Last Hope for the Kazakhstan Situation

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From: (Bhakti Bhrnga) Govinda Swami
Date: 11-Oct-08 04:55 -0400 (12:55 +0400)
To: X (Broadcasts) [581]
Subject: Kazakhstan
Dear Devotees,

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

We have continued our efforts in Kazakhstan and it seems that the saga is nearing an unfavorable conclusion.

In 2001 the Kazakh government issued a decree that our temple building and barn were suitable for usage. This summer they annulled that decree.

Now they have called our members to court. The case will focus on the "demolition of illegal temple building and barn and forced eviction from the property."

As a final effort we have started a letter campaign to the President of Kazakhstan. We did this in the beginning of the crisis and we are still on the property four years later.

We are humbly requesting you to take a moment to fax this letter to two offices of the Kazakhstan government:

1.To the Kazakhstan Embassy in your country.

If there is no Kazakhstan Embassy in your country, please fax it to the Kazakhstan Embassy in Washington DC or in London, UK.

Kazakhstan Embassy Washington

Kazakhstan Embassy London

2. To the Administration of the President of Kazakhstan, Mr. NA Nazarbayev


I was just in Warsaw at the OSCE meeting. Kazakhstan is presently under strong international criticism for their failure at democratic reform in light of their 2010 Chairmanship of OSCE. Our issue was consistently raised by the United States, the Holy See (Vatican), and numerous respected human rights organizations.

In the midst of international criticism there is a ray of hope that if protest reaches Kazakhstan at this moment the government may act differently in this issue.

Thank you very much for taking a moment to help and for the support you have all given us during this crisis.

Your servant,

BB Govinda Swami


October 12, 2008

Dear President Nazarbayev,

We would like to acknowledge your leadership of the great nation of Kazakhstan since independence. Your country has become a place of inter-ethnic peace and religious tolerance.

We find it troubling that in your nation the Krishna Religion has faced many difficulties.

Presently, the Karasai District Court of Almaty Province is initiating court procedures that will result in the demolition of the only Krishna Religion temple in the nation of Kazakhstan.

If this demolition takes place it will be a blemish on the face of your beautiful nation.

We are requesting Your Excellency to uphold the dignity of your nation by ordering the closure of the current legal procedures.

We also request that the various departments of your government will work fairly to establish an equitable resolve to this crisis.

We thank you for your consideration.

With respect,

What Does 'Unlimitedly Merciful' Mean?

Only Kṛṣṇa can deliver us from this material existence. Indeed, He is always trying to deliver us. Īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ hṛd-deśe 'rjuna tiṣṭhati [Bg. 18.61]. He is within our hearts and is not at all inattentive. His only aim is to deliver us from material life. It is not that He becomes attentive to us only when we offer prayers to Him. Even before we offer our prayers, He incessantly tries to deliver us. He is never lazy in regard to our deliverance.

Therefore this verse says, bhūri-karuṇāya namo 'layāya. It is the causeless mercy of the Supreme Lord that He always tries to bring us back home, back to Godhead.

God is liberated, and He tries to make us liberated, but although He is constantly trying, we refuse to accept His instructions (sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja [Bg. 18.66]). Nonetheless, He has not become angry. Therefore He is described here as bhūri-karuṇāya, unlimitedly merciful in delivering us from this miserable material condition of life and taking us back home, back to Godhead.

- Purport to Srimad Bhagavatam 8.3.17

An Easy Good Karma Thing to Do

Here's an easy way you can make a lot of people around the world feel some love.

People who design websites using CSS layout have a really hard time with Internet Explorer version 6 and below.

More recent browsers (even IE7) conform to at least some basic W3 standards. IE6 arrogantly thumbs its nose at these industry regulations and makes life really hard for web designers.

We have to try to make the layout work in a decent browser and then check it in IE6 to make sure its ok there too as it renders CSS completely differently. More often than not, there is some major issue. Right now I'm suffering with such an issue on the work I thought I had nearly completed for ISKCON News Weekly.

If IE6 didn't stubbornly hold about 25% of the market I could move on with my life. So upgrade today please.

Fortunately IE7 is now being passed along as a windows update so if you are running windoze please accept this update if you are not interested in running a civilized browser such as Firefox, Safari, Chrome, Opera or pretty much anything besides Internet Explorer.

Thank you and have a nice day! :)


Pioneering the Field of Fault-finding

Let's face it; sectarianism is dumb.

It provides many people these days a seemingly reasonable alibi to avoid acknowledging any concept of a Supreme Being in their lives. In recent years there have been a few bestseller books positing the idea that many of the ills of society can be attributed to not just religious sectarianism, but religion in and of itself. These authors explain theistic contemplation as an undesirable remnant of our evolutionary progress from primordial goo to an Anglo-saxon academic.

For those who accept that there is a God, sectarianism is a hindrance towards developing a relationship with Him. The mentality that "God only loves us" or "We are the only one's who know God" is difficult for any serious devotee of any tradition to maintain - simply because it's not true.

Nonetheless, it seems as if when we human beings turn towards divinity and ponder upon the absolute we can get pretty contentious with one another. Indeed, some of the most horrific acts in recorded history have been perpetrated by those who claim divine authority.

So I try to avoid a sectarian outlook, or any mentality that God favors me over anyone else. In my experience, members of ISKCON readily accomodate such liberal aspirations. In the communities I've participated in, anyone who carries such an exclusive perspective on themselves has a difficult time earning the respect of their peers. After all, who appreciates someone who looks down on everyone around them? Many times I've heard devotees say, "If we meditate on the good of others, we take on those good qualities. If we meditate on the bad in others we take on those bad qualities." Such is the power of association.

