Jun 29 2014 My First Puri Rathayatra

By Deena Bandhu dasa

The next day was Gundicha Marjana. Many times I have cleaned the temple from top to bottom in whatever temple I was in. But today we all went to do Gundicha Marjana at the very site where Lord Chaitanya had personally done it five hundred years before. We were all very excited. Unfortunately, they don't allow foreigners inside. So I told Bhadra Charu Prabhu, a very nice devotee who was in charge, to get me a couple of baskets so we could at least clean the front entrance. All around the entrance they were selling brooms and clay pots, but no baskets. But somehow he got a couple.

1,474 Views
 
 

Jun 29 2014 The Glories of Ratha Yatra

By Jagannath Das

When Srila Prabhupada was five years old, he desired to hold a Ratha Yatra festival like the one held annually in Jagannatha Puri, attended by millions. When he heard his father could not afford a new wooden ratha, he began to cry. This attracted the attention of a passing Bengali women who kindly let him buy her old ratha. Srila Prabhupada enlisted the help of the neighbourhood children and their mothers in an elaborate eight-day spiritual festival that he continued annually during his boyhood. This same festival would eventually be established by Srila Prabhupada on five continents.

1,195 Views
 
 

Jun 28 2014 The Chorus Of One-siders

By Kesava Krsna Dasa

It is known that Srila Prabhupada was not fond of ambiguities like “maybe, perhaps, could be…” and so on, and we often follow suit to express ourselves in absolutist terms, convinced of our infallible statements. The problem with this is that in the face of Srila Prabhupada’s varied and nuanced teachings our utmost one-sided certainties can expose us as certain and total fools who actually expose our political and biased natures.

1,343 Views
 
 

Jun 25 2014 Japa Affirmations

By Mahatma das

I happily and enthusiastically welcome the holy names every japa session. I easily chant my prescribed number of rounds with focus and attention. When I chant, I chant. I get to chant, I want to chant, and I love to chant. I treat the maha-mantra as Radha and Krsna, fully present in sound. I receive and feel Krsna's presence, mercy and love in His holy names. I chant in full awareness that the holy name is my greatest treasure.

1,568 Views
 
 

Jun 25 2014 Back to Godhead means…

By Patitapavana dasa

Back to Godhead means back to the Head God, Krishna. So says His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada savior of the whole world in a lecture on SB 1.5.29 in Vrindavana (10-8-74) Here is the context: “So we are atma, and Krishna is also atma. But He is Paramatma. We are isvara. Krishna is also isvara. But He's Paramesvara. Therefore we have named "Godhead" purposefully, not "God." We don't say "Back to God." We say, "Back to Godhead.""Head" means the chief. Everyone can claim that "I am God," because everyone has got some power, little power. But not the supreme power. That is Krishna.”

1,150 Views
 
 

Jun 17 2014 Importance of Bhagavad-gita in This Day and Age

By Sri Nandanandana dasa

Besides being the classic Eastern text that it is, and the summary of most Upanishadic information, it is the core of the deepest levels of spiritual knowledge. It is also like a handbook for life. Just as when you purchase an appliance of some kind, like a refrigerator, television or computer, you get a manual that teaches you how to use it. So in the same way, if God created this world and put us here, doesn’t it seem that He should also tell us what is the purpose of this life and how to use it accordingly?

1,350 Views
 
 

Jun 17 2014 ‘Whose Fault is Divorce?’: Mahatma Prabhu’s Response to Bhakti Vikasa Swami, Part 2

By Mahatma das

Prabhupada says that generally divorce is the woman's fault. Chastity is one of a woman's most important virtues, so husband and wife should not divorce. The premise of my article ‘Husband as Guru’ was that men are rarely entirely innocent. Some said this contradicts Prabhupada. I still stand by my statement. Yet, I do not agree I have contradicted Prabhupada, for by saying "generally," Prabhupada doesn't deny that men can have their share of responsibility in a divorce.

