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

Opinion
The Oldest Song, A Poem
Exclusive from Bhaktimarga Swami
THE OLDEST SONG (An excerpt from The Saffron Path) ARJUNA: Seeing those before me causes me to shiver. To lift my bow is as though I had never. Hairs stand on end, mind is reeling. I’m confused; it’s new, this kind of feeling. Sri Krishna, I just cannot fight. There’s something here that is not right. KRISHNA: Arjuna, you’ve lost your sense of duty. A man of defense renounced a warrior’s beauty? For the wise there’s a different point of view. Of eternity, no birth, no death, known by few. Consider the world, which is full of duality. Good and bad is its only reality. The major point is not to lament. The soul is forever, that is my comment. Moving through bodies from young to old. From old to young, this circle does unfold. ARJUNA: Krishna, what is the force that compels one to do wrong? If you could, please include this in your song? KRISHNA: It is desire, born of passion, then wrath. That keeps us covered and obscures the path. Perform your yoga, and your sacrifice, For the Creator, and then all will be nice. ARJUNA: Krishna, yoga can be tried for calming the mind. But the mind is an instrument of a different kind. I’m fine if asked to harness the wind. But the mind cannot be anchored or pinned. KRISHNA: Begin the process; take it easy and slow. In the end, there’s freedom; the soul will then glow. ARJUNA: You are my teacher, mentor and guide. It was no mistake to have you on my side. I have come to consider about you there is more. It’s your cosmic form that I wish to explore. KRISHNA: The form is manifest when we have the eyes. Otherwise there’s the tendency to despise. I reveal it to those whose devotion is clear. When friendship is firm, to them I am dear. It is surrender through service that is so sweet. It is surrender that is illusion’s defeat. ARJUNA: Oh Krishna, my doubt is now gone. I believe the fight should definitely go on. KRISHNA: Arjuna, my song is old but alive. You have your free will, but now let me drive.
Iskcon
The Living Hill, A Poem
Bhakimarga Swami
The god of rain, Indra, became extremely irate Pride is often the big part of his game With thunder, clouds, and lightening so great He exerts this power to maintain his fame What incited him so was a talkative child Who put his village on a paradigm shift Instead of a day to honour a god so wild The boy proposed a new direction, creating the rift The boy was opposed to the poor watering this god does That rivers, lakes, oceans already have a supply "He's off target which should cause one to pause Better to honour the green hill nearby We benefit from its many grasses and plants Food for our animals and food for us To the hill, cows, and brahmins we give thanks With a feast and a fest with so little fuss." The villagers agreed to this new concept But the god of rain was vengeful indeed In response to the boy's challenging precept Indra released his weapons with speed The downpour of rain was very devastating It came down like cold wet pillars of pain The cries for help were unhesitating The boy acted swiftly with ease and no strain Placing his hands at the base of the hill And working his way under the heavy mound He lifted it with the valour of a hero's thrill While under its shelter came souls from all around The deluge of water lasted for seven long days Amazed and saved were the inhabitants of the town Who were spared of a shameful Indra's craze As the boy's incredible feat put his pride down All was restored to normal for a day in the life A jealous god was humbled, all were happy too As well as the living hill that became so light By the strength of the boy, Krishna, of a dark hue Our story hails from five millenia past When Krishna was offered a deserved arm massage The volume of miracles continues to last By Govardhan Hill which is not a mirage
Iskcon
Unity in Diversity
Visakha Dasi
We would especially like to hear from you about Unity in Diversity in terms of your experiences and understanding of Srila Prabhupada. Perhaps how you heard him talk about this, or how he put it into practice.  Srila Prabhupada Evokes Unity in Diversity When dissimilar individuals or concepts are harmonized, it’s called ‘unity in diversity.’ Such unity isn’t based on a mere tolerance of psychological, personal, or ideological differences but is based on an understanding that differences are natural and can enrich us. Discovering how we’re united despite our differences can make us more fulfilled, broader devotees of Krishna. This sort of unity doesn’t mean uniformity and this sort of diversity doesn’t mean fragmentation. In Srila Prabhupada words, “In the material world there are varieties, but there is no agreement. In the spiritual world there are varieties, but there is agreement. That is the difference. The materialist without being able to adjust the varieties and the disagreements makes everything zero. They cannot come into agreement with varieties, but if we keep Krishna in the center, then there will be agreement in varieties. This is called unity in diversity.” (Letter to Kirtanananda Oct. 18, 1973)  Srila Prabhupada wanted his diverse followers to cooperatively practice the principles of Krishna consciousness and to offer Krishna consciousness to all others. Since his followers came from the entire spectrum of society, as well as from different cultures and different religious, educational, and economic backgrounds, they sometimes had quite different understandings of Srila Prabhupada’s teachings and desires.
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.
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