jueves, 6 de octubre de 2011

Vraja Kishor, JP: How to Find Your Guru



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"Planet ISKCON" - 46 new articles

  1. Akrura das, Gita Coaching: OPPORTUNITIES FOUND IN PROBLEMS
  2. Book Distribution News: Book distribution in London
  3. Vraja Kishor, JP: How to Find Your Guru
  4. Subhavilasa das ACBSP, Toronto, CA: Steve Jobs...the journey continues with the mercy of Krishna Prasadam.
  5. Kurma dasa, AU: Singapore Noodles
  6. ISKCON News.com: ISKCON Produces Videos for Odyssey Networks' iPhone App
  7. Mukunda Charan das, SA: Harinama Diksha
  8. ISKCON News.com: George Harrison: Quiet Beatle, Vocal Guru
  9. ISKCON News.com: ISKCON's Biggest Festival: The Inside Story
  10. ISKCON News.com: New Study: Whole Food Vegetarian Diets Reverse Many Serious Illnesses
  11. ISKCON News.com: Poor Vitamin B-12 Status Leads To Reduced Brain Volume
  12. Toronto Sankirtan Team, CA: Power of sound
  13. Toronto Sankirtan Team, CA: Athatho brahma jigyasa
  14. Toronto Sankirtan Team, CA: A 10 year journey leading upto Gita
  15. ISKCON News.com: Maha-Mantra Festival Celebrations in Toronto
  16. ISKCON News.com: Hare Krishna: The Rise in Krishna Consciousness
  17. Bhakta Chris, New York, USA: Lifestyle of a Monk in New York City (Part 2)
  18. Akrura das, Gita Coaching: IN ORDER TO BE HAPPY - FIRST DEFINE SUCCESS
  19. Akrura das, Gita Coaching: QUESTION ABOUT HABITS
  20. Hari Sauri das, Mayapura, IN: Mayapur TOVP update
  21. ISKCON News.com: Back To Godhead, or Back To Serve?
  22. Akrura das, Gita Coaching: COACHING TOPICS
  23. ISKCON News.com: URI's "Intolerance Ends with Me" Campaign Extended
  24. Madhava Ghosh dasa, New Vrndavan, USA: The Gospel According to Bob Dylan
  25. ISKCON News.com: Apple CEO Steve Jobs Passes Away
  26. New Vrndavan, USA: 27 Sept CVPT Discussion Notes
  27. H.H. Sivarama Swami: Was Einstein Wrong? A Faster-than-Light Neutrino Could Be Saying Yes
  28. Mayapur Online: Simantini Temple in Mayapur Nears Completion
  29. Karnamrita das, NC, USA: Decide to be Happy
  30. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  31. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  32. David Haslam, UK: Steve Jobs (personal thought and realizations)
  33. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  34. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  35. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  36. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  37. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  38. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  39. H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Tuesday, October 4th, 2011
  40. H.H. Sivarama Swami: Today on the victory celebration of Lord Rama
  41. Temple of the Vedic Planetarium: Durga Puja Promotes Preaching
  42. Japa Group: Faithfully Performed With Enthusiasm
  43. David Haslam, UK: Farewell Steve Job's you served the devotees well
  44. Gouranga TV: Kirtan – Baladev das and Hari das – Gaura Purnima
  45. H.G. Sankarshan das Adhikari, USA: Thursday 6 October 2011--An Eternal Blissful Life--and--Is Krishna Within or Beside the Sprit-Soul?
  46. Toronto Sankirtan Team, CA: Global unity
  47. More Recent Articles
  48. Search Planet ISKCON
  49. Prior Mailing Archive


In my programs, I often teach a principle of "turning problems into opportunities".
This is also one of the coaching skills.

Once you start to see your problems as opportunities, everything changes.
Instead of seeing life full of problems, you see a life full of opportunities.
You put yourself in a strong position - mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

In the Bhagavad-gita, Arjuna thought that fighting is a problem, and gave many reasons to support that view. But Krsna said no, it is an opportunity, a rare opportunity. So we find this principle in the Gita.

Now, how do you do that - practically? How do you turn problems into opportunities?
It is quite simple, but if you are intelligent, the effect can be quite amazing.

You first write down the problem, as clearly and as concisely as you can.
Then, ask yourself this question:


And then write down at least 20 answers, or opportunities.

Every problem is an opportunity for something. Here are several opportunities found in most problems:

- You can learn how to see problems differently and how to solve problems more effectively.

- You can learn something new. You learn what works and what does not work. You learn about yourself, e.g., how you react to challenging situations. You learn about other people: what they think, how they behave, etc.

- You can examine your assumptions, paradigms, mindsets, and perceptions.

- You can take shelter of Krsna more sincerely by praying for guidance.

- You can look at the Bhagavad-gita for ideas and solutions.

- You can ask people who care for advice.

- You can see the issue from the spiritual point of view - through the eyes of the sastra (scriptures).

- You can take love as a basis for solving the problem, instead of fear or anger.

- You can ask yourself: How should I deal with this so Krsna is pleased the most?

- You can ask yourself: What would a pure devotee do in this situation?

It is also an opportunity to learn creative problem solving. There are many resources for that.

So instead of being a victim or a weakling when you face a problem, become a victor and a vira (hero, warrior, champion).

Problems are not meant to crush you or destroy you. They are meant to help you learn more and become stronger.

