lunes, 24 de octubre de 2011

H.H. Devamrita Swami: So Close, Yet So Far Away



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"Planet ISKCON" - 43 new articles

  1. Subhavilasa das ACBSP, Toronto, CA: 1 year of blogging...
  2. H.H. Devamrita Swami: So Close, Yet So Far Away
  3. ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Daily Class - Aniruddha Prabhu
  4. ISKCON Toronto, Canada: Deity Darshan: Sunday, October 23, 2011
  5. Akrura das, Gita Coaching: KNOW YOUR NATURE
  6. Akrura das, Gita Coaching: HOW DO YOU TALK TO YOURSELF?
  7. New Vrindavan, USA: New Vrindaban Marks Passing of Ex-Leader
  8. ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Today's Darsana
  9. ISKCON Kirtanananda Swami, Expelled Former ISKCON Leader, Dies In India
  10. Toronto Sankirtan Team, CA: Battle of life
  11. Toronto Sankirtan Team, CA: A home away from home
  12. Japa Group: Everything Starts With Chanting
  13. Toronto Sankirtan Team, CA: We meet again
  14. Toronto Sankirtan Team, CA: An Unforgettable Holiday
  15. Toronto Sankirtan Team, CA: Harinam power
  16. Bhakti Lata, Alachua, USA: Tears of Love
  17. Giridhari das, Brasilia, Brazil: Weekend Gita Course in Uberaba
  18. ISKCON Toronto, Canada: Next Live Broadcast - Morning Class - Tuesday, October 25th - 7:30am
  19. New Vrndavan, USA: Farewell To Shankya Prabhu
  20. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  21. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  22. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  23. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  24. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  25. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  26. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  27. Srila Prabhupada's Letters
  28. Akrura das, Gita Coaching: WHOM DO YOU SERVE?
  29. Akrura das, Gita Coaching: TRUSTED AUTHORITY
  31. Spiritual Scientist: Is God Omnipotent, Omniscient or both?
  32. H.H. Mukunda Goswami: Moratorium Statement
  33. Madhava Ghosh dasa, New Vrndavan, USA: Heavenly Rewards
  34. H.H. Bhakticharu Swami: ISKCON Malaga Sunday Feast Lecture
  35. H.H. Sivarama Swami: Why serving the deity form of the Lord is so important to us
  36. Sita-pati dasa, AU: Mayapuris live concert stream - Monday at Atma
  37. Kurma dasa, AU: Kurminos
  38. Gouranga TV: Kirtana New Vrindavana
  39. ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Govardhan Puja 2011
  40. Australian News: George Harrison recording the Mahamantra from the movie Living in the Material World – VIDEO
  41. ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Divali 2011
  42. Vraja Kishor, JP: Expression of Love
  43. H.G. Sankarshan das Adhikari, USA: Monday 24 October 2011--A Very Special Day to Remember--and--What is Guru-Tattva?
  44. More Recent Articles
  45. Search Planet ISKCON
  46. Prior Mailing Archive

Subhavilasa das ACBSP, Toronto, CA: 1 year of blogging...

Last October, during Kartik, we launched the blog. In fact only a few months prior to that we launched this web site to keep alive our memories of Srila Prabhupada as well as share our family's spiritual journey and the nectar of the ever merciful Sri Sri Radha Shyamasundar.  

Somewhere along the process we got roped in to Facebook as well. It was actually the attempt to get some Vrindavan pictures from Gaura Mani and some local pictures from Rishi that got the whole Facebook thing started. 

So it has already been a year. A few hundred posts later as well as a few thousand friends on Facebook and blog readers it is time for some evaluation. 

The stats are difficult to understand. So far this year it shows 36,681 unique visitors. Not sure if the unique aspect refreshes daily or monthly but that would make around 37 hundred unique visitors a month. There have been 52,941 visits so far this year to the site with 104,187 page views. And there is still 2 more months left in the year. On top of this many people read the posts on other sites like Planet ISKCON, Facebook, etc. So not sure what to even make of the numbers.  

We do know there has been some earnest inquiries from people interested in learning more and in a few cases we have been able to send them to a local ISKCON temple. 

One of the most valuable parts of this process has been connecting and getting the association of old devotees and new devotees. Srila Prabhupada's followers are in many "stripes" and many have not met or been initiated by Srila Prabhupada but are diligently following Srila Prabhupada's instructions, in some cases even more so than some that had the mercy of being initiated by Srila Prabhupada. Of course it is also nice to connect with Godbrothers and Godsisters that have been at it for 30 or 40 years and still going strong in conviction and service. 

We have kept the blog positive since as devotees within Srila Prabhupada's movement we represent him and just like tilak the blog must represent what we personally stand for. Of course there is the occasional humorous view point or jab in the form of observation or potential improvement. 

However the most important part of this process has been the personal spiritual journey. Just like we do japa or arati everyday there is another component which is to blog. Some days we are not able to blog because we may be focusing on our sadhana, busy with work, research or preaching or simply have nothing to blog about. However most days there is something to blog about, especially on festival days. In past years many days on the Vaishnava calendar would some a go but now it forces us to meditate upon a great personality, research, consult scripture and write some glorification and in this way we celebrate festival days and increase our pursuit of Krishna Consciousness. 

So this is the personal spiritual journey and we are thrilled that so many have chosen to share it with us by reading these posts....Thank you for your association! 

Hare Krishna & All glories to Srila Prabhupada! 

Below we are sharing the post from a year ago...

