ekadasi. Whoever observes it certainly achieves success in this life and the next. All the sins of one who fasts on this Ekadasi and hears its sublime glories are eradicated.
“Narada Muni once asked Lord Brahma, who sits on a lotus flower about the Vijaya Ekadasi. Sri Narada said, ‘Oh best of all the demigods, kindly tell me the merit one can achieve by faithfully observing Vijaya Ekadasi.’
 
Narada’s great father then replied, ‘My dear son, this oldest of fasting days is pure, and it nullifies all sins. I have never revealed this to anyone until today, but you can understand beyond any doubt that this Ekadasi bestows the result indicated by its name.

When Lord Rama was exiled to the forest for fourteen years, He, Srimati Sita devi, and His divine brother Lakshmana stayed at Panchavati as mendicants. Mother Sita was then kidnapped by the demon Ravana, and Lord Rama seemingly became bewildered like an ordinary man by distress. While searching for His beloved consort, the Lord came upon the dying Jatayu and thereafter killed His enemy Kabandha. The great devotee-vulture Jatayu returned to Vaikuntha after telling Rama how His dear Sita had been abducted by Ravana. Later, Lord Rama and Sugriva, the king of the monkeys, became friends.  Together they amassed a grand army of monkeys and bears and sent Hanumanji his minister to Sri Lanka, where he was able to see Srimati Sita devi in an Ashoka grove garden. He delivered Lord Rama’s message and showed the ring proving his authenticity for rendering such great service to the Supreme Lord Sri Rama.
 

With the help of Sugriva, Lord Rama proceeded toward Sri Lanka. Upon arriving at the shore of the ocean with the army of monkeys, He could understand that the water was uncommonly deep and hostile. Thus He said to Lakshmana, “Oh son of Sumitra, how can We earn enough merit to be able to cross this vast ocean, the unfathomable abode of Varuna deva? I can see no easy way to cross it, teeming as it is with sharks and other ferocious aquatics.”
Lakshmana replied, “Oh best of all beings, Oh origin of all the devas, Oh primal personality, the great sage Bakadalbhya lives on an island just four miles from here. Oh Raghava, he has seen many Brahmas come and go, so aged and wise is he. Let us go to him, take his darshan and ask him how We can safely reach Our goal.”

So Rama and Lakshmana proceeded to the humble Ashrama of the incomparable Bakadalbhya Muni. Approaching him, the two Lords paid Their respectful obeisances to him as if he were a second Vishnu. BakadAlbhya could immediately understand, however, that Sri Rama was actually the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who for His own reasons had appeared on the Earth and was enacting just like a human being. 
 
“Rama", said Bakadalbhya, “Oh best of the human beings, why have You come to my lowly abode?” The Lord replied, “Oh great, twice born brahmin, I have come here to the ocean shore with My phalanx of monkey and bear warriors in order to cross the sea and conquer LankA and its demon horde headed by Ravana. Oh greatest of sages, please be merciful unto Me and please tell Me how I can cross this vast ocean. That is why I have come to your Ashrama today.” 

The sage said, “Oh Lord Sri Rama, I shall tell you of the most exalted of all fasts, observing which You will surely conquer Ravana and be eternally glorified. Kindly now listen with full attention.
“On the day before Ekadasi, fashion a water pot of gold or silver, or even copper. Even  clay will do if these metals are unavailable. Fill the pot with pure water and then decorate it nicely with mango leaves. Cover it and place it near a holy altar upon a mound of seven grains (the seven grains are barley, wheat, rice, corn, chickpeas, kukani, and dahl or peas). Now take Your morning bath, decorate the water pot with flower garlands and sandalwood paste, and in the concave lid atop the pot place there the barley, pomegranate, and coconut. Now with great love and devotion worship the water pot Deity form and offer Him incense, sandalwood paste, flowers, a ghee lamp, and a plate of sumptuous foods. Remain there awake that night beside this sacred pot. On top of the lid filled with grains, place a golden murthy of Lord Sri Narayana.
 
“When Ekadasi dawns, take Your morning bath and then decorate the water pot with fine sandalwood paste and garlands. Then worship the pot again with incense, lamps, sandalwood paste and flowers dipped in sandalwood paste, and then devoutly place many kinds of cooked food, pomegranate, and coconut before the water pot. Then remain awake over night.
“When the Dwadasi dawns, take the water pot to the bank of a holy river, or even to the shore of a small pond. After worshipping it again properly, Oh King of kings, offer it with all the aforementioned ingredients to a pure hearted brahmin, expert in the Vedic sciences. If You and Your military commanders observe the Vijaya Ekadasi in this way, You will surely be victorious in every way.”

Lord Sri Ramachandra, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, did just as Bakadalbhya Muni instructed, and thus He conquered all demoniac forces.

Similarly, anyone who observes the Vijaya Ekadasi in this way will always be victorious in this mortal world, and after leaving this world he/she will reside forever in the anxiety free realm of the Kingdom of God known as the Vaikunthas.”

“Oh Narada, my son, from this history you can understand why one should observe this Ekadasi fast properly, strictly following the rules and regulations. This fast is powerful enough to eradicate all one’s sinful reactions, even the most abominable ones.”

Thus ends the narration of the glories of Phalguna-krsna Ekadasi or Vijaya Ekdasi, from the Skanda Purana.

These stories have been sourced and summarized from the book, "Ekadasi: The Day of Lord Hari" by  HH Krishna Balaram Swami. Bhaktivedanta Institute Press.
 
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Subhavilasa das ACBSP, Toronto, CA: Happy Ekadasi!

Ekadasi is supposed to be a serious day of fasting and spirtual introspection. However I saw this clip on YouTube and had to share. So for now Watch and Be Happy and then also Chant and Be Happy.  After all, Krisna Consciousness brings purpose and happiness into our lives.
 
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Sita-pati dasa, AU: The glories of Justin Bieber

Here's the link to the video for all you slaves to the Facebook system, who won't see it above while reading in their walled garden ;-) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IWIwRg9CKu8.

