ISKCON Scarborough – Online multimedia class – Meditation on the form of the Lord (from Srimad Bhagavatam) – Sunday 28th Nov 2021 – 11 am to 12 noon
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Hare Krishna!

Please accept our humble obeisances!

All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

All glories to Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga!


Topic:  Meditation on the form of the Lord from Srimad Bhagavatam

Date: Sunday 28th Nov 2021

Time: 11 am to 12 noon EST

Link to join the class from your desktop or laptop:

https://us04web.zoom.us/j/9150790510?pwd=Wk5GYXVRMkJmdk84MzZJRXBKYUgwUT09



ISKCON Scarborough

3500 McNicoll Avenue, Unit #3,

Scarborough, Ontario,

Canada, M1V4C7

Website: www.iskconscarborough.org

Email:

iskconscarborough@hotmail.com

scarboroughiskcon@gmail.com

Perfect Questions Perfect Answers – Srila Prabhupada – Philadelphia, 1975
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Source: Krishna Tube

Reporters from the Philadelphia Enquirer Ann Jones and Sandy Nixon compiled a list of questions for Srila Prabhupada. Sandy Nixon planned to write a book and a New York Times magazine article on the spiritual masters who were influencing Americans at the time. Her idea for the book was to let people know what Krishna consciousness is.

She asked fifteen questions and the first one was, "What is Krishna Consciousness?" Srila Prabhupada replied: "Krishna means God and we are all connected with Krishna, God. God is the original father therefore we have got an intimate connection with Krishna, so we have forgotten it. What is Krishna? What is my connection with Him? What is the aim of life? All these questions there are and when one becomes interested in such questions, he is called Krishna conscious.

Sandy's second question was, "How did Krishna consciousness develop?"

Srila Prabhupada replied: "Krishna consciousness is already there in everyone's core of heart but due to one's material conditional life he has forgotten it. So this process of chanting Hare Krishna maha mantra means to revive that consciousness. It is already there. Just like a few days ago these American and European boys and girls, they did not know who is Krishna but now you have seen yesterday how throughout the whole procession they were chanting and dancing in ecstasy. So do you think that is artificial? No. Artificially nobody can chant and dance for hours together. That means the awakening of Krishna consciousness. It was there and by the bonafide process it is now awakened. That is explained: "The Krishna consciousness is dormant in everyone's heart. So when he comes in contact with devotees that is awakened. Just like to be attracted by a young girl or a young boy, it is there in the child, in the small child, it is there and when he will be young, then it will be awakened. It is not that artificial. So in association, it is awakened. The potency is there already but in good association, by hearing about Krishna one is awakened to the status of Krishna consciousness."

Sandy Nixon's third question was: "What is the difference between Krishna consciousness and Christ consciousness?"

Srila Prabhupada replied: "Christ consciousness is also Krishna consciousness but people do not follow the rules and regulations of Christianity therefore they are not awakened. The commandments of Christ, they do not follow, therefore they do not come to the standard of consciousness.

Sandy's forth question was "What is unique about Krishna consciousness that separates it form all other religions? Is it a religion?"

Srila Prabhupada answers: "Religion means primarily to know God and love Him, that is religion. But nobody knows God, and what to speak of loving Him? Nobody is trained up, how to know God and how to love Him. They are satisfied by going to the church, "O God give us our daily bread." That also not everyone goes.

So the communist says that, "You don't go to the church, bread we shall supply." So poor innocent persons, they get bread elsewhere, so they do not go to church but nobody is serious to know what is God and how to love Him. Nobody is serious. Therefore in Bhagavatam it is said that it is cheating religion. I profess some religion but I do not know what is God and how to love Him. So that type of religion is cheating religion. Religion means to know God and love Him but generally, a man does not know what is God and what to speak of loving him? So therefore that is cheating religion, that is not religion.

Vrindavan Web Series: Mathura – Gokul | Braj Mandal Parikrama
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Source: ISKCON Bangalore

Welcome to Braj Mandal Parikarama!

The scriptures declare the land of Braj to be the holiest of places in the universe, as the Supreme Lord, Sri Krishna, performed His pastimes in this sacred land, 5000 years ago. Here is the list of places we will be visiting on the first day of the Parikrama:

1) Mathura - The birthplace of Lord Krishna and the capital city of the warrior kings of the lineage of Lord Krishna.

2) Vishrama Ghat - 'Vishrama' means 'rest' and 'Ghat' means steps leading to the sacred river. It is said that Lord Krishna took a rest at this spot along the river Yamuna after killing the tyrannical King Kamsa.

3) Gokula - Among the 12 forests of Braj, the first and foremost is the forest of Mahavana. Mahavana is also called Gokula.

4) Nanda Bhavan - Nanda Bhavan was the residence of Nanda Maharaja, the father of Lord Sri Krishna.

5) Ukhal Bandhan – Lord Krishna got the name 'Damodara' because Mother Yashoda tied little Krishna's belly with ropes, to a grinding mortar. This sweet pastime of motherly punishment took place here.

6) Brahmanda Ghat – The place where Lord Krishna showed the entire universe within His mouth to a stunned Mother Yashoda.

How ISKCON took Hinduism to the US heartland
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Hare KrishnaBy Amanda Lucia

Unlike other versions of Hinduism that gurus have presented to Americans, ISKCON is unique in that it has never attempted to universalise or dilute Hindu beliefs and practices in order to fit into local American customs. In fact, ISKCON encourages its disciples to learn Sanskrit, chant mantras, wear Indian clothing, eat vegetarian food, and devote themselves to Krishna. ISKCON presented Krishna as a monotheistic supreme deity, and has augmented its theology to draw parallels with Christ. Continue reading "How ISKCON took Hinduism to the US heartland
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New Study and Teach Program Makes Getting Your Sastric Degree Easier
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Up till now, one of the main methods of getting your Bhakti Sastri Degree in ISKCON involved taking six months off from your job or service to study in person in Mayapur or Vrindavan. This made it elusive and difficult for many to get the “family transcendental diploma” based on Srila Prabhupada’s books which Prabhupada wanted all his “spiritual sons and daughters” to inherit.

Manu Murti Now Completed for the Nrsimha Wing
- TOVP.org

As everyone knows, the Nrsimhadeva Deity will be installed on a separate altar in the East Wing of the Temple of the Vedic Planetarium. The temple room of Nrsimhadeva will be smaller than the central hall, but nevertheless it will be beautifully decorated and very majestic. The Grand Opening of this wing is scheduled for 2023.

One of the features of the Nrsimhadeva temple room, in addition to a huge chandelier, will be eight, two-meter (7’) figures of demigods, who, standing on powerful columns from a height of 13 meters (43’) above, will gaze at the Deities of Nrsimhadeva and Prahlad Maharaja, and His devotees. One of these eight figures will be the murti of Manu, the progenitor of all humanity, who oversees its development. This announcement is to unveil the completed murti of Manu.

All the murtis are made of fiberglass, and are wonderfully painted by the Russian artist Ambhoda devi dasi, also the painter of the now completed Jaya and Vijaya murtis standing at the entrance of the TOVP.

