ISKCON Derire Tree's Posts (13817)

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In Italy, near the city of Perugia, is the place called Assisi, the birth place of a very popular saint named Francis. He was the son of a wealthy merchant, but he took up the life of renunciation. Committed to a life of self-imposed poverty, humility, and devotion, he attracted many to follow.

“One day he was walking with one brother Leo from Perugia to a very famous temple, St. Maria of the Angel. He was walking for miles and miles, and it was freezing cold. It was raining and snowing. He asked his brother Leo, “I want you to write down whatever I say.” They were walking and it was already night time. He said, “What is perfect joy? If our brothers give excellent sermons glorifying our God, I do not consider that perfect joy. If our brothers give sight to the blind, they give ability to the lame to walk and to run, they give ability to the dumb to speak and deaf to hear, and even if they raise a dead man back to life, I do not consider that is perfect joy. Even if our brothers are so deeply learned that they know all philosophy and they know all the science and they have memorized expertly all the holy scriptures, I do not consider that perfect joy. Even if our brothers can prophesize what’s going to happen and tell the future and understand astrology and understand the intelligence and the mentality of all species of life and reciprocate with all species in that way, I do not consider that perfect joy.”

Brother Leo was surprised and asked, “Then what is perfect joy?” Saint Francis said, “If we can preach the message of God and convert every human being in the entire world to our faith, I do not consider that perfect joy.” So finally brother Leo said, “Francis, please tell me what then is perfect joy?” He said, “When we get to our destination St. Maria of the Angel and it is freezing cold in the middle of the night, we are covered with mud, and it’s raining on us, and we are starving of hunger and thirst, and then we desperately knock on the door. Then our brother answers the door and he asks, ‘Who are you?’ We say, ‘We are your brothers, this is Leo and I am Francis. We have come to be with you, to have communion with you. Please give us shelter.’ Then he looks up with scorn in his eyes, and says, ‘You are not my brothers. You are liars. You are despicable, low grade thieves pretending to be saints. You are exploiting and torturing poor people. You deserve to be punished. Get out from here.’ And then he slams the door in our in our face. I consider that if we bear that and thank God and forgive that man  - that is perfect joy.”

“Then outside we are suffering so badly and we are freezing, we are starving, we are dying and we are desperately knocking on the door again and he comes to the door and he says, ‘Oh, you are back.’ We say, ‘My brother, we are your brothers. Please show mercy to us, show kindness to us, we are starving, we are freezing, and we are dying.’ Then that man becomes so angry, he picks up a big heavy stick, comes out and screams at us, and grabs us by the neck and repeatedly hits us until we are laying in the snow in bloody mess and he just leaves us there freezing, beaten, and blasphemed. In that state, if we could remember our Lord and think, ‘My Lord I have tolerated all of this and forgiven this man as an offering of my love to You’ brother Leo, that is perfect joy. To expect and bear whatever may come into our life and remember the Lord, forgive and love our brother under all circumstances as an offering to the Lord, that is perfect joy.”

This quality of forgiveness is more illuminating than the light of the sun. Those who“justice or setback to us has to be seen as God’s arrangement. Not a blade of grass moves without the sanction of the Lord. To tolerate and to maintain the consciousness of forgiveness and compassion means, to pray as a well-wisher of everyone  our friends, our family members, and even our competitors and our persecutors. And thus see every situation as an opportunity to sincerely take shelter of the Lord.

