martes, 17 de enero de 2012

H.H. Kadamba Kanana Swami: Engaging all of our senses!




Creado por juancas  del 06 de Julio del 2012

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"Planet ISKCON" - 31 new articles

  1. Spiritual Scientist: Am I free to choose my definition of enjoyment?
  2. ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Today's Darsana
  3. H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami (Ret.): Poem for January 16  | H. H. Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami | posted by  admin
  4. H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami (Ret.): Selected Writings  | H. H. Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami | posted by  admin
  5. Karnamrita das, NC, USA: Accepting our Shadow Self as a Divine Vehicle
  6. H.H. Kadamba Kanana Swami: Engaging all of our senses!
  7. New Vrindavan, USA: Radha Vrindabanachandra Temple Getting a Facelift
  8. David Haslam, UK: safeguarding and emotional strain
  9. H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Monday, January 9th, 2012
  10. H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Sunday, January 15th, 2012
  11. H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Saturday, January 14th, 2012
  12. H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Friday, January 13th, 2012
  13. H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Tuesday, January 10th, 2012
  14. H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Wednesday, January 11th, 2012
  15. H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Thursday, January 12th, 2012
  16. Subhavilasa das ACBSP, Toronto, CA: Shift of blog content and Sporadic posts until March....
  17. ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Daily Class - Prahladananda Swami
  18. H.H. Kadamba Kanana Swami: Berlin and Kränzlin
  19. Madhava Ghosh dasa, New Vrndavan, USA: To Find Happiness, Forget About Passion
  20. ISKCON Toronto, Canada: Tuesday Sangas at the Hare Krishna Temple!
  21. One Rape Means Without Consent Sex
  22. Japa Group: This Will Keep You Strong In Spiritual Life
  23. H.H. Sivarama Swami: Introduction to kirtana (part 1)
  24. ISKCON Toronto, Canada: Deity Darshan: Sunday, January 8, 2012
  25. H.H. Jayadvaita Swami: My personal finances, 2011
  26. Mayapur Academy, Mayapur, IN: Krsna’s smile – the goal of life
  27. Mayapur Academy, Mayapur, IN: 2011 in review
  28. Subhavilasa das ACBSP, Toronto, CA: Honouring Disappearance day of Srila Lochan Dasa Thakura!
  29. Spiritual Scientist: Comparison of Bhagavata worldview with scientific materialism, Christianity and impersonalism
  30. Gouranga TV: Madhava Das Mesmorizing kirtan Dallas 2012
  31. H.G. Sankarshan das Adhikari, USA: Monday 16 January 2012--The Utmost Urgency of Our Mission--and--Every Tulasi Plant Has a Different Soul?
  32. More Recent Articles
  33. Search Planet ISKCON
  34. Prior Mailing Archive

Spiritual Scientist: Am I free to choose my definition of enjoyment?

The Bhagavad-gita (2.64) indicates that harmonizing our lifestyle with scriptural regulations paves the way to happiness. Some of us may feel that regulating ourselves will take away our freedom to enjoy life. For us, Gita wisdom gently points out that we have already been stripped away of a more fundamental freedom: the freedom to choose our definition of enjoyment.

The stripping away of this freedom by the forces of illusion is so stealthy and insidious that most of us fail to recognize the robbery. The pressure of conforming to prevailing cultural norms is so overwhelming that most of us unthinkingly accept that, the materialistic, often hedonistic, lifestyles glamorized by our culture are the actual way to enjoy life.

Let’s pause to ponder over some facts like:

  1. The champions of such enjoyment are themselves plagued with sufferings that range from depression to suicidal urges.
  2. Our own experiences of these enjoyments have always been an anti-climax: not even a small fraction of the hype.

Then we may begin to see the truth in the Gita contention that our definition of happiness has been imposed on us.

By following the Gita’s regulations, we not only re-claim our freedom to choose our own definition of enjoyment, but also to harmonize our definition with the reality of who we are: spiritual beings who can rejoice best in eternal love with Krishna. This revision of our definition of enjoyment frees us to eternally relish the ever-increasing spiritual happiness that is our right and destiny as beloved parts of the ever-happy Lord Krishna.

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ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Today's Darsana


"O Mukunda, my Lord! Please let me become a constant reciter of Your names, addressing You as Śrī-vallabha: "He who is very dear to Lakṣmī"...

(Mukunda-mala-stotra v.1)

O Sri-vallabha, You who are very dear to Your devotees, let us become constant viewers of Your darsana.

