Krishna Lounge Kirtan & Talk for July 17th 2014
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Kirtan lead by Mukunda:


 
Kirtan lead by Giriraj Gopal dasa:

 
Talk by Giriraj Gopal dasa:


 

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Speaker of Lok Sabha Presented With Bhagavad-Gita
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On July 22nd, 2014, ISKCON Zonal Secretary for Mumbai Juhu, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan Devakinandan Das and ISKCON Indian Communications Director Vrajendranandan Das met the honorable Speaker of Lok Sabha, the Parliament of India Srimati Sumitra Mahajan.

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Gita Nagari Retreat & Vyasa Puja (Album 80 photos)
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"I offer my respectful obeisances unto the Lotus Feet of my Spiritual Master and unto the feet of all Vaishnavas. I offer my respectful obeisances unto the Lotus Feet of Srila Rupa Gosvami along with his elder brother Sanatana Gosvami, as well as Raghunatha Dasa and Raghunatha Bhatta, Gopala Bhatta, and Srila Jiva Gosvami. I offer my respectful obeisances to Lord Krishna Chaitanya and Lord Nityananda along with Advaita Acharya, Gadadhara, Srivasa, and other associates. I offer my respectful obeisances to Srimati Radharani and Sri Krishna along with Their associates Sri Lalita and Vishakha." Read more ›

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Travel Journal#10.12: London, Stonehenge, Nottingham, and The North of England
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Diary of a Traveling Sadhaka, Vol. 10, No. 12
By Krishna-kripa das
(June 2014, part two)
London, Stonehenge, Nottingham, and The North of England
(Sent from Kostrzyn, Poland, on July 29, 2014)

Where I Went and What I Did

After the London Ratha-yatra, I continued to do harinama with the World Harinama Party and the local devotees in London for the next week. Then we attended the Stonehenge Solstice Festival when we did a Ratha-yatra and chanted for six hours through a crowd of around 30,000 people. Next I went to Nottingham for three days to encourage my friend Shyamananda Prabhu and do harinama, advertising the Govinda’s restaurant and nama-hatta programs there. Then I did harinamawith Sutapa Prabhu and a party of twenty-five devotees, mostly Pandava Sena youth, along with the World Harinama Party, in the cities near Manchester where we have regularly have programs: Sheffield, Preston, Liverpool, Leeds, and York. The last two days of June I spent in Newcastle doing harinama and giving the Sunday feast lecture there.

I share insights from Srila Prabhupada’s lectures and letters. I include excerpts from the lectures of Bhaktisiddhanta Saravati Thakura compiled in a book called Vaktritavali. I also include excerpts from Prabhupada Meditations, Volume 3, by Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami. I include notes on a recorded lecture by Hridayananda Goswami and notes on classes I heard in London by Candramauli Swami, Vicaru Prabhu, who spoke about his guru, Tamal Krishna Goswami, Murli Manohara Prabhu, Harinamananda Prabhu, and a class I heard in York by Govardhan Devi Dasi with material I had never heard before about the life of Bhaktivinoda Thakura and a class I heard in Manchester by the Scotland-based book distributor, Adhoksaja Prabhu.

Itinerary

July 28–August 3: Kostrzyn (Polish Woodstock)
August 4–7: Czech Padayatra
August 8: Ancient Trance Festival (near Leipzig)
August 9: Leipzig Ratha-yatra
August 10: Ancient Trance Festival
August 11–12: Bratislava
August 13: Prague
August 14–17: Trutnov (Czech Woodstock)
August 18: Czech Farm (Vyasa Puja with Kadamba Kanana Swami)
August 19–22: Paris harinamas
August 23: Rotterdam
August 24: Amsterdam Ratha-yatra
August 25: London
August 26: Nottingham
August 27: Sheffield
August 28: Preston Sacred Sounds
August 29: Liverpool
August 30: Newcastle
August 31: Leeds
September 1: Newcastle
September 2: Newcastle (Radhastami with Bhakti Caitanya Swami)
September 3: Sheffield
September 4: Manchester and Chester
September 5: Dublin (World Holy Name Festival Begins)
September 6: Dublin Ratha-yatra
September 7–11: Irish Harinamas
September 11–mid November: New York

More London Harinamas


Having the World Harinama Party in London for another week was a great boon for harinama program. Often they would do harinama in the morning in addition to the one in the afternoon. Unfortunately because I had proofreading deadline, I could only attend the afternoon one. Jayadev Prabhu, who plays the accordion and is an accomplished singer, usually comes out once a week on Tuesday. But that week, inspired by the presence of the World Harinama Party, he came out twice. He is great at encouraging the onlookers to participate as you can see in these videos:




Even without the assistance of Jayadev Prabhu, the World Harinama Party was so enthusiastic after hearing the devotees for a while, people would suddenly start dancing, like these schoolchildren did:


One time the devotees, while singing on the sidewalk, induced people inside a shop to dance.


One interesting character who loved to participate in the harinamas is a waiter in the Aberdeen Steak House. Sometimes he would dance to the devotees music inside the restaurant.



Other times he would come outside on the sidewalk.


There was a golden man who danced with us.


Also a man, who was dressed in the colors of the British flag, enjoyed dancing with us on a couple occasions:



Sometimes people joined our party for a few minutes, like these girls dancing before us:





Jake, on the extreme left of the above picture, who has been coming to our programs in Newcastle for a year of so, stayed an extra few days after Ratha-yatra and came on harinama.

There were many, many people who danced, chanted, and smiled, encountering our harinama party in London.

  




















One young devotee lady, Tatiana, took some video while following our harinama party which gives you a feel for how we were received:


The Stonehenge Solstice Festival


This was without a doubt the best Stonehenge Solstice Festival of the five I have attended. One reason was the weather. 



It was the first time it was clear enough you could actually see the sun rise, and I think that put everyone in a good mood.

We also had Ratha-yatra, which we did not for two of the last five years because of rain. 




We did it from 1:00 to 3:00 a.m. in the morning! I think it is the only Ratha-yatra performed at the time of day, or rather, that time of night. 


People are attracted by the opportunity to pull the Jagannatha cart, although often they are a bit intoxicated.


Mahavishnu Swami was there, and his enthusiasm for kirtana boosts the energy level.


I was amazed to see many people, who had never met the devotees before, stay with us for half an hour or even an hour, first listening, then smiling, dancing, and finally chanting along with us. That was truly awesome.

Someone from the TV did a live interview with me. To try to create controversy, they asked about why Hare Krishnas were at a Druid festival. I explained that there is evidence that there was one world culture about five thousand years ago, and different groups separated off from that, so ultimately there is a relationship between the Vedic culture of Krishna consciousness and the Druid one. That was not the most Krishna conscious thing to say but the best I could off the top of my head with no sleep.

At Stonehenge, most people liked the devotees. One man dancing with our Ratha-yatra procession said, as if sharing a realization, “This is all good, isn’t it?”
“Yes,” I replied smiling, “it is all good.” And I recalled Rupa Goswami saying, “Pure devotional service is the beginning of all auspiciousness.” It was wonderful that an apparently ordinary guy could glimpse the truth that Krishna consciousness is all good, or as it is described in the Sanskrit literature,
suddha-sattva, pure goodness.

One young man pushing the steel railing of the Ratha cart said, “This is the best steel I have ever touched!”

Bhaktin Erzsebet handed a Solo temple mantra card to a young lady following our chanting party saying, “This is amazing!
The lady replied affirmatively, “It isamazing!”


