Distributing Books at the International Stroke Conference in LA 2016
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Hare KrishnaBy Tattva Darsi

Bhakta Jay Khush, Radha Krsna Dasa, and Bhrigupati Das distribute books to top medical doctors and professionals at the International Stroke Conference 2016 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Sponsored by Dr. Vinaya Gaura Chandra Das and his wife Padmaksi Sri Devi Dasi, to promote alternatives to stroke patients for recovery. His Holiness Jayapataka Maharaja is the inspiration behind this project, and we’ve dedicated a website for further learning. – www.spiritualstroke.com Srila Prabhupada wanted us to preach to the intelligent class of men the science of Krishna Consciousness. All glories to this wonderful service!

WSN January 2016 – World Sankirtan Newsletter
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Hare KrishnaBy Vijaya Dasa

January was a good month for Tirupati — the No. 1 temple in the world, with 17,746 book points. Lord Balaji must be very pleased with the sankirtana devotees in Tirupati, because His glories are being distributed in such a big way. Surat also did huge. This is a “small” temple, so there are about eight devotees in the temple, but Surat was the No. 3 temple in the world, with 10,728 book points. I’m in Mayapur at the ILS (ISKCON Leadership Sanga). Twelve hundred devotees have come to hear about how to improve their various services. Recently, Vaisesika Prabhu gave a seminar on book distribution and said many wonderful things. What caught everyone’s attention was his saying, “If you have a Bhagavad-gita and a Srimad Bhagavatam, then you are the wealthiest person in the world.” There was a lot of applause after that. Similarly, Lord Caitanya said, “If one does not have love for Krsna, then one is considered to be poverty stricken.” We want to give this great wealth to others. This is the highest welfare activity in the world.

Day 3 of ILS: ISKCON 50 is our big chance for a global impact
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Hare KrishnaBy Romapada Das

The third day of the ILS started with a presentation on ISKCON’s 50th anniversary by Anuttama Das, GBC Minister for Communications and Pancharatna Das, Executive Member of the International Fiftieth Anniversary Committee. They spoke about the importance of the 50th as an opportunity for glorifying Prabhupada, educating the public, celebrating achievements, appreciating devotees and accelerating our mission. “Not many of us may be here to see the 100th anniversary of ISKCON,” said Anuttama Das. “This is our big chance to make a global impact, and accelerate our missionary work.”

20th Anniversary of the departure of Gour Govinda Swami
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Hare KrishnaBy Nimai Pandit dasa

Sri Srimad Gour Govinda Swami appeared in this world on the 2nd of September 1929 in the village of Jagannatha-puri, in the Indian state of Orissa (Odisha). Both the paternal and maternal sides of his family had been very strict Vaisnavas for many, many centuries. His father, Isvara Manik, was from a long line of Gaudiya Vaisnavas and his mother, Pata Devi, was from the famous village of Orissa Gadai Giri. The Giri family from Gadai Giri are the most famous Vaisnava kirtaniyas in Orissa. In fact they have a special invitation from the King of Puri to sing in the Puri temple for Lord Jagannatha whenever they can and this invitation dates back to the 17th century. Where ever they go to do kirtana, people do arati to them, they are kirtana -gurus. That invitation still holds to this day and is written in the history book of the temple of Lord Jagannatha – the Madala-panji.

Infusing Pure Krishna Consciousness in Culturally Rich Villages
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Hare KrishnaBy HariKirtan Das

There are around six lakhs or more villages in India stretching north, east, west and south. Though certain features like muddy roads, thorny bushes, open drains, narrow roads, etc. are common features in all villages but distinctly the culture, topography, food, lifestyle, occupations, etc. still vary distinctly from place to place all over India. After preaching in the States of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh since the last few months, preaching in Khargone District villages of Madhya Pradesh was a very novel experience. The preaching was organized by Shamik Rsi prabhu, a disciple of Srila Prabhupada who held many devotional responsible positions. in the USA Yatra and who is also a renowned doctor practicing his profession from the last 45 years. Khargon happens to be his native place.

