Acharyas

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, who was named Kedarnath Datta by his father, was born on 2nd September 1838 in Biranagara (Ulagrama) in the district of Nadia. He was the seventh son of Raja Krsnananda Datta, a great devotee of Lord Nityananda.He would be known as 'daitya-kulera prahlada' (Prahlada in the family of demons). This was because Vaishnavism was not very much respected in his family; on his mother's side, there was no respect for Vaishnavism at all. His childhood was spent at the mansion of his maternal grandfather Mustauphi Mahasaya, in Biranagara. His environment at this time was very opulent. He got his elementary education at the primary school started by his grandmother. Later he attended an English school in Krishnanagara, started by the King of Nadia; he left that school...

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Prabhupada

               Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Goswami Maharaj (1874 – 1937), was a preacher of Gaudiya Vaishnavism throughout India in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. He was born as Bimal Prasad Dutta in the seaside pilgrimage town of Jagannath Puri, Orissa, India. His father was the Vaishnava scholar Bhaktivinoda Thakur, the first to present the teachings of Chaitanya Vaishnavism to the English speaking world. He received both Western and traditional Indian education and gradually established himself as a leading intellectual among the bhadralok (Western-educated and often Hindu Bengali residents of colonial Calcutta), earning the title Siddhānta Sarasvatī ("the pinnacle of wisdom").               In 1918, Bimal Prasad Dutta accepted the renounced order of spiritual...

His Holiness Jayapataka Swami

Jayapataka Swami was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA. His scholastic achievements led to an offer of a full scholarship by Brown University after his completion of high school. As a new student at Brown, Jayapataka Swami heard a guest lecturer speak on the life of Buddha. This inspired in him the desire to search for his spiritual teacher. Having lost all interest in his studies, Jayapataka Swami deemed India to be the best destination to find this teacher. Before departing he came across a group of Hare Krishna devotees and became interested in sharing their practices. Shortly thereafter he visited the San Francisco ISKCON center where he helped to build a cart for the now world famous Ratha Yatra Festival. He joined ISKCON’s San Francisco center on Ratha Yatraday then...

Articles

Human Life

Among all the species of life, human life is the best because it affords us the higher intelligence with which to make spiritual progress. In plant or animal bodies, our consciousness is too undeveloped. With the higher awareness of human life comes greater responsibility. Animal life comprises only four activities: eating, sleeping, mating, and defending. Human beings are no better than animals if they spend their lives in similar pursuits and don't try for self-realization. When we observe the vast numbers of plants and animals in this world, we can understand just how rare a human birth is. That should inspire us to make the best use of our short time in these bodies by diligently following the authorized spiritual practices of Bhakti yoga, which can lead to...

Human Intelligence

Everyone is thinking “I am American, I am Indian, I am European, I am Australian”, “I am Rich, I am Poor, I am this, I am that” – bodily concept. We have to cleanse this bodily conception of life that “I am not this body”. “Aham Brahmasmi” I am spirit soul. In the Bhagavad Gita it is said: “Janma-mrtyu- jara-vyadhi - dukha-dosanudarsanam” We are trying to be happy fighting with unhappiness, but we do not know our real unhappiness are that we have to die, we have to take birth again, we have to become diseased and we have to accept old age. This is intelligence that I am trying to solve all the problems of life by advancement of civilization, education, scientific knowledge and so many other things. That’s all right, but what is the solution of these four miserable conditions? “BIRTH”,...

The Mantra that changed my life

Discovering Spiritual Knowledge It all began with meeting a young lady, who is an astrologer. She prepared my natal map and gave some recommendations as far as what I should and should not do. First of all, she recommended to switch to a vegetarian diet. The reason for that is because I was born on Caturdasi. It is a must for people who are born on this day to be engaged in spiritual practice. Otherwise, consequences can be really harsh. I became interested. Actually, I had always been interested in spiritual living. The astrologer and I had a long conversation and I would have loved to talk more, but I had to leave for Milan, so time was limited. That is why I asked her if she could recommend any books. She told me about Radhanath Swami’s “Journey Back Home” book and also about “AGHORA,...

Last Week in ISKCON

Ujjain temple festival

Ujjain Opening Up

Our Ujjain temple recently, on Nityananda Trayodasi, celebrated its 15th anniversary and it was the first big public even after prolonged lockdown. The temple is a child of Bhakti Charu Swami and was built in record time – 9  months and 20 days. That’s the amount of time human children need to develop within the womb before taking birth so the comparison is especially apt in this case. As you can see in the picture the temple was as full and as vibrant as ever.  Temple ceremony was followed by a street sankirtana, also one of the symptoms of the world returning back to normal. During the same time Ujjain devotees organized a massive three day online Uddipan Festival dedicated to helping young people battle with drug addiction. This time the theme was “life Lessons from Ramayana”, the workshops were led by famous ISKCON motivational speakers Gauranga and Amogha Lila Prabhus, and participants got a chance to win large prizes – 1st prize was 1 lack of rupees – and there were 1,000 “consolation” prizes as well. It’s nice to see Ujjain devotees overcoming the loss of Bhakti Charu Swami and getting back to being one of the most promising ISKCON projects in India.
Three Saptarishi Sets

