An Evening “Chasing Rhinos” with HG Shyamasundara Prabhu
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Hare KrishnaBy Ravi Talsania

Incredibly inspirational talk by Shyamasundara Prabhu (ACBSP) about taking risks for Krishna. This was as a Pandava Sena event in London. Srila Prabhupada: So far I am concerned I always take risk for Krishna. I came here in your country risking my life. And still although I am physically unfit, I am trying to execute the orders of my Guru Maharaja as far as possible. Now, the sadhu’s qualification is he’s merciful, friendly… So the sadhus, they take the risk of becoming friendly and merciful to the fallen, conditioned souls, and they preach the message of Godhead. Therefore their mercy is required. They are merciful, by nature. By nature, they are merciful.

Srila Jiva Gosvami’s Extraordinary Merit
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Hare KrishnaBy Gour Govinda Swami

During his childhood, Sri Jiva Gosvami only enacted the pastimes of Sri Krsna and Balarama. He did not play any other games. He had very nice deities of Krsna and Balarama. Every day he was decorating them, doing srngara, offering worship, offering bhoga and, with concentrated attention, without even blinking his eyes, he would look at the beautiful form of Krsna and offer dandavat pranama to Him. While he was studying, he was thinking of Sri Sri Gaura and Nitai. Once, at night he saw in a dream that Gaura and Nitai are Sri Krsna and Sri Balarama. The wonderfully merciful Sri Gaura and Nitai gave some dust from their lotus feet to Jiva Gosvami. They gave him their blessings and then disappeared. Then his dream broke and he woke up. Then he thought, “Oh, when shall I leave this material world, cut off this material bondage, and completely be engaged in the service of Sriman Mahaprabhu?”

Installation of Sri Sri Gaura Nitai at Bishor Pasa and Pandal program at Kalmakanda (Netrakona), Bangladesh
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Hare KrishnaBy Jayram Das

The Supreme Lord is sat-cit-ananda, the embodiment of eternity, bliss and knowledge and the devotees also derive the same bliss by dint of their constantly remaining engaged in the service of the Lord. His Holiness Subhag Maharaj visited Bishor Pasa, a village in Netrakona district accessible mostly by riverways or by motorcycles via country roads, four years back where he had inspired family to take practice Krishna Consciousness seriously so that others may also follow their footsteps. The same family, having taken initiation from Maharaj in 2013, now constructed a temple for Gaura Nitai in their courtyard…without expecting the least that Maharaj would come to install the deities. Actually there were no deities at all in the first place and no prior arrangements to receive the devotees. Somehow everything got arranged at the last moment. Jayram Prabhu, the leader at ISKCON Netrakona, had a set of Gaura Nitai Deities meant for somebody else and the same were hijacked to Bishor Pasa.

Service Opportunity – Director of ISKCON International Child Protection Office
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Hare KrishnaBy Tamohara das

This is a very important service that oversees our International efforts to protect children. The Director oversees development and implementation of training and educational programs for our temples and devotees throughout the world. Additional responsibilities include oversight and case management of adjudications within our Society of child abuse allegations. A complete list of service responsibilities is given at the end. The ideal candidate would have some experience in education, counseling, or law relevant to child protection. One must also be effective in managing the office, and have excellent communication skills.

Fearless
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Hare KrishnaBy Devaprastha dasa

What is fear? Where does it come from? How can we learn to live a life without it? Srila Prabhupada taught that the essential cause of fear and anxiety is a lack of understanding of the nature of reality − our attachments and perceived loss which occur in the mind are actually illusory. A person who learns this begins to be free from unnecessary mental anguish. So fearless was Srila Prabhupada that, at age 69, he begged a passage on a steamship to the United States of America. Despite suffering two heart attacks during the journey, he arrived in Boston harbour full of optimism that he would be successful.

Who are the leaders in Iskcon?
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Hare KrishnaBy Kesava Krsna dasa

If we look back at our disciplic succession we will find unlikely leaders and acaryas who may not fit our modern day portrayal of leadership as required by Iskcon. Our largely vaidhi and sadhana based lifestyle would probably not accommodate them. If we take Srila Gaura Kishora Dasa Babaji Maharaja for instance, would he fit in comfortably into one of our temples as a leader? He isn’t just a leader, but an acarya recognizable by those possessed of pure spiritual vision. Yet his penchant for seclusion, constant chanting and avadhuta behavior may not endear him very much to those who see with external vision. In fact, hardly anyone would recognize his true worth, and his apparently unproductive contribution to the temple may result in his sadly being asked to leave the temple.

