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GURU PRASAD SWAMI – DEFENDING THE INDEFENSIBLE

 

Guru Prasad Swami Child Abuser Defender ISKCON Hare Krishna

Dhanurdhara Swami ISKCON Hare Krishna Child Abuser

This is a transcript and translation of a recorded message sent (in Spanish) by Guru Prasad Swami to his disciples, regarding the online petition asking the International GBC to reject Dhanurdara Swami’s request to be reinstated in ISKCON.

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“Hare Krishna.  Please accept my blessings. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.  I am in the middle of GBC meetings, but I know that you and other devotees are giving opinions regarding Dhanudhar Maharaja. I am sending this message, then you can share it. Not in Facebook, but with those devotees who have been commenting. Because it is my duty to oversee that my disciples and devotees in general do not commit offences against vaisnavas.

I know Dhanudhara Swami since 1975; every time I visited Vrindavan, I used to stay with him at gurukula’s accommodation; I saw his behavior, how he contributed academically, I saw his brahminical nature.

Almost everything they are saying about him is not true; there was another devotee, his name was Raghunath. He hit devotees sometimes. He was the person who pushed a devotee against a column and broke his nose. He was the person who hit devotees. He was the person who chastised using sticks. He was the person who forced devotees to eat vomit.  Dhanudhara Swami didn’t do anything like that.

He committed some mistakes.  His mistakes were: Once, maybe twice, he pushed a devotee. That devotee fell and hurt his arm a bit, but that was not his intention.

And those children were out of control, coming from broken families, carrying very serious psychological issues; I saw them.  He told me about them, he asked me what to do with them. Some of those families didn’t care for their children.

He also made the mistake of censuring the exchange of mail communication with their families, to avoid having the children expose the situation of the gurukula.  His intention was to solve everything internally. That was his mistake.

He did many mistakes, but he didn’t do these things they are commenting.  I believe that those who are criticizing him, really don’t know him and are committing offences.

Dhanudhara Swami brought to ISKCON, two hundred or two hundred fifty persons in USA, India and Italy. Highly qualified people. His followers are more qualified than followers of any other preacher.  They are bank managers and powerful executives. The quality of his preaching is incredible.

So, I am just warning, please be careful, better you put more emphasis and attention chanting the Maha Mantra, spending less time on Facebook giving opinions regarding situations that you don’t know about. Many times, the information from the internet is exaggerated or false. Please be careful.

Thanks.  I hope you are well.  Receive my blessings from Mayapur.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada, Sri Guru and Gauranga.”

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This transcript from Guru Prasad Swami is an extraordinary synopsis of the false narrative Dhanurdhara Swami has been sharing with his followers.

It’s not new. We’ve been hearing bits and pieces of this dog whistle and gaslighting commentary for nearly three decades.

What’s unique is this is the first time we have verifiable proof this is what they’ve been saying.

Let’s analyze a few key parts.

  1. Here’s what Guru Prasad Swami says about Dhanurdhara Swami:

“I know Dhanurdara Swami since 1975… Almost everything they are saying about him is not true… Dhanudara Swami didn’t do anything like that… He committed some mistakes…  His mistakes were: once, maybe twice, he pushed a devotee… I believe those that are criticizing him don’t know him and are causing offenses…”

Juxtapose that with a 2006 report from ISKCON’s legal counsel, who worked on the bankruptcy case for six years:

“As a result of the litigation in Texas, and the 600-plus claims filed in the bankruptcy court, we now have a vast body of information (evidence) that was not available in 1999. Although much was known with respect to allegations of physical and mental child abuse by Dhanurdhara Swami at the Vrindavan gurukula, we now have even more information than we had at that time. Based upon this additional information, it is now unequivocally clear to ISKCON’s legal team that the damage inflicted by Dhanurdhara Swami was significantly greater than that which was known in 1999. In fact, Dhanurdhara Swami is named as an abuser in the bankruptcy claims far more than any other person.”

For emphasis, I’ll repeat the last sentence to make sure we catch the significance:

“In fact, Dhanurdhara Swami is named as an abuser in the bankruptcy claims far more than any other person.”

The report concluded:

“We have seen and reviewed firsthand the claims filed in the bankruptcy court documenting the severe abuse inflicted on the Vrindavana gurukula children by Dhanurdhara Swami, as well as the CPO information. From a legal standpoint, we have no doubt that these claims are legitimate.”

  1. Guru Prasad Swami says this about the pioneer generation of children raised in ISKCON’s Gurukulas:

“And those children were out of control, coming from broken families, carrying very serious psychological issues; I saw them. He told me about them, he asked me what to do with them. Some of those families didn’t care for their children.”

