A lesson from Mr. Bean
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(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 24 February 2019, New York, United States of America, Bhagavad-gita 7.7)

Do you ever watch Mr. Bean? Well, there is one episode that I like where he comes to a hotel and he checks in. He first rings a bell and someone appears from behind the counter and takes him to a room. He wants a cheap one and he is taken to the top of the hotel building and gets into the room. Everything is there and he proceeds to sit. He opens his suitcase and he takes out a drill and then he begins to drill into the wall. Holes in the hotel room’s wall! Then he takes a painting out of his suitcase, puts a hook in the drilled opening and then hangs the painting onto it. Then he puts some flowers in a vase in the room. After that, he wants to use the bathroom but notices that there is no door, it is not attached. So he looks and finds a bathroom next door. Then he puts a saw blade through the wall and cuts a door out of the wall and that was it! He locks the bathroom from inside and everything is attached. Takes the teddy bear, puts on his hat and off he goes to bed for the night.

This is funny. But why is it funny? It is funny because he treats a temporary situation like a hotel room as a permanent residence. And guess what? We are doing the same. We are also treating this temporary situation like it is permanent. So if we make the enjoyment in this world everything, then we are treating the temporary situation as permanent. Of course, even in the temporary situation, a little comfort is okay, but how much effort are we going to make? How much effort? Why worry so much about such temporary situations? So this is the proper understanding. The real happiness is not in the material world. The real thing is not the pearls, but the real thing is the thread. The real thing is Krsna.

So in this way, we are focusing on that deeper level and we begin to see differently. We are no longer looking at the external things. We are really looking at the essence, which is Krsna – Who is behind everything, Who is the origin of everything and we realize that this is the most important of all things, and everything else is secondary. We can simplify our involvement with matter and we have more time and energy for Krsna. So the more we can simplify our dealings with matter, the more we are free for Krsna, to connect with Him. In this way we can see, matah paramtaram nanyat kincid asti dhananjaya (Bhagavad-gita 7.7). There is nothing superior to Krsna, absolutely nothing. Krsna is really the most wonderful, Krsna is the most interesting. Krsna can satisfy us more than anything or anyone. This is what we have to thoroughly realize.

The article " A lesson from Mr. Bean " was published on KKSBlog.

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Ratha Yatra Celebration at ISKCON Ujjain 2019
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By Dhira Gaura Das

With unimaginable joy and enthusiasm, on the 4th July. 2019 the devotees in Ujjain took Their Lordships Shri Shri Jagannatha, Baladeva, Subhadra and Sudharshan on a trip around the city to make sure all the citizens and visitors were blessed by Their most merciful glance. To grace this occasion His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami Maharaja was present along with a sea full of devotees whose eagerness to please the Lord was the very life of the entire procession. Read the rest of this entry »

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Why follow Caturmasya?
→ Mayapur.com

“The real purpose behind the vow taken during these four months is to minimize the quantity of sense gratification. This is not very difficult.” –  Caitanya-caritamrita, Madhya Lila 4.169, Purport In the purport to Sri Caitanya-caritamrita, Madhya-lila 4.169, Srila Prabhupada writes that “the Caturmasya period begins in the month of Ashadha (June-July) from the day […]

The post Why follow Caturmasya? appeared first on Mayapur.com.

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JUL 2019 ISSUE of the CONCH
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TABLE OF CONTENTS Srila Prabhupada Uvaca Mahaprabhu’s Ecstasy and our Opportunity 40th Installation Anniversary Radha Govardhanadhari Eight-hour Kirtana Annual General Meeting: Australia’s National Council A Day at the Salon In Focus: Seona Moss Congregational Bliss New Govardhana Conference Gurukula ANZAC Hosts Vaishnavi Youth Group Observing Chaturmasya Upcoming Events

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Srila Prabhupada’s Samadhi Mandir: 16th July 2019 – Guru Purnima Darshan
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Srila Prabhupada’s Samadhi Mandir: 16th July 2019 - Guru Purnima Darshan.

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Meet SEONA MOSS
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Meet SEONA MOSS.
By Anasuya dasi
Q: How did you first come into contact with ISKCON New Govardhana?

elcoming and inspiring us in our devotional practice.

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Bhagavatam tenth canto study 88 – 10.15.7-12 Krishna-Balarama make all living beings in Vrindavana fortunate
→ The Spiritual Scientist

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Lokanath Maharaja Vyasa Puja TOVP Fundraiser a Grand Success
- TOVP.org

The July 9-15th celebration of the 70th Anniversary Vyasa Puja of His Holiness Lokanath Swami on July 12th is now complete, and amongst the many activities going on during that week, Braja Vilasa prabhu from the TOVP was present to extend an invitation to participate in the special Lokanath Maharaja Brick/Flag Campaign. Over 5,000 devotees were present to welcome Lord Nityananda’s Padukas with arati and pushpa abhisheka.

This very ecstatic program included the following events:

Sridham Pandharpur (July 9 – 12, 2019)
July 9 : Devotees Arrival
July 10: Initiations and Festival Adhivas
July 11: Srila Prabhupada Ghat Inauguration
July 12: HH Lokanath Swami Maharaja 70th Vyasa Puja

Pilgrimage Yatra (July 13 – 15, 2019)
July 13: Aravade (Birthplace of Lokanath Swami Maharaja)
July 14: Kolhapur (Mahalaxmi Temple Darsana), Satara (Krishna Venna confluence – Place where Lord Caitanya received the book called Krishna Karnamrta), ISKCON Nigadi (Overnight stay)
July 15: Dehu (Birthplace of Sant Tukarama), In the evening ISKCON Pune (NVCC) Maha Satsanga

Lokanath Maharaja gave special time and attention to the TOVP fundraiser, giving it priority on his Vyasa Puja day over and above even the eulogies of his disciples. It was on his mind as one of the main agendas of the program because Vyasa Puja is not only a time for praising one’s guru with words, but serving his desire. And Maharaja has a keen desire to help serve his own guru, our ISKCON Founder/Acharya Srila Prabhupada, by completing the TOVP by 2022. He is thus setting an ideal example for all his disciples how to serve Guru and Gauranga by serving their mission.