 

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Temple of the Vedic Planetarium Outreach Program
- TOVP.org

Godhead is Light. Nescience is darkness. Where there is Godhead there is no nescience.

These words were immortally etched on Srila Prabhupada’s original Back to Godhead magazines in the mid-1940s. They are forever true, and the Hare Krishna movement was founded with this underlying principle in mind.

The Temple of the Vedic Planetarium, as envisioned by His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada, is meant to be a world class educational center from which the light of Vedic knowledge and science will be disseminated. This will be achieved through the Cosmology Chandelier, Planetarium, Science Center, state-of-the-art exhibits, books and publications, regular conferences, summits and symposiums, and much more.

While we are still a long way off from that plan fully manifesting, we are beginning some online outreach to the general public in a small way, by presenting some of the basic concepts of Vedic wisdom and Krishna consciousness through videos, audios, books, and essays by learned devotees on different subjects. This will be done through promotion of a specially designed Landing Page on the TOVP website located on the Main Menu as VEDIC SCIENCE.

We encourage all devotees to take advantage of this outreach opportunity by sharing this page using the link below and expanding the preaching mission, thus dispelling the darkness of nescience with the light of Godhead.

Vedic Science Page

 

TOVP NEWS AND UPDATES – STAY IN TOUCH

Visit: www.tovp.org
Support: https://tovp.org/donate/
Email: tovpinfo@gmail.com
Follow: www.facebook.com/tovp.mayapur
Watch: www.youtube.com/c/TOVPinfoTube
View at 360°: www.tovp360.org
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TOVP2022
Telegram: https://t.me/TOVP_GRAM
WhatsApp: https://m.tovp.org/whatsapp2
Instagram: https://m.tovp.org/tovpinstagram
App: https://m.tovp.org/app
News & Texts: https://m.tovp.org/newstexts
RSS News Feed: https://tovp.org/rss2/
Store: https://tovp.org/tovp-gift-store/

Gratitude for God’s Gifts—Giving Thanks
Giriraj Swami

If we are at all aware of how dependent we are on God—for the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, and our very ability to eat and drink and breathe, to think and feel and will, and to walk, talk, and sense—we will feel grateful and want to reciprocate God’s kindness. We will want to do something for He (or She or They) who has done, and continues to do, so much for us.

We often take things for granted until we lose them. I use my right hand to chant on meditation beads, and one morning I found that I had severe pain in my hand and could no longer use it for chanting. I had taken the use of my hand for granted, but when I lost its use, I resolved to never take it for granted again and to always use it in the best way in God’s service.

How can we attempt to return some of God’s favor, some of God’s care and love for us? My spiritual master, Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, gave one answer:

“Whatever you have got by pious or impious activities, you cannot change. But you can change your position, by Krishna consciousness. That you can change. Other things you cannot change. If you are white, you cannot become black, or if you are black, you cannot become white. That is not possible. But you can become a first-class Krishna conscious person. Whether you are black or white, it doesn’t matter. This is Krishna consciousness. Therefore our endeavor should be how to become Krishna conscious. Other things we cannot change. This is not possible.

tasyaiva hetoh prayateta kovido
  na labhyate yad bhramatam upary adhah
tal labhyate duhkhavad anyatah sukham
kalena sarvatra gabhira-ramhasa
   [Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.5.18]

Kalena, by time, you will get whatever you are destined. Don’t bother about so-called economic development. So far as food is concerned, Krishna is supplying. Eko bahunam yo vidadhati kaman. He is supplying even cats and dogs and ants. Why not you? There is no need of bothering Krishna, ‘God, give us our daily bread.’ He will give you. Don’t bother. Try to become very faithful servant of God. ‘Oh, God has given me so many things. So let me give my energy to serve Krishna.’ This is required. This is Krishna consciousness. ‘I have taken so much, life after life, from Krishna. Now let me dedicate this life to Krishna.’ This is Krishna consciousness. ‘I will not let this life go uselessly like cats and dogs. Let me utilize it for Krishna consciousness.’ ”

I pray that I will dedicate this life and everything I have—everything God has given me—fully in God’s service, following His pure devotees.

manasa, deho, geho, yo kichu mora
arpilun tuya pade, nanda-kisora

“Mind, body, and home, whatever may be mine, I surrender at Your lotus feet, O youthful son of Nanda!” (Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Saranagati)

Hare Krishna.

Yours in service,
Giriraj Swami

The Untold Story of Srila Prabhupada-Our Preeminent Siksha Guru (video)
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By The GBC Strategic Planning Team

On Srila Prabhupada Disappearance Day festival , here are some lesser-known facts related to ISKCON Founder acharya Srila Prabhupada by Vaisesika Prabhu. GBC Strategic Planning Team (SPT) is pleased to invite you to the Day 2 of our 3 day series celebrating Srila Prabhupada Disappearance Day festival reflecting on the role of Srila Prabhupada as our preeminent Siksha Guru Continue reading "The Untold Story of Srila Prabhupada-Our Preeminent Siksha Guru (video)
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Family of Krsna
→ KKSBlog

(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 14 November 2018, Kusuma Sarovara, Govardhana, India)

Krsna’s plan unfolds in our life and we have to allow it to do so. Over time, our destiny will become clear and we begin to see Krsna’s plan. We are all in one sense family members of Krsna now that we are part of the Acyuta-gotra. The Acyuta-gotra is the infallible family lineage of Krsna. Before I was in Krsna consciousness, I went to Gaya and I stayed in a dharmasala. The manager asked me, “What is your gotra (family lineage)?” I said, “Well, in my country we do not really have that.” So the manager said, “Okay, you write Jat.” They considered me a tribal person! But now, things have changed and I know that we are part of the Acyuta-gotra. Srila Prabhupada explained that we are in the family of Krsna. That is the best family lineage to be in. There are many gotras coming from different brahmanas: Parasara-gotra, Gautama-gotra. Of all of them, Acyuta-gotra is the best!

The article " Family of Krsna " was published on KKSBlog.

Utpanna Ekadasi, the TOVP and Giving Tuesday, 2021
- TOVP.org

The 11th day of the waning phase of the Moon (Krishna Paksha) in the month of Margashirsha (November–December) is observed as Utpanna Ekadasi. It is believed that fasting on this Ekadasi relieves one from the reactions to sins of past and present lives. This day is also known as Uttpatti Ekadasi.

The narration below of the story of Utpanna Ekadasi, while rather long, reveals the incredible benefits of observing Ekadasi, from the lips of Sri Krishna Himself to Arjuna, as well as why this Ekadasi is the origin of the Ekadasi fast in general, and the identity of Ekadasi Devi.

We would like to especially point out that this year Utpanna Ekadasi falls on a very important worldwide day of charity, GIVING TUESDAY, making it an auspicious time for monetary contributions. This day is set aside by world leaders to help make the world a better place to live and improve life for all by giving to the charity of your choice.

