ISKCON Derire Tree's Posts (13353)

Paramananda madhavam sri caitanya isvaram. The situation in Navadvip and the whole of India that time was that people were religious but they were not spiritual. They were religious just to show on the outside but actually they did not know the purpose of religion. People spent a lot to marry off their daughter, to put on a big show to show that they were very religious. One such wealthy had no more daughters to marry off then he married a female cat or a female dog or some demigod. So this was not even in scripture. Marriage is for human beings. Like that they were doing all sorts of bogus religious activities just to show off.

The Vaisnavas were seeing how the people were wasting their valuable human life and nobody was taking up the process of bhagavat-dharma. At that time Sitanath Advaita Gosai was feeling very concerned about how to deliver the fallen souls. So He decided to do a special fast and yajna to bring the Lord down. Since He was an avatara of Maha Visnu therefore His name was Advaita. So He is non-different from Krishna. So He said, "Since I am non-different I will bring Him down. He must come also."

So He began fasting and He was worshipping His saligram sila. By the way they say that saligrama is still in Santipura if you want to see. So He worshipped the saligram with Ganges water and Tulasi leaves and manjaris and loud crying - Govinda, Govinda, Hare Krishna - to bring the Lord down. His loud cries went all over the universe. His worship, his fasting! So this also reached Lord Caitanya and He agreed to come down.

At the same time or a similar time Jagannath Misra and Saci-mata had eight daughters but mysteriously each daughter died after childbirth. Jagannath Misra was very frustrated so he did a Visnu yajna for a son. Thus he was blessed with a son whom he named Visvarupa. Visvarupa was an expansion of Lord Baladeva. So he was Sankarsana. He was very powerful. He had prepared the womb to receive Lord Caitanya.

Then Jagannath Misra had a dream where he saw a radiant light come on his head to his heart and cross over to the heart of Saci-mata and go into her womb. So he told her about his dream. He thought, "A great soul will be born to us." And then she became pregnant. Everybody changed. They started treating Jagannath Misra with so much respect and they gave him donations. He was a poor brahmana and so doing his duties he barely made ends meet. But now he was getting things were made of gold and silver. He was amazed at what happened. "It was like the goddess of fortune was living in my house."

Meanwhile the devas knew the Supreme Lord was going to make His appearance and so they came and offered their prayers to Lord Caitanya in the womb of Mother Saci. They prayed that, "You are going to give out love of Krishna freely to all the conditioned souls. So we are Your devotees in the heavenly planets, the devas and we need Your mercy more. We don't have material problems because in heavenly planets there is a very comfortable lifestyle but we have two problems. One problem is that sometimes the daityas, the asuras attack us and we have to fight against them risking our lives. Secondly we are so comfortable that we forget to worship You. Therefore we live in a kind of sense gratification and as a result we don't get love of Krishna. So we need Your mercy more. We need Your mercy so that we can get love of Krishna. So please have mercy on us."

Normally the devas would be invisible but somehow Saci-mata saw their shadows. By the will of the Lord they cast some shadows so she thought a spirit has come so she started to chant Nrsimha mantras -

namas te narasimhaya prahladahlada-dayine hiranyakasipor vaksah-sila-tanka-nakhalaye [Sri Nrsimha Pranama]

So the devas thought, "How can she see us? How does she know we are here? This is all because of the Lord." So they had to suddenly leave. So they thought so many things are happening. The thirteenth month of her pregnancy had come up so Saci-mata went to see her father who was Nilambara Cakravati. He was a famous astrologer. So they asked him when the child would be born. He said that He will be born this month at an auspicious time. So He was born on a full moon day. That day was a lunar eclipse. Since He is like a moon and is unblemished why would He need in the material moon which is full of marks?

So the moon was covered by Rahu and because of the lunar eclipse at that time all the Hindus went into the water of the Ganges and they thought it was pure to chant. Otherwise they wouldn't chant the holy names aloud. But in the water they chanted - Govinda, Govinda. Haribol. Haribol, Haribol. Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. So Srivas was hearing the loud chanting of the holy names and he said to his sons, "Why do they say this is an inauspicious day? Listen how everyone is chanting loudly the holy names. This is very auspicious." The Muslims heard the Hindus chanting and they were making fun, mocking the sinful Hindus - Haribol, Hare Rama hahahaha, Hare Krishna, hahahaha. So somehow or the other everybody was chanting Haribol, Haribol, Haribol Hare Krishna.

At that auspicious time Lord Caitanya appeared at the sunset and moonrise. Then even though they did not know why all the devotees began to dance. They felt so happy. Haridasa Thakura, Advaita Gosai, Srivas and everybody were dancing [Sings] Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. At that time as was customary Saci-mata was outside the house in a little cottage built under the neem tree. So Lord Caitanya was born under a neem tree. Therefore He got the nickname Nimai. A neem tree was considered very auspicious because it would keep away all the evil spirits, ghosts etc.

At that time the village ladies came to visit to see the newborn baby. He was golden in color. Taking the opportunity the heavenly devas descended from the heavenly planets and went along with the local residents to see the baby whom they knew to be an avatara of Lord Krishna. Mother Saci saw these beautiful ladies and wondered where they were all coming from. She did not know that some were devas and some were from other planets. At that time it was all the auspicious - simha, lagna, rasi - all the auspicious stars and astrological influences were there. All the planets lined up just to please the Lord.

On this day actually when the Ganges was brought down by Bhagirath had faced a lot of different problems. One problem was with Jahnu Muni. Jahnu Muni drank the Ganges. That problem was solved and Jahnu Muni re manifested the Ganges but the Ganges stopped outside the birthplace of Lord Caitanya and Bhaghirath was crying, "Why you are stopping?" And she said, "It will soon be Gaura-purnima and I want to be here on that day so that I can get the special blessings then I will go with you down to Sindh."

So today is also called the Ganganagar(?) day. The day of Lord Hanuman spreading love of Krishna along the Ganges. On this day many devotees like to take their bath. If you go in the morning you will get covered with colors. If you go in the afternoon it should be okay. But you must go in a group. If you are swimming please be very careful. Just dip and out or take some water.

In any case this is a very auspicious day. Lord Krishna although He appeared came in Kali-yuga as a devotee. He did not broadcast that he was the Lord. A few times to some individuals, to Advaita Gosai He showed who He was. Otherwise he would not allow anyone to break the protocol that He was a devotee because that was His lila. As a result many people don't understand how Lord Caitanya is actually an avatara. But if you see in the various scriptures He was predicted - that the Lord would come in Navadvip, He will be the son of Saci who will live for 24 years as a grhasta and 24 years as a sannyasi. All these things are predicted. So He matches up. He also did activities which no ordinary person could do. Also His symptoms matched with the prediction. So these are the three things how to confirm an avatara.

In two hundred years His movement was covering the whole of the eastern India. It was affected. But somehow there was an influence of sahajyaism that ...His movement. People thought that just by imagining they could be considered as a sakhi or some great devotee rather than try to please Krishna, try to serve Krishna, try to do what Krishna wants. Then Krishna will automatically recognise the devotee. Instead they just imagined that I could be whatever I want without doing any real service or sadhana. This was due to the whole influence of the Daityas. They teamed up with Kali to get the ...

