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Vrindavan: Taking Srila 
Prabhupada on Parikrama

by Deena Bandhu dasa

Last week in our regular department head meeting, I mentioned how I am so envious when I go to Mayapur and other temples and see them taking the small deity of Srila Prabhupada on parikrama. Then some of the older devotees like Devakinandan, Rajashekhara, and Daivishakti remembered how whenever Srila Prabhupada visited Vrindavan Temple, he used to go with kirtan making parikrama of the temple.

So then we decided that starting immediately, after Sringar Darshan in the Samadhi, we would take the utsav deity of Srila Prabhupada to the temple room for Sringar darshan at all the three altars in the temple. Then after taking caranamrita, we would take Srila Prabhupada to the Vyasasana for Guru Puja. After Guru Puja artik, will take Srila Prabhupada on parikrama of the temple, then return to the Vyasasana for more kirtan, and then class. After class, then we will return Srila Prabhupada to the Samadhi.

New Management 
Team in Vrindavan

From an e-mail sent by Deena Bandhu dasa

On the day of Lord Balaram's Rasayatra and Lord Krishna's Vasant Rasa, at a very wonderful ceremony here at Srimad Bhagavatam class in Vrindavan in front of Srila Prabhupada and Their Lordships Sri Sri Gaura Nitai, Krishna Balaram, and Radha Shyamsundar, the new administration was officially installed in Vrindavan.

First His Holiness Gopal Krishna Goswami, who has served for many, many years as GBC in Vrindavan, read and explained the GBC resolution regarding Vrindavan management to the assembled devotees. The resolution states that the ultimate management authority of ISKCON Vrindavan will be the Vrindavan executive board, initially including HH Radhanatha Swami, HH Gopal Krishna Goswami, Ravindra Svarupa dasa, Sesa dasa, Bhima dasa, HH Kadamba Kanana Swami, Radha Krishna dasa, and Braja Bihari dasa. Bhima Prabhu is the first chairman of the board.

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Eye Camp in Varsana
by Deena Bandhu das

The devotees from Bhaktivedanta Hospital in Mumbai completed a very successful eye camp in service to the Brijabasis in Varsana from 24th to 27th December. Almost 250 eye operations were performed, and by Radharani's arrangement there, despite the large number of operations, there were no complications for any patient.

I arrived on 24th with Sarvabhauma, my co-director for National Communications in India. Although they had just arrived the evening before, everything was set up and running just like clockwork. I was totally amazed at the efficiency and precision with which everything was running. Everything was being done with the utmost cleanliness. Sarva and myself were required to have surgeon caps and small plastic booties to enter the operation theater. There, we saw about four operations going on simultaneously with very modern equipment that had been brought from Mumbai in a special van.

New ISKCON Center at Radhakund
by Mahaman das


With much thanks and appreciation, CHAKRA is sponsored and hosted by:

[from Free Forum]

Dear Vaishnavas and Vaishnavis,

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

On the auspicious occassion of Moksada Ekadasi (Gita Jayanti), December 26, 2001, by the inconceivable mercy of Srimati Radharani, a beautiful temple of Sri Sri Radha Bihariji along with many guest rooms was donated at Radhakund to ISKCON Vrindavan. The location is near the sangam of Radhakund.

Parikrama Photos, 2001
from Ekanatha dasa

Photos from ISKCON’s 15th Annual Vraja Mandala Parikrama, 2001

ISKCON’s 15th Annual Vraja Mandala Parikrama, 
Final Part

by Ekanath dasa

Day 28. Brahmandghat.
Today we spent the day in Brahmandghat, hearing about the glories of Gokul.

HH Lokanath Swami: "We are now in the forest of Mahavan where Krsna mostly performed his pastimes in vatsalya rasa. These pastimes are very sweet. Lila Madhuri. Such sweet, sweet pastimes, meant to attract the conditioned soul and encourage him to desire to return to Krsna. One of the last pastimes to be performed here was the Damodara lila. We know that it is after this lila that the residents of Gokul decided to go to Vrndavan.

ISKCON’s 15th Annual Vraja Mandala Parikrama, 
Part 13

by Ekanath dasa

Day 26. Lohavan to Dauji. Dauji Mandir. There is a deity of Lord Balarama here, which was installed by Vajranabha, the great grandson of Krsna. It is the largest deity in Vraj. Facing the deity and hidden from view is the deity of Balarama’s wife, Revati. Dauji, another name for Lord Balarama, means, "Older Brother."