Here’s a small sampling of what Srila Prabhupada said about these same children:

“If we are able to make a whole generation of our children into fine Krishna Conscious preachers, that will be the glory of our movement and the glory of your country as well. But if we neglect somehow or other and if we lose even one Vaisnava, that is very great loss.” – Prabhupada Letter to Stoka Krsna 1972

“These children are given to us by Krishna, they are Vaisnavas and we must be very careful to protect them. These are not ordinary children, they are Vaikuntha children, and we are very fortunate we can give them chance to advance further in Krishna Consciousness. That is very great responsibility, do not neglect it or be confused. Your duty is very clear.” – Prabhupada Letter to Arundhati 1972

In Guru Prasad Swami’s statement, we can see how the former students of the Vrindavan Gurukula are presented as damaged beyond repair, easily cast away and forgotten by leaders who place their priorities and values elsewhere.

  1. Contrast that with Guru Prasad Swami’s glowing descriptions of Dhanurdhara Swami and his disciples:

“I know Dhanudhara Swami since 1975; every time I visited Vrindavan, I used to stay with him at gurukula’s accommodation; I saw his behavior, how he contributed academically, I saw his brahminical nature.”

“Dhanudhara Swami brought to ISKCON, two hundred or two hundred fifty persons in USA, India and Italy. Highly qualified people. His followers are more qualified than followers of any other preacher. They are bank managers and powerful executives. The quality of his preaching is incredible.”

  1. I would like to give attention to the following sentence:

“Because it is my duty to oversee that my disciples and devotees in general do not commit offences against vaisnavas.”

I’ll briefly circle back to an earlier point.

Again, those who Srila Prabhupada affectionately referred to as his “Vaikuntha children,” seem to have little or no value to Guru Prasad Swami who, by saying this, inflicts even more damage to already severely abused Vaisnavas.

Meanwhile, the individual responsible for hundreds of documented vaishnava-aparadas and also “named as an abuser… far more than any other person” in ISKCON’s history, is made out to be the victim and – tragic hero – in Guru Prasad Swami’s faithful retelling of Dhanurdhara Swami’s false history.

  1. Next, I’d like to point out something quite revealing.

In one sentence there’s an assumption embedded so well, at first, I missed it:

“Dhanudhara Swami brought to ISKCON, two hundred or two hundred fifty persons in USA, India and Italy.”

Rather than be subject to GBC lifetime restrictions against holding any leadership position, including that of initiating guru, Dhanurdhara Swami left ISKCON in 2006, and has operated outside the organization ever since.

In 2020 Dhanurdhara Swami petitioned the GBC for re-admittance into ISKCON. The North American GBC and CPO both issued public statements declining his request. Rather than face the likelihood his request would also be denied at the international level, Dhanurdhara Swami withdrew his appeal, and remains outside ISKCON.

Knowing that, why would an ISKCON GBC member state “Dhanurdhara Swami brought to ISKCON two hundred or two hundred fifty persons?”

The best answer I can come up with is Guru Prasad Swami is one of the ISKCON leaders who publicly profess “Dhanurdhara Swami is out,” and privately act as if he’s really in.

  1. And, as I conclude this analysis, here’s one more thing I’d like to highlight:

I am floored by the audacity of Guru Prasad Swami, a senior Prabhupada disciple, ISKCON guru, swami and GBC, who holds several of the most respected and influential positions in our Society.

In the opening sentence he says, “I am in the middle of the GBC meetings…”

If you listen to the audio, he wasn’t kidding.

He was literally sitting in the 2020 Annual Mayapur GBC meetings, recording a message to his disciples, spreading a patently false narrative, in an ongoing effort protect and defend Dhanurdhara Swami, the #1 child abuser in ISKCON’s history.

Let the gravity of that to sink in for a moment…

Looking forward, here are some of my questions:

Does this represent the ISKCON we want to be a part of?

Does this reflect the best ISKCON has to offer?

Are we ok with this untenable behavior from ISKCON leaders?

What more can we do to make ISKCON a Society we are proud of?

Guru Prasad Swami Child Abuse ISKCON Dhanurdhara Swami

February 29, 2020 Posted by | Dhanurdhara Swami, Education, Gurukula, Gurukuli, Hare Krishna, ISKCON, Vaishnava, Vrindavan Gurukula | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Second Generation Drift From Hare Krishna Movement

Second Generation Drift From Hare Krishna Movement Many In The U.S.-born Second Generation Are Leaving The Cloistered Life For More Mainstream Pursuits.

By Kristin Holmes, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Posted: January 16, 1995

Gabe and Rupa Deadwyler, brothers born and raised in the Hare Krishna movement, recall their first unsteady steps outside the tightly prescribed lifestyle demanded by their faith.

Rupa, now 17, endured the taunts of his elementary school mates, who couldn’t understand a child who had never experienced television and did not know the words to “Jingle Bells.”

