Being a Homemaker: Honor or Disgrace? by Devaki Devi Dasi

I arrived in Kolkata on the 17th of November to offer a two-day seminar for the ladies over the weekend. The local devotees had chosen the topic “Being a Homemaker: Honor or Disgrace?” – a highly relevant subject for the young generation of ladies in modern India.

We had dedicated the entire Saturday and Sunday for this seminar – with a morning and afternoon session, and the temple provided the lunch prasadam for all participants. More than one hundred ladies eagerly participated, and we conducted the event in a spacious flat near the temple. I had compiled course materials, which were also translated into Bengali and Hindi. In this way we could welcome a maximum of participants, offering simultaneous translation into Hindi and Bengali.

I have certainly noticed, that the young generation of ladies in India are very eager for a professional career, thinking it to be great progress for a woman to enter the work force and earn money. Even amongst practicing devotees I have observed a strong trend towards economic development and material progress being the main and foremost goal in life. In a country like India, where spiritual traditions had been strictly maintained until recent days, it indeed seems so appealing and progressive for young ladies to abandon these seemingly old-fashioned customs of ladies being mainly engaged in the home taking care of the husband and children. Thus the ladies in India are now dreaming of becoming independent career women, and it appears all so attractive and glittering! read more

USE OF FEAR FOR INSTILLING DISCIPLINE

In an article recently posted on a website, by Sanaka Rsi Das, Bhakti Vikas Maharaj Comments on the ‘Cost of Silence’ the following paragraph appears:

My understanding is that raising children with fear is not conducive to developing healthy Krsna conscious devotees. On the contrary, we aspire for fearlessness in the shelter of the lotus feet of the Lord. Srila Prabhupada has gone to great lengths to explains that Krsna Consciousness IS NOT an artificial imposition. How exactly do you see fear as a desirable element in education? Your opinion that it is advisable to use corporal punishment in the education of children is opposed to the essence of Srila Prabhupada’s instructions on education.

There have been more exchanges after the article above was posted on the subject of corporal punishment.It is true that Krsna consciousness is not an artificial imposition but we find that to awaken Krsna consciousness in the beginning stages there is an element of fear needed.  Why is fear needed initially? This is because we are driven by the modes and are on a sensual level and not an intellectual level.  Even if we understand the philosophy we are still impelled to sin. Arjuna asked Krsna why the conditioned soul is driven to sin and Krsna replied that it was due to the sense gratificatory propensity (BG 3.36-7). So fear helps to keep us in Krsna consciousness and away from sense gratification. We keep reminding each other that we have to attain love of god or remain in the cycle of birth and death and so out of fear of remaining in the material world we are motivated to perform sadhana with renewed vigor. read more

Mundane welfare work in ISKCON

The following article was published on the Dandavats website on 26th July 2012 (5,533 views). The article appears below in a revised and expanded form with the help of some devotees. Also included now is an Appendix section which contains more quotes of our founder-acarya, Srila Prabhupada giving his instructions on the subject of Mundane Welfare Work.

Mission Drift

Next year marks the fiftieth anniversary of ISKCON. Among other activities planned to mark the occasion, one very important feature of observing the anniversary should be to reflect on the direction and position of ISKCON fifty years after its inception and thirty eight years after Srila Prabhupada’s disappearance from mundane vision. Are we properly serving the founder-acarya of ISKCON? If not, then we risk losing the connection to the parampara and its blessings. For those who have a clear vision of the aim of ISKCON from Srila Prabhupada’s books (which he declared as the law books guide for the next 10,000 years), the increased emphasis on Mundane welfare work in ISKCON is alarming. read more

Antyesti Samskara — The last rites (Vedic funeral rites)

Dear Vaisnavas,

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Considering that almost daily we are reading about the passing of some exalted Vaisnavas and that this trend will only continue, I thought it might be wise to publish the Antyesti Samskara — the Vedic funeral rights — as transmitted by Srila Gopala Bhatta Gosvami, so that devotees would know what to do in such inevitable circumstances. read more