“Simple Living; High Thinking” (My time on Flat Holm Island”


One of ISKCON’s mantra’s we hear recited time and time again is that of “Simple Living; High Thinking”; however as one observes there is in general not much Simple Living given our conditioning to consume, this being simply what we do.

It is amazing however how one can learn the true meaning of Simple Living and the way to truly connect with the high thinking of understanding the environment one lives in, and truly care for Mother Bhumi.


So I had the opportunity to spend time on Flat Holm Island with Marianna and her team of amazing volunteers who each individually taught me so much; whilst learning how to live within the limited provisions provided.


Watching the amount of water and energy consumed, given the only water is that caught from the rain, the electric from a renewable source (with back up generator when required) and a limited amount of bottled gas; made one conscious of what is used and how precious our resources are.

One was also aware of the amount of food consumed it focused the mind given you couldn’t just run out to the local shops; almost everything was cooked fresh with evening meals being a community activity.


Managing the land included checking on the wildlife, counting the bird and insect species; each piece important to the ecology of the Island. To picking up and documenting the rubbish washed up on the Island impressed on my mind how the smallest thing makes a difference, unlike the hedonistic consumerism which is environment destructive and generally means we use others or ruin their local ecology.


Each day was filled with activities, cleaning roofs to make sure the water remains unpolluted, managing the land, maintenance of the building and equipment and the aforementioned survey’s; their was always something to do, each day was full.

Indeed simple living but with an important aim the maintenance of the small Island ecosystem and to be honest it was difficult to leave; I loved the people on the Island who are a unique special bunch of individual’s

It did impress however why Srila Prabhupada talked and emphasized the farming communities, managing the land is a full time job there is always something to do; and done correctly will also care for and encourage the wildlife; giving especially as devotee’s we are meant to look after Mother Bhumi, it will indeed increase our love of Sri Krishna.

If indeed as devotees we worked together as a community in an organic farming environment, will also make it easy for everyone to attend morning and evening classes, make first class prasadam; and learn how to manage our interpersonal relationship’s working even with those we find it difficult to get on with., indeed you get to see their hidden beauty and appreciate them: given that Srila Prabhupada requested we learn to get on well with each other.

It also impressed upon the mind how insignificant consumerism and the pursuit of material advancement is and that you don’t need a lot to be truly happy; one’s mind is truly regulated something that indeed will help in spiritual advancement.

Sadly however it appears observational wise we want it all, a concept of High Thinking, Simple Living that allows our pursuit of self-centred consumerism which is symbiotic with spiritual life claiming this is the pursuit of real happiness.

Whilst on the Island I noticed that in the simplicity of living was the true great happiness and how humbled one felt being accepted and part of one of this tight integrated group; if not for a short while.

In summery it impressed upon me how Srila Prabhupada gave us a great example to follow, spoke on what we needed to do for spiritual advancement; and how attachment to material consumerism hold’s me back.


So it was with great sadness I left Marianna and her team of volunteers, it has been an interesting learning curve; leaving me with a lot to ponder and some of the sweetest memories which will be hard to surpass.

HH Devamrita Swami visits Anna Loka, Cardiff


It was nice to be invited to hear my guru maharaja HH Devamrita Swami give a small discourse on unnatural happiness at Anna Loka in Cardiff.


The audience were captivated by the insights on what we class as happiness, it’s tempory nature and how to gain true happiness; their was some insightful questions afterwards. Here is an MP3 recording of the class

Bhakta Adam and his team then gave a lovely plate of Prasadam, and hearing that one of those attending had special dietry need’s made sure it was totally complient so all could enjoy; now that’s a lovely example of service.


Hare Krishna

Jaladuta, all auspicious


One thing you notice is that if like me you use social media there is a lot of articles that come along and once you closely scrutinise them it becomes clear that the information contained is not what it seems to be.

So it was of interest that I found a reference to an article that caught my curiosity and so a further look and small research was undertaken and it appeared to be valid; but interestingly made me feel inspired as Sri Krishna had made the whole journey of Srila Prabhupada even more auspicious than I personally had realized.

The article claimed that the picture of the Jaladuta that Srila Prabhupada travelled on was not the actual one he would have, and indeed if you look closely at the ships records held by the Scindia S.N. Company the one we see pictured regularly was indeed scrapped in 1958.

Scindia S.N. Co

Their is however an exciting twist to this the Jaladuat that was in service at the time coming into service in 1959 had one unique feature not carried by any previous ship; nor carried in general by the Scindia S.N. Comapny.

Yes look carefully and you will see a unique feature on the bow of the ship, it is the sacred swastika, and that for me is amazing that even the vessal that carried Srila Prabhupada was all auspicious.


My realization is that Sri Krishna always takes care of even the finest detail when it comes to his devotees who are serving him and following their guru maharaja direction.

Hare krishna

Congregational Member or True Devotee?


There is a strange term which has often puzzled me we speak about devotee’s then the term congregational member; do we actually have congregational members?

