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Dandavats! All Glories to Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga!

By Kesava Krsna Dasa

Have we ever considered how many outstanding ‘harmless’ little doubts remain with us as we endeavour for perfection in Krishna consciousness? Some spiritual practitioners feel quite comfortable harbouring certain philosophical question marks that challenge our rationality, thinking them to be docile reasoning tools. Is there room for quaint musings that can be put aside until perhaps we get a boost of faith? “For the doubting soul there is happiness neither in this world nor in the next.” (BG 4.40) Most of us are, or were conditioned by universally accepted ‘rational...

Apr 22, 2016 -- 8,622 views
Hare KrishnaBy Kesava Krsna Dasa

Some spiritual practitioners think that now they have achieved some reasonable control of the physical sex urge, they are well nigh up there in the wispy clouds of victorious abstinence, deserving of respect and honour. Wrong! Congratulations on becoming a decent human being. Welcome to the world of subtle selfishness. Srila Prabhupada states: 'Illicit sex is the most prominent sin due to lusty desire.' This is because it is sometimes called ' adi-rasa ' the primeval, original plea...

Feb 1, 2016 -- 11,084 views
Hare KrishnaBy Kesava Krsna Dasa

The spiritual master is the central object of vision for every disciple. Quite often, the imposition of external conditions can deflect the natural bias from something, which is essentially internal, or hidden from unqualified worshipers. 'The solid truth of religious principles is hidden in the heart of an unadulterated self-realized person.' (Mahabharata, Vana Parva 313-117) If a disciple fails to discern the difference between external and internal worship of the guru, it can mean...

Jan 26, 2016 -- 11,578 views
Hare KrishnaBy Kesava Krsna dasa

If we look back at our disciplic succession we will find unlikely leaders and acaryas who may not fit our modern day portrayal of leadership as required by Iskcon. Our largely vaidhi and sadhana based lifestyle would probably not accommodate them. If we take Srila Gaura Kishora Dasa Babaji Maharaja for instance, would he fit in comfortably into one of our temples as a leader? He isn't just a leader, but an acarya recognizable by those possessed of pure spiritual visi...

Jan 10, 2016 -- 5,884 views
Hare KrishnaBy Kesava Krsna Dasa

Many people in the world think they live only once. With only one life, how does this affect lives and society? How is a one-life concept going to affects ambitions, goals and outlook? There is one-life spirituality and multi-birth spirituality – which of these enable a full understanding of the soul, and why good or bad things happen? Is God to blame, or us? If there is no God, why do people lament the loss of loved ones if they are simply bags of chemicals? With only one life, there mu...

Jan 7, 2016 -- 1,296 views
Hare KrishnaBy Kesava Krsna Dasa

The opening salvo of the preface for The Nectar of Instruction begins thus: “The Krsna consciousness movement is conducted under the supervision of Srila Rupa Goswami.” What does it mean to have this role? How actively involved is Srila Rupa Goswami in our everyday lives? Is he literally supervising all of us? Before understanding this supervisory function, we need to know who Srila Rupa Goswami is in relation to ourselves, our spiritual masters, and the previous acaryas going back to the...

Dec 26, 2015 -- 5,979 views
Hare KrishnaBy Kesava Krsna Dasa

Sometimes devotees think that by working hard for Krishna, on the order of the spiritual master, even if there is some neglect of personal sadhana, hearing and chanting, success in spiritual life is assured come what may. Is this empty optimism? Or does the order of the spiritual master supersede all other considerations? It is tempting to assure oneself that being engaged in all nine angas of Bhakti to lesser or greater degrees trying to please the guru, the assiduous, intense performance ...

Dec 9, 2015 -- 6,129 views
Hare KrishnaBy Kesava Krsna dasa

‘Once bitten twice shy’ may be the general maxim. Does it mean we should suspect every devotee around us? Some discriminators say we are being naïve if we see only the good in devotees. Are we being naïve if we see only the good in others? Many of us are accustomed to the intellectual cynicism afforded by ‘free’ democratic societies. The news we read or hear, and judicious endings to court cases are often the work of investigative journalists or police work, who often test the limit...

Sep 15, 2015 -- 6,582 views
Hare KrishnaBy Kesava Krsna dasa

Upma seems to be one of those dishes we either love or loathe, except of course when it is prasada. Then again it is an acquired taste for many, and for a debutant like me it was, please bear with me, a revolting experience. Yes, it was prasadam prabhu. I think an acronym is in order here: Upstart Preliminary Masticating Assessment. When this unknown quantity was served for breakfast, I saw how different it looked from the other tasty dishes. It could have been a mushy overcooked conglomerat...

Sep 3, 2015 -- 6,312 views
Hare KrishnaBy Kesava Krsna dasa

The topic of Sadhu-ninda is given such importance because one can be desensitized to its effects. Persistent exposure to hearing criticism of vaisnavas can cause this, which is so insidious as to be unnoticeable by many. When one realizes his taste for chanting is waning, it is of concern. Advanced devotees just cannot, will not and do not offend vaisnavas. Can one be said to be thinking of Krsna while doing so? Highly unlikely. As BG.18.58. says, ‘if however, you do not work in such consci...

Aug 23, 2015 -- 5,173 views
Hare KrishnaBy Kesava Krsna dasa

I am sure many of us have encountered someone who may have doubted the efficacy of their duty, or were unsure of the completion of a task, to which we, with an air of authority say “Impossible is a word found in a fool’s dictionary.” This saying amongst others form parts of devotee speak as we mimic Srila Prabhupada’s words. It was discovered some years ago that the most common word used by devotees is; so. So is so prevalent and almost infectious that we all know of a so and so prabh...

Jul 30, 2015 -- 7,732 views
Hare KrishnaBy Kesava Krsna Dasa

For those who have faith in what Krishna is capable of, possess the greatest fortune. This fortune consisting of flying pigs, a tortoise with an itchy back, and a giant-stepping dwarf are giant leaps of faith, made normal. The fortune of faith helps us understand Krishna’s playful nature, even when He delineates Vedic thought. “Rise above the flowery words of the Vedas” He says. If all of these Avatara pastimes are fun, we can only imagine how fun Krishna must be. With Krishna around...

Jul 19, 2015 -- 1,745 views
Hare KrishnaBy Kesava Krsna Dasa

We might take the “As It Is” in our Bhagavad-gita title for granted. All authors want to be different and original. With many versions of Bhagavad-gita already available, Srila Prabhupada’s “As It Is” addition was a very bold and provocative one. He is saying, “this is it, how it should be, the definitive and genuine Bhagavad-gita”. Who else can claim this with confidence? Considering that there are many ways of looking at Krishna’s song of wisdom, and studying it from diff...

Jun 28, 2015 -- 1,418 views
Hare KrishnaBy Kesava Krsna dasa

Let us take the great soul Sriman Jayananda prabhu for example. As a Vaisnava he was performing multi-tasks befitting actions performed in all the varnas. As the happy transcendental dustbin man [Sudra activity] he managed the temple’s waste. As a taxi driver he earned much needed income for the temple [Vaisya activity]. When guests arrived, he would be the charming host and hospitality representative able to preach about Krsna [Brahmana activity]. In matters of temple maintenance he manage...

Jun 12, 2015 -- 4,840 views
Hare KrishnaBy Kesava Krsna Dasa

There has been an unfortunate resurgence of xenophobic attacks in South Africa. Leaders condemn these; Media outlets sensationally convey coverage to the world and people become more sceptical. Nations whose citizens are affected by xenophobic attacks voice loud concerns through channels such as the African Union. Yet in spite of the condemnation, the important questions to ask are ‘Why is this happening?’ Why here in South Africa? Is there a solution? Is there a quick fix?’

Apr 28, 2015 -- 1,435 views
Hare KrishnaBy Kesava Krsna Dasa

Scientists are fond of saying that there is no purpose to life, and yet they live their lives full of purpose. They like to marry and have children, and keep pets. They like to keep photographs of loved ones and they love their families, even though love is simply a chemical stimulant for them. Scientists have purposeful ambitions within a ‘purposeless’ world. They want to see purposeful improvement within human society while at the same time they say that determinism and sheer survival...

Mar 24, 2015 -- 1,779 views
Hare KrishnaBy Kesava Krsna Dasa

We can get a wrong idea of what perfection is in Bhakti. We might think that a guru has to be word perfect, action perfect – everything perfect. What type of perfection though? If we expect a mechanised, robotic perfection where every strand of hair remains untangled and every tilt of the head is an encyclopaedic event, and base our faith on these alone, we’ll miss the point. Perfection can be found in imperfection. If a pure devotee offers Krishna a banana skin instead of a banana bec...

Mar 14, 2015 -- 1,486 views
Hare KrishnaBy Kesava Krsna Dasa

In former times, codes of warfare ensured combat on battlefields. When Asvattama killed the five sons of the Pandavas and Draupadi outside of a battlefield and then released an unwithdrawable brahmastra weapon at an unborn child within the womb of mother Uttara, Asvattama felt justified with his acts of terror. Asvattama felt justified in committing barbarity against soft targets because: 1) His father Dronacarya was killed by 'unfair' means after the telling of a 'lie' by Yudhisthira 2) He ...

Jan 16, 2015 -- 1,253 views
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