Founder Acharya His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Opinion
Iskcon
Archbishop Visits Prabhupada’s House- Argentina
Archbishop Eric Escala, Continuing Anglican Church
This past Sunday I had the opportunity to visit the ISKCON temple in Buenos Aires, needless to say, it was a very nice experience. I had read many books of His Divine Grace Abhay Caranaravinda Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda “The man who built a house that everyone can live in”. I must say that it is very true. Although we were few visitors, we were received with all the love and appreciation from the community. His Grace Baladeva das, with whom I share interreligious dialogues, had invited us. He was coming from Mendoza to visit the devotees in Buenos Aires and we took advantage of this opportunity to see each other. When I passed through the gate of the temple I was transported to mystical India, the colors and the smell of incense bathed the place, there were devotees of Krishna consciousness at the entrance who received us with great joy... they spread peace. Songs and many voices were heard in the air, I could also appreciate the books that they had at the entrance with many teachings, their covers invited us to open them.
Iskcon
Resolving Contentious Issues
Krishna Dharma Das
When instructing Yudhisthira, Narada said that in any endeavour, one must start with the end in mind. In our case, it is always the same, to please our Founder Acharya Srila Prabhupada. I am sure all parties in any ISKCON conflict share this aim and are convinced that their desired outcome would be most pleasing to him. However, I would suggest that the overarching consideration is that we work together harmoniously. As we know, Srila Prabhupada famously said that our love for him will be shown by how well we cooperate. He warned us that in-fighting would “spoil everything”, and he repeatedly asked us to work together under the authority of the GBC as the ultimate arbiters of any managerial matter. While there are many services that will please Srila Prabhupada, I think we can all agree that none can be at the cost of destroying the institution he worked so hard to create. He gave the example of many disciples massaging different parts of his body in different ways simultaneously, causing him pain rather than pleasure. I would suggest then that the threat of a schism is not something we can entertain, no matter which side of the argument we support. This has already occurred with the vexed issue of ritvik initiations and, more recently, has again reared its fearful head over the contentious matter of Vaishnavi Diksa Gurus (VDG). I am not arguing for or against the latter but merely suggesting a way to approach the problem, and indeed any such debate, without tearing ourselves apart. Implementing VDGs may or may not please Srila Prabhupada but splitting the movement would surely displease him. We really can’t go there.
Iskcon
Words of Gratitude From a Ukrainian Refugee
Yuliia Mudrak
My name is Yuliia Mudrak, I am 25 years old, and I am from Ukraine. Before the war, I lived in Kyiv and worked as a certified preschool teacher. Unfortunately, many devotees had to leave their normal life in Ukraine due to the war. But at the same time, we’ve been able to see wonderful examples of devotees in other countries, who show great concern for us Ukrainian devotees. For the first two days of the war, I stayed in my apartment close to the temple. However when it became too unsafe, I, like many other devotees who lived near the temple, went to live there. There is a very large temple in Kyiv, so it was a good idea to move there at that time. We lived there as a big family for several days, and every time the air raid siren went off, we went down into the basement until it was safe to emerge again. Very often during those times, we would have kirtana, so with the company of devotees, even war has its bright side.
Iskcon
Loneliness in Monastery
Premanjana Das
A monastery is a place where the monks who are dedicated to cultivating spiritual life live as renunciants. Living in the association of like-minded persons who are similarly aspiring and dedicated to spiritual goals empowers a person to pursue this path which is considered challenging and glorious in our scriptures. Monasteries are also often a place of worship where the congregation assembles regularly for spiritual sanga and inspiration. Ten years back, there was a new shift in our monastery when 15 youths - young, dynamic, educated, and full of vigor and enthusiasm decided to become monks. If there is something that is required for taking a break from a regular career, often times facing opposition from family, choosing to lead a sexually pure life, dedicated to worshiping God and working towards spiritual upliftment of society - it is courage and faith.
Ask a Nerd: Does the Bhagavatam Really Say That the Earth is Flat?
Iskcon
Ask a Nerd: What About Organ Donation?
BIHS
Q: What about becoming an organ or blood donor, or receiving blood transfusions? I myself am supposed to get bone grafting from "cadavers" for my teeth. How should we tackle this complicated subject? A: The good news is that you are not that body, and neither is the cadaver! From a broad Vedic perspective, our present conditional form can be considered as a biological machine, and most certainly in comparison to the quality of the individual jiva exhibiting consciousness while inhabiting that particular form. From a devotional Vaishnava perspective, the practitioner aspires to engage all things, understood as Krishna's energies, in a pleasing manner in His service.
Iskcon
Ahimsa Vs. Veganism
Janatari Devi Dasi
Ahimsa means non-violent. Ahimsa dairies do not confine their herd to a building where they never see the sun and they are allowed natural behaviors such as living in a herd and chewing cud in a pasture. Ahimsa dairies do not slaughter the cow at the end of her milking days. When her milking days are past, she can live out her life in a pasture with other retired dairy cows. Milking is mostly done by hand rather than mechanically and dairy cows are not typically artificially inseminated on ahimsa dairy farms. Calves on ahimsa farms are allowed to stay with their mother and drink some of their mother’s milk rather than the milk substitute fed to calves on industrial farms. These calves are often allowed to naturally wean from their mothers.
Iskcon
Leading Questions
Krishna Dharma Das
After a series of minor scandals, Britain’s dauntless Prime Minister Boris Johnson has just survived a vote of confidence among his colleagues in Parliament. While he has hardly emerged unscathed, with around 40% of MP’s declaring their lack of confidence in his leadership, with his integrity still being questioned in many quarters, he will at least remain in the top job for the time being. Of course, he insists he has done nothing wrong beyond the occasional oversight, but the shadow remains, and it does little to improve public cynicism toward our leaders. 
Iskcon
The Never-Ending Tragedy of Mass Shootings
Sankirtana Das
'Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.' This is the worn-out phrase used by politicians who can’t offer solutions to curtail the level of violence in this country. When mass school shootings started, the politicians were probably hoping that it was just a fluke and that the problem would go away by itself. We are witnessing a leadership that is unable, or unwilling, to do anything about this crisis, and the steadfast refusal of many to seriously discuss the issue.
Iskcon
Personhood of Animals
Janatari Devi Dasi
Are animals persons? And what does it mean to define an animal as a person? Personhood is a legal concept expanding far beyond biological humans. It is broad enough to not only pertain to humans, it also includes natural monuments and corporations. Under the law, animals are considered things, and property, and are provided little to no legal protection from being used by many as a means to an end. For ethical and legal reasons everything is categorized as a person or a thing. Legally a person is subject to duties and appanages, whereas a thing is considered property. Morally a person is valued for their own sake, and a thing is valued for what can be derived from it. So, what about sentient beings who are considered property? These beings are cognizant and feel both fear and joy.
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