Source: http://www.dandavats.com/?p=46862

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Srivasa’s niece was only four years old. Her name was Narayani. She was just seating peacefully in the corner of the room. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu cried out “Narayani! Chant Krsnas name and cry in ecstatic love.” And little Narayani called out “Oh! Krsna, oh! Krsna, oh! Krsna…” and tears just irrupted from her eyes profusely, soaking her body, her limbs trembled and she felt to the ground just crying out “oh! Krsna.” But the devotees saw that they understood the power of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. He gave the ultimate perfection of prema Bhakti to a four-year-old girl by just chanting the name of Krsna. And then Srivas Thakur, he got up, he raised his arms to started dancing and he said “my Lord I give up all fear even when you come as the supreme destroyer of the entire universe and as time personified I see that you are destroying all the fourteen worlds, I will raise my arms fearlessly and chant your Holy Names.” And then Srivas Thakur with all of his servants, maidservants, friends and relatives saw Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu manifest His Vaikuntha form. And Vrindavan das Thakur explains in this connection ”just see the power of a Vaishnava, any one who serve the Vaishnav, anyone who pleases a Vaishnava become so dear to the Lord. Even the servants and maidservants of Srivas attained the ultimate perfection of seeing the Lord of Vaikuntha before their eyes. This is something that even Brahma, Shiva and the greatest yogis can not see. There is no higher religious principle than becoming dear to the Vaishnavas.”
So this Narayani is the mother of Vrindavan das Thakur. It is said that Srivas Thakurs elder brother Sri Nalina Pandit. And his wife gave birth to Narayani. Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu would regularly give her the remnants of His food. Sometimes, Lord Caitanya would personally with His own hand feeds this little girl the food that he had eaten. And therefore, a little Narayani became famous throughout the entire Vaishnava society as she who receives the remnants of Lord Caitanya. When she was young, she was married to a great brahmin who came from Srihatta or Silet, his name was Vaikunthanath. She became pregnant. While she was carrying her child, her husband passed away. She was a widow. And the child was born. That illustrious child is Vrindavan das Thakur. Some say he was born in Mamgachi. Some say he was born in Kumar Hatta. Narayani, who was only about fifteen-year-old at the time, she was a young girl and a widow. But in Mamgachi she was given shelter by most compassionate devotee of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Vasudev Datta. She would take care of Vasudev Datta’s, help him with his deity worship and performed so many nice chores for him. And Vasudev Datta protected and cared for Narayani and especially helped to raised little Vrindavan das.
So Vrindavan das Thakur was in that environment of Srivas Thakur, of Vasudev Datta and all the Vaishnavas. This was the association he was raised in. And it is said that he was the last disciple, was initiated by Nityananda Prabhu. Personal associate of Nityananda Prabhu. And Lord Nityananda prabhu ordered his disciple Vrindavan das Thakur to write the life story of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. So, he took that order as his very life and soul. According to historians, Vaishnavas, Vrindavan das Thakur took birth, I believe it was about four years after Lord Caitanya had already taken Sanyas. And as a young man taking the order of Lord Nityananda prabhu on his head, he went to a place called Dhenur. Dhenur is not very far from Katwa, where Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu took Sanyas and there he made his Bhajan kutir, his home. And it was there in Dhenur that Vrindavan das Thakur wrote Sri Caitanya Bhagavat.

Source: http://www.dandavats.com/?p=74371

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By Indradyumna Swami

One day, we pray, we’ll chant and dance with them again!

A verse in the Brahmanda Purana states: “Those who get the darsana of Acyuta, the son of Devaki, can attain Visnuloka and never fall back to the material world. A person who celebrates the festivals of Lord Krsna with full faith becomes free of all sins and goes back to the spiritual world.”

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By Badrinarayan Swami

Hare Krishna,

This message is to report the sad news that the Los Angeles Ratha Yatra, usually held in August, has been canceled due to the Covid pandemic. The City of Los Angeles is not granting permits to any large gatherings for the summer.

We are all sorry to have to report this news. We look forward to seeing you next year at the lotus feet of Lord Jagannath.

Source: http://www.dandavats.com/?p=85654

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Devavrata Prabhu writes: Recently, I asked a boy whom I have been cultivating during the Corona-virus shutdown to write a testimony of his experiences in Krishna consciousness. I hope that devotees are finding it inspiring to reach out to the people we have met and to nourish the relationships.

Here is what Chris wrote:

When I met my wife, she was practicing an Indonesian martial art known as Poekoelan Tjiminde Tulen. It was deeply traditional, and I was struck by its cultural authenticity. I, too, wanted to experience this unchanged tradition. Similarly, the traditional spirituality and religion followed by the devotees of the Krishna consciousness movement gave me the same opportunity, and I can feel the joy and healing already blossoming in me.

I’ve been calling Devavrata Dasa weekly for a few months. I was touched by the strength of his devotion to both the teachings and to me personally. His patience, love, and sincerity during our conversations set them apart in my heart from any other conversations I have had – and now I know that Krishna is the reason.

It was not long before he offered me the large collection of books, Srimad Bhagavatam, I now have in my home. I cannot express how touched I was to receive such a massive collection of spiritual teachings. These teachings grace my house with their presence. This is a gift I will be experiencing gratefulness over for the rest of my life.

It was enjoyable clearing off my bookshelf to make space for this set. You can see the books “living” in the picture. My wife helped me clear the bookshelf and move these teachings to the shelf. We spoke of Krishna and all the different modes of love we can know him by.

I have been chanting one round per day of the mantra on the japa beads that arrived with the books. For once in my life I feel that I can practice a spirituality that makes sense to me. I know I will continue this practice for the rest of my life, and that my life will be better off.

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Today is the appearance day of Srila Vrindavan Das Thakura- the author of Sri Caitanya Bhagavata and is an incarnation of Sri Vedavyasa.
 
The mother of Srila Vrindavana dasa Thakura’s was Sri Narayanidevi, the niece of Srivasa pandita. In his Sri Caitanya Bhagavata,Vrndavana dasa has described how his mother attained theaffectionate fervour of Sri Gaurasundara.
 
“Narayani devi received the entire remnants of Mahaprabhu’smeal. Though she was only an insensible child he bestowed His mercyon her in this way.”
 
