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Bhagawat Gita

25 Feb 2017, Posted by VANI Group in Bhagavad Gita

Gita copyThe community at ISKCON Punjabi Bagh came together to distribute 2,50,000 copies of Bhagawat Gita As It is by His Divine Grace A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada to the people in general in the months of December and January-2017.

Why are devotees so committed to this task?
“Transformations. Nothing gives us such satisfaction as to see people’s lives becoming transformed by the message of Lord Krishna. The knowledge really empowers the sincere reader.” Says HG Rukmini Krishna Das (Co-President) Besides, Bhagavat Gita can provide answers to all fundamental questions like the purpose of life, law of karma, Is there life after death, art of living, art of dying, the world and nature around, time, God, Soul, etc. The knowledge also helps an individual in dealing with food habits, lifestyle, time management, striking a balance, managing stress and anger, and similar areas of life.

How do they distribute such large quantity of books in just two months?
“We go practically everywhere. Stations, Jail, Homes, Shops, Offices, Kumbh Mela, Hospitals, Hotels, etc. We just show people the book, benefits it offers, and many people purchase.” Said Karuna Chandra Das, who distributed almost 30,000 copies.

This act of sharing knowledge has been considered one of the most sublime acts of compassion. Gyana Daan. (Chairty of Knowledge). Many members undertook great austerity and sacrifices in order to accomplish this task.

We would like to thank each one of our members who in any way contributed to this service. We would also like to thank every individual who received/accepted or purchased a copy of Bhagawat Gita and would encourage them to read it.

For any further inquiry related to subject matter, we encourage correspondence at info@iskconpunjabibagh.com

IT’S EASIER TO DISTRIBUTE FIVE CASES OF BHAGAVAD GITA’S THAN TO DISTRIBUTE ONLY FIVE BOOKS IN THE STREETS

AN AUDIO SEMINAR BY H.H. BHAKTI MADHURYA GOVINDA GOSWAMI
Who would believe that is easier to distribute five cases of Bhagavad Gitas (160) or even ten cases (320) than selling five or ten Gitas in the streets. Some prabhus work very hard all day long for ten hours and are happy if they can sell 32 Gitas. In this audio seminar, however, you will learn how to distribute cases of Gitas very easily. You will also learn professional techniques taught by the world’s top sales trainers, as to how to overcome objections, the biggest hurdle facing any sales person.

In a word, you are taking pledges for cases of Gitas with friends, family, work associates, businesses, fellow students, and any acquaintances you may know who you can approach for interest in distributing Gitas. You may say “I already did that years ago. Now I have exhausted all my resources for contacts.” This might be one of the first objections your mind creates before you even talk to anyone! Overcoming this and other objections will be discussed below.

The first point is “the power of positive thinking.” A famous theologian by the name of Dr. Norman Vincent Peale wrote a book in 1952 entitled “The Power of Positive Thinking.” It is good reading even for devotees, for the man was a genuine theist—not a Mayavadi or covered atheist. This book is so famous it is still studied all over the world as a treatise on how to be successful through positive thinking. You can match this with Srila Prabhupad’s statement, “Impossible is a word in a fools dictionary”; or the U.S. Army slogan, “Be all you can be.” So success of any kind begins with the right attitude. If a book distributor approaches anyone with a presumption, “oh, they’ll never take a book,” then, since this is the possibility you created, maybe they won’t; or conversely, perhaps you will be pleasantly surprised and they will take a book happily! “Never say never!” So attitude and depending on Krishna is everything. So many of the world’s top ISKCON book distributors had the experience of “bad days” when they would stop many people who would curtly say “not interested!” After many hours of this, the distributor might get somewhat discouraged and pray, “Oh Krishna, please send me just one sincere soul”. Not long after, the distributor would stop someone who not only expressed an interest in the book, but gave a hundred dollar (now it would be $200) donation!