I have been decompressing following the past few months of intense activity - Prahlad's hospitalisation and diagnosis with Type 1 Diabetes, Vaiyasaki's two month kirtan tour of Australia, Param Satya's hospitalisation and subsequent start of chemotherapy, Gaura Vani's two month kirtan tour of Australia, and the demands of a full-time job managing a business unit composed of 14 technical writers.

Yesterday I stumbled across this fellow, Justin Bieber. I admit I'd heard the name before, in the context of a stereotypical pin up pop star and a star child, but I'd never checked him out.

I don't really take my cues so well from other people around me, so I don't really care if he's popular or not, or it is acceptable or cool to like him or whatever. I watched this video, and I like it. I'm going to go see his movie "Never Say Never" in 3d when it comes out.

Here is what I like about this video:

1. They are using autotune on the singing the whole way through

Justin is singing into a wireless headset mike, and his voice is being autotuned. This is a technology that pulls his singing on pitch. I can recognise it because I have a hardware unit that does exactly this. Gaura Vani brought it over from the States for me in October 2009. Personally I think that autotune sounds great. I'm not talking about "singing on pitch" - I'm talking about the artifacting sound that happens when the computer algorithm snaps the pitch between one note and another.

There are two settings for autotune - scale and speed. The scale is set to include notes that are in key, and exclude notes that are out of key. The speed is set to control how fast the autotuner works. When Justin starts singing the autotuner is set to a speed above zero. It is audible as an slightly unnatural bending sound, something like a chorus. This kind of autotune, when applied to a singing take that is slightly off-pitch, can make it sound pitch perfect, and if it is expertly used it can be undetectable, apart from the nagging suspicion that such a pitch-perfect take must have used technological assistance.

You can tell which of Justin's vocal lines he is singing live, and which are being provided by backing tracks by listening for the audible auto-tune artifacting.

When Usher comes out for the second song, the autotune speed is set to zero. This means that the pitch "snaps" between in-key notes. This is a fully artificial sound. It's not about singing on-key, it's about an effected voice. We might as well say that chorus or reverb or compression are unnatural. They all are. Autotune is just another electronic tool is the toolkit. And one that I personally like.

It takes technique to be able to sing with autotune to get that effect. Let me reiterate: these guys are not using autotune to try to sound like a person singing pitch perfect without autotune - they are using autotune to sound like a person singing with autotune. If you've never tried it you don't know what's involved in getting the inflections and the autotune pitch snapping effect to come out like these guys do. It takes a particular singing technique to get this effect.

The other thing about Autotune is that it allows these guys to dance like that, without having to worry about missing pitch due to breathlessness.

When Jadon Smith pops out (which I'll also mention later), they are not autotuning his voice. You can hear him go off pitch.

2. The way this piece is paced is incredible.

George Lucas explains that a technique he uses in his movies (and you'll see this all over Indiana Jones and Star Wars once you know what it is) is "out of the frying pan and into the fire". For example, in Star Wars (1977) Han and Luke rescue Leia from the cell on the Death Star, only to get pinned down by a fire fight. They escape by jumping down a rubbish chute, only to be attacked by a monster lurking in the water. They escape from the monster, only to find themselves being crushed by the walls of a garbage compactor... you get the idea.

This video uses the same idea. Justin starts off singing with an acoustic guitar. Ok, it's famous Justin with a guitar. How cute. Then suddenly a bunch of ninjas come in drumming. The actual drumming sound is coming from the PA, but these guys are playing along. The crowd's attention goes to the drumming troupe, which gives Justin the opportunity to get into costume and into position. The drummer's finish with a flourish, and in the background part of the set flies up into the ceiling to reveal Justin and a bunch of ninja-styled dancers.

Justin then starts his song. On the word "fire" two fire-breathers unleash flames to the ceiling. The timing is slightly off, so they are not exactly simultaneous, but it's pretty damn good given the fact that this is live, the complexity of the whole piece, and the fact that this is the most obvious mistake in the whole thing.

On the word "higher", ninjas stack up and the guy on top does a handstand on the hands of the guy beneath him.

The dancing supports the words, something that I saw Gaura Vani and As Kindred Spirits do on their recent Australian tour. They had Vrinda or Jahnavi do a Bharat Natyam-inspired interpretative dance along with a pastime narrated by Gaura over a solid groove laid down by the band. It's a powerful confluence of arts to create an immersive experience.

The piece continues with Justin doing a choreographed kung-fu sequence with the backing dancers doing mad kung-fu flips totally inspired by Hong Kong martial arts movies and John Woo's directing. Justin's dancing is really good. It's obviously inspired by Michael Jackson, who was a huge innovator of dancing and music videos.

Then things go the next level when the kung-fu flipping piece ends on the dime with the music, and Jadon Smith pops up out of the stage! Frickin' awesome!

Now it's a rapping duet between the young son of Will Smith and Justin. The camera cuts between the proud parents in the audience and the stage, where Justin and Jadon are trading off lines and dance moves.

This is a performance at the Grammies, so it's an inhouse crowd. It's entertainment for professional entertainers. It's also something like a kuli moment. These parents are elated to see their son following in their footsteps, and surpassing them at such a young age. Will Smith was a rapper, but he never rocked it like Jadon is rocking it right now.

The piece ends, then immediately Usher comes out. He does another singing and dancing piece clearly influenced by Michael Jackson, and also pirouettes in a manner that totally looks like Kanapathy from Melbourne.

Then Justin comes back on to end the piece as a duet.

3. The scale of it is incredible

It's the perfect confluence of arts and technology. Sound is amazing. Music production is amazing. When Justin starts his song the bass tone is amazing with the slapping riff, then the bass drops out, and comes back in as a synth bass for the song. The composition is impeccable. The music perfectly supports the mood (as does the autotune). The dancing is incredibly complex and high energy. The scale of the dancing is off the charts. Massive screens behind the stage project supporting visuals. Flames fly into the air. Lights flare. Wireless microphones are almost transparent, and act as a prop in the case of Jadon's handheld. The costumes are incredible. The dancing is incredible.

The whole thing is a massive visual and sonic feast.

The amount of preparation and rehearsal that went into that piece is incredible. We are looking at person-years of work there, not including the years that it would have taken each of the participants to hone their individual craft. Just the planning, preparation, assembly, and rehearsal of that one piece is a huge endeavour requiring skills across the spectrum and logistical organisation.

