Tirupati Conference on Science and Spirituality

Bhaktisvarupa Damodara Swami addresses an audience at a previous conference.
This December the Bhaktivedanta Institute (Kolkata) will be organizing the 3rd All India Students’ Conference on Science and Spiritual Quest (AISSQ-2007) at Tirupati, Tamil Nadu, India.

This year the event will be chaired by H.G. Suvrata Dasa with an expected 1000 participants including many religous leaders, university chancellors and two Nobel Laureates.

During the conference there will be about 200 presentations; however, participation in the AISSQ-2007 is only by invitation or application.

If you wish to submit a paper for the conference then registration and other details are available from the official website: http://www.binstitute.org/aissq2007


Loving Autocracy - Sri Ramachandra, The Perfect King

by Swami B.A. Paramadvaiti - The BapCast Network

Srila B.B. Bodhayan Maharaja recently said that: "A community of Vaishnavas which is somewhat maintained but where nobody accepts anybody specifically, it is just a factory of laziness and chaos." These are a bit strong words but you see that in Vedic culture there is quite an autocratic system present which obviously only functions under the principles of love, trust and justice. We hear from the Ramayana that any complain any citizen had, specifically a brahmin, he could go right away to the king and complain to him: "My dear King, you are supposed to be the ideal ruler, why this is going on, why that is going on?" and the king had to respond to this complain. So please do not think that we are promoting a dictatorial style of imposition of anyone on top of others. This is not the meaning of autocracy in accordance with the spiritual community.

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Vedic Science

Can Science provide us with the answers to life's mysteries? Can modern scientists continue to reject the concept of a creator intelligence?

Scientists have long held that the universal creation is describable by simple mathematical formulas. Recent discoveries in algorithmic information theory have definatively shown that this is not so.

Where do we go from here?... Can Vedic Science help?

Vedic Science & God — Authority of the Vedas

Shri Krishna's Dwarka submerged in 1443 BC - Amazing facts about - Ancient India

For thousands of years, we Indians have believed in the divinity of Shri Krishna. For us he was a Karmayogi par excellence who gave us action oriented philosophy of life in the form of Bhagavad Gita. But questions have constantly haunted us as to whether Shri Krishna was a historical character or is a mythical character and whether war of Mahabharata was actually fought or was it great poet Vyasa’s imagination.

Till recent past we did not have the wherewithal to search for and establish the truth. But modern scientific tools and techniques like computers with planetarium softwares, advancements in archaeological and marine archaeological techniques, earth-sensing satellite photography and thermoluminescence dating methods, all have made it possible to establish the authenticity and dating of many events narrated in ancient texts like Mahabharata. Recent archaeo-astronomical studies, results of marine-archaeological explorations and overwhelming archaeological evidence have established the historicity and dating of many events narrated in the epic Mahabharata. These have led to the conclusion that Mahabharata War was actually fought in 1478 BC and Shri Krishna’s Dwarka City got submerged under the sea in 1443 BC.

Astronomical Evidence - In the Mahabharata references to sequential solar and lunar eclipses as also references to some celestial observations have been made. Dr. R.N.Iyengar, the great scientist of Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore examined relevant references and searched for the compatible dates by making use of planetarium software (PVIS and EZC). He concluded that most of these references were internally consistent and that the eclipses and celestial observations of Mahabharata belong to the period 1493 BC - 1443 BC of Indian History. (refer Indian Journal of History of Science/38.2/2003/77-115).

In the Mahabharata there are references to three sequential solar eclipses and to some other planetary positions. Reference to the first solar eclipse comes in the Sabha Parva (79.29), graphically described by Vidur when Pandavas start their journey to the forest on being banished for 12 years of life in exile and one year of life incognito after they had lost everything in the game of dice. After 13 years of exile and incognito life, Pandavas came back to Hastinapur and they demanded their kingdom back but Duryodhana refused. Several efforts to prevent war failed and war became imminent. There is a reference to the second solar eclipse in the Bhisma Parva (3.29), following a lunar eclipse occurring within the same fortnight a few days before the actual war of Mahabharata. These eclipses occurred after 14-15 years of the first solar eclipse The epic also refers to some unfavourable planetary positions between the second solar eclipse and the beginning of the war on Kartika Purnima (Bhisma Parva 3.14 to 3.19). On Kartika Krishna Ashtami, Saturn was near Rohini and Mars was between Jayestha and Anuradha. Twenty two days later, on Kartika Purnima, Saturn was near Rohini, Mars was near Jayestha, a rough planet (probably uranus) was between Citra and Swati. Another white planet (possibly Jupiter) had moved from Purva-bhadra to Uttar-bhadra. Reference to the third solar eclipse comes in the Mausala Parva (2.19 to 2.20) occurring in the 36th year of the Mahabharata War. This was visible from the city of Dwarka which is stated to have been subsequently submerged under the sea. For these observations to be internally consistent, there should had been three solar eclipses within a period of 50 years. The first one and the second one after a gap of 14-15 years should have been visible from Kurukshetra whereas the third solar eclipse should have been visible from Dwarka after 35 years of the second one.


Krishna Janmashtmi-2007 at ISKCON-Japan

It was one of the great Janmashtmi festivals celebrated in Tokyo on 9/9/2007. More than 500 devotees assembled to celebrate this auspicious occassion of Lord Krishna’s birth.

KRISHNA-LILA: The celebrations started with melodious chanting of Damodar Ashtakam and its narration in English & Japanese. This is a sweet lila in which Lord Krishna is tied with a rope of love by Mother Yashoda.


Eat to live, Live to Love

In one sense the first necessity of the human species, like any other species, is self preservation. Thus we need to eat in order to live. But under scrutiny we find that human life is unique and that it has another primary necessity. It needs to love. While we eat to live, we live to love.

Mahaprabhu taught that human society is the highest because Krsna in his most original and charming nara lila appears in a humanlike form, krsnera yateka khela sarvottama nara-lila nara-vapu tahara svarupa. He appears as a cowherd with flute, ever youthful, and as an excellent dancer all of which is just suitable for humanlike pastimes, gopa-vesa, venu-kara, nava-kisora, nata-vara nara-lilara haya anurupa. Herding unlimited cows with friends equal to himself is his natural carefree pastime in Vrindavana, nija-sama sakha-sange, go-gana-carana range vrndavane svacchanda vihara.

Swami BV Tripurari’s weblog

Second Annual Conference on the Convergence of Science and Spirituality

The Bhaktivedanta Institute is pleased to announce that the Second Annual Conference on the Convergence of Science and Spirituality will be held at the Iliff School of Theology, in Denver Colorado, on the 29th of September, 2007.
Renowned theologian Matt Fox will headline a group of exciting speakers. He is well known for his work on Creation Spirituality, which emphasizes the original blessing, rather than the original sin, of Catholic teachings. Dr. Fox draws alot of inspiration from Vedic texts for his work, especially with regards to the various levels of consciousness and realization.
Also speaking are Dr. Hector Rosario ( Ananatha ram dasa ) who, in his paper, will bridge the mathematician Godel's ontological arguments with the Vaishnava philosophical framework.
Dr. J.N. Srivastava, longtime supporter of the Bhaktivedanta Institute, will present a paper which is based on a scientific exploration on the nature of reality, which includes both Quantum reality and the realm of pure ideas.
Other speakers include Dr. Vic Mansfield, astrophysicist and Buddhist Scholar; Biofield pioneer Dr.Beverly Rubik; Dr. Larry Goldberg, quantum philosopher; Dr.David Trickett, Methodist minister and president of the Iliff School ofTheology, and Dr. Frank Kaufmann of the Interreligious Federation for World Peace.
We invite those who are able to, to please attend this Conference. Dr. T.D.Singh ( Bhaktisvarupa Damodar Swami ) was the inspiration for this annual conference, and this year, the Conference is to be held in his honor. Apresentation of his works and his mission will be a highlight of this Conference.
Please contact me if you have any questions.
Mohan Ashtakala (Hari mohan dasa) mohan@binstitute.org


Sri Krishna Janmastami 2007, Alachua « Krishna’s Cusinera

Environmentalism According to the Vedic View

The environment means nature, and whose nature is it? It is God's nature. Did anyone else create it? Did anyone else put it all together so that it operates the way it does? In fact, mankind is still trying to figure out all the intricacies of its functionality.