Day 2 of ILS: The greatest story ever told
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Hare KrishnaBy Romapada Das

On the second day of the ISKCON Leadership Sanga, Praghosa Das, the GBC Chairman presented several quotes of how Srila Prabhupada’s appearance was predicted in many scriptures and spiritual masters. Titled, ‘The greatest story ever told’, his presentation pointed out the five steps Srila Prabhupada had taken to make his institution more effective: 1. Founding ISKCON 2. Accepting the honorific title ‘Prabhupada’ 3. Establishing his role as the ‘Founder Acharya’ 4. Creating the GBC 5. Setting up Mayapur as ISKCON’s world headquarters Praghosa Das appealed to the delegates to become a part of the ISKCON 50-50 project which is an initiative to ask every ISKCON devotee to distribute 50 books in the year 2016.

Iskcon Leadership Sanga 2016 starts in Mayapur with 1200 delegates and 87 seminars
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Hare KrishnaBy Romapada Das

The grand annual Mayapur festival began today with the inaugural session of the ISKCON Leadership Sangha (ILS 2016) with 1,200 delegates attending 87 seminars spread over 12 venues at ISKCON Mayapur.  ILS 2016 features a spectacular 50th Anniversary Expo highlighting the achievements of ISKCON, and stalls from various international projects such as Vanipedia, ISKCON Congregation services, TOVP, Varnashrama Museum of the Sacred Art, Govardhan Eco Village and several others. Speaking at the plenary session on the inaugural day, GBC Chairman, Praghosh Das said, “This year, ILS has been hosted in partnership with our 50th Anniversary Committee and the TOVP. The 50th anniversary is a very important milestone in the history of ISKCON.

Speculation Is Neither Science Nor Philosophy
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Hare KrishnaBy His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

What is your philosophy? It is written by man. What is the value of your philosophy? It is speculation. We don’t say that the Vedas are written by man. They come from a transcendental source. The words spoken by the Lord are called apauruseya, which indicates that they are not delivered by any mundane person. They may say whatever they like, but we don’t accept it. Suppose somebody says, “Your father’s name is so-and-so.” What is his authority to say what my father’s name is? I know very well, So their suggestion is like that: “Your father’s name is this.” Is that a very good suggestion? We can challenge: “You don’t know anything about my family. How can you say, ‘Your father’s name is this?’” Is it not rascaldom? You do not know anything about my family, and you say, “Your father’s name is this.” What is this logic?

Sri Mayapur Candrodaya Mandir – SB Class, 24 Feb. 2016: HH Krishna Ksetra Swami
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Hare KrishnaBy Krishna Ksetra Swami

Vision, inspiration and facility. Could it be that sometimes misunderstanding comes because you and I have different partial perceptions of the vision and we take our particular vision or understanding of the vision as the whole vision and we may want to say, this is the whole vision, your’s is not the vision. That may be one possibility of misunderstanding. Different inspirations, someone is inspired by, you know, lets keep it simple, especially by prasadam, someone else especially by kirtana. So someone says we have to do prasadam distribution, some says we have to do kirtana everywhere. This can be a kind of cause for misunderstanding. There may also be differences in understanding about facility. How much do we appreciate what facility is being given to us. So in terms of quantity but also other aspects of facility. We may not see where facility is, when its there. Or we may not understand the best way to use facility that is given.

Honest Happiness
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Hare KrishnaBy Ravindra Svarupa Dasa

Rolex or Bolex? In the Philadelphia airport, I had occasion at one time to observe a pair of free-lance peripatetic sellers of watches working the crowds. They drew you aside and offered you a rare deal: a gleaming Rolex watch for a few hundred dollars, a tenth of the retail price. It was imperative to sell them quickly. Naturally you wondered how they were able to sell such expensive timepieces so cheaply, but by their haste, furtiveness, and weighty silences you were led to surmise that the chronographs were stolen goods. Of course, when you got home all delighted with your watch, closer inspection revealed not a Rolex but a “Bolex,” and it soon fell apart. Spiritual life has its Bolex dealers: Reporter: What frankly worries me is that since the arrival in Britain some time ago of an Indian yogi, who was the first guru that most people had ever heard of, a lot of gurus have suddenly appeared out of nowhere. Sometimes I get the feeling that not all of them are as genuine as they ought to be. Would it be right to warn people who are thinking of taking up spiritual life that they should make sure that they have a genuine guru to teach them?

