Sri Nityananda Prabhu: Incarnation of Mercy
By Aindavi devi dasi
Lord Nityananda Prabhu is an incarnation of Balarama, the first expansion of Krishna. Like Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Nityananda is intoxicated by ecstatic love of Krishna, prema bhakti, and in that state He distributes love of God to one and all.
He is an expansion of mercy who descended from the spiritual world, specifically to distribute love of God to all who surrender to Him, irrespective of social position or moral standing. And when He is merciful, Lord Chaitanya automatically will be merciful too.
As the first expansion of the Lord, Nityananda is the original spiritual master, the first servant of the Lord, and the first teacher to give knowledge of the Lord. His mission is to propagate the religious system for this age: the congregational chanting of the holy names of Krishna throughout the world.
Without being empowered by Krishna, no-one can spread this sankirtana movement. Today, no-one in history exemplifies his mercy principle more than Srila Prabhupada by how he spread the sankirtana movement all over the world. As one of Srila Prabhupada’s Godbrothers suggested, he must specifically have been empowered by Nityananda Prabhu, to deliver the duracara, the sinful and fallen. And he did.
Srila Prabhupada wanted to give everyone the chance to chant the holy name in the association of devotees, in the hope that it would reform and transform them.
Adapted from a talk by Giriraj Swami, on Nityananda-Trayodasi
10 February 2006, Phoenix, Arizona
Source: dandavats.com, 28 January 2018
Srila Prabhupada Uvaca
The sound which He vibrated as the boar incarnation was answered by the Vedic hymns of the great sages in the planets Janaloka, Tapoloka and Satyaloka. The highest intellectual and pious living entities live in those planets, and when they heard the extraordinary voice of the boar, they could understand that the specific sound was vibrated by the Lord and no one else. Therefore they replied by praying to the Lord with Vedic hymns. The earth planet was submerged in the mire, but on hearing the sound of the Lord, the inhabitants of the higher planets were all jubilant because they knew that the Lord was there to deliver the earth.
Bhagavatam 3.13.25, purport
Please join us each Ekadasi for Srimad-Bhagavatam class given by ISKCON’s Founder-Acharya His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. These classes will feature subtitles.
Darshan arati 7am
SACRED SOUND KIRTANA RETREAT 2019
By Syamala Gopa Kishori dasi
Retreat dates: Fri 19 April – Mon 22 April 2019
Registrations are now open for Australia’s biggest kirtana retreat, held annually at New Govardhana over the Easter Long Weekend. Sacred Sound Kirtana Retreat attracts world-famous kirtaneers and crowds of approximately 1,000 sincere souls seeking to taste the nectar of the holy name.
The Retreat will feature many special guests, including His Holiness Indradyumna Swami, His Holiness BB Govinda Swami, Bada Hari dasa, Bali and Dhanya Rico, Akincana Krishna dasa, Janardana and many others.
Once again, the event will host the Krishna Kids activity area, which will provide a safe, fun and Krishna conscious environment for children to play in while their parents participate in the kirtanas.
The Sacred Sound Kirtana Retreat is a donation-based event and we ask that devotees give generously according to their means to ensure that this amazing kirtana event can continue.
Please note that registration is essential and can be done via the website www.sacredsoundretreat.com
Stallholders wanted for the Retreat Market
The Retreat will be hosting a market serving tasty prasadam, gifts and clothing. The market will have extended hours, and close to 1,000 guests are expected, so this is a great opportunity to contribute to the event and showcase your products.
National Vaishnavi Forum
By Krishnarupa devi dasi
In December last year, New Govardhana hosted the National Vaishnavi Forum – nurture, inspire, empower. Attended by more than 100 Vaishnavis from around the nation, with two international keynote speakers, Visakha dasi and Sitala dasi, the retreat was an outstanding success.
The Forum had thought-provoking panels, workshops and presentations, including some fun skits during the Entertainment Night and unforgettable kirtanas.
In the planning since early 2018, the steering committee consisted of nine devotees from Melbourne, Sydney, New Govardhana and Brisbane: Acintyarupa dasi; Bhakta dasi; Bhakti dasi; Atmarama dasa; Jayasri dasi; Rasika Manjari dasi; Ambika dasi; Krishnarupa dasi; and Taraka dasi.
Look out for news of the next festival!
Photos: Parvati devi dasi
In Focus: Mandali-Kishori dasi
This month The Conch interviews Mandali-Kishori.
Q: How did you first come into contact with ISKCON?
MK: I met a book distributer three years ago in Cape Town while on a family holiday. When I returned to New Zealand, I started university in Wellington where I began visiting Bhakti Lounge, ISKCON’s outreach centre there.