Lokanath Maharaja gave his word that 70 bricks would be sponsored on his 70th Anniversary Vyasa Puja. By the time Braja Vilasa had to leave the next day for TOVP Tour programs in South India, three Kirtanam Pillars had also been sponsored.

We want to thank Lokanath Maharaja and all his disciples for their continuous support and enthusiasm to serve the MISSION 22 MARATHON to complete the TOVP by 2022.

MISSION 22 MARATHON KI JAYA! THINK 22! TOVP NOW! 

[See image gallery at tovp.org]

 

TOVP NEWS AND UPDATES – STAY IN TOUCH

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The post Lokanath Maharaja Vyasa Puja TOVP Fundraiser a Grand Success appeared first on Temple of the Vedic Planetarium.

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Denpasar Rathayatra
→ Ramai Swami

The Denpasar Jagannatha Rathayatra festival was attended by at least two thousand devotees. It was held over two days in a prominent park of the city where there is a big museum that attracts a lot of tourists. Local people also frequent the park for leisure and exercise.

The parade, which lasts for two and a half hours, was especially ecstatic and I was fortunate to be invited on Lord Balarama’s Ratha. 

During the festival, Their Lordships were entertained with kirtan, drama, dance and, of course, there were tents full of wonderful prasadam. Everyone was in a happy mood associating with one another and giving the mercy to others.  

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Sri Sri Rukmini-Dvarakanatha’s 50th Anniversary Festival, July 14, Los Angeles
Giriraj Swami

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Wheeling Ratha Yatra (“Festival of India”) 2019 (10 min. video)
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Wheeling Ratha Yatra (“Festival of India”) 2019 (10 min. video)
The 4th annual Festival of Chariots organized by New Vrindaban devotees in Wheeling, WV.

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Iskcon Los Angeles – Rukmini Dvarakanatha 50th Installation Anniversary
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Iskcon Los Angeles - Rukmini Dvarakanatha 50th Installation Anniversary (2 min. video)
Pushpa Abhishekh - 14 July 2019.

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Why follow Caturmasya?
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It is stated in the Nectar of Devotion that by following the regulative principles of Caturmasya, one can quickly be raised to the platform of devotional service. The observation of Caturmasya is meant to increase one’s devotion to Lord Krishna and to decrease sense gratification, so whatever is done during Caturmasya should support one’s sadhana and service, and should not inhibit it.The four month period of Caturmasya is an opportunity for devotees and non-devotees alike to reap immense spiritual benefit from the performance of the simplest of austerities to the best of one’s ability

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Bhagavatam tenth canto study 87 – 10.15.1-6 Krishna dedicates the beauty of Vrindavana is meant for Balarama
→ The Spiritual Scientist

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Record Breaking 9th Jagannath Rathayatra in Netrakona, Bangladesh
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The Rathayatra in Netrakona is becoming bigger and bigger every year due to the tireless efforts of the devotees. By the mercy of the Lord, this year’s Rathayatra festival broke all the previous records. 20,000 plates of prasadam were distributed and more than 500 young students joined the festival by wearing a special Rathayatra T-shirt. People from nearby tribal areas came to take part in the festival. Huge crowd and enthusiasm of the devotees transformed the town in to a little Vaikuntha.

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Sri Guru-purnima
Giriraj Swami

Today is Guru-purnima. Srila Prabhupada has explained that the system of honoring the spiritual master is current among all Vedic followers. In Mayavadi (impersonalist) sects, disciples offer respect to the spiritual master once in a year, on Guru-purnima. And in the Gaudiya Vaishnava sampradaya, disciples also offer homage annually—on the appearance day of the spiritual master, in a ceremony called Vyasa-puja because the spiritual master, through disciplic succession, presents the same knowledge as Vedavyasa, the empowered incarnation of Krishna who compiled the Vedic literatures. We shall take this opportunity to discuss the principle of guru—and glorify the acarya-sampradaya.

 Guru is a deep subject. We sing, vande ’ham sri-guroh sri-yuta-pada-kamalam sri-gurun vaisnavams ca, offering respects to the individual spiritual master, to the predecessor acharyas, and to all Vaishnavas.

As Srila Prabhupada explains, “The offering of respect to the spiritual master means offering respect to all the previous acharyas. Gurun means plural number. All the acharyas, they are not different from one another, because they are coming in the disciplic succession from the original spiritual master and they have no different views.” Thus we offer respects to the predecessors.

Similarly, we offer respects to the followers. Srila Prabhupada explains further, “Spiritual master means they must have many followers, who are all Vaishnavas. They are called prabhus, and the spiritual master is called Prabhupada, because at his lotus feet there are many prabhus. Pada means ‘lotus foot.’ All these Vaishnavas are prabhus. So they are also offered respectful obeisances—not the spiritual master alone, but along with his associates. And these associates, his disciples, are all Vaishnavas. Therefore they should also be offered respectful obeisances.” (SP comment on Mangalacarana, January 8, 1969)

For those of us in ISKCON, Srila Prabhupada is the main guru; he is the founder-acharya. But he also has his associates—Srila Gour Govinda Swami, Srila Tamal Krishna Goswami, Srila Sridhar Swami, Srila Bhakti Tirtha Swami, Srila Bhaktisvarupa Damodara Swami—to name some prominent ones who have departed. And of course, Prabhupada is being served by so many others today, and we can serve and learn from them all.

