• "Here in this world there are thousands of newspapers and magazines reporting the stale, repetitious happenings of this limited space. So for reporting the news of the unlimited spiritual realm, concerning the eternal, ever-fresh Supreme Personality of Godhead, we could publish a newspaper at every second, what to speak of daily."
    - Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura
Bala Gopala's Mrdanga : An insignificant attempt (by an insignificant entity) to render service to this instruction.

17/11/06

The Mayavadi Blues

Categories: Humour, Podcasts

This is a song by a different Ekendra das. You can download the mp3 or, if you have broadband, listen to it here (5.2MB ) :

Once upon a time, I elected myself king
Told my pizza chef, "make me one with everything"
then I went out shoppin' didn't buy nothin' at all
I couldn't tell a t-shirt from a cotton ball
bought a ticket to Topeka but I landed in Duluth.
"All things bein' equal," I wish it was the truth

chorus:

I got the Mayavadi Blues
Yeah, the Mayavadi Blues
You know that I feel like I'm gonna merge
Yeah, it's all one now, baby
The subject and the object are one and the same.

Well, they sent me off to college, but it was all in vain.
I asked the teacher, "what is knowledge?"
He told me that there ain't no knower, no knowin', no thing bein' known
I said, "thanks a lot for nothin' I shoulda just stayed home"
That night, instead of string beans, Mama fed us dirt
She said, "It all comes from the same place, eat your dinner, it won't hurt."

(chorus)

My baby said she loved me She called me "honey child"
Then I found out I was just another station on her dial
She said, "It ain't nothin' personal. Nothin' ever is.
I just gotta keep on movin', gotta follow my bliss."
I said, "I'm shavin' my head, I might as well become a monk,
if all I'm gonna get from you is that Mayavadi junk."

(chorus)

So if you're feelin' upset and your feet can't find the ground
Gettin' treated like an object? Gettin' the runaround?
Well, you ain't the only one- I been there and I'll attest
It ain't no fun bein' an impersonalist
'Cause if everything is illusion, then I'm only pretend
This ain't no song and there ain't no end to my Mayavadi Blues

16/11/06

Srila Prabhupada Will Return For Us If We Are Cooperative

"So far as I am concerned, in relationship with my disciples who are so kindly cooperating with me in the matter of my rendering service to my Spiritual Master, for them I am always ready to come back from Goloka Vrindaban, if they are not delivered along with me. So don't be worried about the clutches of Maya. Be fixed up in your determination and go on serving the Supreme Lord, Krishna, with determination."

- Letter to Brahmananda das - November 15, 1969

14/11/06

Eight Prayers Glorifying Srimati Vrnda Devi

Categories: Readings

by Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakur ...

Text 1

gangeya-campeya-tadid-vinindi-
rocih-pravaha-snapitatma-vrnde
bandnuka-bandhu-dyuti-divya-vaso
vrnde namas te caranaravindam

`gangeya - golden; `campeya - campaka flower; `tadit - lightnigs;
`vinindi - chastising; `rocih - splendor; `pravaha - with rivers;
`cnapita - bathed; `atma - own; `vrnde - multitad; `bandhuka - of the
bandhuka flower; `bandhu - friend; `dyuti - splendor; `divya -
transcendental; `vasah - garments; `vrnde - Vrnda-devi; `namah -I
offer respectful obeisances; `te - to you; `carana - feet;
`aravindam - the lotus flower.

You are bathed by streams of splendor the rebuke gold,
lightning, and the campaka flower. Your splendid garments are
friend to the bandhuka flower. O Vrnda, I bow to your lotus feet.

Text 2

bimbadharoditvara-manda-hasya
nasagra-mukta-dyuti-dipitasye
vicitra-ratnabharana-sriyadhye
vrnde namas te caranaravindam

`bimba - bimba fruits; `adhara - lips; ` uditvara -
extraordinary; ` manda - gentle, `hasya - smile; ` nasa - of the
nose; `agra - on the tip; `mukha - pearl; `dyuti - by the splendor;
`dipita - illuminated; `asye - face; `vicitra - amazing and
colorful; ` ratna - jewels; `abharana - and ornament; `sriya - with
the beauty; `adhye - enriched.

