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By Bhakti Charu Swami Samadhi Committee

Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Charu Swāmī Triobhava Mahotsava 

"He lives forever by his divine instructions and the follower lives with him."

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July 18-24, 2021


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Sri Guru Purnima by Giriraj Swami


Today is Guru-purnima. Srila Prabhupada has explained that the system of honoring the spiritual master is current in all sections of Vedic followers. In the Mayavadi (impersonalist) sects, the disciples offer respect to the spiritual master once a year, on Guru-purnima. And in the Gaudiya Vaishnava sampradaya, the disciples offer homage annually on the appearance day of the spiritual master, called Vyasa-puja because the spiritual master represents Vedavyasa, the empowered incarnation of Krishna who compiled the Vedic literatures, and the bona fide spiritual master presents the same knowledge through disciplic succession. Yet although Guru-purnima is generally observed by the Mayavadi groups, we shall take the opportunity to discuss the principle of guru—and glorify the acharya-sampradaya.

Guru is a deep subject. We sing, vande ’ham sri-guroh sri-yuta-pada-kamalam sri-gurun vaisnavams ca. We offer respects to the spiritual master in singular, to the spiritual masters in plural, and to all Vaishnavas. The singular spiritual master is our personal spiritual master, the plural spiritual masters are the predecessor acharyas, and the Vaishnavas are the followers of the spiritual master. We offer respects to them all, because they all come in the same line, the disciplic succession (parampara) from Krishna Himself.

Srila Prabhupada explains, “The offering of respect to the spiritual master means offering respect to all the previous acharyas. Gurun means plural number. All the acharyas, they are not different from one another, because they are coming in the disciplic succession from the original spiritual master and they have no different views.” Thus we offer respects to the predecessors.

Similarly, we offer respects to the followers. Srila Prabhupada explains further, “Spiritual master means they must have many followers, who are all Vaishnavas. They are called prabhus, and the spiritual master is called Prabhupada, because at his lotus feet there are many prabhus. Pada means ‘lotus foot.’ All these Vaishnavas are prabhus. So they are also offered respectful obeisances—not the spiritual master alone, but along with his associates. And these associates, his disciples, are all Vaishnavas. Therefore they should also be offered respectful obeisances.” (SP comment on Mangalacarana, January 8, 1969)

For us in ISKCON, Srila Prabhupada is the main guru; he is the founder-acharya. But he also has his associates—Srila Gour Govinda Swami Maharaja, Srila Tamal Krishna Goswami Maharaja, Srila Sridhar Swami, Srila Bhakti Tirtha Swami, Srila Bhaktisvarupa Damodara Swami—to name some prominent ones who have departed. And, of course, Prabhupada is being served by so many others today, and we can serve and learn from all of them.

“One who teaches can be treated as spiritual master. . . . So if we take instruction from them, all senior godbrothers may be treated as guru. There is no harm. Actually, you have only one spiritual master, who initiates you, just as you have only one father. But every Vaishnava should be treated as prabhu, master, higher than me, and in this sense, if I learn from him, he may be regarded as guru.” (SP letter dated November 20, 1971)

The original guru is Krishna. He speaks the knowledge of Bhagavad-gita and enunciates the principles of religion. Dharmam tu saksad bhagavat-pranitam: the principles of dharma—bhagavata-dharma, prema-dharma—are enacted by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. We cannot manufacture dharma. In reality, dharma means “the laws of God,” or “the orders of God.” So, dharmam tu saksad bhagavat-pranitam: the principles of religion are enacted by the Lord Himself. We cannot make religious principles any more than we can make our own laws. Srila Prabhupada gave the example that you can’t just get together with some friends and pass your own laws. “Okay, now I think we should legalize marijuana. Everyone agree? Good. Passed.” Law means that it must be enacted by the government, by the parliament or legislature. Similarly, dharma is enacted by God.

dharmam tu saksad bhagavat-pranitam
na vai vidur rsayo napi devah
na siddha-mukhya asura manusyah
  kuto nu vidyadhara-caranadayah

“Real religious principles are enacted by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Although fully situated in the mode of goodness, even the great rsis who occupy the topmost planets cannot ascertain the real religious principles, nor can the demigods or the leaders of Siddhaloka, to say nothing of the asuras, ordinary human beings, Vidyadharas, and Caranas.” (SB 6.3.19)

The conclusion of the Bhagavad-gita is sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja—to give up all varieties of dharma and just surrender to Krishna. And to understand the confidential truths about religious principles and the knowledge of the Bhagavad-gita, we need the help of mahajanas, authorities in Krishna consciousness—gurus.

svayambhur naradah sambhuh
  kumarah kapilo manuh
prahlado janako bhismo
  balir vaiyasakir vayam

 dvadasaite vijanimo
  dharmam bhagavatam bhatah
guhyam visuddham durbodham
  yam jnatvamrtam asnute

“Lord Brahma, Bhagavan Narada, Lord Siva, the four Kumaras, Lord Kapila [the son of Devahuti], Svayambhuva Manu, Prahlada Maharaja, Janaka Maharaja, Grandfather Bhisma, Bali Maharaja, Sukadeva Gosvami, and I myself [Yamaraja] know the real religious principle. My dear servants, this transcendental religious principle, which is known as bhagavata-dharma, or surrender unto the Supreme Lord and love for Him, is uncontaminated by the material modes of nature. It is very confidential and difficult for ordinary human beings to understand, but if by chance one fortunately understands it, he is immediately liberated, and thus he returns home, back to Godhead.” (SB 6.3.20–21)

This confidential knowledge is given by God in scriptures and passed down through disciplic succession (evam parampara-praptam) to great souls who in turn impart the knowledge to their eager followers. And of all scriptures, Srimad-Bhagavatam is considered the most important, the ripened fruit of the tree of Vedic knowledge.

nigama-kalpa-taror galitam phalam
  suka-mukhad amrta-drava-samyutam
pibata bhagavatam rasam alayam
  muhur aho rasika bhuvi bhavukah

“O expert and thoughtful men, relish Srimad-Bhagavatam, the mature fruit of the desire tree of Vedic literatures. It emanated from the lips of Sri Sukadeva Gosvami. Therefore this fruit has become even more tasteful, although its nectarean juice was already relishable for all, including liberated souls.” (SB 1.1.3)

This nectarean fruit is passed down to us through disciplic succession. In commenting on this verse, Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura gives the example of a mango tree. To get a ripe mango from the top of a tree, different boys climb onto different branches. The boy at the top plucks the fruit and hands it to the boy on the next branch down, that boy hands it to the one on the next branch, and so on, until finally it reaches the boy on the ground—in the same perfect condition as when it was at the top of the tree. It hasn’t been bruised or broken but has been delivered intact, just as it was.

At the top of the tree is Krishna, and He passes the knowledge down to Brahma. Brahma passes it to Narada, and Narada passes it to Vyasa. (Today is also called Vyasa Purnima because Vyasadeva, who compiled the Vedic literature, appeared on this date.) Vyasa passes it to Madhvacharya, and so on—Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the Six Gosvamis, and, further down, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji Maharaja, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, and Srila Prabhupada. And now the followers of Srila Prabhupada are presenting the same knowledge. They follow and present the same teachings—that is their qualification.

About Vedavyasa, Srila Prabhupada wrote: “Vyasadeva was a real person accepted by all authorities, and anyone can judge how wonderful he was to have compiled the Vedic literatures. He is therefore known as Mahamuni. Muni means ‘thoughtful’ or ‘great thinker’ or ‘great poet,’ and maha means still greater. There is no comparison of Vyasadeva with any other writer or thinker or philosopher. Nobody can estimate the scholarly importance of Srila Vyasadeva. He composed many millions of Sanskrit verses, and we try to receive just a fragment of the knowledge in them by our tiny efforts. Srila Vyasadeva therefore summarized the whole Vedic knowledge in Srimad-Bhagavatam, which is known as the ripened fruit of the desire tree of Vedic knowledge. The ripened fruit is received hand to hand through disciplic succession, and anyone who does this work in disciplic succession from Srila Vyasadeva is considered a representative of Vyasadeva, and as such the bona fide spiritual master’s appearance day is worshiped as Vyasa-puja.” (Srila Prabhupada letter dated August 25, 1970)

Not only is today Vyasa-purnima, the appearance day of Vedavyasa, but it is also the disappearance day of Srila Sanatana Gosvami, the most senior of the Six Gosvamis of Vrindavan. His book Brhad-Bhagavatamrta was the first major work of the Six Gosvamis. Sanatana Gosvami also comes in the disciplic succession from Lord Krishna to Brahma, but he is especially significant because he is a direct follower of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who is Krishna Himself. Because Lord Chaitanya is Krishna, He is capable of beginning His own disciplic succession, but because He was acting as a devotee, He chose to take initiation in the disciplic succession from Krishna and Brahma. Still, He is God, and the process by which He imparted knowledge to His immediate followers—Rupa and Sanatana Gosvamis—is comparable to the way Lord Krishna imparted knowledge to Brahma. Srila Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami, in his Caitanya-caritamrta, writes of Sanatana’s younger brother Rupa:

vrndavaniyam rasa-keli-vartam
  kalena luptam nija-saktim utkah
sancarya rupe vyatanot punah sa
  prabhur vidhau prag iva loka-srstim

“Before the creation of this cosmic manifestation, the Lord enlightened the heart of Lord Brahma with the details of the creation and manifested the Vedic knowledge. In exactly the same way, the Lord, being anxious to revive the Vrndavana pastimes of Lord Krsna, impregnated the heart of Rupa Gosvami with spiritual potency. By this potency, Srila Rupa Gosvami could revive the activities of Krishna in Vrndavana, activities almost lost to memory. In this way, He spread Krishna consciousness throughout the world.” (Cc Madhya 19.1) Lord Chaitanya also empowered him to write books on bhakti-yoga, and the same could be said about Sanatana Gosvami.

We are followers of the Six Gosvamis—followers of their followers. Srila Narottama dasa Thakura prays,

ei chaya gosai yara-mui tara dasa
tan’-sabara pada-renu mora panca-grasa

“I am the servant of that person who is a servant of the Six Gosvamis. The dust of their holy feet is my five kinds of foodstuffs.”


tandera carana sevi-bhakta-sane vasa
janame janame hoy ei abhilasa

“This is my desire, that birth after birth I may live with those devotees who serve the lotus feet of the Six Gosvamis.”

A few weeks ago we were fortunate to have four devotees from Dallas, disciples of Tamal Krishna Goswami, visit us in Santa Barbara—Dharma Prabhu and his wife, Urjesvari; her sister, Saibya; and Padma Mataji. Mayapur dasa, Sridhar Swami’s personal servant for many years, was also with us. So we thought it a good occasion to glorify these two stalwart servants of Srila Prabhupada, these two powerful preachers, Tamal Krishna Goswami and Sridhar Swami. And it was very enlivening and purifying. All of the devotees spoke so beautifully—each and every one—and one could really feel Tamal Krishna Goswami’s and Sridhar Swami’s presence and really feel united with Srila Prabhupada and his associates. His Holiness Niranjana Swami also spoke beautifully and led kirtan.