So our great acaryas like Bhaktivinoda Thakura and Bhakti Siddhanta Sarasvati Thakura had to fight to re-establish Vaisnavism where it belongs. In the time of Bhaktivinoda Thakura there were 30 apasampradayas. He sang about them: aula, baula, kartabhaja, prakrta-sahajiya, sakhi-bheki, jati-gosai, gaura-nagari. All those sampradayas are still there but they are not as strong as they used to be.

One time one of our friends, an editor of a paper had his office and residence in Navadvip brought over one sadhu. She was wearing a sari. I thought this was a chaste lady. She turned around and revealed she was a sakhi bheki. That means a man who is dressed like a lady. The mood was like a sakhi. He wants to experience what it feels like to be a manjari by dressing like one externally.

Prabhupada was saying how Bhaktisiddhanta fought to establish Krishna consciousness and to take away the dominion of the caste brahmanas who were controlling the whole thing. So these caste brahmanas the deferred that anyone who is not born brahmana, even if they are born brahmanas but have some lack in them are not bona fide. So they basically said that such great acaryas like Sanatan Goswami, Rupa Goswami, Narottama Syamananda and so many others are all unbona fide. They are only bona fide. So Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura had to go andcall a big meeting and then he said how a Vaisnava has all the qualifications of a brahmana and more.

So these caste brahamanas came together and they said Lord Caitanya is not an avatara. They claimed to be Lord Caitanya's descendants. Then Bhaktisiddhanta said from the Vedas and the Puranas how Lord Caitanya was predicted. Thus he established lord Caitanya to be actually Krishna avatara. After that these caste brahmanas were defeated.

So Prabhupada was able to initiate devotees all over the world as brahmanas, as Vaisnavas because of the work done by our previous acaryas. We have now the great duty to keep up the fight. Our duty is to establish Lord Caitanya in His rightful position as Krishna Himself who came as a devotee to give freely love of Krishna, to show how to be a devotee and for some internal reasons. So this is our duty. Once Prabhupada said: work now samadhi later.

I went to Srila Prabhupada when I became a devotee. I called my parents and I though they will be very pleased. I called them and told them, "Now I am a devotee and i have all these high moral standards." My father said, "I am disowning you. I am turning your name over to the American army. You have to fight in the Vietnam." I went to Prabhupada and said, "What shall I do? My father wants to turn me over to the army." He said, "Better you fight in Krishna's army."

So I joined Krishna's army. [Applause] So we need a lot of soldiers in an army. I am old now but still I am trying with my last breath to do something for Srila Prabhupada. All of you can please do something to spread this movement. The next thing I like to say he is a very good warrior - Sivarama Maharaj. The parliament n Hungary has declared Iskcon as a bona fide religion. All glories to HH Sivarama Swami and the Hungarian devotees. [Applause] Kirtan or any questions? We have a few minutes for questions.

Prabhu: Maharaj your holiness inspired our enthusiasm and dedicated devotional activities. Today the 526 birth anniversary of Lord Caitanya. You just mentioned that we are all members of the spiritual army of Lord Krishna. We are so much inspired by your devotion and dedication. Just mention please Lord Caitanya is the universal Lord. Why do so many people say that only brahmana can become the pujari of Lord Krishna temple? Why Lord Caitanya mentioned that: prthivite ache yata nagaradi grama, sarvatra pracara haibe mora nama. Lord Caitanya said that: kiba vipra, kiba nyasi, sudra kene naya, yei krsna-tattva-vetta, sei 'guru' haya [Cc Madhya 8.128] Why so many spiritual personalities say that only guru should be a brahmana? Hare Krishna.

HH Jayapataka Swami: Because some authorities do not know the Vaisnava philosophy. If they know the Vaisnava philosophy they do not say that. That is why you have to read Prabhupada's books. There are ample books, ample sastra that says that one is brahmana not by birth. Krishna also says: guna-karma-vibhagasah [Bg 4.13] By quality, by work. He does not say janma karma, He says guna karma. So these people just want to establish their birthright. By birth right they are brahmana bandhu. To become a brahmana their parents should have done garbhodana samskara. If they did not do that, then they are not really brahmanas. In Kali-yuga one should be a Vaisnava and then automatically the twelve qualities of a brahmana will manifest in that devotee. There are many examples were the brahmanas did not know Vaisnava philosophy as taught by Srila Prabhupada. They are in their little box. They don't see the bigger picture. They don't know all the sastras. To preach in India you have to know the sastra because people are a bit more philosophical.

I was standing in Hyderbad outside the general Post Office and someone walked up to me and said, 'Excuse me. In chapter 12 of Bhagavad-gita, verse 18 says that..." You don't get that kind of question in America or London usually while standing on a public street. So here you have to know philosophy. If you do then there is no problem. Sastra supports - we are not just sentimentalists.

Mataji: Hare Krishna Maharaj. We are very grateful for the activities we have done in the past few years. Your health condition is not so good. My question is if we do some sinful activities and you have to take them. Is there any way you can teach us how to avoid that or to improve that so that you cannot take too much of our sins?

HH Jayapataka Swami: One thing is if you sin a lot, doing sinful activities. Through our daily activities of Tulasi puja, japa, seeing the Deities we can burn lot of karma. From the disciples side they should avoid committing sinful activities. The siksa guru does not get sinful activities unless he gives wrong siksa. The diksa guru gets some reactions if the disciple doesn't follow. Like Prabhupada said if they come up want to advance in Krishna consciousness and if they are serious and sincere you should not turn them away. So we have some testing to see if people are really serious beyond that what can we do? Kirtan! [Applause]

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By Madhava Smullen for ISKCON News on 3 Mar 2012

Bhaktin Radhika Mehta In the past five years, one young woman from Chowpatty, Mumbai, has broken all women’s book distribution records, and many overall records too.

Bhaktin Radhika Mehta is an enigma. Since she began in 2007, she has distributed 228,016 of Srila Prabhupada’s books—nearly a quarter of a million. According to the World Sankirtan Newsletter, in five years, she has given out more books than any other female distributor since 1982.

In 2009 and 2010, she hit the number two and number one spots respectively out of all book distributors internationally, men and women. In 2011, she again was number one in the world, although this time under the category of “Team Book Distribution.” During the 2011 Prabhupada Marathon alone—between November 15th and January 5th—she distributed 66,000 books.

For the past four years—2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011—Bhaktin Radhika, still in her thirties, has received the World Book Distribution Award from ISKCON sannyasis at ISKCON’s headquarters in Mayapur Dhama, West Bengal. All this despite the struggle of living on her own outside the brahmachari-only Chowpatty ISKCONtemple.

So how did she get started? How does she do it? And what makes her tick?

The key lies in the way she always says ‘we’ rather than ‘I’ when talking about distributing books. For Radhika, ‘we’ means her Deities of Jagannath (whom she lovingly calls ‘Gopal’), Baladeva, and Subhadra; her guru Radhanath Swami and instructional guru Jayapataka Swami; and her parents, Navin and Pallavi Mehta. All of them are her life and soul, and constantly support and encourage her.

Radhika is especially grateful to her guru Radhanath Swami, whom she says made her the person she is today.

Their first meeting came about in January 2005, when Radhika, a fashion designer who made a living designing clothes for affluent families, was invited to an event at the home of her friends Yash Birla—chairman of the multi-billion dollar Yash Birla Group—and his wife Avanti.

Radhanath Swami was invited to the event, where he sang kirtan and gave a lecture on Krishna consciousness that made a huge impression Radhika.

