Goal for 2013 - 50,000 + books!

Last Update: Jan 31, 2013

Thursday, March 31, 2011

All it takes is just a little prayer

Submitted by Bhaktin Rashmin

I hurried to the temple room for 8 o-clock darshan half to greet their Lordships, and found some guests greeting the Lord. I noticed a young caucasian girl, seemingly following the notions of the rest of us - bowing after each altar door revealed Caitanya, Gopinatha, and Jagannatha!

So I looked at Ksira Cora Gopinatha, pleading with Him,"I can't go up to her. I don't know anything!". Then I remembered my prayer that I have been concentrating on for the last couple of days: fearlessness in distributing books and telling people about Krsna. Naturally, I desired this since I am very timid and afraid of going up to random people to say hello. Finally I decided to just take a plunge and made my way in her direction.

I asked her if it was her first time visiting the temple, and she replied " Yes, it is." She explained that she is taking a religion course in school and currently she is learning about Hinduism. I tried my best to answer her questions and tell her about Krishna Consciousness and Prabhupada (who, by the way, she thought was Krsna! ) Anyways, I gave her some Caranamrta and offered some prasadam but she did not take. We had no sweets left at the reception desk,however, I did give her some magazines and an Urban Edge yoga card, which she was very interested about. I have to say though, the best part about this whole experience was when she inquired about our japa beads and what we did with them. I told her to repeat the mantra after me, which with a little difficulty she managed. And it was extatic to me.
This whole experience made me aware that, as Mangala Aarti said, Krsna fulfills our desires so quickly when He sees that we are very sincere. It inspired me to continue preaching and distributiong books, hoping I get stronger in this very nice service Prabhupada and Caitanya Mahaprabhu left for us.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Uncontrolled mind

I met a young man who was walking home and stopped to talk with me when I asked him if he had heard about yoga. He really appreciated the perfection of yoga and was asking several nice questions about monks and yoga. Then he asked me to guess his age and I guessed it pretty close to his real age of 19. He started to explain to me that he was suffering from ulcers and was taking several medicines for that. I was quiet surprised and I asked him to try the Bhagavad Gita to help with ulcers. Explaining to him the picture of the wild horses and uncontrolled mind I explained ulcers would go away if the mind was controlled. He asks the method for mind control and I explained the Hare Krishna mantra. He told me he was an atheist and I said that was perfect because if you are an atheist you must read the Gita. He was doing his engineering and I explained how I too had done that years ago and how people like us should read the Gita and told him by the time he is my age he will be an expert at yoga. He gave a generous donation and said that he would try to come to urbanedgeyoga.

The highest welfare activity

The Lord says in Bhagavad-gītā (18.68-69), ya idaḿ paramaḿ guhyaḿ mad-bhakteṣv abhidhāsyati. .. na ca tasmān manuṣyeṣu kaścin me priya-kṛttamaḥ: "One who preaches the message of Bhagavad-gītā to My devotees is most dear to Me. No one can excel him in satisfying Me by worship." There are different kinds of welfare activities in this material world, but the supreme welfare activity is the spreading of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Other welfare activities cannot be effective, for the laws of nature and the results of karma cannot be checked. It is by destiny, or the laws of karma, that one must suffer or enjoy. For instance, if one is given a court order, he must accept it, whether it brings suffering or profit. Similarly, everyone is under obligations to karma and it reactions. No one can change this. Therefore the śāstra says: tasyaiva hetoḥ prayateta kovido na labhyate yad bhramatām upary adhaḥ (Bhāg. 1.5.18) One should endeavor for that which is never obtained by wandering up and down the universe as a result of the reactions of karma. What is that? One should endeavor to become Kṛṣṇa conscious. If one tries to spread Kṛṣṇa consciousness all over the world, he should be understood to be performing the best welfare activity. The Lord is automatically very pleased with him. If the Lord is pleased with him, what is left for him to achieve? If one has been recognized by the Lord, even if he does not ask the Lord for anything, the Lord, who is within everyone, supplies him whatever he wants. This is also confirmed in Bhagavad-gītā (teṣāḿ nityābhiyuktānāḿ yoga-kṣemaḿ vahāmy aham [Bg. 9.22]). Again, as stated here, tapyante loka-tāpena sādhavaḥ prāyaśo janāḥ. The best welfare activity is raising people to the platform of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, since the conditioned souls are suffering only for want of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Srimad Bhagvatam, 8.7.44

Monday, March 28, 2011

March Maha-Monthly Sankirtan Festival - A Report

In spite of the extremely cold weather, we received an over-whelming response as 4 teams headed out on the streets on Sat March 26th - Our 22nd Monthly Sankirtan Festival, being celebrated as Gaura Purnima Special. Accompanied by constant harinama, prasad distribution and books, enthusiastic faces adorned prime city corners at - Bloor & Dufferin; Bloor & Spadina; Yonge & Dundas; and City Hall.

Additionally, there was also a team of devotees going around to some motels that day, endeavoring to place Bhagavad Gita in the motels.

By the mercy of Lord Gauranga more than 80 devotees participated in this sankirtan festival, and many more sent loving prayers! We were also able to distribute 178 books and several hundred pieces of prasad!

