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CULTURE 18 Issue 4


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AMERICA: A CULTURE OF HARD LABOR FOR NOTHING One second of wasted time cannot not be purchased, even with millions of dollars. 16ROUNDS is presenting an awareness called Krishna Consciousness. Krishna Consciousness is perfectly dis­ tinct from the ways of modern materialistic society, which is considered by the Krishna Conscious advocates to be merely a waste of time. The whole universe, or for that matter all material existence, is simply for planning business to make one’s position very comfortable or secure, although everyone sees that this existence is neither comfortable nor secure and can never become comfortable or secure at any stage of development. Those who are captivated by the illusory advancement of material civilization (following the way of phantasmagoria) are certainly mad. The whole material creation is a jugglery of names only; in fact, it is nothing but a bewildering creation of matter like earth, water and fire. The buildings, furniture, cars, bungalows, mills, factories, industries, peace, war or even the highest perfection of material science, namely atomic energy and electronics, are all simply bewildering names of material elements with their concomitant reactions of the laws of nature. Since advocates of Krishna Consciousness know them perfectly well, they are not interested in creating unwanted things for a situation which is not at all reality but simply names of no more significance than the babble of sea waves. The great politicians and leaders fight with one another in order to perpetuate their names in history. They are forgotten in due course of time, and * To propagate spiritual knowledge and to educate they make a place for another era in history. But true all people in the techniques of spiritual life in order transcendentalists realize how much history and histo check the imbalance of values in life and to torical persons are useless products of flickering time. achieve real unity and peace in the world. The materialistic worker aspires after a big fortune * To bring people closer together for the purpose of in the matter of wealth, sex, and worldly adoration, but teaching a simpler and more natural way of life. ©2010 by those who are fixed in perfect reality are not at all in* To expose the faults of materialism. 16 Rounds to Samadhi terested in such false things. For them it is all a waste All rights reserved. * To bring about the well-being of all living entities. of time. Since every second of human life is important, an 16Rounds is an independent magazine compiled, written, and published enlightened person should be very careful to utilize by a few Hare Krishna devotees. This publication is produced in an attempt to benefit its readers, for our own purification, and for the pleasure of our spiritual grandfather, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhakti­vedanta Swami Prabhupada, the founder and spiritual guide of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON).

16Rounds is published:

16Rounds Staff:

Editor: Mahat Tattva Dasa

WHAT DOES “16ROUNDS” MEAN? Yoga is a Sanskrit word that means “union” or “linking.” Meditation is a process of yoga by which the spiritual practitioner achieves union with the Divine. The recommended process of meditation for the age we are currently living in is mantra meditation. This process involves chanting of mantras. The Upanishads, the classical spiritual texts of ancient India, say that the best mantra is the Hare Krishna mantra: hare krishna hare krishna krishna krishna hare hare hare rama hare rama rama rama hare hare. A “Mala” is a set of 108 beads strung on a thread, sort of like a rosary. The spiritual practitioner prayerfully and with great concentration recites/ chants the whole mantra once for each bead of the mala. The mala or the string of beads is held in the fist of the right hand and is meant to help us count how many times we chanted the mantra. It also helps engage the sense of touch in the process of meditation. Once we have chanted the mantra 108 times, or once for each bead, we have completed “one round.” Serious practitioners of this spiritual discipline take a vow to chant at least sixteen times round the mala every day; thus the name “16 Rounds.”


Mahat has been a monk since 1995 and is currently serving as the president of the Hare Krishna temple in San Diego. Assistant Editor & Layout: Giriraj Gopal Dasa Giriraj Gopal Dasa is a working artist, an outspoken writer, and a bhakti-yoga teacher and practitioner.

Graphic Design: Daniel Woods Daniel is a (blissful) monk at the San Diego Hare Krishna temple. He uses his artistic skills only for spiritual, noncorporate purposes.

time very cautiously. One second of human life wasted in the vain research of planning for happiness in the material world can never be replaced, even if one spends millions of dollars. Therefore, the transcendentalist desiring freedom from the clutches of the illusory activities of life is warned not to be captivated by the external features of materialistic actors. Human life is never meant for sensual gratification but for self-realization. Krishna Consciousness instructs us solely on this subject. Human life is simply meant for self-realization. The civilization which aims at this utmost perfection never indulges in creating unwanted things, and such a perfect civilization prepares its citizens only to accept the bare necessities of life or to follow the principle of the best use of a bad bargain. Our material bodies and our lives in that connection are bad bargains because the living entity is actually spirit, and spiritual advancement of the living entity is absolutely necessary. Human life is intended for the realization of this important factor, and one should act accordingly, accepting only the bare necessities of life and depending more on God’s gifts without diversion of human energy for any other purpose, such as being mad for material enjoyment. The materialistic advancement of civilization is called “the civilization of the unfortunate,” which ultimately ends in wars and scarcity. 1030 Grand Avenue San Diego, CA 92109


READER ever benefit?”


This is a transcendentalist’s mentality. Para-duhkha-duhkhi. He’s unhappy by seeing others unhappy. This is spiritual philosophy. A spiritualist shall work hard and undergo all tribulation for others benefit. He has no problem. A Krishna conscious individual has no problems personally, because he has taken shelter of Krishna. Krishna says [Bhagavad-gita 9.31], “Declare it boldly that My devotee never perishes.” Krishna gives a guarantee: “Anyone who has taken shelter of Me, I will give him protection.”

THE ADVANCEMENT OF MODERN CIVILIZATION Every day more technology is being invented, but know that such things come at a high cost. ===============================

By His Divine Grace

A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada ===============================


o f material vision or material civilization is a great stumbling block for spiritual advancement. Such material advancement entangles the living being in the bondage of a material body followed by all sorts of material miseries. Such material advancement is called anartha, or things not wanted. Actually this is so. In the present context of material advancement one uses lipstick at a cost of five dollars, and there are so many unwanted things which are all products of the material conception of life. By diverting attention to so many unwanted things, human energy is spoiled without achievement of spiritual realization, the prime necessity of human life. If you accept our Krishna conscious-

UN-NECESSITIES OF LIFE ness movement, there will be no unemployment. We can at least give this manifesto to the people. “There will be no more unemployment!” People will be very glad to hear this proposal. Now this machine culture, this industrial nonsense, actually means more unemployment. One machine will work for a hundred people. So a hundred people become unemployed, and one technician, he gets all the salaries by working on the computer. He’s very expert at it, so he’ll take three thousand dollars, and others will be unemployed. This is going on. And the people are thinking, “Advancement of civilization.” Advancement of civilization to them means “Exploit others and you’ll become happy.” This is their idea of advancement of civilization. Others

In ancient Sanskrit the word artha means “necessity of life.” And the word anartha means “artificial necessity.” For example, there is no need of smoking. It is useless, but we have created it and now it has become an addiction. Therefore it is an anartha. The materialistic society is creating unnecessary entanglement by producing so many artificial necessities of life. If we are to become peaceful & happy, we have to minimize our artificial necessities, save time, and develop ourselves spiritually. may die for such advancement, out of starvation, and one person takes all the money and spends it for wine, sex, and cars. That’s all. This is being called advancement of civilization. Sarve sukhino bhavantu. This is the Vedic civilization’s motto: “Let everyone be happy.” That is the Vedic culture’s ideal. But, the materialistic civilization, they’re thinking: “Let everyone suffer; I’ll become happy. ” But, a transcendentalist is thinking, “How will these poor people


So this is the business of a transcendentalist. Such a person will have no politics. Politics means planning for one’s own happiness. That is politics. So in a Krishna Conscious society there should be no diplomacy, no politics. Everyone should be eager how to do good to others. That is Vedic culture. If one is planning, “I shall be leader,” “I shall be doing something,” that is not spiritual. Those politics are not good.

