of a Traveling Preacher
June 14-27, 2002
The punch sent me reeling and knocked me senseless. When I came to, my US Marine Corps drill instructor was straddling me, angry as a hornet. He had caught me relaxing in my foxhole as a rival platoon overran our position in the hills of Camp Pendleton, California, during an exercise in 1968. He yelled at me, "Never, and I repeat, never assume the enemy is sleeping. While you are taking a break here in your foxhole, the enemy has attacked your flank and overrun you."
Last week, his instructions rang true. I was discussing with several devotees the success of the festival in Chelmza and how it appeared our opposition was sleeping, when my cell phone rang. It was Radha Sakhi Vrinda dasi. She said, "Srila Gurudeva, we have a serious problem. We're receiving reports that a group of priests are traveling along the Baltic Sea coast campaigning against us among town officials and school administrators. We're afraid we may lose the school facility in Swierzno, the only one we've been able to rent as a base this summer."
Swami: New Video
Illumination Television is proud to announce it’s new "Memories of Srila Prabhupada" Part 33 video featuring Indradyumna Swami. You’ve read his "Traveling Diaries" and now you can hear his personal stories of his association with his spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami.
Indradyumna Swami will entertain you with his first encounter with Srila Prabhupada in Detroit and his travels with His Divine Grace through Europe. Through Indradyumna’s engaging style of storytelling you will learn more about the transcendental qualities of Srila Prabhhupada and lessons that we all can imbibe in our own lives through the personal instructions that Indradyumna Swami received.
Striving for Quality:
Look at the Future
By Kaunteya das
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.
Offering Spiritual Degrees
I’m expressing my opinion with regards to some letters that appeared on Chakra concerning the worthlessness of degrees offered by RVC [Rupanuga Vedic College]. I believe that may be true on a material level because RVC is apparently not a "materially accredited" university. I believe obtaining a degree at this university is not meant for temporary material pursuits, pride, worldly recognition, and personal sense gratification or to pursue temporary material jobs. However, my limited understanding of this matter is that the knowledge gained at this institution and the degrees offered are everlasting and take one beyond the temporary illusion of material nature.
We have the great pleasure of announcing the upcoming Rath yatra in Malaga (on the southern coast of Spain) which will take place on Saturday the 17th of August 2002 from 12.30 p.m. onwards.
Malaga is a well-known and popular holiday spot for tourists coming especially from England, Germany, and other European countries. The local government authorities organize various festivals and cultural programs to attract tourism in the summer months. Taking advantage of this festive mood, we have been fortunate to get the permission to celebrate our Ratha yatra festival to preach the holy names of Lord Chaitanya and the glories of Lord Jagannatha, Baladeva, and Subhadra.
Obtain practical skills necessary for more meaningful relationships
Learn how to overcome roadblocks to
Dear Maharajas & Prabhus,
Namonamaha. Jaya Srila Prabhupada!
This is to cordially invite all readers of this message, as all devotees in general to participate in ISKCON Baroda's 21st annual Sri Jagannath Rathayatra Mahotsav, that will be observed this year on Friday, 12-7-02 [July 12, 2002].
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
There is an error on
The website address is wrong: "Please visit us at our website at www.vaisnvavscare.com to find out more about this new project."
It should be: www.vaisnavascare.com
[Thanks for letting us know. The article has been corrected.]
on Richmond Opening
Celebrate at ISKCON Richmond, VA, July 3, with HH Bhakti Tirtha Maharaj and HH Candramauli Swami, theatre by Phani Busana Prabhu, and more...
July 3, 2002 is the date set to celebrate the inauguration of a new ISKCON preaching center (Founder/Acarya His Divine Grace AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada).
Schedule is as follows:
Yatra in Mayapur
One of the most famous and important festivals that we have in Sri Mayapur Chandrodaya Mandir in Sri Mayapur Dham is The Candan Yatra. During this time, devotees can see the Supreme Lord Madhava covered completely by candan [sandalwood] in different colors every day, and after one week we see His forehead as well as Srimati Radhika and the Asta Sakhis covered with Candan during this month.
