Govinda Swami: Clean Vraja Campaign Update!! When I came home to…

Govinda Swami: Clean Vraja Campaign Update!!
When I came home to Vrindavan I wrote a note that explained my personal crisis while being here … due to the prevailing insane situation in Vrindavan.
After my post, many friends from around the world commented, shared wonderful ideas, and offered their time, expertise, and commitment to help the ecological and heritage crisis that we are facing here in Vrindavan.
I started thinking.
Hey !! Please don’t laugh. I can still think .. a little
First I sat down with Indradyumna Maharaja to think of the folks we know who have been very successful in their services in Vrindavan.
We first met with Padmanabha Goswami of Radha Raman Mandir, one of our oldest Vrindavan friends, who is a recognized activist for the ecology and culture of Vrindavan.
Then we met our Vrindavan temple president Pancha Gauda Prabhu who has so successfully served and developed Vrindavan Temple for nearly 30 years.
Then we met Rupa Raghunatha who is the driving force of Food For Life Vrindavan and the world famous Sandipani Muni School for underprivileged girls.
Rupa has built schools and gives A to Z care for 1,400 young girls in Vrindavan and manages a staff of over 300 persons.
And then we met Jagatananda Prabhu, a very old friend with whom I shared my early days of Krishna consciousness in Toronto. We have probably not met since 1980.
Jagatananda is a teacher, scholar, writer, Sanskritist, master of Bengali language, translator and the editor of the internet newspaper Vrindavan Today.
In all the discussions we shared ideas and agreed that;
If we wish to attain the cherished goal of restoring Vraja we will need the assistance of the varied members of civil society in Vraja .. as well as the enforcement of the law of the land by the respected officers of the Indian Government.
On the first point;
Pancha Gauda and Rupa Raghunatha prabhus both run huge organizations. At present they are both in the process of creating better professional systems to manage their organizations.
Rupa Raghunatha has already engaged an international consultant to guide the restructuring of Food For Life Vrindavan and it has given fantastic results.
This last February his consultant visited Vrindavan and guided the FFLV team in their second training.
And, while the consultant was in Vrindavan, Rupa called together a group of prominent Vrindavan citizens and spent an afternoon of consultant guided brainstorming.
The conclusion of two hours of work was fantastic.
Now our desire is to again invite the consultant, pull more members on board, and chalk out a real plan for our work in Vraja.
And on the second point;
In India, we have a Prime Minister of the nation.
In each state, we have a Chief Minister.
The Chief Minister of our state Uttar Pradesh is a sadhu named Yogi Adityanatha. He is the Mahant of the Gorakhpur Temple Pith and has long been involved in national politics.
He is the president of an organization dedicated to the development of Vraja Bhumi .. and his vice president is a wonderful retired senior officer of the police. His name is Sri Shailesh Jha Kant Mishra.
He is the direct secretary to our state Chief Minister.
Mishraji is quite an amazing individual. He is a disciple of Devraha Baba, a renown saint who passed from this world around 1990.
At the time of his passing, he is said to have been between 300 and 400 years old.
Five generations of Mishraji’s family were disciples of Baba.
Baba instructed Mishraji to never purchase a house or own a piece of property during his life, instructed his wife never to purchase gold, and told him that one day he would be called to serve the sacred land of Vrindavan.
And in his retirement, he was requested by the Chief Minister to come to Vraja and serve.
Thus for him, this is a sacred service that has been given to him by his guru maharaja.
Through Pancha Gauda and Rupa Raghunatha, I have heard that Mishraji has agreed to be a part of the Vrindavan partnership development team and will assist in giving proper guidance and support to the committee.
He has said that until he dies he will be dedicated to the service of Sri Vrindavan Dham.
And folks … that is very good news.
So, in conclusion .. the ball is rolling … in a great direction.
I will keep all of you updated when I hear that there is any more information.
Your prayers, hearts, voices, arms, professional abilities, references, will all be needed to make this long-term dream come true.
Hare Krishna and good morning from Vrindavan !!
Yours in service,
BB Govinda Swami


Give to Live

Hare KrishnaBy Karnamrita dasa

The idea that it is better to give than to just receive (to just be “on the take”), is a universal truth understood by people of all religions. In addition people understand that giving is actually getting, or by giving you are nourished and benefited. In a broad sense we can tell people that Krishna consciousness is all about learning how to give, rather then just being an exploiter. So people should be encouraged to begin the process of giving somewhere, somehow, to someone. Ultimately from our vision giving to God and saintly persons is the highest giving (because we receive the true benefit of giving), yet everyone has to begin, and should be encouraged. In many places in the Gita different levels of giving are recommended according to the consciousness of the people involved. Everyone should understand the ultimate purpose of giving—-pleasing Krishna and realizing our eternal nature as a servant, cooperator, or giver to God. Continue reading

Lord Ramacandra’s Appearance Day: Activities and Resources For Teaching and Guiding Ages 2-18

Hare KrishnaBy Urmila Devi Dasi

Schedule: Each festival can be the focus for a five-day week, with a concentration each day on one of the five most potent items of devotional service as related to that festival. This program is flexible and can be used in other ways. For example, it is entirely possible to take one item of devotional service and concentrate on it for more than one day, or even an entire week. And, some people might want to only spend one day on a festival. Continue reading

GBC College in Russia – Second Residential Session

Hare KrishnaBy GBC College Staff

Russian-speaking ISKCON leaders from all over the country (and beyond) assembled in Moscow, in January 2018, for continuing their Zonal Supervisor course, an offering of the GBC College for Leadership Development. The group, which included among others Russian GBC Acyutatma Prabhu and three Russian sannyasis, had already gathered in Sochi, in the south of Russia, in June 2017, and now again came together to continue the training. Continue reading

Rama-navami Observance & Fasting

Hare KrishnaBy the SAC

GBC approved SAC Paper on Rama-navami Fasting. In this paper, we present research on the length and type of fasting for Rāma-navamī from sādhu, śāstra and guru. We also examine related items such as the concept of completing one’s fasting vow, specific calendar considerations, a comparison with other viṣṇu-tattva appearance days and Ekādaśī, and practices in some ISKCON centers. We then make recommendations at the end of the paper of general principles which we apply to ISKCON leaders, ISKCON members, and suggestions for the calendar listing. Continue reading