New Faces for the ISKCON North America Communications Department
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2020 is bringing in new things for ISKCON North America (NA) Communications Department: new management, with the appointment of Madan Gopal Das as Director and Kumari Kunti Dasi as Administrative Director, as well as back-to-back events to boost the North America teams with a Training Workshop and Communications Conference in the fall of this year. 

Adharam Madhuram by The Madhavas
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Song - Madhurashtakam Written by Vallabhacharya (1479-1531) Dance Troupe - Nayikas ( Instagram @nayikas_ ) Dance taught by - Vishnu Tattva Das; Dancers - Vrinda Gleeson, Aruna Pavitran, Syamalika Hedemark, Krsnabhakti Johnson, Srimati Hedemark, Surabhi Singanamala, Premanjali Dejager;  Music Composer- Nirdosh Sobti; Music Label/Publisher: Madhavas Rock Band; Vocals - Nandrani Gopi Devi Dasi (Neha Sobti);  Nav Kishore Nimai Das (Nirdosh Sobti)

NASN August 2020 – North American Sankirtan Newsletter (+214%)
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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 August 2020. 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 August 2020 – North American Sankirtan Newsletter (+214%)
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Covid Karuna Appeal
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Kesava dasa: The COVID situation around the world has not settled and we have an issue in Mayapur over the last week and more, where it is suspected that many will be infected. We are worried about all devotees in the Dham, but more so about 38 Srila Prabhupada disciples who are elderly and many sanyasis.

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Description of Autumn
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Heavy torrents of rain, breaks barriers around agricultural land, Like unauthorized atheists propaganda breaks Vedic injunctions; The clouds, tossed by the wind, deliver water which is welcomed like nectar; Distribution of such wealth is also nectarean, when inspired by brahmanas, performed by rich men like kings and wealthy members!

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Purusottama Masa, the Extra Month
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By Giriraj Swami

Both the Gregorian and Vedic calendars comprise twelve months. But whereas the number of days in each month varies in the Gregorian calendar, the Vedic months are all of the same duration: about fourteen days from the new moon to the full moon and from the full moon to the new. The day of the new moon is known as amavasya, and the full-moon day is known as purnima. And just as the Gregorian calendar is periodically adjusted during years known as “leap” years, the Vedic calendar is also adjusted, every three years. But whereas the Gregorian adjustment adds one day to the month of February, the Vedic adjustment adds one month, known as the adhika-masa, to the other twelve. Adhika means “extra,” and masa means “month.” The word adhika also means “greater,” and the adhika-masa, also known as purusottama-masa, the month of Purusottama (Vishnu, or Krishna), is considered to be the greatest of all months of the Vedic calendar. Continue reading "Purusottama Masa, the Extra Month
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Jaladuta Story Part 2
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By Yugala Kishor Gour das

Today it is 55 years ago that Srila Prabhupada set foot on US soil for the first time, having being brought there by a ship called Jaladuta. It was one of the many vessels of the Scindia Steam Navigation Company from Bombay, one of the oldest shipping companies in India, founded in 1919. At the time the company was lead by Srimate Moraji, named Jamuna, who joint the business at the tender age of 20 years and build it from humble beginnings to one of India's largest with a fleet of 43 vessels and a combined deadweight of 550,000 ton. Continue reading "Jaladuta Story Part 2
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What a miracle!
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By Loka Saranga Dasa

The dream came true! We hit the road for Czech Padayatra again, for the 27th time. It was an absolutely nectarian and merciful highlight of the year. We left the gray comfort zone of our average troubled daily lives - which are full of danger at every step. Danger in the form of forgetting Krishna, Srila Prabhupada’s mercy, and the ocean of mercy of traveling Lords Chaitanya and Nityananda. There are no glimpses of forgetfulness during Padayatra as all are protected here. Wandering from town to town, village to village - with continuous kirtan, book and maha prasadam distribution, we experienced real life - the glory of the sankirtan movement. Continue reading "What a miracle!
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Purusottama Masa, the Extra Month
Giriraj Swami

Both the Gregorian and Vedic calendars comprise twelve months. But whereas the number of days in each month varies in the Gregorian calendar, the Vedic months are all of the same duration: about fourteen days from the new moon to the full moon and from the full moon to the new. The day of the new moon is known as amavasya, and the full-moon day is known as purnima. And just as the Gregorian calendar is periodically adjusted during years known as “leap” years, the Vedic calendar is also adjusted, every three years. But whereas the Gregorian adjustment adds one day to the month of February, the Vedic adjustment adds one month, known as the adhika-masa, to the other twelve. Adhika means “extra,” and masa means “month.” The word adhika also means “greater,” and the adhika-masa, also known as purusottama-masa, the month of Purusottama (Vishnu, or Krishna), is considered to be the greatest of all months of the Vedic calendar.

