September 2007


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How will this race pan out over the next 1000 years? Like the tortoise and the hare*?

“One who becomes fully Krsna conscious can attain the Absolute Truth. Krsna is the Absolute Truth. Relative truth is not truth in all the three phases of eternal time. Time is divided into past, present and future. Krsna is Truth always, past, present and future. In the material world, everything is being controlled by supreme time, in the course of past, present and future. ”

SB 10.2.26

According to the above definition, would the existence of jets be relative or absolute truth? What about the existence of ox carts? Do they exist now? Did they exist in the past? Will they exist in the future?

“Prabhupada: Yes. The oxen will solve the problem of transport. That bullock cart. Just like Krsna, when He was transferred from Gokula to Nandagrama, so they took all the bullock carts, and within a few hours they transported them, the whole thing, their luggage, family member, everything.”

HIGHLIGHTS: Energy problems will be solved as soon as we are localized…oxen will solve problem of transport…

“Tamala Krsna: A very nice magazine (editor’s note: from New Vrindaban).
Prabhupada: Yes.
Tamala Krsna: I can just show you some pictures. [break]
Prabhupada: There is no danger at Vrndavana-candra’s… Kaunteya pratijanihi na me bhaktah pra… [Bg. 9.31]. So now they are printing, huh?
Tamala Krsna: Yeah, this is on their own press, Srila Prabhupada.
Prabhupada: Oh!
Tamala Krsna: Look how nicely they’ve done. It says, “Serving Krsna in the Land of Transcendental Bliss.” Ox cart, cooking, Kuladri cooking in a big pot, cows, milking. Here they have all the people working on it.”

Room Conversation — July 8, 1977, Vrndavana

* I realize my readership is multi-cultural so I include the story of the tortoise and the hare below for those unfamiliar with it.

The Tortoise and The Hare

letter t There once was a speedy hare who bragged about how fast he could run. Tired of hearing him boast, Slow and Steady, the tortoise, challenged him to a race. All the animals in the forest gathered to watch.

Hare ran down the road for a while and then paused to rest. He looked back at Slow and Steady and cried out, “How do you expect to win this race when you are walking along at your slow, slow pace?”

Hare stretched himself out alongside the road and fell asleep, thinking, “There is plenty of time to relax.”

Slow and Steady walked and walked. He never, ever stopped until he came to the finish line.

The animals who were watching cheered so loudly for Tortoise, they woke up Hare.

Hare stretched and yawned and began to run again, but it was too late. Tortoise was over the line.

After that, Hare always reminded himself, “Don’t brag about your lightning pace, for Slow and Steady won the race!””

Monday September 24th the ridge road between the temple and Route 250 will be closed between the school bus runs, approximately 7:30 AM to 3:00 PM.

It will be closed between Sudhanu’s and Tejo’s houses in order to stabilize and fix the slip that occurred there in January 2005 and has had the road reduced to one lane since then.

This will be from Monday to Friday, for one or two weeks, depending on soil conditions. They are driving piles to stabilize it and they have to drive them until they hit something solid which depends on a number of factors.

While it may be possible to get past the equipment if you are willing to wait for 30 minutes or as long as it takes to drive one pile, don’t count on it. When they fixed the slip by the Palace, the shoulder was wider and they had more room to work with so while there were delays, the road wasn’t actually officially closed. This time the road is narrow and it may not be possible to get by.

The alternative inbound route is coming up from Wheeling Creek, the “back way” as devotees refer to it. There is a piece of gravel road from Wheeling Creek that arrives on the apartment side of the temple.

It is possible to follow the creek from Elm Grove, but the easiest way to explain is to have people come in along route 88 as normal. Once past Sherrad (where the schools are) the road winds around for a while, then passes Eagle Hollow which is at Crow’s Lane to the left. 88 then comes to a relative straightaway.

The next lane, just past an abandoned gas station, turns to the left and is Pine Hill Road. Take Pine Hill Road down to Wheeling Creek. Don’t cross the bridge — take a right turn onto a gravel road just before it.

The gravel road will come to a fork and bear right there onto a paved road that goes right by the temple.

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Here is a volunteer gourd going for broke in our front yard. It got a late start and for sentimental reasons (we do like gourds) Vidya didn’t weed it out when she was working in the flower bed.

For some reason, a groundhog didn’t chew it back before it managed to get a start up the side of the Blue Spruce. It then did what gourds do and set out to conquer the world.

