Vol 10, No. 8   Aug 2009

Vol 10, No.8                       Aug 2009


Countless Incarnations
 Lord Krishna comes in many ways to draw us back to Him.
                              A lecture gi...
Then we fall into the material world.
We may compare God to a fire and the spirit souls to sparks of that fire. If a spark...
am a servant of the servant of the servant of the servant of God." Gopi-bhartuh pada-kamalayor dasa- dasanudasah.
Though g...
Nityananda Prabhu is the original guru, and He was showing that the guru's business is to be very merciful.
Jagai and Madh...
              We Worship Everything
The following conversation took place in Los Angeles on Ma...
Srila Prabhupada: Yes.                                       worshipable. Therefore we say, "Hare Krishna." Hare
Devotee: ...
How Free Are We?                         By Navin Jani
     The Vedic contribution to one of the central debates in Wester...
Soft Determinism                                                his desire to give charity (and so feels like he is acting...
To some people the implication of such evidence is              one of two broad categories: desires to be closer to
that ...
Questions & Answers
            about the Akshaya Patra programme
Some weeks back, there were reports in the media in Bang...
Table 2: Cost of setting up centralized kitchens

4. Has the government given you permission to collect donations from ...
Akshaya Patra is notified
                                                                                   by the Nation...
18   Krishna Voice, Aug 2009
Now with the government subsidies of cash and rice grains and taking in to account the benefits of economy
   of scale, we...
When an NGO is providing the meals, the government does not spend any money towards these utensils.
     Over the last fiv...
Comments from distinguished persons
                                               Akshaya Patra is an amazing scheme to p...
I am truly delighted to visit the temple. So much social
work is done by Akshaya Patra. I do not have enough
words to expr...
I like most the Akshaya Patra Foundation work of feeding
                                                hungry children. ...
Are We All Thieves?                       By Arcana Siddhi Devi Dasi
Most everyone has had the unfortunate experience of  ...
sincerity and honest introspection. We each have           amenities such as flushing toilets and showers, which
Yukta-vairagya                                             help us understand how we should live our lives. He
While the d...
Heritage Fest at Hubli
The biggest cultural festival organized for school children in Hubli and Dharwad ISKCON’s Heritage ...
Akshaya Patra in Bhilai
The Akshaya Patra Foundation has just expanded its operations in Bhilai, Chhattisgarh. Jharkhand C...
Krishna Voice Monthly Magazine, August 2009 Vol10, No.8 Price Rs 15/-
Posted on 5th or 10th of the Month at MBC, Manipal, ...
Madhu Pandit - Krishna voice 2009 08(aug)
Madhu Pandit - Krishna voice 2009 08(aug)
Madhu Pandit - Krishna voice 2009 08(aug)
Madhu Pandit - Krishna voice 2009 08(aug)
Madhu Pandit - Krishna voice 2009 08(aug)
Madhu Pandit - Krishna voice 2009 08(aug)
Madhu Pandit - Krishna voice 2009 08(aug)
Madhu Pandit - Krishna voice 2009 08(aug)
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Madhu Pandit - Krishna voice 2009 08(aug)


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Madhu Pandit Dasa the president of ISKCON Bangalore | Madhu Pandit the chairman of The Akshaya Patra Foundation.

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Madhu Pandit - Krishna voice 2009 08(aug)

  1. 1. Vol 10, No. 8 Aug 2009 Rs.15
  2. 2. Vol 10, No.8 Aug 2009 CONTENTS Countless Incarnations 4 Srila Prabhupada Speaks Out 9 How Free Are We? 11 Questions & Answers about the Akshaya Patra programme 15 His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Are We All Thieves? 24 Swami Prabhupada, Founder- Acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, came to Please chant... America in 1965, at age 69, to fulfill Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare his spiritual master’s request that he ...and be happy! teach the science of Krishna consciousness throughout the English- Published and owned by Sankirtana Seva Trust, speaking world. In a dozen years he editing by Chamari Devi Dasi. published some seventy volumes of Layout, design and graphics by ISKCON Design translation and commentary on India’s Group, Bangalore. Vedic literature, and these are now For all information contact: Editor, Krishna standard in universities worldwide. Voice, SST, Hare Krishna Hill, Chord Road, Bangalore - 560 010 INDIA Phone: 91-80-2347 Meanwhile, travelling almost nonstop, 1956, 91-80-2357 8346 Fax: 91-80-2357 8625. Srila Prabhupada moulded his © 2009 Sankirtana Seva Trust, Bangalore. All international society into a world wide Krishna art and the works of Srila Prabhupada confederation of ashramas, schools, are © BBT International. temples and farm communities. He All rights reserved throughout the world. passed away in 1977, in Vrindavana, Reproduction in any manner is strictly prohibited. the place most sacred to Lord Krishna. Printed for ISKCON, Bangalore, at Manipal His disciples and followers are carrying Printers (P) Ltd., Manipal. forward the movement he started. Cover pages-4 Text pages-32 Krishna Voice, Aug 2009 3
  3. 3. Countless Incarnations Lord Krishna comes in many ways to draw us back to Him. A lecture given in Los Angeles on October 1, 1972, by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada Founder-Acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness avatara hy asankhyeya hareh sattva-nidher dvijah yathavidasinah kulyah sarasah syuh sahasrasah "O brahmanas, the incarnations of the Lord are innumerable, like rivulets flowing from inexhaustible sources of water." —Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.3.26 There is no limit to the incarnations of God, just as there is no limit to the waves in the ocean. Sattva-nidheh. Nidhi means "ocean," and sattva means "existential." Sattva also means "goodness." Here in the material world there are three modes of nature: goodness, passion, and ignorance. But real goodness is in the spiritual world. In the material world goodness is, of course, taken as the highest quality, but such goodness is liable to be infected by the other two qualities: passion and ignorance. It is exposed. And here goodness is also the cause of bondage. As passion and ignorance are causes of bondage, material goodness is also a cause of bondage. So we have to transcend material goodness also. Then, when we get stability of goodness, that is spiritual life. Goodness disturbed by passion and ignorance is not yet perfect. Therefore, sometimes we find that one of our students is doing everything nicely in goodness but he is attacked by passion and ignorance and he becomes entangled. Real goodness—without being attacked by passion and ignorance—is in God. Hareh sattva-nidheh. The spiritual platform is called sattvam visuddham, goodness unaffected by other qualities. 'Visuddham means "completely pure, no adulteration." As long as we are on the material platform, goodness is, liable to be adulterated, just as the milk we purchase from the market is adulterated. Although there are so many laws by the government—"You cannot adulterate"—people have the propensity to adulterate. So you cannot get pure things. The whole atmosphere is so polluted. Therefore here so-called goodness is also a cause of bondage. One has the tendency to think, "Now I have become a Vaishnava, a devotee. I have become learned." But God is so clever that He says, "If you are so good, now you fight with passion and ignorance." And the person fails. He falls victim to passion and ignorance. Only by pure devotional service can you stay in pure goodness. Otherwise goodness will be adulterated. What is that pure devotional service? Anyabhilasita-sunyam. Pure devotional service means one has no material desires. Material desires adulterate goodness. For example, if you are a brahmachari—in goodness—but you are always thinking of women and sex, that is an adulteration of your goodness. Such a person is described in the Bhagavad-gita as a cheater. Therefore we have to think of Krishna always. Otherwise, as soon as there is a little loophole, maya will enter and adulterate our goodness. Lord Krishna says in the Bhagavad-gita (14.26): mam ca yo 'vyabhicarena bhakti-yogena sevate sa gunan samatityaitan brahma-bhuyaya kalpate Anyone engaged in devotional service without any adulteration can surpass the three qualities of the material world. At that time he becomes completely spiritualized. Spiritual sparks Every one of us is a spirit soul, part and parcel of God, but we are now covered by the material qualities. We are separated from God because due to envy we want to imitate God. "Oh, God is the enjoyer? Why can't I become an enjoyer?" "Yes," God says. "You become an enjoyer." Krishna Voice, Aug 2009 5