This is especially inspirational to me at the moment given the vision that Gaura Vani, Jahnavi and Shree Shyam shared with me on their recent visit to Australia, the project that they are working on for the next two years:

Develop and manifest a live interactive experience on the bedrock of sacred sound. Maximising the creative talents of the artists, this interactive experience uses a spectrum of arts and technology - including music, story-telling, dance, and visual arts - to transport the audience to a place where the dialogue between the soul and the divine is of prime relevance.

The elevator pitch is "Sunday Feast 2.0 on Crack".

So yeah, I think that Bieber piece is awesome. As I said on facebook: "Awesome in so many dimensions". The only missing piece is a consciousness-raising message, and integration into a consciousness-raising whole lifestyle package. As Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati would put it: "Religion means proper adjustment", or as Srila Prabhupada would say: "Just add Krishna".

 
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H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami (Ret.): 235

www.sdgonline.org. SDGonline Daily updates

EXPLANATION OF THE TEXT:
At present I am work­ing on an auto­bi­o­graph­i­cal project. The writ­ing of this project goes slowly, and I can­not write enough to print it every day. There­fore, I am post­ing daily a book called Every Day, Just Write. A book by that title was printed many years ago, but it was heav­ily edited. I am now post­ing the unedited edi­tion, which is fresh read­ing, and I am con­fi­dent my read­ers will like it. So please note that this jour­nal is telling of things that hap­pened in 1996, and it is not a jour­nal of my present day’s activ­i­ties. Presently I am qui­etly writ­ing my auto­bi­o­graph­i­cal text, and when it is fin­ished I will print it.

Every Day, Just Write, Volume I: Welcome Home to the One Big Book of Your Life

November 27, 1996 12:30 A.M.

But when I write I struggle to express and don’t feel it’s God speaking. When I do repeat His words from scripture or what I’ve learned from His pure devotee, that is valid, but it is student’s regurgitation. Of course, everything is within Krishna’s energy, so whatever I write also comes from Him. But He allows everyone their free will, and so many writers are babbling in ways not pleasing to Krishna.

So whether I please Him by my attempts—and to what degree is He inspiring? And to what degree am I writing out of my tiny independence? I write uncertain yet I feel enough conviction to continue.

Here are more statements by Ramananda Raya describing his enviable position as he speaks before Lord Caitanya:

Sri Ramananda Raya replied, ‘I do not know anything about this. I simply vibrate the sound You make me speak.

‘I simply repeat like a parrot whatever instructions You have given me. You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself. Who can understand Your dramatic performances? .

-Cc. Madhya 8.121-122

Sri Ramananda Raya said, ‘I am just a dancing puppet, and You pull the strings. Which ever way You make me dance, I will dance.

‘My dear Lord, my tongue is just like a stringed in­strument, and You are its player. Therefore I simply vibrate whatever arises in Your mind.’

-Cc. Madhya 8.132-133

Srila Prabhupada explains the principle behind the words of a pure devotee:

All intelligence emanates from the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Supersoul within the heart of everyone. Nondevotees want to ask the Supreme Lord for sense gratification; therefore nondevotees come under the influence of Maya, the illusory energy. A devotee, however, is directed by the Supreme Personality of Godhead and comes under the influence of Yogamaya. Consequently there is a gulf of difference between statements made by a devotee and those made by a nondevotee.

-Cc. Madhya 8.200, purport

Always we go back and forth regarding whether it’s permissible to hear of the gopis with Krishna, Srila Prabhupada said we have not taken a vow to boycott the gopis. He writes, “One has to practice living in Vrndavana by hearing about the talks of the gopis with Krishna.” (Cc. Madhya 8.205, purport) The question is whether and how much to read this in books other than what Srila Prabhupada gave. Some selections are all right but don’t plunge or binge into it.

So Hickory dickory. Whatever goes in, comes out.

See all as holy? That’s maha-bhagavata vision. I confess what I ingest and how it sits with me. Last night’s cream cheese? The first movement of Kreutzer Sonata? Blake? Stones, cold, body and its shivers and hesitation, and each step down the path of old age.

Dreamt I was trying to get on airplane but the sales person gave me a wrong ticket. Did Madhu make it all right to America? Welcome the sage from Ireland?

Then Syamananda told me Tribhuvanatha is on his way to England under order from the GBC “to sort out” the failing affairs in temples of Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester. Huge job. Don’t call on me. I’m in the puddled woods. The puddles freeze overnight. I’m on the land just over from Inis Rath. Once a week I read from Cc. in the temple. And speak to a group of disciples once a week. I eat meals they cook. Walk to the shed and back. Walk briskly on the circular woods’ path, often followed by the collie. I think this life is nice. Come out of it stronger.

Krishna Krishna. Fortunately I don’t have much taste for other things, other books. Please, I ask the Supreme Lord, direct my attention to the right place. I mean the Cc. or KB or Bhagavad-gita. I desire to overcome the idea that it’s not possible for a thinking person to continue to creatively read the same books over and over for fifty years or more. If it’s actually sastra, it can reveal constantly new lights. Go down as a follower of your spiritual master. No hype about it but true dedication.

3:40 A.M.

In the bathroom I was listening to a tape of Prabhupada speaking in his room to devotees in Paris in 1974. He was talking about the guests he had been seeing and how they were not devotees. He said that he strongly believed in Krishna’s statement in Bhagavad-­gita that if one is not a devotee of the Lord he is in one of four categories, duskrtina, mudhah, mayayapahrta­jnana and asuram bhavam. Then Prabhupada asked that this purport be read from his Bhagavad-gita. It is very interesting,” he said. And then he said, “Where is Satsvarupa?”

Someone said something but I couldn’t hear It on the tape. Maybe they said that I was typing. I remember that I sometimes didn’t attend Prabhupada’s meetings because I had so much typing to do. Also, I lacked interest sufficient to stay with him hour after hour hearing him say, “the same things.”

But now I want to make up for that. Srila Pra­bhupada, Satsvarupa is listening to your purports from Bhagavad-gita.

The truth is vibrant images. The truth is Prabhupada saying people have made wine and women their masters. Raya Rama dasa left us because he said we do not allow the bare necessities of life. Oh, that’s true. They laughed in the room. That one young devotee was talking so much, repeating Prabhupada’s instructions and his own opinion and much news about U.S.A., politics and sins, sins, sins of the nondevotees. I wonder where that devotee is now or who he was. I tend to put them all down and say I am the good one, the quiet one, the faithful one. But don’t claim that. Take your actual place, chronically ill and chronically unable to taste the nectar of the holy name, chronically a fault-finder and not found in the front ranks of preachers.

The book on chronical illness says one who has it must acknowledge he can’t move with the fast action crowd. He can do the best he can but…has to admit it and some days are slower than others. I cannot meet with people. The chronically ill man should not try to forget that he’s actually ill. One injured man said for a long time he kept thinking that he would be cured, one day he’d wake up and everything would be all right. But now he moves within the actual limits. I know people often ask me, “Do you still have headaches?” They think it’s going to go away and when I say that I still have them I feel as if I’m prolonging something that should have been finished by now, There is a tinge of me thinking that I’m just making it up or else why would they keep asking, “Do you still have the headaches?” They seem to imply that it ought to have diminished by now, and it’s unbelievable that headaches could last twenty years. Don’t they know things last for a lifetime? They themselves will know as they enter old age and disease, These things will just increase with age. Be ready for them. I write this so that people who read it will understand me. But first I should accept it within myself. Accept illness, accept that you are chronically ill. You get at least one bad headache a week, and if you push yourself, you could get one every day. Face it and move one step at a time.

The illness shapes even why I write a certain way. Some great hero might overcome it, just act through it, but I can’t do that. I move in the woods path, stay in the room, not going to the temple. Aside from illness I find it hard to go through the whole morning program. Even Prabhupada didn’t do that. Hare Krishna.

Lily has no thorns like the rose, or horns like the ram. It is beautiful without giving pain to others. Can you be like that? Give others the best. But I give them the pain of reality in my writing. Give them a good time too. Give them a nice, sleek song, interesting at least.

 
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H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami (Ret.): 234

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8:02 A.M.

EXPLANATION OF THE TEXT:
At present I am work­ing on an auto­bi­o­graph­i­cal project. The writ­ing of this project goes slowly, and I can­not write enough to print it every day. There­fore, I am post­ing daily a book called Every Day, Just Write. A book by that title was printed many years ago, but it was heav­ily edited. I am now post­ing the unedited edi­tion, which is fresh read­ing, and I am con­fi­dent my read­ers will like it. So please note that this jour­nal is telling of things that hap­pened in 1996, and it is not a jour­nal of my present day’s activ­i­ties. Presently I am qui­etly writ­ing my auto­bi­o­graph­i­cal text, and when it is fin­ished I will print it.

Every Day, Just Write, Volume I: Welcome Home to the One Big Book of Your Life

November 26, 1996, 2:22 P.M.

As I was walking back from the shed I heard a car start up, and I figured it was Tribhuvanatha’s. I was too close to it to back away and walk in the other direc­tion. I saw the exhaust fumes. So I kept on walking and went right past them. T. and another devotee stayed in their car and turned it around, and I just walked right past them. So I could have left it at that, but it seemed too unfriendly. Therefore, I stood on the side path and waited for them to pass by so I could wave. And so it happened. I saw Tribhuvanatha wearing an orange knit cap like the one I have and another devotee, a bigger man was driving the car. They waved and maybe did pranamas.

Then I kept walking and talking to myself, saying that I was glad I was left behind. I’m staying here and thinking about my writing which I like. But then I realized that I felt embarrassed. Embarrassed about what? That he may go and report me, say he saw me out here not doing anything, not traveling to different continents like him or getting involved in the book distribution marathon, preaching and raising money? Never mind. You are who you are. But I just wanted to admit it here: I was embarrassed. Better not to have been seen.

4:30 P.M.

You’re not a spontaneous lover of Krishna, Ground out two extra rounds with the tape of Srila Prabhupada chanting. I could have been listening to Kreuetser Sonata, but told myself, “What if this is the last evening of your life?” That didn’t hit me hard but was enough to hold off listening to Beethoven and do two rounds. Now I come here. Have freedom, No one coming to check up on me. They assume I’m on good behavior. Fill in the time.

Come here to think what to say. Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Please Lord, please, it can only happen (Krishna consciousness) if You’ll give it to me. One can read but not get the mercy. Not unless He allows. And so I think you should pray in calling on His holy names, Hare Krishna.

You want to write things to look at later. But you have to live. Just live in the mission of the spiritual master. Why were you embarrassed when the preacher left here in his car? Is it because you are not preach­ing? Oh, let’s not go over that again. Don’t go over me with the steamroller. I’m happy to be here in this rou­tine. This is just some evening darkness causing you to put yourself down. Madhu is not here so it’s extra silent. You are having trouble filling it up. But you can do it. Look at the books, increase your strength in that little by little. You find yourself thinking of eating a piece of fruit and juice at 5:30 and the music is another sweet. Because you don’t have the sweet of bhakti-rasa. So praying is calling out, and no one can do it for you. Not Thomas Merton or anyone. You alone and Krishna, You have written your essay: Following Srila Prabhupada, where you defend exclusive following of Srila Prabhupada. Now let’s see you live it out. No other love… Hare Krishna.

Took First Four Weeks out of trunk. I will maybe trace my relationship with Maharaja, how it ended in Puri. There are five thick books that tell the story of the years with him. Amazing. I’m not going to read all that. I am firm in staying with my Guru Maharaja. Don’t go back. You can’t be merely a friend with Maharaja. He demands the guru/disciple relationship. And I can’t give that to him. The sastras say you can have a siksa-­guru, but I see it draining my faith in Srila Prabhupada. That I have to fight for and keep. I may look at the Puri book since we’re going to Puri. Besides, I read all that I recently wrote.

Spent more time this evening with Cc. reading about Radharani as given by Lord Caitanya. I’m glad for that. You can build up like that. Philadelphia fresh cheese with your apple slices on plate of Srila Prabhupada and my plate too, And pineapple juice. Hey, Krishna is kind in every way.

