World Vaishnava Association Portrait
WVA´s Magazine Committee is pleased to announce the release of the long awaited publication of the WVA Portrait. This issue features an overview of what has been happening over the past years in different fields of global Vaishnavism. WVA Portrait´s goal is to spread with joy the message of the worldwide Vaishnava endeavors to all the readers. In an effort to portay this diversity, this issue contains many photos from the past and present, as well as plans for the future, fresh translations, known artwork and a lot more. We thanks to Srila Bhakti Ballabha Tirtha Goswami Maharaj, who inspired and supported this WVA Portrait. And Srila Siddhasvarupananda, who is supporting many publications and projects of WVA.
CONTENTS Editorial............................................................................3 Reaching out to our origins: 4sam.org......................5 RE-INSTITUTION OF SRI VISHVA-VAISHNAVA-RAJ-SABHA Discovery of Vrindavan................................................. 6 Outstanding temples of the Vaishnava faith......... 8 The history of Vaishnavism in Europe ..................... 12 Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu............................................15 Pioneers behind the iron curtain..............................16 Vaishnava charity. ......................................................... 18 Cow protection..............................................................22 The literature of bhakti............................................ 24 Gouranga´s secret music of the soul...................... 26 Prabhupada parivara. ....................................................28 Sanctuaries around the world................................. 30 Wva Publications........................................................... 33 Windows into the spiritual realm............................ 34 Dharma & Science.........................................................38 India´s greatest hero of Divine Love......................39 Sadhu Sanga beams of Truth.....................................40 Temple restoration...................................................... 42 Vishva Vaishnava Raj-Sabha´s presidents. ..............44 Forming a network of secretaries............................ 45 WVA Committees..........................................................46 Staff-reporter (Kolkata): The last Wednesday was celebrated with great éclat, the advent of Sri Vishnupriya Devi at Sri Asana (1 Ultadingi Junction Road). The occasion was solemnized by the re-institution of Sri Vishva Vaishnava Raj Sabha, as inaugurated by Srila Jiva Goswami himself 11 years after the passing of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and as given a fresh impetus to Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur 33 years ago. A Portrait of the World Vaishnava Association Vishva Vaishnava Raj-Sabha Published by The WVA newsletter & journal committee Correspondence address: WVA-Office India Andher Galli, Seva Kunja 297, on Parikrama next to Imlitala Temple Vrindavan, District Mathura UP - PIN 281121 Phone: 91 (0) 565 2443664 E-mail: email@example.com Web sites: Wva-vvrs.org, Vina.cc Bhaktisiddhanta.com Vinabangla.blogspot.com Advertisements. ............................................................ 48 Internet Services. .........................................................50 Recognition of Vaishnava service. ............................50 Main deities of Vrindavan...........................................51 WVA´s flex posters for your ashram........................52 The future of Vrindavan is in your hands............. 54 On the way to Krishna.................................................55 2 All rights reserved by The Supreme Lord. Readers are encouraged to distribute information contained within this book in any way possible; duly citing the source. EDITORIAL W VA’s magazine committee is pleased to announce the release of the long awaited publication of the WVA portrait. This issue features an overview of what has been happening over the past years in different fields of global Vaishnavism. WVA portrait’s goal is to spread with joy the message of the worldwide Vaishnava endeavors to all of you dear readers. Many times in the history of mankind, Vaishnavas have organized meetings in order to increase their association and to serve the world. We read daily in the Srimad Bhagavatam of the great meeting in Naimisaranya to counteract the age of Kali. It is a fact that our Sampradaya has thousands of years of history, simply by Guru - to - disciple transmission. Thus organized religion, as we know it in the western world, has not been an important aspect of Vaishnavism. Here and there great temple institutions have tried to maintain their inspiration along with an organized transmission of Acharya-ship. More recently we have also observed how great Vaishnava institutions such as the Gaudiya Math and ISKCON have tried to combine the natural flow of divine transmission with certain institutional structures. World Vaishnava Association Vishva Vaishnava Raj-Sabha President Srila Bhakti Ballabha Tirtha Maharaja Vice president Srila Bhakti Vichar Vishnu Maharaj Portrait Edition & Direction Swami Bhakti Aloka Paramadvaiti Edition Assistant Pancatattwa Das Text Correction Damodhar Lila Devi Dasi Gour Nitay Das Radhe Syam Devi Dasi Sandy Brassard Sundari Devi Dasi Articles Bhajanamrta Das Dasavatara Das Kirtanananda Das Layout Goura Mandal Das Karin Escudero Radhe Syam Devi Dasi Vidagda Madhava Das Research Brahma Samhita Das Vamsi Vadana Das The whole Vaishnava world can help to produce a change. The combined effort of the Vaishnavas can, without a doubt, intensify their contributions to the world. Thus we can try to follow the advice of Srila Rupa Goswami, to use everything in Krishna’s service, including a worldwide Vaishnava cooperation net. Increased unity and cooperation for the common causes amongst the Vaishnavas could also help resolve many problems of this world. Also, if we use the communication facilities of this age to share our preaching, then the results of our preaching efforts will definitely increase. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu revealed the practice of congregational chanting, sankirtana, so that the whole world could serve the one Supreme Lord Sri Krishna and His devotees with loving unity in diversity. In an effort to portray this diversity, this issue of WVA Portrait contains many photos from the past and present, as well as plans for the future, fresh translations, known artwork and a lot more. Most of the information presented in this Portrait was compiled from previous WVA publications, VINA reports and by researching the internet. It is our heartfelt attempt to show to the readers of this Portrait, that the light of bhakti is being spread in different forms and by different missions and individual devotees. Rarely do you find information about so many contributions in one place. This is one of the particular features of the VVRS; we take pride in presenting it all together and showing that is it all inspired by the same roots. The pluralistic opulence of many teachers and many different missions without any institutional ties amongst them proves that the Vaishnava teachings have become a world religion which can survive anywhere when taken up by sincere souls, because the Supreme Teacher is the Super soul who is always present in the hearts of all. We want to conclude by requesting different missions to actively send articles or news, which we can include for publication in issues to come. May the chanting of the Holy Names dissolve all differences and unite us in our common goal as messengers of Divine Love. The publishers. 3 3 Visit Our Bhakti Yoga Ashrams City centers, Eco-villages, Farms Volunteer programs & Vaishnava Academies All over the World. You can choose from almost 100 Vaishnava Missions to live or travel with acaryas or sannyasis. For addresses please visit: Gaudiyadirectory.com Harekrishnanews.info Vina.cc Wva-vvrs.org Reaching Out to Our Origins The Four Sampradaya Organization is inviting all Acharyas, scholars and pandits to present their tradition on the internet. The Genealogical Tree of Theistic Vedanta gives us some details about the initiating schools existing in India since the Vedic times. Rarely has this information been made available and rarely have the Four Sampradayas shared a joint undertaking to improve the moral condition of our increasingly more materialistic world. Dharmascience.net is thus focused on those issues where all Sampradayas agree. To make this program more complete, send all information to the webmaster of 4sam.org, we will provide information regarding all your web contributions, bookstore, addresses, etc. Many Acharyas of the Four Sampradayas are also members of the Hindu Dharma Acharya Sabha (acharyasabha.org). United efforts for protecting the values of Sanatan Dharma are very important. Those include concerns such as: protecting the Sanskrit language, protecting Holy Places and Holy Rivers from pollution and other disturbances, raising awareness about the treasures of Vedic Culture. Encouraging to have and maintain strong families so that they do not become aÂ minority. Increasing charity and offering help to the needy. Educating people so that converting to other faiths will not be attractive. Encouraging other souls to embrace Sanatan Dharma. The Vishva Vaishnava Raj Sabha is an active member of the Four Sampradaya project, representing the Brahma Madhava Gaudiya Sampradaya. WVA also represents this branch in international religious organizations such as the World Parliament of Religions and URI (United Religions Initiative), either through an appointed representative or through some Vaishnava organization. Please make sure your organization or mission is represented at our yearly meeting in Mayapur, Vrindavan or in other parts of India or the world. Vina.cc announces such events. Your opinions are very important to us. Srila Bhakti Ballabha Tirtha Maharaja wants all Vaishnava organizations to appoint a secretary to represent them in every city or country where they have activities. We need your help to do these things, each mission alone cannot do it. A Chronological History of the Middle Age of Vraja Discovery of Vrindavan MEDIEVAL - MODERN PERIOD (16th - 18th CENTURY) This era was marked by a presence of several important personalities. After making an extensive pilgrimage of Bharata Bhumi (India) Sripad Madhavendra Puri began the restoration work of Vrindavan. Srila Lokanath Das Goswami was the first of the Goswamis who came to Vrindavan. Sri Caitanya went to Sri Vrindavan and revealed many holy places there. (CaitanyaCaritamrta Madhya 1,2,17,18) When Lord Caitanya first arrived in Vraja, He stayed at a brahmana’s house in Mathura. He would walk around Vrindavan every day visiting the sacred places connected with Lord Krishna’s pastimes. Later, Lord Caitanya moved His residence to Akrura Ghat and would daily visit Imlitala, where He sat looking at the river Yamuna while chanting Hare Krishna and constantly shedding tears in an ecstatic mood of divine love. After a few months (in 1516), Lord Caitanya left for Jagannath Puri and directed two of His dear most followers, Rupa Goswami and Sana- tan Goswami to proceed immediately to Vrindavan, not only to excavate the places of Lord Krishna’s pastimes and build temples but also to write books on the science of Bhakti Yoga, in order to establish the teachings of Lord Caitanya for the benefit of all future generations. Other members of the Six Goswamis later joined them. Even though both Rupa and Sanatan were very important ministers in the government of Bengal, by the divine inspiration of Lord Caitanya they completely renounced mundane family life in order to fully serve His mission. When they first came to Vrindavan, it was just a large forest, and at night they would sleep under the trees. They dressed only in simple kaupins (loincloths), and subsisted on forest roots and dry chapatis obtained by begging alms (madhukari). The Six Goswamis hardly slept more than two hours a day and spent most of their time in meditation and writing books on the science of Bhakti Yoga. Some of their original works, written on palm leaves, have been preserved and can be seen at the Vrindavan Research Institute. Pencil and wash drawing by Thomas and William Daniell of Madhan Mohan temple at Vrindavan The fame of the Six Goswamis spread so far and wide that even Emperor Akbar decided to pay a visit to Vrindavan in the year 1570. Jiva Goswami led him blindfolded into the sacred kunja of Nidhuvan. So great was the Emperor’s spiritual experience there, that to commemorate the event, he granted permission to construct four grand temples dedicated to Lord Krishna. The temples were Govindaji, Gopinath, Madhan Mohan and JugalKishor. The Emperor also donated funds to set up a library for the preservation of the Goswamis’s books at Radha Damodhar temple. This library used to be in the room to the left of the altar and is still known as grantha ghar (book house). Akbar even provided first class red sandstone, normally reserved for the Emperor’s palaces and forts; so much he appreciated the Six Goswamis. Other devotees gradually came but later Vrindavan was raided by Muslims, particularly by Emperor Aurangzeb in the year 1670. This fanatic Muslim leader was responsible for destroying as many as 60 thousand temples throughout India during his rule, many of which were in Vrindavan. Many deities were destroyed along with the temples, while some such as Govinda, Gopinath and Madhan Mohan were moved to safer places like Nathadwar, Jaipur and Karoli in neighboring state of Rajasthan. Pratibhu-murtis were installed and worshipped as substitute deities by the Goswamis of those temples. The famous female saints Mirabai and Karmetibai also lived in Vrindavan like the Six Goswamis. Many kings gave great impetus to the glory of Vrindavan by making it the most famous place of pilgrimage. One of the most outstanding places as far as architecture is concerned is the Jaipur mandir constructed by the king of Jaipur from the Nimbarka Sampradaya. Even today, more and more beautiful temples make their appearance. The mystical enchantment of Vrindavan reaches out to the longing souls in search of divine love. The past and the present of the Vraja Mandal gives ample evidence to this fact. Today some restorations of Vrindavan are underway to bring the Dham back to its former glory. One notable example is Brahma Kunda which was restored by Braj Foundation. Watercolor of the Madhan Mohan temple at Vrindavan from “Views” by Seeta Ram. It is the duty of all devotees to keep Vrindavan clean and restored. Outstanding Temples of the Vaishnava Faith T he Ancient Era witnessed the flourishing of religious practices, and temples were the world’s storehouse of knowledge and culture. Ancient temples are more than mere places of worship. They are sacred buildings of ultimate grace and eternal happiness. Sri Jagannath Mandir Puri 8 Sri Badrinath Mandir - Uttarakhand Sri Govindaji Mandir - Vrindavan Sri Vittala Mandir - Vijaynagar Sri Yoga Narasingha Mandir - Melukote Larily Lal (Shriji Mandir) - Varsana Sri Krishna Janmabhumi Mandir - Mathura 9 Nanda Bhavan - Nandagram Sri Venkateswara Temple - Tirumala Sri Ranganathaswami Mandir - Srirangam Yoga Pith Mandir - Mayapur Keshi Ghat - Vrindavan Sri Natji Mandir - Nathadwara 10 Sri Nityananda Prabhu Mandir - Ekachacra Sri Ksirachora Gopinath Mandir - Remuna Sri Radha Gopinath Mandir - Vrindavan Sri Krishna Balaram Mandir - Vrindavan 11 The History of S rila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur Prabhupada was the first to present the teachings of Caitanya Mahaprabhu through his disciples and grand disciples to the English speaking world, thereby fulfilling the desire of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. prithivite ache yata nagaradi-grama sarvatra pracara haibe mora nama “The Holy Name of Krishna should be heard in every town and Village on the surface of the earth.” Srila Bhakti Saranga Goswami Maharaja with Lord Zetlan in London, England, 1934 The spirit of his father and his Guru made Srila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur a very determined preacher. From the most simple of men, all the way to kings and famous personalities, everyone received the grace of the Sri Gaudiya Math equally. The Gaudiya Math wished to send members out into the world, with the West being one of the destinations of the enthusiastic Gaudiya Math missions. On July 20th, 1933, the Gaudiya Math was officially presented to the King and Queen of England. Not long afterwards, the first European preaching center was established in London (London Glouster House, Cornwall Garden, W7 South Kensington) under the name “Gaudiya Mission Society of London”. Lord Zetland, the English Secretary of State, was the president of this society. Srila Sadhananda Swami, Srila Bhakti Hridaya Bon Maharaja and Vaman Das Srila Bhakti Saranga Goswami Maharaja traveled with Srila Bhakti Pradip Tirtha Maharaja to England and preached there. They established a small center in London, which is still open today. This center was the former London residence of Her Grace Srimati Vinode Vani Dasi, alias Miss Daisy Cecilia Bowtell. This aristocratic British lady kindly donated her home to Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur’s original Gaudiya Mission. Srimati Vinode Vani Dasi was an ardent follower of Srila Prabhupada and she became an initiated disciple in the 1930’s after becoming attracted to the beauty, truth, and harmony of the Vaishnava Philosophy. The second European preaching center was opened by Srila Bhakti Hridaya Bon Maharaja in Berlin (W30 Eisenacherstr 29). Later, on October 8th, 1935, some of the first recruits were received with an official reception in the Howrah Station in Calcutta under the chairmanship of the Maharaja of Burdwan, Sri Bijoy Chand Mahatab. Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaj (right) with Srila Bhakti Prañjnan Kesava Maharaj (center) Srila Bhakti Hridaya Bon Maharaj, also known as Swami Bon Maharaja, was a lifelong celibate. As a brahmacari, he joined Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur Prabhupada and took initiation in the early 1900’s. Because of his good preaching and high education, 1922 – Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja met his spiritual master, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur Prabhupada. 1937 - Srila Bhakti Saranga Goswami Maharaja met with the King and Queen of England at Buckingham Palace. 1939 - Srila Sadhananda Swami forced into internment due to World War II. 1932 – Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja became a formally initiated disciple. 1920 1930 - Srimati Vinode Vani Dasi became an initiated disciple. 12 1930 1933 - The Gaudiya Math was officially presented to the King and Queen of England. 1940 1939 - Srila Sadhananda Swami met Austrian Poet Vamana Das in camp. Vaishnavism in Swami Bon Maharaja was sent by his Gurudeva, Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur Prabhupada, to the UK and Germany to preach. He was the first swami to go to Europe to preach the message of his Guru Maharaja. Swami Bon Maharaja subsequently brought the first western devotees to India and also gave many lectures throughout England and Europe. Swami Bon Maharaja gave initiation to a few Westerners such as Richard Shaw Brown (Swami Lalitananda), Walther Eidlitz (Vamana Das) and Allan A. Sahiro (Ashim Krishna Das). Srila Bhakti Saranga Goswami Maharaja was part of the Nityananda vamsa, the family of Nityananda Prabhu. His previous name was Atulchandra Goswami. After Srila Bon Maharaja returned to India, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur sent Srila Goswami Maharaja to London and gave him the title of “Missionary in Charge” for preaching in Europe. In 1937, Goswami Maharaja met with the King and Queen of England at Buckingham Palace. Also, that same year, Goswami Maharaja attended the World Congress of Faiths at Oxford University as the representative of the Hindu faith; he delivered a wonderful address at that Congress in which he glorified the Maha Mantra Hare Krishna. First temple in England donated by Srimati Vinode Vani Dasi. Professor Nisikanta Sanyal Srila Bhakti Saranga Goswami Maharaja underwent great hardship in Britain. He lived in a park during the winter for some time before he miraculously found a golden deity of Adhoksaja Vishnu in a drain pipe. Goswami Maharaja’s heart was filled with amazement at finding this Adhoksaja Vishnu in the park. Feeling that his luck might be changing, he went to a guest house in which he had been previously staying. Upon arrival he was presented with a letter from Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur which had just arrived. The letter contained information about some money that had been sent for Goswami Maharaja’s sustenance, allowing him to continue preaching. 1950 1960 Srila Bhakti Pradip Tirtha Maharaja 1969- Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja arrived in Europe and quickly the message of Krishna Consciousness spread throughout European Countries 1970 1972 - Preaching in East Germany: the first communist country in Europe to receive Lord Caitanya’s message. 13 The History of Vaishnavism in After the disappearance of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur Prabhupada, he took sannyas from Srila Bhakti Rakshak Sridhar Deva Goswami Maharaja. Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja at London airport Sadhananda Swami was born as Ernst George Schulze in Zittau, Germany. He met Srila Bhakti Hridaya Bon Maharaja (Swami Bon), a disciple of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur, in Europe. Srila Bon Maharaja took Schulze to India, where he received diksa from Srila Bhaktisiddhanta and became Sadhananda Das. He was the first known individual who was not of Asian origin to embrace the Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition. After the conversion of Vamana Das (Walter Eidlitz), Sadhananda Swami continued to preach with him in Europe. In 1933, Sadhananda Swami received the book “Sri Krishna Caitanya” (written by Prof. N. Sanyal) as a present from some friends in London. He contacted the author, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, who lived in Mayapur (Bengal). As a result of this initial contact, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati became Schulze’s teacher. Following Srila Bhaktisiddhanta’s recommendation to get accustomed to the Indian way of life, and before making the decision to go to India, Sadhananda Swami stayed in London together with Srila Bhaktisiddhanta’s disciples. He received initiation into Hinduism (Vaishnavism) and was given the name “Sadhananda” (always joyful). After his teacher’s tirobhava in January 1937, he traveled all over India as a mendicant, from the very North to the very South. In 1939, at the beginning of the Second World War, Sadhananda Swami was arrested due to his German citizenship. In the camp where he was, he met Vamana Das (Walter Eidlitz, 1892 - 1976), an Austrian poet, narrative, writer, and dramatist born in Vienna, who was also imprisoned. Among other things, he helped Walther Eidlitz with the publication of his doctoral thesis: “Sri Krishna Caitanya – Sein Leben und Seine Lehre” (Sri Krishna Caitanya – His life and precepts), Stockholm 1968. His tirobhava took place in Basel in 1977. The war interfered with Vamana Das’ plans to return from India. Since his family was Jewish, Vamana’s wife and son were forced to flee from the Nazis, and, eventually, find refuge in Sweden. Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja went to Europe to visit his newly-opened centers in London and Hamburg. He was told by his guru, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Prabhupada, to preach the message of Caitanya Mahaprabhu in the English language. But his vision of mercy reached far beyond this assignment. He came to Europe in 1969 and his message spread all around the European Countries, while his books were translated into most languages of the planet. He touched the heart of George Harrison, and thus the Maha Mantra became famous all over the planet. His contribution was so revolutionary, that his god brother, Srila Bhakti Vicar Jayavara Maharaja, called him a Saktyavesa Avatara. His other God brother, Srila Bhakti Rakshak Sridhar Goswami Maharaja, added “I agree, he must be a Saktyavesa Avatara of Nityananda Prabhu. His contribution and his love are still unfolding as more and more devotees feel inspired by them to serve humanity.” Sivananda Das was a disciple of Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja and a pioneer of preaching in Germany. He started the Vaishnava mission in a bombed out old house where only one room was functioning. Sivananda Das was only 18 years old, but his faith in his guru was so strong that another branch of the Krishna Conscious movement appeared in Berlin. Guru Das was another pioneer disciple of A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja who preached in Europe. Guru Das, Syamasundar Das, Malati Devi Dasi and Yamuna Devi Dasi, were some of the first devotees who came to England and who established the initial contact with the famous rock band “The Beatles.” The preaching that united the Germans started in East Germany. Every day devotees would cross into East Berlin with a one day visa to contact people and hold surprise festivals in different parks. They also smuggled books into Eastern Germany through the motor way that connected West Berlin with West Germany. Alanath Das coordinated the first preaching efforts in 1972. At that time, Eastern European countries were fertile ground for the Vaishnava message. In 1989, the Berlin Wall finally fell. Uthama Bhakti Das was the first disciple of Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja from Poland. He sang the Maha Mantra with his guitar in the festivals of the Polish hippie movement and touched the hearts of many. W hen Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja went to America, the Cold War between communism and capitalism was going on intensively. The communist countries were gaining influence after winning the war in Vietnam and nobody in the world could imagine that there could be a change in the situation. Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja systematically sent His followers to penetrate the so-called “iron curtain” behind communism, where an atheistic philosophy and form of government was flourishing. Swami Maharaja had been strategizing to bring God into godless Soviet Russia. Finally, after several attempts Swami Maharaja was officially invited to Moscow by Professor G. G. Kotovsky, head of the Indian and South Asian Studies Department of the U.S.S.R. Nevertheless, the five days Swami Maharaja spent on Russian soil provided him with ample opportunity to establish the movement that would eventually play out in Soviet Russia. His initial strategy emerged when he met a young Russian seeker, Anatoly Pinyayev, who would soon become Ananta Shanti Das. Ananta Shanti was Swami Maharaja’s courageous and lone student in the Soviet Union and would later be responsible for opening many centers all over Russia. When Eka Das was arrested for his preaching activities and put in solitary confinement, he chanted 64 rounds of Japa and refused to take their food. After some months, the communist regime resolved that they could not handle this monk and that it was better to throw him out, so overnight they deported him to West Germany. Books were smuggled into communist countries, and the Swedish BBT started publishing the books translated into Czech by Paraghati and Turiya and into Russian and Hungarian by Srila Bhakti Abhay Narayan Maharaja. Preachers like Dhira Krishna Das and Sripad Devamrita Swami went to visit the small groups of devotees that were starting to develop due to the extensive readings of Swami Maharaja´s books. The one benefit of communism was that life was very simple and anyone would read any book they could get their hands on. Every book that was distributed was read a minimum of one thousand times as it passed from hand to hand, in comparison to today, where people get a thousand books and maybe read one. At the same time, Russian devotees were being severely persecuted. Several devotees died in prison, clinging tightly to their faith while being tortured in various ways. Kirtiraja Das, who was the regional secretary for the Soviet Union, began an international campaign of news releases and demonstrations to pressure Soviet authorities to release the imprisoned devotees and stop the persecution of the members of the Hare Krishna movement. The General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Mijail Gorbachev was very instrumental in freeing all of the Russian devotees from the persecution and sufferings of imprisonment. He played a very important role by allowing the Russian system to change. Even though capitalism has not given much relief to the ecological state of the world, the relative freedom of a lot of people has definitely been instrumental in allowing people to find out about Lord Krishna. Perhaps it was the prayers of all the Vaishnavas that caused the iron curtain to fall. When the Berlin Wall finally fell, devotees from East Germany and West Germany were finally allowed to meet, and together joined the Sankirtan movement. Small farm communities also started developing in a much more hidden form; Nandafalva in Hungary became the first Krishna Conscious farm community behind the Iron Curtain. According to one anecdote, pioneering devotees like Krishnananda Das and Srila Janardana Maharaja had to face the local police. Srila Bhakti Abhay Narayan Maharaja, along with Srila Bhakti Aloka Paramadvaiti Maharaja, prepared the first preaching tour to Hungary. They smuggled a car full of books and conducted the first preaching tour with lectures, public kirtans and book distribution in different cities throughout Hungary. Yugoslavia was a gateway, because even though the country was communist, its border policies were not as strict as those of other countries. In East Germany, preachers could only go in with a 24th hours visa and had to come back the same day; devotees went in at least a hundred times or more. The Library Party also visited communist countries and distributed Swami Maharaja´s books in many universities by gaining recommendations of professors who could understand the importance of His message. K. Raghunath, India’s ambassador to Russia also made an impact by giving a speech that was aired nationally, declaring that the Krishna Conscious movement deserved glorification for strengthening the friendly bond between Russia and India. The campaign to build the temple known as the “Temple of the Heart” received much support from patrons around the world after this speech. Nothing could stop the devotees now. They had important political leaders on their side, and the public had become fully aware of the situation. Any attempt to stop the project would become prominent in the news. The Krishna movement in Russia was now on solid ground. The first disciple of Srila Swami Maharaja in East Germany was called Eka Das (the one and only servant of Eka, the Supreme). While enduring more trying times, the devotees saw considerable success: almost 6,000 people visited the temple that year and an additional 14,500 schoolchildren observed temple services as part of a mandatory classroom experience. Devotees chanted regularly on Moscow streets, distributed prasadam widely and put over 160,000 books into Russian hands. Who could have imagined that Krishna Consciousness would spread in Russia? But Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu predicted that the Krishna Consciousness movement would spread to every town and village of the world and He is the Supreme Personality of Godheadâ€”so His prediction will never go in vain. It is by his mercy that these fruits of love are meant for everyone and it is up to you, dear reader, to both receive the fruit and to then distribute it to others. Today there are preachers circling the globe from different missions, and the name of Krishna has become a household word. Yoga and Ayurveda are even accepted by the ministers of education in many countries. Nevertheless, we should consider the spreading of the values of Vedic teachings across the whole planet to be only in its very beginning stages. PIONEERS IN OTHER DANGEROUS PLACES Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja was so anxious to have Krishna Consciousness reach every country in the world, that he also sent His blessings to China. Dayananda Das was sent to South Arabia where he was also very active. Other disciples were sent to Pakistan and Beirut. Tribuvanath Das was sent to Beirut, Turkey. Other pioneers were sent to Chile and Argentina, which were totally in the grip of military dictatorships. As a matter of fact, the Argentine dictator, Jorge Rafael Videla, ordered that all the devotees be arrested, and all the books and deities be destroyed. Pioneers like Hanuman Das, Atulananda Das and Kanka Das had to flee Argentina and save the deities by taking them to Brazil. Later when the military dictatorship was over, Krishna Consciousness was able to return to Argentina. A MARTYR IN SERVICE TO THE VAISHNAVAS We want to give special thanks to Hladini Devi Dasi, one of the great pioneers of Krishna Consciousness in Lybia. This valiant disciple of Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaj lost her life as she tried to defend the African devotees from an enraged dictator. Both, Hladini Devi Dasi and her boys were shot dead. HISTORICAL EVENTS IN RUSSIA In 1971, A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja personally went to Russia along with Syamasundara Das and initiated one disciple, whose name was Ananta Shanti Das. Following which, Srila Swami Maharaja personally sent another devotee to help Ananta Shanti, Mandakini Mataji from France, who became his wife. Another issue: Premavati Mataji, who was pregnant in the last month, was arrested. After the birth of her baby, authorities only allowed her to spend 1 hour a day with the baby. Later her infant child was killed by the prison officers, wanting to extract information from her regarding the whereabouts of other devotees whom they wished to capture. Sachi Suta Das was an amazing personality; his main goal in life was to distribute Srila Swami Maharajaâ€™s books as much as possible; he was eventually captured and tortured to death in jail. 17 It is the duty of societyâ€™s leaders to provide their citizens with everything they need. Indian Vedic kings were taught to view their subjects as if they were their own children. There are often people who provide their Spiritual Masters with financial facilities. Spiritual Masters naturally design ways to benefit the general population with the teachings they have received from their predecessors and to relieve them of other sufferings and pains of life. Here we present some of the many examples of Vaishnava Charity projects. Food for Life Global FFL Global was founded in 1995 in Washington DC to serve as the Headquarters and Coordination Office for projects worldwide. FOOD FOR LIFE is a nonprofit organization that provides food and life through the liberal distribution of pure vegetarian meals to the needy around the world. The project started in 1974 when Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami told his yoga students to not allow anyone within a ten mile radius of his ashram to go hungry. The program grew quickly, and today Food for Life is active in over 60 countries worldwide, distributing over 1,000,000 plates of Prasadam daily. FFL Vrindavan is dedicated to the poorest of the poor, educating and guiding them in pursuance of a fulfilling life, enabling them to become exemplary members of society. FFL Vrindavan is also dedicated to protecting Vrindavanâ€™s natural environment. Sandipani Muni School Manager Rupa Ragunath Das, who worked for many years in the distribution of Prasadam, gradually branched out into establishing wonderful schools based on the sacred teachings. He provided a very decent environment for the education of Vrindavanâ€™s poorest children. He also opened a hospital and is about to open an orphanage. Rupa Ragunath is an example of dedication to the welfare of others and is always striving for the beautiful ideals of simple living and higher thinking. 