ISKCON Derire Tree's Posts (13251)

Krishna-shaktir astu te!


Dear Devotees,

Jaya Srila Prabhupada. On the last day of 2010, I wish you all a wonderful Krishna conscious 2011. For me, the greatest and most inspiring challenge in the coming year is to strengthen ISKCON in the western world.

When I joined the movement in 1969, ISKCON seemed like a North American movement with branches in Europe, Australia and East Asia.

In 1970 Srila Prabhupada dramatically established ISKCON in India. The movement also spread throughout East and Southeast Asia.

Prabhupada planted a transcendental seed in the Soviet Union which blossomed into a huge, powerful mission throughout Russia and other CIS countries.

I helped to expand the movement in Latin America in the mid 70′s and ISKCON is now well established throughout that region.

However it is ISKCON in India that has expanded beyond comparison. Of course, India has a huge, natural advantage. It is the land of Krishna. Even in America, ISKCON congregations in most large cities consist mainly of devotees from an Indian background. We find the same phenomenon in the UK and South Africa, and in most other countries that host a significant Indian diaspora.

This phenomenon is not so evident in most of Latin America, or in some parts of Europe, where there is a comparatively small Indian population.

Still, the massive expansion and unique wealth of many Indian devotees, both in India and other countries, presents an interesting challenge to the International Society for Krishna consciousness. Is ISKCON destined to be basically an Indian movement with branches in foreign countries? Or is it meant to be a truly international society that establishes the yuga dharma as a dominant spiritual process throughout the world?

In India, ISKCON’s influence at all levels of society is enormous. In America, and most European countries (England and Hungary might be exceptions) ISKCON’s national influence is insignificant.

Personally, I believe that ISKCON can fulfill Srila Prabhupada’s and Lord Caitanya’s vision only as a truly international society that presents Krishna consciousness as a non-sectarian, non-ethnic spiritual science. I learned this from Prabhupada hismelf. Thus it is the responsibility of those of us who serve Srila Prabhupada in the west to do all we can to reignite the fire of a powerful, relevant movement in our respective countries.

I find this vision, of reestablishing the full power and relevance of ISKCON in the west, to be a most inspiring challenge. It is to the fulfillment of this vision that I wish to dedicate myself in 2011. I invite all the devotees to share and serve this awesome vision.

Wishing you all a year of health, happiness and potent service in Lord Krishna’s divine mission, I invoke this blessing: Krishna-shaktir astu te!  May the force of Krishna be with you!

With best wishes,

Hridayananda das Goswami

Read more…
Letter to: Bali-mardana, New York

My dear Bali Mardan,

Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your letter dated September 27, 1972, and I have noted the contents carefully. Regarding that building on 40th Street, try to get it as much as possible, but if business of getting this building appears too much difficult or complicated, then give it up. If you like, if this place is not possible, you may try for another similar place. I have received one telephone call this morning from Kesava, who is in California, so he will not beable to take over the affairs there in New York. So how will you be able to leave New York affairs? New York is our most important center in all the world and it requires your strong leadership there, or a suitable replacement. I do not think anyone is there who is able to become president and manage the Press affairs altogether.

Regarding the question you have raised about traveling sankirtana parties and selling of books, yes, we want money. So that is the real preaching, selling books. Who can speak better than the books? At least whoever buys, he will look over. If you have to sell books, do it by hook or by crook. The real preaching is selling books. You should know the tactic how to sell without irritating. What yourlecture will do for three minutes, but if he reads one page his life may be turned.We don't want to irritate anyone, however. If he goes away by your agressive tactics, then you are nonsense and it is your failure. Neither you could sell a book, neither he would remain. But if he buys a book that is the real successfulpreaching. That is the certificate of my Guru Maharaja, if someone, brahmacari, would sell a one paise magazine, if one of our brahmacaris would go and sell a few copies, he would be very very glad and say "Oh, you are so nice!'' So distribution ofliterature is our real preaching. Now if you cannot handle the matter nicely, that is your fault. But the success of your preaching will be substantiated by how many books are sold. Anything you want to sell, you have to a little canvass, so he gives some money for the service of Krsna. That is his good luck and he gets the chance to read some transcendental knowledge. But if you only irritate and he goes away, that is your less intelligence.

The fact is that we have to adopt the same tactics as ordinary salesmen adopt, but the difference is we do it for the satisfaction of Krsna, they do it for sense gratification. Actually we have experienced that sometimes out of sentiment someone gives to ISKCON and then laments and wants it back, but that does not mean we should give it back. Our policy is that his money which would have been used for purchasing cigarettes, liquor, sex literature, meat, will give him the opportunity to gradually become purified. So if by tactics we save that money from being spent on cigarette packets, that is good. If we can take some money and give some literature, that is a good service. So far irritation is concerned, a child is also irritated when he is given instructions, but that does not mean that we should stop. Invite them in our feast, that is a better indication.

So if the sankirtana parties in Satsvarupa's zone are irritating the public for selling so many books, that is one thing, but by their selling books they are doing the greatest service. What your one hour of preaching will do, they will hear and go away, but if they have one book at home, they will read, their friends will read, and something solid work is done. So the art is to sell many many books and not to irritate the public, so you may instruct all the others how to do this successfully. That is sannyasa. That is GBC. There are so many places to go, so why there should be business competition sankirtana parties in New York? This problem should be adjusted between the GBC men.

Hoping this meets you in good health,
Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
Los Angeles
30 September, 1972

Read more…

Gopis from Guyana - The Times of India

The Jagannath Yatra is symbolic of unity in diversity, writes Mona Mehta

Much like a gopi from the Ragamala miniatures, Satyabhama, a 32-year-old Krishna devotee from Guyana, wore a green ghagra or long skirt and embroidered duppatta, teamed with a rust-coloured blouse. Swaying to the music of mridangam and cymbals, she chanted 'Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare', as she pulled the ropes of the Lord Jagannath's chariot in the yatra organised by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) in Old Delhi last fortnight. She was part of a big family of devotees from India and abroad who took part in the festivities.

Dressed in a pink long skirt, Radha, a 35-year-old devotee from Russia, too was a part of the procession. Yielding a big broom, she seemed to be enjoying clearing the road for Lord Jagannath's rath. Another devotee, Krishna Marga, 42, is here in India, thousands of miles from her home country in Brazil with her 11-year-old son, Agni. Elated to be a part of the procession, she says: "I was introduced to Krishna Consciousness at the age of 12; and after visiting India a couple of times in the past with my mother, I moved to Vrindavan a year ago and have put my son in the gurukul there." For the last eight years, she has not missed a single yatra — perhaps the only chance many devotees of foreign origin and non-Hindus get to have a darshan of Lord Jagannath, as Krishna is known in Puri.

Traditionally, the idols of Lord Jagannath, his brother Balabhadra (Balaram) and sister Subhadra are carried out of the 12th century Jagannath temple once a year on a nine-day trip to their aunt's place in chariots drawn by devotees. The yatra, which is replicated the world over from time to time, all through the year, is of great spiritual significance.

The Jagannath temple in Puri is one of those Hindu temples which bar foreigners and people from other faiths from entering its premises. But Jagannath, the Lord of the Universe, has no reservations in meeting and mingling with people. A symbol of universal love and brotherhood, Krishna mentions in the Bhagavad Gita (12:13), that the first qualification of a competent and likeable person is adveshta sarvabhutanam, or the practice of identifying with all beings as oneself. Your spiritual life actually starts when you experience and live in unity, in oneness.

With the yatra, Krishna seems to be driving home this point — live in unity, without any boundaries — as He steps out of man-made restrictions on the sanctum sanctorum to unite with ordinary mortals.

