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Hari Sauri das, Mayapura, IN: BRC Quarterly report: October – December 2010


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  1. H.G. Sankarshan das Adhikari, USA: Thursday 10 February 2011--Sri Advaita Acharya's Appearance Day--and--Consciousness Without a Body?
  2. Australian News: Sannyasa Report- 2011 HH Kadamba Kanana Swami
  3. Australian News: Service opportunity at New Gokula Farm
  4. Australian News: The planet of zucchinis…
  5. Hari Sauri das, Mayapura, IN: BRC Quarterly report: October – December 2010
  6. ISKCON Melbourne, AU: ANZAC Holiday Japa Retreat
  7. 16 Rounds to Samadhi Magazine, LA, USA: The Three Modes of Nature: Goodness, Passion, & Ignorance
  8. Australian News: Please Volunteer to be in a play with Parividha Prabhu: Sydney
  9. H.H. Prahladananda Swami: Lecture – SB 4.29.74 3 Modes Dear To The Heart
  10. H.H. Prahladananda Swami: Lecture – SB 4.29.30-31 Fulfilling Material Desires
  11. 16 Rounds to Samadhi Magazine, LA, USA: Sattvic Diet: On Diet & Consciousness
  12. H.H. Prahladananda Swami: Lecture – SB 4.29.16-17 Blissful Anxiety
  13. H.H. Prahladananda Swami: Lecture – SB 4.28.56 Dramatic Conception
  14. H.H. Prahladananda Swami: Lecture – SB 4.28.17 Still Not Krishna
  15. H.H. Prahladananda Swami: Lecture – SB 4.28.11 Death Impetus
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  17. H.H. Prahladananda Swami: Lecture – SB 4.28.06 Invincible To Time
  18. 16 Rounds to Samadhi Magazine, LA, USA: Battling the Cold and Flu Season: Ayurevedic Health Tip of the Month
  19. 16 Rounds to Samadhi Magazine, LA, USA: Two Dogs An Instructive Tale
  20. Subhavilasa das ACBSP, Toronto, CA: Jai Sita Ram. Keep your faith alive with Radhanath Swami and Gaura Vani.
  21. 16 Rounds to Samadhi Magazine, LA, USA: Let’s Say You Want to Meditate: A Guide to Control The Uneasy Mind
  22. Anuradha Kesavi dd, Dubai, UAE: Two monsters
  23. Bharatavarsa.net: Book distribution seminar: Re: Magical slokas!
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  25. Book Distribution News: Re: Magical slokas!
  26. 16 Rounds to Samadhi Magazine, LA, USA: Secondary Self and a Sexy Bra: It Is An Identity Crisis
  27. Atma Yoga, Brisbane, AU: Kirtan with Dave Stringer
  28. 16 Rounds to Samadhi Magazine, LA, USA: Who Ate the Third Loaf of Bread?
  29. ISKCON Toronto, Canada: Appearance Day of Advaita Acharya
  30. ISKCON Toronto, Canada: "Conquering Inner Space" - A Mind-Opening Seminar by Rohini Priya das
  31. 16 Rounds to Samadhi Magazine, LA, USA: The Quest for Enlightenment: Pretentiousness-Free Search
  32. 16 Rounds to Samadhi Magazine, LA, USA: Have a Blast, O Tiger Among Men!
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  43. Bharatavarsa.net: Bhakti Vikasa Swami: Do not let your mind be disturbed
  44. H.H. Sivarama Swami: To the devotees living beyond Krsna Valley and Budapest city I say
  45. Kurma dasa, AU: Off to Rathayatra
  46. ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Today's Darsana
  47. H.H. Prahladananda Swami: Lecture – SB 4.27.13 Not Just On Our To-Do List
  48. H.H. Prahladananda Swami: Lecture – SB 4.27.12 Not Frankenstein Future
  49. H.H. Prahladananda Swami: Lecture – SB 4.27.11 Sophisticated Blood Suckers
  50. ISKCON News.com: Michael Cremo - Forbidden Archeologist
  51. H.H. Bhakticharu Swami: Srimad Bhagavad Gita As It Is Chapter 1-6 Summary By His Holiness Bhakti Caru Swami
  52. ISKCON News.com: Krishna.com
  53. Rupa Madhurya das, TX, USA: Lecture - Bir Krishna Goswami - Talking with TKG Academy Students
  54. Japa Group: If The Cornerstone Is Strong
  55. ISKCON Toronto, Canada: Join Us for an Inspiring and Dramatic Sunday Feast This Weekend!
  56. ISKCON Toronto, Canada: Rohini Priya das Will Be Visiting Toronto's Hare Krishna Community!
  57. Madhava Ghosh dasa, New Vrndavan, USA: “The Progress of the Soul” by Thomas McGrath
  58. Mayapur Online: Sri Advaita Acarya Appearance Day- 10 Feb
  59. ISKCON Toronto, Canada: Flashback Photographs - In Memory of Bhadra Priya devi dasi
  60. H.H. Sivarama Swami: Talks with Madireksana dd about feeling depressed at the extent of our anarthas
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  62. Mayapur Online: Mayapur Institute Gaura Purnima 2011 Courses
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H.G. Sankarshan das Adhikari, USA: Thursday 10 February 2011--Sri Advaita Acharya's Appearance Day--and--Consciousness Without a Body?

A daily broadcast of the Ultimate Self Realization Course(TM) Thursday 10 February 2011 The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krishna, and His eternal consort, Srimati Radharani are enjoying transcendental pastimes in the topmost planet of the spiritual world, Sri Goloka Vrindavan. They are beckoning us to rejoin them. Our Mission: To help everyone awaken their original Krishna consciousness, which is eternal, full of knowledge and full of bliss. Such a global awakening will, in one stroke, solve all the problems of the world society bringing in a new era of unprecedented peace and prosperity for all. May that day, which the world so desperately needs, come very soon. We request you to participate in this mission by reviving your dormant Krishna consciousness and assisting us in spreading this science all over the world. Dedicated with love to ISKCON Founder-Acharya: His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, our beloved spiritual master, and to you, our dear readers. Today's Thought: Sri Advaita Acharya's Appearance Day Uploaded from Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas USA Today is the appearance day of Sri Advaita Acharya. Srila Prabhupada nicely describes Advaita Acharya as follows: Advaita Acharya was a contemporary of Lord Caitanya's father. He felt sorry for the condition of the world because even after Lord Krishna's appearance, no one had interest in devotional service to Krishna. This forgetfulness was so overwhelming that Advaita Prabhu was convinced that no one but Lord Krishna Himself could enlighten people about devotional service to the Supreme Lord. Therefore Advaita requested Lord Krishna to appear as Lord Caitanya. Offering tulasi leaves and Ganges water, He cried for the Lord's appearance. The Lord, being satisfied by His pure devotees, descends to satisfy them. As such, being pleased by Advaita Acharya, Lord Caitanya appeared. He is also described in the following verse from the Sri Caitanya Caritamrita: advaitam harindvaitd cryam bhakti-amsant bhaktvatram am tam advaitcryam raye Because He is nondifferent from Hari, the Supreme Lord, He is called Advaita, and because He propagates the cult of devotion, He is called Acharya. He is the Lord and the incarnation of the Lord's devotee. Therefore I take shelter of Him. --Caitanya Caritamrita, Adi 1.13 Let us all take advantage of His appearance day by begging Him to bless us with pure Krishna bhakti. Sankarshan Das Adhikari Advaita Acharya Begs the Lord to Appear http://www.backtohome.com/images/Advaita_Acarya.jpg Answers According to the Vedic Version: Question: Consciousness Without a Body? Dear Gurudeva, Please accept my humble obeisances at your feet. All Glories to Srila Prabhupada. Can you please explain more about the self? Without the mind, intelligence and the good ego, how does it see, hear or feel? What is a person's physical and mental condition when he has realized his self? How does he speak, listen or behave? I am eagerly waiting for your answers. Thank you so much. Dinesh Answer: Self Does Not Require Material Body The self is you, the actual person who is residing within the two coverings: the gross outer body and the subtle inner body. The gross body is composed of earth, water, fire, air, and ether. And the subtle body is composed of mind, intelligence, and false ego. The good ego or real ego is the actual self. The false ego is misidentification of the body with the self. A man does not depend on wearing his outerwear and underwear in order to experience things. Even when he is naked he can experience so many things. In a similar way the living being does not depend on his gross and subtle bodily coverings in order to experience things. It is the false ego only which makes him think that he can only experience things through the gross and subtle bodies. The self-realized person, the pure devotee of Krishna, although situated and experiencing things beyond the gross and subtle bodies continues to engage these two bodies in the Lord's service. Thus, just as an iron rod in contact with fire becomes fire, the gross and subtle bodies of Krishna's pure devotee become fully spiritualized because he engages them 24 hours daily 100% in the Lord's service. 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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Australian News: Sannyasa Report- 2011 HH Kadamba Kanana Swami

Sannyasa Report for 2010


In 1997, now fourteen years ago, I received sannyasa in the Bhaktivedanta Manor. Since then I have done a lot of travel and preaching not just randomly, but in a regular pattern, because it appears more effective to me to build up relationships with full-time devotees and the larger congregation in various areas. During these fourteen years I have attended a lot of festivals, for last year I have counted 23 festivals and 4 retreats. Gradually with the increase of age I am aiming to minimize my involvement with events and reach people in other ways for example through writing and education. In between the action, I am building in rest periods,not just for health, but also for some quality sadhana. This year I invested in an ebook reader, which made many books more easily accessible,and reading more easy.


I continued a program of traveling and preaching in the same areas as in previous years. My New Year begins in Germany with the sankirtan festival at the lotus feet of Lord Nrsimhadeva. Devotees gather from Czech republic, Slovakia, Croatia, Slovenia, Italy and Germany of course to gather for a festival after the book distribution marathon. The presence of leading devotees is of great importance to inspire book distributors from many countries. I also consider this temple project, dedicated to lord Nrismhadeva, a place of pilgrimage for entire Europe. I go there twice a year to get some mercy, and to do a little service to the Deity by adding to festivals that attract many devotees.

From there I went on to Radhadesh, another substantial landmark, for one week to teach a course on the Caitanya Caritamrta, which is also annual event. I think the college fulfills a need in our movement and adds to the Radhadesh community. Teaching is a good way to enter in to a topic and the Caitanya Caritamrta is a great source of inspiration in my life. In general I come to Radhadesh regularly and last year I visited more often. I annually support the summer festival, since it is a predominantly dutch affair. Radhadesh continues to offer inspiration to devotees from all over Europe and beyond, through festivals and education and is also a place where the -kulis have their melas.

In the UK I try to visit other temples besides London. I keep a regular relationship with Leicester and also visited Birmingham, Scotland and New Castle and of course London is a dynamic, stimulating place, full of programs,activities and developments.

The Czech Republic , is the first place I went after taking sannyasa in 1997 and since then I kept a regular relationship with the Yatra. Occassionally I also visit Slovakia. Prague is just a few hours by a pleasant journey on a German train, from Leipzig or Berlin. So these areas are a convenient, contiguous preaching field.

I also have a good connection with Sweden and visit Stockholm from time to time. They don’t get that many visiting preachers, so some years ago I decided to put energy there. I have good relationships with the local devotees, I have become a member of the family. The pace of life in Sweden is not as high as in central Europe and the BBT offers very nice facility, in this way Sweden is a rest-point for me. Once a year I go to Helsinki, Finland as well.

I went to the Serbian summer camp and to Croatia for Janmastami,but I can’t do much more in these areas than some sporadic visits.

South Africa

Besides Europe , South Africa is a major preaching field for me. I have been involved there for at least three months a year, since 1995. I feel at home here, in general people are quite open and devotees have a nice service attitude. I am trying to stay connected with all devotees in the yatra, at the same time I try to especially help to facilitate african devotes to become part of our movement. The demographics of South Africa are 90% African, 8% from European descent and 2% of Indian origen, ISKCON is just the opposite; so to remain relevant to society we need to attract more african devotees. I have arranged funding to start several preaching centres, I have started a Ratha Yatra in Soweto, since a few years, and try to support individual african devotees.

In recent years HH Jayadvaita Swami has taken responsibility as a trustee to develop a BBT division for the entire Africa. In South Africa, I try to help by promoting and facilitating book distribution, so last December I went their during the book marathon.

I would like to carry on with my service in South Africa for many years to come, Krsna willing. Even if in the future I would have to minimize other services , I would give priority to South Africa.


In 1984, my health was weak, due to extensive problems with malaria in India, Bhavananda send me for one year to Australia and my health improved tremendously. These days also Australia, with mild winters and sunny climate, still does wonders for my health as a welcome change from the drab European weather. So I’ve kept it as part of my itinerary throughout the years. Australia has nice temples and is well organized and there are ample of preaching opportunities.


