August 13 2011 was the culmination of the festivities at the Slovenian summer camp. We celebrated Lord Balarama’s appearance day with joy and devotion.

HH Bhakti Vikash Swami arrived from Croatia exactly on time to give an insightful talk on the glories of the Lord

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The Lord appeared on the altar in His shila form, along with His younger brother Kanai, as well as in His arca murti. As we all chanted and had an extended darsana, the pujaris and sannyasis bathed the two Brothers

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I also brought out Srila Prabhupada’s tooth for a special darsana for the devotees, placing it before the temple’s deity of Srila Prabhupada, Who was appropriately sitting just in front of Lord Balarama.

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After the abhishek, the small children performed a very cute drama of the Lord’s pastimes

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When I think of the childhood memories I have, compared to the ones these young Vaisnavas will have, I  can’t help but marvel at how fortunate they are.

After an excellent feast we had our closing ceremony

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and then we headed out for the hour long drive to Ljubljana (that’s Yub-yana) temple

ISKCON Ljubljana have a beautiful set of Panca-tattva deities

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and very good temple facilities. They have added a new greenhouse for Tulasi devi since I last visited with benches to sit on and meditate on Her transcendental form as you chant japa

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and Govinda’s restaurant is still going strong. Devotees have added some nice outdoor eating areas

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At least our restaurants are popular and their number and longevity is increasing. In practically every city I visit I see Govinda’s restaurants and it is very pleasing to see this fulfilment of one of Srila Prabhupada’s preaching programs:

[TD2] May 4th 1976 – Honolulu

Tamal Krishna also said that Ambarisa prabhu, faithful to Srila Prabhupada’s request, has found a first-class place just around the corner from our Boston temple where he wants to have a restaurant.
Prabhupada was happy at the news. Distribution of prasadam is one of his more important programs. "From the very beginning I was asking to open restaurant and farm. Produce ghee in the farm and send to the restaurant, and make nice samosa, kacauri preparation, and there will be no scarcity of money. And if you organize in this way, your whole country will be transferred into Krsna conscious country. Whole country."

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After giving a final seminar on Srila Prabhupada the Living Bhagavatam and partaking of a pleasant breakfast with Prahladananda Maharaja, Lilasuka and Tattvavit prabhus and others

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I headed out on the 14th morning for my next port of call Bratislava




After a couple of days in Zagreb I headed off to Slovenia with HH Prahladananda Maharaja and Lilasukha prabhu for another four day summer camp. We travelled to the border and after a half hour wait just over the checkpoint we swapped cars and went on to the camp site. 620_4855

I can’t tell you where exactly because noone seemed to know the name of the district. Anyway, it was about 30 kms from the border. I like Slovenia, its a green and pleasant land and our site was right in the middle of a beautiful band of farm land.

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Facilities were simple but adequate. Maharaja stayed in a small cabin, Manidhara had his own travelling house

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and for the first time this year the organizers provided a few small caravans for senior guests, myself included

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and we even had wireless broadband

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A large rented framed marquee served as the temple room and single men’s quarters

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An old barn served as a temporary ashram and kitchen

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and the remainder of the devotees stayed in tents. Altogether about sixty adults and kids attended. Not huge but the summer camps are a great chance for devotees to get together, have a spiritual holiday and increase their hearing and chanting.

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Beautiful Gaura Nitai and Srila Prabhupada oversaw the events

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Mornings were surprisingly chilly; in fact one morning it was only 5 degs. C! I was told later it was the coldest August morning for over a hundred years. But it was sunny everyday so no real hardship there

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One pleasant surprise was meeting HG Kratu  prabhu whom I hadn’t seen for a few years

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He was staying at a nearby home and gave a seminar on Krsna-katha

As in Lika I was asked to kick off each day’s seminars with a session of ‘Srila Prabhupada the Living Bhagavatam’ so that everyone could meditate on His Divine Grace during the day.

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Prasadam was very nicely cooked and it was a pleasure to take with the Vaisnavas in the sunshine and open air. And of course, bask in the warm sunshine

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The many children were kept entertained with special rides, kirtans and even a bonfire to cook fresh corn on the cob

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The special event was Lord Balarama’s appearance day some photos of which are just now coming (in case anyone is wondering about the sporadic nature of my postings, I am on a pretty hectic tour schedule so its a bit hit and miss, but there’s lots coming up!)




Here’s few more pics. from the Lika summer camp. Every day there were four seminars given by HH Prahladananda Swami, HH Bhakti Vikash Swami, HG Manidhara prabhu and myself.

