Old Browsers
Jagannatha's Chakra -- main banner
Chakra past articles:
December 2002
A "great festival":
Govardhana Puja 2002

Posted December 31, 2002

Urmila dasi kindly submitted Padma Academy's December newsletter to Chakra. Click on the link below to read all about their Govardhana Puja Festival:


What is the price of a gallon of milk?
by Prema Bhakti dasa, Tapati dasi, & fam.
Posted December 31, 2002

Dear Chakra,

In reading your recent series of articles on Cow Protection, particularly Drinking Milk From Cows That Are Slaughtered Is Impious submitted by Madhava Gosh (December 17, 2002), I have been wondering what the real price of a gallon of milk is, coming from a protected cow.

Let's face it. There are many devotees living out there in the world who do not have a cow nor live on a farm, nor have the training, ability and resources to have their own cows, and therefore they buy their milk from the dairy industry.

I would like to propose a plan to subsidize the growth of our cow protection program in ISKCON whereby the devotee community would voluntarily pay a tax to ISKCOWP or other suitable organization. This tax would be equal to the difference between the market value of a gallon of milk and the real cost of the same gallon of milk if the cow were not slaughtered when she is no longer productive (nor her calf.)

For example, if the real cost of a gallon of milk is $5.45, but we can buy a gallon of milk at the store for $2.09 then my voluntary self-imposed tax would be $3.36 for that gallon of milk. And if our family drinks 12 gallons of milk in a month then we would write at check for $40.32 to the Cow Protection program of our choice.

This is something my family would be happy to do. We are already members of the Gita-Nagari Cow Protection program. Every month we send a donation of $30.00. Our family Deities would be much happier if we were to offer them milk products that support the protection of Their beloved cows. All that we need to know is what is the real cost of a gallon of milk, in terms of our Vaisnava standards. For this we require the expert guidance of devotees like Madhava Gosh, Balabadra or Hare Krsna Dasi Prabhus.

The other option is to give up dairy, which I think is "an impractical suggestion."

Prema Bhakti dasa, Tapati dasi and family

Looking for Ramavatar prabhu
by John Kirtkpatrick
Posted December 31, 2002

LOOKING FOR RAMAVATAR PRABHU: Born in Jamaica, iniated by Gopal Krishna Maharaja in 1982. I would really like to get in touch with my dear Godbrother again; anyone with information please contact: jagajivan99@hotmail.com

Teacher Training Course
Submitted by Alakananda Dasi
Posted December 30, 2002

We are happy to announce VTE Teacher Training Course Two, facilitated by HG Rasamandala Prabhu. It will take place in the spring of 2003 at Radhadesh in Belgium. For more information, please see below. (Click here for the full article)

Prologue to the Second Printing of Srila Prabhupada: The Prominent Link
by Dhira Govinda dasa
Posted December 29, 2002

This article contains the Prologue to the Second Printing of Srila Prabhupada: The Prominent Link. The prologue includes the ISKCON GBC's Preliminary Statement on Srila Prabhupada: The Prominent Link, as well as some specific proposals related to the concepts in The Prominent Link. The second printing (165 pages), in addition to the Foreword by Ambarisa Prabhu and Preface by Balavanta Prabhu from the first printing, includes articles and contributions from several Vaisnavas, including Bhakti Marg Swami, Suresvara Prabhu, Madhuha Prabhu, Krsnadas Kaviraja Prabhu, Bhusaya Prabhu, Partha Prabhu, and Malini Prabhu. (Click here for the full article)

by Malati dasi
Posted December 28, 2002

In "A Step in the Right Direction" by Niscala devi dasi, it is stated:

When Srila Prabhupada designated the GBC as the "ultimate managerial authority" in ISKCON, he did not expect us to follow them blindly, as is currently presumed.

Could you precisely explain where this archaic attitude is still presumed?

California Family seeking devotee association
Posted December 28, 2002

Dear Prabhus, Hare Krsna. Our family is moving to Stockton, California (San Joaquin County) and we would like to connect with some devotees in the area (Sacramento and Fresno are within a 45 minute drive). We are originally from the East Coast so we feel somewhat isolated.

We have two boys ages 5 years and 11 months so we would hope to find some children for them to play with.

Any help in this regard would be greatly appreciated.

We can be contacted at rasarajadasa@hotmail.com.

Your servants,

Rasaraja dasa
Prema bhakti marga dd

Perspective or Marginalization?
by Madhava Gosh
Posted December 27, 2002

While I have been itching to write a reply to Hare Krsna dd's idea that the institution of sannyasa should be suspended (hint - I would change the status quo but keep the institution) for the time being that project has been side tracked by another concern. A concern that in a time of transition Chakra will become marginalized. While I know that many devotees have been disappointed by their experiences with institutional ISKCON, and that venting can be a therapeutic tool, I would hope the editors don't let it get out too far out of perspective. Does the GBC and ISKCON need continued transformation? Yes. Does the internet need another website devoted to the shrill and incessant pointing out of this reality? No.

I have noticed over the decades at New Vrindaban, that when someone leaves, if they return for a visit after a period of time, their conception of what New Vrindaban is tends to be pretty much what it was when they left. We still get flack for the indiscretions of Kirtananada, regardless of the reality that he has been gone for a decade himself, and a lot of devotees have made a lot of personal sacrifices to try and preserve New Vrindaban, not as a relic of the Kirtanananda era, but as a project blessed and loved by Srila Prabhupada himself. I am sure that this is similar for ISKCON as a whole. Past perspective is valuable and helps prevent the repetition of mistakes, but there is a danger in dwelling too much in the past. (Click here for the full article)

Cooks wanted
by Caru dasa
Posted December 27, 2002

Next spring, the Utah temple would like to initiate daily food service for guests, catering, cookies for bake sales, etc. If there are any competent cooks who would be willing to do this for room, board, a modest weekly allowance for necessities, and to get the mercy of the Lord, please contact us. For more information, the web site is www.iskcon.net/utah.

The Holiday Festival
A talk by Giriraj Swami in Ojai, California, 2001
Posted December 23, 2002

Mother Urvasi called tonight's occasion The Holiday Festival. Of course, the main holidays in the Western world now are Christmas and Hanukkah. As Srila Prabhupada has explained, the Lord comes into the world to enlighten people with transcendental knowledge. Sometimes He comes personally, and sometimes He sends His son or His prophet or His messenger or His representative, but they all come with the same message. They may speak in different languages according to the circumstances and the audience, but the essence of the message they bring is the same: that God is great, and we are but small parts and parcels of Him, meant to serve Him with love and return to Him. (Click here for the full article)

Varnasrama: An Elusive Goal
by Vyapaka dasa
Posted December 22, 2002

The Hare Krishna movement has not fulfilled its responsibility in regards to spiritual, self- sufficient community development as envisioned by its Founder/Acarya, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. If this is to change, past mistakes and misconceptions must be re-evaluated using the writings and spoken word of Srila Prabhupada as the litmus test of success. Presently there is a wide gap in the understanding of how to bridge the philosophy of Krishna consciousness to the practical skills needed to build a sustainable, spiritually- focused society. Progress is dependent on narrowing this gap. (Click here for the full article)

Life skills/ Personal Transformation Course
Posted December 20, 2002

Note:For flyer, click on the title.