The roots of my spiritual life are in India, I joined in Vrindavan and also by Krsna’s grace was allowed to serve for a substantial amount of time both in Vrindavan and Mayapur. These days I still do a little service on the Vrndavana Executive Board, although I am thinking of retirement. After spending a few weeks in Vrndavana, I went to Mayapur for one month to teach in the Bhakti Sastri and Bhakti Vaibahva courses. This is a time of rejuvination rising early at 1:30 am chanting and studying, along with a morning program, although I confess I may regularly listen to Bhagavatam class on the radio. On the weekend I lead parikramas through the Dhama. This coming year in Kartika I am planning to take a group of devotees to Bangladesh, to visit holy places like Advaita Acarya’s birth place, or Pundarika Dhama, Kethuri and more. After that I will lead a study group on the CC in Mayapur and in the end we will publish a book with essays from the paricipants. I am looking forward to all of this. In the long run as my health will have higher demands I am planning to spend more time in Mayapur.

Hoping that my humble service may give some pleasure to my spiritual master,the vaisnavas and Krsna,

Vaisnava dasanudasa,
Kadamba Kanana Swami

Click here to find our more about HH Kadamba Kanana Swami at his web site

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Australian News: Service opportunity at New Gokula Farm

New Gokula is pushing ahead to increase accommodation facilities THIS YEAR with the voluntary help of a fabulous architect Mr. Vikram Mukherjee who has broad experience in project planning. In the meantime we really need YOUR help if you can offer some time at New Gokula.

There’s a lot going on here: we have a milking herd of 6 cows, a contingent of African refugees developing a substantial community garden on the farm, catering at music festivals in the region and we have a professional builder, Bhutanath’s brother Greg raring to get building ASAP and of course the worship of Their beautiful Lordships Sri Sri Radha Gokulananda. We are seriously short of fulltime staff for serving the deities and looking after the cows.

If you can afford a few days or a week to help out here at New Gokula, you can enjoy a change of pace– nice prasadam, stay in the guest cottage and if required we can fund your travel to the farm.

We are expecting our fulltime Pujari Krsna Nandini Mataji back in March but the critical time for this important project is NOW!

Sri Sri Radha Gokulananda need YOU! Please seriously consider this request, your help will be greatly appreciated.

Please circulate this message to your friends and get the word out.

Click here to visit the contact page on the new Gokula web page to let them know you can help

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Australian News: The planet of zucchinis…

This week at Hare Krishna Valley we have been trying to keep up with the harvesting of our crop of zucchinis, which have been growing at an incredible rate with all of the sun and rain. We took 70 crates to the wholesale distributors in Geelong, and they have been buying everything that we can supply.

We have been busy setting up our new office, after being donated a whole lot of office furniture from our dear friend Radha Charan, who is about to go and live in China. We were also fortunate to be visited by Dandakaranya and his son Toshan Krishna, who came and stayed with us for a weekend, and enjoyed chanting and dancing in the Temple.

We look forward to speaking to you again next week.
Until then, I remain yours in the service of Srila Prabhupada.

Keshava Dasa.

Click here to get more news from the farm at Hare krishna Valley

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Hari Sauri das, Mayapura, IN: BRC Quarterly report: October – December 2010

A project of ISKCON Mayapur
110A Motilal Nehru Road, Kolkata 700 029,
WB India
PH: 91 33 4065 / 2475 5216

Quarterly Newsletter
ISSUE #1, October – December 2010

Welcome to the first quarterly newsletter of the Bhaktivedanta Research Centre. In this edition we cover October through December 2010, our first year in operation.

At the outset, we are very pleased to recognize His Grace Akrura dasa, temple president of ISKCON Vancouver, who became our second Patron Member in March 2010

And also His Grace Mahesh Advani of Dubai, who became our third Patron Member during on October 2010.

May these kind devotees and their families receive all the blessings of Srila Prabhupada and our acaryas for their enthusiastic support.

Sri Sundarananda Vidya Vinoda’s collection

We are happy to have completed the initial cataloguing of this valuable collection of almost 2,500 items. The many rare and old volumes have also been fumigated and are now on the shelves.

Central Library link up

By the arrangement of Krishnabhishek prabhu the entire collection of Gaudiya Matha periodicals published under Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Prabhupada i.e. Nadia Prakash (daily newspaper), Sajjana Toshani (weekly newspaper) and Gaudiya (monthly newspaper), which Sundarananda Vidya Vinoda had bound into large volumes, were sent to the Central Library in Kolkata for scanning. About forty percent of these have now been scanned and returned. Further scanning will continue throughout the year.
Many of them are in quite poor condition and we are grateful to the Central Library for their kind help in doing the scanning, thus preserving these valuable sources of Gaudiya Vaisnava history.
These have been fumigated and placed on the library shelves.

Fumigation program

Fumigation of all inventory is essential. The older materials are riddled with destructive insects of various kinds and some of the oldest works are seriously eaten away.
Our fumigation program is simple but effective. Acting on advice from the Asiatic Society library we obtained the necessary chemicals to ensure that all the destructive bugs were eliminated. The books are enclosed in special steel almiras which allow the fumes from the chemical cocktail to circulate. Three weeks is the standard fumigation period.

Once on the shelves of the library the books are surrounded by naphalene balls to keep out any possible new infestations.

Meetings with the Ghosh family

In November we were fortunate to meet with Srimati Srilekha Bose, the daughter of eminent Bengal politician Sri Tarun Kanti Ghosh, and grand-daughter of Mahatma Sishir Kumar Ghosh, at her home in Mumbai.
Sri Sishir Kumar Ghosh was a prominent Vaisnava, publisher and personal friend of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura.

It was he who named Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur the ‘seventh Goswami’. From 1890 to 1898 he published Sri Visnu Priya O Ananda Bazar Patrika under the editorship of the Thakura on a fortnightly basis, and later it became a monthly.
In 1897 Sishir Kumar Ghosh published a two volume glorification of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu called Lord Gauranga or Salvation for All. Smt. Srilekha Bose very kindly donated her personal set of this long-out-of-print book plus two other rare volumes by her grandfather to the BRC.

HH Bhakti Charu Swami receives the rare books from Smt. Srilekha Bose, with BBT Trustee Bhima Dasa and Juhu Temple President Braja Hari prabhu looking on

Then in mid-December we were fortunate to have further discussions at the BRC with Smt. Rita Dutta and Sri Tamal Kanti Ghosh, the great-grand children of Sishir Kumar Ghosh.

The Ghosh family at one time had an extensive library inherited from Sri Sishir Kumar Ghosh but it has now become scattered. Rita and Tamal Kanti have vowed to help us track down the collection and our hope is that we may find some rare Vaisnava books by the Mahatma and other Vaisnava authors and even correspondence or works connected directly to Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura.

Annual General Meeting

Our academic directors, Sriman Pranava prabhu and Sriman Krishnabhishek prabhu were both in Kolkata during December affording us the opportunity to hold our second annual general meeting. In attendance were Pranava dasa, Krishnabhishek dasa, Smt. Bharati Roy, Smt. Hena Basu, Sm. Sunil Gupta, Janakaraja dasa, Acyuta dasa and Hari-sauri dasa.

Here is a highlight of the topics discussed:

1) AGM – Publishing
High on the agenda was a discussion of the BRC’s publishing strategy. With so many old books from Bhaktivinoda Thakura and Bhaktisiddhanta Saravati Thakura still not translated into English and other languages, the BRC is keen to begin this important service to the Vaisnavas.
Apart from being involved with supporting the publication of works by universities and academic institutions aimed at the academic community, the BRC it will have its own publications which are written in a way that appeals specifically to the sensibilities and perceptions of the devotee audience.
The goal is to contribute to a precise understanding of the roots and ancient tradition of the movement for the benefit of its members and well-wishers. One of the first books we hope to translate and publish is Padma Purana by Bhaktivinoda Thakura.

2) AGM – Mission statement

Succinctly stated, the purpose of the BRC is to provide a complete philosophical and theological back up to Srila Prabhupada’s books. It will be repository of every primary and secondary source* of Gaudiya Vaisnava literature thus providing a complete set of evidence to prove that all his statements are entirely bona fide, on the basis of our sampradaya. Accessing the original writings of our sampradaya will also help researchers solve complex issues that Srila Prabhupada only adressed briefly.

* Primary Source works are defined as original works from acaryas in our guru-parampara as well as commentaries on these works by our acaryas.
Secondary Source works are defined as commentaries on primary source material by scholars outside of our line.

3) AGM – Broader educational scheme

Our academic director, Pranava prabhu has proposed an integrated vision of education and research for the future generations of Vaisnava scholars. ISKCON leaders have long discussed the creation of a university in Mayapur and a full educational system with links to main stream educational institutions. The BRC will play a major role in providing resources for the students.
We are very excited to hear that a new branch of the Belgium-based Bhaktivedanta College is being planned for Mayapur, and is expected to begin its operations in 2012. It will offer a Bachelor degree in Theology and Philosophy, including language courses in Sanskrit and Bengali. The new College will be accredited with a University in the UK.
At the same time, in Kolkata, Jadavpur University, one of the best in India, will have an area of specialization dedicated to Gaudiya Vaishnavism, giving the option to apply for a Masters in Sociology of Religion.
For those who wish to go further, they will have the option of entering a Ph.D. course at Jadavpur, or for the very brightest, to apply for a scholarship at the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies in the UK. The University of Oxford is ranked number one in the world in the Humanities, and offers also a Masters in Theology as a preparation for a Ph.D.
The implications of the above are that for the first time, it will be possible for students of Gaudiya Vaisnavism to have a full fledged, first class academic education in Theology/ Philosophy/ Sociology/ History beginning in Mayapur, West Bengal, which may lead all the way up to the highest academic degree in the public educational system.
Graduates will then be eligible to work in an academic institution in India or in the West, to contribute to the growth of the Mayapur College, and/or to support the development of world-class scholarship about our tradition. It will also create the basis for having highly qualified students that may contribute to the development of ISKCON in many important ways in the future.
The BRC is meant to provide resources on all levels of these studies, and particularly at the Master and Ph.D. levels. It will be an important resource for any student who wants to study and research the Gaudiya tradition represented by Srila Prabhupada and his movement and also the Gaudiya Mathas.

We envision the BRC’s task as four-fold:

First to collect all literature referred to directly or indirectly in the books written by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami. They will be of direct relevance for illuminating in full the philosophy of Krishna Consciousness as Srila Prabhupada presented it.
Of great importance is to collect and preserve the works of the acaryas of our disciplic succession going all the way back to Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. That means the works of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Prabhupada, Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Baladeva Vidyabhusana, Vishvanatha Cakravarti, the Six Gosvamis of Vrindavan and so on. This is the core library of the BRC.

Secondly, as per the instructions of Srila Prabhupada in Bombay in 1976, BRC will collect the essential works of other Vaishnava acaryas, particularly Madhva and Ramanuja, and even Shankara, which will place our tradition in the broader picture of Vaishnavism in India.

Thirdly the BRC will collect, according to resources, secondary works, i.e. academic literature, that deals with the Chaitanya tradition, in the fields of History, Philosophy, Sociology, Anthropology, Political Science, Gender Studies etc. This will provide an additional resource for a systematic research about our tradition within the framework of what earlier scholarship has achieved.

Fourth, the BRC will provide a comprehensive library of academic literature in religious and related studies for consultation on-site at the BRC facility. This will allow students in Bengal to access world class academic literature, which otherwise would be entirely out of reach due to their high cost.
The location of the BRC at the heart of Kolkata is ideal for fulfilling these purposes, considering that Kolkata has some of the best research facilities in India and some of the most prestigious institutions for higher education at a very close proximity.
The BRC can play a crucial role within this larger frame of a comprehensive higher education program and bring credit to Srila Prabhupada’s ISKCON and the Gaudiya Vaisnava movement in general.

4) AGM – Finances

Essential to all operations is of course, the funding. In its first year of operation the BRC was given a grant of Rs. 50,000 per month by the Mayapur Vrindavan Trust. This was a huge help and guaranteed our development. This grant expired in September and from October 2010 onwards we have been relying on membership fees, donations, plus a small income from the guest house.

Participants agreed that the guest house income could and should be boosted considerably since this is currently the BRC’s only way of generating income outside of our membership program. The guest house will be advertized in time to reach the attention of international devotees visiting Mayapur for the Gaura Purnima festival.


Making members is our main source of income. We have currently three tiers

Subscriber members Rs. 15,000 per year;
Yearly Members US$501.00 p.a.;
Patron Members US$10,000.00 (one time)

New Membership level – NITYA SEVAKS

Pranava prabhu suggested a new tier of membership which we have termed “Nitya Sevaks” – continuous contributors.
The Nitya Sevaks membership is aimed at covering the monthly running costs of approximately Rs. 70,000 (US$1,555.00). It is not a huge amount for an operation like the BRC and what we need is 20 enthusiastic supporters to give regular monthly amounts as follows:
11 donors giving $1 per day – $31 per month
5 donors giving $2 per day – $62 per month
2 donors giving $5 per day – $155.00 per month
2 donors giving $10 per day – $310 per month

Pranava and Krishnabhishek prabhus immediately volunteered to become our first $1 per day Nitya Sevaks.
H. H. Bhakti Charu Swami, who is already our first Patron Member, has pledged Rs. 10,000.00 per month ($222.00) beginning January 2011.

Now we need 17 more Nitya Sevaks to sign up to keep this exciting and important project afloat.