Taking Srila Prabhupada Straight
This article, from 1998, had been lost but has now reappeared. Our thanks to Mother Mahamaya devi dasi (ACBSP).
The file is in zipped format. To unzip, you will need WinZip. A free trial version is available from http://www.winzip.com. Unzipped files will be in RTF format, compatible with most word processors.
for Vidyabadhu devi dasi
I am trying to find the whereabouts of Vidyabadhu devi dasi who lived in Bury Place 1971 and later. My name is Phil Gardner. I was one of those early UK devotees but was never initiated by Prabhupada.
Please accept my obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!
Yesterday I met an extraordinary woman who is taking great delight in reading Srila Prabhupada's Gita. She wants to become a devotee. She is a middle-aged/older woman from a Muslim, Iranian Kurdish background, who presently lives in London.
She made a comment in the temple's evening class, speaking about the Bhagavad-gita with such love and conviction that all the devotees and guests were applauding her. Because her English is poor, she desires to converse and correspond with someone in her native language about Krishna consciousness.
If you speak Farsi or know of a devotee who does and would be willing to correspond with this very enthusiastic and sincere soul, please e-mail me and I will send you her contact information.
Thank you very much.
Pray for Maureen
Dear Prabhus/Matajis, and all devotees in the world,
Please accept my obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada. All glories to Srila Jayapataka Swami.
We would like to appeal to all devotees worldwide to please pray for the survival of Maureen, who is in a hospital in Sydney, Australia. She has suffered two brain injuries from a fall from a staircase and has been in a coma, but now her condition has gone from bad to worse. The doctors have given up, saying that only prayers can help, so we request all devotees to pray for her.
Hari Bol! Hare Krsna!
Bus for the Youth Ministry
Since 1994, members of the ISKCON Youth Ministry have been hosting youth from all over the world on an annual Krishna conscious adventure bus tour to temples, Ratha-yatras, and nature spots across North America.
They've finally outgrown their old school bus and are ready to move up to a real bus with luggage bins and highway speeds.
Help them raise about $3100 as a down payment to get a loan to purchase the below bus (see link) for the youth bus tours that have been held every year alongside Festival Of India.
Hospice Project Begins
With the book, authored by Sangita devi dasi, The Final Journey—Complete Hospice Care for Departing Vaisnavas, soon to be released by Torchlight Publishing, a few of us felt the time had come to organize some type of end-of-life care within our Krsna conscious movement.
In this regard Bhaktavatsala dasa, RN (TP San Jose); Jusaniya devi dasi, RN, BSN; and Sangita devi dasi, RN, formed a non-profit corporation called Vaisnavas C.A.R.E. Inc. (Counseling, Assistance, Resource, and Education for the terminally ill and their family). Other board members include Vamanadeva dasa and His Holiness Bhakti Tirtha Swami.
"Laxmimoni": Spelling It Right
In "Give the Editor a Break" posted on Chakra, you have shown some irreverence by misspelling "Laxmimoni." (You put Laksimoni.) She is a senior Vaisnavi who should at least have her name spelt correctly.
[Thanks for pointing this out. The article has been corrected. And my apologies to Mother Laxmimoni for the error. —Ed]
[See "Give the Editor a Break" Chakra June 13, 2002]
One of the worlds most advanced technologies has been used to make the most powerful weapon in the universe, LORD VISHNU’S SUDARSHAN CHAKRA!
This auspicious and beautifully rendered symbol offers powerful protection for all devotees of the Lord. Crafted from solid metal, it can guard the top of your altar, stand proudly on the roof of your house, or decorate a door, wall, child's room, or your car.
the Editor a Break
It's about time! Thank you for taking a stand and putting an end to all the craziness. If I had a Vaishnava hat, it would be off to you right now.
