martes, 4 de octubre de 2011

Australian News: Hare krishna Food for Life – Feeding the Hungry in Sydney



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"Planet ISKCON" - 38 new articles

  1. Jahnavi, UK: Cravings at midnight.
  2. Akrura das, Gita Coaching: EXCELLENCE!!!
  3. Akrura das, Gita Coaching: 100 DAYS OF HIMILITY
  4. Australian News: Hare krishna Food for Life – Feeding the Hungry in Sydney
  5. Australian News: Veda: vedic Knowledge online
  6. ISKCON Toronto, Canada: A Hare Krishna Thanksgiving - Saturday Night!
  7. H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami (Ret.): Selected Writings
  8. Akrura das, Gita Coaching: SIMPLIFY AND FOCUS
  9. Japa Group: Please Join The Japa Group
  10. Bhakti Vikasa Swami: one symptom to identify rascals
  11. H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami (Ret.): Poem for October 3
  12. H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami (Ret.): Selected Writings
  13. Jahnavi, UK: India Calling
  14. Ananda Subramanian, Iowa, USA: How to cook for Krishna?
  15. Giridhari das, Brasilia, Brazil: Angry Birds Yoga now on Wikipedia
  16. Subhavilasa das ACBSP, Toronto, CA: Lifestyle of a monk (part 2 of 3) by Chris Fici
  17. Akrura das, Gita Coaching: A SAFE PLACE
  18. Sachin Kotak, London, UK: How to Sell a Bhagavad Gita On Its Own Merits
  19. Toronto Sankirtan Team, CA: Rational Self and the mind
  20. Toronto Sankirtan Team, CA: A photoshoot
  21. Toronto Sankirtan Team, CA: Six years later
  22. New Vrndavan, USA: CVPT Meeting Sept 13th Minutes
  23. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  24. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  25. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  26. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  27. ISKCON Toronto, Canada: Vaishnavi Sanga- An Spiritual Course for Women!
  28. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  29. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  30. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  31. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  32. H.H. Sivarama Swami: Gaura Nitai Prabhu asks
  33. Temple of the Vedic Planetarium: Spiritual Dedication
  34. Japa Group: Our Strength
  35. Gouranga TV: Harinam – Kirtan – Ratha Yatra – Woodstock 2011
  36. ISKCON Malaysia: Absolutely Gorgeous Vyasasan for Srila Prabhupada
  37. H.G. Sankarshan das Adhikari, USA: Tuesday 4 October 2011--Exploding with Ecstasy--and--How to Recover Enthusiasm for Bhakti?
  38. ISKCON Malaysia: Sastra and Anna Dana Programs in Schools
  39. More Recent Articles
  40. Search Planet ISKCON
  41. Prior Mailing Archive

Jahnavi, UK: Cravings at midnight.

I’m getting the strangest cravings. Perhaps it is something to do with living in the city – it becomes normal to desire something intensely from moment to moment. Almost as if an MSG laden breeze gusted through the streets and avenues. I heard pregnant women crave strange things like mustard and sauerkraut sandwiches. So it could also mean I’m pregnant with a good idea?

These are weird though. Everything from aching to go ice skating, to wishing I was walking the streets of Oxford. Others include splatting copious amounts of paint around, and cutting all my hair off.

If I was a yogi I wouldn’t be bothered by the flickering of the mind, like a flame in that aforementioned breeze. Oh to have a still mind, unrippled like the surface of a lake. A frozen one. That I could maybe skate on.

Sigh. I’m just a girl. Moved by the mind. Influenced by the city. My only hope is to chant those beautiful names which rein in those wild desire horses, gently and powerfully. Hare Krishna and good night.



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Akrura das, Gita Coaching: EXCELLENCE!!!

This is what Srila Prabhupada did. Isn't it?

"Excellence …
 canbe obtained if you:
  ... care more thanothers think
     is wise;
  ... risk more than others think
     is safe;
  ... dream more than others think
     is practical;
  ... expect more than others think
     is possible."
Source:Anon. (Posted @ by K.Sriram,November 27, 2006 1:17 AM)
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Akrura das, Gita Coaching: 100 DAYS OF HIMILITY

Check this it out. New and old at the same time.
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Australian News: Hare krishna Food for Life – Feeding the Hungry in Sydney

Hare Krishna Food for Life is the world's largest vegan and vegetarian non-profit food relief organization with projects in over 60 countries.[1] Volunteers serve more than 1,500,000 free meals daily[1] in a variety of ways, including: food vans serving to the homeless within major cities around the world; lunch time meals for poor school children throughout India; and also in response to large natural disasters, such as the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake.

Click here to visit Hare Krishna Food for Life

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Australian News: Veda: vedic Knowledge online

It’s an encyclopedie of vedic knowledge, it’s a reference library, it’s a manual on Bhakti Yoga, it’s an answer to all your questions and the questions you haven’t even thought of. It’s VEDA a Tour through the Vedic universe.

Srila Prabhupada says: “Krsna consciousness is not a question of belief; it is a science.” At Veda you can gets all the knowledge your brain can handle to understand the science of Krishna Consciousness.

Click here to there now and never come back

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ISKCON Toronto, Canada: A Hare Krishna Thanksgiving - Saturday Night!

As Canadians get ready to celebrate Thanksgiving this upcoming weekend by spending time with family and friends, the Hare Krishna temple is warmly inviting our devotee community to join us for our own version of a "Thanksgiving Party" at the temple this Saturday, October 8th from 6pm to 9pm.

Join us for an evening of kirtan, special "Thanksgiving" prasadam and the wonderful association of devotees! There will also be some fun elements of the evening as well, so you won't want to miss it. The evening will present us with a great opportunity to come together and express our thanks for being part of our beautiful Hare Krishna family. Everyone is welcome!!!