Please go to our SEVA OPPORTUNITIES PAGE to find out how you can give to the TOVP by making a one-time donation, completing your pledge, or making a new pledge from one of more than twenty Seva Opportunities.

And if you live in the US, Facebook will match donations through the TOVP Foundation Facebook Page. Please visit the page for specific instructions.

  NOTE: Utpanna Ekadasi is observed on Tuesday, November 30 in the US and Monday, November 15 in India and other parts of the world. Please refer to your local calendar through www.gopal.home.sk/gcal

The Glories of Utthana Ekadasi

From Bhavisya – uttara Purana

Suta Goswami said, “O learned brahmanas, long ago Lord Sri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, explained the auspicious glories of Sri Ekadasi and the rules and regulations governing each observance of fasting on that holy day. O best of the brahmins, whosoever hears about the origins and glories of these sacred fasts on the Ekadasi days goes directly to the abode of Lord Vishnu after enjoying many different kinds of happiness in this material world.

“Arjuna, the son of Pritha, asked the Lord, ‘O Janardana, what are the pious benefits of complete fasting, eating only supper, or eating but once at midday on Ekadasi, and what are the regulations for observing the various Ekadasi days? Kindly narrate all this to me’.

“The Supreme Lord Krishna replied, ‘O Arjuna, in the beginning of winter (northern hemisphere), on the Ekadasi that occurs during the dark fortnight of the month of Margasirsha (November-December), a novice should begin his practice of observing a fast on Ekadasi. On Dasami, the day before Ekadasi, he should clean his teeth nicely. Then during the eighth portion of Dasami, just as the Sun is about to set, he should eat supper.

‘The next morning the devotee should make a vow, according to the rules and regulations, to observe fasting. At midday he should bathe properly in a river, lake or small pond. A bath in a river is most purifying, that taken in a lake is less so, and a bath in a small pond is the least purifying. If neither a river, lake nor pond is accessible, he may bathe with well-water.

‘The devotee should chant this prayer containing the names of Mother Earth: “O Asvakrante! O Rathakrante! O Vishnukrante! O Vasundhare! O Mrttike! O Mother Earth! Kindly remove all the sins I have accumulated throughout my many past lives so that I may enter the sacred abode of the Supreme Lord.” ‘As the devotee chants, he should smear mud over his body. During the day of fasting the devotee should not speak to those who are fallen from their religious duties, to dog-eaters, to thieves, or to hypocrites. He should also avoid speaking with slanderers, with those who abuse the demigods, the Vedic literatures, or brahmanas, or with any other wicked personalities such as those who have sex with forbidden women, those who are known plunderers, or those who rob temples. If any such person is spoken to or even seen during Ekadasi, one must purify oneself by looking directly at the sun.

‘Then the devotee should respectfully worship Lord Govinda with first-class food, flowers, and so forth. In his home he should offer the Lord a lamp in pure devotional consciousness. He should also avoid sleeping during the daytime and should completely abstain from sex. Fasting from all food and water, he should joyfully sing the Lord’s glories and play musical instruments for His pleasure throughout the night. After remaining awake all night in pure consciousness, the worshipper should give charity to qualified brahmanas and offer his humble obeisances unto them, begging their forgiveness for his offences.

‘Those who are serious about devotional service should consider the Ekadasis that occur during dark fortnights to be as good as those that occur during bright fortnights. O king, one should never discriminate between these two kinds of Ekadasis.

‘Please listen as I now describe the results obtained by one who observes Ekadasi in this way. Neither the merit one receives by taking a bath in the sacred place of pilgrimage known as Sankhoddhara, where the Lord killed the Sankhasura demon, nor the merit one receives upon seeing Lord Gadadhara directly is equal to one sixteenth of the merit one obtains by fasting on Ekadasi. It is said that by giving charity on a Monday when the moon is full, one obtains a hundred thousand times the results of ordinary charity. O winner of wealth, one who gives charity on the day of the sankranti (equinox) attains four hundred thousand times the ordinary result. Yet simply by fasting on Ekadasi one obtains all these pious results, as well as whatever pious results one gets at Kurukshetra during an eclipse of the sun or moon. Furthermore, the faithful soul who observes complete fasting on Ekadasi achieves a hundred times more merit than one who performs an Asvamedha-yajna (horse sacrifice). One who observes Ekadasi just once earns ten times more merit than a person who gives a thousand cows in charity to a brahmana learned in the Vedas.

‘A person who feeds just one brahmacari earns ten times more merit than one who feeds ten good brahmanas in his own house. But a thousand times more merit than is earned by feeding a brahmacari is achieved by donating land to the needy and a respectable brahmana, and a thousand times more than that is earned by giving away a virgin girl in marriage to a young, well- educated, responsible man. Ten times more beneficial than this is educating children properly on the spiritual path, without expecting any reward in return. Ten times better than this, however, is giving food grains to the hungry. Indeed, giving charity to those in need is the best of all, and there never has been or ever will be a better charity than this. O son of Kunti, all the forefathers and demigods in heaven become very satisfied when one gives food grains in charity. But the merit one obtains by observing a complete fast on Ekadasi cannot be measured. O Arjuna, best of all Kurus, the powerful effect of this merit is inconceivable even to the demigods, and half this merit is attained by one who eats only supper on Ekadasi.

‘One should therefore observe fasting on Lord Hari’s day either by eating only once at midday, abstaining from grains and beans; or by fasting completely. The processes of staying in places of pilgrimage, giving charity, and performing fire sacrifices may boast only as long as Ekadasi has not arrived. Therefore, anyone afraid of the miseries of material existence should observe Ekadasi. On Ekadasi one should not drink water from a conch-shell, kill living entities such as fish or pigs, or eat any grains or beans. Thus, I have described to you, O Arjuna, the best of all methods of fasting, as you have inquired from Me.’

“Arjuna then asked, ‘O Lord, according to You, a thousand Vedic sacrifices do not equal even one Ekadasi fast. How can this be? How has Ekadasi become the most meritorious of all days?’

“Lord Sri Krishan replied, ‘I will tell you why Ekadasi is the most purifying of all days. In the Satya-Yuga there once lived an amazingly fearsome demon called Mura. Always very angry, he terrified all the demigods, defeating even Indra, the king of heaven, Vivasvan, the sun-god, the eight Vasus, Lord Brahma, Vayu, the wind-god, and Agni, the fire-god. With his terrible power he brought them all under his control.

‘Lord Indra then approached Lord Shiva and said, “We have all fallen from our planets and are now wandering helplessly on the earth. O lord, how can we find relief from this affliction? What will be the fate of us demigods?’ ‘Lord Shiva replied, “O best of the demigods, go to that place where Lord Vishnu, the rider of Garuda, resides. He is Jagannatha, the master of all the universes and their shelter as well. He is devoted to protecting all souls surrendered to Him.’