In all the inventions or devices we produce, all the ingredients and resources that we use are all given by God. The elements we need to make big buildings, bridges, ships, cars, or the fuel to operate them, are all being given by God, and we need to show the proper respect. To think we are the proprietors of everything is the illusion. It is our pride that makes us think we are so intelligent when actually the very brain with which we think is not created by us but has again been given by God.

As everything is created from the Supreme Creator, then we should certainly have a high regard for everything as the expansion of God's energies. This not only includes all of our fellow men, but all creatures, as well as all aspects of the planet. Violence toward the planet in the form of not caring for the environment, misusing and polluting our natural resources, not managing the land and forests properly, are all forms of disrespect toward God and the blessings that have been given us. Why should we expect God to continue giving us the necessities of life, or the means to acquire them, if we are going to ruin them, or do not know how to care for them properly? So we must never pollute our resources or waste the food we have.


Radha's birthday celebrated with fervour

The birthday of Radha, Lord Krishna's beloved, was celebrated Thursday with great fervour at Barsana, her native village.

A musical programme was held at Vrishbhanu Kund, a holy pond in the village. Ras lila performances by various groups held the audience spellbound.

The presence of Railway Minister Laloo Prasad Yadav with his family was a big draw for the villagers, who gathered to see the rituals at the Radha Rani temple early Thursday.

The picturesque hill-top temple of Radha was the chief centre of celebrations, where hundreds of people appeared in female attires as friends of Radha Rani.

Laloo Prasad keenly watched the rituals and patiently heard the devotional songs in praise of Radha.

Radha's birthday celebrations were held in Vrindavan and Mathura temples also. Artistes from various parts of the country presented classical dances at the famous Radha Ballabh Lal temple in Vrindavan.

This was the first time that celebrations on such a scale were held in Barsana, 35 km from Mathura.


Verses from Bhagavad Gita, Koran recited at Bishop's funeral

New York, Sep 20(PTI) In a unique expression of inter- faith harmony, verses from ancient Hindu scriptures - Rig-Veda, Upanishad and Bhagavad Gita - and Holy Koran were recited at the funeral service of a prominent Christian Bishop in Reno in Nevada State.
Noted Hindu Chaplain Rajan Zed recited Gayatri Mantra and other verses ending with Om Shanti at the funeral service of head bishop of International Community of Christ Douglas Eugene Savoy yesterday.

While US Navy honour guard presented the colours at the Chapel of the Holy Child, Reverend Gene Savoy Jr., eldest son of the Bishop, read the scriptures and the younger son Reverend Sean Savoy did the benediction.


Krishna: Expert Dancer, Uninhibited Lover

"I would believe in a God who could dance", said German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. During his time, God was generally portrayed as a frozen perfection, remote, static, and wholly unsociable. No wonder he was disillusioned by this stereotypical idea of God.

Nietzsche would have been pleasantly surprised had he heard of Krishna, who danced expertly on the hood of the venomous serpent Kaliya. He also danced to the tune of his mother just to get butter, and he danced with gopis in celebration of divine love, in rasa-lila. He is Vrindavana-natabara, dancer par excellence in the pastoral paradise of Vrindavana.

All theistic traditions assert that God is great. In Krishna, that greatness is graphically demonstrated. In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna gives a glimpse of his awe-inspiring greatness through his vishva-rupa darshana, which is one of the greatest mystical visions in world literature. Arjuna saw within the Universal Form - within Krishna - everything and everyone in existence. He saw all the planets, stars and universes as well as all living beings: celestial, terrestrial and subterranean. Krishna also exhibited his omnipotence by effortlessly over- powering numerous demons, who were the scourges of the universe.

Most endearingly, Krishna delights, not in the magnificence of godhood, but in the sweetness of uninhibited love. Krishna expresses his sweetness in His lila as a prankster who steals butter from the homes of elderly gopis. Krishna as God is self-satisfied and doesn't need anything for his enjoyment. Moreover, when everything belongs to him, where is the question of his stealing anything? Yet just to reciprocate love with those devotees who love Him in a parental mood (vatsalya-bhava), Krishna plays the role of their darling child and speaks and behaves mischievously. The disarming hospitality that Krishna extended to Sudama and the subsequent generous benedictions that he bestowed upon his poor gurukula-friend are also eloquent testimony to Krishna's personal warmth and sweetness.


Hare Krishnas -- Hiders or Seekers?

An Australian television documentary on Bhaktin Kim, now Sri Kesava d.d., showing her spiritual journey. Includes her pilgrimage to India to be with her prospective spiritual master, Tamal Krishna Goswami.

Approach Krishna through Radha

By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

The aim of life is to satisfy Lord Vishnu. Krishna is the origin of visnu-tattva, and he is pleased through Radharani. Therefore we don’t keep Krishna alone. No. We keep Radha-Krishna. First you have to worship Radharani. So her appearance day, Radhastami, is today. In Vrindavan you will see that all the devotees greet one another by saying, "JayaRadhe!" because they know that Radharani is the original pleasure potency. She is always absorbed in thought of Krishna. Anyone who comes before Radharani to serve Krishna, she becomes so pleased, "Oh, here is a devotee of Krishna." She immediately recommends that person, "Krishna, here is a devotee. He is better than me." This is Radharani. I may not be a devotee. I may be a most fallen rascal. But if I try to reach Krishna through Radharani, then my business is successful. Therefore we should worship Radharani first. That is our business. Instead of directly offering a flower to Krishna, put it in the hands of Radharani: "My mother Radharani, Jagan-mata, please kindly take this flower and offer it to Krishna." Radharani says, "Oh, you have brought a flower?" Krishna said, patram puspam phalam toyam yome bhaktyā prayacchati — "If one offers me with devotion a leaf, a flower, fruit or water, I will accept it." [Bg. 9.26] But don’t try to offer to Krishna directly. Offer through Radharani. It will be very much appreciated by her. This is our philosophy — to please Krishna through Radharani — and as today is the auspicious day of Radharani’s appearance, we should offer pupāñjali and pray, "Radharani, kindly be merciful and tell about me to your Krishna. Krishna is yours." Krishna is not independent. Krishna is Radharani’s property. So you have to approach Krishna through Radharani. Today is an auspicious day. Worship Radharani very nicely and be happy.  — Lecture on the occasion of Radharani’s appearance day. London. 5 September 1973.

Sri Radhastami/the appearance of Srimati Radharani will be celebrated on Sept. 19th this year (2007)

by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Founder-Acarya of the International Society for Krsna Consciousness
(August 30, 1968, Montreal, Canada)

"Now today is our Radhastami ceremony. So, so far Radharani, Radharani, today is the birthday of Srimati Radharani. Radharani is the pleasure potency of Krsna. Krsna is the Supreme Brahman. Just try to understand. Krsna is the Supreme Brahman.
Param brahma param dhama pavitram paramam bhavan. So when param brahma wants to enjoy... that enjoying spirit is there in the param brahma. Otherwise we cannot have this enjoying spirit. Because we are part and parcel, therefore we have got that enjoying spirit, but that is materially contaminated.
But the fact is there, because Krsna, He is enjoying. This enjoying spirit we have got also, but I do not know how to enjoy. We are trying to enjoy in the matter, in the dull matter. That is spiritual. So brahman sukhanubhutya. People are trying to feel what is brahmasukha, pleasure of brahmanubhava. That is not material pleasure.
So many yogis, they have given up their family life, their kingdom, and meditating to achieve that Brahman pleasure. Actually, the idea is Brahman pleasure. So many brahmacaris, so many sannyasis, they are trying to achieve that Brahman pleasure, and in order to achieve that Brahman pleasure they are neglecting, they are kicking off all this material pleasure. Do you think that Brahman pleasure is ordinary, this material pleasure? To achieve a portion of Brahman pleasure, if they are kicking off all this material pleasure... don't talk of ourselves, we are ordinary men.

