Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Oaklawn/Cedar Springs Halloween Block Party Street Kirtan w/ Giriraj Swami



Every year during this time of the year we have a wonderful kirtan with thousands of folks attending the Oaklawn Halloween Block Party.  The event has more than 100,000 attendees and can be quite PG-13 but everyone loves the chanting.  In fact many costumed partiers chant along with us for several hours throughout the night.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

4 Minute Krishna Wisdom - Subliminate with a Higher Taste - Nityananda Chandra Das

TEXAS FAITH 133: Falling into Sin


Dallas Morning News,


Each week we will post a question to a panel of about two dozen clergy, laity and theologians, all of whom are based in Texas or are from Texas. They will chime in with their responses to the question of the week. And you, readers, will be able to respond to their answers through the comment box.
Most of us agree on the difference between right and wrong. It is wrong to steal; it is wrong to commit adultery; it is wrong to kill.
The parameters of right and wrong are widely shared in most civil societies. But we often find ourselves, in the practice of everyday life, justifying little wrongs with the balance that we do greater good in some other area. And some of us, over time, begin to justify greater and greater wrongs as we accustom ourselves to lives of what we might call sin.
Think about how this happens in an individual. Is this the spiritual battle we are meant to fight, the push back against the slide into doing wrong? What draws the soul or mind toward sin, and what is the defense against it? - Dallas Morning News










NITYANANDA CHANDRA DAS, minister of ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness), Dallas 

The third chapter of the Bhagavad Gita As It Is verses 37-43 concisely address this issue. That the soul is compelled by lust, the desire to enjoy the temporary, because it false identifies the self with the temporary.  "As fire is covered by smoke, as a mirror is covered by dust, or as the embryo is covered by the womb, the living entity is similarly covered by different degrees of this lust.  Thus the wise living entity's pure consciousness becomes covered by his eternal enemy in the form of lust, which is never satisfied and which burns like fire.  The senses, the mind and the intelligence are the sitting places of this lust. Through them lust covers the real knowledge of the living entity and bewilders him.  Therefore in the very beginning curb this great symbol of sin [lust] by regulating the senses, and slay this destroyer of knowledge and self-realization.  The working senses are superior to dull matter; mind is higher than the senses; intelligence is still higher than the mind; and he [the soul] is even higher than the intelligence.  Thus knowing oneself to be transcendental to the material senses, mind and intelligence, one should steady the mind by deliberate spiritual intelligence [Kṛṣṇa consciousness] and thus - by spiritual strength - conquer this insatiable enemy known as lust."
To see all responses of the TEXAS Faith panel click here.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

TEXAS FAITH 132: Is religion to blame for the conflicts around the world?

Dallas Morning News,

Each week we will post a question to a panel of about two dozen clergy, laity and theologians, all of whom are based in Texas or are from Texas. They will chime in with their responses to the question of the week. And you, readers, will be able to respond to their answers through the comment box.

The military crisis in Iraq is typically described in religious terms – a millennia-old conflict between Sunni and Shia. No doubt the sectarian divide has fueled tensions and defined the war. It has given critics ammunition to argue against sending more troops into a religious civil war. There is an emerging view that we should just stay out and let the parties fight it out themselves, as they have done for hundreds of years.

For some, it’s hard not to blame religion. Religion is often in the frame of modern conflicts. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict predated the creation of the modern state of Israel. The civil war in Ireland pitted Catholics against Protestants. Religious tensions in Nigeria divide the country between the Muslim north and the Christian south. Hindus and Muslims oppose each other in South Asia. The conflicts in Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Kosovo involve Orthodox, Catholic and Muslim followers.

Religion seems to be connected with violence virtually everywhere. Critics of religion are quick to put the blame on religion. Advocates of faith counter with religion’s record as a force for peace. One 18th century writer said we have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another.

As people of faith, how to we talk with those who say religion is to blame? How do we respond when someone asks if religion has succeeded in any of its efforts to unite mankind?

When a critic points to conflicts in Iraq, across the Middle East, Asia, Africa and Europe and says religion is to blame – how do we respond?

