Friday, February 29, 2008

Transcendental Hootenanny begins

The Transcendental Hootenanny is a sincere effort by the Texas Krishnas to deliver a process for reviving our dormant love of God. We truly believe that the masses of people are innocent and that only due to forgetfulness of their eternal relationship with God is there so much discord and strife in society. Our scriptures tell us that not only is God a good God but that He has specific names, attributes, and activities, all unlimitedly beautiful, colorful and attractive.
Simply a brief exposure to these names and attributes is enough to begin to awaken the memory of a long forgotten relationship with Him. And just as awakening from a a dream the nightmare of material bondage will evaporate and our true joyful nature will again become prominent.
Our goal is to bring the festive atmosphere of the Spiritual World to all the people of Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma, city by city, town by town, giving everyone a chance to reclaim their spiritual birthright.
Lookout ya'll we're coming thru!! stay tuned in for inspirations, events, and updates Hare Krishna!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Bill Clinton receives a Divine Nature book

Today Bill Clinton was visiting Dallas on campaign for presidential electorate Hillary Clinton. Mahamantra Prabhu kindly called me and told me that he was visiting and would be speaking just a few blocks from the temple. Mathuranatha Prabhu, Amala Kirtan Prabhu and Lakshmi Priya and her family went to see him and offer him a Divine Nature. After speaking and leaving the podium a large very intense crowd of people to rushed see him, including these devotees. Mr. Clinton would quickly shake the hands of the people with a nod of a approval. He did however slow a little when he was a approached by the devotees, taking a book from Amala Kirtan Das he said, "Do you want me to sign this for you?" Amala replied, "No, this is a gift for you." He looked at the cover and responded, "Thank you very much."

Recently on one of the devotees inquired in following post Eating Prasadam= Human Birth?
"I heard that if a person eats Prasadam even once in their life, they are guaranteed a human birth in their next life.

Is this true?

(If so, the book, chapter, and verse(s) which speak of this subject, if they could be included, would be greatly appreciated.)"

My response was that even an animal can go back to Godhead but appreciation is the key. Here is the reference;

Bali-mardana: I believe I've heard you said in other lectures that a person who takes prasādam, even a plant or a..., any kind of living entity who takes prasādam or hears the name, that it will come back at least to human form of life. Is that correct?
Prabhupāda: No, if he's devotee, then he'll come. But this taking of prasādam, or hearing Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra is advancement for becoming a devotee. But if he takes prasādam not as ordinary prasādam, foodstuff, he believes that "This is remnants of foodstuffs given to God," if he understands this philosophy, then guaranteed. If he takes the prasādam as ordinary food, "All right, these people are distributing, prasā... Let me take it. It is very tasteful," that will give him chance to accept prasādam next, next, next... In this way, one day he'll come to the point that "This prasādam is not ordinary foodstuff." Then he'll... There is guarantee. Because only the devotee can appreciate that "This prasādam is not ordinary foodstuff. It is Kṛṣṇa's remnant of..." Therefore, he understands Kṛṣṇa. That is said in the Bhagavad-gītā, janma-karma ca me divyaṁ yo jānāti tattvataḥ [Bg. 4.9]. In truth, when he understands, then his life is guaranteed. Why guaranteed? He goes back to home next life. Tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti [Bg. 4.9]. If you simply can understand what is Kṛṣṇa and what is your relationship with Kṛṣṇa, that is sufficient to take you back to home, back to Godhead. That is sufficient. It is so nice.
Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 1.16.23

Hawaii, January 19, 1974

Śrī Caitanya Caritāmṛta Antya 1.32

āra dina keha tāra dekhā nā pāilā

siddha-deha pāñā kukkura vaikuṇṭhete gelā


āra dina — the next day; keha — all of them; tāra — of the dog; dekhā nā pāilā — did not get sight; siddha-deha pāñā — obtaining a spiritual body; kukkura — the dog; vaikuṇṭhete gelā — went to the spiritual kingdom, Vaikuṇṭha.