Although we are all godbrothers in that we were all initiated by Srila Prabhupada, still, among Srila Prabhupada’s disciples, there are some who were—and are—leading the movement and showing the way for others to follow. Certainly His Holiness Tamal Krishna Goswami was a great pioneer, and His Holiness Sridhar Swami and the others I mentioned. And even now devotees are following Srila Prabhupada and leading us and showing us the way. We also are trying to make our little contributions, but still, there are some who are ahead of us, showing the way and making it easier for us to follow. And that is natural; it will always be that way.

At the same time, it is also very personal and individual—through whom Krishna speaks to whom. It is not that everyone has to follow only one particular person. Krishna can manifest Himself—Srila Prabhupada can manifest himself—through different servants, different Vaishnavas, and we should be open to that flow of mercy however, and through whomever, it comes. It is not stereotyped or fixed or rigid. That mercy can come in different ways, and we should be open to it. That is really the principle of guru: Krishna’s instructions come to us through some servant of Krishna, some representative of Krishna—and it is not limited to only one. Krishna can speak to us through many mouths, through many personalities, and we should be open to that guidance. We should take His instructions on our head and follow them. That is how Krishna guides the conditioned souls back home, back to Godhead. He can engage any number of His servants to help us; and God knows we need all the help we can get. So we shouldn’t be sectarian. We shouldn’t cut ourselves off from any flow of mercy that may come to us by the arrangement of the Lord, or the arrangement of Srila Prabhupada, or the arrangement of any of our spiritual masters.

I always think of the example of Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, because he had so many gurus. Of course, he was a direct associate of Lord Chaitanya Himself, but even then, he was helped by so many well-wishers and guides. First, He was initiated by Yadunandana Acharya, Raghunatha’s family’s spiritual master. Yadunandana Acharya himself was a great Vaishnava, an initiated disciple of Advaita Acharya and an intimate student of Vasudeva Datta. And Balarama Acharya, a dear associate of Haridasa Thakura, was Raghunatha’s family’s priest. Raghunatha learned from him too. Balarama Acharya and Yadunandana Acharya were friends, and both used to host Haridasa Thakura at their homes. For some time, Balarama Acharya provided Haridasa with a thatched hut and prasada, and at that time, while still a student, Raghunatha visited Haridasa Thakura daily, and it is said that because of the mercy Haridasa showed him then, Raghunatha later attained the mercy of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Once, Balarama Acharya invited Haridasa Thakura to speak in the assembly of Raghunatha’s family, the Majumadaras, and thus Raghunatha heard from him again, about the glories of the holy name.

Eventually Raghunatha dasa met Nityananda Prabhu at Panihati and got His benediction to become free from all obstacles and attain shelter at the lotus feet of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Soon, Raghunatha escaped from home, traveled by foot to Puri, and attained the merciful shelter of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu—by the mercy of Nityananda Prabhu. Then Chaitanya Mahaprabhu entrusted Raghunatha dasa to Svarupa Damodara Gosvami: “I entrust Raghunatha to you. Please accept him as your son or servant.” Raghunatha was very young then, only about twenty-two. Then the Lord took Raghunatha’s hand and personally placed him in the hands of Svarupa Damodara Gosvami. And so Raghunatha became Svarupa Damodara’s assistant. Svarupa Damodara was Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s secretary, and Raghunatha dasa in effect became assistant secretary.

After Chaitanya Mahaprabhu left this world, followed by Svarupa Damodara and almost all of His other intimate associates, Raghunatha dasa felt bereft: “I am all alone. There is no reason to live. How can I live without my prabhus, without all of my masters?”

Raghunatha dasa felt so much separation that he decided to go to Vrindavan to see the lotus feet of Rupa and Sanatana and then give up his life by jumping from Govardhana Hill. But the two brothers did not allow him to die. They prevailed upon him to stay with them and speak about Mahaprabhu’s later pastimes. “You should not give up your life,” they told him. “You were with Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in Puri and were witness to so many of His intimate pastimes. You should stay with us and tell us about your experiences with Him.” And they accepted him as their third brother.

Especially Sanatana Gosvami gave him shelter and took care of him. At first, when Raghunatha dasa Gosvami was doing bhajana at Radha-kunda, he didn’t have any residence. And while doing his bhajana, he was pretty much oblivious to everything else. He would chant, but sometimes he could hardly chant, because he would go into a trance. Still, he did chant at least one lakh names every day. But it could happen that he would chant one name and then go into a deep trance, and the pastimes of Krishna would play in his mind. Like that, one day he was chanting Krishna’s name and remembering Krishna’s pastimes and the hot sun was beating down on his head. Srimati Radharani Herself then came and held a cloth over his head, but Raghunatha dasa Gosvami didn’t know it, because he was in deep meditation. But Sanatana Gosvami understood, and he personally built a bhajana-kutira for him. He took care of him in every respect.

In his book Vilapa-kusumanjali, Raghunatha dasa Gosvami begins by offering respects to his gurus. In Sanskrit devotional works, authors begin by offering respects to their gurus and worshipable Deities. So at the beginning he offers respects to Sanatana Gosvami:

vairagya-yug-bhakti-rasam prayatnair
  apayayan mam anabhipsum andham
krpambudhir yah para-duhkha-duhkhi
  sanatanas tam prabhum asrayami

“I was unwilling to drink the nectar of devotional service possessed of renunciation, but Sanatana Gosvami, out of his causeless mercy, made me drink it, even though I was otherwise unable to do so. Therefore he is an ocean of mercy. He is very compassionate to fallen souls like me, and thus it is my duty to offer my respectful obeisances unto his lotus feet.” (Vilapa-kusumanjali 6)

In this verse, Raghunatha dasa Gosvami describes Sanatana Gosvami with a phrase that Srila Prabhupada often quoted (for all compassionate Vaishnavas): para-duhkha-duhkhi—“he felt sorrow in the sorrow of others.” Raghunatha dasa says, vairagya-yug-bhakti-rasam prayatnair—he gave me the nectar of devotional service enriched with renunciation; anabhipsum andham—but I was unwilling (anabhipsum) to drink it, because I was blind (andham) to my spiritual well-being; so apayayan mam—he forced me to drink it. Sanatana Gosvami is an ocean of mercy (krpambudhi), and therefore I offer my respectful obeisances to him. I take shelter of him, my master (prabhum asrayami).

Srila Prabhupada paraphrased this verse in composing a verse to honor his sannyasa-guru, Srila Bhaktiprajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja. He used almost the same words. The idea is that it is very hard to become free from the shackles of family life. Of course, one can be a pure devotee in the grihastha-ashrama—that is another thing—but to preach, sannyasa may be advised.

As Srila Prabhupada describes it, he was having dreams—in modern psychological language one might say recurring nightmares—that his guru maharaja was calling him to follow him and preach. And as Prabhupada describes it, he would wake up horrified: “How can I take sannyasa and become a mendicant? How can I leave my wife and children? What will happen then?” It’s a long story, but eventually Prabhupada accepted vanaprastha. He went to Jhansi and began the League of Devotees there. But there was some politics. The wife of the governor wanted the property that Srila Prabhupada had been using for the League of Devotees. She made all efforts to get it for some ladies’ program, and because she was so influential Prabhupada decided not to fight against her. So he left and went to Mathura, where he stayed in the matha of his godbrother Bhaktiprajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja. And Kesava Maharaja insisted, “You must take sannyasa.” To fully take up the order of the spiritual master and preach, one must accept the renounced order of life. And Prabhupada did it. He took sannyasa.

Then, in 1968—in the early days of the movement in the West—Srila Prabhupada, in Seattle, got news that His Holiness Kesava Maharaja had passed away. So he held a meeting with the disciples there and spoke about the history, how his guru maharaja and his godbrother had “forced” him to take sannyasa: “My godbrother insisted. Not he insisted—practically my spiritual master insisted through him, that ‘You accept.’ He wanted me to become a preacher, so he forced me through this godbrother: ‘You accept.’ So, unwillingly I accepted.”

Srila Prabhupada saw his guru maharaja working through his godbrother, speaking through his godbrother—another Vaishnava—and he composed this verse, very similar to the one Raghunatha dasa composed for Sanatana Gosvami—but for Kesava Maharaja. Apayayan mam anabhipsum andham. “I was unwilling to take the medicine of bhakti with detachment because I was blind. I could not see my future, that spiritual life is the brightest future. So the Vaishnavas, the spiritual master, they force: ‘You must drink.’ ” Sri-kesava-bhakti-prajnana-nama krpambudhir yas tam aham prapadye: “Sri Bhaktiprajnana Kesava is an ocean of mercy, and I offer my respectful obeisances unto him.”

So, Sanatana Gosvami was a great shelter to Vaishnavas in Vrindavan. He was not only intelligent—all the Gosvamis were most intelligent—but he was very shrewd, very clever. He understood politics and diplomacy. It is said that Rupa Gosvami was very simple but that Sanatana Gosvami was very astute; he could understand people’s motives and intentions. So he was able to protect devotees in the most practical ways, because he had that type of intelligence. And he protected Raghunatha dasa Gosvami on every level.

Then, on the day of Guru-purnima, because Sanatana Gosvami was the most senior of the Gosvamis and the siksa-guru of almost everyone in Vrindavan, the Vaishnavas went to Govardhana to offer him respects. Upon their arrival at his bhajana-kutira at Manasi-ganga, they saw that he was in a trance. He didn’t move at all, and they didn’t want to disturb him. So they waited.

Eventually they understood that he had left, and they all were overwhelmed with separation. They took him on parikrama of Govardhana Hill—he had done parikrama of Govardhana Hill faithfully every day. Then they weren’t sure where to place his body. Jiva Gosvami, who was the leader after Sanatana, decided that they should bring him back to Vrindavan, close to the temple of the Deity of Madana-mohana, who was so dear to him. And that took place on Guru-purnima.

We can see how the devotees helped each other—everyone helped everyone. In Sri Caitanya-caritamrta we find that all the Vaishnavas were always helping each other, and we should learn from their example. We should develop that mood. Of course, help can come in different ways. Sometimes it comes in terms of instruction, and sometimes it comes in practical ways, like Sanatana Gosvami’s building Raghunatha dasa Gosvami’s bhajana-kutira. These exalted devotees were always serving each other—serving Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and serving each other. And that should be our mood: to serve each other, actually help each other—and to learn from each other.