Your face is splendid with a pearl decorating the tip of Your
nose and awonderful gentle smile on Your bimba-fruit lips. You
are decorated with wonderful jewel ornaments. O Vrnda, I bow to
you lotus feet.

Text 3

samasta-vaikuntha-siromanau sri-
krsnasya vrndavana-dhanya-nhamni
dattadhikare vrsabhanu-putrya
vrnde namas te caranaravindam

`samasta - all; `vaykuntha - of the Vaikuntha worlds; `surah-manau -
the crown jewel; `sri-krsnasya - of Sri Krsna; `vrndavana -
Vrndavana; `dhanya - opulent and auspicious; ` dhamni - in the
abode; `datta - given; `adhikare - dominion; `vrsabhanu - of King
Vrsabhanu; `putrya - by the daughter (Srimati Radharani).

Vrsabhanu?s daughter Radha made you guardian of Krsna?s
opulent and auspicious abode of Vrndavana, the crest jewer of all
Vaikuntha planets. O Vrnda, I bow to your lotus feet.

Text 4

tvad-ajnaya pallava-puspa-bhrnga
mrgadibhir madhava-keli-kunjah
madhy-adibhir bhanti vibhusyamana
vrnde namas te caranaravindam

`tvat - your; `ajnaya - by the order; `pallava - blossoming; `puspa -
by flowers; `bhrnga - by bymble-bees; `mrga - by deer; `adibhih -
and others; `madhava - of Lord Madhava; `keli - for perfoming
pastimes; ` kunjah - groves; `madhu - with springtimes; `adibhih -
and the other seasons; `bhanti - appears very aplendid;
`vibhusyamanah - being decorated.

By Your order the groves where Madhava enjoys pastimes are
splendidly decorated with blossoming flowers, bumble-bees, deer,
honey, and other things. O Vrnda, I bow to your lotus feet.

Text 5

adiya-dutyena nikunja-yunor
atyutkayoh keli-vilasa-siddhih
tvat-saubhagam kena nirucyatam tad
vrnde namas te caranaravindam

`tvadiya - your, `dutyena - because of the message; `nikunja-yunoh -
of Radha and Krsna who perform pastimes in the groves (of
Vrndavana); ` ati-utkayoh - very enthusiastic (to perform
pastimes); ` keli - amorous; ` vilasa - pastimes; ` siddhih -
perfection; ` tvat - your; `saubhajam - good fortune, `kena - by
whom; `nirucyatam - may be described; `tat - therefore.

Because you became Their messenger the eager and youthful
divine couple enjoyed the perfection of transcendental pastimes
in the forest. O Vrnda, I bow to your lotus feet.

Text 6

rasabhilaso vasatis ca vrnda-
vane tvad-isanghri-saroja-seva
labhya ca pumsam krpaya tavaiva
vrnde namas te caranaravindam

`rasa - the rasa dance; ` abhilasah - the desire; `vasatih -
residence; `ca - and; `vrndavane - in Vrndavana; `tvat - your; `isa -
of the Lord (krsna); ` anghrii - feet; `saroja - of the lotus
flower; `seva - service; ` labhya - is attainable; ` ca - and; `pumsam
- by the living entities; ` krpaya - be the mercy; `tava - your; `eva
- indeed.

By your mercy the people attain residence in Vrndavana, the
desire to serve your masters lotus feet, and the desire to assist
in the rasa dance. O Vrnda, I bow to your lotus feet.

Text 7

tvam kirtyase satvata-tantra-vidbhir
lilabhidhana kila krsna-saktih
tavaiva murtis tulasi nr-loke
vrnde namas te caranaravindam

`tvam - you; `kirtyase - are glorified; `satvata-tantra-vidbhih - by
those who know the Satvata-tantra; `lila - pastimes; ` abhidhana -
by the name; `kila - indeed; `krsna - of Lord Krsna; `saktih - the
potency; `tava - your; `eva - indeed; ` mirtih - form; ` tulasi -
tulasi; `nr-loke - in human society.