“Lord Krishna continued, ‘O Arjuna, winner of wealth, after Lord Indra heard these words of Lord Shiva, he proceeded with all the demigods to the place where Lord Jagannatha, the Lord of the universe, the protector of all souls, was resting. Seeing the Lord sleeping upon the water, the demigods joined their palms and, led by Indra, recited the following prayers: “O Supreme Personality of Godhead, all obeisances to You. O Lord of lords, O You who are praised by the foremost demigods, O enemy of all demons, O lotus-eyed Lord, O Madhusudana (killer of the Madhu demon), please protect us. Afraid of the demon Mura, we demigods have come to take shelter of You. O Jagannatha, You are the doer of everything and the creator of everything. You are the mother and the father of all universes. You are the creator, the maintainer, and the destroyer of all. You are the supreme helper of all the demigods, and You alone can bring peace to them. You alone are the earth, the sky, and the universal benefactor. You are Shiva, Brahma, and also Vishnu, the maintainer of the three worlds. You are the gods of the sun, moon, and fire. You are the clarified butter, the oblation, the sacred fire, the mantras, the rituals, the priests, and the silent chanting of japa. You are the sacrifice itself, its sponsor, and the enjoyer of its results, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Nothing within these three worlds, whether moveable or immovable, can exist independent of You. O Supreme Lord, Lord of lords, You are the protector of those who take shelter of You. O supreme mystic, O shelter of the fearful, please rescue and protect us. We demigods have been defeated by the demons and have thus fallen from the heavenly realm. Deprived of our positions, O Lord of the universe, we are now wandering about this earthly planet.”

“Lord Krishna continued, ‘Having heard Indra and the other demigods speak these words, Sri Vishnu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, replied, “What demon possesses such great powers of delusion that he has been able to defeat all the demigods? What is his name, and where does he live? Where does he get his strength and shelter? Tell Me everything, O Indra, and do not fear.”

‘Lord Indra replied, “O Supreme Godhead, O Lord of lords, O You who vanquish the fear in Your pure devotees’ hearts, O You who are so kind to your faithful servants. There was once a powerful demon of the Brahma dynasty whose name was Nadijangha. He was extraordinarily fearsome and wholly dedicated to destroying the demigods, and he begot an infamous son named Mura.

“Mura’s great capital city is Chandravati. From that base the terribly evil and powerful Mura demon has conquered the whole world and brought all the demigods under his control, driving them out of their heavenly kingdom. He has assumed the roles of Indra, the king of heaven, Agni, the fire-god, Yama, the lord of death, Vayu, the wind-god, Isha, or Lord Shiva, Soma, the moon-god, Nairrti, the lord of the directions, and Pasi, or Varuna, the water-god. He has also begun emanating light in the role of the sun-god and has turned himself into the clouds as well. It is impossible for the demigods to defeat him. O Lord Vishnu, please kill this demon and make the demigods victorious.”

‘Hearing these words from Indra, Lord Janardana became very angry and said, “O powerful demigods, all together you may now advance on Mura’s capital city of Chandravati.” ‘Encouraged thus, the assembled demigods proceeded to Chandravati with Lord Hari leading the way

‘When Mura saw the demigods, that foremost of demons started roaring very loudly in the company of countless thousands of other demons, who were all holding brilliantly shining weapons. The mighty-armed demons struck the demigods, who began abandoning the battlefield and fleeing in the ten directions. Seeing the Supreme Lord Hrsikesha, the master of the senses, present on the battlefield, the furious demons rushed toward Him with various weapons in their hands. As they charged the Lord, who holds a sword, disk, and club, He immediately pierced all their limbs with His sharp, poisonous arrows. Thus, many hundreds of demons died by the Lord’s hand.

‘At last the chief demon, Mura, began fighting with the Lord. Mura used his mystic power to render useless whatever weapons the Supreme Lord Hrsikesa unleashed. Indeed, to the demon the weapons felt just like flowers striking him. When the Lord could not defeat the demon even with various kinds of weapons – whether those that are thrown or those that are held – He began fighting with His bare hands, which were as strong as iron-studded clubs. The Lord wrestled with Mura for one thousand celestial years and then, apparently fatigued, left for Badarikashrama. There Lord Yogeshvara, the greatest of all yogis, the Lord of the universe, entered a very beautiful cave named Himavati to rest. O Dhananjaya, winner of wealth, that cave was ninety-six miles in diameter and had only one entrance. I went there out of fear, and also to sleep. There is no doubt about this, O son of Pandu, for the great fight made me very tired. The demon followed Me into that cave and, seeing Me asleep, started thinking within his heart, “Today I will kill this slayer of all demons, Hari.”

‘While the wicked-minded Mura was making plans in this way, from My body there manifested a young girl who had a very bright complexion. O son of Pandu, Mura saw that she was equipped with various brilliant weapons and was ready to fight. Challenged by that female to do battle, Mura prepared himself and then fought with her, but he became very astonished when he saw that she fought him without cessation. The king of the demons then said, ‘Who has created this angry, fearsome girl who is fighting me so powerfully, just like a thunderbolt falling upon me?’ “After saying this, the demon continued to fight with the girl.

‘Suddenly that effulgent goddess shattered all of Mura’s weapons and in a moment deprived him of his chariot. He ran toward her to attack her with his bare hands, but when she saw him coming she angrily cut off his head. Thus, the demon at once fell to the ground and went to the abode of Yamaraja. The rest of the Lord’s enemies, out of fear and helplessness, entered the subterranean Patala region.

‘Then the Supreme Lord woke up and saw the dead demon before Him, as well as the maiden bowing down to him with joined palms. His face expressing His astonishment, the Lord of the universe said, “Who has killed this vicious demon? He easily defeated all the demigods, Gandharvas, and even Indra himself, along with Indra’s companions, the Maruts, and he also defeated the Nagas (snakes), the rulers of the lower planets. He even defeated Me, making Me hide in this cave out of fear. Who is it that has so mercifully protected Me after I ran from the battlefield and went to sleep in this cave?”

‘The maiden said, “It is I who have killed this demon after appearing from Your transcendental body. Indeed, O Lord Hari, when he saw You sleeping he wanted to kill You. Understanding the intention of this thorn in the side of the three worlds, I killed the evil rascal and this freed all the demigods from fear. I am Your great Maha Sakti, Your internal potency, who strikes fear into the hearts of all Your enemies. I have killed this universally terrifying demon to protect the three worlds. Please tell me why You are surprised to see that this demon has been killed, O Lord.” ‘The Supreme Personality of Godhead said, “O sinless one, I am very satisfied to see that it is you who have killed this king of the demons. In this way you have made the demigods happy, prosperous, and full of bliss. Because you have given pleasure to all the demigods in the three worlds, I am very pleased with you. Ask any boon you may desire, O auspicious one. I will give it to you without a doubt, though it be very rare among the demigods.”

‘The maiden said, “O Lord, if You are pleased with me and wish to give me a boon, then give me the power to deliver from the greatest sins that person who fasts on this day. I wish that half the pious credits obtained by one who fasts will accrue to one who eats only in the evening (abstaining from grains and beans), and that half of this pious credit will be earned by one who eats only at midday. Also, may one who strictly observes a complete fast on my appearance day, with controlled senses, go to the abode of Lord Vishnu for one billion kalpas after he has enjoyed all kinds of pleasures in this world. This is the boon I desire to attain by Your mercy, my Lord, O Lord Janardana, whether a person observes complete fasting, eats only in the evening, or eats only at midday, please grant him a religious attitude, wealth, and at last liberation.”