The leaders are misled, and they are misleading others. That is the chaotic condition in the world today. They want to import some war materials or something else, therefore they want foreign currency. So, they are sacrificing the convenience of the local people for foreign currency. These things are going on. These politicians, they create an atmosphere of fear and then take advantage of the people. Therefore the heads of the state must be clean, but now they are all materially motivated. Therefore the whole world is in a chaotic condition. There cannot be any consistency amongst the politicians. That is the defect, that the politicians are the heads, the leaders of the society, but they are all in disagreement. Everyone has one’s own ideal, and the fight is going on. Thus the unfortunate people in the state are suffering. In the Vedic culture, before one can be accepted as a leader or master of society one must be tested by a certain criteria of character. Such public leaders may be less qualified in academic qualifications, but it is necessary primarily that they be completely free from the contamination of four vices, namely gambling, drinking, prostitution, and animal slaughter.

“Others may die for such advancement, out of starvation, and one person takes all the money and spends it for wine, sex, and cars. This is being called advancement of civilization.”

READER “Because the leaders do not know what is the aim of life, what is the ultimate goal of life, therefore people in general are being misguided. Suppose a blind guy leads other blind persons. What will be the result?”


During the Industrial Revolution, the social structure of society changed dramatically. The relentless pursuit of money caused an important social change: the ultimate breakdown of the family unit.

As industry progressed, people moved away from their families to find work, so the family decreased in size and became nuclear. This was known as the theory of functional fit. So at the present moment, in this godless civilization, the leaders do not know how to lead people so that they may become happy. It is the duty of the leader, government, father, teacher, guru, and others in authority to see that the subordinates are very happy. We find in the historical account, Mahabharata, that during the reign of King Yudhisthira people were not suffering even from excessive heat, cold, or anxiety. It is the duty of the leaders of the people and the government to see that the citizens are perfectly happy in their occupational duties and that they are advancing in spiritual knowledge, because human life is not meant for living a polished animal life. That is not human life. This is the business of the cats, dogs, and hogs. The hog is working the whole day to find out stool: “Where is stool? Where is stool?” And as soon as he gets some stool and a little strength, immediately he thinks of sex life, without any dis-

crimination, whether she is his mother, sister, or daughter. This kind of life is described in the Vedic texts as hog civilization. At the present moment, without any reference to spiritual consciousness, people are being taught to satisfy their senses, work very hard, and ruin the chance of human life. This human life is especially meant for solving all the problems of life.

People have no knowledge how to stop birth, death, old age, and disease. Every living entity is eternal. That we learn from the Bhagavad-gita [2.20]. The living entity does not die even after the annihilation of the gross body. This is the first knowledge to understand. We have to transmigrate from this body to another body. [Bhagavad Gita 2.13] As I have transmigrated already from my childhood body to boyhood body, boyhood body to youth-hood body, now I am very old, so similarly, as I am existing in spite of changing so many types of bodies, similarly, after death, I will have to accept

another body. This is a fact. But the modern educators do not know this, neither they believe, even though the practical example is there. Who is giving this example? The most authoritative Personality of Godhead, Krishna. If a person is blind, how he can lead other blind people? That is not possible. It is dangerous for both of them. So the leaders, the politicians, the priest, they should be very pure, without any tinge of hypocrisy and corruption. The pillars of ignorant life are promiscuity, meateating, intoxication, and gambling. Now, unfortunately, the leaders are teaching people how to engage in such activities more and more. So, how then can such a society can be happy? It is not possible. �

The result was estrangement, or separation of individuals from one another so that they do not identify with each other as a group. Thus, Karl Marx (1818–83) argued that it was employers who enjoyed the products of industry, rather than the workers who actually made the goods; under capitalism, workers become appendages of the machine they use rather than whole people.

The psychological state of alienation is said to include isolation, powerlessness, and meaninglessness, and, not surprisingly, has been linked with state-owned industries just as much, if not more than, with capitalism, since no identifiable person owns a state industry.

The concept of alienation has been used to explain the rise of urban problems such as violent football fans, street gangs, and alcohol and drug addiction.



Seeing the kings of this earth busy trying to conquer her, the personified earth herself laughed. She said:

“Just see how these kings, who are actually playthings in the hands of death, are desiring to conquer me. “Although in the past great people and their descendants have left me, departing from this world in the same helpless way they came into it, even today foolish people are trying to conquer me. “For the sake of conquering me, materialistic persons fight one another. Fathers oppose their sons, and brothers fight one another, because their hearts are bound to possessing political power. “Great rulers of people, even those who are learned, meet frustration and failure because of material lust. Driven by lust, these kings place great hope and faith in the dead lump of flesh called the body, even though the ma­terial frame is as fleeting as bubbles of foam on water.” - From the Srimad Bhagavatam, 12.3 6


SOULCARE R E F O R M The debate rages on, but before we take a side, we need to start re-evaluating the whole system. ===============================

By Pyari Charan



as I write these words, a fierce debate is raging in our nation’s capital. Representatives from all over the United States, along with staffers, lobbyists, and citizens, are all scrambling to argue, persuade, negotiate, and protest to ensure that their viewpoint will prevail and become the law of the land. Red state or blue, conservative or liberal, everyone has their opinion and everyone wants to be heard. With a showdown looming in the next few days, tensions are rising and the squabbling has reached a fever pitch. Still, with billions of dollars and the health and well being of the country at stake, it is fair to ask if this is truly the best we can expect from our government. As Americans, we have been taught since

early grade school to see this organized bickering as the glory of democracy. As a country, we champion the notion that the exchange of free ideas ­— in a civil way or otherwise — leading to consensus is the pinnacle of governance. If no consensus can be reached, at least the will of the majority will prevail, and democracy will go on. After all, our strength as a nation rests in this system; with this back and forth that we call political due process we kindle the torch of our own liberty, holding it aloft to light the entire world and ward off the darkness of oppression and tyranny. It sounds glorious and beyond reproach, but a thoughtful person — and a responsible citizen — should ask two very important questions: Who is actually holding the torch, and are they qualified to lead the way?

These questions penetrate the very depth of the political debates that have been waged since human beings first or-

ganized themselves into governments. Power — and who should wield it — has enthralled philosophers and statesmen for centuries. For much of human history, power was invested in a king, or monarch. Over time, such kings proved more and more unequal to the task, and so the masses rebelled. There are famous slogans such as “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Democ-

“If for a moment we accept the version of reality that is presented in the Bhagavad-Gita, we can see just how aimlessly the current ship of government is drifting upon the ocean of ignorance.”

racy is the natural reaction to the abuses of corrupt rulers. A system where power is reposed in the people prevents any one individual from becoming too powerful. Over the past two hundred years, with a few exceptions, the world has wholeheartedly embraced democracy. In fact, many philosophers and thinkers have given up the question of who should wield power. Citing the prosperity and stability of democracies like the United

SOCIETY WATCH them to do what is in ours?

