"Planet ISKCON" - 44 new articles
This is the Grassroots Harinama Revolution!!!!!
Starting outside of Govinda’s Restaurtant at 99 Elisabeth St, Brisbane, the sounds of Sri Harinam split asunder the material covering shrouding the hearts of those within sight or sound of the procession of devotees.
Mayadevi came to the Harinam party bringing great spring weather, not too hot, and not too cold, just perfect for the excercising the body in the process of sharing the Holy Names.
The HOly Names proceeded down Elizabeth steet and onto Albert, then along Charlotte street into Edward, down Adelaide to George Street and then back to Elizabeth street. The very footseps of the devotees burning into material reality as they step across it into the transcendental world of calling on the Names of the Lord.
Fifteen dedicated revolutionaries stormed the walls of Kali Yuga distributing prasadam and books to a populace hungry and thirsty for finding the satisfaction and safety of surrender to the Yuga Dharma.
Be careful, this video is rated highly dangerous. People watching it have been reported to find themselves desiring and dreaming about Harinam. Some have found themselves joining the grassroots revolution and getting out on the street. Doctors report the condition is incurable. They say once you start you can’t stop. Watch with care.
Thanks to Krishnapada Dasa for the video and story.Share this story your way:
H.G. Sankarshan das Adhikari, USA: Saturday 25 September 2010--A Glorious Feeling in India--and--How to Remember God All the Time?
24 September 2010--It was such a glorious feeling landing in India today. Even though gross materialism has ravaged India, still the vestiges of Vedic culture are still very strong here. At the airport when we went through customs, the customs official seeing that we are devotees of Lord Krishna happily said "Hare Krishna" to us and offered us his respectful...
Sent by Dvarkadish Prabhu Dear Devotees, Hare Krsna! Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada! All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga! Here is the link to pictures of our dear most Gurudeva’s birthday festival. Click here I am sure that everyone would love to see how other Godbrothers and Godsisters celebrated [...]
to invite a friend, click here
Jigger & Jolly update;
We are going to the Fair tomorrow!!! Thanks to everyone who stepped forward with offers to help and for your encouragement and well wishes. The boys will have a wonderful day and we will report back more next week.
Have a great weekend, in service to the oxen,
Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Hare Hare
Hare Rāma Hare Rāma Rāma Rāma Hare Hare
When Srila Prabhupada first came to America he brought with him a trunk containing copies of the first three volumes of Srimad Bhagavatam. Some of these books, which were published in India by Prabhupada, are still traveling the world making a difference in the lives of devotees and others.
In the 1960s Srila Prabhupada began to translate and print the series of books which would be his life’s work.
“With great difficulty I published the second and third volumes of Srimad-Bhagavatam until 1965, when I prepared myself to come to this country with some books,” he wrote in a letter from Los Angeles in 1970.
“Some books,” as Prabhupada put it, was actually 200 sets of the first three volumes of Srimad Bhagavatam. “I saw my books from Bombay arrived in five cases and the agents loaded them on the ship at 4 p.m. on 22/8/65,” he wrote in his Jaladuta Diary.
It is unknown how many of these first books are still travelling the world. What we do know is that they are still making a difference in the lives of devotees and others.
Just recently Visnu Murti Dasa and Laksmipriya Dasi of Vanipedia.org had an encounter with one of these traveling Sannyasi books. Upon meeting Visnu Murti and Laksmipriya, the book immediately set about fundraising for the Vanipedia.org web site, which is the on-line extension of Prabhupada’s books, letters and talks.
Laksmipriya tells the story: “We were at the Ratha Yatra in Paris, France and had set up our book table to interest well wishers and others in these jewels of Krishna consciousness.
“Now another devotee named Ambika, who owns a bookshop, also sets up her book stall at the Ratha Yatra to sell esoteric French books. Sometimes she has one or two second-hand English books.
At one point I slipped away from our book table for a minute to check out her stand,” Laksmipriya says. “Just imagine what I saw – the first volume of the original Srimad Bhagavatam set that Prabhupada came to the USA with.”