Use them to grow and develop and become more serious and sincere about attaining the ultimate goal of life.
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Book Distribution News: Book distribution in London

Jogging Book Distribution

During one of our summer book marathons I was standing by the Covent Garden station in London feeling miserable because books were going out very slowly. Krsna was clearly testing my patience and humility. When I had almost given up and was about to take a break, I noticed someone jogging toward me. The jogger was a young business lady dressed in typical office wear. (Jogging and fitness in general are very popular among London's office workers.) Without hesitation I followed her impulsively, intending to catch up. While approaching her I began praying to Krsna that she would take a book. After running about a hundred meters I finally caught up to her and started presenting the maha-big /Veda /book to her. Without hesitation she took the book and asked if it was free. As I ran alongside I told her about the book and explained about donations, showing her my devotee garb and bag. Still running, she took a few pounds from her big white wallet and handed them to me. "Thank you very much!" I called to her while thinking "Amazing!" and watching her jog away from me. I puzzled over the incident a bit and finally stopped trying to understand what had happened. I'd just completed three minutes of a steady run covering some four hundred meters, and was feeling the aftertaste of Krishna's smile and harinama in my heart.

There Are Good People in the World

This incident happened near the Oxford Circus station, during the summer book marathon.

I approached four 16-to-17-year-old teenagers who were tourists from Luxembourg. The one named Alexander was in a very uplifting mood. He joked and laughed constantly. His cheerfulness was contagious. I offered them "The Science of Self-Realization," asking for four pounds to cover the costs. They offered two, and with a smile I asked for a little more. Alexander found an extra pound and unexpectedly offered to join me in asking the passersby for one more pound. I began helping him approach people. Alexander was honestly explaining that he was missing one pound to get the book he needed. The first passerby refused, the second, of the Muslim faith, began asking many questions about the SSR that Alexander was holding, but didn't give the pound. Through the third person Krishna handed me the much-needed pound. But things got even better. Alexander suddenly gave his SSR to the man who gave the final pound! Alexander wasn't aware that by giving away his first big book he had received the blessings of Lord Caitanya and Srila Prabhupada. Obviously, with great devotion I handed him another "Science of Self-Realization" for him and his friends. We were both in heaven!

Your servant, Bhakta Alexey

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Vraja Kishor, JP: How to Find Your Guru

The most important thing.

Sadhu with apprentice in Assam, India.

Image via Wikipedia

I very recently heard my own Guru say this: if you are looking for guru, sadhu, and spiritual sanga, what you have to seek is very simple…

  1. Who is the person who is most addicted to hearing about and glorifying Sri Krsna?
  2. Who is the person who makes you most inspired to hear about and glorify Sri Krsna.

That person is guru, sadhu, and is therefore good sanga.

Take this very seriously and ignore everything else anyone ever tells you about who is or who is not your (or anyone’s) guru.


Guru (and sadhu and good sanga) is

  1. More advanced than we are,
  2. Has the realization which we personally desire,
  3. Is naturally affectionate towards us.

#1 is easy, basically everyone is more advanced than us.

#2 is not as easy, because requires that you know enough about Krsna consciounsess to be able to feel a particular mood or vibe about it, and be able to sense what other persons have a perfection or significant advancement in that particular type of bhava / vibe. For example, if you are really “into the gopis,” it would be stupid to accept someone who is “not into the gopis” as a guru even if they are very advanced in their realizations and are affectionate towards you.

#3. is important, don’t overlook it. There has to be a natural click in the relationship – you just simply have to like the person and s/he simply has to like you.

Ignore anything official that anyone or any institution or any social convention tries to mandate or command you about who is or is not, can or can not be your guru. Period. Ignore any stereotypes about age, gender, nationality, social station or lifestyle. Period! Nor is there any real need for any official ceremony or title to signify that you are disciple and s/he is guru. All you have to do is find the person(s) meeting the three criteria above who are most addicted to Krsna Katha, and thus inspires you the most to krsna katha – and take shelter of them with a passionate fervor. Then you will get from guru the transcendental seed of topmost self-realization (prema-bhakti-bija) and you will get great guidance on how to effectively water and care for the divine growth of that flowering creeper that will soon wrap around the lotus feet of Tamal-like Sri Hari.

Clearly this article is specifically how to find the guru for the topmost goal of life, the “pancama-purushaartha” Divine Love of Godhead. If you need guru for lesser more immediate goals, however, you can also abstract and apply the same principles. Find someone who is in love with that topic, who has the attitude about it that you desire, and who is disposed towards you.

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Subhavilasa das ACBSP, Toronto, CA: Steve Jobs...the journey continues with the mercy of Krishna Prasadam.

It was a surprise to hear about the passing of Steve Jobs yesterday at the age of 56. Of course by now many have heard the quote from Steve Jobs about taking prasadam from the local  Hare Krishna temple. 

Steve Jobs:  "... I would walk the 7 miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it. And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on..."

A nice quote from Srila Prabhupada from a lecyure in Detroit in '75... “The process is wonderful, the process itself. You have to simply accept; then your life will be successful. It is not... it, then your life is successful. This is the secret of success. Chant, dance, take prasadam, live very happily, and look very brilliant, and next life go back to home back to Godhead.”

So Steve Jobs was fortunate to take prasadam in this life and in this way begin his path towards Krishna. 

Of course Steve Jobs added a lot to the world of technology and today in this technology is being used in Krishna Consciousness publishing, marketing and communication. As Srila Prabhupada said in February 1975:
"If the telephone and the telegraph, television is used for propagating Krishna consciousness, then it is all right. But they are not doing that. We are utilizing the modern press facilities for printing Vedic scriptures. But they are utilizing the press for sex literature, Freud's philosophy."

