The Secret to Remembering God at the Time of Death
Giriraj Swami

Question: “Why, at the time of death, the name of God does not come to the tongue?”

Prabhupada: Because you are not practiced. You practice to chant Hare Krishna, at the time of death it will come. Abhyasa-yoga-yuktena cetasa nanya-gamina. [“He who meditates on the Supreme Personality of Godhead, his mind constantly engaged in remembering Me, undeviated from the path, he, O Partha, is sure to reach Me.” (Gita 8.8)] That is advised. You practice it, and you’ll remember. Sada tad-bhava-bhavitah. If you practice twenty-four hours “Krishna, Krishna, Krishna,” then at the time [of death] you’ll chant “Krishna, Krishna, Krishna.” Otherwise, there is no possibility. Sada tad-bhava-bhavitah. Yam yam vapi smaran bhavam tyajaty ante kalevaram. [“Whatever state of being one remembers when he quits his body, that state he will attain without fail.” (Gita 8.6)] So, we have to practice. That is natural. If you always think of something, at the time of death you will think like that. So if you think of Krishna, man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji mam nama. Therefore Krishna advises, mam evaisyasi asamsayah (Gita 18.68). You simply adopt these four principles: “Always think of Me, you become My devotee, and offer obeisances unto Me,” man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji, “worship Me.” You do these four things, then mam evaisyasi asamsayah, “Without any doubt you are coming to Me.”

So, why don’t you do this—four things, very easy things? Is it very difficult to constantly remember Krishna? You can do it. You are remembering something. A mind is occupied always with something. Just practice to occupy the mind with Krishna—that’s all. Where is the difficulty? Man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji mam namaskuru. Everything is there. You practice it. Sa vai manah krsna-padaravindayor. [“Maharaja Ambarisa always engaged his mind in meditating upon the lotus feet of Krishna, his words in describing the glories of the Lord, his hands in cleansing the Lord’s temple, and his ears in hearing the words spoken by Krishna or about Krishna. He engaged his eyes in seeing the Deity of Krishna, Krishna’s temples and Krishna’s places like Mathura and Vrndavana, he engaged his sense of touch in touching the bodies of the Lord’s devotees, he engaged his sense of smell in smelling the fragrance of tulasi offered to the Lord, and he engaged his tongue in tasting the Lord’s prasada. He engaged his legs in walking to the holy places and temples of the Lord, his head in bowing down before the Lord, and all his desires in serving the Lord, twenty-four hours a day. Indeed, Maharaja Ambarisa never desired anything for his own sense gratification. He engaged all his senses in devotional service, in various engagements related to the Lord. This is the way to increase attachment for the Lord and be completely free from all material desires. (SB 9.4.18)] Maharaja Ambarisa, he was a great emperor of this world, but his mind was fixed up on the lotus feet of Krishna. Sa vai manah krsna-padaravindayor vacamsi vaikuntha-gunanuvarnane. When you talk, you will talk about Krishna only. You practice. You always see—you see Krishna’s picture, Krishna’s Deity. You hear Krishna’s topics—Bhagavad-gita, Srimad-Bhagavatam. In this way, engage all your senses: your seeing power, your hearing power, your talking power, your eating power, your sleeping power. Everything, if you make it Krishna conscious, then generally, or automatically, you’ll remember Krishna at the time of death. And as soon as you remember Krishna, ante narayana-smrtih [“The highest perfection of human life, achieved either by complete knowledge of matter and spirit, by practice of mystic powers, or by perfect discharge of occupational duty, is to remember the Personality of Godhead at the end of life.” (SB 2.1.6)], then your life is perfect. There is no difficulty. Simply you have to practice. Abhyasa-yoga-yuktena cetasa nanya-gamina. [“He who meditates on the Supreme Personality of Godhead, his mind constantly engaged in remembering Me, undeviated from the path, he, O Partha, is sure to reach Me.” (Gita 8.8)] Don’t allow your mind to go astray, then everything is all right.

—Srila Prabhupada, talk on Srimad-Bhagavatam 5.5.3, April 15, 1975, Hyderabad

Saturday, January 15, 2022
→ The Walking Monk

Galleria Mall, Toronto

Ah Yes – Change

Vijay dropped me off at the juncture of the Galleria Mall, which is certainly now being tossed in the dustbin of history. From this location, I walked back to my home, the temple/ashram, and I could see major structural changes taking place. I’ve walked Dupont before, the direct way back, and I could see former factories now redefined as condominiums. That’s what’s happening with the mall too. A major complex will be rising where shoppers once were. There is this trend, indeed, that with many people now working at home the question has risen, “Do we need so much office space?” So, along Dupont Street younger urbanites seek shelter in modern efficient boxes as residential habitats.

In my trek, I made this observation about change. It’s reality. Change can’t be changed. This afternoon, before my walk, I attended a Zoom meeting of exceptional quality conducted by Iskcon North American leaders. A younger generation is oozing out of the theme of change – change in the area of marketing and promotion and doing things differently for the 21st century. I totally support the innovations of today (but not all cultural values).

We must never lose sight of the valuable spiritual component in life. I say, “Carry on with innovation but hold the foundation in place. Keep the Supreme Powerhouse in the centre.”

May the Source be with you!

3 km


 

Friday, January 14, 2022
→ The Walking Monk

243 Ave. Rd., Toronto

The Chocolate Question?

Someone sent me a question asking about the status of coco. The sender found out that some Vaishnavas of the bhaktitradition consume chocolate. “So where do we stand?” was his basic question, a question worthy of asking his guru.

My answer to him was that our guru, Prabhupada, was not favourable to chocolate because of its caffeine content. When Prabhupada heard that some of his disciples were consuming hot chocolate in the evening as things were winding down, he wanted a stop to it. My good friend, Mahavir, was in the thick of it.

The medical pandits associate processed chocolate with its sugar content as the cause of obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, coronary artery disease, acne, and so on. Headaches are also affiliated with the caffeine and beta-phenylethylamine. So, what to do with such a craving? Also, the above properties don’t look very favorable to being able to offer such commodities to Krishna.

The person asking the question already had the answer. He has been keeping a package of carob in his kitchen. Carob is a great substitute for coco. It comes in a bean form, has fibre and lots of nutrients including magnesium. It is extremely delicious. Cameron, who comes by daily to do janitorial services, whipped up a carob milk for me. It was divine.

After sipping a warm cup of that, I entered the temple room and sang before the deities of Krishna with Karuna Sindhu on harmonium. We were spiritually blissful.

May the Source be with you!



 

Thursday, January 13, 2022
→ The Walking Monk

Kensington Market, Toronto

One Cute Story About Wonder

One of the people who comes on board for the Thursday Gita class, sourced from Alachua, Gainesville, is a Godsister by the name of Sankalpa. She is one of the rock pillars of our weekly group, which is a closely-knit group that enjoys each other’s company. Sankalpa is European, married to American born Janmasthami, and they have two boys (of marriageable age), Prahlad and Devala. I’ve engaged both boys in dramas in the past. She is a saintly person and lives a responsible life. In a picture that came accidentally to me, she is seen harvesting some radishes. You can do that in the Florida winter.

In any event, our Study group is currently exploring Chapter 11 of the Gita, wherein Arjuna is placed in awe, and in particular wonder upon seeing the incredible Universal Form of Krishna. We were reading many of the awesome features of that Cosmic Power. In my delivery of speaking about this form and the wonder it instilled in Arjuna (to the point of his hairs standing on end), I brought our group to something nostalgic to do with my biological family and the play on the word “wonder.”

Our bread man used to deliver loaves of bread by the company “Wonder Bread.” It was the standard cheap grade white bread that was so full of foam. Well, we one day we played “Church” where I was in the role of the priest administering the host or the Eucharist to our make-believe congregants, my siblings. We would take a slice of the loaf and squish it to form a host. You could do that with this foamy bread. When Mom found out what we were doing with the bread – a bread that we wondered where it went – she got angry and showed us the carpet swapper. That caused our hairs to stand on end.

May the Source be with You!

4 km



 

Wednesday, January 12, 2022
→ The Walking Monk

Yorkville, Toronto

Monkeys Feeling Entitled

The material world is toxic, always was and always will be. The Vedas speak of the three energies (modes) that trigger this confusion (Bhagavad-gita 7.13). The cause of this misfortune and its sustainability is also stated in the Gita, text 7.27. Verse 9.12 reveals that those who are bewildered arrive at whimsical conclusions. Hence toxicity continues.

I observe more and more that people are nasty to each other. The trying times of COVID are bringing out the worse in people, especially through cyberspace devices. Due to lockdown, folks have more time to gossip and backbite virtually. Ambitions are high and so is contempt; as found in 7.27. When will it ever end? When will they ever learn?

I can detect the pain in others. Many are being squeezed out of their jobs. The viruses alone are compounding the problem. There is so much polarization. Unsettled minds. “Kali Yuga” is the expression. It is a part of yogic lingo. Fanatics are on the rise.

On my brisk walk around the block, I could see inflated Santas and inflated Snowmen, a residual display of cheerful Christmas. I feel a lot of that cheer has gone into thin air. It may sound a trite depressing but Scrooge and The Grinch are still around. I see that we are monkeys feeling entitled. More than ever, there’s a need to take shelter of the Lotus feet.

 

May the Source be with you!

4 km


 

Mayapur, A Spiritual City – A New TOVP Flipbook
- TOVP.org

Since the 1990’s there have been a number of attempts to plan and build the TOVP, and also promote the spiritual city of ISKCON Mayapur. These efforts involved many different devotees’ expertise in specific areas.

Around 2002 a book was produced by Braja Sevaki devi dasi and her husband Jahnudvipa das called, Mayapur, A Spiritual City. It was meant to be somewhat of a tourist guide to the ISKCON Mayapur project, but was never finally printed.

The TOVP has now reproduced this book for general reading and sharing on our flipbook page on the TOVP website. Please have a look at Mayapur, A Spiritual City and several other books now available there. All the books are shareable, downloadable, book- markable and have other unique features through our flipbook service.

 

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Jayadeva Goswami Disappearance
→ Ramai Swami

Approximately three hundred years before the appearance of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Sri Jayadeva Goswami lived in Bengal. 

Jayadeva was the court pandit of Sri Lakshman Sena, the King of Bengal. Jayadeva’s father was named Bhojadeva, and his mother’s name was Bamadevi. They lived in the Birbhum district of what is now West Bengal in a village called Kendubilva Gram. He was born at the beginning of the 12th century AD. 

As a young man, Jayadeva went to Jagannatha Puri after visiting many holy places. There he married a beautiful woman named Padmavati, who was devoted to Lord Jagannatha. Jayadeva also developed deep love for the Lord.  Inspired by the beauty of Puri and Lord Jagannatha, he composed Gita-Govinda, and it quickly became the joy of the Vaishnava community. 

At the time, Gajapati Purusottamadeva was the provincial king. He was envious of Jayadeva and soon posed an ill-fated challenge. The king considered himself a master poet, on a par with Jayadeva, and composed a work called Abhinava Gita-Govinda. 

One day, he summoned his advisors and asked them to widely circulate his work, in an attempt to make it more popular than Jayadeva’s.  The king’s own men, however, ridiculed his attempt, telling him that it was impossible to compare a lamp to the sun. Still, the king was relentless. 

A controversy soon arose, and the Brahmins (the king’s priests), decided that the matter would be settled by placing both manuscripts before the Deity of Lord Jagannatha for the night. By morning, they said, the Lord Himself would decide. When the devotees went to greet the Deity the next day, they found Jayadeva’s Gita-Govinda clasped against the Lord’s chest, and the king’s manuscript scattered about the floor. The decision was clear. 

During the time that he became engaged as the chief pandit of Raja Lakshman Sena, he resided at Navadvipa on the banks of the Ganga. Also present there were three other pandits whose names he has mentioned in Shri Gita-Govinda. Shri Umapatidhar, Acharya Shri Govardhan and Kavi Ksamapati, were his close friends.  

At that time, Laksman Sena, aware of Jayadeva’s position as a great Vaishnava, went to see Jayadeva to request him to become his minister, to become the royal pandit for the whole kingdom. However, when the king arrived with his ministers in full regalia, Jayadeva became quite upset, as he was a Brahmin and his residence was being intruded by a king. 

