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rohini108

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  1. To call into question obvious misinformation is not nit-picking.
  2. Do you have any digital photos of Paramanada Puri's Well? If you do, please post them (hopefully more than just one) on this tread. If by chance you are not sure how to insert the photographs, you can send me your pictures via e-mail and I will post them here for you. If you have been to Paramananda Puri's Well, please tell me everything you remember of your visit. I would love to hear what you have to say. Thank You, rsd
  3. I think if my mind was inclinded to be such a nit-picker I'd end of offending someone very very dear. SP....one brahmana in South India, in Ranganatha temple, he was reading Bhagavad-gita. And he was illiterate. He did not know neither Sanskrit nor any letter, illiterate. So the people, neighborhood, they knew that “This man is illiterate, and he is reading Bhagavad-gita.” He is opening the Bhagavad-gita, “Uh, uh,” like that he was. So somebody was joking (nit-picking), “Well, brahmana, how you are reading Bhagavad-gita?” He could understand that “This man is joking because I am illiterate.” So in this way, Caitanya Mahaprabhu also happened to be that day in the Ranganatha temple, and He could understand that “Here is a devotee.” So He approa ched him and He asked, “My dear brahmana, what you are reading?” So he could also understand that “This man is not joking.” So he said, “Sir, I am reading Bhagavad-gita. I am trying to read Bhagavad-gita, but I am illiterate. So my Guru Maharaja said that ‘You must read eighteen chapters daily.’ So I have no knowledge. I cannot read. Still, Guru Maharaja said, so I am just trying to carry out his order and opening the pages, and that’s all. I do not know how to read it.” Caitanya Mahaprabhu said that “You are crying sometimes, I see.” Then, “Yes, I am crying.” “How you are crying if you cannot read?” “No, because when I take this Bhagavad-gita book, I see one picture, that Krsna is so kind that He has taken the chariot driver, sarathi, of Arjuna. He is His devotee. So Sri Krsna is so kind that He can accept the position of a servant because Arjuna was ordering, ‘ Keep my chariot here,’ and Krsna was serving him. So Krsna is so kind. So when I see this picture within my mind, I am crying.” So Caitanya Mahaprabhu immediately embraced him, that “You are reading Bhagavad-gita. Without any education, you are reading Bhagavad-gita.” He embraced him.
  4. Wow, hadn't seen this one before. Many Many thank you's. Hare Krsna!
  5. <TABLE cellSpacing=0 borderColorDark=#000000 cellPadding=19 width="60%" bgColor=#2f0001 borderColorLight=#d2c361 border=1><TBODY><TR><TD> Ananda Vrndavana devi dasi - A True Story of Lord Nrsingadeva Mercy - A sincere attempt has been made here to record for history the contents of a telephone conversation between Ananda Vrndavana and Ronald E. Boutelle (Rohini-suta dasa), about three episodes that happened to her. I am sure that Ananda Vrndavana would also want me to mention her spiritual master, H. H. Tamal Krishna Goswami. Ananda was born and raised in the Philippines, part of a large Catholic family. By the will of Providence, a short distance from their bamboo house, a small temple of Lord Krishna had been established. As a young girl Ananda was very much attracted to it, slipping away from home to visit it whenever she could. She loved everything about the temple; making flower garlands, cleaning the altar, singing and dancing before the Lord, the nice prasadam and the kind devotees who made friends with her. She was blessed from the start with a desire to serve God and she naturally turned to Him whenever she needed help. However, it was also true that her mother and father refused to allow her to visit the Hare Krishna temple, due to their Catholic faith. They wanted their daughter to be a good Christian girl and would punish her severely whenever they caught her going there. Ananda remembers how at night her parents would close all the doors and windows in their little bamboo house to keep her from going to the temple. Her large family would all be asleep, scattered about here and there and it would be pitch black. How, Ananda pondered, would she ever be able to wake up and go to the early-morning service without waking her parents. Added to her worries was the fact that the bamboo floors creaked whenever someone walked on them. The same for the door whenever it was opened. Plus it was always pitch black inside their home and surely, if she tried to get up in the dark she would accidentally trip over or step on someone. Telling this story, she used the words, pitch black, several times. Never one to give up, as all great devotees, Ananda, age 9, would pray to Lord Krishna for help: Oh Lord Krishna, please let me come to Mangala Arati (4:30 AM service) without my parents knowing about it. And sure enough, over and over again, whenever she would ask for help, Krishna would wake her up. But even more wonderful was the moon-like glow that would mysteriously fill the inside of her little home and light her way out. Added to this miracle was the fact that the floor and door never squeaked. Having her prayers answered, off she would go to the temple, coming back a few hours later without ever being discovered or getting into trouble. A number of years later, after Ananda became a devotee of Lord Krishna, she was out and about distributing books in one of the more wealthy areas of her country. She had a very large book-bag full of Shrila Prabhupada’s books, determined to sell them all. Ringing the bell at a large estate, nobody answered. Undeterred, Ananda then went thru the front gate, making her way around the house where she hoped to find the owner. Knocking on a different door, instead of someone answering, Ananda became aware of two vicious German Shepherds quickly approaching her. These were special guard dogs who had never hesitated in the past to attack, biting without mercy many unfortunate intruders. Realizing her mistake of entering a closed gate without permission, Ananda could only turn to Lord Nrisimhadeva for help. Frozen with fear but always praying to the Lord, suddenly the large German Shepherds seemed to change their demeanor as if they had unexpectedly seen something. Instead of attacking her, the dogs simply dropped their tails and sniffed her. Then the owner opened the door she had knocked on, very much shocked to see Ananda standing there. He quickly explained to her the extreme danger she had been in since his dogs were trained to attack strangers. He told her that they had bitten strangers before. The man ended up buying all of her books, plus he gave her an additional donation for the temple. Many years later, in 2006, Ananda was in New Deli, India with about a dozen of her friends. Explaining what happened, she said that before leaving for India she had made a vow that she would attend Mangala Arati at each temple she visited. Actually, she wanted everyone to stay in one of the temple’s guest houses and in that way easily attend the early-morning service. But instead, all her friends insisted on staying at a hotel 4 or 5 blocks away so that they could all sleep undisturbed and go shopping the next morning. Determined as ever, before Ananda Vrndavana went to bed she asked the hotel clerk if it would be safe if she walked to the temple by herself, early the next morning. After being told, yes, it is safe, the next morning Ananda woke up and quietly slipped out of the hotel room, just like she had as a young girl back at home in the Philippines. Chanting the Holy Names of Lord Krishna, she said that looking about, the streets were completely empty. Remembering which way to go, Ananda began to walk toward the temple. However, she soon discovered to her horror that she was not alone. Not even half way to her destination she suddenly stopped on the street, surrounded everywhere she looked by a snarling pack of wild-street dogs. It is not that uncommon for humans to be killed by packs of street dogs in India. <TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=20 width="80%" border=0><TBODY><TR><TD>NEW DELHI - Authorities in the southern city of Bangalore have killed more than 200 strays in a bid to rid the city of dangerous packs of dogs, officials said on Tuesday. (However) the killing of the animals in India's high-tech hub have sparked protests and allegations of animal cruelty. Officials launched a drive to round up strays last week after a young child was mauled to death by a pack of street dogs, the second such deadly incident in three months, Municipal Commissioner K. Jairaj told The Associated Press. Elsewhere, in Karnataka the state government ordered the "merciless" drive against an estimated 76,000 stray dogs after two children were mauled to death in the city by vicious packs of neighborhood strays. Though not sure about the number of dogs quoted, the street-dog menace in India is definitely a cause of worry for public safety. People who commute at night, especially those who ride two-wheelers, can vouch for this as a fact. Chasing dog’s have caused serious accidents that are even fatal at times. Parents are worried of letting their children play outside after dark. Recent incidents like the one in Chandra Layout, where a little girl was mauled to death by a pack of nine dogs, has brought this menace to the forefront. (3/13/2007 11:13:00 AM. Story by Gavin Rabinowitz/Associated Press) </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE> Just as Ananda has mentioned, because the street was completely deserted, there was nobody to call out to for help. Also, when the dogs had forced her to stop, she was too far from either the hotel or the temple to take shelter. Adding to her horror was the rough and unkempt appearance of the dogs. Many were growling and some were even drooling at the mouth. The degree of Ananda’s terror was unfathomable as the pack inched closer and closer. Understanding her helplessness and beginning to cry, again Ananda turned to Lord Krishna for help, struggling thru her enormous fear to remember the Lord Nrsingadeva paryers. Then the most amazing thing happened. In the distance and moving directly for her, Ananda described how a very