LORD BALARAMA APPEARS
By Ambika devi dasi
The divine appearance of Lord Balarama, on the full moon, gave joy to His glorious mother, Rohini, His father, Vasudeva, and to all the residents of Vrindavana.
His complexion is white like crystal, His face moonlike, His arms long and His effulgence like the sun. He is possessed of all good qualities.
He is named Baladeva and Balarama due to His extraordinary power. Since He attracts all people and can remove their sins, He is also known as Sankarsana.
He is the second body of the fountainhead of all incarnations, Krishna. They are one and the same, differing only in form. He assists Lord Krishna’s transcendental pastimes.
Balarama is the cause of all causes, the source of all incarnations and the shelter of all jivas. He is wonderful in every respect and His opulences are infinite.
As Krishna’s elder brother, Balarama took care of Him. In Vrindavana He played with Krishna and tended the cows. Sometimes, Krishna served Balarama by massaging His lotus feet when He was tired from playing.
He also killed the demons Pralambasura and Dhenukarasura with ease. His chivalrous pastimes throughout His time in Hastinapura and Dwaraka proved that He could not be defeated by anyone. He wielded His particular weapon, the club, with great strength, dexterity and grace.
We are very fortunate here at New Govardhana to have Lord Balarama gracing us with His sublime presence on the altar.
At the installation of Krishna and Balarama in 1975, Srila Prabhupada said:
“Now Balarama is here. Everything is all right. He can give you spiritual strength if you ever feel weak.”
He then suggested that if we ever have difficulty, we could go to Krishna and Balarama and say: “Sirs, this is the problem,” and They would do the needful.
All glories to Lord Balarama. Let us beg Him for His mercy and for spiritual strength.
Source: Caitanya-Caritamrita, Adi-lila Chapter 5, from Ananda Krishna Van, Chapter 5 (translated by Subhaga Swami and Bhanu Swami) and from Festivals by Lokanatha Swami.
Lord Balarama’s Appearance Day is celebrated on 26th August 2018.
Srila Prabhupada Uvaca
Meeting Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu in a village called Ramakeli, two brothers, Rupa and Sanatana, began to devise means to get out of their government service … Srila Rupa Gosvami deposited ten thousand gold coins with a grocer, and the balance he brought in two boats to a place called Bakla Candradvipa. There he divided this money among the brahmanas, Vaisnavas and his relatives, and a portion he kept for emergency measures and personal needs. He was informed that Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was going to Vrndavana from Jagannatha Puri through the forest of Madhya Pradesh; therefore he sent two people to Jagannatha Puri to find out when the Lord would leave for Vrndavana. In this way Rupa Gosvami retired, but Sanatana Gosvami told the Nawab that he was sick and could not attend to his work.
When Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu started for Vrndavana through the forest of Madhya Pradesh (Jharikhanda), Rupa Gosvami left home and sent news to Sanatana that he was leaving home with his younger brother (Anupama Mallika) to meet Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Srila Rupa Gosvami finally reached Prayaga and met with Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu for ten successive days … Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu introduced Srila Rupa Gosvami to Vallabha Bhatta. After this, a brahmana scholar named Raghupati Upadhyaya arrived and discussed Krsna consciousness with the Lord …
Caitanya-caritamrita, Madhya-lila Chapter 19 summary
Rupa Goswami’s Disappearance Day is on 23 August.
39th installation anniversary
Historic building breathes new life
By Suvarna Rupa dasi
The landmark ‘White House’ next to Krishna Village has given shelter to devotees since the establishment of New Govardhana. When devotees bought the farm in April 1977, there was neither bridge nor road. The only building was the ‘White House’. At one stage there were as many as 25 brahmacharis living downstairs and upstairs was the templeroom with Gaur Nitai Deities, now installed in the Brisbane temple. Over 30 years and countless memories later, Mahamantra dasa is leading the renovations of this much-loved ‘heritage’ building.
While externally the structure of the house has been preserved, internally there have been drastic improvements. Downstairs now consists of seven rooms, two bathrooms and one laundry for guests. Upstairs there are two flats, each with two bedrooms and a bathroom. There’s also one kitchen, as well as a space to be used for yoga, seminars and other courses. There was an inauguration kirtana on Friday 20 July for the new and improved ‘White House’.
52 Years and Counting!
By Mukunda Goswami
Although 52 years have passed since the founding of ISKCON, the society is still growing.
In 1965 Srila Prabhupada left the city then called Calcutta on a merchant steamer bound for New York. Only his son, Vrindavan Chandra De, was present to see him off. At age 60, Srila Prabhupada was carrying out the order of his guru, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Prabhupada. The directive was to spread the glories of Lord Krishna to the English-speaking world. Srila Prabhupada had no friends or acquaintances in the US.
Fifty-year celebrations are often referred to as “golden anniversaries”, but withering frames, human and mechanical, reveal the deceptive nature of the ‘g’ word. Glossy terms like “gold” and “golden” are usually nothing more than skilful but empty clichés that mask the ravages of age involving ineluctable decline. “Golden Oldies”, the “Golden Years” and “Good as Gold” are familiar phrases today. However, it has been said that, “All that glitters is not gold”.
Things come into being, become increasingly visible, remain for a time, engender offshoots or inspire similitudes, deteriorate and finally disappear completely.
Fortunately, there are exceptions.
Although eternality is rarely seen on this planet, ISKCON and its Founder-Acharya, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, have become highly visible.
Yet although ISKCON and its founder have trotted the globe, the earth is still largely uncharted. There remain innumerable regions where living beings have yet to hear the holy name of Krishna and experience Vaishnava other-worldliness.
The culture of succession was not lost on ISKCON’s Founder-Acharya, who incorporated his fledgling society in New York on 19 July 1966. Srila Prabhupada had a sense that his establishment would withstand the inexorable crush of time. He was aware that despite comings and goings of individuals, institutions would tend to endure.
He incorporated the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) in many countries of the world, starting with the US, England and India.
Krishna Pad News
By Tim Sawyer
The Krishna Pad (the intermediate ashrama) is at full capacity with myself, Tim, currently living next door to Koolan, our enthusiasthic pot washer who recently moved up from Krishna Village. Representing Scotland we have Sean, a spiritual seeker who moved up from Krishna Village to delve deeper into Krishna consciousness, and Michael from Germany, a newly qualified yoga teacher from Krishna Village, who came to our residence to develop his understanding in devotional life. We also have Mal, an incredible yoga teacher and great influence on the Pad due to his experience of devotional life.
Heading the ladies is Hyesun from South Korea. She has lived here for nearly a year now and takes on a big role in the paraphernalia room. Kana from Japan started in Krishna Village to develop her yogic studies and took to devotional life and recently moved into the Pad area. Carla from Canberra, who came to Krishna Village to further her understanding of Krishna consciousness, also moved up to fully immerse in Krishna consciousness. She has now left but hopes to return later this year.
The ashrama starts to come to life at 3:30am, with everyone regularly attending mangala arati and the morning program at the temple. The Krishna Pad is a safe and comfortable space with great association that allows us to progress in spiritual life.
Seans says, “My experience in the Krishna Pad, along with the devotees and the atmosphere of the place, have been very grounding. I have gained a lot of experiential knowledge, and I am humbled to be a part of the ISKCON movement.”
By Krishna Gana dasa
This year Govindas Catering had a few extra challenges than we normally do. We had some major troubles with our truck; Sevamrita dasa went missing one night, only to be found in hospital the next day; and we lost two of our team members to other activities half way through our trip – as well as a few other minor mishaps.
But we soldiered on and all the festivals were successful. We even managed to cater at a new type of festival aimed at trying to raise the consciousness through the use of drugs and dance music! It was the type of event that we don’t usually cater at, but it seems like we might be covering more of this type in the future because there were many sincere searching souls who received prasadam to genuinely raise the consciousness.
We started our five-week trip in Agnes Water, at the end of May, then we moved to Townsville where we catered at two festivals and then onto Cooktown to finish the tour by June end.
We were fortunate to meet many amazing people and visit some beautiful places, too. Personally, it was also an opportunity to visit my family and old friends as I grew up in North Queensland, but it is always nice to come home to New Govardhana. There is no place like it!
One amazing soul we met was Ingrid. We have seen her for many years at one particular festival, where she would tell us about her cassowary sanctuary. This time she asked us to come and stay there, which we did for one night.
She is quite a special lady, having built her house by herself and has cared for thousands of cassowaries and other wildlife 24 hours a day. Ingrid is implementing government policies to protect endangered species, has raised a family living mostly off the grid, and much more.
But she wanted to know about what we do, so we spent time talking about Krishna conscious philosophy and trading life stories. She is looking forward to visiting the farm some time in the future.
Maha Jewellery by Manjula
By Vaisnavi devi dasi
In 2017 Manjula Rati devi dasi would come and wash Their Lordships’ plates after the evening fruit offering on Sundays. This led to more service: making tulasi and counter beads combined with maha jewellery. The service began at the beginning of this year and 100% of the profits go towards the Deity Department.
If you are interested in purchasing any of these items and help support the Deity Department, please contact Manjula Rati on 0488 555 244.
In Focus: Krpalu Krsna Balarama dasa
By Kisori devi dasi
This month The Conch interviews Krpalu Krsna Balarama dasa.
KD: Please tell us a little about yourself.
KKBD: My initiated name is Krpalu Krsna Balarama dasa. I was born in Bombay and lived at ISKCON Juhu for the first 21 years of my life until I moved to Australia in 2011.
My parents lived in the ISKCON Juhu complex from even before I was born. I did all my schooling within the complex until I left to attend university.
By the mercy of Srila Prabhupada I was born into a devotee family. Both my parents have been serving Sri Sri Radha Rasabihari at Juhu for more than three decades.
I was very fortunate to have such wonderful parents who connected me and my siblings to Krishna from Day One.
KD: Why did you move to Australia?
KKBD: I moved to Australia for further studies and obtained a Masters degree in Accounting and Finance in Adelaide. After I completed my Masters I decided to stay in Australia permanently. At the moment I am studying to become a Certified Practising Accountant [CPA].
KD: What keeps you motivated?
KKBD: My motivation is my spiritual master His Holiness Jayapataka Swami. He is my inspiration, strength, mentor and everything. The reason I am still trying to become a devotee is due to my guru maharaja’s mercy.
KD: It is nice to have you at New Govardhana. What are your services here?
KKBD: I moved to New Govardhana to take on the service as assistant treasurer under the guidance of Ganga devi dasi. I have also been blessed with the opportunity to do pujari service for Sri Sri Radha Govardhanadhari.
I am happy to call New Govardhana my home for now.
KD: Is there anything else you would like to add?
KKBD: I would like to say thank you to Ajita prabhu for giving me the opportunity to serve at New Govardhana and all the wonderful devotees I have been able to associate with.
Magic in Krishna’s Garden
By Suvarna Rupa dasi
Here at New Govardhana we are so fortunate to have an abundance of organic, pesticide-free produce grown on-site to offer to Krishna every day. In fact, at the moment we have over one year’s worth of sweet potatoes, as well as three to four full boxes of broccoli and silver beet brought up to the temple every week.
There are seemingly endless rows of cabbages as big as basketballs, cauliflowers, beetroot and radishes, snow peas, Roma tomatoes, ginger, turmeric and coriander. Darrel, who works at the East Garden, said that although the soil is relatively dry, somehow or other all the vegetables are flourishing beyond belief. Surely it is Krishna’s mystical potency and the gardeners’ hard work, of course.