As related in the Padma Purana, a very long time ago the great sage Narada Muni visited the incarnation of Godhead Narayana Rsi at His ashram in Badarika and humbly requested Him to explain something that would help both householders and renunciants attain the supreme abode of the Lord. Lord Narayana agreed and began to explain the glories of the month of Purusottama, which He said was “fully potent to grant not only all material happiness but also qualify one to return back to Godhead at the end of life.” Narada Muni had never heard about that particular month, and he was very eager to learn about it, including the duties one should perform.

Krsna, in the chapter entitled “Prayers by the Personified Vedas,” indicates that the Vedas, which emanated from the breathing of Maha-vishnu, serve Him in personified forms. The Supreme Lord is a person, and His emanations have personal forms too. The personified form of the earth is known as Bhumidevi, the Ganges personified is known as Gangadevi, and the personality of the sun is known as Suryadeva. Likewise, the Vedic months have personified forms.

So, Lord Narayana told Narada Muni that one day, by the arrangement of providence, an extra month appeared in this world. People, who are often afraid or at least suspicious of strangers, turned their backs on the extra month personified, thinking her to be inauspicious, dirty, and untouchable. Unhappy, she went to Vaikuntha to explain her situation to Lord Vishnu. Falling at His lotus feet, she appealed to Him. Crying and crying, she said that within the whole material manifestation, she alone was unprotected, without even a name. Lamenting, “I want to die! I want to die!” she fainted at the lotus feet of the Lord.

Lord Vishnu requested Garuda to fan the extra month, and when she regained consciousness He caught her by the hand and brought her straight to Goloka Vrindavan. She was still crying loudly, and Sri Krishna expressed His surprise that anyone would cry upon entering Goloka Vrindavan, the rarely attained supreme abode. After paying His obeisances to Lord Krishna, Vishnu explained the miserable condition of the extra month and begged Krishna to please protect her. Now, one might wonder why Lord Vishnu, who is also the Supreme Personality of Godhead, did not give her protection Himself. In Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.3.28), we find that all of the incarnations of the Lord are either plenary portions or portions of plenary portions of Sri Krishna, the original Personality of Godhead. As such, Krishna’s expansions also take pleasure in His service and association. So, Lord Vishnu showed compassion and brought the extra month to Sri Krishna.

Lord Krishna praised Vishnu for bringing Him the extra month and said that because Vishnu had already accepted her, He would accept her too. Not only that, but He would also infuse her with all of His opulences, potencies, and divine qualities. “Named after Me,” Sri Krishna said, “this month will be famous in this world as the Purusottama masa, and I Myself will become her protector. Everyone should offer respect to her and worship her. She will be as qualified as I am to give any type of benediction to the worshipper. Just by worshipping her, one can burn all of one’s past sinful reactions to ashes, enjoy a blissful life in the material world, and at the end return back to Godhead. Those who perform austerities, observe vows of celibacy, engage in pious activities, or fast for their entire life cannot attain My Goloka. But simply by practicing devotional service during this sacred month of Purusottama, anyone can easily perfect his life.”

The Lord gave a specific list of activities to be performed during the month of Purusottama: chanting His holy name, especially the maha-mantra: Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare; singing bhajanas glorifying His activities; studying Srimad-Bhagavatam and the Bhagavad-gita (especially the fifteenth chapter, which deals with purusottama-yoga, “The Yoga of the Supreme Person”); giving in charity according to the directions given in the seventeenth chapter of the Gita; and offering ghee lamps daily. If possible, one should also bathe in a holy river at sunrise, offer tulasi leaves and flowers to the Deity, circumambulate the temple, and worship the tulasi plant. Also, one should try to rise early; eat simply; observe celibacy; minimize one’s bodily demands; and be careful not to blaspheme or offend anyone, especially devotees, brahmans, saintly persons, cows, and the scriptures.

Upon hearing Sri Narayana Rsi’s glorification of the Purusottama month, Narada Muni prostrated himself again and again at the lotus feet of the Lord, exclaiming, “Oh, this Purusottama month is the best of all months, the best of all kinds of vows and austerities. Even if one just hears her glories faithfully, one will achieve devotional service to the Supreme Lord Purusottama and all of one’s sinful reactions will be nullified. One who performs the Purusottama vrata [vow] and worships her properly will achieve unlimited merit and thus attain Goloka.” Picking up his vina, Narada Muni continued, “O Lord, now my heart and mind are completely satisfied. All glories unto You! All glories unto You! And all glories unto the sacred month of Purusottama!”

