The Conch - The Community Newsletter for ISKCON New Govardhana

FEB 2020

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Cover: Photography and Lord Balarama dressed by Premavati devi dasi

The Transcendent Moon

“The ocean of Lord Nityananda’s glories is infinite and unfathomable. Only by His mercy can I touch even a drop of it.” (CC Adi-lila 5.157)

“The ocean of Lord Nityananda’s glories is infinite and unfathomable. Only by His mercy can I touch even a drop of it.” (CC Adi-lila 5.157)

By Anasuya dasi

Just as the ocean of Lord Nityananda’s glories is infinite, so too are the reasons why we should worship Him. He is the transcendental moon, shining alongside Lord Chaitanya’s brilliant sun, illuminating our materially fogged minds.

Lord Nityananda is our original spiritual master, our eternal instructor. It is only through His mercy can we approach Lord Hari. He is Balarama, the giver of strength, spiritual benedictions and taste for chanting Hari.

We, worse than Jagai and Madhai, in this age of Kali, catch hold of His lotus feet tightly, begging, as Krsnadasa Kaviraja Goswami writes, for “even a drop of His mercy” (CC, Adi-lila 5.157). We plead, with full hearts, as Narottama das Thakura did, “premananda sukhi kripabalokana koro ami boro dukhi”, to be free from this eternal unhappiness (Savarana-sri-gaura pada padme).

For numerous lifetimes we have been wandering in samsara, committing mistakes at the feet of the Lord that keep us entrenched. Thus, we cannot deny, it is by Lord Nityananda’s mercy only that we advance in spiritual life, because He, intoxicated by love for Lord Hari, does not see these mistakes.

As the eternal companion of Gaurasundara, forever tasting the transcendental bliss of krsna-seva, Lord Nityananda is, indeed, our greatest friend and teacher. Gloriously opening the market place of the holy name, nama hatta, he gives guru and the shelter of the Vaishnavas to all and relinquishes material desires.

Srila Prabhupada writes that a recipient of Lord Nityananada can be recognised by their lack of material desire (purport to Gauranga Bolite Habe, 29 December 1968).

So let us take shelter of Lord Nityananda, and, in His mood, with love indiscriminately chant loudly the names of Lord Hari!

Srila Prabhupada Uvaca

Compiled by Bhadra Yamuna dasi

Krishna, not only He’s supplying, He’s also begging! Just like He became a beggar to Bali Maharaja: Krishna as Vamanadeva went to Bali Maharaja as a beggar, “Maharaja, you are very charitable. Will you kindly give Me three feet of land?”

So Krishna, although He is the maintainer of everyone, sometimes He takes the part of a beggar. He’s not a beggar, but He begs to benefit the, I mean, the charitable. Who is giving in charity, he is benefited. Just like Bali Maharaja, he gave everything to Vamanadeva. Sarvatma-snapanam … Out of nine different types of devotional service … he cultivated atma-nivedanam, giving everything to Krsna, whatever he had.

Reference from: 10.22.35 lecture Bombay, 1971

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
Class 7.30am

Youth Development

“…youth organisations
are a vital part of the future
of the Hare Krishna
movement …”

By Parama Karuna dasa

Srila Prabhupada said of the younger generation: “You are the flower of your country and society”.

Engaging youthful energy in Krishna conscious activities can offer vast personal and community growth for everyone, not just the younger generation itself.

One main idea in a youth ministry is to enable teenagers to choose what they think is fun and have talents in, and developing Krishna conscious programmes or projects around these ideas.

“The formation of youth organisations is such a vital part of the future of the Hare Krishna movement,” said His Holiness Romapada Swami.

Historically, New Govardhana has seen the youth garner global recognition by successfully lobbying the release of imprisoned devotees in Soviet Russia. This came from a song composed and sung by Sri Prahlada dasa when he was just a young boy.

Recently Premavati devi dasi organised regular youth kirtanas in the temple on Sundays. She has long-term teaching experience in the Bhaktivedanta Swami Gurukula and knows how to inspire the children.

Premavati regularly teaches musical instruments such as the harmonium and singing of bhajanas. She excels in including the children in the spiritual community by creating space for them and welcoming them to utilise their talents.

Tulasi dasi and Rasamandali dasi, both graduated students of the Gurukula, have been participating in organising the Youth Bus Tour, beach visits, bush walks and other activities bringing the youth together in fun activities outside of regular school times.

Another aspect of encouraging children to participate in temple programmes has been led by Devagaurahari dasa and Krishnabhavana devi dasi. Every Friday morning they bring delicious sweets they have made and serve them to the children who have attended the morning prayers. As parents of a large family and also business owners, it is a highly commendable service.

Srila Prabhupada also encouraged those who first joined him by himself preparing sumptuous feasts for his young disciples and distributing abundant prasadam.

I would like to thank all the devotees mentioned here and to those members of our community who are creating opportunities to fan the inclinations and natural exuberance of the younger members of our society. This way they feel a part of the temple and community and have the scope to explore the possibilities of leading a Krishna-centred life and to reach out to others.

If you have any ideas or would like to participate in implementing activities, and fanning the talents of our wonderful children you are very welcome to contact me on 0470 684 705 or when you see me at the temple.

“Bhajanas in boardshorts, presented with youthful enthusiasm; kids of all ages can enjoy kirtana; on Fridays delicious sweets are provided for the kids who come for prayers; our young musician shows that deep focus is not just for the adults.”

Woodford Report

By Bhadra Yamuna dasi

All hands on deck’ as thousands of plates of prasadam go out to hungry guests over six days of transcendental mayhem.

All hands on deck’ as thousands of plates of prasadam go out to hungry guests over six days of transcendental mayhem.

The yearly tradition of catering at the Woodford Folk Festival continued once again. Twenty devotees from New Govardhana farm loaded up the bus with their camping gear and spent one week at the Folk Festival serving copious amounts of prasadam in the unique Govinda’s tent.

Woodford Folk Festival is a massive event, with nearly 115,000 people attending this year’s fiesta. The Govinda’s tent itself takes two weeks to set up and then four hours to dismantle, but preparation for the devotee contribution to the festival takes many months to plan.

Devotees distributed numerous plates of prasadam, books, and led kirtanas inside and across the road at Chai & Vibes.

Govinda’s Catering new t-shirts are printed with the slogan: “Last night a kofta ball saved my life” which proved all too true once again, as bowls of kofta balls were a daily staple for many festival attendees


By Dandakaranya dasa

During Srila Prabhupada’s travels around the world he would keep a file of newspaper articles reporting on various global ISKCON outreach works. He would show these articles to various guests and dignitaries to emphasise ISKCON’s success as a worldwide movement with an important message to share with the planet.

Fast forward many decades later and ISKCON has grown exponentially with many global outreach projects and Krishna conscious devotee communities, like New Govardhana, working towards fulfilling Srila Prabhupada’s transcendental vision.

If you’re seeking inspiration from the Hare Krishna movement, is the official website of ISKCON news that will keep you in touch with projects and outreach work devotees are doing all over the world. Keep in the loop with ISKCON worldwide, visit regularly.

As mentioned on the ISKCON News website: “At ISKCON News, our mission is to be a reliable, balanced, and timely source of news about, and of interest to, the devotees, friends and people interested in the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. To that end, we strive to provide visitors with insightful and thought-provoking news and opinion via quality writing, photographic, audio, and video media.”

Goshalla Goss

By Karunamayi dasi

We may not be enjoying the heat and dry weather, but the flies are having a great time – which means the cows are having an even worse time!

This time of year is always hard for the cows as the flies are usually attacking them, but it seems to be even worse with the deterioration of the climate. Some of our cows we can treat every day and put preventatives on them so the flies stay away, but not all of the cows are so easy to serve in this way.

Maha Mantra dasa recently went on a hunt around the farm to find some back rubs. A back rub is a long stretch of meshed fabric that stores treatments in it. When hung up at an appropriate height between two trees or posts, the cows walk under it, rubbing their backs and treat themselves to prevent the flies. Some of them also really, really like just getting a good back scratch from it.

We have just attached one to the rotunda in the lake paddock so the cows can get a good scratch and look after themselves. We hope to get these set up in the other, more remote, paddocks around the farm to ensure the cows residing there can roam free and be healthy.

Also a big thank you to Mahavishnu Swami for leading kirtana with the bullocks recently. It was a beautiful experience for everyone involved.

‘What’s that now?’ Curious cows gather around our VIP visitor Mahavishnu Swami to hear his kirtana and feel the love.

‘What’s that now?’ Curious cows gather around our VIP visitor Mahavishnu Swami to hear his kirtana and feel the love.

The Patient Gardener

By Syama Mcrae

Photo: Syama Mcrae

Did you know that the treelined avenue up towards the temple are all macadamia trees planted by dedicated gardener Ian Harker?

In an age defined by instant gratification, it’s important to remember the timeless virtues of selflessness, forward planning and patience.

Approximately 15 years ago, then resident gardener Ian Harker planted the long line of macadamia trees stretching alongside the hill drive to the temple.

In 1986, Ian first became involved with Krishna consciousness in Adelaide. He eventually settled on New Govardhana in the early 2000s to devote his time to planting and tending the flower gardens and orchards.

Despite being in his 60s, Ian would pedal his bicycle into Murwillumbah most days to buy trees, often at his own expense, for planting on the community grounds.

Although Ian passed away in 2010, his legacy continues. It now provides an abundance of macadamia nuts and a shady respite to those walking from Krishna Village up to the temple during the hotter summer months.

Ian surely knew he would never live long enough to reap either of these benefits, for the nature of trees is that they grow slowly but surely. The ancient foresters of England, from where Ian originally emigrated, understood that when they planted an oak tree, they did so for their grandchildren.

It is important to remember this wisdom – and this man – who gave the twilight years of his life to beautifying the land we call New Govardhana. When you are next driving or walking up the temple hill, spare a thought and a prayer for Krishna’s patient gardener.

My Experience at Gurukula

By Toshan Krishna Rose (aged 12 years)

Toshan Krishna Rose giving an end-of-year address at the Bhaktivedanta Swami Gurukula at New Govardhana in 2019.

Toshan Krishna Rose giving an end-of-year address at the Bhaktivedanta Swami Gurukula at New Govardhana in 2019.

In 2019, I completed my primary schooling at the Bhaktivedanta Swami Gurukula at New Govardhana, having been a student there for seven years.

One of things I liked most about my time at the school was the setting in a natural environment. I enjoyed starting each day with a kirtana and arati that we all took turns offering to the classroom Deities.

The classroom sizes were smaller than those you would find in most regular schools, so it was easier to focus on the different subjects being taught. I also liked going on a variety of excursions to places like Tropical Fruit World, Macadamia Castle, Holoverse, Sea World, Air Factory Trampoline Park, and Bounce, just to name a few!

I also went on fun school camps in Noosa, Mt Tamborine and Tyalgum Ridge. We visited the temple when festivals were being celebrated and where we often performed regular songs and memorable dramas about Lord Krishna’s pastimes.

I hope kids that go to the school enjoy their time there and have good experiences. I would like to thank all the teaching and support staff who helped me through my time in the primary school.

Left: Toshan Krishna Rose giving an end-of-year address at the Bhaktivedanta Swami Gurukula at New Govardhana in 2019.

Spreading Good Cheer

By Vasustrestha dasa

…there’s an atmosphere for lots of exhilarating chanting, extracting smiles from onlookers, with some participating vigorously…”

Recently, New Govardhana devotees have been travelling to Surfers Paradise on Friday evenings for hari-nama sankirtana.

On weekends, Surfers Paradise is a hub of activity for visitors, bewildered souls still holding on to some vague hope of sense enjoyment. Yet it also creates an atmosphere for lots of exhilarating chanting, extracting smiles from onlookers, with some participating vigorously, clapping their hands and dancing.

