by Lalita dasi-ji
Posted September 29, 2012
"I offer my repeated obeisances unto Vrnda, Srimati Tulasi Devi, who is very dear to Lord Kesava. O goddess, you bestow devotional service to Lord Krsna and possess the highest truth. O Tulasi, beloved of Krsna, I bow before you again and again. My desire is to obtain the service of Sri Sri Radha-Krsna. Whoever takes shelter of you has his wishes fulfilled. Bestowing your mercy on him, you make him a resident of Vrndavana.
My desire is that you will also grant me a residence in the pleasure groves of Sri Vrndavana-dhama. Thus, within my vision I will always behold the beautiful pastimes of Radha and Krsna. I beg you to make me a follower of the cowherd damsels of Vraja. Please give me the privilege of devotional service and make me your own maidservant. Dina Duhkhi Krsnadasa prays, ''May I always swim in the love of Sri Radha and Govinda.
By the circumambulation of Srimati Tulasi Devi all the sins that one may have committed are destroyed at every step, even the sin of killing a brahmana."
The blessed devotees who would like to obtain Tulasi for the service of sri Krishna could write me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I have large quantities of leaves, flowers wood, for temple supply also... please take advantage.
by Madhu Pandit Dasa
Posted September 24, 2012
Dear Srila Prabhupada,
Please accept my most respectful obeisances on this most auspicious Vyasa Puja celebration of 2012. All glories to Your Divine Grace.
Srila Prabhupada, you are a very dear and most confidential servant of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Krishna, empowered to distribute the mercy of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu to the population of the modern world. Your mission is not limited to your life time. Your manifest lila in the physical body that you exhibited in this world is only the first chapter of your mission. Many more chapters are yet to unfold in the decades and centuries to come. The world is yet to recognize the full glory of your mission founded and spiritually powered by you always as its Acharya. You instructed that wherever the name of your mission is mentioned, to always add Founder-Acharya meaning you are The Founder and The Acharya. Not Purva-Acharya of the disciplic succession.
During your physical presence and after your physical departure, your transcendental power of touching the conditioned souls through your vani- written and spoken words- has been the greatest factor in transforming millions of hearts. Your vani has been spiritually frozen in time by modern technology of printed books and electronic media. It is available for any sincere person to simply apply the spiritual fire in the form of sincere enquiry and service of Absolute Truth, and the vani will melt and start vibrating once again, ever fresh, with exactly the same spirit and energy that you spoke those words during your pastimes in your physical body.
In one sense your followers today are more fortunate due to easy access to your transcendental words. This is especially made possible by modern technology. We can see that the real purpose of these advances in technology has been masterminded by Lord Chaitanya, for propagating the Krishna Consciousness Movement. Your pastimes with countless conditioned souls of this world through your vani is your continued service in this world to Lord Chaitanya, to deliver the conditioned souls by distributing the Holy Name and transcendental knowledge, through the vessel of the organization that Your Divine Grace founded. Thus you are active even now and will continue to be active in the midst of humanity for centuries to come, beyond the limits of time and space, touching millions of lives of those who accept Your Divine Grace as their spiritual master. Those who are in touch with your vani are in touch with you every day, and you are personally guiding all such souls. Only the ignorant can think that there is any change in the intensity of your service to the Lord on this earth after November 1977. Your Divine Grace is present with us in no lesser way than you were present for the people of this earth before November 1977.(Click here for the full article)
Prabhupada's Bhajan Kutir Demolished in Bhubaneswar
by ISKCON Bhubanesvar
Posted August 15, 2012
This is a declaration for all concerned that we the devotees of ISKCON, Bhubaneswar are very much pained for the incident occurred on 6th August – 2012, 12 Noon in the Temple campus. The N.H.A.I. Bhubaneswar staff had broken the memorial Bhajan Kutir of Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupad, the Founder Acharya of ISKCON. In this cottage Srila Prabhupad remained continuously for 17 days. H.D.G. finished his 9th canto Srimad Bhagabatam English translation and had started 10th canto Srimad Bhagatam translation. Besides that he had given a series of lectures on Srimad Bhagabatam, Srimad Bhagabat Gita and Chaitanya Charitamruta with quotations from different vedic literatures. H.D.G. stayed in this cottage from 16th January 1977 till 4th February, 1977. This cottage was erected by his dear disciple Srila Gour Gobind Maharaj. Everyday during Mangal Arati first Mangal Arati was offered to H.D.G. along with similar Arati being offered to Srila Gour Gobind Maharaj in his original Samadhi nearby during the same time. Besides this regular offerings, shringar, other Aratis and seva were being made sincerely by the devotees in this most sacred cottage.
