Puja at New Vrindaban
Posted November 18, 2002
I went to the temple at
New Vrindaban for Govardhan Puja and was
so impressed by the display they put up
that I wanted to share it with all the
Prabhupada Ki Jaya!
Srila Prabhupada, ISKCON Los Angeles
Please accept my obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
I would like to invite all Vaisnavas to visit our small preaching center in Blacksburg, in southwest Virginia. We have recently decided to move our weekly meeting day to Saturdays (instead of Tuesdays), hoping that the weekends are more convenient for you to come and visit us.
The Gita Club is a student club at
Virginia Tech that conducts weekly
devotional gatherings in the spirit of
the Bhagavad-gita, and which are
based on the teachings of His Divine
Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
Prabhupada. Sometimes we have a regular
lecture, sometimes we have a movie
night, and sometimes we have both a
lecture and a movie. Our meeting
schedule, including topics, is available
First Mediation Training Course
The first ISKCON ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution) mediator’s training course was recently completed in Towaco, New Jersey. (The next course will be in late December in Radhadesh, Belgium—see below). The course was taught by Krsnalila-devi dasi, a seasoned mediator and mediation instructor for the New York City Board of Education. She was assisted by her colleague Dan Goodman, another expert in the field of mediation.
Students completed a forty-hour seminar—beyond the hours required by most states for a standard professional mediation course. The seminar covered the spectrum of skills needed to be a successful mediator. It also provided ample opportunities for participants to practice those skills in role-plays and mock mediations. Beyond that, participants learned of the essential mindset a mediator should adopt to be effective.
Sri Nathaji, ISKCON New Vrindaban
for India’s Prime Minister
On the 2nd of September, the day after Nandotsava and Srila Prabhupada's Vyasa Puja, devotees from Sri Sri Krishna Balaram Mandir in Vrindavan gave Chappan Bhog Janmastami Prasada to the Honorable Prime Minister, the Honorable Deputy Prime Minister, the Honorable President, and the Honorable Vice President of India.
Sarvabhauma Prabhu, co-director of Indian Communications, along with Rupa Raghunatha, director of Vrindavan Food for Life, presented the Indian Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee, with a specially designed metal container with five kilos of Vrindavan Janmastami Prasad with Tulasi on top. This meeting was organized by Sri Col. R. C. Ravat, the secretary of the Sri Sri Krishna Balaram Committee, an advisory committee, formed by co-president Devakinandan Prabhu, of prominent well-wishers among local industrialists and professionals.
from Puerto Rico
Hare Krishna! All Glories to Srila Prabhupada!
My name is Nandini devi dasi, and I want you to know that much is happening here in New Govardhan Hill, in the beautiful mountains here in Puerto Rico.
About three years ago, Vakreshavara Pandit prabhu returned to his eternal service to his spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, serving once again in the Puerto Rico yatra. Upon his return, the temple property was in shambles. Overgrown, the land had been unkept for years. The temple itself had also been neglected, and the devotees here, though very sincere, could barely maintain the deities.
in the Philippines
Every year around the beginning of August, devotees from all over the Philippines come together for a weekend festival of hearing, chanting, and associating. The event also coincides with the Vyasa Puja celebration of His Holiness Giridhari Swami.
This year, for the first time, the event was held outside one of our temples in a resort about one and a half hour's drive from Manila. Nearly 100 devotees attended, 10 of them coming from Hong Kong. Fifteen devotees took first initiation and four couples were married (please see photos)
(This list captures the spirit of Bhakti Tirtha Swami’s preaching in whatever part of the world His Holiness visits these days.)
1. He was a presenter at a conference in Odessa, Ukraine, in the auditorium of the old KGB headquarters, for scientists who are interested in metaphysics as a way to address the problems in society. The scientists were from different countries in CIS. His books were also featured.