For whatever it's worth, I've gained new respect for you and this site now.
[See "Give the Editor a Break" Chakra June 13, 2002]
for Jahnavapriya dasi (JPS)
I am looking for Jahnavapriya dasi a disciple of HH Jayapataka Swami. She is currently living in Germany (Munich?) and is 28 years old. If anyone knows where she is and has a contact number, it would be greatly appreciated.
June 21, 2002
We invite you to fully partake of the unalloyed mercy of Lord Nityananda by participating in one of the most anticipated events of the year. The Atlanta temple is the only temple in the world, beside the original village of Panihati in India, to celebrate this pastime of Lord Nityananda on such a large scale. Join us here at New Panihati Dhama, and enjoy this unique privilege of serving the most significant and magnificent personality of our Movement, Lord Nityananda.
A memorial book and a series of nectar books are being planned by the disciples and well-wishers of His Holiness Tamal Krishna Goswami. The Memorial Book will include appreciations and memories written by his godbrothers and godsisters, religious and academic leaders, and other significant contributors. The Nectar Book Series will include anecdotes from his many disciples around the world.
Anyone interested in contributing in any way, or submitting written or
photographic material, contact Kamadhenu devi dasi at the Dallas Temple,
of a Traveling Preacher
June 5-12, 2002
The site of our fourth festival on this year's Polish spring tour was Chelmza, a town of 23,000 people. It is ranked as one of the poorest towns in Poland, with 28 percent of the population unemployed, and I was uncertain how the festival would be received. Previous experience has shown that such towns can be trouble spots for crime due to restless youths or simply a bored, disinterested population. However, by Krsna's mercy the Chelmza festival turned out to be one of the best ever.
The first indication that it would be successful came when 60 of us went on Harinama the day before the festival. As if obeying a signal from heaven, the cold, rainy weather cleared and a warm sun appeared the minute we stepped from our bus. It couldn't have been better timing, for as we started singing down the street, people poured out of the shops to greet both the sun and us. They were clapping and waving as we went by, and many more inside the shops smiled at us through the windows. School finished just after we began, and soon crowds of curious children began following the Harinama. Within a short time, many were dancing alongside us, while others walked along holding devotees' hands. I was amazed at their innocence and immediate trust.
The Grand Opening of The Vedanta Center (ISKCON Richmond) will be July 3, 2002. The date was conveniently scheduled the day before the Washington, DC, Ratha Yatra, as Richmond is just 1 1/4 hours from DC. There are overnight facilities available upon reservation for Prabhupada ISKCON devotees. Please come and help us inaugurate the preaching in this important city. We are dependent upon the association and enthusiasm of Prabhupada's Vaisnavas.
*Seminar: Paradigms for ISKCON USA's Future (Given by a senior ISKCON GBC/Guru)
*Bharat Natyam Dance...
Info on Madhuparka
I am doing a history assignment on madhuparka [an ingredient used in offerings]. I have to trace the regional, social (class), and historical links, when and where it is used, what the ingredients are, where it is first mentioned in the Vedas and in collaborative texts, etc.
I understand it is used at Indian weddings and in pre- and post-natal offerings to babies, and we offer it to the Deities. If anyone has any good sources and historical information, could you please either reply to Chakra or send me an email at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Us a Break
Hare Krishna! Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!
On your recent posting entitled "Less Intelligent Women? Give Me a Break!" I noticed that you could not help from adding the following at the end:
[Note: I do not recall Srila Prabhupada asking people if they were homosexual, but he would not initiate anyone who was engaging in any kind of illicit sex. -Ed].
Now please give us a break! Of course Srila Prabhupada never asked anyone whether he or she was homosexual or not. Bodily designations did not matter to him. And duh! Everyone knows that Srila Prabhupada did not initiate people who were engaging in illicit sex.