If you would like to become a Nitya Sevak you are invited to contact BRC Director Hari-sauri dasa – hari.sauri.acbsp@pamho.net or harisauri@gmail.com or
General Manager Janakaraja dasajanakaraja.acbsp@pamho.net or iskconbrc@gmail.com

New Staff

Head Librarian Acyuta dasa

We are very happy to announce the appointment of Sriman Acyuta dasa as our new head librarian.

Acyuta prabhu has been involved from the BRC’s inception but now he has made himself available for full time work. Acyuta brings with him 28 years of devotional service. He has been engaged in research for almost 20 years in the major libraries & cultural/academic institutions of Kolkata. He has studied Library Science and all its connected subjects, in two Indian universities (IGNOU and ICFAI), and has his own personal library of over 11,000 books. He has acquired expertise in the use of computer tools and web resources connected with books & library science and his addition to the team is a very welcome plus.

Beginning January 1, 2011 he will focus on setting up our computer system, professional library software and website. Our goal is to have the website up and running by March 2011. The website address is www.brconline.co.in
We have also hired a new assistant for the library, Ashish Chakroborty.

General Manager Janakaraja dasa, chief researcher Smt. Bharati Roy, assistant Ashish Chakrobarty

Ashish is a B. Sc. and is engaged in scanning the many hundreds of books in our library at a current rate of about 400 pages per day. This is about the limit for the simple book scanner we have and our plan is to apply for a grant to upgrade to a professional semi-automated model that can do 700 pages per hour. More about that in our next newsletter.

Fire extinguishers
Another important acquisition is a dozen new fire extinguishers. With so much wood and paper around these are a necessity for any library.

That’s it for now. We offer our thanks to everyone who has supported the BRC and we invite everyone else to participate in this humble attempt to fulfill Srila Prabhupada’s desire.

Your humble servant, Hari-sauri dasa – Director BRC

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ISKCON Melbourne, AU: ANZAC Holiday Japa Retreat

Are you ready to dive deep into the nectarean ocean of the Holy Name? This autumn Bhurijana Prabhu will facilitate a four-day Japa Retreat at Hare Krishna Valley.

It will run from 6pm. Friday April the 22nd. until 3pm. Monday April the 25th. This advance notice will let you plan ahead.

If you are keen to participate, you will need to commit to attend the complete program. The japa retreat is designed for young and mature adults: don't bring your children.

Fees are $165 for adults and $125 for concession holders. To register please contact Kesava das on 0405-577-453.

The final day for registration is Friday April the 1st. (including those staying off-farm). No late registrations will be accepted.

Join us in chanting Hare Krishna and be happy.

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16 Rounds to Samadhi Magazine, LA, USA: The Three Modes of Nature: Goodness, Passion, & Ignorance

The mode of goodness, being purer than the others, is illuminating, and it frees one from all sinful reactions. Those situated in that mode become conditioned by a sense of happiness and knowledge.

The mode of passion is born of unlimited desires and longings, and because of this the embodied living entity is bound to material fruitive actions.

The mode of darkness, born of ignorance, is the delusion of all embodied living entities. The results of this mode are madness, indolence and sleep, which bind the conditioned soul.

The mode of goodness conditions one to happiness; passion conditions one to fruitive action; and ignorance, covering one’s knowledge, binds one to madness.

Sometimes the mode of goodness becomes prominent, defeating the modes of passion and ignorance. Sometimes the mode of passion defeats goodness and ignorance, and at other times ignorance defeats goodness and passion. In this way there is always competition for supremacy.

The manifestation of the mode of goodness can be experienced when all the gates of the body are illuminated by knowledge.

When there is an increase in the mode of passion the symptoms of great attachment, fruitive activity, intense endeavor, and uncontrollable desire and hankering develop.

Mode of Ignorance

When there is an increase in the mode of ignorance, darkness, inertia, madness and illusion are manifested.

When one dies in the mode of goodness, he attains to the pure higher planets of the great sages.

When one dies in the mode of passion, he takes birth among those engaged in fruitive activities; and when one dies in the mode of ignorance, he takes birth in the animal kingdom.

The result of pious action is pure and is said to be in the mode of goodness. Action done in the mode of passion results in misery, and action performed in the mode of ignorance results in foolishness.

From the mode of goodness, real knowledge develops; from the mode of passion, greed develops; and from the mode of ignorance develop foolishness, madness and illusion.

Mode of Goodness

Those situated in the mode of goodness gradually go upward to the higher planets; those in the mode of passion live on the earthly planets; and those in the abominable mode of ignorance go down to the hellish worlds.

When one properly sees that in all activities no other performer is at work than these modes of nature and he knows Me, the Supreme, who is transcendental to all these modes, he attains My spiritual nature.

When the embodied being is able to transcend these three modes associated with the material body, he can become free from birth, death, old age and their distresses and can enjoy nectar even in this life.

Arjuna inquired: By which symptoms is one known who is transcendental to these three modes? What is his behavior? And how does he transcend the modes of nature?

Krishna said: He who does not hate illumination, attachment and delusion when they are present or long for them when they disappear; who is unwavering and undisturbed through all these reactions of the material qualities, remaining neutral and transcendental, knowing that the modes alone are active; who is situated in the self and regards alike happiness and distress; who looks upon a lump of earth, a stone and a piece of gold with an equal eye; who is equal toward the desirable and the undesirable; who is steady, situated equally well in praise and blame, honor and dishonor; who treats alike both friend and enemy; and who has renounced all material activities—such a person is said to have transcended the modes of nature.

One who engages in full devotional service to the Supreme, unfailing in all circumstances, at once transcends the modes of material nature and thus comes to the level of Brahman, the spiritual level.

Know Me to be the basis of the impersonal Brahman, which is immortal, imperishable and eternal and is the constitutional position of ultimate happiness.

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Australian News: Please Volunteer to be in a play with Parividha Prabhu: Sydney

HG Parividha Prabhu (disciple of Srila Prabhupada) is going to visit Sydney next week. Here is his website link: www.parividha.com

Parividha Prabhu has dedicated his life to Krishna conscious theater and stage performance.

For the pleasure of Sri Sri Radha Gopinatha, and all of us, On Saturday, 19 of February he’s going to perform a play. He needs help from 3 male and 3 female actors. These roles do not require a lot of experience in acting. Parividha is confident that he can rehearse with a very eager soul.

He’s going to arrive in Sydney early next week, have few rehearsals and perform on Saturday night. He also wants to do drama workshop during the day on Saturday.

I think, that it’s a great opportunity for our drama enthusiasts. If you would like to observe an experienced devotee-actor in action, then joining Parividha for few days of rehearsals would be the best chance of doing it.

His play portrays the life of a devotee filled with spiritual highs and challenges. It’s a very meaningful performance full of insight into a spiritual journey and possible setbacks on the path.
Last weekend, Parividha did this play at the Melbourne temple. This is one of the feedbacks he has received:

“Your transcendental songs were full of truth, feeling & inspiration. I left feeling both happy & humbled. Humbled because of your honest & real portrayal of devotees struggle in the material world. ”

Please let me know if you’re interested in either helping him in his play (that means you’d have to attend the rehearsals), or attending the workshop on Saturday.

Thank you very much.

Your servant,

Vara-nayaka das

PS. Please inform your friends about this opportunity.

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H.H. Prahladananda Swami: Lecture – SB 4.29.74 3 Modes Dear To The Heart

SB 04.29.74 3 Modes Dear To The Heart 2010-11-18 Lecture – Srimad Bhagavatam 4.29.74 3 Modes Dear To The Heart 2010-11-18 Radhadesh 

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H.H. Prahladananda Swami: Lecture – SB 4.29.30-31 Fulfilling Material Desires

SB 04.29.30-31 Fulfilling Material Desires 1998-07-02 Lecture – Srimad Bhagavatam 4.29.30-31 Fulfilling Material Desires 1998-07-02 Radhadesh 

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16 Rounds to Samadhi Magazine, LA, USA: Sattvic Diet: On Diet & Consciousness

If one wants to understand and master the highest spiritual truths, one must have certain qualifications. I mean your average Joe six pack isn’t too likely to start chanting Om and levitating off the couch as he is drinking beer and munching on a bag of greasy potato chips. In other words in order to become a great yogi one must first have a pure body and mind as a foundation for spiritual development.

Among other things, diet plays an important role in one’s ability to understand higher spiritual truths. In eastern spiritual traditions yogis and monks revered certain herbs and fruits for their abilities to rejuvenate the body and mind. The ancient Vedic texts of India in particular go into minute detail about how to eat for optimal health, which can aid one in spiritual realization. For instance certain foods cloud one’s consciousness, while other foods clarify the mind and intelligence.

Certain foods cloud one’s consciousness, while other foods clarify the mind and intelligence. Vegetarianism is essential for becoming sensitive to more subtle realms of existence.

According to the Vedic texts complete vegetarianism is essential for becoming sensitive to more subtle realms of existence. Eating meat (including fish and eggs) dulls one’s consciousness, and because this “food” is a product of violence, one who eats it also takes on a certain amount of violent mentality. It’s hard to learn to love every living being while living off animal slaughter. And of course there is the simple fact that meat is completely unnecessary in our diet. According to the official “State of the Nation survey” conducted in India in 2006, 31% of population (that’s roughly 400 million people) are vegetarians, and because of their Hindu faith most of these people, like their parents and grandparents before them, have never eaten meat. Even with a third of the population being vegetarian, India seems to produce a whole lot of engineers and computer programmers, and smart people in general (in other words that hamburger isn’t going to help little Timmy to become the next Einstein when he grows up). Finally, what about the horrible living conditions, the terror, and the pain these poor animals go through just to satisfy our taste buds?

Foods that are aged, such as vinegar, depress the consciousness. This is also true for foods that were prepared days ago and have been sitting in the refrigerator, or foods that are starting to go bad. Mushrooms are also in this category. All of these foods create lethargy, ignorance, and depression. It’s very hard for one to have the mental clarity and motivation to strive for self realization on this type of diet.

A diet that is too spicy or salty will tend to impassion the mind. A person who eats like this will often have a lot of energy for performing many tasks, but will not be as likely to stop and think about what they are doing. Garlic and onions are also in this passionate category, although they have been said to have some healing properties. If one eats like this, the mind will be too agitated for calm collected reflection and meditation.

The ideal diet for spiritual living is fresh fruits and vegetables, grains, nuts, milk, yogurt, and sugar. All foods should be eaten fresh. Manmade chemicals or foods that have been genetically modified should be avoided. This diet will create peace and clarity in the mind and is an ideal platform for spiritual practice.

If we want to find inner fulfillment then we have to start thinking about what all the meat, fast foods, potato chips, TV dinners, and artificial chemicals are doing to our consciousness. A natural, simple diet (and lifestyle) is what is recommended in the Vedas, specifically the Ayurvedic texts, which go into detail about how diet affects different people according to different body types. The Vedic information on diet is highly scientific and unlike modern medical and nutritional science, the Vedas acknowledge subtle energies and their effects on the body. This diet has proved beneficial for me and I definitely recommend it for anyone on a spiritual path.

(sattva = goodness in Sanskrit)

Learn more about the sattva, the mode of goodness, as well as about the other two modes, the rajas, or passion, and tamas, or ignorance. Go to page 18 and look for the article titled “The Three Modes Of Nature – Goodness, Passion, and Ignorance.”

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H.H. Prahladananda Swami: Lecture – SB 4.29.16-17 Blissful Anxiety

SB 04.29.16-17 Blissful Anxiety 2010-08-26 Lecture – Srimad Bhagavatam 4.29.16-17 Blissful Anxiety 2010-08-26 Radhadesh 

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H.H. Prahladananda Swami: Lecture – SB 4.28.56 Dramatic Conception

SB 04.28.56 Dramatic Conception 2010-07-24 Lecture – Srimad Bhagavatam 4.28.56 Dramatic Conception 2010-07-24 Radhadesh 

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H.H. Prahladananda Swami: Lecture – SB 4.28.17 Still Not Krishna

SB 04.28.17 Still Not Krishna 2010-06-08 Lecture – Srimad Bhagavatam 4.28.17 Still Not Krishna 2010-06-08 Radhadesh 

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H.H. Prahladananda Swami: Lecture – SB 4.28.11 Death Impetus

SB 04.28.11 Death Impetus 2010-05-28 Lecture – Srimad Bhagavatam 4.28.11 Death Impetus 2010-05-28 Radhadesh 

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H.H. Prahladananda Swami: Lecture – SB 4.28.7 Oh Mind Never Leave Me

SB 04.28.07 Oh Mind Never Leave Me 2010-05-24 Lecture – Srimad Bhagavatam 4.28.7 Oh Mind Never Leave Me 2010-05-24 Radhadesh 

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H.H. Prahladananda Swami: Lecture – SB 4.28.06 Invincible To Time

SB 04.28.06 Invincible To Time 2010-05-22 Lecture – Srimad Bhagavatam 4.28.6 Invincible To Time 2010-05-22 Radhadesh 

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16 Rounds to Samadhi Magazine, LA, USA: Battling the Cold and Flu Season: Ayurevedic Health Tip of the Month

The Vedas teach us that we live in a world of dualities. As we experience pleasure, we also experience pain. Sometimes there is heat, and other times cold. The dualities of the winter season are felt in that along with the joys of winter (skiing, snow boarding, holiday celebrations) come the dreaded cold and flu season. When a cold or flu strikes, the body experiences an increase in mucous.