In the Eleventh Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam we learn how an avadhuta brahman took lessons from others—twenty-four siksa-gurus: from material elements, natural phenomena, plants, animals, even from a prostitute. By his intelligence, he learned from all of them, and he accepted them all as his gurus. For example, he learned from the mountain that a saintly person should devote all his efforts to the service of others and make their welfare the sole reason for his existence (as we learn from Govardhana Hill). From the python he learned that one should give up material endeavor and accept what comes of its own accord—one should remain peaceful and steady, indifferent to material gain but always alert to self-realization. He even learned from Pingala, a prostitute. Because she had no other source of income, Pingala was very anxious for customers. One night she was waiting, waiting, waiting, and still no customer came. Finally, at the end of the night, she felt disgusted with her situation and thus became detached. From Pingala he learned detachment—and attachment for the Supreme Personality of Godhead, whom she accepted as her ultimate shelter and object of love.

So we can learn from anyone and anything. If we are sincerely trying to serve Krishna and to understand how best to serve Him, the Lord in the heart will give us the intelligence of how to learn from others—even from trees and grass. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu glorified the trees and grass, for from them we learn how to be tolerant and humble. We can learn from anyone and everyone, and everything.

We can learn even from demons—and we are surrounded by them. Big business people, with their advertising and other strategies, are so clever. We should be that shrewd and clever for Krishna. Materialistic leaders figure out how to trap people in their nets and pull them in and keep them. We can learn from such powerful materialists how to attract people and keep them, for Krishna—how to be organized and intelligent, for Krishna. If we are in the proper mood, anything can remind us of devotional service and be used for Krishna’s benefit. Anyone can be a siksa-guru for us if we are absorbed in the mood of serving Krishna, fixed in Krishna consciousness.

But in particular, and especially on occasions like today, we are enjoined to offer respectful obeisances unto our diksa- and siksa-gurus in disciplic succession, from Krishna to Brahma to Narada to Vyasa, from Chaitanya Mahaprabhu to Sanatana Gosvami, from Srila Prabhupada to his followers, which includes all of you.

Thank you very much.

Hare Krishna.

[A Talk by Giriraj Swami on Guru-purnima, July 29, 2007, Dallas]


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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 bhakti pow-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.

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By Payonidhi Das

Prema vilasa about the disappearance of Srila Sanatana Goswami and how Srila Rupa Goswami was very much affected by his divine disappearance.

Srila Narrotama das Thakura has sung:

kaha mora svarupa-rupa, kaha sanatana
kaha dasa raghunatha patita-pavana (2)

2) Where are my Svarupa Damodara and Rupa Gosvami? Where is Sanatana? Where is Raghunatha Dasa, the savior of the fallen?

vairagya-yug-bhakti-rasam prayatnair
apayayan mam anabhipsum andham
kapambudhir yah para-duhkha-duhkhi
sanatanas tam prabhum asrayami

Raghunatha dasa Goswami has glorified Sanatana Goswami in his Vilapa Kusumanjali (6) “I was unwilling to drink the nectar of devotional service possessed of renunciation, but Sanatana Goswami, out of his causeless mercy, made me drink it, even though I was unable to do so. Therefore he is an ocean of mercy. He is very much compassionate to fallen souls like me, and thus it is my duty to offer my respectful obeisances unto his lotus feet and take shelter of him.”

Srila Sanatana Goswami is described in Gaura-Ganodesha-Dipika by Sri Kavi Karnapura
sa rupa-manjari-presiha
purasid rati-manjari
socyate nama-bhedena
lavanga-manjari budhaih

“Rupa Manjari’s closest friend, who was known by the names Rati-Manjari and Lavanga Manjari, appeared in the pastimes of Sri Chaitanya mahaprabhu as Sri Sanatana Goswami, who was considered to be a personal extension of the body of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.”

Lavanga Manjari is one of the asta manjaris, the main 8 manjaris assisting the asta Sakhis in service to Radha Krsna

Lavanga Manjari
In the eastern part of Sri Tungavidya’s kunja lies Lavanga-sukhada Kunja, which is very enchanting to all the beautiful-eyed gopis. In that kunja, Sri Lavanga Manjari always blissfully resides. In age, she is one day older than Sri Rupa Manjari, and she is very famous for her pleasant nature. Her complexion is like lightning, and she wears a dress marked with stars. She gives much happiness to Sri Krsna, and her nature is always daksina-mrdvi. Her age is 13 years 6 months and 1 day. In Kali-yuga, in gaura-lila, she is known as Sri Sanatana Gosvami.

In his Dhyanachandra Arcana Paddhati ,Srila Dhyanachandra Goswami has given a nice meditation on Lavanga Manjari and gayatri mantra to daily remember Lavanga Manjari

Srila Prabhupada has given us some very important knowledge about Srila Sanatana Goswami:

“Sri Sanatana Gosvami is described in the Gaura-ganoddesa-dipika (181). He was formerly known as Rati-manjari or sometimes Lavanga-manjari. In the Bhakti-ratnakara it is stated that his spiritual master, Vidyavacaspati, sometimes stayed in the village of Ramakeli, and Sanatana Gosvami studied all the Vedic literature from him. He was so devoted to his spiritual master that this cannot be described. According to the Vedic system, if someone sees a Muslim he must perform rituals to atone for the meeting. Sanatana Gosvami always associated with Muslim kings. Not giving much attention to the Vedic injunctions, he used to visit the houses of Muslim kings, and thus he considered himself to have been converted into a Muslim. He was therefore always very humble and meek. When Sanatana Gosvami presented himself before Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, he admitted, “I am always in association with lower-class people, and my behavior is therefore very abominable.” He actually belonged to a respectable brahmana family, but because he considered his behavior to be abominable, he did not try to place himself among the brahmanas but always remained among people of the lower castes. He wrote the Hari-bhakti-vilasa and Vaisnava-tosani, which is a commentary on the Tenth Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam. In the year 1476 Sakabda (A.D. 1555) he completed the Brhad-vaisnava-tosani commentary on Srimad-Bhagavatam. In the year 1504 Sakabda (A.D. 1583) he finished the Laghu-tosani.”
Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi lila 10:84

“In the First Wave of the book known as Bhakti-ratnakara, it is said that Sanatana Gosvami understood Srimad-Bhagavatam by thorough study and explained it in his commentary known as Vaisnava-tosani. All the knowledge that Sri Sanatana Gosvami and Rupa Gosvami directly acquired from Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was broadcast all over the world by their expert service. Sanatana Gosvami gave his Vaisnava-tosani commentary to Srila Jiva Gosvami for editing, and Srila Jiva Gosvami edited this under the name of Laghu-tosani. Whatever he immediately put down in writing was finished in the year 1476 Saka (A.D. 1555). Srila Jiva Gosvami completed Laghu-tosani in the year Sakabda 1504 (A.D. 1583).”
Caitanya-caritamrta, Madyam lila 1:35

The Sanatana Siksa, Lord Caitanyas instructions to Srila Sanatana Goswami are found in the Caitanya Caritamrta and is proper to study on this holy day of his Divine Disapperance:
CC Madhya lila Chapter 20
CC Madhya lila Chapter 21
CC Madhya lila chapter 22
CC Madhya lila chapter 23
CC madhya lila Chapter 24

If one reads and carefully understands this Sanatana Siksa one will advance in KC:

Srila Krsna das Kaviraja has stated:
CC Madhya 24.346: Thus I have narrated Lord Caitanya’s mercy upon Sanātana Gosvāmī. When one hears these topics, one’s heart will be cleansed of all contamination.

CC Madhya 24.351: I have thus explained the mercy bestowed on Sanātana Gosvāmī by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. If one hears this description, all moroseness in the heart will diminish.
CC Madhya 24.352: By reading these instructions to Sanātana Gosvāmī, one will become fully aware of Lord Kṛṣṇa’s various expansions and the process of devotional service according to the regulative principles and spontaneous love. Thus everything can be fully known.
CC Madhya 24.353: By reading these instructions, a pure devotee can understand love of Kṛṣṇa, the mellows of devotional service and the conclusion of devotional service. Everyone can understand all these things to their ultimate end by studying these instructions.
CC Madhya 24.354: The conclusion of these instructions can be known to one whose life and soul are the lotus feet of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, Nityānanda Prabhu and Advaita Prabhu.

Srila Sanatana Goswami asked Lord Caitanya to bless him to realize all these instructions:

CC Madhya 23.122: “If You want to make a lame man like me dance, kindly bestow Your transcendental blessings by placing Your lotus feet on my head.
CC Madhya 23.123: “Now, will You please tell me, ‘Let whatever I have instructed all be fully manifested unto you.’ By blessing me in this way, You will give me strength to describe all this.”
CC Madhya 23.124: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu then placed His hand on Sanātana Gosvāmī’s head and blessed him, saying, “Let all these instructions be manifested to you.”

And CC Madhya lila chapter is Lord Caitanya explaining the atmarama vers to Sanatana Goswami

ātmārāmāś ca munayo
nirgranthā apy urukrame
kurvanty ahaitukīḿ bhaktim
ittham-bhūta-guṇo hariḥ

“‘Those who are self-satisfied and unattracted by external material desires are also attracted to the loving service of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, whose qualities are transcendental and whose activities are wonderful. Hari, the Personality of Godhead, is called Kṛṣṇa because He has such transcendentally attractive features.’
SB 1.7.10

CC Madhya 25.3: Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu instructed Śrī Sanātana Gosvāmī in all the conclusions of devotional service for two consecutive months.

Lord Caitanya made Sanatana Goswami the Sambhandha Guru, and he later established the worship of Radha Madan Mohan in Vrindavan.

May Srila Sanatana Goswami in his Nitya Svarupa as Lavanga Manjari mercifully bless us with the dust of her lotusfeet so we can also understand this Sanatana Siksa.
Srila Prabhupada has also given a summary of this in his “Teachings of Lord Caitanya”.
The books of Sanatana Goswami are many ,and by carefully studying and accepting the teachings he has left without mundane interpretation,we will advance nicely in our eternal relationship of service to Lord Caitanya and Radha Krsna.
In Vrindavana there is a festival in honor of Sanatana Goswami called Guru Purnima on this holy day at the Radha Madan Mohan temple


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Guru (Vyasa) Purnima


The appearance anniversary of Srila Vyasadeva, the compiler of the Vedic literature.

This event really is directed towards Srila Vyasadeva, thus in some sampradayas they refer to Guru Purnima as Vyasa Purnima. Traditionally it is the day when the guru is worshipped.

In the book Festivals, Fairs and Fasts of India (Shakti M Gupta. 1991. Clarion books. page 88-89.) It says: Guru Purnima "……is observed on the full moon day in the month of Ashadha in honour of the sage Vyasa, by keeping a fast, worshippig him for His blessings and to gain wisdom. Formerly on this day, gurus who were the traditional teachers, were honoured by their pupils.

The river Beas is believed to have been so named as Vyasa practiced penance on its banks and compiled the four Vedas, the Mahabharat and the Eighteen Purana there. Since it is not possible for one man to have compiled so much in his life-time, and oer a tim span of a hundred years, it is believed that the name Vyasa must have been applied to many sages. Generally speaking, the name Veda Vyasa is applied to Krishna Dwaipayana who was the son of Satyavati and the sage Parasa – this is before Satyavati married King Shantanu of Mahabharata fame."
Some Brief Information About Srila Vyasadeva.
"When the second millenium ('Dwarpa Yuga') overlapped the third ('Treta Yuga'), the great sage Srila Vyasadeva was born to Parasara Muni in the womb of Satyati, the daughter of Vasu (the fisherman)."
(Srimad Bhagavatam 1:4:14.).
In Srila Vyasa's childhood he was called Krsna, because of his dark complexion, and because he was born on an island at the confluence of the Sati and Mati Rivers he was called Dwaipayana. After dividing the Vedas he got the name Veda Vyasa. There are some who say that Krsnadwaipayana Veda Vyasa took his birth at a place now known as Vyasa Goofer, the cave of Srila Vyasa in present day Nepal, on the road from Pokara to Kathmandu which was, in days of yore, part of the kingdom of King Janaka. There are local records that support this statement, which say this was the 'ashrama' of Parasara Muni and at this place Srila Vyasa was conceived. They also lay claim that later Srila Vyasa came back to that 'ashrama' and stayed there for some time, and this being why there is a small Deity of Him at the entrance of the cave. The Padma Purana however says that he was conceived on an island created by Parasara in the Yamuna river, (Padmalocana Prabhu's book entitled "Yamuna Devi, The Personification Of Prema Bhakti", Page 24.), in connection with the place known as Soma Tirtha ghat. Some also say that the birth place was at Damauli.
Anyway, everyone at least agrees that the date of Srila Vyasa's appearance was on the twelfth day of the light fortnight in the month of Vaisaka (April-May), called Vasant Dwadasi.
The following is the story that we just touched upon mentioning how Srila Vyasa came to make His appearance.
Once the hermit Parasara became attracted to a fisher girl of the name Matsya-Gandha who was found inside a fish. (The fish was actually a celestial maiden named Adrika who conceived two children by collecting the semen of the King of Chedi when his semen had fallen into the water of a river after seeing two animals engaged in coitus.) Parasara Muni asked the beautiful Matsya-Gandha, so named because of her fishy aroma, to take him in her boat from one side of the river to the other, but the beauty of this damsel, her bodily movements from the rowing, aroused lusty desires in Parasara. When he sat close to her she moved away, and asked him not to violate her chastity, but Parasara Muni being already too far carried away, created an artificial fog on the river and seduced her right there in the boat. He then created an island in the river and on that island the girl conceived a child in her womb. Parasara explained to her that even after the child was born she would remain a virgin and the son born to her would be a portion of Lord Visnu and would be famous throughout the three worlds. He would be a man of purity, the spiritual master of the entire world, and He would divide the Vedas.
Srila Vyasa soon grew into everything that Parasara had described, and had many disciples.
Later in life it is recorded that Srila Vyasa returned to this island in the river and there compiled the Srimad Bhagavatam. Recorded is another instance when Srila Vyasa called for Ganesa (the elephant-headed 'deva') to write the Mahabharata as he related it to him. He did so on the condition that Srila Vyasa continually recited, and Ganesa, having perfectly understood the meaning, wrote down the Mahabharata. The word "Vyasa" means one who describes elaborately.
"The great sage, Srila Vyasa who was fully equipped with knowledge, could see through his transcendental vision the deterioration of everything material, due to the influence of the age. He could also see that the faithless people in general would be reduced in duration of life and would be impatient due to lack of goodness. Then he contemplated for the welfare of men in all statuses and orders of life. He saw that the sacrifices mentioned in the Vedas were means by which people's occupations could be purified, and to simplify the process, he divided the one Veda into four, in order to expand them among men. The four divisions of the original sources of knowledge (the Vedas) were made separately, but historical facts and authentic stories mentioned in the Puranas are called the fifth Veda."(Srimad Bhagavatam 1:4:17-20.).
"Thus the great sage Srila Vyasadeva, who is very kind to the ignorant mass, edited the Vedas so they might be assimilated by less intellectual men. Still he was not satisfied, even though he was engaged in working for the total welfare of all people. Thus Srila Vyasa, being dissatisfied in heart, began to reflect within himself. 'I have, under strict disciplinary vows, unpretentiously worshipped the Vedas, the spiritual master and the altar of sacrifice. I also abided by the rulings and have shown the import of disciplic succession through the explanation of the Mahabharata, by which even women, shudras and others (friends of the twice born) can see the path of religion. I am feeling incomplete, though myself I am fully equipped with everything required by the Vedas. This may be because I did not specifically point out the devotional service of the Lord, which is dear both to perfect beings and to the infallible Lord'."
"Srila Narada Muni (who was another son of Prajapati Brahma) reached the cottage of Srila Krsna-dwaipayana Vyasa on the banks of the Sarasvati, where Srila Vyasa was staying at that time, just when Srila Vyasa was regretting his defects. At the auspicious arrival of Srila Narada, Srila Vyasadeva got up respectfully and worshipped him, giving him veneration equal to that given to Sri Brahmaji, the creator. Srila Narada then said: 'O Srila Vyasadeva, your vision is completely perfect. Your good fame is spotless. You are firm in vow and situated in truthfulness, and thus you can think of the pastimes of the Lord in trance for the liberation of the people in general from all material bondage. The people in general are naturally inclined to enjoy, and you have encouraged them in that way in the name of religion. This is verily condemned and is quite unreasonable. Because they are guided under your instructions, they will accept such activities in the name of religion and will hardly care for prohibitions.' And so Narada Muni, Srila Vyasadeva's spiritual master, instructed Srila Vyasa to compile the Maha-Bhagavat Purana (Srimad Bhagavatam) now in his maturity for the benefit of all mankind, to which Srila Vyasadeva agreed. He presented the glories of Krsna and His many incarnations just after the departure of Lord Krsna from this world. (Excerpts from Srimad Bhagavatam 1:4:24-33.).
"In this yuga the son of Parasara, who is glorified as a part of Visnu and who is known as Dvaipayana, the vanquisher of all enemies, became Srila Vyasa. Urged by Brahma, he undertook the task of classifying the Vedas. Srila Vyasa accepted four disciples to preserve and continue the Vedas. They were Jaimini who took care of the Sama Veda, Sumantu – the Atharva Veda, Vaisampayana – the Yajur Veda and Paila – the Rg Veda, and for the Itihasa and Puranas – Lomaharsana."(Sri Vayu Purana 60:10-16.).
According to Vayu Purana it says, "Previously there have been twenty-eight Vyasas, but when the twenty-eighth appears, Lord Visnu, the most Glorious, Great Father of the three worlds, becomes Dvaipayana Vyasa. Then Lord Sri Krsna, the best amongst the Yadus will be born of Vasudeva and will be known as Vasudeva. Then in due course I (Vayu) will come in the form of an ascetic and assuming the body of a religious student, will surprise the world by means of the Lord's 'yoga maya'." (Vayu Purana 23:206-208.) Actually, this is Vayudeva announcing his appearance as Sripad Madhwacarya.("The Life And Legacy of Ananda Tirtha Bhagavatpad – Madhwacarya, by Jaya Tirtha Charan dasa.)
Narayana Panditacarya has completed this seventh canto of Madhwa Vijay with a copulate of two verses called 'Antya-Yugma'. These verses introduce one to the miniature Vaikuntha realm, glorifying the killer of the Mura demon, Lord Murari, Krsna, Who is adorned with shining golden ornaments encrusted with the best of all kinds of previous gems. Sripad Madhwacarya remembered that same Lord lying down on Ananta Sesa, having His lotus feet embraced by the Goddess of Fortune, Laxmi devi, Who eternally remains with the Lord, smiling sweetly. This is the same Lord Visnu Who, for the 'caturmasya' (four months of the rainy season) takes rest, lying for two months on one side and then two months on the other side of His lotus body. He is Narayana, who according to Manu (Manu Smrti), Sri Narayana lives in the Naram ocean, and Who is also the localised Paramatma seated within the hearts of all His separated tiny living entities.
High in the Himalayan, beyond where any mere mortal can go, is to be found this Vaikuntha paradise. It is surrounded by ponds of full blown lotuses. The lotuses in these ponds are innumerable, nay unlimited, the most fragrant and indestructible. The sages and rshis who reside there make them into garlands for the Lord. Around these lakes are trees that constantly bear flowers, blossoming, sweet fragrant branches with fragrant flowers and fruits. These forest flowers adorn the captivating beauty of the Lord.
Sripad Madhwacarya could see all this from where he was standing looking to the north to the abode of Srila Vyasadeva. After his journey had neared it's end, and after crossing the Himalayas, Sripad Madhwacarya could see quite clearly the 'ashram' of Vedavyasa surrounded by jujube trees. That place is definitely not of this world; the whole 'ashram' was effulgent. Though up in the Himalayas, there was no biting cold or rain or snow. The trees and bushes there, which are way above the normal 'tree line', were none less than forests. As there was no unpleasant wind, rain or cold, also the sun was warm and comfortable. In the trees that touched the sky, innumerable beautiful birds nested and sung. Under those shade trees all the renowned 'brahmins', who were famous for performing huge sacrifices, sat, transfixed in meditation on the lotus feet of the Lord, Who resides in that place. In the surrounding areas, one could see pure white swans, whose necks entwined with the stems of blue, white and pink lotuses.
Madhwa could recognise many great and famous Vaisnavas sitting around in the ashram of Srila Vyasadeva. When those pure Vaisnavas saw Sripad Madhwacarya approach the 'ashram', they enquired as to who this saintly person was. "Marked with thirty two auspicious markings, lotus eyed, moon-like face, long arms and a golden complexion, no doubt this man enhances even Vaikuntha. There is no sign of exertion, and his face shows that his mind is fearless." "Is this person coming to this 'ashram' in the guise of a 'sannyasi', the four faced Lord Brahma, or is it Mukhyaprana?"
Madhwa walked quickly due to his intense devotion. Seated under a jujube tree was Srila Vyasadeva. The 'jujube' tree was a representation of Lord Ananta Sesa, with wide branches forming an umbrella which had jewels in the form of bright and fragrant flowers, and hoods in the form of branches. It exactly resembled Lord Ananta Sesa with His hoods encrusted with jewels jutting out in all directions forming branch-like hoods. The branches of this tree support the six 'sattvic' Puranas, the Upanishad's, and Mahabharata, and fruits that are sweet and full of nectar that drive away all known miseries like birth, death, old age and disease. These fruits cannot be obtained by those who are not devotees of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Visnu – Krsna and Their numerous forms.
Sripad Madhwacarya approached closely the sages, who, with matted locks of hair on their heads and various Vaisnava 'tilaka' on their foreheads and bodies, sat with clean white sacred threads draped over their left shoulders. They had all transcended lust, anger, greed, false pride, the pushing's of the senses, and thoughts of trying to enjoy in the material world separately from the supreme enjoyer, Sri Krsna. All natural opulence was there. They were all adorned with garlands and saffron coloured sandalwood paste was auspiciously there on their bodies.
On a raised seat sat the preceptor of the three worlds, the son of Satyavati, Srila Krsna Dwaipayana Veda Vyasa. Sripad Madhwacarya had always been meditating on the Lord of his life, his preceptor 'guru' within his heart seated on a white lotus. Now, with brimming eyes, wonder-struck as though he had just seen him for the very first time, Madhwa drank the nectar of the vision of Vyasadeva through his eyes.
Madhwa Vijay (7:18-59.), describes Vedavyasa as follows: Satyavati gave birth to that Vedavyasa after praying to Lord Brahma, and Vyasa was conceived by the sage Parasara. Srila Vyasadeva, who has an ocean of wonderful attributes, is Lord Narayana Himself. Vyasadeva's mind is compared to the milk ocean and his qualities of compassion and respect are like the Mandara mountain. By his churning appeared three mothers who were the three Vedas – Rg, Yajur and Sama. By Vyasa the father and Veda the mother, the demoniac qualities of Kali Yuga are checked. From Vyasadeva the white rayed cooling moon of the Puranas and the 'parijata' tree of the Mahabharata were given. Later, born from it's own nectar, appeared the Brahmasutras, and Srimad Bhagavatam.
From the time of the Kuruksetra / Mahabharata war, during which Vyasa bestowed his blessings on the Pandavas, and even before this time, Vyasa walked this earth to protect knowledge of the Vedas, helping those devotees who have knowledge of that person who the Vedas are centred around. That is Lord Sri Krsna, Who is known as 'Vedanta Krt', the compiler of 'Vedanta', and 'Veda Vit', the knower of the Vedas. In Bhagavad-Gita 10:37., Krsna Himself says, "Of sages I am Vyasa."
