for ISKCON News on Feb. 19, 2011
An iPhone application released this February called Relaxing Sounds of Nature features ISKCON founder Srila Prabhupada chanting the Hare Krishna mantra as one of its relaxing background sounds options.
The software developers, Red Hammer, have also included the Hare Krishna mantra in several of their other apps, including aids for meditation, and even one called “Quick Sleep” for helping people to doze off.
This has brought on an inevitable slew of tongue-in-cheek jokes from ISKCON devotees, one of whom commented, “We know how it works. Devotees have been falling asleep chanting japa (quiet meditation) for years.”
Another suggested, “It should be called ‘Quick Awake’ instead of ‘Quick Sleep,’ as the maha-mantra is meant for waking the soul up from the slumber of material existence.”
Interestingly, a quick search in the iTunes store also brings up several even more directly Krishna conscious iPhone apps released last year by the company Lorvensofttech Ltd.
One, simply called “Hare Krishna,” also features Prabhupada chanting at a tap of your screen, while users can read about the seven purposes of ISKCON, and the importance of the maha-mantra. The app even includes a simple navigation list of ISKCON centers around the world categorized by countries, with addresses and contact phone numbers.
Another, called “Prabhupada,” features over 300 transcriptions of lectures by Srila Prabhupada.
And yet another, entitled “Spiritual Quiz,” includes over 800 multiple choice questions on Srila Prabhupada’s books Bhagavad-gita As It Is, The Nectar of Instruction, The Nectar of Devotion, and Sri Isopanisad.
An unusual way of getting your spiritual knowledge? Well, as Prabhupada himself wrote in The Nectar of Devotion, “Anything that can be utilized in advancing Krishna consciousness and devotional service should be accepted… Sometimes people ask us, ‘Why are you utilizing material products if you condemn the advancement of material civilization?’ But actually we do not condemn. We simply ask people to do whatever they are doing in Krishna consciousness.”
New Relaxing Sounds of Nature iPhone app:
Hare Krishna iPhone app:
Prabhupada iPhone app:
Spiritual Quiz iPhone app: