The Rainy Day

I still remember that small town in middle of Germany where we parked our car. The town was indeed very small and on top of that we had already days and days of rain pouring down on our water soaked books and bodies.

Getting sick, I chanted in the hotel my rounds in a dizzy type of condition, trying to get my feverish mind under control. Finally arriving in the middle of the town I watched the devotees getting out of the car, with great roar and determination once again ready to push Srila Prabhupadas books into the laps of the stubborn and obstinate (German:-) conditioned souls.

I decided to stay back for little while, hoping that the fever will somewhat be reduced during the day. But after few minutes sitting in an empty cold van, I could see the first karmis passing by the condensate water covered windows of the car I was imprisoned in. The sight became intolerable. read more

The Prabhupada Marathon

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur used to say, “The only lack in society is Krsna consciousness.” Krishna consciousness is the greatest need everywhere, and there is no better place to get it than from Srila Prabhupada’s books. This is why part-time and fulltime distributors – and devotees who never distributed books — will increase or start their service of book distribution all over the world during the Prabhupada Marathon in December.

In a lecture that Srila Prabhupada gave, while speaking about the importance of preaching, he said, “Krsna is feeling a little pain; therefore yada yada hi dharmasya.” He feels pain, knowing that His parts and parcels are suffering, and therefore He comes to help us.

Recently, a medical magazine stated, “Stress is the Black Plague of the 21st century.” I’ve had students almost in tears in front of me, because they’re under so much stress. We have no idea how much people are suffering. If we don’t help them, who will? No one else is giving pure knowledge of the soul, of God, and of the process that will bring the soul and Krsna into a loving relationship. We have a treasure house of knowledge, and Lord Caitanya is the one who came and broke open the storehouse of love of God. read more

The Vedic Root of the Western Religious Tradition

In any standard religion, including the great faiths of the West, elements of karma, jnana and bhakti can be found. When these three are not kept separate but are allowed to commingle, that is called viddha-bhakti, polluted devotion. The viddha-bhaktas worship God—unquestionably an act of devotion—but the goal of their worship is influenced by the karmi and jnani ideals of salvation: “heaven” and “liberation.” On the path of suddha-bhakti, pure devotion, these imperfect goals drop away.1

anyabhilasita-sunyam

jnana-karmady-anavrtam read more

Why did Lord Rama kill Vali Unjustly?

sugriva_valli1

The very question is based on an atheistic view point. Can two and two give five? The very question reveals the foolish nature of the questioner. Yet, nowadays, this question is a concern to many people who do not believe in the fact that Lord Sri Krishna and any of his avatars such as Lord Rama, Lord Nrisimha et al can be without any impropriety or sinful act on their part. Not only the nastikas, the atheists but also the foolish or neophyte devotees of Lord Rama who have not read Valmiki Ramayana Canto 4 Chapter 18 ask this question: Why did Lord Rama kill Vali, with whom He had no conflict, and moreover, why did He do so while hiding behind a tree?

Lord Rama is absolutely pure and it is impossible for him to sin. Isopanishada verse 8

sa paryagāc chukram akāyam avraṇam
asnāviraḿ śuddham apāpa-viddham
kavir manīṣī paribhūḥ svayambhūr
yāthātathyato ’rthān vyadadhāc chāśvatībhyaḥ samābhyaḥ read more

Aitihya—Tradition as Authority (part 2)

tradition2

Aitihya—Tradition as Authority (part 2)

II.

    The word “aitihya” is eternal; it is found in the Veda-sruti (Taittiriya Aranyaka). The Amara-kosa (1.6.4) defines it as a “prior occurance” (pura-vrttam), explained by commentators as the instructions of tradition (iti-ha iti paramparyopadese ’vyayam). Thus, modern lexicographers tell us it derives from “iti-ha,” an indeclinable literally translating as “thus indeed,” “according to tradition,” and so on. Perhaps its best known form is, “iti-hasa” (“It occurred thus”), the name given by Srimad-Bhagavatam and other sastras for the gamut of ancient historical accounts, legends, traditions, and cultural lore. The Itihasas are generally deemed to consist of the Puranas and especially both epics, Ramayana and Mahabharata. Speculative historian Romila Thapar explains (1978: 256), “The Itihasa–purana tradition had three main constituents—myth, geneology, and historical narrative.” read more

Rethinking Varnasrama

rethink1

Rethinking Varṇāśrama

How changing our current thinking on the utility of varṇāśrama-dharma can reconnect it with ISKCON’s overall preaching mission and solve some of ISKCON’s most troubling social problems.

by Krishna-kirti das, 9/30/2013 read more

Aitihya—Tradition as Authority (part 1)

Tradition1

Mukunda Datta dasa is a disciple of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada since 1976. He holds a graduate degree in South Asian Languages and Literature from the University of Washington, in Sanskrit and Braja-bhasa. He was made a charter member of the Sastric Advisory Council to the GBC (SAC). Based in Vrndavana (India) since 2003, he currently serves there as a translator for Giriraja Publications (a new division of the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust).

Aitihya—Tradition as Authority (part 1)

tarko ’pratisthah srutayo vibhinna
nasav rsir yasya matam na bhinnam
dharmasya tattvam nihitam guhayam
mahajano yena gatah sa panthah read more