Mucous is composed of kapha (the water and earth elements) according to Ayurveda, an ancient health science from India. Ayurvedic treatments involve balancing the elements in the body. When mucous increases, we can ease our cold and flu symptoms by following a diet and taking herbs that decrease the water and earth elements, as described below.

Tip # 1: Mucous (kapha) reducing herbs
Kapha reducing herbs include ginger, cinnamon, licorice, basil, and cloves. Add 2-3 teaspoons of any combination of these herbs to one cup boiled water. Steep for ten minutes and strain before drinking. Add honey to taste. Alternatively, ingest any of the above herbs by adding them to food. Add basil to your salad for example, or cinnamon to fruit.

Tip # 2: Mucous Reducing Diet
When sick, consume less heavy foods such as dairy products, oily foods, nuts, and pastries, and eat more steamed vegetables and whole grains.

Tip # 3: Honey
Honey strengthens the immune system and white blood cells. Take one tablespoon of honey with ¼ teaspoon cinnamon powder either daily as a preventative measure, or when sick to reduce cold symptoms.

Tip # 4: Lemon Juice
Add the juice of two lemons, along with honey as a sweetener, to 2½ cups of boiled water. Take before bedtime to relieve cold symptoms.

Tip # 5: Yoga poses
a) Standing Forward Bend: This pose helps clear sinuses and brings energy to head and chest. Stand with feet hip-width apart and fold forward. Rest forearms on a chair seat for increased relaxation. Hold two to five minutes.
b) Legs Up the Wall Pose: Opens the chest area to facilitate breathing. Lie on back with legs up against the wall at a 90 degree angle. Open arms to the sides. Hold for minimum of five minutes.

Tip # 6: Spiritual Prayer/Mantra
Caring for the soul can also strengthen one’s being. Lord Krishna once appeared in the form of Lord Dhanvantari, the god of Ayurvedic medicine. Some people pray to Lord Dhanvantari for improved health. The English translation of the Dhanvantari prayer is as follows:

“We pray to Lord Dhanvantari who holds the Kalasha full of the nectar of immortality. Lord Dhanvantri removes all fears and removes all diseases. He is the well wisher and the preserver of the three worlds and is empowered to heal all souls. We bow to the Lord of Ayurveda.”

Hopefully the given health tips can help you remain strong and fit throughout this rainy winter season. Namaste.

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16 Rounds to Samadhi Magazine, LA, USA: Two Dogs An Instructive Tale

An old Cherokee chief was teaching his grandson about life…

“A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy. “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. “One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, self-doubt, and ego.

“The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.

“This same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”

The old chief simply replied, “The one you feed.”

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Subhavilasa das ACBSP, Toronto, CA: Jai Sita Ram. Keep your faith alive with Radhanath Swami and Gaura Vani.

Radhanath Swami and Gaura Vani appear in this video past the 1/2 way mark
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16 Rounds to Samadhi Magazine, LA, USA: Let’s Say You Want to Meditate: A Guide to Control The Uneasy Mind

Let’s say I want to meditate. What do I need to do?

First I must understand what “meditation” is. It is concentration of the heart upon a specific subject.
Next I must understand how the heart “concentrates.” The heart focuses naturally and spontaneously upon whatever is naturally and truly most dear to it.

The Challenge:
Here is the challenge. Let’s say I am going to practice meditation, keyword “practice.” Practice means I am going to follow a routine, a regimen, a program, an exercise, a discipline. None of those words sounds anything remotely like “natural and spontaneous.” But “meditation” is supposed to be the full concentration of the heart on what is naturally and spontaneously most dear to it. So how can I practice being natural???

That is why meditation is freaking rough.

It’s easy to change a light bulb. It’s a little hard to change a habit. But meditation means changing myself, changing my heart. That is the most challenging thing anyone could ever attempt. I am going to try to convince my heart to fully concentrate on something other than what it now naturally and spontaneously considers dear.

In the beginning my heart is spontaneously convinced that self-centered benefits are the best and most attractive things. Therefore my heart easily and fully runs toward meditation on such subjects. I don’t need to sit in any yoga posture, or count on beads how many times I am successfully practicing selfishness per day. It happens naturally, spontaneously, all the time.

The point of meditating is to put a new idea into my heart: The idea that selfless love of the root of all beings, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is the best and most attractive thing in the world. For that I am going to need a regimen, a routine, a discipline, a coach, etc.

The result of exercise is that muscles grow and strength becomes natural. The result of practicing a guitar is that the fingers move spontaneously and allow natural self expression on the frets of the instrument. The result of meditation on this concept of bhakti (pure love for Godhead) is that it will start to come more and more naturally, until it is truly spontaneous and natural.

The objective I meditate on will eventually stop requiring “practice” and will achieve the “perfection” of being a natural, normal and spontaneous part of my heart.

Srila Sanatana Goswami, a sixteenth century grand master of bhakti meditation, left me the following advice about how to practice meditation.

Step 1: Decide who is Boss (mahah samkaranam)
The foundation of practicing meditation is developing true self-strength and declaring myself to be the boss of my concentration (“mind”). I am going to decide what I concentrate on. I have to make this declaration my motto and stand by it at all times. I will decide what attracts my attention, I will not let the force of habit and conditioning drag my attention wherever it desires. I am the boss here, and I am declaring control.

Step 2: Purity is the Force (shaucha)
I am not talking about washing hands and being germ free. I am talking about my habits. Remember, I just declared that I was taking control of my concentration/ mind away from my habits and conditionings? That is something like a small hobbit walking up to a huge fire-breathing dragon sitting atop an mound of treasure in the halls of an ancient mountain and saying, “HEY YOU! I am declaring control of this treasure.”

Get ready for a fight. But how stupid would the hobbit be to feed the dragon? Or give him a machine gun? That would be dumb, very dumb.

I am telling the dragon of my habitual conditionings to vacate the premises because I am taking back control of the treasure of my mental concentration. Now comes the fight – the actual practice of meditation. Step two is not to feed and arm the dragon!
Purity is the force.

Impurity will give force to the dragon of habitual conditionings.

The practice of meditation is not something I can do for five minutes a day. Nor for two hours a day. Nor for eight hours. Nor for any amount of time except always. My whole life has to change, and become “pure” so that my practice of meditation has a fighting chance of defeating a dragon.

What do I mean, “pure”? I mean that I am going to have to stop feeding the habits that condition my heart to consider selfish things attractive and desirable. No need to glorify these habits by enumerating them here. But identifying these habits, especially as they polymorph themselves into ever more devious shapes in an effort to survive, and mustering the renewed determination to extinguish them… that is a very important part of meditation.

Purity is not instantaneous. But start now and keep working towards it.

Step 3: Shut Up (Mauna)
I am going to try to be more pure, right? So I ought to shut up about it. Shut up about myself, and especially shut up on all the topics connected to the habits I want to shut down.

The best way to shut up is to speak up. Speak up about the new idea I am planting in my heart. Speak up about things related to pure devotion to godhead. Shut up about things related to I, me and mine.

The more noise pollution I make on topics related to habits I want to avoid, the more I reinforce those habits. I want to defeat the dragon of conditioned habit who currently controls my mental concentration – so I don’t want to give him extra strength by indulging in those habits. So far so good. But now in step three it is time to realize that I should watch my mouth. “Hey dragon, I don’t want to tell you how to completely kill me, but I heard the other day some people talking about it, and well, they say that if you…” I mean, how stupid would that be? Very. So I will not only stop the habits that condition my mind from its new objective, I will also stop blabbing about topics directly and indirectly connected to those habits.

Step 4: Know What I Am Doing (mantrartha-chintana)
Now, I have (1) declared control over my powers of concentration. (2) I have stopped feeding the habits that pull that concentration out of my control. (3) I have stopped expressing affection for those habits by shutting up about them. At this point in the game I am really ready to actually do the meditation.
It is time for the mantra to meditate upon.
In my case I take the mantra saturated in the sweetest, more deeply enchanting and charming mellows of pure ecstatic and affectionate love for the Reservoirs of Bliss – Sri Sri Radha Krishna.

hare krishna hare krishna
krishna krishna hare hare
hare rama hare rama
rama rama hare hare

The advice at step 4 is that I have to “get a clue.” I can’t just be flapping my mouth, clueless to what I am doing. What is the point of this mantra??? What is it’s purpose. When meditating on a mantra I have to keep its point and purpose at the forefront of my awareness at all times.
In this particular instance, the point of this mantra is sublime. It is to please Radha Krishna with no ulterior motive, no purpose at all… except the natural joy of pleasing Godhead. To focus on this while enunciating the mantra is the most effective way to meditate upon the mantra. Each syllable of the mantra will gradually reveal different emotional expressions of desiring to be pleasing to they who the mantra name. If I focus on this I will accelerate rapidly from practice to perfection. If I just absentmindedly chant a mantra I will stall and put-put-put towards the ever-distant goal.

Step 5: Relax (avyagratva)
Speaking of “acceleration” I have crashed off the road on more than one occasion, usually with pretty severe injuries. Acceleration is not everything when it comes to meditation. If I want to make it from New York to Los Angeles (though God would only know why ), it’s not just about driving fast. It is about endurance. And if I overdo it on the speed I am going to wind up in jail or in a hospital.

So the advice is, once I am meditating with a purposeful mind, relax. The destination of enlightenment is far away. I need to come to grips with that. I am not going to get to L.A. in 30 minutes no matter how fast I drive. So it is better to be patient and measured and favor endurance over short bursts of enthusiasm.

Step 6: Cheer Up (Anirveda)
As far as I get it, step 5 and 6 are really two aspects of the same advice. In step 6, Srila Sanatana Goswami is telling me to, “Cheer up. Why be glum? Sure, it is going to be a prolonged effort to reach the goal you are trying to get to, but why be so grim and depressed about it? Be happy that you are making an effort. Be happy with every little bit of progress you make. Each bit is so valuable.”

And another thing I learned about this. I should be “enjoying the ride.” Going back to the trip from NY to LA. I could get all impatient about it and try to go faster and faster and wind up dead, or I could slow down. Why don’t I want to slow down? Because I am glum and depressed about the trip, that’s why! But now Sanatana Goswami is asking me why on Earth I am depressed about being on a trip from the misery of selfish love towards the ecstasy of selfless love? Realizing that I should “enjoy the ride” I can slow down and make each turn carefully and surely.

Enjoying the ride actually makes the ride itself become like the destination – and this is where my practice of concentrating my heart would itself start to become natural and spontaneous.

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Anuradha Kesavi dd, Dubai, UAE: Two monsters

Two monsters

I begged, borrowed and stole
that mercy caused by serving your lotus feet
Undeserving, I blissfully swam in that ocean
drinking in and savoring the taste of spiritual bliss

Carelessness. Ungratefulness.
The two ugly monsters that dwell within
Devoured the little mercy that came my way
Not a glimpse of the spiritual bliss they reveal
Those horrible monsters shadow everything

People say, "Its the thought and love that counts"
A friend said, "True love ensures its perfection that counts"
Perfection does not happen when endeavors
are tainted with those monsters of mine
Prabhupad gave us the panacea - Chant!

Lamentably this vicious cycle entangles me
What to do if my endeavor to chant
is also shadowed by these ugly monsters?
Hence my plea to you Gopinath....

Focus, concentration and sincerity.
Slowly but steadily the monsters will be slain
if your names are chanted with
Focus, concentration and sincerity,

O gopinath,
Help me chant
Help me purify myself
Help me slay these monsters
Help me my dear Gopinath....

"...another kind of distraction occurs when one is too eager to complete the fixed number of holy names even at the sacrifice of quality. One must therefore always insure that he chants his rounds sincerely. Also, one should better improve the quality of his chanting rather than try to increase his daily number of rounds for show. The name of the Lord should be always be pronounced distinctly. Only by the grace of the Lord can this be achieved. Thus one should pray to the Lord that he never falls victim to the wiles of the illusion of distraction, and that he can continue to taste the full nectar of the holy name." - Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur, Sri Harinama Cintamani

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Bharatavarsa.net: Book distribution seminar: Re: Magical slokas!


That was a very nice story sent by Bhakta Tim. It is our proper, sincere hearing and chanting that qualifies us to be a via medium for Krishna's mercy. I remember once while I was on sankirtana during my lunch break I was chanting my rounds very carefully before I would resume, someone saw me and asked if I was praying, I said I was, then the person handed me a twenty dollar bill. Another time I was having a hard day so I was praying like anything in a phone booth to a picture of the Deities in LA, Sri Sri Rukmini Dvarakadisha, when I came out the first person I approached whipped out a hundred dollar bill took the book and disappeared into the crowd.

Your humble servant, Karuna Dharini dasi

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Vraja Kishor, JP: Self-Realization in Krsna Consciousness is EASY???

Asociación Internacional para la Conciencia de...

Image by sarihuella via Flickr

I don’t like the idea that Krsna Consciousness is “easy.” Why? Because it makes me feel like a retard. “If it’s so easy, what is wrong with me?” I hope to get this off my chest now.

You say, “Vraja, I wish I had a million dollars.”

