Old Browsers
Jagannatha's Chakra -- main banner
Chakra past articles:
December 2009
Srila Prabhupada is Our Martin Luther
by Niscala dasi
Posted December 29, 2009

I'd like to thank Hare Krishna Dasi for her insights into ISKCON's current problems and their resolution (Waiting for Iskcon's Martin Luther, Chakra, Dec. 25). Although people like Hare Krishna Dasi have much in common with Luther — thoughtful, concerned, creative, dedicated and courageous — and although I don't want to minimize in any way her hefty contribution to reform, I would like to humbly point out that Martin Luther is already here in the words of Srila Prabhupada on the topic of varnashrama, which I have reproduced in my article, "Varnashrama as a Means to Freedom" (Chakra, Dec. 9). If she won't mind scrolling past my waffling on about the topic, to the words of Srila Prabhupada, she will find that Srila Prabhupada was acutely aware of the many problems his institution was facing, and was convinced that the answer was varnashrama.

In these conversations, Srila Prabhupada doesn't recommend making another movement, but making ISKCON all-inclusive. Indeed, he recommends the breakdown of the barriers between "us" and "them," which he called "the kanistha mentality." Let there still be a brahmana class in ISKCON; that need not change; but let all those who are struggling with the brahminical principles no longer suffer under their guilt and feelings of inadequacy. Everyone can be a Vaisnava. All that is required is the desire to be one. And is not ISKCON simply about being a shelter for aspiring Vaisnavas? (Click here for the full article)

by Madhavendra Puri das
Posted December 27, 2009

In siddhanta vaishnava,
You are Shakti-Avatara.
A soul endowed with the power,
To take the faith, a step further.

His Divine Grace, our master,
In hierarchy, your superior,
With challenges even greater,
Acknowledged you as a preacher.

Though he chastized your followers,
Going astray from your orders,
For you, he had great affection,
And true respect, for your mision.

You surely know, that every year,
During the month of december,
Devotees do a "marathon",
To increase book distribution!

Waiting for ISKCON’s Martin Luther
by Hare Krsna dasi
Posted December 25, 2009

Dawn: Luther at Erfurt, by Sir Joseph Noel Paton, from National Galleries of Scotland (detail). Public domain image from Wikimedia Commons.

Sivarama Swami, ISKCON GBC representative for Hungary and an initiating guru, presented his thoughts on the matter of ISKCON membership in a recent presentation titled "What is ISKCON, and who is a member of ISKCON?" In his presentation Sivarama Maharaja cited some of the obligations of ISKCON membership as: accepting the GBC as one's ultimate spiritual and managerial authority (in terms of ISKCON issues); being connected to ISKCON's line of authority; accepting initiation from a member of ISKCON -- in other words, chanting sixteen rounds and following the four regulative principles; being subject to the disciplinary and judicial system of ISKCON; giving 10 percent of one's income to the Society, and not divorcing one's spouse.

In reporting the proceedings of that GBC meeting, ISKCON News Weekly cautiously observed: "The feedback to date seems to indicate that the 'membership issue' needs delicate handling -- or it may divide more than it unites." (Click here for the full article)

In the News:
Little Krishna Charms the World in Animated Avatar

by Omkar Sapre, The Economic Times
Posted December 23, 2009

While the Indian market has not taken to animated content, an Indian animated property is creating a flutter in overseas markets. Little Krishna, the maiden project of Big Animation, a part of Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group’s (ADAG) Reliance MediaWorks, was first acquired by Viacom Media's animation entertainment channel Nick for the South Asian territory. Now, international television content distributor Evergreen Entertainment has bought the film for global distribution. Produced by Big Animation and ISKCON’s India Heritage Foundation, Little Krishna is the first Indian animation content Nick and Evergreen Entertainment have ever bought.