So with that we pray for Steve Jobs as his soul continues the path...
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Kurma dasa, AU: Singapore Noodles

I cooked this for dinner a couple nights ago.

Singapore Noodles:

It tasted as good as it looks. What more can I say?

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ISKCON News.com: ISKCON Produces Videos for Odyssey Networks' iPhone App

By Madhava Smullen for ISKCON News on 6 Oct 2011

With smartphone applications currently one of the hottest and most dynamically developing ways of distributing content, ISKCON is getting on board. And within a few weeks, people will be able to watch the first Krishna conscious videos on their iPhones at home, during a break from work or school, or while commuting on the bus or train.

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Mukunda Charan das, SA: Harinama Diksha

12:30 Brahmacari Class, ISKCON Chowpatty, Mumbai, 13 April 2002

‘The Spiritual Master is the eternal father because the Spiritual Master has the resposibility to lead the disciple to spiritual salvation, or the ultimate goal of life’ - A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Srimad Bhagavatam 3.5.7 Purport

Govind Prabhu discussed a little from Bhagavad-gita before Radhanath Maharaja addressed the brahmcaris.  Maharaja spoke some nice words about some of the senior brahmacaris.  He spoke about Krsnanda prabhu.  He mentioned how Krsnand prabhu could have held a chair at MIT, but chose the simple life of brahmacarya instead.  Maharaja glorified his disciple, ‘Krsnand prabhu has been seasoned to perfection.  He almost took sannyasa ten years ago.  But the world is not ready for Krsnand to become a sannyasi‘.  The brahmacaris from Pune and Chowpatty huddled around Maharaja, soaking in his words.  Maharaja carried on, ‘Brahmacarya means renunciation, knowledge and engagement in all aspects of devotional service.  Prabhupada taught us that disciple means “discipline”.  Discipline in how to control the demands of sex desire.  Young people are most agitated between the ages of 15 and 25.  In Vedic tradition, brahmacaris were not allowed to associate with women – except for urgent devotional service’.

Maharaja turned to Govind Prabhu and said, ‘What’s the next auspicious day?’  One devotee said, ‘Rama Navami’.  Maharaja said, ‘No.  Within the next two days’.  Another devotee said, ‘Radha-Gopinath Prabhu’s Appearance Day.  It is also Salagrama Worship’.  Maharaja then announced, ‘Tomorrow I will be giving harinama-diksha to Bhakta Michael from South Africa.  There will be a short, five minute ceremony after Bhagavatam class’.  Maharaja looked at me and said, ‘Is that alright?’  I said, ‘Thank you’.   ‘There will be no yajna.  Today there is another kind of yajna.  I don’t think you want to go downstairs?’  There was a wedding taking place in the downstairs foyer.

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ISKCON News.com: George Harrison: Quiet Beatle, Vocal Guru

By Philip Goldberg for The Huffington Post on 6 Oct 2011

With Martin Scorsese's documentary about the quiet Beatle running on HBO now, it is time to appreciate Harrison as a teacher and a transmitter. The most conscientiously spiritual of the Beatles, Harrison learned from a number of well-known gurus, living and dead, including ISKCON-founder Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

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ISKCON News.com: ISKCON's Biggest Festival: The Inside Story

By Devamrita Swami for ISKCON News on 6 Oct 2011

During the Middle Ages, the territory of Ukraine was a mighty center of Slavic culture before the Mongols poured in and eradicated the population. Then came wars with the neighboring nation, and then Stalin, who made the Mongol hordes look like sugar babies. Now, however, the same perennially mauled territory is a chakra of eternal bhakti culture.

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ISKCON News.com: New Study: Whole Food Vegetarian Diets Reverse Many Serious Illnesses

By Kim Evans for Natural News on 6 Oct 2011

A new study found that plant based diets are a fundamental solution to our public health crisis. The physicians at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute found that the frequency and the cost of many illnesses, including obesity, cancer, diabetes, and heart disease, can be considerably reduced just by switching to a plant-based diet that does not include meat and dairy.

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ISKCON News.com: Poor Vitamin B-12 Status Leads To Reduced Brain Volume

By John Phillip for Natural News on 6 Oct 2011

Many people are aware that vitamin B12 status declines during aging, as millions of seniors fall prey to a decline in this critical nutrient. Vitamin B12 circulating in the blood declines in the elderly due to absorption problems in the digestive tract leading to poor uptake by body tissues, especially the brain.

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Toronto Sankirtan Team, CA: Power of sound

A young girl was walking buy me holding the hand of an older lady who looked like her mom and they seemed to be having a conversation, but they stopped to talk to me. I started to show them Prabhupada's books and the older lady kept turning to the younger girl and they would speak to each other in an east European sounding language. I asked thought perhaps they were debating whether to buy it but the mother started to tell me in broken English that her daughter cannot see and the mother could not read or speak English. I realised how the whole time the daughter was translating and mother was describing visuals and that is how they were completing the experience. I told the mother even if you can't read you should take the book as they are highly spiritual and will change the experience. They agreed to take it so I turned to the daughter and invited her to our events. I told her that by perfecting one sense, the sense of hearing she can achieve the perfection of all her senses. Explained to her the power of sound and hearing and told her to come to our classes for meditation and grow spiritually. She agreed to come for the cooking class as she was studying the health and nutrition program.

