• "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.

30/04/06

Old Slippers

Vamanajana: My wife and I ran a little store across the street called the Surabhi Store. We would arrange for Srila Prabhupada’s afternoon refreshment of dab (fresh coconut).

The last year that Prabhupada was here in Los Angeles, the GBC came to me and two others and asked if we would like to be Srila Prabhupada’s bodyguards. He thought the three of us should split up the 24-hour watch. About the middle of the second week we were doing this, and my good friend Bhaskara, who was one of the other bodyguards, and I were having lunch, and he said, “Did you notice that Srila Prabhupada does the same thing at the same time every day?” I said, “Yeah, it’s amazing. You can almost set your watch by him.”

Bhaskara said, “Someone gave him a brand new pair of slippers the other day, and he only wears them from his room to the curtains outside the temple room, and then he takes them off. After class, he puts them on, wears them to go upstairs, and takes them off at his door.” I said, “Yeah?” He said, “They’re new, and I looked at them last night and got the model number and the manufacturer’s name and bought another pair exactly like them.” “Well, what are you going to do with them? His feet are not the same size as your feet.” Bhaskara said, “Tomorrow morning when he goes down for class, I am going to exchange them for my slippers, and then he will wear my slippers back upstairs. Then I will exchange them again, and I will have a pair of slippers that Srila Prabhupada wore. He will have only worn them one time, but Srila Prabhupada will have worn my slippers!”

I thought, “Wow, that’s a good idea! Tomorrow I am going to go out and buy a pair of slippers and do the same thing the next day.” The next day we got together at lunch again. I said, “Did you get your slippers?” He said, “Yeah.” I said, “Where do I buy mine?” He said, “You shouldn’t do it.” I thought, “Yeah, you got your slippers.” He said, “Let me tell you what happened.

Srila Prabhupada put his slippers on in the morning, came downstairs, took them off by the curtain by the temple room, and I exchanged them. After class Srila Prabhupada came out, put on my slippers and wore them upstairs right into his room. He never took them off at the door.” I said, “Really? What did you do?” He said, “I stood there chanting japa thinking, ‘What am I gonna do now?’ I was there about five minutes when a sannyasi came and asked, ‘Is your name Bhaskara?’ ‘Yes.’ The sannyasi said, ‘Srila Prabhupada has a message for you. He thanks you very much for the new slippers. You may keep the old slippers. But most importantly, he said, it’s not nice to play tricks on the spiritual master.’”

29/04/06

Bala Gopala's Daily Darsan

Categories: Bala Gopala's Darsan

gopa-svāmī gokulendro
govardhana-vara-pradaḥ
nandādi-gokula-trātā
dātā dāridrya-bhañjanaḥ

He is the master of the cowherds (gopa-svāmī), the king of Gokula (gokulendra), the Lord who granted a boon to Govardhana (govardhana-vara-prada), the protector of Nanda and the other people of Gokula (nandādi-gokula-trātā), the generous philanthropist (dātā), and the Lord who breaks poverty (dāridrya-bhañjana).

- Sri Gopala-sahasra-nama - Text 7

27/04/06

Liberated Persons Accept No Disciples

The statements of Thakura Bhaktivinode are as good as scriptures because he is liberated person. Generally the spiritual master comes from the group of such eternal associates of the Lord; but anyone who follows the principles of such ever liberated persons is as good as one in the above mentioned group. The gurus from nature's study are accepted as such on the principle that an elevated person in Krishna Consciousness does not accept anyone as disciple, but he accepts everyone as expansion of his guru.

That is very high position, called Maha-bhagavata. Just like Radharani, sometimes thinks a subordinate of hers as her teacher, to understand devotion of Krishna. A person who is liberated acharya and guru cannot commit any mistake, but there are persons who are less qualified or not liberated, but still can act as guru and acharya by strictly following the disciplic succession.

- Letter to Janardana das - Friday, April 26, 1968

Please Watch This Video And Call Amnesty International

Categories: Happenings

Here is something very sad to watch:

Kazakhstan Protest

It is a video of the devotees in Kazakhstan being forcefully harassed as they peacefully protest the demolishment of their homes.

Apparantly Kazakhstan has tried in recent years to profile their government as a model for religious tolerance even to the extent of hosting an international conference called The First Congress of World and Traditional Religions in 2003 where they've highlighted their good relations with the Hare Krishna movement.

Now they are demolishing and repossesing the temple and surrounding property in a very unjust way. You can read more here.

So please contact your local branch of Amnesty International and register your concern as this is certainly a flagrant violation of human rights. None of their websites seem to indicate any awareness of the situation so perhaps making them aware and leveraging their concern would help. Describe the situation to them. Ask what can be done and speak with their advisors to determine how to take, and inspire, action for restoration of the Kazakhstan devotees’ religious and human rights.

In Australia the contact details are:

email: servicecentre@amnesty.org.au
phone: 1300 300 920

In New Zealand you can reach them here:

email: info@amnesty.org.nz
phone: 0800 AMNESTY (0800 266 378) or +64-9-303 4520

In the United States the details can be found here.

--------------------------------

As earlier communiques from Kazakhstan have already explained, the following arguments may be presented:

“(A) Law-obedient citizens are deprived of their homes and thrown to the street. All of them have lawfully acquired the right of ownership for their plots of land, they have paid all the taxes and membership charges.

(B) The Hakim (Governor) of the district accuses the owners that they never had their property privatized. However the members of the community repeatedly applied to the Hakim for his permission to make the acts of ownership for their cottages and plots but he repeatedly refused. Without his sanction for privatization one cannot make needed documentation for the cottages.