2. Gave a seminar at the Moscow Academy of Business on "Leadership for a new era."
C.A.R.E., Inc., Newsletter
ISKCON Philadelphia Hosts Hospice Seminar
On August 10, 2002, Sangita devi dasi, RN, Certified Hospice Educator, led a seminar/workshop entitled, "Hospice Care for the Departing Vaisnava" at the ISKCON Philadelphia temple. Eighteen devotees participated from Pennsylvania, California, and Idaho as well as England. Guest speakers included, Sachi Pattinson, MA, Crisis Therapist, and Shradhdha Patel, RN, BSN Supervisor at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
This past spring, during the Memorial Day Weekend, a wonderful course took place here in New York City's Brooklyn Temple. It was appropriately titled "Personal Transformation/Life Skills Workshop" and was given by Dhira Govinda prabhu with the assistance of Malini dasi and Kaunteya prabhu. Kaunteya prabhu came all the way from India to help with the course.
Twenty people signed up and attended the workshop. It had a mixture of devotees and non-devotees from all walks of life. Professionals, non-professionals, a full time devotee, housewives, friends of devotees, young and old, etc.
Francisco Ratha Yatra 2002
Tears of joy and chills of amazement overcame me as I stood in the midst of the Festival of India in Golden Gate Park. How could a festival of such ecstatic grandeur be the result of one individual? This festival is proof that His Divine Grace AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada is indeed Jagad Guru, as he single-handedly created a spiritual family of epic proportions. No matter what Vaisnava group one is following these days, we were all celebrating together at San Francisco Ratha Yatra only because of Srila Prabhupada's unlimited mercy on the world.
By the strong desire of Srila Prabhupada and the predecessor acaryas, along with the blessings and good wishes of gurus and Vaisnavas, the Rathayatra festival was inaugurated in Niles, Michigan, on Saturday, September 28, 2002.
Taking part in the yearly Apple Festival parade, Lord Jagannatha, the master of the Universe, along with His powerful brother Balabhadra, and between Them, Their beautiful sister Subhadra, seated on Their chariot, blessed the fortunate residents of Niles with Their merciful glances, to the resounding vibration of the Holy Names.
At the recent Janmastami celebration a month and a half ago, Rupanuga Vedic College was blessed by the stunning presence of Sri Sri Gaura-Nitai in Their arca vigraha [Deity] forms (see photo). A finely crafted, marble altar was assembled by the students and congregation in preparation for the installation, and the temple room underwent a dramatic transformation (see photo). All welcomed the Deities amid the Janmastami festivities with the ceremonial fire sacrifice followed by bathing. Later during the midnight arati, They were unveiled on Their new altar.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Sri Sri Gaura-Nitai!
The first urban ISKCON Rathayatra in Yugoslavia was held in Subotica on 28 September 2002. The Rathayatra festival was attended by His Holiness Jayapataka Swami Maharaja and around thirty devotees from Serbia, Bosnia, Macedonia, Italy, and Hungary and had been organized with pioneering efforts by Ivesvara das and devotees from Serbia. The festivities started at 1:00 p.m. The chariot with Their Lordships Jagannath, Baladeva, and Subhadra started from the city hall and proceeded to the main pedestrian zone in the city center, moving around the big fountain.
His Holiness Jayapataka Swami Maharaja was leading kirtans, and devotees were distributing the Holy Name, maha prasadam, Srila Prabhupada’s books, and invitations to a public program to be held later indoors.
Enjoy your web site quite a lot. Do you happen to know of a site with the lyrics to the "Temple Album"? I have looked around but haven't had any luck. Thank you.
Nitai Pada Kamala Boat
"The boat party must continue preaching" — Srila Prabhupada, letter 7 December 1976
An Appeal for Financial Support to Revive the Nitai Pada Kamala Boat Preaching in Mayapura
In the 1970s the Nitai Pada Kamala made many trips out of Mayapura to villages along the Ganges bank. Some voyages went as far as the islands in the Bay of Bengal. On several occasions Srila Prabhupada personally traveled on the boat.