In the history we have got instances, that of Bharata Maharaja. Bharata Maharaja, under whose name this planet is called Bharatavarsa. That Bharata Maharaja was the emperor of the whole world. And as emperor he had his beautiful wife, young children. But at the age of twenty-four years, just young man, he gave up everything.
All right. This is very old story, of course, but you know Lord Buddha. He was also a prince. He was also prince, not ordinary man, and he was ksatriya, and he was always enjoying with beautiful women. That is the palace pleasure accustomed in every, in Oriental countries, that in the palace there are many beautiful girls, they're always dancing and giving pleasure to the kings and the prince. So Lord Buddha was also in such pleasure, but he gave up everything and began to meditate.

There are many hundreds of instances in Indian history that to realize the Brahman pleasure they gave up everything. They gave up everything. That is the way. Tapasya means voluntarily accepting something severe for realizing the supreme pleasure. That is called tapasya. So if, for tasting a little Brahman pleasure, all materialistic pleasures are to be given up, do you think that the Supreme Brahman, Lord Krsna, is enjoying this material pleasure? Is it very reasonable? This Krsna, He's enjoying... laksmi-sahasra-sata-sambhrama-sevyamanam. Hundreds and thousands of goddess of fortune are engaged in His service. Do you think these Laksmis are material women? How Krsna can take pleasure in the material women? No. This is mistake.
Ananda-cinmaya-rasa-pratibhavitabhis tabhir ya eva nija-rupataya kalabhih. In the Brahma-samhita you'll find that He expands His ananda-cinmaya-rasa, the mellow of transcendental pleasure potency.
And these gopis are expansion of His pleasure potency. And Radharani is the center. Radharani is the center. So Radharani is not... don't take that Radharani is an ordinary woman like we have our wife or sister or mother. No. She is the pleasure potency.

And the birth of Radharani was not from the womb of any human being. She was found by her father in the field. While father was plowing, he saw one little nice child is lying there, and he had no children, so he caught it and presented to the queen, "Oh, here we have got a very nice child." "How you got?" "Oh, in the field." Just see. Radharani's janma is like that.

So this janma is today and Radha, this name is sometimes not found in Bhagavata. So the atheistic class of men protest this Radharani's name is not in the Srimad-Bhagavatam. How this name came, Radharani? But they do not know how to see it. There is anayaradhyate. There are many gopis, but there is mention that by this particular gopi He is served more pleasingly. Krsna accepts this gopi's service more gladly. Anayaradhyate. Aradhyate. This aradhate, this word, aradhyate means worshiping. From this word aradhyate, Radha has come. But Radha's name are there in other Puranas. So this is the origin.

So Radha, so Radha and Krsna. Krsna is the enjoyer and He wants to enjoy. So He's the Supreme Brahman. He cannot enjoy anything, atmarama, He can enjoy it in Himself. Therefore Radharani is the expansion of His pleasure potency. Krsna hasn't got to seek external things for His pleasure. No. He is in Himself full, atmarama. So Radharani is expansion of Krsna. Krsna is the energetic, and Radharani is the energy. Just like energy and energetic, you cannot separate. Fire and the heat you cannot separate. Wherever there is fire there is heat, and wherever there is heat there is fire. Similarly, wherever there is Krsna there is Radha. And wherever there is Radha there is Krsna. They are inseparable. But He is enjoying.
So Svarupa Damodara Gosvami has described this intricate philosophy of Radha and Krsna in one verse, very nice verse: radha-krsna-pranaya-vikrtir hladini-saktir asmad ekatmanav api bhuvi pura deha-bhedam gatau tau. So Radha and Krsna is the one Supreme, but in order to enjoy, They have divided into two. Again Lord Caitanya joined the two into one. Caitanyakhyam prakatam adhuna. That one means Krsna in the ecstasy of Radha. Sometimes Krsna is in ecstasy of Radha. Sometimes Radha is in ecstasy of Krsna. This is going on. But the whole thing is Radha and Krsna means the one, the Supreme.

So Radha-Krsna philosophy is a very great philosophy. It is to be understood in the liberated stage. Radha-Krsna philosophy is not to be understood in the conditioned stage. But when we worship Radha-Krsna in our conditional stage, actually we worship Laksmi-Narayana. You have seen that picture, this viddhi-marg and raga-marg. Radha-Krsna worship is on the platform of pure love, and Laksmi-Narayana worship is on the regulative principles. So long we do not develop our pure love, we have to worship on the regulative principles.


Prisoners and Jailers Dance Together

By Deena Bandhu dasa

Every year for Janmastami we have a big program in Agra Central Jail with very enthusiastic participation from the prisoners who make Krishna Lila dioramas. Unfortunately this year there was civil unrest in Agra do to rioting by a certain community and there was curfew. But several days later after things were peaceful, the superintendent of the Jail invited us for doing a wonderful program.

So on 12th September, the devotees headed by Jankinatha Prabhu, our Prison Preaching in charge, went to Agra Central Jail. His Holiness Radha Govinda Maharaja was the guest of honor accompanied by His Holiness Radharaman Maharaja and our Vrindavan co-President, Srestha Prabhu. Somehow Jankinatha also convinced Aindra Prabhu and his kirtan party to come, although he hardly goes anywhere outside of Braja.

When the devotees arrived, the Chief Jailer and five Deputy Jailers were standing outside the gates with garlands to greet the devotees. From behind the gates, we could hear an enthusiastic kirtan being performed by the prisoners themselves. After opening the gates, they were greeted by about 20 prisoners doing kirtan with one playing dholak and another with harmonium strung over his shoulders. Aindra Prabhu was very impressed with the unique village melody they were chanting. All the prisoners were standing with garlands in their hands, anxious to honor the devotees. The kirtan at the gate was so ecstatic, that the jailers, prisoners, maharajas, and devotees all began to all dance together.

They accompanied the devotees up to the small Sita Ram Mandir run by the prisoners on the prison campus. They also have pictures of Radha Shyamsundar, Krishna Balaram, Gaura Nitai, and Srila Prabhupada on their altar. They even do Guru Puja, kirtan, and Bhagavatam class every day at this temple. Today they requested His Holiness Radha Govinda Maharaja to offer aratika.

After aratika, they accompanied the devotees to the stage where Maharaja offered a garland to the picture of Srila Prabhupada. Then the two maharajas and Srestha Prabhu took their seats on the asana. Janakinatha Prabhu lead the prisoners in Mangalacaran prayers and meditations as you can see in the photos. His Holiness Radha Govinda Maharaja addressed the prisoners and told them that Vasudeva carried Krishna from the jail and all the doors automatically opened up. In the same way if you will carry Krishna in your heart by chanting His Holy Name, then what to speak of the bondage of prison life, the bondage of this entire blazing samsara will be opened for you! He told them how they were very fortunate that the ISKCON devotees are coming here to the jail and giving you the message of Caitanya Mahaprabhu as imparted by Srila Prabhupada. Then Radharaman Maharaja spoke and Aindra also briefly addressed the prisoners with translation to Hindi by Srestha Prabhu.


Nando Reis with devotees - DirecTV Music Hall

Nando Reis is one of the most popular singer in Brazil. Sao Paulo 2005.


