Tuesday, December 30, 2008

BenLoka's stay at the Bhaktivedanta Manor Temple

Famous Youtube Comedian, BenLoka recounts his 3 month stay, in the Bhakta Program, at the Hare Krishna temple in England, the Bhaktivedanta Manor.
He has also posted a full length lecture of His Holiness Radhanatha Swami, that was filmed at the Manor, which can be found on his other youtube page.
Hare Krishna
Your humble servant,
Nityananda Chandra Das
ps. Don't forget to subscribe to his channel

Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry Krishnas!!!!!

Give the gift that keeps on giving.
In the Nectar of Devotion, Srila Prabhupada's magnificent summary study of Rupa Goswami's Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu, he describes the glories of pure bhakti.
Therein it is describes six features of pure bhakti.
  1. Krishna Consciousness bring relief from all distress. (Ajamil, the sinner saved)
  2. Krishna Consciousness is All Auspicious (the best welfare, BG 18.66)
  3. Krishna Consciousness produces supreme happiness (Material happiness temporary at best, Kholaveca Sridhara so poor but so happy)
  4. Extremely rare (Only bhakti can awaken bhakti)
  5. Bhakti minimizes the happiness of becoming One with Brahman (Prahlad says happiness of Bhakti is like an ocean whereas Brahmananda is like the small amount of water contained in a calfs footprint.
  6. Only Bhakti can attract Krishna. (Krishna says to Uddhava, "Nothing gets my heart like Bhakti"
These items are also summarized in the small book called Bhakti, The Art of Eternal Love.
Because of these reasons we are fortunate to participate in book distribution this month. Srila Prabhupada explained that the basis of giving others the opportunity to reawaken their Krishna Bhakti is by coming in to contact with Krishna Conscious books. Such books attract the heart to the All Attractive One, Sri Krishna. So for the past couple weeks during the weekends and as well as during the week we have been going out on book distribution.

All devotees are very ecstatic when they get the opportunity for this service. Here we see little Vrinda excited to pass out Kalachandji postcards.

The one that was really excited is 13 year old Govinda. He has been calling me everyday asking when we could go out again. Because of his enthusiasm I have been forced to go out almost daily. The picture on the top is of some young ladies who received books from Govinda. Everybody that we meet is eager to get these books, one young lady who didn't have any money gave us her lollipops in exchange for a book.

Last Sunday Mathuranatha and Dwaraka Prabhus did an amazing presentation about a newer and powerful way to distribute books about Krishna. It is called a Smart Box.

These boxes are so smart that they know how to alleviate all suffering and bring one to the service of Krishna. After the presentation at the Sunday Feast immediately 30 people signed up for smart boxes. Each box was to be their own project. Each signee purchased their own box and 20 small books and agreed to weekly stock the box at their own convenience. The method was that the devotees find a grocery store, salon, laundry mat, dentist/doctors office, etc, in their area and ask them for permission to place the box there. The same devotee then goes back every week to restock the box with more books and use the money to purchase more stock. It is genius! Brhat Mrdanga Sankitan Ki Jaya!!
Your humble servant,
Nityananda Chandra das

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Interfaith Concert

Some months ago I did a tour and interview for a youth group from Munger Place United Methodist Church. These high school youths were chaperoned by their minister Ernest McMillan. The interview went really nicely. One of the key discussions that was brought about was in regards to the four legs of Dharma

  • Satyam (Honesty/Truthful)
  • Saucam (Cleanliness of the mind and body)
  • Tapa (selfcontrol/austerity)
  • Daya (compassion/mercy)

and the corresponding four regulative priniciples

  • Not gambling for honesty
  • Not engaging in intoxications, going clean, keeping the mind and body clean
  • Not engaging in illicit sex life, having a sense of self control and a sense of working for a high pleasures
  • Not supporting slaughter houses and animal killing and thus mitigating ones sense of compassion.
Later Minister McMillan contacted me and told me that all the kids really appreciated the talk and that he would like to see more of us. I told him that he should see us perform the 100 devotee harinam that happens every month here in Dallas which was happening that Saturday. He came downtown and really enjoyed parading around with us in sankirtan harinam and thus he asked us if we could partake in a Interfaith Concert that he had organized.

We were in the middle in the line up of performers. There were performers of many faiths. There was a Christian dance performance, Jewish band, African band, and many others as well. Soon after starting our kirtan performance the Christian dance troup joined in on the kirtan, dancing in glorification of the Supreme.

The concert was very nice and we look forward to serving with Brother Ernest in the furture.
Hare Krishna
Your humble servant,
Nityananda Chandra Das

This is a short video clip that my wife took with our camera, you can see Brother Ernest dancing and clapping on side.

