spiritual thought (95)

Money, Krishna, and Us by Vishakha Devi Dasi

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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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The desire to see God, to touch God, to talk to God is in itself probably the strongest argument for His existence; besides the logic and evidences from the scriptures, this direct experience is very significant indeed. Bringing Deity Worship from the insiders circle of elderly pujari-priests and making it part of the congregational development is probably the only way it may become part of the positive future for many places in ISKCON. While everyone hankers for direct experience of God in per

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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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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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Surrender By Kavicandra Swami

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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:

sarva-dharman parityajya
mam ekam saranam vraja
aham tvam sarva-papebhyo
moksayisyami mä suca

TRANSLATION

Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall de

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From Back to Godhead

Taking into account the many descriptions of Godhead found in ancient books, scriptures and the eternal wisdom heard by disciples from their venerable masters, the Absolute Truth may be defined as follows: He is by Himself and for Himself; He has all knowledge, strength, opulence, fame, beauty and renunciation; He is the Fountainhead of limitless energies and the Fountainhead of infinite qualities all of which are identical with Himself. He has infinite forms, all of which

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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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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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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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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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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

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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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 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 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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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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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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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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From Back to Godhead

Are we the makers of our destiny or is life pre-destined? Find out here . . . .

In the Mahabharata, Vidura explained to Dhritarastra, “Destiny determines the consequences of our actions, not our actions themselves.” This means that we are not like programmed robots that have no free will, or no choice. Our past karma does determine what will happen in our life, but it does not determine how we will react to it.

Destiny is something like a weather forecast on a journey. A we

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