Find and learn about any ISKCON Center in the world in this new…

Find and learn about any ISKCON Center in the world in this new interactive website, the new official directory of ISKCON centers.
To find the center you’re looking for on the website, there are many different options. You can simply type, say, “Spain” into the “What are you looking for?” box on the homepage, and find a list of all the centers in that country accessible through attractive thumbnail photos. Or, you can be more specific, and select “Spain” from the “regions” drop-down menu and “farm” from the “categories menu, and find the New Vrajamandala farm. Other search options include the “Browse categories” menu, where you can go straight to, say, all the Namahatta groups or all the restaurants in ISKCON worldwide. Then there’s “Centers by Region,” where you can go straight to all the centers in a major region of the world, like “Latin America” or “Asia-Pacific.” There’s also “Centers of Interest,” which currently has only “farms” in its drop-down menu, and leads you directly to the GBC Ministry of Agriculture and Cow Protection’s official global directory of all ISKCON farms. Future “Centers of Interest” to be added will include a one-click pathway to all major ISKCON schools.
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A Society Without Envy

Hare KrishnaBy Gour Govinda Swami

One may be compassionate to fulfill his own selfish desire. One may be compassionate to some and not compassionate to others. He has raga and dvesa, liking and disliking. He is not equal to one and all. He cannot be. Unless one sees Krishna how can he be compassionate? He will see, this is Krishna’s jiva suffering. His heart bleeds. He cannot sit tight. He will go out and preach Krishna consciousness. And who preaches? Prana ache yara, sei hetu pracara; one who has life? What is life? Jivanam sarva-bhutesu. Krishna says, “I am jivan, I am the life in all living entities.” One who sees Krishna everywhere. Who sees Krishna’s jiva suffering because of forgetfulness of Krishna, because of a lack of Krishna conscoiusness; he has prana, life. He goes out and preaches. He is completely surrendered to Krishna. Therefore Krishna came as Mahaprabhu, as a bhakta (a devotee), to teach devotion, to teach how to surrender unto Krishna (sikhaya sarangati bhakater prana). Saranagati is the life of the devotee who is completely surrendered.  Continue reading

Active Listening

Hare KrishnaBy Bhurijana dasa

One fundamental requirement for active listening is the capacity to suspend the judging-propensity. Resist the temptation to immediately offer words of advice or throw out pat preachy lines. The general rule is to not advice unless you are quite sure the listener wishes to accept your words: “advice only when hired” is a saying used by professional counselors in this connection. Instructing one who is disturbed is usually not effective because the troubled person’s turbulent mind will not allow him to hear. It is often better to wait until the person’s emotions subside. This often happens quickly and naturally when he feels understood. Active listening is a powerful preaching tool: it warms the relation, it lets you know what “they are at”, it lets you enter their life by them opening up to you (while keeping, in a sense, above). People really appreciate when you want to hear what they have to say: many people go on all their life without experiencing it. Another analogy is “shot-gun” and “laser” preaching: when you know what is going on in someone’s mind your advice becomes more focused, more pointed, you know what to shoot for. Active listening is also useful in book distribution, it can defuse a tense situation in few seconds. Continue reading

