3rd Annual Ratha Yatra ISKCON Adelaide (Australia) 2016
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Hare KrishnaBy Jaya Sada Gosai Dasa

On the 26th of January this year, ISCKON Adelaide celebrated its 3rd annual Rath Yatra. Lord Jagannath took to the streets as a part of the Australia Day Parade, His rath being designated as one of the floats. But, true to form, He stole the show yet again. With His huge, delighted eyes and inimitable smile, the Lord of the Universe appeared to be in rollicking good cheer. He was primed for an afternoon of wanton mercy distribution and thousands of unsuspecting onlookers reaped the full benefit. Amongst the vibrant parade participants, Lord Jagannath in His opulent and fetching regalia called for undivided attention. Veda Vyasa Prabhu and Yashoda Sakhi Mataji brought their decades of altar experience to bear. With consummate skill and artistry, they dressed the Lord of all lords in the manner of a true king. Regardless, the merciful Jagannath ensured that He was not the only reason His “float” turned the most heads. Around 50 devotees in their Vaishnava best took part in pulling the chariot through Adelaide’s streets.

Accident
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Hare KrishnaBy Suvyakta Narasimha Dasa

And then it happened. As I looked on, I saw two trucks, one behind the other, speeding at about 60 to 80 kilometers per hour along the highway. Unseen to me – and probably to the truck driver too – was an autorickshaw, just ahead of the trucks, loaded with people and going at its own snail’s pace. The three-wheeler had no tail lights and its black colour accorded it near zero visibility. The first truck rammed into the three wheeler from behind, with full momentum and with full force. There was a tremendous screech as steel met steel with high impact. The truck’s momentum catapulted the three wheeler into the air, with all its occupants. The three wheeler did a cartwheel and landed on its wheels. Aided by the suspension, the three wheeler spun into the air higher than it did previously – to about 6 feet in the air. It did another cartwheel & again landed – miraculously enough – on its wheels, right below a street light pole which had a fused bulb.

Gita Program in ISKCON Sri Lanka
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Hare KrishnaBy Nandarani Devi Dasi

In ISKCON Sri Lanka, the Gita program was initiated last year. The program started with a short advert on newspaper and 25 people enrolled for the program. This program consists of 12 classes and was conducted on basis of 2 classes per week. The participants of the program were interested in the content and on the matters discussed in the class. At completion of the program all the participants were tested on their knowledge on Gita. Further certificate of completion of the program was issued to 15 participants who attended all the classes of the program and showed their full commitment towards the program

WSN December 2015 – World Sankirtan Newsletter
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Hare KrishnaBy Vijaya Dasa

Well, prabhus, it looks like a new pace has been set by Mayapur. Mayapur was again the No. 1 temple in the world in 2015. But not by much! Mayapur did 1,576,532 book points, and New Delhi did 1,533,199. Mayapur won by only 43,333 book points. What is amazing is that New Delhi more than doubled what Mayapur did during the marathon! Every year there is an intense transcendental competition between the two temples, and what a competition it is: They both increased their book distribution by 12%. Let’s see what happens in 2016. Another surprise this year took place in the annual transcendental competition between Russia and the USA. As you may know, every year for close to a decade Russia is behind the USA during the year, but in December leaves the USA in the dust, way behind. But not this year. Finally the USA did more book points than Russia! Like the competition between New Delhi and Mayapur, it was close. The USA did 802,191 book points and Russia did 798,115, so the USA won by only 4,076 book points. That was close!

Teaching in Taiwan
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Hare KrishnaBy Mandakini devi dasi

Preaching Krishna Consciousness in a largely atheistic, impersonal and demigod worshiping society who shun organised religion is a special skill. Devotees in the province of Taiwan are yielding positive results with a well- established and easily digestible approach. The pioneers in this field have determined that success will surely reach the inner core of the population with the regular distribution of lunch boxes, spiritual books and Harinama. However, particularly by offering Hatha-yoga classes, the devotees experience a high success rate and respectful reciprocation with the people. Divya Purusha dasa also makes tangible devotional inroads in this area by offering popular courses on Astrology twice a year. Several yoga classes each week take place at the largest Iskcon centre in the country, which is located in Taichung. The practice is followed by melodious call and response Hare Krishna mantra meditation. Many participants move on to more involvement in spiritual life.