Frankenfish & Why Some Edibles just Aren’t Good Food
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Hare KrishnaBy Karuna Dharini Devi Dasi

So far scientists have mastered a few crops, but will they revolutionize the food industry with an engineered fish? In December, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced its intention to sanction the first transgenic living organism. GE opponents quickly dubbed it “the Frankenfish.” It was invented by Aqua Bounty at their farm in Prince Edward Island, Canada. With headquarters in Maynard, Massachusetts, Aqua Bounty has been conducting fishy experiments since the early 90s. To produce the Frankenfish, the genetic material of cold water Atlantic Ocean pout (looks like an eel) is inserted into an artificially compressed salmon egg. The pout puts on fat faster than a salmon, hence the combination makes a fattier fish. However, the material from the pout doesn’t exactly combine with the salmon’s DNA. It is rejected, causing inflammation. A growth factor (GF-1) is then added to accelerate reproduction of the inflammation. The fish grows twice as big and three times as fast as it would have without the engineering.

The God Particle – Is there Anything Godly About it
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Hare KrishnaBy Caitanya Carana Dasa

There’s a particle more important than the Higgs boson, and we should be investigating it. Does ‘the God particle’ disprove the existence of God?” a young man asked me after a recent talk, referring to the discovery of the Higgs boson. “The so-called God particle,” I answered, “has zero charge, zero spin, and a near-zero lifespan; it exists for less than a trillionth of a second. Does that sound like God to you?” “No, not really,” replied the questioner, taken aback. “Exactly,” I said. “Its discovery has little bearing on the existence of God; it is just one step forward in the Standard Model, which is just one theory that deals with quantum physics, which is just one branch of physics, which is just one branch of science, which is just one area of human knowledge that deals with material nature, which is just one slice of reality.” I had anticipated questions on this topic and so was prepared. “Let me quote theoretical physicist Michio Kaku, who writes in the Wall Street Journal, in an article entitled The ‘God Particle’ and the Origins of the Universe:

Sri Mayapur Candrodaya Mandir – SB Class, 22 Feb. 2016: HG Kripamoya Dasa
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Hare KrishnaBy Kripamoya dasa

In a dangerous situation you don’t let go of your child. Or in sports. In England we have a game called cricket. Anybody here in India know the game cricket? Ok its an unusual game. I am finishing now. We don’t play it very well. But in cricket to make the team, if the ball comes to you, you have to catch the ball. If you don’t catch the ball once, twice, three time you get the name butter fingers. Your fingers are made of butter, you couldn’t catch the ball and you don’t make the team. So in this team, ISKCON team we cannot be butter fingers. We have to catch those souls when they come to us and hold on. Catch them and hold on. P;ant the seeds grow and offer the fruits. Its very important. Otherwise we are spending more man hours in meeting the public than any other organization on the surface of this planet. If you look at the number of man hours spent by ISCKON touching the hearts and lives of the people, day after day after day, we need to be able to transfer that huge amount of human energy into people who have been saved and who have been gradually delivered. So please fix your mind on the spiritual home of everyone, that home which is your home, become very determined to go there in this very lifetime and take people with you, take them with you. Every one of you, be acharya and take 10, 20,30.50,a 100 with you. Why not? They have no one else except you. No one else is going to do it. But you do it.

The Quest
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Hare KrishnaBy Ravindra Svarupa Dasa

The quest for knowledge and self improvement has occupied the minds of sincere seekers since the beginning of time. There are key elements of the bhakti practice that provide the foundation for this work. They may surprise you! To those dedicated to preserving their illusions, the sober realism of the wise looks like pessimism. The image of this world as an all-devouring fire should be kept in mind. The Vedic sages advise us to see this world as it is.

ISKCON Malaysia launches 50/50 book campaign for ISKCON50
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Hare KrishnaBy Mathura Lilesvari Devi Dasi

Yes! 50 years of ISKCON is a big deal. We have come a long way since Srila Prabhupada established ISKCON in 1966 but we still have miles to go. Srila Prabhupada envisioned Malaysia as a fertile ground to cultivate Krishna Consciousness as early as 1971. In May 1971, Malaysia was fortunate to have its soil blessed by the dearest devotee of Srimati Radharani, AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. In Malaysia, the devotees are enthusiastically and creatively coming up with various ideas on how to commemorate ISKCON’s 50 years. One such idea focuses on book distribution. Srila Prabhupada has always emphasised on book distribution. Our movement was largely expanded in the early days due to book distribution. Keeping this in mind, the devotees in Malaysia came up with an idea that combined book distribution and ISKCON50 celebrations. Every devotee in Malaysia is encouraged to distribute 50 Srila Prabhupada books as an offering to ISKCON50. 50 books a year translates to an average of only 4 books a month. This is something practically and doable by even a child.

