The Maha Mantra is composed of Divine names: 'Hare' - the divine feminine; 'Krishna' - the all-attractive; 'Rama' - the reservoir of all pleasure. These divine names clean the mirror of the heart, removing the dust and grime of misconception and false identity; allowing us to see our true reflection. The divine names are compared to a monsoon cloud, deep, beautiful and heavily laden with cooling rain, able to fully extinguish the ‘maha-davagni’ the blazing forest fire of material suffering. In the same way that monsoon rains quench the parched earth and bring verdant life back to the forests and plains, the sacred names revive the heart that has been thirsty for time immemorial. The saint and divine avatar, Shri Chaitanya, compares the heart to a Kairava flower: a night blooming lily that opens as the moon rises. As the beautiful moon of the divine names arise within the inner sky, the heart naturally opens, revealing its natural beauty and releasing its beautiful fragrance. The vibration of the sacred names awakens the innate beauty of the soul and uncovers our deepest potential.
Welcome to Episode Two of Off The Alter Podcast, with our very special guest Dhanya Rico. Dhanya Rico is a 2nd generation practitioner of Krsna Consciousness. She was born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela. Dhanya holds a Master’s degree in Counselor Education and holds a Specialist’s degree in Couples and Family therapy. She is passionate about developing therapeutic tools that incorporate Bhakti principles and practices as means of reconnecting with our essential nature. Dhanya is also a singer/songwriter and kirtan artist who has traveled the world sharing the message of Krsna Consciousness, performing her original musical compositions as well as collaborating with the renowned Kirtan group, Mayapuris. She currently lives in Alachua, Florida, as part of the ISKCON New Raman Reti community, where she serves as a member of the local Child Protection Team.
Bhagavat Seva, an ISKCON Silicon Valley project with the motto “Distributing Ancient Wisdom Through Education” is offering online Sunday School, and using the course fees to distribute full Srimad-Bhagavatam sets. Coordinators also hope that the program can be replicated by devotees in their local areas first nationwide, and eventually internationally.
For many years, Bhakti Sastri has been offered in person by organizations such as the Mayapur Institute for Higher Eductation (MIHE). Amid COVID-19 lockdowns around the world, however, a team led by GBC and ISKCON guru Bhakti Chaitanya Swami taught the course online, resulting in the largest number of graduates from one cycle of Bhakti Sastri yet.
On March 7th, 2021 a puja was held at the site of the new Krishna's Home, a devotee-centered Adult Care / Assisted Living Haven for ISKCON Devotees. Krishna's Home ACT is being constructed into a ten-bed assisted living facility. It was designed with Vastu Vedic alignment in mind, with one area of the large house designated for men and another for women's personal space, bedrooms, and bathrooms. People will gather in the spacious living room and dining room, which also has a separate space for worship. Construction on the project is set to begin immediately.
Renowned ISKCON author, Hridayananda Das Goswami, aka Howard Resnick, presents a spellbinding novel that scales literary heights while delivering a powerful Krishna conscious message. What if an ancient Sanskrit text holds the answers to today’s deepest problems? What if the past—the ancient past—can help us unlock both our present and our future?
Gardening has always been an important part of my family, especially for my father who took great pride in our well-maintained garden. As a child, and to a large extent, even as an adult, I have enjoyed the benefits of having a beautiful garden without having to put in any effort. In more recent years I have gradually taken on more responsibility in caring for the garden. In doing this I have realized how much work it actually takes to maintain it, and how much my father was doing. Similarly, in my Krishna Consciousness, for many years I have been enjoying so much facility in Krishna consciousness, benefiting from the mercy of guru, Prabhupada, and Krishna without having to endeavor for it. However, at some point, I have to take responsibility for my Krishna consciousness and maintaining my bhakti-lata-kripa.
‘Strengthening the Bonds that Free Us,’ a Grihastha Course that will teach devotees how to develop the insights and skills for a more meaningful, happy, and inspiring marriage will be offered online via Bhaktivedanta College from April 12th to May 16th. The course is facilitated by husband and wife Partha Das and Uttama Dasi, who have been married for the past fifty years.
Road to Vrindavan - online film premiere is available to stream March 30th, 8 PM - April 5th, 6 PM EDT https://watch.showandtell.film/watch/roadtovrindavan
Road to Vrindavan examines the importance of education for girls in India and the insight needed for tradition to be applied in ways that uplift rather than oppress its future.
- Online Premiere Information -
Dates: Available to stream March 30th, 8 PM - April 5th, 6 PM EDT
Cost: Free. A donation is strongly encouraged to support girl's educations at the Sandipani Muni School in Vrindavan, India.
Reviews: Described as "heartbreaking yet incredibly hopeful’" and "brave, honest, and beautiful."
Synopsis: On a life-changing journey across India, culture, and progress collide as a former Krishna monk re-examines traditional gender roles. Just as he is understanding the barriers girls face, he is hit with a challenge that sends him on a new line of discovery. Will education bring them true equality or simply transform them into caged butterflies? How do you ensure lasting change?
Joshua M. Greene (Yogesvara Das) interviews Cristina Casanova (Krishna Lila Dasi) about the confluence of Bhakti teachings and contemporary family and personal therapy.
- The pathologies that accompany a life of devotion
- Translating terms of devotion into modern clinical language
- Risks and rewards on the journey to selfhood
More information: https://gitawisdom.org
“India’s Book of Wisdom—The Bhagavata Purana”. See more from Bhagavata Purana Research Project here.
Destroyer of Sorrow, the epic conclusion to Vrinda Sheth’s Sita’s Fire trilogy based on the Ramayana, is set to be released by Mandala Publishing on April 20th. Hardbound and 336 pages long, the book features over ninety illustrations by Vrinda’s mother Anna Johansson (Annapurna Dasi) and is the culmination of a decade of work on the trilogy by the mother and daughter team.