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H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami (Ret.): Poem for January 16  | H. H. Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami | posted by  admin

Srila Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami Site

Satsvarupa das Goswami - Photo by Bhurijana Prabhu. Feb.\\\\\\\'09

4: 40 A.M. 
Poem for January 16

At the time of the Diwali festival at Govardhana Hill, 
in the month of Karttika, it is the very pleasant autumn season. 
All the cowherd folk honor this festival 
of candlelight in the greatest bliss.… Continue reading â

(More by Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami ->)

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H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami (Ret.): Selected Writings  | H. H. Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami | posted by  admin

Srila Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami Site

Satsvarupa das Goswami - Photo by Bhurijana Prabhu. Feb.\\\\\\\'09

From My Autobiography 

The autobiography is a work-in-progress. I have written of my pre-Kŗșņa conscious memories and my career in ISKCON, and I will continue to do so. Now I am writing about the books I have written over the thirty-five years.… Continue reading â

(More by Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami ->)

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Karnamrita das, NC, USA: Accepting our Shadow Self as a Divine Vehicle

(this blog is recorded on the full page: quick time player needed) 

Seeing the Illusory Curtain 
that creates separation 
between souls and God, 
enmity, physical attraction-repulsion 
with you and I, and everyone 
as Shakespeare rightly said: 
we are all players on a stage 
having many roles, 
what begins must end.

Contemplating spiritual truth 
learned from scripture/saints 
confirmed in life’s classroom: 
our body’s merely a garment 
that we must transcend, 
our actor’s roles and costumes—

read more

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H.H. Kadamba Kanana Swami: Engaging all of our senses!

(Kadamba Kanana Swami, Mayapur, November 2011) Lecture – Caitanya-caritamrta part 6 

Bhakti or devotional service means engaging all our senses in the service of the Lord. Sanatana Goswami wrote a book called, ‘Sri Brhad Bhagavatamrta’, which describes how Gopa Kumara is searching for the topmost abode. At one point Gopa Kumara had gone into the higher regions of this universe. He went to Tapaloka, which is just before the Brahmaloka. So it is the planet – the one before the last. That planet was filled with all yogis who are just focusing on the Lord within their mind. So Gopa Kumara was there and everyone said:

“Let’s just meditate on the Lord within the mind.”

But Gopa Kumara said:

“No, I want to see him!”

“But seeing is only the process of the senses which send signals to the mind. So seeing really happens in the mind! Therefore what it is really all about is the meditation, it is not the seeing, it is the meditation. So you should just meditate.”

So that was their point, but Gopa Kumara said no, because he wasn’t satisfied. What he wanted was: With all his senses to drink in the Lord. He wanted to see the form of the Lord; to think of the Lord; to smell the Lord; to hear the Lord; touch the Lord. He wanted to engage all of his senses in perceiving the Lord – that is bhakti!

So it sounds logical when one hears the arguments – yes it’s all meditation, because everything leads to meditation, but then that is defeated. Gopa Kumara said:


To engage all the senses in the service of the Lord and experience all of the senses – and that is higher. And you get descriptions about Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu saying:

“All my five senses are like a wild horse running to Krishna simultaneously, and each one of them is competing with the other for prominence!” 

So it is very confusing, the sound….the smell and the sight are all competing with each other. So it is very interesting how love of God is about engaging all the senses. So even in practise we are already meant to engage all of our senses in the service of the Lord, and therefore a flower, water and flame – and all these senses are all engaged in the service of the Lord. And in the perfect stage each one of these senses becomes totally awoken!

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New Vrindavan, USA: Radha Vrindabanachandra Temple Getting a Facelift

The Radha Vrindabanchandra Temple was completed and opened in 1981. Maintenance has been low since then. We are focusing currently on the care of the devotees, specifically their living quarters. We will be renovating all the ashrama rooms. There will be new paint, floors, windows, doors and lighting as well as custom made furniture for a simple and clean living area. 

The current corridors and bathrooms will be renovated too. An additional three bathrooms will be installed for ladies and three bathrooms for men. A sannyasa room will be built to avoid the traveling preachers having to share their quarters and bathrooms with our guests. 

The budget for the complete renovation is $128,000. So far we have been able to secure $75,000. We are asking for your kind donation which will help manifest peaceful, inspiring and at the same time simple facilities for the ashrama residents. In this way you will receive Sri Sri Radha Vrindabanchandra’s blessings as you support the devotees who are directly serving them daily.
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David Haslam, UK: safeguarding and emotional strain


Over the past few weeks I have been in a number of safeguarding meetings which personally I find an emotional strain especially realizing that the outcome of the meeting can and will have an impact not only on individuals but also there families.

For those outside of health care and social services her in the UK the term safeguarding would mean very little; it is were a multi-disciplinary team of social-worker, benefit agency, legal experts and health care professionals.

Reflecting on the meetings it is always of interest that within ISKCON or the wider devotee community there is a belief that in cases of abuse and neglect that the perpetrator should be swiftly dealt with, the law would act swiftly, and any delay is neglectful or that there is a wide old boys club protecting the individual involved.