Over 15 years ago, the craft was stolen and the program abruptly came to a close. After a long court battle, the boat was finally recovered in a pitiable condition and has since been lying near the Ganges in disrepair.
Recently in Kansas City, the Rupanuga Vedic College (RVC) has shifted its purchase of white sugar to beet sugar. It was quite simple. We contacted our local supplier and indicated we wanted exclusively beet sugar. The two major types of refined sugar produced in the United States are cane sugar and beet sugar. Most cane sugar uses a filtering agent made from cow bones whereas beet sugar does not.
Beet sugar refineries never use a bone char filter in processing because this type of sugar does not require an extensive decolorizing procedure. Beet sugar can be refined with a pressure lead filter and an ion exchange system. Western Sugar Co. uses lime as a filter.
On September 11, 2002, His Grace Ravindra Svarupa Dasa took part in a special Interfaith Service of Remembrance at the Washington National Cathedral. As a national leader in ISKCON, Ravindra Svarupa Prabhu was invited to participate in the one-and-a-half-hour-long program as the representative of the Hindu tradition. The ceremony, which featured other prominent speakers, most notably Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa, commemorated the first anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
In the service, the opening hymn, "O God, Our Help in Ages Past," was followed by readings from the holy writings of world faiths. The five readings— from Hindu, Jewish, Buddhist, Muslim, and Christian traditions— were initiated by Ravindra Svarupa Prabhu, who offered the following verse in Sanskrit, then in English:
Floods in Prague
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
Please change the bank account number to CSOB 179584308/0300.
This is a new account that we have opened for donations.
[See "Floods in Prague" Chakra September 12, 2002.The article has been corrected.]
Radhastami 2002, Dallas, Texas
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!
I would like to inform you about floods in our Govinda's restaurants in Prague (Czech Republic). We have two Govinda's in Prague and both of them were flooded and almost destroyed. Now we are trying to clean and repair everything. You can see from the pictures how our Govinda's looked before the floods and how it looks now. You can also see more pictures on: http://sweb.cz/soukenicka
Please, give us your mercy and blessings so we may overcome these difficulties in spreading the sankirtana mission through prasadam distribution.
On the 17th August 2002, Malaga city in Spain was fortunate to witness the Ratha-yatra festival.
We had the good fortune to be present and witness His Holiness Bhakti Caru Swami Maharaja and His Holiness Chandra Mauli Swami Maharaja dance and sing in bliss before Their Lordships, Sri Jagannath, Sri Baladeva, and Sri Subhadra.
The kirtan was fast and high spirited, appropriate for the hot mid-August weather, nearly 40 degrees C.
The festival started in the Port of Malaga and with the breaking of the coconuts the fun began. Their Lordships allowed us to pull Them with ease throughout the packed streets of one of Europe’s most popular holiday resorts.
India Returns to Dwaraka
Padayatra India started on Radhastami
1984 from Dwaraka. To celebrate the
500th anniversary of Sri Caitanya
Mahaprabhu, devotees walked from Dwaraka
to Mayapur. After reaching Mayapur in
1986, they decided to keep on walking
and returned to Dwaraka in 1988. From
there the walking continued with a new
circle around India. By Janmastami 2002,
they will have completed the fourth
circle and returned Dwaraka.
of Nepal Receives
A nice experience for us was the opportunity to meet Their Majesties Gyanendra Bir Vikram Shah Dev and Queen Komal Raj Lakshmi Shah Devi, the King and Queen of Nepal, during a reception in Calcutta while they were on an official visit to India last June 27.
I didn't want to go there without offering some present to the king, and I thought the best thing would be a Bhagavad Gita in Hindi written by Srila Prabhupada. There were restrictions for security reasons, and the consul told me by phone that it might be impossible, but I prayed to the Lord to allow us this, and I took a new Bhagavad-Gita in Hindi with me and went to the reception.
