Janmastami in Klang


A few weeks back Sahadev prabhu told me,” I wish we had brass Radha Krishna deities so we can do abhishek on Krishna Janmastami. The last two years we did abhishek on small deities but the paint work chipped off and it doesn’t like it is brass.”

I remember seeing Alka mataji getting her newly purchased 4 inch Radha Krishna deities blessed in Iskcon KL some years back. So I decided to see if she will lend them. I called her and she was happy to let us have them for the upcoming festival. Wanting to confirm their heights, I asked, “So they are about 4 inches, right.” She answered, “Oh mataji they are about 18 inches”. Puzzled I said, “When did they grow up?” She laughed and said, “Oh, I bought another set when I went to Delhi recently. By the way, you must have “Laddu Gopal” as well, after all it is Janmastami. I got a friend who has one and I will see if she will part with her Krishna.” The deal was done. Continue reading

Sweetest Description of Janmastami-lila

From Ananda Vrindavan Champu by Srila Kavi Karnapura
Translated by Bhanu Swami & Subhaga Swami
Published by Mahanidhi Swami

At the time of His majestic birth Krishna employed His inconceivable powers to appear in a body of eternity, bliss and knowledge. Everyone in the maternity room swelled with joy upon seeing the Lord’s exquisite transcendental form that looked like a creeper of beauty.

Mother Yasoda resembled a lake of spiritual ecstasy in which a brilliant blue lotus of personified bliss had appeared. Neither the wind nor the bees relished the fragrance of that blue lotus. That unborn lotus was never touched by the waves of the modes of nature. Even Lord Brahma could not see it, what to speak of ordinary men.

After Yasoda and her family members fell asleep in the maternity room, Hari cried beautifully like a newborn baby. His crying sounded like the maha-vakya omkara announcing the auspicious arrival of His pastimes. Omkara is a transcendental vibration that had previously emanated from the mouth of Lord Brahma. When the ladies of Vrindavan heard the sweet sound of Krishna’s crying, they woke up and ran to see the Lord. With the mellow of their matchless overflowing affection they anointed His body. Continue reading

Putting An End to Courtesy Japa


“Nish, nish, ram, ram, nish, nish, ram, ram.” Prabhupada once imitated how we sometimes chant without focus, without concentration, without proper pronunciation – how we chant when we don’t feel like chanting. You know the mood behind this chanting; “I have to chant but I’d rather be doing something else.” And in our minds we are thinking, “I can’t wait to get these rounds out of the way.” We all do this. And it can get pretty bad. I know devotees who chant rounds while watching football games on TV.

Prabhupada explained that this type of chanting is more or less useless because it will not produce the desired result, love of Krsna. To even call this chanting is a stretch. It is closer to a ritual. But Prabhupada acknowledged the value in the ritual by saying that although this kind of chanting is not very productive, at least those who are chanting this way are keeping their vow to chant.

I call this kind of japa, “courtesy japa.” “Courtesy japa” means that since you have taken a vow – either to your spiritual master or yourself – to chant a certain number of rounds daily, you keep that vow while chanting the kind of japa I described above. Continue reading

Tasting a drop of true joy


Whilst relishing the resplendent beauty of Sri Sri Radha Madan-Mohan on Their Jhulan made of green creepers and myriad coloured flowers in Ujjain on 2006 and 2007, my mind would travel to the home of Shanti Rupa mataji  in SS3. I would imagine how sweet and beautiful Sri Sri Radha Gokulananda would look and wonder about the colour of Their Lordships clothes and what kind of jewellery They would be wearing.  On Friday the 15th, my heart was replete with satisfaction. They were more gorgeous and sweeter than what my mind was capable of conjuring. Their Lordships exquisite beauty is indeed spell binding and I could not get enough of Their transcendental beauty. Continue reading

Just an instrument of the Lord


I wanted to attend Balaram Purnima festival at Iskcon KL, but  my daughter, Breenda was coughing perpetually and I didn’t want to leave her behind. So we decided to just stay at home. Just then Chitrangada mataji called and asked if she could get a lift to the temple and I broke the sad news. She was also not feeling well enough to drive. Then she said, “Tell you what, I will bring the boys at 7.15pm, just be ready,ok. We will have a kirtan blast for them” Continue reading

