Earthquake: ISKCON Christchurch temple wrecked, deities smashed

Scene of Devastation in Christchurch city, New Zealand.

Four or five hours ago another earthquake with a magnitude of 6.3 struck New Zealand causing serious damage to the Christchurch ISKCON Temple. Unconfirmed reports describe the temple as being "in ruins" and say that with the exception of Srila Prabhupada's murti the deities are smashed.

Classic ISKCON Vinyl – Visnujana Swami and the Children of the Gurukula

At Eric Swanger maintains a down loadable archive of "Classic ISKCON Vinyl" from back in the day. Go check it out and you will find a review of each record (that's what we used to listen to before the invention of the CD) pictures of the covers, streaming audio and a button to download it for your mp3 library.

Passing the Torch of Hope, Inspiration and Renewal


Today is the appearance day of Shrila Bhaktisiddanta Sarasvati Prabhupada, my beloved guru’s spiritual master (my param or grandfather guru). This day corresponds with my desire to speak something about hope, which I have expanded upon to include inspiration and renewal. Some modern thinkers have considered that ordinary hope, is lackluster, or a kind of lazy inaction. Just like we might hope to loose weight, get a promotion, stop smoking, find love, win the lottery, or a host of other things, yet not do anything to increase our changes of obtaining those goals. Most things don’t just drop out of the sky, other than unwelcome meteors, hail, or crashing planes, and we have to make some endeavor or work for them. Although mercy is said to be undeserved, we are still advised to increase our spiritual practice and devotion in order to draw the Lord’s attention to us, and be more likely to attract his mercy. As far as possible we want to do our part, while knowing fully that our ultimate success is totally dependent on the independent mercy of the Supreme Lord and his pure devotees.

Meditating on Religion, and Shri Advaita Acharya, on his Appearance Day

Worshiping Shri Advaita

Shri Advaita Acharya is a very important person to understand in the Krishna consciousness movement. He is in the category of God, yet is also a great devotee of God. He is one of our many superlative family members and spiritual superheroes! Before I briefly speak on this, I thought it would be important to consider what someone from another religion might think of this day, and why: On appearance days, or so-called, “birth” anniversaries of great manifestations or incarnations of God, someone from another religion may criticize the observance. They may say, chidingly, “O, they are celebrating the birth of another one of their many Hare Krishna or Hindu gods”. Many people think that Hinduism (as the Vedic path is called in modern times) is about worship of many gods—and often strange ones at that! Or they may think we are animalist or worship forces in Nature and so on. Actually, the heart of the teaching of the Vedas, or Sanatan Dharma, is that there is one supreme spiritual force or God in the Universe and beyond it.

Are You a “Religious” Devotee, or a Sadhaka (spiritual practitioner)?

Banyan tree

In my question which forms the title of this blog, I am using the word “religious” to indicate a person who is only a "part time devotee", or whose practice of Krishna consciousness is sort of on the back burner—only one of many interests. It is important to think about this for both a new person just beginning their spiritual life in relationship to Krishna and for those who have been involved with bhakti or Krishna consciousness for many years, or even decades.

Ratha Yatra 2011, Sydney Style, with HH Kadamba Kanana Swami

Last year the Ratha Yatra wove its way, like a garland of spiritual devotion, through the heart of Sydney.

This year, on 19 March, 2011, we aim to do the same with HH Kadamba Kanana Swami to lead the way.

Being Present in the Moment—Rather than Thinking of the Future Part 2

The mad dash

In this part of our series about being in the present, I wanted to share some thoughts I had over the two days I spoke of in my previous blog—going to the clinic and running errands. Before I do, I wanted to clarify what could be confusing. It might seem that what I spoke of before were two contradictory perspectives. One, of offering our day and its activities to Krishna and being fully present, and two, keeping a detached, observers eye, in order to learn what the day and the people we meet or see might teach us.

ISKCON Prison Ministry Gives Inmates the Key to Freedom

Originally published by ISKCON NEWS at:

Article writtten by : Madhava Smullen

Bhakti-lata Dasi is typing away busily at her laptop, absorbed in composing one of the 15 to 40 letters she writes to inmates at prisons across the US every month. But she looks up, smiling, happy to talk to ISKCON News about the service she’s been dedicating the bulk of her time to in the past two years.

Her office is a cosy room at the back of her Alachua, Florida home, dedicated solely to ISKCON Prison Ministry, an organization established in the USA in 1988 to bring Krishna consciousness to those who need it most.

Being Present in the Moment—Rather than Thinking of the Future Part 1

maddening crowds

So many themes repeat themselves in my awareness. We have theory (jnana) and realized wisdom (vijnana) and we need to continually revisit philosophical points till they are assimilated and become part of our identity. Since I live in partial seclusion in the country, away from the busy-ness of urban areas, when I do go to the “big city” with its thronging crowds, I notice things that I might otherwise be desensitized by. Human beings tend to become used to their surroundings, and hardly notice them—especially in our harried, overachiever society, in which we often have ten thoughts going on while we walk to our car, or carry out the duties of our household.

Texas Faith 29: What religion stories should the media focus on?

Dallas Morning News,

Each week we will post a question to a panel of about two dozen clergy, laity and theologians, all of whom are based in Texas or are from Texas. They will chime in with their responses to the question of the week. And you, readers, will be able to respond to their answers through the comment box.

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