ISKCON GBC Executive Committee’s Letter to Ukrainian Devotee Refugees

Hare KrishnaBy the GBC Executive Committee

On behalf of the Governing Body Commission of ISKCON, please accept our prayers to Lord Krishna for your protection, as well as our deepest affection and concern for your well being. We are following the events in Ukraine in the media with heavy hearts. We have heard directly from Niranjana Maharaja about some of the great challenges, dangers and threats that you have undergone. By the Lord’s mercy many of you have survived close encounters with bomb blasts, militia attacks, and other terrible effects of living with war at your doorsteps. We know that the leaders of ISKCON in Ukraine are doing all that they can to assist you and to offer you spiritual guidance in this difficult time. Many of you have relocated, and have had to leave behind your homes, jobs and temple communities.

To All First Generation Disciples of Srila Prabhupada: Auspicious Vaishnava gathering in UK

By Bhajahari das

We really hope that you will be able to come along. Below are most of the important details for your information. Would you kindly let us know if you will be attending by emailing us at address given at the end. We decided to move the annual gathering this year to Rathayatra time. If it works as well as we are expecting, then our plan is to make it a permanent fixture on the calendar for this time of the year. Already 50 direct disciples of His Divine Grace have confirmed that they will be attending this first re-scheduled annual reunion.

Limbo

By Visakha Priya dasi

They go into LIMBO. The Latin word “limbus”, interestingly enough, means “border,” “boundary,” “edge.” It sounds a lot like the marginal position, does it not?
So the souls in Limbo have no chance of ever attaining Heaven, although according to some theologians, they can because Jesus goes there too. It is not my intention to dwell too much on the matter. But what strikes me is that the Christian theology stresses our potential relationship with God in the future. It does not teach that we have forgotten God because wee have never been with Him.

Celebrating Diversity With An Enchanting Evening Of Music

By Bhaktivedanta Manor staff

Srutidharma Das, Temple President of Bhaktivedanta Manor Hare Krishna Temple said: The Com.unity choir are a fantastic example of diversity in practice and a true testament of the power of music to unite people - it is very fitting that they have chosen to perform the music of George Harrison, which united the world through his messages of love and faith.

Srila Prabhupada Lila Reading Guide

By Shrutadev Das

After I had read many of the books about Srila Prabhupada for a second or third time I found myself thinking, “Didn’t it say something about that pastime in another book?” And I would pull out a different book and read about the same event or time period from a different perspective. Or whereas in the Lilamrta it might say that Srila Prabhupada traveled to Australia and then back to Bombay but not give any details, in another book it would give the details of his trip. It was very enlivening, so I started to compile an outline of my readings. Gradually it developed into the Srila Prabhupada Lila Reading Guide.

The power of food to unite Serbs, Croats and Muslims

By Priyavrata das

We are not a hunger relief organization, per se, but rather a network of projects aimed at addressing the root cause of hunger, and in fact, all social issues, by helping people from all ethnicities and religions to understand one common truth: That we are all souls having a human experience.

Serving Krishna With Sleep Deprivation

By Kesava Krsna Dasa

How can we practice Krishna consciousness properly if, each time we pick up a book to read, we nod off after a few minutes? How are we going to be freed from offences if we sleep during chanting of japa? How are we going to hear realised insights from speakers and learn if we perform artificial meditation (sleep) during class? Being amongst the devotees and wanting to please and impress with our selfless services, it will be a climb-down of sorts if we have to withdraw for some sleep. Yes, it is ignorance, but it is better than ignorant devotion. We need to be honest with ourselves.

Churning the Consciousness

By Purushottam Kumar

During the churning of the ocean also in spite of facing all the hardships, demigods and demons continued working tirelessly for the nectar. And finally Dhanvantari appeared with the pot of nectar. Upon seeing the pot, the crooked demons snatched it immediately as they did not want the demigods to have even a drop of the nectar. But the demigods were under the protection of Lord Vishnu and those who take shelter of the Lord never ever get deprived of anything auspicious.

Devotee Healthcare Guidelines

By the Governing Body Commission of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness

All ISKCON entities are encouraged to ensure that all essential medical and dental expenses of its resident and fully supported devotees are supplied. The authorities of those ISKCON entities are recommended to investigate options for local insurance plans, government plans, or other reliable options to ensure as far as possible that quality health care is provided. A person choosing to become a resident or fully supported devotee dependent on an ISKCON entity should be informed as to the extent of medical and dental insurance or coverage, or absence thereof, that will be supplied by the entity before they commit to dedicate themselves to the ISKCON entity.

