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Chakra past articles:
January 2003
Giving up coffee - advice from three devotees
by Maharani dasi, Narayani d.d., Ravi Sihra
Posted January 31, 2003

Note: In response to Bhakta Ricky's article.

Dear Bhakta Ricky,

There are numerous tried and effective ways of kicking the coffee habit, according to the disposition of the person who's trying to quit.

Some people prefer to quit by slowly reducing the dosage of caffeine that they're getting by mixing regular coffee with decaffinated, in progressively smaller ratios, until they're only drinking decaf. This might work for you if you are someone who's psychologically attached to the taste and smell of actual coffee.(Click here for the full article)

Improving Our Cow Protection Programs
by Hare Krsna devi dasi
Posted January 30, 2003

Abstract: Appalled by modern dairy practices, devotees struggle with the question of whether to be vegetarian or vegan. But neither dietary style – by itself – fulfills the needed spiritual dimension of actually protecting cows. For that, both must turn to cow protection programs. But many of these are poorly managed and inadequate. Can donors make a difference? The answer is yes – by understanding basic cow protection guidelines and linking funding increases to program improvements.

Help Giving Up Coffee
by Bhakta Ricky
Posted January 28, 2003

Hare Krsna to all devotees!

I'm wondering if anybody has tips how to give up coffee. My job is stressing and demands a lot and I need help giving up coffee.

Thanks you.

Bhakta Ricky

Vaisnavas C.A.R.E.
by Jusaniya devi dasi
Posted January 27, 2003

Vaisnavas C.A.R.E. announcement attached

Dear Maharajas and Prabhus,

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

I am pleased to announce the release of THE FINAL JOURNEY Complete Hospice Care for Departing Vaisnavas recently published by Torchlight Publishing Inc. and written by Sangita devi dasi, Susan Pattinson RN.

The ginger-haired dhorio Maharaj
by Ramesh Kallidai
Posted January 23, 2003

"This story appeared in the Asian Voice UK's weekly column, 'Screaming Hot Bhajiyas' by Ramesh Kallidai, and has been reproduced with their kind permission."

"Sometimes people wonder how a white English guy with red hair can become a Hindu priest - a dhorio Maharaj," laughed Kripamoya Dasa, senior priest at Bhaktivedanta Manor Hare Krishna temple in Watford. "Usually, before I conduct a wedding ceremony, there are a few bemused expressions. But when I start speaking in Sanskrit, and the audience sees the authentic Vedic rituals, they realise that an Englishman can become a true Hindu too."(Click here for the full article)

Second Radhadesh VTE Teacher Training Course
by Alakananda Dasi
Posted January 19, 2003

Dear Devotees,

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

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 informations, please read the text that follows.

Your servant,
Alakananda Dasi
Secretary of Bhaktivedanta College
(Click here for the full article)

Women and Sannyasa: A comment
by Jalakara dasa
Posted January 17, 2003

I respectfully take exception to the statement made by Sri Gopa Kumar Dasa in his article on Women and Sannyasa, wherein he states "Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur...established the system of giving sannyasa only to male members of his mission who had been born in brahmana families."

This is the first time I have heard of this. In fact, as Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur was the son of Srila Bhaktivenode Thakur, who manifested his birth in a kyastha family, it is incredible to imagine he awarded the order of sannyasa only to those born of brahmana families.(Click here for the full article)

WOMEN AND SANNYASA: Self-Realized devotees are not controlled by the scriptures.
by Brahma Das
Posted January 17, 2003

(A reply to Romapada dasa) According to Bhaktivinode Thakura realized souls are not bound by the dictates of the scriptures. On the contrary he says that any new practice established by such souls should be followed as religious code even if not found in the writings of previous sages.

Bhaktivinode writes: "Devotees of the Supreme Lord are not controlled by the scriptures since their activities are congenial to divine wisdom. Therefore when the self-realized devotees ordain any new arrangement, this should be followed as a religious code, even if such new arrangements are not found in the scriptural dictums of the previous sages." (Sri Krishna Samhita)(Click here for the full article)

Women and Sannyasa
by Gopa Kumar dasa
Posted January 14, 2003

A response to Romapada dasa's article

Srila Prabhupada's guru, Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur, whose every word we hold over our head as authoritative, established the system of giving sannyasa only to male members of his mission who had been born in brahmana families. In fact, it was this form of sannyasa that follows the Vedic system of sannyasa. His desire was to establish the system of daiva varnashram that his gurudeva and father Sacchidananda Bhaktivinoda Thakur was so committed to. In Bhaktivinoda's estimation devotees on the bhakti marg should settle within an ashrama based on their natural disposition. Bhaktisiddhanta was following in this way in order to re-establish dignity in the mission which had been viewed as lacking in many regards. The disciples of Bhaktisiddhanta, most prominently Srila Prabhupada, extended the ashram of sannyasa to all appropriately disposed men regardless of their birth caste. Sannyasa in Srila Prabhupada's mission is a tribute to this.(Click here for the full article)

www.iskcon.dk, a new fortnightly on-line magazine
by Lalitanatha dasa
Posted January 10, 2003

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

I am pleased to announce that the first issue of 2003 of the Danish magazine 'Nyt fra Hare Krishna' has just gone online on www.iskcon.dk

'Nyt fra Hare Krishna' is in Danish which can be understood by anyone from Denmark, Sweden and Norway. 'Nyt fra Hare Krishna' contains the latest Krishna conscious news from this part of the world plus articles, interviews, debate and much other Krishna conscious nectar.

'Nyt fra Hare Krishna' is published every other week both as a regular magazine as well as online. Subscribers for the regular magazine (500 DKK per year anywhere in the world) are accepted.

Women and sannyasa
by Romapada Dasa
Posted January 10, 2003

Note:In response to "Women and Sannyasa"by Swami Tripurari

Sripada Tripurari Maharaja's comments on women being given sannyasa were interesting. His writings have always struck a chord in the heart of many readers. However, I read the following quote from Srila Prabhupada: "A woman is not supposed to take sannyasa. So-called spiritual societies concocted in modern times give sannyasa even to women, although there is no sanction in the Vedic literature for a woman's accepting sannyasa. Otherwise, if it were sanctioned, Kardama Muni could have taken his wife and given her sannyasa." (S-B 3.24.40 Purport)

Perhaps some merciful devotee can throw light on the above quote vis a vis Sripada Tripurari Maharaja's comments. I for one feel a bit confused.

Judge dismisses Charges
reprinted from Associated Press
Posted January 8, 2003

ANGELICA, N.Y. (AP) - A judge dismissed charges against a Hare Krishna couple accused of keeping cattle on their property without a permit.

Rushford Village Justice David Brautigam this week dismissed seven charges against Stephen and Linda Voith "without prejudice," meaning the village could choose to refile the charges, said their attorney, W. Ross Scott.

Public reaction proved mixed in the ongoing debate pitting a village law and neighbors' fears against the Voith's religious beliefs, in which Hare Krishnas highly regard the protection of cows. (Click here for the full article)

Third gender topics
by Dhanistha dasi
Posted January 8, 2003

Dear Chakra,

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

I was terrified to write to Chakra a while ago concerning third gender topics but at the same time I was happy, relieved, and inspired. Some may not have felt it good strategy or even etiquette to be so 'out' and I understand totally why anyone would feel that way.

I want to express a little concerning shelter-spiritual shelter. For those who tend to over generalize and thus misinterpret the intentions of third gender devotees, it seems an easy solution to say just live outside the temple - you cannot live here in the ashram. But everyone needs ashram. Householders have shelter, whether they follow strictly or not they at least have ashram - a recognized dwelling place for spiritual life.

We are all floundering in this ocean to get on the transcendental life raft and sometimes we don't think to leave room for others to climb on board or we think this is some mundane boat that has limited space for only an elite few that look and talk like us when in actuality the life raft Prabhupada has given the world expands unlimitedly with each soul climbing on board. There are many ways to manifest ashrams or life rafts. (Click here for the full article)

The Saffron-Clad Boy
by Niscala devi dasi
Posted January 7, 2003

Why did he do it?
The saffron clad boy
With his danda, the hope
To get past "Maya's ploy".

I saw "Maya's ploy"
Bowing low at his feet,
With praises like poison,
Paraded so sweet.

Why did he do it?
"For preaching" he says,
But does he know all
Of the ways, Maya plays?

Well-meaning ladies,
So often the cause;
Will his danda protect him
From frail human flaws?

"For preaching" he hopes
Is the cause of his plight,
But preaching can be
With a lady, alright.

It isn't as easy,
It can be a burden,
But honest, it is,
And must be, for certain.

For Krishna is pleased
By "honest service" only,
So preachers, please take
A wife, if you're lonely.

Do not seek saffron
For the perks or the praise;
Just stay where you are,
But your consciousness, raise.

For many have fallen
Right under their dandas;
That we still haven't learnt
Is the "wonder of wonders".

"Women and Sannyasa"
by Swami Tripurari
Posted January 6, 2003

The heart of Vaisnava sannyasa is renouncing material life and embracing the service of Sri Krsna. This is open to both men and women. Whereas the formality of accepting the renounced order of sannyasa has largely been restricted to men in consideration of socioreligious concerns. However, as circumstances change and these concerns are no longer relevant, I see no reason why women should be barred from accepting sannyasa.

In our times the relevance of anyone formally accepting sannyasa is questionable in terms of how it is perceived by the public. Furthermore, the tendency to equate the formal acceptance of sannyasa with spiritual advancement has caused many devotees to aspire for the formality of sannyasa rather than the substance of the order. (Click here for the full article)

Wellwisher needed for gurukuli
by Manohara Gopi dd
Posted January 6, 2003

Dear Devotees

Please Accept my Humble Obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

We are a Spanish family living in Mayapur Dham for 4 years. Right now our economical condition doesn't permit to continue paying the Gurukula fees for our 10 year old son. So we are really looking for someone who can sponsor our child's education in Mayapur Gurukula.

One month tuition fees are 75 dollars US.

If you can help, or you know someone who could, please let us know.

You can contact me at: krishnadas.nrs@pamho.net

Thank you in advance for your kind help and cooperation

Your Servant
Manohara Gopi dd

Senator John McCain visited by Hare Krishna devotees
Tempe, Arizona, Dec. 19
Posted January 4, 2003

The Early Riser Meeting was held at Pryor Adult Recreation Center conducted by City of Tempe Mayor Neil Giuliani. Chief Guest was Arizona Senator John McCain who covered congressional affairs and answered questions from the floor.

[Pictured: Devotees from BhaktiVedanta Cultural Center, International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), Phoenix attend these townhall meetings regularly and utilized a photo opportunity with famous Senator. Picture shows Senator John McCain in garland handshaking Dr Prayag Narayan das Misra, Director, BhaktiVedanta Cultural Center. Also shown are (from left) Mrs Champa Devi dasi, Sri Bharat Lal, Hare Krishna Temple President Bhakt Raj das and Apouresheya Prabhu (half covered).]

The ISKCON Phoenix temple was established in 1996 (http://www.iskconphx.org). There are regular prayer meetings seven days a week and Hindi & Cultural classes are conducted for children aged 6 - 16 on Sundays. For further information: (480) 705 4900 or email: svgd108@yahoo.com. There is another vegetarian restaurant Govinda in Tuscon (about 110 miles southeast on I-10) which completed eleven years recently.

Bhakti yoga for the Muslim
by Nararatna das
Posted January 4, 2003

A group of devotees have established the Muslim Preaching Program as an aid to inter-religious dialogue among Muslims and Vaishnavas. We have written and published several small English-language books, available from our store in Mayapur, for roughly $1.00 to $1.50 each.

The books are designed to help Krishna-conscious devotees present a Vedic viewpoint to members of the Muslim community in a non-argumentative way, as well as to encourage Muslim readers to deepen and strengthen their efforts at God-realisation. Our goal is to build a strong foundation of mutual understanding so that everyone's love and devotion towards the Supreme Lord -- whom we call Krsna and whom the Muslims call Allah -- can be ignited and cultivated favourably. (Click here for the full article)

Appeal to Devotees
by Narasimha Swamy das
Posted January 2, 2003

Dear Devotees,

One of our most active Bangalore Congregation devotees, my god brother, His Grace Kanai Hari das,(disciple of His Holiness Jayapataka Swami Maharaja), 46 years old, is suffering from contraction of both the kidneys since about a year.He is on dyalisis for about a year and it is recommended that he has a kidney transplant. His blood group is A-negative. We need urgently a kidney donor who has a blood group of either A- negative or A-positive. He can be contacted on phone no.80-3311362 or through his e-mail (balaramkrsna@yahoo.com) or my e-mail (nrsimha32@yahoo.com.