Sambhavi Mataji’s well-written "Observations of Reality" on the ISKCON Calendar brings up some important points that deserve a response.
First of all, although many years ago it was necessary to contact some pandits in Sweden in order to obtain a calendar for a particular location, thanks to the internet age this is no longer necessary. The calendar program, called "VCal," is available for download from a few different ISKCON websites, including PAMHO and www.shyamasundaradasa.com. Armed with that program, and if one knows one’s longitude, latitude, and time zone, one can calculate a calendar oneself. There are also plans to set up a website at which one can calculate a customized Vaishnava calendar online.
the Editor a Break
Dear Amara Prabhu,
Please accept my most humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!
Thanks for your letter, entitled "Give us a Break." Sorry to inform you, though, that I find it silly, to say the least. One could easily have inferred from the original article that Srila Prabhupada initiated people who were engaging in same-sex fornication, so I added the clarification. There is nothing in what I said that could imply that homosexuals have a harder time controlling their senses than heterosexuals.
I have lost my patience with all these special-interest groups who think they can use Chakra as a forum for venting their hysteria. It would do these people a lot of good to get up off their chairs and do some preaching and book distribution instead of sitting around all day feeling sorry for themselves.
Why don't you stop it! You are not authorized to give your opinion on what Prabhupada said. He said so many things. Why not refer people to the congregational chanting of the Holy Names? Why not show them how Prabhupada came to the lower east side of Manhattan, where all kinds of people were gathered, and chanted the Holy Names without condemning anyone? Why must you insist on taking Prabhupada quotes out of context?
Please accept my most humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
I'm very touched but not surprised by this debate about discrimination regarding the intelligence of the sexes. I firmly believe that ISKCON's disastrous social relationships and consideration have and will always suffer to due to this type of mentality. I spent some years in the ISKCON Communication Leadership Team, and we worked hard trying to build public relations with society, academic institutions, churches, etc., but all our efforts were destroyed by issues like sex discrimination undertaken and debated in a very superficial manner, often utilizing the Vedic Scriptures out of context.
Now, more than ever, ISKCON must determine its true identity and establish a stable and mature internal line of conduct unless it intends to be considered an insignificant sect outside of any religious and philosophical context.
I normally don't enter into these polemics, but given the subject matter and the manner in which it is handled, I could not help myself.
I'm not sure who is editing or filtering the letters on Chakra, but allowing such a vindictive and spiteful response from Sudama das doesn't do much credit to Chakra — it serves only to turn Chakra into a low-class slanging match, and an open field for Vaisnava aparadha. Such indelicate dealings in a public forum won't do Sudama any good either — if he finds the need to prop himself up by condescending to the female devotees of this movement, then little wonder there is a 'gender issue'. And of course we all know — or should know — that wherever women are respected, all good fortune exists. Where they are disrespected...well, we've seen the results of that.
Incidentally, I've seen the most brilliant minds make spelling errors...male and female alilke. Pointing out such an error does not immediately qualify one as "more intelligent". Think about it....
[See "Less Intelligent Women" Chakra May 29, 2002]
Dear Vipramukhya Maharaja,
I have a problem with your diary for an entirely different reason, which you may like to consider. I appreciate that you are trying to portray yourself in a normal rather than superhuman way. That would make you more approachable and lessen the distance between you and your disciples. And I appreciate that your carefree attitude is a personality thing, which should not be made an issue of. My problem is to do with the guts of the guru-disciple relationship.
The effort on the part of the guru should be to peel away the various coverings of maya from the eyes of the disciple, so as to expose illusion in all its various shades. This is what "opening the eyes with the torchlight of knowledge" is referring to. Since there are varieties of illusion that are commonplace in ISKCON, you could start by presenting those to your disciples. Gradually, you could branch out to shed light on those that are less common and more specific to their time, place, and circumstance.