In order to ensure that we make enough prasadam arrangements for everyone, please RSVP for the event by clicking here!
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H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami (Ret.): Selected Writings

From Entering the Life of Prayer "So much talking out loud. But I am not the center. Prayers to Krishna. He should be the center. I am insignificant. But I have to help myself. One of the main things I am trying to achieve is consciousness rather than unconsciousness; Krishna consciousness rather than material consciousness, [...]

Selected Writings is a post from: EVERY DAY

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Akrura das, Gita Coaching: SIMPLIFY AND FOCUS

- Ask several times a day: What is the most valuable use of my time - rightnow?
- Ask: What is the most important thing to do today. Do it first - ifpossible!
- Do less for more. Do fewer things, but do them well and put your heartinto them.
- Ask: What will please Krsna the most? Focus on that.
- Make re-creation of your body, mind and spirit a top priority. 
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Japa Group: Please Join The Japa Group

Please share your realisations with other devotees from around the world...simply send me an introduction email and I will be happy to make you a member:


Rasa Rasika dasa

Email to a friend Bhakti Vikasa Swami: one symptom to identify rascals can understand by the one symptom. Just like pressing one rice from the whole pot of the rice you can understand the rice is quite all right, similarly, by one symptom you can understand who is a rascal, by one symptom. What is that? Na mam prapadyante. He is not a devotee of Krsna? He's a rascal. That's all. Immediately you take it without any consideration that anyone who is not devotee of Krsna, who is not prepared to surrender to Krsna, he's a rascal. That's all. This is our conclusion. Thank you very much. Hare Krsna.

>>> Ref. VedaBase => Bhagavad-gita 7.5 -- Nairobi, November 1, 1975

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H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami (Ret.): Poem for October 3

4:32  A.M. Poem for October 3 On another day an astrologer came who was said to know everything past present and future. "Please tell Me who I was in My previous birth," said Lord Caitanya. Thoroughly calculating and meditating, the astrologer saw Lord Caitanya as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. And he said, "You are [...]

Poem for October 3 is a post from: EVERY DAY

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H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami (Ret.): Selected Writings

From The Qualities of Sri Krishna "34. Gentle  "Even when a sadhu is placed in a stressful situation, his natural gentleness—his tolerance and mercy—shines through. Prabhupada gives the example that when someone feels mental distress, then he is not ready to receive anyone or be compassionate. He says, 'Leave me alone. I'm troubled right now.' [...]

Selected Writings is a post from: EVERY DAY

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Jahnavi, UK: India Calling


These manhole covers are everywhere, one more thing that reminds me of India here in New York city.

Yesterday a friend wrote to me on her journey to Badrinath, and I closed my eyes and pictured her there beside the rushing waters of the Ganga. I told her how the Hudson often reminds me of this sacred river – especially in the morning, and the ‘violet hour’ that quieting dusk where the lights start to appear on the water. Sometimes, like this morning, flocks of birds screech loudly from the rooftops, and the blasting horns of the produce trucks sound like conch shells being blown. Like in India, there is an almost constant symphony of construction going on, and beggars fill the streets and subways.

Here too exists the simultaneous intensity of materialism and spirituality. Walking downtown is a total sensory overload. It’s nearly impossible not to absorb the thousands of words, colours, slogans, songs and smells that reach out and grab at every step. But from this maelstrom there seems to grow a deep desire for some greater meaning. Along with Los Angeles, New York is probably one of the most yoga mad cities in the Western world. Kirtan and bhakti are buzzwords, and even if understanding is a little shallow, the desire to understand is usually genuine. Last Sunday I played violin for a workshop with Krishna Das. To my surprise, 450 people packed the room. Most of them chanted and meditated with the kind of gusto normally reserved for a football game. The more remarkable thing was that many of them didn’t fit the image that is usually assigned to ‘yogis’ or hippies. If I stood behind them at Starbucks, I’d never guess that they could chant the Hanuman Chalisa from start to finish.

As India speeds towards Western culture – the average Mumbai mall is a surreal dive into American street fashion, New Yorkers look for a change. The Wall Street protests are ongoing, and 700 were arrested the other day for blocking the Brooklyn Bridge. I visited last week to join in with the Meditation Mob, a group that meet up to sit and meditate there every few days. Tomorrow they will set up a temple space at Liberty Plaza, where the village of protesters is growing by the day.

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Ananda Subramanian, Iowa, USA: How to cook for Krishna?

When cooking for Krsna, Prabhupada explained, one should keep in mind that he is preparing a meal for a hungry sixteen-year-old boy with a big appetite. He should thus cook quantities accordingly.

- From "The Great Transcendental Adventure" by HG Kurma Prabhu

Hare Krishna

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Giridhari das, Brasilia, Brazil: Angry Birds Yoga now on Wikipedia

Noticing a spike in visits to this blog, I was surprised and happy to learn that my essay Angry Birds Yoga is now mentioned in the Wikipedia entry for Angry Birds.

