ISKCON Derire Tree's Posts (13979)

Accomodation and Exclusivism

Lecture on Accomodation and Exclusivism by HH Bhakti Vikasa Swami on 10 Nov 2013 at Kanhaiyadesh

(His Holiness Bhakti Vikasa Swami appeared in this world in 1957 in England. He joined the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) in London in 1975 and was initiated in that year with the name Ilapati dasa by ISKCON's founder-acarya, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.)

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what would have i done, if i was in that place ???

The miraculous sequence of events unfolded before our eyes on the tuesday, the day before the Bakrid. Bakrid is a painful day for the devotees of Lord Krsna as they helplessely and tearfully watch the cruel butcher of the several cows in the lanes and bylanes of area surrounding the Narasimha Giridhari temple. But this Bakrid was different as the Lord had a plan to involve us in a heroic rescue act.

As I entered the temple in the morning, Suvigraha Das, the devotee incharge of the Goshala came running towards me and told me about an incredible event. One young cow, being taken for slaughter somewhere in one of the lanes near the temple, had apparently escaped from the clutches of the slaughterers and ran for its life and came running into the Narasimha Giridhari temple complex and headed straight for the Goshala at the rear end of the temple and joined the rest of the cows there and hid herself. For those who don’t know about our Goshala, it is important to note that to reach the goshala, the cow had to cross the bridge, enter the compound and take a right, then turn left and then take a right and then a left and go straight a few hundred feet. In other words, unless someone knows where the Goshala is, it is impossible to stumble into it by chance. And the cow, as if lead by the hidden hands of the Lord, came into the temple compound by crossing the road and seemed to have headed straight into the goshala.

A bunch of people came right behind the cow and demanded that the cow be made over to them. They even entered the temple complex and the goshala. Suvigraha prabhu sent them out and told them not to enter the temple without permission. They stayed near the gate and their strength was slowly increasing As a precautionary measure, Suvigraha called the police to inform them about the developments and the presence of some intruders in the compound. Within minutes, a couple of cops arrived on the scene. They enquired about the cow that has strayed into our compound. They informed us that the slaughterers of the cow, had lodged a complaint against us in the police station minutes before our call.

There is a law in the country and the state that prevents the slaughter of the cows especially young ones, but who cares for the law, there is numerous extraneous considerations in play and with a plaible government in the state and the centre, the slaughters get away. So, it was not surprising when we heard the police asking us to release the cow and let the slaughterers have her again. The people who are to ensure that such illegal slaughter of cows does not happen, were asking us to release the cow. They pleaded helplessness. They sited political compulsions and were rather straight forward in telling me that they feared that this issue could be easily escalated and could lead to tensions between two communities.

In the meanwhile, I was getting calls from the chief trustee initially telling me to hold on to the cow and he would settle the matter by talking to the Police. But within minutes the gentleman was forced to change his stance in view of the intense pressure from the Police. The matter very soon escalated and several teams of police were coming and going trying to persuade us to give the cow. We were having very anxious moments not knowing what to do, our normally very resourceful Chief Trustee too indicated that if we hold on any longer to the cow, the police may send a search party to the temple premises. This could force the Police to take action and this would probably spoil the relationships between the Police and the leaders of the area.

We were torn between these different pushes and pulls. While there is law prohibiting the slaughter of young cows, nobody seemed to be talking about it. The Police warned us that the slaughterers would get aggressive and stage protest demonstrations (dharnas) as they have done a few times in the last week whenever they have been obstructed from transporting the cows or killing the cows. Here was the cow, so shell shocked and scared, innocently looking into our eyes as if asking us the question. The cow was badly bruised and had cuts all over the body. The cow had very mysteriously and miraculously escaped and had reached the temple Goshala. So, were we not obliged to atleast try to save the cow from what would have been a certain slaughter the next day. The Chief Trustee called me again to say that he had offered the claimants of the cow, money so they would give up their claim on the cow.

The Inspector of Police called me and pleaded with me to release the cow. I offered to pay for the cow several times but the Police were unmoved. The Cops then moved to the room where the cow was lying down and they too were moved to see the cow in such a state.

The A.S.I then remarked , that the cow seemed to be lucky and it would have a long life. I clung on this statement that he made and begged him to help us to make this statement true. I begged him to somehow grant us time till the evening when I could safely shift the cow and claim the cow ran away.

