It’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
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
We often get questions about surrender, like “how can we surrender”. Recently I was reading one old BTG, 2001, and found a nice practical statement from Srila Prabhupada. If we search “surrender” on the vedabase we find 7445 hits, so we know it is an important topic. And we all know the conclusion of the Bhagavad Gita:
mam ekam saranam vraja
aham tvam sarva-papebhyo
moksayisyami mä suca
Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall de
“How is our existence in the material nature? Very beautiful, very wonderful. [laughter] Full of promises and full of excitement, full of opportunities. But that is the influence of the Lord’s illusory potency. We are suffering, but we consider this suffering condition to be joyful. The reality is this material existence is full of suffering. And the thing is, the more we try to enjoy, the more we end up suffering. Therefore, saintly people in the past, they used to voluntarily accept austeriti
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
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
(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
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
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
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
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.
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
“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
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 frant
It’s natural to talk about new year’s resolutions. You might be thinking about doing something you’ve put off or making some changes for the new year. You might even be making the same resolutions you made last year at this time. Or maybe you just don’t make them anymore because you never follow through on them anyway.
Do You Just Want It or Are You Committed to Get It?
Srila Prabhupada cites Dhruva Maharaja as a perfect example of determination. He says that we should be as deter
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
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
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
Excerpt from the Bhagavad-Gita As it Is 7.7:
Chapter 7: Knowledge of the Absolute
mattah parataram nanyat
kincid asti dhananjaya
mayi sarvam idam protam
sutre mani-gana iva
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.
O conquerer of wealth [Arjuna], there is no T
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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