Hare Krishna. I have been following the women’s issues’ debates/comments from time to time. Frankly, most of the articles seem to drag one’s consciousness to the bodily platform, in my opinion, which is the antithesis of what attracted me to come to the Krishna Consciousness Movement in the mid-seventies.
However, whenever I read articles by devotees such as Mother Urmila, I feel my consciousness immediately getting in touch with "spirituality" and consequently feel spiritual satisfaction. It is the same feeling of having resolution of all doubts that I used to experience after reaching the temple and associating with devotees when I first started coming to the temple.
Dear Devotees and Friends,
Please accept our most humble obeisances! All Glories to Lord Jagannatha, and his most confidential devotee, Srila Prabhupada!
We have now completed four days of the 2002 New York Sankirtan Festival, and now are only days away from Lord Jagannath’s most glorious Ratha-Yatra on Fifth Avenue, June 8, 2002.
Updates on the festival are as follows:
NEW VRINDAVAN FESTIVAL OF THE HOLY NAMES
Thursday June 13th thru Sunday June 16th
New Vrindavan, W. Va (304-843-1600/ 845-5905)
HG Kuladri Prabhu, HG Malati dasi and HG Jaya Sri dasi
join in inviting you to attend a three day gala event in honour of Lord Chaitanya’s Sankritan Movement as inagurated by His Divine Grace A C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.
Hrdayananda Goswami, Jayadvaita Swami, Bhakti Tirtha Swami, Radhanath Swami, and Candrasekara Swami, as well as Vakresvara Pandit Prabhu, and the unparallelled Mangalananda ("He’s Got a Change of Heart") will be among the many honored Vaishnavas.
of a Traveling Preacher
May 30 – June 4, 2002
After much discussion, we decided not to involve the local police in the discovery of the microphone and radio transmitter planted in Nandini dasi and Radha Sakhi Vrinda dasi’s room. We know that their investigation would not go far. Last year, the police investigating the attack on our festival in Tomaszow Mazowiecka discovered that it was nine young men from a nearby Catholic seminary that committed the crime, but the culprits were never brought to justice. Had they been, the police themselves would have lost their jobs.
The only action we can take in the current case is preventative. We have hired one of the best security companies in Poland to protect our festivals. The company has advised us to secure our vehicles at our base each night to prevent tampering. We will also be installing a professional surveillance system consisting of four cameras at our base and at festivals.
Jyotirmayi: Back by
Thank you, Sudama, for reminding me how much work there is still left to do in ISKCON. I think I was starting to become complacent, but your letter really energized several of us old-timers and served as a warning and wake up call for bhaktins and young women who are thinking of joining. You have shown us all that there are still ISKCON men who have not yet understood what it means when we say "we’re not these bodies." Fortunately, many of the male leaders have matured and moved beyond the immature stage where you still sit, so I’m not particularly worried about the institution. You are not going to be able to reverse any progress that has been made. Just like with your views on ritvik initiation, you have completely misunderstood Prabhupada when it comes to how he taught us to treat Vaisnavis. To help you gain a better understanding, I’m attaching a wonderful article below. It was written by a Vaishnavi who had extensive association with Prabhupada and who can report — first hand — how things were when he was around and when and why some began to deviate from his instructions. I only pray that you can read it with an open mind and not simply with your spellchecker.
Women in ISKCON in Prabhupada’s Times
[Originally posted on Chakra on January 22, 1998]
to Find a Guru
The other day I was approached by a disciple of Srila Narayana Maharaja in the street. The meeting was brief, as I had my wife and child waiting in the car, but I told him I was in ISKCON, and he futilely attempted to proselytize. I didn't really know what to say, as I had never given this issue much thought before, so I accepted a cake and book and gave him a pleasant "Hari bol, goodbye."