After a few more exchanges , the Police came up with a formula and told us the we should surrender the cow to the Police and that they would shift the cow to the Jain Goshala, nearby. It seemed hard to believe the sudden change of stance of the Police, who trusts them anyway? In the meanwhile, the chief Trustee too called us saying that the Police did not want to hurt our religious sentiments and they had agreed to shift the cow to the Jain Goshala. My team here suspected something fishy but I latched on to the offer and told the Police that it was good that they were willing to let the cow be shifted to the Jain Goshala. All I was proposing to them was to shift the cow instead to another goshala, we were more familiar with. The Police were caught and could not respond immediately. If they refused to let us shift the cow to the goshala we were proposing, their game would be revealed. And if they genuinely intended that the cow be shifted to a goshala what was the problem in shifting her to a goshala we knew. They took some time to discuss this with the A.C.P.

In the meantime, the devotees were frantically making calls to everybody they knew and requesting them to speak to the D.C.P or the A.C.P and convince the police to let go off the cow. I honestly don’t know how it worked, but one thing I know is that when Krsna decides to protect, a way would have been worked out and the cow would be saved. All of us were trying everything we could.

We were waiting to know if Krsna had some plan. The Assistant Sub Inspector of Police came back and informed us that they had managed to convince the higher ups in the department and also the set of people who sought the custody of the cow. In a rare gesture of solidarity with the temple, the Police team refused my offer to pay for the cow and instead they pooled the money by collecting it among themselves and paid off the people who sought the cow and the A.S.I had obtained permission to have the cow shifited to the goshala we knew.

But the Police apprehending that there could be some change of mind among the higherups in the department, wanted the cow to be shifted immediately. The Goshala team arranged a closed tempo and the cow was shifted to a friendly goshala we were familiar with.

The Police team accompanied the tempo just in case there was some trouble on the way.The cow was safely shifted and it returned to the shelter of Sri Narasimha Giridhari mandir, this sunday 20th of october. She recieved a hero’s welcome and the entire team of devotees greeted her with a Go Puja and she was taken up for a darshan of the deities. For photos of the rescued cow visit

The cow is now named - Bahula.

You too can do something to make this happen.

Varada Krsna Dasa
Temple President,
ISKCON Bangalore, Sri Narsimha Giridhari Mandir

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From a class by H.H Indradyumna Swami -

In London I got a call from my mother at 2 a.m. She said, "Can you take me to Vrndavana? I want to go to Vrndavana." I was surprised because she had a materialistic philosophy and no interest in Krishna consciousness. I said I would call back when I got up in the morning. When I called three hours later, my brother answered. I asked to talk to my mother, but found she had just died. When my mother died, my brother said her last words were, "Don't lament I am not this body. I am going to Krish . . ." When she found she had cancer, she realized her materialistic philosophy was no solace, so she read the Bhagavad-gita I sent her years before every day for six months. She ordered 300 tapes from my tape ministry and listened to them every day. She was an intelligent lady, Phi Beta Kappa, and at the end of her life, she used her intelligence to realize the Absolute Truth. When I went to the funeral home to pay for the cremation, they apologized for not fulfilling her wish to have her ashes spread in the ocean and did not charge me. They said they had the ashes and would do it in a few days. I asked for the ashes and used the money saved from the cremation to go to Vrndavana and threw her ashes in the River Yamuna, thus fulfilling her last wish expressed to me to go to Vrndavana.


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To please Srila Prabhupada

The Euro RGB is an assembly of Global GBC, Euro RGB and elected senior leaders. Their purpose is to watch after the welfare of Srila Prabhupada’s movement in Europe. They have an annual meetings, in which they discuss continental preaching strategies and pending crisis situations. Their internal structure includes a Chairman, 1st Vice-Chairman, 2nd Vice-Chairman, Special Officers, and a Secretary. These positions, appointed by the larger group of members, form the European RGB Executive Committee.


Music: Srila Prabhupada: “Sri Sri Sad Gosvami Astaka”

Editor and sound: Suravarya Dasa

Camera: Filip Cargonja

CEO: Dinadayal Dasa

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Srimad Bhagavatam Class

Lecture on Srimad Bhagavatam Class by Tamohara Dasa on 14 Nov 2013 at ISKCON Alachua

(Tamohara Dasa has a doctorate in educational psychology and has been a faculty member and administrator in several graduate schools and universities, including dean of the Illinois School of Professional Psychology.Tamohara Dasa and wife Mantrini Devi Dasi first saw the Hare Krishna devotees chanting at a rock festival, after which they were inspired to purchase Bhagavad-gita As It Is, the Radha Krishna Temple album, Krishna posters and incense at their local bookstore. They joined the ISKCON Chicago temple in 1972 and were initiated by Srila Prabhupada nine months later.)