(C) The devotees’ houses are located on the territory of a Consumers Cooperative. There are 120 members of this Cooperative. However the claims are brought only against the members of the religious society. In each and every claim the connection of the defendants to the Religious Organization Society for Krishna Consciousness has been illustrated. This is a direct and flagrant violation of human rights and freedoms which are guaranteed by the Constitution of Kazakhstan.

(D) Confiscation of property without compensation is possible only in a criminal case. Ours is a civil case. It is not a criminal case.

(E) According to the law, the citizens whose property is confiscated are given at least 5 days to prepare for the execution of the court decision. In our case we have another transgression of the law as we were given less than one day.”

Please contact any media connections you may have. Public knowledge of conspiracy and exploitation often serves well to eliminate it.

-----------------------------

See the below list of telephone and fax numbers and make an endeavour to contact the government of Kazakhstan and its associated branches, to voice your protest. The numbers are often difficult to get through to. Keep trying! When you do get through, INSIST on speaking to someone who speaks fluent English (unless, of course, you are fluent in Russian or Kazakhstani).

Presidential Office: +7 (3172) 152634, 152920, 152107 +7 (3172) 324558 Presidential PR department: +7 (3172) 744051

Administration of the President: +7 (3172) 151203, fax +7 (3172) 324480

Prosecutor’s office of RK +7 (3172) 712868, 214025, 712500

Senate +7 (3172) 153195, 153239, 327710

Senate PR department: +7 (3172) 153295, 153505 fax +7 (3172) 334639

Committee on Religious Affairs Mr. Yeraly Lukpanovich Tugzhanov +7 (3172)
152497, 152217, 152690 fax +7 (3172) 328356

Prime Minister Mr. Danial Akhmetov +7 (3172) 152035, 152027

Almaty Regional Land Department Mr. Nauryzbai Asanbayevich Taubayev +7
(3272) 270125

Almaty Regional Hakim Mr. Serik Abikenovich Umbetov +7 (3282) 271753

Karasai District Hakim Bolat-bi Satynbayevich Kutpanov +7 (32771) 21142,
21709

Karasai District Court: +7 (32771) 20899

Court executive Ms. R. Baimukhanbetova +7 (32771) 22030

----------------------------

Please also contact the government of Kazakhstan in writing at:

Presidential Headquarters

To the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan

Mr. Nazarbayev N.A.

Government Palace, Levoberezhye,

Astana, 010000, Republic of Kazakhstan

Presidential Residence

To the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan

Mr. Nazarbayev N.A.

Akorda, Astana, 010000, Republic of Kazakhstan

Or, by e-mail at:

President’s e-mail: sitePRK@global.kz

Please contact Sri Vrindavana Dhama/Palace of the Soul directly, at: director@palaceofthesoul.com

Thank you for your immediate attention to this very serious problem.

With Kindest Regards,

Sundara nanda-gopala dasa
Silk Road Foundation
Managing Director/Trustee/Sec./Treas.
610.704.7274
http://www.srivrindavandham.com/

26/04/06

The Relationship Between Preaching And Serving

Categories: Podcasts

Please listen to this class by HG Saunaka Rishi Prabhu:

[download] 16MB

23/04/06

Join The Campaign ... Try to Appeal For The Kazkhstan Temple

Categories: Happenings

---------- Forwarded Message -------------------------------
Text PAMHO:11445083 (129 lines)
From: (Bhakti Bhrnga) Govinda Swami
Date: 20-Apr-06 07:54 (14:54 +0700)
To: Free Forum (Announcements) [10034]
Subject: X all com users
------------------------------------------------------------
Dear Vaisnavas,

Please accept my humble obeisances. All Glories to Srila Prabhupada.

In 1999 the devotees in Kazkhstan purchased a beautiful farm outside of the city of Almaty, Kazakhstan. Since that time substantial strides have been made in creating an agricultural community, a home for many vaisnavas, and the venue for a wonderful summer yearly festival attended by devotees from Central Asia and Russia.

Since October 2004 there have been many attempts from the government of Kazakhstan to push us from this property. This has been done by smear campaigns in the media and ongoing litigation in the courts.

On March 29, 2006 a case was conducted in the Almaty Oblast Court. Prior to issuing the ruling the judge declared that the legal arguments of the government land agency had no substance and that the arguments presented by the advocates representing our society were correct and in accordance to the Kazakhstan legal code.

But after private discussion in their chambers the judges emerged and issued a ruling against our society in which it is stated that the land be confiscated and returned to the government. This ruling was illegal and not based on legislation of the government of Kazakhstan.

We purchased the land at the market value in 1999. In 2004 we privatised the land according to the laws of Kazakhstan in. Since this time the value of this land has increased dramatically. The situation we have is that the powerful government land barons want to eliminate us by any illegal process that they may possess the land, again sell, and make astronomical profit.

We have neither time nor options left. Our last option is the Supreme Court of Kazakhstan, but need-less-to-say, the legal system does not work in this country. It is either a matter of paying for the decision or having a powerful person order the decision.

Thus we are requesting devotees throughout the world to assist us in different ways:

First, we are requesting you to send this letter to all the contacts you have.

Second, we are requesting you to print the following letter and send to the Administration of the President of Kazakhstan requesting him to intervene in this case.

Third, we are requesting you to contact the heads of religious organisations, the foreign ministries in your countries, international human rights agencies, and register an appeal that they will voice concern to the government of Kazakhstan.

And at last, we are humbly requesting that you will all pray that this situation may be reversed and our farm, Sri Vrindavan Dham, will not be stolen by the government of Kazakhstan.