God can be proven!
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Hare KrishnaBy Jahnu Das

Hare Krishnas don’t have to believe in God. We know who God is, what He looks like, what He wants, why and how He created the world and who and what the soul is. This info is available in the Bhagavad Gita. Bhagavad Gita is the only book in the world in which someone claiming to be God, describes in detail about Himself, the soul and Nature and how they inter-relate. Also, we don’t have to believe in Evolution or Darwin’s theory, as there is no empirical evidence to support that theory. In fact, Darwin’s theory is pure speculation and wishful thinking. “We must concede that there are presently no detailed Darwinian accounts of the evolution of any biochemical or cellular system, only a variety of wishful speculations.” — Franklin Harold, Emeritus Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Colorado State University, in an Oxford University Press text. If someone came and told you that everything you hold dear, everything you believe in, everything you thought you knew, all your values, all you hopes and aspirations, all your love for wife, kids, family, friends, and society, in fact, the entire foundation of your life – it is all wrong, it is all an illusion – you’d probably think that that someone was on drugs or belonged in a mental institution.

Marathon 2015 – Toronto Sankirtan Team Offering
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Hare KrishnaBy Toronto Sankirtan Team

For your pleasure Srila Prabhupada, the Toronto chapter of your Sankirtan Army, had a glorious year 2015. We organized many sankirtan festivals, participated in several multicultural festivals in and around the city, knocked on thousands of doors, placed books in countless venues from hotels to homeless shelters. We distributed several thousands of books, distributed huge quantities of prasadam and reached out to many more souls, with a hope to connect them to you. The Toronto Sankirtan Family has grown beautifully in the past one year. While book distribution continued throughout the year, our final push for your pleasure came towards the end of our annual book marathon. The goal seemed far and our options seemed few, but armed by the mantra “With blessings everything is possible”, we marched ahead determined to try our best – the worst we thought was that we’d fail, but you have assured us that simply by the attempt, we will attain all perfection! And the final push began… everyone stretched beyond their comfort zones – some headed out on the streets to distribute books in chilling winds, some knocked door to door for hours on end, others got on the phone and reached out to all their contacts with a plea to accept your books – everyone worked together for the one goal – to make Srila Prabhupada reach up the Jaladuta.

Extraordinary!
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Hare KrishnaBy Anuttama das

We all get messages that there is something beyond ordinary life, and that what we are doing is not the all in all. Whether it’s through a holy book, experiencing the loss of a loved one, an intuition, deja vu, or just watching Matrix or Star Wars and wondering about our origins – we all are reminded from within from time to time, that there is more to life than a few years of hard struggle and mixed results. Do we respond to that call, or just shake it off?

ISKCON UK hosts National Communications Day 2016
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Hare KrishnaBy Zayani Bhatt

Temple Presidents and communications teams from ISKCON temples across the UK gathered at Bhaktivedanta Manor to mark National Communications Day 2016 on Saturday 30th January. The day was dedicated to workshops, presentations and discussions centred on the communications strategy for the year, ideas for the 50th year celebrations and essential media training. The national communications team intends to enhance cohesion across ISKCON temple communications throughout the UK and provide media support to both devotees who give interviews and those who write about ISKCON. The long-term aim is to unify the branding and messaging of all centres whilst maintaining the individuality and creativity of each. The day also included a talk from special guest The Reverend George Pitcher, a journalist, author, public relations pioneer and Anglican priest. He spoke to the assembled devotees about the common barriers religious organisations face when communicating with the secular public and media.

Practicing Krishna Consciousness at Home
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Hare KrishnaBy Padmapani das

“You can chant anyway, anywhere. Whether you are in the college, whether you’re on the street, whether you are sleeping, lying, or whatever, you can chant. Because God has given you this tongue and you can chant. “Don’t think that Krishna is for the Indian or for the Hindus. No. Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna. This Krishna is for everyone. For the human being, for the animals — everyone. So if you think that Krishna is belonging to some particular country or religion, then you can chant your own way. If in your religion, in your scripture, there is any God’s name, you can chant that also. Our only propaganda is that you increase your love of God. And the simple process is to chant this Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. There is no charge for it. There is no loss on your part. There is no inconvenience on your part. At any moment, at any place. There is no restriction. So why don’t you take advantage of this great boon to the human society?

An Intimate Encounter with Radhanath Swami
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Hare KrishnaBy Anuradha dasi

When you listen to this audiobook you feel as if you are in his private room hearing him recount every detail of his often perilous and sometimes humorous—but never dull—journey across the earth. The intimate experience of hearing Radhanath Swami tell his story lasts for nineteen hours and is enhanced with thematic music and tasteful sound effects. The book itself touched the hearts of people around the globe. Ram Dass, teacher and author of Be Here Now, described it as “fascinating and spellbinding.” Francis Clooney, professor at Harvard Divinity School, described it as an invitation to “a time of grace and wonder.” Sharon Gannon, co-founder of Jiva Mukti Yoga, said the book could “cause a transformation of our whole being.” Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, said that he was, “convinced that the reader will love this book.”