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Also as a result of this mercy, Srila Vrindavana dasa Thakura,whose life and soul was Sri Gaura-Nityananda, took his birth fromher womb.He hasn’t mentioned the name of his father. It is believed that Narayani devi was married to someone at Kumarhatta. However,while she was still carrying the child in her womb, she was widowed. Being reduced to a condition of poverty by the loss of her husband, she finally accepted shelter in the house of Sri VasudevaDatta Thakura, at Mamgachi, where she helped with the housework.Here Vrindavana dasa began his studies.
 
In the preface to Sri Caitanya Bhagavata, Sri BhaktisiddhantaSarasvati has written, “Narayani devi raised her child in the home of the father of Sri Malini devi where she had acceptedshelter.”
 
Vrindavana dasa was born four years after Mahaprabhu took sannyasa. When Mahaprabhu disappeared he couldn’t have been more than twenty years old. He was initiated by Sri Nityananda Prabhu and was apparently the last disciple whom Sri Nityananda accepted.He accompanied Sri Jahnava Mata to the Kheturi maha-mahotsava. Sri Krsna dasa Kaviraja Gosvami has glorified Vrindavana dasa Thakura as the Veda Vyasa of the pastimes of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
 
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“The pastimes of Krsna have been described in the Srimad Bhagavatam by Veda Vyasa. Vrindavana dasa is the Veda Vyasa of the pastimes of Sri Caitanya. He has composed Caitanya Mangala which destroys any in auspiciousness for those who hear it. So that we can understand the glories of Caitanya-Nitai, the essence of the conclusions regarding devotional service as expanded in Srimad Bhagavatam and the limits of the conclusions regarding Krsnabhakti, he has composed this great literature to uplift mankind. Toc ompose such a work is not conceivable for a human being therefore we can understand that Sri Caitanya Himself is speaking through him. I offer my obeisances tens of millions of times at the lotus feet of that person who has given us such a scripture which cand eliver the whole world.” (C.C. where and give SP’stranslation)
 
Video: Click here
 
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As a walker who prefers moving through green spaces, I can’t help noticing the plants to either side of me. For instance, I’m noticing the very invasive garlic mustard with its tiny white flowers. It’s supposed to be fairly good for the health and all agree that it gives off a spicy bite to a tossed salad. It’s also good as a pesto when prepared like basil. The problem with it is that it takes over the forest floor.

Stingy nettle is also making its appearance in the foresty ravine. This wild veg taste even better than spinach. When forging it it’s advisable to have long sleeves and maybe even use gloves since the leaves have a prickly dynamic. Once it’s boiled or cooked those tiny needles just dissolve.

Also magical at this time are dandelions. The flower tops are excellent as pakoras. I turned our cook, Dwarkanatha, on to this. He tried some and churned out a few from the kitchen. My God!Delicious! I’m also encouraging him to use the young leaves in salad.

It happened that one of our wonderful couples from Oakville showed up with a bag full of fiddleheads, which are also now good for the harvest. Kasyapa and Panchami were kind to deliver. I guess in their native Gujarat this fern may not be so common but it is quite in abundance in shaded areas around here. Our cook received the stock. He cooked them with some potatoes and even he admitted they are scrumptious.  It was his first time.

Eating local wild veggies along with the practice of walking build up your resistance to nasty viruses. We offer the food to Krishna and you’ve got the best consecrated food. 
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By BB Govinda Swami

I had a pleasant call from Niranjana Swami Maharaja, he told me he is in Mayapur and he was trying to express how happy he is actually feeling in being there. How happy he is being in a place where he can be regulated. He is just having an excellent time in Mayapur. For us people who are always traveling, this arrangement of not traveling is a miracle. We have regulation. We have the proper time for sleeping. We eat at regulated times. We have regulated time for sadhana and regulated time for exercise, this is very different for us. So much of the time we are running to an airport, going through security, getting on the plane, coming down and doing it over and over again, and Krishna arranged the situation so that we would slow down very much and so we could appreciate what is going on around us.

I know that it’s not the same for everybody. I know there are many people out there who may be filled with fear or apprehension of what this new time has in store for us. But we should just take shelter of Krishna, He gave us more time for doing that in a concentrated way. Leave the rest for Him. Just take shelter of Krishna, chant His name and glories and leave the rest for Him.

Just like Srila Prabhupada commented on that verse that “Life after life I wish to be with vaishnavas, whether Krishna wants me to go to Goloka Vrindavana or not that’s Krishna’s business, but I wish to be with vaishnavas, love the vaishnavas, remain with vaishnavas, serve the vaishnavas and spread the message of Krishna Consciousness to all others.”

So now it’s the time for self-reflection and acceptance of this situation with gratitude. I asked Niranjana Swami how Radhanatha Swami is, and Maharaja said he is very-very happy. He had finished his ayurvedic treatment in Govardhan Eco Village, then police came and told all the foreigners to leave. So he got on one of the last flights to America and he went to an apartment or home somebody arranged for him and now he is there by himself. And he is so happy, he is cooking for himself, cleaning for himself, just relishing life in Krishna consciousness.