As a teenager, Gabe, now 24, hid his background from classmates and co- workers, retreating to the company of other Krishna children with whom he experienced a series of firsts – first cigarette, first beer, first “high.”

“A lot of people assumed that by us growing up in it, it would be such a great thing because we were exposed to it so young, and we would stay in it forever,” said Gabe, a Navy ensign whose parents live in Mount Airy. “But among the kids I know, a lot of them aren’t doing the temple thing.”

For the first time, the 29-year-old United States-based Hare Krishna movement is facing a dilemma confronted by many religions – how to keep its youngest members from losing faith.

It is likely to be one of the most sobering challenges of the movement’s short history in this country, a problem that is particularly acute because the Hare Krishna movement remains very much outside the mainstream of U.S. culture and religious beliefs.

“For all very marginal groups, it becomes very difficult when kids realize that there is a society out there and if they remain in the group, they remain outside of the society,” said Stephen N. Dunning, associate professor of religious studies at the University of Pennsylvania.

Hare Krishna is a monotheistic branch of the Hindu religion that was brought to the United States from India in 1965 by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Devotees believe that Krishna is God and seek to purify their bodies and minds to allow a spiritual relationship with God.

In the mid-1970s, there were between 5,000 and 10,000 devotees who lived a monastic life in U.S. and Canadian temples. Followers became known for their shaved heads, saffron-colored robes, drum- and cymbal-backed chanting on street corners, and solicitation in airports. Currently, there are about 50,000 devotees.

Most are congregational members who live and work outside the temple. They are less visible than in the past, choosing to forgo religious robes and shaved scalps. Many are immigrants from India.

The movement directs adherents to not eat meat; to avoid gambling and using intoxicants, including alcohol, drugs, cigarettes and caffeine; to engage in sex only within the confines of marriage, and then only on the day of the month when a woman is most fertile.

Strict devotees chant their mantras 1,728 times daily or 16 times on each of 108 japa beads, which are similar to rosary beads.

“As long as it’s expected that the stricter lifestyle is the only standard, it will be hard for the movement to keep a majority of its young people,” said Chaitanya Mangala dasa, former editor of a publication aimed at second-generation devotees.

There are approximately 500 to 1,000 second-generation Hare Krishnas ranging in age from 16 to 30 in the United States and Canada, Chaitanya said.

Most are in college, getting jobs, starting new families, and minimally involved in temple life.

Gabe and Rupa Deadwyler describe their participation as marginal.

Neither has taken the vows of the Hare Krishna movement, as their father, Ravindra Svarupa dasa, and mother, Saudamani, did 24 years ago as a young married couple living in Germantown. Yet both young men say that many of the faith’s teachings are deeply ingrained.

“I don’t think I believe that chanting ‘Hare Krishna,’ shaving your head and moving into a Krishna temple is the best and only way, but I also know that I’m not an average American. I’m definitely in the counterculture,” said Gabe, whose Sanskrit name is Yudhisthira, meaning “steady in battle.”

Gabe and Rupa’s parents, whose given names are William H. and Constance Jean Deadwyler, live in the Mount Airy temple that is the Philadelphia headquarters of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON). Ravindra, who joined the movement while studying for his Ph.D. in religion at Temple, is a member of the group’s international Governing Body Commission, and supervises temples in the east/central zone of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia.

The couple are strict devotees who wear traditional Krishna garb. Their sons are indistinguishable from most of their non-Krishna peers, right down to the holes in their jeans and socks.

“Like any parent, the idea is to raise a child, teach them slowly to be more and more independent, and that involves making their own choices,” said Saudamani. “When they are in our buildings, they have to follow the rules of ISKCON, but they are free citizens.”

Rupa, a student at Saul High School for Agricultural Science in Roxborough, lives in the temple with his parents. Gabe is stationed in Mayport, Fla.

His decision to join the armed forces was more practical than anything else – he wanted to get an ROTC scholarship to the University of Pennsylvania. Besides, he had seen the movie Top Gun and wanted to fly jets. The fact that his grandfather was an Army colonel probably had something to do with his choice, but Gabe isn’t sure how much.

“It’s very difficult to say you’re joining the Navy,” Gabe said. “I know some kids who started doing stuff that wasn’t necessarily part of being a devotee and their parents flipped out, and their relationship just fell apart. My parents haven’t done anything like that.”

As for following Krishna tenets, Gabe says that although he is vegetarian, in general, he “doesn’t follow the rules or go to temple,” but adds that he is on a spiritual quest.

Both Gabe and Rupa attended gurukulas, Hare Krishna boarding schools.

Typically, Krishna children are sent to same sex-schools at age 5, and live there most of their adolescent and teen years, said Burke Rochford, a sociology professor at Middlebury College, and author of Hare Krishna in America. Students have little contact with their parents during their years at the gurukulas.