The President of Kazakhstan has gained international respect for having hosted an international religious forum in 2003. Yet, despite the talks of religious equality and openness, he is allowing a religious society to be illegally evicted from their legally acquired property. It is an injustice performed in the name of religious equality.

With affectionate regards,

BB Govinda Swami

...........................................................................

To the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan

Mr. N.A. Nazarbayev

Government palace, Levoberezhye,

Astana, 010000, Republic of Kazakhstan.

Or ...

Presidential Residence:

To the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan

Mr. Nazarbayev N.A.

Akorda, Astana, 010000, Republic of Kazakhstan.

President's e-mail: sitePRK@global.kz

Dear President Nazarbayev,

It is with deep regret that we have been informed of your government's attempted confiscation of the land which is owned by the Kazakhstan Society for Krishna Consciousness.

The land has been legally purchased and privatised according to the land codes of Kazakhstan.

But since 2004 there has been ongoing litigation in an attempt by government officials to steal the land where the Kazakhstan Society for Krishna Consciousness has been officially registered, and situated, for the past seven years.

On March 29, 2006 a hearing was conducted in the Almaty Provincial Court.

The judge in charge of the case explained that he had carefully studied the case and that there was no substance in the arguments of the Government Land Committee and District Hakimat.

Yet, when the decision was read it was ruled that the land at issue be returned to the land reserve of Kazakhstan. The decision of the court was enacted due to executive pressure as it violates legislative and procedural rules of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Mr. President, you want that your fine country come into the rank of the leading nations of the world.

You have shown your open mindedness by conducting your International Religious Forum in 2003. Yet in this case we have a glaring example of a religious society being destroyed by the greed of self motivated officers.

Sir, we are respectfully appealing to you to intervene in this case.

Please stop the abuse and destruction of the one element of Indian religion which is active in your nation.

Please allow these people to live peacefully on their property in accordance to the vision of religious equality that you have presented for the nation of Kazakhstan.

Sincerely,

22/04/06

He Govinda, He Gopala

Categories: Podcasts

Here is a nice contemporary bhajan by His Holiness Bir Krishna das Goswami.

He Govinda, He Gopala - [download] - 6MB

Careful Attention Will Advance Us Progressively

"I am very glad to learn that you are doing spiritual activities very nicely and you are always alert to see whether you are committing some offense. This is a very nice attitude. In rendering service to Lord Krsna and His representative the Spiritual Master, we should always maintain this fearful attitude which means careful attention. This attitude will advance you progressively in Krishna Consciousness."

- Letter to Gopala Krishna - April 21, 1970

19/04/06

Bala Gopala's Daily Darsan

Categories: Bala Gopala's Darsan

durvāsāḥ kapilo bhaumaḥ
sindhu-sāgara-saṅgamaḥ
govindo gopatir gotraḥ
kālindī-prema-pūrakaḥ

He is is Durvāsā (durvāsā), Kapila (kapila), the ruler of the earth (bhauma), the holy place where the Gaṅgā meets the ocean (sindhu-sāgara-saṅgama), the Lord who pleases the cows, land, and senses (govinda), the master of the cows (gopati), the protector of the cows (gotra), and a flood of love flowing in the Yamunā (kālindī-prema-pūraka).

- Sri Gopala-sahasra-nama - Text 6

Gopala's Garden

Categories: Happenings

15/04/06

Bala Gopala's Daily Darsan

Categories: Bala Gopala's Darsan

gokulendro mahā-candraḥ
śarvarī priya-kārakaḥ
kamalā-mukha-lolākṣaḥ
puṇḍarīka-śubhāvahaḥ

He is the moon of Gokula (gokulendra), the great moon (mahā-candra), the night (śarvarī), charming (priya-kāraka), the Lord whose restless eyes glance at the goddess of fortune (kamalā-mukha-lolākṣa), and splendid like a blue lotus flower (puṇḍarīka-śubhāvaha).

- Sri Gopala-sahasra-nama - Text 5

11/04/06

ISKCON Health And Welfare Ministry

Categories: Happenings

Eleven years worth of the very valuable 'Hope This Meets You In Good Health' Newsletter (ISKCON Health and Welfare Ministry) are available for download here courtesy of HH Prahladananda Swami (editor):

http://www.prahladanandaswami.net/health

Gulab Kali Loved Gauranga

Categories: Happenings

by Vipramukhya dasa

Posted April 9, 2006

The picture shows Vipramukhya with Gulab Kali as a baby elephant in 1984.

Some say Gulab Kali had a special relationship with me. I don’t know. I do know that she recognized me every year when I visited Mayapur. She would become happy to see me, as she became happy to see all of the devotees. But somehow, over the years, she and I seemed to grow close.

I was first met Gulab in the early eighties, just as I was preparing to accept sannyasa in Mayapur. She was very fond of sannyasis, and especially Bhavananda. Gulab used to follow him around wherever he went. I thought that was pretty cool, and so I used to go and play with her, too. As with many devotees, she’d latch onto my hand and go for walks with me. People used to criticize me for spending too much time with the elephant, unbecoming, they said, of sannyasis. I didn’t see it that way. I saw her as a devotee in an elephant body, who loved to play with devotees.

I’d frequently spend an hour or so a day with her when she was just a baby. I didn’t really treat her as a elephant. I just treated her as a friend. I’d play games with her. Sometimes I’d hide behind a tree and jump out and say, “Gauranga!” She’d get so excited by this game, that she would roar. That was the first time I ever heard an elephant roar, but it would not be the last.

