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Chakra past articles:
December 2011
Gita Jayanti Sankirtan in Pakistan
by Sandeep Kumar Maheshwary
Posted December 27, 2011

This is the auspicious year for ISKCON's Pakistani devotees that Gita Jayanti was celebrated in Larkana, the fourth-largest city of Sindh province, on December 10 and 11, having started on a small-community basis. This celebration, with various related events leading up to the Harinam Sankirtan, is an opportunity for all age groups to get to read, chant, study and understand the Bhagavad-Gita and its immortal message. This is also a venue for various Hindu organizations to come closer through participation and unity of purpose in the celebration of one of the fundamental scriptures of both Hinduism and Krsna consciousness.

The public Gita Jayanti 2011-12 program had been postponed from the official observance date out of respect for the Muslim holy event Ashura (December 5 this year in the Islamic calendar), which marks the climax of the ten-day Remembrance of Muharram. Because the date commemorates the sad passing of Hussein ibn ʻAlī, the grandson of Prophet Muḥammad — may peace be upon them both — it is considered inappropriate to schedule celebrations like weddings for this date, and to sing or play cheerful music on this date would be impolite and disrespectful. (Click here for the full article)

Rare Books for Sale
by Sharon Gibson
Posted December 21, 2011

Two rare classic sets of limited printing books by and about Srila Prabhupada for sale: Precious collector items, excellent condition.

“Srila Prabhupada Siksamrta”, Volumes 1,2, &3, published in 1992 by the BBT. A-Z nectarean instructions from the letters of Srila Prabhupada in topic order.

“Srila Prabhupada ~ Liamrta”, Volumes 1 – 5, published in 1980 – 1983 by the BBT. Incredible biography of Srila Prabhupada’s life, by Satsvarupa das Goswami.

For more information, please contact (Click here for the full article)

Yamuna Devi Has Left Her Body
by Chakra staff
Posted December 20, 2011

The Chakra staff is sad to announce that Prabhupada's Yamuna Devi Dasi has left us after a long illness. Although a very private person, she contributed to ISKCON in numerous ways, including her famous cookbooks, being one of the original six devotees who started ISKCON London, and of course as the beautiful voice singing the Govindam prayers at the greeting of the Deities in all ISKCON temples every morning. Here is a link to a video, in which she tells her memories of Prabhupada:

(Click here for the full article)

In the News:
'Mukti' the Turkey Gets Real Liberation at Tucson Govinda's

by Sandamini devi
Posted December 15, 2011

Picture #1 Mukti meeting and greeting at Govinda's

Channel 4 News in Tucson, Arizona reported, "The main course at most Thanksgiving dinners, was the guest of honor at Govinda's restaurant, and was strolling the outdoor patio today. This local establishment has been serving 'Tofu Turkey' to patrons since 1992." The regular guest-of-honor turkey at our restaurant was getting older and a bit scruffy, so we needed to find another turkey for the annual Thanksgiving Dinner. Congregation member Nama Priya was in charge of securing another one, as she has been doing for the last 10 years. There was a pair of full-grown black and brown male turkeys at a house where she does hospice work, and she decided to ask the owners about taking the turkeys to Govinda's for the holiday dinner event. The family replied that only one bird remained as one had just been slaughtered that very morning. (Click here for the full article)

In the Blog World:
ISKCON Krishna Lila Park at Bangalore

submitted by Richard Wyndham, by theharekrishnamovement.wordpress.com
Posted December 6, 2011

Srila Prabhupada taught the principles of yukta vairagya: not to reject something of this world as material, but suitably engage everything in the service of the Supreme Lord Sri Krishna for the upliftment of humanity. These principles of yukta vairagya that he taught underlie the Krishna Lila Park project, where modern technology, commerce and management practices converge for the execution of this mega endeavour in the service of God and mankind.

The purpose of Krishna Lila Park is to present, preserve and promote the cultural heritage of India as described in the ancient Indian classics, to the contemporary society, in an interesting and captivating presentation. We want to impress upon the younger generation the glorious pastimes of our vedic heroes like Krishna, Rama and Hanuman. Today, our children’s minds are obsessed with Superman, Spiderman and such other characters and legends coming from the West. We want to introduce the great characters of our Indian epics and instill in the minds of our children the deep values they represent. This is an unprecedented and historical project being attempted for the first time in our country. (Click here for the full article)

Balaji Textiles in Mayapur
by Rasabihari dasa
Posted December 5, 2011

I have a shop in Mayapur in front of the Main Gate at the ISKCON temple. We sell ready made clothes, dhoties, kurtas, saris, punjabis, and other clothes as well.