They who are learned in the Satvata-tantra glorify you. You
are Krsna?s pastime-potency. The tulasi plant is you form in the
world of men. O Vrnda, I bow to you lotus feet.

Text 8

bhaktya vihina aparadha-laksaih
ksiptas ca kamadi-taranga-madhye
kpamayi tvam saranam prapanna
vrnde namas te caranaravindam

O Vrnda Devi, I offer my respectful obeisances to your lotus feet. Those who are devoid of devotion to Lord Hari, and who are thrown by their offenses into the waves of lust and other inauspicious qualities, may take shelter of you.

10/11/06

Helena Dreams About Prabhupada

this one is a must read!

by Bhakta Giovanni Battista

Dear Devotees,

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

Every day, thanks to Srila Prabhupada's love, I have the opportunity to go out and distribute his books.

Recently Lilananda Prabhu and I have been distributing books in a working-class area of Rome known as Centocelle.

Visualize blocks of flats at least seven storys high, working-class dwellings where you find the strangest situations and the worst smells emanating from within. Below the apartment complex is an interminable series of shops where the people, under a high dose of passion, enter and exit without taking notice of anyone around them. Now add all the raucous noises of the city: welcome to Centocelle!

Unfortunately, yesterday I woke up late, and so I could not finish my rounds before our morning program (here it starts at 6:15 am). So after doing various things, I managed to go out at 11 o'clock. While driving toward Centocelle, I was trying think of a place to finish my rounds peacefully, but I could not. Then I had an idea: on previous days I had noticed a street right before reaching "the jungle area" that led to a zone of humble villas that might be peaceful.

Once there, I knew I had done the right thing: there were airplanes in the sky and trains on the tracks, but it was much more peaceful than the rest of the area. I parked the car and went to chant. There weren't many passersby, but every once in a while someone would appear, mostly older people, curiously looking at this strange person dressed in white, with no hair and murmuring to himself. I would say hello in a friendly way and try to put them at ease, but unavoidably the word spread in the area and more than one person "by chance" walked nearby to see the strange sight. After finishing my rounds and honoring prasadam, I went forth to distribute books. After visiting some houses, I reached an old green wooden gate, a young man and woman came to open the gate and invite me into their garden. I learned that they were brother and sister, Antonio and Stefania. After a while their sister Maria joined us; she was very curious to hear about the books. While I spoke, Stefania went away three times, later explaining to me that she had to check on her three-year-old daughter Helena, who was having difficulty breathing. I learned she had difficulty especially during sleep, and so it was very important that special care be taken at that time.

I saw that these people were very simple and innocent, not wealthy at all but very well disposed to hear about Krsna. After some time their parents arrived and Antonio exclaimed, "Mom, Dad, he is a Hare Krsna monk!" The mother jokingly said to me: "I saw you walking back and forth before and thought you had just escaped from a clinic nearby!" We all laughed. The father, in a wise mood, said, "But I told them that you were meditating!" (In fact, I had met him earlier on the street, where he told me that he already knew the devotees and that he was a follower of Father Pio. I sensed then that he was not interested in the books, so I politely greeted him and walked on).

After I had spoken to them for twenty minutes, Stefania, Helena's mother, felt inspired to buy "The Journey of Self-Discovery." Enchanted by this simple family, I decided to give them a BTG for free. Then I invited them to the Sunday Feast and left. When I meet such people, I feel the urgency to improve myself and become a better instrument in Srila Prabhupada's hands to distribute the transcendental knowledge found in his books.

Around 5 p.m. I decided to head back to the temple. While walking to the car, I thought of Maria, Stefania's sister. I remembered how attracted she was by devotional music, and since I had a CD in the car, I decided to go to their home and give it to them as a gift. They had all left such a nice feeling in my heart.