Vyasa, still living in Badrikasrama to this day for eternity with his pure devotees, it says, gave up this Kali Yuga for his Vaikuntha realm just as the sun gives up the sky for the coming of night. Vyasa is seated on an excellent blackish Krsna deer skin Madhwa recalls, as he prostrated himself at the lotus feet of Vyasa. Taking the dust from Vyasadeva's feet he placed the sacred dust upon his own head. Sripad Madhwacarya was in ecstasy, standing offering respects to Vyasa, the best of sages, whose feet are adorned with the marks of the flag, thunderbolt, goad for driving elephants, and lotus, they are naturally auspiciously tinged with red and have the repute to be red due to evaporating any material desires that may come to the minds of Vyasadeva's devotees.
The nails of those lotus feet gleam and remove darkness, both of an internal nature by their purifying association and remembrance, and externally by their bright lustre. If, by material comparison of age one would think that the old hands of the sage Vyasa would be knotted, no, they are smooth and soft, with long delicate fingers completely free from stress and diseases, such as knots coming from arthritis.
Vyasadeva's two knees, which are large, round and joined to his long shins, are free from fault. These legs of Vyasa, which are free from fault, account for a basis of good conduct even to those who are inferior in knowledge and devotion. Srila Vyasadeva's yoga-pattika waist band, aid his firm sitting posture. The lotus waist of Vyasa maintains and fulfils all the devotees, it is amazing that all the pure spiritual desires of the devotees are fulfilled by taking shelter at the waist of Vyasa. This waist is covered by a sacred Krsna deer skin, hiding his deep and delicate navel. Vyasa's broad chest and broad mind support the pure white sacred thread, and Brahmasutras respectively. Madhwa Vijay (7:34.), states that it has been well substantiated by Vedavyasa that Caturmukha Brahma is the son of Garbhadaksayi Visnu, being born from a lotus sprouting from the Lord's lotus navel. This world has no equal or superior in all the three worlds. Brahma gave his 'Kaustubhamani', gem to Vedavyasa and that acts like a victory flag hanging around the neck of Vyasa.
The story in brief follows that once when Prajapati Brahma was in the association of Vedavyasa and one thousand sages, Srila Vyasa made a statement saying that he would always prove the superiority of Visnu Tattva at all times. The thousand sages took up the challenge and threw at Vedavyasa thousands of questio6ns simultaneously. Vyasadeva answered each question one by one perfectly all at the same time. Amazed at the victory of the literary incarnation of Lord Visnu, Brahma presented the Kaustubha gem to Srila Vyasa.
In Srila Vyasadeva's hands he holds a conchshell and a disc, his hands are again soft pinkish red, his arms are robust, round and powerful. There is no comparison to the broadness of these limbs. By the tip of Vyasadeva's right hand he bestows 'divya jnana' – transcendental knowledge to his devotees, and with the same tip of the same hand removes the darkness borne of ignorance simultaneously just like thunder and lightning. His left hand is placed on his knee. By this 'mudra', gesture all fear for the dangerous struggle for material existence is destroyed. Vyasadeva's neck is marked with the three lines of a conchshell from which only 'sabda brahman' or transcendental sound vibration, in the form of the main three Vedas and it's limbs, are coming. Seeing his moon-like face is the sweetest benediction to the eyes. Actually the moon-like face of the best of sages is compared to groups of full moons, each being completely free form even the smallest blemish. Srila Vyasadeva's lotus mouth and teeth are compared to a new row of pearls which shine forth from inside of a perfect ruby. These pearl-like teeth are seen decorated by a gentle smile surrounded by soft ruby red lips. To hear the speech of the literary incarnation of the Lord at once fills one's heart with transcendental knowledge, just as when the thousand wells in the form of sages became flooded with answers as the River Sarasvati replenishes the best of wells during the rainy season.
As Srila Vyasadeva approached Sripad Madhwacarya with a smile on his face, his wide lotus eyes looked unblinking at him, and Vyasa embraced the powerful Sripad Madhwacarya and picked him up off the floor, clean as one would one's small son. The powerful partial expansion of Mukhyaprana who previously played the mighty Hanuman and Bhima, felt blessed as his 'guru', Srila Vyasadeva, lovingly embraced him, and the sages smiled affectionately.
Sripad Madhwacarya prayed to his Lord after seeing the sprig of Tulasi leaf and 'manjari' tucked behind the right ear of Vyasa, "Please don't let me become jealous of this Tulasi sprig and garland of lotus flowers that adorn your body. They are supremely fortunate. Please don't let them rob me of my position of being so close to you. Wherever I am, always allow me to remain this close to you by always being absorbed in you."
Sripad Madhwacarya could now fully appreciate standing there in the shadow of his 'guru', that actually Srila Vyasadeva was looking after the welfare of the entire world. Just by a movement of his eyebrows everything was taking place. The creation, maintenance and destruction of all the three worlds in fact is going on by his design. He is the same Visnu Tattva Lord who maintains as Gunavataras along with Lord Brahma, the creator, who was born from a lotus, and Lord Shiva, the destroyer of these material worlds. Coming in contact with the material mode of passion, Prajapati creates under the direction of Lord Visnu. Lord Visnu Himself maintains the three worlds, the unlimited universes, in one form sleeping as Karanadakasayi Visnu, in another form as Garbhadaksayi Visnu lying down on His serpent couch Anantasesa, and as the localised form of Paramatma seated within the region of the heart of every living being as the witness. Effortlessly Lord Visnu is the Supreme Enjoyer, and not a blade of grass moves without His knowing or sanction.
srsti-hetu yei murti prapance avatare
sei isvara murti 'avatara' nama dhare
mayatita paravyome savara avasthana
visve 'avatari' dhare 'avatara' nama
"The 'avatara' of incarnation of Godhead, descends from the kingdom of God for material manifestations. And the particular form of the Personality of Godhead who so descends is called an incarnation, or 'avatara'. Such incarnations are situated in the spiritual world, the kingdom of God. When they descend to the material creation, They assume the name 'avatara'."
As such, there are various kinds of 'avataras', such as 'purusavataras', 'gunavataras', 'lilavataras', 'shaktyaveshavataras', 'manvantara-avataras' and 'yugavataras' all appearing on schedule all over the universe.
eko devo nitya-lilanurakto bhakta vyapi hrdy antaratma
"The one Supreme Personality of Godhead is eternally engaged in many, many transcendental forms in relationship with His unalloyed devotees."
Sripad Madhwacarya again drank the nectar of seeing this 'shaktyavesha avatara' of Lord Visnu with a resplendent blue hue like that of the Indranila gem, personally before him, standing on a mountain resembling an emerald, lush and green, above the natural barrier of the Himalayas. Srila Vyasadeva was wearing tilak of 'urdhva pundra' on the twelve places of His body, which are glorified throughout the Vedic literatures as being "Two straight lines of Lord Hari's abode are drawn at the root of the nose and reach to the top of the forehead, the space between which is Lord Vishnu's abode, and is more than a finger's breadth between and slightly wider at the top. Each of these two straight lines is only the thickness of a grain of rice and the breadth of four fingers. That is the abode or temple of Lord Visnu. Sadaishiva and Brahma reside on either side of the central space and Laxmi stays with Narayan in the middle." Seeing this and the red mark made of the ash of plantain flowers and turmeric mixed together resembling rubies, between the two lines, Madhwa relished again and again the sight of Vyasa.
"My Lord, I am so much blessed by seeing You, Your red matted locks of hair and Your hue which resembles a new monsoon cloud, full of depth, with illumination like lightning. Oh my Lord, though I have recorded many of Your auspicious features and qualities, actually to describe You, though counting incessantly the endless good qualities that are emanating from even the nail of the little toe of Your lotus feet, such is my frustration. Though You are situated far beyond this material world and it's covering, by Your mercy You have allowed me to approach You. Completely transcending all known boundaries, You have appeared to me and allowed me to come here to take 'darshan' of You, just to fulfil the plan chalked out by You. In obeisances, my body is bent in devotion to You. With folded hands I offer my humble prayers."
With His loving outstretched arms, Vedavyasa, the son of Parasara Muni, gently lifted Madhwa up from his prostrated obeisances and again, with a smiling face, embraced him.
Madhva Vijay (8:5.). says that Madhwacarya belongs to a class of devotees calle Rju which are the best of the 'devas'. These Rjus are even superior to the Rudras, who, by the grace of Vyasa, were bestowed with knowledge of the Absolute. The Rjus are one hundred in number, and after being given the post of Vayu, they become eligible for the post of Brahma. All of the Rjus are equally great, but they all are superior to Rudra and others.
Madhwa Vijay (7:53.), notes that Vyasadeva and Sripad Madhwacarya – Visnu and Vayu – are here compared with the powerful current of the sister of Yamaraja, Yamuna devi, whose mighty but gentle waters join the water of a golden river. The mighty waters of the Yamuna are compared to the dark blue lustre of Vedavyasa, while Sripad Madhwacarya is compared to a golden river who is being embraced by the dark blue waters of Vyasa. Previously these two great personalities embraced before. At that time they were dressed in royal clothing as Krsna and Bhimasena.
All the great sages in the assembly at Vyasadeva's 'ashram' honoured Madhwa with great respect. Vyasadeva gave Madhwa a special seat of honour next to Himself and in a very warm way, the two saviours of degradation of Vaisnava philosophy started to speak of Sripad Madhwacarya's urgent mission. Sri Krsna Dwaipayana Vyasa and Sripad Madhwacarya discussed all kinds of Vedic literatures, Vedas, Mahabharata, the 'Sattvic Puranas', Brahma Sutras, and the Pancaratras, which are all very dear to Vaisnava.
Madhwa Vijay (8:6.), agrees that Lord Narayana Himself directed Madhwa to come to the hermitage of Srila Vyasa.
Vedavyasa then took Sripad Madhwacarya to meet with the other form of the Lord residing there. Madhwa Vijay (8:7.), describes how the humble Purna Prajna Tirtha – Madhwa saw Lord Narayan, the original person, dressed in tree bark with a 'munja' grass belt. His effulgence that surround His beautiful matted locks is compared to being like the best of 'yajnic' fires, pure, bright and free from smoke.
That Lord, Who is always Dhira (self controlled and sober), and Who is Atmarama (self satisfied), Who is Acyuta (infallible and free from the allurements of the sense objects), He is free from all defects, yet with all these opulence's is happy to reside in the hermitage as a recluse and perform penance. "O Adhoksaja Krsna, Who is unobtainable to those of demerit, now I stand before You. You are the same Lord of Brahma born of Your lotus navel. By Your potency of Abhimani You made the Mahatattva, impregnated it by Your energy and placed there goodness, passion and ignorance. Along with this He created Rudra from Brahma and the tattva of Ahamkara which is threefold – the Vaikarika – Deities, the Taijasa – entities born of semen, and the 'tamasa' – the five gross elements (earth, eater, fire, air and sky). From this He made the 'jagad anda', the cosmic egg in which reside the fourteen worlds. Lord Narayan, You create, maintain and destroy everything, then effortlessly inhabit those fourteen worlds with varieties of entities – the demigods, 'gandharvas' – servants of the 'devas', humans, demons who have such masters as Prajapati Brahma, Mukhyaprana (Vayudeva), Garuda, Rudra and Devendra. Those living entities are given, according to their natures, places of residence. There are the 'uttama jivas' or 'nitya siddhas', Your pure devotees who only have thoughts for you. The 'nitya samsarins', who wander in the cycle of birth and death, are basically innocent, but just foolishly follow their lusty desires. And the 'tamoyogyas', who are hell bent, mischievous, wicked and best avoided, for their destination is to practically stay in hell for time immemorial."
In Sri Madhwa Vijay (8:14.), whilst standing directly in front of Srila Vyasadeva and Lord Narayana at Uttara Badri, Sripad Madhwacarya pondered over the many forms that Lord Narayana had taken. This is the mystic potency of the Lord for He can be both in the past in one's memory, and present before one at the same instant, in full. At any moment with all His retinue around Him acting out the pastimes, of previous lilas in the eternally present.
Madhwa realising this then prostrated himself at the lotus feet of Lord Narayana, as in his mind went over the endless pastimes of the Lord. He was directly in the association of his 'guru' (Srila Vyasadeva), and now had the honour of seeing Lord Narayana face to face. Lord Narayana's affection poured to the pure hearted Madhwa who was sitting, looking and relishing. He was so honoured to sit near these two whilst offering respectful prostrations, sitting and standing, Madhwa dwelt on His Lords.
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Books are the Basis with Shraddha Devi Dasi
GBC Strategic Planning Team invites you to learn Bhakti alphabets (ABCDE) in their 8-day Sadhana series special talks.
Day 2 of our series with alphabet “B” with Shraddha Devi Dasi.
About Shraddha Devi
Shraddha Devi Dasi is located in the Silicon valley in California, USA where she first came into contact with Srila Prabhupada’s books which transformed her life completely. She is a Software Engineer by profession, and utilizes the mundane experience from her field towards the service of ISKCON and her spiritual master His Grace Vaisesika Dasa. She serves various projects in the areas of book distribution, outreach, mentoring, and education.