  4. 4. Then we fall into the material world. We may compare God to a fire and the spirit souls to sparks of that fire. If a spark leaves the fire and falls on dry grass, a fire will start. If a spark falls on green vegetation, there will be some heat; the spark will not be extinguished at once. But if a spark falls into water, it will be extinguished immediately. When a spirit soul who has fallen contacts the mode of goodness, that is like a spark falling on dry grass. A person in the mode of goodness is almost on the spiritual platform. The mode of goodness includes the brahminical qualifications: truthfulness, simplicity, full knowledge, control of the senses, control of the mind, practical application of knowledge in life, and complete faith in God. The mode of passion can be seen in strong desire to enjoy the material world. Generally kings and politicians are very passionate to encroach upon others' property or other nations. And the mode of ignorance—"All right, let me eat something and sleep." That's all. That is ignorance. A person influenced by the mode of ignorance is satisfied to get a good opportunity for sleeping. One has to transcend the three qualities of the material world. And anyone can do that. Krishna does not say that only the person in goodness, who has the brahminical qualities, can be engaged in devotional service. If you engage in devotional service, you at once transcend the three qualities. You become more than a brahmana— you become a Vaishnava. A Vaishnava is transcendental even to the brahminical qualities. But if you do not maintain even the brahminical qualities, then how are you Vaishnava? To become a Vaishnava is not so easy. But Lord Chaitanya has made it easy, provided you stick to the regulative principles. Simply chant Hare Krishna regularly. The chanting of Hare Krishna is the special facility for the people in this age. By chanting you can remain steady in the transcendental position. Ceto-darpana marjanam bhava-maha-davagni-nirvapanam. As soon as you stay on the platform of offenseless chanting you become transcendental to the material qualities. Very simple. You don't have to study Vedanta. The Vedanta, or the conclusions of Vedic philosophy, will be revealed to you: yasya deve para bhaktir yatha deve tatha gurau tasyaite kathita hy arthah prakasante mahatmanah The Vedanta philosophy will be revealed automatically. You haven't got to study. All the Vedanta knowledge will be revealed within you, provided you have unflinching faith in God and the spiritual master. The Mercy of Krishna and Guru In the Chaitanya-charitamrita it is said that you can make advancement in spiritual life by the mercy of Krishna and guru. Don't bypass the guru and try to get Krishna's mercy immediately. That will not work. You have to go through the proper channel. It is wrong to think, "I shall make spiritual advancement without a guru." Even if you want to see a big man you have to go through his servant. You have to take permission. The servant may say to the big man, "Sir, so-and-so wants to see you. He appears to be a good man." "Oh?" the master says. "He is a good man? All right, bring him." The recommendation of the servant is required. Therefore we sing daily, yasya prasadad bhagavat-prasadah: by the mercy of the guru we get the mercy of God. Yasyaprasadan na gatih kuto 'pi: if the guru is not satisfied, the disciple makes no advancement. In today's verse it is said, "There are many incarnations." The guru is also an incarnation of God—the mercy incarnation of God. God is within you as chaitya-guru, the guru within your heart. Isvarah sarva-bhutanam hrd- dese 'rjuna tisthati. Krishna says that he is seated in everyone's heart as the Supersoul, or Paramatma. So Paramatma is an incarnation of God. And when, being very merciful upon you, Paramatma comes before you to teach you from outside, that is the guru. Therefore it is said, saksad-dharitvena samasta-sastraih. The guru is the mercy incarnation of God. Saksat means "direct." Hari-tvena means the guru is Hari, God. Samasta-sastraih means "all the scriptures." It is not that somewhere it is stated that the guru is an incarnation of God and somewhere it is not stated. No. It is stated in all Vedic literature. Then it is said, uktas tatha bhavyata eva sadbhih. Uktah means "it is said." Sadbhih means "devotees. "Those who are real devotees accept this. "Yes, the guru is exactly a representative of Krishna, a representative of Krishna's mercy." The disciple must respect the guru as God, but the guru should not say, "Now I have become God." If he says that, then he is immediately fallen. He cannot say, "I am an incarnation of God, so you simply worship me." Mayavadi, or impersonalistic, gurus say, "There is no difference between God and me." But a real guru says, "I 6 Krishna Voice, Aug 2009
  5. 5. am a servant of the servant of the servant of the servant of God." Gopi-bhartuh pada-kamalayor dasa- dasanudasah. Though given the honor of God, the real guru never declares that He is God. He always says, "I am the most fallen servant of God." Countless incarnations So as there are incessant waves on the ocean, countless incarnations of God are also coming. Why not? There are innumerable universes, not one universe. We have studied in the Brahma-samhita: yasyaika-nisvasita-kalam athavalambya jivanti loma-vilaja jagad-anda-nathah. Jagad-anda means "universe." In each universe there is a natha, or controller—Lord Brahma. So just imagine. By the inhaling and exhaling of Maha-Vishnu in the Causal Ocean, so many universes are coming out. And in every universe there are so many planets. So just imagine how many incarnations are required to enlighten the people in every universe. We are all sons of God, and we are trying to forget Him. But God cannot forget us, because we are His sons. God is trying to reclaim us. Krishna Himself is coming to canvass: "Why are you rotting here? Why don't you come? Just surrender and be happy." "No. I shall work here." From Brahma down to the hog, everyone in the material world is trying to be happy by working. They will not surrender to Krishna. But Krishna wants them to go back home, back to Godhead. Therefore He says in the Gita (18.66), sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja aham tvam sarva-papebhyo moksayisyami ma sucah "You have committed so many sinful activities during your material existence. There is no limit. But if you surrender unto Me, I immediately make you immune from all reactions to your sinful life. Immediately." Mercy for Jagai and Madhai Krishna simply wants us to give up our sinful activities and surrender to Him. This is shown by the story of Lord Chaitanya's deliverance of Jagai and Madhai. These brothers were very sinful. They were engaging in illicit sex, intoxication, meat-eating, and gambling. They had been born in a nice brahmana family, but by bad association they became drunkards, gamblers, meat-eaters, and prostitute hunters. They were simply creating disturbances. Such people will always create disturbances. The whole world is now disturbed. Why? Because it is full of these sinful men: drunkards, gamblers, meat-eaters, and woman hunters. And people expect peace. Nonsense. Where is peace? First of all educate people to become sinless. Then talk of peace. Otherwise, there cannot be peace. So these two brothers were creating a disturbance in the street, and a crowd had gathered. Lord Nityananda and Haridasa Thakura, close associates of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, were out for preaching. Lord Nityananda saw the crowd and inquired, "What is this crowd?" Someone