Villa Vrindavan: Krishna's Home in Tuscany

In the hills outside Florence, Italy – a country famous for its Renaissance art – Lord Krishna's devotees are sprucing up His temple with their own devotional artistry.

Villa Vrindavan, in Italy, almost looks too old to have a future, but the humble devotees there are confident it will. ISKCON’s oldest building probably, the villa is four centuries old. Naturally, not everything works. A sunken semicircular fountain does not spout. The front roof nobly displays a stopped clock; the bell over it no longer chimes times.

The Dual Stories of Krishna’s Birth

If Krishna never leaves Vrindavan, as spiritual authorities tell us, how could He be born in Mathura?

Last year on Janmashtami, the celebration of Krishna’s appearance in this world, numerous Indian newspapers and magazines reminded readers that two years earlier they had celebrated the 5,125th anniversary of Krishna’s birth.

Srila Prabhupada's Legacy Lives On

A look at the history and current status of some of Prabhupada's initiatives for spreading Krishna consciousness.

"It's an astonishing story. If someone told you a story like this, you wouldn't believe it. Here's this person, he's seventy years old, he's going to a country where he's never been before, he doesn't know anybody there, he has no money, has no contacts. He has none of the things, you would say, that make for success. He's going to recruit people not on any systematic basis, but just picking up whomever he comes across and he's going to give them responsibility for organizing a worldwide movement.

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.

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