One young lady from Bristol, on the right in the above picture, was so happy to see Vishnujana Prabhu and I, who she had seen last March in Rishikesh that she wanted to embrace us. 



I went to give her my card, saying I could tell her about all our festivals in the UK, but she said she still had my card from Rishikesh.

People expressed profound appreciation for the free food that Parasurama Prabhu and his staff prepared and distributed. It was beautiful to see.

Some people posted videos of the devotees on YouTube, and you can see how lively the chanting was:




All in all, many people were happy to encounter the Hare Krishna devotees at Stonehenge, either once again, or for the first time.

Nottingham Harinamas

Usually the Nottingham devotees do harinama on the third Sunday of the month, but on that day in June most everyone was at the London Ratha-yatra. Thus I suggested to them that they do their monthly harinama on the fourth Sunday when I would be there, and they agreed. We chanted together for about an hour and fifteen minutes, and I completed the rest of my three-hour quota on my own. While our party was going through the town chanting, one old, short, black man loudly protested. We kept chanting, and he came toward us, poking me with his cane. The devotees pacified him, and explained to me that he was drunk. We kept moving, and he did not follow us, but the experience was disconcerting and disturbed my mind the rest of the day. The previous time I came to Nottingham, I also encountered some negativity. Some people consider such negative reactions as a reason to avoid such places, while others consider that such negativity means the places are in greater need of the chanting!


I chanted alone the next two days. One young lady took a picture of me chanting near Old Market Square. I gave her my card and asked her to send the picture to me. Usually less than 20% of such people send you the picture, but she did. She is Lucia Buffa, an amateur photographer, and she has a blog with other pictures, including some ones of a cathedral in Cologne where I once chanted with some friends. She is a vegan, and I encouraged her to come to Govinda’s in Nottingham and tell me how she liked it.

Sheffield Harinama

We started chanting in shops in Sheffield, where one greeting card lady was happy to have us chanting through her shop:


Preston Harinama

The Preston harinamas included a lot of processions through shops, including this one at Mc Donalds:


And this one at a clothing shop called Top Shop:


Some ladies danced with us in the streets:


One street musician, a saxophonist, on his cigarette break, played excellently with us:



Preston Sacred Sounds

Preston Sacred Sounds was special because Pandava Sena youth were very enthusiastic in kirtana. There were some new local singers. 


One such lady, in addition to singing nicely, loved to play the djembe.


I had never seen a mother and son dance so much in kirtana as this enthusiastic pair.


Meg, who met the devotees for the first time on harinama in Liverpool and who came to the program there last month, came all the way from Liverpool to Preston for Sacred Sounds and was really happy she did.

At the end, everyone really got into the chanting and dancing, and it was beautiful to see:


Liverpool Harinama


Meg took a break from work to join our harinama and came back again after her work was over. It was wonderful to see her go from meeting the devotees on harinama to becoming a harinama regular almost immediately. It shows us how important it is to go on harinama because there are always some people out there who are looking for Krishna, and are willing to accept His process of chanting. 


Not only did she chant, but she distributed invitations to the Liverpool program.

Leeds Harinama

In Leeds we chanted in a natural cosmetics shop and all the employees and customers were happy we were there. We even all danced in a circle at one point. I do not recall ever getting such a nice reception in a shop! Unfortunately, I forgot my camera, so I do not have pictures of it.

York Harinama


The city center in York is fairly small, and we would keep running into the same people.



Dayananda Swami, who was visiting York for some North UK meetings, joined us.

Some girls took pleasure in dancing to our music two and possibly even three times. We also encountered a natural cosmetic shop in York, and all three employees loved the kirtana, and they also danced around in a circle. Who would guess that natural cosmetics sellers in The North of England would have a spontaneous attraction to kirtana?

In York Sutapa Prabhu’s party of brahmacaris and Pandava Sena youth distributed all the books they brought and were very happy to see the response of the people there. I think from his good experiences in The North of England, in the future he will come more regularly with the devotees under his care.


Thanks to Preitie and Aji for the photos of York.

To see photos which I have of the above events but did not include in this journal, click on the link below or copy it to your web browser:

Insights

Srila Prabhupada:

Everyone is seeking pleasure but they do not know where to find the actual pleasure which is on the platform of the soul, the platform of consciousness.

If our consciousness is pure at the time of death, we do not have to accept another material body.

As pure soul I am not American, Indian, black, white, cat or dog.

God is omnipotent and thus He can invest His potency in His names.

It is a fact that Lord Jesus Christ is present in His words.

Hearing from Bhagavad gita is the same as hearing from Krishna.

The father will never forget the son, although the son may forget the father.

Even if one does not understand, there is so much power in hearing. Because it is pure transcendental sound, the contamination we have accumulated for millions of lives is washed off. It is hard to give up these material designations, but by this hearing it becomes easy. This is because the material nature becomes slackened, and we become free from passion and ignorance and situated in goodness. Then we become free from hankering and lamentation.

Why are we interested in the Battlefield of Kurukshetra? Because the whole battlefield has become Krishnized.

The hog does not know he is in a nasty condition. He is quite jolly, but we who are situated in a higher status can see.

The real position of the living being is to be the servant of God, but in Bhagavad-gita we see Krishna is driving the chariot of Arjuna, so we should not consider being a servant of God is like being a servant in this world.

We are consciousness, and we are subordinate to the supreme consciousness, in other words, we are eternal servants of God.

The modern philosophers set aside the problems of birth, death, disease, and old age, but this is not human life. Human life is meant to make a solution to these problems.

Pious activities give one wealth, education, aristocracy, and beauty, but when we possess these advantages we still must experience birth, death, diseases, and old age. Therefore we do not care for ordinary pious activities.

from a lecture on Srimad-Bhagavatam1.3.29 given on October 4, 1972 in Los Angeles:

God is everywhere, but we do not want to see God. That is the only difficulty.

If you follow the principles of devotional service, it is not very difficult to see God and to understand God.

You may not think the God eats, but in Bhagavad-gita (9.26), Krishna says, “I eat.”


from a letter written on September 18, 1972:


. . . this sankirtanaor street chanting must go on, it is our most important program. Lord Caitanya’s movement means the sankirtanamovement.”


Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura:

from Vaktritavali (a compilation of notes on his lectures):

[Note: In the month of June, I proofread Vaktritavali, soon to be published by Touchstone Publishing, and I took notes on my favorite parts. I am including one quarter of these notes in four issues of this journal, and this is the second quarter.]


