WORKING TOGETHER - When our founder/acharya, His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada, was asked how we could thank Him for the many gifts He brings to our lives, one answer He gave was to simply cooperate with each other in spreading Krishna Consciousness whenever possible. He set us up with all we need to develop Love of God and to share that ultimate gift with others. It seems the world of today needs a crisis or disaster to force us to overcome our self centered lives and cooperate with our neighbors. Our challenge is to act on the orders of our acharyas and spread the gift of love we have so freely been given without being forced. As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of ISKCON, may we emerge from our isolation and change the world some more!
Weekend retreat - His Holiness Devamrita Swami will be leading a retreat of 20-25 devotees this coming weekend, April 1-3 at Gita Nagari. Mangal arti Prabhu has organized this event to energize the outreach personnel Maharaja has gathered to revitalize the urban preaching for our area. We are grateful for their commitment to spreading the mercy to all. Penn State program - Mangal Arti Prabhu and her crew of dedicated helpers have set up an evening program at Penn Stated University. HH Devamrita Swami will be the featured speaker, and the attendees will be served home made Prasad after the event. Six devotees distributed flyers and books to promote the event. Appearance of Lord Ramcandra - Friday, April 15, 2016, we will celebrate Ram Navami at Gita Nagari Temple. We will fast 'til sunset. We will have a class, kirtan, and feast. SHAPE art show - Friday, April 1st from 6-8 pm - Please join us for a special showing of the art ofSatsvarup das Goswami in Shippensburg, Pa at 19 East King Street. Gita Nagari devotees will be leading Kirtan, so please help us vibrate the Holy Names. COMMUNITY MEETING - Last Sunday, Cintamani Prabhu led the Sunday feast with a discussion of how we can reach out to each other in times of personal turmoil. She evoked a great outpouring of feelings as we grappled with the untimely passing of one of our community. Do you have someone to share your innermost struggles with? Please take the time to develop a relationship where you can reveal your mind in confidence. Our acharyas have informed us that this friendship is vital for our spiritual success. Mother Parijata then led us in glorifying a vital member of our congregation, Cintamani Prabhu. We are very fortunate to count Mother Cintamani as a jewel in the crown of Gita Nagari. Thanks for all the love and friendship you bring to us! THREE NEW MRDANGAS - Taraka Prabhu and his family donated 3 new mrdangas to the Temple. We have had this need for many months, and they totally surprised us with three large gift boxes at Gaura Purnima. Taraka Prabhu is another jewel in our family. Thanks for your generosity and many kindnesses. Syama Gopa Rupa Prabhu, Taraka's amazing wife, has ordered a new set of The Srimad Bhagavatam to display in the Temple room. Please remember, these scriptures are for display only. Do not take them out of the case to read. Thanks. PLANTING SEASON IS HERE! - If you see bright tractor lights in the fields late at night, you can be sureChad and Dhruva Prabhu are busy sewing seeds to bring crops to feed our wonderful cows with fresh hay. Pray for dry weather the next two weeks! THANKS FOR YOUR GENEROSITY - Many of you have given so much to help us protect our cows, keep the Temple Deity service strong, make our land productive, and host so many guests at Gita Nagari. We are eternally grateful for your support and kindness!!! Video for you -Taraka Prabhu dances for the pleasure of the devotees
The Joy of Devotion - Iskcon's fiftieth anniversary inspires our efforts to appreciate and relish the herculean efforts of our Founder/Acarya, His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada. At the advanced age of 70, Srila Prabhupada left the shelter of Vrindavan to bring Krishna Consciousness to the west. He took the orders of His Spiritual Master, Srila Bhaktisiddantha Maharaja, to heart and travelled on a dilapidated freighter to America. Two heart attacks while on board could not deter His desire to share the gifts of transcendental realization with all of us. Sankirtana Yajna Prabhu visited Gita Nagari last weekend, and shared his memories of Srila Prabhupada's visit to Gita Nagari. Prabhu was travelling on the Radha Damodar bus with the great devotees who went to every town and village to bring Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's message of hope and realization to all. While in Gita Nagari, Prabhupada stayed in the blockhouse, gave initiations in the Vaikuntha house, and gave a lecture in the field where we now host the retreatants who visit us yearly. He was struck by Prabhupada's genuine humility and caring for the fallen conditioned souls. Prabhupada was especially greatful for a gift of oversized eggplants that Prabhu had grown in his garden. Sankirtan Yajna Prabhu reminds us of how Srila Prabhupada fulfilled the prophecy of Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur that soon his General would appear to spread the teachings of Mahaprabhueverywhere. Krishna himself came in the guise of a devotee ( Chaitanya Mahaprabhu) to give freely the "love of God" that mystic yogis search for decades to achieve. We simply have to follow Mahaprabhu'sinstruction to chant The Lord's Holy Names.
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.