The paragraph reads:

“Angry Birds has inspired works of philosophical analogy. A five-part essay entitled “Angry Birds™ Yoga – How to Eliminate the Green Pigs in Your Life” was written by Giridhari Dasa of ISKCON Brazil, utilizing the characters and gameplay mechanics to explain various concepts of yoga philosophy as understood by Gaudiya Vaishnavism.[98][99][100][101][102] The piece attracted much media attention, in Brazil and abroad, for its unique method of philosophical presentation.[103][104][105][106] The piece was also recognized and appreciated by Rovio Mobile’s Peter Vesterbacka, who was prompted to comment, “Very cool! I can see Angry Birds Yoga becoming a worldwide craze;-) “.[98]

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Subhavilasa das ACBSP, Toronto, CA: Lifestyle of a monk (part 2 of 3) by Chris Fici

Editor’s note: This is the second part of a 3-part series on Chris Fici’s personal journey as a monk of the bhakti-yoga tradition. To read the first part, please visit [here]

The Brahmacari Life: Introduction

Before I go further, let me explain what makes up the form, content, and experience of the monastic life in the tradition of bhakti. The traditional name for those in the monastic order of life in the bhakti tradition is brahmacari. The lifestyle of abrahmacari appears within the larger scope of the social arrangement of the Vedic spiritual culture known as varnasrama. The term varnasrama denotes an arrangement of society consisting of four varnas (occupational/work related divisions) and fourasramas (spiritual divisions), in which one lives, works, studies, and prays according to one’s natural propensities, with the central idea being to offer all the fruits of one’s individual and collective efforts to God.

Within the varnasrama model, this ideal road to elevated social and spiritual life begins for the individual in the brahmacari asrama. Bhakti Vikasa Swami, a leading student of Swami Prabhupada, writes in his book Brahmacarya in Krsna Consciousnessabout the material and spiritual benefits of the brahmacari asrama. He states: “Practice of brahmacarya gives good health, inner strength, peace of mind, fortitude, and long life. It helps to conserve physical and mental energy. It augments memory, will-power, clear thinking, power of concentration, and ability to grasp philosophical subjects. It bestows physical strength, vigor, vitality, courage, boldness, and strength of character. To one who practices brahmacarya, divine knowledge comes as if naturally. His words convey meaning and authority, and leave an impression on the hearers.” (Swami, Bhakti Vikasa, Brahmacarya In Krsna Consciousness, Bhakti Vikasa Trust, 2003, 2-3)

In the traditional Vedic model, a young man enters into brahmacari training at the age of five years old, and spends twenty years, or the first quarter of his life, in the residence (gurukula) of his teacher, or guru. In this tender and impressionable time, he is taught the fundamental aspects of a life devoted to God, including extensive study of the scriptures, development of a mood of humble service, and dependence on guru as the key authority and link to God. These are the foundational cornerstones of bhakti-yoga, and the character of the young brahmacari becomes rooted in this devotional mood.

The tradition and lifestyle of the brahmacari has seen a determined yet challenging transition into the 21st century, a transition which has required a serious questioning of values and methods to keep this tradition alive and meaningful. My experience so far is that the traditional life of the brahmacari as servant, student, and teacher, is not only possible in our contemporary times, but it also provides a meaningful vision of spiritual life that is quite profound and practical despite its seemingly antiquated and anti-social arrangement.

Within my experience here, I have been able to perceive and experience a dual-sided strength and inspiration coming from our work and service, based on a renewed commitment to the traditional foundations of brahmacarya alongside a careful, energetic, and open-minded approach to sharing the wisdom of our ashram and tradition to the cosmopolitan peoples of New York City and beyond. Making this work requires a careful balance, in which a strict adherence to the traditional standards of austerity, celibacy, and study provide the sturdy ground to stand on for the urban monk. In this way he may proceed with his duties to teach, share, and guide with a greater sense of urgency, clarity, purity, and genuine inspiration and compassion.

The Mood of the Brahmacari

The mood of bhakti manifests in the life of a brahmacari in three ways. As a servant, student, and teacher, the brahmacari creates a dynamic offering through the interplay of these three roles, helping give access for the people he meets and serves to the deep well of wisdom he is developing through his intense study and renunciation.

As a servant, he practices and imbibes deeply the mood of bhakti, developing within his fellow community of brahmacaris a caring and conscious mood of being the “servant of the servant.” This humble position helps the brahmacari to overcome deep-rooted conditioned feelings such as pride and envy toward others, and this service mood also gives real depth to the intimate relationships and friendships he develops amongst his fellow monks and the community at large.  Bhakti Vikasa Swami writes: “Real friendship between devotees is deep and profound. It is most important that brahmacaris develop great love, trust, and friendship with one another, based on the mood of each wanting to be the servant of the servant of each other.”

Although the members of the Bhaktivedanta Ashram come from many different ethnic, economic, and sociopolitical backgrounds, we find ourselves united in an intimacy of purpose to serve God, each other, and our fellow brethren. Often I say that the only reason we are able to live as monks in the middle of New York City is because of the strength of our communal bonds and atmosphere. We can overcome any external and internal challenges through the trust we have formed, and for younger monks such as myself, having the living examples and experiences of the senior monks in our community are invaluable guideposts on the journey we are taking.

As a student, the brahmacari is attempting to focus his intelligence through a daily practice of study and meditation known as sadhana, on the vast wisdom of the bhaktitradition as it is presented through the Vedic scriptures. The brahmacari gives his full attention to the purports and commentaries of the previous teachers and gurus of thebhakti tradition, such as Swami Prabhupada, choosing to receive this wisdom by a descending method (knowledge received from realized contemporary and historical sources) rather than by the ascending method (knowledge received by one’s own mental and philosophical speculations).

This understanding of the preferred standing of the descending method of knowledge is important, because the proper import of the wisdom of the bhakti tradition must be passed to the student through the medium of guru. The guru, or realized teacher, has already assimilated this complex and dynamic knowledge in all practical aspects of his/her own reality, and he/she can thus guide the student through their own misgivings and misunderstandings that arise from the student’s undeveloped mental and cultural understandings of deeper spiritual truths.