Notes of a pilgrim. Mukhya Devi Dasi (President of…

Notes of a pilgrim.
Mukhya Devi Dasi (President of Iskcon’s Raman Reti community in Alachua): We’ve spent the past week in the rarefied atmosphere of Sri Vrindavan Dhama, by the mercy of Srila Prabhupada and Krishna. ISKCON’s Krishna Balaram Mandir is chock full of life: kirtan, seva and bhakti vibrating from end to end. Just watching the pilgrims stream through during sundara arati and hearing the 24 hour kirtan in full swing begin dancing as they have darshan of Sri Sri Gaura Nitai, Sri Sri Krishna Balaram and Sri Sri Radha Shyamsundar, is an evening activity for us. There is nothing like it in the three worlds. We are charmed and humbled by their natural devotional feelings. Many classes going on from morning to night, in many languages, with many devotees in attendance. There’s even a class for guests that happens right after mangal arati, in an office within the Temple itself.
The holiest of holy tirthas, for me, is here too, Srila Prabhupada’s Samadhi, his resting place. His huge murti form emanates a unique expression of compassion, certainly Krishna was guiding the hands of the artist who created this most extraordinary murti. In one form the pure devotee remains within his Samadhi to give mercy to faithful and sincere devotees, and here one can receive inspiration and enthusiasm in his devotional service. Each day after the morning program we leave for parikrama, visiting one or two temples where we can sit and read and chant, before getting into the market for shopping. Some of where we’ve been:
Gopiswara Mahadeva Temple (this linga was installed 5,000 years ago by Lord Krishna’s grandson Vajaranabha) Here we take permission to enter the holy dhama Vamsi Vata (where Krishna called the gopis to dance with Him)
Govindaji Mandir Even after desecration and deterioration, this huge mandir which was originally seven stories high made of huge red sandstone block, intricately carved domes and lattice work screens, seems like an architectural marvel. Somehow they take us right up onto the altar here, then down a secret stairwell to have darshan of an ancient deity of Yogamaya (Krishna’s sister).
Braja Mohan Temple. The deity of Narottam das Thakura, this lovely well maintained, quiet (and monkey proof) spot is one of our favorites. We sit here a while and chant the songs of Narottam das and feel our good fortune. His Holiness Indradyumna Swami gave a donation here to fix up the temple, and they are very nice and personal with us.
Radha Vinode, Radha Gokulanada, deities of Lokanatha Goswami and Visvanatha Chakravarti Thakur. We also visits the Samadhi garden here, chant and circumambulate.
Radha Kunda
We did a half day parikrama of Radha Kund with Dina Bandhu prabhu. The only way to go! We really understood why they say only mad dogs go out in the noon day sun, it was painfully hot for us, but Dina Bandhu was cheerfully carrying on, being respectfully and happily greeted by every baba we met.
64 Samadhis, all the major goswamis and preachers of Vrindavan have either a full or a pushpa, nama, or smrita Samadhi here.
Purnamasi Temple. The mother of Sandipani Muni, everyone considered her on all matters, and she made arrangements with Vrinda devi for Radha Krishna’s pastimes. Situated at a corner of Seva Kunj.
Bath in Yamuna, she was very shallow this week, but cool and refreshing nonetheless.
Radha Damodar Temple. “the center of the spiritual world.” The bhajan place of Rupa Goswami, where he would daily hold discourse on Srimad Bhagavatam with the other goswamis and their close associates. Also here is the Govardhan sila of Srila Sanatana Goswami which has the footprint of Lord Krishna impressed upon it. Srila Prabhupada’s rooms are here, beautifully maintained ‘as they were’. We spend extra time here reading aloud Bhagavad Gita, and chanting bhajan.
We were happy for the chance to visit with His Holiness Gunagrahi Swami, who is absorbing himself in kirtan, nice association, hearing-chanting-remembering. We had a nice chat, sharing realizations and memories. Two more days and we leave for the airport on a very very long trek home. Be it ever so humble…I will be very happy to get there.
Everywhere I go I am praying for all the residents of New Raman Reti, may we always stay engaged in service at Srila Prabhupada’s lotus feet.

The handwriting of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu Himself? (Album with…

The handwriting of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu Himself? (Album with photos)
The Bhaktivedanta Research Centre’s Mission for Manuscripts Team visited the Sripata of Srila Vrndavana dasa Thakura, Denuda in Bardaman (West Bengal).
On the altar there is a wood and glass box containing a mss that is said to be the original Caitanya Bhagavat by Srila Vrndavana dasa Thakura.
We were not allowed to photograph these from the outside of the box because, following an attempt to steal it by a young man disguised as a Hindu sadhu, the box was sealed and even the current pujari can’t open it.
With it there is a thin strip with what the owners claim is the handwriting of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu Himself.
Find them here: