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

TOVP-Nrisimhadeva Temple rendering

TOVP Delays

With COVID-19 pandemic it was only a matter of time that news of delays and postponements started coming in. Among other things, TOVP depends on a continuous fundraising campaign and with global economy in doldrums the goals and milestones have become impossible to reach, which forces delays in the construction and, subsequently, in various scheduled events. Moving of the deities into the new temple, what is referred to as “Grand Opening, has been postponed from 2022 to 2023 with no certainty about dates yet. Opening Srila Prabhupada’s Murti, originally scheduled in March next year, has been moved to October, and even that in hope that pandemic eases its grip on the world. Moreover, if things don’t change significantly in the next couple of months, Mayapur Festival plans and GBC meetings are also in jeopardy, though meetings, of course, can be held online. Perhaps the ongoing virtual Navadvipa Parikrama will be held virtually again before next year’s Gaura Purnima but it’s just not the same as being physically immersed in the sounds, smells, and dust of the dhama, and having physical devotee association. Pre-festival Navadvipa Mandala Parikrama is the biggest in ISKCON, with thousands of devotees participating, and it has attained this status because of the real effect of the experience, which can’t be replicated virtually, especially for the newcomers. In the latest good news – here you can see more computer renders of Sri Sri Prahlad-Narasimhadeva Temple Design. It’s going to be mind-blowing.
Jasomatinandana Prabhu

Jasomatinandana Prabhu’s Leaving

We missed his name being added to COVID victims list last week and now all we can say is that he has left. Yesterday. He’s been admitted to ICU just a week ago and the disease got him. He was initiated by Srila Prabhupada in the early 70s and was given Gujarat to develop, which he did, basically becoming the father of the entire yatra. Gujarat is traditionally a vaishnava stronghold so being a leader of ISKCON Guajarat is no small thing. Under his leadership fifteen big temples have been opened in the area. Jasomatinandana Prabhu has also translated almost all of Srila Prabhupada’s books into Gujarati. Coming back to earlier Covid victims, Nitai Caitanya Goswami we mentioned last week has actually was on the way to recovery, he was discharged from the ICU and was about to be released to convalesce at home, but suddenly his blood pressure shot up and doctors couldn’t save him. Before the infection he was very healthy, he followed aurvedic diet and exercised regularly, but that didn’t help, prompting devotees to speculate that his departure was just another expression of his spontaneity, where he would out of the blue demand to drop everything and go to far out places like Remuna, reasoning that bhakti there has a very special taste. Usually, devotees restrained him in these sudden travels but this time they couldn’t and so he really dropped everything and went to see his beloved Lords Caitanya and Nityananda. He actually requested to be called “Nitai Caitanya” at his initiation. Here is a video of Jasomatinandana Prabhu sharing his memories of Srila Prabhupada.
Flooded ISKCON temple in Pandharpur

In Other News

There is a usual mixture of good and bad happening in the world. In the picture you can see the roof of ISKCON temples in Pandharpur in Maharashtra. If Covid doesn’t get you, floods will. Nobody died but also there is no temple to speak of left. There is no place for the Deities, no place for devotees, no place for cows, all the crops are gone, too. Only mosquitoes are thriving in this new situation. On the other side of the world, in Australia, it’s a spring time instead, the nature is waking up, children have school holidays, and peacocks are strutting their tails and calling out to peahens. If not for Covid restrictions, New Gokula Farm is having a blast of the time. Check out their newsletter with more news and pictures. Over in the US, a devotee of Bengali origin has completed Bengali script verses for the Adi Lila of Caitanya Caritamrita. It’s a big endeavor for this one man team and he hopes to start Madhya Lila after Kartic and complete it in six months. Our printed Caitanya Caritamritas had always had Bengali script in them but until now it has never been transliterated into modern, Internet compliant version which can be copy pasted and shared via all kinds of digital devices. Here is a story from Bangkok, shared to global devotee community by Kavichandra Swami – a monk got interested in our harinama party and came to the temple to buy all the books the next day.

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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