I answer, “Oh, that’s easy!”

You: “???How???”

Me: “All you have to do is x, y, z and you’ll have a million bucks.”

At this point you should be thinking, “Wait, Vraja only has like $300 in his bank account at most. So how easy could it really be to make a million?”

If Krsna Consciousness is easy to get, how much of it do you have in your “account”? Is this pessimism? I don’t think so. I think it’s factual. But…

You can say, “A pessimist is an atheist.”

That statement works only in one specific context. In another equally valid context, An optimist is also an atheist, because he or she ignores the fact that the Supreme Lord enforces the restrictions of karma and it is impossible therefore to achieve some aspirations.

A theist is a realist – neither and both optimistic and pessimistic.

This must be the conclusion any sadhu is driving at when making statements that, “A pessimist is really an atheist.” For as far as I meagerly understand the Upanishads, they say that we need both optimism and pessimism – because the absolute truth is beyond both. “Necience and science are to be cultivated side by side if one is to obtain the supreme realization of truth. For the absolute truth is beyond both.”

Having established that pessimism is as useful in self-realization as optimism, lets return to the main discussion.

“Krsna consciousness is easy. Actually, being in ignorance of Krsna is what requires effort.”

In my opinion (which is worth… whatever) this statement is correct. However, although it is correct, it is not applicable. It applies only to persons who have attained at least the seventh level of bhakti, asakti (addiction to Krsna). I am only on the fourth level of bhakti, and even that is a very optimistic assesment. Yes, Krsna consciousness does eventually become effortless, natural, and spontaneous – but at my current stage of development it most certainly is not.

“True – Maya is very difficult to overcome, but only for those who don’t turn to Krsna. Krsna can effortlessly overcome your maya.”

If this is true, where is the proof? How much maya is in your bank account? How much Krsna? Is there even one of us at the 9th, 8th, 7th, 6th, or even 5th level of Bhakti? Is anyone here on the fixed level of bhakti (nishtha, stage five) to such an extent that they tirelessly make all efforts to submerge their minds in deep and constant contemplation of Krsna? Please raise your hand. :-)

Since there is no proof that it is easy to overcome maya by turning to Krsna, I don’t find it reasonable to accept the proposal.

It is correct that Krsna is the one who removes our maya by bestowing the shakti (power) to realize pure love of Godhead. That much is true. What is “out of context” is to over-extend this truth to mean:

Krsna is the doer of our self-realization.

Krsna is not the doer of my self-realization. I am. Krsna’s shakti is the power which empowers my self-realization, but I and I alone am the doer. Later in Gita, after the 12th Chapter, I think maybe the 15th or 13th, we will hear Krsna explain this. Srila Vishvanath Chakravarti also discusses this in the opening chapter of Madhurya Kadambini. He says, “Bhakti does not come from Krsna’s mercy. Bhakti does not come from Krsna’s causeless mercy either. Bhakti only comes from Bhakti.”

The argument in that book runs as follows:

If Krsna is the one that removes maya, Why are most people in maya while a few are not? Krsna must be selecting some people to bless, and ignoring most others. This means he is partial and whimsical, not fair and just, which is unacceptable and against the scriptural definition of Godhead.

“Well, then it is Krsna’s “causeless” mercy -vwithout any thought or decision – which removes maya and bestows bhakti. In this scenario there is no partiality from Krsna.”

Vishvantha discounts this as amounting to saying that Bhakti results from a roll of the dice.

“OK, then Bhakti comes from the mercy of a Bhakta.”

At this point Vishvanath begins to agree. But still, why would a bhakta bless one person and not another. Isn’t that wrong and partial? The answer is that Bhakti only comes from the Madhyama Adhikari Bhakta. The Madhyama Adhikari gives the blessings of bhakti to those who want to deserve it, not to others, and not in quantity more or less than what they deserve to want.

So the point should now be clear: Attracting Krsna’s energy, which establishes Bhakti in my heart and dispells maya, depends upon my efforts.

“My efforts” = sadhana. Sadhana is synonymous with “bhajana.” This is why the stage of removing maya (anartha nivritti, the 4th stage of bhakti-yoga) manifests as a result of executing bhajana (the 3rd stage, bhajana-kriya). Anartha-nivritti (aka “getting out of maya”) doesn’t result from wishful thinking, or from accepting a personal savior, or anything like that. It results from our own personal efforts to engage in devotional acts (like putting our fingers on beads and chanting, etc.). It is not a mechanical thing, a robot cannot chant in sankirtana and get raelization of transcendental prema. It is whatever little heartfelt conviction (shraddha) we have in the merit of loving Krsna that inspires us to make the effort to practice devotion (bhajana-kirya), and generates the result of getting us out of maya (anartha-nivrtti) by attracting more of the same heartfelt conviction in bhakti to grow within our hearts.

The point I have beaten to a pulp is that it is up to me, not you, not guru, not Krsna. It is up to me to increase my desire to love Krsna and thus eventually become Krsna conscious.

I have not found this to be an easy task. I have been avoiding Krsna for… I guess there are not enough numbers to count how many lifetimes I have envied and avoided Godhead. Momentum is real. You can’t make a locomotive stop on a dime.

Though it is not an easy task, I am fully convinced that there is no task more worth the effort.

There is value to optimism and positivity. I don’t mean to discount it, just to present an alternative viewpoint. “Krsna is so very attractive.” “Light dispels darkness.” These are valid optimisms. You can be extremely optimistic and describe the process of self-realization as being “easy” as a result of these facts. To me, though, without these facts self-realization would be outright impossible. These optimisms make Krsna consciousness a real tangible possibility for us to achieve in this lifetime – In comparison to impossible, possible is “easy.” But I wouldn’t personally stress on how easy it is, for fear of alienating realistic people by making them feel like they must be inadequate for not being able to tangibly realize what others say is “easy.”

Of course there are quotes from our gurus which stress optimism very heavily. And there are quotes that are very grave and pessimistic. Because, as the Isa-Upanishad advises us, both optimism and pessimism must be cultivated side by side to reach that goal with is above and beyond both.

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Book Distribution News: Re: Magical slokas!


That was a very nice story sent by Bhakta Tim. It is our proper, sincere hearing and chanting that qualifies us to be a via medium for Krishna's mercy. I remember once while I was on sankirtana during my lunch break I was chanting my rounds very carefully before I would resume, someone saw me and asked if I was praying, I said I was, then the person handed me a twenty dollar bill. Another time I was having a hard day so I was praying like anything in a phone booth to a picture of the Deities in LA, Sri Sri Rukmini Dvarakadisha, when I came out the first person I approached whipped out a hundred dollar bill took the book and disappeared into the crowd.

Your humble servant, Karuna Dharini dasi

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16 Rounds to Samadhi Magazine, LA, USA: Secondary Self and a Sexy Bra: It Is An Identity Crisis

In yogic terminology, just so you know, primary characteristics are known as svarupa lakshana while the secondary characteristics are known as tatastha lakshana. Primary characteristics are the qualities that are constant. Secondary characteristics are the qualities that are transient, impermanent.

When observing ourselves, we find that there are two parts to us: primary and secondary.
Secondary part is transient. So what is it about us that is transient, impermanent, and changing? Our hair, skin, bones, organs, shape, size, likes and dislikes, taste, mind, etc. are some of the things about us that are transient. I am sure you could probably think of bunch more. All those changing characteristics indicate the secondary self.

The primary part is constant. What is it about us that is constant? That which observers the changes is the constant thing. It remains the observer throughout all phases, throughout all the changes. It observers them. That is the soul. The soul, the conscious self, observes the body limbs, the activities of the mind, the activities of the intellect, it observers everything. The observer, the soul, is the constant self, the primary self. Our eyes, and other information-acquiring tools, gather data about the world outside ourselves, but the eyes don’t read, interpret, and understand it. It is the primary self, the conscious self, the soul, who performs that function.

A good indicator about the primary nature of the primary self is the fact that any or all aspects of the secondary self could be pleased and satisfied, yet the self may not be satisfied. Without satisfying the primary self, no one becomes a satisfied person.

Problems arise when we treat the secondary self as the primary, or when we treat the primary self as the secondary! Primary self should be of the primary importance and the secondary self should be of the secondary importance.

Secondary self tends to decay – memory fades and the bodily beauty brakes down. Just try not to wash your body for a week and see what it turns into. Its inside will come out. Have you ever looked to see what is it like on the inside? No, yo have not? Search youtube for a video of autopsy if you dare. You will get to understand the meaning of the saying “Beauty is only skin deep.”

After saying a lie, you have to continue to make artificial arrangements in order to coverup the lie, to make it look like a truth, to make it fit in with the rest of the creation. This process is troublesome, disturbing, and painful.

There is a saying, “If you lie once, you will have to continue to lie.” Why? Because lies are not in sync with reality. That is a basic definition of a lie. Therefore, after saying a lie, you have to continue to make artificial arrangements in order to coverup the lie, to make it look like a truth, to make it fit in with the rest of the creation. This process is troublesome, disturbing, and painful.

Here is an example. Physical body is not beautiful and it is not the primary self. But because we artificially promote it, in our minds, to the position of the primary self, we have to cover up the fact that it is actually ugly. Thus you will find girls, when pictures are taken of them, trying to make their lips look fuller and more sexy by pressing them together and pushing them out. They will buy bras that enhance the shape of their breasts, wear clothing that will cover up the “imperfections” etc. What the heck are they doing? They are telling lies. Even though their lips are thin, their breasts and backsides flat, they are trying to lie about it and make it all look the way in reality it just doesn’t look.

You can imagine the embarrassment when the truth is exposed. What is really embarrassing is not the fact that the girl may have thin lips and flat breasts. It’s embarrassing that she’s been trying to lie the world about it.

Instead of learning to be satisfied with my real self, the truest self, I resorted to lying the world about my self, trying to make it look more muscular than it really was.

I remember when I was a teenager, a pretty girl sat next to me and placed her hand on my arm in the area of the bicep muscle. I immediately tried to make my bicep appear bigger and stronger than it really was. I was always a skinny guy and never had much going in the muscle department. Instead of learning to be satisfied with my real self, the truest self, I resorted to lying the world about my self, trying to make it look more muscular than it really was.

I had a friend, a girl who used to keep padding in her bra to make her torso appear more attractive. The scheme worked good during the winter months. But during the summer months, in Mediterranean where we lived and where everyone spends lots of time on the beach, she had to continuously turn down people’s invitations to join them in the summer fun.

Often so-called spiritualists like to lie, too. They like to present themselves as more advanced, enlightened, and “pure” than they really are. But all it takes for the circus to be exposed is just one adequate situation.

Often so-called spiritualists like to lie, too. They like to present themselves as more advanced, enlightened, and “pure” than they really are. But all it takes for the circus to be exposed is just one adequate situation.

Lying is a stressful process. When you lie once, you need to continue to lie. Thus the illusory structure continues to grow more and more complex which makes its maintenance very difficult. It is so much easier to be honest and transparent. However, when we artificially promote the secondary self to the primary position, we are in the situation where we need to accept the fact that the secondary self is not pretty. Even if it externally appears pretty, that’s only for a short period of time. A youthful body that used to make heads turn, as it ages, moves around unnoticed and neglected. That is painful. The whole problem can be easily solved if the person keeps the secondary self secondary and the primary self primary. The secondary self is transient. One day it is pretty while another day it is ugly. The primary self is always beautiful. After all, most of us want to be accepted for what we are. So what are we? We are not black, white, or yellow. We are not men or women. We are not heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual. We are not tall or short, fat or thin, rich or poor. All those things are peripheral, transient, they are the secondary self. We are, in the deepest and truest sense, the conscious self, the spirit soul dwelling in the body, the body that is the secondary self, built around the primary self.

Personally, if someone values me for my bodily characteristics, I get very disappointed with that individual. Such a fellow can never be a serious and close friend to me.

Unfortunately we are living in a society where secondary self is artificially promoted to the position of the primary self and therefore it is given primary attention. This insane society is directly rewarding people for their secondary but attractive characteristics and is indirectly punishing them when their secondary characteristics are not attractive any more. Thus all the girls want to be tall, skinny, busty, etc., while all the guys want to be muscular, athletic looking. I just remembered a girl’s disappointment when a pretty latino guy took off his straw hat to accidentally reveal his bald head. Her remark was, after he left, “too bad.”

We should not allow the society to impose its artificial values on us. If our friends treat and value us on the basis of the secondary self, then we should know for certain that they are not our friends. Such friends are best to be given up. We’d be better off making new friends, hanging out with people who love us for what we are, who love us on the basis of the primary self. We clearly need a new culture, a new society based on our intrinsic values, based on the value system that’s build on the primary, rather than the secondary self.

Our eyes, and other information-acquiring tools, gather data about the world outside ourselves, but the eyes don’t read, interpret, and understand it. It is the primary self, the conscious self, the soul, who performs that function.

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Atma Yoga, Brisbane, AU: Kirtan with Dave Stringer

On Thursday the 3rd of March at 7pm Dave Stringer will be performing a wonderful night of kirtan at Atma Yoga.