Samadhi - New book published by Mandala


This official publication commemorates the completion of Swami B.P. Puri+s samadhi mandir in Mayapur. Inside, an excerpt from Bodhayan Maharaj's forthcoming biography of his gurudev details his auspicious advent and boyhood pastimes. Further, articles by Bhaktivinode Thakur, Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur and Puri Maharaj himself examining the meaning of samadhi.


World Holy Name Day

Complete Works of A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Whole ItemFormatSize
Audio Files64Kbps MP3128Kbps MP3
CDJ 1-2 Japa by Example14.9M
CDJ 1-1 Group Japa18.9M
CD02 04-Hare Krishna Mantra 12.9M
Image FilesJPEG
Other FilesFlashAnimated GIFUnknown
prabhupada2.gif 21.9K
sp_works.fun 1.0M

The Revenge of King Kula Shaker

King Kula Shaker aka Kulahsekhara was a 9th century Indian emperor and one of the Alvars, a prominent group of Vaishnava saints. It is also the name of a swirling, guitar-heavy sounding rock group who become one of the most popular British bands of the post-Britpop era. They managed to revive late-'60s psychedilia infusing it with large doses of Krishna Consciousness (KC), essentially Indian spirituality and mysticism, setting them a bar above the rest of world bands and carving a new niche.


Top Krishna conscious blogs

Krishna conscious blogs with the most world-wide impact (according to Google):

Effect of reading Bhagvad Gita

An old Farmer lived on a farm in the mountains with his young grandson. Each morning Grandpa was up early sitting at the kitchen table reading his Bhagavad Geeta. His grandson wanted to be just like him and tried to imitate him in every way he could.

One day the grandson asked, "Grandpa! I try to read the Bhagawad Geeta just like you but I don't understand it, and what I do understand I forget as soon as I close the book. What good does reading the Bhagawad Geeta do?"

The Grandfather quietly turned from putting coal in the stove and replied, "Take this coal basket down to the river and bring me back a basket of water." The boy did as he was told, but all the water leaked out before he got back to the house. The grandfather laughed and said, "You'll have to move a little faster next time," and sent him back to the river with the basket to try again.

This time the boy ran faster, but again the basket was empty before he returned home. Out of breath, he told his grandfather that it was impossible to carry water in a basket, and he went
to get a bucket instead. The old man said, "I don't want a bucket of water; I want a basket of
water. You're just not trying hard enough," and he went out the door to watch the boy try again.

At this point, the boy knew it was impossible, but he wanted to show his grandfather that even if he ran as fast as he could, the water would leak out before he got back to the house. The boy again dipped the basket into river and ran hard, but when he reached his grandfather the basket was again empty. Out of breath, he said, "See Grandpa, it's useless!"

"So you think it is useless?" The old man said, "Look at the basket."

The boy looked at the basket and for the first time realized that the basket was different. It had been transformed from a dirty old coal basket and was now clean, inside and out.

"Son, that's what happens when you read the Bhagavad Geeta. You might not understand or remember everything, but when you read it, you will be changed, inside and out. That is the work of Krishna in our lives."

"Celebrate Life. Care for others and share whatever you have with those less fortunate than you. Broaden your vision, for the whole world belongs to you."


Government Bows Before God


Image: Reuters

A VHP supporter posing as Hanuman protests against the affidavit in Chandigarh.

New Delhi, Sept. 13: The government will rewrite its affidavit on Lord

Ram in a bid to avert a political Delhidahan, the fate that befell
Lanka for crossing his path.

Prodded by Sonia Gandhi, the Centre and the Congress today declared
that Ram was a historical figure and not a mythological “character” as
the affidavit suggested in the Supreme Court yesterday.

The government will file an amended supplementary affidavit in the
Supreme Court tomorrow, withdrawing the “offending” remarks in the
original document which said there was no “incontrovertible” proof to
establish that Ram ever lived.

A probe will also be launched to find out how the references were
inserted by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and why religious
sensitivities were not heeded.

Ambika Soni, the minister of culture and tourism under whose jurisdiction the ASI falls, is in Japan and is likely to return by the end of the week.

The push for the volte-face came from Sonia Gandhi, who was “extremely upset” about the way the Sangh Parivar has been tarring her credentials since the contents of the ASI affidavit were made public, sources said. They added that the Congress president wanted to ensure that communal elements do not give the controversy a sectarian colour and fan religious flames.

Early in the day, the Congress president advised Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to have the contentious references deleted. Initially, Singh is believed to have told her the government would “look into the matter”. But Sonia insisted there should be no delay because the BJP’s campaign had to be nipped in the bud.

Singh spoke to law minister H.R. Bharadwaj, who called a news conference in haste.

Bharadwaj, whose ministry vets every legal affidavit filed by the government, swore that Ram’s existence could not be questioned. “Just as the Himalayas are Himalayas and the Ganga is Ganga, Lord Ram is Lord Ram,” he said. “There is no requirement of any proof to establish the existence.”

The cabinet committee on political affairs and the Congress’s core committee assessed the fallout this evening.

The Congress was supposed to issue a statement, but nothing materialised till late tonight. Party leaders who responded to phone calls had one refrain: “Soniaji saved us.”

Travelling the extra mile, Bharadwaj said: “Lord Ram is an integral part of the life of Hindus. Ram cannot be said to be alienable from Indian ethos. These are matters of faith and cannot be made a subject matter of debate and litigation. Everything exists because of Ram.”

The Congress’s early assessment was the Sangh campaign might not take off after Sonia’s intervention. But L.K. Advani insisted that the Prime Minister and Sonia should apologise.

The VHP, buoyed by the response to yesterday’s campaign against the canal project, also turned up the heat with a rider. The parishad said it would not let any political party (read the BJP) hijack the programme like the Ram temple movement.


Srila Prabhupada Lectures

Hare Krishna ebooks

This section is provided for your personal research and study. Most of the books are offered in Adobe PDF format, which can be read using Adobe Acrobat Reader.

The online Vedabase allows for more thorough study. This option is recommended if you are interested in the study of Sanskrit. With the Vedabase you can see how one Sankrit word is used throughtout all of Srila Prabhupada’s books.

If you prefer having a physical book in your hands most of our E-books are available from our store in hard copy.

While reading these you may also wish to refer to our Sanskrit pronunciation guide.

Classic Texts

Bhagavad-gita As It Is | HTML | Vedabase | Buy

Srimad-Bhagavatam, Cantos: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | Vedabase | Buy

Caitanya-caritamrita, Adi | Madhya | Antya

Vedabase | Buy

Nectar of Devotion (516K) | Vedabase | Buy

Krsna Book (1.1 MB) | Buy

Nectar of Instruction (136K) | Vedabase | Buy

Sri Brahma-Samhita (164K) | Vedabase | Buy

Sri Isopanisad (156K) | Vedabase | Buy

Teachings of Lord Chaitanya | Vedabase | Buy

Teachings of Queen Kunti | Vedabase | Buy

Karma & Reincarnation

Beyond Birth And Death (140K)

Easy Journey to Other Planets (120K) | Buy

Life Comes From Life (168K) | Buy

Second Chance: Near Death Experience | Buy

Self-Realization Essays

Science of Self-Realization (452K) | Buy

Journey of Self-Discovery (448K) | Buy

Perfect Questions, Perfect Answers (136K) | Buy

Goswamis & Sanskrit Literature

Mukunda-Mala-Stotra (128K) | Vedabase | Buy

Narada-Bhakti-Sutra (132K) | Vedabase | Buy

Sri Krishna Sandarbha [PDF, 724K]

Laghu-Bhagavatamrta Vol. 1 of 3 - Krishna’s Transcendental Forms, by Srila Rupa Gosvami [PDF, 255K]


Elevation to Krishna Consciousness (132K) | Buy

Laws of Nature: An Infallible Justice (204K) | Buy

Message of Godhead (164K)

On the Way to Krishna (160K)

Raja-Vidya: King of Knowledge (148K) | Buy

Teachings of Lord Kapila (376 KB) | Vedabase

Teachings of Prahlada Maharaja (88 KB)

Yoga & Meditation

Krishna Consciousness, The Topmost Yoga | Buy

Path of Perfection (232K) | Buy

Perfection of Yoga (54K) | Buy

Other Gems

Songs of the Vaishnava Acharyas | Buy

Vishnu Sahasra Nama - Thousand Names of Vishnu [PDF, 252K]

Tattva-viveka - Short work by Srila Bhaktivinode [PDF, 235K]

Amnayasutra - Short work by Srila Bhaktivinode [PDF, 550K]

Krishna Consciousness - A Philosophy for Everyone

The philosophy of Krishna consciousness is non-sectarian and monotheistic. It may be summarized in the following eight points:

1) By sincerely following an authentic spiritual science, we can become worry-free and achieve a state of pure, unending, blissful consciousness.