Although perceivably it doesn’t appear as if there’s any danger, nevertheless, two Fridays before Christmas last year, one 17-year-old boy was stabbed to death, and another critically wounded near Govindas restaurant. This senseless act happened just a short time after we’d completed the hari-nama.

It was quite likely that the victim was on the street when the chanting party came past, and hopefully the sound of Krishna’s name entered his heart to create some benefit in his too short life.

Such an incident emphasises the importance of sankirtana and Lord Chaitanya’s mission to save the conditioned souls. At the same time, we can experience joyous spiritual upliftment within ourselves as we participate in the recommended meditation for this age of Kali.

Bhakti in Bali

By Dhanesvara dasa

Bali in the 1970s was a slow-paced, tropical island with its Hindu culture based around Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. Its verdant rice fields, temples, gamelan music, dance, art and peaceful rural villages and social and religious life centred on the supporting family units. At this time it attracted around 300,000 international tourists.

Fast forward to 2020, and you have 5 million tourists arriving in Denpasar annually, which has significantly changed the Balinese lifestyle – and at a great loss.

However, many positive changes have occurred, although that original tranquillity is not readily found these days. Bali’s economic growth and opportunities have increased, there are ISKCON temples now, with more prasadam and Srila Prabhupada’s books being distributed. There are currently eight ISKCON temples and of course thousands of other temples scattered throughout the island.

The natural devotion of the Balinese people to spiritual concepts and the unique way they do things is very attractive for presenting bhakti-yoga. The inspired kirtanas with their exotic gamelan music and devotees’ colourful expressions and clothes with their natural style make the temples very attractive to all visitors.

People from all over the world want to visit Bali. Why? It is basically because you can glimpse what an integrated spiritual life was once like. Art, music, temples, dance, yoga and natural vistas surrounded by seas, mountains and cool breezes – what more could you want? After all, the old Balinese consider their island non-different from lord Indra’s very own planet!


Australasian Vaishnavi Forum

Registration for the next Australian Vaishnavi Forumnurture, inspire, empower – is now open and you can book online.

Keep an eye out for notices on the Australian Vaishnavi Forum, New Govardhana Facebook and Instagram and the soon-to-be launched website.

The dates for the Retreat are 11 – 14 September, so please log them into your diaries. The 2018 retreat was a phenomenal success, and you can expect even better this year!

“It was my first experience of chanting in the street, and I loved it! I felt like there was a light around me. It was interesting to see people’s reactions. My body became tired but my soul was awake.”


The Conch is your community newsletter, and we invite you to submit articles for publication.

Articles should be 200 words or less and supplied in MS Word via email to

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.

H.H. Mukunda Goswami

Krishnarupa devi dasi, Anasuya dasi, Dandakaranya dasa and Bhadra Yamuna dasi

Ramprasad dasa

Anasuya dasi

ONLINE TEAM (Digital Conch)
H.H. Mukunda Goswami, Paul Bailey, Ramprasad dasa and Visnujana dasa




(from Vaishnava calendar

1 Sat Appearance of Sri Advaita Acarya
2 Sun Bhismastami
3 Mon Sri Madhvacarya – Disappearance
4 Tue Sri Ramanujacarya – Disappearance
5 Wed Bhaimi Ekadasi
6 Thu Varaha Dvadasi – Appearance of Lord Varaha
7 Fri Nityananda Trayodasi – Appearance of Sri Nityananda
9 Sat Sri Krsna Madhura Utsava
Srila Narottama Dasa Thakura – Appearance
13 Thu Sri Purusottama Das Thakura – Disappearance
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura –
19 Wed Vijaya Ekadasi
20 Thu Sri Isvara Puri – Disappearance
22 Sat Siva Ratri
25 Mon Srila Jagannatha Dasa Babaji – Disappearance
Sri Rasikananda – Disappearance
28 Fri Sri Purusottama Das Thakura – Appearance

Harinama Sankirtana ki jaya!

Weekly at various locations

Contact Garuda dasa for details
0423 170 267

Sunday Mornings

Northern NSW & Gold Coast
Visnujana dasa 0498 141 021

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