As a teacher, the brahmacari is enlivened by his responsibility to share the wisdom he is receiving from his own study and experience with any receptive and sincere audience that he can attend to and serve. Essentially, a brahmacari must not keep the light of bhakti within him. By sharing it, within the scope and necessity of his renounced life, he strengthens his own conviction and faith, and makes himself very dear to Krishna Himself, as Krishna says in the Bhagavad-Gita: “For one who explains this supreme secret…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.” (A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Bhagavad-Gita As It Is (2nd Edition),  (Chapter 18, Verse 68-69), Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, 1983)

These activities of outreach are the engine which helps make the Bhaktivedanta Ashram run. The bulk of my own services in the ashram deal in this outreach, ranging from vegetarian cooking classes at New York University to the person-to-person selling of Swami Prabhupada’s books to the public for donations to help support ourasrama. I also help to run formal and informal classes taught to community and congregation members alike on the teachings of the Bhagavad-Gita.  The benefit that we find in these activities of outreach is an opening of the heart in selflessness towards others, through the services of relationship-building and personal care, combined with a practical development of communication skills that help us to spread the message of bhakti to receptive audiences, and which are essential to our own development of love and understanding of God.

A Country Boy And A City Slicker

In the fall of 2006, my life had reached a crossroads I never imagined I would ever find myself at. As with many who make the break from the material to the spiritual, there was a definite need for a new experience that would challenge and hopefully inspire, and be nothing like I had ever experienced before.  Initially, through my contacts and friends in Swami Prabhupada’s movement, I was invited to join the Bhaktivedanta Ashram in Manhattan, which had already developed quite a reputation as a standout facility for young monastic men, but my mind was drawn to another facet of Swami Prabhupada’s mission.

Our current trend towards sustainable modes of civilization and community has its roots in the traditional societies of our collective histories, such as the Native Americans and the Vedic culture that Swami Prabhupada was firmly rooted in.  Years before the contemporary environmental movement was taking shape, Swami Prabhupada was calling for “simple living and high thinking.”  Essential to the vision of his mission were rural communities based on self-sufficient food and energy production which would free his students and followers from the inhumane demands of what he called the “motorcar civilization,” allowing them to find the space and freedom to develop deeply-rooted spiritual lives.

Drawn by my own need for escape into the spirit, and intrigued by the possibilities of Prabhupada’s spiritualized rural vision, I moved to the New Vrndavana ISKCON community in West Virginia, where I would spend the next two years.  In that time I would get a taste of all that is enlivening and also much of the frustration that young men and women like myself encounter upon the attempt to devote their lives to the service of God and to the mission of Swami Prabhupada.  While in New Vrndavana, I would learn how to grow, harvest, and store a wide variety of organic vegetables, and how this natural cultivation of our essential foodstuffs is a subtle yet powerful manifestation of material and spiritual revolution against the dehumanizing forces of resource repression and control that define much of the instability and injustice plaguing the planet.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, in one sense, I also began to explore the personal communication of the blogosphere, where I started a website, “The Yoga of Ecology” (, devoted originally to detailing the day-by-day work on our farm and our spiritual aspirations and connections thereof, and which has now evolved into a provocative and informing aggregate of articles and essays on progressive and spiritually-inspired ecological action and thought. I also began to participate in the services of college outreach with my fellow resident monks, traveling to nearby West Virginia University, Ohio University, and the University of Pittsburgh, where we engaged whole groups of students in the delicious arts of vegetarian cooking and culture and the joys of meditation and spiritual musical collaboration, or kirtana.

My time at New Vrndavana formed the foundation of my own commitment to the life of a brahmacari and to the bhakti tradition. The existential crisis I found myself facing as a post-graduate with unshaped and undeveloped ideals began to dissipate in the daily whirl of service, study, and relationships that gave meaning to my life, and answers to so many of the questions that I had. In the wealth of experience and warmth I found in the many long-time residents there, I began life-long relationships which continue to define and inspire my own spiritual journey, showing me some of the realized potential that had come of the work of Swami Prabhupada’s original students and disciples.

As with many of the original temples of Swami Prabhupada’s institution, of which New Vrndavana was one of the first, having been formed around a simple, small farmhouse in those same West Virginia mining hills in 1969, problems and inertia of varying personal, political, and social dynamics have slowed or stalled the impressive growth that surrounded the first ten years of Swami Prabhupada’s mission in the West, before his death in 1977. His institution, ISKCON, now faces something like a mid-life crisis, trying to maintain the foundations that have been created while finding new platforms of innovation to share the wealth of bhakti to new and interested audiences. Echoing the frustrations of many young devotees like myself finding themselves inspired but without clear visions or facilities to cultivate that inspiration, I began to explore, in the summer and fall of 2008, the other facets of ISKCON for a more stable community and inspired imagination.

This led me back to the possibilities of life in the Bhaktivedanta Ashram. The major personal lesson I had learned in my time at New Vrndavana, in terms of my own needs of spiritual development, was that without a strong brahmacari atmosphere and community, I would not be able to develop into the kind of person materially and spiritually that I hoped to become, and that I hoped to become to please Swami Prabhupada and his many committed followers. It was with a heavy heart but a firm commitment that I decided to leave New Vrndavana and move to New York in December 2009, knowing that this was the best possible atmosphere for me to develop as a brahmacari and a devotee of Krishna, and so far, that decision is something that I certainly do not regret.

Chris Fici is a writer/teacher/monk of the bhakti-yoga tradition. He has been practicing at the Bhaktivedanta Ashram in New York City since 2009.  After receiving a degree in film/video studies at the University of Michigan, Chris began his exploration and study of the bhakti  tradition. He currently teaches classes on the culture and art of vegetarian cooking, as well as the living philosophy of the Bhagavad-Gita, at New York University.

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Akrura das, Gita Coaching: A SAFE PLACE

Recently a devotee who counsels devotees wrote me: "If I can be a safe place for a person to express their anger, I can helpthem move to the deeper feelings underlying the anger."  