“Stringer’s sound marries the transcendent mysticism of traditional Indian instruments with the exuberant, groove-oriented sensibility of American gospel, and he is regarded as one of the most gifted singers in the genre. Stringer, who is also an accomplished composer and multi-instrumentalist, has a special ability to bring people together and inspire them to sing. His work intends to create a modern and participatory theatrical experience out of the ancient traditions of kirtan and yoga, open to a multiplicity of interpretations, and accessible to all.”

Not to be missed!!!

Visit Atma Yoga, 1st floor, 99 Elizabeth Street Brisbane City or call Prema on 0450738971 to get your tickets.

$25 pre-paid or $30 on the door.

Visit davestringer.com for CD’s and more info about Dave.

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16 Rounds to Samadhi Magazine, LA, USA: Who Ate the Third Loaf of Bread?

I heard the following story from an internet friend. He posted it on his youtube channel, “AFox911.” I found it to be quite instructive and therefore wanted to share it with all of you. I have changed a few names and places, but the rest is pretty much as I heard it from this friend of mine. The story seems to be originating in Islamic tradition.

Once upon a time a prophet, who was on a pilgrimage, accompanied by fellow pilgrims, gave some money to one of his companions and told him to go to get some food for everyone. The man took the money and went to a close by town. Since he was given rather a small amount of money, all he was able to buy were three loaves of bread. He was feeling very hungry and decided to eat one loaf of bread himself.

When he rejoined the group, he handed the bread over to the prophet, who asked him, “Who ate the third loaf of bread?!!” The man nervously said that there were only two loaves of bread. The prophet did not say anything further and they continued on with their journey.

Later on, the companions succeeded in hunting down a deer. They killed the deer, cooked it, and were eating it when the prophet stood up, raised his hands, and asked God to bring the deer back to life. In less than a second, the deer came back to life, jumped up, and ran away. All the pilgrims were amazed that the deer who they just killed, cooked, and were eating from its flesh, all of a sudden came back to life. At this point the prophet looked at the man who had gone after the bread and said, “I am asking you by the One who brought this deer back to life, who ate the third loaf of bread?” The man retorted that there were only two loaves of bread. The prophet again did not say anything and the group continued on with their journey.

As they were walking, they came across a river that was flooded up. The prophet asked everyone to hold his hand. So everyone joined hands with him and thus they were able to walk on water across the over-flooded river. When they reached the other side, people marveled at the miracle, “How could this be?! We just walked on water!” At that time the prophet again turned to the man who had been sent to buy bread and said, “I am asking you by the One who made us able to cross the river by walking on water, who ate the third loaf of bread?” The man retorted, “There were only two loaves.” The prophet did not say anything further and they continued the journey.

Next they came to a desert where the prophet took three big piles of sand and asked God to turn it into gold. As the man who had been asked to buy bread was watching it, the piles of sand became piles of gold. The prophet then said, “One pile is for me. One pile is for you. The third pile is for the one who ate the third loaf of bread!” At this, the man said, “I was the one who ate the third loaf of bread.” The prophet then told him, “Than all three piles of gold are for you, but do not accompany us anymore.”

The man did not care to have lost the company of the prophet and other pilgrims. He was so happy that he sat down in front of his new fortune and started to day-dream what he will do with all the gold. He was smiling all alone, looking at his wealth when suddenly three thieves came upon the scene. They saw this man sitting alone with a huge treasure of gold. The first thing they did was kill him. They then divided the gold. Each one of them took one of the piles of gold. Then one of the thieves was sent to go get some food so they could eat and then plan out their future.

One of the thieves went to a nearby town to buy food. He didn’t take one of the loaves of bread for himself like the other guy. Instead he decided to poison the food so that when he goes back, the other two thieves would eat the food and die, thus leaving him with all of the gold. So he poisoned the food and went back to rejoin the thieves.

His friends, who he left behind, were also plotting against him, thinking how to eliminate him in order to keep all the gold to themselves. So when he came back, they killed him and sat down to enjoy their meal. They ate the poisoned food and few minutes later they both died.

When the prophet came back with his companions, he saw their former companion lying dead next to the three thieves and the three piles of gold. The prophet pointed to the scene and said, “This is the life of this world and this is what it will do to those who seek after it.”


Laurie Dasi:
This world that we live in does have an overwhelming majority of apathy, which can make people go down a road of selfish survival of greed.

Most people will do extremely malicious wrong doings onto others with ignoble intentions descending into the inferior regions.

Although, at the same time there is a pilgrimage of people together, by supporting one another to get by within a community based on honesty and integrity. Perhaps because they acknowledge that it is better to form a community of trust and kindness, based on love, with faith? Or, perhaps they are joined by fear, following a prophet, without a democratic group say?

Their leader is a prophet, as in all knowing of the future. So, he must have known the outcome of the mischievous man, by sending him on his way alone, with riches of gold.

I find it extending below the surface that the prophet gave the man three chances to come clean of the truth with knowing such a tragic ending would occur, within the adverse man that held a black heart within his soul, along with the three thieves, all too end up dead with nothing to gain, by trying to gain everything.

I believe it all occurs to present itself too our opportunity of deciphering pure meaning within our choice between right from wrong, along with our alternative karma?

“As long as we are in this material world, happiness and distress will come and go. We should not be disturbed by them. Our real business is trying for self-realization. That must go on; it must not stop. Self Realization is the goal of human life “. ~ His Divine Grace, A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Thank you, Mahat Tattva Dasa for taking time to analyze true meaning within ourselves along within our surroundings.

Humble obeisances.

Karnamrita Dasa:
Certainly death is the fate for all of those who are embodied. The blessed, who understand spiritual truth, realize that for the soul there is no death. Only the body appears to die. Those who gain spiritual treasure through loving service to God, return to the place of no-return, or the spiritual world of light, service and love.

Donna Fenton:
This story seems to be speaking about the gunas of nature and how by living within that nature and denying or ignoring the One that transcends this way of being can kill any chance you have of transcending death.

Like you said, three is the key in this story and it is filled with examples of three. You have the Prophet, the pilgrims and the man. You have the deer, the flooded river and the desert. You have the three thieves and the three piles of gold. You also have the three situations, the deer coming back to life, the flooded river and the manifestation of three piles of gold. Respectively, within the groups of three, the examples seem to indicate the three gunas as Sattva, Raja and Tama, in that order. Within the gunas is how all humans live within a mixture of them all, never able to break out and transcend them and acquire true liberation.

The Prophet, which is a symbol for Sattva or intelligence, led the pilgrims and the man to a situation where a deer (also Sattva) was killed. By the power of the One, which transcends all gunas, the deer was brought back to life. When the man was faced with the choice of being under the power of the One and telling the truth about what happened to the third loaf of bread, he denied it.
The Prophet then took them to a situation of a flooded, raging river which tore down a bridge. This is a symbol for Raja, which is active, passion, an energy which creates an imbalance. By the power of the One, all three were able to walk on water and cross over that raging river. Again, when faced with the chance of being under the power of the One and admitting to eating the loaf of bread (which is a symbol of nourishment of the Soul), he again denied it.

Then the Prophet took them to a desert, where nothing happens, where it is dry and desolate, with very little life and no water, nothing at all for sustenance. This is a symbol for Tama. But, it is here where by the power and grace of the One that three piles of gold manifest. This gold is a symbol for spiritual wealth, but to the man it only represents a means to attain pleasure.

The man, when faced with the prospect of obtaining this, then admits that he is the one who devoured the loaf of bread. Once this fact is revealed, the man is left with all three piles of gold, but he has lost his pilgrimage. The sad thing is, he didn’t care. He was just content to sit in the desert and idle away his time in daydreams of obtaining pleasure. This is the lowest state you can be in and represents Tama Guna.

Within this state he was oblivious and three thieves came upon him and killed him. To me, this symbolizes all over again what will happen when you live so caught up in the “way of the world and coveting the way of the world”, i.e. living in the three Gunas and denying the One that transcends this state of being. These three are thieves of anything spiritual and the result is death all around. You die by coveting the material way of being within the three Gunas and by being oblivious and ultimately by partaking of “poisoned food”.

Thank you for this story. It was a great wakeup call to me to look even deeper into myself.

P.S. The man also had the chance to voluntarily admit to devouring the loaf of bread, which would have caused suffering of some kind. But, it would have only been discipline from which he would have learned something so that he could transcend the pull of nature. But, he chose in every single situation to deny truly facing himself and in the end met a fate much more painful and will cause needless suffering than if he only willingly and honestly exposed himself.

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ISKCON Toronto, Canada: Appearance Day of Advaita Acharya

Thursday, February 10th, marks the appearance anniversary of Advaita Acharya, one of the foremost teachers of bhakti in the Hare Krishna tradition. On this day we fast till noon in his honour. In honour of this occasion, HH Bhaktimarga Swami will be holding a small program at the Temple at 12pm.

Advaita Acharya appeared some sixty years before Lord Chaitanya’s own advent, over 500 years ago. It was Advaita Acharya who asked Lord Chaitanya to descend. Before Lord Chaitanya’s advent, Advaitacharya had already begun chanting Krishna’s names in the streets with devotees and discussing scriptures on devotional service to Krishna. Advaita Acharya’s name indicates that He is nondifferent (advaita) from Lord Hari (Krishna), and He is called acharya (spiritual master) because He taught bhakti. 
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ISKCON Toronto, Canada: "Conquering Inner Space" - A Mind-Opening Seminar by Rohini Priya das

A special seminar, conducted by Rohini Priya das, will be held on the evening of Tuesday, February 15th, 2011 at the Toronto Hare Krishna temple. Rohini Priya das graduated as a doctor of Medicine from Mumbai university and decided to dedicate his life to the practice of sharing bhakti-yoga.

For the last 15 years he has not only been practicing Krishna consciousness but has been actively distributing the message of the Bhagavad-gita to thousands of engineering , medical students and other professionals all over India. He is currently serving as the Vice President at ISKCON Chowpatty in Mumbai.

The seminar will be focused on "Conquering Inner Space" and will be focused on, among other things:
  • Taking a closer look at the world around us.
  • Three life-defining questions
  • 10 key lessons
The seminar is free to attend, but RSVPs are requested. Please click here to officially register for the seminar.

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16 Rounds to Samadhi Magazine, LA, USA: The Quest for Enlightenment: Pretentiousness-Free Search

Many New Age gurus today will have you pay an exorbitant fee for a spiritual retreat. They give some hugs and blessing, and they tell you that you will become enlightened simply by their own mystic glance.

Real spiritual knowledge is not like that. It is a practical category of knowledge like any other which requires discipline and study. Spiritual knowledge, like all knowledge, gives you an advantageous position in life when achieved. It teaches you how to play by the rules of life so that you may achieve happiness and success.


The scientific spiritual path outlined in the ancient yoga texts is without a doubt in a league of its own. It is the oldest and most comprehensive explanation of the science of spirituality. These ancient texts define the purpose of spiritual knowledge, which is to discover the param-gati – the most important and paramount destination that a human being can attain in life. This is primarily done through developing a vision that can distinguish between the universal principles of life and the illusion of separateness created by mind and senses contaminated with desire, a feature of ego-centricity.

The spiritual vision that Vedic knowledge offers us is the ability to recognize essential universal needs. In addition, it teaches us how we can develop the strength to cut out the artificial needs that we impose on ourselves as well as other people, places, and things. When we are able to develop this spiritual vision, as well as the strength of detachment from inessentials, the fog of illusion clears up and we are able to steadily progress on the path to life’s ultimate goal.

The vision of accomplished yogis is that they are able to perceive absolute universal principles at work. They turn a blind eye to insignificant relative truths that lie in the wake of that greater vision. On the other hand, a spiritually blind person ignores the absolute universal principles and can see only relative truths as significant and important in relationship to their own personal sense gratification.

For example, a materialistic man sees a crowd of women and out of lust his mind is engrossed in the different bodily features that comprise each one. In that ego-centric consciousness he thinks of himself as the sole enjoyer of each potentially enjoyed or rejected woman. In this state of mind he thinks, ”This one is beautiful and this one is ugly.” In this way, he becomes involved in a perception of duality regarding the energies within this universe as separated existences with no single underlying principle. This is all due to placing himself in the center as the enjoyer of the world, which in turn blocks him from seeing the universal principle energies at work.

Whether we like the stark reality that we can drink water and pee it out doesn’t matter at all. The laws of the universe go on, without caring for our personal likes or dislikes of their occurrence.

On the other hand, a yogi with a purified mind, looking at the same crowd of women, simply sees one single undivided universal feminine principle, though still seeing them all as separate individual entities. Thus, considering the physical differences of each as insignificant, he chooses to relate to them all as he would relate to his own mother. Knowing the origin of his own physical body, he respects them all as manifestations of undivided universal mother. He is simply witnessing the agents of a superior, creative intelligence of life within the universe. This powerful spiritual vision is due to him being able to recognize a much greater intelligent operator than he himself alone. Thus, he accepts his identity as a just another player in the grander scheme of things.


One year I was attending the Burning Man Festival in the Nevada desert. The location of the Burning Man festival is on an old dried-up lake bed, so during the day was very hot and people were very thirsty. One girl passing by the free-water booth said, “Hey, water! I like water.” It was at that very moment that I started to realize something profound in this regard. I thought, “How peculiar the human mind is! Whether we like water or not our body needs it to exist. So, why do we live and behave like we have a preference in the matter. ” This boggled my mind for some time, and then I started to understand the reason for this.