Thank you very much for your inspiring contribution. Your participation in the festival, your support through preparation of prasad, your help in organizing the logistics and even just sending us your prayers - indeed made this event a success!

tattva-vastu — kṛṣṇa, kṛṣṇa-bhakti, prema-rūpa

nāma-sańkīrtana — saba ānanda-svarūpa

The Absolute Truth is Śrī Kṛṣṇa, and loving devotion to Śrī Kṛṣṇa exhibited in pure love is achieved through congregational chanting of the holy name, which is the essence of all bliss. CC Adi 1.96

We pray that all of us together, continue to experience this "essence of all bliss" - Harinama Sankirtana for rest of our lives!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Why is the Sankirtan Movement glorious ?

"My dear King, although Kali-yuga is full of faults, there is still one good quality about this age. It is that simply by chanting the Hare Krishna mahä-mantra, one can become free from material bondage and be promoted to the transcendental kingdom." (SB 12.3.51) Those who have accepted the task of spreading the Hare Krishna maha-mantra in full Krishna consciousness should take this opportunity to deliver people very easily from the clutches of material existence. Our duty, therefore, is to follow the instructions of Sri Caitanya Mahäprabhu and preach the Krishna consciousness movement all over the world very sincerely. This is the best welfare activity for the peace and prosperity of human society.
Sri Caitanya Mahäprabhu's movement consists of spreading Krishna-sankirtanam. Param vijayate Sri-Krishna-sankirtanam: "All glories to the Sri Krishnaa sankirtana!" Why is it so glorious? This has also been explained by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Ceto-darpanam-märjanam: [Cc. Antya 20.12] by the chanting of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra, one's heart is cleansed. The whole difficulty is that in this age of Kali there is no sattva-guna and no clearance of the heart, and therefore people are making the mistake of identifying with their bodies. Even the big philosophers and scientists with whom we deal are practically all under the impression that they are their bodies... Everywhere we find this same misunderstanding. As soon as one is in the bodily conception of life, one is nothing but an animal like a cat or a dog. Thus the most dangerous of the dirty things within our hearts is this misidentification of the body as the self. Under the influence of this misunderstanding, one thinks, "I am this body. I am an Englishman. I am an Indian. I am an American. I am Hindu. I am Muslim." This misconception is the strongest impediment, and it must be removed. That is the instruction of Bhagavad-gita and of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Indeed, Bhagavad-gitä begins with this instruction:
dehino 'smin yathä dehe
"As the embodied soul continually passes, in this body, from boyhood to youth to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body at death. The self-realized soul is not bewildered by such a change." (Bg. 2.13) Although the soul is within the body, nevertheless, because of misunderstanding and animal propensities one accepts the body as the self. Caitanya Mahäprabhu therefore says, ceto-darpanam-marjanam [Cc. Antya 20.12]. To cleanse the core of the heart, which is full of misunderstanding, is possible only through Sri-Krishna-sankirtana. The leaders of the Krishna consciousness movement should very seriously take this opportunity to be kind to the fallen souls by delivering them from the misunderstanding of materialistic life.

Srimad Bhagvatam, 8.5.23

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The miracle of association

A few months ago, a day before Inspirit (Nov 2010) I met this young girl in Kensington. Bright eyed and high spirited she immediately took to the Bhagavad gita and even exchanged emails saying she would come to the events. True to her word, she came to both events and sat in front row and attended. She got a Searching for Vedic India and got it signed by Devamrita Swami. I also showed her how to chant and she took Japa beads. Then I didnt hear much from her as she left for Edmonton. I thought a lot about her because she was a sincere soul, she had followed devotees out to the door and paid her respects which is very rare for a first timer. Then a few days ago she emailed me saying she was almost through with Bhagavad Gita and in Toronto - and she said she agreed to meet for juice. Last night she came to Urbanedgeyoga and was just engrossed in kirtan. Over dinner as we started to speak she began to tell me about her journey. She told me that reading the Bhagavad gita she had become vegetarian - she asked me does she have to give up fish too ? Then she told me about how one time she got stuck in a bad fight with someone she didnt want to be a part of - not knowing what to do she just started to chant the maha mantra and found herself in peace. I was shocked at the spontaneous change in her heart, she is just a 23 year old alone without any association - but she has Srila Prabhupada through the Bhagavad gita and it worked the magic. Then i told her you should start chanting - she said she already did. This was when i almost fell over - i asked her how - she told me how when she came to Urbanedgeyoga for the first event and was asked to start chanting - she had been chanting 1 round since then daily ! All glories to Srila Prabhupada and his sankirtan movement.

Friday, March 25, 2011

The books may take time, but they work

Submitted by : Bhakta Milind

A young man who comes to the temple ever so often, but has been reserved and kept to himself recently came up to the book table. He has taken many books by Srila Prabhupada, but hasn't read them yet. But just having the books at home and flipping through the pages, reading a few words now and then... this had an effect! One Sunday he came to the book table, took the Bhagavad Gita As It Is, and asked me which chapter he should read for maximum benefit. I told him that in the Bhagavad Gita Arjuna is asking questions and Krishna is answering... it is important to get the full picture. I also explained that Srila Prabhupada, the translator is expanding on Arjuna's questions and Krishna's instructions, and giving us context. It was important to read the full book, starting from the first page, and down to the last word, then start over again and keep doing this. He emailed me this week, saying he has started reading, and that he looks forward to implementing the instructions in his life. Prabhupada's books have an effect, even if they may apparently take a little time, and even if initially someone doesn't read them. Just as water carved the Grand Canyon, Srila Prabhupada's books make an impact on the heart.

Friend to all - Krishna conscious warriors

Devotees are always equal to everyone, seeing no distinction between lower and higher classes. panditaù sama-darshinau [Bg. 5.18]. They look upon everyone as a spirit soul who is part and parcel of the Supreme Lord. Thus they are competent to search for the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Understanding that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the friend of everyone (suhrida sarva-bhütänäm [Bg. 5.29]), they act as friends of everyone on behalf of the Supreme Lord. Making no distinction between one nation and another or one community and another, they preach Kåñëa consciousness, the teachings of Bhagavad-gita, everywhere. Thus they are competent to see the lotus feet of the Lord. Such preachers in Krishna consciousness are called paramahaasas. As indicated by the word vimukta-saìga, they have nothing to do with material conditions. One must take shelter of such a devotee in order to see the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Power of Prabhupada books

I barely had strength to go on sankirtan for 5 minutes today and I guess people could see my fatigue and every ‘no’ from them was sounding so heavy – but suddenly this man stopped. He told me we had met before 2 months ago. I asked him if he had taken a book from me and he said he had taken the Bhagavad gita and he even confirmed he had read bits of it. I offered him another book and his first reaction was that he has his own practice and no more books. So I did not push him but then he asked me “I have read that Bhagavad gita, what this Krishna consciousness is?” I exclaimed it was a beautiful question and tried to answer his question with examples on how we imagine happiness to be a by-product of senses and sense object interactions but it never happens and frustrates us. I told him how we need to look for the ultimate pleasure object of the senses Krishna and as he is eternal and unlimited we will be happy. We discussed several examples and then he asked me “How do you make others see this”. So I told him we start from the point of purifying ourselves and instead of looking down upon others we look at them with compassion and try to serve them in a mood of humility. I gave him examples of how he can make prashad and sing kirtan etc. Then he asked, ‘what is the process of purifying yourself?’ By this time I was shocked so I asked him, would you do it if I told you. So I asked him to repeat the maha mantra after me but he said – no no mantras, I have my practice I don’t want to leave. So I said no problem, I will tell you a small mantra ‘Gauranga’ and then I continued to explain to him how sound vibration transforms consciousness, giving various examples. By this time he was holding the path of perfection in his hands. This was now turning into a class and he finally asked the most important question – ‘what does that mantra mean, the one that you were asking me to repeat’So I shared with him the Hare Krishna maha mantra and explained the meaning and how it works on the dirt in our heart. He himself gave a generous donation for the book and asked me when is the discourse in the temple. He was such a sincere soul, I encouraged his practice and complimented his mother who I commented had a strong influence on him. He was very surprised and asked me how did I know. Remembering Srila Prabhupada’s words to one of his disciple’s parents I said “ When the fruit is so nice, you can judge that tree is wonderful” He was a genuine soul so affected by just a few words of Srila Prabhupada’s books, he left saying he would come again and I pray that he does.

Coming Up This Weekend - 22nd Monthly Sankirtan Festival. Saturday, March 26th

Our 22nd Monthly Sankirtan Festival which falls on March 26th, will be celebrated as Gaura Purnima Special. In the mood of Sri Chaitanya, we will all head out on the streets sharing the love and happiness that fills our lives through kirtan, books and prasad.

There is service for everyone - help before, during or after the sankirtan festival in whichever way you like. Our goal this month is to have a team of 108 devotees hitting the streets. Will you help us?

In distributing love of Godhead, Caitanya Mahāprabhu and His associates did not consider who was a fit candidate and who was not, nor where such distribution should or should not take place. They made no conditions. Wherever they got the opportunity, the members of the Pañca-tattva distributed love of Godhead. The flood of love of Godhead swelled in all directions, and thus young men, old men, women and children were all immersed in that inundation. The Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement will inundate the entire world and drown everyone, whether one be a gentleman, a rogue or even lame, invalid or blind. CC Adi 7.23-26

See you soon! Please email toronto.sankirtan@gmail.com for more information.

4:30am Mangal Arti, Japa
7:45am Bhagavatam Class
9:15-10:00 am Building the Mood - Training & Goals
11:00am-2:00pm Street Sankirtan
2:00pm Maha-Harinama
2:30pm Lunch Prasad at the temple

How can YOU help?

1. Prepare Prasadam for distribution: From the comforts of your home prepare dry non-perishable prasad for distribution. Our goal is to distribute 5,000 pieces of prasad.
2. Package Prasadam for distribution: Friday 25th March 2011, 6:30-8:30pm
3. Stamp and pack books for distribution: Friday 25th March 2011, 6:30 PM - 8:30pm
4. Help with Logistics/Transportation: Saturday 26th March
5. Prepare Prasadam for Sankirtan team: Saturday 26th March 6:00-10:00am
6. Participate in Harinam - sing along, lead kirtan, play an instrument, hand out cookies or distribute books: Saturday 26th March; 11:00-3:00pm

Please dress WARMER than you think you'll need to (it's still cold - bring gloves and caps along).