As years went by she seemed especially happy to see me whenever I’d visit Mayapur. Even though she was getting bigger every year, I’d still take her out alone within the ISKCON compound. Sometimes I’d take her up the road all the way to Lord Chaitanya’s birthplace and back. Sometimes I’d run ahead and hide behind a tree, or a rickshaw, and she’d get very excited trying to find me. Finally, I’d jump out and shout “Gauranga” and she’d roar.

I discovered she loved to follow me. If I’d walk with her out in a field, she’d follow behind as if she was a little puppy. If I walked in a figure 8, she’d follow right behind. Then I discovered that I could shout “Gauranga” from a long distance away, and she would hear me and respond with a loud roar that could be heard for miles.

Once I stood with Kaliyaphani Prabhu and other devotees from the United Kingdom some distance away from the elephant barn, looking at Gulab from afar. I shouted “Gauranga” loudly, and Gulab replied with a loud roar. Then others took their turn loudly shouting “Gauranga” but she did not reply. Then I would shout again, and she would roar again. We repeated this four or five times and each time she roared only when she heard my voice. It was amazing how she was able to identify my voice.

Once Gulab Kali followed a procession of devotees to the Ganga, all the while holding my hand with her trunk. When we reached the river I boarded a boat along with the other devotees and pushed off shore, leaving Gulab with the Mahut, the elephant trainer. This greatly agitated Gulab, and she began entering the Ganga trying to follow the boats, greatly distressing the Mahut. The only way that Gulab could be calmed down is when I jumped in the water, swam back to the shore, and let the devotees go without me. Gulab simply wanted to go wherever I was going, it seemed.

As she grew into her teens, I’d often walk over to the elephant barn to see Gulab in the early morning around sunrise, just after I performed my Salagram puja. At that time of morning, the Mahut and his family would be sleeping or just getting up. They knew me well enough, and trusted that I knew how to handle Gulab. I’d unchain her leg and take her out all by myself, borrowing the elephant goad just in case, though I think I never needed to use it.

Quite often I’d take Gulab out the front gate of ISKCON Mayapur and walk her up and down the road. Sometimes shop keepers would come forward and offer her treats, expressing surprise how the elephant followed dutifully behind me wherever I went. After sometime they all came to know me as “Hati Maharaja” (the elephant Swami). To play with her, I’d sometimes run and hide behind some of the shops, or the parked rickshaws, and she’d run here and there trying to find where I was hiding.

Once in awhile I’d ride on Gulab’s back, but mostly I’d walk with her just behind, or at my side.

Originally there were two ISKCON elephants, you know. Sundar Kali and Gulab Kali. Both elephants were female. Sundar Kali was a mature, older elephant. She was not Gulab’s mother, but Gulab looked to her as a mother. Sundar Kali’s job used to be to carry the temple deities during the weekly procession, and Gulab would follow behind, usually holding Bhavananda’s hand, and in later years, holding my hand.

After Sundar Kali passed away, Gulab inherited the sacred duty of carrying the deities during the weekly procession. Usually, during those processions, if I would be near the front of the parade, she’d reach out, grab my hand with her trunk, and walk the entire way holding my hand.

Four years have passed since I last played with Gulab Kali. I’m very sorry to learn that she passed away. I used to know exactly how old she was, but I’ve lost track. I’m sure someone will be able to say more authoritatively than I. I do know she was around 3 years old when she was acquired by ISKCON. I met her around 1982 when she was four. So that would put her age somewhere around 28 years old. That’s too young for an elephant to die. Elephant’s are like humans, and can live up to about 80 years old. She was just a young lady when she passed away. But she will be remembered by thousands of devotees all over the world, and she was surrounded by hundreds of loving friends at the time of her passing. She passed away in Mayapur, the holy land of Lord Chaitanya. Gulab Kali, therefore, is now forever blissful in the eternal land of Gauranga.

I pray that she will one day remember me once again.

Your fallen servant,
Vipramukhya dasa

08/04/06

Preaching Means To Take A Straw In The Mouth And Speak The Absolute Truth

As soon as you get some opportunity, preach. What is that preach? Preaching, Caitanya Mahāprabhu has advised us, yāre dekha tāre kaha kṛṣṇa-upadeśa [Cc. Madhya 7.128]. This is preaching. "Whoever you meet, simply speak of the instruction of Kṛṣṇa." So if you are advanced, if you know what is the instruction of Kṛṣṇa by reading Bhagavad-gītā, you can preach to others. And if you have not read anything, suppose you do not know anything, then you can also preach. What is that? "Just become a devotee of Kṛṣṇa, my dear sir." That’s all. This is also preaching. "Just surrender to Kṛṣṇa." You go door to door. If you cannot do anything, simply say, "My dear sir, you are very good man. Oh, you are very intelligent man. Chant Hare Kṛṣṇa." Sakalam eva vihāya dūrāt. This preaching was taught by Prabodhānanda Sarasvatī. Dante nidhāya tṛṇakaṁ padayor nipatya kāku-śataṁ kṛtvā ca ahaṁ bravīmi. This is the preaching process. Dante nidhāya tṛṇakam.

