iMonk Archive: 2005
Following his guru's instruction to travel and preach, the iMonk visits four continents — Europe, Asia, and the Americas — to try to represent the beautiful Krishna conception of Divinity that he received from his gurus, Srila Govinda Maharaj and Srila Sridhar Maharaj.
January 1st A New Year prayer
Feeling hopeless, understanding that his mind is his own worst enemy, the iMonk prays for the grace of Sri Guru and Vaishnava.
January 5th Service connection
Srila Gurudeva exhibits ill health, outwardly, to give us a further opportunity to serve him, to establish a connection with reality.
January 14th The toast of China
Yudhamanyu Prabhu brings Srila Gurudeva an unusual gift from one of his Chinese students... What will Srila Gurudeva say?
January 21st San Jose Ashram
Srila Gurudeva visits the recently purchased San Jose house on 17th Street that served as the Ladies Ashram for over a decade.
January 31st Madhusudan Maharaj
We were saddened by Madhusudan Maharaj's demise this week, but inspired by his sacrifice and dedication to the mission.
February 7th Service until the end
We are all bewildered when Srila Gurudeva unexpectedly blurts: "I want to die like Kumbakarna!" What does he mean?
February 14th Wonderful winter
Every day Srila Gurudeva gets stronger as he convalesces in the tranquil and idyllic country setting of the Seva Ashram in Soquel.
February 21st First Chinese disciples
We know that Mahaprabhu predicted that the Holy Name will be chanted in every town and village, but it is still amazing to see!
February 28th Srila Saraswati Thakur's mercy
"Srila Saraswati Thakur's preaching objective has been achieved: all over the world people are chanting the Hare Krishna mantra."
March 4th Has it really been six months?
Srila Gurudeva prepares to leave the Seva Ashram in Soquel...
March 7th The last weekend
The Seva Ashram is crowded on Srila Gurudeva's last weekend.
March 8th One last time
All the devotees surround the car taking Srila Gurudeva to the airport, as they sadly gather to wave goodbye... one last time.
March 16th As we were
iMonk wonders, "Did we really go to California for six months?"
March 20th Return to Navadwip
Srila Gurudeva's triumphant return to the holy dham.
March 21st Navadwip parikrama begins
Although still weak, Srila Gurudeva leads the parikrama to the Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math's main gate, as he does every year.
March 25th Golden Moon
Thousands of pilgrims gather in the Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math in Navadwip to celebrate the Golden Full Moon (Gaura Purnima).
March 26th Second anniversary
iMonk prays for the grace of Sri Guru and Vaishnava, "because who knows how long this mood of service will last?"
April 1st Unusual bank
The somewhat pretentiously named, "The State Bank of India."
April 4th Strange weather
Rain, high winds, and two thunderstorms... okay. But snow?
April 7th Exodus
Two weeks after the festival, few pilgrims remain at the Math.
April 14th Soul-searching
If our sadhana does not change our consciousness, it is no more than a ritual. Krishna consciousness is not a ritual!
April 16th Welcome interruption
God is an abstraction to us, but Srila Gurudeva is real. Therefore Krishna says, "I am the guru." This is not blasphemy.
April 17th The road to Calcutta
The road to Calcutta is really quite good now... "Like the road to San Jose," Srila Gurudeva says with a smile.
April 22nd Rich man, poor man
What does a rich man keep and a poor man throw away? Read this anecdote then decide: who is rich and who is poor?
April 25th Response to 'Soul-searching'
Some emails in response to the Soul-searching blog.
April 29th What heat?
Why is the iMonk oblivious to the heat in Calcutta?
April 30th Does it get any better?
"Snotty" kids squeal "Eeew!" and "Yucck!" in disgusted delight!
May 2nd A fish out of water
Three traumatic tales from the iMonk's childhood:
From the beginning, it was obvious the little guy did not fit in...
May 4th Foul play on the farm
The young boy is horrified when fowl play turns to foul play...
May 6th You can't go back
There was a tiny puff! of feathers, and poof! the bird disappeared.
May 9th Exemplary behavior
Who still strives to serve Guru and Vaishnava to the best of their ability, despite their deplorable plight? A surprising answer.
May 16th One more week
With Srila Gurudeva in "the intimate closeness of his veranda"...
May 21st Miserly behavior
It seems that the mango trees are far more generous than their titular owner, who begrudges the devotees their fruit.
May 23rd From Calcutta...
The iMonk flies from India...
May 24th ...To Kiev
...to the Ukraine.
May 25th Taking to the streets
Chanting the maha-mantra in the streets of Kiev.
May 26th On the go
After two long days in Kiev...
May 27th Zapo—who?
...one tongue-twisting city name after the other.
May 28th Another day, another city
By car to Dnipropetrovsk for the weekend Harmony Festival.
May 29th Harmony in the park
"We will achieve harmony when we understand that everything exists exclusively for Krishna's enjoyment..."
May 30th Day of rest
iMonk takes a break... from blogging.
May 31st Aleks TV interview
A half-hour interview on the Wake Up With Aleks TV show.