Big Animation has made Little Krishna in two formats — as three feature films of 85 minutes each, and as a series of thirteen 22-minute episodes already being broadcast in India. Earlier this month the series won the best animation award at the Asian Television Awards in Singapore. (Click here for the full article)

Live-In Help Needed
by Jatinder Palta
Posted December 21, 2009

An immediate position is available for a mature and caring female to take care of my 84 year old mother and house in Mclean, Virginia. The responsibilities include cooking, cleaning, and providing company to my mother who is in fair health and able to take care of her personal needs. The job comes with a private one bedroom suite in the house plus all meals with the family of just two of us. The salary is negotiable. If you are interested, please contact me at (Click here for the full article)

Hawaii Rathayatra Announcement
by Vishaka devi dasi
Posted December 18, 2009

Once again — on Monday, January 18, 2010 — it is time for our annual Hawai‘i Rathayatra. On behalf of the New Navadvipa community I would like to extend a welcome to everyone to come and join us for this most auspicious and fun festival when Sri Jagannatha, along with Sri Baladeva and Subhadra Devi shower Their mercies upon people who have come from all over the world to the streets of Waikiki.

As is traditional for the New Navadvipa Temple, we are part of the Martin Luther King Day parade. The parade starts at 9 a.m. from Magic Island and proceeds towards Kapi‘olani Park, where we will have kirtans, booths and prasadam. (Click here for the full article)

Auspicious Passing of Jayo Das
by Gajahanta das
Posted December 15, 2009

I will try to narrate a brief summary of Jayo das's service to Srila Prabhupada, although I cannot adequately glorify the true nature of his service. I request those who also knew him to please add to or correct what I am recalling.

Jayo prabhu joined ISKCON in Los Angeles, served on the Namahatta Party under Gurukripa Swami and Yashodanandana Swami collecting in Japan for Srila Prabhupada's Mayapur and Vrindavan projects. He served in India on the BBT Library Indian party, distributing books to colleges and libraries in India. Wearing a Santa Claus suit outside of Macy's on Fifth Avenue, he distributed the most Krishna book sets ever distributed in one day as a resident of the Manhattan West 55th Street "skyscraper" temple. He carried Srila Prabhupada on a palanquin barefoot through Vrindavan on parikrama after Prabhupada's departure.

He served HH Bhaktisvarupa Damodar Swami collecting for the Manipur temple and the Bhaktivedanta Institute. During those years we ran an old Alamo Motel together in Oklahoma City in the 1980s.

Jayo das continued to serve Maharaja over the years to the best of his capacity, living simply as a poverty-stricken brahmachari, and he never married. He would visit my family often while we were both going to school in Oklahoma City and was always very affectionate to our children. We would often invite Indian graduate students for home programs with chanting and prasadam. Bhaktisvarupa Damodar Swami would come, and we would arrange for university professors to come to the program as well. (Click here for the full article)

Pujari/Cook Position Available at ISKCON Coventry, UK
by Vidura Das
Posted December 14, 2009

ISKCON Coventry, UK is looking for a devotee to serve as a Pujari & Deity cook.

Our Lordships are the very beautiful & powerful Sachinandan-Nitaichand, medium brass Deities, and a small set of Jagannath, Baladeva & Subhadra Deities. Our temple is small but with a lovely, family atmosphere.

The main responsibilities of this position include, but are not limited to :

1) Perform Deity pujari service on a regular basis.

2) Cook for the Lordships on a regular basis.

3) Do other temple service as needed.

4) Work with the head pujari to develop & improve the standard of worship to Their Lordships.

5) Try to develop a Vedic samskar/puja program for the community.

We will offer room, board and a devotee maintenance allowance (Click here for the full article)

Devotees Teach Yoga School
by Hita Tessele and Rasatala das
Posted December 14, 2009

Inspiration Yoga Institute, nestled in the quaint town of Alachua, Florida, is a school surrounded by hiking and biking trails, crystal springs and many opportunities to find peace and serenity with the earth. The beach is just a few hours away. Reconnect with nature, make heart-to-heart connections with community, enjoy pure and whole foods, all of which helps you embody your qualitative oneness with the self. We are here to provide a nurturing environment and help you embody your most inspired self.

We offer teacher training programs -- either in a month-long 200-hour format or in a series of 9 weekends. The month-long intensive program runs either Sunday, January 10 through Friday, February 5; May 16 through June 11; or September 19 through October 15. The alternative weekend program includes both Saturdays and Sundays for all the following weekends of 2010: June 19-20, July 17-18, August 14-15, September 11-12, October 16-17, November 20-21, and December 11-12; plus January 15-16, 2011 and February 12-13, 2011,

The fee, including required books, is $2,300 per program, with a $300 discount for early registration (Click here for the full article)

Varnashrama As a Means to Freedom
by Niscala dasi
Posted December 9, 2009

ISKCON's four regulative principles (avoiding meat-eating, all sex except for procreation in marriage, gambling and intoxication) are sometimes referred to as "the four principles of freedom". If they really are the principles of freedom, then they should foster honesty. One can only be free in honesty- for deception is entangling.