World Sankirtan Newsletter for January

Last week we mentioned book distribution returning to normal in North America and this week’s Word Sankritan Newsletter showed the same trend for the rest of the world, too, putting pandemic struggles almost fully behind us. Book scores look normal again – with India taking the top spot among the contents again and distributing five times more books than North America. CIS was in the third place and Europe in the forth. Among the temples New Delhi was at the top, as usual, followed by Mumbai and Mayapur – all of these three temples individually distributing more books than the entire USA. Russian devotees handily beating Europeans during the coldest January in living memory was also a notable surprise. Erurope, however, leads in distributing Arabic books. It can’t catch with Silicon Valley but European temples take eight out of ten spots in preaching to Muslim readers. Among individual book distributors only four in the top twenty were not from India which, again, shows that our main book distribution engine is back online, and this is only January. In the picture is Krishna Prasad Prabhu distributing three “Saptarishi” sets of books in one go in Atlanta, Georgia.
Padayatra

News From The Road

Padayatra is one of the most traditional ways of preaching but maybe it doesn’t look so glamorous today. Nevertheless, Srila Prabhupada appreciated travelling by bullock carts from village to village, holding festivals and distributing books, and going on such padayatra was one of his final requests before his departure. At the time devotees persuaded him to stay in bed even though Lokanatha Maharaja, featured in the picture, already arranged a bullock cart for him. Just hear this “small” story from the current padayatra – recently it reached a town of Jasdan in Rajkot district of Gujarat. This the home of Ganashyam Prabhu, a disciple of Mahavishnu Swami. When he was young Ganashyam traveled with padayatra himself, as well as served on Vraja Mandala parikrama. There he got the blessings of senior devotees and a 5,000 rupee loan to start a cow product business. Today it is worth 50,000,000! To welcome his old padayatra friends visiting his town Ganashyam organized a pandal program for 500 people and invited devotees from Rajkot, Dwaraka, and Surat. Three days of feasts were cooked by another old padayatra devotee, Pitambara Prabhu, who served on padayatra for seven years. Later in his life he has suffered from paralysis and couldn’t see his worshipable deities but recovered time to greet and feed Their Lordships and his old padayatra friends. What a reunion. From this story we can see that padayatra might be planting small seeds but they grow and bring huge and tasteful fruits of devotion.

Bhagavad Gita Quotes

The Bhagavad-gita is universally renowned as the jewel of India’s spiritual wisdom. Spoken by Lord Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead to His intimate disciple Arjuna, the Gita’s seven hundred concise verses provide a definitive guide to the science of self realization. No other philosophical or religious work reveals, in such a lucid and profound way, the nature of consciousness, the self, the universe and the Supreme.

His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada is uniquely qualified to present this English translation and commentary on Bhagavad-gita. He is the world’s foremost Vedic scholar and teacher, and he is also the current representative of an unbroken chain of fully self-realized spiritual masters beginning with Lord Krishna Himself. Thus, unlike other editions of the Gita, this one is presented as it is–without the slightest taint of adulteration or personal motivation. This edition is certain to stimulate and enlighten with its ancient yet thoroughly timely message.

The Bhagavad-gita is universally renowned as the jewel of India’s spiritual wisdom. Spoken by Lord Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead to His intimate disciple Arjuna, the Gita’s seven hundred concise verses provide a definitive guide to the science of self realization. No other philosophical or religious work reveals, in such a lucid and profound way, the nature of consciousness, the self, the universe and the Supreme.

His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada is uniquely qualified to present this English translation and commentary on Bhagavad-gita. He is the world’s foremost Vedic scholar and teacher, and he is also the current representative of an unbroken chain of fully self-realized spiritual masters beginning with Lord Krishna Himself. Thus, unlike other editions of the Gita, this one is presented as it is–without the slightest taint of adulteration or personal motivation. This edition is certain to stimulate and enlighten with its ancient yet thoroughly timely message.

Prayers of Lord Shiva and Lord Brahma to the Supreme Personality of Godhead Shri Krishna

Prayers of Lord Siva

Prayers of Lord Siva

Lord Siva addressed the Supreme Personality of Godhead Shri Krishna with the following prayer: O Supreme Personality of Godhead, all glories unto You. You are the most exalted of all self-realized souls. Since You are always auspicious for the self-realized, I wish...

read more
Prayers of Lord Brahma

Prayers of Lord Brahma

My dear Lord Krishna, You are the one Supreme Soul, the primeval Supreme Personality, the Absolute Truth — self-manifested, endless and beginning less. You are eternal and infallible, perfect and complete, without any rival and free from all material designations....

read more

Prayers of Lord Shiva and Lord Brahma to the Supreme Personality of Godhead Shri Krishna

Prayers of Lord Siva

Prayers of Lord Siva

Lord Siva addressed the Supreme Personality of Godhead Shri Krishna with the following prayer: O Supreme Personality of Godhead, all glories unto You. You are the most exalted of all self-realized souls. Since You are always auspicious for the self-realized, I wish...

read more
Prayers of Lord Brahma

Prayers of Lord Brahma

My dear Lord Krishna, You are the one Supreme Soul, the primeval Supreme Personality, the Absolute Truth — self-manifested, endless and beginning less. You are eternal and infallible, perfect and complete, without any rival and free from all material designations....

read more

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