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Everything posted by Bhaktavasya

  1. Sorry, I just re-read your post and somehow missed this part. There reason we may not know each other is that I was leaving Evanston for Toronto just as the 'battle' for leadership was in mid stream...but it is interesting that my memories of that time differ from your's. My memory is that Tripurari and Uttamasloka had an uneasy peace...over the number of BBT book salesmen being 'deployed' at the O'Hare, competing with the Evanston temple sankirtan devotees. But that could have come later, after you left.
  2. Thanks again; a few comments in regards to the responses: post #5, I was in Evanston during the change of tp from Sri Govinda to Uttamasloka and, for the record, Uttamasloka was the tp for Toronto, not Ottawa (I know this for a fact as I was in Toronto when Uttama was tp, he originally came from Montreal where he was tp), Tripurari had nothing to do with the decision to replace Sri Govinda with Uttamasloka, as he wasn't a GBC and didn't interfer with temple politics in that regard. Common knowledge at the time was that it was Tamal Krishna who wanted Uttama there. Out of curiosity, what was your initiated name at the time, because I was very familiar with most of the devotees there, and I also was one of the sankirtan devotees who went out to the O'Hare airport, although I was never a 'famous book distributor', just steady from '74-76, with a few months break back in Toronto temple, my home temple. I also knew Subal Vilas and his wife very well, but that's another story (not in my book). Shivaram was from the Winnepeg temple in Canada, and you are correct that he closed that temple and brought the devotees to Chicago with him, although he was never co-tp. He started up a temple in Minneapolis, and eventually, of course, took a leadership role in England. post #8 Yes, Stone-hearted, things change. Sri Govinda of very pro-grhastha and there was, as you may recall, some family feuds between the householder leaders and the sannyasi faction, waged from the pulpits of Bhagwatam classes. I do have to say again, that Tripurari Swam wasn't part of that ''we sannyasis are better than the grhasthas" immature bickering. I know because I was the only woman, for a while, to go out to the airport in the van with the men. Tripurari or one of the men usually read from one of Prabhupad's books, usually the one that had just been released. Class at noon prasadam time in the airport was a reading from the Srimad Bhagwatam or Chaitanya Charitamrita with Tripurari giving a class tieing the verse into Lord Chaitanya's sankirtan movement, the auspiciousness of the Holy Names.
  3. Thanks for the replies. I'm wondering if it's another Sri Govinda who took sannyas because the Sri Govinda from Evanston, husband of Sri Leka, never seemed like the type of devotee who would ever do that. Sonic Yogi, who was the tp when the temple was moved, and do you remember approx. how many devotees were in Evanston before the move. Do you know where some of those devotees from that time went? Some of them went to Hawaii (Prasad das, Damayanti dd) and do you know what happened to Ramaii, who was also a pujari from that time and I believe moved to the new address.
  4. I hope this is the right place to ask this; is there anyone here who was in the Chicago (Evanston) temple during the mid 1970s? I am writing the final draft of a memoir, which of course includes the years that I was in Iskcon. Some of my best memories were of the Evanston temple, especially during the time that Sri Govinda was temple president. I remember when the Radha Damodar buses descended on the temple during Prabhupad's arrival in 1975, but I would like to hear more details from others who were there at the time. Thankyou
  5. Mahaksa, this is a hot topic, and i like what you said here. I also like your advise to Satsvarup to ''head North, live the life of an avadhuta, travel to the holy places.'' In my opinion he would be better off away from the tight noose of the GBC, monitoring his every word and move. It would be good if Satsvarup read some of the advise from his godsiblings over the internet...unless of course the GBC have forbidden him internet access!
  6. this version of my sweet Lord by nina hagen is worth checking out; there is some video from the Toronto Temple circa mid 1970's. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1LLDbP4DAR8&NR=1
  7. A godbrother (SP disciple) has composed a song called ''Nityananda Kicks', which he has made a CD of. When questioned about the origin of the inspiration, he said that in the Chaitanya Bhagwat there are 2 incidents of Lord Nityananda actually kicking someone in the head. One instance involved a Buddhist monk who was eating meat and in the other Nityananda kicked Sivananda Sena in the head. Is there any truth to these alleged pastimes? He is going to be performing this song, amongst others, at Vancouver Rathayatra this weekend. My objection to him is that, without knowing the glories of Lord Nityananda as the most merciful and deliverer of the most fallen, this song makes Lord Nityananda sound like a thug, going around kicking people in the head.
