ISKCON Derire Tree's Posts (13259)

3798092906?profile=RESIZE_710xOne disciple of Srila Prabhupada wrote him a letter soon before he left this world saying he wished he could trade his youth for Srila Prabhupada’s old age so Srila Prabhupada could go on preaching. Srila Prabhupada appreciated the disciple’s loving sentiment but said that how much they loved him would be shown by how they cooperate to spread this movement in his absence.

This shows that it is easier to embrace old age and death than it is to give up the false ego.

The Lord not impressed with the Precetas 10,000 years of austerities in the water as much as He was by their friendly cooperation.

So many demons came to Vrindavan but actually, they did not cause as much trouble as Brahma and Indra, the demigods.

In Brhad-Bhagavatamrita, Brahma said although both he and Indra caused distress to Krishna in Vrindavan, he caused more distress by separating Krishna from His devotees, the cowherd boys.

There is an African proverb saying if you want to walk fast, walk alone, but if you want to walk far, walk with others.

Despite being pure devotees and despite being in the presence of Krishna, the Pandavas each had a different idea about what to do with Asvatthama, who had killed their children. So if we are not pure devotees and if Krishna is not personally present it is no wonder that we disagree.

What to do to cooperate better?
At least be friendly to each other.
Engage in the six kinds of loving exchanges.
Each individual must be overcoming their anarthas [unwanted qualities].
Each must understand the importance of the mission.

Fifteen years ago we started having all the brahmacaris eat meals together in the brahmacari ashram, and that act had great impact improving the devotees’ relationships.

It is our job to encourage the other devotees to purify themselves.

Jayananda Prabhu visited a devotee who had left the temple and worked in a butcher shop, and ignoring his blood-stained apron, Jayananda gave him a hug, and that devotee said later that he came back only because of Jayananda’s loving interaction.

There is a German proverb: “Treat a man as he is, and he will remain as he is. Treat him as he could be, and he will become as he could be.”

Internal discord is our greatest enemy.

Disunity in the leadership is especially bad.

Leadership has to have sensitivity and spirituality in addition to strength. In the Pandavas, Bhima had strength, Yudhisthira had sensitivity, and Arjuna had spirituality.

In leadership in a diverse group, here is a strategy: We have respect everyone. We have to agree on a course of action. We have to cooperate to carry out the action.

Source: http://www.dandavats.com/?p=75428

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ISKCON Leadership Sanga 2020

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The ISKCON Leadership Sanga 2020 is almost here – less than two months away!  The event will be held at ISKCON’s headquarters in Sri Dham Mayapur between February 14-20 2020, with 75 unique seminars and discussions, uplifting kirtans, wonderful prasadam, and 45 stalls displaying various projects and services from all over the world. 

The enrollment is still open. 

ILS 2020 promises to be the largest gathering of ISKCON leaders to date. Five hundred devotees attended ILS in 2012 and the numbers have been steadily increasing. This will be ISKCON’s 5th ILS gathering, and the organizers are anticipating 1,500 leading devotees from all over the world. 

The following topics will be discussed and examined at ILS 2020:

  • What are the foundational principles which should form the bedrock of ISKCON’s institution? 
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  • How will we govern, protect and guide our Society as it continues to grow?
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  • How can we meld traditional values and sacred concepts from our Sastra with the need to remain relevant to the ever-changing society we live in?
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  • The new leaders of our movement will come from various walks of life, and multiple global cultures.  How will we synthesize a cohesive and effective way forward?
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  • The need to read and understand the intention behind Srila Prabhupada’s direction is becoming more and more critical. How will we assure that the mood and objectives Srila Prabhupada enunciated in his books is preserved into the future?
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  • How can we build a society that has healthy guru/ disciple, family/social and organizational interactions? 
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  • Our ISKCON has moved from a “temple based” model to include vast numbers of congregation devotees. How will all future members become firmly grounded in Srila Prabhupada’s teachings and be able to inspire others to do the same? How will our temples remain vibrant and our Deities properly cared for?

Those who joined Prabhupada’s mission in the 60s and 70s are anxious to see ISKCON’s management and leadership transferred safely into competent hands. This was the message Srila Prabhupada’s gave to his followers when he reached his mid-seventies:

“If you relieve me of the burden of management, that will be a very great service to Krsna and the movement. See that everything is going on nicely. With great endeavor we have made the framework, now we have to see that things are going on nicely…”  Letter to Pusta Krishna Aug. 1976.

Since succession is very much on our minds, ILS is encouraging each devotee who has an interest in ISKCON leadership to take part, whether it be guiding a zone, a country, a temple, a temple department, a farm, a project, or a congregational group.

Registration and further details: https://www.ilsglobal.org/

The cost: $149.00 USD

The dates: February 14-20 2020

The Place:  ISKCON Mayapur Candrodoya Mandir in Sri Dhama Mayapur.

Source: https://iskconnews.org/iskcon-leadership-sanga-2020,7214/

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The Park Bench by Bhaktimarga Swami

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We both sat on the park bench, trying to catch our breath, after having ascended to a higher elevation at Chorley Park.  A former Lieutenant Governor's mansion had been at this spot quite a few  decades ago, but fire hit the building, and thus it is no longer.  Gaura and I enjoyed the scene looking far to the east, and although leaves have abandoned their trees, the sumac bushes near us have held onto their reddish bobs.  It really was a nice view.  

Our minutes there lapsed, and we moved on to right next to the Rosedale United Church.  A handsome structure it is.  
 
"Have you ever been inside?"  Gaura asked.
 
"Yes.  Once when it was raining and I needed shelter."
 
We agreed to check it out, now that it looked like a service was going on.  "We can sit in the back pew and chant some japa," I suggested.  So we did.  
 
An elderly lady smiled and offered us a pamphlet, a welcome gesture.  The minister, a woman, was at the pulpit, in front of a gorgeous stained-glass portrayal of a non-crucified Christ. She was talking about sanctuary—a place of restfulness, a home, a real shelter.  Of course, she was mostly referring to the spiritual comfort that is ours to take advantage of.  

After that segment of the sermon, she encouraged all who sat there to speak to each other about their own experiences of sanctuary.  Gaura and I participated, and then, shortly thereafter, continued our walk back to our mandir, our temple.  It was my turn on the roster to speak to our crowd.  I used the theme of "sanctuary," quoting 18:66 from the Gita.  
 
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There comes a time, sometimes regularly, where we may feel, Oh, Krishna. I can’t do this anymore. This ‘this’ will be different for everyone. It happened to Arjuna in the Gita – he wanted to give up, not to fight, and go off to the forest to be alone. He did not want to deal with people and life’s problems. He told Krishna: I’m not fighting, I can’t do it, I can’t see the point, better if I don’t act and move to the side.

If it can happen to Arjuna, who had everything going for him, including talent, skill, health, family, and especially friendship with Krishna, it can certainly happen to all of us. The struggle for existence, as daily life is described in our teachings, can sometimes just be too much. We will feel like Arjuna and have a desire to give up and go away.

Arjuna was a good person. He did nothing wrong and still he felt despondent. Of course that was connected to him not wanting to do anything wrong; the impending war and killing was something he was having grave doubts about. And he was a warrior! In his blood was the natural desire to protect the innocent and ensure good leadership in the world. Still he was overwhelmed, doubtful, and unsure of his next steps.

Our fight may be with an illness, a slow recovery, mistakes, a sudden death, a mountain of bills or debts, a challenging work environment, tension in relationships, a loss, a failure, a breaking of the law. Or it maybe we see how broken the world is and feel helpless to help. The list is endless.

How to respond to such feelings of inadequacy? How to work through them, gathering our resolve, and moving forward? We need to be able to do this otherwise such feelings will wear away at our energy and we will slowly grind to a halt.

By the end of the Gita, Arjuna has found his understanding, found his sense of self in relationship to the context of his life. Here are three of Krishna’s teachings in the Gita that helped him recover and re-energize:

We have to do something:
We are a soul with a body. One one level, spiritually, we have nothing to do with this world. The soul remains untouched. One another level, while in the body, we are connected to the world and must move within it. We are forced to act, even if all we do is breathe and eat. And every move has an impact on our future – both action and inaction. Be careful Arjuna, Krishna says. Running from difficulty may seem like a good move, but will solve nothing.

Do what we are good at:
Krishna told Arjuna, you are a warrior. To go off and be a renunciate is not your calling. You won’t be able to do it, and it will be neither good for you nor the world. Better do what you are called to do by your natural talents and disposition than trying to avoid your duty because it’s hard. We should try to adopt this mood ourselves. What is our best way to serve, to give, to live in community with others and Krishna? What is our part to play, even though we may sometimes want to be or do something else. We have to find our best fit.

Don’t do it for ourselves, but for Krishna:
Even if we know what to do and it’s what we are good at, we can still feel off center. That’s because life becomes dry if we are only trying to live it for ourselves. Working for others is a step up, but that still wasn’t enough for Arjuna. Ultimately we need to do it for Krishna. Krishna told Arjuna, “Remember Me and fight.”

How can we apply these things? We should think, “I am doing this for Krishna so let me do it in the best way possible.” If I am cooking for friends, let me cook as if it’s for Krishna and make it fabulous. If I am repairing a wall, let me see it as Krishna’s wall and make it perfect. If I am managing, selling, planning, teaching, parenting, drawing, doctoring – whatever – let me do it to the very best of my ability. Let me develop that ability. Let me be and do the best for Krishna.

Arjuna had Krishna in his uncertainty and so do we. With Krishna, we can face anything. And that makes all the difference.

Source: http://www.dandavats.com/?p=32678

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By Madhava Smullen

Every year in January, thousands of people set New Year’s Resolutions – but few stick to them once the excitement has worn off.

Vaisesika Das, who is a BBT Director and temple president at ISKCON Silicon Valley in California, knows a lot about setting goals. After he guided all ISKCON North American leaders to set a collective goal, book distribution in the region soared from only $700,000 remitted to the BBT in 2011, to $2.1 million in 2016.

Meanwhile Vaisesika’s temple, ISKCON Silicon Valley (ISV), is one of the most dynamic in ISKCON. One of the reasons is that in early January every year, he holds a meeting with ISV devotees to take them through the process of sharing last year’s successes and challenges, and setting goals for the New Year.

Here, Vaisesika shares why goals are important in Krishna consciousness and in other aspects of life; and how to set your New Year’s Resolution goals effectively in a way that will lead to success.

Why Set Goals?

In his song “Any Road,” George Harrison sings, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.” In other words, if you don’t set clear goals, it doesn’t matter what you do – you won’t get anywhere.

In his purport to Bhagavad-gita 2.66, Srila Prabhupada writes, “Disturbance is due to want of an ultimate goal.”

“So I impress upon devotees that it’s really important to have personal goals in various categories,” says Vaisesika. “For instance, if you don’t have a goal for improving your sadhana (personal spiritual practice), then you’ll stay on a plateau.”

What Stops People From Setting Goals?

According to Vaisesika, the five reasons why people don’t set goals are: 1) They haven’t thought clearly about what their life will be like if they actually attain certain goals. 2) They don’t know how effective goal setting is. 3) They don’t know how to set goals. 4) They fear they might fail. And 5) They feel overwhelmed, and think they’re too busy and disorganized to set goals.

However, setting goals can become easier with the following tips:

Write Your Goals Down

There’s a lot of power in just eight words from motivational speaker Jim Rohn: “Decide what you want, and write it down.”

“If you only have goals in your head, they haven’t manifested externally enough to inspire you,” Vaisesika explains. “As soon as you take the time to articulate what you want in writing and put it onto paper, it crosses from the thought world into reality.”

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Keep Your Goals Where You Can See Them

Once you’ve written your goals down, put them in a place where you can see them regularly, and review them often.

“Then your mind gets refocused,” Vaisesika says. “Otherwise, you lose focus and you forget about your goals until it’s too late. Remember – where attention goes, energy flows.”

Break Large Goals Into Smaller Tasks

After writing your goal, break it down into small, easily achievable tasks – and do something towards them on a regular basis, such as weekly or daily.

For example at ISKCON Silicon Valley, to facilitate devotees’ goals to read Srila Prabhupada’s books within a certain period of time, Vaisesika created the smartphone app “Be A Sage Page By Page.” Users can select a scripture from a picker wheel, and the app will show them how many pages to read a day in order to finish the book within a particular duration.

“Many devotees thought finishing the Chaitanya Charitamrita or Srimad-Bhagavatam was unattainable for them; but when they broke it down into small pieces like 5 or 10 pages a day, they became victorious,” Vaisesika says.

Set a 30-Day Goal

Vaisesika highly recommends setting a 30-day goal. “You can tolerate almost anything for thirty days,” he says. “But in that time you can build so much momentum and create transformation in your life. On the other hand, if you say ‘I want to attain this,’ but don’t have an end date, or the end date is too far away, you may become fatigued, get distracted, and give up.”

Smaller time frames also have their uses – you can set fifteen-day goals, one-day goals, or even five-minute goals. “This is very helpful when you’re trying to get out of the mode of ignorance,” Vaisesika grins. “Just say, ‘For the next five minutes, my goal is to –’ and fill in the blank.”

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Share Your Goals With People Close to You

According to Vaisesika, another practice that breeds success is to create accountability by sharing your goals with people that you trust.

Good Japa Is the Foundation For A Successful Life

“At ISV we have what we call a ‘Sacred Japa Circle,’” says Vaisesika. “We emphasize how good japa (meditative chanting on beads) is the foundation for all the rest of our life. If we have good japa, then other things will tend to fall into place more naturally.”

Go to Bed Early and Rise Early

To improve their japa practice, ISV devotees set a goal to go to bed earlier and rise earlier.

“Often people don’t think about it, and just spend an extra half an hour messing around watching Youtube videos,” says Vaisesika. “Then they can’t get up, their japa suffers, and their spiritual life and everything else in their life becomes diminished.”

He adds: “Instead, take rest on time so you can get up and have the time you need in the morning to chant good japa.”

Although rising early is an essential part of spiritual life, it’s also recommended as a method to boost creativity by many personal development teachers. So whatever your goal, setting that alarm clock a bit earlier should be on your list.

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A Healthy “Material” Life is a Support System for Krishna Consciousness

“Our so-called material life is a support system for our Krishna consciousness, and vice versa,” says Vaisesika. “Unless we have two feet on the ground – we feel healthy, are financially sound, we have good relationships – it’s very difficult to have good sadhana. That’s largely what varnashrama is about – making material adjustments so that you can keep your mind concentrated on the ultimate goal of life, which is serving God.”

Thus Vaisesika advises devotees to not only set sadhana goals, but also goals in the categories of physical health, finances, personal improvement and family.

For instance, he recommends that married couples, fellow ashram devotees, or co-workers set specific time aside at least once a month to have a deliberate conversation. “Find out how your partner or colleagues are doing, and what their needs, interests and concerns are, rather than just going on with your daily work and forgetting it.”

Having Goals Makes Life More Exciting

In a December 1972 letter to Karandhara Das, while instructing him how to manage ISKCON, Srila Prabhupada wrote: “Our leaders…. should try always to generate some atmosphere of fresh challenge to the devotees, so that they will agree enthusiastically to rise and meet it.”

“That fresh challenge is what keeps life exciting,” Vaisesika says. “When you always have little challenges to reach, then you know you’re always improving.”

Follow the Example Set By Srila Prabhupada

“Prabhupada, remember, started by setting goals, even before he came to America,” Vaisesika points out. “He drew out elaborate plans. He wrote purposes for ISKCON when he incorporated the society. In the museum of his personal artifacts in Vrindavan, you can still see the little notebook that contains his list of goals for the next months and years, written in his own hand. So he was constantly setting goals, and that’s one of the reasons why he was able to achieve so much.”

Source: https://iskconnews.org/vaisesika-das-shares-tips-on-making-new-years-resolutions,7215/

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A talk by Giriraj Swami on January 2, 2010, Bhaktivedanta Manor, England.

We have gathered at the lotus feet of Srila Prabhupada in this wonderful temple of Sri Sri Radha-Gokulananda, Sri Sita-Rama-Laksmana-Hanuman, and Sri Sri Gaura-Nitai, in the presence of His Holiness Radhanath Swami and so many exalted devotees. We are entering the New Year, 2010, and the next decade, and on such occasions we take stock of what and how we did in the previous year and what we want to do in the next. Studies have shown, and probably many of us have experienced, that most New Year’s resolutions are broken during the first week. Still more are broken in the first month, and almost all are broken within the first three months.

Why does this happen, and what can we do? Man is a creature of habit. We have developed certain habits over the past however many years—perhaps lifetimes—and to change our habits requires sincere desire and determined effort. Another study has shown that when a person is trying to develop a new habit, he has to consistently, diligently strive to adhere to the new practice for at least thirty days. After thirty days, he is able to follow more easily but can be derailed by stress or changes in his life. After ninety days it becomes just as easy to follow the new habit as not, and after a year it is easier to follow the new habit than not.

So, what new habits do we want to develop in the next year? That depends on our goals. When I visited Pune some years ago, the Malhotra brothers arranged a program for me in the main hall, and at the end of the talk the general in charge of the Southern Command of the Indian Army asked an important question: “What is the aim for which we are born, what is the aim of our life? It certainly could not be to amass some wealth and ultimately die, or to make a building and then die, or to marry and procreate and then die. For our minor activities in life we have the aims set first, before we get going to achieve them. When we train our people in the army, whatever they have to do we first tell them what the aim is. And once they are clear what the aim is, then we decide what means to adopt to achieve that. And invariably we don’t go wrong. Now here it is—my whole life is going to waste, to my mind; I am still not very clear what is the aim of my life. Would you kindly enlighten us about the aim of life so that thereafter we can be very, very clear as to what we have got to do to achieve that aim?”

Srila Sanatana Gosvami asked the same question of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu:

“‘ke ami’, ‘kene amaya jare tapa-traya’
iha nahi jani—kemane hita haya

“‘sadhya’-‘sadhana’-tattva puchite na jani
krpa kari’ saba tattva kaha ta’ apani”

“Who am I? Why do the threefold miseries always give me trouble? If I do not know this, how can I be benefited? Actually I do not know how to inquire about the goal of life and the process for obtaining it. Being merciful upon me, please explain all these truths.” (Cc Madhya 20.102–103) He said, “In ordinary dealings people consider me to be a learned scholar (pandita), but I am so learned I do not even know who I am. So please tell me who I am and what is the goal of life.” And Lord Chaitanya replied, “By constitution you are an eternal servant of Krishna —jivera ‘svarupa’ haya—krsnera ‘nitya-dasa’—and the goal of life is to be reinstated in your constitutional position as His loving servant.”

If someone understands that he is not the body, that he is the soul within the body, and that his real relationship is not with the body or things related to the body but that as a spiritual soul his real relationship is with the Supreme Soul, then he can adopt the methods that are suitable for reviving his eternal relationship with the Supreme Soul, Krishna.

Srila Prabhupada formed the International Society for Krishna Consciousness to give people this knowledge: We are not the body but the soul, part and parcel of the Supreme Soul. Our real relationship is with Him, and our duty and goal in life, is to revive our eternal loving relationship with Him, with God, Krishna. The whole process of sadhana-bhakti is to help us to awaken that eternal love for God.

nitya-siddha krsna-prema ‘sadhya’ kabhu naya
sravanadi-suddha-citte karaye udaya

“Pure love for Krsna is eternally established in the hearts of the living entities. It is not something to be gained from another source. When the heart is purified by hearing and chanting, this love naturally awakens.” (Cc Madhya 22.107) That love is eternally there within the heart, just as fire is within a match. You just have to strike the match and the fire will come out. Similarly, we just have to strike the heart by chanting and hearing about Krishna and that love will come out.

The main process is the chanting of the holy names of the Lord. We are in the Hare Krishna temple. (On the way, we saw the sign, “Hare Krishna Temple,” with an arrow.) Somehow, we are part of the Hare Krishna movement, and we are known as Hare Krishna people. We are meant to chant Hare Krishna. And by our chanting Hare Krishna, the mirror of the mind can be cleansed (ceto-darpana-marjanam), the blazing fire of material existence extinguished (bhava-maha-davagni-nirvapanam), and ultimately our dormant love for Krishna awakened. Param vijayate sri-krsna-sankirtanam.

But there is also the matter of quality to the chanting. Queen Kunti prays to Lord Krishna,

janmaisvarya-sruta-sribhir
edhamana-madah puman
naivarhaty abhidhatum vai
tvam akincana-gocaram

“Your Lordship can easily be approached, but only by those who are materially exhausted. One who is on the path of [material] progress, trying to improve himself with respectable parentage, great opulence, high education, and bodily beauty, cannot approach You with sincere feeling.” People on the path of material advancement want good birth (janma), material opulence (aisvarya), material learning (sruta), and physical beauty (sribhih). They cannot feelingly approach the Lord. And when we chant the holy name, we are trying to approach the Lord. The holy name of Krishna and Krishna Himself are the same.

nama cintamanih krsnas
caitanya-rasa-vigrahah
purnah suddho nitya-mukto
’bhinnatvan nama-naminoh

“The holy name of Krsna is transcendentally blissful. It bestows all spiritual benedictions, for it is Krsna Himself, the reservoir of all pleasure. Krsna’s name is complete, and it is the form of all transcendental mellows. It is not a material name under any condition, and it is no less powerful than Krsna Himself. Since Krsna’s name is not contaminated by the material qualities, there is no question of its being involved with maya. Krsna’s name is always liberated and spiritual; it is never conditioned by the laws of material nature. This is because the name of Krsna and Krsna Himself are identical.” (Padma Purana, Cc Madhya 17.133)

Commenting on Kunti’s prayer, Srila Prabhupada cites scripture, that by uttering the holy name of the Lord even once, one can destroy the reactions to more sins than one is able to commit. “Such is the power of uttering the holy name of the Lord. There is not the least exaggeration in this statement. Actually, the Lord’s holy name has such powerful potency.” We are all suffering because of sinful reactions. If we were freed from sinful reactions, we would no longer have to suffer. As Prabhupada explains, however, “there is a quality to such utterances also. It depends on the quality of feeling. A helpless man can feelingly utter the holy name of the Lord, whereas a man who utters the same holy name in great material satisfaction cannot be so sincere.” Lord Krishna is akincana-gocaram, easily approached by those who are akincana, who have no material possessions.

Now, these statements may give rise to some questions. This word akincana means “without material possessions,” or “without a sense of false proprietorship.” Of course, there should be no duplicity in the matter, but this principle allows us, for example, to have an opulent temple here. We have a beautiful property, a large estate, but as long as we think, “This is Radha-Gokulananda’s property. This is Srila Prabhupada’s property. It is not my property; I am here only to serve them and use this property in their service,” we can be free from false proprietorship, false prestige, and false designations. And in that mood we can chant the holy name with feeling, approach Krishna with feeling. Otherwise, there is a subtle rivalry going on between us and Krishna. We come into the material world out of envy of Krishna. In effect, we want to take His position. We want to be the proprietor and controller and enjoyer (isvaro ’ham aham bhogi), which is actually Krishna’s position. While chanting Krishna’s name, we may be thinking, “Why should I be chanting Krishna’s name? People should be chanting my name. ‘Giriraj Maharaja ki jaya!’ ” That is our sorry plight. We don’t want Krishna to be the center; we want to be the center. So we chant the holy name with ourselves in the foreground and the holy name in the background. That is our tendency as conditioned souls.

The proper process is to chant with attention. We let go of all those thoughts about ourselves—“I” and “me” and “mine”—and focus on the holy name, on Krishna. Those other thoughts are irrelevant. They may come up, but we don’t pay them heed. We just focus our attention on Krishna, on the sound of Krishna’s holy name. And when we do that, we can actually feel His presence. We can appreciate that the holy name is Krishna Himself reciprocating with our sincere desires to serve Him.

This practice requires effort. We are habituated to think that we are the center of existence and that everything revolves around us. We see everything in terms of us, not in terms of Krishna. But our habit can change. There is a saying that up to the age of twenty, you think that people are looking at you and like you, from the age of twenty to forty that they are looking at you and don’t like you, and then, after the age of forty, that they aren’t even looking at you or thinking of you. So, we have to reform this habit of thinking that we’re the center, always thinking about ourselves and thinking that everyone else is thinking about us too. We must know that Krishna is the center.

Once, when I was chanting my rounds at the beach in Carpinteria, I was sitting alone, chanting with attention—making a serious effort to be attentive—somehow thinking of different people who were close to me, and feeling how much they were suffering. I was actually feeling their pain. As I continued chanting, that sense of feeling for others expanded to people who weren’t so close to me, and then to the people on the beach, whom I didn’t even know. There weren’t many, but there were a few people surfing. And I was really feeling their suffering. Srila Prabhupada had joked that the surfers were actually “sufferers,” but I was actually feeling their suffering.

Then the feeling went beyond the human beings. There were pelicans at the beach. They fly very high and then suddenly zoom down and crash into the water. I understood that they were hovering high in the sky looking for prey and that when they saw some potential food they came straight down and crashed into the water. Ordinarily I would think, “Oh, how picturesque—flying so high and then diving into the ocean.” But now I was feeling, “They are in anxiety. They are hungry. They need food and are searching—‘Where is food? Where is food?’ And when they see something and dive straight down and crash into the water, although they are birds, still, coming from that height at that velocity and crashing into the water is bound to be a shock to their system. And they don’t know whether they will actually get that fish or not. And whatever happens, after they come down they go up and start the same process all over again. They are never satisfied—“Now we can just relax.” I was thinking, “What a life, full of anxiety, full of pain”—and feeling it.

And the dolphins and the sandpipers and the seagulls—the same thing. I was feeling so much suffering on all sides. It was as if the illusion of material happiness and charm had been lifted, and this whole beautiful panorama became a horrible scene of intense suffering, which I was feeling. And I was just chanting, chanting, chanting. Then a little lady bug landed on my hand. Growing up, I thought that lady bugs were auspicious and cute. But this time I looked at the lady bug and thought, “This lady bug is suffering”—and, again, feeling it. Looking at the lady bug, I thought, “I don’t think I can take much more of this. I am feeling too much suffering; I am going to have a breakdown.” I wanted to help these creatures. I was feeling their suffering and desiring to help them, but it was getting to be too much.