Jayadeva began to rebuke the king.  “I’m leaving Navadvipa, I refuse to reside here any longer. Because kings are always involved in so much worldly activity, my residence has now become polluted. Therefore, I’m leaving.  I’m very offended.”  

Then Lakshman Sena paid his obeisance to Jayadeva and pleaded, “Please don’t leave my kingdom. I meant no offense. It’s true, this royal order is such a despicable occupation. We have to be involved in so many undesirable activities to protect the country, but if you leave our kingdom then it will be a great loss. You’ve given your word, I know you can’t break it, so please just take your residence across the Ganga.” 

At that time Jayadeva was living just near the place where the Mayapur Chandradaya Mandir is now located.  This is proof that the original Navadvipa was on the Chandradaya Mandir site, because the king told Jayadeva to take his residence across the river. 

“At least then you’ll still be in our kingdom. Otherwise, if we lose the association of such a great Vaishnava this will be very inauspicious for everyone. We want the blessings of the Vaishnavas, and only for this reason have I come to you, to request you to use your knowledge for the upliftment of the entire kingdom.” 

Jayadeva, seeing that even after reprimanding the king he did not become offended but instead took a humble position, realized that he was a devotee and not just a materialistic king who wanted to exploit him for his own name and fame. So then Jayadeva said, “Alright, I’ll live across the river. You can also come and visit me, but don’t come as a king, come in ordinary dress like a Vaishnava brahmana. You can come and see me in secret and we can discuss Krishna-katha.” 

There are many traditional stories relating to the life of Sri Jayadeva.  One day, Sri Jayadeva Goswami was composing a particularly sensitive section of the Gita-Govinda, describing Krishna’s intimate relationship with the gopis headed by Radharani. He meditated deeply on what he had written and became a bit concerned that he may have perhaps gone too far in describing the exalted character of the gopis. 

What he had written seemed to represent Krishna’s position as being, in a sense, subordinate to that of the gopis. And yet Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. How could he be subordinate to the gopis? He had been inspired to pen a line stating that Krishna bows down to touch the lotus feet of Sri Radha. But his hand shrank from the page. He hesitated thinking, “How can I commit such an idea to writing? How can I have the audacity to put such a thing it in black and white?” 

At that time he decided to go bathe in the Ganges, in hopes that perhaps some inspiration would come to him. Leaving the verse incomplete, Jayadeva Goswami went off to take his afternoon bath, asking his wife Padmavati to cook the offering for the Deities. 

While he was away, Krishna arrived at his house in the disguise of Jayadeva. Krishna went over to Jayadeva’s writing desk, and there found the leaves of palm upon which the Gita-Govinda was being written. 

Krishna picked up Jayadeva’s pen and completed the verse with the line “dehi padapallava-mudaram,” wherein it says “Krishna bows down his head to the lotus feet of Sri Radha.” With this Krishna, disguised as Jayadeva, sat down and took the prasadam prepared by Padmavati. 

After finishing his prasadam, Krishna stepped outside and vanished. Just at that time, Jayadeva returned from bathing in the Ganges. When he asked for prasadam, his wife was perplexed. She told Jayadeva what had just happened, Jayadeva was astonished. He went over to his book and saw there in wet ink the verse he had thought of writing before he had gone to bathe in the Ganges: dehi padapallavam udaram: Krishna bows down his head to the lotus feet of Sri Radha.

Upon seeing that verse he said to Padmavati, “It is a miracle! See here: what I told you I was reluctant to write has been written here exactly as I thought of it.” Tears of ecstasy flowed from his eyes as he understood the mystery of what had just transpired. “Padmavati!” he said, “You are most fortunate! See Krishna Himself has written the line, ‘dehi padapallavam udaram’, and accepted prasadam from your own hand.” 

Lakshman Sena, the devotee-king, built a hut made of leaves at Champahati for Jayadeva.  Lord Krishna appeared there to Jayadeva and his wife. Changing his colour to that of the golden champa tree which grew in the area, He revealed His form of Gauranga.  He told them He would soon appear in Navadvipa to perform congregational chanting before taking sanyasa and going to Puri, where He would relish Jayadeva’s Gita-govinda. Lord Chaitanya asked them also to go to Puri. 

Bhaktivinoda Thakura has commented that even though Shri Gauranga Deva hadn’t revealed his internal pastimes at that time, within the heart of Shri Jayadeva, Shri Bilvamangala, Shri Chandidas, and Shri Vidyapati, the transcendental mood of Mahaprabhu was already awakened even before He Himself actually made His appearance. 

Jayadeva Goswami also composed  a book named Candraloka.  His disappearance day is on Pausa Sankranti (January 15). His worshippable Deities, Shri Shri Radha-Madhava, are being worshipped in the former temple of Radha-Govinda just outside the present city of Jaipur.

Students Map Out a Sustainable, Eco-friendly Future
→ ISKCON News

Alachua Students Map Out a Sustainable, Eco-friendly Future for their School

From January 3rd to January 14th, 2022, students at the Bhaktivedanta Academy North America (BANA) in Alachua, FL participated in an interdisciplinary project based on building a sustainable school. The project was executed by the middle school and high school student cohorts and their teachers. BANA is currently undergoing an expansion, and the school’s leaders wanted to involve the students in shaping the new school in the most ecologically healthy way possible. The subjects the students studied over the two-week project included but were not limited to: science, language arts, indigenous cultures, communication design, cottage industries, and even Vastu – the traditional Indian science of architecture.

infographics created by students summarizing their findings

In studying cottage industries, the students learned about what is a cottage industry and how they are developed. They explored different types of cottage industries the schools could start. Some ideas that were explored were teas and spices, bee products, natural fibers, and sugar cane products. The students made brochures that described how they could create the different cottage industries and how they could benefit the school.

Students work in groups, practicing their collaboration and communications skills.

In 7th and 8th grade science, the students learned how to do an energy audit and investigated technologies that reduce the school’s energy consumption. They looked at various categories of consumption, such as water, heat, electricity, and waste, and researched local solutions to managing these categories with minimal environmental impacts. The 9th and 10th grade classes were focused on permaculture. They studied Vaishnava land ethics, as well as the 12 design principles of permaculture, how they apply to the permaculture ethics of Earth Care, People Care, and Fair Share, and how these ideas can be incorporated into the design of a new school. For instance, one of the students worked on how the five zones of permaculture impact how they could shape the school and what they could plant around it. In Vastu, the students learned about how the influence of demigods and celestial direction influence the function of the building. They used these principles to propose floor plans for a new school building.

7th grade student examines the turmeric-drying station at the nearby eco-farm

In language arts, the 9th and 10th grades made surveys to find out the needs of other students, teachers, and parents. The 7th grade and 8th grade wrote stories for a young audience based on Indigenous American themes about sustainability. The results of all of the research activities were summarized in either infographics, papers, or books that were shared with BANA leaders for their consideration.

Everyone was inspired by helping and taking part in planning the new sustainable, eco-friendly school for current and future students.

The post Students Map Out a Sustainable, Eco-friendly Future appeared first on ISKCON News.

What Prabhupada Wants
→ Dandavats

By Sankirtana Das

Prabhupada wrote and spoke millions and millions of words that are now accessible to anyone and everyone. Sometimes devotees quote a sentence or two from Prabhupada but don’t necessarily look to examine the context of what is being expressed. Were the words from a purport in one of his books? Is it a lecture, conversation, or a letter that is being quoted? Who were the words spoken to? What was Prabhupada’s intention in speaking the words? Were his words straightforward and obvious, or was there a deeper meaning? Or maybe it was both. Continue reading "What Prabhupada Wants
→ Dandavats"

Sat-tila Ekadasi and the TOVP, 2022
- TOVP.org

Sat-Tila Ekadashi is also known as Trisprisha Ekadashi. This Ekadashi occurs in the dark fortnight of the month of Magha(January/February). The glories of Sat-tila Ekadashi are narrated in the Bhavisyottara Purana in a conversation between the sage Dalbhya and Pulastya muni.

This being the second Ekadasi of the year 2022, we encourage devotees to take advantage of this auspicious day by giving in charity and contribute to the TOVP construction. This is an ideal opportunity to sponsor an abhisheka for Chota Radha Madhava at Their Radha Madhava Golden Jubilee Festival or a Paschatya Desha Tarine Medallion to honor Srila Prabhupada’s 100th Anniversary of receiving the order to preach in the West by Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasawati.

  NOTE: Sat-tila Ekadasi is observed on January 28 worldwide. Please refer to your local calendar through www.gopal.home.sk/gcal.

  View, download and share the TOVP 2022 Calendar​.

 

The Glories of Sat-Tila Ekadasi

From Bhavisyottara Purana

Sri Dalbhya Rishi said to Palastya Muni, “When the spirit soul comes in contact with the material energy, he becomes sinful and performs such heinous acts as stealing, killing, and illicit sex. He may even go to the extent of killing a brahmana.

“O purest of personalities! Please tell me how these unfortunate souls may escape hellish punishments by just simple austerities as offering a little charity.” Pulastya Muni replied, “O fortunate sage, you have asked me an important, confidential question. Please listen very carefully as I reply.

“At the arrival of the month of Magha (January – February), one should carefully control his senses by giving up lust, anger, pride, jealousy, fault-finding, and greed, and meditate on the Supreme Personality of Godhead Lord Sri Krishna. On the day when the constellation of Purvashadha nakshatra arrives, he should bathe, collect some cow dung before it touches the ground and after mixing it with sesame seeds and cotton, prepare 108 balls from it. Then he should strictly observe Magha-krishna Ekadashi as I will now describe.

“After bathing, the aspirant should worship the Supreme Lord. Praying to Lord Sri Krishna by chanting His holy name, he should vow to observe the Ekadashi fast. The devotee should perform an Arati to the Lord – the holder of the conch, disk, club, and lotus – which includes applying sandalwood paste to his feet and offering incense, camphor and a bright ghee lamp. Naivedya (an offering of tasteful food preparations) should then be offered to the Lord. He should keep awake all night and perform a fire sacrifice (homa). The devotee should offer the 108 balls of cow dung, sesame seeds, and cotton wool into the sacrificial fire of the homa while chanting the Purusha-sukta hymns and the Lord’s holy names. He should then offer the Lord pumpkin, coconut, and guava. If these items are unavailable, betel nut may be substituted. Throughout the day and night, the devotee should observe the standard Ekadashi vrata of fasting from all grains and beans.

“The devotee should pray to Lord Sri Janardana, the benefactor of all living beings, thus: ‘O Lord Sri Krishna, You are the most merciful Personality of Godhead and the giver of liberation to the fallen souls. O Lord, we have fallen into the ocean of material existence. Please be kind to us. O lotus-eyed Lord, please accept our humble, affectionate and respectful obeisances. O Supreme Spirit, origin of all forefathers, may You and Srimati Laxmi-devi, Your eternal consort kindly accept our humble offerings.’

“The devotee should then try to please a qualified brahmana with a warm welcome, a pot full of water (purna kumbha), an umbrella, a pair of shoes, and clothes (dhoti, and anga vastra). The devotee should request the brahmana to bestow his blessings for developing unalloyed love of Godhead. If means permit, one must also donate a black cow to the brahmana, particularly if he is well versed in the injunctions of Vedic scripture. One should also offer him a pot of sesame seeds.

“O exalted Dalbhya Muni, black sesame seeds are especially suitable for formal worship and fire sacrifices while white or brown ones are meant to be eaten by a qualified brahmana. One who can arrange to give both kinds of sesame seeds (black and white or brown) on this Sat-tila Ekadashi day will be promoted at least to the heavenly planets after leaving this present body and will live there for as many thousands of years as the number of seeds that would be produced if the seeds he donated were sown in the ground and grew into mature, seed-bearing plants. On this
Ekadashi a faithful person should:

  • bathe in the water mixed with sesame seeds,
  • rub sesame seed paste on his body,
  • offer sesame seeds into the fire in sacrifice,
  • eat sesame seeds,
  • give sesame seeds away in charity,
  • accept charitable gifts of sesame seeds.

These are the six (sat) ways in which sesame seeds (tila) are utilized for spiritual purification on this Ekadashi. Therefore, it is called Sat-tila Ekadashi.”

Palastya Muni continued, “The great Devarishi Narada Muni once asked the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna, about the result one obtains by observing Sat-tila Ekadashi. Lord Krishna replied, ‘O best of the twice born, I shall narrate to you an incident I personally witnessed.

“‘Long ago on earth there lived an old brahmana lady who worshipped Me every day with controlled senses. She faithfully observed many a fast, especially on the days honoring Me (Janmasthami, Rama-navami, Vaman Dwadasi, Nrisimha Chaturdasi, Varaha Dwadasi, Gaura Purnima, etc.) and selflessly served Me with full devotion. Her austerities made her quite emaciated and weak. She gave charity to brahmanas and to young maidens (kanyas), and even planned to give away her house in charity. Yet, although the spiritually minded woman gave charity to worthy people, oddly, she never offered food to the brahmanas or devas (demigods).

“’I reflected about the woman and felt she had purified herself by offering Me strict devotional worship by fasting on all auspicious occasions. She certainly had become eligible to enter My personal abode, which is a rare achievement. So, I came down to this planet to understand her queer behavior. Disguising Myself as a follower of Lord Shiva, complete with a garland of skulls draped around My neck and a begging pot (bhiksha patra) in My hand, I approached her.

“’She said, “O respectful one, please tell me truthfully, why you have come here.” I replied, “O beautiful one, I have come to beg for some alms.” Hearing this, she got angry and threw a lump of mud into My begging pot! O Narada Muni, astonished at the miserliness of this otherwise magnanimous lady, I wordlessly returned to My personal abode.

“’Eventually this austere lady reached the spiritual world without discarding her earthly body. So great was her fasting and charity! I transformed the lump of mud she had offered Me into a beautiful home for her. However, O Narada, this house was just like the mud devoid of any edible grains. It had no furniture or ornamentation, and when she entered it was only a bare structure. She approached Me and said, “I have fasted on so many auspicious occasions, making my body weak and thin. I have worshipped You and prayed to You in so many different ways for You are truly the master and protector of all the universes. Yet despite all this there is no food or wealth to be seen in my new home, O Janardana, please tell me why?”

“‘I replied, “Please return home. The wives of the demigods will pay you a visit out of curiosity to see the new arrival. Do not open your door until they have described to you the glories of Sat-tila Ekadashi.”
“‘The wives of the devas arrived at her home in due course as I had foretold and called out to her, “O beautiful one, we devapatnis have come to see you, please open the door.”

“’The lady replied, “O dear ones, if you want me to open the door, please narrate to me the merit of observing the sacred fast of Sat-tila Ekadashi.” One of the wives beautifully related the sublime nature of this sacred Ekadashi. And when the brahmana lady finally opened her door, they saw that she was not a celestial being like a demigoddess, a Gandharvi, an asuri, or even a Naga-patni. She was just an ordinary human being.

“’The lady observed Sat-tila Ekadashi, which awards both material enjoyment and liberation at the same time. She finally received the beautiful furnishings and grains she had expected for her spiritual home. Her ordinary material body was transformed into a beautiful, spiritual sac-cid-ananda form with a fine complexion. By the grace of Sat-tila Ekadasi, both the lady and her new home in the spiritual world were radiant with gold, silver, jewels, and diamonds.

“’O Narada, a person should not ostentatiously observe Ekadashi out of greed, with the hope of attaining wealth dishonestly. He should selflessly donate sesame seeds, clothes, and food according to his capacity, for by doing so he will achieve good health and exalted spiritual consciousness, birth after birth. Ultimately, he will be released from the bonds of this world (liberation) and granted admittance into the Lord’s supreme abode. That is my opinion, O best of devarishis.’

“O Dalbhya Muni,” Pulastya Rishi concluded, “One who properly observes this wonderful Sat-tila Ekadashi with great faith becomes free of all kinds of poverty – physical, mental, intellectual, social, and spiritual – as well as all kinds of ill luck and evil omens. Indeed, observing this Ekadashi fast by donating, sacrificing, or eating sesame seeds, undoubtedly frees one of all past sins. One need not wonder how this happens. The rare soul who properly performs these acts of charity in the right devotional mood, following the Vedic injunctions, will become free of all sinful reactions and go back home, back to Godhead!”

Thus ends the narration of the glories of Magh-krishna Ekadasi or Sat-tila Ekadasi from the sacred Bhavishya-uttara Purana of Srila Krishna Dwaipayana Vyasa.

 

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When Krishna Talks Back
→ ISKCON News

Let’s get to know Lord Krishna, the supreme personality of Godhead. Can you see God? Yes, eventually. But first learn to experience God. Krishna is our source, Krishna is our best friend, Krishna is our maintainer and sustainer. Let’s reignite our relationship with Lord Krishna.

You can join my virtual Gita study sessions on zoom every Friday at 7:30 pm. Request for the link in the comment below and I will send it to you.

**Request consultation/mentorship: 90735 33350 (Whatsapp/Call)**

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Website: aveloroy.com

Avelo Roy is currently:
MD, Kolkata Ventures (Kolkata)
Director, ECC Engineering Pvt. Ltd (Kolkata)
Board of Advisors, Amity University Online
Former Startup Advisor, Prime Minister of Nepal
Guest lecturer: Illinois Institute of Technology, Northwestern University, IITs (Delhi, Bombay, Kharagpur, Bhubaneswar, Goa, Hyderabad and Guwahati), IIMs and other universities.

Facts & Figures:
500+ speaking engagements in US & India, including White House Panel for Entrepreneurship Education, Startup America, Invest India @ Rashtrapati Bhavan, TEDx Talks, Josh talks and more.

150+ awards in India, US, Canada & China
1800+ startup mentees in India, US, Canada & China

Avelo Roy is a serial Tech Entrepreneur, Investor & TV Host, who started his first startup at the age of 19 around his patent-pending technology while still studying as a computer engineer at the Illinois Institute of Technology. He built it to a multi-million dollar valuation by the age of 22.

He has built 8 Businesses in the US & India with multi-million dollars worth of products and services ranging from consumer electronics, artificial Intelligence systems, healthcare process automation, food science, wireless communications, wearable technology and graphical password applications.

As the great great grandson of Sarojini Naidu (Poet, Politician and first female governor of India), Avelo continues the legacy forward by tirelessly serving the Indian youth through entrepreneurship education using lean startup methodology and principles of Bhagavad Gita. His efforts through Kolkata Ventures in the past 3 years have resulted in 400+ revenue generating startups responsible for around 4500 new jobs created in 10 states of East India.

Avelo’s management style is derived from the principles of Bhagavad Gita. He is an influential youth icon with a monthly reach of 200,000 youths over social media.

The post When Krishna Talks Back appeared first on ISKCON News.

Srila Ramachandra Kaviraja Disappearance
→ Ramai Swami

Sri Ramacandra Kaviraja was one of the internal associates of Narottama Thakura. The two of them were practically inseparable. Sri Ramacandra Kaviraja had obtained the full mercy and blessings of Srinivasa acarya. Sri Ramacandra Kaviraja’s father’s name was Ciranjiva Sena—his mother’s name was Sri Sunanda. 

At first Sri Ciranjiva Sen lived in Kumara Nagara. After he married the daughter of the poet Sri Damodara Kavi, he moved to the village of Sri Khanda. Ciranjiva Sen was a Mahabhagavata, a topmost devotee of the Lord. The devotees of Sri Khanda, headed by Narahari Sarakara Thakura all had great affection and respect for Ciranjiva.

One day Shrinivasa Acharaya was in Yajigrama at his own house, where many devotees had gathered to hear him lecture on Shrimad-Bhagavatam. At that time, passing by the house of Shrinivasa Acharya was Ramachandra Kaviraja the son of Chiranjiva Sen (one of Mahaprabhu’s eternal associates).  He had just been married, and he and his new bride were on their way back from the wedding. 

From a long way off, Shrinivasa Acharya saw Ramachandra Kaviraja, and Ramachandra Kaviraja also saw Shrinvasa Acharya from a distance. Upon seeing each other from a distance a deep mood of friendship arose within the hearts of those two eternally perfect devotees of Shri Gauranga. After seeing each other they were eager to meet one another. 

Shrinivasa Acharya inquired about Ramachandra Kaviraja from the local people.  They told him that he was a great pandita named Ramacandra—a learned poet and expert doctor from a family of doctors and scholars. Hearing all this, Srinivasa acarya smiled, for he was greatly pleased. 

Ramachandra Kaviraja had heard about Shrinivasa Acharya and was eager to have his darsana.  In this way, he finally went to the house of  Srinivasa acarya along with his new bride and was introduced by some of the local people.  The day passed quickly in discussion of Hari-katha. They spent the night where they had been staying since coming to Yajigrama, at a brahmana’s house near the home of Shrinvasa Acharaya, and the following morning went to Shrinivasa Acharya and fell before his feet offering prostrated obeisances.

The Acharya bade Ramachandra Kaviraja to get up from the ground, and heartily embraced him saying, “Life after life you have been my friend.  Providence has brought us together again today by arranging our meeting.” Both of them felt great happiness as a result of their having met. 

Seeing that Ramchandra had an acute and  deeply learned transcendental intelligence, Shrinivasa was very happy.  He began to make him hear the Goswami scriptures. Ramacandra’s pure behavior  which was always in accordance with the scriptures very much pleased Srinivasa acarya, and after a few days the Acharya initiated him in the divine Radha-Krishna mantra.

Gradually, Ramacandra Kaviraja became eager to go to Vrndavana and take darssana of the holy feet of the Goswamis there. After receiving permission and blessings from various Vaisnavas in Bengal, including Sri Raghunandana Thakura, he set out for Vrndavana on an auspicious day. 

 At that time, Srinivasa acarya was staying in Vrndavana. Arriving there, Ramacandra Kaviraja offered his obeisances at the lotus feet of Sri Jiva Goswami and Srinivasa acarya and gave the devotees there the auspicious news about all the devotees in Bengal.

On the order of Jiva Goswami, Ramacandra Kaviraja went to visit the three principal deities of Vrndavana: Sri Madana-Mohan,  Sri Govinda, and Sri Gopinatha, as well as the memorial shrine or samadhi of Sanatana Goswami.

He took darsana of the holy feet of the principle Goswamis residing in Vrndavana at the time, including Sri Lokanatha Goswami, Sri Gopala Bhatta Goswami, and Sri Bhugarbha Goswami. Seeing Ramacandra’s wonderful expertise in composing beautiful verses glorifying Sri Krsna, they gave him the title “Kaviraja,” in recognition of his scholarship.

After staying in Vrndavana for some time under the guidance of those great souls, and after visiting the important holy places, Ramachandra was ordered by the Goswamis to return to Bengal.

Sri Ramacandra Kaviraja delivered many sinners and nonbelievers to a life of auspiciousness as a result of his mercy. At the festival in Kheturi-grama, he was one of the leaders. On the order of Narottama dasa Thakura and Srinivasa acarya he again went to Vrndavana. When he arrived there, he found that almost all the Goswamis had passed away.

When he found that so many great souls had passed away, his heart was deeply pained.  After some days in Vrndavana, feeling the pain of separation in this way, while deeply meditating upon the lotus feet of Sri Radha and Govinda, he entered into their eternal Vrndavana. pastimes. 

His disappearance day is on the third day of the dark moon in the month of Pausa.

ISKCON Gurugram Ox-cart Padyatra
→ ISKCON News

The monks of ISKCON Gurugram decided to take the traditional way this time and went for sankirtan (congregational chanting) and book distribution on a Bullock cart. The cart had an altar with Sri Radha Krishna giving darshan (opportunity of seeing a holy image or deity) for the benefit of all. The devotees distributed about 250 of Srila Prabhupada’s books along the way and people brought them food and water as is the ancient custom.  Traditionally, monks and sannyasis used to travel by walking or through bullock carts for purpose of preaching and helping people transform their lives through the wisdom of scriptures.

Villages around Gurugram have become economically prosperous of late, but now have also been seen a rise in alcoholism, stress, and suicide due to the increasing distance from the long-practiced God-conscious culture.

Therefore, distressed, unhappy, and unsatisfied need a helping hand which is quite possible by the help of spirituality.

Therefore, monks at ISKCON Gurugram took a step forward and encouraged all people to practice and revive this integral culture of god consciousness.

The post ISKCON Gurugram Ox-cart Padyatra appeared first on ISKCON News.