“Lord Krishna arranged for the first devotee I ever met to be my Guru Maharaja,” she says. “I began going to see him every week, and he would spend an hour at a time with me, explaining the philosophy. At our third meeting, he gave me a copy of the Bhagavad-gita As It Is. With that, he brought me into the beautiful world of the Vaishnavas, and I began to regularly visit Radha Gopinath Mandir in Chowpatty. I received so much love from Radhanath Swami and from the devotees of Radha-Gopinath Mandir that all I wanted to do was give that love to others.”

And so, on December 3rd, 2007, Bhaktin Radhika began to distribute Srila Prabhupada’s books. As she took her Deities with her, and took shelter of Krishna at every step, the results were astonishing.

“On the first day, I took two boxes of books, got into a taxi, and headed into town,” she says. “Paramatma—Lord Krishna in my heart—was guiding me, telling me ‘Go to this building, go to that building.’ I followed His directions, going door to door from top to bottom, and like magic, the boxes were emptied.”

The next day, she brought eight boxes of books, distributing them at apartment buildings and offices, and again sold everything she had.

On the third day, Radhika set a goal to distribute 1,080 Bhagavad-gitas, but fell short by thirteen. Praying to Krishna to help her meet her goal, she was approached by a distraught-looking lady as she made her way from the Chowpatty temple to her house in the evening. There had been a death in the woman’s family, it turned out, and she wanted exactly thirteen copies of the Bhagavad-gita to console her bereaved family.

From there, Bhaktin Radhika’s book distribution began to really expand. She explored Mumbai, and even flew to different cities around India. One day, she’d be in Delhi. The next day, in Hyderabad. Everywhere, she met the most affluent people who wanted to support her mission.

“I don’t read the newspaper, watch television, or read billboards,” she says. “I’m not a computer person, and I don’t have anyone helping me and giving me names and lists. But somehow I just know where to go. Krishna takes me where I need to be.”

Wherever she is, Radhika approaches offices of a variety of businesses, such as diamond merchants and laywers’ firms, carrying Bhagavad-gitas and Krishna books, a box of prasadam (sanctified food), and laminated pictures of Radha and Krishna.

Some are major companies whose security don’t even allow anyone past the lobby unless they are staff or have an appointment. But for Bhaktin Radhika, Krishna opens every door. She smiles sweetly and gives the security staff a book and some prasadam, and they let her through. The lift operator carries her books for her.

The boss’s secretary receives her happily, and before she knows it, she finds herself sitting in front of the boss of the company.

“He happily buys a Krishna book and a Bhagavad-gita for himself,” she says. “Then I request him to chant the Hare Krishna mantra, and he does. Then I ask him to please give me ten minutes of his time, and he does. And then that ten minutes turns into forty-five minutes of me talking about Krishna’s glories as he sits and listens while honoring the Prasad I’ve brought.”

Finally, when she feels he is ready, Radhika asks the boss to donate money so that she can give books for free to the poor and needy. Some bosses donate enough for a few books, some for several hundred, and a handful for as many as one thousand books.

Radhika then visits hospitals, cancer wards, retirement homes, municipal schools, orphanages, and children’s remand homes, bringing Krishna consciousness, and with it some peace and hope of a better future.
Often, her father or a couple of other devotees help her bring an altar with her Deities, as well as a huge banner of Sri-Sri Radha Madhava and Sri-Sri Pancha-Tattva in Mayapur, prasadam, books, maha-mantra stickers, and five hundred sets of japa beads.

“In schools and orphanages, I hand all the children and staff some beads, and they chant one entire round, 108 beads, of the Hare Krishna maha mantra together loudly, which takes around fifteen minutes,” Radhika says. “It’s wonderful to see them all chanting so enthusiastically and happily.”

Radhika then gives a small class on the philosophy of Krishna consciousness in Hindi or Marathi, after which she invites the children to approach the altar in line, pay their respects to the Lord, and receive a free Bhagavad-gita and five laddhu sweets each.

In municipal hospitals and cancer wards, she carries the books in on stretchers, assisted by security. As in the office buildings, staff at first don’t want to let Radhika in to certain areas such as the ICU, but soon find themselves granting her full access.

In some of the eighteen BMC government hospitals in Mumbai she has visited, the conditions are dire. “I see things like one person asleep on top of a bed, and three lying width-ways underneath it, their clothes filled with stool and blood,” she says. “It’s so sad.”

Radhika visits each and every patient, chanting the protective Narasimha prayers softly and reading one verse from the Bhagavad-gita to them, whether they are conscious or not. To some of them she feeds charinamrita, the water that has bathed the Deities’ feet. She also gives them stickers of the Hare Krishna mantra and Bala Gopal, as well as a free copy of the Bhagavad-gita. Some, although poor, giver her a five or ten rupee donation because they want to show their gratitude, and chant blissfully along with her.

In 2011, Radhika spent much of her time in the pilgrimage city of Pandharpur, especially during the Prabhupada Marathon, and during the month of Ashadh (June-July) when around half a million pilgrims come to pay their respects at the temple of Lord Vitthal.

“Some devotees from the small local ISKCON temple helped me, and we set up a small booth opposite Lord Vitthal’s temple, which we filled with boxes of books, buckets of delicious halava, and maha-mantra stickers,” she says. “Oceans of pilgrims came by, chanted the Holy Name with us with lots of love, and took Prasad and books for a discounted price. There were so many we had to keep going back to the temple to get more books and halava or laddhus! Local children helped so much, carrying the books for me. We also did several programs at schools in local villages, giving out books along with arati, kirtan, and prasadam. Two to three thousand books were going out every day. It was wonderful.”

Although Bhaktin Radhika sells so many books, and often gets donations from wealthy businessmen that more than cover the cost for each book; and although her travels and projects are expensive, she doesn’t take one single penny for herself. Instead, she gives all the money to the temple, and supports herself using savings from her successful former career as a fashion designer.

It hasn’t been all smooth sailing for Radhika. She’s struggled being the only woman book distributor in her area, and actually collapsed due to malnourishment in September 2011 because she was so absorbed in book distribution that she neglected to take care of her body. But she has since recovered, and continues to derive energy from the Lord, her gurus Radhanath Swami and Jayapataka Swami, the devotees, and her parents.

“I’m thankful for the struggles I’ve been through, because they have made me stronger in my service,” she says. “All I ask is that the devotees who read my story please bless me so that I can continue to distribute Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-gitas with lots of humility and compassion.”

Hare Krishna!

