â€śWe have a lot of clashing in our country on political, racial and even religious grounds, but we are all spiritually interconnected,â€ť said His Holiness Bhakti Swami Chaitanya, governing body commissioner for the International Society for Krishna Consciousness in South Africa.
Your Majesty King Goodwill Zwelithini, Your Excellency President Jacob Zuma, Distinguished KZN Premier Dr Zweli Mkhize, ministers and government officials, ladies and gentlemen
Dec 23 2012 Following You Home
On a warm summer evening in Ann Arbor, Michigan, just over forty years ago, I chanced upon a group of sannyasis chanting the holy names on the lawn of a university. I came forward to listen to their singing, intrigued by their dress, their demeanor, and their obvious joy
Nov 18 2012 How Wonderful It Is
You told me personally: "Preach boldly and have faith in the holy names." That one instruction gave birth to all the good fortune in my life and will continue to maintain me until my final breath.
Nov 14 2012 The Cherry on Top of the Cake
Therefore the preaching of Krsna consciousness must be done very carefully by the members of the Krsna consciousness movement, especially the sannyasis. This will create an auspicious atmosphere
Nov 7 2012 A Childhood Hero Revisited
"A thief accused Alexander the Great that, 'What is the difference between you and me? I am a small thief and you are a big thief. That's all. Why you are punishing me? You are a big thief. You are doing same thing."
Nov 3 2012 Learning Tolerance from a Shipwrecked Sailor
I can understand that it is not an easy manner to travel extensively over long periods of time without proper food, rest, and sometimes it must be very cold there also, and still, because you are getting so much enjoyment, spiritual enjoyment, from it, it seems like play to you
Sep 30 2012 Lo and Behold
Victory! Victory! Victory! I behold something wonderful: all the inauspiciousness of the living entities is destroyed, no one is going to hell, Yamaraja has no more work to do and the effects of Kali-yuga have ceased to exist. This is because all over the world an increasing number of Lord Visnuâ€™s devotees are singing His names while dancing and playing musical instruments
Mar 18 2012 Daughter of the Sun God
It was my last week in Sri Vrindavan Dhama. I wanted to take advantage of my final precious days in the holy dhama, so I took a small group of devotees to Radha Kunda for parikrama. During our circumambulation of the sacred lake, a Vrajavasi man invited us into his home for fresh, hot chapattis which his wife and daughter served us with yogurt
Nov 7 2011 Special People and a Special Park
Human energy should be properly utilized in developing the finer senses for spiritual understanding, in which lies the solution of life. Fruits, flowers, beautiful gardens, parks and reservoirs of water with ducks and swans playing in the midst of lotus flowers, and cows giving sufficient milk and butter are essential for developing the finer tissues of the human body
Oct 30 2011 Your Deep Compassion
Thirty four years ago today you departed from our material vision. Although the departures of pure devotees are celebrated as glorious in the vaisnava tradition, I honestly have never felt this to be a day of festivities. Instead of celebrating, I feel more comfortable spending time alone remembering your pastimes amongst us and reflecting on my service to your divine mission
Aug 23 2011 Fulfilling Your Mission
Today on the occasion of your Vyasa Puja it is with great pleasure I report to you that once again hundreds of thousands of people have received the great mercy of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu on the Baltic Sea coast in Poland. That mercy has taken the form of your books, the holy names, prasadam distribution, and the blissful association of many wonderful devotees
Aug 19 2011 The Signs of Change
He makes a song of the names 'Hare,' 'Krsna' and 'Rama,' and by giving it to the mass of people destroys all obstacles such as sorrow, delusion, greed, and suffering. He grants devotional service to the multitude of devotees who are eager for the shelter of Lord Krsna's lotus feet
Aug 8 2011 Your New Mayor Is Wonderful
"Our only hope is to chant Hare Krishna and rectify the whole situation. I think this is possible. It has been proved in Calcutta that the Naxalites were very much against us holding our Hare Krishna festival, but still later on they became sympathetic and did not cause any harm for us. If we follow the same principles everywhere... [governments] all over the world will come forward sympathetically for advancing this movement."
Jul 15 2011 A Greater Reward
I boarded an Aeroflot flight from Kiev to Moscow and quickly went to my seat. After the austerity of flying hundreds of times with Aeroflot throughout Russia, I had finally been upgraded to business class...