As the poem goes:

Oh! what a tangled web we weave,

When first we practice to deceive!

Maya is literally "illusion", a synonym for "deception". So, since honesty is essential, both to freedom, and to self-realization, it follows that to the extent that one can honestly follow the four regulative principles, to that extent they are beneficial and liberating. But what of the contingency plan?

Freedom through Honesty

If one cannot follow, then the prescription given by Srila Prabhupada is varnashrama. (Click here for the full article)

Is Divorce Anti-ISKCON?
by Author's name withheld
Posted December 7, 2009

Re: "Proposed ISKCON Membership Criteria Too Narrow", Chakra, Nov. 25.

Perhaps this is a little candid of me for saying so, but is it that divorce goes against ISKCON's bylaws? Does this mean, coming out of a rather manipulative marriage myself, that I am to remain serving a husband who has affairs, simply because it's an ISKCON standard?

This seems highly inappropriate, and it makes no sense to me on any level. How, on Earth and all the planets in the Universe and above, is someone expected to make spiritual progress by living in constant suffering and misery?

Surely karma has effect in all relationship dynamics, but what is the benefit? Does this not logically just produce a continuing cycle of abusive relationships, and how would the children born into such marriages benefit other than to see that abuse is natural, and that you must remain faithful to demons?

I am confused. Someone please clarify this for me.

In the News:
Utah's Spanish Fork Has Krishna Temple

by James Roh, Utah Valley Daily Herald
Posted December 1, 2009

Caru Das conducts the First Grain Ceremony, or Anna-prasana, for Anuradha and Tyrel Memmott's daughter, Abby, at the Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple in Spanish Fork on Friday, Nov. 20, 2009. The ceremony occurs when a child is weaned from its mother's milk and eats its first solid food.   (Photo by James Roh for the Daily Herald)

Ask any Spanish Fork resident, and they will be able to point you in the direction of one of the most unique buildings in town and possibly in the whole state. Perched on a hill just south of downtown Spanish Fork stands the Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple. Completed in 2001, the Krishna Indian Temple certainly stands out among the surrounding rural fields.

Hare Krishna is an eastern religion that worships Krishna, a god who appeared in India about 5,000 years ago. To followers, Krishna exhibited divinity unlike anyone before, during, or since his time on earth. Krishna devotees, or Vaishnavas, spend their life studying and serving Krishna. Vaishnavas study a sacred scripture called the Bhagavad Gita. (Click here for the full article)

  In the News:
Copenhagen Devotees Detained With Climate Change Protestors

by Madhava Smullen on 26 Dec 2009
Posted December 28, 2009

On Saturday December 12, nine ISKCON devotees were arrested while chanting Hare Krishna outside the 2009 UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen.

80,000 people from around the world had taken to the streets at 3pm on Saturday afternoon in a mostly peaceful rally demanding the gathered political leaders to take stronger action against climate change.

Demonstrators walked through the city, carrying banners that read “Demand Climate Justice,” “The World Wants a Real Deal” and “There is No Planet B.”

While ISKCON devotees supported the message of environmentalism and care for Mother Earth, they were mostly there to spread Krishna’s name amongst the huge crowd.

When a few youth activists at the tail end of the demonstration threw cobblestones through the windows of the former stock exchange and Foreign Ministry buildings, police in riot gear moved in and arrested an unprecedented 968 innocent people, saying that it was in “preventative action.” (Click here for the full article)

Belgian Princess Mathilde Loves Prasadam
by Malati devi dasi (Radhadesh, Belgium)
Posted December 27, 2009

Thursday, December 17 was the formal inauguration of the Belgian Council of Religious Leaders (Conseil des leaders religieux de Belgique) in the Parliament of Brussels. Hṛdaya Caitanya prabhu, temple president of Radhadesh, was elected to represent in the council the Hindus of Belgium.