It is a very valuable service to devotees if they can have someone to speak to openly about their feelings and experiences, without being afraid that they will be judged or misunderstood. Patience is love in action.

In the Srimad Bhagavatam we read how Narada Muni let Daksa express his anger and curse him. Why Narada Muni stayed in the presence of Prajapati Daksa and tolerated all his accusations and curses? It was for Daksa's deliverance. Narada Muni should have left immediately, but he purposely stayed to hear all Daksa's strong words so that Daksa might be relieved of his anger. 

Prajapati Daksa was not an ordinary man; he had accumulated the results of many pious activities. Therefore Narada Muni expected that after delivering his curse, Daksa, satisfied and freed from anger, would repent his misbehavior and thus get a chance to become a Vaisnava and be delivered. After the incidents concerning the loss of his many sons, Daksa repented his misunderstanding with Narada Muni, and continued his duties as a Prajapati.

Similarly, Krsna's devotees may sometimes be angry and not willing to forgive. If we accept that and respect their free will, we might discuss with them and gradually discover what is the best way to proceed, and how to turn anger and resentment into enlightenment and progress. 
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Sachin Kotak, London, UK: How to Sell a Bhagavad Gita On Its Own Merits

How to Sell a Gita On Its Own Merits

"There is sufficient merit in our books that if you simply describe them sincerely to anyone, they will buy." -Srila Prabhupada

A friendly question is often the best way to qualify complete strangers to listen for a few minutes to your Bhagavad-gita presentation. If you don't qualify your prospects, they won't know why, out of the blue, you're handing them a book. Feeling unqualified, they will most likely reject it. But by asking a simple question first, your prospects will feel more comfortable about accepting the book.

Distributor: "Excuse me, do you live in San Francisco?"
Prospect: "Why, yes, I do!"
Distributor: (While extending the book and placing it in the prospect's hand . . .) "Oh,
good, then let me show you one too."

Q: What if the prospect says, "No, I'm from out of town"?
A: It works either way. You'd still say, "Oh, good, then let me show you one too."
Whatever the prospects say in response to your question qualifies them to look at the book.

"Show" vs. "Give"
It's important not to create the false impression that you're giving your prospects a free book and then go on to ask them for a donation. Therefore, rather than saying, "Let me give you one of these," it is much safer to say "Let me show you one of these." A question is a powerful communication tool. It is sometimes called a "verbal hook" because, paradoxically, it allows you to gently lead the conversation. Hence, the age-old advice: "Whoever is asking the questions is controlling the conversation."

Prospect: "Why are you doing this?"
Distributor: "You believe in God, right?"
(In this case, you've answered your prospect's question with your own question. Asking your own question in response to his allows you to reframe and move the conversation in the direction you'd like it to go.)

Until you give your prospect a chance to hold the book, there's a very good chance that he or she will walk away without buying it. Many new distributors hold back, feeling timid about actually placing the book in the prospect's hand.
Practice until you get used to placing the book into a person's hands. Soon you'll see that it's natural, because the hand's tendency is to take what is offered to it. All the body's senses and limbs have natural tendencies. The eyes look, the ears listen, the feet walk, and the hands grab. That's their job, and they do it well. We've seen thousands of cases in which people who seemed hesitant to look at a book  became surprised after their hands had taken it in spite of themselves. But once they have the Bhagavad-gita in hand, they've made a psychic connection with you and the book. And since the Gita is Krsna Himself, the recipient often undergoes a change of heart just by holding the book for even a few seconds. Srila Prabhupada said
that if they even touch one of his books they'll make advancement: "And if somehow or other we place some literature in a person's hand, that person becomes fortunate."

Note: You can leave the book in the prospects hands and show it to them as they hold it. Or, as many distributors prefer to do, you can gently take the book back into your hands, saying, "Here, let me give you a quick look." A third option is to leave the Gita in the prospects' hands and show them another copy, which you hold in your hands.

Next, show and briefly explain: 
• A few select pictures
• The Sanskrit, translations, & purports
• The famous people who have read the Gita
• A couple of university reviews
• The number of Gitas printed

Showing the pictures:
Srila Prabhupada went to great lengths to include pictures in all of his books. He said that these pictures are "windows to the spiritual world." Pictures are perhaps the best tools we have for explaining the Krsna consciousness philosophy.
Remember, "A picture is worth a thousand words."

The Changing Body (PLATE FIVE)

Start by showing the picture of the changing body. Point to the baby's body at the beginning of the sequence and say, "See, we all start off here." Now, making a sweeping motion with your finger from the picture of the baby to the picture of the old man and finally the dead body, say, "And we all end up here." Conclude with, "See, we're all just passing through."

Note: If you've seen this picture many times, you may have come to take it for granted. However, you'll find that most people who see this presentation for the first time are fascinated by it. The Changing Body is by far the most popular exhibit at The Festival of India. You might even notice that some people have a visceral reaction to it. People rarely visualize the entire span of their lives. However, with this simple presentation,  your prospects will literally see their entire lives passing before their eyes.

The Three Modes of Material Nature (PLATE SIX)

Show the picture of the two men being controlled by the three modes of material nature. Krsna is at the top. Below Him are the three modes personified, who, like puppeteers, are controlling two men below them with a series of strings.

Explain the picture:
"This picture shows that we are all controlled by three modes of nature -- goodness, passion and ignorance." Now point to each of the modes in succession, saying: "Goodness brings wisdom, satisfaction, and peacefulness."
"Passion brings the desire to get ahead in life and the impetus to work hard to get more material stuff."
"And ignorance brings sleep, laziness, intoxication and the tendency to put things off."
Then ask them: "Which one do you think influences you the most?"

