The Best Policy
Does Surrender Mean to Become Dependent or Independent, Or …?
One of the biggest criteria for deepening our spirituality is the strength to be open and honest. Instead, however, we are often closed and pretentious. In the name of saving our face, we kill our soul.
Having the Eyes to See
We are instructed to “surrender”; and at the same time, Srila Prabhupada encourages us to achieve apparently impossible tasks, like “Krishna-izing” the whole world, becoming pure devotees, and unalloyed, fully qualified spiritual masters in our own right. Are these ideas contradictory?
Don't Just Stand, Take A Stand
A lone eagle soars high in the sky above the craggy foothills of the Himalayas, wheeling and gliding on the thermal currents. Her golden-brown wings, extending to a gloriously feathered span of five feet, catch every breeze.
Reflections on the Festival of Chariots at Clearwater Beach, Florida
We live amidst a culture of violence and indifference. Some people resort to violence at even the slightest provocation and others often just stand by, watching indifferently the victimization of another living human being.. This prevailing culture of violence and indifference can make us apathetic, unless we ourselves are targeted.
Sex – ISKCON’s Hot Potato Issue
Ratha Yatras are always amazing and wonderful events, but I was trying to pinpoint why this venue felt more auspicious than usual to me. I did not realize the answer until the next day when Shranti devi informed me that Their Lordships Radha Damodar had presided at the exact same venue, Pier 60, when Vishnujana Swami and the traveling party brought Then there over forty years ago!
Flavors of Devotion: A 12-year-old’s Reflection's on the Baltimore Temple Opening
The Grihastha Vision Team surveyed couples and individuals in ISKCON to ascertain some of the greatest challenges in their marriages. Two top challenges emerged: 1. Lack of emotional and/or physical intimacy;
I wasn’t ready for all the excitement that hit me as I walked into the temple. The mridangas, the kartals, and the joyful Kirtan. I bowed down to Srila Prabhupada. The energy from the previous day stilled flowed through the air. I found myself falling down a deep well of anticipation.
Constructive Response to Destructive Criticism
When surface approaches of sensitivity and strength are founded upon a sincere selflessness, balancing the two emotions becomes effortless and natural. When our underlying motivation is to genuinely help someone, and that becomes the universal reference point, then we can confidently and unhesitatingly embrace whatever approach will facilitate growth.
When we try to do anything worthwhile, some people will criticize us. Critics can help us recognize where our contribution needs improvement. But to be helpful, their criticism needs to be constructive, not destructive.
Willing and Able
Don’t be surprised to catch yourself playing ‘God’ even when you know better. The scientist wants the credit of universal explanation. The philosopher bathes in the credit of insight, originality and wisdom. The celebrity enjoys the credit of fame, fortune and adoration. The politician wants the credit of power and control. Even an ‘average Joe’ will clutch onto something unique which, at least he thinks, makes him stand out from the crowd.
Women in ISKCON in Prabhupada's Time: Part Four
Various leadership responsibilities, whether manager, mother or mentor, offer us the privileged opportunity in assisting people to excel. Though the most rewarding role in life, they all come with a good dose of frustration and annoyance. How many times has your sincere and informed advice been received with unresponsiveness and neglect? What to do when faced with ingratitude and irrationality?
The Power of Cooperation
Many of the wrongs done to women for so many years have now been corrected and ISKCON women have recovered some of their rights. Unfortunately, they have been rehabilitated only to higher or lesser degrees according to the different leaders in different places. Much is still to be done for men to fully recognize women’s dignity.
Living With Chaos
We always wish to work with people who think like us, behave like us, speak like us, and who help us, understand us and most importantly appreciate us. However, to find such like-minded people in this material world is like finding a needle in a haystack.
Learning to live with chaos is more realistic, progressive and pragmatic. Like running water effortlessly flows around the obstructing rocks, moving steadily to its destination, so in the face of inevitable challenges and unexpected reversals, we must march on.
Women in ISKCON in Prabhupada’s Times - Part Three
Atheists come in a variety of shapes and sizes: default, philosophical, atheist and covered atheists. Over 30% of UK residents are self-proclaimed atheists. I would hazard a guess, that a good few of the 70% of ‘believers’ are also atheist -- physchological atheists, those who profess belief in God, but repeatedly demonstrate their inability to practically live in His presence.
A Woman Empowered by Krishna - Poetry
Often pushed by his male disciples to minimize ISKCON women’s spiritual position, Srila Prabhupada reacted, for example, in the following way: Srila Prabhupada: ‘”You dance, she dances. You sing, she sings, you cook, she cooks, there is no difference. You are the same in Krishna’s eyes.”
Women in ISKCON in Prabhupada’s Times - Part Two
The Ramayana and the Mahabharata prove the above statement true, as Draupadi and Mother Sita had the whole dynasties destroyed, when men of those dynasties dared to dishonor temple like bodies of these women.
Jagannath Temple Entry Forbidden: A Few Thoughts
After the first six years of the movement, at the beginning of the 1970’s, a first change took place, which of course was not contested by anyone. As those new decisions were adopted, and instead of the simple separation between men and women that Prabhupada wanted, a real segregation was taking place.
No, No, They Can't Take That Away from Me
When we hear about people being barred from entry into the temple of Jagannath, the all-loving Lord of the Universe, we naturally feel sad and hurt. However, I have found over the years here in Odisha that perhaps this policy is not as offensive and objectionable as one may think.
Women in ISKCON in Prabhupada’s Times - Part One
The drama was all over within 48 hours. Police visits; learning that they’d broken into five other houses the same night; clearing up the mess and discovering much they’d left behind, and a few things lost. I thought about what treasures can never be lost – though the externals of a situation may be shocking or distressing.
God Who Respects Human Intelligence and Individuality
When Prabhupada decided to accept women in the movement, he did so according to the reasoning he himself quotes in a purport: “To broadcast the cult of Krishna Consciousness, one has to learn the possibility of renunciation in terms of country, time and candidate… What is possible in one country may not be possible in another."
In the Gita, Krishna is not sitting on a high moral cloud passing judgment on humanity, but is accepting the role of an assistant of humanity. He is persuading humanity to choose a prudent moral course by outlining logically and philosophically the choices available to us, and their inbuilt and inevitable consequences.
Agnideva Das' New CD - Review
We live in a noisy world, and, in the midst of it, struggle to hear the heart. Ironically, tuning into our inner calling is where the real journey begins, otherwise we may well be careering down a no-through road. Happy and fulfilled people utilize wisdom and guidance to accurately understand what makes them tick. Its a simple but neglected principle of life.
The Creator’s Cruelty and the Saints’ Selflessness
“Prayer to the Lotus Feet of Lord Krishna” is an Agnideva tour de force, delivered with inimitable grace and unassailable expertise. A tribute to the great acharyas and Srila Prabhupada, he honors them by working sensitively and cooperatively with mainly second-generation devotees who also show considerable talent and enthusiasm.
Unlike the saintly, we are conditioned souls attached to worldly pleasures. Such pleasures, being temporary, become sources of misery. Despite experiencing such miseries repeatedly, we can’t give up our attachments. Why?