But unfortunately the N.H.A.I. Bhubaneswar staff on the plea of expanding the 4 laning to 6 laning system of N.H. had tried their best to occupy the ISKCON’s land at Bhubaneswar which is very close to N.H.5. To protect this most sacred monumental cottage we the devotees here at Bhubaneswar filed a case against N.H.A.I. authorities in the court of Civil Judge (Jr. Divn.) Bhubaneswar since 9th June – 2000 with its statusquo order passed by Civil Judge (Sr. Divn.) Bhubaneswar the said year. The same statusquo was maintained till date with its period of continuance up to 1st October 2012.
We the devotees had shown this Court order to the N.H.A.I Bhubaneswar officers, who was authorized as Land Accusation officer-cum- Competent Authority to prevent him from breaking Srila Prabhupad’s cottage alongwith other rooms such as Reception, Prasadam and Books of Srila Prabhupad along with paraphernalia’s & incense sticks. But the same official had not put any attention to it. Exercising his Executive Magistrate power he ordered the squad with JCB machine and staffs to crumble down the above stalls including Srila Prabhupad’s cottage. By 12.45 P.M. everything was finished and the same cottage is now no more in its original posture. By the request of H.G. Sachinandan Prabhu the L.A.O. was although reluctant still was forced to keep up the granite stone made base unhurt on which the well carved wooden simhasan was being kept along with the divine murty of H.D.G. That base is still there.
We the most unfortunate souls pray fervently Srila Prabhupad to excuse us of our offences and allow us again to reestablish H.D.G. in the same area and continue his seva as it was.
For this purpose we pray again and again to all the Vaisnavas around the globe to shower their mercy on these fallen souls here at Bhubaneswar so that we will be able to serve as before Srila Prabhupad, the great spiritual ambassador who preached the gospels of ancient vedic literatures around the globe 14 times within a period of 11 years of his most advanced age. This Bhubaneswar branch of ISKCON was the last founded project of Srila Prabhupad & 108th branch of ISKCON.
Jaya Srila Prabhupad. Jaya Srila Prabhupad’s memorial cottage.
Devotees of Sri Krishna Balaram Temple
Srila Prabhupada was always eager to see Vaishnava literature published.
The Bhaktivedanta Library in Mumbai is a unique subject that inspired me to write. I have been to many ISKCON temples, along with many holy places all over India; but at ISKCON Mumbai (Shri Radha Rasa Bihari Ji) I discovered a unique and special library that has an extensive collection of books by various authors from all over the world.
The Bhaktivedanta library is a veritable treasure house of knowledge. What makes me write this article was a small advertisement pamphlet of The Bhaktivedanta Library which I got from the take-away box of the library.
This library invites the public to read wonderful books in an air-conditioned comfort zone free of charge (except for the small amount to be paid if you borrow a book from the library's lend-for-money facility to take out and read at home). The library also has a take-away box, allowing visitors to take away photos, pictures, CDs and pamphlets free of cost.
The flyer from Juhu Beach ISKCON temple publicizing the new library.
This library, which was inaugurated in January 2007, is located on the second floor, New Building, in the 'Heaven on Earth' complex at the ISKCON temple at Juhu. From a quick overview, I found the library had more than 1,800 books in English and various Indian languages.
A remarkable aspect of this library is the way it caters to children with many colouring books, comics and animations on Lord Krishna. The state-of-the-art multimedia section has 10 monitors with 18 video films, 3,000 lectures and 1,500 songs to choose from. Children are very fond of this library; I often see them around making a bit of noise and enjoying themselves. A little girl was spraying 'room freshener' everywhere in the library, to her own amusement. I always spend some time in this library whenever I go to Juhu temple and try to read and write as much as possible.
Students and scholars at large benefit from the use of the library's database, which helps to sharpen their intellect. They gain ability to focus with the best possible perspective. It is by good reading that we can develop the confidence to tackle problems in life independently, guided by authentic knowledge coming from time-tested, infallible sources; i.e., Lord Krishna and his pure devotees. It also helps to improve one's memory capacity and clarity of thought.
The library has a well-stocked media room with computers, videos, recorded music and lectures, etc.
His Grace Rasapurusha das, who is a regular visitor, says there is no other library better than this. When there is an annual conference of the ISKCON Governing Body Commission in Mumbai, this library becomes a conference hall for the GBC members. One delegate remarked that he has never seen such a library in any of the ISKCON centers in the world.
There is pin-drop silence in this library, adds Rasapurusha das. Credit for this well-maintained library goes to Ananthaprabhu das, who is the librarian here. Well-illuminated facilities and a high ceiling make reading more pleasurable. This library is kept nice and immaculately clean. Chairs are comfortable and cushioned; both the tables and chairs are decorated beautifully. All the book sections are well labelled so that the reader wastes little time in searching for the right book. This library has many book shelves storing books in Hindi, Kannada, Bengali, Marathi, Gujarati, English, Oriya, Telugu, Tamil and Malayalam.
All the walls have nicely framed large pictures of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda (ISKCON's Founder-Acharya) and of the pastimes of Lord Krishna. This library is a non-profit unit being operated to fulfil the desires of His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupāda to spread Vedic wisdom throughout the world.
The main stacks and reading area present the books attractively in an easy-to-find way.
Akshay, an MBBS student from Pune, said: "Rare books which are difficult to find elsewhere are found here. I find books from all sampradayas, and for example, one can find the Bible here. The book sections have been segmented by language, by name of author and by subject matter.
"Along with books, the library has an excellent collection of periodicals, papers, articles and photos. The most important thing is that the librarian (Ananthaprabhu das) is very cooperative and polite. He never makes one feel indifferent. When I come here for a while, I feel that I have been coming here for a long time. This library has audio lectures, CDs and computers too. Some of the books here are very expensive; I cannot afford to own them, so I just read them here free of cost.
"I got in contact with ISKCON through the Bhaktivriksha programme in Chennai. Now I continue with my devotional activities in Pune also. If one wants to do so, one can pay a fee and deposit the cost of the book in order to borrow the book from the library, and the deposited money will be returned on returning the book."
Akshay justified the policy, explaining that the library cannot, unfortunately, afford to operate as a free lending library: "The librarian is very tense these days as many books from this library have been stolen in the recent past."
Shambhu, a worker from Kolkata, says: "My village is in West Bengal. I get one day off on Sunday. I come to this library on Sunday morning; it opens at 10 a.m. I read these books to acquire knowledge and to search the absolute truth. I love reading the books available here."
Ananthaprabhu das, th librarian in charge, says: "After my 13 years of service in the Bhaktivedanta Institute, Juhu, I was in Mira Road for ten years, attending temple programmes and satsang." He worked in the Bhaktivedanta Hospital with Dr. Patel, campaigning with Devamrita das to try to reduce the rate of female-foetus abortions among couples who unfortunately still have a strong cultural preference for male children.
"One day in the afternoon after lecture, H.H. Gopal Krishna Goswami Maharaj called me from his car, put his hands on my shoulders and asked me to take up some responsibility, as I had been there for a long time. Maharaj had known me from 1983. I requested Maharaj to guide me. Maharaj then asked me to meet His Grace Braj Hari prabhu," Ananthaprabhu said.