replied, "There are two most sinful brothers, and they are creating a disturbance. So there is a crowd." Nityananda Prabhu said to Haridasa Thakura, "Why not deliver these two brothers? Then it will be a great credit for Chaitanya Mahaprabhu." That is the mood of a preacher. He wants the credit to go to his master, not himself, even if he risks his life. When Lord Nityananda approached Jagai and Madhai to ask them to chant Hare Krishna, one of the brothers hit him in the head with a stone, and blood came out. Lord Nityananda said, "All right. You have hurt Me. Blood is oozing out. That doesn't matter. Chant Hare Krishna." Lord Nityananda is showing us how we must preach. It is not that we only stay safely somewhere and chant Hare Krishna. No. We have to go out and meet the Jagais and Madhais. That is Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's mission, because the world is full of Jagais and Madhais. When Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu heard that one of the brothers had injured Nityananda Prabhu, He became angry—like fire. If a devotee sees Vishnu or a Vaishnava insulted, he should be firelike. Lord Chaitanya taught, trnad api sunicena: a devotee should be as humble as straw in the street. But when a devotee sees the Lord or the Lord's devotee insulted, the devotee should not be like a straw—he should be like fire. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu showed this by example. He became very very angry—"I shall kill these two brothers immediately!" But Nityananda Prabhu entreated, "Oh, My dear sir, in this incarnation You have promised not to accept any weapon. In Your incarnation as Lord Ramachandra You took up weapons. As Krishna also You took up weapons. But this time You wanted to deliver these poor souls. So don't kill them. Excuse them. Accept them." Krishna Voice, Aug 2009 7
  6. 6. Nityananda Prabhu is the original guru, and He was showing that the guru's business is to be very merciful. Jagai and Madhai fell at Lord Chaitanya's feet and said, "We are so sinful. We have done wrong. Kindly excuse us." Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu made one condition: "Your life is full of sinful activities. So if you simply promise, "I shall not sin anymore,' then I can accept you." Jagai and Madhai said. "Sir, we'll not do these sinful things anymore." That vow is required. When you are initiated, you promise: "No illicit sex, no intoxication, no meat-eating, no gambling." But if you privately do these things, then what kind of person are you? Don't be a cheater. When you promise not to do these things, don't do them again. Then you will remain in goodness. Nobody can disturb you. And if you pollute yourself silently, then goodness will go away. This is the warning. Once you are initiated on the promise that you shall not do these nonsense things, then you remain perfectly in goodness. Mam eva ye prapadyante mayam etam taranti. Maya cannot do anything. But if you cheat yourself, cheat your spiritual master, cheat God, then you will be cheated by maya. Thank you very much. 8 Krishna Voice, Aug 2009
  7. 7. SRILA PRABHUPADA SPEAKS OUT We Worship Everything The following conversation took place in Los Angeles on May 14, 1973. Devotee: Srila Prabhupada, if material nature is the absence of Krishna, then what is material? Srila Prabhupada: Nothing is material. If you continue Krishna consciousness, there's nothing material. When we offer this flower in Krishna consciousness, is it material? Devotee: No. Srila Prabhupada: So how has it become spiritual? It was material in the tree and now it has become spiritual? No. It is spiritual. As long as I was thinking that it is meant for my enjoyment, it was material. As soon as I take it for Krishna's enjoyment, it is spiritual. Devotee: So actually this entire world is spiritual. Srila Prabhupada: Yes. That we want—to engage everything in Krishna's service. Then this world will be the spiritual world. Devotee: So we can also appreciate Krishna's creation in that light? For example, this flower is very beautiful because it is Krishna's. realize that. The Mayavada philosophy says jagan mithya: "This world is false." We don't say that. Krishna has created so many nice things for His enjoyment, why shall I say mithya [false]? Suppose you build a nice house and you call me, "Just see," and if I say, "It is all mithya." Devotee: I'll be offended, because I can't enjoy it if it is false. Srila Prabhupada [Laughing.]: How depressed you'll be! The Bhagavad-gita explains that the demons say like this— asatyam apratistham te jagad ahur anisvaram. The rascals, the demons say that this world is asatya, untruth, and that there is no cause, no ishvara. This is the declaration of the demons. But if Krishna is a fact, His creation is a fact. His energy is a fact. Why shall I say it is false? We don't say it is false. The Mayavadis say it is false. Devotee: If someone looks at the Deity of Krishna and thinks it's only stone or wood, for him it's still material? Prabhupada: That is his ignorance. How can it be material? The stone is also Krishna's energy. For example, electricity is everywhere, and the electrician knows how to utilize it. Similarly, Krishna is everywhere, even in the stone, and the devotees know how to utilize stone to appreciate Krishna. The rascals do not know. The devotee knows because he has no other view than of Krishna. Why should the stone be without Krishna? "Here is Krishna." That is real oneness. The Mayavadi philosophers propose oneness, but they divide—this is stone, this is not Krishna. Why bring another thing? Devotee: For a Krishna conscious person is Krishna as much in the stone as in the Deity? Krishna Voice, Aug 2009 9
  8. 8. Srila Prabhupada: Yes. worshipable. Therefore we say, "Hare Krishna." Hare Devotee: Just as much? means Krishna's energy. We worship everything. Srila Prabhupada: Yes. Why not? In our childhood we were taught by our parents that if a grain of rice falls on the floor, we must pick it up and Devotee: But we order Deities all the way from India ? touch it to our head to show respect. We were taught Srila Prabhupada: Krishna explains, "Everything is in like this—how to see everything in relationship with Me, but I'm not everything." This is called acintya- Krishna. That is Krishna consciousness. bhedabheda—simultaneous oneness and difference. Therefore, we do not like to see anything wasted, Everything is Krishna, but you cannot worship this bench anything misused. Why are we preaching? Because we as Krishna. That is rascaldom. see that so many rascals are misusing their life. We The sunshine is also sun. Is it not? But when the sunshine think, "Let us give them some enlightenment." This is is in the room, you cannot say, "The sun is my room." our mission. This is called acintya-bhedabheda. We could think, "Let them go to hell." Mayavadi sannyasis Devotee: But you said one can see Krishna within the engage in meditation or go to the Himalayas, but we stone. have come to Los Angeles . Why? This is our mission. Srila Prabhupada: Yes. Why not? "Oh, these people are being misused under maya. Let them gain some enlightenment." Devotee: And one can worship Him within the stone or within everything. We are teaching how to utilize everything for Krishna, how to understand Krishna in everything. That is our Srila Prabhupada: Yes. We worship everything. We mission. See Krishna in everything. Krishna says, see Krishna everywhere. We don't see the tree; we see "Anyone who sees Me everywhere, and everything in Krishna's energy. Therefore the tree is also worshipable Me, is perfect." because Krishna and Krishna's energy are both Higher Taste Exprezz The Higher Taste, ISKCON Bangalore’s popular outlet serving delectable pure vegetarian bakes, sweets and savouries has now opened its extension, The Higher Taste Exprezz, in the premises of Mind Tree in Phase 3 of the Global Village on Mysore Road. This is the first such Higher Taste Exprezz outlet in the premises of a corporate. The Higher Taste Exprezz’ Bakes counter serves sandwiches, savouries, pastries and other bakery products. The Tastes of India counter serves Indian favourites: a variety of dosas, Malabar items, South Indian snacks and rice combos, and North Indian lunch combos and snacks. More Higher Taste Exprezz outlets will be opened in Phase 1 and Phase 2 of Mind Tree in Global Village shortly. With an aim to promote vegetarianism and sattvic cuisine, The Higher Taste is all set to extend its reach at various corporate locations. 10 Krishna Voice, Aug 2009