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Toronto Sankirtan Team, CA: Athatho brahma jigyasa

I met a girl and she was in a rush to go with her friend but stopped saying she was interested in Yoga. I started to show her the Gita and even though her friends went away she stayed on to discuss. She started to explain to me that she was recently studying Sanskrit in her Kundalini yoga practice and had the desire to go deeper in the language and it was strange to find the gita at the same time. While talking she started to express how something is missing in the world and how she thought that even though people are living we have created a world that is on the edge of breakdown and greater number of people wants to connect with divine. She told me how she came to university to get higher education and discover herself and grow, but the modern education only made people economically independent but there was no growth. I was amazed at her sharp observation and complimented her explaining that she has the right curiosity to make spiritual progress. Explaining to her that this inquisitiveness brahma jigyasa was the gift of human form of life and I invited her to the Friday night discussion at Bhakti lounge. She did not have much money and offered me her subway pass, my heart totally melted at this point and I asked her to simply come the next day. She gave me what she had, lets hope she can make it.

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Toronto Sankirtan Team, CA: A 10 year journey leading upto Gita

An Indian lady was walking buy but she agreed to stop and talk briefly. At first I showed her the Chant and be happy and she said her husband had it. So I showed her the scienc of self realisation and she said she had it from a long time. Now I started to think she was trying to avoid me and cooking up stuff which people often do. But I wasn't giving up before showing her every book as Vaisesika prabhu said show every book and they will take one. So I showed her the Bhagavad gita and she said she had the audio. Somehow the super soul guided me and I told her yes but your audio won't have the purports which are the real jewel of the translation. She started to say that she was trying to read the Vedas online like the rg veda etc. I told her she did not have the life span of Sanskrit expertise to understand rg veda as it was not meant for us. I recited Srila Prabhupada verse from introduction to the gita sarva upanishado gavo dogdha Gopal Nandana and explained to her how Gita was the cream of all Vedas and she should read it. She started to inquire about how I got involved with everything and why. I told her just as fire burns irrespective of what you put in, doesn't discriminate, similarly genuine knowledge burns the impurities in heart when you come in touch. I told her as she studied the Gita she would understand what I mean. She decided to take the gita and then as we discussed further, I realised that our meeting was just one in a series she had. She got the SSR 10 years ago from a devotee, then few years ago her husband volunteered at Toronto temple one day and got a Chant and be happy and then in Iskcon Bangalore she had got the audio of Gita – so today she bought the Bhagavad-Gita as it is.

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ISKCON News.com: Maha-Mantra Festival Celebrations in Toronto

Toronto's Hare Krishna community recently celebrated the annual Maha-Mantra Festival. The festival involved a wide assortment of activities and events that proved to be wonderfully spiritually inspiring. This video contains some of the highlights.

If the selection above is hosted by YouTube then after the video plays there will be several links presented to other videos. ISKCON News Weekly has no control over the selections presented and is not responsible for their contents.
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ISKCON News.com: Hare Krishna: The Rise in Krishna Consciousness

By Sam Singh for The Huffington Post on 6 Oct 2011

The arrival of the Toronto International Film Festival neatly heralds the end of the summer festival season in the city and Canada as a whole. However glamorous the parade of celebrities on the red carpet may seem, nothing quite compares to the peculiar sight of the Ratha Yatra in Toronto and across the country.

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Bhakta Chris, New York, USA: Lifestyle of a Monk in New York City (Part 2)

Click here to head over to Tattva Magazine for Part 2 of my piece "Lifestyle of a Monk in New York City"
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"One reason why people often feel less successful than they are is due to the fact that they have simply failed to define what success means. It is essential for an organisation, team and individual to establish clear criteria for success. Without it, we come off track and fail to recognize when we've achieved it."

- From Supercoaching, by Graham Alexander


So what does success mean to you?

How do you define success?

When will you know that you have achieved success?
Who would you be? What would you do? What would you have?
What would you think? What would you feel? What would you desire?

Does it really matter to you?

Srila Prabhupada said in lecture:

Knowledge means to know Him. Success means to please Him. (Krsna, or God)
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Akrura das, Gita Coaching: QUESTION ABOUT HABITS

Usually people struggle to keep their good habits or avoid bad ones for a week or two.

Today I was approached by a devotee who kept a habit he had chosen for several months. And today he broke it. He asked me how does this happen.

This is what I said:

The material mind is always looking for an opportunity to distract you from your good habits. If you are not aware what is going on in your head, and do not consciously influence your thinking, feeling and willing, it will be easier for the mind to distract you.


Because you are not paying attention.

How some people get robbed without noticing?

Because they are not paying attention.

So we have to become more conscious that we are not the mind, that we don't have to listen to the mind, and that we, as a spirit soul, have a power to choose what we do.
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Hari Sauri das, Mayapura, IN: Mayapur TOVP update

Yesterday, October 5 2011, was Durga puja, the biggest festival in Bengal. Since everyone is on holiday and I am back in Mayapur I thought it was a good opportunity to take a few shots of the TOVP site.

The construction, as you can see from the photos, is progressing at an amazing rate. When I left in July on my Eurotour, the temple room floor had just been completed. Now two levels above that are done, with columns for the third and final level before the work on the main dome begins, are nearly done. Check it out!

