Author Archive

The Night Before Christmas
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Last night, accompanied by a police escort, we took a small Ratha Yatra cart on harinam through old Hong Kong, distributing the gift of the holy names to everyone. Being Christmas Eve the people were in good spirits and many smiled, waved and even danced with us as we made our way through the crowded [...]

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Our Contribution
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Here in Hong Kong we will spend Christmas Eve chanting the holy names of the Lord in the old part of the city from 9pm until midnight. Traditionally, hundreds of thousands of Chinese people take to the streets to celebrate at that time. Though the city authorties are still wary of large demonstations, they have [...]

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Something Positive
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For the past several months Hong Kong has been disrupted with massive street protests challenging some key government policies. Regularly tens of thousands of people have come out venting their anger and frustration by blocking important streets and avenues. On a few occasions the protests turned violent. Last week the police forcibly cleared the streets [...]

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United In Prayer
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In solidarity with the people of Sydney, who were slowly coming to terms with the recent hostage siege downtown at Martin Place, we took our harinam party to the streets to give them solace and relief from the grief they were feeling. Our sign, “United in Prayer For Those We’ve Lost,” was greatly appreciated by [...]

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How could I ever leave his service!
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“My dear Lord. O Supreme Personality of Godhead, because of my association with material desires, one after another, I was gradually falling into a blind well full of snakes, following the general populace. But your servant Narada Muni kindly accepted me as his disciple and instructed me how to achieve this transcendental position. Therefore, my [...]

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Radha`s People
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Varsana is where Srimate Radharani lived in Her youth. It is dear to all Vrajavasis. A number of them are fortunate to take birth and live their lives in that sacred abode. On my way out of Vrindavan to Australia this morning, I stopped by Varsana to roll in the dust, visit King Vrsabhanu’s palace, [...]

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A Morning In Vrindavan
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After setting up our 2015 festival tour in Maharashtra, I am back in beloved Vrindavan for a few days before proceeding to Australia. This morning I woke up to the cooing of peacocks, the mooing of cows, temple bells and sadhus chanting. I quickly showered and with camera in hand, set off on Vrindavan parikrama. [...]

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Our Lord
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“Here our Lord herded the calves, and here He played the flute. I pray that I may pass my days shedding tears as I speak these words on the Yamuna’s shore.” [Sri Raghupati Upadhyaya, from Rupa Goswami's Padyavali ].

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Discovering Ancient Pandharpur
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Pandharpur,in Maharashtra, is one of the most prominent pilgrimage sites in India. Although many ISKCON devotees may be unaware of Pandharpur, historically the town is of great significance to Gaudiya Vaisnavism. Lord Caitanya visited Pandharpur for a full 11 days during His travels through India. His elder brother Visvarupa, who left home at an early [...]

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Srila Prabhupada – horoscope
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“In my horoscope there was written there, ‘After seventieth year this man will go outside India and establish so many temples.’ I could not understand. ‘What is this, that I have to go outside India? That is not…’ And Guru Maharaja foretold. He told my Godbrothers, Sridhara Maharaja and other that, ‘He’ll do the needful [...]

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Separation from Spiritual Master
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“Please accept my blessings. I am just in receipt of your letter forwarded from New York. Please be happy in separation. I am separated from my Guru Maharaja since 1936 but I am always with him so long I work according to his direction. So we should all work together for satisfying Lord Krishna and [...]

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Taking The Opportunity
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While traveling through Maharashtra, India, to organize our festival tour here early next year, I have taken the opportunity to visit a number of holy places in this western part of the country. There are many sacred rivers, ancient temples and saintly personalities throughout this lush and green part of India. In one temple we [...]

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Purchase That Place
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Yesterday, upon my return to India, I had the good fortune to visit a somewhat unknown, but historically significant, place of worship for followers of Srila Prabhupada and ISKCON. Tucked away in a small corner of Chandni Chowk, the oldest and busiest market in New Delhi, is the temple of Radha Vallabha, where Srila Prabhupada [...]