Hare Krishna.

Yours in service,
Giriraj Swami

Tuesday, September 15, 2020
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Rosedale, Toronto

 

Men Aren’t All Bad

 

I heard a car door slam and there she was, a woman, probably in her seventies, carrying a box of goods from her car to the front door of her Rosedale house. She was struggling a bit and my male instinct to help her carry that box to the house flared up. However, second instinct said, “No!” There is hysteria hyped up regarding strangers and thoughts of mistrust, as well as news reports of people taking advantage of others. So I let it be and decided to say nothing. I did speak about it with Victor, a young man who is in his late twenties, while he was walking with me.

 

“I was thinking to help that woman, who appeared a bit feeble,” I said as we passed her by on foot, midway to our destination on our walk. Victor resonated.

 

“I was having the same thought, but the response you’ll get is ‘what do you want from me?’ And so you can’t do anything.” He responded.

 

“You’re right! Culture has developed to a level where acts of courtesy are discouraged.” My next thought was, well, I can understand the lady rejecting my offer. I’m in saffron robes. I’m out of place. Whereas Victor is dressed smartly, all in black, is good-looking yet short enough to not come off as imposing.

 

The stigma exists—a stigma often tagged onto men. At times you feel like you can’t be yourself. Happiness comes from assisting, lending a helping hand.

 

When Victor and I completed our walk, and stopped at the steps of the temple/ashram where I live, I saw one of our senior women strain herself to get out of her car across the street. “Do you mind?” I asked Victor, and he immediately understood. “That’s one of our seniors.” I told him. He ran over, gently grabbed her arm and helped her across the street. She felt loved. He felt great. So did I.

 

May the Source be with you!

4 km



 

 

Monday, September 14, 2020
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St. Jamestown, Toronto

 

Went for the Blood

 

I went for a blood test in a downtown lab. Great walk! I paced through the neighborhood frequented by the famous impressionist artists, the Group of Seven, to make it to the lab. There I met an amiable woman, an Afro-Canadian.

 

“My name is Aretha,” she said.

 

“Oh! As in Franklin?” I thought, Of course, she was named after her.

 

“After the vocalist, yes.” She said.

 

“That gal was the best. She had an incredible voice.”

 

This Aretha made a remark about my attire, the colour, and how she especially appreciated it.

 

“How long have you been a monk?”

 

“I started at the age of twenty. No regrets!” I told her, of my forty-seven year commitment.

 

“Well, you appear and sound peaceful!”

 

“At times. This is one of them.” And as I said that the needle for blood extraction did penetrate as I clenched my fist. I told her of my walking service. “I took to the road in Canada, the US and other places to encourage a healing of sorts.”

 

Aretha was quick to mention, “We could use some healing with the way the world is going.”

 

“Most definitely! But you know, the world always has this chaotic dynamic. My parents told of the Second World War and the depression. It was tough! Always will be; therefore, it should compel us to tap into our spiritual side.”

 

Aretha was so much in tune. I hope to meet her again for another installment of upbeat chatting.

 

May the source be with you!

4 km



 

World Kirtan Festival
→ Ramai Swami

kaler doṣa-nidhe rājann asti hy eko mahān guṇaḥ kīrtanād eva kṛṣṇasya mukta-saṅgaḥ paraṁ vrajet – SB 12.3.51

“My dear King, although Kali-yuga is full of faults, there is still one good quality about this age: simply by chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra, one can become free from material bondage and be promoted to the transcendental kingdom.”

kṛte yad dhyāyato viṣṇuṁ tretāyāṁ yajato makhaiḥ dvāpare paricaryāyāṁ kalau tad dhari-kīrtanāt

“Whatever result one obtained in Satya-yuga by meditating on Viṣṇu, in Tretā-yuga by performing sacrifices and in Dvāpara-yuga by serving the Lord’s lotus feet one can also obtain in Kali-yuga simply by chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra.” – SB 12.3.52

Starting on September 17th and going through to September 23rd devotees around the world are focusing on having kirtan. Of course, devotees perform kirtan all year round, but for this week, special attention is given to chanting the holy names of the Lord, especially the Hare Krsna Maha Mantra.

This year, because of the COVID virus situation, there will not be so much public kirtan like in previous years. nevertheless, kirtans will go on in everyone’s home, temple and online.

