Why atheism requires more faith than theism – MORE acronym
→ The Spiritual Scientist

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Dealing with discouragement through 3 Es: Expansion, Elevation and Execution
→ The Spiritual Scientist

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How to become consistent – AIR acronym
→ The Spiritual Scientist

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3 understandings of humility for strengthening our relationships
→ The Spiritual Scientist

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Sadhu Sanga Retreat to Broadcast Eight-Camera Live Stream and VR
→ ISKCON News

Two to three thousand devotees are expected to pack out the Art of Living Retreat Center in Boone, North Carolina this weekend for Sadhu Sanga, ISKCON North America’s biggest kirtan retreat.

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Mantra Lounge Volume 3 to Feature Jahnavi Harrison and Ananda Monet
→ ISKCON News

ISKCON-London’s Radha-Krishna Temple is celebrating the 50th installation anniversary of its presiding Deities Sri Sri Radha-Londonisvara this year with a series of events and creative projects.

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Sri Mayapur International School – Mayapur, West Bengal, India
→ ISKCON News

In the midst of the lush, green Gṛhastha Para housing area of ISKCON Māyāpur the Śrī Māyāpur International School is situated. The Śrī Māyāpur International School has been educating children in Māyāpur since it was founded in 1988. Students of many different countries study together here and receive a quality academic and spiritual education.

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Sri Mayapur International School
→ Dandavats

In the midst of the lush, green Grihasta Para housing area of ISKCON Mayapur the Sri Mayapur International School is situated. The school campus features an idyllic combination of brick buildings, pathways, and tree-filled grounds, and those living nearby can often hear the children at play, performing kirtan, or practicing mridanga.

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Visiting Hampi (Album of photos)
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Visiting Hampi (Album of photos)
Hampi is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in east-central Karnataka, India. It is the site of the once-magnificent imperial capital of the Vijayanagar Empire in the 14th century. Chronicles left by Persian and European travelers, particularly the Portuguese, state Hampi was a prosperous, wealthy and grand city near the Tungabhadra River, with numerous temples, farms and trading markets. By 1500 CE, Hampi-Vijayanagara was the world’s second-largest medieval-era city after Beijing, and probably India’s richest at that time, attracting traders from Persia and Portugal. The Vijayanagara Empire was defeated by a coalition of Muslim sultanates; its capital was conquered, pillaged and destroyed by sultanate armies in 1565, after which Hampi remained in ruins. This place has a connection with Ramayana’s Kishkindha chapter and both Sriman Mahaprabhu and Nityananda prabhu visited this place.

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My Letter to Parvati Devi
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Today in Vrindavan is a memorial program for Srila Prabhupada’s dear disciple Parvati devi dasi. I wrote a letter to her for the occasion:

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Daily readings of Srila Prabhupada’s Books (video)
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Daily readings of Srila Prabhupada’s Books (video)
Srila Prabhupada: First birth is from your parents, but real birth, real life, begins when one accepts a bona fide spiritual master and renders service unto him. Then the path is open for going back home, back to Godhead, to live eternally in full knowledge and full bliss and in association with the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself, Lord Krishna. Letter to Narayani, June 11, 1972

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Remembering the old days in Riga, Latvia (14 min. video)
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Remembering the old days in Riga

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Video – BG 5.18 Oh Tree Let me Go
→ Prahladananda Swami

Lecture – BG 5.18 Oh Tree Let me Go 2014-02-09 Delhi

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My Letter to Parvati Devi
Giriraj Swami

Today in Vrindavan is a memorial program for Srila Prabhupada’s dear disciple Parvati devi dasi. I wrote a letter to her for the occasion:

My dear Parvati Devi,

Please accept my humble, respectful obeisances. All glories to our eternal spiritual master and savior, Srila Prabhupada.

Now you have left us—on Mohini Ekadasi, in Vrindavan—and we are feeling your separation. But as Srila Prabhupada said, when a Vaishnava leaves we feel both happy and sad: happy because we know they are going to serve Krishna, but sad because we will miss their association.

You led a glorious life in service to His Divine Grace, as I witnessed firsthand in Juhu and later in Vrindavan. Srila Prabhupada said, “Bombay is my office,” and you helped keep his office running smoothly and progressively.

He also said, “Vrindavan is my home,” and it is so quite literally, even now, because he is in his samadhi there, and you have rendered steadfast, intimate service to him by caring for and developing his samadhi and its environs.

Further, you maintained the service of organizing the daily Bhagavad-gita classes in his house, which ensure regular pure, philosophical krsna-katha—and you were kind enough to ask me to speak there, too.

After you left, I was touched by the tremendous outpouring of grief and appreciation for you on social media. You were so humble, staunch, sincere, and selfless in your service to Srila Prabhupada that all his followers have deep feelings for you. And as Vaisesika Prabhu said, the world will not be the same without you.

Fortunately, you have left behind your faithful husband and godbrother, Prassannatma, and your beautiful daughters, Kamala and Radhika Priya, to maintain your legacy.

My dear Parvati, what can I say? I miss you so much, and I yearn to join you with Srila Prabhupada whenever he calls me, after I have done for him here what he wishes.

At a Deity-welcoming program at Bhaktivedanta Hospice, a devotee said, “I read that this place, Ramana-reti, is where Krishna and Balarama play and frolic and have fun. And I read a most reassuring and enlivening statement—that when somebody quits their body in this Ramana-reti area, Krishna and Balarama leave Their play and come running to embrace that soul who has left his body here.”

Certainly, Srila Prabhupada has welcomed you with open arms, and wherever he is, there are Krishna-Balarama and Radha-Syamasundara and all Their friends and associates.

Whenever I chant before my Srila Prabhupada deity and think of you, I hear him say, “Parvati is very dear to me; I have called her to join me.”

Hare Krishna.

Your aspiring, eternal servant,
Giriraj Swami

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Does emotional pain indicate something wrong that needs fixing or should it just be tolerated
→ The Spiritual Scientist

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World Environment Day: The River Yamuna Still Needs Our Help
→ ISKCON News

Despite the great efforts of and protests by hundreds of thousands of activists, and despite the countless promises by present and previous Indian governments, so far, there has not been any improvement in the Yamuna’s condition.

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ISKCON-London To Reach out to New Audiences With Ambitious 50th Anniversary Events
→ ISKCON News

"The opening of the Radha-Krishna Temple was a historic occasion for the bhakti-yoga tradition – a long-standing order of the previous spiritual teachers had been fulfilled.”

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Beautiful Villa Vrindavana, Florence, Italy (Album of photos)
→ Dandavats

Villa Vrindavana is an Iskcon Temple. It is an amazing place where spirituality, culture, protection of animals and the environment are happily integrated, proposing an example for the whole society and being a model of wellbeing in the planet.

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HEAR ME LORD – A beautiful and spiritual song from George…
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HEAR ME LORD - A beautiful and spiritual song from George Harrison’s brilliant ALL THINGS MUST PASS album in 1970 (6 min. video)
Forgive me Lord
Please, those years when I ignored You, hmm
Forgive them, lord,
Those that feel they can’t afford You, hmm

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Shastrakrit Das: This wonderful lady from Uzbekistan saw the…
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Shastrakrit Das: This wonderful lady from Uzbekistan saw the Arabic Gita on our book table and came over with great enthusiasm to ask me if I believed that God is a person, I teach meditation & if I believed in Karma and reincarnation and if I’m vegetarian? I asked her if she was an astrologer? She laughed and laughed asked why I thought that? I told her because she exactly knew what I was all about. She spoke fluent Arabic, Persian, Russian, English. She gladly took a few books in Arabic and English and donated generously. She really wanted to visit our ashram. She insisted I be in the picture ( sorry about my face devotees )

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Something Understood: Brides of God
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Something Understood: Brides of God.
A celebration of the women who choose to dedicate their lives entirely to God.
What it is that drives a woman to leave behind worldly affairs and adopt a life of seclusion and near-constant prayer. Though the tradition is timeless, with today’s calls for feminine independence and gender equality the choice to be a nun feels just as radical and relevant as it might have in the past.