"Mein Hindi nahin bolti," smiles Satyabhama and adds, "but I can tell you that I have come all the way from South America for the Lord's darshan and to be part of this congregation. It is a very purifying and spiritually uplifting experience."

Similar rath yatras are organised by ISKCON in many countries. Spreading the message of a unified world, Lord Jagannath's chariot is drawn through the town of Klang in Malaysia, where the natives perform the Kolattam, a stick dance, and a lion dance along with the procession. InSydney, the chariot is replaced by a cart with a 10-tonne truck chassis and tractor wheels. In Dhaka and in other cities of Bangladesh, the yatra was attended by 50,000 devotees this year. At the Trafalgar Square, London, the chariot procession is the longest-running street event which ran into its 42nd year this time. In Baltimore, US, the procession day has been proclaimed as "Hare Krishna Ratha Yatra Day" by the mayor, while New York witnesses the biggest ever rath yatra with over 15,000 people congregating through the day.

Through the annual yatras, Jagannath touches the lives of thousands, binding people from different regions and races into one big family — an eternal, omnipresent ambassador of Indutva.

Read more…
The 26 characteristics of the Krishna's pure devotee are described as follows in the Sri Caitanya Caritamrita (Madhya Lila 22. 78-80):

krpalu, akrta-droha, satya-sara sama
nidosa, vadanya, mrdu, suci, akincana
sarvopakaraka, santa, krsnaika-sarana
akama, aniha, sthira, vijita-sad-guna
mita-bhuk, apramatta, manada, amani
gambhira, karuna, maitra, kavi, daksa, mauni

(o1) He is very kind to everyone.
(o2) He does not make anyone his enemy.
(o3) He is truthful.
(o4) He is equal to everyone.
(o5) No one can find any fault in him.
(06) He is magnanimous.
(07) He is mild.
(08) He is always clean.
(09) He is without possessions.
(10) He works for everyone's benefit.
(11) He is very peaceful.
(12) He is always surrendered to Krishna.
(13) He has no material desires.
(14) He is very meek.
(15) He is steady.
(16) He controls his senses.
(17) He does not eat more than required.
(18) He is not influenced by the Lord's illusory energy.
(19) He offers respect to everyone.
(20) He does not desire any respect for himself.
(21) He is very grave.
(22) He is merciful.
(23) He is friendly.
(24) He is poetic.
(25) He is expert.
(26) He is silent.
Read more…

Obeisances. Glories to Prabhupada!

I am deeply mourning the passing of Purnacandra Maharaja. Having the honor, privilege, and pleasure of serving under his guidance for so many years, I know him as a deep Vaisnava – humble, gentlemanly, caring, aiming for the highest bhakti, compassionate, thoughtful, and fully dedicated to His Divine Grace. He has left us during auspicious Kartika, on Diwali, a day of new beginnings.

Your servant,
Urmila devi dasi

Purnacandra Maharaja joined Srila Prabhupada’s movement when he was 17 years old. For more than 38 years he served ISKCON with great dedication. His knowledge of the Vedic scriptures was vast and profound. For many years he was teaching Bhakti-sastri course and many other courses to the devotees.

He had very deep attachment to Sri Vrindavana-dhama. He divided his preaching time between Russia and Balkans, but Karttik he would always spend in Vrindavan. Over the last few years he was writing a book dedicated to Lord Krishna’s pastimes in Vrindavana. He was always deeply absorbed in the holy names. The concentration and intensity with which he would chant the holy name every day was incomparable.
Read more…

Purnacandra Swami left his body

Click above image

Dear Devotees,

Please accept my humble and respectful obeisances.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

I am sorry to be the bearer of sad news: HH Purnacandra Gosvami has left
this world on Thursday, November 4, 22:25 local Moscow time.

More information later....

"He reasons ill who tells that Vaishnavas die
When thou art living still in sound!
The Vaishnavas die to live, and living try
To spread the holy name around!"

- Bhaktivinoda Thakura

Your servant,
Yugala-kisora dasa

Read more…

New £2.5 million cow sanctuary to be opened in Letchmore Heath on Saturday

3:18pm Thursday 4th November 2010

By Suruchi Sharma

A NEW brand of slaughter-free milk for Hindus will be brought to the masses following the official opening of a new £2.5million cow sanctuary in Letchmore Heath this weekend.

The sanctuary will be opened at Bhaktivedanta Manor, in Hilfield Lane, by thirty saffron-robed priests who will be chanting 5000 year old Vedic mantras or prayers for the farm called New Gokul.

Guests of honour include Dominic Grieve QC MP, the attorney general, and spiritual leader from India His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami.

The original Gokul is a small town in the Indian district of Mathura and is the setting of Hindu god Lord Krishna’s childhood.

The god is revered by Hindus and the manor annually holds a public Janamashtami festival in his honour, which brings in more than 60,000 people every August.

New Gokul, a farm on which no animal will be killed or harmed, will create milk called Ahimsa Milk, meaning milk produced without harm to any living being.

Special treatment received by the 44 cows and bulls, mostly dairy Short Horns and Meuse-Rhine-Yssel, includes relaxing music being played to the cows as they are hand-milked and being allowed to live their full natural life-span.

Having taken over five years to complete, its main features include an oak building, ox power in the fields and treadmill, hand milking and the full viewing facility so that all visitors can see the working of the farm.

Described as the “Hilton of farms” the milk is £3 a litre making this the most expensive milk in the UK.

Radha Mohan, from the manor, said: “There was considerable interest in the milk. There is holy water and now there is holy milk.

“It is encouraging the amount of interest there has been. There is already organic milk and for our congregation they feel it is well worth the money to have this milk for their cornflakes, coffee and tea.

“If you buy milk from a mainstream supermarket the cow is probably dead by the time you drink the milk so you are sort of assisting in the murder in a way.

“This is our version of kosher or halal food.”

On Sunday, the manor will celebrate Diwali, the festival of lights, and a set of Chinese lanterns will be released followed by a grand firework display.

Before each lantern is released into the night sky, a prayer for world peace in ancient Sanskrit will be recited by priests.

Highlights of the Diwali festival will include colourful dances, plays and free vegetarian meals for everyone.

The day will start at 4pm and with the fireworks display at 6.15pm.

Temple President Srutidharma das said: "Diwali is a time for family and for prayers, sacrifice and charity.

"Millions of Hindus around the world worship Lord Rama on this day by lighting lamps and sharing a sumptuous vegetarian feast with friends and neighbours."

© Copyright 2001-2010 Newsquest Media Group

Read more…

Sacred statues stolen from Hare Krishna temple
$5,000 reward offered for return of icons
Oct. 8, 2010, 10:42PM

Officials with Houston's oldest Hare Krishna temple are asking the vandals who stole two sacred statues from the house of worship this week to return them, promising no questions will be asked.
The thieves probably stole the deities from the ISKCON of Houston Temple at 1320 W. 34th St. because they mistakenly thought the statues were made of gold, but they are made of brass, said Chirag Bhatt, a spokesman for the temple. The crime, worshippers said, would be akin to stealing a crucifix from a Roman Catholic church.
A $5,000 reward is being offered for the deities' return.
"To be very honest with you, yesterday morning when I found out, I felt as if someone in the family had passed away," Bhatt said. "According to our Hindu scripture, because those deities are invited to be present in their form in the temple and they were taken forcefully by the person from their location, this particular person has committed a major sin. That person and their family may face very serious consequences not only in this lifetime, but in generations to come."
Worshipped by thousands
The northwest Houston temple has never before been burglarized. "That's probably why this is a bigger shock," Bhatt said. "It's beyond the imagination of everyone who visits the temple on a regular basis."
The burglary happened between 9:15 p.m. Wednesday and 4:30 a.m. Thursday when the intruders broke in through the temple's locked back door. The temple's alarm system was not activated because of ongoing construction at the building.
The deities, which weigh about 15 to 20 pounds and are about 18 to 24 inches long, are known as Sri Sri Radha Giridhari. They have been worshipped by thousands of Hindus in Houston. Worshippers revere them as personalities because the deities are invited to be present in the temple as a gesture of accepting the congregation's devotional services.
The intruders also tried to take other deities that were apparently too heavy for them to lift, Bhatt said.
Houston police have alerted pawn shops and businesses that purchase brass objects to be on the lookout for the items.
Bhatt asked the thieves to return them, suggesting they could anonymously drop the statues off at the temple in the middle of the night.
"If they're embarrassed by the action, they can come back in the middle of the night, place them somewhere and just leave them anonymously," he said. The deities, he added, "don't belong anywhere but their own home. All we can do is ask for them to bring them back, no questions asked."
Services to continue
Worship services will continue at the ISKCON of Houston Temple, which is the oldest of its kind in the city. The temple originally opened in 1969 in downtown Houston at 1111 Rosalie. It moved to its current location on West 34th Street in 1984.
More than 100,000 Hindus are in Houston, said Vijay Pallod, a spokesman for Hindus of Greater Houston.

