#idt (45)

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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The sanksrit word for gratitude is krtajna – which translates literally as “knowing what has been done.”

Krishna’s gratefulness

Krishna is aware of any service done for Him – whether it is recognized as important like constructing a big temple, which is visited by millions, or whether it goes unnoticed like the chanting of His Names in the secrecy of the early morning hours. He knows it all and He feels obliged to those who are mindful of Him.

For example, Krishna was grateful to Draupadi becau

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From Back to Godhead

“My exposure to the young devotees and to Swami Bhaktivedanta as well as the chanting of Hare Krsna has brought me moments of inner peace and has enabled me to live a little more spiritually with my family and in my profession. My two older children also spent some beautiful moments with the Swamiji times we will always treasure.
“It is not necessary to shave your head and to become fully absorbed in the teachings to absorb some of the spiritual vibrations which flow from t

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Receiving guests at the Temple

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Quotes from Radhanath Swami

1) From letters

  1. “The culmination of all our preaching efforts is when a sincere soul experiences his or her spiritual home when they visit our temple. I cannot overestimate the great importance the service, which you have accepted as a guest receptionist. I am most indebted to you for taking this service so seriously. Any person who ever visits our temple should feel so personally welcomed that they feel they have made a true friend. A devotee who genuinely is conc

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Citing the Lord’s Version

By His Divine Grace A.C.B. Swami Prabhupada

Srimad-Bhagavatam (Bhagavata Purana) – Canto 2: The Cosmic Manifestation – SB 2.9: Answers by Citing the Lord’s Version
Verse – 33

aham evasam evagre
nanyad yat sad-asat param
pascad aham yad etac ca
yo ’vasisyeta so ’smy aham

Synonyms: aham — I, the Personality of Godhead; eva — certainly; asam — existed; eva — only; agre — before the creation;na — never; anyat — anything else; yat — all those; sat — the effect; asat — the cause; param — the supreme;

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By Dr. J. Chakrabarty, Florida State University

The concept of evolution of species, generally attributed to Charles Darwin, actually had its origin thousands of years ago in ancient India, and formed the basis of the illuminating philosophy of the Vedas. Since Darwin lived at a time when the profundity of the Indian wisdom already made an indelible impression on the minds of the western savants, it is hard to imagine how Darwin could possibly have escaped the compelling influence of the Indian

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IS God a Person or Energy?

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Excerpt from the Bhagavad-Gita As it Is 7.7:

Chapter 7: Knowledge of the Absolute

TEXT 7

mattah parataram nanyat
kincid asti dhananjaya
mayi sarvam idam protam
sutre mani-gana iva

SYNONYMS
mattah—beyond Myself; parataram—superior; na—not; anyat—anything else; kincit—something; asti—there is;dhananjaya—O conquerer of wealth;mayi—in Me; sarvam—all that be; idam—which we see; protam—strung; sutre—on a thread; mani-ganah—pearls; iva—likened.

TRANSLATION

O conquerer of wealth [Arjuna], there is no T

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As devotees, we talk a lot about getting free from the material energy, free from the influence of maya, free from our attachments to material sense pleasures and their objects.

Why do we want to do that? What would be the reason?

Sometimes it can be confusing. It may seem like we’re taking all this too seriously, when really it’s all Krishna’s creation and life in this world can have so many pleasures to offer us.

Here is an example that perhaps will illustrate the reasons.

Suppose you are in

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Westerners, in general, take too much for granted and are not careful enough in social dealings.
Modern Western society conditions one to artificially come too close, too soon without respect for one another. 
Modern Western society respects nothing beyond fame, money and sexual prowess; it is the antithesis of Vaishnava culture.
Prematurely judging others and jumping to conclusions are other negative traits found almost everywhere, which most of us must admit. These traits, born of the mode

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The King of Knowledge by Srila Prabhupada came to me at a pivotal time. I got the book without wanting it. My friend wanted to share it with me after he perused it. I had no idea – I was “book distributed!”

I was skeptical but on my friend’s recommendation, I studied the book for at least a month. The King of Knowledge held ample flawless arguments. At the time I was busy trying recklessly to fill my life with mind altering substances and such. The “mind altering substances and such” did not f

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