Tomorrow you will get up and keep reading the teachings of Lord Caitanya to Ramananda Raya, Just keep moving on through in the morning and the japa and the going out to the shed and writing a little bit at a time whenever you can.

Is there a big moon over the island? Why don’t you go to the window and look? It is after 6 P.M. I’ve been going to bed at this hour, but tonight I feel strong enough to stay up. Hare Krishna. Don’t be embarrassed. Fill up your time. You will get your chance to travel and lecture, and now it’s your chance to stay in this one place with not many people demanding you. It is not a writing retreat per se, it is not a book per se, but you can write often, increasingly, if health allows.

Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna. Glove on while you chant. Time moves. God devours all the brahmanas and ksatriyas like a meal (Katha Upanisad). He kills all, the sons of Dhrtarastra and many of Arjuna’s soldiers die too. Finally all have to go, but souls are eternal. Please give us vision to see it before we die. Be simple and straight and follow Vedic texts. This is the way to be a better person.

November 27, 1996

12:30 A.M.

Hope against hope that I could improve in these last days of the year. Become firmly fixed (nistha) in mostly exclusive reading of Srila Prabhupada’s books. And chanting …

I also read my own writings, and I enjoy it and profit from it. But I have misgivings, fed by criticisms of others, that my writings are my own mind. By contrast here is what Ramananda Raya said about his speaking before Lord Caitanya:

Sri Ramananda Raya replied, ‘I do not know what I am saying, but You have made me speak what I have spoken, be it good or bad. I am simply repeating that message,

‘Actually You are speaking through my mouth, and at the same time You are listening. This is very mysterious.’ – Cc. Madhya 8.198, 200

William Blake claimed a similar thing. “I am under the direction of Messengers from Heaven, Daily and Nightly.” His poetry was being written, “From immediate Dictation, twelve or sometimes twenty or thirty lines at a time, without Premeditation and even against my Will.” (From The Essential Blake, The Ecco Press)

 
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H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami (Ret.): Poem, February 28

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Rain and sleet, a gray morning,
ekadasi. You fast from grains.
The snow is gray, heaped on the
sidewalk, adds to a dreary
atmosphere. But I am not unhappy.
I will manage to write something
entertaining and straight about
life with Prabhupada to
make them smile and
thoughtful.

He said I was not a good manager,
but he liked me. That was something to be proud of.
The greatest spiritual master keeps a place
in his heart for you. Is it still true? I have
not failed in my
affection for him although
it’s been over thirty years
since he left us.

Follow his instructions and
keep a picture on his sitting
place. Do something active
for him. He is your
lord, your spiritual master.

On such a gray day
I keep the flame blazing.
He sits for his massage.
Says, “Satsvarupa, how
are you now?”
I say I am old
and feeble in body
but not my heart. I
am not a good manager,
but I am your
boy, making a big autobiography with
Prabhupada prominent
and daily sketch
poems where he appears
physically, like in
a dream. It’s
called viraha.

 
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H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami (Ret.): Poem, February 27

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Baladeva will have to shovel
for the fourth time so
when Saci and family
return from Costa Rica
their driveway will be
clear. He is a staunch
shoveler every day.

There seems no end of
snow. “Weather on the
Nines” reports more is
coming Monday so it
will be impossible to
keep it clear.

I wrote in 1996 that
I was embarrassed that
the preacher should
see me walking to and
from the shed while
he was heading out
in his car to distribute
books. Now I am not
embarrassed. I am fixed
in my seventy-first year writing
and reading and take
it as action.

French toast this morning.
Too much, my belly
is full, my eyes are heavy,
there is a stitch in my side.

We heard of Krishna blessing
Rupa and Sanatana and
sending them to Vrndavana
to write and find the
lost places of Krishna’s
pastimes. Sanatana advised
Caitanya to go to Vrndavana
without a big crowd,
and He took that suggestion.

He went with just one man.
But when He became too
much agitated by ecstasies
His servant took Him to
Prayaga and there He met
Rupa again and then
Sanatana again and He
taught them the
secrets of bhakti.

It is virtual reality reading
the Lord’s pastimes, it is
as good as being with Him.
You keep your eyes open
and hear, and the nectar
enters your memory.

 
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Japa Group: Let Other Things Wait


Doing other things while chanting is not good. Still, sometimes out of expediency you do it. But you should try to put off so-called expedient actions until after chanting. Chant at a designated time and chant loudly. Let other things wait.

From the Japa Reform Notebook
by Satsvarupa dasa Goswami
 
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Bharatavarsa.net: Bhakti Vikasa Swami: Farm-opening, that is good idea

Yes, farm-opening, that is good idea. Apart from my Krishna Consciousness spiritual movement I want this--that people may not move from the villages to the town. Krishna Himself was a villager-He did not move to the town. He went to Dvaraka, but Vasudeva is everywhere; Krishna and Balaram like Vrindaban, so Vrindaban means village. Vasudeva is everywhere, but Krishna personally is in Vrindaban.

>>> Ref. VedaBase => Letter to: Bahulasva das, 29 September, 1976

 
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Toronto Sankirtan Team, CA: Vaisesika Prabhu's seminar from Dallas

It always brings a smile to hear from Vaisesika Prabhu!

Enjoy this really nice sankirtan seminar facilitated by Vaisesika Prabhu in Dallas

 
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Sita-pati dasa, AU: The glories of Isvara Puri

Today is the disappearance anniversary of Sri Isvara Puri, the initiating spiritual master (diksa-guru) of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, who initiated the modern wave of devotional kirtan half a millenium ago in India.

The love of God (bhakti) that came to fruition in Caitanya Mahaprabhu grew from the branch of Isvara Puri, who grew from the trunk of Madhavendra Puri, his spiritual master.

The seed of this conception of love of God, which transcends the otherwise implacable Vedanta philosophy, is visible in the final pastimes of Madhavendra Puri. As he lay in a debilitated state, his body progressively failing, he constantly chanted the name of Krishna, and lamented. This is described in Krishnadas Kaviraj's hagiography (devotional biography) Caitanya-caritamrita as follows:

puri-gosani kare krsna-nama-sankirtana
'mathura na painu' bali' karena krandana

Madhavendra Puri was chanting the holy name of Krsna, and sometimes he would cry, "O my Lord, I did not get shelter at Mathura."