Damodar Astaka

 The simple act of lighting and offering a candle during Kartik brings peace and bhakti into the mind and heart. The 7 of us 2 seniors, 2 mid-age and 3 young kids stand in front of Sri Radha Shyamasundar with small candles an simple prayers knowing it brings an abundance of spirtual benefit and immediate tranquility. 

During the month of Damodar not only are we supposed to offer a flame but also listen to and recite Damodar Astaka. His Grace Shabda Hari das has a beautiful and clear rendition complete with verses and translation. 

Meditate, enjoy and repeat as he repeats every verse...

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H.H. Devamrita Swami: So Close, Yet So Far Away

Flying to Delhi, after the GBC meetings in Mumbai, I did a one-night program with HH Guru Prasada Swami at the temple in Noida, a city adjacent to Delhi, and the start of the new tollway—completion repeatedly delayed—express to Vrindavan. No, India's highway planners in Delhi did not have Vraja-dhama on their mind.


You see, the divine wonder and sweetness of Vrindavana–a facsimile of the topmost portion of the spiritual world–seems to physically exist on the route to Agra, the site of the Taj Mahal, a mundane wonder and temporary eye-candy on an insignificant planet in the material world. The new expressway is meant to speed international tourists and their money to the Taj.


"So close you are to Vrindavana," I will tell the Noida congregation, the next time we meet. "Soon, a quick one-hour or so trip down the road, and there you are."




Let Caitanya-caritamrita explain:


"That abode is manifested within the material world by the will of Lord Krishna. It is identical to that original Gokula; they are not two different bodies.

"The land there is touchstone [cintamani], and the forests abound with desire trees. Material eyes see it as an ordinary place.

"But with eyes of love of Godhead one can see its real identity as the place where Lord Krishna performs His pastimes with the cowherd boys and cowherd girls." (Cc. Adi 5.19-21)


Essential points for us and our tragic attachment to material vision:


1. Thinking the Lord's abodes on the earth to differ from those in the spiritual sky is a mighty mistake. All are spiritual, "through and through." Yet, our puny mind conceptualizes the dhamas on earth as material and the originals in Vaikuntha as spiritual.


2. Krishna knows our diseased, matter-obliterated vision, and He, the Supreme Proactive One,  has done something about it. Because our infected, conditioned senses can't experience anything other than the material energy, to us Krishna mercifully presents spirit in a way that resemble matter. His dhamas and His Deity forms miraculously facilitate our seeing spirit with material eyes.


3. What blocks our vision is the most hideous tumor in our eyeballs, inflicting us with the madness that the material energy, even to a small degree, is meant for our fulfillment. Proportionately, as we abandon this perversion, our original divine vision returns.


So far away; yet by serving the servants of Sri Sri Gaura-Nitai, so accessible.

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ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Daily Class - Aniruddha Prabhu

Srimad Bhagavatam 1.3.31 - Like being able to fix a car, seeing God requires qualification, the first of which is faith in a force beyond dull matter, that is, spirit.

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ISKCON Toronto, Canada: Deity Darshan: Sunday, October 23, 2011

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Akrura das, Gita Coaching: KNOW YOUR NATURE

One Greek philosopher said: "Know yourself. Control yourself. Give yourself."

Sounds like a great success formula.

Let us look at the first one: know yourself. Knowing yourself is helpful if you want to attain peace, happiness and success. What does it mean to know yourself?

It means to understand both your spiritual and conditioned nature. We have both natures. For most people, conditioned nature is prevailing at the moment and causes suffering.

Now, in both spiritual and conditioned nature, we have a common characteristic - we serve someone or something. We always serve someone. It may be the devil or it may be the God but you've gotta serve somebody. That is an obvious fact of life.

If we understand and accept that service, giving and contribution are an inherent and the most important part of our nature, we need to clarify whom we want to serve and how we want to contribute to this world, while we are still here.

I meet people who, out of humility or fear, keep themselves stuck and don't do much. And they have many reasons that they give to themselves and others why they underperform.

But the fact is that we cannot be happy if we don't do our best to contribute, to serve, and to give. Why?

Because it is our original nature.

And if we do it, we will be happy.
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Akrura das, Gita Coaching: HOW DO YOU TALK TO YOURSELF?

Have you ever observed your thoughts or feelings? Have you ever observed your internal dialogue?

Whether your answer is yes or no, it is beneficial to observe it at least from time to time. Why?

Because if you observe your self-talk you will become more aware of it and thus you can consciously influence it and improve its quality.

Why is it important to improve self-talk?

Because the way you talk to yourself influences the way you feel and the decisions that you make. The decisions influence your action, and action leads to results.

One of the best ways I have found to talk to ourself is like a best friend or a life coach would talk to us. Both of these people would usually have our best interest at heart and have a balance between being soft and hard.

This inner talk may take place as a great advice or an excellent question. You can train yourself to do the both.

Many people I have met have a habit of negative self-talk. And this puts them in trouble. In their mind, they criticize themselves or others, or ask wrong questions like "why me?" or "why this, why that?". And this does not help.

So you can develop a new habit - a habit of a positive self-talk, that will help you solve your problems effectively and achieve your goals faster.

