sábado, 2 de octubre de 2010

Sita-pati dasa, AU: Live Video and Audio from 24 hour Kirtan in New Gokula


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"Planet ISKCON" - 41 new articles

  1. Japa Group: Powerful Chanting
  2. Bhakta Chuck, CT, USA: Friday Night Oxen #24
  3. H.H. Prahladananda Swami: Lecture – BG 15.8 No One Died Because They Didn’t Have An iPod (English & Spanish) – Video
  4. Kirtan Australia.com: Live Video and Audio from New Gokula 24 hour kirtan
  5. Sita-pati dasa, AU: Live Video and Audio from 24 hour Kirtan in New Gokula
  6. H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010
  7. H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Tuesday, September 21st, 2010
  8. ISKCON Toronto, Canada: Deity Darshan: Radhastami - Septermber 26, 2010
  9. Bharatavarsa.net: Bhakti Vikasa Swami: Srila Prabhupada reads a palm
  10. ISKCON Toronto, Canada: 12 Hour Kirtan this Saturday!
  11. David Haslam, UK: Londoners sheep mentality
  12. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  13. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  14. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  15. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  16. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  17. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  18. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  19. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  20. H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: 88
  21. H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: Prabhupada Smaranam
  22. H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: Poem from Under Dark Stars
  23. H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: Good Times
  24. Madhava Ghosh dasa, New Vrndavan, USA: Dennis Miller Interviews Radhanath Swami
  25. Akrura das, Gita Coaching: THREE SUCCESS TIPS
  26. Doyal Gauranga dasa & Gadadhar Pandit dasa, NYC: The Giving Tree
  27. Doyal Gauranga dasa & Gadadhar Pandit dasa, NYC: Calzones
  28. Gaura Vani, USA: Presenting Ayush: You Heard Him Here First!
  29. Gaura Vani, USA: New Putumayo CD features ‘Moods of Kirtan’!
  30. Australian News: Harinama Sankirtana Grassroots Revolution – Brisbane (Where’s yours?)
  31. New Vrndavan, USA: Srila Prabhupada’s Books Discussion Group
  33. Maddy Jean-claude Durr, New Govardhana, AU: Vaisesika's Visit And Partha Sarathi's Party (Belgium)
  34. Maddy Jean-claude Durr, New Govardhana, AU: Notes On A Class By HG Vaisesika Prabhu (in Belgium)
  35. Japa Group: Japa Retreat Question and Answer
  36. Madri dd, South Africa: Namamrta Program in Nairobi, Kenya
  37. Krishna Camp, USA: Los Angeles Burning Man Decompression Festival
  38. H.H. Sivarama Swami: B. Pritesh asks why devotees worship the Salagrama-sila when we are supposed to be remembering the two handed form of Syamasundara
  39. Bhakta Chris, New York, USA: The Bhagavad Gita And The Problem Of Ego
  40. Krishna-kripa das, Mayapura: Travel Journal#6.16: Trutnov, Wroclaw, Cologne
  41. Gouranga TV: Bhajan – Ratna Radhika dasi – Hare Krishna
  42. More Recent Articles
  43. Search Planet ISKCON

Japa Group: Powerful Chanting

Hare Krsna dear devotees, I hope your chanting has been peaceful and you are able to connect your heart to the Supreme, Lord Krsna. I was reading an article and felt the importance of letting go all your thoughts and be prepared to chanting. In the article Maharaja gave the idea of sitting properly in a quiet place....if you can in a holy place if not maybe make this place a holy place....offering an incense to the Lord....cleaning yourself and the place you are going to chant and after that getting yourself prepared for japa.

I start making a prayer and thinking of how important is this chance we have got, I pray and thank Krsna for giving me this mantra and this opportunity to be able to chant in association of devotees, family and having the desire for that. This mood makes me more aware of the offences and helps me to concentrate and forget about what is happening around. What to do when you have to chant and you don`t have all these facilities? The best thing is to pray and close your eyes, think and meditate that you are in a very special place where you can be around devotees and you will be blessed by this mercy of chanting with more attention.
The Lord sees our efforts and He is very much interested in seeing His devotees chanting nicely and being dedicated to making advancement.
I pray so you can attain great mercy from Nama Prabhu and that you are able to experience nice realisations through powerful chanting.

I wish you a very nice week and a peaceful chanting.

your servant,

Aruna devi
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Bhakta Chuck, CT, USA: Friday Night Oxen #24

Hello Everyone,

Jigger & Jolly update: Last Saturday we were off to the White Memorial Family Fun Day. The boys travelled by trailer with a little more confidence this time out and were more settled among all the people and activity. We gradually worked our way in from the outskirts at first, then along to the main thoroughfares. Many questions were answered to satisfy the curious and Jigger & Jolly were treated to a lot of nice scratching and adoration. Thanks to all who made this possible. Next, Cider Pressing at Local Farm this Sunday.

“the bull is the father of human society”

Srimad Bhagavatam 3.2.29 purport

Click to view slideshow.

Have a nice weekend, in service to the Oxen,



Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Hare Hare

Hare Rāma Hare Rāma Rāma Rāma Hare Hare

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H.H. Prahladananda Swami: Lecture – BG 15.8 No One Died Because They Didn’t Have An iPod (English & Spanish) – Video

Lecture on Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 15, Text 8 titled “No One Died because they didn’t have an iPod” by Prahladananda Swami. The lecture starts in Spanish and then transitions to English with some mixture of Spanish.

Dallas, TX


Bhagavad-gita As It Is 15.8

sariram yad avapnoti

yac capy utkramatisvarah

grihitvaitani samyati

vayur gandhan ivasayat


The living entity in the material world carries his different conceptions of life from one body to another as the air carries aromas. Thus he takes one kind of body and again quits it to take another.


Here the living entity is described as isvara, the controller of his own body. If he likes, he can change his body to a higher grade, and if he likes he can move to a lower class. Minute independence is there. The change his body undergoes depends upon him. At the time of death, the consciousness he has created will carry him on to the next type of body. If he has made his consciousness like that of a cat or dog, he is sure to change to a cat’s or dog’s body. And if he has fixed his consciousness on godly qualities, he will change into the form of a demigod. And if he is in Krishna consciousness, he will be transferred to Krishnaloka in the spiritual world and will associate with Krishna. It is a false claim that after the annihilation of this body everything is finished. The individual soul is transmigrating from one body to another, and his present body and present activities are the background of his next body. One gets a different body according to karma, and he has to quit this body in due course. It is stated here that the subtle body, which carries the conception of the next body, develops another body in the next life. This process of transmigrating from one body to another and struggling while in the body is called karshati, or struggle for existence.

BG 15.08_No One Died Because They Didn’t Have An IPod_2010-07-08_English&Spanish

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Kirtan Australia.com: Live Video and Audio from New Gokula 24 hour kirtan

24 hour kirtan

Saturday 2nd October 6pm to Sunday 3rd October 7pm

Current time and date in New Gokula:

Llisten to the live audio stream on Kirtan Australia from 6pm Saturday (it may come up earlier if the kirtan comes up earlier)

Live video stream here:

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Sita-pati dasa, AU: Live Video and Audio from 24 hour Kirtan in New Gokula

24 hour kirtan

Saturday 2nd October 6pm to Sunday 3rd October 7pm

Current time and date in New Gokula:

Llisten to the live audio stream on Kirtan Australia from 6pm Saturday (it may come up earlier if the kirtan comes up earlier)

Live video stream here:

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H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

The Surprise in a Day

Sydney, Nova Scotia

Boy, was it dismal in the morning. Clouds looked menacing. It was our chill-out day - a day for recreation which hasn't been happening. The monks and I were looking forward to a trek on one of the world's most beautiful trails - the Cabot Trail in Cape Breton.