“One who teaches can be treated as spiritual master. . . . So if we take instruction from them, all senior godbrothers may be treated as guru. There is no harm. Actually, you have only one spiritual master, who initiates you, just as you have only one father. But every Vaishnava should be treated as prabhu, master, higher than me, and in this sense, if I learn from him, he may be regarded as guru.” (SP letter dated November 20, 1971)

The original guru is Krishna. He speaks the knowledge of the Bhagavad-gita and enunciates the principles of religion. Dharmam tu saksad bhagavat-pranitam: the principles of dharma—bhagavata-dharma, prema-dharma—are enacted by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Dharma means “the laws of God,” or “the orders of God.” We cannot manufacture it; dharmam tu saksad bhagavat-pranitam: the principles of religion are enacted by the Lord Himself. We cannot make religious principles any more than we can make our own laws. Srila Prabhupada gave the example that you can’t just get together with some friends and pass your own laws; laws must be enacted by the government, by the parliament or legislature. Similarly, dharma is enacted by God.

dharmam tu saksad bhagavat-pranitam
na vai vidur rsayo napi devah
na siddha-mukhya asura manusyah
kuto nu vidyadhara-caranadayah

“Real religious principles are enacted by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Although fully situated in the mode of goodness, even the great rsis who occupy the topmost planets cannot ascertain the real religious principles, nor can the demigods or the leaders of Siddhaloka, to say nothing of the asuras, ordinary human beings, Vidyadharas, and Caranas.” (SB 6.3.19)

The conclusion of the Bhagavad-gita is sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja—to give up all varieties of dharmas and just surrender to Krishna. And to understand the confidential truths about religious principles and the knowledge of the Bhagavad-gita, we need the help of mahajanas, authorities in Krishna consciousness—gurus.

svayambhur naradah sambhuh
kumarah kapilo manuh
prahlado janako bhismo
balir vaiyasakir vayam

dvadasaite vijanimo
dharmam bhagavatam bhatah
guhyam visuddham durbodham
yam jnatvamrtam asnute

“Lord Brahma, Bhagavan Narada, Lord Siva, the four Kumaras, Lord Kapila [the son of Devahuti], Svayambhuva Manu, Prahlada Maharaja, Janaka Maharaja, Grandfather Bhisma, Bali Maharaja, Sukadeva Gosvami, and I myself [Yamaraja] know the real religious principle. My dear servants, this transcendental religious principle, which is known as bhagavata-dharma, or surrender unto the Supreme Lord and love for Him, is uncontaminated by the material modes of nature. It is very confidential and difficult for ordinary human beings to understand, but if by chance one fortunately understands it, he is immediately liberated, and thus he returns home, back to Godhead.” (SB 6.3.20–21)

This confidential knowledge is given by God in scriptures and passed down through disciplic succession (evam parampara-praptam) to great souls who in turn impart the knowledge to their followers. And of all scriptures, Srimad-Bhagavatam is considered the most important, the ripened fruit of the tree of Vedic knowledge.

nigama-kalpa-taror galitam phalam
suka-mukhad amrta-drava-samyutam
pibata bhagavatam rasam alayam
muhur aho rasika bhuvi bhavukah

“O expert and thoughtful men, relish Srimad-Bhagavatam, the mature fruit of the desire tree of Vedic literatures. It emanated from the lips of Sri Sukadeva Gosvami. Therefore this fruit has become even more tasteful, although its nectarean juice was already relishable for all, including liberated souls.” (SB 1.1.3)

This nectarean fruit is passed down to us through disciplic succession. In commenting on this verse, Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura gives the example of a mango tree. To get a ripe mango from the top of a tree, several boys climb onto its branches and then the boy at the top plucks the fruit and hands it to the boy on the next branch down, that boy hands it down to the one on the next branch, and so on, until finally it reaches the boy on the ground—in the same condition as it had been at the top of the tree. It hasn’t been bruised or broken; it has been delivered intact, just as it was.

At the top of our tree is Krishna, and He passes the knowledge down to Brahma. Brahma passes it to Narada, and Narada passes it to Vyasa. (Today is also called Vyasa-purnima because Vyasadeva, who compiled the Vedic literature, appeared on this date.) Vyasa passes it to Madhvacharya, and so on—Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the Six Gosvamis, and, further down, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji Maharaja, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, and Srila Prabhupada. And now the followers of Srila Prabhupada are presenting the same knowledge. They follow and present the same teachings—that is their qualification.

About Vedavyasa, Prabhupada wrote: “Vyasadeva was a real person accepted by all authorities, and anyone can judge how wonderful he was to have compiled the Vedic literatures. He is therefore known as Mahamuni. Muni means ‘thoughtful’ or ‘great thinker’ or ‘great poet,’ and maha means still greater. There is no comparison of Vyasadeva with any other writer or thinker or philosopher. Nobody can estimate the scholarly importance of Srila Vyasadeva. He composed many millions of Sanskrit verses, and we try to receive just a fragment of the knowledge in them by our tiny efforts. Srila Vyasadeva therefore summarized the whole Vedic knowledge in Srimad-Bhagavatam, which is known as the ripened fruit of the desire tree of Vedic knowledge. The ripened fruit is received hand to hand through disciplic succession, and anyone who does this work in disciplic succession from Srila Vyasadeva is considered a representative of Vyasadeva, and as such the bona fide spiritual master’s appearance day is worshiped as Vyasa-puja.” (Srila Prabhupada letter dated August 25, 1970)