Please accept my most humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
We have the great pleasure to share with you a brief story and a lot of pics about the Calcutta Rathayatra Festival held by ISKCON Calcutta and Mayapur on the 12th of July with a one week program in tha Maidan area with Pandal programs including, apart from the temple, a place for Yajna, a book and prasadam distribution stall, life members center and halls, VIP halls, exhibitions, a stage for cultural program, and a japa meditation hall.
The Calcutta Rathayatra was attended by Their Holinesses Jayapataka Swami and Bhakti Caru Swami, and co-organized by HH Bhakti Purusottama Swami and Dayaram das with the help of all the devotees from Mayapur (we also have Rathayatra in Mayapur apart from Calcutta, and we will share the pics later when we get them).
The Vedic Theatre Company in
conjunction with the Gorilla Theatre is
proud to announce the premiere of this
powerful adaptation in Kansas City,
Missouri, in the spring of 2003. After
almost three years of endeavor, it is
the first time to our knowledge that a
so-called non-devotional theater company
is producing a devotional play. Opening
night to benefit Rupanuga Vedic College.
Those desiring to be on our mailing list
for future updates may contact us
through our website:
[Complete on this page]
of Divine Love
What a gift His Divine Grace AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada has given us! This gift of Hari Nam Sankirtan never fails to induce the highest nectarean pleasures that simply cannot be attained in materialistic activities. Thanks to Lord Caitanya's mercy on the world, miracles are now common. Through Hari Nam Sankirtan, an American Independence Day celebration turned into a haven of transcendental bliss.
Berkeley's Hare Krishna Youth and members of New Jagannatha Puri's congregation headed out to the Berkeley Marina where the annual Independence Day fireworks occur. We had one goal in mind: to please Srila Prabhupada by giving Krishna to the hundreds of souls. Trivikrama Swami began a joyful kirtan on University Avenue. Soon, the party grew to about thirty, and we proceeded onward.
In a message sent on 21st June, Tony Blair, the Prime Minister of Britain, praised the London Rathayatra as an important event that enhances the multi-cultural diversity of British society. The Prime Minister's message is a clear signal that ISKCON and Vaisnava culture are being widely accepted by the British establishment.
The text of the message is as follows:
1O DOWNING STREET LONDON SW1A 2AA
THE PRIME MINISTER
I am delighted to send my very best wishes to all those attending the 33rd Annual Carnival of Chariots in London. I know that Hindus from all over Britain will participate in the Carnival which in fact is the largest Hindu procession outside India.
I am proud to be the Prime Minister of a country of many cultures and many faiths. I strongly believe that having a diversity of backgrounds and experiences is one of Britain’s great strengths.
Events like yours help us to celebrate and enjoy this diversity and I wish you all the very best for a successful and enjoyable event.
There Is Another Choice
I would like to write in response to the recent suicide in Potomac. I am not writing as a sympathetic bystander devotee, as any type of authority, or as anybody in any position. I would like to write that there was a time in my devotional life where suicide was, or appeared to be, the only loving choice I could make.
For other devotees that may consider terminating their material bodies now or in the future, it does not have to happen. There are devotees out here that care, that have been there, that can and will listen. Today I am still embodied (obviously) and have a life that is full of joy and happiness. My life appears to some devotees as a fallen condition, entangled in maya and doomed for hell. But it is my life not theirs to even consider. This joy and happiness is derived from opportunities that would have been missed, opportunities to purify my life and perform devotional service according to my nature and level of advancement. Today I would never trade one moment of what I have now for what I had then.
Prabhupada Attends Saranagati Rathayatra
June 29, 2002 – As the large luxurious passenger bus left the Vancouver temple parking lot embarking on its four-hour journey to the annual Saranagati Farm Rathayatra in the interior of beautiful British Columbia, Canada, the weather seemed questionable
Srila Prabhupada would leave from the Vancouver temple a little later accompanied by HH Vipramukhya Swami, HG Bhava prabhu, and my humble self, Jaya Govinda das, in a brand-new Lincoln town car, which we had acquired especially for the occasion.
Contact Person: Trikalajna Das (301) 299-7205, Sri.Trikalajna.MG@pamho.net
On Saturday, June 29th evening, Dragon Bilbija (Damodar das – spiritual ordained name) committed suicide in the woods in Potomac, Maryland. We were informed by the police about this in the evening at around 9:30 pm.
Bilbija, a young man aged 23, had been in Potomac since July 2001, offering religious voluntary services to the Krishna temple. He was planning to leave for his native country, Serbia, early July.
Damodar was initiated by Krishna Kshetra Prabhu. He was a very active member of the community who was liked by all the Temple devotees as well as the community members. Being a service-oriented person he was engaged in cooking and serving Prasadam as well as keeping up with other preaching activities, especially the Harinams and Namahatta programs.
Alachua, 15-16 June 2002 – Representatives of several ministries of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness got together for a two-day meeting to chalk out a common vision and strategy. ISKCON ministers act as educators and consultants in their fields, and they work to improve the quality of life of devotees and the effectiveness of the mission by sharing relevant values, information, and techniques. In Alachua the atmosphere was relaxed and the mood, highly cooperative.
For the Ministry of Communication - Anuttama and Merudevi Prabhus
For the Congregational Development Ministry - Jayapataka Maharaja and Kaunteya das
For the Ministry of Cow Protection and Agriculture - Chaya and Laksmi Prabhus.
For the Ministry of Educational Development - Sesa Prabhu
For the Youth Ministry - Manu Prabhu
For the Child Protection Office - Dhira Govinda Prabhu
Not far from 94 Bowery, Srila Prabhupada’s first official place of residence on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, lies one of the premiere prasadam distribution outlets in America, known as the Doughnut Plant.
Mark Isreal, its founder, has been practicing Krishna consciousness since 1990. He began making doughnuts in the basement kitchen of his apartment building using a recipe first introduced by his grandfather in his North Carolina bakery back in the 1930s.
Mark spent five years perfecting his doughnuts and glazes, attracting some of New York’s most prestigious fine food establishments like Zabar’s and Dean and DeLuca’s as steady customers.
While struggling in a humble way, Mark became a familiar sight around town making deliveries all over the city by bicycle. New Yorkers found his dedication unparalleled.
During the most auspicious occasion of Janmastami 2001, we conducted a Siksa Level program as per the GBC guidelines in our Sri Panca Tattva Bhakti Vriksha of Sri Narasingadesh (Singapore). A total of 19 devotees committed to chant a specific number of malas (rounds) of the Hare Krishna Maha Mantra every day. Our target was to double the chanting members in a year's time, that is, by Janmastami 2002, again as per GBC guidelines.
By the mercy of Vaisnavas, Guru, and Krishna on the most auspicious occasion of Sri Rama Navami 2002, even before the target date of Janmastami 2002, we conducted the second siksa ceremony, and 50 devotees committed to chant a specific number of malas of the Hare Krishna Maha Mantra everyday. We are devotionally happy to share this most auspicious news with all the devotees: that we could achieve the target well in time. Thanks to our chanting members who preached and introduced at least one more member to the Bhakti Vriksha Programs.
New Vrndaban Festival:
A gathering of devotees is always an auspicious event. In the flower-bearing spring, nestled in the rolling hills of West Virginia, the New Vrndaban festival was more than glorious.
His Holiness Radhanath Swami was the perfect host as he generously shared himself with all comers. Baradraja prabhu, the famous ISKCON artist, led swooning kirtans and tear-jerking mangal arotiks much as he had done in the early years on Henry St. in New York and elsewhere. Malati devi dasi ran herself ragged serving the needs of the devotees, while Vaiyasaki prabhu gave new meaning to the word "seminar" as he assisted the assembled Vaisnavas in relishing the nectar of the Holy Names. Mangalananda premiered a few of his newest songs that — can you believe it? — are even better than his old ones.