And this is the full lenght video recorded by Rupa Madhurya Prabhu
of Rupa.com

Commercial about Chanting Hare Krishna

ISKCON Dallas temple host Refugees from Bhutan

The Kingdom of Bhutan, the landlocked country, in South Asia, has adopted a policy of forced Buddhism. Although the country is largely Buddhist, 75%, many do not wish to be forced into another tradition. These individuals are forced to leave the country as refugees to start a life elsewhere. Many whom have to start over with new careers and need to be trained in the modern occupations of the west. Some time ago a business man with an interest in helping the some 150 refugees that three months arrived in Dallas had met with our temple president, Nityananda Prabhu. Nityananda Prabhu, eager to help, had arranged him to invite the refugees to the temple for kirtan and prasadam. These refugees were devout Vaishnavas, devotees of Sri Krishna, and thus they were elated about having the opportunity to visit the local Krishna temple here in Dallas.
When they arrived everyone noticed the simplicity, lack of harshness, and pureness of heart of these Vaishnavas. They were not yet fully under sway of Western materialism and thus their presence created a very sweet atmosphere like that of holy places such as Vrindavan and Govardhan. They had not migrated to America for the promise of greater wealth, and material pleasures but rather just for the freedom of their devotion to their Lord, Sri Krishna. The program was started by a wonderful bhajan lead by Rupa Madhurya Prabhu, then the popular Anish Prabhu from Houston dazzled everyone with his angelic voice. Followed by Dallas' very own Haridas Prabhu. All danced in bliss to the kirtan during the artik ceremony which was followed by the refugees singing their own favorite bhajans. It was wonderful to hear them sing the very same bhajans the are sung by local devotees in Vrindavan Dhama.
After the kirtan and artik all went upstairs to the Sanctuary hall and partook in a wonderful feast delicious vegetarian chili and rice and many other dishes offered to Krishna with love and devotion.
Hare Krishna
Your humble servant,
Nityananda Chandra Das

PS. if anyone would like to assist there are many things that one can do to help these devotees. Many need to learn skills such as driving, etc, so that they can financially support themselves in the US. Contact us at INFO (at) RadhaKalachandji dott com

Saturday, December 6, 2008

about the gurukula meeting

ok, so we had a meeting last night about the gurukula......and I walked out after about an hour or so, with my unruly daughter because I felt as though I crashed the meeting by bringing my child...of course, I was under the impression that the children were what the meeting was all about.
Since I was not really noticed except by the sweet mataji that felt the need to continually shush my child for making noise with crayons, I have a few points I would like to bring up here...
We desperately need a PreSchool and we need to include ALL of our children. ALL OF THEM...there should not be a choice in whether we should send them to the Montossori school, or the public school down the street because it is more convienent...we are raising DEVOTEE children and they should be in a KRISHNA CONSCIOUS school...period...if you are not sending them to gurukula, then you are not raising devotee kids. Srila Prabhupada opened this school in Dallas for our kids to get an education not only in ABC's and 123's but in our belief system, so that when these kids grow up and move out into a vicious material world they will be PREPARED to meet any and all obstacles with the FAITH and DEVOTION that was instilled in them in the gurukula...and this needs to start in PreSchool and Kindergarten, not in the 3rd grade when they have learned all kinds of nonsense from outside sources....yeah, I know my kid will grow up knowing others eat meat, but I dont want them sitting next to someone at school who is eating it and learn about it from exposure. I quote Srila Prabhupada....

"From the very beginning they should be trained up. From the body, they should be trained up how to take bath, how to chant Hare Krsna or some Vedic mantra, go to the temple, offer obeisances, prayer, then take their lunch... In this way, they should be always engaged. Then they'll be trained up. Simple thing.

If children are allowed to play just like Krishna was playing with his cowherd boyfriends, then little ABC, then see the deity and have arati, then take little prasadam; in this way if they are always diversified, they will be always jolly and become fixed-up devotees at young age. And small children, they learn better these things from their mother and women in general. So I thing that some mothers of our children should go to Dallas and take charge of teaching the children, especially how to play nicely the pastimes of young Krishna. If you ask one child to be a tree, he will immediately hold out his arms "Just see I am a tree." If you ask him to be a cow he will walk on his hands and knees immediately and you can hit him with a stick and say "hut, hut." And if they will not take prasadam you can say "Now you are a cow and you must eat the grass" and immediately they will stand on hands and legs and eat prasadam like cow eating grass. So in this way our children in Dallas school should be trained because I want that a new generation of devotees shall carry on this great mission successfully".

About the concern with other people who would want to send their kids to our school based on academics and might not want them exposed to our religion......ummm...if they dont want their kids around Hare Krishnas then they need to find another school...again I quote...

"We have to concentrate to give them some idea about God--that should be our first business. In art class they should be encouraged to draw pictures of Krsna, Kuruksetra, etc. There are so many subjects for drawing as it is stated in our book Krsna. If they are trained, they will come out nice devotees. It will depend on the process of training."

sorry, but I know a lot of kids that have been enrolled in Catholic school, and even though they are not Catholic, they are still required to wear the uniform and got to Mass and Confession.... if their parents dont want them to do that, then they need to find another school...I think if someone wanted to send their kid to the gurukula based on the academics, then they would not have a problem with the religion, I mean, they had to be open minded enough to find us in the first place, right? Again I quote Srila Prabhupada..
"They will never accept that one must undergo austerities to break the influence of the modes of material nature upon the living entity in order that he may experience the transcendental bliss on the platform of pure goodness. Therefore they see our school as a threat and a cruel punishment to the children. If we were to run our school as it was actually to be run, they would close it down, and factually they will place more and more codes and restrictions as the school develops to water down the process until it becomes unrecognizable and useless."

Which brings me to the inclusion of religion in the school...THIS IS VITAL!!!!!
We are a religiously based school...the kids should be required to attend morning program, and have religious instruction throughout the day, not just on Monday but everyday. They need to learn instruction in being a devotee, they need to learn how to chant japa in the early grades, to memorize verses in the Gita in the middle grades, to be able to debate the Bhagavatam in high school...along with academics that we already know the school provides on an exemplary basis. I have no qualms that our gurukula can supply my children with a better education than they can get down the street at the local public school...but if that was all I wanted for them then I would send them there...
Bottom line....we all need to get involved with the gurukula, all our children should be attending and it needs to go back to what Srila Prabhupada wanted it to be... I will leave you with this last treat from Srila Prabhupada
" The most important thing however is to see that somehow or other the children are always engaged in some kind of Krsna conscious activity, then they will naturally develop a taste for it and think it great fun even to work very hard for Krsna's pleasure."