#idt (62)

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Sri Guru-purnima, or Vyasa-purnima, is the divine disappearance day of Srila Sanatana Gosvami, the eldest of the Six Gosvamis of Vrndavana. The authorized poet Sri Kavi-karnapura, in his book Caitanya-candrodaya-nataka (9.34, 35, 38), quoted in Sri Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya 24.348–350), tells how Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu blessed Sanatana Gosvami with His specific mercy.

gaudendrasya sabha-vibhusana-manis tyaktva ya rddham sriyam
rupasyagraja esa eva tarunim vairagya-laksmim dadhe
antar-bhakti-

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From Back to Godhead

A discussion on the options for the soul under the influence of Krishna’s material energy.

A controversy arose during a Sunday discussion at ISKCON’s Saranagati Village, in British Columbia, Canada. Some devotees quoted a famousBhagavad-gita verse (3.27) where Krishna says, “The spirit soul bewildered by the influence of false ego thinks himself the doer of activities that are in actuality carried out by the three modes of nature [goodness, passion, and ignorance].”

In othe

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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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Today, on Father’s Day, some devotees thought of me and wrote to me. I thought of Srila Prabhupada and a letter he wrote to a disciple: “You have accepted me as father, so I have also accepted you as my dear and real son. Relationship of father and son on spiritual platform is real and eternal; on the material platform such relationship is ephemeral and temporary. Although I cannot give you anything as father, still I can pray to Krishna for your more and more advancement in Krishna consciousne

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From Back to Godhead

To ensure the health of our spiritual life, we must transform material hope into spiritual hope.

Hope—the recognition within the human heart that something better is attainable—can mean the difference between life and death. In Man’s Search for Meaning, Holocaust survivor Victor Frankl writes that the rate of deaths in the concentration camp increased after Hanukkah, even though there was no change in camp’s already horrible conditions. Why did more die? Because each year r

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Stone-Alive by Abhijit Tolley

 

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From Back to Godhead

By Abhijit Tolley

Presence of joy is higher than absence of sorrow.

I was zooming along a beautiful tree-lined highway when I slammed on the brakes. Screeeech! Thud! Generally, when you run over a squirrel scampering across the road just a little too late for you to stop, you get a sinking feeling. Unless you’re stone-hearted, the next few minutes are not joyful. The guilt of having taken a life lingers until it’s replaced by more important things. But this time

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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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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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Or the downfall of Western civilization. The Manu-samhita (8.304-309) describes how a king or ruler of a country receives one sixth of the total karma of the subjects he rules. If the majority of people are pious and spiritually oriented, and the ruler protects those citizens to maintain a peaceful society in which such people can flourish, then the king will also share in the good activities and good karma of the citizens. Otherwise, if the ruler does not properly protect and maintain the citi

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From Back to Godhead

Can the investigation of God through the method of Krishna consciousness really be called scientific?

God: The Evidence; The God Delusion; God: The Failed Hypothesis; The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief. Apparently, writing about God is the latest rage among scientists, both theistic and atheistic. Many of these authors have also been invited to speak to college crowds, and they are causing quite a stir. But is this really the best way to appro

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Jananivas Prabhu’s service was to bring frankincense to Srila Prabhupada’s room in the evening. He mentioned that usually after you fill a room with frankincense, you open the doors and windows so that the mosquitos go out with the smoke. Srila Prabhupada however liked to keep the smoke within the room and stopped Jananivas Prabhu from opening the doors and windows. Since it was Srila Prabhupada’s darshan time, there would usually be many western devotees in the room and these western devotees

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From Back to Godhead

Why are some people by nature outgoing and talkative while others are quiet and shy? What are the forces of nature that compel people to act the way they do? How do these forces work, and who is controlling them?

Dr. and Mrs. A. B. Bright and their two children have a small home, just suitable to their needs, in a peaceful country town. Dr. Bright is the local, M.D., a thoughtful, qualified man, respected for doing his job honestly and selflessly. His hobby: reading books o

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 “For humankind, the mind is the cause of bondage and the mind is the cause of liberation. The mind absorbed in sense objects is the cause of bondage, and the mind detached from sense objects is the cause of liberation.” (Amrta Bindu Upanishad)

Yoga literally means “to connect.” A bhakti-yogi seeks to connect to Krishna, the personal aspect of the Absolute Truth, through a variety of devotional practices. These include chanting Krishna’s names congregationally (kirtana) and serving the

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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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