Only Krishna Can Do That!
By Anasuya dasi
Govardhana lila proves Krishna is God. A small boy, amidst torrential rains brought on by a fuming Lord Indra, gives shelter to His friends and family, holding up the weighty hill with just His little finger. An incredible feat by material standards, a glorious one for devotees.
Indeed, Krishna’s infinite greatness in lifting Govardhana Hill is realised most poignantly when recognising our inability to do so. Engaging the mind in devotional service alone is a significant challenge, yet we sometimes believe we are powerful like Krishna. We may be able to construct great skyscrapers, climb mountains and endure physical austerities, but we cannot lift any hills with our hands. Anyone who claims to be God, Srila Prabhupada assures, is deluded: “Let them lift only one mound weight”, he challenges, “they cannot do.”
(Srila Prabhupada morning walk, 12 May, 1975, Perth).
Krishna lifting Govardhana Hill is completely plausible when placed within the context of His supreme position. For what is lifting a small mountain in comparison to effortlessly creating, maintaining and destroying multiple universes, whilst simultaneously enjoying with His beloved? Who else can do that?
Hearing Govardhana lila, our hearts are captured by Krishna’s sweet love and our minds awed by the magnitude of His inconceivable abilities. Gladly, we put our egos aside.
Happy Govardhana Puja!
Srila Prabhupada Uvaca
Compiled by Urvasi devi dasi
Krishna appreciated the hard labor of His mother, and being compassionate upon her, He agreed to be bound up by the ropes. Krishna, playing as a human child in the house of Mother Yasoda, was performing His own selected pastimes. Of course, no one can control the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The pure devotee surrenders himself unto the lotus feet of the Lord, who may either protect or vanquish the devotee. But for his part, the devotee never forgets his own position of surrender. Similarly, the Lord also feels transcendental pleasure by submitting Himself to the protection of the devotee. This was exemplified by Krishna’s surrender unto His mother, Yasoda.
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 7:00am
Catchers in the Rye
By Karunamayi dasi
There are many different attributes to cow protection. It covers so much more than the hands-on care for cows. A large part is managing the environment that the cows are in to make sure they are safe and healthy.
Pasture management has been a large focus in the cow protection program this year. What the cows eat affects their digestion, mood, strength, milk production, growth and more.
Winter presents a difficult time for the cows. By the end of the winter and with no rain in sight, the grass thins out and so do the cows! Maha Mantra dasa started to research what grasses would be best for this area, the winter climate and for the cows.
Settling with the decision to cultivate rye grass, Maha Mantra has planted all the seed. When the cows go into the rye, it’s like letting a child into a candy shop, they are so happy. Throughout winter Maha Mantra has been setting up sprinklers to water the grass and also watering
it by hand.
Through his research Maha Mantra found it is best for the cows to go into the fresh rye and then balance it out by putting the cows in to some roughage to keep their stomachs settled. We all know too much of anything isn’t always good for us.
In the next year there are further plans to progress in our pasture management with the hope of growing and baling our own grass. That way, when we go through dry spots we can handfeed our cows with organic, home-grown grass.
Blessings for the HSC Graduates
By Krishnarupa devi dasi
For the second time in its history, students from the Bhaktivedanta Swami Gurukula here on New Govardhana will be sitting for their HSC (Higher School Certificate) 2019 exams. The HSC is a credential awarded to secondary school students who successfully complete senior high school level studies in New South Wales, Australia. It is an objective highly sought after and its success requires hard, consistent work.
Seven students passed last year’s HSC, breaking the ground for future Bhaktivedanta Swami Gurukula students, now 130. This year, six graduates will be sitting for their HSC: Abhay Reissenberger; Kalindi Cozzi; Karuna Hooper; Lara Scott; Vrinda Mitsiou; and Surabhi Singanamala.
Principal Vinod Bihari dasa hopes that “the world will be a better place as more of its students have a positive effect on the people they interact with, especially when they graduate”.
He says, “The students have unique qualities and also a deep appreciation for the school and the Krishna conscious environment they study in. The school’s objective is, indeed, to ensure that its pupils continue to learn in this positive spiritual atmosphere.”
On behalf of the Hare Krishna community here at New Govardhana, The Conch wishes all success and blessings for the 2019 HSC exams!
IN FOCUS: Tulasi Manjari dasi
By Anasuya dasi
Q: Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
TM: I was born in Newcastle and lived there until my family moved to New Govardhana when I was two years old. I attended the Bhaktivedanta Swami Gurukula here, where I made many deep friendships.
Krishna gave me a beautiful, caring mother and three amazing younger siblings. As kids we would explore the farm, eating mangoes, swimming in the river and attending temple festivals. The farm was so much fun to grow up in.