During the 1980s, when many of the second-generation Krishnas were attending school, the movement went through its darkest times in the United States. It was plagued by internal political disputes, a dogged anti-cult movement, scandals and allegations of abuse that focused on the schools themselves. The result was a short-term loss of faith for some and a more lingering disillusionment for others.

“We had a lot of problems that were the product of immaturity of people who joined the movement,” said Ravindra, who helped to lead a reform movement that took over the Governing Body Commission in the late 1980s.

Neither of the Deadwyler brothers says he is disillusioned. They describe their boarding-school experience as a lesson in austerity – students lived in bare rooms with little more than a clothes trunk and a straw floor mat for sleeping in summer and a quilt for winters.

Students rose at 3:30 a.m. for a program of chanting, meditation and lecture, followed by breakfast, chores, academic and religion classes, and vocational training.

“It gave me a real foundation,” Gabe said. “A simple life is the best life. Contrary to popular opinion, you don’t need Nintendo to be happy.”

Gabe attended the school until he was 16.

Rupa left earlier, having grown tired of the rigor and constant fighting with his schoolmates. He rejoined his parents and began his secular school life in the third grade.

The transition from gurukula to life outside the faith was made with varying degrees of success, second-generation members say.

Gabe and Rupa’s adjustment was marked by periods of being ostracized, or feeling the need to hide their background. At 24, Gabe has never had a steady girlfriend. He isn’t sure if it is his upbringing or “dumb luck.”

But once introduced to pop culture, neither could get enough. Gabe says he overdosed on television and Madonna. A friend of Rupa’s gave him his first television, and his first movie, Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom, scared him to death.

The brothers are uncertain about their spiritual future. They value the Krishna consciousness with which they were raised, but neither is sure where they will end up.

Scholars, second-generation Krishnas and the movement’s leaders say the challenge is to provide alternatives and programs for young people.

“If you ban offer jobs and culture within the movement, they won’t want to go somewhere else. And right now, the choices are limited,” Ravindra said.

But many see hope in the evolution of the Krishna movement. Economic difficulties have forced followers out of the temple and into the workforce. The movement is based less on a communal, monastic temple life and more on a congregational one, where devotees live and work in a secular world and come to temple to worship. That could be, Chaitanya says, more attractive to young people.

“If there is a religion I choose, this will be it,” Rupa said. “I think it’s superior to others out there. But I don’t know if I’ll follow it the same way my mom and dad do.”

May 31, 2013 Posted by | Gurukula, Gurukula Alumni, Gurukuli, Gurukuli Related Topics @ Other Sites, Gurukuli Reunion, Gurukuli Websites, Hare Krishna, ISKCON, ISKCON Youth, Krishna, Vaishnava, Vaishnava Youth | , , , , | Leave a comment

New Vrindaban Rebuilds, Sees Bright Future Ahead

New Vrindaban Rebuilds, Sees Bright Future Ahead

Originally posted by Madhava Smullen for ISKCON News on 9 May 2013

New Vrindaban Board Members with Srila Prabhupada in his Palace of Gold

Established in 1968 in West Virginia, New Vrindaban was ISKCON’s first rural community.

Over the following years, the pioneer community made a series of  well-documented mistakes in its early attempts, going through some of ISKCON’s  darkest and most difficult times. Resources were affected, but most of all  people—many of whom left the community.

Still, a skeleton crew remained through the toughest times, working through the repercussions and doing their best to correct the errors of the past.

In more recent times, there has been renewed energy to rebuild New Vrindaban and to turn it into the exemplary self-sufficient, Krishna conscious community  that Srila Prabhupada envisioned.

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May 11, 2013 Posted by | Animal Protection, Bhakti, Bhakti Yoga, Brijabasi Spirit, Cow Protection, ECOV, Hare Krishna, ISKCON, Kirtan, New Vrindaban, Prabhupada, Vaishnava | Leave a comment

Second Generation to Share and Inspire at German Kulimela

KM13 Germany

Second Generation to Share and Inspire at German Kulimela

By Madhava Smullen for ISKCON News on 3 May 2013

Between 300 and 500 gurukulis—members of ISKCON’s second generation—are expected to gather at this year’s Kuli Mela in Germany from August 7th to 11th.

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May 5, 2013 Posted by | Bhajan Kutir, Bhakti, Bhakti Yoga, Ghost Brothers, Gurukula, Gurukula Alumni, Gurukuli Related Topics @ Other Sites, Gurukuli Reunion, Gurukuli Websites, Hare Krishna, ISKCON, ISKCON Youth, Kirtan, Krishna, Kuli, Kuli Mela, Kuli Mela Association, Kulimela, Kulimela Germany 2013, Prabhupada, Vaishnava, Vaishnava Websites, Vaishnava Youth | Leave a comment

ECOV: A CALL TO SERVICE IN NEW VRINDABAN

ECOV Logo

ECOV: A CALL TO SERVICE IN NEW VRINDABAN

Originally posted by Chaitanya Mangala on Brijabasi Spirit 03 April 2013

At the start of 2013 ECOV began asking devotees to share their ideas for projects they’d like to make happen in New Vrindaban. We are repeating this request and reminding everyone that ECOV is open to funding projects in and around New Vrindaban that have a clear community benefit and are consistent with our mission (see below).

Since putting the word out in January, we are pleased to report that we are currently supporting the following programs:

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April 12, 2013 Posted by | Animal Protection, Brijabasi Spirit, ECOV, Education, ISKCON, Krishna, New Vrindaban, Prabhupada, Vaishnava | Leave a comment

Global Kirtan for Yamuna Gears up Amidst Political Breakthroughs

Global Kirtan for Yamuna Gears up Amidst Political Breakthroughs

Originally posted by Madhava Smullen for ISKCON News on 15 Feb 2013

Second generation ISKCON devotees working with the Kuli Mela AssociationGlobal Kirtan for Yamuna River 3.1.13 are calling out to friends and ISKCON temples all over the world to join in a Global Kirtan for the Yamuna river on March 1st.

It’s the second time the worldwide prayer will be held for the beleaguered holy river, after the hugely successful January 30th, 2010 kirtan, which saw 130 groups participating along with prominent kirtaniyas Aindra Babaji, Shyamdas Ji, Radhanath Swami, Jai Uttal, Gaura Vani, Karnamrita, and The Mayapuris.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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February 17, 2013 Posted by | As Kindred Spirits, Bhajan, Bhakti, Bhakti Yoga, Ghost Brothers, Global Kirtan, Hare Krishna, ISKCON, Kirtan, Krishna, Kuli Mela, Kuli Mela Association, Kulimela, Mayapuris, Vaishnava | Leave a comment

New Zealand’s Kuli Mela Aims for Unity, Love and Devotion

New Zealand’s Kuli Mela Aims for Unity, Love and Devotion

An article written by Madhava Smullen for ISKCON News and originally posted on December 7th, 2012.

Kuli Mela New Zealand organizers Saraswati Howie and Vrinda Taylor

Kuli Mela has already hit the US, Europe, Russia and Australia. And now, the festival that aims to unite and inspire those who have grown up in the Hare Krishna movement is coming to New Zealand.

 

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December 21, 2012 Posted by | Bhajan, Bhajan Kutir, Bhakti, Bhakti Yoga, Gurukula, Gurukula Alumni, Gurukuli, Gurukuli Reunion, Hare Krishna, ISKCON, ISKCON Youth, Kirtan, Kiwi Mela, Krishna, Kuli, Kuli Mela, Kuli Mela Association, Kulimela, Kulimela New Zealand, New Varshana, Prabhupada, Vaishnava, Vaishnava Youth | Leave a comment

Golden Age – Global Kirtan & Kulimela Association Featured In Bhakti Beat Magazine!

Golden Age - Global Kirtan

End of the World? Chant Louder.  Where’s the Bhav on 12.21.12?

An article written by Brenda Patoine for Bhakti Beat and originally posted on December 20th, 2012.

It’s been the subject of scholarly study, doomsday prophesizing and New Age philosophizing alike for…well, pretty much forever.  It’s inspired countless books,  millions of articles, a major motion picture, and more than a few good cartoons.  Whatever your beliefs are about 12.21.12 — the end of the world, the beginning of a new world, or none of the above – one thing is clear:  the occasion is being marked worldwide with consciousness-raising events focused on prayer, meditation, and yes, kirtan.  Along with more than a few end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it blow-out bashes.

 

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December 20, 2012 Posted by | Bhakti, Bhakti Yoga, Global Kirtan, Hare Krishna, Kirtan, Krishna, Kuli, Kuli Mela, Kuli Mela Association, Kulimela, Vaishnava | Leave a comment

KulimeLA 2009: Bhima Karma Performs “Turned Around” at the Ford Theater in Hollywood

A 3 minute video of Bhima-Karma Saragrahi‘s dramatic, uplifting and introspective rendition of his poem “Turned Around.” He delivered it during the KM09 Gala Evening at the Ford Theatre in Hollywood.

In the ancient Sanskrit language, “Kuli Mela” is “A Celebration of Community.”

The main theme for KulimeLA 2009 was to “Honor the Past, Celebrate the Present & Envision the Future.”