  9. 9. How Free Are We? By Navin Jani The Vedic contribution to one of the central debates in Western philosophy. Sam Surya goes to his city’s orphanage one day and century, is one major exception.) Far from feeling forced makes a large donation. Elsewhere in town, Andy into every action we take, we instinctively feel we can Andhakara robs a bank. What led these two to make make choices in our lives. Therefore, the thought that such drastically different choices? Was it their own we have no control whatsoever over what we do is volition, or the force of some other factor? In other repulsive. And the laws that govern society have words, were their actions predetermined, or did Sam meaning only if citizens can decide to follow them or and Andy have free will? not. For example, we would perhaps support punishing Andy Andhakara to send a message to the community These questions concern one of the pivotal debates in that stealing is bad and others should not follow his Western philosophy. Are human beings destined to example. But if citizens don’t have the power to decide follow a set course? Are we like children on an to steal or not, then what’s the use of sending such a amusement park ride that lets them steer right and left message? Therefore, strict determinism can be rejected but inevitably takes them along a fixed track? Or are as counterintuitive and highly impractical. we free to desire and do as we like, our lives a blank slate upon which we may write anything and everything? Categorical Free Will In this article we’ll take a brief look at how Western Having rejected this extreme, let’s test out the other. philosophy has addressed the problem of determinism As strict determinism tells us that Sam and Andy each versus free will, and then suggest how the Vedic had to act in a particular way, the opposite perspective literature can offer additional insight into this most tells us they could have acted in absolutely any way. elusive yet important issue. This is the theory known as categorical free will. It holds that human actions are in theory completely Before we begin, let’s be clear about the term will. From unconstrained and can unfold in an infinite number of a philosophical perspective, it is a nuanced concept ways. Our behavior is not the preset product of any that has undergone shifts in meaning over the years. grand universal scheme, but is fluid and flexible. It Nevertheless, for all practical purposes it can be taken essentially has no cause, for that would limit its course. as synonymous with “action.” Hence the debate over determinism versus free will is essentially a quest to Unlike the theory of strict determinism, which has had identify the cause of human behavior. Keeping this in few adherents among Western philosophers, the theory mind should help keep you from getting lost in what of categorical free will has been embraced by many, might otherwise become a hazy jungle of abstract including the French philosopher Rene Descartes in philosophical jargon. the early seventeenth century and the German philosopher Immanuel Kant in the late eighteenth Strict Determinism century. Indeed, it is a welcome relief from the stifling One perspective on this debate is to say that Sam rigidity of determinism, and it resonates with Western Surya was destined to donate and Andy Andhakara notions of liberty and independence. But as other was destined to steal, and neither ever really had a philosophers have pointed out (including those named say in the matter. This is the theory known as strict in the next section), it goes too far. They argue that a determinism. It holds that all human actions are the phenomenon either has a cause (or causes) or is direct results of a sequence of causes and effects such completely random; there is no third option. Therefore that they are predetermined and can unfold in one and to say that human actions have no cause is to say that only one way. Thus, we do not actually play any part they are random. But observation of the world around in determining our actions. Rather, they are caused by us shows that this is clearly not the case. We don’t see something beyond us. Western philosophers have mothers hugging their dirty laundry and throwing their generally been loath to embrace this view, and with babies into the washing machine. Rather, in place of good reason: strict determinism is contrary to both such inexplicable chaos (the logical consequence of common experience and the norms of civilization. (The this theory) we observe order and meaning in human doctrine of the predestination of souls, espoused by behavior. Hence, categorical free will must also be St. Augustine in the fifth century and championed by rejected as illogical and unrealistic. the leaders of the Protestant Reformation in the sixteenth Krishna Voice, Aug 2009 11
  10. 10. Soft Determinism his desire to give charity (and so feels like he is acting freely), but where does this desire come from? Did he So while strict determinism leaves us with no room to choose to have the kind of personality that is inclined breathe, it turns out categorical free will opens the door to give? far too wide. Neither theory allows for us to have a conscious influence on our actions. What of the middle No. We could either trace its development through his ground, something between these two extremes? Such experiences, education, and parenting, or resign a perspective would allow Sam and Andy to cause their ourselves to a simple, “He was born that way.” In either actions in some way that reconciles determinism and case, we must acknowledge that the very factors that free will. Human behavior could then be understood resulted in Sam’s wanting to help out the orphanage as neither capricious nor automatically enacted are clearly not subject to his conscious control. Rather, irrespective of individual wishes. his desire is the deterministic product of his background, and it compels him to act accordingly. He is not free to Countless persons have endorsed some such act otherwise. Thus, we are not justified in calling Sam’s compromise—including the English philosophers and Andy’s respective actions free, and praising or Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, and John Stuart Mill— censuring them accordingly. In fact, soft determinism and it more or less represents the consensus of ultimately leads us to the same dead end as strict contemporary Western philosophy. Among these, the determinism, albeit with a little more scenery on the mid–eighteenth-century Scottish philosopher David way. Hume made what is arguably the chief presentation. His theory has been referred to as soft determinism Although strict determinism and categorical free will because it takes strict determinism and alters it in a proved easy to dismiss (both in this article and in the way that allows for personal freedom and moral annals of Western philosophy), you will likely agree accountability. He starts with the notion that every that soft determinism seemed more promising. But it human action has a cause that determines how it will still left us short of what we are searching for: a viable unfold. If this cause is something external to the explanation of the cause of human action. Certainly individual, he refers to the resultant action as involuntary. the answer does lie in some sort of synthesis of If this cause is an internal desire of the individual, he determinism and free will, but Western philosophy can refers to the resultant action as voluntary. Whereas in take us no further in this direction. We therefore now strict determinism all actions are caused by external consider the philosophy of ancient India . Within the forces and are therefore what Hume would call Vedic scriptures we find a perspective that genuinely involuntary, his soft determinism allows for both external reconciles determinism and free will in a way that makes and internal causes. Indeed, he emphasizes the latter sense to our heads and is agreeable to our hearts. by explaining that human beings will always act The Soul’s Free Will according to their strongest