“My Cherished Desire”
→ Dandavats

Vyasa Puja Offering 2023 “My Cherished Desire” Dear Srila Prabhupada, Please accept my most humble obeisances in the dust of your lotus feet. All glories to you! My dear spiritual master, as we find ourselves in the twilight of our lives, my godbrothers, godsisters and I are coming face-to-face with the harsh realities of material

Vyasa-puja Poem –  by Sesa das
→ Dandavats

‘Twas Srila Prabhupada on the Vyasasana A Poem Composed by Sesa das Jaya Radha Madhava Kunja Bihari Eyes closed, karatalas ringing Head trembling, full voice singing Tempo building then crescendoing Obeisance to Guru, blessing to all beings ‘Twas Srila Prabhupada on the Vyasasana Om namo bhagavate vasudevaya Three times the Sanskrit invocation rang out Calling

Batam Indonesia Ratha Yatra Promotes Unity and Spreads Joy in Community

On September 2nd, in a remarkable display of devotion and cultural unity, residents of Batam, Indonesia, witnessed the Jagannath Ratha Yatra festival. As part of the esteemed Indonesian Cultural Week, known as “Pekan Budaya Indonesia,” this festival illuminated the depth of tradition and the spirit of togetherness, surpassing the expectations of the organizing committee. You […]

The post Batam Indonesia Ratha Yatra Promotes Unity and Spreads Joy in Community appeared first on ISKCON News.

Batam Indonesia Ratha Yatra Promotes Unity and Spreads Joy in Community

On September 2nd, in a remarkable display of devotion and cultural unity, residents of Batam, Indonesia, witnessed the Jagannath Ratha Yatra festival. As part of the esteemed Indonesian Cultural Week, known as “Pekan Budaya Indonesia,” this festival illuminated the depth of tradition and the spirit of togetherness, surpassing the expectations of the organizing committee. You […]

The post Batam Indonesia Ratha Yatra Promotes Unity and Spreads Joy in Community appeared first on ISKCON News.

Srila Prabhupada Appearance Day
→ Ramai Swami

On the occasion of Srila Prabhupada’s Vyasapuja ceremony, I would like to offer some of my homage to him:

It became apparent the movement would spread

Because Śrīla Prabhupāda was at the head

On and on to every village and town

A transcendental flood of rain came down.

Everyone was amazed to see the effect

Lord Caitanya’s desire could not be checked

One man’s effort would not go in vain

To transfer all to the spiritual domain

What is the duty of a disciple who is faithful

He must show that he is always grateful

To his guru, who gave him a precious jewel

Follow in his footsteps; that’s the golden rule

We should never imitate the powerful ācārya

Otherwise we will be captured by māyā

Nevertheless, we should try our very best

To forward the mission so that he’ll be impressed

Satisfying him is our desire and success

The more we do it, the more we progress

For what is advancement in spiritual life

If not to please the guru who frees us from strife

I pray to always remain at his holy feet.

That one day, I may again directly meet

The wonderful person who guided me well

To the abode where I may eternally dwell

Diary of a Traveling Monk, Vyasa Puja Offering 2023 * * * Подношение на день явления Шрилы Прабхупады – 2023
→ Traveling Monk

Dear Srila Prabhupada: Please accept my most humble obeisances in the dust of your lotus feet. All glories to you!

My dear spiritual master, as we find ourselves in the twilight of our lives, my godbrothers, godsisters and I are coming face-to-face with the harsh realities of material existence that you so poignantly warned us about in the innocence of our youth: birth, disease, old age and death. The stark experience of these sorrows serves as a sobering reminder that your words of wisdom about the material world always ring true. However, even more significant to us – and indeed to devotees of any age – is the positive alternative you compassionately bestowed upon us all: the path back home to the spiritual world, where life is eternal, full of knowledge and bliss. If there is any advantage to growing old, it is that we now hold this alternative closer to our hearts than ever before!