From the north side (between the Long building and the TOVP. Its looking big:

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From the temple room floor looking up at the ring beam support for the main dome

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These next shots show the length from front to back; and various angles of the floors above the temple room. These floors encircle the temple room, form the base of the main dome, and will house various exhibits on three levels. Devotees will be able to look across and see the planetary chandelier hanging down from the peak of the dome 200 feet above

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this is looking from where the Vyasasana will be just inside the main entrance, to where the Deity rooms will be


Apparently now in India they have started to worry about work saffety

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And from the temple room floor its up the stairs we goes, up up up, up

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and when we gets to the top, precious – what a view!

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even at this level, with one more to go and then the main dome, its already nearly level with the top of Srila Prabhupada’s Samadhi

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some serious form work here;

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and here’s the view looking north, you can see the Yoga-pitha spire on the horizon


and looking south to Navadvip and west over the now receding Ganga

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This stair case in the temple room floor is the pujari access to the Deity rooms


the staircase to heaven

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Here’s a few views from back down on the ground:

the old and the new – the original straw hut that Srila Prabhupada declared as the headquarters of the International Society for Krsna Consciousness in 1971;

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and the partially manifest TOVP that he immediately started planning at the same time


Here’s a couple of shots from the highest viewing level of the Samadhi (base of the dome)

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and looking from the south towards the front entrance


and from the east looking from ground level


and across from the fourth floor of the Conch building


Notice how small the Long Building looks


Casting of the floors for Lord Nrsimhadeva’s temple will begin next month


That’s it folks! Check out the website also: www.tovp.org

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ISKCON News.com: Back To Godhead, or Back To Serve?

By Keshava Krishna Das for ISKCON News on 6 Oct 2011

If a devotee were to ask, "Please bless me so that I'll never take birth again in this horrible material world," would this be asking for some kind of liberation? Hundreds of times, Srila Prabhupada encouraged us to "Go Back home, back to Godhead." Would it be a form of boldness or naiveté to desire to come back to this world and serve by preaching?

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Akrura das, Gita Coaching: COACHING TOPICS

Coaching, with its universal appeal, can be applied to almost any subject. The following are some of the most common topics that we encounter as coaches:

• Leadership
• Vision
• Mission
• Values
• Strategy
• Planning
• Goals

• Will
• Motivation
• Support/challenge
• Resilience

Learning And Development
• Capability
• Skills
• Confidence
• Fulfillment
• Well-being

• Communication
• Impact
• Understanding and trust
• Openness/honesty
• Processes

• Management
• Coaching
• Roles
• Procedures
• Objectives
• Results
• Behavior
• Measurement
• Problem solving/issue resolution
• Self-management

Success Coaching is about helping individuals and organisations become more successful, more effectively. It is probably the most important topic on the list. One reason why people often feel less successful than they are is due to the fact that they have simply failed to define what success means. It is essential for an organisation, team and individual to establish clear criteria for success. Without it we come off track and fail to recognize when we've achieved it.

From Supercoaching, by Graham Alexander
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ISKCON News.com: URI's "Intolerance Ends with Me" Campaign Extended

By Julian Foley for Religious Press Release Services on 6 Oct 2011

On September 1, 2011, URI (United Religions Initiative) invited people around the world to sign a pledge to take action against intolerance in their communities. With responses still coming in from more than 50 countries, URI is extending the campaign until November 16, the International Day for Tolerance.

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Madhava Ghosh dasa, New Vrndavan, USA: The Gospel According to Bob Dylan

From The Thoughtful Christian.

Since the early 1960s, music fans have found Bob Dylan spirituality fascinating, and many of them have identified Dylan as a kind of spiritual guru. This book, written by a scholar who is a longtime fan, examines Dylan’s mystique, asking why audiences respond to him as a spiritual guide. This book reveals Bob Dylan as a major twentieth- and twenty-first-century religious thinker with a body of relevant work that goes far beyond a handful of gospel albums.

To listen to Michael Gilmour’s interview about this book on WJK Radio with Dan and Jana, click here.

For some reason I have a corrupted sound driver and uninstalling and reinstalling the device isn’t working so I wasn’t able to  listen to this interview.  Anyone who could give a review of it feel free to leave a comment.

“Gotta Serve Somebody” by Bob Dylan

Filed under: News, Ramblings or Whatever
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ISKCON News.com: Apple CEO Steve Jobs Passes Away

This short video of Steve Jobs was taken at Stanford University, when he talked about his difficulties as a young man, and about how much he appreciated the free prasadam he received from ISKCON devotees during those years.

If the selection above is hosted by YouTube then after the video plays there will be several links presented to other videos. ISKCON News Weekly has no control over the selections presented and is not responsible for their contents.
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New Vrndavan, USA: 27 Sept CVPT Discussion Notes

27 September CVPT discussion

Hare Krsna devotees

On the 27 of September the Community Vision and Planning team had another presentation and group discussion. My thanks to all of you who came and participated.

We will NOT have these for a while, as we are now into group discussions based on the different Categories (see below).

For those of you who chose not to, or were unable to attend, here's a summary of what we did.

