Why Is the Bhagavad-gita So Pessimistic?

Even if we find Lord Krishna's view to be realistic, we still have ample reason for optimism.

After teaching a university seminar, I was asked questions I had myself raised when I first encountered the philosophy of Krishna consciousness: “Why is the Vedic philosophy so pessimistic? When the world offers both pleasures and pains, why does the Bhagavad-gita call the world a place of misery?”

Over my decade and a half of practicing and sharing Krishna consciousness, I have been preparing and refining the answer to these questions. Here's my short four-point answer:

Writing for Krishna: The Price and the Prize

A BTG associate editor and steady contributor of articles offers advice and encouragement on writing for this magazine.

I received an email from a budding, but discouraged, devotee writer. He had submitted articles to this magazine but had repeatedly received negative reviews from the editors.

“How is it possible to get an article published in BTG?” he asked.

The Vaishnava Path in George Harrison’s Songs

Samples of his lyrics reveal an understanding of the progressive levels of devotion to God reached by dedicated practitioners of bhakti-yoga.

My sweet Lord . . .

I really want to see you
Really want to be with you
Really want to see you, Lord,
but it takes so long, my Lord.

George Harrison released “My Sweet Lord,” his first solo single, in America in November 1970. Internationally, sales soon exceeded five million copies.

Bhaktivedanta Manor: Celebrating 40 Years!

A photographic overview of the 2013 Janmashtami festival at the Hare Krishna temple that former Beatle George Harrison bought for Srila Prabhupada forty years ago.

The queue in the front yard of the Manor (above) gradually brings people into the temple room. Before joining this line on the lawn, pilgrims walk past an outdoor exhibition of Krishna’s Vrindavan pastimes, allowing them to meditate on the pastimes as they prepare to see Krishna in the temple.

Truth in a Nutshell

In the Gita and the Bhagavatam, Lord Krishna concisely reveals the most important eternal truths.

My mom always keeps peanuts around the house. Crack the shells open, and you find two peanuts inside. So much goodness in one little package: beneficial nutrients, plant proteins, fats, fiber, and plenty of vitamins, minerals, and bioactives.

The City of Virtue Resounds to Krishna’s Names

ISKCON's New Vedic Cultural Centre, built over a span of seven years, is one of the largest temples in Pune.

Peace and harmony were the recurring themes as the President of India, Pranab Mukherjee, inaugurated ISKCON's new spiritual and cultural complex in the Indian city of Pune on February 24, 2013.

After describing the founder-acharya of ISKCON, Srila Prabhupada, as an "exemplary ambassador of Indian culture," the President called upon the movement to dedicate itself to the cause of humanity by spreading the message of peace, harmony, love, and compassion.

Tears of Sorrow, Tears of Gratitude: Seeing Krishna’s Hand in the Tragic Deaths of Devotees

Sometimes it's hard to remember that every event in the life of aspiring devotees is an opportunity to deepen our love for Krishna.

Sometimes devotees meet with fatal accidents, as happened in June of last year when an air crash tragically killed eight dedicated members of the ISKCON Mumbai, Chowpatty, devotee congregation. As the community gathered to mourn the loss of their dear fellow devotees, one question arose repeatedly and insistently: “If Krishna is truly the protector of His devotees, then how can we make sense of such a ghastly accident?” This question resonates far beyond any particular event and relates to the overall pattern of Krishna’s interactions with His devotees.

How to Approach a Guru

Srila Prabhupada draws lessons from the meeting of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and one of His most prominent disciples.

tabe sanatana prabhura charane dhariya
dainya vinati kare dante trina lana

“nicha jati, nicha-sangi, patita adhama
kuvishaya-kupe padi’ gonainu janama!"

Saved by the Bell: Madana-Mohana, the First Krishna Deity in ISKCON

Discovered in an unlikely place in New York City, Madana-Mohana waited six years to receive standard worship.

When Srila Prabhupada arrived in New York City in September 1965, he felt deep separation from Vrindavan and the major deities there—“My Lords, Govindaji, Gopinath, and Radha Damodar,” as he noted in his diary. After seven months of mixed results, he opened his first temple on the Lower East Side. Centers soon opened in San Francisco, Montreal, Los Angeles, and London as his movement took root.

Where Is Our Education Leading Us?

If we consider Vedic concepts of knowledge and education, we'll find our institutions of higher learning lacking in the essentials.

This is the first annual Bhaktivedanta Swami Lecture, given at Wits University in Johannesburg under the auspices of the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust Africa. The lecture was given last March.

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