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Gopals, Café, A Hare Krishna Restaurant in Bali
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Gopals, Café, A Hare Krishna Restaurant in Bali (Album of photos)
As more devotees around the world travel to the other part of the world, especially Bali island, the need for a restaurant that serves vegetarian (prasadam) is a must. Many vegetarian and vegan restaurant and café can be found in Bali. But the one that serves Lord Krishna’s Prasada is Gopal’s Café. Gopal’s Café takes its vegetarian dishes to a whole new level, breaking all stereotypes of boring vegetable dishes.

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Monday, May 20th, 2019
→ The Walking Monk

Gananogue / Toronto

On A Return

On a return journey back to Toronto, our group of five stopped in at the Gananogue Inn to see the Patel clan and be greeted by wholesome wraps and pizzas. Our short two-hour visit also entailed a tour walk of the waterfront where tourists embark on the popular boat cruises.  This stop is becoming a cool routine when traveling between Montreal and Toronto.

Back in Toronto and we were enchanted by the Monday-night kirtan.  This is as good a way as any to celebrate the national holiday of Victoria Day.  Yes, it was during the Queen's era that Canada got cut free from its monarchical ties.

The word "free" is really such a misused term.  Adherents to the teachings of the Bhagavad-gita learn that true freedom is experienced when the senses are under control.  According to these teachings, we have five knowledge-acquiring senses, namely the ears, eyes, nose, mouth and touch, and then working senses are listed as hands, legs, anus, genitals and tongue.  When these ten body parts are channeled through service with Divine intent, one begins to enjoy a form of freedom like nothing else.

I walked into the temple room and heard the sweet voice of Lilamayi.  She sings well.  Thakur, who hails from Africa, demonstrates his power and finesse on the drum. Others had come to respond with their voices in the process of what we call shravanam kirtanam: receiving and responding to the mantras.

May the Source be with you!
5 km





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Sunday, May 19th, 2019
→ The Walking Monk

Montreal, Quebec

Sunday Openness

I took Kalakanta and Fernando to the botanical gardens, which is slightly more than a stone's throw from our temple darshan on PIE IX Blvd. in Montreal.  Nice place.  I come here all the time; yet at the entrance, two officials asked if we have our tickets.

"No!"

"That's twenty dollars a person."

Oops! I thought, then I voiced my decision to reverse, and so we ventured along the adjoining trails and parks where pedestrians from just about any different background put palms together for a "namaste" if they knew how to say it.

What was once old farmland is now a network of green thoroughfares—no cars, thank God.

We also joined the team of monks who routinely go down Ontario Street for public chanting.  In front of the Pharmasave store, we sat to bellow out the mahamantra with mrdunga drum, cymbals and harmonium while under a tree.  One of the boys became a target from a bird above. Mercy to him.  But it was the pedestrians here also who pleasantly received us now through our singing and playing.

The final piece of chanting happened at the temple, where folks are happily habituated to coming to the Sunday Open House.  At the front door I met two women who showed up for the first time, a result of meeting our boys who were chanting on the street.

Kalakanta delivered his last class while on his eastern Canada tour for promoting back to the land and animals lifestyle.  It was good.   https://www.instagram.com/p/BxwrODEA68P/?igshid=1bid2ylxk1yr9

May the Source be with you!
5 km



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Saturday, May 18th, 2019
→ The Walking Monk

Mascouche, Quebec

Reflecting While Walking

I really felt a leap of progress had occurred, after our fourth annual Farmer's Conference for Eastern Canada.   After our meeting, I left the venue of Nandagram, a sixty-five acre, farmer-starting facility, in a reflective mode.  It consisted of a number of hours of sharing ideas and experiences, all to do with cow/bull care, as well as growing plants for smell, sight and food. It was time to step out of the range of presentations and discussions and let participants depart, and for me to chill by taking to solitude on the road.

Our honourable guest , Kalakanta, was very instrumental in encouraging a proper follow-up. His mood was: Let us not all go away, say we had a good time, and then forget all we discussed in forward thinking. Rather, let's go for research and implementation—some action planning.

Some attendees will get behind a continual networking among the group.  Some will go deeper into seeing how quality cow's milk, ahimsa (non-violent) milk, could become more accessible to the public. The entire sentiment of the thirty-plus people present was: How to improve the quality of life?  And to state it simply, the idea of: we must get back to dirt and animals, is an intention we felt we could get behind.

As I tread a mere five kilometres or so, walking from Nandagram Farm, I observed the land, and the culture around.  We have become completely car and machinery dependent.  We have become committed to slaughter, and the use of nasty chemicals. I did admire rooftops of painted metal, and how this is practical for this snow-bound area.  I hope one day the Mascouche river gets cleaner.

May the Source be with you!
5 km

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Friday, May 17th, 2019
→ The Walking Monk

Gananoque / Ottawa

Down the Waterway

It was a restful sleep in the historic Gananoque Inn, established one hundred and eighty-five years ago.  I awoke to the sound of a loon, and shortly after my shower and donning swami robes, I took a stroll along the St. Lawrence waterways, eventually to view the town, and then to swing right back to the Inn and wake up my assistant, Bhakta Connor, who is a great guy.  He simply has to work at his addiction—his phone.

Joining our party, which had set out from Toronto, was Kirtan and her grandson from Russell, and the newly-arrived, fresh from India, Apoorvi, who recently became betrothed to one of my best cross-country walk supporters, Mandala-Ram. We boarded a boat for a cruise through the Thousand Islands which draws people from all over the world.

An eagle flew above our heads just as we set sail.  The sun was with us, the wind in spots, as well.  Water was all around and so were the many islands, big and small. A recording informed us of the rich and famous who have lived, or still live, along the way.  A highlight was the castle, on one island, built by a gentleman, Boldt.  It is magnificent—a gift to his wife, who did not live long enough to be able to move in. Ahhh!  It could be a nice temple.

The two-and-a-half-hour cruise was completed, and our party split, with half of us en-route to Ottawa for the festival of the Lion avatar, Narasimha.  One quote I wish to share from Chief Seattle, "What is man without the beasts? If all the beasts were gone, man would die from a great loneliness of spirit. For whatever happens to the beasts, soon happens to man. All things are connected."

May the Source be with you!
5 km

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Thursday, May 16th, 2019
→ The Walking Monk

Picton, Ontario

Toward the Water

Connor and I got some footsteps in before a rather grand event in the Toronto temple. Two of our young men, brothers and sons of my personal doctor, Jagannatha Misra, received their upanayanam, their sacred thread.  It is a common rite of passage for Kashmiri brahman families.

The most important element of the very detailed program was the kirtan, the chanting that went on.  That is always the case.

Our gracious visitor from Brazil, Kalakanta, who has been most helpful and inspirational to those with farming initiatives, decided to opt out of an excursion today. He became understandably exhausted, and needed a day of rest.

I proceeded on with set plans to go east and visit Dyanachandra and Graham in Picton. I was honoured to plant an apple tree, or rather, to assist in planting one in their front yard orchard. Planting bushes and trees is always an auspicious thing to do, by any cultural standards, what to speak of Vedic ways.

These two twins treated my companions, a retired Gujarati couple, Radha Gopinatha and Yasomati, and Connor and myself, to their homemade black-bean veggie burgers. Good job done.

Finally we drove off to the town of Gananoque, population 5200, to rest at The Gananoque Inn, a place where past Canadian Prime Ministers have rested their weary bodies while travelling.  It is a beaut of a place.  As a construction worker on-site at a new condo project put it (as we were on a brief waterfront trek), "How are you boys doing on this lovely day in paradise?" 

We looked from the water-docks over the St. Lawrence and had to agree with him.

May the Source be with you!
4 km

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Wednesday, May 15th, 2019
→ The Walking Monk

Colborne, Ontario

Two Farms, The City

There we lay among the red trillium—careful not to damage, as they are not only the provincial flower, but an endangered species—under a huge hemlock with shady cedars all around.  The presence of no bugs made it heaven, while Vayu, the wind-god, set some trees in dancing motion.  We didn't want to leave the spot.