Sample responses:
Prospect: "I think I'm goodness."
You: "You look like you're in goodness. I can see it in your eyes."
If they indicate that they're most influenced by passion or ignorance, you can say: "Me too! Actually, we're all under these modes to some degree, aren't we?"

Humble Sage (PLATE SEVEN)

Next, show the picture of the humble sage who sees with equal vision the brahmana, cow, elephant, etc. Say, "Here's a picture of the spiritually advanced person. "A spiritually advanced person treats everyone with respect because he or she sees that the body is only a dress for the soul and that God is in everyone's heart."

Note: Most people agree with this definition of a spiritually advanced person and especially like the concept that such a person has respect for all.

The Body as a Chariot (PLATE NINE)

Next show the picture of the soul as a passenger on the chariot of the body. Explain that each one of our senses is like a powerful horse, the reins are our like our mind, the driver like our intelligence, and that we, the soul, are like the passengers on this chariot-like body. Point out that yoga, as taught by the Bhagavad-gita, teaches us how to bring the senses, mind, and intelligence under our control. Finish with, "If our horses -- the senses -- are out of control, we're in for a very wild ride!"

The Sitting Yogi (PLATE TEN)

The next picture to show is that of the yogi sitting with matted hair and long fingernails, as his soul is leaving this world through the top of his head. In a light-hearted way, just point to the picture and say, "This guy's been sitting here for a while, eh?"


Next, show the picture of the man with the cow's face getting ready to butcher the cow with the man's face. Say, "You've heard of karma, right?" Then, using your index finger for emphasis, draw a circle in the air while saying, "What goes around comes around."
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Toronto Sankirtan Team, CA: Rational Self and the mind

I met a girl at University of Toronto, she was in a rush running into class but she stopped to talk with me. As I was showing her a small book and she was appreciating it, I asked her what she studied. She told me was a double major in Pshychology and Human Genetics. Praising her intellectual abilities I presented her the Bhagavad gita as the book read by great thinkers. I showed her the picture of the 5 horses and the mind and explained it to her. She was happy to hear that and told me how in her pshycology class her professor had shown them the picture of elephant and elephant driver and explained that the elephant was the mind and the driver was the rational self and how its so small and cant control the mind. I could see from that one example how cofused students must be when they leave universities with such degrees. I asked her to study the Gita and she told me she would go get some money and be back. But a few minutes later she texted me saying she could not get the money but would visit us on friday for Gita class and get the book then. I didn't think much of it but she actually turned up for the class and meditated with us and bought a Gita before she left.

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Toronto Sankirtan Team, CA: A photoshoot

This Friday at Ryerson University I was slowly reaching out to people asking to see Srila Prabhupada's books. However somehow I was feeling low on energy and had cops come almost close several times. So I thought I would maintain low profile and prayed that Krishna give me some inspiration. Right then I saw two girls standing with fancy cameras and I started to show them Perfection of yoga and chant and be happy. They appreciated the books but when I asked them for Laxmi they didn't have any. But then one of them came suggested that they would take picture of the book and publish in their magazine as they were 'student journalists'. Now generally I would never like to get even 1 picture clicked but these two had me open ever picture page in the book, hold it up to them from different angles and clicked pictures for 10-15 minutes. I asked them to print a few lines of the text and our contact address with the picture. I do not know if they will, but somehow unknowingly they just rendered service to the book Bhagvata. They left with a small book.

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Toronto Sankirtan Team, CA: Six years later

I was near Yonge and College and it was the 5 pm time when everyone was in super super rush and no one really wants to stop. I had taken a few books from my bag and all but 1 the chant and be happy remained. I really wanted to give it to someone but no one would stop. Somehow in this madness a girl stopped and I kind of recognised her. She reminded me of our meeting at some our early programs over 5 years ago. She said she wanted to chant and was looking for something that would help her chant. Surprised, I instantly handed her the chant and be happy and explained the glories of how the simple book helps with meditation. She gave a donation and said she would come back for a workshop.

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New Vrndavan, USA: CVPT Meeting Sept 13th Minutes

Hare Krsna Vaishnavas
Thanks to all of you who came to our 13 Sept, 2011 meeting and helped carry our discussion forward!  I hope you found it productive.

For those of you who chose not to participate, or who were otherwise engaged, here is what we covered.

We began with a short discussion on how writing a Vision Statement is a part of the planning process.  We discussed that the planning process is essentially a process of translating community values into public policy for the future development.  We then defined the terms “vision” and “vision statement” as ‘vision’ being a guiding image of what we would like the community to be, whereas the ‘vision statement’ is the formal expression of that vision.

In other words, the statement is our putting into words, pictures, graphs, etc. the vision.

This was followed by everyone completing the worksheet “Preparing a Vision Statement- Values”

Next 5 quotes from Srila Prabhupada specifically regarding New Vrindavan were presented, followed by Prabhupada’s document “The 7 Purposes of ISKCON”.  These were used as a reference to help everyone consider what, to them, is important to have here regarding our future.

We viewed a sample of a vision statement for New Vrindavan, and then everyone wrote an initial vision statement themselves. These were all collected (these were written anonymously) and collated into 1 document, which is attached to this text.

