spiritual thought (92)

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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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From Back to Godhead

If God is inconceivable, as the scriptures state, can we really know anything about Him?

Sri Isopanisad states that Krsna is simultaneously very far away and very close. The Vedic scripturesencourage us: The best way to know Krsna and bring Him closer is to hear about Him.

As we open any book about Krsna, we’ll immediately feel the richness of the clear and scientific knowledge it contains. We’ll also come to understand that Krsna is by nature inconceivable to finite beings

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2515108933?profile=RESIZE_584xIt’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

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By Giriraj Swami 

Today is the auspicious occasion of Gita Jayanti, the day Lord Krsna spoke the Bhagavad-gita to Arjuna on the battlefield of Kuruksetra, the day of Moksada Ekadasi. To begin, we shall read from Bhagavad-gita As It Is, Chapter Nine, “The Most Confidential Knowledge,” two verses that can provide us with guidance for our lives:

TEXT 30

api cet su-duracaro
bhajate mam ananya-bhak
sadhur eva sa mantavyah
samyag vyavasito hi sah

SYNONYMS

api—even; cet—if; su-duracarah—one committi

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Qualities of Sri Krsna

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“Srila Rupa Gosvami, after consulting various scriptures, has enumerated the transcendental qualities of the Lord as follows: (1) beautiful features of the entire body: (2) marked with all auspicious characteristics; (3) extremely pleasing: (4) effulgent; (5) strong; (6) ever-youthful; (7) wonderful linguist; (8) truthful; (9) talks pleasingly; (10) fluent; (11) highly learned: (12) highly intelligent; (13) a genius; (14) artistic; (15) extremely clever; (16) expert; (17) grateful; (18) firmly

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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

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2515099102?profile=originalCandramauli Swami:

In the kirtana of the holy name, so much mercy is easily available, but we can miss it if we do not do two things: be eager for it and appreciate it.

Our consciousness is what makes this sangha (spiritual gathering).

We want to glorify Krishna in the form of the holy name.

I pray that I can never forget the value of the association of devotees, especially when we get together for kirtana.

We have our favorite kirtana leaders and our favorite melodies, but these our secondary t

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Attachment to the Holy Names By Subhag Swami

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Madhu means sweet. It means honey. Krishna is also called Madhu. In this material world there is one type of honey and in the spiritual world there is also a type of honey. The sweet honey in the spiritual realm is the real honey which we should hanker for. In this material world there is Kandarpa (Cupid) but in the eternal world, Madan (Cupid) is Krishna and everyone is attracted by Him.

The holy name and Krishna are non different. Even great personalities such as Brahma chant the holy name in

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Veda means knowledge. The word Veda is related to the Sanskrit root ‘vid’ meaning ‘to know’. So, it encompasses the entire corpus of knowledge, both phenomenal and numinous. Actually, knowledge is established through three primary epistemological premises, viz., sense perception, logical-mathematical inference and reliable testimony. However, when a subject employs inductive methodology to acquire knowledge, it is inhibited by four defects, viz., limited senses, illusory perception, mistaken in

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Discovering Spiritual Knowledge

It all began with meeting a young lady, who is an astrologer. She prepared my natal map and gave some recommendations as far as what I should and should not do. First of all, she recommended to switch to a vegetarian diet. The reason for that is because I was born on Caturdasi. It is a must for people who are born on this day to be engaged in spiritual practice. Otherwise, consequences can be really harsh. I became interested. Actually, I had always been inter

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The Magic Of Gratitude By Sacinandana Swami

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The sanksrit word for gratitude is krtajna – which translates literally as “knowing what has been done.”

Krishna’s gratefulness

Krishna is aware of any service done for Him – whether it is recognized as important like constructing a big temple, which is visited by millions, or whether it goes unnoticed like the chanting of His Names in the secrecy of the early morning hours. He knows it all and He feels obliged to those who are mindful of Him.

For example, Krishna was grateful to Draupadi becau

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A Bridge to God By Satyananda Dasa

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From Back to Godhead

Lessons on life, death, and living in a spirit of devotion

ISKCON devotees commonly use the phrase, “Going back home, back to Godhead.”Have you ever thought about what this means when a traveler is anxious to return home? Home is where our family is, where there are people who love us, who trust us. It’s the place we’re comfortable and happy. It’s the place we feel most natural.

The world we live in is foreign to the soul; we are strangers in a foreign land. In this alien p

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FIRST CONTACT WITH THE HOLY SOUND

My life took an apical turn when I stumbled across the Hare Krishnas. Being born in India I had some knowledge of “Krishna” but I was like most Indians are – conscious of Krishna but not Krishna Conscious. Being just “conscious of Krishna” didn’t mollify my thirst for happiness. When I was introduced to the programs conducted by the Hare Krishnas near our college campus new hope dawned upon me. What mesmerized me the most in these programs was the chanting of t

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Does anyone aspire to become a sannyasi? Simply having this ambition in the first place is not the desire of a truly renounced person. On the other hand, all those who relish genuine taste in Krishna consciousness, will know what proper renunciation is. For this reason, both men and women can live as sannyasis without having that title.

To emphasise renunciation before taste indicates a lack of understanding on the path of Bhakti. Devotees often preach about the importance of following the four

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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

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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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As the United States of America was established by its founding fathers, Srila Prabhupada founded the International Society for Krnsa Consciousness and therefore he is its Founder-Acharya. His goal was to establish a society by which to bring people of the world to Krsna.

In the beginning days of America the pioneers had to depend upon their own determination, strength and faith, to establish themselves in “the new world”. They saw this land as a place of opportunity where each person could pur

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Selfishness By Visakha Dasi

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If, in our marriage, we focus on what we need and negate the needs of our partner, the relationship can’t last. If we give up who we are to please our partner, we may suffocate and become frustrated, resentful and depressed. One who is self-controlled doesn’t need to lord it over another, and neither does that person need to be overpowered by another. Marriage is a balance between satisfying our self and satisfying our partner. It means maintaining an awareness of the other person and their des

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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

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Sri Guru-purnima, or Vyasa-purnima, is the divine disappearance day of Srila Sanatana Gosvami, the eldest of the Six Gosvamis of Vrndavana. The authorized poet Sri Kavi-karnapura, in his book Caitanya-candrodaya-nataka (9.34, 35, 38), quoted in Sri Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya 24.348–350), tells how Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu blessed Sanatana Gosvami with His specific mercy.

gaudendrasya sabha-vibhusana-manis tyaktva ya rddham sriyam
rupasyagraja esa eva tarunim vairagya-laksmim dadhe
antar-bhakti-

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