At modern times we have some very powerful distractions that take us away from the association of devotees. Earlier we could sit for long hours with devotees and talk to them about Krishna Consciousness but nowadays we have so many electronic gadgets, and in the name of âutility is the principleâ or also called as âyuktavairagyaâ, we are trapped by the gadgets and go far away from Krishna and His loving devotees.
Spiritual culture has to become the very content and substance of Devotee Care - otherwise it could very easily remain hollow and simply an organisational structure with so many bureaucratic systems
Sep 14 2014 Ghee (mother)
If there is one food that represents the fullness of the mode of goodness, the Earth, the Moon and our mother cow it has to be Ghee or mother Ghee. Many of us who experience ghee just do so by opening a tin of ghee purchased at the market store. But how many of us really think about this product and how it came to be in this tin in this form. For devotees who are aspiring to live the âsimpleâ lifestyle influenced as much as possible by the mode of goodness then our food becomes of prime importance to healthy living. And the way it is grown and manufactured or processed even more important.
Sep 12 2014 An Alternative to Forces that Drive Our Lives
Our modern lives and the decisions we take on a daily basis are typically driven by three major forces - DATA (D), MONEY (M) and RIGHTS (R) - which influence and move us sometimes in very subtle ways. We search for happiness by manipulating these forces to get material sense enjoyment. Unfortunately, the happiness we experience is fleeting and disappointingly unsubstantial. Consequently, many are frustrated and angry with the status quo. And, well-being, at both individual and collective levels, has been severely compromised. What's amiss? Where did we go wrong?
Sep 12 2014 Some No-Noâs For ISKCON Management â Part 2
Since we are all human, we can be expected to display human social and emotional traits. On a devotee managerial and leadership level, somehow we all expect superhuman Vaisnava traits to emerge, whatever that means, and it will probably never happen. Vaisnavas are very human, but their ways and mannerism reflect a selfless nature. Devotee leadership is best undertaken by selfless devotees who exhibit selfless traits of empathy, compassion and understanding - to be broadminded. It is easy to give our own wish list for ideal management, and we know much of the attempts at improvement is still work in progress. However, a few no-noâs can hopefully create awareness towards excellence, as we would expect from Vaisnavas.
Sep 11 2014 Astrology
"Regarding astrology, you should not listen to any of these so-called astrologersâstrictly avoid. Donât even see them. What is the use of seeing them? Astrology is meant for the materialist, but a spiritualist does not care for the future. Everything is dependent upon Krishna. So where is the necessity of astrology? "
Sep 7 2014 Theodicy on Fallen
âIf there were no one to control, there would be no meaning to the conception of the supreme controller (isvara), just as there is no meaning to a king without his subjects. If all the subjects became king, there would be no distinction between the king and an ordinary citizen.. Someone may argue, âWhy is there a need to create the spiritual sparks?â The answer can be given in this way: Since the Absolute Personality of Godhead is omnipotent, He has both unlimited and limited potencies. This is the meaning of omnipotent. To be omnipotent, He must have not only unlimited potencies but limited potencies also. Thus to exhibit His omnipotency He displays both. The living entities are endowed with limited potency although they are part of the Lord.. If the Personality of Godhead did not possess both limited and unlimited energies, He could not be called omnipotent.
No matter whenever and wherever I happen to take birth, let my loving affection and attachment remain unshaken throughout each and every lifetime for the following things: for my divine spiritual master, for Sri Gauranga, for the detailed topics of pure devotional service (and the methods of its execution) as personally instructed by Him, for the holy places of pilgrimage such as Sri Navadvipa, Sri Kshetra, Sri Vrndavana, etc. , which are all blooming with divine sanctity due to His performance of wonderful pastimes therein, for the diksa mantra bestowed upon me by the divine grace of my spiritual master, for the holy name of Sri Hari, for the most beloved eternal associates of the Lord...
Sep 3 2014 A Happy Wife Has a Good Husband
If a case of illicit sex between a man and an unmarried woman were brought before Prabhupada, he never blamed the woman. He said it is the man's fault because the man is supposed to be strong and intelligent, and that a woman naturally and innocently follows a man. A manâs role is to protect and provide. Protection and exploitation are opposites. So if a woman went along with a man's sexual aggression, Prabhupada wouldn't blame her. Why? Because the man is supposed to guide her, take care of her, and look out for her. He provides material, emotional and spiritual security to the woman.