Upcoming events Appearance of Lord Ramcandra Friday, April 15, 2016
We will celebrate The Lord's appearance as the perfect King, Son, Husband, Brother, and Friend. Please make plans to join us at the Temple for our joyous glorification of Lord Rama. We will join millions of devotees in remembering the amazing pastimes of The Lord. (Fast 'til sunset.)
April first to third, 2016 - Two groups will join us at Gita Nagari for retreats. Mangala Aarti will bring devotees from Toronto and Philadelphia to attend classes on Bhakti Yoga given by His Holiness Devamrita Swami. They visit us a couple of times a year, and we look forward to their enthusiasm and association. A yoga group from Washington DC will join us that same weekend to enjoy the beauty of our simple living, high thinking lifestyle. The University of Maryland Bhakti Club will be coming for a retreat and day of service. Mother Padmamalini brings her budding devotees to help us prepare for our retreat season. Cow Seva - Vamsi is healing nicely from her torn horn sheath. The hardest thing is to watch her pine for her friends in the herd. Putting her in a safe isolation paddock is a necessary difficulty that will end soon. Please pray for her quick recovery. The herd has 4 new babies! What a joy to see mommies and calves learn to feed and frolic together. Cow protection is the hallmark of a society living in concert with Krishna's desires. Thank you all for making this great endeavor possible! Remembering Chaitanya Mahaprabhu - March 22, 2016, we gathered to celebrate the appearance of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. The joy of service was on every face as we joined our GBC, His Holiness Devamrita Swami in glorifying The Lord. A simultaneous abhisheka was shared on the altar and the Temple floor. Mother Yasoda Prabhu brought her beautiful Gaura Nitai deities so each community member could offer milk, ghee, yogurt, honey, and fruit juice to their lordships. We offer special thanks to Hari Chakra and his family for their generous donation of flowers to decorate the Temple. Mother Jhulana yatra and Kumari Gopi Prabhu worked into the night to decorate the Temple. Dhruva Maharaja Prabhu, Mother Parijata, Bali Maharaja Prabhu, Mother Kalki, and Mother Jagannatha spent weeks preparing a new outfit replete with jewelry and décor. Mother Yasoda Mayiled a crew of many devotees who prepared an awesome feast to share as a community. Thank you to everyone, especially those not mentioned by name who contributed to this unforgettable evening of chanting, dancing, and feasting.
Please come to the opening of HH Satsvarupa dasa Goswami’s show in Shippensburg, PA. The show is being held at a small gallery - Shippensburg Arts Programming and Education (SHAPE) and will run from April 1 to April 28, 2016.
WHERE: 19 EAST KING STREET IN SHIPPENSBURG, PA WHEN: OPENING RECEPTION APRIL 1 TIME: 6 PM - 8 PM REGULAR GALLERY HOURS: WEDNESDAY - FRIDAY4 PM - 7 PM; SATURDAY: 10 AM - 4 PM
Hemagaura and I are truly excited that this show has finally materialized and we look forward to greeting many devotees. We will have about 19 paintings on display (and for sale). We look forward to a very successful and enlivening evening! your servant, Ortrun
Maharaja will be visiting the East Coast from late March to mid April. He will be giving programs in New York, Washington DC, and Pennsylvania. We will announce programs when we have more information.
Adopt a Highway
Saturday, March 12, at 11 am we met on Highway 75 by the blinking light to clean up our portion of the road. Nine dedicated devotees ranging in age from 17 to 70 picked up 35 bags of trash. "Champu" Prabhu brought 5 grabbers which made our service sooo much easier. Thank you Prabhu! We were all exhilarated to do community service that reflects nicely on Gita Nagari. Our commitment is to 4 cleanings per year, so please help us with this service. As mentioned previously, we are approved for another section of highway 75 just by the turnoff to Gita Nagari. Keep your eyes out for our new signs on Highway 75.
Cow protection update
Brisham lost the sheath to his right horn and has been placed in isolation for at least two months as he heals. He is quite lonely being apart from the herd, so please pray for his quick recovery.
Two new calves have been born this week!
Mommies and babies are strong and healthy. The vet is checking in on them twice a week, and Dhruva and Parijata Prabhus are helping the little ones learn to drink mommies' milk. One new mommy is so concerned that her new born is safe that she hasn't learned to stand still to let the little one drink. What a sight to see them circling each other, one looking for milk, the other keeping her baby safe. We learn from the cows daily as we observe their tolerance and patience with weather and bodily conditions. The rain and wind simply do not affect them in a negative way. They inspire us with their mode of goodness. Please donate to assist us in caring for our growing community of cows.
First Spring Picnic
Twenty five devotees gathered at Moyer Park to celebrate with our first picnic of 2016. A feast was honored, a rousing game of basket ball was shared, and quiet "catching up" was enjoyed by all. Devotee association is the gift that keeps on giving.
