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Chakra past articles:
January 2012
Response to "Reflections On ISKCON's Lost Generation"
by Gaurav Mittal
Posted January 31, 2012

Nandini Stocker shares her experiences in Iskcon in "Reflections On ISKCON's Lost Generation" . In her article, she talks about the rampant and pervasive abuse on children in the Hare Krishna society. Nandini writes, " Almost every person in my generation of the Movement suffered some sort of abuse.". She questions these inhuman and unimaginable acts of abuse in religious organizations. As she finds no answers, she gives up. She writes, "Ultimately I don’t know why the perpetration of sexual abuse exists historically in the Catholic Church. And I’ve given up trying to figure it out." Many people have commented on this article and the common theme is to blame post-1977 ISKCON leaders. Most members of Iskcon, including the leaders, joined this organization with a hope. They were looking for something higher in their life. God is within us and we are always seeking Him. In their search of God, they followed Iskcon's philosophy which promised to take them back to Godhead. But in the process something went wrong. Instead of finding God, many committed grave offenses of exploitation of children and women. (Click here for the full article)



One More Star of the Gaudiya Sky Faded From Mundane Sight
by Vicki Khanna
Posted January 21, 2012

Most Revered Sri Srimad Bhakti Kumud Sant Goswami Maharaj leaves his dear disciples, associates and followers in separation grief today. This is a great loss not only to the Gaudiya Vaishnavas but to the entire world. One of the brightest stars in the Gaudiya sky, Srila Bhakti Kumud Sant Goswami Maharaj took his last breath at 1.05 AM IST on January 7th, 2012 in a private nursing home.

Earlier Srila Maharaj was admitted to the hospital as he had problem in respiration due to severe cold few days ago. Doctors also diagnosed that he had fever, sugar and liver problem. He is the last disciple of Nitya-lila Pravista Om Vishnupad 108 Sri Srimad Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami Thakur Prabhupa, Founder of Gaudia Math.

At 9.45 AM IST Srila Maharaj's transcendental body was brought to the Math in Behala, Kolkata and was placed in front of the Deities. He was performed Arati, Pushpanjali. (Click here for the full article)



Instruments Needed for Flagstaff, AZ
by Bhakta Alex
Posted January 17, 2012

We are currently moving and re-situating a budding Flagstaff, Arizona preaching center. There are swarms of enthusiastic, fired up young people here! We are in great need of a nice quality harmonium (or two), used is fine but looking for good working at the least or in need of only little repair. BINA harmoniums, big plus. Any amount of mrdungas (clay or fiberglass) and karatals/whompers/gongs that we can beg of you would go to the highest service of spreading this great Sankirtana movement!!! Please consider sending whatever you can or if you like a donation to help us buy some new instruments. If shipping is an issue we can reimburse you for that cost. All instruments or donations can be shipped to: (Click here for the full article)



In Memory of Yamuna Devi Dasi
by Siddhanta das
Posted January 14, 2012

Yamuna's devotional service and attitude endeared her to Srila Prabhupada forever. Here a few of her stories that brings out her character and personality. We hope you enjoy the memories.

(Click here for the full article)



In the News:
Lifelong Gita Student Shares Realizations in North American Tour

by Madhava Smullen for ISKCON News
Posted January 12, 2012

Visakha Dasi, a lifelong student of India’s foremost wisdom text the Bhagavad-gita, is sharing her philosophical realizations from the book—as well as her experiences of how it changed her life—in her second annual North American tour this year.

Back in 1971, Visakha was studying photography at the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York, when she met her future husband John Greisser (Yadubara Dasa) and took off with him to trek along the snowline in the Himalayas at 10,000 feet. Along the way, she read his copy of Bhagavad-gita As Is by Srila Prabhupada, the leading teacher of the Gita in the Western World. That winter, she was initiated by Srila Prabhupada, and her life was never the same again.

Bhagavad-gita As It Is made such an impact on Visakha’s life that she wrote three books presenting its teachings to different audiences, and has taken them on tour to share the gifts she received with others. (Click here for the full article)



House for Sale
by Sauri Das
Posted January 11, 2012


My name is Sauri Das, I'm 56 years old and want to dedicate my life to serving Srila Prabhupada in ISKCON. I have a very nice house and property in Prabhupada Village, North Carolina USA.