One meeting with a devotee

I was walking back from work and it was really windy. And then I saw a man come out of the grocery store and his whole face was covered by his cap and all you could see were his eyes. I said Hi and asked if he has ever heard of yoga or related things. He said yes and explained how he read a lot and was specially into Tantrik yoga - that was his thing. I told him he should check out the Bhagavad Gita and that would help him. Looking at the Gita he said yes i know about this and I have it. So then I showed him the Isopanishad and Krishna book explaining these were more advanced texts and he was all enthusiastic. We walked into a shop to get some change and thats when I started to explain to him that we have a monk coming in this Sunday for a special program. And I asked him if he had met one before - Much to my surprise he said yes and explained that he was at the temple a few months ago and had seen a tall, white, American monk and heard from him. I asked him if he was wearing white or saffron clothes and he explained it was whitish - we all know who that was - HG Vaisesika Prabhu. All glories to the association of pure devotees that get people back ! He left taking Krishna book, Isopanishad and perfection of yoga.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Everytime I fly to the US, I get the jitters! I don't know what it is, but something scares me! Hence, I make sure that I have said my prayers to Lord Nrsimhadev a couple of times before going through immigration! Recently, I had a really nice experience at an airport that showed me that if Krsna desires, he can show his beautiful form to any one!

I was in Austin, Texas for Gaura Purnima this year and got the chance to witness the festival at the beautiful Houston temple. There, they had beautiful plaster-of-paris deities of Gaura Nitai and it was love at first site! I had to bring them so that they can shower their mercy at my home! While packing them in my bag, I made sure they were properly put away so that they wont break in the travel. Since I am so nervous about my travel, I make sure that my hand luggage meets all travel regulations and hence rarely get pulled over by security. However, at the Austin airport, when I put my bag through the X-ray, the security officer stared at the screen intently and then told me, that he wants to put it back again. I was shocked as I had no idea what he was concerned about as I had no liquids or food in my bag! After going through the X-ray again, he asked me if he could run it the third time. Now I was getting really scared as I had no idea what was going on!

After the third X-ray, he comes to me with the bag and asks, "Ma'am, do you have a statue in there?".. I nodded and said that it is an Indian statue that I purchased a local temple. He then asked me if it was a God's statue and I said yes it is. He looked at me very seriously and asked, "Which one?". At this point, I was just confused and I said, "Gauranga". He looked dissappointed and said, "I guessed it wrong then! Who is Gou-ranga?" I was just amazed at his question and proceeded to tell him about Caitanya Mahaprabhu and how he spread the chanting of the holy name to everyone without the consideration of colour, caste and creed! And then the officer, who was clearly ignoring other people who were in line asked me, what did he ask them to pray? And I recited the Mahamantra for him and he was so excited to hear it! He then asked me where he can find more information and I gave him the address to Krishna.com and told him about the local centers in Austin and Houston. As he bid me farewell, he said, so I have to search for "Hare Krishna?"

I secretly smiled! By the unbelievable mercy of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, his spiritual journey may have just begun!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

How old is the sankirtan movement - Srimad Bhagvatam 7.15.71

Sańkīrtana means chanting of the holy name of the Lord. The Hare Kṛṣṇa movement is not a new movement as people sometimes mistakenly think. The Hare Kṛṣṇa movement is present in every millennium of Lord Brahmā's life, and the holy name is chanted in all the higher planetary systems, including Brahmaloka and Candraloka, not to speak of Gandharvaloka and Apsaroloka. The sańkīrtana movement that was started in this world five hundred years ago by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu is therefore not a new movement. Sometimes, because of our bad luck, this movement is stopped, but Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and His servants again start the movement for the benefit of the entire word or, indeed, the entire universe.

A rescheduled flight or Krishna's arrangement

I was sitting at the airport thinking about how I was missing the opportunity to distribute books, I had books in my bag but did not know what to do. I was also working on something that required me to reach out to High schools and was wondering how to get some feedback from someone who is in high school. Suddenly around that time a big man stopped by and asked me if he could share the power point and I said sure. I thought I should try to give him a book but not knowing how I thought I will just take out the Bhagavad gita and let it do the rest as I don’t know what to do. As soon as I kept the Gita on the chair between us, he asked me if he could play his DVD and I said sure I will put my ‘meditation’ tapes – it was a hint but he did not take it L so then he played this aerobic type dvd and was doing some moves siting on chair. So I asked him if he was doing aerobics and he said no he was training cheer leaders. So i asked him if he ever tried Yoga to help them and he said he appreciated it. And then on his own he pointed to the Bhagavad Gita and expressed how he liked trying these. I immediately handed him the Gita and asked him to try it out. We opened it up and he read some sanskrit and checked out pictures and read comments at the back. He was really appreciating so i asked him what he did - turns out he was teaching High school kids. So i thought it was time to give him devotional service - as I was working on some events for high school students. So we discussed the event titles and what would work well. As he was leaving I asked him to chant Gauranga and he repeated it after me. Having repeated it he was so happy and said he would go back and teach Gauranga to all his students, read the Bhagavad gita on his fight and give the Bhagavad gita to his daughter.
We don't need to sell Bhagavad Gita - they automatically attract the ones who are meant to get them.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Devamrita Swami, New Vrndavan, Festival of Inspiration - understanding our life in context