According to Vedic civilization, if one wants to become very humble and approach another person, then he has to take one straw in the mouth. Tṛṇa. So the preaching process is to take a straw in the mouth, dante nidhāya tṛṇakaṁ padayor nipatya, and falling down on your feet, dante nidhāya tṛṇakaṁ padayor, kāku-śataṁ kṛtvā ca ahaṁ bravīmi. And flattering you: "Sir, you are so great man, you are so intelligent man." This is flattering. Although he is fool number one, we have to flatter like that. "Oh, there is no greater man like you. You are so intelligent, you are so rich, you are so beautiful." So all these things. Just like the beggars. Sometimes: "You become king." And one thinks, "Oh, he is blessing me. All right, you take one paisa." So this flattering is also required. So kāku-śataṁ kṛtvā cāhaṁ bravīmi. So the man may ask that "Why you are so humble and flattering? What is your intention? Tell me." So he is now telling. He sādhavaḥ, "Oh, you are great sādhu." He sādhavaḥ, sakalam eva vihāya dūrāt: "You have learned so many nice things. I know that. But kick them out, please." Sakalam eva. "Whatever you have nonsense learned, rascaldom you have learned, please kick them out. This is my request." Sakalam eva vihāya dūrāt caitanya-candra-caraṇe kurutānurāgam. "Just hear what Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu says. This is my request." This is preaching. This is preaching. Flatter, fall down on his feet, and eulogize him as great sādhu, as great intelligent, great rich. Do so that he may little hear.

And when he says, "What do you want?" "Now, (laughter) I want this, sir. Whatever rascaldom you have learned, please forget. Because I know you are rascal number one. (laughter) You have got so many hodge-podge thing in your brain. So you kick them out please." Sakalam eva vihāya dūrāt. "Kick them, throw away, long distance. Don’t look upon them." "Then what to do?" Caitanya-candra-caraṇe kurutānurāgam. "Please hear what Caitanya-candra says." śrī-kṛṣṇa-caitanya-dayā karaha vicāra, vicāra karile citte pābe camatkāra: "Just try to understand the mercy of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and you will feel so sublime."

Śrī-kṛṣṇa-caitanya-dayā karaha vicāra. "Don’t take it blindly. If you are intelligent, just make a judgment, what Caitanya-candra is." Tell him.

So this is preaching. This is preaching. So Arjuna has to be a preacher. Practical preacher. What is that preaching? That he has to sacrifice everything for Kṛṣṇa’s sake. That’s all. This is preaching. Sakalam eva vihāya dūrāt. Arjuna will be the greatest example, how he became Kṛṣṇa conscious, in the last Tenth Chapter. He will say, sarvam etad ṛtaṁ manye yad vadasi keśava: [Bg. 10.14] "My dear Kṛṣṇa, Keśava, whatever you say, I accept in total." Without any interpretation.

- Lecture on Bhagavad-gītā 1.28-29 -- London, July 22, 1973

07/04/06

Bala Gopala's Daily Darsan

Categories: Bala Gopala's Darsan

Thank you, Hema Sundari Mataji for the donation for Gopala's bhoga offering today.

matsyo bhīmaḥ kuhu-bhartā
hartā varāha-mūrtimān
nārāyaṇo hṛṣīkeśo
govindo garuḍa-dhvajaḥ

He is the fish-incarnation (matsya), fearsome (bhīma), the master of the new-moon (kuhū-bhartā), He who takes away everything (hartā), the boar-incarnation (varāha-mūrtimān), the resting place of all living entities (nārāyaṇa), the master of the senses (hṛṣīkeśa), the Lord who pleases the cows, land, and senses (govinda), and the Lord whose flag is marked with the sign of Garuḍa (garuḍa-dhvaja).

- Sri Gopala-sahasra-nama - Text 4

06/04/06

Something To Always Remember

"One Krishna book sold means we go forward one step in our Krishna Consciousness. We should always remember this."

- Letter to Visnujana Maharaja : April 4, 1971

So in keeping with this request we are happy for you to download the entire Krishna Book by His Divine Grace AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. This is summary of the 10th Canto of Srimad Bhagavatam:

[PDF format] - 2.85MB

[MS WORD format] - 648KB

[Balaram font] - 97KB - (For viewing MS WORD format)

You just need to unzip them and install the font if you are using the MS WORD version.

05/04/06

Keep Your Job. It's Better Than Sannyasa.

"So far as your working engagement is concerned, certainly you are not a karmi. Any person whose constant occupation is Krishna Consciousness, he is not a karmi; he is a devotee in all circumstances. So you should accept the best source of monetary income and use it for Krishna. And that is better than sannyasa. So stick to your job and use it for Krishna Consciousness."

- Letter to Gopala Krishna: April 4, 1971

04/04/06

Training By Higher Intelligence Gradually Brings Us To Spiritual Life

Categories: Readings, Sastra

"One may not give up work and prescribed duties all of a sudden; but by gradually developing Krishna consciousness, one can be situated in a transcendental position without being influenced by the material senses and the mind — by steady intelligence directed toward one's pure identity. This is the sum total of this chapter. In the immature stage of material existence, philosophical speculations and artificial attempts to control the senses by the so-called practice of yogic postures can never help a man toward spiritual life. He must be trained in Krishna consciousness by higher intelligence."

- Bhagavad Gita As It Is : 3.43 Purport

How To Purify All The Worlds

Categories: Sastra

kṛṣṇa-caitanya-nāmnā ye kīrtayanti sakṛn narāḥ
nānāparādha-muktās te punanti sakalaṁ jagat

“Those who chant the name of Krishna Chaitanya or Gauranga even once become free from all offenses and purify all the worlds by their very presence.”

- from the Viṣṇu Yāmala

The Deliverance of Pauṇḍraka and the King of Kāśī

Here's a short story revealing how our sweet little Gopala deals with those who try to imitate Him.

from CHAPTER SIXTY-SIX of Krishna Book by His Divine Grace AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (you can download the whole book by clicking the link above. You might need to install this font though.)

