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Sri Ramanujacarya Appearance

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Sri Ramanujacarya’s Life History (By Sri Ubhaya Vedantha Anbil Ramaswamy)

Sri Ramanuja (1017 – 1137 CE), the most important philosopher-saint of Sri Vaishnavam and one of the most dynamic characters of Hinduism. He was a philosophical as well as a social reformer, displaying a catholicity that was nearly unparalleled in Hindu religious history before him. He revitalised Indian philosophy and popular religion so much that nearly every aspect of Hinduism has been influenced by his work. His life

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In the 1960s, literary and media critic Marshall McLuhan coined the phrase “global village” to describe the extension of people’s frames of reference and sense of responsibility beyond their immediate surroundings, or “village.” This growing sense of connectedness, McLuhan proposed, is the natural result of a world in which electronics enable our senses (at least the senses of sight and hearing—for now) to immediately experience that which is taking place across the globe, just as we would in o

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I recently connected with a childhood friend who also became a monk. As you can imagine, we had lots to talk about, and lots in common. In his tradition, one of the monastic vows is to never touch money; and if he does, even by accident, he observes complete fasting for a day. Serious detachment. Admittedly, if I had adopted that vow I’d be dead and cremated by now – financial transactions seem a staple part of my daily life! But money is dangerous, and time and time again we see how it can att

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(Bhaktivedanta Research Centre: This is a one of a kind original photo of Srila Jagannath Das Babaji Maharaj found by BRC while going through Sri Sundaranand Vidyabinode’s collection.)

Today is Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja’s disappearance day. He comes in the Gaudiya Vaishnava disciplic succession after Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura and Srila Baladeva Vidyabhusana. He was a renounced ascetic, fully engaged in chanting the holy names of Krishna and meditating on His pastimes. For

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We may be surprised to learn that many things we consider as acts of spiritual advancement in Krishna consciousness, like tapasya or austerity, are actually acts of selfishness, and will impede our real growth. Even following the four regulative principles in certain ways, can divert us.

“So this austerity is called tapasya, denial, self-denial” (class on SB. 5.5.1 in Vrndavana, Oct 23, 1976). To give up certain forms of selfishness is required to progress in spiritual life, and this is usual

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From Back to Godhead

The desire to be soul-conscious inspires a move to a soul-compatible place.

“The soul [jivatma] is unborn, eternal, immortal, and primeval. It does not die when the body dies.” (Bhagavad-gita 2.20)

I first heard details about jivatmathe soulin 1971 during my maiden overseas trip. I was reuniting with my then-boyfriend (later husband) John in India, and to me, a born and bred atheist, jivatma was a quaint irrelevant idea.

An idea, however, can be like a seed: it can germinat

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From Back to Godhead

Sri Brahma-samhita is one of the oldest Vedic scriptures, and it is accepted by Lord Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu (an incarnation of Krsna Himself who appeared 484 years ago) as the essence of Vaisnava (Krsna conscious) philosophy. The first verse of the Fifth Chapter of Sri Brahma-samhita reads: “Krsna, who is known as Govinda, is the Supreme Godhead. He has an eternal, blissful spiritual body. He is the origin of all. He has no other origin, and He is the Prime Cause of

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From Death to Immortality By Atmattatva das

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What will happen to me after death?

In the second chapter of Bhagavad Gita Lord Krishna explains this subject to Arjuna in great detail. Arjuna was faced with a situation where, in order to uphold dharma, he had to fight and kill people who were very dear to him, his own relatives and friends. As one might expect, it caused great disturbance to Arjuna, and when he finally saw the people with whom he was going to fight, he lost all composure and began to cry.

Arjuna threw down his bow and told

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There are various kinds of yoga; such as karma-yoga, based on purifying our activities; Jnana-yoga, based on acquiring spiritual knowledge and insight; Raja-yoga, the mystical yoga system; and Bhakti-yoga, attaining union with God through love and devotion. From these yoga systems, additional systems have also developed. But these four basic forms of yoga are all discussed in the primary and essential Vedic text of the Bhagavad-gita. But out of all of them, Lord Krishna specifically directs u

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2515108933?profile=RESIZE_710xIt’s been another one of those weeks wherein caring for our severely autistic/mentally daughter has very nearly eclipsed all other activities. Again. Same as every minute of every day. For years on end. In order that we might truly learn and grow deeper with sincere affection from the difficult experience which the Supreme Lord has sent as mercy to reform us from all selfish considerations. Or complaint (tat te nukumpam…) about the severe circumstance we must necessarily endure. As each endless

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2515109138?profile=RESIZE_710x  The common understanding of an Advanced Civilization in today’s context is to be advanced in Technology, having a comfortable lifestyle, Earning Lots of money and having enough or rather lavish facilities to enjoy the senses to the fullest. This is the yard stick that is generally used to gauge the Advancement in Civilization. Owing to this yardstick Countries like United States of America, Great Britain etc are considered as First world Countries and more advanced in civilization then others.