This is a sincere prayer of a devotee, that “My Lord, please bless me to serve You. My lord, on my own I am devoid of any good qualities. My heart is devoid of truthfulness or compassion. I’m envious. My heart doesn’t have the power to forgive other people. Lust is like the leader of the gang of thieves that has tightened my heart. On my own, dear Lord, I don’t have any good qualities. Therefore, my Lord, I am dependent on Your mercy. Please cast Your merciful glance on me so that I could worship you day and night.”

Truly sincere prayer of a devotee.

Makes me recall about 6-7 years ago when Sacinandana Swami Maharaja, Madhava, Srutakirti Prabhu, Myself and a few other devotees did Govardhan dandavat parikrama. It was a big challenge, but the biggest challenge was to keep the mind fixed. Physically it was not so impossible, but if our mind would not focus on pleasing Giriraja with this service and receive Him mercy, then immediately I felt hopeless.

One devotee asked me what it was like. I said it was like the experience of the sacred and the profane. To have the power to keep going your mind really had to be in a sacred space, constantly praying for mercy, if it would deviate it would concentrate on most horrible things.

Everyday we had 4 hour dandavats around Girigovardhan and then we would stop wherever we could come to and we would roll over and look into the sky together. I remember so many times we would share realizations. Everytime when I asked Sacinandana Maharaja, “What are your realizations?” Then in a very sweet way he would reply, “Oh, I understood that without the sweet mercy of Sri Radha and Krishna and Giriraja nothing is possible.”

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My heart is like a desert, hot with the rays of the sun. This is my internal mental condition. The desire for temporary, material things cannot satisfy me because by nature they are death producing. And not one or two, but thousands of such death-producing desires have taken shelter in my mind. So, my subconscious region is always burning. This is my condition. But somehow, by the grace of sadhu and my guru, the holy name of Krishna with its infinite prospect has entered through the holes of my ears and reached the plane of my heart. And there, with some peculiar hope, with infinite, auspicious possibilities, it touched my heart with a new kind of nectar.

New hope is aroused by that sound. Then by force it comes from the heart toward the tongue. Not by the endeavor of my tongue I am producing that sound. What came from the heart of a saint through my ear, entered my heart, and that forcibly appeared on my tongue, and began to dance.

That is the holy name proper. It descends from above. The material tongue cannot produce it. Its source is above. And through an agent of the absolute it comes through the ear to the heart. From the heart it gather some sympathy, then the holy name of Krishna forcibly appears upon the tongue and begins to dance. With great force that sweet sound comes to the tip of the tongue, and began to dance.

The real effects of the divine name have been described here. If it is a real living name the voice will be choked up. There will be shivering in the body, the legs will be unable to stand, and sometimes tears will flow in a current on the body. One’s hair will stand on end, and sometimes the body will change color. The material mind and consciousness will fade away, and we may fall in a swoon. The whole body and mind will appear as if it is being attacked, shivering, and influenced in many ways.

Apparently it may seem that so many troubles are created in the body and mind, but the real heart is overflowing with a particular kind of strange, sweet juice. Sometimes the devotee thinks, “I am swimming in an ocean of nectar. My whole existence is submerged in an ocean of nectarean rasa. I am beside myself and cannot understand where I am. What is this? What is surrounding me? Am I going mad? Where is my past experience, my seriousness, my gravity… where are they?

I have been completely converted by a foreign element. I am a doll in the hands of a great force, which is so affectionate to me. I cannot ascertain how it is possible that by my faith I have entered this great, unknown environment. And at last I find that I am captivated. My entire being, within and without, has been captured and controlled by an especially sweet force. It is beyond description. I came to take shelter of Him and accept Him as my guardian. But now at his hands, I am being dealt with in such a merciless and oppressive way.

Still, I feel everything is very pleasing beyond my experience. I cannot resist anymore. I am fully captured. So let my faith go anywhere because I cannot escape. I am captive in the hand of a sweet loving friend. All my independence is gone, and I have no other choice but surrender.

I find that He is an autocrat. He does whatever He wants. Since it is not possible for me to resist, I must surrender. No, I will cooperate and do whatever He wants. Meanwhile, I find that the holy name is like a blossoming flower emanating wonderful sweets streams. The holy name contains so many sweet variegated forms of current within Him. In different ways He is expressing Himself. Sometimes He shows a peculiar type of color and form, and then disappears.

So many charming aspects are revealed within, as He forces me to surrender at the base of that altar. He shows Himself in a full-fledged form as He leads to vrindavana to witness His vraja-lila with Radha. I find Myself in the midst of His uniquely sweet and loving abode. He says, “You see! I have so many wonderful things and this is your home. I am not imagination but concrete reality. You will find that this environment is very sweet and favorable, and you should live here.”

I see that He is exchanging a variety of loving rasas with His many devotees. And I find that a spiritual body has emerged from my previous one, and that I have a permanent place here in His service. Such a new life I find here that all considerations of my past life and experience has vanished. What He says is true; my real life is here, and my previous material life was a waste.”

