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The Purpose of the Vedas

Citing the authority of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Srila Prabhupada explains the three stages of the Vedic teachings.

veda-shastra-kahe - 'sambandha', 'abhidheya', 'prayojana'
'krishna' - prapya sambandha, 'bhakti' - praptyera sadhana

Sprouting Bhakti on Campus

Many young South Africans are discovering Krishna consciousness through the Bhakti Yoga Society, which operates on five university campuses in Durban and conducts a popular annual retreat.

I see his mane of bobbing dreadlocks. Over one shoulder hangs a backpack with a button that reads “Proudly South African.” A giant psychology textbook tucked under his arm, he approaches the Westville campus hangout. I whip out a flyer, compelling him to stop.

“Dreadlocks” glances over the words “Mantra Meditation” and “Free Vegetarian Feast.” His eyes come alive. A bright white smile illuminates his dark skin.

The Sun Behind the Rainbow

For thirty years, the spiritual message radiating from the Sri Sri Radha-Radhanatha Temple of Understanding has helped unify a nation of various colors and cultures.

A rainbow never ceases to capture my eyes and dazzle my mind. It inspires thoughts of eternity and freedom, and even of another world beyond it. I am part of the diverse spectrum of people who make up the Rainbow Nation, a term for post-apartheid South Africa signifying peace and unity. Proposals for creating peace and unity in South Africa, however, are of limited value if based on material, rather than transcendental, vision.

3 Pillars of ISKCON Durban

With its thirty-two departments, the Sri Sri Radha-Radhanatha Temple of Understanding is well organized and efficient, thanks in large part to the involvement of a dedicated congregation.

I have just returned home after a festival at the temple and still feel the positive energy, warmth, and love shared among many friends who have now become more like family. As I entered the temple this evening, the sound of the conch shell resonated and an emphatic melody of devotional song permeated the air as the altar opened for the arati. The temple was packed, and the many friends around me clapped their hands, danced, and sang in glorification of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.

My Sources of Inspiration

Like many others before him, he moved from India to America to pursue his material dreams, but his meetings with Krishna's devotees convinced him to aspire for something much higher.

My alarm goes off at six thirty. It’s Sunday morning. I take a shower, put on my dhoti, kurta, and tilaka, and after chanting the Gayatri mantra drive to the temple, just a few blocks away.

The devotees are chanting the Brahma-samhita when I arrive. I join them until it’s time to cook Krishna’s breakfast, a service I have done for nine years now. I make split mung dal, kichari, and papadam, complemented with a fresh salad of seasonal fruit in organic yogurt.

Rathayatra: When the Lord Comes Out, Let’s Invite Him In

Its origins lost in antiquity, the Festival of the Chariots was for millennia a regional event. Now Lord Jagannatha, the "Lord of the Universe," rides in His unique chariots in cities throughout India and the world.

This year, some of us will see on a street in our city a grand procession known as the Jagannatha Rathayatra, the annual "chariot festival" of Lord Jagannatha (Krishna) that dates back centuries, even millennia. In its earlier days the Jagannatha Rathayatra, which originates in Jagannatha Puri, Odisha, was mostly for the residents of Odisha, Bengal, and some nearby states.

World Holy Name Week

September 24 - October 4, 2015. To find out how you can take part in this year's World Holy Name week, please visit worldholynameweek.com.

"In this Age of Kali there is no other means, no other means, no other means for self-realization than chanting the holy name, chanting the holy name, chanting the holy name of Lord Hari." – Brihan-naradiya Purana

Srila Prabhupada’s great desire was that the chanting of the Lord's holy names spread all over the world. To help fulfill that desire, in 1996, the year of the Srila Prabhupada Centennial, ISKCON's Governing Body Commission established World Holy Name Day. In 2008, World Holy Name Day became World Holy Name Week.

The Authority of the Puranas

A taste of Srila Jiva Goswami's six-volume masterpiece.

[Excerpted from Sri Tattva-sandarbha, by Srila Jiva Goswami, translation and commentary by Gopiparanadhana Dasa. Published by Giriraja Publishing, a branch of the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust. The book is available from the Krishna.com Store.]

Spiritually Deepening Experience: The International Vaishnavi Retreat

Women of devotion meet in Krishna's hometown.

I rushed home from my dance practice, grabbed my suitcases, and ran with my mother to catch the bus. Just on time! We sat in the very last seats, sweating from all the rushing. Summer had arrived in Vrindavan, where we live. We were headed to ISKCON's fourth annual Vaishnavi Retreat, as I was scheduled for a dance performance. The retreat was being held in the village Jatipur, near Govardhan.

As we got off the bus and picked up our luggage, my mother excitedly burst out, “Oh, we've been here before, Shatakshi!”

Finding Ultimate Meaning

In the words of Viktor E. Frankl, we all "yearn for the transcendent."

A young woman from South Africa, where I live, is a candidate for the Mars One project, the brainchild of a Netherlands-based group hoping to set up a colony on Mars by 2025. She anticipates years of vigorous training, many grueling hours of intense research, an eight-month-long journey in a confined spacecraft, and difficult living conditions on a strange planet. She is excited to be part of the first human settlement on Mars, despite the stipulation of never returning to Earth.

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