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By Serving You Constantly
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“By serving you constantly, one is freed from all material desires and becomes completely pacified. When will I become your permanent, eternal servant and always feel joy to have such a fitting master?” Yamunacarya, Stotraratna, text 43

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Stopping By
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This evening I am returning to India to attend to some urgent business connected to our upcoming 6-week festival tour there beginning in January. On the way I stopped by our ISKCON temple in Denpasar to get blessings from the deities for a safe journey and a swift return to Bali next week.

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Bliss In Bali
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On our way to Australia and then Hong Kong, Bada Haridas and myself have stopped off in Bali, Indonesia for a short break. But we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to go on harinam with the local devotees and yesterday joined them for a massive 3-hour kirtan along one of the beautiful beaches than adorn [...]

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Quiet Goodbye
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This morning I went to Radha Kunda to offer my respects and say goodbye, for now, to Sri Vrindavan Dhama. It was a wonderful and most memorable Kartika being in the association of 350 blissful devotees visiting so many holy places in this sacred dhama. It’s going to be difficult to leave tomorrow. I will [...]

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Realizations and Memories
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The day after our last Kartika parikrama we all assembled at the Radha Gokulananda temple to share our memories and realizations. There was laughter, joy, amazement… and a touch of sadness as well. Sadness with the realization that a month spent in each other’s loving association, hearing the pastimes of the Lord, chanting His glories [...]

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Praying All The Way
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On the final day of our Kartika parikrama we visited Varsana, the home of Srimati Radharani when she was a young girl. We spent hours traversing the beautiful area, sometimes stopping to have kirtan and katha. All along the way we prayed for service to the Divine Couple.

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One More Time Around
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As the auspicious month of Kartika drew to a close, our parikrama party choose to circumambulate sacred Govardhan Hill one more time. We knew well that Giriraja is very merciful to those who pray for eternal residence in Sri Vrindavan dhama.

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Pristine Beauty
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The pristine beauty of Saubhari Muni’s ashram in the countryside, just on the banks of the Yamuna river, is a perfect replica of what all of Vrindavan must have looked like hundreds, or even thousands, of years ago. We relished hearing and chanting in the sanctified atmosphere of that holy place realizing that our Kartika [...]

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Jaipur, ‘The City Of Victory’ – Part 3
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The final album of our parikrama to Jaipur takes us to various spots throughout the city; the famous Amber Palace on a mountain overlooking the city, to Kanak Vrindavan where Radha Madhava, the original deities of Jayadeva Goswami, are worshipped and to a house program at a devotee’s home. Everywhere we continued kirtan and katha [...]

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Srimati Radharani
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“Is it a new moon or Her brilliant form? Is it a golden lotus or Her brilliant face? Are these Her two eyes or are they two cakora birds? Is this Her glance or is it a wave of nectar?” Such questions cannot be asked about Sri Radha. Her beauty exceeds that of any beautiful [...]

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Most Auspicious
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One afternnon while in Jaipur we held an initiation for two young Ukrainian girls; Taralaksi dasi and Madhavi-lata dasi. The auspicious ceremony was made even more auspicious by the fact that it was held in the temple of Radha Gopinatha. Certainly an occasion the young ladies will never forget.

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Jaipur: Part 2
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In this album our parikrama party visits the most popular temple in Jaipur where Radha Govinda, the beloved deities of Srila Rupa Goswami, are worshipped. The outstanding feature of this temple is that each day tens of thousands of people visit to have the Lord’s darshan.

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Jaipur: Part 1
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The city of Jaipur in Rajasthan is a popular tourist destination because of it’s colorful cultural heritage. It is even more fascinating for vaisnava devotees of the Lord, however, because many of the original Vrindavan deities reside there. This 1st of 3 Jaipur photo albums centers around our parikrama party’s visit to the temple of [...]

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The Most Sacred Of All
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Scripture says that Vrindavan is the most sacred place within the universe. Within Vrindavan, Govardhana Hill is considered the most holy. And on that transcendental mountain the lake of Radha Kunda is most sacred of all. The photography of Ananta Vrindavan das shows us why …

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The Sun God In Vraja
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The other day we visited Surya-kunda, where the Sun God performed austerities to see and serve Lord Krsna. His wish was fulfilled when Srimate Radharani asked him to warm the Lord’s transcendental body with his rays after Krsna came out of the water from battling the Kaliya serpent. Surya kund is also a place where [...]