Fortunately for us clouds cleared by mid-day and we were able to accomplish a gradual 725 ft climb from the base of Smokey Ridge to the summit. I believe we dripped sweat for the first time on this trip since beginning ten days ago. There was chanting and panting.

Another climb was at Provincial Park Cape Breton Highlands, where at a terrific vista view, we improvised musical instruments to the sound of the chant. Rocks clapping, dead tree sticks banging, coniferous tree cones rubbing, and more provided the rhythm we were looking for. And while that sound reverberated within the space of a cove the happy couple Daniel and Jeanie, who were 'just married' last Saturday with the presence of our musical monks, just showed up. It was their honeymoon which was now garnished with mantras and music.

Things didn't turn out so glum after all. Our grand finale for the day was a presentation, primarily to the local Hindu community of Sydney. The topic was 'Adventures on the Road' covering the experiences of past cross country walks. How gracious these people were, feeding us and booking us in motel rooms for the night.

It was just another day of niceness. Every day is truly an adventure. And now if I could quote from a fictitious hero's story. Forrest Gump, the runner, was told 'life is like a box of chocolates. Yah neva know what yah gonna get."

8 KM

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H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

The Women and Us

Antigonish, Nova Scotia

The first time I came to this place and heard its name, without seeing the spelling, I wondered what people had against Ganesh, the loveable elephant-god. I heard Anti-Ganesh. And then I wondered how even such a Vedic name entered into such an Anglo-saxon region. I learned that it is the place where tree branches are torn off by bears gathering beech nuts in the native Mikmaq language.

It was in this strictly university town that five of the Haligonian monks came to visit (Haligonian refers to Halifax and that's a nomenclature that also baffles me). We rested ourselves upon rocks edged by a creek and played at our instruments. Students looked over a bridge that arches over the water like a terrace, to see the musical sensation. Some of the students descended to join us including a Catholic priest who is also a student.

Student life can be hectic and generally you see someone under educational duress walking swiftly from one building to another trying to meet the demands of the classroom but here students were taking their time to stop.

Stopping was something we did once more at the rustic home of Mirian and a woman's group. Her home, situated on a 200 acre lot and driveway that is forever, was our venue for the evening. She heard about our mantra meditation presentation and so at last minute she invited her friends to hear us monks sing and speak.

In the beginning the ladies looked at us with curiosity and caution but by the end we were a compatible unit. We had become one in the joy of kirtan.

When it was time to depart one of the women insisted on having her picture taken with the monks. "I need this photo to prove to my friends that I do have some men in my life." To that remark we had a good cackle.

10 KM

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ISKCON Toronto, Canada: Deity Darshan: Radhastami - Septermber 26, 2010

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Bharatavarsa.net: Bhakti Vikasa Swami: Srila Prabhupada reads a palm

One time I saw Srila Prabhupada read a man's palm. Srila Prabhupada looked at it and then, in a very heavy voice, told him "All bad. Birth, death, disease, and old age". The man almost had a heart attack. Then Srila Prabhupada smiled and said "But clap your hands at kirtan and all the lines go away."

Told by Badrinarayana Prabhu

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ISKCON Toronto, Canada: 12 Hour Kirtan this Saturday!

This Saturday the grand finale of Maha Mantra Week will be taking place with an estatic 12-hour Kirtan! This extremely grand way to cap off 15 days of fun and bliss will be taking place from 9:00am - 9:00pm on Saturday, October 2, 2010.

The kirtan schedule will be as follows:

9am-11am: Sri Sri Radha Govind Kirtan Mandali

11am-12pm: Sarvolakeshwara Das

12pm-1pm: ISKCON Toronto Devotees

1pm-2pm: ISKCON Brampton Devotees

2pm-3pm: ISKCON Toronto Devotees

3pm-3.20pm: Bhaktin Vandita

3:20-3:40: Bhaktin Sarah

3:40-4pm: Bhakta Chetan

4pm-4:30pm: Bhaktin Recha

4.30pm-5pm: Bhakta Yura

5pm-6pm: Dhira Grahi Das

6pm-6:30pm: Bhaktin Haimshanee

6:30-7:00 Sri Sri Radha Govind Kirtan Mandali

7:00-7:30 - Subhadra Devi dasi

7:30-9 - Sri Sri Radha Govind Kirtan Mandali
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David Haslam, UK: Londoners sheep mentality

Londoners are simply like sheep found here on the Welsh mountainside, unintelligent rushing to a destination that will ultimately lead to there destruction. So during my stay at the Sri Sri RadhaKrishna Temple I had the experience of traveling on the integrated London Transport service and to say it is crazy is well an understatement; [...]

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1951 October 1: "Mayavadins have no entrance into Vedanta Darsana. Sankara made a misinterpretation for his own purpose. They have unnecessarily cast a cloud over Bhagavad-gita and have misled the common people."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1947-64

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1951 October 1: "Indian philosophy means Sada Darsana. The last Darsana compiled by Sri Vyasa is accepted by all Indian scholars and nobody is recognized as bonafide who has no interpretation of this Vedanta Darsana."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1947-64

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1968 October 1: "I am so pleased your program is going on although you have not got yet our own temple. Why not get Back To Godhead? That is our backbone. Here the Sankirtana party, headed by Jayananda is collecting $45 daily and selling an average 100 copies of Back To Godhead."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1968

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1968 October 1: "Our Bhagavad-gita As It Is, and Teachings of Lord Caitanya are coming out by the end of this month. So Kirtana plus distribution of our books is the basic principle of our success.If we can hold Kirtana 24 hours, and distribute our publications, that is our great success."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1968

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1968 October 1: "I am little concerned. We should not form a separate organization. The basic principle of our preaching work, methods and management must be the same. I do not know why a separate registration is required."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1968

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1968 October 1: "All participants must follow our principles. You should be careful on this point. Our main principle is Krishna Consciousness on the basis of Bhagavad-gita As It Is, and Lord Caitanya's Teachings. If management falls to other hands it will be difficult for preaching our principles."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1968

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1968 October 1: "My final desire is that whatever you do, you must do it strictly on the principles of our society as we are doing here in the US. Do not be misled that because some of the Hindus are taking interest in this movement, they are of the same opinion. You have seen the affairs elsewhere."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1968

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1968 October 1: "If the local Englishmen come forward, that is welcome. So far Indians are concerned, there are so many varieties of split-up Hindu society. So I hope you will take necessary precautions."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1968

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H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: 88

www.sdgonline.org. SDGonline Daily updates

1:34 A.M.

From Namamrta by A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada:

“One who chants the holy name will be situated in the transcendental disciplic succession:

“One must have firm faith in the process of devotional service and the scriptures that support it….In this age a person should…chant the holy names of Hari and Krsna, the maha-mantra. That is the sum and substance of eternal religion, known as sanatana-dharma….If one strictly follows the Vedic literature and chants the holy name of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he will actually be situated in the transcendental disciplic succession. Those who want to attain life’s ultimate goal must follow this principle.” (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila 9.362)

I received the maha-mantra from Srila Prabhupada. I did not read it in print in a Mentor paperback on Oriental religions. It could not have stirred me in that way. I received it from a living guru who chanted loudly in the storefront singing in kirtana and who led us in the morning in chanting a round of japa. He received it from his spiritual master, Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, who received it from Bhaktivinode Thakura and Gaura Kisora das Babaji. Thus the mantra comes down in disciplic succession and has to be received in that personal contact. The maha-mantra existed since the beginning of time, but it has been given great emphasis and impetus in the age of Kali with the advent of Lord Caitanya. He created a flood of Krishna-prema, chanting the holy name in the stage of love of Godhead. All His followers were inundated by the chanting of Hare Krishna in the footsteps of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. All those who chant at the present time continue the parampara process, receiving it from practicing devotees in the Hare Krishna movement. Thus the chanting comes down the live wire of parampara, and whoever chants in that way is following the bona-fide principle. It cannot be learned academically or theoretically or without associating with practicing chanters.

After a good night’s sleep I woke at 12:00 A.M or just before 12 and read some poetry first. It proved to be a bit of a distraction, because when I began my chanting the poetry was on my mind. But I controlled my mind and paid attention to the maha-mantra, the repetitions of the thirty-two syllables, and I steered away from my reading session before beginning japa. I managed to chant sixteen rounds and chanted an extra one for good measure, and chanted my Gayatri all at an early hour. My chanting was rapid and awake, not slow and drowsy.

The chanting comes down

from Krishnaloka and

the connection is with a

living representative of

harinama. This has

been going on forever

even before

there were books.

In previous yugas, other

practices were taken

up, but now in Kali

none of them are possible.

You must find out a chanter

who lives in harinama,

who constantly chants

and who is authorized

to give it to you.

Then you begin your

own chanting life

with beads and

karatalas and you

pass it on to others.

The chain never

ends as long as there are persons

in parampara.

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H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: Prabhupada Smaranam

www.sdgonline.org. SDGonline Daily updates

One Hundred Prabhupada Poems, #45

“Prabhupada, we’re parked on the

road, en route to New Mayapur.

You created these places—

Mayapur Chandrodaya Mandir in

Navadvipa and a castle in France.

Places for devotees.

In Avignon, South France, I

lectured, “Where would we be

without Prabhupada?” And I asked,

“What did we learn from Prabhupada?”

It was fun answering these.

I said I had nothing new to tell

them, but together we disciples

feel our gratitude

for what you have given us.

“You let me write. You let me

read and speak a lecture. I

want to serve, adjust my cause so

it’s service to you and Govinda, not

my sense gratification.

Here comes the sunrise, pink smudge

at first, like in Vrndavana

where there are cow dung fires.

Dear Prabhupada, you have protected

us during the night. I rose at

midnight and wrote. Now I feel

confident. But I am just your

little child.”

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H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: Poem from Under Dark Stars

www.sdgonline.org. SDGonline Daily updates


More view of the sanatorium
life. They keep to themselves
and exert as far as they are able,
which isn’t very much.

They have sweet and confidential
association among the inmates,
and reach out to active visitors
who come to see them on occasional
stops. Mention of the Deity worship and memories of
sacred reading and a secret
sharing of a music only
few can relish

read more from SDGonline - daily updates Viraha Bhavan journal

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H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami: Good Times

www.sdgonline.org. SDGonline Daily updates

Free Write

I turned at random to Srimad-Bhagavatam, Canto One, Chapter Eleven, verse 21:

“Lord Krishna, the Personality of Godhead, approached them and offered due honor and respect to each and every one of the friends, relatives, citizens and all others who came to receive and welcome Him.”

Krishna is neither impersonal or unable to reciprocate the feelings of His devotees. In Bhagavad-gita He says, “As they approach Me, I respond accordingly.” He reciprocates with different devotees just as it behooves their mood in approaching Him. When He entered Dvaraka, he was met by dramatists, artists, singers, historians, genealogists and learned speakers, and they each gave their respective contributions. The Lord reciprocated with them in different ways according to His specific relationship with them. But the pure devotees were of one type only because they have no other object of service but the Lord. To some He waved His hand, to some He exchanged greetings, to some He shook hands, looked and smiled and gave assurance even to the lowest in rank. Only to the impersonalists who do not recognize Him does the Lord not reciprocate. Elderly brahmanas chanted His glories and were therefore glorified themselves. The ladies from the respectable houses of Dvaraka went up to the roofs of the houses just to have a look at the Lord.

Within the five mellows or rasas the Lord responds differently with His devotees. One can have an etermal relationship with the Lord as a servant, friend, parent or conjugal lover, and the Lord reciprocates with each differently. But each one is absolute in their complete and unalloyed devotion to the Lord, and He deals with them in affection accordingly.

Gita Nagari used to be a big agricultural community. They had a tractor mower that cut down the corn in autumn, a machine that baled it, and a whole community of about 20 men who would carry the bales by cart to the silo, where it would be mechanically rolled up to the top and dumped in. That was the cows’ food during the winter, and there were about 30 cows and bulls. Some milked, some were retired. I could go on and on and say how big it was with its yogi-bar factory, women’s traveling painting sales party, gurukula, resident guru, etc. But it all eventually collapsed, being run on unsound economic principles and loss of enthusiasm for the voluntary team effort under the authority of Paramananda. Why bring it up now? After slimming down to near-extinction, Gita Nagari is finding new life with a garden, new devotees joining, and a more cooperative spirit. It seems the fortunes of temples run in cycles.

The Ganges sometimes runs with wide breadth and big waves, and sometimes goes down to a trickle, but it keeps flowing. Staunch devotees hang in there and weather the changes. We maintain faith that Lord Caitanya’s movement will persevere, and it will swell to worldwide ecstatic proportions. Despite breaking into schismatic tributaries, the main branch will stay strong. From imperfection, purity will come about.

And I have gone through my own changes, good times and bad times. Visakha-dasi autographed her latest book to me, “To Satsvarupa Goswami, in gratitude for your decades of sincere service for the pleasure of Srila Prabhupada.” How comforting and encouraging a thought, overlooking my serious faults. A Vaisnava is like Krishna, bhava-grahi-janardana. She sees the good in what you have done. Now you are writing, and you hope it is for the pleasure of Srila Prabhupada. Yenatma suprasidati—it’s giving me pleasure, and a sadhu once told me that is a symptom that it is giving the spiritual master pleasure. I am working at it by the method of spewing forth creative juices, these writing sessions and a daily journal. When I finish this midnight journal entry I will begin my japa and try to make that pleasing to guru and Gauranga. You do that by enumerating the holy names clearly and with feeling, praying, “O energy of the Lord, O Lord, please engage me in Your service.” The act of chanting is itself a form of practical and active service of a very important kind.

You run the names through your mind quickly and pay attention to the transcendental sound vibration. Wherever the mind wanders you go and bring it gently back under the control of the higher self. This is my main early morning activity, and I will begin it in five minutes.

Poems he writes, for the song part

of the self, he imitates the birds.

He sings in pen kirtana in praise

of Lord Hari.

He sees his beloved in all things

in this world and uses them in His

service, including the

clock’s last ticking of this

timed writing session, including

his heartbeat, his

even breath, his relaxed

posture in the chair.

Everything is used in His service with a practical

aim. But he rejects

the Mayavadi and

material filth.