“Everyone in this world is greedy for sense gratification because of bad association, of which they have plenty. When these people speak on religious subjects, their audiences always ask first if there is anything in their religion that will please their senses. They are eager for material enjoyment. The whole world is filled with phrases like ‘my enjoyment,’ ‘my happiness,’ ‘my peace,’ ‘give me,’ ‘give me,’ ‘give me.’ No one thinks even accidentally about Krishna’s sense gratification. The day we understand that our only duty is to serve the master of the senses, on that day we will find our fortune.” (p. 169)


“Everyone and everything in existence should serve the Supreme Personality. No matter what our condition, our only duty is to serve Lord Hari. Either in this world or the next, everyone, including the demigods, human beings, animals, birds, and so on, has no duty other than to serve the supreme eternal Lord. No other activity is natural to the soul because all other objects and tendencies continuously change.” (p. 170)

“The soul has the propensity to engage in five kinds of relationships with Sri Krishna. That is, it is the eternal propensity of the soul to serve Krishna by manifesting five kinds of rasasthrough five kinds of ratis[attachments]. The five rasasare santa, dasya, sakhya, vatsalya, and madhura. Santa-rasa is a neutral existence without anything unfavorable. Dasya-rasahas a little affection, so by comparison, it is superior to santa-rasabecause it includes the qualities of santa-rasa. Sakhya-rasais further advanced. In this rasathere is no thorn in the form of reverence. Instead, its main ornament is love and devotion. Vatsalya-rasais superior to sakhya-rasa. This rasahas such thick affection that the worshipable object appears to be under one’s care. Madhura-rasais topmost, and it includes the beauty and greatness of santa, dasya, sakhya, and vatsalya.To serve Sri Krishna with these five kinds of ratis,or types of attachment, without interruption or motivation is the soul’s eternal duty.” (p. 171)

“The phrase ceto-darpana-marjanaindicates the removal of unauthorized philosophical speculation, the cheating propensity, previous anarthas,and all inauspiciousness from the heart. By properly performing krishna-kirtanaall material desires and philosophical misunderstandings are vanquished. By properly performing krishna-kirtanathe blazing forest fire of attachment to karma and jñanaare extinguished. By properly performing krishna-kirtana the lotus of all auspiciousness blossoms in the heart and is as soothing as the cooling rays of the moon. Proper krishna-kirtanais the beloved husband of the wife of transcendental knowledge. For those who chant, it enhances the ocean of bliss at every step, and it bestows on them the ability to relish transcendental nectar. It gives love of God and bestows on the soul the freedom.” (p. 173)

“After many lifetimes a living entity comes to the human form of life, which is rare and temporary yet can bestow spiritual perfection. There is no doubt that serving the Supreme Lord is the only duty of human life. The ultimate goal of the human form of life is to gain knowledge about the Supreme Lord. In this ever-changing world, human beings will either advance toward godly life or degrade themselves and become animals. Without serving the Supreme Lord and remaining subordinate to Him, those temporarily in human bodies can never be benefited.” (p. 181)

“One becomes attracted to serving Sri Caitanya in proportion to how much one hears of His mercy. One who has heard a complete description of that supreme, cognizant personality dedicates his life completely to His service. Sri Caitanyacandra is full in sixteen attributes and qualities. Therefore, if His glorious kathaenters the living beings’ hearts, it will certainly completely attract them to His lotus feet. One who has partially heard caitanya-kathawill dedicate his life only partially to the Lord’s lotus feet. Until people sincerely and constantly engage in Sri Caitanyadeva’s service with body, household, children, wife, mind, speech, and everything else they may have, we can understand that they have not heard the glories of Sri Caitanya completely.” (p. 202)


Those who have been counted as Gaurasundara’s associates through intimate service are His sons. Atma vai jayate putrah: according to this statement, Sri Gaurasundara spreads the holy name and love of God by appearing in the pure hearts of His associates as their father. Those who are blessed with love of God and are completely under the shelter of the holy name are His sons; they are Sri Gauranga’s own family. The descendants who belong to this Acyuta-gotra have protected and continue to protect the flow Sri Gaurasundara released, spreading the holy name and love of God.” (p. 206)



“This Sri Krishna Caitanyadeva made the universe glorious by preaching about Krishna. He bestowed the beauty of His own devotional service, which is the topmost transcendental mellow and had never been distributed.” (p. 213)

“ . . . the living beings’ transcendental eyes, which are formed by their service-inclined hearts.” (p. 216)

“But the word Krishna is nondifferent from Krishna’s form, qualities, and activities; it is Krishna Himself. If we simply chant the name Krishna, we realize Krishna’s form and spiritually variegated characteristics. Therefore Krishna alone is the supreme truth – the Absolute Truth with an eternal form that can be perceived through spiritualized senses of taste, smell, touch, and so on. He is the object of meditation for the soul. We are meant to serve Him with our transcendental senses. It is He who is to be seen with the eyes, heard with the ears, whose fragrance we inhale with the nose, and whom we touch with the fingers. He is the object of all the senses.” (p. 216)

“We cannot understand Krishna’s most magnanimous pastimes properly when He kills Aghasura, Bakasura, and so on; but in the pastimes of Gaurasundara, who is nondifferent from the son of Nanda, we can understand His magnaminity. As Gaurasundara He is ready to bestow the supreme auspiciousness on fallen atheists like us who have been deceived by material knowledge. He is always eager to give even Krishna Himself, what to speak of others. The greatest charity He wants to award us will allow us to serve Krishna face to face. Let the most magnanimity of the most magnanimous Gaurasundara, which has never before been distributed, be spread all over the world.” (p. 217)

“Sri Gaurasundara is prepared to give that coveted object Krishna to the whole world. But the godless world is living in darkness, thinking it light, and in ignorance, thinking it knowledge.” (p. 217)

“According to Buddha’s followers, Sakyasimha left home with the selfish interest to attain nirvana. Sri Caitanya left home for a different reason. He went to the forest simply to bestow on humanity the eternal treasure of freedom from their eternal poverty. He lacked nothing. Sri Caitanya is the only husband of all women, the only son of all parents, and the only friend and master of all who are related to Him in friendship or servitorship. It is not that His great contribution will remain confined to Bengal and that only the brahmanaswill benefit. The whole world – the people of all castes, creeds, and faiths, the sinful and the pious – and all living beings can give up their pride and accept this greatest of all gifts that Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu offered them. This gift is neither imperfect nor narrow-minded because He Himself is the most magnanimous. He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, eternal, and full of knowledge and bliss. He is the Absolute Truth, eternal and cognizant, and He has descended to relieve humankind from their ignorance. He has incarnated to deliver all conditioned souls.” (p. 221)

“May the son of Saci appear in the core of our hearts. He is directly Lord Hari. In His previous incarnations He gave many things, but now He has come to give a wonderful gift He has never awarded before.” (p. 223)

“He [Gaurasundara] awarded the delight of His own devotional service to the living entities. He revealed the difference between the services rendered by devotees in each of the five rasas.To distribute the highest transcendental beauty of His own devotional service, which is extremely rare and has never before been awarded to the desertlike burning hearts of poverty-stricken fallen souls like us, He made His advent in this world.” (p. 224)

“Because the names, forms, qualities, and activities of this world are temporary, and because all mundane beauty is eventually covered by ugliness, the wise do not become entangled in mundane names, forms, qualities, activities, opulence, power, fame, beauty, knowledge, or renunciation. They know the flow of worldly happiness will dry up because we can experience it only with our limited, material senses. The living beings here want more than they deserve. As a result, they lose even what they do deserve.” (p. 225)

“So it is only by the mercy Sri Gaurasundara that we have a full illumination of that rasaat present. The soul can easily attain madhura-rasabecause it manifests along with the soul. You cannot develop it by some artificial process of sadhana.Understanding it is beneficial to all. Such a unique thing the Lord awarded and propagated.” (p. 228)

“Sri Gaurasundara said, ‘The congregational chanting of Krishna’s holy name is a human being’s only duty.’ Krishna-sankirtanais His greatest gift because by participating in krishna-sankirtana,the living beings can attain the treasury of love of God in Vraja, something rarely attained by the best of the demigods, the greatest of sages like Narada, or even the best of devotees like Uddhava.” (p. 228)

“But the Brahman emanates from Krishna, and Krishna is its cause. The attempt to ascertain the cause of the Brahman by the ascending process may currently pass as erudition, but it is actually great foolishness. Such Brahman realization is subject matter for human knowledge, but Sri Gaurasundara said that Sri Krishna alone is the cause of all causes.” (p. 229)