Srimad-Bhagavatam - the movie
by Bhakta Wallace Dorian
Posted December 20, 2002

The Vedic Theatre Company in association with producers in India are discussing preparations for an adaptation of the great Vedic classic, "Srimad-Bhagavatam." This is an epic undertaking that to our knowledge, has never been attempted as a major feature film from a "Vasinava" point of view.(Click here for the full article)

Lord Jagannatha in Nis, Serbia
(written by Syamananda dasa, Nis, Serbia)
Posted December 19, 2002

Saturday, 22 September 2002

As a part of a festival of world etno music, which is held for the second time in Nis, second big city in Sebia (300 000 inhabitants). The festival is held under the patronage of city officials. It's goal is to present to the Nis audience different cultures. Organisers of this festivala are in contact with devotees for a long time, so that the last year the guests on the festivalu were Nityananda Band - famous devotee music group from the capital - Belgrade.(Click here for the full article)

Mangala arati
by "an ordinary person"
Posted December 19, 2002

As temple devotees, we basically do the same thing day in, day out. Rise early, bathe, attend the morning program, and then go on to our daily service. We even eat basically the same foods every day; Rice, dal, subji. Rice, dal, subji. Rice, dal, subji.(Click here for the full article)

American Academy of Religion and Memorial Service
by Adi-kurma Das
Posted December 17, 2002

Seven thousand delegates attended the annual Symposium of American Academy of Religion in Toronto, from November 22nd to 25th . Scholars and student delegates aware of the departure of His Holiness Tamal Krishna Goswami and his dedication to inter-faith preaching, attended a memorial service in the beautiful temple dining hall at the Hare Krishna Temple on Avenue Road in Toronto.(Click here for the full article)

Srila Prabhupada Kept a Cow
Submitted by Madhava Gosh
Posed December 17, 2002


Bhagavan: There was a question about the cows: At what point should the calf be separated from the mother? Because sometimes when the calf is separated, the mother, she cries.
Prabhupada: No, they should not be taken away.
Bhagavan: Shouldn't be.
Hari-sauri: I think in all our farms they do that.
Bhagavan: I heard in New Vrindaban they took them away very early.
Hari-sauri: The problem is that the calves drink so much milk that they become very sick, so they have to separate.
Prabhupada: Therefore they should not be allowed always. Once in a day, that's all.
Hari-sauri: Oh.
Prabhupada: Not too much allowed, but once. At least while milking they should be allowed to drink little milk, and that will encourage the mother to deliver more milk.
Hari-sauri: Oh. At the same time they're milking the cow, the calf can come.
Prabhupada: Yes. They can bring it milk. And while milking, the calf may be standing before the mother.
Hari-sauri: They do that in India.
Prabhupada: So she will not be sorry. Completely separation is not good. And after birth at least for one week the calf should be allowed. Because after this giving birth the milk is not fit for human consumption. The calf should not be allowed to eat more, but at the same time the mother must see once, twice, then it will be all right. Of course, we are born in big, big towns, we do not know, but I know this is the process. In Allahabad I was keeping cow, there was facility.

Holiday Recipes
by Hare Krsna Dasi
Posted December 16, 2002

Here are three delicious recipes that even non-vegetarians are sure to like. Please click on the link for recipes on how to make Govinda's cookies as well as stuffing and gravy.

Prabhupada's letter to Caruhasa
by Deepak
Posted December 16, 2002

Dear Chakra

Hare Krsna! Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

I saw my name mentioned on your website in the article by Bhakta Vinay ("Guys, Girls and Caruhasa"), so I thought I should chip in to the debate. I was actually one of Caruhasa's earliest supporters when he was trying to get his Ramayan movie off the ground, but it became apparent to me after a while that perhaps we was not the best person to attempt this project. This impression was confirmed to me by the following letter Prabhupada wrote to Caruhasa in 1974, which I believe is the letter that Bhakta Vinay is referring to in his article:

Guys, Girls and Charuhasa
by Bhakta Viny
Posted December 13, 2002

Heaven help those who watch a Ramayan, whose director says the story line is: " guy gets girl, guy loses girl, guy saves girl." If the mood in which the film was made was to treat Lord Rama, the supreme personality of Godhead as a 'guy' and his eternal consort as a 'girl', then surely that speaks more volumes than any amount of reviews by other people. I remember that Bhakta Deepak Vohra showed me an extract of a letter from Srila Prabhupada almost seven years ago . In this letter, Prabhupada had mentioned that Charuhasa should not make any films. Perhaps those with access to folio could trace that letter. Srila Prabhupada, as always, is always right!(Click here for the full article)

Is Brahma-Vaivarta Purana Right About Sannyasa?
by Hare Krsna Dasi
Posted December 13, 2002

(originally posted April 2002, re-posted in light of recent events, e.g. see http://www.boston.com/globe/

As the child abuse scandal rocks one parish after another of the Catholic Church, machine gun fire in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem last week seemed symbolic of the traumatic upheavals of faith faced by Catholics around the world. I can't help being struck by how similar the Catholics' problems with their celibate priests are to the ones we've had with sannyasis in ISKCON. I wonder if their troubles should not be a warning to us of what lies ahead if we continue a policy where our religious leaders are granted exceptional power and wealth with very little institutional responsibility or public accountability to prevent corruption from developing and spreading.(Click here for the full article)

Response to the article about "Why GALVA?"
by Bhaktin Ayu Dwi
Posted December 12, 2002

I just want to ask you about how the the members of Galva (gay and lesbian vaisnavas) regard the injunction against illicit sex in the 4 regulative principles that we have to follow. My understanding about illicit sex is: all sex performance that not related to the activity for begetting children is illicit sex. Does this mean that the Galva members will celibate for their entire lives, because logically and naturally their sex activity is not for begetting children, but only for sense gratification, and that is against our Krishna Conscious principles.

Our Krishna Consciousness movement is based on parampara system.

Could you give me one example from any spiritual master from our parampara system who gives an explicit approval to build a vaisnava community solely for members of the third sex? Could you give me a previous example of a community like GALVA in our sampradaya?(Click here for the full article)

Chennai Jagannath Ratha Yathra 2003.
by ISKCON Chennai
Posted December 11, 2002

Iskcon Chennai Jagannath Ratha Yathra will be held on Jan 15th 2003.

This time the procession takes the longer route of 11 kms.

All are welcome!

Gita-nagari's Ox Power Unit
by Hare Krsna dasi
Posed December 11, 2002

In this article we will describe how we built an ox-driven, sweep-powered generator. The concepts behind the design and operation of this unit are not new or complicated. Throughout history all over the world, man has used the same principles to produce power from draft animals. Traditionally, the mechanisms used to produce power have been made of wood, but we have constructed our generator from metal components, with the objective of maximizing the strength and efficiency of the unit. Five oxen pull the tongues which a circular motion. Then, the motion is geared up, and the direction of the rotation is changed so that we end up with a shaft spinning at 765 rpm that will provide 60 horse-power. By using various types of pulleys off the final shaft, any range of speed can be achieved to drive any type of equipment desired.

To construct a machine similar to ours, you must have access to certain raw materials and the facility to convert them for usage. The sizes and strength of the components used in this unit have been carefully engineered and coordinated, so that any reduction of the given specifications will undoubtedly result in failure. In our case, many of the parts we used were not new, but we made it a point to be sure that used components were of good quality. Precision is essential. At one point, we ran into a lot of trouble with a used 2 3/16" shaft that was 4' long, but 1/10000" out of round.