3,214 Views
 
 

Jun 17 2014 ” Is Self Compassion Bonafide”

By Mahatma das

The Nectar of Devotion asks us to be patient, or dhairyat (verse 3). And Prabhupada talks much about the necessity of patience to be successful. Who must we be patient with? This verse is referring to being patient with ourselves. Why? Because we often fail, and if we give up, we lose. Prabhupada said that if we lose enthusiasm, everything is finished. So self-hate can cause one to lose patience with oneself and thus feel like giving up. We need to patience with ourselves to remain encouraged to go on enthusiastically with our bhakti. Sometimes devotees lack enough self-forgiveness to have the patience needed to progress well in devotional service.

1,483 Views
 
 

Jun 17 2014 My Initial Response to the Concerns of HH Bhakti Vikash Swami

By Mahatma das

I welcome the opposition and the opportunity to discuss issues of male/female relationships because in Iskcon, our marriage tract record is not good and if our discussion can help improve our marriages, then such discussion is welcome. So I am glad to have raised a few eyebrows and that I thus received the opportunity to address, in depth, the roles of men and women and their effects on marriage.

3,118 Views
 
 

Jun 7 2014 Sridhara Aangan - Sri Kolavecha Sridhara’s place

By Chandan Yatra Das

Kolavecha Sridhara is an eternal playmate and associate of Lord Caitanya and is very dear to Him. He is known as Kolavecha Sridhara because he made his living by selling kola (banana) leaves, plants, stalks and plates. He was so poor that he lived in a broken down hut and did not even had proper utensils for cooking. Despite his impoverished condition, Sridhara faithfully spent fifty percent of his earnings to worship Mother Ganga. He was constantly engrossed in chanting Lord’s Holy Names

1,213 Views
 
 

Jun 4 2014 Limbo

By Visakha Priya dasi

They go into LIMBO. The Latin word “limbus”, interestingly enough, means “border,” “boundary,” “edge.” It sounds a lot like the marginal position, does it not? So the souls in Limbo have no chance of ever attaining Heaven, although according to some theologians, they can because Jesus goes there too. It is not my intention to dwell too much on the matter. But what strikes me is that the Christian theology stresses our potential relationship with God in the future. It does not teach that we have forgotten God because wee have never been with Him.

1,385 Views
 
 

Jun 4 2014 Husband As Guru – How About Srila Prabhupada As Guru?

By Bhaktivikasa Swami

This is an indication of the relationship between husband and wife. A great personality like Cyavana Muni has the temperament of always wanting to be in a superior position. Such a person cannot submit to anyone. Therefore, Cyavana Muni had an irritable temperament. His wife, Sukanya, could understand his attitude, and under the circumstances she treated him accordingly. If any wife wants to be happy with her husband, she must try to understand her husband's temperament and please him. This is victory for a woman.

5,705 Views
 
 

Jun 3 2014 Self Compassion

By Mahatma das

Like ourselves, spiritual practitioners of all traditions have high ideals, and this can cause us to be upset and hard on ourselves when we don't live up to these standards, particularly when we do something (or have thoughts) that go against devotional principles. When we fail to maintain devotional standards in either thought or action, or even when we desire anything that is not helpful to our bhakti, we are usually trying to satisfy an habitual urge or need. Let's look at this more deeply by understanding this phenomenon from the psychological perspective.

2,177 Views
 
 

Jun 3 2014 Srila Prabhupada Lila Reading Guide

By Shrutadev Das

After I had read many of the books about Srila Prabhupada for a second or third time I found myself thinking, “Didn’t it say something about that pastime in another book?” And I would pull out a different book and read about the same event or time period from a different perspective. Or whereas in the Lilamrta it might say that Srila Prabhupada traveled to Australia and then back to Bombay but not give any details, in another book it would give the details of his trip. It was very enlivening, so I started to compile an outline of my readings. Gradually it developed into the Srila Prabhupada Lila Reading Guide.

1,599 Views
 
 

Jun 1 2014 Serving Krishna With Sleep Deprivation

By Kesava Krsna Dasa

How can we practice Krishna consciousness properly if, each time we pick up a book to read, we nod off after a few minutes? How are we going to be freed from offences if we sleep during chanting of japa? How are we going to hear realised insights from speakers and learn if we perform artificial meditation (sleep) during class? Being amongst the devotees and wanting to please and impress with our selfless services, it will be a climb-down of sorts if we have to withdraw for some sleep. Yes, it is ignorance, but it is better than ignorant devotion. We need to be honest with ourselves.

