The Universal Form: Its Revelations and Implications

Lord Krishna's display of His form as the universe challenges all who claim to be God.

Rajiv and I have been friends for several years, and our exchanges often beckon the comedian in him. We relish a certain light-hearted banter that seems to always bring us closer. Sometimes, his sense of humor incorporates spiritual ideas. For example, he recently told me his life was absolutely perfect. In almost every area of endeavor, he said, the fates conspire for his pleasure. I asked why he thought this was so.

"Well, it's because I'm God, don't you know?"

The Tale of Dorothy

An ISKCON swami gives hope to a delayed traveler who is angry and sad after suffering tragic losses.

We waited. And waited. It was a sweltering summer day in the Florida panhandle. The morning sun glared through the expansive windows of an airport departure gate. There, a young blond-haired woman, neatly uniformed with a blue vest over a pressed white shirt and matching blue pants, stepped up to the counter, timidly surveyed the room, then announced a one-hour delay. Passengers sighed, edgy to escape from the heat and travel north. With cellular phones pressed to their ears, they persistently glanced at their wristwatches.

Hope: The Bedrock of Spiritual Progress

Spiritual hope requires a healthy awareness of the hopelessness of our material condition.

Hope—the recognition within the human heart that something better is attainable—can mean the difference between life and death. In Man’s Search for Meaning, Holocaust survivor Victor Frankl writes that the rate of deaths in the concentration camp increased after Hanukkah, even though there was no change in camp’s already horrible conditions. Why did more die?

Govardhana Meditations

Pilgrims of all ages walk with reverence around Vrindavan’s most sacred hill.

There’s not a more charming or mysterious place in the universe than Govardhana Hill in Vraja Mandala, some ninety miles south of Delhi. While present on earth Krishna lifted Govardhana Hill and held it for seven days to protect the residents of Vrindavan. He also revealed that Govardhana is identical to Himself. Now, fifty centuries later, millions of pilgrims come here to perform parikrama—a reverential walk around the hill—during the holy month of Karttika (October/November).

From Rituals to Realizations

Born into a South Indian Vaishnava family, a young woman finds spiritual clarity in Srila Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-gita As It Is.

Krishna consciousness was not an alien concept to me, as I was born into an orthodox Madhva community in South India. I grew up in a household where rituals and personal worship were the way of life. Our deity of Lord Krishna was treated as the most important member of the family. He was always the first to be served, from the first cup of milk in the morning to the last meal at night. No one was allowed to partake of any food without first offering it to the Lord.

Intelligence and Example

Srila Prabhupada explains that it is the duty of intelligent persons, guided by scripture, to show the way for others.

saktah karmany avidvamso
yatha kurvanti bharata
kuryad vidvams tathasaktash
chikirshur loka-sangraham

“As the ignorant perform their duties with attachment to results, the learned may similarly act, but without attachment, for the sake of leading people on the right path.”—Bhagavad-gita 3.25

The Road Ahead

Some philosophical thoughts while stuck in traffic in one of the world's most modern cities.

It’s 7:00 P.M., and I’ve been driving for more than an hour. As I head home from work along Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai, I’m caught in the usual evening traffic jam. Like the car ahead of me, my car starts, stops, and starts again. While my car moves slowly, my mind races. I do mental mathematics with the number on the car plate in front of me. The traffic keeps building up all around me, and I feel miserable, hopeless, and sick.

Lord Vamana Resolves the Universal Conflict

Lord Krishna appears as a charming brahmana boy and steps beyond the universe.

God is the master of all arts, including the art of conflict resolution. He is the loving father of all, and His every action benefits all His children. The story of Lord Vamana shows how the Lord satisfied two rival parties and ended a cosmic war between the demons and demigods.

Karttika: Lord Krishna’s Favorite Month

Discover the essence and the sweetness of the holiest month of the year.

After going through the intense summer and a humid monsoon, we in India perceive sharat, or autumn, as one of the most beautiful seasons of the year. According to the Vedic calendar, sharat falls during the months of Ashvin and Karttika, of which Karttika carries special significance because it is favored by Lord Krishna.

Krishna, the Purest of the Pure

The Vedic scriptures tell us that Krishna is supremely pure and supremely purifying, delivering all who come to Him.

At the junction of two ages, amidst two immense armies arrayed on the battlefield at Kurukshetra, Arjuna scans his foes and becomes confused. When Krishna expounds eternal dharma to enlighten him, Arjuna addresses Krishna as pavitram paramam: "the purest of the pure." (Bhagavad-gita 10.12) Arjuna adds, "All the great sages . . . confirm this about You, and now You Yourself are declaring it to me."

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