Laksmipriya’s jaw dropped as she took the book in her hands. She couldn’t believe what she was holding. She asked Ambika if she was selling the book. Ambika said yes. Laksmipriya checked the back of the book and there was a price—seven Euro. Incredulous, Laksmipriya said: “You’re selling this book for seven euro?” Smiling, Ambika nodded.
“I ran back to our table like a mad woman,” Laksmipriya recalls. “I yelled at Visnu Murti: ‘You know what? You know what? That lady there is selling the first part of one of Srila Prabhupada’s original Srimad Bhagavatam books… for seven Euro!’ And Visnu Murti yelled right back at me: ‘Go and get it!’”
Laksmipriya quickly made her way back to Ambika’s table and rescued the book. Bringing it back, she offered it to Visnu Murti. “We were both looking through it with great delight, and relishing our good fortune. It was just so beautiful,” Laksmipriya says.
Visnu Murti and Laksmipriya had only been relishing the Bhagavatam for a few minutes when another devotee, an old friend of Visnu Murti’s, came by the table. They told him the whole story.
“So will you sell me the book for 21 Euro?” he said jokingly. “You get three times more for it like that, good profit for you.” Then Srila Prabhupada’s book began to weave its magic.
Visnu Murti and his friend sat down and spoke together for a few moments. Laksmipriya could not hear what they were saying. The two men got up and Visnu Murti explained that the devotee had just agreed to give a donation of 1008 Euro to the Vanipedia web site project in exchange for the book. Speechless, they agreed.
“So, there it is,” says Laksmipriya. “At least we held Srila Prabhupada’s original Bhagavatam in our hands for few moments. Who knows what is the path of that book, where it came from and where it will continue to go, travelling by land, or sea, city to city, country to country? It has its own path and goes where it wants to go. It has been travelling already for 48 years.”
Laksmipriya and Visnu Murti returned to Ambika’s stall and asked her if she had any more of the original books. But she didn’t. She wasn’t even quite sure how she’d gotten hold of the first one. It was all quite a mystery.
“I find this is a wonderful example of how Srila Prabhupada is directly assisting us in the mission of building Vanipedia.” Laksmipriya says. “Lets see what his next glorious intervention will be.”
Visnu Murti Dasa and Laksmipriya Dasi live in Radhadesh, Belguim. They lead a team of Krishna’s devotees in presenting www.vanipedia.org, a dynamic online encyclopedia of Srila Prabhupada’s teachings. Vanipedia aims to explore, discover and comprehensively compile these teachings from every angle of vision, presenting them in accessible and easily understandable ways.
You can assist the Vanipedia project by volunteering your services at www.vaniseva.org/.
By Antony Brennan for ISKCON News: The Mayapur Academy is located at ISKCON Mayapur, on the beautiful banks of the Ganges River, in Sridham Mayapur, West Bengal.
The Academy trains devotees to be capable of fulfilling the needs of ISKCON communities around the world. A joint educational initiative of the Mayapur Deity Department and the ISKCON Deity Worship Ministry, the Mayapur Academy offers a wide range of courses for devotees interested in developing their skills and ability as pujaris (priests) and brahmanas.
The Mayapur Academy, specializing in Deity worship and the development of brahminical culture, arts and sciences, cooking, and samskaras, was established to fulfill the desire of Srila Prabhupada for such a training centre.
“It was the desire of Srila Prabhupada to have a city here for 50,000 devotees,” says Jananivasa Dasa, head teacher and one of the driving forces of the Academy. “Srila Prabhupada also said that there should be educational centers, and a university, teaching all branches of knowledge.”
Former Academy student Ahladini Dasi says, “I had been hearing of an Academy that taught proper standards of worship and Deity dressing skills. I decided I had to be part of it—and fortunately, by the kindness of Jananivasa’s twin brother Pankajanghri Dasa, I got the chance to take the course.”
“I took three subjects,” Ahladini says. “Temple worship, brahminical culture and Deity dressing. My favorite part of the course was the explanation of various aspects of Deity worship and Deity dressing by Jananivasa Dasa and Kurma Caitanya Dasa.”