  8. No, I don't to the idea that 'everyone is here (in the material world)for crimes against the Supreme Lord, because I believe that a devotee lives in the spiritual world. Srila Prabhupad once said that his disciples were sent back Srila Bhaktisiddhanta to assist him in spreading Lord Chaitanya's message of divine love and compassion for the fallen souls. Although I don't believe I fit into that catagory (and that Prabhupad was also trying to encourage 'newcomers' on the path)I have no doubt that most of my Godbrothers and Godsisters fit the definition of Vaisnava. I mean, you're the one who claims to be Stone-hearted, but I don't believe it for a second! I offer my respectful obeisances to all the Vaisnava devotees of the Lord, who are oceans of mercy and are just like the desire trees in the spiritual world, able to fulfill the (spiritual) desires of everyone and who are full of compassion for all the conditioned souls.
  9. Because I just got hooked up on the internet at home, an old favourite web-site has temporarily shut down and I haven't been able to come up with a 'brief biography' of what made me what I am today with Gaudiya Discussions. That left Audarya-fellowship, Theist lamenting over the ruin of his material life, Stone-hearted's pleas of innocence...'hell, fire and brimstone' to be poked fun at. What better way to spend a portion of one's evening?
  10. "in this endeavour there is no loss or dimunition" and even one percent surrender is accepted by Krishna ("If one offers me, with love, a fruit, flower or water, I will accept it.") Recall the story of the man who came to replace the roll of toilet paper in the first store-front temple in NY; Srila Prabhupad exclaimed "Just see; his devotional service has begun." When someone is really surrendered 100% (the mahabhagwat, parmamahamsa stage) he or she sees everyone as serving Krishna better than themselves (source CC). The sand in the sweetrice may be just the mote in one's own eye. (Think about it)
  11. I've been out of touch on the net for a while, and with minutes to spare I'd like to give an objective comment after reading this thread. Nowhere did I sense any hatred, hostility or bigotry in responses to the (mis)leading question, which really isnt' a question at all but a blatant insult towards faith in chanting the holy names, a cornerstone belief of the devotees posting here. Accusations of hatred, anger and bigotry are red herrings, and I feel the respondents (G-Hari, Theist, etc) have shown tolerance, tempered with a bit of (understandable) annoyance towards the ignorant question posed. Maybe some references to the divine nature of the holy names may help, but probably not as the provocateur has been reading for a while now.
  12. Yes he did, in is own name; A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
  13. As I read about most people being annoyed over abbreviations, I squirmed a bit, having being 'guilty' of using initials and letters for Srila Prabhupad (SP) and even Hare Krishna (HK) but then I have to come clean and say that no offense was intended; it was usually the result of typing something that refered to certain personalities and the Hare Krishna movement many times in a long paragraph. I actually never realized some devotees would be offended by it. I'm hesitant to say this, but isn't it a little bit nit-picking to take offense when at least the person is thinking about Krishna (even someone's mother who used HK) rather than a million other things unrelated to Krishna. I'm just saying that most people who use abbrev. don't mean any offense..we committ so many offenses to each other consciously and unconsciously. Maybe we shouldn't take offense so easily.
  14. In response to your question, I'd say that BG is for devotees who are still practising Bhakti Yoga, even if it's just reading and trying to understand Krishna's words in the Gita. Everyone, except the fully enlightened person, is at some time confused about one's spiritual duty and experiences weakness of heart. A devotee turns to Krishna at such times and takes comfort and inspiration in the Lord's advise to rise up.
