Krishna Temples

vcm-architectural-florish

“This is Krishna conscious vision: ‘Oh, there are so many skyscrapers. Why not construct a nice skyscraper temple of Krishna?’ This is Krishna consciousness.”
– Srila Prabhupada

As long as I can remember, I have taken and interest in Architecture. Perhaps this was because I grew up in the city of Chicago, where the skyline was an ever changing array of looming Skyscrapers. I studied Architectural drafting & design in college, and for some time, thought that was my calling. Although I never became an Architect, I did in fact become a builder/carpenter/woodworker and my interest in Buildings, especially large monumental construction projects has always remained. Two project I have been keeping my eye on, are the two large temple projects being undertaken by devotees in India. Namely the Vrindavan Chandrodaya Mandir, and the Mayapur Chandrodaya Mandir. Today we are posting some images and information on both projects with some links for you to follow for more information.


Vrindavan Chandrodaya Mandir

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Mayapur Chandrodaya Mandir

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Lord Balarama

Back to Godhead - Volume 11, Number 0304 - 1976

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Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Personality of Godhead, along with Balarāma, played like a human being, and so masked He performed many superhuman acts. (SB 1.1.20)

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Rupanugaus / The Mercy of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu

The Sankirtan Movement of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu

The Sankirtan Movement of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu

Devotees acknowledge Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s special mercy upon Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī in the following words:

śrī-caitanya-mano ’bhīṣṭaṁ-
sthāpitaṁ yena bhū-tale
svayaṁ rūpaḥ kadā mahyaṁ
dadāti sva-padāntikam

“When will Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī Prabhupāda, who has established within this material world the mission to fulfill the desire of Lord Caitanya, give me shelter under his lotus feet?”

The special function of Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī is to establish the feelings of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. These feelings are His desires that His special mercy be spread throughout the world in this Kali-yuga.

pṛthivīte āche yata nagarādi-grāma
sarvatra pracāra haibe mora nāma

His desire is that all over the world everyone, in every village and every town, know of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and His saṅkīrtana movement. These are the inner feelings of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī committed to writing all these feelings of the Lord. Now again, by the mercy of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, the same feelings are being spread all over the world by the servants of the Gosvāmīs, and devotees who are pure and simple will appreciate this attempt. As concluded by Śrīla Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī, however, those who are on the level of hogs and dogs will never appreciate such a great attempt. Yet this does not matter to the preachers of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s cult, for all over the world they will continue to perform this responsible work, even though persons who are like cats and dogs do not appreciate them.

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Forgetful of God; Krsna

Forgetful of Krsna

This morning I read the following verse from the Science of Self Realization;

“This is a simple method. All you have to do is bow down before Krishna with faith and say, ‘My Lord Krishna, I was forgetful of You for so long, for so many lives. Now I have come to my consciousness; please accept me.’ That’s all. If one simply learns this technique and sincerely surrenders himself to the Lord, his path is immediately open.” (Science of Self-Realization, Chapter 7)

I was moved by how simple this process is. Srila Prabhupada has said; “…it is so simple we can miss it”. But we are in a fortunate position, because Srila Prabhupada has given us the method to return home Back to Godhead through his books and instructions.

“The forgetful conditioned soul is educated by Kṛṣṇa through the Vedic literatures, the realized spiritual master and the Supersoul. Through these, he can understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead as He is, and he can understand that Lord Kṛṣṇa is his eternal master and deliverer from the clutches of māyā. In this way one can acquire real knowledge of his conditioned life and can come to understand how to attain liberation. (Madhya-līlā 20.123)

The following is the complete chapter 7 from the Science of Self Realization and the complete Text and purport to Madhya-lila 20.123 More

The Cause of Confusion and Dissension in the Krishna Consciousness Movement

The Hare Krishna Movement

Here is another fine article compiled by Vidura Mahatma Prabhu, which appeared in my mailbox some time back. Some very nice quotes.