Cures That Work – Devotee Testimonials
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Hare KrishnaBy Gunagrahi das Goswami

Throughout the years we have all sought natural cures for many of the illnesses we have had. In doing so, at times we have met with great difficulty trying to decipher which of the cures would actually be effective, often spending an undue amount of time in research or experimentation, even failing in the end. With the blessings of HH Prahladananda Swami, ISKCON’s Minister of Health, we are beginning a website called “Cures That Work.” It will consist of personal testimonials from devotees who have been successful in treating their illnesses or others’ effectively with natural remedies. If you or an acquaintance from any walk of life would like to submit an account, we encourage you to do so. Please include as many details as possible. Upon acceptance, your submission will be posted on the site as soon as we are up and running, which we hope will be by the end of January. The testimonials should be in English and include your name and also permission for further contact if you are agreeable to being reached by those who seek more information.

Harinam Sankirtan- Real Environmental Action
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Hare KrishnaBy Kavicandra Swami

Concern for the environment is considered by many to be very high, even spiritual, consciousness. As devotees we may not realize our responsibility for the current problems nor understand what we can do about it. Are we peforming the sankirtan yajna enough? In these days of drought, people can gain relief from scarcity of rain and food by the simple method of the Hare Krsna yajna. Indeed, this can relieve all of human society. At present there are droughts throughout Europe and America, and people are suffering, but if people take this Krsna consciousness movement seriously, if they stop their sinful activities and chant the Hare Krsna maha-mantra, all their problems will be solved without difficulty.

Introducing the Narasimha graphic novel
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Hare KrishnaBy Carucandra Dasa.

Experience the story of Lord Narasimha as you have never seen it before. This 84 page, full-color graphic novel will guide readers on a unique journey through a visually stunning narration of the pastime of Lord Narasimha. See how the story unfolds in this captivating presentation of this timeless classic of good versus evil and poetic justice. This year, Mayapur will host it’s third International Leadership Sanga (ILS) from February 24-March 2, 2016 and ISKCON leaders from around the world will gather to take advantage of each others’ realizations, experiences, etc. For those of you who will be attending the ILS, please consider gauging an interest for this book in your region so that you can bring sufficient copies back to your area. For those who will not be attending, contact your local temple representative to find out if they can bring back copies for you when they return from Mayapur.

Jagannath Ratha Yatra at Banyuwangi, East Java, Indonesia
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Hare KrishnaBy Hari Narayana Das

Banyuwangi is located in East Java and also known as ‘The Gate of Java’ and the ‘Festive City’. There is always some sort of event taking place, whether it be cultural parades, fashion shows or water sports. The oldest and most popular festival in Banyuwangi is known as ‘Kuwung,’ a public parade conducted by the Government. Visitors across Indonesia gather to participate in this festival. The annual parade took place on the 5th of December 2015. In Banyuwangi there is a small temple presided over by Their Lordships Sri Sri Krsna Balarama. When Subhag Swami Maharaj visited Banyuwangi earlier in 2015, he instructed the devotees to try and organize a Ratha Yatra festival.

Srila Prabhupada & Kaliya, ISKCON’s First Cow
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Hare KrishnaBy Madhava Smullen

There’s no doubt that protecting cows was very close to Srila Prabhupada’s heart. In a series of Back to Godhead magazine articles in the mid 1950s, he was already envisioning a community where residents lived a simple life and protected cows. Soon after registering ISKCON in New York in 1966, he began requesting his disciples to start a rural community, asking them to call it “ISKCON-Nagari or New Vrindaban.” And when Hayagriva Das, Kirtananda Swami and a handful of other devotees began New Vrindaban, ISKCON’s first farm, in 1968 in the hills of West Virginia, he urged them to keep cows and bulls there, and to maintain them comfortably throughout their natural lives as their proverbial mothers and fathers. The cow’s milk could be used to create all kinds of staple foods, and their dung dried and used as fuel, he explained. Bulls could pull plows to till the ground for food grains. Together, they offered the chance of a peaceful, self-sufficient life free from the modern world’s stressful rat race and favorable for advancing in Krishna consciousness.

Into The Mouth Of The Dragon
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Hare KrishnaBy Indradyumna Swami

As part of ISKCON’s 50th year celebrations we are working with devotees in China to bring our festival tour there sometime this year.These are 3 short promotional videos we are showing in China to generate interest in our culture, the festival and the personalities involved. We have already received positive feedback from various groups in the Land of the Red Dragon. May Srila Prabhupada be glorified throughout the 3 worlds!

ISKCON of Silicon Valley December Book Marathon Report
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Hare KrishnaBy Sri Krishna Purusottama Das

It turned out to be another historic event, with ISV devotees distributing thousands of books throughout the Bay area and dispatching them to other parts of North America. Book distribution occurred with much enthusiasm during practically all weekends of this MSF. Books were distributed at several Hari Nama performances in Palo Alto and San Francisco. Books were also distributed at different festivals like Govardhan Puja, Pumpkin festival, Cupertino Diwali mela, Pleasanton Diwali Mela, Green festival and Christmas in the park. Devotees also distributed books at ICC, Store to Store Sankirtan, Door to Door Sankirtan, Corporate Sankirtan, Motel Gita Sankirtan, Weekday Sankirtan and Kids Sankirtan. Special yagna was conducted on the day celebrating the Advent of Bhagavad Gita.

2015 TOVP Highlights – A Message from Ambarisa Prabhu
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Hare KrishnaBy Ambarisa das

Dear Donors and Friends of the TOVP Project in Sridham Mayapur, 2015 has been another banner year for the TOVP both for construction under the leadership of Sadbhuja prabhu, and fundraising under the leadership of Radha Jivan and Braja Vilas prabhus. Some of the construction highlights are as follows: Milestones Achieved – 2015 Rainwater pipes – complete Screening and waterproofing – phase 1 completion Screening and waterproofing – phase 2 started plastering 80% Sandstone – phase 1 – started GRC factory setup Kalash brackets Chatri ribs Utility floor column Kalash brackets Chatri ribs Chatri Kalash Electrical works begun Marble cladding begun

ISKCON, Netrokona, Bangladesh – the grand opening
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Hare KrishnaBy Iskcon Bangladesh

After six years of hard struggle, patient effort, determination, heartfelt prayers and steady devotional service for the devotees of ISKCON, Netrokona-the grand opening took place on the 2nd January,2016. This marked the beginning of a new chapter for the ISKCON devotees in Bangladesh and especially for those in the Mymensingh Division. Netrakona Pouroshabha (Town of Netrakona) is an old municipal town, established in 1887 and is located only 40 kms away from the Mymensingh city (the headquarters for this division). ISKCON devotees started preaching in this town few years back and then in October, 2010 they started a small preaching center in a small rented place. In 2011 they did the first Jagannath Ratha Yatra in Netrokona town and it was a huge success. As the number of devotees in the community grew, the need for a permanent residence for Lord Jagannatha, Baladev, Subhadra and Sudarshan became increasingly evident. The devotees began looking for suitable land nearby and when H.H. Subhag Swami went to Netrokona in 2012, he gave his blessings for one land adjacent to the preaching center.

Protecting Our Future
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Hare KrishnaBy Praghosa Dasa

The grhastha asrama has had an interesting and varied history within our ISKCON movement. In many respects the role of married life in a missionary movement does not exactly fit like a hand in a glove. That said Srila Prabhupada was excited by his renounced grhastas and very proud of them, the initial preaching in London being a prime case in point. He also loved and encouraged his less renounced grhastas but generally suggested a different devotional path for them, particularly if they had children and were desirous of a few extra creature comforts. Often he suggested that they should live outside and support the preaching mission in whatever way they could. “If you want to marry, you work independently. Maintain yourself. And whatever you can contribute, do that. That is the… Just like Abhirama. He’s very good. And I don’t want to be lost. He constructed that house, I never forbade. And it is in the campus. Let him remain a little separately. It doesn’t matter”
RC July 17th 1977