Still, the truth must be understood. If we observe something that is clearly insidious, making such discrimination is desirable. We may also need to communicate such observations to family and friends that we have a responsibility towards in order to edify or, at least, protect them.

So criticism isn't always wrong, neither is it always right. We must learn how to discriminate in such a way that helps us to avoid the undesirable and, at the same time, avoid making offense which is also undesirable.

How do we know when our 'discrimination' has turned into 'fault-finding'? I think this is a matter of personal introspection. We have to try to see our motivation.

Do we honestly wish the best for the person we are criticising? If not then we should be very cautious that we aren't guilty of even worse maliciousness than we are trying to condemn. 

Are we completely certain that our observations are correct? Wrongly accusing a person of something for which they are innocent is a grave error with huge karmic consequences.

Are we over-confident in our ability to read others' motivations?  This is a bad habit that we can smugly slip into. It is very difficult, if not impossible, to accurately interpret the multi-dimensional realm of what motivates people to do either good or bad deeds.We mortals just don't have the ability to conclusively determine such areas of subtlety. Best to be humble.

These same questions can also be asked collectively. Does our religious group honestly wish the best for those we are condemning or are we content that they will just 'suffer in hell for all eternity'? I should point out that I've not encountered any ISKCON member who thinks this way. Growing up in the 'Bible-belt' of the USA, however, this was standard fare. Two different denominations would have church services across the street from each other and both would think that the others were doomed to hell for not accepting the particular tenets of their tradition.

Thus far I've discussed, as far as I'm able, the type of fault-finding that ordinary upright people contend with. I'm just sharing my personal thoughts based on my own experience and struggles, I don't claim any supernatural ability to understand this subject matter. I hope nobody takes anything I've written as conclusive truth.

Just recently I was shown an example of fault-finding that seems to take the art to a whole new level. Apparently if you are truly dedicated to criticising someone, once you've exhausted the areas where you honestly feel there are shortcomings, you can then just make up new faults and start criticising those. 

See for yourself: Watch video here.


Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura on Obtaining 'Rasa'

“Rasa is not a part of sadhana. Therefore if somebody says: ‘Come, I will teach you rasa’, then it will be his wickedness or foolishness. Rasa is not the subject of knowledge but of taste.

"It is not helpful for a conditioned soul to meditate upon the asta kaliya lila (the eight daily pastimes) of Sri Sri Radha Krishna because one who is unqualified will commit aparadhas".

According to Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur there are two features of Lord Caitanya's personality. Audarya and Madhurya. Preaching is Audarya (magnanimity) and Raga Marga is Madhurya (conjugal feelings). No one can relish Madhurya without Audarya.

This point is very well described in Sri Navadvip Dham Mahatmya in Chapter 18. Lord Nityananda tells Srila Jiva Goswami: "One who is qualified in madhurya-rasa worships Gauranga in the form of Radha and Krishna. As Radha and Krishna have combined in one form as my Gauranga Raya, Their pastimes do not appear to be manifest in His form. When the worship of Gauranga in dasya-rasa reaches full maturity in the heart of the living entity, madhurya-rasa naturally develops in his heart. At that time one's worship of Gaurahari qualifies him to worship Radha and Krishna in Vrindavan".

Worship of Gauranga in dasya-rasa is preaching. We are not advised to imitate Gauranga's internal feelings but we are advised to serve Him in dasya. This will qualify us for Madhurya rasa.

Words from Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura

Words from Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura:

Give up the shackles of matter slowly. Cultivate your spirit inwardly. Give up prejudices which you have acquired from the so-called rational thinkers who deny the existence of spirit.

Be humble in yourself and learn to respect those who work towards spiritual attainments. Do these with your heart, mind and strength in the company of spiritual people alone and you will see Krishna in no time.

Krishna is not an imaginary Being, nor have you a right to think that He is a material phenomenon, fancied to be the Supreme Being by the fools. Krishna is not understood by the process of distinguishing the subjective from the objective, nor He is to be accepted as an imposition on the people set up by designing men.

Krishna is eternal, spiritually true, reflected on the human soul when relieved of all pressure of gross matter, and is the subject of love which proceeds from the soul. Accept Him as such and you will see Him in your soul's eye. Words fail to describe that Transcendental Being.

The highest, best and most spiritual ideal of the Divinity is in Krishna. To bring arguments against Him is simply to deceive one's self and deprive himself of the blessings that God has kept in store for man. Hence, all descriptions of His Name, Person, Attributes and Lila should be accepted spiritually, giving up the material portion which words must necessarily convey.

From: Sri Caitanya--His Life and Precepts


reCAPTCHA is clever

About 60 million CAPTCHAs are solved by humans around the world every day. In each case, roughly ten seconds of human time are being spent. Individually, that's not a lot of time, but in aggregate these little puzzles consume more than 150,000 hours of work each day. What if we could make positive use of this human effort? reCAPTCHA does exactly that by channeling the effort spent solving CAPTCHAs online into "reading" books.

Read more about it here.

Preaching Priorities

"What if people don't want to hear our message?" Pradyumna asked.

"The people might not understand our message, but Krsna will be pleased," Prabhupada replied.

"And that is our mission. They thought Jesus Christ's mission was stopped. They killed him. But his mission was attained. He preached three years only, but so many followers. He pleased Krsna. We must not be disappointed that no one is hearing Krsna consciousness. We will say it to the moon and stars and all directions. We will cry in the wilderness, because Krsna is everywhere. We want to get a certificate from Krsna that, "This man has done something for Me.' Not popularity. If a pack of asses says you are good, what is that? We have to please Krsna's senses with purified senses."

From Srila Prabhupada-lilamrita: A Visit to Boston, 1968

Stevie Wonder Hare Krishna Thang

Embedding is disabled but here is the link:

The Hare Krishna connection is about 1/2 way through.

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