2) We are not physical bodies made of matter. Each of us is an eternal soul, part of God, or Krishna. Realizing that we all have one common father in God helps us to see each other as one global united family.

3) Krishna is eternal, all-knowing, all-powerful, all-attractive and present everywhere. He is the source of all life and the sustaining energy of the universe.

4) The Bhagavad-gita, spoken by Krishna Himself over 5,000 years ago, contains the essence of the Vedas, ancient Sanskrit texts.
The goal of Vedic knowledge is simple: to know and love God.

5) A genuine spiritual teacher (guru) is an essential guide on our path to self-realization. The Bhagavad-gita and other sacred texts
list many criteria one should look for in a potential guru. Above all, a guru should repeat Krishna's message unchanged, be free from selfish motives, and constantly focus his thoughts and actions on Krishna.

6) Before eating, we should acknowledge and reciprocate Krishna's love by offering all our food to Him with a prayer. Like a parent receiving a gift from a young child, Krishna is pleased when we offer Him food, even though He Himself has provided it. Offering food
to Krishna purifies our consciousness and brings us closer to Him.

7) Rather than living in a self-centered way, we should act in a way that gives Krishna pleasure. This is known as bhakti-yoga, the science of devotional service.

8) The most effective means for today's spiritual seeker to reach the blissful, worry-free state mentioned in point one, and to become
closer to God, is to chant His holy names:

Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare
Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare


Sri Radhastami

Srimati Radharani is the eternal consort of Lord Krishna. Five thousand years ago, when Lord Krishna came to this planet to perform His pastimes, Srimati Radharani also appeared.

“On a half-moon night in the month of Bhadra, King Vrishabhanu came to the Jamuna to bathe and found himself engulfed in a golden aura, the golden aura of pure love. It was emanating from a lotus, which had a baby girl standing on its whorl. When the king returned to the palace with the baby, Queen Kirtida was delighted. She was also shocked that the girl was blind.

“Lord Krishna’s mother, Yashoda, heard that her best friend Kirtida had a baby, so she came to visit along with her husband and her son. Krishna crawled up to the cradle and pulled Himself up and looked in. At that moment, Srimati Radharani’s eyes fluttered and opened wide and blossomed like lotuses. It seems that she did not want to see anything of this world, only the form of Sri Krishna. Everyone was delighted.

“Srimati Radharani is the mother of the universe, the spiritual mother of all souls. And the concept of mother is the most sacred symbol—that of purity, selflessness, caring, sharing, nurturing, and love. That is why our sacred mantra is the holy names. It is the holy names in the vocative. Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare / Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.

“‘Hare’ means ‘Radhe.’ It is a plaintive, desperate cry for the mother. ‘Radhe! Please wake us up from this nightmare of mortal life! Remind us of the father we have forgotten and take us home!’”

In the Krishna consciousness movement, devotees carefully worship Srimati Radharani as the bestower of devotional service to Krishna, by attentively chanting her name in the maha-mantra, by worshiping her deity form, and by following the instructions of the most merciful Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who is the combined form of Radha and Krishna.

“(Therefore) Radha is parama-devata, the supreme goddess, and She is worshipable for everyone. She is the protectress of all, and She is the mother of the entire universe.” —Caitanya Caritamrita, Adi 4.89


Report on Lord Rama Withdrawn

Image: NASA

The Indian government has withdrawn a controversial report submitted in court earlier this week which questioned the existence of the Hindu god Ram.

The report was withdrawn after huge protests by opposition parties.

The report was presented to the Supreme Court on Wednesday in connection with a case against a proposed shipping canal project between India and Sri Lanka.

Hindu hardliners say the project will destroy what they say is a bridge built by Ram and his army of monkeys.

Scientists and archaeologists say the Ram Setu (Lord Ram's bridge) - or Adam's Bridge as it is sometimes called - is a natural formation of sand and stones.

No evidence

In their report submitted to the court, the government and the Archaeological Survey of India questioned the belief, saying it was solely based on the Hindu mythological epic Ramayana.

They said there was no scientific evidence to prove that the events described in Ramayana ever took place or that the characters depicted in the epic were real.

Hindu activists say the bridge was built by Lord Ram's monkey army to travel to Sri Lanka and has religious significance.

In the last two days, the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has launched a scathing attack on the government for questioning the "faith of the million".

Worried about the adverse reaction from the majority Hindu population of the country, the Congress Party-led government has now done a U-turn and withdrawn the statement submitted in court.

The government asked the court for three months to try and sort out the issue.

Additional Solicitor General Gopal Subramaniam, appearing on behalf of the government, said they would set up a mechanism to hear concerns expressed by those opposed to the canal project.

The court adjourned the matter for three months saying they would take up the case again in January.

In the meantime, the court has said that dredging work for the canal could continue, but Ram's Bridge should not be touched

Road blocks

On Wednesday, Hindu hard-line organisations blocked roads across India to protest against the Sethusamudram Shipping Canal Project.

Commuters in the capital, Delhi, were stuck in traffic jams for hours as Vishwa Hindu Parishad (World Hindu Council) and Bajrang Dal blocked roads at various places.

Road blocks were also held in Bhopal, the capital of the central state of Madhya Pradesh, on the Delhi-Agra highway and on the Jaipur-Agra highway.

Train services were disrupted in many places across northern India.

The canal project proposes to link the Palk Strait with the Gulf of Mannar between India and Sri Lanka by dredging a canal through the shallow sea.

This is expected to provide a continuous navigable sea route around the Indian peninsula.

Once complete, the canal will reduce the travel time for ships by hundreds of miles and is expected to boost the economic and industrial development of the region.


9,500-Year-Old City Found Underwater Off India

Discovery in Bay of Cambay Will Force Western Archaeologists to Rewrite History
4500-year-old Harappan

The vast city — which is five miles long and two miles wide — is believed to predate the oldest known remains in the subcontinent by more than 5,000 years.

The site was discovered by chance last year by oceanographers from India's National Institute of Ocean Technology, who were conducting a survey of pollution.

Using sidescan sonar, which sends a beam of sound waves down to the bottom of the ocean, they identified huge geometrical structures at a depth of 120 feet.

Debris recovered from the site — including construction material, pottery, sections of walls, beads, sculpture, and human bones and teeth — has been carbon dated and found to be nearly 9,500 years old (BBC article).

Even if we don't know what the cultural background of the people is, if it does happen to be a city that is 9500 years old, that is older than the Sumerian civilization by several thousand years. It is older than the Egyptian, older than the Chinese. So it would radically affect our whole picture of the development of urban civilization on this planet.

Now, if it further happens that additional research is able to identify the culture of the people who lived in that city that's now underwater — if it turns out they are a Vedic people, which I think is quite probable given the location of this off the coast of India — I think that would radically change the whole picture of Indian history which has basically been written by Western archaeologists.

To read about the previously most ancient finds in India, at Harappan, and their relationship to Vedic tradition, please see Linda Moulton Howe's article at her website EarthFiles.com.


