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C O N T E N T S Founded 1944. Vol. 8 No. 10 October 2011

Features

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ÇRÉLA PRABHUPÄDA ON

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COVER STORY

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LESSONS FROM THE R OAD

THE OCEAN OF MERCY AND COMPASSION

THE RISING MOON OF MÄYÄPUR

ENLIGHTENMENT, NOT IGNORANCE, IS BLISS

By appreciating Kåñëa’s mercy, one can easily transcend all miseries and problems of this world.

The upcoming Temple of the Vedic Planetarium

What is ignorance? What is knowledge? What is misery? What is bliss?

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HARE KÅÑËA PEOPLE

DO YOU STILL BELIEVE IN GOD?

The need to introduce spiritual curriculum for children.

A devotee responds to a friend’s query about the effect of a serious accident on his belief.

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VEDIC THOUGHTS

OUR

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How will you react if you catch someone accepting a bribe??

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POETRY

ORDS

VAIÑËAVA CALENDAR

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KÄRTIKA A month filled with gratitude, love, and devotion.

THE SPIRITUAL SCIENTIST

TEACHING KÅÑËA’S KIDS

Departments I Y 2 L O W

FESTIVALS

The sun is taking away our duration of life every minute, every hour, every day. But if we engage ourselves in the topics of Uttamaçloka [Kåñëa], that time he cannot take away. It becomes your asset. —Çréla Prabhupäda

His Divine Grace

PHOTOSCOPE

CENTERS IN INDIA

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Mäyä and the Spider’s Web

EVERY TOWN AND VILLAGE

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EDITORIAL

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A Letter to Steve Jobs

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• To help all people discern reality from illusion, spirit from matter, the eternal from the temporary. • To expose the faults of materialism. • To offer guidance in the Vedic techniques of spiritual life. • To preserve and spread the Vedic culture. • To celebrate the chanting of the holy names of God as taught by Lord Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu • To help every living being remember and serve Çré Kåñëa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

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LETTERS

BACK TO GODHEAD

Aspiring Tree Huggers The first three letters were written to Yugävatära Däsa, author of “Just to Embrace a Tree.”

The Magazine of the Hare Krishna Movement FOUNDER (under the direction of His Divine Grace Çré Çrémad Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvaté Prabhupäda) His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupäda BTG INDIA: EDITOR Çyämänanda Däsa • ASSISTANTS Muräri Gupta Däsa, Nanda Duläl Däsa, Mukunda Mälä Däsa • EDITORIAL CONSULTANT Caitanya Caraëa Däsa • PROOFREADERS Täriëé Rädhä Devé Däsé, Kaiçoré Devé Däsé, Nimäé Devé Däsé • PUBLISHER Yudhiñthira Däsa (Ujwal Jajoo) • PRODUCTION Saccidänanda Däsa (Sanjiv Maheshwari), Sundar Rüpa Däsa (Sudarshan Sapaliga) •GENERAL MANAGER (CIRCULATION) Pänduraìga Däsa (Rajendra-kumar Pujari) •ACCOUNTS Sahadeva Däsa (S.P. Maheshwari) • SUBSCRIBER SERVICES Manjaré Devé Däsé (Mira Singh) OFFICE Back to Godhead, 33 Janki Kutir, Next to State Bank of Hyderabad, Juhu, Mumbai 400 049, India. SUBSCRIPTIONS Back to Godhead is published twelve times a year. Subscriptions charges—one-year: Rs. 150/-, two-year: Rs. 300/-, five-year: Rs. 700/You can start subscription from any month. Send the amount to Back to Godhead, 302, Amrut Industrial Estate, 3rd floor, Western Express Highway, Mira Road (E) 401 104. Tel: (022) 28457751 E-mail: BTGINDIA@pamho.net To change your address or clear up any questions about your subscription, write to BTG Service Center & Marketing Office at the above address. We can answer your questions faster if you send a recent mailing label or invoice. Allow eight weeks for changes to show up on your mailing label. PRINTING Magna Graphics Pvt. Ltd., Mumbai. © 2011 The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International. All ® rights reserved. (Trustee for the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust: Jayädvaita Swami.) ISSN: 0005-3643. Published for The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust by Ujwal Jajoo , 33, Janki Kutir, Next to State Bank of Hyderabad, Juhu, Mumbai and printed by him at Magna Graphics Pvt. Ltd. 101-C&D, Govt. Industrial Estate, Kandivli (W), Mumbai-400067, India. Editor: Çyamänanda Däsa, Çré Çré Rädhä-Gopénätha Temple, Chowpatty, Mumbai- 400 007, India.

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I was reading the devotional article about your visit to the Hare Krishna Tree in New York, under which Çréla Prabhupäda used to chant. The Hare Kåñëa movement took birth in that most fortunate place. Reading the article in BTG has motivated me to see that fortunate tree. It’s inspiring to hear that visiting the tree was your main goal during your trip to the USA. I have gone to the New York many times, and have attended the New York Ratha-yäträ as well, but I never thought of going to see this special tree. Now I will go there for sure and ask for mercy for spiritual progress in Kåñëa consciousness. Millions of thanks for making us all aware of this tree. —Vijaya Kåñëa Däsa I was just reading Back to Godhead magazine, and I came across your article “Just to Embrace a Tree.” After reading about your experience, I felt so small and heartbroken, because I have been to the USA on many occasion, and although I did visit the Brooklyn temple, I never visited this chanting place of Prabhupäda. I am going to the USA in July, and because of you I am going to visit that park, and I want to hug that tree just like you did. —Dämodara Priyä Devé Däsé Trinidad When I saw the title “Just to Embrace a Tree,” my first thought was, “Wow, someone feels the same as I do about the tree.” Your article was written in my favorite style, as a

story, in very simple language, yet expressing very high truths. I like your prayer that you won’t mind taking birth as a hippy in order to hear Çréla Prabhupäda chanting Hare Kåñëa. That must have resounded with a lot of people, from India and here in the West. As a former hippy, I was thinking, “You don’t know what you’re praying for. Culturally it’s a giant leap backward.” But I understood your mood and appreciated how you had presented it so eloquently. I admit that the article brought tears to my eyes. —Mitrasena Däsa Sandy Ridge, North Carolina

What Is “Causeless Mercy”? We learn in the Bhagavad-gétä, Çrémad-Bhägavatam, and other Vedic scriptures that everything has a cause. Kåñëa is called “the cause of all causes.” The coming of His Divine Grace Çréla Prabhupäda to the West had a cause—the transcendental order of his Guru Mahäräja. Still, it is said that the mercy of guru and Kåñëa is causeless. Even if we accept that the mercy of guru and Kåñëa has no material, karmic cause, it still has a spiritual cause. So why do we speak of causeless mercy? —Jaya Gurudeva Däsa Our reply: The word causeless in this context is used to emphasize the fact that the mercy of the Lord and the mercy of His pure devotee are not the product of someone’s karmic destiny but the free choice of the person bestowing the mercy. It is also true that mercy is an intrinsic transcendental quality of both the Lord and His pure

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devotee, and thus not caused by something else. Both the Lord and His devotee are inclined to be merciful, but both the extent and the manner in which this mercy is manifest in a particular situation is the choice of the Lord or His pure devotee, and not caused by anything external. Çréla Prabhupäda would sometimes make the point that the Vaiñëava is not obliged to do anything. For example, he may speak liberally on the Absolute Truth or remain silent, as he chooses.

Guru/Disciple Qualifications What are the qualifications of a spiritual master and a disciple? —Shreepad Gadre Our reply: The qualifications for both are described in several places in our scriptures. For example, the Upadeçämåta (Text 1), by Çréla Rüpa Gosvämé, describes that the spiritual master must be able to control the six urges: “A sober person who can tolerate the urge to speak, the mind’s demands, the actions of anger, and the urges of the tongue, belly, and genitals is qualified to make disciples all over the world.” These qualifications are elaborated on in several places, and Çréla Prabhupäda often mentions that by the order of Lord Caitanya and the spiritual master, one can become qualified to be a spiritual master as long as one strictly follows the instructions of Lord Caitanya and one’s own spiritual master. As for the qualifications of the disciple, those are described in the Bhagavad-gétä (4.34): surrender, submissive enquiry and service. When the disciple and spiritual master are qualified with

these ornaments, then the relationship will bring love of Kåñëa. The disciple and the spiritual master should examine each other for at least six months to a year to be sure they are right for each other. The disciple must have sufficient faith to submissively follow the order of the spiritual master.

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Lord Çiva in Caitanya’s Pastimes I have heard that all the saints and demigods were present during the descent of Caitanya Mahäprabhu. During Lord Räma’s descent, Lord Çiva came as Hanumän. Who was the avatar of Çiva during Lord Caitanya’s time? —Ankur Wahi Our reply: In the pastimes of Lord Caitanya, Lord Siva is Çréla Advaita Äcärya, one of the Panca-tattva (Lord Caitanya and His four main associates). It was Advaita Äcärya who petitioned Lord Kåñëa to appear on earth as Lord Caitanya. Advaita Äcärya was so disturbed by the atheistic attitude of the people that he prayed and offered püjäs to evoke Lord Kåñëa’s appearance. He told Kåñëa, “If you do not come and change their consciousness, then I will destroy them all.” Hearing this, Lord Caitanya appeared on earth, bringing the holy name as the easiest means to change the materialistic consciousness of the people of this age, Kali-yuga. Çréla Advaita Äcärya was one of Çré Kåñëa Caitanya’s most intimate and dear devotees. Replies to other letters were written by Nanda Duläl Däsa.

Write to us at: Back to Godhead, 3rd Floor, 302, Amrut Industrial Estate, Western Express Highway, Mira Road–East, Maharashtra 401104. Email: ed.btgindia@pamho.net

CUSTOMER CARE SERVICES Pramod: 09320019324 Sangeeta: 09321977501 022–28457751 Email: indiabtg@gmail.com VEDIC THOUGHTS The whole cosmic order is under Me. Under My will it is automatically manifested again and again, and under My will it is annihilated at the end. —Lord Çré Kåñëa Bhagavad-gétä 9.8 Originally, Kåñëa’s energy is spiritual, and the energy known as the living entity is also spiritual. However, there is another energy, called illusion, which consists of fruitive activity. That is the Lord’s third potency. —Viñëu Puräëa 6.7.61 Pure devotional service brings immediate relief from all kinds of material distress. It is the beginning of all auspiciousness. It minimizes the value of liberation. It is rarely achieved, it automatically puts one in transcendental pleasure, and it is the only means to attract Kåñëa. —Çréla Rüpa Gosvämé Bhakti-rasämåta-sindhu 1.1.17

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ha-krishna

F O U N D E R Ä C Ä R Y A’ S V I E W S

The Ocean of

Mercy and Compassion By appreciating Kåñëa’s unlimited causeless mercy, one can easily transcend all miseries and problems of this world.