Now that we are all a little bigger (maturity level, not height for me), we are beginning to realise how fortunate we are. My friends and I have active community roles, such as teaching, leading kirtana and temple service.
Last year at the Sacred Sound retreat, along with three others, I took first initiation from His Holiness Indradyumna Swami. I pray that Radha Govardhanadhari continue to send me Their mercy, always keeping me in the association of devotees for the years to come.
Q: Could you tell us about your work at the Bhaktivedanta Swami Gurukula?
TM: I graduated last year, with my class being the first HSC students to graduate from the gurukula. I personally couldn’t have done it without my amazing friends and teachers. Now I assist Mother Premavati teaching grade K-2 students. Mother Prema was my K-2 teacher at gurukula and now I get to assist her! I love my role and feel it is not just a job. It is also a service that I can offer to Krishna. These children are very fortunate and I feel equally fortunate to help teach them and contribute to encouraging the next generation in Krishna consciousness.
Q: What is your favourite devotional hero or heroine and why?
TM: I find I take inspiration from a variety of people: my parents, personalities in sastra and also many devotees from New Govardhana and around the world. However, three devotees that stand out for me are Srila Prabhupada, Indradyumna Swami and Aindra dasa.
Srila Prabhupada, despite his age and difficult circumstances pioneered Krishna consciousness in an unknown land. It is inconceivable, and I am forever grateful because he gave us Krishna and taught us the true goal of life.
Indradyumna Swami inspires me because he follows in Srila Prabhupada’s footsteps and travels around the world in all conditions to give this rare treasure of Krishna consciousness.
Aindra dasa exemplified commitment and dedication and inspired many to perform the yuga dharma for this age, connecting everyone through kirtana.
Q: Any tips on how you keep your sadhana strong?
TM: Waking up early helps me maintain my sadhana – there really is something special about the morning. It is also helpful to be honest with yourself and ask people for help if you are struggling. If it gets a bit difficult and I get busy with other things, I try to stand back and ask, “Are these things really more important than my relationship with Krishna?”
Being born into this movement, we can sometimes take Krishna consciousness for granted. However, there is a point in life when it’s not just your parents telling you, but you choose Krishna. So I often think of the goal and remind myself why I chose this life.
I remember hearing that “love is a verb”, in context to chanting japa. You can say you love someone, but without actions how true is it? You have a relationship with Krishna and your sadhana is a way of showing commitment and love. I think, “If I wasn’t allowed to chant or didn’t have Krishna in my life, what would life be like?” You inevitably realise that everything else is secondary.
Q: How would you like to see ISKCON improve
in the future, particularly for young devotees?
TM: I would love to see more well-established gurukulas, where teachers help students understand the importance of Krishna consciousness. We are told that we are the next generation who will carry on this movement. So we need to train youth how to do that and form supportive, sustainable communities that work together to educate people about this rare opportunity given by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
Education at Krishna Village
By Krishnarupa devi dasi
Want to expand your knowledge? Krishna Village has a number of exciting courses available for the month of October. For full details, please visit: krishnavillage.com
Yoga for Teens Teacher Training – 3 Oct
Join Chloe Thorogood for a 3.5 day teacher training and learn effective and practical ways to introduce yoga, mindfulness and self-care to teens.
Syntropic Farming Weekend Course – 4 Oct
Transform the way you grow your food and multiply productivity in your backyard, market garden or large-scale farm. Syntropic Farming allows you to create dynamic, successional, and economically viable ecosystems that restore degraded soil biodiversity.
De-Stress Meditation Retreat – 13 Oct
This weekend retreat is both for beginners and experienced meditation practitioners who would like to reconnect to and deepen their practice. You will leave feeling rejuvenated and energised.
Intuitive Balinese Massage Course – 19 Oct
Learn how to massage and connect to your clients in a deep and meaningful way. Intuitive Balinese Massage combines a variety of classic whole body massage techniques to enable the practitioner to tap into their intuition and create a meditative state of relaxation and healing for their client.
Reiki Practitioner Certification Level 2 – 25 Oct
Building on the skills of Reiki Level 1, this weekend is about continued self-healing, growth and empowerment. Joan and Steven are both members of the Australian Reiki Connection, Australia’s leading Reiki Association.
By providing you with a wide range of additional techniques and skills, this level will enable you to work with clients and facilitate their healing journeys.
By Krishnarupa devi dasi
Why go to a Farmer’s Market when there is one right here on New Govardhana?
Organic and seasonal vegetables are available at $30 per box, which you can order at Krishna Village Reception (02) 6672 7876.