However things are not always that clear cut, there can be a suspicion but little evidence, or some evidence but not enough for a criminal conviction which leads to frustration and so it can take months if not years before enough evidence to act upon is gained; for without sufficient evidence the case will be dismissed and it can be years before another case can be brought.

But with little understanding of the legal process and the difficulty in gaining evidence in abuse cases that can be used for a legally conviction sadly mistakes can be made and any evidence gained made unusable in court; so good intentions and what would have been good evidence is destroyed.

Another thing that is explored in the safeguarding meetings is our legal standpoint when looking at evidence and also plans of action so that the risks of comeback or legal challenges against any actions taken are minimized; or if outcomes are challenged by those within the family or abuser there is safe legal grounds and justification for our actions.

Although at times I have suggested before banning individuals from ISKCON temples legal advice is sought, especially when legal cases against individuals has been dropped due to lack of sufficient evidence this has been ignored; even though a legal challenge can be mounted for deformation of character and an unsubstantiated ban.

In some ways I understand the difficulty, as in the safeguarding meetings, do nothing or appear to do nothing then criticizing; move quickly on flimsy evidence or suspicion then criticizing; a lose lose situation. But you have to be seen as doing something and the wider community has in many ways to come first in any decision making. And some times all that can be done is a more robust surveillance and monitoring of the individuals concerned.

Which brings me to something I have written about before in dealing with these sorts of situations; were there is little or no evidence to secure a criminal conviction; or a suspicion that an individual may be a risk to an individual or wider community within ISKCON when it comes to temple/centre sites: Supervised and agreed visits, you may come and visit/do service at these times and remain under the care of ? During the visit with the following restrictions (be it contact with family members/children act).

OK I can already hear the cry, why should we and also we don’t have the devotees; ban the nasty person, throw them in jail give them everything they deserve.

But I am also aware that we are meant to have compassion, that we have a responsibility for pastoral care, and that we are a spiritual group of individuals with many faults of our own and I’m sure I’ve probably done enough to warrant a life time ban (although at this point I must confess to being banned still from an ISKCON centre fro more than five years); which brings me to a point.

Although some had there suspicions about me (and no doubt some still do) I was given a chance at the temple I’ve been attending ever since and over the years I’ve learnt so much and made some progress along the spiritual path; it was this chance that opened up service opportunities and gave me a sense of belonging and determination to become a better individual. The temple I attend could have just said your banned from there so go from here and as was pointed out some months ago when I suggested legal advice be taken before instigating a ban “we have the right to refuse entrance to anyone”

So I have difficult meeting to attend and have some difficult conversations to have which may mean family members giving permission or evidence so that criminal proceedings can be pursued; I will be deeply unpopular with some and a hero to very few and in a position were I cannot talk to even my own Guru Maharaja of the difficulty experienced. But in order to protect those most venerable in our society it’s a course that has to be undertaken, some will find fault in how long things are taking whilst the abuser gets away with it, some will find fault that immediate action is not taken, some will find fault that there is no criminal conviction even after all of it. Some will point directly at me and ridicule, some will threaten harm or revenge. But I have to work within the restraints of a legal framework which means suspicions or hear say si not enough so we start on along journey.

So for those who find fault within ISKCON and it’s management on it’s apparent dragging of heals on protection issues, just ponder one thought; thank Krishna it’s not you who have to deal with these abuse cases for they are never clear cut and the legal constraints may make it appear to others you are doing very little.

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H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Monday, January 9th, 2012

"Just Open" 

Toronto, Ontario 

This sprinter sped right passed me as I practically baby-stepped over the ice, moving with utmost caution. It was inspiring to see the daring nature of the runner. Just by seeing him I picked up speed and broadened my strides. 

In one rendition of the pastimes of Krishna's advent, His father Vasudev, was hesitant to cross a raging Yamuna River to protect His son. He was apprehensive to cross, but when he saw a jackal make his way, plying across despite darkness, rough water and depth, Vasudev became inspired to tread the water keeping Krishna unharmed above his head. 

Everyone needs an inspirational element in order to move on in life. It often comes from people, not always, but often enough - it's some hero. Those who can move through the darkest hour encouraged others. What comes to mind is Krishna's raising hope in Arjuna, His dear warrior friend. 

Without inspiration you're a dead man. We just can't live without it. Even in the most mundane sense an alcoholic gets inspired by the bottle. 

When we enter into a period of confusion, despair or defeat there will be something stirring up to spark excitement, inspiration. It comes to us at the toughest hour. We just need to recognize when it pops up. Expect it when you're down-in-the-dumps. It's waiting there, staring at you. Just open your eyes and see it. 

8 Km
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H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Sunday, January 15th, 2012

The Second Day 

Dallas, Texas 

The second day of our "Jagannatha Story" drama presentation and the follow up success had me wound up to the point that rest was tough. I chose to walk on the same old trail towards White Rock Lake, that body of water whose edge was walked by our guru, Srila Prabhupada, in the mid-seventies. 

Naturally, the route becomes a pilgrimage site for me. I felt safe being here even at the midnight hours. There was no one else in sight. I had no inhibition about chanting at a volume more than usual. That stirred up some dogs at properties lined at the edge of the trail, arousing their barking. 

I got to thinking about the watch dog nature in all of us. For those of us on the disciplinary path of monastic rigors such as abstaining from meat, fish, eggs, drugs, drinking, gambling, sex, it means you have you watch dog on the alert. "Abstinence" is a way of saying "NO" to the things that weaken us physically, psychologically, emotionally and spiritually. It is a safeguard. 

The above mentioned happy strictures are what Srila Prabhupada gave us to ensure that at least some members of society can be hard-core on "principles." Honouring these principles is a source of inspiration for the general public. 

As I completed my mid-night hour trek, I was finally led to wind down feeling a general satisfaction to have the chanting as my life-line and principles to hold that life-line in place. Restfulness finally nabbed me. 

But, up at 3am I went, to ready and catch a flight for home. Good-bye Texas. 

7 Km
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H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Saturday, January 14th, 2012

On the Trail and In the Temple 

Dallas, Texas 

One woman on the trail jogging behind her kid on a tricycle burst out with a happy, "Hare Krishna!" She used every muscle in her face to express it. A man minutes later expressed, "Blessing from Krishna!" as he held his hands in pranam formation. This confirms, perhaps, that the west is more and more embracing the east. Then a second fellow who stretched his joyful facebeyond imagination greeted me on the same trail with an "Amigo!" The etched-curves on either side of his mouth were a classic impression. 

What this all tells me is that the Krishna community on Gurley Ave. here in Dallas are being appreciated in the area. It is the fruit of the community doing the right thing. 

I am grateful to be in such a great company of saintly-like people who have come from various parts of the U.S. and Canada. I have also had the great privilege of leading kirtan chanting while here at the temple program and also to inaugurate each new day's meeting with mantras and drums that become explosive with everyone's participation. Also with these committed swamis 
here, Romapada and Bir Krishna, I was also put on the schedule to deliver a class from the book Bhagavatam. The talk and discussion was on the mystical play of Brahma, the secondary creator, and his frivolous dealings with Krishna as a young cowherd boy. 

Krishna was enjoying lunch in the pasture with His playmates when Brahma tested his mystic might against Krishna's. The event was a learning curve for Brahma, this greatest of demigods, on appreciating the Yogesvara. In the very last verse of the Gita, Krishna is addressed as the master of all mystics. 

You don't want to mess with Him. 

7 Km
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H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Friday, January 13th, 2012

Disperse It 

Dallas, Texas 

My curiosity took me through some bush area near White Rock Lake. Some of the vegetation I couldn't identify. Texas is to the far south of Canada, and it is relatively a rather dry state, hence, a different planet in some respects. The foot worn path I was on became more and 
more narrowed as I meandered on and which finally lead to human habitat - a makeshift camp - a squatters domain. No one was there at the time, the time being my break from meetings, and the time of absence for the occupant. 

He had a great set up for himself from what I could see. A blue plastic tarpaulin for a ceiling and including three walls. A metal framed fold out cotter bed with a matching blue comforter. Lots of paraphernalia was there, a pot for cooking, likely for fish, as I saw a fishing rod leaned against a tree. Knowing that the lake and river are a mere 5 minute trek from location, the fellow's got it made, I thought. 

The path clearly ended with the squatters super deluxe set up and it was slightly unsettling hanging around. How would the occupant take my intrusion if he was to suddenly show up? Perhaps my assumption that here's a person who doesn't have full equilibrium is justified. 

Confirmation came, from Randy. After I left the squatter's haven and returned to a bona fide path, Randy, a cyclist stopped wheeling when he saw a robe-clad me. He works in the psychiatric field. "Most homeless have mental issues," he said. Randy deals with people of that challenge almost everyday. He proposed that their path is difficult. "I spend much of my time just listening to these people." He also said hat mental illness coupled with drug consumption is so damaging. The biggest part of the cure is to give some attention - to be human. 

Randy and I parted. I resumed sitting with colleagues back at our meeting place. I just couldn't help remembering that giving attention, giving some love is what cures all. 

Let us take into consideration this point; the ultimate love is with God and when you genuinely embrace that love and attention it needs to be dispersed to all. 

9 Km
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H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

Made My Day 

Toronto, Ontario 

A flight to Dallas began with a 9 km walk towards Pearson Airport from Dupont to Keele to Weston Road, I went through a working class neighbourhood. I like it. It's simple folks, family oriented, who are set to toil during the week to bring food to the table, to have a visit to the shopping mall on Saturday to purchase something shiny and perhaps to put an hour and half time in for a service at church on Sunday. Such is life for the human basics program. 

