Jambavan Caves at Ranavav
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Hare KrishnaBy Chandan Yatra Das

Jambavan also known as Jambavantha, is an eternal servant of Lord Ramacandra. He was the King of the Bears (Riksharaj). He helped Lord Ramacandra find His wife Srimati Sita devi and fight Her abductor, Ravana. He was instrumental in making realize Hanuman his immense capabilities and encouraged him to jump across the ocean to search for Sita in Lanka. Jambavan was present at the churning of the ocean, and circled Lord Vamana seven times in a brief time when Lord was acquiring the three worlds from Bali Maharaj. In his previous life, he was the King of the Himalayas who had incarnated as a bear in order to serve Lord Ramacandra. He had received a boon from Lord Ramacandra that he would have a long life, be handsome and would have the strength of ten million lions.

Uni to host conference marking fifty years of Hare Krishna Movement
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Hare KrishnaBy bathecho.co.uk

On Saturday 23rd April, Bath Spa University will be hosting a conference to mark the first fifty years of the Hare Krishna Movement. One of the movement’s leading gurus, His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami, will be in attendance and there will be an opportunity to experience the arati ceremony where worship is offered, enjoy Indian dance and join in chanting the Hare Krishna mahamantra. A panel chaired by Suzanne Newcombe (INFORM), bringing together academics and devotees, will debate what happens when a New Religious Movement is no longer so new. The keynote lecture will be given by Prof. Kim Knott (Lancaster University) who will focus on the movement’s achievements and challenges in a British setting. Other papers consider the role of the movement in education (Rasamandala Das) and its place within the wider Vaishnava context (Dermot Killingley).

20,000 students at largest youth festival in the history of ISKCON
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Hare KrishnaBy Romapada Das

Over 20000 students attended a mega youth festival organized by ISKCON Pune on 20th March to celebrate the 50th anniversary of ISKCON. The event, which was attended by principles of various colleges, political leaders from the youth community, the education commissioner of Pune and several other VIPs, was widely covered by several newspapers and broadcast on Indian’s national TV channel, Doordarshan. The theme of the event was ‘Drishti – Bharat leads the world’ and showcased India’s real spiritual wealth by means of which the country has the capacity to lead the entire world

When difficulties become an impetus to advance – seminar at ISKCON Seattle
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Hare KrishnaBy Bhakti Charu Swami

Difficulties deepen our realization & purifies our heart so that we serve Srila Prabhupada in a better way. In this material world, it is so easy to do wrong thing but it is so difficult to do right thing. Due to forgetfulness of Krishna,all problems of the world are coming about. The Basis of all difficulties: lust, anger, envy, pride, greed & illusion. Difficulties coming from Karma will give us samskaras which will further impel us to perform sinful acts, but difficulties coming from Krishna will purify us.

The Life of King Kulasekhara – a great Rama Bhakta
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By Shyamasundara Dasa

The name of King Kulasekhara Alvar is well known to the followers of Srila Prabhupada. His Divine Grace used to relish with great ecstasy the Mukunda Mala Stotra written by this great saintly king. This stotra is commonly known in ISKCON as the Prayers of King Kulasekhara. Though his name is well known, for most devotees, very little is known about Maharaja Kulasekhara. We shall now try to remedy this lacuna by presenting a concise synopsis of his life. But before we start we must briefly answer the question– Who are the Alvars?

New U.S. TOVP Office and Foundation
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Hare KrishnaBy the U.S. TOVP Team

The U.S. TOVP Team announces the Grand Opening of their new office in Alachua, Florida on the auspicious occasion of Rama-navami. (April 15th) The U.S. TOVP Team will be opening a new office in Alachua, Florida to manage their fundraising and promotional operations in America. The office is a house donated for this purpose by Ambarisa Prabhu. Along with the office, a newly formed Foundation, TOVP Foundation, Inc. has been set up with Sesa prabhu as its Chairman. Sesa is also the 2016 appointed GBC Chairman, as well as the ISKCON Minister of Education. Prior to the Grand Opening of the new office, Ambarisa and Braja Vilas Prabhus will be visiting a number of U.S. temples, including Dallas, Houston and New Jersey, to assure devotees that the TOVP construction and overall progress is moving full steam ahead. Please contact these temples for the scheduled date of their visit and presentation if you live in that area.