The Cause of Confusion and Dissension in the Krishna Consciousness Movement
by Vidura Mahatma Das

“When disciples do not stick to the principle of accepting the order of their spiritual master, immediately there are two opinions. Any opinion different from the opinion of the spiritual master is useless. One cannot infiltrate materially concocted ideas into spiritual advancement. That is deviation. There is no scope for adjusting spiritual advancement to material ideas.” (Caitanya-caritamrta Adi 12.9 purport)

“All the devotees connected with this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement must read all the books that have been translated (Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Bhagavad-gītā and others); otherwise, after some time, they will simply eat, sleep and fall down from their position. Thus they will miss the opportunity to attain an eternal, blissful life of transcendental pleasure.”
(Chaitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila 25.278 : Purport by Srila Prabhupada)

“The order of the spiritual master is the active principle in spiritual life. Anyone who disobeys the order of the spiritual master immediately becomes useless.” (CC Adi 12.10)

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Story of Jayadratha

Jayadratha captures Draupadi

Jayadratha: Another son of Mahārāja Vṛddhakṣetra. He was the King of Sindhudeśa (modern Sind Pakistan). His wife’s name was Duḥśalā. He was also present in the svayaṁvara ceremony of Draupadī, and he desired very strongly to have her hand, but he failed in the competition. But since then he always sought the opportunity to get in touch with Draupadī. When he was going to marry in the Śalyadeśa, on the way to Kāmyavana he happened to see Draupadī again and was too much attracted to her. The Pāṇḍavas and Draupadī were then in exile, after losing their empire in gambling, and Jayadratha thought it wise to send news to Draupadī in an illicit manner through Koṭiśaṣya, one of his associates. Draupadī at once refused vehemently the proposal of Jayadratha, but being so much attracted by the beauty of Draupadī, he tried again and again. Every time he was refused by Draupadī. He tried to take her away forcibly on his chariot, and at first Draupadī gave him a good dashing, and he fell like a cut-root tree. But he was not discouraged, and he was able to force Draupadī to sit on the chariot. (from purport to SB 1.15.16) More

The Vaisnava Journal Free PDF Download

Vaisnava Journal

Recently my good friend Padmapani Prabhu, sent me this link to his page Prabhupada Connect where he has just posted the Vaisnava Journal in a pdf format. We will be posting all five issues here as well, for our readers, so you can download and save to your computer or just read online. Today we are posting Vol. 1, No. 1 as a free pdf download.

click on link to veiw or save; Vaisnava Journal Vol 1, No. 1 VJ-1
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The Vaisnava Journal
by Padmapani das

The Vaisnava Journal was created to help devotees work through our differences in a respectful and co-operative manner with the aim of preserving the loving mood in our spiritual family after the physical departure of His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada. Although only five issues were printed and distributed over the next two-and-a-half years, the magazine was popular and well received by many leaders, members and friends of ISKCON.

Read more…

Over the years, I’ve been approached by numerous devotees requesting copies of The Vaisnava Journal. Since I have only one set available, I was unable to comply until now. Please have a look at our humble attempt to serve Srila Prabhupada and his great mission during a time of change in our movement’s history.

In particular, I’d like to draw your attention to the Vaisnava Forum (letters section) which was launched to help facilitate a healthy dialogue among all participants. The mood was friendly and hopeful to which the devotees responded in kind. Writers and contributors read like a who’s who list of ISKCON members at the time. If anything, the journal proved that devotees of all persuasions can relate to one another with respect and godbrotherly love. This was Srila Prabhupada’s instruction and desire for us all.

“Perhaps you may know that there are many political parties in a country but when the country’s total responsibility has to be executed, they become combined. To have some little disagreements among yourselves is not very unnatural because we are all individual beings. But as we are working on behalf of Krishna, we should always forget our personal interests and see to the prime cause.” (Srila Prabhupada letter, January 21, 1969)

Srimad Bhagavatam Index Part 5

Srimad Bhagavatam cover

Srimad Bhagavatam cover

Sometime back one of our readers submitted this Index on the Srimad-Bhagavatam, and asked if I could post it. It is truly a very impressive piece of work, and represents a great deal of time and study. We applaud the effort that Jan has put into this Index, and with great pleasure we post it here, in the hopes that others can benefit.