I am eternally grateful for your direct guidance and blessings. Your instructions to “preach boldly and have faith in the holy names” have been the guiding principles of my life in Krsna consciousness. Your unwavering faith in the power of the Hare Krsna mantra has instilled a deep conviction within my own heart. Your dedication to spreading Krishna consciousness through large-scale events has been the source of inspiration for the same service I offer to your lotus feet. And your profound love for Vrindavan, that sacred abode which you so mercifully revealed to us all, has been the motivation for my ongoing research efforts and weekly lectures on the dhama. Through your grace alone, I have spent the last 50 years sharing the joy of Krsna consciousness with others; my goal has been to make your divine presence felt in every kirtan I lead, in every lecture I deliver, and in every soul I meet on this sacred journey.

My dear spiritual master, your arrival in the Western world was a turning point – a pivotal moment – in the history of spirituality on this planet. Your journey from the shores of India to the distant land of America was not just a physical one; it was a transcendental voyage on which you carried the eternal wisdom of our scriptures to the eager hearts of seekers across the globe. Your Bhagavad-Gita As It Is has become a timeless classic, and your Srimad Bhagavatam will continue to illuminate the path of bhakti for many generations to come. May your words continue to resonate in the hearts of all those who encounter them and may your legacy shine eternally as a ray of hope and love in this world. Your literary contributions are a veritable treasure trove of spiritual knowledge, and I am eternally grateful for the opportunity to share these jewels with others. May I always remain a faithful servant in your divine mission to spread the glories of Krsna far and wide, as I know this pleases Your Divine Grace.

Srila Prabhupada, I long for the day I can be with you again in person. But I know I must earn that privilege through the medium of service to your lotus feet. Throughout this past summer, amidst the exhilarating kirtans we held with the many guests who attended our festivals along the Baltic Sea coast in Poland, I often gazed towards the heavens and wondered if you were watching. I earnestly prayed for a sign that you were aware of our efforts to please you.

Then, one night, I had a dream that I was chanting japa while strolling through a picturesque park. Suddenly, you were there! You were walking towards me in the company of several of my esteemed godbrothers. Overwhelmed, I prostrated myself at your feet. As I rose, you passed by and turning towards me, you kindly said, “You are doing well. I am pleased with you. Continue as you are.”

I took great inspiration from that dream, Srila Prabhupada. My godbrother Hayagriva dasa recounted in his book, The Hare Krsna Explosion, that you told him that although most dreams are simply functions of the mind, dreams of the spiritual master are of spiritual significance.

“If the guru gives instructions in a dream,” you said to him, “the disciple is supposed to follow them. When I came to the West my spiritual master repeatedly advised me in a number of dreams.”

Srila Prabhupada, I am determined to continue “doing well” so that you will be “pleased with me” and so that my cherished desire to be with you again will come true. Honestly, nothing else matters to me in this world. I stand prepared to accompany you to any corner of the three worlds in order to propagate Krsna consciousness. I beg you, my dear spiritual master, to please be present with me when I leave this mortal frame one day. Please take me by the hand and lead me to my next service. I promise wholeheartedly to try to make you proud! And sometime in the future, when the day arrives that your mission in this world has been achieved, perhaps you will take me home to Sri Vrindavan dhama to serve you eternally in that transcendental abode.

Until then, I will keep memories of days spent with you locked safely within my heart. From time to time, I will unlock those treasures and gaze upon them with relish. One time you left your chaddar on the vyasasana after a lecture on a grassy lawn in New Mayapura in France. Seizing the opportunity, I grabbed that chaddar and carefully carried it back to your quarters in the chateau. After knocking softly on your door, I entered to find you motionless, staring out the window at the large assembly of devotees and guests starting to take prasadam on the lawn. After a minute, you turned around and with tears flowing down your cheeks, you said softly, “Let them take Krsna prasadam!”

Srila Prabhupada, I miss you more than words can express. I relive that moment again and again in hopes of meeting you once more.

