Mother’s Day
Giriraj Swami

“There are very exalted spiritual understandings in Krishna consciousness. They are not fictional, imaginary, or concocted. They are facts, and every devotee can have the privilege to understand and indeed take part in Krishna’s pastimes if he is actually advanced. We should not think that the privilege given to Mother Yasoda is not available to us. Everyone can have a similar privilege. If one loves Krishna as one’s child, then one will have such a privilege, because the mother has the most love for the child. Even in this material world, there is no comparison to a mother’s love, for a mother loves her child without any expectation of return. Of course, although that is generally true, this material world is so polluted that a mother sometimes thinks, ‘My child will grow up and become a man, and when he earns money, I shall get it.’ Thus there may still be some desire to get something in exchange. But while loving Krishna there are no selfish feelings, for that love is unalloyed, free from all desires for material gain.

“You should not expect anything in return. That is real love. Just like a mother is loving her child, not expecting any return. But she still she gives service. So, that is as a little sample of pure love.”

—Srila Prabhupada, talk on Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.8.31, April 23, 1973, Los Angeles, and room conversation, July 13, 1976, New York

Happy Mother’s Day!

Hare Krishna.

Your grateful servant,
Giriraj Swami

Construction of a New 100-Bed Hospital in Mayapur Is Progressing Nicely

Thousands of devotees live partially or full-time in Mayapur, India, the international headquarters for ISKCON; hence, a very well-equipped hospital is a grave need that has been felt by residents and visiting devotees alike. Therefore, in 2022, ISKCON Mayapur began construction of a new 100-bed multi-speciality hospital on Bhaktisiddhanta Road, adjacent to the existing hospital […]

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Gopal’s Glorious Gang hosts over 100 children for a Bhakti Boost Camp in Australia

On April 21-23rd, Gopal’s Glorious Gang (GGG), a children’s club in Brisbane, Australia, gathered over 100 children (ages 4-16) at Tyalgum Ridge Retreat Centre, New South Wales, for a Bhakti Boost Camp. Gauranga Darshan Das, a well-known educator and author of over 30 books, was a featured guest. Fifteen volunteers and parents helped to organize […]

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Woodworker and Sugarmaker Dovetails His Gifts into Sweet Devotional Service

Terms like “dovetailing” and “extracting sweetness” aren’t uncommon terms for a skilled woodworker and maple sugar producer Bhakta Michael Gray, but he never expected they would also describe his spiritual journey. Gray, a resident of the Adirondacks of New York, holds a graduate degree in biology, where his research focused on stream ecology and aquatic […]

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The Kadamba Foundation: A Lasting Legacy for Spreading Krishna Consciousness

The Kadamba Foundation, a registered charity founded by His Holiness Kadamba Kanana Swami, focuses on fundraising for South African-African preaching projects and more opportunities for Africans to embrace Krishna consciousness. The foundation’s main objective is to publish, promote, and distribute new books and music while also republishing existing Kadamba Kanana Swami publications worldwide. The foundation […]

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Govinda’s Restaurant in Tucson Welcomes Ten Buddhist Monks

On May 9th, a group of nine monks from Vietnam visited Govinda’s Restaurant in Tucson for lunch. While on a tour of North America, these traditional vegetarian monks found the temple’s restaurant via Google, which rated it the #1 Vegan/Vegetarian restaurant in the city.  This traveling band was familiar with Govinda’s restaurants through their worldwide travels. […]

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The Inner Life of a Yogi (video)
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Sacinandana Swami Interview – The Inner Life of a Yogi (video)
How to embody joy / rewiring oneself / dead practice vs living practice / aligning body, mind & emotions / Western yoga’s need to go deeper / the sadhu in the storm / traveling the path of absorption / the mantra is imbued with spiritual potencies / Philosophy, People, Practice / the prayer of Vritrasura.


Secret Behind the Secret
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Jadu Thakur Prabhu a devotee in the Brahamchari Trainee group of Sri Sri Radha Gopinath Mandir, Chowpatty recalls this interesting experience from last year’s Marathon: I was distributing books in the train with Pitambar Prabhu, when I saw this man reading a book. He was so absorbed in reading that he just looked up for

Apara Ekadasi and the TOVP, 2023 – May 15 Worldwide

Apara Ekadasi is observed on the 11th day of the Krishna Paksha (dark fortnight of the moon) in the Vedic month of Jyeshtha. It corresponds to the months of May-June in the Gregorian calendar. It is understood that by observing Apara Ekadasi vrata all the sins of the person will be washed away. This Ekadasi is also popular by the name of ‘Achla Ekadasi’ and gives divine and auspicious results. Like all ekadasis, the Apara Ekadasi is also dedicated to worshipping Lord Vishnu.

We encourage devotees to also take advantage of this auspicious day to contribute according to their means to the TOVP. Particluarly at this time we are focusing on the completion of the Nrsimhadeva Wing of the temple by October, 2023. Please consider giving $25 or more during the Give To Nrsimha 2023 Fundraiser for this purpose.

  NOTE: Apara Ekadasi is observed on May 15 worldwide. Please refer to your local calendar through

  View, download and share the TOVP 2022 Calendar​.