Vaishnava’s mercy


Never in my wildest dream have I ever thought I will be given the opportunity to perform an arati to a life size murthi of Srila Prabhupada. It was purely by the mercy of these loving devotees here. I felt totally unqualified to do this service so I just imagined my Guru Maharaj actually performing it and I was just his instrument. Continue reading

The Poison is Personal Ambition

Source: Namahatta.org


The highlight of my visit to Mayapur this year was Anuttama Prabhu’s seminar on leadership and management—an extremely valuable course, which teaches so many important skills and principles of effective leadership and management.

Taking this course confirmed my realization that there is another reason why we have lost so many devotees worldwide over the past years besides the fact that we have failed to create a supportive spiritual culture which would give nourishment and shelter to each and every devotee joining this movement. We have also failed to educate and train our leaders systematically and equip them with the necessary skills in order to become true servant-leaders, who lead with affection and detachment. Rather we have so often allowed that dangerous weed to grow and flourish: the attachment to power, position and facilities…

So often we take “management” to mean “keeping devotees under control,” and a management position can nearly become a license for exercising the tendency of wanting to be in power and position over others—a licence for being a little “supreme controller.” Continue reading

Snatched by the crow of death


We get many birds flying to our house to make their nests especially in our rooftop. We were lucky when one couple started making their nest on a fern plant near our Tulasi plant. It was very interesting watching them build their nest so patiently. They have so much intelligence Krishna had given them. They knew that a nest must be made for their babies and they knew how to make them. Their parents never even told them how to do that.

In our class, my mum said Krishna has given all living beings intelligence. The birds are one of them. They had so much patience as they brought the small twigs one by one to build the nest. And they worked so well together, both the mother and father bird. But my mum said, the highest intelligence has been given to human beings. We need to know who we are and what our relationship is to the Lord. Most importantly, we need to know how to serve the Lord.

After a few weeks the nest was ready, then one day, we saw one tiny egg with spots on it in the nest. And another egg appeared the next day. Soon we saw the birds taking turns to sit on the eggs to warm them. Again they knew exactly what to do.

Then the eggs hatched one by one and the parent birds took turns to feed them. They took a lot of effort finding food for them. Every time they brought something for their children, the little birds would open their mouth and swallow them. Even the little birds knew how to eat without anyone telling them. Continue reading

Community of Care


“One who says he is directly My devotee is not My devotee –

However, one who says he is the devotee of My devotee – he is My devotee.”

(Krishna to Arjuna in the Adi-Purana)

https://i0.wp.com/www.co.olmsted.mn.us/images/CS/group.jpgWhile in America I had a mind-opening conversation with His Holiness Radhanatha Maharaja. I had just finished describing to him my plans for the Vedic Way and asked him for his opinion. Maharaja looked into my eyes and answered: “Very good, but do you know the reason people turn to Krishna consciousness?”

Keeping my many conversations with devotees in mind I said, “Well, the devotees I asked about that said they had been convinced by the philosophy. Radhanatha Maharaja smiled. “They are wrong,” he said. “Philosophy came after. Continue reading

Tulasi tips from ISKCON Vancover

Worshipping and Caring for Srimati Tulasi devi.

“Tips to Keep Tulsi Healthy While Growing Indoors”, and “Collecting Leaves and Manjaris” from the Vancouver Tulasi project.

The Vancouver Tulasi houses are an outstanding example of Tulasi worship, brought to perfection. The Tulasi greenhouses are completely filled with over 30 Tulasis, all in perfect shape and perfect color. Krsna kirtans and Srila Prabhupada’s audio tapes are constantly piped into the greenhouses. Once a week, a group of children come to spend time working with Tulasi, after which they enjoy a picnic together.

All in all, the circumstances surrounding the manifestation of Tulasi at ISKCON Vancouver is an amazing thing. The devotional service offered by the devotees is a perfect example of the mood of Krsna Consciousness that we should all endeavor to strive for in our service.

Continue reading