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Chakra past articles:
February 2003
Annual Report of the Association for the Protection of Vaisnava Children
by Dhira Govinda dasa
Posted February 27, 2003

Dear Maharajas and Prabhus,

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

In this posting and as an attached RTF file is the annual report for 2002 for the Association for the Protection of Vaisnava Children. I look forward to continued service to the Vaisnava community through the child protection office. Please contact me if you have any questions or comments on the report, or in connection with any child protection concerns. Hare Krsna.

Your servant,

Dhira Govinda dasa

(Click here for the full article)

Looking Back Before Walking Away
by Dhanistha Devi Dasi
Posted February 27, 2003

Dear Chakra,

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

In response to so much whirlwinds around women, ashrams, and the third gender subject, I am inclined and relieved now to step away from the bantering so as to continue my little work here and in so doing wish everyone well. Especially all the best to that new Vaisnavi Asraya grassroots project sounds great doesn't it! It sounds like a perfect spiritual project for those Vaisnavis who are towing the line of Vaisnava protocol and highest standards. Lord Krishna is always blessing those special souls who are so sincere and capable.

For the rest of us like me, who admittedly don't live up to such high-ness or standard-ness, somehow or other we continue steeped in love solely by God's grace. And even though we make plenty of mistakes along the way, there is an ever-present awareness of grace (especially sometimes during the most miniscule of daily routines, such as feeding wild birds and deer in the temple yard or breaking ground for spring gardens) when realizations come in simple, small and gentle things noticeably lacking any hint of politics or claims of hierarchy. (Click here for the full article)

Prabhupada Vani website
by Pragosh das
Posted February 25, 2003

Dear Prabhu,

Dandavat pranams. Jaya Srila Prabhupada!

My name is Praghosa dasa aka Pragosh das. I'm a disciple of HIs Divine Grace A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami but not the renowned book distributor. I live as a grhasta in Montreal, Canada, and operate a website dedicated to the lectures of Srila Prabhupada : http://www.PrabhupadaVani.org. If you visit, you will see that nothing but pure distribution of Srila Prabhupada's vani is the object of the site. I would humbly request, if you so desire, that you kindly include this address in the links/resources page on your website. Thank you.

I hope this meets you well.

Your servant,
Pragosh das

Guru's autograph saves Balaram
by Suresvara das
Posted February 23, 2002

I haven't been to Mayapur in 25 years; every day here is blowing my heart and mind to Vaikuntha and back. In New Navadvipa (ISKCON Honolulu) I rededicated myself to the service of Srila Prabhupada; in Navadvipa Dhama I'm getting my heart back. After my divorce, I didn't think I would ever feel love again, but every day Lord Caitanya is flooding me with real love. It's everywhere -- in the devotees, the villagers -- and Jananivas Prabhu says it's because Sri Sri Radha-Madhava are the only Radha-Krsna Deities in the mood of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Their love flows freely in the Dhama, drowning old agnostics like me in an ocean of cool tears.

I kept bumping into devotee after devotee; some I knew, some I didn't; it didn't seem to matter. The mood here makes nearly everyone approachable; the Golden Dancer does not discriminate as to who is or is not fit to receive His kindness. I want to come back here every year.

Hrimati came to me today to help her keep Balarama, her ox. A misguided businessman is trying to take Balarama and use him to pull tourists around. He doesn't have a proper yoke, though, and doesn't know how to work the ox, either. Hrimati had me draft a letter, informing the businessman that Balarama is legally hers, a gift from the goshalla on Gaura Purnima 2001. Jayapataka Swami signed the letter, which should make the vaisya-bandhu back off.

Bhagavad-gita changes
by Jyotirmaya das
Posted February 20, 2003

Dear Devotees,

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

For me, the problem with the new translation is like losing an old friend. We spent years living in the temples learning slokas from Bhagavad-Gita As It Is and hearing Srila Prabhupada give classes on the old translations -- and now, suddenly, so much of it is changed. Now I look at the new Bhagavad-gita with somewhat of a distant disposition, knowing that much of what I knew and memorized of it is probably no longer the same. (Click here for the full article)

Montreal ratha yatra
by Vaidyarata dasa
Posted February 19, 2003

Dear Maharajas/Prabhus/Matajis,

Dandavats. All glories to Srila Prabuapda,

It is our honor to invite you for Ratha Yatra 2003 that will take place on the streets of Montréal this summer. This festival due to its unique atmosphere holds a sweet mood and unforgettable memories due to the divine conjuncture of the Lord’s mercy, devotees’ enthusiasm and a seasonal change uplifting the sankirtana spirit for awakening all living entities. Your participation and association in this great event will be a pleasure for the residents of the Montreal yatra. (Click here for the full article)

Fearless Atmosphere
by Niscala d.d.
Posted February 19, 2003

Dear Malati,

Your suggestion that gay devotees be discouraged or forbidden to live in our ashrams, shows a general assumption on your part that gays will break the regulative principles if they live with members of the same gender. This would be laughable were it not alarming, for it is not a suggestion to be taken lightly. One must seriously look at the probability of this happening before we exclude any sincere souls from full access to the all-encompassing mercy of Lord Chaitanya’s movement.

Could gay people be a problem (apart from making homophobics face their fear)? Generally, the ashrams are comprised of mostly heterosexual members. Intercourse with them by a member of the same sex is out of the question, and if by chance two gays find themselves in the same ashram, still the likelihood of anything happening is remote. Firstly, they have to be attracted to each other- obviously! As we know, being heterosexual does not mean that one is attracted to all members of the opposite sex, and of the ones that do hold attraction, for anyone of any principle, sex is not an option unless there is commitment--to serve, respect and love each other--with fidelity, as in marriage or something similar. (Click here for the full article)

Deconstructing barriers among Vaisnavas
by Visoka das
Posted February 18, 2003

ABSTRACT: Differences of opinion on guru tattva may lead some Vaisnavas into committing offences against others, outwardly appearing cordial while inwardly feeling contempt, writes Visoka das, who contends that the sway of logic and camp adherence is less important than "deconstructing barriers" among the groups, in the interest of mutual love and acceptance. When there is evidence supporting both points of view, we ought to accept that those who hold a different view are nevertheless honest. (Click here for the full article)

Hare Krishnas get OK to build four houses
reprinted from San Diego Union-Tribune
submitted by Bimal Krsna das
Posted February 18, 2003

The City Council has approved a development agreement with a Hare Krishna group that allows the group to build four houses adjacent to an elaborate temple and cultural center to be built on 23 acres off Rincon Avenue.

Councilwoman Marie Waldron was the only council member to vote against the agreement at Wednesday's council meeting. In previous votes involving the property, Waldron has cited her opposition to the Hare Krishna project when it was proposed two years ago.

At that time, nearby residents listed concerns including traffic, access and the "mass and scale" of the cultural center, in addition to environmental issues. The city's Design Review Board rejected the proposal, but both the Planning Commission and the City Council later approved it.

The four houses approved Wednesday were included on a tentative parcel map approved two years ago, according to city documents.

Mental Health Volunteers Needed
by Dhira devi dasi
(Dhira Dianne Crunkilton, MSW)
Posted February 18, 2003

As many of you know, Dhira Govinda dasa (David Wolf, MSW, Phd) has recently published pioneering studies on the effects of the Hare Krsna Maha Mantra on psycho-social functioning. His initial studies have laid the groundwork for establishing vaisnava philosophy and practices within the professional and academic world. His published work is attracting interest among professionals and impressing academics in the "soft sciences," such as social work and psychology. Such professionals are increasingly open to new interventions to help clients. I have presented Dhira Govinda prabhu's work to master's level counselors, doctoral students, and professors at the University of Georgia. Response to his work continues to be very favorable.

Attempting to build on Dhira Govinda prabhu's important publications, I am working on studies in my own doctoral program (in social work) at the University of Georgia. I am seeking help from fellow devotees around the country who might be helping others by utilizing chanting and or prasadam. The persons you are helping might be troubled by the "normal anxiety" of the material world, and/or they might have somewhat serious impairments, such as problems of homelessness, drug addiction, or chronic depression. (Click here for the full article)

Darshan of Lord Nityananda at Krishna Balaram Mandir
by Deenanath das
Posted February 17, 2003

Hare Krsna,

Dandavat pranams.

Please go to


for darshan of Lord Nityananda on this auspicious day of Nityananda Triyodashi. (Click here for the full article)

Lord Nityananda's Childhood
by Satyaraja dasa
Posted February 14, 2003

Curiously there is no authoritative biography of Nityananda Prabhu; and while Rupa, Jiva, and Raghunatha do not even mention him once in their collective writings, Sanatana Gosvami refers to him only briefly in the invocation of his Vaisnava-tosani. Nonetheless, the world is fortunate that Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's biographers have devoted large sections of their work to Nityananda's life, which can be pieced together from this massive literature, and also from later medieval Vaisnava texts, such as Bhakti-ratna- kara and Prema-vilasa.

Nityananda Prabhu was born in the village of Ekcakra, also called Ekacakra, in the country of Rahr (Radhadesa), some eight miles east of where today stands the Mallarpura station of the E.I. Railway (within the modern Birbhum District of West Bengal). His birthsite is commemorated by a small temple named Garbhavasa and is visited by throngs of pilgrims to this day. (Click here for the full article)

Regarding Tritiya Prakrti
by Subhadra-mayi dasi
Posted February 13, 2003

I don't think Amara Prabhu needs to come up with proof about whether there is a sanskrit word for 'homosexual'... There shouldn't be a debate about what is the correct sanskrit word. Who cares? The fact is that there is a group of devotees who feel excluded, ridiculed and mistreated. That's the only thing that matters and should be resolved. Sticking the correct sanskrit-word on a group of devotees really doesn't make any difference for them.

Just my (not so humble) opinion,
Subhadra-mayi dasi

Truce for the Holy Day
by Narayani d.d.
Posted February 13, 2003

My dear Vaisnavas,

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

I have a humble request to make, please forgive me if I ignorantly offend anyone. I request, in honor of the up and coming appearance day of Sri Nityananda Prabhu, that we put aside our discussions/arguments (at least for a few days) i.e. the meaning of siksa/diksa guru, homosexuals in ISKCON, and the many others that seem, to me, to be dividing our wonderful home that Srila Prabhupada built for us, and focus on "the basic principles of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu's movement. Chanting, dancing, and eating Krsna prasadam (one of my favorite things:))." I would like to share this beautiful song by Narottama Das Thakura in glorification if Lord Nitai with you all! (Click here for the full article)

Personal Transformation Course

by Ekabuddhi
Posted February 12, 2003

April 18-20 , 2003 - Hillsborough, North Carolina

You will acquire listening tools, interpersonal skills, conflict resolution, committment, teamwork and assertiveness.

This is a concentrated, powerful communication training, culminating in self-realization and satisfying relationships. This self-understanding will improve your communication at work, with family, and in all interactions

Facilitator, Dhira Govinda dasa (Dr. David Wolf) brings the expertise of a Ph.D. in Social Work combined with the compassion and knowledge of Bhakti Yoga to present this masterful course in personal development. Having myself taken the very popular Landmark Forum course, I can honestly say that Life Skills is of equal calibre experientially, with the added benefit of having very concrete rememberance of our intrinsic need for "spiritual" growth. (Click here for the full article)

To drink or not to drink?
by Syamasundara dasa
Posted February 12, 2003

Recently our morning temple discussions moved to the Vegan arguments of not using the milk from the cow. The usual answers came back as we have seen in this discussion about Karma free milk drinking because it is offered to Krishna and thus no reaction for drinking it. Accepting that milk offered with devotion is karma free what is the position of milk that is not quite so offered. Is it enough that one has heard that Krishna accepts and likes milk products without actually offering them with love and devotion. Are we doing all that we can to indeed sanctify the milk we are using.

There is another point against drinking milk which we would not support and that is that somehow drinking milk is wrong because it comes from an animal. There is a notion that cows were somehow domesticated some thousands of years ago and that man is now unjustifiably exploiting them unnaturally. That there were only wild cows roaming around and that they were captured and trained with the consequence that their calves milk was stolen by man. This notion is clearly of a Darwinian slant and has atheism at its heart. There is no God in control and man and cows were surprisingly thrown together haphazardly. As followers of the Vedic tradition and as vaisnavas we do not hold such ideas. We have been informed that the world was created perfect and complete and thus from this cows and man have been given a symbiotic God given relationship. Using cows milk is not a consequence of stealing the calves milk but is an arrangement of Krishna whereby the cow gives more milk than the cow needs.

A third point of consideration before we set ourselves on any path of non milk drinking to avoid implication in the slaughter. Over the years a visitor to India, could gradually watch a sinister development. Decades ago the fields were primarily cultivated by oxen and it was extremely common to find ox wagons, ploughs and other animal draft apparatus outside a villagers home. Food was produced and then transported by ox. The home was dependant on the ox. The food production was supporting the ox and thus the cows were being protected.

At some point someone thought that a tractor and a truck powered by petrol would be of benefit to the food production, and so the ox dependence diminished. Gradually over the decades one started seeing that the ox carts and ploughs were changed for tractors, trailers and tractor implements. Homes were decorated with petrol dependant machinery. Along with this development one could also note that the oxen disappeared, they weren't just idle alongside the tractors but one could hardly find them. A visitor now to India doesn't see that many ox carts and ox ploughs in relation with a few years back. (Click here for the full article)

VIHE 2003
Posted February 11, 2003

*** Bhakti Sastri course ***

Study of Bhagavad gita, Nectar of Devotion, Nectar of Instruction and Isopanisad

Dates: July 14 to November 10

Requirements : Good sadhana, brahminical tendencies, and a proficiency in English. You also must have a recommendation from a senior devotee who knows you well.

Fees: 6,000 Rupees (appr. $125) to help cover the expenses connected with conducting the course. This does not include room, prasadam, some study materials and Kartik courses.

To apply: Prospective students are required to register and must be approved by the VIHE administration. Registration deadline is June 30.

(Click here for the full article)

Doubts, enquiries & developing implicit faith
by Carsani devi dasi
Posted February 7, 2003

Reading the recent letter posted by Subhadra Mayi dd (December 17, 01) left me with feelings of sadness...sadness, primarily for her to write a letter like that on a public forum she quite possibly felt that there was nobody amongst her devotee friends & aquaintainces...especially authority figures to who she could reveal her mind & attempt to rationalise & clear what doubts she had regarding ISKCON & her place within it. Quite possibly she had tried, yet maybe her cries for help, understanding...and answers were not dealt with in a satisfactory way. I have never met her personally yet could empathise deeply with many of the points that she was making. I could sense that behind the angry words was a very sinsere, yet hurt devotee who had at some point tried very hard to surrender to life in the temple yet when she needed answers & understanding there was nobody around. Reading that article also prompted me to reflect on the importance of genuine & compassionate Vaisnava association & especially on the importance of spiritual enquiries (as well as sensitive & honest replies) & their role in clearing doubts & helping the aspiring devotee to cultivate deep & implicit faith in Lord Krsna, Srila Prabhupada & ISKCON.

Srila Prabhupada is the Only Link
summary of debate by Ananda Das
Posted February 4, 2003

According to Krishna Kant Desai, Dhira Govinda Prabhu's booklet "Srila Prabhupada: The Prominent Link" attempts to sidestep the polarising issue of whether a devotee may become initiated through reading a book by Srila Prabhupada, or must seek an initiating guru among disciples linked to him through parampara. He contends the booklet, as summarised by Bhaktin Miriam, advocates two contradictory positions simultaneously and that, by attempting to satisfy both his so-called ISKCON Reform Movement and the GBC, his thesis satisfies neither. He also argues that, while devotees such as temple presidents may perform an initiation ceremony, such leaders ought not to be accepted as diksa-gurus, but only as officiating priests, and that a literal reading of selected writings from Srila Prabhupada is preferable to self-realization. Here is the text of Krishna Kant's reply to Bhaktin Miriam.

Tamal Krsna Goswami's Pushpa Samadhi Installation Ceremony
by Malati d.d
Posted February 27, 2003

Dear Devotees, my obeisances to all the wonderful Vaishnave devotees of the Lord. Srila Prabhupada kijaya.

Yesterday was the Auspicious Installation Ceremony of the Pushpa Samadhi of Tamal Krishna Goswami at Govardhan. The Govardhan Project, Bhaktivedanta Ashram is a beautiful offering to Srila Prabhupada, inspired in large by H.H. Tamal Krishna. From a disintegrating pile of rubble facing Giriraj Maharaja, a magnificent restoration, keeping to the traditional materials and not using cement, etc., has transpired. Goswami's Samadhi itself is elegant and tasteful, a replica of Visvanath Chakravarti's Samadhi, carved out of limestone.

Kirtans and bhajans continued throughout the day following hours of heartfelt eulogies from godbrothers, sisters, disciples, friends, and family members. The feast was a first class delight, carefully served on beautiful first class leaf thali's. The weather was exactly perfect, slightly overcast, which kept the full force of the sun from roasting us. A colorful pandal with carpeting, enclosing the side and rear area's, led to the feeling of intimacy in the large crowd. Srila Prabhupasda's murti attended on center stage, along with a garlanded photo of Tamal Krishna and a cloth wrapped container with the actual Pushpa, or garland taken from his body at the time of Samadhi. The assembly of saintly vaishnaves were enormously satisfied by this occasion.

Tomorrow I leave for Mayapur Dham.

yr srvant,
malati dd

Send Memories to Prabhupada Connection
by Padmapani das
Posted February 27, 2003

All devotees are humbly invited to send in their memories of Srila Prabhupada to "The Prabhupada Connection" website. No remembrance is too small. (I even wrote one memory of seeing Srila Prabhupada pass by in a car.) Sharing our memories is a great way to inspire others to love Srila Prabhupada, and it's guaranteed to enliven the heart of the writer too.

Even if you do not have any personal memories of Srila Prabhupada, there is an offering page where devotees can submit written or artistic offerings for the pleasure of His Divine Grace and his followers. It is not required that one must be an initiated disciple or have had personal association to appreciate, love and glorify Srila Prabhupada.

There is also a section called "Causeless Mercy" for those who would like to write about how they first came into contact with Prabhupada's mercy, or share a sankirtana story. I'm planning to write about living at the New Gokula farm community in Bridesville, B.C. for a year (in 1974) -- milking cows, training bulls and delivering calves. The mood is one of sharing, so please consider yourself respectfully invited. Thank you sincerely.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Your servant,
Padmapani das


Srimad Bhagavatam:
A Solution

by Narayani d.d.
Posted February 25, 2003

My dear vaisnavas,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to His divine grace Srila Prabhupada!!

In my reading of Srimad Bhagavatam I was greatly moved by this verse and its purport:

nasta-prayesu abhadresu
nityam bhagavata-sevaya
bhagavaty uttama-sloke
bhaktir bhavati naisthiki

By regular attendance in classes on the Bhagavatam and by the rendering of service to the pure devotee, all that is troublesome to the heart is almost completely destroyed, and loving service unto the Personality of Godhead, who is praised with transcendental songs, is established as an irrevocable fact.

(Click here for the full article)

Remembering Jayaradhe dasi
by Sakshi Gopal dasa
Posted February 23, 2002

Jayaradhe dasi lived in the UK for almost twenty years. To those of us who knew her, it came as a shock to learn of her departure on 3rd January 2003. She had been on strong medication while awaiting a liver transplant in a Berkeley hospital and passed away in the company of her daughter, Caranamrita, and five of her family members.

Before coming to the UK, Jayaradhe served in the West Coast temples of the US where she joined Srila Prabhupada's mission in the early seventies. Having a very artistic nature, she was enthusiastic to learn the techniques of diorama making, as pioneered by Bharadvaja dasa, and she eagerly joined the team that helped build the First American Transcendental Exhibit at the F.A.T.E. studios in Los Angeles.

She moved to England in 1978 and was soon involved in another model making project, an exhibit for the devotee stand at the Festival of Body Mind Spirit which featured a samsara wheel diorama. Shortly after, she and I were married. For the few years we were together, she remained a devoted partner and always impressed me with her unbounded creativity and dedication - both in the studio and in the kitchen. (Click here for the full article)

For the new Pancatattva Deities in Sridham Mayapur
from Sri Mayapur Head Pujaris
Posted February 20, 2003

Dear devotees,

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

Soon after Gaura Purnima we wish to cast the new pancatattva Deities. Some devotees have expressed their desire to offer their gold ring or earrings to the Deity form. If anyone coming to the 2003 Mayapur festival would like to donate any gold ornaments, etc. to be added the the Forms of the Pancatattva during casting they may contact Jananivasa prabhu or myself (Pankajanghri das).

Hare Krishna.

Your servant,
Pankajanghri das

What does Satyaraja Dasa mean?
from Ugra Nrsimha dasa
Posted February 20, 2003

Ugra Nrsimha dasa asks:

What does Satyaraja Dasa mean when he says that "there's no authoritative biography of Lord Nityananda"? We do have this book called "Nityananda Caritamrta" written by Vrndavan Dasa Thakura and was published by Isvara Dasa. Does it mean that the book is not bonafide?

Can somebody clarify this for me please?

Thank you. Hare Krsna
Ugra Nrsimha Dasa

(Click here for the full article)

Glimpse of Krsna
by Bala Gopala dasa
Posted February 19, 2003

Hare Krishna

I am emailing on behalf of Madhava Priya Devi Dasi here in Atlanta, GA. I have recently finished working on a website which features around 100 of her devotional artworks that depict Krishna's pastames. also on the site are poetry and philosiphical discussions about Krishna conciousness. I would be very greatful if you would look at the website and include a link to in on chakra.org so others can benefit from it. Thank you very much.

The website address is:


Bala Gopala

Govinda's Restaurant in Greensboro Closing
by Anumanta dasa
Posted February 19, 2003

Restaurant business and equipment for sale in rental location at fantastic price. Half a block from UNCG campus. 15,500 students and faculty. 82,000 people living within 3 mile radius. Restaurant is 2000 sq feet in high traffic area. Seating capacity 72 persons. Extremely beautiful decor and spiritual ambiance. Fully equipped kitchen restaurant equipment worth $15,000 in great running condition. All stainless steel pots. Health department inspection rating 98.5. Already established customer base with large mailing list. Already established prasadam distribution and preaching for almost 3 years. Only one other vegetarian restaurant in the whole city. Located in between two devotee communities, Sandy Ridge and Hillsborough. All for $20,000.

For more information call Apurva das at 919 643 2979 cell 336 207 2431

Veganism does protect the Cow
by Harry Bowler
Posted February 18, 2003

After living across the road from a non-devotee dairy for a couple of years, I saw first hand how non-devotees treat cows, it was hellish and very disturbing to anyone who has conscience given to them by Srila Prabhupada.

The babies, male and female, were rounded up and sent to the meatworks when they were only a few weeks old. The cows continued to produce milk for their babies, and be exploited for this milk before becoming pregnant and going through the same process again. The cows would cry out in distress for their babies for many days after they were taken. (Click here for the full article)

a poem by Ekabuddhi
Posted February 18, 2003

and riveted with fear
we walk
can you deny it?

is such a frail thing
is it cured into steel?

faith is what we walk with
when fear frightens
beyond belief

and as we fear
percieved personal afronts fall through cracks
life matters
trivialities? gone

faced with inevitable death
the reality of life
brings relief

with reality
embrace the world
God's world


New, Free Philosophy Sheets to Defeat Atheism and Promote Vaishnavism
by Bhava-sindhu das
Posted February 18, 2003

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada. It is my pleasure to announce that I have just added a new section to the Gita Club website which contains Philosophy Sheets that Vaishnavas (and perhaps also persons of different faiths) may find useful. Each Philosophy Sheet contains a certain philosophical argument, complete with different types of replies and objections. The Philosophy Sheets are available at http://gitaclub.tripod.com/

Currently there are four sheets available, all centered around the question of God's omnipotence:

  1. The "Movement" Argument (Aquinas)
  2. The "God Cannot Sin" Argument (Aquinas)
  3. The "Mercy Is Not God's Greatest Power" Argument (Aquinas)
  4. The "All Things Are Not Possible" Argument (Aquinas)
(Click here for the full article)

MIHE Conflict Resolution seminar
by Janmastami das
Posted February 17, 2003

[Vrajalila devi dasi will facilitate a conflict resolution
seminar March 14 - 17] Last Chance to Preregister for Courses in the 4th, 5th, and 6th Weeks of the MIHE Semester

Sri Caitanya Bhagavata declares that studying in Navadvipa Dhama awakens vidya-rasa, the taste for learning, within one's heart. As ISKCON stretches amidst its growing pains, always hopeful of achieving the footing of a genuinely brahminical culture, the MIHE offers its contribution in the very place that Nimai Pandita sported as Sri Dvija-mani in vidya-rasa.

True education is based upon brahminical culture and vidya-rasa. In order to accelerate educational development within ISKCON, the MIHE has adopted a "no-service charge" policy on all of its courses for all full-time teachers in ISKCON primary, secondary, and tertiary schools, as well as for any current or former students of these primary and secondary schools. We do ask, however, that devotees in these categories remit fees to cover their course materials.

We offer these courses to all other ISKCON devotees for much less than what comparable courses would be offered for outside of Mayapur.

Please go to the MIHE website at http://www.mayapur.org/mihe/ and examine the course descriptions and schedules. Then preregister online by February 21st for the courses you want to attend in the 4th, 5th, and 6th Weeks of the MIHE Semester. When devotees arrive in Mayapur, they can register and remit their service charges.

Feel free to contact the MIHE Administration at mihe@pamho.net if you need assistance in anyway before arriving in Mayapur. (Click here for the full article)

Lord Nityananda's Marketplace of the Holy Name
by Bhaktivinoda Thakura
Posted February 14, 2003

Dalaler Gita "The Song of the Broker" or "Khoda Nitai"
from Vaisnava-Siddhanta-Mala by Bhaktivinoda Thakura

boro sukher khabor gai
surabhi-kunjete namer hat khuleche / khoda nitai

I am singing news of the greatest happiness! In the grove of Navadvipa known as Surabhi Kunja, the Marketplace of the Holy Name has now been opened - and Lord Nityananda Himself is the Proprietor.

boro mojar katha tay
sraddha-mülye suddha-nama sei hatete bikay

Such wonderful things are going on in that blissful marketplace! Sri Nityananda Prabhu is selling the pure Holy Name wholesale, merely for the price of ones faith.

jata bhakta-brnda basi'
adhikari dekhe' nama becche daro kasi'

Seeing the assembly of devotees eagerly waiting to purchase the Name, Lord Nityananda first examines each of them to test their qualification; then He sells them the Name by bargaining for His price accordingly. (Click here for the full article)

Ganga Stotram
submitted by Bhakta dasa
Posted February 13, 2003

I am sending here a PDF copy of the Ganga Stotram written by Adi Shankaracarya and the same being sung at Ganga Aratik in Hrishikesh. It is very lovely and I am sure many devotees will appreciate it.

Please click here to download it as a PDF, and here to listen to it (RealPlayer required).

Thank you very much.

Your humble servant,
Bhakta dasa

Don't buy bootlegged DVDs
by Nrsimhananda dasa
Posted February 13, 2003

The pirates are anxious to take your laksmi for bootlegged DVD's of Srila Prabhupada, but you won't be getting what you expected. First, you'll be purchasing the bad karma that goes along with acquisition of stolen goods. Secondly, no one has the masters of the material except ITV in Los Angeles. The DVD's currently being offered are reproduced from VHS tapes of substandard quality. Moreover, DVD has substantial compatibility problems. Unless high quality blanks are used, cheap media is notorious for not being able to play on many set-top boxes and computers. Third, DVD encoding from a composite video signal to MPEG 2 requires a high-end board to produce decent results - and composite video is the least quality source. Digital video is the standard. ITV has been working on digitizing and improving its masters for transfer to DVD, but the process won't be complete until the end of this year. Meanwhile, the pirates suck vital funds away from our legitimate efforts to provide quality productions to the Vaisnava community. The pirates did not acquire the footage, edit it with all the work that entails, nor are they saddled with the costs of preserving it. (Click here for the full article)

ISKCON Prison Ministry:
Let the Inmates Speak for Themselves

by Shyama Priya devi dasi
Posted February 12, 2003

Since placing articles on Chakra we've received wonderful responses. Letting others know about the ministry has really helped us move ahead in assisting the inmates in Krsna Consciousness. Many more books, BTG magazines, Bhagavad-gita CDs and music tapes have been mailed out than ever before.

The last mailing of donated issues of Back To Godhead magazine, done by the Prison Ministry, included a letter stating, "This is a free complementary issue of BTG and if you have any questions or would like to write us please contact us at ISKCON Prison Ministry." We received many delightful letters, as follows... (Click here for the full article)

Population implosion
by Ananda das
Posted February 12, 2003

ABSTRACT: In the Punjab, there is a ratio of 80 women for every 100 men. In China, the "one-child policy" has led to similar imbalances. Many men now have difficulty finding a wife, a foreseeable consequence of a tacitly-approved though illegal prenatal gender selection system. Ananda das suggests the solution, if there is one, will require increased respect for the role of women in the functioning of society, and claims that such respect will be most easily achieved in a democratic-socialist country.

(Click here for the full article)

80 new examples of Gita revisions online
by Jayadvaita Swami
Posted February 9, 2003

What's all this hooha about the second edition of Bhagavad-gita As It Is? What was done? Is it really "as it is"?

Now, online, you can see more than 80 newly posted examples that answer those questions. The examples show the published versions side by side with the text of the original manuscripts.(Click here for the full article)

Will the Real Bhaktin Miriam Please Stand Up!
by Bhaktin Miriam
Posted February 9, 2003

Recently I was informed that some devotees believe that Bhaktin Miriam is actually a pen name for Dhira Govinda prabhu. When I heard that it brought me a good laugh. I gotta tell you prabhus, Bhaktin Miriam does exist, and that's me (Please see my article "Reply to the GBC's Preliminary Response to Srila Prabhupada: The Prominent Link in Chakra's December files). I am a white body female devotee who was born in Bolivia and lives in New York City.

I ask that closet PL supporters stand up and be counted. Yeah, you. You know who you are so please stop pretending that you don't know what I am talking about. There are hundreds of you out there. What are you afraid of? Speak up and say what you mean and mean what you say. No need to hide. Take example from a lowly insignificant devotee such as myself and show your face. Thank you.

Your servant,
Bhaktin Miriam

P.S. I am also the one who organized the Life Skill/ Personal Transformation course in New York City last May. It was very successful. If you'd like to sign up for the February course, from Feb. 14-16 in New York, please write to me at: smgalarza@aol.com. Please write "seminar" in your subject section.

Devotee-led NGO Alliance launched
by Pancaratna dasa
Posted February 2, 2003

This January a group of devotee-led NGOs (Non Government Organizations), working for sustainable development in village India, formally launched the “Sattva Alliance for Sustainable Development.”

The Sattva Alliance has been established to foster mutual support, professional development, exchange of ideas, funding and joint programs amongst these and other partner NGOs that share a dedication to sustainable development with spiritual growth.

Educational Multimedia CDs
by Syamasundara dasa
Posted March 1, 2003

Dear Parents, Teachers & Educational Institutions

In the present day Society, COMPUTER has become the most Powerful learning aid that you can give your child today. It gives them more than a better education and it is an ultimate creative program to capture their IMAGINATION AND CREATIVITY.

VEDIC ARTS offers Hi-Tech Educational Multimedia CDs (Animated & Interactive) at unbelievable Indian Prices, covering Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, General Knowledge etc.

We also have CDs on Spiritual Subjects for all ages, covering Mantra -Yoga, Meditation, Krishna's Fun Rhymes, on-screen Coloring , Bhagavatam Stories, Bhagavadgita Teachings, Interactive Vedic-Quiz, etc. (Click here for the full article)

Butcher's cha-cha stirs up Hare Krishnas
by Sheree Went
Posted March 1, 2003

An Aussie TV ad showing a bunch of butchers spruiking red meat and dancing and chanting Hare Krishna-style has caused controversy on both sides of the Tasman. The Meat and Livestock Australia ad depicts the butchers dancing up a busy street, clanging knives and mallets and handing out meat recipe cards to passers-by.The advertisement ends to the tune of 70s T-Rex hit "I Love to Boogie".

The ad went to air in Australia last year and drew complaints from Hare Krishnas, Hindus, vegetarians and meat-eaters, claiming it alienated sections of the community.

The complaints were thrown out last March by the Advertising Standards Board, which found "most people would regard the advertisement as humorous". But now the ad has screened in New Zealand and has been causing controversy since the NZ Beef and Lamb Board put it to air two nights ago. (Click here for the full article)

Brahmin Bagels
by Padmavati
Posted March 1, 2003

I am looking for the Brahmin Bagel recipe that was posted on Chakra before the split. Would really appreciate if someone has a copy of this and if it could be reprinted. Thank you.

Your Servant,

The Bhagavad Gita Experience Launches in ISKCON New Delhi
by Madana-mohana das
Posted February 27, 2003

February 13 - The holy sanskrit script come alive in laser beams as the Union HRD Minister Murli Manohar Joshi will launch the final stage of the Bhagavad-Gita Experience at ISKCON Hinduja Glory of India Vedic Cultural Center in East of Kailash, New Delhi.

The innovative exhibit draws on state-of-the-art multimedia technology to reveal the Gita's views to the modern skeptical mind. As the cyberguide walks unsuspecting visitors through, they will get a first-hand, sometimes even startling, experience of what the Gita really has to say. Here guests will delve into their bodies in search for atma, peep through their lives into the next, and find collective escape from the invisible Matrix of maya. (Click here for the full article)

Bargain Priced Vedabases
by Isvara dasa
Posted February 25, 2003

Dear Maharaja/Prabhus,

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

Well, this is what every devotee has been hoping for. That, will Vedabase ever be affordable and within the reach of all devotees? This great program that is always on the wish list of the devotees, has been out of reach of majority of ISKCON devotees especially those in the Third world countries such as, African, Asian, and East Europeans. This is largely due to price factor of $595. Up till now, only devotees from rich developed first world countries has been able to afford the Vedabase. Recently there has been bootleg version going around, being sold very cheaply by piraters, but as it's always the story, the bootleg copies are always full of headache. Difficult to install, links doesn't work, and worst of all, causes computer crashes.

The special feature of the Vedabase is that one can have an entire Bhaktivedanta Library on one's lap. Wonderful features such as searchable information, recalling a sloka with click of button etc. The program is just amazing. Now Bhaktivedanta Archives has just showered their blessings on the residents of African and Eastern Hemispheres, by owing a Bhaktivedanta Vedabase for affordable price of only !!! US$95.00 !!!. (Click here for the full article)

The Early Days
by Govinda dasi
Posted February 23, 2002

ABSTRACT: As servant and secretary to Srila Prabhupada, Govinda dasi worked closely with him in illustrating ISKCON publications. English professor Hayagriva das, she writes, was "comprehension and style editor" for the Bhagavad-gita As It Is, but Macmillan Publishing abridged it because they thought the purports repetitive. She contends that necessary book corrections should be footnoted and that Jayadvaita Maharaja's editing has altered Prabhupada's mood, style and meaning.

(Click here for the full article)

New website for Cooking with Kurma
by Kurma dasa
Posted February 19, 2003

Dear prabhus,

Hare Krishna!

I am happy to announce the launch of my new website.

It is a humble attempt to please my Spiritual Master Srila Prabhupada, and to expand the preaching in a small way.

I hope it will be pleasing for the devotees and non-devotees alike.

Could you please publish something about the site as you see fit.

Your servant,
Kurma dasa

ISKCON Convention Radhadesh, 2003
by Kancana-vali d.d.
Posted February 18, 2003

Dear Maharajas and Prabhus,

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

The ISKCON Convention at Radhadesh this year will be on:

*** 1-5 July ***

All the classes have not been confirmed yet, but the following speakers have agreed to come and lead seminars:

  • HH Sacinandana Swami
  • HH Bhakti Caitanya Swami
  • HH Kadamba Kanana Swami
  • HG Laxmimoni devi dasi
  • HG Braja Bihari das
(Click here for the full article)

Give Krsna to the World (Wide Web)
by Krsna-nama das
reprinted from PAMHO
Posted February 17, 2003

Haribol Maharajas and Prabhus!

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

Here's a wonderful opportunity to give Krishna to THIRTY THOUSAND people! At Krishna.com (the official BBT website) we get thirty thousand UNIQUE visitors per month. As part of our website revision we have inaugurated the Krishna.com Writing Project to provide introductory material on a variety of Krishna conscious subject matters. We still need writers for the topics listed below. The essays will vary in length from a few hundred to a few thousand words, depending on the topic. For some topics, we already have material you can use so you wouldn't have to start from scratch (unless you wanted to).

In almost every case the only qualifications are sincerity, familiarity with the philosophy of Krishna consciousness, and a reasonable degree of skill at writing in English.

Take a look at the topics and choose the one that interests you the most. Then let me know by email which one it is. (Just in case many people want to write about the same thing, it wouldn't hurt to pick the TWO topics that interest you the most.) Also, to expedite matters, give a very brief introduction of yourself: (a) how long you have been a devotee; (b) your current involvement with the Hare Krishna Movement, (c) to what extent you have written in the past (e.g., published work, college term papers, websites, newsletters, etc.).- You'll receive a prompt response on whether we can use your services and any relevant details about the particular writing project. (Click here for the full article)

Hare Krishna Audio Library
by Ekendra das
Posted February 14, 2003

Would it be possible to put the link to my site (http://www.harekrishna.org.au) back on Chakra? The Hare Krishna Audio Library offers only bonifide ISKCON Krishna-katha and kirtana. Any support that you could give the site would be immensely appreciated.

Your servant,
Ekendra Das

Hare Krishna Audio Library

by Hrimati dasi
Reposted February 14, 2003

Hare Krishna!
Dear Vaisnavas,
Please accept my humble obeisances.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada!
Recently I have posted an ad about dolls made in Mayapur. Today we are happy to announce that we are now able to accept orders and payments through our on-line order form.
Gopal-Soft-Toys is a devotee-family run business supporting Vaisnava education and cow protection. Our goal is to see the wonderful smiles upon the shining faces of children while playing with our quality toys. We encourage parents to let their children play with our dolls to develop an early attachment to the Lord. (Click here for the full article)

Spiritual Pain and Painkiller Spirituality
by Dhyana-kunda dasi, 1999
Posted February 13, 2003

I once discussed a current ISKCON problem with a devotee leader. We noted how difficult it was for the parties involved to decide what needed to be done. "Why are we in ISKCON so gullible and fanatical?" -- I expressed my frustration. "Why are we so often disregarding our intuition?" "To anyone who knows a little philosophy, the answer should be obvious," he replied. "The mind can be our greatest enemy."

Putting aside the question of whether or not intuition is a faculty of the mind (as defined in the Vedic tradition) his statement is a half-truth. Consider Bhagavad-gita 6.5-6:

"One must deliver himself with the help of his mind, and not degrade himself. The mind is the friend of the conditioned soul, and his enemy as well. For him who has conquered the mind, the mind is the best of friends; but for one who has failed to do so, his mind will remain the greatest enemy."
Notice that the mind, when controlled, is said to be the best of friends to one who is *still conditioned* - not only to one who is already liberated and passes his days in ecstatic meditation on Krishna's intimate pastimes. Moreover, as Srila Prabhupada states in his purport to the verse above, what should control the mind is not an external agency but rather a higher inner voice: "But when the mind is conquered, one voluntarily agrees to abide by the dictation of the Personality of Godhead, who is situated within the heart of everyone as Paramatma [Supersoul]. Real yoga practice entails meeting the Paramatma within the heart and then following His dictation."

The voice of Paramatma, Srila Prabhupada further explains, is nothing else than intuition and conscience... (Click here for the full article)

Vedabase for sale
Posted February 13, 2003

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase (version 4.11) for sale. Includes manual, cd, & computer key. Owner initially paid over 500 US, but will take the best offer. Please contact SpearIt@rebelcrew.com

Vyasa-Puja offerings due April 15
by Dravida dasa
Reposted February 13, 2003

Deadline for submitting offerings: > > > APRIL 15, 2003 < < <

Absolutely no offerings will be accepted after this date.

Offerings must be in English.

Please restrict the length to a maximum of 3,000 words or 15k of ASCII text.

Please omit all diacritics on words that can be found in the Vedabase. It's easier for us to put them in. If you quote a verse from outside the Vedabase or compose original Sanskrit, please include diacritics

Do not "recycle" an offering--no offerings from previous years will be accepted.

The Vyasa-puja book is meant for glorifying Srila Prabhupada, not for venting grievances. The BBT reserves the right to reject an offering it deems inappropriate or to ask for a rewrite.

When writing an offering on behalf of a temple or other unit, please try to write in such a way that the other devotees in your unit can also identify with the offering. This is not a hard and fast rule.

Who may write an offering?

1) Governing Body Commissioners

2) Sannyasis

3) Authorized representatives of ISKCON temples, preaching centers, farms, gurukulas, BBT offices, and "others," such as BTG magazine, ISKCON School, and ISCOWP (this is not a complete list).

4) No multiple offerings. For example, a temple should not enlist all its bhaktas to write offerings under the temple heading. Joint authorship (2--4 devotees) of a single offering is fine.

5) Please make sure you tell us where the offering originates. For example: New Vamsi-vata (the Madagascar farm community), NOT just New Vamsi-vata. If we don't know where the offering comes from, we will not print it.