Ahladini adds: “Since completing the course I have been feeling more connection with my home Deities of Gaura Nitai. I have more understanding of and am more appreciative of the entire temple process, as I render service for the Deity department of ISKCON Mayapur’s presiding Deities Sri Sri Radha Madhava.”
Another student, Saci Kumar Dasa from South Africa, says, “Before the course began I was expecting it to deal exclusively with the worship of the Ddeity and different elements directly related to Deity worship. However I was surprised to find that it’s actually aimed at developing all aspects of brahminical life. Particularly inspiring was the aspect of the cultivation of community through brahminical activity, which is a much needed function in our ISKCON communities worldwide. It was also quite striking to get a glimpse into the vastness of brahminical culture.”
Kavi Karnapura Dasa from Lagos in Nigeria says, “How wonderful the Mayapur Academy is cannot be expressed in words. You just have to come and experience it for yourself. Allowing devotees to learn from the most advanced and experienced pujaris in ISKCON is so wonderful. What’s more, I’m now fulfilling the order of my spiritual master to learn about puja!”
Anuradha Kesavi Dasi from Atlanta in the USA says, “Every tiny bit, every moment is so much fun, from staying late to finishing sewing to hearing the wonderful realizations of the teachers. In this course you not only learn so many wonderful things but also get so much opportunity to serve in the holy place Mayapur. I am fortunate to be learning how to serve Krishna under the guidance of all the wonderful Mayapur residents.”
The Mayapur Academy is supported by a network of volunteers and well-wishers. Without their support in the form of service and donations the Academy would not be doing what it is today. You too can be part of the team, raising brahminical consciousness worldwide.
To download this year’s training schedule, to volunteer your service, or to help with much needed donations please visit the Mayapur Academy online at http://www.mayapuracademy.org/
Here Sacinandana Swami talks on Sri Namastakam - eight verse in glorification of the Holy Names.
This is really, really cool:
Motivation requires "motive."
What am I trying to do?
Srila Prabhupada wrote:
When we meditate on the transcendental pastimes of the Absolute Godhead, we are proud to feel that we are His eternal servitors, and we become jubilant and dance with joy.
>>> Ref. VedaBase => SSR 2b: The Absolute Necessity of a Spiritual Master
Yet more serialising of recipes by my cooking guru, Yamuna Devi! Before attempting to cook any of her recipes, make sure you are aware of the difference between US measures and Australian/metric measures. See below*
Fresh hot green jalapenos, averaging 2½ inches (6.5 cm) long and 1 inch (2.5 cm) wide, are available in most areas. If their skin has begun to turn red but is still shiny and firm, they are still quite usable. Smaller chilies are inevitably the hottest, especially serranos, but they are next to impossible to seed and stuff.
Use jalapenos or the conical fresnos (usually limited to California markets). Srila Prabhupada once commented to his servant-cook Srutakirti das. “Chili pakoras and fried chilies are cooling in hot climates; they actually reduce the body temperature”.
They are also recognized as appetite stimulators by inhabitants of the tropics. If you fancy hot foods, by all means give this dish a try on a full Vedic menu. Warn the unseasoned newcomer, and, depending on personal tolerance, allow 1 or 2 per person.
Preparation time: 15 minutes, Cooking time: 10 minutes, Makes: 12 chilies.
12 hot green jalapeno chilies, each about 2 ½ inches (6.5 cm) long, ½ teaspoon ground mustard, ½ teaspoon turmeric, ¼ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon cumin, ¼ teaspoon garam masala, 1 tablespoon chickpea flour, about 1 tablespoon plain yogurt, 1 cup ghee or vegetable oil for deep-frying.
Wash the chilies and pat them dry. With a sharp paring knife, make a cut from the top to the bottom of each chili, cutting halfway through. Carefully pry out the seeds and membrane, then wash the cavity under running water and pat dry.
Combine the mustard, turmeric, salt, cumin, garam masala, chickpea flour and enough yogurt to make a paste. Mix well. Spread the paste evenly into the cavity of each chili.
Heat the ghee or oil in a 1-quart/liter saucepan over high heat until it reaches 360 F (180 C) on a deep-frying thermometer. Fry the chilies 4 at a time for 2-3 minutes or until they blister and turn brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
*Note that since Yamuna wrote her recipes using US measurements, the weights are in US with metric in brackets.
More importantly, her tablespoons are US (15ml) whereas Australian/metric tablespoons are 20ml. So if you follow these recipes using metric measures, your tablespoons should be scant.
Similarly, the US cup is 240ml as distinct from the Australian/metric 250ml cup. The same scant measuring should thus apply to Australian/metric cup users.
The teaspoon is a universal 5ml.
Sent By Mukunda Prabhu *Guru Maharaj left Ujjain around noon on Monday 20th instant. His schedule for the next two months will be probably like this: From Mumbai on 20th night he leaves for Malaysia and two days later goes to China. From there he returns to Malaysia and then back to Mumbai. We can [...]
I have received numerous comments on my last post: Hinduization of ISKCON? What do you mean exactly?’ It seems to have prompted a discussion in which many wanted to explain exactly what they did mean when they used the word ‘Hinduization.’
I don’t normally publish every comment I receive but this time I thought I would, and I hope readers learned something from the discussion.
This particular discussion is vigorously ongoing within certain parts of our movement, and completely non-existent or irrelevant in many other parts. That’s what it means to be an international society I suppose: issues in one part of the world are not issues in another.
As I have mentioned before – at considerable length – our movement for Krishna consciousness has a wide variety of members from all different ages, nationalities, ethnic backgrounds and political persuasions. There are devotees of Krishna who are politically communist and who think that’s just a wonderful combination; there are others who consider capitalism the only way forward. We have left-wingers, ultra-conservatives, and all shades of political colour in between.
Our ISKCON members come in all shapes, sizes, and types of religious practice: from ‘ultra-liberal’ through to ‘ultra-orthodox’ and everything in between. There are those you might describe as contemplatives, the devotees who want to live a peaceful, quiet existence where they can chant and study free from any social responsibilities. Then we have our outgoing missionary-spirited devotees who are only happy in a bustling urban crowd. Then there’s our country community builders who see the importance of rural living and alternative economic sustainability.
Personally, I feel a movement such as ours requires all types of persons, and requires them to be all highly committed to their respective visions. Only that will produce the practical results we need for the next generation of devotees. Getting to the next generation is the challenge, of course. Other religious movements have been unable to handle the mix of such ideologically and politically diverse members. They split into various camps, unable to reconcile the differences between themselves.
Srila Prabhupada believed it was possible for all different types of people to live and work productively together if they had divine service to Krishna as their common purpose. No matter what their apparent differences might be, the common spirituality would bind them together.
But any type of society has to be organized in such a way as to harness the talents of the members, harmonize them into reaching agreed goals, and by doing so establish common good. We don’t do that by artificially homogenizing the diversity; we do that by preserving their individuality, then seeing how best to arrange that different types of people can contribute their skills and labor to each others lives.
Srila Prabhupada tells the story of two men who were walking along a road together. One man paused, bent down, and picked up a piece of string. They carried on walking for another half mile and again the man paused, bent down and picked up, this time, a stick. The other man was slightly puzzled by this behaviour but said nothing. A little further down the road, the man picked up a dried up old gourd to add to his collection. As the men walked, still talking, the man fastened the stick and the string to the gourd in such a way as to make an ektar, a little one-stringed musical instrument. This story was told to illustrate the principle that apparently unusable items can become much more valuable by their intelligent combination.
Similarly, diverse people can be intelligently joined together to create a vibrant society. Just as the string, gourd and stick remain individuals with their own nature, so different types of people – with different opinions – retain their natures but function well together in a particular combination.
1970 September 24: "Regarding the Fiji Islands, you can open immediately a center in the very near future. If you take more interest in preaching work, absolutely you may be relieved from the Governing Body Commission."