The main guest of the event was the future Queen of Belgium, Her Majesty Princess Mathilde. The devotees of Radhadesh provided prasadam for the reception after the inauguration ceremony. Leaders of all the other major religious groupings in Belgium &mdash Buddhist, Christian, Jain, Jewish and Muslim — as well as ministers and parliamentarians, enjoyed the beautifully presented and very tasty prasadam.

Among the interfaith spiritual leaders present were: (Click here for the full article)

Large Grhastha Families Needed
by Vaiyasaki das
Posted December 25, 2009

I wish to thank Palaka and Gajahanta prabhus for their wonderful glorification of HG Jayo prabhu.

I think it is high time that we all begin to recognize devotees for their wonderful qualities while they are alive, not just after they die. It seems that only after devotees die, do we finally give some recognition and glorification, and even that is not enough. We should be glorifying devotees while they are alive, and I don't mean just the gurus or those who hold some position. Every Vaishnava is my prabhu, and I am his dasa.

Vaishnavas deserve to know that they are loved and appreciated. After all, Sri Krishna states that He is suhridam sarva bhutanam, so why are we not the well-wishers of all His devotees, what to speak of all living entities? I don't want to have a different opinion than the Lord.

The Gaudiya Math had a hard time accepting Srila Prabhupada as the next acharya in parampara because at the time of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur he was simply Abhaya Babu, (Click here for the full article)

New Book On Mother Cow Released
by Bhakta Chris Evans
Posted December 23, 2009

We are pleased to announce the release of the latest book by Dr Sahadeva dasa, “Cow and Humanity – Made For Each Other."

This book discusses the vital role of cows in peace and progress of human society. Among other things, it also addresses the modern ecological concerns. It emphasises the point that ‘eCOWlogy’ is the original God made ecology. For all the challenges facing mankind today, mother cow stands out as the single answer.

We're finally going to get the bill for the Industrial Age. If the projections are right, it's going to be a big one: the ecological collapse of the planet, says Jeremy Rifkin. At the dawn of the industrial age two hundred years ago, humanity took a wrong turn when it started living on nature’s capital instead of nature’s incomes. It started gorging upon resources that took nature millions of years to create and which were saved up by nature according to its own plan of functioning. (Click here for the full article)

A Unique Opportunity to Live and Work in the Holy Dhama of Sri Mayapur
by Deva Gaura Hari das
Posted December 21, 2009

The Sri Mayapur International School requires a primary school teacher to join our enthusiastic and energetic staff. The successful applicant will have:

  • Allegiance to ISKCON and faithfulness to Srila Prabhupada
  • Strong sadhana and spiritual program
  • An attitude of humble respect for all Vaisnavas and heartfelt care to young Vaisnavas
  • A recognized tertiary teaching qualification. e.g. Diploma of Teaching, Bachelor of Education
  • Experience teaching at primary school level in devotional and/or state schools
  • A strong desire to live and serve in the Holy Dhama of Sri Mayapur
  • A high level of professionalism and ability to work as a team player, ready and willing to take guidance from our trained Heads of School as to curriculum development and delivery

(Click here for the full article)

Handmade Jagannatha Dolls
Submitted by Dvijapriya dasi
Posted December 18, 2009

We've finally located the maker of these wonderful Jagannatha, Subhadra and Baladeva dolls. They are machine washable and sturdy, and they can be ordered in colors of your choice. Bhaktin Linda from Seattle has been making them for years. We just received two sets for future grandchildren, and they are so cute. Linda can be reached at:

Linda Swapp, e-mail (Click here for the full article)

Spiritual Fashions On-Line
by Sankarsana das (Washington D.C.)
Posted December 14, 2009

The Spiritual Fashions shop, which is often present at North American ratha-yatras and Festival of India events, now has an on-line shop at www.spiritualfashions.com. We carry a wide variety of devotional T-shirts, hoodies, beads, caps and clothing from India.

Passing of Kuvera Prabhu
by Radhanatha Swami (Mumbai lecture Nov 15, 2009)
Posted December 14, 2009

I want to tell you about a very special and dear personality whom most of you do not know, one of the most grateful, gracious and blissful devotees I've ever seen — Kuvera.