Much of the work involved can be done with basic metal working tools, but there is also a lot of work that must be done by skilled machinist. We did most of the work ourselves with an oxy-acetelyne torch, electric arc-welder, drill press, and similar tools. In addition you must have access to a metal lathe. We were lucky to have a neighbor who does this work as a second job, so we avoided paying the inflated prices of a specialty metal-working machine shop. What follows is a section-by-section description of how the unit is constructed.

(Full article with 26 technical drawings attached.)

-- Hare Krsna dasi

Open Letter to the GBC
by Mira Mishra
Posted December 10, 2002

Dear Editor:

I have just read the reposted GBC Resolutions on the Women's Page of Chakra. It is timely and useful because I have just written an open letter to the current GBC Chairperson H.H. Giridhari Swami regarding organizational reforms to make Iskcon a haven for people of all genders and backgrounds. I hope that the new, inclusive Chakra will be able to post it as it is.(Click here for the full article)

Ponzi schemes and Pyramids ensnare foolish devotees
by Ananda das
ISKCON Victoria, B.C.
Posted December 9, 2002

Recently I was shown an appeal, apparently sent to many other devotees as well, to participate in a dubious financial scheme. Using phrases like "a dream come true for devotees", "a way to make large amounts of money while working from home", "time sensitive window of opportunity", etc., etc., the letter tried to frame in terms of urgency an appeal to devotees to become involved in an alleged "Billion Dollar internet company."

Although the letter made reference to the possibility of using the promised income stream in the service of Sri Krsna, the letter was obviously only a crude modification of a letter originally designed by materialists to appeal to naked greed for more cash. The get-rich-quick program referred to in the letter, in extremely nebulous terms, is claimed already to be operating in 165 countries, but the author of the program is so certain of its utter lack of genuine appeal that no concrete details can be given in the breathless e-mail, only an exhortation to call a certain number to listen to a high-pressure sales pitch. The fraudulent organization, entitled "Get Moving Today," offers nothing more than some worthless reports and a bulk e-mailing program, and its whole raison-d'être is to lure other participants into the scheme in order to lure still more participants -- it is a recipe for certain disaster. (Click here for the full article)

Haribol! Welcome to the Chakra Art Gallery!
By Maharani Dasi
If you have a Krishna Conscious drawing, painting, photograph, or other work of visual art that you would like to share with the assembled devotees, please feel free to send it to Chakra. If the artwork was produced by someone other than yourself, please get the artist's permission before submitting it -- and proof of the artist's permission, of course.

Chakra Mission Statement and Editorial Policy

Chakra Editorial Board
While Chakra has sometimes appeared to be an official website of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness or ISKCON's Governing Body Commission, our editorial policy remains independent. We, the editors, consider ourselves ISKCON-friendly, but Chakra, as an open forum for variegated ideas and opinions, is not formally or directly affiliated with either ISKCON or the GBC.

In the spirit of free and open discussion amongst devotees, we publish articles embracing a spectrum of devotional views; our articles do not necessarily represent the position of the editors. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s), and well-reasoned rebuttals free of personal attack are welcome; we will not normally accept anonymous articles.

To serve the purport of bhakti-vedanta, we wish simultaneously to encourage the growth of devotion, to foster critical thinking through realized intellect, and to promote nurturing, emotionally whole relations within families, in schools, among ashram devotees, and in guru-disciple dealings. Although differences of opinion will occur, we aim to provide a forum for mutual respect and reconciliation among the multiple strands of the Vaishnava community as well as an instrument of interfaith outreach.

We will not knowingly publish, or allow to stand unchallenged, any material which exalts one group of Vaishnavas above another on the basis of parampara or on the basis of a temporary bodily condition -- whether race, gender, orientation, marital status, age, disability or so-called caste by birth. We declare our respect for Sri Sri Radha-Krsna, for our param-gurus, for His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, for our various diksha- and siksha-gurus, for each other and for all living entities; this respect is never commanded or required, but is always a free-will offering based on love.

All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga!

By Amara dasa
Posted December 3, 2002

One of the most frequently asked questions I receive about GALVA is: “What is the necessity for a Gay and Lesbian Vaishnava Association? If devotees are transcendental to bodily designations, then why should any particular group of Vaishnavas have a special need or desire to associate among themselves?”

The answer to this question is twofold. First of all, many devotional communities are not completely off of the bodily platform and therefore unfortunately discriminate against or sometimes even mistreat or exclude fellow Vaishnavas just because they happen to be women, black, gay or whatever. For this reason, as long as third-gender devotees (gay males, lesbians, transgenders, the intersexed, etc.) are stigmatized and marginalized within ISKCON or any other Gaudiya-vaishnava society, there will be a special need for them to organize in order to specifically address such artificially created problems of discrimination.(Click here for the full article)

Congregational Development Course
and Vaisnava Training and Education (VTE)/Bhakti-sastri Course
at Bhaktivedanta College/Vaisnava Theological Seminary

Posted December 2, 2002

Bhaktivedanta College/Vaishnava Theological Seminary
BLS asbl.Petite Somme 2, B-6940 Durbuy, Belgium
Tel: +32 86323280, Fax: +32 86322029, e-mail: college@pamho.net
Website: www.bhaktivedantacollege.com
(Click here for the full article)

Mistreatment of Bulls:
Sign of Brahminical Culture Deterioration

Posted December 31, 2002


The personality of religious principles, Dharma, was wandering about in the form of a bull. And he met the personality of earth in the form of a cow who appeared to grieve like a mother who had lost her child. She had tears in her eyes, and the beauty of her body was lost. Thus Dharma questioned the earth as follows.


The bull is the emblem of the moral principle, and the cow is the representative of the earth. When the bull and the cow are in a joyful mood, it is to be understood that the people of the world are also in a joyful mood. The reason is that the bull helps production of grains in the agricultural field, and the cow delivers milk, the miracle of aggregate food values. The human society, therefore, maintains these two important animals very carefully so that they can wander everywhere in cheerfulness.

But at the present moment in this age of Kali both the bull and the cow are now being slaughtered and eaten up as foodstuff by a class of men who do not know the brahminical culture. The bull and the cow can be protected for the good of all human society simply by the spreading of brahminical culture as the topmost perfection of all cultural affairs. By advancement of such culture, the morale of society is properly maintained, and so peace and prosperity are also attained without extraneous effort.

When brahminical culture deteriorates, the cow and bull are mistreated, and the resultant actions are prominent by the following symptoms.

(Ref.: VedaBase: SB. 1.16.18)

Happy Holidays from
Food for Life

Posted December 31, 2002

To all our wonderful friends and supporters.

On behalf of all the Food for Life volunteers around the world, and those we try to serve, we wish you all the very best life can offer and thank you sincerely from the bottom of our hearts for your friendship.

Paul Turner
Food for Life Global

Chakra Is a Forum -- Not a Propaganda Site
by Hare Krsna dasi
Posted December 30, 2002

It would be worthwhile to call attention to the phrase in our mission statement that "the opinions expressed are not necessarily those of Chakra editors."

This means that we put forth a range of viewpoints which give devotees a chance to make thoughtful responses. For example, if we publish an article which gives a negative review of a devotional movie, we don't necessarily publish that because we agree with the author. On the other hand, if we publish an article which gives a positive review of a devotional movie, we don't necessarily agree with that author either. Chakra's editors may agree with -- or disagree with -- views put forth by any author. That is not our main point. Our main point is to provide an open forum for discussion -- one in which devotees feel free to raise doubts which are important to them, and other devotees are free to respond to those doubts in a compassionate way. (Click here for the full article)

Prisoners Are Being Released By The Holy Name
Submitted by Mother Shyama Priya
Posted December 29, 2002

All year long we are sending books and japa beads and encouraging inmates to chant, here is one of their responses:

Dear Mother Shyama Priya,

Thank you for your letter and thank you for the Back To Godhead. I just got some more envelopes, just now, so I can write you.