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MP3 Audio book with background music & dramatic narration on

Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's lilas

Gaura-purnima special - Download for free


[mp3] Track-00_prastavna_n_prak-kathan.mp3 2.0 MB
[mp3] Track-01_janma_tatha_bal_lilayen.mp3 6.4 MB
[mp3] Track-02_yuva_pandit.mp3 5.6 MB
[mp3] Track-03_diksha_tatha_sankirtan_andolan_ka_subharambh.mp3 14.0 MB
[mp3] Track-04_sannyas_grahan_karna_aur_puri_aagman.mp3 5.4 MB
[mp3] Track-05_dakshin_bharat_yatra.mp3 5.5 MB
[mp3] Track-06_purime_lotna_evam_rathayatra_lilayen.mp3 7.7 MB
[mp3] Track-07_uttarbharatme_yatra.mp3 10.6 MB
[mp3] Track-08_puri_bhakto_ke_sath_lilayen.mp3 10.0 MB
[mp3] Track-09_antim_varsh.mp3 2.8 MB
[mp3] Track-10_upsanhar.mp3 584.8 KB
[mp3] Track-11_parishista_01_sri_caitanya_mahaprabhu_purna_puroshottam_bhagvan_hai.mp3 2.7 MB
[mp3] Track-12_parishista_02_sri_caitanya_mahaprabh_ki_shikshaye.mp3 3.5 MB
[mp3] Track-13_parishista_03_sri_caitanya_mahaprabhu_ka_shikshashtakam.mp3 1.5 MB
[mp3] Track-14_lekhak_parichay.mp3 526.8 KB

Based on book written by His Holiness Bhakti Vikasa Swami
Narration by Bhakta J P Sharma (Hollywood, National Geography, Discovery Dubber)
Music mixing by Madhav Das

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MP3 Audio book with background music & dramatic narration on

Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's lilas

Gaura-purnima special - Download for free

[mp3] Track-00_prastavna_n_prak-kathan.mp3 2.0 MB
[mp3] Track-01_janma_tatha_bal_lilayen.mp3 6.4 MB
[mp3] Track-02_yuva_pandit.mp3 5.6 MB
[mp3] Track-03_diksha_tatha_sankirtan_andolan_ka_subharambh.mp3 14.0 MB
[mp3] Track-04_sannyas_grahan_karna_aur_puri_aagman.mp3 5.4 MB
[mp3] Track-05_dakshin_bharat_yatra.mp3 5.5 MB
[mp3] Track-06_purime_lotna_evam_rathayatra_lilayen.mp3 7.7 MB
[mp3] Track-07_uttarbharatme_yatra.mp3 10.6 MB
[mp3] Track-08_puri_bhakto_ke_sath_lilayen.mp3 10.0 MB
[mp3] Track-09_antim_varsh.mp3 2.8 MB
[mp3] Track-10_upsanhar.mp3 584.8 KB
[mp3] Track-11_parishista_01_sri_caitanya_mahaprabhu_purna_puroshottam_bhagvan_hai.mp3 2.7 MB
[mp3] Track-12_parishista_02_sri_caitanya_mahaprabh_ki_shikshaye.mp3 3.5 MB
[mp3] Track-13_parishista_03_sri_caitanya_mahaprabhu_ka_shikshashtakam.mp3 1.5 MB
[mp3] Track-14_lekhak_parichay.mp3 526.8 KB

Based on book written by His Holiness Bhakti Vikasa Swami
Narration by Bhakta J P Sharma (Hollywood, National Geography, Discovery Dubber)
Music mixing by Madhav Das

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Gaura Lila by HH Radhanath Swami
Chaitanya Charitamrita by HH Radhanath Swami
Pastimes of Lord Caitanya by HH Bhakti Caitanya Swami
Teachings of Lord Caitanya by HH Bhakti Caitanya Swami
Teaching of Lord Caitanya by HH Bhakti Charu Swami
Lord Caitanya Sanyasa by HH Radha Govinda Swami (Hindi)
Chaitanya Charitamrita by HH Bhakti Rasamrita Swami (Hindi)
Chaitanya Charitamrita by HH Bhakti Rasamrita Swami
Adoption sannyasi Lord Caitanya and Pastimes by HH Candramauli Swami 
Teachings of Lord Caitanya by HH Giriraj Swami 
Chaitanya Charitamrita by Bhakti Swarup Damodar Swami
Teachings of Lord Caitanya  HH Prahladananada Swami
The Internal Reasons for Lord Caitanya's Appearance by HH Prahladananada Swami
Lord Caitanya ist hier by HH Sachinanadana Swami
Lord Caitanya's Teachings to Sanatana Goswami by HG Sarvabhauma Prabhu

For more audio lectures on Lord Caitanya visit

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Download high qualiy audio and video of Mayapur Kirtan Mela 2012, 22nd to 25th February 2012.


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4th Annual Boat Festival in Yamuna

Now that our dear Godsister, Chandi, has brought the Yamuna back to Keshi Ghata, there is a beautiful lake in front of the palace. So again Keshi Ghata will be the venue of this year's Yamuna Boat Festival on Saturday afternoon March 17th. She worked tirelessly to bring the Yamuna back to the ghatas and it is so glorious, so now we will return our annual festival to this lovely place. We have purposely kept it on Saturday so all the devotees from Delhi, Agra, and other neighboring cities can conveniently participate in this wonderful festival along with the International devotees here for the Vrindavan Festival.

We'll start from the Temple with a Sankirtan Procession starting at 4PM down to Keshi Ghata. There some brand new Deities of Radha Shyamsundara made and donated by Mr. Jani from England will be presiding in a gorgeously decorated boat. Ganga Baba, who does the Yamuna Artika, welcomed us to use his Yamuna Aratika platform for our Kirtan Party. Devotees can sit on the steps and easily view the Nauka Bihar, Boating Pastimes, or they can rent space in the many boats that will be there and can sail around the Yamuna showering Their Lordships with flower petals! There will also be a Chappan Bhoga offering to Radha Shyamsundara on the boat. Then just before 7PM Ganga Baba will perform Yamuna Aratika with a huge multi-tiered ghee lamp. And the grand finale will be distribution of Mahaprasadam and fireworks over Kalindi.

Everyone please come and become spiritually enlivened in this wonderful Yamuna Boat Festival of Radha Shyamsundara. Here you can see the pictures from the first festival we held at Keshi Ghata in 2009:

If anyone one wants to help us with this wonderful festival, please feel free to contact me at

In service of Srimati Vrinda Devi,
Deena Bandhu Dasa

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Krsna is amazing.....

I work as a caregiver for devotee parents in Stratford, Connecticut, but I also like to go out and distribute books as much as I can. So this morning as I was on my japa walk when I met a gentleman whom I see every morning. He walks his dog by the beach. So I approached him and showed him a Gita. His reaction?

"Oh my God! A few days ago I was thinking, 'I have a copy of this book somewhere in my home,' but I couldn't find it!"

It was a nice surprise to hear that.

He continued, "This is just amazing -- something I was looking for has come to me like this. I am so grateful!"

He couldn't thank me enough and gave a nice donation. Then he gave me his name and e-mail. He's an artist, and among his paintings one of his favorite themes to paint is cows.

your servnat,
Mahatama dd

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Amalaki Vrata Ekadasi

Glories of Amalaki Ekadasi

King Mandhata once said to Vasishtha Muni, “O great sage, kindly be merciful to me and tell me of a holy fast that will benefit me eternally.”

Vasishtha Muni replied. “O king, kindly listen as I describe the best of all fast days, Amalaki Ekadasi. He who faithfully observes a fast on this Ekadasi obtains enormous wealth, gets free of the effects of all kinds of sins, and attains liberation. Fasting on this Ekadasi is more purifying than donating one thousand cows in charity to a pure brahmana. So please hear me attentively as I tell you the story of a hunter who, though daily engaged in killing innocent animals for his living, achieved liberation by observing a fast on Amalaki Ekadasi following the prescribed rules and regulations of worship.”


The Kingdom of Vaidisha

“There was once a kingdom named Vaidisha, where all the brahmanas, kshatriyas, vaishyas, and shudras were equally endowed with Vedic knowledge, great bodily strength, and fine intelligence. Oh lion among kings, the whole kingdom was full of Vedic sounds, not a single person was atheistic, and no one sinned. The ruler of this kingdom was King Pashabinduka, a member of the dynasty of Soma, the moon. He was also known as Chitraratha and was very religious and truthful. It is said that King Chitraratha had the strength of ten thousand elephants and that he was very wealthy and knew the six branches of Vedic wisdom perfectly.”