Democracy was instituted to control hypocrisy and exploitation, but when it fails, as leaders fail us, what choice do we have? States, they agree that the question has been settled decisively. The effort now is to convince the last international holdouts to embrace democracy (along with free capital markets) and let the good times roll. But in their rush to assert the preeminence of democracy, a more fundamental question has gone unanswered: What are the qualifications of leadership?

If we consider this point very deeply, we can see how this is infinitely more pressing than understanding who should lead. In fact, the “who” will sort itself out if we understand the qualifications. Without understanding the qualities of leadership, it makes no difference who we install as the leaders. Is it worse to be led by one ignorant king or a thousand ignorant politicians? Sadly, this is the situation in the present world, and it is manifested in the dysfunctional political system that we observe every day. For several decades, many Americans have begun to see the hypocrisy and ineptitude of their government. Beginning with Watergate and culminating in the disastrous presidency of George W. Bush, scandals and embarrassments by political leaders have revealed how elected officials can be corrupt, petty, and incompetent. Still, owing to the weak alternatives — communism, monarchy, despotism, etc. — even thoughtful citizens who can see the cheating of their government are forced to accept the status quo because there is no better alternative. Perhaps as important as understanding the qualifications of a leader is to understand the disqualifications of our present leaders. After all, a bleak picture has been painted of the current political landscape, and unfortunately it is not likely to

change any time soon. So what then is the cause of their inadequacy? Simply put, it is ignorance. However, this ignorance is not merely ignorance of the facts of some particular issue like abortion or immigration. This ignorance is the fundamental spiritual kind, about the most important of all questions: Who am I? Practically every person holding political office today is ignorant of the answer to this basic question. If people do not understand who they are, how can they know what is actually in their self-interest? More importantly, if people don’t even know what is in their self-interest, how can we trust

Without a clear understanding of what we are, what is this universe, and in what direction we should strive, every issue will remain unsolved.

The Bhagavad-Gita, the great spiritual classic of India, offers definitive information on this most important question. Succinctly, the Gita asserts that we are not this material body made of bones, blood, and bile. In fact, the Bhagavad-Gita asserts that our true identity is purely spiritual and beyond the purview of this material world. We are all spiritual living entities. Although we inhabit temporary bodies made of matter, we are eternal. This is the most important knowledge a human being can possess, because it allows one to interact with the world properly. So long as we are ignorant of these spiritual ABC’s, all our endeavors in this world will be fraught with difficulty because they are undertaken under a false conception of our true nature.

If for a moment we accept the version of reality that is presented in the Bhagavad-­Gita, we can see just how aimlessly the current ship of government is drifting upon the ocean of ignorance. In the particular debate that is currently consuming Washington, both political parties are struggling with one another over the best way to provide healthcare for millions of Americans. Both parties, armed with their best intentions, facts, figures, and opinions, are trying to do what they believe is best for the country. Herein lies the problem, because in their attempts to do what is best for the nation they are considering only what is best for our material bodies — and so their understandings of “best” must compete with one another. Meanwhile, their spiritual ignorance has precluded any discussion of what is actually best for the spiritual entity dwelling within the body. Any debate or discussion that does not address this most fundamental need is simply a waste of time. It is like polishing a birdcage very nicely but neglecting to feed the bird. The true need in this country — and all countries — is not healthcare reform but soulcare reform. Policies and laws should be crafted with spiritual understanding firmly in the forefront. Otherwise, the reforms that governments propose will lead only to greater suffering because they do not deal with people’s real needs, their spiritual needs. We require politicians to be fully equipped and conversant with spiritual knowledge in order to govern effectively. Only once the political leaders have become cognizant of their true spiritual identities will they be qualified to take up the torch and lead humanity. �

BHAGAVAD-GITA Just what is the Bhagavad-­gita? The Bhagavad-gita is the perfect theistic science because it is directly spoken by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna.

The Krishna consciousness movement is essential in human society, for it offers the highest perfection of life. How this is so is explained fully in the Bhagavad-gita. A common person with all the defects of human frailty is unable to teach that which is worth hearing, but the Bhagavad-gita is above such literature.

“In the morning I bathe my intellect in the stupendous and cosmogonal philosophy of the Bhagavad-gita, in comparison with which our modern world and its literature seems puny.” — Henry David Tho­reau (American Essayist, Poet and Philosopher, 1817– 1862)

“The Bhagavad-gita is one of the most clear and comprehensive summaries of the perennial philosophy ever revealed; hence its enduring value not only to India but to all of humanity.” — Aldous Huxley (American Writer and Humanist, 1894–1963)



An Attempt to Ignore Reality Another Spring Break in San Diego has come and gone, again leaving me to ponder. There’s a bumper sticker that says, “The proof of intelligent life on other planets is that they haven’t tried to contact this one.” ===============================

By Giriraj Gopal Dasa


If there

is one interesting thing about living with a dozen monks in a monastery here in Pacific Beach, San Diego, it is that here you get to witness the colossal contrast between mindless sensual activity the American youth holds sacred and the discipline of a genu-


The percentage of the American population drinking alcoholic beverages has fluctuated greatly over the past 60 years, ranging between 55% and 71%. In Gallup Poll’s most recent survey on this issue, 64% of the adult population said they had taken an opportunity to drink. Over a third of Americans report that drinking has been a cause of trouble in their family, the highest percentage in response to this question in the more than 50 years it had been asked.


ine spiritual tradition, which entails giving up meaningless sensual pleasure for something higher.

The students who come to this beach seem to worship the youthful human form. It’s like they see it as a vehicle that allows them to enjoy unlimited pleasures of life. Upon arrival, they become extremely excited about exploring and finding new ways to enjoy the various pleasures of the body. And if it gives them pleasure, why shouldn’t they? To each his own, right? BUT IS IT REALLY PLEASURE AT ALL? I MEAN, COME ON, ARE YOU PEOPLE SERIOUS?! I don’t know, but I’m only 28, and although I had more than my share of partying, I just can’t see it like that anymore. It is not just that there is something completely annoying about having to pee every ten minutes, or the fact that people think that acting stupidly uninhibited is thought to be “cool”. It is the fact that we are attempting to create a scenario of false illusory pleasure and pretend that

it is real. Sadly enough, for some this is even considered the very goal of their human life: “I will consume enough beer to loosen me up to the point of becoming free from my inhibitions, then stumble across a girl, and in the matter of three hours we’ll be making love in the back seat of a car at the end of the night. The best part is telling my friends the next day how I woke up in a pool of my own puke, and having them congratulate me on how great an enjoyer of life I am.”


This Krishna Consciousness Movement wakes us up to perfect reality because it is constantly reminding us of the limitations of the human body. People will complain, “Why do you have to be so cynical? Why not let people find their own happiness?” This Krishna Consciousness movement is not trying to hamper anyone’s enjoyment, but the purpose is to give people a chance for superior enjoyment, lasting satisfaction of the heart.