The Lord had been blessing us like anything . The State of Oregon Dept of corrections has recognized ISKCON as a bonefide religion and for the glorification of Lord Caitanya, japa mala prayer beads have been put in the canteen. So we can just go to the canteen (prison store) and buy them and when we're not chanting on the beads, we are allowed to wear them as neck beads. (Click here for the full article)

Practicing Christian Vegetarians
by Nirguna devi dasi
Posted December 29, 2002

In the article, Jesus and the Oxen Hare Krishna Dasi wrote.:

"Currently, the only major Christian sect to be vegetarian are the Seventh Day Adventists, but for centuries different Christian sects have recognized abstaining from meat as an act favorable to spiritual progress. For centuries, in remembrance of Christ, even the average Catholic would not eat red meat on Friday."

Interestingly, there are several Catholic Monastic orders (the Seventh Day Adventists being Protestant) that are vegetarian. (Click here for the full article)

What is the need for taking sannyasa?
Simpy to impress neophytes?

by Prema Bhakti dasa Adhikari
Posted December 28, 2002

Dear Chakra,

I found Hare Krsna Dasi's article, "Is Brahma- Vaivarta Purana Right About Sannyasa?," reposted December 13, 2002, to be well-thought out and objective in its approach, free from any envious finger-pointing accusations. It is evident that she has spent a lot of time reflecting on this issue and her comments are very well taken. It is good that she has spoken up about it in such a tactful way. (Click here for the full article)

Site Updated at iskconmumbai.com
by Bhakta Shyam Pandey
Posted December 28, 2002

Hare Krishna Maharaj and Prabhus,


The site at www.iskconmumbai.com has been updated hence you are invited to come and visit our special SILVER JUBILEE CELEBRATION section.

The dates of the events for the Festival of Reunion which is commencing from 14th of January 2003 to 19th of January 2003 has been given on the site. Devotees can register online for participating in the festival.

Please pass on this message to one and all so that everyone can come together and glorify Their Lordship Sri Sri Radha Rasabihariji at this mass gathering.

Bh. Shyam Pandey

Computer and/or sanskrit help needed
by Garuda das
Posted December 27, 2002

Hare Krishna!!! please accept my humble obeisances, Jaya Prabhupada!

Dear devotees, Please I need help to develop a simple idea. If you are good on computer, or sanskrit, (or both) and are wanting to do some service, I could use the help. (Click here for the full article)

Jesus and the Oxen
By Hare Krsna dasi
Posted December 23, 2002

Abstract: At Christmas we can find significance in the presence of the Ox in depictions of Christ's nativity. Other appearances of oxen in Christ's pastimes are also of special interest.

This time of year we see many beautiful depictions of the birth of Jesus Christ, especially in old paintings from the renaissance or earlier. I'm particularly interested in the presence of an ox in so many of these paintings. His presence lends a feeling of increased solemnity and nobility to the scene, and some artist depict the ox as quite interested in the newborn Christ child. Yet, I wonder if Christians understand the full purport of the ox's presence in the pictures of Christ's nativity. Of course, in the Bible, Luke 2:12 states, "Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger." And, this is the basis for including the ox in the picture. It is his manger, so therefore, he is there to witness the event. (Click here for the full article)

First the Cows, Then the Brahmanas
submitted by Madhava Gosh
Posted December 22, 2002


To increase the transcendental bliss of the cowherd men of Gokula, this child will always act auspiciously for you. And by His grace only, you will surpass all difficulties.


For the cowherd men and the cows, Krsna is the supreme friend. Therefore He is worshiped by the prayer namo brahmanya-devaya go-brahmana-hitaya ca. His pastimes in Gokula, His dhama, are always favorable to the brahmanas and the cows. His first business is to give all comfort to the cows and the brahmanas. In fact, comfort for the brahmanas is secondary, and comfort for the cows is His first concern. Because of His presence, all people would overcome all difficulties and always be situated in transcendental bliss.

(Ref.: VedaBase: SB. 10.8.16)

Sponsors for children's Krishna Conscious educational books needed
by Syamasundara das
Posted December 22, 2002

VEDIC ARTS, a Publishing House of Children's Books based on the teachings of Srila Prabhupada, has already produced lot of books and lot more to be published & distributed......we need sponsors who would like to contribute for a good cause to educate the children all over the world....... (Click here for the full article)

Prabhupada's House for the Whole World
by Dhanistha dasi
Posted December 20, 2002

Dear Chakra,

Please accept my humble obeisances.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

I am the old Dhanistha dasi, a Prabhupada disciple since 1973 so to many who know me from times past this may be quite an eye-opening letter coming from me, as I unfold some vulnerability in front of Chakra's ever-increasing ever-colorful Vaisnava audience. But this is really long overdue on my part and I apologize to those who could have well used the support and encouragement much sooner of older Vaisnavis and third gendered devotees. I have been honest for many years now personally, but not on such a large and thus vulnerable forum as this one. May our beloved Lord bless us all with bigger and bigger hearts of transcendental compassion and bhakti.(Click here for the full article)

Holy Sacred Books
by Ravi Sihra
Posted December 19, 2002

Holy sacred books should be treated with the greatest of care. I have noticed countless number of times initiated devotees let alone aspiring devotees mishandle these holy sacred books. I have seen devotees place them on the floor, on unclean tables, on chairs, benches on car seats, and reading them with unclean hands and also when eating. Initiated devotees specially should set an example to all others by treating these sacred holy books with great care. It seems to me that this basic principle of looking after holy sacred books should be explained to devotees before they jump into saris and dhoties.(Click here for the full article)

Webmaster's note:
Since many people have been requesting each article to be placed on a single page for easier viewing and printing, I have now incorporated that style into Chakra. I have done this for all new articles and I am in the process of changing all of previous articles, but that may take a bit longer. Now, if you would like to view the articles in their own page, click the title of the article on any page except the mainpage. E.g. If you wanted to print one of the new holiday recipes, you can click on the "Holiday Recipes" on the mainpage. It will take you to living/recipes. Clicking on "Vegetarian stuffing and gravy" would bring up a page with only that recipe on it. Hope you all like the change.
Hare Krsna,

Sita's clothes
by Mudakari dasi
Posted December 17, 2002

Dear Readers,
I have not seen the Ramayana movie produced by Caruhasa das but as a textile enthusiast I believe that there may be a misunderstanding over the garb worn by Sita in the forest. There is a type of cloth called "kapa" in Hawaii and "tapa" in other parts of Asia and the Pacific. It is made from the bark of paper mulberry (and possibly other) trees. The bark is soaked and pounded in a long process and lengths of paper "fabric" are produced. These lengths, often decorated with natural dyes, have been worn as fabric in many of the Pacific Island and Asian countries, including India and Thailand. There are many web sites that describe kapa cloth and the process. I believe that this is what Sita wore, and it would have been a modest and serviceable garment, although an insult to a princess.
Mudakari dasi

Gita Jayanti
by ISKCON New York
Posted December 16, 2002

Gita Jayanti (the day Lord Krishna spoke Bhagavad Gita) will be celebrated at the New York Hare Krishna Temple in Brooklyn on Sunday December 15 2002.