You can give yourself a great advice in any situation or ask excellent questions that will enable you to move forward, find the best solutions and take the best action.
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New Vrindavan, USA: New Vrindaban Marks Passing of Ex-Leader

Kirtanananda Swami, Former Leader Expelled from Krishna Community Dies

Moundsville, West Virginia – On Sunday, October 23, 2011, Kirtanananda Swami, a controversial former leader of the New Vrindaban Hare Krishna community passed away. He was expelled from the parent organization, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) in 1987, and removed from New Vrindavban leadership in 1994.
"We express our sincere condolences to Kirtanananda's family and well-wishers," said Jaya Krsna, President of New Vrindaban. "He was a historical figure in the early days of the New Vrindaban community."

Born Keith Ham in 1937 in Peekskill, New York, as the son of a Baptist minister, Kirtanananda was one of the first Americans to become a disciple of Hare Krishna movement founder A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, who brought the Krishnas' brand of monotheistic devotional Hinduism, or Vaishnavism, to the west in 1965.
Kirtanananda was best known for helping to found and being an early leader of New Vrindaban, an expansive Hare Krishna community in rural West Virginia whose ornate Palace of Gold, award winning gardens, large temple and organic farm today draw thousands of visitors and pilgrims each year.

Kirtanananda maintained a relatively low profile in the last few years and made no efforts to reconcile with the New Vrindaban community and ISKCON. He was 74 at the time of his death.
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ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Today's Darsana


"O Lord Damodara, just as the two sons of Kuvera--Manigriva and Nalakuvara--were delivered from the curse of Narada and made into great devotees by You in Your form as a baby tied with rope to a wooden grinding mortar, in the same way, please give to me Your own prema-bhakti. I only long for this and have no desire for any kind of liberation."

(Sri Damodarastakam)

Indeed, O Lord Damodara, please give to us Your own prema-bhakti through Your loving darsana.

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ISKCON Kirtanananda Swami, Expelled Former ISKCON Leader, Dies In India

By Anuttama Das, ISKCON Communications Director for ISKCON News on 24 Oct 2011

On Sunday, October 23, Kirtanananda Swami, a controversial former leader in the Hare Krishna society who was excommunicated by the parent organization for serious legal and moral transgressions, passed away in India.

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Toronto Sankirtan Team, CA: Battle of life

After a really long wait of doing nothing, by Krishna's grace I met a young girl near Bloor and Spadina. She was in great rush like everyone else around downtown, but somehow she agreed to spare a minute to look at what I had. When she saw what the books were about she started to say how she really needs meditation and was looking badly for this. She explained that she had just lost her boyfriend who died from a 3 year battle against cancer, and it made her look at life differently. She herself wasn't very old, not over 25, and I started to think perhaps she went through a lot. Tried to show her the picture of reincarnation in the Bhagavad Gita and asked her to study it and keep in touch. She gave a generous donation for the book and left saying that she was looking forward to reading it.

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Toronto Sankirtan Team, CA: A home away from home

I met two really young Indian students from Pune who were in University of Toronto for an exchange program here. We started to talk as I had also studied there. Initially they were hesitant but then they explained that they had visited our centres in India. I showed them a Bhagvad Gita each and asked them to read it. Even though they said that they had copies back in India, I showed the how this was different. They appreciated the Sanskrit and started reading the mantras. Then I requested them to please read it and share it with others. They were just students and quiet short on money, but they took all the change from their pockets and gave me donations for the books. They said they were really happy to have met me and I invited them to come to temple for Diwali. They were saying that they missed other festivals but were happy that they can make it to temple for Diwali. Praying that they actually make it to the temple.

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Japa Group: Everything Starts With Chanting

When we wake up in the morning, our thoughts should turn to Japa, it's the beginning of our spiritual day and the most important. You may remember the times when your Japa was focused and concentrated and you felt the purification of the Holy names - it affects our whole day, how we see the world and how we interact with the world.

If our Japa is good, our day is usually good and that's because we can feel the effects of the lower modes reducing and the mode of Goodness becomes more apparent and we are able to remember the Lord or see the Lord's hand in a situation thus transcending even the mode of goodness.

Let's make Japa the first and most important part of our day.
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Toronto Sankirtan Team, CA: We meet again

It was a wet and rainy day, and I was really slow meeting people due to the rain. That's when I met a girl who was passing through University of Toronto and stopped to talk to me. She was stressed and I showed her a Chant and be happy. We got talking about meditation and how it helps and I showed her a picture of Srila Prabhupada. She then remembered that she had met me a year ago near Yonge and Finch. I told her I had not been there for a while and was so happy to meet her again. She told me that she had read that book. Even though she had got it for her boy friend not so much herself, she had read it. Even today she started the conversation by saying she wasn't into yoga, but she was very inspired by her memory of our meeting last year and took a Bhagavad Gita. She said she would come back for an event with her boy friend who she said would be very inspired by knowing our story.

One can see how Krishna within the heart can give remembrance to the living entity and inspire their way back to Godhead.

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Toronto Sankirtan Team, CA: An Unforgettable Holiday

Submitted by - Gauracandra Das

I didn't plan to distribute any books in Hungary, I came to visit my family here, but Krishna gave me such an opportunity,I couldn't miss. I was visiting my sister-in-law and nephew in a small town, called Dabas. After a few days I was about to leave, but my sister-in-law told me, " please stay, the prime minister is coming to town, will give a speech for the inauguration of the new bell-tower, he is a nice fellow, please stay". I'm not interested in politics, so I still wanted to leave, but suddenly something came to my mind. I discovered that my nephew had two copies of Hungarian Bhagavad Gita by Srila Prabhupada. I asked him if I could borrow one of them. I thought I would try to give it to the prime minister, maybe he doesn't have one yet. And it turned out that it was Krishna's plan also. I didn't have to make a big endeavor, Krishna put me to the right place at the right time. Everything went very smoothly on that day.

The prime minister and other dignitaries gave a nice speech, and after the program I stayed in line to greet him.
As soon as he approached me I handed him the book and said " please accept the Bhagavad Gita ". First the mayor, who accompanied the Prime Minister, took the book from my hand and gave it to the audience, but the Prime Minister grabbed for it, thanked and shook hands with me. He walked away with the Bhagavad Gita. After a short follow up I found out that he also kept the book and it was the first time that he received it. Devotees in Hungary were very happy about my success and made my "holiday" unforgettable.
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Toronto Sankirtan Team, CA: Harinam power

A few days ago I was at the temple and Dharma-prana prabhu as always was inspiring me with his Sankirtan spirit, telling me to not me intimidated but be bold on Sankirtan. I was at UofT and remembering his little speech when I met a young man near the street car stop. He was going to go past, but then he recognised the maha mantra as I started to explain it to him. He said I know you are Hare Krishna and I obviously inquired how he heard about us. He explained that he had seen us chant near Bay and Bloor. That's when I understood he was referring to the weekly Harinam that Krsnadas Kaviraj and Dharma-prana prabhus do. I was excited, and asked him more. He started to explain that he used to have a job there and from the window of the shop he worked in, he saw these devotees on Harinam and they were really attractive. He kept explaining they were really happy. He described Dharma-prana prabhu to me and explained he is really happy in mind and that he would like to be like prabhu because he looked so happy. Just from the window he was admiring the harinam party and has such deep appreciation. He bought a book and said he would come visit us.

Simply appreciation is giving him a touch of spiritual life. It is so nice. Shraddha. If they do not go against, simply appreciate, "Oh, they are doing nice..." So development of spiritual life means development of this appreciation, that's all. SB lecture 1.2.16 LA 1972

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Bhakti Lata, Alachua, USA: Tears of Love

"When will my eyes be decorated with tears of love when I chant Your holy name?" - Sri Shikshastakam, 6th verse

I never quite know what to expect when I come to the temple of Radhe Shyam. Each visit is a gift, each visit is an adventure. I never know who I'll meet, what conversations I'll have, what experience shall wash upon the shore of my life.

This afternoon, one wave came that washed my soul in stillness.

In the velvet quiet of the temple room, I settled to the marble floor to chant japa. The only other person there besides me was an old Bengali woman. I have seen her around the temple many times with her daughter and grandchildren. She doesn't speak a word of English, but we have always exchanged smiles.

My japa felt especially deep this afternoon - so much that I felt inspired to set my beads aside for a little while to pick up the harmonium and sing "Krishna Deva Bhavantam Vande." This bhajan contains a line that especially resonates with me, and I paraphrase the translation in my heart when I sing it: "Oh Krishna, I possess only a sesame seed of bhakti. But You make the impossible possible, so please grant me the grace to devote my soul to You."

The old Bengali woman wandered over to where I sat. She didn't know the words, but she swayed and clapped off-beat, absorbed in the bhajan. We exchanged a smile. Then I pumped the harmonium one last time and picked up my beads again to chant.

Time meandered by and the old woman settled close to the altar to gaze at the forms of the Lord, Radhe Shyam. And then, with simple grace, she offered her obeisance with her whole body, as if she had collapsed to the floor.

For a moment I was stunned - the thought crossed my mind that maybe she had come to the temple to leave her body, so different was this obeisance, so profound in surrender did it strike me.

The woman slowly got to her feet. When she turned I saw that her face shone with tears. To my surprise, she walked right over to me, knelt, and we embraced. She was weeping and weeping - I could feel her chest gently heaving. We came away from each other to look into each others' eyes - her eyes were shining. We embraced again.

Her bhakti surrounded me like a warm woolen shawl.

When the woman pulled away with her arm still around my shoulders, she gestured to Radhe Shyam and murmured, "Oh Krishna! Oh Krishna!" She brushed the floor and touched her hand to her head in rapture. She rose to her feet and faced the Lord with her arms upraised, still weeping.

I folded my palms and bowed my head to this woman. I wept simple tears, deeply humbled.

This woman doesn't speak a word of English and we shall probably never engage in a full conversation, ever. But the connection of our hearts said more than words ever could; the tears in our eyes united us beyond barriers of age, language, race, culture...

Oh Krishna, thank You. Today You made the impossible possible - through Your beloved devotee, You gave me a glimpse into the mystery of bhakti
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Giridhari das, Brasilia, Brazil: Weekend Gita Course in Uberaba

I was invited to the small city of Uberaba, in the state of Minas Gerais, to give a weekend 12h course on the Bhagavad-gita, on the 15th and 16th of October.

Uberaba is a peculiar city. I’ve never been in a place before where I’ve been so repeatedly told by the residents how terrible the place is for cultivating higher consciousness. Just about everyone I met there, on different and seperate occasions, would spontaneously tell me this! And I must confess I did also perceive a rather “heavy” mood to the place. Uberaba, amongst other things, is famous as national center for cow slaughter, as well as beer drinking and country music – I’m thinking this has something to do with it! The picture above of the city’s cathedral catches some of this mood.

