Devotional Practice

Vol 3 Ista Gosthi

Vol 3 Ista Gosthi

Religious people can be just as much attached to this world as materialists. While the materialist is attached grossly, an immature religious person may be attached even to his own saintliness. Srlla Prabhupada has written that a sannyasi is sometimes attached to the temples and the few possessions of a sannyasi…

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Vol 2 Ista Gosthi

Vol 2 Ista Gosthi

The soldiers in this Krsna consciousness movement must always possess physical strength, enthusiasm and sensual power. To keep themselves fit, they must therefore place themselves in a normal condition of life. What constitutes a normal condition will not be the same for everyone, and therefore there are divisions of varnasirama— brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya, sudra, brahmacari, grhastha, vanaprastha, and sannyasa…

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Vol 1 Ista Gosthi

Vol 1 Ista Gosthi

While talking recently with a senior Godbrother, he re- minded me that Prabhupada gave us the legacy of a missionary spirit. He said that we “old store-front boys of 1966” had directly seen Prabhupada preaching, so if we did not set the example of Prabhupada’s missionary spirit, how would others know it? My Godbrother then said, “We each should preach to our full capacity. As far as you’re concerned, you have your writing which is like a ’hotline’ to so many…

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Visitors

Visitors

Bittersweet Swami lives mostly alone in his private health facility. It is a lovely cabin isolated in a northern California pine forest. He lives like a hermit, primarily for health purposes (slowly recovering from anticipatory migraine nervous disorder), but he also takes to semisolitude, like a duck to water. Sweet Swami is a guru, also a senior citizen, and a somewhat wealthy disciple-friend-counselor-brother bought him the cottage…

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Vaisnava Compassion

Vaisnava Compassion

Vaisnava Compassion navigates the intricate and, at times, complicated process of expressing true acts of compassion, teaching how emotive prayer as the core attitude residing in the chanting of the holy names of God empowers compassion. “Feeling helpless in the face of others’ suffereing helps us feel human.” (p. 141) “Although active [helping] is important, it is in prayer where we can recollect ourselves and touch the nature of universal suffering.”

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Truthfulness the Last Leg

Truthfulness the Last Leg

Suta Gosvami had been describing the glories of Maharaja Pariksit, the last emperor in the dynasty of the Pandavas. Suta had narrated other post-Kuruksetra topics, such as the disappearance of Lord Krsna, the Personality of Godhead, and the disappearance of His intimate devotees, the Pandavas. The Age of Kali (hypocrisy and quarrel) had already begun, but its symptoms had not developed due to the presence of the strong, God conscious emperor…

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The 26 Qualities of a Devotee

The 26 Qualities of a Devotee

Five hundred years ago, under the personal direction of Lord Caitanya, Sanatana GosvamI wrote all about Vaisnava behavior in Hari-bhakti-vilasa, and Srfla Rupa GosvamI wrote Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu. In modem times, His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhu- pada has given us the essence of Vaisnava behavior throughout his writings, especially The Nectar of Devotion and The Nectar of Instruction. And Srila Prabhupada’s personal activities…

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Obstacles on the Path

Obstacles on the Path

In a First Canto purport, Srila Prabhupada states that there are many realistic obstacles on the path of devotional service, but by the grace of guru and Krsna one can overcome them. W hat impressed me when I first read this was that Srila Prabhupada and the Vedic sages are aware that we are faced with many problems when we try to take up the life of Krsna consciousness. Sometimes we may think of sages as speaking in an idealistic way about com plete…

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Japa Walks

Japa Walks

When devotees ask me if I’d like to go on a japa walk with them, I think, “You say japa walk, but you mean japa talk.” Their proposal is that we will walk together, preferably in a scenic, peaceful place, and both chant on our beads. What usually happens, though, is that as soon as we enter the wooded path or start our circumambulation of the temple building—we start to talk…

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Begging for the Nectar

Begging for the Nectar

Begging for the Nectar of the Holy Name is an account of a three-week period where I concentrated on improving my japa. In a sense, it can be seen as a sequel to Japa Reform Notebook written ten years later. In the earlier book, I took the stance of a teacher of japa; in this book, I feel more like a practicing student. In Begging For the Nectar of the Holy Name, I have had to confess…

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