Kuvera had one of the most painful terminal diseases, ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). In America, it is called Lou Gehrig’s Disease. It is a disease in which everything inside starts deteriorating and melting away. Once you get it, you die. There is no cure. You lose control of all your functions — your arms, legs, digestion, power to speak, etc. Generally, when one is diagnosed with it, one cannot live for more than two years. From a physical perspective, he suffered this disease over ten years.

He was a very simple devotee, a disciple of Srila Bhakti-Tirtha Maharaja. He really took the spirit of his guru as his life and soul. He was constantly giving his love and his compassion to others. Even in that terminal state, he never complained. He was simply giving, giving and giving. (Click here for the full article)

Spanish Prisoners Approach Krishna Through Prasadam
by ISKCON Spain communications team
Posted December 9, 2009

1. Radhapriya prabhu and Krishna Kripa prabhu with the inmate trustee responsible for bringing food to the prison director for his approval.

For the first time in the history of Spain's prisons — and maybe in Europe — prisoners and guards have eaten a classic full-prasadam lunch meal together.

On Dec. 4 Krishna Kripa das and his wife Radhapriya dasi (both disciples of H. H. Bhakti Charu Swami) cooked with the help of a team of prisoners from the Ceuta prison and served prasadam to over 400 people, including inmates, their guards and some reporters. Ceuta is a Spanish city bordering Morocco and separated from the Spanish mainland by the Strait of Gibraltar. The city's population is 77,000, and the prison has 350 inmates and more than 100 guards.

The lunch consisted of basmati rice, dhal, mixed-vegetable sabji, puris, eggplant pakoras, laddu and mango lassi. After the offering, the prasadam was distributed to all the inmates in three separate groups of men, women and juveniles. Krishna Kripa explained the meaning of the prasadam (Click here for the full article)

Horrific Conditions in Peruvian Prison
by Candrasekhar das, ISKCON Prison Ministry
Posted December 3, 2009

There is a prison in Peru in the high desert called Larri Ganchos. Built to accommodate 3,000 men, it now houses over 10,000. There are only a few guards; there is not enough money to hire more. They are placed in various strategic and generally safe areas outside the main prison. The actual security within is maintained by prisoners sanctioned by the administration called the Council of Inmate Leaders; yet each dorm or block or pavilion is like a pirate ship, and there are regular raids into each other's territory. There are regular attacks, some rapes and beatings.

The water is turned on briefly twice a day. Inmates come with buckets, but usually there is not enough water to go around. Some inmates become outcastes due to minor offenses such as petty theft or suspicion of gang disloyalty. They are denied access to proper indoor housing and wander a vast outdoor desert wasteland within prison confines and try to somehow live. They scavenge through an open garbage pit for discarded food. Wild dogs roam here and there. It is hard to properly describe the conditions throughout Larri Ganchos. There is a constant and vicious struggle to exist: for power, for drugs.

One inmate, Carlos, is an outcast. He has been beaten recently and his coat was stolen. Somehow he has to endure the cold nights. He is HIV-positive, has no family or friends, and wanders about. He has no real hope without Srila Prabhupada; (Click here for the full article)

"Rose of Vidarbha" DVD Available
by Kuli Mela Association
Posted December 1, 2009

"The Rose of Vidarbha" DVD is available now at Krishna.com.

Intrigue, heartache, deception, romance, humor and triumph mark Krishna's epic quest to marry his beautiful Queen Rukmini and become King of Dwarka.

This artfully woven performance, which combines music, theater, and dance, was brought to life by a troupe of talented local Kulis on the steps of the ISKCON New Dwarka Temple in Los Angeles, California.

This drama was recorded August 1, 2009, in front of 1,100 enthusiastic audience members and was a crowning jewel of KulimeLA 2009.