Please also pray for him that he goes back to his excellent devotional service at Bangalore Sri Jagannath Mandir.

Your servant,
Narasimha Swamy das

Caruhasa and Prabhupada
by Caruhasa
Posted January 2, 2003

Dear Chakra Readers,

Please accept my humble obeisances. Some of your readers have made comments about the Ramayan and my letters from his Divine Grace. The letters were sent to me in San Francisco when I was deep in my services to Krsna. I was young and had dreams of making a movie or someone in Hollywood would of Vedic subject matter. I told his Grace in a letter that I was sending a set of Krsna books to the famous producer Ray Harryhausen who did Clash of the Titans, Golden Voyage of Sinbad and many great classic films in the stop motion effects work. This makes the creatures and things interact with the live actors and make the stories real to the viewers. Prabhupada wrote back the letters that people seem to quote but he did write back to try and work with the famous Hare Krsna film maker Yadubara Das. (Click here for the full article)

Looking for one volume CC and Bhagavatam
by Hari Prasad das
Posted January 1, 2003

Dear Devotees!

Hare Krishna!

I am looking for one volume complete CC and Bhagavatam editions. If any body has extra copies of these books and know about their place of availability in USA, please write to me at p108@lycos.com.

Hari Prasad Das

Who Needs Authentic Books ?
by Ekkehard Lorenz
Posted January 31, 2003

Devotees who are against allowing any editorial changes in Bhaktivedanta Swami's books often invoke what they call the "shastric principle of arsha-prayoga." Literally the word means "rishi usage." Early Puranic commentators would occasionally point out that a word used by Vyasadeva did not conform to the rules of grammar, or that a verse of his did not comply with the strictures of Sanskrit prosody. In such cases a commentator would say "iti arsha," "It's Rishis' language." And nobody would ever dare to 'correct' Vyasa's writings. There is, however, no principle of arsha-prayoga that protects scribal errors. In other words, if a rishi was known to have said one thing, and a scribe or copyist wrote down another thing, that faulty version was fully subject to corrections.(Click here for the full article)

How to give up coffee
by Jalakara dasa
Posted January 30, 2003

I read Bhakta Ricky's letter about giving up coffee with interest. Let me relate a story related to me by Syamasundar prabhu seven years ago, when we were staying in a tent out on the plains of Madagascar.

My apologies to my friend Syamasundar prabhu if I have misquoted him or made any mistakes in this recitation. I am only repeating his words as best I can recall them, as I was not present there at the time of this event.(Click here for the full article)

Post Disappearance Book Changes Discouraged
by Gupta das
Posted January 28, 2003

While an author might, during his or her lifetime, re-edit and then re-print a previously published book, we would be hard pressed to find anyone, anywhere, who would entertain the idea that, once published, an author's work may later be edited posthumously and then presented anew in a 'revised and enlarged edition' as if it were the author's original work!(Click here for the full article)

The Life Skills/Personal Transformation Course comes to New York City in February
by Bhaktin Miriam
Posted January 27, 2003

Dear Prabhus,

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

I once again have the immense pleasure and privilege to be organizing the Life Skills/Personal Transformation course to be held in New York City on February 14, 15, and 16 given by Dhira Govinda Prabhu. I would like to invite all devotees to please attend this very wonderful course designed to improve one's interpersonal relationships. This course has changed my life and the lives of many others in so many positive ways. I hope it does the same for you. If you are interested in attending, please let me know as soon as you can so that I can reserve a space for you.

Your servant,
Bhaktin Miriam

(Click here for the full article)

2003 MIHE Semester
by Janmastami das
Posted January 23, 2003

The MIHE Teachers and Administration extend a warm invitation to devotees from around the world to participate in the 4th Annual Gaura Purnima Semester of the Mayapur Institute of Higher Education (MIHE). This year 30 senior devotees will offer 28 courses in subjects ranging from uttama bhakti to cow protection to leadership and management skills to Deity worship.

Please visit our recently updated website at http://www.mayapur.org/mihe/ to examine our finalized weekly schedules and detailed course descriptions for the upcoming MIHE semester that begins on February 3rd, and to preregister for our courses.

Since MIHE teachers often limit the number of students in their courses to optimize learning, we advise students to preregister well in advance to secure seats in the courses of their choice. Preregistration gives the MIHE Administration time to prepare course materials so preregistered students will have their materials on the first day of their classes.

Our Preregistration deadline is January 28.

We are anxious to serve you during your pilgrimage to Sridhama Mayapur.

Please let us know if we can assist you in anyway before you arrive in Mayapur by writing us at mihe@pamho.net.

ISKCON needs a constitution
by Prabhupada dasa Adhikari
Posted January 17, 2003

Of the 192 countries on Earth, fully 192 have a concise constitution that oulines the relationships between the people and the government. This includes a legal system, a political system, ennumeration of rights and duties of all and facility for provision of the legitimate needs of each person within the jurisdiction of the organization.

Of the 4,631,370 corporations in the USA fully that many have a concise constitution outlining the essential operating rules of the corporation and its members.(Click here for the full article)

Flat for rent in MVT complex
by Sriman Pandit das
Posted January 17, 2003

I have one studio flat in MVT complex (Vrindavan) to rent. You can rent it for long or short term. The flat is fully furnished with fridge and cooking facility. The accommodation can be utilised by two to three persons comfortably. The flat will be available at your service from 22/02/03. Other services: 24 hours hot & cold water, 24 hours electricity, 24 hours security service & 24 hours reception service.

The rent is reasonable. For booking in advance and further information please feel free to write to me through my personal E-mail or call on 44-208-207-3395 or 44-7734-266920

E-mail: sriman.pandit@pamho.net OR sriman_pandit@hotmail.com

Hare Krishna!
Your servant,
Sriman Pandit das

The importance of compassion
by Devaki Nandana Dasa
Posted January 14, 2003

I just wanted to thank Amara prabhu for his nice article about Gays in the Ashram. He very objectively presented nice points that we can all learn from. I was in Potomac at the time that Damodara prabhu committed suicide, and I know that many devotees said that the ashram devotees were not taken care of very well. They didn't even have enough money for soap or toothpaste. Anyway, no matter how nicely we care for each other, there will always be unfortunate occurrences. After all, this is the material world, but I'm sure that if we loved each other, the way Jayananda prabhu or Srila Prabhupada did, we could probably reduce such unfortunate incidents by 99%. Let us all remember Srila Prabhupada and devotees like Jayananda Thakura and in that way, maybe by remembering their lives, we can start to follow in their footsteps.(Click here for the full article)

Brahmastra juice
by Madhava Gosh
Posted January 12, 2003

Tea for Flu and Colds

Steeped tea of ginger (preferrably fresh) and cayenne, with fresh lemon and honey. Drink as much as possible, at least 4 glasses during the day. It should be potent enough to make you break out into a sweat. Make it to taste, but push the envelope as the more cayenne and ginger you can take the better. If you happen to make it too strong, it can be diluted with water.

