February 2013 Dedicated to His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Founder-Acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness
This is the mission of the Krishna consciousness movement. Caitanyabhagavata confirms this as follows: One should not desire to be elevated even to a place in the heavenly planetary systems if it has no propaganda to expand the glories of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, no trace of Vaishnavas, pure devotees of the Lord, and no festivals for spreading Krishna consciousness Srimad Bhagavatam: 5.19.24
During the Winter Book Distribution Marathon there was the distribution of Srila Prabhupada’s books across the country – from Exeter to Enfield and from Wigan to Winchester. There was even a team from the Manor distributing books across Ireland. Many devotees went out on the Saturday Weekend Warrior expeditions and some went out door-to-door. For the pleasure of
Srila Prabhupada, 285 community members took part and 32,655 books were distributed. We are delighted to report that Manor resident Ananda Caitanya das reached the highest score in the whole of the UK, by distributing no less than 2913 books! Other great news is that the Manor’s overall score was the third highest in the world outside of India!
Turn to page 5 to join the celebrations
Bhaktivedanta Manor Newsletter
Prashant Joshi feeds 1,000 in Hong Kong Recently Prashant Joshi, a Financial Services Advisory at Ernst & Young, has been living and working in Hong Kong. Taking inspiration from Seva Day in the UK, Prashant organised a huge food relief project in the region. Volunteers from Food For Life Hong Kong distributed over 1,000 meals to the underprivileged, primarily the elderly. Sponsorship for the project was provided by Deutsche Bank and the event was branded as a success by many in the City in Hong Kong. You can visit Prashant's blog at: leadershipindevotion.blogspot.hk
Public Transport Aspirations Svayamjyoti Krishnadas and Alpesh Patel are working with Mike Freer MP and other local MPs to explore ways of improving public transport to and from Bhaktivedanta Manor.
Peterborough’s new sanga group
Indulekha Fawcett, representing Bhaktivedanta Manor read a statement at this year’s Holocaust Memorial Service in Hertsmere Borough Council’s main Chamber: "It's important that we celebrate our differences, while
A new sanga group has started in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, and is growing popular. The group started with eight devotees and now it has increased to 15- 20 weekly. For more info contact Gandhariddasi: firstname.lastname@example.org
7000 Hyacinths Every year 7000 hyacinths are planted on the Manor grounds and all of these beautiful flowers are used by the Temple. Community youth assist the gardens department with this huge endeavour . Page 2
thinking of communities less fortunate than our own..." Holocaust Memorial Day remembers victims of genocide and promotes unity and tolerance in today’s multicultural society.
Bhaktivedanta Manor Newsletter
Krishna Club Sankirtan
Bhagavad-gita Maha Yajna An annual highlight in the Manor’s winter calendar is Gita Jayanti, a celebration and study of the teachings of the Bhagavad-gita. Over a 6 hour period, a huge congregation recited all 700 verses. The commentaries were given by Bhakti Rasamrita Swami and Gauri das
recited the verses. An impressive 2500 Bhagavad Gitas were sponsored. The new smaller, printed version makes them ideal to be placed in hostels, hotels, hospitals, prisons and schools.
Holy Name Weekend The Holy Name weekend on 2nd and 3rd January, which included Sivarama Maharaj and Madhava das, sang their hearts out and warmed up the Manor devotee community on a winter’s weekend.
One wintry day 35 children, parents and teachers from Krishna Club braved the streets of London to join an initiative led by Sacinandana Karuna das to distribute Srila Prabhupada’s books. They teamed up with devotees from ISKCON London and also sang Kirtan and distributed prasad. Despite the cold weather, the children warmed the hearts of passersby with their sheer enthusiasm to impart the spiritual message to others. Temple President of ISKCON Soho, Jai Nitai das, was deeply touched by the spirit shown and commented that adults can learn so much from the young generations.
Krishna Club had their own Bhagavad Gita Yajna which was conducted by Kripamoya das, who encouraged the children and parents to recite the 9th Chapter. It was a wonderful experience for all and the organisers have promised it will be bigger and better next time.
Srila Prabhupada's Garden Renovation As a 40th Anniversary project, work to restore and improve Srila Prabhupada's garden has begun. The paving stones are being levelled and the lawn will be levelled and re-laid. The annual bedding areas will be aligned symmetrically and then the Manor grounds team will plant a lovely flower garden.