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Los Angeles Gurukuli Reunion, the John Anson Ford Amphitheater, nestled in the Hollywood Hills, was chosen as an ideal location for Kulis to come together to acknowledge their collective history and appreciate the many accomplishments of the pioneer Gurukulis throughout the past two decades.

Dressed in formal and elegant attire, approximately one thousand Vaishnavas gathered to walk the red carpet and participate in an amazing evening that beautifully showcased “A Mosaic of Our Generations.”

CLICK HERE to check out the growing Kuli Mela video and audio selections on Krishna.com.

The Kuli Mela Association is a 501(C)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to connect our diverse and dynamic global community. We believe that by encouraging each other along our individual paths and by serving together in our shared goals we can make a positive difference in the world.

For more information please visit our KMA Facebook Page.

June 14, 2011 Posted by | Gurukula, Gurukula Alumni, Gurukuli, Gurukuli Reunion, Hare Krishna, ISKCON, ISKCON Youth, Kirtan, Krishna, Kuli, Kuli Mela, Kuli Mela Association, Kulimela, Prabhupada, Vaishnava, Vaishnava Youth | Leave a comment

KulimeLA 2009: Ananta Vrindavan Performing A Capella at the Ford Theater in Hollywood

Video of Ananta Vrindavan singing an a capella combo of “Je Anilo Prema Dhana” & “It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday” during the KulimeLA 2009 Gala Evening at the Ford Theater in Hollywood. He dedicated his performance to “the memory of loved ones we’ve lost as a way to invoke their presence in our hearts.”

In the ancient Sanskrit language, “Kuli Mela” is “A Celebration of Community.”

The main theme for KulimeLA 2009 was to “Honor the Past, Celebrate the Present & Envision the Future.”

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Los Angeles Gurukuli Reunion, the John Anson Ford Amphitheater, nestled in the Hollywood Hills, was chosen as an ideal location for Kulis to come together to acknowledge their collective history and appreciate the many accomplishments of the pioneer Gurukulis throughout the past two decades.

Dressed in formal and elegant attire, approximately one thousand Vaishnavas gathered to walk the red carpet and participate in an amazing evening that beautifully showcased “A Mosaic of Our Generations.”

CLICK HERE to check out the growing Kuli Mela video and audio selections on Krishna.com.

The Kuli Mela Association is a 501(C)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to connect our diverse and dynamic global community. We believe that by encouraging each other along our individual paths and by serving together in our shared goals we can make a positive difference in the world.

For more information please visit our KMA Facebook Page.

June 1, 2011 Posted by | Bhajan, Gurukula, Gurukula Alumni, Gurukuli, Gurukuli Reunion, Hare Krishna, India, ISKCON, ISKCON Youth, Kirtan, Krishna, Kuli, Kuli Mela, Kuli Mela Association, Kulimela, Prabhupada, Vaishnava, Vaishnava Youth | Leave a comment

KulimeLA 2009: Mela Video Montage Shown at the Ford Theater

A video montage featuring highlights of KM06 – New Vrindaban, KM07 – Alachua, KM07 – Moscow & KM08 – Radhadesh, shown during the KulimeLA 2009 Gala Evening at the Ford Theater in Hollywood. 

In the ancient Sanskrit language, “Kuli Mela” is “A Celebration of Community.”

The main theme for KulimeLA 2009 was to “Honor the Past, Celebrate the Present & Envision the Future.”

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Los Angeles Gurukuli Reunion, the John Anson Ford Amphitheater, nestled in the Hollywood Hills, was chosen as an ideal location for Kulis to come together to acknowledge their collective history and appreciate the many accomplishments of the pioneer Gurukulis throughout the past two decades.

Dressed in formal and elegant attire, approximately one thousand Vaishnavas gathered to walk the red carpet and participate in an amazing evening that beautifully showcased “A Mosaic of Our Generations.”

CLICK HERE to check out the growing Kuli Mela video and audio selections on Krishna.com.

The Kuli Mela Association is a 501(C)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to connect our diverse and dynamic global community. We believe that by encouraging each other along our individual paths and by serving together in our shared goals we can make a positive difference in the world.

For more information please visit our KMA Facebook Page.