That’s all very fine, but where does success in sales actually begin, next to attitude?
The answer is the all important phrase, “building value.” This is taught by professional sales trainers. For example, a real estate sales person might say to their client, “actually, this house is worth on the market two million dollars, but since you are my special client, I can offer it to you for a limited time only for only $800,000 which is not available to the general public! This is called “building value”, and the “take away close,” for you are stating the offer will end soon. This “close,” or technique for closing a sale, is used daily in television advertising for building value. Building value, then, is essential in selling Srila Prabhupad’s books also. In the seminar, I describe a dramatized scenario in which a very sinful man is saved from hell simply by seeing one of Srila Prabhupad’s books for only a moment! This anecdote can be told to people to enthuse them of the value of Prabhupad’s books. This works well for Indians who already believe in Yamaraj, judgment, etc, but many westerners also believe in some kind of judgment, or at least bad karma or varieties of in auspiciousness, or varieties of bad luck that one may otherwise have to encounter.

Some people will object by saying, “I already have Bhagavad Gita.” Many devotees might then more or less wilt, saying, “Oh, o.k. I thought I would just run it by you anyways,” and they might limp away like a sad puppy thinking, “Well, at least I tried.” But is that the only answer? Not at all! You then say, “You already have the Gita? That’s great! This means you truly know the value of the Gita! Wouldn’t it (a power phrase used in professional sales) be wonderful to share that value with others?” What are they supposed to say? “No, it wouldn’t,” but that wouldn’t look good, would it? Certainly not. People are controlled by “looking good” and “looking bad,” so from being confident that they have stopped you cold by saying they already have the book, they are now disarmed because you weren’t supposed to say “that’s great.” You were supposed to give up and they would “win.” So you have started overcoming their objection with THE POWER OF POSITIVE THINKING—suddenly transforming an unfavorable response into a favorable situation where you are back in control.

SELLING CASES OF BOOKS EASIER THAN SELLING A FEW IN THE STREETS? HOW?
But what about selling cases of books as easier than selling only one or three on the streets? Isn’t that a “pipe dream”—a mere wishful thinking fantasy? The answer is in selling cases of books in people’s homes, clubs, social gatherings, etc, by taking pledges at a Bhakta vriksa groups, as well as other such gatherings, or to individuals who are a little favorable to Krishna consciousness. You can be ready to answer any objections they may have. When you say “since you are already expressing your appreciation for Bhagavad Gita, can I put you down as pledging (pledging is the key word. You may not always be collecting cash or checks on the spot) for five cases?” “ Five cases of books? You’ve got to be joking!” they say in dismay. You then say, “Have you considered sharing this wealth of knowledge with others?” In India this is called “shastra dan,” or the auspicious giving away of sacred books, especially at this time of year surrounding “Gita Jayanti,” or the advent day of Bhagavad Gita in December. When they object—“five cases of Gita’s? Get real! What would I ever do with them?” You reply, “Give them to friends, relatives, work associates, etc.” They may say “I gave Gita to those people years ago!” undaunted, you reply “That’s great!” Again, you weren’t supposed to say that in their script. “But all their friends, family etc don’t have Gita. They can give it to them!” Some will actually pledge the five cases on the spot! Don’t think it’s impossible! For those who object, you then say, “I understand. I’ll put you down for four cases.” If they won’t take so many cases, keep counting down and try to get them to commit. If they still won’t pledge, then say, “O.k, one case (32 Gitas). By this time, they will be relieved that you have reduced the number in your demand! “One case, Anil” (or john, or whoever you are talking to). “I know you can handle that!” You say this smiling, with full confidence. Feeling they’re getting off easy, they may take a case of Gitas. That’s 32 books in half an hour that you might have sweated all day long on the streets to sell with great endeavor. “Dream on, you might say. This is not realistic. It can’t be done, or at least I can’t do it.” Before you reach this faulty presumption, please consider that in one evening I took pledges for 30 cases of books in one hour at a Bhakta Vriksa group! That’s 960 books in one hour! This is a true story. Not bad for starters, and the best news is that you can do it also. After all, even five cases in an evening (160 books) is a great victory! It’s very doable. How long would it take you to match that in the streets? You can also enlist the participation of so many Bhakta Vriksa members, friends, etc in getting sponsors for cases to be distributed to institutions. Many people who won’t give a penny for Krishna will happily sponsor this type of charity, because charity to schools, orphanages, etc, is within their value structure.

