Comments Posted By Hari Sauri dasa

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More Nirjala Ekadasi

Dear Dravida prabhu,

I have a question regarding your research into the Pandava Nirjala ekadasi.

You state that nowhere in the Vedas does it say that this ekadasi negates the ill effects of having broken other ekadasis.

You point out that shastra actually says it gives the benefits of all the other ekadasis put together. Shastra also says that observing nirjala ekadasi destroys all accumulated sins.

So would you like to elaborate on the difference? Isn’t the destruction of all sins and the reaping of all beneficial effects from all the other ekadasis the equivalent to saying that observance of nirjala on this ekadasi will compensate for breaking other ekadasi?

I would also like to know if your research included checking the Gaudiya Panjika? Whenever Srila Prabhupada was asked a technical question about feasts and fasts, his first reaction would generally be to ask “What does it say in the Panjika?” Since our ISKCON calendar was based on the Panjika, could it be that our understanding that nirjala ekadasi observance to counter mistakes in observance of other ekadasis actually came from the Gaudiya Panjika?

Your humble servant,
Hari-sauri dasa

Comment Posted By Hari Sauri dasa On 25.06.2010 @ 05:26

A Rare Discovery: Early Research in Vrindavana

Great story Patita Pavan prabhu. Here’s my own little experience with that photo and Srila Prabhupada, on Oct. 5 1976 in Vrindavan:

This morning I showed Srila Prabhupada a photo taken of him on the day he accepted sannyasa. He is standing to the right of the photo, a Godbrother seated in the center, and another sannyasi is standing to the left. Prabhupada smiled when he saw it, but he didn’t think it was such a good photo. He told me that he had taken sannyasa from the Godbrother in the center, Kesava Maharaja, who was the same age as himself. The other devotee was older and had also taken sannyasa on the same day.
It was an opportunity for me to relish Prabhupada’s earlier pastimes, which I love to do, and I took as much advantage of it as I could. I asked whether, as Harikesa Maharaja had told me, Prabhupada had been gored by a cow the day before he took sannyasa.
Prabhupada laughed and shook his head. That incident he said, had occurred in Delhi in 1956, three years before. Prabhupada was in an amenable mood, and shared a few details of his struggles in the 1950s. He said he was living in Delhi as a vanaprastha. “But my paper was going on, Back to Godhead. In Delhi I was alone. I was doing everything — editing, selling, collecting, cooking.”
I asked if his Godbrothers were helping in any way.
“I did not take. They wanted. I did not like.”
I asked, “Did you ever think at that time that you would be able to expand or …”
“I was trying to do. It was a struggle at that time. At that time, I lived with some of my Godbrothers, but I did not like, and I left their temple, and I was living alone. Then in Imlitala you know here? Imlitala, Seva-kunja there is my Godbrother’s temple. He had a temple in Delhi, Karol Bagh. I left Jhansi and came to Mathura. I lived there for few months. Then I went to Delhi. In this way, here, there.”
I told him that Aksaya has been reading one of his original India-printed Bhagavatams, the 1.1. “And I was looking at the front and it gives your residence in Vrndavana at Radha-Damodara and your office in Delhi.”
Prabhupada tipped his head from side to side. “It was not unpleasant. When I was living alone, doing everything, it was not unpleasant, very nice. Alone everything I was doing. Rather, I had not so much anxiety for management.”

You can read the rest of this story in Transcendental Diary Vol. 4

Your humble servant, Hari-sauri dasa

Comment Posted By Hari Sauri dasa On 22.09.2009 @ 13:22

Hare Krishna Convention-2009 In Bangladesh

Pusta Krishna prabhu’s comments are well taken. In fact, as it was mentioned at the festival, he was one of the first ISKCON devotees to go into Bangladesh. There was one particular incident where he and the devotees he was with were obliged to leave the country and were put at high risk.

None of us at the festival knew all the details of this incident although I recall him telling something about it when we were traveling together on Srila Prabhupada’s party. It would be great if he could narrate it here, for posterity.

Yhs, Hari-sauri dasa

Comment Posted By Hari Sauri dasa On 19.04.2009 @ 16:58

Changing the Design of the TVP: Reply to Ambarisa

Thank you Pusta Krsna prabhu for your positive endorsement of Ambarish prabhu’s efforts to please Srila Prabhupada and fulfill the instruction he received directly from His Divine Grace to finance the Temple of the Vedic Planetarium.

I mentioned in my response to point one of the ‘9 points’ that the first thing the authors should have done, if they really wanted to understand what Srila Prabhupada wanted, is interview those persons who were on the scene at the time. I was one of them, and I contacted Yadubara and Vishakha prabhus and all of us were of the same opinion. Now Pusta Krsna prabhu, who was Srila Prabhupada’s secretary at the time, has also confirmed the same–that Srila Prabhupada liked the Capitol building design and wanted it for Mayapur.