May 23, 2011 Posted by | Gurukula, Gurukula Alumni, Gurukuli, Gurukuli Reunion, Hare Krishna, ISKCON, ISKCON Youth, Kirtan, Krishna, Kuli, Kuli Mela, Kuli Mela Association, Kuli Mela Association - Alachua Chapter, Kulimela, New Raman Reti, New Vrindaban, Prabhupada, Radhadesh, Vaishnava, Vaishnava Youth | 1 Comment

Srila Prabhupada’s Vision For New Vrindaban (in his own words)

Srila Prabhupada’s Vision For New Vrindaban:

Compiled by Chaitanya Mangala Dasa

1. Cow Protection.

2. Sustainable Agriculture.

3. Simple Village Life.

4. A Place of Pilgrimage in the West.

5. A Place of Higher Learning.

6. Above All, a Place for People to Develop Their Love for Krishna.

1. Cow Protection:

“Krishna by His practical example taught us to give all protection to the cows and that should be the main business of New Vrindaban.” Letter to Hayagriva — 14 June, 1968

“Therefore the special feature of New Vrindaban will be cow protection, and by doing so, we shall not be loser.” Letter to Hayagriva — 14 June, 1968

“Therefore, my special request is that you should try to maintain as many cows as possible in your New Vrindaban.” Letter to Kirtanananda — 24 June, 1969

“The cow is so wonderful and valuable in society. But you should also use the bulls by engaging them in tilling the ground. People may call this the primitive way but it is very practical for engaging the bulls – have them work in cart loading, transporting, etc…” Letter to Kirtanananda — 7 January, 1974

“If you give the right protection to the cows, then they will give so much milk, that the ground of New Vrndaban will be muddy with milk.” Letter to Kirtanananda — 31 May, 1975

2. Sustainable Agriculture:

“The whole idea of New Vrindaban is that men who are living there should produce their own food, of which milk is the principal thing.” Letter to Kirtanananda — 31 July, 1969

“So these duties are there in New Vrindaban, and we shall have to live there self independently, simply by raising cows, grains, fruits, and flowers.” Letter to Kirtanananda — 12 January, 1969

“Agriculture and protecting cows, this is the main business of the residents of Vrindavan, and above all simply loving Krsna.” Letter to Kirtanananda — 27 July, 1973

3. Simple Village Life:

“Yukta Vairagya, means that we should simply accept the bare necessities of our material part of life, and try to save time for spiritual advancement. This should be the motto of New Vrindaban.” Letter to Hayagriva — 14 June, 1968

“It may be an ideal village where the residents will have plain living and high thinking.” Letter to Hayagriva — 14 June, 1968

“New Vrindaban does not require to be modernized because Krishna’s Vrindaban is transcendental village.” Letter to Hayagriva — 14 June, 1968

“Go on acquiring the surrounding lands and in this way we will establish a local self-governing village and show all the world a practical example of spiritual life as Krishna Himself exhibited in Vrindaban.” Letter to Kirtanananda — 27 July, 1973

4. A Place of Pilgrimage in the West:

“I understand the spot is very beautiful, and the hills may be renamed as New Govardhana. And if there are lakes, they can be renamed as Syamakunda and Radhakunda.”  Letter to Hayagriva — 14 June, 1968

“New Vrindaban should be taken up very seriously because actually I want to develop a replica of Old Vrindaban. I have got ambition to construct there 7 temples as follows: 1. Radha Madan Mohan, 2. Radha Govinda, 3. Radha Gopinatha, 4. Radha Damodara, 5. Radha Raman, 6. Radha Gokulananda, 7. Radha Syamasundara.” Letter to Hayagriva — 18 November, 1968

“So you have now taken charge of the sunrise of New Vrindaban. Our program is there for constructing seven temples.” Letter to Kirtanananda — 12 January, 1969

“Now I am hopeful that our New Vrindaban will be an exact replica of Vrindaban in India.” Letter to Kirtanananda — 18 February, 1970

“Therefore, I may once more request you to try your best to construct New Vrindaban an exact duplicate of Vrindaban, and that will give me the highest pleasure.” Letter to Kirtanananda — 18 February, 1970

5. A Place of Higher Learning:

“One Rupanuga Vidyapitha—that is a school for educating brahmanas and Vaisnavas.” Letter to Kirtanananda — 12 January, 1969

“You remark that in New Vrindaban the capacity is lacking for taking care of the children. If you can organize a higher level school of theology under your care, I shall very much appreciate it.” Letter to Rupanuga — 24 July, 1969

“Another important thing is our theistic school in New Vrindaban.” Letter to Hayagriva — 9 March, 1970

“Regarding using New Vrindaban land for building for the older Gurukula boys it is a very good idea.” Letter to Bali-mardana — 13 April, 1974

6. Above All, a Place for People to Develop Their Love for Krishna: 

“Agriculture and protecting cows, this is the main business of the residents of Vrindavan, and above all simply loving Krsna. Letter to Kirtanananda — 27 July, 1973

“The cows, the trees, the cowherd men and gopis, their chief engagement was loving Krsna, and in New Vrindaban we want to create this atmosphere and thereby show the whole world how practical and sublime our movement is.” Letter to Kirtanananda — 27 July, 1973


May 23, 2011 Posted by | As It Is, Education, Hare Krishna, India, ISKCON, Krishna, New Vrindaban, Philosophy, Prabhupada, Uncategorized, Vaishnava | Leave a comment

KulimeLA 2009: Goura Riggan Performs at the Ford Theater in Hollywood

Goura Riggan performs a Kathak dance during the KulimeLA 2009 Gala Evening at the Ford Theatre in Hollywood, CA.