THE CLINCHER (THE FINAL INFORMATION NEEDED TO CLOSE SO MANY SALES OF CASES OF BOOKS):
The final word on how to convince anyone to sponsor so many cases of books is to supply them with a venue as to how they can distribute the books or cause others to distribute. They can sponsor (the key word) for hospitals, schools, colleges, libraries, jails, orphanages, etc. Many such institutions are very grateful to get the books, especially in India.

BUT WHAT ABOUT JAILS? ARE PRISONERS REALLY GOING TO BE INTERESTED IN GITA’S?
Actually, ISKCON has a long, distinguished history of jail ministries all over the world. It is therefore a fact that prisoners are very good “customers.” Please hear the following true story: Some years ago I was invited to go to a jail program in Mumbai during Gita Jayanti month. I wasn’t enthusiastic. My mind painted a picture of hands reaching through bars to get the books and maybe some prasad. Since I was asked so nicely, however, I agreed to go. I was massively shocked to see the actual situation. The devotees had set up a pandal stage in the jail plaza. There were many cases of Gitas on the stage because the thoughtful devotees had also brought Gitas in Hindi, Parsi, Tamil, Islamic, and other languages. There were about 150 prisoners in an assembly there. The devotees held kirtan. There were also Muslims and Christians there who were stiff as steel—“Why am I being forced to attend this Hindu program?” After about an hour of kirtan, even the Muslims and Christians were swaying and clapping to the beat and some were even chanting! The whole aura of the prisoners went from dark fog to light just from the power of the Holy Name! This is the future of our movement!

The head jailer, the mayor of Mumbai, as well as the Sheriff of Mumbai, the chief police officer for the entire city, all spoke, taking up the theme, “This is the greatest of all books” (the same theme brought forward by India’s prime minister, Mr. Modi, when he speaks to heads of state and gives them Bhagavad Gita, then declaring, “This is the greatest gift I could possibly give you!)” The jail program VIP’s added, “If you take this book, you will never be back to this jail again!” In the mean time, the media cameras rolled and the Bhagavad Gita was literally in the spotlight! After this, the Gita distribution began to long queues of prisoners eager to get the books! Soon, however, it became clear that the devotees had not brought enough books! As the stack of books on the stage became less and less, the prisoners became restless, and some even began to fight over getting the Gita! The guards had to chill them down. In this way, we see that jails are a great venue for Gita distribution.

Students are also eager to get the books. Once I was asked to give a pep rally for Bhagavad Gitas at a Delhi high school. A huge advantage in India is that a school principal or an educational institution deans will often happily call a school assembly for promotion of Gita. We have distributed thousands of Gitas this way, and the best news is that it is a “turn over” market because the students are always changing. In the case of my high school engagement, I was selling the Gitas, not giving them away for free. I used a secular approach, knowing that they had been polluted to some degree by the burgeoning secularization and westernization in India. “Scripture” is a buzz word that triggers negativity in many people, so I stay away from it. I stressed “This Bhagavad Gita is the most famous book in the world” (a true statement, because the bible has been around for less than 2,000 years, whereas the Gita has been on the planet for 3,000 years longer! It is widely read round the world even in addition to ISKCON’s book distribution.) So I said “This is India’s greatest classic! “ Classic” is a power word that distracts from prejudicial conceptions of scripture. This term should be utilized when presenting Gita, especially to any Indians. “It is your heritage, the root of your culture, the pride of India”—all secular talk. “It is on par with Homer’s Illiad, Socrates, Plato, and the other famous Greek authors.” So did it work? There were 400 students at the assembly. More than 100 of them bought Gitas on the spot in only half an hour, with their lunch money, pocket change—whatever, but they bought the Gita! That’s a whopping ¼ of the whole assembly! The devotees I was with were caught off guard. They didn’t think I would sell so many, so in a panic, they had to send a speeding car back to the temple to get more books! Yes, this is a true story.

So here you have it—the introduction to the “Sell Bhagavad Gita by the cases” seminar. The seminar(s) are 1.5 hours long, but I assure you they are both entertaining and enlightening.