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ISKCON Pakistan is Growing


By Dr. Neeta Maheshwary and Lionel Kerbs

For the month of May through June this year, a preaching tour occurred across the region of Baluchistan; a rural mountainous southwest area of Pakistan. 

The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) in Pakistan has three Temples, including in Karachi, the capital of the country, Larkana, Sindh, and in Hyderabad, Sindh as well as and five centers in Bahawalpur, Punjab, Thari Mirwah, and the Harimandir in Hyderabad, Sindh, as well as in Khuzdar and Quetta, in Baluchistan and growing. 

Vice President of the Khuzdar Temple, Ram Sakha Das, started the vigorous preaching tour. At present, the yatra of Balochistan is being supported by a very active member (in terms of traveling and coordination): Sunjay Dasa who is the Temple President of the Temple in Khuzdar.  

Activities throughout the month were carried out in different cities such as Khuzdaar, Nushki, Quetta, and Mastung.

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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.


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7956293265?profile=RESIZE_400xBy Pusta Krishna das

The Glorification of the Holy Names is the Great Benediction for all the World’s Theistic People

Lord Chaitanya is not merely a prophet or messenger. We accept that He is the Supreme Lord appearing to give His great benediction upon the human society. By observation, we can understand that those of the Christian religion, those of the Islamic faith, those of the Jewish faith, and other theistic religions are rarely likely to give up their passionate faith in God according to their traditions. Neither is it the mission of Lord Chaitanya to effect such a change. When our Godbrother, Atreya Rsi, was in Tehran in the 1970s, he wrote to Srila Prabhupad to inform him that he had gotten some of the Muslims to chant the Hare Krishna Mantra. Srila Prabhupad’s reply was very interesting and enlightening. He said, ‘why are you trying to make Lord Chaitanya’s Movement a sectarian thing. The Muslims have their name for God, Allah, so let them glorify God through the expression of their name for God.’
I want to add what a loving and kind-hearted person Atreya Rsi Prabhu was. Still, we can be more or less convinced that the deep faith in God expressed by followers of other theistic religions need not, and should not be challenged. Rather, the Holy Names are the unifying principle of purification and love of God.

For a book that I am writing, I wanted to understand more about Islam. While the expression of religion in the world does not always correlate with the teachings of a religion, Islam itself means surrender to the Will of God. Islam, Allah, promotes that God is Himself sufficient to take care of the material and spiritual needs of individuals. It promotes a direct relationship with God, no intermediaries necessary or desirable. Krishna also in the Bhagavad Gita promotes surrender unto Him only, abandoning all varieties of religion or duties. Christ also promotes that one should aspire to love God the Father with all one’s heart and soul and mind.

While the religious practices will differ from each other, all confirm that one can associate with the Lord through remembrance and glorification of the Holy Names of the Lord. The Supreme Lord is the Supreme Pure, and when we associate with His Holy Names, considered to be spiritually non-different from God Himself, then we can become purified by contact with Him, by His grace. Indeed, this is the mission of Lord Chaitanya for the people of the Kali-yuga, the age of quarrel. Thus, we must not think that we can save the world, but the Supreme Lord, through His Holy Names, can easily effect the individual and society for the best possible spiritual outcomes. If we give all credit to the Holy Names, to the Personality of Godhead, we may come closer to appreciating the wonder of Lord Chaitanya’s appearance and significance.


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The names of Krishna are the repository of all happiness and the greatest wealth. If we chant properly, we will not experience material miseries, but we may experience what the materialist might mistake as misery: the spiritual joy of intense separation from Krishna.

Since that joy comes from proper chanting, we might wonder how we can chant with attention and concentration, even if we are not yet pure devotees of Krishna. How can we control the mind? How can we keep ourselves from thinking of a million and one other things besides Krishna’s names?

Chanting properly takes practice, and the first point is to approach the practice positively. When we approach the holy names negatively, we often think more about what we should not be doing rather than what we should be doing. It is said, “You can’t do a don’t.” So, instead of thinking: “Now I have to control my mind and not think of other things,” we can think, “Now I will concentrate on Krishna’s names, which are identical to Krishna. By concentrating on Krishna’s names, Krishna will give me full intelligence, and I will love Him more and more.”

Besides a positive way of thinking, there are other ways to stay focused on Krishna’s names. We generally chant in two situations: in kirtana, or group singing, and in japa, or private soft chanting. We can approach each one somewhat differently.

In kirtana, we need to give our attention to the holy names regardless of the musical quality of the kirtana. For example, it used to really bother me when the person chanting could not keep a tune, or was a bad singer, or couldn’t keep a beat. Sometimes it seemed that I was surrounded by people who struggled in those ways. I was sometimes in places where almost everyone seemed to lack musical abilities. Then I realized that Krishna had arranged the situation so that I could appreciate His names.

Two Levels of Taste

Ruci, the stage of deeply relishing the holy name, has two levels. On the first, one has a taste for kirtana only when the person leading is an expert singer and the instruments are all in tune and are being played by experts. On the second level, one has a real taste for kirtana regardless of the musical expertise of the persons leading or accompanying the kirtana, as long as the name is being chanted by devotees who are strictly following the process of loving service to Krishna. It is said that Prabhupada’s guru, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, would sometimes have the worst singer lead kirtana, just to encourage devotees to come to the higher level.

So, I realized that by the grace of my spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, and my spiritual grandfather, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, I was being pushed to come to a higher level of appreciating the holy names. Finally I surrendered, and I understood that the musical accompaniment was just the vehicle in which the holy names arrived, and that I should not be attached to the vehicle. I should be attached to the passenger in the vehicle: Krishna in the form of His names. So with practice I was able to focus on the holy names—Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare—and not be concerned with the musical abilities of those performing the kirtana.

When I did that, I began to relish every kirtana. One can find the holy names amazing. Devotees who truly relish the holy names feel they can never get enough of them. As Srila Rupa Goswami writes, one will pray for millions of tongues and millions of ears to chant and hear.

My previous attachment to the vehicle was like someone attached to the dinner plate rather than the prasadam, spiritual food, on it. Imagine rejecting tasty prasadam because it was served on a leaf plate rather than on a silver one. It doesn’t make sense.