“If we perform true krishna-kirtana,then even people who are fully absorbed in and bewildered by material enjoyment can attain the actual perfection of life. King Prataparudra is the prime example of this. Pure krishna-kirtanawill give liberation even to the attending trees, stones, animals, birds, men, women, and anyone else. The trees, creepers, animals, and birds of Jharikhanda are the prime example of this. It’s only because people are not performing pure krishna-kirtanathat the living beings are not becoming liberated. Gaurasundara came to this world to benefit all living beings, including the trees, animals, and birds as well as the human beings.” (p. 233)

“I do not know if the Bhagavatamverse, sa vai pumsam paro dharmah,is found in any other literature, but by discussing this verse, the desire to practice a narrow sectarianism and an insignificant, deceitful religious synthesis can be destroyed.” (p. 234)

“If while chanting the holy name of Hari someone develops attachment for material life – or if his propensity for material enjoyment increases – we can understand that his chanting is not hari-nama.” (p. 239)

“Sri Gauranga-sundara is the preacher of the Absolute Truth. He explains that the Absolute Truth personally reveals Himself when faced with a fortunate living being’s desire to serve Him.” (p. 240)

“Sri Caitanya’s devotees are always eager to do good for us, but we are ever ready to stop them. Our first obstacle is our gross body and the second our mind.” (p. 240)

“Hari’s holy name can be chanted even while we’re passing stool or urine. The body’s external functions are done out of habit, and they create no bar to chanting the Lord’s holy name. We can chant the holy name when we are asleep, awake, and when we go to bed. We can chant whether we are aristocrats or born in a low family. We can chant the holy name in any condition of life. Everyone, including sudras, outcastes, mlecchas,women, men, boys, youths, and the old, are eligible to chant the holy name. One can chant in a solitary place or congregationally – alone or with many people. One can chant neglectfully or with faith.” (pp. 249–250)

“When an uttama-bhagavataappears in a particular family, one hundred generations before and after him are delivered. When a madhyama-bhagavataappears in a particular family, fourteen generations before and after him are delivered. When a kanistha-bhagavataappears in a particular family, three generations before and after him are delivered.” (p. 253)

“But it is seen in the material world that the devotee who takes birth in a low-class family appears diseased or foolish by material vision. This has great purpose. If ordinary people see that devotees appear only in high families and that they are healthy and educated, they will become discouraged. So to benefit all people, Lord Gaura Krishna has His devotees appear in different classes and then display great compassion toward all fallen and unqualified beings.” (p. 254)

“Although the marginal energy is conditioned by the external energy and so the living beings appear to have material qualities, it does not mean they don’t also have spiritual qualities, or the nature of the internal energy. All the qualities of the internal, spiritual energy are present in the marginal energy, but in minute quantities.” (p. 258)

“When the living beings become fixed in pure goodness, they come to understand the insignificant, needless, imperfect, and temporary nature of performing fruitive activities, and they lose their taste for being bitten by the sharp teeth of the material energy. When the minute spirit souls then begin to cultivate service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead while trying to give up their service to the external and the temporary, they become free of material ignorance and revive their constitutional position. From this point on, the living being gradually tries to remain aloof from being in the mood of an enjoyer or the enjoyed in this world.” (p. 259)

“Only when the spirit soul falls into illusion by mistaking his gross body and subtle mind to be himself does he develop a thirst for liberation. Therefore fruitive workers and mental speculators, or impersonalists, are both situated on the ascending path and are respectively glorified in this world as bhogisand tyagis.Unless and until each of them can detect how they are misusing their independence, or true spiritual nature, they cannot understand that karma-khandaandjñana-khandaare two pots of poison. Because they misuse their spiritual intelligence, bhogisand tyagiscontinue to glorify fruitive activities and false renunciation. Until they become attracted by the beauty of the supremely sweet magnanimous Person, who is full of six opulences, they will either remain enjoyers of the stool of sense gratification or think that remaining aloof from that stool is the goal of life.” (p. 260)

Sri-krishna-sankirtana alone bestows all perfection on all living beings in this world. Worshiping the holy name in the form of chanting it congregationally, understanding that the holy name and Krishna are nondifferent, is real worship and the topmost form of worship.” (p. 269)

“From Sri Gaurasundara’s instruction to Sri Ramananda Vasu of Kulina-grama we can understand that staunch worship in the form of chanting is the doorway to devotional service to Lord Vishnu, or the kanistha[beginning] platform of Vaishnavism. On the madhyama[middle] platform one chants the holy name of Krishna constantly and makes progress on the path of bhajana,and on the uttama[topmost] platform one has already made sufficient advancement and chants the holy name ever in the association of exalted devotees. Simply by chanting the holy name the act of performing kirtanais accomplished. As soon as the holy name is chanted anarthasare vanquished – anarthareferring to the living being’s thirst for sense gratification.” (p. 270)

“Distributing love of Krishna is the one way the most magnanimous Gaurasundara united the people of the whole world with Krishna. Performing that service is the only way to worship Sri Nitai-Gauranga.”” (p. 272)

“Although the Aghas, Bakas, and Putanas tried to kill Krishna, they couldn’t do it. Yet they indirectly spread His glories. Similarly, those envious of the dhama,even though blinded by self-interest, can never destroy the eternal, transcendental dhamabecause it cannot be destroyed. Rather, the attempt simply helps spread the dhama’sglories.” (p. 278)

“‘Regardless of what the truth is, I will not do something that will make some people unhappy’ – to seek this type of popularity will cheat us of our eternal good fortune and our piety. ‘I want to be popular’ – this kind of mentality is for foolish, ignorant people bewildered by maya.The Almighty Lord is the Absolute Truth. If we think we need to be popular we will disregard the Absolute Truth.” (pp. 280–281)

“It is not proper to think that everything about the Absolute Truth is also faulty just because the so-called transcendentalists behave in less than idea ways. Just because someone hasn’t seen something doesn’t mean we should deny its existence.” (p. 284)

“Many of you know the story of the cat under the basket. Cats caused a particular householder a great deal of disturbance. When one of the cats began to meow during his son’s marriage ceremony, the boy’s mother covered the cat with a wicker basket. Gradually, every marriage ceremony performed in that country included an arrangement for covering a cat with a basket. If someone didn’t have a cat, to follow the custom he would hire one cat from someone else. No intelligent person should be so greedy for popularity that he adopts the behaviors of the ignorant.” (p. 284)

“There is a story: Once, a so-called guru went to his disciple’s house and was offered a meal. After eating, the disciple brought a myrobalanand offered it to his guru. His guru asked him to peel it. The intelligent disciple, thinking the skin of the myrobalanuseless, threw it away and presented his guru with the inner part, or the seed. His guru became unhappy because he had wanted to eat the myrobalan.

“The next day the over-intelligent (foolish), but repentant disciple came forward with a cardamom pod for his guru, but this time he had removed the seeds. The guru saw that his great disciple had brought only the cardamom pod but none of the aromatic seeds. This is how mental speculators think: they reject the actual object as false and accept the false as real.” (p. 285)



Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami:


from Prabhupada Meditations, Volume 3:

Prabhupada kirtanasare blessing us still. We hear them on car radios, in temple rooms, kitchens. They may not be as popular as the kirtanasperformed by his followers and other singers, but we should remember it is all coming from Prabhupada.”