There is one lone and brave devotee, Yadunatha Das (pictured above next to me), who fixes motors for a living, who tries to keep alive the flame of Krishna consciousness in the city. He is very, very humble and sincere. With the help of only two fixed congregational members, a steel worker and an electrician, they payed for all my travel and lodging expenses and offered the course to the public free of charge. Charging, they all agreed, would be hopeless given the city’s apathy for all things spiritual and uplifting.

Despite all these obstacles we had a group of 10 people, who very attentively heard the necterean teachings of the Gita and highlights of Srila Prabhupada’s brilliant commentary.

We also had a small Sunday Program, with two new guests and some of the guests from the Gita course. We had a lively questions and answers section that went for about an hour. They showed a lot of eagerness in hearing more and more!

Some of the participants sent me some nice feedback, which I post below:

"Thank you for all the instructions and wisdom that you gave us these days. These were very auspicious days… Who knows, maybe the consciousness of this city is changing, and perhaps expanding, as the seeds have been sown." - Marluce

"Thanks again for all the lessons, good will, love of God and your example. Now I will try harder to change my habits and my mind." - Fernanda

"For starters I want to thank you for the joy of having participated in the course over the weekend. Benefiting from it all brought me immense joy. The words in our vocabulary cannot clearly express what I felt … Thank you from the bottom of my heart." -Telma

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ISKCON Toronto, Canada: Next Live Broadcast - Morning Class - Tuesday, October 25th - 7:30am

During the month of Kartik, the Toronto Hare Krishna temple has been having special morning classes with a wide range of topics and speakers!  We've been broadcasting these classes every morning.  Our next live broadcast will be tomorrow morning Tuesday, October 25th at 7:30am.  We hope you can join us then!

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New Vrndavan, USA: Farewell To Shankya Prabhu

Shankya prabhu is a Prabhupada disciple who has been the main cook for New Vrindaban for the summer and Festivals season for many years. He has spent in winters in Alachua, Florida at the devotee community. He is now going to move there permanently so this was his last full summer here, though he has promised to return and cook for the New Vrindaban big festivals.

Recently there was a farewell party for him at which time many devotees expressed their appreciation for his good qualities. Here is a transcribed version of one by Sacimata:

I wanted to thank everyone attending tonight to give a New Vrindaban Brijabasi farewell to our all-time favorite cook, Shankya prabhu! Let's give him a big "Hari Bol"!!!!

I first got to really know Shankya on a trip I took to Vrindaban in 2005 with Malati Prabhu. Each day after the morning program at Krishna-Balaram Mandir, we would board the "Kartik Parikrama" bus lined up across the road with Shankya and Jambajaya. We were eager to hear ecstatic pastimes with Dina Bandhu prabhu. I could see the intense love in Shankya's heart for Vrindaban and for his dear spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada as he listened to the pastimes.

Especially on Srila Prabhupada's disappearance day, at the ceremony taking place at Prabhupada's Samadhi, I could see Shankya's face filled with emotion. Then I learned all the stories about Prabhupada's favorite "flower boy." On that day, I came to realize what a special soul he was.

I know everyone celebrated an appreciation dinner for all the devotees not too long ago but I really wanted to express my personal appreciation for a sweet and humble devotee whose only desire is to continually make Srila Prabhupada happy and to engage as many souls as possible in the ecstasy of devotional service through cooking for Krishna.

So, although I am really sad to see him go, I'm really happy for all the "fun" times we've had together in the kitchen cooking, laughing, sometimes singing, and, of course, in serving the devotees, and most of all in serving Srila Prabhupada.

So Shankya prabhu. have just as much fun growing veggies and flowers in the Sunshine State. WE LOVE YOU!

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1972 October 24: "Continue increasing this political activity, it is very pleasing to me. It is a new chapter for the Krishna Consciousness movement. Now we shall begin to educate the politicians. Let it be known that our philosophy of political leadership is of the highest standard and morality."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1972

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1972 October 24: "We are trying to get the Palace of the Maharaja of Bharatapur, just on the Kesighat in Vrindaban, and our devotees are living there now. He has promised to donate, so we shall know very soon if he is sincere."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1972

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1972 October 24: "You boys cannot deal in these matters because you are too timid. He is bluffing. He says big words and makes threat and foolishly you believe him and do like he says. That I shall not do."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1972

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1972 October 24: "Do not think think weak and timid, he is bluffing. He has delayed the conveyance on tricks, and has threatened to drive us away by violence, what is this? You could not find out a good lawyer even?"
Prabhupada Letters :: 1972

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1974 October 24: "My Guru Maharaj personally instructed me that books are more important than big, big temples. So I am always emphasizing book distribution. It is the best kirtana."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1974

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1974 October 24: "Here at Mayapur my Guru Maharaj was printing one paper. It was selling for only a few paise. Sometimes whenever one brahmacari would go to Navadvipa and sell even a few copies, I would see my Guru Maharaj become very, very much pleased."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1974

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1975 October 24: "From Bhagavatam we understand the moon is 1,600,000 miles above the sun. If we say they have never gone to the moon planet, is it exaggeration? You are a scientist, I hope you will reply."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1975

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Srila Prabhupada's Letters

1975 October 24: "Why not put artificial egg made by scientists in an incubator and get more and more chickens? If they cannot produce chicken or even an egg of chicken, how can we believe their very big, big talks."
Prabhupada Letters :: 1975

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Akrura das, Gita Coaching: WHOM DO YOU SERVE?

Do you ever ask yourself:

Whom am I serving in my life, and do I serve them because I have to or because I love them?