Srila Prabhupada wanted us to set up ISKCON as an almost self-contained, devotional society, with our own schools, farms, economy, and social system. So far we have not completely realized that ambition, though there are some very good schools and options for those who want to live a life of 'full-time' engagement in ISKCON. But we also have large 'outside congregations' of devotee (like myself) who have our own jobs, careers, and community engagements. Now there is even a member of the U.S. Congress who is a Hare Krishna devotee.
Some people hold that, having been prophesied by scripture, by Lord Chaitanya and by the previous acharyas, if Srila Prabhupada had not spread Krishna Consciousness, some other devotee, or some group of devotees, would have been empowered to do so in Srila Prabhupada's place. In other words, the prophecy to spread Krishna Consciousness around the world relied on empowerment, rather than an empowered individual, for its fulfillment. It is similar to saying that if we were empowered like Hanuman, we could also jump to Lanka. But is empowerment all that is needed? Can anyone by empowerment do any prophesied task as well as anyone else?
Sep 2 2014 The artistic qualities of Srimati Radharani
In this original five-and-a-half minute song, Mahatma dasa combines his experience as a recording artist with his appreciation of the unique qualities of Srimati Radharani that qualify Her as the greatest devotee of Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Sep 2 2014 Srimati Radharani’s Appearance
Audio file and transcription of a lecture Srila Prabhupada gave on September 18, 1969 in London, on the occasion of the appearance anniversary of Srimati Radharani.
Sep 2 2014 Sri Radhaâthe Feminine Divine
Radha and Krishna are one, yet They have assumed two separate forms to enjoy loving pastimes. Numerous theological texts explain how this is so, but most thorough are the writings of Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami and Rupa Gosvami, great masters in the Vaishnava tradition whose books have been translated and commented upon by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. To understand Sri Radha, then, English readers would do well to turn to Srila Prabhupada's books.
Sep 1 2014 Margarine Spreads vs. Butter
If this were a boxing contest in a fight between the two opponents âmargarineâ and âbutterâ it would not be a fair contest. Itâs like trying to compare a little girl or boy fighting against Muhammad Ali. In this example âbutterâ is Muhammad Ali because butter is a natural food product. Not only is butter a natural food product but more importantly the body recognises butter when butter is ingested. Because margarine spreads are not natural, when it is ingested into the body it is not recognised as a natural product by the body.
Sep 1 2014 Some No-Noâs For ISKCON Management
When unwanted types of management are perpetuated, no matter how qualified ISKCON managers might be with people skills and other necessary qualities, their attempts at trying to undo these will be difficult. There are reasons for this. We have seen the ISKCON Strategic forum enthusiastically asking for assistance from able devotees, but this needed assistance will be frustrated if these perpetuations persist.
Aug 20 2014 Srila PrabhupadaâVani and Vapuh
After Srila Prabhupada left us on November 14, 1977, I came across a section in Srimad-BhagavatamâCanto 4, Chapter 28âin which he explicitly discusses the disappearance of the spiritual master and how the disciple is to serve himâeven in separation. The following paragraph summarizes the essence of his instructions
Aug 20 2014 The Meaning of Vyasa Puja
Every year the disciples and followers of Srila Prabhupada, the founder-acarya of ISKCON, compose written tributes in celebration of the day of his birth. This year I was asked to write âThe Meaning of Vyasa Pujaâ for the international book. Here is what I wrote
Aug 19 2014 Gold from a ‘dirty’ place â the football field
I recently read a letter which was eloquently penned by Bhakti Charu Maharaja which really struck me, so much so, I became inspired to write a few words about it. It struck me for a couple reasons, one the simple essence of Maharaja's letter being the glorification of other devotees, which is always an inspirational meditation to see in action, one devotee glorifying other devotees. The other aspect that I found equally, if not more eye-catching, was an analogy that Maharaja used.
Aug 18 2014 Honoring Srila Prabhupada
When Srila Prabhupada began his book distribution he was the only distributor. He would take his magazines and just go from tea shop to store at his old age trying to convince people to accept the message of Krishna in the form of Back To Godhead Magazine. And in a few years he created the largest publisher in Indian literature in the history of the world. Hundreds, of millions of books have been distributed. Sometimes tens and thousands of Bhagavad-Gita distributed in one day, by those who are touched by his spirit of compassion. We can speak on this subject for many many hours, days, weeks, months, years and life times. What was Srila Prabhupadaâs motivation? Selfless, unconditional love for Krishna.
"Let others, fearing material existence, worship the Vedas, the Vedic supplementary Puranas and the Mahabharata, but I shall worship Nanda Maharaja, in whose courtyard the Supreme Brahman is crawling."
