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Fatalism or Pragmatism?

Insight into the concept of duty can help us act in the face of seemingly fixed destiny.

Indian thought is sometimes deemed fatalistic, holding that everything is destiny, predetermined by our past actions, and thus leaving little room for human initiative. While Indian literature is filled with diverse thoughts, some of which may be fatalistic, the bhakti literature, which is among the most influential Indian literature, offers a far more nuanced and empowering outlook on life.

The Unseen Universe

Visitors to the planetarium wing of the Temple of the Vedic Planetarium will get an up-close look at the cosmology of ancient India.

As visitors to India travel north by car from Kolkata, the landscape gradually shifts from urban sprawl to pastoral farmland. High-rise housing and industrial construction sites give way to a flat horizon of villages and rice paddies. Four hours and eighty miles later, visitors enter the district of Mayapur on the banks of the Ganges River, at the point of its confluence with the Jalangi.

The Technique for Universal Love

Srila Prabhupada cites the history of a hunter to show the transformational power of devotion to Krishna.

aham sarvasya prabhavo
mattah sarvam pravartate
iti matva bhajante mam
budha bhava-samanvitah

"I am the source of all spiritual and material worlds. Everything emanates from Me. The wise who perfectly know this engage in My devotional service and worship Me with all their hearts." – Bhagavad-gita 10.8

My Cancer Diagnosis as Krishna’s Embrace

A disciple of Srila Prabhupada finds spiritual inspiration in the sobering results of a medical test.

Each of us is the leading actor or actress in the drama of our life. In this drama there is no rehearsing, memorizing lines, or knowing the outcome. Rather, the plot unfolds as we move through life, suggesting new directions and understandings as we confront successes and reverses, or even upheavals.

Austerity and Pleasure: Managing Our Sexuality While Waiting for Transcendence

The traditional ashrama system provides support for the aspiring bhakti-yogi.

Bhakti-yoga gives us the key to the origin of sexuality and its means of total fulfillment. Yoga literally means "union." Bhakti means loving service. Bhakti-yoga, therefore, means the loving union of the soul with the Supreme Soul. The soul’s deepest desire is for this loving union.

Are We Bound or Free?

A multifaceted look at the question of our free will.

A controversy arose during a Sunday discussion at ISKCON's Saranagati Village, in British Columbia, Canada. Some devotees quoted a famous Bhagavad-gita verse (3.27) where Krishna says, “The spirit soul bewildered by the influence of false ego thinks himself the doer of activities that are in actuality carried out by the three modes of nature [goodness, passion, and ignorance].”

Worlds of Magic, Worlds of Truth

Might our fascination with the fantastic creations of writers, artists, and filmmakers suggest something about reality?

Extra-terrestrial and mythical creatures have invaded our world, along with gods and superheroes, gnomes and fairies, dwarves and elves, hobbits and wizards, hippogriffs and dragons, centaurs and Cyclopes. These are the creations of imaginative geniuses – filmmakers, writers, and artists – who are pouring out more gripping and fascinating blockbusters than ever before. Some of their ideas stem from mythology, legends, and folklore that have intrigued man for thousands of years.

A Riverbed of Desire

A film on the plight of the Yamuna River fulfills a dancer?s wish to portray the goddess Yamuna Devi.

A dream vision: The curtains open slowly as if hesitating to reveal the concealed beauty of a moonlit forest. The gentle rays of the moon softly illuminate the leaves. The refreshing sound of splashing water from a scintillating waterfall combines with a soft, mournful drone that seems to shape the foggy mist dancing over the waterfall’s lake. A gentle breeze makes the moon quiver in the river’s palmlike ripples.

ISKCON Vladivostok: Where Krishna Reigns in Russia’s Far East

When the USSR gave up its communist regime, the Krishna consciousness movement opened centers across Russia, including one in this remote city.

The city of Vladivostok (“Ruler of the East”) is situated in the far east of Russia, a few hundred kilometers north of China. The region was long under Chinese rule, but Russia acquired it through the Treaty of Beijing in 1860. In time Russians migrated from the western part of the country, and it is now an important port serving the eastern region of Russia.

Meditating on the Damodarashtaka

A prayer sung daily during the sacred month of Karttika highlights Lord Krishna’s submission to the love of His pure devotees.

Prayer is the universal language by which the human heart communes with the divine heart. Poetry is an artistic means for verbalizing the heart’s deep emotions. Singing is a popular method to express one’s emotions.

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