Japa Affirmations Part 1
→ ISKCON News

Based on the book Japa Affirmations by His Grace Mahatma Dasa

Ancient Vedic texts address the notion that no amount of material accomplishments can deeply satisfy us. Our consciousness has been affected by the material atmosphere, and as we try to exploit resources, we are in fact getting more and more entangled in mundane complexities. Vedic wisdom attributes this condition to a lack of spiritual awareness. The Vedic scriptures share with us that we are all spiritual beings and that we can elevate our consciousness through the chanting of the Holy Name. The Holy Name – chanting of the Hare Krishna Maha-mantra, Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare, is a direct process for purifying our consciousness.

For this reason, it is important for us to spend time working on our internal attitude and motivation for chanting the Holy Name. In this article, we will meditate on a specific practice to help improve and increase our presence while chanting: the practice of affirmations. An affirmation can be explained as a phrase repeated to oneself to start a task with a favorable attitude. Examples include: “I am brave and I can accomplish this task”; “I want to eat healthily and exercise to look after myself”; “I want to practise Krishna Consciousness to my fullest capacity”. Affirmations may help to create a positive mindset in order to achieve a desirable outcome. Saying affirmations out loud and meditating on their core meanings before chanting the Maha-mantra may allow us to further enhance our chanting experience. Select affirmations that may resonate with you and try to meditate on these daily or weekly.

1. I happily and enthusiastically welcome the Holy Name every japa session

Create a positive mood to welcome the Holy Name, the Hare Krishna Maha-mantra, into your heart, just the way you would welcome a special guest into your home. This can be achieved by reading scriptures, offering prayers, or meditating on what you wish to achieve before chanting the Maha-mantra. In this way, by getting in the right state of mind, chanting becomes an exciting opportunity to connect with the Lord.

2. I easily chant my prescribed number of rounds with focus and attention

Whether you are chanting one round, or sixteen rounds, or more of the Maha-mantra, start chanting with a natural inclination to focus your attention on the Holy Name. In other words, before chanting, believe that you will be able to focus on the Holy Name. The mind has many thoughts and wavers here and there, but catch your mind and bring it back to the Holy Name. When you consider chanting of the Holy Name to be very important for your spiritual life, then it will be easier to chant with focus and attention.

3. When I chant, I chant

Create a quiet sacred space where you can chant the Maha-mantra without interruptions or distractions. When you chant, do not do anything else, just chant. Put both your external and internal world on hold and focus solely on yourself and Krishna.

4. I get to chant, I want to chant, and I love to chant

Remind yourself that you appreciate chanting the Hare Krishna Maha-mantra and that you view chanting as a special blessing. It is a rare opportunity to get a human birth and thus, a human birth is a special opportunity to awaken love for Krishna. Ask yourself how you would feel if you were prevented from being able to chant the Holy Name. Deep down in our hearts, we appreciate the powerful effects of chanting the Hare Krishna Maha-mantra.

5. I treat the Maha-mantra as Radha and Krishna, fully present in sound

Treat the Holy Name, the Hare Krishna Maha-mantra, as Radha and Krishna Deities in the form of sound. When you chant the Maha-mantra, it is the same as seeing and bowing down before the Deities. In this way, bow down to the Holy Name as you would to the Deities, as Krishna is fully present in the Holy Name.

6. I receive and feel Krishna’s presence, mercy and love in His Holy Name

Allow mercy, love and blessings to come to you naturally through the Holy Name, rather than seeking to force nectar out of the Holy Name. In other words, do not struggle to create mercy and love while chanting but instead, allow yourself to bathe in and appreciate the mercy and love that already exists within the Holy Name.

7. I chant in full awareness that the Holy Name is my greatest treasure

Give your heart to the Holy Name. Although Krishna has everything, He hankers for your heart. Krishna wants to have a relationship with you and chanting of the Hare Krishna Maha-mantra will revive your relationship with Him. Therefore, chanting the Holy Name is the greatest jewel in the Lord’s treasury as He gets what He desires – your heart.

8. I chant to please Radha and Krishna, not to gain anything material

Imagine that Krishna is with you in His Holy Name and that He is happy to hear you chanting. Even though relishing the Holy Name can be difficult sometimes, Krishna is enjoying seeing your determination to chant and to be purified. In this way, chant the Maha-mantra to make Krishna happy and for yourself to feel happiness too.

9. I am out of my mind and in my heart, fully present to the Holy Name when I chant

Chant the Maha-mantra with your tongue and hear with your ear. Feeling the essence of chanting will bring you into the present. Attentive chanting is hearing – if you hear yourself chanting, you will chant attentively. When you chant, Krishna first dances on the tongue, then the ear, then the heart.

10. I fully honor my sacred relationship with the Holy Name during japa

Be conscious that when chanting the Hare Krishna Maha-mantra, you are present, Krishna is present and thus, a relationship between you and Krishna is also present. Therefore, do not view chanting as a mechanical process that you have to complete daily but rather as a way to deepen your relationship with Krishna.

“I do not know how much nectar the two syllables ‘Kṛṣ-ṇa’ have produced. When the Holy Name of Kṛṣṇa is chanted, it appears to dance within the mouth. We then desire many, many mouths. When that name enters the holes of the ears, we desire many millions of ears. And when the Holy Name dances in the courtyard of the heart, it conquers the activities of the mind, and therefore all the senses become inert”. CC Antya Lila 1.99

Make sure you stay tuned to ISKCON News for Japa Affirmations Part 2

The post Japa Affirmations Part 1 appeared first on ISKCON News.

Srila Gopala Bhatta Gosvami’s Appearance Day
Giriraj Swami

For Gopala Bhatta Gosvami’s appearance day I thought to read a verse and purport about him from Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila, Chapter Ten, “The Branches of the Caitanya Tree”:

TEXT 105

sri gopala bhatta eka sakha sarvottama
rupa-sanatana-sange yanra prema-alapana

TRANSLATION

Sri Gopala Bhatta Gosvami, the forty-seventh branch, was one of the great and exalted branches of the tree. He always engaged in discourses about love of Godhead in the company of Rupa Gosvami and Sanatana Gosvami.

PURPORT by Srila Prabhupada

Sri Gopala Bhatta Gosvami was the son of Venkata Bhatta, a resident of Sri Rangam. Gopala Bhatta formerly belonged to the disciplic succession of the Ramanuja-sampradaya but later became part of the Gaudiya-sampradaya. In the year 1433 Sakabda (A.D. 1511), when Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu was touring South India, He stayed for four months during the period of Caturmasya at the house of Venkata Bhatta, who then got the opportunity to serve the Lord to his heart’s content. Gopala Bhatta also got the opportunity to serve the Lord at this time. Sri Gopala Bhatta Gosvami was later initiated by his uncle, the great sannyasi Prabodhananda Sarasvati. Both the father and the mother of Gopala Bhatta Gosvami were extremely fortunate, for they dedicated their entire lives to the service of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. They allowed Gopala Bhatta Gosvami to go to Vrndavana, and they gave up their lives thinking of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. When Lord Caitanya was later informed that Gopala Bhatta Gosvami had gone to Vrndavana and met Sri Rupa and Sanatana Gosvami, He was very pleased, and He advised Sri Rupa and Sanatana to accept Gopala Bhatta Gosvami as their younger brother and take care of him. Sri Sanatana Gosvami, out of his great affection for Gopala Bhatta Gosvami, compiled the Vaisnava smrti named Hari-bhakti-vilasa and published it under his name. Under the instruction of Srila Rupa and Sanatana, Gopala Bhatta Gosvami installed one of the seven principal deities of Vrndavana, the Radha-ramana deity. The sevaits (priests) of the Radha-ramana temple belong to the Gaudiya-sampradaya.

COMMENT

Actually, one of the families entrusted with the Deity service at the Radha-ramana Mandir has a history of relations with the line of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura and Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati. Visvambhara Gosvami’s father or grandfather had relations with Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, the family maintained relations with Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, and then Visvambhara Gosvami had very friendly relations with Srila Prabhupada. And he spoke very nicely about Srila Prabhupada. Now Visvambhara Gosvami’s son Padmanabha Gosvami is also very favorable to ISKCON. In fact, ISKCON devotees often honor prasada at his home at the Radha-ramana Mandir. I also took prasada there with His Holiness Tamal Krishna Goswami, and Padmanabha Gosvami showed us a letter that Srila Prabhupada had written to his father, Visvambhara Gosvami, about how all Vaishnavas should cooperate. So, not only does the Radha-ramana temple belong to the Gaudiya-sampradaya, but at least some of the sevaits have had close relations with the line of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura.

PURPORT (concluded)

When Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami took permission from all the Vaisnavas before writing Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Gopala Bhatta Gosvami also gave him his blessings, but he requested him not to mention his name in the book. Therefore Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami has mentioned Gopala Bhatta Gosvami only very cautiously in one or two passages of the Caitanya-caritamrta. Srila Jiva Gosvami has written in the beginning of his Tattva-sandarbha, “A devotee from southern India who was born of a brahmana family and was a very intimate friend of Rupa Gosvami and Sanatana Gosvami has written a book that he has not compiled chronologically. Therefore I, a tiny living entity known as jiva, am trying to assort the events of the book chronologically, consulting the direction of great personalities like Madhvacarya, Sridhara Svami, Ramanujacarya, and other senior Vaisnavas in the disciplic succession.” In the beginning of the Bhagavat-sandarbha there are similar statements by Srila Jiva Gosvami. Srila Gopala Bhatta Gosvami compiled a book called Sat-kriya-sara-dipika, edited the Hari-bhakti-vilasa, wrote a foreword to the Sat-sandarbha and a commentary on the Krsna-karnamrta, and installed the Radharamana Deity in Vrndavana. In the Gaura-ganoddesa-dipika (184) it is mentioned that his previous name in the pastimes of Lord Krsna was Ananga-manjari. Sometimes he is also said to have been an incarnation of Guna-manjari. Srinivasa Acarya and Gopinatha Pujari were two of his disciples.

COMMENT

Srila Gopala Bhatta Gosvami ki jaya!

One story about Gopala Bhatta Gosvami is that on the eve of Nrsimha-caturdasi all the other Gosvamis and Vaishnavas in Vrindavan were preparing to worship their Deities and hold festivals. Gopala Bhatta Gosvami had only a salagrama-sila; he didn’t have a Deity with arms and legs and a body that he could dress and decorate. So, he was feeling deprived of the opportunity to serve like the other devotees who had Deities they could serve in these ways. And out of Gopala Bhatta Gosvami’s strong desire, a salagrama-sila became manifest in the form of Radha-ramana. Radha-ramana is considered the most beautiful Deity of Krishna. He is the one original Deity of the Gosvamis that has remained in Vrindavan, while the others had to be taken elsewhere for fear of the Muslim invaders. And near the temple of Radha-ramana in Vrindavan is the samadhi of Sri Gopala Bhatta Gosvami.

Gopala Bhatta Gosvami’s uncle and guru was Prabodhananda Sarasvati. His samadhi is also located in Vrindavan, just off the parikrama path near Kaliya-ghata, which is quite near our Krishna-Balaram Mandir. So, often when we go on parikrama down the path near the Yamuna, we visit Prabodhananda Sarasvati’s samadhi and bhajana-kutira. And then we proceed to Srila Sanatana Gosvami’s samadhi. Srila Sanatana Gosvami was the most senior of the Gosvamis and was also a close associate and instructor of Gopala Bhatta Gosvami. In fact, Gopala Bhatta Gosvami worked with Sanatana Gosvami to produce the great treatise Hari-bhakti-vilasa.

I feel that Gopala Bhatta Gosvami has been especially merciful to me on two occasions. On one, I visited his bhajana-kutira at Sanketa, a place between Nandagrama and Varsana where Radha and Krishna used to meet and sometimes perform rasa-lila. Gopala Bhatta would sit and chant underground in a deep cavern, accessible only through a long, narrow passage. At the end of the passage was a somewhat roomier place where Gopala Bhatta used to chant, now marked as his bhajana-sthala. I remember going there with Tamal Krishna Goswami and others on a very hot day and struggling to crawl through the passage to the bhajana-sthala. It was very difficult, but when I finally reached there, Gopala Bhatta Gosvami was very merciful. He allowed me to chant with a glimpse of taste. And after all the devotees emerged from the cavern, I stole back in. I crawled back to Gopala Bhatta’s lotus feet, and I sat there chanting. I will never forget his mercy to me there, and I pray that he will enable me to chant with relish and love.

On the other occasion, the last time I visited Vrindavan, in Kartik of 1999, shortly before my surgery, I visited Gopala Bhatta’s samadhi near the Radha-ramana Mandir. We arrived just after raja-bhoga-arati, and the pujari was closing the doors to the samadhi-mandira. But he was kind enough to open the doors for us, to allow us darshan of Gopala Bhatta Gosvami. He gave us some flowers and caranamrta, and invited us to stay for prasada. Thus our small party, along with some local sadhus, honored Gopala Bhatta Prabhu’s maha-maha-prasadam with great relish, and we even stayed to take a little rest before, filled with bliss, we continued on our way. So, Gopala Bhatta Gosvami is very kind.

 Years later, when some of my disciples from Bombay went to Vrindavan on pilgrimage, they visited the samadhi. They told the pujaris about me, how my health no longer allowed me to visit Vraja, and asked for some prasada for me. And one of the pujaris kindly gave them a piece of cloth from the samadhi. It is very special. Now, twice a year, once on his appearance day and once on his disappearance day, we bring it out and touch it. So now we shall pass it around and touch it to our heads and to our hearts—and pray to Gopala Bhatta Gosvami for his sublime mercy.

Thank you.

Hare Krishna.

[A talk by Giriraj Swami on Srila Gopala Bhatta Gosvami’s appearance day, July 31, 2002, Carpinteria, California]

Expanding the Circle of Compassion
→ ISKCON News

After reading “GBC Amends and Affirms Law Allowing Vaisnavis To Initiate,” I thought to myself that you can always get to the same place from a different direction. The debate in ISKCON for the last few years has been about women gurus. But this article will show the reader that Srila Prabhupada did not approach this issue from a man vs woman perspective.

No one dared to really consider what Srila Prabhupada was saying when he was still physically with us. Some of the young men devotees in the early days of ISKCON were busy jockeying for positions in the prestigious sannyasa order. And from the start, many gurus and brahmanas in India were leery of women brahmanas, women residing in the temples, and women actively preaching and distributing books on western street corners. Shouldn’t they be at home raising families? Now 50 years later, it’s about time that Prabhupada’s vision for his movement is understood and implemented.

It’s a vision who’s time has certainly arrived. And it’s a vision that will correct other issues: that many of Prabhupada disciples are being left behind, and that by endorsing gurus the GBC has overstepped its function.

The early devotees invested great amounts of time and energy, and gallons of blood so to speak to help jump-start the Hare Krishna Movement. In the 1960s and 70s, the young men and women in ISKCON went out to distribute Prabhupada’s books. They opened temples, or supported the development and the functioning of temples. They inspired people to join or to make donations, or participate in one way or other. Their energy knew no bounds. At Prabhupada’s request, they left the word “impossible” behind. These devotees made great personal sacrifices. Many walked away from college educations and professional careers. And the families gave their children over to be educated in the gurukula system.

These early pioneers, whether one was sannyasa, brahmacari or grhastha, made a great investment in ISKCON. Now, it’s time for ISKCON to make an investment in them. By Srila Prabhupada’s efforts these devotees have received unprecedented insights into the nature of the material world, the nature of the Supreme Lord and His various incarnations, and they were given a special role to play in spreading Caitanya’s Sankirtana Movement.

And now, many of these devotees have an important role to play in their senior years. Prabhupada often quoted the order Lord Caitanya gave 500 years earlier
amara ajnaya guru hana tara’ ei desa
yare dekha tare kaha ‘krsna’-upadesa (CC Madhya 7.128)
“By following My order, you become guru.”
Prabhupada had a special vision on how this verse would be implemented in his fledgling society.

In a lecture of August 17, 1968, Prabhupada explained his vision.
“So all my students present here who are feeling so much obliged… I am also obliged to them because they are helping me in this missionary work. At the same time, I shall request them all to become spiritual master. Every one of you should be spiritual master next. And what is their duty? Whatever you are hearing from me, whatever you are learning from me, you have to distribute the same in toto without any addition or alteration. Then all of you become the spiritual master. That is the science of becoming spiritual master. Spiritual master is not any… To become a spiritual master is not very wonderful thing. Simply one has to become sincere soul. That’s all.”

In a letter dated January 3, 1969, Prabhupada again reiterated his desire.
“I want that all of my spiritual sons and daughters will inherit this title of Bhaktivedanta (Prabhupada’s own title), so that the family transcendental diploma will continue through the generations. Those possessing the title of Bhaktivedanta will be allowed to initiate disciples. Maybe by 1975, all of my disciples will be allowed to initiate and increase the numbers of the generations. That is my program. So we should not simply publish these books for reading by outsiders, but our students must be well versed in all of our books so that we can be prepared to defeat all opposing parties in the matter of self-realization.”

Prabhupada expressed that same vision in a May 9, 1969 lecture.
“āmāra ājñāya guru hañā tāra’ ei deśa
yāre dekha, tāre kaha ‘kṛṣṇa’-upadeśa (CC Madhya 7.128)
Lord Caitanya says that, “Every one of you become the spiritual master. Every one of you. Why one, two? Every one of you.” “Oh, spiritual master is very difficult job.” No. No difficult job. Caitanya Mahā . . . Āmāra ājñāya: “Just try to carry out My order. That’s all. Then you become spiritual master.” And if you interpolate, if you put something nonsense, rubbish, to show your so-called rascal’s education, then it is spoiled. Immediately spoiled. And if you present as it is, then it is pure.”

In a letter dated Dec. 20, 1969 to Himavati devi dasi, Prabhupada is delighted with the “new” stage in the movement, and encourages her to step up and lead by example.
“So I am especially proud how my householder disciples are preaching Lord Caitanya’s Mission. This is a new thing in the history of the Sankirtana Movement. In India all the acaryas and their descendants later on acted only from the man’s side. Their wives were at home because that is the system from old times that women are not required to go out. But in Bhagavad-gita we find that women are also equally competent like the men in the matter of Krsna Consciousness Movement. Please therefore carry on these missionary activities, and prove it by practical example that there is no bar for anyone in the matter of preaching work for Krsna Consciousness.”

In a July 18, 1971 conversation in Detroit, Prabhupada again expressed this vision.
Mohsin Hassan: “After you, is it any decision has been made who will take over?”
Prabhupada: “Yes. All of them will take over. These students, who are initiated from me, all of them will act as I am doing. Just like I have got many Godbrothers, they are all acting. Similarly, all these disciples which I am making, initiating, they are being trained to become future spiritual masters.”

On Oct 24, 1972, in a lecture in India, Prabhupada criticized the nay sayers.
“When Caitanya Mahaprabhu ordered that prthivite ache yata nagaradi grama, so that means He wanted that all over the world, in every town, in every village, His mission should be propagated. …. And it is a glory for us that people in other countries, outside India, they’re accepting this cult of Krsna consciousness. But crippled people, they unnecessarily criticize this method. But we don’t care for them.”

In a lecture on April 6, 1975, Prabhupada again quotes the order of Lord Caitanya (CC Madhya 7.128) and follows with:
“So, so we want to spread Krsna consciousness. Simply prepare yourself how to repeat Krsna’s instructions very nicely, without any mal-interpretation. Then, in future… Suppose you have got now ten thousand. We shall expand to hundred thousand. That is required. Then hundred thousand to million, and million to ten million. . . . . . So there will be no scarcity of acarya, and people will understand Krsna consciousness very easily.”

And in a lecture in India on March 16, 1976 Prabhupada explains that his vision can be applied in any place and country.
“Anywhere, either you are in this district or that district, it doesn’t matter. Either you are at home or outside home, it doesn’t matter. You become a guru. Everyone. “How shall I become guru? I have no qualification.” Caitanya Mahaprabhu said, “You don’t require any qualification. You simply require one qualification, that you repeat the instruction of Bhagavad-gita. That’s all.”

In another lecture on August 19, 1976, Prabhupada elaborated on a phrase in Caitanya’s famous order.
‘Ei desa means wherever you are living you become a guru and deliver them. Suppose you are living in a small neighborhood, you can become a guru of that neighborhood and deliver them. “How it is possible? I have no education, I have no knowledge. How I can become guru and deliver them?” Caitanya Mahaprabhu said it is not at all difficult. Yare dekha tare kaha ‘krsna’-upadesa. This is your qualification. If you simply deliver the message given by Krsna you become guru.”

And now, ISKCON has a truly great resource: Srila Prabhupada’s disciples. In any other genuine community or culture, they would be considered elders. These devotees are mature, chanting the Holy Name for almost a half century or more, and they carry with them a wealth of spiritual knowledge. Now, 50 years later the time has come for ISKCON and the GBC to invest in these elders, men and women alike; whoever wants to accept the responsibility of becoming a spiritual master. This will immediately resolve the guru issue, surcharge the entire movement to bring ISKCON up to a new level of involvement, and fulfill Prabhupada’s desire. This movement is ultimately inclusive, and not exclusive. Its focus is on Krishna Consciousness, and is all about expanding the circle of compassion.

“Vaiṣṇava is always thinking how to do good to the suffering humanity.”
Srila Prabhupāda, February 8, 1977

“I want to see my disciples become bona fide Spiritual Master and spread Krishna consciousness very widely, that will make me and Krishna very happy.” Letter from December 2, 1975

Sankirtana Das, a disciple of Srila Prabhupada, is a longtime resident of New Vrindaban Community and an award-winning author and storyteller. His most recent book, Hanuman’s Quest, is acclaimed by scholars and has received a Storytelling World Resource Honors. For more info about his work visit www.Mahabharata-Project.com

 

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TOVP Celebrates the Prabhupada Paschatya Desha Tarine Centennial, 1922-2022
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The TOVP Celebrates the Prabhupada Paschatya Desha Tarine Centennial, 1922-2022: Receiving the Order to Preach

Many devotees may not be aware that this year commemorates the 100th anniversary of Srila Prabhupada receiving the order to preach in the West from Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati (see the story below). This highly important and significant event and its eventual fulfillment should be the subject of our deepest contemplations. The words paschatya desha tarine are found in Prabhupada’s pranam mantra and literally mean he has come to deliver the Western countries:

namas te sarasvate deve gaura-vani-pracharine
nirvishesha-shunyavadi-pashchatya-desha-tarine

Our respectful obeisances are unto you, O spiritual master, servant of Sarasvati Gosvami. You are kindly preaching the message of Lord Chaitanyadeva and delivering the Western countries, which are filled with impersonalism and voidism.

Where would we be right now and what would the world be like had Srila Prabhupada not come to preach Krishna consciousness? At the advanced age of seventy when most Vaishnavas retire to perform their bhajan, he left the divine abode of Sri Vrindavan, traveled across the ocean suffering two heart attacks, struggled to establish his movement, and sacrificed his health to travel across the earth a dozen times to preach the message of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. We cannot estimate or repay our indebtedness to him for saving us from the perpetual cycle of birth and death and bringing us to the lotus feet of the Lord.

To celebrate this centennial year, the TOVP has created the Paschatya Desha Tarine Campaign. Srila Prabhupada brought to the entire world, not just the West, the three most important angas of bhakti: Harinam, Bhagavatam, and Archa Murti. We have custom-designed three unique and exceptionally beautiful 3.5″ sized medallions, one for each of the three angas, that can be sponsored to show our love and express our gratitude to our Founder-Acharya, and also help fulfill his desire to build the Temple of the Vedic Planetarium. These medallions are modeled after the 2021 Olympic medallions, including the ribbon, to represent the TOVP Now Marathon to open the TOVP by 2024.

To sponsor a medallion go to the Paschatya Desha Tarine page on the TOVP website and help win the race to open the TOVP by 2024.

This celebration is also part of the Radha Madhava Golden Jubilee Festival from March 2 – 5 commemorating four other anniversaries coinciding this year:

50th Anniversary of Chota Radha Madhava’s Installation
50th Anniversary of the ISKCON Mayapur Gaur Purnima Festival
50th Anniversary of Prabhupada Laying the TOVP Cornerstone
50th Anniversary of Jananivas Prabhu as Mayapur Head Pujari
Find out more about this festival at WWW.TOVP.ORG.