In addition to being Vyasa-purnima, the appearance day of Vedavyasa, today is also the disappearance day of Srila Sanatana Gosvami, the most senior of the Six Gosvamis of Vrindavan. His book Sri Brhad-Bhagavatamrta was the first major work of the Six Gosvamis. Sanatana Gosvami also comes in the disciplic succession from Lord Krishna to Brahma, but he is especially significant because he is a direct follower of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who is Krishna Himself. Because Lord Chaitanya is Krishna, He is capable of beginning His own disciplic succession, but because He was acting as a devotee, He chose to take initiation in the disciplic succession from Krishna and Brahma. Still, He is God, and the process by which He imparted knowledge to His immediate followers—Rupa Gosvami and Sanatana Gosvami—is comparable to the way Lord Krishna imparted knowledge to Brahma. Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami, in his Caitanya-caritamrta, writes of Sanatana’s younger brother Rupa:

vrndavaniyam rasa-keli-vartam
kalena luptam nija-saktim utkah
sancarya rupe vyatanot punah sa
prabhur vidhau prag iva loka-srstim

“Before the creation of this cosmic manifestation, the Lord enlightened the heart of Lord Brahma with the details of the creation and manifested the Vedic knowledge. In exactly the same way, the Lord, being anxious to revive the Vrndavana pastimes of Lord Krishna, impregnated the heart of Rupa Gosvami with spiritual potency. By this potency, Srila Rupa Gosvami could revive the activities of Krishna in Vrndavana, activities almost lost to memory. In this way, He spread Krishna consciousness throughout the world.” (Cc Madhya 19.1) Lord Chaitanya also empowered him to write books on bhakti-yoga, and the same could be said about Sanatana Gosvami.

We are followers of the Six Gosvamis—followers of their followers. Srila Narottama dasa Thakura prays,

ei chaya gosai yara-mui tara dasa
tan’-sabara pada-renu mora panca-grasa

“I am the servant of that person who is a servant of the Six Gosvamis. The dust of their holy feet is my five kinds of foodstuffs.”

And:

tandera carana sevi-bhakta-sane vasa
janame janame hoy ei abhilasa

“This is my desire, that birth after birth I may live with those devotees who serve the lotus feet of the Six Gosvamis.”

A few weeks ago, we were fortunate to receive four visitors from Dallas, disciples of Tamal Krishna Goswami—Dharma dasa and his wife Urjesvari, her sister Saibya, and Padma dasi. And Mayapur dasa, Sridhar Swami’s personal servant for many years, was also with us, as was His Holiness Niranjana Swami. So we thought it a good occasion to glorify these two stalwart servants of Srila Prabhupada, these two powerful preachers, Tamal Krishna Goswami and Sridhar Swami. It was very enlivening and purifying. All of the devotees spoke beautifully—each and every one—and we could really feel Tamal Krishna Goswami’s and Sridhar Swami’s presence and really feel united with Srila Prabhupada and his associates. Niranjana Swami also spoke very beautifully and led kirtan.

Although all of Srila Prabhupada’s direct disciples are godbrothers and godsisters in that we were all initiated by His Divine Grace, still, among his followers there are some who were—and are—really leading the movement and showing the way for others to follow. Certainly His Holiness Tamal Krishna Goswami was a great pioneer, as was His Holiness Sridhar Swami. And even now devotees are following Srila Prabhupada and leading us and showing us the way. We also are trying to make our little contributions, but still, there are some who are ahead of us, showing the way and making it easier for us to follow.

At the same time, it is also very personal and individual—through whom Krishna speaks to whom. It is not that everyone has to follow only one particular person. Krishna can manifest Himself—and Prabhupada can manifest himself—through different servants, different Vaishnavas, and we should be open to that flow of mercy however and through whomever it comes. It is not fixed or rigid; it can come in different ways, and we should be open to it. That is really the principle of guru: Krishna’s instructions come to us through a servant of Krishna, a representative of Krishna—and not only one. Krishna can speak to us through many mouths, through many personalities, and we should be open to that guidance. We should take His instructions on our head and follow them. That is how Krishna guides the conditioned souls back home, back to Godhead. He can engage any number of His servants to help us, and God knows we need all the help we can get. So we shouldn’t be sectarian. We shouldn’t cut ourselves off from any flow of mercy that may come to us by the arrangement of the Lord, or of Srila Prabhupada, or of any of our spiritual masters.

I think of the example of Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, because he had so many gurus. Of course, he was a direct associate of Lord Chaitanya Himself, but even then, he was helped by so many guides and well-wishers. He was initiated by Yadunandana Acharya, Raghunatha’s family’s spiritual master. Yadunandana Acharya himself was a great Vaishnava, an initiated disciple of Advaita Acharya and an intimate student of Vasudeva Datta. And Balarama Acharya, a dear associate of Haridasa Thakura, was Raghunatha’s family’s priest. Raghunatha learned from him too. Balarama Acharya and Yadunandana Acharya were friends, and both used to host Haridasa Thakura at their homes. For some time, Balarama Acharya provided Haridasa with a thatched hut and prasada, and at that time, while still a student, Raghunatha visited Haridasa Thakura daily, and it is said that because of the mercy Haridasa showed him then, Raghunatha later attained the mercy of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Once, Balarama Acharya invited Haridasa Thakura to speak in the assembly of Raghunatha’s family, the Majumadaras, and thus Raghunatha heard from him again, about the glories of the holy name.

Eventually, Raghunatha dasa met Nityananda Prabhu at Panihati and got His benediction to become free from all obstacles and attain shelter at the lotus feet of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Soon, Raghunatha escaped from home, traveled by foot to Puri, and attained the merciful shelter of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu—by the mercy of Nityananda Prabhu. Then Chaitanya Mahaprabhu entrusted Raghunatha dasa to Svarupa Damodara Gosvami: “I entrust Raghunatha to you. Please accept him as your son or servant.” Raghunatha was still very young, only about twenty-two. The Lord took Raghunatha’s hand and personally placed him in the hands of Svarupa Damodara Gosvami. And so Raghunatha became Svarupa Damodara’s assistant. Svarupa Damodara was Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s secretary, and Raghunatha dasa in effect became assistant secretary.

