Welcome to a condensed version of the latest edition of the ISKCON Deity Worship Ministry / Mayapur Academy Newsletter
As the festival season approaches temples are gearing up for a busy time. This month sees Gundica marjana and Ratha yatra. In the following two months there are Jhulana yatra, Balarama’s appearance, Janmastami, Srila Prabhupada’s appearance and Radhastami to name a few.
Barsana Eye Camp is the free annual cataract surgery camp run by the Bhaktivedanta Hospital in Barsana, Mathura District in India. The camp serves people residing in Barsana and the surrounding 120 villages, who due to extreme poverty and lack of medical facilities often lead a life of blindness caused by cataracts which are otherwise easily treated.
In our regular monthly program, one of the guests asked me ‘Why do you call God as Kṛṣṇa? Why not just refer it as God?’ He also took exception to the title of the lecture ‘Who is God?’ He preferred ‘What is God?’ And he said he will read the book he bought substituting ‘God’ for ‘Kṛṣṇa’.
A: I would approach it in a different way. If someone desires to love God, he will naturally seek the association of others who also desire to love God. You develop compassion, as your love of God is developing, because you want to love others. When we reach the stage you want to help other people, you naturally organize. Ultimately to love God, you just have to love God. It is not some commandment is coming down from the sky, “Thou shalt join an institution.” “The community of the wise, is the welfare of the world.” For me it is just a practical thing, we have to organize.
Reducing life to its basic components as old age takes away what we have for years taken for granted. My mom lays down unable to do most things unassisted. Now getting up to go the toilet is a major, challenging, strenuous event! Her life is defined by scheduled meal times and calling for assistance in basic maintenance of the body. It seems that the more self contained and independent one was, the harder it is to be in a helpless condition. Actually we are always dependent on God, but due to our material ignorance we think we are the master of all we survey. Krishna kindly teaches us (if we are ready to listen) our true position through the gradual demise of our power in body and mind as well as our ability to influence and act.
As My mom lies in the hospice, slowly fading away, I clean her kitchen of years of her smoking habit (which has brought her to this point by the law of cause and effect). She smoked while leaning on one spot on the kitchen counter, resulting in the discoloring of that cabinet into a sickly, slimy, yucky yellow brown color. Just imagine how her lungs look! I have to scrub it repeatedly, and then I open the cabinet doors to find discolored dishes. I have a lot of work to do just to make her house livable.
Sri Sri Chhota Radha Kalachandji back in Dallas after 30 years http://bit.ly/9kFT1Y[01:50:06]
The beauty of the desert
such a feeling of duality yet awe
at powerful, desolate mountains
mild weather and flowers all around
Spring being in full bloom,
contrasts with my heavy heart
Made a connecting flight in Dallas/Fort Worth, and I am now at 33,000 feet. I have 1/3 of the journey to go, as we fly over rugged terrain broken up by roads, small hills, a few towns, an occasional river with the muddy color of spring rains. The straightness of many roads, reflecting the organizing brain of human beings seems like such a contrast to rolling hills, jagged mountains, windy rivers and puffy clouds.
A few weeks ago we had a wonderful time due the visit of His Holiness Gunagrahi Goswami.
Maharaja kindly agreed to speak at the monthly Bhagavatam chapter study program. It is a study that we started a year ago and will probably take 28 years to finish being that there are over 300 chapters in the Srimad Bhagavatam.