Prabhupada wanted us to bring the chanting into the street. He wanted people to hear the holy names. In his lectures you can hear him encouraging the harinamaparties. He was pleased they went out, even though they were sometimes harassed by police.
In the beginning he himself went to Tompkins Square Park. We never would have gone out otherwise. After he went, there was regular chanting of harinamain the streets of New York, San Francisco, Boston, and everywhere.”

Candramauli Swami:

Lord Krishna’s palaces were illuminated by jewels.

They think there was no civilization five thousand years ago, but here we encounter these elaborate descriptions of Krishna’s palaces.

Krishna is the source of all illusion, so He is never illusioned, but sometimes He appears to be illusioned to make his pastimes more exciting.

Little kids are empowered by Krishna to do mischief. Krishna’s mischief is superior to theirs because in the end, everyone benefits from it.

Sometimes we think we are free from maya, but in reality, at that point we are so much in maya, we cannot see how illusioned we actually are. Those who are really free from maya are those people, who out of fear of maya, are always praying to Krishna for protection.

Krishna gave the demon Aghasura the liberation of having a form like his own. We can only imagine the benedictions He gives the devotees.

Once Srila Prabhupada said, “The perfection of life is to look in Krishna’s lunch pail and see what Mother Yasoda made for Him for lunch.”

The cow’s milk is an expression of her love for her calf.

If we could perceive a little of the beauty of Krishna, we would immediately leave this material world.

If Krishna is not served nicely, Radharani will let you know, and if Lord Jagannatha is not served served nicely, Baladeva will let you know.

Everything belongs to Krishna, and yet we give a little to Krishna and become proud of our donation.

Devotees who are really serious want to be remembering Krishna while they do their service.

Q: If the cowboys’ got married during the year they were under Brahma’s slumber, did they remember these marriages when they woke up?
A: Krishna wanted those marriages to take place, and thus He would make the arrangement for the cowboys’ to remember their marriages.

Hridayananda Goswami:

from a recorded lecture in Gainesville:

There is no difference between objectivity and subjectivity in Krishna because he is omniscient.

If one wants to approach Krishna and not turn back, he has to be willing to give up impurities because Krishna is supremely pure.

In approaching Krishna, all we are giving up is that which we are not.

If something is actually fun, Krishna is all for it. It is just those things that appear fun but are not, that Krishna wants us to give up.

The funny thing is that Krishna respects us more than we respect Him.

Why is there evil in this world? To protect us from being stupid eternally. To protect us from a greater evil.

Govardhan Devi Dasi:

from a lecture on Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s disappearance day:

Just as someone who spends a night in a hotel and wants to make improvements on the room is foolish, so one who tries makes material improvements in this life is foolish.

People who do not make an endeavor to advance spiritually are compared to dead fish floating on water.

The different ways of dealing: (1) loving with the Lord, (2) friendly with the devotees, (3) compassionate toward the innocent, and (4) not associating with the envious, are natural for the pure soul.

God will not be jealous if you worship the Deity. Satan is a figment of your imagination.

Q: Is it not better to think of God in your mind than worshiping God in a material form?
A: There is no difference. Because the mind is also a material element, therefore, thinking of God in your mind is worshiping God in a material form.

Bhaktivinoda Thakura wanted to go to Vrindavan, but Lord Caitanya appeared in a vision and told him, “I have more work for you to do in Bengal – to find My birthplace.”

Bhaktivinoda Thakura requested many times Gauraikisora Dasa Babaji Maharaja to initiate him into babaji. and finally he agreed.

Murli Manohara Prabhu:

If we read Mahabharata or the Srimad-Bhagavatam we will find opulence surpassing the present day. That was because they followed religious principles. In their free time, they would glorify God. It would only rain at night.

Krishna taught how a king should properly receive a brahmanas in his respectful receptions of both Narada and Sudama.

Salya was traveling to see Yudhisthira to join his army. When he passed through Duryodhana’s kingdom, Duryodhana offered such a nice reception to him, provided a feast and entertainment every night he was there, he felt obliged because of the reception, and offered to do whatever the person who had arranged it wanted. Duryodhana asked Salya to join his army. He agreed, but first asked to be allowed to visit his friend, Yudhisthira, and then he would return. When he saw Yudhisthira, he explained what happened, and Yudhisthira was not the least disturbed and offered him gifts, and he returned to join Duryodhana’s army. It is notable how respectfully the kings dealt with each other.

When the varnasrama social system was followed, people were not anxious to get money since by performing their occupations according to religious principles they attained life’s necessities.

A devotee is determined to understand the Absolute Truth.

By our sticking to our spiritual principles, Krishna will give us the intelligence to deal our daily affairs in a spiritual way.

Comment by me:

A modern example showing what happens if brahmanas and Vaishnavas are disrespected is the communist government of the Soviet Union which had a policy of torturing Hare Krishna devotees and other persons advocating religion. This government appeared very strong and powerful, and one did not expect it to be vanquished anytime soon, but very quickly it was dissolved as a reaction to its cruelty to religious people.

Vicaru Prabhu:

on the Vyasa Puja day of his guru, Tamal Krishna Goswami:

I never had that kind of mother or father in my life. When I first saw Tamal Krishna Goswami’s picture, I felt within that he was someone I could put my faith in and give my heart to. He did not come to Fiji for two years because of political problems. When he finally came, he stayed briefly. The next time he came, my godbrothers kept me away from him. Whenever he came to Fiji, he would always stay in one devotee’s house, and the next time, he said, “I will not stay in any one devotee’s house. In others’ houses, I will go one day. To Vicaru’s house I will go two days.”

I was serving him and his godbrothers, and he asked, “Why are you serving your guru’s godbrothers and godsisters before your guru?” Previously he had told us to serve his godbrothers and godsisters before him, so I was confused.

He wanted us to serve the preaching, serve Deities, and serve Vaishnavas.

Harinamananda Prabhu:

It is said “om” is composed of three sounds “a u m” and “a” refers Krishna, “u” refers to Radha, and “m” refers to the living entities. The Hare Krishna mantra is explained as names of Krishna and Radha, and it is chanted by the living beings. So you can say “om” and Hare Krishna are the same.

Giriraj Swami was put in charge of fund raising for a pandalprogram, and he asked Srila Prabhupada if we could force people to serve Krishna. Srila Prabhupada said, “No, we cannot force people to serve Krishna, but we can trick people into serving Krishna.”

The kissing and killing of the Lord are absolute.

One drug dealer, who was also a user of drugs, was so addicted he would find used syringes which still had a little drug left in them, and reuse them to get every bit of the drug. Once he let some book distributors stay at his place, and ultimately he became a devotee.

Because our body is produced from the body of our mother, our mother is so attached to us and has so much affection for us. But the soul is part of the Supreme Lord, so just imagine how much affection Krishna has for us!

Adhoksaja Prabhu:

There is one devotee, I think he was from Russia, who really wanted to distribute books, but somehow, although he went out almost every day he could only do one book, or maybe two or three on a really good day. That went on for twenty years! Then everything changed, and he would do a hundred books a day. The Lord was just testing his determination.

Radhanatha Swami said even if you keep butter in the freezer for twenty years, if you bring it in the presence of fire, it will melt. Similarly, even if you have been brahmacari for many years, if you are in the presence of an attractive women, you can become captivated.

To second guess Krishna is a way of trying to be Krishna.
I distributed books in Glasgow for many years. I could not relate to the Scottish accent of the people which always disturbed me. Once when one man did not take a book, I actually listened to the the way I was speaking to him, and it occurred to me I sounded so proud. From then on, I was more respectful and humble, and everything changed. Now I like distributing books in Glasgow.