In addition, on Sundays the farm’s organic vegetables are also being sold in the prasadam pavilion. All proceeds from this table go to the Deity Department, so bring a carry bag to take home some of New Govardhana’s pure produce for your home Deities.
Prime Minister Modi’s Janmastami message
Excerpt courtesy National Communication Director, Shri Vrajendranandan dasa, ISKCON New Delhi
India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, wrote a glowing letter for the occasion of Janamastami to ISKCON. The following are some short excerpts from his Janmastami Message to ISKCON.
He writes: “ISKCON has been making a remarkable contribution in spreading the divine philosophy, wisdom and message of Shri Krishna. Its members have been serving humanity through its numerous philanthropic missions underlining the non-duality of service to God and humanity.” He continues, “ISKCON has been playing a significant role in helping the entire humanity benefit from the profound wisdom and guidance of the Bhagavad Gita.”
We thank Prime Minister Modi for his kind acknowledgements.
Fun with Fibre
By Krishnarupa devi dasi
Many of us in the New Govardhana community of devotees know Gita Govinda devi dasi for her devoted care of the cows and bullocks. However, she is not only expert at wire fencing, but also a mighty good hand with spinning and weaving.
Gita is an artist who is passionate about living with a small impact on the planet. Collecting fibres and natural dye materials, Gita has created some highly professional and extremely fine woven articles for our large Srila Prabhupada murti over the years. Crafted often from silk, wool and linen, her offerings to Srila Prabhupada are exceptional. They include scarves, shawls, vests and hats – all handspun and woven, some taking extended periods to complete with their intricate, delicate patterns.
If you would like to try your hand at spinning, weaving – or crochet and knitting – Gita has a studio at the Mount Warning Rain Forest Caravan Park, open every Sunday from 10am to 3pm and every first and third Thursday of the month also from 10am to 3pm.
With many looms installed in the rustic, atmospheric studio, you will find beautiful craftwork for sale and definitely a loom to work on.
By Ganga devi dasi
New Govardhana’s presiding Deities, Shri Shri Radha Govardhandhari, Krishna Balaram and Gaura Nitai have been wearing outfits designed and donated by Subhangi devi dasi and Jamal Arjuna Krishna dasa for the past
Subhangi and Jamal Arjuna have been donating Deity sets to New Govardhana every year, through thick and thin. This set pictured here is one of their recent donations and was offered on Radhastami this year. In their usual humble style, they have never sought recognition or glory for their service all these years, so we would like to show our appreciation in this article.
Aces at the Athletics Carnival
By Rati Priya devi dasi
On Tuesday, 20 August, nine students from the Bhaktivedanta Swami Gurukula at New Govardhana undertook the long drive to attend the North Coast Independent Schools Sporting Association Athletics Carnival in Coffs Harbour.
The students, Madhavendu, Haridas, Jiva, Shyamala, Pearl, Jai, Kanay, Bhodi and Nandu, all from Grades 3–6 were very excited to attend. They competed in an assortment of events: 100m sprint, 400m and 800m race, discus, shotput and long jump.
Hearty congratulations to all the students for putting in a fantastic personal effort. Several placed in the top three of their event, which entitled them to head to Sydney for the State competition. Jiva came first in the shotput for the 10-year-old boy’s shotput event.
Thank you to the staff who made the arrangements and to the parents who came and assisted to make it possible.
The Eco Sisters
By Indranila devi dasi
My daughters have started a little business venture ‘The Eco Sisters’. They had the idea to do some business but they were sure they didn’t want to make a negative impact on Mother Earth. They made the commitment that whatever business they would do, it would be ecofriendly and create a positive influence for other children and people on
Currently, they’re selling delicious vegan/vegetarian rocky road offered to Krishna with lots of love, as well as organic calming playdough made from plant-based ingredients infused with wonderful natural oils.
Please visit on facebook: @theecosisters. Instagram: the.eco.sisters. Kindly support them by liking their page.
Inauguration Ceremony for Śrīla Prabhupāda’s Puṣpa Samādhi Kalaśa
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Krishnarupa devi dasi, Jhulan dasi, Aindavi devi dasi, Syamala Gopa Kishori devi dasi and Anasuya 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)
Paksa vardhini Mahadvadasi
|11||Fri||Trayodasi break fast 5.15 – 9.27am
(daylight saving not considered)
|13||Sun||Fourth month of Caturmasya begins.
(Fast from urad dahl for one month)
|25||Sat||Trayodasi break fast 5–9.20am
(daylight saving not considered)
|29||Tue||Go Puja, Govardhana Puja
(celebrated Sunday, 27 October)