“During the reign of Maharaja Chitraratha, not a single person in his kingdom attempted to practice another's dharma (duty); so perfectly engaged in their own dharmas were all the brahmanas, kshatriyas, vaisyas, and sudras. Neither miser nor pauper was to be seen throughout the land, never was there ever a drought or flood. Indeed, the kingdom was free of disease, and everyone enjoyed good health. The people rendered loving devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Vishnu, as did the king, who also rendered special service to Lord Shiva. Moreover, twice a month everyone fasted on Ekadasi. "In this way, O best of kings, the citizens of Vaidisha lived many long years in great happiness and prosperity. Giving up all varieties of materialistic religion, they completely dedicated themselves to the loving service of the Supreme Lord, Hari.”

Observing Amalaki Ekadasi 

“Once, in the month of Phalguna (February - March), the holy fast of Amalakii Ekadasi arrived, conjoined with Dvadasi. King Chitraratha realised that this particular fast would bestow especially great benefit, and thus he and all the citizens of Vaidisha observed this sacred Ekadasi very strictly, carefully following all the rules and regulations.”

“After bathing in the river, the king and all his subjects went to the temple of Lord Vishnu, where an Amalaki tree grew. First the king and his leading sages offered the tree a pot filled with water, as well as a fine canopy, shoes, gold, diamonds, rubies, pearls, sapphires, and aromatic incense. Then they worshiped Lord Parashurama with these prayers: ‘Oh Lord Parashurama, Oh son of Renuka, Oh all-pleasing one, Oh liberator of the worlds, kindly come beneath this holy Amalaki tree and accept our humble obeisances.’ Then they prayed to the Amalaki tree: ‘Oh Amalaki, Oh offspring of Lord Brahma, you can destroy all kinds of sinful reactions. Please accept our respectful obeisances and these humble gifts. O Amalaki, you are actually the form of Brahman, and you were once worshiped by Lord Ramachandra Himself. Whoever circumambulates you is therefore immediately freed of all his sins.’

“After offering these excellent prayers, King Chitraratha and his subjects remained awake throughout the night, praying and worshiping according to the regulations governing a sacred Ekadasi fast. It was during this auspicious time of fasting and prayer that a very irreligious man approached the assembly, a man who maintained himself and his family by killing animals. Burdened with both fatigue and sin, the hunter saw the king and the citizens of Vaidisha observing Amalaki Ekadasi by performing an all-night vigil, fasting, and worshiping Lord Vishnu in the beautiful forest setting, which was brilliantly illuminated by many lamps. The hunter hid nearby, wondering what this extraordinary sight before him was.

The fortunate hunter 

‘What is going on here?’ he thought. What he saw in that lovely forest beneath the holy Amalaki tree was the Deity of Lord Damodara being worshiped upon the Asana of a waterpot and he heard the devotees singing sacred songs describing Lord Krishna's transcendental forms and pastimes. Despite himself, that staunchly irreligious killer of innocent birds and animals spent the entire night in great amazement as he watched the Ekadasi celebration and listened to the glorification of the Lord.”

“Soon after sunrise, the king and his royal retinue - including the court sages and all the citizens - completed their observance of Ekadasi and returned to the city of Vaidisha. The hunter returned to his hut and happily ate his meal. In due time the hunter died, but the merit he had gained by fasting on Amalaki Ekadasi and hearing the glorification of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, as well as by being forced to stay awake all night, made him eligible to be reborn as a great king endowed with may chariots, elephants, horses, and soldiers. His name was Vasuratha, the son of King Viduratha, and he ruled over the kingdom of Jayanti.

King Vasuratha 

“King Vasuratha was strong and fearless, as effulgent as the Sun, and as handsome as the Moon. In strength he was like Sri Vishnu, and in forgiveness like the Earth itself. Very charitable and every truthful, King Vasuratha always rendered loving devotional service to the Supreme Lord, Sri Vishnu. He therefore became very well versed in Vedic knowledge. Always active in the affairs of state, he enjoyed taking excellent care of his subjects, as though they were his own children. He disliked pride in anyone and would smash it when he saw it. He performed many kinds of sacrifices, and he always made certain that the needy in his kingdom received enough charity.”

“One day, while hunting in the jungle, King Vasuratha strayed from the footpath and lost his way. Wandering for some time and eventually growing weary, he paused beneath a tree and, using his arms as a pillow, fell asleep. As he slept, some barbarian tribesmen came upon him and, remembering their long standing enmity toward the king, began discussing among themselves various ways to kill him. ‘It is because he killed our fathers, mothers, brothers-in-law, grandsons, nephews, and uncles that we are forced to aimlessly wander like so many madmen in the forest.’

The Great Rescue

So saying, they prepared to kill King Vasuratha with various weapons, including spears, swords, arrows, and mystic ropes. But none of these deadly weapons could even touch the sleeping king, and soon the uncivilised, dog-eating tribesmen grew frightened. Their fear sapped their strength, and before long they lost what little intelligence they had and became almost unconscious with bewilderment and weakness. Suddenly a beautiful woman appeared from the king's body, startling the aborigines. Decorated with many ornaments, emitting a wonderful fragrance, wearing an excellent garland around her neck, her eyebrows drawn in a mood of fierce anger, and her fiery red eyes ablaze, she looked like death personified. With her blazing chakra discus she quickly killed all the tribal hunters, who had tried to slay the sleeping king.”

“Just then the king awoke, and seeing all the dead tribesmen lying around him, he was astonished. He wondered, ‘These are all great enemies of mine! Who has slain them so violently? Who is my great benefactor?’ At that very moment he heard a voice from the sky: ‘You asked that who helped you. Well, who is that person who alone can help anyone is distress? He is none other than Sri Keshava, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, He who saves all who take shelter of Him without any selfish motive.’

“Upon hearing these words, King Vasuratha became over-whelmed with love for the Personality of Godhead Sri Keshava (Krishna). He returned to his capital city and ruled there like a second lord Indra (king of the heavenly regions), without any obstacles at all.


“Therefore, Oh King Mandhata,” the venerable Vasishtha Muni concluded, “...anyone who observes this holy Amalaki Ekadasi will undoubtedly attain the supreme abode of Lord Vishnu, so great is the religious merit earned from the observance of this most sacred fast day.”

Thus ends the narration of the glories of Phalguna-sukla Ekadasi, or Amalaki Ekadasi, from the Brahmanda Purana.

Note: If the Amarlaki tree isn't available then worship the sacred Tulsi tree. Also plant the sacred Tulsi seeds, and offer lamps to her.
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Hare Krishna!!

Dear Suda Sing, Jessica and Sisza
Please accept our greetings and best wishes.

ISKCON KZN is holding a Maha Harinam today, Saturday, 02 March 2012 at 10:00 am, starting at the Durban City Hall through the streets of Durban.

The ISKCON Bhaktivedanta Harinam Party extends an invitation to your esteemed media to kindly cover this historic event.

Leading the Bhaktivedanta Harinam Party is Sri Natai Gaura Hari on Their magnificent and majestic Palanquin to celebrate Sri Krishna Caitanya Mahaprabhu's Appearance Day, the Yuga Avatar, who taught by example the Yuga Dham Harinam Sankirtan, the public chanting of Lord Krishna's Holy Names: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare / Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.


This is the most important day in the life of the Vaishnavas and all living entities to collectively participate in the chanting, dancing, glorifying the activities of the Lord and His Devotees and taking refreshments, maha prasadam.

This  prestigious and colourful procession is also part of remembering His Divine Grave AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada only visit to Durban, South Africa and addressed a capacity audience at the Durban City Hall on 07 October 1975.

"Remember all Indian Nationalist passports were  stamped and read, all countries, except South Africa", said, His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami.

Against all odds his Spiritual Master His Divine Grave AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada visited and met with leading personalities, like the then late Professor Oliver,Rector of the then University of Durban Westville.

"Why do you not have a Department teaching the difference between a living and dead body," asked Srila Prabhupada to Professor Olivier.

"Professor Olivier was stunned and fully agreed to open a department. Srila Prabhupada was prepared to send Dr T Singh, His Holiness Sawarup Damodar Maharaj to teach, said His Holiness Partha Sarathi Das Goswami Maharaj.

Hence by the vision and spiritual potency of Srila Prabhupada, the Professor opened the Department of Hindu Studies.

His preaching tour took him to Durban and Johannesburg, his only visit to the Republic of South Africa.

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami fearlessly followed in the footsteps of his Spiritual Master as the then Chairperson of the Governing Body Commission risked losing his passport, came to the shores of Durban, charming and enchanting the enthusiasm of the local pious people in Chanting Hare Krishna to date.

All glories to Natai Gauri Hari. All glories to Srila  Prabhupada.

The most Auspicious Appearance Day of Lord Sri Krishna Caitanya Mahaprabhu's the Yuga Avatar Ki Jai

Our latest recruit, Thando, 6 years old enjoyed the chanting at the 21 Birthday bash last night of Papa, Lights, Avish Singh, baby son of Geetha and Prem Singh, an Actural Student at UKZN.

He and his mum Sne promised to come to the Sunday Love Feast Program at NJP in Phoenix.

A sumptuous meal will be served after the Supreme Worship of Lord Sri Krishna Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Hari Hari Bol, the Supreme  Super Soul Rock Star, so let's Rock & Roll in the Streets of Durban.

"Even a child and a poor man can take part in the chanting and dancing," said His Holiness Giriraj Swami quoting His Divine AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

Hare Krishna
With love
Ramkinkar das & Team


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ISKCON Hungary wins !!

From Sivaram Swami, ISKCON Hungary GBC.
Dear Devotees

Please accept my humble obeisances, all glories to Srila Prabhupada.

According to a local astrologer, by the Gregorian calendar Lord Caitanya was born on this day, February 27th, in 1486, 7 minutes after the Hungarian parliament passed the church, a law that retained the church status for ISKCON in Hungary. We are now one of only 32 recognized churches in the country--down from over 300. Legally, we have the same rights and standing as the Catholic Church, and that from a government that wanted to see this country known as a Christian domain.

I would like to thank everyone on this conference for their encouragement, prayers and well-wishes, and those devotees who assisted by promoting our petition and getting letters of recommendation. I would like to especially thank His Holiness Gopal Krsna Maharaja who personally, tirelessly and over an extended time lobbied politicians, chambers of commerce and the Hungarian ambassador in Delhi. Without his help I do not think we would be in such a fortunate position. I would also like to thank Bhasu Gosh Prabhu for organizing letters of recommendation from scholars and educationists, Anuttama Prabhu for organizing repeated meetings with the Hungarian ambassador to Washington, Praghosa Prabhu for encouraging the extensive involvement Gauri Prabhu and others in the UK and Dhananjaya Krsna Prabhu who facilitated my interaction with the devotees and politicians in India. There are many other devotees and people who have helped in this campaign and I shall thank them individually.

As Srila Prabhupada said after winning the Juhu property "It was a good fight." This was also a good fight, with good soldiers. I humbly request the EC to write a letter of appreciation to the leaders of the Hungarian yatra, who have been absorbed in this battle for the last seven months, giving special mention to the communication team of Madhupati dasa, Radhanatha dasa, Bn Kata, B Andras who were led by Krsna-lila dd and Prtvi-pati Prabhu. Further thanks are due to Radharadhya dasa and Radhakanta dasa who worked tirelessly to prepare contingency measures had we lost our church status, and to Nilamani Cakravart dd, Dharmista dd, and Damodara dasa who helped organize the historical "cows march on parliament" which also brought about a change in Hungarian land law and retained Krsna Valley under Radha Syamasundara's ownership.

It is hard to convey how close we came to losing many of our rights in Hungary and how restricted that would have made our practices and even our very existence. Had we lost our church status, we would have had to redefine Krsna consciousness in Hungary. As it is, we are now out of harms way--for now. I hope that you are all pleased by our humble efforts, for then we know that Srila Prabhupada is also pleased. That is the mission of the Hungarian yatra--to please His Divine Grace.

Thanking you once again, I remain your servant
Sivarama Swami


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World War III Postponed

My Dear Friends in Krishna consciousness,

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada. Here's an inspiring story about how Krishna consciousness can change things in this world.

There was a nuclear sub stationed off the coast of America during the sixties. They were just waiting for the command to launch the missles to get WW III going. One day they got a notice instead to come home. The war was cancelled.

The commander of that sub later read Srila Prabhupada's biography getting it from his grandson who had become a devotee. While reading he learned that the day he received the order to come home was the very day that Srila Prabhupada stepped foot on American soil!

I learned this personally from the grandson while I was traveling in Russia.

Krishna is the Supreme Controller. Keep preaching and distributing those books. Who knows how many other times WW III has been postponed. Perhaps it will be permanently postponed. Krishna consciousness can save this world!

Desiring to always remain a servant of the Vaishnavas,
Dhanesvara Das

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Harinama with Book Distribution

Some time ago I tried distributing books at UCLA (the University of California at Los Angeles). Before long I was dreading my encounters with the kids there -- they were so smart, so quick, so elite, and so uninterested in taking Srila Prabhupada's books. I wouldn't go back there again. They are like great yogis in that their attention on their education is unwavering. Their textbooks probably contain information that they personally formulated in their last life. My mother graduated from UCLA, and because I didn't she was never very pleased with me. (Very recently, old age and disease have softened her beautiful heart and she can chant a little.)

Recently I and two other matajis were doing harinama at UCLA with harmonium and kartals. I didn't want to go, but they talked me into it. The girls' voices sounded very good -- in tune, accompanied by nice instruments. The girls sounded like true angels, and some of the UCLA students were distracted from their academic trance by the fine singing and playing. We also passed out halavah.

I put up my book table, and it was another sankirtan miracle! I spoke to two biology majors -- one guy, one girl -- who each took the new "Origins" magazine the North American BBT has reprinted (thanks to Ramesvara Prabhu), and they gave quite generously. One elderly professor of engineering took a Gita for $10. He said he wanted to read it next year when he retires.

One young man was very thrilled to see the "Bhagavad-gita As It Is." He said had his own Gita, by another author. He quoted from it several times. When he said, "One's self can be one's own worst enemy or one's own best friend," I took the opportunity to show him the proper translation of the verse in the Sixth Chapter of "As It Is." He bought Prabhupada's immediately.

Then there was a student who takes all his courses on line but was checking in at the UCLA campus for the day. He is a traveling entrepreneur who wants to get his degree while he flies around doing business in every major city of the world. I showed him the ISKCN addresses at the back of the Gita. He loved the sound of the harinama. He listened for a whole hour! He plans to visit our temples in India.

Harinama and university preaching go very well together. Often students who have muscial skills sit down with the harinama and pick up the instruments, and they're fascinated. Often they can play and sing quite well. I would like to please urge all Vaisnava youth and anyone who else does excellent harinama to please take it where it will be very well received. Take it to the universities. Inside temples is fine, but the tastiest nectar has not yet been tasted by you!

Thank you,
Your servant,
Karuna Dharini dasi

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While on sankirtan in Hamilton (New Zealand) recently, I met a familiar-looking couple. I had met them on traveling sankirtan in Rotorua during the recent marathon. They had taken a Bhagavad-gita for the husband's father. He is seriously ill, with a terminal disease. They reported that he had been in ecstasy to receive the book for Christmas and had wasted no time in starting to read it. It was very encouraging to hear that a housebound invalid near death had received and embraced Prabhupada's mercy!

On another recent sankirtan excursion in central Hamilton we connected with Bhakta Ari. I stopped him, and after a seemingly average exchange he left without taking a book. He claimed he had no money. Later he returned with a few coins -- enough for a small book (Raja Vidya). Then he walked to a nearby park and started reading. Soon, by Caitanya Mahaprabhu's arrangement, a harinama party entered the park and stopped near him! After observing the chanting for awhile, Ari approached the party and spoke with the devotees, who invited him to an evening program that same day. After wavering a bit, Ari decided to attend and relished the evening. The next day in central Hamilton we met him again, wearing japa beads around his neck. He took another book and asked about Krishna
House, our center here in Hamilton. Since then he has been coming to Krishna House practically every day to associate with the devotees and engage in devotional service. He's chanting eight rounds a day. Last week he made a generous donation and took many more books, including the Bhagavad-gita, which he is now reading. He is already leading kirtans during the Krishna Fest programs and is in ecstasy to have re-connected with Krishna. All glories to Srila Prabhupada's transcendental sankirtan mission!

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"Wandering in Navadvipa is the best of all opulences, the best of all religious principles,the best of all kinds of worship, the best of all perfections, the best of all glories, and the best of all oceans of sweetness." We are happy to invite devotees worldwide to perform Navadvipa Mandala Parikrama in Mayapur. Parikrama Adhivas is on 25th Feb. Parikrama begins on 26th Feb and will return back on 3rd March. This year there will be four parikrama parties- International parikrama, Russian Parikrama,Hindi Parikrama and Bengali Namahatta Parikrama. Around 8000 devotees attended 2011 parikrama and we are anticipating more devotees to participate in the 2012 parikrama. Even if you are unable to take part in Parikrama, you have an opportunity to derive unlimited blessings of serving devotees performing the most auspicious Navadvipa Mandala Parikrama. Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur developed Navadvipa Mandala Parikrama, as desired and instructed by Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur. He wished to conduct this Parikrama every year as this will be spiritually rewarding and will benefit the entire universe. Following the footsteps of our Acaryas, ISKCON Mayapur has been successfully organizing the Parikrama with not only increasing number of devotees but with increasing number of different languages speaking parties. We have four parties to set out to different islands of Navadvipa, reverberating the holy names, hearing the pastimes of Lord Gauranga in the association of devotees. We hope , by the generous contribution from devotees, we will be able to organize a grand Parikrama this year too. We have prasadam sponsorships available. You can also choose to offer green coconut or water for the parikrama devotees or donate for medical seva. Just 4 days to go! Send your offerings Now!

For details of sevas available here, please visit

For any information, please write to or

Thank you
Your servant in service to Sri Navadvipa dhama,
Gopijana vallabha das

Read more… 0199796637/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1329874539&sr=1-4

A Living Theology of Krishna Bhakti: The Essential Teachings of A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada [Hardcover]
Tamal Krishna Goswami (Author), Graham M. Schweig (Editor) [Garuda Dasa]

This title has not yet been released. (It will be by July 2nd.)
A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (1896-1977), founder of the Hare Krishna Movement, traced his lineage to the fifteenth-century Indian saint Sri Caitanya. He authored more than fifty volumes of English translation and commentaries on Sanskrit and Bengali texts, serving as a medium between these distant authorities and his modern Western readership and using his writings as blueprints for spiritual change and a revolution in consciousness. He had to speak the language of a people vastly disparate from the original recipients of his tradition's scriptures, without compromising fidelity to the tradition.

Tamal Krishna Goswami claims that the social scientific, philosophical, and 'insider' forms of investigation previously applied have failed to explain the presence of a powerful interpretative device -- a mahavakya or 'great utterance' -- that governs and pervades Prabhupada's 'living theology' of devotion on bhakti. For Prabhupada, the wide range of 'Vedic' subject matter is governed by the axiomatic truth: Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Goswami's academic training at the University of Cambridge, his thirty years' experience as a practitioner and teacher, and his extensive interactions with Prabhupada as both personal secretary and managerial representative, afforded him a unique opportunity to understand and illuminate the theological contribution of Prabhupada. In this work, Goswami proves that the voice of the scholar-practitioner can be intimately connected with his tradition while sustaining a mature critical stance relative to his subject. A Living Theology of Krishna Bhakti includes a critical introduction and conclusion by Graham M. Schweig.

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Nitai Das - A Poignant moment of truth

The picture captures a poignant moment of truth. The two persons are holding a lump of matter which once was thought to be Nitai Das. Any sane individual has to admit Nitai Das at the end of the day cannot be that what is shown in that picture- lump of ash? Unfortunately, modern science has convinced every one that ultimately we are that matter!

The picture was taken in Mayapur this month. The two individuals are holding the final remains of Nitai Das who died in a car accident this month in Florida. He was 31 years old. The final remains is the ash left over after the body was burnt. The two individuals are going to immerse the final remains into the sacred river Ganga. This is a traditional custom for people following Vedic culture. This is the most auspicious and spiritual act one can do to a departed soul. Nitai Das is very fortunate that his own spiritual master is performing his last rites.

While my deepest condolences go to the family, at this moment we have to be grave and philosophical. Every one of us, one day, will have to die and leave this body and that means we have to leave behind our money, house, car, spouse, children, grandchildren, jobs, everything. What we have worked so hard all our life, at the end, we have to just drop everything and move to our next destination and start from scratch. This is the law of nature. No one is exempt from it. Yet, when great souls such as Srila Prabhupada try to preach this truth, people think it is not important. More important for people is to settle in life, and increase one's wealth and social prestige and not worry about what happens after death!

Death always has the last laugh. However that statement is true only for individuals who are material minded. But for devotees of Krishna such as Nitai Das, death actually is an elevating moment. At death Krishna surely remembers His devotees and this bond between Krishna and devotees gives the devotees the strength to face life and also death with an open heart, never discouraged and always happy.

Vaishnavas never lose in life or in death as this famous poem reads;

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

By Srila Bhaktivinod Takur - saint, philosopher and poet - 19th century

The glories of a Vaishnava are unlimited. The glories of Krishna are unlimited.

Hare Krishna


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Tamal Krishna Goswami has served on ISKCON's Governing Body Commission since its inception in 1970. In January 1972, he accepted the renounced order of life (sannyasa) from his spiritual master, A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada in Jaipur, India. He served as ISKCON's first GBC Secretary for India from 1970-74.