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Hearing With Attention And Feeling

Lecture on Hearing With Attention And Feeling by HH Prahladananda Swami on 28 Sep 2011 at Bhaktivedanta Manor

(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. He helped open temples and distributed Srila Prabhpada's books and preached in universities. He also served as the president of several temples in Texas. In 1975 he joined the Radha Damodara bus tour and travelled throughout the United States distributing books. In 1982, he entered the renunced order of life. In 1989 he became a member the Vaisnava Institute for Higher Education, in Vrndavana. In 1990 he was appointed to head the GBC committee of Health and Welfare. In 1991, the GBC made him the head of a ministry for members of the renounced order of life. He is dedicated to traveling and preaching. He is an initiating spiritual master.)

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Srimad Bhagavatam Class

Lecture on Srimad Bhagavatam by HH Niranjana Swami on 13 Nov 2013 at Taipei 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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In the recent past, a concern regarding the ongoing construction of the Temple of the Vedic Planetarium in Sridham Mayapur was raised within our community. As a result, this led to a view by some devotees that the Main Temple Dome might be structurally unstable.

This issue was addressed in detail in a pre GBC meeting held in Mumbai on Oct 19th 2013, wherein the Structural Engineer, the Contractor and the Architect in presence of the TOVP Managing Director and Ex Site Supervisor had a comprehensive interface which elucidated upon the fact that the dome is absolutely sound. Its engineering design and current stage of construction is complying with all ISO regulations.

The view of the dome’s instability stemmed from raw information which trickled out of the routine channels of the construction team but lacked the proper context. The issue was predominantly about the construction methodology of the main dome, and not regarding its structural design.

Following is a communication between the TOVP and the GBCom, which further elaborates the issue.

To the GBCom Chairman,

Upon the request of Sadbhuja Prabhu, I, Vilasini devi dasi, (serving in the capacity of the head architect for the TOVP) have been asked to send you the pre GBC Meeting Minutes held on Oct 19th 2013 regarding the Dome Stability.

Following is a brief synopsis of the same:

1. The well-meaning concerns poised by Pundarik Govinda Prabhu regarding the dome and superstructure instability, stemmed from work- in- progress letters from Gammon. They (Gammon) undoubtedly agreed those letters to be redundant since appropriate action was already taken to satisfy their routine queries and that there was no truth to the accusations made.

2. The deliberation was to zero down on a construction methodology for pouring of the dome that would best suit a) the timeline and money of Gammon contract, b) increased stability during the construction period.

3. The Structural Consultant is one of the highly reputed professional in India and his designs are complying with all ISO regulations.

4. Gammon is the premier construction company currently, and are executing the work per ISO standards.

5. A follow up meeting on the above subject has taken place in Delhi on Fri, Oct 25th 2013 wherein further details were discussed between Structural Consultant, Architects and Gammon. The meeting touched upon the following points:

a. Casting of the first ring of the dome, will add maximum strength at the base, which will prove the safety of the dome DURING construction.

b. Use of tie bolts at the time of construction.

c. Jump form of shuttering to be adopted.

d. Gammon will revert to TOVP with a detailed proposal for concrete pouring, and its impacts if any on time and money.

Should there be any further questions, please feel free to contact me Vilasini dd ( or Sadbhuja dasa (

Minutes of the meeting, October 19th 2013

Project Name:

Temple of the Vedic Planetarium, ISKCON, Mayapur.



Gauranga Das

Ananda Gopal Das

Pundarikaskha Govinda Das


Sadbhuja Das Managing Director, TOVP

Vilasini DD Head Architect, TOVP


B.B.Chaudhuri Structural Consultant, PDB


P.V. Prasanth COO -Building Division, GIL

Subhankar Sil Project Manager, GIL

Sameer Malvankar Dy. Manager, Engineering Department, GIL

Mukund Butala Sr. GM, Engineering Department, GIL

S. W. Deshpande Vice President, Engineering Department, GIL


19th October 2013


Srila Prabhupada Conference Hall, ISKCON, Juhu

Items discussed:

PV Prashant :

Discussion Points :

1.      Gammon serving as a contractor. Scope of work of a contractor is to study: a) GFC (Good for Construction) drawings, b) Detail Drawings and c) Specifications.

