The Principle for Spiritual Understanding

Srila Prabhupada introduces the concept of disciplic succession to his storefront-temple audience in 1966.

shri-bhagavan uvacha
bhuya eva maha-baho
shrinu me paramam vachah
yat te 'ham priyamanaya
vakshyami hita-kamyaya

"The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: Listen again, O mighty-armed Arjuna. Because you are My dear friend, for your benefit I shall speak to you further, giving knowledge that is better than what I have already explained." – Bhagavad-gita 10.1

Hare Krishna! The Film

A full-length documentary on Srila Prabhupada's life hits the big screen in movie theatres worldwide.

I was in Houston, Texas, for the premiere screening of the Hare Krishna! film, and during the question-and-answer session after the screening, an elderly woman in the front row raised her hand. I called on her.

A Quest for the Essence of Nectar

Desiring to attract people to the realm of bhakti, a writer created a story based on an allegory from the Srimad-Bhagavatam.

[Excerpted from Essence Seekers: A Quest Beyond the Forest of Enjoyment, by Urmila Edith Best. Copyright 2018 Padma Inc. All rights reserved. Available from Amazon.com in both print and Kindle editions.]

Before we get to the excerpt from Essence Seekers, I'd like to spend a few moments explaining why I wrote the book and what it's all about.

The Science of Love

Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and His followers were experts in the most important science of all.

As a young seeker in the 1960s, I was, like most of my peers, looking for love. Material love, yes, but also spiritual love. I was exploring the world's various religions with this in mind. Did religion have much to teach me about love? Was I, as the saying goes, "looking for love in all the wrong places"? Absolutely not. Indeed, all of the world's theistic traditions have much to say about love in all its permutations. But none of them satisfied my quest like the Vaishnava tradition of India, known in the West as the Hare Krishna movement.

The Art of Living and Leaving

Through the lives of exemplary personalities, the Bhagavatam teaches us how to live in this world and how to depart from it.

"Life is a preparation, and death is an examination" is an often-heard saying, at least in spiritual circles. A fact of life is that everyone who has entered a body has to leave it one day. The time between birth and death is what we call life. Lord Krishna says that the consciousness with which one leaves the body decides his or her next destination. Living a principle-centered life leads one to leave this world to enter a better world. Apart from attaining a wonderful destination, one leaves behind a legacy and a good example for many others to follow.

An Ancient Lesson in Self-Mastery

Though insulted by a king, Jada Bharata reacted coolly, blessing the king with spiritual instruction.

"Sociologists tell us that even the most introverted person will influence ten thousand people during his or her lifetime." Motivational speaker Tim Elmore notes a fact that may seem obvious, but of which many of us may not be conscious: Everyone has some effect on the minds and hearts of the people he contacts. An introspective person will ponder, "If I will end up influencing many people regardless of whether or not I try, why not seek to refine my consciousness so that I can have the best and most lasting impact upon those whose lives I touch?"

Sugriva-Lakshmana: Comfort – Material and Transcendental

Overindulgence in material comforts can erode our sense of purpose.

Comfort breeds complacency. The Ramayana illustrates this paradox through the story of Sugriva, the vanara* hero who had been unfairly exiled by his brother, Vali, due to a misunderstanding. During the exile, after all his attempts at reconciliation with his brother had failed, he formed an alliance with Rama, who Himself had been exiled from His kingdom, Ayodhya, and was searching for His abducted wife, Sita. Rama helped Sugriva right the wrong done by his brother and gain the kingdom. In return, Sugriva promised to help Rama find Sita.

Bringing Krishna's Mercy to the Aged

The Vedic Care Charitable Trust aims to help devotees in their final years.

The Bhagavad-gita teaches that we cannot avoid old age, disease, or death. When Srila Prabhupada brought Krishna consciousness to America in 1965, his young disciples accepted the truth of this teaching. And as time has passed and devotees have aged, this teaching has become more relevant. Gurudas, one of Prabhupada's earliest disciples, has spent his life in Krishna's service.

Cutting the Knots of Material Attachment

Srila Prabhupada explains how we – the soul – are bound to this world of suffering by karmic knots and how we can break free.

bhidyate hridaya-granthish
chidyante sarva-samshayah
kshiyante chasya karmani
drishta evatmanishvare

"Thus the knots of the heart and all misgivings are cut to pieces. The chain of fruitive actions, or karma, is terminated when one sees one's self and one's master." – Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.2.21

The Right to Lament

At times, this disparaged emotion can serve a spiritual purpose.

It is difficult to tolerate separation from a beloved. The loss of a friend or relative can affect us for months or years. Chaplains and psychologists have special counseling for people who suddenly find themselves grieving for a loved one.

I lost my mother two years ago, and feelings of “someone very important is missing” still come over me unexpectedly. I once knew a woman who never failed to shed tears whenever she recalled a death in her family that happened thirty years before.

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