The story of King Pauṇḍraka is very interesting because it proves that there have always been many rascals and fools who have considered themselves God. Even in the presence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, there was such a foolish person. His name was Pauṇḍraka, and he wanted to declare himself God. While Lord Balarāma was absent in Vṛndāvana, this King Pauṇḍraka, the King of the Karūṣa province, being foolish and puffed up, sent a messenger to Lord Kṛṣṇa. Lord Kṛṣṇa is accepted as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but King Pauṇḍraka directly challenged Kṛṣṇa through the messenger, who stated that Pauṇḍraka, not Kṛṣṇa, was Vāsudeva. In the present day there are many foolish followers of such rascals. Similarly, in Pauṇḍraka’s day, many foolish men accepted Pauṇḍraka as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Because he could not estimate his own position, Pauṇḍraka falsely thought himself to be Lord Vāsudeva. Thus the messenger declared to Kṛṣṇa that King Pauṇḍraka, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, had descended on the earth out of his causeless mercy just to deliver all distressed persons.

Surrounded by many other foolish persons, this rascal Pauṇḍraka had actually concluded that he was Vāsudeva, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This kind of conclusion is certainly childish. When children are playing, they sometimes create a king amongst themselves, and the child selected thinks that he is the king. Similarly, many foolish persons, due to ignorance, select another fool as God, and then the rascal considers himself God, as if God could be created by childish play or by the votes of men. Under this false impression, thinking himself the Supreme Lord, Pauṇḍraka sent his messenger to Dvārakā to challenge the position of Kṛṣṇa. The messenger reached the royal assembly of Kṛṣṇa in Dvārakā and conveyed the message given by his master, Pauṇḍraka. The message contained the following statements.

“I am the only Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vāsudeva. No man can compete with me. I have descended as King Pauṇḍraka, taking compassion on the distressed conditioned souls out of my unlimited causeless mercy. You have falsely taken the position of Vāsudeva without authority, but You should not propagate this false idea. You must give up Your position. O descendant of the Yadu dynasty, please give up all the symbols of Vāsudeva, which You have falsely assumed. And after giving up this position, come and surrender unto me. If out of Your gross impudence You do not care for my words, then I challenge You to fight. I am inviting You to a battle in which the decision will be settled.”

When all the members of the royal assembly, including King Ugrasena, heard this message sent by Pauṇḍraka, they laughed very loudly for a considerable time. After enjoying the loud laughter of all the members of the assembly, Kṛṣṇa replied to the messenger as follows: “O messenger of Pauṇḍraka, you may carry My message to your master: “You are a foolish rascal. I directly call you a rascal, and I refuse to follow your instructions. I shall never give up the symbols of Vāsudeva, especially My disc. I shall use this disc to kill not only you but all your followers also. I shall destroy you and your foolish associates, who merely constitute a society of cheaters and the cheated. O foolish King, you will then have to conceal your face in disgrace, and when your head is severed from your body by My disc, it will be surrounded by meat-eating birds like vultures, hawks and eagles. At that time, instead of becoming My shelter, as you have demanded, you will be subject to the mercy of these lowborn birds. At that time your body will be thrown to the dogs, who will eat it with great pleasure.’ ”

The messenger carried the words of Lord Kṛṣṇa to his master, Pauṇḍraka, who patiently heard all these insults. Without waiting any longer, Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa immediately started out on His chariot to punish the rascal Pauṇḍraka, the King of Karūṣa. Because at that time he was living with his friend the King of Kāśī, Kṛṣṇa surrounded the whole city of Kāśī.

King Pauṇḍraka was a great warrior, and as soon as he heard of Kṛṣṇa’s attack, he came out of the city with two akṣauhiṇī divisions of soldiers. The King of Kāśī also came out, with three akṣauhiṇī divisions. When the two kings came before Lord Kṛṣṇa to oppose Him, Kṛṣṇa saw Pauṇḍraka face to face for the first time. Kṛṣṇa saw that Pauṇḍraka had decorated himself with the symbols of the conchshell, disc, lotus and club. He carried an imitation Śārṅga bow, and on his chest was a mock insignia of Śrīvatsa. His neck was decorated with a false Kaustubha jewel, and he wore a flower garland in exact imitation of Lord Vāsudeva’s. He was dressed in yellow silken garments, and the flag on his chariot carried the symbol of Garuḍa, exactly imitating Kṛṣṇa’s. He had a very valuable helmet on his head, and his earrings, like swordfish, glittered brilliantly. On the whole, however, his dress and makeup were clearly imitation. Anyone could understand that he was just like someone onstage playing the part of Vāsudeva in false dress. When Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa saw Pauṇḍraka imitating His posture and dress, He could not check His laughter, and thus He laughed with great satisfaction.

The soldiers on the side of King Pauṇḍraka began to shower their weapons upon Kṛṣṇa. The weapons, including various kinds of tridents, clubs, poles, lances, swords, daggers and arrows, came flying in waves, and Kṛṣṇa counteracted them. He smashed not only the weapons but also the soldiers and assistants of Pauṇḍraka, just as during the dissolution of this universe the fire of devastation burns everything to ashes. The elephants, chariots, horses and infantry belonging to the opposite party were scattered by the weapons of Kṛṣṇa. Indeed, the whole battlefield became scattered with smashed chariots and the bodies of men and animals. There were fallen horses, elephants, men, asses and camels. Although the devastated battlefield appeared like the dancing place of Lord Śiva at the time of the dissolution of the world, the warriors on the side of Kṛṣṇa were very much encouraged by seeing this, and they fought with greater strength.