ISKCON’s 15th Annual Vraja Mandala Parikrama, 
Part 12

by Ekanath dasa

Day 24. Bhandirvan to Manasarovar. Bilvavan (Srivan). This is also one of the 12 forests of Vraja. Bilva is another name for the Bela tree or Bela fruit. Laxmi devi resides in this forest and another one of Her names is Sri. This is the reason this forest is called Srivana. Laxmi devi wanted to be able to associate with Krsna in the conjugal mood. For this end, She came here and performed austerities. Krsna and Balarama would come to this forest, eat bela fruit, and have picnics with their friends.

ISKCON’s 15th Annual Vraja Mandala Parikrama,
Part 11

by Ekanath dasa

Day 22. Shergarh to Cirghat. Rama ghat. One night Lord Balarama became very blissful after drinking some Varuni beverage. He then asked the Yamuna to come nearer. The Yamuna refused, thinking He was intoxicated. Balarama then became very angry and began to scrape the earth with His plow to bring the river closer to Him. Yamuna devi, being afraid, then came and surrendered to Lord Balarama and admitted her fault.

ISKCON’s 15th Annual Vraja Mandala Parikrama,
Part 10

by Ekanath dasa

Day 20. Kokilavan to Shesashayi. Charan Pahari. There are footprints of Krsna and His animals in the rocks here. Once when Krsna and the cowherd boys climbed the hill to see the cows grazing, Krsna stood under a tree in His threefold bending form playing a flute. When people heard the sound of His flute they gathered on top of this hill to listen. The mountain melted at the sound of His flute and the footprints of Sri Krsna and those around Him are imprinted on the rocks here.

ISKCON’s 15th Annual Vraja Mandala Parikrama, 
Part 9

by Ekanath dasa

Day 17. Varsana to Nandagaon. Pili Pokhar. Mother Yasoda loved Radharani and wanted Her to marry Krsna. One time, when Radharani came to Nandagram, Mother Yasoda put some tumeric pulp on Her hands, which was the custom for making a marriage agreement finalized. When Radharani saw Her yellow hands, She became embarrassed and washed Her hands in the water of this pond. The water of this kund became yellowish. Pili Pokhar means yellow pond.

ISKCON’s 15th Annual Vraja Mandala Parikrama, 
Part 8

by Ekanath dasa

Day 15. Kamyavana parikrama (Exterior).

Vyomasura Gupha. Vyomasura put the cowherd boys in this gupha (cave) after he stole them. Krsna fought with the demon here. During the fight, Krsna fell from the sky and landed on His hands and feet. Imbedded in the rock, on top of the hill above the cave, are Krsna's footprints and handprints. Nearby a rock shows imprints of marigold flowers that fell off Krsna during the fight and another shows imprints of His Kaustabha necklace.

Balarama's footprint. The battle between Krsna and Vyomasaura was so intense that the earth began to shake. To steady the wobbling earth, Balarama pressed His foot into the rock. His footprint is imbedded in this rock.

ISKCON’s 15th Annual Vraja Mandala Parikrama, 
Part 7

by Ekanath dasa

For the past five years, the devotees on Vraja Mandala Parikrama have been accompanied by HG Parasurama prabhu and his padayatra devotees. They follow the parikrama path with a cart pulled by bullocks, carrying deties of Sri Sri Gaura Nitai. On the way, they distribute small books and prasada to the Vrajabasis. In the evening they show a film on a video projector, attracting the whole village to our campsite. In the past 12 days these devotees have distributed more than 12,000 pieces of literature.

ISKCON’s 15th Annual Vraja Mandala Parikrama, 
Part 6

by Ekanath dasa

Day 11. Parikrama of Badrinath. Today we were joined by HH Mahavisnu Goswami and HG Deena Bandhu Prabhu. En route, we visited the Haridwar, Har Ki Puri, Hrishikesh and Laxman Jhula of Vraja Dhama. We had our Srimad Bhagavatam class on the foothills of Badrinath.

ISKCON’s 15th Annual Vraja Mandala Parikrama, 
Part 5

by Ekanath dasa

Day 9. Radhakund to Deeg. Our walk today took us out of Radhakund and on to Deeg, Rajasthan. We again visited Kusum Sarova, a large, beautiful kund on the parikrama path of Giriraja. Kusum means flower and Sarova means pond. Here gopis would come to pick flowers for Krsna.