Gaura Purnima will be celebrated on Tuesday, March 22 at Gita Nagari. Fasting 'til moonrise. We will have an evening program with abhisheka, class, kirtan, followed by a feast. Please mark your calendarsand join us in chanting and dancing to call Chaitanya Mahaprabhu into our lives. Boy's adventure camp dates are June 10-12, July 8-19, August 7-12. To honor the 50th anniversary of ISKCON, Gita Nagari is launching 3 events to bring our young men to Gita Nagari to learn about self sustaining principles in a spiritual environment. His Grace Nandiswara Prabhu will lead the participants in many exciting and challenging exercises to help foster greater self esteem and confidence. Please visit our website Gitanagari.org for sign up information. Iskcon's 50th anniversary. Throughout the year we will be honoring and celebrating the formation of our beloved ISKCON. We will alert you with the upcoming events. Our founder/Acharya Srila Prabhupada says:
"Krishna is joyful. I am a part of Krishna; therefore, I must also be joyful. That is natural. If my father is black, then I am also black. So, our father, the supreme father Krishna, is joyful. He is not engaged in some industrial work or heavy machine making. He is simply playing on His flute, and Radharani is there. That is joyful nature." (Hawaii, March 21, 1969).
Our community is filled with successful members who are accomplishing outstanding things. Jana Parks is now a member of The National Honor Society. This elite group is chosen for their qualities of Service, Leadership, Scholarship, and Character. She included her service activities at Gita Nagari in her application, and we have witnessed her consistent commitment to her Sadhana and service. Pandu prabhu shared his daughter Radha's award for artistic excellence at her university studies. Sachi Priya prabhu is steadily completing her nursing studies at Penn State University-Harrisburg. Priya Manjari prabhu is studying business at Penn State University-Harrisburg. Vrinda Prabhu is looking forward to pursuing computer science at Indiana University. This section will be included each week to acknowledge the amazing efforts being made by our community members. Our family is growing!!! Sita, one of our first time mommies in the cow herd, had a baby girl. Both mother and calf are healthy and happy. Mother Parijata was shocked to see the baby girl standing and nursing on her first day. Usually, the new ones need someone to show them how to drink their mother's milk. (see picture below) Thank you to everyone who supports our efforts to protect and nurture the cows. It is one of our greatest missions at Gita Nagari, and we can't do it without you. The Kitchen Remodel. We are making very nice progress in updating our kitchen. As you may know, we host many retreats that require cooking for as many as 500 devotees. This year we have plans to make our kitchen much easier to use. We are currently researching a new convection oven. To replace the worn out one we will need to invest $2700. The Deity kitchen will need a new 4-6 burner stove/oven at a cost of $1200. If you would like to help us serve Sri Sri Radha Damodar with these vital needs, please contact Dhruva Maharaja das at 717-527-4101. We are most greatful for those of you who have already contributed to this project.
Have a wonderful Krishna Conscious week!
Sita and her Baby Girl, Mischievous Shyam and Nandini have ample hay in their feeder - here they are eating hay from where they ought not to - it all tastes the same but apparently not for them, Madri on a bale of bedding straw
As an aside, Snana Yatra Prabhu purchased a camera recently and is making up for lack of pictures in the past :-)
WORKING FARM RETREAT AT GITA NAGARI
Join us on the weekends at Gita Nagari Farm and Sanctuary where all our activities are based on the principle of compassionate living. We have been hosting Working Farm Retreats for the last 6 years on a needs basis. This year we are pleased to announce our Working Farm Retreat as a fixed offering in the Summer – weekend retreats for you and your family to have a fun, relaxing and educational farm experience. The Retreat begins on Friday at 6pmwith Dinner and Orientation and ends on Sunday at Lunch. Saturday entails 6 hours of fun time:
in the kitchen preparing meals,
in the fields harvesting vegetables,
time with the cows,
cleaning the farm and
Then wind down with a late afternoon Yoga Class followed by dinner and some great social time singing and dancing around the campfire. Sunday starts with early morning outdoor activities followed by breakfast and additional time spent in special Projects at the Farm. We wrap up with the facilitated session sharing our "Reflections & Realizations", which is always a heart warming time together. Lunch is served at 1 pm. Thereafter, retreat attendees check out and head back to their first home as we have become by now their second home. Please join us on the following weekends: Please join us on the following weekends:
Sign up now - we are booking up fast and furiously! Your cost is really low as you are paying with your time and energy so to cover our hosting expenses, we are charging $80 per adult, $50 for ages 5 to 18 and $30 for under 5 years of age. We look forward to working, serving, and growing together! Send mail to inquire!
Welcome to our Gita Nagari Farm & Sanctuary Family!
Pictured below: Singing for Sri Sri Radha Damodara, Core Group prepares for the Day, Hari Cakra & Sachi Priya lead in Kirtan, Mother Jasoda prepares a Feast, Mother Parijata glorifies Bhaktisiddhant Maharaja, Sati prepares Garlands, and Bali prabhu brightens our Day!