SV34-Bring People to Krishna consciousness in the West – Bhadrasena Prabhu
→ Successful Vaisnavas – Personal Development for Hare Krishnas

In this interview with Bhadrasena Prabhu we discuss The Loft approach to sharing Krishna consciousness in the West. We also discuss how the Vedic Contemporary Ashrama fits into that strategy. Some of the topics we cover.. Challenges typically faced by men today as they become devotees How to help devotees deal with different issues as […]

The post SV34-Bring People to Krishna consciousness in the West – Bhadrasena Prabhu appeared first on Successful Vaisnavas - Personal Development for Hare Krishnas.

Friday, July 16, 2021
→ The Walking Monk

The Beaches, Toronto


Turned Red


Recently a couple and their mother moved to Toronto, settling in the east and in Pickering. Anuttama and Sveta purchased a house there and are now settled in the area and ready for service. Anuttama’s specific portfolio is to function as the book distribution coordinator for our north zone, which is several northern states and also includes Canada.


Anuttama has this passion for making the books of Prabhupada available. They have changed him and made him a better person so he strongly believes in sharing the wisdom.


This afternoon, on the eve, so to speak, of Toronto’s Chariot Festival, the family came to whisk me away to a special place. I promised them I would show them the boardwalk in the beaches area; the trail taken by Prabhupada himself in 1976, along Lake Ontario. It goes for over a two kilometre stretch and is very popular for pedestrians.


We merely stepped over it but mentally, or meditatively, acknowledged its significance. We had our first prasadam picnic and took a dip in the lake for a quick refresher. It was a trite frigid for Anuttama and when we came out his natural tanned body turned red before our very eyes. Something wasn’t right. He got nauseous and dizzy, causing him to lie down in the sand. Lack of sleep, having just landed from a job assignment by plane, and little to eat over the past few days, he determined, contributed to the sudden attack. Life is fragile. Anyway, he’s doing fine now. Just seeing Anuttama’s behavior normalize was a great relief. Jagannath (Krishna) has protected him.


May the Source be with you!

0 km


Thursday, July 15, 2021
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University Ave., Toronto


Touching On Gossip


To be more accurate I spent three and a half hours at Mount Sinai hospital, located on University Ave. That was done to meet various medical and social workers to prepare me for the coming left knee surgery. The date is set for July 20 and I feel, after having met the professionals, that I can go back to Mount Sinai with confidence of step and depart there with crutches. The healing begins from there.


On the topic of healing, well, it’s something I feel we all need to undergo. First let’s address the bigger and deeper problems of lust, anger, greed and jealousy. Let’s hit these characters face-on, change them if possible, and look not necessarily too the knee but to a newer me.


I had the good fortune to take the lead on discussions on the topic of gossip. I was on Zoom with devotees from Trinidad today and we talked about confronting gossip, rumor mongering and faultfinding. It was great. One quote that was really loved was, “if gossip was food there would be a lot of overweight people.”


Here’s my little contribution or my definition of gossip: Gossip: that most evil of weapons and, although it can be polished, it will act like a boomerang and come to haunt you! (Something to think about).


May the Source be with you!

5 km


Wednesday, July 14, 2021
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Christie Pits, Toronto


Some Bad News


It’s a bit of bad news coming from South Africa. As I understand it, some action, based in racism, is going on; a lot of looting and more. Sad really. At our Durban temple most of the residents there have vacated and fled for safety. Our deities of Krishna have been taken away, under protection. I’m even receiving email, personally, since I know the people there, asking about refugee applications for Canada. The country is going through lots of fear.


It’s somewhat hard to comprehend when we experience a relative peace here. I have had a fairly full day of devotional activities, some of it related to the upcoming weekend festival of Ratha Yatra. After that, I asked Karuna Sindhu to drive me to Christie Pits in order to walk a self-forced three kilometres back to the ashram. I walked along Bloor in a part-meditative way; for South Africa.


At one point I took to a bench for a break. A young Sikh gentleman on his Uber run stopped his vehicle and parked it after seeing me there. He came over and asked if I was in meditation.


“Yes, of sorts, chanting the powerful mantra on my beads.”


“When did you start this?”


“In 1973.” He was blown away.


“Do you go to India?”


“Yes, every year but not now due to Covid.”


The fellow’s surname is Singh and is generally interested in the path of devotion, the path of peace. My prayers and thoughts go to his well-being and that of South Africa.


May the Source be with you!

3 km


Tuesday, July 13, 2021
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Woodbine Beach, Toronto

It’s All About the Service


From the Introduction of Bhagavad-Gita:


We can easily see that every living being is constantly engaged in rendering service to another living being. A living being serves other living beings in various capacities. By doing so, the living entity enjoys life. The lower animals serve human beings as servants serve their master. A serves B master, B serves C master, and C serves D master and so on. Under these circumstances, we can see that one friend serves another friend, the mother serves the son, the wife serves the husband, the husband serves the wife and so on. If we go on searching in this spirit, it will be seen that there is no exception in the society of living beings to the activity of service. The politician presents his manifesto for the public to convince them of his capacity for service. The voters therefore give the politician their valuable votes, thinking that he will render valuable service to society. The shopkeeper serves the customer, and the artisan serves the capitalist. The capitalist serves the family, and the family serves the state in the terms of the eternal capacity of the eternal living being. In this way we can see that no living being is exempt from rendering service to other living beings, and therefore we can safely conclude that service is the constant companion of the living being and that the rendering of service is the eternal religion of the living being.