internal desire unless forcibly constrained by some external factor. We begin by reviewing the deterministic side of the equation. Krishna explains in the Bhagavad-gita that Hume concludes by deeming such voluntary action all living beings have eternal spiritual forms of which “free” and therefore liable to moral scrutiny. Thus, under the physical bodies we see are only temporary Hume’s theory, Sam’s donation is considered to be coverings. The root cause of this encasement is known causally determined by his desire to donate, and yet in Sanskrit as ahankara. Though this term is usually is also considered free because it is done willingly. translated as false ego, it literally means “I am the Andy’s act of robbery is caused by his desire to acquire doer.” Because we are made of spirit, not matter, we money, but he remains morally culpable because he have no ability to independently manipulate matter, was not forced to act against his wishes. and to think we do is the ultimate binding delusion. Far Although with Hume’s soft determinism we finally have from being a controller, by inhabiting a physical body a theory that connects individuals with their behavior, we come under the control of nature, because the body, whether it does so in a way that gives them actual being matter, acts according to the laws of nature. The freedom is questionable. Granting that it avoids the real agent behind the movements of the material world oppressive impersonalism of strict determinism and is the energy of God in the form of the three material the chaos of categorical free will, does it actually bestow principles, or modes: maintenance (goodness), creation on humans the power of conscious choice? Critics (passion), and destruction (ignorance). Krishna sums have said no. They have noted that although under up this whole dynamic by observing, “The spirit soul Hume’s theory individuals act voluntarily, they do not bewildered by the influence of false ego thinks himself act freely. This is because the internal desires that the doer of activities that are in actuality carried out by cause their actions are not under their conscious control. the three modes of material nature.” Thus, our freedom For example, Sam voluntarily acts in accordance with does not lie in the tangible realm of physical matter. 12 Krishna Voice, Aug 2009
  11. 11. To some people the implication of such evidence is one of two broad categories: desires to be closer to that free will is simply illusory and that enlightenment God, or desires to be farther away from Him. Our new involves accepting that we are the powerless pawns desires then create karmic reactions that in turn of a deterministic world. Historically, Western determine our next body. philosophers have even been led to clump the Vedic No Deterministic Dead End worldview together with other Eastern philosophies and dismiss them all under the condescending label of This Vedic understanding of free will thus saves us “Asiatic fatalism.” But this is only half the Vedic equation. from the dead end that soft determinism led us to. We Equally compelling (and arguably even more important) can trace the manifold desires that cause a person to is the Vedic evidence of freedom and the power of act back from the upbringing of his present life to his conscious choice. nature at birth, to the desires of his previous lives, and, underlying it all, to his progressive desire to surrender For example, the Vedic literature contains a plethora to or rebel against God. Freedom reigns at this final, of rules, regulations, and rituals. Many prominent primary level, while determinism dominates all Vaishnava philosophers have used the same logic we subsequent links in the chain. We could thus call the cited earlier in defeating strict determinism to claim that Vedic model a sort of binary free will. such scriptural prescriptions (and their associated rewards and punishments) can have meaning only if For example, Sam Surya, in his previous birth, must the living entity has some degree of factual have had godly desires (e.g., selfless desires to forego independence. Indeed, “The Supreme Personality of pleasures for a higher purpose). As a result, he was Godhead has so dexterously formulated and applied probably born with an innate generosity and received the laws of material nature governing punishment and good training from his parents and early teachers, both reward for human behavior that the living being is of which allowed him to progress towards God. Andy discouraged from sin and encouraged toward goodness Andhakara, on the other hand, must have had ungodly without suffering any significant interference with his desires (e.g., selfish desires that focused on his own free will as an eternal soul.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam well-being at the cost of others), which led him to be 10.24.14, Purport by Prabhupada’s disciples) born in a degraded situation favorable for expressing and acting upon such desires. The key to understanding It is important to note here, however, that as the mind how this works is in realizing that karma applies on a is considered material in the Vedic understanding, it is subtle, as well as a gross, level. Good actions don’t subject to the same rigid control that was attributed to just create good circumstances; they also create the the body above. So just as the free will of the living desire to do further good actions. And vice versa. being cannot extend to the actions of the physical body and senses, so too it cannot extend to the actions of Unlike the blank slate of free will or the fixed track of the mind or intelligence. Thus, the free will Prabhupada determinism, this blend of the two might be likened to speaks of must be restricted to the domain of the spirit an interactive movie that lets you make choices at key soul proper, and it must be the actions of this soul that moments and then unfolds automatically until the next merit the various punishments and rewards he speaks decision. If we make choices favorable to reestablishing of. But how does the soul act? Prabhupada explains our relationship with God, like Sam Surya, we’ll get that it is through desire. Not only that, he goes one more and better options of this kind the next time. If step further to reveal that the desire whether “to we make choices that hamper our connection with God, surrender to God or not is the essential expression of like Andy Andhakara, the godly options will diminish in our free will.” scope and quantity. Either way, what happens in between the decision points is the preset product of And there, at last, is our answer and the Vedic resolution innumerable past choices. of the problem of determinism versus free will. As human beings, our freedom is limited to desiring to When we finally evolve to the point where we come closer to God or to move farther away from him. unreservedly and uninterruptedly desire only to be Material nature, under the supervision of God, takes closer to God, then we break the chain of successive care of the rest. According to our past desires, we are physical bodies and can return to the divine abode. provided at birth with a suitable body through which There, having revived our original spiritual bodies, we the modes of material nature help us perform actions will be completely independent of the laws of nature appropriate to those desires. Within the constraints of that so rigidly control us in this world. Thus we come this body, which range from our mental disposition to to the ultimate paradox of free will. When we are at the karmic results due to us while in it, we have the every moment lovingly offering our free will at the feet opportunity to form new desires. These desires may of God for His pleasure rather than ours, then and only take many forms, but they will always be reducible to then are we the most free. 14 Krishna Voice, Aug 2009