We presented the results of our Values Statement survey in descending order of selection (top of the list were the most desired values). We then went through the top 11 that were previously selected, and put those into descending order (a second opportunity to select and decide). Here are the results:

Integrity, Accountability, Honesty, Authenticity

Respect, Consideration, Honoring the sacred in everything

Compassion, Forgiveness, Understanding, Listening, Empathic

Sadhana, Spirituality

Appreciation, Acceptance, Acknowledgment, Gratitude

Encouragement, Inspiration, Reassurance, Support

Service, Contribution, Participation

Healthy relationships with devotees, management, ourselves

Cooperation, Interdependence, Connection, Belonging (Inclusion)

Consciousness, Clarity, Self-Realization, Awareness

Learning, Growth, Empowerment, Challenge, Stimulation

We then asked "What values do you think are most important to see in the Community leaders?" Here are those results:

Sadhana, Spirituality

Integrity, Accountability, Honesty, Authenticity

Consistency, Continuity, Competence, Effectiveness

Healthy relationships with devotees, management, ourselves

Appreciation, Acceptance, Acknowledgment, Gratitude

(It's interesting to note that for individuals, the values of integrity, respect and compassion are most important to see exhibited, while for our leaders, it's Sadhana, integrity and consistency that rated highest. In other words, amongst ourselves we value integrity, respect and compassion, but for those who lead us Sadhana is most important, followed by integrity and consistency.)

We then had a very nice and open discussion to refine the vision statement. We spoke of concepts, ideals, principles that we wanted to see included, rather than focus on the grammar of the statement.

We again asked all devotees to join Division groups to help with the 1, 3, 10 and 25 year plans of action. Every group will have their 1st meeting by 8th of October. Again, the Divisions (or Categories) and leaders are:

Agriculture, Cows and Self-reliance; Jaya Krsna das

Community Design and Facilities; Gaura Sakti das

Devotee Care and Relations; Sukhavaha dasi

Economic Development; Yugala Kisore das

Education, Arts and Culture; Sankirtan prabhu

Outreach, Preaching and Pilgrim Care; Yugala Kisore das

Revealing the Dham; Varsana Swami

Please contact the individual leaders for their meeting schedules.

Pizza prasadam was served at the beginning of the discussion. We met for 90 minutes, from 6:00-7:30 pm.

The next day, the CVPT Steering group met, and refined what was discussed the previous night. Here's what we propose for the New Vrindavan Community Vision Statement:

(Proposed) Vision Statement

New Vrindavan Community is an intentional spiritual community centered around the practice of Bhakti yoga expressed as the Brijabasi Spirit, emphasizing simple living and high thinking, agriculture and cow protection, places of pilgrimage, and propagation of the teachings of A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

* The "Brijabasi Spirit" manifests abundance through the synergy of loving relationships with Krsna in the center.

This Vision Statement will be formally presented to the joint board of directors' meeting in 2 weeks, for their approval or modifications.

Please let me know your thoughts and ideas!

Yours in service,

Gaura Sakti das

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H.H. Sivarama Swami: Was Einstein Wrong? A Faster-than-Light Neutrino Could Be Saying Yes

SRS: Srila Prabhupada said that modern science is rewritten every few years, but the knowledge of Bhagavad Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam is eternal. http://ti.me/phQz2d

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Mayapur Online: Simantini Temple in Mayapur Nears Completion

The beautiful deity of Lord Chaitanya along with the deity of Simantini, Goddess of Simantadvipa, have arrived and are waiting to move into Their new temple behind the existing Jagannath Temple in Rajapur. The temple structure is complete and inside the finishing work is underway. The external cladding in terracotta has resumed after pausing for the rainy season.

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Karnamrita das, NC, USA: Decide to be Happy


To some, the idea in the title of today's blog sounds too simple, or sentimental to be true, yet I have found that happiness, or sadness, or a host of emotions, are a state of mind, or more correctly, are a result of whether we remember our spiritual, joyful nature, or not. Happiness is a choice we make, moment by moment, by what we focus on, and who we think we are. Many great persons in the world also know the power of our focus. Abraham Lincoln once wisely observed that "People are about as happy as they make up their minds to be," and he was a man who underwent many reverses, and hardships in his life. We all have tremendous power to be happy and to help others, but this power comes from the soul, who is a spark of Krishna.

As eternal spiritual beings our nature is joy, peace, satisfaction, and in relationship to Krishna, everlastingly, blissful celebration.

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1975 October 6: "Our principle is to simply repeat what is there in my books. We need not give up the association of devotees simply because there is a difference of opinion how to preach. If your conviction is strong, convince the others. But living outside the association of devotees will not be beneficial to your Krsna consciousness."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1975

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1968 October 6: "The priestly class could not do anything very nice, the dogmatic way of thinking is going on. They are afraid for their own system of religiosity, so naturally, they are not very satisfied. So we may be facing some difficulty by them in future."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1968

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David Haslam, UK: Steve Jobs (personal thought and realizations)


Many Many years ago one of my beautiful god-brothers stopped me mid sentence,; looking at me and in a very authoritative voice asked a simple question "Who’s a devotee"

They sincerely questioned my reasoning for my thoughts and words, for my use of devotee meant simply those who I knew who chanted Hare Krishna and active members of ISKCON; he pointed out one thing anyone who loves and appreciated Krishna is a devotee even if for the best part there actions may not demonstrate this (or at least thats how my memory recalls it)

Today a devotee gave me a link to Steve Jobs were he mentioned that for a time thing were so hard he only had one good meal at The Hare Krishna Centre.

Piecing a timeline it must have been about I guess the time of the love-feasts and how passionate the devotees were in serving there Guru Maharaja Srila Prabhupada; he ate but my mind pondered what else.

I am reminded my own Guru Maharaja reminds us to serve Krishna prasadam if the person appreciates it upon receiving it they indeed get to taste Krishna prasadam in there next time; and indeed Steve Jobs loved Krishna Prasadam

Further though he must have sat and chanted the holy names of Krishna; I cannot see how anyone could go regularly to the temple and not; he appreciated the devotees and how they helped him through a difficult time this through his appreciation of the devotees he truly appreciated Krishna. For how do we best glorify Krishna than by Glorifying his devotees.