The Magic Of Gratitude

By Sacinandana Swami

Devotess of Krishna meditate about things they can be grateful for. They avoid thinking about all those things that they do not have, nor all those arrangements that have not worked out. Instead they focus on what has been given to them – all the opportunities that arrive each day upon their doorsteps, all the relationships that have encouraged them and last but not least, the human form of life, which offers them a unique opportunity for self-realization. Thus, they cover themselves each new morning in the warming mantle of gratitude and feel empowered.

Establishing the Division of Legal, Accounting and Regulatory Compliance

By the Governing Body Commission of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness

The Compliance Division is authorized to request and receive legal and financial documentation from all over the world and all managers must make every effort to provide any information the Division may request in regard to the National Councils, projects, centers, etc. under their management—subject to the discretion of the GBC Zonal Secretary/ies. Within their zones, the GBC Zonal Secretaries are responsible to ensure the gathering of the data and documents as required by the Compliance Division. To facilitate this task, they are encouraged to identify and establish, for each country in their zone, a Compliance contact person, who will contact project officers, board of directors’ members, etc. to obtain data and documents. The Compliance contact person shall upload information to the Compliance website and provide updates as needed, at least annually.

Historical event for Rome: Ratha-yatra in the center of Italy’s capital for the first time!

By Mrtyuhara Das

The route approved for the festival, Via del Corso, right in the prestigious center of the city, has never been assigned to any event , even famous mundane events! Lord Krishna surely used His powerful yoga-maya energy to all those who were to grant the various permissions, and finally it’s done!

Spiritual Summer Holiday Youth Euro Bus Tour

By Kumari Kunti

The ISKCON Youth Ministry is expanding its wings and flying away this summer back to the European shores of the warm, friendly Mediterranean countries of Spain, Italy, and Croatia for the second annual European Bus Tour. The tour starts in Villa Vrndavan’s Sravanam Kirtanam festival on July 10th, and finishes on Aug 11th after spending time at spiritual retreats, doing adventure activities, harinams, meeting senior devotees, having sports days, and service at temples.

Inspiring day of communications for UK yatras

By Mina Sharma Dasi

Praghosa Dasa, GBC Head of UK and Ireland, who was attending the event said: “we are operating in a world where communication is king, and where anyone with a mobile phone can generate a news story - this is unprecedented in our history, which is why it has never been more important to know how to work with the media. Given the upcoming 50th anniversary celebrations, we want 2016 to be a standout year for ISKCON and one of the ways we can have the most impact is through effective communications. We want the UK and Ireland to be a leading light and make the next fifty years of ISKCON even better.”

Special guests visit Sri Mayapur International School

By Gunacuda Dasi

As part of the schools Krishna conscious curriculum , SMIS students regularly get the opportunity to hear from senior ISKCON leaders who reciprocate with the children’s enthusiasm. Upon hearing the students’ kirtan when he arrived at the school, Jayapataka Maharaja immediately stood up and began dancing as he entered the school gate and saw the children.

Sadhu Sanga Retreat of 2014 - A Report

By Lavanya Sivakumar

During the last Memorial Day Weekend, a spiritual hurricane of international proportions washed Boone, North Carolina with transcendental waves of ecstasy, flooding its rooms and halls with spiritual sound and waterlogging its residents in pools of Vaishnava association. In its wake, this transcendental storm, left thousands of souls stranded in the material world, bereft and yearning for a repeat of those wonderful three days of flash flooding, straight from the spiritual sky.

Husband As Guru – How About Srila Prabhupada As Guru?

By Bhaktivikasa Swami

This is an indication of the relationship between husband and wife. A great personality like Cyavana Muni has the temperament of always wanting to be in a superior position. Such a person cannot submit to anyone. Therefore, Cyavana Muni had an irritable temperament. His wife, Sukanya, could understand his attitude, and under the circumstances she treated him accordingly. If any wife wants to be happy with her husband, she must try to understand her husband’s temperament and please him. This is victory for a woman.

Self Compassion

By Mahatma das

Like ourselves, spiritual practitioners of all traditions have high ideals, and this can cause us to be upset and hard on ourselves when we don’t live up to these standards, particularly when we do something (or have thoughts) that go against devotional principles. When we fail to maintain devotional standards in either thought or action, or even when we desire anything that is not helpful to our bhakti, we are usually trying to satisfy an habitual urge or need. Let’s look at this more deeply by understanding this phenomenon from the psychological perspective.

The first Ratha Yatra in Rome: An incredible success! (video)

By Mrtyuhara das

In Rome the rain started early in the morning, but at 16:50, as soon Lord Jagannatha took His place on the cart the rain stopped and during all the festival, from 17:00 to 20:30 there was no rain, the sky had a beautiful blue color and the sun came out. Thousands of devotees, friends and general people enjoyed the blissful atmosphere that for 3 hours inundated the center of Rome. I have never seen devotees so happy in my life!