"The next day I met Braja Hari prabhu in Juhu Mandir, and he put me in touch with His Grace Pundarik Govind prabhu, who had just completed library furniture arrangements. He told me I should serve in this library as I had in the Bhaktivedanta Institute library earlier and that I ought to make a system for the new library. Then in January 2007, I started going every day to Juhu. From 300 books and 60 videos, the library has now grown to 1,800 books and 9,000 videos, lectures and songs in the multimedia section.
"The numbers of readers have steadily increased; the 'lending for home reading' section has 78 regular borrowers. The library organizes community services, especially on Saturdays, of different groups like senior citizens. Senior devotees address them in such programmes. Besides the overtly spiritual books, the library also holds books on vegetarian cooking, art, songs and Sanskrit, as well as books on travel to holy places."
Library hours: Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sundays, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. For further information, please contact Ananthaprabhu das, (022) 2620 6860 (Extension 155)
Address: The Bhaktivedanta Library
Bhakti Writers Competition|
by Krsna Priya Jani
Posted October 1, 2012
Bhakti Writers is hosting their first annual writing competition, and will accept poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction submissions. We're offering $500 worth of prizes.
All winning entries will be published. Submission fee is $10 per entry. Entries are due by 12:00 noon Eastern Standard time on Friday, November 23, 2012.
For more information and online submission guidelines, visit bhaktiwriters.com.
Becoming Sensitive to the Spiritual Master's Instructions
by Chanchalapathi Das
Posted September 23, 2012
Dear Srila Prabhupada,
Please accept my prostrated obeisance. All glories to your divine grace. I wish to present this homage in the form of remembrance of your instructions in the context of what is happening in ISKCON
Fact 1: Secret of success in spiritual life is to serve the instructions of the spiritual master as one's life and soul and never deviate:
Srila Prabhupada has mercifully revealed the secret of success in spiritual life:
"The secret of success in spiritual life is in satisfying the spiritual master and thereby getting his sincere blessings... It is essential, therefore, that a disciple be very much obedient and submissive to the bona fide spiritual master." (Srimad Bhagavatam 1.1.8 Purport)
In various lectures, correspondences, the daily practices that Srila Prabhupada instituted in ISKCON, his own life's example – he has emphasized this principle. For instance, once in Philadelphia after the Bhagavatam class, he mentioned:
"Guru-mukha-padma-vakya, cittete koriya aikya. Now citta means consciousness or heart. "I shall do this only, bas. My Guru Maharaja told me; I shall do this." Cittete koriya aikya, ar na koriho mane asa. So it is not my pride, but I can say, for your instruction, I did it. Therefore whatever little success you see than all my Godbrothers, it is due to this. I have no capacity, but I took it, the words of my guru, as life and soul. So this is fact. Guru-mukha-padma-vakya, cittete koriya aikya. Everyone should do that. But if he makes addition, alteration, then he is finished. No addition, alteration. You have to approach guru—guru means the faithful servant of God, Krsna—and take his word how to serve Him. Then you are successful. If you concoct, "I am very intelligent than my guru, and I can make addition or alteration," then you are finished. (Srila Prabhupada lecture, July 12th, 1975, Philadelphia)(Click here for the full article)
Mahaprabhu in Jajpur
by Krishna Das
Posted August 16, 2012
A long time ago when Srila Goura govinda Swami Maharaj was present, Iskcon Bhubaneswar had occupied a piece of Land at Viraja ksetra or Jajpur town. From that time nobody has taken enough interest to start something there. Few days back some interested local devotees came to Bhubaneswar Iskcon temple and met temple president H.G. Dhruba Maharaj Das and H.H. Gourav Narayan Swami to express their intense desire to start some preaching activities in Viraja Kshetra by using that occupied land as a base. One of odiya devotee H.G. Krshna das who had already stayed many years in Iskcon Bhubaneswar after that at Iskcon Mayapur and recently staying at Iskcon Mumbai (Juhu) has taken lot of interest and effort to build a small temple with preaching activities.
Importance of Varaha Kshetra
1.SHRI CHAITANYA MAHAPRABHU who stayed here for a day or two and offered worship to Lord Varaha on his way to Puri in the first decade of 16th century.