Please come with your family and friends to take part in this auspicious festival.(Click here for the full article)

Response to the Letter From Bhaktin Ayu Dwi
by Amara dasa
Posted December 13, 2002

Dear Bhaktin Ayu Dwi,

Hare Krsna! Thank you for your comments and questions regarding the article “Why GALVA?”

Regarding GALVA’s understanding of illicit sex, the ideal goal of complete renunciation of all material sex life is certainly one that we strive for. Most people, however, including those of the third sex, need to tackle this goal gradually. Complete, life-long celibacy is a very serious undertaking and cannot be adopted artificially or forcibly imposed upon others. Srila Prabhupada’s definition of illicit sex was not simply “sex for begetting children,” because even the animals are doing that. His actual instruction was sex for begetting children only, within a religious marriage, and according to strict “garbhadana-samskara” regulations. This ideal goal is difficult even for most heterosexual couples to maintain, and in the end we can only do our best. Third-gender people who cannot immediately adopt strict celibacy will similarly have to do their best by minimizing sexual conduct as far as possible for them. Remaining in a committed same-sex relationship, for instance, is certainly spiritually preferable to unbridled promiscuity.

Another important point to remember is that intimate, loving relationships are a very basic human requirement for just about everyone. Sterile heterosexuals will most likely still require to marry and experience loving intimacy, even though they are incapable of begetting children. The same is certainly true for same-sex oriented persons. If these couples nevertheless engage themselves in Krsna consciousness, the sexual aspect of their relationship will naturally diminish as they grow older in age and mature spiritually. Alternatively, there is little hope or value in forced, artificial celibacy and renunciation, especially if it frustrates a person to the point of abandoning his or her spiritual practices altogether.(Click here for the full article)

Reply to Bhaktin Ayu Dwi
by Gaurachandra dasi
Posted December 12, 2002

Dear Bhaktin Ayu Dwi,

Hare Krsna. Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

I wanted to respond to your question, "Why Galva?" My name is Gaura dasi and I am a member of Galva. My service in the Sankirtana mission of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is that of a preacher. I enjoy preaching Krsna Concsiousness.

Before I get to Galva, I want to share some of my personal experiences which may help you to understand its purpose.(Click here for the full article)

"Okay, but don't change the maha-mantram"
by Ananda das
Posted December 10, 2002

ISKCON Victoria, B.C.

Sometimes, at sea, the Coast Guard feels compelled to fire a projectile across the bow of a ship that will not respond to more moderate, civil yet firm demands to stop and accept a boarding party. Such an action is never undertaken lightly; it is the last recourse before directly attacking the offending ship and seizing it by force, or sinking it, should such a drastic measure become necessary.

That Srimati Mira Mishra has despatched a missile as incendiary as her recent open letter to His Holiness Giridhari Swami may be taken as a sign that more measured approaches have failed to persuade ISKCON's Governing Body Commission to turn from its well-documented, lacklustre course or to halt its slide into utter irrelevance.(Click here for the full article)

New Ramayana Video
Review by Urmila devi dasi
Posted December 9, 2002

You may have seen advertisements for a new video of the Ramayana, listing professional actors and promising a great film.

When a friend asked us to purchase the film, we did so and I previewed it with some of my family and gurukula students.

Surely the many devotees who contributed to this film did so in good faith, but the overall result is an embarassment for those who wish to see the Lord glorified in the modern media.(Click here for the full article)

by Niscala devi dasi
Posted December 8, 2002

It was wonderful to read "Healthy Discussions." , by Bhaktin Miriam, someone daring to think independently and helping to fulfill Srila Prabhupada's intent for ISKCON: "This Krsna Consciousness movement is for training persons to be independently thoughtful." When Srila Prabhupada designated the GBC as the "ultimate managerial authority" in ISKCON, he did not expect us to follow them blindly, as is currently presumed. Logically, if blind following of even the guru is condemned by him in his purport to Bg (4.34), it follows that he would even more strongly condemn blind following of a managerial authority, which in varnashrama categorization is the ksatriya. Particularly if one is capable of independent thoughtfulness, which is the quality of a brahmana, it would go against one's duty in varnashrama, Krsna's blueprint for humanity, to follow a managerial authority blindly! Actually, one's duty would be to advise those managers on the basis of truth, and correct them if they are lacking in this quality, as Miriam has found them to be.(Click here for the full article)

Mayapur Festival 2003
by Tusti Mohan das
Posted December 6, 2002

Dear Devotees

Please accept my humble obeisances & All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

The next Gaur-purnima Festival will be one of the most important events ever organized in the Holy Dham of Mayapur, we expect more than 5000 devotees from abroad, for this we are posting in all the conferences and websites related to our movement, the most important information that you may require.

We hope to have your association next Gaur-purnima festival 2003 in Mayapur.

May Sri Gauranga Mahaprabhu bless you all.

Tusti Mohan Krsna das.

Gita Jayanti Ratha Yatra Date changed
by Visvarupa Das
Posted December 5, 2002

Dear Maharaja/Prabhus,
Hare Krishna!
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

Due to security reason for the upcoming election in Gujarat, we have to change the Programme Dates from 6, 7 and 8 to 20, 21 and 22 December 2002.
Following is the invitation:

This year, we are celebrating Gita Jayanti Month by 3 days Pandal and First Ratha Yatra in Gandhinagar. Last year we had Pandal Programme at Gandhinagar especially for preaching of Bhagavad-gita.

This year, 20 and 21 December will be Pandal Programme from 6:00pm to 9:00pm at Gita Maidan, Swastik Society, Gandhinagar.

On 22 December, we are having First Rathayatra in Gandhinagar. Rathayatra will start from Panchadev Mandir at 2:00pm and will end at 6:00pm at Gita Maidan, Swastik Society, Sect.27, Gandhinagar. It will be followed by lecture and distribution of Bhagavad-gita and 7:30 is Prasadam feast.

His Holiness Gopal Krsna Goswami Maharaja is kindly attending the Festival. Governor of Gujarat Sri Sundersingh Bhandari will perform First Arati and inaugrate the Rathayatra.

It will be our great pleasure if you kindly participate in these festivals. Please let us know the date of your arrival so that we can make necessary arrangements for your stay, Prasadam etc.

Hare Krishna!

Your servant,
Visvarupa Das
ISKCON, Ahmedabad

Hide Your Guru
by Madhavananda Das
Posted December 4, 2002

This article appeared in issue number 17 of Sri Krishna Kathamrita Bindu.

In Hari-bhakti-vilasa, verse 2.147, Srila Sanatan Goswami quotes Sammohana-tantra:

gopayed devatam istam gopayed gurum atmanah
gopayec ca nijam mantram gopayen nija-malikam

One should hide one's ista-deva, one should hide one's guru, one should hide one's mantra, and one should hide one's japa-mala.

Wise persons keep their valuables in a confidential place. Similarly, an intelligent sadhaka does not advertise his or her guru, nor do they broadcast themselves as disciples of their guru. Considering themselves as low, fallen, and unfit to be considered disciples, sincere devotees do not want to advertise who their guru is.(Click here for the full article)

ISKCON Prison Ministry needs your help
by Shyama Priya dasi
Posted December 1, 2002

The ISKCON prison ministry has been helping interested persons in prison to find out about Krsna and to receive books, tapes, japa beads, neckbeads and other related items for over 15 years. We correspond with inmates to answer their questions regarding Krsna Consciousness and encourage them to chant and study Srila Prabhupada's books. Many inmates have altars set up in their cells and chant 16 rounds daily, some are even inituated while in prison. Many inmates have special vegetarian diets provided by the institution. At times we have even visited the inmates and put on programs. Some prisons allow clubs or gatherings for devotees to chant and read together. The ministry is all around the world, but we deal with the inmates in the US mostly.