The next day, no one saw that dog, for it had obtained its spiritual body and departed for Vaikuṇṭha, the spiritual kingdom.


This is the result of sādhu-sańga — consequent association with Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and promotion back home, back to Godhead. This result is possible even for a dog, by the mercy of the Vaiṣṇava. Therefore, everyone in the human form of life should be induced to associate with devotees. By rendering a little service, even by eating prasādam, what to speak of chanting and dancing, everyone can be promoted to Vaikuṇṭhaloka. It is therefore requested that all our devotees in the ISKCON community become pure Vaiṣṇavas, so that by their mercy all the people of the world will be transferred to Vaikuṇṭhaloka, even without their knowledge. Everyone should be given a chance to take prasādam and thus be induced to chant the holy names Hare Kṛṣṇa and also dance in ecstasy. By these three processes, although performed without knowledge or education, even an animal went back to Godhead.

So, hopefully for Clinton sake, he truly appreciates the all auspicious gift of this Krishna Conscious book and thus will make steadfast progress in returning back to the Kingdom of God where the devotee serves the Lord with unalloyed love.
Hare Krishna
Your humble servant,
Nityananda Chandra Das

Saturday, February 23, 2008

North American ISKCON Youth Conference???

400 Sari and Kurta clad youth all chanting the holy names of Krishna. With arms upraised with surcharged shouts of 'Haribol!!!', these youth beaconed the decent of Hari Nam Prabhu. Who are they? Reincarnations of great yogis, mystics, and bhaktas? Who is to say? But one thing we do know is that for these youth it was their first time doing this at least in this lifetime.

Professor Hill principle of Stonewall Elementary School had called me a week ago. He asked me if I could arrange a Vedic music performance and dance performance at his elementary school on Friday. He also asked if this could be done for free. I replied that I would be glad to help him out. I also mentioned that I may have some difficulty finding some Bharatnatyam dancers for most the ones I know charge some money. He mentioned that his concern was that they had also a good number of deaf students, so my reply was that we would make it interactive and fun.
This call and his second call took place while I was in the hospital tending to my wife who just gave birth and was recovering. Little overwhelmed with lack of sleep and lots of duties I did not notice that his email never made it to my inbox. I had several other letters from teachers, but none from his school. This was a problem for I could not remember his name, the name of his school, or where it was even. Krishna, being the source of memory(BG15.15 & 7.8) had mercy and therefore, not luckily but mercifully, my memory did not totally fail me. He received my contact info from a devotee who teaches sitar lessons. The devotee was also requested by him to perform and in response the devotee told him that he does not do live performances, he simply teaches. That devotee kindly gave the professor my number and in my time of trouble he also kindly looked through his caller ID to find the number that the principle called from.

The next challenge was our kirtan party was only two devotees, Bhakta Richie

and myself, due to this last minute arrangement. In a great search we became Harinam Hunters, strapped on our ecstasy detecting goggles, looking for the prospective devotees . Finally when we had given up and began driving towards the freeway we passed by Megharupa's house
who is usually accompanied by Kumari Devi dasi. Kartals in hand they both

enthusiastically agreed and hoped in car on the way Stonewall Elementary.
When we arrived we were pleasurably surprised to see all the kids wonderful dressed in Indian attire. Replete with elegant saris, punjabi suits, kurtas, and yogi pants.

All the teachers we as well dressed in eternal fashion.

We started with a bhajan with harmonium, introducing ourselves and the instruments. We asked the students to guess how long mrdangas have been in use, some said 60 years, some said 200, one soul said 1000. They were surprised when we told them that the mrdanga has been in use for at least 5000 years. We then asked them how many name are there for God in the Indian culture and again with great surprise we told them that the number was no less than 10,000. We then moved on to standing kirtan. We then asked if there were any brave souls in crowd who would like to participate in the dancing. About 40 kids ran up on stage to become the sankirtan party, including the deaf kids, which left a remaining 160 watching in the crowd.