Then I had the type of breakthrough that one gets when one chants with attention, with the effort to chant with attention. Suddenly I felt as if Krishna were speaking to me, revealing something to me. I got the intuition, or inspiration, in my heart that Krishna loves these creatures more than I do, more than I can even imagine. He loves them so much that He accompanies them as the Supersoul in whatever species of life they enter. And not only does He love them more than I can ever imagine, but He can actually do something to help them. I may feel for them and want to help them, but what is my capacity to help them? I may not even understand what’s troubling them. Parents sometimes experience that their baby is crying and want to help but don’t know what the baby wants. They may think the baby is hungry, but the baby may be troubled by something completely different. Or even if they do understand what is causing the suffering, they may be unable to relieve it.

So, I was thinking, “Not only does Krishna love them, but He can actually do something to help them.” And then I came to the bottom of it. The problem was that I was trying to take the position of Krishna. In the Bhagavad-gita (5.29) Lord Krishna says,

bhoktaram yajna-tapasam
sarva-loka-mahesvaram
suhrdam sarva-bhutanam
jnatva mam santim rcchati

“A person in full consciousness of Me, knowing Me to be the ultimate beneficiary of all sacrifices and austerities, the Supreme Lord of all planets and demigods, and the benefactor and well-wisher of all living entities, attains peace from the pangs of material miseries.”

When one recognizes that Krishna is the enjoyer, Krishna is the proprietor, Krishna is the best friend, he attains peace. I thought of what Srila Prabhupada often said, so simple yet profound—that your best friend is not he or she who poses as your best friend but he {or she }who tells you that Krishna is your best friend. Suddenly this whole problem of how to help these suffering souls became very easy. I didn’t have to help them personally; I just had to direct them to Krishna, who could really help them. And it was such a relief.

So this is our mission: to serve Krishna. And serving Krishna means doing what Krishna wants, and Krishna wants that we should bring other souls to Him. As He says at the end of the Bhagavad-gita (18.69), His dearmost servant is he who preaches the message of the Gita. Na ca tasman manusyesu kascin me priya-krttamah/ bhavita na ca me tasmad anyah priyataro bhuvi: “There is no servant in this world more dear to Me than he, nor will there ever be one more dear.” Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu also said, yare dekha, tare kaha ‘krsna’-upadesa: “Wherever you go, whomever you meet, just present the message of Krishna.” And that is something any of us can do. It is actually very easy. Any of us can do it.

When devotees, myself among them, first came to Bombay, two of Prabhupada’s early disciples, Syamasundara and Malati, had a small daughter, Sarasvati, who used to approach respectable gentlemen who visited our center. Although only three or four years old, she would approach them and say, “Do you know who is Krishna?” And then she would answer, “Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.” Srila Prabhupada commented, “That is preaching. She is repeating what she has heard from authorities, and even if she doesn’t have full realization, what she is saying is perfect, because she has heard it from authorities— Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.” So, any of us can preach. We can simply repeat what we have heard from authorities—“Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.” “Chant Hare Krishna and your life will be sublime.” “Come to the Hare Krishna temple.” And that will please Krishna.

I was very happy when I passed through England on my way to South Africa at the end of November and saw all the books around Srila Prabhupada’s vyasasana. I could feel the mood in the atmosphere to distribute Srila Prabhupada’s books. I felt, “Srila Prabhupada is pleased. They have the spirit to distribute his books.” The books are as potent and effective now as ever. So many people I meet—when I ask them how they came to Krishna consciousness, it goes back to a book. They got a book. The formula that Srila Prabhupada gave us forty years ago still works. By giving them Prabhupada’s books, we are giving them Krishna and Prabhupada, the message of Krishna through Prabhupada, and that is enough to awaken their sense of Krishna consciousness and begin them on the path. Many of us are here because of Srila Prabhupada’s books.

So, we should try to develop the habit of putting Krishna in the center, putting the holy name in the center, putting Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Srila Prabhupada and their mission in the center, and that will make all the difference. Our spouse can be there, our children can be there, our house can be there, our work can be there—everything can be there—but with Krishna in the center, everything will be beautiful and peaceful. And as long as we persist in habits that may have been with us for many lifetimes—thinking that we are the center, we are the lords, we are the enjoyers, we are the proprietors—there will be so many problems, and in the end whatever we have will be taken away from us anyway.

So it is most auspicious that we are beginning the New Year in the association of devotees here at Bhaktivedanta Manor. My request is that we use this coming year, and this valuable human form of life, for their proper purpose, in Krishna consciousness, and that in this endeavor we help and support each other. We can’t do it alone. And I pray that I can always remain in the association of such wonderful devotees, because I am sure that in this association, hearing their instructions, I will be nudged along on the right path, back home, back to Godhead.

Hare Krishna.

Source: http://www.girirajswami.com/?p=15304#more-15304

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Happy New Year by Giriraj Swami

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“For us, every day is a New Year. Nava-nava-rasa-dhamany. Our Krishna consciousness is so nice, the more you advance, the more you see new year, new year. That’s all. Nothing is old. People are seeing that ‘They are simply chanting the same old slogan, Hare Krishna.’ But we are feeling new pleasure in every moment. Take any other chanting, you cannot chant more than a few hours. But the Hare Krishna mantra we can chant perpetually. So, unless there is new enlightenment, how we can do that?”

In this conversation in Los Angeles on January 3, 1974, Srila Prabhupada referred to a verse by Sri Yamunacharya:

yad-avadhi mama cetah krsna-padaravinde
nava-nava-rasa-dhamany udyatam rantum asit

“Since my mind has been engaged in the service of the lotus feet of Lord Krishna, and I have been enjoying an ever new transcendental taste.”

May you all have a wonderful, Krishna conscious New Year.

Hare Krishna.

Source: http://www.dandavats.com/?p=81253

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2515164611?profile=originalIt’s natural to talk about new year’s resolutions. You might be thinking about doing something you’ve put off or making some changes for the new year. You might even be making the same resolutions you made last year at this time. Or maybe you just don’t make them anymore because you never follow through on them anyway.

“There’s hope”

Do You Just Want It or Are You Committed to Get It?

Srila Prabhupada cites Dhruva Maharaja as a perfect example of determination. He says that we should be as determined to be Krsna conscious as Dhruva was to see Krsna. Dhurva was willing to undergo any austerity to see Krsna. We learn from this that there’s a big difference between wanting something and being committed to achieving it. This is the difference between determination in the mode of ignorance and determination in the mode of goodness. In the mode of ignorance determination doesn’t get past the dreaming stage. In the mode of goodness determination is unbreakable and sustained by constant self control.

Have you ever thought it would be nice to achieve something – but then not do much about it? If you have, you probably didn’t achieve it. However, have you ever committed yourself to achieving something no matter what the cost? If you have, it’s likely you succeeded. So if you make a new year’s resolution and are not committed to achieving it, there’s a really good chance you won’t follow though.

There can be many reasons why you wouldn’t commit, but one of the most common is to think you can’t do it. We often tend to minimize our own abilities and thus see many of our goals as difficult or impossible to achieve. Yet it’s more often the case that we are qualified to do it and either we haven’t tried hard enough or we simply haven’t learned how to do it (BTW, successful people as a class are not super talented and don’t have super high IQ’s).

“Determination”

Although there may be many obstacles on the path of the sincere devotee who is preaching the glories of the Lord, such obstacles increase the determination of the devotee. Therefore, according to Srila Jiva Goswami , the continuous obstacles presented by the demigods form a kind of ladder or stairway upon which the devotee steadily progresses back to the kingdom of God.

One of the common factors among very successful people is that they all had tremendous obstacles to overcome. It was the problems they had to overcome that drove them to greater and greater heights.

In 1982 I went to Johannesburg, South Africa to be the temple president. When I first arrived I quickly learned that things had not been going well. It was a constant uphill battle just to keep things from falling apart. After some time I was finding it difficult to maintain my enthusiasm. One devotee suggested that it would be beneficial for me to read the Prabhupada lilamrita. As I read about all the struggles that Prabhupada faced in establishing, maintaining and pushing on Iskcon, I understood that if I allowed myself to become deterred by obstacles I would never be able to achieve anything significant. I then felt strongly that Krsna had put Prabhupada through so many difficulties in order that we have his example before us. Prabhupada faced the greatest challenges. And these challenges simply made him more determined.

How do you react when you are faced with repetitive challenges?

“Walking on the Head of the Obstacle”

In the previous chapter it was explained that although the demigods place obstacles in the path of the Lord’s devotees, by the mercy of the Supreme Lord the devotees are able to place their feet on the head of such obstacles and thus pass beyond them to the supreme destination.

You can tell the caliber of people by the amount of opposition it takes to discourage them. Obstacles will look large or small to you according to whether you are large or small. Did you know that legal immigrants – most of whom have fewer advantages over native-born Americans – are four times more likely to become millionaires? Therefore, we shouldn’t pray that Krsna put smaller obstacles in our way, but we should pray that he give us the strength to overcome the obstacles.

When Prabhupada told devotees how to deal with their problems (which was always to be more Krsna conscious), he would often say, “What is the difficulty?” He meant Krsna consciousness is the easily available solution and the only difficulty is not taking this solution.

“Change Doesn’t Come Easy”

Following through on a resolution usually entails making a change – and change is not always easy. If we don’t like something, we want to change it. The problem is we desire change for everyone other than ourselves! Changing ourselves often entails changing long standing habits, and that can be difficult. Did you know that when Columbus set sail for new lands most people thought the world was flat and that he was going to fall off the end of the planet? Of course that didn’t happen, proving that the world wasn’t really flat. Yet people were so resistant to change that most everyone kept on believing the world was flat while the younger generation was being taught in school that the world is round.

“From the Inside Out”

Unless you make a change within it’s unlikely that you will make a change without. One of the difficulties we face in changing is that we cannot become what we need to be by remaining what we are. When you want something you’ve never had, you have to do something you’ve never done.

“Act like the person you want to become. Before you can do something, you first must be something.” (Goethe)

That can be scary. We tend to cling to what we know, even if we are not satisfied with it. Fear holds us back. Yet the only way to overcome the fear is to go out and do the very thing we are afraid of doing.

If you make new year’s resolutions, realize that you probably desire improvement – yet at the same time resist change. The problem is you cannot get one without having the other. The reality is that change is possible only if you want it bad enough. You are the way you are because that’s the way you want to be. If you really wanted to be any different you would be in the process of changing right now.

“Continually Commit”

One of the most important things to understand is that committing to change is not a one time affair. You must commit continually. I think a lot of us make the mistake of thinking we have committed to something when what we did was make a decision to change or commit, but not a decision to commit daily.

“Focus on Solutions”

If you make a resolution and have trouble following through and then start to become discouraged, you can do one of two things – and the one you choose will color your perspective. You can look to place the blame or you can look at yourself to discover your opportunities. The choice is yours. Life is usually 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you react to it. So think what you can do, not what you can’t do. The more you hit roadblocks, the more you need to devise ways to get around them. Keep trying if something doesn’t work.The more you think about solutions, the more solutions you’ll come up with (dadami buddhi yogam tam).

Success is really just the ability to solve problems. Overcoming an obstacle is simply solving a problem. Every person has to face obstacles, make changes, and deal with problems. Successful people are just better than the average person at dealing with the same kinds of problems you and I face everyday.

So if you are dealing with difficult problems, imagine yourself sitting in front of Srila Prabhupada as he instructs you to be more determined to follow Krsna consciousness and then asks you, “What is the difficulty?” That one question can make the biggest problems appear insignificant.

“Exercise”

Here are some questions to answer that will help you move forward.

1) What specifically is holding you back from making or following through on a resolution?

2) What must you do to overcome what’s holding you back?

3) Which of these will you pursue, what will you do, and when (write down on your a calendar or daytimer what you will do and when you will do it)?

4) If you don’t get anywhere, go back to question one.

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Source: http://www.dandavats.com/?p=5031

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New Year Message By Bhakti Charu Swami

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Dear devotees,
Please accept my best wishes. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
A very happy New Year to all of you!
This celebration marks the end of the present year and entrance to the following one – our entrance to a new cycle of time. Time is like a river, continuously flowing and we all are floating in its current. In this way time takes us through childhood, boyhood, youth and old-age. When we get the human form of life, we are meant to utilize our time in developing our relationship with Krishna, our Supreme Lord and master, dear-most friend and caring father.

Time is an expansion of Balaram, the original spiritual master, whose main business is to take us to Krishna. So, let us flow through the time, especially now that we found our ultimate destination, the lotus feet of Sri Krishna. Let us have the full conviction that if we remain fixed in our goal, then someday, time will take us to that destination. And as we are floating in the current of time through different phases of life let us sing the glory of the Lord and dance in ecstasy for receiving this golden opportunity to reach our ultimate destination.

Thank you very much.

Yours in the service of Srila Prabhupada,
Bhakti Charu Swami

Source: http://www.dandavats.com/?p=34939

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Most resolutions take the form of “do’s”—things I resolve to do—and “don’ts”—things I resolve to not do. And Vedic wisdom tells us that all do’s and don’ts should support one main do—always remember Krishna (God)—and one main don’t—never forget Him.

