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
The point is that a pure devotee can't be seen with material eyes and material logic. Just like Lord Krishna can't be seen with material eyes, so also His pure devotees. You need spiritual vision to appreciate God, His abode, His name and His devotees. Thus Bhakti Vinod Thakur, one of the greatest spiritual teachers of all times
When devotees look at their obstacles to advancement in Krsna consciousness, they sometimes doubt whether they will ever be able to overcome all of them (for those of you who haven’t taken my seminar on prayer, we ask participants to make a list of obstacles they face in devotional service and formulate prayers to overcome those obstacles). It is easy to become discouraged and thus feel it may not even be worth praying to overcome obstacles. Or you may think that if you go on in devotional serv
The sanksrit word for gratitude is krtajna – which translates literally as “knowing what has been done.”
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
Every morning after the morning program in ISKCON temples and every time devotees offer their respects to the devotees of Lord Krishna, it is a custom to chant the phrase - "ananta koti vaishnava vrinda ki jai". It means - "all glories to the unlimited, countless devotees of the Lord". I got to witness a glimpse of this phrase in the recent annual Vrindavan Yatra. The Yatra itself had 7000 registered pilgrim devotees along side lakhs of
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
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
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
He could reveal Himself in any Mahamantra that we chant. He could pop out of any page of the Bhagavad-Gita or Srimad-Bhagvatam that we read. He can show Himself in any of His deity that we see. He could reveal Himself through a
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
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
(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
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
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
According to the shastra, the way to counteract the very deeply strong tendency for possessiveness in the grihastha life is to giving charity to the Vaishnavas and the brahmans, to the mission of the guru. According to the shastra, the first fifty percent you have give it to your guru’s mission. And then whatever else you have, maintain, that is the ideal standard. You never be possessive if you do that, because the first priority with whatever you get goes to Guru and Krishna. You cannot do fi
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.
“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
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
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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