Simple Living

hand built house

There has been an ongoing discussion here at New Vrindaban about the possibility of establishing a Vedic or Eco Village, where people would be able to live simply, and practice Krishna Consciousness. Establishing cottage industries based on agriculture, dairy, arts and crafts, etc., and living a more earth based lifestyle

A few years ago my wife shared a link with me on Facebook describing an earth friendly, hand built house, built by Michael Buck, for practically nothing! As I have myself been a builder for almost 40 years now, and as we have been discussing the idea of an Eco Village here at New Vrindaban, I was of course interested. Although nothing like this has materialized here as yet, some of the devotees keep this hope alive. This is a nice example of a house that could easily be built with materials that are local to our area, using the ancient technique of  cob – building with a mixture of sand, clay, straw, water and earth.

The following is the text and images as it appears on the English web site Daily Mail.

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Whatever Happened to the Revolution?

Whatever Happened to the Revolution?

by Padmapani das

For many of us who came of age in the sixties and seventies, the counterculture and its promise of an alternative society based on love and peace was an important part of our lives. Art, music, poetry, philosophy, ecology and human rights were just a few of the buzzwords floating through the collective psyche of the sixties generation. Revolution was in the air. “The establishment” was doomed and soon to be replaced with a kinder society. Peace would reign supreme, and all peoples of the world would unite and be free from the chains of oppression. Or so we thought.

At the time, it appeared that massive cultural changes were about to sweep away the capitalist system (or the “military industrial complex,” as we liked to call it). Every day there was a new victory for change. Underground newspapers proliferated, broadcasting the latest progress reports: the sit-ins, the love-ins, the be-ins, the antiwar and civil rights demonstrations, the Democratic National Convention of 1968, the Chicago Seven Trial, Woodstock, etc. Something was happening here, and it was big.

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A Time for Reflection

This morning I was doing a little internet searching and revisiting some of my favorite sites. This took me to The Prabhupada Connection. For some reason I clicked on the Editorial Notes and began reading some of the essays. I was a big fan of Visnujana Swami, as was everyone, and I enjoyed reading this memory by Padmapani Prabhu.

When Visnujana Swami led kirtan in Stanley Park, hundreds of people encircled our  party, all transfixed by his melodious chanting. Usually we might have a couple of dozen onlookers in attendance for harinam, but this was a monumental occasion. The devotees twirled and jumped and danced with great abandon. The sense of harmony amongst us was real and palpable. The swelling crowd was a testament to the infectious joy of chanting Hare Krsna in unity and love.

A Time for Reflection

by Padmapani das

When I first joined the Vancouver temple in 1973, a devotee explained to me that everyone who comes in contact with Krsna is a great soul, a mahatma. He told me that even the postman who delivers Krsna’s mail is very special and should be respected. I was in total awe. 

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Srila Prabhupada on Astrology

‘Whatever may come by Your mercy, let it come.’ That’s our philosophy. That’s our siddhanta. But if you know it’s going to rain, it’s better to take an umbrella.”

Srila Prabhupada on Astrology
By Patita Pavana das
Feb 28, 2012 — FRANCE (SUN) — From:

‘Memories of Srila Prabhupada, Anecdotes of a Modern Day Saint’.

Shrila Prabhupada often called Pradyumna das Adhikary his “Panditji.” Beginning from 1968 Pradyumna was the first among the Western disciples to learn Sanskrit. Under the guidance of his spiritual master, he lent his expertise into all of Prabhupada’s literary projects. A natural scholar, Pt. Pradyumna Prabhu traveled the world with Shrila Prabhupada carrying any number of weighty tomes with him. He assisted with the Bhagavatam project right until the last days of the pure devotee’s earthly manifest appearance.

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Chanting Hare Krishna

Chant and make your life sublime

The Vedas recommend that in the present age the most effective means for achieving self-realization is to always hear about, glorify, and remember the all-good Supreme Lord, who is known by many names. One of these names is “Krishna” which means “He who is all-attractive,” another is “Rama” which means “He who is the reservoir of all pleasure,” and “Hare” indicates the Lord’s inconceivable energy.

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

This sublime chanting puts us directly in touch with the Supreme Lord through the sound vibration of His holy names and gradually awakens us to our original relationship with God. ISKCON’s primary mission is to encourage all members of the human society to devote at least some portion of their time and energies to this process of hearing and chanting about God. In this way they will gradually come to realize that all living beings are spirit souls, eternally related to the Supreme Lord in service and in love.

It is mentioned in the scriptures that Sri Krishna, the Reservoir of Pleasure, dances on the tongue of the chanter of His name. To chant and hear fixes the mind, in meditation, in direct contact with God. The mantra is not to be mistaken for an ordinary song or anything tinged with the mundane; it is a pure transcendental sound vibration of the Absolute and has been upheld as such since time immemorial by the great sages and Vedic scriptures.

Anyone who hears the chanting also benefits if he simply likes the sound of the chanting or he appreciates the sankirtana in some way or other. The holy name is compared to a fire; whether one is scientifically conversant with all the properties of fire or knows nothing about it, if one puts his hand in fire, he will be burnt. Sincere chanting and hearing of the mantra will cleanse the mind and elevate one and all to the natural original position of spirit soul.

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Letters by Srila Prabhupada: Chanting, Dancing and Eating Krishna Prasadam

Back to Godhead - Volume 12, Number 0304 - 1977

click on image to enlarge

…”You write to me that you do not know what is my desire, but my desire is an open secret. I simply want all over the Western countries people may take this simple formula of chanting, dancing and eating Krishna Prasadam, and being happy. I am simply surprised that they should not accept this simple formula and be happy themselves. My only desire is that all people become happy and prosperous in Krishna Consciousness.”
(Srila Prabhupada letter, September 19, 1969)

Full Letter

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Lord Ramacandra’s Appearance Day Rama Navami

Today we are celebrating Śrī Rāma-Navamī, Lord Rāmacandra’s Appearance Day. We are honoring it with a fast until sunset, followed by a nice vegetarian feast.

Rama Navami (Devanāgarī: राम नवमी) also known as Sri Rama Navami ( IAST SriRāma-navamī ). Sri Ram Navami is a great festival in India, celebrating the birth of Lord Rama to King Dasharatha and Queen Kausalya of Ayodhya. Rama is the 7th incarnation of the Dashavatara of Vishnu. The festival falls in the Shukla Paksha on the Navami, the ninth day of the month of Chaitra in the Hindu calendar. Thus it is also known as Chaitra Masa Suklapaksha Navami, and marks the end of the nine-day Chaitra-Navratri celebrations.

When Lord Ramachandra, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, was the King of this world, all bodily and mental suffering, disease, old age, bereavement, lamentation, distress, fear and fatigue were completely absent. There was even no death for those who did not want it. All these facilities existed because of Lord Ramachandra’s presence as the King of the entire world. A similar situation could be introduced immediately, even in this age called Kali, the worst of all ages. It is said, kali-kale nama-rupe Krishna-avatara: Krishna descends in this Kali-yuga in the form of His holy name—Hare Krishna, Hare Rama. If we chant offenselessly, Rama and Krishna are still present in this age. The kingdom of Rama was immensely popular and beneficial, and the spreading of this Hare Krishna movement can immediately introduce a similar situation, even in this Kali-yuga.

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Sri Gaura-Purnima Lecture

lord caitanya

click on image to enlarge

So today is Gaura Purnima, the appearance day of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. We will honor this auspicious and most important day, with an all day fast (untill moon rise), followed by chanting, dancing, and feasting. Today we are posting a famous lecture given by Srila Prabhupada on Gaura-purnima in Mayapur, back in 1976.

…So Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya is Kṛṣṇa. It is confirmed by the śāstras. Here it is said, channaḥ kalau yad abhava. In the Kali-yuga, directly He does not appear as the incarnation like Nṛsiṁhadeva or Vāmanadeva or Lord Rāmacandra, yes, but as devotee. So He’s the same incarnation, Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Abhavat. “Therefore sometimes You are called as tri-yuga.” There are four yugas, but He is known… Because in three yugas He appears distinctly, and in the fourth yuga, the Kali-yuga, as devotee, therefore He’s called tri-yuga. So today is the birthday or appearance day of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and this is the birthplace, this Māyāpura, and you are all present here. It is a good fortune. Always remember Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and chant śrī-kṛṣṇa-caitanya prabhu-nityānanda…

Devotees: …śrī-advaita gadādhara śrīvāsādi-gaura-bhakta-vṛnda.

Prabhupāda: This will make your life perfect. Thank you very much. (end)

Full Lecture

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Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu

Bhagavad-Gita-Original-Art-Pancha-Tattva

…A person in the conditioned stage of material existence is in an atmosphere of helplessness, but the conditioned soul, under the illusion of māyā, or the external energy, thinks that he is completely protected by his country, society, friendship and love, not knowing that at the time of death none of these can save him. The laws of material nature are so strong that none of our material possessions can save us from the cruel hands of death…An intelligent person, therefore, does not put his faith in any material possessions, but completely takes shelter of the lotus feet of the Lord.

Let me offer glorification to the Supreme Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. One who has taken shelter of His lotus feet is the most glorified person. (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Adi Lila, Chapter 7, Text 2)

…Prabhu means master. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu is the supreme master of all masters; therefore He is called Mahāprabhu. Any person who takes shelter of Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya Mahāprabhu is most glorified because by the mercy of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu he is able to get promotion to the platform of loving service to the Lord, which is transcendental to salvation. (from purport to above verse)

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Milk, the Miracle Food

…Although in this age men can live up to one hundred years, their duration of life is reduced because they do not drink large quantities of milk

…Milk is compared to nectar, which one can drink to become immortal. Of course, simply drinking milk will not make one immortal, but it can increase the duration of one’s life. In modern civilization, men do not think milk to be important, and therefore they do not live very long. Although in this age men can live up to one hundred years, their duration of life is reduced because they do not drink large quantities of milk. This is a sign of Kali-yuga. In Kali-yuga, instead of drinking milk, people prefer to slaughter an animal and eat its flesh.

The Supreme Personality of Godhead, in His instructions of Bhagavad-gītā, advises go-rakṣya, which means cow protection. The cow should be protected, milk should be drawn from the cows, and this milk should be prepared in various ways. One should take ample milk, and thus one can prolong one’s life, develop his brain, execute devotional service, and ultimately attain the favor of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. As it is essential to get food grains and water by digging the earth, it is also essential to give protection to the cows and take nectarean milk from their milk bags. (purport to SB 8.6.12)

Full Text and Purport

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