The meeting made me think, and I have come to some realizations. The Narayana Maharaja disciples seem to place a lot of emphasis on diksa (initiation) at the expense of siksa (instruction). Now I am not saying that Nayarana Maharaja is wrong by any means. His siksa just differs (even if slightly) from Srila Prabhupada's. Whether he is a pure devotee or not is totally irrelevant. I lived in Vrndavan for over a year and saw so many great souls from many different sampradayas who I'm sure were pure devotees. So why not take initiation from them? Well there are two reasons.
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.
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
I just wanted to ask if you could let your readers know that this year's London Rathayatra is on Sunday 23rd June. The procession leaves Marble Arch just before midday and arrives at Trafalgar Square around 2.30 pm for a festival and prasadam feast.
All devotees are invited to come and join in the festivities.
You can find out more at the web site on http://www.iskcon.org.uk/rathayatra/
Thank you for this and for your great service in maintaining Chakra.
We can all relax now, knowing that Georgina Prabhu can spell and is capable of defending herself. That being said, in her recent post, she asks about answers to the Real Issues. Okay... I'll give it a try.
In her original post she says: "Yet it remains a fact that the daughters of ISKCON need education — most have to leave ISKCON to get it."
You are talking about an academic education, I assume? A lot women and
men in ISKCON go to other sources for higher education. It’s not just a women
issue or a knock on ISKCON. The fact that there is a lack of education in ISKCON
is regrettable, but not exclusive to women. There are wonderful academic
programs available within the society see: Girl's Vaishnava Academy Alachua
(Florida) and ISKCON School Hillsborough (North Carolina) — http://www.supersoul.
Krishna Goswami Audio Page
Shortly after the departure of His Holiness Tamal Krishna Goswami, we put up an Audio In Memoriam Page at http://tkgtm.com. It contains many remembrance talks and discussions from his godbrothers, godsisters, and disciples. Please visit the page.
If you have cassette tapes or digital recordings of remembrance talks not available on the page, please contact me at email@example.com. We would like to get the recordings from different devotees from different places. We will reimburse the cost of tapes and postage if requested.
of a Traveling Preacher
May 20-30, 2002 – As my flight circled over Warsaw Airport waiting for permission to land, my heart beat strongly in anticipation of the great adventure ahead. This year marks the 12th anniversary of our Festival of India tour in Poland. Most of the 200 tour devotees from 15 countries had already assembled at our spring base in the northwest of the country. For several weeks they have been cleaning and repairing our 32 tons of festival equipment — including a 15m stage, sound gear, lights, tents, kitchen paraphernalia, and trucks.
After the plane had landed and I was waiting in line for immigration clearance, I called Nandini dasi and Radha Sakhi Vrinda dasi on my cell phone. They have been busy organizing festival venues for months. We had been in touch throughout the year, but during the past month we have had little contact due to my intense travel schedule. When I contacted Nandini, I asked her to give me an update.
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
I read with interest the complaint someone expressed about the way that they perceive you conducting your service, along with your response. Thanks for being candid enough to post it. I don’t believe I have ever had the pleasure to meet you personally, so my only connection is through Chakra. Consequently, it would be inappropriate for me to comment on personal behavior about which I have no knowledge. I would like, however, to express my appreciation for all the work you are doing by providing this website.
May 31, 2002 – Brooklyn, New York: We arrived at the New York temple the day before yesterday, and all day yesterday the devotees in our group were busy constructing a stage for the temple room here in Brooklyn while I worked on finishing some things on a sound track for a play they will perform at the New York Rathayatra.
I’m usually a loner. I travel alone. I’m taken to the airport by devotees, picked up at the airport by devotees, but on the airplane I’m usually alone. This trip, however, I’m traveling as part of a large group, and the dynamics are different. Traveling alone is usually more efficient. You pick up your bags at baggage claim, go out, look for your ride, get in, and go to the temple. Traveling with a group with trunks and dozens of suitcases, you have to always make sure everyone is with you — that you haven't lost one of the kids or something — that you have all the bags and trunks, etc. But traveling with a group is better in the sense that there's association on the flight, and you feel part of a team.
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