Community Dialog Presents Plan for New Vrindaban Village Association
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Hare KrishnaBy Madhava Smullen

Possibly the hottest topic at the Fall 2015 ISKCON New Vrindaban and Eco-Vrindaban Board Meetings, and certainly the one that drew the most interest, was the Community Dialog about a proposed new “Village Association.” For decades, New Vrindaban residents have felt a need to be heard more by the ISKCON management and to have more influence on how their community is run. So with a possible solution at hand, they were buzzing as they crowded into the Palace Lodge community hall after lunch on December 5th to learn more about it. Longtime residents Nityodita Das and Advaitacharya Das guided the session, beginning with a half-hour Power Point presentation on the history and plan for the proposed Village Association.

Subtle sex; the scourge of the advancing sadhaka
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Hare KrishnaBy Kesava Krsna Dasa

Some spiritual practitioners think that now they have achieved some reasonable control of the physical sex urge, they are well nigh up there in the wispy clouds of victorious abstinence, deserving of respect and honour. Wrong! Congratulations on becoming a decent human being. Welcome to the world of subtle selfishness. Srila Prabhupada states: ‘Illicit sex is the most prominent sin due to lusty desire.’ This is because it is sometimes called ‘ adi-rasa ‘ the primeval, original pleasure, which sadly for us, is a twisted iron-like perversion enjoyed separately from Krishna. With a little enlightenment some people can see the problems arising from lust, but; ‘The conditioned soul sometimes personally appreciate the futility of sense enjoyment in the material world, and he sometimes considers material enjoyment to be full of miseries. However, due to his strong bodily conception, his memory is destroyed, and again and again he runs after material enjoyment, just as an animal runs after a mirage in the desert.’

The Company We Keep
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Hare KrishnaBy Urmila Devi Dasi

Anyone who has worked with children knows they are vulnerable to their environment. Yet children also carry from their previous lives a complex burden of good and bad karma and a particular tendency of character. In fact, the mentality of the parents during conception attracts a particular soul—with particular inclinations—to become their child. Because of this, enlightened parents prepare themselves so that they can be in spiritual consciousness during conception. Thus their child will be receptive to the training they will give him. Srila Prabhupada says, “You can mold the children in any way. They are like soft dough.” So the mold is essential when considering the shape of the final piece of sculpture. But the quality of the material one puts into the mold is also important.

A Philosophy of Social Development for ISKCON: Perspectives from Bhagavad-gita
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Hare KrishnaBy Ithamar Theodor

It is sometimes said that Srila Prabhupada built a house in which the whole world can live. Inspired by this idea, I would like to suggest a three-storey house model as a reflection of the nature of ISKCON. The idea is grounded in the Bhagavad-gita and is designed to offer a supporting framework for the sankirtana movement, as well as to further the ongoing discussions of implementing varnasrama within ISKCON. The house described here has three storeys, each having fundamental distinctions that can best be demonstrated by the differences in ontology and ethics characterising each level. The idea presented here favours an individual-centred, as opposed to an organisation-centred, paradigm. Before addressing the issue, let us acknowledge the two-dimensional realm in which ISKCON exists.

Creating a Spiritual Revolution in India
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Hare KrishnaBy Sri Nandanandana das

This is a step by step process for affecting the villages of India to become a part of the spiritual revolution that could be developed across the country. Why worry about the villages? The 2001 census showed that India’s population has gone past the 1 billion mark. Nearly three-quarters of its population, 72.2 percent, live in its more than 500,000 villages, which are primarily dependent on agriculture. Its urban population of 285 million, 27.8 percent, is almost the equivalent of the total population of the United States. But we can see that a good majority of the Indian population lives in the villages. The villagers are also very simple people, pious, and also the most vulnerable to the conversion tactics that are brought in by outside religions. This is also why Christian missionaries are increasingly preaching and working to build churches in the villages. And this is also why we should focus more on fulfilling the spiritual needs of villagers.

Call to ‘50ise’ regular festivals in ISKCON temples
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Hare KrishnaBy ISKCON 50 Global Office

The Global Office for the 50th Anniversary of ISKCON has called upon all ISKCON temples around the world to ’50-ise’ their regular festivals in 2016 by following a few simple steps. “We need to take every opportunity to spread awareness about our 50th anniversary to the general public,” said Anuttama Das, GBC Minister for Communications, and a member of the International Executive Committee for the 50th Anniversary. “Our regular festivals such as Gaura Purnima, Rama Navami, Janmashtami, Ratha Yatra and Diwali offer us a big opportunity to put the 50th anniversary right out there in the public domain. Every temple should follow these steps to ‘50-ise’ their festivals, so that the world becomes aware of ISKCON’s achievements in the last 50 years.” “There are six simple steps that every temple can follow to ‘50-ise’ their festivals,” explained Romapada Das, International Coordinator for the 50th Anniversary. “And we have created several resources for you to make your job simpler. Please follow these guidelines so that we can engage the maximum number of people around the world in the 50th Anniversary.”