  12. 12. Questions & Answers about the Akshaya Patra programme Some weeks back, there were reports in the media in Bangalore (around June 16th, 2009) and Hubli (around June 28th 2009) making several allegations against ISKCON, Bangalore and Akshaya Patra Foundation. This Q&A is to disseminate correct information and offer clarification to our donors and supporters. 1. What is the coverage of the Akshaya Patra programme in Karnataka? And in India? Akshaya Patra is feeding about 5 lakh children in Karnataka in five locations: Bangalore, Hubli, Bellary, Mysore and Mangalore. Akshaya Patra is feeding about 10 lakh children in India in seven states. 2. What is the subsidy Akshaya Patra gets from the government? The subsidy we get in Karnataka is as follows: Class 1 to 7 : Rs.1.80 per child + 100 gms of rice per child per day. Class 8 to 10 : Rs.2.20 per child + 150 gms of rice per child per day. 3. The Mid-day Meal programme is a government programme. And the government is providing money and rice for the same. Then why do you collect donations from the public and corporates? The national average cost of the meal that Akshaya Patra provides is Rs. 4.68. The national average subsidy received from the government (cash plus grain subsidy) is Rs. 2.64. Hence there is a gap of Rs. 2.04 to be raised by Akshaya Patra Foundation to meet the running expenses. (See table 1 below). Table 1: National average cost per meal served Akshaya Patra feeds about 10 lakh children every day in the country. This means, Akshaya Patra has to raise a donation fo Rs.20 lakhs per school working day! In addition, Akshaya Patra sets up centralized kitchens to cook for large number of children. And we do not get any support from the government to set up the kitchens. We raise donations from public and corporates to meet this expense also. (See table 2 on page 16) So far, we have spent Rs.63.8 crores to set up seventeen kitchens in seven states in India. This entire money has come from donations from public and corporates. Krishna Voice, Aug 2009 15
  13. 13. Table 2: Cost of setting up centralized kitchens 4. Has the government given you permission to collect donations from public for this government programme? Yes. Akshaya Patra Foundation is notified by The National Committee for Social and Economic Welfare (headed by Former Chief Justice of India), constituted by the Ministry of Finance, Government of India. This National Committee has recognized Akshaya Patra as the “eligible project” and further observed that this “project is being executed properly.” We have been submitting the audited statements and report of the programme to this National Committee every year. (See page 17) 5. Akshaya Patra is raising donations in foreign countries. Has the government given permission for this? Akshaya Patra is registered under Foreign Contributions (Regulations) Act under the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. All contributions received from abroad are properly accounted and the statements filed before the Ministry of Home Affairs annually. (See page 18 & 19) 6. Has the donation raised for feeding children been diverted to build apartments? No. All donations raised for feeding children are used for feeding children only. 1. Akshaya Patra Foundation is audited by a renowned auditing firm and we subject ourselves to rigorous standards of audit. 2. Akshaya Patra Foundation has an Advisory Board headed by Justice Rajendra Babu, Former Chief Justice of India. This Advisory Board also has the Secretary, Primary Education Department, Government of Karnataka, Commissioner of Public Instruction (CPI), Commissioner, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike as members and they all have access to the financial information of the Akshaya Patra Foundation. 3. Further to be transparent and accountable, Akshaya Patra Foundation’s accounts are posted on the Akshaya Patra web site. 4. Akshaya Patra has been filing its financial statements to Education Department, Government of Karnataka, Income Tax Department, National Committee for Social and Economic welfare, Ministry of Home Affairs, etc. 16 Krishna Voice, Aug 2009
  14. 14. Akshaya Patra is notified by the National Committee for the Promotion of Social & Economic Welfare as an eligible project to raise public donations and provide 100% tax benefit to the donors. 7. Is Akshaya Patra indulging in profiteering through the mid-day meal programme? No. This is wrong information. The books of accounts of the Akshaya Patra Foundation are available for scrutiny and we invite the Government to conduct an inquiry on the same. Some years ago, there was a similar misinformation making it’s rounds. We requested the state government to conduct an enquiry on our activities. Accordingly, the Secretary, Edication Department, appointed a three- member committee who did an investigation of our accounts, inventory and our operations. They submitted a six-page report that concludes as follows: “Akshaya Patra is conducting the mid-day meal programme since 2001-02 in association with the government. No malpractices of discrepancies have been found in the execution of the programme. There have been no instances of any adverse effects of the meals on the children. No instances of misappropriation or misuse of funds and grains provided by the government were found during the investigation. When all these information is scrutinized, I find that the allegations made are far from truth.” 8. Do you collect donations of Rs.1200 to feed a child? We collect donations of Rs.1200 as this is a convenient amount for a donor. It works out to be Rs.100 per month and easy for a donor to make a decision. Krishna Voice, Aug 2009 17
  15. 15. 18 Krishna Voice, Aug 2009
  16. 16. Now with the government subsidies of cash and rice grains and taking in to account the benefits of economy of scale, we say this amount feeds two children as follows: Today the cost of meal is around Rs.4.68 [national average cost of meal for the period April 2008 to March 2009 (unaudited) taken from Table 1] and there are about 237 school working days per year. a) Cost of meal : Rs. 4.68 b) Govt subsidy : Rs. 2.64 c) Cost of meal borne by APF : Rs. 2.04 e) For 237 days/year* : Rs. 484 f) For two children : Rs. 968.00 g) A cushion to managecost fluctuations, etc** : Rs. 232.00 Total : Rs. 1200.00 * Based on 2008-09 data from education.nic.in/mdm ** The cushion helps to manage fluctuations in input prices, number of working days, enhanced menu on certain special occasions, etc. Now we say, “It costs Rs.1200/- to feed a boy and a girl for one year.” A more elaborate explanation for this is given in our web site under Facts and Figures. 9. Mid-day meal programme is essentially a government’s programme. How can the government hand over this responsibility to a voluntary organization? In the Guidelines of the National programme for Nutritional Support for Primary Education (Mid-day Meal programme) there are sections # 3.9, 3.91 and 3.92 that covers the subject of associating voluntary organizations in the mid-day meal programme. Hence involving NGOs in the implementation of the mid- day meal programme is very much in order. 10.What is the advantage of NGOs like Akshaya Patra Foundation implementing the government’s mid-day meal programme? The most significant advantage of NGOs implementing the mid-day meal programme is to relieve the Head Masters and teachers from the burden of organizing and overseeing the day-to-day cooking operations in the school. This will enable them to focus on the core academic activities. Hundreds of Head Masters and teachers have testified to this effect. The Head Masters have the primary responsibility to ensure that the teachers come to school, the syllabus is covered on time, school supplies are available, tests are conducted and so on. Over and above this if they have to see that the LPG gas is in stock, chilli powder, salt, vegetables have come in right quantity - all of this is a major distraction from their academic activities. The Head Masters heartily welcome NGO’s participation in the implementation of the Mid-day Meal programme who take care that the hot cooked meals are at the school door step on time, day after day. 11. Apart from this benefit to the school Head Masters is there any other benefit of engaging the NGOs in the implementation of the mid-day meal programme? Another significant benefit is saving of money for the government. The government spends Rs.60,000 per school to set up a kitchen facility in the school. When an NGO is providing the meals, the government does not have to set up the kitchen facility in the school and hence this money is saved. In the case of Akshaya Patra, we are feeding in 2200 schools in Karnataka. This means the government has saved Rs. 13.2 crores! Secondly, the government spends Rs.5000 per school per year towards utensils and other cooking items. Krishna Voice, Aug 2009 19