Rising Before the Sun
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Hare KrishnaBy Urmila Devi Dasi

I look back on my life as a small child. Each morning my father would rise by 5:00 A.M. and wake me soon afterwards. Or did I wake spontaneously just to be with him? I would play in his office in our home while he showered. When I was very young we would play together, each of us with a doll. His doll told me stories of his life and taught me lessons of ethics and morality. As I got older, the play became a time to talk of the important things in our lives. My father squeezed fresh orange juice, made our breakfast, and forged our friendship. He made the early morning a time of peace, beauty, love, friendship, and understanding. Mentally traveling forward, I remember sitting in a temple president’s office so many years later. “I’d like to live here and dedicate myself to serving Krsna.” “We wake up early in the morning,” he says. “Very early. Can you do that?” I smile. “I’ve done that all my life.”

Durban Ratha Yatra 2016
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Hare KrishnaBy Nimai

There were about twenty tents built up at the site, each one offering different means of spiritual entertainment e.g. prasadam, clothing, kirtan, books, etc. One tent supplied constant background music and the main stage featured many exciting performances such as: dances, yoga, spiritual lectures and of course a daily drama, which was one of the highlights. Bhakti Marg Swami had quickly trained up a group of devotees to perform in two plays that were featured over the four days. The Bhakti Cloud tent was designed for young people and it featured some really good singers and talented poets. In front of the Food for Life tent, there seemed to be a never ending queue as free prasadam was distributed throughout the festival.

The Validity of Dandavata Parikrama
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Hare KrishnaBy Hari Parshad Das

Being non-judgmental about Govardhana-parikrama: Sometimes devotees think that barefoot parikrama of Govardhana is superior to wearing shoes, or that walking is superior to taking a vehicle. One should not consider one type of parikrama as superior to another. Srila Jiva Goswami says in the Gopala-campu (Purva, 15): natrapy anghri-kramitavasyakatvam svacchandatvad yanam apy atra distam Translation: It is not required that the parikrama should be performed by foot. One can also take a vehicle (and obtain the same result).

Artha Forum organizes historical event in Singapore on 19 March 2016
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Hare KrishnaBy Artha Forum

The event titled “Earn with Integrity, Spend with Compassion” was very well attended with over 400 attendees from all walks of life joining the event, which was partnered with TiE Singapore and IIMPACT. The attendees, many of whom have attended multiple Artha events in past, included entrepreneurs, industrialists, corporate leaders and professionals. World renowned spiritual teacher, author and motivational speaker His Holiness Radhanath Swami was invited to be the keynote speaker for the event. Esteem panelist Rajiv Vij – Life and Executive Coach, Author and Speaker; Srinivasan Venkita Padmanabhan – President & Global Head Finance at Olam Group, Madhabi Buch – Director at Agora Advisory and Sanjiv Aiyar – President of PAN IIM Alumni and a longtime supporter of Artha Forum shared the dais.

Artha Forum holds third Bangalore event on ‘Conscious Entrepreneurship’
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Hare KrishnaBy Parampara Vani Das

Artha Forum (the non-profit initiative for bringing ancient wisdom to modern business) held its third event in Bangalore on Friday 18th March 2016 at the Taj Vivanta Hotel, M.G. Road. The event was attended by over 100 invited guests, including many members of the event partner, the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce – Karnataka Chapter. The keynote speaker was His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami, a Gaudiya Vaishnava sannyasi and renowned Vedic scholar and spiritual master. The evening’s proceedings began with an introduction by Sanjiv Maheshwari, Co-Founder and Director, Artha Forum. Sanjiv spoke about the increasing inequality in the world today, and the necessity for creating awareness amongst entrepreneurs to do business in a more socially and spiritually responsible way.

