ISKCON Derire Tree's Posts (13981)

Janmastami in Kharkov/Ukraine


On my arrival in Kharkov/Ukraine I immediately focussed on the upcoming festivals of Janmastami and Prabhupada's appearance.


As we know Bhaktivinoda Thakur said that Vaisnava festivals are the mother of devotion if we celebrate them deeply, with heart and soul.


We had only a few days left to get absorbed in meditating on all the arrangements....


I had made efforts to invite a preacher to come and visit us in Kharkov for those festival days. It always adds a special festive note to the atmosphere and is very uplifting to everyone's consciousness. But this time I had been out of luck. Many preachers were going to the 40th anniversary of the installation of the Deities at Bhaktivedanta Manor, which was a big event.


Nevertheless, we had the opportunity to receive one special guest amongst us: Mahabharata Prabhu from Moscow, who is serving there as the head-pujari.
He had kindly agreed to come and train our pujaris in various aspects of puja, and help us to arrange a very nice abhishek for Janmastami.


As every year we requested all the devotees to go and collect Marygold flowers, so we could decorate the altar and Prabhupada's Vyasasana profusely in the traditional Vrindavan style.


And it engaged so many congregational devotees! The men were going out in the evenings and early mornings to collect the flowers, and the ladies were serving in teams to string them up in simple decoration garlands.


We also decided to introduce a new decoration for the temple room: we hung up some pots along the walls, with decorative arrangements of twigs, flowering grass, bright sunflowers and wildflowers collected from the forests and fields. It created a wonderful village mood, reminding of Vrindavan. Especially sunflowers always look very happy and joyful....!


We set up three gates with decorative colored cloth, ribbons, twigs and flowers. The first gate marked the very entrance coming from the street.
The second one was welcoming the guests when entering the front door of the temple building, and the third one we passed through when entering the altar room.


Such festive decorations are very important and are uplifting to everyone's mind. Prabhupada describes in the Bhagavatam how the entire city of Hastinapur was decorated when Krsna entered. We were only attempting to decorate the temple building....


The stair case leading up to the temple room was also nicely decorated with Marygold garlands and ribbons, and the entire atmosphere was festive and increased the anticipation when coming closer to the altar where the Lord was patiently awaiting us.


This year we also had a well organised cooking team - to cook more than 108 preparations, not only for Janmastami, but also for Prabhupada's appearance! It would be the first year where we managed to make a concentrated effort to cook many nice preparations for Prabhupada's pleasure. Often his Vyasapuja day is a little neglected as devotees are tired from serving on Janmastami.


On the morning of Janmastami we heard several senior devotees speak on various aspects of Krsna's appearance.
Vicka had made many nice flower compositions in vases, and together with her husband they had stayed up all night to create very elaborate decorations with Marygold flowers behind the altar on the walls. As every year I was going on the altar after the dressing had almost finished, and I profusely decorated the altar - one of my favorite services!


No doubt - the altar ended up looking breathtakingly stunning! Nobody had ever seen such wonderful decorations in Kharkov before.....!
And the Deities looked very beautiful and happy indeed - surrounded by many cows.....


The atmosphere in the temple throughout the day was surcharged with the spirit of service in devotion to the Lord - almost electrifying....


The abhishek was well conducted by our brahmana initiated men, with a variety of liquids in various colors being poured over Their Lordships. I was invited to give the main lecture in the evening, ending with a little skit demonstrating the power of chanting the Holy Name being nondifferent than associating with the Lord in person.
Throughout the night we had a nice program engaging the mind in remembering Krsna: a well performed drama, nice kirtans and little cultural performances. Sarvatma Prabhu, our chairman of the Temple Council had prepared a report introducing with a slide show all the various temple departments and their activities.
I was invited to open the Lord's gifts while Sahasrajit Prabhu was reading out the cards which the devotees had offered, expressing glorifications and gratitude to the Lord for appearing in this world.


After another big bhoga offering the Lord received the midnight artik, accompanied with sweet melodious kirtans, while we could marvel at all the little delicacies which were offered with love and devotion. The entire altar was lit with candles, which created a more intimate and festive atmosphere.


Immediately after the midnight kirtan I was driven back to my room, where I took simple prasadam and rested for some hours in order to be back at the temple in the early morning to decorate Srila Prabhupada's Vyasasana. This is the first Vyasa Puja where Prabhupada's Vyasasana is ready, with all the carved decorational parts along the top and sides.
And it looks so nice - a feast to my heart....!