Srimad-Bhagavatam Index, Notes, Topical Guide
compiled by Jan Alexander

This was written to help me find, understand and remember the massive truth found in the Srimad-Bhagavatam. Every abbrieviated, shortened, misused, form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead’s name, fame, and pastimes is just in attempt to cram the Srimad-Bhagavatam into this being that I am. I hope that this will be of great help to others who are studying the Srimad-Bhagavatam. I offer this handful of rice to the Lord.
– Jan Alexander

This file is so large we will have to post it in parts. This is the conculsion of index. Many thanks to to Jan Alexander for her devoted efforts.

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Letters by Srila Prabhupada: Chanting, Dancing and Eating Krishna Prasadam

Back to Godhead - Volume 12, Number 0304 - 1977

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…”You write to me that you do not know what is my desire, but my desire is an open secret. I simply want all over the Western countries people may take this simple formula of chanting, dancing and eating Krishna Prasadam, and being happy. I am simply surprised that they should not accept this simple formula and be happy themselves. My only desire is that all people become happy and prosperous in Krishna Consciousness.”
(Srila Prabhupada letter, September 19, 1969)

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Relationship with Spiritual Master

Prabhupada_Classic

This morning I was inspired by a post I happened upon on Prabhupada Connect. I expanded on the post with a few select verses from Srila Prabhupada’s books.

“So far as I am concerned, I have accepted you as my disciple and you have accepted me as your spiritual father. This relationship cannot be ended anymore. It is eternal.” (Srila Prabhupada letter, July 9, 1969)

…The relationship of a disciple with his spiritual master is as good as his relationship with the Supreme Lord. A spiritual master always represents himself as the humblest servitor of the Personality of Godhead, but the disciple must look upon him as the manifested representation of Godhead. (purport to Adi-lila 1.45)

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Krishna Has Descended in the Form of the Krishna Consciousness Movement

Battlefield of Kurukshetra

I was reminded while reading the Srimad Bhagavatam today, that this is an election year.

…rogues and thieves in the guise of protectors arrange for a voting system, and in the name of democracy they come to power by hook or crook and exploit the citizens. Even long, long ago, asuras, persons devoid of God consciousness, became the heads of state, and now this is happening again. The various states of the world are preoccupied with arranging for military strength. Sometimes they spend sixty-five percent of the government’s revenue for this purpose. But why should people’s hard-earned money be spent in this way? Because of the present world situation, Kṛṣṇa has descended in the form of the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. This is quite natural, for without the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement the world cannot be peaceful and happy.
( from purport to SB 10.1.17)

Full test and purport More

Preface to the Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta

Sri_Caitanya_Caritamrta

This morning I reached for book off the shelve. I was inspired to go to the Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta Vol. 1 of the Ādi-līlā. Don’t know why, I just felt this pulling. So I opened it and began to read from the Preface. In these couple of pages, Srila Prabhupada explaines the entire philosophy of Krishna Consciousness. I was thinking I should just try to memorize these few pages, word for word, and the next time my mind began to wander off into maya, I could reel it back in, by simply remembering these basic instructions that Srila Prabhupada gave us back in 1968.

Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta
by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda

Preface

There is no difference between the teachings of Lord Caitanya presented here and the teachings of Lord Kṛṣṇa in the Bhagavad-gītā. The teachings of Lord Caitanya are practical demonstrations of Lord Kṛṣṇa’s teachings. Lord Kṛṣṇa’s ultimate instruction in the Bhagavad-gītā is that everyone should surrender unto Him, Lord Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa promises to take immediate charge of such a surrendered soul. The Lord, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is already in charge of the maintenance of this creation by virtue of His plenary expansion, Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, but this maintenance is not direct. However, when the Lord says that He takes charge of His pure devotee, He actually takes direct charge. A pure devotee is a soul who is forever surrendered to the Lord, just as a child is surrendered to his parents or an animal to its master. In the surrendering process, one should: (1) accept things favorable for discharging devotional service, (2) reject things unfavorable, (3) believe firmly in the Lord’s protection, (4) feel exclusively dependent on the mercy of the Lord, (5) have no interest separate from the interest of the Lord, and (6) always feel oneself meek and humble.

