latest blog (39)

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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 fr

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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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From Back to Godhead

Academic knowledge provides information of the world, but spiritual knowledge awards us eternal liberation

One of my friends in college was known for his immense general knowledge. He knew the names of all recent Hollywood and Bollywood movies, the actors, directors, and producers of each movie, and the winners of Oscar and Filmfare awards from every year. In sports, he knew the winners of each Grand Slam tennis tournament from every year as well as similar information abou

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From Back to Godhead

By Karuna Dharini Devi Dasi

Desiring to drown everyone in the flood of love of God, Lord Caitanya made a special effort to capture misinformed impersonalists.

In 1486 CE, Lord Krishna appeared in West Bengal as Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Though Krishna Himself, Lord Caitanya comes in the mood of a fully Krishna conscious devotee and teaches us pure bhakti, the personal, loving, service relationship of the soul with the Supreme Lord. To awaken that relationship, Lord Caitanya

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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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From Back to Godhead

“Probability is the most important concept in modern science, especially as nobody has the slightest idea what it means. —Bertrand Russell

Throughout human history, philosophers and seekers of knowledge have sought to discover a single fundamental cause underlying all the phenomena of the universe, Since the rise of Western science in the late Renaissance, many scientists have also felt impelled to seek this ultimate goal, and they have approached it from their own characte

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The Deep Ecology movement is rooted in the conclusions of Professors Lynn White and Arne Naess. By the late 1960s, Prof White, a historian and university president who had studied the development of technology from medieval times to the present, published “The Historical Roots of Our Ecologic Crisis”. In that influential article, he identified society’s mentality of anthropocentrism (human-centrism) as the root cause of the ecologic crisis. Shortly after that, Prof Naess, philosopher and enviro

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From Back to Godhead

In many places in his books Srila Prabhupada describes the wonders of prasadam, food prepared with devotion and offered to Krishna. Prabhupada discusses such merits of prasadam as how it effectively immunizes one against the contamination of the material nature, how it frees one from becoming a ghost after death, and even how it is considered ecstatic nectar from the lips of Lord Krishna. In the Chaitanya-charitamrita (Madhya-lila, 4.93, purport) Srila Prabhupada writes:

Th

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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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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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The Supreme Mercy of The two Lords

In Vedanta Sutra there is a famous – “anandamyo bhyasat”. This sloka explains the constitutional position of every living being. Everyone is looking for pleasure. The soul and it’s natural condition is Sachidananda, eternal, full of knowledge, and full of bliss, full of ecstasy. Therefore the heart of every living being is constantly seeking beauty, charm, and ecstasy. Therefore the Lord descends into this world to distribute prema bhakti divine love. Becaus

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There are various kinds of yoga; such as karma-yoga, based on purifying our activities; Jnana-yoga, based on acquiring spiritual knowledge and insight; Raja-yoga, the mystical yoga system; and Bhakti-yoga, attaining union with God through love and devotion. From these yoga systems, additional systems have also developed. But these four basic forms of yoga are all discussed in the primary and essential Vedic text of the Bhagavad-gita. But out of all of them, Lord Krishna specifically directs u

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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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We all have heard Srila Prabhupada warn us that television and media strengthen our materialistic mentality and divert us from service to Krishna—our consciousness being formed largely by our association. However, it is often difficult to keep our children away from the influences that are so pervasive in our culture.

Aggression and Television Viewing: The problems associated with children watching TV go beyond moral and spiritual concerns. There is mounting evidence of the many negative psycho

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We Do Not Tell Lies Do We?

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By Kesava Krsna dasa

Have we ever embellished a telling of a lie with an assortment of trivial details to disguise the actual truth? Have we ever pretended to be someone we never were, by exuding a persona larger than ourselves? Are there any angels among us who can boldly claim to have never fibbed; ever – even to get out of an awkward situation?

The truth is out; there are no foolproof ways of telling if someone is lying or not. Shifty eyes, truth drugs and lie detectors can provide clues bu

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Don’t we just delight in books and movies wherein destruction wreaks havoc in one form or other, be it by nuclear bombs, disease, twisters, volcanic eruptions, giant creatures or alien invaders. If you do, then you’ll love The World Without Us, authored by Alan Weisman. Reviewed by Janet Maslin in The Arts section of the August 13th NYT, the book is a “what if” account of what would happen to the world if mankind would suddenly disappear.

How long would our cities and achievements last without

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The Brain As Holodeck

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The spiritual or eternal self is not the sensations which the soul experiences within and from the body. “yantra rudrani mayaya”. What we directly experience is not actually the external hard physical material world, but a REPRESENTATION built by the mind, within the networks of the body’s brain, nervous and glandular systems, life air, etc., but primarily the brain, of the occupied body, exactly like a person experiencing the holo-deck from Star Trek fame. Subject, also, to defects.

By Tamoha

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Saradiya: Swamiji? When we go to Krsnaloka to be with Krsna…

Prabhupada: Just see this girl, little girl, is aiming for going back to Krsnaloka. Just see.

(Srila Prabhupada lecture, Montreal, June 16, 1968)

Prabhupada: How you are feeling, Saradiya? Nice?

Saradiya: I’m fine.

Prabhupada: You are going to Europe? No? You have got to attend your school? That’s nice.

(Srila Prabhupada conversation, Montreal, October 27, 1968)

Saradiya: Simply by Your Divine Grace, on Krsna’s appearance day in S

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