Now, practically, what can we do to always remember Krishna and never forget Him? The item most favorable for remembering Him is chanting and hearing: chanting and hearing His holy names—the Hare Krishna maha-mantra—and chanting and hearing His transcendental topics—krsna-katha such as the Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam. And in broad terms, the items most obstructive to remembering Him are mental speculation and sense gratification, especially vicious activities against Vedic principles, or God’s laws—activities that include eating meat, taking intoxicants, engaging in illicit sex, and gambling.

So for our New Year’s resolutions, we can resolve to increase our chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra, especially on beads, and our reading of Srila Prabhupada’s books. And we can resolve to decrease, or stop, activities detrimental to Krishna consciousness. And in our efforts, the Lord will help us, for God helps those who help themselves.

We wish you a happy New Year—in Krishna consciousness—by the grace of Sri Sri Guru and Gauranga.

Hare Krishna.

——

Thoughts for the New Year
A Talk by Giriraj Swami
January 2, 2010
Bhaktivedanta Manor
England

We have gathered at the lotus feet of Srila Prabhupada in this wonderful temple of Sri Sri Radha-Gokulananda, Sri Sita-Rama-Laksmana-Hanuman, and Sri Sri Gaura-Nitai, in the presence of His Holiness Radhanath Swami and so many exalted devotees. We are entering the New Year, 2010, and the next decade, and on such occasions we take stock of what and how we did in the last year and what we want to do in the next. Studies have shown, and probably many of us have experienced, that most New Year’s resolutions are broken during the first week [laughter]. Still more are broken in the first month, and almost all are broken within the first three months.

Why does this happen, and what can we do? Man is a creature of habit. We have developed certain habits over the last however many years—perhaps lifetimes—and to change our habits requires sincere desire and determined effort. Another study has shown that when one is trying to develop a new habit he has to consistently, diligently strive to adhere to the new practice for at least thirty days. After thirty days, he is able to follow more easily but can be derailed by stress or changes in his life. After ninety days it becomes just as easy to follow the new habit as not, and after a year it is easier to follow the new habit than not.

Now, what new habits will we want to develop in the next year? That will depend on our goals. When I visited Pune some years ago, the Malhotra brothers arranged a program for me in the main hall, and at the end of the talk the general in charge of the Southern Command of the Indian Army asked an important question: “What is the aim for which we are born, what is the aim of our life? It certainly could not be to amass some wealth and ultimately die, or to make a building and then die, or to marry and procreate and then die. For our minor activities in life we have the aims set first, before we get going to achieve them. When we train our people in the army, whatever they have to do we first tell them what the aim is. And once they are clear what the aim is, then we decide what means to adopt to achieve that. And invariably we don’t go wrong. Now here it is—my whole life is going to waste, to my mind; I am still not very clear what is the aim of my life. Would you kindly enlighten us about the aim of life so that thereafter we can be very, very clear as to what we have got to do to achieve that aim?”

Srila Sanatana Gosvami asked the same question of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu:

“‘ke ami’, ‘kene amaya jare tapa-traya’
iha nahi jani—kemane hita haya

“‘sadhya’-‘sadhana’-tattva puchite na jani
krpa kari’ saba tattva kaha ta’ apani”

“Who am I? Why do the threefold miseries always give me trouble? If I do not know this, how can I be benefited? Actually I do not know how to inquire about the goal of life and the process for obtaining it. Being merciful upon me, please explain all these truths.” (Cc Madhya 20.102–103) He said, “In ordinary dealings people consider me to be a learned scholar (pandita), but I am so learned I do not even know who I am. So please tell me who I am and what is the goal of life.” And Lord Caitanya replied, “By constitution you are an eternal servant of Krsna—jivera ‘svarupa’ haya—krsnera ‘nitya-dasa’—and the goal of life is to be reinstated in your constitutional position as His loving servant.”

Now, if someone understands that he is not the body, that he is the soul within the body, and that his real relationship is not with the body or things related to the body but that as a spiritual soul his real relationship is with the Supreme Soul, then he can adopt the methods that are suitable for reviving his eternal relationship with the Supreme Soul, Krsna.

Srila Prabhupada formed the International Society for Krishna Consciousness to give people this knowledge: We are not the body but the soul, part and parcel of the Supreme Soul. Our real relationship is with Him, and our duty and goal in life is to revive our eternal loving relationship with Him, with God, Krsna. The whole process of sadhana-bhakti is to help us to awaken that eternal love for God.

nitya-siddha krsna-prema ‘sadhya’ kabhu naya
sravanadi-suddha-citte karaye udaya

“Pure love for Krsna is eternally established in the hearts of the living entities. It is not something to be gained from another source. When the heart is purified by hearing and chanting, this love naturally awakens.” (Cc Madhya 22.107) That love is eternally there within the heart, just as fire is within a match. You just have to strike the match and the fire will come out. Similarly, we just have to strike the heart by chanting and hearing about Krsna and that love will come out.

The main process is the chanting of the holy names of the Lord. We are in the Hare Krsna temple. (On the way we saw the sign, “Hare Krishna Temple,” with an arrow.) Somehow, we are part of the Hare Krsna movement, and we are known as Hare Krsna people. We are meant to chant Hare Krsna. And by our chanting Hare Krsna, the mirror of the mind can be cleansed (ceto-darpana-marjanam), the blazing fire of material existence extinguished (bhava-maha-davagni-nirvapanam), and ultimately our dormant love for Krsna awakened. Param vijayate sri-krsna-sankirtanam.

But there is also the matter of quality to the chanting. Queen Kunti prays to Lord Krsna,

janmaisvarya-sruta-sribhir
edhamana-madah puman
naivarhaty abhidhatum vai
tvam akincana-gocaram

“Your Lordship can easily be approached, but only by those who are materially exhausted. One who is on the path of [material] progress, trying to improve himself with respectable parentage, great opulence, high education, and bodily beauty, cannot approach You with sincere feeling.” People on the path of material advancement want good birth (janma), material opulence (aisvarya), material learning (sruta), and physical beauty (sribhih). They cannot feelingly approach the Lord. And when we chant the holy name, we are trying to approach the Lord. The holy name of Krsna and Krsna Himself are the same.

nama cintamanih krsnas
caitanya-rasa-vigrahah
purnah suddho nitya-mukto
’bhinnatvan nama-naminoh

“The holy name of Krsna is transcendentally blissful. It bestows all spiritual benedictions, for it is Krsna Himself, the reservoir of all pleasure. Krsna’s name is complete, and it is the form of all transcendental mellows. It is not a material name under any condition, and it is no less powerful than Krsna Himself. Since Krsna’s name is not contaminated by the material qualities, there is no question of its being involved with maya. Krsna’s name is always liberated and spiritual; it is never conditioned by the laws of material nature. This is because the name of Krsna and Krsna Himself are identical.” (Padma Purana, Cc Madhya 17.133)

Commenting on Kunti’s prayer, Srila Prabhupada cites scripture, that by uttering the holy name of the Lord even once, one can destroy the reactions to more sins than one is able to commit. “Such is the power of uttering the holy name of the Lord. There is not the least exaggeration in this statement. Actually, the Lord’s holy name has such powerful potency.” We are all suffering because of sinful reactions. But if we were freed from sinful reactions, we would no longer have to suffer. As Prabhupada explains, however, “there is a quality to such utterances also. It depends on the quality of feeling. A helpless man can feelingly utter the holy name of the Lord, whereas a man who utters the same holy name in great material satisfaction cannot be so sincere.” Lord Krsna is akincana-gocaram, easily approached by those who are akincana, who have no material possessions.

Now, these statements may give rise to some questions. This word akincana means “without material possessions,” or “without a sense of false proprietorship.” Of course, there should be no duplicity in the matter, but this principle allows us, for example, to have an opulent temple here. We have a beautiful property, a large estate, but as long as we think, “This is Radha-Gokulananda’s property. This is Srila Prabhupada’s property. It is not my property. I am here only to serve them and use this property in their service,” we can be free from false proprietorship, false prestige, and false designations. And in that mood we can chant the holy name with feeling, approach Krsna with feeling. Otherwise there is a subtle rivalry going on between us and Krsna. We come into the material world out of envy of Krsna. In effect we want to take His position. We want to be the proprietor and controller and enjoyer (isvaro ’ham aham bhogi), which is actually Krsna’s position. While chanting Krsna’s name, we may be thinking, “Why should I be chanting Krsna’s name? People should be chanting my name. Giriraj Maharaja ki jaya!” [laughter] That is our sorry plight. We don’t want Krsna to be the center; we want to be the center. So we chant the holy name with ourselves in the foreground and the holy name in the background. That is our tendency as conditioned souls.

The proper process is to chant with attention. We let go of all those thoughts about ourselves—“I” and “me” and “mine”—and focus on the holy name, on Krsna. Those other thoughts are irrelevant. They may come up, but we don’t pay them heed. We just focus our attention on Krsna, on the sound of Krsna’s holy name. And when we do that, we can actually feel Krsna’s presence. We can appreciate that the holy name is Krsna Himself reciprocating with our sincere desires to serve Him.

This practice requires effort. We are habituated to think that we are the center of existence and that everything revolves around us. We see everything in terms of us, not in terms of Krsna. But our habit can change. There is a saying that up to the age of twenty, you think that people are looking at you and like you, from the age of twenty to forty that they are looking at you and don’t like you, and then, after the age of forty, that they aren’t even looking at you or thinking of you. [laughter] So we have to reform this habit of thinking that we’re the center, always thinking about ourselves and thinking that everyone else is thinking about us too. We must know that Krsna is the center.

Once, when I was chanting my rounds at the beach in Carpinteria, I was sitting alone, chanting with attention—making a serious effort to be attentive—somehow thinking of different people who were close to me, and feeling how much they were suffering. I was actually feeling their pain. As I continued chanting, that sense of feeling for others expanded to people who weren’t so close to me and then to the people on the beach, whom I didn’t even know. There weren’t many, but there were a few people surfing. And I was really feeling their suffering. Srila Prabhupada had joked that the surfers were actually “sufferers” [laughter], but I was actually feeling their suffering.

Then the feeling went beyond the human beings. There were pelicans at the beach. They fly very high and then suddenly zoom down and crash into the water. I understood that they were hovering high in the sky looking for prey and that when they saw some potential food they came straight down and crashed into the water. Ordinarily I would think, “Oh, how picturesque—flying so high and then diving into the ocean.” But now I was feeling, “They are in anxiety. They are hungry. They need food and are searching, ‘Where is food? Where is food?’ And when they see something and dive straight down and crash into the water, although they are birds, still, coming from that height at that velocity and crashing into the water is bound to be a shock to their system. And they don’t know whether they will actually get that fish or not. And whatever happens, after they come down they go up and start the same process all over again. They are never satisfied, “Now we can just relax.” I was thinking, “What a life, full of anxiety, full of pain,” and feeling it.

And the dolphins and the sandpipers and the seagulls—the same thing. I was feeling so much suffering on all sides. It was as if the illusion of material happiness and charm had been lifted, and this whole beautiful panorama became a horrible scene of intense suffering, which I was feeling. And I was just chanting, chanting, chanting. Then a little lady bug landed on my hand. Growing up, I thought that lady bugs were auspicious and cute. But this time I looked at the lady bug and thought, “This lady bug is suffering,” and feeling it. Looking at the lady bug, I thought, “I don’t think I can take much more of this. I am going to have a breakdown. I am feeling too much suffering.” I wanted to help these creatures. I was feeling their suffering and desiring to help them, but it was getting to be too much.

Then I had the type of breakthrough that one gets when one chants with attention, with the effort to chant with attention. Suddenly I felt as if Krsna were speaking to me, revealing something to me. I got the intuition or inspiration in my heart that Krsna loved these creatures more than I did, more than I could even imagine. He loves them so much that He accompanies them as the Supersoul in whatever species of life they enter. And not only does He love them more than I can ever imagine, but He can actually do something to help them. I may feel for them and want to help them, but what is my capacity to help them? I may not even understand what’s troubling them. Parents experience that their baby is crying and they want to help but they don’t know what the baby wants. They may think the baby is hungry, but the baby may be troubled by something completely different. Or even if they do understand what is causing the suffering, they may be unable to relieve it.

So, I was thinking, “Not only does Krsna love them, but He can actually do something to help them. What can I do?” And then I came to the bottom of it. The problem was that I was trying to take the position of Krsna. In the Bhagavad-gita (5.29) Lord Krsna says,

bhoktaram yajna-tapasam
sarva-loka-mahesvaram
suhrdam sarva-bhutanam
jnatva mam santim rcchati

“A person in full consciousness of Me, knowing Me to be the ultimate beneficiary of all sacrifices and austerities, the Supreme Lord of all planets and demigods, and the benefactor and well-wisher of all living entities, attains peace from the pangs of material miseries.”

When one recognizes that Krsna is the enjoyer, Krsna is the proprietor, and Krsna is the best friend, he attains peace. I thought of what Srila Prabhupada often said, so simple yet profound, that your best friend is not he one who poses as your best friend but he who tells you that Krsna is your best friend. Suddenly this whole problem of how to help these suffering souls became very easy. I didn’t have to help them personally; I just had to direct them to Krsna, who could really help them. And it was such a relief.

