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

Ganashyam

News From the Battlefront

ISKCON devotee, Ganashyam Prabhu, has been caught in the epicenter of the pandemic – in the US, in New York, in New York Presbyterian Hospital, number 1 hospital in New York and one of the largest in the world where he works a chaplain, attending spiritual needs of patients dying from COVID-19. Usually palliative care patients come to the hospice when they are given six months to live but now people die within days or even hours, and so Ganashyam’s workload and pressure has increased tremendously. Some patients request visits by priests from their own churches but many have no one else to turn to, sometimes not even a family. With pandemic, Ganashyam is not allowed to enter the room so sometimes all he can do is to stand outside and chant Hare Krishna. Sometimes he has time to built rapport with dying patients and help them take stock of their lives and reflect on their deeper connection with God, sometimes he doesn’t. Hindu and Jain patients listen to his reading from Bhagavad Gita and he brings Ganga water and prasadam for them. One such patient took the news stoically and asked Ganashyam to reconnect him with Krishna. Ganashyam brought him picture of Sri Sri Radha Muralidhara deities from New York Bhakti Center. At first the picture was hanging on the wall but in his last moments he asked it to be placed in front of his eyes and when his eyes failed he placed it on his heart, and this is how he left his body. You can read the full story about Ganashyam here. In much more cheerful news here is a video of one devotee family in England participating in the Festival of the Holy Name that was picked up by a news channel in India and which has gathered more than 11 million views.
Comden Pot

We Keep Fighting

Corona virus pandemic is almost over, with some temples starting “soft” re-openings. Alachua community, for example, now allows strictly controlled Deity darshans – one has to schedule visiting time first, register, have his temperature taken and so on. Interestingly, devotees are not allowed to offer dandavats in the temple. Watch the instructional video here. Yesterday was the first time our Bangkok ABAC center welcomed visitors to the regular Saturday program, too. Last year we mentioned “high tunnels” build in New Vrindavan and this is the first planting season when devotees can reap full benefits. While outside temperatures are still very low, ikale, lettuce, spinach, turnips and radishes have already been growing inside. In a few weeks time 120 tomato plants will be ready to harvest along with beets, carrots, green beans, and fava beans, and they are just getting started. Other New Vrindavan families are also taking their gardening very seriously this year and the list of what they plan to grow this year would be impossibly long. In prasadam distribution news, Parasuram Prabhu joined Rock’n’Roll Rescue Hub in North London, sponsored by rock’n’roll stars. Here’s a short video introduction. Generally, rock’n’roll is considered devilish music but singers are usually generous people and, as Parasuram jokes, Devil himself is welcome to come and demonstrate his famous pot-stirring skills. Indian Padayatra devotees have been stranded in Sawantwadi in Maharashtra but because town mayor is close friends with the devotees he made generous donations to take care of Gaura Nitai deities, the devotees, and their bulls. Meanwhile, ISKCON Ministry of Education is inviting devotees to take part in the annual symposium which will be held online this year.
Mayapur cyclone aftermath

Mayapur News

Never mind the pandemic, Amphan, the biggest cyclone in history of Bay of Bengal, made a landing in the middle of last week. The winds reached 160 km/h but Mayapur was largely spared. Neither TOVP nor the existing temple nor Prabhupada samadhi nor goshala were damaged. The picture gives the general feel and there are more pictures here. Some straw huts were destroyed and some houses lost their tin roofs but that was about it. Lots of trees and electricity poles fell down in the area, making the roads impassible, but nothing that couldn’t be fixed in a short time. In the meantime, TOVP has released it’s May Newsletter and big surprise was that, despite the lockdown and the pandemic, they managed to meet their fundraising target for 10 day Nrisimha Caturdasi marathon. Thousands of devotees made donations, some big, some small. So far, construction work is going on as scheduled. On the subject of charity – please watch this heartfelt appeal by devotees in Vrindavan led by Dina Bandhu Prabhu and Daivishakti Mataji.

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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