ISKCON’s 15th Annual Vraja Mandala Parikrama,
Part 4

by Ekanath dasa

Day 7. Today we were joined by HH Bhakti Caitanya Maharaja for Parikrama of Govardhana Hill.

"Of all devotees, this Govardhana Hill is the best, O my friends! This hill supplies Krsna and Balarama, as well as Their calves, cows and cowherd friends, with all kinds of necessities, water for drinking, very soft grass, caves, fruits, flowers and vegetables. In this way the hill offers respect to the Lord. Being touched by the lotus feet of Krsna and Balarama, Govardhana Hill appears very jubilant." (Srimad Bhagavatam)

ISKCON’s 15th Annual Vraja Mandala Parikrama
Part 3

by Lokanath Swami

Day 5. Madhuvan to Santanu Kund. After mangal arati and announcements, we packed our bags and headed towards Santanu kund. Our first stop on the way was Talavana.

"Dear Krsna, will you kindly note that just near this place there is a big forest of the name Talavana. This forest is full of palm trees, and all the trees are filled with fruits. Some are falling down, and some of them are very ripe even in the trees. It is a very nice place, but because of a great demon, Dhenukasaura, it is very difficult to go there." (Krsna Book)

ISKCON’s 15th Annual Vraja Mandal Parikrama, 
Part 2

by Lokanath Swami

Dear Maharaja’s and Prabhus Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

On day 3 of the Vraja Dhama Parikrama we circumnavigated the town of Mathura, beginning with a bath at Vishram Ghat. This was the place that Lord Caitanya first visited when He came to Vraja Mandal. He took bath and then went to the birthplace of Lord Krsna and took darshan of the deity there, Sri Keshavji. His chanting and dancing attracted all the residents of Mathura.

ISKCON’s 15th Annual Vraja Mandal Parikrama, 
Part 1 

by Lokanath Swami

On the first day of Kartika, devotees began the 15th Annual Vraja Mandal Parikrama. We will be roaming around the 12 forests of Vraja for one month. We began on the 1st of November 2001 with an early morning parikrama of Vrndavan. Later, in the afternoon the devotees taking part did their Sankalpa, they vowed to complete the parikrama.

ISKCON Vraja Mandala Parikrama 2001
By Radha Raman das 

Tentative Schedule 

Nov 1 Vrindavan Parikrama - Istagosthi
2 Vrindavan to Mathura....

Grandfather is More Merciful Than Father
Deena Bandhu dasa

One day it was a rainy day. Sometimes when it rained or was cold, Prabhupada asked for halava since the grains and ghee heated up the body. So this particular day he called me and asked me to make halava. I was very excited and went to the kitchen and got the wheat germ and started to make halava.

Foundation Stone Ripped From Gurukula Wall
Deena Bandhu das

CHAKRA (Vrindavan, India) - In a sudden move that has shocked the entire community, Mahaman, Temple President of Vrindavan, had the foundation stone put in place by Srila Prabhupada's own hand ripped off the Gurukula wall. You can see the photo in many Vyasa Puja books of Srila Prabhupada, trowel in his lotus hand, cementing this plaque in place. We feel like our hearts have just been ripped out is the reaction we hear from most devotees.

Govardhan Parirkrama
Bhakta Damon

CHAKRA (Vrindavan, India) - Deena Bandhu Prabhu honored the parikrama party today by attending the Govardhana celebrations during our stay in Barsana. He oversaw the making of Govardhana Hill, which tuned out to be over three metres long and beautifully decorated with dolls, paper cows and all varieties of sweets. A meter-high form of Krishna, brightly dressed and made of cow dung, rested on the hill. Parasurama’s sister, who has made cow-dung Krishnas on Vrindavan parikrama for the last several years, made it.
>Full Story

© CHAKRA 10-November-2000

Giriraj Swami did not approve actions in Vrindavan
By Vipramukhya Swami

In an article on CHAKRA “What really happened in Vrindavan?” Mahaman dasa, temple president of ISKCON Vrindavan, was quoted as saying, “There are many members of the resident community as well as visiting devotees including former President Deena Bandhu Prabhu, Daivisakti mataji, Giriraj Maharaj, Radha Govinda Maharaj and others who support our view and action.” Now, however, Giriraj Swami denies that he was consulted by Mahaman.  
>Full Story