It appears to be more divisive than it initially appears, however I have found that those labeled congregational members are actually inspirational devotee’s in disguise.

Given that I’ve been going to the same temple for over seven years you would have thought may be not going since the beginning of the year someone would notice, may be those who have come into Wales either for the annual retreat or visiting would swing by.

Indeed over the past seven years I’ve had to learn about the retreats close to my home after the event and every year the same reply, ow next year but next year never comes; to senior devotees who say they need to talk to me then are within 10 minutes from my home but no visit.

Now can I make a small humble contrast with those ladled congregational members Interestingly they not only noticed my absence but contacted to make sure everything was alright, sent inspirational quotes and links to amazing videos.

The same congregational members have taken the time to travel just to assist with a community Diwali celebration and even participated and made some amazing cakes.

And I remain humbled by their concern and assistance during a hospital stay making sure I had all my needs both spiritually and materially; even offering to make sure myself and my vehicle returned safely to Wales.

And over the years I’ve seen a deep and amazing love and appreciation of Sri Krishna and Srila Prabhupada, and how they extol this in how they demonstrate this in their lives, not by words but by their actions.

For me it’s not in the label we place on individual’s or that we use a term that appears incompatible with the teaching and spoken word from Srila Prabhupada who simply looked on everyone as spirit soul and those who have taken up the spiritual path of bhakti (devotee)

When you speak to those who not only met but spent time with Srila Prabhupada noted that he had great concern and was less concerned about forms, exams, courses but on the individual how to inspire them and angage in devotional service; most describe it as a pure love.

For love is the inspiration.

Love means we care.

And what I’ve noticed is that those who have ladled congregational member show the greatest love and this inspires one to remain in devotional circles, and inspire one to do more seva.

Love is all you need

And the mistake we make is ladling some congregational member when their deep love demonstrates that they are indeed devotee

So could I humbly suggest we stop using this label and describe everyone as devotee


Bemused and confused, is it me or my wallet your interested in?


There are a number of things that bemuse me and makes me wonder either my own sanity of that of others; their seems to be either a disconnect or lack of joined up thinking; or the fact that if we did stop and ask questions it may lead to a need to rethink or reamend or worse abmit it may have flaws.

As I read an interesting article on the use of sadhna sheets the devotee gave a break down of responses and use whilst offering to take more devotees on; alls well and good.
Well until you break it down and look closely at the figures given, and the question arises why did a number fail to start to fill them in and why did a few stop after starting filling them in, cause unknown.
Somehow that appears to be an unsatisfactory answer was their an effort to find out why?

Then I get an e-mail on an upcoming event aimed at those who are in the Grihastha Ashram, adults only, no children allowed.
Hum if your in this ashram then there is a good posibility that their will be children, and given the temple size and pacilities a small cresh could have been provided; but no the parents have to either find a baby sitter or one has to miss out.
Is it me or is that a total disconnect.

Were obsessed with courses and forms but no real thought is given in either apart from how it’s important for us to boil the milk and finally fulfil Srila Prabhupada’s words; without not asking why Srila Prabhupada didn’t instigate them.

May be it’s the feeling that these forms and class room expectations will alienate individuals and Srila Prabhupada didn’t want people to be alianated, and that we will put more emphasis on them than actually connecting to the individual.

As a couple you would want to attend the Grihastha course together as a couple?
May your just not a form person, or that a form is a way to demotivate the individual.

But we have a crazy there is only one way, we have courses and forms ow and heres the bill.

Yes professional reciters of bhakti, we will only depart the knowledge if you pay.

Which brings me to a conclusion

What was Srila Prabhupad’s charges please present me with a list of his authorized charges in relation to courses for initiation

And as it sadly appears that there is greater interest in making money than inspiring the individual may be just send me a yearly subscription bill and marval at how much money the temple has.

Yes sadly I’m alianated and feel that the only thing ISKCON and the devotees are interested in is my wallet; which bemuses me as the first devotees I came across and associated with didn’t care for my wallet, forms or courses but cared about me and how to inspire me in bhakti.

And how I long for those days to return life was much simpler then

Compliance/Non-Compliance & Understanding


The other day I sat in one of the mandatory supervision, it’s more a paperwork exercise but is a requirement of those who oversee health care here in Wales. From a personal point of view it’s a pointless exercise and simply wastes my time as only a first class idiot would wait till an enforced mandatory meeting to bring up concerns especially in regard to patient care and work practices.

So one of the questions that has to be covered is what do you feel you’ve achieved since the last supervision? My answer stopped the conversation with a puzzled look, your joking? No! My answer had been frank, “Not telling you to shove the job”. And yes I did get it written down on the form so yes it will be discussed in three months time which is the required time between each supervised practice.

Would I wait three months to raise an issue?

Yes that’s also one of the questions, surely if it was an issue who in their right mind would wait till a supervision date? A point I make each and every supervision have I called you or discussed any concerns because if there is one you will certainly know about it.

