Introduction to Krishna: reading and discus­sion group

krishna-animals-300x400Lord Krishna, the central figure of our spiritual practice, conveys a unique impression relative to other religious figures: the epic poem Śrīmad Bhāgavatam (also called the Bhāgavata Purāṇa) not only illustrates miraculous pastimes but also shows the Divine Personality behind them.

“One who knows the transcendental nature of My appearance and activities does not, upon leaving the body, take his birth again in this material world, but attains My eternal abode, O Arjuna.”
Bhagavad-gītā 4.9

The amazing, instructive stories of Lord Krishna’s life and pastimes in this material world are the subject of this class. Māyeśvara das will lead a reading and discussion from Kṛṣṇa: The Supreme Personality of Godhead (commonly called The Krishna Book) which itself provides this summary:

Since time immemorial, yogīs, sages and mystics have forsaken the pleasure of the ordinary world and gone to secluded places to meditate, eager to attain even a momentary vision of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Fifty centuries ago that same Kṛṣṇa descended from the transcendental world to reveal on earth His eternal spiritual pastimes, and the great sage Vyāsadeva carefully recorded them in a book called the Bhāgavata Purāṇa.

Kṛṣṇa is translated from that purāṇa by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, the foremost teacher of Indian culture and philosophy of the modern age. This book is the first comprehensive exposition in English of those extraordinary events.

These accounts will fascinate you with their descriptions of spiritual adventure and romance. And they will reveal to you the secret of how to embark on a journey to a transcendental realm beyond space and time.

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Save the Yamuna Campaign needs your help!

by Robert Phair

Dear Friends & Krishna Devotees:

I wish there were more time to write about this issue and provide more footnotes & background research, but rest assured you will find all of these at the links below.

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2013 Appearance Day Festival of Lord Nrsimhadeva

Hare Krsna !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This coming Sunday we are celebrating the appearance day of Lord Nrsimhadeva , the wonderful half man , half lion incarnation of Lord Krsna , who appeared to protect His devotees from the powerful demon , Hiranyakasipu .

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Srila Prabhupāda: The Life and Works of our Founder-Ācārya

srila prabhupada with deities

When His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada entered the port of New York City on September 17, 1965 few Americans took notice — but he was not merely another immigrant. He was on a mission to introduce the ancient teachings of Vedic India into mainstream America.  Before Srila Prabhupada passed away on November 14, 1977 at the age of 81, his mission proved successful. He had founded the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) and saw it grow into a worldwide confederation of more than 100 temples, ashrams and cultural centers.

Srila Prabhupada was born Abhay Charan De on September 1, 1896 to a pious Hindu family in Calcutta. As a youth growing up in British-controlled India, Abhay became involved with Mahatma Gandhi’s civil disobedience movement to secure independence for his nation. It was, however, a 1922 meeting with a prominent scholar and religious leader, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, which proved most influential on Abhay’s future calling. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta was a leader in the Gaudiya Vaishnava denomination, a monotheistic tradition within the broad Hindu culture, and asked Abhay to bring the teachings of Lord Krishna to the English-speaking world. Abhay became a disciple of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta in 1933, and resolved to carry out his mentor’s request. Abhay, later known by the honorific A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, spent the next 32 years preparing for his journey west.

In 1965, at the age of sixty-nine, Srila Prabhupada traveled to New York City aboard a cargo ship. The journey was treacherous, and the elderly spiritual teacher suffered two heart attacks aboard ship. Arriving in the United States with just seven dollars in Indian rupees and his translations of sacred Sanskrit texts, Srila Prabhupada began to share the timeless wisdom of Krishna consciousness. His message of peace and goodwill resonated with many young people, some of whom came forward to become serious students of the Krishna tradition.  With the help of these students, Srila Prabhupada rented a small storefront on New York’s Lower East Side to use as a temple. On July 11, 1966, he officially registered his organization in the state of New York, formally founding the International Society for Krishna Consciousness.

Srila Prabhupada hails the devotees

In the eleven years that followed, Srila Prabhupada circled the globe 14 times on lecture tours, bringing the teachings of Lord Krishna to thousands of people on six continents.  Men and women from all backgrounds and walks of life came forward to accept his message, and with their help, Srila Prabhupada established ISKCON centers and projects throughout the world. Under his inspiration, Krishna devotees established temples, rural communities, educational institutions, and started what would become the world’s largest vegetarian food relief program. With the desire to nourish the roots of Krishna consciousness in its home, Srila Prabhupada returned to India several times, where he sparked a revival in the Vaishnava tradition. In India, he opened dozens of temples, including large centers in the holy towns of Vrindavan and Mayapur.

Srila Prabhupada’s most significant contributions, perhaps, are his books.  He authored over 70 volumes on the Krishna tradition, which are highly respected by scholars for their authority, depth, fidelity to the tradition, and clarity. Several of his works are used as textbooks in numerous college courses.  His writings have been translated into 76 languages. His most prominent works include: Bhagavad-gita As It Is, the 30-volume Srimad-Bhagavatam, and the 17-volume Sri Caitanya-caritamrita.