Excerpts from the teachings of His Divine Grace

A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupäda Founder-äcärya of The International Society for Krishna Consciousness

Kåñëa Protects When we admit and recognize Kåñëa's kindness, we become happy. Kåñëa is protecting us at every moment, but we do not realize this, because we have taken life at our own risk. Kåñëa gives us a certain amount of freedom, saying, “All right, do whatever you like. As far as possible, I will give you protection.” However, when the living entity is fully surrendered to Kåñëa, Kåñëa takes total charge and gives special protection. —Path of Perfection, Chapter 5 Seeing Gajendra in such an aggrieved position, the unborn Supreme Personality of Godhead, Hari, immediately got down from the back of Garuòa by His causeless mercy and pulled the King of the elephants, along with the crocodile, out of the water. Then, in the presence of all the demigods, who were looking on, the Lord severed the crocodile’s mouth from its body with His disc. In this way He saved Gajendra, the King of the elephants. —Bhägavatam 8.3.33, translation

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Guru and Supersoul as Kåñëa’s Mercy The causeless mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is first appreciated when one comes in

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Lord Hari saves Gajendra from the crocodile’s grip.

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through the Supersoul. As stated in ÇrémadBhägavatam (11.29.6): “My dear Lord, even if someone attains a life as long as Brahmä’s, he would still be unable to express his gratitude for the benefits derived from remembering You. Out of Your causeless mercy You drive away all inauspicious conditions, expressing Yourself from outside as the spiritual master and from inside as the Supersoul.” —Teachings of Lord Caitanya, Chapter 11

Manifestation of Compassion So when things are mismanaged and people forget the aim of life, at that time the Supreme Lord comes. Yadä yadä hi dharmasya glänir bhavati [Gétä 4.7]. So dharmasya gläniù means when the human society misses the aim of life, then out of compassion, the Lord comes, because God is more anxious to get us back to home, back to Godhead, than we are, because we are in ignorance. —Lecture on Çrémad-Bhägavatam 3.25.1, Bombay, November 1, 1974 Out of His infinite mercy, Lord Kåñëa comes to this world in various forms in order to uplift the conditioned living entities.

touch with a bona fide spiritual master who can bring the conditioned soul to the highest position of devotional life. Therefore Lord Caitanya said that by the mercy of the spiritual master one can achieve the causeless mercy of the Lord, and by the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one can attain the mercy of the bona fide spiritual master. —Teachings of Lord Caitanya, Chapter 1 The Supreme Personality of Godhead is already in the core of everyone’s heart. Éçvaraù sarvabhütänäà håd-deçe ’rjuna tiñöhati (Gétä 18.61). Logically, therefore, it was not at all difficult for Lord Viñëu to enter Hiraëyakaçipu’s body. The word vivigna-cetäù, “very anxious,” is significant. It is not that Lord Viñëu was afraid of Hiraëyakaçipu; rather, because of compassion, Lord Viñëu was in anxiety about how to act for his welfare. —Bhägavatam 8.19.10, purport When a conditioned soul becomes a devotee of Kåñëa, the Lord, by His causeless mercy, trains him in two ways: He trains him from without through the spiritual master, and He trains him from within

He has no business to come here because His agent, prakåti, is doing everything. But still, out of compassion, He comes in His original form, Kåñëa, or in His incarnation as Kapiladeva, and He says the same thing, “ My dear rascal sons, you are suffering so much on account of this material contact. Please come to Me. Take shelter of Me, and you will be happy.” —Lecture on Çrémad-Bhägavatam 3.25.41, Bombay, December 9, 1974 Although his father tortured him and would have killed him had he himself not been killed by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Prahläda Mahäräja begged pardon for him from the Lord. This favor was immediately granted by the Lord, and Hiraëyakaçipu was delivered from the darkest region of hellish life, and he returned back home, back to Godhead, by the grace of his son. Prahläda Mahäräja is the topmost example of a Vaiñëava, who is always compassionate toward sinful persons suffering a hellish life within this material world. Kåñëa is therefore known as para-duùkha-duùkhé kåpämbudhiù, or one who is compassionate toward others’ suffering and who is an ocean of mercy. —Bhägavatam 4.21.47, purport

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service. It is said, harià vinä na måtim taranti: without Kåñëa’s mercy, no one can have liberation. —Bhägavatam 4.11.5, purport

A devotee accepts all situations in life, including reversals, as Kåñëa’s mercy.

Secret of Success He’s always merciful. Therefore devotees never take anything as not merciful. They take everything from Kåñëa as sympathy, anukampä. Tat te ’nukampäà su-samékñamäëaù [SB 10.14.8]. One who can see this anukampä in reverse condition of life, the compassion of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, mukti-pade sa däya-bhäk. His right to become liberation becomes guaranteed. —Lecture on ÇrémadBhägavatam 1.7.49-50, Våndävana, October 7, 1976 When a devotee is put into hellish conditions, he accepts them as Kåñëa’s mercy: tat te ’nukampäà susamékñamäëaù (Bhägavatam 10.14.8). He does not protest, “Oh, I am such a great devotee of Kåñëa. Why have I been put into this misery?” Instead he thinks, “This is Kåñëa’s mercy.” Such an attitude is possible for a devotee who engages in the service of Kåñëa’s representative. This is the secret of success. —Bhägavatam 6.1.16, purport

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Jayas tu päëòu-puträëäà yeñäà pakñe janärdanaù. Victory is always with persons like the sons of Päëòu because Lord Kåñëa is associated with them. —Gétä 1.14, purport

No Hope without Kåñëa’s Mercy

Çrépäda Çaìkaräcärya, who preached Mäyäväda philosophy and stressed the impersonal feature of the Absolute, also at last recommended that one must take shelter at the lotus feet of Lord Çré Kåñëa, for there is no hope of gain from debating. Indirectly Çrépäda Çaìkaräcärya admitted that what he had preached in the flowery grammatical interpretations of the Vedänta-sütra cannot help one at the time of death. At the critical hour of death one must recite the name of Govinda. —Bhägavatam 1.3.42, purport

Kåñëa Gives Knowledge

Mäyävädé sannyäsés are very proud of becoming liberated, but actual liberation is not possible unless one is in touch with the Supreme Lord in devotional

teñäm evänukampärtham aham ajïäna-jaà tamaù näçayämy ätma-bhäva-stho jïäna-dépena bhäsvatä “To show them special mercy, I, dwelling in their hearts, destroy with the shining lamp of knowledge the darkness born of ignorance.” —Gétä 10.11

Out of His causeless mercy and compassion, Kåñëa has compiled various Vedic literatures in His incarnation as Vyäsadeva. Vyäsadeva is a çaktyäveça-avatära of Lord Kåñëa. He has very kindly presented these literatures to awaken the conditioned soul to his senses. Vyäsadeva, an empowered incarnation of —Cc. Madhya 20.122, purport the Lord, compiled all Vedic scriptures.

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P O E T R Y

His Divine Grace Çréla Prabhupäda started his final mission when he was sixty-nine Many souls would end their journey when they reach that time His teachings immortalized bhakti for the common In guiding and inspiring the soul, he was second to none. He made the deserted hippies into sublime happy’s He preached, “Material happiness eventually makes you unhappy.” He organized the first Ratha-yäträ in the West for Lord Jagannätha For the spiritual cause, he was a devoted juggernaut. Without Prabhupäda’s teaching, the world would have been more quarrelsome He said the sixteen syllables of mahä-mantra would make your life wholesome. Love for Supreme Kåñëa needs no pre-qualification It’s neither a business, nor a material affiliation Neither is it based on one’s dynastic lineage nor material knowledge The unconditional mood to serve should free you from Kali-yuga’s cage —Hemanta Panda

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COVER STORY

The Rising Moon of Mäyäpur In a little-known town of Bengal on the banks of the river Gaìgä, an extraordinary temple is coming up. From here, the flood of Lord Caitanya’s mercy will inundate the entire world.

By Abhijit Toley

T

he world’s great spiritual traditions are all but lost. All that remains of them are a few sincere followers and a few grand monuments. Millions visit these monuments, not usually

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to enhance their spirituality but because of the monuments’ architectural and historical significance. The Temple of the Vedic Planetarium (ToVP) aims at nothing less than making whole-

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some, authentic spiritual life again appealing to people. Combining modern technology, ancient science, timeless wisdom, and lively culture, the very creation of the ToVP will fulfill fascinating prophecies. Will it indeed flood the world with sublime love of God?

The Mäyäpur Connection The ToVP is rising on the banks of the Ganges in the holy town of Mäyäpur, West Bengal, India. Çréla Bhaktivinoda Öhäkura, father of the modernday Kåñëa consciousness movement, narrates in his Navadvépadhäma-mähätmya how Lord Nityänanda spoke to Çréla Jéva Gosvämé about the future of Mäyäpur. Lord Nityänanda prophesized: “When our Lord Caitanya disappears, by His desire, the Ganges will swell. The Ganges water will almost cover Mäyäpur for a hundred years, and then the water will recede. Then, by the Lord’s desire, Mäyäpur will again be manifest, and the devotees will build temples of the Lord. One exceedingly wonderful temple (adbhuta-mandira) will appear— from which Gauräìga’s eternal service will be preached around the world.” Mäyäpur is ISKCON’s international headquarters; Çréla Prabhupäda chose it as such because it’s the place where Lord Caitanya appeared. Lord Caitanya, who is Kåñëa Himself in a golden form, appeared in Mäyäpur a little over five hundred years ago with the mission to flood the world with the highest love of God—a love that had rarely been revealed to this world before. He spread the

Hare Kåñëa mantra throughout India, and prophesized that one of His commanders-in-chief would one day spread the same holy name to every town and village in the world. In 1965, at almost seventy years old, Çréla Prabhupäda arrived in the USA. Within twelve spectacular years he inspired the founding of 108 temples in cities around the globe. Now thirty-five years later, ISKCON continues to spread Lord Caitanya’s mission, with the goal of fulfilling the prediction that Kåñëa’s name will be heard

It’s significant that Çréla Prabhupäda chose Mäyäpur as ISKCON’s international headquarters. Even today Mäyäpur is not overly connected with the rest of the world; he didn’t choose it for the material facilities it could provide. Rather, Çréla Prabhupäda well knew the incomparable spiritual significance of Mäyäpur. Here Lord Caitanya first revealed his superexcellent presentation of Vaiñëavism: Gauòéya Vaiñëavism. Mäyäpur is the highest seat of Gauòéya Vaiñëavism, just as

The architectural drawings of the altar inside the Temple of the Vedic Planetarium

in every town and village. Today, ISKCON has about five hundred temples, farm communities, restaurants, and schools. But while all of these are ISKCON temples, this upcoming ToVP in Mäyäpur will undoubtedly be the ISKCON temple.