Jun 25 2011 The Atheist and the Wind
As soon as I arrived in Johannesburg I caught a connecting flight to Durban. On the plane I was struck by the diversity of the passengers. "Muslims, Hindus, Christians, and Jews," I thought as I made my way to my seat. "People of African, European, and Chinese descent. It's all here. I'm happy to be back in the Rainbow Nation."
Feb 27 2011 Ghee Lamps in a Bag and the Lord in My Hands
"Out of His causeless mercy, the Supreme Personality of Godhead presents Himself before us so that we can see Him. Since we have no transcendental vision, we cannot see the spiritual sac-cid-ananda-vigraha ... We can only see material things like stone and wood, and therefore He accepts a form of stone and wood and thus accepts our service in the temple..."
Jan 21 2011 An Offering of Love
Dearest BB Govinda Maharaja, I'm sorry I can't be with you in Moscow at the auspicious celebration of your sixtieth birthday. I'm far away, but I want you to know that I am thinking of you and remembering you throughout the day
Dec 19 2010 There Are Too Few Like You
It was with great sorrow that I heard about your sudden departure from this world. Although we regularly hear about these things in sastra and are constantly preparing ourselves for such inevitable events, somehow when they actually happen we seem totally unprepared. And so it is that I can hardly believe you are no longer among u
Dec 11 2010 The Sacred Necklace
One morning in Vrindavana, I was sitting in my house chanting my rounds when my disciple Narottam Das Thakur Das came to see me. He offered his respectful obeisances and then spoke. "Guru Maharaja," he said, "it's been a long time since I have visited Govardhana Hill. If you don't have any service for me today, I would like your blessings to go on Govardhana parikrama."
Oct 11 2010 I Never Cry
Life on the festival tour in Poland this summer was austere - the cramped living facilities, the long hours, and the hotter-than-normal weather - but our three hundred devotees kept their spirits up all the way through. Many said that it had been our best tour, as proved by the largest crowds ever
Sep 25 2010 Your Name Will Be There
My dear godbrother Sridhar Maharaja, numerous godbrothers, disciples, friends and well-wishers have gathered around the world and are enjoying sweet memories of your glorious activities in spreading the samkirtan mission of Lord Caitanya
Sep 3 2010 Fulfilling Your Desires
On this auspicious day 114 years ago, you appeared in this world to bestow causeless mercy on the fallen souls of this age. At the time of your appearance your glories were unmanifest like a lotus flower that remains closed in the darkness of night
Aug 5 2010 A Living Gita
The splendid path of pure devotional service, which bewildered the great sages in the past, which material intelligence has no power to enter, which Sukadeva Goswami was not able to understand, and which merciful Lord Krsna never revealed even to His closest friend, is the place where the dear devotees of Lord Gaura happily enjoy pastimes
Jul 21 2010 In Memoriam
We, the members of the Festival of India in Poland, would like to express our extreme sorrow and lamentation over your untimely departure from this world. We know that the Lord has a plan for all His devotees, but nonetheless we are finding it most difficult to accept that you are no longer here
Jun 20 2010 Victory Day
A few days ago, early in May, I boarded Flight 677 from Warsaw to Moscow. As I looked around, I marveled at how times had changed. The Aeroflot plane was a brand-new Boeing 737, a marked difference from the one I took from England to Russia in the spring of 1989. In those days every plane in Aeroflot's fleet was well over twenty years old
Apr 19 2010 Cover Me
After two months of preaching and fundraising in the United States, I was ready for a break, so when Swarup Damodar dasa, president of the Durban temple in South Africa, asked me to come in April for Ratha-yatra, I jumped at the chance
Mar 29 2010 Greatly Rewarded
After my unsettling experiences in the San Diego and Vancouver airports, where I was interrogated by security officials, I again considered wearing non-devotional dress while traveling in the United States.
Mar 15 2010 Lessons from the Road
As my flight to Los Angeles took off, I looked through the window at the disappearing Australian landscape and thought about my three-month visit to the country. "Our festival tour was intense," I thought, "but it went by in a flash. When you enjoy what you're doing, time passes quickly."
Jan 25 2010 My Spiritual Brothers
With the hustle-bustle of Hong Kong behind me, I boarded a plane and settled in for the long haul to Sydney. Twenty-eight devotees from my summer festival program in eastern Europe had arrived in Australia the previous week. We would be touring the country for three months
Nov 17 2009 The Source of My Good Fortune
He gave me a salagrama sila that had been worshiped in his family since the time Mahaprabhu stayed with them. And he made it clear that it was in appreciation of ISKCON and the great work you did in spreading Krsna consciousness all over the world.
