If, two months ago, someone had told me that I’d be over at the neighbor’s house getting lessons on how to confidently load, aim and shoot our shotgun, I wouldn’t have scoffed and politely assumed that the person saying it didn’t know me very well. Yet, there I was yesterday, shooting our Mossberg 12 gauge pump action and having a blast! I love the menacing sound it makes as I chamber a round.
We live in a fertile, well-defined valley, where a high percentage of the inhabitants are long-time residents. Lately I’ve been going door-to-door with some flyers that encourage the neighbors to grow gardens for the coming inevitable economic collapse. Interestingly, in spite of my presentation wearing a sari and tilak, most of the neighbors are very receptive and have informed me that they already intended to grow food this year. Many have also informed me of their proficiency with firearms and their willingness to use them in the event that law and order breaks down. My neighbors seem to be interestingly comforted by having a Hare Krsna devotee appear at their door brandishing a flyer with the Maha Mantra printed on it. It is almost as if Supersoul is giving them reassurance.
The last time I felt the atmosphere of crisis was in the morning of October 31, 1984. I was shopping for antiques in the crowded market, Chandi Chowk when suddenly a ripple of alert seemed to flow through the bazaar. The Indian guide with me told me, “our Prime Minister has been shot!”
I was perplexed about what to do: I was on a buying trip for the small boutique I ran and I had about 2 days’ more work to get done and plane tickets reserved. If I went back to the hotel, I’d lose a whole day. The guide was urging me to get off the street and the atmosphere did seem slightly menacing. Because I had my two year old daughter with me, I decided to err on the side of caution and took a taxi back to the hotel.
We heat our house with a wood stove. Sometimes when I get up in the morning, all the wood has burned away, and I have to start a new fire. This particular morning there was still a little heat left in the bottom of a mostly burned log. When I turned the log over, I could see that the under side was still smoldering, but in danger of going out all together.
I surveyed the meager resources available by the wood stove: a couple of pieces of junk mail; several pieces of small, very dry cedar former picket fence, and some not-quite-dry fir logs. It was very iffy whether I’d be able to get the fire roaring without having to bundle up and go out to the barn for more kindling.
I had a serendipitous inspiration to design a living environment that would promote spontaneous kirtans! The layout is a result of the last decade that my husband and I have been living a simple living, high thinking lifestyle and really experiencing what sattva guna is like. When I look at this design/layout, I can imagine myself walking across the courtyard that is ringed with flowers to share some extra corn from the garden, and coming across a group of devotees sitting under a tree singing a Bhaktivinode Thakur bhajan. I can easily imagine joining the singing and perhaps encouraging the singers to accompany me to my friend’s residence on the other side of the courtyard and even starting a circutious sankirtan event spontaneously.
Here is a rough sketch of the design:
Devotees who are part of the community will have living quarters that are adjacent to their work space for their service. For instance the weaver’s workshop will face the courtyard while the weaver’s living space will be behind with a patio/yard that opens to the pastures and gardens of the project.
I discovered that I have a breast tumor about 3 years ago while I was showering. It was a shock. In that instant, as I was soaping my body, I realized that if I didn’t take some drastic action, I was likely to be having a change of bodies much sooner than I had anticipated.
It was just a small tumor, a hard mass about the size of the tip of my little finger. I realized that I would have to make some choices regarding whether to seek medical intervention or pursue trying alternative remedies. Naturally I would have liked to discuss my options with my husband but I realized that if I shared the reality of my situation that his mind would be horribly disturbed. The only other person that I could confide in was my daughter, but we had had an odd falling out the previous Christmas and we hadn’t spoken for months and months. Continue reading
New Nandagram Society for Krishna Consciousness has recently launched a lawsuit against natural people who are either negligent or criminal with Srila Prabhupada’s copyrights. The causes of action (reasons for the lawsuit) include:
- Breach of Fiduciary Duty (being irresponsible with Srila Prabhupada’s property)
- Accounting (not being transparent with Srila Prabhupada’s assets)
- Conversion (theft of the copyrights from the BBT to a suspiciously similarly named corporation, the BBTI)
- Conspiracy (defendants claimed, in court, that Srila Prabhupada never owned his copyrights)
- Constructive Fraud
Below is the text of the lawsuit. It is necessarily written in legalese, but the main points should be quite clear:
COMMON LAW COURT
THE INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY FOR KRISHNA CONSCIOUSNESS
LEWIS COUNTY, WASHINGTON, USA COURT #001
In 1972 Srila Prabhupada protected the copyrights to his books by placing them in a trust, He named the trust The Bhaktivedanda Book Trust, and in the founding document, he named himself, Bali Mardan Prabhu and Karandhar Prabhu as trustees. In the document, he gives instructions about how the funds generated by the copyrights are to be used and he names the beneficiary of the trust to be The International Society for Krishna Consciousness.
Because he had incorporated The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) in New York in 1966, most people who were aware of the trust and the corporation probably assumed that Srila Prabhupada was referring to the corporation named ISKCON. However, before his physical departure in 1977, there were probably over a hundred ISKCON corporations, so who or what did Srila Prabhupada intend to be the beneficiary of his trust? All the corporations? Just the New York corporation? Or some other entity entirely?