His key note speeches in many ways as my understanding and watching the cinema clips of Srila Prabhupada makes me wonder if he observed the devotees who were passionately trying to emulate there Guru Maharaja and adopted some of what he observed.

But mostly he spoke publicly about the Hare Krishna’s and there Food, honoring both Krishna, the devotees and prasadam; and this only a devotee can do with such sincerity and humility.

So I end my thoughts on this which some may disagree with and thats alright:

To Steve Jobs Devotee
May Krishna give you all facility to taste the nectar of the holy names to taste time and time again your names in the form of Krishna Prasadam and continue to speak so sweetly of your devotees and there humble service to you.

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1955 October 6: "My Dear Sripada Gosvami Maharaja, Some non-Bengali gentlemen are demanding my Hindi edition of Caitanya Caritamrta. Your Holiness has already seen the manuscript. I wish to get it out part by part. I would request you to invest for this purpose. I hope you will give this starting & oblige. ACB."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1947-64

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1967 October 6: "By the mercy of the Spiritual Master one can please the Lord and one who has not pleased the Spiritual Master cannot have any access in the realm of Krishna Consciousness. By misuse of one's independence one loses all importance in Krishna Consciousness."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1967

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1970 October 6: "When the scientist, philosopher, and medical men will get the opportunity to study systematically what is God, what are His energies, what is my relationship, how to approach Him, then only there will be paradise. Paradise in ignorance of God is parasite in a temporary paradise."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1970

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1973 October 6: "I thought our men were becoming like hippies, but now I understand from you that that is not the case. So I have no objection. In Caitanya Mahaprabhu's Movement, everyone is preacher, whether man or woman it doesn't matter."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1973

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1974 October 6: "In material life there is simply envy of others progress, but in spiritual life one encourages another, "Oh you are doing very nice." That is Radharani. She says, oh here is a very nice devotee. Please Krishna, you accept him."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1974

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1974 October 6: "You can start a temple there provided you are strong enough. If you stick to our principles it will not be difficult. That will please me very much. But you must consider carefully. Once a temple is started, it cannot be closed in any circumstances."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1974

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H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

Old Men and Peace

Toronto, Ontario

When someone comes to town more for pilgrimage than tourist sightseeing, I like to take them to the Beaches boardwalk where our guru in the summer of '75 did walk. A visiting family from Florida and a devoted member of ISKCON's Detroit chapter came to spend a few days. What a blessing to have great guests whose motives are to grow within!

On the perfect Indian summer day, we took to the trail shared by others who had come to enjoy the sunshine and the placidness of the lake.

(Pardon me for being a trite too mundane as one reader to this blog felt spiritual content was lacking. The intent here is to keep the blog new-comer friendly and to see it as a springboard to reach greater spiritual heights. Anyways, here's the mundane-ness and you can judge for yourself if it inspires or not.)

While we took to the trail of the purest of all souls, Srila Prabhupada, we saw an elderly group of men lawn-bowling. We also saw an ancient man soaking in the sun at a bench. I thought of the peace they were seeking. I also thought of that marvelous poem read to a group of us spiritual leaders at an interfaith gathering. Coordinator, J.W. Windland, read Maya Angelou's poem, "A Brave and Startling Truth" and its reference to peace. Here it goes:

And the aged can walk into evenings of peace
When religious ritual is not perfumed
By the incense of burning flesh
And childhood dreams are not kicked awake
By nightmares of abuse

Another stanza:

And when we come to it
To the day of peacemaking
When we release our fingers From fists of hostility
And allow the pure air to cool our palms

That was delivered on the 50th anniversary of the United Nations and now to us.

At the event I had the pleasure to speak on the topic of peace as presented in the Bhagavad-gita. The message there is a step above.

11 KM

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H.H. Sivarama Swami: Today on the victory celebration of Lord Rama

We may consider that our guaranteed victory in this life is inevitably beset with many setbacks, tolerated by true faith.

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Temple of the Vedic Planetarium: Durga Puja Promotes Preaching

Every year, around October, the big festival of Durga Puja takes place all around West Bengal. Signified with loud music, colorful lights, massive Goddess Durga status and giant bamboo pandals, Durga Puja ushers in the beginning of the cold season, which means that Gaura Purnima is coming soon!

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Japa Group: Faithfully Performed With Enthusiasm

Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī therefore recommends, tat-tat-karma-pravartanāt: "One must strictly follow the regulative principles of vaidhī bhakti." In addition to these four prohibitions (yama), there are positive regulative principles (niyama), such as the daily chanting of sixteen rounds on japa-mālā beads. These regulative activities must be faithfully performed with enthusiasm. This is called tat-tat-karma-pravartana, or varied engagement in devotional service.

Nectar Of Instruction
Verse 3 purport
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David Haslam, UK: Farewell Steve Job's you served the devotees well


It was with some sadness to hear of the passing away of Steve Jobs one of the major technological innovators of our time; I remember as if it was only yesterday using the original makintosh and then Apple II both revolutionizing the way we use computers.

Not forgetting the iPod and the way it allowed us to blissfully listen to hours of Srila Prabhupada’s lectures and amazing visnava songs and for me the original iPhone that allowed me to access and read articles from PlanetISKCON, HH Sivarama Swami’s pod casts and ISKCON Melbourne class whenever and wherever I am.

Indeed my macbook has faithfully allowed me to upload videos, classes and write my blog and connect with devotees from around the world.

It is interesting to see the out poring of emotion from so many as one life moves from one body to another and how we can be touched by individuals that we never met; feeling an infinity to them either as a person or due to the difference they have made in a small way in our lives.

There is a human need to connect and at times to have a collective outpouring of sympathy.

As a devotee we read how we do not mourn the passing away of a soul, indeed it is sad when we see in some ways a life wasted by not fully exploring the true meaning of life by fully understanding love of Krishna.

But as a devotee seeing how he handled and communicated to people a concept through his key note address, conveying that we somehow need this new device and that somehow our life will be incomplete without it. Persuading us to part with money for a product that costs somewhat more than many other competitors. We need it we desire it, design and reliability and kudos of owning an Apple.

In many ways watching him reminded me of Srila Prabhupada, who simply showed us that our lives would be incomplete without Krishna, how we need Krishna, how we desire Krishna, how Krishna is and always will be there. A higher cause that will change every aspect of our lives.

And how Srila Prabhupada used technology to the full, the latest technology, the leading edge technology to communicate and convince others that this actual technology is useless unless used in service to Krishna, and ow how devotees have used this technology to great effect.

So Steve Job’s in his small way served the devotees, giving them simple innovative technology that allowed us to communicate, connect with and stay in-touch, listen to downloading so much nectar , write about and watch temples live; non would have happened without the original makintosh.

So I say farewell to someone whom I never met and who has in his small way rendered devotional service by giving the devotees many technological instruments that they simple use in Krishna’s service.

And not forgetting his love of Krishna Prasadam, thanks to the devotee who gave me the link:

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Gouranga TV: Kirtan – Baladev das and Hari das – Gaura Purnima

Kirtan – Baladev das and Hari das – Gaura Purnima

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H.G. Sankarshan das Adhikari, USA: Thursday 6 October 2011--An Eternal Blissful Life--and--Is Krishna Within or Beside the Sprit-Soul?

A daily broadcast of the Ultimate Self Realization Course Thursday 6 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: http://groups.google.com/group/sda_students Help Popularize Our Message By Liking Today's Thought on Facebook: Today's Thought: An Eternal Blissful Life Uploaded from Riga, Latvia What I like the most about Krishna consciousness is that it gives you an eternal blissful life. You don't have to worry about the time factor gradually taking your happiness away because your happiness is situated 100% on the spiritual platform. I am currently happily engaged in glorifying and serving Lord Sri Krishna. This is something that I will be doing for all of eternity even after the demise of my present body. My happiness does not depend on my having the particular body that I am in right now, nor does it depend on any other material consideration. Sankarshan Das Adhikari Our Residence This Week ISKCON Temple--Riga, Latvia http://www.backtohome.com/images/2011-Fall/Riga_temple.JPG Answers by Citing the Vedic Version: Question: Krishna Within or Beside the Sprit-Soul? Is the Supersoul seated within the individual soul or is Supersoul situated along with (side by side) the individual soul in the living entity's heart? Ravishankar Answer: Both In Srila Prabhupada's books we find that Krishna is seated within the spirit-soul and also beside the spirit-soul. There is no reason that both of these concepts cannot be true because Krishna is all pervading. He is present within every atom also between every atom. Sankarshan Das Adhikari Transcendental Resources: Receive the Special Blessings of Krishna Now you too can render the greatest service to the suffering humanity and attract the all-auspicious blessings of Lord Sri Krishna upon yourself and your family by assisting our mission. Lectures and Kirtans in Audio and Video: Link to High Definition Videos Link to Over 1,000 Lecture Audios Lecture-Travel Schedule for 2011 http://www.ultimateselfrealization.com/schedule Have Questions or Need Further Guidance? Check out the resources at: http://www.ultimateselfrealization.com or write Sankarshan Das Adhikari at: sda@backtohome.com Get your copy today of the world's greatest self-realization guide book, Bhagavad-gita As It Is available at:http://www.ultimateselfrealization.com/store Know someone who could benefit from this? Forward it to them. Searchable archives of all of course material: http://www.sda-archives.com Receive Thought for the Day as an RSS feed: http://www.backtohome.com/rss.htm Unsubscribe or change your email address Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/Daily_Thought Thought for the Day on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Ultimate.Self.Realization Copyright 2005-2011 by Ultimate Self Realization.Com Distribution of this material is encouraged. Simply we request you to acknowledge where it is coming from with a link to our sign up page: http://www.backtohome.com Our records indicate that at requested to be enrolled to receive e-mails from the Ultimate Self Realization Course at: This request was made on: From the following IP address:

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Toronto Sankirtan Team, CA: Global unity

One should not criticize a low-class materialist, thinking that a high-class materialist is nice. In other words, one should distinguish between the material and the spiritual and should not become absorbed in good and bad on the material platform. For example, an honest citizen distinguishes between the life of civil freedom and that of imprisonment, whereas a foolish prisoner distinguishes between comfortable and uncomfortable prison cells. Just as for a free citizen any situation in prison is unacceptable, for a liberated, Kṛṣṇa conscious devotee any material position is unappealing.
Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura indicates that rather than trying to separate conditioned souls by materialistic distinctions, one should bring them together to chant the holy names of the Lord and propagate the sańkīrtana movement of Lord Caitanya...Rather than praising and criticizing the high and low features of ignorance, one should be absorbed in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, on the spiritual platform of eternity, bliss and knowledge.

SB 11.28.2

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