spiritual thought (97)

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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By Karnamrita Das and Arcana siddhi Devi Dasi

I have been speaking to a friend about how personal and spiritual growth can be related, or how our being balanced human beings in the mode of goodness is a good foundation for Krishna consciousness. Thus I thought of posting this article by my wife and I: Chanting the holy name and engaging in Bhakti-yoga (Krishna consciousness or devotional service) is the ultimate process of purification and healing in our tradition of Gaudiya Vaishnavism. The p

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From Back to Godhead

A look at Lord Caitanya’s “Eight Instructions” and their relevance to japa, the individual practice of chanting Hare Krishna.

A friend once told me this analogy about spiritual life: a flock of geese share strength by flying in a V formation, but if one goose goes down, the others can’t help. Similarly, though seekers of enlightenment help each other, success ultimately depends on personal effortand the kindness of the Supreme Lord, Sri Krishna.

Krishna’s kindness appears i

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Looking to post my daily Srila Prabhupada quote I stumbled upon the beautiful chapter 22 of canto 8, describing pastime of Bali Maharaj. It was amazing to read how Krishna expertly, what else can we expect from Him, bestows opulence on His aspiring devotees. On one hand He grants a lot to some while on the other hand He takes away everything from others.

It is a misplaced perception that Krishna does not grant opulence to His devotees, in fact His devotees receive limitless opulence, there are

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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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The greatest challenge in performing Sadhana Bhakti is our attempt to serve the Lord with only the cognizance of Him being an almighty God. The immense distance between us and the Lord during the clearing process (Anartha Nivrtthi) is such that most Sadhakas face difficulty in maintaining steady service. This misfortune can solely be attributed to a lack of Sambandha Jnana or in other words due to forgetting who we are.

Most of our energy during the clearing process goes into fighting our previ

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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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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

A discussion on the options for the soul under the influence of Krishna’s material energy.

A controversy arose during a Sunday discussion at ISKCON’s Saranagati Village, in British Columbia, Canada. Some devotees quoted a famousBhagavad-gita verse (3.27) where Krishna says, “The spirit soul bewildered by the influence of false ego thinks himself the doer of activities that are in actuality carried out by the three modes of nature [goodness, passion, and ignorance].”

In othe

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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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Change By Mahatma Das

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When devotees look at their obstacles to advancement in Krsna consciousness, they sometimes doubt whether they will ever be able to overcome all of them (for those of you who haven’t taken my seminar on prayer, we ask participants to make a list of obstacles they face in devotional service and formulate prayers to overcome those obstacles). It is easy to become discouraged and thus feel it may not even be worth praying to overcome obstacles. Or you may think that if you go on in devotional serv

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From Back to Godhead

Just to attract us to His service, God appeared on earth more than one million years ago as Lord Ramacandra the most benevolent ruler and valiant hero the world has ever known.

The incarnations of Godhead are as numerous as the waves of the sea, yet Krsna, the original Supreme Personality of Godhead, is the source of them all. Just as from one original candle we may light many other candles equal in potency, so Krsna expands Himself in many incarnations, each as powerful as

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The world around us is changing at an ever-increasing rate. The notion of keeping up with the changing world may have relevance in devotional service. But is this perspective relevant in all areas of our practices of bhakti? Are there some elements of devotional service that must always be constant? Srila Prabhupada wrote:

The greatest danger to our movement will come when we manufacture and create our own process for worshiping the deities. … Whatever is going on, follow it just to the exact

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From a series of lectures by HH Radhanath Swami, introducing the Spiritual Counselor System that has been successfully deployed at Sri Sri Radha-Gopinath Temple in Mumbai, Chowpatti.

Inroducing the Counselor System

Service To The Vaishnavas – The Highest Religious Principle

Vaisnavism has been manifested in its purest and most wonderful form through the love and teachings of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His associates. The most beautiful aspect of Lord Caitanya’s pastimes is the loving interac

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The Sublimation Of Work By Gautam Saha

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THE NEED TO SUBLIMATE INDIVIDUAL WORK FOR ULTIMATE PERSONAL SATISFACTION AND HAPPINESS

Many a times, we wonder “what bit of good have I done today ?” After all, everything said and done, life is pretty mechanical and also largely material. We follow the same working routines day after day, year in and year out, in whatever profession or calling we have chosen for ourselves, or had been pushed into or drifted into by the compulsions of need, convenience, location, education, ambition, or just in

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SB 1.1.2 … sadyo hrdy avarudhyate ‘tra krtibhih susrusubhis tat-ksanat …As soon as one attentively and submissively hears the message of Bhagavatam, by this culture of knowledge the Supreme Lord is established within his heart.

Ref. VedaBase => SB 1.1.2

By the hearing process Krsna IMMEDIATELY (sadyo) is established in the heart.

Please note the word RAPT [attention, in the previous quote] – there is a consistency in the Bhagavatam methodology. One has to hear attentively.

The sadhana of hea

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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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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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From Back to Godhead

How we value, acquire, use, and relate to money reflects our inner state of being.

Sri Sukadeva Goswami said, “Money does not stay in one place. It passes from one hand to another. Ultimately no one can enjoy money, and it remains the property of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 5.14.24) Money is God’s energy. He created it, He owns it, and He controls it: “Everything animate or inanimate that is within the universe is controlled and owned by the Lord

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So on the occasion of Varaha’s appearance day, we are reading a verse in relation this pastime. This is from Canto Three, Chapter Eighteen “The Battle Between Boar and Hiranyaksa”, Text number two.

dadarsa tatrabhijitam dhara-dharam
 pronniyamanavanim agra-damstraya
musnantam aksna sva-ruco ’runa-sriya
 jahasa caho vana-gocaro mrgah

Translation:
“He saw there the all-powerful Personality of Godhead in His boar incarnation, bearing the earth upward on the ends of His tusks and robbing him of his

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