Observations on ISKCON’s Communications
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Hare KrishnaBy Brother Aelred

In this article Brother Aelred (Chaitanya Dasa) offers his observations on the effectiveness of ISKCON’s communication of its key messages. These are particularly valuable in view of Brother Aelred’s close association with ISKCON over the years and his unusual position of being both a practising Catholic monk and Vaishnava. He is frank and insightful,with a sincere desire to help devotees. As the Scottish poet Robbie Burns once said, ‘I pray to God the power to give us, to see ourselves as others see us’. When I first made contact with ISKCON, Prabhupada was still alive. At that time — 1977 — I was already ‘falling in love’ with the devotees. No doubt a percentage of that was romanticism — being attracted to the externals of exotic appearances, sounds and lifestyle. After all, the sixties ‘hippy’ movement was not so far back in time. Out of this emerges the first serious observation I wish to make. A significant number of ISKCON devotees are still effectively living in that ‘exotic space’ of the past. I have asked — as have others — whether some devotees would survive without this identity, whose elements include at least some of the Bengali cultural artefacts, the cultivated sense of being ‘different’ from mainstream society, the conviction of living in a spiritually superior movement, and so on.

The history of the International Society of Cow Protection (ISCOWP)
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Hare KrishnaBy Balabhadra dasa

In the mid 80’s the farm started a program called “ADOPT-A-COW” which was to raise funds to help support the cows. By that time we had a herd of 157 cows and it was way to many cows for the land that we had to work with. We were the 1st ISKCON farm in North America to stop breeding along the commercial dairy way of doing things. It was realized that if you are not killing your unproductive cows and male offspring as a commercial dairy does, then you lose your economic profit. So it was necessary to raise funds to pay for the feed that we could not grow on the farm. My wife and I ran the “ADOPT-A-COW” program from 1988 to 1990. During this time we also were in charge of the agriculture department on the farm.

The Krishna Balaram Mandir Boat Festival, Biggest and Best Ever
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Hare KrishnaBy Uddhava Bandhu Das

The yearly boat festival in Vrindavan, part of the Gaura Purnima celebrations, is most popular amongst the devotees. The sunken courtyard of Krishna Balaram Mandir is flooded and becomes a beautiful kund where small Radha Shyamasundara are taken on gentle ride on Their swan boat. They glide to every corner of the lake to the sounds of resounding kirtan to see all Their devotees and admirers. The surface of the temple lake is completely covered by flower petals by artisans in a beautiful flower rangoli design that mysteriously stay in place. This year’s design includes a huge lotus motif in rose petals with the ISKCON lotus-tilak symbol done in golden flower petals bordered by real floating open pink lotuses. Seven-hundred kilos of flower petals were used to decorate the temple room and used by devotees to rain down on their Lordships that created a festival for the eyes. In total, over one-hundred thousand individual flowers were used for the festival decorations, taking sixty devotees about thirty-six straight hours.

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By Ravindra Svarupa dasa

In Sanskrit, the word hamsa is the name for both a bird and an advanced yogi. The bird has such estimable qualities that its very name became applied to the spiritual practitioner. In English, Prabhupada followed a well-established convention and rendered ham.sa as “swan.” The advanced yogi- or devotee is accordingly “swan-like.” For example, Prabhupada once remarked, in reference to his disciples: “So Krishna consciousness means swan-like, they should be like swans. Their behavior should be like swans. They should live in a clean place, at a refreshing place.” In this second usage, ham.sa has probably become most generally encountered when prefixed by the superlative parama, meaning “highest,” best,” and so on. Strictly speaking, paramahamsa denotes the highest of the four ranks of sannyasa (see S.B. 5.1.27, purport), but it is used in a more general sense to describe the best of the sages or devotees.

Addressing The Confederation Of Indian Industry
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Hare KrishnaBy radhanathswami.com

On March 16th, 2016, Radhanath Swami was invited by Mr. Sanjay Kirloskar, Chairman and Managing Director of Kirloskar Group and Western Region Director of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), to deliver the closing Key Note Address at CII’s conference on ‘Enabling Inclusive Growth Through Social Engagement’ at the Hotel Taj Palace in Mumbai. Over 300 industry leaders attended. Founded in 1895, CII is one of the largest industry bodies of India with over 200,000 companies directly or indirectly part of its membership. As per the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) – Indian Companies Act of 2013, every organization above certain turnover is expected to reinvest at least 2% of its average net profit for the immediately preceding 3 financial years back into the society on CSR activities. The purpose of the event was two-fold – one to discuss and deliberate on groundbreaking leadership attributes and to channelize social impact. The Nobel laureate Mr. Kailash Satyarthi was invited to share his experience on social impact while Radhanath Swami was given the task to enlighten the leaders on conscious entrepreneurship and the importance of corporate ethics to support positive growth which is need of the hour around the globe.