Many Gods or One? Five Prominent Deities and Their Universal Meaning

A discussion of India's panchopasana religious practice provides insight into all religions.

At first blush, Vaishnavism may seem polytheistic, given the various gods associated with the Vedic pantheon. But if we look slightly beneath the surface, we see there is more to this so-called polytheism than meets the eye.

The concept of monotheism – that there is only one God – tends to be associated with the Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam), but it is found elsewhere as well. So the first point to be acknowledged is that monotheism is more pervasive than is commonly understood.

In Defense of the Vedic View

A challenge to the presumption that all reality can be subordinated to our sense perception and intellect.

It is the grand conceit of the materialistic worldview that “man is the measure of all things.” When we dig a little deeper, we find that this premise is based on a profoundly arrogant presumption, namely, that all reality can ultimately be subordinated to our sense perception and intellect.

Srila Prabhupada's Bombay Office

Prabhupada spent much time in Bombay unfolding his plans for spreading Krishna consciousness in India.

[Excerpted from Bombay Is My Office: Memorable Days with Srila Prabhupada in Bombay, a memoir. Copyright 2018 by Padayatra Press. Available from Amazon.in.]

Lord Buddha: Making the Faithless Faithful

Suggestions on how Vaishnavas should think of Lord Buddha today.

In the May 5, 1956, issue of Back to Godhead, Srila Prabhupada published his article “Lord Buddha: The Emblem of Theism.” The opening paragraph informs us of the transcendental poet Sri Jayadeva Acharya’s worship of Lord Buddha. Srila Prabhupada then quotes the poet’s Sanskrit prayer to the ten incarnations of the Personality of Godhead Keshava (Sri Krishna), and then gives this translation: "O my Lord, the Personality of Godhead Keshava!

Shad-bhuja-murti: Sri Chaitanya’s Six-Armed Form

When Lord Chaitanya showed this special form, He revealed three aspects of His all-attractive nature.

When I joined the Hare Krishna movement, something in Srila Prabhupada’s books intrigued me: God’s unlimited nature went beyond merely having innumerable forms; these forms, I was amazed to learn, often have numerous arms as well. India’s wisdom texts, in fact, describe a wonderland of beatific multiarmed beings.

Sri Krishna and the Original Sporting Propensity

Some words of caution about sports and spiritual life.

When the 2017 Super Bowl game, the summit of American professional football, was held in Houston, a devotee convinced me and a few others to try to distribute Srila Prabhupada’s books at a huge pregame event downtown. Venturing into the passionate, teeming crowd, we sold a few books, but not so many. This experience reinforced what was already obvious: mundane sport certainly has a powerful allure.

New Vrindaban: An Overview in Honor of Its 50th Anniversary

ISKCON's first farm community is making progress toward achieving its founding goals.

With the successful worldwide celebration of ISKCON’s fiftieth anniversary in 2016, another semicentennial event naturally follows in its wake: commemoration of the founding of New Vrindaban in 1968, two years after ISKCON's founding.

Happiness by Living in Goodness

Srila Prabhupada explains how we can overcome the influence of nature's lower modes.

tada rajas-tamo-bhavah
kama-lobhadayash cha ye
cheta etair anaviddham
sthitam sattve prasidati

"As soon as irrevocable loving service [to Lord Krishna] is established in the heart, the effects of nature's modes of passion and ignorance, such as lust, desire, and hankering, disappear from the heart. Then the devotee is established in goodness, and he becomes completely happy." – Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.2.19

What’s Wrong with Using a Crutch?

Religion is a crutch, they say. So what?

While riding in the elevator at my workplace the other day, I noticed that one of my fellow passengers was supporting himself with a pair of crutches. I asked him why, and he responded that he had broken his leg while skiing. After the interaction, I found myself reflecting on the view that many people have of religion as a crutch. They mean it, of course, as a slight, implying that religion is for the weak, whereas the strong have no need for such artificial support.

Do We Have Free Will?

According to modern biology, we don't. What does the Gita say?

Biology and Free Will

The biological behavior of human beings is currently thought to be due to their genes, which encode proteins, which form functional blocks of neurons and other cell types, which form the brain and other tissues of the human body.1 Free will, or the capacity to make an independent choice, from a biological point of view is therefore an illusion given that behavior is not under the control of the person.

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