-        By A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada


May the Source be with you!

0 km


Tirobhava Mahotsava
Bhakti Charu Swami

Dear Devotees, Please accept our humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada. All glories to Guru Maharaja. As we close in on a year of the painful disappearance of our dearest spiritual master, Srila Bhakti Charu Swami Maharaja, we humbly invite you to join us for the first Tirobhava Mahotsava on the 24th of July, […]

The Editorial Review Panel Shares Its “Editorial Principles”
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By BBT Global

Over the years, devotees have expressed interest in knowing more about The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust’s book editing policies and practices, especially in making corrections to Srila Prabhupada’s books after his physical departure. To address the devotees’ concerns and to ensure the fidelity of Srila Prabhupada’s published works, on October 17, 2019, the BBT and the GBC conjointly selected and assembled an independent panel of devotees qualified by their devotional standing and deep study of Srila Prabhupada’s books. A number of the panel members are also experienced in editing and editorial processes. This panel is called the Editorial Review Panel (ERP [previously known as the RRP]). Continue reading "The Editorial Review Panel Shares Its “Editorial Principles”
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ISKCON Scarborough – Class by HH Bhakti Rasayana Sagara Swami – Sunday – 18th July 2021- 11 am-12 noon
→ ISKCON Scarborough

Hare Krishna!

Please accept our humble obeisances!

All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

All glories to Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga!

Date: 18th July 2021

Day: Sunday

Time: 11 am to 12 noon

Speaker: HH Bhakti Rasayana Sagara Swami

Link to join the class:

HH Bhakti Rasayana Sagara Swami

HH Bhakti Rasayana Sagar Swami is a Gaudiya Vaishnava sannyasi in the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. He is a disciple of His Holiness Indradyumna Swami, who is a disciple of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the Founder-Acharya of ISKCON. Bhakti Rasayana Sagara Swami joined ISKCON in Moscow, Russia. Maharaj speaks English and Russian.

ISKCON Scarborough

3500 McNicoll Avenue, Unit #3,

Scarborough, Ontario,

Canada, M1V4C7



TOVP Vedic Science Essays: A Trip To Bali

This is a slightly revised version of an article ‘A Trip To Bali’ that appeared in 2004 in Atlantis Rising magazine, as part of my regular column The Forbidden Archeologist.

A Trip to Bali

Your forbidden archeologist sometimes has to endure being invited to out of the way places such as Bali, the original tropical island paradise. This can mean some very tiring flights, like the one from LA to Tokyo, and then on to Singapore, where I spent a restless night at one of the city-state’s monotonous glass and steel hotels. The next evening, I caught the Garuda Airlines flight to Denpasar, Bali’s main city and site of its international airport. When I arrived, my hosts put me up in a boutique tropical village style hotel in Sanur, on the southeast coast of Bali. The name of the place is the Tamu Kami Hotel, and I highly recommend it. Those who follow the lives of the rich and famous may recall that Mick Jagger and Jerry Hall were married in a Hindu wedding ceremony at Sanur back in the 1990s. In the mornings, I would take walks along the Sanur beach (some nice breaks out beyond the reef, if you are into surfing), chanting Hare Krishna on my beads. In the distance, up the coast to the north, I could see the Gunung Agung volcano rising from the golden tropical mists of dawn. Back in 1963 it blew its top, but it’s quiet now. I found the beachfront always a little deserted, an effect of some terrorist bombings a couple of years back in the main Balinese resort town of Kuta. Still, I did notice a smattering of mostly elderly tourists from Germany, Holland, and Japan.

Bali is part of Indonesia, the fifth largest nation in the world, by population. Centuries ago, it was dominated by Hindu culture. Then the Muslims came, and now Indonesia is mostly Islamic. In fact, it is the largest Islamic country. But somehow Bali remained untouched, and is today still 95 percent Hindu. Because the traditional art, music, and culture throughout Indonesia is based on Hindu themes, from the Ramayana and Mahabharata, even the Islamic majority retains some of that influence.

The centerpiece of my visit to Bali was a seminar, with me as chief guest, at the island’s main university, the Udayana University in Denpasar. The seminar was dedicated to a discussion of my latest book, Human Devolution: A Vedic Alternative to Darwin’s Theory, and was attended by several hundred students and professors from the university, including heads of several departments, and the vice chancellor. The vice governor of Bali also attended.

During my stay in Bali, I also took a side trip to Surabaya on the nearby island of Java, where university students and representatives of a Hindu cultural society invited me to speak on Human Devolution at the city’s ornate main Hindu temple.

In all of my lectures in Bali and Java, I discussed an interesting case of evidence for extreme human antiquity from that part of the world. In the 1990s, archeologist from Australia and Indonesia found human artifacts on Flores Island, located a few islands to the east of Bali in the Indonesian island chain (Nature,1998, vol. 392, pp. 173-176). The artifacts were found in a stratum given an age of 800,000 years by the zircon fission track dating method. The archeologists had to attribute the tools to someone. They decided the makers could not have been human beings like us because according to their current way of thinking human beings like us did not exist 800,000 years ago in Indonesia. They believe anatomically modern humans came into existence between one and two hundred thousand years ago. What kind of hominid was existing 800,000 years ago? Homo erectus. So, the archeologists dutifully attributed the stone tools to Homo erectus. But there was a problem with this. How did Homo erectus get to Flores Island, which 800,000 years ago (as now) was separated from the nearest land by wide ocean straits? The archeologists proposed that Homo erectus must have made some kind of boat or raft and deliberately crossed the seas, from Java (then still attached to the Southeast Asia landmass).