  15. Maybe it's something 'in the air' (devotees getting moody and seeming to drop out of the forum circuit)but although I mostly read the forums and don't really feel like responding much, I noticed that you, 'Theist' (aka M.)were conspicuous by your absence and felt a little sad to think of the possible reasons why you were no longer posting. Strange how some of us have never met in this lifetime but have formed an invisible bond of camradarie over the years. Even though you and I used to sometimes get in heated disagreements at times (particularlly on the old VNN forums) I have come to appreciate your KC and your senses of humour. I am also relieved to see that you are 'in one piece' and still here. a big devotee hug for you
  16. I feel impelled to respond to your 'cry for help'. First of all, Krishna has never said, in Bhagavad Gita or anywhere else, that he will fulfill our material desires. He does say that happiness and distress are like the changing seasons; they arise of thier own accord and that we must learn to tolerate them without being disturbed. Krishna doesn't interfere with the free will of the living entities otherwise there would be no more wars, greed and cruelty in the world. No-one is forced to love us or to be kind to us but Krishna promises that if we surrender our minds in thinking of him (as opposed to thinking about fallible soldiers like potential lovers and fair-weather friends), truly worship him in our hearts and become his devotees then we will come to Him. Becoming a friend to Krishna means believing that He is our true friend, ready to give us spiritual solace and comfort even when 'the whole world' seems to turn against us. You are not alone, in that everyone with a material body is subjected to the 3-fold miseries (caused by the mind, other living beings and material nature). The blessing for devotees is the knowledge that not only is all suffering temporary, but there is a spiritual solution, increasing our desire for his company and his shelter and gradually giving up the illusion that anyone or anything give us true lasting peace and happiness other than the Lord and his service.
  17. It is not (in my understanding) that 'if one is humble and tolerant, one can offer respects to others' but that in order to chant the holy names constantly, a devotee must practise being humble, tolerant and respectful to others. In other words, taste for chanting the holy names, whether externally in jopa or internally within the mind, will dry up unless we try to cultivate that desired state.
  18. Well, it certainly is a new revelation to me that some initiated devotees were taking lsd and engaging in orgies while Prabhupad was here. Of course, I'm not omniscient but such news usually filtered into the main devotee congregation and temple presidents would use falldowns of various devotees as examples of what to watch out for during classes. I guess I got defensive because the (indeed) gossip going around about Jayatirtha when I was with him was that everyone was having sexual orgies, in front of the Deities no less, and there wasn't a shred of truth to it. And for the record, Jayatirtha didn't start taking lsd until 5 years after Prabhupad left the planet. I do admit, in retrospect now, that there certainly was a lot of sahajiyaism involved in Jayatirtha's camp but nothing as outrageous as was rumoured from the pulpit of certain Iskcon temples at the time. As for 'becoming guru', my understanding is that not everyone is meant to give disksha, but we are all asked to give Krishna Consciousness according to our realizations to whoever is submissive to hear.
  19. I don't have the exact quote, but in Caitanya Caritamrita, isn't it said that with the Appearance of Sri Caitanya, a Golden Age began in the middle of the Kali Yuga? The way I understand that is that devotees who are abosrbed in hearing and chanting and meditating on the Lord's pastimes are actually living in the Golden Age (by the mercy of the Golden Avatar) within the Kali Yuga, and yet not effected by the influence of Kali. BTW, I'm not speaking of myself personally, but just by remembering the devotees who are situated in Gauranga consciousness, I feel as if I have a toe in the Golden Age.
  20. Mahak; You made the following assertion: "In the old days, when Srila Prabhupada was still giving darsana here, some of his disciples did not want to remain subserviant, creating their own form of so-called bhakti. They changed their own names (that were given by HDGSP) to new, "better ones" like Indra and Siva, no dasa following. Their activities were, IMHO, truely sahajiya, the tears were contrived, a show only. They held kirtanas, but all glory was stolen to shine around their personalities. And, yes, fools fell for it, and the joints were passed around, the acid was taken, and the tears truely flowed, and the tunes were quite catchy. It was a show of monkeys at the zoo. And, of course, the orgies followed. The only thing missing was the service to Sri Sri Guru and Gauranga. They are all gone now, either dead from STD's or bad drugs, or born again so-called Christian Republicans bent on murdering innocent Iraqis. Krsna was just a trip of the sixties, like jefferson airplanes." It sounds like a parallel universe from the one remember 'when Prabhupad was still giving darshan'. Which initiated disciples are you referring to, who changed their names, did lsd and performed partook in orgies. Who is 'they' who are all gone? It would seem that the first qualification of a genuine guru or spiritual teacher is that he or she speaks the truth for the benefit of all. What you have written sounds like 2nd or 3rd hand gossip or rumours of individual devotees from different eras (before Prabhupad left and after), with perhaps kernals truth exagerrated and (in the case or orgies) made up.
  21. After being away from this forum for a long time, I read through this thread and realized that some things never change! Whether it was in the temples or on the forums, there is the soft-hearted, 'simple' devotee (Crimal)who wants to love and serve Krishna regardless of whether or not he can 'prove' Krishna is God by citing scripture, the 'heavy-handed' devotee (Guest)who will always 'chastize' younger or 'less senior' devotees (without realization that if another devotee is hurt or 'turned away' from association with Lord Caitanya's mercy mission, how can Krishna and Radharani be pleased?)and the inevitable kind-hearted devotee(Priitaa)who rises to the occasion to encourage and give spiritual comfort to those rare souls who are seeking the mercy of the Vaisnavas. All glories to the Vaisnava devotees of the Lord, who are just like the wish-fulfilling desire trees in the spiritual world, able to fulfill the desires of everyone and are filled with compassion for all the conditioned souls! Jai Radhe Jai Krishna Jai Vrndavan
  22. The only reason I have such realization of the destructive effects of hating is because I've been embroiled in the hell of hating someone (as I said, even after trying to become a devotee, hearing from Krishna that one must 'rise above' feelings of enmity to be situated on the transcendental plane)and observing that a heart filled with hate is like punishing yourself more than the person who harmed you or others can possibly do, as the mind becomes polluted with thoughts of that person (the injury inflicted) thus leaving no room for meditation on the Lord and His pastimes. The time you fell off your bicycle reminds me of a 'hate-filled' experience I had after an intense verbal fight with a former abusive mate. I was so blinded by anger and could actually hear myself repeating the mantra, "I hate you, I hate you", referring to the former mate when I rushed off into the crowded street to get away from him and was just about to step out onto the intersection when an 'invisble hand' stopped me just in time. A split second later a huge truck zoomed by and had I not stopped abruptly I wouldn't be here to tell the tale. I guess the moral of that story is that one should remove oneself as far away from the object of hatred, whether physically or mentally, and fix the mind on the source of the ever-smiling face of the Lord. It's not easy, but the alternative is far worse.
  23. The example you gave of an abusive father or a manipulative lying Mother can be extended to all our 'enemies' we encounter during a lifetime and ususally directed towards someone who has been close enough in our lives to inflict pain, whether physical, emotional or mental. Forgiveness, in my mind, is the only way to let go of the hatred. It doesn't come just by saying it or wishing it but by seeing the person who harmed you as an entangled, conditoned soul who has to live with their own self-created hell while you are blessed to have faith in Krishna and are on your way back to Godhead. My own biological father was a mean, abusive drunk who I hated so much in my youth that I wanted to shoot him with the family rifle the last time he put my Mother in the hospital. She begged me not to, knowing I would go to jail for it (I was 19 years old)but I had so much hate for him that I was prepared to go to jail but Mom said she's commit suicide if I shot him. Whenever I used to think of him the hate was so intense it would make me feel sick and depressed. Then I came in contact with the devotees and the holy name and something happened that I never expected; I saw him for the pitiful, despised person that he was and for the first time felt sorry for him. I wrote him a letter saying that I forgave him for all the beatings he inflicted on me personally. By the time I joined the movement my Mother finally left him for good, my 8 siblings wouldn't speak to him or give him the time of day and he telephoned me at the temple, drunk as usual but crying for the first time in my life. I read to him over the phone the story of King Drstarastra leaving home for the forest, told him he should go and live in the country because it was the mode of goodness and make a vow to quit drinking. He actually did it, brought a cabin in the woods by a lake, joined AA and stayed sober for the next 5 years before falling off the wagon again but this time he had no wife or kids to abuse. He came to see me during a drying out period, at the temple, and asked me what my religion believes happens to you when you die. I told him about karma, that if you inflict pain on others you have to experience it in your next life. Then I felt sorry for him again and told him that it's never to late to 'make amends' and that being kind to those he harmed would minimize the bad karma. He tried by giving presents and doing stuff for my siblings, but the alcohol and hard living caught up with him and he died alone before he was 60, his body rotted with cancer and liver disease, and was found clutching a half empty bottle of rum in bed with him. I prayed to Krishna that he take birth in a family who were non-violent and loving(his father before him was also a mean, violent man). I sensed that to ask that he be born in a family of devotees was stretching it because he hadn't developed the necessary pious credits. I can't accept that hatred or revenge is ever a good thing. I know from experience (even after trying to become a devotee)that hate is never satisfied, it eats you up and connects you with the object of hatred in this life and into the next. Prabhupad once said that sometimes people marry their former enemies so that they can continue fighting with them! That's why TRANSCENDING negative emotions (as opposed to trying to block them out or supress them) is recommended. As Jesus said, "Forgive them, for they know not what they are doing."
