Sunday, April 11, 2010

Remembering My friend Yuga Dharma

Copied from FB forum w/ comments threads below:
Sun at 9:37pm

Bhagavan wrote:

The picture you see is with my late friend Yuga Dharma. He passed away several years ago. Yuga had a great laugh that you could follow to his soul. He really loved his family. He really loved being with the Deities in Vrndavana. He could be really stubborn and irritable as well- but he would always come out of it more awake.

He had a struggle with his liver. Liver is the metaphysical seat of anger. With his struggle, he made me more aware of dealing with issues before they need to physically manifest in the body. All denied emotions find shelter in our body. I loved watching how Yuga's wife Srisha and his children, cared for him. Yuga was a very fortunate man.

The night before he passed away, Srisha called me to their home. He was breathing deeply- like a bellows, and his eyes had begun to move back and forth, back and forth. I stretched out and laid down beside him in his bed. His family gave me some alone time with him. I could understand- that he understood, this was a big event about to happen. I started reading to him from Jaiva Dharma. I told him everything was good, to relax and be cool. His breathing got more relaxed. Krsna was present.

I went home to sleep and when I woke up he was gone. I helped cover him and carry him out. Yuga was a good person to know. He made my heart expand.

Comments thread:

Peer Smits
Haribolo Bhagavan.das. PAMHO AGTSP All glorie to Sri Sri Radha and Sri Krishna.
Its a nice experience to be on the last moment from somebody who is leaving his body on earth. For both its a special moment to be togather. I only can wish that i have this wunderfull association on my last moment. Rearing from Krishna and surrounded from devotees. I was there if my grand mom ( 103 Year) was leaving here body. We diddent now here time was there, i was there whit my mother and my wife to show my Brand new son Narayan . We was telling here abouth the new boy and his name.....Narayan He he Grand mom..... this is Narayan..... That night she left here body. i was feeling honored to be there . It was a special place at a special moment.
Yesterday at 12:04am ·

Alexis Kriel
He must've been in a coma - with his eyes moving back and forth father had the same - it's quite surreal. I was with him when he died, and also with my late brother when he died and helped them both to pass on. I also considered it a great blessing to be alloowed into that sacred space when life and death meet.
Yesterday at 12:26am ·

Andreeva Maria
Yes, this moment is special...
Yesterday at 12:50am ·

Priya Sakhi
I had this opportunity many times in Sri Vrindavan Dham and is a wonderful experience to be able to "help" some body to his/her going back to godhead. Hariiibol!
Yesterday at 2:30am ·

Bhagavat Purana Das

¨But those who worship Me, giving up all their activities unto Me and being devoted to Me without deviation, engaged in devotional service and always meditating upon Me, having fixed their minds upon Me, O son of Pritha - for them I am the swift deliverer from the ocean of birth and death.¨

Bhagavad Gita 12.7
Yesterday at 3:29am ·

Priya Sakhi
Yesterday at 4:28am ·

Subhadra Hemphill
Such a nice reflection, Bhagavan.
I was with my husband's mother when she passed away a year ago this week.
I'm still imbibing the things I became aware of from that experience.
Krsna was really there for her, Shyamapriya... and that is the most important lesson I learned.
Yesterday at 6:17am ·

Yasoda Crystal Perry
very sweet.. He loved you
Yesterday at 7:37am ·

Chas D Lind
Yuga Dharma's left us? Just saw him in L.A. R.Y. couple years back. Very compassionate Ksatriya !!
Yesterday at 3:00pm ·

Srisa Dasi Carreras
His death was a bitter, sweet gift to his family who chanted the Holy Name for him with Prabhupada even after his last breath. Separation from a loved one gives a glimpse of what we should be feeling in separation from Krsna. The lessons never stop.
7 hours ago ·

Krishna Priya Jaharia
In 2004, the grandmother of my son-in-law died in the summer. The same evening the grandfather of my daughter passed away in Scotland. The day I went for the funeral of the grandmother, I heard that my eldest uncle was about to die, in hospital....and I had this terrible urge to want to see him one last time. After the funeral I hurried back to Amsterdam and went to see him. They had given him lots of sedatives and keeping his body warm. I sat there, holding his hand, chanting.....there was no apparent reaction.....but as soon as I got to the carpark...I felt his presence...later on I heard that exactly on that moment he had left his body. He was always very fond of me and I had the feeling he had waited for me to come...may his soul have found a better destination....and may your friend Yuga continue on his yourney back home, back to Godhead....

Thursday, April 1, 2010

TEMPLATE FOR A FRESH SOCIETY - The Following is a thought Process put together by myself and friends and is open to your input.

For those who want to contribute please quote the section so we can update and incorporate your points.