But there was a problem with that. Up to that time, archeologists had thought that only anatomically modern humans made deliberate sea crossings. In fact, the oldest recognized evidence for deliberate sea crossings was the arrival of anatomically modern humans in Australia from Southeast Asia at around 50,000 years ago. So, to have the apeman Homo erectus sailing across the seas at 800,000 years ago was quite extraordinary. In order to explain the evidence on Flores Island, the archeologists had to elevate the cultural level of Homo erectus to the anatomically modern human level.

I proposed that there was another solution to the problem. And the solution lies on Java (it was really nice to say that in Java). It was in Java, late in the nineteenth century, at a place called Trinil, that the Dutch researcher Eugene Dubois found the first fossils of Homo erectus. One year he found a primitive skullcap with a prominent brow ridge. A year later, he found a femur (thigh bone) about 15 yards away. He put the two together, and proclaimed the Java apeman to the world of science. Dubois called the creature Pithecanthropus erectus, but scientists now classify it as a variety of Homo erectus.

The story of Dubois’s discovery is recorded in every archeology textbook. What we do not see in most textbooks is that in the 1970s two prominent British physical anthropologists carefully studied the femur found by Java (Michael Day and T. I. Molleson, Symposia of the Society for the Study of Human Biology,vol. 2, pp. 127–154). They concluded it was identical to modern human femurs and that it differed in significant ways from every Homo erectus femur that had been found afterwards. That’s interesting, because Dubois drawings of the site show that he found both the skullcap and the femur in the same stratum. And modern geologists have used the potassium-argon method to give a date of 800,000 years to that stratum at Trinil.

The evidence shows that 800,000 years ago two kinds of hominids were living in Java. First, a population of Homo erectus, as represented by the primitive skullcap. And second, a population of anatomically modern humans, as represented by the anatomically modern human femur. And I propose it was members of that anatomically modern human population, existing on Java 800,000 years ago, who made the sea crossing to Flores Island, and left the stone tools there.

So, in order to explain the stone tools on Flores Island it is not necessary to raise the cultural level of Homo erectus to the anatomically modern human level. (At this point in the talk, I showed an image of a Homo erectus man wearing a dress shirt and bow tie, to which the audience mercifully responded with the hoped-for laughter – sparing me the embarrassment of a visual joke gone flat.)

Between lectures, my hosts arranged to take me to some interesting places in Bali. One of them was Pura Penataran Sasih, the Temple of the Fallen Moon, at Pejeng. As in most Balinese temples, you enter a first gate into an outer courtyard. Then you go through a second more elaborately carved stone gate into an inner courtyard, where you find the actual sacred temple structures, which look like small pagodas. On the top of one of the pagodas, partially hidden from view, is a large bronze kettle gong. The hour-glass shaped kettle, about 6 feet long, rests on its side. It was cast as a single piece of bronze, and is the largest single-piece bronze object in the world. According to local legends, it is not of human manufacture, however. In his book The Art and Culture of Bali, Urs Ramseyer, says, “The gong known as the ‘moon’ (sasih) of Pejeng is one of the category of objects considered to be charged with unfathomable power; many Balinese believe that at some time these objects fell from heaven (piturun), and thus were not made by man. In the course of time numerous stories have grown up around this gong, all of which start out with an event connected with the moon. For some it is the wheel of the moon’s ‘carriage’. . . . Others see it as an ear peg of the moon goddess Ratih, or as a symbol of the moon itself.”

In Bali, you do get the feeling that spirits are everywhere, not all of them of the friendly type. I happened to be in Bali for the traditional New Year’s celebration. On the day before the New Year begins, the Balinese hold elaborate exorcisms at the main crossroads of towns and villages (evil spirits congregate at crossroads). The evil spirits depart into the sky. The ceremonies cease at dawn, and for the next twenty four hours, everyone must remain inside their dwellings, making no noise and showing no lights. If the evil spirits who have been driven into the sky see no people below, they will think no one is there and will go to some other place. The prohibition on going out is rigidly followed, and even tourists are asked to observe it (although I was advised I could keep a small light on in my hotel suite if I kept my curtains tightly drawn). And stay inside I did.  I certainly did not want to be the guy who caused the evil spirits to come back down.

Go to Vedic Science Essays page to read more articles.

Chapati Philosophy
→ KKSBlog

(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 2 July 2021, Ljubljana, Slovenia, Zoom Meeting)

One day, I was in New York City and as I was walking, I saw a chapati machine. It was a first-class machine. The dough went into the top, made some balls and rollers, and made a nice round chapati. Then, it went into a hot plate, where an arm came and pushed the chapati into a hole with a slide and then the slide turned the chapati around and it fell on another hot disc below. And then the chapati was cooked on the other side. That’s the nature of chapati. They get cooked on both sides.