Underwater Urban Archeology: 7 Submerged Wonders of the World

A wealth of human history lies submerged in ancient cities at the bottoms of lakes, seas and oceans of the world. Some of these were sent into the water via earthquakes, tsunamis or other disasters thousands of years ago. Many have just recently been rediscovered, by accident or through emergent technological innovations. Some have even caused scientists to question the history of human civilization.

Bay of Cambay, India: A few years back discovered the remains of a vast 9,500 year old city. This submerged ruin has intact architecture and human remains. More significantly, this find predates all finds in the area by over 5,000 years, forcing historians to reevaluate their understanding of the history of civilazation in the region. The find has been termed Dwarka, or the ‘Golden City,’ after an ancient city-in-the sea said to belong to the Hindu god Krishna.


Japanese tea offered to Lord Krishna for world peace

New Delhi, Sept 13 (ANI): In a unique ceremony here today, Japanese tea masters served special holy tea to Lord Krishna at the famous Laxmi Narayan temple to promote peace and harmony in the world.

The ancient Japanese tea ceremony or 'Chado' was celebrated as part of the ongoing 'Japan-India Friendship Year'.

'Chado' is a traditional Japanese ritual based on Taoism and influenced by Zen Buddhism.

The ceremony was part of the 'Urasenke' school of tea ceremony.

A special concoction called 'Matcha' is made from powdered green tea leaves, which is served to a small group of guests in a tranquil setting.

'Matcha' forms the basis for profound spiritual and aesthetic discipline that has had a pervasive impact on Japanese civilization.

The tea prepared by the tea master was offered to the Hindu deity, and later given to all the guests present at the occasion.

"Through this tea ceremony, we want to spread the message of peace and harmony in the world," said Hounsai Genshitsu Sen, Tea Master and Japan-UN Goodwill Ambassador.

Sen has been serving as Japan-UN Goodwill Ambassador since 2005 and has been travelling across the world to spread peace and harmony among nations, as expounded in Chado tradition. (ANI)


World Holy Name Day

Monday, September 17th, the day Srila Prabhupada arrived in America, has been designated as “World Holy Name Day”. Either on this day, or on the following weekend (September 22-23), devotees are requested to make an extra effort to spread the holy names.

The New Vrindaban community will be taking part by holding an all-day kirtan on Saturday the 22nd. If you’d like to participate, please contact Caitanya Dasa at 304-843-1600, ext. 104.

We are also hoping to have a harinam in Pittsburgh on the 17th. Again, please contact Caitanya Dasa to participate.

Hare Krsna!


Sri Radhastami 2007 - 19 September

Silent secrets of the sea

The sea, it is said, hides its secrets well. Over centuries, it has concealed sunken cities as well as wrecks of many ships in its depths. No wonder then, that archaeologists believe that there are more historical secrets lying underwater than on surface. Especially, in a country like ours.

"India has a 7,500 km long coastline and a maritime heritage that is over 5,000 years old. Most of the country's waters are unexplored and have the potential of containing rich archaeological treasures that can help solve many mysteries of the past,” says Alok Tripathi of the Underwater Archaeology Wing of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).

Till now, however, marine or underwater archaeology hasn't really taken off in India. ''Marine archaeological excavations in India started only in the early 1980s, though the world over, they started in the 1960s,'' says K H Vora, scientist in the marine archaeology division of the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO), Goa.

Agrees Tripathi, ''The beginning of this stream of archaeology in India can be traced to excavations at Kaveripatnam in Tamil Nadu in 1981, where the submerged remains of a city of the Sangam era were found. This was followed by the offshore survey of an ancient submerged port that was undertaken in the Bay of Bengal in the same year.''

Since then, underwater archaeological excavations have mostly been done on the eastern and western coasts of India, as well as around the islands near the coasts. The most talked about excavation has been the one at Dwarka, off the Gujarat coast. ''While underwater excavations have been continuing here since 1983 and regular claims have been made of it being the site of Krishna's capital city, mentioned in the Mahabharata, fresh excavations this year in the intertidal zone and underwater locations here have revealed new evidence which will help determine the actual antiquity of the site,'' says Tripathi.


Imaging Technology Restores Damaged Madhva Text

Scientists who worked on the Archimedes Palimpsest are using modern imaging technologies to digitally restore a 700-year-old Vaishnava palm-leaf manuscript.

The project, led by P.R. Mukund and Roger L. Easton Jr., professors at Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York, will digitally preserve the original writings known as the Sarvamoola-granthas, attributed to the scholarly preceptor Sripada Madhvacharya (1238-1317). The collection of 36 works contains his Sanskrit commentaries on sacred scriptures and conveys an exposition of his philosophical system (popularly known as Dvaita Vedanta, to emphasize its departure from Sripada Sankaracharya's earlier system of Advaita Vedanta).

The document is difficult to handle and to read, the result of centuries of inappropriate storage techniques, botched preservation efforts and degradation due to improper handling. Each leaf of the manuscript measures 26 inches long and two inches wide (66cm X 5cm), and is bound together with braided cord threaded through two holes. Heavy wooden covers sandwich the 340 palm leaves, cracked and chipped at the edges. Time and a misguided application of oil have aged the palm leaves dark brown, obscuring the Sanskrit writings.

It is literally crumbling to dust, says Mukund, the Gleason Professor of Electrical Engineering at RIT. According to Mukund, 15 percent of the manuscript is missing. The book will never be opened again, unless there is a compelling reason to do so, Mukund says, because every time they do, they lose some. After this, there won't be a need to open the book.

Mukund first became involved with the project when his spiritual teacher in India brought the problem to his attention and urged him to find a solution. This became a personal goal for Mukund, who studies and teaches sanatan-dharma and understood the importance of preserving the document for future scholars. The accuracy of existing printed copies of the Sarvamoola-granthas is unknown.

Mukund sought the expertise of RIT colleague Easton, who had imaged the Dead Sea Scrolls and is currently working on the Archimedes Palimpsest. Easton, a professor at RIT Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science, brought in Keith Knox, an imaging senior scientist at Boeing LTS, as a consultant. Mukund added Ajay Pasupuleti, a doctoral candidate in microsystems at RIT, and the team was formed.

The scientists traveled to India in December 2005 to assess the document stored at a monastery-like matha in Udupi, India. Sponsored by a grant from RIT, the team returned to the monastery in June and spent six days imaging the document using a scientific digital camera and an infrared filter to enhance the contrast between the ink and the palm leaf. Images of each palm leaf, back and front, were captured in eight to ten sections, then processed and digitally stitched together.

"The imaging is fairly straightforward," said Easton. The leaves, or what remained of them, were laid out on a movable tabletop. Like an assembly line worker, Pasupuleti spent hours a day advancing the tabletop a short distance, taking a picture and then repeating the process. Each image covered a two-inch (5cm X 5cm) square of leaf. The summer was spent digitally stitching the 7,900 images together - work overseen in large part by Knox, using various image-processing algorithms using Adobe Photoshop and Knox's custom software.

This is a very significant application of the same types of tools that we have used on the Archimedes Palimpsest, Easton says. Not incidentally, this also has been one of the most enjoyable projects in my career, since the results will be of great interest to a large number of people in India.

The processed images of the Sarvamoola-granthas will be stored in a variety of media formats, including electronically, in published books and on silicon wafers for long-term preservation. Etching the sacred writings on silicon wafers was the idea of Mukund's student Pasupuleti. The process, called aluminum metallization, transfers an image to a wafer by creating a negative of the image and depositing metal on the silicon surface. According to Pasupuleti, each wafer can hold the image of three leaves. More than a hundred such wafers will be needed to store the entire manuscript. As an archival material, silicon wafers are both fireproof and waterproof, and are readable with the use of a magnifying glass.