For those who agree or disagree with Srila Prabhupa for those who agree or disagree with me and for those who disagree with each other, here is an opportunity that we may agree on.

Please have the patience to read through, and in the end the field for cooperation and convergence is wide open.

Many years ago, I heard a "Prabhupada said". Some who have been around for a while might have heard it as well. It goes like this, "There may come a time when the temples are no longer here and books may not be so easily accessible. Your association with others of like mind may be limited. Then you will be on your own and your connection with Krsna will be tested". Whether this is the exact quote or not, the reality of a world and life as we have known it might become vastly different considering the spiritual, political, and economic realities that are clashing and heading towards Earth like fiery comets.

Pressures of scarce energy sources, growing environmental stress and disruption; an out of control rising population; vast inequalities of income; and world wide economies that are based on nothing other than imaginary accounting; are stark realities. They are the devolution spawned from Godless leadership and ignorant religions, that have been in control far too long.

Those who presently rule the world engage in a wanton destruction of nature. They propagate the illusion that consuming everything on Earth in the fire of raging greed is what it means to be alive and successful. They are setting fire to their house to stay warm. Pathology reigns. They measure success by GDP, gross domestic product that calculates how fast we consume all of the natural resources of the earth.

Prabhupada showed how to keep one foot in the spiritual world and one foot here. He was very well aware of the abuses of power going on in the world. He expected us to resolve our differences and get on with the real work of relieving the distress of the Earth-as Krsna did when she cried for Him. He wanted his people to be scientists and politicians, philosophers and philanthropists. He cried for the trees, he cried for the cows, he cried for the poor and unfortunate. He cried for us to wake up.

Men slaughter dolphins, thank God for the cow on their plates, mutilate the yonis of women and sell young girls into slavery and loveless marriages. Where ever we are today in this moment, whatever we have been through so far, our dharma now clearly is to cooperate in bringing about an alternative to domination by illusion and ill will.

May every one of us be empowered to bring about the change.

Going kinetic

In physics, potential energy or stored energy is its ability to develop or come into existence. Kinetic energy is released when the object is set in motion. In regards to what we are talking about, the maha mantra is supposed to set things in motion. Chanting, along with philosophical discussions and meditations set internal energies in motion. Being loving, is the pinnacle of expression of these practices. It is the kinetic, visible success of bhakti yoga.

However, too often instead of bhakti being a "full chakra experience" so to speak, information gets stuck in the head without even energizing the heart chakra. Thus whites are not allowed to see the Lord in Jagannath Puri, women are seen as inferior, 'devotees' use shastra to kill each other on the internet, and disciples perform guru bashing. At one temple the disciples of one guru were not even offered prasadam. And by the way, how are those who propagate rittvik philosophy so sure that Prabhupada even wants more disciples? Did you ask him if it was all right to keep piling on karmic responsibility?

The idea we imbibed from Prabhupada was to envision a God centered society that was broad in its scope of all varnas and not limited by monastic blinders or hierarchical complexes. I give again the example of Rupa Ragunnath who has done so much in setting up schools, clinics, food programs, etc in Vrndavana, but was criticized by certain sannyasis, as being outside of 'Prabhupada's vision' by performing mundane humanitarian work. As such he took his success outside of ISKCON but is loved by people all over Vrndavana.

Tonight we are taking the potential/kinetic paradigm to group discussion using a template of a Charter for our present time home planet and all her inhabitants. Yoga practitioners who have linked with Krsna's Heart and Mind, want to design a "world that works for all."

Reorganizing Society

Envision being isolated from all that is considered home, temple or sanctuary. You find yourself with a group of strangers looking to reorganize their lives. You have been practicing bhakti yoga for 40 years. What will you do to play your part in creating a new society? Here is something to organize your spirituality, intelligence, mind and heart.

For those who have been contributing to these dialogues this is a chance to work together for the common good. Your input might even be helpful to the betterment of ISKCON. What follows is a template we can work on together to design a Charter for a world that works for all. Contribute to whatever part you wish to write about:


We stand at a critical moment in Earth's history, a time when humanity must choose its future. As the world becomes increasingly interdependent and fragile, the future holds great peril and great promise.

We must recognize that in the midst of a diversity of cultures we are one human family and one Earth community with both a common spiritual and earth bound destiny. We live in a reality of being simultaneously one but different.

We must join together to bring forth a sustainable global society founded on respect for our common origin, nature, universal human rights, economic justice, and a culture of peace. Towards this end, it is imperative that we declare our responsibility to the Creator and the creation, to one another, to the greater community of life, and to future generations.


