Selfless and Seamless Devotion: Lessons from the Life and Character of Prahlada

A young devotee from ancient times taught and exemplified the essential qualities for spiritual success.

Achieving anything in life requires focus and determination. If our efforts and attitudes are consistent, we can achieve our intended goals easily and quickly. But if our motives are impure and our endeavors distracted, our success is hampered. In spiritual life, pure intentions and consistent focus on the prescribed practices are of vital importance. The timeless scripture Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.2.6) emphasizes this principle:

Pandemic: Finding Meaning Amid Suffering

Challenging times can inspire our most important thoughts about life.

A pandemic can seem monstrously meaningless. A virus from one corner of the world can mean death for thousands, disease for millions, and disruption of daily life for billions.

No one likes suffering. But what we especially dislike is meaningless suffering. If we are given an injection, we accept the momentary pain as part of the cure. But if a thorn pricks us while we walk on a road, we find that pointless pain especially annoying.

Vedanta As It Is


Srila Prabhupada explains that the only way to get perfect knowledge is to hear from the perfect person.

prabhu kahe, vedanta-sutra ishvara-vachana
vyasa-rupe kaila yaha shri-narayana

bhrama, pramada, vipralipsa, karanapatava
ishvarera vakye nahi dosha ei saba

A Journey from Sustainability to Meditation

Spiritual practices and a healthy planet go well together.

It has been almost two years since I began to deal more deeply with the issue of sustainable living. When I started, I did not think that researching sustainability would lead me to another interesting field, which was meditation, a topic I had already known to some extent. I would like to share the key steps of this exciting intellectual journey so that I can rouse or further your interest in both areas.

Tat Tvam Asi: A Gaudiya Vaishnava Clarification

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu

Although the Advaitins may want to coopt this famous phrase, Vaishnavas have something to say about that.

Though there are many maha-vakyas, or “great sayings,” four of them, one from each of the four Vedas, are often singled out as the standard maha-vakyas of the Vedic tradition. They all refer to the same universal truth, evoking the true spiritual nature of all living beings. This article focuses on tat tvam asi, often translated as “Thou art that.”1 Many scholars interpret this to mean that all living entities are the same as God.

Lord Krishna’s Vishnu Forms

Lord Vishnu

Before Lord Brahma plays his role in the cosmic creation, Krishna’s expansions set the stage.

yasyaika-nishvasita-kalam athavalambya
jivanti loma-vilaja jagad-anda-nathah
vishnur mahan sa iha yasya kala-vishesho
govindam adi-purusham tam aham bhajami

Rupa Goswami: Unique Recipient of Sri Chaitanya’s Mercy

A highly posted government officer renounced the world and became a highly posted leader among Lord Chaitanya’s followers.

The esteemed Narottama Dasa Thakura (born 1520 CE) taught that to understand the loving affairs of Radha and Krishna we must serve the lotus feet of Sri Rupa Goswami with intense eagerness. He also wrote:

sthapitam yena bhu-tale
svayam rupah kada mahyam
dadati sva-padantikam

A Love Supreme: Rosa Parks and Govinda's Restaurant

In the mid-1990s, one of Time magazine’s twenty most influential and iconic figures of the twentieth century was a regular diner at Detroit’s Hare Krishna restaurant.<

A New York Times article published in 1977 sums up the incredible splendor of Devasadan Mandir, ISKCON’s Hare Krishna temple in Detroit, Michigan, where I lived in 1994 and ’95:

FEAR: An Acronym for Facing Fear

Here’s a strategy to deal with fear: Focus, Arise, Engage, and Release.

We all face fearful situations in life. The Vedic literature tells us that fear is one of the ever-present conditions of life in the material world. How can we deal with our fears effectively? Here I propose four strategies, summed up as the acronym FEAR:

F – Focus
E – Engage
A – Arise
R – Release

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.

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