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Madhava Ghosh dasa, New Vrndavan, USA: Dennis Miller Interviews Radhanath Swami

Check out Radhanath Swami being interviewed by Dennis Miller.

Filed under: News, Ramblings or Whatever
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Akrura das, Gita Coaching: THREE SUCCESS TIPS

1. Concentrate every day single-mindedly on one most important thing, all day.

2. Develop a daily habit of planning, setting priorities and then starting first thing in a day on your highest-value task.

3. Ensure to always make the best use of your time, because your time is limited.

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Doyal Gauranga dasa & Gadadhar Pandit dasa, NYC: The Giving Tree

Last week we had a read through Shel Silverstein's classic book the Giving Tree. Some of the topics of discussion were the balance (or often times imbalance) of giving and receiving in relationships, the needs we enter into relationships with, and the importance of spending more time on understanding our own selves a bit better. Who am I and what are my needs, and what am I looking for in my relationships with others? The more in touch we are with ourselves and the stronger spiritual foundation we have in our own lives can help us enter relationships with a stronger sense of stability, maturity, and understanding.

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Doyal Gauranga dasa & Gadadhar Pandit dasa, NYC: Calzones

PREPARATION TIME: 50 minutes DOUGH RISING TIME: 1 hour 30 minutes

DRYING TIME: 20 minutes YIELD: About 18 calzone


3 teaspoons (15 ml) fresh yeast, 1/2 cup (125 ml) warm water, 1 teaspoon (5 ml) sugar,

4 cups (1-litre) plain flour, 1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt, 3 tablespoons (60 ml) olive oil


1 tablespoon (20 ml) olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon (1 ml) yellow asafoetida powder,

2 tablespoons (40 ml) red or green peppers, finely diced, 1/2 cup (125 ml) black olives, chopped

1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt, 1/4 teaspoon (1 ml) black pepper

2 cups (500 ml) ricotta cheese (or cottage cheese or fresh curd, crumbled)

1/2 cup (125 ml) grated parmesan cheese

1/3 cup (85 ml) grated cheddar cheese,

1/2 cup (125 ml) spinach leaves, chopped and lightly-blanched

1/3 cup (85 ml) chopped fresh parsley

extra oil for brushing and the baking tray

1. Dissolve the yeast in the warm water, add the sugar, mix well, and leave covered in a warm place for 10 minutes or until the mixture froths.

2. Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl. Add the yeast, oil, and enough lukewarm water to make a smooth dough. Knead well for 5 minutes. Rub oil inside the bowl and over the dough. Place the dough in the bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size.

3. To prepare the pastry filling: heat the olive oil in a small frying pan over moderate heat. Saute the asafoetida in the hot oil for a few seconds; then add the diced peppers and saute for one minute. Add the chopped black olives, salt, and pepper and stir to mix; then remove from the heat and allow to cool.

4. Combine the ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, cheddar cheese, cooled olives and pepper mixture, spinach, and parsley in a large bowl. Mix well and set aside.

5. After the dough has risen the first time, punch it down with your fist, remove it from the bowl onto a floured bench top, and knead again for one minute. Roll the dough out with your hands into a long tube and cut into 18 portions. Roll each portion into a smooth ball and, with a rolling pin, roll out each ball into a 13 cm (5-inch) disk.

6. Divide the filling into 18 portions. Place a portion in the centre of each disk. Fold over and seal around the edge either with a fork or by pressure from your fingertips to make small semicircular pastries. Place all the pastries on a oiled tray and place in oven at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, or unitl golden brown.

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Gaura Vani, USA: Presenting Ayush: You Heard Him Here First!

This year at Bhaktifest we were so excited to present our new friend – 12 year old Ayush Sharma from Seattle. He’s not just a fantastic singer – his sweetness and devotion shine through and we are looking forward to seeing him grow and develop. Most of all we can’t wait for him to hurry up and finish school so he can travel around the world spreading his love for kirtan wherever he goes! Keep an eye out for him at the 24 Hour Kartik Kirtan in New Vrindavan, West Virginia this October.

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Gaura Vani, USA: New Putumayo CD features ‘Moods of Kirtan’!


Check out the new Putumayo ‘Yoga’ compilation – a new mix from the popular world music record label created especially for yoga classes and meditation. Our track ‘Moods of Kirtan’ features alongside tracks from artists like Susheela Raman, Krishna Das, Niraj Chag and Sean Johnson & the Wild Lotus Band. We’re excited that they chose this track – one of our absolute favourites that really says what we’re all about: param vijayate shri krishna sankirtanam – long live kirtan! Here’s a beautiful video that Prananatha das in New Zealand made to go with the track. It features footage from the holy towns of Vrindavan and Mayapur in India, some of the most beautiful places in the world.

On the Putumayo website, you can listen to sample tracks as well as read more about this fantastic new release. Here’s what people are saying about it:

“…Over seventy minutes of sacred sound that tends toward the chill with … a throughline of the gorgeously lyrical.” – LA Yoga

“Kudos to Putumayo for maintaining such a high standard and delivering a yoga CD that will hopefully be the first of many.” – Common Ground

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Australian News: Harinama Sankirtana Grassroots Revolution – Brisbane (Where’s yours?)

Once again Brisbane show us all how it’s done. Twenty one devotees chant and dance in the streets of Brisbane City for 2hrs distributing Prasadam cookies and the Holy Names.

The Kirtan wallahs include Krishnapada Dasa, Deva Gaura Hari Dasa, Acyuta Priya Devi Dasi, Prema Yogi dasa and Rasika Seva Devi Dasi.

Once you go out on Harinama Sankirtana you don’t want to stop. When you are out there singing and dancing and glorifying the Names of Lord Krishna you realise that the assembled members of the public love it. What’s more it is to their, and your eternal spiritual benefit.

Once the Holy Names dance on your tongue you cannot go back. Once the Holy Names enter the ears of the living entities it is too late, their spiritual journey has begun.

Sing the Mantra, change the world.

Check out the latest video if you dare.

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New Vrndavan, USA: Srila Prabhupada’s Books Discussion Group

Discussion Group; come read and discuss Srila Prabhupada’s books.

Everyone is invited. (devotees and guests)

Place: Temple Library

Time: 6-7pm Monday thru Saturday now reading Bhagavad-Gita As It Is

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Violence towards animals is the central theme in rodeos which we have investigated in Finley, Narrandera, Tumberrumba and now Cessnock and Stroud. Clear breaches of the Codes of Practice and Cruelty Act have been documented and forwarded to the Police for investigation.

Terrified animals, including horses, collapsing. Calves being dragged by their legs backwards for metres. Calves strangled by ropes and dragged – all in the name of entertainment! And children being forced to ride agitated, dangerous animals. Completely unacceptable.

It is not hard for anyone with a brain and a heart to understand what is wrong with clotheslining a baby animal, body slamming it to the ground and tying it legs so it cannot move. If this were done to a puppy or kitten, the offender would be charged with crimes and likely jailed.

Incredibly, rodeo people have no problem with committing an act of cruelty and cowardice against a baby cow during calf roping. A roping calf is only three to four months old. After that, they become too heavy for the “macho” cowboys to handle.

Calf-roping on the range bears no resemblance to calf roping at the rodeo. In the rodeo, it is a timed event, and indefensible abuse to the calf is the price paid for a competitive time. On the range, calves are roped carefully, and slowly brought to a halt.

On the range, calves are roped for care, or to protect them from danger. In rodeos, calves are endangered for amusement. This “sport” violently and specifically preys upon baby animals, and then calls itself “family entertainment!”