This debate should be based first and foremost on what we know of Srila Prabhupada’s desires for the project. All too often the authors have expressed their own opinions at the expense of Srila Prabhupada’s own stated desires and adopted a disingenuous tack of trying to show that Srila Prabhupada was either ambiguous or unclear in order to justify their own repugnance for the Capitol building design.

He wasn’t, as Pusta Krsna prabhu has resoundingly affirmed here.

Ambarish prabhu has done his best to understand the mood and intent of Srila Prabhupada, and now he is doing his best to fulfill the instruction he received. He deserves everyone’s support and encouragement.

Your humble servant, Hari-sauri dasa

Comment Posted By Hari Sauri dasa On 17.09.2008 @ 15:05

Reply to point one of nine reasons to change the TOVP

Dvarakadisa prabhu asks:

1) Could the designers please consider the acoustic design of the kirtan areas, so that kirtans are supported by the hall rather than it being an environment antogonistic to hearing and being heard?

This is a very valid point. The acoustics in the Puspa Samadhi are so bad that its almost impossible to hold a program in it. The design team are aware of this and one of the top acoustic engineers in India has been consulted and will be working with our team to ensure that the TVP acoustics will be first class.

2) Is there truly a demand for the TVP? By this I mean to say, Will there be sufficient interest and capability to maintain the TVP once it is built? We have the experience of obtaining buildings without a realistic idea about how to maintain them.

When the Puspa Samadhi was opened in 1995 the crowds attending Mayapur increased by a factor of at least 10. During 1998 we kept attendance figures and over 1.5 million visitors were recorded through the gates. There is no question that the TVP will be a magnet for millions. The maintenance of big buildings is always hard work, but in India it will be no problem, as we have seen in our other big projects. The resources are available, the manpower is available–we simply need good managers.

Yhs, Hari-sauri dasa

Comment Posted By Hari Sauri dasa On 07.09.2008 @ 01:44

A reply to concerns about the current design of the Temple of the Vedic Planetarium

Deena Bandhu prabhu wrote:

“I understand that we have waited a long time, but all good things take some time.”

We have actually waited far too long in mine, and many other devotee’s, opinion. There is a reason why nothing eventuated from nearly 30 years of endeavor and millions of dollars spent. As Srila Prabhupada himself said, “The plans and contemplations are going on in different phases, now when Caitanya Mahaprabhu will be pleased it will be taken up.” Without intending any criticism towards the devotees who have worked on past designs, somehow none of that endeavor resulted in anything tangible. Yet within a very short time, at a fragment of the cost, we are now on the verge of actually beginning the work.

I know at least a few devotees who think that previous designs were not successful because they were not what Srila Prabhupada wanted. It may be premature to say that this design will be successfully built, but at least we know it is what Srila Prabhupada himself desired. I think that is a good premise to proceed on.

DBd further states:
“We also complained a lot about Srila Prabhupada‚Äôs Samadhi in Vrindavan taking a long time. But the fact was that carving marble nicely takes a long time and now we have a very beautiful building that I think rivals the Taj, which except for it‚Äôs size, I never found very inspiring.”

That says it all right there prabhu. You never found the Taj very inspiring. It happens to be one of, if not, the most famous buildings on the planet. That you don’t find our TOVP design very inspiring may be a sign…

DBd’s final point:
“And looking at the presentation on the website, we can see the road running right by the temple and we all know what nightmares Indian roads are. This will create tons of sound pollution.”

Of course the computer animation is just that. It shows the existing road. In the future we may well have a different road system and the main entrance to our ISKCON compound may be elsewhere. We have a city for 50,000 to build. Of course there will be noise and other kinds of pollutions and we will do our best to minimize that. Maybe we will have a restricted area where combustion engines are not allowed and we only use bullock carts for transportation. This has been discussed and will continue to be a focus of attention.

Yhs, Hari-sauri dasa

Comment Posted By Hari Sauri dasa On 22.07.2008 @ 14:35

Akruranath prabhu wrote:
“It does seem to me that if we are setting out to build something of such significance, which we expect to be the central building of ISKCON for years to come, we would want to get the feedback of respected architects. If Prabhupada really gave such an instruction, it would not suprise me (even though Prabhupada often surprised me). I mean, it only makes sense that we should consult talented architects. Right?”

As a point of information, last year our TOVP team did visit Mr Hiranandani. He is not an architect but one of the biggest developers in India. His son is constructing the tallest building in the world in Dubai. He is a partner in Mr. Hiranandani’s co.He is also on the board of the Sri Nathji Temple and is redeveloping that temple and guest houses and
grounds and paying for it himself.

He appreciated the design very much and said,”Yes this is very beautiful and most important, it is do-able.”

So at least one developer has given his enthusiastic stamp of approval. I don’t doubt that when our building goes up it is going to be very much appreciated. It will be fairly unique in India and the world because of it housing the Vedic Planetarium and its design is going to be a large part of its attraction simply because it is different from other ‘Hindu’ temples in India. Its an east west fusion and that is what Srila Prabhupada wanted.

It is not very credible to argue that it is not an attractive design or that it won’t attract large numbers of visitors. Buildings with similar domes are visited by many millions per year around the world-St Peter’s, St. Paul’s, US Capitol etc. etc. I haven’t heard that anyone has ever called these buildings ugly. They make a very positive statement, and that is what our building will do also.

Yhs, Hari-sauri dasa

Comment Posted By Hari Sauri dasa On 22.07.2008 @ 14:17

Kulpavana wrote:
“Personally I am more concerned about the Vedic planetarium exhibit this temple is supposed to showcase. Do we actually have something to show inside this building? There are tens of thousands impressive buildings in this world, one more will hardly make a difference. Not so with revolutionary concepts of the Universe - they are rare and can potentially inspire millions of people to take a serious look at the Vedic culture.”

I think this is the real point. One can hardly build anything that has not been built before. The use of the building is what will attract people. For example, in Delhi the Bahai’s built their Lotus temple; right next door is our ISKCON temple. By comparision, our temple comes off a distant second best architecturally. Once you have been to the Bahai place you don’t want to go again because there is no life. But due to its usage our temple is always packed up, the exhibits are visited by approx. 1,000 per day and the project is a huge success.

Yhs, Hari-sauri dasa

Comment Posted By Hari Sauri dasa On 22.07.2008 @ 13:59

A quick reply to ccd who posted the first comment:

Since you give weight to Srila Prabhupada’s instructions to build a Vrndavana style, or Bombay-style temple, why don’t you give the same weight to his instruction to build a Capitol-building style in Mayapur? Is it because you personally prefer the Vrndavan or Bombay temple designs that you generously give Srila Prabhupada your ‘OK’ on those? And because you don’t personally prefer the design that His Divine Grace picked for Mayapur you therefore want to call for an opinion poll?

If you want an opinion poll then why not take the two opinions that matter the most–Srila Prabhupada’s and Ambarish prabhu, the person who founded the project and the person who is going to pay for it? Or do their opinions not count?

Personally I think that once Srila Prabhupada has expressed his preference, we need not look any further. His vision was transcendental and if he said, and he did say, that if we build such a building it will attract people from all over the world, then that’s good enough for me.

Yhs, Hari-sauri dasa

PS I will also add that to throw open the question of the design now, would be to delay the project many years, probably beyond the life span of most of Srila Prabhupada’s disciples. Its not an option we have. Our duty is to get this building up because we were instructed to do so by His Divine Grace. We now have the means and ability to see it manifest both in terms of constructing the building, and presenting powerful exhibits within that will challenge the false notions of a purely mechanistic world.

Comment Posted By Hari Sauri dasa On 13.07.2008 @ 20:08

Gratitude from Anandalila’s family

Dear Jamal Arjuna, Subhangi, Yaso and all the family,

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to our all-merciful gurudev, Srila Prabhupada.

Many thanks for this wonderful account of the successful completion of Lila’s material existence. Sometimes out of the darkest sky a flash of lightning appears and illuminates everything. It is often in the most desperate of times that we experience the greatest mercy, if we but pray for it. Lila’s passing has proved to be a singular event, invoking the personal presence and compassion of the greatest of Vaisnavas, Srila Prabhupada.

Everything that happens in Vrndavana is under the direct control of Srimati Radharani and Her servants. It is clear that whatever little dross of material entanglement Lila had, was cleared up in one dramatic event, leaving her free to complete her onward journey home.

She had deep attachment for Vrndavana, for Radha and Krsna, and for Srila Prabhupada, and that can only have come from lifetimes’ of seva and surrender.

One can speculate that in her past life she must have been a disciple of Srila Prabhupada, and she returned for a brief sojourn in the family of another disciple, just to sustain her connection and complete her journey home.

Another way of looking at it is that Krsna benedicts the entire family of a devotee for many generations in the past and in the future and that He sent Srila Prabhupada to fulfill that promise.

In any scenario, whatever the case, we can’t argue with the will of the Lord, Who is in the heart of all living beings and directs their wonderings, what to speak of His devotees. For anyone who has spent any time in Krsna’s service, and any time in the association of Srila Prabhupada and his associates, the result is always wonderful.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

Your humble servant and friend,

Hari-sauri dasa

Comment Posted By Hari Sauri dasa On 13.02.2008 @ 09:05


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