Constructive Response to Destructive Criticism
When we try to do anything worthwhile, some people will criticize us. Critics can help us recognize where our contribution needs improvement. But to be helpful, their criticism needs to be constructive, not destructive.
Willing and Able
Don’t be surprised to catch yourself playing ‘God’ even when you know better. The scientist wants the credit of universal explanation. The philosopher bathes in the credit of insight, originality and wisdom. The celebrity enjoys the credit of fame, fortune and adoration. The politician wants the credit of power and control. Even an ‘average Joe’ will clutch onto something unique which, at least he thinks, makes him stand out from the crowd.
Women in ISKCON in Prabhupada's Time: Part Four
Various leadership responsibilities, whether manager, mother or mentor, offer us the privileged opportunity in assisting people to excel. Though the most rewarding role in life, they all come with a good dose of frustration and annoyance. How many times has your sincere and informed advice been received with unresponsiveness and neglect? What to do when faced with ingratitude and irrationality?
The Power of Cooperation
Many of the wrongs done to women for so many years have now been corrected and ISKCON women have recovered some of their rights. Unfortunately, they have been rehabilitated only to higher or lesser degrees according to the different leaders in different places. Much is still to be done for men to fully recognize women’s dignity.
Living With Chaos
We always wish to work with people who think like us, behave like us, speak like us, and who help us, understand us and most importantly appreciate us. However, to find such like-minded people in this material world is like finding a needle in a haystack.
Learning to live with chaos is more realistic, progressive and pragmatic. Like running water effortlessly flows around the obstructing rocks, moving steadily to its destination, so in the face of inevitable challenges and unexpected reversals, we must march on.
Women in ISKCON in Prabhupada’s Times - Part Three
Atheists come in a variety of shapes and sizes: default, philosophical, atheist and covered atheists. Over 30% of UK residents are self-proclaimed atheists. I would hazard a guess, that a good few of the 70% of ‘believers’ are also atheist -- physchological atheists, those who profess belief in God, but repeatedly demonstrate their inability to practically live in His presence.
A Woman Empowered by Krishna - Poetry
Often pushed by his male disciples to minimize ISKCON women’s spiritual position, Srila Prabhupada reacted, for example, in the following way: Srila Prabhupada: ‘”You dance, she dances. You sing, she sings, you cook, she cooks, there is no difference. You are the same in Krishna’s eyes.”
Women in ISKCON in Prabhupada’s Times - Part Two
The Ramayana and the Mahabharata prove the above statement true, as Draupadi and Mother Sita had the whole dynasties destroyed, when men of those dynasties dared to dishonor temple like bodies of these women.
Jagannath Temple Entry Forbidden: A Few Thoughts
After the first six years of the movement, at the beginning of the 1970’s, a first change took place, which of course was not contested by anyone. As those new decisions were adopted, and instead of the simple separation between men and women that Prabhupada wanted, a real segregation was taking place.
No, No, They Can't Take That Away from Me
When we hear about people being barred from entry into the temple of Jagannath, the all-loving Lord of the Universe, we naturally feel sad and hurt. However, I have found over the years here in Odisha that perhaps this policy is not as offensive and objectionable as one may think.
Women in ISKCON in Prabhupada’s Times - Part One
The drama was all over within 48 hours. Police visits; learning that they’d broken into five other houses the same night; clearing up the mess and discovering much they’d left behind, and a few things lost. I thought about what treasures can never be lost – though the externals of a situation may be shocking or distressing.
God Who Respects Human Intelligence and Individuality
When Prabhupada decided to accept women in the movement, he did so according to the reasoning he himself quotes in a purport: “To broadcast the cult of Krishna Consciousness, one has to learn the possibility of renunciation in terms of country, time and candidate… What is possible in one country may not be possible in another."
In the Gita, Krishna is not sitting on a high moral cloud passing judgment on humanity, but is accepting the role of an assistant of humanity. He is persuading humanity to choose a prudent moral course by outlining logically and philosophically the choices available to us, and their inbuilt and inevitable consequences.
Agnideva Das' New CD - Review
We live in a noisy world, and, in the midst of it, struggle to hear the heart. Ironically, tuning into our inner calling is where the real journey begins, otherwise we may well be careering down a no-through road. Happy and fulfilled people utilize wisdom and guidance to accurately understand what makes them tick. Its a simple but neglected principle of life.
The Creator’s Cruelty and the Saints’ Selflessness
“Prayer to the Lotus Feet of Lord Krishna” is an Agnideva tour de force, delivered with inimitable grace and unassailable expertise. A tribute to the great acharyas and Srila Prabhupada, he honors them by working sensitively and cooperatively with mainly second-generation devotees who also show considerable talent and enthusiasm.
Look Back to Look Forward
Unlike the saintly, we are conditioned souls attached to worldly pleasures. Such pleasures, being temporary, become sources of misery. Despite experiencing such miseries repeatedly, we can’t give up our attachments. Why?
Whatever Doesn’t Challenge Us Doesn’t Change Us
The sanskrit word for gratitude is “krta-jna” – literally meaning “to know what has been done for you.” Truly valuing the miracle of our present state, opens the doors to limitless and abundant potential.
Walking Our Talk: The Role of Krishna Bhaktas in Current Events
When we strive to grow by learning and living the Gita, we too will encounter challenges. If we balk and avoid the things that challenge us, we cut ourselves off from growth-inducing stimuli and stay stuck in the rut of worldly consciousness.
The Spirituality of Money
What would you do if the White House were to announce that President Trump added India to the list of nations whose citizens are temporarily banned from entering the United States? What if the president announced that banning entry to majority Hindu countries is a small price to pay for keeping America safe?
Don’t Let the Drink Take the Drinker
The Biblical reminder of money and evil, still stands strong today. In the pursuance of profit, lawyers have destroyed justice, and the media has destroyed information. But clearly we need money – to buy groceries, to pay rent, to travel the world… and to do good.
The Life of Devotional Dynamism
No one takes their first drink with the desire to become alcoholics. They think that they are just having some fun; they are being cool; they are fitting into the crowd. They believe that they can drink without becoming drunkards.
Vedic Influence in Iraq and Iran
When we persevere, we progress both materially and spiritually. Materially, we do greater justice to our God-given talents and make tangible contributions in this world. And spiritually, we rise in our consciousness and come closer to Krishna and the unending happiness thereof.
Attachment or Attention
Long, before the advent of Islam, even as early as the third millennium BCE, India had cultural bonds with the Mesopotamian civilization, now the region of Iraq and Iran. As explained by N. N. Bhattacharya, there are plenty of references to establish a very close contact between India and the Islamic world.
Without giving attention to and genuinely caring about relationships, situations and aspirations, how can we achieve any real traction in life? Where the attention goes, energy flows, and results invariably show.