Nov 10 2009 Twenty Beads of Causeless Mercy
By serving Madan Mohan one conquers material desires; by serving Govindaji one purifies the senses; and by serving Gopinatha, master of the gopis, one achieves pure love of God, the perfection of life
Oct 8 2009 Feelings of Separation
My dear godbrother Sridhar Maharaja, Each of us in his own way benefited from your saintly association when you were among us: your disciples from your fatherly guidance on the spiritual path, your friends and well-wishers from your brotherly love and affection, and the fallen jivas from your learned talks on the Absolute Truth.
Sep 28 2009 The Yogi
The day after our last festival in Poland, I boarded a flight for India and landed the next morning in Delhi. I was going down a flight of stairs leading to Immigration and Customs when my knees buckled and I began to fall. A large man grabbed me from behind in the nick of time.
Sep 21 2009 Will Those Sweet Days Ever Return?
After the Woodstock festival we went back to our programs on the Baltic Sea coast. We were exhausted but determined to make it through the last seventeen days of our tour. There might be some austerities, but the satisfaction of sharing Krsna consciousness with thousands of people would far outweigh any discomfort.
Sep 10 2009 How Fortunate We Are to Have Seen It!
"Over my dead body!" screamed the woman over the telephone. As I entered the office I could hear every word she was saying to Nandini dasi: "Never! I'll never rent my school to you people! Not in a million years!" With that, she hung up.
Aug 27 2009 This Sacred Task
My dear spiritual master, I know that one day the curtain will close and my part in this festival program will come to an end. My hope and prayer is that my disciples will continue to push it on, having imbibed the purpose and spirit of this service from their own spiritual master.
Aug 6 2009 Summer Has Never Been the Same
"Losing the battle doesn't mean losing the war," I said to Nandini dasi. One of our festivals had been canceled despite her determined efforts, and she was sitting there fuming
Jul 22 2009 Friends and Enemies in High Places
On Monday the Polish police raided our school base looking for drugs. The next day, the devotees went for harinama on the beach. Most of the devotees went by bus, and I was in a van with a few others.
Jul 16 2009 The Enemy Never Sleeps
The atheists are always prepared to harass a devotee; therefore Caitanya Mahaprabhu suggested that one be very tolerant of these people. Nonetheless, one has to continue chanting the Hare Krsna mantra and preaching the chanting of this mantra because such preaching and chanting constitute the perfection of life.
Jun 28 2009 Never Too Late to Pray
One thing I appreciate about traveling in Russia is the constant reminders that this world is an unhappy place. I am reminded again and again to become serious and to focus on my devotional service.
Jun 20 2009 A Blessing in Disguise
I am happy in Krsna consciousness. With each rising and setting of the sun, I come closer to the goal of my life. I constantly thank Krsna for allowing me to meet with Srila Prabhupada's books and my eternal spiritual master in this life.
Jun 11 2009 One Step Closer to the Goal
Srila Prabhupada says: "I have been in Russia also. It is not that they are godless. The population is as good as in other country, but the government is suppressing. So that is another chapter...
May 15 2009 It’s Krsna!
A monsoon of ecstatic spiritual love brings great floods. All of Santipura floats on those waters. Alas! Ananta-raya's heart was not swept away by those flooding nectaran waters
Apr 22 2009 A Difficult Place
So I have seen so many prisoners. They were shackled with iron chains. So we are also chained up here, and what is that chain? That is our sense enjoyment. Yes. We are chained in this material world by sense enjoyment. That's all.
Feb 26 2009 Following In His Footsteps
Our festivals in Sydney were a huge hit. We had given the event a French name, Le Carnaval Spirituel. During December we averaged more than five hundred people a show. After the New Year, we traveled north to Brisbane and held another round of successful programs on the Gold Coast.
Jan 19 2009 Down in the Pits
Our festival programs continued in the Sydney area with great success. I had come with twenty-eight devotees from various countries, and many of them were staying in rooms at the Sydney temple. Devotees from other parts of Australia were also staying there for the Christmas Marathon.
Dec 19 2008 Coming Home
During the 1970s, I would get culture shock whenever I went to India. The crowded cities, the heat, the food, the occasional sickness, and the austerities of local travel would painfully remind me that I was a stranger in a foreign land.