We started with a dance lesson in Swami step and then call and response chanting. This can be seen in the video below. We then moved on to the Swami jump which they thoroughly enjoyed. After two sessions which make up a total of 400 participants we were then given a tour of their school. We were amazed with the decorations. They have been studying India for a week and had lined not just the hallways but the entire school with decorations of India heritage and culture.

We thoroughly enjoyed this event hope that you also enjoy this post as well.
Your humble servants,
Nityananda Chandra Das
Bhakta Richie
Megharupa DD
Kumari DD

also please see the 2 min video

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

His Holiness Hanumat Presak Swami's Lectures online

I have finished uploading all the lectures I recorded while Hanumat Presak Swami visited Dallas.  This includes his Srimad Bhagavatam classes in the mornings, his SMU program on the "Light of the Bhagavat" and his lecture on Rupa Goswami's Lalita Madhava.  Find them all on my blog.

Lectures by Hanumat Presak Swami.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Krishna's Infants & our baby

Srila Prabhupada has stated that our original position is that of surrender to Krishna. This position of surrender is not a forced dependence but rather natural. Srila Prabhupada gives the following example;

Prabhupāda: No, that is only a change of color. But the principle of surrender is there. Whether you surrender to monarchy, democracy, aristocracy, or dictatorship, you have to surrender; that is a fact. Without surrender there is no life. It is not possible. So we are educating people to surrender to the Supreme, wherefrom you get all protection, just as Kṛṣṇa says (sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja [Bg. 18.66]). No one can say, "No, I am not surrendered to anyone." Not a single person. The difference is where he surrenders. The ultimate surrendering object is Kṛṣṇa. Therefore in the Bhagavad-gītā (7.19) Kṛṣṇa says, bahūnāṁ janmanām ante jñānavān māṁ prapadyate: "After surrendering to so many things birth after birth, when one is factually wise he surrenders unto Me." Vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti sa mahātmā sudurlabhaḥ: "Such a mahātmā is very rare."
Prof. Kotovsky: But at the same time it seems to me that surrender is to be accompanied by revolt. The history of mankind has proved that mankind has developed only by revolt against some kind of surrender. In the medieval age there was the French Revolution. It was revolt against surrender. But this revolution itself was surrender to the rank and file of the people. You are agreed?
Śrīla Prabhupāda: Yes.
Prof. Kotovsky: So it is not enough to come to a full stop. Surrender is to be accompanied with revolt against some and surrender to other people.
Śrīla Prabhupāda: But the surrender will be fully stopped when it is surrender to Kṛṣṇa.
Prof. Kotovsky: Ah, ah.
Śrīla Prabhupāda: That is full stop—no more surrender. Any other surrender you have to change by revolution. But when you come to Kṛṣṇa, then it is sufficient. You are satisfied. I'll give you an example: a child is crying, and people move him from one lap to another. Oh, he does not stop. But as soon as the baby comes to the lap of his mother...
Prof. Kotovsky: It stops.
Śrīla Prabhupāda: Yes, full satisfaction। So this surrender, these changes, will go on in different categories। But the sum total of all this surrender is surrender to māyā. Therefore, in the Bhagavad-gītā it is said that this surrender, neglecting Kṛṣṇa, is all māyā. Either you surrender to this or to that, but final surrender is surrender to Kṛṣṇa; then you will be happy. The process of surrender is there, but surrender to Kṛṣṇa keeps one quite satisfied, transcendentally."
Science of Self-Realization, Chapter 6, Spiritual Communism