If you are not patient, you will very soon lose your enthusiasm and confidence. And with Krishna, patience can mean waiting a long time.

comment by Vishnujana Prabhu:

I see when we do harinama and book distribution together, the book distribution goes very smoothly, and the devotees do not feel overwhelmed or burdened.

response by Adhoksaja Prabhu:

Although having done straight books for years, I experienced the truth of what you say last year on the Festival of India tour in Scotland. I would do harinama with the other devotees. Then for forty minutes I would distribute books. Then I would do a puppet show. Then forty minutes more of book distribution. Then I would do another puppet show. I always wore a dhotias there was no time to change. I found the books just went out very smoothly.

-----

ataeva ami ajña dilun sabakare
yahan tahan prema-phala deha’ yare tare

[Lord Caitanya continued:] Therefore I order every man within this universe to accept this Krishna consciousness movement [the fruit of love of Godhead] and distribute it everywhere.” (Sri Caitanya-caritamrita, Adi-lila 9.36)

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July 29th, 2014 – Darshan
→ Mayapur.com

The post July 29th, 2014 – Darshan appeared first on Mayapur.com.

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Kirtan Course with a virtual pilgrimage to the samadhi tomb of Bhaktivinoda Thakur (Album 60 photos)
→ Dandavats.com

This week the Kirtan course students are over half way through their course and they had a special visiting teacher in the form of Jahnavi Harrison who took the students through reading and singing the Saranagati prayers of Bhaktivinoda Thakura. The students discovered songs from the 6 sections of the Saranagati: 1) Humility 2) Surrender 3) Accepting the Lord as one's maintainer 4) Considering the Lord to be one's protector in all circumstances 5) Accepting those things that are favourable for devotional service 6) Rejecting those things that are unfavourable to devotional service The week's objectives were to: 1) Connect with the author by reading extracts from The Seventh Goswami by Rupa Vilasa dasa 2) Connect with the songs 3) Feel comfortable reading in Bengali 4) Discover how the songs enhance the maha mantra To conclude the week they took a virtual pilgrimage to the samadhi tomb of Bhaktivinoda Thakur, via film footage, and wrote individual prayers of gratitude to offer to him. Each student received a packet with some small chips of his samadhi stone (after renovations), some dust from the floor of his chanting room, and twigs from the birthplace of Lord Caitanya. Towards the end of the week, the students were given a short class by HH Lokanatha Maharaja who extolled the importance of proper sanskrit pronunciation when singing. Then, the weekend brought the Radhadesh summer festival where the sun shone brightly and students were very much involved in the festivities - from throwing themselves into the Holi arena and being showered in colour to stepping onto stage with HH Lokanatha Swami and HH Kadamba Kanana Swami to presenting on stage what they'd been learning so far... Read more ›

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Gita Nagari Ratha Yatra 2014 (Album 39 photos)
→ Dandavats.com

As a fire burns dry grass to ashes, so the holy name of the Lord, whether chanted knowingly or unknowingly, burns to ashes, without fail, all the reactions of one's sinful activities. SB 6.2.18 Read more ›

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$45.27 Million spent for the maintainance of Central Park, NY. For Radha Kunda, Shyama Kunda and Govardhan Hill ??
→ Dandavats.com

The area of Radha Kunda, Shyama Kunda and Govardhan Hill is the topmost holy place in the universe. It has been recorded that about 10 million people visit Govardhana on Guru Purnima day alone. Education and trash cans are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what it will take to keep this holy place clean. To match the cleanliness and beauty standards of New York City’s Central Park, we will need a small army of sanitation workers, tree care experts, gardeners, drivers, park rangers, and more, all taking care of Govardhana. Right now we have about 30 local brajavasi’s (mostly widows) working to keep a few areas in Radha Kunda clean. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to see 2,500 people working to keep all of Govardhana area clean, beautiful, and organized in many different departments, including relief for the poor and elderly? We don’t need to control the government. We just need to organize the care of Govardhana. Are we His servants, or is He ours? Read more ›

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Birmingham Rathayatra 2014 (Album 64 photos)
→ Dandavats.com

Living beings who are entangled in the complicated meshes of birth and death can be freed immediately by even unconsciously chanting the holy name of Krishna, which is feared by fear personified. SB 1.1.14 Read more ›

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Nimai School at Umuebulu 2, Etche LGA (Nigeria) celebrates End Of Academic Year
→ Dandavats.com

The event which took place in the temple premises at Umuebulu 2, Etche LGA (Nigeria) saw people from all walks of life. Including devotees from far and near trooped in to the premises to have a glance of the young pupils. The father of the day, Prabhu Hariha Das, appreciated the teachers and the school committee for instilling Krishna consciousness into the young ones despite the fact that most of them are children of non-devotees. In the same vein, the Chair lady of the occasion, mother Kapasuni Devi Dasi, encouraged the children never to forget Krishna conscious activities and always be studious even as they go on long vacations. Also speaking was the master of ceremony (MC) Prabhu Bhadra Das, who commended the children and the teachers for a good job. Read more ›

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Sunday Harinama in New York City, USA (Album 17 photos)
→ Dandavats.com

My dear King, although Kali-yuga is an ocean of faults, there is still one good quality about this age: Simply by chanting the Hare Krishna maha-mantra, one can become free from material bondage and be promoted to the transcendental kingdom. SB 12.3.51 Read more ›

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Sanskrit thriving in British schools! (3 min video)
→ Dandavats.com

At the St James Junior School in London, the number of students wanting to learn the language has grown by leaps and bounds. Read more ›

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I lost my heart in the Vaishnava Baltic Summer Festival 2014 (Album 310 photos)
→ Dandavats.com

Simply because I chanted the holy name of the Lord in the association of devotees, my heart is now becoming purified. Therefore I shall not fall victim again to the false lures of material sense gratification. Now that I have become fixed in the Absolute Truth, henceforward I shall not identify myself with the body. I shall give up false conceptions of "I" and "mine" and fix my mind on the lotus feet of Krishna. SB 6.2.38 Read more ›

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Why did Krishna and Arjuna meet each other first time so late in their lives?
→ The Spiritual Scientist

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Shayan Darshan of Sri Sri Radha Gopinath;25th July 2014
→ Gouranga TV - The Hare Krishna video collection

Shayan Darshan of Sri Sri Radha Gopinath;25th July 2014

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Why did Balaramji favour Duryodhana?
→ The Spiritual Scientist

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Arjuna’s virtuous victory – Don’t challenge God’s wisdom; let God’s wisdom challenge you – 2
→ The Spiritual Scientist

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When different religious groups have their own scriptures how is the authority of Vaishnava scriptures to be established?
→ The Spiritual Scientist

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Is the expansion of the Mahabharata from its short Jaya version a contamination?
→ The Spiritual Scientist

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What guided humanity before scripture was written?
→ The Spiritual Scientist

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Arjuna’s virtuous victory – Don’t challenge God’s wisdom; let God’s wisdom challenge you – 1
→ The Spiritual Scientist

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Mahabharata characters 71 Ashwatthama The dangerous temptation to punish
→ The Spiritual Scientist

Listen audio...

This talk is a part of the "Fascinating Mahabharata Characters" series. To know more about this course, please visit: bhakticourses.com

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Is the Mahabharata contaminated due to interpolation?
→ The Spiritual Scientist

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Saturday, July 26th, 2014
→ The Walking Monk

Edmonton, Alberta

The Last


The last of the stops for the festival tour culminated in Edmonton.  The sky had been insistent on bucketing the water.  By noon, the dumping of yesterday converted to a spray which eventually depleted as our outdoor procession of the Chariot Festival was in progress. 

As remarked by more than one person, there was a remarkable focus on chanting and dancing.  The location or route was a little odd – through an industrial plaza strip area.  Perhaps it will take a little more time for us to prepare ourselves for hip Whyte Avenue for the future. 

One instance that pulled out of the sternness in me, and then later a chuckle, had to do with one of our young bus troupers.  Young Raj is from Texas.  He was in the procession like the rest of us.  He managed to grab a plate of prasad (sanctified food) and had a nibble at it.  Where one of the escorted police cars was parked along the way, Raj decided to place his food on the front hood of the car as he was fiddling with something.  The police officer was making his way back to his vehicle when I noticed the plate on the car.  I conveniently had a mic in my hand since I was the person responding to the lead singer in the procession.  I used the mic to alert Raj, I beckoned him towards me, “Raj!” who then picked up the plate and came to me.  I gave him a mild chiding and said, “You should never do that.  You don’t want to be disrespectful, do you?”  indicating that the police are our friends and are there to help us.

In innocence he said, “You mean I shouldn’t disrespect the prasad?”

“No, Raj, the police.”

Anyway, when it came to my few minutes on the stage once the chariot procession was over, I relayed the story to the crowd sitting before me.  They also had a good laugh.

Our day ended with an hour long chanting session on Whyte Avenue where the evening young folks hang out.  Kish, of the Mayapuris, lead the chant which had the support of three booming mrdanga drums.  I personally like the percussion, it gets people hopping.

May the Source be with you!

7 KM

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Friday, July 25th, 2014
→ The Walking Monk

Calgary, Alberta

A Monk’s Take on Family and Kids


“I would just like to see wholesome families become a part of the social fabric.”  This I expressed to a young devotee of Krishna who’s engaged to be married. 

It was the second time today that I had a conversation on the topic of marriage.  “New world with old values,” were our mutual thoughts.  “Many new experiments aren’t working,” said the thoughtful young man, without elaborating. 

Then I offered to say, “Chosen life partners must be good listeners towards each other.”

A second person whom I would deem as successful in his marriage of several years, told of a third child on the way, and that I played a major role in what will soon be a new arrival.  He explained that in my last visit I said something about how a good couple should consider many children.  “It would increase a finer percentage of humans,” that was the logic.  We know that is not always the case, yet my observation tells that dharmic couples can help the world with their procreation. 

This second person, also a pious person, asked me frankly, “What do you, a monk, think of people like me, a married man, caught up in the world of money?”

I was frank, “You’re doing great.”  I indicated, “Let’s populate the world with great offspring, kids with a good sense of right and wrong and who have a good drive.”  We rambled on as rain and wind continued to be a lame excuse for not trekking today. 

May the Source be with you!

0 KM

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Thursday, July 24th, 2014
→ The Walking Monk

Jasper, Alberta

Water


A herd of elk came into our purview, while ground squirrels (black tail prairie dog) poked their heads out of their holes, mostly to see what we could offer them in the form of food.  These creatures kept us company at the Marmot Meadows Campsite.  We also caught glimpse of a black bear who entertained tourists simply by his very presence.  European tourists just go nuts when they see Canadian wildlife, but they’re not the only ones.  Canadian city slickers also go into a frenzy clicking their cameras. 

It really was a day of wetness.  The boys tents and their contents; cots, blankets, pillows, clothes, got drenched.  It warranted a trip to the laundry mat.  The place was already full, but with our entrance, 25 or so wild young folks, I’m the oldest, the place was completely packed. 

In general, on a day of rain, or whether it be high winds, Indra dynamics becomes a reality.  Still, water was not enough to intimidate.  The big draw or attraction for the day for our bus crew was a swim and Radium Hot Springs, surprisingly done inside.  By day’s end my legs became antsy for something outdoor.  For a challenge I took to the downward road from mountain high down to the direction of Yellowhead Highway.  There in raingear I tread, dodging the hefty currents of water coming down as rivulets on the asphalt.

I took these waves of downward water as a tax by maya, illusion.  I was most alert, yet anything to avoid wet socks.  Surely my chanting was evermore sharp as opposed to the more casual approach taken when sitting on the front seat of our bus.  A small ounce of austerity or inconvenience imposed on the self always goes a long way to contributing to the life of a monastic.  It happens to occur right here on the road, once again. 

May the Source be with you!

6 KM

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Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014
→ The Walking Monk

Jasper, Alberta

Mountainous Beauty


I covered a mere few kilometres on foot before the trip to Jasper, with stops along the way to capture with the eyes, the mountainous beauty.  My hosts, Radha Madhava, Swasti, and daughters in Calgary, and I, drove along Highway 93. Any stops made along the way, whether washroom breaks or gassing up, gave me the opportunity to add a kilometre here and there.

One tourist pulled over and offered a ride wondering how I mystically moved so swiftly as he passed me by twice before.  He just got so curious.

At Athabasca River we ventured down a trail as did so many other tourists from every part of the world imaginable.  Nature here seemed to have carved out of the earth these cool grooves by glacial and water movement in what is described as a tug of war for territory between rock and water.  Along the trail a plaque is entitled ‘Battle Front’, with the following text:

Water fights the rock lip back a few millimetres a year.  Now, the water is winning, but the nature of the rock may one day force the water to abandon this channel and seek another route. 
 
At the site of the gushing falls, more text follows:

Here, in a fury of sound and spray, the power of roaring water and a trembling earth meet.  Echoes of timeless batter assault our senses. 
 
After reading and viewing the facts we carried on to Whistler’s Park, where the Krishna Culture Bus Tour vehicle was kept.  I hooked up again with our team only to engage in spiritual talks over campfire roasted veggie marshmallows.  Marshmallows are an ancient food of the Egyptians. 

All is good here.  You just have to watch where you step.  One of the boys accidentally stepped into a prairie dog hole and sprained the ankle.  Such are the forces of nature. 

May the Source be with you!

11 KM

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Govinda’s Vegetarian Lunch – Wedding Catering
→ Sri Sri Radha Govinda Mandir, Hare Krishna Temple. ISKCON New York

Dear Friends,

We received this blog post about a recent catering Govinda’s did in Brooklyn:

http://bklynbrideonline.com/33608/wedding-photos/real-wedding-erin-brad/

As you can see, the bride and groom, and their guests truly enjoyed the food and decor.

We would be happy to cater your next event.  For more info, call us @ 347-249-4064.

Yours @ Govinda’s Vegetarian Kitchen

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Klungkung
→ Ramai Swami

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Klungkung, Bali, is an area steeped in ancient tradition. Many years ago the Maharaja ruled the area from his opulent palace near the centre of town. 

Today he is not a ruler but presides over ceremonial and cultural activities of the area. His father met the devotees and there is a painting of Radha and Krishna in one of the rooms of the palace.
We have a humble but beautiful temple on the outskirts of town where Their Lordships Sri Sri Radha Kunjavihari are worshiped by around 120 local devotees. The temple also runs a small restaurant in town that is quite popular.
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Message From An Email Subscriber
→ Japa Group

Today I received a nice message from a Japa Group subscriber.

"Thank you for sending this post. you have inspired me to finish my japa today. Haribol!"