After having his tail painfully twisted and raked over a fence rail, this calf ran out of the chute at top speed to escape his torment. The calf is roped so violently she becomes airborne before slamming into the ground. This process can break the calf’s neck, back or legs.

PLEASE WRITE TO: The Minister responsible for animal welfare, the Hon. Steve Whan, Parliament House, Macquarie St., Sydney 2000, and ask to ban calf roping in line with Victoria and, recently, South Australia and a ban on the use of electric prodders and steer wrestling and request an investigation into rodeos with reference to how, by their very nature, they could well be in breach of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act

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Maddy Jean-claude Durr, New Govardhana, AU: Vaisesika's Visit And Partha Sarathi's Party (Belgium)

Partha Sarathi Prabhu gave class on the Thursday morning. HG Vaisesika Prabhu was coming for the weekend and Partha was to be wedded on the Sunday. Vaisesika Prabhu was coming to conduct the ceremony for Partha, as well as invigorate the sankirtana mood of Radhadesh.

Partha’s class was a power pack. He spoke on the non-permanent appearance of happiness and miseries of this world, Srila Prabhupada quoting BG2.14 in his purport (my favourite verse). Partha talked about making a link between our internal bhajana with the preaching spirit. He gave an example of “Voltron”, an intergalactic super robot, a combination of many smaller fighting robot entities to form one super force. “The super devotee” he said.

We came bolting down the stairs from the tower. We found ourselves in a yet another blissful Mangala Arati. This was the first time I saw HG Vaisesika Prabhu in person - oh my God (being Krsna), he’s bigger than me! Vaisesika Prabhu gave the morning Bhagavatam class. He quoted countless verses, one after another, breaking them to pieces, word by word, and exposing their relevance. He encouraged everyone with a warm sense of compassion, to distribute books and also intensify our everyday devotional dealings. Partha Sarathi tapped me on the shoulder at the end of the class; “would you like some service for Vaisesika Prabhu while he’s here?” I nodded in approval.

My simple service was to make sure Vaisesika Prabhu and his wife had their Prasadam. This allowed me to do the menial service (which is the mercy factor) and have the association (the double mercy factor). It was a table of select few and I felt like an honoured guest. I maintained my tiny service with great vigilance but still managed, more than once, to be in the wrong place at the wrong time (haha).

In the evening, Vaisesika Prabhu gave a sankirtana seminar. I took vigorous notes on the whole core structure of the class. At the end, he asked everyone of us, individually to share a reflection. I took the chance to mention the feeling I felt when I sent my brother a Bhagavatam set. Vaisesika Prabhu paused me and took this as an opportunity to remind everyone to share all their nectar stories, and not store them up for ourselves.

Sunday was the wedding day. HG Vaisesika Prabhu gave another heart warming class to start off the day. I found myself with Partha, all day, as he rushed around like a headless chicken (typical wedding day scenario). The wedding came together timely; I was stationed in the back, playing the kartalas. The ceremony started with the ceremonial “last chance” for Partha to RUN FOR HIS LIFE! HH Yadunandana Swami attempted to offer his danda to Partha. Partha also made a few flashing glances to the door before he was reprimanded. Now that Partha was shackled back to his seat, it was time for the bride to arrive. Pati Prana Mataji arrived to the blowing of a conch and a lot of other fuss.

Covered by a wall of cloth, Pati Prana circumambulated the sacrificial arena. HG Vaisesika Prabhu began explaining the situation; the two parties had flowers. Whoever hit the other first with the flowers was presumed to be the dominant once in the relationship. Vaisesika Prabhu stressed the word “gentle” but when the veil was removed, Partha plummeted Pati Prana Mataji flat in the face with a handful of flowers. Thus the ceremony came underway.

“Maharaja is going to give a speech and then he is going to walk out. All you people with the funny colour can follow him out” said Partha to myself and the other Brahmacaris (other Brahmacaris meaning: Rama) in preparation for the wedding. HH Yadunandana gave the opening address. There were a few addresses after his and Maharaja heard them all out, not budging. Finally Partha’s mother (figuratively speaking) Nirakula Mataji (ie. Vaisesika Prabhu’s wife) also gave a nice talk. She very warmly welcomed Partha’s wife (Pati Prana Mataji) into their little family. She mentioned how nice it was that two spiritual warriors were coming together as one (Partha being a devotee who served in the military, and Pati Prana’s guru very much encouraging the metaphysical prospective of Spiritual Warriors). Someone had mentioned that husband and wife come together as one, in this case in devotional service, which made me remember Partha’s class; they were coming together to make the “super devotee” (aka Voltron).

Finally the HH Yadunandana Swami ducked out and we raced out after him. We finished with some funny photos and an epic wedding feast. Rama made a whole bucket of sweet rice and insisted I take numerous samples. I was then “forced” by Partha to honour an inhuman amount of wedding cake. I did the seemingly harsh sacrifice in the name of Prasadam (which I paid for I might add). I felt like a little robot, combined with many little Prasadam robots, to make the ultimate “Super Bogi!” Thus was the tale of Vaisesika’s visit and Partha Sarathi’s party. Hare Krsna.

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Maddy Jean-claude Durr, New Govardhana, AU: Notes On A Class By HG Vaisesika Prabhu (in Belgium)

The following are notes I took from Vaisesika’s class on book distribution, which was given at Radhadesh (Belgium), on Friday evening of the 18th, September 2010. I have taken the liberty to organise and elaborate them into context for the reader’s convenience.

“For one who explains this supreme secret to the devotees, pure devotional service is guaranteed, and at the end he will come back to Me.There is no servant in this world more dear to Me than he, nor will there ever be one more dear.” BG 18.68-69.

St Francis said these words to his disciples: “You should preach all day long and then, once in a while, you should say something.” [We must preach by our own behaviour more than simply preach philosophy. What is the point of philosophy without practice?]

Prabhupada’s mood was “do or die”. He came over on a rough sea voyage at a untimely age. He had only three volumes of Bhagavatam with him but he was already claiming that he had sixty volumes. If there was an epidemic and you had the cure, what would you do? What extent would you to take to give it out to the people?

We often put ourselves into a mental comfort zone. We’re so attached to this comfort zone that we will harbour it even if it’s completely miserable [the mental platform]. Once Indra, the king of heaven, was cursed to take birth as a pig. Whilst experiencing life as a pig he to became very attached to his seemingly comfortable condition, even though it was amongst the hogs, in the mud. The hardest thing on book distribution is making the mental commitment to actually go out. A weight lifter makes progress by ripping his tissue. Similarly, we make progress by pushing beyond our comfort zone.

We:-are instruments.-must be humble and hungry.-go out for self purification.-do service for service sake.-save one soul at a time, beginning with ourselves.

Our prime directive in book distribution is to leave everyone with a good impression. Our mission is not to distribute a book but to make sure that the people have a favourable experience. If a person feels like what you are giving them will change their life in the next few years then they will take to it. If they think it wont do much for them then they wont endeavour to read or take the books.

Our motto: “we can always do better service.” We are always thinking: what did we do well? How can we improve? Can I improve my japa, reading, association? We must do something to work towards the goal of improving all these things so we can improve our book distribution.

The four laws of Book Distribution:1. Have a strong Sadhana. Sadhana should be strict, serious and sincere. We are simply distributing the overflow of our own ecstasy.2. We must have books. Stock books nicely and have multiple languages available.3. The more you show, the more you sell. “This is the one we say twice. The more you show, the more you sell.” People are attracted to Krsna in so many different ways so you have to make sure you have available what they are looking for.4. You must organize. Brainstorm, encourage innovation, set goals and start on it. “Where attention goes, energy flows.”

Always make a fresh challenge. If you are scared of doing books, go out with others. “You can all go out together and be scared.” Everyone must be individually encouraged, everyone must feel like a hero in the mission of Srila Prabhupada.

Some more principles:Build teams.Empower leaders.Make systems.Invest in tools and infrastructure (always have the best things).Recognize and encourage.

Programs that work:Weekend warriors.Monthly sankirtana festivals.Smart boxes.Smart tables.Full sets. (Invent ways to make the full set an event. Make it a festival, a Tupperware party, etc.)Sastra Dhana.Travelling sankirtana.Motel Gita.

We must sell on the merit of the books. Bhagavad-gita has a list of famous names on the back cover, with a little quote from each of them; a list of appraisals is just in the front cover, from different professors and Universities. The pictures are also very effective to get a message across.

Thank you all, I hope this inspires you in your book distribution. Hare Krsna

Your servant, Madhavendra Puri Dasa.

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Japa Group: Japa Retreat Question and Answer

At the end of the Japa Retreat, Sacinandana Swami talks about the importance of breathing and answers questions.

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Madri dd, South Africa: Namamrta Program in Nairobi, Kenya

Last week Bhaktivedanta College of Education and Culture [BCEC] offered the Namamrta program in Nairobi, Kenya. Both Co-international directors of BCEC, HH Bhakti Brhat Bhagavata Swami and HG Nrsimhananda Prabhu served as co-facilitators. The program was held over four days and included harinams as well as an indept study of His Divine Grace A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada's instructions on the chanting of the holy name. The apt venue for the program was Iskcon Nairobi.

Participants in this program commented that this opportunity made them relish and understand the great gift that Srila Prabhupada has given. Indeed his centers in the material world are synonymous with an oasis in the desert.

Comments from attendees are as follows:

HG Umapati Prabhu, the temple president of Iskcon Nairobi commented that, "This program is directly presenting what Srila Prabhupada gave to us. I have truly benefited in understanding the need for attentive chanting."

HG Mahaman Prabhu, the temple president of Iskcon Mombasa also attended the program in full and commented, "I have been guided through this program how to chant the holy names offenselessly. I find this program to be so beneficial that my suggestion is that it be held atleast two to four times every year."

Yogesh C Rawal said, "I truly appreciate the guidance on how to overcome the obstacles in approaching Sri Krishna through His holy names."

Many others said that their lamentation was that they did not get to attend a course like this earlier in their devotional lives and felt that this program afforded them guidance on how to build a firm foundation for spiritual progress.

His Holiness Bhakti Brhat Bhagavata Swami facilitates a session.

Many participants took days off from work to attend.

Class of Iskcon Nairobi Namamrta level one program.

Their Lordships Sri Sri Radha Bankibehari

Their Lordships Sri Sri Nitai Gaura-Hari

Their Lordships Sri Sri Sita Ram, Laxman, Hanuman

Students share during a session.

The Deities in the pics above are all from Iskcon Nairobi. The Temple there has three altars, a beautiful life size deity of Srila Prabhupada, a very nice sweet shop, classrooms for BCEC courses, three storey guesthouse and appartment rooms on the premises where grhasta rent at a good rate. About 30 devotees attend mangalarati daily and about 60 attend Deity greetings and Guru-puja to Srila Prabhupada. During the day many guests attend aratis. On Saturdays a special program is facilitated for the local Kenyans with class in the local dialect, kirtan and sumptuous prasad. Regular Sunday programs also attract huge crowds. All glories to Iskcon's founder acarya His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

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Krishna Camp, USA: Los Angeles Burning Man Decompression Festival

As the closing event to our 2010 festival season, Krishna Camp will be participating at the LA Burning Man Decompression festival in downtown Los Angeles on Saturday October 2nd. This year we have accomplished more than our past several years combined with over 50,000 servings of spiritual food and drinks at many progressive events across the [...]

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H.H. Sivarama Swami: B. Pritesh asks why devotees worship the Salagrama-sila when we are supposed to be remembering the two handed form of Syamasundara

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Bhakta Chris, New York, USA: The Bhagavad Gita And The Problem Of Ego

The latest article from my good friend, fellow monk, and Bhakti Center (Manhattan) president and CEO Ramnath Subramanian (Rasanath Dasa) on the Huffington Post

In 2007 I attended a talk at Cornell University by Dr. Steve Weinberg, the 1979 Nobel Laureate in physics for his work on electromagnetic and weak forces, on the topic of "Science and Religion." Dr. Weinberg did not mince any words when he categorically stated that religion is the cause of major problems in today's world. Science, he stated, has proven to be objective in its outlook, and it only speaks the beneficial truth.

As I returned to my dorm after the talk, I mulled over Dr. Weinberg's statements. As a young seeker, I looked towards both physics and religion for answers to the big questions about the purpose of my existence. I was often puzzled by the fact that every person that I admired on both sides seemed to have a different version of what life ought to be, what a "good" man is, how to live, and so on. It became quite apparent to me that both science and religion could be used for positive transformational work and for the perpetration of deeply hurtful activities, and both had the capacity to explain "truth" in deeply philosophical and practical ways. It was not a question of which was better; it was more a question of who used it and for what purpose. It became evident that the core problem in this debate is that of the human nature itself -- its hopelessly self-fulfilling side called the ego.

Modern psychology has been wrestling with the vast territory of the human ego for a great while now, and its complexity continues to mystify us. Even before I learned about Freudian ideas on the ego, I first encountered the concept of the ego explicitly mentioned in the Bhagavad Gita, India's classic text on yoga and spiritual wisdom. According to the Gita, there is a fundamental difference between "real" ego and what it defines as the "false" ego. Real ego is our very essence, the consciousness that makes us aware and awake to reality. The false ego is a false identity crafted to preserve the sense of being the most significant and the most important all the time. In short, it is a narcissistic search for being loved, validated and appreciated. This is what we generally refer to as the ego. The Gita further describes the subtleties of the ego and how it manifests moment to moment in our thoughts, words and deeds.

The concept seems to be stretched too far when we first read about it. But when we honestly study our own lives, we can clearly isolate various episodes of how this tendency manifests itself in our personality, either covertly or explicitly. The events can range from simple conversations on which football team is the best to intense debates in boardrooms on the next important decision for the organization. What's worse is that the ego blinds us from seeing its own ploy, the ultimate of which is rationalized excuses for avoiding honest introspection and admittance.

None of us has navigated through life without encountering the effects of the ego, be it in the workplace or home. Our own behavior is, at times, strange, unsettling and unobjective. Some of this is tolerable, and some of this is decidedly unpleasant or outright disastrous. Yet, while everyone is busy gathering insight into the way other people act and behave, few are willing to look so intently at themselves. This dynamic of interaction also applies to the way that groups of people interact with each other. We want to know what makes other people or groups tick, yet are afraid to discover anything upsetting about ourselves. We would like to point out the faults of systems and people as if we had X-ray vision, while not really wanting others to see our weaknesses and shortcomings.

Capitalism further aggravates this mentality by simply rewarding us for producing enjoyable and affirmative content. Even academia, which prides itself on objectivity, is more geared towards pleasing companies and corporations that can provide grants and financial assistance. In this atmosphere, we are less conscious of our severe mental shortcomings and less inclined to be skeptical of our own opinions. Charlie Munger of Berkshire Hathaway once gave a speech called "The Psychology of Human Misjudgment," and in his talk he revealed our natural weakness, in which we only pick out evidence that supports our views, or we pick out weakness in the other that makes us looks better. We are cognitive misers; we try to think as little as possible, especially about our deep inner motivations. In today's times where we pride ourselves on progress in cognitive science and search capabilities, this tendency leaves a huge cognitive deficit. And the thought of internal combat further takes us away from attempting to rid ourselves from the shackles of the ego.

The ego is a master of disguise. One of the greatest dangers of progressive work is that the ego tempts to sidestep deep introspective work by leaping into self-righteous advancement too soon. This is because the ego fancies itself as more "advanced" than it actually is. How many "rational" decisions made by heads of state have caused havoc in the lives of millions of people? How much scientific research has been employed to cause direct harm to our environment? How many first-year novices of religion have persuaded themselves to believe that they are just about ready for sainthood only to find their misconceptions and behavior gives rise to scandals and violence?

The Bhagavad Gita's prescription to combat this crafty enemy within us is to create a culture of introspection and self-knowledge whose basic components lie in courage and humility -- a healthy skepticism of our own "goodness" combined with an unending desire to learn more about ourselves. They work as powerful radars that uncover the camouflage of the ego and disarm it. Real self-knowledge is an invaluable guardian against self-deception mechanisms of the ego, and any true and beneficial culture of transformation will teach us this. And the more we practice this awareness, the more we can realize that it is not systems that are good or evil; rather it is our ego-centric adoption of those systems that we need to explore before we make those judgments.

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Krishna-kripa das, Mayapura: Travel Journal#6.16: Trutnov, Wroclaw, Cologne

Diary of a Traveling Sadhaka, Vol. 6, No. 16

By Krishna-kripa das

(August 2010, part two)

Czech Woodstock, Wroclaw Ratha-yatra, Cologne Harinama

(Sent from Stuyvesant, New York, on September 30, 2010)


Trutnov Open Air Festival (Czech Woodstock) 2010

Wroclaw Ratha-yatra 2010

Harinama in Cologne

Insights from Navina Nirada Prabhu


Dhruva Prabhu suggested I include my itinerary for upcoming travel:

September 30-October 1: Stuyvesant, New York

October 2: 12-hour Kirtana, Manhattan

October 3: 1:30-4:30 p.m., harinama at Tompkins Square Park

October 4-5: Bhakti Center, Manhattan

October 5, evening: Sacinandana Swami program, Manhattan

October 6-8: Philadelphia

October 8, 7 p.m., Harinama, South Street, Philly

October 9-11: Albany, New York

October 12: Manhattan

October 13: 12:30- 3:30 p.m. Harinama, Univ. of North Florida, Jacksonville

October 13-20: Gainesville

October 15: Gainesville Ratha-yatra

October 16: chanting at the U.F. Homecoming game

October 20-November 17: Tucson

November 17-November 30: Gainesville

Where I Went and What I Did

We left Leipzig by train on August 19 to attend Trutnov, a Czech rock concert where the Hare Krishnas have a camp with lots of spiritual music and food, and the blessings of the Trutnov organizer, Martin, who puts Lord Jagannatha’s smiling face on the all the festival ads, wristbands, the main stage itself, and even the plastic beer mugs. After Trutnov we went to Mother Isvari’s place near Rybnik, Poland, to recover from Trutnov, and celebrate Lord Balarama’s appearance day with a nama-hatta program. On August 26, we attended the second annual Wroclaw Ratha-yatra, then spent one day in Wroclaw and one day on the Poland farm. Then we went to Warsaw, for their Balarama festival, during the Sunday feast. Tribhuvanesvara Prabhu led great kirtana, and the feast was very satisfying. On August 30, we started by train to London, stopping in Berlin for dinner, and Cologne, for a day, to do harinama. Then we ended up in Brussels for the evening of August 31.

Trutnov Open Air Festival (Czech Woodstock)

August 19-22, 2010

The first day, I saw three people from previous years. It seemed more people chanted this time than previously. People even stood on benches dancing with upraised arms, a new development. The first night, we tried to stop the kirtana twice, but people wanted us to keep going. We finally ended at 2:10 a.m. Once I counted seven people happily chanting along at 1:00 a.m.

Other days we stayed up even later, once ending at 5:00 a.m. There were always people ready to hear, sing, and dance, until the end. The picture above was taken at 3:20 a.m.

We did Ratha-yatra from the school we stay at, to the downtown area, and then back up the hill to the Trutnov site. Some people pulled the cart, and others sang and danced. Two girls who must have spent half their time in our tent joined our return Ratha-yatra, back to the school that was our base. On that return Ratha-yatra, some people even lay down flat on the street before Lord Jagannatha

When Prabhupada disciple, Jay Gurudeva Das, did Hare Krishna chanting with electric guitar and synthesizer, one very large, jovial, young man who obviously had a lot of beer, jumped up on the stage and tried to chant into the microphone. He attracted a lot of attention. He had a good voice, but because he had so much beer he messed up the mantra a lot, although we showed him a couple mantra cards. Jay Gurudeva was good at letting him do his thing but not steal the show. Although Jay Gurudeva had just sung many of the same tunes as last year which had gotten many people dancing, this year for the first hour, practically no one danced but me. Not even those who I had seen dancing and chanting the night before would dance, not even when I tried to encourage them. But when this man spontaneously came up on the stage, he attracted people’s attention, and then thirty people got up and danced with enthusiasm.

[Click here to see Facebook movie showing about the above.]

Prithu Prabhu gave one of the best lectures I heard him ever gave. He talked about the body, subtle, and soul. He talked about experiences he had of astral travel as well as a near death experience. So as to relate to the young crowd, he talk about how he was the first person in his town to have dredlocks when he was a kid, and how he distributed drugs in one area in Germany as a youth. After telling about the subtle body, he introduced the soul and transmigration. He used a large plate, small plate, bowl, cup, and spoon, to visually represent the body, mind, intelligence, false ego, and soul. At the end, he recommended the people buy one of Srila Prabhupada’s introductory books.

One girl who liked Prithu Prabhu’s lectures bought the book he recommended. She, like many, came by at least three times a day to see and hear what was happening at our Krishna camp. Punya Palaka Prabhu found her blog where she described her experience: “I go to check the Krishna camp. I exactly knew that. There, in the Krishna camp, “it” all is and “it” is so strong. I’m still not sure what “it” is, but I’ve got the time to find out. I spent there less than an hour, but I got hit by the end of a lecture by one sympathetic, English speaking man. And it was a hit at the right spot. Then for some half an hour they were singing their Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna,

Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare . . . And it was magic.” She mentioned that she liked that I took the trouble to explain some of the Bengali bhajanas that one devotees band was singing, and she learned that Krishna is one although having many names. She also described how some of us came off the stage with our instruments and sang while they were setting the stage for the next band. In conclusion, the girl wrote, “Actually, all the time I was moving between booths and the Krishna camp. And I just realized that regardless the situation, I feel always fine down there. They have brought buckets of energy in all of their mantras. And you won’t find anyone uncongenial or displeasing there . . . simply a wonderful group of people with wonderful energy.” If you know Czech or want to translate the whole article with Google, the links are Day 2 and Day 3.

One girl, who had come last year with two friends, came this year with some other friends, stopping by at least a couple times.

Our presentation this year was better in that we had mantra cards to give to all that wanted them, and we set up a booth for questions and answers, instead of informally answering people’s questions, so many more people took advantage of that opportunity.

In the morning the day after, one man and woman came up to Punya Palaka Prabhu, our Krishna Camp organizer, saying, “Your Hare Krishna Camp is a refuge for many of the participants. When they feel down they come to regain their energy—instead of some energy drinks, Hare Krishna Camp is better!” The man had been coming for years, and he was also among the group of some thirty who kept chanting and dancing by themselves on Friday night while we were setting up the stage for the band performance to come. . . . Both he and the lady said they had been bringing their friends and all of them had agreed, it was refreshing to join the chanting and dancing . . .”

After Trutnov, as Dhruva Prabhu and I were riding the train to our next destination, I could see at the rate we were going, we would miss our connection, so I searched for the conductor. I found two conductors but neither spoke English. I asked the four young people standing around if any of them knew English and would translate. One young man agreed. During their interaction with me, one his friends chanted his recollection of the Hare Krishna mantra, with a few words out of order, recognizing me to be a devotee. Thus when I thanked the man for his translation service, I gave him a mantra card as a present. The young man said with a smile, “Hare Krishna—that was the best song at the whole Trutnov festival!” And then he asked if I could sing the mantra one time for them, and I did, and then I asked them to sing it one time for me, and we chanted a couple more times, engaging a few more young people in the next carriage in hearing. The man’s comment was impressive to me, although a hundred bands had played on four stages at Trutnov, he considered Hare Krishna to be the best song at the whole event, and he wanted to hear it again.

Later when we got off that train, I decided to play harmonium and chant on the platform, down the whole length of the train and back, and I got a lot of smiles of appreciation, and I recognized some of the people who had attended our Krishna camp. I passed a few remaining mantra cards to the smiling people through the train windows. The conductors did not complain.

It was nice as always to see people happily connecting with Krishna through kirtana, prasadam, and the association of the devotees. For more pictures with descriptive captions, click here.

Wroclaw Ratha-yatra 2010

There are six YouTube videos one devotee, with the user name Arkadiusz108, uploaded about the Wroclaw Ratha-yatra. The first is below:

Here are links to the others: Video 2, Video 3, Video 4, Video 5, and Video 6.

After their first Ratha-yatra last year, the Wroclaw devotees performed number two this year. The authorities delayed approving their application until all the weekends were taken, and so the Ratha-yatra was on Thursday. There were fewer devotees there than last year, but plenty of guests. The stage show had more variety this year, and a greater number and variety of people watched it. Many were eager to take the temple invitations I was passing out. The prasadam was better and lasted longer. Bravo! During the parade one girl who had danced in our kirtana tent at Woodstock recognized me. She was happy to encounter the devotees again. And I gave her the invitation to our local temple and invited her to the Ratha-yatra stage show.

Harinama in Cologne

Dhruva Prabhu is always up for visiting a new temple, so we stopped in Cologne as we traveled by train from Poland to London. At mangala-arati, there were only Dhruva and I, and MahaLaxmi, who we had met on the Netherlands padayatra. There are few temple devotees there, and even though it was one of their standard harinama days, we could not find local devotees to go. Fortunately MahaLaxmi, who was also traveling through Cologne and who has a nice voice, was eager to go out, so we chanted for almost three hours in a downtown market section. Once we came upon a very ornately decorated cathedral dating back hundreds of years ago, and we sat down on the steps nearby. One group of children from Spain enjoyed listening to us for a while. There were many people in the market section and near the cathedral, and we passed out invitations to the local temple. Now that I have seen what a nice venue they have for harinama, I will definitely go back. While returning to the temple, we chanted on the metro, but we saw some metro police, so we got off at the next stop and waited for the next train, so we were able to continue chanting the whole way back.

Insight from Lectures

Navina Nirada Prabhu:

Prayers are meant to worship the Lord not fulfilling our own desires.

One who asks the Lord for what he is already giving is less intelligent and even ungrateful.

Bhaktisiddhanta Saravati Thakura spoke for three months on Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.1.1 at Radha-kunda.

Our words will lose meaning if we do not act as we say.

We repeat what we have heard and what we have realized. If we speak what we have heard but not yet realized, it will not be as effective

It is so noisy on the battlefield that the soldier touches his charioteer with his feet, either on the left or right to direct him. Thus the charioteer position that Lord Krishna accepted in relationship to Arjuna is a very menial one, but Krishna accepted it out of love for His friend.

Intelligence is measured by the extent one is willing to surrender to the Lord’s desire.

Many times you can go up to people and say, “This is a book about Krishna. You have heard of Krishna?”

Lord Nityananda has some kirtanas that went for months without disturbed by other things.

Lord Caitanya touched Prakasananda Sarasvati’s heart but humbly sitting where the people washed their feet. And so Prakasananda Sarasvati offered some service, thereby getting unknowing piety. Lord Caitanya furthermore explained out he was chanting the holy name because his guru found Him to fallen to study Vedanta.

Trnad api sunicena… is the access code which unlocks the holy names and other instructions for chanting.

Although we are only one of seven billion people on earth, still Krishna loves us.

To get people lower their defenses, we have to lower our defenses. But if we lower our defenses, we worry that someone may take advantage of us. But if Krishna is there to protect us, what do we need to worry about?

If Lord Caitanya gave sankirtana and prasadam for this masses but just spoke philosophy to the intelligent, why do we distribute these books? Because people are so unfortunate they are not willing to chant and take prasadam. They books are sankirtana in hard copy.

Unless you lead a virtuous life (the mode of goodness) you cannot taste real happiness.

Book distribution depends on four things:

1. Strong sadhana so you have some spiritual realization.

2. Having the books.

3. The more you show, the more you sell.

4. Organize.

We are not using holy name as a washing detergent to get free from sins but to serve the Lord.

Krishna protects his devotee’s vows. So let’s vow to take Krishna consciousness seriously.

If you care about others, you share with them. Srila Prabhupada came from the most exalted place, Vrndavana, to the most degraded place, the Bowery, to share the spiritual truth he had.

The Jews wear that little cap to remember that there is always something divine above them.

I ask the people, “Are you a rock star or a regular loser?”

Or else, I ask, “Which one of you is the smart one?”

Or else, I say, “This is for all the nice people. Are you nice?”

Krishna doesn’t need anything but our love.

One of the last people of the day was not so interested. Then she asked, “Does this book say anything about Kali-yuga?” I gave her a Teachings of Lord Caitanya, and said, “This is about the person who really saves the day in Kali-yuga.” She took the book.


pātrāpātra-vicāra nāhi, nāhi sthānāsthāna

yei yāńhā pāya, tāńhā kare prema-dāna

"In distributing love of Godhead, Caitanya Mahāprabhu and His associates did not consider who was a fit candidate and who was not, nor where such distribution should or should not take place. They made no conditions. Wherever they got the opportunity, the members of the Pañca-tattva distributed love of Godhead. (Caitanya Caritāmrita, Ādi 7.23)

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Gouranga TV: Bhajan – Ratna Radhika dasi – Hare Krishna

Bhajan – Ratna Radhika dasi – Hare Krishna

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