The Resurgency
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Hare KrishnaBy Madhava Ghosh

I think there is some reason for optimism for the future of ISKCON now, but I think it will not be a opulent Deity worship centric future. I think it will take the form of a Resurgence, going back to basics. Resurgents will be decentralized, independent, light on assets, based in RVs or rental housing. No heavy overhead or labor demands for opulent Deity worship. They will make pilgrimages to existing temples, and encourage others to do so, but not try to emulate them. Rent an apartment, get a few cases of books from the BBT, and set up a picture of the Pancatattva and they are operational. A set of kartals or a mrdunga and and it’s off to the park or campus for sankirtan and leaflets inviting interested parties back for an informal evening of chanting and sharing prasadam. Who will your typical resurgent be? Not whom you might expect. When Srila Prabhupada came there was him, representing the oldest generation, then a huge gap to a bunch of newly minted adults. When he left, there was a vacuum. It is not very difficult to open a center. You can remain in any apartment as husband and wife, and invite persons there to hear your chanting and topics, that is our center, and let it be gradually improved

What Would You Do?
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Hare KrishnaBy Satyaraja Dasa

According to Srila Prabhupada, one can gauge a person’s spiritual status by how they react to finding money on the street: Do they keep it for themselves? Do they leave it lying there? Or do they look for the original owner? What would you do? In Sanskrit, there are three terms that cover the gamut of possible reactions to finding money in the street: bhoga, (enjoyment); tyaga (renunciation); and seva (a service attitude). In Prabhupada’s “money analogy,” a bhogi is one who finds money in the street and uses it for his own purposes. This is the enjoying spirit to which most people are slaves. Their senses dictate what they do. The world is meant for their pleasure. If they find something that doesn’t belong to them, no matter, they will use it as they see fit.

ISKCON Chowpatty book marathon report
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Hare KrishnaBy Baladev das

2015 Prabhupad Book distribution marathon at ISKCON chowpatty began with H.H.Radhanath swami giving an inaugural talk on Sunday Nov 22nd. In his class, Radhanath swami spoke on how books are heritage of our entire Gaudiya sampradaya and Srila Prabhupad understanding the heart of his spiritual master brought out a revolution through his book distribution program. Maharaj also told that this was 500th year of Lord Chaitanya visiting Vrindavan and 50th year of Srila Prabhupad leaving Vrindavan. Prabhupad left Vrindavan to give Vrindavan to all of us. Finally Maharaj requested all to come together n cooperatively make this book distribution effort a big success. H.H. Radhanath swami’s talk on inaugurating book marathon is available below.

Pune Bhagavat katha by HH Lokanath Swami
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Hare KrishnaBy Subhang Balaram Das

25th December 2015, marked the first day of the 14th ‘Bhagavat-Katha Saptah’ in Pune with HH Lokanath Swami Maharaja. Every year devotees from all over the world set aside the last seven days of the year and join Maharaja for ‘nityam bhagavata-sevaya’. Surely there is no better way than this to not only end a year, but also begin a new one. This katha proved to be a very special one as there was glorification of one dhama each day.

It was a feast for devotees accompanying Lokanath Swami Maharaja who was wearing the spectacles of scriptures. The journey commenced in Badrikasarama and proceeded through Rameshwaram, Dwarka, Mayapur, Jagannath Puri and finally to Vrindavan.

‘Bhagavad Gita- As It Is’ gifted to Bihar state Health Minsiter.
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Hare KrishnaBy Padasevan Bhakta Das

Beginning with Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu himself, the leaders of Krsna Consciousness have always tried to share with and convince the leaders of states to accept this sublime science. By this as, Krsna mentions in Bhagvad Gita the common people are inspired to follow, and accept spirituality. Following in the same lines devotees at ISKCON Patna, received on the very first day of the year, the Health Minister of the state of Bihar Mr. Tej Pratap Yadav at the temple here. They gifted him the ‘Bhagvad Gita-As It Is’, which he gladly accepted. He was also given gifts like paintings and picture frames of Lord Krishna. On this occasion the ISKCON Youth Forum(IYF) director of the state , Rambhadra Das, Temple Vice- President, Jagadish Shyam Das and other senior devotees of temple were present.

Calling all devotees!
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Hare KrishnaBy Titiksu dasa

The European Leaders at their last meeting in Villa Vrindavan, Italy, put forward an idea for a 50th celebration event. They set up a committee to develop and implement it. Now we can announce that the details are all finalised and contained in this article. The ISKCON 50/50 Campaign is an initiative to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of ISKCON throughout 2016. Everyone is invited to join us and distribute 50 BBT books in 2016. That’s an average of just one a week. “For the pleasure of Srila Prabhupada the GBC is most delighted to fully endorse the 50/50 Campaign. The GBC would like to invite all devotees to participate in this wonderful initiative in celebration of ISKCON’s 50th year”

Hare Krishna Movement Celebrates 50th Anniversary in 2016
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Hare KrishnaBy ISKCON Communications Ministry

Washington, D.C.—1966 was a significant year. Chairman Mao Tse-Tung’s “Little Red Book” was published for the first time. Despite mass protests, the United States began to bomb Hanoi, North Vietnam’s capital. The Soviet Union’s Luna 9 made the first soft landing on the Moon. Actor Ronald Reagan was elected governor of California. Indira Gandhi visited Washington. Walt Disney died. The Beatles performed their very last concert in San Francisco’s Candlestick Park. And, on New York City’s lower east side, surrounded by a handful of young followers in a small storefront temple on 2nd Avenue, His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada incorporated a fledgling religious society. He named it the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, or ISKCON. On that hot summer day, the 13th of July, the Hare Krishna movement was born. Few noticed the event. Fewer still would have expected this 70-year old swami and his band of reformed hippies to be more than a blip in the avant-garde history of New York City. But, fifty years later the society Prabhupada created is arguably the largest and most influential of global Vedic (Hindu) organizations, and the 600 plus Hare Krishna temples around the world attract an estimated nine million worshippers per year.

Crying of the Soul with Natalie Cole
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Hare KrishnaBy Madhavananda das

Today in the news I noticed that this last Thursday the famous Jazz legend, Natalie Cole passed away. She was the daughter of the famous singer Nat King Cole. I had a short, but memorable, meeting with her some years ago at the airport in Zurich Switzerland. When Krishnakund and I were visiting Budapest Hungary (in 2012?) I noticed during some of our drives around town some posters advertising a concert by Natalie. I don’t usually notice such posters, but somehow these caught my eye. A few days later I had forgotten about it and we were on a flight to Zurich. I struck up a conversation with the man sitting next to me on the plane. It turned out that he was a professional piano player from America. He told me that he was playing and traveling with Natalie Cole. He pointed out someone in a seat behind us, “He is the drummer in the band.” Pointing a few seats ahead he said, “He is the guitar player.” And then gesturing towards the front of the plane, “And there is Natalie.” We had a very inspiring discussion about music, ragas and bhakti. He gave me his card and asked me to stay in touch. When the plane landed and we disembarked I lost sight of him. Following the crowd I went to the baggage carousel and retrieved our bags. I decided I should give him a gift of one of our magazines and got a copy out of issue 8 about Lord Shiva.

Vaishnava Etiquette and Culture (5)
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Hare KrishnaBy Bhaktividya Purna Swami

The concept is that everybody according to their varna has a particular way in which they work best and feel the most comfortable. But as there is anything, because when you’re dealing with the religious principles there’s a restriction, so the freedom is given where it will give rights to the manifestation of the best part of the nature and the restrictions are given where that will control your undesirable parts .If it’s done properly then you can get a proper blend of social interaction that works. The problem comes when somebody’s nature, the bad side comes out and the good side is repressed or misused. Then you have a problem. You find that character in everyone. Just like for children because they’re younger naturally they tend to be frivolous At the same time because they’re younger it’s very obvious for them that they are not to be senior persons. They’re not the most knowledgeable and most experienced. So if you bring out the side of them respecting others and learning to work with others and you restrict the frivolous part, just some time in the day they have for playing or some occasions, then you get a very nice child. While if you go the other way – they figure that they’re expert in whatever they do and they play whenever they like and don’t respect others, then it is a big problem.