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Opinion

  • My Friend is a Yogi!
    When I first joined the Hare Krishnas, the phrase “plain living high thinking” would inevitably make me think of yogis in the Himalaya Mountains who meditate on the Absolute Truth while staying in caves, surviving freezing temperatures without central heating and living on nothing but water and air.
  • How One Man's Life Changed with an Oath
    Along with millions of others, I watched Barack Hussein Obama swear the oath while laying his left hand on the Bible. Not just any Bible in this case, but the self same Bible that Abraham Lincoln used back in 1861.
  • The Swastika: A Symbol of Goodness or Hate?
    When Hitler began using the swastika as the symbol for his Nazi party in the 1920s, he brought about the death not only of millions of innocent people, but also of an innocent symbol. His use of the beloved Hindu religious sign instilled so much hate for it in the Western world that I wonder if its true meaning will ever be reclaimed.
  • ISKCON's Future: Could a Bi-cameral GBC Help?

    It may be that instituting a bicameral system for the GBC could help to continue a healthy and dynamic managerial process for ISKCON into the future; allowing for the preservation of ISKCON's strength and traditions, while facilitating the next generation to take responsibility for expanding the mission.

  • Can We Ban God from the Presidential Inauguration?

    As reported by CNN, a group of atheists and humanists’ organizations are legally challenging Barack Obama's right to make any references to God or religion at his upcoming presidential inauguration ceremony. In a lawsuit filed Tuesday in Washington, D.C., plaintiffs demanded that "so help me God" be not added to the end of Obama's oath of office.

  • An Essay in Pathology - Part Two

    Having a beginning (adi) and end (anta) qualifies all pleasures in the material world. For that reason, one who is actually wise (budha) seeks no enjoyment from them.

    It is a fact that in this temporal world we hold not title to, we have no actual possession of, anything we enjoy. Our lease here on happiness is fragile and fleeting.

  • Diary: Coming Home

    During the 1970s, I would get culture shock whenever I went to India. The crowded cities, the heat, the food, the occasional sickness, and the austerities of local travel would painfully remind me that I was a stranger in a foreign land. But as the years passed, my visits became more frequent and I began to feel at home there, especially in places like Vrindavan and Mayapur, where the Lord once performed His transcendental pastimes.

  • Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed
    Is Darwin’s theory of evolution unquestionable fact? Or should the possibility that an intelligent designer created our world be discussed as an alternative? Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, a recent film presented by actor and political speech writer Ben Stein, suggests that it should.
  • A Dream of Christmas
    When we send our children to school obviously we hope that they will be taught the truth. Well, at least some of the time. It seems that painful truths may have to wait, such as the non-existence of Santa Claus. A teacher who recently made the grave error of informing children in her class that Father Christmas was not real found herself out of a job. Parents were furious. “My Joshua came home in tears,” said one distraught mother. “I didn’t know what to say.”
  • Is the DNA Molecule Life?
    Descriptions of DNA and its replication mechanism are commonly given as though they have provided a complete description of the most fundamental processes of life -- a final mechanism, step-by-step breakdown of these life processes into understandable chemical terms. However, this is far from truth.
  • Memorium: Krishna Kripa Dasi
    My wife, Srimati Krishna Kripa Dasi, disappeared on November 30, 2008. A staunch disciple of Srila Prabhupada, she was always enthusiastic and attentive in her service. She loved to read and distribute Srila Prabhupada's books, and was always thinking and planning about the welfare of others.
  • Sense Gratification: An Essay in Pathology

    The Sanskrit word bhoga means ‘pleasures’ or ‘enjoyments’. What kinds? The pleasures born (ja) from samsparsha, ‘the bringing into contact’—implicitly, the contact of the senses with their appropriate objects.

    This is what we mean by “sense gratification”: enjoying the pleasures that arise when the eyes, or nose, or tongue, the hands, skin, or genitals comes together with their particular objects.

  • Bringing the Temple to the Street
    I gave class this morning at the temple. The subject was the ninth chapter of the Antya-lila portion of the Caitanya Caritamrita, the life and teachings of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. We study it every weekend. The ninth chapter is all about an incident that took place while the Lord was living in Jagannatha Puri, the seaside pilgrimage place in the present state of Orissa, east India.
  • Money Madness
    Andy Serwer and Allan Sloan write today in their Time article "How Financial Madness Overtook Wall Street":

    "If you're having a little trouble coping with what seems to be the complete unraveling of the world's financial system, you needn't feel bad about yourself. It's horribly confusing, not to say terrifying; even people like us, with a combined 65 years of writing about business, have never seen anything like what's going on."

  • Vision of Eternity: Seeing Beyond the Differences
    This week found me sharing several interesting hours with Christian and Jewish ministers from my town. The first meeting was in a local hall, and attended by the Mayor; the second, a special explanatory Sabbath service in one of the two high street synagogues.
  • No Comment? Not Anymore ...

    Readers, start your keyboards. ISKCON News Weekly is now enabling user comments on our Opinion pieces. The decision to allow reader comments – which will not be edited but will be monitored – is a marked but intentional departure from INW’s earlier editorial policy, and represents a new phase for our website.

  • Srila Prabhupada’s Voice

    “Voice” is the aspect of a literary work which conveys the distinct power and flavor of the narrator’s personality. Voice is different from style, although it depends on style for its realization.

  • The Personal Spiritual Guidance System
    Akrura dasa: Since January 2006, I had over 900 sessions with 250 devotees all over the world. I do coaching on the phone, on Skype, on email, and I had Gita Coaching seminars in twelve European countries. Many know about it, but not too many have become coaches.
  • On David Hume and Pointing

    Sometime in the 1730’s, a young Scottish philosopher tried, and failed, to find himself. David Hume reflected upon this experience in his first book, A Treatise of Human Nature (1739). The passage is much quoted and anthologized. I encountered it frequently as an undergraduate philosophy major, for my teachers regarded it as a watershed in Western philosophy.

  • 2008 Vaisnavi Retreat Exceeds Expectations

    Every year, scores of women from all over the U.S., Canada and other parts of the globe travel to the hills of West Virginia to attend the annual Vaisnavi Retreat in New Vrndavan. The ladies come, young and old, to participate in an exciting weekend of activities beseeching the mercy of Srimati Radharani, the feminine counterpart of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

  • Rights and Obligations in the Vedic Social Ideal

    In 1971, the idea of animal rights was “way out there,” a notion of the lunatic fringe. Yet this highly radical extension of civil rights to animals was contained within Prabhupada’s exposition of monarchism—a most conservative political philosophy, to say the least.

  • Finding Contentment Amidst a Consumer Culture

    It’s the question on everyone’s minds, and one with an increasingly elusive answer in today’s world. The society we live in seems determined to convince us that we should be dissatisfied with what we have, and that if we get something else – something “better” – we’ll be happy.

  • Electric Religion: Faiths Embrace Digital Frontier

    Although multimedia and the Internet are no longer new to preachers, the continued development and increased availability of digital communications is giving rise to a new surge in electronic religion.

  • Local Diksha: For When the Oil Runs Dry

    Sri Ramanujacarya (1017-1137) created 74 simhasana-dhipatis or ‘throne-holders,’ to give initiation after his death, he created what we in ISKCON would term ‘zonal acaryas.’ He chose 74 of his disciples to give diksha, each of them affiliated to one of the many temples spread far and wide throughout a large tract of India.

  • Why Does God Let us Suffer?
    This question has probably caused more people to lose their faith than anything else. Why does God sit peacefully in his cloud or wherever, feet up and smoking his pipe, while we suffer all kinds of grim miseries down here on earth?