  17. 17. When an NGO is providing the meals, the government does not spend any money towards these utensils. Over the last five years, in the 2200 schools in Karnataka where Akshaya Patra is providing the meals, the government has saved nearly Rs. 5.5 crores! The following summarizes the financials from 2001 to 2008 Rs. in lakhs Abridged Balance Sheet Rs. in lakhs 20 Krishna Voice, Aug 2009
  18. 18. Comments from distinguished persons Akshaya Patra is an amazing scheme to provide food to hungry children. This scheme needs to be implemented at each and every village of our country. Philanthropic people, NGOs, Government, all have to come together and work on this on a big scale. Her Excellency Smt Pratibha Patil President of India This is a very important and great mission. Dr A P J Abdul Kalam Former President of India The scale of the programme is truly impressive. I am confident that the Akshaya Patra programme will serve both as an inspiration and a practical logistical guide to other institutions interested in taking up such activities. Atal Bihari Vajpayee Former Prime Minister of India The feeding of children on a large scale impressed me beyond words. I hope others will take the cue. P V Narasimha Rao Former Prime Minister of India A synergy was the only hope for the country to tackle the problems in various sector, including education and health… M N Venkatachalaiah Former Chief Justice of Supreme Court of India Krishna Voice, Aug 2009 21
  19. 19. I am truly delighted to visit the temple. So much social work is done by Akshaya Patra. I do not have enough words to express my appreciation that the task taken is so important & so fulfilling. I hope & pray that more and more people come forward and emulate the dedications and service which is so heartwarming. Gursharan Kaur Wife of Sri Manmohan Singh Akshaya Patra is a programme which is meaningful and helps poorer children. Governments have failed but the zeal and commitment of this programme to educate the children is unique in more ways than one. They have done a great service. May the tribe grow – keep growing. S M Krishna Former Chief Minister of Karnataka Akshaya Patra’s nutritious meal gives a lot of pleasure to small children. And it provides a foundation for successful life. Narendra Modi Chief Minister of Gujarat Akshaya Patra people are doing great work in Bangalore and they have come all the way from South India to provide meals in Delhi. Sheila Dixit Chief Minister of Delhi A wonderful compassionate programme. I hope it gives joy to the beneficiaries. Vasundhara Raje Former Chief Minister of Rajasthan 22 Krishna Voice, Aug 2009
  20. 20. I like most the Akshaya Patra Foundation work of feeding hungry children. I congratulate the trustees for taking up this programme. This must be replicated in other states. Vilasrao Deshmukh Former Chief Minister of Maharashtra Thank you for a very instructive visit. Very nice to see such dedication. Rahul Gandhi Gen. Secretary, Indian National Congress Going to bed hungry is sad. I am glad Akshaya Patra has initiated this joyful task of feeding the downtrodden and the helpless to go to bed with more than a square meal. N R Narayana Murthy Chief Mentor, Infosys Technologies Ltd. I want to congratulate the people of the Akshaya Patra Foundation for the incredible progress you’ve made in feeding the children of India. Barack Obama President of USA This programme is highly successful. The scheme is providing very nutritious meal. This has improved the retention and participation of the students. Comments from the study conducted by Department of Education Government of Karnataka Krishna Voice, Aug 2009 23
  21. 21. Are We All Thieves? By Arcana Siddhi Devi Dasi Most everyone has had the unfortunate experience of austerity, cleanliness, mercy, and truthfulness—have having something of value disappear. Sometimes we practically disappeared in this age. Stealing is but a conclude that we misplaced it or lost it. While that is symptom of the decline of these principles. unpleasant, it doesn’t compare to feelings we suffer Religious principles flourish when people understand when we figure out that the item was stolen, especially that everything is owned and controlled by God. In by someone we know. Some years ago a hundred essence, nothing is ours. We have been entrusted with dollars was missing from my jewelry box. I was certain a quota of God’s property. That makes us responsible it had been there the previous day. After some for using these temporary possessions in a way that investigation, I discovered that one of my brother’s pleases the owner. friends had taken the money. I felt violated, angry, and hurt. Even the gifts of nature—water, sunlight, wood, minerals, gems—are supplied for our use in service to the Lord When I worked as a psychotherapist in an inner-city and His devotees. The Lord has created the material mental health clinic, I often counseled children who world to remedy our desires to enjoy separately from had a history of stealing. Sometimes they’d been caught Him. He has supplied this world with all the ingredients with small-ticket items like CDs, and at other times with we need to live a happy life here and make spiritual expensive cars from off the street. I tried to have them advancement. If we fail to recognize the true owner imagine what it must have felt like for the victim of their and exploit resources for our own pleasure, then we crime—leaving the house in the morning to go to work too are thieves and will have to suffer. and finding their car gone. But most of these kids lacked an ability to empathize. Not only were they unable to During a morning-walk conversation in India, Srila understand how the person they stole from felt, but Prabhupada was speaking to a wealthy industrialist they really didn’t seem to care. Their lack of social and asked him the nature of his business. When the conscience made for a poor prognosis in treatment. man replied that he made glass, Prabhupada asked him how the glass was made. The man said that it’s As potential victims of their crimes, we try to protect produced from sand. our property with elaborate alarm systems, gated communities, and vicious dogs. Despite these amenities, “And who owns the sand?” Prabhupada asked. we are plagued with the growing fear of more insidious “Bhagavan, God, owns the sand.” crimes, such as identity thefts, where our accounts are “Oh, you are stealing from Bhagavan?” Prabhupada plundered and our credit ruined. Paper shredders have challenged. become an essential item in many homes, and we regularly check our credit reports to see if there is any Trying to get off the hook, the man said that he gave unauthorized activity. Elaborate white-collar crimes much money in charity. flourish, cheating millions of people out of their money. “Oh, then you are just a little thief,” Prabhupada What accounts for this seemingly out of control lightheartedly replied. proliferation of stealing in every sphere of our life? From While Prabhupada certainly encouraged his disciples a psychological perspective we could look to such and congregation to work in honest business enterprises, factors as a lack of social responsibility arising from an he also wanted us to remember that Krishna owns our increasing sense of alienation. Some things that business and that as much of the fruit of our labor as contribute to this sense of depersonalization are the possible should be given back to Him. By using our breakdown of the family structure, lack of community, time and money in the service of the Lord and His and the waning influence of the church. Some people devotees, we can give back in many ways. Giving back feel that social and economic inequalities entitle them to the Lord purifies our work and frees us from both to things they’re not getting. External conditions such the good and bad reactions of the work. Otherwise, by as poverty and drug addiction exacerbate the taking what is not legitimately ours we become further psychological dynamics. implicated in samsara, the cycle of birth and death. But to understand the root cause, I look to a spiritual Knowing Our Quota perspective from the timeless Vedic commentaries. They tell us that we are living in the most degraded This brings up the question of how to determine what Iron Age, characterized by cheating and hypocrisy. All quota has been allotted to us by the Supreme Lord. the pillars of religious, moral, and ethical life—including Like many aspects of spiritual life, the answer requires 24 Krishna Voice, Aug 2009
