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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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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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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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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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Good Intentions By Sarvatma Dasa

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From Back to Godhead

Though he sought enlightenment on an isolated beach through music, meditation, and marijuana, it came to him in a way he’d never expected.

Having had some mystical experiences as a teenager that convinced me of the existence of God, I left my native country, Argentina, for Salvador, capital of the Brazilian state of Bahia, famous for its mysticism and magic. I arrived in the area without plans, money, or acquaintances and moved into a straw hut by the beach a couple of mile

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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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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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The Unbroken Chain by Nashvin Gangaram

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What is the point of happiness if it doesn’t last forever? What is the key to everlasting happiness? Srimad Bhagavatam, the ripened fruit of Vedic knowledge, offers us a solution: “Any person who seriously desires real happiness must seek a bona fide spiritual master and take shelter of him by initiation.” The guru gives knowledge of real happiness. Since the founding of ISKCON fifty years ago, over 75 000 disciples have been initiated within ISKCON, beginning their spiritual journey to eternal

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From Back to Godhead

The Vedic literature reveals a real world beyond our experience and beyond our imagination.

Extra-terrestrial and mythical creatures have invaded our world, along with gods and superheroes, gnomes and fairies, dwarves and elves, hobbits and wizards, hippogriffs and dragons, centaurs and Cyclopes. These are the creations of imaginative geniuses – filmmakers, writers, and artists – who are pouring out more gripping and fascinating blockbusters than ever before. Some of their

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From Back to Godhead

Are we simply puppets, helplessly manipulated by the strings of our past activities?

I look on with dismay as the tow truck drives away with the wreck that used to be our car.

“It’s all right,” my wife tries to console me. “Probably some bad karma.”

I consider her words. She has just mangled our car by driving it into the rear end of a truck, and she seems quite eager to let destiny take responsibility for her actions. I wonder if it’s really bad karma, or just bad driving.

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Narada Muni the great acharya has previously explained to Maharaja Yudhisthira, the story of Prahlada Maharaja who is the perfect example of devotional service. Prahlada Maharaja remained faithful to the words of his spiritual master even in the face of the most impossible difficulties.

Depending on a power beyond his own, the mercy of Krsna, he crossed all obstacles. The Lord himself incarnated with a form that will attract all people’s hearts for all time just to show his love. At the conclus

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Great Trail by Bhaktimarga Swami

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Marshall and I took to a second chunk of the Great Trail, beginning at Bowring Park and going west. Nice place, really, with water cascading. This morning, I took to some analysis of the trail along Waterford River and wanted to express my feelings.

Dear Great Trail,

You are not so ‘great’ as you may think you are. In fact, because you are rendering many services to others, you appear to be meek, and humble. You are bearing the weight of my roamers pounding on you daily. The feet of humans,
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We are afraid to make chanting our number one priority in life because of the fear of failure.

Chanting Hare Krishna can be the most humbling experience, especially if we make it the most important goal of our life. Krishna is inaccessible to the conditioned souls; those who are not qualified won’t get access to Krishna’s intimate association. He reserves the right of not being exposed to the conditioned souls. Thus chanting can expose us to our own disqualifications; chanting can reveal to us

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Higher taste by Kadamba Kanana Swami

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Some people say that the greatest enjoyment in the material world is sex. Well, we can also say that greater than that is to be free from such desires. If you do not have the desire, then it saves a lot of trouble! You know, then you do not have to worry about Saturday nights. You do not have to buy flowers. You do not have to spend a lot of money in bars and all these things. There are so many things you do not have to do if you do not have sex desire. You do not have to spend a fortune on all

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The Art Of Heart by Achyut Gopal Das

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Devotion means attention to details." - Radhanath Swami

As I was having my breakfast at our ISKCON-run restaurant at Vrindavan, I saw one lady chef cut a piece of cake, neatly place it on the center of the plate and wipe the excess cake markings very meticulously with a tissue paper. It was then served to the customer with a knife and fork. I very much appreciated the devotion this lady put in her job. No wonder, why people spend so much extra money in going to high-quality restaurants which
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As the age of Kali-yuga moves forward, many people are wondering how bad social conditions will get before they improve, and what can we do about it now. Yet the Vedic texts contain a specific prescription for staying free from the heavy influence that this age of Kali-yuga brings.

In spite of all the changes predicted to happen in society and on the planet, there are still many ways, both material and spiritual, to stifle or even get free of Kali-yuga’s influence. If we are going to change any

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A six hour bus ride on Megabus brought Nicolas and I (and seventy-nine other passengers) to downtown Montreal.  I mentioned to him that we could relax and let the bus empty out before we exit. "We don't need to be part of the stampede," I suggested.

The woman sitting in front of us was of the same spirit.  She also waited, and hearing a piece of our conversation said, "I work for an airlines as a flight attendant and I can tell you this, because I'm not in uniform, the biggest agitation is when
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Just like we have our mother who gives birth to our material body, to whom we owe our body, we also have our Eternal Mother to whom we owe our very soul. In different religions, She is called and addressed by different names. In Vedic culture, She is addressed as Sita, Lakshmi or Radha - the consort of our Supreme Father. She is our Mother God, our Mother Supreme. The scriptures abundantly and extensively glorify This Supreme Mother - Her love, Her compassion and Her grace for all of us. A mo
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