1971 September 24: "Pray to Krishna. Supersoul is sitting in everyone's heart, so when He hears, the effect of hearing is there. So it is to be understood that the Spiritual Master is also hearing."
1971 September 24: "Caitanya Mahaprabhu sent His most confidential disciples out on the street and house to house. Even the magistrate would object, Caitanya Mahaprabhu would still send. He exhibited a great civil disobedience movement."
1972 September 24: "Preach, sell books, you will feel yourself becoming perfectly happy. There is immense field for preaching. Do not hesitate to take the bold step forward and invite everyone to become a devotee of Krsna."
1972 September 24: "The Bury Place house is small, so if there are too many men they may be dispatched to open new centers. We can hold one Hare Krsna Festival every night somewhere in London."
1974 September 24: "By your prayers I am recovered. So let us go on with the spreading of this sublime cult. My only request is that you all remain enthusiastic and pure by strictly following all the the devotional practices."
1975 September 24: "It is very good that the professor has recommended Krsna Book for undergraduate study. Our books are meant to educate people in consciousness. As soon as the book is discussed in class, students will purchase."
1975 September 24: "That you have fulfilled my request without hesitation, this is your success in spiritual life. The translations I am not using. There is some fault. I am doing the translations. I have finished now the Sixth Canto and have started the Seventh Canto."
By Parasuram das
In this Age of Kali, people who are endowed with sufficient intelligence will worship the Lord, who is accompanied by His associates, by performance of sankirtana-yajna.Ó Other yajnas prescribed in the Vedic literatures are not easy to perform in this Age of Kali, but the sankirtana-yajna is easy and sublime for all purposes, as recommended in Bhagavad-gita also (9.14).
From Namamrta by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada:
When Lord Caitanya received the holy name from his spiritual master, He claimed that He became bewildered, and in pure ecstasy He lost Himself and laughed, cried, danced and sang just like a madman. Collecting His patience, He began to consider that chanting the holy name had covered all His spiritual knowledge. He went to His spiritual master (Isvara Puri) and submitted to him, “My dear lord, what kind of mantra have you given Me? Chanting the holy name in ecstasy causes one to dance, laugh, and cry.” When His spiritual master heard this, he smiled and said, “It is the nature of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra that anyone who chants it immediately develops his loving ecstasy for Krishna.” (Lord Caitanya told this to Prakasananda Saraswati at their meeting in Benares.) So ecstasy, or bhava, is a definite stage in the science of chanting. It comes after the initial mechanical chanting, after the following of rules and regulations, after being accepted as a disciple by the spiritual master and after developing attachment for the holy name.
It is sometimes called the bud of the flower that later blooms as prema or love of God. But Prabhupada asserts that his students, even though not so advanced, have learned to chant and dance in an ecstatic fashion. The sankirtana works in that way, even on beginners. Flashes of ecstasy come and they are natural and automatic. I cannot claim to chant in the bhava stage when I do my japa, but I feel a quiet peace and sometimes intense feelings of devotion.
Last night was a very interrupted sleep. I woke at 10:00 P.M. with a headache and had to take medicine. Then I slept for only a couple of hours and was fully awake at midnight. I got up and began to chant. But an extraordinary thing happened. The first round took me an hour, from ten after twelve to ten after one. When I explained it to Narayana-kavaca, he said maybe I was miscounting on my beads. I said I didn’t know if that was so, and neither did I think I was drowsing or sleeping. I said, “I just don’t know what happened.” And that is the only explanation I can give for it. But it was unfortunate for my accumulation of numerical strength. I then began to chant faster and the japa improved. I heard the holy names clearly and caught up on the pace. By 2:30 I had chanted 12 rounds, and by 3:30 I had finished my 16-round quota.
One hour for one
One Hundred Prabhupada Poems, #38
Prabhupada’s my father telling me what I
I am his affectionate child,
He has many concerns.
Prabhupada has to wrestle with
He knows these deficiencies in me.
“O my Lord, You have executed all duties Yourself. Are you leaving us today, though we are completely dependent on your mercy and have no one else to protect us, now when all kings are at enmity with us?”
The Pandavas were fortunate because they were entirely dependent upon the mercy of the Lord. The false attempt to become independent of the material laws passes on as advancement of science and experimental knowledge. But the highest goal is to work hard under the guidance of the Lord and be dependent on Him. The Pandavas worked on their own with their skills, but they were always dependent on the Lord for the outcome. We shouldn’t try to become falsely independent. If you try that you are without any guardian, but if you depend on Krishna, you have someone to protect you. We need protection. We must always remember that the material life is an undesirable perplexity. Bhagavad-gita directs that after many, many births, a fortunate person becomes aware that Vasudeva is all-in-all and the best way of leading one’s life is to surrender unto Him completely. Persons who do so are called mahatmas. The Pandavas were all mahatmas. Queen Kunti is trying to persuade Krishna not to leave them. There will still be enemies prepared to attack the Pandavas. It is not only the Pandavas who are put into this situation but all of us are always in such a condition, and the best way of living is to become completely dependent on the will of the Lord. In this way we can overcome all the difficulties of material existence.
Queen Kunti’s prayers are touching and pitiful pleas to get the Lord to stay with them in Hastinapura and not return to Dvaraka. But He had to return to His capital. The Pandavas could take care of themselves by following His instructions and always remembering Him.
We just read an ecstatic chapter in Caitanya Bhagavata. Lord Caitanya ordered Advaita Acarya and His wife to come see Him at Srinivas Acarya’s home and to bring articles to worship Him. Advaitacarya wanted to test Lord Caitanya, so He went and hid at Nandanacarya’s home. Lord Caitanya knew He was hiding there, and He sent for Him. There was great ecstasy when Advaitacarya met Lord Caitanya. Lord Caitanya said, “I descended to this world on Your cries for Me.” He then ordered Advaitacarya to dance. He danced wildly in many ways and floated in an ocean of his own tears. Lord Caitanya manifested many of His divine forms. Advaitacarya offered prayers acknowledging Lord Caitanya as the Supreme Lord.
Here is a short and sweet little pictorial (courtesy of Huff Post) touching on 8 organic food myths that also happen to coincide with many of my food pet peeves! Oh, joy.
Organic milk, such as Horizon brand, dumps its cows on massive feedlots and is an example of the lowpoints of agribusiness. How do you think Horizon sells its organic dairy so cheaply to Walmart? By carrying on in the same way that commercial dairies do–but with organic instead of conventionally grown grain.
Organic tv dinners–expensive crap wrapped in plastic packaging and then boxed. Waste.
Exotic, far-flung fruits and veggies make the list. I am definitely guilty of this one. Unfortunately, apples are an exotic fruit when you live in Florida. And the majority of organic apples that I’ve seen in the market come from New Zealand. Which, you know, is kind of on the other side of the world. One thing the Huffpo piece doesn’t touch on, but that I think is important to point out, is that the organic standards only apply to the growing process. Your organic bananas may be gassed with ethylene on the way to the market and nobody is going to say boo about it.
“Natural” advertised on the label. To paraphrase Michael Pollan, if it has a label, it probably isn’t natural.
Single Servings. Yes. This upsets me. I am not totally free of this. We do occasionally keep a stash some “natural” sugary granola bars for emergency situations, but in general, I am weary of snack packs and all the waste they generate.
Plastic water bottles. Cancer. Bad taste. Landfill. No thanks.
Soy junk is another item on the list that I must hang my guilty head in shame over. On road trips, it is our convenience food to fill up our kids. Tofu turkey. Smells like dog food to me. Vegan dog food I occasionally feed my children.
See, I am very judgmental when it comes to food, but am capable of admitting my wrongs. I feel more guilt over feeding my children lousy stuff or buying so called food with packaging than the average person.
Now, should I do a post about how there is truly no such thing as a “green remodel” (unless you salvage *everything*). How about you? Do you experience a direct correlation between your consumption and your accumulation of guilt?
(This diary takes place between the 25th of August and the 14th of September 2010.)