18 Charity towards animals Another great contribution comes from all the people who have helped and dedicated themselves to cow protection. Cows are living in a continually declining condition every day. There are many projects such as Kurma Rupa’s “Care for Cows” that focus on cow protection. These projects are mainly found in India. There are many projects that provide animals shelter being carried out by Vaishnavas in different parts of the world, which aim to show people that animals have feelings and also deserve to be treated as well as any human being. READ WWW.COWISM.COM Real charity means to not just give a hand out but to give a hand up. One example of this is Astottara Das’ organization, aptly named “Working Villages”, a daring project set in the otherwise dangerous region of the Congo, Africa; where more than 10 years of civil war has not only claimed four million lives but has also destroyed everything from the water to the soil. Working Villages, in just a few short years, has built from scratch a model village which eventually will have full employment, private ownership of small farms and businesses, zero carbon footprint and 100% recycling. The once-abandoned land is now full of productive activity and cultivating over 90 different varieties of crops. At ten dollars a gallon, the price of gasoline is too high to be the basis of village economy, so oxen have an important role to play in increasing productivity. In plowing, transport and construction, oxen reduce the burden of labor and increase its value, wealth and well-being. The miracle is working well, and former enemies - Tutsis and Hutus - are working hand in hand, to rebuild a brotherly world, where animals will be protected, and prosperity will reign. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu stood up for social justice and showed people that the chanting of the Holy Names is the greatest connection to spiritual liberation. Accompanied with the distribution of Vedic knowledge, it has become the key to helping people understand their purpose in life. Many publications were produced for this purpose, some of them specifically point out the need society has for knowledge, such as the Vedic Wisdom Production in Spanish, which has produced over 150 titles addressing almost every social problem one can imagine. The concept of “freedom through knowledge” inspires numerous publications and web sites that aim to provide people of the world with the most essential information about their spiritual identity and opportunities for advancement towards a greater understanding of the absolute truth. Another outstanding contribution is Radhanath Swami’s effort to establish the Bhaktivedanta Hospital in Bombay, which has taken care of many Senior Vaishnavas in need of specialized medical attention. Balaram CDHIFI - Medical Charity for Vrindavan Villages For 20 years, American born Chandi Heffner has dedicated herself to the charitable organization “Project Balaram” for the welfare of both men and animals. The team of doctors and assistants tour Vraj Mandal daily to visit poor areas giving medical advice and treatment to all. As they visit places located far away from facilities, they receive everyone with smiling and thankful faces. All her services and medicines are provided free of charge. If you are interested to help with this service in some way, please visit them at Keshi Ghat in Vrindavan. Natural Disaster Relief Adhidaivika klesas (miseries born from natural disasters) affect many parts of the world at different times. Many different Vaishnava missions respond to the call as needed, and are quickly on the scene to offer assistance and to distribute wonderful plates of much needed prasadam to victims of the crisis. Being on the ground of a disaster is very dangerous work. Often it is complicated by other issues such as when disasters occur in a country already suffering from civil war, such as the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Those devotees who volunteer their efforts are indeed role models of selflessness. Of course, not all Vaishnavas can travel in person to assist on the scene thus many offer their support to these important projects through their generous donations of money, food and clothing. Dharma and Science One particularly important element of Vaishnava charity is the Dharma Science research project (Dharmascience.net), which emphasizes the necessary roles that vegetarianism and ecology play in resolving the environmental and health problems of today’s society. Such charities allow everybody everywhere to participate in an awakening of consciousness. This service also provides a wonderful forum where members of different theistic schools, such as those from the Vedanta tradition, as well as from other traditions, can encourage humanity to adopt a sane, healthy and responsible lifestyle. This sane lifestyle has been strongly threatened by modernization and consumerist thinking. Even though Mahatma Gandhi is highly respected in India and abroad, very few people know what his ecological message really was, and of those who do know it, few want to put it into practice. Therefore, one great charity work of the Vaishnavas is the establishment of eco-yoga villages. These are communities where respect for Mother Nature is highly revered, where there’s organic cultivation, as well as organic seed banks. These are inspiration of Vandana Shiva Mataji, which are now being developed (ecoyogavillages.org). These places provide a wonderful chance for volunteers and for people who have not yet embraced Vedic philosophy to personally experience what eco-villages, the process of yoga, and Ayurveda have to offer to humanity. These communities are generally in the pioneering stages, aspiring for the perfection of self-sufficiency, or at least providing service to the surrounding community through a host of courses, festivals, and college lectures. 20 The House of Wisdom The House of Wisdom is another way to make Vedic Wisdom available through volunteers who are professionals at helping others. Volunteers give one day a month or one day per week to the charity work of the House of Wisdom. The House of Wisdom provides help with the distribution of Prasadam in special emergency situations such as earthquakes, wars, or any disaster in which they may be needed. Numerous examples of Vaishnava charities exist. We can see how knowledge, food, and reaching out to other necessities of mankind are very intimately relevant. One must also take into consideration that the dimension of these outreach efforts always depends on the financial stability of the local Vaishnava community. For more details, you can reach out to our Hare Krishna World News contact, Pancatattwa Das, or visit our web site Harekrishnanews.info, where you can find links to all sorts of different charity programs provided by the Vaishnava community. If you find that any Vaishnava contributions are missing from the links listed there, please contact him so that he can include your information on the page. VISIT FFLVRINDAVAN.ORG HOUSEOFWISDOM.ORG DHARMASCIENCE.NET 21 One of the most complicated issues of the modern age is the subject of cow protection. The exploitation of the mother cow has become so intensive that vegetarianism is the only real answer to this topic. Unless people stop eating meat, they will not take action to care for these beautiful animals. The proposal of vegans, who don’t use any animal products, has gained popularity in western countries. The only problem is that if there’s no consumption of milk products, people will completely stop caring for cows. In the ayurvedic tradition so many things depend on the harmonious interaction of man with cows. Unfortunately, due to “tractor” culture, the oxen have lost their principal engagement of transportation and plowing fields, which had made them an essential part of cultivating agriculture. In some areas of the world this is still going on. What is even more essential than this working power is the incredible value of cow dung that is used by many cultures. Organic cultivation is unthinkable without cow dung. Mother earth uses cow dung to produce food all over the world. Cow dung is the purest of all fuels for cooking without poison. When mixed with 50 percent soil, it provides the most wonderful covering for floors and walls. Cow urine can also be used for a variety of medicines. Even when the cows die, they offer their skin to make drums which are then used for sacred chants. People lose the appropriate understanding of value and then the system starts to become disturbed. To understand the appropriate balance necessary for cow protection we need to realize that she is actually our mother and the ox and the bull our father. Today, milk products are artificially cheap. The mass production of the slaughter industry has created horrible actions, such as the Monsanto injection that is used to increase the milk production of the cow by almost 100 percent. Butter, yogurt, curd and milk are used for sacrifices and prasadam in the Vedic culture. All throughout the scriptures you will find the glorification of mother cow and her wonderful gifts to humanity. When the milk is sold at the same price as sugar water, everyone loses the appreciation for mother cow. 22 Cow Protection Campaign Flyers by Dharmascience.net Gosalas, such as the ones we find in Vraj, give shelter to abandoned cows by protecting them from the cruelty of man, supporting them with the help of compassionate people. Cows are the main topic in the campaign of the Original Kingdom. These important examples of mother cow are what society needs for a change of consciousness and understanding responsibility. It teaches us the law of karma. If we mistreat mother cow, great calamities await us. Therefore it is the responsibility of each and every one of us to take part in mother cowâ€™s protection in one way or another. This is the purpose of Dharma Science and the Spoon Revolution, which invite VISIT iscowp.org mothercow.org everyone to become a member of the international network of vegetarians called â€™The Original Kingdomâ€™, who help raise awareness about mother cow and mother earth. Giving vegetarian cooking classes, lectures about the importance of cow protection, and distributing all the incredible material available, such as OMis, OKis, posters and DVDs are very important roles in this effort. All the hard work of the Spoon Revolution has been donated by its creators, therefore every participating member has the right to reproduce the material to increase the distribution at full speed and not be entangled with issues such as copyright. However, it is necessary to translate all the material into all the languages of the world and for that purpose we are requesting your kind participation and help. If you are interested in incorporating any support into your practical activities you can check Dharmascience.net and Originalkingdom.com for more information. cowprotection.com careforcows.org oki.org.uk 23 V aishnava literature plays a very important role in the teachings of the Vedas. It is a necessary contribution for the growing interest of the Vaishnava philosophy. It is impossible to present all contributions since there are so many Vaishnava works around the world, but here we present a few. THE ACHARYA