All Posts (28192)

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The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust's publication, The Science of Self Realization, is one of its most popular books, either in hard or soft copy, and it continues to be a good introduction to bhakti-yoga.  In 1968, an article appeared in the Montreal Gazette.  Our guru, Prabhupada, read with interest the topic on soul research, which appears in the SSR.  He did respond to it.  Here is an excerpt from that Gazette Headliner.
 
Heart Surgeon Wants to Know What a Soul Is
 
WINDSOR- A world-famous Canadi
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Everyone enjoys having their photo taken, no matter where we may go in this world. Our deep-rooted identification with our gross and subtle material body allows us to experience pleasure seeing our own picture and showing it to others. On my travels I often see people at airports taking pictures of themselves with their relatives and friends. Now, through the modern technology of smartphones, people can take selfies without needing another person to take the shot.

Many times I observe people ta

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Man has the chance to bloom spiritually by raising himself to the highest level of love of God.The Vedic scriptures divide consciousness into five categories, namely covered, shrunken,budding, blooming, and fully bloomed.

Trees and plants, for example, are almost inert. They fall into the “covered consciousness”category. They seem to show no sign of consciousness, but when we observe them carefully, we see they have a limited consciousness.

Other living entities, such as worms, insects, and oth

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From Back to Godhead

The desire to be soul-conscious inspires a move to a soul-compatible place.

“The soul [jivatma] is unborn, eternal, immortal, and primeval. It does not die when the body dies.” (Bhagavad-gita 2.20)

I first heard details about jivatmathe soulin 1971 during my maiden overseas trip. I was reuniting with my then-boyfriend (later husband) John in India, and to me, a born and bred atheist, jivatma was a quaint irrelevant idea.

An idea, however, can be like a seed: it can germinat

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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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What is the matter with the world?

By A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

On the 16th of February 1957 a meeting was held at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan to discuss the above subject matter. Distinguished gentlemen from different categories spoke on the subject, but practically nobody could give us a definite direction as to what actually the matter was that was troubling the whole situation. This feeling of pinching in the existence of our life is a good sign for progress. It is an urge for enquiry what is the wrong in the world

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 By Madhava Smullen

With the famous annual Gaura Purnima festival at ISKCON’s headquarters in Mayapur, West Bengal running from February 17th to March 11th, and thousands of devotees and pilgrims pouring into the spiritual city, there’s now an alternative, more peaceful way to get there from Kolkata airport.

Avoiding the bumpy, risky roads and pollution, travelers can instead book the Jaladuta boat service organized by the Mayapur Tourism department and enjoy a relaxing cruise down the river

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In a talk on Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.15.51, on December 28, 1973, in Los Angeles, Srila Prabhupada spoke about bhagavat-priyanam, those who are very dear to the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

“Bhagavat-priyanam. There is a common saying in English, ‘If you love me, love my dog.’ That is very important. If you love such person who is very dear to Krishna (bhagavat-priyanam), then Krishna is more pleased.

“There is a version in the Padma Purana. Parvati was asking questions to Lord Shiva, and he was

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Foundation by Bhaktimarga Swami

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One of the most foundational principles in the science of bhakti is expressed in a verse from the Adi Purana.  Here's the Sanskrit with Roman Transliteration then the translation.
 
ye me bhakta janān partha

na me bhaktās ca te janāh

mad bhaktānām ca ye bhaktās

te me bhaktatamāh matāh
 
“One who claims to be my devotee is not my devotee, but one who is a devotee of my devotee is actually my devotee.” 

The above verse from the text, is God speaking—the actual words of Sri Krishna.  The verse
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From Back to Godhead

Why we should surrender to Lord Krishna’s lotus feet.

At the junction of two ages, amidst two immense armies arrayed on the battlefield at Kurukshetra, Arjuna scans his foes and becomes confused. When Krishna expounds eternal dharma to enlighten him, Arjuna addresses Krishna as pavitram paramam: “the purest of the pure.” (Bhagavad-gita 10.12) Arjuna adds, “All the great sages . . . confirm this about You, and now You Yourself are declaring it to me.”