So this is our mission, to serve Krsna. And serving Krsna means doing what Krsna wants, and Krsna wants that we should bring other souls to Him. As He says at the end of the Bhagavad-gita (18.69), His dearmost servant is he who preaches the message of the Gita. Na ca tasman manusyesu kascin me priya-krttamah/ bhavita na ca me tasmad anyah priyataro bhuvi: “There is no servant in this world more dear to Me than he, nor will there ever be one more dear.” Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu also said, yare dekha, tare kaha ‘krsna’-upadesa: “Wherever you go, whomever you meet, just present the message of Krsna.” And that is something any of us can do. It is actually very easy. Any of us can do it.

When we first came to Bombay, two of Prabhupada’s early disciples, Syamasundara and Malati, had a small daughter, Sarasvati, who used to approach respectable gentlemen who visited our center, which was in a posh area. Although only three or four years old, she would approach them and say, “Do you know who is Krsna?” And then she would answer, “Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.” And Srila Prabhupada commented, “That is preaching. She is repeating what she has heard from authorities, and even if she doesn’t have full realization, what she is saying is perfect, because she has heard it from authorities—Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.” So any of us can preach. We can simply repeat what we have heard from authorities—“Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.” “Chant Hare Krsna and your life will be sublime.” “Come to the Hare Krsna temple.” And that will please Krsna.

I was very happy when I passed through England on my way to South Africa at the end of November and saw all the books around Srila Prabhupada’s vyasasana. I could feel the mood in the atmosphere to distribute Srila Prabhupada’s books. I felt, “Srila Prabhupada is pleased. They have the spirit to distribute his books.” And the books are as potent and effective now as ever. So many people I meet—when I ask them how they came to Krsna consciousness, it goes back to a book. They got a book. The formula that Srila Prabhupada gave us forty years ago still works. By giving them Prabhupada’s books, we are giving them Krsna and Prabhupada, the message of Krsna through Prabhupada, and that is enough to awaken their sense of Krsna consciousness and begin them on the path. Many of us are here because of Srila Prabhupada’s books.

So, we should try to develop the habit of putting Krsna in the center, putting the holy name in the center, putting Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Srila Prabhupada and their mission in the center, and that will make all the difference. Our spouse can be there, our children can be there, our house can be there, our work can be there, everything can be there, but with Krsna in the center, everything will be beautiful and peaceful. And as long as we persist in that habit that’s probably been with us for many lifetimes—thinking that we are the center, we are the lords, we are the enjoyers, we are the proprietors—there will be so many problems, and in the end whatever we have will be taken away from us anyway.

So it is most auspicious that we are beginning the New Year in the association of devotees here at Bhaktivedanta Manor. My request is that we use this year, this valuable human form of life in the coming year, for its proper purpose, in Krsna consciousness, and that in this endeavor we help and support each other. We can’t do it alone. And I pray that I can always remain in the association of such wonderful devotees, because I am sure in this association, hearing their instructions, I will be nudged along on the right path, back home, back to Godhead.

Hare Krsna.

Source: http://www.dandavats.com/?p=10178

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New Year’s Resolutions By Mahatma das

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How to Change this Year? You Need to Freak Out!

Our cultural conditioning tells us we should make resolutions for the new year. Of course, the perennial problem is that most of us haven’t followed through on our previous year’s resolutions. And it can even get depressing to think about how many times this has happened. So maybe it is better we don’t make any resolutions this year. This way we’ll have nothing to lament about in early February when we haven’t followed through.

Well, actually I think it’s a better idea to understand why we don’t follow through on our resolutions, since I doubt that we will ever lose the tendency to want to change things about ourselves and our lives that aren’t working well for us. So the important question is, “How do we permanently change our actions?”

It is said everyone wants to see change in others and the world; but nobody wants to change themselves. Why? Because it is difficult and uncomfortable. It seems easier to keep the status quo, even if the status quo is less than desirable.

The secret to change is to understand the process Krsna uses to change people and then willingly apply this process on ourselves. So how does He do it? Before I answer this question I would like to ask you to think about a time you changed something in your life. What caused you to change?

Next, think about something you told yourself you would change and never followed through on.

Herein lies the answer to change.

We change when we have to, either to survive, to prevent ourselves from extreme distress, or when we are really sick and tired of something in our life that we just can’t tolerate anymore. And we normally don’t change, even when we want to, when the above conditions are absent (unless, of course, someone is forcing us to change and making our lives miserable if we don’t, which is really a nuance of the same principle: we don’t change when we see the light, we change when we feel the heat).

Before I reveal the simple open secret Krsna uses and how we can personally apply it in our lives, we first must acknowledge that there are many things in our lives we have the power to change: our sadhana, relationships, health, abilities, or level of success, to name just a few.

But when does the change actually take place? We change when we make the decision that, “I have had enough, I must change.” If there is something we don’t change that we could change, then we need to acknowledge that we are deciding that changing is more painful than leaving things as is.

It is important to mention here that there are many more things we can change than we are willing to admit. Once we stop blaming others or situations for our shortcomings, it becomes clear that not changing is a choice to keep the status quo – which, of course, might be rooted in a belief that this is just the way I am. Anyway, no matter who you are, you can always be a better version of you.

In most cases, not changing is actually more painful than changing. But how do we realize this? Focus on results you are getting that you don’t want and the actions producing these. Then ask yourself this question: If I don’t change _____________ (fill in the blanks of a behavior or a result of a behavior you getting), then in ten years (when you are still reaping the negative results of not changing this behaviorv, belief, attitude, habit, etc.) how will you feel? Does thinking about living the rest of your life with the particular disability, belief system, fear, lack of self-confidence, inhibition, lack of relationship skills, level of health, finances, success, sadhana, service, etc. totally freak you out?

If not, keep meditating on it until it does! This is the key to change. Our present circumstances (which are caused by the behavior you need to change) have to become intolerable to us. If they are not, our efforts to change will fail. We will still be okay with how things are. 
“Okay” is really the enemy.

If you actually allow yourself to deeply meditate on this question, and allow yourself to feel the discomfort of answering the question, it can be powerful. Because until you say “I have had it” you probably will opt for the pain of continuing to not achieve the results and changes you need in exchange for experiencing the pain of not changing.

How can I says this? I have changed things in my life that were extremely difficult for me to change, some actions and thinking which I felt were wired to my nature. But living with the results year in and year out made life so unpleasant that one day I said, “That’s it!”

Sometimes it took me decades to come to this point.

I have seen people at japa retreats say “That’s it” about bad japa. In fact, if they don’t say this, they tend to eventually default to the bad habits they had before they came to the retreat. We can apply this principle to our service, marriage, finances, etc. As long as we are okay with okay we won’t change, because we won’t need to. When we are no longer okay with okay japa, an okay marriage, an okay sadhana, okay service, okay financial situation, etc. we will change.

The point is this: Resolutions must be goals connected with deep seeded needs to change. When the “I should” becomes “I must,” then we will change.

And this is exactly how Krsna helps us become Krsna conscious. When we hit dead ends in our lives and the walls close in on us, we have to act differently. It is discomfort which moves us into different ways of thinking, being and acting. And when we act differently, we get different results. We can’t change by knowing we need to change, we change by acting differently. As long as we continue to act the way we always have, no amount of knowledge not acted up will change anything in our lives (other than maybe we can give some good lectures on how to change!)

Patanjali writes in the Yoga Sutras that attachment arises from remembering past pleasant activities. As we remember the pleasure of these activities, we become attached to doing them again. Detachment works in a similar way: we remember the pain of past activities and we thus detach from them. If your brain links pain with activity in the past, as well as in the present and the future (if I do that I will suffer) , you will give it up. It then becomes a neural response because you feel the pain in your nervous system. It is no longer information; you simply can’t act that way again.

We have often heard it said that we don’t really believe that material life and the material world is that bad, for if we did we would be completely surrendered. But we know the material world cannot satisfy us. This is why we became devotees. So, why are we still attached? It is because the conviction is only in our minds, not in our nervous system, not on the gut level where we look at an activity and say, That would be so painful that I could never do that again.”

So if you want to make a resolution for this year, you will need to associate so much pain with not following through that there will be no other option than to do it. This is how Krsna brought us to Krsna consciousness, and this is how Arjuna became Krsna consciousness. Using this same process we can make resolutions we actually follow through on.

Source: http://www.dandavats.com/?p=23163

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Beautiful Jayananda! by Vishoka Dasa

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Jayananda would often show a playful mood. He wasn’t just all work and no play. He would often say things and do things that reminded us that service to Krishna was fun and spontaneous, and just as Krishna has an amazing sense of humor, so do His devotees have a lively sense of humor.
There’s an old-time devotee here in New Vrindavan, very nice devotee, named Brikasanga das. As Jayananda had many devotees who assisted him, sort of being like Jayananda’s sidekicks, like Murli-Krishna and Indranatha, also Brikasanga was fortunate to spend much time with Jayananda as his sidekick, as I was also fortunate to have association with Jayananda for about a year. Whenever Brikasanga and I meet, in or around the temple, here in NV, we always hug and remember how it was, reminiscing on Jayananda and our luck of being close to him for a period of our lives. Brikasanga remembers the time when Jayananda and I were in the garage, next to the temple in San Francisco, and Brikasanga came in, and Jayananda introduced me to him, saying Brik was his old godbrother, and how they did so much service together. I barely remember that scene. Brikasanga also traveled with the Radha-Damodara sankirtan party, with Visnujana’s bus.
Well, Brikasanga told me one time how he and Jayananda went up to Sebastapool, to the farm owned by Naranarayana’s father, who donated fruit and milk from his land and devotees went there often. There were some cows there, and he and Jayananda went to get some cow dung for a festival, I think it was Govardhana Puja. After collecting some cow dung, Jayananda and Brikasanga went to Sausalito and ran into a kirtan party there. Jayananda snuck up on them and started tossing cow dung around the party, maybe hitting a few devotees. Well, the devotees at first got real mad, thinking some non-devotees were attacking them with stool. Finally, they realized it was Jayananda and Brikasanga, and they got blissful and did some return fire in the mock skirmish.
I find this story to be very funny, and I can just imagine what the other people were thinking as they watched this scene. What they must have been thinking when the devotees were first mad, and then happy to have dung thrown at them? Only devotees can understand these transcendental events.

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The potency of Bhagavad Gita by Giriraj Das

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December is the month in which Krishna spoke Bhagavad gita to Arjuna. The exact day, also known as Gita Jayanti, falls on Moskshada Ekadasi. December is also the month in which book distribution exploded in the west in seventies. Since then devotees in ISKCON have worked hard to keep the same spirit alive. Come December and all over the world ISKCON devotees come out on the streets to distribute Bhagavad gita to the general public, its also called book marathon. As Gita Jayanti month comes to an end let me share a wonderful verse to meditate upon, which I recently heard in a lecture from HG Srimati Mataji. I am sharing brief excerpts from her lecture and the verse below.

The context of this verse is that Krishna has left the planet and Arjuna is feeling pangs of separation from Him.

HG Srimati mataji: If we are essence seekers then we should be aware that Krishna speaking Bhagavad gita to Arjuna is not the end of the story. There is a second advent of Bhagavad gita to Arjuna. When he is in separation from Krishna Bhagavad gita advents in his mind and guides him back home. That’s very very special for us, so as an essence seeker that’s where we should look next.

We can never beat gita in terms of shastra, it is an amazing scripture. We always talk about Bhagavatam. In Bhagavatam we learn about names of Krishna, we learn about form of Krishna, we learn about pastimes of Krishna – that is wonderful but none of those things have any substance in terms of us having a relationship with the person if we don’t the mind of the person. What’s the value me knowing your form if we don’t know where we are at. How can I relate to him on real terms. So Krishna is revealing His mind in Bhagavad gita. And it is these instructions, its not all the amazing experiences that Arjuna had with Krishna that gave him actual solace. He remembered them but that wasn’t what that gave him the solace. What enlivened and illuminated his heart was the instructions Govindadev gave. I find that pretty amazing and for me personally celebration of Gita Jayanti is not complete unless we look at this. (pause)

Here is the special verse :

देशकालार्थयुक्तानि हृत्तापोपशमानि च ।
हरन्ति स्मरतश्चित्तं गोविन्दाभिहितानि मे ॥ २७ ॥

Now I am attracted to those instructions imparted to me by the Personality of Godhead [Govinda] because they are impregnated with instructions for relieving the burning heart in all circumstances of time and space.

Purport:

Herein Arjuna refers to the instruction of the Bhagavad gita, which was imparted to him by the Lord on the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra. The Lord left behind Him the instructions of the  Bhagavad gita  not for the benefit of Arjuna alone, but also for all time and in all lands. The  Bhagavad gita, being spoken by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is the essence of all Vedic wisdom. It is nicely presented by the Lord Himself for all who have very little time to go through the vast Vedic literatures like the Upaniṣads, Purāṇas and Vedānta-sūtras. It is put within the study of the great historical epic Mahābhārata, which was especially prepared for the less intelligent class, namely the women, the laborers and those who are worthless descendants of the brāhmaṇas, kṣatriyas and higher sections of the vaiśyas. The problem which arose in the heart of Arjuna on the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra was solved by the teachings of the  Bhagavad gita. Again, after the departure of the Lord from the vision of earthly people, when Arjuna was face to face with being vanquished in his acquired power and prominence, he wanted again to remember the great teachings of the  Bhagavad gita  just to teach all concerned that the  Bhagavad gita  can be consulted in all critical times, not only for solace from all kinds of mental agonies, but also for the way out of great entanglements which may embarrass one in some critical hour.