It hasn’t set any fruit yet and despite the unseasonably late warm spell we have had, it won’t have time to mature any gourds this year before it is killed by frost. Or any other year for that fact, due to its status as an annual. It only has a limited window to propagate itself by producing seed and this one, with its grandiose ambitions, has missed it.

What is wrong with ambition? It has to be tempered with practicality. Gourds grow more naturally in warmer climates with longer growing seasons. When it starts out it first tries to spread far and wide. This is male energy.

Gourds have both male and female flowers. The primary vines that a gourd plant sends out have male flowers. Female flowers are on the laterals and sublaterals. If too much energy goes into the primaries, by the time the laterals develop and female flowers set, it can, in more temperate climes, be too late to get pollinated and still have time to mature fruit before winter. The gourd perpetuates itself through seed. Too much male energy makes a good show in the short run, but fails the gourd in the long run.

Similarly, we can see that an organization that overemphasizes male energy will put on a good show for a while but will eventually die out unless household life is given more balance.When I was still able to grow gourds, I would go around when the primary vines reached about 10 feet and nip the soft growing point. This puts the energy into the laterals and initiates earlier fruit set, greatly increasing yield. The vine will still reach the same eventual size, but more of it will be productive.

Still, it has been fun seeing this gourd do its thing. While jaded suburbanites and urbane city dwellers may roll their eyes at how boring it sounds, watching a gourd vine take 3-4 months to embrace a evergreen is actually pretty interesting, both literally and metaphorically.

Pope puts focus on climate change, environment

“The Vatican has added its voice to warnings from churches around the world that climate change and abuse of the environment is against God’s will.

“At a Vatican conference on climate change, Pope Benedict XVI urged bishops, scientists and politicians to “respect Creation” while “focusing on the needs of sustainable development”.

“The Pope’s message follows a series of increasingly strong statements about climate change and the environment, including a warning earlier this year that “disregard for the environment always harms human coexistence and vice versa”.

“Observers said yesterday that the Catholic Church was no longer split between those who advocate development and those who say the environment is the priority. Cardinal Renato Raffaele Martino, head of the Pontifical Council of Justice and Peace, said: “For environment … read Creation. The mastery of man over Creation must not be despotic or senseless. Man must cultivate and safeguard God’s Creation.”

“According to Vatican sources, the present Pope is far more engaged in the green debate than John Paul II…

“The Catholic Church is just one major faith group now rapidly moving environment to the fore of its social teachings.

” ‘Climate change, biotechnology, trade justice and pollution are all now being debated at a far higher level by the world’s major religions,’ said Martin Palmer, secretary-general of the Alliance of Religions and Conservation.

In some cases, the debate is dividing traditionalists from younger congregations. In the US, the diverse 50 million- strong conservative evangelical churches are increasingly at odds over the human contribution to global warming.

“Many evangelical leaders are still not convinced that global warming is human-induced and have argued that the collapse of the world is inevitable and will herald the Second Coming of Christ.

“But most younger leaders have broken ranks. About four years ago, the progressives began to argue strongly that man had a responsibility to steward the Earth. Redefining environmentalism as “Creation care”, they are now lobbying US President George Bush and his Administration to take global warming far more seriously…

“Although the World Council of Churches in Geneva has had a department to investigate climate change since 1990, churches have come late to the debate. “The (environment and religion) is a no-brainer, but we are all only now realising it,” said Claire Foster, environmental policy adviser to the Church of England…”

A couple drove down a country road for several miles, not saying a word. An earlier discussion had led to an argument and neither of them wanted to concede their position.

As they passed a barnyard of mules, goats, and pigs, the husband asked sarcastically, “Relatives of yours?”

“Yep,” the wife replied, “in-laws.”

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Srila Prabhupada Writes In a Letter to Krsna Das, on September 9, 1972

“You mentioned that your pathway has become filled with stumbling blocks, but there are no stumbling blocks. I can kick out all those stumbling blocks immediately, provided you accept my guidance. With one stroke of my kick I can kick out all stumbling blocks.”

Call the mother of my children. I am hurt.
I was injured while training the ox.
I thought that this young ox would be like its elders
And yet it ignored its elders’ good examples.
I used to admire it as it fed in the pastures.
Thinking that in the future we would harness it.
Hoping that it will do the ploughing for us.
Everything has gone upside down.

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