Read more…

Remembering - Hladini Devi Mataji

Sunday, October 3, is the anniversary of the day on which Hladini devi dasi was brutally gunned down by an extra-judicial firing squad in war-torn Liberia in western Africa. The death squad arrived at the Hare Krishna temple in the capital city of Monrovia in the early morning hours, and ordered the devotees to come out. Seven devotees, five men and two women, exited the temple and filed into the waiting jeep. They were driven a short distance to the Sturton Bridge, where the devotees were forced out at gunpoint and herded onto the sand next to the river. The leader announced that only the men would be killed. Thus Hladini, a woman, knew she would not be killed.

As the leader raised his weapon to fire the first execution volley, Hladini leapt forward and attacked him with her bare hands. She shouted, “How dare you kill the devotees of Krishna? Better you kill me than kill them!” Hladini was the first to be shot.

Hladini was born on January 16, 1949. Her parents gave her the name Linda Jury. Later, she received the name Hladini from her beloved Guru Maharaja, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the Founder-Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON).
Hladini grew up in a suburb of Detroit with her older brother and sister. She had many friends and lots of pets, including a dog named Pepperdoodle and a frog named Herbie. She spent her summers at the family’s vacation cottage. Hladini had a happy childhood.

In 1969, Hladini married Mike Ryon. Like many young people, Hladini and her husband were searching for the truth and a sense of fulfillment. Mike read different books about Zen, Taoism, and other eastern religions to find answers to their many questions. After Mike read a book entitled “The Wisdom of God” by Prabhupada, heard the devotees chanting the Hara Krishna maha-mantra, and tasted the free vegetarian food they served, he was convinced that he belonged with the devotees.

Mike and Hladini moved into the Detroit temple. At first, Hladini joined the Hare Krishna temple simply because it was what her husband had wanted. Soon, however, Hladini became convinced that the temple was the right place for her. In March 1970, she wrote to Prabhupada and asked for spiritual initiation. Prabhupada replied immediately by letter, in which he gave her the name Hladini.

In 1972, Hladini and Mike moved to New Vrindaban. Later that year, Mike left New Vrindaban permanently, while Hladini chose to stay. New Vrindaban was her home. Soon, Hladini became one of the most popular devotees in New Vrindaban.

“I moved to New Vrindaban from Zambia [in southern Africa] in 1986 with my husband and four children,” said Manasa Ganga devi dasi. “Hladini blew my mind. I had never before met anyone who was so blissful. She always had a beautiful smile on her face and she was kind and gentle with everyone, especially the children. Hladini loved the children and encouraged them.” For eighteen years, Hladini lived and served in New Vrindaban.

In December 1990, Hladini made the painful decision to leave the place that was so dear to her, and traveled to west Africa. The devotees there so much appreciated Hladini’s service and inspiration that she was given the honor of being the regional secretary. In this capacity, Hladini traveled from center to center, teaching and assisting the devotees in every possible way.

By the time Hladini reached Monrovia, the capital of Liberia, the country was entrenched in a fratricidal civil conflict. The warlords of the seven rivaling parties were fighting for power, while there was wide-spread starvation amongst the people. Seeing the suffering of the people, the devotees of the Hare Krishna temple in Monrovia approached the warlords and arranged to start a Food for Life program.

The warlord who controlled Monrovia, Prince Johnson, agreed to the proposal and the devotees began the free food distribution program. Prince Johnson visited the temple more than once and accepted a Bhagavad-Gita As It Is from the devotees.

As the war intensified, the US government ordered all US citizens to evacuate the country. Hladini had to decide whether to stay in Monrovia or return to safety in Nigeria. True to her nature, Hladini’s compassion and mercy for others outweighed any concern she had for her own safety. She opted to stay. Hladini was the only senior devotee in Monrovia, and her presence gave solace to the native African devotees who could not leave.

On June 14, 1990, Hladini wrote in a letter to Radhanath Swami, a friend from New Vrindaban:

"There is never a dull moment. Now I’m stranded in Liberia in the middle of a war to overthrow the government. The airport has been seized and they asked all Americans and foreigners to leave the country immediately. American marines sent 6 battleships and 2000 marines to evacuate the citizens. I’m just going to assist the devotees through the hard times. There’s scarcity of food as all the roads are blocked and no supplies can come in. 150,000 people fled the country in the last few weeks. Every day at least 10 people get beheaded and the rebels are still 35 miles from the city . . ."

Prince Johnson was killing all suspected friends and soldiers of the former president. Johnson was also known for killing his own men at a faster rate than the enemy. The warlord’s reputation for insane murder bothered some of the devotees, who therefore wrote a letter to him saying that he should stop killing people.

Johnson, who would not tolerate the slightest criticism of his actions, was angered by the letter. A well-wisher passed a message to the devotees that Johnson was likely to get rid of them. At that time, it was too late to leave the temple and take shelter elsewhere, as many of the buildings in the area were either destroyed or being controlled by Johnson’s troops. The devotees stayed at the temple.

The death squad arrived at the Hare Krishna temple in the capital city of Monrovia in the early morning hours, and ordered the devotees to come out. Seven devotees, five men and two women, exited the temple and filed into the waiting jeep. They were driven a short distance to the Sturton Bridge, where the devotees were forced out at gunpoint and herded onto the sand next to the river. The leader announced that only the men would be killed. Thus Hladini, a woman, knew she would not be killed.

As the leader raised his weapon to fire the first execution volley, Hladini leapt forward and attacked him with her bare hands. She shouted, “How dare you kill the devotees of Krishna? Better you kill me than kill them!” Hladini was the first to be shot.

Two devotees managed to escape through the back door and climb up trees to take cover. Suddenly, those two devotees heard gun shots from the direction of the bridge. They saw that the captured devotees were being shot by Johnson’s men. At daybreak, they came down from the tree. Instead of going to the temple, they walked to the river where they saw Hladini’s sari floating on the water. Hladini, along with the five male devotees, had become a martyr of the Liberian War. Hladini was the first one shot.

“When we heard in New Vrindaban that there had been a coup in Liberia and Hladini was trapped, the whole community came together at the Palace of Gold and prayed,” remembers Manasa Ganga. “When we heard Haldini had been killed, it was a huge shock. We held a memorial service and everyone came because she was one of the most loved devotees in the community. She always had a smile on her face and she was always ready to help out.

“Nothing was ever a bother,” said Manasa Ganga with a sad smile. “For Hladini, taking care of others was always a pleasure. That’s what she gave her life for – taking care of others.”
Read more…

A sweet letter to Lord Krishna

Hare Krishna Prabhu ji!!

Here is a sweet letter by a child to Lord Krishna.