Mukund and Pasupuleti will return to India at the end of November to give printed and electronic versions of the Sarvamoola-granthas to the monastery in Udupi in a public ceremony in Bangalore, the largest city in the Karnataka region. We feel we were blessed to have this opportunity to do this, Mukund says. It was a fantastic and profoundly spiritual experience, and we all came away cleansed.

Based on the success of this project, Mukund is seeking funding to image other Dvaita-sampradaya Vaishnava manuscripts in the Udupi region written since the time of Sripada Madhvacharya. He estimates the existence of approximately 800 palm leaf manuscripts, some of which are in private collections.


Each palm leaf of the sacred manuscript, the Sarvamoola-granthas, was captured in multiple sections, processed and digitally stitched together. The somewhat blurred image shows the condition of an original leaf from the text, stitched together but unprocessed. The sharper image shows a stitched and processed page after applying modern imaging technologies. Images were taken by Roger Easton, from Rochester Institute of Technology, and Keith Knox, from Boeing LTS, using a Sensys scientific digital camera and an infrared filter.


Chocolate Does Not Contain Caffeine

by Manoharini dasi, Abridged from Mark Canizaro's www.xocoatl.org website

Posted September 2, 2007

There is a persistent urban legend that chocolate contains caffeine. It would seem that this rumor is based primarily on a confusion between two similar alkaloids: caffeine and theobromine. Theobromine is the active ingredient in chocolate, and it occurs only in cacao. The two stimulants are related and have a similar structures, but are very different chemicals with different properties, effects and origins. Of course, some chocolate products have added caffeine, but it does not occur naturally in chocolate.

This rumor seems to have a life of its own; it won't go away, and yet, most references to it are references to the urban legend itself. Amusingly, almost all of the chocolate and caffeine references on the Internet are circular. (Follow the references through a few links sometime; you often wind up back at the page where you began.) It is actually quite common to see references that confuse caffeine and theobromine. Many people and some semi-scientific sources confuse the two. Stollwerck, for example, says in one place that chocolate contains 1.2 percent theobromine and 0.2 percent caffeine, but in another place just says 1.4 percent caffeine without mentioning theobromine, which is obviously wrong.

There is no scientific substantiation that chocolate contains caffeine, and a great deal of evidence that it does not. The Biochemist (April/May 1993, p. 15) did chemical composition tests where they specifically distinguished between caffeine and theobromine. They found regularly up to 1.3 percent by weight theobromine in chocolate. . . . They could not detect any caffeine at all. I have yet to see a dependable chemical reference that includes caffeine in chocolate. The Merck Index, 12th Edition, says that a very small amount of caffeine is found in the hulls of of the cacao seeds, but the hulls are discarded before processing.

People seem to assume that caffeine is the only stimulant. Theobromine clearly has stimulant properties, so people reflexively attribute those effects to caffeine -- even though many of the effects are fundamentally different from caffeine.


How Krishna Consciousness Came into My Life, Pt. 1

I have worked, off and on, on writing an account of the events that brought Krishna consciousness into my life. I'd like to offer here a draft of the first part of that article.

It was certainly not what anyone expected to happen that weekend. I had been in the Navy for almost three years and served as an intelligence analyst at the Pacific Fleet Intelligence Center at Pearl Harbor. Because of the security clearances necessary for my work, I generally avoided going to concerts such as this one. It seemed that attending a Grateful Dead concert, or a Jefferson Airplane concert at Honolulu’s Civic Auditorium during the late ‘60s would draw unwanted attention. But here it was, a full-moon night in May of 1969, and I couldn’t resist seeing the Jimi Hendrix Experience live at the Waikiki Shell. After the warm-up band played, Jimi came out and played a couple of numbers. Then he mumbled something about the sound system not being powerful enough for his music and said he’d be back in fifteen minutes.

After much more than fifteen minutes, one of the announcers from the local underground FM radio station, which promoted the concerts this weekend, announced that Jimi wouldn’t be able to play that night, but if we brought our ticket stubs on Sunday night, he’d perform for free. In the meantime, which might have been an hour or so, I heard a persistent sound from just outside the Shell: ching-ching-chiiiing, ching-ching-chiiiing, ching-ching-chiiiing, on and on. Sometimes it went faster, sometimes slower, but it never stopped during the entire break. As we left the Shell, what we found were perhaps the most exotic folks I had ever seen. There, under a large, rainbow-colored banner with the Hare Krishna mantra, were Govinda dasi, Sudama, Turiya das, and another young woman, playing karatals, a guitar, a rather exotic-looking drum, and chanting, “Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.” As the crowd streamed out of the Shell, it gathered around the devotees, young people clapping, swaying, and chanting along. As I heard the mantra, I found it oddly familiar. Sure, I had heard the song from the tribal rock musical Hair on the radio, but this was different.


Love beyond Law

by Swami BV Tripurari

Those who stress the hells and punishments, rules, etc. of the 5th Canto of the Bhagavata do not have a very good understanding of the text and thus of bhakti. Bhakti is not about rules. It is about love, and there are no rules in love, and there is no love in following rules. Over-identifying with even the rules of bhakti is detrimental to bhakti (niyamagraha). Rules have a purpose and over-identifying with them can be at the cost of realizing their purpose. They are meant to foster love. That’s all.

From the very beginning we are told to forgo the rules, sarva dharman parityaja mam eakam saranam vraja. While this applies to the rules of dharma sastra, for those who come to bhakti from outside of the karma marg it also applies more readily to the rules of bhakti. The point being that Krsna is asking Arjuna to love him, not follow a set of rules. And of course this means to do as he says regardless of what might be said–even by himself elsewhere. Follow Sri Guru. This is sraddha. How sublime. But how many practitioners understand this? Many identify with the rules of bhakti, but how many are prepared to put themselves in the hands of Sri Guru? We trust ourselves too much. We should be afraid of this tendency. As I said elsewhere, love is illusive while rules are easier to grab on to. To the extent that one identifies the rules with bhakti itself, one’s faith is compromised and one’s capacity to follow the path inhibited.

Swami BV Tripurari's weblog

My career is secondary:Madhoo

Tell us about your acting experience in Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.

It felt great playing mother to the demigod. When Gufiji first narrated the script to me, I obliged immediately. It really touched my heart and I’m sure it would touch a chord with the audience. The preachings of Sri Chaitanya are universal and applicable worldwide. These are not caught in a time warp.

Are you a spiritual person in real life as well?

You can’t expect me to sit under a tree, meditating. If this is what spirituality means then I am definitely not the type. My spirituality lies in my peace-loving nature, it’s reflected in my happiness. Also, I try my best to be nice to everyone I know.


How Chitanya Mahaprabhu Organized KIrtan ?

The benefit of organized kirtan.

Chaitanya mahaprabhu organized four sankirtana parties

Each having two mridangas. After some cosideration the lord selected svarupa damodara as the leader of the first party, and five assistants were chosen to respond to his chanting. Damodara pandita, narayana, govinda datta, raghava pandita, and sri govinda nanda, advaita acharya was ordered to dance in this group.

A second party was formed having shrivasa thakura as the lead singer. Gagadasa, hari dasa, shriman, shubha nanda and

Shri rama pandita were the responsive singers and nityananda prabhu was selected to dance.

Mukunda become the chief singer in the third party the responsive singers were vasudeva, gopinatha, murari, shrikanta, and vallabha sena and haridasa thakura was chosen to dance.

In the forth group, govinda ghosh was the lead singer, and the younger haridasa, vishnudasa, raghava, madhava ghosh and vasudeva ghosh responded. While vakreshwara pandita danced.

Beside these four groups, there was a party from kulma-grama in which ramananda and satyaraja were selected to dance. There was also a party from santipura and advaita acharya’s son acyutananda become the dancer in addition there was a seventh group formed by the inhabitants of khanda, and narahari and raghunanda were the dancers.