The Glories of Apara Ekadasi

from the Brahmanda Purana

Sri Yudhishthira Maharaj said, “Oh Janardana, what is the name of the Ekadasi that occurs during the dark fortnight (krishna paksha) of the month of Jyeshtha (May – June)? I wish to hear from You the glories of this sacred day of Hari. Please narrate everything to me”.

Lord Sri Krishna said, “Oh king, your inquiry is wonderful because the answer will benefit the whole human society. This Ekadasi is so sublime and meritorious that even the greatest sins can be erased by its purity.”

“Oh great saintly king, the name of this unlimitedly meritorious Ekadasi is Apara Ekadasi. Whoever fasts on this holy day becomes famous all over the universe. Even such sins as killing a brahmana, a cow, or an embryo; blasphemy; or having sex with another man’s wife are completely eradicated by observing Apara Ekadasi.

Oh King, people who bear false witness are most sinful. A person who falsely or sarcastically glorifies another; one who cheats while weighing something on a scale; one who fails to execute the duties of his varna or ashrama (an unqualified man’s posing as a brahmin, for example, or a person’s reciting the Vedas wrongly); one who invents his own scriptures; one who cheats others; one who is a charlatan astrologer, a cheating accountant, or a false Ayurvedic doctor.

All these are surely as bad as persons who bears false witness, and they are all destined for hellish punishments. But simply by observing Apara Ekadasi, all such sinners become completely free of their sinful reactions.

Warriors who fall from their kshatriya-dharma and flee the battlefield go to a ferocious hell. But, Oh Yudhishthira, even such a fallen kshatriya, if he observes fasting on the Apara Ekadasi, is freed of that great sinful reaction and goes to heaven. That disciple is the greatest sinner who, after receiving a proper spiritual education from his spiritual master, turns around and blasphemes him. Such a so-called disciple suffers unlimitedly. But even he, rascal though he be, if he simply observes Apara Ekadasi, can attain to the spiritual world.

Listen, Oh king, as I describe to you further glories of this amazing Ekadasi. The merit attained by one who performs all of the following acts of piety is equal to the merit achieved by one who observes Apara Ekadasi:

Bathing three times daily in Pushkara-kshetra during Kartika (October-November); bathing at Prayag in the month of Magh (January-February) when the sun is in the zodiac of Capricorn; rendering service to Lord Shiva at Varanasi (Benares) during Shiva-ratri; offering oblations to one’s forefathers at Gaya; bathing in the sacred Gautami River when Jupiter transits Leo (Simha); having darshan of Lord Shiva at Kedarnatha; seeing Lord Badrinath when the Sun transits the sign of Aquarius (Kumbha); and bathing at the time of a solar eclipse at Kurukshetra and giving cows, elephants, and gold there in charity.

All the merit one gets from performing these pious acts is gained by a person who observes the Apara Ekadasi fast. Also, the merit attained by one who donates a pregnant cow, along with gold and fertile land, is attained by one who fasts on this day. In other words, Apara Ekadasi is an axe that cuts down the fully matured forest full of trees of sinful deeds, it is a forest fire that burns sins as if they were kindling firewood, it is the sun blazing before one’s dark misdeeds, and it is a lion stalking the meek deer of impiety.

Therefore, Oh Yudhishthira, whoever truly fears his past and present sins must observe Apara Ekadasi very strictly. One who does not observe this fast must be born again in the material world, like one bubble among millions in a huge body of water, or like a small ant among all other species. Therefore one must faithfully observe the sacred Apara Ekadasi and worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Trivikrama. One who does so is freed of all his sins and promoted to the abode of Lord Vishnu.

Oh Bharata, for the benefit of all humanity I have thus described to you the importance of the holy Apara Ekadasi. Anyone who hears or reads this description is certainly freed from all kinds of sins, oh best of saintly kings, Yudhishthira.

Thus ends the narration of the glories of Jyeshtha-krishna Ekadasi, or Apara Ekadasi, from the Brahmanda Purana.

It is on Apara Ekadashi that Lord Trivikrama (Vamana) took away the whole universe from Bali Maharaja with His gigantic steps and blessed him by placing His lotus foot on Bali’s head.


  1. Pushkara-kshetra, in western India, is the only place on Earth where a bonafide temple of Lord Brahma is to be found.
  2. The Vedas declare, narah budbuda samah: “The human form of life is like a bubble in water”.

In water, many bubbles form and then suddenly burst a few seconds later. Thus if a person does not utilize his rare human body to serve the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna, his life has no more value or permanence than a bubble in water. Therefore, as the Lord herein recommends, we should serve Him by fasting on Hari-vasara, or Ekadasi.

In this regard, Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada writes in the Srimad Bhagavatam (SB 2:1:4 purport) :

“The great ocean of material nature is tossing with the waves of time, and the so-called living conditions are something like foaming bubbles, which appear before us as bodily self, wife, children, society, countrymen, etc. Due to a lack of knowledge of self, we become victimized by the force of ignorance and thus spoil the valuable energy of human life in a vain search after permanent living conditions, which are impossible in this material world.”

Credits: This article has been used courtesy of ISKCON Desire Tree




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International Nurses Day
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Sukanti Radha dasi International Nurses Day is celebrated around the world every May 12, the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth. The International Theme for this year is “Our Nurses. Our Future.”. This global campaign sets out what we want for nursing in the future in order to address the global health challenges and improve global