Vatican City is the highest seat for Roman Catholics and Mecca serves in the same capacity for Muslims. Now with the construction of the magnificent ToVP, Gauòéya Vaiñëavism will be prominent on the world’s spiritual map. Millions from all walks of

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(Left) A comparitive size of the ToVP with other leading religious monuments of the world; (below) interior design of the ToVP life will be attracted to the sublime philosophy and culture that built it.

Temple or Planetarium? The Temple of the Vedic Planetarium—the name itself arouses interest. Çréla Prabhupäda had a clear vision—one he expressed on many occasions—for the ToVP. He wanted “a unique Vedic Planetarium to present the Vedic perspective of life, including a gigantic display of the material and spiritual worlds, which could be viewed by visitors from different levels as they traveled through the planetarium.” Çréla Prabhupäda wanted to use something startling and state-of-the-art to attract people from around the world to Mäyäpur. Once they arrived, their spiritual journey would begin and they would be given the chance to practice Kåñëa consciousness, if only for a few days, ushering auspiciousness into their lives. Aside from the presentation itself, Çréla Prabhupäda recognized the hold modern atheistic science has on most people. He wanted to challenge the mechanistic understanding of the universe. To educate people in the principles of Vedic cosmology is a crucial aim of the ToVP. Cosmology studies the

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origin, purpose, structure, and function of the universe, and Vedic cosmology gives extensive information not only about the structure of the phenomenal universe as we see it, but about its source, purpose, and the subtle laws that govern it. The fundamental concept pervading Vedic cosmology is that everything and everyone has a relationship with and dependence on the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Çré Kåñëa, the source of the creation, maintenance, and dissolution of the manifested worlds. The Vedic Planetarium and Science Center will attractively present this profound

understanding. It will also offer solid scientific arguments that underpin the concepts of Intelligent Design. And of course, the ToVP will continue to challenge and counter popular atheistic claims about human ancestry by showing through evidence and logic that life cannot come from matter and that humans could not have evolved from apes. The ToVP’s aim is the aim of any true temple: to attract people to Kåñëa (God) and to educate them about Him. Five hundred years ago Mäyäpur and the nearby town of Navadvépa were centers of learning in logic, philosophy, and spirituality. Today, Mäyäpur hosts

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primary school students as well as adults taking advanced courses in Vaiñëava philosophy and practice. Mäyäpur’s leaders, headed by His Holiness Jayapatäka Swami Mahäräja, are already planning to build a university. Along with an academic education, however, future Mäyäpur students will also experience a practical lifestyle centered on devotion to God. The ToVP will be the hub of this spiritual education.

Grand and Exquisite The ToVP is the biggest Vedic temple being built in the last 1000 years. Çréla Prabhupäda is the original ToVP architect. In his letters and conversations he had clearly outlined its key features. The temple is coming up honoring all those instructions. In July 1976, Çréla Prabhupäda expressed his preference for the outer design of the temple. While visiting Washington, he instructed his disciples Yadubara Däsa and Viçäkhä Devé Däsé to take detailed photos of the US Capitol building, which would serve as a prototype for the ToVP. The most prominent external feature of the ToVP will thus be its three towering domes. Based on Prabhupäda’s various instructions, the tallest and central dome, more than 300 feet tall, will house three sets of deities. The leftmost set will be of the disciplic succession, the venerable line of spiritual masters in which Çréla Prabhupäda has come. In the center will be the effulgent and huge Païca-tattva deities: Çré Kåñëa Caitanya, Prabhu Nityänanda, Çré Advaita, Çré Gadadhara, and Çré Çrévasa, who are already being worshiped today in the present Mäyäpur temple. And on their right will be

the gorgeous Çré Çré RädhäMädhava and Their eight principal cowherd girl friends. The combined presence of all these deities on the 140-foot wide ToVP altar will offer a darçana unmatched in this world.

Temple Interiors The huge temple space around the central deities will be big enough to hold 10,000 devotees. The high ceiling of the dome will remind visitors of the greatness of God and inspire humility and submissiveness. Hanging inside the central dome will be a chandelier with a difference: a moving 3-D model of the structure of the universe as described in the Çrémad-Bhägavatam. Visitors will be able to study the structure of the universe from multiple levels. At each level will be galleries and exhibits to explain the various aspects of the universe, along with its purpose. The highest

[Top] The structure of the universe as described in the Çrémad-Bhägavatam; [above] Çréla Prabhupada giving design ideas to Ambaréña Däsa (second from right)

level will take visitors on a tour to the spiritual world. The central dome walls would be of the best of marble orna(Continued on page 28)

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KÅÑËA

CONSCIOUS REALIZATIONS FROM EVENTS OF DAILY LIFE

LESSONS FROM THE ROAD

Enlightenment, not Ignorance, is Bliss What is ignorance? What is knowledge? What is misery? What is bliss?

By Yugävatära Däsa

A

s Jack was playing in the playground he heard an old lady calling to him. Thinking she needed help, Jack ran toward her. But when he arrived, Jack saw the woman standing with roasted almonds in her hand. She offered them to Jack. Jack was delighted. “You like them?” she asked. Jack nodded. “Come everyday, then,” she said, “because I can’t eat them.” Meeting this old woman and eating her handful of almonds became routine for Jack. One day, though, while he was playing football, he began to wonder: “If this old woman can’t eat the roasted almonds, why does she buy them everyday?” He decided to ask her. The old woman innocently replied, “I can’t eat the almonds, but I like to eat the chocolate they were coated in.” With that she went home. Jack stood there shocked and utterly disgusted with himself. He threw today’s handful of roasted almonds in the trashcan and marched home. He was completely nauseated by the fact

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that he had been relishing this woman’s dirty leftovers. After that day, Jack never went over to see the old woman. She continued to wave to him, but he never even looked her way. If she tried to cheat some other boy Jack cautioned him.

happiness. But this story illustrates the nature of the kind of happiness we find in this material world. As individuals we try to gratify our senses—we taste whatever attracts us, listen to whatever our ears find pleasing, watch movies that stimulate us, touch things

The Bliss of Ignorance After reading this story one knows why ignorance isn’t necessarily bliss. Jack could have continued to relish the almonds, unaware that they were unclean, but discovering the reality of the situation ended his happiness. Those who think ignorance is bliss wonder why we should bother to understand reality if it ruins our Like the foolish ostrich, we try to forget our miseries by ignoring the effects of time.

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that give us pleasure, and are drawn to aromatic smells. But we don’t realize the disastrous effects our attempts at enjoyment have on our body and mind or on the earth’s resources. Rather, captivated by the glaring material energy, we remain blissfully ignorant of both absolute and relative realities. In the meantime, the contamination of material existence infects us more and more. The “sicker” we become, the further away we are from true enjoyment. We identify ourselves with our temporary, miserable body and remain ignorant of our real self, the blissful soul. We act like the proverbial ostrich hiding its head in the sand. When a hungry tiger chases it, the ostrich buries its head and thinks it is safe. Similarly we ignore the effects of time, thinking we are safe from the effects of material nature. Therefore Lord Kåñëa says in the Bhagavad-gétä (5.22), ye hi saàsparça-jä bhogä duùkha-yonaya eva te/ ädy-antavantaù

kaunteya na teñu ramate budhaù: “An intelligent person does not take part in the sources of misery, which are due to contact with the material senses. O son of Kunté, such pleasures have a beginning and an end, and so the wise man does not delight in them.”

Ignorance of Bliss Although we appear to be immersed in the bliss that stems from ignorance, we remain ignorant of one factor that threatens to destroy our illusion: death. Death is a ruthless force that comes at the most unexpected moment, stealing our happiness in a flash. We see death all around us—hundreds of people die everyday. But the illusory happiness of material enjoyment doesn’t allow us to look this imposition of reality in the face. Instead, we prefer to live in spiritual oblivion, trying to extract as much enjoyment from this world as possible. As busy as bees, we spend most of our time trying to find solutions to life’s everyday problems, but we forget to solve the greatest calamity of our life. It’s fear of death that keeps us from experiencing the true bliss we all hanker for—the bliss of devotional service. When we misidentify with the temporary body, we are always in a state of fear, because the body is bound to die. Every moment of happiness associated with the body is temporary. We are sometimes happy when we eat delicious food, smell nice fragrances, see beautiful sights, hear soothing music, or touch those we love. But the happiness of these experiences remains with

us as long as we are enjoying them. The moment the food is swallowed whatever happiness we felt becomes a memory. And memories of the food we ate yesterday do not satisfy our hunger today. Moreover, material happiness cannot solace us at the time of death. If a man with terminal cancer is given his favorite meal, will he be able to relish it with death around the corner? This means that sensual happiness is not permanent. Nevertheless, we look for nothing but this ephemeral happiness. The soul can never become happy by bodily pleasures just as a wined and dined fish can never become happy outside the ocean. So why not put an end to this “Google search” for sensual happiness and opt for eternal bliss?

Real Knowledge and Bliss Conditioned living beings always lament about the past, are fearful about the future, and in illusion about the present. In other words, they are always in anxiety. Their greatest fear is the fear of death. Death is painful for two reasons: we experience physical pain of whatever disease or condition is causing us to lose our body, and we experience the mental pain of leaving everything we hold dear—the body, our relatives, and our home. Actually, the soul is eternal and full of knowledge and bliss; it can never be subjected to suffering. The soul appears to suffer only because we identify with the body—we misunderstand who we really are. If a rich man is attached to his car, he will be horrified if a truck smashes it in his driveway. The agony he feels at the loss of

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his car is intense. Although he is sitting safely in his living room, he will feel pain because he identifies with the car. Similarly, the transcendental soul suffers due to its false identification with the body. How do we transcend this pain? By the process of selfrealization—which means developing positive and intense love for God, Kåñëa. Attachment to Kåñëa with love and devotion has the power to detach us from all mundane inferior attachments. A young girl in love with a boy may be attached to her family, but when the boy tells her, “Let’s run away from our homes and get married,” she easily gives up the attachment and runs away with him without pain or fear. She is delighted to give up her familial attachments if it will

allow her to stay with her beloved. Similarly, if we constantly meditate on Lord Kåñëa with love and devotion, we will easily transcend all material attachments and at the time of death, we will blissfully enter His eternal abode. The scriptures tell us that the easiest way to develop love of Kåñëa is to chant His holy names. Kåñëa is full of bliss, so coming in contact with His name, form, fragrance, and prasäda (sanctified food offered to Him) with our ears, eyes, nose, and tongue satisfy—and purify—us completely. The process of Kåñëa consciousness does not recommend artificial abstinence from sense gratification. It is a blissful process composed of feasting on the Lord’s prasäda and participating in melodious

chanting and dancing with His devotees. Usually we try to find permanent happiness in temporary material things related to the body. But the body itself is temporary and subject to death, so as we get closer to death, we become more fearful. With the destruction of our material attachments comes destruction of our fear of death. So any time Kåñëa comes to take us to His eternal abode we are ready to go and live there with Him eternally. This is the beauty of Kåñëa consciousness: life becomes joyful, death loses its sting, and life after death becomes blissful. Yugävatära Däsa is an associate professor in Anatomy in a medical college in Mumbai. He is a regular contributor to BTG.

PHOTOSCOPE

Mäyä and the Spider’s Web The spider’s web is symbolic of how the world works. For the fly there is nothing more beautiful than a spider’s web. It is flying around all day landing on all these hard surfaces, and here it finds a nice soft web to relax—so comfortable and appealing. But the problem is not what it appears to be. It traps the fly and causes it suffering. Scriptures help us see the world as it is, but our physical eyes can delude us to accept something for something else. This is called mäyä. False promises are what mäyä is all about. Mäyä promises us that our happiness is in proportion to our position and our possessions. But actual happiness is according to the substance of who we are. Whether we have much or we have little, real happiness is in our own meaningful substantial life and how we are connected to the divine. —Muräré Gupta Däsa 14 BACK TO GODHEAD

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FESTIVAL

Kärtika

Lord Kåñëa’s Favorite Month A month filled with gratitude, love, and devotion.

By Vamçévihäré Däsa

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fter going through the intense summer and a humid monsoon, we perceive autumn, the çarat season, as one of the most beautiful seasons of the year. According to the Vedic calendar, the çarat season falls during the months of Açvin and Kärtika, of which Kärtika carries special significance. Everyone loves certain foods, drinks, clothes, and music. Lord Kåñëa is no exception—in fact, we have our likes because we are

parts of Kåñëa, who has His own personal likes. Kåñëa loves butter, yellow cloth (pétämbara), peacock feathers, cows, flutes, and the land of Våëdävana. Similarly, of all months, He loves the month of Kärtika the best.

A Month of Love Although devotional service can be performed at any time, in any place, devotees know well that devotional service performed during this month is especially

pleasing. Therefore they perform additional austerities and devotional practices during Kärtika. The Vedic scriptures describe in detail the material benefits one derives by performing devotional service during Kärtika. However, pure devotees of Lord Kåñëa have no interest in material benefits. Rather, they are interested only in pleasing the Lord. ISKCON devotees eagerly await the arrival of Kärtika every year, when they can sing the Dämodaräñöakam

Devotees of Lord Kåñëa offering ghee lamps to Lord Dämodara in the month of Kärtika.

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prayers in the evenings and offer their heartfelt love and devotion as they circle ghee lamps before their Lord. Throughout the month they are so immersed in the childhood pastimes of Kåñëa as Dämodara that they constantly sing and hear about them. The Dämodaräñöakam prayers, composed by Satyavrata Muni, beautifully explain God, His devotee, and the science of devotional service—that the allpervading, all-powerful Lord is easily conquered by the love of His devotee and that the lovesaturated devotees do not desire anything except to constantly hear and glorify the pastimes. “O Lord Dämodara, although You are able to give all kinds of benedictions, I do not pray to You for the boon of impersonal liberation, nor for the highest liberation of eternal life in Vaikuëöha, nor for any other, similar boon. O Lord, I simply wish that this form of Yours as baby Gopäla in Våndävana may ever be manifest in my heart, for what is the use to me of any other boon besides this? Your supremely enchanting face, encircled by shining locks of dark blue curling hair, resembles the fully blossomed lotus tinged with a reddish luster due to its being kissed again and again by Mother Yaçodä. May this vision of Your lotus face, with lips as red as a bimba fruit, remain forever in my heart. Millions of other benedictions are of no benefit to me.” (Dämodaräñöaka 4–5).

This is pure devotional service and the life of pure devotees. This is the essence and the sweetness of the month of Kärtika.

The Festival of Lights India’s most popular festival, Dépävalé, falls in the month of Kärtika. According to Çréla

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Out of love for Mother Yaçodä, Kåñëa agrees to be bound by her.

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Viçvanätha Cakravarté Öhäkura, Lord Kåñëa enacted the Dämodara-léla on the day of Dépävalé. In this pastime, which is described in the Tenth Canto of Çrémad-Bhägavatam, Kåñëa angered Mother Yaçodä by breaking a pot of butter. Kåñëa then ran away when He saw a furious Yaçodä chasing Him. After a great struggle, Yaçodä caught baby Kåñëa and tried to bind Him with rope to a grinding mortar. But surprisingly, she found the rope she was using was two inches too short. Although she added more rope, every time she tried to bind Kåñëa she found the rope was short by exactly two inches. Finally, Kåñëa, appreciating His mother’s hard endeavor, agreed to be bound. Devotees then began to call Him Dämodara, “one whose udara (belly) is bound by däma (ropes).” Çréla Prabhupäda writes: Yogés, mystics, want to catch Kåñëa as Paramätmä, and with great austerities and penances they try to approach Him, yet they cannot. Here we see, however, that Kåñëa is going to be caught by Yaçodä and

is running away in fear. This illustrates the difference between the bhakta and the yogé. Yogés cannot reach Kåñëa, but for pure devotees like mother Yaçodä, Kåñëa is already caught. Kåñëa was even afraid of Mother Yaçodä’s stick. . . . Kåñëa is afraid of Mother Yaçodä, and yogés are afraid of Kåñëa. (Bhägavatam 10.9.9, purport)

When devotees see the master of the entire universe bound by the love of His devotee their hearts are filled with extreme gratitude. Attracted by Kåñëa’s divine qualities their hearts are uncontrollably pulled toward Him. Although devotees do not wish to subdue the Lord, the Lord takes extra pleasure in being dictated and controlled by His devotees. Each tries to be con-

trolled by the other, because where love is present, happiness lies not in winning but in being won over. Çréla Prabhupäda writes in his purport to ÇrémadBhägavatam (6.16.34), “The Lord and the devotees both conquer. The Lord is conquered by the devotees, and the devotees are conquered by the Lord. Because of being conquered by one another, they both derive transcendental bliss from their relationship.” Because this pastime happened during Kärtika, Kärtika is also called “the month of Dämodara.” After immersing their minds in this wonderful pastime for an entire month, devotees feel much more closely connected to their Lord. You can also try this immer-

The residents of Ayodhyä celebrate the arrival of Lord Räma after His fourteen-year exile.

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sion. If possible, visit an ISKCON temple and participate in the evening Dämodaräñöakam prayers throughout Kartika, offering your own devotion to Lord Dämodara with your lamp. If you are unable to visit an ISKCON temple, please arrange to sing these prayers and offer lamps at home.

Kärtika and Lord Räma Dépävalé is celebrated all over India. It is said that after killing the demon Rävaëa, Lord Rämacandra entered Ayodhyä on Dépävalé. To celebrate this event the residents of Ayodhyä used lamps to illuminate the city, which in the Lord’s fourteen-year absence had come to resemble a city haunted by ghosts. Ayodhyä is like our heart, and Sétä-Räma are the life-force within that heart. Ayodhyä was once a wealthy city, but when Sétä and Rama left it, the residents of Ayodhyä felt they had lost their hearts and behaved like moving corpses. It is impossible to describe the mental agony these people suffered in separation from their beloved Lord. They performed their daily duties only as a formality and maintained their lives only in the hope that one day they would again see Lord Räma. Lord Caitanya Mahäprabhu expressed His own feelings of separation in His Çikñäñöaka (6), çünyäyitaà jagat sarvaà govinda-viraheëa me: “In your absence, I feel the entire universe is a dreary void.” When Lord Räma returned to Ayodhyä the city’s residents regained their life and their distressed hearts lit up with joy. This light became manifest in the form of lighted lamps.

Other Events in Kärtika Govardhana-püjä also falls in

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Glories of the month of Kärtika Taken from Gopäla Bhaööa Gosvämé’s Çré Hari-bhakti-vilasa, Sixteenth Viläsa, Volume One In the Skanda Puräëa it is said: “The pious result obtained by bathing in all holy places and giving all charities is not equal to one ten-millionth part of the result obtained by following the vow of Kärtika.” In the Padma Puräëa it is said: “Of the twelve months, Kärtika is the most dear to Lord Kåñëa. To anyone who even slightly worships Lord Viñëu during its time, the month of Kärtika gives residence in Lord Viñëu’s transcendental abode.”

the month of Kärtika. When Kåñëa convinced Nanda Mahäräja to stop the family’s traditional Indra-püjä, an infuriated Indra sent a heavy downpour of rain over Våëdävana. But because Våëdävana was protected by Kåñëa, Indra could not destroy even a particle of dust of this holy land. With the little finger of His left hand, Kåñëa effortlessly lifted Govardhana Hill and crushed Indra’s pride. In this way, He protected the devotees of Våëdävana. This pastime, too, proves Kåñëa’s unlimited love for His devotees. In the Bhagavad-gétä (18.66), Kåñëa assures us that if we abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender to Him, He will protect us in all situations. By lifting Govardhana Hill, Kåñëa showed how He will go to any extent to protect His loving devotees. By meditating on this pastime devotees’ feel extremely grateful, and they are ready to

“Lord Kåñëa is pleased by the offering of a single lamp during the month of Kärtika. Lord Kåñëa glorifies anyone who lights a lamp for someone else to offer.” “O tiger of sages, a person who during the month of Kärtika hears the topics of Lord Hari becomes free from the sufferings of hundreds and millions of births.” “They who during the month of Kärtika bathe, keep an allnight vigil, offer lamps, and protect a tulasé forest, attain spiritual forms like Lord Viñëu’s. give up everything and surrender to Kåñëa. Finally, for devotees of ISKCON, the month of Kärtika holds another importance: ISKCON’s founder-äcärya His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupäda left this mortal world during this month and rejoined Lord Kåñëa in His eternal pastimes in the spiritual world. The whole world, especially devotees in ISKCON, will remain eternally indebted to Çréla Prabhupäda, because if he were not there, we would have never understood the significance of Dämodara-lélä and Dépävalé, nor would we have appreciated the inconceivable love between the Lord and His devotee. Vamçévihäré Däsa is the associate-editor of Bhagavad-darçana, the Hindi edition of Back to Godhead.

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EVERY TOWN AND VILLAGE

Worldwide Activities of Kåñëa Consciousness 25th Anniversary of Govinda’s Island Dublin, Ireland: Devotees from all over Ireland and abroad gathered this July 15–17 to celebrate Çré Çré

a new centralized state-of-the-art kitchen, which will deliver nutritious, sanctified meals to 65,000 underprivileged school children in Jharkhand’s East Singhbhum and Saraikela-Kharsawa districts. Rädhä-Govinda’s 25th anniversary, on the twenty-two acre wooded island in County Fermanagh once known as Inish Ratha—and now called Govinda-dvépa, or Govinda’s Island. The Deities were installed in 1986.

ISKCON at the Hong Kong Book Fair

Ratha-yäträ Celebrations Secunderabad, AP: ISKCON Secunderabad celebrated its Ratha-yäträ on July 2. Almost a kilometer-long procession poured unto the main thoroughfares of the city during the parade.

Hong Kong: ISKCON devotees set up two booths Leicester, UK: The 14th annual Festival of Chariots was celebrated here with three 30-ft chariots carrying the Deities of Lord Jagannätha, Baladeva and Subhadrä. Organiser Nimäi Devé Däsé said: “Today is about getting the chance to show other people what we’re about. It’s a nice, jovial time and we’re not restricted to the temple, which means we can get a lot more people involved—people who may not have come across us before.”

to sell English and Chinese Kåñëa conscious literature during the Hong Kong book fair between July 20 and 26.

Mid-day Meal Kitchen to Feed 65,000 in Jharkhand ISKCON Food Relief Foundation (IFRF) has partnered with the State Government of Jharkhand and local Fortune 500 Company Tata Steel to build

Singapore: On August 24, more than 2500 devotees took part in the Jagannätha Ratha-yäträ festival. A huge 15-feet high silver ratha (made out of 4500kg of silver) was initially meant to be used for the Ratha-yäträ. However, owing to its height this silver ratha could not enter the Toa Payoh stadium. The devotees then made another cart suitable for stadium and improvised a new program. Contributed by Madhava Smullens, Saìkértana Däsa, and Sahadeva Däsa.

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HARE KÅÑËA PEOPLE

Teaching Kåñëa’s Kids An Interview with Urmilä Devé Däsé A leading ISKCON educator highlights the need for introducing a devotional curriculum for children. and the recent acclaimed series of books teaching children how to read English using devotional motifs. Additionally, she serves as an editor for the Back to Godhead International Magazine and as a member of the Shastric Advisory Council for ISKCON. Presently, she travels to devotee communities in various parts of the world sharing both the message of Kåñëa consciousness and her experience and expertise at education.

W

e present an interview with one of the foremost educators within ISKCON, a veteran disciple of Çréla Prabhupäda, Urmilä Devé Däsé a.k.a. Dr. Edith Best. She holds a Master of School Administration degree and a Doctor of Education degree from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and has nearly three decades of experience in educating children. She is also the author of a popular book Vaikuntha Children

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How were you introduced to Kåñëa consciousness? I heard the Brahmasaàhitä on the radio, a recording of Prabhupäda chanting in a shop, and read Prabhupäda’s Bhagavad-gétä As It Is.

gurukula he was in closed and the Governing Body Commission (GBC) asked my husband to start a school. Within a year I was working in the gurukula. I took courses on education. Within a year of my becoming a teacher, our GBC asked me to lead the school. I went to the international gurukula meetings where I was asked to start working on curriculum. When I brought some material on curriculum to the second meeting, the participants asked me to create a book. That became Vaikuntha Children. There was a need, my husband and the local GBC wanted me to do the service, and I studied and worked to do it. Altogether I spent about three decades teaching primary and secondary school. In 1991 the editors of Back to Godhead magazine asked me to write a regular column on education, which I did for eight years.

What inspired you to make education as your major service focus? When our middle child, our daughter, was 1 year old, I met Jyotirmayé Devé Däsé. She trained me in the attitude and methods of teaching and I found that I loved it. When our oldest son was 7, the

While serving as an ISKCON educator, you also chose to acquire a doctorate in education from a secular university. Why? I was often introduced as the leading educator in ISKCON. Many senior devotees convinced me that I needed an advanced degree in education in order to

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have Prabhupäda’s movement be respectable. There is no ISKCON institution that offers accredited degrees in education, so my only choice was a secular university. I lived close to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a leader in education studies in the US. I got into the masters’ program, and within two months the head of the College of Education invited me to go into the PhD program, so I got a masters and doctorate together. His reason for putting me in the advanced program was my many years of experience in teaching, curriculum development, and school administration in ISKCON. How has it helped you in improving education within ISKCON? Both my graduate degrees are in educational leadership and management. My studies have, therefore, given me a background from which I have been able to be of service on many levels of management in ISKCON. Also, I recently worked with 200 people, including some of the leading literacy experts in the world, to create the first program to teach children how to read that is grounded in Kåñëa consciousness and Vedic principles. It is very easy to use, and each color book can be heard in 25 languages by touching each page. You can get more information on this series from http:/ www.learntoreadenglish.co.uk, http://talkingpen.in/ and http:// store.Kåñëa.com/ Page.bok?template=Shops_Kids (See the September 2011 issue of BTG) What are the similarities and differences in secular and devotional educational systems and

scenarios? Both involve the teaching of skills for preparing for a livelihood, being a good citizen, etc. Both involve the transmission of culture. Both involve buildings, teachers, books, materials, money, and management. Both can use similar approaches to how to organize and deliver knowledge. Some differences are obvious, such as sanctified vegetarian food (prasäda) served in a devotional school. A devotional school has time for prayer, mantra meditation, çästra study, and worship of Kåñëa’s mürti. Those differences are quickly and readily apparent. Perhaps the most important differences, however, are more foundational and only indirectly discernable. Those who serve in a devotional educational system understand the identity of the students and teachers as eternal souls, servants of Lord Kåñëa. The purpose of a devotional school is to aid everyone concerned to achieve unmotivated love for the Lord. The process of learning and teaching is also understood differently. A secular school is based on the premise that knowledge is an intellectual process dependent on ability and diligence. In the Bhagavad-gétä’s 13th chapter we get a different view of the process of knowledge—coming to the mode of goodness (sattva-guëa). From goodness, knowledge becomes revealed through the agency of Supersoul. So, on the platform of philosophy—identity, goal of learning, and process of knowledge—there is a gulf of difference. And, this philosophical difference affects all the teaching and learning in the institution, in subtle yet profound ways.

What are the challenges that you have faced while focusing on educational development in our movement? One challenge is an immature understanding of spiritual education. Beginners in spiritual life sometimes think the material side of education can be eliminated or greatly downplayed. A challenge on the other end of the spectrum is putting so much emphasis on material education that students have little time or energy left for spiritual life. These two groups criticize each other, and can set up schools where one part of education is emphasized to the detriment of the other. Prabhupäda wanted us to have a balanced life, and directed that we should know both matter and spirit. He wanted the students to be expert in material subject matter while being of the highest devotional caliber. The tension between those who take positions that are off-balance is particularly obvious in India, where ISKCON has the vast majority of its schools and students. Another challenge is the lack of Kåñëa-based learning resources. Even in a devotional school, if all the materials directly and indirectly teach materialism, the result will be less than what we desire. In ancient times, the main textbook was çästra itself. We have recently published Dr. Best Learn to Read, which is the first professional level Kåñëabased curriculum material in the world. But there is also a great need for Kåñëa-based materials to teach science, mathematics, history, and so forth. We face the challenge of finding teachers who are both materially expert and grounded in spiritual understanding. There is a plan in Bhaktivedanta College in

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Belgium to begin an accredited bachelor’s degree in education. Presently, we do not have an institution that can train teachers how to teach in line with devotional philosophy. So, teachers bring in educational approaches and methods that are grounded in a different philosophy of learning and then try to adapt them to devotional teaching. The end product is not optimal. Every educational endeavor needs funding, and yet another challenge is that those who are interested and capable to support devotional projects often choose to fund gorgeous temples or food distribution to the poor over devotional schools. Your new series of books have been hailed as a landmark in interactive education. What inspired you to develop them? What are their special features? What were the challenges? I was inspired by Prabhupäda’s requests in the late 60’s and early 70’s for books such as these, as well as the need I encountered as a teacher in devotional schools. The extraordinary feature most people notice is that by touching each page of the story books with a special “pen” one can hear that page in each of 25 languages. The pictures talk, and one can record one’s voice into the books. Children love using the books, begging for reading time! The series is a complete teaching program from the alphabet to fluency. Parents with no teaching experience to veteran teachers can use it, because there are detailed instructions and many activities for the children. The series can be used with a variety of reading techniques, including wholelanguage, synthetic phonics, and

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inductive whole-word phonics. The color books have a total of about 500 pieces of new, original artwork. The books contain stories from scripture, traditional tales of morality, and stories of modern children in both India and Western countries. There is full support for a vegetarian diet, cow protection, natural living, and spiritual development. The challenges were many—we started with no money and few human resources. In the end, over 200 people worldwide worked on it, including two of the top world literacy experts. I worked on this series during a time when I was traveling and preaching, without a home base. Many of the artists didn’t speak English, which made it a challenge to communicate what was needed. The entire project was a wonderful experience in seeing how Kåñëa provides for what He wants and how He guides us in His service. You are also one of the pioneers in the Grihastha Vision Team. Can you please tell us something about this program? The Grihastha Vision Team has workshops to help those planning to marry as well as those already married. They also train mentor couples in communities who can help the newly married. And, they work with ISKCON leadership to have policies that support marriage and family. www.vaisnavafamilyresources.org/ You are one of the few Vaiñëavés who are in a leadership position in our movement. What are the challenges involved in this and how did you deal with them? I think anyone, man or woman, who tries to give spiritual leadership at this time in history faces a

lot of challenges from the degraded norms increasing in society at large. Whatever challenges I face, I try to see as ways of expressing our love and devotion for God, as long as one has the blessings of one’s spiritual authorities, of guru and Kåñëa. As for specific challenges, it can be more difficult for a woman to give priority to family responsibilities while assuming a leadership role than it is for a man. I took up most of my leadership responsibilities either conjointly with my husband or after we entered the vänaprastha-äçrama and our children were grown. Another challenge can be in people’s perceptions of women as spiritual leaders. There have been many women spiritual leaders in our tradition, and Çréla Prabhupäda encouraged all his followers, both men and women, to lead the world toward spiritual values. Even so, there are some people who believe that women’s only contribution to world spiritual development should be in the private sphere. Sometimes such persons can become aggressive in trying to convince others of their position. As long as we see that everyone on the spiritual path is doing their best to make progress and that we are all individuals with our own perspective, such differences of opinions do not disturb our service. Do you have any special message for our Vaiñëavé readers? The çästra gives us the best way to be happy in life. That means both the traditional life of wife and mother, along with the ultimate life of all of us—unfolding our ultimate individuality in the ways we can love and serve Kåñëa both in our private life and for the good of the world.

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SPIRITUAL SCIENTIST

Do You Still Believe in

A devotee responds to a friend’s query about the effect of a serious accident on his belief.

?

By Caitanya Caraëa Däsa

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“Do you still believe in God when He didn’t—or couldn’t— protect you in His own temple?” This blunt question in my college friend’s email brought a smile to my face. On June 21, 2011, in the early morning hours, I slipped on some spilled water in the ISKCON temple at Juhu, Mumbai. The fall was minor, but the pain was severe. A subsequent x-ray showed a cervical hip fracture that had dislocated the bone at the neck. I was rushed to Bhaktivedanta Hospital, a devotee-run hospital in Mumbai, where the orthopedic surgeon Giriräja Däsa (Dr.Girish Rathore) performed four-and-ahalf-hour surgery and then

your question. I’m sure several of my acquaintances have the same question, but you alone had the forthrightness to raise it, so I appreciate your candor. In a reciprocation of candor I will give you my answer: It’s a resounding yes. Not only do I continue to believe in God, but this accident has increased my faith in Him enormously. Let me explain why. First, I would like to remind you of an incident from 1993 when we were staying in the same hostel room during our first year in college. One night I was gripped by an agonizing pain in my abdomen. I couldn’t reach a doctor till the next morning because it was Sunday night and

It was only when I started practicing Kåñëa consciousness that I discovered the practical means to counter the adhesive power of problems. advised a three-month rest to facilitate the rejoining of the fractured bone parts. When a former college roommate came to know of the fracture, he wrote offering his good wishes for a speedy recovery. After a couple of email exchanges, he asked his blunt question. I knew he had a good heart, but he had always found it hard to understand why I had thrown away a bright career to become, of all things, a monk. His question about my continued belief in God had reminded me of his loving exasperation with my life’s choice. After prayerful contemplation I replied to him as follows (I am withholding his name to protect his privacy): Dear Friend, Thank you for your email with

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the day after a public strike. We didn’t know what to do. We were away from home and in a new place where we had arrived only a few days earlier. As I lay moaning in pain you tried your best to help me, but little could be done for me till the next morning when a doctor dealt with the kidney stone that had been piercing me (biting would be a better word).

A Subconscious Tolerance Strategy My recent fall was just as painful—probably more so. But my suffering was less. Here’s why. When I fell I instinctively tried to remember Kåñëa—not out of devotion but as a subconscious tolerance strategy. Since my college days I have read many selfhelp books and have been struck

by a consistent theme in them: the enormous role the mind has in shaping our perceptions. Life presents problems to all of us, but we—or rather our mind—determine their sizes. When we let our mind dwell on a problem for too long, we blow it out of proportion and thus increase our misery. If we take our mind off the problem whenever we are not doing something specific to deal with it, we can prevent the problem—no matter how big it is objectively— from overwhelming us, and can go on with other aspects of our lives. This strategy to deal with the mind’s influence seems sensible— and extremely impractical. It seems that problems have a powerful in-built adhesive that lets them stick to the mind. Despite knowing that I was wasting my mental time and energy fretting over something unsolvable, I often found myself utterly unable to take my mind off the problem. It was only when I started practicing Kåñëa consciousness that I discovered the practical means to counter the adhesive power of problems. The first and foremost principle of Kåñëa consciousness, as suggested in the name itself, is to always be conscious of Kåñëa, for this increases our desire for and devotion to Him, as stated in the Bhagavadgétä (12.9). A fringe benefit of keeping our mind on Kåñëa is that it no longer dwells on problems. Over the fifteen years I have been practicing Kåñëa consciousness, I have repeatedly experienced that irritating or painful situations become less troublesome when the mind is taken off the disturbing stimuli and fixed on Kåñëa.

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Consequently, I have tried to cultivate the habit of calling out Kåñëa’s names whenever I have to do something unpleasant, be it as routine as a cold water bath on a frigid morning or receiving an occassional injection in a sensitive part of my body.

Suffering Happily On the fateful morning of my fall, as soon as I hit the marble I felt pain like no other pain I have experienced before. It seemed as if a live electric current was shooting up and down my thigh. After several awfully long minutes and a few desperate prayers, I got the idea from within to start reciting verses from the Bhagavad-gétä. Within moments, as if by magic, I found my mind becoming absorbed; a calming, comforting relief swept over me. For the next several hours, as I was taken first to the x-ray clinic, then to the hospital, to the CT scan center, and to a hospital bed, I continuously recited verses. Thanks to the many opportunities to study, speak, and write about the Gétä that Kåñëa has presented me with most of the Gétä’s verses are just a recall away. As I recited the verses I found myself relishing one of the most sublime experiences of my life. I had just recently taught the full Bhagavad-gétä to a group of devotees, and the discussions on many Gétä verses based on the commentaries of various äcäryas, especially Çréla Prabhupäda and Viçvanätha Cakravarté Öhäkura, were also fresh in my mind. Those discussions enhanced my absorption in the Gétä verses. I have often found contemplating the Gétä absorbing, but this time the absorption was unparalleled. The

main reason for the absorption, obviously, was not devotion but necessity. Letting the mind wander from the Gétä verses meant it would, by default, return to the pain, which was intolerable. When the doctor at the hospital saw my x-ray and then saw me, he remarked in surprise, “Normally a patient with a fracture like this is not as calm as you are; he is screaming in pain.” When I reflect now on his comment I know that I too would have been screaming in pain as indeed I was back in 1993 in the hostel. But thankfully, I have discovered Kåñëa consciousness. I remember an incident where my spiritual master, His Holiness Rädhänätha Swami, asked an ailing godbrother, “How are you?” When the godbrother candidly answered, “Suffering,” my spiritual master replied, “Suffer happily.” When I first heard this anecdote I thought the words “suffer happily” as a

delightful play on words. Now I have had a glimpse of their profound import: Even when the body is suffering, we can still be happy by cultivating Kåñëa consciousness.

From Cricket to Kåñëa In the months since the fracture, I have been analyzing that extraordinary experience of pain relief. Was it due specifically to Kåñëa consciousness, or was it merely due to mental absorption—irrespective of the object of that absorption? If I had been a cricket lover, could I have tolerated the pain by absorbing myself in thoughts of cricket? The decade before I was introduced to Kåñëa consciousness I was a passionate cricket lover; I could effortlessly rattle off the names of not just the players of all the cricket-playing countries but detailed statistics of their stellar performances. From my own experience I can say that absorption of any kind can offer

Relief from pain derived from remembering Kåñëa is substantially greater than that derived from remembering some mundane subject like cricket.

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relief; I vaguely recollect seeking relief by mentally going over cherished cricket memories and fantasies while lying in pain from my kidney stone. But experience has proven to me that the relief from remembering Kåñëa is substantially greater. Moreover, Kåñëa-absorption differs from mundane absorption in two fundamental ways: 1. It is independent of externals: Absorption on anything mundane has nothing to do with my essential being, the real “me.” The real “me,” the Bhagavad-gétä (2.13) explains, and cutting edge science reiterates, is a soul. When

independent nature of divine absorption: “The devotees do not suffer from material miseries because they are always filled with divine thoughts.” 2. It is enhanced by Kåñëa’s reciprocation: Absorption in Kåñëa is not only real but also reciprocal. Kåñëa is a living, loving person who graciously reciprocates with our attempts to think of Him. In stark contrast, cricket is just a game; it can’t reciprocate. Even if we think of specific cricketers, they, being limited persons like the rest of us, can’t reciprocate in the ways Kåñëa can. They are not even

Absorption in Kåñëa is not only real but also reciprocal. Kåñëa is a living, loving person who graciously reciprocates with our attempts to think of Him. I as the soul seek happiness—or even just relief—by absorbing myself in cricket, I do so by a chain of misidentifications with temporary externals: I, the soul, identify first with the material body I presently have, then with the country in which that body was born, and the game currently popular in that country. As these externals change both unpredictably and beyond my control, so does my happiness. If India wins I rejoice; if India loses I lament. But when I seek happiness by absorbing myself in Kåñëa, I identify myself with the truth of myself, with what I am eternally: a beloved part of the all-loving Lord, Çré Kåñëa. Truth doesn’t change. That’s why happiness coming from Kåñëa-absorption remains accessible no matter what happens around me—even if India loses or my body breaks. ÇrémadBhägavatam (3.25.23) describes the transcendental, matter-

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aware we are thinking of them. Kåñëa describes in the Gétä (18.58) how He reciprocates with those who think of Him, “If you become conscious of Me, you will pass over all obstacles by My grace.” This verse became a reality for me, thanks to my accident: I passed over the obstacle of intolerable pain with the divine grace of absorption in Kåñëa. I know from experience that this divine absorption is not automatic or mechanical; it is a gift from Kåñëa. I have recited verses from the Gétä before and after the accident and, though I generally find such recitation relishable, I have rarely been able to replicate the sublimity of the absorption during the postfracture period.

The Protective Value of Pain Now, coming to your insinuation that Kåñëa didn’t protect me, my response is He did. First, he

protected me from the intense pain by giving me His remembrance. Second, he protected me from the complications that could have resulted from the fracture by arranging to send me to a state-ofthe-art devotee-run hospital for treatment under a caring, competent devotee-doctor. Third and most importantly, he protected me from the painful illusion that life in this world can be peaceful and joyful. You will probably be surprised by my words “painful illusion.” Let me explain with the example of a medical disorder called Congenital Insensitivity to Pain with Anhidrosis (CIPA). Children with CIPA feel no pain, nor do they sweat or shed tears. They are highly vulnerable to injuring themselves in ways that would ordinarily be prevented if they felt pain. They often have eye infections because they have unwittingly rubbed their eyes too hard or too frequently or scratched them in their sleep. CIPA children often play recklessly; they’re not afraid to bang into anything. From a child’s short-sighted perspective, obliviousness to pain may seem a blessing that grants fearlessness. But from a mature perspective, that same obliviousness to pain is a curse because it impels foolhardiness. Parents of CIPA children often have one prayer: Let our children feel pain. Just as intellectual maturity helps parents understand the protective value of pain, so spiritual maturity helps us grasp the same lesson. Unfortunately, we are kept spiritually immature by our present materialistic culture, which by its incessant promises of worldly pleasures causes us to forget or neglect the

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unpalatable yet undeniable signs of suffering that surround us: acquaintances with agonizing cancers, energetic people who are mortifyingly immobilized by old age, thousands who are instantaneously wiped out by a sudden tsunami. Thus we unwittingly become like CIPA patients, recklessly playing our corporate and family games, oblivious to the dangers that may befall us at any moment. And when the dangers come—as they inevitably will— we often resent having been unfairly singled out for misfortune. But the fact is, everybody is being singled out sooner or later. Though the specifics of how different people suffer varies depending on individual past karma, the universal fact is that everyone suffers the inescapable onslaughts of old age, disease, and death. Serious contemplation of these miseries, the Bhagavad-gétä (13.9) informs us, begins our spiritual maturation. With spiritual maturity we understand that the sufferings of this world: a. Protect us from the futile and fatal illusion that we, as eternal beings, can be happy in this temporary setting. b. Provoke us to redirect our material desires to the spiritual, where we can reclaim the eternal happiness Kåñëa wants us to relish. I chose to redirect my desires about fifteen years ago when I made cultivating Kåñëa consciousness my life’s primary focus. For me, the recent accident— with its physical pain and spiritual relief—served as a strong validation of my choice. Of course, the accident also showed me that I still have a long way to go in redirecting my desires; during the

accident’s aftermath, I chanted not with devotion but out of necessity. But Kåñëa also says in the Gétä (7.16) that necessity can be the mother of devotion. I hope and pray that in the future a day will come when I will chant the Gétä’s verses with devotion. I feel confident that such a day will surely come if I continue diligently cultivating my absorption in Kåñëa. But till that day comes, I am happy and grateful to seek relief in Kåñëa-memories (and not cricket memories). Given the fact that pain is inevitable for all of us, and that

we have only the two unpalatable options of complaining publically or suffering privately, why not explore the third option offered by spiritual growth—joyful transcendence? Your loving friend in the service of Lord Kåñëa, Caitanya Caraëa Däsa Caitanya Caraëa Däsa is an associate-editor of Back to Godhead (US and Indian editions). To subscribe to his free cyber magazine, visit thespiritualscientist.com. Contact him at ccd.rnsm@gmail.com

Hare Kåñëa Hare Kåñëa Kåñëa Kåñëa Hare Hare Hare Räma Hare Räma Räma Räma Hare Hare

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The rising moon .... (Continued from page 9) mented by gold inlays. The magical and expensive onyx marble, which is known for its translucence and delicacy, will adorn the altar. The central dome will be flanked on either side by two smaller domes. The dome on the right will house the Deity of Lord Nåsiàha. Its interiors will be South Indian style and dominated by black. The dome on the left will house the Vedic Planetarium. The temple would implement green architecture; a state-of-theart natural air flow system will ventilate the huge central and right domes without using air-

domes would in robin-egg blue and would be reminiscent to the famous Faberge eggs designed by the famous Russian jewelry firm, House of Faberge. Faberge eggs are elaborate jewel-encrusted eggs, typically miniature. Along the same lines, the ToVP domes would be elaborately ornamented with weavings of gold. Above the entrance to the central dome would be an astronomical clock similar to the famous Prague Astronomical Clock. Eight staircase towers all around the structure would lend delightful symmetry. At night, the play of light would create another breathtaking scene. Apart from these major

With the rise of the ToVP, the resplendent moon of Lord Caitanya will ascend further and bathe the world with the most pleasing moonlight of love of God. conditioners. In contrast, the Vedic Planetarium, consisting of multiple floors, seminar halls, etc. will be fully air conditioned. The towering domes will be visible from miles away. The temple will be situated within beautiful landscaping with water bodies, fountains, and lawns. The massive size will awaken visitors to the temple’s immense significance. The outside walls would be in various exquisite shades of blue, white, and gold. The best marble to clad the outer walls will come directly from the quarries of Turkey. True to its purpose of being a world temple, its architecture would be an eclectic blend, borrowing heavily from Vedic and non-Vedic styles of sacred architecture. The main entrance would be like that of a classic Vedic temple with pillars and a courtyard. The magnificent

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features, there will be innumerable finer aspects that will lend unprecedented beauty to this magnificent temple.

The Rising Moon of Mäyäpur Çréla Prabhupäda requested his disciple Ambaréña Däsa (Alfred Ford, great grandson of Henry Ford), to help finance the ToVP. Taking this instruction as his very life, Ambaréña Däsa is personally financing a major portion of the total expenses. The temple construction started in 2009 and is well under way. Çréla Prabhupäda talked about the ToVP most with another disciple, Bhavänanda Däsa, who was involved for many years with the early development of the Mäyäpur temple. He now serves as the Creative Director for the ToVP. Ñaòbhuja Däsa, a 22-year Mäyäpur veteran and

Project Coordinator for the completion of Çréla Prabhupäda’s Puñpa Samädhi, is now heading the ToVP project as the Project Director. Working under him are Puëòarékäkña Govinda Däsa as the Site Project Coordinator and Viläsiné Devé Däsé as the Consultant Coordinator coordinating all architects and drawings. Gammon India, one of the largest physical infrastructure construction companies in India, is building the temple. Mr. Vibhuti Choudhary is acting as the consultant. The plan is for the superstructure to be complete within the next three years. If possible, even the Deities will be moved to Their grand new location. The completion of the external decorative work will take some years beyond to complete. The year 2016 is the 50th anniversary of ISKCON. The ToVP team’s desire is to present this grand temple to Çréla Prabhupäda in 2016 as a token of love and immense gratitude for the unfathomable gift of Kåñëa consciousness that he has given the world. Çréla Prabhupäda said that the ToVP already exists; Bhaktivinoda Öhäkura saw it. Whatever the Lord desires automatically becomes manifest by His icchä-çakti, the power of His desire. Now, what remains is to put the bricks and cement, and steel and paint, all in their place. Çréla Prabhupäda explained that Kåñëa showed Arjuna on the battlefield of Kurukñetra that He had already killed Arjuna’s enemies. Arjuna still had to fire his arrows and become the instrument for the killing. Similarly, whoever will help in physically building the ToVP will become famous as an instrument of the Lord in fulfilling His most cherished desire—of spreading His message in every

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In your own words ... How will you react if you catch someone accepting a bribe? If I notice someone accepting a bribe, I will immediately take this point to his authority, so he can take remedial measures to curb corruption. I urge the authorities to act against the roots, not the fruits. —SNS Ravindranath

what we deserve. I would also pray to Kåñëa so he can come out of this sinful life. Informing the police may not solve the problem because even the police force is corrupt. As far as possible, I will try to preach to him and engage him in Kåñëa’s service. —Premäïjana Däsa

I will try to give philosophical knowledge. I will explain about the laws of karma, hellish planets and rebirth. If he can his black money in kåñëa-seva—building temples, purchasing Çréla Prabhupäda’s books—he won’t have to face the reaction of his bad karmas. He should understand that everything belongs to Krishna and He is the proprietor of everything, so you should not steal anything. Money comes by destiny; we cannot get more than

Accepting bribe is a sin—you get a heavy karmic reaction if you indulge in it. It is stated in the scriptures that a person should do his duty honestly, with integrity and with respect. We should teach them to discharge their duties honestly and without asking for any favors from anybody. We should make them realize that asking or accepting a bribe is like a sin for which God will definitely punish them.

town and village. Çréla Prabhupäda made Mäyäpur the center of ISKCON. The ToVP touches the life of every ISKCON friend and member in a way unlike any other ISKCON temple. It is the root of the ISKCON tree. By watering this root, one will feel more strongly connected to the mission of the Lord. From this root the highest spiritual nourishment will reach all devotional branches all over the world. Çréla Prabhupäda named the present Mäyäpur temple complex “Çré Mäyäpur Chandrodaya

Mandir”. Candra means “moon” and refers to the effulgent moon of Lord Caitanya. The word candrodaya can be split as either chandra-doyä or candra-udaya. The former refers to the doyä (mercy) of Lord Caitanya, and the latter to the udaya (rise) of Lord Caitanya’s mission. About the ToVP, Çréla Prabhupäda had once said, “The plans and contemplations are going on in different phases; now when Caitanya Mahäprabhu will be pleased it will be taken up.” That time has come. With the rise of the ToVP, the resplendent moon of Lord Caitanya will as-

If I catch someone accepting a bribe I’ll be furious. I would tell them how unethical, illegal and immoral it is to accept a bribe. I would tell them that they are disrespecting their own position by doing such a cheap act. I would drag them to the court of law. I would make sure that they are punished. —Swati Pande IN YOUR OWN WORDS QUESTION FOR THE FORTHCOMING ISSUE

What spiritual lessons do you learn by observing the death of someone? Deadline for submission is October 25 Answers will be published in December 2011 Word limit: 150 words/ 15 lines E-mail: ed.btgindia@pamho.net

cend further and bathe the world with the most pleasing moonlight of love of God. To know more about the progress of the ToVP: Visit: http://www.tovp.org/. Call: Vraja Viläsa Däsa on 09635990391 Email: brajavilasa.rns@pamho.net Abhijit Toley did M.Tech.in Computer Science from IIT Mumbai and is presently working as a Senior Software Engineer in an MNC in Pune. Check his blog at www.thebandwagonofmoltengold.blogspot.com/