The Vrajavasi poet, Rasika dasa, has written:


kabahu dekhun ina nainana, udata upraina sundara cala, nasata tapa hridaya te bhapa


kabahu dekhun ina nainana, sundara-mukha daya jhalakata hai, kripa sisya pe karata rasala


kabahu sunu jhankara sri-mukha ki, sravanana milata rasa jhalakata hai


rasikadasa-vira kabahu men calatahu pache, prita-rita me punha-milana ki bata


1) When will I see again the glorious gait of my guru who, with his chaddar flowing in the wind, removes the distress in the hearts of his disciples?

2) When will I again behold with these eyes the beautiful and merciful face of my guru, whose eyes are dripping the most condensed form of mercy which melts the hearts of his disciples?

3) When will I again hear his nectarian words which reveal the blissful pastimes of the Divine Couple in my heart?

4) The poet Rasika dasa says, “Oh brother, tell me please, when will that day come when I will walk beside my guru again, relishing our sacred reunion?”

Srila Prabhupada, I am and will always be,

Your eternal servant,
Indradyumna Swami

HG Nand Maharaj Prabhu Departs in Chandigarh on September 6th

On Wednesday, September 8th, at 10 am, in Chandigarh, under the shelter of Sri Sri Radha Madhav, HG Nand Maharaj Prabhu departed from this material realm. A very senior disciple of HH Gopal Krishna Goswami Maharaj, who had been serving Sri Sri Radha Madhav and the community of ISKCON Chandigarh and Panchkula with pure devotion […]

The post HG Nand Maharaj Prabhu Departs in Chandigarh on September 6th appeared first on ISKCON News.

NY State Assembly Proclamation Honors NYC’s Harinam Sankirtan Devotees

During the September 6th Krishna Janmashtami festivities at ISKCON NYC, Jenifer Rajkumar, a member of the New York Assembly, 38th District, presented an official proclamation that honored the NYC’s Harinam Sankirtan devotees for their many years of service to the community. Their mission, according to their website, is “the propagation of harinam-sankirtan (the congregational chanting of […]

The post NY State Assembly Proclamation Honors NYC’s Harinam Sankirtan Devotees appeared first on ISKCON News.

Sri Krsna Janmastami
→ Ramai Swami

We celebrated Sri Krsna Janmastami this year very blissfully at Jagannatha Gauranga temple in Bali. There are six major temples in Bali and each one had their own festivities.

There were yajnas, abhisekha, kirtana, dancing, lecture, midnight aroti and feast prasadam. Everyone was, of course, happy to honour the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krsna on the occasion of His appearance anniversary.

BBC Radio Episode Celebrates the Bold Mission of Srila Prabhupada

On September 6th, BBC Radio 2’s Pause for Thought episode was entitled “My Spiritual Inspiration” and presented by devotee Nimai Devi Dasi (Nima Suchak). Her reflection, an homage to His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Srila Prabhupada, was part of the week’s theme, “Go Forth Boldly.” “Prabhupada was fearless because of his conviction in the teachings […]

The post BBC Radio Episode Celebrates the Bold Mission of Srila Prabhupada appeared first on ISKCON News.

The Meaning of Vyāsa-pūjā and The Śrīla Prabhupāda Kṛpāṣṭaka Poem

Understanding the meaning of Vyāsa-pūjā begins with understanding the full import of the well- known verse Śrīla Prabhupāda chose to begin his Introduction to Bhagavad-gītā As It Is: oṁ ajñāna-timirāndhasya jñānāñjana-śalākayā cakṣur unmīlitaṁ yena tasmai śrī-gurave namaḥ “I was born in the darkest ignorance, and my spiritual master opened my eyes with the torch of knowledge. […]

The post The Meaning of Vyāsa-pūjā and The Śrīla Prabhupāda Kṛpāṣṭaka Poem appeared first on ISKCON News.

The Moon is Always Full
→ Seed of Devotion

I have been alive for 36 Janmastamis. 

I remember attending festivals in celebration of Krishna's Appearance Day as a child, running around in fancy clothing with my friends at night outside, thrilled to have the go-ahead once a year to stay up until midnight.