It was great being out there in the urban outdoors, catching a moment with people at the bus stops. Shirley was waiting at Keele. I gave a nod and then she introduced herself as coming from Jamaica. She wanted to know about the markings on my forehead. 

"This is an earth based substance put on the brow to mark the body as a temple of God," 
I explained. "God is in us." She liked that and then asked, 
"What religion are you?" 
"Hare Krishna," I said. 
"Hare Christian?" she asked. 
"No, Krishna. It's origins are India, it goes way back." 

I gave her a mantra card and told her I walked the distance from Avenue Road which at this point from the start measured at 7 km. She was wowed by that. Of course, she is bus bound and likely has an incredible ways to go, so walking is not an option. I find it's important to impress someone by one way or another, either by friendliness or words that stimulate. Once that's achieved, you can talk spiritual to anyone. What was nice about Shirley is that right off the bat she wanted to dive right into the spiritual realm. She was non pretentious and didn't wander around the bush. 

My ride came and I was then on my way to the airport and then Dallas. I had numerous interactions with people since morning, but Shirley, the Jamaican, made my day, although a brief encounter. 

9 Km
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H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

Chair Sculpture 

Dallas, Texas 

The morning sights and sounds of east Dallas. Pecans are strewn over the sidewalks, winds strike them down from their treetops. And, as every year, the roosters crow in this 95% dominant Mexican neighbourhood, to the awakening of the day. Dogs are also prevalent, tough ones, barriered behind yard fences, thank God. I hit the trail. Once a railway line that runs next to Santa Fe Street. One direction takes you to White Rock Lake, the other to downtown. The temperature reached this day's zenith at 63 degrees Fahrenheit. Nice. 

"Why couldn't we have meetings while walking?" I thought. "The oxygen is awesome outside." My reason for being in Dallas is to attend meetings, or to put it more casually, 'knocking heads' with the devotional kind. Surely no one will buy in to the outdoor rendezvous, but it was a thought. 

The second reason reason for the flight to Dallas was to provide some theatrical entertainment for the group, which are coming from various corners of Canada and the US. This is a special service I like to provide. God also loves entertainment, theatre to be more precise. The epics of the Ramayan, Mahabharat and stories of the Bhagavat 
Purana, are all the productions of God that have been recorded practically as script, and when you consider that script and scripture are so similar, it leads you to wonder about the root word. As part of our dramatical warm up exercise for the first night's practice, our group of 5 pushed for creativity. The exercise was to stack readily available metal chairs, up to balance, upon each other, all held up by one single chair. Remarkably, we measured up to 9 chairs with this chair sculpture. This practice allowed us to build up team spirit and cooperation, which is vital when a group is working on a project, even 
for God's sake. 

4 Km
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H.H. Bhaktimarg Swami: Thursday, January 12th, 2012


Dallas, Texas 

I was waiting at a street corner for my walking partner to fetch his thickest coat to address the strong wintry chill when a beach ball rolled its way past me. It had taken a diagonal direction and landed in the front yard of a non owner. Immediately I thought, "Who reeled that thing at this hour, 12:20 am?" and secondly, "Whose kid does this ball belong to?" The second question couldn't be answered, but the first could. 

The wind grabbed that circular object and tossed it for relocation. Further logic ignited. What caused the wind to do that? 

Answer: The cause of all causes. I dare say, I thought the answer in Sanskrit, "sarva-karana-karanam," but the meaning is the same, the cause of all causes. 

As my walking companion, Chaitanya Chandra and I, walked towards White Rock Lake, it became another query to ask, "How did it get so cold?" After all I'm in Texas and not Cananda. The answer was the same as before, "sarva-karana-karanam." Truly, nothing moves without the will of the Lord. 

I took a second jaunt in the evening, in the same direction, along the fairly new path restricted to pedestrians and cyclists. The moon shine lit the way. "What lit the moon?" I asked. 

Answer? Is it self-sustaining? Or is it divine intelligence? Or is there another scientific diagnosis? My simplistic approach to all questions about life always ends up the same conclusion. "sarva-karana-karanam," SKK. 

7 KM
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Subhavilasa das ACBSP, Toronto, CA: Shift of blog content and Sporadic posts until March....

A recent picture of Subhavilasa Prabhu at ISKCON Mumbai at Hare Krishna Land in Juhu. Kindly uploaded by a Facebook friend.
Subhavilasa Prabhu is travelling for the month of January and February to Vrindavan and other ISKCON centres in India. As such the blog posts will be sporadic since we do not have the daily push or notes to compile the posts. However, there is a handwritten notebook of "Prabhupada memories" and we will try to use the opportunity to catch up on typing some of those notes. During his absence we will try to also continue to honour some of the major festivals that will be taking place this month and next.  