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The Vaisnava Journal Free PDF Download

The Vaisnava Journal

Recently my good friend Padmapani Prabhu, sent me this link to his page Prabhupada Connect where he has just posted the Vaisnava Journal in a pdf format. We will be posting all five issues here as well, for our readers, so you can download and save to your computer or just read online. Today we are posting Vol. 1, No. 2 as a free pdf download.

click on link to veiw or save; Vaisnava Journal Vol 1, No. 2

The Vaisnava Journal
by Padmapani das

The Vaisnava Journal was created to help devotees work through our differences in a respectful and co-operative manner with the aim of preserving the loving mood in our spiritual family after the physical departure of His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada. Although only five issues were printed and distributed over the next two-and-a-half years, the magazine was popular and well received by many leaders, members and friends of ISKCON.

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The Brahmastra Weapon

nuclear weapon

This morning I was reading from the Srimad Bhagavatam, First Canto, Chapter 7, entitled “The Son of Drona Punished”. This chapter has always intrigued me, because although the Srimad Bhagavatam was compiled by Srila Vyasedeva five thousand years ago, there is mention of the ultimate weapon, the brahmāstra [nuclear weapon] being used. We think that Atomic energy or Nuclear energy is some modern technological advancement, but actually this knowledge has been around since the time that Srimad Bhagavatam was first spoken, many thousands of years ago.

…The brahmāstra is similar to the modern nuclear weapon manipulated by atomic energy. The atomic energy works wholly on total combustibility, and so the brahmāstra also acts. It creates an intolerable heat similar to atomic radiation, but the difference is that the atomic bomb is a gross type of nuclear weapon, whereas the brahmāstra is a subtle type of weapon produced by chanting hymns. It is a different science, and in the days gone by such science was cultivated in the land of Bhārata-varṣa. The subtle science of chanting hymns is also material, but it has yet to be known by the modern material scientists. Subtle material science is not spiritual, but it has a direct relationship with the spiritual method, which is still subtler. A chanter of hymns knew how to apply the weapon as well as how to retract it. That was perfect knowledge. (from purport to SB 1.7.28)

…The theory that the modern atomic bomb explosions can annihilate the world is childish imagination. First of all, the atomic energy is not powerful enough to destroy the world. And secondly, ultimately it all rests on the supreme will of the Supreme Lord because without His will or sanction nothing can be built up or destroyed. It is foolish also to think that natural laws are ultimately powerful. Material nature’s law works under the direction of the Lord, as confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā. The Lord says there that natural laws work under His supervision. The world can be destroyed only by the will of the Lord and not by the whims of tiny politicians. Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa desired that the weapons released by both Drauṇi and Arjuna be withdrawn, and it was carried out by Arjuna at once. Similarly, there are many agents of the all-powerful Lord, and by His will only can one execute what He desires. (from purport to 1.7.32)

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The Spiritual Master of The Hare Krishna Movement

The Hare Krishna Movement

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“I will always be the spiritual master for the entire Krishna consciousness movement; for anyone in this age willing to follow the principles I have given for the benefit of everyone.”

Srila Prabhupada’s Conversation 1975, Ookala, Hawaii

History of Diksa Guru in ISKCON 1978-2014

BackTo-Godhead-ISKCON-Initiation

The other day I got a new phone, a smart phone. I wanted to see how smart it was, so I asked it a Question. “Who is Srila Prabhupada” and I was very surprised when it started talking, with authority. It also brought up a Google page with links to various articles. One of the links brought me to this very informative composition on the history of ISKCON. Although I was aware of most of the history, still to see it all written in one place was something. Thank you to Nrsimhananda Prabhu, who did a fine job of putting it all together. We share it with all of you.

History of Diksa Guru in ISKCON 1978-2014
by Nrsimhananda dasa

This is a history of GBC resolutions, gurus approved, gurus suspended, and other key events in ISKCON as specifically related to diksa and siksa gurus. Although compiled carefully over many years, and in consultation with many ISKCON members, some historians and some former members, there are undoubtedly a lot of errors and omissions in this document due to a lack of information. There are especially errors in terms of the specific years that some persons were approved or disapproved to act as diksa guru in ISKCON. Such errors are due to a lack of record-keeping on the part of any official ISKCON body. This is intended to be a public document, for the view of anyone interested in ISKCON history; it is not an internal document.

(Note: most GBC resolutions are here in a summary form; some are in the exact wording).