2.Jajpur is very close to Kapilesvara, the birthplace of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s grandfather. It is the place from where His grandfather’s family had moved to west Bengal.
3.Lord Sri Krishna Caitany’s Lotus foot print by the melting of stone at varaha kshetra inside Varaha temple.
4.Jagannath Temple at bank of Vaitarani River.
5.Four Varaha Deva: Yajna Varaha, Sveta Varaha, Lakshmi Varaha and Padma Varaha deva. In satya yug varahadev appeared here who killed demon Hiranyakhya, in other kalpas also different varahadev appears here, and because of that this is called Varaha Kshetra.
6.One of the four most holy places (Char Dhams) in the religious tradition of Vaishnavism or Hinduism located in Odisha. According to the tradition, Lord Vishnu after killing the demon Gayasura (at Gaya city of Modern Bihar), to commemorate the glory of His victory, placed his Sankha (Conch) in Puri, Chakra (Disc) in Bhubaneswar, Gada (Mace) in Jajpur and Padma (Lotus) in Konark and they were later known as Sankha Kshetra, Chakra Kshetra, Gada Kshetra and Padma Kshetra respectively in spiritual and religious tradition.
7.Dasawasamedha ghat: Combination of all 64 holy places water present in Baitarani River. Whoever takes bath in this ghat get Vaikuntha liberation with four armed form. The well known Dasaswasamedha Ghat built by the Soma Vansi King , Jajati Keshari , where the great Aswamedha Yajna was performed during the 10th century still exists under the piles of sand. Seven form of Durga Devi (Suvadra Maharani or Yogamaya …………..) known as seven sister, resides on this ghat.
8. Viraja Temple where the deity Viraja Devi( the goddess of viraja river, the consciousness) is yogamaya herself stays in Jajpur. Orissa has two kshetras one is ShriKshetra Puri where Supreme Personality of godhead stays. Another is this Viraja Kshetra where Yogamaya (Virraja Devi) the supreme potency of Lord Jagannath stays, so it is complete dham.
9. According to the Linga Purana, Viraja originated from the sacrificial altar where Brahma made a yajna at Jaipur. Brahmakunda of Jajpur is believed to be the site of yajna. Since then, Viraja kshetra was famous all over India and it is believed that seven generations of ancestors get salvation when one visits the pitha of mother Viraja. There are other 68 subsidiary tirthas at Jajpur to heighten the glory of Viraja.
Any devotee interested to visit or help the new Namahatta centre at Varaha Kshetra please contact H. G. Krishna das. E-mail- email@example.com
The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) wishes to express our condolences to the victims and families of the attack at the Sikh Temple of Oak Creek, Wisconsin, and to our friends in the Sikh community in the USA and around the world.
We are deeply saddened and shocked by the horrible violence committed against the Sikh community. We join our Sikh brothers and sisters in this day of mourning for those who died or were wounded yesterday. We commend those who sacrificed their own safety and lives to protect the innocent victims.
It is with great sadness that we see the level of violence escalating in the world against religious communities and other innocent persons. We deplore these acts of violence against anyone, regardless of their faith, nationality, ethnicity or other identity.
Our prayers go out to all our Sikh friends. We stand with you during this difficult time. Please know that communities of faith around the world support you, and stand with you in sadness, hope and prayer.
August 6, 2012
Contact: Anuttama Dasa
International Director of Communications
Dear prabhus, I saw the following question from Rachel Espinosa on your website five years ago:
"I was reading in the Grihastha Manual that Srila Gopal Bhatta Goswami considered ten samskaras to be most important. I have been trying to find them on the Internet, but I can´t seem to find, or recognise, the ten. Does anyone know what they are?"
An answer to this question is in the book Vedic Dharma and the Grihastha Ashrama, volume 1, by H.H. Gaur Govinda Swami Maharaja. The book is published by Tattva Vicara Publications, (www.tvpbooks.com).