Q: What attracted you the most?
MK: The philosophy attracted me the most. I was really looking for answers and a way to lead a meaningful life. I would attend weekly interactive Bhagavad-gita classes, and I was so happy to find something that made so much sense.
Q: You hail from New Zealand originally. Why did you come over to Australia?
MK: I first came in 2017 for the Sacred Sound festival. Radha Govardhanadhari captured my heart and it has been hard to stay away since then. I lived in the brahmacharini ashrama last summer during my university holidays and decided then that I would endeavour to move here after completing my studies.
Q: A few months ago, you returned to New Govardhana. What services are you doing here?
MK: I am engaged in serving the cows with patient guidance from Gita Govinda dasi, Krishna Kirtan dasa, and Karunamayi dasi. I have no past experience caring for animals like this, so I am learning many new skills. This includes services such as training bullocks, maintenance work, and assisting in the goshalla shop.
Q: What are your aspirations and future plans?
MK: To be honest, I haven’t thought so much into the future. I hope that I can continue to serve Radha Govardhandhari here for a long time, maybe permanently!
Q: What do you like the most about the farm?
MK: I like that New Govardhana provides a space for everyone’s individuality, so we can all grow in our devotional life. There is such a beautiful community here, supportive and kind. Also, I love the cows, of course.
Goodbye for Now
By Karunamayi dasi
Early last month, Jhulan dasi headed back to South Korea. After five years serving Radha Govardhanadhari, Jhulan is beginning a new journey in her home country.
Jhulan is certainly a great New Govardhana success story. Starting in Krishna Village as a volunteer, she eventually decided to make the commitment of moving into the ashrama to delve deeper into Krishna consciousness.
While living in the bramacharini ashrama she received first and second initiation. She became the ashrama co-ordinator under the guidance of Krishnarupa devi dasi, and then became ashrama leader. She has been a great support for many of the devotees in the ashrama and around the farm.
Some of the other services Jhulan performed were managing the Temple Shop, designing the farm’s posters and The Conch newsletter, as well as engaging in Deity worship.
The community held a surprise going away party for Jhulan to show their appreciation and to say goodbye for now. She has a strong desire to return to the farm in the future, and with the blessings of Radha Govardhanadhari I am sure we will be seeing her again soon.
Gurukula’s End Of The Year Ceremony
What’s New at Krishna Village?
By Syamala Gopa Kishori dasi
Krishna Village has added to its impressive range of study opportunities with its new course the ‘Art of Ayurvedic Cooking’, facilitated by husband and wife team Mukunda Bereseford and Devi Hema.
The facilitators are enthusiastic and knowledgeable in the science and practice of Ayurveda. Mukunda has a strong interest in the broader spiritual aspects of the Ayurvedic vegetarian diet. Devi completed her training as an Ayurvedic chef at the European Academy for Ayurveda in Vienna, Austria.
The course will offer rich philosophical discussions, interwoven with hands-on cooking exercises.
Participants can look forward to learning many practical techniques used in Ayurvedic cooking, including making paneer using milk from Krishna’s cows, making fragrant spice masalas and learning the art of Ayurvedic sweets.
Upcoming Course dates are 15–17 March 2019.
Please visit krishnavillage-retreat.com for more details.
The Kitchen Religion
By Padmalocan dasa
Srila Prabhupada taught us that because all things come from God, we are meant to use them in His service. He explained that we should lovingly cook vegetarian dishes for Krishna and offer them to Him with devotion. Krishna then accepts and blesses our offerings so that when we take His remnants, we become purified of all kinds of unwanted, sinful desires within our hearts.
The year 2018 was a great one for the New Govardhana kitchen, with breakfast, lunch and dinner prasadam served every day to more than 50 guests.
Srila Prabhupada states in Srimad-Bhagavatam that if we eat prasadam, even if there is some little sinful activity involved in its preparation, we are freed from any karmic reaction.
During festival time, we can serve prasadam to more than 1,000 people, and we average 300–400 each week during our popular Sunday Feast. The Sacred Sound Retreat held in April 2018 and December 2018’s National Vaishnavi Forum – nurture, inspire, empower – were just two of the highly popular festivals held at New Govardhana where an amazing amount of prasadam was served to our guests from all around the world.
We’ve had some skilled and enthusiastic cooks come through this year. We look to grow the team over the next few months.
If you would like cook here at New Govardhana, please contact me!
A big thanks also to our main pot washer Ezy Cool and our Sunday feast pot washer George, the renowned ‘snake man’. We couldn’t to what we do without them!
By Karunamayi dasi
The New Govardhana goshalla team is expanding! Over recent years the team has been stretching itself, but with new enthusiastic devotees gaining interest and taking on different services within the program, it is certainly an exciting time for cow seva.
Recently we have welcomed two devotees to the team: Bhakta Tom and Mandali-Kishori dasi. Tom moved onto the farm as a volunteer in Krishna Village and shortly after took up devotional life and moved into Krishna Pad.
Tom found his calling in the bullock training area. Guided by Krishna Kirtana dasa, he is now proficient in handling and training the bullocks. He also decided to try out other areas of the program and can be found most mornings milking the cows. Tom milked the cows twice a day every day during the Christmas period when all other cow herders were engaged in prasadam distribution at Woodford.
Mandali-Kishori just moved into the bramacharini ashrama from New Zealand, having recently completed her university studies. In previous visits to the farm Mandali-Kishori had been very attracted to the cows and so was invited back to join the team, which she accepted eagerly. She now serves in all three areas of the Cow Protection program: milking, training the bullocks and caring for the retired cows, along with maintenance jobs.
We are also happy to have a Saturday/holiday helper. Young Annabella from the gurukula comes to the goshalla in the mornings or in any other free time she has to feed the cows and give calf Braja a cuddle. We hope to start a weekend kids’ club soon in the new goshalla that Annabella will help us run.
Celebrating Our Volunteers!
By Aindavi devi dasi
Most visitors to New Govardhana remark what a vibrant and beautiful place it is. They are impressed with the many happy, engaged visitors from Krishna Village dotted all over the farm. Well, quite frankly, so are we!
Krishna Villagers enter New Govardhana often just wanting a break from the rat race, some spiritual nourishment in a safe, sattvic, vegetarian environment and often end up with so much more. Others specifically come as volunteers to help with our organic farming.
Others specifically come as volunteers to help with our organic farming, while some are serious spiritual seekers.
But all of them, once they realise that there is a temple and Hare Krishna community here, are curious about what Hare Krishnas do and how they live.
New Govardhana resident Vasustrestha dasa explains, “It is important to share our way of life with them, hence we eat together. You also see many of the volunteers heartily taking up a variety of services – often with infectious sweetness, humility and gusto.
Visitors to the Village constitute a community who participate in a basic program of yoga, service, kirtana and spiritual discussion. Often the transformation is such that some of them request a deeper spiritual experience. Once that happens, they can move into two living facilities, the ‘Bhakti Pad’ (for men) and the ‘Krishna Pad’ (for women), which are transitional ashramas where residents focus more dedicatedly on their spiritual interests and receive mentoring from devotees.
The Hare Krishna community recognises how special these volunteers are. They are pleasant, helpful, and sincere, adding a dimension without which we would be so much poorer. Where would we be without them?
A New Look
This issue, you will notice that The Conch newsletter has had a design makeover by our layout expert, Jhulan dasi.
It has been a number of years since any changes, so the editorial panel hopes you like the new look.
The Conch is your community newsletter, and we invite you to submit articles for publication.
Articles should be 300 words or less and supplied in MS Word via email to email@example.com.
Photographs must be in JPG format.
Please provide the name of the author and the photographer. Anonymous submissions will not be published.
Deadline is the 10th of each month.
Occasionally a submission could be held over to a later edition.
All submissions will be edited, proofread and may be rejected without notice.
Krishnarupa devi dasi, Kisori devi dasi, Jhulan dasi, Aindavi dasi and Syamala Gopa Kishori devi dasi
LAYOUT AND GRAPHIC DESIGN
Urvasi devi dasi and Jhulan dasi
HH Mukunda Goswami, Paul Bailey, Jhulan dasi and Visnujana dasa
FOR ENQUIRIES, COMMENTS OR SUGGESTIONS
(from Vaishnava calendar www.vaisnavacalendar.com)
|1||Fri||Paksa vardhini Mahadvadasi
Fasting for Sat-tila Ekadasi
|2||Sat||Break fast 05:18 – 09:46am
(Daylight saving not considered)
|10||Sun||Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura – Disappearance Day
Srila Raghunatha Dasa Gosvami – Appearance Day
|12||Tue||Sri Advaita Acarya – Appearance Day (Fasting till noon)|
|15||Fri||Sri Ramanujacarya – Disappearance Day|
|17||Sun||Break fast 05:30 – 09:50am
(Daylight saving not considered)
Varaha Dvadasi – Appearance of Lord Varahadeva
(The fast is observed till noon on the Ekadasi. Feasting is done today.)
|18||Mon||Nityananda Trayodasi: Appearance of Sri Nityananda Prabhu
(Fasting till noon)
|19||Tue||Srila Narottama Dasa Thakura – Appearance Day|
|24||Sun||Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura – Appearance Day
(Fasting till noon)