Aug 17 2014 How to Celebrate Janmashtami
Where Vaishnava temples exist, festivities begin before dawn and extend all day until midnight, the exact moment of the anniversary of Krishnaâs appearance. Events include kirtan, singing the Lordâs name along with other devotees; and japa, private, more intimate prayer. Some devotees cook a feast of over one hundred dishes, while others perform drama and dance. Some clothe and decorate the deity of Krishna while others string enormous flower garlands and other decorations for the temple. Incense burns, scriptures are read, and all but the young and the infirm fast all day. The deities are also bathed with a variety of auspicious liquids in a kind of ablution ceremony called abhisheka. Sometimes taking over two hours, this is performed with great pomp.
Aug 17 2014 The Descent of God
All over the world we find the kind of literature we call scripture. These works tell us a particular kind of tale. They report those extraordinary occasions on which the divine penetrated into our world, and our tiny space and time housed for a while the eternal and infinite. Witnesses to these incursions, utterly changed by what they had seen, found themselves compelled to pour into the worldâs indifferent and disbelieving ear their strange and powerful tales. And just because these witnesses were so changed, others listened, and they were changed in turn.
During Independence day, on behalf of A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Iskcon devotees from RÄdhÄ Kunda assisted in a long-range plan of tree replantation around Giri Govardana. Perhaps a feather within the worldwide mission, is the care for the Holy DhÄma through dhÄma seva; a tribute to a place where the founder ÄcÄrya desired to circumambulate in his final physical days.
The Srimad Bhagavatam describes its own genesis through the narrative of Vyasadeva, the sage who authored a phenomenal canon of scriptural works. He was a literary super-star. Despite his ability and productivity, he felt inexplicably incomplete. To gain relief, what did he do? He turned inward and upward: inward to introspect, and upward to consult his spiritual master, the celestial sage Narada. Both introspection and instruction led him to the same conclusion: he hadnât used his talents for their ultimate purpose â glorifying the Supreme. He rectified that anomaly by profusely and purely glorifying the Lord in what became his magnum opus, the Srimad Bhagavatam
Aug 15 2014 TOVP e-Newsletter #3
The Mayapur city, Prabhupada said, would be the fulfillment of the desires of the previous acaryas. The city would grow to a population of fifty thousand and would become the spiritual capital of the world. With its gigantic temple in the center and separate quarters for brahmanas, ksatriyas, vaisyas, and sudras, the city would be a model for all other cities. The day would come when the worldâs cities would be ruined, and humanity would take refuge in cities modeled after Mayapur. The development of Mayapur would mark the beginning of a Krsna conscious world. Thus the influence of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu would increase, and His prediction would manifest: âIn every town and village My name will be chanted.â
Aug 14 2014 Hell’s Angels
On one of Srila Prabhupadaâs visits to London, a young women had inquired, âSrila Prabhupada, do they preach Bhagavad-gita in Hell?â His face was serious as he replied with a rhetorical question, âThis London is not Hell?â The woman was puzzled and thought perhaps Srila Prabhupada had not understood her question so she repeated it. Srila Prabhupada responded even more emphatically, âI am saying, this London is not Hell?â
Aug 8 2014 The GBCâs Strategic Plan
A Comprehensive Summary, Our Service, A Growing Need, The Strategic Initiatives, The Iskcon Constitution, Srila Prabhupadaâs Position, Parallel Lines Of Authority And Economy, Iskcon Culture, Building Capacity For Leadership, Team building, Succession, Gbc Organizational Development, Organizational And Environmental Scanning, Regional Leadership, Expanding Outreach, Devotee Care, Special Initiatives, Service Organizations And Affiliates, Conflicts Of Interest, Bringing The Plan Into The World Of Action, Ministries And Offices, Developing An Executive Strategy For The Gbc, Executive Director, Divisional Directors, Gbc Committees, Conclusion
Aug 4 2014 Alone but not lonely
As a preacher/counsellor, I meet many who are disappointed in life and desperately need emotional healing. Most emotional problems in life originate in feeling a lack of deep, fulfilling relationship and a desperate want for a loving companion. Even in our temple which is over flooded with thousands of devotees, itâs possible to feel lonely; I know a few devotees who have felt lonely at some point of time in life. Besides, I myself when I stay at Borivalli for a few days in a week to write my articles, or when I travel for my preaching services, I feel lonely and am desperate to come back to temple.
The differences between milk produced in a modern conventional setting and a cow protection project are diametric opposites. They could not be further away from each other even if they tried. And the idea of paying money in a cow protection herd for milk that they produce is one of the reasons that cow protection does not work. If we try to mix up the way modern day dairy herds operate by making money and turning milk production into a type of business then we have misunderstood the holistic principles of cow protection.