Now I find that chanting the holy name gives me a new hope, a new prospect, and new encouragement. The name supplies whatever we want. All our internal hankerings will be fulfilled if we chant the name. The holy name is eternal, full of ecstasy, and it is the purest of the pure.

I find I have been completely converted, and now my innermost hankering is this: Let whatever is against this sweet name vanish forever from the world. Everyone should come here. I am ready to sacrifice my life to finish any opposition, so that everyone can easily, peacefully, and fearlessly enjoy this absolute, sweet and blissful life.

(From Sharanagati)

Source: http://www.dandavats.com/?p=18283

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While the coronavirus is spreading throughout the world, luckily for us, so is kindness. Even though they are physically restricted in their movement, people find ways to reach out, express appreciation to and care for one another. They sing together on balconies to cheer each other up; they leave bags of groceries at the doorstep of the sick, or the old; they clap for the healthcare workers serving at the frontline; distribute free food to the police and sanitation workers who  maintain order and keep things clean for us, or, they leave chalk drawings with encouraging messages on the sidewalk for us to see when we occasionally venture out to get some fresh air. 

These simple, little acts of kindness warm our hearts, help us cope with our struggles, and make us feel that we are not alone, but truly belong to a larger community. 

These simple, little acts of kindness are powerful, cathartic, and could change our lives forever.

ISKCON News is calling young artists, aged 3-18, to recognize and capture these little acts of kindness around them and turn them into an artwork. 

Choose an art form from the list below and create a piece of art relating to how people help each other and spread kindness during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please read the requirements. 

Read more: https://iskconnews.org/the-kindness-pandemic-an-iskcon-wide-contest-for-young-artists,7359/

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Who is in your heart and in whose heart are you in? When we love someone, we want to fully enter into the heart and life of our beloved and we want our beloved to fully enter our heart and life. But in reality it doesn't happen with the relationships of this world. This is possible only in our relationship with Krishna because only He is selfless in His love and capable of satisfying us fully. Therefore Krishna says in Srimad-bhagvatam 9.4.68 -
 
"sādhavo hṛdayaṁ mahyaṁ

sādhūnāṁ hṛdayaṁ tv aham

mad-anyat te na jānanti

nāhaṁ tebhyo manāg api"

"The pure devotee is always within the core of My heart, and I am always in the heart of the pure devotee. My devotees do not know anything else but Me, and I do not know anyone else but them."

Rather than trying to give our hearts fully to the people of this world and being frustrated is to give our hearts fully to Krishna and never be frustrated. Therefore, it is best if we give Krishna a place in our hearts and thereby occupy a place in His heart. This is true wisdom, maturity and success of life.
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Gita Warrior Online Course

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A quick overview of all the 18 Chapters of Bhagavad-gītā summarized in short videos by HG Gauranga Das. At the end of each video, answer 10 questions about the chapter and proceed sequentially for all 18 chapters, thereby earning you the certification of "Gita Warrior", presented by Bhaktivedanta Vidyapitha Research Center, in affiliation with Mumbai University
 
In order to participate in the course please 

1. Visit online.brcmumbai.com and sign in 
 
2. Go to the Gita Warrior Course 
 
3. Study the videos, slides and  Attempt the Quiz chapter by chapter 
 
4. At the end you will be entitled for a Certification
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Jananivas Prabhu’s service was to bring frankincense to Srila Prabhupada’s room in the evening. He mentioned that usually after you fill a room with frankincense, you open the doors and windows so that the mosquitos go out with the smoke. Srila Prabhupada however liked to keep the smoke within the room and stopped Jananivas Prabhu from opening the doors and windows. Since it was Srila Prabhupada’s darshan time, there would usually be many western devotees in the room and these western devotees would begin to cough and their eyes would water since they were not used to the smoke.

On a different occasion Srila Prabhupada with great appreciation said that the frankincense produced such a nice transcendental spiritual atmosphere.Jananivas Prabhu had until then thought that the frankincense was simply meant to drive away the mosquitoes. It was only after Srila Prabhupada said this that he understood that Srila Prabhupada had a deep spiritual appreciation for the frankincense smoke.

Once 4 Rigveda priests from Nepal came to visit Srila Prabhupada in Sri Mayapur. Srila Prabhupada liked them and one of them got initiated by Srila Prabhupada as Gangaram dasa. These priests asked Srila Prabhupada if they could teach devotees some prayers that conform to our vaisnava tradition. Srila Prabhupada agreed and that is how they introduced the Purusa-sukta prayers. One of the priests also taught Jananivas Prabhu different recipes for the frankincense. One recipe involved using a bay leaf and so on. In the evening they would recite the Purusa-sukta prayers as Jananivas Prabhu would bring the frankincense from the temple to Srila Prabhupada’s room. One of the priests knew how to blow a conshell without stopping and he would blow not one but two conchshells simultaneously and non-stop. He would first blow his cheeks and then inhale in such a manner that the conchshells would sound continously. It was quite a ceremony beacuse they would walk up all the way from the temple with prayers, conchshells and frankincense. Devotees would call it Bhooth puja, puja to drive away ghosts. Srila Prabhupada would be talking to his devotees and guests while the frankincense team would arrive on the corridor with all the loud sounds and then enter Srila Prabhupada’s room. Srila Prabhupada would stop and look up. The first time it happened, Srila Prabhupada was patiently looking up at the priest who blew the conchshells. After a while, he realised that the priest was expert at blowing nonstop and would not stop. He was amused and began to laugh.