So, if we do not like the situation we are in, we might change the situation but we will get cooked on the other side. That is all. We are chapatis, we will get cooked nevertheless. That is the nature of the material world. You are a chapati. When we are really cooked, we become a little bit more serious about spiritual life. We become materially exhausted and then we say, I now want spiritual life. Until then, the chapati is cooked on this side and then cooked on the other side, cook it again and again. So I have been cooked, pretty well and this chapati philosophy came after many years. There is no perfect situation in the material world. We are not here to condemn material life. We simply say that this material life is something we have to do. But let us make spiritual life strong and not let material life interfere with spiritual life. Let spiritual life be the priority because that is eternal!

The article " Chapati Philosophy " was published on KKSBlog.

Sayana Ekadasi and the TOVP

Sayana Ekadasi (Shayani Ekadasi) (lit. “sleeping eleventh”) or Maha-ekadasi (lit. “The great eleventh”) or Prathama-ekadasi (lit. “The first eleventh”) or Padma Ekadasi, Devshayani Ekadasi or Devpodhi Ekadasi is the eleventh lunar day (Ekadasi) of the bright fortnight (Shukla paksha) of the Vedic month of Ashadha (June – July). Thus, it is also known as Ashadhi Ekadasi or Ashadhi.

On this day Ksirodakasayi Vishnu falls asleep in Ksheersagar – the cosmic ocean of milk – on Shesha naga, the cosmic serpent. This day is also called Dev-Shayani Ekadashi (lit. “god-sleeping eleventh”) or Hari-shayani Ekadasi (lit. “Vishnu-sleeping eleventh”) or Shayana Ekadasi. Vishnu finally awakens from his slumber four months later on Prabodhini Ekadasi – the eleventh day of bright fortnight in the Vedic month Kartik (October–November). This period is known as Chaturmasya and coincides with the rainy season. Thus, Shayani Ekadasi is the beginning of Chaturmasya. Devotees start observing the Chaturmasya vrata (vow) to please Vishnu on this day.

As Gaudiya Vaishnavas, our main aim during ekadasi is to decrease bodily demands so we can spend more time in seva, especially hearing and chanting about the Lord. It’s recommended to chant extra rounds and stay up all night chanting and hearing the Lord’s glories.
It is also auspicious to donate to Vaishnavas and Lord Krishna’s service on ekadasi and we invite our readers to consider this ekadasi to donate towards either the new Pankajanghri Das Seva Campaign to complete Lord Nrsimha’s Wing in the TOVP, or sponsor an abhisheka for the Welcome Ceremony of Srila Prabhupada’s new murti to the TOVP in October, or the installation of the murti in 2022. You can also make a pledge payment.

Below are links to both campaign pages and to make a pledge payment on the TOVP website:

Prabhupada Murti Abhisheka and Welcome Ceremony
Pankajanghri Das Seva
Pledge Payments (Pledge Payments for Indian residents)

Sayana (Padma) Ekadasi

from Bhavishya-uttara Purana

The saintly king Yudhishthira Maharaj said, “Oh Keshava, what is the name of that Ekadasii that occurs during the light fortnight of the month of Ashadha (June – July)?Who is the worshipable Deity for the auspicious day, and what is the process for observing this event?

Lord Sri Krishna replied, “Oh caretaker of this earthly planet, I shall gladly tell you a wonderful historical event that the deva lord Brahma once narrated to his son Narad Muni.

“One day Narada Muni asked his father, ‘What is the name of the Ekadasii that comes during the light part of the month of Ahadha. Kindly tell me how I should observe this Ekadasi and thus please the Supreme Lord, Sri Vishnu.’

“Lord Brahma replied, ‘Oh great saintly orator, Oh best of all sages, Oh purest devotee of Lord Vishnu, your question is as usual excellent for all mankind. There is nothing better than Ekadasi, the day of Lord Sri Hari, in this or any other world. It nullifies even the worst sins if observed properly.
For this reason I shall tell you about this Ashadha-shukla Ekadasi.

‘Fasting on this Ekadasi purifies one of all sins and fulfills all one’s desires. Therefore, whoever neglects to observe this sacred fast day is a good candidate for entering into hell. Ashadha-shukla Ekadasi is also famous as Padma Ekadasi. Just to please the Supreme Lord Hrishikesha, the master of the senses, one should fast on this day. Listen carefully, Oh Narada, as I relate to you a wonderful historical event that was recorded in the scriptures regarding this Ekadasi. Just hearing this account destroys all kinds of sins, along with all obstacles on the path to spiritual perfection.

‘Oh son, there was once a saintly king in the Surya Vamsha (Sun dynasty) whose name was Mandhata. Because he always stood up for the truth, he was appointed emperor. He took care of his subjects as though they were his very own family members and children. On account of his piety and great religiosity, there was no pestilence, drought, or disease of any kind in his entire kingdom.
All his subjects were not only free of all kinds of disturbances but also were very wealthy. The king’s own treasury was free of any ill-gotten moneys, and thus he ruled happily for many years.

‘Once, however, because of some sin in his kingdom, there was a drought for three years. The subjects found themselves beset by famine also. The lack of food grains made it impossible for them to perform the prescribed Vedic sacrifices, offer oblations of grita (ghee) to their forefathers and to the devas, engage in any ritualistic worship, or even study the Vedic literatures. Finally, they all came before their beloved king in a great assembly and addressed him thus.

‘Oh king, you always see to our welfare, so we humbly beg your assistance now. Everyone and everything in this world needs water. Without water, almost everything is rendered useless or dead. The Vedas call water nara, and because the Supreme Personality of Godhead sleeps upon water, His another name is Narayana. God makes His own abode on water and takes His rest there. It is said that three things cannot exist without water; pearls, human beings, and flour. The essential quality of a pearl is its luster, and that is due to water. The essence of a man is his semen, whose main constituent is water. And without water, flour cannot be made into dough and then be cooked into various forms of bread, offered and eaten. Sometimes water is called jala-narayana, the Supreme Lord in the form of this life sustaining substance – water. In His form as the clouds, the Supreme Lord is present throughout the sky and pours forth rains, from which grow the grains that maintain every living entity.

‘Oh king, the severe drought has caused a great lack of valuable grains; thus, we are all miserable, and the population is decreasing as people die off or leave your kingdom. Oh best ruler on Earth, please find some solutions to this problem and bring us to peace and prosperity once again.’

‘The king replied, ‘You speak the truth, for grains are like Brahman, the Absolute Truth, who lives within grains and thereby sustains all beings. Indeed, it is because of grains that the entire world lives. Now, why is there a terrible drought in our kingdom? The Holy Scriptures discuss this subject very thoroughly. If a king (or head of the country) is irreligious, both he and his subjects suffer. I have meditated upon the cause of our problem for a long time, but after searching my past and present character I can honestly say that I find no sin. Still, for the good of all you subjects, I shall try to remedy the situation.’

‘Thinking in this way, King Mandhata assembled his army and entourage, paid his obeisances to me (Brahma), and then entered the forest. He wandered here and there, seeking great sages in their Ashrams and inquiring about how to resolve the crisis in his kingdom. At last, he came upon the ashram of one of my other sons, Angira Muni, whose effulgence lit up all directions. Seated in his hermitage, Angira looked like a second Brahma. King Mandhata was very pleased to see that exalted sage, whose senses were completely under control. The king immediately dismounted his horse and offered his respectful obeisances at the lotus feet of Angira Muni. Then the king joined his palms and prayed for the Muni’s blessings. That saintly person reciprocated by blessing the king with sacred mantras; then he asked him about the welfare of the seven limbs of his kingdom.

The seven limbs of a king’s domain are:

  1. the king himself
  2. the ministers
  3. his treasury
  4. his military forces
  5. his allies
  6. the brahmins
  7. the sacrifices performed in the kingdom and the needs of the subjects under his care

‘After telling the sage how the seven limbs of his kingdom were situated, King Mandhata asked the sage about his own situation, and if he was happy. Then Angira Muni asked the king why he had undertaken such a difficult journey into the forest, and the king told him of the affliction his kingdom.
The king said, ‘Oh great sage, I am ruling and maintaining my kingdom while following the Vedic injunctions, and thus I do not know the reason for the drought. To solve this mystery, I have approached you for help. Please help me relieve the suffering of my subjects.

‘Angira Rishi said to the king, ‘The present age, Satya yuga, is the best of all ages, for in this age Dharma stands on all four legs (Truthfulness, Austerity, Mercy, and Cleanliness). In this age everyone respects Brahmins as the topmost members of society. Also, everyone fulfills his occupational duties, and only twice-born Brahmins are allowed to perform Vedic austerities and penances. Although this is a standard, Oh lion among kings, there is one shudra (uninitiated, untrained person) who is unlawfully performing the rites of austerity and penance in your kingdom.
This is why there is no rain in your land. You should therefore punish this laborer with death, for by so doing you will remove the contamination inflicted by his actions and restore peace to your subjects.

‘The king then replied, ‘How can I kill an offense-less performer of austerity and sacrifice? Please give me some spiritual solution. “The great sage Angira Muni then said, ‘Oh king, you should observe a fast on the Ekadasi that occurs during the light fortnight of the month of Ashadha. This auspicious day is named Padma Ekadasi, and by its influence plentiful rains and thus grains and other foodstuffs will surely return to your kingdom. This Ekadasi bestows perfection upon its faithful observers, removes all kinds of bad elements, and destroys all obstacles on the path to perfection.
Oh king, you, your relatives, and your subjects should all observe this sacred Ekadasi fast. Then everything in your kingdom will undoubtedly return to normal.’

‘Upon hearing these words, the king offered his obeisances and then returned to his palace.
When the Padma Ekadasi arrived, King Mandhata assembled all the Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and Shudras in his kingdom and instructed them to strictly observe this important fast day.
After they had observed it, the rains fell, just as the sage had predicted, and in due course of time there were abundant crops and a rich harvest of grain. By the mercy of the Supreme Lord Hrishikesha, the master of the senses, all the subjects of King Mandhata became extremely happy and prosperous.

‘Therefore, Oh Narada, everyone should observe this Ekadasi fast very strictly, for it bestows all kinds of happiness, as well as ultimate liberation, upon the faithful devotee.’

Lord Sri Krishna concluded, “My dear Yudhishthira, Padma Ekadasi is so powerful that one who simply reads or hears its glories becomes completely sinless. Oh Pandava, one who wishes to please Me should strictly observe this Ekadasi, which is also known as Deva-sayani Ekadasi.
Deva-sayani, or Vishnu-sayani, indicates the day when Lord Vishnu goes to sleep with all the devas (demigods). It is said that after this day one should not perform any new auspicious ceremonies until Devotthani Ekadasi (Haribodhini (Probodhini) Devotthaani (Utthana) Ekadasi), which occurs during the month of Kartika (October – November), because the devas (demigods), being asleep, cannot be invited to the sacrificial arena and because the Sun is traveling along its Southern course, (Dakshinayanam).

Lord Sri Krishna continued, “Oh lion among kings, Yudhishthira Maharaj, whoever wants liberation should regularly observe a fast on this Ekadasi which is also the day when the Chaturmasya fast begins.

Thus ends the narration of the glories of the Ashadha-shukla Ekadasi – also known as Padma Ekadasi or Deva-sayani Ekadasi – from the Bhavishya-uttara Purana.

This article has been used courtesy of ISKCON Desire Tree).



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TOVP Book of the Week #16

Mystic Universe: An Introduction to Vedic Cosmology

By Ashish Dalela (Rishiraja Dasa)

Unlike previous works on Vedic cosmology, which discuss the model of the universe without describing its connection to a theory of nature, this book discusses the theory before it describes the model.

The book discusses the reasons in science for adopting a different theory of space and time, and how the problems of meaning, mind, and consciousness entail a different view. That this view changes the structure of the cosmos means that the worlds with and without mind are radically different.

Author: By Ashish Dalela (Rishiraja Dasa)
Published: April 20, 2016
Book/File size: 9578 KB / 544 pages
Formats: Kindle, Paperback


  Residents of India will have to search for this book on



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Hera Panchami – Goddess Laxmi Visits Lord Jagannatha

On the fourth day of the Lord’s stay, Hera Panchami is celebrated On this day, Laksmi Devi along with Her guards and servants comes to Gundica to demand that Jagannatha return home. Goddess Lakshmi decides to visit Lord Jagannath in Gundicha temple where He is with His brother & sister. In the evening, Goddess Lakshmi […]

The post Hera Panchami – Goddess Laxmi Visits Lord Jagannatha appeared first on

Hera Panchami
→ Ramai Swami

Hera Panchami is a unique festival associated with famous Rathayatra of Puri. ‘Hera’ means to ‘see’ and ‘Panchami’ means the ‘fifth day’. It is celebrated at Gundicha temple on the fifth day from the start date of the cart festival.

This festival is dedicated to Goddess Mahalaxmi. The temple of Lord Jagannatha is known as Sri Mandira. “Sri” means Laxmi, so the name of the temple as “Srimandira” signifies the fact that Mahalaxmi is the principal Goddess of the Grand Temple. This ritual highlights the separation of Mahalaxmi from Lord Jagannatha.

Lord Jagannatha leaves the Jagannatha temple and goes to Gundica temple for 9 days with his siblings and His consort Mahalaxmi is left behind in the main temple. Lord Jagannatha promised his wife Mahalaxmi that He would return the next day. But Lord Jagannatha does not return the next day. Mahalaxmi waits and 5 days have been passed but Lord Jagannatha did not return to the temple. 

Mahalaxmi after waiting for 5 days becomes impatient and worried. At last, She makes up Her mind to meet Lord Jagannatha at Gundica Temple where He has currently based with His brother & sister. At night Mahalaxmi went to Gundica temple in a beautifully decorated palanquin via Bada Danda (the Grand Road) in a colourful procession with pomp and splendour, accompanied by her servitors, to meet Lord Jagannatha and ask Him why he had not returned yet.

The people & servitors who are part of the procession of Mahalaxmi sing the Hera Panchami song. The Hera Panchami song expresses Mahalaxmi’s anger towards Her husband. After knowing that Mahalaxmi is coming to meet him with anger, Lord Jagannatha asks his servitors to quickly lock the door of Gundica Temple.

Mahalaxmi became very angry due to this activity and passed some satirical remarks to Lord Jagannatha by saying, “My husband! You have become more attracted to your brother Balabhadra & sister Subhadra than me? Is this the reason you locked me out of the Gundica temple?”

Mahalaxmi felt insulted and to teach Her husband a lesson She asked her servitors to break a part of Ratha, the chariot of Lord Jagannath. On her return She avoided the direct route via Grand Road, and secretly returned to the Jagannath temple via Hera Gohiri Sahi of Puri.

Monday, July 12, 2021
→ The Walking Monk

Shanty Bay, Ontario


Water and Me


I really wish I could do this every day. I’m talking about taking a dip in the natural freshwater that the Creator has provided; an actual swim. It is so good for me as a refresher, and the bodily joints really go for it.


Yesterday I had the pleasure to do those swimming strokes at Kirby Beach, off of Lake Muskoka, and then today my driver, Ananda, was good enough to stop at a bay off Lake Simcoe. I was a new man.


If someone even so much as criticizes or has doubt about a monk indulging in sense gratification, as some fanatics would do, I would say that it’s a sin not to take advantage of all this wealth of water for wellness. My devotion is enhanced when I’m feeling physically good and water is one of those items that does it for me. It also improves my walking.


For me all things are done to perform my service to humanity better. This morning I felt the benefit of a walk and a swim so that I could be effective in my devotional endeavors. In Bracebridge, at Annie Williams Memorial Park, Ananda conducted a fire havan ceremony for new initiates. I gave names to Pintesh, who now bears the name Partha; Purvi has the name Pragna; Trupti is now Tilak and Ashvini is now Avatari.


Congratulations to these really special souls who participated in a follow up mini Ratha Yatra in the calendar collaboration of the massive event that takes place in Puri, India, this very day.