I remember dressing up to attend the festival throughout my teenage years, bubbling over with anticipation to see who would be coming (any cool girls and any cute guys??), and relishing the midnight feast. 

I remember traveling the world and settling into a community in my adult life, experiencing Janmastami in places like Hawaii, England, Belgium, New York, and Florida; some of these festivals were attended by tens of thousands of people. I've performed in many dances and dramas, dressed up in gorgeous princess-like outfits, danced in many midnight kirtans, offered all kinds of services from decorating to cutting up vegetables, and received the most magnificent darshans of the deities of the Lord. 

Today, I wore leggings and stayed home all day. 

I asked Ghanashyam if he wanted to go to the temple, and he said gently, "Only if you're there," 

And so we took darshan of the deities with our 3-week-old son Arjuna in our arms, lying on the daybed in the nursery, using Ghanashyam's phone to stream the live webcast from our local temple. The images were somewhat grainy, but we oohed and aahed with wonder anyway.  

Then later in the evening, Ghanashyam carried over the harmonium and a Krishna book and placed each on the daybed. I gently sang kirtan and Ghanashyam joined in while our little one laid down and played on his chest. Arjuna's wide eyes gazed at us and he stayed (mostly) still.

There we were, wearing t-shirts and leggings/pajamas at home, but we were singing the holy name and honoring the Lord. We smiled at each other, and my heart filled with a kind of golden joy. 

I thought, well, this is our child's first Janmastami. This family is the adventure that Ghanashyam and I have chosen. Images of all those exotic and wondrous Janmastamis wheeled through my mind and I marveled at how this simple scene felt just as wondrous. 

Then I held Arjuna in my arms and Ghanashyam read about the birth of Krishna from Krishna Book. His deep voice described how even though Krishna was born on the eighth day of the waning moon when really the moon should be rather obscure in the sky, nevertheless the moon rose full, just to honor the Lord. When he had finished reading, I said to Arjuna, "Well, my son, today is the birthday of your best friend. Krishna is Arjuna the supreme archer's best friend, and Krishna is personally your best friend, my little one, He is there in your heart." 

Soon, our son will begin to experience his own panoply of Janmastamis throughout his life, maybe run around with his friends or perform in dramas or offer service, maybe travel the world and experience the thrill of a familiar tradition in an exotic place. But I pray that he may always know and understand that the moon of Lord Krishna may always be full within his heart, that even in the simplest of moments that Krishna is his best friend.

a few hours old

Srila Prabhupada Vyasa-puja Offering
Giriraj Swami

My dear Srila Prabhupada,

Please accept my prostrated obeisances at your divine lotus feet. All glories to Your Divine Grace and to your unparalleled service and mercy.

When I joined the Boston temple in 1969, Satsvarupa dasa was the temple president and also the editor of BTG, and he always wanted articles for the magazine. So I wrote one, entitled “The Genuine Spiritual Master,” and by the time the issue with my article reached you, in February of 1971, I was with you in Gorakhpur, India.

After reading my article, you called for me. The temple room was dimly lit—only some narrow shafts of light pierced through the slim openings in the wooden shutters along the side. Sitting alone on your raised cushion at the far end, you were the very image of the eternal spiritual master, and your voice resonated with the truth of eternal time. I sat at your feet, eyes and ears wide open.

“I saw your article in Back to Godhead,” you said. “It was very nice. You should write. This is your first business. Go on writing. We require many, many such articles about Krishna consciousness. So you should devote yourself to writing.”

“I will try,” I said. “But why are you asking me? I have no special qualification.”

“We require many to do this work, and we need you also. So, you travel with me and I will guide you. You come and stay with me.”

I felt thrilled and honored. You had never before given me a direct instruction. In fact, we had hardly ever spoken, and now you were inviting me to stay with you. I felt a little intimidated and wondered how it would work. Also, I had always worked under my authorities. Who would tell them about your proposal? So, I asked, “How will we decide whether I should travel with you or what I should do?”

You replied, “By mutual consultation.” And you instructed me, “See that my books are accepted in the universities, by the scholarly class.” Then you asked if I ever thought of getting married.