When one attends kirtana, one can simply hear the maha-mantra and think of its meaning: We are begging Radha and Krishna to situate us at Their lotus feet; we are begging Radha and Krishna for Their mercy. If I meditate on how I am begging Radha and Krishna to give me compassion and other devotional qualities, then kirtana becomes a joyful prayer session regardless of the quality of the musical accompaniment.

After practicing hearing like this for some time, I find it hard to relate to someone who says something like, “That was an ecstatic kirtana!” (which indicates that some other kirtana wasn’t ecstatic), or to someone who thinks he has to travel hundreds or thousands of miles to experience an “ecstatic kirtana.” Ecstatic kirtanas are there for everyone all the time.

Of course, when we present Krishna consciousness to others, it is important that the musical accompaniment be first class. And we should not force the above understanding on those who are not ready to take that leap.

Focused Japa

To focus on the holy name during japa, it usually helps to sit with one’s back straight. Elevating one’s bottom on a cushion and crossing one’s legs on the floor can also be helpful. One can then consciously relax every muscle in the body, so that the only task is to pay attention to the holy names. With a relaxed mind, one then focuses on the sound of Krishna’s names.

It’s very good to be conscious of some specific request made to Radha and Krishna, as mentioned above in the kirtana section. The request should be in the mood of begging Radha and Krishna with emotion. When we chant, we should always have a sankalpa: a spiritual desire or purpose.

Then just let the holy names flow. No forcing. No fighting with the mind. Just the relaxed chanting of Krishna’s names. When you sit down to relax the body and chant japa, tell the mind in a positive way to focus on the sound. If you repeat this several times, the mind will obey. With the proper desire and understanding, our mind will naturally be attracted to the holy name, and we’ll swim in an ocean of nectar. Nothing else will matter, and time and space will dissolve.

It is important to be strict about not using your japa time for any other activity. For some devotees, the japa period in the temple is used for socializing or management. Except in emergencies, I don’t interrupt my japa.

We don’t want our japa time to be a social break. We should take it as seriously as if we were leading kirtana and someone wanted to talk to us during kirtana. Certainly we wouldn’t stop the kirtana unless it was an emergency. We should chant and hear as the Bhagavatam (2.3.10) recommends, tivrena bhakti-yogena yajeta purusham param: we should worship the Lord with great intensity.

Good chanting in the morning starts the night before. What we do right before sleeping at night affects our consciousness not only while we are resting but also the next day, particularly in the morning. The Vedas describe two stages of sleep—unconscious and dreaming—and they involve different activities of the mind. For example, while we dream, we process (what we received in the past), predict (work through events we might have to go through in the future), and vent (throwing out unnecessary or unwanted data). These activities involve the subconscious mind. So, for example, if our thoughts are absorbed in something right before we go to sleep, we process those thoughts during the night and that affects our consciousness when we wake up in the morning.

Many years ago when I was a teenager, my father bought me a manual shift car, which I didn’t know how to drive. Every attempt I made was unsuccessful. So I studied the movements and theory behind shifting the car, meditated on it, and dreamt of it, and the next morning I was able to drive a manual shift perfectly.

Srila Prabhupada understood this principle well. That is why he advocated an evening devotional program, and especially reading his book Krishna: The Supreme Personality of Godhead before resting at night. If you absorb yourself in krishna-katha (topics of Krishna) before you take rest at night, during the night your mind and brain will process krishna-katha, you will likely wake up thinking about Krishna, and your subtle body will be purified. What a nice way to become conscious of Krishna!

It might happen that when we read krishna-katha at night we become so excited by the Lord’s pastimes that we start bouncing off the walls and can’t sleep. That, I guess, is an occupational hazard! So, one should pick a type of krishna-katha that is meditative.

Chanting upon Awakening

How should one wake up in the morning? Generally people wake up groggy, but that’s less likely if you’re hearing krishna-katha at night. Still, in whatever state we wake up, we can immediately start to chant the maha-mantra out loud.

I sing when I go through my bathroom routine. I often take this opportunity to practice new kirtana tunes. Sometimes singing like this is so nice that I have to remind myself that I have other things to do in the morning than chant in my house to myself. An alternative is to listen to a class or kirtana by Srila Prabhupada. It is important to listen only to a class or kirtana by someone practicing devotional service. We should be very discriminating in that way. By listening to the chanting or speaking of someone not strict in the Krishna conscious practices, our consciousness can get covered by the modes of nature.

The Padma Purana states:


putam hari-kathamritam

shravanam naiva kartavyam

sarpocchishtam yatha payah

“One should not hear anything about Krishna from a non-Vaishnava. Milk touched by the lips of a serpent has poisonous effects; similarly, talks about Krishna given by a non-Vaishnava are also poisonous.”

So, the above two suggestions—what to do before resting and what to do when waking—prepare the mind for chanting proper japa.

Approaching the holy names with care during kirtana and japa will bring us to understand how simple and sublime spiritual life can be.

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Dear Maharajas and Prabhus,

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

ISKCON Communications & SP125 Committee are happy to inform you all that
the Government of India has issued the rules and a notification to legally
recognize the Rs 125 commemorative coin being minted by the Government on
the historic occasion of Srila Prabhupada’s 125th Vyasa Puja (birth

The Indian government’s official Gazette Notification is attached herein
for your kind information.

After a ten-month exercise, the procedural formalities from several
departments have been completed. We are hopeful that the coin would be
released by the Government of India around Srila Prabhupada’s Vyasa Puja.

Each coin (Proof version) would cost Rs 4,600 + shipping charges and would
come in an elegant box along with a small booklet describing the life and
legacy of Srila Prabhupada.

We request all the temples in India to place their orders immediately as
the manufacturing process takes nearly 30 days to complete. The last day
for placing the order is 31 July 2021.

For temples/devotees outside of India, please see below for information on
how to order.

We thank Vrajendranandan Prabhu, Haresh Govinda Prabhu (AHM), Vamshidhari
Prabhu (AHM), and Pradyumana Priya Prabhu for their help in gathering
letters of support which helped in making this coin happen.

Thank you.

Your servant,
Yudhistir Govinda Das


1. Since the Government Mint needs the payment 100% in advance before the
minting begins, we would request you to finalize your orders and transfer
the payment to the below-listed account.

The amount to be transferred is Rs 4600 x the number of coins. The shipping
charges are not yet finalized and will be collected later on as the
priority is to get the coins minted. Please note this is only for the use
of Indian temples/centers.

Account No: 50100292473651
Account Name: ISKCON Communications
Bank: HDFC
Branch: East of Kailash, New Delhi

2. Once the payment has been transferred, please fill up the Google Form
(link given below) capturing all the necessary order-related details.

For any queries/questions related to your order, please contact Rohinitanya
Prabhu @ IC India office. Mobile: +91 844 732 5056.

3. To avoid any confusion/overlap, all international orders are processed
exclusively through the ISKCON Communications Office of the region. We
request all the temples/devotees to place their orders only through them.
The region-wise details are given below:

Africa: Nanda Kishor Das,, Mobile: +27 824 992

Australia/Oceania: Bhakta Das,, Mobile: +61 431 829 463

Europe: Mahaprabhu Das,, Mobile:+32 498 545 838

North America: Madan Gopal Das,, Mobile:
+1 973 876 4508

South America: Baladeva Das,, Mobile: +54 9261 303

Regions not covered: Yudhistir Govinda Das,, +91
9654 789 832

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Association is the key in Bhakti with Jaya Jagannath Das.
GBC Strategic Planning Team invites you to learn Bhakti alphabets (ABCDE) in their 8-day Sadhana series special talks.
Kicking off our series with alphabet “A” with Jaya Jagannath Das.
About Jaya Jagannath Das
Jaya Jagannath (Jaya) is a leader in the Wisdom department at the Bhakti Center. After 13 years, he has recently left the quietism of monasticism to share the timeless wisdom, scholarship, and relevance of the tradition’s sacred text through song, seminars/webinars, workshops, and regular philosophy classes. He’s also a very active in the Bhakti Center’s kirtan events as a gifted and devoted musician.


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The  Editorial  Review  Panel  Shares  Its  “Editorial  Principles”

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]).

The  ERP’s  first  order  of  business  was  to  define  the  editorial  principles  they  would  use  to  evaluate  the editing  the  BBT  has  done,  especially  since  1977.  Their  paper,  “Editorial  Principles,”  (ratified  by  the Global  BBT  on  July  13,  2021)  follows.  Aside  from  a  description  of  the  editorial  principles  themselves, you  will  also  find  the  list  of  ERP  members,  information  on  how  the  editorial  principles  were  formulated, more  about  the  ERP’s  mandate,  and  what  will  be  done  with  the  ERP’s  work.

This  paper  is  intended  to  be  a  “living  document”  –  that  is,  it  may  be  amended  whenever  the  review  work requires  that  a  principle  be  added  or  made  clearer  or  expanded  upon  to  encompass  examples  the reviewers  encounter.  Both  editing  and  the  reviewing  of  it  are  dynamic  processes,  and  inevitably  not everything  will  fit  neatly  into  one  category  or  another;  so  we’ve  left  room  for  this  paper  to  develop,  as needed.  An  amendment  will  be  made  when  it  helps  the  ERP  to  more  closely  align  with  Srila Prabhupada’s  instructions.  For  this  reason,  the  BBT  may  approve  and  publish  an  occasional  revision  of the  “Editorial  Principles”  to  keep  the  ERP’s  process  transparent.

Your  servants
Global  BBT 

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By Kasisvar Das 

Florida is (pre-Covid) a season of Rathayatra festival parades that take over the crowded beaches or towns, typically with eight events across the state: at the Gasparilla festival in Tampa, Daytona Beach, St. Augustine, Tallahassee, Jacksonville, Clearwater Beach, Jacksonville Beach, Tampa Bay, and Orlando. 

This year, fewer events are scheduled with the Daytona Beach parade just passed on June 26th, and the Clearwater Beach event is upcoming on Saturday, September 18th. It will be a parade co-organized with the Festival of India led by Madhuha Das and will include stage performances, dioramas, and other festivities. We invite everyone to come and participate.

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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 mantra on 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.


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Hare Krishna 

Please accept my humble obeisances
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada
All Glories to Sri Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga
In commemoration of Srila Prabhupada's 125th Appearance anniversary coming up on 31st August 2021, we are planning to organize an international online quiz competition for which we have got the kind support of HH Srila Jayapataka Swami Guru Maharaj who released the flyer of the competition and has also agreed to declare the winners over a zoom session on 31st August.
We have the desire to make this a mega international event for the pleasure of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Guru Maharaj.
Towards this, request if you could share the flyer and the competition link and announce the competition in your forum. That would enable this competition to get a wider global visibility. 
Please find the details of the flyer and the quiz release by HH Jayapataka Swami Guru Maharaj and the details of telegram groups that have been opened to facilitate the study of Srila Prabhupada Lilamrts in preparation for the quiz for the next one and half months.
SP 125 Online Quiz Competition
Announcement by HH Jayapataka Swami
On occasion of 125th appearance anniversary of Śrīla Prabhupāda, EVOLVE Pune is organising an international online quiz competition based on Śrīla Prabhupāda Lilamrita. This is an interesting initiative to let everybody understand what a great contribution Śrīla Prabhupāda has done to the world!