One day Srila Prabhupada saw Pankajanghri Prabhu mopping the corridor on either side of Srila Prabhupada’s room. He came out and asked “Do you have to do this? Is there nobody else who can do this?” Pankhajanghri Prabhu replied “Srila Prabhupada, I am not Jananivas Prabhu. I am his younger brother, Pankhajanghri das” Srila Prabhupada said “Then it is all right”

One day Pankajanghri Prabhu was posted outside Srila Prabhupada’s room to guard the door. Pankhajanghri Prabhu had a cast on one of his legs. So when he folded his legs, the sole of one his feet was exposed. When Srila Prabhupada noticed this, he said “Don’t you know that it is disrespectful to expose the sole of your foot to the spiritual master?” Pakhajanghri Prabhu apologised and immediately began to re-position his leg when Srila Prabhupada noticed the cast on his leg and asked “Have you injured your leg?” Pankhajanghri Prabhu replied “Yes” and then Srila Prabhupada said “No, no then it is alright, keep your legs as they are”

Once Jananivas Prabhu had a desire to hear from Srila Prabhupada’s lotus lips about what he had written in the Krishna book specifically how everybody in Vrndavan loves Krishna, the birds, the creepers, the residents, the cows and all other inhabitants of Vrndavan. The next day when he entered Srila Prabhupada’s room he was speaking one to one with his different leaders about the preaching activities in their temples and zones. After a while Srila Prabhupada changed topic and instead of addressing anybody one to one, he began to address everybody and narrated how all the inhabitants of Vrindavan love Krishna, the cows, the birds, the creepers, the gopis and all the fortunate residents of Vrndavan. Jananivas Prabhu said that the whole room became illuminated as Srila Prabhupada narrated about the love of the residents of Vrndavan for Krishna. Not only him but some others in the room also told him that they too had the same experience that the whole room became illuminated when Srila Prabhupada began to speak about Vrindavan. Srila Prabhupada’s eyes were sparkling as he narrated those pastimes.

There was a devotee who would bring fresh dab every day in the evening at 4.00 pm for Srila Prabhupada. In 1977 Srila Prabhupada was in Sri Mayapur during Gaura Purnima. He began to thank this devotee who would bring him dab. Then he began to thank Jananivas Prabhu. Like this Srila Prabhupada individually thanked all devotees for the various services that they rendered to him. Jananivas Prabhu thinks that Srila Prabhupada knew that he was leaving the planet that year and wanted to express his appreciation individually to all the devotees who served him in Sri Mayapur.

Once Jananivas Prabhu was in Srila Prabhupada’s room along with Satsvarupa Maharaja. Srila Prabhupada was chanting on his beads softly and gravely while walking back and forth between his darshan room and resting room. At one point, Srila Prabhupada stopped, looked at Jananivas Prabhu and Satsvarupa Maharaja and said in a very deep, serious voice “This chanting of Hare Krishna is transcendental, spiritual sound vibration”. Then he continued chanting while walking.

I asked Jananivas Prabhu about the history of the beautiful Pancha Tattva Deities on the top of the shelf behind Srila Prabhupada. Jananivas Prabhu replied that those Deities were made by Srimati Mataji and gifted personally to Srila Prabhupada. They were never worshiped. He mentioned that these Deities however have a special significance and They are above Srila Prabhupada’s lotus head by transcendental arrangement.He explained how in Deity worship one is first supposed to meditate on the spiritual master sitting at the lotus feet of Pancha-tattva. So Srila Prabhupada is sitting right at the lotus feet of Pancha-tattva in his room. As far as second generation and future generations are concerned, he explained that they can meditate on their spiritual master sitting near Srila Prabhupada who is sitting at the lotus feet of Pancha-tattva in his room.

He went on to mention how Srila Prabhupada had brought different devotees from the west headed by Baradwaj Prabhu and Rukmini mataji so that these devotees could learn how to make diaromas, dolls and learn various other similar skills. They went back and established the FATE museum in Detroit. However they could not put the skills that they learned in India to much use in the west as the conditions there were very different. In the west only sophiticated kilns were available unlike the simple equipments in India. Some people in India criticised Srila Prabhupada that he was making devotees in the west and bringing them to India to teach sudra jobs. As usual Srila Prabhupada was unaffected by it.