‘The Supreme Personality of Godhead said, “O most auspicious lady, what you have requested is granted. All My devotees in this world will surely fast on your day, and thus they will become famous throughout the three worlds and finally come and stay with Me in My abode. Because you, My transcendental potency, have appeared on the eleventh day of the waning moon, let your name be Ekadasi. If a person fasts on Ekadasi, I will burn up all his sins and bestow upon him My transcendental abode. These are the days of the waxing and waning moon that are most dear to Me: Tritiya (the third day), Ashthami (the eighth day), Navami (the ninth day), Chaturdasi (the fourteenth day), and especially Ekadasi (the eleventh day). The merit one attains by fasting on Ekadasi is greater than that achieved by observing any other kind of fast or by going to a place of pilgrimage, and even greater than that achieved by giving charity to brahmanas. I tell you most emphatically that this is true.”

‘Having thus given the maiden His benediction, the Supreme Lord suddenly disappeared. From that time onward the Ekadasi day became most meritorious and famous all over the universe. O Arjuna, if a person strictly observes Ekadasi, I kill all his enemies and grant him the highest destination. Indeed, if a person observes this great Ekadasi fast in any of the prescribed ways, I remove all obstacles to his spiritual progress and grant him the perfection of life.

‘Thus, O son of Prtha, I have described to you the origin of Ekadasi. This one day removes all sins eternally. Indeed, it is the most meritorious day for destroying all kinds of sins, and it has appeared in order to benefit everyone in the universe by bestowing all varieties of perfection. One should not discriminate between the Ekadasis of the waxing and waning moons; both must be observed, O Partha, and they should not be differentiated from Maha-Dvadasi. Everyone who fasts of Ekadasi should recognize that there is no difference between these two Ekadasis, for they comprise the same tithi.

‘Whoever completely fasts on Ekadasi, following the rules and regulations, will achieve the supreme abode of Lord Vishnu, who rides upon Garuda. They are glorious who devote themselves to Lord Vishnu and spend all their time studying the glories of Ekadasi. One who vows not to eat anything on Ekadasi but to eat only on the next day achieves the same merit as one who executes a horse sacrifice. Of this there is no doubt.

‘On Dvadasi, the day after Ekadasi, one should pray, “O Pundarikaksha, O lotus-eyed Lord, now I will eat. Please shelter me.” After saying this, the wise devotee should offer some flowers and water at the Lord’s lotus feet and invite the Lord to eat by chanting the eight-syllable mantra thrice. If the devotee wants to gain the fruit of his fast, he should then drink water taken form the sanctified vessel in which he offered water at the Lord’s lotus feet.

‘On Dvadasi one must avoid sleeping during the day, eating in another’s home, eating more than once, having sex, eating honey, eating from a bell-metal plate, eating urad-dal, and rubbing oil on one’s body. The devotee must give up these eight things on Dvadasi. If he wants to speak to an outcaste on that day, he must purify himself by eating a Tulasi leaf or an amalaki fruit. O best of kings, from noon on Ekadasi until dawn on Dvadasi, one should engage himself in taking baths, worshipping the Lord, and executing devotional activities, including the giving of charity and the performance of fire sacrifices. If one finds himself in difficult circumstances and cannot break the Ekadasi fast properly on Dvadasi, one can break it by drinking water, and then one is not at fault if he eats again after that.

‘A devotee of Lord Vishnu who day and night hears these all-auspicious topics concerning the Lord from the mouth of another devotee will be elevated to the Lord’s planet and reside there for ten million kalpas. And one who hears even one sentence about the glories of Ekadasi is freed from the reactions to such sins as killing a brahmana. There is no doubt of this. For all eternity there will be no better way of worshiping Lord Vishnu than observing a fast on Ekadasi.’

Thus ends the narration of the glories of Margasirsa-krsna Ekadasi, or Utpanna Ekadasi, from the Bhavisya-uttara Purana.

This article has been used courtesy of ISKCON Desire Tree

This is an alternate telling of this history from the Garga Samhita as narrated by none other than Sri Radha Herself to the gopikas.

Sri Radha sat in a beautiful forest grove among Her many girl friends, looking like the vibrant moon surrounded by twinkling stars. They were laughing with one another, seeking shelter from the hot afternoon sun, under the benevolent, wish-fulfilling trees of Vrindavan. The gopis, the maidens of the village of Vrindavan looked to their princess, Sri Radha and spoke.
“Oh Radha, beautiful, gentle-natured, lotus eyed daughter of King Vrishabhanu, please tell us what vow we may follow to attain the favor of Sri Krishna.”

At the mention of Krishna’s name Radha bent Her head shyly, a crimson blush blooming gently across Her cheeks. The Prince of Vraja was the hero of every young girl’s heart, the gopis included. It was no secret that although every maiden, young and old, ran to Krishna, He ran to Radha. They knew that there must have been some secret to the hold that She had over the charming gopa and they yearned to know how they too could possibly catch his attention. They would do anything, take up any austerity, pray to any God, and endure any hardship if it meant that their Krishna would be pleased with them.

“Radhe, You have made Krishna, whom even great demigods like Brahma and Mahadeva cannot approach, just like Your submissive servant!”

Sri Radha covered Her face with the gauzy fabric of Her veil, momentarily humbled by their praise. After a heartbeat, She recovered Her composure and with a sweet, compassionate smile the goddess who accepted the role of a simple milkmaid in the transcendental village of Vraja, spoke to Her assembly of friends.

“To attain Sri Krishna’s mercy you should follow the vow of fasting on Ekadasi. In that way you will make the Lord into your submissive servant. Of this there is no doubt.” The gopis looked at their princess with rapt attention. They hung on to Her every word as She described to them the vow which would grant them the perfection of their lives. Sri Radha held up Her hand as She instructed Her friends to listen carefully. The eleventh day of each waxing and waning lunar cycle was reserved as a fasting day where one voluntarily took on penance to please the Supreme Lord, but it also held the story of a compassionate goddess.

With a wide smile which shone like sun rays from the brilliant sun of Sri Radha’s face, She began: “During the waning moon, the dark fortnight, of the month of Margasirsa, in order to kill the demon Mura, the divine goddess Ekadasi Devi was born from the body of Lord Vishnu.”

Indra, king of the heavens, along with all of the other celestial demigods approached the shore of the milk ocean and Svetadvipa, the effulgent island which was home to the Supreme Lord Vishnu along with the goddess Lakshmi. This place was their safe haven, and the assembled demigods could feel their fears and anxieties washing off of them just as the waves from the ocean of milk receded from the shore of the ethereal Island. Indra was sure that the Lord would be able to help them, and with that faith, he put forth his appeal.
“Oh Lord of the universe, oh Supreme Personality of Godhead, we offer our respectful obeisances to you.” Indra paused to close his eyes and touched his forehead to his joined palms in salutation. All of the accompanying devas followed, offering Lord Vishnu their respects.