large dog with a shinny, black coat of fur suddenly appeared out of nowhere. She could tell that the other dogs were afraid of him. And even she was. Consumed with fear, at first Ananda thought that this was the leader of the pack and that it was this big dog who was going to move in and kill her. But instead, the large black dog, who looked very beautiful and well kept, made the other dogs back away. Reaching her side, the big black dog looked up at her with loving eyes that said to her, “You don’t have to worry, now. I’m here for you. Don't worry.” Again, Ananda could tell that all the street dogs were afraid of this big, black, shinny dog and slowly her fear began to reside. She even started talking to the black dog, thanking him over and over and over again for saving her life. The other dogs, instead of attacking, moved aside and allowed Ananda and the black dog to walk toward the temple. Unable to hardly fathom all that was happening, Ananda kept thanking the large black dog as they walked and walked and walked toward the temple. The black dog escorted her right to the temple’s lower set of stairs. But he didn’t stop there; leading her up those and even up the last flight of stairs, right to the temple door. Ananda thanked the large black dog and said to it, “Whoever you are, thank you. Thank you. Thank you so much.” She thanked the dog from the bottom of her heart. Not a day goes by that Ananda fails to think about what happened to her and the large black dog that appeared out of nowhere and saved her life. As she was telling me this story over the phone, Ananda told me that in her mind’s eye she could see it all happen over again. Note: Unfortunately, the recording I made of our conversation picked up some static and instead of a word-for-word transcription, I have stayed up well-past midnight and have written down everything she told me, least I forget something. I am confident that I have not left anything out, even listening the next morning with great difficulty to the spoiled recording to carefully pick out any forgotten details. From an interview with Ronald E. Boutelle: 3.17.2008 </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
  6. Saturday, May 3, 2008 Lord Vishnu footprints in Mecca Vishnu Padam in mecca or foot prints of Mohamed?One of the ancient vedic scripture Harihareshwar Mahatmya mentions that Lord Vishnu's footprints are consecrated at three holy sites, namely Gaya, Mecca and Shukla Teertha but it is very amazing that it is also there in Mecca - the most holy pilgrimage place of all the Muslims. This can suggest that although, the Muslims consider that the divine footprints are the footprints of Mohamed, according to the above Vedic reference they actually worship and bow down to the lotus footprints Lord Vamana. A further nice explanation is given by Sri Nandanandana. "Worshipping such carved, holy foot impressions is a holy Vedic custom which convert Muslims are inadvertently perpetuating. But in doing this they delude themselves and mislead others that these foot-impressions which are on reverential display in several mosques and tombs around the world are in fact Muhammad's own. There are several snags in this argument. Firstly worshipping a foot -impression amounts to idolatry and should therefore be taboo for a true Muslim. Secondly Muhhamad disclaimed having performed any miracles. Therefore there can be no foot-impression of his on stone. Thirdly foot-impressions must always be in pairs like shoes. Yet in most of these shrines, it is usually a single footprint which suggests that Muhammad walked on only one foot. Another question that crops up is whether the foot-impression is of the same size and foot in all the shrines. The fact appears to be that when the Vedic Kaba shrine in Mecca was invaded by Muhammad, the pairs of foot impressions of Vedic deities there were plundered and later traded to the gullible and devout as Muhammad's own footprints for some favour, reward or personal gain by unscrupulous muslims. That is why they are single and not in pairs". One thing comes to mind is was the footprint is really vishnu padam since idolatory is forbidden in muslim community this leaves a doubt in every ones mind and also from the vedic scriptures and documents it tells that the indian subcontinent was double than the size what is now which expands till what is now called afganisthan? so was really the subcontinent was invaded by muslims is the foot print of prophet is really a foot print of vishnu? though the answers are lost in time deriving the conslusion is absolutely not plausable Muslims from all over the world pay homage to this shrine. This shrine is actually the pedestal of Brahma. Notice that the word, Ibrahim is actually a corruption of the word, Brahma. The octogonal grill which is a Vedic design, protects the holy footprints which represent the start of the creation nearly 2000 million years ago. Before it was captured by the Muslims it was an international shrine of the Vedic trinity. Source
  7. BEICHUAN, China - 5.18.2008 Thousands of Chinese earthquake victims fled areas near the epicenter Saturday, fearful of potential floods from a river blocked by landslides. Soldiers carried older people out of Beichuan town — one of the areas hit hardest by the magnitude 7.9 quake Monday — while survivors cradled babies on a road jammed with vehicles and people. The death toll jumped to near 29,000. A policeman told The Associated Press that rescue officials were worried that water from the choked river would inundate the town. "The river was jammed up by a landslide, now that may burst. That is what we are worried about," the policeman said as he hurried by, not giving his name. "I'm very scared. I heard that the water will be crashing down here," said Liang Xiao, one of the people fleeing. "If that happens, there will be over 10 yards of water over our heads." The official Xinhua News Agency said earlier that a lake in Beichuan county "may burst its bank at any time," without giving details on why the water was rising. Residents left homes for higher ground, but 46 seriously injured were still at risk, the agency said. In what apparently was a similar landslide-blocked river, Xinhua said more than 2,000 people were being evacuated farther north near Qingchuan town, where blocked parts of the Qingzhu river formed a large stretch of water. The confirmed death toll rose Saturday to 28,881, Cabinet spokesman Guo Weimin said. But more than 10,600 people remained buried in Sichuan province, the regional government said, according to Xinhua. The government has previously said at least 50,000 people were believed killed in the disaster. Survivors were still being found under destroyed buildings five days after the quake. A 52-year-old man buried in the ruins for 117 hours was pulled to safety in Beichuan, just after a German tourist was found in Wenchuan county, Xinhua reported. The vast majority of survivors are rescued in the first 24 hours after a disaster, with the chances of survival dropping each day, said Dr. Irving "Jake" Jacoby of the University of California, San Diego, who heads a medical assistance team that responded to a 1989 earthquake in California, Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and other disasters. A person trapped but uninjured could survive a week or even 10 days and in extreme circumstances two weeks or more, he said. Continuing aftershocks made digging through unstable buildings dangerous. On Friday afternoon, an aftershock rattled parts of Sichuan, burying vehicles on a road leading to the epicenter, Xinhua said. Rescue teams from South Korea, Singapore and Russia got to work Saturday. They joined a Japanese specialist group, which was the first international rescue crew to arrive in the disaster area after China dropped its initial reluctance to accept foreign personnel. A U.S. Air Force cargo plane loaded with tents, lanterns and 15,000 meals left Hawaii on Saturday, the first aid flight from the United States to help in Sichuan province. Another Air Force delivery was to fly in from Alaska. The United Nations announced a grant of up to $7 million from its Central Emergency Response Fund, to be used by U.N. agencies and programs. The government has not given a figure for the number of people left homeless, but Housing Minister Jiang Weixin said more than 4 million apartments and homes were damaged or destroyed in Sichuan province. He said the water supply situation was "extremely serious" in Sichuan, and not flowing at all in 20 cities and counties. Caring for the untold tens of thousands or more survivors across the earthquake zone was stretching government resources. Just north of the provincial capital of Chengdu, the town square in Shifang had become a tent camp for 2,000 people, and coordinator Li Yuanshao reported a lack of tents. Many people walked in from surrounding towns with few belongings. "We brought almost nothing, only the clothes we are wearing," said Zhang Xinyong, a high school junior who walked several hours to the camp. The Ministry of Health said there had been no major outbreaks of epidemics or other public health hazards in the earthquake area, according to Xinhua. By late Friday, hospitals in Sichuan had received 116,460 patients, including nearly 16,000 severely injured.
  8. Thank you for such a heart-felt story. What a wonderful blessing! I have a friend who also received Srila Prabhupada's merciful smile and he, too, tells me about the sweet emotions that to this day he can feel whenever he remembers or tells someone about the incident. Srila Prabhupada ki jai.
  9. Beggar, you are actually a desire tree. Thanks. I wonder if there is room for anyone else to comment.
  10. "The unmotivated devotional service of your loving servitors always defeats You. Then having conquered You, such devotional service enters within You and secretly hides as the greatest of treasures." Sridhara (sold his banana wares to Lord Chaitanya) speaking to Lord Chaitanya. Sri Chaitanya-bhagavata, Madhya-khand Ch 9 Does anyone have a nice explanation for this quote, especially how to best understand unmotivated devotional service? Is there any example you can give? Please explain this to me so that I can better understand what is meant by unmotivated devotional service? Thank you.
  11. Lord Krishna In the 21st Century: a visionary book about how to use the ever occurring disasters of this world to spread love of Lord Krishna into every home and into every heart, the world over. Dear Lord Chaitanya, Lord Nityananda, Dear Srila Prabhupada ...the suffering in the world - China ...hundreds of children buried alive under collapsed schools ...thousands and thousands of people badly injured ....tens of thousands in Burma starving and sick ...please bless your devotees with even more power to spread your Holy Name to everyone, in all places. Your Holy Name is the true and sound rescue ship that you have sent out into these turbulent and dangerous waters to end suffering for ever. Yes, there are other rescue boats rushing to help but only yours is of Divine origin. As for myself, all I am able to do is feel great sadness and ask You that you take all these souls who have just perished and give them all birth again ...but this time lead them to your Holy Name, in their new life. Let them beat thousands of drums and fill the firmament with Hare bol Hare Krsna Hare Rama. rsd, Krishna Disaster Relief
  12. Thanks for remembering that Jayananda was at one time a taxi driver. I had forgotten. When I went to the NYC temple for the fist time in 1976 Jayananda let me stay with him in his room for a number of days. We would talk a little bit and then fall asleep. Then I asked him to cut all my hair off and he left me the super-long sika. He told me that the longer, the more auspicious. But right before he did that, he played the most amazing trick on me. But right, "patron saint of NYC taxi cab drivers."
  13. <TABLE cellSpacing=2 cellPadding=12 width=523 border=1><TBODY><TR><TD vAlign=top height=1045>This was e-mailed to me this morning. Thought it might fit in with this thread. One day, Gadadhara Pandit das and I took advantage of being in New York to go shopping for sound equipment for my festival tour in Poland. After several hours I noticed it was getting late. "It's almost five PM," I said. "If we're going to make it back to the temple for the program tonight we'll have to hurry. Let's take a taxi." As we stood on a street corner trying to hail a taxi, I turned to Gadadhara, "I have a few questions about New York for my next diary chapter," I said. "A cab driver might be a good person to ask." "Sounds like a great idea," he said, "but I wouldn't expect more than a description of some tourist spots." After twenty minutes, we were about to give up when suddenly a Yellow Cab swerved through the traffic and came to a screeching halt directly in front of us. The driver looked out through the window. "Where you guys wanna go?" he said in a thick New York accent. "26 Second Avenue," Gadadhara yelled above the traffic. We were barely inside when the cab sped away from the curb and merged into the traffic. The driver looked at us in his rearview mirror. "Nobody wanted to pick you guys up," he said. He turned his head around to look directly at us. "People are too judgmental," he continued. "We have to respect others. That's what I say. I mean, you guys are dressed different, but that don't mean you ain't good people. You know what I mean?" "Yes, sir," I said nervously, "but don't you think you should keep your eyes on the road?" "The car - it drives itself," he laughed. "You just ask it to turn. That's what one of my buddies said. It got into that book. What's it called?" He turned his eyes back to the road. "Oh yeah," he said. "Taxi Driver Wisdom. Ever read that one?" "No, sir," I replied. "I can't say that I have." "You ain't read that?" he said. "It's my favorite book." He paused. "You live around here?" he asked. "No," I replied. "I'm always on the move. I'm going to England in a couple of weeks." "England," he said. "That was called Britannia. Then the Jewish tribes came in and they were Yiddish and they used a lot of 'ish' so they called them British." Gadadhara and I looked at each other. "That's another one from the book," he said with a laugh. "I came here from Pakistan 20 years ago, driving a cab from day one. I saw some people laughing at you guys standing on the street corner. Let me tell you what the problem is with this city. People are too materialistic, that's all." I decided to try for the answers I needed for the diary chapter. "Can I ask you a few questions?" I said. "Sure," he said, "but first I want to say that I know you guys. I've seen you singing on the streets. You're nice to everybody. You don't pick on no one. And I see bad stuff everyday. I mean the other day a guy was shot dead right in front of my cab. What's happening to this world?" He paused for a moment. "When are people gonna start learning tolerance and love?" he said emotionally. I started to say something, but he continued. "I'll tell you," he said. "It's when people start becoming religious. Religion is the only thing we got in common. I mean, we're all God's children. Ain't that right?" Before I could answer he continued. "But I have to confess to you guys," he said. "I'm not a very good Muslim. I mean I don't bow down five times a day and I don't go to the mosque regularly. I'm really sorry about that." "But you seem to be very pious ..." I said. "And sometimes I use bad words," he interrupted. "But I promise I won't use bad language in front of you guys. My mullah once told me that God gives and forgives. But us? We get and forget." Just at that moment a police car pulled alongside us in the next