Details:

1) 2100 squ. ft. house/ solar panels, wrap around porch, green house, & stone siding. 4bdr, 2bth

2) 1000 squ. ft. guest house. 2 bdr, 1bth

3) 3 car covered car port.

4) 9.8 acres: 4.5 pasture
- 3.5 prime farm land
- balance is around house and alongside the stream (Click here for the full article)



“God is One” Book
by Kamlesh Patel
Posted January 9, 2012


This book is available from Amazon.com, search by author and book name (2011 version) or from me directly (Email: info [at] gitamrta [dot] org, Web: Bhagavad-Gita.ws)

This book has 151 practical Questions and Answers based on the Bhagavad-Gita and Srila Prabhupada’s teachings. One of the important things that is lacking in the preaching World is preaching according to the audience. This book aims to explain the Bhagavad-Gita in a practical way that can be understood by the average person today. The recent issue in Russia with the Bhagavad-Gita, highlights the need for a better understanding of the Gita. Even though millions of Bhagavad-Gita books have been distributed, but still only a few actually understand it (I myself have distributed millions of Bhagavad-Gita's in audio format). This is not the fault of the people or Krishna’s will. It is because the Gita is not ‘EXPLAINED’, due to lack of preaching according to the audience, time, and place. Lord Krishna clearly states ‘EXPLAIN THE GITA’ in the Bhagavad-Gita (18.68) and not just distribute bundled papers (books), (Click here for the full article)



Restaurant Opens at ISKCON Sydney
by Sudarshan das
Posted January 6, 2012


We are happy to introduce the new temple restaurant in Sydney, Australia, now called "Krishna's Vegetarian."

Now that the renovation is almost over, we would like to introduce our new menu and make the facility available to the devotees and public at Krishna's Vegetarian. We will be running full-fledged from the first week of January.

Beginning on 23 December 2011, our new prasadam menu features a main dish $12 (large size) or $6 (regular size), and individual dishes at $3. Sweets range from $3 to $4.50; home-made juice drinks are $3 and $3.50; chai is $3. The restaurant is open from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Please come and give us your blessings, and let us serve you. We are open to comments on proposed improvements.



A Few Memories of Yamuna Prabhu
by Kalakantha das and Jitamitra dasi
Posted January 5, 2012


We became close to Yamuna and Dinatarini prabhus over the last five years. We run a busy college outreach program in Gainesville and, in 2006, looking for a getaway during the summer breaks, we decided to visit Saranagati, as we had lived and served in Vancouver temple years ago and had many friends there.

Soon after arriving in Saranagati we discovered Banabihari Ashram, a straw bale house plastered in adobe covered with a green metal roof, perched on a small hilltop overlooking the five-mile long Saranagati Valley. There lived the servants of Radha Banabihari, Yamuna and Dinatarini, whom Srila Prabhupada had instructed in the 1970s to open a widow's ashram. They had run one ever since in various ways and places, always worshipping their beloved Lordships Radha Banabihari, most recently in this breathtaking ashram they had built with their own hands.

There are many wonderful devotees in the Saranagati community who have built attractive and functional houses. Here, though, we found an extraordinary masterpiece of thoughtful devotional craftsmanship: (Click here for the full article)



In the News:
First Hindu Chaplain in Us Military is 'Groundbreaking'

by Malati Devi Dasi
Posted January 4, 2012

Returning service members from Iraq and Afghanistan often struggle with readjusting to civilian life, health issues, and guilt.

Until recently, the 1,000 or so Hindus serving in the US military - and their families - lacked a military confidant who understood their religion and culture.

But now Captain Pratima Dharm has been appointed as the US military's first Hindu chaplain. (Click here for the full article)



  TLC Review
by Lilasakti devi dasi
Posted January 31, 2012

The BBT would like to sincerely thank everyone who responded to our invitation to give us your thoughts on the proposed third edition of Teachings of Lord Caitanya. We received about thirty-five comments and some good advice on how to handle presenting the third edition. The majority of devotees who wrote support the third edition, while others offered some cautions. While our polling of the devotee community was not done scientifically, we did try to reach as many devotees in as many places around the world as possible. Thank you for helping us serve you better.