Ginger may alter bleeding time and should not be used concomitantly with warfarin sodium, and should be discontinued prior to any surgeries.

Vaisnavism and the Social and Mental Health Professions
by Dhira Govinda dasa
Posted January 10, 2003

I present this article to encourage Vaisnavas interested and serving in social service and mental health fields. This piece includes a report on some publications that may be useful in academic endeavors and in the field of practice.

The January, 2003 issue (vol. 13, no. 1) of Research on Social Work Practice, a major social science research journal, contains an article that I co-authored with Dr. Neil Abell, a professor at Florida State University, entitled Examining the Effects of Meditation Techniques on Psychosocial Functioning. This article reports on research I conducted as part of my doctoral program on the effects of the Hare Krsna Maha Mantra on stress, depression, and the three gunas, and is a followup on an article on a pilot study examining the Maha Mantra, entitled Effects of the Maha Mantra on Some Mental Health Indicators, that appeared in the April, 2001 issue (vol. 62, no. 2) of The Indian Journal of Social Work.(Click here for the full article)

Milk flows from desert at a unique Saudi farm
by Craig S. Smith (New York Times, Dec. 31)
Posted January 8, 2003

AL KHARJ, Saudi Arabia -- The American Holstein cows moseying up to a milking line at Al Safi Dairy here are so skinny that they look like a row of piebald dropcloths draped over scaffolding.

"Big, heavy, fat cows just can't take the heat stress," remarked John Gibbs, 64, watching from a window as a young Nepalese man with a bandanna on his head clapped to hurry the bovine procession. The line of listless, udder-emptied animals stirred up a cloud of powdery manure as they ambled back out into the sun.

With its 29,000 cows and costly technology, Al Safi, deep though it is in the Saudi desert, has been certified by the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest "integrated" dairy farm in the world. It grows the hay that the cows eat, turns their milk into crème caramel and strawberry laban, a yogurtlike drink, and delivers it all in Safi trucks to stores across the kingdom. (Click here for the full article)

Ayurvedic Herbs now Available on the Web
by Panca tattva das (SP)
Posted January 8, 2003

Tattvas Herbs is pleased to announce a complete line of Ayurvedic herbs and supplements. Our goal is to bring the science of Ayurveda to you and your family. We not only offer you a complete selection of the highest quality herbs to choose from, but we also offer free consultation to you via phone or email. All of our herbs are grown in their natural environment without the use of pesticides, herbicides or chemicals. Our products are suitable for vegetarian as we use only vegetarian capsules .

We are available to help you in dealing with your current health issues. As we age, so many of us are suffering from a variety of material pangs. Mother Nature and the wonderful science of the Ayurveda is now available to all to help alleviate these sufferings. We work with a qualified staff of Ayurvedic doctors to insure that you are taking the correct herbs for your particular condition. Whether you are suffering from PMS, arthritis, immune system disorders, depression, sluggish digestion, respiratory issues, high cholesterol, stress, the common colds, or simply want to increase your memory and sharpen your focus, Ayurveda may have the solution for you. (Click here for the full article)

Twitting the Philosophy
by Niscala devi dasi
Posted January 7, 2003

I appreciate Subhadra Mayi's article very much as truthful and insightful. The philosophy has been seriously twisted or twitted for ambitious purposes and thus we are proving true the seemingly prophetic words of Srila Prabhupada: ISKCON can only be destroyed from within- by personal ambition. These words mean that ISKCON can be destroyed utterly, while seemingly remaining intact, in secure hold of all its properties, and its structure unchanged. The survival of ISKCON means a survival of nothing external, but of purpose. That purpose must be identical with the parampara- to liberate and enlighten. When our purpose deviates, and we use the philosophy to close eyes and to possess, we are guilty of deviation, even while quoting verbatim, the acharyas. (Click here for the full article)

Reply to Bhaktin Marina re sannyasa
by Shiva
Posted January 6, 2003

Sri Chaitanya initiated the taking of sannyasa, but not for the reason you may think. Previous to His action, the Krishna Bhakti community did not take the sannyasa order -- that order was the domain of the impersonalist schools of the Advaitans. The Vaisnava community was percieved by the Advaitan community as a sentimentalist , emotional form of yoga, beneath their perception of themselves as staunch yogis , severe ascetics, and sober intellectuals on the highest path. To them, the Krishna bhakta was almost beneath contempt, childish, and unable and incapable of understanding their comprehensive Vedanta.

So, Mahaprabhu took sannyasa from their lineage, went to their center of learning , and then displayed the very things they so abhorred: emotion and sentiment. His display was so moving, emitting such ecstacy, that the leaders of the sannyasa community of the Sankarites fell under His divine spell, eventually becoming his intimate devotees.

This would not have been possible unless Mahaprabhu took sannyasa. He would not have gained the intimate association of the leaders of the Advaitans, or engendered their respect and attention, if He had gone to them as a Vaisnava.

This, then, is the true purpose of sannyasa. It is for those who cannot accept the transcendental nature of Krishna bhakti, who need a severe ,ascetic representation of Vedic truth. Sanyassa was introduced for them. For the devotee, it is completely unnecessary, as this renunciation is a service for the advancement of the ignorant souls who cannot percieve the sublime nature of the Bhakti sanga.

It is for the fallen souls, to give them confidence in the authenticity of Bhakti, nothing more.

- Shiva

Gays in the Ashrama
by Amara dasa
Posted January 6, 2003

While I appreciate Malati dasi's description of how compassionate and caring the devotees were after the suicide of Damodara prabhu in Potomac, I truly wonder whether or not that same compassion was displayed towards him when he was alive and serving as a devotee in the temple. Since she suggests that it is "practically impossible for members who are attracted to the same gender to live in an ashrama," and that "she generally recommends living outside as a realistic alternative (for gays)," I can only imagine how welcome Damodara felt to be living there in the first place.