1,731 Views
 
 

May 31 2014 When our ‘failure’ is a success

By Vraja Bihari Das

At this point in time, we’ve to turn to Krishna; beg Him to help us chant well. The more we endeavour sincerely, the more we’ll be exposed to our own poor chanting. At this point, we’d be humbled; as Bhurijana Prabhu says in his book ‘Japa’, humiliation would come before humility.

1,931 Views
 
 

May 31 2014 Churning the Consciousness

By Purushottam Kumar

During the churning of the ocean also in spite of facing all the hardships, demigods and demons continued working tirelessly for the nectar. And finally Dhanvantari appeared with the pot of nectar. Upon seeing the pot, the crooked demons snatched it immediately as they did not want the demigods to have even a drop of the nectar. But the demigods were under the protection of Lord Vishnu and those who take shelter of the Lord never ever get deprived of anything auspicious.

1,204 Views
 
 

May 26 2014 The mystery of Radha, the female energy of God

By Radhanath Swami

The mystery of Radha, the female energy of God, had both fascinated and eluded me. After all I had experienced, after all I had read, after all the sadhus I had met, nothing had prepared me for the hidden truth of yoga’s greatest mystery: the mystery of bhakti, or devotion. And now I was learning that the keeper of this mystery was Radha. For the first time it began to dawn on me that these saints of Vrindavan had penetrated into the deepest, most confidential aspect of the spiritual journey.

1,831 Views
 
 

May 26 2014 The Magic Of Gratitude

By Sacinandana Swami

Devotess of Krishna meditate about things they can be grateful for. They avoid thinking about all those things that they do not have, nor all those arrangements that have not worked out. Instead they focus on what has been given to them – all the opportunities that arrive each day upon their doorsteps, all the relationships that have encouraged them and last but not least, the human form of life, which offers them a unique opportunity for self-realization. Thus, they cover themselves each new morning in the warming mantle of gratitude and feel empowered.

1,843 Views
 
 

May 26 2014 Husband as Guru

By Mahatma Das

Recently an unmarried female devotee told me that a man was interested in getting to know her, and in their discussions he mentioned that 'the husband is the guru.' She asked me for guidance on the subject. This Illumination is what I wrote to clarify for her (and him) what it means for a husband to be a guru - and what it doesn't mean; for misunderstanding what this means will be the cause of an unhappy marriage. Even though Prabhupada writes that a failed marriage is usually the woman's fault, if a woman has a good husband, she will stay loyal. As I often tell men, "Don't make it difficult for your spouse to be a good wife."

7,606 Views
 
 

May 23 2014 Krishna Descends To Offer Not Just Protection But Also Participation

By Chaitanya Charan Das

The endearing thing about Krishna’s offer of participation is that it can begin right now. Even when we are not pure enough to participate in his pastimes in the spiritual world, Krishna offers us a role in his mission of compassion in this world. By devotionally serving him according to our inclinations and interests, we can assist him in sharing his message of love.

1,310 Views
 
 

May 20 2014 Play the part of the part and the whole will fill the hole

By Chaitanya Charan das

When we practice bhakti-yoga sincerely, we express to Krishna our desire to love him, to install him on our heart’s altar, displacing the many things that the mind and senses have impelled us to place there in the past. Being pleased by our devotional intention, he reciprocates by manifesting his presence in our heart, thereby releasing within it electrifying currents of oceanic happiness – currents that increase in intensity and ecstasy as our devotion increases.

1,187 Views
 
 

May 16 2014 The Return of a Cult Classic—Hare Krishnas are Back

By Bart Blasengame

The much-maligned Hindu sect has shed its freak-show status and, behind its yuppie-friendly pillars of yoga, meditation, and clean living, is transforming America into a postmodern ashram. Robes not required.

3,095 Views
 
 

May 14 2014 Gauda Sarasvata Brahmanas from Karnataka ended up in Bengal

By Shyamasundara Dasa

I always wondered how the families of Rupa and Sanatana Gosvamis, who were Gauda Sarasvata Brahmanas from Karnataka ended up in Bengal. This article explains this mystery.

1,644 Views
 
 

May 14 2014 Learn the Vedic Lunar Calendar As You Apply Tilaka

By Patita Pavana das

Discovering the Vedic lunar calendar and following its tithis (lunar days) and festivals gets us closer to heartbeat of the universe we inhabit. The Moon, Chandra, is the basis of Nature’s calendar. He is the most important planet according to the Vedic system of astrology because his movements provide nourishment for all living entities.

1,537 Views
 
 

May 14 2014 Bona-fide Study Rests The Case; We Fell From Love!

By Patita Pavana das

We will analyze the verses of scripture or statements of our acaryas quoted in the articles on fall-vada, which seem to say souls don’t fall from the Vaikuntha planets

3,318 Views
 
 

May 10 2014 Sri Ramananda Raya and Rajahmundry Yatra

By Chandan Yatra Das

'Srila Ramananda Raya was an incarnation of the gopi Visakha. Since Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was Lord Krishna Himself, there was naturally an awakening of love between Visakha and Krishna. Sri Krishna Caitanya Mahaprabhu is the combination of Srimati Radharani and Krishna, and the gopi Visakha is a principal gopi assisting Srimati Radharani. Thus the natural love between Ramananda Raya and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu awakened and they embraced.'

1,978 Views
 
 

May 8 2014 Srila Prabhupada Slokas - Tracing the Unknown

By Hari Parshad Das

Most of us have seen the book named ‘Śrīla Prabhupāda Ślokas’, compiled by The Bhaktivedanta Archives. Many devotees carry this book as a reference for quoting verses that Srila Prabhupada would often like to cite. The sources for most of the quotes in the book have been specified. At the end of the book, however, is a section named ‘Quotes from Unknown Sources’. Here is a small attempt to trace most of those quotes to their original sources:

1,602 Views
 
 

May 8 2014 To the editors of Time Magazine

By Pusta Krishna das

I am presenting this to the readers of Dandavats.com in order to illustrate how misdirected and speculative the attempts of searching for the truth can be when not guided by the genuine spiritual teacher or Acharya. We must be mindful how fortunate we are to have the guidance of Srila Prabhupada in our day to day and even moment to moment spiritual practices. My comments are in relation to the cover article for the April 28, 2014 Time Magazine entitled "Let There Be Dark."

1,872 Views
 
 

May 6 2014 The Son of the Sun

By Chaitanya Charan das

The Mahabharata is a fascinating book with many of its characters not clearly black or clearly white, but multiple shades of grey. Karna is an intriguing character – virtuous, yet choosing the side of the vicious Kauravas; born as a warrior, but treated lifelong as charioteer’s son; great archer, but defeated and killed in a fight with another great archer. Let’s see where he falls on the spectrum of black to white through a series of question-answers.

3,674 Views
 
 

May 4 2014 Only Dead Bodies Stay In Their Houses!

By Gaur Govinda Swami

Krishna says, jivanam sarva- bhutesu - I am the life in all living entities." If you are not carrying Krishna in you, have you love? You have no life. You are dying at every moment. You are a dead body. You are living but dead. You are breathing like the bellows of a blacksmith. If there is no Krishna in you, what is the value of that life? That man or woman, who has no Krishna in them, is dead.

1,872 Views
 
 

May 4 2014 Resting The Jiva-Fall / No-Fall Case

By Kesava Krsna Dasa

Is this a daring and overconfident claim? It seems to be an assertion of finality on the fall / no-fall issue. Does this risk jumping over Srila Prabhupada and our previous acaryas? The discussions on this matter continue to produce no outright winners of the debate. Such finality may ‘bore’ the philosopher within us, but we cannot deny its profoundness. Who does not want to know their true origin? Ancestry firms help people trace their family lineage and possible place of origin through birth-given names. By providing one’s DNA sample one might learn of more interesting information involving genetic links to ancestors going back thousands of years. We can be forgiven if this natural curiosity spills over onto the spiritual frontier.

4,826 Views
 
 

May 4 2014 Who is “The mother of all padayatras?

By Lokanatha Swami

Padayatra India is often affectionately referred to as "the mother of all padayatras."This is because it has provided inspiration for devotees and leaders alike since its inception in 1976, and more especially since the phenomenal 1984 walk from Dwaraka to Mayapur. Padayatra India has nurtured and encouraged many devotees to organize walks in their own countries or to eagerly participate in them, making padayatra a worldwide phenomenon. The use of bullock carts has also served as a motivation, particularly in Western countries, where the idea was initially thought to be impractical and impossible.

1,553 Views
 
 

Apr 27 2014 The Importance of Vaishnava Seva

By Madhavananda Das

Obtaining the mercy of a pure devotee is an absolute necessity for those who aspire for the service and association of the Supreme Lord in the spiritual world. Srila Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami writes in madhya-līlā 22.51. One may doubt whether the servant of the Supreme Personality of Godhead will attain perfection, but there is absolutely no doubt that those who are attached to serving his devotees will attain perfection.

2,079 Views
 
 

Apr 27 2014 Juvenile crime, Dry asceticism and Oppressive elders represented by Vatsasura

By Shyamananda Dasa

The hordes of demons killed by the Lord during His pastimes on the earthly realm represent the different anarthas we have stock piled in our hearts during our long sojourn in the material world in different species of life. The demon named Vatsasura who took the form of a calf and tried to kill Sri Krishna was killed by the Lord during His boyhood pastimes in Vrndavana. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura in an article titled 'Vatsaura' reveals an esoteric meaning of the Lord's killing of this calf-demon

1,708 Views
 
 

Apr 20 2014 “Back to Godhead” means Back to Godhead

By Sita Rama dasa

The original home of the living entity and the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the spiritual world. In the spiritual world both the Lord and the living entities live together very peacefully. Since the living entity remains engaged in the service of the Lord, they both share a blissful life in the spiritual world. However, when the living entity, misusing his tiny independence, wants to enjoy himself, he falls down into the material world

3,665 Views
 
 

Apr 20 2014 Maintaining Steady Devotion during Unsteady Practice

By Dulal Chandra dasa

George Harrison's lyrics to My Sweet Lord drew many to the path of Krsna Consciousness and also provide insight regarding states of mind conducive to steady advancement - patience and confidence. The advancing bhakta [sadhaka] must remain equipoised when confronted with the realization that meaningful spiritual advancement "takes so long" on the one hand, and fully confident that mercy is forthcoming through Krsna's pure devotees, "it wont take long" on the other.

2,968 Views
 
 

Apr 19 2014 Understanding the difference between science and scientism

By Chaitanya Charan das

Consider the experience of seeing a beautiful sunset. We can directly experience the beauty of the sunset. But can any scientific experiment measure that beauty? Science could perhaps measure some parameters like the intensity of the sunlight, but such measurements would do little to convey or explain the actual experience of the beauty.

2,409 Views
 
 

Apr 19 2014 Finding Brahminical Candidates to Teach Four Legs of Dharma

By Mayesvara Dasa

At the present moment, society is in a chaotic condition, and everyone has given up the cultivation of spiritual life, which is especially meant for the brāhmaṇas. Because spiritual culture has been stopped all over the world, there is now an emergency, and therefore it is now time to train those who are considered lower and condemned, so that they may become brāhmaṇas and take up the work of spiritual progress. The spiritual progress of human society has been stopped, and this should be considered an emergency.

1,640 Views
 
 

Apr 18 2014 Sri Sri Tota Gopinatha Temple And Sri Gadadhara Pandita

By Chandan Yatra Das

Sri Tota Gopinatha is exquisitely beautiful self-manifested Deity of Lord Sri Krishna. Sri Tota Gopinatha is also a most unique Deity because He is the only Krishna Deity in the world “sitting down” and playing His flute. Sri Tota Gopinatha has such a charismatic bewitching quality that draws one to His darshana over and over again. Srila Vrindavana Thakura extols His power: “Even an extreme atheist will be changed upon seeing the Deity of Gopinatha.”

2,529 Views
 
 
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