FOLIO In the compiled Acharya Folio you can find an amazing number of books covering all different aspects of Vedic science. This work is a real treasure for any researcher. The folio is presented in database format, which allows you to read books on the screen or via a search engine to easily locate what has been written about any particular subject. Virtually millions of hours of work went into this collection of Vedic teachings. In the Acharya’s Folio there are many teachings of Srila Rupa SOME VAISHNAVA PUBLISHERS Books & Digital Bhaktivedanta Book Trust www.bbt.info Harinam Arts Press www.esotericteaching.org Mandala Publishing www.mandala.org Govardhan Hill Publishing www.sciencereligionbooks.com Torchlight Publishing www.torchlight.com Gopal Jiu Publications www.gopaljiu.org Krishna Software Inc. www.krishnasoft.com Touchstone media www.touchstonemedia.com Nectar Books by Dasaratha-Suta Das www.nectarbooks.com Goswami, Srila Sanatan Goswami, Srila Jiva Goswami, Srila Gopal Bhatta Goswami, Srila Raghunath Bhatta Goswami, Sri Gadadhara Das Thakur, Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakur, Srila Bhakti Pramode Puri Maharaja, Srila Bhakti Vedanta Narayan Maharaja, Srila Bhakti Vedanta Tripurari Maharaja, Srila Bhakti Prañjnan Kesava Maharaja, Srila Bhakti Vilas Tirtha Maharaja, Sriman Kushakrata Das, Sriman Satyaraj Das, Srila Madhavananda Maharaja, Srila Gour Govinda Maharaja, Srila Mandala Vidya, Srila Bhakti Gaurava Narasingha Maharaja and others. OTHER FOLIOS All the words of Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja are available through the Bhaktivedanta Veda base Folio. The first folio presented the teachings of the Acharya in Krishna Consciousness at the fingertips of anxious students all over the world. Another folio has been prepared for Srila Bhakti Rakshak Sridhar Maharaja and his beautiful teachings. One of the most prolific authors was Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur. He compiled so many books. The folios introduce all works printed by many different publishing houses. Srila Gour Govinda Maharaja, Srila Madhavananda Maharaja and Ram Das of Mandala Media are instrumental in producing many important magazines, e-mails, e-newsletters and books of the Vaishnava Sampradaya in an extraordinary beautiful presentation, such as the classic books of Srila Bhakti Pramode Puri Maharaja and Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. AUTHORS Srila Rupa Goswami, the spiritual leader of the Sampradaya, has been a great inspiration to all subsequent spiritual leaders. Srila Sanatan Goswami, one of the senior teachers of the Sampradaya, is recognized as the originator of the essential Vaishnava compendium known as Hari Bhakti Vilas. Srila Jiva Goswami, the great writer of the sandarbhas, gave body to all the teachings of Lord Caitanya. Srila Baladeva Vidyabhusana became very well-known for writing the authoritative Gaudiya Vaishnava commentary on the Vedanta Sutras called the “Govinda Bhasya”. Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakur, a composer of exquisite songs, has also produced essential literature expounding the science of Bhakti. Srila Bhakti Vilas Tirtha Maharaja, disciple of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur Prabhupada, was the secretary of the Gaudiya Math and also wrote many inspiring books. Srila Bhakti Rakshak Sridhar Maharaja is highly respected for granting an incredible contribution to those devotees who have suffered separation from their spiritual master, Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Srila Bhakti PraĂąjnan Kesava Maharaja has published many books on the Gaudiya tradition, such as the glorifying Vraja Pattan or the original math of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur. Professor Nisikanta Sanyal wrote many books such as the Sri Krishna Caitanya book, originally published as an abridged version targeted to Western audiences and later republished in India as a complete two volumes. It is considered a classic for the mission in Europe for presenting the teachings of Lord Caitanya. Srila Bhakti Ballabha Tirtha Maharaja has written an array of nectarean books, spreading light on the lives and activities of many of the associates of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayan Maharaja has published many enlightening books about the science of bhakti with the great design and quality established by Mandala Publishers. Srila Bhakti Vedanta Tripurari Maharaja, one of the leading preachers of Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja, has dedicated himself to the publication of many fascinating books and newsletters. Srila Bhakti Gaurava Narasingha Maharaja has published books on many different issues focused on Vaishnava history and in the connection of the Siddhanta. Sriman Kushakrata Das, one of the most prolific disciples of Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja, dedicated his life to translate all the GoswamiÂ´s Granthas into English. His work can also be found in the Acharya Folio. Sriman Satyaraj Das is an outstanding writer who has authored many important works on Vedic culture. His Vaishnava journal, published by Deepak Heritage Books (deepakheritage.com) has been a unique presentation amongst scientific circles for understanding the science of bhakti. S. E. V. A. Colombia is the leading publisher of many Vaishnava Acharya books in the Spanish language. At least two thousand items of transcendental messages are carried out in the form of magazines, books, cds and videos. Srila Atulananda Acharya has written the Caitanya Caritamrita in Spanish poetry which has been published by S. E. V. A.. Colombia. Please excuse us if we did not mention any other great Vaishnava writers and their books. S ravanam is the beginning. When we hear sacred sounds our consciousness is purified. Chanting sacred hymns and prayers has an immediate effect. The quality of hearing and chanting depends on the propensity of the speaker, singer and listener. Therefore great emphasis is placed on hearing the glories of God through classes and devotional songs. It is interesting to note that the founder of the bhakti movement, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, mentioned in his own writing that there are no hard or fast rules as to how chanting and hearing should be done. There have been some extraordinary musicians who have had a great impact by contributing these sacred sounds and have left a lasting impression through their compositions. the world. Together with Laksmi Shankar he composed the song “I am missing you, oh Krishna where are you”. It would not be an exaggeration to say that the Hare Krishna Maha-Mantra inhabits more varieties of music styles than any other song in the world. To make a list of all those musicians would be too extensive, there are too many; some of them are fully dedicated devotees and some of them sympathizers. When the Bhagavad-Gita was produced in Portuguese, with the cooperation of Gilberto Gil, Gal Costa and many other famous Brazilian musicians, it became a masterpiece. Lord Krishna has been honored in 30 different songs representing the different regions of Brazil. Besides being a great Vaishnava composer, Srila Narottama Das Thakur also created a special style of singing and dancing. Some of his beautiful songs are Nama-Sankirtana, Lalasamayi Prarthana, Manah Siksa. Another great composer was Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur, whose songs such as Gopinath, Manasa Deha Geha, Prasada-sevaya have become classics in many temples around the world. Later, George Harrison made the Maha-Mantra famous with the song “My Sweet Lord” that became one of the most requested songs in the history of music. He allowed this philosophy to get inside the music. It was the beginning of an era when George Harrison composed ‘Living in the Material World’ with mantras and messages of the Vedas permeating the music scene around LISTEN cart-media.org Additional recordings worthy of an honorable mention include: Mangalananda Das - His album “Change of heart”. Sundarananda Das - Presents the classical music of Bengal in wonderful studio recordings. Darko & Madhuri Dasi of The Sophia Choir - Recorded the Siksastakam in an incredible modern choir performance. Srila Siddhaswarupananda - The album “This world and the other world”. Jalebi Music - Topped the World Beat Chart as “Best world band” with their hit song “Radha Govinda Kirtan”. Sriman Prahlad Das (Patrick Bernard) - Rose to fame in the 1980’s as a child prodigy, now travelling with “Le Carnival Spirituel across the world”. Srila Narottama Das Thakur Devotional life without devotional music is unthinkable. We can only conclude this presentation by saying: the more the better. -Shelter was one of the original bands of a new musical genre called Krishna-core. Rough sounds from soft hearts. www.myspace.com/eternalshelter -Patrick Bernard (Prahlad Das) whose albums have gone Gold on Billboardâ€™s music charts, composes in both Sanskrit and Latin. www.patrickbernard.com -Jagannath Salsa and Jagannath Reggae created a fusion of popular music styles with devotional lyrics. www.myspace.com/jagannathaband -Havi Das (Ilan Chester) is a multi platinum award winning artist. His compilation CD sold 500.000 copies in just a few weeks. www.ilanchester.com -Atmarama Das performs a classic combination of the Spanish guitar with Sanskrit mantras. www.atmaramadasa.org 27 S ince the time of Caitanya Mahaprabhu and prior, Rishis and Sadhus established many sanctuaries. The presence of a Sadhu or anyone who serves God from the heart converts any place into a Tirtha. You can find famous ashrams all over India, some of which have existed for thousands of years and are usually connected to ancient worships, like the ones in Tirupati. Other sanctuaries have dedicated their energy primarily to teach the Sanskrit language and the Vedanta philosophy. Many ashrams dedicate themselves extensively to do welfare work for the local region, cow protection, education, etc. They have guarded the Science of Ayurveda and Yoga over centuries. Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja sent his disciples to open Krishna sanctuaries, temples, ecological Vaishnava communities, and Academies all over the world. Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja said: “It is a great achievement if one can live in the country self-sufficiently, renouncing the artificial modern lifestyle”. But in order to teach the people in this world about Vedic wisdom, sanctuaries have been established in the hearts of towns and next to University campuses. The concept is simple living and high thinking. The importance of organic lifestyle and vegetarianism serve as an inspiration to those who feel an inclination to monastic life. A complete directory of all such ashrams and centers is quite difficult to obtain. Currently, the WVA is trying to compile a directory with this information which you soon will be able to find at Vina.cc Here are some outstanding communities which have served as a great inspiration to the members of their respective missions and the general public: Vraja Pattan, Caitanya Math, Mayapur, West Bengal This was the ashram of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur Prabhupada himself. His disciple, Srila Bhakti Keval Audolomi Maharaja established the Gaudiya mission in Godrum. Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur’s sanctuaries are also in Godrum and are called Surabhi Kunja and Svananda Sukhada Kunja. Srila Bhakti Rakshak Sridhara Maharaja established the Caitanya Saraswat Math in Navadvipa. Srila Bhakti Prañjnan Kesava Maharaja started the Devananda Gaudiya Math, also in Navadvipa. Devananda Gaudiya Math in Navadvipa. Imlitala Siddhapeeth in Vrindavan . Srila Bhakti Saranga Goswami established a temple at Nandanacharya Bhavan, restored the Imlitala in Vrindavan and established a beautiful Sri Caitanya Math. Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja and later his followers opened hundreds of temples worldwide. Starting in a small store front at 2nd Ave, New York a new kind of sanctuary arose - the storefront ashram. Initially disciples of Srila Swami Maharaja replicated the storefront concept in different cities throughout the US and Europe, however as Krishna Consciousness spread rapidly traditional style temples started springing up everywhere. Gurukula. While the inner-city center concept certainly opened new doors for preaching to the frustrated, materially overburdened urbanites, Srila Swami Maharaja had an even greater vision: to establish varnashrama Dharma. Farming communities ensued coupled with cow protection programs to provide sanctuary for animals. With the establishment of so many temples and farming communities, another need arose: Educational institutions. Srila AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja therefore introduced the Guru- kula system to the west. The first was established in Dallas, USA in 1971, now it operates as a day school. Today numerous Vaishnava schools around the world facilitate the educational needs of children coupled with devotional curriculum, providing yet another kind of sanctuary: one for children away from the materialistic and Darwinian propaganda perpetuated in modern-day schools. Sanctuaries of sacred food: many of Govinda’s vegetarian prasadam restaurants exists around the world under different names. The Editor of ‘The Vegetarian Times’ wrote “The Western vegetarian movement was practically born with the Sunday Love Feasts of the Hare Krishna movement started by Bhaktivedanta Swami”. Many devotees around the world confess that it was the prasadam which convinced them to become devotees. From opulent restaurants with high class catering facilities to very small take-out kiosks, sanctuaries of the plate are found in many forms. Many popular travel guide books list prasadam restaurants in many cities, as travelers actively seek them out, knowing they are guaranteed a special meal which is synonymous with ‘Hare Krishna Food’. First Hare Krishna temple at 2nd Ave, New York. 31 Srila Bhakti Vedanta Narayan Maharaja inspired the Badger community and many senior devotees congregated in the Alachua community in Florida and others in the Saranagati community in Canada. Srila Bhakti Gaurava Narasingha Maharaja started his Govindaji's garden at the Gosai Ghat at Sri Rangapatna. Srila Bhakti Vedanta Tripurari Maharaja established the Audarya Ashram in California. Srila Siddhaswarupananda opened the doors of many Ashrams in Hawaii and Philippines. Srila Bhakti Vaibhava Puri Maharaja established ashrams in Spain and in Vienna. In Africa several ecological Vaishnava projects are evolving, such as the ‘Working Villages’ of the Congo. Vrinda Mission opened ashrams all over South America, such as the Eco Truly Park in Peru. Aside from the importance of spirituality, there is an emphasis of these projects on self - sufficiency, ecologically - balanced architecture and environmental - aware maintenance. “Working villages” project. Govindaji's garden at the Gosai Ghat, Sri Rangapatna. For many thousands of years, this area of Australia was held sacred by the Indigenous people. Nowadays, with a town population of just under 8,000 people, of whom over 1000 identify themselves as “Hare Krishna” (2006 census data), the spiritual potency of this long held sacred site is being appreciated by seekers of truth from all over the world. Visit any of these sanctuaries and help them! They were all established for you and me. If we go and visit with an open heart and ready to serve, our consciousness will be transformed by the grace of God who provided these places through his devotees. In Australia, the country town of Murwillumbah is world famous for it’s Hare Krishna farms. In this dairy farming area, 3 different Gaudiya Vaishnava missions have established sanctuaries: ISKCON’s New Govardhana Community complete with Bhaktivedanta Gurukula and Govardhana College, Caitanya Sarasvat Math’s Govinda Dham with nice Gosalas and Giriraj Gaudiya Math’s “Garden Ashram”, situated in a private rain forest. Audarya Ashram in California. Eco Truly Park in Peru. WVA PUBLICATIONS Available at WVA offices in Vrindavan and Mayapur We thank Srila Bhakti Ballabha Tirtha Maharaj for encouraging the WVA Magazine. According to volunteers it appeared somewhat sporadic. The message of WVA does not change very much: it is kept alive through the need and existence of the WVA. Not many missions care to make the WVA publications that are available to their members, for that reason we have all old copies in stock. Unity does not live upon conflicts. It rather dissolves them as a natural side effect. The first and most important thing to Vaishnava families is to maintain and expand what they have received. Often devotees do not have time to dwell upon problems like the breaking of the Braj Hills of Varsana or the abandoned state of the Brahma Kunda. But then there are others, who go out of their temples and look for services to benefit the people in general. We try to report about them and their inspirations so that others can be enthusiastic and inspired as well. Here we share with our readers some examples of WVA publications. WVA Panorama English WVA Passport One world, many voices 1995 English World Vaishnava Association Book English Our Family: The Gaudiya Math English Vishva Vaishnava Raj Sabha Journal Goura Purnima 1997 English Vishva Vaishnava Raj Sabha Journal Kartik 1997 English Vishva Vaishnava Raj Sabha Journal Kartik 2003 English Vishva Vaishnava Raj Sabha Journal Kartik 2005 English Vishva Vaishnava Raj Sabha Journal Goura Purnima 2007 English WVA Newsletter Goura Purnima 2010 Hindi Sarasvat Gaudiya Darshan Presentation of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur Prabhupada and His disciples DVD format WVA CD ROM Web sites Vaishnava books Power point presentations Interviews Much more Windows into the spiritual realm Ideas about different human realizations can be presented through stories. By dramatizing concepts, it is possible to catch the interest of the mind and the emotions. Narrated situations invoke feelings that make us identify with the characters. In this way we can be impressed with more information, allowing us not to forget. Traditionally, this method has been used in India to impart knowledge. Currently, stories are not only told by spoken or written words, but also transmitted by means of audio-visual images, such as film. Before these technologies were available, sculptures, paintings and dance were the prime media for transmitting images. These three arts are very united in India. All of them support literary stories and, along with other modes of expression, form an integral part of the human experience. Art in connection with God. There is a traditional lineage going back to the sculptures of older temples; these are forms of devotional dancing and drama. Srila Rupa Goswami composed a few dramas. Beautifying devotional environment is a task. Deity worship is full of art: making flower garlands with great dedication, all artistic, all as an offering of love. Some temples, such as the constructions of Srila Bhakti Srirup Siddhanti Maharaja are very artistically decorated. Srila Bhakti Keval Audulomi Maharaja wanted that the Kirtaniyas dance was in a beautiful formation with drummers twirling around, this feature is very popular in Manipuri kirtan dance. Yadubhara Das, who currently lives in the Saranagati Farm in Canada, made devotional films with great impact. In the field of science and in describing the Hare Krishna World, Yadubhara Das touched many hearts. His latest production is an in-depth biography of his Guru Maharaja, Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami. We are very thankful to all these devotional artists who fill our lives with joy. Some of these artists produce pictures especially designed to awaken people with profound philosophical messages of Dharma. Let all those conscious artists be blessed as they continue to bless us with further contributions to increase our attraction to Sri Krishna and His devotees. VISIT consciousart.de iskconartists.com IMAGES: Main & Top-Bottom: Paintings by Bhaktisiddhanta Das Some outstanding Conscious Artist of our times: Bhaktisiddhanta Das B. G. Sharma Pariksit Das Asis Kumar Pal Drihti D.D. Ram Abhiram Das Janmanalaya Das Murlidhar Das Mahamrta D.D. Gokularanjana Das Nitya Sambhanda D.D. Vasudeva Das S yamarani Devi Dasi is a Vaishnava painter who began her artistic work with Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja in the 60â€™s. Syamarani Devi Dasi studied art and history, her formation as a modern artist can be seen in her current work, which continues to emphasize the Indian tradition by her use of images to support traditional stories. The subjects of paintings of Syamarani Devi Dasi are centered on Krishna and his associates. They present the multiple forms in which Krishna enjoys His pastimes. That is why these paintings are very useful as a great support for the Vaishnava devoteeÂ´s meditation, helping to consolidate the mind and the imagination in a safe visual reference. In fact, nothing that she paints arises from her personal inspiration, but is an artistic interpretation of the instructions of her Gurudeva. This attitude contains the key of a fulfilled devotee: the fulfillment of the desires of her master. The attitude of unconditional service and surrender to her master is what differentiates Syamarani Devi Dasi from other artists of her generation. Since Syamarani Devi Dasi began to paint devotional subjects, she has produced hundreds of paintings that approach the innumerable stories related to Krishna. In her production the influence of painters like Rafael can be seen clearly in the softness of her subjectsâ€™ faces; Miguel Angel, in the color and drawing of fabrics; Turner, in the force of waters and clouds. The Italian school is also present in the descriptions of the bodies and the landscapes; the flamenco and Spanish school in the interiors and still lifes. The compositions of her pictures are a mixture of the threedimensional depth of western art with a scenic order of the elements, according to the Hindu aesthetic, that in detail emphasizes the Vaishnava classic iconography. This fusion of aesthetic and elegance makes possible that the images are appreciated by diverse cultures. Perhaps this faculty is what has helped to open doors to consciousness preaching of Krishna in the West. VISIT bhaktiart.net V aishnavas have the challenge, as do all religious traditions, to answer many questions about the scientific background of their faith. Since Vaishnavas consider the Lord’s creations and interactions with this world inconceivable, they do not share the eagerness of modern science to analyze every little detail of material phenomenon. But many of the scientific theories which have been proposed since the beginning of the industrial revolution were influenced by materialistic thinking. Furthermore, the degradation of humanity increased through the supposedly scientific approach towards life. The supposedly rational, impartial, and scientific approach was strongly influenced through Darwinism. The psychoanalysis of Sigmund Freud influenced more people into becoming materialistic. Senior Vaishnavas had to take a stand in this respect. Professor Sanyal of Ravanshaw College in India was one very learned scholar who wrote about the teachings of Lord Caitanya with many implications on modern thinking, to help his readers to understand the great gift of the messenger of love. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur Prabhupada upheld the teachings of Srimad Bhagavatam to be the authoritative approach towards understanding the appropriate behavior of humanity, to be able to advance in these challenging times. Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja took very active steps towards defeating modern materialism, with the help of some of his PhD scientist disciples; such as Srila Bhakti Svarupa Damodhar Maharaja and Sataputa Das, PhD in mathematics, as well as many other scientists who studied Vaishnavism. Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja founded the Bhaktivedanta Institute, which today is led by Srila Madhava Puri Maharaja, from his base in New Jersey. The Bhaktivedanta Institute defeated Darwin’s theory and gave support to the intelligent design proposal held up by many modern researchers on this topic. The mathematical impossibility of the ‘chance theory’ was exposed by Dr. Richard Thompson, who was one of the great contributors to the Bhaktivedanta Institute. Many conferences on science and religion were organized by Bhakti Svarupa Damodhar Maharaja and supported by a noble audience. Numerous publications were released presented by the Bhaktivedanta Institute. Later, Michael Cremo created waves with his book “Prohibited Archeology”. He presented researched documents which give a totally different picture regarding the origin of man, much different than ideas presented in schools today. In the absence of any other material theory or evidence about the origin of life, schools and colleges still cling to Darwin’s interpretation. 38 The latest contribution towards the scientific research of consciousness in the line of the Bhaktivedanta Institute came from Srila Bhakti Aloka Paramadvaiti Maharaja when he presented OIDA Therapy (faith therapy) to show the way God has made himself accessible to conditioned souls. OIDA Therapy, also known as Perennial Psychology, points out that faith is not only scientific, but a fundamental necessity for any step of life. Therefore secularism is nothing but another faith and cannot be described superior or more scientific. Reviewing the qualities of different types of faith, with the help of common sense, OIDA Therapy points out scientifically that faith in the soul and the higher meaning of life is actually a necessity for living a sane and healthy life in this world. You can find out more about this, on the web site: oidatherapy.org SOME HISTORICAL FACTS ABOUT VAISHNAVISM Modern methods have shown that Vedic information is correct. Here are some examples that the aspects previously seen as mythological can be proven to us by satellite pictures and other evidence as the true history of India. This is the scientific basis of Vedic Culture. WASHINGTON (PTI) -- The NASA Shuttle has imaged a mysterious ancient bridge between India and Sri Lanka, as mentioned in the Ramayana. The bridge’s unique curvature, composition and age reveal that it is man made. Dwarka was also found under the ocean and satellite images can now provide proof of a riverbed on the Sarasvati River, where Vedic culture and the world’s greatest, most developed cities flourished 5000 years ago. Hindu Sanatan Dharma is under attack. No attention is given to the Holy Vrindavan Dham and Yamunaji. Secularism is a belief that life has no meaning and it has been killing the good qualities of students making them materialistic. It is up to you if you want others to know the truth. Discover that Dharma and Science need each other today. www.bhaktisiddhanta.com His Life: Born: Jagannath Puri. 6th of February 1874. His parents: Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur and Bhagavati Devi Dasi. His Gurudeva: Srila Goura Kishor Das Babaji Maharaj. Sannyas initiation: 1918. Disappearance: 1st of January 1937. His Current Legacy: 4000 Vedic culture centers around the globe. 100 regular monthly literature publications written in all languages of the world. Millions of foreigners who are now active practicing Vaishnavas. Holy Vrindavan Dham was revived as a pilgrimage His Samadhi: Vraja Pattan, Sridham Mayapur, West Bengal. place. His Teachings and Seva: city of more than 100 Mandirs. Set a living example of renunciation, showing that Vaishnava teachings penetrate all areas of life. Taught protection of Vedic heritage. Led chanting of the LordÂ´s Holy Name in the streets, declaring this the utmost song in all the world. Founded Sarasvat Chatuspathi, Gaudiya Mission and Gaudiya Math with 64 branches. Re - inaugurated and served as Secretary of the Vishva Vaishnava Raj Sabha. Wrote many books on Vaishnava values and traditions, translations of classic texts and new commentaries. Navadvipa - Mayapur was established as a Vaishnava Countless T. V. appearances, university lectures, transcendental art pictures and exhibits continue to pay tribute to the faith. 6000 Web sites on the internet are inspired by Him and His teachings. Countless relief efforts have been carried out via all of his centers and further charities such as Food for Life have been inspired by work started by Him. By his continuous distribution of Prasadam billions of plates are being served. The worldwide impact of his work: His disciples traveled all over the world as he ordered them to preach the mission of love in every town and village of the world, fulfilling Caitanya Mahaprabhuâ€™s prediction. He initiated thousands of disciples and, with their help and the help of his grand disciples, started over 100 Missions. Such as Sree Caitanya Gaudiya Math, Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti, ISKCON, Gopinath Gaudiya Math, Caitanya Sarasvat Math, Sri Krishna Caitanya Mission and many more. Let us allow future generations of school students to take pride in this incredible soul who impacted millions and drew them to the treasures of mystic India; let them see and believe in the great change that can be brought by just one person. We are fortunate to learn about high Dharmic morals and Vedic wisdom today only because Srila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur worked so hard to protect, communicate and share them. For these reasons and so many more, let us all work together to ensure that his gift to Bengal and the world will never be forgotten. If you can chant Hare Krishna both day and night, and when you can always cry out with desire for the service of Vrisabhanu’s Radharani, without revealing it to others, then Sri Krishna, who is very dear to Srimati Radharani, will call you to take His shelter.” Srila Goura Kishor Das Babaji Maharaja “Complete knowing is the knowledge that is inherent in love. When one loves, one knows what to do. When one loves God, one knows everything one needs to know.” “In love secrets are revealed and one knows what otherwise could never be known. Love is the end of doubt.” Srila Bhakti Pramode Puri Maharaja “What you offer to Krishna should be pure and clean. If cows are not protected, our consumption of milk products is not blessed by the Lord of the cows.” Srila Bhakti Vijñan Bharati Maharaja “Krishna’s darshan can only be attained through the medium of the ear as one hears Hari-katha from pure Vaishnavas, there is no other way.” Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur Prabhupada “The only way that we can learn how to love others is by becoming Krishna consciouss. If we love Krishna we will love everyone because everyone is part of Krishna.” Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja “The chanting of the Holy Names in the company of different missions is my life. Imlitala is my favorite place. Chant until you leave this body.” Srila Krishna Das Babaji Maharaja “It has been established by great sages that amongst all the beloved Vraja-gopis, Sri Radha is Krishna’s most treasured object of love. Similarly, Her Kunda is just as dear to Him. One who bathes even once in the waters of Radha-Kunda attains love for Krishna which is extremely difficult to achieve even for great devotees, what to speak of ordinary devotees.” Srila Rupa Goswami “In the darkest of eras that this world has seen and will see in the future, the Vedic tradition, the culture of yoga, will remain India’s gift to the people who inhabit this planet. It is this spiritual culture of Sanatan Dharma that remains the spiritual guide of humanity.” Srila Bhakti Vaibhava Puri Maharaja “We a re e nvironmentalists and conservationists, dedicated to renovate and restore the Kundas of Vraja to their external pristine purity. Our service to the Holy Dham is voluntary, without any monetary consideration or material compensation.” Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayan Maharaja “Just as a good doctor does not hide his diagnosis in order to please the patient, the devotees of the Lord do not hide from the fact that progress in spiritual life is dependent on giving up attachment to bad company, sense gratification and immediate pleasures”. Srila Bhakti Bibudha Bodhayan Maharaja Party spirit - that great enemy of the truth - will always baffle the attempt of the inquirer who tries to gather truth from the religious works of his nation and will make him believe that the Absolute Truth is nowhere except in his old religious book.” Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur “Everybody has to be happily accommodated in the family of Krishna Consciousness.” “New Gurus shall open new temples. The old main temples shall be kept neutrally for all the disciples of Srila Prabhupada.” Srila Bhakti Rakshak Sridhar Maharaja “In Vrindavan we should always remember our spiritual origin. Then we don’t suffer. We should remember that all is happening according to Krishna’s desire. Then there will be peace. Keep Krishna always in the center. Then you will never suffer.” Srila Bhakti Ballabha Tirtha Maharaja “A real lover of God cares for everyone. The problem is that there are so few lovers of God. In this world, everyone sees that “I am a Hindu” or “Im a christian” or “Im a muslim” or I am this or that, but in fact, this are only labels which are stuck on this material body.” Srila Siddhaswarupananda 41 T he World Vaishnava Association has promoted the restoration of ancient temples and sanctuaries from its very beginning. The Bhaktivedanta Charity Trust has also been working on these restorations such as Goura Mandal in the area of Mayapur. Upholding the heritage of sacred sites and the associated culture is an essential element of education and protection of the values of our old traditions. Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja said: â€œWe should fix the old temples, clean the Dham and establish the glorious worship of Lord Krishnaâ€™s Deity.