“People feel that by getting drunk the boundaries of life will magically go away, leaving them feeling carefree. But escaping the prison of ma­ terial suffering is not so simple.” Actually, there is so much more going on on the spiritual platform. When we delve into the spiritual potency, life gets more exciting, but we are not talking about reading people’s minds or attaining psychic powers. Those are subtle material energies and also cannot help us solve the real problems of life.

SOCIETY WATCH People feel that by getting drunk the boundaries of life will magically go away, leaving them feeling carefree. But escaping the prison of material suffering is not so simple. Ma­terial life is actually full of stringent laws, such as birth, old age, disease, and death. In this way, life actually becomes progressively more miserable as time goes on.

So to bring that feeling of freedom, we take to intoxication. This is an artificial and extremely temporary solution. Basically, it means we are trying to forget that we are suffering. The more we artificially get high, the more we have to come down. Why play with artificial freedom? Why not develop inner fulfillment and experience the power of real freedom? In materialistic life, there is always a catch, but in Krishna Consciousness there is no catch or limitation because it is on the spiritual platform. On the spiritual platform we have the room for the expansion of pleasure we require. Knowing that one is not the body is the first step in reaching a more elevated platform to expand our happiness. This knowledge is the essence of every spiritual path on the planet. We are not this body but rather a living spirit soul using the body simply like a vehicle, and when the body dies, the soul within it does not die. But all problems come when we forget this essential

principle. Thus we become more and more eager to enjoy the sensual pleasures of the body. Pleasure is a real need of the soul, but the trick of illusion is that we can satisfy our spiritual needs with dull, dead material objects. Actually, the harder you try to squeeze happiness from the body and other material possessions, the more you increase your frustration.

her body to become old and useless? No one. But bodily pleasures are fleeting and flickering, and as s u c h anyone who pursues happiness



As conditioned souls, we are forced to express ourselves and enjoy t h ro u g h t h e

medium of the material body, which frustrates us with its limitations. The body is gradually getting old and becoming feeble. Who wants his or

outside of themselves, through the sensations of the body, is simply chasing a mirage in the desert. Happiness has to come from within, and no amount of alcohol or drugs will be enough to change the reality of the real problems of life. Yet, this society is encouraging us to enjoy this smelly body to its fullest extent, and like mindless drones we submit to the enticements of advertisements without even question where they are leading us.

No one will warn you that those materialistic pleasures are limited and frustrating. No one, that is, except this Krishna Consciousness movement. Here alone can you learn about perfect reality. This 16Rounds paper is for waking up all the sleeping souls, who are eternal, full of bliss, and knowledge but have forgotten. We have become bewildered by this gigantic material cosmic manifestation. Actually, we are all part of something great, something divine. We are all part of a magnificent spiritual origin. Every human life is an extremely valuable opportunity to realize the greatness of life and the greatness of God. This Krishna Consciousness movement can help awaken any human being to his or her highest potential, which is to experience happiness on the spiritual platform and achieve inner fulfillment. This movement is but an attempt to save people from a life of meaningless, self-gratifying, self-destructive activity in the pursuit of so-called “happiness.” �

«— When we delve into the spiritual potency, life gets more exciting

“Everyone is fed up with this rascal civilization of sex and wine. How long can one artificially live on this? They have no other asset. Therefore, people are turning to the Krishna Consciousness Movement. Let us push it on. Let everyone know about it.“ – Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada *






hari hari! bifale janama gonainu manusya-janama paiya, radha-krsna na bhajiya, janiya suniya bisa khainu “O Krishna, my life has passed uselessly. Though I was born as a human, I have not pursued my spiritual potentials. Thus did I drink poison willingly.” – Devotional Song by Narottama das Thakur



tomatically qualifying for the school of absolute knowledge? And what if all you had to do was have the humility to sign up for the class?

by Giriraj Gopal Dasa

What if someone were in such utter illusion that they took truth to be falsity and falsity to be truth? What if someone were so backwards that they took self-control to be degradation and progress to be “we’re getting wasted, man”? What if someone were in such utter delusion that they looked into humanity’s past and all they saw were uncivilized indigenous people who had missed out on the luxuries of fine dining, sports cars, football, and Internet pornography?


When I look into humanity’s past, I see the ancient temples of yore, and thus I see TRUTH, handed down through the ages. I see the past of OUR human civilization. I see the altars. I see Divine Deities. I see the divine images of gods lining the temple walls. I look on all seven continents and see the same things. I see societies a million times more advanced in VALUES and ­IDEALS then ours. I see the most beautiful and exquisite works of art. I see the cultural iconography that people lovingly died for. Something so sublime that they used every second of life to praise and acknowledge these entities as sustaining principles of the entire cosmic manifestation. For them, it seemed obligatory to the very nature of the soul.


What if everyone believed the VALUES and IDEALS they were fed on tell-lie-vision and radio and blindly accepted these values as their own, never having the courage to determine on their own which values and goals in life are the best to live by and give their heart to?


Do you know that the Time Factor is imperceptibly ticking away with each breath, bringing you one step closer to death?

Do you think you can know everything about this world, this culture, about the ways and means of life, happiness, love, culture, art, and music, through the Internet and through an accredited university only?

What if there were a society that had not placed its highest value on material comfort and fancy technology but had a wealth of knowledge that, like a good friend, could guide you through thick and thin, the hardships of life? What if there were answers to the most important questions of life? What if it were normal to know why we are all here? What if taking birth as a human mean au-


THE AMERICAN NIGHTMARE 3 million abortions are performed each year. 34. 4 million cows are slaughtered per year. Almost 50 percent of all marriages end in divorce. 1 in 10 American women take an anti­depressant drug. 251 million tons of trash are generated in the US yearly. Tobacco smoking causes nearly 1 in 5 deaths yearly. Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death for ages 15 to 24.


I see a cultures that could see THE GREAT TREE OF LIFE & THE CIRCLE OF LIFE.


HOW BIG THIS UNIVERSE IS WITH EVERYTHING GOING ON AT ONCE. It’s all right now, and we are taking it all in through our tiny eyes. I can SEE. I can think for myself. I don’t need PBS, CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC, or OBAMA to do my thinking for me. I’m a living being. Part of the Divine. I can see. I can know. I can learn from the source itself. I HAVE A DIRECT LINK. MUCH FASTER AND BETTER THAN BROADBAND. MORE CLEAR THAN BLUE RAY. AND WITH BETTER AUDIO CLARITY THAN BOSE. All I have to do is be willing to think for myself, to know for myself, because I want to know, not because I’m supposed to, or because if I don’t I will get fined by the government or lose my girlfriend or my followers, but because it’s my nature as a human being to know. It’s natural for the soul to know its own ultimate purpose. I’m not afraid to go against the grain of this culture of ignorance, because I now have a source of information on life much better than FOX NEWS.