HARE KRISHNA HARE KRISHNA, KRISHNA KRISHNA HARE HARE, HARE RAMA HARE RAMA, RAMA RAMA HARE HARE
Bhaktivedanta Manor Newsletter
Course line-up from the College of Vedic 40th Anniversary Seminar by Studies (CVS) Garuda Das
Entering 2013 there are more courses than ever at the Manor. The aim of CVS is to inspire and enable people to learn more about the philosophy and practice of Krishna consciousness. More information about these courses can be found on the Manor website, but some of the most exciting new courses include:
Explore and Gita Life Introductory module and a precursor to Bhakti Sastri
Bhakti-sastri A study of the Bhagavad-gita and other important texts
Bhakti Vaibhava For those who have completed Bhakti Sastri, this is a study of Cantos 1 through Canto 6 of the Srimad Bhagavatam, accredited by the Mayapur Institute. One of the courses starting in April this year is “Improving our sadhu-sanga” which studies scripture and purports within the context of group discussion. For more info: email@example.com
The College of Vedic studies were delighted to host Professor Graham M Schweig, otherwise known as Garuda das, for a series of talks at both the Manor and Soho Street Temple. The main seminar was a presentation of the posthumous publication of the late Tamal Krishna Goswami’s doctorate thesis: A Living Theology of Krishna Bhakti. The talks were presented with humour and intellectual rigor. ‘The book is of tremendous theological importance to both the ISKCON and academic community. Garuda das presented a very dense study in the most enjoyable and palpable way" commented Ananda Caitanya das head of the college.
School Governors’ Training Leading representatives of Avanti Trust, Goloka Education, Bhaktivedanta College (Radhadesh, Belgium), Bhaktivedanta Manor, ISKCON Ministry of Educational Development met at the Krishna Avanti School in Harrow and the Manor with the purpose of discussing how to create synergy among their respective educational initiatives. The meetings were rewarding in many respects. Bhaktivedanta College and Avanti Trust, for example, discussed to expand their partnership by committing to offer higher education courses in the UK with the aim of qualifying Page 4
teachers. Goloka Education agreed to provide educational resources to the Avanti schools, according to the schools’ curriculum needs. Other areas of cooperation that were discussed include placement of Bhaktivedanta College graduates, a vision for future cooperation and educational development, and how to better serve the educational needs of the ISKCON community worldwide, with special focus on the younger generation, as well as how to make the UK a centre of excellence for education.
Members of the newly formed Governing Body of the Manor School joined Governors of the Avanti Trust from across England for a 4 day training session at the Krishna Avanti School in Leicester.
Bhaktivedanta Manor Newsletter
The late Beatle George Harrison, who was deeply impressed by Srila Prabhupada, was concerned that the ISKCON temple in Bury Place near the British Museum was overcrowded. With overwhelming generosity he offered to donate a much larger property ‘somewhere in the countryside but within easy travelling distance from London’. From May 1972 he worked with the devotees to find somewhere suitable. In January 1973 Dhananjaya das saw that the Manor estate was up for sale and told George he had found exactly what he was looking for. George gave the go ahead and that day a hugely significant event occurred in ISKCON’s history. After the exchange of contracts, 25 enthusiastic devotees moved in and renamed the estate Bhaktivedanta Manor. Almost immediately they turned their attention to the task of preparing to install the deities of Sri Sri Radha Gokulananda in time for Janmashtami. And so, on Janmashtami, August 21st 1973 in front of devotees from across Europe, Hindu leaders, pop stars and local VIPs, Srila Prabhupada personally installed Sri Sri Radha Gokulananda at Bhaktivedanta Manor. A great Temple was established, with a devotional legacy now spanning 40 years. Before we embark on a momentous year of celebrations to mark these 40 years we would like to say that we are honoured and humbled by all the wonderful service that so many devotees have given. ‘40 years of devotion’ at Bhaktivedanta Manor will begin with a grand Adi Vaas Puja on Sunday 24th March this year – on this day we will be celebrating Gaura Purnima and Holi at our first public festival of the year. It’s certainly going to be a year to look forward to-- so stay tuned in! Page 5
Bhaktivedanta Manor Newsletter
His Grace Jiva Pati das
A Life of Dedication
27th December 1944 - 8th February 2013
On Friday February 8th at 10:22am, His Grace Jiva Pati prabhu peacefully departed from this world after a life dedicated to the service of his beloved Lordships Sri Sri Radha Gokulananda, Sri Sri Sita Ram Laksman Hanuman, Sri Sri Gaur Nitai and Srila Prabhupada. He was surrounded by devotees. For the last two months of his life Jiva Pati prabhu had a persistent chest infection and was under the care of two doctors. On being admitted to Watford Hospital he was diagnosed as having septicaemia. This eventually led to kidney failure and he was placed on dialysis. Liver complications led to further organ failure and he was placed on a ventilator. On Thursday 7th February the doctors were still hopeful of his recovery, but the next day they told the devotees that his time was short. Jiva Pati prabhu was born as John Boehnen in 1944, Milwaukee, USA and became an initiated disciple of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada in January 1977. After serving in the Chicago temple, he moved to Bhaktivedanta Manor in 1979 and was immediately engaged in serving Sri Sri Radha Gokulananda. It was a service that he would engage in diligently and faithfully for the rest of his life. For almost thirty-five years, he lovingly served the Deities for eleven hours a day – seven days a week! He would rise at 1:30am, chant his rounds, wake the Deities, offer them Their sweets and the mangala arati. Every evening he would put Their Lordships to rest, usually sleeping later than everyone else. It was a common sight to see him busily engaged in the temple room and altar, performing a variety of tasks to ensure the smooth Page 6
daily running of the Deity worship at Bhaktivedanta Manor. Due to the constant engagement and full absorption in his service, it was not easy to engage him in conversation. He disliked wasting time. Even in between his service, he was reading and hearing, utilizing every moment in a Krishna Conscious way. When he did speak, it was usually for the purpose of service, or to share an interesting thought or realization that was often witty. News of Jiva Pati’s condition and his imminent departure spread not only throughout the entire Manor community but also other parts of the world. His Grace Jananivas prabhu offered a special puja to Lord Nrsinghadeva in Sridham Mayapur and His Holiness Radhanath Swami dedicated his bathing in the Kumba Mela to him. Devotees at the Manor began kirtans in the temple room from the early morning and many of the congregation took time off from their daily duties to join the community in prayer. Jiva Pati’s passing away from this world was just as glorious as the life he lived. Upon departure, his body was decorated with garlands, Tulsi leaves, Nrsinghadeva oil, and other sacred paraphernalia from Their Lordships. Devotees streamed into Watford General Hospital from 7:30am that day and began the chanting of the Holy Name by his bedside all the way up until the final moment. The final rites took place on the
following Sunday. Jiva Pati’s body was brought to the Manor and hundreds of devotees were invited to offer their final respects to Jiva Pati prabhu. At the crematorium, senior devotees recounted his exemplary life, character and service. Gadadhara prabhu, the head pujari at the Manor, calculated that over the years Jiva Pati prabhu had offered a staggering 7000 mangala aratis and 5000 evening arati’s to their Lordships. Jiva Pati prabhu was the very epitome of the quiet, dedicated priest and one of the main reasons behind the high level of altar worship at Bhaktivedanta Manor, which, over the decades, has inspired thousands upon thousands of pilgrims. At 68 years of age, he was the oldest male priest and the longest serving pujari in the Manor’s history. His Holiness Sivarama Swami commented how most people like to depend on Krishna, but Jiva Pati prabhu was the one devotee that Krishna Himself depended upon. Both loved and respected by everyone, his departure will leave an irreplaceable void. Nevertheless, his life of selfless service to the Deities and his spiritual master will serve as a shining example for all generations, for many years to come. His Grace Jiva Pati prabhu ki jaya!
Bhaktivedanta Manor Newsletter
Dipen Po Goodbye to another year
Pandava Sena waves goodbye to yet another great year of service in 2012 by showing gratitude to Srila Prabhupada.
it rekindled the devotee’s love and appreciation for Srila Prabhupada. It was simply a way to thank Him for everything He has given us.’
Ravi Talsania, who organised the Prabhupada Tribute event said: ‘This year we decided to hold a Srila Prabhupada Tribute Festival which broadened the spectrum for ways in which we could appreciate Prabhupada and His glorious pastimes.’ HG Dhananjaya Prabhu gave the opening lecture on ‘Prabhupada’s Humorous side’. Then the traditional Vyasa Puja Book for 2013 which contained just over ninety offerings from the members of the youth was presented. HG Ghanashyama Priya Prabhu and HG Nandagopa Prabhu facillitated a ‘Prabhupada Quiz’ which really got the crowd of 65 young devotees interacting and learning about different aspects
Davina Rana organised this years Christmas Panto! A fun filled evening starring Radha Vinod and Kavichandra as the main actors who were playing secret agents trying to solve a crime!
of His Divine Grace. The winning team were presented with Radha Shyamasundara’s jewellery! HG Kripamoya Prabhu lead a magananmous Guru Puja and kirtan which started in the temple room and travelled around the entire temple, before returning back infront of Prabhupada’s deity! A feast of 7 items was prepared including Prabhupada’s famous Simply Wonderfuls! Ravi concluded that: ‘All in all the festival was a great success and
A hilarious evening of plays and videos, nicely rounded off by a short summary of the year by HG Shruti Dharma prabhu, who kindly
Age: 20 Studying g and in t n u o c c A Finance chool S s s e in s Cass Bu
How did you find out about Psena? I first of all found out about Psena through the Krishna Consciousness Society at City university, at the freshers faryre, this tall guy pulled me over and asked me to sign up. Being from Kenya I had already learnt stories of Krishna but never really you knew the deep meanings behind His wonderful pastimes. So through KC Soc I met many people from Pandavasena and really liked the people.
What did you like about the events?
spoke to the audience after the show. Deenal Patel organised the annual New Years Eve celebrations and hundreds of people came to take Darshan all night long. At midnight the Manor pujaris gathered to welcome the New Year with decorations on the alter of Sri Sri Radha Gokulananda, Sri Sri Sitaram Laxman Hanuman and
I like pretty much everything about the events, specially the devotees and prashad. In Kenya we don’t have such an organised youth group so I don’t have the access to like minded people my age. The devotees are so helpful, even with placements and uni work. Hopefully this year I will be going on the Senagetaway Trip this year! After hearing so much about it, I can’t wait to finally go on one!
What do you do in Psena? Currently, I live at the BACE in London with another 8 boys in Pandavasena and we have regular classes with the Manor bhramcharis who I really like and am grateful to spend time with, and enjoy learning more and more about Krishna Consciousness when the come. I also help in various services in Pandavasena and enjoy cooking for the devotees.
Sri Sri Gauranitai. Kirtans were continuously going on throughout the evening. It was a splendid way to start the year. Page 7
Bhaktivedanta Manor Newsletter
Temple Welcomes Council’s New Planning Framework Hertsmere Borough Council has recognised the special circumstances of Bhaktivedanta Manor by adopting a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) for the site that will guide any future planning applications. It means any future development will happen in a managed and sustainable way that recognises both the special circumstances of the Manor and the needs of the local
community as a whole. “This decision means we can make plans to improve our facilities in a way that is sensitive to our rural setting and the Grade II listed status of the Manor itself,” said Gauri das, “We are grateful to the Council for the work that has gone into this and to the local community who took part in the consultation process.”
Good news flows for River Yamuna Last September’s edition of the Newsletter reported on the Save the Yamuna campaign. That campaign included a variety of organisations and individuals from across the world who petitioned the Indian government to divert the flow of untreated sewage and factory waste away from the holy river.
Bhaktivedanta Academy for Cultural Education The first London Bhaktivedanta Academy for Cultural Education (BACE), a house where full-time students can cultivate Krishna consciousness has opened its doors. The idea came from Manor monks Ananda Caitanya das, Jankinath das and Ghanashyam Priya das, who saw the success such student houses are having in Mumbai and wanted to replicate it in London. The nine resident boys have five floors and the building is installed with both fibre optic internet and Gaura-Nitai deities! Resident Shiv Dattani said "One
of the best things about the house is we can all chant Hare Krishna together before we go out for the day, and when we come back we have a cooked meal waiting for us, lovingly prepared by devotees. “ During His Holiness Bhakti Rasamrita Swami’s visit, he spoke about the importance of cultivating good character, especially given their new-found freedom in living independently from their parents. He subsequently named the house "Govardhan", after Krishna’s sacred hill, encouraging the boys to become rock-solid both spiritually and in their studies.
Bhaktivedanta Manor Dharam Marg · Hilfield Lane Aldenham · Herts (for sat-nav only, please use postcode WD25 8DT) 01923 851000 www.krishnatemple.com Please send your news, photos and comments to: Radha Mohan das firstname.lastname@example.org Page 8
Braj Raj Sharan established the Save the Yamuna booth during last year’s Janmashtami festival at the Manor. Thousands of signatures were collected there, and on his campaign trail he collected over 67,000 signatures altogether. Some progress has been made: the Supreme Court have asked a panel of experts to suggest ways how the government can close all the drains leading into the river. It is the heartfelt involvement of many devotees that Krishna has blessed the campaign and caused this wonderful change of heart of the Supreme Court. Now campaigners are pushing the idea of a parallel canal to the environment experts. February 2013 Sat 23
App of Sri Nityananda Prabhu (fast till noon)
March 2013 Thur 7 Fri 8 Sun 10 Sat 23 Sun 24 Wed 27 Fri 29
Vijaya Ekadasi Disapp of Sri Isvara Puri Maha Shiva Ratri, Mother’s Day Amalaki Vrata Ekadasi Gaura Purnima and Holi (Festival at Bhaktivedanta Manor) Disapp of Sri Madhavendra Puri Gaura Purnima(fast till moonrise) Good Friday
© 2013, All articles & photographs copyright of Bhaktivedanta Manor