Mayapur Chandras' Music Rocks Dubai
by Madhurya Madhavi dasi
Posted January 25, 2012


After much anticipation, the Mayapur Chandras, headed by Naru Gopal das, reached Damodardesh in Dubai on December 27 to welcome in the New Year with a ten-day Mayapur Kirtan festival. The days were packed with daily music classes for the local youth. Dasa Avatara das and Radha Kanta das taught a total of 25 students how to play traditional Bengali mridanga beats, while Sri Hari Kanta das taught another 30 students how to play harmonium. Parents expressed great surprise in seeing their children's enthusiasm to learn how to play in kirtans.

The Mayapur Chandras also held a Deity-worship seminar for more than 60 devotees, where devotees learned how to care for and dress their home Deities on a daily basis.

Kirtan and bhajans went on daily in the presence of many senior devotees such as HH Jayapataka Swami and Atul Krsna prabhu, (Click here for the full article)



Akshaya Patra Given Icai Gold Shield Award for Excellence in Financial Reporting for Third Year in a Row
by Usha Gururaj
Posted January 21, 2012


Bangalore: The Akshaya Patra Foundation has been awarded the Gold Shield for ‘Excellence in Financial Reporting’ by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) for the third year in succession. Akshaya Patra received the award from Sri Veerappa Moily, Hon’ble Union Minister of State for Corporate Affairs, at a function organized for this purpose by ICAI at Chennai Trade Centre, Chennai.

The award was given based on Akshaya Patra’s Annual Report and the Accounts for the year ending March 31, 2011. Akshaya Patra was selected by a panel of judges on the degree of compliance with accounting standards, statutory guidelines and other relevant pronouncements. The Gold Shield (Click here for the full article)



Request to Review the Circumstances of Bhakti Vidya Purna Swami
by Sanaka Rsi
Posted January 17, 2012

On the 16th of August 2011, I sent the document below to a select number of ISKCON child protection authorities and other senior devotees. I now deem it is necessary to share the same with the public. This version has been slightly edited to protect victims.


16-08-2011

As I am unsure on the identity of the decision makers on important CPO issues, I will address this request to Champakalata prabhu as the CPO director and to the GBC.

It has been pointed out that my articles have caused (some referred to it as needless) disturbance to many who are not in a position to influence or bring improvement. Causing disturbance never was my intention. I regard the current child protection efforts in ISKCON as being far from ideal, and far below the minimally acceptable standards. This has been cause for great concern; on numerous occasions I felt I was left with no reasonable option, and thus I shared my concerns and the basis for them with the public. Before deciding to go public with my recent articles, I made repeated but unsuccessful attempts to address my concerns with Tamohara and Anuttama prabhus. To this day, the letters I wrote them remain unanswered. (Click here for the full article)



Prabhavisnu Swami Resignation Letter
by ex-Prabhavisnu Swami
Posted January 14, 2012

Open letter from ex-Prabhavisnu Swami

It is with deep regret that I wish to inform you that I have resigned from all positions of leadership within ISKCON, including GBC member, sannyas, and initiating guru. This is because in recent times I have not been able to maintain the required spiritual standards for those who hold such positions.

I have become physically and mentally exhausted due to constant travel and managerial pressures. It has been especially draining for me to try to solve disputes amongst devotees, as I am by nature a non-conflictive type of person.

I have travelled almost constantly throughout my life since childhood and now I feel the need to settle in one place where I find the climate and culture to be agreeable my physical and mental nature. I am considering staying in Thailand (Click here for the full article)



BBT Press Release
by Lilasakti dd
Posted January 12, 2012

The BBT is pleased to announce the release of the annotated scans for chapter seven of Bhagavad-gita As It Is. They are now online at www.BBTedit.com/changes.

This is a historic chapter because here is where Srila Prabhupada switched from typing manuscripts himself to using a dictaphone.

What sort of difference did that make? Included with the scans are twelve sample pages from the manuscript, including both typed and dictated portions. So you can see for yourself.