After Chaitanya Mahaprabhu left this world, followed by Svarupa Damodara and almost all of His other intimate associates, Raghunatha dasa felt bereft: “I am all alone. There is no reason to live. How can I live without my prabhus, without all of my masters?”

Raghunatha dasa felt so much separation that he decided to go to Vrindavan to see the lotus feet of Rupa and Sanatana and then give up his life by jumping from Govardhana Hill. But the two brothers would not allow him to die. They prevailed upon him to stay with them and speak about Mahaprabhu’s later pastimes. “You should not give up your life,” they told him. “You were with Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in Puri and were witness to so many of His intimate pastimes. You should stay with us and tell us about your experiences with Him.” And they accepted him as their third brother.

Especially Sanatana Gosvami gave him shelter and took care of him. At first, when Raghunatha dasa Gosvami was doing bhajana at Radha-kunda, he didn’t have any residence. And while doing his bhajana, he was pretty much oblivious to everything else. He would chant, but he could hardly chant sometimes, because he would go into trance. Still, he chanted at least one lakh names every day. But it could happen that he would chant one name and then go into deep trance, and the pastimes of Krishna would play in his mind. Like that, he was chanting Krishna’s name and remembering Krishna’s pastimes one day, and the hot sun was beating down on his head. Srimati Radharani Herself then came and held a cloth over his head, but he didn’t know it, because he was in deep meditation. But Sanatana Gosvami understood, and he personally built a bhajana-kutira for Raghunatha dasa Gosvami. He took care of Raghunatha dasa in every respect.

In his book Vilapa-kusumanjali Raghunatha dasa Gosvami begins by offering respects to his gurus, including Sanatana Gosvami:

vairagya-yug-bhakti-rasam prayatnair
apayayan mam anabhipsum andham
krpambudhir yah para-duhkha-duhkhi
sanatanas tam prabhum asrayami

“I was unwilling to drink the nectar of devotional service possessed of renunciation, but Sanatana Gosvami, out of his causeless mercy, made me drink it, even though I was otherwise unable to do so. Therefore he is an ocean of mercy. He is very compassionate to fallen souls like me, and thus it is my duty to offer my respectful obeisances unto his lotus feet.” (Vilapa-kusumanjali 6)

In this verse Raghunatha dasa Gosvami describes Sanatana Gosvami with a phrase that Srila Prabhupada often quoted (for all compassionate Vaishnavas): para-duhkha-duhkhi—“he felt sorrow in the sorrow of others.” Raghunatha dasa says, vairagya-yug-bhakti-rasam prayatnair—he gave me the nectar of devotional service enriched with renunciation; anabhipsum andham—but I was unwilling (anabhipsum) to drink it, because I was blind (andham) to my spiritual well-being; so apayayan mam—he forced me to drink it. Sanatana Gosvami is an ocean of mercy (krpambudhi), and therefore I offer my respectful obeisances to him. I take shelter of him, my master (prabhum asrayami).

Srila Prabhupada paraphrased this verse in composing a verse to honor his sannyasa-guru, Srila Bhaktiprajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja. He used almost the same words. The idea is that it is very hard to become free from the shackles of family life. Of course, one can be a pure devotee in the grihastha-ashrama—that is another thing—but to preach, sannyasa may be advised.

As Srila Prabhupada describes it, he was having recurring dreams that his guru maharaja was calling him to follow him and preach. And he would wake up horrified: “How can I take sannyasa and become a mendicant? How can I leave my wife and children? What will happen then?” Eventually Prabhupada accepted vanaprastha. He went to Jhansi and began the League of Devotees there. But there was some politics. The wife of the governor wanted the property that Prabhupada had been using for the League. She made all efforts to get it for some ladies’ program, and because she was so influential, Prabhupada decided not to fight against her. So he left and went to Mathura, where he stayed in the matha of his godbrother Bhaktiprajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja. And Kesava Maharaja insisted, “You must take sannyasa.” To fully take up the order of the spiritual master and preach, one must accept the renounced order of life. And so Prabhupada did—he took sannyasa.

Then, in 1968—in the early days of the Krishna consciousness movement in the West—in Seattle, Srila Prabhupada got news that His Holiness Kesava Maharaja had passed away. So he held a meeting with his disciples there and spoke about the history, how his guru maharaja and his godbrother had “forced” him to take sannyasa: “My godbrother insisted. Not he insisted—practically my spiritual master insisted through him, that ‘You accept.’ He wanted me to become a preacher, so he forced me through this godbrother: ‘You accept.’ So, unwillingly I accepted.”

Srila Prabhupada saw that his guru maharaja was working through his godbrother, speaking through his godbrother—another Vaishnava—and he composed this verse, very similar to the one Raghunatha dasa composed for Sanatana Gosvami—but for Kesava Maharaja. Apayayan mam anabhipsum andham. “I was unwilling to take the medicine of bhakti with detachment because I was blind. I could not see my future, that spiritual life is the brightest future. So the Vaishnavas, the spiritual master, they force: ‘You must drink.’” Sri-kesava-bhakti-prajnana-nama krpambudhir yas tam aham prapadye: “Sri Bhaktiprajnana Kesava is an ocean of mercy, and I offer my respectful obeisances unto him.”