Books, Back to Godhead magazines and tapes are donated by different devotees, but with our increasing lists of names we need help with postage. If you've ever experienced incarceration or know someone who has or just know how wonderful it is to give Srila Prabhupadas books, which bring the light of knowledge into one's life, then please help. We are writing inmates daily, but we have books already packaged sitting by the door ready to go out and we need postage money, due to the recent increase of requests, our shipping has tripled. If you desire to help with a $5-$10 pledge per month, we could have enough to send out all the books,we only need about $100. altogether per month, we receive no other funding, accept through donations and our workers are volunteers. Thank you.

Please contact Mother Shyama Priya, 4455 Quince St. #A, San Diego, CA 92105. (619) 501-4602, E-mail mamashyama@aol.com

ISKCON Minimum Cow Protection Standards
forwarded by Madhava Gosh das
Posted December 1, 2002

Endorsed by the Ministry of Cow Protection and Agriculture and

Approved by ISKCON's Governing Body Commission, March 1999

The following is a list of cow protection standards which is now ISKCON Law (507. Most of the standards have been discussed and formulated on the COM cow conference mostly by devotees who have had many years of experience caring for cows and/or the land; ISCOWP (Balabhadra das & Chayadevi dasi), Madhava Gosh das (New Vrndavana, USA), Ranaka das (New Vrndavana), Hare Krsna dasi (BTG & ISKCON Farm Research Committee), Rohita das (New Talavan, USA), Radha Krsna das (ACBSP), Shyamasundara das (Bhaktivedanta Manor, England), Labangalatika dasi (India), Pitavas das & Aradhya dasi (France), Nistula das (Bangladesh), Dvibhuja das (Talavan, USA), Gopal, Inc. (Serbia), Ananta Krsna dasi (New Zealand), Suresvara das (ACBSP, ISKCON Farm Research Committee), Ekadasi das (Padayatra Secretary) and some of its other members. Anuttama das (ISKCON Communications) has also contributed.(Click here for the full article)

Looking for Rob Swanson
by Bhakta Daniel Liptak
Posted December 31, 2002

Could you tell me where I can reach a devotee named Bhakta Rob Swanson? I met him in California between July to October of 1997 and he introduced me to the Hare Krishna movement and I wanted to thank him for that and see how he is doing. I remember the harinams he conducted and the books he gave. He was an aspiring devotee of Bhakti Tirtha Swami. Thank you for your help.

Your Servant,
Bhakta Daniel Liptak

Daily Devotions in Your E-Mail box
by Dravinaksa Das
Posted December 31, 2002

During the years of 1988 thru 1991 Kelilalita Dasi typed, printed and mailed "Daily Devotions and Meditations", a monthly booklet containing enlightening quotes from Srila Prabhupada for every day of the month, thus giving you a daily diet of transcendental nectar. We are humbly trying to follow in her footsteps by presenting "Daily Devotions" to your e-mail.

To receive these daily inspirations send a note to dougyes@peoplepc.com. (Note: you can cancel at any time!)

The following responses were received from our last mailing: "AGTSP PAMHO thanks for the nectar, prabhu!" "I love reading the daily devotions." "Prabhu, thank you for including me for your daily devotions mailing. I am enjoying it very much."

Self-sufficient farming links
Submitted by Hare Krsna dasi
Posted December 30, 2002

As it's time for farmers to start their plans for spring (at least in the Northern hemisphere), Hare Krsna dasi has kindly submitted the following links for self-sufficient farming... (Click here for the full article)

Conversations Between Srila Prabhupada and Allen Ginsberg
Submitted by Amara dasa
Posted December 29, 2002

In his meetings with Allen Ginsberg, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada sets the example on how a Vaishnava should receive and interact with people who are openly gay. (Click here for the full article)

It's the 25th (Tempus fugit)
by Sridhar Swami
Posted December 28, 2002

Camp: Radha Rasabihari Mandir, Bombay
Tel: 623-6090 Mobile: 98215-42572 Board: 620-6860

Dear Friends, prabhus et al

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada !

January 14th is Makar Sankranti (the day when the Sun starts his northern journey). So what !!!

Well, it is also the day when, in 1978, Sri Sri Radha Rasabihari opened their temple in Bombay. Overseen by 3 big Government ministers, thousands of dignitaries and devotees the priest Nrsimha performed the prana pratistha. (Click here for the full article)

Visiting Govind Dev Ji temple at Jaipur
from Madhuban Guest House, Jaipur
Posted December 28, 2002

Dear ISKCON Devotees and Sevaks, Please accept the blessings of lordship Sri Sri Radha Madhava Hari, Sri Nath ji. All glories to Srila Prabhupada. We have created a small facility Madhuban Guest House, your home away from home at Jaipur, India (www.madhuban-jaipur.com). It is centrally situated, clean, satvik, constructed in 2002 in the outskirts away from crowded city (7 Kms from Airport towards Jaipur downtown). Overlooking a garden and facing the Aravali hills, it is especially tuned to requirements and comforts of devotees on spritual and sight seeing trip to Jaipur at following nominal rates. (Click here for the full article)

Why the feet of Sri Guru are compared to a lotus
(part 1)

Sri Srimad Gour Govinda Swami Maharaja
Posted December 27, 2002

This article appeared in issue number 40 of Sri Krishna Kathamrita Bindu the free fortnightly email magazine from ISKCON Gopal Jiu Publications.

One should understand what is sri-guru-carana-padma. The words "sri-guru" are very significant. "Sri" means sobha, beauty; sampada, transcendental wealth, or asset; and srestha, the topmost. "Sri-guru" means that guru who is endowed with sri, with prema-bhakti. The word 'sri' is used because there is no question of Sri Guru disappearing or not being manifest. It is only applicable to a guru who is eternally manifest. Otherwise such a word would not be used. (Click here for the full article)

CALCUTTA's Telegraph has got hold of an answer paper of a candidate at the recent UPSC examinations. The candidate has written an essay on the Indian cow:

"The cow is a successful animal. Also he is quadrupud, and because he is female, he give milk,but will do so when he is got child.He is same like God,sacred to Hindus and useful to man.But he has got four legs together. Two are forward and two are afterwards. (Go to the jokes page for the full article)

Chaitanya Travels
Posted December 22, 2002

For all travel arrangements, including pick up and drop off at the Delhi airport and travel to and from Vrindavan, please contact Chaitanya Travels:

paramdham.lok@pamho.net, or dparamdham@hotmail.com
or call 91-11-25851102/25852234 fax.
Operated by devotees. Very reliable.

More on Caruhasa's Ramayana
by Arjunanatha dasa
Posted December 20, 2002

Dear Chakra,

I don't wish to put down anyone's sincere devotional efforts, but when those efforts involve spinning an unrealistic fantasy, not only about Lord Rama, but also the prospects of Hollywood success ... and sucking in 'investment' from anyone sufficiently enthused and solvent...