I had a good team of devotees who were helping me to decorate, and guided and inspired from within the heart we served in harmony, endeavoring to do our very best as briskly as we could - for the pleasure of Srila Prabhupada and the assembled devotees.....


The abhishek started timely, and everybody who was present and wore devotional clothes was invited to bathe Prabhupada.
I was sceduled to give the lecture about Srila Prabhupada. I chose to speak on aspects of the deeper meaning of him being the Founder Acarya: the importance of his books being the law books for the next ten-thousand years, and his outstanding glory of being the only disciple of his Guru Maharaja who had clearly understood his Guru's mission of a world-wide Sankirtan movement having to be lead by not one acarya, but a team of acaryas forming a governing body. And I further elaborated how Bhaktisiddhanta's mission of the Gaudiya Math had been entirely spoiled, because his disciples had not understood this very important point and thus had been fighting over who would be the next leading acarya. They had prefered to be the main acarya of their own little Math, rather than being part of a world-wide organisation.


The price we have to pay in order to fulfill Mahaprabhu's mission of bringing the holy name to every corner of the world is our readiness to cooperate - something which is especially difficult in this age of quarrel and hypocracy....!


We read out the homages of some of our GBC's and ISKCON Guru's personally known to our devotees, followed by our humble selves offering deep and heartfelt words in glorification of Srila Prabhupada. Many devotees had deeply meditated on their relationship with Srila Prabhupada and spoke very nicely.


Prabhupada was offered a wonderful feast, and we concluded the program with puspanjali and Gurv-astaka sung in the beautiful day melody while Prabhupada received nine garlands. A joyful and heartfelt kirtan united the family of our Kharkov devotees around Srila Prabhupada, and I could feel a deep satisfaction within my heart, sensing that Prabhupada was pleased......


Your servant, Devaki dd


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ISKCON Food Relief Foundation is Hiring

Annamrita

1) Manager Branch for Wada location for managing Midday Meals scheme. Operation involving production, administration, maintenance, recruitment, training, HR related

activities, purchases and generation of daily reports, MIS and implementation of FSMS and quality of the products.

2) Vehicle Maintenance Supervisor for Tardeo, Mumbai location. He will be responsible to manage entire operation of vehicle maintenance across Tardeo, Mira road , Palghar and Wada. This role will ensure that all the required vehicles are adequately in good condition and timely available to meet the transport requirements of the kitchen.

3) Fundraising Manager for Tardeo, Mumbai Location. He will be responsible to raise funds from corporate, high net worth donor and individual sources, to support marketing and fundraising and to contribute to wider organizational initiatives in order to meet the fundraising targets.

4) Assistant Branch Manager for Palghar location. ABM is responsible for proper functioning branch. This role will build and continuously improve the capability to deliver midday meals in branch. He is responsible to maintain the ISO Food Safety standards for Palghar Branch which includes Kitchen, Store, Housekeeping and School coordination and assisting BM in all day to operations.


Interested candidates can email their resume to hr@annmarita.org

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Srimad Bhagavatam Class

Lecture on Srimad Bhagavatam Class by Vaisesika Prabhu 12 Nov 2013 at ISKCON Vrindavan

(In his youth, William Suczek spent years searching for God and for the meaning of life. His prayers and intense austerities, which included vows of poverty, fasting and silence- unusual for a teenager were answered when a friend gave him a copy of Back to Godhead magazine in 1973. As soon as he saw the photo of A.C. Bhaktivedanta Srila Prabhupda the founder of the Hare Krishna movement, he knew that his search was over.)

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Srimad Bhagavatam Class

Lecture on Srimad Bhagavatam Class by Sacinandana Swami 18 Nov 2013 at ISKCON Vrindavana

(HH Sacinandana Swami left home only 16 years old to meet devotees and to become a disciple of Srila Prabhupada in 1971. Maharaja’s first years in ISKCON were spent by translating Srila Prabhupada’s books from English to German and later he joined the book distribution party in Germany. Desiring to deepen his preaching, Maharaja soon started to visit people, who already got our books to encourage them to actively practice Krishna consciousness at home.)