So, Sanatana Gosvami was a great shelter to Vaishnavas in Vrindavan. He was not only very intelligent—all the Gosvamis were most intelligent—he was also very shrewd, very clever; he understood politics and diplomacy. It is said that Rupa Gosvami was very simple but that Sanatana Gosvami was very astute; he could understand people’s motives and intentions. So he was able to protect devotees in the most practical ways, because he had that type of intelligence. And he protected Raghunatha dasa Gosvami on every level.

Then, on the day of Guru-purnima, because Sanatana Gosvami was the most senior of the Gosvamis and the siksa-guru of almost everyone in Vrindavan, the Vaishnavas went to Govardhana to offer him respects. Upon their arrival at his bhajana-kutira at Manasi-ganga, they saw that he was in trance. He didn’t move at all. So they waited. They didn’t want to disturb him.

Eventually they understood that he had left this world, and they all were overwhelmed with feelings of separation. They took him on parikrama of Govardhana Hill, as he had faithfully done parikrama of Govardhana Hill every day. But they weren’t sure where to place his body. Jiva Gosvami, who was the leader after Sanatana, decided that they should bring him back to Vrindavan, close to the temple of the Deity of Madana-mohana, who was so dear to him. So, that took place on Guru-purnima.

We can see how the devotees helped one another. Everyone helped everyone. In Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, we find that the Vaishnavas were always helping one another. And we should learn from their example; we should develop that mood. Of course, help can come in different ways. Sometimes it comes in terms of instruction, and sometimes it comes in practical ways, like Sanatana Gosvami’s building Raghunatha dasa Gosvami’s bhajana-kutira. These exalted devotees were always serving each other—serving Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and serving each other. And that should be our mood: to serve each other, help each other, and learn from each other.

In the Eleventh Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam, we learn how an avadhuta brahman took lessons from others, from twenty-four siksa-gurus: the material elements, natural phenomena, plants, animals—even from a prostitute. By his intelligence, he learned from all of them, and he accepted them all as his gurus. For example, he learned from the mountain that a saintly person should devote all his efforts to the service of others and make their welfare the sole reason for his existence (as we learn from Govardhana Hill). From the python he learned that one should give up material endeavor and accept what comes of its own accord—one should remain peaceful and steady, indifferent to material gain but always alert to self-realization. Even from Pingala, a prostitute, he learned. Because she had no other source of income, she was very anxious for customers. One night she was waiting and waiting, but no customer came. Finally, at the end of the night, she felt disgusted with her situation and thus became detached. From Pingala he learned detachment—and attachment for the Supreme Personality of Godhead, whom she accepted as her ultimate shelter and object of love.

We can learn from anyone and anything. If we are sincerely trying to serve Krishna and to understand how best to serve Him, the Lord in the heart will give us the intelligence how to learn from others—even from trees and grass. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu glorified the trees and grass, for from them we learn how to be tolerant and humble. So, we can learn from anyone and everyone, and everything.

We can learn even from demons—and we are surrounded by them. Big business people, with their advertising and other strategies, are so clever. We should be that shrewd, that clever for Krishna. Materialistic leaders figure out how to trap people in their nets and pull them in and keep them. We can learn from such powerful materialists how to attract people and keep them for Krishna, how to be organized and intelligent for Krishna. If we are in the proper mood, anything can remind us of devotional service and be used for Krishna’s benefit. Anyone can be a siksa-guru for us if we are absorbed in the mood of serving Krishna, if we are fixed in Krishna consciousness.

But in particular, and especially on occasions like today, we are enjoined to offer respectful obeisances unto our diksa- and siksa-gurus in the disciplic succession, from Krishna to Brahma to Narada to Vyasa, from Chaitanya Mahaprabhu to Sanatana Gosvami, and from Srila Prabhupada to his followers, which include all of you.

Hare Krishna.

[A talk by Giriraj Swami Guru-purnima, July 29, 2007, Dallas]

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The “fever” of set distribution is spreading in UK!
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The “fever” of set distribution is spreading!
These books of Srila Prabhupada were distributed in bulk to a nice couple in London by Adikarta prabhu.

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OSLO Norway Jagannath Ratha Yatra on 11th July 2019 (Album of photos and videos)
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OSLO Norway Jagannath Ratha Yatra on 11th July 2019 (Album of photos and videos)
Srila Prabhupada: Simply by chanting the holy...

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A truly wonderful Leicester Ratha Yatra (Album of photos and videos)
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A truly wonderful Leicester Ratha Yatra (Album of photos and videos)
Srila Prabhupada: All glories to the all-blissful holy na...

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How can we better use sleep to grow spiritually?
→ The Spiritual Scientist

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Mini Rathayatra in Riga, Latvia (Album of photos)
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Mini Rathayatra in Riga, Latvia (Album of photos)
Bhakti Chaitanya Swami: Today we participated in Rathayatra in Riga, Latvia....

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The Joy of Devotion Documentary Is Now Available in Five Languages Worldwide
→ ISKCON News

The film is now available for public screening and home streaming in English, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and Hungarian. 

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Amazing Srila Prabhupada
Giriraj Swami

I received the following letter from Vrndavanesvari dasi in South Africa.

Dear Guru Maharaja,

Please accept my most humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and all glories to your divine self.

During the renovations the manager named Daniel surprised us all.

We hung a huge picture of His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada on the wall where the restaurant area will be. I offered incense often to the picture and prayed silently before the workers would come to start their day’s service.

One morning I found Daniel bowing down in front of Srila Prabhupada’s picture and clapping his hands, uttering words of respect and praise in the same way Africans would address their kings, but his praising was more attentive and very respectful.

He instructed the rest of the team to do likewise.

I was so amazed, because we had not taught him anything about Srila Prabhupada. He even told the rest of the workers that Srila Prabhupada is very holy and can see whatever they are doing there and that no one should steal anything at all, because he’s watching them.

I was so impressed by all this that I told Narottam, who said that the workers offer respects to Srila Prabhupada daily—it’s just that I had not observed it before.