May the Source be with you!

0 km


Sunday, July 11, 2021
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Bracebridge, Ontario


Moving About


The soccer game between Italy and England occupied many earthlings today, which doesn’t exclude our own devotees in the community. That may account for the lower-than-expected attendance at our temple and even Govinda’s restaurant. It’s quite amazing how absorbed a person can get in a game. Give that same amount of attention to your spirituality and a good result will come. To be fair, let’s follow the game, any game, but don’t forget a daily sadhana or spiritual work out.


By the way, Italy won.


As a priest of sorts, I have my other-worldly obligations such as attending to funeral observances. Ravinder Kulkarni, from our community, passed away two days ago prior; a good man who led a full life. That observance was followed by time taken with Cameron of Hamilton. I combed through the entire Gita with him. The discussions we had, over the period of a year were invaluable and our meeting at the park and temple was endearing.


Then our weekend monk adherents sat with me for a look at 8.15 from the Gita. Madhava, Gabriel, Alec and I sat in the same room while we connected with a Zoom call from our Cleveland branch — always a blessed, mixed, lively group of black, brown and white huge folks. (I hope I didn’t say anything politically incorrect).


Off I went with Ananda, two hours north to Bracebridge, for a swim, a meal and, of course, a walk. Tomorrow is special — initiations and a modified version of a Chariot Festival.


May the Source be with you!

4 km


Saturday, July 10, 2021
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Hyde Park and Trinity bells, Toronto


Parks, the Sun and People


This was the first non-rainy day in some time and the weather forecast indicated that clouds and showers will rain for the coming days. What’s happening?


Regardless, we took full advantage of the sunshine by making our presence in several parks. First of all, I had a picnic, with a family from Brampton, at Ramsden Park. Meeting a swami is a first for them. Rajasuya, who is very committed to bhakti yoga and assists me substantially, introduced me to this family who were curious. Our time together was brief. My day was almost ridiculously hectic but oh well; it’s another day for God.


In the early afternoon a group of us monks and weekend visitors were off to High Park, which is such a splendid place for a bhaktipow-wow. The park is overrun by caterpillars — at least it was. They have vanished and transitioned into moths. My God! They were flirting about in abundance. We were not sure whether to rejoice or cry. Alec had the misfortune to have one dart right into his mouth while chanting. It didn’t go in far enough to get swallowed. He spat it out. Had he not he would have gained a little bit of extra protein. Attendance and response to our chanting was just divine, and so too were the sections at Trinity Bellwoods Park. The place was packed.


Josh joined us by playing the cojon and we got to talking after the chant; all about spirituality of course. There is an attractiveness to our circle of sound and wonder. Park browsers came to capitalize off our effort.


May the Source be with you!

1 km


Friday, July 9, 2021
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Alexander Muir Park, Toronto


The World We Want


I’ve walked by the above-mentioned park (actually it’s more like a sunken garden) several times off Yonge St. I never ventured inside. There are flowerbeds, trees of all kinds (northern breeds), perfect sod-lain sections for lawn bowling, tennis courts and then there is a grassy area perfect for kirtan. This very special place is tucked away from the world and is ideal for groups singing and dancing. That’s just what we did — a bunch of us — Russians, Indians, Canadians — whatever that means.


Unfortunately, I double booked myself. I committed to two engagements — this chanting session and delivering a Zoom class from The Gita 18.1-2. How to do two things at one time? Solution? Split the time in half. I decided to conduct the Gita discussion for 50 minutes and then 50 minutes reserved for chanting. It was a compromise that worked. I was bent on satisfying two groups of people.


My big regret about today was that I didn’t get any walking in, which is always an adventure and opportunity to meet others. For instance, I met Jack yesterday and the day before I met a woman sitting with a friend at a café/bar just up the street on Yonge. As soon as she saw me she broke out singing in front of her friends, “Jaya Ganesh. Jaya Ganesh,” for quite some time.


That’s the kind of world we want; people singing devotional songs at cafés, on the street and in the gardens.


May the Source be with you!

0 km


Thursday, July 8, 2021
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Ramsden Park, Toronto


Essence is Love & Kindness


We are receiving much rain, but as long as it ceases for a time for me to stroll, then it’s okay. Stroll I did, through the park and up Yonge St. I realized one thing about myself and walking; I always get a thrill from crossing rivers via a bridge but dislike crossing streets where there’s crazy traffic, either in motion or halted. A pet peeve of mine — the wider the road, the more the lanes, the higher the risk.


Tonight, I took to a bench when a couple approached me. The fellow introduced himself as Jack but first he had a question about my vocation. “A monk?”


“Indeed,” I said, “a Krishna monk.”


Jack and his partner, Alexandra, are regular Torontonians — born, raised, and bred. Jack opened up about himself, saying he was dancing with the devil in the form of booze. He’s in rehab and also into Jesus, which is all about love. “In essence,” he said, “all the groups say the same.”


“In truth, it is about love and kindness. Unfortunately, institutional walls bar this flow of fellowship,” I expressed.


Jack couldn’t agree more. I invited Jack and Alexandra to tomorrow night’s chanting in the park, in North York. “It’s just up Yonge, the longest street in the world.”


I do hope they come because there’s nothing like mantraon the green. If they do not make it, I hope to bump into them again. I also must mention that it is the birthday of Satvatanu. She and her husband, Brahma, head up the deity department. She is 62 today.