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“A Month in the Life of Srila Prabhupada”

Srila Prabhupada

Recently this following letter appeared in my mailbox with a wonderful link from Vanipedia.org A month in the life of Srila Prabhupada is generated from the Timeline of Srila Prabhupada’s life and from A Day in the Life of Srila Prabhupada

Dear Devotees,

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Thanks to Visnu Murti Prabhu and the Vanipedia team, we can now easily
follow Srila Prabhupada’s life from 1966 all the way to 1977 here:

http://vanipedia.org/wiki/A_Month_in_the_Life_of_Srila_Prabhupada

Please visit this link and share widely.

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The Appearance of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta2

Today we celebrate the Appearance of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura, the son of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, and Spiritual Master of our Srila Prabhupada. We will honor it with a half day fast, rememberances and readings. I happened upon the following post on the Sampradaya Sun, and because it was so nicely assembled, we will share it with you here today.

The Appearance of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta
by Sun Staff CANADA (SUN)

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura appeared in Purusottam Ksetra, Jagannatha Puri, Orissa, on February 6, 1874. He was born in the family home next to the Narayan-chhata of Sri Jagannatha Temple, which always reverberated with the chanting of the Holy Name. Named Bimala Prasad, He was the fourth son of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura and Srimati Bhagavati Devi.

By the age of twelve, Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati was well versed in astronomy. Hearing news of this, Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji summoned him one day and instructed him to make a Vaisnava calendar that included the appearance and disappearance days of all Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s and Visnupriya Thakurani’s associates. Following these instructions, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati made the necessary calculations and began publication of “Sri Nabadvipa Panjica”.

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Foods in the Three Modes

food in the mode of goodness

Foods in the mode of goodness increase the duration of life, purify one’s existence and give strength, health, happiness and satisfaction. Such nourishing foods are sweet, juicy, fattening and palatable. Foods that are too bitter, too sour, salty, pungent, dry and hot, are liked by people in the modes of passion. Such foods cause pain, distress, and disease. Food cooked more than three hours before being eaten, which is tasteless, stale, putrid, decomposed and unclean, is food liked by people in the mode of ignorance. (Bhagavad-gita As It Is 17.8-10)

…The purpose of food is to increase the duration of life, purify the mind and aid bodily strength. This is its only purpose. In the past, great authorities selected those foods that best aid health and increase life’s duration, such as milk products, sugar, rice, wheat, fruits and vegetables. These foods are very dear to those in the mode of goodness. (from purport to Bhagavad-gita 17.8-10)

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Srila Prabhupada’s Diksa

Bury Place Vyasasana

The following is an article that was sent to me through email sometime back. I just recently got a chance to read it in full. There are many very good quotes by Srila Prabhupada, on the matter of accepting a bona fide spiritual master. I did some slight editing (highlighting) but all the notes and comments are by the author.

Srila Prabhupada’s Diksa
by Vidura Mahatma dasa

In order to attain the highest perfection of life one must approach a bona fide spiritual master coming in the disciplic succession from Lord Krishna Himself. The self-realized spiritual master is able to present the real conclusions of Krishna’s instructions in a way that can be understood and executed as applicable to this day and age. This is the special purpose and great need of accepting a bona fide spiritual master. The rare opportunity to approach a bona fide, self-realized spiritual master coming in the authorized chain of disciplic succession is available to everyone today and is indeed intended for everyone [in every town and village] to take advantage of, owing to the mercy of Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and His Divine Grace Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Readers will find this composition instrumental in ascertaining the philosophical basis of taking shelter of Srila Prabhupada – the current approachable link in the disciplic succession – by adhering to the principles and instructions given in his books. The execution of Srila Prabhupada’s discipline will surely elevate one to the perfectional stage of life leading back home, back to Godhead.

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Previous Older Entries

108 Imporant Slokas from the 1972 Bhagavad-gita As It Is

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The Hare Krishna Cookbook

Songs of the Vaisnava Acaryas

Bhagavad-gita As It Is 1972 Edition “Online”

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Srimad Bhagavatam Online

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Raja-Vidya the King of Knowledge

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Important Slokas from the Brahma-samhita

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Slokas from the Sri Isopanisad

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Prayers By Queen Kunti (Slokas)

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Gajendra’s Prayers of Surrender (Slokas)

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