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Out Of This World!
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Because our parikrama party consists mainly of Russian and Ukraine devotees we observed Govardhan Puja at the Radha Gokulananda Temple in Vrindavan, so we could translate each of the English lectures and talks into Russian. Everyone was excited because on the main alter of the temple is the Govardhan-sila that Lord Caitanya gave Raghunatha das [...]

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A Life Of Unalloyed Devotion
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Tomorrow, October 25, ISKCON devotees in Vrindavan will officially launch a new book entitled, “Yamuna Devi – A Life of Unalloyed Devotion.” The two-volume set, authored by Yamuna devi’s dearmost friend Dinatarini dasi, describes Yamuna’s devi’s life as a devotee of Krsna and most notably as a disciple of her spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada. This [...]

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Downtown Vrindavan
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Usually when someone mentions the downtown area of a city it conjures up images of big buildings, traffic jams, bars and discos. But downtown Vrindavan is a different story. The center of Vrindavan is full of ancient temples, deities, sadhus, stores selling devotional paraphernalia and cows and monkeys meandering through the streets. The other day [...]

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A Most Sacred Spot
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Vrinda kunda is situated in a beautiful rural area of Vrndavan Dhama. It is the place of Vrinda devi, who, as the helper of Purnamasi plays an important role in planning the daily pastimes of Radha and Krsna in Vraja. In that most sacred spot we had bhajan and Daivi Sakti dasi enlightened us about [...]

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The Lake Of Love
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Yesterday we visited Premavan, the forest of love. Within Premavan is Prema-sarovara, a lake of love made from the combined tears of Radha and Krsna when they experienced intense separation from each other. The scenery there is reminiscent of what Vrindavan must have been like when Krsna was present thousands of years ago. We spent [...]

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Especially Potent
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Yesterday we visited Pavana-sarovara, a sacred lake near Nandagram. Our program was the same as everyday; hearing and chanting the glories of Lord. Such sravanam and kirtanam seems to be especially potent in the holy dhama. Local tradition says that the results of any spiritual practice done in Vrindavan dhama is magnified a thousand times. [...]

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Swamiji
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Last night Brahmananda Dasa launched a new book “Swamiji” wherein Steven J. Rosen ( Satyaraja dasa ) recounts Brahmananda prabhu’s service and association with Srila Prabhupada in the early years of the Hare Krishna Movement. While reading and commenting on the book, published by Torchlight Publishing, Inc. Brahmananda prabhu gave rare and valuable insights into [...]

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Favorite Destinations
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Yavat and Ter Kadamba are favorite desinations for pilgrims visiting Vrindavan. Yavat is where Radharani lived with Her “husband” Abhimanyu. Ter Kadamaba is where Nanda Maharaja had a gosala of cows. It is also one of the places that Srila Rupa Goswami did bhajan. Our parikrama party sat for hours hearing the different pastimes that [...]

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Born Again
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Two days ago we formally welcomed a number of devotees into our Gaudiya Vaisnava family – Srila Prabhupada’s ISKCON – by accepting them as disciples. The joy of the occasion was evident on the candidates faces and captured most expertly by our Kartika parikrama photographer, Ananta Vrindavan dasa. The ceremony took place near ISKCON’s gosala, [...]

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The King Of Mountains
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Govardhan parikrama is always one of the highlights for devotees during the month of Kartika in Vrindavan. Our parikrama party swelled to over 450 devotees as we walked around the sacred mountain, all the while praying to Giriraja to one day be able to reside eternally in Sri Vrindavan Dhama.

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Out Of This World
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Yesterday we went to Goluka, in the Vrindavan countryside near the Yamuna river. There we heard the pastimes of Krsna killing the Putana witch and sereral other demons. But mostly we focused on Mother Yasoda binding the Lord with her love. Hearing the Damodar pastime in the very place that it happened had a special [...]

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Deep Emotions
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Two days ago we celebrated the disappearance day of Srila Narottam das Thakur. What better place to observe the event than in Vrindavan, where he lived for many years studying under Srila Jiva Goswami with his dear friends, Srinivas Acarya and Syamananda Pandit. Emotions were running very deep in the devotees hearts during the celebrations.

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