  Annapurna's Paintings for Sale
by Brajakishori dasi
Posted December 28, 2009

I have two original and beautiful devotional paintings of Cowherd Krishna and Sri Sri Radha Krishna for sale. The paintings are by Philadelphia-based artist Annapurna dasi. Please call me at 215-500-9633 or send an e-mail to (Click here for the full article)

Vrindavan Furnished Flat for Sale
by Radhacharan das
Posted December 27, 2009

A very nice flat, located in the well-reputed Ananda Krishna Van building near ISKCON and near the Krishna Balaram tree, is available for sale. It is fully furnished in all respects with an air conditioner, TV, microwave, double bed, side table, center table, chairs, alimrah, dressing table, etc. It is approx 28m2 (300 square feet). It has the best location, a garden view, lobby, etc. i want to sell because I am moving to Mayapur. Asking price $24,000. Please contact me at (Click here for the full article)

House for Sale in Saranagati
by Karunamayi dasi
Posted December 23, 2009

In an effort to assist a dear devotee in selling her land and house in Saranagati Dhama, BC, Canada I am forwarding the specs along to you. If you or anyone you know would be interested in viewing this parcel of land, feel free to contact me.

The 1300-sq. ft. house, on 3 acres of land in the south end of valley, has 4 bedrooms and a loft. It is a very bright house with lots of windows, a large kitchen (with wood stove) and living room. The wood is tongue-and-groove finished and has a beautiful view of the lake and 'Govardhan Hill.' The house has hot water on demand, a large propane tank and stove and full bathroom facilities with a flushing toilet.

The house also comes with a woodshed and a two-room root cellar, along with an area suitable for repairing cars if needed. There is a new water line also. The house was the original brahmacari asrama for the Saranagati Valley; (Click here for the full article)

Please Pray for Rasa
by Rasajna devi (Andrea Sittler)
Posted December 21, 2009

[The Chakra editorial board has learned that Rasajna devi (Andrea Sittler) is in a weak state, suffering from end-stage cancer. She has approved the posting of her letter below, which she recently sent to her friends]

"Dearest Friends, Family and Beloved Ones,

"I first want to express my deep gratitude for the outpouring of love and support through calls, emails, gifts and cards that I have received from so many of you around the planet. You have touched my soul and have given me strength to know how much I am loved! I am very sorry that I have not been able to talk to or see more of you personally, but I feel your support.

"At this time I ask that your prayers be focused on helping me to have faith, courage and experience the highest Prema Bhakti. As you pray for me, I invite you to allow the power of divine prayer into your hearts as well and let your path be enlightened through the medium of prayer and devotional Kirtan. (Click here for the full article)

Remembering the Jayo Slide and Jayo Santa
by Palaka das
Posted December 18, 2009

As a young man Jayo das was a dedicated sankirtan devotee full of life and extraordinary amounts of enthusiastic energy for serving Srila Prabhupada's mission. For those of you who may never have personally met or seen Jayo prabhu, he resided in a rather large body. Jayo loved kirtans, but perhaps even more, Jayo loved dancing in kirtans. Often times Jayo's dancing invoked images of a powerful devotee elephant raised up on its hind legs as he skilfully danced to the Holy Names with great pleasure.

At times, Srila Prabhupada referred to his western disciples as the dancing white elephants. Certainly, Jayo knew how to dance, and he kept everyone amused and entertained with this endearing talent. We all watched in amazement as he jumped, swirled, twirled and moved with ease, especially for someone housed in such a large body. Jayo was remarkably light on his feet, which inevitably earned him the nickname Twinkle Toes. To this day the mere thought of Jayo's name brings a smile to my face as I remember his various antics while dancing in kirtans. There was however, one particular dance move that was so uniquely Jayo's that it deserves mentioning, the "Jayo slide." (Click here for the full article)

Gita Has the Peace Formula
by Rita Gupta
Posted December 14, 2009

Judging by the prestige associated with the Nobel Peace Prize, which was just awarded to President Barack Obama, the question of how to attain peace is one of the most fundamental matters facing humanity at large. The "peace formula" expounded in the Vedic literature of India gives humanity a concise answer to this question. Peace can be had when one understands that God is the proprietor of everything. (See Srila Prabhupada's book, Krishna Consciousness, The Topmost Yoga System, ch. 9.) Until then, there will be no peace; there will be only discord and disagreement. Individuals and nations will fight for proprietorship over regions and countries. Soon, they will fight for proprietorship over planets.