“You are the creator, maintainer, and destroyer, of this entire cosmic manifestation. You are the mother, father, and the supreme shelter of everyone.” Indra glanced back and the dejected look of the other demigods who were in trouble gave him the strength to continue. Indra extended his arms in supplication to the Lord who was his only savior.

“Although it may appear as though we are controllers of the many universal affairs, actually, we are merely Your servants, put into our positions by You. We are always subordinate to You, our master, and are forever dependent on Your abundant grace. You are the Supreme Person! You are the protector of surrendered souls who rely on Your shelter just as the beautiful pearls of Your necklace rest on Your broad chest. Oh Supreme Mystic, the demigods have been driven out of our heavenly kingdom and have lost our home. We were ousted by a cruel and vicious demon and have fled to the Earth Planet. We are now plunged into an ocean of miseries without our kingdom. We beg for Your aid! Lord, be pleased with us!” Indra was aware that with each plea, his voice rose and became more and more urgent.

On hearing such a pathetic prayer from the king of the devas, Lord Vishnu began to understand their dire situation. In a deep voice that seemed to come from everywhere all at once, He spoke to Indra. “Who is this invincible demon who has defeated even the demigods? What is his name and what is the source of his prowess? Please explain everything to Me in detail. Do not fear.” Lord Vishnu held His right hand up to Indra to give him the encouragement to speak, His soft, red palm facing the demigods and blessing them with fearlessness.

Indra took a breath feeling instantly relieved. “There is a fierce demon named Mura. The great city of Chandravati is the capital of this horrible being, but he has now taken over our capital city of Amaravati and we have been unable to withstand his attacks. Not has he overtaken our city, but he is living in our palaces and has even dared to take over the post of some of the most important devas like Agnideva, Yamaraja and Varuna. He has rendered us ineffective. Although we have all joined forces, it has been impossible to defeat him. Completely exhausted and with no other recourse, we have come to You. You are our only hope.”

Lord Vishnu’s soft smile vanished. His eyes looked intense and His gracefully curved eyebrows drew close together in annoyance. He cast a grave and sober glance over all of the demigods. When the Lord’s beautiful eyes, usually so full of love, came to rest on Indra again, the king of the heavens could see the fire blazing behind them. The Lord was angry.

“My dear Indra, do not worry. I will personally kill this enemy of yours. All of you should travel along with Me to the city of Chandravati.”

The demigods released a collective sigh of relief and gratitude and all at once, they raised their clasped palms above their heads and murmured chants of thanks to the Lord who would once again come to their rescue.

The demigods, rejuvenated by the presence of Lord Vishnu marched on the city of Chandravati to do battle once again with Mura and his army of demons. The Lord defeated the demon horde, dispersing them as if they were nothing more than a swarm of gnats. However, when He engaged in battle with Mura himself, the Supreme Lord used various weapons but the demon refused to die.
Finally, Lord Vishnu engaged in hand to hand combat, wrestling with the demon for ten thousand years. Their blows sounded like the planets themselves were being crushed into powder, but the battle raged on and on, the devas watching with bated breath, hoping that their Lord would bring and end to their suffering soon.

Overcome by the punishing blows of the Supreme Lord, Mura was defeated and lay unconscious on the blood-stained battlefield. Feeling tired, Lord Vishnu left Mura and the battlefield and journeyed to Badarikasrama high in the Himalayas to rest. Once in Badarikashrama, He entered a beautiful cave called Hemavati and laid down. He entered a deep slumber, His beautiful lotus eyes closing against the fatigue He felt from fighting so long with the demon.

Suddenly, the demon Mura who had regained consciousness shortly after Lord Vishnu departed for the ashrama, followed the Lord to His resting place and entered the cave. It was dark and quiet inside the cave, but Mura could easily see the effulgent form of Lord Vishnu. Seeing his opponent sleeping so peacefully, the demon smiled evilly. This would be the perfect opportunity to put an end to Vishnu who had destroyed all of his plans and many of his demon soldiers, not to mention countless demon rulers before him. Raising a sword, which glinted menacingly in the reflected light from the Lord’s many jewels and shining armor, Mura could almost taste victory as he brought it down with a swoosh!!

Mura was momentarily blinded by a fierce, bright light which was almost as hot as it was intense. The light lit up every corner of the cave, but Mura was not to be deterred. He pressed forward with the edge of his sword thinking this to be another trick of that crafty Vishnu, but no matter. There was nothing that would defeat him. As the light dimmed, Mura glanced down to see Vishnu with his eyes still closed, resting just as peacefully as he had been before. The demon’s eyes widened as he wondered who or what it was that was currently stopping him. He looked up and into the furious face of a woman.

The brightness of her form was still illuminating the inside of the cave. She had dazzling armor and was holding a sword firmly against the one he brought down to behead the savior of the demigods. She had various weapons, but it seemed as though the longer Mura looked at her to try and decipher all of the details of his opponent the brighter her effulgence became until it was too painful to try and look directly at her. No matter, whoever it was, Mura would do battle with them, and he would win. He would stop at nothing until he killed Vishnu.

Time was lost to both the demon and the warrior goddess as they fought, the clang of their swords relentlessly echoing off of the inner walls of the cave, but Vishnu never stirred. Finally Mura raised his sword high above his head, ready to deliver a death blow to the goddess, but she was quicker than the demon, and with blurring speed, her sword slashed through the air with and Mura’s head rolled at her feet while his body was suspended in motion, freezing for a moment in his last battle stance before crumpling to the floor of the cave in a lifeless heap.

The goddess stood back and gazed at the sleeping form of her beautiful Lord with folded hands. His eyes opened, and her eyes dropped to the ground before her, overcome with shy reverence. Lord Vishnu looked at the beautiful woman who stood before Him. She had a beautiful face with what the Lord knew were wide lotus eyes even as she glanced down and away from Him. A golden crown adorned her head and her black hair hung free in waves that flowed around her. She had many weapons which she held at rest, but her sword was dripping with blood. Lord Vishnu followed the trail of blood and saw the body of the demon Mura lying, forgotten on the floor of Hemavati cave. Astonished, Lord Vishnu looked toward the goddess again.

“Devi, who are you?” His tone was gentle and she looked up at him timidly, but in her eyes was the unmistakable courage and competence of a born warrior.

“My Lord, I am born from Your very own body, the moment this demon raised his sword to kill You. I have killed this wretched demon who sought to kill You as he saw You sleeping.” She cast one last fierce glance at the demon before returning her gaze back to the Lord. A beautiful smile curved onto His lips.

“Oh goddess, I am very pleased with you. Please ask for any benediction you desire.” Vishnu looked at the beautiful girl waiting to hear her desire.

“Oh my Lord, if You are pleased with me and wish to give me a boon, then just as You have allowed me to protect You who protects the entire universe, with my very essence, by laying waste to this sinful demon, please give me the power to deliver any person who honors me on this day by eradicating any and all of their greatest sins.” The goddess smiled once she asked for the benediction which immediately brought joy to her heart.