They did this of their own accord before they would start their work.

Srila Prabhupada ki jaya!

Your aspiring servant

Vrndavanesvari dasi
ISKCON Hammanskraal

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Paramahamster: Bloop
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Our "Paramahamster" comic strip follows an enthusiastic devotee as he navigates a 9 - 5 work day in the corporate world. Please check back weekly for new episodes!

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Ecstasy in the Polish Tour Sankirtan party! (13 min. video)
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Ecstasy in the Polish Tour Sankirtan party! (13 min. video)
The local people participate wholeheartedly in the chanting and da...

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Friday, July 12th, 2019
→ The Walking Monk

Scarborough, Ontario

Culture All The Way

No walking today, although brain and heart were on the run.  10:15 a.m. was my slot for leading the Twelve-Hour Kirtan.  It is an annual chanting session that begins with American pandit, Dravida, chanting Sanskrit mantras to invoke auspiciousness.  Many participants came, especially young men and women.

It is a relief to see that in the Krishna movement there is activity going on amongst the youth, although we could do with more.  We all know that the new gen have many options out there, not always good ones, so it's good to see them having a good time.  Their response to my lead was overall quite good.  One is just required to learn the art of inclusiveness, of engaging others.  https://www.instagram.com/p/Bz1IfH-Ak0h/?igshid=5t0f7u9oz2t

My slot was for one-half hour, then the mic would be handed over to the next leader. I could only stay for a select amount of time.  I volunteered to cut cabbage and spinach in the same kirtan hall, where an arrangement was made to assist our cooks who are preparing for tomorrow's 25,000-plus people. Keeping in the rhythm of the drums, I chopped those veggies with my knife on the cutting board right in sync.

A second engagement took place at the Bengali Cultural Centre in Scarborough, where our travelling road show, "Vedic Mace" performed for a second night.  The audience of 400 were mostly from the Bangla culture of Bengal, Bangladesh and Orissa.  Our guru, Prabhupada, and Chaitanya were from that part of the world.

May the Source be with you!
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Thursday, July 11th, 2019
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Toronto, Ontario

I Was Walking

I was walking with a companion  tonight on Dupont Street.  After a long, busy, busy day, I needed some down time—so did my companion.  We walked west on Dupont for quite some distance, and then south on Christie.  

My companion said, "I think someone's following us."

"Are you sure?" I said, without looking back.

"Yes, he's been close to us and making the same turns as us."

I decided to make a sudden left turn with my friend, and the alleged stalker—or whatever he was—seemed to have disappeared.  We felt safe. I generally do feel safe in the city. You have young women walking in the night on their way home, to work, or on a visit, and they feel a kind of confidence. That's the way it is, generally speaking, in this country.

At the same time, all is not good in Canada, in the developed world, what to speak of the developing world.  I read in the Toronto Star today, about the out-of-control child pornography that is rampant.  These pedophilic individuals, who are increasing in number, are becoming a true threat to what has been a relatively stable society.  I, also, for one, am appalled by a society that is considering it normal for a child before puberty, to be serious about a sex change.  Liquor and drugs, legal or not, are nothing but bad news. I see a world, with some semblance of moral power, deteriorating.  I don't like it.  Safety is not just about protection from physical harm, or potential violence, but all kinds of Kali-yuga evils.  Let's chant. https://youtu.be/Ftb0_Nx-g3Y



May the Source be with you!
5 km



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Wednesday, July 10th, 2019
→ The Walking Monk

London, Ontario

In London (Canada)

Robin is from the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) and she asked if I could answer some questions, so I agreed.

"So what brings you here to London?"

"I'm the MC for tonight's show here at the auditorium.  It's called Festival of India, and it will feature talent in music, dance and philosophy."  I further explained that I'm from these parts, here in the southern Ontario farmland, and that  I entered monkhood, getting interesting in the lifestyle, when I was going to college in her town (Sudbury).  "Rocky Mountain Ranch is the big attraction in Sudbury, and it was my cousins who started that  project and ran it for some time."

Robin stuck around for the show, which included our girls from Florida, the ‘Dasi’ group, performing my drama, "Gita: Concise."  Also on stage were our boys, providing excellent instrumental on tablaand sarod,in addition to Gaura's guitar and golden voice. Ensemble ‘Tapaz’ did some exhilarating dance displays.  A highlight for me was Gaura's rendition of "Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevayah."

Food was provided, tasty and not overly spiced (thank God).  I searched for feedback, apart from the food, and more directed toward the show, after we were done.  This was the first of a traveling road show under the name "Festival of India” or "Shakti Show” when a certain  audience is targeted.  The Canadian western people who were the largest contingent of the audience gave us feedback.  This compilation of words came from them: "Loved it!” "Great,!" "All of it was good!” "I like your robes."

May the Source be with you!
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Develop the vision that nurtures devotion
→ The Spiritual Scientist

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Tuesday, July 9th, 2019
→ The Walking Monk

Toronto, Ontario

Drama: No Walking

From the play, "Gita: Concise."  Practice in session.

Once you were in the body of a very small child
Then you grew up to become a little wild
Your body as a youth showed all this passion
When people carry on in a certain kind of fashion
And then you took the body of a man
Energy went to responsibility as you plan
Before long your body gets old
You then exit to enter another life of gold
The body will perish but you will not
What I tell you is very good food for thought
The soul is immortal... it will persist
It cannot be injured by sword or by fist
By fluid or water it cannot be drowned
By fir—not burned like ashes to the ground
By wind and air it cannot be dried
No method of destruction will work if you tried
So Arjuna, you really should not lament
For the body that lived in time well spent
You start to focus as a warrior would do
Or else there will be ridicule towards your family and you
The Kauravas are watching every move that you make
It's a matter of duty you are obliged to take
If you hesitate when something needs to be done
You receive reaction and that is no fun
Action and subsequent reaction is called karma
When we act as expected it's called dharma
Do your dharma, avoid the karma
Do your dharma, avoid the karma
The world with all its changes will never come to an end
I'm telling you this because you are my friend.