The Vedas tell us that there is a place where all the inhabitants accept that God is the proprietor of everything. In that place, all the relationships are peaceful and full of love. That place is called Vaikuntha, or the spiritual universe. Many vedic literatures include detailed descriptions of Vaikuntha, explaining that just as this material universe has multiple planets, there are multiple planets in Vaikuntha, and they describe what life on those planets is like. (Click here for the full article)

The Mystery of the Edited Books
by Madhava Smullen
Posted December 14, 2009

Prabhupada said that not a word of his books should be changed. The first edition of Bhagavad-gita As It Is was perfect. With their second edition, the BBT editors have taken the Bhagavad-gita further away from Prabhupada’s intentions. The BBT didn’t consult anybody about making their changes.

Or at least some would have you believe. To clarify their actions amid this hailstorm of controversies and allegations, the BBT launched their new website, www.BBTedit.com, on August 26th. There the editors clearly show the revisions they made to Prabhupada’s books, explain why they made them, and provide an informative background of quotations, historical records, and video interviews.

But what really happened? And if the BBT is faithful to Prabhupada, where did all the controversy come from?

First, let’s back up a bit. Although Srila Prabhupada said that the philosophy should not be changed, he clearly wanted editors. He wrote and produced the first canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam on his own in India, but he did it only because he had to. When continuing his preaching in the West, however, he at once enlisted the services of those who came to help. His first book in America, the 1968 abridged version of Bhagavad-gita, was published by Macmillan. (Click here for the full article)

In the Blog World:
Bhakti is Simple

by Gaurav Mittal
Posted December 9, 2009

My kids learnt a simple Hindi song this weekend:

खाते राम कहो पीते भी राम कहो
सोते भी राम कहो राम राम राम
राम राम राम राम राम राम राम राम राम
राम राम राम

पढ़ते भी राम कहो लिखते भी राम कहो
चलते भी राम कहो राम राम राम
राम राम राम राम राम राम राम राम राम
राम राम राम

Say Ram while eating; Say Ram while drinking;
Say Ram while sleeping: Ram Ram Ram
Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram
Ram Ram Ram

Say Ram while studying; Say Ram while writing;
Say Ram while walking; Ram Ram Ram
Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram
Ram Ram Ram

This is a very simple Hindi song with deep meaning. Basically, it means that we should keeping repeating "Ram" (Click here for the full article)

Vaisnava Conduct in the Global-Village Era
by Nitaisundara das
Posted December 7, 2009

In the 1960s, literary and media critic Marshall McLuhan coined the phrase "global village" to describe the extension of people's frames of reference and sense of responsibility beyond their immediate surroundings, or "village." This growing sense of connectedness, McLuhan proposed, is the natural result of a world in which electronics enable our senses (at least the senses of sight and hearing — for now) to immediately experience that which is taking place across the globe, just as we would in our village.

McLuhan had high hopes for such a global community: "The aspiration of our time for wholeness, empathy and depth of awareness is a natural adjunct of electric technology."

Apparently not natural enough. McLuhan passed away in 1980 as the precursors to the Internet were being formulated, implemented and refined, but still nine years before the start-up of the first commercial Internet service provider. With the Internet now in full swing, it is apparent to all that the global village finds its most relevant discussion there. Indeed, in its most common usage, "global village" has come to refer to the Internet alone. (Click here for the full article)

Kartika Padayatra in Vraja
by Parasuram das
Posted December 1, 2009

On October 3 the full moon rose into the Vrindavan sky, the rasa-lila moon announcing the beginning of Kartika. Devotees had cooked big pots of sweet rice and had left it overnight on the roof for Krishna to enjoy. By 5:30 a.m. the 600 devotees were joyfully respecting that divine prasad before gathering outside Srila Prabhupada's Samadhi mandir ready to embark on the Vraja-mandala parikrama, a one-month trek through the twelve forests of Vraj.

Just as we were assembling to leave, an unexpected lightning storm was followed by a torrential downpour. As the roads became rivers, everyone ran for cover. By the afternoon the rain had eased off a bit, and we took to the open road, one bullock-cart temple, three kirtan devotees and two devotees distributing books and prasad.

I always feel nervous about going on this adventure, even though this was my 25th time. We were giving up our Mayapur-Vrindavan Trust apartment with clean toilets and hot water for the uncertainties of the padayatra lifestyle in the villages of Vraj. (Click here for the full article)

<< January 2010
November 2009>>