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

Ram Das Abhiram's painting of Kurukshetra

ISKCON artist Ram Das Abhiram left this world

Last year we reported on famous ISCKON’s artist Ram Das Abhiram Prabhu stroke and future looked bleak at the time. He never recovered and on July 31 this year he joined Krishna and Srila Prabhupada in their eternal pastimes. As Rameshvara Prabhu remembers, Ram Das Abhiram was one of Srila Prabhupada’s most dear, intimate and confidential servants. His paintings filled the pages of Srimad Bhagavatam and Caitanya Caritamrita and Srila Prabhupada considered his Art Department the soul of ISKCON Press. Everybody knows the accompanying picture of the battle of Kurukshetra, for example. His wife, Srimati Dhriti Devi was also an artist and they painted together, demonstrating the power and beauty of Krishna conscious spiritual marriage. Prints of their paintings are available here – anyone familiar with our books would instantly recognize them. Here is a ten minute youtube video about Dhriti and Ram from 2008 and here are some pictures of him doing his service. Another devotee who left this word this week was Karunamayi Devi, an early disciple of Srila Prabhupada and the first wife of Gargamuni Prabhu, who himself was the earliest. There are some pictures of her here.
ISKCON Silicon Valley Book Distribution Chart

World Sankirtan Newsletter

Book distribution results came out for the month of June – these scores have always been like the heartbeat of our movement. Sometimes it slows, sometimes it races ahead. Covid-19 pandemic is the most serious external threat to our preaching and we hope it passes soon. Book distribution scores are heavily depressed around the world but there are good news, too. Overall to day, over 1.2 million books have been distributed this year, which is half of 2.4 million distributed by this time last year. Nevertheless, ISKCON SIlicon Valley actually posts higher scores than last year – as you can see in the accompanying chart (off the chart spike is December marathon), and it’s due to their preparedness to switch to online book distribution and, of course, due to foresight of their leader Vaisesika Prabhu. He designed this temple to be built for digital life from ground up, all their walls are wired with internet, audio and visual connections there. In June they distributed over 23,000 books – about a thousand books each working day. 368 devotees were on the phones there, taking part in Bhaktivinoda Thakur’s marathon. Los Angeles and New York took the second and third place respectively, with traditional powerhouse New Delhi coming in fourth place with half the points of New Yorka Harinama Ashram and ten times less than Silicon Valley! It looks like we are witnessing Darwinism’s survival of the fittest in real life – adapt or die.
Either Nanda or Sunanda

Mayapur Updates

Annual flooding season is coming to Mayapur and you can see pictures of the encroaching waters here. So far it’s not threatening. Another news comes from TOVP, which we feature inexcusably rarely. They have just completed the statues of two Vishnudutas, Nanda and Sunanda, who famously stopped the four Kumars from entering and got cursed to be born as the biggest demons in history – HIranyakashipu and Ravana among their incarnations. TOVP news page also features interviews with Jayapataka Swami and the upcoming one with Lokanath Swami, as well as announcements of their plans for the next year’s 125 anniversary of Srila Prabhupada’s appearance. More pictures of Nanda and Sunanda are here. In the accompanying image you can see prints of Ram Das Abhiram’s paintings hanging on the window – his art permeates everything in ISKCON.

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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