An Oversight Committee, appointed by the Supreme Court of India, has urged ISKCON-Bangalore and ISKCON-Mumbai to find a peaceful settlement. Responding to this ISKCON-Bangalore has given a Peace Proposal. Attached are :
2. ISKCON-Bangalore’s Peace Proposal dated Mar 14, 2012. (See Below)
PEACE PROPOSAL BY ISKCON-BANGALORE
(THIS PEACE PROPOSAL IS OFFERED WITHOUT PREJUDICE TO THE RIGHTS AND CONTENTIONS OF ISKCON-BANGALORE SOCIETY MADE BEFORE VARIOUS COURTS AND IN THE SLP BEFORE THE HONOURABLE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA)
The dispute between ISKCON-Bangalore and ISKCON-Mumbai concerns:
I. Theological issue: Who is the Acharya of ISKCON who will give diksha (initiation) to all the devotees of ISKCON?
ISKCON-Bangalore’s Position: Srila Prabhupada shall remain the Acharya of ISKCON and continue to give diksha and guide all devotees in ISKCON to the abode of Lord Sri Krishna.
ISKCON-Mumbai’s Position: Since Srila Prabhupada is no more physically present, one should take diksha from one of the present ISKCON gurus.
II. Who owns the Sri Radha Krishna Temple property on Hare Krishna Hill in Bangalore? Is it ISKCON-Bangalore society or ISKCON-Mumbai society?
III. Who shall manage Sri Radha Krishna Temple property on Hare Krishna Hill in Bangalore? Is it ISKCON-Bangalore society or ISKCON-Mumbai society?
The suit schedule property, Sri Radha Krishna Temple on Hare Krishna Hill, Rajajinagar, Bangalore, being a public temple and a immovable property which cannot be sold or mortgaged or encumbered in any manner in the process of managing the same, the real issue is to determine the permanent structure of management of this Sri Radha Krishna Temple property, on Hare Krishna Hill, Rajajinagar, Bangalore, hereinafter referred to as the Temple.
ISKCON-Bangalore wishes to propose the following:
1. System of initiation (diksha): the irrevocable and only system of initiation practiced and preached in the Temple shall be as per July 9th 1977 directive of Srila Prabhupada. According to this, Srila Prabhupada is the Acharya and all devotees of ISKCON shall be disciples of Srila Prabhupada.
2. There shall be a two tier system for managing the Temple:
Governing Council: this council will govern the Temple by defining broad policies as per the objectives of ISKCON and directions of temple management as given by Srila Prabhupada. A CHARTER FOR GOVERNENCE will more elaborately describe the scope and powers of the Governing Council.
Executive Council: this council will be responsible for the day-to-day affairs of the Temple. A CHARTER FOR EXECUTIVE MANAGEMENT will more elaborately describe the scope and powers of the Executive Council.
3. The Governing Council will consist of
a) three members nominated by ISKCON-Bangalore society
b) three members nominated by ISKCON-Mumbai society
c) one retired High court or Supreme court judge nominated by ISKCON-Bangalore society.
d) one retired High court or Supreme court judge nominated by ISKCON-Mumbai society.
4. The Executive Council will consist entirely of missionaries who are members of and nominated by ISKCON-Bangalore society consisting of Temple President, assisted by Senior Vice President and several Vice Presidents, as it is now managed.
5. There shall be a CODE OF CONDUCT which will define how the devotees of both societies should conduct themselves at the Temple keeping in mind the system of initiation as per point no.1 above.
6. On the broad acceptance of this proposal, a Joint Draft Committee will be formed and charged with the task of drafting the following documents:
These three will constitute the TEMPLE CONSITITUTION DOCUMENTS.
7. The Joint Draft Committee will consist of
8. In future, the TEMPLE CONSTITUTION DOCUMENTS can be amended only by ¾ majority of the Governing Council. Such amendments are possible only in a Council with a quorum of 6 members present and at least one retired HC or SC judge will be one of the 6 members. More details of such special meetings will be part of the charter.
9. After the TEMPLE CONSTITUTION DOCUMENTS are drafted, the PEACE PROPOSAL will be finalized and put in place under the supervision of the Oversight Committee.