â€? Srila Sanatan Goswami wrote that it is a thousand times more beneficial to fix an old broken temple than to make a new one. With this invitation, many old temples have been adopted since the beginning of the WVA or since the operation of the WVA went under the direction of Srila Bhakti Pramode Puri Maharaj. Brahma Kunda before (used as informal dumping ground) and after restoration Restored Imlitala temple Here are some of the many examples of these restorations: Keshi Ghat by Gopinath Gaudiya Math. Imlitala Mandir by Gaudiya Sanga Mission. Ganga Mandir by the Gaudiya Vedanta Samithi. Gopal Mandir Radha Kunda by Bhakti Swami Damodhar Maharaja in Vrindavan. Vrinda Kunja, which was constructed originally by the Queen of Manipur, by Vrinda Mission. Yamuna Kunja, the old bathing Ghat for ladies constructed by the Jaipur kings, by Vrinda Mission. Radha Gokulananda Ashram by the disciples of Srila Bhakti Keval Audolomi Maharaja. Brahma Kunda by Braj Foundation. Sanatan Goswamiâ€™s Samadhi and the Vrinda Devi Temple by Dina Bhandu Das. Dhavanal Kunda by the Braj foundation. Surya Narayan temple in Surya Kunda by Sankarsana Das Brahmacari. Kaliya Ghat on the Parikrama Marg by Gaudiya Vedanta Samithi. Srila Jiva Goswamiâ€™s Samadhi at Sri Sri Radha Damodhar Mandir by the Goswamis with the participation of Srila Bhakti Gaurav Narasingha Maharaj and other associates. Sri Sri Radha Madhan Mohan Mandir in Vrindavan by the archeological survey of India. Sri Sri Radha Govinda Mandir by Sri Krishna Balaram Maharaja Old Radha Gopinath Mandir in Vrindavan by Gopinath Lal Goswami with the help of other Vaishnava organizations. Radha Kunda, Syama Kunda and Kusum Sarovar by the UP government and Indian Tourism Development Corporation. Kaliya-ghat Still, there are many sacred sanctuaries to be taken care of and especially the sanitary situation of the Yamuna, and the saving of the Ghats; these are great endeavors and require extensive participation. The Braj heritage is our treasure just as much as the holy sites of India are the heritage of this great global relationship announced by the Vedic Rishis. Kusum Sarovar This effort is also spreading to other destinations, such as the fixing of Gambhira in Puri. Striking architectures combined with beautiful and intricate murtis featuring Lord Brahma, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and the Six Goswamis, bring new life to Brahma Kunda. There is a lot of action going on ever since the temple adoption program was announced by the World Vaishnava Association. Vrinda Kunja 43 VISHVA VAISHNAVA RAJ SABHA PRESIDENTS Modern Era Origins The VVRS was first presented in the writings of Srila Jiva Gos- It was mutually agreed that one of the senior Vaishnavas should wami. A pluralistic forum for the cooperation between different Gurus and their disciples was obviously necessary. In Vrindavan these Acharyas had many important temples very near to each other. We can understand that Caitanya Mahaprabhu had given the idea to form this association, thus Srila Sanatan and Rupa Goswamis requested Jiva Goswami to organize it. Srila Jiva Goswami Srila Bhakti Rakshak Sridhar Maharaja hold the post of president of the WVA. Thus the WVA was blessed with the presidency of Srila Bhakti Pramode Puri Maharaja and Srila Nayananda Babaji Maharaja, both disciples of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur Prabhupada. They continued the noble line which had been re inaugurated by Srila Prabhupada himself. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur Srila Bhakti Pramode Puri Maharaja 1994 - 1999 Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur Srila Nayanananda Das Babaji Maharaja 1999 - 2002 Srila Bhakti Ballabha Tirtha Maharaja 2002 - Present FORMING A NETWORK OF SECRETARIES Those who care and share their time and knowledge moving the Vaishnava tradition into the information age. We can only succeed when more Vaishnavas participate... T he Vishva Vaishnava Raj-Sabha is a loose affiliation of all those organizations and individuals who have a common goal and a common faith. Based in the theistic understanding of Vedanta as taught by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Srila B. B. Tirtha Maharaja has requested that all Vaishnava missions interested in an increased cooperation for the common cause, shall appoint a secretary for each city or country where they are active and they can cooperate with each other to further these goals. Those who want to further the goals of Vaishnavas in general but live outside of the temples can also offer their help. This provides vast field of sadhu sanga and Vaishnava association, which should help to further increase good relationships. This was the plan of Srila Jiva Goswami. For more details read the book ‘World Vaishnava Association’ which you can download from Vina.cc. Secretary certificates to recognize supporter´s work in this respect can be obtained from any current secretary or at WVA secretary meetings. Om Prakas Brijvasi - WVA Secretary India The duties of a WVA Secretary 1. Representing a Vaishnava mission to assist or organize local meetings of the WVA. 2. To provide WVA information and material within your own mission. 3. To visit other missions and encourage them to participate in the WVA. 4. To report about news from your mission or other Vaishnava activities which are note worthy on Vina.cc 5. Create or assist creating a web or blog to inform other missions about what is happening in your mission. 6. Contribute ideas to favor the world by cooperation amongst member missions. All are welcome to help. If your Guru has departed, you can also volunteer for WVA services and assist WVA meetings. For more information contact your nearest secretary or visit WVA Secretaries Meeting, Sri Mayapur Dham Wva-vvrs.org I t was decided to create committees of the VVRS-WVA and present the result of their studies to the Managing Committee and thus apply resolutions in different fields of the plans of the VVRS-WVA. Please visit the page of the specific committees and join if you would like to become a member. Vrindavan Dham Preservation Committee: Internet Committee: Mayapur Dham Preservation Committee: Education Committee: Secular World Committee: Siddhanta, Guru Varga dignity Committee: Collect funds and work in different ways for the preservation of holy sites. Send representatives to active organizations to work and control the Vrindavan development. Run the WVA office. Collect funds and work in different ways for the preservation of holy sites. Send representatives to active organizations to work and control the Mayapur development. Run the WVA office. Organize the cleaning of all Mayapur. Receive the reports on problems against any member missions. Publish statements of support. Inform about any Vaishnava who is under attack; ex: One Vaishnava mission was sued in Poland; that being the case, we sent an authorized representative to testify in court. Report on vedicviewsworldnews.blogspot.com. Supervise the contents of the VVRS-WVA home pages. Collect more information for the home pages. Guide the members on how to make their own home pages. Establish blogs of lost Holy Places Report on existing educational programs of member missions. Promote and communicate Vaishnava educational programs. Research OIDA faith education to lead education in new dimensions. Discuss any question on Siddhanta’s arising & research answers. Present the studies to the members of the Managing Committee for rectification and possible voting. Promote, study, investigate and access the studies to all Vaishnavas in connection with the Florida Vedic College or other Vaishnava Academies. Jagannath Puri Preservation Committee: Collect funds and work in different ways for the preservation of holy sites. Send representatives to active organizations to work and control the Jagannath Puri development. Establish a WVA office. Environmental Committee: Research, communicate and promote solutions for environmental problems inside and outside Vaishnava communities. Change the general attitude of all Vaishnavas toward disasters such as dumping plastic and dirty water into Ganga and Yamuna. Audarya Award Committee: Receive recommendations on special contributions made to the Vaishnava world. The Audarya award will be given to the most outstanding contribution (for each category a separate award will be given) on a special occasion. Temple Adoption Committee: Newsletter and Journal Committee: Mela and Meeting Committee: Vedic Art Committee: Library, Publication Committee: Relief and Charity Project Committee: Unification Committee: Interreligious Communication Committee: Collect news and nectar! Publish and distribute Journal of the VVRSWVA. Help to publish rare manuscripts. Collect addresses of Vaishnava Artists. Present their works on the Internet. Organize exhibitions. Cooperate in large Vaishnava Art Projects. Teach aspiring artists. Help decorate the Holy Dham. Conflict Resolving Committee: Receive reports of complaints. Send them to as many senior Vaishnava members as possible to get their written advice. Distribute this advice amongst all members. Present final suggestions to mitigate problems to the managing committee of VVRS-WVA for a final decision. Propose the opinion to the parties of how they could solve a conflict. Receive all the devotees and manage the meetings. Improve joint events such as fairs and celebrations of the Vyasapuja of main Acharyas. Collect books, photos and other materials free to be used by all members. Index valuable libraries of members - communicate all. Results can be sent to the members through the Internet or on request. Recruit new members to the VVRS-WVA. Promote VVRS-WVA to other Sampradayas: 4sam.org Visit Vaishnava missions who are not active members of VVRSWVA. Report the outcome to the Managing Committee. Present the written requests of VVRS-WVA to Vaishnava missions to become members. Receive application of temples who desire to be adopted or who desire to establish a brothertemple relationship. Make the information available to interested members. List all Vaishnava missions who work with relief and charity. Publish news of Vaishnava related relief and charity work on VINA. Help lone Vaishnavas to get Medical attention. Publish articles on comparative religion, Vaishnava religion and other religious traditions. Send representatives to the world parliament of religion and other international or local forums to maintain a friendly relationship and participation with interfaith projects. Expose Vaishnava values to other religions. Please volunteer and help in this effort by delegating some educated Secretaries of your Mission to help the joint effort of VVRS-WVA to succeed. We want to remind all members that their participation is required and that English and Bengali will be used for all documents. Questions and comments can be given in both languages. If you are passive or silent, your Gurudeva’s teaching will not be fully represented so speak now and be heard! The world wide web of electronic communication invaded the world in the 1990’s. It caught many people by surprise but gained such an influence that it became like the “Mega Mridanga”. It provided such a power of outreach that a message could be sent to any part of the world in only seconds. For the Vaishnava communities it meant learning to manage their service in the form of books, movies, lectures and musical recordings via the electronic media. Quickly internet sites appeared as well as different chat platforms, forums and social networks. Missions with western influence were faster to utilize the web but now the traditional Indian missions are also entering the arena. The efforts of the WVA to provide a forum which serves the common needs of all missions are represented through pages like Vina.cc which reports Vaishnava news. Other web sites of importance are Wva-vvrs.org as an organized platform of the umbrella efforts of the WVA, with a forum for conversations available. For news of interest to Vaishnava groups, and a listing of different sites offered by them, we present Harekrishnanews.info The Internet committee coordinator of the WVA is Pancatattwa Das from Peru who, since the launch of this service, has selflessly provided Seva to the Vaishnava internet efforts. Today more than 10,000 pages of different Vaishnavas help to spread the ideals of theistic Vedanta and since the year 2010, VINA also offers its services in the Bengali (bangla) language. Audarya means the highest magnanimity for the fallen souls. This is the spirit of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu as expressed by Srila Rupa Goswami. This name was chosen for the Audarya Awards since the main consideration for the choice of recipients will be the effect of the contribution in helping uplift the fallen souls from the kingdom of Maya. AUDARYA AWARDS RECIPIENTS CHOSEN IN 2010 ARE: Bhaktisiddhanta Das - “His great contribution to Conscious Art” Braj Foundation - “Beautiful restoration of Brahma Kunda” Gambhira Ashram - “Restoration at Gambhira Nath” Kurma Rupa Das - “Care for cows Gosala” Madhu Pandit Das and entire production team of Little Krishna animation – “The best animated film” Rupa Ragunath Das - “The beautiful Sandipani Muni Schools” Syamarani Devi Dasi - “All her windows to the spiritual world”. Tamal Krishna Das Brahmacari - “The beautiful Caitanya art and Imlitala restoration” Available at your local WVA office or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org 53 On the way to Krishna... The faces of devotional life World Vaishnava Association Vishva Vaishnava Raj Sabha Dedicated to all those who try to give Krishna to the World!