The merciful Lord left behind Him the great teachings of the  Bhagavad gita so that one can take the instructions of the Lord even when He is not visible to material eyesight. Material senses cannot have any estimation of the Supreme Lord, but by His inconceivable power the Lord can incarnate Himself to the sense perception of the conditioned souls in a suitable manner through the agency of matter, which is also another form of the Lord’s manifested energy. Thus the  Bhagavad gita, or any authentic scriptural sound representation of the Lord, is also the incarnation of the Lord. There is no difference between the sound representation of the Lord and the Lord Himself. One can derive the same benefit from the  Bhagavad gita  as Arjuna did in the personal presence of the Lord.

The faithful human being who is desirous of being liberated from the clutches of material existence can very easily take advantage of the  Bhagavad gita, and with this in view, the Lord instructed Arjuna as if Arjuna were in need of it…. The  Bhagavad gita  is therefore meant for terminating all different types of miseries, and Arjuna took shelter of this great knowledge, which had been imparted to him during the Kurukṣetra battle.

(SB 1.15.27+p)

HG Srimati mataji: ….That’s why Prabhupada gave us Bhagavad gita. How many of us read Bhagavad gita daily? We do not understand the preciousness or the potency of Bhagavad gita of what Prabhupada has given us. It’s not only because of the instructions that have been given, its because Bhagavad gita is the words of Govindadev, adi purusham Govindadev. Words of Govindadev are nondifferent from Govindadev. So just by associating with the words of Bhagavad gita we are directly associating with Govindadev.

And if you are chanting Bhagavad gita every day then it’s such an amazing thing , because you are not just chanting those words but they are Govinda’s words. And the potency of it is that immediately, just by the act of you repeating Govindadev’s words, you are properly situated as His servant. And just by the act of you chanting Bhagavad gita daily you get His shelter, you get His protection, you get His guidance, you get everything because you are properly situated in His service. Just by repeating His words! It’s amazing. We are not aware of the potency and the incredible depth what Prabhupada has given us.

How many people read Bhagavad gita daily? Who reads Gita daily? Nobody is interested in Gita. There are just so many other things. But Gita is where you start. As I said in the beginning, if we don’t know a person’s mind what’s so important about knowing what he looks like or what he does- it’s so shallow. Where is the relationship? How can you have a relationship with somebody if we don’t know their mind? We may be able to rattle of about everything they do and rattle of about what they look like but have you had any depth of relationship with that person? You can’t. Gita at so many levels is so amazing. (pause)

Hearing the self-illuminated verse, Prabhupada’s purport and Srimati mataji’s lecture all had a combined effect on my heart and I felt inspired to start reading one chapter of Bhagavad gita daily – verses and their translation.

We make so many new year resolutions or keep different vratas throughout the year. So it may not be such a bad idea to resolve to chant the words of Govindadev daily and get an opportunity to closer to Krishna’s lotus feet. It may well be the support we need to fill our heart with enthusiasm, determination and patience to progress solidly in Krishna consciousness.

Source: http://www.forthepleasureoflordkrishna.com/2019/12/29/the-potency-of-bhagavad-gita/

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Back to Godhead!

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From Back to Godhead

Srila Prabhupada once wrote of Back to Godhead magazine, “This paper is the beginning of my spiritual life.”
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Founder-Acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness.
To commemorate the seventy-fifth anniversary of Back to Godhead, we present Srila Prabhupada’s opening article of his first issue of the magazine, which he launched on the appearance day of his spiritual master in 1944. The world was at war, and Srila Prabhupada discusses that harsh reality in light of the purpose of the magazine.

Man, having forgotten himself as the son of Godhead, has forsaken his real constitutional nature. He has misidentified himself with everything non-godly and therefore manipulates a material existence conducted by the mind and the six instrumental senses. He is concerned only with his material coverings of the gross body and the subtle mind but cannot see either himself or his so-called numerous fellowmen. This is what we mean by nescience,* which is darkness. Man, having designated himself with the relation of his vehicular body and the finer elements of mind and ego, etc., like the motor-car driver who has identified himself wrongly with the motor-car itself, has manufactured a civilization which is self-contradictory and self-denying.

His so-called rationality having not gone far above the rationality of the lower animals, he laments at the death of his fellowmen or at the loss of his own things, which he has never witnessed by real experience. This is what we mean by nescience, which is darkness. He slightly feels only, and that after the death of his fellowmen, that the body loses something that moves it, just as the driver moves the motor-car, but still, due to the darkness of nescience, he never concerns himself with the driver of the body but takes care superficially only for the body or the mechanical car.

In the darkness of nescience, he is fully amazed with the mechanism of the gross body, just like a boy who is amazed with the mechanism of the motor-car, but he hardly tries to understand that without a driver any amount of astounding mechanical arrangement of the motor-car or of the human body cannot move either of them even by an inch. This is what we mean by nescience, which is darkness.

The defect of the present-day civilization is just like the above. This is actually the civilization of nescience or illusion, and therefore civilization has been turned into militarization. Everyone is fully concerned with the comforts of the body and everything related with the body, and nobody is concerned with the spirit that moves the body, although even a boy can realize that the motor-car mechanism has little value if there is no driver of the car. This dangerous ignorance of humanity is a gross nescience and has created a dangerous civilization in the form of militarization. This militarization, which, in softer language, is nationalization, is an external barrier to come to an understanding of human relation. There is no meaning in a fight where the parties do fight only for the matter of different colored dresses. There must be therefore an understanding of human relation without any consideration of the bodily designation or colored dresses.

Back to Godhead is a feeble attempt by the undersigned under the direction of His Divine Grace Sri Srimad Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami Prabhupada, the celebrated founder and organizer of the Gaudiya Math activities, just to bring up a real relation of humanity with a central relation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

That there is a great and urgent need of a literature like this is keenly felt by the leaders of all countries, and the following statements will help much in the procedure.

Some time back a bold statement by the Metropolitan of India in the form of the Moral and Spiritual Re-armament movement was published in the Hindusthan Standard, in which the reverend Bishop declared that “India guided by God can lead the world back to sanity.”

The President of the United States of America in a message to the Senate stated that “the underlying strength of the world consists in the moral fiber of citizens. A program therefore of moral re-armament for the world cannot fail to lessen the dangers of armed conflict. Such moral re-armament, to be most highly effective, must receive support on a worldwide basis.”

Ex-president of the United States of America Mr. Herbert Hoover sent a message to a citizens’ meeting in New York which included the following words. “What the world needs today is to return to sanity and moral spiritual ideals. At the present moment, nothing so concerns mankind.”

Some 236 members of the British House of Commons jointly affirmed that spiritual principles which are the common heritage of all people are more fundamental than any political or economic issue. They also strongly affirmed that there is urgent need to acknowledge the sovereign authority of God in home and nation to establish that liberty which rests on the Christian responsibility to all one’s fellowmen and to build a national life based on usefulness, unity, and faith.

Sir Stafford Cripps, the Lord Privy Seal of Britain, in a meeting of Christians sometime in the month of September 1942, said that the kingdom of God would be accomplished through the divine power of love, and he declared that “the tasks before us are, first, so to conduct ourselves as individual Christians that in spite of the difficulties of our surroundings, we may work towards the establishment of the kingdom of God throughout our country and the world and, second, so to influence and change our social, economic, and political environments as to encourage both ourselves and others to take to the Christian way of life.”

The horrors of the war are pinching every one and all in the world, and a statement of Mr. Wendell Willkie after his return from Russia will tell the story of all other countries in the world. He stated that “five million Russians have been killed, wounded, or missing. At least sixty million Russians are slaves in the Russian territories controlled by Hitler. Food in Russia this winter will be scarce, perhaps worse than scarce. Fuel will be little known this winter in millions of Russian homes. Clothing except for the army and for essential war workers has nearly gone. Many vital medical supplies just do not exist.”

What is true for the Russian people is also true for other people, as we Indians are feeling the same scarcity, the same want, and the same disgust.

The disgust of the war is well summarized by the Foreign Secretary of Britain, Mr. Anthony Eden, who said that “this time we have to finish the job properly. We will not tolerate this business every twenty years. When the job is finished we must see that they cannot start it again. That is the will of the nation and the united nation.”

The Archbishop of Canterbury in his recent broadcast in London said, “In every quarter of earth men long to be delivered from the curse of war and to find in a world which has regained its peace, respite from the harshness and bitterness of the world they have known till now. But so often they want the kingdom of heaven without its king. The kingdom of God without God. And they cannot have it.

“OUR RESOLVE MUST BE BACK TO GOD. We make plans for the future for peace amongst the nation and for civil security at home. That is quite right enough and it would be wrong to neglect it. But all our plans will come to ship-wreck on the rock of human selfishness unless we turn to God. BACK TO GOD, that is the chief need of England and of every nation.”

And lately Sir Francis Younghusband while speaking at the World Congress of Faiths said, “Now that religion is everywhere attacked brutally, we look to India, the very home of religion, for a sign.” Sir Francis pleaded that India by her example might show the world how religion can be the most potent of all uniting forces in the conduct of human affairs.

Sir Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan, the great Hindu philosopher, addressing a crowded public meeting in Calcutta recently, observed:

“At a time like this when there is poverty, malnutrition of body and mind, when many people do not know what it is to have a cooked meal, or to lie on soft bed, when millions of homes turn into homes of hunger and prisoners of poverty, religious men will have to address themselves to the task of removing them.

“Today the world was noisier, more controversial and violent. There was more hope and more uncertainty, more aspirations and more frustration. And the years that intervened (from the last war) showed the bankruptcy of any spiritual value. The Versailles Treaty, the League of Nations, and the Disarmament Conference failed because they had not the background of public opinion to sustain them. This war, when it would be won, would prove to be the breeding ground of other wars if the peace was not saved. It could happen only if powerful nations ceased to take pride and glory in their possessions, which were based on the labor and tribute of other weaker nations. This perhaps was what Sir Harcourt Butler meant when he said that the principles of Hinduism contained the essential elements for the saving of world civilizations.”

In another meeting, the same philosopher pointed out, “We have to defeat tyranny in the realm of thought and create a will for world peace. Instruments for training the mind and educating human nature should be used to develop a proper social outlook, without which institutional machinery was of little use.”

These psychological movements of the leaders of all countries, combined with the orders of my Divine Master Sri Srimad Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami Prabhupada, have led me to venture to start a paper under the above name and style Back to Godhead, which implies all the words that we may intend to say in this connection.

India has been politically subjugated so to say for the last one thousand years, but very few have been able to exploit her spiritual resources up till now, which are measured unlimited by the spiritual masters. Politically India may ask all so-called foreigners to quit the shores of India, but spiritually she did never ask anybody to do so, nor will she do so even now. She will rather invite all the so-called foreigners to come and exploit the spiritual resources of India’s advancement, and this transcendental exploitation will not only enhance the glory of India but will also enrich the glory of the whole world for unity, faith, and humanity.

It may not be out of place to mention herein that His Divine Grace Sri Srimad Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami Prabhupada, just before his departure from this mortal world, wrote me a letter from Puri dated the 3rd December 1936 directing me towards my duty in fulfilling his mission in the world for propagating the religion of Divine Love as propounded by Lord Chaitanya. In the course of writing that letter, he wrote the following lines amongst other things.

“I am fully confident that you can explain in English our thoughts and arguments to the people who are not conversant with the languages of other members.”

“This will do much good to yourself as well as your audience.”

“I have every hope that you can turn yourself into a very good English preacher if you serve the mission to inculcate the novel impression to the people in general and philosophers of the modern age and religiosity.”

And when I was consulting my well-wishers and friends who are able to help me in this great adventure, all of them encouraged me in this connection. His Grace Sripad Bhakti Saranga Goswami Maharaj, the Preacher-in-charge for the Western countries appointed by His Divine Grace, who has recently returned from London preaching work to his headquarters, very kindly sent his blessing from Sri Nityananda Gaudiya Math in his letter dated 15-3-43 in the following words amongst other things:

“I know that His Divine Grace used to admire your intelligence, and it was his earnest desire that the world outside be benefitted through your writings in English.”

Under the circumstances, since 1936 up to now I was simply speculating whether I shall venture this difficult task, and that without any means and capacity; but as none has discouraged me, including the late Prof. Nishikanto Sanyal and Spd. Vasudev Prabhu (now Puri Maharaj), I have now taken courage to take up the work. The late Prof. Sanyal used to encourage me always by publishing my articles in his Harmonist, and sometime back he wanted to give me the charge of the paper, which I could not accept due to personal considerations.

But at the present moment my conscience is dictating me to take up the work although the difficulties are not over for the present situation arising out of war conditions.