In the annotated scans, you'll find examples of both big changes and small ones. Check them out and see what you think.

On page 362: Why the change from "greatest opportunity for progress in Krsna consciousness" to "greatest opportunity to become a perfectly Krsna conscious person"? (Click here for the full article)



Spacious Honolulu Bedroom for Rent Near the Temple
by Jesse Olsen
Posted January 11, 2012

We are pleased to announce the opening of a beautiful room for rent just next to the Iskcon Hawaii temple in Honolulu. For those of you familiar with the area the house is located at 2408 Burbank Street, a single block away from Sri Pancha Tattva, which affords one both privacy and convenience. This placement is ideal for active devotees, members of the congregation and students alike.

The cost is $800 per month. Additionally we're showing a smaller room for a negotiable price. For showings or inquiry please contact: Jesse Olsen (Click here for the full article)



Happy New Year? We Make It So...
by Niscala Devi Dasi
Posted January 9, 2012

Happy 2012 to everyone! May it be free from all child abuse and neglect, as well as all tolerance of child abuse and neglect! May it be the start of everyone getting involved in protecting children from harm, abuse and poverty, animals from mistreatment and slaughter, and the vaisnava religion from ambition and duplicity.

May the vaisnava religion, with its unique vision of God in the heart of all, be actually taken up by those who purport to be vaisnavas, so that others can see its real value. May the vision of varnashrama, as given by Srila Prabhupada and described in the sastra, become manifest, with leaders prepared to sacrifice everything for the welfare of their dependents, and willing to hear their complaints openly, without condemnation or punishment, so as to improve their service. (Click here for the full article)



Help Name Surabhi's Calf
by Gadi das and the Murari Sevaka community
Posted January 6, 2012


A picture of the new calf, taken when she was only six hours old.

Murari's Kirtan Valley in Tennessee is hosting a Name-Giving Fundraiser, an auction to name the blessed female calf of Surabhi, our pure Jersey cow. The female calf was born at 4:45 a.m., during the Brahma Muhurta of December 21, 2011, and is the first calf born at Murari in over 25 years.

Please see our website and/or our Facebook page for the endearing photos. New photos are being added regularly.

All you need to do in order to participate in the fundraiser, is to email us (murari_sevaka -at- yahoo.com) with your bids. It's that easy. The current bid to name our calf is $100 USD. Please check back often at our website page "New News" to keep up to date with what the high bid is.

Murari has seen many phases, and faces, though years past. (Click here for the full article)



GBC Glorifies Groundbreaking Yamuna Devi
by the GBC
Posted January 5, 2012


With great sadness, the Governing Body Commission (GBC) of ISKCON deeply mourns the departure of Her Grace Yamuna Devi. She dedicated the last 45 years of her life to the worship of Krishna and Srila Prabhupada. She was a mentor, guide and friend to many and a beloved member and hero of ISKCON. At every ISKCON temple, her singing of Govindam greets the Lord.

Yamuna Devi was one of the most influential devotees during ISKCON's fledgling years. She was among a handful of people who established ISKCON's first temples. Those who came to ISKCON in later years joined an established society, but Yamuna Devi was one of the few who established that society.

Yamuna Devi explained something of her relationship with Prabhupada while addressing the GBC in 2000: "In both men and women, Srila Prabhupada observed our propensities and expertly dovetailed them in his preaching mission. For many years, in different countries and circumstances, I had the good fortune to render personal service to him. He trained me, urged me to accept more and more responsibility, and regularly asked me to lead kirtanas, give classes, arrange programs, manage departments, provide comforts for visiting devotees, meet with leaders, (Click here for the full article)



Yamuna Devi On Vani and Vapuh of Prabhupad
by Giriraj Swami
Posted January 4, 2012


In 1971 Srila Prabhupada went to Allahabad for the Ardha-kumbha-mela, and Yamuna devi and I were in the party that accompanied him. Srila Prabhupada spoke on the story of Ajamila and the holy name, from the Sixth Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam. Only the first two cantos had been translated and published, so Prabhupada read from his Sanskrit Bhagavatam with commentaries, sometimes translating from Sridhara Svami's and occasionally from Jiva Gosvami's. While there, I heard that Srila Prabhupada had said that he was speaking for Yamuna. And in April 2007, when Yamuna visited me in Santa Barbara, I asked her about it, and she told me something that etched an indelible impression on my heart.