Making a poor film isn't a crime, but when it's about the Supreme Personality of Godhead, devotees should be more careful, especially when Srila Prabhupada has condemned the idea. Twice. And pretending that it's good, doing a review under your 'other' name is really verging into the realms of con-artistry.(Click here for the full article)

Gopal Devotional dolls now available in the USA
by Hrimati dasi
Posted December 19, 2002

Hare Krishna!

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

Gopal-Soft-Toys is happy to announce that we now have our permanent distributor in the USA.

We make Soft devotional Dolls for devotees of all ages at an affordable price.

Our quality toys are manufactured in Sri Dham Mayapur by ISKCON devotees. We carefully select only best available, long lasting, and non fading materials, to ensure a life time of joy for your children.

Available now are Radha, Krishna, Balaram, Gauranga and Nityananda. We accept also wholesale orders.

For more information about prices and how to order, please contact me at: hrimati.ACBSP@pamho.net

Hoping this meets you well

Your servant,
Hrimati dasi

Spiritual Abuse
by Subhadra-Mayi dasi
Posted December 17, 2002

At first sight, the term "spiritual abuse" seems odd, misplaced. Definitely not us.

Or is it? Is ISKCON free from controlling, dominating, and manipulating its members? No, say some, but it's for the protection of the devotees in general.(Click here for the full article)

Drinking Milk From Cows That Are Slaughtered Is Impious
Submitted by Madhava Gosh
Posted December 17, 2002

Srila Prabhupada: No. The main thing is, society must learn to discriminate between pious and sinful activities. Human beings must engage in pious activities, not sinful activities. Otherwise, they have no brain. They are no better than animals. And from the moral point of view, do you like sending your mother to the slaughterhouse? You are drinking the milk of the cow -- so she is your mother -- and after that you are sending her to the slaughterhouse. That is why we ask. Where is society's brain?
Mr. Hennis: Of course, when we speak of the distinctions that are made between pious activities and sinful activities --
Srila Prabhupada: Today practically no one is making this distinction. We are making it, and we have introduced these ideas by establishing farm communities and protecting our cows. And our cows are winning awards for giving the most milk, because they are so jubilant. They know, "These people will not kill me." They know it, so they are very happy. Nor do we kill their calves. At other farms, soon after the cow gives birth to a calf, they pull her calf away for slaughter. You see? This means society has no brain. You may create hundreds of organizations, but society will never be happy. That is the verdict.
Mr. Hennis: Well, we can't be accused of engaging in sinful activities when we don't think what we are doing is sinful.
Srila Prabhupada [Laughing]: Oh? You don't think you can be accused of breaking the state law -- just because you don't know what the state law is? The point is, if your priestly class have no knowledge of what is sinful, they may instruct you, "Don't do anything sinful" -- but what good is that? You must have a priestly class who know what is sinful, so that they can teach you. And then you must give up your sinful activities.

>>> Ref. VedaBase => Advice to the United Nations

Vedic Resource 2003 Catalog
by Vishakha Devi
Posted December 16, 2002

Our new catalog is packed with many attractive fine arts and gifts. Our 32 page, full color catalog features many new and old items such as... (Click here for the full article)

Shapiro's Pyramid House Goes Solar
by David Shapiro/ Nrsimhananda das
Posted December 16, 2002

David Shapiro is generating power to the electricity grid with his new solar energy system.

As the World Summit on Sustainable Development in South Africa struggled to agree upon a final declaration, the happy installers from SoCal Solar Energy were putting the finishing touches on my 6 kilowatt solar electric system, now pumping clean energy into the ubiquitous "grid." I sighed with relief as I witnesses Southern California Edison's meter spinning backwards, deducting kilowatts from my bill. During the five-day installation, my neighbors gawked at the array of solar panels on my roof, and then quickly made their commitment in the form on a $1,000 deposit to get their reservation into the state's rebate system. Although Topanga is anything but a "keeping up with the Jones's" community, when it comes to saving the environment, I think we welcome friendly one-upsmanship.(Click here for the full article)

Ponzi schemes article
by Madhusudan das
Posted December 13, 2002

I would like to commend Sriman Ananda das on his excellent expose of those so-called money making schemes. Over the years I have been approached by a few of them myself. The attraction was strong, but somehow I couldn't get myself to participate. After thinking about it long and hard, I realized that if money was to be made, it was going to be at the severe expense of some innocent (albeit ignorant) friend or godbrother--which is really a very nasty thing to do. But Ananda prabhu explains it so well that it made the whole affair crystal clear. I think the article should be given to any devotee who is becoming allured by such a cheating scheme.
Your servant,
Madhusudan das

John Breathwaite and Caruhasa dasa
by Bhakta Mohinder
Posted December 12, 2002

Dear Chakra


Caruhasa, the great director of a new Ramayana movie?

John Breathwaite, senior entertainment journalist of a million-selling magazine?

For those who don't know, John Breathwaite and Caruhasa das are the same people! Moreover, Actress Chandini is actually Caruhasa's wife.

Urmila Devi's review of the video is actually quite generous. When the film was shown at Bhaktivedanta Manor in the UK a few years ago, devotees apparently left the theatre in embarrassment.

The film made by Caruhasa is not new. He's been plugging it for years.

Your servant,
Bhakta Mohinder

A Joke
submitted by Unaami Spaarta
Posted December 10, 2002

Question: How many blind followers does it take to change a light bulb?
Answer: Never mind; they prefer to remain in the dark.

by Caruhasa
Posted December 9, 2002

Director: Caruhasa Das
Cast: Jeff Rector, Chandini, James Hong, Steve Williams

The U.S. premiere of this beautiful original movie was in Hollywood with more than 300 people trying to get into the screening and party at the famous Directors Guild of America was the place to be. The stars arrived to the excited and anxious crowd of devoted fans of Ramayana, waiting at the entrance to the Directors Guild. The Stars were Gordon Hessler (Golden Voyage of Sinbad), the guest of honor, Caruhasa ( the director producer), John Philipp Law(Barbarella), Jeff Rector (Star Trek), Chandini( Money Talks), James Hong(Blade Runner), Steven Williams (X-Files), Ryan Arjun V. Daluvoy (executive producer). Many other celebrities were also there from Hollywood. Gordon Hessler, the guest of honor, gave a nice speech in support of the film. He said that the film is a great way to tell families in the west the famous story. Caruhasa, the director said that, "My inspiration to make this movie is from my guru A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabupada, and my life in the ashram and painting for his books for ten years."

"I was inspired by the multiracial cast in the Peter Brooks version of the Mahabharata, it was the time of all races and people even from other planets coming together in the world. Prabupada told me once in his room at New Dwarka Los Angeles that if big film producers see that Vedic subject matter is entertaining then all of the industry will want to make these films in Hollywood, he said you go make a film and then they will!" Caruhasa said, " It has taken ten long years to make this film and shooting from around the world, and actors from Hollywood and around the globe." The film is like a kaleidoscope in which every viewer can see the base story but can see it with a different aspect to it.(Click here for the full article)

Response to New Ramayana Video Review by Urmila Devi
by John Breathwaite Senior Entertainment Journalist
Posted December 9, 2002


I have been writing for 10 years for India Journal here in Los Angeles, and New African Magazine that has over a million readership all over the world. I am a member of the Motion Picture Association of the World as a film journalist and have reviewed over a hundred films.

The Ramayana has professional actors from all walks of life from around the world. All lead actors and not extras were from many famous films that have been made around the world. Jeff Rector (Star Trek movie) James Hong (Bladerunner), Steven Williams (X-Files the movie and show), John Phillip Law (Sinbad and the Golden Voyage), Chandini (Money Talks), were some of the talent that worked on the film. The movie has been viewed at many film festivals around the world with many good reviews and praises from film critics like myself.

It is unclear to me why Urmila Devi considers the movie to be an embarrassment for those who wish to see the Lord glorified in the modern media. It has glorified the Lord and Indian culture by the use of state of the arts acting and special effects from Hollywood . No movie that was about the Vedic stories has been done outside of the Xena TV episode in the west in this way. Yes, the costumes cost a half million and are the best I have ever seen in any production. And what Sita wears is what was researched, the costume designer picked this dress because it is what experts on costumes of the period chose. Sita actually wore leaves and bark of trees, according to historians in the country. The makeup is done by the artist that worked on the famous Ninja Turtles, and the monkeys were historically resembling real monkeys that talked with tails, and some clothing.(Click here for the full article)

by Bhaktin Christi
Posted December 8, 2002

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada. I am disappointed at best. After seeing how one devotee and the editor of (the previous edition) of CHAKRA was chastised for insulting women by saying that women should not have jobs or could not be good devotees and simultaneously work... I load the page to see that instead of one devotee insulting another, now we have devotees insulting the GBC.(i.e.:Healthy Discussions)
(Click here for the full article)

Books in Farsi?
by Dvarakarani Devi dasi
Posted December 6, 2002

Hare Krishna,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada. I have been trying for about two years to locate some of Srila Prabhupada's book in Farsi. I have been preaching to some Iranian people and they are very interested in the devotees and the temples and prasadam. When I was asked if I could get some books in the Farsi language I began to contact various sources but still have not even one book in their language. I have distributed the books in English so that they at least have the books but reading them has been mostly impossible because of the language.
If anyone can get me even one book in the Farsi language I would appreciate it very much and so will my friends who are interested in reading about Krishna in their language.
Thank you very much.
Your servant,
Dvarakarani Devi dasi dvarkarani@aol.com

Srila Prabhupada Quotes
by Isa dasa
Posted December 5, 2002

On the importance of having the association of Pure devotees

“Only a pure devotee of the Lord can show one the right way of progressive life”
“Only in the association of such devotees are the transcendental glories of Lord Krsna properly discussed”
“Only one who is fortunate can have the opportunity to hear Srimad-Bhagavatam in the association of pure devotees of the Lord”
(Click here for the full article)

Vrindavan video
by Siddhanta dasa
Posted December 4, 2002

Couldn’t make it to India this year for Srila Prabhhupada’s 25th Anniversary of his Disappearance? Now once again, Srila Prabhupada has come to the West to you via the transcendental form of video. Illumination Television is proud to announce the production of the highlight reel of all the nectar which glorified His Divine Grace on this special occasion. You will see the throngs who worshiped Krishna-Balarama, Srila Prabhupada in his Samadhi, Baratnatyam dancing to the thousands in attendance as well as some of the most poignant memories of Srila Prabhupada ever told. You will hear from Radhanath Swami what Srila Prabhupada’s youngest son, Vrindavan Chandra De felt in his heart when he saw his father leave on the Jaladutta. Vaishesika prabhu narrates an embarrassing transcendental moment that took place in front of Srila Prahbupada in Vrindavan. Jagat Shaksu dasa tells of a guarantee that Srila Prabhupada gave the devotees in Caracas, Venezuela. Shanka dasa describes what Srila Prabhupada told him happens to the plant from which a flower is offered to the spiritual master. Brajendranandana prabhu describes Prabhupada’s reaction in Vrindavan when changes were made to his books. And Prasanti dasi evokes strong emotions as she reflects on the future when the last direct disciple of Srila Prabhupada leaves the planet. These and many more stories can be had by ordering the 53 minute video (perfect for class) for only $15 plus s&h, NTSC or PAL. (Add $5 for DVD)*


Watch for the up and coming book release of “Memories-Anecdotes of a Modern Day Saint”
Volume 1 due mid-December 2002!!!


Siddhanta dasa

itv@flash.net (not to be confused with Iskcon tv)


Vaisnavas C.A.R.E., Inc. Quarterly Newsletter for November
by Jusaniya dasi
Posted December 3, 2002

Hare Krsna. We hope this newsletter meets you well and blissful in your service to Srila Prabhupada and Lord Krsna.

What’s New:

Hospice Seminar Given in Gita Nagari

On November 16, 2002, Sangita devi dasi, RN and Shradhdha Patel, RN, presented a Vaisnavas C.A.R.E. seminar/workshop on ISKCON’s Gita Nagari farm in Port Royal, Pennsylvania. Sixteen devotees attended from Port Royal as well as from Washington, D.C.

Subjects included:

A brief history of the hospice movement
How we can, as a society of Vaisnvas, expand the hospice movement
The meaning of hospice and palliative care
The Devotees Bill of Rights
How to communicate with someone who is dying
The stages of Dying
Spiritual Pain
Guided Imagery
And more…(Click here for the full article)

Chakra Pendants and Earrings
by Sarvabhavana dasa
Posted December 3, 2002

Looking for a perfect gift idea? Give your loved one something unique and protective.

This Sudarshan Chakra pendant is more than a beautiful piece of jewelry. It’s also a talisman, a protective shield. Wearing this Vedic sign will bring auspiciousness and significant positive changes in your life, protecting your mind and heart from evil energy. (Please click here to see photo and ordering information)

Healthy Discussions Wanted: A Reply to the GBC's Preliminary Response to "Srila Prabhupada: The Prominent Link"
by Bhaktin Miriam
Posted on December 2, 2002

On March 12, 2002, the GBC wrote a "Preliminary Statement" concerning a newly published book entitled Srila Prabhupada: The Prominent Link, written by Dhira Govinda dasa. It seems to me that the GBC has interpreted the book in a way that is erroneous on many accounts. Also, I sense that the GBC expects all members of ISKCON to accept its perspective, and is discouraging devotees from discerning for themselves the possible merit of The Prominent Link.(Click here for the full article)

Calf has role in Hare Krishna Temple ceremony
by Linda Medura, Correspondent
Posted December 1, 2002

Once a year, in November, devotees of the Hare Krishna Movement gather in the inconspicuous yellow temple house on Main Street to celebrate Sri Govardhana Puja or the Festival of the Lifting of the Hill by the Indian deity Krishna.(Click here for the full article)

The Story of Sikhandi
by Maharani dasi
Posted December 1, 2002

When I was in gurukula, one of the most enjoyable aspects of my education was that our teacher would tell us stories from the Mahabharata every night. But one thing that always puzzled me was why Bhisma, at the Battle of Kuruksetra, refused to fight with Sikhandi. The stated reason for this was that Bhisma had vowed never to raise arms against a woman (thoroughly admirable). But Sikhandi was a woman -- Princess Amba -- in his *past* life, right? Bhisma surely knew that we're not our bodies, so I was always confused as to why he would care whether Sikhandi had been a woman, or a dog, or a tree in his past life. Sure, I'd always had the impression that Sikhandi was an utterly effeminate wuss, and it was probably better for all concerned that Bhisma wouldn't fight with him, but I was still confused. Well, when I got older, I read the Mahabharata for myself, and the following is what I found out, which I'll present here for your edification and entertainment, dear reader. And if you'd like to check this out for yourself, you can find most of it in Udyoga Parva, Uluka Dutagamana Parva, Sections CLXXIII-CXCV.(Click here for the full article)

<< January 2003
November 2002 >>