- Caitanya-caritamrita Antya-lila 8.19

The Bhagavad-gita, a primer of Vedanta philosophy that is simultaneously a summary study, states that "One who is thus transcendentally situated at once realizes the Supreme Brahman and becomes fully joyful. He never laments or desires to have anything. " (Bg. 18.54).

However, the same verse goes on to say: "In that state he attains loving devotional service unto Me." (attentive readers see bhaktim for the justification for my rendition of this verse).

The highest conception of love, its fullest expression, its most keenly felt manifestation, is love in separation. "Absence makes the heart grow fonder", as the pithy statement has it.

Srila B.R. Sridhar Maharaja would say (paraphrasing): "In spiritual life, progress is measured in a negative sense. The more fallen we feel ourselves to be, the further away from the goal - the closer we are. In the spiritual world the indirect path is the most direct."

Spiritual emotion, bhava, is beyond logic, beyond philosophy. Spiritual movements that seek to spread the teachings and practice of bhakti yoga often contain social and cultural mechanisms to check the potential for mundane emotions to masquerade as spiritual, and the potential for imitators to gain fame and fortune by displaying these emotions. Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Prabhupada, following in the footsteps of his spiritual master, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, said (again paraphrasing): "If you see someone rolling on the floor in devotional ecstasy, kick them." The idea is that spiritual emotional display will not be socially rewarded, but rather discouraged, and even punished. This will drive out the pretenders.

In the case of Madhavendra Puri, his emotional display was criticised by one of his disciples, Ramachandra Puri. Ramachandra Puri insisted that he should be implacable and face death equipoised. However, the source of Madhavendra Puri's consternation was not that his body was expiring, but rather at the end of his life he was allowing his internal spiritual emotions to show through. Having observed Madhavendra Puri during his pastimes of external exemplary behaviour in sadhana, or ideal practice, Ramachandra Puri could not understand what was happening.

In a sense he was right to apply the external pressure. This is what the society is trained to do. However, the final pastimes of Madhavendra Puri, or of any other Vaisnava, are extraordinary, not exemplary in a quotidian (daily) sense.

The result was that Ramachandra Puri was excluded from the final pastimes of Madhavendra Puri. This represents the beginning of a line of descent of a devotional conception that transcends liberation, one which found its fullest expression in the life and teachings of Madhavendra's grand-disciple Caitanya Mahaprabhu. The line flowed through Isvara Puri, Madhavendra's disciple who attended him, performing menial service to him. While Isvara Puri chanted the name and pastimes of Sri Krishna to Madhavendra Puri, he also performed seemingly mundane tasks - such as cleaning his stool and urine.

Service to the body of a Vaisnava is not a mundane activity. Srila Prabhupada explained that until children are five years old, when they can take some responsibility for their body, service to a child is the devotional service (puja) of a parent. Similarly, when a Vaisnava is in a debilitated state due to sickness or old age, service to their body is devotional service.

I take the opportunity to write about that great soul Isvara Puri today, as of late I have often thought of him, and his service to Madhavendra Puri at the end of his life.

When my son Prahlad was born I was responsible for the established worship of Gaura-Nitai deities in an ISKCON centre. Early in the morning I would arise and wake the Deity after performing my ablutions. Sometimes, due to circumstance, I would be late in attending to the service. As I also attended to our new-born son, I had the realisation that while the Deity will not complain if the service is late, a baby will start screaming if he is not fed in time.

At the moment I am caring for my son, who has Type 1 Diabetes and requires constant blood glucose monitoring and insulin administration, and my wife, who is undergoing chemotherapy and requires assistance and monitoring of her temperature. As I do this I remember Isvara Puri, and the selfless spirit of his service to the body of a Vaisnava.

He did not impose his own conception of a stereotypical spiritual standard on the situation, as Ramachandra Puri made the mistake of doing. He also did not expect anything in return.

I am very far from this ideal myself, but I have now have a deeper appreciation for this pastime.

In this regard I have been extremely inspired and feel extremely indebted to many people; among whom are my work colleagues, who banded together to cook for us and deliver dinner every day - taking into account our dietary requirements, including the additional factor of Prahlad's diabetes.

These are for me not the beginning lessons that make up the narrow conception of Krishna consciousness that is useful in the beginning, but a broadening of my own perception of the situation, one which gives me a sense of greater appreciation for the historical tradition, and in particular, the character and pastimes of Isvara Puri, whose disappearance we celebrate today.

 
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ISKCON Toronto, Canada: Deity Darshan: Sunday, February 27, 2011

 
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Dandavats.com: Live From Sri Mayapur Candrodaya Mandir! HH Bhanu Swami

By Bhanu Swami

So if we want to go to the spiritual world definitely we have to use the scripture and if we are using the scripture then we have to see which scripture gives the best result. The highest result is given through the Srimad Bhagavatam and what is that? Worship of Krishna! Then we have all the different rasas culminating in worship of Radha and Krishna in Vrindavan.

 
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Kripamoya dasa, UK: The King’s Speech; a good teacher, and a good wife

 

I learned today that The King’s Speech has won four Oscars. That’s good. A British film with no car chases, sex scenes or explosions; but a gentle film - independently made – about someone who had a profound stutter but who came through with the help of a good teacher and the support of his wife. Good subjects for a story.

And in this case, a true story about the King George VI of England and his good wife, the lady more recently known to us Brits as ‘The Queen Mother.’ She always appeared so positive in public, usually smiling, that during the War, Adolf Hitler called her “the most dangerous woman in Europe.”

She cheered me up one morning, too. I was just 16, walking by myself in the far north of Scotland, and had spent the previous night in a haystack. Feeling a little the worse for wear, (and probably looking it) I was continuing a gruelling 20-mile road walk. It was a Sunday morning, there was a slight drizzle, it was cold and I hadn’t seen a single soul for hours.