Sunday, September 13, 2020
→ The Walking Monk

Harrison Park, Toronto

 

Jay to Be Found

 

It is definitely a pretty part of the province, near the quiet city of Owen Sound, where several waterfalls embellish the natural beauty of the place. Nanda, Aisvarya and I took a stroll at Harrison Park, on a trail leading to the awesome, cascading Inglis Falls. Our trek was short (and more walking awaited us along Georgian Bay) but sweet, it was near escarpment cliffs and under the canopies of still-green trees. A breeze picked up and sent down residual raindrops from those trees. It took us by surprise—the sudden drops hitting us.

 

Our intent in visiting this area was to see the Hannas, a clan of four generations that have clung to bhakti(devotion to Krishna) over the years. We were blessed with their ecstatic kids moving as if “Jumping Jack Flashes.” I don’t want to say that because the phrase has drug induced connotations, however, what I do mean is jumping jolly young ones who are enjoying the upbeat music and song. This is what we always do when we come here: socialize, feast, walk, dance and sing—a perfect formula for contentedness.

 

I also spoke about the joy of the soul, in a Zoom call, to some devotees in New Jersey. The actual topic was titled “How to Make Spiritual Advancement and Have a Blast at the Same Time.” My call was broadcast from the home of Taruna and Seema, in Brampton. Good topics! I was given this topic minutes before I pressed the link for the call and I referenced Chapter Nine Verse Two from The Gita. Check it out. “Su-sukam” in Sanskrit means joyful expression.

 

May the Source be with you!

4 km



 

SV-30-Entrepreneurship in Krishna consciousness with Ajita Prabhu (Avelo Roy)
→ Successful Vaisnavas – Personal Development for Hare Krishnas

In this episode we interview Ajita Prabhu (Avelo Roy) a very successful devotee entrepreneur. He shares his story and the place for entrepreneurship in the Hare Krishna movement. For ideas for how you can generate more income in a way that supports Krishna consciousness go to https://successfulvaisnavas.com/profit. You can find out more about Ajita Prabhu […]

The post SV-30-Entrepreneurship in Krishna consciousness with Ajita Prabhu (Avelo Roy) appeared first on Successful Vaisnavas - Personal Development for Hare Krishnas.

SV-30-Entrepreneurship in Krishna consciousness with Ajita Prabhu (Avelo Roy)
→ Successful Vaisnavas – Personal Development for Hare Krishnas

In this episode we interview Ajita Prabhu (Avelo Roy) a very successful devotee entrepreneur. He shares his story and the place for entrepreneurship in the Hare Krishna movement. For ideas for how you can generate more income in a way that supports Krishna consciousness go to https://successfulvaisnavas.com/profit. You can find out more about Ajita Prabhu […]

The post SV-30-Entrepreneurship in Krishna consciousness with Ajita Prabhu (Avelo Roy) appeared first on Successful Vaisnavas - Personal Development for Hare Krishnas.

LORD KRSNA SPORTS WITH HIS QUEENS IN THE WATER
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The master of the goddess of fortune resided happily in His capital city, Dvaraka, which was endowed with all opulences and populated by the most eminent Vrsnis and their gorgeously dressed wives. When these beautiful women in the bloom of youth would play on the city’s rooftops with balls and other toys, they shone like flashing lightning.

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“ISKCON’S Mother”—Rajani Priya Dasi, Rose Forkash
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By Giriraj Swami

When Srila Prabhupada first arrived in America, it took some time—almost a year—before people began to take his message seriously. But gradually, after he moved to New York, some young men and women did join him. And after starting the first center, on Second Avenue, Srila Prabhupada sent some disciples to San Francisco. Soon thereafter, he went, too, and it was there that he inspired and celebrated the first Ratha-yatra in the Western world. Before leaving America to return to India, Srila Prabhupada told his disciples, “Whoever wants to please me”—of course, everyone wanted to please Srila Prabhupada—“should open a center.” So one young couple, Dayananda and his wife Nandarani, took up the call and went to Los Angeles and began the center there. Continue reading "“ISKCON’S Mother”—Rajani Priya Dasi, Rose Forkash
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Updates from Iskcon Vrindavan (10 min. video)
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In this week’s updates, we will inform you about the current situation in the temple and the plan for the coming weeks and also introduce you to ‘Your day in Vrindavan’, an excellent seva opportunity for those who are not in Vrindavan but would like services like go seva, prasad seva, Rajbhoga arati seva, Harinaam sankirtan seva and vaishnava seva to be performed on their behalf.

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