Knower of the Field: A Perspective on Consciousness


The Bhagavad-gita tells us that someone besides us is fully aware of all our unique subjective experiences.

Lord Krishna says in the Bhagavad-gita (13.2–3):

idam shariram kaunteya
kshetram ity abhidhiyate
etad yo vetti tam prahuh
kshetra-jña iti tad-vidah

“This body, O son of Kunti, is called the field, and one who knows this body is called the knower of the field.”

Srimad-Bhagavatam: The Postgraduate Study of Religion

Most people hope for heavenly rewards from their religion. The Bhagavatam begins by rejecting that idea.

Be Good - and Shrewd

As Sita Devi’s example shows, good judgment must inform our desire to do the right thing.

Few things cause us as much agony as when our good intentions backfire on us. When we try to do something good for someone but that very person exploits our goodness and hurts us, we feel betrayed, enraged, shattered.

Lord Chaitanya’s Nightly Kirtana in Navadvipa

Only the purest souls were fortunate enough to witness Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s ecstatic chanting and dancing in the home of Srivasa Thakura.

Excerpted from Madhya-khanda, chapter twenty-three, of the seven-volume Sri Chaitanya-bhagavata of Srila Vrindavana dasa Thakura, with commentary by Sri Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Goswami Maharaja Prabhupada. Translated by Bhumipati Dasa. Edited and published by Pundarika Vidyanidhi Dasa. © Vrajraj Press 2002. This edition contains the original Bengali texts, which we have omitted here. It is available at ISKCON Vrindavan and is included in the VedaBase produced by the Bhaktivedanta Archives.

FEAR: An Acronym for Facing Fear

Here’s a strategy to deal with fear: Focus, Arise, Engage, and Release.

We all face fearful situations in life. The Vedic literature tells us that fear is one of the ever-present conditions of life in the material world. How can we deal with our fears effectively? Here I propose four strategies, summed up as the acronym FEAR:

F – Focus
E – Engage
A – Arise
R – Release

A Love Supreme: Rosa Parks and Govinda's Restaurant

In the mid-1990s, one of Time magazine’s twenty most influential and iconic figures of the twentieth century was a regular diner at Detroit’s Hare Krishna restaurant.<

A New York Times article published in 1977 sums up the incredible splendor of Devasadan Mandir, ISKCON’s Hare Krishna temple in Detroit, Michigan, where I lived in 1994 and ’95:

Rupa Goswami: Unique Recipient of Sri Chaitanya’s Mercy

A highly posted government officer renounced the world and became a highly posted leader among Lord Chaitanya’s followers.

The esteemed Narottama Dasa Thakura (born 1520 CE) taught that to understand the loving affairs of Radha and Krishna we must serve the lotus feet of Sri Rupa Goswami with intense eagerness. He also wrote:

sthapitam yena bhu-tale
svayam rupah kada mahyam
dadati sva-padantikam

Practicing Spiritual Life in Difficult Times

Sincere devotional practice in easy times will reward us when the times get tough.

Sometimes devotees think, “Now that I’ve taken up Krishna consciousness, my life will be problem-free.” Later, when inevitable problems arise, devotees may become disappointed, discouraged, and confused. It’s not unusual for those on the spiritual path to face difficulties: “To pursue the transcendental path is more or less to declare war on the illusory energy,” Srila Prabhupada writes.

The Krishna Conception: Little Saraswati and the Dawn of ISKCON

The first child born in ISKCON received much love and attention from the movement’s founder.

Any thorough retelling of ISKCON’s early history will invariably include mention of a little girl, Saraswati by name, the daughter of two of the movement’s earliest members, Syamasundara Dasa and Malati Devi Dasi. Both are today well known for helping Srila Prabhupada unfurl his mission worldwide.

The Sun Never Sets on Srila Prabhupada’s and India’s Influence

India’s gifts to the world are numerous, and Prabhupada delivered the best of them.

Indian essayist and novelist Pankaj Mishra has noted, “European subordination of Asia [and in particular, British colonial rule over India] was not merely economic and political and military. . . . It left its victims . . . eager to be initiated into the mysteries of their seemingly near-magical power.” While it can no longer be said that “the sun never sets on the British Empire,” Western high-tech culture nonetheless still casts a powerful, almost magical, spell all over the world.

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