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Books by Tamal Krishna Goswami


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His Holiness Tamal Krishna Goswami

His Holiness Tamal Krishna Goswami
(June 1946 – March 2002)

ISKCON Governing Body Commissioner and Initiating Spiritual Master

Tamal Krishna Goswami served as ISKCON Governing Body Commissioner * from 1970-2002, and ISKCON Initiating Spiritual Master from 1977-2002. He is fondly called “Srila Gurudeva” by his many disciples, and “Goswami” by his godbrothers and members of the academe.

TAMAL KRISHNA GOSWAMI (Thomas G. Herzig) was born in New York City in the United States in June 1946. He joined the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) in 1968 and was accepted as a disciple by ISKCON Founder-acarya, His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada in San Francisco the same year. Immediately he emerged as a leader and assumed various positions of leadership, spearheading the establishment of ISKCON temples and centers in India, France, Great Britain and the United States. He worked closely with Srila Prabhupada as his secretary and as Governing Body Commissioner for India, developing major ISKCON projects in Vrndavana, Bombay and Mayapur.

In 1972, he was awarded sannyasa, the renounced order of life, in Jaipur, India, and assumed the title of goswami, meaning controller of the senses.

In 1974, Tamal Krishna Goswami returned to the United States to work on large-scale preaching programs, organizing and leading book distribution and the unparalleled Radha-Damodara Sankirtan/Book Distribution Party.

As one of Srila Prabhupada’s most trusted disciples, Tamal Krishna Goswami served as personal secretary to Srila Prabhupada in 1977, during the seven months before Prabhupada’s passing in the same year.
In 1995, Tamal Krishna Goswami enrolled in Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas and graduated with a Masters Degree in Religious Studies in 1998. He then moved to the University of Cambridge, Clare Hall in England, as a doctoral student under Dr. Julius Lipner, and where his thesis was on the Krishnaology ** of ISKCON’s founder, A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.
Tamal Krishna Goswami was well-liked in the academic world and a respected member of the American Academy of Religion. His award-winning essays and papers have been published and presented to the academe of religious scholars and theologians. He also authored many books, including two classical Vedic dramas. An articulate Gaudiya Vaisnava Theologian, his lectures, which are available in audio and video format, and written work, bring the wealth and vast knowledge of Vedic culture and history and the philosophy of Krishna consciousness into a practical present-day perspective.
Tamal Krishna Goswami passed away in a vehicular accident on March 2002, in the sacred place of Phulgya in West Bengal, India. He left this life the same way he lived it, completely absorbed in service to his spiritual master and Krishna. His samadhi is placed beside Srila Prabhupada’s samadhi in ISKCON Sri Mayapur Dhama, West Bengal, India.
He lived his life completely absorbed in service to Guru and Krishna. Though no longer physically present among us, he lives forever through his instructions, books, academic work, and in the hearts of all those whose lives he touched.
*Governing Body Commission (GBC) is the managerial authority of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), created by ISKCON’s founder, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada in 1970.
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Sri Madhvacarya - Disappearance

Madhvacarya was born Vasudev, son of Narayan Bhatt and Vedavati in the village of Padakakshetra, near Udupi usually taken as being 1238 AD., on the Vijay Dasami of Lord Rama,. Afer  79 years of wonderful pastimes he passed on to be with his lord, Srila Vyasadev in the year 1317 AD.

This self realised soul, Mukhyapran (Vayu-deva) from an external point of view, accepted diksa from Acyutapreksha. However, Madhva always accepted only Srila Vyasadeva as his source of inspiration and Lord of his life, and thus his 'siksa guru'. Sri Madhva himself quoted from Brahmanda Purana, "One should have complete faith in the transcendental literature such as Srimad Bhagavatam and other literatures that directly glorifies the Supreme Personality of Godhead. One should also have faith in Vaisnava Tantra, the original Vedas, and Mahabharata which includes Bhagavad Gita, and which is considered the fifth Veda. The Vedic knowledge originally emanated from the breathing of Lord Visnu, and the Vedic literature has been compiled in a literary form by Srila Vyasadeva, the incarnation of Visnu. Therefore Visnu should be understood to be the personal speaker of all this Vedic literature." (excerpt from purport to Srimad Bhagavatam 11:3:26., translation by Hrdayananda Goswami.)

As the great incarnation of one of Lord Visnu's greatest preachers, Vayudeva (Madhva) accepted direct instruction from his Lord, Srila Vyasadeva. In the Agni Purana (Chapter 51.) it is mentioned how Vayu is seen sitting on the back of a deer holding a flag. Madhava was also quite often seen seated on a sacred deerskin holding his upraised flag of dualism in the form of his hand sporting two erect fingers protruding. One finger representing the Lord and the other the Jiva. Also in the Vana Parva of Mahabharata (19:22.) it is stated that Vayu is the messenger of the demigods, and in another place, that Vayu resides in the palace of Lord Brahma, continuously praising him for being the surrendered pure representative of the Lord. (Mahabharata, Sabha Parva, chapter 11 Text 20.).

It is interesting to note that Sri Vayudeva's glories are sung in the Mahabharata, Vana Parva (19:22.) as being the messenger of the "Gods".

On this matter, Acarya Madhava, as the re-establisher of a practically lost system, became the founder and saviour of the hearts of the devotees. As we have said, though the line did in some shape or form come down, it was not truly effective until Madhava began preaching. On his preaching activities, writing of books, and touring all of Bharat-bhumi, he carried a new strength that was not there before him. He visited the secluded Himalayan ashrama of Srila Vyasadeva, who, to this day, resides high in Uttara-Badri beyond the reach of sinful men. During the two visits it was revealed that even from a distance Madhava had realised the mind of Vyasa. Srila Vyasadeva's comments upon seeing Madhava's commentary on Bhagavad Gita were that he could not fail it! In the sanctuary of the many vaisnava saints and sages that surround Srila Vyasa drinking up His association, Vyasa embrassed Madhava, and latter instructed Madhava to go and preach, and write commentaries on books to save man-kind. This is how Sripad Madhvacarya is accepted as the disciple of Srila Vyasa, not by his own ambitions, but as His pure representitive and so the next in the 'Guru parampara'.

A nine point summary or mission statement of Sripad Madhvacarya's philosophy is:

1. Lord Visnu, the Personality of Godhead, is the Absolute Truth, and nothing is higher than Him.
2. He, the Lord is known by the study of Vedas'sarvasya caham'(Bhagavad Gita 15:15.)
3. The material world is real, but temporary.
4. The Jivas (living entities) are different from the Lord ('bimba prati bimba').
5. The Jivas are, by nature, servants of Lord Visnu's lotus feet.
6. In both the conditioned and liberated states, the Jivas are situated in higher and lower statuses and always remain individuals in their identity.
7. Liberation does not mean an impersonal merging, but the attainment of serving Lord Visnu's lotus feet.
8. Pure devotional service rendered to 'guru' and Visnu automatically grants liberation, release from material bondage. There is no need of only seeking liberation. One only need seek pure devotional service.
9. 'Pramanas'. Direct perception, logic and Vedic authority are three sources of actual knowledge.

Madhava literally had hundreds of disciples, yet towards the end of his life he selected a small number of the most dedicated around him. These are the original 'Acaryas' of the eight mutts found even today in Udupi, South Kanada district of Karnataka.

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Listen the Glories of Madhaacarya

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