“No,” I said. “I never think of getting married.” And after a moment I added, “The only time I ever thought of getting married was when I saw that all the GBCs were married.”

“You will never be GBC,” you said. And you continued, “It is best to avoid marriage. Sex desire is like an itch. If you have an itch and you scratch it, it just becomes worse. Similarly, sex desire is there, and if you try to satisfy it, it becomes worse. So it is better to tolerate. Not only sex desire—all the demands of the senses—eating and sleeping also. Better to tolerate. So, you remain brahmachariand after two or three years I will give you sannyasa.

In a matter of twenty minutes, you had given me my whole life’s program in Krishna consciousness.

I was always thinking of you then; sometimes at night I couldn’t even sleep—I would just be thinking of how wonderful you were. I would stand at the balcony near your room and look out over the surrounding fields at the stars and the bright moon. I was in so much ecstasy that you had read my article and invited me to travel with you, and I experienced an awakening in my heart of a type of affection I had never felt before.

Over the years, you repeated your instruction for me to write. In a letter to me dated August 12, 1971, you wrote, “In the midst of your heavy duties, go on writing something glorifying the Lord and put our philosophy into words. Writing articles means to express oneself how he is understanding the whole philosophy. So this writing is necessary for everyone.”

In 1973 I sent you my Vyasa-puja offering, and on August 23, from Bhaktivedanta Manor, you sent me an encouraging note: “I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter and the nice Vyasa-puja offering you sent. I have sent it to Satsvarupa Goswami for printing in the BTG. Writing is a very important part of our work, and Satsvarupa is always anxious to have new material from the devotees for expanding the BTG. You have a nice talent for writing, and practice makes perfect, so continue. It will be appreciated.”

Eventually BTG published my offering, in which I described my first meeting with you and how it—you—had transformed my life:

 All glories to you
Who have given me light
To open my eyes,
Which were firmly shut tight.

When we first came to you
In the darkness of night
The words from your lips
Made everything bright.

“What is your goal—
Godhead to find
Or God to become?
Please make up your mind.

“If you want to become God,
You can’t be God now.
Can a non-God become God?
Please let me know how.

“God is within you,
Sitting there in your heart,
Just waiting for your
Loving service to start.

“But if you insist
That you want to be Him,
You’re cheating yourself
And have nothing to win.

“If the seed of devotion
With chanting you sow,
Then God will give sunlight
To help make it grow.

“But if to become God
Remains your ambition,
Why then should God
Help His own competition?

“Krishna is God,
And God He is always,
On Yasoda’s lap
Or in Dvaraka’s hallways.

“Or in Kurukshetra,
He’s God all the same—
It’s not that by yoga
The Lord He became.

“You are a spark,
And God is the fire:
You can be Godly
If you truly desire.

“Your qualities match His,
But the quantity’s different,
For God’s nature is infinite,
Whereas you’re insignificant.

“I cannot be God,
For I truly am small,
But He kindly allows me
To serve Him. That’s all.

“That is His mercy,
Transcendent and sweet.
Take it! Be happy!
That’s all I entreat.”

Thus Your Divine Grace
I was blessed to meet,
And thus I was forced
To fall at your feet.

You poured nectarlike words
Through the holes of my ears
To clean out my heart
And vanquish my fears.

Arousing within me
My love for the Lord,
My actual life as
His servant restored.

Now I beg to remain
An individual soul,
Serving the servant
Of the one Spirit Whole.

All glories to you
Who have given me this:
A life that’s eternal,
Full of knowledge and bliss.

Taking me from the darkness,
Cold and alone,
Back to Godhead,
Back to home.


In recent years I have edited Life’s Final Exam: Death and Dying from the Vedic Perspective and written Watering the Seed—With Teachings from His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada; Many Moons: Reflections on Departed Vaishnavas; I’ll Build You a Temple: The Juhu Story; and now Dancing White Elephants: Traveling with Srila Prabhupada in India, August 1970–March 1972.