I wish that everyone who is enlightened and educated, of any nationality, may take active interest in this periodical publication for wide circulation, as this paper will contain only the transcendental messages of the great savants of India and especially of Lord Chaitanya, the Godhead incarnate who descended for the deliverance of all fallen souls in the present age. My duty will be simply to repeat in the Back to Godhead just like an interpreter what I have heard from and what I have been ordered to deliver by my great spiritual master H.D.G. Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami Prabhupada. Nothing will be manufactured by me by my mental concoction. Such words will descend as sound transcendental, and when they are given proper serving reception by the aural channel, surely they will act like medicine to carry all back to home and “BACK TO GODHEAD.”

It is proposed that at least part-by-part issues of this literature shall be published every year and the subscription is fixed up at Rs. 6/- per annum in India or fifteen shillings per annum abroad. The writers of this paper will be mostly those who have dedicated their lives, resources, intelligence, and speeches for the service of the Absolute Personality of Godhead and for the welfare of all entities. The readers will therefore derive the highest amount of benefit by their association if they will simply sacrifice a little time for the service of Godhead as will be directed in this paper from time to time. Surely they will go back to Godhead, and the present rotten world will be transformed into the kingdom of God, as they will learn to acknowledge the sovereign authority of God in home and outside.

The subject matters delineated in the pages of Back to Godhead may seem to be very dry in the beginning, as the messages are from a different sphere altogether, but still we have to give attention to the messages if we really mean to cure the disease of nescience and go “BACK TO GODHEAD.” Sugar-candy is never sweet to those who are suffering from the disease of the bile. But still sugar-candy is the medicine for bilious patients. The taste of sugar-candy will gradually be revived if the bilious patient goes on taking sugar-candy regularly for the cure of the disease. We recommend the same process to the readers of Back to Godhead.

Godhead is one without a second, and all living entities are His eternal subordinate transcendental servitors. Realization of this transcendental relation will be the attempt of this paper, and therefore there is no bar for anyone in the world, irrespective of color, creed, and nationality, to go back to Godhead.

Abhay Charan De
Editor and Founder

*Prabhupada refers to “nescience” several times in this article, obviously referring to the motto that appeared (and still appears) on the cover of the magazine.

Source: http://www.dandavats.com/?p=80969

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Make very nice palatable prasadam. We shall spend for that. Why miserly? There is no need of miserly. You are going to earn money by agricultural produce, so how the money will be utilized? It will be utilized for Krsna’s purpose. By prasadam, by chanting, by drama, somehow or other bring them. That is our mission. Congregational chanting. Always festival, and we shall spend for that. Immediately arrange. If there is scarcity of money, I shall pay, but from… Bring them somehow or other. Tomorrow I want to see at least 500 men. Make arrangement like that. I came here to see that, not to sit down in a room peacefully.

So there also we shall inform the meeting that we want to propagate this Krsna consciousness movement town to town, village to village, by attracting them with musical demonstration of sankirtana, dramatic play, movie, prasadam. Somehow or other they should come to the temple, to the pandal and congregationally chant Hare Krsna maha-mantra, hear Bhagavad-gita, Bhagavatam. For this purpose, whatever expenditure is required, that you should collect and spend. This is the scheme of Hare Krsna movement. You must come here, question, understand, and vigorous propaganda should be inaugurated town to town, village to village. Those who are educated, to them distribution of literature. The school, college, library, institution, university, by scholarly presentation. That is wanted. What is that?
Devotee: (indistinct)

Prabhupada: Oh, it doesn’t matter. Understand the idea?

Jagadisa: Oh, yes.

Prabhupada: To attract them to really nice prasadam, palatable food, we shall spend. And we shall argue (?) also by literature produced, and they’re learning. Where is the difficulty? We shall take contribution from rich persons. We shall earn ourself, and spend it, to give them very nice prasadam. Gradually when they come, when you engage them in producing their own food, own shelter, own cloth… This should be organized. And they’ll be glad. As soon as they understand, they will be glad to do. And they will stop all this nonsense: illicit sex, and meat eating. Then their life will be purified. And they’ll make more and more advancement in this path. That is perfection. That you want. Is it clear or not?

Jagadisa: Oh, yes.

Prabhupada: Yes? This is our mission. If you give them very nice palatable prasadam… They go to hotel from miles together to take some palatable foodstuff, restaurant, hotel. And we cannot give nice Krsna prasadam? Why? Why you cannot give? Arrange like that, first class. Simply for eating they will come. Immediately do it.

Jagadisa: I have a question, whether we should always give them khicuri or whether we should…

Prabhupada: Give them nice prasadam by which they are attracted. It doesn’t matter khicuri, puri, kacuri, ladu. Whatever they are attracted, we must give. Whatever that will attract them. That I want. Krsna-prasadam. Don’t waste, give them nice palatable foodstuff. Give them one finest kacuri, one nice samosa, two puris, they will be very glad. Make very, very, nice prasadam. What is this rubbish, the dog cannot eat even? They have done a great mistake, all rascals. I am very angry. I say that if you have got no money, I’ll spend, I will give you money. Why should you make such tenth class, and no food at all. It is to be thrown away. Simply waste of grains and energy. Engage nice professional cook, prepare nice foodstuff. I shall spend for that if you have no money. Gentlemen who are coming immediately should be offered some prasadam. “Please come here, take: puri, kacuri, samosa.” Arrangement should be like that. The doctors came, he comes out of love, but there is no prasadam. Huh? What is this? The doctor comes, but we couldn’t supply him prasadam at 12 o’clock.

Jagadisa: Today?

Prabhupada: Not today, the other day.

Jagadisa: Oh.

Prabhupada: Prasada is not yet ready, you also said. After eating I have no, not yet ready. What is this? At 2 o’clock? As soon as they want. The Vrndavana also, the same thing I told that what they are doing? Prasadam, as soon as they want, they’ll must feed some prasadam according to the position of the person. We shall spend for that. I am not hesitating to spend money, why the arrangement is lacking? Immediately arrange for theirs and invite them. Don’t make it childish. Where are the leaders, they are now engaged there?

Jagadisa: Pardon me?

Prabhupada: Our leaders are engaged there?

Jagadisa: At the kirtana?

Prabhupada: Huh.

Jagadisa: Mahamsa is there. I don’t know where Hamsaduta is.

Prabhupada: So anyway, this is my instruction. We have to written and discuss and go. And I want to see tomorrow many thousand people. If you cannot make attractive, why they will come? Then it is failure. Make attractive. Whatever money is required, I shall pay. Simply theory will not help. Make such prasadam as people will come and be mad after it.

Jagadisa: Yes, we can…

Prabhupada: Just explain. You have taken in writing?

Jagadisa: It’s on tape.

Prabhupada: So go and discuss. They must be attracted.

Jagadisa: I see.

Prabhupada: Otherwise it is failure. [break]

Mahamsa: …who came, but…

Prabhupada: You are satisfied?

Mahamsa: No.

Prabhupada: Then?

Mahamsa: No. The people also, there was no advertisement that today there would be a program.

Prabhupada: So whatever it is required, you do it.

Mahamsa: So on tomorrow, I will do the advertisement and show them…

Prabhupada: Give them very, very first class prasadam.

Mahamsa: Yes.

Prabhupada: They will come for the tongue.

Mahamsa: Yes. Today the dallers (?), they liked it very spicy.

Prabhupada: That they like, I do not know what they like. But you prepare they should come and eat.

Mahamsa: Yes.

Prabhupada: I do not know what they like.

Mahamsa: There is a lot of sabji in the dal also, today and it’s hot. They like it.

Prabhupada: Whatever it may be, whatever they like, the villagers, you prepare. If you have no money, I shall pay money.

Mahamsa: O.K.

Prabhupada: But attract them. They will come here to eat, “Oh, very nice thing.” That is wanted. I made this movement successful simply by love feast. They did not come to hear Hare Krsna. They came for love feast. From very beginning, when I was in 26 2nd Avenue, every Sunday I was giving nice foodstuff, at least 200 men. Daily at least more than 15, 20. I was cooking myself. That is the beginning of my movement. The capatis with Kirtanananda, first of all he was taking one and two, then twelve. (laughter) There was another boy…

Devotee: Stryadhisa.

Prabhupada: Stryadhisa. Twenty-two capatis. (laughter) “Stryadhisa, can I give you?” “Yes.” I gave him four. Finished. “Stryadhisa, can I give you?” “Yes.” (laughter) Very nice boy. He was eating twenty-two. One day there was no money, so he immediately went and came after some time with some money. “And where did you go?” The shoe booth. He polished shoes and brought some money. (laughter) In this way, this was developed. Give them prasadam, nice prasadam. Any gentleman comes, immediately there must be some prasadam. Engage first class cook. Spend money, don’t be a miserly. If you have no money, I will pay. So long I am living, I shall go on paying. You don’t be miserly. Bring devotees for eating, and then chanting, then cinema, then lecture, in this way you have to develop. Not that people will come, “Hare Krsna mantra is there, let us go there.” They will not come. What do they know about Hare Krsna? They will come, “Oh, there is nice, good prasadam distributed.”

Mahamsa: Some people I know, they said that yesterday the prasadam was not nice, and there was…

Prabhupada: Not nice, it is not eatable even by the dogs. But you are less than the dogs if you (prepare) such thing. I was surprised. You allowed a sweeper to cook. I was surprised. We have distribution prasadam, not dog’s food. Such rascals as here. You do not know. I do not wish to discuss anymore on this point. You have murdered the whole thing in two days. Now if possible, bring them, bring them first class prasadam, very palatable. Foodstuff means even one has no appetite he’ll eat. That is food. Not that even one has got appetite, he’ll forget. That is not food. So do like that and for money produce, use cane, sugar cane, rice. We shall spend for that. Don’t spoil money, but do like businessman. He invests money, he gets a return. Spend it for Krsna. That is wanted. There is no question of becoming a miser. I never did it. When I have got that farthing, I want to spend it. Immediately spend. Oh, what I have made this BBT? Immediately 50% for printing, and 50% for spreading this. (indistinct) and understand what I want to do. So whatever is done is done, now do it very nicely. I want to see at least 1,000 men coming from the villages. There are 20,000 men here, you cannot attract them?

Mahamsa: Do we announce that you will give darsana on the stage for five minutes?

Prabhupada: Huh?

Mahamsa: Can we announce…?

Prabhupada: Nobody will come for my darsana, but if you want I’ll go.

Mahamsa: Yes.

Prabhupada: That is not very difficult task.

Mahamsa: Because they are all very anxious to see you, because the…

Prabhupada: All right, I shall go. What is that? The difficulty is I would gone very gladly, but they do not understand my language, neither Hindi, nor English.

Mahamsa: It can be translated in Telugu.

Prabhupada: Then I am shall go. I shall go.

Mahamsa: Yes.

Prabhupada: I shall go. I shall speak. Give them very nice food. From tomorrow I will… If there are rascals, you’ll bring. I will pay nice cook. Make varieties, very palatable food. Kichranna,(?) puspanna, rice, there are so many preparations. Paramanna. You do not make paramanna, kichranna,(?) puspanna. There are varieties of rice preparation. They know, the southern people, with curd, yogurt…

Mahamsa: Tamarind.

Prabhupada: Eh? Tamarind, so many preparations. So make like that. Why dog eating? They are not dogs. You cannot expect, because you are giving some dog eatable food, they will come. There must be one first class cook, and all our men should learn. There’s no need of simply keeping unduly: Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna, and sleeping. We don’t want such men. Make a show. And do not know anything how to preach. Useless. The householder, the women should be engaged in cooking. Their children should be gathered together. One man… I have said many times, all the children should be taken in a room by one woman, and others should be engaged in the cooking department. I have seen it. Your country, America. When they go to church, all the childrens are gathered together in a room. Is it not?

Devotees: Yes.

Prabhupada: And one or two men take care. And others, they go. Similarly, children they must have, so… Not that everyone is children busy, “I cannot do.” They cannot do if they are busy with children. What is the use of keeping such householders? Let them live outside, earn their money. Women business is to cleanse, to cut the vegetables, to cook, what is this? They’re simply busy with the children? And they have started their mission for maintaining some children, and useless women. You should organize. Radhikara pakka anna vividha byanjana. All the gopis, they are engaged for cooking for Krsna. Mother Yasoda will call them, “You young girls, you can cook very nicely.”

radhikara pakka anna vividha byanjana

parama anande krsna korena bhojana

Do you understand Bengali?

Mahamsa: No.

Prabhupada: Radhika with Her friends, they are cooking. And they cook so nicely that parama anande krsna korena bhojana. With great pleasure Krsna is eating. And that we have to distribute. Not dog’s food. You do not know what is the purpose of this mission. No need. Here is a good chance, don’t spoil it. Produce food. Make profit, you spend for Krsna. Train all devotees how to cook. All women. Don’t distribute dog’s eatable things. Krsna prasadam.

radhikara pakka anna vividha byanjana

parama anande krsna korena bhojana

Krsna is taking with great pleasure. That prasadam you have to distribute. Not that dog is rejecting and you have and you distribute that prasadam. Why do you think like that? This prasadam, this so-called, rubbish thing which is rejected by dog and you are offering to the human being. You do it. If you have no money I shall pay. There is no question of scarcity of money. Don’t spoil money, but spend for real purpose, that’s all. And you arrange for huge agricultural… Whatever is required, water, we shall arrange for that. Labor. Everything. And if you perform yajna, there will be rain. Anyway, I asked you the other day to fill up the tank. What is the difficulty?