On April 23, 2002, in the Chief Judicial Magistrate’s court in Sri Puri Dham, Sri Guru Prasad Sahoo gave the concluding verdict after the four-month trial of seven persons accused of raping and molesting Ms. Maria Schmidova and her five-year-old daughter Tulsi in June 2000.
These are the concluding words of the judgment, and they are relevant just in case anyone has any lingering doubts regarding the facts of this case, which was based on not even one molecule of truth:
"On analysis of the entire evidence of the above 15 prosecution witnesses, I find that there is not a single evidence coming out from the mouth of any prosecution witness that any of these accused persons have committed gang-rape on Maria Schmidova. There is also no evidence either direct or circumstantial coming out of the evidence of the aforementioned prosecution witnesses that these accused persons committed carnal intercourse against the order of nature with Tulsi Schmidova at any point of time....
Nagpur Takes Part
Ramanavami festivals have been celebrated for almost nine hundred thousand years, to commemorate the advent of Sri Rama. One of the grandest Ramanavami festivals to be seen in India is held in Nagpur, a city of 2.5 million people, located in Maharastra State, central India. The grand procession organized to celebrate Ramanavami is unique.
The Hare Krishna devotees have been participating for 15 years, and almost every time, ISKCON Nagpur has won the prize for the best performance of Harinama Sankirtan during the procession. The parade goes over 12 km and last for 8 hours, from 5 PM to 1 AM.
Dance at Benefit Concert
Devotees of the International Society For Krishna Consciousness (Hare Krishna Movement), in New York City were invited to take part in the Annual Rainforest Foundation Benefit Concert held at New York’s Famous Carnegie Hall on April 13, 2002.
The concert organizer— Trudie Styler (founder of the Rainforest Foundation and wife of the famous Rock Star Sting)— wanted to include Hare Krishna Devotees as part of a tribute to the Late George Harrison, who was also recognized as a follower of the Hare Krishna Movement.
By Vrindaban dasa
Today, April 19, 2002, the trial of seven men accused by the police of Orissa of raping the six-year-old daughter of Austrian Maria Schmidova is complete.
The public prosecutor handed a two-page letter to Judge Guru Prasad stating he had no more witnesses to call, and he conceded there is no evidence to sustain the charges made by the police. He told the court he received no cooperation from the police for the duration of the trial. The complainant, Maria Schmidova, did not appear, nor did her now-8-year-old daughter, Tulsi. The police failed to bring a German-speaking person to translate the FIR (First Information Report), which is the foundation of the case.
Sarasvata Gaudiya Vaishnava Association
The 7th annual meeting and reunion of the Sri Sarasvata Gaudiya Vaishnava Association (an association of disciplic descendants of His Divine Grace Prabhupada Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Goswami Thakur) was held in the auditorium of the Samadhi Mandir of His Divine Grace Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada in Sri Mayapur on 21st March 2002.
The SGVA was created to fulfill the desires of His Divine Grace Prabhupada Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur so that all his disciples and followers would cooperatively work together to spread the message of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu to the entire world. His Divine Grace Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada established the Bhaktivedanta Swami Charity trust (BSCT) with one of its objectives being to promote unity in the Saraswat (disciplic family).
It is indeed sad that there are conditioned souls so mired in the material energy that they are unable to even recognize the greatness of a Vaisnava. In your article, your articulate reply to the venomous attack on your good self is the example of the greatness of the Vaisnavas. Even when responding, you tried to be very kind and considerate. I feel very engladdened and appreciative to see your magnanimous nature even in the face of such unwarranted abuse by those who are under the deep influence of the mode of ignorance.
I beg your forgiveness for these souls, as obviously they are fit candidates for Lord Nityananda's mercy, and HH Tamal Krishna Goswami surely is trying to intercede on their behalf before the actual result of such a blasphemous action would occur. The Lord's mercy is inconceivable, and I feel very secure knowing that you and the other wonderful leaders have taken the grave responsibility of going on the front lines to distribute Lord Caitanya's mercy.
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