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with an efficient system of simultaneous translation to maximize the hearing time from the English language speakers

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I was asked to speak first every morning immediately after the Deity greeting and Srila Prabhupada’s gurupuja so that everyone could start the day with 75 minutes meditating on His Divine Grace. I spoke on the topic of book writing, which was very well received,

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especially by Bhakti Vikash Maharaja who is quite a prolific writer himself, with about twenty books under his belt

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including the seminal three-part biography of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura entitled “Bhaktisiddhanta Vaibhava”. He worked on that for over 20 years and it was worth the wait.

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A highlight of the festival was an evening program for the local people.620_4726

Read the rest of this entry »




BHAKTIVEDANTA RESEARCH CENTRE

A project of ISKCON Mayapur

110A Motilal Nehru Road, Kolkata 700 029, WB India

PH: 91 33 4065 2475/ 5216

Quarterly Newsletter

ISSUE #3, April – June 2011

“Mission for Manuscripts”

continued in April with a second foray into the mathas and libraries of West Bengal. All told our intrepid team of Smt. Bharati Roy and photographer Ashish visited another eight repositories and photographed a further 81 manuscripts, making a total of 200+ so far.

Here’s a few highlights:

April 5th2011

We visited the Sripat (asrama) of Srila Rasikananda Prabhu at Gopiballabhpur in Midnapur. There is a beautiful temple with a repository of all the Goswami literatures. This place is about 400 years old.

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Srila Rasikananda was one of the most prominent followers of the Six Goswamis and a contemporary of Srila Shyamananda. His Sripat has a set of his footprints, melted into the rock.

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The current Mahanta there is Sri Krsna Kesava Dev Goswami, who comes in direct disciplic succession from Rasikananda.

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He is very friendly and gave our team access to all their manuscripts:

1. Govinda Virudavali;  2. Harinamamrta;  3. Gitagovinda by Jayadeva;  4. Radhika Sahasranama;   5. Alamkarakaustubha by Kavi Karnapura;  6. Gopala Campu by Jiva Gosvami;  7. Govinda Lilamrta by Jiva Gosvami;  8. Uddhava sandesa by Rupa Gosvami;  9. Caitanya candramrta by Pravodhananda Sarasvati;  10. Tattva Sandarbha by Jiva Gosvami; 11. Gitavali by Rupa Gosvami;  12. Vaisnava Vandana by Daivakinandana;  13. Pramabhakticandrika by Narottama Thakura.

Apart from the digital access, an actual manuscript copy on handmade paper of Caitanya Chandramrta by Srila Prabhodananda Sarasvati was presented to the BRC.

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April 8th our team went to the Phulia Shantipur Museum where the library has11,000 books along with the works of Sri Krittivas who was the celebrated translator of the Ramayana into Bengali. He was a contemporary of Kasiram dasa who did a similar translation of the Mahabharata, and Jayadeva Goswami the famous Vaisnava poet. There we took photos of various paintings depicting the Ramayana

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April 2-3rd we visited the Krishnanagar Public library

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The secretary there is Deba Babu and he gave full access to their mss library

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In reciprocation Bharati returned on April 18 and presented a set of Srila Prabhupada’s books to their general library.

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April 3rd – A visit to an extensive private museum in Krishnanagar that was established by the late Sri Mohit Roy was also fruitful. Thousands of artefacts are on display

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The above newspaper, Hicky’s Bengal Gazette dates back to 1780.

They also have an extensive library of manuscripts and literature. Sri Monami Roy and his mother (pictured) are the current custodians of his father’s legacy and they were happy to give us full access for digital copying.

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The Sudarsanlala Mandir in Navadwip has an extensive collection of printed works by the Six Goswamis and their followers. The Mahanta there, Sri Bhagavat dasa

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allowed us to photograph sixteen books, and he also presented us with a mss of the Skanda Purana which is now on display in the BRC library (seen here next to a photo of the Sudarsanlal Deity)

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Other notable places visited were:

  • The Dwijendra Pathagar, Krishnanagar, the place of the great poet Dwijendralal Roy who wrote “Dhana Dhanye Puspe Bhara” and “Vande Mataram” two famous songs which are used as popular anthems of India. This is an old library and the librarian Mr. Apurva Kundu allowed us to photograph 11 Mss here.
  • Bally Sadharan Granthagar Howrah Dist — 7 Mss
  • Chandannagar Pustakagar Hoogli Dist. — 2 Mss.
  • Vasanti Durga temple, Baharampur in Murshidabad District — two books.