HRD Minisiter Smriti Irani wants ancient texts in education

By Nitin Mahajan

The new BJP government has taken initial steps towards introducing the Hindu perspective in the education system. It is learnt that human resources development minister Smriti Irani has asked HRD officials to develop educational material that encapsulates the contribution of ancient Indians in different fields like science, mathematics, social sciences, philosophy, grammar and language.

2014 Clearwater Beach Rathayatra

By Gaura Sakti das Allin

The Fifth Annual Clearwater Beach Rathayatra took place on Saturday, May 3, 2014 and by the mercy of Lord Jagannatha and his faithful devotees, it turned out to be a festival that truly celebrated the Lord’s appearance in Clearwater Beach and the preaching of His glories. The forecast was for cloudy skies and rain until 12 noon, but when the bus full of devotees arrived at that time, the rain continued to drizzle and dishearten the devotees. Would there be Rathayatra? Would Lord Jagannatha make the sun appear right at 1 pm when the procession was to begin?

Helicopter Service soon in Iskcon Mayapur!

By Sadbhuja Das

Exciting news lands in Mayapur. A service whereby helicopters transport pilgrims and devotees from Kolkata to Mayapur is moving forward. Today marked the first time the journey was made and several people greeted the arrival with enthusiasm. The next step is negotiating the fee which will be charged to interested parties using this quick transportation.

Meeting with Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel @ Gandhinagar

By Basu Ghosh Das

Yesterday, Jasomatinandan Prabhu, myself, ISKCON Ahmedabad Vice President Vishnunam Prabhu, and ISKCON Baroda Vice President Nityananda Ram Das, paid a congratulatory visit to new Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel, to wish her well on assuming the post of Chief Minister of Gujarat. Over the past 13 or so years, Anandiben has visited ISKCON Ahmedabad (she is from North Gujarat, as is India’s new Prime Minister, our former Chief Minister, Narendra Modi) at least 10 times!

Husband as Guru

By Mahatma Das

Recently an unmarried female devotee told me that a man was interested in getting to know her, and in their discussions he mentioned that ‘the husband is the guru.’ She asked me for guidance on the subject. This Illumination is what I wrote to clarify for her (and him) what it means for a husband to be a guru - and what it doesn’t mean; for misunderstanding what this means will be the cause of an unhappy marriage. Even though Prabhupada writes that a failed marriage is usually the woman’s fault, if a woman has a good husband, she will stay loyal. As I often tell men, “Don’t make it difficult for your spouse to be a good wife.”

Krishna Descends To Offer Not Just Protection But Also Participation

By Chaitanya Charan Das

The endearing thing about Krishna’s offer of participation is that it can begin right now. Even when we are not pure enough to participate in his pastimes in the spiritual world, Krishna offers us a role in his mission of compassion in this world. By devotionally serving him according to our inclinations and interests, we can assist him in sharing his message of love.

Iskcon Mayapur Deputy director Advaita Hari Das passes away

By Sri Vallabha das

It is very sad news and a great loss to the Vaisnava community in Mayapur. He was a Deputy Director and was rendering tirelessly many very valuable services to ISKCON as a chartered accountant. Advaita Hari Prabhu was a good preacher. He had been serving in Middle east prior to his arrival to Mayapur. By his preaching, he has made many devotees in Middle east. He was also currently involved in Corporate preaching in nearby regions of Mayapur and Kolkata. He was the Chief Finance Officer and a Deputy Director of Mayapur.

Sri Mayapur Masterplan dept seeks help

By Samba das

The Sri Mayapur Masterplan Committee’s sub division, dealing with Exhibits and Museums is seeking help to envision and develop a series of Exhibits and Museums to be included in the development of the City of Mayapur. It is important to understand that we are not speaking of the Temple of the Vedic Planetarium. Rather these facilities will be featured in the town that surrounds the ToVP.

Should Women be Called “Prabhu”, “Mataji”, or “Devi”?

By the Governing Body Commission of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness

Whereas in ISKCON men had generally been taught to see all women other than their wives as mother; Whereas in more recent times a practice has gained momentum that women should not be called “Mataji,” but “Prabhu;” Whereas the word “Prabhu” is traditionally used to address men; Whereas one section of ISKCON considers addressing women as “Prabhu” to have no cultural or linguistic backing, or any evidentiary or experiential support from Srila Prabhupada’s teachings; Whereas another section of ISKCON cites conversational or correspondence-based evidence that Srila Prabhupada addressed female disciples as “Prabhu;” Whereas there is increasing discord among the proponents of these two opinions; Whereas all initiated women also have the title “Devi” as part of their spiritual name, an address that could also apply to the non-initiated

 
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