Jananaivas Prabhu mentioned that most of the time Srila Prabhupada would be grave while in his room in Sri Mayapur but sometimes he would be in a light hearted mood. Once, pointing to the beautiful picture of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur in his room which was done by Pushkar Prabhu, Srila Prabhupada teased Bharadwaj Prabhu who was considered the leading artist in ISKCON at that time “Pushkar has done better than you” and then smiled mischieveously.

Once Jananivas Prabhu entered Srila Prabhupada’s room as usual in the evening with frankincense. There was noboby in the room. Srila Prabhupada was intensely absorbed in some writing work. Jananivas Prabhu offered his obeisances and as he began to fan the frankinsense, he noticed that the sole of one of Srila Prabhupada’s lotus feet was uncovered. Jananivas Prabhu’s eyes began to drink the beauty of Srila Prabhupada’s pink lotus feet. He began to pray that may he be able to firmly fix his mind on this fortunate sight of Srila Prabhupada’s lotus feet at the time of his death,. Just as he was praying like this, Srila Prabhupada abruptly paused his work, lifted his head and looked up straight into Jananivas Prabhu’s eyes. It was as if the suddenness of that gesture clearly indicated that he had heard Jananivas Prabhu’s prayer. Jananivas Prabhu began to feel shy, looked down immediately and moved on with his frankincense fanning duty. 

Source: http://www.dandavats.com/?p=8847

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Mother Krsnanandini devi, disciple of His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada, has been moved to hospice care after a painful battle with cancer. She is in amazing consciousness and seems to be embracing her upcoming journey with the same deep bhakti and surrender to Lord Krishna with which she has lived her entire life. She and her husband Tariq prabhu have been marriage guides and spiritual counselors to so many devotees worldwide.

Syamali devi, disciple of HH Indradyumna Swami, and wife of Bhismadeva Prabhu, has been diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer that has spread through her body.

Please offer special prayers for these two special souls and their respective spouses and other family members.

Source: http://www.dandavats.com/?p=85638

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With the release of the Hugely Successful Hare Krsna and Govindam records 50 years ago, many tourists wanted to visit the London Temple but may not want to take their shoes off. So how to accommodate this flood of interest?? HDG Srila Prabhupada explains a unique way how this can be done.

Srila Prabhupada: I think on account of this record, many people, at least from different parts of Europe, will come to see our Temple. Many tourists also may come there. So you do not take it as gloomy, but you should welcome them in our Temple. Regularly try to sell our books and magazines to them. So far taking away the shoes is concerned, you can make the following arrangement: just after the entrance door, arrange for a movable railing so that anyone willing to enter the Temple room, but who does not like to take of his shoes, may be allowed to enter the door but stand near the railing and see the Deity from that place. Anyone willing to go inside the railing boundary must have to get out of his shoes. And exactly by the side of the Altar another railing may be fixed up. This railing should stand between the Vyasasana and the Altar. So anyone who may come must be well received, informed about our activities, and when we publish a little pamphlet which is in preparation, it may also be distributed to each and every one of the visitors.
>>> Ref. VedaBase => Letter to: Syamasundara – Los Angeles 8 March, 1970

Source: http://www.dandavats.com/?p=85593

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Braja Hari Das, among ISKCON India’s most respected and beloved leaders, Temple President of the Juhu temple (Mumbai), has been hospitalized with COVID-19. He is undergoing treatment in good medical hands and he is stable.

No other case of COVID-19 has been detected. We extend our heartfelt prayers for Braja Hari Das and the ISKCON Juhu devotee community.

ISKCON JUHU’S OFFICIAL STATEMENT:

We wish to share with the ISKCON devotee community that unfortunately one positive case of COVID-19 has been detected at ISKCON Juhu. The respective devotee has been moved to hospital and is receiving medical care. All devotees who were in any close proximity of the affected devotee have been quarantined.

ISKCON Juhu temple premises have been sanitized. All necessary measures have been put in place to regularly sanitise the area. All entry and exit from the main gate is closed till further notice.

Devotees at ISKCON Juhu are following all the guidelines suggested by the local Municipal Corporation, Health officers & Police who have inspected the area and management cooperating with them to arrest any further spread of virus.

Social distancing, wearing of mask, washing hands regularly with alcohol or soap, isolation of any unwell devotees and all related preventive measures have been put in place at the temple.

Deity worship shall continue. Entry of devotees in temple hall is restricted.

ISKCON Juhu has discontinued its prasadam distribution program.

The management at ISKCON Juhu wishes to assure one and all that it is taking all preventive measures to safeguard the devotees inside the temple premises and is in constant touch with the concerned govt. & health authorities.

We request all to kindly check with the undersigned for any information related to the situation at ISKCON Juhu, if needed, and not leave scope for any rumours or speculations.

We request your prayers for the devotee community at ISKCON Juhu.

Issued on behalf of ISKCON Juhu by Parijata Devi Dasi

Source: http://www.dandavats.com/?p=85601

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By Radha Sakhi Dasi 

After two years of sheer hard work and utmost determination, Touchstone Media is proud to unveil the first dose of the crest jewel of Vaisnavism and gamut of Vaisnava philosophy in the form of ‘The Harmonist, volume 1, Ebook’.

The original version of The Harmonist appeared as ‘Sri Sajjana Tosani’ in Bengali in the year 1879, published by the Vaisnava pioneer Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. Upon his departure, his son Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura instituted his preaching mission, Sri Gaudiya Math and established a printing press. In June 1927, he launched ‘the Harmonist’ which was an English magazine with the same format as ‘Sri Sajjana Tosani’. He continued publishing the magazine until 1936, the year he passed away.

The Harmonist is an unfathomable ocean of intricate and emphatic conclusions of the Vaishnava stalwarts, encompassing deep philosophical inferences, intriguing secrets of God consciousness, insightful Vedic and Gaudiya Vaisnava traditions, rich Vaisnava heritage, significant historical events, analytical view of devotion along with politics, social and economic aspects, an in-depth scrutiny of favorable association and growth in devotion with that association. 

Read more: https://iskconnews.org/the-harmonist-volume-one-now-available-in-ebook-format,7358/

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Mayapur Institute Fall Classes

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The Supreme Lord, who is our well-wishing father, wants us to use the events we encounter every  day as tools with which to shape and sculpt us into the image that He originally created us. He wants to deepen our faith and develop within us the quality of perseverance that makes us watertight containers of His love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

Our life rests in the Supreme Lord’s hands. Like a skilled potter, he knows how to apply precise pressure, when to relax His grip, how to score our life with His fingernail, how to squeeze and nudge–all of which increases our fitness as a vessel for His use. At times, He places us in a  furnace where the fires of life turn us into stronger vessels.

The Supreme Lord has mercifully given us the scriptures, which  teach us how  to shape ourselves so that we can execute our devotional service, become qualified to serve Him,  and return back home back to Godhead. This can be very easily achieved by systematically and scrutinizingly studying Srila Prabhupada’s books every day. Proper understanding of one’s constitutional position in relation to Krsna is so nice that one can shape himself into the image desired by the Supreme Lord.

Mayapur Institute assists you in gaining this transcendental knowledge. It paves the path for you to shape your future by in-depth analytical study of Srila Prabhupada’s books, facilitated by sincere practitioners.  Take a step now, and shape your future by enrolling for  Mayapur Institute’s winter courses.

Read more: https://www.mayapur.com/2020/mayapur-institute-fall-classes/

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So we see how Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu introduced Santana Goswami to all of his associates from Nabadwip, who were all from Bengal, all these devotees were obviously great personalities. And of course amongst them were Advaita Acarya and Lord Nityananda, who are both the Supreme Personality of Godhead. So Lord Caitanya asked Santana Goswami to offer his obeisances to all these personalities, which he did, so they could bestow their mercy upon him. And the Vaishnavas bestowed upon him mercy, friendship and honour.

The Vaishnavas are the caretakers of mercy. They live by mercy, they are engaging in devotional service and they get mercy through that devotional service. They are associating with Vaishnavas and they get mercy through those Vaishnavas. They visit the holy abodes such as Vrndavana, Mayapur and Jagannatha Puri, and they are getting mercy there. They are digging for jewels in the minds of scriptures for whole collections of jewels from various sources. Mercy from service, mercy from association, mercy from the holy dhamas, mercy from scripture, mercy from Krsna prasadam and mercy from the holy name.

So in this way, all that mercy is building up within a Vaishnava. All these different aspects of mercy that one gets from one’s spiritual life, become building blocks of one’s bhakti.

Source: https://www.kksblog.com/2020/05/vaisnavas-are-treasure-houses/

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A Cure by Bhaktimarga Swami

5098860873?profile=RESIZE_400xAt the start of today’s walk I took our resident monk from Bangladesh with me to show him what is a dandelion, that brightly yellow-colored flower that Europeans brought to the New World (North America) long ago. I plucked out one of those little flowers of wonder, which some people call a weed, so Dwarkanatha, also our major cook, could see it.
 
“The flower head is delicious as a pakora. The young leaves are great in a salad,” I explained. He appreciated the gesture of education and is committed to trying it out as food preparation of a nutritious kind. Then he told me something significant about herbal power that was like a miracle to hear.
 
He told me last week that 36 monks (brahmacharis) in our Dakatemple/ashram had been found with Covid-19 positive. That was devastating to hear. The whole facility was shut down.
 
But then one of the members, a medical-smart person, had them take a tea 3 times a day internally and three times breathe in this same substance with its steam. The report now is a glorious one. All those victims of the virus now read negative.

“So my dear Dwarkanatha, what is this cure and what are the ingredients?” I implored. This is what he said:

Black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, turmeric in water, boiled, steeped in water.

“Okay, so more people should give it a try,” I suggested.

“Yes,” he said firmly with a smile. I proceeded walking happily taking my Trinidadian walking partner, Aisvarya, with me.
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