The Singing Janitor
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Hare KrishnaBy Indradyumna Swami

Mahesh leaned over and, to my surprise, began to speak in fluent English. “Sir,” he said, “this is a most auspicious day for me. Somehow by dint of my past pious activities, I have the good fortune to serve a sadhu. Such opportunities are rare.” Then he quoted a verse from the Padma Purana: “My dear goddess, of all types of worship, the worship of Lord Vishnu is the best, and even better than the worship of Lord Vishnu is the worship of His devotee, the Vaisnava.” “What?” I said. “How do you know that verse?” “I study sastra,” he replied softly, still gripping the chair. “You’re a devotee of Krsna?” I asked. “One day,” he said. “One day I hope to become a devotee of the Lord.” “Are you from a family of Vaisnavas?” “No,” he said. “I am an orphan. The devotees of the Lord are my family.” Then he quoted a verse from the Bhagavad Gita: “The thoughts of My pure devotees dwell in Me, their lives are surrendered to Me, and they derive great satisfaction and bliss enlightening one another and conversing about Me.”

Book Distribution and follow up
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Hare KrishnaBy Sutapa Das

Puttur is a place 50 km away from Mangalore, Karnataka. 20 years ago, one person (now Bhakta Prashanth at ISKCON Mangalore) from Puttur received one book written by Srila Prabhupada from His Grace Madhava Prabhu of ISKCON Mangalore. He was so inspired by the book and the spiritual guidance given by Madhav prabhu that he started preaching in his small town. Over the years that followed, more than 1000 copies of Srila Prabhupada’s Bhagavad Gita As It Is were distributed there. Recently, ISKCON Mangalore Sri Jagannath Mandir organized a Bhagavad Gita contest across more than 15 schools in Puttur, as an effort to attract the school children and their parents towards devotional service. Around 800 students took part in the contest, and the winners were given awards on Feburary 14th 2016.

GBC Confirms ILS & GBC Meetings Go Ahead as Planned
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Hare KrishnaBy the GBC Executive Committee

We are writing to give you a brief official update from Mayapura regarding the upcoming ILS and GBC meetings. Several nights ago there was an incident in Mayapura outside the Conch Building where tempers flared and a scuffle ensued among several dozen devotees. Angry words were exchanged and some began pushing and shoving. One devotee was hit in the head with a stick. There were no serious injuries. However, that such tension has manifest in the Dhama raised concern for many devotees. This incident is related to a few underlying management and community issues that have surfaced over the past few months. The GBC members, most of whom are now in Mayapura, have been meeting with local leaders and other devotees to assess the source of the problems, cool tempers, and consider how to resolve the issues. As might be expected, rumors have circulated, including some rather wild exaggerations and untrue speculations. Some have questioned whether the upcoming meetings will be postponed. The GBC wishes to confirm that the GBC meetings, the ISKCON Leadership Sanga (ILS), and the Mayapura Festival will go on as scheduled.

NASN January 2016 – North American Sankirtan Newsletter
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Hare KrishnaBy Mayapur Sasi dasa

For the pleasure of Srila Prabhupada this report contains the following North American results of book distribution for the month of January. North American Totals, Monthly Temples, Monthly Weekend Warriors. Monthly Top 100 Individuals, Monthly Top 5, Cumulative Countries, Cumulative Temples, Cumulative Top 100 Individuals, Cumulative Top 5

Artha Event at Singapore
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Hare KrishnaBy Artha Forum

On 17th January, Artha forum organized its 5th event in Singapore held at Tanglin Club on the back of very successful events in 2013 and 2014. The conference titled “Conscious Leader” was attended by over 120 entrepreneurs, industrialists, corporate leaders and professional in yet another successful event by Artha Forum (a Not for Profit initiative dedicated to bringing relevance of Ancient Wisdom in Modern business). Bhakti Charu Swami was invited to be the keynote speaker for the event. Esteem corporate leaders from Singapore shared the dias including Vikram Rao of Crayon Data, Dr. Charles Chow – Founder and MD of East West Group, Subba Vidyanathan – MD and Regional Head of Retail Banking at SCB, Sumita Ambasata – Founder of Flowering Tree Inc. and Gowthaman Ragothaman – COO at Mindshare Asia Pacific & Global Client Lead at WPP. Other eminent business leaders present during the event were Jayesh Parekh Co-Founder of Sony Entertainment Television, Anurag Srivastava of Jungle Ventures, Chandrasekhar Pingali – Managing Director at I Cube Consortium Limited and Sanjiv Aiyar – President PAN IIM Alumni.