2.      After which Gammon’s Job Description: a) Create Methodology for execution of work b) Actual Site execution

3.      Ensure the building safety at construction phase

Topic - Dome : 

Discussion Points :

1.      Drawing from PDB given in full to Gammon to chalk out – Sequence of work, methodology, material

2.      Discussion with PDB whether to construct Dome:

  • Ring wise

  • Bottom to top

3.      Sequence is determined by resources – Manpower, equipment, finances, as per Mr. Prashant


Topic - Interface : 

Discussion Points :

Protocol of one-point interface

Subhankar Sil
Discussion Points :

1.      P V Prashant (Spokesperson ) will talk on behalf of Gammon

2.      Methodology of Construction proposed by Gammon was 1.2 m concrete per lift

3.      Mr. B.B Chaudhuri mentioned instead of 1.2 m go for 0.6 m concrete in two parts each

         Result -> Increased (Time + Cost )

Govinda Das : 

Discussion Points :

1.      Letter from Butala on July 9th, 2013 – pt 1 and 3 – (Doubts about the ring, strengths, or column ) Answered by Prashant satisfactorily

Gauranga Das : 

Discussion Points : 

1.      Question: Is load of dome easily taken by structure?

Mr. B.B.Chaudhuri : 

Discussion Points : 

Presentation addressing above question:

1.      Expressing concerns that in spite of not been given the time of building design, the weights were considered and over calculated.

2.      Analysis of the building was done march 2010

3.      Lack of data - No data on Shikhar & Chandelier was available when designing began.

4.      March 2010 first set of the piling drawings were made and it was updated regularly

5. Shikhar Load: Inner load=300Kg/m

Outer Face: 800 Kg/m

Chandelier - 24 points- 2MTeach=48

Static Load: increases with rotating

The geometry is most important while designing the dome. All loads have been well considered.

Sadbhuja Das : 

Discussion Points : 

1.      Besides, we have reduced the weight of the structure with carbon fiber chandelier, acoustic panels, GRCL

2.      The pressure gets fizzled out with the use of the rods inside

3.      Find out a balance for a win-win situation

4.      Meeting on 25th October, 2013 to sort out issues

Pundarik Govinda Das : 

Discussion Points : 

1.      Doubts that Gammon is raising

2.      Lot of revision by PDB

3. Finishing works – doubts mentioned in letter

Subhankar Sil : 

Discussion Points : 

Letter for design proof checking was drafted in consultation with Sri Pundari Govinda Das. He has asked this letter to convince ISKCON management for 3rd party checking which he had consent. 

Pundarik Govinda Das : 

Discussion Points : 

I had to do it because I wanted written concerns, not just verbal.
Gauranga Das : 

Discussion Points : 

Question to Mr. B.B.Chaudhuri: Are loads considered for finishing works?

Mr. B.B.Chaudhuri :

Discussion Points : 

1.      My mandate – 1000 year life load factor to be used

2.      Steel skeleton has nothing to do with the structure. It is only to facilitate the geometry.

3.      Remove SS and no harm is done to the structure

Subhankar Sil : 

Discussion Points : 

Contractor is the soft target in the event of mishap; hence we wanted to clear all apprehension.

Mr. P.V.Prashant : 

Discussion Points :  

For activities during construction – I have to be extra safe

Mr. B.B.Chaudhuri : 

Discussion Points : 

Dome concreting to be done in 600mm layer


Dome concreting to be done in 1200mm layer with provision of tie rods

Climbing formwork to be used.

Sadbhuja Das : 

Discussion Points : 
Details will be worked out with Gammon, Mr. B.B.Chaudhuri and Architects at Oct 25th Meeting.

Gauranga Das :

Discussion Points : 

1.      Mr. BB Choudhury is a Competent structural engineer

2.      Gammon – well executed job so far

3.      All are on the same page regarding safety

4.      Person designing is aware of our construction methodology

5.      Work out difference of opinions regarding details

6.      Although it may have few issues, Gammon is willing to work around

Pundarik Govinda Das : 

Discussion Points : 

1.      Why adding drill anchor fasteners and bolting? Adding more rods and plates. 24-32 rods

2.      50 level ring beam 750 x 750. Will take load of all columns. (Earlier drawing had 1200 depth.)

3.      Planetarium

4.      Breaking of staircases at dome level

5.      Finishing load on Kalash

6.      Auditorium RCC gallery: The team is not going for RCC gallery for auditorium

7. Staircase in Temple Hall: was asked to be broken

BB Chaudhari : 

Discussion Points : 

1.      Anchor fasteners were used since at that stage of construction, we recommended it. – Situational

Vilasini dd : 

Discussion Points : 

1.      Planetarium Auditorium Gallery not being RCC was a conscious decision.

2.      Planetarium projection equipment keeps getting updated every year. At the time of building completion, planetarium vendor will be finalized, thus theater details will correspond to vendor.