Here comes the Sun - Srila Prabhupada slide show with George Harrison song


Muslims in India crown Hindu deities

Muslim artisans in Varanasi are making crowns for Hindu deities.

The crown making business starts ahead of the Hindu festival Janmasthami, the birth anniversary of their Lord Krishna.

Idols are normally made of clay, but Hindus and Muslims work together to adorn it.

"The stitching and designing of a crown is done by Muslims, whereas the finishing and the selling of crowns is done by Hindus. 50-50 work is shared by both Hindus and Muslims," said Krishna Prasad Mahendra, a crown exporter. About 20,000 Muslim families depend on crown making for their livelihood.

The crowns are made in various sizes ranging from 22 to 50 inches, depending on the size of the idols, some of which are embedded with stones and semi- precious jewels.

These crowns are then sent to Vrindavan, Mathura, Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi, Surat and Ahmedabad.


Say NO to bullfights

A demonstration against bullfights took place last Saturday in Malaga so we went to chant there to support the cause. Bullfights are considered part of the Spanish tradition as well as an “art”, but obviously it’s just a sophisticated way of torturing and killing one of the most peaceful animals, the bull… what to say from the vedic point of view…


Krishna Temple, Patan Durbar Square

Mahabharata Video Game in Production

Canadian-based studio Syncere Arts is working on an action-adventure game based on the Mahabharata, an epic tale in Indian mythology. Mahabharata: The Dawn of Kaliyuga aims to let players feel as powerful as the ancient warriors while still providing a good challenge. You play the role of warrior prince Arjuna whose destiny is, obviously, to save the world. The game will let players choose between various schools of combat, and nearly 100 weapons and Vedic powers.

Syncere hopes to publish Mahabharata in April 2008 and plans to release both PC and Xbox 360 versions. GameGuru.in (GG) had an exclusive chat with the team of Syncere Arts (SA), the studio behind the forthcoming India-centric game, Mahabharata: The Dawn of Kaliyuga.
It comprised of the CEO Vaibhavi Pathak, Devinder Thiara, the lead story writer and Tanya White. Here is what they had to say:

Q: Can you tell us something more about Syncere Arts? A little about the company, its brainchild and its performance today.

A: Syncere Arts was born out of a passion for two things: gaming technology and sharing the great stories of Indian culture with the world. As CEO of the company, Vaibhavi Pathak is working hard to bring the Indian war epic, Mahabharata, to the masses in a fun way that will ensure the great story lives on in future generations.


Chief Priest of Puri Temple Visits ISKCON Mayapur

His Holiness Gyanachandra Goswami , Mahanta [Chief Preist] of Sri Sri Radha-Radhakanta Mutt at Gambhira, Puri dham visited ISKCON Mayapur during Janmashtami festival. He participated in the Janmastami festival and also in Srila Prabhupada Vyasa Puja. He was very appreciative of ISKCON devotees hard work to fulfill the mission of Srila Prabhupada.

He received a garland at the early morning Mangla Arati ceremony with all the devotees welcoming them by chanting Hare Krishna Mahamantra. This was his first visit to Mayapur. He expressed his happiness for being invited for this festival and thanked us for the opportunity to perform abhiseka to Srila Prabhupada on his appearance day. He was accompanied by another two Mahantas, who will eventually be his successors. Gambhira is an important holy place for Gaudiya Vaishnavas where Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu stayed for eighteen years and personally worshipped the Sri Sri Radha-Radhakanta deities at Kasi Mishra’s house. Recently, the leadershipe there was kind enough to allow ISKCON devotees to perform service to Gambhira temple by supporting the Gambhira renovation project.


California Senate opened with Hindu prayer for first time

Hindu Chaplain Rajan Zed starting with "Om", the mystical syllable containing the universe, which in Hinduism is used to introduce and conclude religious work, he read from Rig-Veda, the oldest scripture of the world still in common use, dated from around 1,500 BCE.
Hindu Chaplain Rajan Zed starting with "Om", the mystical syllable containing the universe, which in Hinduism is used to introduce and conclude religious work, he read from Rig-Veda, the oldest scripture of the world still in common use, dated from around 1,500 BCE.

Sacramento, California, 29 August, (Asiantribune.com):
California State Senate here heard its first Hindu opening prayer on Monday in its 157 years history, when famous Hindu chaplain, Rajan Zed, recited Gayatri and other ancient Sanskrit mantras.

Starting with "Om", the mystical syllable containing the universe, which in Hinduism is used to introduce and conclude religious work, he read from Rig-Veda, the oldest scripture of the world still in common use, dated from around 1,500 BCE. He also delivered from Brahadaranyakopnisad, Taittiriya Upanisad, and Bhagavad-Gita (Song of the Lord), all ancient Hindu scriptures. He ended the prayer with last mantra of Rig-Veda, "samani va akutih", before concluding with "Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti", which he then translated as "Peace, Peace, Peace be unto all".

Before starting the prayer, he sprinkled Gangajal (holy water from river Ganga in India) on the podium, which is traditional in Hindu worship.

Wearing saffron colored attire, a ruddraksh mala (rosary), and traditional sandalpaste tilak (religious mark) on the forehead, Zed, after reciting the original lines in Sanskrit, then read the English translation of the verses. Sanskrit is considered a sacred language in Hinduism and root language of all Indo-European languages. Full text of the prayer will be recorded in the Daily Journal of the Senate, which is a permanent public record.

Reverend Canon James D. Richardson, Chaplain of California State Senate, introduced Rajan Zed while Don Perata, Senate President pro Tem; Senator Christine Kehoe (San Jose) and Senator Elaine Alquist (San Diego) personally welcomed him.

One of the paragraphs of this Hindu prayer read in Sanskrit was "Asato ma sad gamaya, Tamaso ma jyotir gamaya, Mrityor mamrtam gamaya", which was translated in English as "Lead me from the unreal to the Real, Lead me from darkness to Light, Lead me from death to immortality."

Zed was accompanied to the California Senate by his community volunteer wife Shipa Zed; son Navgeet Zed, recipient of Nevada Peacemaker of the Year award; and a group of other supporters, including Jassi Cheema, Paradhyeya Das, Chaitanya Dasi, etc., many of whom came out of town.

"This day of August 27, 2007, is an esteemed day for all Californians and momentous day for us when opening prayers from ancient Hindu scriptures are being read in this majestic hall of democracy," Zed remarked.

Rajan Zed, affiliated with World Congress of Faiths-London and listed in "Who's Who in America" 2006, volunteers as a chaplain in various hospitals, serves on various Boards of Directors, and is very active in interfaith dialogue. He created history on July 12 last when he opened the United States Senate session in Washington DC with Hindu prayer for the first time in its 218 years history. City of Reno issued him a proclamation and he received various honors from different organizations in this country and abroad.

Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has no datable beginning but some scholars put it around 3,000 BCE. It has no founder, no one authoritative figure, and no single prophet or holy book. One of its scriptures, Mahabharata, is the longest poem ever written, comprising over 100,000 couplets. Hinduism in North America was introduced in 1830s with Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau studying Hindu scriptures like Upanisads and Bhagavad-Gita. Vivekananda made a strong impression at World's Parliament of Religion in Chicago in 1893 and he then founded Vedanta Society. Protap Chunder Mozoomdar of Brahmo Samaj delivered his first American address on September 02, 1883 in Concord, Massachusetts.

California ranks eighth in Gross Domestic Products in the world, higher than Canada, Spain, Russia, India, Australia, etc. California State Senate has 40 Senators, with each Senator representing 846, 791 Californians. Current Senate Chaplain Richardson, an Episcopal Priest, is the 47th chaplain since 1897, when this office began. Generally he offers the opening prayer but guest chaplains are also invited from time to time.

The prayers are offered to God on behalf of the Senate in recognition that our freedom and our abundance are gifts from God, according to Senate Chaplain Webpage.