Gay devotees commonly face serious prejudice and alienation when living in temples that are not open and accepting of them, and this problem is further compounded when they are young and going through adolescence. In addition to this, Damodara had been rejected from a planned trip to India when his prospective sponsors were informed that he was gay. I cannot believe, therefore, that Damodara's suicide was simply a result of having "fallen in love," though it may have been the catalyst.

As a disciple of Srila Prabhupada, I have lived in the ashrama as a celibate gay devotee with no serious problems for over twenty years. I also know of many others who have done the same, both in the past and at present. I gained a lot of spiritual association and merit by living in the temple that I would not have otherwise if I had simply remained outside. I therefore feel very strongly that it is quite unfair and dangerous to suggest that gays and lesbians are best served not to join the ashrama. Srila Prabhupada had many gay disciples who were very close to him like Upendra prabhu and Sudama Maharaja, and he never made any suggestion like this to them. Everyone was welcome to join the temple and ashrama as long as they promised to practice celibacy. (Click here for the full article)

Consul General visits Hare Krishna Temple, Phoenix, Arizona
by Dr Prayag Narayan das Misra
Posted January 5, 2003

[Pictured: Consul General H.H.I.Viswanathan (with garland) standing in front of Vaikunthha Express, BhaktiVedanta Cultural Center, International Society for Krishna Consciousness ( ISKCON) Phoenix. From right: Smt Poonam Jha, Sri Kamalesh Shah, Sri Bharat Lal, Dr Prayag Narayan Misra, Director, Sri Bhakt Raj,Temple President, Chief Priest Jagannath and Kamal Nayan Prabhu]

Dec 11: The Arizona Chapter of the Indus Entrepreneurs ( T I E ) which was sponsored by Indian Consulate, San Francisco, among others was attended by some 70 delegates. However, in spite of busy schedule, Hon'ble Consul General of India H H I Viswanathan was able to visit Sri Sri Radha Madhava Dham, Hare Krishna Temple, ISKCON Phoenix and meet devotees.

It was not his first visit to any ISKCON Temple. Previously as an Ambassador in Ivory Coast, he used to go regularly to ISKCON Center with his wife Smt Lalitha. Hon'ble Viswanathan joined Indian Foreign Service in New Delhi in 1974 and is a career diplomat. Although he hails from Tamilnadu, his command of Hindi language was superb. Speaking fluently, he assured chief priest of the Temple Jagannath Jee not to plan going back to Nepal but to continue staying here in USA and serve Their Lordships.

Hon'ble Viswanathan remarked that ISKCON Phoenix temple is cleanest and peaceful as compared to many he has visited in the past. He repeated his remarks thrice and took a tour of the facility which included Gift Shop, Prasadam Room, Library. A government official is considered as a representative of god Vishnu, and the Temple was blessed by his visit; however, as it is customary, he offered his obeisance, by sipping nectar, donating Laxmi and taking charanamrita. Although the visit was short, he promised to visit again next year, along with his spouse. Temple President Bhakt Raj presented a calander for 2003 and a copy of "BhagvadGita As It" by Shreela Prabhupada - Founder Acharya, ISKCON, in 1966.

Mayapura Flat for sale
by Bhakta Dean
Posted January 4, 2003

Hare Krsna Prabhus and Matajis,

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

The flat was built by Mayapur's professional building company and it is situated behind Prabhupada's samadhi in the grihasta area. It's modern, clean, practical and very spacious, about 110-120 sq metres.

It consists of a large lounge, 2 bedrooms, kitchen a bathroom and a balcony. It is being sold for around $30,000 which includes all the furniture needed for living comfortably. pictures available on request and for more information please don't hesitate to contact me at deanrama8@yahoo.com.

Hare Krsna,
All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

Your servant,
Bhakta Dean.

Looking for Maheshvara
by Christian Hergenroeder
Posted January 2, 2003


I am a devotee from Germany and I am looking for a devotee whose name should now be Maheshvara d., and is a disciple of Gour Govinda M.

He was in 1993 in Vienna for some time before he went to India , where he also got initiated. He was the first devotee I got in contact with, he gave me the BG and other books, and through this I became a devotee and my life changed. I would really like to find him, and thank him. This desire has been with me for years now, but I never knew his name. A friend of mine who lives in Vrindavan, who was at the same time in Vienna (1993), said that he knew him, and told me his initiated name, and that he should now be living in Bosnia.

Thank you for your help,

Bh. Christian, Munich

Srila Prabhupada, Gajendra, the king of the elephants and sannyasa
by Prema Bhakti dasa Adhikari
Posted January 2, 2003

Dear Chakra,

As I was reading Srila Prabhupada-lilamrta, Vol. 6, I came across a very instructive pastime begining on page 194.

I thought your readers might appreciate Prabhupada's wisdom in light of several articles posted regarding the sannyasa order.

Prema Bhakti dasa Adhikari
your servant in Niles, Michigan, USA

From Srila Prabhupada-lilamrta, Vol. 6 p.194
by Satsvarupa dasa Goswami

Hawaii, May 1976

Although Prabhupada had written to the G.B.C. requesting them to solve ISKCON's problems, he continued to keep informed of the problems as his assistants reluctantly reported to him the bad news. One day a telegram arrived from Madhudvisa Swami, a dynamic G.B.C. man in charge of ISKCON in one region of the U.S. Madhuvisa was having serious difficulties remaining strong in Krsna consciousness. In most cases, the difficulties of Prabhupada's disciples were urges toward sensuality. Almost never did disciples turn against Prabhupada, nor did they often reject the philosophical conclusions of Krsna cosnciousness. They simply fell victim to maya's allurements... (Click here for the full article)

Lord Nrsimhadeva's Lasagna
(Rennetless Cheese)

by Donald McClelland
Posted January 1, 2003

Dear Prabus:

Hare Krsna. All Glories to Srila Prabupada and the Vaisnava Acaryas! I have a concern about the cheeses used in the recipe. Where do you get the cheeses from? I have heard devotees using cheeses from local stores which I no doubt have rennet or rennet products in them. I recently ordered my own catalog for making cheeses and plan to do my own. There is vegetable rennet but it is very time consuming to make cheeses. Some cheeses there is no way to make them without using some ingredients that contain animal sources in them. Please give me some information and guidance on this issue.

Hari Bol!