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“So far your question regarding women, I have always accepted the service of women without any discrimination” (Letter to: Gurudasa — Los Angeles 26 May, 1972)

In terms of our personalities and abilities, no two of us are alike. Why should we be? And why would anyone want us to be? Variety, Srila Prabhupada tells us, is the mother of enjoyment. Whatever our personality, whatever our talents, Prabhupada wants us to use them in Krishna’s service.

Yet when we learn from Prabhupada’s teachings th

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Any Colour You Like by Jagabandhu das

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My earliest memories of religion in this life are of my father (my first guru) teaching me about the Great Spirit worshiped by American Indians (“Wakan-Tanka” Who also undergoes quadruple expansion just like the all pervading yet personal Vasudev). He also taught me that I should be respectful of other people’s beliefs irrespective of race and creed. And never look down upon anyone. Ever.

Even though his mother, my paternal grandmother was a devout Baptist (my maternal grandmother was a devout

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Kirtan: Are there rules? By Rasananda das

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“How any spiritual activity should be done is understood from three sources: saintly persons, standard scriptures and the spiritual master”. (Srimad Bhagavatam 3.28.4, purport)

Proper sankirtan – a phrase used by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati in his Sri Sanmodana Bhasyam and by Lord Caitanya Himself – means certain tunes, certain instruments, a certain musical style, certain dress and certain kinds of dancing by the members of the chanting party. In Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s sankirtan movement, r

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From Back to Godhead 

For anyone interested in spiritual progress,
gambling is more than just a harmless amusement.

High’s convenience store is bustling with last-minute shoppers picking up odds and ends for a holiday dinner. Having run out of milk, I find myself in the crowded store, standing in a line that wraps around the food aisle. I resign myself to the waiting, and chant the Hare Krsna mantra softly to myself.

An elderly shabbily dressed woman at the counter draws my attention. She’s frant

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How many of us are fortunate to have not just good friends, but close friends with whom we can phone at any time, and for no particular reason, than to simply share a Krishna conscious realization?

How many of us are blessed to be able to shed all institutional and scholarly roles, simply to sit down in an informal setting once in a while, and discuss none other than Krishna katha?

Does it ever occur to us sometimes, particularly if we are second initiated, that the services we try to render fo

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2515164611?profile=originalIt’s natural to talk about new year’s resolutions. You might be thinking about doing something you’ve put off or making some changes for the new year. You might even be making the same resolutions you made last year at this time. Or maybe you just don’t make them anymore because you never follow through on them anyway.

“There’s hope”

Do You Just Want It or Are You Committed to Get It?

Srila Prabhupada cites Dhruva Maharaja as a perfect example of determination. He says that we should be as deter

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The Science of Association By Acyuta Dasa

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From Back to Godhead

Whether we are neophytes or advanced, association of pure devotees is crucial for our spiritual progress.

The pure devotees of the Lord carry the message of Godhead in order to deliver the fallen souls, and therefore the common man who is bewildered by the influence of the external energy of the Lord should avail himself of their association.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.5.4, purport)

The Science Behind Krishna Consciousness

Srila Prabhupada often referred to bhakti-yoga as “the s

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We sometimes think of ourselves as being good adjudicators of who is serious in Krishna consciousness, and who is not. Who is pure, or not. Expecting that “More people will leave Krishna consciousness than stay,” we easily become proud of being one of the “privileged few” to remain.

Being of the surprising few and rationalising this way is certainly premature, and signals immediate complacency. The adage, “It is how you finish that counts; not how you start,” usually escapes our attention when

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Heavenly Match? By Visakha Dasi

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Worse than being alone is to be with a person who doesn’t like you; too many people have experienced the anguish and chaos caused by an incompatible marriage. Such travesties are systematically avoided in Vaishnava culture because, besides training and restraint in behaviour prior to marriage, all care is taken in matchmaking: “Formerly, boys and girls of similar dispositions were married; the similar natures of the boy and girl were united in order to make them happy.” (SB 3.21.15) “The centra

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