Our happiness very much depends on how much we love the people we serve. When you love someone, you are ready to do almost anything for them, and it is not hard. Look at the mother serving a child. She can do anything pleasant or unpleasant.

When you don't love someone, even a small thing is hard.

So is it possible to arrange your life in such a way as to serve more those you love? Or ... you can consider loving more those you have to serve or serving them with more love.
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Akrura das, Gita Coaching: TRUSTED AUTHORITY

I heard recently that there is a difference between being an expert and a trusted authority.

An expert provides information, experience, knowledge. A trusted authority provides influence, empowerment, sincere personal care, and products and services that exactly meet your needs.

So when you choose people who will help you succeed in any area, have this in mind.
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In various parts of the world, we see demonstrations against various governments' austerity measures and increased taxes.

Srimad Bhagavatam, a great book of wisdom and history of great personalities, written by Srila Vyasadeva 5,000 years ago, predicts:

SB 12.2.8 - Losing their wives and properties to such avaricious and merciless rulers, who will behave no better than ordinary thieves, the citizens will flee to the mountains and forests.

SB 12.2.9 - Harassed by famine and excessive taxes, people will resort to eating leaves, roots, flesh, wild honey, fruits, flowers and seeds. Struck by drought, they will become completely ruined.

We see how these predictions are gradually coming to be true. There are more and more taxes and more and more pressure on people, who, in turn, protest.

But demonstrations and violence will not help improve the situation.

We learn this from our spiritual master Srila Prabhupada:

In the modern democratic states the citizens can have no cause for grievances, because the whole administration is conducted by the people themselves. If the people themselves are dishonest, the administrative machinery must be corrupt. If the people are not good they cannot have good government, regardless of which party governs the administration. 

Therefore good character in the consciousness of the mass of people is the first principle necessary for a good government and equal distribution of wealth.

In ancient days the kings were taught lessons in political philosophy by ideal teachers, and the citizens from village to village were taught the principles of self-realization according to the Vedic codes for both the material and the spiritual upliftment of society. Therefore the citizens were God conscious and honest in their dealings, and the kings were responsible for the welfare of the state. 

Obedience is the first law of discipline. The people have become disobedient to the laws of God, and therefore neither rain nor wealth is equally distributed. A man who is ultimately disobedient cannot have any good qualifications. When disobedient leaders lead the disobedient people, the whole atmosphere of the administration becomes polluted and full of dangers, as when a blind man leads other blind men. 

In the ancient book of wisdom Bhagavad-gita it is said that people should perform yajnas, or sacrifices, for the satisfaction of the Supreme. The Supreme is all-pervading. Therefore people must learn to perform yajnas to satisfy the all-pervading Supreme Truth. 

There are different yajnas prescribed for different ages, and in the present age of iron industry the yajna that enlightens the mind of the masses for God consciousness is recommended. This process of yajna is called the sankirtana-yajna, or large-scale chanting of the holy names of God for invoking our lost spiritual consciousness. When this process is taken up seriously and sincerely through spiritual singing, dancing, and feasting, the people will become more peaceful, obedient and honest.

The state taxes, therefore, should be spent to perform this simple and easy process and to build the character of the people in general by training them to live and act in the mode of goodness, in line with natural or God's laws and teachings. That will bring happiness to the citizens of the world states and better, caring leadership.
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Spiritual Scientist: Is God Omnipotent, Omniscient or both?

Question: If God is omniscient, then he knows how he is going to act to change the future course of history using his omnipotence. But that implies he can't change his mind about his future actions, which means he is not omnipotent. So doesn't this mean that God can either be omnipotent or omniscient, but not both?

Answer: Questions like these arise when we approach God only with our head and not our heart. We then mistake God to be a static, unconscious object and his attributes to be like the length, breadth, height, mass etc of that object. But God is not an object; he is a conscious, loving person. Over and above his omnipotence and omniscience, God has an even more fundamental defining attribute: omni-benevolence. Omni-benevolence means that God is the supreme well-wisher and benefactor of all living beings, as is proclaimed in the Bhagavad-gita (5.29).

God does not delight in displaying his omnipotence or omniscience; he delights in reciprocating love with those who love him and in extending his love to those who don't love him. So according to how he can best benefit all living beings, he sometimes exhibits his omnipotence, sometimes his omniscience, sometimes both and sometimes neither.

Consider the Mahabharata incident when Lord Krishna went as a peace messenger to the evil-minded Duryodhana to avoid the fratricidal war. Seen superficially, Krishna failed in his mission: he couldn't persuade Duryodhana. Was Krishna not omnipotent? He was, but he did not exercise his omnipotence because he respected the free will of Duryodhana. Was Krishna not omniscient to know in advance that Duryodhana would not accept his peace proposal? He was, but he did not exercise his omniscience. Why? Firstly, he wanted to express his love for the Pandavas by accepting the undistinguished role of a messenger for their sake. Secondly, he wanted to do all he could to avoid the war and thus show his loving concern for all – not only the innocent masses who would suffer the effects of the war, but also the malevolent miscreants who had incited it. On other occasions in the same Mahabharata, Krishna exhibited his omniscience in protecting the Pandavas from the empowered arrows of Bhishma, his omnipotence in foiling Duryodhana's attempt to arrest him by displaying his universal form, and both his omnipotence and omniscience in helping Arjuna to avenge the unjust murder of his son.

Love is what motivates the Lord to perform these often-puzzling activities, and love is what will enable us to figure out the puzzles. So let's remember, if we want to understand the Lord, we need to subordinate our logic to our love.