Donald McClelland

Chakra replies:-

Editor's Note: You can purchase cheese without rennet at most natural foods stores as well as many supermarkets in the USA, Canada and Europe, or you can use vegan soy-cheese. Beware of the word 'enzymes' in the list of ingredients, because this often means rennet; while lipase, for example, is an enzyme which is usually derived from animal slaughter. If you see the term 'microbial enzymes', however, it will be safe for vegetarians.

The following information is supplied by the Vegetarian Resource Group...(Click here for the full article)

Cows young slaughtered also impious
by Harry Bowler
Posted January 1, 2003

Re Madhava Gosh, Drinking Milk From Cows That Are Slaughtered Is Impious, for years devotees(forgive my envious nature) have used milk and its products from cows whose calf's are slaughtered not long after their birth.

Devotees (and again) also partake of the vicious perpetuation of the western world cow system, (unless they keep there own cow) as stated in your article.

Over the years devotees have said "its ok for us because we offer the milk so Krishna takes the reaction" or the other argument is "we must be practicle for time and circumstance".

ANY milk or products utilised via this system must be deemed inauspicious and can only be harmful to our devotee communities. Srila Prabhupada Himself comments on this in your article. Many nondevotees have regulary pointed out the hypocracy of the fact that WE TOO support the cow killing industry. It is a very important issue that we cannot overlook. Maybe the Western world system will change (I doubt it) or perhaps we need to change and look at further austerity in our eating practices.

Harry Bowler

Srila Prabhupada's Room - New Dwaraka
by Kriyashakti devi dasi
Posted January 1, 2003

Hare Krishna,

Please accept my obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

As part of our historical preservation in Srila Prabhupada's room here in Los Angeles, I am searching for Dr. Stillson Judah's book, "Hare Krishna and the Counterculture".

This book will be kept as part of Srila Prabhupada's room library.

For the past two years we have been collecting and displaying items of historical significance as part of Srila Prabhupada's remembrance in New Dwaraka. Devotees will be very pleased to know that we have a large collection of Srila Prabhupada's personal belongings, including India books, original Bhagavatams and early ISKCON publications. Devotees have come forward with donations of magazine articles, clothing and books and feel secure that these things are being properly secured and displayed.

Any devotees who have Guru Prasadam from Srila Prabhupada that they would like to donate to the room's historical collection, please contact me. Your name will be added to the identification label on the article, in gratitude for your donation.

Tours are available upon request when visiting New Dwaraka.

Thank you.

Your servant,
Kriyashakti dd

New Krishna Art Book in the Works!
by Satyaraja Dasa
Posted January 1, 2003

Many of you have by now seen my book, "The Hidden Glory of India." The BBT, who published that book, now wants me to do a follow-up book: "The Visual Glory of India: Krishna Art Through the Ages." This book, as the title suggests, will focus on visual images of Krishna and His Incarnations -- any Vaishnava depictions (painting, sculpture, etc.) from any period in India history. It will also include a section on ISKCON art, with special attention to the new, growing generation of artists, such as those coming out of Russia.

I am calling out for help! A book like this cannot be done by one person: If you are an artist, or if you know of someone who does Krishna conscious art, please give them the following address, telling them to send slides or good quality prints for possible inclusion in this book. A letter should accompany the art giving me permission to use their material. This same letter should include any and all details about the art as well (artist's full name, medium, technique, etc.). Hoping you can help, send all materials to FOLK Books, 30 Village Gate Way, Nyack, NY 10960.

(Aldous Huxley)

"The effects which follow the constant and intense a concentration upon evil are always disastrous. Those who crusade, not for God in themselves, but against the demons in others, never succeed in making the world better ... No man can concentrate his attention on evil, or even the idea of evil, and remain unaffected. To be more against the demon than for Godliness is exceedingly dangerous. Every crusader is apt to go mad. He is haunted by the wickedness which he attributes to his enemies; it becomes sort of a part of him."

- Aldous Huxley

Should editorial mistakes be held sacred?
by Jayadvaita Swami
Posted January 31, 2003

Should restoring Srila Prabhupada's words be condemned?

We're sorry to see yet another internet diatribe against the books published by the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust.

According to the most recent assault, "we would be hard pressed to find anyone, anywhere, who would entertain the idea that, once published, an author's work may later be edited posthumously."

Hard pressed? To find out that this is baloney, one need only browse to, for example, the following web page:


(Click here for the full article)

Response to GALVA articles
by Hridayananda das Goswami
Posted January 30, 2003

I write in reply to Amara Prabhu’s various essays and letters on behalf of GALVA, the Gay and Lesbian Vaishnava Association. I certainly agree with Amara Prabhu that we should encourage all people from all backgrounds to come to Krishna consciousness, and that it is natural to form various associations to support the diverse Vaishnava communities in their spiritual practices. Surely Lord Krishna appreciates and blesses all sincere efforts to help others advance in Krishna consciousness.(Click here for the full article)

On Conventions and Constitutions
by Rama Keshava Dasa
Posted January 27, 2003

In response to Prabhupada dasa's article "ISKCON needs a constitution" , might I remind him that there are countries in the world that do not have a constitution. These countries include the United Kingdom, New Zealand and others.

Prabhupada prabhu might wish to research the method by which their fundamental principles of governance flow, "convention". It is an alternative to having a constitution, set in stone, whereby (in the case of the UK) a complex set of rules exist that assure the permanence of Crown and democracy. And whilst I am not one to recommend how ISKCON ought to be governed, it would behoove the author to do further research.

Also, as Srila Prabhupada's intention was that ISKCON should be organised on principles of subsidiarity, with branches subsequently being incorporated on both city and country level might it not be best to strive to amend these very documents, which are de jure of a "constitutional" nature themselves?

Your servant,
Rama Kesava dasa

Advanced Personal Transformation Seminar
Posted January 23, 2003


You will:
• Address life issues in an honest and meaningful way.
• Explore your heartfelt commitments, and gain clarity and courage to act on them.
• Connect with what is vitally important to you.
• Open new possibilities for fantastic accomplishments and joyfulness.
• Transform your relationship with fear.