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The International Society for Krishna Consciousness

CENTRES IN INDIA Founder-Äcärya: His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivendanta Swami Prabhupada

ANDHRA PRADESH: Hanumkonda—(08712) 77399; Hyderabad—(040) 2474-4969/ vedantacaitanya@ pamho.net, Nellore—0861-2314577, 9215536589/ sukadevaswami@gmail.com; Secunderabad—(040) 7805232; Tirupati—(0877) 2231760/ guesthouse.tirupati@ pamho.net; Vijayawada—(08645) 272513/ mmdasiskcon vijayawada@gmail.com; Vishakhapatnam—(0891) 5537625/ samba.jps@pamho.net; Warangal—(08712) 426182; ASSAM: Cachar—(03842) 34615; Guwahati—(0361) 254-5963/ iskcon.guwahati@pamho.net; BIHAR: Patna— (0612) 687637/ krishna.kripa.jps@pamho.net; CHHATISGARH: Raipur—(0771) 5037555, 9893276985/ iskconraipur@ yahoo.com; DELHI: New Delhi—(011)26235133/ neel.sunder@pamho.net; New Delhi—25222851, 55136200. GUJARAT: Ahmedabad—(079) 26861945/ jasomati nandan.acbsp@pamho.net, Baroda—(0265) 231-0630/ basu.ghosh.acbsp@pamho.net; Dwarka—(02892) 34606; Surat—(0261) 2765891/ surat@pamho.net; Vallabh Vidyanagar—(02692) 230796; JAMMU & KASHMIR: Jammu—(0191) 2582306; Katra—(01991) 233047; Udhampur—(01992) 270298; KARNATAKA: Bangalore— (080) 23471956/ ard@iskconbangalore.org; Bangalore— (080) 23565708, 9844234108/ vibhav.krishna.jps @pamho.net; Belgaum—(0831) 243-6267; Mangalore— (0824) 2423326, 9844325616; KERALA: Thiruvananthapuram—(0471) 2328197/ jsdasa@yahoo.co.in. MADHYA PRADESH: Indore—(0731) 4972665; Ujjain— 0734-235000/ iskcon.ujjain@pamho.net; MAHARASHTRA: Beed—(02442) 231799/ iskcon.beed@pamho.net; Chowpatty, Mumbai—(022) 23665500/ radha.krishna.rns@ pamho.net; Juhu, Mumbai—(022) 26206860/ iskcon.juhu@pamho.net; Kharghar, Navi Mumbai— 9820039911/ iskcon.kharghar@gmail.com; Mira Road, Thane—(022) 28454667, 9223183023/kamalalochan.gkg @pamho.net; Nagpur—(0712) 6994730, 937015638/ iskcon.nagpur@pamho.net; Nasik—(0253) 6450005/ 9850071227/ siksastakam.rns@pamho.net; Pandharpur— (02186) 267242, 9423335991/ iskcon.pandharpur@ pamho.net; Pune—(020) 41033222/ infocenter@ iskconpune.in; Solapur—9371178393; MANIPUR: Imphal— (0385) 2455693, manimandir@sancharnet.in; Moirang— 795133; ORISSA: Bhubaneswar—(0674) 255-3517/ iskconbhubaneswar@rediffmail.com; Brahmapur—(0680) 2485720; Brahmapur—(0680) 2350100, 9437179400/ panchratna.gkg@pamho.net; Jagatsinghpur—(06724) 238112/ srigopalccd@yahoo.co.in; Puri—(06752) 231440; PUNJAB-HARYANA: Amritsar—(0183) 2540177; Chandigarh—(0172) 2601590/ bhaktivinode.gkg@ pamho.net; Kurukshetra—(01744) 234806; Ludhiana— (0161) 2770600, 9815940005/ iskcon.ludhiana@pamho.net. RAJASTHAN: Bharatpur—(05644) 22044; Jaipur—(0141) 2782765, 2781860/ jaipur@pamho.net; TAMIL NADU: Chennai— (044) 24530921; Coimbatore— (0422) 2574508/ info@iskcon-coimbatore.org; Madurai—(0452) 2746472; Salem—(0427) 2360012, 9442153427/ iskcon.salem@ pamho.net; Sri Rangam—(0431) 433945; Vellore—(0416) 2241654, 9790392143/ akinchan_bvks97@rediffmail.com; TRIPURA: Agartala—(0381) 227053/ premadata@ rediffmail.com; UTTAR PRADESH: Allahabad—(0532) 2416718/ iskcon.allahabad@pamho.net; Ghaziabad—(0120)

2824200, 09310969623/ snd-gkg@rediffmail.com; Jhansi— (0510) 2443602; Kanpur—09307188117/ iskcon.kanpur @pamho.net; Lucknow—(0522) 2636500; Noida—(095120) 2454912/ vraja.bhakti.vilas.lok@pamho.net; Varanasi—(0542) 276422; Vrindavan—(0565) 254-0021 (Guesthouse) 2540022 vrindavan@pamho.net; UTTARANCHAL: Haridwar— (01334) 260818, 261116; WEST BENGAL: Haridaspur—(03215) 57856; Kolkata—(033) 22873757/ iskcon.calcutta@ pamho.net; Mayapur—(03472) 245239, 245240/ mayapur.chandrodaya@pamho.net; Nadia—(03473) 281150/ shyamrup.jps@pamho.net; Siliguri—09800865104/ abd@pamho.net

V AIÑËAVA C ALENDAR October 01 – November15, 2011

6 Oct: Çré Rämacandra Vijayotsava, Çré Madhväcärya Appearance 8 Oct: Pakña vardhiné Mahädvädaçé, Fasting for Päçäìkuçä Ekädaçé, Disappearance of Çréla Raghunätha Däsa Gosvämé, Çréla Raghunätha Bhaööa Gosvämé and Çréla Kåñëadasa Kavéräja Gosvämé 9 Oct: Break fast (Mumbai) 06:31 am - 10:27 am 10 Oct: Last day of the third month of Cäturmäsya 11 Oct: Çré Kåñëa Çäradéyä Räsayäträ, Çré Muräré Gupta Disappearance, Lakñmé-püjä, Fourth month of Cäturmäsya begins (fasting from urad däl for one month) 17 Oct: Çréla Narottama däsa Öhäkura Disappearance 20 Oct: Appearance of Rädhä Kuëòa, snäna-däna, Bahuläñöamé 21 Oct: Çré Vérabhadra Appearance 23 Oct: Fasting for Ramä Ekädaçi 24 Oct: Break fast (Mumbai) 06:35 am - 10:27 am 26 Oct: Dépa-däna, Dépävalé 27 Oct: Go-püjä, Go-kréòä, Govardhana-püjä, Balidaityaräja-püjä, Çré Rasikänanda Appearance 28 Oct: Çré Väsudeva Ghosh Disappearance 30 Oct: Çréla Prabhupäda Disappearance 3 Nov: Gopäñöamé, Goñöhäñöamé, Çré Gadädhara däsa Gosvämé Disappearance, Çré Dhananjaya Paëòita Disappearance, Çré Çréniväsa Äcärya Disappearance 4 Nov: Jagaddhätré Püjä 6 Nov: Fasting for Utthäna Ekädaçi, Çréla Gaura Kiçora Däsa Bäbäjé Disappearance, First day of Bhiñma Païcaka 7 Nov: Break fast (Mumbai) 06:41 am - 10:28 am 9 Nov: Çré Bhugarbha Gosvämé Disappearance, Çré Käçéçvara Paëòita Disappearance, Last day of the fourth Caturmäsya month 10 Nov: Çré Kåñëa Räsayäträ, Tulasé-Çaligräma Viväha, Çré Nimbärkäcärya Appearance, Last day of Bhiñma Païcaka 11 Nov: Kätyäyani-vrata begins

OCTOBER 2011

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9/9/2011, 3:36 PM



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EDITORIAL

A LETTER TO STEVE JOBS Dear Steve, I am writing to you as someone who appreciates your personality. I am not so much of a computer nerd but I know enough to notice your impact on the world today. I would like to begin my appreciation by stating that you have taken the right decision. Better to quit when everyone asks “Why?” rather than “Why not?” Perhaps you may find this interesting to note that even in spiritual organizations including our Hare Krishna movement, many renunciates carry on their pastoral duties using many or almost all of the innovations and creations for which Apple Inc. is synonymous—iTunes, iPod, iPhone, iPad, and the Mac. I compare your achievements to that of a king or an emperor of yore. In Vedic histories exceptional kings were called räjarñis, or philosopher-Kings. The Vedic scriptures describe how these extremely well-trained princes would gallop around the world in order to expand their kingdom, and then at the right time relinquish it to someone worthy. WHY? Because they understood that to explore and conquer the inner world was equally or more important than conquering the gross, outer world. In fact the conquest of death and afterlife was seen as the main purpose behind the human form of life. I especially think that you are uniquely gifted with wisdom echoing these Vedic truths. This is evident in the statement that you made at your famous Stanford University speech: “Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not

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to follow your heart. Death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be because death is very likely the single best invention of life. It is life’s change agent.” Steve, it fills my heart with joy when you acknowledged that in those hard times the only decent meal you could lay your hands on was the one they served out at the local Hare Kåñëa center. I would like to bring to your attention Swami Prabhupäda, the founder of the movement and the message he brought to the shores of America in 1965. When asked by American reporters as to the purpose behind his visit to America at the advanced age of sixty-nine, he would say, “To humbly remind what people have forgotten.” According to the Swami the main point of transcendental knowledge is to know that we are not these bodies, but are spiritual sparks living within our bodies. It is the spark which animates our bodies, and is the source behind all the creativity and innovations. Although he passed away in 1977, his legacy remains in the form of his vast library of transcendental literature, monasteries and, of course, his dedicated followers. I know in my heart that he will accept your public display of gratitude with pleasure. I sincerely pray that at this important point in your life you sincerely seek sage advice and that you get the very best of it. You could utilize this opportunity, like the great kings, to devote yourself to the study of wisdom literature like the Bhagavadgétä As It Is. My best wishes for your greater success in the second phase of innovation and achievements in your life. Your friend and admirer, Çyämänanda Däsa

OCTOBER 2011

9/9/2011, 3:36 PM

Back To Godhead Year 2011 Volume-08 Number-10  

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