It is worth sharing with readers.

Here it goes.....

Little Bobby came into the kitchen where his mother was making dinner.
His birthday was coming up and he thought this was a good time to tell his mother what he wanted.
Mom, I want a bike for my birthday.

Little Bobby was a bit of a troublemaker.
He had gotten into trouble at school and at home.

Bobby's mother asked him if he thought he deserved to get a bike for his birthday.
Little Bobby, of course, thought he did.

Bobby's mother wanted Bobby to reflect on his behavior over the last year.
Go to your room, Bobby, and think about how you have behaved this year.

Then write a letter to Krishna and tell him why you deserve a bike for your birthday.

Little Bobby stomped up the steps to his room and sat down to write Krishna a letter.

Letter 1
Dear Krishna,
I have been a very good boy this year and I would like a bike for my birthday.
I want a red one.
Your friend,

Bobby knew that this wasn't true. He had not been a very good boy this year,
So he tore up the letter and started over.

Letter 2
Dear Krishna,
This is your friend Bobby. I have been a good boy this year and I would like A red bike for my birthday. Thank you.
Your friend,

Bobby knew that this wasn't true either. So, he tore up the letter and started again.

Letter 3
Dear Krishna,
I have been an OK boy this year. I still would really like a bike for my birthday.

Bobby knew he could not send this letter to Krishna either. So, Bobby wrote a fourth letter.

Letter 4
I know I haven't been a good boy this year. I am very sorry.
I will be a good boy if you just send me a bike for my birthday.
Please! Thank you,

Bobby knew, even if it was true, this letter was not going to get him a bike...

Now, Bobby was very upset. He went downstairs and told his mom that he wanted to go to temple.
Bobby's mother thought her plan had worked, as Bobby looked very sad.
Just be home in time for dinner, Bobby's mother told him...

Bobby walked down the street to the temple on the corner.

Little Bobby went into the temple and up to the altar.

He looked around to see if anyone was there.

Bobby bent down and picked up a statue of the radha.

He slipped the statue under his shirt and ran out of the temple, down the street, into the house, and up to his room.

He shut the door to his room and sat down with a piece of paper and a pen.

Bobby began to write his letter to Krishna.
Letter 5

In service of Sri Sri Radha Radhika Raman
Neha Jalan

Read more…

Dumping Tea

Chay! Chay!" The calls of tea vendors echo through India's train stations at any time, whether it be two o'clock in the morning or ten at night. The vendors are always busy selling tea through train windows. Sometimes they climb aboard a train and get off at another station, sure that tea addicts will buy a cup. The voices wake the passengers, reminding them of their daily need, urging them to take a cup of hot tea. "One rupee!" the vendor says.
Drinking tea is not part of our Vedic culture. The British introduced tea in 1834, after they had conquered India.

Once I asked my grandmother, "Dadiji, did you always drink tea?"

"No," she replied, somewhat embarrassed.

When she was a child, her father, a well-known attorney in town, would not permit tea in the house except to offer British friends. To keep up with the English "sahibs," however, Indians in the last century have gradually adopted tea as part of our daily lives.
Indian households restricted tea because it is an intoxicant. Even today, the kids are not given tea. They are supposed to drink milk, which is good for them.
The caffeine in tea urges a person to drink tea again and again. I remember traveling in India once on a short bus ride. Halfway through the journey the bus driver had to stop to drink a cup of tea while the passengers waited.

The Vedic scriptures say that intoxication is one of the four pillars of sin. The others are gambling, meat-eating, and illicit sex. We Indians should not have a problem avoiding these sinful activities, but with the influence of Kali-yuga we have become somewhat lax. Most of us know that all of the above are non-religious habits -- except when it comes to tea, coffee, or colas.

Devotees do not offer tea to Lord Krishna. Srila Prabhupada wrote in a letter, "Yes, as you have understood, prasadam is offered only from the category of fruits, vegetables, grains, milk products and sugar. This is according to the Bhagavad-gita, wherein Krishna states what He accepts. We have four rules that all my students follow. They do not take any meat, fish, or eggs; no gambling, no intoxicants, including coffee, tea, or cigarettes; and no illicit sex life. Try to follow these four rules, and Krishna will bless you with quick advancement in spiritual life."

While still in family life, Srila Prabhupada tried unsuccessfully to get his wife and children to give up tea. He once said about his wife, "She was very attached to drinking tea. I was always telling her not to drink tea, because I wanted to have a nice Vaishnava family. So although I was repeatedly telling her, this time [just before he left home] I finally said, ‘You choose between me or tea. Either the tea goes or I go.' "

Anything Krishna does not accept, the devotees reject. Eating food not offered to Krishna means bondage in the material world. Lord Krishna says in the Bhagavad-gita (3.13):

yajna-sistasinah santo
mucyante sarva-kilbisaih
bhunjate te tv agham papa
ye pacanty atma-karanat

"The devotees of the Lord are released from all kinds of sins because they eat food which is offered first for sacrifice. Others, who prepare food for personal sense enjoyment, verily eat only sin."

Tea drinking degrades our consciousness. The typical family in India gets up from bed and sips tea, and with tea they either read the newspaper or gossip about mundane affairs. The scriptures recommend that the morning hours are the best time to remember Krishna, perform devotional service, and elevate our consciousness for the day. If we start the day remembering Krishna, the whole day will be spiritual. But if we get up, take tea, and fill ourselves with the rubbish of the material world, we are wasting our valuable morning hours, in which the mode of goodness prevails.

On a recent trip to India I asked people why they drink tea. Most said that tea gives them energy to start the day. Research shows, however, that although tea temporarily increases energy, the body experiences a sudden letdown in activeness after the effect diminishes. The 1983 edition of The Foods and Nutrition Encyclopedia says, "The reason for the lift is that caffeine stimulates the central nervous system (brain) and promotes the breakdown of glucogen to glucose in the liver, which raises the blood sugar level. However, the elevation of blood glucose may be short lived. Hence they feel a letdown due to a drop in their blood sugar."

Tea makes the body like the hare in the race with the tortoise. The stimulation in caffeine makes the body run. Afterwards the body takes a rest because it cannot function without it. When the body depends on its own strength, it gets much farther.

As with many other drugs, caffeine creates dependency in the body. It also robs the body of nutrients. The stimulation of caffeine has long-term effects and has been implicated in cancer, ulcers, birth defects, heart disease, and high blood pressure.

So the question remains how to give up the old habit of drinking tea morning, noon, and night. The only way to cure the addiction for tea is by getting a "higher taste," a spiritual lift that will counteract the temporary boost one gets with tea.

One gets so much energy serving Krishna that there is no need of a stimulant. Devotees do not use tea, and still they sleep less, serving Krishna energetically throughout the day. The pleasure of bhakti-yoga, or service to Krishna, is thousands of times greater than the stale material happiness of drinking tea.

Chanting is one of the first processes in bhakti-yoga. The holy names of Krishna are nondifferent from Krishna. Pure chanting of Sri Krishna's names, specifically the maha-mantra, drives out all desires for material sensations. Krishna's names are like the sun. Any-thing that comes in contact with that sunlight becomes totally pure. So no material desire can stand before Krishna's holy name.

In the Bhagavad-gita (2.59), Lord Krishna speaks of the need for acquiring a higher taste:

visaya vinivartante
niraharasya dehinah
rasa-varjam raso 'py asya
param drstva nivartate

"The embodied soul may be restricted from sense enjoyment, though the taste for sense objects remains. But, ceasing such engagements by experiencing a higher taste, he is fixed in consciousness."