Online shop and new e-zine
by Adikurma das
Posted January 19, 2003

Please visit our online shop: http://adikurma.tripod.com/boutiqueaditi

E-zine is a related subdomain on the online shop. Just updated. or click on http://adikurma.tripod.com/e-zine/

Thank you,
Adikurma das

Ashram vs. Institution
by Krsna dasa
Posted January 17, 2003

I read with interest the two articles on the sannyas ashram and on Guru Tattva, by Hare Krishna Dasi and by Dhira Govinda dasa, respectively, published in the new Chakra Website. I appreciate both the articles for their intelligence and their willingness to bring up delicate subjects that affect the lives of sincere followers of Sri Krishna.

The problem I find with Mother Hare Krishna's analysis, though very correct in its description of the present condition of the sannyas "order" in ISKCON, is that it is a purely institutional analysis. Thus she describes it as "an order" or an "institution" or most depressingly, a "terminally celibate order of priests" !! And therein lies the problem.

MUSICALS, COMEDIES & DRAMA Recordings for sale
by Parividha das
Posted January 17, 2003

A host of musicals and dramas, depicting the pastimes of the Lord and His associates and comedies, elucidating the Vedic philosophy, whilst exposing the flaws of atheistic science.
Recorded in England with Gaurangi, Jayadeva, Kripamoya, Arjuna, Radha Mohan, Sakshi Gopala, Moksha Laxmi and many others.
Directed and produced by Parividha das.

1) Govardhana Musical
2) Sudama Vipra Musical
3) Sri Sakshi Gopala Drama
4) The Syamantaka Jewel Comedy
5) Krsna Janma Musical
6) The Chess Match Drama
The Cobbler & The Brahmana Comedy
7) Princess Rukmini Musical
8) The Wrong Bank Account Comedy
The Boatman & The Scholar Comedy
The Test of Bhrigu Muni Drama
9) Cafe Concoctione Comedy
The Bird in the Cage Comedy
The Drowning Man Comedy
10) The Marriage of Samba Drama
The Genie in the Lamp Comedy
11) Dhruva Maharaja Musical

1 Tape U.S. $9 1 CD U.S. $19 (incl. postage)

11 Tapes U.S. $65 11 CD's U.S. $120 (incl. postage)

Info: Parividha@pamho.net

Soccer Sampradaya Announces Lineup
by Madhava Gosh das
Posted January 14, 2003

The soccer sampradaya is announcing it's All Star lineup. The team will use a 4-3-3 formation.(Click here for the full joke)

Gita Jayanti Rathayatra in Gandhinagar
by Visvarupa das
Posted January 12, 2003

Dear Maharaja/Prabhu,
Please accept my humble obeisances at your feet. All glories to Srila Prabhupada! All glories to Lord of Universe!

We are very glad to let you know about the wonderful celebration of Gita Jayanti Rathayatra Mahotsava arranged at Gandhinagar by ISKCON Ahmedabad. It was three days Pandal and First Rathayatra in Gandhinagar, the capital of Gujarat. This was the offering to Gita Jayanti, which was on 15th December.(Click here for the full article)

Cow Ministry Seminar at Mayapur
by the ISKCON Cow Ministry
Posted January 10, 2003

The Ministry of Cow Protection requests the honor of your presence at this year's cow protection seminar in Mayapur. The dates and times of the seminar are:

Friday, February 28th and Saturday, March 1st: Morning and afternoon sessions totalling 7 hours each day.

Sunday, March 2nd and Monday, March 3rd: Hands-on cow/ox sessions from 6:15 A.M. to 7:45 A.M. and sessions from 9:50 A.M. to 1 PM (either hands-on actvities or discussion, depending on the attendees' desires).

The purpose of this seminar is to bring cow protection out of the Krsna Book into 21st century ISKCON. A general understanding of the practical, spiritual, economic and environmental benefits of cow protection will be presented and discussed. The subject of how cow protection can become an integral part of ISKCON's infrastructure will follow. We highly recommend this seminar for anyone who is either in a leadership role or participating in a cow protection or farm program.(Click here for the full article)

Price of Milk Versus the Cost
by Madhava Gosh dasa
Posted January 7, 2003

Prema Bhakti dasa asks "What Is the price of a gallon of milk?" while we may be able to get a rough estimate of what the price of milk from protected cows is, the true cost is a more complex issue, involving not only financial considerations, but social, karmic, and devotional ones as well. How to creatively deal with these issues while staying true to a long term realistic vision is a challenge. While the fundamentals of varna ashram need to be respected, historical examples from previous yugas may not be replicatable. (Click here for the full article)

The Simple Method
by Padmapani das
Posted January 7, 2003

Sometimes it appears very difficult to make advancement in Krsna consciousness, and we become impatient. If we expect immediate results and they aren't forthcoming, we can easily become discouraged. For those of us who are unable to live in a temple (or even near a temple), this is especially true. So what's the solution?

In November of 1969, while speaking in London's Conway Hall, Srila Prabhupada stated the following:

"The process is very simple. Just keep a picture of Lord Caitanya with His associates. Lord Caitanya is in the middle, accompanied by His principal associates -- Nityananda, Advaita, Gadadhara, and Srivasa. One simply has to keep this picture. One can keep it anywhere. It is not that one has to come to us to see this picture. Anyone can have this picture in his home, chant this Hare Krsna mantra, and thus worship Lord Caitanya. That is the simple method. But who will capture this simple method? Those who have good brains. Without much bother, if one simply keeps a picture of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu at home and chants Hare Krsna, then one will realize God. Anyone can adopt this simple method. There is no expenditure, there is no tax, nor is there any need to build a very big church or temple. Anyone, anywhere, can sit down on the road or beneath a tree and chant the Hare Krsna mantra and worship God. Therefore it is a great opportunity."
In this brief statement, Srila Prabhupada underlines the simplicity and accessibility of Krsna consciousness for everyone. Nothing fancy is required. Srila Prabhupada says here that one simply has to chant Hare Krsna, and keep a picture of Lord Caitanya and His associates (Sri Panca-Tattva) in his or her home. "That is the simple method," he declares. But who will take to it? "Those who have good brains."