Also since the "editorial board" will be away we will be taking the opportunity to explore some observations from some of our recent experiences, especially over the last couple of years.  Perhaps some thoughts from the 2nd generation/ ISKCON "kids where we can discuss observations (and in some cases even deviations). As a disclaimer, these posts will not be reviewed by our parents and thus may not be necessarily reflective of their views. However, they may make for an interesting and in some cases humorous read ... so stay tuned ;)
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ISKCON Melbourne, AU: Daily Class - Prahladananda Swami

Srimad Bhagavatam 1.6.11 - Living in the material existence means to live in illusion.
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H.H. Kadamba Kanana Swami: Berlin and Kränzlin

During the last week, Kadamba Kanana Maharaja stayed in the Jagannatha Mandir in Berlin. The main purpose of the stay was to record the soundtrack for the movie based on the Bangladesh tour which is currently being produced. Besides that, Maharaja also gave the daily morning and evening classes which are all available on youtube. Unfortunately there is only one class available in English.

On one of the days, Maharaja visited the Veda Academy, a little castle in Kränzlin which is a relatively unknown village an hour away from Berlin. There, we were entertained by a wonderful theatre play depicting how Mrigari the hunter was transformed into a sadhu by Narada Muni. After the play, Maharaja gave a beautiful talk entitled Sacred Space which was based on a book of the same title that he is currently writing.

Over the weekend, at the weekly Saturday feast, Maharaja started with a powerful Bhajana, and followed with a lecture where he talked about his first interactions with ISKCON. He concluded the talk by emphasizing the importance of having faith in the vaishnavas. The program ended with an amazing Gaura Arati and of course wonderful Jagannatha Maha Prasadam.

If you cannot view the slide show, visit flickr.

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Madhava Ghosh dasa, New Vrndavan, USA: To Find Happiness, Forget About Passion

“In the Caitanya-caritamrta the pure devotee is called niskama, which means he has no desire for self-interest. Perfect peace belongs to him alone, not to them who strive for personal gain.”

Bhagavad Gita 8.14

From the Harvard Business Review blog

by Oliver Segovia

Several years ago, a friend decided she wanted to follow her passion. She loved the liberal arts and the academe. She was a talented graphic designer, a great writer, and was the president of a student club. But the prospect of working a nine-to-five job was never interesting. I can’t blame her. After all, ours is a millennial generation proselytized to pursue our dreams. So she spent seven years getting a PhD, writing an award-winning dissertation in the process. It was a wonderful ride while it lasted, and she was among the happiest people I knew.

Then the recession hit. The value of university endowments crashed. Teaching and research positions were cut. She moved back in with her family, stopped paying off her student loans, and waited two years before getting a minor teaching role in a small research center. Throughout this time, she suffered the anguish of an uncertain future, became socially withdrawn, and felt a sense of betrayal.

It’s a poster tale for our times. Was following her passion worth it?

Like myself, today’s twentysomethings were raised to find our dreams and follow them. But it’s a different world. And as thejobless generation grows up, we realize the grand betrayal of the false idols of passion. This philosophy no longer works for us, or at most, feels incomplete. So what do we do? I propose a different frame of reference: Forget about finding your passion. Instead, focus on finding big problems.

Putting problems at the center of our decision-making changes everything. It’s not about the self anymore. It’s about what you can do and how you can be a valuable contributor. People working on the biggest problems are compensated in the biggest ways. I don’t mean this in a strict financial sense, but in a deeply human sense. For one, it shifts your attention from you to others and the wider world. You stop dwelling. You become less self-absorbed. Ironically, we become happier if we worry less about what makes us happy.

The good thing is that there are a lot of big problems to go by: climate change, sustainability, poverty, education, health care, technology, and urbanization in emerging markets. What big problem serves as your compass? If you’re a young leader and you haven’t articulated this yet, here are some things you can do.

Develop situational awareness. There’s too much focus on knowing the self. Balance this with knowing the world. Stay in touch. Be sensitive to the problems faced by the unfortunate and marginalized. Get out of the office and volunteer. If you’re in school, get out of the classroom. It’s been a long time coming, but business schools are finally instituting changes that put the real world at the center of their programs.

Look into problems that affect you in a very personal way. We’re more likely to be motivated by problems we can relate to on a personal level. In Passion & Purpose, Umaimah Mendhro recounts her story fleeing a war-torn Pakistan with her family and how the experience of dodging bullets to escape helped her summon the wherewithal to found, an initiative that helps create connections across communities in conflict.

Connect with people working on big problems. In a world where problems are by their very nature interdisciplinary, just getting to know people who are passionate about one problem leads to discussions on how other problems can be solved. When Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala helped reinvent Manila Water to better provide for the Philippines’ capital, he had to deal not only with the typical issues a public utility had to face, but also with problems related to climate change, technology, and community development.

Take time off and travel. Forget about traveling as a tourist. Instead, structure a trip that takes you off the beaten path. Go to an unconventional place. Backpack and get lost. The broader and richer experience pays dividends down the line. Steve Jobs described his time living in India as one of the most enriching and mind-opening phases of his life, and this undoubtedly helped him develop the intuition to solve the big problem of making lives simpler through technology.

We don’t find happiness by looking within. We go outside and immerse in the world. We are called to a higher purpose by the inescapable circumstances that are laid out on our path. It’s our daily struggles that define us and bring out the best in us, and this lays down the foundation to continuously find fulfillment in what we do even when times get tough.

Happiness comes from the intersection of what you love, what you’re good at, and what the world needs. We’ve been told time and again to keep finding the first. Our schools helped developed the second. It’s time we put more thought on the third.

What big problems are you trying to solve?

Filed under: News, Ramblings or Whatever        
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ISKCON Toronto, Canada: Tuesday Sangas at the Hare Krishna Temple!

Srila Prabhupada, the founder of the Hare Krishna movement often talked about the importance of getting together and discussing spiritual topics. These spiritual and devotional discussions between devotees is known as Sangas. 

Toronto's Hare Krishna Temple along with the Toronto Sankirtan Team is excited to announce its new project for 2012 - Tuesday Sangas which will take place at the Hare Krishna Temple every Tuesday from 6pm - 8pm followed by light dinner. These discussions will give devotees an opportunity to get together other than a regular Sunday Feast. The program will have kirtan, chanting of the Hare Krsna Mahamantra and will feature different activities like hearing classes of Srila Prabhupada, reading the book of the month together and in the summer,fun outdoor activities like Harinamas (outdoor street kirtan)! There will also be parallel activities for the kids. 

We invite all of you to join us for our first sanga tomorrow, January 17th from 6pm - 8pm.
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One Rape Means Without Consent Sex

By His Grace Ajit Krishna Dasa: I don’t understand why no one collects all of the quotes where Prabhupada discusses the concept of "rape" and analyses them rationally. If that is done, then it is clearly seen that His Holiness Jayadvaita Swami and others are wrong here. I respect him a lot, but here he is wrong, as are the many devotees who are analyzing these statements. Prabhupada clearly means what he is saying – literally.
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Japa Group: This Will Keep You Strong In Spiritual Life

"Always be sure to chant 16 rounds and study my books daily. This will keep you strong in spiritual life."

Letter to Locanananda das
16 January, 1975
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H.H. Sivarama Swami: Introduction to kirtana (part 1)

At Radha London Isvara’s temple Jan 14th.

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ISKCON Toronto, Canada: Deity Darshan: Sunday, January 8, 2012

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H.H. Jayadvaita Swami: My personal finances, 2011

Every year I make my personal finances public. Attached is an accounting of my finances for 2011.

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Mayapur Academy, Mayapur, IN: Krsna’s smile – the goal of life

When a devotee with all his heart and soul serves Krsna, dresses Him in nice garments and gives Him a flower, Krsna smiles. If you can get Krsna to smile upon you just once, your life’s goal is fulfilled.

Teachings of Lord Kapila Vs 12



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Mayapur Academy, Mayapur, IN: 2011 in review

Many thanks to all of our readers for contributing to a really active year on the blog.

Your servant,

Nrsimha Kavaca dasa


The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 13,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 5 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Subhavilasa das ACBSP, Toronto, CA: Honouring Disappearance day of Srila Lochan Dasa Thakura!

O' glorious Vaishnava, Srila Lochan Das Thakura, the great writer of Chaitanya Mangala which brings an ocean of transcendental pastimes of Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabu, we offer our respectful obeisances to you again and again.  

Yesterday we honoured the disappearance day of Srila Lochan Das Thakura. 

In Srila Prabhupada's ISKCON centres around the world your glorious bhajans are sung that bring us closer to Lord Hari. Your sweet praises of Gauranga and Nityananda are exemplified  in Parama Karuna Pahun Dui Jana. 

parama karuna pahun dui jana 
nitai gaurachandra 
saba avatara, sara shiromani 
kevala ananda kanda 
bhaja bhaja bhai, chaitanya nitai 
sudhrida visvasa kori 
vishaya chariya se rase majiya 
mukha bolo hari hari 
dekho ore bhai, tribhuvane nai 
emona doyala data 
pashu-pakhi jhure, pashana vidore 
shuni yar guna gantha 
samsare majiya, rahile pariya 
se pade nahilo asha 
apana koroma, bhunjaye shamana, 
kohoye locana dasa 

This song was especially dear to His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada who translates it is follows: 

"This is a song by Locan dasa Thakura. Locan dasa declares that the two Lords, Nitai-Gauracandra—Lord Nitai and Lord Chaitanya—are very merciful. They are the essence of all incarnations. The specific significance of these incarnations is that prosecuting their way of self-realization is simply joyful, for they introduced chanting and dancing. There are many incarnations, like Lord Rama and even Krishna, who taught Bahgavad-gita, which requires knowledge and understanding. But Lord Chaitanya introduced a process which is simply joyful—simply chant and dance. Therefore Lochan Das requests everyone: "My dear brother, I request that you just worship Lord Chaitanya and Nityananda with firm conviction and faith." Don't think that this chanting and dancing will not lead to the desired goal. It will. It is the assurance of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu that one will get all perfection by this process. Therefore one must chant with firm faith and conviction.  