My wife and I just recently are now getting experience of this position of full dependence with the birth of our first born child. On the auspicious appearance day of Sri Advaita Acharya, February 13th 2008 at 7:29pm, our daughter, Visakha Anjali, was born.
Krishna Consciousness is so wonderful that it affords everyone at all opportunities for spiritual emancipation. Krishna teaches in the in Bhagavad Gita (BG 9.26) that one can do everything in the mood that the Lord is the supreme benefactor. Even up to the point of sex life, Krishna states in the Gita (BG 7.11) that if one performs sex life with Krishna as the benefactor, that is to say, that one has sex with the intention of training that soul in the service of the Lord then such sex life is service in of itself. Bhakti yoga, loving service to Lord, does not require one to give up his position of a married householder, nor does it require one to be poverty stricken. Rather the requirement is that all acts should be done for Krishna alone. For such a devotee, Krishna states, will receive all transcendental protection (BG 9.31)
Our little daughter of 5lbs 4oz was born amongst doctors who love to partake in prasadam at the temple’s restaurant, Kalachandji’s, here in Dallas. The auspicious appearance day of Advaita Acharya was not the only auspicious accordance along with prasadam loving doctors. The pediatrician at the hospital, one of the Kalachandji’s prasadam lovers, had even visited our home in October. Her 16 year old daughter, who comes to the restaurant with her, wanted to dress as Krishna for Halloween. She asked for our assistance so we invited her over, showed her how to put on her chiffon yellow dhoti and also gave her tips on accessories.
Our plan was to have her born at the wonderful midwifery clinic next to the hospital, but as the joke goes, “How to make Krishna laugh?…. ….. just tell Him your plans.”
When we went to the midwifery clinic for a check up the doctor's there said that they should do a natural induction due to my wife's recent high blood pressure (a reaction some women get during pregnancy) Our baby was due on the 21st so she would not be premature. Noticing some other complications the doctor's at the Birthing Center questioned if she could do a natural birth and thus they sent her over to the hospital next door to get further test. At the hospital more complications arose and therefore the doctors told her that a C-section was a must.
After the short operation little baby Visakha came out looking all around and crying a little. She was then weighted, checked and then she was handed over to us.
Since then she has not left us other than just some brief check ups. She is breastfeeding nicely and has a very calm and sweet nature. She does not fuss or cry unnecessarily. She is however utter dependent on us, naturally. This is our natural relationship with Krishna. It has also been suggested by the Acaryas that we approach the Lord in this mood, that of total utter dependence. The Lord along with His feminine counter part cannot ignore the cries of a surrendered dependent soul. Thus the best process for spiritual progress is the chanting of the Holy Names of the Lord, Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.

After a day in hospital my wife, Krishna Mangala DD, discovered the root of these chain of events. Earlier this year while in Mayapur at the wonderful Jagannatha Temple my wife prayed for several different things in presence of the famous Kalpa Vriksha Tree, wish-fulfilling tree. One item that she prayed for is that she prayed that one young 18 year old devotee, who made some small mistakes in his life, would not go to prison. Miraculously this devotee was called a few days before he was supposed to go and was told that he did not have to go, he could not understand why. Another item that she prayed for is that after returning from India she wished to quickly get pregnant with a very Krishna Conscious child. And the last item she prayed for is she wished that the delivery would not be painful. Little did she know that she would be not be experiencing any pain during the delivery due to having a C-section.
Today we will leaving the hospital to return home. We both very happy for we have a nice opportunity to raise a healthy child in a Krishna Conscious environment with Krishna Conscious education.
Hare Krishna
Your humble servants,
Nityananda Chandra Das
Krishna Mangala Devi Dasi
& Visakha Anjali Devi Dasi

Friday, February 8, 2008

Bhagavatam Lectures from the GBC/TP Meetings available

I have  the Bhagavatam Lectures from the GBC / TP meetings online on my blog.  They were all very inspirational. 

I especially appreciated the lecture given by Bir Krishna Goswami on Compassion and Empathy. 

I've grouped these lectures here.  Enjoy!

-Rupa Madhurya das