A new book based on interviews from the PBS program "Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly" finds a spiritual hunger beneath the secular veneer of modern culture, with many searching for something beyond the material world.
In a large research synthesis study presented at Harvard University, personal religious faith emerged as the most important factor that was associated with the greatest reduction in the achievement gap, followed by family stability.
LEAP is a film about a disciple and his Guru and the choices that they make on their journey of surrender to God. LEAP is an adventure into the international and controversial Hare Krishna movement but also a film about religious experience in general.
The film documents the story of Keshava Madhava Das, a Finnish tram driver and a disciple, and his Guru Radhanath Swami, one of the movement’s most charismatic spiritual leaders based in India. Keshava started life as Kenneth, a lonely boy who witnessed his grandfather’s death. His Guru was originally Richie, an American small town boy, who is now revered within the movement as a living saint.
Originally Kenneth Kairenius, Keshava Mashava (das) is a 38-year-old Finn. He has been interested in religions and spirituality all his life. He saw his grandfather die in front of his eyes, and this remains for him a powerful life-altering event. Keshava then started searching for life-transforming challenges, including parachuting. He studied in Helsinki, but dropped out. He also studied by himself a variety of different religions and finally joined the Hare Krishna movement, being one of its pioneers in Finland.
Keshava worked as temple president in Turku for many years. In the late 1990s, he fell into a spiritual crisis, as his former Guru left the movement. At the same time his marriage broke down and he also became severely ill. He nearly died but was saved by the surgical removal of a large brain tumour. According to Keshava, it was directly through the intervention of Krishna that he finally pulled through this operation.
His present occupation is as a seasonal tram driver. He now lives part of the year in India, in the movement’s holy town of Mayapur. He married an Indian woman Madhuri, who is also a devotee of Krishna.
With unprecedented access, LEAP charts the progress of the disciple Keshava over two years as he faces the dilemmas of reconciling his personal life with a calling of a demanding religion. At the same time, the relationship of the Guru to his aspiring disciple is explored, as well as the Guru’s own personal and spiritual concerns. By following the spiritual paths of Keshava and Radhanath Swami, we gain remarkable insight into one of the world’s most fascinating religions.
The market for smartphone applications as a way to distribute media content is growing fast, with an increasing number of people now watching videos on their iPhone, Androids, Blackberries or tablets.
When we fail and lose heart, that’s because we are letting ourselves becoming too self-absorbed in our problems, our failures, our hopelessness.
A beautiful prayer by a little girl.
Devakinandana Das from ISKCON Singapore, an international lawyer speaking of his service at ISKCON GBC's Organizational Development Committee and the benefits he takes home to his prabhu-datta-desh from the various initiatives coming out of this work.
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.
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.
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.