We arrived from the Polish tour to the Berlin temple. Berlin temple is a nice little place, seen often by many travelling preachers, on route in Europe. The temple devotees are open and very hospitable. Every year, after Polish tour, they receive many visitors (who are mostly due to catch flights in the coming days) and the temple devotees accommodate them very nicely. I had the privilege of spending over two weeks this year at the Berlin temple and was very thankful.
I skipped the first Mangala Arati, catching up on the much needed rest due after a day of travelling and two months of Polish tour. Some people said goodbye to me while I was in the sleeping bag, as they headed off for their early flights. When I finally crawled to consciousness, I gave Radheya a tour of the efficient, German public transport system and accompanied him to the airport (in Germany going to the airport is a relatively cheap ordeal, virtually free for myself on this occasion because I was on route to the city anyway). I waved goodbye to the Vrajavasis, purchased my new piece of luggage in the city and then returned to the temple, after which I barely stepped out until my final day of departure.
The very next day, HG Dina Dayal - the Ninja Brahmana - arrived. He was fresh from Polish Rathayatra (a festival I was originally going to participate in). I now had another tour buddy for the majority of my stay in Berlin. This was much appreciated because the temple devotees were honouring me at every moment, being their only guest and Dina Dayal took the lime light off me. Before his arrival, I was receiving all the Arati offerings first but now they were all going to Dina Dayal, leaving a big smile on my face.
On the Saturday I was asked to give the public lecture. Krsna Caitanya Prabhu (who seemed to be in charge at the time, although you can never really tell who is in charge at Berlin temple) suggested I do a presentation on Polish tour. I opened up a bunch of browsers of HH Indradyumna Swami’s facebook albums and ran them on a projector with my own commentary. I also showed the tour website and a short film that was on there of some previous tours. It felt like it had been a nice presentation and the devotees seemed to appreciate it. I had no lack of preaching opportunities for the rest of the night, mingling with the young and old, frequent guests of Berlin temple.
The daily activities of the temple were rather amusing. There was a Bhakta program being run for most of my visit so the temple was filled with a dozen bhaktas. Despite the lack of privacy, the small bathroom and building seemed to cater our crazy endeavours; this was a relief after the tour (where there were lines for everything). The nooks and crannies of the buildings were often littered with resting bodies, as the bhaktas learned the crucial ISKCON standard of napping; if you were clued on in this endeavour you could find the secret hiding spot and have a decent sleep. The morning program was always amusing in Berlin temple - half of it is in English and the other half in German, never being quite the same on a daily basis. Of course, you cannot speak of Berlin without saying something about the Prasadam; there was always plenty of bhoga fed to Jagganatha, which perfectly matched Srila Prabhupada’s description of foods in the mode of goodness (found in Bhagavad-gita As It Is).
My daily schedule involved a lot of reading, a bit of kitchen duty, plenty of preaching and a little bhakta contaminating. I was reading through Uddhava Gita, in the 11th Canto, which I was relishing at every moment. I was then churning this subject out individually and collectively with the devotees in the temple. At one point, the bhaktas had spotted my speculation, Ksatriya style dhoti and I was soon employed in teaching the art to a couple young apprentices. (I don’t know if it helped their Bhakti creeper at all but it certainly did fascinate them.)
One morning I was asked to give class (which was going to happen many times more on my visit. Bhakta Nafa, a technically capable bhakta, was recording whatever was spoken off the Vyasasana (which I later figured out). I spat out a lengthy dialogue, based on a three line purport, all about Vedic and medieval geography, accompanied by some intricacies of Varnasrama Dharma. The lengthy purports and in-depth subject matters of the 11th Canto were not doing anything to diminish my usual, jnana-misra explanations on the nitty-gritty technicalities of our amazing Vaisnava culture.