Jul 29 2014 An Appointment with Mr. Death
As the evening arati started and the deities were greeted amidst loud chanting and the blowing of conch shells, indicating auspiciousness, Rohini Tanaya cast his last loving glance at the devotees and, while prayerfully looking upon the deities, departed from his body. Devotees cried and rejoiced simultaneously, for this was an extraordinary, inspirational departure. Devotees had witnessed that Krishna consciousness is not simply a theory but a practical science. Rohini Tanaya had just shown by his example how a devotee fixed in Krishna consciousness receives Mr. Death cheerfully
Jul 28 2014 Black Holes And Gaping Mouths
The famed Time Machine is now a serious inevitability, according to many. One scientist says that he wants to go back to the past to see his deceased father and possibly help him with present-day medicine.If Krishna says that He is Time and is the destroyer of all things, including our karma, then what type of power or technology can oppose this? Going back into the past means to undo karma and to undo history.
Jul 27 2014 Prosperity of the Earth Culture
Cow protection, as set forth by Srila Prabhupada was not merely that the cow and the bull lead a full and natural life, but that they also be jolly, as a member of a family would feel. Cows and bulls are happy to be fed and brushed. While cows like to be milked, the main source of pleasure for the ox has been obscured by the tractor. An ox is a bull who has surrendered his procreative potential, transforming that energy into a submissive and manageable temperament capable of being trained and utilized for agricultural and transportation services. As a father figure he loves to provide for his family of humans by pursuing his occupation in the field which assures a source of income and prosperity to mankind.
Jul 25 2014 Tomatoes from Heaven
ISKCON farms have some great successes, and some great failures too, but with the money ISKCON now has, and the large congregation of young devotees, it has tremendous opportunity for self-sufficient farms. The idea that the modern age has changed the opportunity for simple living and high thinking on farms is not true. Self-sufficiency as it was on 1950's farms could be easily replicated today by any young and very hard working devotee couple.
Jul 20 2014 Incorporation Of ISKCON
âWe shall call our society ISKCON.â Prabhupada had laughed playfully when he first coined the acronym. A friend had suggested a title that would sound more familiar to Westerners, âInternational Society for God Consciousness,â but Prabhupada had insisted: âKrishna Consciousness.â âGodâ was a vague term, whereas âKrishnaâ was exact and scientific; âGod consciousnessâ was spiritually weaker, less personal. And if Westerners didnât know that Krishna was God, then the International Society for Krishna Consciousness would tell them, by spreading His glories âin every town and village.â
Jul 16 2014 Delicious Sins
One such sin which every one of us commit in ignorance is related to eating food hence the name Delicious Sins. Although it sounds astonishing that how come eating food be sinful, since everyone tends to think that all the food in the world is meant for human consumption.
Jul 15 2014 Lost paradise football
In the Srimad Bhagavatam lecture 1.7.16, Vrndavana, Srila Prabhupada explains that some fell down from playing football in Krishna-loka. "Just like spiritual atmosphere, Krsna's friends, cowherd boys, they're playing with Krsna. That is also playing. And here in this material world the boys they also play football play. But these two plays are different. One is spiritual and another is material..."
Sudamapuri is the birthplace and residence of Sudama brahmanÌŁa, the childhood friend of Lord Sri Krishna. Sudamapuri is in the town of Porbandar, 104 km (2 hours) from Sri Dwarka Dhama. Porbandar is a coastal harbour city situated on the western coast of Saurashtra, Gujarat, along the Arabian Sea. In the 10th century Porbandar was known as "Pauravelakul" and thereafter renamed as "Sudamapuri".
Jul 12 2014 Calm the hungry and angry heart
Material attachment weakens our heart whilst spiritual affection strengthens it. Most of our material desires remain unfulfilled. And if somehow some gets fulfilled then soon we find that it does not give us same pleasure as we had expected and soon we get bored. This is why great minds in the past and holy scriptures have always spoken about the futility of material cravings. Then why to waste our invaluable life running after worldly things? Instead let us take a bold decision, step out from the material mindset and look towards Krishna.
Jul 12 2014 Reconciling Seemingly Outrageous Figures
One should not argue that such a large number of cows could not possibly fit into the thirty-two square mile area of Vrindavan, because the dhÄma is unlimited by the inconceivable energy of the Lord. Even a small portion of the holy dhÄma is sufficient to accommodate billions of universes each measuring fifty million miles in diameter. Krishna showed this to Brahma in a later chapter.