On this occasion I pray to you to bless me that I can continue to serve you, the devotees, and the world by writing about Krishna consciousness in the right consciousness. As you wrote in Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya 19.132, “It is certainly not good to write literature for money or reputation, but to write books and publish them for the enlightenment of the general populace is real service to the Lord. That was Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati’s opinion, and he specifically told his disciples to write books. He actually preferred to publish books rather than establish temples. Temple construction is meant for the general populace and neophyte devotees, but the business of advanced and empowered devotees is to write books, publish them and distribute them widely. According to Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, distributing literature is like playing on a great mridanga. Consequently we always request members of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness to publish as many books as possible and distribute them widely throughout the world. By thus following in the footsteps of Srila Rupa Gosvami, one can become a rupanuga devotee.”

Thank you very much.

Hare Krishna.

Your eternal, grateful servant,
Giriraj Swami


The Power of Prabhupada’s Remnants
Giriraj Swami

Srutakirti dasa: We were on an airplane from Mexico City to Caracas, and Prabhupada started taking his puffed rice and peanuts. He ate for about ten minutes, and then he just looked and said, “Okay.” So I moved the puffed rice over, and I gave half to Paramahamsa and had the other half in front of me. After a few minutes, a stewardess was walking down the aisle and she stopped right in front of us and reached over, put her hand in my plate, and grabbed a handful of puffed rice and threw it in her mouth. She said, “Oh, this is wonderful. What is it?” I said, “Puffed rice.” She said, “Why are you eating this?” I said, “We have our own diet, and we’re vegetarian.” She said, “Oh, is there anything else I can get you?” I looked at Prabhupada, and he looked at me and said, “Hot milk.” She said, “Fine.”

After about ten minutes, she came back with three plates. She left, and I turned to Prabhupada and said, “Prabhupada, that’s amazing, isn’t it?” Prabhupada said, “No, women, they have a natural propensity to serve.” I was thinking it was amazing that she took Prabhupada’s maha-prasada right off of my plate. Somehow or other, she got what all of us were mad after—Prabhupada’s remnants.

One day I was giving class, and I told this story, and after class a devotee boy came up to me and he said, “That’s an amazing story. Can I tell you a sankirtana story?” I said, “Yes.” He said, “We would go out to the villages far from all the cities in Brazil in different places. You have to go by four-wheel drive. One day we were in the rain forest really far away from everywhere, and we found this village and we did our hari-nama. Then we began going door-to-door to distribute books. I went to this one house and knocked on the door, and a woman answered, and I tried to distribute books. As soon as she saw me—I was in dhoti and kurta—she invited me in. I went in and saw that there were pictures of Krishna on the wall and she had an altar with Deities, and I was so surprised. Then I said, “You’re a devotee,” and she said, “Yes, yes. It’s so wonderful to see a devotee here.” And I asked, “How did you become a devotee?” She said, “The first time I met devotees was when I met Prabhupada on an airplane. I was a stewardess.”

So, this was the woman—ten years after she took the maha-prasada. Then she met devotees again and got a book and that was it. That was the beginning of her spiritual life. Just seeing what Prabhupada has done, it’s mind-boggling to understand how Prabhupada has made devotees, and it just goes on and on.

Prime Minister of India – Janmastami Message to Iskcon
→ Dandavats

The auspicious festival of Krishna Janmashtami holds a distinct place in our socio-cultural ethos. It also holds a special place among various celebrations of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) not just within the country, but across the world. What is particularly heart-warming to note is that this ycar’s Janmashtami celebrations become even more

Janmashtami Celebrations Beginning Worldwide

4000+ devotees gathered in Radhadesh, Belgium. From Vrindavan to Vancouver, Belgium to Bangkok, New York to New Delhi, hundreds of thousands of Krishna devotees are beginning to gather at ISKCON temples and centers worldwide to celebrate Sri Krishna Janmashtami. ISKCON devotees first celebrated the festival with Srila Prabhupada at the New York storefront in 1966. […]

The post Janmashtami Celebrations Beginning Worldwide appeared first on ISKCON News.