At this time, Lord Kṛṣṇa told Pauṇḍraka, “Pauṇḍraka, you requested Me to give up the symbols of Lord Viṣṇu, specifically My disc. Now I will give it up to you. Be careful! You falsely declare yourself Vāsudeva, imitating Me. Therefore no one is a greater fool than you.” From this statement of Kṛṣṇa’s it is clear that any rascal who advertises himself as God is the greatest fool in human society. Kṛṣṇa continued, “Now, Pauṇḍraka, I shall force you to give up this false representation. You wanted Me to surrender unto you. Now this is your opportunity. We shall now fight, and if I am defeated and you are victorious, I shall certainly surrender unto you.” In this way, after chastising Pauṇḍraka very severely, He smashed Pauṇḍraka’s chariot to pieces by shooting an arrow. With the help of His disc He separated Pauṇḍraka’s head from his body, just as Indra shaves off the peaks of mountains by striking them with his thunderbolt. Similarly, He also killed the King of Kāśī with His arrows. Lord Kṛṣṇa specifically arranged to throw the head of the King of Kāśī into the city of Kāśī itself so that his relatives and family members could see it. Kṛṣṇa did this just as a hurricane carries a lotus petal here and there. Lord Kṛṣṇa killed Pauṇḍraka and his friend Kāśīrāja on the battlefield, and then He returned to His capital city, Dvārakā.

When Lord Kṛṣṇa returned to the city of Dvārakā, all the Siddhas from the heavenly planets were singing the glories of the Lord. As far as Pauṇḍraka was concerned, somehow or other he always thought of Lord Vāsudeva by falsely dressing himself in that way, and therefore Pauṇḍraka achieved sārūpya, one of the five kinds of liberation, and was thus promoted to the Vaikuṇṭha planets, where the devotees have the same bodily features as Viṣṇu, with four hands holding the four symbols. Factually, his meditation was concentrated on the Viṣṇu form, but because he thought himself Lord Viṣṇu, it was offensive. By his being killed by Kṛṣṇa, however, that offense was mitigated. Thus he was given sārūpya liberation, and he attained the same form as the Lord.

When the head of the King of Kāśī was thrown through the city gate, people gathered and were astonished to see that wonderful thing. When they found out that there were earrings on it, they could understand that it was someone’s head. They conjectured as to whose head it might be. Some thought it was Kṛṣṇa’s head because Kṛṣṇa was the enemy of Kāśīrāja, and they calculated that the King of Kāśī might have thrown Kṛṣṇa’s head into the city so that the people might take pleasure in the enemy’s having been killed. But they finally detected that the head was not Kṛṣṇa’s but that of Kāśīrāja himself. When this was ascertained, the queens of the King of Kāśī immediately approached and began to lament the death of their husband. “Our dear lord,” they cried, “upon your death, we have become just like dead bodies.”

The King of Kāśī had a son whose name was Sudakṣiṇa. After observing the ritualistic funeral ceremonies, he took a vow that since Kṛṣṇa was the enemy of his father, he would kill Kṛṣṇa and in this way liquidate his debt to his father. Therefore, accompanied by a learned priest qualified to help him, he began to worship Mahādeva, Lord Śiva. The lord of the kingdom of Kāśī is Viśvanātha (Lord Śiva). The temple of Lord Viśvanātha is still existing in Vārāṇasī, and many thousands of pilgrims still gather daily in that temple. By the worship of Sudakṣiṇa, Lord Śiva was very much pleased, and he wanted to give a benediction to his devotee. Sudakṣiṇa’s purpose was to kill Kṛṣṇa, and therefore he prayed for a specific power by which to kill Him. Lord Śiva advised that Sudakṣiṇa, assisted by the brāhmaṇas, execute the ritualistic ceremony for killing one’s enemy. This ceremony is also mentioned in some of the tantras. Lord Śiva informed Sudakṣiṇa that if such a black ritualistic ceremony were performed properly, then the evil spirit named Dakṣiṇāgni would appear to carry out any order given to him. He would have to be employed, however, to kill someone other than a qualified brāhmaṇa. In such a case he would be accompanied by Lord Śiva’s ghostly companions, and the desire of Sudakṣiṇa to kill his enemy would be fulfilled.

When Sudakṣiṇa was encouraged by Lord Śiva in that way, he was sure that he would be able to kill Kṛṣṇa. With a determined vow of austerity, he began to execute the black art of chanting mantras, assisted by the priests. After this, out of the fire came a great demoniac form, whose hair, beard and mustache were exactly the color of hot copper. This form was very big and fierce. As the demon arose from the fire, cinders of fire emanated from the sockets of his eyes. The giant fiery demon appeared still more fierce due to the movements of his eyebrows. He exhibited long, sharp teeth and, sticking out his long tongue, licked his upper and lower lips. He was naked, and he carried a big trident, blazing like fire. After appearing from the fire of sacrifice, he stood wielding the trident in his hand. Instigated by Sudakṣiṇa, the demon proceeded toward the capital city, Dvārakā, with many hundreds of ghostly companions, and it appeared that he was going to burn all outer space to ashes. The surface of the earth trembled because of his striking steps. When he entered the city of Dvārakā, all the residents panicked, just like animals in a forest fire.

At that time, Kṛṣṇa was playing chess in the royal assembly council hall. All the residents of Dvārakā approached and addressed Him, “Dear Lord of the three worlds, a great fiery demon is ready to burn the whole city of Dvārakā! Please save us!” In this way all the inhabitants of Dvārakā appealed to Lord Kṛṣṇa for protection from the fiery demon who had just appeared in Dvārakā to devastate the whole city.

Lord Kṛṣṇa, who specifically protects His devotees, saw that the whole population of Dvārakā was most perturbed by the presence of the great fiery demon. He immediately smiled and assured them, “Don’t worry. I shall give you all protection.” The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, is all-pervading. He is within everyone’s heart, and He is also without, in the form of the cosmic manifestation. He could understand that the fiery demon was a creation of Lord Śiva, and in order to vanquish him He took His Sudarśana cakra and ordered him to take the necessary steps. The Sudarśana cakra appeared with the effulgence of millions of suns, his heat being as powerful as the fire created at the end of the cosmic manifestation. By his effulgence the Sudarśana cakra illuminated the entire universe, on the surface of the earth as well as in outer space. Then the Sudarśana cakra began to freeze the fiery demon created by Lord Śiva. In this way, the fiery demon was checked by the Sudarśana cakra of Lord Kṛṣṇa, and, being defeated in his attempt to devastate the city of Dvārakā, he turned back.

Having failed to set fire to Dvārakā, the fiery demon went back to Vārāṇasī, the kingdom of Kāśīrāja. As a result of his return, all the priests who had helped instruct the black art of mantras, along with their employer, Sudakṣiṇa, were burned to ashes by the glaring effulgence of the fiery demon. According to the methods of black art mantras instructed in the tantras, if the mantra fails to kill the enemy, then, because it must kill someone, it kills the original creator. Sudakṣiṇa was the originator, and the priests assisted him; therefore all of them were burned to ashes. This is the way of the demons: the demons create something to kill God, but by the same weapon the demons themselves are killed.

Following just behind the fiery demon, the Sudarśana cakra also entered Vārāṇasī. This city had been very opulent and great for a very long time. Even now, the city of Vārāṇasī is opulent and famous, and it is one of the important cities of India. There were then many big palaces, assembly houses, marketplaces and gates, with large and very important monuments by the palaces and gates. Lecturing platforms could be found at each and every crossroads. There were buildings that housed the treasury, elephants, horses, chariots and grain, and places for distribution of food. The city of Vārāṇasī had been filled with all these material opulences for a very long time, but because the King of Kāśī and his son Sudakṣiṇa were against Lord Kṛṣṇa, the viṣṇu-cakra Sudarśana (the disc weapon of Lord Kṛṣṇa) devastated the whole city by burning all these important places. This excursion was more ravaging than modern bombing. The Sudarśana cakra, having thus finished his duty, came back to his Lord, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, at Dvārakā.

This narration of the devastation of Vārāṇasī by Kṛṣṇa’s disc weapon, the Sudarśana cakra, is transcendental and auspicious. Anyone who narrates or hears this story with faith and attention will be released from all reaction to sinful activities. This is the assurance of Śukadeva Gosvāmī, who narrated this story to Parīkṣit Mahārāja.

Thus ends the Bhaktivedanta purport of the Sixty-sixth Chapter of Kṛṣṇa, “The Deliverance of Pauṇḍraka and the King of Kāśī.”

Jaya Gopala! (In a much different mood from what we are used to here! But you gotta love him, eh?)

Competition, Disagreement and Even Dissension Are In Krishna Loka

"In the spiritual world there is also competition, but the center is always Krishna. In the material world there is competition, but the center is sense gratification. That is the difference. So competition, disagreement, or even dissension, if they are there, and the center is Krishna, such disagreement is not material. Even in Krishna Loka, there are rival parties of Srimati Radharani whose name is Candrabali, and there is competition between the two parties how to serve Krishna the best."

- Letter to Krishna das: April 3, 1969

03/04/06

Chant Gauranga's Name!

Categories: Sastra

gaura ye viśāla nāma sei nāma gāu
anya saba nāma-māhatmya sei nāme pāu

“The most powerful name of God is the name of the most merciful incarnation of God known as Gauranga. The glories and power of all the other names of Vishnu Tattvas, gods, demigods, goddesses are completely present in the Name of Lord Gauranga and thus His Holy Name should be constantly chanted and sung with happiness."

- Prema-vivarta Chapter 4: by Jagadananda Pandita

The Meatrix

Categories: Happenings

Here's part two in the saga:

http://www.themeatrix2.com/

also part one if you've never heard of this:

http://www.themeatrix.com/index.html

02/04/06

How To Worship Lord Gaurāṅga

Categories: Sastra

... nice quote from www.iskcon.net.au ...

yadi bhajibe gorā sarala kara nija mana
kuṭināṭi chāḍi' bhaja gorāra caraṇa

gorāra āmi, gorāra āmi,
mukhe balile nāhe cale

gorāra ācāra, gorāra vicāra,
la-ile phala phale

If you desire to worship Lord Gaurāṅga, make your mind simple and straightforward. Giving up duplicity, worship the lotus feet of Lord Gaurāṅga. Merely saying "I am Gaura's, I am Gaura's" will not do. Following the example of His action and sentiment will bear fruit.

- PREMA VIVARTA by JAGADANANDA PANDITA

Gulab Kali (The Mayapur Elephant) Goes Back To Godhead

Categories: News

With great sadness we'd like to inform our readers that Gulab Kali, the Mayapur elephant, went Back To Krishna at around six pm last night (April 1st).

Gulab Kali was/is a wonderful devotee of Sri Sri Radha Madhava. One of her services was to take the deities on procession on a regular basis. She would also attend other ceremonies and functions. She also would remember people she hadn't seen in ages (especially if they'd given her any sort of yummy prasad like sugar cane or bananas.)

Here's a photo of her in her glory (by Bhurijana Prabhu):

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