Receiving the Order to Preach
Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Disappearance Day Lecture, December 13, 1973 – Los Angeles

Prabhupada: So, when I met Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Ṭhakura… It is a long story, how I met him. One of my friends, he dragged me. [laughing] [laughter] I was at that time Nationalist, and manager in a big chemical factory. My age was about twenty-four years. So, one of my friends, he asked me that “There is a nice sadhu, Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Ṭhakura. He has come in Calcutta. So, let us go and see.” So, I was reluctant. I thought just like so, “There are so many sadhus. So, I am not very much…” Because I had very bad experience; not very good. So, I said, “Oh, these kind of sadhus, there are many.” You’ll be glad to know that even my in young age or early age—it was Kṛishṇa’s grace—even amongst my young friends, I was considered the leader. [laughing] [laughter] In my school days, in my college days, in my private friendship, some way or other I became their leader. And one astrologer, sometimes he read my hands. He said in Hindi, kukum chale na[?]. Kukum chale na means “Your hand speaks that your order will be executed.”

Devotees: Jaya!

Prabhupada: So anyway, it was Kṛishṇa’s grace. I would not go, but their point of view was that unless I certified that sadhu, Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Ṭhakura, he’ll not be accepted. Therefore, he dragged me. So, I went to see Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Ṭhakura on that day. On the first meeting, just we offer our obeisances. It is the practice. So immediately he began his talking that, “You are all educated young men. Why don’t you take up Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s cult and preach all over the English-knowing public? Why don’t you take up this matter?” So, I argued with him in so many… At that time I was Nationalist. So, I told that, “Who will accept our message? We are dependent nation. Nobody will care.” In this way, in my own way, in these younger days… But we belonged to the Vaisnava family, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Nityananda, Radha-Govinda. That is our worshipable duty…, er, worshipable Deity. So, I was very glad that Radha-Kṛishṇa cult, Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s…, this sadhu is trying to preach. It is very nice.

So, at that time we had some talks, and of course I was defeated by his argument, my argument. [laughter] And then, when we came out, we were offered prasadam, very nice treatment, the Gaudiya Maṭha. And when I came out on the street, this my friend asked me, “What is your opinion of this sadhu?” Then I said that, “Here is the right person who has taken up Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s message, and now it will be distributed.”

Devotees: Jaya!

Prabhupada: So, I was at that time a fool, but I opined like this. And I accepted him as my spiritual master immediately. Not officially, but in my heart. That was in 1922. Then, in 1923, I left Calcutta on my business tour, and I made my headquarter at Allahabad. Allahabad is about five hundred miles from Calcutta. So, I was thinking that “I met a very nice saintly person.” That was my thinking always. So, in this way, in 1928, there was a Kumbha-mela.

At that time, these Gaudiya Maṭha people came to Allahabad to establish a center there, and somebody else said, somebody informed them that “You go to that Prayag Pharmacy.” My drug shop was named as Prayag Pharmacy. My name was also there. “You go and see Abhay Babu. He is religiously… He will help you.” These Gaudiya Maṭha people, they came to see me. So, “Sir, we have come to you. We have heard your good name. So, we want to start a temple here. Please try to help us.” So, because I was thinking of these Gaudiya Maṭha people, that “I met a very nice, saintly person,” then as soon as I saw them, I was very much engladdened, “Oh, here are these persons. They have come again.”

So, in this way, gradually, I became attached to these Gaudiya Maṭha activities, and by the grace of Kṛishṇa, my business also was not going very well. [laughter] [laughs] Yes. Kṛishṇa says, yasyaham anughṛṇami harisye tad-dhanam sanaiḥ [SB 10.88.8], means if somebody wants to be actually devotee of Kṛishṇa, at the same time keeps his material attachment, then Kṛishṇa’s business is He takes away everything material, so that cent percent he becomes, I mean to say, dependent on Kṛishṇa. So that actually happened to my life. I was obliged to come to this movement to take up this very seriously. And I was dreaming that “Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Ṭhakura is calling me, ‘Please come out with me!’ ” [break] So, I was sometimes horrified, “Oh, what is this? I have to give up my family life? Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Ṭhakura is calling me? I have to take sannyasa?” Oh, I was horrified. But I saw several times, calling me.

So anyway, it is by his grace I was forced to give up my family life and so-called business life. And he brought me some way or other in preaching his gospel.

So, this is a memorable day. What he desired, I am trying little bit, and you are all helping me. So, I have to thank you more. You are actually representative of my Guru Maharaja [weeping] …because you are helping me in executing the order of my Guru Maharaja. Thank you very much.

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Recap of ISKCON Communications Global Conference
→ ISKCON News

Understanding Different Perspectives of Srila Prabhupada’s Statements
Recap of ISKCON Communications Global Conference

More than 100 leaders and devotees doing communications services from around the globe including India, the US, the UK, South Africa, and Europe joined the online conference on Saturday, January 22nd.

The headline event for the conference, “Reconciling Different Perspectives on Srila Prabhupada’s Statements”, by Radhika Raman das (Utah State University Professor, Vaishnava scholar, and author) dove into hermeneutics (or mimamsa), the theory and method of interpretation; how to understand statements from scripture.

“The same text can mean very different things, based on the understanding or interpretation of the reader/listener”, he said. The perspective of the reader/listener does make a difference in the interpretation and “not all interpretations are made equal and every tradition creates boundaries of what is considered acceptable or not,” he said.

Radhika Raman das used a Christian proverb, Matthew 5, as an example. Applying the Christian interpretations on this proverb within the bounds of the tradition radically differs from say a Marxist lens, as it no longer fits within the bounds of the tradition. An individual’s reading/hearing brings one’s own historical context and affects how one hears/reads. Therefore one must be self-reflective, he suggested.

A few scholarly principles Radhika Raman das left for everyone to take away for reading and understanding Srila Prabhupada and the acharya’s statements:

  • Take a statement or quote within the entirety of the body of Srila Prabhupada’s and the acharya’s writings and behavior. Each statement or quote does not stand alone. The text (whole) and the quote or statement (part) must be understood together.
  • Understanding the statements within the time, place, and circumstance. An acharya comes because something needs to be changed in the world, and therefore responds to and acts in sync to the historical context. The acharya and sastra are not controlled by their contexts but instead reflect and respond to these contexts. The work of both an avatar and acharya is to work within the context as well as push the boundaries of the context.
  • Understanding Srila Prabhupada within the Vaishnava tradition and the acharyas as well as the Vaishnava tradition and acharyas in relation to Srila Prabhupada. The goal of interpreting and understanding the text is not to start and finish with one or the other but look at both within the view a fluid perspective that brings appreciation for both.

In summary, Srila Prabhupada spoke to his audience, their needs, and interests, which naturally was emphasized the details of the text differently, he said. It is our job, in every generation, to study the eternal principles and make Krishna appreciative and approachable, said Radhika Raman das.

ISKCON’s Governing Body Commission (GBC) has a Hermeneutics Committee that studies such statements within the hermeneutical principles, which Radhika Raman das is a member of. There is a course on this is offered for anyone to take or for a whole yatra by contacting Urmila Dasi: urmiladevidasi@gmail.com

Other topics covered during the conference included: an overview of ISKCON Communications by Anuttama das, GBC Member and Global Minister of Communications, “Identifying Bias in News Media” by Madan Gopal das, Co-Director of Communications North American and how this affects the ability to decipher the information.

Updates from the Communications Global team on the Bangladesh Crisis from Yudhistir Govinda das and Bhakta das, Director of Communications of India and Australia, and ISKCON New’s new website and management led by Managing Editor, Kamala Radha dasi.

 

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Mother Palika’s Son’s Appreciation
Giriraj Swami

Dear Giriraj Swami,

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Thank for all your blessings and prayers. My mother always took pride in serving you in India and South Africa throughout the 1980s and ’90s. We are blessed to have had such a wonderful mother and are also eternally grateful for the personal time you have given our family over the years.  Her dream was to always visit you in Santa Barbara. Due to her poor health, which she kept confidential, she was unable to do so.

We managed to give her a wonderful apartment by the sea in the Jewish area of Sea Point, Cape Town. She always loved the ocean and enjoyed having discussions on the promenade along the beach with the passersby and elderly by preaching and discussing Krishna consciousness.

I will miss her cooking, as well as my long discussions with her. No son could ask for a better mother.

Your servant,
Ambarisa Das

 

Navadvipa Satakam
→ Traveling Monk

 

Шрила Прабодхананда Сарасвати раскрывает тайну Навадвипа-дхамы в своей «Навадвипа шатаке» (стих 78):

«Если поклоняешься девяти лесам (девяти островам Навадвипы), лес Враджа твой.
Если не поклоняшься тем девяти лесам, лес Враджа остается в стороне…

«Если поклоняешься сыну брахмана (то есть Гауранге), то знаток любви Враджа (Кришна) твой.
Если не поклоняешься тому сыну брахмана, Кришна никогда твоим не будет».

арадхитам нава-ванам враджа-кананам те
нарадхитам нава-ванам враджа эва дуре
арадхито двиджа-суто враджа-нагарас те
нарадхито двиджа-суто на тавеха кришнах

 

Srila Prabodhananda Sarasvati reveals the secret of Navadvipa-dhama in his Navadvipa Satakam (verse 78):

“If the nine forests ( the 9 islands of Navadwip ) are worshiped by you, then the forest of Vraja is yours. If the nine forests (the 9 islands of Navadwip) are not worshipped by you, then the same Vraja forest stays away ….

“If the son of the brahmana (i.e. Gauranga) is worshipped by you then the expert lover of Vraja (Krishna) is yours. If the son of the brahmana (i.e. Gauranga) is not worshipped by you then Krishna is never yours.”

aradhitam nava-vanam vraja-kananam te
naradhitam nava-vanam vraja eva dure
aradhito dvija-suto vraja-nagaras te
naradhito dvija-suto na taveha krsnah

 

 

 

https://www.facebook.com/photo/?fbid=10220966507095358&set=a.3707173840886

Appreciating Palika Dasi
Giriraj Swami

On January 10, my beloved disciple Palika Dasi left her body in South Africa. Kindly read Madri Dasi’s beautiful description of this wonderful devotee.

Bitten by the Krishna Bug: Honoring the Life of Palika Dasi

By Madri Dasi

A few days ago, I heard of Palika’s transitioning from this mortal world. I did not want to cry because her life was over, but I smiled.

Palika was always “on the go.” During recent calls with her illustrious children and other family and friends to offer my condolences, we exchanged our fondest memories of her, which endeared her more to us—which I thought was worth documenting and sharing.

In 1982, at a young age, Palika realized the trivial nature of material existence and was looking for something more substantial to do with her life. This prompted her to walk into the Hare Krishna Healing Center on Prince Edward Street, Durban. Feeling an attraction for the lifestyle dedicated to serving Sri Krishna, she decided to join as a full-time devotee. The healing center had no full-time devotees, and so, having heard of the Hare Krishna ashram in Cato Ridge, she decided to go there. In her research on how to reach the temple, she heard of a devotee living forty-five minutes away from the temple—Radha Raman Dasa—and one day she appeared at his home neatly dressed, with a suitcase and a request to be taken to the temple in Cato Ridge. Shortly after her arrival at Radha Ramana’s house, a sankirtana devotee, Tribhanga Sundara Dasa, also arrived at the house, and he was going to Cato Ridge. Thus, she was able to fulfill her desire.

At the temple, Palika (then Priscilla) became roommates with Divya Rupa and Vishnupriya (then Bhagavati), who were engaged in book distribution on the streets, and she joined them. On her second day out on books, she distributed three boxes of books herself and collected a huge amount of money. Her enthusiasm in voluntary service was indeed laudable. She continued this service for a little while and then was asked to sell BBT prints of the rasa-lila and other framed pictures of Krishna, going door to door in the Pietermaritzburg and surrounding areas. She and her roommates embraced this new service with increased enthusiasm, selling many framed pictures and inviting everyone they met to visit the temple at Cato Ridge for the Sunday Love Feast.

Soon thereafter, Palika married Kishore Gopal Prabhu, a fellow devotee, and moved out of the temple to start a family. However, when she was heavily pregnant with her second child, she joined her old roommates back on sankirtana. The temple authorities then asked this team of young enthusiastic girls to do collections with money cans and stickers. They did this, meeting many people on the bridges and streets and inviting everyone back to the temple. Once, they went to the Royal Agricultural Show in Pietermaritzburg, and after a fruitful day of collecting donations, they were arrested. Palika was heavily pregnant, but the police were merciless, and the crowds started to hurl abuses at the devotees. This incident shows how brave and fixed she and her companions were in the service of the Lord. Indeed, what risks they voluntarily embraced in an undeterred spirit!

Palika was the mother of four very astute children—three sons, who are innovative businessmen, and one daughter, who is working in Australia for a prestigious media company in addition to being a competitive martial-arts practitioner and sword fighter. As a mother and wife of a husband in frail health, Palika turned into a very successful businesswoman, thus providing the best of everything for her family.

Her desire to serve the mission of Srila Prabhupada and his followers remained her passion. This desire fructified in her opening a florist business and regularly air freighting flowers to her beloved Sri Sri Radha-Radhanath. She also donated floral arrangements and flowers for garlands to Sri Sri Nitai-Gaurahari at ISKCON Lenasia weekly for a long time. Once, I met her when she was personally delivering the flowers, and I mentioned that I wished we could get small roses too, to offer to the little deities on the temple altar. The next week, she sent a hundred rose trees to the temple, which provided baby roses, and another hundred trees that provided medium-size roses. Such was her desire to facilitate others in service to Krishna. Palika was indeed very selfless in serving.

Her children unanimously declare that as their mother, she provided the best for them. Even though she was orthodox in her ways and could be perceived as running the house with an iron fist and ensuring that they maintained good discipline and spirituality, she showered them with undying love. They recount that she always encouraged them in their education and enrolled them in the best schools. For six months she enrolled the elder sons in the Vrindavan gurukula and her daughter in a day school in Vrindavan. Her children told me that this opportunity was a life-altering experience that afforded them a lasting impression of what a life of devotion means. The bliss of parikramas, Aindra Prabhu’s kirtans, sumptuous prasadam with fellow gurukulis, and learning to play mridanga and harmonium remain at the forefront of their consciousness even as adults. Palika also instilled in her children good business acumen and the art of cooking awesome meals, lessons that they acknowledge have formed a steady foundation in their lives.

Palika loved to serve devotees. She often said that since she could not personally cook for Prabhupada, she wanted to cook for those who served him and his mission. Hence, she would cook meals for Tamal Krishna Goswami, Giriraj Swami, Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami, Bhurijana Prabhu, and Deena Bandhu Prabhu while in Vrindavan. She also cooked in Delhi and Mumbai, always gravitating towards a kitchen to serve wherever she went.  She was particularly sensitive to the nutritional needs of those she served and carried ingredients from South Africa for their protein needs. She formed close friendships with Arca Vigraha and Kirtida and Karta and many wonderful devotees in Vrindavan, where she would frequently visit her children. The association she received there made an indelible impression on her, and she could not stop speaking about it in separation when she was away. She spoke of her visits as if reliving her experiences there and was fixed in the idea that she wanted to return as soon as possible. She was very fond of Sri Sri Radha-Shyamasundar and took Them gifts too.

Back in South Africa, she had programs at her home, cooking feasts and inviting devotees and new people, whom she would always enthuse by sharing Srila Prabhupada’s teachings. She would also cook for the local senior devotees. Her cooking was legendary. Tribhanga Sundara Prabhu recently told me that she once cooked him a meal when he visited and that the potato curry was so relishable that he asked her to teach him the recipe, which she willingly did. He cooked her recipe for five thousand people for a function just after the grand opening of Sri Sri Radha-Radhanath temple in Durban. Bhagavan das, while passing through the kitchen, acknowledged that the preparation looked good, and many people complimented him on this prep whenever he made it—credit for which, he says, goes to dear Palika.

Palika had faith that Krishna would protect her. Her third pregnancy, with her lovely daughter, was a difficult one. Doctors advised her to abort the child because her life and that of the unborn child were at risk. She chose to not follow their advice, saying that Krishna would protect them. Both she and the child survived without impairment, and she later gave birth to a fourth child.

In 1988, while living close to the Yeoville Hare Krishna center, her second son sustained a leg injury, and the doctors advised amputation of his leg. She declined, saying that Krishna would protect him. He recovered and can now dance and jump with that foot.

In her later years, while going on japa walks, Palika would meet many people and talk to them about spirituality. She also created a preaching page on social media that garnered 13,700 followers. All glories to her wonderful services.

With fond memories of her, we pray for her continued spiritual success.

Your servant,
Madri Dasi

Srila Gopala Bhatta Goswami Appearance
→ Ramai Swami

Gopal Bhatta Goswami, one of the six Goswamis of Vrindavan, was born in 1503 on the 13th day of the dark moon in the month of Pausha. Srila Gopal Bhatta Goswami lived for 75 years and left this world to enter into the eternal pastimes of the Lord in 1578.    

Sri Gopal Bhatta Goswami was the son of Vyenkatta Bhatta, a brahmana resident of Sri Rangam in South India, who was initiated in the Sri Sampradaya tradition, in the disciplic succession of Sri Ramanujacharya.    

Sri Vyenkatta Bhatta had a famous brother named Sri Prabodhananda Saraswati. The son of Vyenkatta Bhatta was later known in the Gaudiya Sampradaya as Gopal Bhatta Goswami and he established the Radha-Ramana Temple in Vrindavan. 

During his travels in southern India, Caitanya Mahaprabhu came to the famed Sri Rangakshetra which has the famous temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu as Sri Ranganath. When Sri Gauranga Mahaprabhu entered the temple and began chanting Hare Krishna kirtan, He mesmerised the devotees in the temple.    

Everyone was stunned in ecstasy and the hairs of their body stood on end. Mahaprabhu’s divine form was wonderful to behold, and his bodily radiance was dazzling. From His lotus eyes showered torrents of tears of Krishna-prema. The brahmanas wondered, “Is he a god? Is such a manifestation of ecstasy possible in a man?”

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu stayed at the house of Vyenkatta Bhatta. Vyenkatta had a son named Gopal. At the time of Mahaprabhu’s visit, he was only a child. When the little boy offered his respects at the feet of Sri Caitanya, the Lord picked him up and held him on His lap and affectionately embraced the boy. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu used to call the child and give him the remnants of His prasad. By giving him His prasad in this manner, He blessed Gopal Bhatta acharya to become a great devotee in the future.

In this way, the years passed. Eventually his aged mother and father called Gopal Bhatta to their side and said, “Boy, after we pass away, you must go to Vrindavan and take shelter of the lotus feet of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.” After his parents’ demise, Gopal Bhatta went to Vrindvan, always remembering the lotus feet of Mahaprabhu. 

In the Gaura-Gandodesha-Dipika, Shri Kavi Karnapura Goswami writes: 

ananga-manjari sadya Gopal Bhattkah Bhatta goswaminam kocidahuh shri guna manjari    

“In my opinion, that person who in Vrindavan Lila was Ananga Manjari is now Gopal Bhatta Goswami. Some authorities, however, have given their opinion that he was Guna Manjari.” 

Chota Radha Madhava Come to Mayapur
- TOVP.org

In a previous article, The Many Meanings and Forms of Radha Madhava, we presented various historical and theological perspectives of the names of Sri Sri Radha Madhava, as well as the history of the large Radha Madhava/Ashta Sakhi murtis. Below is a short explanation by Bhavananda prabhu of the arrival of the original chota Radha Madhava deities to Mayapur, and some rare, never before seen photos.

“Chota Radha Madhava were the deities that traveled with Srila Prabhupada and used at various pandals. They were the deities to Whom he first sang and introduced the chanting of Jaya Radha Madhava before his classes. When They arrived in Mayapur with Prabhupada in 1972 they were simply placed on a small platform in the bhajan kutir and worshiped in a simple way. When Prabhupada departed from Mayapur after Gaura Purnima he left the deities with instructions to Jananivas prabhu to be Their pujari.

In 1973 the deities were moved to the new temple. The original ‘altar room’ was on the ground floor and served in that capacity from 1973 – 1986. The temple was aptly named by Srila Prabhupada as Sri Mayapur Chandrodaya Mandir, the temple of the rising moon of Lord Caitanya – Mayapur Chandra. He had us print in large letters that name on the cement band which runs just beneath the external first floor balcony.”

From the Prabhupada Lilamrta by Satsvarupa Goswami

On the third morning after introducing Jaya Radha-Madhava, Prabhupada again sang it with the devotees responding. Then he began to explain it further. “Radha-Madhava”, he said, “have Their eternal loving pastimes in the groves of Vrndavana.”

He stopped speaking. His closed eyes flooded with tears, and he began gently rocking his head. His body trembled. Several minutes passed, and everyone in the room remained completely silent. Finally, he returned to external consciousness and said, “Now, just chant Hare Krishna.”

After this, the Radha-Krishna Deities of Gorakhpur became known as Sri Sri Radha-Madhava, and eventually made Their way to Mayapur.

This year celebrates the 50th Anniversary of Chota Radha Madhava’s arrival/installation in Mayapur. The TOVP Team is pleased to announce the upcoming, all-auspicious Radha Madhava Golden Jubilee Festival from March 2 – 5, 2022. This will be a festival to top all festivals, commemorating the anniversary of five important events in the history of ISKCON.

  • 50th Anniversary of Chota Radha Madhava’s Arrival/Installation
  • 50th Anniversary of the ISKCON Mayapur Gaur Purnima Festival
  • 50th Anniversary of Prabhupada Laying the TOVP Cornerstone
  • 50th Anniversary of Jananivas Prabhu as Mayapur Head Pujari
  • 100th Anniversary of Prabhupada Receiving Bhaktisiddhanta’s Order

These four days will be packed with ecstatic activities for all present (and viewable live on Mayapur TV), including kirtans, talks by senior devotees and leaders, dramas, dances, and a truly amazing abhisheka ceremony that will include ten types of abhishekas for Their Lordships Sri Sri Radha Madhava.

Additionally, you can now take advantage of this unique and historic opportunity by sponsoring these abhishekas, as well as our newest Seva Opportunity to commemorate Srila Prabhupada’s receiving the order to preach from Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati 100 years ago. Through the Paschatya Desha Tarine Campaign, offering a choice from three beautifully designed, 3.5″ large medallions with an accompanying ribbon, you can honor and show your gratitude to Srila Prabhupada for his gifts of Harinam, the Bhagavatam and Radha Krishna worship to the world.

Visit the Radha Madhava Golden Jubilee page on the TOVP website and sponsor an abhisheka or Medallion TODAY!

  Listen to the first chanting of Jaya Radha Madhava by Srila Prabhupada to chota Radha Madhava on February 11, 1971 in Gorakhpur, India, with his explanation of the meaning at the end.
 

The photos below represent a timeframe from 1972 – 1978, with the oldest being the first on the left taken in Srila Prabhupada’s bhajan kutir.

 
Chota Radha Madhava Come to Mayapur

 

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Tribute to Her Grace Kripamayi Devi Dasi
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Kripamayi Devi Dasi  was one of the first Hare Krishna devotees in Thailand. As a young girl, she would pray to Lord Buddha for guidance. Her Buddhist guru one day handed her a piece of paper with the maha-mantra written on it.
From then on, she started chanting the maha-mantra. By Krsna’s arrangement, she met a devotee who gave her the Bhagavad Gita wherein she found the same mantra she had been chanting. Following the address given in the book, she went to the temple, but the temple was closed because all the devotees had gone for a Dham yatra. Enthusiastic to meet someone, she regularly visited the temple until she met the devotees.
Being around her, it was difficult to miss her simplicity, humility, and loving nature. You would often find her rubbing some Chinese oil and massaging a devotee because they had some pain in some parts of their body. When on Sankirtan, she would talk to people and they would not want to say ‘No’ when offered a book. These wonderful qualities of hers attracted so many to appreciate Krishna Consciousness.
Her enthusiasm was something that was infectious. She would regularly cook for the Saturday feast despite having to take care of her elderly mother and carrying her around to wherever she went. On Sundays, we would go for Harinam together and it was such good fortune to hear her sing the holy names with so much dedication.
Every time I saw her, I always remember her smiling. Later on, I realized that she was always happy and smiling because she was always giving. Every time I met her, she would give me something; some fruits, some nuts, or some coconut water. Seeing me growing very thin, one day she gave few hundred Bhats (Thai Currency) and asked me to please buy more food. Those small gestures would touch the hearts of so many others like me.
Her singing for Krishna was simple and most opulent at the same time because they were filled with genuine devotion. So much could be described about her glorious life and it would still be incomplete. When I sit back and meditate on her wonderful qualities, I get the following realization very strongly: The more you give, the happier you are.
I thank her for the association that she gave us, for showing us what becoming a devotee actually means, what simplicity and humility looks like. I thank her for showing us what compassion and respect towards everyone looks like. Thank you.
Her Grace Kripamayi Devi Dasi Ki Jaya.