Author: The Walking Monk. © Bhaktimarga Swami 2019

May the Source be with you!
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Bhagavatam tenth canto study 86 – 10.14.53-61 – Vrajavasis love their children as parts of Krishna and therefore love the Whole more
→ The Spiritual Scientist

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The Radha Krsna Temple Tapes
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By Yugala Kishor Gour das

History tells us that the album recordings took place in the famous EMI Studios at Abbey Road and Trident House Studios at Annes Court in July 1969 and January - March 1970. with the first single released in the second half of 1969 and Govinda hitting the charts in early 1970. The album itself was released in the USA on 21st May 1971 and 28th May of that year in Europe. These master tapes, reel 1 & 2, are dated 3rd February 1971. Interesting fact is that Reel 1 has a note written on it stating, 'Title changed to Goddess of Fortune' BBT 101A and Reel 2 says BBT 101B. This was the moment the tapes were prepared for the BBT release of the original album. It is not clear to me when that release date was, as the internet gives multiple years and dates. Read the rest of this entry »

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Keeping you in the loop
→ KKSBlog

You might have noticed that things have slowed down a bit on KKSBlog. We used to post daily quotes & stories, regular audio recordings and more of that good stuff. In March 2019 we merged our weekly and daily newsletters into one renamed issue to make it more clear to our readers. All in all, things are changing.

Since June of this year, we said goodbye to our stalwart editor and welcomed a new one. We lost a few of our regular transcribers but are now training new ones as we speak. Plus, with modern times slowly catching up with the status quo of KKSBlog, we need to adapt!

(Missing) Audio Recordings

Every month (at least in 2019 and earlier) our stalwart editor used to publish one big article with all the audio recordings collected from that month. Alas, since the rise of live videos on Facebook, this has currently ceased. Getting audio recordings from live videos proved to be too difficult and time consuming for our current limited resources. To complicate matters, live videos are published by different persons and from various sources, so keeping track of them was too much to handle for our current team at KKSBlog.

Looking Ahead

We do however have some good news!

We are looking into restarting the recording of kirtans and lectures together with Kadamba Kanana Swami! Once that is finalized, we should be getting regular audio recordings again.

If you happen to be at a program with Kadamba Kanana Swami, please aid him with getting it recorded properly! And by properly, we mean a high quality audio recording using a dedicated audio recorder with a microphone, so not your mobile phone! If you like to know more, please contact us.

Expanding the (free) media on KKSBlog is our new focus (read about it below). That means, we will create an easier and more accessible way to find and download free media… Stay tuned!

The travel schedule of Kadamba Kanana Swami has finally been updated again (July 2019). Due to his current engagements in New York City, his schedule was not frequently renewed. But now we have the travel schedule until March 2020!

Shop & Sales on KKSBlog

The shop, and its sales, has been the lifeline to cover the yearly costs of keeping KKSBlog running. And the focus of KKSBlog has been to ‘heavily’ promote the shop. Kadamba Kanana Swami preferred to shift the focus more on “giving” and less on “selling”, so we will make some changes accordingly.

For all your sales & service questions, you can now use this email address: sales@kksblog.com 

PS. We are still working on solving the problem with digital albums & MP3 downloads on Apple (iOS) devices!

The article " Keeping you in the loop " was published on KKSBlog.

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Stockholm Ratha Yatra 2019 (Album of photos and 11 min. video)
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Stockholm Ratha Yatra 2019 (Album of photos)
Srila Prabhupada: Spiritual enlightenment is possible by the mercy of the spiritu...

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Where would these people hear about Krishna if we didn’t go out?
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Where would these people hear about Krishna if we didn’t go out?
Adikarta Das: Very interested people in Camden.town. The.young guy.with the glasses was incredible. He was only 15.years old, but he.was very happy.to get the Bhagavad Gita. He left then he came back 30 minutes later to speak to me again. He had many good questions and he was so mature for 15. There are some amazing people out there. The other guy with the hat was a lawyer from South Africa who lives in Switzerland but he was just so nice and so interested. Where would these people hear about Krishna if we didn’t go out. Sankirtan yajna ki jaya.

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Glastonbury Festival 2019 (8 min. video)
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Parasuram dasa: The Glastonbury Festival is the Kumba Mela of music festivals. 250,000 young people come to experience something different and unique. Sandi Pani Krishna Prabhu teaches the fine art of Mantra Meditation. Enjoy the movie

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Vaisnava Sraddha
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In view of the recent passing of several senior Vaisnavas with more expected in coming years we thought it appropriate to post this text regarding how to properly observe Sraddha according to Gaudiya Vaisnava Siddhanta Read the rest of this entry »

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Euro Bus tour visiting Almvik with 40 youth for Ratha Yatra in Stockholm
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Euro Bus tour visiting Almvik with 40 youth for Ratha Yatra in Stockholm! (Album of photos and videos)
Srila Prabhupada: One i...

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Govardhan Eco-Village’s Ayurveda Center Transforms Lives
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Hidden away in the verdant Sahyadri mountain range in Maharashtra, some ninety kilometers from Mumbai, is Govardhan Ayurveda, a healing center that could change your life. 

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Are We In Control Of Our Senses?
→ ISKCON News

The material energy binds us in this material world by our senses. The more we try hard to enjoy here our senses becomes wild and strong.  And instead of we being in control of our senses our uncontrolled senses take control of our lives.

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