  22. 22. sincerity and honest introspection. We each have amenities such as flushing toilets and showers, which different needs, but we should be led by guiding were not so commonplace there at the time. He principles such as those illuminated in the scriptures. understood the particular psychology of his Western Sri Ishopanishad and Bhagavada-gita, for example, disciples and took care to provide a standard of living teach us to be moderate in satisfying our bodily needs. that would be conducive to that nature. We should reject working too hard for worldly Even within Western culture there is a vast variety of possessions or accomplishments very difficult to obtain. individuality. What might be excessive for one person We also need to take guidance from advanced may not be enough for another. Our allotment from Vaishnavas who understand our psychophysical natures Krishna may also vary according to our specific service and can help us to discern what standard of living will to Him, our level of spiritual advancement, and our best support our spiritual practices. When Prabhupada ability to manage material assets. Krishna gave was designing the living quarters for the devotees in Prabhupada so much for his service, and not a penny his temple projects in India , he included modern was used for his personal sense gratification. Krishna Voice, Aug 2009 25
  23. 23. Yukta-vairagya help us understand how we should live our lives. He While the disciples of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu often sends His holy name to sanctify our desires and help exemplified their advancement through severe us to live in accordance with godly principles. renunciation, Srila Prabhupada displayed the principle Those who receive His mercy have an obligation to of yukta-vairagya—using material resources in Krishna’s help others who are also struggling in this world. When service. Someone once mentioned to Prabhupada a we help spread Krishna consciousness and the chanting famous yogi who refused to accept money. In response, of the holy name, more and more people will be Prabhupada held his hands out as if to embrace the transformed into loving servants of the Lord. Eventually money, saying he would use it all in Krishna’s service. this Iron Age can take on all the qualities of the Golden Prabhupada envisioned using the money to print Krishna Age, where people understand the Lord’s divinity and conscious books and build beautiful temples for the their own identity as His eternal servants. This is the benefit of the whole planet. The perfection of our real antidote to society’s woes. intelligence is to take God’s gifts and offer them back in the form of service to Him. The Butter Thief Prabhupada’s higher understanding of renunciation To help the wayward souls get out of this material had him look for every opportunity to engage others in entanglement and reconnect with Him, the Lord appears Krishna ’s service. There is the famous story of the Himself in this world and exhibits pastimes to attract drunken man staggering into the first temple in New our mind and heart to His service. Some of those most York City while Prabhupada was lecturing. The drunk celebrated pastimes involve the Lord stealing from His put some toilet paper into the bathroom and without a devotees. Krishna delights in stealing butter and yogurt word left the temple. Prabhupada commented that the from the cowherd women. He derives immense pleasure man was not in order, but he had started his devotional in stealing the young village girls’ garments. service. So whatever we offer to the Lord will be good Everything originates in the Lord. The negative qualities for us. We will never be the loser. we see here in this world are but perverted reflections When a child buys a small gift for his father out of the of the pure behavior of God. When we steal from one allowance he received from his father, the father another in the material world, we create feelings of becomes charmed and feels increased affection for the enmity and desires for revenge—the antithesis of child. In the same way, Krishna feels more affection goodwill and concern for others. But when Krishna towards us when we lovingly make an offering back to steals from His devotees, they feel the greatest Him. happiness. Their loving sentiments increase This is how we transform our mentality from that of a exponentially. It is a celebration, a festival of loving thief into that of devotee. When we come to the material exchanges. world, we forget our position as eternal servants of the Besides, how can God steal when everything belongs Lord. Instead we try to imitate the supreme enjoyer by to Him? His stealing is part of His divine play inspired exploiting material nature for our own pleasure. We by His love for His devotees. We are but tiny sparks of ignore the Lord and try to be happy separate from Him. the Lord’s energy, and everything we possess is on The Lord is so kind that despite our reluctance to come loan to us in this lifetime. So there is no question of back to Him, He comes with us. He sits in our hearts, our imitating the Lord’s activities. Rather we should witnessing all of our activities. He sees us when we pray that the Lord steal our hearts away from this are giving, and he sees us when we are stealing. He illusory world and allow us to again take part in His sends His representatives, the pure souls, to come and eternal pastimes. Fasting Festivals Aug 17 Ekadashi Aug 13-14 Sri Krishna Janmashtami Aug 18 break fast fasting till midnight Aug 31 Ekadashi Aug 15 Sri Vyasa Puja (fasting till noon) fasting till noon Sep 1 break fast Aug 27 Radhashtami fasting till noon Sep 1 Vamana Jayanthi Sep 2 Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura - Appearance fasting till noon 22 Krishna Voice, Aug 2009
  24. 24. Heritage Fest at Hubli The biggest cultural festival organized for school children in Hubli and Dharwad ISKCON’s Heritage Fest is a competition of Indian Heritage based events for school children. Inaugurated by renowned Hindustani Classical singer Sri Prasanna Gudi and HUDA Chairman Sri Datta Dorle in the presence of chief sponsor for the fest, Sri Ln. Ch. V.S.V. Prasad of Swarnaa Group of Companies, Sri Mahesh Dand of Hubli- Disneyland and Sri Vivek Naik of Kenagritech. About 9000 children from different schools of Hubli-Dharwad participated in the 11 day inter school competitions held at the ISKCON temple. Krishna Voice, Aug 2009 23
  25. 25. Akshaya Patra in Bhilai The Akshaya Patra Foundation has just expanded its operations in Bhilai, Chhattisgarh. Jharkhand Chief Minister, Dr. Raman Singh inaugurated the kitchen facility. The Bhilai Steel Plant and Steel Authority of India Limited, have provided the infrastructure. Speaking at the event, the Chief Minister said that Akhshaya Patra is an elite experiment to provide mid day meals to the children of Chhattisgarh. Akshaya is currently feeding about 36,000 with nutritious meals. The CM is hopeful that this number will scale up soon and reach more under privileged children in that state. Akshaya Patra Vice Chairman Chanchalapathi Dasa welcomes Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Dr Raman Singh to the podium on the occasion of the inauguration of the mid day meal kitchen at Bhilai. Karnataka CM visits ISKCON Hubli Karnataka Chief Minister, Sri Yeddyurappa visited the ISKCON temple at Hubli recently. The Akshaya Patra operations in Hubli boasts of a large state-of-the-art kitchen from where hot nutritious mid-day meals are distributed to 1,81,456 under privileged school children. 24 Krishna Voice, Aug 2009
  26. 26. Krishna Voice Monthly Magazine, August 2009 Vol10, No.8 Price Rs 15/- Posted on 5th or 10th of the Month at MBC, Manipal, License to post without prepayment No. WPP(CO-8), Reg No. KA/BGGPO 2521/ 2009-11, Registered with Registrar of Newspapers for India under No. RNI 71022/99, Posted at MBC, Manipal, 576104. 36