June 2nd Readjusting my consciousness
In the guru-centric world, everything is properly adjusted; in the egocentric world, everything must be constantly readjusted.
June 4th To Donetsk — by bus
For the first time, iMonk travels to another Russian city by bus.
June 5th Another world
At a planetarium, iMonk explains that "reality exists not in the objective world without, but in the subjective world within."
June 8th Newspaper interview
Interview with a reporter from the Government Courier.
June 10th Another TV interview
Ten-minute segment on the local Channel 12 Wake Up! show.
June 13th Weekend in Kharkiv
Many contrary conceptions of Krishna consciousness duel for the minds of the local devotees, so some strong medicine is needed.
June 17th A week in Kiev
Public programs and nama-hatta gatherings all week in Kiev.
June 19th Orange revolution
Two sannyasis, in their bright saffron robes, take their own "orange revolution" (kirtan) to the streets of Kiev...
June 21st Avadhut Maharaj
Srila Gurudeva's letter extols Avadhut Maharaj's service.
June 23rd Overnight to Odessa
On the express train from Kiev to the Black Sea port of Odessa.
June 25th Where do they go?
My mission is not to make "new" devotees, but to enthuse and inspire the "old," existing devotees... but where are they?
June 27th Late nights
On the overnight train to the Crimean capital of Simferopol.
June 28th Crimean scene
Sankirtan on the Lenin promenade, alongside Yalta Bay.
June 30th The simple life
The charm of the Krishna conception of Divinity is that God, in His original form, is a simple village cowherd boy.
July 1st Three capitals in three days
iMonk's long three-day train journey from Simferopol (Crimea) to Moscow (Russia), via Kiev (Ukraine).
July 2nd Meeting in Moscow
Reunion of three sannyasis godbrothers.
July 8th White nights
The famous "white nights" of Saint Petersburg.
July 21st Preparing for the festivals
Getting ready for the EthnoLife and Vaishnava festivals.
July 28th EthnoLife 2005
The first day of the multi-cultural EthnoLife 2005 festival.
July 29th In the 'forest'
"Roughing it" in the so-called forest :)
July 31st Enormous success
25,000 attend a festival of cultural, religious and racial diversity in an ecologically friendly, drug and alcohol-free environment.
August 5th Union in separation
Honoring Srila Sridhar Maharaj on his disappearance day.
August 14th Two weekend festivals
The Vaishnava and Mysterious India festivals in Moscow.
August 21st Vaishnava Festival
The annual, ten-day Vaishnava Festival in Saint Petersburg.
August 27th Krishna's birthday
God has a birth day?! Something to think about...
September 4th Good fortune
If Navadwip is more than a geographical location, somewhere we can travel to by conventional means... how do we go there?
September 11th Radhastami
Who is Srimati Radharani, and why do we worship Her?
September 15th Return to California
Leaving Srila Gurudeva's holy lotus feet, the iMonk embarks on a retrograde journey... from a guru-centric to an egocentric world.
September 16th Perspective
While devotees were celebrating one of the most special, sacred days of the year, the rest of the world celebrated... What?
September 23rd You go, girl!
You have to admire Damayanti's courageous decision to go live in Navadwip. Such a young girl making such a noble attempt!
September 30th Berkeley nama-sangha
There is so much potential in this modest beginning...
October 6th Keeping it real
What do these people know about yoga? They have reduced it to a physical travesty! But what we are giving is real: bhakti yoga.
October 9th Reaching out
These little nama-sangha (spiritual outreach) programs provide a cozy setting to enliven and be enlivened by the devotees.
October 21st The path not taken
The iMonk is reminded of D.H. Lawrence's dilemma in the poem, Snake, when he encounters this inscrutable creature in his path.
October 30th Rats!
We are forced to do so many horrible things — often against our will — just to have a reasonably comfortable existence...
November 7th Going to hell
Graphic scriptural descriptions of the "horrors of hell" help us to more fully appreciate the self-sacrifice and devotion of the Gopis.
November 14th Eternity
How long is eternity? Before reading Father Carey's vivid analogy — beware! It will (literally and figuratively) blow your mind!
November 21st The horror!
As young Roman Catholic boy, the iMonk was not as scared of going to hell for all eternity as he was of going... to heaven!
November 30th Curious questions
A young Catholic boy, preparing for his first Holy Communion, is baffled by one of the Ten Commandments. What does it mean?
December 7th Questions (and answers)
The Bhagavad Gita is a primer on Vedic knowledge, yet it can answer almost all your questions. Read it again for the first time.
December 14th What is real?
Is the world really an illusion? Is the mind in the world, or is the world in the mind? How can we know what is real and what is not?
December 17th Hopeless...
We cannot see spirit because we rely on our senses ("seeing is believing"). Only faith will help us to see ("believing is seeing").
December 19th Lucky stars
Guru is always with us. When one light is extinguished, another takes its place, to continue to guide us, to keep lighting our way.
December 30th Back to Venezuela
The iMonk flies to Caracas with Janardan Maharaj.
December 31st New Year's eve
In Venezuela, the old year goes out with a bang!
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