Then just as I was feeling a bit down, around the corner came a shiny black limousine. I instinctively put my hand up to wave at whoever it was, grateful to have a little human contact. In the back seat of the car was a smiling older woman wearing a hat. She made good eye contact and waved animatedly as the car slowed to take the corner. I smiled back and waved enthusiastically. Only after I’d seen the colourful royal pennant fluttering from the limousine did I understand who it was, so far from Buckingham Palace in London, but not very far at all from The Castle of Mey, where The Queen Mother spent many summers since the 1950s.

I continued my journey, and soon got a lift from some kindly Christians, who gave me a hot meal and their barn to sleep in for the night. Where would we all be but for the kindness and support of others?


 
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H.H. Sivarama Swami: Discussion on women giving class in Mayapura, their being called “Prabhu” and taking the service of diksa guru

 
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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1966 February 28: "Engagement with the First Secretary of Permanent Commission of Nepal State to the United Nations at 2 pm. Saw the First Secretary Mr. Kedar P. Kairala and it is hopeful. He will let me know very soon. Expenditure: Bus fare .30"
Prabhupada Journal :: 1966

 
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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1969 February 28: "There is no possibility of receiving perfect knowledge without approaching a self-realized Spiritual Master coming down in disciplic succession. The mental speculator cannot deliver the right knowledge."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1969

 
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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1970 February 28: "If we finish 15 tapes in a month, it comes to about 300 pages per month. Therefore, we can calculate that every two months we produce one book or, in every year we produce six books."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1970

 
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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1970 February 28: "We wish to print at least sixty books, so it will take ten years. Under this process, the time allowed is quite reasonable. Anyway try to process the work in the above way and let me know how far it is feasible."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1970

 
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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1970 February 28: "By the by, I may inform you that we require many pairs of Deities, but the Vrindaban manufacturer is very slow. Will you kindly take the trouble to find out someone in Jaipur who can supply us such Murtis regularly."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1970

 
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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1972 February 28: "The future preachers of the Krishna Consciousness Movement must learn to be suci, absolutely pure in all respects. Your country will become so much degraded that they will appreciate if we are revolutionary clean."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1972

 
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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1972 February 28: "We have to daily sharpen our intelligence by reading and discussing and preaching to others. You cannot expect that even the great saintly persons are free from thoughts coming and going."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1972

 
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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1972 February 28: "The best remedy is to discuss amongst yourselves regularly all our books in classes, then these doubts will be killed. Without reading books it becomes hackneyed and such obnoxious ideas trouble us."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1972

 
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Akrura das, Gita Coaching: MEANINGFUL COMMUNICATION

What kind of conversations do you have daily?

Are they meaningful?

Are they satisfying to you?

Do you choose what will you speak about with people or you just go along?

How can you use your ears and mouth in such a way as to derive maximum benefit for your and others' personal development, spiritual advancement and overall welfare?

 
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Akrura das, Gita Coaching: SPARK AND FIRE

Originally the soul comes from God.

Just as a spark comes from fire, and when the spark falls down it appears to be extinguished, the spark of soul originally comes from the spiritual world to the material world.

In the material world he falls down into three different conditions, which are called the modes of nature.

When a spark of fire falls on dry grass, the fiery quality continues; when the spark falls on the ground, it cannot display its fiery manifestation unless the ground is favorably situated; and when the spark falls on water, it becomes extinguished.

As such, we find three kinds of living conditions.

One living entity is completely forgetful of his spiritual nature; another is almost forgetful but still has an instinct of spiritual nature; and another is completely in search of spiritual perfection.

There is a bona fide method for the attainment of spiritual perfection by the spiritual spark of soul, and if he is properly guided then he is very easily sent back home, back to Godhead, wherefrom he originally fell.

***

The real nature of our identity with the Supreme is described in the Vedic literature with the analogy of the sparks and the fire.

The sparks of a fire have the same quality as the fire, yet they are different in quantity.

But when the small spark leaves the fire and falls down in water, its fiery quality is lost.

Similarly, when the infinitesimal soul leaves the association of the Lord and contacts the mode of ignorance, his spiritual quality becomes almost extinct.

When a spark falls on the land instead of in the water, then the spark retains some heat.

Similarly, when the living entity is in the quality of passion, there is some hope that he can revive his Krsna consciousness.

And if the spark drops onto dry grass, it can ignite another fire and regain all its fiery qualities.

Similarly, a person who is in the mode of goodness can take full advantage of spiritual association and easily revive his Krsna consciousness.

Therefore one has to come to the platform of goodness in this material world.

- Srila Prabhupada

 
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Giridhari das, Brasilia, Brazil: Retreat With Chandramukha Swami in Pandavas Paradise

Chandramukha Swami (HDG) spent 3 nights in Pandavas Paradise, from the 17th to the 20th of February. Though we only had two weeks notice that he was coming, we decided to organize a bhakti retreat to make the most of his visit.

Chandramukha Swami will be celebrating this year 25 years of sannyasa – quite an accomplishment for anyone, what to speak of someone who took sannyasa in his twenties and preaches in Rio de Janeiro! Though little known outside of Brazil, Maharaja is very popular here. He’s quite creative and has written dozens of books on Krishna Consciousness and recorded dozens of kirtan CDs with popular Brazilian musicians. He’s also an excellent preacher, well versed in the shastras. Since being appointed guru a few years ago, he has taken on nearly a hundred disciples.

We had a full house for this retreat, all but two people being regular congregational members in Brasília, which though 250km away is the closest big city to Pandavas Paradise. Pandavas Paradise and ISKCON Brasilia have a synergetic relationship – an essential key to the success of retreat and farm projects.

At the start of the retreat, it seemed we had a disaster in our hands! Maharaja, after eating some vegetarian sushi with a bit too much wasabi (horseradish), felt his throat tighten up. It turned out that Maharaja has developed some lumps in his vocal chords from all these years of intense speaking and chanting and will apparently need surgery. With his throat aggravated from having just come from an intense preaching tour in Santiago, Chile, the wasabi was the final blow. He called his doctor, who chastised him and told him to remain in total silence! 16 people had come to listen to Maharaja and upon arriving were informed that it was likely Maharaja would not be speaking at all!