But what is the process? If one wants to be Krishna conscious by this process, one has to give up his engagement in sense gratification. That is the only restriction. If one gives up sense gratification, it is sure that he will reach the desired goal. One simply has to chant "Hari Hari!" without any motive of sense gratification. 

Lochan das says, "My dear brother, you just try and examine this. Within the three worlds there is no one like Lord Chaitanya or Lord Nityananda, because Their merciful qualities are so great that They make even birds and beasts cry, what to speak of human beings." Actually, when Lord Chaitanya passed through the forest known as Jharikhanda, the tigers, elephants, snakes, deer, and all other animals joined Him in chanting Hare Krishna. It is so nice that anyone can join. Even teh animals can join, what to speak of human beings. Of course, it is not possible for ordinary men to induce animalsto chant, but if Chaitanya Mahaprabhu could inspire animals to chant, at least we can encourage human beings to adopt this path of Hare Krishna mantra chanting. It is so nice that even the most stonehearted man will be melted. It is so nice that even stone will melt. 

But Lochan dasa Thakura regrets that he is entrapped by sense gratification. He addresses himself, "My dear mind, you are entrapped in this sense gratification process, and you have no attraction for chanting Hare Krishna. Since you have no attraction for the lotus feet of Lord Chaitanya and Lord Nityananda, what can I say? I can simply think of my misfortune. Yamaraja, the superintendent of death, is punishing me by not allowing me to be attracted by this movement." 
~ Srila Prabhupada 

Another personal favorite is Nitai Guna Mani. Jaya Nitai! Jaya Nitai! Jaya Nitai! 
Jaya Srila Lochan das Thakura!
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Spiritual Scientist: Comparison of Bhagavata worldview with scientific materialism, Christianity and impersonalism

To hear the lecture, please click here

1. Scientific materialism being like a map is useful, but when we mistake it to be the territory, we limit our potentials.

2.  Comparison of Christian and Bhagavata explanations of the problem of evil.

3. Impersonalism makes material life seem more attractive than spiritual life.

4. The essence of Krishna consciousness is to expand, deepen and intensify our relationship with Krishna









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Gouranga TV: Madhava Das Mesmorizing kirtan Dallas 2012

Madhava Das Mesmorizing kirtan Dallas 2012

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H.G. Sankarshan das Adhikari, USA: Monday 16 January 2012--The Utmost Urgency of Our Mission--and--Every Tulasi Plant Has a Different Soul?

A daily broadcast of the Ultimate Self Realization Course Monday 16 January 2012 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: The Utmost Urgency of Our Mission uploaded from Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas USA Lord Caitanya has descended with the mission of delivering all the fallen, conditioned souls of this material world back to their original home in the spiritual world. By His divine mercy everyone throughout this entire universe can become peaceful and happy. Unfortunately due to their being so much misguided by foolish, materialistic leaders, the entire world population is at the present moment plunged into an ocean of illusion and anxiety. Even though they think themselves satisfied by temporary, illusory pleasure, the real fact is that no one is actually happy in this material world. Therefore Caitanya Mahaprabhu's mission is of the utmost urgency for bringing genuine sanity and happiness to a world that is becoming more and more bewildered with each passing day. This mission has now been entrusted to ISKCON, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. Therefore, if the world leaders will now co-operate with ISKCON, a new era of peace and prosperity will manifest in every town and village throughout the entire world. Sankarshan Das Adhikari Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu The Most Merciful Savior of the Fallen Souls Answers by Citing the Vedic Version: Question: Every Tulasi Plant Has a Different Soul? Tulasi devi is very dear to Krishna. And every devotee has Tulasi devi in the form of the tulasi planet in his/her home. We know every plant has individual soul too. Does this mean that we have so many Tulasi devi souls in every home or is it the same soul in every plant? Kindly enlighten me. Your servant, Yogesh Answer: She is One Soul Appearing in Many Plants A disciple named Vidya dasi asked Srila Prabhupada, Is each tulasi a separate jiva soul or an expansion of one pure devotee? He answered, Tulasi is one devotee who appears wherever there is devotion to Krishna. So she is one soul who simultaneously appears in many plants wherever there is devotion to Krishna. 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 2011-2012 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: {contact_address
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