Please come visit my shop, we will give cheaper prices than other shops for devotees. My number is (Click here for the full article)

Comments Sought On Vaishnava Ad Campaign
by Mayesvara das (Ojai, California)
Posted December 3, 2011

You can click on this .GIF graphic to view it at larger size or right-click and Save-As to download it for easier reading.

In an attempt to attract the general public to Lord Caitanya's Sankirtan movement, I regularly place ads in the local newspapers inviting people to come to the Bhagavad Gita As It Is Fellowship which I sponsor on the first and third Tuesdays of each month.

Often the subject matter for the Gita gatherings is gleaned down from one of the "Prabhupada Speaks Out" commentaries that have been published in Back to Godhead magazine. This material is then further used as the core content of the newsletter I send out about a week prior to the meetings, held twice a month. The respective topic culminates as the focus study and discussion point at the actual bi-monthly Gita class gathering the public is being invited to.

Instead of placing the consistently boring type of repetitive classified invitation that is traditionally found in the calendar section of the local newspapers, I use the ads to poke at topics the casual reader is likely to have encountered somewhere and may be interested in further exploring. (Click here for the full article)

  In the News:
Persecution of Prabhupada’s Book

by http://ibnlive.in.com
Posted December 28, 2011

“Moscow: Bhagavad Gita, one of the holiest Hindu scriptures, is facing a legal ban and the prospect of being branded as "an extremist" literature across Russia. A court in Siberia's Tomsk city is set to deliver its final verdict on Monday in a case filed by state prosecutors...The case, which has been going on in Tomsk court since June, seeks ban on a Russian translation of "Bhagavad Gita As It Is" written by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the founder of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON).”

The latest word is that the decision whether to ban the Gita has been postponed until December 28. From Hindustan Times :

“A Russian court on Monday suspended its verdict till December 28 on the demand for banning Hindu scripture Bhagavad Gita, which a group linked to the Christian Orthodox Church has described as 'extremist'. "The ruling has been postponed till December 28, (Click here for the full article)

The Story of Smita the Cow
by Mata Phalini
Posted December 27, 2011

Smita on Go-Puja Day

Eleven years ago when we got Smita, she was just a little calf. We had been looking for a little girl calf, and we love Indian breeds, so we had asked around among the devotees of Prabhupada Village if anyone knew where we could find an Indian cow. Mother Rucira told us she had seen some Indian cows just near where we live, out old Amostown Road in Sandy Ridge. She gave us directions, and we found ourselves at the home of Dean Ireland, the owner of a herd of Rajasthani Tharparkar cows. Mr. Ireland, a local policeman, pointed toward a grassy field where we saw a herd of beautiful, graceful cows with big humps and long ears. He told us he kept the herd as pets. One of his cows just happened to be pregnant at the time, and he agreed to let us know if she gave birth to a little female calf. Sure enough, we got a call in July. “My cow just had a baby girl. You still interested?”

We were there in no time to see the new baby. As Smita grew, she got used to seeing us, but was shy. We would go often to feed Officer Ireland’s cows. Smita usually avoided coming close to the fence. The two bulls in the herd would also guard her to keep her away from the fence when we came. Nonetheless, once in a while, she would come close enough so that we could reach through the fence and pet her. (Click here for the full article)

Open Letter to Sanaka Rsi From Deena Bandhu
by Deena Bandhu dasa
Posted December 27, 2011

I'm sorry I missed getting much assocation with you when you were in Vrindavan. I was busy with parikramas and then became quite ill with a serious chest infection.

I was very happy to see your reports on the Vrindavan Gurukula. I myself was quite surprised to see that such a large Gurukula was turned over to such young and inexperienced boys to run. But since they put up the wall, I don't have much contact with what is going on over there. And I was surprised that Lila Purusottama was put in charge as I knew he had important service in Kanpur. Sure enough, the authorities in Kanpur did not let him go to Vrindavan, so it was finally agreed he could come a couple of days a month! So then everything fell on the shoulders of Radhakanta. Now they are both very nice devotees and all, but it seemed like total irresponsibility on the part of whoever decided to put 300 lives under this young boy's care!

