Hare Krishna Yoga, Karma, Reincarnation

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Mantra Meditation

“In this age of Kali there is no alternative, there is no alternative, there is no alternative for spiritual progress than the holy name, the holy name, the holy name of the Lord.” (Bṛhan-nāradīya Purāṇa)

It's not a typo, the message of this verse was so important it had to be repeated 3 times!

Hearing and chanting are the first two stages of devotional service. Mantra meditation is fundamental for spiritual progression as Krishna's names are transcendental sound vibrations that can purify and cleanse the heart as well as bring one closer to Krishna. Chanting awakens the dormant love and Krishna consciousness within, making the individual qualified to execute devotional service.

Types of Mantra Meditation.

  • Japa: Personal chanting in a soft voice while counting on a set of 108 beads (japa mala)
  • Kirtan: Chanting in rhythmic form, accompanied by musical instruments and audience participation. The leader of the kirtan will sing/chant one mantra and the audience are encouraged to repeat, as well as clap along and dance.
  • Harinaam Sankirtanam: Congregational chanting of the Holy names of Krishna, which takes kirtan to the streets for all to hear and benefit from - as inaugurated by Lord Chaitanya.

Japa - Mantra Meditation.

Kirtan and Harinaam sankirtanam are both very enjoyable and fun, however Japa is the most potent of the types of chanting as it is considered the most selfless and more austere of the 3. It is recommended to chant a set amount of rounds (108 mantras) every day.

Regular silent meditation is very difficult as the mind is always active. There is no focal point. One may only experience temporary relief and peace and quiet until the mind once again takes control.

Mantra meditation however helps to free the mind.
Man = Mind, -tra = Free. Mantra = Free from the mind
It does this by engaging all the senses, with the mantra being the focal point. If the senses are controlled then the mind is also controlled and fixed upon the remembrance of Sri Krishna.

  • Ears - engaged in hearing the mantra
  • Tongue - engaged in chanting the mantra
  • Touch - the fingers count the mantra on beads
  • Eyes - can meditate on images of Krishna
  • Nose - breathing is controlled and regulated through every repetition of the mantra

The Hare Krishna Maha-Mantra is world renowned and is the single most recommended mantra to chant in this day and age. The names of God are non-different to Krishna himself and have a deep spiritual significance. 

Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna,
Krishna, Krishna, Hare Hare
Hare Rama, Hare Rama,
Rama Rama, Hare Hare.

The meaning behind this mantra is:
O Hare (energy of Krishna) O the all attractive one (Krishna) O the reservoir of all pleasure (Rama), please engage me in your loving devotional service.

Monday, 15 April 2013

ISKCON Leicester - From a Miracle to a Dream

A message from ISKCON Leicester

Following the explosion at our previous centre, we have wondered around various venues, none of which have allowed us to fulfill our full range of activities. Not only was it a miracle that no one was hurt in the explosion but it was a miracle that we were gifted a grade II* listed building by one very generous family.

This building is situated on 31 Granby Street, Leicester, neighboring Town Hall. Right at the heart of the City stands the most beautiful jewel of Victorian architecture, A spiritual centre, the new home of ISKCON.

Previously the home of HSBC bank, ISKCON would like to regenerate this building to act as a perfect community hub, providing a variety of activities to suit the needs of all.

  • A place to welcome people from all walks of life regardless of class, colour or creed. To find a common link in society where we can integrate as one community.
  • A heritage room celebrating the work of renowned architect Joseph Goddard. It will provide a base for learning for schools and colleges.
  • A meditation hall providing regular music, mantra & meditation programs. A place for health, wellbeing and enhanced personal development
  • A café & restaurant serving wholesome, mouth watering international cuisines for the taste buds of all. 
  • A library with a range of books in 165 languages, providing a place for the inquisitive minds for thought, reflection and reading.
  • A truly versatile venue that will serve for Weddings, birthdays, engagements or even corporate events.

Please help this dream become a reality.