“So be it, Devi. You are My spiritual energy. Since you have appeared on this day of Ekadasi, your name shall be Ekadasi Devi. Anyone who follows the vow of Ekadasi, honoring you, will be relieved from all sinful reactions and attain inexhaustible heavenly and transcendental happiness.” The Lord raised his right hand, benevolently fulfilling the wishes of the compassionate goddess Ekadasi Devi.

Sri Radha looked at the group of stunned gopis. Their faces were bright with joy, hearing the pastimes of Lord Vishnu. Sri Radha smiled, full of secret joy.

“Even today, one can attain a kingdom like Kuvera, the god of wealth and more, simply by following Ekadasi. This day is most dear to Lord Hari. My dear gopis, please know that Ekadasi is the queen of all holy days. No other holy day is her equal.”

Clapping in appreciation of Radha’s words, the other gopis began to speak amongst themselves all resolving within their hearts that very moment to strictly and earnestly follow the words of their very own queen and observe the fast of Ekadasi which would grant them their heart’s desire, the favor of Govinda.

This article has been used courtesy of ISKCON Desire Tree

 

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NASN October 2021 – North American Sankirtan Newsletter
→ Dandavats

By Mayapur Sasi dasa

For the pleasure of Srila Prabhupada this report contains the following North American results of book distribution for the month of October 2021. North American Totals, Monthly Temples, Monthly Weekend Warriors. Monthly Top 100 Individuals, Monthly Top 5, Cumulative Countries, Cumulative Temples, Cumulative Top 100 Individuals, Cumulative Top 5 Continue reading "NASN October 2021 – North American Sankirtan Newsletter
→ Dandavats"

Friday, November 19, 2021
→ The Walking Monk

Ramsden Park, Toronto

Raised in Lebanon

“I was raised in Lebanon” said the 25-year oldish woman when she saw me and only after she told of her religious affiliation with Islam. “There was a lot of anger and hardness, so I got very discouraged.” She really did want to talk after seeing my apparel, so she went on.

“Then I went to a Christian church. People were quiet, friendly. They were singing and doing it so sweetly. I felt very welcome.”

I told her of my involvement in a tradition which has roots from India. “Since 1973, I’ve been a monk and, in our culture, we concentrate on meditation to do with mantras. It’s a true peaceful approach to life.” I gave her my card with the maha-mantra on it. It reads, “Please try the following MANTRA and SHINE: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare/Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. TRANSLATION: O Awesome Creator, allow me to be of blissful service to You and the world.”

The young woman glanced at it and wanted to continue to speak, but in a somewhat hurried way. “Maybe I should look into this?”

“Yes, we have a temple and a restaurant.”

“I think meeting you was meant to be. Maybe this is my next phase?”

“I believe you,” I said. “I wish you the best. Don’t hesitate to contact me.”

“I will,” she remarked with anticipation all over her face. 


May the Source be with you!

4 km


 

Yoga May Be As Beneficial To The Brain As Aerobic Exercise
→ ISKCON News: Latest Stories

There’s no shortage of scientific evidence that aerobic exercise is good for the brain. Imaging studies have shown that getting the heart pumping from a strong jog or bike ride strengthens connections in many brain networks and helps new neurons grow. Not nearly as many studies have investigated the benefits of yoga exercise, but scientists from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign say research shows that yoga strengthens many of the same brain networks as aerobic exercise.

George Harrison Chants Hare Krishna at ISKCON Bhaktivedanta Manor
→ ISKCON News: Latest Stories

Source: Krishna Tube 

 

George Harrison had a long relationship with Srila Prabhupada and the Hare Krishna movement. Very early George became a devotee and used his money for Krishna by, for example, paying the full cost of printing Srila Prabhupada's, Krsna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead, and by purchasing Bhaktivedanta Manor. 
In the 1990's ISKCON had their first big reunion of the disciples of Srila Prabhupada at Bhaktivedanta Manor, and George attended. We have just discovered new archival footage of George Harrison leading kirtan and chanting Hare Krishna at that Prabhupada Festival.

Thursday, November 18, 2021
→ The Walking Monk

243 Ave. Rd., Toronto

Welcome, Atul Krishna

No walking today. Mopping, yes! Meaningful meetings? Most definitely. A Zoom Gita class? Oui. And then came 6 pm.

Ananda Gauranga came as the priest and, with Nimai Nitai’s assistance, pulled together what’s called a havan kund, an area for a fire, all decorated nicely for an initiation ceremony.

Atal Pandey, who’s in his eighties, stepped up for his diksha, or initiation. Yes, he has now entered the fold of the Iskcon family. There along with support from family and friends, he took to happy moments of even greater acceptance.

It got me thinking about my own commitment, only 48 years ago. It was a late summer day at the end of September. There was myself, a Godsister by the name of Bhadra Priya, and the priest of that time, Sripati, who hailed from the U.K. Things were so much simpler in those days. For Atal Pandey’s diksha, I just had to ask for the keys to the temple boutique to acquire neck beads and japa chanting beads. It was a piece of cake.

At my initiation our rented-house-turned-temple had no stock of anything. The big retreats to India where you buy devotional merchandise had not begun.

“Just go somewhere downtown, buy some beads from some place, get some string and purchase,” is what our temple commander told me. I didn’t know where to start, but something happened and I’m still here. Atal Pandey received the name Atul Krishna.

May the Source be with you!


 

Wednesday, November 17, 2021
→ The Walking Monk

Owen Sound, Ontario

The Pretty and the Painful

Every trail is unique. Every rock is distinct. Every cloud in the sky is different. Every tree has its own character. And today, I am viewing a waterfall which stands out from any other.

The water from the Sydenham River flows as cascades at Inglis Falls, a lovely drop of rushing H2O. It is one of four waterfalls in the Owen Sound district. Its gorgeousness was the reason for a second stroll for Mahadeva, Anna Purna, and I, but here we were accompanied by local friends who are all nature lovers. That is the very reason I’m here; to get encouraged by people and nature – and to some degree to encourage.

Who would not be inspired by a rush of water playing on rocks and making the most soothing music you could find around? The hiss of the moving water is just a reminder of our place in the world. We are small. Everything else is huge.

Anyway, pleasant times. You have to make some room for them. Last evening we had a meaningful look at 2.20 from the Gita. This morning the same method was applied at the same place, the Hanna family, where we reflected on a verse from Canto One of the Bhagavatam. In this passage, the great Vidura is speaking about the suffering that nature inflicts. How true! Nature presents two sides – the pretty and the painful.

May the Source be with you!

5 km


 

Tuesday, November 16, 2021
→ The Walking Monk

Holland Centre, Ontario

Foresty Fragrant

One of the Gita Zoom calls for this Tuesday night is located in Owen Sound, Ontario, where our host, Sudhama, resides. Some of us decided to be there physically, so we drove up, a two-and-a-half-hour drive north west. Mahadeva was behind the wheel while his good partner, Annapurna, and I were passengers. To break up the drive we decided to hit a trail off of Hwy 10. A rails-to-trails pathway appeared to our right just prior to Holland Centre, a tiny hamlet, so this then became our down-time, a one hour walk down the Durham ATV Trail.

Peaceful, fresh, pristine and foresty-fragrant are some words that describe this little piece of heaven. I believe everyone should take some time during the course of the day for tranquility and reflection. It makes such a difference for input and output.

Now, how did our Zoom class go?

It was 2.20 from the Gita – a powerful verse. “The body can be slain, but the soul cannot.” That message is important to always keep in mind. And just to recall something that we dwelt on a few weeks back – “Those who are seers of the truth have concluded that of the nonexistent (the material body) there is no endurance and of the eternal (the soul) there is no change. This they have concluded by studying the nature of both.”

All good, contemplative stuff.

May the Source be with you!

4 km


 

Monday, November 15, 2021
→ The Walking Monk

Brampton, Ontario

Being Reasonable

It was Dharma who drove me to Brampton Civic Hospital to see Madhurya Lila, a dear member of a Brampton branch and who’s struggling with cancer. She has a few days remaining and so I chanted by her bedside, convinced that this is the only resort. Krishna, bless this very good soul.

Before I arrived at this huge facility – the hospital – Dharma treated me to lunch. I hadn’t the time to eat so he arranged pizza from a nearby outlet called Pizza Depot. The person who came to pick me up after that meaningful visit was Bihar, an enthusiastic devotee. When I told him I had no lunch due to the fact that I was occupied in the morning with filling out forms for my right knee surgery, it left me no time to eat, so Dharma ordered a veg pizza.

“Oh, you can do that? Eat out?”

In other words, someone likely told him that it was wrong, even sinful, to eat food from karmis, or materialistic sources. I don’t consider this good man to be a fanatic. I was trying to tell him that I generally don’t eat out and that back at the temple there would be nothing to eat given that our Govinda’s is closed on Monday. (Our guru, Prabhupada, would go to a famous kachori shop which was not run by devotees).

In the evening, Ananda and his wife, Suskil, treated me to “Planta,” a chain restaurant specializing in plant-based food. It was good. We had chanted some mantras to make the food prasadam; consecrated. As mentioned, I rarely eat out and this occasion was a learning experience of taste and service attitude. My additional remark is that I refuse to fall into the fanatic category. When you do you play into madness that creates war.

May the Source be with you!

6 km


 

Sunday, November 14, 2021
→ The Walking Monk

243 Avenue Road, Toronto

Of Subduers I am Time

This was our final day for the MANtra Retreat, which was very fulfilling. It was also engaging. It required my presence. While on top of that I invested time in desperately adding the final touches to “The Embassy,” our film for this year. Because of this preoccupation, I had to ignore calls (put on DO NOT DISTURB) and make it a priority. I disappointed some people and had to cancel the Gita Zoom Class with our Mississauga group, as well as the message I was going to deliver to the Muskoka group. My deep apologies. I had to give full attention to the Retreat this weekend.

I noted some powerful messages that came from presenters. Let’s start off with a quote from the Gita. “Of subduers I am time.” That was quoted in connection to “men and grieving.”

Other statements that resonated:

“Take responsibility of how you feel.” Also, “Take responsibility for how you react.”

“Don’t act on how you feel, but act on dharma.”

Sadhana starts at 9 am,” (referring to how you apply what you’ve got from chanting and hearing before that).

Mahatma, one of the presenters, quoted Bhaktivinode saying that the three components of bhakti are compassion, humility, and forgiveness.

Prabhupada was quoted saying that if one is envious of another, then serve them in some capacity. It was also pointed out in a session that resentment is an addiction. It also is an identity. Overall, MANtra 2021 was a great success. God content. Good character.

May the Source be with you!


 

Saturday, November 13, 2021
→ The Walking Monk

St. Jamestown, Toronto

MENTOR at MANTRA

At the MANtra retreat today, brilliant presentations were made, for instance, by Partha regarding marriage and the topic “Making an Ally,” referring to relationship development. Yadunatha entertained us with his skits. He is just great at getting us to laugh at ourselves and our habits, which could sometimes come across as fanatical. Dravida blessed us with his MANTRA RAPS. Anuttama took hold of a panel discussion, all under the umbrella of “The Hero’s Journey.” One that I really relished, presentation wise, was Radhika Raman, who spoke about “Guides, Gurus, and Mentors.”

Some of his remarks were as follows:

“A mentor is one who sees the potential in the mentee.”

“A mentor will fail if he/she gets caught up in themselves.” (It’s not about numbers or money)

“A mentor brings about humility and confidence.”

“A mentor recognizes the weaknesses and the strengths of the mentee.”

“A mentor helps a mentee cross over a threshold.”

“Trust is born of truth. Truth is born of honesty.”

“More important than content is character.”

“The scariest person of all is oneself.”

Good stuff! The MANtra program is designed to empower, enrich, and enlighten men to become better performers of devotion to all.

May the Source be with you!

3 km


 

Get To Know Prabhupada Better – Srila Prabhupada-Our Preeminent Siksha Guru (video)
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By The GBC Strategic Planning Team

The GBC Strategic Planning Team (SPT) is pleased to invite you to the Day 1 of our 3 day series celebrating Srila Prabhupada Disappearance Day festival reflecting on the role of Srila Prabhupada as our preeminent Siksha Guru with Badrinarayan Swami. Continue reading "Get To Know Prabhupada Better – Srila Prabhupada-Our Preeminent Siksha Guru (video)
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Katyayani Vrata
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All the unmarried gopīs in Vṛndāvana used to daily worship goddess Kātyāyanī early in the morning after taking a bath in the river Yamunā. Kātyāyanī is another name for goddess Durgā. 
The goddess is worshiped by preparing a doll made of sand from the bank of the Yamunā.

The gopīs used to prepare the deity of goddess Durgā and worship it with candana pulp, garlands, incense, lamps and all kinds of presentations—fruits, grain and twigs of plants.  

The unmarried girls used to pray with great devotion to goddess Kātyāyanī, addressing her as follows: “O supreme external energy of the Personality of Godhead, O supreme mystic power, O supreme controller of this material world, O goddess, please be kind to us and arrange for our marriage with the son of Nanda Mahārāja, Kṛṣṇa.”

From Krsna Book by His Divine grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

Alien Identities-The Hieronimus Show
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Source: Vedic Science Channel - Dr. Richard L. Thompson

Talk show host Bob Hieronimus discusses with Sadaputa Dasa (Dr. Richard L. Thompson) his recently published “Alien Identities.” The book created an immediate sensation amongst ufologists because of its sweeping survey of UFO phenomena and its exceptionally honest analysis. “Bizarre is a culturally conditioned term,” Thompson explains. But if we can escape the narrow confines of the scientific community’s self-imposed reductionism, he suggests that the alien close encounters, reported over the centuries and recorded by nearly all ancient cultures, shed their “bizarre” status and become a compelling subject for serious scientific investigation.