Srila Prabhupada writes in his purport, "Unless one is transcendentally situated, it is not possible to cease from sense enjoyment. The process of restriction from sense enjoyment by rules and regulations is something like restricting a diseased person from certain types of eatables. The patient, however, neither likes such restrictions nor loses his taste for eatables. ... But one who has tasted the beauty of the Supreme Lord Krishna, in the course of his advancement in Krishna consciousness, no longer has a taste for dead, material things."

If we artificially restrict ourselves from tea, we will still aspire for that taste. But if someone gives us something better, we will naturally lose our taste for the inferior. If tea gives us a lift, Krishna consciousness gives us unlimited bliss.

By the way, my grandmother has given up drinking tea after fifty-five years. So can you.

Ravi Gupta wrote this when he was twelve year old boy living with his parents, Ananta Rupa Dasa and Aruddha Devi Dasi, who run the Hare Krishna center in Boise, Idaho. (It originally appeared as an article in Back to Godhead Magazine.)

by Ravi Gupta

Read more…

Another soul on his way to Krishna.....

We had just gotten back to New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, Canada, where the Halifax brahmacaris are based while traveling around the province with His Holiness Bhaktimarga Swami. We were in Halifax for the first time in two months to have a Sunday Feast with the devotees and friends of Krishna. When we arrived for the program, there was a young man whom I had met on the street some months back. The day I met him, as he recalled, he was in a particularly good mood and decided to stop and talk with me to see what I was doing and to be a nice stranger. We had a friendly conversation, and he eventually left with a Bhagavad-gita.

So, tonight when we reunited he approached me and asked if I remembered him and our conversation. A lot had happened since we met, and I definitely didn't remember any details, but I tried to remember his name and guessed, "Yeah . . . Andrew, right?" As I said it, I closed my eyes and prayed. Krishna reciprocated and Andrew said, "Yeah! Wow, you've
got a good memory!"

So, the program went on and we listened to Maharaja's kirtans and lecture. Andrew sat with rapt attention and asked Maharaja a nice question and was satisfied by the answer. As we were getting ready to take prasadam, Andrew came up to me and we began to talk. Our conversation lasted almost two hours. He devoured every bit of Krsna conscious philosophy I gave him in the natural flow of our conversation.

He was very open and very favorable. Later I remarked to Gauracandra Prabhu from Toronto that I could never even conceive of praying for such reciprocation while preaching. Obviously, Andrew's enthusiasm is the spark of his previous devotional service getting ready to reignite.

During my conversation with Andrew I cited the Isopanisad in support of the idea that material knowledge and spiritual knowledge must be cultivated simultaneously. I used an analogy I heard from Bhaktimarga Swami -- that a train needs both tracks to go anywhere. Similarly, we need to be spiritual and practical. Andrew soaked it up and relished his ability to understand some spiritual philosophy. I told him I would give him the Isopanisad as a gift, and if he wanted he could make a donation before leaving.

We talked for a while longer amidst a few other devotees who were inspired to hear Andrew express his enthusiasm for Krsna consciousness and his intention to take up spiritual life and chant the maha-mantra more seriously.

When he left, I walked him to the door as he put the Isopanisad in his pocket and walked out. I followed him because our conversation was still going on. It was like I had met a friend from the spiritual world and we had so much to catch up on. It was just really natural that way. As he was preparing to leave for the night, Andrew said, "I'll leave you with one question: Could God create a stone that was too heavy for him to lift?"

Quoting Srila Prabhupada's answer to a similar question, I said, "Yes . . . but then He would lift it!"

Andrew was amazed at this answer and had to pace around the parking lot for a minute or two, putting his mind back together. Then I remembered that Gauracandra Prabhu had a Krsna book on the table. So I ran and got it from him so I could show Andrew the picture of Krsna lifting Govardhana Hill. I explained what I knew about the pastime and he said
he would love to have the Krsna book sometime. He said, "Next Sunday I will bring $20.00."

But because of his sincerity, which I had seen throughout the evening, I said, "I can't let you go home without this book. Is there a bank machine nearby that you can go to? I'll come with you."

Andrew told me he had left his wallet in his car and had me follow him there. I wasn't wearing shoes, and although Andrew was, he took them off "to be like the monk." At the car I reiterated that I was glad he was taking the book because I couldn't let him go without it! He handed me twenty dollars, then another twenty. He said, "Bills are tight, but if you want to get, you've got to give." He was referring to the financial situation of his business (he is only 23 and owns a computer service and web-design company). Then Krishna inspired him to give another twenty dollars. For a total of $60.00, he took a Krsna book and Sri Isopanisad home with him.

He also said that he would be trying this Krsna consciousness out for the next few months because he can see there is something to it. We will be seeing him next week at the Sunday Feast.

Read more…

I was distributing books in Northampton (in the Midlands of England) and stopped a young man who seemed quite well-natured. He had grown up in a Catholic family, but he introduced himself as a 21-year-old searcher looking deeply into Buddhism. I showed him our new VEDA book and told him that the article on Buddhism and KC may interest him. He had heard of the Vedas and was happy to take it away, along with a couple of other books, and generously gave a £20 donation.

Two weeks later, I decided to stop in Northampton on my way back to the Manor. About midday I bumped into this young man again. He smiled when he saw me and immediately came over to say that he had read all the books. And he'd read VEDA three times. It was exactly what he was looking for. He was hungry for more knowledge, so I took him over to my trolley, gave him another three books, and took his contact details.

A week later I e-mailed him. He'd read the new books and was interested in taking up the process. I made a trip to Northampton to meet him. We decided to sit down in Costa Coffee and have a chat. I was ready to introduce him to chanting, but he was one step ahead. He explained how he had obtained some beads and was already chanting every day (he found information online). He had photocopied pictures out of the books and had made an altar at home. Now he offers some water and fruits to Krishna every day.

He recently visited the Manor and loved it. Another soul on the journey home, thanks to the potency of Srila Prabhupada's books.

Read more…

Fire Strikes ISKCON Again

Fire Strikes ISKCON Again

First we lost Aindra Prabhu to fire, then a fiery explosion took out our Leicester Temple in the UK. Now, a massive wild fire has engulfed Pandavas Paradise, our 1000 acre Hare Krishna retreat center in the grassy plateaus of central Brazil (Chapada dos Veadeiros).

Though a common occurence at this time of the year, this wild fire was allied with a powerful wind. We are coming to the end of the dry season here, it is very dry and we haven’t had a drop of rain for about 120 days now.

Despite the best efforts of the team of 13 volunteers fighting the fire, we lost our best guesthouse, recently renovated and redecorated, with three comfortable guest rooms and a storage area.

Here’s a picture of the guesthouse and one of its rooms before:

And here’s what’s left:

The landscape now appears bleak but by Krishna’s mercy our other buildings were saved, despite the land around them being badly burnt. A spark of fire, carried by the wind, landed on the grass roof of our temple and the roof caught fire but one of our volunteers bravely climbed up and managed to put out the fire. Fortunately nobody was hurt and the deities are safe.

The fire has left us with a loss of tens of thousands of dollars, but we have wasted no time in lamentation, knowing well that everything Krishna does is for our benefit. We have started a campaign to raise funds for reconstruction and have already received dozens and dozens of emails, and donations are beginning to come in.

If you can help too, please let us know.

Read more…

Ratha Yatra Festival in Colombo

Ratha Yatra Festival in Colombo

The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) will conduct its annual Ratha Yatra program for the 12th consecutive year.

The chariot carrying the deities of Lord Jagannath, Baladev and Subadhra will leave the Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple at 188, New Chetty Street, Colombo 13 on September 22 around 7 am and the chariot will make its way back to the temple on the same day around 2 pm and prasadam will be distributed to all the devotees.

Read more…

Book Distribution in Taiwan

I usually keep some small books like "Perfection of Yoga" and "Beyond birth and death" in my bag. I try to distribute them to anyone who seems a little favorable. Taxis are pretty commonplace in Taiwan and I do take them quite often. When it's time to get off, the driver usually extends his hand towards the back seat and then I put a book in his hand. Sometimes they take it and I say they can donate the taxi fare, which is usually NT$ 70 or 100 ie US$2 or 3.

This afternoon when I was leaving home, a lady was leaving from the apartment across our house. We were in the elevator together and I commented that she looked a lot like the lady who lives in the apartment across from our house. She said "yes" that lady is her sister. Then I said you even talk like her, the resemblance was uncanny. So then we walked out of the apartment building and suddenly I remembered that I had a "Beyond birth and death" in my bag. So I took it out and showed it to her and she took it so I asked for a donation. She said she will get it from her car. She took her purse from the car and gave me NT$2000 ie US$60!!!

I was so amazed! I didn't know whether I should keep the money or try to return it to her. In the meantime she got in her car and drove off.

Krishna Bhavna dd
Read more…

Real Life story -Cured for Service to Krishna

Cured for Service to Krsna

Their disease was supposed to be terminal, but they’ve survived for lives of inspired and inspiring devotional service.
By Gopal Hari Das

THE CROWDED BUS JERKED to a stop. A concerned father and mother, Mukunda and Mina Gandhi, struggled out. With them were their two children, Chirag (7) and Vishal (3), in wheelchairs. Both boys were victims of Pseudohypertrophic Muscular Atrophy, an incurable, terminal disease that gradually destroys all the muscles in the body.
Pushing the wheelchairs forward, the parents walked to the base of famous Mount Abu in Rajasthan. Their destination was a large cave atop the mountain. They had been told that in the cave lived a four-hundred-year-old baba (renunciant). He was an accomplished tantric who could cure any disease.

The wheelchairs could move no farther. The determined parents lifted the children onto their shoulders and proceeded up the steep mountain. Thorns pierced their feet and the sun burned their skin, but they trudged on, seeking a cure for their incurable children. At last they reached the cave. As their eyes adjusted to the darkness, they
saw the old baba. He looked remarkably young, and his body was covered in ash. Next to him were his fellow babas. Many of them were naked, with long matted hair, and they all held the trisula—Lord Siva’s trident weapon. It was a frightening sight.

Mukunda explained the reason for their visit. The baba said that he would need to find out whether the children were curable. He picked up a human skull and, holding it up to his ear, began talking to some higher spirit. He then set the skull down and said, “Yes, your children shall be cured. But I need some herbs from Nepal. These herbs will cost about twelve thousand rupees.” The parents quickly realized that they had fallen into the hands of robbers in the guise of saints. Fading Hopes This was not the first time the Gandhis had been baffled in their attempt to find a cure for their children. Over the last seven years, they had tried every possible cure—allopathic, homeopathic, ayurvedic, tantric, and acupuncture. They had also consulted doctors in America, but all of them had pronounced Chirag and Vishal incurable. The doctors said they wouldn’t live past eighteen.

Mukunda and Mina escaped from the cave and ran down the mountain as fast as they could, carrying Chirag and Vishal in their arms. Sweating and panting, they boarded the first bus back to Ahmedabad, their hometown in Gujarat, never to see the babas again. Soon, Chirag and Vishal began going to school, despite their ill health. By
the time Chirag turned fifteen, both parents had resigned themselves to the fact that there was no cure and had decided to let fate run its course. The parents lost interest in religion, while the boys developed a deep interest in science and the meaning of life. “As time passed,” Chirag remembers, “I reached twelfth grade and Vishal
entered eighth. Both of us were doing well in our studies. But our physical condition was worsening. We were becoming weaker, and our bodies seemed uglier than before. We began facing difficulties in eating and other ordinary activities. Our speech was unclear. Our parents were very worried.”

Gita To The Rescue:

At the age of seventeen Chirag completed high school, but he didn’t have enough strength to pursue further studies. One day, he asked his father what he should do to use his time. His father was sitting in his office. He looked up at the five editions of Bhagavad-gita on his bookshelf, randomly pulled out one, and gave it to Chirag. It was Prabhupada's Bhagavad-gita As It Is.

Chirag read the book and found answers to questions he had been asking throughout his life. He persuaded his father to take him to the Krsna temple in Ahmedabad. Soon, the entire family became devoted members of the temple and attended the Sunday Feast every week. As the doctors had predicted, however, in his eighteenth year Chirag became very ill. He was taken to the hospital and put under strong medication. He became extremely thin, and doctors warned that he had only a few more days to live.
But amidst all of this, Chirag never forgot the temple. He remembered that the next day was Gaura Purnima, the appearance day of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. He asked his father to go to the temple with Vishal for the whole day, and to bring him there in the evening. His father agreed, although Vishal was also quite sick at the time.
Vishal had faith in the power of Krsna's holy name. At the temple on Gaura Purnima, he chanted 108 “rounds” of the maha-mantra on his beads, from six in the morning until seven in the evening. At four o’clock, Mukunda brought Chirag, who was on intravenous support. After viewing the deities, Sri Sri Radha-Govinda, they both went home.
That night, Chirag drank some caranamrta (water that has bathed the deities) that he had brought with him from the temple, and went to sleep. The next morning, when Chirag awoke, he had miraculously regained his normal strength. The crisis was over. Soon after, Chirag and Vishal received initiation from His Holiness Gopal Krsna Goswami, and were given the names Caturatma Dasa and Visvarupa, respectively.

Today, despite their illness, they perform immense service for Sri Sri Radha-Govinda. They lead kirtanas expertly and give classes at the temple. Visvarupa has translated Srila Prabhupada's Path of Perfection into Gujarati. And although they cannot walk, they make yearly visits to Mayapur, Jagannatha Puri, Vrndavana, Dwarka, and other holy places. The brothers’ most successful activity in spreading Krsna consciousness is a
youth program they have started in their home. By holding regular kirtanas and discussion groups, they have touched the lives of hundreds of young people. The brothers have become spiritual mentors for the youth, encouraging them in Krsna consciousness. “Caturatma and Visvarupa are role models for me,” says one young man. “Their
determination and faith are inspiring. If they can be good devotees in the face of such adversity, why can’t I?” The brothers, now 23 and 19, have no worries about the future.
“Lord Krsna nourishes and maintains every living entity,” says Caturatma. “He promises in the Bhagavad-gita, ‘Surrender to Me. I will protect you. Don’t be afraid.’ We don’t consider our bodies to be miserable anymore. Actually, our disability has made life blissful: So many people come to express their sympathy, and we take the opportunity to tell them about the science of Krsna consciousness.”

-Gopala Hari Dasa
Read more…
Evidence that Advanced Technology existed 500,000 yrs back!

While mineral hunting in the mountains of California near Olancha during the winter of 1961, Wallace Lane, Virginia Maxey and Mike Mikesell found a rock, among many others, that they thought was a geode - a good addition for their gem shop. Upon cutting it open, however, Mikesell found an object inside that seemed to be made of white porcelain. In the center was a shaft of shiny metal. Experts estimated that it should have taken about 500,000 years for this fossil-encrusted nodule to form, yet the object inside was obviously of sophisticated human manufacture. Further investigation revealed that the porcelain was surround by a hexagonal casing, and an x-ray revealed a tiny spring at one end. Some who have examined the evidence say it looks very much like a modern-day spark plug. How did it get inside a 500,000-year-old rock.

Read more…

Giriraj Swami Nectar

Krsna Bamani dasi:
I was going to say one more thing. You already explained it. But in today's world, fanatical Muslims or fanatics in any religion--they may be chanting God's names, yet so much violence is going on. They may chant, for example, "Allah, Allah," yet engage in so much violent activity. They are "God's warriors," so to speak. So, you have explained that there are ways to chant God's names properly.

Giriraj Swami: Correct. One must avoid that offense of offending devotees, and devotees are there in every tradition. One may take the name of God in one's own tradition, but if he is inimical to devotees in other traditions, that is an offense, not only against the devotees but against the holy name. And if one commits offenses against the holy name, one doesn't get the benefit. In fact, it is described that when you offend devotees, the holy name is offended and withdraws its mercy. So even though such fanatics are mouthing God's name, it is almost as if God has left. He has withdrawn His mercy from them, because they are offensive.

Of course, offending devotees is the worst, but offending anyone--causing pain to any living entity--is prohibited. That is the complete injunction. And that is one reason why we don't kill animals or eat flesh.

So, it is not just a question of mouthing God's name. One should be in the proper consciousness, the proper mood of service to God and to the devotees of God--in whatever tradition, culture, or community they may be. We should respect and appreciate all genuine devotees, servants of God, and encourage the devotees and chant the holy names. That will bring us all success, and one day the holy name will reveal Himself to us, and we will see Krsna face to face.

prabhu kahe,--"vaisnava-seva, nama-sankirtana
dui kara, sighra pabe sri-krsna-carana"

The Lord [Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu] said, "You should engage yourself in the service of the servants of Krsna and always chant the holy name of Krsna. If you do these two things, you will very soon attain shelter at Krsna's lotus feet." (Cc Madhya 16.70)

Read more…

Contamination of Ghee

Dear ghee enthusuiasts,

Hare Krishna!

Contamination of ghee is a world-wide phenomena. Queensland Butter Board ghee in the green can (QBB) used to be a reputable ghee here in Australia. In fact it was the first ghee ever produced here, back at the turn of the 20th century, when lack of refrigeration in remote farms in Queensland made butter storage problematic.

Apparently it has finally shut down it's operations here in Australia, but the name and label is used in Malaysia. There has been big scandal about finding gross contaminants in it, specifically pig products, so it has successfully offended Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims and Vaisnavas alike.

"This product constitutes of decolorized and deodorized lard (pig fat) in semi-solid state with permitted additives giving the product color, flavor and aroma similar to that of pure ghee color, flavor and aroma.”

(full original report is below)...

This should certainly put you off buying ghee from dubious sources. Here in Australia I strongly urge my cookery students to only by Allowrie ghee and never anything imported.




Hare Krishna!

We have just received information that the report we lodged with the Consumer Association of Penang (CAP) a couple of months ago to verify the contents of sample cans of ghee from supermarket shelves to check whether they are contaminated with animal lard or oil or chemicals has turned in some positive results with serious implications for all devotees and leaders in our Krishna-conscious society.

CAP, acting on the complaints received from us and other parties, communicated the matter to the government's Islamic Development department (JAKIM), who in turn got the Chemistry Department to do some testing. The Chemistry department have tested at least one brand of supermarket "ghee" which had featured prominently in most of the complaints, QBB brand, and reportedly found it to be mixed with "doubtful elements".

CAP president and veteran campaigner of consumer rights SM Mohamed Idris issued a press statement in Penang yesterday with the following warning to Muslims and all vegetarians:

"JAKIM and the Chemistry Department have tested the ghee and found it to contain doubtful elements and therefore cannot be consumed by Muslims and other vegetarians."

The full text of his statement is included below.

In the meantime, JAKIM has withdrawn their "halal" certification from QBI Packaging Sdn Bhd, the suppliers of QBB "ghee". They posted the following statement on their website today:

Adalah dimaklumkan bahawa JAKIM telah mengambil keputusan untuk menggantung Sijil Pengesahan Halal Malaysia kepada Syarikat QBI Packaging Sdn Bhd sehingga
JAKIM berpuas hati status kehalalan produk berkenaan berkuatkuasa 19 Ogos 2010.
Oleh yang demikian, QBI Packaging Sdn Bhd adalah dilarang serta merta menggunakan logo halal Malaysia pada semua produk berjenama QBB Pure Ghee.

Sekian, terima kasih

- Pegawai Perhubungan Awam JAKIM

Tarikh : 24 Ogos 2010
Sumber : Unit Perhubungan Awam JAKIM
Editor : PRO JAKIM

CAP is now calling the Ministry of Domestic Trade, Cooperative and Consumerism to immediately ban the sale of QBB ghee in Malaysia.

Now what are the repercussions of all the above developments for ISKCON members?

Firstly, it confirms our suspicions about supermarket "ghee" being potentially contaminated with animal lard/oil/chemicals. And I wouldn't limit the suspicions to QBB brand alone.

Previously Ajamila Prabhu did his own testing of another well-known brand of supermarket "ghee" that he had purchased (a bucket, for about RM120), showed us the horrible results, and dumped the entire bucket.

If we cannot trust supermarket "ghee" anymore, what are we to offer our Deities now, especially the Deities in the temple, since pure ghee is an essential element of ISKCON Deity worship?

The question wouldn't arise if ISKCON temples here maintained their own goshallas (cow shelters) , as many ISKCON temples in India do. Until we reach that standard, the compromise is to heat and clarify ghee

from butter (at least so long as they don't adulterate the butter with dubious elements)

Better still is to churn butter from cream or curd and clarify the ghee from it, as our Varnasrama Dharma Council coordinator Radha Ramana Prabhu is doing at the ISKCON Kluang centre.

At our National Council meeting in Kuala Lumpur last Sunday, we distributed a "Cow Protection and Eco-Friendly" checklist to all ISKCON branch chairmen and temple presidents to fill in. This is to help us monitor the current standards being maintained at their respective centres/temples and measure their rate of improvement towards the desired standards.

Of the nine questions on this checklist, two pertain to ghee:

5. Standard of Ghee offered to the Deities

A. Ghee churned and clarified by devotees from milk/cream produced by devotees

B. Ghee churned and clarified by devotees from milk/cream produced by non-devotees

C. Ghee clarified by devotees from butter produced by non-devotees

D. Ghee made by local milkman

E. Ghee from retail stores

6. Is all Deity cooking done with only Ghee of at least 'C' standard (as above) or higher, without resorting to oil or other substitutes?

A. Yes
B. No

From the results filled in, we found that many centres are still offering "ghee" purchased from retail stores. After they have read this report of the latest developments, we hope that the leaders of these centres will raise their standards immediately to at least C-standard (if not higher) as stated above in the checklist's question

#5.You can help in the exercise by asking your local tp/branch chairman/committee what kind of ghee they are offering the Deities?

Below is the statement from CAP, and our series of communications with them in pursuing this matter.

In Vaisnava service,
Goloka Candra dasa

----- Original Message -----
From: "Uma" <>

To: <>
Sent: Tuesday, August 24, 2010 11:23 AM
Subject: RE: testing facilities to verify the contents of sample cans of ghee

23rd August 2010


The Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) calls on the Ministry of Domestic Trade, Cooperative and Consumerism to immediately call for the withdrawal of sale of QBB ghee being sold in Malaysia.

This is in view of the fact that the halal status of the ghee has been withdrawn by the Jabatan Kebangsaan Islam Malaysia (JAKIM) on the grounds that it contains doubtful elements.

CAP has been liaising with JAKIM on the authenticity of the halal status of the ghee since July this year. In a reply to CAP of 20th August 2010, JAKIM had informed CAP that they were withdrawing the halal status of the ghee until they were convinced with the halal status of the product.

JAKIM and the Chemistry Department have tested the ghee and found it to contain doubtful elements and therefore cannot be consumed by Muslims and other vegetarians.

CAP calls on Malaysians to immediately stop consuming the ghee until its contents have been verified to be halal by JAKIM.

The Ministry of Domestic Trade Cooperative and Consumerism must immediately call for the total withdrawal of the product from the shelves as this is a serious matter and needs urgent action.