Roman Emperor Kind Of Ethics By Dr. Howard J. Resnick

In terms

of ethical philosophy, I think the worst kind of ethics is like the decadent Roman emperor who puts his thumb up and you live, thumb down and you die. In other words, you have no rights. If the tyrant decides to give you a right, you have one, otherwise not. In America, we have this type of approach towards animal rights. The animals in general have no rights, but if we find an animal cute as a pet, then we give the animal rights. There are certain animals that in modern, urban civilization don’t make cute pets, like pigs and cows. They have no rights in our society because they have not attracted our affections. It is as if we are saying that rights are not connected to the consciousness of the creature or the creature itself, but it is more like in the case of the Roman emperor, where if we like them, they live, and if not, they die. We have not recognized the intrinsic rights of the creatures. People in ancient India came up with a much more rational philosophical doctrine, which holds that creatures themselves actually have intrinsic rights because every life is sacred. �

Freakin' humans are so audacious they think they have the right to manipulate the rest of it.

the creation rather than think themselves just a part of

They maintain the same attitude towards the environment. Most humans dont’ care about the environment, and those that do, care only because trashing it hurts them. There is nothing sacred to those twolegged animals.




THE NECESSITIES OF LIFE THE SYSTEM: What is the need of an artificial luxurious life of cinema, cars, radio, flesh and hotels? Has this civilization produced anything but quarreling individually and nationally? Has this civilization enhanced the cause of equality and fraternity by sending thousands of people into hellish factories and the warfields at the whims of a particular person? =================================================================

By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada



of the “necessities of life� in factories and workshops, excessively prominent in the Age of Kali, or in the age of the machine, is the summit stage of the quality of darkness. Such manufacturing enter-


prises by human society are in the mode of darkness because factually there is no necessity for the commodities manufactured. Human society primarily requires food for subsistence, shelter for sleeping, defense for protection, and commodities for satisfaction of the senses. The senses

His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada are the practical signs of life. Human civilization is meant for purifying the senses, and objects of sense satisfaction

should be supplied as much as absolutely required, but not for aggravating artificial sensory needs. Food, shelter, defense

COVER STORY and sense gratification are all needs in ma­terial existence. Otherwise, in the pure, uncontaminated state of original life, the living entity has no such needs. They are therefore artificial. As such, increasing these artificial needs, as is the standard of material civilization, or advancing the economic development of human society, is a sort of engagement in darkness, without knowledge. By such engagement, human energy is spoiled, because human energy is primarily meant for purifying the senses in order to engage them in satisfying the senses of the Supreme. The Supreme, being the supreme possessor of spiritual senses, is the master of the senses, Hrsikesa. Hrsika means the senses, and isa means the master. The Supreme is not the servant of the senses, or, in other words, He is not directed by the dictation of the senses, but the conditioned souls, or the individual living entities in this material realm, are servants of their senses. They are conducted by the dictation of their senses, and therefore material civilization is a kind of engagement in sense gratification only. The standard of human civilization should be to cure the disease of sense gratification, and one can do this simply by becoming an agent for satisfying the spiritual senses of the Supreme. The senses are never to be stopped in their engagements, but one should purify them by engaging them in the pure service of sense gratification of the master of the senses.


Economic production in America has no comparison in the world, yet still people are dissatisfied. The youth is confused. It is nonsensical to think that simply by increasing production every­one will become satisfied. No one will be satisfied. Humans are not meant simply for eating. We have mental necessities, intellectual necessities, spiritual necessities. In India many people sit alone silently in the jungle and practice yoga. They do not require anything. How will increased production satisfy them? If someone were to say to them, “If you give up this yoga practice, I will give you two hundred bags of rice,” they would laugh at the proposal. It is animalistic to think that simply by increasing production everyone will become satisfied. Real happiness does not depend on either production or starvation, but upon peace of mind. For example, if a child is crying but the

The gigantic industrial enterprises are products of a godless civilization, and they cause the destruction of the noble aims of human life. The more we go on increasing such troublesome industries to squeeze out the vital energy of the human being, the more there will be unrest and dissatisfaction of the people in general, although a few can live lavishly by exploitation. mother does not know why, the child will not stop simply by giving it some milk. Sometimes this actually happens: the mother cannot understand why her child is crying, and though she is giving it her breast, it continues to cry. Similarly, dissatisfaction in human society is not caused solely by low economic production. That is nonsense. There are many causes of dissatisfaction. The practical example is America, where there is sufficient production of everything yet the youth are dissatisfied, confused. No, simply by in-

creasing economic production people will not become satisfied. Marx’s knowledge is insufficient. Perhaps because he came from a country where people were in scarcity, he had that idea.

People do not know that real happiness comes from spiritual understanding. That understanding is given in the Bhagavad-gita: Krishna is Supreme, the ultimate proprietor. We are not actually independent enjoyers because we are part of the Supreme. For example, in our body the stomach is the enjoyer and all other parts of the body are assistants. So this sys-

tem is natural: there must always be someone who is the enjoyer and someone who is the worker. This principle is present in the capitalist system also. In Russia there is always conflict between the managers and the workers. The workers say, “If this is a classless society, why is that man sitting comfortably and ordering us to work?” The Russians have not been able to avoid this dilemma, and it cannot be avoided. There must be one class of people who are the directors and another class of people who are the workers. Therefore the only way to have a truly classless society is to find that method by which both(!) the managers and the workers will feel equal happiness. For example, if the stomach is hungry and the eyes see some food, immediately the brain will say, “O legs, please go there!” and “Hand, pick it up,” and “Now please put it into the mouth.” Immediately the food goes into the stomach, and as soon as the stomach is satisfied, the eyes are satisfied, the legs are satisfied, and the hand is satisfied.

While the communist says, “Nothing is mine,” he thinks everything belongs to the state. The state, however, is simply an extended “mine.” For example, if I am the head of a family, I might say, “I do not want anything for myself, but I want many things for my children.” Mahatma Gandhi, who sacrificed so much to drive the English out of India, was at the same time thinking, “I am a very good man; I am doing national work.” Therefore, this so-called nationalism or so-called communism is simply extended selfishness. The quality remains the same. The real change occurs when we say, “Nothing ultimately belongs to me; everything belongs to the Supreme, and therefore I should use everything in His service.” That is factual abolition of private property. Unless one understands these bare facts, it is not possible to achieve peace in the world, either individually or collectively. One can attain perfect peace only in complete spiritual consciousness. �





CHANT FOR CHANGE By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada


transcendental vibration of chanting “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare” is the sublime method of reviving our spiritual consciousness. As living spiritual souls we are all originally Krishna conscious entities, but due to our association with matter since time immemorial, our consciousness is now polluted by the material atmosphere. In this polluted concept of life, we are trying to exploit the resources of material nature, but actually we are becoming more and more entangled in her complexities. This illusion is called maya - or hard struggle for existence for winning over the stringent laws of material nature.

This illusory struggle against material nature can at once be stopped by the revival of our Krishna consciousness. Krishna consciousness is not an artificial imposition on the mind. It is the original energy of the living entity. When we hear the transcendental vibration, this consciousness is revived.

By practical experience, also, we can perceive that by chanting this great mantra one can at once feel transcendental ecstasy from the spiritual stratum.

This chanting of Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare is directly enacted from the spiritual platform, surpassing all lower stages of consciousness, namely sensual, mental, and intellectual. It is not imperative to understand the language of the mantra, nor is there any need of mental speculation, nor any intellectual adjustment for chant-

ing this mantra. It springs automatically from the spiritual platform, and as such anyone can take part in this transcendental sound vibration without any previous qualification and feel the ecstasy. We have seen it practically-even a child can take part in the chanting.

The material energy, known as maya, is one of God’s multipotencies. The living entities are described as an energy that is superior to matter. When the superior energy is in contact with inferior energy, it becomes an incompatible situation. But when the marginal potency is in contact with the supreme spiritual potency, Hara, it becomes the happy, normal condition of the living entity. The three words, namely Hare, Krishna, and Rama, are the transcendental seeds of the mantra, and the chanting is a spiritual call for Krishna and His internal energy, Hara, for giving protection to the conditioned soul. The chanting is exactly like genuine crying by the child for it’s mother. Mother Hara helps in achieving the grace of the supreme father Hari, or Krishna who reveals Himself to such a sincere devotee. �

HOW TO -maha means “great” -mantra means “sound that frees the mind from ignorance”


can chant the mantra anywhere and at any time, but it is best to set a specific time of the day to regularly chant. Early morning hours are ideal.

The chanting can be done in two ways: singing the mantra, called kirtana (usually done in a group), and saying or reciting the mantra to oneself, called japa (which literally means “to speak softly”). Concentrate on hearing the sound of the mantra. As you chant, pronounce the mantra clearly and distinctly, in a prayerful mood. When your mind wanders, bring it back to the transcendental sound. It is good to chant on japa beads. This not only helps you fix your attention on the mantra, but it also helps you

count the number of times you chant the mantra daily. Each strand of japa beads contains 108 small beads and one large bead, the head bead. Begin on a bead next to the head bead and gently roll it between the thumb and middle finger of your right hand as you chant the complete mantra. Then move to the next bead and repeat the process. In this way, chant on each of the 108 beads until you reach the head bead again. This is one round of japa. Then, without chanting on the head bead, reverse the beads and start your second round on the last bead you chanted on. Initiated practitioners chant at least sixteen rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra daily. But even if you can chant only one round a day, a good principle is that once you commit yourself to chanting that round, try to complete it every day. When you feel you can chant more, then increase the minimum number of rounds you chant each day - but try not to fall below that number. You can chant more than your fixed number, but do your best to maintain a set minimum each day. The japa beads are considered sacred and it is therefore recommended to keep them in a clean place. To keep your beads clean, it’s best to carry them in a special bead bag. (available from the temple shop) �



What The Heck Is Wrong With Materialism?


By Mahat Tattva Dasa


It is quite

natural, it is actually innate, that conscious beings will endeavor for their own well-being and self-interest. But what is one’s actual self-interest? Not all individuals will give an identical definition of the term “self-interest”. Rather, one’s concept of identity, or how one sees the nature of the self, will determine or define for a person where his or her self-interest lies.

If one thinks oneself a physical product, a material creation, then the concomitant consciousness, the concomitant psychological state of that individual, will dictate that one’s ultimate self-interest lies in acquisition of matter.


That means that one who considers oneself and others to be physical bodies will think that the highest private and public value is acquisition of matter!!! If material acquisition is placed first on the list of one’s priorities, then everything else will become secondary and lower-placed. Ideas like moral values, reformation of character, and basic good will become secondary and lower-placed. What is wrong with that?

An individual with such existential values will, when the time comes to give preference to one over the other, give preference to acquisition of matter over a good moral action. For such a person, justice is not a universal fact but rather a human creation, or some sort of artificial social agreement. So if such a person can increase his/her material possessions by hurting another person, that person will do it as long as he/she can avoid the social repercussions that would be meted out in different forms of punishment.


Let me give you a few examples that should illustrate this grave mes-

A simple Internet search will reveal to you numerous carefully documented cases of pharmaceutical companies that were selling their products, namely drugs, even though they very well knew of the horrible side effects their drugs would have on their customers. Many antidepressants and contraceptive drugs have had such a history. Despite the companies’ knowledge of the harm their drugs would inflict upon the drugs’ consumers, they sold them regardless, due to the fact that deep down in their psyche they believed that their ultimate benefit lies in acquisition of matter. The companies calculated that after paying all the court cases and penalties, they would still make a profit, so they decided to go forth with marketing their monstrous products. These kinds of actions spring directly, not indirectly, from people’s identification with matter rather than spirit. During the Second World War, Nazis were

READER killing European Jews at an ever-accelerating rate, and had therefore needed a comprehensive system that would help them organize and keep track of this systematic slaughter of the Jewish population. Companies bid for the job. The one that offered the best service for a modest amount was IBM, an American company. Yes, IBM, the American company that makes computers, made this offer. IBM subsequently sent their specialists to Nazi Europe to observe first-hand the process of systematic, wholesale murder of humans, and then came up with a satisfying system for keeping track of this human slaughter. Throughout the existence of Nazi Germany, American IBM workers continued to regularly complete on-site inspections and maintenance of their equipment, which was used for probably one of the darkest human endeavors ever on this planet. After the war, IBM wanted Germany, which was at that time not the same Nazi Germany but rather a new country, to pay off the remaining bills for their expert service. This is yet another dark example of the direct result of a consciousness that has identified itself with matter rather than spirit. I could give many more examples, but let’s keep this article rela-

said, “It would be a good idea.” In other words, he did not consider it yet civilized.

The world needs to become spiritually educated, more than ever, and I hope this article makes for such a contribution. �

What is my true self-interest?

tively short and to the point. For those of you who are interested to research this topic further, I would recommend that you watch “The Corporation,” a documentary by Mark Achbar, as well as look up “Eugenics” on an Internet search.

The problem with the modern world is that it is teaching, in an organized fashion—or you could say “brainwashing”— generations of youth that the identity of the self is physical, material, not spiritual. This conclusion springs forth from the modern methods of learning about the world, namely chemistry, biology, and physics. How are we then to expect this world to be a peaceful place? People identify themselves with matter and thus act in ways meant to satisfy themselves as material beings, rather than seeing themselves as spiritual beings, trying to act in ways that will bring about spiritual peace for all living beings. Just look at people’s psychology, for example. People have decided to be environmentally conscious and “green,” not because they believe nature is intrinsically sacred but rather because trashing the environment is physically hurting us. Arrrrrrghhhhhh!!! How many wrongs are in this picture! If people would identify themselves as spiritual beings who have physical bodies and would learn to see all creation as coming from a divine origin, we could finally become civilized. When asked what he thought of the Western civilization, Mahatma Gandhi


CULTURE The story of an unwitting dupe thrust into a new environment where he meets a cute girl, gets the cute girl, loses the cute girl, comes back with a bigger phallic symbol, (car, jet, dragon…) and gets the girl back, hardly qualifies for the dramatic and spiritual depth that constitutes the hero’s journey (which, by the way, is not even that great of mythic story arc to begin with.)