The post Tribute to Her Grace Kripamayi Devi Dasi appeared first on ISKCON News.

Tuesday, January 11, 2022
→ The Walking Monk

Queen’s Park, Toronto

January 11 – Special For Me

Today was my mother’s birthday. She has passed away, but I can’t forget her – ever. I was her first born and she had five more little rascals after me. That was quite a load for any two parents – six of us – but we looked after each other. We were lucky because she was the typical, honourable house-and-family-keeping person. We were happy to have a parent home when we arrived from school. Then dad came back from work after 5 p.m., only to do some chores in the barn until supper time, when we all sat together to discuss the affairs of the day. It was definitely a ’50s model of living.

During my walk today, being all bundled up for the cold winter dynamic, I thought about the warmth of the structure we were protected by. It was certainly God’s grace. I believe all of us felt a type of protection from God.

I never became an altar boy in the Catholic tradition, although my brothers did. Still, I did carry on with praying on the rosary during the time of Lent, when I meditated at the stations of the Cross.

These days you might catch me walking along the wall in the temple by the stations of Krishna. Adorning these walls are the pictures of Krishna Lila, or His pastimes, while I’m fingering on my japa beads. There’s not much difference between the practices. The only thing is Mum’s not around. I’m hoping she’s in heaven.

May the Source be with you!

4 km


 

News Brief: Remembering Kashmir on “Holocaust Day”
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January 19 is not just another date on the calendar. It is observed globally as the ‘Holocaust Remembrance Day‘ by the Kashmiri Pandits.

Jammu, Jan 19 (PTI) Displaced Kashmiri Pandits on Wednesday observed January 19 as the ‘Holocaust Day’ to mark the exodus of their community members from the Valley in 1990.

 

Contemporary History:

The state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) was primarily Hindu until the 14th century. The state itself is named for an ancient Hindu sage Kashyap. The tutelary deity of classical Kashmir was Sharada, a manifestation of Saraswati, the Hindu goddess of wisdom, whose prayers refer to her as “Kashmira-pura-vasini” (she who resides in Kashmir). Over the last 500 years, its indigenous residents have been the subject to repeated persecution leading to the “Seven Exoduses of Kashmiri Hindus”. Kashmir is also well known as the birthplace of Shaivism.

 

A History of Remembrance:

Back on February 17th 2019,  more than 70 devotees of ISKCON Ahmedabad performed special harinam sankirtan on the streets of Ahmedabad in the morning for those who lost their lives in the attacks.

In the evening of 2/17/19, devotees of ISKCON led kirtan, and lamps were offered before the deities of Sri Sri Radha Govindaji. Thousands of visitors joined the devotees in expressing their sorrow.

All the devotees and visitors prayed for peace for the souls of the soldiers and prayed to the Lord to give strength to thier families. By Haresh Govinda Das

ISKCON Ahmedabad holds kirtan and offered lamps for the martyred soldiers of Jammu and Kashmir Terrorist attack.    Source: Dandavats

 

 

ISKCON in Kashmir

ISKCON has temples and centers throughout Kashmir; ISKCON, Srinagar, Sri Sri Gaur Radha Krishna Mandir, Jammu, and Srila Prabhupada Ashram (ISKCON), Udhampur.

The post News Brief: Remembering Kashmir on “Holocaust Day” appeared first on ISKCON News.

The TOVP Celebrates the Prabhupada Paschatya Desha Tarine Centennial, 1922-2022: Receiving the Order to Preach
- TOVP.org

Many devotees may not be aware that this year commemorates the 100th anniversary of Srila Prabhupada receiving the order to preach in the West from Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati (see the story below). This highly important and significant event and its eventual fulfilment should be the subject of our deepest contemplations. The words paschatya desha tarine are found in Prabhupada’s pranam mantra and literally mean he has come to deliver the Western countries:

namas te sarasvate deve gaura-vani-pracharine
nirvishesha-shunyavadi-pashchatya-desha-tarine

Our respectful obeisances are unto you, O spiritual master, servant of Sarasvati Gosvami. You are kindly preaching the message of Lord Chaitanyadeva and delivering the Western countries, which are filled with impersonalism and voidism.

Where would we be right now and what would the world be like had Srila Prabhupada not come to preach Krishna consciousness. At the advanced age of seventy when most Vaishnavas retire to perform their bhajan, he left the divine abode of Sri Vrindavan, traveled across the ocean suffering two heart attacks, struggled to establish his movement, and sacrificed his health to travel across the earth a dozen times to preach the message of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. We cannot estimate or repay our indebtedness to him for saving us from the perpetual cycle of birth and death and bringing us to the lotus feet of the Lord.

To celebrate this centennial year, the TOVP has created the Paschatya Desha Tarine Campaign. Srila Prabhupada brought to the entire world, not just the West, the three most important angas of bhakti: Harinam, Bhagavatam and Archa Murti. We have custom designed three unique and exceptionally beautiful 3.5″ sized medallions, one for each of the three angas, that can be sponsored to show our love and express our gratitude to our Founder-Acharya, and also help fulfill his desire to build the Temple of the Vedic Planetarium. These medallions are modeled after the 2021 Olympic medallions, including the ribbon, to represent the TOVP Now Marathon to open the TOVP by 2024.

To sponsor a medallion go to the Paschatya Desha Tarine page on the TOVP website and help win the race to open the TOVP by 2024.

This celebration is also part of the Radha Madhava Golden Jubilee Festival from March 2 – 5 commemorating four other anniversaries coinciding this year:

  • 50th Anniversary of Chota Radha Madhava’s Installation
  • 50th Anniversary of the ISKCON Mayapur Gaur Purnima Festival
  • 50th Anniversary of Prabhupada Laying the TOVP Cornerstone
  • 50th Anniversary of Jananivas Prabhu as Mayapur Head Pujari

Find out more about this festival a WWW.TOVP.ORG.

Receiving the Order to Preach

Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Disappearance Day Lecture, December 13, 1973 – Los Angeles

Prabhupada: So, when I met Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Ṭhakura… It is a long story, how I met him. One of my friends, he dragged me. [laughing] [laughter] I was at that time Nationalist, and manager in a big chemical factory. My age was about twenty-four years. So, one of my friends, he asked me that “There is a nice sadhu, Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Ṭhakura. He has come in Calcutta. So, let us go and see.” So, I was reluctant. I thought just like so, “There are so many sadhus. So, I am not very much…” Because I had very bad experience; not very good. So, I said, “Oh, these kind of sadhus, there are many.” You’ll be glad to know that even my in young age or early age—it was Kṛishṇa’s grace—even amongst my young friends, I was considered the leader. [laughing] [laughter] In my school days, in my college days, in my private friendship, some way or other I became their leader. And one astrologer, sometimes he read my hands. He said in Hindi, kukum chale na[?]. Kukum chale na means “Your hand speaks that your order will be executed.”

Devotees: Jaya!

Prabhupada: So anyway, it was Kṛishṇa’s grace. I would not go, but their point of view was that unless I certified that sadhu, Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Ṭhakura, he’ll not be accepted. Therefore, he dragged me. So, I went to see Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Ṭhakura on that day. On the first meeting, just we offer our obeisances. It is the practice. So immediately he began his talking that, “You are all educated young men. Why don’t you take up Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s cult and preach all over the English-knowing public? Why don’t you take up this matter?” So, I argued with him in so many… At that time I was Nationalist. So, I told that, “Who will accept our message? We are dependent nation. Nobody will care.” In this way, in my own way, in these younger days… But we belonged to the Vaisnava family, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Nityananda, Radha-Govinda. That is our worshipable duty…, er, worshipable Deity. So, I was very glad that Radha-Kṛishṇa cult, Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s…, this sadhu is trying to preach. It is very nice.

So, at that time we had some talks, and of course I was defeated by his argument, my argument. [laughter] And then, when we came out, we were offered prasadam, very nice treatment, the Gaudiya Maṭha. And when I came out on the street, this my friend asked me, “What is your opinion of this sadhu?” Then I said that, “Here is the right person who has taken up Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s message, and now it will be distributed.”

Devotees: Jaya!

Prabhupada: So, I was at that time a fool, but I opined like this. And I accepted him as my spiritual master immediately. Not officially, but in my heart. That was in 1922. Then, in 1923, I left Calcutta on my business tour, and I made my headquarter at Allahabad. Allahabad is about five hundred miles from Calcutta. So, I was thinking that “I met a very nice saintly person.” That was my thinking always. So, in this way, in 1928, there was a Kumbha-mela.

At that time, these Gaudiya Maṭha people came to Allahabad to establish a center there, and somebody else said, somebody informed them that “You go to that Prayag Pharmacy.” My drug shop was named as Prayag Pharmacy. My name was also there. “You go and see Abhay Babu. He is religiously… He will help you.” These Gaudiya Maṭha people, they came to see me. So, “Sir, we have come to you. We have heard your good name. So, we want to start a temple here. Please try to help us.” So, because I was thinking of these Gaudiya Maṭha people, that “I met a very nice, saintly person,” then as soon as I saw them, I was very much engladdened, “Oh, here are these persons. They have come again.”

So, in this way, gradually, I became attached to these Gaudiya Maṭha activities, and by the grace of Kṛishṇa, my business also was not going very well. [laughter] [laughs] Yes. Kṛishṇa says, yasyaham anughṛṇami harisye tad-dhanam sanaiḥ [SB 10.88.8], means if somebody wants to be actually devotee of Kṛishṇa, at the same time keeps his material attachment, then Kṛishṇa’s business is He takes away everything material, so that cent percent he becomes, I mean to say, dependent on Kṛishṇa. So that actually happened to my life. I was obliged to come to this movement to take up this very seriously. And I was dreaming that “Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Ṭhakura is calling me, ‘Please come out with me!’ ” [break] So, I was sometimes horrified, “Oh, what is this? I have to give up my family life? Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Ṭhakura is calling me? I have to take sannyasa?” Oh, I was horrified. But I saw several times, calling me.

So anyway, it is by his grace I was forced to give up my family life and so-called business life. And he brought me some way or other in preaching his gospel.

So, this is a memorable day. What he desired, I am trying little bit, and you are all helping me. So, I have to thank you more. You are actually representative of my Guru Maharaja [weeping] …because you are helping me in executing the order of my Guru Maharaja. Thank you very much.

 

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North American Leadership Conference Wrap Up
→ ISKCON News

Empowering Leaders Across USA and Canada 

ISKCON North America Leadership Annual Conference

 

More than 140 leaders from across the US and Canada attended the weekend conference held last weekend January 14-16th to network, share resources and empower leaders to serve their respective communities.

The first day of the conference the mood was one of initiative and support. New projects were introduced from the work of the past two years “ISKCON 3.0” initiative that brought together next generation, senior devotees, and  and breakout sessions were helpd to learn more and support these projects. The projects introduced were:

  •  ISKCON’s 7 Purposes Realized: The Vision
  •  Prabhupada Foundation (Finances) 
  •  HEARTS (by Karuna Care Education)
  •  Hari N.A.M. (North American Mentorship) Program
  •  Umbrella Mountain – Bhakti Arts Collective
  •  Radical Personalism
  •  ISKCON’s Relevance

Additionally presentations by Kalakanta Das about the success that Krishna House projects are having and how to get further support in setting one up across the USA by his team, and a workshop on Social Media by Ajita Das for the basics. And to finalize the day off an exciting new project is being launched for a franchise opportunity for “Krishna Kitchen” food trucks being lead by Gopal Bhatta Das.

Mock-up of the food truck franchise plans for rolling out in 2023.

The following day the mood shifted a bit into protection and administration. A panel “Devotee Protection” covered a wide-variety of resources, insight and information about three offices that support. The next panel “Legal Awareness to Avert Schisms, Who Has Authority of a Temple” was about legal issues in ISKCON centers and understanding the by-laws and looking at any potential risk of the organization and board of directors role as crucial elements in protecting the temple, assests and properties. A workshop on understanding assumptions and how they are the leading cause of conflict in ISKCON and other soceity was held by ISKCON Resolve’s Vraj Vihari Das was held. The final panel looked towards the future and the role of the organizing group of the conference the North American Council (NAC) in helping support the future of the NA projects and activities moving forward. 

 

Future webinars and training sessions will be facilitated throughout the year hosted by the North American Council Support Office about the topics held in the conference.

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