  • Recognition of our Common Origin
  • Respect of Earth and life in all its diversity.
  • Care for the community of life with understanding, compassion, and love.
  • Build democratic societies that are just, participatory, sustainable, and peaceful.
  • Secure Earth's bounty and beauty for present and future generations.
  • Follow a timeline to reduce fossil fuel dependency and usage.
  • Invest in Solar, Wind, and Bio-fuel technologies instead of War technologies.
  • A Declaration of Independence from the mind, false ego, and institutions of all kinds which foster divisiveness and superiority.

  • Protect and restore the integrity of Earth's ecological systems, with special concern for biological diversity and the natural processes that sustain life.
  • Prevent harm as the best method of environmental protection.
  • Adopt patterns of production, consumption, and reproduction that safeguard Earth's regenerative capacities, and community well-being.
  • Advance the study of ecological sustainability and promote the open exchange and wide application of this essential knowledge.

  • The first principle of artha, economic wellbeing, is that regardless of nation, race, or spiritual inclination, respect and honor for our Mother- the Earth is the first amongst laws.
  • Everyone has the right to a healthy, fulfilling life. As such no person or institution shall manipulate or enslave the mind or body of another to gain dominance. Those who create poverty are considered anti-earth.
  • As a needed step towards balance, animals must be protected from human insensitivity.
  • It is our responsibility, when increasing the size of the human community, to be accurate in understanding the requirements of loving parenthood.
  • Gender equality and equity are to be considered prerequisites to sustainable life.
  • Eradicate poverty as an ethical, social, and environmental imperative.
  • Ensure that economic activities and institutions at all levels promote human development in an equitable and sustainable manner.
  • Affirm gender equality and equity as prerequisites to sustainable development and ensure universal access to education, health care, and economic opportunity.
  • Uphold the right of all, without discrimination, to a natural and social environment supportive of human dignity, bodily health, and spiritual well-being, with special attention to the rights of indigenous peoples and minorities.

  • Strengthen democratic institutions at all levels, and provide transparency and accountability in governance, inclusive participation in decision making, and access to justice.
  • Integrate into formal education and life-long learning the knowledge, values, and skills needed for a sustainable way of life, advancement of spiritual harmony.
  • Treat all living beings with respect and consideration. Reduce the slaughter of animals to an absolute minimum.
  • Promote a culture of tolerance, nonviolence, and peace.
  • Provide transparency and accountability in government, religious or economic institutions.
  • Integrate into formal education and life-long learning the knowledge, values, and skills needed for a sustainable way of life in a God centered society.

  • Create a global alliance that ensures, through empowerment of resources and technology that each country promotes continuous improvement of human happiness through environmental integrity.
  • Create standard indicators for human and global happiness eg.
  • Life Expectancy Indicator
  • Life Satisfaction Indicator
  • Ecological Footprint Indicator
  • Ethnic and Religious Harmony Indicator
  • Crop, Flock and Herd Wellness Indicators
  • Create efficient trading route maps and calendars that insure minimal carbon footprint between production and consumers.
  • Manage Human Migration Opportunities to balance local resources with population density.

  • Empower a global body funded by corporations and financial Institutes through centralized global taxation; this body will invest in humanitarian happiness, equilibrium and environmental and ecological stabilization.
  • The fostering of Democratic Societies, that promotes the good of all.
  • To enter the field of business, an education in the sustainable use of natural resources, will be required.

  • Empower a Global Governing Body funded through Governmental taxation to Regulate Religious bodies, insuring and implementing religious and ethnic harmony and tolerance.
  • Eradicate religious fanaticism, hatred and bigotry through a Truth and Reconciliation Commission that allows a onetime Amnesty on conditions of reform.
  • Intelligent design should be the basis by which Theism and Atheism can coexist in search of Truth.
  • Care for all life by expressing our higher nature thru understanding, acceptance and compassion. Those who foster hate and profess a warring mentality are considered pathological.
  • In regards to religious or social practices, any group that fosters the vision of a common cause leading to the good of all and which generates peace, is acceptable.
  • The government’s responsibility is to protect against any group that fosters divisiveness and greed.


As never before in history, common destiny beckons us to seek a new beginning. This requires a change of mind and heart. It requires a new sense of universal responsibility. We must imaginatively develop and apply the vision of a sustainable way of life internally, locally, nationally, regionally, and globally.
We have much to learn from the ongoing collaborative search for truth and wisdom where cooperation must keep competition in check.

Life often involves tensions between important values. Even to find a non violent way to feed humanity will meet with great challenges. However, we must find ways to harmonize diversity with unity, the exercise of freedom with the common good, short-term objectives with long-term goals. Every individual, family, organization, and community has a vital role to play.

The arts, sciences, religions, educational institutions, media, businesses, nongovernmental organizations, and governments are all called to offer creative leadership. The partnership of government, civil society, and business is essential for effective governance.

Let ours be a time remembered for the awakening of a new reverence for the Supreme and all forms of life.