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H.H. Mukunda Goswami: Moratorium Statement

As of October 24, 2011, I will NOT be giving any 1st, 2nd (gayatri), or sannyasa initiations except to siblings, sons or daughters, parents, spouses of devotees to whom I have given diksa or gayatri initiation. I'll also initiate any people to whom I have already promised to give initiations before I established the first moratorium on initiations in November of 2003. I'll give sannyasa and gayatri (2nd) initiation to people to whom I've given diksa or gayatri initiation. I'll generally follow these procedures, however in special circumstances and on rare occasions, I may give initiation to people who are not in these categories.

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Madhava Ghosh dasa, New Vrndavan, USA: Heavenly Rewards

An 85 year old couple, having been married almost 60 years, died in a car crash. They had been in good health the last ten years mainly due to her interest in health food, and exercise.

When they reached the pearly gates, St. Peter took them to their mansion, which was decked out with a beautiful kitchen and master bath suite and Jacuzzi. As they “oohed and aahed” the old man asked Peter how much all this was going to cost. “It’s free,” St. Peter replied, “this is Heaven.”

Next they went out back to survey the championship golf course that the home backed up to. They would have golfing privileges everyday and each week the course changed to a new one representing the great golf courses on earth. The old man asked, “what are the green fees?”.
St. Peter said, “This is heaven, you play for free.”

Next they went to the club house and saw the lavish buffet lunch with the cuisines of the world laid out.

“How much is it to eat?” asked the old man.

“Don’t you understand yet? This is heaven, it is free!” St. Peter replied with some exasperation.

“Well, where are the low fat and low cholesterol tables?” the old man asked timidly.

St. Peter lectured, “That’s the best part…you can eat as much as you like of whatever you like and you never get fat and you never get sick. This is Heaven.”

After hearing that the old man went into a fit of anger, throwing down his hat and stomping on it, and shrieking wildly. St. Peter and the wife both tried to calm him down, asking what was wrong.

The old man looked at his wife and said, “This is all your fault. If it weren’t for your bran muffins, I could have been here ten years ago!”

Filed under: Jokes
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H.H. Bhakticharu Swami: ISKCON Malaga Sunday Feast Lecture

THE FOLLOWING SUNDAY FEAST LECTURE WAS GIVEN BY HIS HOLINESS BHAKTI CARU SWAMI ON SUNDAY 17 JULY2011 IN ISKCON MALAGA, SPAIN. Transcription : Her Grace Shyama Mohini Dasi, Her Grace Ranga Radhika Dasi, Ramananda Raya Dasa                            Editing : Hemavati Radhika Dasi Audio Reference : click here   Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare [...]

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H.H. Sivarama Swami: Why serving the deity form of the Lord is so important to us

Reflection on a talk to the Krsna Valley brahmanas.

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Sita-pati dasa, AU: Mayapuris live concert stream - Monday at Atma

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Kurma dasa, AU: Kurminos

Sally D from Aberdeen writes: "Do you have an easy recipe for homemade vegetarian pizza?"

My reply: Here's a recipe from my first cookbook Great Vegetarian Dishes (now in its 21st year) for a yeast-based pizza. Happy baking!


Mozzarella and Tomato Pizza

This is a crisp-based pizza holding a filling of herb-flavoured tomatoes, with a topping of sliced black olives, peppers, and golden, melting mozzarella cheese. To save time, prepare the filling whilst the dough is rising.

PREPARATION TIME: 20 minutes DOUGH RISING TIME: 30 minutes ROLLING AND TOPPING TIME: 10 minutes BAKING TIME: 15 - 20 minutes YIELD: one 25 cm (10-inch) pizza


3 teaspoons fresh yeast 1/2 teaspoon sugar 1/2 cup lukewarm water 1 1/2 cups plain all purpose flour 1/4 teaspoon salt 2 tablespoons olive oil


2 teaspoons olive oil 1/4 teaspoon yellow asafetida powder 1 1/2 cups fresh tomato puree 1 tablespoon tomato concentrate 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano 1/2 teaspoon dried basil 1 teaspoon sugar 1 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


125g (4 1/2 ounces) grated mozzarella cheese 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese 1 cup thin strips of eggplant, deep-fried until dark golden-brown 1 small red pepper, diced 60g (2 ounces) black olives, pitted and halved

Cream the yeast with the sugar in a bowl, add lukewarm water, and let it stand for 10 minutes or until bubbles appear on the surface. Sift the flour and salt into a bowl, make a well in the centre, and add the oil and yeast mixture. Mix to a firm dough.

Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead it for 10 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Place it in a lightly oiled bowl, cover, and leave in a warm place for 30 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.

Knock the dough down with your fist and knead into a small ball. Flatten out the dough with a rolling pin and roll it into a circular sheet of pastry that will just fit in a 25 cm (10-inch) pizza pan. Place the dough carefully in the pan.

Meanwhile make your filling: heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over moderate heat. When hot, add the asafoetida and saute momentarily. Add the tomato puree, tomato paste, oregano, basil, sugar, salt, and pepper. Bring the sauce to a boil; then reduce the heat and, stirring occasionally, simmer uncovered for 10 - 15 minutes or until the sauce is thick and smooth. Allow the filling to cool somewhat.

Spread the cooled filling over the pizza base, leaving a little border uncovered. Combine half the grated mozzarella cheese with the parmesan and sprinkle it over the tomato filling. Top with the eggplant strips, chopped peppers, and olives. Sprinkle on the remaining cheese and bake in a pre-heated hot oven 220°C/430°F for 15 - 20 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.