3.      Lightweight material to be used was a conclusive point made in Oct 2008 meeting.

Gauranga Das : 

Discussion Points : 

1.      Some things are in writing and some oral. But Email by Mr. Butala on dated July 09, 2013 (Point No. 3) is now redundant, since action has already been taken.

Mr. Deshpande : 

Discussion Points : 

1.      Clarified that the discussion with Gammon, B B Chaudhuri, and Gauranga Das till today were focused on the design compatibility with construction sequences, methodology proposed by Gammon.

2.      Mr. B B Chaudhuri vide his letter dated Aug 26,2013, confirmed that the designs of various structural component of dome including supporting members are safe and the height of pour need to be restricted to 0.6meter in place of 1.2 meter. Pour height related issues needs to be resolved in the next meeting to be held in New Delhi on 25.10.2013.

3.      The independent check by 3rd party will be a client’s call, in view of the above discussion.

Conclusions by the GBC:

1.    Gammon and Mr. B.B Chaudhuri write a letter mentioning the structural stability of the dome.

2.    Independent audit.

3.    Report of 25th October, 2013 to be sent to GBC - The height of the concrete slab for dome will be decided.

4.    Follow up of this issue could done by forming a committee consisting of 6 members (2 from TOVP, 2 from GBC, 2 from Subcommittee)
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Spiritual Vision Requires Purification

Lecture on Spiritual Vision Requires Purification by HH Devamrita Swami on 12 Nov 2013 at ISKCON Melbourne

(His Holiness Devamrita Swami entered this life on October 16, 1950 in New York City, as the firstborn in a family dominated by a very devout and education-motivated Christian mother. Later in life his mother confided to him that during the time of his conception, she was praying to God that He send her a “servant of the Lord.” Observing her infant crawling to bookshelves, trying to grab books, she waited until he reached four years and then personally taught him to read, while ensuring that he immersed himself in church programs for children.)

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Asharam Ka Mukhya Dosh

Lecture on Asharam ka Mukhya Dosh by HH Bhakti Vikas Swami on 09 Oct 2013 at Kanhaiyadesh

(His Holiness Bhakti Vikasa Swami appeared in this world in 1957 in England. He joined the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) in London in 1975 and was initiated in that year with the name Ilapati dasa by ISKCON's founder-acarya, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.)

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Srimad Bhagavatam Class

Lecture on Srimad Bhagavatam Class by HH Bhakti Marga Swami on 13 Nov 2013 at ISKCON Alachua

(Bhakti Marga Swami was born on October 5, 1952. His first major encounter with devotees was in Toronto, at the college campus where he studied fine arts. He invited them to his apartment for an overnight stay, and without delay he gave up bad habits, went to the temple, and never left. He was initiated by Srila Prabhupada in 1973.)

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Lecture on Caitanya Caritamrta - Madhya Lila Volume 06 Text 95 by HH Bhakti Madhurya Govinda Swami on 21 Oct 2013 at Punjabi Bagh

(Bhakti Madhurya Govinda Swami was initiated by His Divine Grace Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada in October 1968, about two months before HH Jayapataka Swami, awarding him the name “Makhanlal das”. 65 years old, he is one of the original 100 disciples of Srila Prabhupada. He started one of ISKCON’s first university preaching programs at the University of San Francisco, California, later continuing university preaching at his former university, the University of California, Berkeley. He opened the Berkeley, California temple in 1969.)

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Acceptance of Sannyasa by Srila Prabhupada

Lecture on Acceptance of Sannyasa by Srila Prabhupada by HH Gopal Krishna Goswami on 20 Sept 2013 at Yaroslavi

(After visiting the ISKCON temple in Montreal, Canada in September of 1967, Gopal Krishna Goswami yearned to meet a Vaishnava guru and got the opportunity to meet Srila Prabhupada there in 1968.)

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Srimad Bhagavatam Class

Lecture on Srimad Bhagavatam Class by Vedavyasapriya Swami on 01 Nov 2013 at ISKCON Melbourne
(Srimad Bhagavatam Canto 02, Chapter 04, Text 13)

(Vedavyasapriya Swami worked as a research biochemist first in East Africa and then later when he migrated to USA. Within a week of arrival in the USA, he met the devotees, disciples of His Divine Grace, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Srila Prabhupada)

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Srila Prabhupada comes to America

Lecture on Srila Prabhupada comes to America by Nirantara Prabhu

(In his spare time (when not going out for preaching) he composes and records original recordings of the Shrila Prabhupada's teachings of what he calls "Bhaktivedanta yoga" in western musical format using guitar, keyboard, and bass.)

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