As you look at the world situation and your situation within the world situation there is no doubt we should be feeling tremendous opportunity for expanding lord Chaitanya’s movement. That is our heritage, not only our heritage but our dynamics coming through parampara. We are always on the look out for more. What can we do, we are coming in the line of Panchatatva who are always causing things to increase. So therefore if we properly align ourselves with the mission of pancatatva we will also have those expansionary dynamics and certainly Krishna will send the resources to fuel those dynamics. Currently scarcity rules the day when we look at the material situation of the world…Why should be in denial about our expansionary heritage, why should we feel bad about the dynamics given to us by the Panchatatva to always increase. Of course how to expand requires intelligence but we cannot deny we are meant to expand. By the Panchatatva dancing they make it easier to drink nectarean love of Krishna. By our chanting and dancing, the more we chant and dance more we are actually able to taste krishna bhakti. Lets look at scarcity and pancatatve. Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami describes that the Pancatatva plundered the storehouse of love of god and distributed it everywhere, yet there is no scarcity. The storehouse of love of krishna is so complete.

Magic from the Palace of Gold

I met this 21 year old boy standing outside Urbanedgeyoga and showed him the perfection of yoga. He was speaking about how he is interested in Budhism etc and I showed him a picture of Srila Prabhupada explaining how he is a monk. Seeing Srila Prabhupada’s picture he immediately recognized and asked if this was the same person who had a shrine in West Virginia. I was quiet shocked and asked him how he knew about it. He explained how he was interested in the Hare Krishnas and had followed his friends to the farm once. I showed him the Bhagavad gita and he read off the mantras. He was very interested in the philosophy and I asked him to try out the Bhagavad gita – he was super interested and took a small book. I taught him how to say Gauranga and explained it meant be happy – he looked smiling and said he would practice it and come back. This is the email he sent me :
hello mangalarti. just got home and received this email. i did a bit of browsing through the book you gave me and i am certainly going to give it a read. its funny that i recognized the photo of srila prabhupada from his replica in west virgina. whats the proper name for the temple? anyways talk to you soon and gauranga!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Have trouble sleeping ?

I tried to stop this guy who was moving very slowly, almost in a daze. As he stopped he told me he had spoken to me about 1-1.5 years ago. I could not remember it so I honestly told him I am sorry I can’t remember but did you get a book from me. He had got a perfection of yoga and turns out he had browsed it. I tried to give him another book but he refused outright saying he had no money and time to read. I thought I should stop here but instead I asked him why he didn’t have time. He said he had a lot going on but I probed further. Finally he told me his mind is very disturbed and he cant sleep in the night. He had now been prescribed valium and was trying to depend on it for sleeping but it wasn’t helping. Just a few hours ago I was reading about people’s helpless dependence on pills in SB 7.13. 2 “Greedy capitalists accumulate wealth under so many miserable conditions, the result being that because they collect money by questionable means, their minds are always agitated. Thus they are unable to sleep at night, and they have to take pills for mental tranquillity to invite sleep. And sometimes even the pills are a failure. Consequently the result of having accumulated money by so much labor is certainly not happiness, but only distress. What is the value of acquiring a comfortable position if one's mind is always disturbed?”Not knowing what else to do I told him I have a mantra that will help you sleep and its chemical free and will save you a lot of money from valium. He was so interested at the thought of something that can make him sleep so I started teaching him the maha-mantra. I asked him to repeat after me but he said he wanted it written, so I showed the mantra in the intro to Bhagavad gita. I asked him to keep the book and chant the maha mantra 108 times daily and he would sleep in peace. He took the book for a small donation and said he would try.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Glories of sankirtan movement

kali-kalera dharma—Krishna-nama-sankirtana
krishna-shakti vina nahe taara pravartana
“The fundamental religious system in the Age of Kali is the chanting of the holy name of Krishna. Unless empowered by Krishna, one cannot propagate the sankirtana movement.
Antya Lila 7.11

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu set a practical example in that He did not establish any temples or Deities, but He profusely introduced the sankirtana movement. Therefore Krishna consciousness preachers should give more stress to the sankirtana movement, especially by distributing transcendental literature more and more. This helps the sankirtana movement.

1978.11.24 Houston, US, SB 1.1.4 Lecture by HH Tamala Krishna Maharaj

The process for purification in this age is given very very clearly. As I said yesterday (11.5.32),
krishna-varnam tvishakrishnam
yajnaih sankirtana-prayair
yajanti hi su-medhasah

Akrishna means non-blackish. In this kaliyuga Krishna will come in a non-blackish form. Krishna...yajnaih sankirtana-prayair, yajanti hi su-medhasah. Sankirtan, this is the yagya the sacrifice which is recommended for this age. Everyone who wants to remain connected with Chaitanya Mahaprabhu must participate in the sankirtan process. This will keep you enlivened. Sankirtan means preaching the glories of the lord will bring out the nicest of the qualities in the individual. Your mercy, your patience, your compassion, your determination, all of these qualities will be evoked by the performance of sankirtan yagya. In previous ages there were other sacrifices but in this age it will not work. You cannot simply sit down and meditate, it will not work. You cannot perform simply opulent temple worship as it will not get the best out of you. As it is said here one has to be pushed to the level of inconvenience. That suffering that austerity is spiritual happiness. As you minimise the comfort and maximise the material inconvenience automatically spiritual benefits will come out. Therefore sages and saintly persons always undergo austerity. The beginning is tapasya voluntary austerity. So sankirtan or spreading KC through transcendental book distribution, prashadam distribution and the holy name distribution, these methods are part of this sacrifice which is recommended in this age.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Money matters and management SB 7.13.32

As far as our Kåñëa consciousness movement is concerned, we are getting money naturally, by the grace of God, by selling our literature. This literature is not sold for our sense gratification; to spread the Krishna consciousness movement we need so many things, and Krishna is therefore supplying us the requisite money to advance this mission. The mission of Kåñëa is to spread Krishna consciousness all over the world, and for this purpose we naturally must have sufficient money. Therefore, according to the advice of Srila Rüpa Gosvämi Prabhupäda, we should not give up attachment to money that can spread the Krishna consciousness movement...Money that can help in spreading the Krishna consciousness movement is not a part of the material world, and we should not give it up, thinking that it is material...Money is undoubtedly coming in great quantities, but we should not be attached to this money for sense gratification; every cent should be spent for spreading the Kåñëa consciousness movement, not for sense gratification. There is danger for a preacher when he receives great quantities of money, for as soon as he spends even a single cent of the collection for his personal sense gratification, he becomes a fallen victim. The preachers of the Krishna consciousness movement should be extremely careful not to misuse the immense quantities of money needed to spread this movement.

A gift from Vancouver

I met two amazing people near Bay and Bloor. He looked at the Bhagavad gita and said 'Yes, I have been to the Krishna temple' I was thrilled and introduced myself and asked him what took him there. He said he was looking for meditation and deeper truths. As he already had the Gita, I offered him Isopanishad which he appreciated. I gave his friend a perfection of yoga and she too leaned over and started to look at Iso- I showed them how the mantras are sung and he just offered me a donation without my asking. She started now inquiring about transcendental meditation and told me how she was practicing it in Iran years ago and lost touch. I offered her the Bhagavad gita and told her this is book on transcendental meditation. She was inquiring re Maharishi yogi repeatedly but as soon as I opened Bhagavad gita, it opened at the chapter of 'transcendental knowledge' and she took to it. She requested me to walk with her to the bank so she can give laxmi. While she was withdrawing money I got a few minutes to talk with the guy and he immediately confided that a few years ago in BC Vancouver, on a cold night he had met a sankirtan devotee who was distributing books and gave him a Gita. At that time he thought either this guy is crazy or the book means a lot to him, so I should take it. At that time he didn't have much laxmi but he did read the Gita and came to our temple. I told him how we look for peace and its so hard to get. Next he confided that his girlfriend just broke up with him two weeks ago and it was due to stress. He started asking how he can help her and we discussed it. Ultimately when both of them had got their books I showed them how to chant Gauranga.
That one meeting with a sankirtan devotee had got them here today-lets hope their wanderings are over and they can come and study Gita with us.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

22nd Monthly Sankirtan Festival - Setting the Mood

Our 22nd Monthly Sankirtan Festival which falls on March 26th, will be celebrated as Gaura Purnima Special. In the mood of Sri Chaitanya, we will all head out on the streets sharing the love and happiness that fills our lives through kirtan, books and prasad.

There is service for everyone - help before, during or after the sankirtan festival in whichever way you like. Our goal this month is to have a team of 108 devotees hitting the streets. Will you help us?

In distributing love of Godhead, Caitanya Mahāprabhu and His associates did not consider who was a fit candidate and who was not, nor where such distribution should or should not take place. They made no conditions. Wherever they got the opportunity, the members of the Pañca-tattva distributed love of Godhead. The flood of love of Godhead swelled in all directions, and thus young men, old men, women and children were all immersed in that inundation. The Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement will inundate the entire world and drown everyone, whether one be a gentleman, a rogue or even lame, invalid or blind. CC Adi 7.23-26

See you soon! Please email toronto.sankirtan@gmail.com for more information.

4:30am Mangal Arti, Japa
7:45am Bhagavatam Class
9:15-10:00 am Building the Mood - Training & Goals
11:00am-2:00pm Street Sankirtan
2:00pm Maha-Harinama
2:30pm Lunch Prasad at the temple

How can YOU help?