  24. ILK; You must be well into your 'reading assignment' from Living Entity by now. This is why it's said that the Bhagwatam is the answer. Unless the child-devotee Prahlada's story is heard, the 'idol' of Lord Nrsinghadev will be an object of superstition and misunderstanding. Not only did Vishnu appear as Nrsinghadev to give protection to the child-devotee Prahlada, He fulfilled a promise to personally kill the demon Hyranyakasipu and therefore deliver him and eventually reinstate him as the Lord's eternal devotee in Viakuntha. But you'll find all that out by yourself.
  25. When I first went to India to see my son in 1979 (after an almost 2 year absence)I was 6 months pregnant and got dysentry. I was sure the fetus had died and passed out during feverish diarehha, vomitiming. When the doctor at the hotel in Delhi examined me and said the heart was still beating, I IMMEDIATELY took shelter of Lord Nrsinghadev to protect my baby. Events conspired to increase my meditation and prayers to Lord Nrsingha; A bad marriage, a letter circulated c.c. to all temples saying that I was an 'enemy to the KC movement' for going 'temple to temple, spreading vicious lies and rumours about the gurukula in India'. Being very 'humble' and ignorant at the time, I thought maybe it was true, that I had 'inadvertedly 'spread a false story to my godsisters and that the 'powerful sages' like BSwami would curse me and my unborn child. Just before my son was born I was reading my 2 year old (very precocious) daughter the story of Nrsinghananda brahmacari, a devotee of Lord Caitanya, who was 'given' that name by the Lord because he always had Lord Nrsingha manifest in his heart. She became excited and said "lets call the baby 'Sringhnana bamacheri'. So it was settled. On the way to the delivery room, after 18 hours of labour in hospital with a godsister chanting with me and helping me through delivery, I took a the same picture you presented and it was facing down on the sheet. The nurse said "Oh, is this your other little one?" and lifted the picture up to see Nrsingha's (apparently) angry face, the scene of (to the untrained eye) horror and blood splurting. She quickly put the picture down as if she'd seen a vampire. I was young still at the time and even in intensive labour had to have a secret laugh on 'straight society' who didn't have a clue, not that it was thier fault or anything. The baby was born a bit scrawny, but otherwise healthy and hungry. After a few days he filled out and actually looked beautiful. Lord Nrsinghadeva saved him from anything that could harm him in the womb, is my firm faith. Perhaps the result would have been the same if the prayers would have been directed to Krishna instead of Nrsingha. There's just something about a manifestation of God that tears apart anything that is evil and harmful in your life, be it disease, bad vibes, evil intensions. Lord Nrsighadeva rightly causes fear in the hearts of those who are ill-intentioned and joy in the hearts of the devotees who believe the God can manifest himself in any way or form that the devotee has faith in. A p.s.; Maybe Krishna is busy doing other things, like tackling demons with Balaram, protecting the villagers of Vrndavan, calling the gopis out to dance in the moon-light, smashing butter pots to get his Mother's attention...and thus the lila of Lorsd Nrsingha is there to keep us protected until we get back Home.
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