A Bridge Over Troubled Waters

Pam said, "to find a synthesis to these seemingly irreconcilable points of view is the challenge and is unheard of in GV circles." The only option for success is to climb to a higher vantage point and learn to see things as God sees. Otherwise what is the point of identifying with Krsna’s Consciousness? After all, Gauranga integrated Muslims, caste Brahmins and followers of different sampradayas. And for those who still have disturbance around who is a guru, Mahaprabhu's sannyasa guru was a Mayavadi.

Here is something to consider from our histories that shows how regardless of apparent indiscretions or contextually colored vision, greatness and truth can still be achieved. As the participants in these discussions have noted, the Founder Acarya of the movement from which we all took a spiritual birth, is not isolated from his critics. However, it should be noted by all, that before he came west with his personalized Bhagavad Gita, there were practically no western or European bhaktas.

Krsna's premise is that "every endeavor is covered by some kind of fault..." In this world, everything has denial mixed in with Truth, be it ever so small, that will affect the outcome of our endeavors. Please note this is presented without intent to offend……

Because we have consciously been connected to Krsna, we are the most contemporary chapters of the Mahabharata saga.

We can begin with Bhishma denying Amba's love, albeit it for a nobel purpose- to sooth the love stricken heart of his father. By shaming a righteous woman, her cosmic anger was allowed to reach Siva Himself, and (s)he became empowered to return as Sikhandi to kill him. Still, on the bed of arrows, he attracted Krsna to appear directly before him and listen to his discourse on dharma.

Out of social shame, Queen Kunti, denied her first-born son Karna. Because of her lack of acceptance, her oldest son went on to become the sworn enemy of his own brothers. Denial, born from social conditioning, covered her true feelings and created deadly resentment amongst her children. Still Queen Kunti remains Krsna's close associate.

Arjuna looked down upon Ekalavya, who without formal initiation by Drona, worshipped his guru via a mud figure in the jungle and became superior to Arjuna in talent. Arjuna, of Nara Narayana fame, complained to Drona that he was supposed to be the greatest archer and so caused the poor nishada's thumbs to be amputated. Still, without Arjuna there would be no Bhagavad Gita.

Later, when the competition came to test the prowess of Drona's students, Karna appeared uninvited into the arena, and again Arjuna was challenged. He secured his place only by belittling Karna's cast saying he was not fit by birth to challenge him. At that time it was none other than Duryodhana who spoke truth, that a person must only be understood and placed by his qualities and not by birth - the same truth that Caitanya fought for against the caste brahmins. Although Duryodhana was a heinous personality, some truth shone through.

The great Yudhistira, the embodiment of truth and dharma, gambled away his wife and family being affected by the social customs that a ksatriya can not back down from a challenge. He found himself being swept away by his addiction and denied his family's security allowing them to be banned to the forest. During their exile in the forest, Draupadi and Bhima criticized him and hurled insults at him for his recklessness. Still, he showed them the power of patience and led them to ultimate victory.

To master the art of fighting, Karna lied to his guru who then failed to recognize Karna's deep love for him, and so denied him success in battle by cursing him. Still, Radheya is known for his unsurpassed generosity.

Perhaps most outrageous of all, Bhishma, sat silently and denied Draupadi's honor, as she was being molested in front of a massive assembly. He further went on to fight against Krsna himself. Still he is known as a Mahajana.

Prabhupada would never see himself above these historic personalities. As such the issue before us is, did his history also affect him? This doesn't mean he didn't give us Radha Krsna. It means that the truth as he presented it was packaged in some of his relative experiences.

Did this affect his society? I would say yes. I do believe women suffered because of cultural ideas that he grew up with, specifically how women were less than men and needed a subservient position to achieve success. Does that mean he did not deliver Krsna? Absolutely not. If we expressed to him today what we have understood to be a better way to do or say things, especially things that had serious social implications, do you think he would ignore you or put you down? I don't believe so.

Being influenced by this physical dimension, the modes of nature are always active. Everyone from Kamsa to Hitler may have rays of goodness mixed with the most profound darkness. Every race or religion is capable of atrocities and can be prone to generic, behavioral quirks. Prabhupada constantly admonished us to distance ourselves from his godbrothers and would not even allow us to read the books of his spiritual master. However, at the end of his life, Prabhupada apologized to his godbrothers for belittling them and many of his followers have benefitted from the love of his godbrothers.

I myself expressed great anger after my leaving, that the discussions we had with him regarding guru succession, never extracted the detail necessary to maintain peace in the society.

To be sure, smoke can be found everywhere. But smoke is not fire. Here we are looking for the fire and recognizing the smoke. We do this as an expression of responsibility to ourselves, to all of our guides and to future generations. As they say, the Truth will set us free.