If we make the effort to understand Srila Prabhupada's teachings in essence, it becomes obvious that what he is saying is always very practical and straightforward. Anyone in any condition of life can practice devotional service to the Supreme Lord by applying Prabhupada's instructions to their daily lives. We can begin by hearing the transcendental sound vibration of the Hare Krsna mantra from the lips of Krsna's pure devotee, Srila Prabhupada. Then we can chant the Hare Krsna mantra: "Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare / Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare." This is the beginning of our devotional lives. From here, we can gradually read and become familiar with Srila Prabhupada's books and instructions. If we can't read, then we can listen to his tapes. It is not required that we must become great scholars or renunciants to advance in Krsna consciousness. In fact, these accoutrements can be obstacles on the spiritual path if we become arrogant or "puffed up" because of them. Lord Caitanya Himself taught that the chanting of Hare Krsna should be performed "in a humble state of mind." Srila Prabhupada has confimed that sincerity is the essential ingredient in the successful execution of bhakti-yoga:

"Some scholars recommend that knowledge and renunciation are important factors for elevating oneself to devotional service. But actually that is not a fact. Actually, the cultivation of knowledge or renunciation, which are favorable for achieving a footing in Krsna consciousness, may be accepted in the beginning, but ultimately they may also come to be rejected, for devotional service is dependent on nothing other than the sentiment or desire for such service. It requires nothing more than sincerity." (Nectar of Devotion, Chapter 14)
(Click here for the full article, with pictures)

Vedic Marriage
by Jivan das
Posted January 6, 2003

Hare Krishna

I would like to inform devotees about this matrimonial site, through this most famous CHAKRA.ORG, which devotees can use to find a devotee spouse.


Your servant
Jivan das

New, Free Vaishnava Song Sheets
by Bhava-sindhu das
Posted January 6, 2003

Dear Devotees,

Please accept my obeisances. All glories to Shreela Prabhupaada.

Are you in need of nicely designed Vaishnava song sheets for your bhajans and kirtans in your temple, in your bhakti-vriksha group, or at home? Well, then you can download our free song sheets here (in PDF format):

All songs sheets have Devanagari, a Roman transliteration, and an English translation. They are therefore suitable for anyone who speaks English and/or Sanskrit/Hindi. Some songsheets also contain interesting quotes/purports by Shreela Prabhupaada that are relevant to that particular song. (Click here for the full article, with sample)

Cafe for Sale
by Bhaktin Tracey
Posted January 4, 2003

Hare Krsna Prabhus,

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

My name is Bhaktin Tracey and my husband and I live in far north Queensland in Australia where we run a Hare Krsna cafe. Over the past month we have come to desire to move from our little town which is about 1/2 hour away from the city centre to open a cafe in the heart of the city. We have started to advertise our cafe for sale through the temples around Australia and would like to know whether we can place an ad on this website as well. The cafe has been operating for 3 1/2 years and we have been running it for the last 2. We are offering the free-hold for the business as well as that will probably present as the most attractive option should any interested devotees be seeking finance to purchase the business. (Click here for the full article)

Ecstatic Harinam in HONG KONG for new year (2003) celebration
by Tusti Mohan Krsna das
Posted January 2, 2003

Dear devotees

Dandavat Pranams

We had an extraordinary Harinam to celebrate the end of the 2002 and welcome the 2003 with chanting the mahamantra in the main street of the TSIM SHA TSUI in Kowloon Hong Kong.

Devotees since early hours were preparing prasadam in small plastic bags for mass distribution while chanting in the streets of this great city the Mahamantra Hare Krsna.

How fortunate are those people who have heard the holly names of the lord at the end of this year, from among millions who live in this part of the world thousands were blessed by the nectar of the names of Sri Gauranga Mahaprabhu the most merciful incarnation of the Supreme Lord.

Many devotees were leading the kirtan during the procession that ended in front of the building of our temple and before midnight exactly Prabhav das prabhu chanted Nrishimha Prayers a apart from the Mahamantra for the protection of all the devotees around the world, it is great to see how people from the streets use to dance in front of the procession and many of them were taking pictures to the devotees while following the transcendental Harinam.

For this program many devotees did a great seva along with the congregation members of our community with enthusiasm and great devotion to serve Srila Prabhupada in every town and village

I am sending few pics so you all can see the nectarean photos (links at bottom of page).

(Click here for the full article, with pictures)

Purpose of Life is Sannyasa:
a response to Hare Krsna dasi

by Bhaktin Marina
Posted January 1, 2003

Dear Hare Krishna Dasi, I don't know you and don't want to offend you in my response to your article about that "one should not take Sannyasa at the age of Kali Yuga", but I have a different opinion. First of all, you did not mention that Krishna Himself said in Bhagavad-Gita that "I am sex life that is according to Vedic regulative principles" and Srila Prabhupada cleared in his purport that it means "sex is only once a month and only for reproduction". This means the whole purpose of this human life is renunciation of all material pleasures. The purpose of this life is Union with God and therefore Sannyasi, no matter who you are, what body you have or how old it is.

I trust Krishna fully and want nothing that is not pleasing to Krishna. I have no interest in sex that is not for reproduction and therefore not pleasing to Krishna, and I am completely ready for real Sannyasa now. I feel strongly about it in my heart and no similar articles like yours can convince me otherwise. Lord Caitania took Sannyasa at age 24 and never regret about it, but He saw that the rest of the world was not ready yet for Sannyasa and out of compassion he did not recommend to take it at this age of Kali. However, all advanced souls and extremely intelligent persons took Sannyasa. They are: Srila Prabhupada, His Spiritual Master - Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Goswami and many more, also there are many real Sannyasis at the present time in our movement.

Best wishes,
Your servant Bhaktin Marina.

re: GALVA Article by Gaurachandra dasi
by Malati dasi
Posted January 1, 2003

Gaurachandra Dasi wrote (of the suicide of a young man in Potomac):

"Who stopped to take the time and ask why he killed himself? Who cared? Who was too busy with their own service? "

My reply:

An entire temple stopped. An entire festival at another temple stopped to mourne. Who cared? Many, many friends, male and female, married and not, cared deeply. Were they "too busy" with their "service?" No, it didn't happen that way from what I saw, heard, and experienced. "Silence" was the real "killer." He had "fallen in love" with a friend, and was unable to say as much since the friend was not of the same discretion. What a painful situation for any conditioned soul, what to speak of one who is sincerely trying to serve the Lord. There is no one to be "blamed" here (that would be too easy) but the unfortunate friction caused by the modes of material nature. (Srila Prabhupada has said that "No one wants a foreset fire, but it occurs.")

From what I have experienced, it is honestly practically impossible for members who are attracted to the same gender to live in an ashram where they are in close quarters with the same sex of their attraction. It is like putting men & women together in the same quarters, an "accident" is bound to occur! Very awkward, difficult. I generally recommend living outside as a realistic alternative, coming as often as possible to the temple (daily if possible) to associate, being free to practice KC where ever and when ever possible.

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