6) Always leave a double space between paragraphs. If you want some special formatting, submit your offering in printed form or send it as an attached file in Microsoft Word or RTF format (see 1. below).

Ways to submit an offering, in order of preference:

1) By uploading offering to Dravida dasa at dravida@mindspring.com.

2) By hand-delivering your offering on a 3.5-inch floppy disk or other medium to Svavasa Dasa, BBT Trustee, at Mayapur during the GBC Meetings. Any Mac or PC format ok, but please label the disk. Also, include an e-mail address on the label just in case we can't read the disk.

3) By sending offering on 3.5-inch floppy disk or other medium to Vyasa-puja Book, PO Box 34074, Los Angeles, CA 90034. Any Mac or PC format ok, but please label the diskette.

4) By faxing offering to BBT offices in LA: (310) 837-1056.

5) By mailing a typed or carefully handwritten offering to Vyasa-puja Book, PO Box 34074, Los Angeles, CA 90034. (If you plan to send a printout, why not send it on a disk or upload it and save us all that keying in!)

Offerings may be submitted any time from now until April 15, 2003. Receipt of offering by e-mail will be confirmed on e-mail. For other offerings you can confirm receipt by calling direct to (310) 837-5283. Don't expect a return call or fax; keep trying till you get a live person.

The BBT is not responsible for illegible or lost offerings.

Looking for Pradeep Jamwal
by Naveen Kumar
Posted February 12, 2003

Hare Krishna! PAMHO, AGTSP. We are trying to contact one of our very dear Friend named Pradeep Jamwal who was a very active member of IYF (ISKCON Youth Forum), Chandigarh (India). He was transferred to Bangalore, where we were in contact with him, but for the past few months we don't have any information of his whereabouts. So if someone has knowledge of the same please mail me at naveenkumar_21@rediffmail.com or phone at 098143-33701.


World Religion students visit New Remuna Dham
by Adi-kurma Das
Posted February 9, 2003

"Can you explain the word Hare Krsna?" Mark, a world religion student asked as I was guiding a group of twenty bright open minded students through the temple explaining them about Hare Krsna Movement. James William Windland ( we know him as Larry) is the director of ENCOUNTER- a world religion center. Every year Larry brings to the temple groups of seekers of religion and introduce them to Vaishnavism. (Click here for the full article)

Srila Prabhupada: The Only Link
IRM replies to Dhira Govinda Das
Posted February 4, 2003

Note: In reply to Dhira Govinda

Dhira Govinda Prabhu, a prominent member of ISKCON, has written a booklet entitled "Srila Prabhupada: The Prominent Link" (henceforward PL), which is ostensibly aimed at promoting a deeper understanding of the issue of ‘guru’ in ISKCON.

Excluding Gays and Lesbians from Vedic Culture
by Amara dasa
Posted February 3, 2003

A comment on Hridayananda Goswami's article

Since time immemorial and within all cultures of the world, gays, lesbians, transgendered and intersexed people have been described, acknowledged and even accommodated within society. From the “mahu” and “aikane” of Polynesia to the “berdache” of Native American tribes; from the “sekhet” of prehistoric Egypt to the “eunouchos” of ancient Greece and Rome; from the “saris” of the Israelites to the “mu’omin” or trusted men of the Syrians; from the traditional third-gender roles of aboriginal tribes in Africa such as among the Mbo people of Zaire to the palace and harem guards of the Arabs and Chinese; from the cross-dressing entertainers of Manila and Bangkok to the “hijra” and “jogappa” dancers and temple priests of North and South India; right down to our own modern gay and transgendered communities in San Francisco, London and Sydney—persistent and unmistakable “third” or alternative gender subcultures have always naturally existed in one form or another. This is true regardless of whether their members were positively accommodated or negatively suppressed within each of their respective societies. By all accounts, these various third-gender subcultures have always displayed a prevalence of homosexual behavior and cross-dressing. Their members were typically not involved in sexual procreation, and some were even known to commit themselves to castration (or, nowadays, transsexual operations and corrective surgery).(Click here for the full article)

The eighteen sannyasa initiates of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura
By Brahma Das (ACBSP)
Posted February 3, 2003

A reply to Jalakara dasa

Many devotees think that Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura initiated an army of sannyasis but factually he initiated only eighteen men into the sannyasa ashrama and contrary to rumor he did not give sannyasa to anyone born outside of India. A complete list of the eighteen-sannyasa initiates of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta taken from Gaudiya Math archives can be found in the book "Prabhupada Saraswati Thakura" available from Mandala Publishing (www.mandala.org). This book is an excellent source of information on Srila Bhaktisiddhanta and the history of the Gaudiya Math.(Click here for the full article)

Tritiya prakrti
by Edwin Bryant
Posted February 2, 2003

A comment on Hridayananda Goswami's article

If I were to question Hridayananda Goswami, it would be on the grounds of his claim: "We do not find in any known Vedic literature the term 'third sex.'" The evidence that he presents is coming from a significant but nonetheless small fraction of "known Vedic literature," and that therefore, at least on the grounds of the data in his position paper, this appears to be something of a sweeping statement. It is possible that a word like tritiya prakrti, or some other word with similar connotation, may take different nuances of meaning in different contexts.(Click here for the full article)

Tamal Krishna's Veggie Garden
by Nandini devi dasi
Posted February 8, 2003

We are opening a restaurant here is beautiful San Juan Puerto Rico in March or April. This is dedicated to our beloved spiritual master Tamal Krishna Goswami.

Our desire is to serve sumptuous Krsna Prasadam to the masses. The cafe seats about 30 and we have a delivery market as well. This is an ideal location as initially we plan to open for lunch M-F and this area swarms with thousands! There is also a college very close with students that frequent as well. The New Age scene here is just beginning to blossom and the people are super sweet and very receptive to KC and they love prasadam. We are currently remodeling and interested in taking applications for experienced cooks, who may want to relocate to paradise and be a part of this vibrant prasadam restaurant project. It will be first class. We have a pizza oven, and will have a fresh juice bar as well. We are also opening an Exotic India Gifts Boutique and a preaching area in the restaurant.

Send inquiries to:

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