May the Source be with you!

2 km


Wednesday, July 7, 2021
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Ramsden Park, Toronto


I Shall Act


I want to thank Paramahamsa, from Guelph, who came to do some physio work on me today. I’m also grateful to Jhorom, who came as a special guest when I hosted him in the sitting quarters of our guru, Prabhupada, who spent a few days there in June of 1976.


Jhorom is loving the Bhagavad-Gita, As It Is, and since reading this exceptional text he’s been asking me questions. He is just intrigued with the conversation based on a fratricidal misunderstanding.


“Most misunderstandings, if not all, have their basis in ignorance; on the belief of the body as the self,” I explained to Jhorom, who is happily married and is a father of three kids.


In my reading this morning, from The Gita’sintroduction, I would like to share: “Arjuna decided that he should not fight in the battle of Kuruksetra. This was his own decision… This decision was based on the body because he was thinking that the body was himself and that his bodily relations or expansions were his brothers, nephews, brothers-in-law, grandfathers and so on. Therefore, he wanted to satisfy his bodily demands. Bhagavad-Gita was spoken by Krishna just to change this view, and at the end Arjuna decides to fight under the direction of the Lord when he says, karisye vacanam tava ‘I shall act according to Your word.’”


May the Source be with you!

2 km


Tuesday, July 6, 2021
→ The Walking Monk

Ramsden Park, Toronto


Busy in Bhakti


We have gone back, steadily, to our older program of stairway kirtan. Neighbours who pass by love it. As long as we don’t perform with symbols, drum, harmonium “in-their-face,” so to speak. Gentle, sweet and melodious is the way to go. Actually, the weather is conducive for outdoor kirtan and our group’s intent is to gain as much mileage with this presentation as possible.


In addition to the kirtan, which is now regular at night, 7 pm punctual, the morning and noon chants are also steady. I can count on my good fortune. Today I also delivered five classes. I’m blessed. I don’t know if everyone can say this, but I can.


Plans for this week are underway for chanting at one of the beaches in Toronto, as well as in North York on Friday, High Park on Saturday and Bracebridge on Sunday. We are cooking.


The sixth volume of “Memories” has come out. These are testimonies of devotee’s experiences with our guru, Prabhupada. There is nothing sweeter than these pastimes; they are the ripest. I highly recommend this book by Siddhanta. There’s even some Canadian content in this volume. I am reading those memories to a handful of devotees every day. We are rocking.


May the Source be with you!

2 km


→ Traveling Monk

Дорогие ученики, друзья и доброжелатели! На прошлой неделе в Пуне (Индия) врач удалил небольшую опухоль с моего лица, которая, хотя и опасна сама по себе, оказалась доброкачественной. По его совету и в качестве меры предосторожности вчера я приехал в Нью-Дели, где один из ведущих пластических хирургов Индии удалил ряд других подозрительных повреждений в той же области лица. Я ушел с 44 швами! Результаты анализов будут на следующей неделе. Но я уверен, что они также будут благоприятными. Пожалуйста, не беспокойтесь обо мне. Буду держать вас в курсе. А пока уезжаю во Вриндаван на выходные. Шри Радхе!


Dear disciples, friends and well-wishers: Last week in Pune, India a doctor removed a small tumor from my face that athough dangerous by nature turned out to be benign. On his advice, and as a precaution, yesterday I came to New Delhi where one of India’s top plastic surgeons removed a number of other suspicious lesions from the same area on my face. I walked away with 44 stitches! The lab results will be back next week. But I’m pretty confident the results will also be benign. Please don’t worry about me. I’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, I’m off to Vrindavan for the weekend. Sri Radhe!

Always Remain Srila Prabhupada’s Dog
→ Dandavats

By Giriraj Swami

Almost every morning in Bombay Srila Prabhupada used to walk on Juhu Beach. One morning I was feeling especially wretched and miserable. Although so many other devotees were present, Srila Prabhupada began to speak as if he were addressing me personally. He quoted a Sanskrit verse and said there are two words—a-natha and sa-natha. Natha means “master,” so a-natha means “without master” and sa-natha means “with master.” The whole goal of life is to become sa-natha, “with master.” Continue reading "Always Remain Srila Prabhupada’s Dog
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His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami Maharaja’s Tirobhava Tithi
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By Bhakti Charu Swami Samadhi Committee

As we would be observing His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami Maharaja's Tirobhava Tithi in the coming weeks - which marks a year of His Holiness' physical disappearance please find this brochure (attached herewith). It will be a source of great solace and inspiration to be participating in honoring a vaisnava acharya and our beloved spiritual Master, in the wider association of devotees - our ISKCON family. Continue reading "His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami Maharaja’s Tirobhava Tithi
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Lord Jagannatha on the Beach in Florida!
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By Kasisvar Das

The Covid-19 pandemic delayed everything in the world and many festivals and events were placed on hold for months. Millions of people have been pulled out of their comfort zone to realize what Bhagavad-Gita calls the reality of this temporary miserable world, dukhalayam ashashvatam (Bhagavad-Gita, 8.15). Many even regret that life will not be the same. And though some people look at the global spread of Covid-19 with pessimistic eyes, true devotees always seek the shelter of Lord Krishna while trying to preach His message to others in turbulent times. Continue reading "Lord Jagannatha on the Beach in Florida!
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