1. Prepare Prasadam for distribution: From the comforts of your home prepare dry non-perishable prasad for distribution. Our goal is to distribute 5,000 pieces of prasad.
2. Package Prasadam for distribution: Friday 25th March 2011, 6:30-8:30pm
3. Stamp and pack books for distribution: Friday 25th March 2011, 6:30 PM - 8:30pm
4. Help with Logistics/Transportation: Saturday 26th March
5. Prepare Prasadam for Sankirtan team: Saturday 26th March 6:00-10:00am
6. Participate in Harinam - sing along, lead kirtan, play an instrument, hand out cookies or distribute books: Saturday 26th March; 11:00-3:00pm

Please dress WARMER than you think you'll need to (it's still cold - bring gloves and caps along).

Monday, March 14, 2011

Three truths for a preacher

Prahlāda Mahārāja ultimately instructed his class friends, the sons of the demons, to accept the process of devotional service by preaching the science of Kṛṣṇa consciousness to everyone. Preaching is the best service to the Lord. The Lord will immediately be extremely satisfied with one who engages in this service of preaching Kṛṣṇa consciousness. This is confirmed by the Lord Himself in Bhagavad-gītā (18.69). Na ca tasmān manuṣyeṣu kaścin me priya-kṛttamaḥ: "There is no servant in this world more dear to Me than he, nor will there ever be one more dear." If one sincerely tries his best to spread Kṛṣṇa consciousness by preaching the glories of the Lord and His supremacy, even if he is imperfectly educated, he becomes the dearmost servant of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is bhakti. As one performs this service for humanity, without discrimination between friends and enemies, the Lord becomes satisfied, and the mission of one's life is fulfilled. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu therefore advised everyone to become a guru-devotee and preach Kṛṣṇa consciousness (yāre dekha, tāre kaha 'kṛṣṇa'-upadeśa [Cc. Madhya 7.128]). That is the easiest way to realize the Supreme Personality of Godhead. By such preaching, the preacher becomes satisfied, and those to whom he preaches are also satisfied. This is the process of bringing peace and tranquillity to the entire world.

bhoktāraḿ yajña-tapasāḿ


suhṛdaḿ sarva-bhūtānāḿ

jñātvā māḿ śāntim ṛcchati

[Bg. 5.29]

One is expected to understand these three formulas of knowledge concerning the Supreme Lord — that He is the supreme enjoyer, that He is the proprietor of everything, and that He is the best well-wisher and friend of everyone. A preacher should personally understand these truths and preach them to everyone.

Srimad Bhagvatam, Srila Prabhupada purport to 7.6.24

There is no limitation

"If you study my books very carefully, then I am sure you will find out the means for applying this Krsna Consciousness philosophy in all spheres of life. There is no limitation. Simply it requires a little common sense practicality. The main point is that Krsna is the center of all activities, whatever is going on. Whatever the activity may be, if Krsna is the center, that is all right. The details simply require a little common sense."

- Srila Prabhupada, Letter to Amarendra das, Calcutta January 31, 1972

The most munificent personalities

A brahamana is somebody who gives transcendental knowledge to others, just like we quoted the verse yesterday from Srimad Bhagavatam that certainly one who shares the message of godhead is most munificent. Tava kathamritam tapta jevanam, we quoted that verse from 10th canto of Srimad Bhagavatam. And conclusions of that verse is that the gopis are saying that those who distribute the message of godhead are considered to be the most munificent personalities. So he wanted us to assist him in helping him in spreading this transcendental message, and by seeing that how our lives have changed we should also want to help others to achieve the same benefit.

- Niranjana Swami, Sunday Feast Class, 28 November, 2010

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Spanish books

Recently in Srimad Bhagavatam class HG Vaisesika prabhu explained how sharing knowledge in the language a person understands is so powerful and he was explaining how they are coming out with Language cards describing books and asking donations. Prabhu was emphasizing how people are so happy to see that its a book in their language. Interestingly I have never distributed a non-English book on the streets and I barely had a few minutes that day. Same day, i saw a man who was cleaning the garbage from the streets and I asked him if he wanted a book on yoga. He said - no English. Remembering the Bhagvatam class in the morning I asked, which language and he said Spanish. I asked him to wait and ran back and grabbed a Spanish book. He was thrilled to see it and gave a donation. Interestingly enough his other cleaner friends were driving a mini garbage truck and they stopped. They said they also wanted it. So i ran back and grabbed a perfection of yoga and a bhagavad gita. As one took the bhagavad gita the other one said he also wanted the same one. they didn't have much laxmi but they were so excited. Then the original cleaner he said he wanted one more. It was amusing and then one of them came out and said they wanted a picture with us and Bhagavad gita.So we took a picture, it was a very real life demonstration of the class we heard this morning.

Srila Prabhupada letter to Hrdayananda Maharaj 1972 : Also I am very happy to hear the other books will be coming out very soon. If you can finish Bhagavad-gita As It Is in Spanish and show me at the Mayapur festival that will be very sublime. Please print as many books as possible, this is my real pleasure. By printing these books of our Krsna Conscious philosophy in so many different languages we can actually inject our movement into the masses of persons all over the world, especially there in the western countries and we can literally turn whole nations into Krsna Conscious nations.