I quickly thought of an alternative – I’d speak to the guests on the fascinating story of Chitraketu Maharaja, from Sixth Canto of the Srimad Bhagavatam. The first night I spoke on Chapter 14 and was prepared to extend the presentation all through the weekend.

But, to our surprise and delight, the next morning Maharaja showed up at class time and said he was feeling better after only one night of silence – you can’t keep a good swami down! He then went on to lecture for nearly 5 hours that day, giving a Bhagavatam class on Ajamila,  a long questions and answers session, and a Bhagavad-gita class on verse 18.67!

We also went on a walk to our waterfalls, with ladies going to the big waterfall and Maharaja with the men to another. To avoid unnecessary speaking on the way, it was a mauna-vrata or japa-vrata walk.

Maharaja cracked us up by carrying a little piece of paper with the words mauna-vrata!

Maharaja was very impressed with the scenic beauty of Pandavas Paradise and our waterfall.

The ladies went to a separate waterfall.

On Sunday morning Maharaja left at 5am. I finished the presentation on Chitraketu Maharaja that morning and, after breakfast, the retreat was brought to a close. The guests were inspired and spiritually recharged, happy to have gotten such wonderful association in Paradise.

Maharaja wrote in his blog:

“By the mercy of Srila Prabhupada, I spent the last weekend literally in ‘Paradise.’  And not just any paradise, but a Krishna conscious paradise, the best of both worlds.”

Click here to see more pictures of the retreat!


 
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Madhava Ghosh dasa, New Vrndavan, USA: “The Wind Cries Mary” by Jimi Hendrix

After all the jacks are in their boxes,
and the clowns have all gone to bed,
you can hear happiness staggering on down the street,
footprints dress in red.

And the wind whispers Mary.

A broom is drearily sweeping
up the broken pieces of yesterday’s life.
Somewhere a Queen is weeping,
somewhere a King has no wife.

And the wind it cries Mary.

The traffic lights they turn blue tomorrow
And shine their emptiness down on my bed,
The tiny island sags downstream
‘Cos the life that they lived is dead.

And the wind screams Mary.

Will the wind ever remember
The names it has blown in the past,
And with this crutch, its old age and its wisdom
It whispers, “No, this will be the last.”

And The Wind Cries Mary.


Filed under: Poetry
 
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The Loft, Auckland, NZ: A Dance Party of Kirtan Music

A Dance Party of Kirtan Music, the first Saturday of every month from 7pm till 9.30pm. The Loft invites you to a great evening of soothing and uplifting music to de-stress and uplift the spirits. Kirtan music is simply absorption in pure sound, which allows us to experience higher states of pleasure and joy, beyond the temporary body and mind. Shabda are here in Auckland to introduce a wonderful blend of eastern and western styles of music, incorporating sacred mantras you can hear or sing along to. Opening this Saturday 5th March Check out the Shabda MySpace Page here: http://www.myspace.com/shabdakirtan

 
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H.H. Sivarama Swami: Converstaion with Jagannatha dasa about the Gulab-sila and other interesting topics

 
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Dandavats.com: Interview with Kalakantha Das

By Mandakini devi dasi

As construction of the Temple of the Vedic Planetarium is now moving rapidly, fundraising has become a top priority. Campaign Chairman Ambarish Das has asked his Godbrother Kalakantha Das from Gainesville, Florida, who has worked and taught in the fundraising field, to help design the campaign. Here he answers some of my questions

 
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Dandavats.com: GBC Meeting Report 2

By Sraddhadevi dasi

After concluding four days of strategic planning, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness’ (ISKCON) Governing Body Commission (GBC) resumed their regular Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Mayapur, West Bengal. Friday, February 25th was entirely dedicated to reviewing proposals submitted to the GBC by various ISKCON members and committees. Proposal topics have a wide range- from adjusting temple standards, to refining the role of particular committees, to establishing new offices and services in ISKCON

 
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David Haslam, UK: Goodbye iPhone hello HTC Desire HD

As many of you would be aware for the past three years or so I’ve been using the iPhone 3G, up till some technical issues a few months ago; were upon I found that the insurance I was paying to 02 really didn’t cover anything and was just a rip-off. So they requested that I [...]

 
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Gouranga TV: Indradyumna swami -Jaya radha madhava kunja vihari .

Indradyumna swami -Jaya radha madhava kunja vihari .

 
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Bharatavarsa.net: Book distribution seminar: The purpose of the Hare Krsna movement....

The members of the Krsna consciousness movement are not at all interested in so-called meditation in the Himalayas or the forest, where one will only make a show of meditation, nor are they interested in opening many schools for yoga and meditation in the cities. Rather, every member of the Ksnaa consciousness movement is interested in going door to door to try to convince people about the teachings of Bhagavad-gita As It Is, the teachings of Lord Caitanya. That is the purpose of the Hare Krsna movement. The members of the Krsna consciousness movement must be fully convinced that without Krsna one cannot be happy.

SB 7.9.44 purport

 
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Book Distribution News: The purpose of the Hare Krsna movement....

The members of the Krsna consciousness movement are not at all interested in so-called meditation in the Himalayas or the forest, where one will only make a show of meditation, nor are they interested in opening many schools for yoga and meditation in the cities. Rather, every member of the Ksnaa consciousness movement is interested in going door to door to try to convince people about the teachings of Bhagavad-gita As It Is, the teachings of Lord Caitanya. That is the purpose of the Hare Krsna movement. The members of the Krsna consciousness movement must be fully convinced that without Krsna one cannot be happy.

SB 7.9.44 purport

 
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Dandavats.com: Report from the GBC Strategic Planning Meeting Part One

By Kaisori dasi

The Strategic Planning portion of the GBC's 2011 Annual General Meeting has just ended. The four-day meeting was well attended by the full GBC, many GBC deputies, and about forty devotees from around the world. During my own attendance as a member of the Strategic Planning Team facilitating the meeting, I moved between the various committees, initiatives, and breakout sessions and was left with an overwhelming impression of synergy. The dictionary defines synergy as "a mutually advantageous conjunction or compatibility of distinct elements or participants

 
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