We next presented a variety of subjects that must be included, and others that can be included in our master plan. The mandatory ones are: vision statement, land use map, and implementation strategy. From a list of over 30 areas to consider (this list came from 4 different sources- 2 are professional references, 2 are from devotee groups) we combined everything into 7 broad categories.
These categories are (listed alphabetically):

  • Agriculture, cows and self-reliance;
  • Community Design and Facilities;
  • Devotee Care and Relationships;
  • Economic Development;
  • Education, arts and culture;
  • Outreach, preaching and pilgrim care;
  • Revealing the Dhama

We showed how these major categories were a result of sub-topics that are of a similar nature, and how we therefore grouped them as we did.
Team leaders were announced for the various categories as well:

  • Agriculture, cows and self-reliance- Jaya Krsna das, Varsana Swami.
  • Community Design and Facilities- Gaura Sakti das
  • Devotee Care and Relationships- Mother Sukhavaha
  • Economic Development- no Leader selected
  • Education, arts and culture- Sankirtan das
  • Outreach, preaching and pilgrim care- Yugala Kisore, Sankirtan das
  • Revealing the Dhama- Varsana Swami

Lastly, we ask everyone, including all of you reading this text, to select 1 or more categories that are of interest to you, and volunteer and participate in expanding that category. This information and work will be used for extensive future planning and development of our Community.
We will make priority lists of work; people and services needed to perform that work; resources needed- men, money, facilities, land, etc.
The more YOU get involved, the more you can help shape this community. It cannot, and should not, be done by an individual nor a small group, but by all the residents.

To contact any of the above Team Leaders:
Jaya Krsna das- temple phone; 304/843.1600
M Sukhavaha: 917.495.3646
Gaura Sakti das: or come into the CVPT office, cabin in front of Temple and Lodge
Sankirtan prabhu:845.6840
Yugala Kisore das- no phone
Varsana Swami- either through Sukhavaha or Gaura Sakti das, or just speak with him directly.

These devotees were selected as Team Leaders because of their ability to work with others in a Team environment, and their interests or knowledge of the specific category.

The Community Vision and Planning Team has a steering committee, who meet weekly to ensure all areas are being properly addressed, and to ensure the entire plan is completed nicely.  Members are: Varsana Swami, Gaura Sakti das, Sankirtan prabhu, Mother Sukhavaha, Jaya Prabhupada prabhu, Jaya Krsna prabhu.  Each devotee was selected by me.

Gaura Sakti das


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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1973 October 4: "He has become a leader due to his inspired service. That is the real thing - one who has inspiration - utsaha - enthusiasm, he can do anything. So please continue with all enthusiasm and determination and win the hearts of your fellow countrymen."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1973

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1972 October 4: "We must have that land. We are in possession. We shall not give any concession. We shall go to the courts. I want that the land should be purchased, that's all."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1972

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1973 October 4: "You are doing the greatest service to the world by giving up everything for preaching this Krishna consciousness philosophy, now please continue. This is the greatest welfare activity, and for engaging yourself and others in this way, certainly you will go back to home, back to Godhead."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1973

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1973 October 4: "Our process is simple, all-embracing, we have something to offer for everyone. There is chanting, dancing, feasting and very perfect philosophy, so everyone may be satisfied with our Krishna Consciousness Movement."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1973

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ISKCON Toronto, Canada: Vaishnavi Sanga- An Spiritual Course for Women!

"Vaishnavi" means a female devotee of Krishna. "Sanga" refers to the spiritual discussions between devotees. Toronto's Hare Krishna temple is very excited to present "Vaishnavi Sanga - A Spiritual Course for Women", scheduled to take place every Friday evening, starting at 6:00pm. The event will take a form of a weekly retreat in our beautiful Hare Krishna Centre!

What a great opportunity to get together and open our hearts while discussing various spiritual topics like exploring the relationship between spiritual master and disciple, learning how to worship Krishna at home or in the temple, learning about matter and spirit (karma, reincarnation, yoga, etc) and many more topics dealing with the philosophy and culture of Krishna Consciousness.

Please feel free to bring your friends and family (women only) who can benefit from this amazing spiritual experience!  Please join us every Friday from 6:00pm – 8:00pm for an exciting experience.

For more information, please contact: Sukhyanti devi dasi
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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1967 October 4: "Two very important things are resting with you. First arrangement with MacMillan and second to get my permanent visa. I am always anxious to be with you for the remaining days of my life, for preaching Krishna Consciousness in the Western World.
Prabhupada Letters :: 1967

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1967 October 4: "From the very beginning of your meeting with me you have very sincerely & honestly carried out my orders & I am so much obliged to you for your simple and plain behavior. So combinedly perform great blitz for bombarding the Western World with Krishna philosophy. This I want."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1967

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1969 October 4: "Your nice poetry is worthy to be offered to my Guru Maharaj. However I am quite unfit for such words. Whatever I am doing, it is due only to my Guru Maharaj. He is the power behind me, I am only instrument."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1969

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1970 October 4: "Although my party from London has reached Bombay, because no arrangement for my passage was made I am unable to join you. However if my disciples there can do the work, then I do not require to go, leaving aside my important engagements here."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1970

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H.H. Sivarama Swami: Gaura Nitai Prabhu asks

Whether the Krsna consciousness of artists influences the potency of their artwork as well as the effect that artwork has on its viewers.

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Temple of the Vedic Planetarium: Spiritual Dedication

From the beginning, Ambarisa Prabhu has been a key figure in developing the Temple of The Vedic Planetarium. Srila Prabhupada personally asked him to fund the temple back in 1976 which, as you will read, surprised Ambarisa and gave him a little chuckle. He had no idea that 34 years later the temple his Guru Maharaja envisioned would be making its groundbreaking début in Sridham Mayapur. So I wanted to dig a little deeper about how he feels about this enormous project and what inspires him to continue to be a part of it. “...My service is to be a roving ambassador for the project, so it is not necessary that I be on site all the time. At the same time, I am always excited to see the progress, and do miss Mayapur when I have not been back for a while.?” 1. Because you live in the US, how does it feel to work on such a colossal project and not be with the team in Mayapur all the time? Ambarisa Prabhu: Because I have complete confidence in the team who are on location in Sridham Mayapur, I do not feel anxiety to be separated while I do my other work. I have many responsibilities in the U.S., both personal and business, and it would be impractical to be living in India at this time. Project Director Sadbhuja prabhu has assembled a first rate team in Mayapur, including project manager Pundarikaksha Govinda prabhu. If there is some major problem, we are never more than a phone call or Skype away. Bhavananda prabhu is spending more and more time in the dham. My service is to be a roving ambassador for the project, so it is not necessary that I be on site all the time. At the same time, I am always excited to see the progress, and do miss Mayapur when I have not been back for a while.

