Everyone

The Science of Chanting: Going Beyond Mere Syllables

If anyone eager for devotional service utters the holy name even partially or improperly, the holy name exhibits its spiritual potency.

Prayers, mantras, and hymns composed of sacred syllables abound in religious traditions, and they are highly developed in the Vaishnava tradition of ancient India. Some prayers and mantras stand supreme, largely because they express a selfless intention and purity of purpose. A prayer that asks for some selfish end or reflects conditioned responses to the material world is not as pure as one that asks for nothing in return.

Absurdity, Abdication, and Abuse: Lessons from the Mahabharata

Dhritarashtra

Like Dhritarashtra, all who are blinded by their attachments invite misfortune upon themselves.

When the Pandavas completed their forest exile, they were joined in the kingdom of Virata by their influential father-in-law, Drupada. After consulting with him, they sent Drupada’s priest as a messenger to Hastinapura.

In essence, the priest told the Kurus, “The Pandavas have completed their prescribed exile of thirteen years. They have honored their part in the terms of the gambling match; the onus is now on you to honor your part and return their kingdom to them.”

Prepare to Go to Krishna

Krishna

Srila Prabhupada explains that only the foolish person doesn’t know that we are all on the threshold of death.

shri-shuka uvacha
evam etan nigaditam
prishtavan yad bhavan mama
nrinam yan mriyamananam
manushyeshu manishinam

“Sri Shukadeva Goswami said: Maharaja Parikshit, as you have inquired from me as to the duty of the intelligent man who is on the threshold of death, so I have answered you.” – Srimad-Bhagavatam 2.3.1

Govardhan Ecovillage: A Longing Fulfilled

This Krishna-centered village in India’s Sahyadri mountains arose from the desire to fulfill one of Srila Prabhupada’s primary aims for his movement.

In March 2010 Radhanath Swami asked a group of young men – some his disciples, some soon to be – to move from ISKCON’s Sri Sri Radha-Gopinatha temple in Chowpatty, Mumbai, to Govardhan Ecovillage, 108 kilometers from Mumbai, to develop a farm project there. It was his ardent desire to fulfill the dream of his beloved guru, His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, by developing this farm community centered on spiritual principles.

Ways of Progressing in Spirituality

A close look at the three yoga processes of shravana, manana, and nididhyasana reveals that they’re included in the nine processes of bhakti.

Bhakti-yogis practice nine processes of devotion: hearing about the Lord, chanting about Him, remembering Him, worshiping Him, serving Him, making friendship with Him, praying to Him, offering everything to Him, and serving His lotus feet. Followers of other types of yoga, on the other hand, often practice three processes, known as shravana, manana, and nididhyasana.

”Aggressive Grace”: The Spiritual Journey of Walther Eidlitz

Walther Eidlitz

An Austrian truth-seeker in India discovers Gaudiya Vaishnavism at a WWII internment camp.

The spiritual odyssey of Walther Eidlitz (1892–1976), an Austrian writer, poet, and Indologist who became a devotee of Krishna in the 1930s, is remarkable, to say the least. Decades before Srila Prabhupada’s success in establishing ISKCON, incorporated in 1966, Eidlitz was one of the few beneficiaries of Gaudiya Vaishnavism’s initial mission to the Western world.

Who Is the Cause of My Suffering?

When suffering comes, we would do well to look beyond the immediate cause.

Endeavoring for happiness and attempting to avoid suffering are natural. Often, however, we don’t get the happiness we expect, and we can’t escape suffering despite our determined efforts. When our seamless plans lead to tragic results, when our good deeds performed with integrity end in tremendous tribulations, we naturally feel confusion and bewilderment.

Swift Destruction

The days and nights of our passing years are Time’s soldiers, and our body’s defeat is inevitable.

In an extended allegory in the Fourth Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam, time is personified as a king named Candavega, meaning that he moves “violently and quickly.” He is figuratively described as having 720 soldiers – the days and nights of a year – that relentlessly attack. The main character in the allegory is Purañjana, who represents each of us – the spiritual being encased in a material body.

Lord Krishna: As Pure as a Lotus, As Cool as the Moon

The Vedic scriptures and Vaishnava poets describe the beauty and character of Lord Krishna.

Two words often used by scriptures and saints to describe this world are “contamination” and “fire.” We suffer the contamination of the external impurities of earth, water, air, and so on that constitute our material body, and we suffer from internal impurities such as lust, anger, violence, and hatred. Our body, mind, and intelligence all are contaminated to various degrees.

With Prabhupada in Vrindavan

Prabhupada at Radha Damodar Mandir

After a hugely successful program in Delhi, Srila Prabhupada introduces his young Western disciples to the spiritual wonders of Krishna’s eternal home.

[Excerpted from Chasing Rhinos with the Swami, Volume 2. Copyright 2019 Samuel Paul Speerstra (Shyamasundar das). Volumes 1 and 2 are available from the Krishna.com Store and the author’s website: www.chasingrhinos.com.]

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