© CHAKRA 27-Nov-1999

This is what happened in Vrindavan
By Deena Bandhu dasa

Last year a party of women headed by a senior Godsister, Mother Kusha, asked Mahaman for better darshan facilities for the women at Mangal Artik since at festival time it becomes quite crowded and the women are way in the back. It was mutually agreed that the sannyasis and men would be allowed to offer their dandavats at all the three altars and that after the ghee lamp was offered the men would leave the Radhashyamsundar altar to the women. The meeting was very cordial and Mahaman acted as the gentleman that he actually is. From the very beginning, Parvati and a few others never honored this agreement and stood in front of the Radha-Syamasundara altar from before the curtain was opened making it difficult for the sannyasis to offer their dandavats.
>Full Story

© CHAKRA 26-Nov-1999

What really happened in Vrindavan?
By Vipramukhya Swami

CHAKRA (Freeport, Long Island, NY) - November 13, 1999: An incident in Vrindavan where women were allegedly manhandled away from the temple altar by men representing the temple administration has sparked a wave of controversy, with tempers continuing to flare up and threats of resignation from ISKCON abound. CHAKRA has investigated the issue and this is our report.

Of this incident, the GBC Chairman, Bir Krishna Maharaja, said, “The GBC will not tolerate… preferential treatment given to male devotees in any form.” He says that this is an official directive from the GBC Executive Committee.
>Full Story

© CHAKRA 13-Nov-1999

Your voice is needed
A statement by the ISKCON Women's Ministry

The Vrindavan temple is supposed to set standards for all other ISKCON temples, and the GBC has been making an effort to turn ISKCON Vrindavan into a world center for education and training. Vrindavan ISKCON must be exemplary. Now it is a shame and a disgrace.

Unfortunately, ISKCON’s Vrindavan center (and, indeed, other ISKCON centers in India) have long been seen as seats of intolerance--and at times even hatred--toward women in our movement. Such unacceptable attitudes have been manifest in the denial to women of many facilities needed for their spiritual and material well-being.  
>Full Story

© CHAKRA 12-Nov-1999

Do the women deserve this?
By Pranada dasi

CHAKRA (Vrindavan, India) - Kartik festival: Tension between men and women escalated at the Krishna-Balarama ISKCON temple here until one morning at mangala-arati women were manhandled away from the front of the Deities’ altar, according to numerous reports from senior devotees. "Unfortunately the Deities had to witness the behavior," reported one devotee.  
>Full Story

© CHAKRA 12-Nov-1999

1999 Vraja Mandala Parikrama - Day 2
Vrindavana to Mathura

Monday, October 25, 1999

This morning at 6 am, around 250 devotees from India and abroad gathered in the courtyard of the Krishna Balarama Temple in Vrndavana to perform a sankalpa (vow ceremony including the chanting of auspicious vedic mantras by H.G. Vraja Bhakti Vilas prabhu). H.H. Lokanath Maharaja spoke to the devotees to encourage them by explaining that if a vow was taken, Visnu would protect them. Devotees were encouraged to vow to complete the parikrama as well as to perform additional devotional austerities like chanting additional rounds or refraining from prajalpa for one entire month. This will help us in our spiritual life. The sankalpa will begin and end at Visrama Ghat in Mathura on the banks of the Jamuna river. H.H. Kavichandra Maharaja was also there and promised to participate in the entire one month parikrama of Vraja Mandala. H.H. Hanumat Prasak Maharaja was also there. 
>Full Story

© CHAKRA 4th-Nov-1999

13th Annual Vraja Mandala Parikrama Begins
By Lokanath Swami

Editor's note: We are a little behind in the posting of these articles, and we will be publishing one or two a day until we catch up.

Sunday, October 24, 1999, Vrndavana Dhama

This morning at 6 am, approximately 225 devotees left the ISKCON Krishna Balarama Temple for a parikrama (circumambulation) of the holy town of Vrndavana. The devotees are from all over the world including Russians, Padayatries from India and elsewhere, Mexicans, and 80 devotees from Bombay. Chanting the holy names and most walking in bare feet, the devotees appeared jubilant, while smiling and briskly walking along the soft dusty pathway of the sacred Vrndavana Parikrama Marg (path).

Leaders of the party include H.H.Kavichandra Swami, H.H. Subhag Swami, H.H. Hanumat Prasak Swami, Lokanath Swami, H.G. Dadhi Baksa prabhu, H.G. Badra Prabhu, and H.G. Radha Raman Prabhu.  
>Full Story

© CHAKRA 03-Nov-1999

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