As I approached their house I saw Stefania standing outside. As soon as she saw me she called to me loudly: "Padre Giovanni! Padre Giovanni!"

"I'm coming!" I called.

Breathlessly she continued, "As soon as you left us, my daughter Helena woke up and ran toward me with a very blissful face, such as I had never seen before, and exclaimed, 'Mom, mom, I dreamt of an angel with no hair!!'

"I said, 'Oh! And what was He like?'

"'He was wonderful -- bright-faced, without hair, but with a pony-tail on the back of his head and a sign on his forehead. He was baptizing everybody!'"

Upon hearing that, I was a little confused. Then the grandmother said, "I took your magazine and showed it to Helena, asking her to tell me if she recognized the angel as I turned the pages. When I reached the first page, where there is a picture of your spiritual master in saffron clothes, Helena opened her eyes wide and pointed to him: 'Here he is! It's him! It's him!!'"

At this point, I have to admit, I struggled to hold back my tears. Srila Prabhupada had appeared in the dream of this special soul in the body of a little girl, just as I was in the garden presenting his books!

The grandmother continued: "We were all amazed and asked Helena if he had told her something. She said 'Yes, I remember that he was speaking about books, books, reading books.'" At this point a shiver went up my spine -- it really was Srila Prabhupada!

They invited me into the house to meet Helena. I noticed the little girl playing with her cousin, but when she turned and saw me with the tilak and no hair, she retreated and started to cry: "I don't want to see! I don't want to see!" She hid behind a wall, and Stefania took her into another room.

Meanwhile, the grandmother told me Helena was not new to these miraculous encounters. "Once, while Helena was in the hospital, she told me that Padre Pio was by her side telling her to be peaceful because everything would be ok." Curious, the grandmother had shown her a photo of Padre Pio, and Helena had said that it was him! Another time, Giovanna (the grandmother) dreamed that Pope Jean Paul II entered their house carrying a letter and saying, "This is the letter you are all waiting for. You can give it to Helena. Everything will be ok." At that time the entire family was in anxiety, waiting for a reply from the Vatican Hospital about whether Helena had a certain rare and grave illness. The day after that dream, a letter arrived saying she did not.

Feeling at ease in that house, I started preaching about the importance of book distribution and how this service is so dear to Srila Prabhupada. Helena calmed down but was still afraid of me, so after a little while I gave them the bhajan CD and left. While driving back to the temple I was moved and had a constant thought: Srila Prabhupada in His infinite mercy never leaves us. He is present when we read his books, and much more when we distribute them. At the temple I told the devotees what had happened, and they were all enthusiastic and full of gratitude. They also perceived Srila Prabhupada's presence.

I had an idea: I asked for Helena's birthday details and gave them to Ramanuja Dasa, a devotee from Peru who is living in Rome. He has studied Vedic astrology extensively and teaches it. After a week, during the Sunday Feast, Ramanuja called me aside to show me Helena's astral chart. "You know, Prabhu," he said, "I've been doing this work for about twenty years, but I have seen an astral chart like this one only once or twice! This is a very elevated soul. She has all the planets favorable for spiritual life, she's intelligent, and she has positive karma. For sure in her last life she was a devotee."

Upon hearing those words, I felt very lucky. I've been going on sankirtana for a whole year, but I never had a meeting like this one. I went to visit them again four or five times, bringing them prasadam, garlands, devotional pictures, music CDs, and t-shirts for Helena.

I learned that the miracle continued: From the day of the "meeting with the angel," Helena has told the story to everyone she meets, and even if she cannot read, she opens Srila Prabhupada's books often because, she says, "Prabhupada told me to read." In her room she insisted there be a photo of Srila Prabhupada and one of Gopal Krsna close to her bed. She often wants to hear stories about Krsna, and in particular she likes the maha-mantra. When she listens to the maha-mantra, she insists on wearing a t-shirt with a picture of mother Yasoda and Krsna, and then she dances while chanting Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. Simply wonderful!

