The Life of a Text: Bhagavad-gita Through the Centuries

A biographical narrative of the Gita reveals her dimensions and the personalities who broadened her reach.

This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of Srila Prabhupada's Bhagavad-gita As It Is. Although many articles have been written about the Gita as a philosophical poem, exploring its meaning and theological implications, and although both devotees and nondevotees have written elaborate studies of Srila Prabhupada's translation, few articles deal with the text as a historical phenomenon, something that came to us after a long journey of commentary and explication.

Our Intimate Relationship with Krishna

Srila Prabhupada explains that like Arjuna when Lord Krishna left this world, we too are missing our eternal friend.

suta uvacha
evam krishna-sakhah krishno
bhratra rajna vikalpitah

nana-shankaspadam rupam

Suta Goswami said: Arjuna, the celebrated friend of Lord Krishna, was grief-stricken because of his strong feeling of separation from Krishna, over and above all Maharaja Yudhishthira's speculative inquiries. – Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.15.1

Bearer of Light for the West

After a lifetime of preparation, Srila Prabhupada embarked on what his friends could only consider an impossible mission.

[Excerpted from Swami in a Strange Land, by Joshua M. Greene (Yogeshvara Dasa). Copyright 2016 Joshua M. Greene. Available from the Krishna.com Store and Amazon.com. This excerpt retains the book's style for dealing with Sanskrit words and other considerations.]

I am victory and adventure.
– Sri Krishna in Bhagavad Gita, 10.36

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.

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