As she explained, she had always thought that she had as much right as anyone to walk or sit close to Srila Prabhupada. And generally when he spoke, she would sit right in front of the vyasasana. But in Allahabad one of the sannyasis explained to her that in India the women sat apart and that she should too. So the next morning she did not sit in her usual place at Srila Prabhupada's feet. (Click here for the full article)



  Change of Asrama is Not Guru Falldown
by Niscala devi dasi
Posted January 31, 2012

Our books make cute additions to our book cases, no really. They have nice binders, gold lettering, and for many devotees, it seems their value is only decorative, or as items to distribute...

If we do read them then we do it as a ritual only, for basic knowledge of the philosophy totally eludes us. Sri Chaitanya taught that it doesn’t matter what ashrama one is in, if one knows and preaches the science of Krsna, one is qualified to be guru. Yet when a guru changes ashrama from sannyasa to grhastha, the disciples describe themselves as feeling cheated, crushed, devastated and various other hyperbolic melodramatic adjectives. All that we are being cheated from is our own illusions that our guru is a superman, a superhero, who will scoop up his utterly helpless disciples and fling them into the abode of transcendence by his superhuman powers.

Actually, the process described in the tad-viddhi-pranitanena verse is somewhat different- he teaches, we learn. We ask questions, intelligent ones, not “How could you do this to me?” Nor should we hoist our personal problems on to him, which is one of the reasons that my diksa guru gave for his recent change of ashrama, in his letter to his disciples. (Click here for the full article)



Original Srimad Bhagwatam for Sale
by Jagat Vira
Posted January 21, 2012

I have volume three of the first canto of the original Srimad Bhagwatam published by the League of Devotees, it is in pristine condition. This is one of the rarest jewels of Prabhupada's Nectar, it reflects the deepest mood of humility and surrender as He wrote this during His time in Vrindavan. For this rare volume, I am asking $1401.00 firm. Again, this is the original Srimad Bhagwatam and only 200 sets were in print, this is the original Volume three of he 1st Canto. (Click here for the full article)



House for Sale in Radhakund
by Madhavi dasi
Posted January 17, 2012


The house is located in Radhakund, next to the crossroads Vrindavan - Govardhan - Radhakund, inside of Giriraj Govardhan Parikrama. The property is located in the Vaishnava Colony, where you will find a peaceful atmosphere, surrounded with many trees, birds, peacocks, etc.

It has 2 bedrooms with 2 attached bathrooms, 2 kitchens, a temple room, a living room, a store room. One more bathroom with toilet is outside. The house is laid out in such a way that it can be divided into two separate apartments as it has two separate entrances so that it is also convenient for two parties to live there.

The house has its own sweet drinking water supply and a telephone & an Internet connection. (Click here for the full article)



Vrindavan Gurukula
by Dhira Govinda das
Posted January 14, 2012

I’ve appreciated reading Sanaka prabhu’s articles, and the various postings commenting on what he wrote. Prana prabhu wrote “Well put. So what do we do? Is there any possibility of dealing with this phenomena?”, and Yaduvendu prabhu wrote “The reoccurring problem of child abuse in ISKCON is due to the lack of accountability of its leaders…” Based on my experience, I definitely concur that accountability is a key issue. In response to Prana’s question “…what do we do…”, I might suggest beginning with stopping to pretend that there is a reasonably functional accountability structure in the ISKCON organization, in relation to child protection issues, stopping to make believe that there are minimally effective “proper channels”.

Sanaka’s writings amply illustrate this. Still, I refer readers to the June 30th, 2004 Report on the Status of the ISKCON Child Protection Office (Click Here), and particularly to the sections in that report entitled Favoritism and the Appeal Process, and Culture of Accountability. (Click here for the full article)



Ereaders
by New BBT Communication Officer
Posted January 12, 2012

Have you thought about moving further into the techological fray and buying yourself an eReader? Even though it might seem daunting to face yet more new technology, there are reasons why you should – the most compelling being that you can easily store all of Srila Prabhupada’s books (and so many others!) on one handheld device (storage capacities vary). Many eReaders can also read the books to you as well as play mp3 files. This device is the pinnacle of convenience and is relatively inexpensive. eReaders are

• Portable – take it with you anywhere and everywhere. Show it to others (great if you are on book distribution, on an airplane, in a car, preaching away from home – the possibilities are endless).