NITYANANDA CHANDRA DAS, minister of ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness), Dallas 

Due to a lack of spiritual intelligence, ignorant persons misidentify the eternal self with the temporary body and mind.  Such illusion does not only include ideas such as, ‘I am White’, ‘I am Black’, ‘I am American’, ‘I am Democrat,’ but also the illusion also includes ideas of, ‘I am Hindu’, ‘I am Christian’, ‘I am Muslim.’

For the person who has received spiritual training understands that, ‘I am not this body but rather I am an eternal soul.’  Therefore a spiritually wise soul does not discriminate against others based on temporary bodily designations but rather sees the soul proper.

“He who sees systematically everything in relation to the Supreme Lord, who sees all living entities as His parts and parcels, and who sees the Supreme Lord within everything never hates anything or any being.

One who always sees all living entities as spiritual sparks, in quality one with the Lord, becomes a true knower of things. What, then, can be illusion or anxiety for him?” - Śrī Īśopaniṣad 6-7

To see all responses of the TEXAS Faith panel click here.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Our Cancún Trip–Part 2 Beach, Harinam and Book Distribution

On Sunday we were able to visit the ISKCON farm and we had just one day left.  So Monday we finally took our dip in the ocean.  We left out early to visit the clear ocean and do a little exploring. 





This guy was the smaller one.  Both were waiting near the bus stop.










In front of Plaza la Isla shopping center we got to meet this friendly spider monkey.   He was very friendly and climbed on our heads and our hands.   When some more kids showed up and started petting him he got a little nervous and bit Visakha finger.  He also doesn’t like cameras so he doesn’t look happy picture as well.   Here you can see him give an upset squeak to the camera.


 

It tickled.  As a Father’s Day present Krishna Mangala had me sit in one of these. 



We distributed a book to the guy running it.





After our little exploration we went to Gopal’s Vegetarian restaurant for some prasadam, harinam kirtan, and spiritual book distribution. Smile









The airport was like a shopping mall trying to confiscate the last of your money. 




 

The plane ride was wonderful.  I was originally supposed to sit next to this nice older couple but my seat was changed to sit next to these two young sisters from Austin.  One was 13 and the other was 15.  The older one started to ask me about my attire.   She then began to explain to me that she is doing a study on the nature of happiness.  From that point on we had a wonderful discussion about happiness, the soul, reincarnation, devotional service and the three modes of nature.   She told me that she is generally quite afraid of flying but did not think about during this flight because of the interesting discussion.   She was very happy to receive a copy of the Bhagavad Gita in Spanish.   It is always nice to bring some BBT books with you where ever you go.  This what she wrote me on Facebook

  Thank you. It was a pleasure to meet you as well. I enjoyed learning about the ancient Indian culture and I have different views of the world now. Thank you so much!
to see the pics that you missed click here.

TEXAS FAITH 131: In love and marriage, do different faiths really matter in America?

Dallas Morning News,
Each week we will post a question to a panel of about two dozen clergy, laity and theologians, all of whom are based in Texas or are from Texas. They will chime in with their responses to the question of the week. And you, readers, will be able to respond to their answers through the comment box.
Recently, I attended the beautiful wedding of two friends, one from a Jewish family and one from a Christian family. The ceremony largely followed the Jewish tradition with occasional mention of the bride’s Christian upbringing.
I began to wonder, witnessing this blending of two people into one couple bound under God, what place separate faiths really serve in our society. If we are honest, there is no justifying the fundamental difference in belief between Christians and Jews or the other major faiths. But in cases like these, it is our cultural homogeneity that is more important than the tenets of our faith.
Given that, what does faith really mean in circumstances like these? Is faith or religion simply ceremonial? Or are we overcoming divisions in the name of something greater – that is – love?
Read our panelists’ responses below.










NITYANANDA CHANDRA DAS, minister of ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness), Dallas 

Marriage is not just about an attraction of two parties but also those two parties working together to help each other to attain true happiness.  True happiness is found by connecting beyond the temporary to the Supreme Being.  Because marriage relates to that progressive spiritual advancement in the service of God, considerations of compatibility should not be ignored.  The spiritual ideology, or how we see ourselves at our core, and how we individually apply such spiritual ideology must be taken into consideration.  Incompatibilities certainly exist within those of the same tradition.  Therefore it is important in all cases to see that both parties can properly help each other's growth towards true spiritual happiness.
To see all responses of the TEXAS Faith panel click here.