I was pleased to know that I had booked my stay in Berlin around Janmastami. The night before the event was celebrated with a lasagne and samosa feast (there was also cake but we were too full from already eating cake all day!) The celebration day itself was spectacular. We had some roaring kirtanas, plenty of sanga and the devotees made over a hundred and eight preps for Jagannatha, which we feasted on until 2am the next day (I wanted to make Jagannatha some halava but there were already four other versions of the prep). I awoke in the attic (the best hiding spot) the next day for Prabhupada’s appearance day. The morning was filled with different homages from the devotees and the afternoon was dragged out with a massive feast (still containing remnants of the one hundred and eight preps of the night before).
Ekadasi landed on the Saturday and the devotees put on another successful program. My friend Richard came fore a visit. I met Richard at the Blues Fest (music festival) in Australia a few months before leaving Australia. I had popped a kofta ball on his plate and we started chatting. I met him again at New Govardhana farm and he stayed there for a week. He then toured to a few more Krsna conscious venues before returning home to Berlin. By coincidence (ie Krsna’s divine arrangement) we ended up in town at the same time.
The bhakta program finished and the boys went down to the park for some play. I accompanied with my monk garb, chanting some stray rounds. Dina Dayal also came, bringing his Ninja gear for training. All the park goers were totally curious to see this strange group of individuals. The day was finished off with a feast of lasagne and srikhand. It was goodbyes after this, as the boys continued their Bhakta program in another venue.
I relished the remaining quiet days. I was asked again to give class (the sankirtana devotees stopped in for a few days so I had an audience) and I gave it on the three modes of nature and their relation to Varnas. In these few days, Dina Dayal had to leave. We bid farewell and hoped to see him again in the near future. Now that the sankirtana boys were in town, we helped them do a van load of book stacking. The temple is located in one of the only buildings in Berlin that is not from the chrome age (ie the future); they were lacking the facility of an elevator so we had a bit of exercise, down the double flights of stairs to the ground floor with our Prabhupada nectar.
I gave another evening class on Karma, Jnana and Yoga; a morning class on Mystic Siddhis and Chanting Mantras; and the next Saturday lecture, which was one hour of Jnana and one minute of Bhakti (due to my misreading the clock). On the Friday (before the class I gave) I helped Jagannatha and Baladeva down the stairs for their weekend Rathayatra. (The Berlin Deities make their way around the continent, going to so many Rathayatras all around Europe.) It was a quiet weekend without their presence. Their Lordships came back on my second last full day in Berlin, which was nice because then I managed to see them off.
On my last full day in Berlin I led almost all the aratis and gave Bhagavatam class. I spoke shortly on the continued subject of Chanting. I nearly killed myself at lunch Prasadam with about a bucket of sweet rice (knowing it was my last chance to honour Jagannatha Prasadam). I disappeared into the early morning the next day, using the flawless German public transport to arrive me safe at my next destination. I highly recommend everyone to at least spend a few days in Jagannatha’s Berlin apartment; it’s well worth a visit.
Read original post: [http://maddmonk.wordpress.com/2010/09/24/bashing-it-in-berlin ]
With great pleasure, ISKCON Mayapur invites devotees worldwide to celebrate the Gaura Purnima festival 2011 at Sri dham Mayapur. On 5th of March 2011, the festival inauguration will take place, followed by various festivities, Navadwipa Mandala Parikrama and the grand celebration of Gaura Purnima on 19th March. Please find below the detailed festival schedule.
“Is Subhadra-devi an expansion of Yogamaya, who ridiculed Kamsa, later reappearing from mother Rohini’s womb? Why does she not have any childhood pastimes with Krishna and Balarama in Vraja despite being their beloved sister in Dwarka lila?”
Talk of books written
Shyama-Mohini Devi Dasi (Toronto, Canada) Dearest Gurumaharaj, Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada. All glories to your divine grace. Gurumaharaj, as years roll by, I realize how peripheral my attachment to the holy name, how empty my words and how vacant my heart is. Amidst all the anarthas that I battle [...]
Yestele, Brisbane Dearest Gurumaharaja, Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to your Divine Grace. All glories to Srila Prabhupada. Recently I was reflecting on Srila Prabhupada’s success. I then began to ponder the reasons behind his success. As I delved deeper into the thought; more and more glimpses of his great personality came to [...]
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