It is a wonderful opportunity! You can participate and encourage others also to participate!

Check out this website to get more details about the quiz:

Announcement made by HH Jayapataka Swami on FB

Please join the telegram group below according to your age category for further updates:
Evolve Pune SP125 QUIZ AGE 7 - 10

Evolve Pune SP125 QUIZ AGE 11-14

Evolve Pune SP125 QUIZ AGE 15-19

Evolve Pune SP125 QUIZ AGE 20+
Do let me know for any query or should you like further information and I would be happy to provide the required information.
Thank you 
Your servant ,
Medhavini Sakhi Devi Dasi 
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As an institution representative of Krsna and the parampara, we have the duty and obligation to be an example of responsibility and caring concern for everyone. Thus, in the present context of the coronavirus pandemic, we must strictly take all recommended precautions and strictly follow all official indications.

Krsna must see that we are doing everything that we can and not that we are irresponsibly leaving everything to Him. «God helps those who help themselves.» While endeavoring thus, we do it with the ultimate understanding that

ONLY KRSNA PROTECTS (…but in His own way), as presented by Srila Prabhupada in


Canto Seven, Chapter 9: Prahlada Pacifies Lord Nrsimhadeva with Prayers

Text 19

balasya neha saranam pitarau nrsimha

nartasya cagadam udanvati majjato nauh

taptasya tat-pratividhir ya ihanjasestas

tavad vibho tanu-bhrtam tvad-upeksitanam


My Lord Nrsimhadeva, O Supreme, because of a bodily conception of life, embodied souls neglected and not cared for by You cannot do anything for their betterment. Whatever remedies they accept, although perhaps temporarily beneficial, are certainly impermanent. For example, a father and mother cannot protect their child, a physician and medicine cannot relieve a suffering patient, and a boat on the ocean cannot protect a drowning man.


Through parental care, through remedies for different kinds of disease, and through means of protection on the water, in the air and on land, there is always an endeavor for relief from various kinds of suffering in the material world, but none of them are guaranteed measures for protection. They may be beneficial temporarily, but they afford no permanent benefit.

Despite the presence of a father and mother, a child cannot be protected from accidental death, disease and various other miseries. No one can help, including the parents. Ultimately the shelter is the Lord, and one who takes shelter of the Lord is protected. This is guaranteed. As the Lord says in Bhagavad-gita (9.31), kaunteya pratijanihi na me bhaktah pranasyati: “O son of Kunti, declare it boldly that My devotee never perishes.”

Therefore, unless one is protected by the mercy of the Lord, no remedial measure can act effectively. One should consequently depend fully on the causeless mercy of the Lord. Although as a matter of routine duty one must of course accept other remedial measures, no one can protect one who is neglected by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In this material world, everyone is trying to counteract the onslaught of material nature, but everyone is ultimately fully controlled by material nature. Therefore even though so-called philosophers and scientists try to surmount the onslaught of material nature, they have not been able to do so.

Krsna says in Bhagavad-gita (13.9) that the real sufferings of the material world are four — janma-mrtyu jara-vyadhi (birth, death, old age and disease). In the history of the world, no one has been successful in conquering these miseries imposed by material nature. Prakrteh kriyamanani gunaih karmani sarvasah [Bg. 3.27]. Nature (prakrti) is so strong that no one can overcome her stringent laws. So-called scientists, philosophers, religionists and politicians should therefore conclude that they cannot offer facilities to the people in general. They should make vigorous propaganda to awaken the populace and raise them to the platform of Krsna consciousness.

Our humble attempt to propagate the Krsna consciousness movement all over the world is the only remedy that can bring about a peaceful and happy life. We can never be happy without the mercy of the Supreme Lord (tvad-upeksitanam). If we keep displeasing our supreme father, we shall never be happy within this material world, in either the upper or lower planetary systems.


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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!


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This subject is an extension of a frequent topic of mine which I deal with on a daily basis: extolling the virtue of introspection and self-analysis as part of clearing out impediments to devotion in the stage of bhakti called anartha-nivritti (retiring unwanted habits of thought and action)–such anartha’s are often the source of many of our problems. We live in a time of busy-ness and addiction to innumerable distractions, where it isn’t seen as cool to just be sitting down without a handheld device, something to do, or talkative friends, and thus introspection is not usually a conscious desirable activity for most people, including devotees!

I remember once on a busy street being taken by the beauty of a particular cloud formation and stopping to stare upward, where the comments I heard from passersby were about my being on drugs or exhibiting unusual, curious behavior to be looking up at the sky, as if their personal business of walking somewhere, talking on their cell phone, or hanging out with no real purpose, was the only important activity, and my looking at a cloud was deranged tomfoolery.

Though we are social creatures that need interaction with others in good spiritual association, the importance of being alone with one’s thoughts or taking the time to reflect on life is crucial. Some people aren’t comfortable being alone or don’t know what to do with themselves or how to use the time other than to watch someone else living their dream on T.V or in a movie, or to sleep, play a game of solitaire, or lament they don’t have a friend to be with, or something “fun” to do, etc. I doubt there is a class in school on how to be alone and be happy, or how to sit in nature and observe, or in general, “being,” rather than doing.

Those on the bhakti path can always chant or read and have lots of service to do, and yet, in my experience, being able to be alone and to think with no distractions (like our IPhone or Facebook!) or external engagements is so beneficial. Keeping a journal can help one be more internal and understand ourselves better and what we truly want and require for today, tomorrow, and the long haul of our lives. Without this we may feel carried away by the current of life, thinking that our life is out of control, or that we aren’t satisfied. We need time alone and to be undistracted to sort our important concerns.

Spending time by ourselves is also a way to take a timeout from life’s demands, and can be a way to recharge or regroup, especially in a place of scenic beauty. Alone, we can talk to Krishna and pray for guidance, and be peaceful enough to be receptive to hear or sense inner direction. Personally, when I am “alone,” I remember Krishna and talk to him of my mixed position as a motivated devotee, and how I require his mercy to rise above my conditioning. I love to do this before our Deities, as I do every morning to wake them and chant, appreciating their sublime beauty and wondrous mercy to have come to bless us. In that sense being alone can be an opportunity to “practice the Presence of God,” or feel our connection with both our soul and our “Maker.”

When we are comfortable being alone and in touch with our best selves in our current life situation, we will be better persons and more satisfied when we’re with friends or interacting with others. I have gradually found in the solitude of sadhana, or spiritual practices, and in country living (backed by years of reading from many wise living persons, and from the ancient but timeless wisdom in scriptures and from saints) that we aren’t our past trauma, labels from our upbringing, or the opinions of others, but we’re a pure soul having a human experience. As a result of being at peace within ourselves we will have much to offer others just by being present so we can listen well and thoughtfully observe, remembering we’re servants of Krishna, and practicing being kind, caring, understanding, compassionate, and encouraging. With such good qualities, people will be more open-hearted towards us in return, and inclined to hear knowledge of the soul and God when we discover a teachable moment.
We can be our best self in the world, or be situated in what my wife and I call our “authentic illusory self” (best conditioned self) while doing our spiritual practices to awaken our eternal self or soul through the mercy of bhakti given by our gurus blessed by our previous acharyas and Shri Chaitanya and Shri Nitai. To me, this is making the best of both worlds, and if we can do so, we will be satisfied physically, mentally, and emotionally that we used our natural skills and desires in the service of Krishna (God) in a way that also serves our family, community, and greater family of the Earth. This is real balance and sustainability for the long haul of a life of devotion!

Although Gandhi’s statement that we have to be the change we want to see, may seem cliche to some, I see it as an important goal for those aspiring for higher consciousness and compassion. To me, the question is only how large or small our field of involvement is and whether our vision of change is sustainable and realistic. Bigger is not necessarily better, but being a better version of ourselves in integrity with our highest values is always a desirable and worthy endeavor.


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Ever since the pandemic, it has been extremely difficult for us to come together and be in association of devotees and to celebrate the various occasions that we otherwise did with so much of grandeur. Nevertheless, we have been trying our best to bring to you every celebration in the best possible way. We felt that even this year, we wouldn't be able to have a Ratha Yatra like we usually did, but Lord Jagannath had other plans. 
Although the whole intention of Ratha Yatra is that everyone gets the Darshan of the Lords, we decided on having a small ceremony, with just a few devotees, within the ashram area, since the pandemic is still prevalent. We decided to utilise the old Ratha from our morjim centre. But to our disappointment, we were informed that the old Ratha was damaged due to rains and hence couldn't be used.

Before long, one of our ardent devotee, Pradeep Chodankar Prabhu, from Mapusa came to our rescue like a knight in shining armour. During his visit to the ashram, he learned about our situation and without a second thought offered to help us by building a new Ratha for Their Lordships. His family and many other devotees and well-wishers came together and contributed to give us an elegant, new handcrafted Ratha. If you haven't already watched, please do watch the video and the pictures to see the beautifully designed and painted Ratha. It clearly portrays the love and devotion to our beloved Lord Jagannath, Lord Baladev and Maiya Subhadra from Their honest devotees.

With the Ratha arranged we had nothing else to worry about, except may be the weather. But on the day of the Ratha Yatra, Lord Jagannath had managed to take care of that too. Mostly clear skies and maybe a drizzle of rain every now and then. Which was good enough for us.

On the day of Yatra, the Ratha, adorned with flowers and Their Lordships mounted on it, were ready to be chauffeured around our land. But on the last moment, we thought that the wheels of the Ratha may not be be able to manoeuvre well through the soft soil of the fields. So we finally decided to take the Ratha over the tarred road for better stability. Even though we planned to avoid going on the road because of not having permission for the procession, Lord Jagannath wanted to go on the main road. He showed us that He is the master who makes all plans. We covered a decent length around the village and back. In this way, the Lord had also managed to give his Darshan to all the people.

Life of a devotee is like this. One obstacle after another. It just goes to show that, these obstacles are in place for a reason. For us to try, to learn and to surrender to His will. Our illusion is that we think we can control what happens in our lives. But clearly, we don't. When faced with a hurdle, best is to let the Lord take control of it. Inspite of all these difficulties, the Ratha Yatra took place in a grand fashion. It is Lord Jagannath's Lila that we witnessed during this Rath Yatra.

Written by Trisha Chodanker.

Story narrated by Achyut Gopal Das.


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