Respectfully submitted,

Bhakti Madhurya Govinda Goswami (ACBSP)
Formerly Makhanlal Das

Link to the lectures:
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B3n-kbzKS_QfblF4eWJpNUZ4MFE
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B3n-kbzKS_Qfbmx3MUI5SzJDbTQ
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B3n-kbzKS_QfVmR1aURmbkRsNTQ

Gita Jayanti Mahamahotsava 10th Dec 2016

12 Dec 2016, Posted by VANI Group in Audio, Bhagavad Gita

Nearly 5000 Years earlier, Lord Krsna imparted transcendental knowledge to Arjuna on the Battlefield of Kurukshetra. This knowledge is celebrated as Srimad Bhagavad gita. The day when Lord revealed this divine knowledge to Arjuna is commemorated as Gita Jayanti.

On the auspicious day of Moksada Ekadashi (10 Dec 2016), Gita Jayanti was celebrated in ISKCON, Punjabi Bagh with great fervor and devotion by nearly 1200 devotees. A fire sacrifice was held at 8:00 AM in the temple courtyard. In the fire sacrificial arena, there was one main big altar of fire sacrifice surrounded by other four small altars of fire sacrifice. All the 700 verses of Srimad Bhagavad Gita were recited along with fire sacrifice.

The fire sacrifice continued till 11:00 AM HG Sarvadrik Pr (Srila Prabhupada’s Disicple) and HH Prabhodananda Saraswati Swami presided the ceremony. After the fire sacrifice, there was a discourse on Srimad Bhagavad Gita by HH Prabhodananda Sarasvati Swami Maharaj. The program was concluded with the delicious Ekadashi feast.

Last year on this occasion nearly 700000 copies of Bhagavat Gita were distributed by ISKCON centres in Delhi-NCR. This year marks the 50th anniversary of ISKCON and thus there is attempt to distribute 800,000 copies of Bhagavat Gita.

no images were found

08 Nov 2016, Posted by VANI Group in Audio Icon, ISKCON

ISKCON 50 event held at House of Lords

On the sacred day of Govardhan Puja, Bhaktivedanta Manor hosted a gathering at the House of Lords at the Palace of Westminster to acknowledge the 50th Anniversary of the incorporation of ISKCON.

The House of Lords is the upper house of the UK Parliament and was built to advise the Crown Imperial since 1295. With the kind permission of the Lord Speaker, the event was hosted in the Principal State Room for an incredible yet intimate gathering of profiled guests renowned in their own disciplines.

The peer sponsor, Lord Dholakia welcomed the gathering by recollecting on the challenging yet exciting journey of ISKCON in UK through Bhaktivedanta Manor.

Temple president, Srutidharma dasa, described the significance of the 50th Anniversary of the incorporation of ISKCON and how it is being celebrated in the UK. The president announced the start of a new chapter in its history as this year saw the ground-breaking ceremony for the long awaited Shri Krishna Haveli building which was led by (now former) UK Prime Minister David Cameron.

Managing Director, Gauri das, presented the journey in finally receiving planning permission to build the Shri Krishna Haveli and played a video to illustrate the new project.

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami travelled in from India to present the keynote speech and reflect on the objective behind ISKCON and the many sacrifices made by Srila Prabhupada in its establishment.

Member of Parliament, Shailesh Vara, closed the evening by describing the unique contribution that ISKCON brings to society and the importance of its message.

Active Listening

07 Oct 2016, Posted by VANI Group in Audio Icon, ISKCON, Life, Practical Krishna Consciousness

Active Listening

Adapted, with permission, from The Art of Teaching, by HG Bhurijana Prabhu

Who Owns the Problem?

The first step in trying to solve a problem is to identify who owns it, because you need to approach the situation differently if you own the problem or not. The owner is whoever is tangibly and concretely affected by the problem.

If the problem belongs to the other person, it is appropriate to listen, trying to understand exactly what is going on. If you own the problem, the counselor’s role is inappropriate and you must directly influence the situation.

Typical Responses

When someone brings up a problem, usually the tendency is to respond with one or more of the following:

Ordering, commanding, directing.

Threatening.

Preaching, moralizing (“you should”).

Advising, suggesting.

Teaching, lecturing, giving logical arguments.

Judging, criticizing, disagreeing, blaming.

Name-calling, stereotyping, labeling, ridiculing.

Interpreting, psychoanalyzing, diagnosing.

Praising, agreeing, giving positive evaluation.

Reassuring, sympathizing, consoling, supporting.

Probing, questioning, interrogating, cross-examining (third-degree).

12. Escaping, withdrawing, distracting, diverting attention, humoring, being sarcastic.

The above responses are not conducive to the development of the relation with the person. Even though you may be quite correct in your preaching or probing, if the relationship with the other person does not exist, your words will neither enter deeply nor be effective. The above twelve types of responses can be categorized into 4 primary groups:

1. probing
2. advising
3. evaluating
4. interpreting
.

1. By probing (questioning, interrogating, cross-examining) one often conveys suspicion, lack of trust, and doubt. Also, despite one’s good intention, probing can make it harder to find out the person’s problem, as each question dictates an answer within the question’s parameters, thus leaving little room for the person to talk about what is really on his or her mind.

2. By advising (giving suggestions, offering solutions, preaching, moralizing, lecturing logically) the person often feels misunderstood, especially when one doesn’t first listen to him carefully. The person who owns the problem develops little confidence in his own ability to deal with problems, and becomes excessively dependent on others.

3. By evaluating (disagreeing, judging, criticizing) the person who owns the problem often feels inadequate, stupid and bad. He becomes defensive, counter-criticizes, and hides his real feelings.

4. By interpreting (analyzing, diagnosing) one lets the person know he has him figured out: he knows the person’s motives. If he’s right, the person may feel ill at ease, self-conscious, or exposed. If he’s wrong, the person often becomes angry or resentful.

Unfortunately, over 90% of responses fall into these four categories.

How can then a devotee deal with another person’s problems and at the same time deepen his relationship? The suggestion is to begin by listening. To deepen all relationships listening is effective. And one need not immediately evaluate what he hears—what to speak of agreeing with it. He can do it when and if the time and relationship is suitable. Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu exhibited this as a prelude to His teaching Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya: the Lord listened for seven days before commenting.

One should listen out of concern, but also out of necessity: without listening, one will find it difficult to know the other person’s mind, and without knowing the person’s mind, one will not be able to accurately diagnose the person’s needs and offer appropriate advice or instruction. And even if one knows the other person’s mind, he should still inquire and listen—both to facilitate the exchange of affection and to confirm his intuition. What follows are four preliminary stages to active listening: S.O.L.E. (conducive body language), monitoring nonverbal messages, non-judgmental acknowledgments, and invitations to deeper communication.

S.O.L.E.

One exhibits his interest and attention (or lack of interest and attention) by the posture of the body. The acronym S.O.L.E. can remind us of four basic poses we can adopt to let the other person know that we are listening to what he or she is saying.

S: Face the other person Squarely.

This is he basic posture of involvement. If you face someone squarely, you say by your posture, “I’m interested in speaking with you”. Even if seated in a group, you can turn in some way toward the person to whom you are speaking. Directing one’s body toward a person indicates, “I’m listening to you now”.

O: Adapt an Open posture.

Crossed arms and legs can be a sign of defensiveness. An open posture–especially uncrossed arms—is a sign that one is open to the other’s words. An open posture is perceived as non-defensive.

L: Lean toward the person.

This is another sign of interest and attentiveness. Watch two people who are absorbed in conversation. Very often they are both leaning forward as a natural sign of their involvement. Then find two people who are talking, but who are leaning back and looking around. They are probably bored and not very interested in their conversation.

E: Maintain Eye contact.

As you speak with another person, spend some time looking directly at him. This lets him know that you are giving him your full, undivided attention. Without doing this periodically, the person often doesn’t know if you are listening or not. Maintaining eye contact, however, does not mean staring into his eyes. This is unnatural ad will make others uncomfortable.

Monitoring Nonverbal Messages

Another aspect of listening is ‘hearing’ what the person’s body is saying. Just as a person uses his voice to speak what is on his mind, so he uses his body to provide many nonverbal messages. As Srila Prabhupada said: “The face is the index of the mind”.

Nonjudgmental Acknowledgments

A small step indicating more involvement than passive listening is using various verbal, nonjudgmental acknowledgments. These inform the speaker that you are indeed awake and listening. Here are some typical nonjudgmental responses:

“Really!” “I see.”
You don’t say.” “Oh.”
“No fooling!” “Mmmm”
“You did, huh.” “How about that?”
“Is that so?” “Interesting.”
Invitations to Deeper Communication

To indicate to the speaker that you are not only awake and listening, but that you are also interested, you can add, at appropriate times, statements that request the speaker to deepen his communication. When stated sincerely these statements encourage communication. Here are some examples of invitations to deeper communication.

“I’d like to hear more about it.” “Tell me about it.”
“Would you like to talk about it?” “Go ahead, I’m listening.”
“This seems really important to you.” “Tell me the whole story.”
“I’d be interested in your point of view.” “Tell me more.”
“Let’s hear what you have to say.” “Let’s discuss it.”

A Society Without Envy

Mayapura: February 21, 1995 – Srimad Bhagavatam 4.18.33 – 36

gunadhikam mudam lipsed
anukrosam gunadhamat
maitrim samanad anvicchen
na tapair abhibhuyate

Translation: Every man should act like this: when he meets a person more qualified than himself he should be very pleased; when he meets someone less qualified than himself, he should be compassionate toward him; and when he meets someone equal to himself, he should make friendship with him. In this way one is never affected by the threefold miseries of this material world.

Purport by Srila Prabhupada: Generally when we find someone more qualified than ourselves, we become envious of him; when we find someone less qualified, we deride him; and when we find someone equal we become very proud of our activities. Theses are the causes of all material tribulations. The great sage Narada therefore advised that a devotee should act perfectly. Instead of being envious of a more qualified man, one should be jolly to receive him. Instead of being oppressive to a less qualified man, one should be compassionate toward him just to raise him to the proper standard. And when one meets an equal, instead of being proud of one’s own activities before him, one should treat him as friend. One should also have compassion for the people in general, who are suffering due to forgetfulness of Krishna. These important functions will make one happy within this material world.

Lecture by HH Gour Govinda Swami

These are the instructions of Narada Muni. Narada Muni is a mahajana, and this is mahajana-vakya, the words of a great personality. Mahajana yei kahe, se satya mani — what a sadhu-mahajana says, that is truth, satya. Mahasano yena gatah sa pranthah — the mahajana has shown us the path, and that is the path we have to tread. We have to follow the footprints of the mahajanas. There is no need of manufacturing some new path. Here Narada Muni instructs Dhruva Maharaja how to be happy here — how one should behave and how he should deal with others so that he will never be affected by the threefold miseries of the material world. “When he meets a person more qualified than himself, he should be very pleased; when he meets someone less qualified than himself, he should be compassionate toward him; and when he meets someone equal to himself, he should make friendship with him.” These are the dealings of a Vaisnava, a devotee. One who is not a vaisnava, he behaves in the opposite way. As Srila Prabhupada has said in his purport: “Generally we find someone less qualified, we deride him; and when we find someone equal we become very proud of our activities. These are the causes of all material tribulations.” Whatever is said here by Narada Muni describes the behavior of a Vaisnava, especially a madhyama-adhikari (second class) Vaisnava.

srimad-bhagvatam pramanam amalam prema pum-artho mahan sri caitany mahaprabhor matam idam tatradaro na parah (Caitanya matta manjusa)

Srimad-Bhagvatam is amala-pramana, the spotless proof, and prema-pum-artho mahan, prema bhakti is the highest truth. These are the opinions of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

bhgavati je na mane se yavana sama
tara sasta ache janme hanme prabhu yama
(CB. Adi, 1.39)

On who does not accept Srimad-Bhagavatam is a mleccha and a yavana. He is to be punished by Yamaraj, not for one life, but janme janme — life after life. So we should accept Srimad Bhagvatam, and all mahajana vakyas are there.

How Pain Can Motivate

07 Oct 2016, Posted by VANI Group in Audio Icon, Bhagavad Gita, Mahabharata

How Pain Can Motivate

Pain is a Stronger Motivator Than Pleasure

In the seminar I give on prayer, devotees look at their obstacles to bhakti and consider why it is important to overcome them. Then I ask devotees to focus on the pain they feel when they allow these obstacles to impede their spiritual progress. I ask this because if we do not associate significant pain to our anarthas, we may not be motivated to give them up. It is said that people don’t change when they see the light; they change when they feel the heat.

We have all heard a great class or read something that really motivated us to change. But why do we often fall back to our old ways within a few days or weeks? It can be because we have not associated significant amounts of pain to holding on to some anartha(s). Unless something disgusts you, unless you feel you can’t take it anymore, it’s unlikely you will change.

In the prayer seminar I ask devotees to consider what their spiritual life would look like if they overcame their obstacles. I ask this to help devotees see what these obstacles are costing them in their spiritual life. When you see what your anarthas are costing you – what your Krsna consciousness would look like if you overcame your biggest anarthas – it will likely give you an impetus to take control of them for you see more clearly how they take you away from Krsna.

The idea is to link enough pain to maintaining anarthas that you deeply feel that holding onto them is more painful than letting them go. If you are not making a strong effort to overcome your anarthas you probably attach more pain to letting them go than to holding onto them. And as Prahlada Maharaja said – matir na krsne parata svato – if you don’t want to be Krsna conscious, no one can help you.

Think about something you have put off for a long time – years perhaps – that you could have easily done by now. Why haven’t you done it? It is because you feel it will be more painful to do it than to not do it? Fear is defined as an anticipation of future suffering. We are afraid to give up our anarthas because we think we’ll suffer.

Srila Prabhupada often describes the foolish materialist saying he would die without meat eating, gambling, illicit sex and intoxication. Maybe you also think you cannot live without holding onto some of your anarthas. But our real life in bhakti begins when these anarthas are removed, anatha nivrtti syat. At this stage real taste and attraction for bhakti develop (ruci and asakti).

Anarthas prevent you from getting this taste. Are they worth it?

Exercise

Write down two or three of your biggest anarthas, or obstacles to bhakti. Then write down why it is important for you to give them up. Include what it is costing you spiritually to maintain them (what your spiritual life would look like if you didn’t have these anarthas), and how carrying them in your heart makes you feel. Then write down how you will feel twenty years from now if you are still holding onto them.

If it helps you, use analogies. You can compare obstacles to painful diseases, vicious animals eating your bhakti creeper, poison destroying your heart, etc. You want to come to the point where these anarthas disgust you. Then when they surface you will have attached so much pain to them that you naturally turn away from them.

You can also do this with a partner, if talking about it is better for you. But after you do that, make sure to write it down so in the future you can refer to what you’ve written.

Once you have done this, compose prayers that will help you overcome these obstacles. *For example, in the Nectar of Devotion, Srila Prabhupada refers to a prayer in which the devotee reveals to Krsna how he has faithfully served his masters (lust, anger and greed) but they have not given him any rest or peace. So he is revealing his heart to Krsna – how he is suffering by his attachment to these anarthas – and praying so that he can overcome them.

In the same way, we may pray to Krsna that, “My dear Lord, for so many years I have been controlled by (put your anartha here) and it has only caused me pain. It makes me feel like……… It takes me away from You, causes me to forget You, and makes me suffer. I no longer want to serve this cruel master who is preventing me from coming closer to You. Please help me give this up. Please always reveal to me the price I am paying by my attachment to this obstacle.”

For Celebrating Srila Prabhupada’s arrival at Boston

17 th Sept (Acc to English Calendar) and 23 rd  Sept (Acc to Vedic Calendar) marks the historic anniversary of Srila Prabhupada arrival in USA.

Defying all odds, after a long struggle in India, His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada arrived in USA to carry out the order given to him by his spiritual master almost 40 years ago of delivering the timeless teachings of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in western world.

Who could imagine at that time that a person with ‘strange appearance’ in saffron robes, having thick Bengali accent and Rs 40/- in his pocket would turn the tide of world in next 11 years by transforming the hearts of millions around the globe, establishing 108 temples, various farm communities, schools, restaurant in all continents of the world?

50 years later, his millions of followers in more than 650 temples are offering their sincere gratitude to His Divine Grace for the selfless struggles he had to endure to offer them a pure, meaningful life based on teachings of Lord Krishna.