• Space-saving, lightweight, comfortable – much smaller and lighter than carrying a volume of Srimad-Bhagavatam, eReaders allow you to read anything anywhere anytime (even at work). (Click here for the full article)



“Lost Sentence” to be Included in Future Gita Printings
by Lilasakti dd
Posted January 11, 2012

As you might recall, some months ago the BBT announced a new discovery: a manuscript page for Bhagavad-gita As It Is, chapter 10, text 36, with a sentence handwritten by Srila Prabhupada but never published, in any edition.

The sentence reads, “The unfortunate commentator, who wants to cheat Krsna and the public by saying that there is something greater than Krsna, is cheated by Krsna and the commentator cannot understand Krsna at any length of time.”

We asked the devotee community for their thoughts: Should we keep the book as is and leave the new discovery aside? Should we lightly edit the newly discovered sentence and include it in future printings? Should we add a footnote? And what reasons might you have for your choice?

After going through the responses, we have decided to include the sentence, without a footnote, (Click here for the full article)



An Appeal to Stop the Lawsuit Against the Bangalore Temple
by Niscala Devi Dasi
Posted January 9, 2012

Looking at ISKCON’s actions, both past and present, an objective viewer could not help but wonder if we have something against children. We are all aware of the lawsuit against ISKCON for the atrocities committed against her children. Now, after being sued for the shocking abuse and neglect of her own children, ISKCON is suing to stop other children from being fed with Krsna prasadam, on a scale which boggles the imagination- millions of meals...every day!

The basis of this lawsuit is a matter of belief, and it also begs belief, being in the realm of the absurd and ridiculous: Because those who are feeding millions of India’s “poorest of the poor” with delicious and nutritious mercy from the Lord, happen to hold a belief that only Srila Prabhupada is qualified to initiate disciples, in other words, because they are “ritviks”, they are worthy of being dragged before the courts as if they were common criminals, and the faith and good publicity that won them government support for their program of material and spiritual upliftment, all brought to naught, if ISKCON is successful. (Click here for the full article)



Care for Cows January 2012
by Kurma Rupa dasa
Posted January 6, 2012

The January 2012 issue of our Care for Cows Newsletter has been posted.

Please review it at your earliest convenience.

(careforcows.org/downloads/newsletters_0).

In this edition of 22 pages (2.2 MB) we present reports on:

1. Basu Ghosh's visit to the Bansi Gir Goshalla in Amedhabad, Gujarat.

2. The four new residents admitted this month.

3. A study which demonstrates that cows select best friends.

4. The practical ways to determine if and when your cow is in heat. (Click here for the full article)



Wishing You a Happy and Prosperous 2012
by LAKSHMI COW SANCTUARY
Posted January 5, 2012


We at Lakshmi Cow Sanctuary thank you for your generous support to our cows, Mother Divine and wish you and your family a very Happy and Prosperous New Year and Happy Pongal. (Click here for the full article)



House for Sale at Almvik's Gard, Sweden
by Atmavan dasa
Posted January 4, 2012

A house is for sale at almviks gård, new Caitanya Candrodaya Mandir, the village and farm outside stockholm. only ISKCON devotees can buy and it is a "leasing contract" or "user right contract" meaning that you have the right to live there as long as you like. Ymay also sell the contract or pass it on to your children if you like, as long as they are up to the requirements of the community. The contract is a legal contract. One has to apply to the Almvik management for residence-ship.

Please contact atmavan dasa for more info and link to pictures at pamho, or use the "kontakt" link at the farms website: www.almviksgard.se

info about the house:

It is the house nearest to the temple. it is shared with a neighbor family who has the northern half of the house. They have two children. Overall in the community there are now 30 children. (Click here for the full article)



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