Third Service Appreciation Ceremony Warms Hearts
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Hare KrishnaBy Madhava Smullen

The Service Appreciation Ceremony – a semi-annual custom introduced in 2014 that honors those who have contributed years of service to the New Vrindaban village – was held for the third time at ISKCON New Vrindaban’s Community Hall on Sunday December 6th, 2016. Previous ceremonies honored the late Madhava Gosh and his wife Vidya, Kripamaya and his wife Krsna Bhava, Malati Devi, Navin-Shyam, Jamuna, and Kacey Orr for diverse services from GBC to board member to cow and garden care. This time, around fifty people gathered to honor ECO-Vrindaban veteran farmhand Ray Kuderski, cook and mother Dharmakala Dasi, performer and author Sankirtan Das, and his wife Ruci, a longtime teacher at New Vrindaban.

Positive emotions, spirituality and the practice of psychiatry
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Hare KrishnaBy Vaillant George

This paper proposes that eight positive emotions: awe, love (attachment), trust (faith), compassion, gratitude, forgiveness, joy and hope constitute what we mean by spirituality. These emotions have been grossly ignored by psychiatry. The two sciences that I shall employ to demonstrate this definition of spirituality will be ethology and neuroscience. They are both very new. I will argue that spirituality is not about ideas, sacred texts and theology; rather, spirituality is all about emotion and social connection. Specific religions, for all their limitations, are often the portal through which positive emotions are brought into conscious attention. Neither Freud nor psychiatric textbooks ever mention emotions like joy and gratitude. Hymns and psalms give these emotions pride of place. Our whole concept of psychotherapy might change if clinicians set about enhancing positive emotions rather than focusing only on negative emotions.

Air A Meditation
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Hare KrishnaBy Urmila Devi Dasi

One of the most obvious qualities of the air is its subtlety. Although air is all around us, pushing on our body with a pressure of fifteen pounds per square inch (one kilogram per square centimeter), we are practically oblivious of it. We usually breathe unconsciously too, so subtle is the air moving in and out of our lungs. We see air only through its effects, such as when it moves branches and straw or carries smoke and water vapor. Krsna too is almost imperceptible to a materially conditioned soul, visible only by His effects. We see His handiwork in a flower’s beauty or the predictability of the planets’ movements, but we do not see Him. The natural laws on which we base our math and science imply a lawmaker. But much of the nature of that lawmaker stays unknown. Subtle air can move things that to our senses are far more substantial than air. Violent air in tornados and other storms can throw buildings afar and push wood splinters into metal. Similarly, with only the indiscernible movement of His will, Krsna can move, shape, change, and scatter everything we can perceive.

Hema Malini to release Krsna app on ISKCON’s 50th anniversary
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Hare KrishnaBy Sonup Sahadevan

Hema Malini will release Krsna mobile app on the occasion of International Society for Krishna Consciousness’ (ISKCON’s) Golden Jubilee celebrations in the first week of February. This mobile app Krsna will give darshans from all over the world and will also include music, chants and chapters of Bhagvad Gita. Veteran actress Hema Malini and her love for Lord Krishna is quite well-known. The legendary actress has paid her ode to the Krishna through many of her classical dance performances. Taking her love a step forward, the actress-danseuse will release Krsna mobile app on the occasion of International Society for Krishna Consciousness’ (ISKCON’s) Golden Jubilee celebrations in the first week of February.

ToVP Report From Russia
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Hare KrishnaBy your servants from Russian & CIS ToVP team

We are grateful to you for engaging us in fulfilling Srila Prabhupada’s personal desire – construction of the magnificent Temple of the Golden Age! Please accept our efforts as an offering. For 2015, we collected and transferred to a bank account in Mayapur over USD 160,000. This money was collected by many different ways. Particularly, we invited donors to pay for square feet and bricks. They paid for 300 square feet, 37 Nrisimhadeva bricks, 54 Mahaprabhu bricks, 12 Radha-Madhava bricks and one silver coin. We hold talks about the New Temple at many big festivals, did promotions on the Internet, as well as presentations in different cities. We are asking for your blessings to be able to collect at least double the amount we did this year, in 2016 for Srila Prabhupada’s pleasure.

Iskcon turns 50, three-day spiritual fest from Feb 5
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Hare KrishnaBy Indira Rodericks

MUMBAI: Empowering the young with a new level of spirituality will be one of the foremost missions of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (Iskcon), as it gears up to celebrate its fifty years. Iskcon, also known as the Hare Krishna movement, has expanded widely since it was founded by Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupda in New York City in 1966. Although Mumbai is home to three temples, Juhu, Girgaum and Mira Road and the under-construction temple at Kharghar, a mammoth rath yatra is being planned so that all devotees can culminate at one place. Also, preparations are rife as a three-day spiritual and cultural festival is scheduled to be held on February 5, 6 and 7.