A friend from down under

Walking down the street at Yonge and Dundas I met this very tall guy, he looked really lost and I started to speak with him about our books and showed him a small perfection of yoga. He appreciated the book but he was still lost so I asked him who he was and where was he from. He said he was from Canberra Australia and we got talking right away about my last trip to Canberra and his travels. Then he said maybe I should ask you a question as you seem to have materialized out of nowhere. I encouraged him to speak and he told me he is supposed to leave for France in a day and he has just fallen in love with someone. I asked him what was the problem so he said he has to choose between two very beautiful women and he has barely anytime and they are both so similar and he is at a junction. I was thinking he is so distressed how best to present the Bhagavad gita so I said – well you just haven’t met two people you have met a third person. He was confused and then I explained how these books are not from this world, they come from another dimension. I was remembering Prabhupada saying that we should present philosophy seriously and the books will sell on their own merit. So I showed him the picture in Bhagavad gita with three modes and explained to him how karma acts and how these books stop through Karma. I told him how he was too emotional right now and he should take Bhagavad Gita and read the introduction which is 30 pages and then he will clear his mind and know what to do. He told me he will walk down the street, grab a beer in a pub nearby and read the Bhagavad gita introduction. He wanted to learn a mantra and so I explained the Hare Krishna maha-mantra and (it struck me as I was talking to him) explained to him how he was confused between 2 beautiful women but Krishna is the most beautiful personality of all. I sincerely pray that he reads the Bhagavad gita as it is.

Brahmande Brahmite

I had a few minutes on sunday and I took a walk to the subway near my house and it was empty. At a far corner I saw this lady taking a smoke all alone. As I walked upto her I was a little nervous whether she would talk to me and initially she was hesitant and didn't want to talk with me, but as I had nothing else to do I kept trying. Then she touched one of Prabhupada books and I was relieved. She now started to ask questions and said she would take the book. Then started to tell me what a coincidence this was as her friends were supposed to be there an hourago and she was irritated waiting for then alone and I materialized out of nowhere. She said how she was looking for happiness and i told her these books were rare and quoted Brahmande brahmite Kaunas bhagyavan jiva, guru krishna prasase paye Bhakti lata bija and explained who knows which universe and life we met in. I explained the meaning of that verse and she began to cry really badly Saying how she was just coming out of a long term relationship and felt like she had a very deep lifetime connection with this friend and is not able to comprehend how to move on and now she met me. ThIs point I handed her another book and asked her to read that to. She agreed to take it and give donation for it but her eyes and heart were filling up. She kept saying all is good but she was pouring tears. She wasn't poor or foolish but she was just suffering there is so much suffering in this world and so much work for devotees to do, sure there is another person standing alone at street corner crying internally while externally saying all is good.

Srila Prabhupada driving sankirtan movement

I was standing at the intersection of Avenue and Davenport when some devotees said we could go to the temple to have prashadam but something in my heart said I should go as its time for my sankirtan service. So I said no and ran across the street. As I crossed the street light, a lady was coming out of the dry cleaners with her little girl. I asked her if she had heard of yoga or meditation and she said yes. I showed her a copy of the Perfection of yoga and she started to mention how she has heard of the Bhagavad gita. She started to appreciate it very much and then explained that she goes to a Svami Narayan temple and practices chanting.Excited to hear that I showed her the Isopanishad and explained how its like a sequel to the Bhagavad gita. While appreciating the Isopanishad she suddenly said she liked Ganesha very much. I told her these books were written by lord Ganesha and dictated by Vyasa deva. She was very happy and then started to tell me how she has another book at home she likes and has read, turned out the other book was science of self realisation.She had got it from a sankirtan devotee in the past. I told her its written by a monk and showed her a picture of Srila Prabhupada, she instantly recognized Prabhupada and said yes yes i have seen him. I was intrigued, seen him where ? She explained the Hare Krishnas were parading on Yonge street and this monk was there and I saw him. She described he was wearing Saffron clothes and said she knew him. Then she opened the other book and read 'His Divine grace' and repeated it several times saying yes i know his divine grace. I understood she saw Srila Prabhupada in the Ratha Yatra - She was happy to give donation for the books and said she would keep in touch. Then as she was leaving i showed her how to chant 'Gauranga' - she left saying Gauranga 3 times and exchanging emails. Srila Prabhupada is personally driving this Sankirtan mission and all demigods are assisting in it

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Ceto Darpan Marjanam - Gaura Purnima Special Monthly Temple Cleanup!

CDM (Ceto Darpana Marjanam) is a project which entails organized cleaning of the temple as a group.

Please join as as we prepare our temple and our very hearts leading up to one of the biggest celebrations of the year - the appearance day of the most munificent Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.  This day will be dedicated to Lord Chaitanya and we encourage you to come out this time and join us in this amazingly important service.

The schedule will be as follows:
12:00pm to 3:30pm - Maha clean-up
3:30pm to 5:00pm - Special pizza party and nectar-filled conversations

"Everything within the temple should be kept very, very neat and clean. And the more you keep the temple neat and clean, you will be neat and clean within your heart. And then your understanding will be very easy. We cannot understand Krsna because our heart is piled up with many garbages. That we have to cleanse." -- Srila Prabhupada Melbourne, May 22, 1975

Please come out and bring your family and friends for this unforgettable experience!