SM Mohamed Idris
Consumers Association of Penang

No. 10 Jalan Mesjid Negeri
11600 Penang
Tel: 04 8299511 Fax: 04 8298109 email:

__________ Information from ESET NOD32 Antivirus, version of virus signature database 5387 (20100823) __________

The message was checked by ESET NOD32 Antivirus.

__________ Information from ESET NOD32 Antivirus, version of virus signature
database 5391 (20100823) __________

The message was checked by ESET NOD32 Antivirus.

-----Original Message-----
From: []

Sent: Tuesday, 24 August, 2010 11:16 AM
To: Uma
Subject: Re: testing facilities to verify the contents of sample cans of ghee

Dear Uma,
I searched for jakim's website and finally found the information on the withdrawal of the halal status at this url:

It will be more helpful if you include the above url in your future communications to other members of the public who have similar queries on this subject. Secondly, you mentioned that you have issued a statement yesterday.

To whom?
Where is it available online?
If there's no embargo on it, and if this statement is indeed meant for public consumption, can you kindly forward it to us today instead of us having to wait for it to be published somewhere (and then having to search for it)?


----- Original Message -----
From: "Uma" <>

To: <>
Sent: Tuesday, August 24, 2010 8:32 AM
Subject: RE: testing facilities to verify the contents of sample cans of


Dear goloka


The information on the withdrawal of the halal status can be seen on the JAKIM website.

Please do refer to it.

We have issued a statement yesterday and trust it will be published tomorrow.

Thank you


-----Original Message-----
From: []

Sent: Tuesday, 24 August, 2010 8:08 AM
To: Uma
Subject: Re: testing facilities to verify the contents of sample cans of ghee

Dear Uma,
It will helpful for our members if you can forward us the full text of the information you have received from JAKIM. Also, the full text of the statement that you have issued, together with the chemistry lab report.

Thank you.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Uma" <>

To: <>
Sent: Tuesday, August 24, 2010 7:35 AM
Subject: RE: testing facilities to verify the contents of sample cans of ghee

Dear goloka


We just informed yesterday by JAKIM that they have withdrawn the halal status of the QBB ghee because of doubtful elements found by the Chemistry department. We have issued a statement on the matter.

Thank you.

Ms. Uma

-----Original Message-----
From: []

Sent: Monday, 23 August, 2010 8:09 PM
To: Uma
Subject: Re: testing facilities to verify the contents of sample cans of ghee

Dear Ms Uma,

Just to double-check, are you saying that none of the items mentioned below, that is, animal lard or vegetable oil or chemicals, were traced to any significant extent in the ghee samples?

Appreciate if your analysis can provide a breakdown of the contents of the ghee samples tested. The manufacturers generally label their products as "pure ghee" (which means that the contents should be mainly milk fats).

Thank you.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Uma" <>

To: <>
Sent: Friday, August 20, 2010 12:32 PM
Subject: RE: testing facilities to verify the contents of sample cans of ghee

Dear ms. Goloka

Yes, and it was not traced. However, awaiting new information on the product.

Hope to receive the response before end of next week.


-----Original Message-----

From: []

Sent: Friday, 20 August, 2010 9:51 AM
To: uma

Subject: Re: testing facilities to verify the contents of sample cans of ghee

Dear Ms Uma,


We would like to know if there has been any progress in the testing of sample cans of ghee on retail shelves by the Consumers Association of Penang. It has been more than two months since the testing started.


----- Original Message -----
From: "uma" <>

To: <>
Sent: Friday, June 11, 2010 4:58 PM
Subject: Re: testing facilities to verify the contents of sample cans of ghee

Dear ms. Goloka


We are in the midst of testing the product.

thank you


----- Original Message -----

From: <>
To: <>

Sent: Thursday, June 10, 2010 12:45 AM
Subject: testing facilities to verify the contents of sample cans of ghee

Dear Sir,
It has come to our attention that many brands of ghee being marketed in Malaysia contain cow and pig lard or vegetable oil or chemicals, all disguised to look like ghee. We would like to know whether CAP has testing facilities, or can point us to any organisation with such testing facilities, to verify the contents of sample cans of ghee taken randomly from shop shelves.

SInce it is important to our members that the ghee used in our cooking and religious ceremonies be uncontaminated (especially no animal lard), we appreciate your advice in this matter.

Thank you.

Goloka Candra dasa

The International Society for Krishna Consciousness, Malaysia

2 April 2010
Attention: Ms. Tan Poh Hong
Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority
5, Maxwell Road
Tower Block, MND Complex
Singapore 069110

Dear Madam

We wish to inform your goodself that for years, our consumer group as many other faithful consumers have been using “QQB” Ghee for various delicacies and religious functions without doubt, with full confidence that the said product is manufactured from the milk of dairy cows by its highly reputable manufacturer based in Queensland , Australia .
However, lately, we found that although the colour and aroma had now varied much, the taste seemed to be somewhat different. Therefore, we investigated this matter and concluded the following matters:
Its manufacturer Butter Producers’ Co-operative Federation Ltd (BPCF) addressed as No. 489, Kingsford Smith Drive , Hamilton , Brisbane , Australia had ceased operations in September 2006 and was no longer listed in the website of Australian trade authority being http://www.austrade/ In fact the satellite picture as the website http://maps./ shows that the following site is vacant land.

Printed on the tin is that the said product is manufactured from milkfat of dairy cows of Australia and in even smaller and rather unclear script, it is mentioned that its manufacturer is Q.B.I. Packaging Sdn Bhd, No. 19, Lorong Keluli 1C, Kawasan Perindustrian Bukit Raja Selatan, 41050 Shah Alam, Selangor DE.,Malaysia and that the said product is manufactured under license from QBB (Pte.) Ltd., Singapore .

QBB Pte Ltd.., Singapore was originally the sole agent for “QBB” Ghee for Malaysia , Singapore and Brunei and it is not clear whether at the time when BPCF ceased operations in 2006, the “QBB” trademark rights were transferred from BPCF to QBB Ptd Ltd., Singapore . We suspect that Q.B.I. Packaging Sdn Bhd and QBB Ptd Ltd., Singapore are together carrying an act of piracy i.e. producing and selling a product whose legitimate manufacturing and sales rights were not transferred to them by its original manufacturer BPCF who was since wound up.

The report of an analysis conducted by a reputable food technology laboratory in Australia on the contents of a 2-lb tin of this product, where the said tin was taken from Malaysia to Australia by one of our group members, mentions the following:-
“This product constitutes of decolorized and deodorized lard (pig fat) in semi-solid state with permitted additives giving the product color, flavor and aroma similar to that of pure ghee color, flavor and aroma.” (Original report is with the sender of this letter).

Therefore, our consumer group had to boycott the use of this product as:-

a) Our muslim members cannot use this product as it is haram by religion

b) Our Hindu and Sikh members cannot use this product for burning of ghee lamps, religious functions or for preparing sweetmeats as places of worship which forbid the use of any animal oil/animal fat.

c) Our vegetarian Buddist friends who only consume vegetarian diet cannot consume the said product.

We believe that the “QBB Ghee” sold in Malaysia , Singapore and Brunei ever since BPCF closed down, is a product which is violating the related laws on the principle of “misrepresentation of label”. Therefore we hope that your goodself will take the appropriate action to stop the sale of this product.

Thanking you.

Letter signed by Mohd Kadir bin Mohd Karim (I/C
No. 601223-10-6157)
Secretary of Kumpulan Konsumer Satu Malaysia

Note: Copy of this letter and analysis report sent to YAB Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Abd. Khalid bin Ibrahim, Menteri Besar Selangor DE.

From :
ENGINEERING ((x53160)/65403160)

From :
ENGINEERING SUPPLIES ((x14995)/65414995)

Read more…