This is Srila Prabhupada's mercy! Even a child of three can perform devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead! I sincerely hope this story can infuse in the core of your heart the desire to serve more and more this eternal mission, which only Srila Prabhupada could have founded: ISKCON, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness.

Your aspiring servant,

Bhakta Giovanni Battista

09/11/06

Who Is Devoted To Who?

Categories: Inspirational

samo 'haṁ sarva-bhūteṣu
na me dveṣyo 'sti na priyaḥ
ye bhajanti tu māṁ bhaktyā
mayi te teṣu cāpy aham
[Bg. 9.29]

The Lord says that "I am... Although I am equal to everyone..." God is nobody's enemy and nobody's special friend, just like the king, the government, nobody's enemy, nobody's friend. As you act, so you get result. Similarly, for common man, there is no special favor from God. Ye tu bhajanti māṁ bhaktyā. Ye tu. This tu means "but." Here is a word, but. But means just like we sometimes say that "I am such and such, but..." "But" means there is something special. So this word is used here, tu. Tu means "but." What is that "but?" Ye tu bhajanti māṁ prītyā: "Anyone who is engaged in devotional service of Me, so for him I have got special attention." Ye tu mām..., ye bhajanti tu māṁ bhaktyā mayi te teṣu cāpy aham: "As he is always, constantly engaged in My service, similarly, I am also engaged always in his service," the Lord says.

Here one passage is quoted by a great commentator, Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa, that bhagavān bhakta-bhaktimān. Just like we become devoted, similarly, God also becomes devoted to us. You don't think that one-sided devotion. No. Just like love is never one-sided. Love is reciprocation, reciprocation. Similarly, although God is great, He becomes a devotee of the devotee. He takes pleasure in that way. It is clearly stated that "I also try to devote Myself for his service." As we take pleasure in serving God, similarly, God also takes pleasure by serving the devotee. That is reciprocation.

- Bhagavad-gita Lecture 9.29-32 - New York, December 20, 1966

Categories: Bala Gopala's Darsan

rohiṇī-hṛdayānandī
vasudevātmajo balī
nīlāmbaro rauhiṇeyo
jarāsandha-vadho 'malaḥ

He is the bliss of Rohiṇī's heart (rohiṇī-hṛdayānandī), the son of Vasudeva (vasudevātmaja), powerful (balī), dressed in blue garments (nīlāmbara), the son of Rohiṇī (rauhiṇeya), the killer of Jarāsandha (jarāsandha-vadha), and supremely pure (amala).

- Sri Gopala-sahasra-nama - Text 22

08/11/06

Bala Gopala's Darsan

Categories: Bala Gopala's Darsan

rādhā-mukhābja-mārtaṇḍo
bhāskaro ravijo vidhuḥ
vidhir vidhātā varuṇo
vāruṇo vāruṇī-priyaḥ

He is the sun that makes the lotus of Śrī Rādhā's face bloom (rādhā-mukhābja-mārtaṇḍa). He is glorious like the sun (bhāskara and ravija). He is glorious like the moon (vidhu). He is the creator (vidhi and vidhātā). He is the controller of Varuṇa (varuṇa), the descendent of Varuṇa (vāruṇa), and the beloved of Vāruṇī (vāruṇī-priya).

- Sri Gopala-sahasra-nama - Text 21

07/11/06

Bala Gopala's Darsan

Categories: Bala Gopala's Darsan

vṛṣabhānur bhavo bhāviḥ
kāśyapiḥ karuṇā-nidhiḥ
kolāhalo halī hālī
helī haladhara-priyaḥ

He is a sun rising among the heroic warriors (vṛṣabhānu). He is the universal form (bhava) and the father of all existence (bhāvi). He is the son of Kaśyapa (kāśyapi). He is an ocean of mercy (karuṇā-nidhi). His voice is like thunder (kolāhala). He is Balarāma, the holder of the plow (halī and hālī). He rebukes His enemeies (helī). He is dear to Lord Balarāma (haladhara-priya).

- Sri Gopala-sahasra-nama - Text 20

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare