Joy of Devotion

By our constitutional nature as spiritual beings we're meant to be happy always.

To some people, “devotion to God” may conjure grave activities: prayer, worship, and religious observances. They may not associate joy with devotion. Yet in fact, joy is a natural result of devotion.

Many Gods or One? Five Prominent Deities and Their Universal Meaning

A discussion of India's panchopasana religious practice provides insight into all religions.

At first blush, Vaishnavism may seem polytheistic, given the various gods associated with the Vedic pantheon. But if we look slightly beneath the surface, we see there is more to this so-called polytheism than meets the eye.

The concept of monotheism – that there is only one God – tends to be associated with the Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam), but it is found elsewhere as well. So the first point to be acknowledged is that monotheism is more pervasive than is commonly understood.

The Uniqueness of Transcendental Hunger

The science of Krishna consciousness awakens a hunger for an object capable of furnishing unlimited, unending pleasure.

To relish dream delicacies is a fantasy that most fascinates the tongue. Even a flash of the thought of, say, fragrant fried rice layered with chunks of paneer and fresh peas, mingled in a rich, seductive, creamy tomato sauce with a sublime coriander garnish, set out exquisitely on an elegant plate, instantly renders one’s tongue salivating, belly hungering, and mind becoming restless. Now consider having an actual experience of being served such a plate. You will pounce on it in no time.

From One Percent to a Hundred

A devotee sees Krishna's hand as she witnesses danger and death among her circle of family and friends.

The past year and a half in my circle of family and friends was fraught with tears and valuable lessons in the face of danger and death, but during that difficult time, a pattern emerged. Whoever was in touch with Krishna – in whatever way – benefited from His presence in their life. Krishna did not forsake anyone striving to come closer to Him.

The Reliable Way to Gain Knowledge

Of the two basic ways to find answers to life's deepest questions, the Vedic tradition promotes the top-down approach.

Intention in Tension?

As one saying puts it, "Words hurt more than swords."

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never harm me.” This saying urges us to become thick-skinned and not let people’s harsh words hurt us. It is an expression of a conscious intention, a rallying call to steel oneself against painful words, whose power to injure is conveyed in another aphorism: “Words hurt more than swords.”

In Defense of the Vedic View

A challenge to the presumption that all reality can be subordinated to our sense perception and intellect.

It is the grand conceit of the materialistic worldview that “man is the measure of all things.” When we dig a little deeper, we find that this premise is based on a profoundly arrogant presumption, namely, that all reality can ultimately be subordinated to our sense perception and intellect.

Action Without Reaction

Srila Prabhupada explains why even what he terms "pious acts" are not ultimately beneficial.

yajnarthat karmano ’nyatra
loko ’yam karma-bandhanah
tad-artham karma kaunteya
mukta-sangah samachara

"Work done as a sacrifice for Vishnu has to be performed; otherwise work causes bondage in this material world. Therefore, O son of Kunti, perform your prescribed duties for His satisfaction, and in that way you will always remain free from bondage." (Bhagavad-gita 3.9)

A Tale of Two Disciples

The examples of Ishvara Puri and Ramachandra Puri are instructive for anyone who wants to progress in spiritual life.

On the spiritual path, initiation by a qualified guru is of paramount importance. From the Bhagavad-gita and other authorized scriptures we learn that accepting a guru is necessary for getting an advanced connection with the Lord and going beyond the limitations of material nature.

See Criticism with a Critical Eye

While pursuing our lofty spiritual goals, we must carefully guard against the fault of criticism.

jadyam hrimati ganyate vrata-ruchau dambhah shuchau kaitavam
shure nirghrinata munau vimatita dainyam priyalapini
tejasviny avaliptata mukharata vaktary ashaktih sthire
tat ko nama guno bhavet sa guninam yo durjanair nankitah

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