Crossing the Border of Impersonalism
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By Abhaya Mudra Dasi

The meanings of personalism and impersonalism may seem clear when the subject is discussed in theory, but in practice these two understandings of eternal existence seem to intertwine and confound the inexperienced spiritual practitioner. The answer lies in how we approach the Supreme Absolute Truth. While espousing the cause of a personal Godhead, neophytes are often seen to behave in a way that reveals longstanding impersonal roots. To understand the highest concept of personalism, let us see how Shrila Prabhupada describes the relationship of Krishna’s foremost devotees, the gopis of Vrindavana, to the Supreme Lord. And then let us consider how these compare with the relationships between materialistic women and men. Understanding this comparison is essential for realizing the difference between the ultimate reality of personalism and the utterly materialistic falsehood of impersonalism.

Special Canadian 50th Anniversary Festival
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Hare KrishnaBy Gokulananda das

It has now become a tradition here at our Montreal temple – for close to 10 years now – to have a yearly festival in honor of Srila Prabhupada, usually held during the first weekend of Sept. For this very popular festival we have hosted many stalwart followers of Srila Prabhupada such as Guru Das, Srutikirti, Yadubhara and Vishaka, Yogeswara, Puskar, Ranjit etc. And – for the 50th anniversary of Srila Prabhupada’s founding of our ISKCON society – we are also planning an even bigger celebration for 2016. So your presence would be greatly appreciated to share with our whole community your very unique devotional expertise, thus enhancing our sharing of Srila Prabhupada’s glorious legacy. Also this historic event will focus on Srila Prabhupada’s prolonged stay here in Montreal for the entire summer of 1968. And we have already received confirmations to also take part from some of the pioneers of both the San Francisco and London temples – such as Shyamsundar, Guru das and Malati, Significantly they had also received special training from Srila Prabhupada during their visit here in August 1968, which memories they will surely share with us.

Karma and the Mentally Ill
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Hare KrishnaBy Romapada Swami

Karma is only created in the human form of life. But it is said that karma does not act on a child or on grown-up persons with child-like or animal-like intelligence. For example: according to Srimad Bhagavatam Canto 1 Chapter 13 verse 1, Srila Prabhupada describes an interesting story of Manduka Muni who was wrongly sentenced to be impaled for an action he did not commit. The story is narrated as follows. Once upon a time the state police caught some thieves who had concealed themselves in the hermitage of Manduka Muni. The police constables wrongly arrested all the thieves and Manduka Muni along with them. The King’s court specifically sentenced the muni to death penalty by being pierced with a lance. When he was just about to be pierced, the news reached the king that the condemned man was not a criminal but a great sage. The king at once stopped the death penalty enactment. The king personally begged the muni’s pardon for the mistake of his men.

Gita Contest Prize Giving Ceremony at ISKCON Nairobi
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Hare KrishnaBy Sri Gauranga Das

On Sunday 14th February 2016, ISKCON Nairobi held its first ever Gita Champions League prize giving ceremony. The Chairman of Hindu Council of Kenya Mr. Nitin Malde graced the occasion and enlivened the audience with his inspiring address. The National Secretary of Hindu Council of Kenya Mr. Kamal Gupta, His Holiness Bhakti Vasudeva Swami a travelling sannyasi, senior members of ISKCON Nairobi – Madhava Das and Rukma Das and Mrs. Mahida headmistress of Nairobi South Nursery, Primary and Seconday School also graced the occasion. The Gita Champions League (GCL) is a competition based on the teachings of the ancient book of knowledge, the Bhagavad Gita. This contest was a fun, inspiring and motivating way to help everyone to absorb themselves in the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita, enrich and refocus their life in the right manner.