What is the importance of the principle “Always remember Krishna and never forget Him.” Answer based on NOD

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The principle of always remembering Krishna and never forgetting Him is the essence of all other instructions given in the shastras.

Shastras describe many rules and regulations governing all the different areas of human life. The idea of all these rules is to gradually bring everyone to the point of pure and constant rememberance of Krishna, which is the original and natural position of every living entity. Until we come to the stage of such pure Krishna consciousness, we have not actually fully realized the potential of our human life. read more

Modern Civilization of Mudhas Akincana Staff

Modern civilization is about ahara(eating), nidra(sleeping) , bhaya(defense), maithuna(Sex) or sense gratification. In modern society nobody knows his original position and how to act properly. Because people are generally acting differently, they do not know what is proper- the modern population is so much ignorant about their life – it is a very awkward position. For sense gratification people are wasting so much energy. They are not aware of what is going to happen in the next life. There is a next life, but foolish people are ignorant. This life is preparation for the next life. That they do not know.

Unfortunately, modern civilization does not know what the Supreme Personality of Godhead is, what to speak of satisfying Him. They are simply busy with material activities. Therefore all of them are performing only bad karma and therefore suffering. They are blind men leading other blind men. And both are then suffering by bad karma. A person who does not know what is God, or one who does not try to understand what is God – he is an animal. Because animal does not know what is God.

Unfortunately, at the present moment people publicly say there is no God; others say that if there is a God, He is dead; and so on. They have built such a so-called advanced civilization, with so many skyscraper buildings, but they are forgetting that all of their advancement is dependent on God, on Kṛṣṇa. This is a very precarious condition for the human society. If you defy the laws of your state, you will be put into difficulty. Similarly, if you continue to defy the authority of the Supreme Lord, you will suffer. A godless civilization cannot be happy. That is a fact. read more

Story of Kaca Suhotra Swami

… and many times it is misunderstood that the ceremony is the culmination of the whole process. People think that when I am accepted into the group as a member, when I am recognized by formal ceremony, then I am saved and whatever I do after that doesn’t matter, because I’ve been recognized. But that is not so in the process of bhakti-yoga. Srila Prabupada said, “The initiation is actually internal.” The disciple accepts the spiritual master in his heart and this ceremony is to confirm that. This ceremony marks the beginning of an eternal relationship. Actually Srila Prabhupada said, “the first initiation, this hari-nama-diksa it’s called, is when the disciple accepts the spiritual master. And the second initiation, the brahmana-diksa, is when the spiritual master accepts the disciple. With the second initiation the spiritual master begins to reveal more confidential knowledge to the disciple. But the disciple must first of all prove himself worthy. The test may be very difficult.

In this initiation we give name to the disciple and he vows to chant sixteen rounds of Hare Krsna maha-mantra everyday, follow four regulative principles and to engage himself nicely in Krsna-seva, in service to Krsna. And the disciple can expect to be tested by material energy to see how determined he is in his wows. And if he passes this test, then the spiritual master will accept him. And in that second initiation, brahmana initiation, the spiritual master is agreeing to bring the disciple back home, back to Godhead.

In the Mahabharata there is a very instructive story illustrating how a disciple may be tested. This concerns a son of the priest of the demigods, or guru of the demigods, his name is Brhaspati, and his son’s name was Kaca. So there was a war going on between the demigods and the demons. And the demons’ guru whose name is Sukracarya, he had a very wonderful ability, very wonderful spiritual power, he was a master of a mystical art called mrtyu-sanjivati which means he could bring someone who had been killed back to life in the selfsame body. So in the war between the demigods and the demons naturally many demons in their army were killed, many demoniac soldiers met with their deaths. But Sukracarya would bring them all back to life and they would again enter into the battle. Of course on the other side, in the army of the demigods, there were also soldiers being killed, but Brhaspati, he did not had this power. read more

On moving Vedic science forward Sitalatma Das

It’s nice to see legacy of HG Sadaputa Prabhu being revived, with his books appearing back in print and new articles based on his works being published on vaishnava sites. I would argue, however, that a change of direction is direly needed. There could also be a strong argument to stick with the formula endorsed by Srila Prabhupada, too, so my arguments are presented simply for consideration, and they might be based on a wrong understanding of devotees or Prabhupada’s vision, too.

The basic premise of Bhaktivedanta Institute in the 70s was that devotee scientists can win over atheistic scientists by producing top-notch research, publishing books and articles accepted by peer review journals, and by holding conferences. In a way it was a science version of converting westerners by learning to eat with knife and fork – beating them on their own turf and on their own terms. It didn’t work for spreading Krishna consciousness and, after forty years of trying, it clearly doesn’t work with science, too. There could always be another book, another article, another conference so devotees can always find some source for hope but, realistically speaking – it doesn’t work. read more

Good News: ISKCON told to include eggs in menu

Some good news:

Amaravati: Taking serious note of non-implementation of prescribed menu of mid-day meal scheme in several schools, the government has decided to make it a mandatory on providing three eggs per week for each student studying in government-run schools  across the state as part of providing nutritious food for the children.

Considering the report of National Institute of Nutrition(NIN) the government has directed the DEOs to strictly implement the prescribed menu in the mid-day meal and has also decided not to exempt  any agency or institution like Akshaya Patra foundation, ISKCON etc on  providing eggs to the students in the guise of religious traditions. read more

Sanaka Rsi Dasa misleading, has done nothing positive for gurukulas H.H. Bhakti Vikasa Swami

(Response to Sanaka Rsi Prabhu’s article on Sampradaya Sun http://harekrsna.com/sun/editorials/06-17/editorials14984.htm on June 4, 2017)

Sanaka Rsi Prabhu’s cause is noble. But the methods and means he is using in his discussions with Bhakti Vikasa Maharaja are not at all appropriate and cultured.

He somehow seems to think that by defaming and accusing anyone who takes a different stance on this subject, he could achieve his goals (protection of children in gurukula). But this approach won’t help him. 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

The Chinese self-designation Hua and the root-word Ᾱrya

The essence of the article is that the word that the Chinese use to call themselves is derived from the Sanskrit word “Aryan.” The article explains how this conclusion is arrived at. Excerpt: ‘It is but rare that I take the trouble to write a mere summary of a paper I have read with increasing enthusiasm. Here is one occasion. It pertains to “The earliest Chinese words for ‘the Chinese’: the phonology, meaning and origin of the epithet Ḥarya — Ᾱrya in East Asia” by Christopher Beckwith, published in Journal Asiatique 304:2 (2016), p.231-248. Some comments and background data are mine, but for the factual frame, the entire credit goes to Beckwith.

I had never suspected that the Chinese word for “Chinese” has a foreign origin. But yes, it does. In fact, the same foreign word has been borrowed twice and yielded two different Chinese words, one of which is widely used as the ethnonym for “Chinese”.’

“At any rate, the same word, or etymologically a homophonous loanword which came to be written with the same character, came to serve as the name of “us, Chinese”. According to Beckwith, in this meaning the term does not predate the Warring States period, the final part of the Zhou age (-5th to -3rd). At that time, knowledge was extant about distantly neighbouring countries, including Daxia 大夏, meaning “Greater Bactria” or “the Bactrian Empire”, i.e. Central Asia, then firmly held by the Iranian-speaking Scythians. These were a predominant influence from Croatia to Mongolia, where they imparted their lucrative knowledge of metallurgy and horse-training (Scythian legends pertaining to these skills were interiorized even by the Japanese). Their ancestral heartland was Bactria, i.e. present-day northern Afghanistan and southeastern Uzbekistan around the Amu Darya river (Greek: Oxus), an oasis friendly to agriculture and habitation amidst a harsh and inhospitable region.

The later Chinese tended to identify themselves with their ruling class. The Qin 秦dynasty (-3rd) yielded the international name China, Sanskrit Cīnā; the Han 漢 dynasty (-3rd to +3rd) lent its name to the usual self-designation of the ethnic Chinese as distinct from the minorities within China as “the Han”. It might be that a Chinese elite for some reason had identified itself with the expanding Scythians.”

‘The origin of the words Xia 夏 and Hua 華 is the collective self-designation of the inhabitants of Bactria, a country of which the Greeks rendered the Iranian name as Ariana. This is still the name of Afghanistan’s air company. The Iranians called themselves Aiirya, corresponding to the form Ᾱrya in Sanskrit, Arus in Anatolian (Hittite). In each of these languages, it originally meant “us”, “one of us” (as against “them”), “fellow countryman”. Surrounding or subject nations, and finally the Iranians themselves, used the word as an ethnonym for the Iranians. Indeed, Iran comes from Aiiryānām Khšathra, “kingdom of the Iranians”. Whole article at  INDIAFACTS.ORG

Mundane welfare work in ISKCON

ISKCON Welfare work

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