“Let us not squander this hour of our pain” (Rilke)
In these unprecedented times, we encourage devotees to share their thoughts, poems, and prayers via ISKCON News' special Covid-19 section. The first offering comes from our GBC Minister of Communications, Anuttama dasa, who lives in Washington DC.
A popular Zoom conference, Wisdom of the Sages, has gone public and become a daily podcast, delivering transformational wisdom, Bhakti-yoga philosophy, and profound stories with fun and energy on Youtube, Instagram and most podcast platforms.
The more we help others overcome worldly illusions by equipping them with spiritual insights and practices, the more we become spiritually absorbed ourselves and go beyond worldly illusions.
New book by Paul Rodney Turner (Priyavrata Das) teaches readers how to unleash their inner bliss.
I’m getting old. I admit it – the hair is disappearing, the back is failing and the glasses are coming. Materially speaking, it’s a downhill story. Spiritually, however, the passing of time should deliver a range of invaluable gifts.
In general, accepting criticism is the ability to stay strong and to expand. Today people cannot handle criticism. Even the thought of it throws their status quo out of control.
The concept of tolerating difficulty is fast disappearing from the modern dictionary.
The Sages of the East describe the paradoxical demeanor of perfected spiritualists: harder than a thunderbolt, and simultaneously softer than a rose.
Life sometimes brings us to a dead end. In the face of overwhelming obstacles, everything seems lost. We feel as if we have lost our way completely, not knowing where to go or what to do.
Last week, a friend requested some ancient insights on stress management. Gita to-the-rescue again.
Humility means to acknowledge that reality is bigger than our conceptions.
The Bhagavad-gita (16.13-15) outlines how the possessive mentality can make people ungodly, even demonic.
People have lost the fortitude and resilience to stay put, tolerate the difficulties, and patiently adjust to a situation and discover the unique opportunities on offer.
Not long ago, someone in our community passed along to me a magazine pitch she’d received in the mail. On the front of the oversize envelope, a headline announced—blue type on a bright green background—”Old Age Isn’t Natural.”
Philosophy means the love of wisdom, the ability to separate truth from error, reality from illusion, and the subsequent discernment as to correct action. Professional philosophers use the word in specific ways according to which type of reality and illusion they are talking about.
When surface approaches of sensitivity and strength are founded upon a sincere selflessness, balancing the two emotions becomes effortless and natural. When our underlying motivation is to genuinely help someone, and that becomes the universal reference point, then we can confidently and unhesitatingly embrace whatever approach will facilitate growth.
Don’t be surprised to catch yourself playing ‘God’ even when you know better. The scientist wants the credit of universal explanation. The philosopher bathes in the credit of insight, originality and wisdom. The celebrity enjoys the credit of fame, fortune and adoration. The politician wants the credit of power and control. Even an ‘average Joe’ will clutch onto something unique which, at least he thinks, makes him stand out from the crowd.
Looks can be deceiving, and often far from the full story. A person who feels impelled to keep talking, could be experiencing loneliness and lack of meaningful camaraderie. The insensitivity and harshness that individuals exhibit, is likely connected to an internal weakness and existential insecurity.
The ungrateful, inappropriate and irrational ways in which people act can infuriate us to no end. We deal with our anger by letting it loose (passionate and vengeful outbursts) or locking it up (emotionally disconnecting). Both expressions, however, are indicative of our own shortcomings.
Modern man is preoccupied with time. Big time. We race against it. We want to “kill” it. We create unlimited gadgets to save it.
Modern-day self-development promotes the ideals, but how much does it actually equip and empower one to genuinely imbibe this positive mental state?
The aged and wise are special – irreplaceable constituents of any family or society, what to speak of a spiritual movement. While many may have knowledge, the seasoned spiritualists bring something special to the table.
Performance of the Song of God at the ISKCON Hare Krsna Temple in Granby Street, Leicester for Janmastami The Appearance day of Lord Krsna on 17th August 2014. With Sanjay Gadhia as Krsna and Jay Anadkat as Arjuna.
Gita wisdom reconciles the goodness of God’s creation with the weakness of his creatures by differentiating between our pure core as souls and the shell of impurities such as lust.
We live in an overcommunicated world. Good etiquette insists we reply to all text messages within 10 minutes, be mindful of the mountain of emails building up in our inbox, and unfailingly return all ‘missed calls’ on our phones.
Great sages explain that just as we bathe in water everyday to cleanse the body, we should similarly bathe in the words of the wisdom literatures on a daily basis to cleanse our consciousness.
One needn’t retreat to the foreign woods to find truth, for most people, the farthest and most foreign place in the universe is within their own selves, within their own souls, “forever new and unprofaned.”
One bit of profound advice that Socrates gave to his disciples was to practice dying everyday. Although this may sound impractical, the undertone to this insight is very useful -- to cultivate awareness of and face our deep-rooted insecurities, the epitome of which is death itself.