movie review


the descent of the b a d f i l m m a ke r ===============================

By Atmananda Dasa



spiritual  strength of  stories  is in their ability to touch the soul. If we capitulate to poor storytelling, we become the cheated instead of the uplifted. Stories matter because they connect us, enliven us, and are means of transmitting important information about who we are. Art and spirituality share an important  partnership  in the telling of stories and their ability to touch and even awaken the soul. But this ability to use a story to hint at the inexpressible mystery of life does not come easily. This is why great directors are known to say, “It’s not the story; it’s how you tell it.”  This of course assumes that you are starting with an


actual story worth telling — a story that has in it the types of personalities that we can connect with and care about. As well as cir- Atmananda Dasa cumstances that, no matter how fantastic, provide display of hour after hour of digital fireus with meaningful struggles that, when works. Like most fireworks displays, after overcome, teach us about ourselves. ten or fifteen minutes of oohs and ahhhs, Avatar, sadly, has none of these quali- it becomes quite boring.

end 3D-CGI. This total lack of story should prompt outrage. It is important for members of society to raise the standard for our art and culture. We need stories, good ones. We should not settle for the threadbare recycling of mediocre stories, as Avatar is of the Disney movie Pocahontas (see the graphic for the plot summary of Avatar and a funny comparison.) The story of Avatar — the space-age Pocahontas — is a weak and sentimental approach to the condescending notion of the noble savage. People are not necessarily noble or dharmic just because they reside in nature. Virtue or dharma is a quality found in varying quadrants of life. The tendency to look at a setting like the film’s mystically beautiful Pandora and compare it to earth and lament the difference is a form of sentimentalism. In the Vedic model of reality, majestically opulent planets exist in the universe, but even they pale next to the realm of pure  consciousness, the spiritual goal of a yogi.

ties. It is an arguably insane use of huAvatar is a two-dimensional and utman and material resources, to satisfy terly un-profound movie shot in highthe technological whims of an effete filmmaker. It is hundreds of millions of The tendency to look at a setting like the film’s dollars of cinematic geekdom with no redeeming spiritual or artistic value. Avatar mystically beautiful Pandora and compare it to is the ironic equivalent of a four-hundred-­ earth and lament the difference is a form of senmillion dollar PSA by the Sierra Club. (So you cannot excuse this film by saying it timentalism. In the Vedic model of reality, majesengenders discussion on the environtically  opulent planets exist in the universe, but ment — that could have been  accomplished  with one percent of the budget even they pale next to the realm of pure consciousin a Superbowl ad.)  It is a mind-numbing

ness, the spiritual goal of a yogi.

CULTURE For a filmmaker to copy the story arc of another film is not always bad. It happens all the time. What is bitterly  disappointing  is to hear that after someone has worked on a movie for over ten years the best he could come up with was a script that just rehashes someone else’s insipid and poorly thought-out script. And trying to call the story in Avatar “the hero’s journey” is a poor characterization. The story of an unwitting dupe thrust into a new environment where he meets a cute girl, gets the cute girl, loses the cute girl, comes back with a bigger phallic symbol, (car, jet, dragon . . .) and gets the girl back hardly qualifies as a saga with the dramatic and spiritual depth that constitutes the hallmark of the hero’s journey (which, by the way, is not even that great a mythic story arc to begin with.) Avatar’s two-dimensional  characters  and implausible plot remind one of the skimpiest comic book stories.   (The guy who played the big mean army colonel looked and acted like a cardboard cutout.) It was as if Cameron and crew purposely decided that all that mattered were the visual effects and that the story was of no particular importance. But technology is supposed to serve the story and not the other way around.

Avatar should be seen as an insult to the film viewer, who is expected to shell out hardearned money to watch what amounts to an auto­erotic technofest. Viewers who waste their money on this film have a right to feel duped. Sadly, the hyped-up Hollywood fan-boy awards system has already begun to give statuette accolades to this bit of techno-treacle. But that does not make it a good or important movie. It just means we are once again settling for mediocrity. Rating: Looks 8, Dance 2

Synopsis: This film is all form and no content. See it if you are a geeky fanboy with a World of Warcraft screen-saver and nothing better to do than waste your mom’s money. �



“smokin’ & tasty dub, made with a dry rub of Spanish spices...Refreshing dub licks melt into rich harmonics that ping softly into sweetly picked melodies” -Hypnagogue “keeps you on the edge of your seat...contains unexpected elements that make the listener question his or her perception...Way Cool! -Phosphorescence Magazine Take comfort in “The Certainty Of Being Found,” visit:



Spiritual Association Krishna temples Resource Guide to visit in the USA CANADA Alberta, Calgary -313 Fourth St. N.E., T2E 3s3/ (403) 265-3302/ Alberta, Edmonton - 9353 35th Ave. NW, T6E 5R5/ (780) 4399999/ B.C. Vancouver - 5462 S.E Marine Dr., Burnaby V5J 3G8/ (604 433-9728/ Govinda’s Book store & Café: (604) 433-7100 or (888) 433-8722/ Ontario, Brampton-Mississauga, - Unit 20, 1030 Kamata Dr., L4w 4B6/ (416) 840-6587 OR (905) 826-1290/ Ontario, Ottawa - 212 Somerset St. E., K1N 6V4 (613) 565-6544 Ontario. Toronto -243 Avenue Rd., M5R 2J6/ (416) 922-5415/ Quebac, Montreal - 1626 Pie Ix Blvd., H1V 2C5/ (514) 521-1301/ Saskatchewan Regina, 1279 Retallack St., S4T 2H8/ (306)5250002 or -6461/ B.C . Ashcroft - Saranagati Dhama, Venables Valley (mail: P.O Box 99, V0K 1A00 / (250) 457-7438 / USA AZ, Phoenix - 100 S. Weber Dr., Chandler, 85226/ (480) 7054900/ AZ, Tucson (Govinda’s Gardens) - 711 E. Blacklidge Dr., 85719/ (520) 250.0299/ CA, Berkeley - 2334 Stuart St., 94705/ (510) 649-8619/ CA, Laguna Beach -285 Legion St., 92651/ (949) 494-7029/ CA, Los Angeles - 3764 Watseka Ave., 90034/ (310) 836-2676/ CA, Sandiego (Krishna Fest, Krishna Lounge)- 1030 Grand Ave., Pacific Beach, 92109/ (858) 483-2500/;; CA, San Jose – 951 S. Bascom Ave., 95128/ (408) 293 4959/ CO, Denver - 1400 Cherry St., 80220/ (303) 333-5461/ CO, Boulder (Krishna House) - 1482 Greenbriar Blvd., 80305/ (303) 594-1878/ CT, Hartford - 1683 Main St., E. Hartford, 06108/ (860) 2897252/ FL, Gainesville (Krishna House) - 214 NW 14th St. 32603/ (325) 336-4183/; FL, Miami - 3220 Virginia St., 33133/ 3109 Grand Ave., #491 , Coconut Grove, 33133)/ FL, Orlando - 2651 Rouse Rd., 32817/ (407) 257-3865/ FL, St. Augustine - 3001 First St., 32804/ (904) 819-0221/ FL, Tallahassee - 1323 Nylic St., 32304/ (805) 224-3803/ GA, Atlanta - 1287 South Ponce de Leon Ave., N.E., 30306/ (404) 377-8680/ HI, Hawaii -51 Coelho Way, 96817/ (808) 595-4913/ ID, Boise - 1615 Martha St., 83706/ (208) 344-4274/ IL, Chicago - 1716 W. Lunt Ave., 60626/ (773) 973-0900/ LA, New Orleans - 2936 Esplanade Ave., 70119/ (504) 304-0032 (office) or (504) 638-(temple)/ MA, Boston - 72 Commonwealth Ave., 02116/ (617) 247-8611/ MD, Baltimore - 200 Bloomsbury Ave., Catonsville, 21228/ (410) 719-1776/ MD, Catonsville - 200 Bloomsbury Ave., 21228/, MI, Detroit - 383 Lenox Ave., 48215/ (313) 824-6000/ MO, Kansas City - Rupanuga Vedic College (Men’s Seminary), 5201 The Paseo, 64110/ (800) 340-5286 or (816)924-5619/ MO, St. Louis - 3926 Lindell Blvd., 63108/ (314) 535-8085 or 534-1708/ NJ, Towaco – 100 Jacksonville Rd., P.O. Box 109, 07082/ (973) 299-0970/ NV, Las Vegas - Govinda’s Center of Vedic India, 6380 S. Eastern Ave., Suite 8, 89120/ (702) 434-8332/ NY, New York - 305 Schermerhorn St Brooklyn, 11217/ (718) 855-6714/ NY, New York - 26 second Ave., 10003/ (212) 253-6182/ OH, Columbus - 379 W. Eighth Ave., 43201/ (614) 421-1661/ OR, Portland - 3766 SE Division. 97202/ (503) 236-6734; PA, Philadelphia - 41 West Allens Ln., 19119/ (215) 247- 4600/ PA, Philadelphia - 1408 South St., 19146/ (215) 985-9303/ TX, Dallas - 5430 Gurley Ave., 75223/ (214) 827-6330/ restaurant: TX, Houston - 1320 W. 34TH St., 77018/ (713) 686-4482/ UT, Spanish Fork - Krishna temple project & KHQN Radio, 8628 S. State Rd., 84660/ (810) 798-9121/ WA, D.C. – 10310 Oaklyn Dr., Potomac, Maryland 20854/ (301)299-2100/ WA, Seattle - 1420 228th Ave S.E., Sammamish, 98075 (425) 246-8436/ WV, Moundsville (New Vrindavan) - R.D. No.1, Box 319, Hare Krishna Ridge, 26041/ (304) 843-1600, (304) 845-5905, (304) 845-9591/,, RURAL COMMUNITIES FL, Alachua (New Raman Reti) - 17306 N.W. 112th Blvd., 32615 (mail: P.O. Box 819,32616)/ (386) 462-2017/ MS, Carriere (New Talavan) - 31492 Anner Rd., 39426/ (601)749- 9460 or 799-1354/ NC, Sandy Ridge - Prabhupada Village, 1283 Prabupada Rd., 27046/ (336)- 9888/ NC, Hillsborough (New Goloka) - 1032 Dimmocks Mill Rd., 27278/ (919) 732-6493/ PA, Port Royal (Gita Nagari) - 534 Gita Nagari Rd., 17082/ (717) 527-4101/ WV, Moundsville, (New Vrindaban) - R.D. No. 1, Box 319, Hare Krishna Ridge, 26041/ (304)845-5905/ TN, Mulberry (Murari-sevaka) – 532 Murari Ln., 37359 (mail: P.O. Box 108, Lynchburg, TN 37352)/ (931) 227-6156/



Say No To Uncle Sam ================================

By Mauricio Flores

================================ Warning!

Do not fall victim, do not fall for their schemes! They hiss:

“Give us your mind then give us your soul.”

Do not believe the hearsay, do not believe their spit.

They want to make you an avatar of death to sell as a hero.

Their war needs servants to tend to murder.

THE PRISONER OF DESIRE Prisoners are shackled by iron chains and balls. Living entities implicated in materialism are shackled by unlimited desires. ===============================

Art by Kathleen Adams


Thank you

to Kathleen for the artwork. I, Mahat, found the following very appropriate, complimentary to her drawing. It is a short section from the Bhagavad-gita (6.4–10), the most famous Indian spiritual text. A person is said to be elevated in yoga when, having renounced all material desires, he neither acts for sensual gratification nor engages in fruitive activities.

One must deliver oneself with the help of one’s mind, and not degrade oneself.


The mind is the friend of the conditioned soul, and its enemy as well.

For one who has conquered the mind, the mind is the best of friends; but for one who has failed to do so, the mind will remain the greatest enemy. For one who has conquered the mind, the Supersoul is already reached, for he has attained tranquillity. To such a person happiness and distress, heat and cold, honor and dishonor are all the same. A person is said to be established in self-realization and is called a yogi when he is fully satisfied by virtue of acquired knowledge and realization. Such a person is situated in transcendence and is selfcontrolled. He sees everything—wheth-

er it be pebbles, stones or gold—as the same.

A person is considered still further advanced when he regards honest wellwishers, affectionate ben­efactors, the neutral, mediators, the envious, friends and enemies, the good and the bad all with an equal mind. A transcendentalist should always engage his body, mind and self in relationship with the Supreme; he should live in the association of transcendetalists or alone in a secluded place and should always carefully control his mind. He should be free from desires and feelings of possessiveness. �

They want human sacrifice done in the name of their greed.

They are the arsonists putting out fires. They are the most sinful pointing out blame. Their very existence desecrates God. And guess what?




OPEN MIC You Write, We Publish


is certainly best established, recognized, by the process of democratic conversation. There is no reason for you to be a mere witness or a passive reader. Neither do we expect you to accept everything we print. Our goal is not to create a herd of sheep that will blindly follow. We certainly are glad when people agree with us, but only after due deliberation.

We definitely don’t want you to read this publication and walk away without having something positive contributed to your life. Ideally, reading “16Rounds to Samadhi” is a life-changing experience. To get there, your help and participation is needed. We believe that by the process of democratic conversation, we are more likely to be objective and thus truly productive. So, if you have any wisdom to share, please share it with the world. If you consider any of the content published in this paper to be untrue or not precisely true, and you are able to offer a better alternative, go for it — let us know. Your wisdom, comments, questions, feedback — they’re all welcome.

Note, however, that blind doubters are equally as unwel-

come as blind believers. So turn on and tune in. Go to: and write to us. You write, we publish.

We certainly reserve the right to not publish just anything. Disrespectful and mindless material will be discarded.

In case we receive more material than we can publish, we will select what we consider will most benefit the readers. The rest of your submitted material will be published on our website, Hitopadesh, a book of Vedic wisdom, teaches that knowledge is the greatest wealth. It is the greatest wealth because it cannot be taken away. It is never burdensome to carry, and it causes no anxiety. Rather, it alleviates one’s anxiety. With the loss of one’s physical body at death, everything is lost except wisdom. In numerous other ways we can lose everything, but knowledge, wisdom, stays. Worldly riches diminish when distributed, but wisdom increases when shared with others. Again, your comments, questions, feedback, and wisdom are all welcome. �



16 Rounds to Samadhi | Issue #4  

An independent publication

16 Rounds to Samadhi | Issue #4  

An independent publication