Enemies of Growth
In front of an ocean we realise how tiny we are! In the same way, as one advances in their relationship with God, their genuine appreciation and admiration of His character and qualities grows exponentially.
Gopala Bhatta Goswami’s Gifts to the Vaishnava Community
Observing my own life, it seems there are key enemies which stagnate our growth and development. We slide into mediocrity and averageness when we are too busy, too arrogant or too comfortable to really invest in our life.
Today we’re marking the life of a great saint in our tradition who lived 500 years ago. He was the son of a Sri Vaishnava brahmana, Venkata Bhatta, and was born in a village near the famous temple town of Sri Rangam.
Work to Live – Avoid Work That Eats You Alive
Courage means standing up for what we believe to be right. Intoxication, on the other hand, tends to make us blur the boundary between right and wrong.
Yogi Blues: The Bhagavad Gita & The Yoga of Despair
Work is essential for survival, as the Gita acknowledges. When work becomes the sole definer of our self-identity and self-worth, it degenerates to an indulgence, even an addictive indulgence.
Gurudevis and Grandmothers
Popular wisdom, from doctors and moms alike, is that yoga and happiness go hand in hand. But are "real" yogis immune to despair? Is despondency somehow antithetical to yoga?
A Solution to the Guru Gender Debate
Undoubtedly, several senior women devotees in our movement are as learned, dedicated, and in other ways spiritually qualified as many of their godbrothers. Why then should there be any hesitation to induct them as diksa-gurus?
Draupadi – Dishonored Yet Honorable
In 1969, two letters sent to Hamsadutta and Kirtanananda indicated that by 1975 any disciple, male or female, passing the Bhaktivedanta examination would be empowered to initiate their own disciples in his presence in order to rapidly expand the movement.
Though victimized in body, Draupadi refuses to be victimized in her heart. Her exceptional character transforms the lowest point in her life into the highest point.
Can India Be the World’s Bright Spot?
Although by its very definition belief in the supramundane cannot be proven by normal scientific methods or logic, for the faithful there are compelling enough reasons to accept God’s existence as fact.
“Whose Woods These Are I think I Know….”
On my way to the mall a billboard on the street caught my attention. It said: "Can India be the world's bright spot?" Google informed me that this was a question presented by Prime-Minister Narendra Modi to, basically, the society.
The Greatest Gift
The tree seems to be a universal symbol in religious and cultural traditions around the world. In Judaism the Torah is referred to as the Tree of Life. In Buddhism the Buddha attained enlightenment sitting beneath a tree.
Taking Christ out of Christmas
Upon realizing that this was George’s first contact with devotees, and that George had had been reading and chanting on his own for two years, it became obvious that Krishna had brought the devotees to meet George.
Terror and Forgiveness
Those who recognise that the same God is being worshipped, despite the differences in names used by the worshippers, will acknowledge and appreciate the paths of everyone, giving them freedom to express their deepest feelings of faith.
The world has now become an unsafe place for all. The thirsty bullets of the terrorists vying for blood of innocents have filled our life with fear. Today we can be killed anywhere – in restaurants, in parks, in planes, in offices and also in our homes.
Meditating on the Damodarashtakam: Verses 5-8
Standing on street corners, speaking to random people, and showing them spiritual books, amongst whatever else I do in life, this simple and sublime activity is what I relish most.
How to Really Be Happy This Christmas
"The Lord, being the performer of unlimited pastimes, is the reservoir of unlimited ecstasy. In loving him, our heart’s deepest longings for happiness will be perennially and perfectly fulfilled."
Meditating on the Damodarashtakam: Verse 3 & 4
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
Meditating on the Damodarashtakam: Verse 1 & 2
God is both great and sweet. Awareness of his greatness evokes submission, and awareness of his sweetness evokes affection. Devotee-seekers need to be aware of both features, for submission and affection symbiotically reinforce devotion.
Better Light a Candle than Curse the Darkness
Prayer is the universal language by which the human heart communes with the divine heart. Poetry is an artistic method for verbalizing the heart’s deep emotions. Singing is a popular method to express one’s emotions.
Let Emotion Inform, But Not Form Our Decision
Most of the time we curse the system, the society, our family, our destiny and in fact everyone and everything for any problem which we face in this world. But we do nothing to change our own perspective or we do nothing to effect a change.
Our emotions are a big part of who we are, but they are not all of us. We are bigger than our present emotions, most of which relate with our external material shell, not our spiritual core.
Someone recently referred to me as a 'man of faith'. I detected the condescending tone in his speech. It was a subtle put-down. Faith is often frowned upon in today’s society – savvy people consider it unscientific, sentimental, primitive and a sign of weakness.
Prayer for the Day: Finding the Essence
Periodically, we'll all be confronted with situations where people are oblivious to our sacrifices, unappreciative of our endeavours, and seemingly unimpressed with our contributions. People may even misunderstand our purpose and cuttingly criticise us.
It’s often the case that we take some aspect of ourselves, or others, more seriously that we should; our sexuality, our nationality, our religion, or our position. And our mistake causes suffering to others.