Apart from the Bhagavad

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On February 13, 2020, the observance of the 146th Appearance Day of His Divine Grace Astottarasata Sri Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Prabhupada, the entire completed Pujari Floor of the TOVP was opened in great pomp and grandeur. In preparation for the relocation of ISKCON’s beloved world Deities into Their long-awaited new home in 2022, and to instill confidence in ISKCON’s leadership and devotees that the construction is solidly moving in that direction, the opening was officially undertak

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In the first canto of Srimad Bhagavatam, in the dialogue between king Pariksit and Dharma (that appeared in the form of a bull) there is a passage that I struggled to understand for a long time:

“The King said: O you, who are in the form of a bull! You know the truth of religion, and you are speaking according to the principle that the destination intended for the perpetrator of irreligious acts is also intended for one who identifies the perpetrator. You are no other than the personality of re

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As a medical doctor and a practicing devotee, I sometimes happen to help devotees with their medical illnesses in my community. And it is saddening to see how devotees neglect their health and pay a much higher price later.

There are many reasons why devotees suffer from health problems. Some of these reasons are unavoidable – like old age, genetic causes (diseases running in families), unexpected incidents like injuries, accidents etc.

But many times, devotees get diseases which can be totally

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The Iskcon will throw open on Thursday the world’s largest pujari seva on a single-floor facility spread over 2.5 acres at the Temple of the Vedic Planetarium at Mayapur in Nadia.

Devotees from over 77 countries are expected to attend the inaugural ceremony that will also mark the countdown to the opening of the Vedic planetarium, the Iskcon’s flagship Rs 700-crore project slated to be completed in March 2022.

“This is going to be the largest floor for worship and other seva facilities in the

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By Madhava Smullen 

A new project, The Pilgrimage, is providing luxury spiritual retreats and online education for corporate clients, while also offering ISKCON devotees the chance to earn a living amongst Vaishnava peers.

Founder Sandipani Muni Das (Kal Key), originally from Coventry in the UK, worked on Wall Street before a visit to the sacred village of Vrindavan, India changed his life. An encounter with a holy man there, who lived so simply yet was ready to share everything he had, gave

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Lines by Bhaktimarga Swami

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I still catch myself addressing people I meet with a "Happy New Year!”  Soon, in two days only, the calendar flips a page to reveal another month, making New Year's totally irrelevant.  But you're not going to get me to say, "Happy Valentines Day."  It's just not the thing monks say to anyone.
 
To compensate for this great lack of etiquette, I can say to my fellow colleagues and community members, "Happy Nityananda's Day" or "Happy Shiva Ratri" in reference to saints in our lineage.  "Happy Ga
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Tolerate and Transcend by Giriraj Swami

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Speaking on Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.26.47 on January 22, 1975, in Juhu, Bombay, Srila Prabhupada appealed to us not to be preoccupied with the temporary miserable and happy conditions of life but to put a permanent end to the real problems of life and make our lives successful:

“Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, says personally, ‘These are your miseries.’ What? Janma-mrtyu-jara-vyadhi: [birth, death, old age, and disease (Gita 13.9)] ‘Repetition of birth and death.’ This is your real mis

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The Crush of Love By Jagabandhu das


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My Father-in-law was at first alarmed by the framed photo of Srila Saraswati Thakur adorning our living room wall captioned with His Divine Grace’s bold declaration that “…Western civilization must be crushed.” I explained that the whole world was contaminated by the ideology of extreme exploitation which has it’s heart inextricably intertwined with the roots of what History portrays as Western “civilization.” This idea of exploitation ruins any realm in which it exists like a malignant cancer

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Everyone is trying to be happy in the material world. Real happiness however is found on a deeper level. Now, the art is to develop a bigger vision. The Bhagavad-gita, in the beginning, talks about Arjuna, who is a member of a royal family, and has found himself in a difficult situation, a war situation which made him depressed. But then Krsna explained to Arjuna na jayate mriyate va kadacin nayam bhutva bhavita va na bhuyah (Bhagavad-gita 2.20). He explained that the soul never takes birth, th

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“Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura indicates that rather than trying to separate conditioned souls by materialistic distinctions, one should bring them together to chant the holy names of the Lord and propagate the sankirtana movement of Lord Caitanya. A nondevotee, or even an envious third-class devotee, is not interested in uniting people on the platform of love of Godhead. Instead he unnecessarily separates them by emphasizing material distinctions like “communist,” “capitalist,” “blac

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