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Gouranga TV: Kirtana New Vrindavana

Kirtana New Vrindavana

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ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Govardhan Puja 2011


Who can fully describe the splendid glories of Sri Giriraja-Govardhana, the best servant of the Lord and at the same time non-different from the Lord Himself? To protect his dear vrajavasis from Indra's wrath, Sri Krishna held the Hill on the small finger of His divine hand for seven days.

The area of Govardhan is full of wonderful forests, lakes, caves, waterfalls, jeweled paths, platforms and pavilions which will all be replicated in sweets, cakes and all sorts of delicious delicacies.

So, don't miss out! On the 29th October is when it's all happening.

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Australian News: George Harrison recording the Mahamantra from the movie Living in the Material World – VIDEO

Click the video below to watch Mukunda Maharaj and others talk about working with George Harrison to produce the Hare Krishna Mahamantra record which was an immediate hit in the charts.

Click here for more from

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ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Divali 2011



Divali or Dipavali marks the beginning of the Hindu New Year according to the Lunar Calendar. It literally translated means 'Row of Lights', from Sanskrit 'dipa':  lamp and 'awali':  row or line. 

In a broader and more figurative sense, Divali celebrates the victory of goodness over evil and light over darkness. But for us, devotees of the Lord, we celebrate the victory of Lord Rama over the demon Ravana.

We thus commemorate His victorious return to Lanka together with Mother Sita, His brother Laksmana and dear servant Hanuman.

Please join us in the festivities at Melbourne Mahaprabhu Mandir.

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Vraja Kishor, JP: Expression of Love

“Love is expressed by actions, not defined by them.”

Cooking for someone, for example, expresses your love for the person – but does not define, create or establish it. After all, you can cook for customers in a restaurant. Kissing someone is an action that expresses love, but a kiss is not the definition, establishment or creation of love. Doing things for a person expresses our love for that person, but does not create it or define it!

That is why a husband can work for the wife and family, yet the family might still feel unloved and lonely. It is why the prostitutes embrace has nothing to do with affection.

Love is a preexisting condition.

Love is eternal, uncreated, absolutely independent and self-manifesting.

Love is “absolute truth.” It is divinity. It is Gods purpose and meaning.

Love is not something you can create, it is some which exists (or doesn’t). If you love someone, that person will feel wonderful from any way you express your love, however small or insignificant. If you don’t love someone, nothing you do for them will ever satisfy their hearts.

So if you would like to satisfy someone, stop thinking that quantifiable service and work done for the person should cause their satisfaction. It will not. Only love gives satisfaction.

How does love come to exist?

Only love can create love, nothing else can. So love only comes from itself. Therefore to create love we must learn how to recognize it. For once we recognize love we can run towards it, embrace it, and be transformed by it. The more we touch love the more we become love. So we must learn where to find it.

What does love look like?

Sri Rupa Goswami, the deepest poet on the subject, defined it. He said, “Pure Love = Actions with no ulterior motive besides the express desire to please the beloved.”

Merely contemplating this definition is to touch true love. Just put this definition in your mind and it will begin the transformation.

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H.G. Sankarshan das Adhikari, USA: Monday 24 October 2011--A Very Special Day to Remember--and--What is Guru-Tattva?

A daily broadcast of the Ultimate Self Realization Course Monday 24 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: Help Popularize Our Message By Liking Today's Thought on Facebook: Today's Thought: A Very Special Day to Remember from Kaunas, Lithuania Saturday 22 October 2011 was one of those special days that will dance in my memory for a long time. Devotees came to Kaunas, Lithuania from many different countries to offer me their respects on my birthday. It was a wonderful opportunity to lead a hall full of devotees in super ecstatic kirtan. Srila Prabhupada said kirtan rasa is our only safe position in this world. So the more we can dive into kirtan, the more we will feel the bliss. We went deep, deep, deep, and it was oh so sweet, sweet, sweet. Then in the evening I initiated six disciples: Samika Rishi Das from Vilnius, Lithuania Anantakirti Das from Tallinn, Estonia Raghavendra Das from Kaunas, Lithuania Astasakhi Devi Dasi from Kaunas, Lithuania Tilakini Devi Dasi from Sovesk, Russia Tapasvini Devi Dasi from Helsinki, Finland The disciple who accepts their initiation vows with seriousness becomes deathless from the very day of his or her initiation. Therefore anyone who is serious about attaining the supreme destination should get initiated as soon as possible. Sankarshan Das Adhikari Super Ecstatic Kirtan at Vyasa Puja Celebration Kaunas, Lithuania--22 October 2011 Samika Rishi Das Receives His Name and Beads Kaunas, Lithuania--22 October 2011 Initiation Fire Sacrifice Ceremony Kaunas, Lithuania--22 October 2011 Answers by Citing the Vedic Version: Question: What is Guru-Tattva? Please be kind to me and tell me what is guru-tattva and how can one please the spiritual master. Your servant, Rasika Mauli Das Answer: Transcendental Truth Regarding Sri Guru Guru-tattva is the transcendental truth regarding the spiritual master, which is that since the spiritual master is purely representing the supreme authority, Lord Sri Krishna, he is also the supreme authority. To please him we must simply dutifully follow all of the instructions that he gives us. By doing so we will awaken the pure love of God that is presently sleeping within our hearts. 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: 21

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