There is a Sanskrit analogy known as akasa-pushpa, or “sky flowers”. Sky flowers don’t exist. They exist in your mind only, because flowers cannot grow in the sky in real life.

Just being alive, we are all forced to make very important decisions in our life, and time is fervently ticking away. The laws of nature are not going to stop and wait for us, ask us what we like, and see if we are comfortable.

Similarly, whether we like the stark reality that we can drink water and pee it out doesn’t matter at all. The laws of the universe go on, without caring for our personal likes or dislikes of their occurrence.

Our mental preferences cannot change the facts of life. So, instead of seeing the laws of nature that make up the living universe as forces binding us and forcing us to act in specific ways, we see ourselves as the enjoyers of the various energies of nature itself. This is what we call a total sky-flower scenario!

Yeah, “I like water, I like this Burning Man event, I like this boy over here, I like this beer, and I also like going to the toilet frequently”. We are all implicated in the laws of material nature, but we are acting like we have complete freedom from them at the same time. Sky-flowers!

This is a serious problem, because in this contaminated consciousness we cannot see things for what they truly are. We see them as only what we want them to be for our own false sense of personal enjoyment. This is the essence of self-delusion.

The solution to this problem is for us to find out how to properly harmonize with the energies we see around us, by not seeing ourself as the primary enjoyer of those energies, but rather by seeing them what they truly are- various aspects emanating from one divine source.


So just being alive, we are all forced to make very important decisions in our life, and time is fervently ticking

away. The laws of nature are not going to stop and wait for us, ask us what we like, and see if we are comfortable. Having a physical body means that you have to eat, sleep, mate, and defend, and the pressure is on. You have to make decisions regarding the fulfillment of those desires. We all want a happy, secure, and

fulfilling existence. This is what everyone is searching for- even people who attempt to kill themselves are

actually in some way or another attempting to improve their condition and quality of personal existence.

We have to decide our future and our decisions need to be made now. You can wander around aimlessly in this life, but if you’re intelligent you will try to formulate an expert plan, decide the best future for yourself, and take matters into your own hands. But first you have to know what is really in your ultimate best interest! You have to know what the param-gati is- the highest destination in life. For this you need to embark on a quest, and you certainly need guidance. That is what Vedic knowledge is all about. It tells you how to play by the rules of this game called life and how to be successful at it.


When we come to a stop light at an intersection, we may think “Damn stop light, it’s inhibiting my freedom right now.” But, deep down we know that the stop light is actually increasing our freedom by the practical application of something called “order”. If there were no stop light, you would drive though and die and you could say good bye to your personal freedom all together.

Similarly, a bona fide spiritual path will give you many rules and guidelines to live by, and that is the proof that it is real knowledge meant to eliminate suffering. The mother says, “Don’t stick your hand in the fire,” and she says, “Use it to heat the pot like this.” The purpose of all knowledge is to eliminate suffering. So, spiritual knowledge is simply advanced knowledge of life. It helps us eliminate suffering by practical application of how to behave and carry-out your bodily and mental activities in day-to-day life.


So, to traverse the scientific path of Vedic knowledge is simple. When you find a genuine teacher of Vedic knowledge, not someone who simply has a long white beard and can make ash appear in his hand and throws it in your face as a blessing or some peaceful person who gives you a hug to make it all better, but a real genuine guru recognized by a true Vedic lineage, then what is going to happen?

Simple. That genuine spiritual teacher will give you rules by which to live your life, because spiritual knowledge is useful and practical.

And what will be the result?

By following those rules you will become purified and be able to see yourself as a part of the Absolute Truth. You will no longer see yourself as the central enjoyer of the energies around you, but as a servant of the Absolute Truth. And when one is finally able to arrive at life’s most paramount destination, one will not be looking down surveying the world as a prospective enjoyer, but rather with great awe and reverence for all life and all things which emanate from that Supreme Truth, in a humble mood ready to render loving service to all.

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16 Rounds to Samadhi Magazine, LA, USA: Have a Blast, O Tiger Among Men!

It was suggested by a friend of mine that I comment here on the nuclear blasts detonated years ago, amidst considerable publicity, by India and her arch-rival Pakistan. I’m not much inclined to do it.

For me it’s boring. I’m getting tired of the material world. Okay – two countries are now better equipped to blow each other up, and maybe they will. That means death, and lots of it.

But what do you expect? That’s the material world: everyone has to die.

Taking a materialistic point of view: Life is nothing but chemicals racing around. So even if the entire human race gets ended early, so what? It means nothing.

And taking a spiritual point of view: The real self, the soul, is eternal. It is never born and never dies. It can never be killed, even by the most powerful weapon. The body may be destroyed, but the spark of consciousness within it, never. That spiritual spark moves onward from one body to the next, cycling and recycling from one lifetime to another, untouched by death.

Well, almost untouched. As long as we identify with the material body, confounding the body with the self, we are shafted by the miseries that come upon the body, like birth, death, disease, and old age. But as soon as we distance ourselves from the body, knowing that we are not the bodily machine but a spiritual spark of Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, we become free from all material burdens.

Why then should we waste our time getting worked up about nukes? We’ve got better things to do. Human life is meant for spiritual realization. So better to get on with it, and on with it seriously.

But will people do that? A few. The rest prefer to live like cats and dogs, busy busy busy in eating, sleeping, fighting, and sex.

Hence the wild popularity of the new drug Viagra, every old man’s dream, designed to give power to the impotent, renewed vitality to old male organs, new hope for super sex well into your decrepitude.

In Bhagavad-gita we find the word purusa-vyaghra (yes, pronounced nearly the same way) — “O tiger among men!” Indeed. Take this pill, old man, and become a tiger, a chemically recharged tiger, senses roaring. Become a fool, stalking once again the jungle of materialistic existence, pouncing upon illusory happiness, slavering over tired meat, sinking your fangs into stupidity. Indeed, show your stripes.

And forget about spiritual realization. Just live for nothing, till death nukes you. Again and again and again.

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H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

Farewell Bhadra Priya!

Montreal, Quebec

Shelly Cook became a nun in the latter part of '72 or early '73 in the Krishna Consciousness movement. She joined the ashram, a rented Victoria home on 187 Gerrard Street, in what was known as the Cabbagetown section of Toronto. There on the second floor resided the women that she befriended while the men occupied the 3rd or top floor. Shelly became initiated as Bhadra Priya by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada in late September of '73 when all but five to six people stayed back from the usual crammed quarters of the ashram.

Our thirty-five, or so, residents had left for "sankirtan", street chanting and distributing magazines and our home-made-family-business incense sticks. Shelly (or after referred to as Cheryl) and I stayed back for the ceremony, a fire sacrifice, as we called it then. My name was John and I became Bhaktimarga. Her name, Bhadra Priya, stayed with her for the time she was living with us in Toronto and during her stay in the ashram near Wheeling, West Virginia.

She was always dutiful, loyal and got along with all of us in the ashram. She first came as a genuine spiritual seeker and when she found Krishna she got hooked. I remember she was the ashram's photographer. She loved to take pictures of the deities of Krishna. A friend described her as "simple, solid and positive."

What is unfortunate is that she had to leave us. She was struggling with cancer for the last three years and was finally called to leave for a more painless life. She will be missed by many of us.

Bhadra Priya was born on Nov. 9th in 1946. She did leave ashram life for a time and worked with the Toronto Transit System as a driver on one of the city's main routes for over twenty years. She put her heart into what she did. She was an avid spiritual reader. The last days spent were in Alachua, Florida with godsisters and friends. For the last hours people were chanting around her. It happened the way she wanted.

And for me, I always, always admired her strong sense of sincerity. She really was an inspiration. Hare Krishna!

4 KM

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H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Monday, February 7th, 2011

Slush and a Fresh Cab Driver

Montreal, Quebec

Yves Prescott is a hotbed of information about native culture, being part Mohawk. We've been friends for years, ever since shortly after I became a monk in the 70's. Recently he's become a wealth of info about African history, a result of currently working in an African art gallery. But today we bounced to the history of an earlier Montreal in the area just east of Centre-Ville, where the Poles and Anglophones had settled. We trudged through streets of slush, primarily Ste. Catherine's admiring an architecture of yesteryear. The facades and turrets of certain edifices reflect a French influence. It's nice to see the style of past tastes. It certainly puts modern attempts to shame.

Yves and I had to detour numerous times the newly formed ponds of slush at street junctures. Never is there a dull moment in the matter of trekking. It takes expertize to keep dry feet in such conditions.

Our dry-foot walk culminated with a chanting session at Pie IX Boulevard temple, then a talk I conducted from the Gita. As we completed a well participated discussion, a woman came to me. I won't mention her name as she would appreciate the privacy. She told me she enjoyed her recent trip to India except for near the end. She had a not-so-nice experience with a cab driver.

Because of television, movie and internet portrayal of western women as loose, men of the east often misunderstand. This rather tall and powerful man stood outside her door of the cab as she descended the vehicle. He expressed to her demanding more than just the cab fare. The woman who is well groomed and has 20 years of martial arts training make a plea to Krishna for help. With her hand she gave him an ever-so-light push (as she described it) and this sent him landing several metres away. He was flat on the ground. She was startled, so was he and several witnesses as he struggled to his feet.

"Where did all that power come from?" people wondered.

What was most amazing about the narrative was just a short true tale about self-defense but the victim's humble spirit behind her telling.

"Did I do the right thing?" she asked.

"You sure did, but in the future do travel with a companion. There's protection and you can then share talks and experiences together."

3 KM

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1966 February 9:
"Today morning I met Manager of 33 Riverside Drive New York for occupying apartment No 307 on rent as follows:
Rent to Commence 2/15/66 $70, Security $70, Total $140
Bus fare .30 and rent above
Total $140.30"
Prabhupada Journal :: 1966

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1969 February 9: "On hearing from you, I shall immediately start for London. When I go there I am sure I shall find out a suitable temple-house. Please let me know your decision so that I may prepare for my London Yatra."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1969

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1969 February 9: "I shall be very happy to know what is happening to the second issue of our French edition Back To Godhead. I was very pleased with the first issue, and I hope the new issue will be ready very soon. Please inform me what is the problem in this important matter."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1969

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1969 February 9: "So far I am not displeased with any of my disciples. Sometimes the sons create disturbances, and the father has to tolerate. But it is up to the sons to obey the father and keep the relationship natural."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1969

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1969 February 9: "Regarding Back To Godhead, the advertisements which you are now getting, especially the hippie advertisements, are not very good. Therefore, I am thinking of avoiding these advertisements. We shall try to find out the money by some other means."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1969

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1969 February 9: "We wish to publish only purely Krishna Consciousness articles up to 48 pages per month. Purely Krishna Consciousness means Isopanisad, and similarly all the Upanisads, and Vedanta Sutra. Articles like Dr. Spock, the Beach Boys, or nonsense book reviews should be completely avoided."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1969

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1969 February 9: "If you recommend it, I shall initiate him. Of course, the best thing will be to initiate husband and wife together. I have no objection to initiate him alone, but will he be able to thereby follow the rules and regulations?"
Prabhupada Letters :: 1969

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1971 February 9: "I hope that everything is going on well with the production of Bhagavad-gita. Please immediately make the following addition to Chapter Nine in the purport of the 34th verse. This evidence is given to show that there is no distinction between Krishna's body and Himself since commentators such as Dr. Radhakrishnan make such distinction."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1971

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Bharatavarsa.net: Bhakti Vikasa Swami: Do not let your mind be disturbed

Do not let your mind be disturbed by so many things. Our movement is for chanting Hare Krishna. One can be happy under any condition. Samah duhkha-sukham dhiram. Krishna Consciousness does not depend on any external arrangement. You should not go outside of the shelter of this ISKCON. Just try to be happy by chanting Hare Krishna and following the regulative principles.

>>> Ref. VedaBase => Letter to: Krishnanga — Mayapur 15 February, 1976

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H.H. Sivarama Swami: To the devotees living beyond Krsna Valley and Budapest city I say

“I think of you more than I think of Radha-Syama”

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Kurma dasa, AU: Off to Rathayatra


What is Rathayatra? Where is Rathayatra?

Good questions. Ratha is sanskrit for cart or chariot. Yatra means festival.

The Rathayatra festival is a huge event where massive hand-crafted chariots are pulled by devotees through the streets of large cities. The celebrated Deities of Jagannatha, Baladeva and Subhadra are brought from the temple, placed on the chariots and brought out for all to see.

This year, the famous Rathayatra Festival, celebrated in India for thousands of years in the seaside town of Puri in Orissa, will take place at the St Kilda Festival in Melbourne this coming Sunday 13 February, commencing at 11.00am.

I will be there, and conducting two free cookery demonstrations, 3.00-4.30pm, and 6.00-7.30pm, and signing copies of my cookbooks.

See you there, Catani Gardens, by the St Kilda foreshore. The festival commences at 10.00 am and there will loads of Hare Krishna food to enjoy, as well as music, and many other cultural events.

The Rathayatra Parade commences at the corner of Jackson Street and Fitzroy Street at 11.00am sharp. Come and pull the Chariots!!

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ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Today's Darsana

The distinct Lotus feet of Gaurangadeva really 'stand out' today. Those feet are our only hope and shelter; the unsinkable boat that will carry us safely through the turmoil and storms of our existence in the raging waves of Kali Yuga.
Let us cruise along today's darsana with that most munificent Lord Caitanya; He will navigate us towards our ultimate port, without a doubt, if we would only surrender the steering wheel of our lives in His expert hands.

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H.H. Prahladananda Swami: Lecture – SB 4.27.13 Not Just On Our To-Do List

SB 04.27.13 Not Just On Our To-Do List 2010-04-08 Lecture – Srimad Bhagavatam 4.27.13 Not Just On Our To-Do List 2010-04-08 Radhadesh 

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H.H. Prahladananda Swami: Lecture – SB 4.27.12 Not Frankenstein Future

SB 04.27.12 Not Frankenstein Future 2010-04-07 Lecture – Srimad Bhagavatam 4.27.12 Not Frankenstein Future 2010-04-07 

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H.H. Prahladananda Swami: Lecture – SB 4.27.11 Sophisticated Blood Suckers

SB 04.27.11 Sophisticated Blood Suckers 2010-04-06 Lecture – Srimad Bhagavatam 4.27.11 Sophisticated Blood Suckers 2010-04-06 Radhadesh (Health) 

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ISKCON News.com: Michael Cremo - Forbidden Archeologist


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H.H. Bhakticharu Swami: Srimad Bhagavad Gita As It Is Chapter 1-6 Summary By His Holiness Bhakti Caru Swami

Transcription : Bhaktin Ramola Editing : Her Grace Hemavati Radhika Dasi Chapter 1: Observing the Armies Srimad Bhagavad Gita comprises the 25th to the 42nd chapters of the Bhishma Parva of the Mahabharata. Sage Vaisampayana narrated to Janamejaya the conversation between Dhrtarastra and Sanjaya about the battle of Kurukshetra. Due to the mercy of Vyasadeva, [...] 

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ISKCON News.com: Krishna.com


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Rupa Madhurya das, TX, USA: Lecture - Bir Krishna Goswami - Talking with TKG Academy Students

Bir Krishna Goswami talking with TKG Academy Students at our house (on my birthday :-) ).  The students range from 1st grade up to 8th grade.  Topics include reincarnation, how he came to Krishna consciousness, alternate universes, and more.

Dallas, TX

Download: 2011-01-27 - Bir Krishna Goswami - Talking with TKG Students.mp3
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Japa Group: If The Cornerstone Is Strong

Chanting the Hare Krsna mantra affects all the different aspects of our spiritual life.

When we chant with concentration, we are able to hear the Holy names - in turn we are also able to hear the Lord's pastimes during class with concentration and we can focus on the Lord's transcendental vibration in the kirtan. During our service we will chant the Holy names in our minds or out aloud and also be able to remember the Lord.

Chanting Japa is the cornerstone of our sadhana.....from this cornerstone, everything rests. If the cornerstone is strong....then the rest will be strong.
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ISKCON Toronto, Canada: Join Us for an Inspiring and Dramatic Sunday Feast This Weekend!

We all love our Sunday Feasts. The chanting, drumming, dancing and feasting are all mainstays of our weekly program and provide a great way to inspire ourselves for the week ahead.

Every once in a while, we have special Sunday Feasts that don't necessarily correlate to any festivals or special events. This will be one of those Sundays! The Toronto Hare Krishna Centre is happy to present an inspiring and dramatic Sunday Feast this weekend.

The program will feature a class by our special visiting guest, Rohini Priya das who will surely leave everyone inspired and charged with bhakti. Following the class, our very own Bhaktimarga Swami will take over and will present a series of small dramas that will delight the crowd with contemporary takes on spirituality! The schedule for Sunday will be as follows:

6:00pm to 6:30pm - Kirtan (Arati)
6:30pm to 6:40pm - Welcome & Announcements
6:40pm to 7:20pm - Class by HG Rohini Priya das
7:20pm to 8:00pm - A Series of Dramas Presented by Bhaktimarga Swami
8:00pm to 8:30pm - Kirtan (Arati)
8:30pm - Free Vegetarian Feast (Prasadam)

We hope to see you and your family this Sunday!
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ISKCON Toronto, Canada: Rohini Priya das Will Be Visiting Toronto's Hare Krishna Community!

We are excited to announce that HG Rohini Priya das will once again be visiting our Toronto Hare Krishna community. Rohini Priya das hails from the famous Sri Sri Radha Gopinatha temple in Chowpatty, Mumbai, India.

Rohini Priya das graduated as a doctor of Medicine from Mumbai university and decided to dedicate his life to the practice of sharing bhakti-yoga. For the last 15 years he has not only been practicing Krishna consciousness but has been actively distributing the message of the Bhagavad-gita to thousands of engineering , medical students and other professionals all over India. He is currently serving as the Vice President at ISKCON Chowpatty in Mumbai.

Admist home programs, festivals at our various GTA temples and more, Rohini Priya das will also be conducting a seminar on Tuesday, February 15th, 2011 from 7pm to 9pm on the topic of "Conquering Inner Space". More information will be coming soon, so stay tuned. Rohini Priya prabhu's schedule will be as follows:

Friday, February 11, 2011 - Home Program
Saturday, February 12, 2011 - Home Program
Sunday, February 13, 2011 - Sunday Programs at ISKCON Scarborough and Toronto
Tuesday, February 15, 2011 - Seminar: "How to Conquer Inner Space" @ ISKCON Toronto
Wednesday, February 16, 2011 - Nityananda's Appearance Day

For more information about Rohini Priya prabhu's visit to Toronto, please feel free to email Anand prabhu.

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Madhava Ghosh dasa, New Vrndavan, USA: “The Progress of the Soul” by Thomas McGrath

Where once I loved my flesh,
That social fellow,
Now I want security of bone
And cherish the silence of my skeleton.

Where once I walked the world
Hunting the devil,
Now I find the darkness and the void
Within my side.

First to be good, then to be happy I
Worked and prayed.
Before the midnight, like the foul fiend,
I killed my dear friend.

Hope unto hope, dream beyond monstrous dream
I sought the world.
Now, at the black pitch and midnight of despair,
I find it was always here.

Filed under: Poetry  
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Mayapur Online: Sri Advaita Acarya Appearance Day- 10 Feb

“I meditate upon the lotus feet of Shri Advaita the husband of Sita, who offered Ganga water mixed with Tulasi leaves und manjaris. Tears of love incessantly flow from His eyes as He meditates upon Krishna and sings His glories. He prays to the Supreme Lord, who is an ocean of mercy, to descend to this world.” On the ocassion of appearance of Advaita Acarya, special morning lecture on glories of Advaita Acarya will begin at 8 a.m., followed by bhajans, Kirtans and Maha abhisheka at noon.

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ISKCON Toronto, Canada: Flashback Photographs - In Memory of Bhadra Priya devi dasi

We recently came across these photographs of Badra Priya devi dasi from the early days at the Hare Krishna Temple in Toronto.

Please join us tonight for a special kirtan prayer session for her.

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H.H. Sivarama Swami: Talks with Madireksana dd about feeling depressed at the extent of our anarthas

Or of Krsna’s neglect if we are bad, or of the new obstacles offensive devotion puts in our way. How to cope with it all and how to move ahead

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Atma Yoga, Brisbane, AU: New Classes from Black Dove Studio

Atma Yoga has teamed up with Black Dove Body Bar (an awesome studio in West End), who now do pilates classes on Tuesday and Thursday lunch. Check out our Timetable or the Black Dove website for details.

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Mayapur Online: Mayapur Institute Gaura Purnima 2011 Courses

Following is the schedule of Gaura Purnima 2011 Courses, that will be conducted by Mayapur Institute. For more information on Mayapur Institute courses and enrollment details, please check Mayapur Institute’s website www.mihet.org. The courses begin from Feb 18th until 23rd March. Bhakti Sastri teacher training course will take place from 21st to 23rd March.

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Mukunda Charan das, SA: Spiritual Encounters

Radha-Gopinath Mandir, Chowpatty, Mumbai, 21st February 2001

‘Maharaja got in the night before yesterday’, Radha-Gopinath prabhu intimated as we sat outside Maharaja’s rooms. ’Do you think it would be possible for me to meet with Maharaja?’ I asked. Radha Gopinath prabhu was doubtful, ‘Maharaja has hardly had time to speak to me about the Gaura Purnima Festival and other important Temple matters. And I’m the Temple President. I am not sure if he’ll meet you, prabhu.’

Maharaja’s personal servant came out of Maharaja’s quarters. Radha Gopinath prabhu went in. He re-emerged three hours later! Had he put in a good word for me? Would I be able to meet with Maharaja? Yes, he had spoken to Maharaja, and Maharaja had no problem with me going to Mayapur. I explained to Radha Gopinath prabhu that my going to Mayapur was not the reason I had wanted to meet with Maharaja. The reason I had come to India was to request diksha initiation from Maharaja. My Temple President had written a letter of recommendation and I was hoping that Maharaja would accept me as his disciple. I expressed to him that I might not get to meet Maharaja for another three years. Radha-Gopinath kindly presented my case to Krsnanand prabhu, one of Maharaja’s senior disciples. Krsnanand reluctantly consented to my accompanying Maharaja and his envoy to the train station.

I waited another hour, showered, then squeezed into the Temple Sumo with a whole bunch of brahmacaris. Maharaja was in the passenger seat. Maharaja exchanged some words with Gaurakishore, an American disciple, asking him if he was alright. He then turned his shoulder, and greeted me by name. Maharaja asked me if I was going to the Belgaum Ratha Yatra. No. I was joining them for the ride to the station. The vehicle threaded its way through the night traffic, past Babulnath Temple (the Temple of Lord Siva). ’Maharaja, I wanted to talk about our previous discussion…about my proposition.’ I was trying to find the right words. It was frustrating. You cannot demand initiation. It is an act of mercy on behalf of the guru. My heart felt different, though. I wanted to scream out, ‘Please, initiate me now!’ But I had to be patient.

Maharaja asked me if I was going to Mayapur. ’Yes’, I replied. ’That is not a problem’, he said. ’When are you leaving India?’ I answered, ‘The 29th of March. From Delhi.’ As the Sumo veered along Marine Drive, Maharaja humbly said, ‘I am your servant.’ I counteracted, ‘No. I am your servant!’ Maharaja said, ‘You should go to Vrindavan after Mayapur, then back to South Africa. You can do two things. Meet me here, in Mumbai. Or – if you are leaving from Vrindavan to South Africa – write a long letter with your realizations, ideas and convictions about your stay in India and the places you go.’ He paused: ‘What are you going to do? Go to Mayapur, Vrindavan and South Africa? Or, Mayapur, Mumbai and Vrindavan? You have two choices.’

The vehicle arrived at the bridge that crosses the highway. Maharaja returned to the subject of initiation, ‘I take these things very seriously. When you go back you must think very seriously about what you want to do. You must be sure that you won’t go away. You must be convinced about what you want in terms of your connection.’ I wasn’t sure what Maharaja meant, ‘Do you mean my connection in relation to the bhakti process?’ Maharaja responded, ‘More specifically, with your connection to that process.’ I realized that he was talking about the disciple’s relationship with the guru; and the disciple’s relationship with the chain of disciplic succession or parampara. Initiation meant a lot to me. ’I could return to Mumbai, Maharaja. If you are here’, I said. Maharaja described his schedule, mentioning that he was going to Kurukshetra Ratha Yatra on the 17th of March.

The vehicle neared Victoria Station. I could see the trains and train-lines below. People swarming in the floodlights. Maharaja encouraged me, ‘You have served nicely in the Temple. You are sincere. And you have a nice disposition.’ The car stopped. Maharaja spoke reassuringly, ‘Do not feel dejected with respect to your aspirations.’ He stroked my sikha (the unshaved part of the devotee’s crown). Maharaja sat back in his seat and said, ‘I am nice to people until they want initiation from me. Then I harass them!’ He laughed heartily. I felt bad. ’Sorry for asking’, I said. My response elicited more laughter from Maharaja and the devotees. I felt embarassed.

The brahmacaris scrambled out of the Sumo, hurriedly grabbing Maharaja’s suitcases. We all offered dandavats to Maharaja as he climbed out of the passenger seat. I stood up. Maharaja took off his garland of marigolds, and placed it around my neck. Maharaja seemed to glow in the murky Mumbai car-park. I was amazed at how fresh and enthusiastic he looked. Then he disappeared into the murky blur of the crowded station.Maharaja was fresh, enthusiastic and seemed to glow as he disppeared into the murky blur of the crowded station.

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Gouranga TV: Lecture – Prahladananda Swami – BG 14.4 – Everything Perfectly Made by Nothing

Lecture – Prahladananda Swami – BG 14.4 – Everything Perfectly Made by Nothing

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Japa Group: Hearing The Vibration Very Distinctly

Loudly or silently, everything is all right. There is no such restriction. Only thing is that we should chant very attentively, hearing the vibration very distinctly.

Letter to Satsvarupa - March 8th, 1969 
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