Reflections on the Festival of Chariots at Clearwater Beach, Florida
Flavors of Devotion: A 12-year-old’s Reflection's on the Baltimore Temple Opening
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!
Constructive Response to Destructive Criticism
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.
Living With Chaos
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.
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.
Whatever Doesn’t Challenge Us Doesn’t Change Us
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?
Walking Our Talk: The Role of Krishna Bhaktas in Current Events
When we strive to grow by learning and living the Gita, we too will encounter challenges. If we balk and avoid the things that challenge us, we cut ourselves off from growth-inducing stimuli and stay stuck in the rut of worldly consciousness.
The Spirituality of Money
What would you do if the White House were to announce that President Trump added India to the list of nations whose citizens are temporarily banned from entering the United States? What if the president announced that banning entry to majority Hindu countries is a small price to pay for keeping America safe?
Vedic Influence in Iraq and Iran
The Biblical reminder of money and evil, still stands strong today. In the pursuance of profit, lawyers have destroyed justice, and the media has destroyed information. But clearly we need money – to buy groceries, to pay rent, to travel the world… and to do good.
Whenever Things Seem to Fall Apart, Remember when Things Have Fallen in Place
Long, before the advent of Islam, even as early as the third millennium BCE, India had cultural bonds with the Mesopotamian civilization, now the region of Iraq and Iran. As explained by N. N. Bhattacharya, there are plenty of references to establish a very close contact between India and the Islamic world.
We Are Born, We Live, We Die
Sometimes, life seems to hand out one reversal after another and all that we are doing seems to be falling apart. We may feel that the universe is hostile; we may question the benevolence or even the existence of God.
The Uninvited Visitors
Three undisputed facts of humanity’s complex existence. But what is to come before and after these things, and why? An ancient philosophy could help us live more harmoniusly in the modern world.
Caring for Cows
Before he could say anything more, the uninvited guests, who were the agents of death, grabbed him and took him away and his body dropped dead. He was not willing to go but he was hopelessly powerless, his dear family members wanted him to be with him but they were hopelessly helpless.
Bhaktivedanta Manor Bans Tallow Note, Sparks Debate
From the spiritual perspective, cow plays a vital role in providing core ingredients for worship. Cows largely influenced social life and economy in the ages when Bharath (ancient India) was the place for peace and prosperity, attracting the attention of the whole world.
The Mindfulness Dilemma
Bhaktivedanta Manor, the largest ISKCON temple in the UK, has stopped accepting a new five pound note that contains traces of tallow, made with animal fat like mutton and beef. Many devotees support the move. Many others, however – while agreeing with the principle that there should not be meat fat in currency we all have to use – have issues with the practicality and even the philosophical grounding in actually banning it.
What’s this world coming to when we’re having a ‘mindful moment’ and we still feel miserable, not having found the happiness we think we deserve? What’s the value of meditation if it only makes us all the more aware of our mundane reality?