spiritual (16)

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A. Introduction

1. What is vanaprastha?

The word vanaprastha is composed of the words vana, meaning “forest” and prastha, meaning “to go,” so a vanaprastha is “One has gone to the forest.” Vanaprastha is an asrama in the Vedic varnasrama system. An asrama can be both a physical and mental place and refers to “a place where one cultivates spiritual life, where culture of the spiritual is foremost.”
The vanaprastha order is complete retirement from householder life, a time when one prepares onese

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“When we love those who love the Lord, the Lord reveals his love to us. Krishna sends his loving devotees to this world, so that we can transfer our attachment.”- Radhanath Swami

Shivananda Sen, he was taking all the 200-300 devotees from Bengal to Puri. They were walking so many days. And a little dog just started following. And that dog… he wasn’t a kind of pedigree, beautiful kind of dog. He was just the kind of dogs that you find in the streets of India. He followed. He followed. And Shivan

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If we don’t sleep at the right time, we will sleep at the wrong time (Based on Gita 06.16)

When practicing spiritual life, we may equate spiritual advancement with denying our bodily needs such as sleep. We may deprive ourselves of sleep to demonstrate our spiritual advancement.

However, spiritual advancement centers not on physical deprivation, but on spiritual absorption. To grow spiritually, we need to become conscious of our own spiritual identity and of the supreme spiri…tual reality, Kris

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It’s a general concern of devotees which we hear in many of the classes, forums and seminars on what can be the real key to balance one’s material and spiritual lives.

There is a very interesting statement made by famous French priest and philosopher Pierre Teilhard de Chardin: “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience but we are spiritual beings having a human (material) experience.” It’s true that because of our past conditionings, desires and lifetimes of karma, we are having a

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By Damodarleela dasa and Arjuna Krishna dasa

Recently the Maharashtra Padayatra was at Koregaon in the Sangli district, a village enriched with devotees. Cintamani devi dasi, the daughter of a brother of Lokanath Maharaja, stays here and as part of a Vaishnava family she naturally follows the same spiritual path. Her son, Caitanya dasa, who studies in gurukul, was also at home to welcome padayatra and he sang and performed kirtan with us. They have a combined family, a rarity nowadays, and all

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Question: Spiritual wisdom-traditions often glorify forgiveness as a virtue, but isn’t it impractical and foolish to forgive someone who repeatedly hurts us?

Answer:

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When someone hurts us, forgiving that person is our best response. But often our indignant emotions make us overlook the subtle but vital line that differentiates forgiving a person from trusting a person: forgiveness is for the past; trust is for the future. We are urged to immediately forgive, but not immediately trust, the wron

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Spiritual Amnesia By Satyaraja Dasa

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Remembering Not to Forget: But if its amnesia you want, Krishna will give it to you

It’s funny how if you give Krishna, God, an inch, he gives you a mile. I remember in my earliest days as a devotee, I had left the movement for some time. I was home, watching TV with my family. All of a sudden, right on the screen there was an ad for the television station with a photo of New York City streets. There he was, my Godbrother Bhaktivinoda, with a close-up of the Channel Two logo below his chin. I h

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Recently I was in New York attending an initiation ceremony. As I watched the new devotees, young and old, take their vows, I reflected on my own beginnings.

Over 35 years ago I sat before the fire and took the same vows. I am grateful to still be practicing. Later that day I heard a talk which shared 4 reasons why devotees sometimes give up the process of Krishna consciousness, the one they once started so enthusiastically. Turning them into positives, here are 4 things, if we do them well, th

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What is Gratitude? By Radhanath Swami

 

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Gratitude is a divine virtue that is so important that other divine virtues could not exist without it. Spirituality grows like seeds within our heart. The goodness of our lifestyle protects that seed. Our spiritual practice of chanting God’s names, reading scriptures, doing seva for God and others waters that seed. But gratitude is what makes the ground fertile so that all these other virtues will actually have its maximum effect. A fertile soil allows the seed to have deep roots and grow ve

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Whom to Worship? By Gauranga Dasa

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From Back to Godhead

We all worship someone all of us but the question is…

One of the principles of worship is at traction. When you are reverentially attracted to someone, you have the desire to establish a relationship with that person, and when the relationship is established then you want to perform some worship. Therefore the most important principle is attraction. So the question is what makes a person attractive?

In a spiritual discourse if we announce beforehand that there will be a lec

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Q.
Dear Bada Haridas,
I led my first kirtan yesterday evening! I was wondering what is the role of the kirtan leader? I know that practically speaking they are playing an instrument and singing the mantra for the group to repeat, but what is their job spiritually?

I felt a little bit nervous to take on the task at first and was wondering if you could share some of your wisdom in that regard. Hare Krishna!

A.
Glad to hear you are leading kirtan. Thank you for asking such a nice question and for

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If a devotee were to ask, “Please bless me so that I’ll never take birth again in this horrible material world,” would this be asking for some kind of liberation? Hundreds of times, Srila Prabhupada encouraged us to “Go Back home, back to Godhead.” Would it be a form of boldness or naiveté to desire to come back to this world and serve by preaching?

That would depend on our level of perception and spiritual progress. There were times when some disciples indicated to Srila Prabhupada that they w

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From Back to Godhead

Which way does one go in moments of despair?

LORD KRSNA HAS TWO ENERGIES, material and spiritual, but they can be used interchangeably if one knows how. Just as the same electricity can be used to heat or cool a building, so Krsna’s energies can be used for different purposes according to the living entity’s desire.

That doesn’t mean that the living entity can control Krsna’s energies, only that he can use them. When a conditioned soul wishes to exploit the material nature,

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Bhismadeva was not only a pure devotee, but very much a self-reliant devotee. He was a devotee who chose the transcendental position even though he was in a condition of life which was mundane. Living in a royal court is not the ideal situation for a brahmacari. Generally, brahmacaris are nicely locked away in the brahmacari ashramas, where they are protected from the heavy aspect of sense gratification straight in their face. But here, Bhismadeva was living in royal opulence, a very difficult

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From the Reservoir of Knowledge

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From Back to Godhead 

Personal Letters from Srila Prabhupada

As a genuine spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada takes personal responsibility for the advancement of each of his students in the spiritual life of Krsna consciousness. Although now his transcendental instructions are available in book form, when Srila Prabhupada first began the Krsna consciousness movement, the only way his new disciples could get the answers to their many questions was to ask Sri

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The English Dictionary defines the word “spiritual” as “Relating to or affecting the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things”.

Now before we attempt to delve deeper into this topic, it is essential for us to understand as to who we actually are? The answer to this question will help us make sense of life, in the first place, and lead us to the gradual understanding of what truly is the goal of it. In other words,the more we discuss and brainstorm on our own identity, the

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