In the ancient Sanskrit language, “Kuli Mela” is “A Celebration of Community.”

The main theme for KulimeLA 2009 was to “Honor the Past, Celebrate the Present & Envision the Future.”

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Los Angeles Gurukuli Reunion, the John Anson Ford Amphitheater, nestled in the Hollywood Hills, was chosen as an ideal location for Kulis to come together to acknowledge their collective history and appreciate the many accomplishments of the pioneer Gurukulis throughout the past two decades.

Dressed in formal and elegant attire, approximately one thousand Vaishnavas gathered to walk the red carpet and participate in an amazing evening that beautifully showcased “A Mosaic of Our Generations.”

CLICK HERE to check out the growing Kuli Mela video and audio selections on Krishna.com.

The Kuli Mela Association is a 501(C)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to connect our diverse and dynamic global community. We believe that by encouraging each other along our individual paths and by serving together in our shared goals we can make a positive difference in the world.

For more information please visit our KMA Facebook Page.

May 19, 2011 Posted by | Gurukula, Gurukula Alumni, Gurukuli, Gurukuli Reunion, Hare Krishna, India, ISKCON, ISKCON Youth, Kirtan, Krishna, Kuli, Kuli Mela, Kuli Mela Association, Kulimela, Vaishnava, Vaishnava Youth | Leave a comment

KulimeLA 2009: A Brief Review of “ISKCON’s Gurukula Experiment”

Bhima Karma & Tyaga Hebel share a 10 minute overview of “ISKCON’s Gurukula Experiment” during the KM09 Gala Evening at the Ford Theater. This presentation touches on many of the high (and low) lights of the past 40 years. 

In the ancient Sanskrit language, “Kuli Mela” is “A Celebration of Community.”

The main theme for KulimeLA 2009 was to “Honor the Past, Celebrate the Present & Envision the Future.”

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Los Angeles Gurukuli Reunion, the John Anson Ford Amphitheater, nestled in the Hollywood Hills, was chosen as an ideal location for Kulis to come together to acknowledge their collective history and appreciate the many accomplishments of the pioneer Gurukulis throughout the past two decades.

Dressed in formal and elegant attire, approximately one thousand Vaishnavas gathered to walk the red carpet and participate in an amazing evening that beautifully showcased “A Mosaic of Our Generations.”

CLICK HERE to check out the growing Kuli Mela video and audio selections on Krishna.com.

The Kuli Mela Association is a 501(C)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to connect our diverse and dynamic global community. We believe that by encouraging each other along our individual paths and by serving together in our shared goals we can make a positive difference in the world.

For more information please visit our KMA Facebook Page.

May 16, 2011 Posted by | Gurukula, Gurukula Alumni, Gurukuli, Gurukuli Reunion, Hare Krishna, ISKCON, ISKCON Youth, Krishna, Kuli, Kuli Mela, Kuli Mela Association, Kulimela, Prabhupada, Vaishnava, Vaishnava Youth | Leave a comment

KulimeLA 2009: Krsangi Davis Performing at the Ford Theater in Hollywood

A newly released video of Krsangi Davis performing her “Spark of the Spirit” Dance during the KulimeLA 2009 Gala Evening at the Ford Theater in Hollywood, CA. 

In the ancient Sanskrit language, “Kuli Mela” is “A Celebration of Community.”

The main theme for KulimeLA 2009 was to “Honor the Past, Celebrate the Present & Envision the Future.”

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Los Angeles Gurukuli Reunion, the John Anson Ford Amphitheater, nestled in the Hollywood Hills, was chosen as an ideal location for Kulis to come together to acknowledge their collective history and appreciate the many accomplishments of the pioneer Gurukulis throughout the past two decades.

Dressed in formal and elegant attire, approximately one thousand Vaishnavas gathered to walk the red carpet and participate in an amazing evening that beautifully showcased “A Mosaic of Our Generations.”

CLICK HERE to check out the growing Kuli Mela video and audio selections on Krishna.com.

The Kuli Mela Association is a 501(C)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to connect our diverse and dynamic global community. We believe that by encouraging each other along our individual paths and by serving together in our shared goals we can make a positive difference in the world.

For more information please visit our KMA Facebook Page.

May 12, 2011 Posted by | Gurukula, Gurukuli, Gurukuli Reunion, Hare Krishna, ISKCON, ISKCON Youth, Kirtan, Krishna, Kuli, Kuli Mela Association, Kulimela, Prabhupada, Vaishnava, Vaishnava Youth | Leave a comment

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