A Facelift for Prabhupada's Palace of Gold

Built in the 1970s, the monument in the hills of West Virginia is getting some much-needed restorative attention.

(Archival research by Chaitanya Mangala Dasa)

In the summer of 1965 His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada left India with a specific mission: his teacher, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, had bestowed upon him the loving task of bringing the profound spiritual wisdom of Krishna consciousness to the Western world.

Not Your Everyday God

By learning about Krishna, people can expand their idea of what it means to be God.

God. Perhaps no word in the English language is laden with more emotional baggage. For some it conjures reveries of gratitude and adoration. For many others it evokes anger, fear, or doubt. In either case, the conceptions that flood the mind of the average person – at least in the Judeo-Christian West – are almost all mistaken.

Vaishnava Compassion

Devotional culture includes charity in a variety of forms.

Pure Vaishnavas care deeply. They feel the suffering of others in the core of their hearts. Their greatest compassionate wish is to lead others away from their suffering once and for all – by helping them go back home, back to Godhead. Until people reconnect with Lord Krishna and hear how to lead their lives in His service, they will never achieve true happiness, free from suffering.

Does Asana Equal Yoga?

Most people practice yoga to tune the body and calm the mind, but they miss out on its permanent benefits.

In the West yoga is more popular than ever.

"It's at the top of its game," says Dan Gurlitz, general manager of Koch Vision, whose distribution of Yoga Zone DVDs and videos is a "serious seven-figure business." According to Kimberly Leonard, writing in US News & Word Report, "During the last decade the number of Americans who report practicing yoga has nearly doubled to 21 million." Other Western countries follow close behind.

What profit in all our labors?

A Vedic perspective on the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes.

[From Vanity Karma: Ecclesiastes, the Bhagavad-gita, and the meaning of life (Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, 2015, ISBN 0-89213-449-6, trade paperback $15.95, www.vanitykarma.com), a cross-cultural commentary on the Book of Ecclesiastes. Available at the Krishna.com store and elsewhere. For this excerpt, we've retained the book's style for dealing with Sanskrit words.]

"Do Not Fear"

Lord Krishna invites us to come to Him for shelter, and thus gain freedom from the fear that pervades material existence.

I was sitting in the college library one afternoon when suddenly my friend and classmate Abhishek ran frantically into the building, breathless and perspiring. In apparent desperation, he approached one of our teachers and asked, “What if I fail my HSC board exam?* How will I face my friends and relatives?” The teacher patiently calmed him down, advising him to stay positive instead of getting so agitated by something that had not yet happened.

The Forty-Year History of ISKCON Padayatra

Srila Prabhupada inspired the first walk in 1976, and his followers have continued this mode of taking Krishna consciousness directly to the people.

For thousands of years, people in India have performed padayatras ("walking festivals") to tour holy places and spread spiritual teachings. Like many great spiritual teachers before Him, Lord Chaitanya went on padayatra. For almost six years He walked throughout India to spread the chanting of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra and establish the superiority of krishna-bhakti.

Judging Without Understanding: The Recipe for Ruining Relationships

Lessons from the relationship between Vali and Sugriva, significant characters in the Ramayana.

A poignant subplot in the Ramayana is the fratricidal confrontation between the two monkey brothers Vali and Sugriva. In theMahabharata, fraternal animosity between the virtuous Pandavas and the evil Kauravas continues till the death of the Kauravas. In contrast, the Ramayana features a deathbed reconciliation between the simian siblings that is as emotionally riveting as it is ethically illuminating.

Demigod Father, Demon Son

Neglecting his father's dying wish, he was "speeding towards the darkest region of hellish existence."

While distributing Srila Prabhupada's books village to village, door to door, in remote parts of India, I invariably meet someone who has been miraculously touched by Krishna’s mercy. One such person was Chandu, whom I met in Srirampur, Maharashtra. His tall stature and heavy build contrasted with his soft, humble demeanor. Curious to know his background, I asked him to tell me his story of choosing the path of Krishna consciousness. – JD

His ISKCON Branch

In 1966, Srila Prabhupada's desire to have an institution to carry out his mission finally bears fruit.

To honor the fiftieth anniversary of Srila Prabhupada’s incorporation of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, BTG presents Part Five of a series celebrating Srila Prabhupada’s unique, transcendental position in ISKCON, as well as every follower’s foundational relationship with him.

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