THE LORD’S PLAN
By Mandakini devi dasi
In 2011, Kisori devi dasi came up with the idea of organising a Ratha-yatra festival on the Sunshine Coast, where she lived with her family. Finding the cost of transporting the big cart from New Govardhana quite excessive, her husband Nrsimhananda dasa decided that he would construct a small cart himself.
On 5 December 2011, a very charming and successful Ratha-yatra eventuated in Bli Bli, Sunshine Coast, which we were privileged to attend. The Deities in the care of Jamal Arjuna dasa and Subhangi devi dasi were kindly available for this event.
The following year, Brisbane devotees borrowed the little cart to have their own Ratha-yatra in Rocks Riverside Park, after which it was stored in Jaya Vijaya dasa’s garage for two years. In 2014, it was relocated to the large garage of Rupavilasa dasa in Robina.
This year at Snana Yatra, Kisori found herself the pujari for Dhriti and Ajita’s home Deities, Jagannatha, Baladeva and Subhadra, dressing Them in Their bathing clothes, then later in Their new outfits. She considered how nice it would be if They also could participate in the parade and mentioned it to Dhriti, who told her there was no suitable cart. Kisori responded that she had one!
Nothing further was discussed until the day before Ratha-yatra, when it was decided to include the little cart.
Kisori made a few phone calls and Madhavananda dasa was able to pick up the cart from where it was stored. As Kisori was rostered for class at the Gold Coast Bhakti Centre that day, it worked out perfectly that she was able to bring the ratha back with her to New Govardhana by swapping vehicles with Madhavananda.
On Ratha-yatra day, the cart was checked for safety and road worthiness and was found to be in perfect condition. It was lovingly decorated by Patraka dasa, Kisori and her mother, Draupadi dasi.
All logistical fears were quickly allayed when the enthusiastic children started to pull the cart.
A big thank you to all the delightful children and their parents for making this event such a huge success.
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Krishnarupa devi dasi (ACBSP), Manjulali devi dasi, Kisori devi dasi, Suvarna Rupa dasi and Jhulan dasi.
LAYOUT AND GRAPHIC DESIGN:
Urvasi devi dasi and Jhulan devi dasi.
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FOR ENQUIRIES, COMMENTS OR SUGGESTIONS
- 04/08/2018 @ 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm AEST
- 05/08/2018 @ 3:00 pm AEST
- 22/08/2018 - 26/08/2018
Please join us each Ekadasi for Srimad-Bhagavatam class given
by His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada.
These classes will feature subtitles.
Darshan arati 7:00am
August 2018 Calendar
(from Vaishnava calendar www.vaisnavacalendar.com)
|2||Thu||Srila Gopala Bhatta Gosvami – Disappearance|
|5||Sun||Srila Lokanatha Gosvami – Disappearance
Installation anniversary of Radha Govardhanadhari celebrated today
|6||Mon||The incorporation of ISKCON in New York|
|8||Wed||Ekadasi (suitable for fasting) – Fasting for Kamika Ekadasi|
|9||Thu||Dvadasi – Break fast 6.23am – 6:42am|
|15||Wed||Sri Raghunandana Thakura – Disappearance
Sri Vamsidasa Babaji – Disappearance
|22||Wed||Ekadasi (suitable for fasting) – Fasting for Pavitropana Ekadasi
Radha Govinda Jhulana Yatra begins
|23||Thu||Dvadasi – Break fast 6.10am – 9.56am
Srila Rupa Gosvami – Disappearance
Sri Gauridasa Pandita – Disappearance
|25||Sat||Last day of the first Caturmasya month|
|26||Sun||Jhulana Yatra ends
Lord Balarama – Appearance (Fast today)
Second month of Caturmasya begins (yogurt fast for one month)
|27||Mon||Srila Prabhupada’s departure for the US|