The house of Mahaprabhu’s teacher Gangadasa Pandit in Vidyanagar, Bardhaman, and the Sripata of Vasudeva and Mukunda Datta in Mamgachi, Bardhaman failed to yield any books or manuscripts.

Another field trip within W. Bengal is planned for the near future and then we will begin to look further afield in Bangladesh.

Membership program

We are very happy to report that response to our membership drive was quite strong, especially from the powerpoint presentations made by our Director Hari-sauri dasa on his recent tour to Malaysia and Australia. We would sincerely like to thank the following devotees who provide much needed support and encouragement from their hard earned funds:

Patron Member – $10,000.00

Sri Arjan Tuli

Arjan prabhu from Melbourne Australia is our fourth patron member.

Arjan Tuli

A special mention is due here to Arjan prabhu. Even without seeing the details of the program, upon just hearing a brief two minute description, he spontaneously came forward with his cash donation. He was inspired from within by Lord Krishna to offer his support from his retirement funds and we pray to Sri Sri Radha Ballabha to bless this nice devotee and his good wife with Their eternal service and love.

Nitya Sevaks$1 per day

Sri Ananda Jagannath Das – USA

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Vijaya Krishna Reddy — Gold Coast

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Yearly Membership – $501.00

Harinamcharan dasa -Brisbane

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Devendra Gaudel – Melbourne (sorry no photo as yet)

Special donors

Malaysia

Ekatma Madhava dasa – $2,500.00

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We are grateful to Ekatma Madhava prabhu who followed the example of his Guru Maharaja Jayapataka Swami and gave one lakh rupees.

Australia

Sakhi Rai dasa – Brisbane . $400.00

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Prahlada Bhakta dasa Ireland and Northern Territory. $300.00

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Govinda Mohini dasi Sydney . $270.00

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Nrismhadeva dasa Murwillumbah. $200.00

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Dr. Rajkumar Buyya, Radha, Soumya and Smrithi from Melbourne $1,000.00

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Rasika Chandra dasa Melbourne . Rs. 25,000.00

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Anonymous Melbourne . Rs. 20,000.00

Miscellaneous donations

BBT Malaysia ..$100.00

Brisbane – Gold Coast – New Govardhan — Kirtan Abhaya $50.00;  Mithun $100.00;  Shyamarani dasi $100.00;  Advaita Acarya dasa $100.00;  Vivek Gupta $100.00;  Bhusaya dasa $100.00;

Melbourne — Derrimut Bhakti Vrksa group $200.00

Perth — Bob Hornsby $100.00

My apologies to anyone who has made a contribution in the last quarter but is not mentioned here. Kindly inform me so that I can add your name to the next newsletter.

Translation program

We have a long standing aim to establish a translation division which will feed an active publishing imprint. While we are still a ways from that, we did make a start in May-June by hosting a young Sanskrit scholar, Bhakta Vinit.

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Vinit has been studying at the Govardhan Sanskrit college under Sriman Gopiparanadhana prabhu, and wrote asking if he could stay at the BRC for his summer break. We were very pleased to provide a room and he worked under direction of our two academic directors Pranava and Krishna Abhisek prabhus.

He translated the Mani-manjari, an important book of the Madhva Sampradaya that Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura personally edited and published. We intend to publish this work at the end of this year. Meanwhile Vinit has returned to his studies at Govardhan and will complete his course in October. We hope then to persuade him to join our BRC team on a full time basis.

Website and Computers

After a long struggle we are nearing sight of launching our website (I haven’t given the name yet because there isn’t anything to see). We have been working diligently to fine tune the catalogues of the books and the digital manuscript images. Our webmaster is Sriman Phanisvara prabhu

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He is a long term resident of Mayapur. He has just set up the server connections so that they can be operated remotely and now our big push is on to get the digital library online. I hope when the next newsletter is produced you will be able to view it online.

That’s it for the second quarter, we hope you feel as enthusiastic as we do for the BRC programs and we hope to serve you into the future.

If you or your friends wish to contribute to the BRC it would be very much appreciated. Please write to hari.sauri.acbsp@pamho.net or Janakaraja.acbsp@pamho.net for details how to become a member.

Your humble servant,

Hari-sauri dasa

Director




Its sunny, its peaceful, its Malaga, its Spain, its a

Happy Janmastami and

Srila Prabhupada Vyasapuja!

Have a nice one!

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     Sri Sri Radha Vanabihari

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Srila Prabhupada

personal Deities of Srimati Yamuna devi and Srimati Dinatarini devi



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