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Srimad Bhagavatam Class

Lecture on Srimad Bhagavatam Class by Niranjana Swami 15 Nov 2013 at Taichung Taiwan

(After reading Srila Prabhupada’s books and seriously practicing the path of devotional service, Niranjana Swami took initiation from him in 1974, in Boston, USA. In 1986, he took sannyasa vows in Mayapur, India, and then proceeded to travel extensively throughout North America, the former Soviet Union, and India, lecturing on the teachings found within the books of His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada. Devoted to assisting others on this path, Niranjana Swami is also an initiating spiritual master in ISKCON. His home base is Kiev, Ukraine.)

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Srimad Bhagavatam Class

Lecture on Srimad Bhagavatam Class by Janananda Goswami 16 Nov 2013 at ISKCON Vrindavan

(Born in the United Kingdom. His Holiness Janananda Goswami was initiated by His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada in 1972. He held various positions in ISKCON and served Srila Prabhupada in various countries notably the United Kingdom, Africa, Malaysia, Europe, Philippines and New Zealand. His Holiness Janananda Maharaj is a very exalted devotee, travelling and preaching all over the world, the main driving force behind the World Holy Name initiative and various other wonderful projects in ISKCON.)

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The economic downturn being experienced by the Indian economy is bottoming out.


The political and economic leadership is reposing its trust in the potential of corporate India as well as the locked value in our state owned enterprises (maharatnas, navratnas and miniratnas). “India is on its way to regain its glory of 7-8 percent GDP growth and nothing can stop the Indian economy from becoming the 3rd or 4th largest in GDP terms soon,” said P Chidambaram, Union Finance Minister, while delivering the Special Address on the occasion of Skoch Renaissance Awards for Corporate Leadership and Corporate Citizenship.


It was not merely a simple event, but a congregation of India’s best, in terms of corporate leadership, business excellence, business innovation, human resource development, economic corporate social responsibility from stateowned enterprises, private and public sector players from banks, insurance, pensions, education, markets, NBFCs, and community based organisations. The best practices and projects led by these revolutionaries were conferred the Skoch Award – the highest independently instituted civilian honour that salutes people, projects, and institutions which went an extra mile in making India better.


When Skoch instituted the awardsnominees. Eleven years hence, the situation has dramatically changed with Skoch Renaissance Awards 2013 conferring 6 platinum and 18 gold awards in 24 diverse categories ranging from corporate leadership, corporate citizenship to business excellence. Out of hundreds of such nominations received, the awards secretariat, after initial screening and secondary research process spanning nearly 800 manhours, selected 100 wellperforming projects that were invited to make a presentation to the jury consisting of domain experts. The presentations to the jury lasted for five days oe nearly 500 manhours of effort, left 47 top projects to be conferred the Skoch Order-of-Merit. Each of the submissions was outstanding, decidedly reiterating that India is on the super-highway, speeding towards growth and development


Coveted for their independence and exceptional research, Skoch Award is distinctive for its approach in selection of awardees. The Skoch Award is known to follow the most rigorous process of selection. Nominations found to be complete in all respects are put through secondary research by the Awards Secretariat. These, are then recommended to the Awards Committee for further evaluation. Only those approved by the Awards Committee are invited to make a presentation to the jury, which evaluates each project on its merits of “what changed” with absolute scores –of “what changed” with absolute scores – without making comparisons of any sort. While jury marks each of these projects, even the peer group of the nominees is invited to evaluate each project and mark these accordingly. The top-scoring projects make it to the Skoch Order-of- Merit. A shortlist of awardees is drawn from the Order-of-Merit recipients who are invited to receive the Skoch Award in an exclusive awards function, which is presided over by a distinguished dignitary. No industry or government support and endorsement is either accepted or expected for the Skoch Awards and they remain independently instituted and conferred as a third party’s perspective.


The Skoch Award has truly become the national benchmark in recognising the best in serving citizens, innovations, improving businesses, service delivery and enhancing productivity.


While the Skoch Awards were conferred by P Chidambaram, Hon’ble Finance Minister; Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission gave away the citation and U K Sinha, Chairman, SEBI handed over the plaque, in presence of over 250 dignitaries who gathered from across the country to cheer the achievements.


The Roll of Honour of Skoch Awards over the years, is a testimony to this. Skoch Awards not only acknowledge exceptional achievers, but also spur inspirational guidance and motivational leadership.



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My Dear Humans

 

My Dear Humans,


YOU HAVE FEELINGS, WE ALSO HAVE FEELINGS
YOU FEEL PAIN, WE ALSO FEEL PAIN
YOU ARE FEARFUL, WE ARE ALSO FEARFUL
YOU HAVE A FAMILY, WE ALSO HAVE A FAMILY
YOU WANT TO LIVE, WE ALSO WANT TO LIVE
YOU ARE LIVING BEINGS, WE ARE ALSO LIVING BEINGS
YOU WERE CREATED BY GOD, WE WERE ALSO CREATED BY THE SAME GOD|
YOU HAVE CONSCIOUSNESS, WE ALSO HAVE CONSCIOUSNESS
YOU HAVE A SOUL, WE ALSO HAVE A SOUL
YOU WOULDN’T LIKE TO HAVE YOUR THROAT CUT, WE WOULDN’T EITHER
YOU ARE NOT FOOD FOR US, WE ARE ALSO NOT FOOD FOR YOU


Yours faithfully,
Signed: Your most humble friends (Cows, Chickens, goats, pigs, and others)

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About Donating 50 Percent to ISKCON

Lecture on About Donating 50 Percent to ISKCON by Sivarama Swami 15 Nov 2013 at India

(Sivarama Swami was born in Budapest, Hungary in 1949. In 1956, during the failed Hungarian revolution, he emigrated with his family to Canada.)

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Why Are You Not A Paramahamsa

Lecture on Why Are You Not A Paramahamsa by HH Prahladananda Swami on July 2009

(HH Prahladananda Swami was born in 1949, in Buffallo, New York. He studied at the University of Buffalo, where he received a full scholarship. In January 1969 he joined ISKCON and received both initiations that year from Srila Prabhupada.)

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Understanding the Pastimes of Damodara

Lecture on Understanding the Pastimes of Damodara by HH Niranjana Swami on 14 Nov 2013 at Taichung, Taiwan

(The management and spiritual leadership experience Niranjana Swami gained during his tenure as president of ISKCON Boston from 1979 to 1983, and his service as regional secretary of New England in 1984, readied him for his GBC appointment in 1987.)

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Srimad Bhagavatam Class (04.31.07)

Lecture on Srimad Bhagavatam by HH Bhakti Vikasa Swami on 08 Nov 2013 at Vrindavan
(Srimad Bhagavatam Canto 04, Chapter 31, Text 07)

(From 1977 to 1979 His Holiness Bhakti Vikasa Swami was based in India, mostly traveling in West Bengal preaching Krishna consciousness and distributing Srila Prabhupada's books.)

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Srimad Bhagavatam Class

Srimad Bhagavatam Class by HG Sesa Prabhu at ISKCON Gainesville on 15 Nov 2011
(Srimad Bhagavatam Canto 07, Chapter 15, Text 25-26)

(Sesa Dasa was initiated by Srila Prabhupada in 1974 while he was traveling as a member of the initial Bhaktivedanta Book Trust library party. Sesa Dasa has a portfolio of two ministries: Minister of Educational Development and Minister of Justice, under which ISKCON Resolve works.)

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Lecture on The Glance of Lord Vishnu Creates the Desires of the Devotees by Giriraj Swami on 11 Nov 2013 at Chowpatty

(Giriraj Swami has also taught at the Vrindavan Institute for Higher Education and continues to lecture and to give presentations at japa retreats and workshops around the world.)

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Srimad Bhagavatam Class

Lecture on Srimad Bhagavatam Class by HG Amal Bhakta Prabhu on 14 Nov 2013 at Los angeles
(Srimad Bhagavatam Canto 07, Chapter 14, Text 36)

(Amal Bhakta was born in New York City and attended New York University. He moved to Santa Monica, California in 1954 and worked in motion pictures for three years.)

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Lecture on Whether Krishna will take away the Taste of Devotion by Sivarama Swami on 11 Nov 2013 in India

(Sivarama Swami was born in Budapest, Hungary in 1949. In 1956, during the failed Hungarian revolution, he emigrated with his family to Canada. Sivarama Swami first came in contact with the books of A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada in 1970, becoming an initiated disciple of Prabhupada in 1973.)

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Love Conquers All

Lecture on Love Conquers All by Charu Prabhu

(Charu Das was initiated by Srila Prabhupada in 1970. He has been President, variously, of the Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, and Berkeley (USA) temples.)

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Vrindavan Yatra 2013 - Day 01

Vrindavan Yatra 2013 - Day 01by HH Romapada Swami on 09 Nov 2013 at Vrindavan

(Romapada Swami‘s first encounter with Krishna consciousness came in Buffalo, in the shape of a lecture at the State University of New York in 1969. The lecturer was His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.)

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