For me there are forms, and there are forms; useful forms and forms for those who simply like forms; some forms are open to abuse simply by design. The real point of the supervision form is to show how happy we all are and that client care is being met, mandatory course work done, act.

One question always however baffles me and I give the same stock answer, “Don’t ask me I don’t know!” The question is simply along the lines of are your client’s happy with the standard of care provision you are giving? Of course I can give the correct answer “yes because….” but in reality I could believe I’m giving the best and meeting all the needs of my clients when they could be in anxiety or stressed because the reality is more that they feel I’m not, too aggressive or uncaring. The fact they miss me when I’m off would suggest otherwise, maybe?

For me it would be better to feed back to me the feeling’s of those who receive health care provision from me, and if there is a problem this allows a more informative discussion; it could also highlight a need for training within a particular area, or even suitability in doing the job.

However the reality is that no one wants to hear any negativity, especially if directed at them; however sometimes these hard discussions can prove more productive; surrounding oneself with people who always agrees with you does massage the false ego. Yes I am the BEST and well you know it!

However I would be crazy to think that all supervision’s are like mine, there are those who will wait until supervision to bring up any concerns, the form at the end of being filled out will be different and the approach by the employer matching the individual. It’s an art to know how to deal with people as the needs are much different depending on the individual, and their perspective; my contempt for the form is born out by my answers and glazed look in my eye.

This appreciation of the individual also goes into care provision, some are compliant to the changes needed given their condition; some are non-compliant. Some accept that they have a condition and others remain in denial. So the approach has to be individualized, out-patient and follow up is never the same even if the condition is. There is also further people skills needed when working out in the community given that your in the person’s own home and personal space, especially if your dealing with a client who remains nu-compliant in medication, diet, exercise act.

This for me reminds me of how we should approach those who take up the path of bhakti, each has their own baggage, their own needs and desires along with approach. It’s easy to try to deal with each person as a collective but we see from Srila Prabhupada that outside of his requirements of his disciples to follow the four regulative principles and 16 rounds of japa, but then we see a more personal side understanding and encouraging his disciples allowing them to explore and expand.

It’s an art, means we need to take more time and develop a personal relationship with the person, this is good mentorship, the student understands the spiritual master and the spiritual master understands the student. We cannot develop a personal relationship with Sri Krishna without developing a personal relationship with devotee’s and we should encourage each one to shine.

Compliance in health care takes time, sometimes it’s instant other times it takes years, you learn how to take the person on an individual journey; this is an art learnt over many years working in health care and is something new members of the care team need to learn and it does. Otherwise frustration at all the time spent on individuals who continue to relapse due to the individuals situation.

We see relapse in those who start on the path of bhakti, old habits die hard and when problems arise it’s easy to return to a default setting; the line of least resistance normally absorbing oneself in material happiness rather than spiritual bliss. Being a good mentor means we accept that this is the way it goes, keep the door open, not condemn and encourage the individual to stick with it.

Relapse is expected in health care provisions, due to a variety of situations, the same as some fall down from a spiritual path is to be expected. But if we have developed a very personal relationship and developed trust then we can help over time rectify assist and help the individual.

So during the mandatory supervision they make sure for me it’s quick and takes up as little of my time, but know if I call into the office unexpectedly then some time is needed as this is when important. And when interviewing me for the job I told them my weakness is unnecessary forms and bureaucracy something they remain aware of.

So for me one of the greatest assets is studying Srila Prabhupada and the way he dealt with his disciples, this is the way we should deal with those who take up the path of bhakti; but I’ve personally found it helpful in my dealings with others in my health care job.

In conclusion I remain always humbled by what can be learnt about oneself, others and how to truly mentor and help others within Srila Prabhupada’s actions and words; if we look, study and learn.

As we say to student nurses they will learn once in practice how to deal with others, it cannot be learnt in a class room; how to develop and encourage many in bhakti cannot be learnt doing this or that course but from our dealings with others and learning from well positioned seniors who’s selflessness simply inspires.

Hare Krishna.

Mantra Band; Food For All


Dear Assembled Devotees and Wellwisher’s,
Please accept my humble obeisances,
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Have you ever had the experience of desiring to spread this knowledge of the soul, far and wide but you did not have the funds?

Yeh! Me too.

Our congregation is made up of poor people, many are homeless people. So we turned to Rock and Roll, the Devil’s music, and gave that a try,and somehow it works. (I am not recommending anybody else to try this.)

Our band is called ‘Mantra’, it was set up to get more devotees into big festivals like Glastonbury.

Your servant
Parasuram Das

Love, Compassion and Inspiring to increase Devotion


A small video on my thought’s on showing compassion and love in order to develop and increase devotion.

How we shouldn’t be surprised of fall down, but understand that we are all under the conditioning of material nature; but each should be given a chance in developing and given the same opportunity Srila Prabhupada gave his disciples.

And to ask that vital question, why didn’t Srila Prabhupada follow through with some of the thing’s he spoke about before going ahead with implementing what he didn’t