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All Things Must Pass… Gone-vindas and the late Lotus
5 November 2009

Great news from Mayapur. Here’s a few photos I took today. As you can see, some major changes are taking place. The park is being cleared in preparation for the ground work to begin on the Temple of the Vedic Planetarium (TOVP).

There is a good deal of nostalgia for the park, the famous Lotus Fountain, the lawns and trees and flowers. Literally tens of millions of visitors (four million just during last year) have enjoyed the peaceful environs of the ISKCON Mayapur Candrodaya Mandir gardens and they have served us well. Still I can’t help but be elated in seeing the acceleration of the demolition as preparations gear up.

By January we hope to see the pile drivers in place and work on the foundations begin in earnest. In early February the entire GBC body will attend an inaugural ceremony to create an auspicious beginning for the works. If you are coming for Gaura Purnima, be prepared for some major changes!

The park area circa 1976

The park area circa 1976

Lotus Fountain -- the beginning (circa 1980)

Lotus Fountain -- the beginning (circa 1980)

Lotus Fountain -- the beginning

Lotus Fountain -- the beginning

And the end... November 2009

And the end... November 2009

After nearly 30 years of service, the Lotus Fountain goes under the hammers

After nearly 30 years of service, the Lotus Fountain goes under the hammers

30 years and millions of visitors later, the Lotus Fountain bids adieu

30 years and millions of visitors later, the Lotus Fountain bids adieu

All things must pass

All things must pass

Here’s the new perimeter demarking the boundary of the TOVP. These poles will be adorned with tin sheets and the whole area will be off limits to visitors while the construction goes on.

TOVP perimeter fence poles go in

TOVP perimeter fence poles go in

Take a last look, by Gaura Purnima this will be a solid fence

Take a last look, by Gaura Purnima this will be a solid fence

One place I was particularly glad to see dismantled was this:

Govinda's dhaba bites the dust

Govinda's dhaba bites the dust

Going, going, Gone-vinda's

Going, going, ...

Gone-vindas -- will be replaced with an new first class air conditioned restaurant


A new first class restaurant is under construction and will be operational within two months. It will comprise of three areas-Bengali cuisine, Indian cuisine, and an air conditioned full service Italian restaurant. Another area will be for snacks and take-aways so that sit down diners will not be disturbed. There will be three kitchens with different crews cooking for each one.

September 11 2008 – Q&A – observing Ekadasi
11 September 2008

September 11 2008 – Ekadasi and half day fast for Lord Vamanadeva’s Appearance

                                                Lord Vamanadeva                        fasting

My godbrother Vaisesika prabhu, stalwart book distributor from California, sent me this inquiry about ekadasi fasting a few days ago:

“Seems there is some confusion amongst our newer devotees here caused by a visiting devotee preaching that one must avoid cabbage on Ekadasi, otherwise one has not followed correctly.

“As I want to respond correctly to the body of devotees here, I’m checking with you first about Srila Prabhupada’s mood and instructions for following Ekadasi.

“I have always taken it that he wanted us to avoid grains, beans, dhal. I never heard him get into the long list of veggies that some gaudiyas avoid: tomatoes, cabbage, etc.

“My impression is that he considered fasting all day from even water to be a first class fast. However, he preferred that we take something simple (non grain, bean) and continue our preaching service.

“Can you help me with the mood, nuance of this topic according to SP so that I can respond with full authority and potency?”


I will do what I can prabhu.

Here’s a few ekadasi tales:

Read the rest of this entry »

16 August 2008

Saturday August 16 2008


On this auspicious day of Lord Balarama’s Appearance I would like to welcome you dear reader to the preliminary launch of

I hope you like this new website. This is a humble attempt to keep Srila Prabhupada in the forefront of our consciousness and provide a forum for expanding the glories of our beloved spiritual master.

This is my first photo with Srila Prabhupada, April 1, 1972.

From the left: Bhakta Harry aged 21 yrs. 4 months (c’est moi), Ajita dasa, Mohanananda dasa (temple president, 19 yrs. old – those were the days!) and Srila Prabhupada.

April 2 1972 - my first photo with Srila Prabhupada (I was still Bhakta Harry)

If I may, I recommend the ‘Audio’ section for lots of Prabhupada nectar, in particular the downloads from my seminar series “Srila Prabhupada The Living Bhagavatam” (SPLB) which I have been presenting in various countries around the world since 2004.

Based on my multi-volume book “A Transcendental Diary” (TD), the SPLB series is a thematic rather than chronological presentation of Srila Prabhupada’s lilas and philosophy. I have taken particular aspects of devotional life, such as Chanting, Prasadam, Writing, Cleanliness, Living in the Dhama, Health, Deities etc. and whatever His Divine Grace said or did on each particular topic I have compiled and categorized into some kind of order.

The result is a focused look at the different activities of devotional life, from many different angles of vision, all with Srila Prabhupada at the center.

I have not tried to present everything Prabhupada ever said or did on each topic, but just drawn from the period I was personally traveling with him, with a few exceptions. SPLB is a synopsis, but something I hope will give sufficient insight to inspire and educate the listener and bring them closer to understanding Srila Prabhupada’s desires and intent.

This ‘Blog’ is a running commentary of my travels and interactions with devotees around the world with particular focus on Srila Prabhupada. Its interactive — you can post comments, ask questions and join in with the Prabhupada katha.

In ‘Books you will find the various volumes of Transcendental Diary for sale, and later on other items will be added.

‘Videos’ of the SPLB are just now coming! They will be added shortly, as available.

‘Links’ provides access to other useful websites.

Any feedback is welcome. Feel free to share your Prabhupada stories with other readers and ask questions.

Your humble servant,

Hari-sauri dasa

August 14 in transit to Skopje, Macedonia
15 August 2008

August 14

Up at 2.45 AM, did my puja and then off to the airport at 4.30 AM for a 6.00 AM departure to Munich. No hassles this time. A couple of hours wait in Munich and another flight put me into Sophia at exactly midday. Ananda Caitanya and one brahmacari picked me up and we immediately set out for the Bulgarian/Macedonian border. I confess I was a bit dismayed when I saw the transport–a battered old Lada that sounded a bit like a tractor on a race track. It was over 90 degs. F outside and there was no air conditioning in it. Ah well, whatever the Lord supplies. Actually the passenger seat was quite comfortable and three hours and one speeding ticket later we arrived at the border. Read the rest of this entry »

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