Jai Chaitanya was our guide and owner of the forest, which was set very recessed from Old Shelter Valley Road.  One of our purposes was to harvest fiddle-heads, but unfortunately we were about three days late.  The delicious green curlicues, which sprout out of the ground, had unwound themselves to be the ferns they’re supposed to be.  We spotted more patches of trillium, this time pure white. Also, a wild turkey strut across the hayfield, sensing us as intruders in his wilderness territory.

It was all about nature.  We won't fail to mention the new calf born last Saturday.

"Coyotes do come around," said Jai, but no harm yet.  Adrien, on the other hand, on his farm up the road said, "They got some of our sheep."

Adrian runs Kaley farms where kale is grown, harvested, cleaned, dried and dipped in flavoured cashew dip.  His product is distributed all across the country.  He is entrepreneurial—a great farmer/businessman.  He is also a protector of the animals, like Jai.

Back to the city where preparations/decorations are underway for an event tomorrow—an upanayanam, something like a bar-mitzvah for boys. The highlight will be kirtan, chanting, the usual lovely truth.

May the Source be with you!
2 km



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How can we help those who can’t put past bad things in perspective?
→ The Spiritual Scientist

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Paramahamster: Proposal
→ ISKCON News

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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‘Brihad Bhagavatamrita’ seminar series at the London College of Vedic Studies
→ Dandavats

The London College of Vedic Studies recently facilitated a highly anticipated seminar by HG Sutapa dasa, unveiling the mysteries of one of the greatest spiritual quests in history - The Brihad Bhagavatamrita. It is a rich and astounding scripture that reveals the story of sage Narada Muni on his search for which exalted devotee has obtained the greatest mercy from The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna.

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How to avoid gossiping
→ The Spiritual Scientist

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Why Muslims Fast During Ramadan?
→ ISKCON News

Abdool Hamid, an imam from the Muslim Association of Canada, says there are many spiritual and physical reasons behind fasting during Ramadan.

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Lost in the Cosmos – Drowning in Shallow Relationships
→ ISKCON News

In today’s culture of party hardily and hookup mightily, some men or women decide they can no longer keep up the pace, in the frantic hedonistic race.

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Fighting With Temptations
→ ISKCON News

We all have to fight an inner war against temptation. In that war, our mind is like a discouraging inner voice that keeps making our opponent seem bigger and tougher than what it actually is.

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Kali Yuga Explained, Kalki Avatar – The Warrior Incarnation of Lord Vishnu
→ ISKCON News

A video by ISKCON Desire Tree.

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Sri Prahlada and the Krishna Kids Campaign for the Release of the Soviet Hare Krishna Devotees, 1986
→ ISKCON News

ABC news report about their contract with record publisher EMI that brought further media attention to the plight of imprisioned Hare Krishna devotees in Russia in 1986.

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Remembering Help in Freeing Soviet Hare Krishnas Rendered by Former Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke
→ ISKCON News

News of the peaceful death of former Australian prime minister Bob Hawke on May 16that the age of 89, has evoked praise of the charismatic leader. Dominating Australian politics in the 1980s, he is credited with introducing universal healthcare, modernising the economy. A lesser known achievement is his 1987 intervention to help free the Hare Krishna devotees from state persecution in the USSR.

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Vijay Murti Almost Complete
- TOVP.org

The 20 foot (6 meter) tall murti of Vijay is almost complete! Along with Jaya, these two incredible murtis will stand guarding the main entrance of the temple.

Pictured is the sculptor completing the last details. Mold production for casting the finished deity in fiberglass is already going on. Very soon the first guard of the TOVP will take his permanent place at the main entranceway.

 

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The post Vijay Murti Almost Complete appeared first on Temple of the Vedic Planetarium.

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We ask Gopal and Sahar about being visibly religious (2 min. video)
→ Dandavats



We ask Gopal and Sahar about being visibly religious (2 min. video)
This is a funny, short clip from BBC SESH about how two pe...

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