Mahamsa: Which tank?

Prabhupada: That big tank. Well, big well.

Devotee (1): Just here. The one that’s been pumped empty. Anyway the big empty…

Prabhupada: But you were surprised. You do not know that we have got a big well here.

Mahamsa: The one that we drink water from?

Hari-sauri: The big square one.

Devotee: Behind the house.

Prabhupada: Why it is empty? Hm?

Mahamsa: Fill it for what, Prabhupada?

Prabhupada: Why the well is empty? There is no water. He’s surprised. As if dropping from the sky. You do not know that well?

Mahamsa: It’s just a tank.

Prabhupada: Tank, yes. Why it is empty?

Mahamsa: Because I didn’t know what purpose it will serve by filling it.

Prabhupada: Filling it, we shall pump and distribute water. You shall fit pipes. And pump water and distribute to the field, so there will be no scarcity of water, and produce. What it was meant, you do not know?

Mahamsa: No, right now, that field does not need water to…

Prabhupada: Then why you are not growing there something?

Mahamsa: The paddy is drying over there, Prabhupada.

Prabhupada: No, no, there are so many other fields. Why they are empty?

Mahamsa: Oh, we have to go and do boring wells and…

Prabhupada: Therefore that means water supply.

Mahamsa: Yes, that’s what I have to arrange now.

Prabhupada: Ha. So why, when you will arrange? Arrange it immediately.

Mahamsa: Yes, before…

Prabhupada: And that is also one of the water pool to solve water problem. The tank. Do you follow what I say?

Mahamsa: Yes.

Prabhupada: You fill up the tank and by pumping through pipe, you distribute water.

Jagadisa: The viaducts are already there.

Mahamsa: Yes.

Prabhupada: If you have got water filled up in that tank, we can water so many lands. We shall spend for that. We shall… Pipe line, pumping. Here is so much land we can produce gur (?). But you have no brain. Produce gur, get money and spend it for Krsna. This is wanted. Not simply planning and talking. The world is suffering for want of right planning. Otherwise, there is no question of suffering. Purnam idam, complete it is, everything complete. That is the Vedic verse. Why (indistinct) …incomplete means he’s rascals. That supply [break] and still all right. Eko yo bahunam vidadhati kaman. Krsna does not want to see that we are starving for want of food. That He does not want to see. But because you have come to the material world, you have to work hard. Then you’ll get your food. That is the material world. Sarira-yatrapi ca te na prasiddhyed akarmanah, Krsna says. Very… If you do not work, then you cannot get food. Simply work together. Sarva-kama-dugha mahi. And you get from the land. You have got land. You get anything from the land. The land must be moist. Then you get everything. That we want to show. Hm, what do you say? Land is…

Mahamsa: Oh yes.

Prabhupada: Eh? You are intelligent, you… Eh?

Mahamsa: You are the intelligent man, Prabhupada.

Prabhupada: Now, what do you think this idea?

Harikesa: No, it’s wonderful.

Prabhupada: Yes, do that.

Harikesa: In Vrndavana I saw a water-bull, just goes around in the circle all day and makes the water come up on these little catchers. And then it goes…

Prabhupada: Yes, so many means there are watering.

Harikesa: The whole field.

Prabhupada: Yes. People have lost the program. These rascals they draw all these men to manufacture Goodyear tire and eat store (?). This is going on. Modern man, they draw all these man, “Come on, I shall pay you 20 rupees daily. Prepare Goodyear tire, and eat store. Take paper. Purchase store. That’s all. This is going on. What brain they will have? Twenty rupees they get and they spend ten rupees for wine, and five rupees for cigarette, and fooding, say five rupees. No ghee, no milk. Soul killing civilization. And again this soul killing civilization. This Krsna consciousness… Hm, what you wanted to say?

Devotee: This, your Dr. Ghosh, where he is staying…

Prabhupada: Mm.

Devotee: We were there this afternoon for a program, and all their land is so green, and they are growing vegetables by a patch no bigger than this mattress that you are sitting. They are working one, planting, then growing another. Just a small piece, they’re planting.

Prabhupada: Yes.

Harikesa: They have some way for the water to go to…

Prabhupada: You should do like that here, in our land. Do like that. If they can do here, some few miles away…

Harikesa: We can do.

Prabhupada: …you can do it. Do it immediately. See how they are doing. So much land, why it should remain vacant? So combinedly immediately begin. Mm. So how long you are staying here?

Harikesa: Till Sunday morning.

Prabhupada: Oh. So your business is complete or…

Harikesa: No, almost.

Prabhupada: So, give him all help.

Harikesa: Yes, people are…

Prabhupada: He is doing very nice there, and he’ll do very nice.

Hamsaduta: One thing I thought it would be good if your divine grace would write a letter making him the GBC, so that he can act with full authority.

Prabhupada: I’ll give full authority. Write letter I shall sign. Yes. You have full authority. Write letter, I’ll sign.

Hamsaduta: Yes.

Harikesa: By your talking, I’m also thinking we should have a farm in Germany, I know…

Prabhupada: Oh, yes, why not? Everywhere. I myself when I go to the farm, I forget whether it is India, or Germany, or France. I forget. The land is there. Sarva-kama-dugha. We get everything from that. I have several times said that why they make this distinction? This is France, this is India, this is… Everywhere is God’s land. Why these rascals make division, I do not understand. Every land belongs to Krsna, and you are sons of Krsna. Let us live peacefully and chant Hare Krsna. All rascals, mudha. There is rain now and then fall in Europe?

Harikesa: Yes, now it’s very much.

Hamsaduta: Now it’s too late.

Prabhupada: Hm?

Hamsaduta: Now it’s too late.

Harikesa: I mean, it wasn’t there, but now it’s so much.

Prabhupada: Hm. But God is giving hint that if, “Rascal, it is in My hand. I can keep you in starvation to death.” The man is dull brain. Anyway, I am anxious to learn, why so many people are suffering? They have become all gray. Throughout whole France I saw. From Paris to Valencay I went. Gray. These people are not lazy, but there was no water. They utilize every inch land for agricultural purpose. At least I saw in France. Then maybe everywhere in Europe. They are not lazy fellow. There is organization, government organization here. People, they… Anyway let us show some example. Immediately make program. You have seen, yes?

Devotee: Yes.

Prabhupada: And you are expert. Do it immediately. If there is requires some money, we shall pay. Fill up. What is the difficulty in filling up this tank?

Mahamsa: I’m not still understanding which tank you are… Because there are many tanks…

Devotees: (indistinct – all speak at once)

Harikesa: …it’s empty.

Mahamsa: No one ever swim in here. We took out water to water the fields.

Prabhupada: So why it is empty? Have it filled up.

Mahamsa: How to fill? It has to come by itself. The water comes from the recuperation from the soil, so it is not in our hands to fill it. It just comes by itself slowly. It takes six days. If we empty the well it takes takes 6 days to fill it.

Prabhupada: No, no. By the… By digging a well or something you cannot…

Mahamsa: If we do a boring, then that’s, the well can be filled. We have a pump and we can fill it. But now as it is, it’s fifty feet deep.

Prabhupada: Why not make boring?

Mahamsa: That is my plan, that is what I was telling…

Prabhupada: Why plan, why do it now?

Mahamsa: Yes. now…

Prabhupada: Keep it always filled up.

Harikesa: He’s saying he has the money.

Mahamsa: Yes, I was thinking before you go, we should get the rigs coming here and putting on the whole…

Prabhupada: Yes.

Devotee (3): Tomorrow we should go.

Mahamsa: Yes.

Devotee (3): It’s the first business. We should go to that place and have him come, start the pool.

Prabhupada: Water required. Fill up with water and distribute water and produce. Huge quantity. Whatever can be produced. Sugar cane, rice, these are very valuable commodity at the present moment. Produce. And sugar cane means the upper portion will be the food for the cow.

Mahamsa: Even rice.

Prabhupada: Even… Oh, yes. Very, very practic… We want some (indistinct) food. Annad bhavanti bhutani [Bg. 3.14]. Bhutani means both animal and men. Animals should be well fed. Not only human being, but animal also. Otherwise, how he’ll work? Don’t use tractor, use this bulls. Otherwise there will be a problem, how to engage the bulls.

Devotee: Yes.

Prabhupada: Engage them for transport, for plowing.

Mahamsa: We should not get a tractor?

Prabhupada: No. When you have got bulls, why should you get…?

Mahamsa: We have only 8 pairs of bulls.

Prabhupada: Yes, and other bulls have been eaten up. Now we stop that eating. Now if you need, you can purchase tractor. But as far as possible try to avoid, and engage the bulls. Otherwise, it will be problems. The Europeans have invented tractors, and the bull is a problem. Therefore they must be sent to the slaughterhouse. So we can not create that problem. How the bull should be utilized? They should be used for transport, and plowing. What is this turmoil?

Devotee: I think they are distributing prasadam.

Mahamsa: Now, they have finished the slide-show and they are sitting down for prasadam.

Prabhupada: All right. Go and see it is done. Announce that “Tomorrow we shall prepare such and such nice preparations. Please you are especially invited.” In this way attract. (end)

Source: http://www.dandavats.com/?p=68998

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It’s Monday morning. It’s cold, wet and windy. It’s time to face the world. It’s another day on book distribution!

I remember returning from my first day on book distribution and being advised to do the unthinkable – “go and have a cold shower!” What! I’d already been standing in the freezing cold all day! The logic was that a warm shower cleanses your physical body, but a cold shower cleanses your subtle body – all the negative energy that we absorb from a day in the urban jungle is cleansed away by cooling waters. After an intense bout of mental warfare, I did it, and it was actually amazing (but only after it was finished!). I’ve never seen the scientific evidence for it, but you can definitely feel the purifying effect. The same person told me that book distribution was like a cold shower – in fact, he said, progressive life is like a cold shower – the beginning is always the most difficult, but everything works out if you muster up the determination and drive to make the first steps. Building momentum takes bucket loads of energy, but once you’re flowing, it’s effortless.

Upon reflection, I see a crystal-clear correlation in my life – the best things I ever did were often the very things I passionately resisted in the beginning. The things I avoided, argued against and convinced myself were unnecessary – those were the things that brought me the invaluable jewels of growth. It’s amusing, but scary at the same time. It means I’ll probably have to do a whole bunch of other uncomfortable things in order to experience the entirety of what life can be. The lesson is loud and clear: those who are convenience-focused are experience-starved. But why are the best things so hard to do? Why are good habits difficult to form? Why do bad habits appear so effortlessly? Why aren’t we able to spontaneously embrace the things that are so beneficial to us? Who made the system like this? It seems as though someone has stacked the odds against us!

The truth is that our mindset and consciousness makes it all topsy-turvy. Because we are incorrectly ‘inclined,’ we are flowing in the wrong direction, and all the beneficial things feel difficult and unnatural. In material consciousness, our habits, behaviors, thoughts and desires naturally drift towards the damaging. When we re-engineer our consciousness and correct our ‘inclination’ then everything flows naturally towards the positive and progressive. That, however, takes time, effort, determination and patience. Therefore, the biggest battle of the day is the battle over our own mind. If we win that one, we become empowered in the process of transformation and open the door to a whole new world. Ready for a cold shower tomorrow?

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devotees_record_the_radha_krishna_temple_album_with_george_harrison_at_abbey_road_studios_slideshow.jpg?profile=RESIZE_710xIn July 1969, George Harrison produced the Radha Krishna Temple album with the first group of devotees in London.

Fifty years later, in December 2019, a group of devotees are back in the iconic Abbey Road Studios to record the Hare Krishna Maha Mantra once again.

The producer of the new record, known as Youth from the band "Killing Joke," is a highly accomplished award-winning musician and producer who shares spiritual interests with the devotees. He also has connections with Beatles members, working alongside Sir Paul McCartney to produce Paul's recent albums.

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The kirtan group - a selection of artists from the devotee community, Food For All and Hare Krishna Festivals - worked all day with Youth and his team on a colorful collaboration of styles and instruments with the Maha Mantra in the centre - to be released to the public in the New Year.

"It was a wonderful creative day full of love and spiritual friendship for everyone who took part - a great way to celebrate after 50 years, and to honor George Harrison and the pioneers of Hare Krishna in the UK, " said Food For All Director Parasuram Das, who brought ISKCON-style samosas, chutney and an apple shaped cake for the whole crew.

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Source: https://iskconnews.org/hare-krishna-returns-to-abbey-road-studios,7212/

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Gaura Purnima 2020 Sponsorships

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On the 17th of February devotees will arrive for Sravana Utsava & Kirtan Mela, followed by festival inauguration, various festivities, Navadwipa Mandala Parikrama, and the grand celebration of Gaura Purnima on the 9th of March.

Click here for: GAURA PURNIMA FESTIVAL SCHEDULE

Click on one of the below sponsorship categories for more information:

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UTSAV-SEVA.jpg DEITY-SEVA.jpg NDMP.jpg


For any details, contact info@mayapur.com or shyamagopika.jps@mayapur.com

Source: https://www.mayapur.com/2019/gaura-purnima-2020-sponsorships/

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