Devotees at ISKCON Punjabi Bagh organized a special event on 25 th  Sept(Sunday) for more than 2000 members to commemorate the anniversary of Srila Prabhupada reaching USA after an arduous journey of 35 days on ‘Jalduta’ ship suffering 2 heart attacks, sea sickness at the advanced age of 70 years.

Program consisted of an elephant procession, “Reliving Prabhupada at Boston(Performance by Gauranga Band)” , “Bigwig in conversation with Srila Prabhupada(Puppet Show)”, Govindam Prayers(Yoga Acrobatics by students from blind school) and Prabhupada Katha by his three senior disciples: HG Pancagauda Pr, HG Hamsrupa Pr & HG RadhaKunda Mj.

The program began by carrying the deity of Srila Prabhupada on a decorated elephant accompanied by hundreds of devotees who were joyfully chanting and dancing in a procession from temple to the nearby venue. The stage program was initiated by suitable invocation, lamp lighting and a short address by HG Rukmini Krishna Das(Temple Co-President).

Many devotees were mesmerized when students from a blind school put up a Yoga Acrobatics show on different pastimes of Lord Krishna. Gauranaga Rock Band sang the poem composed by Srila Prabhupada on Jalduta a day before arriving at Boston. And then, all children rushed towards front to catch every glimpse of a Puppet show featuring conversation of Srila Prabhupada with various dignitaries. Then came the most awaited program of the evening…where by direct disciples of Srila Prabhupada shared their own exchanges and realization with Srila Prabhupada. Many devotees were moved to tears upon hearing the struggles Srila Prabhupada took to give the manking various valuable gifts in form of timeless knowledge, temples, farm communities, books, festivals, lifestyle and a whole culture.

Volunteers who served tirelessly at Janmastami Festival were also thanked by giving a small token of gift by senior devotees.

The program was concluded with a dinner feast for all.

“Hearing about Srila Prabhupada directly from his disciples relating their experiences is one of the most enlivening experience for me. If you would like to have a glimpse of pure love, dedication and sincerity: just see the lives of these disciples and hear from them” said Madhuri Devi Dasi.

“I am missing the most valuable treasure of Prabhupada’s teachings by not reading his books regularly.
I have taken a resolve to read them everyday”said
Premanjana Das

FTVT Tour to Badrinath

10 Jul 2016, Posted by VANI Group in Audio

Sight of Absolute Truth at heights

To beat the external heat of summer & internal heat of material existence, a ten –day spiritual retreat in the lap of Himalayan Mountains was organized by ISKCON Punjabi Bagh for the devotees of Full Time Vaisnava Training(FTVT) Program.

On 20th June, a group of eleven bright- faced devotees, lead by HG Murli Krishna Das & HG Amrit Gaur Das left Delhi for spiritual adventure to Badrinath .The spiritually enlivening darshan of self-manifested deities of Lord Badrivishal was the apt reward for the toil of the 542 km long journey. The hot boiling water in Tapta kund (coming from an unknown source from the Himalayas) on the bank of icy cold Alakananda River was the living proof of English proverb that Truth is stranger and beautiful than fiction.  The introspective devotees experienced the vividness of The mother material nature & expert arrangements of Absolute truth Supreme father Krishna in maintaining all living entities. Further the visit to Vyasa Guha , the sacred place where Srila Vyasadeva wrote revolutionary & beautiful  Srimad Bhagavatam ( the literary form of The Absolute truth ),mesmerized the  devotees with extreme compassion the great sage had for suffering humanity .

HDG A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, founder Acharya of ISKCON carried the same mood of extreme compassion; he lived in Absolute truth & preached the absolute truth. The heartfelt expression of gratitude to Srila Prabhupada was reflected in the record breaking scores (6120 transcendental books) of book distribution in Haridwar. The bath in the waves of mother Ganges relieved devotees from all their external fatigue & nectarean spiritual discourses by senior Vaishnava His Holiness Bhakti Ashraya Vaishnav Maharaj relieved them from internal material tiredness .The spectators & pilgrims on the banks of Ganges in Har ki Paudi , Haridwar & Triveni Ghat , Rishikesh  witnessed grand Harinaam Sankirtan being lead by enthused devotees .

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