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

Bhakti Charu Swami Departure

HH Bhakti Caru Swami’s Succumbs to Disease

“It is with overwhelming heartache that we announce to you the departure of our beloved godbrother and a dearmost servant of Srila Prabhupada, His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami” begins the official announcement by GBC Executive Committee. It was only a couple of years ago that Bhakti Charu Swami himself was selected Executive Committee Chairman, a position he held twice in his life. This news is deeply devastating to his disciples and everyone else who knew him personally. He was an example of a vaishnava behavior – soft, gentle, and extremely devoted to the service of Srila Prabhupada, and a source of inspiration to thousands of people. “He reasons ill who tell that Vaishnavas die, When thou are living still in sound! The Vaishnavas die to live, and living try To spread the holy name around!”, and we are fortunate to have access to countless of Maharaja’s lectures and bhajans. “Maharaja’s voice, sweeter than honey, has immortalised many of our acaryas’ prayers,” reads the announcement, and it’s certainly true and can be confirmed by anyone visiting his page on ISKCON Desire Tree or Facebook or Youtube channel.
Bhakti Charu Swami in Mayapur

On the Medical Side

When Coronavirus pandemic struck the world Bhakti Charu Swami was in his “home” temple in Ujjain. However, his presence was required in Florida where he overseed a cow protection project and so he traveled to the US, which had been the epicenter of the epidemic. In the middle of June Maharaj developed high fever but it was manageable with simple over-the-counter medications. When his Covid-19 test result came positive, however, he was immediately admitted to a hospital where doctors advised to put him on ventilator. Maharaj was initially reluctant, considering that it required being sedated and unable to chant and hear the holy name, honor prasadam, and enjoy association with devotees, but eventually agreed to put his fate in the hands of the devotees who insisted on following medical advice. The expectation was that he would require ventilator’s help for only a couple of days and first news reported considerable progress. In the second week, however, the news was repeatedly “stable but serious”. Unfortunately, when battling the disease, “stable” also means “not winning” and “depleting bodily resources”. Time was not on Maharaja’s side and early this week, after about two weeks of being on ventilator, Maharaja suffered a heart attack which followed by kidney failure. He was stabilized for a few days but on Saturday morning (Thailand time) the news mentioned “multiple organ failure” and several hours after that came the announcement of his departure. Even though devotees were not allowed inside the room, several auspicious items were present, including Srimad Bhagavatam and tulasi, and devotional music was playing all along. Aside from that, no one has any doubts that Krishna was always with Maharaja and this deep connection does not depend on external circumstances. The accompanying picture was taken in February this year.
ISKCON Ujjain

A Bit of History

Bhakti Charu Swami was a native of Bengal but his path to Srila Prabhupada shelter was rather standard for western devotees – he read a book (Nectar of Devotion) while in Germany and decided to surrender his life to Krishna. He made his way back to India where Srila Prabhupada was at the time and met him in early 1977. His sincerity and determination were extraordinary and he was immediately accepted into Srila Prabhupada’s travelling party as a personal servant. He received both first and second initiation on the same day during Gaura Purnima festival and a sannyasa initiation a couple of months later. Though ordered to translate Srila Prabhupada’s books into Bengali, it was indicated that at the time personal association with guru was a better way of service and so Maharaja continued travelling with Srila Prabhupada. After sannyasa giving ceremony, for example, Maharaj returned to the kitchen to continue cooking for Prabhupada. Interestingly, his was the first case when Srila Prabhupada didn’t just add “Swami” to his initiated name but rather gave him a new one, with “Bhakti” prefix as well. Maharaja served Srila Prabhupada intimately through the last months of Srila Prabhupada’s life and it was the biggest and most important lesson he learned from his guru – the art of leaving this world while being constantly engaged in service. Eventually he translated all Srila Prabhupada’s books into Bengali, too, which took him nearly two decades. He initiated many disciples and managed many successful projects, building his “home” temple in Ujjain being one of the best examples (featured in the picture). Unlike translations, the temple was completed in only ten months and it’s gorgeous. As we mentioned earlier, twice he was selected to hold the highest administrative position in ISKCON – GBC EC Chairman, but this has never undermined his natural vaishnava humility. He was the one who brought us Srila Prabhupada’s parting words: “Your love for me will be show by how you cooperate together after I am gone,” and his life was the example of putting this order into practice. Service to vaishnavas was the central motive of his entire life and, as we know, it’s the surest way for Krishna to recognize someone as His dearmost devotee.

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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