gita (20)


Nityananda conducts our morning sadhana at the temple. A portion of that responsibility entails reading a passage from the sacred “Bhagavad Gita.” He read today’s verse 17.14 which I find relevant and practical. 

“Austerity if the body consists in worship of the Supreme Lord, the brahmanas, the spiritual master, and superiors like the father and the mother, and in cleanliness, simplicity, celibacy and non violence.” 

I am tempted to spell out right here the excellent purpose by Srila Prabhupad

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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

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On Gita Jayanti, the day of the advent of the Bhagavad-gita, spoken by Lord Krishna to Arjuna, I reflected on Srila Prabhupada and how he addressed members of the Gita Pratishthan (Gita Foundation) in India, in 1976. The way Srila Prabhupada dealt with the conference was exemplary and extraordinary as I shall relate.

In May a prominent industrialist named Ramkrishna Bajaj (almost everyone in India knows Bajaj Autos and Bajaj Electricals) wrote Srila Prabhupada that he was organizing a conferenc

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From Back to Godhead

Conceptions of God in the Bhagavad-gita encompass those of other traditions and give full picture of the Absolute Truth.

“The Bhagavad-gita teaches a pantheistic view of God,” he said, his confidence and years of learning clear from his authoritative tone. “The massive vishvarupa—Krishna’s universal form, which encompasses all material phenomena, including time—tells us much about God in the Gita.”

His friend, another scholar of some renown, seemed to disagree.

“The Gita go

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We all have certain abilities that enable us to make a contribution and gain satisfaction.
When we use our abilities properly, we get a sense of self-worth and specialness. But sometimes those talents can also make us proud because we may feel superior to those who do not have such talents. To avoid such pride, we need to see our abilities appropriately. Gita wisdom explains that our talents are not our entitlements, that is, we are not entitled to have these talents. Even if we have certain a

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For about ten years, I maintained myself and my family by driving a taxi. Srila Prabhupada’s kirtan always softly played in the taxi, and I was distributing his books to my passengers. Some happily accepted, and some refused as always.

One day, I picked up a passenger from the airport to take him downtown, about a forty-minute drive with traffic.

On the way, he recognized the maha-mantra in the background and started a conversation with me. I slowly introduced him to the message of the Bhagavad

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Just as a very good sweet will have something hidden inside of it, or a company will have the inner group of key people, the Gita has a core made up of four verses. These are called the Catur Sloki (catur = four, and sloki = verses), and they summarize the entire Gita.

The eighteen chapters of the Gita are themselves divided into 3 parts. The middle six chapters focus on bhakti and are “protected” on either side by teachings on karma-yoga (the first six chapters) and jnana yoga (the focus of th

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Encourage by Bhaktimarga Swami

8346583852?profile=RESIZE_400xThus far it is a mild winter. Such is the forecast. Such is the experience. Stepping outside for an eager stroll allowed me to feel the atmosphere. I encouraged one of our boys in the ashram, who hails from Bangladesh, to go for a daily outside experience. “Get acclimated. Go out for some air. There is lots of prana.” Actually he’s constitutionally quite strong.

“It is when you stay indoors that you get sick,” I continued.

However, he is actually a bit under the weather. Now, I can’t pressure. I

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The Glory of Gita Wisdom


Einstein, Emerson, Thoreau, Huxley, Hesse . . . I was amazed that this list an intellectual who’s who from recent world history was actually a list of thinkers who had appreciated the Gita.

As I had been born and brought up in India, the place where the Gita was spoken millennia ago, I was familiar with it as an ancient Hindu text. I had even memorized some of it for verse recitation contests. But I had no idea that its contents were of interest to the modern mind, much

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Context and Crux of Uddhava-gita

Bhagavad-gita is the great philosophical song by Lord Krsna on the battlefield of Kuruksetra to motivate His bewildered friend Arjuna. There is yet another Gita that Krsna sang in Dvaraka to pacify another of His friends named Uddhava. Famous as Uddhava-gita it forms the longest philosophical section of the magnum opus literature Srimad Bhagavatam.

Lord Krsna’s descent into this world was requested by the devatas headed by Brahma, to reduce the burden of the ear

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By Madhava Smullen 

The podcast boom has accelerated in the first half of 2020, perhaps partly due to the appetite for more streaming content while people stay at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. ISKCON devotees have also embraced the medium, and recently a new podcast, 5 Minute Meditations, has emerged as a digestible weekly slice of Bhagavad-gita philosophy, practically applicable to everyday life. 

Available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Youtube, the podcast is hosted by ISK

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गीता की महिमा

वैदिक ज्ञान का सार है गीता,
जीवन जीने का है ये तरीका ।।
भगवान के मुख से है कही हुई,
यह औषधि स्वयं कृष्ण की दी हुई।।
पहले भी कही थी यह सूर्य देव को,
वापिस दोहरा रहे हैं कृष्ण अर्जुन को।।
पहले तो अर्जुन ने कृष्ण को गुरु स्वीकारा,
जब ज्ञान हुआ तो उन्हें भगवान पुकारा।।
पर पूछता रहा प्रश्न अंत तक वो डटकर,
संशय का बादल जब तक उड न गया छट कर।।
अर्जुन का ज्ञान पाना तो एक बहाना था,
असल में तो उन्हे हमें ही सब बताना था।।
अगर जरा सी श्रद्धा है तो सुनना जरूर,
गीता का ये वाणी अमृत पीना जरूर ।।
गीता का मकसद हम

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By Madhava Smullen

When the late Sridhar Swami introduced Steven Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People to ISKCON in 1995, Serbian-born Akrura Das was intrigued, and began to take leadership training seminars. 

Starting a newsletter called Leadership Excellence, which was read by many top leaders of ISKCON, he was further inspired by the leadership books of Bhakti Tirtha Swami, and learned that people need personal coaching as a follow-up to help them apply their leadership training. 

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“Anyway, print books, distribute profusely, and that will be the best preaching work. What will your three minutes; preaching do?—but if they buy one book, it may turn their life. So make this your important task, to print our books…and distribute widely, and that will please my Guru Maharaja. Never mind it takes little time to make progress, our process is slow but sure, and we are confident that if we continue in this way we shall go one day back to home, back to Godhead.” - Srila Prabhupad

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By Chaitanya Charan Das 

We all worry sometime or the other. And to some extent, worrying is just natural and unavoidable because so many things that are important for us are not in our control.

Still, if we consider the amount of mental time we spend on worrying, we will recognize that it is enormous – and enormously unproductive, in fact counterproductive.

While there are no quick fixes to the problem of excessive worrying, still we can progress towards a solution by appreciating that the sam

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Traditions across the world have stories similar to the Western classic about Dr Jekyl and Mr Hyde. In such stories, the same person acts sometimes like a principled, selfless benefactor and sometimes like an opportunistic, self-centered malefactor.

And similar is our own story too. What makes us behave like this? Our mind, or more precisely, the way we respond to our mind. Our mind reacts impulsively to external perceptions and internal recollections; it becomes infatuated with some things and

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In our times, equality is considered one of the most cherished values. Few things provoke as much indignation as incidents of discrimination – or even allegations of discrimination. Such outrage is healthy, for it helps create a world where everyone has equal opportunities.
Still, what is the basis for our longing for equality? Intuition, we might say – we innately feel that everyone should be treated equally. Yes, but what is the basis of that intuition? In other words, what is the worldview t

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By Chaitanya Charan Das

Suppose we accidentally take a drink that acts like poison for us in our particular health condition. As soon as we realize what we are doing, we will immediately stop drinking it and take some antidote.

When we gain spiritual knowledge, we understand that sensual indulgence acts like poison, even if it tastes initially like nectar (Bhagavad-gita 18.38). Despite understanding this, we still succumb to sensuality because our conditions or conditionings highlight the initi

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