You can subscribe to the Japa Group using the following link:

http://www.japagroup.com/p/form-methodpost-targetpopupwindow.html

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Escape the glass box!
→ KKSBlog

(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 27 June 2014, Amsterdam, Netherlands, Srimad Bhagavatam 5.13.17)

Munich-airport-smoke-boxPeople say, many times, that the greatest enjoyment in the material world is sex! Well, we can also say that greater than that is to be free from such desires. If you do not have the desire then it saves a lot of trouble! You know, then you do not have to worry about Saturday night. You do not have to buy flowers. You do not have to spend a lot of money in bars and all these things. So many things you do not have to do if you do not have sex desire. You do not have to spend a fortune on all kinds of clothes and things like that. Think about it, the consequences of sex desire are quite far reaching!

The other day, I was writing about this and I was comparing it to being addicted to cigarettes, to smoking. Say that we are smokers and airports now are all smoke free zones so then you have this glass box and people smoke in the glass box. It looks kind of foolish, these people in the glass box! Everyone looks at them and it is just a handful of them in a small glass box. So, those are the smokers and everyone can see them. They just sit in there, trying to feel at ease but meanwhile it is embarrassing to go sit in a glass box and smoke, obviously. But if you would ask the people that come out of the box, ‘Do you like smoking?’ They would say, ‘Oh yes, very much! Yes, I like it very much.’

radhadesh (2)But then, if there is someone who is not a smoker, when they see all that and hear all that, they will say, ‘This is foolish. You like it very much because you are addicted!’ So, the same we can apply to sex also. We are addicted! We are just addicted but when we take up serving Krsna then gradually our interest changes from enjoying the body to enjoying serving. Instead of taking – enjoying the body means taking for our senses – instead of taking for our senses, we now become very active in satisfying the senses of Krsna.

Srila Prabhupada wrote a letter where he explains to Kirtananda, ‘You please worship the deity and if you decorate the deity very beautiful, and when you make the deity very beautiful, then you will forget everything about the beauty of the material world.’ The beauty of the material word, it cannot satisfy the heart. So we are not proposing a life of giving up. We are not proposing of a life of giving up mundane pleasure; that is not our focus. We are proposing a life of embracing spiritual pleasure.

 

 

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31 July 2014 – Disappearance Day of Sri Raghunandan Thakura
→ ISKCON Desire Tree

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31 July 2014 – Disappearance Day of Sri Vamsidasa Babaji
→ ISKCON Desire Tree

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Cleansing the Gundicha Temple
→ HH Bhakti Caitanya Swami

Cleansing the Gundica Temple.mp3

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Harvest Festival-2014 in New Vraja Dhama, Hungary (Album 112 HR photos)
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Krishna-valley / New Vraja-dhama is more than 250 hectares of typical Mid Europian rural area, located in Hungary about 30 Kms from the well known tourist place Lake Balaton, in a beautiful natural environment. New Vraja-dhama is the transcendental realm of the world’s most beautiful deities Sri Sri Radha-Syamasundara. Please visit Krishna-valley for a spiritual journey. Read more ›

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New Vrindaban’s Gardens Having a Thriving Summer
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Garden Blog

By Kacey Orr

7-16-2014

The last few weeks have been VERY busy in the gardens. We have had many new volunteers.  A family from Maryland came to work and camp in the garden.  Currently we have two volunteers from WWOOF (world wide opportunities on organic farms) that have been helping with our abundant harvest of green beans.  The Roots & Shoots 4-H Cloverbud Club came and spent a day touring the gardens and picking flowers.  The kids had a wonderful time and learned all about farming and flowers.

The first week of July we planted four varieties of squash.  This is the last big planting until fall.  Our sweet potatoes are looking great and the vines are filling in all the spaces in their beds. Twice a week we harvest herbs and greens for the temple (lettuce, kale, swiss chard, and arugula).  This week brought us our first full sized red tomatoes and bitter melons. Our current pick list also includes red raspberries, peppers, beets, basil, oregano, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, dill, and tons of green beans.  Two of our local contract growers have been also making weekly deliveries of carrots and cilantro.

Both the Teaching Garden and the Garden of Seven Gates are bursting with beautiful flowers.  The temple staff has been picking hundreds of marigolds for garlands and a variety of flowers for vases. As we move further into the summer harvest we hope to have more volunteers to continue to provide the community with a bounty of vegetables and flowers.

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“Monkey safari” and a peacock sanctuary for Vrindavana
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The District Forestry Office is working on a plan to make a peacock sanctuary. The team of the environment activist raised various issues related to deforestation in Vrindavan. They were particularly concerned about recent reports about peacock deaths in the district. The DFO assured the team that steps are taken to protect the peacocks in Vraja. As per the forest office, they are also working to make a “monkey safari,” for which they have already sent a proposal to the government. Once the project is approved, monkeys from Vrindavan and other places will be translocated to forest land in Farah, between Mathura and Agra. Monkeys have become danger for trees, birds, peacocks and even for the humans. Read more ›

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Lord Balarama’s Appearance Day
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Sunday, August 10, 2014 marks the auspicious appearance day (birthday) of Lord Balarama, Lord Krishna's older brother! Lord Balarama symbolizes strength and compassion and we invite you to take part in the celebrations at the Hare Krishna Temple.



The  festival will kick off at 6pm with kirtan and will feature a special spiritual discourse on Lord Balarama. After the class, Toronto's Hare Krishna Temple will present the Fifth Annual Balarama's Bake-Off! Members of the community would have been assigned pastimes of Lord Balarama and have been challenged to come up creative sweet items related to Lord Balarama. The participants will then present their offerings in a fun and creative way. You won't want to miss it! Festivities will conclude with more kirtan and a huge vegetarian feast! 

August 10 is also the last day of Jhulan YatraA specially decorated swing will be arranged by the devotees for Sri Sri Radha and Krishna to sit and and accept the flower offerings from the devotees. Please join the festival and get a rare chance to personally swing their Lordships Sri Sri Radha Krishna.

A complete tentative festival schedule will be posted shortly. Stay tuned!


Finally, following Balarama Purnima, the countdown for Sri Krishna Janmashtami starts, the biggest birthday bash in town for Lord Krishna. This year, Janmashtami falls on Sunday, August 17, 2014. To make the most of that weekend, we will be having exciting activities from Saturday, August 16 to Monday, August 18. Please mark your calendars and join us in creating a spiritually charged Krishna Conscious long-weekend.  More information about what to expect will be coming your way soon!

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Harinam weekend in Moscow, Russia (Album 64 photos)
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One who chants the holy name of the Lord is immediately freed from the reactions of unlimited sins, even if he chants indirectly to indicate something else (sanketya), jokingly (parihasya), for musical entertainment (stobha), or even neglectfully (helana). This is accepted by all the learned scholars of the scriptures. SB 6.2.14 Read more ›

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Devotees in Tel Aviv, Israel distribute the Holy Name, S.Prabhupada’s books and prasadam to lift the mood (Album 66 photos)
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As a fire burns dry grass to ashes, so the holy name of the Lord, whether chanted knowingly or unknowingly, burns to ashes, without fail, all the reactions of one's sinful activities. SB 6.2.18 etävän eva loke 'smin puàsäà dharmaù paraù småtaù bhakti-yogo bhagavati tan-näma-grahaëädibhiù Devotional service, beginning with the chanting of the holy name of the Lord, is the ultimate religious principle for the living entity in human society. SB 6.3.22 Read more ›

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