Topic: World religion(s)

Reading Complexity: Easy
Allen Ginsberg: How far beyond special study centers can a Krishna consciousness movement or any religious movement grow? Because the need is for a large single, unifying religious movement in America. Srila Prabhupada: Yes. So here is Krishna: all-attractive. You now have to find out as much as possible about Him. Of course, you can say, "Why shall I accept Krishna?" You can talk like that...
Reading Complexity: Easy
Almost all religions pursue some sort of exchange with other religious sects. They may do it to further the aim of their own sect, to quell violence among fanatics, to cooperate in efforts for humane work, or for many other reasons. Perhaps the purest and most worthy purpose for persons of different religions to come together is to help one another in the individual attempt at attaining love of...
Reading Complexity: Easy
Lord Jesus Christ, Mohammed, and all the world’s scriptures emphasize glorifying God’s names. What is unique about this kind of prayer? According to Vedic calculation, great time spans are measured in yugas, or ages. The Vedas describe four yugas-Satya-yuga, Treta-yuga, Dvapara- yuga, and Kali-yuga-which repeat themselves in cyclical order like the four seasons. The duration of Satya-yuga is 1,...
Reading Complexity: Easy
“Praise ye the Lord. Praise ye the name of the Lord; praise Him, O ye servants of the Lord… . Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord.” (Psalms, 135, 150) Among all the practices of the Hare Krishna movement, the most prominent is the public chanting of God’s names, ecstatic dancing, and playing of musical instruments—a spontaneous street liturgy common in most major cities throughout...
Reading Complexity: Easy
Allen Ginsberg: If you’re identifying love, however, with the shabda [sound] Krishna, what of those people who identify love with the shabda Allah? Srila Prabhupada: Well, of course, if that shabda identifies with God, we have no objection. As Caitanya Mahaprabhu says, namnam akari bahudha nija-sarva- shaktis: God has many names, in which He has invested His transcendental energies. God is...
Reading Complexity: Easy
Formerly, Muslims living in the regions of Afghanistan, Baluchistan, and Persia called the Sindhu (Indus) River “Hindu” and the people living in and beyond the river valley “Hindus.” From its founding in 1966 the International Society for Krishna Consciousness has been invigorated by the participation of the Indian community, both in India and the West, and by the endorsements of Hindu...
Reading Complexity: Easy
A prayer in Istanbul's Blue Mosque leads a young Christian to Lord Krishna. John, a slight, fair-complexioned traveler who'd left home to broaden his perspective on life, found himself stranded in Istanbul. With nothing to do until money arrived from a friend, he'd gone to the magnificent Blue Mosque, an awe-inspiring monument with huge stained-glass windows, to offer a sincere prayer to God—the...
Reading Complexity: Easy
In this century, more than ever, Christian thinkers have been concerned with understanding other religions of the world. This concern arises from what, for Christians, is an important question: Should we accept that other legitimate religions exist, or should we deny the existence of other true religions and hold that God has only one revelation, namely the Christian one? Some Christian...
Reading Complexity: Easy
If the religious “cult “phenomenon has proved anything, it’s that the established religions aren’t providing our young people with real spiritual life. Of course, this is not to say that the “cults” are. To be bona fide, any religion—new or old—must pass a rigorous nonsectarian test.... The infamous “anticult” groups, who have attempted by kidnapping and “deprogramming” to break members of the...
Reading Complexity: Easy
In 1969, just a few years after Srila Prabhupada started his movement in the West, he prepared a test for his disciples. Those who passed the test would receive a Bhakti Sastri degree, signifying their understanding of the basic philosophy of Krishna consciousness. I came across the test recently and was surprised to find that eight of its fifteen questions deal with the same point: How to...
Reading Complexity: Easy
A Vedic perspective on the popular allure of Buddhism. Buddhism has at times attracted a measure of interest from a small number of Americans. In the last century Henry David Thoreau wrote, “Some will have bad thoughts of me, when they hear their Christ named beside my Buddha.” And in the middle of this century, writers like Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, and Alan Watts showed a regard for...
Reading Complexity: Easy
This conversation between His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and India’s ambassador to Sweden took place in Stockholm, in the fall of 1973. Srila Prabhupada: In America and India and so many countries all over the world, they have a “secular state.” The government leaders say they don’t want to favor any particular religion, but actually they are favoring irreligion. Ambassador...
Reading Complexity: Easy
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and several of his disciples were joined by Father Emmanuel Jungclaussen, a Benedictine monk from Niederalteich Monastery. Noticing that Srila Prabhupada was carrying meditation beads similar to the Catholic rosary, Father Emmanuel explained that he also chanted a constant prayer: “Lord Jesus Christ, be merciful unto us.” The following...
Reading Complexity: Medium
Each of the last few years before he retired, an elderly Professor of Missions used to invite me to address his class at the Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary, near Philadelphia. The professor, who had spent a goodly portion of his life seeking converts in Bengal, had the best manners I had ever encountered in another American. He would meet me at my car and escort me through the seminary. In...
Reading Complexity: Medium
The following conversation between His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and one of his disciples took place in Bhuvaneshvara, India. Devotee: Srila Prabhupada, one criticism against our Krishna consciousness movement is that we are following absolute authority. People are critical because we rigidly adhere to your authority and to the authority of the scriptures. They say this is...
Reading Complexity: Medium
The Supreme Being comes to earth many times and in many forms. India’s ancient scriptures bring us startling news about these momentous events. All over the world we find the kind of literature we call scripture. These works tell us a particular kind of tale. They report those extraordinary occasions on which the divine penetrated into our world, and our tiny space and time housed for a while...
Reading Complexity: Medium
All over the world we find the kind of literature we call scripture. These works tell us a particular kind of tale. They report those extraordinary occasions on which the divine penetrated into our world, and our tiny space and time housed for a while the eternal and infinite. Witnesses to these incursions, utterly changed by what they had seen, found themselves compelled to pour into the world’...