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Sri Bhaktisiddhanta Vaibhava

Bhaktisiddhanta Vaibhava

The result of over twenty years of research, Sri Bhaktisiddhanta Vaibhava presents a wealth of newly translated material. Replete with anecdotes told by disciples who lived with him, this devotional, philosophical, cultural, and historical study gives intimate insights into the activities, teachings, and character of an empowered emissary of the Supreme Lord.

Sri Bhaktisiddhanta Vaibhava is presented in three volumes:

  • Volume 1 features a biographical overview, plus detailed analysis of the message, mission, and personality of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati.
  • Volume 2 details the preaching challenge that Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati faced, and also includes biographical sketches of several of his disciples and associates.
  • Volume 3 features an overview of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati’s contributions, with selections from his lectures, writings, and colloquies, also his astrological chart, and appendixes that include important details concerning Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati and the Gaudiya Matha.

Featuring over 170 photos, many republished after more than seventy years, Sri Bhaktisiddhanta Vaibhava is a collector’s piece to be treasured by devotees and students of religion. read more

Whose Worship is Idol Worship?

Worship

Difference between idol and vigraha. An article from a 1975 Back To Godhad by Jayadvaita dasa.

Are the Hare Krsna devotees idol worshipers? A senior member of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness resolves this question by explaining the authenticity of the Deity form of the Lord.

It’s natural for us to want to know what God looks like, just as it’s natural for a child who’s never seen his father to want to know what his father looks like. And just as such a child may imagine, “Maybe my father looks like this” or “Maybe he looks like that,” so we, too, speculate about what God must be like. The artist Michelangelo, for example, knowing God to be the original person, speculated that He must actually look old, with white hair and the features of an aged man. In this way, perhaps all of us have at one time or another formed at least some mental picture of God from whatever little we knew of Him. read more

Prabhupada Uvaca: “ What is that – chocolate?”

Chocolate

“What is that?” Prabhupada asked pleasantly as we offered our obeisances and sat before him.
“Well, the devotees are selling hot drinking chocolate at the new snack bar, Srila Prabhupada,” I said, “and I don’t think it’s bona fide. Mahavira prabhu thinks it is, so we thought we should ask you.”
“Hmm. So, what is it made from?” Prabhupada asked thoughtfully.
Mahavira raced back to the shop and brought the can. He read out the ingredients. “It’s mainly from cocoa, Srila Prabhupada.”
“Oh, cocoa. That, there is cocoa bean, it comes from this?”
“Yes, Srila Prabhupada.”    
“No, then it is not all right. If it is from cocoa bean you cannot take. That means caffeine.”
So that was it. The issue was settled, and hot drinking chocolate is no longer on the menu.

Transcendental Diary  5-3: Sri Vrndavana Dhama

Without any stridency in his tone, he raised his topic of concern. “Now for our practical life we are known all over the world as shaven headed. Is it not? Now we are becoming hair headed. We are forgetting shaving because there is a little leniency. Immediately faulty things are creeping in. So we should be known as shaven headed, not long hair headed. This is discrepancy. At least once in a month you must be clearly shaven headed. In the bright fortnight on the day of purnima, four days after ekadasi, once in a month in the bright fortnight, you must be shaved.” read more

You never know what to expect

Holly jail

Valtura Prison Camp

The next day, October 11, we went to a prison in Valtura a town nearby  Pula. This place was the open-type where mostly offenders with traffic accidents were held. There were no walls,guards or bars, just a few houses in a farm-like environment.

We were welcomed by one of the officials who arranged the event.He was very interested into India and was impressed with the fact that everyone in the group had visited India. read more

The Point of it All

What's the point of it all

The question of the meaning of human existence in the totality of Being, this fundamental question of philosophy, gains its true and practical importance through man’s total discovery of death. (
Jacques Choron, Death and Western Thought, Collier Books 1963, pg. 27)

“The totality of Being” means universal existence: the immeasurable expanse of time and space compared to which the human world is absurdly insignificant.

“Man’s total discovery of death” means the recognition that in this world nobody, great or small, is immortal.
And so, philosophy is important and practical insofar as it addresses “the why” of our mortality in the midst of a universe that apparently cares not if we live or die. read more

Sex Fascination – The Disease of the Modern Age

Sex is the overwhelming obsession of modern society. Sexual promiscuity is so unrelentingly stressed that anyone who does not appear to the highly interested in it is generally considered to be a crank. Social pressure induces people to try to maintain juvenile lustiness long after the sensual high of youth has subsided. Thus millions of people remain emotionally immature all their lives. It is a sick world.

Prison Program (Pula, Croatia)

Prison

On October 10th,ISKCON had it’s first program in Pula Prison. Eight devotees were present.HH Candramauli Swami gave the lecture. A very special person was also with us, Candra Prabhu from the U.S., who is employed in Oregon state jail as a counsellor, and also volunteers as a religious counselor. Mother Saci Mata did the translating, Divya Prabhanda Prabhu played harmonium and lead kirtan, Namacarya Prabhu played mridanga.Organizers of the program and also the karatal players were Nadia Nimai Prabhu and his wife Mother Malati Mala.And me, with the special task of writing a report on the event.

We arrived one hour early,the guards were a bit surprised, but they let us in after after the normal rountine check.Inside we were led into a wide, long hall where the program was to be held. The old jail building dated back to the Austro-Hungarian Empire period.

A couple of the guards escorted us in along with two ladies who were prison workers monitoring rehabilitation and recovery programs.Everyone was friendly, and because we came early we had a lot of time to talk with them about the prison and the inmates. They told us that the jail houses both inmates who were given court sentences, and those who are awaiting trial. Many come back to prison as it has become their home. During the years they spent inside they become unable to live outside.The ladies said there were about 5,300 people in prisons in Croatia (out of the poplulation of 4.5 million). Candra mentioned to them that in the U.S.A. there are 3 million persons in jail out of poplulation of 300 million which is 1% of the entire poplulation. The ladies were a bit shocked with such big numbers and said “well, 3 million inmates, that’s almost the entire population of Croatia!” read more

Back to the Land

Village life

This article appears on the AL-Jazeera news website (under a different title): People in the country of Greece have started leaving the cities and going back to the Land.

At the end of another year of painful austerity and mouting debts, Greece’s battered economy is seeing over 1,000 workers lose their jobs every day.

On the surface, many cities still looks prosperous, but the nation’s deep crisis is clearly reflected in the windows of hundreds of empty shops. More than one million Greeks are unemployed, which is one-quarter of the workforce, and the country is facing a youth unemployment rate of 58 percent. read more