Just recently while on parikrama I was discussing with a recent graduate of the school (I can't call it a gurukula!) and I was telling him that one of the problems of the early Gurukulas was that young and inexperienced people were running them. They didn't know what to do as the incidents of abuse came up and in their immaturity tried to cover things up, fearing that they would lose their service and the schools would get a bad name. (Click here for the full article)

Yamuna Devi's Passing
by Deena Bandhu Das
Posted December 21, 2011

"Early this morning on Saphala Ekadasi in Florida, our very dear Godsister Yamuna left this world. Don't have any details yet, but Dina Tarini found her asleep with her hand in her beadbag. One of Prabhupada's first and dearest daughters, he said she cooks just like Radharani. So now she must be helping Radharani to cook for Shyamasundara. Too shocked to say more right now, but on 23rd in Vrindavan, we will have a memorial service! Now let us join with all the devotees around the world and offer prayers to Srila Prabhupada to bring her to his lotus feet." (Click here for the full article)

Original Art for Sale
by Drigha dasi, BBT artist
Posted December 15, 2011

I just finished a new version of my new painting : Damodar: Yashoda chasing after baby Krishna. I am the artist who painted the original one for the BBT in 1977 and have executed a similar but slightly different one, same exact size as the original painting.

You can read and see more details for this piece on my blog at: Click Here

Harihar Bhavan Apartments
by Rukmininath das
Posted December 6, 2011

If you're interested in living in a safe building near ISKCON Mayapur, I have apartments in Harihar Bhavan for sale from 900,000 Rupees (ca. 12,750 Euros or $17,200 US) and up. The building, conveniently close to the temple, restaurant and gardens, is only a five-minute walk from the ISKCON Namahatta Gate, opposite the Mayapur Polyclinic and by the crossroad at Shiva Dova. For more information, please contact me by e-mail, (Click here for the full article)

English Foundations Program Director Needed
by Suresvara dasa
Posted December 5, 2011

The Bhaktivedanta College in Radhadesh, Belgium, needs a qualified devotee to direct an English Foundations Program for its students, most of whom are native speakers of other languages. College classes are conducted in English.

The successful candidate will be a native English speaker, certified in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages), and preferably have work experience in the field.

Reasonable compensation is available. If you are qualified and would like to join our enthusiastic teaching team, please write the Bhaktivedanta College principal, HH Yadunandana Swami, at (Click here for the full article)

Why Honor a Cult Leader?
by Hare Krsna dasi
Posted December 3, 2011

I noticed a comment to "Swans, Crows, and Preaching" in which the commenter was alarmed that an ISKCON swami "has been burying Kirtanananda's body in a 'samadhi' in Vrndvana, why does Kirtanananda deserve a samadhi in Vrndavana, and why is [the ISKCON swami] supporting this? Incidentally, many of our Brijabasi friends are appalled that Kirtanananda was buried there under the direction of [the ISKCON swami]."

I have to admit that it was astonishing to see the photos of two ISKCON swamis in Vrndavana paying obeisances to the dead corpse of a convicted racketeer. For the past twenty years, ISKCON has taken great pains to disassociate itself from Bhaktipada Swami, as rightfully it should. Compared to Bhaktipada (Kirtanananda), is there anyone else in the world who did more to devastate the lives of devotees and to defame the reputation of Srila Prabhupada and the Hare Krsna movement before the eyes of the public?

So this latest move has caused distress among many Brijibasis, (Click here for the full article)

  Comment On "ISKCON's Lost Generation"
by Mary Novak
Posted December 27, 2011

Thank you for your honesty Nandini Click Here. I have been involved with ISKCON for many years and agree with your perception that many of the most prominent people in ISKCON except for Prabhupada, people who regard themselves as alleged leaders of the movement, have been corrupt and because of this corruption it is still rampant. Compassion, true compassion, the ability to be empathetic and sympathetic towards others is almost non-existent. The treatment of women and children in the movement has been abhorrent. Prabhupada was very egalitarian. What is the purpose of calling all souls equal and part and parcel of the Lord if we cannot show all souls respect and compassion? I have heard many people try to make excuses over the years, such as "well I was abused" or worse, “not a blade of grass moves without the will of the Supreme” as if God is responsible for your personal behavior. When I have confronted individuals about bad behavior in the past I have met with responses like these. No excuses. Adults should be able to have some perspective on what is right or wrong, and be able to take personal responsibility for their behavior. (Click here for the full article)

Care for Cows Newsletter December 2011
by Kurma Rupa dasa
Posted December 21, 2011

The December 2011 issue of our Care for Cows Newsletter has been posted. Please review it at your earliest convenience.


In this edition of 38 pages (3.6 MB) we present reports on:

1. The celebration of Gopastami at our Kiki Nagla facility.

2. The progress of our new cowshed at Kiki Nagla.

3. A rescue attempt of an injured calf.

4. The visits of notable guests like Chaitanya Swami, Wenda Shehata and Dr. Tim Couzens.

5. A book authored by an American author who appreciated how keeping cows brings prosperity. (Click here for the full article)

Maha From Srila Prabhupada
by Jaya Gauranga das
Posted December 15, 2011

Due to a family emergency I am forced to sell one of Srila Prabhupada's personal copies of the Srimad Bhagavatam which I've had in my possession for more than 30 years. When Srila Prabhupada was still physically present amongst us, and every time the BBT would publish a new book, the first copy that came out of the printers would have gold-edge pages and it was sent to Srila Prabhupada for his own personal use (any devotee who worked at the BBT in those days will remember this). Some times Srila Prabhupada would travel with one such copies and usually these personal copies of Srila Prabhupada were kept in one of his temples where he spent the most time.

The particular copy that I have is the 8th Canto part one, originally kept in Srila Prabhupada's house in Vrindaban, India where Srila Prabhupada would some times pick it up and read from it. Any one interested please contact Jaya Gouranga das, cellphone No. (Click here for the full article)

Reflections On ISKCON's Lost Generation
by Nandini Stocker
Posted December 6, 2011

I was born into the International Society of Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), otherwise known as the “Hare Krishna Movement”. In fact, I was even born on the “appearance day” (i.e. birthday) of its founder, in the same village in India where its primary deity, Krishna, is said to have been born on Earth some 5,000 years ago. Despite my “auspicious birth”, I don’t consider myself an expert of this religion by any definition and have never quite felt like I belonged. Unlike so many others who grew up in the Movement, I can’t recite ślokas on demand, quote the Bhagavad Gita, or properly explain the main tenets of its creed. I don’t even follow all of its four main guiding principles. Except for being a lifelong vegetarian. Mostly. I have stuff that contains eggs once in a while. And I’m not a big gambler. But I have had “illicit sex” during my lifetime and do enjoy the occasional alcoholic beverage.

In my teens and 20′s I was embarrassed to say I was a “Hare Krishna,” for all the same reasons it is ridiculed so readily in pop culture. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, each of these words is an example. I still cringe a little bit when I hear the words—which pop up everywhere by the way. It was in a question on Jeopardy. (Click here for the full article)

In the News:
GBC Zonal Configuration Marches Forward

submitted by Richard Wyndham, by Kaisori dasi
Posted December 5, 2011

It is the mandate of the GBC Strategic Planning Team (SPT) to assist the Governing Body Commission in building a better future for ISKCON. In practice this requires solid visionary planning, the establishment of systems for the effective execution of those plans, and support of the GBC’s desire to offer both better leadership and clearer global coordination based on sound organizational principles.

One area that caught the SPT’s attention is the way GBC zones are assigned - especially when it involves GBC Zonal Secretaries having to span three or four continents. The current system is strikingly different from the simple, straightforward zonal setup characteristic of ISKCON’s early days, when Srila Prabhupada was with us.

Why does this matter? Because the current model stretches our GBC Zonal Secretaries too thin, costs too much in travel (and the health of those who have to do the traveling), (Click here for the full article)

Vraj Mandala Parikrama Oct -Nov 2011
by Parasuram Das
Posted December 3, 2011

50 000 books were distributed during the Parikrama. There was a team of 6 international devotees: Arjun Das, Krishna Mayi Dasi, Madhu Pandit Das, Loka Suranga Das, Vaikunta Krishna Das and myself (Parasuram Das). This was our 25th time we have gone around the villages, on a 1 month long adventure, we were getting up to one and a half thousand villagers at our evening programs. Hope you all enjoy the slide show see you there next time. vimeo.com/32571377

(Click here for the full article)

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