lane. Our driver slowed down and pulled in behind the police car. "Why did you do that?" I asked. "Let me tell you, Mister," he said, "it's always better to be behind a police car. Omar, my friend, said that. That's some down-to-earth philosophy, ain't it?" "Very much so," I replied. "Now, I'd like to ask ..." He interrupted again. "You remember when the Taliban tore down the big statues of Buddha in Afghanistan a few years ago?" he said. "Yes, of course I remember that," I replied. "Well, I was crying when I saw the pictures," he said. "You gotta have respect for all the religions. All of them worship the same God. Slam one, you slam your own. You know what I mean?" "Yes, I do," I said. "And I wish more people ..." "My philosophy is that man is here to do good for others," he continued. "And the best way you can help another man is to encourage him to follow his religion. It makes no sense to condemn his religion. And let me tell you what the cause of all the problems in the world is. You wanna know?" "Yes, sir," I replied trying to be patient. "I'd like to know." "I learned it driving this cab all those years," he said. "The problem is that people are too materialistic. And what's worse is that they bring materialism into religion. They go to the mosque, the church, or the temple and ask God for material things. Mister, there's only one thing for which you should ask God. You know what that is?" Surprised by his realizations, I was speechless. "Service," he said. "We should ask only for service. We were created by God to serve Him. Not the other way around. That's natural. And if you do things naturally you'll be happy. Do I have it right?" "You hit the nail on the head," I said, reflecting on how his words echoed Rupa Goswami's definition of pure devotional service. "I learned it all in a taxi," he repeated with a smile as he looked over his shoulder at us again. "Look out for that truck!" I yelled. He turned around quickly and deftly avoided the vehicle. "I see more of what's going on around me because I'm not concerned with finding a parking place," he said with a laugh. "That would be in the book too." We weaved in and out of traffic for some time and then he spoke up again. "Religion is all messed up these days," he said. "People are worshiping God for the wrong reasons. That's why a lot of people are giving up on religion. One of my best friends, Hafiz, became an atheist last year. I mean what do we have in common anymore? One day he said, 'Prove to me there's a God.' I put him in the back of my taxi and sat there with him. I told him, 'It's a question of faith, Hafiz,' "He replied, 'I don't believe in faith.' "I said, 'You got faith the Atlantic Ocean's not gonna overflow, right? You got faith them stars in the sky ain't gonna fall down and smash New York City, don't you? Yes, you do. And you know what? Somebody's controlling all that. And that somebody is God. It's not all happening by chance.' "Hafiz became an agnostic after that. He started believing that 'something is out there.' "But you guys, you're helping people become religious all the time. That's why I like you. You live for others. I live for myself, just driving this taxi. I know that Allah is more pleased with you than me. You're out in the rain and snow, singing for Him. I've seen you. And that's why I picked you guys up." "Sir," said Gadadhara, "that's our temple, just over there." "Oh it's beautiful," he said, "just beautiful." As we pulled up to the curb, the driver turned around. "Hey fellas," he said, "this one's on me. I really enjoyed our conversation." "Thank you so much," I said. "That's very kind of you." "Conversation?" Gadadhara whispered as he gathered his things. "You hardly got a word in." The driver quickly jumped out of the taxi and raced around to my side of the cab. As he opened the door he bowed slightly from the waist. "The fare is 16 bucks," he said. "But don't worry about it. New York needs more guys like you." As I got out of the cab he stepped forward and suddenly hugged me. Then he stood back. "I just have one request for you guys," he said. "Please pray for me. Okay? And get that book that I was telling you about." "Will do," I said as he got back into the taxi. "And, hey, you pray for us too." "Now that's what folks should do," he said, his voice trailing off as he drove away. "Religion is supposed to bring people together, not tear them apart. My friend Omar once said ..." Within a few seconds his taxi joined the fast-moving traffic. As we walked to the temple, Gadadhara laughed. "You never did get to ask your questions, did you?" he said. I smiled. "Doesn't matter," I said. "Even without the questions, I learned more about New York than I would have thought possible. We really connected with that taxi driver. He was a great guy." The next day I went out and bought the book. I found the following passage in it: "If there is understanding, there is love. If there is no understanding, there is only an endless stream of questions." [Taxi Driver Wisdom, Risa Mickenburg, Chronical Books, 1996] </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
  14. No, perfection isn't reached until you play Ohe Vaishnava Thakura on a continuous loop while reading the book indulekhadasi so kindly introduced me to: Sri Caitanya-bhagavata (translated by SarvaBhavana das). I swear, this is even more perfect. The two together are like pure spiritual magic.
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