Used by permission from GBC Biography page

For more information about Srila Prabhupada’s legacy, and the continuation of his work by the GBC (ISKCON Governing Body Commission), please view the following collection of documents:

Visit Archive

 

Newsletter May 2013

Dublin Krishna Temple Newsletter May 2013

Newsletter May 2013

dear Devotees & guests: Hare Krishna; we are humbly thrilled to announce the continuance of our monthly newsletter, which you will always be able to find on our Dublin Krishna Temple Blog page.

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Bhajan Class – Indian spiritual music

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by Robert Phair

This Saturday, 11 May, I had the good fortune to be present at the first Dublin Krishna Temple bhajan class, which was suggested at our 2012 Ratha Yatra and has finally come to fruition.  Our temple community has a great number of amateur, enthusiastic and self-taught musicians but only a small number of those classically trained in the Vedic and Bengali styles of music, and our teacher Sanghamitra Sanyal is one of them.

One term she mentioned that I don’t hear often enough is Sanātana Dharma (eternal religious law), a more correct form of the popular & often misused term Hinduism.  To me this implies that there is always some proper thing I should be doing, instead of giving in to the pressures of society and the materialism of the world around me.

A primary goal of bhajan is to cleanse the mind, and like other purification techniques of Indian religious culture, that involves making an offering of the mind itself… like the food offerings in a Vedic sacrifice.  Our teacher also suggested bhajan is a contraction of bhajatam (rendering devotional service) and manas (mind).

She went on to say that the five asuras, forces like anger and envy which beset all of our minds like demons, are driven away by bhajan, which also can be compared to a protocol for re-connecting with the Supreme in something like our primeval state in which our material body is less predominant, providing a bridge to self-realisation.  A popular term appropriated by our teacher is that we are upgrading ourselves.

These philosophical ideas were woven tightly with our practical instruction, which began with the Bengali hymn Jaya Radha Madhava describing the pastimes of Lord Krishna on the holy ground of Vrindavan in the presence of His family, friends, and beloved associates.  We all went around the room by stages learning the correct wording, pronunciation and notes of the melody, then finished with a short and gentle kirtan session at the end.

The bhajan class will be beneficial for anyone interested in the music of our temple programmes such as our Sunday Feasts as well as visitors who are interested in a calm, respectful and gently paced introduction to the devotional music of Indian culture.

NOTE: This class is currently suspended until further notice.

Newsletter April 2013

Dublin Krishna Temple Newsletter April 2013

Newsletter April 2013dear Devotees: Hare Krishna and welcome to the inauguration of our web site blog!  The most recent news is our printed newsletter itself, conceived & designed by Bhakta John & delivered at our last Sunday Feast.

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bhajan on the green with Sanghamitra devi

Bhajan class: Krishna’s traditional songs of praise

bhajan on the green with Sanghamitra devi

Bhajan are loving songs & musical stories about divine personalities, particularly Lord Krishna.  The word bhajan literally means worship in Sanskrit, though most often used for music in which devotees express their love for the Supreme and desire for self-realisation:

Indian: So then I go in bhajan, wash out everything; I feel myself that there is only soul, no body. And then you see a man who sings or who are present, you see, they are also not their body. Simply soul.
Prabhupāda: Yes, forget all material… Yes.A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada,Lecture on BG 2.1 — Ahmedabad, December 7, 1972

{emailcloak=off}Our bhajan class brings the study of bhajan in the Vaishnava tradition into our Temple environment, with the following subjects of study:

  • singing with correct pronounciation & intonation, with explanation of true word meanings in Sanskrit and Bengali
  • ślokas & stories of Krishna pastimes, possibly with dance & dramatic interpretations
  • instrumental music for kirtan: harmonium, scales (raga) & articulation

As with all philosophy classes, the bhajan class will be free of charge and open to the public. No prior musical or philosophical background is necessary and new students are welcome to join at any time.  

This class is currently suspended until further notice, for personal reasons. The instructor hopes to resume the class when possible.

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young Krishna with flute

Dublin Krishna Temple: Photos, Audio, Videos & YouTube

young Krishna with flute

Have a video link to contribute?

Please email webservant@krishna.ie and we’ll add it to our site and/or YouTube pages.

  • Just ask if you have a temple video on your mobile phone or camera, and we’ll help you upload & share it with everyone!

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krishna says thank you

Thank you for your contribution

krishna says thank you

Dear Devotee:

Thank you kindly for your appreciation and constructive support.  If you need any additional verification of your contribution please contact dublin@krishna.ie.

We look forward to seeing you at our Dublin Temple programmes for many days to come while we continue our fundraising efforts.  If have not yet visited our Volunteer page, please accept our humble request to do so.

Your servants,

The Dublin Temple Committee

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