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Bhakta George 'The Snakeman'

Here in New Govardhana our presiding deities are Their Beautiful Lordships Sri Sri Radha-Govardhandhari, Krishna-Balarama and Gaura-Nitai. As a community we try to please them with our offerings of devotion and nearly everyone here feels as if they have a personal relationship with Them through service. Sometimes Their reciprocation is clearly demonstrated for all of us to see and thus increase our faith and love. Here is a little story that shows Their love for one devotee in our community.

Bhakta George has been a devotee of Krishna for most of his life. He was amongst the devotees in the 70's when Srila Prabhupada visited Australia and served as a bodyguard. There were some unfortunate incidents of hostility at some of our programs during this era in Australia, so George was advised by Madhudvisa Prabhu (who was then GBC) to keep his hair and plain clothes and accompany Srila Prabhupada when he went out in public. If you look at photos of Srila Prabhupada from this time of Ratha-yatra festivals and other public events you will often see Bhakta George's strong ksatriya presence in the background.

George Prabhu drove from nearly an hour away to see the deities and wash the pots after the Sunday Feast. He had timed it so that he would have Their darsan just before the curtain closed and Their Lordships were put to rest. When he came into the temple room he found that the curtains had closed fifteen minutes early. This made him so upset that, despite his rugged nature, he began to cry. You see, he was booked in for surgery today and he wanted to see the deities before he went. He really wanted just to have a moment with Them before he drove all the way back home and got ready to go into the hospital.

So George had to drive home upset. I guess we can image what it must have felt like to have a heavy heart filled with separation from Their Lordships.

George's service for all of the people who live in this area of Australia (devotees and non-devotees alike) is to capture poisonous snakes and pythons when they make threatening public appearances. He works on a donation basis as most folks can appreciate that there aren't many people willing to do this job. With 50 species of poisonous snakes in the area, several of which are on the top 10 list of deadly snakes, there is plenty of demand for his services.

About 2:30 in the afternoon Tamara Mataji sighted a huge Eastern Brown snake crossing the prasadam area and heading towards the temple. She informed Ajita Prabhu who called Bhakta Ian and, after a difficult struggle, they both managed to pin the snake to the ground as it attempted to escape under the bhoga room. Eastern Browns are the second most venomous snake in the world behind the Inland Tapian. One strike from the Eastern Brown contains enough venom to kill several human adults. For a snake this dangerous there was only one person they could call ... George the Snakeman. The video below is a live account of George's feat of bravery:

So if you are following this story you can see clearly that our wonderful Lordships called back their devotee George to the temple the next day. Its amazing for us to see how personal and real Sri Sri Radha-Govardhanadhari, Krishna Balarama and Gaura-Nitai are with us.

In Srimad-Bhagavatam (9.4.68), the Lord says:

sadhavo hridayam mahyam
sadhunam hridayam tv aham
mad-anyat te na jananti
naham tebhyo manag api

"The devotees are always in My heart, and I am always in the hearts of the devotees. The devotee does not know anything beyond Me, and I also cannot forget the devotee. There is a very intimate relationship between Me and the pure devotees. Pure devotees in full knowledge are never out of spiritual touch, and therefore they are very much dear to Me."

Live Mayapur Darsan

Have live webcam darsan of Sri Panca Tattva and Sri Sri Radha Madhava here.

Here’s the live-program schedule (Calcutta Time, GMT +5:30)

  • Morning program: 4:30 - 8:45 a.m.
  • Noon program: 12:00 - 12:30 p.m.
  • Afternoon program: 4:15 - 6:00 p.m.
  • Evening program: 6:30 - 7:15 p.m.
  • Night program: 8:50 - 9 p.m.
  • Sunday program: 3:15 - 7:45 p.m.

You can check Indian current time here.

 

We need not become such a scholar.

"You need not become such a scholar. You require simply to understand Sastras Bhagavad-gita, Srimad-Bhagavatam, etc. and chant Hare Krsna Mantra as much as possible. The thing is if you give more stress on scholarly line, other devotees will try to imitate you. Already your wife has express such intention, and as soon as we try to be scholars, our devotional line will be slackened. These points are to be kept in view always."

- Letter from Srila Prabhupada to Pradyumna das - 5 April, 1970

Baldeo Dauji

Thanks to Manonatha Prabhu we can have darsan of Baldeo Dauji on the outer portion of Vraja Mandala. There's lots of other nectar on Prabhu's site so head on over.

Bhaktivedanta Audio Preservation

Further to the previous article posted about the Bhaktivedanta audio recordings .....

" In the late 1980s all the known audio tapes of Srila Prabhupada were transferred from reel-to-reel and cassette to DAT as part of the normal archival procedure for preservation. More than a decade has passed, and with the development of new technology it is time to migrate the collection to the new primary digital format, .wav files. This process has been started, but the Archives sorely needs new equipment to match the leaps being made forward in technology and to make this a smooth, state-of-the-art transfer worthy of the material. "

Read more about this here.

www.vrindavandarshan.com

Here you can have daily darsan of Krishna-Balarama in Vrindavana: www.vrindavandarshan.com

 

Sri Giri Govardhana

Here are some photos from my recent visit to Govardhana Hill.

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Sri Sri Gopala-Douji's Darsan

Bhaktivedanta Archives Will Release Srila Prabhupada's Uncut Audio

Here's something that made me happy to read. For quite some time I've been annoyed by the fact that the audio series of Srila Prabhupada's spoken lectures and morning walks are actually truncated from the original recordings. Often there are entire dialogues with essential teachings missing from the versions we can read in the Bhaktivedanta Vedabase. I've always wondered what the explanation was for such an editing decision. My concern was addressed in the letter below:

"As you may be aware, in 1972, Golden Avatar processed their Ministry master reel tapes based on 90 minutes and 60 minutes cassette tapes in house.

In 1973 the Bhaktivedanta Tape Ministry came into existence and the distribution had picked up steam as many devotees signed up as regular subscribers. It was decided to redo the entire Ministry to an even higher quality standard. The master reels were sent out to a duplicating house and the length of the tapes would vary from C-48 C-70 to accommodate the actual program duration exactly.

Gradually, after Srila Prabhupada’s disappearance, many subscribers didn’t extend their tape subscription and lost interest in listening, unfortunately, and as a result the Bhaktivedanta Tape Ministry in a cost cutting effort was forced to duplicate their tapes in house again.

There was however one problem, the new master reels didn’t match exactly a particular pre-purchased tape length. The decision was made then to use 2 standard lengths again to fit the program, being C-60 and C-90. The volunteer devotees engaged in duplicating weren’t always exactly careful matching the masters with the cassettes so the result was sometimes the tapes were cut off prematurely.

However, efforts are being made to eventually bring the whole collection into a better presentation format but it might take a while. Thank you for your understanding."

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