On Sunday the 21st of March the new Chief Justice for West Bengal visited Sridham Mayapur. Mr Justice Mohit Shantilal Shah assumed his new role on Christmas day last so he is only in the role for 3 months but none the less was eager to visit ISKCON Mayapur. He arrived along with his wife around 11am and they left after lunch around 1.30pm.
Mar 10 2010 Outer Space or Inner? - De Ville with an Aura
"There should be somewhere on earth, a place which no nation could claim as its own, where all human beings of good will who have a sincere aspiration, could live freely as citizens of the world and obey one single authority, that of the supreme truth; a place of peace, concord and harmony" "An Aurovilian should lose the sense of personal possession. For our passage in the material world, what is indispensable to our life and to our action is put at our disposal according to the place we must occupy.
Mar 4 2010 GBC Report #7
Anuttama Prabhu, representing the GBC's Guru Services Committee, reported on the Guru Seminars and Guru Retreats program. These programs allow devotees who are serving as initiating or instructing gurus to associate with one another and share their experiences serving Srila Prabhupada in the role of guru. The Guru Seminars and Retreats also aim to enhance skills in counseling disciples and caring for one's own physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being.
Feb 19 2010 GBC Meeting Report #6
On February 14th, all members of ISKCON‚Äôs Governing Commission attending the Annual General Meeting in Mayapur, India assembled in the center of a construction zone. It was the construction zone of the long-awaited Temple of Vedic Planetarium (TOVP), a massive and impressive temple dedicated to displaying the Vedic view of the spiritual and material worlds.
Feb 17 2010 GBC Meeting Report #5
The GBC deputies began the eighth day of the Annual General Meeting of ISKCON‚Äôs Governing Body Commission with another session of voting. GBC members discussed and voted on GBC Ministry and GBC Committee member appointments, such as the Minister of Book Distribution, Minister of Education, and Guru Services Committee members.
Feb 16 2010 GBC Meeting Report #4
At present, ISKCON not only has an international Governing Body Commission (GBC) which is responsible for the overall management of ISKCON, but in some regions there are additional lower level governing bodies such as Regional Governing Bodies (RGBs), National Councils, and Continental Committees. What was at question is how these bodies, which hold regular meetings and pass resolutions, interact with and report to the overall managerial authority, the GBC.
Feb 14 2010 GBC Meeting Report #3
Day five of the Annual General Meeting of ISKCON‚Äôs Governing Body Commission began with presentations by the Succession and Leadership Training Committee and Devotee Care Committee. Tamohara dasa, on behalf of the Succession and Leadership
Feb 13 2010 GBC Meeting Report #2
Strategic Planning for ISKCON‚Äôs future was the central focus for the second through fourth days of the 2010 Annual General Meeting for ISKCON‚Äôs Governing Body Commission. In 2006, the GBC Body collectively decided to increase their attention on Strategic Planning, more specifically to spend additional energy on defining and planning ISKCON‚Äôs direction and management for Srila Prabhupada‚Äôs mission to be passed down to future generations.
Feb 8 2010 GBC Meeting Report #1
The 2010 Annual General Meeting of the Governing Body Commission of ISKCON commenced Saturday morning in Sri Mayapur Dham with Bhakti Caru Maharaja offering the traditional guru-puja ceremony to ISKCON's Founder-Acarya, Srila Prabhupada, while Ekalavya Prabhu led an enthusiastic and inspirational kirtan. This year's GBC Chairman, Romapada Maharaja, welcomed everyone in attendance and delivered a reading from the tenth canto of Srimad Bhagavatam
From January 14-18 the North American GBCs, Temple Presidents and Leaders met together in Dallas, Texas for the North American Leadership meeting. The following is a short summary and highlights of the meeting: The meeting started on Friday afternoon with a lively kirtan led by Bhaktimarga Swami. Vaisesikha Prabhu inspired everyone by his keynote presentation on the importance and joy of book distribution. Kuladri Prabhu followed with the NA Support Office report, including important legal issues.
Dec 9 2009 Bhaktin Lord Mayor is at it again!
I got a phone call from the Mayor‚Äôs office a couple of weeks ago expressing how eager she was to partake of some more prasadam and how even more eager she was to introduce her fellow 51 councillors to that prasadam experience! It was also mentioned that this would be an historic event, as never in the history of Dublin City Council has the cuisine been totally vegetarian, a Council that dates back to 1840, 80 odd years before independence from the UK
Nov 30 2009 Tamal Krishna Goswami Bench memorial
The inauguration ceremony for the bench took place on Wednesday 25th November 2009, and was attended by a number of his close friends and colleges from the university as well as devotees. At a somewhat emotional event, many from the local community said a few words of remembrance and appreciation for ‚ÄėGoswamiji‚Äô.
To celebrate the 40th anniversary of their deities, the dynamic London devotees are hosting special guests Yamuna, Shyamasundar, Gurudas and Malati prabhus for a week beginning on Sunday 15th November, until Sunday the 22nd November.
Vrindavana, India - On October 17, five representatives of Governing Body Commission of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), founder-acarya His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, forming an official delegation, met with Srila B. V. Narayana Maharaja, founder-acarya of the BHAKTI Trust Mission, near the pilgrimage site of Govardhana Hill, just a few miles from Vrindavana, India
Sep 17 2009 Bhaktin Lord Mayor
Arguably the highlight of the day though was the contribution of the Lord Mayor. She arrived shortly after the stage show began and took a seat reserved for her. She was curious about the drama that had just started, which was called the three modes of material nature and she followed it closely. I asked her would she like something to eat and to my surprise she said "Yes please, I've been looking forward to this all day" Usually dignitaries are a little more circumspect when offered food and generally have to be cajoled into taking prasadam, so her response was very refreshing. While her plate was being prepared, she revealed that whenever she gets the chance she likes to eat at Govindas!
Jun 1 2009 Vaisnava culture of respect and honour
"Anyone who has any desire or aspiration for satisfying his senses by becoming more and more important, either in the material sense or in the spiritual sense, cannot actually relish the really sweet taste of devotional service."(NOD p. 33) As devotees we strive to uproot the desire for fame and distinction but paradoxically, as devotees, we generally take as many opportunities to serve, appreciate and indeed glorify the service of other devotees. So naturally it is important that such glorification is appropriate, in so far as who it is directed to.
May 15 2009 February 22-23, Final Days of the GBC Meetings
Every year, each GBC member's zonal areas of responsibility are reviewed and ratified for the coming year. It is interesting to note a gradual shift over the years with an increasing number of GBC members preferring to share their zonal duties with one or more "co-GBCs". This holds true not just for major projects like Mayapur, which has a six-man GBC committee, but even for smaller yatras like Latvia, Bangladesh, and Honduras. Another recent development is a number of non-GBC members holding zonal responsibilities.
Apr 15 2009 Hridayananda dasa Goswami’s letter to the GBC
I am writing in reference to this resolution passed by the GBC this year: 317. Action and Public Statements of Hridayananda Das Goswami. In compliance with that resolution I have flown to Philadelphia and on April 11, 2009 met with H.H. Bir Krishna das Goswami and H.G. Ravindra Svarupa dasa, the GBC delegation.
ISKCON devotees shall instruct new members to take shelter of Srila Prabhupada and to receive guidance, training and assistance from those who are practically and directly instructing them in Krishna consciousness. They must focus their attention on Srila Prabhupada as the Founder-Acarya and as their preeminent siksa guru.
Six devotees--Jagat-caksur Das, Yadunandana Das, Sarvaisvarya Das, Brhat Mrdanga Das, Jaya Govinda Das, and Vasudeva Das--are to take sannyasa this year.
Feb 26 2009 February 17, Day Six of the GBC Meetings
So the future of this Krishna Consciousness movement is very bright, so long the managers remain vigilant that 16 rounds are being chanted by everyone without fail, that they are all rising before four in the morning, attending mangal arati-our leaders shall be careful not to kill the spirit of enthusiastic service, which is individual and spontaneous and voluntary. They should try always to generate some atmosphere of fresh challenge to the devotees, so that they will agree enthusiastically to rise and meet it. That is the art of management: to draw out spontaneous loving spirit of sacrificing some energy for Krishna.
For the last several years, strategic planning has been a major theme of the GBC meetings. Several days of the Annual General Meeting, as well as the second GBC meeting later in the year, is exclusively focused on this important theme. This year was no exception. Days four through six saw all regular work shelved and the entire Body, plus many other devotees, come together to proactively discuss the best way for the GBC and ISKCON to prepare for the future.
The second day of the GBC meetings opened with a presentation by the Law Book Committee. Aniruddha Prabhu presented the progress of the committee in revising the current law book which contains constitutional principles, action orders, rules of order, administrative guidelines and governing law.
The 2009 Annual General Meeting of ISKCON's Governing Body Commission commenced with arati and guru-puja kirtana to Srila Prabhupada, who is present in murti form in the meeting hall. Apart from the large murti, this year there is a small murti of Srila Prabhupada fixed on a beautiful altar near the Chairman's seat.
Jan 1 2009 From Credit Crunches to Prasadam Lunches
While the shameless economic experts are now predicting when there will be an upturn in the global economy, those same experts suffered a collective blind spot when failing to predict the biggest economic collapse in the last 80 years, everyone and their pet dog can see, like the emperor, they have neither clothes, nor a clue as to what will or won‚Äôt happen with the economy.
Whatever criticisms an individual or a group may claim to have with ISKCON, to purposefully offend a Vaishnava saint in such a blatant manner is irreconcilable with the principles of Vaishnavism, Hindu culture, morality, and common decency. We condemn any and all such acts.
Devotees from around the world are writing to Jayapataka Maharaja offering him solace and encouragement during his health crisis. We have found that many of these letters contain sweet remembrances and moving expressions of vaisnava sentiments. With a special intent of helping his disciples through this very difficult time, we are posting some of those letters here.
Nov 11 2008 Jayapataka Maharaja’s Miraculous Recovery
Today I went to see him in the morning. Kavichandra Maharaja, Bhaktisiddhanta Maharaja, Brajahari Prabhu and I walked to his bed in the Critical Intensive Care area. He opened his eyes when I held his hand and spoke to him. As I anticipated, his condition seemed to be much better than yesterday. I told him who all were present there. He acknowledged everyone. He was visibly excited to see us all.
Maharaja's rate of improvement is very slow. His blood pressure, blood sugar, platelets, etc. are stable. We have consulted other neurologists and surgeons in India, from Delhi, Bhubanesvara, Tirupati, Mumbai, Bangalore, etc. Everyone is of the same opinion: the situation is very critical.
Oct 23 2008 GBC Update on HH Jayapataka Swami
The ISKCON Governing Body Commission (GBC), which is currently meeting for five days at ISKCON's Juhu Beach Temple in Mumbai, was shocked this morning at the news that His Holiness Jayapataka Swami, our dear god-brother and GBC colleague, was rushed to the hospital at approximately 4 AM Mumbai time.
Oct 8 2008 Wages for Sages
Listen to the discussion that took place in Radhadesh on the 5th of October amongst the European leaders concerned whether it is in the interest of the integrity of ISKCON, or in keeping with the instruction of Srila Prabhupada, that members of the movement be given salaries.
We are now in serious danger of ruining our long practiced and much cherished reputation of our 21st century sannyasi! What are we talking about? Well a couple of weeks ago a certain member of the sannyasa order all but snuck into the emerald isle unnoticed. Usually a visiting sannyasi‚Äôs arrival is known well in advance and there is at least a modest welcoming party to greet him. However not this time, rather it was a very humble entrance at a regional port and from there, almost immediately into a walking tour of the country.
Recently I was approached by a friend who was lamenting his having missed an ekadasi fast due to being out of base and somehow not being informed on time about this important vaishnava occurrence. Fortunately now we may get some extra help for remaining always update by making use of some tools that the web is offering. So do you want to receive Ekadasi ( and most important Vaishnava Festivities ) alerts right to your Instant Messenger program like MSN, Skype or Gtalk or even on your mobile phone?
Aug 3 2008 Accepting our Lot, Gracefully
‚ÄúA pure Vaisnava should be very careful to engage in his specific duty without criticizing others. This is the safest position. Otherwise, if one tends to criticize others, he may commit the great offence of criticizing a Vaisnava‚ÄĚ In the pastime of Jagai and Madhai, prior to them receiving the mercy of Lord Caitanya, they were glorified as having one good quality. The fact that they kept such bad association meant that they had never come into contact with devotees hence their good quality was that they had never committed vaisnava aparadha.
Jul 5 2008 What is the matter with the world
A time is nearing when there will be no wheat paddy in the field and no politician will be able to make a quick supply of bread. The food problem is already acute. The atheistic civilization is to be troubled more and more with the progress of materialism. We have such foretellings in the pages of Srimad-Bhagavatam. The more the people are turning to the atheistic, the more things of disturbing elements do appear before us. And that is the thing which matters at present. This is a wrong type of civilization.
Jun 7 2008 Forget Me Not
As part of a comment to the ‚ÄėReforming the Reformer‚Äô essay, Kesava Krsna prabhu wrote: It is enlivening to see a topic put before us, to pass comment, or give our realizations - this is real freedom - Krishna katha. Perhaps this could be a regular feature on Danadavats, what do you think Praghosa prabhu? So in an attempt to fulfill the above request I would be interested to hear the devotees thoughts on the following. In the 3rd Canto of Srimad Bhagavatam Lord Kapila gives some interesting instructions particularly in relation to the consciousness and thought processes of the fetus in the womb.
Please find attached a statement from the GBC Executive Committee on respect for women. While there are different opinions on the best roles for women in society and how the Vedic culture is to be applied today, I think we all agree that we must be careful to be respectful to all Vaishnavas in both our deeds and words. Your servant, Ramai Swami GBC Chairman
May 21 2008 Reforming the reformer
In the following article Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur describes Krishna consciousness as the only genuine reform process. He says that anyone who takes shelter of any other process to reform society is in need of reform themselves.
Apr 28 2008 A B Cs , X Y Zs and everything in between
Srila Prabhupada often made reference to the fact that both in beginner's maths as well as advanced mathematics, two plus two is always equal to four. While advanced mathematics can be extremely complicated it can also be very wrong if the basic principles of simple maths are not adhered to. Likewise the same principle applies to relationships and if we fail to get the basics right in our relationships we will forever struggle with them. The most fundamental relationship that we need to get right is our relationship with the supreme Lord and His creation.
Mar 21 2008 GBC final days overview
On March 1st, the seventh day of the meetings, the morning presentations focused on the Youth Fund and Mayapur Temple of Vedic Planetarium, while the afternoon session consisted of a presentation by Bhaktivedanta Institute (Kolkata) and straw voting on proposals. The meetings ended with Chairman Bhanu Swami thanking all the attendees, staff, and helpers for their participation in making the meetings a success. He particularly thanked the Deputies for doing lot of background work which facilitated the meetings to end early. In turn, there was sustained applause from the Body for the hard work of all the members of the Executive Committee.