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Japa Group: Our Strength

Our strength is in following the regulative principles and chanting sixteen rounds japa. Then Krsna will give you protection.
Letter to Visvadharini dasi
12th January, 1977
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Gouranga TV: Harinam – Kirtan – Ratha Yatra – Woodstock 2011

Harinam – Kirtan – Ratha Yatra – Woodstock 2011

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ISKCON Malaysia: Absolutely Gorgeous Vyasasan for Srila Prabhupada



On September 9, Sri Gauranga and I made a one day visit to Bali to inspect and discuss further the designs and woodwork for Srila Prabhupada Vyasasana and main altar. Good news is Srila Prabhupada Vyasasan is completed and appended are some pictures I snapped. Main altar works has just started and more reports will be given in December.


Our main ornamental works faced some delay due to delay in getting approval for artisans. Me and Kripa Sindhu Krishna dasa prabhu joined Sriman Satish of Atish D'Resources (our ornamental contractors) to appeal our application. By Lord Krishna's mercy we received approval on the spot and so we expect speedy progress by our sthapaty. We are also working out final design for central brahmastana dome.






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H.G. Sankarshan das Adhikari, USA: Tuesday 4 October 2011--Exploding with Ecstasy--and--How to Recover Enthusiasm for Bhakti?

A daily broadcast of the Ultimate Self Realization Course Tuesday 4 October 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. (Click on photo to see a larger image.) 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. For Transcendental Association Connect With Other Members of this Course. Join this Conference: Today's Thought: Exploding with Ecstasy Uploaded from Riga, Latvia One who is fixed in Krishna consciousness is exploding with the ecstasy of love of Godhead within his heart at every minute. And wherever he goes he creates a tidal wave of transcendental bliss, which drowns those souls who are fortunate enough to get his association. That day when the world population recognizes the great benefit of such transcendental association will be the day when the age of perfect peace dawns on planet earth. Sankarshan Das Adhikari Sharing the Ecstasy of Krishna Consciousness Tallinn, Estonia--2 October 2011 Blissful Farewell After a Week of Ecstasy Tallinn, Estonia--3 October 2011 Answers by Citing the Vedic Version: Question: How to Recover Enthusiasm for Bhakti? When I was student in college initially for 2 years I was very enthusiastic in practicing Krishna consciousness. And now since I have started working I am losing the taste for chanting. As a result of this my mind is troubling me. The only time I am enthusiastic is when I am hearing Krishna conscious lectures or I am present in the association of devotees. How can I become simple and serious in Krishna consciousness? Most of the time I find myself to be one person internally and another person externally. In other words I am manifesting a duplicitous nature. How can I overcome this? Sushil Answer: Meditate on Krishna Every Morning Just as you discipline yourself to go to work on time every day, you must also discipline yourself to mediate every morning on the Hare Krishna mantra before you leave your home for work. In this way, by connecting with Lord Krishna solidly in the morning, you will able to connect your entire day with Krishna and always feel transcendental bliss within your heart. Your true devotee-of-Krishna nature will thus become fully manifested within and without. Sankarshan Das Adhikari Transcendental Resources: Receive the Special Blessings of Krishna Now you too can render the greatest service to the suffering humanity and attract the all-auspicious blessings of Lord Sri Krishna upon yourself and your family by assisting our mission. Lectures and Kirtans in Audio and Video: Link to High Definition Videos Link to Over 1,000 Lecture Audios Lecture-Travel Schedule for 2011 Have Questions or Need Further Guidance? Check out the resources at: or write Sankarshan Das Adhikari at: Get your copy today of the world's greatest self-realization guide book, Bhagavad-gita As It Is available at: Know someone who could benefit from this? Forward it to them. Searchable archives of all of course material: Receive Thought for the Day as an RSS feed: Unsubscribe or change your email address Follow us on Twitter: Thought for the Day on Facebook: Copyright 2005-2011 by Ultimate Self Realization.Com Distribution of this material is encouraged. Simply we request you to acknowledge where it is coming from with a link to our sign up page: Our records indicate that at requested to be enrolled to receive e-mails from the Ultimate Self Realization Course at: This request was made on: From the following IP address:

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ISKCON Malaysia: Sastra and Anna Dana Programs in Schools




More innovative ideas to preach and distribute books have been dished out by the Iskcon Malaysia General Secretary, Simheswara dasa who also heads the Bhativedanta Books Trading (M) Sdn Bhd and Food For Life Malaysia.



Schools have been targeted to be recipients of the Sastra and Anna Dana program which inculcates reading from scriptures among the children and distribution of prasadam. It is also very encouraging to see more devotees and business communities contributing towards this cause. Sponsors include Sevananda dasa and the Leopad Group.


To date two schools have benefitted from this program. A total of  688 students were given books and prasadam on the 30/9/2011 to students of SRJK (Tamil) Tun Sambanthan in Subang Jaya. The other school, SRJK (Tamil) Vivekananda, Brickfields had a similar programme on the 23/9/2011 where a total of 1045 books including 580 Big Hard Bound Bhagavad-gitas and 550 plates of prasadam were distributed to the students.



The children responded enthusiastically to the singing of the Hare Krishna maha mantra during and listened attentively to the briefing on a short introduction of the Bhagavad-gita. A set of books and literatures on other titles were also given for the school library the teachers of the schools.


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