We are currently trying to raise £2M to regenerate this building for you our loving community. We are all one and can work best together, with a little help from all of you we have the potential to meet our target.

Please donate, tell you friends, family & colleagues. This is a genuine once in a life time opportunity to be part of a wonderful project that will sit right at the heart of the City in the Centre of England.

Please donate via:


Text RAMA08 ____(enter amount) to 70070

(Eg to Donate £10. Text RAMA08 £10 and send it to 70070).

Thank you. 
ISKCON Leicester

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Devotional Service

You may not realise it, but we are always serving. Serving our mind, our body our boss, our society our family, the laws of our country, our government by paying tax. Everything we do is in service. 

So serving God, should come very naturally. As the third step in bhakti yoga, after acquiring faith and the association of devotees, one can be introduced to devotional service. When we come before god, often we ask God for material benefits  "Dear God please let me pass this exam, please let me win the lottery!". We start bargaining with God, "I'll come to the temple every day if you grant my wish", or "I'll donate this much money if you fulfil this desire". It becomes a business like relationship rather than a relationship of love. However devotional service is selfless and we ask Krishna, "Dear Krishna, What can I do for you?" and not "what can you do for me?".

One can understand Me as I am, as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, only by devotional service. And when one is in full consciousness of Me by such devotion, he can enter into the kingdom of God. [BG.18.55]

Nine Processes of Devotional Service

The nine processes of devotional service is described by Prahlada Maharaja in the 7th Canto of the Srimad Bhagavatam and are as follows:

1. Hearing (sravanam)
2. Chanting (kirtanam)
3. Remembering (visnu smaranam)
4. Serving the Lord's Lotus Feet (pada sevanam)
5. Deity-worship (arcanam)
6. Praying (vandanam)
7. Executing orders (dasyam)
8. Serving as a friend (sakhyam)
9. Complete surrender (atma nivedanam)

Prahlada Maharaja said: Hearing and chanting about the transcendental holy name, form, qualities, paraphernalia and pastimes of Lord Visnu, remembering them, serving the lotus feet of the Lord, offering the Lord respectful worship with sixteen types of paraphernalia, offering prayers to the Lord, becoming His servant, considering the Lord one's best friend, and surrendering everything unto Him (in other words, serving Him with the body, mind and words). These nine processes are accepted as pure devotional service. One who has dedicated his life to the service of Krsna through these nine methods should be understood to be the most learned person, for he has acquired complete knowledge. [Srimad Bhagavatam 7.5.23-24]

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Govinda’s Vegetarian Café Nottingham

(Please not that as of June 2015 Govinda's Nottingham has permanently closed. More information here)

Today was the grand opening of the first Govinda’s Vegetarian Café in England outside of London.

Located in the trendy shopping area of Nottingham City Centre, Govinda’s is a good value and heart-warming place to eat. The delightful surroundings is divided into a cafe serving light snacks and daily specials and also a buffet serving an array of delicious Indian food.

The pure vegetarian restaurant is ran by ISKCON with a cheerful team of volunteer Hare Krishna devotees serving tasty spiritual food. All preparations are prashad meaning it is blessed and so is karma free!

Todays menu was:
Peas, paneer and tomatos
Aubergine, potato and chick pea stew (vegan)
Spinach Rice/Brown rice (vegan)
Yellow mung dhaal with carrots (vegan)
Cream of vegetable soup

Daily special – Lasagna & Salad

Veggie Burger
Apple and blueberry crumble
Vegan cupcakes & biscuits
Hot and cold drinks

Govinda’s Nottingham serves food that is satvik, meaning it is without meat, fish, eggs and also onion and garlic and full of love and devotion!

“This cupcake is awesome!” – Happy customer

Govindas Vegetarian Cafe
7-9 Thurland Street
(Opposite Newlook, 2 minute walk from Victoria Centre, Nottingham)
Opening Times:
Open Monday – Saturday: 11am to 6pm.