The News Agency of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness

Opinion

  • Project for a New ISKCON Century
    An article recently appeared on Iskcon news entitled "Iskcon Leaders Grapple to Define "Who is a member?" I've been thinking about this for a while, especially as it relates to how I've tried to conduct my self and what my goals have been in my service of interacting with the people who are not members of Iskcon.
  • Which Way India?
    I’m confused. For the past 35 years I have been traveling on commercial airlines to India and have become most familiar with the advertising hooks used to lure tourists by the millions annually to that country.
  • Halloween-Hare-Krishnas

    Halloween has come and gone, without incident. None of the neighborhood kids donned Lil' Ganesh costumes after all, and my daughter Shruti's first Halloween costume (an adorable pumpkin) was a hit.

  • Pay or Pray
    If we see those who serve in the temple owning several large houses and taking what appears to be a disproportional high wage, when a majority who attend the centers every week cannot afford such opulence, then some ridicule should be expected I guess; even though we truly do not know the full reasons why.
  • Interfaith Dialogue in Brazil
    BRASILIA: On October 19 and 20, I participated in an interfaith event organized by Amisrael, a nongovernmental organization (NGO) with international activities aimed at peace between peoples and nations.
  • Happy Diwali, Mr. President
    How's this for an early Diwali gift for Hindu-Americans (and, perhaps, Hindus around the world): President Barack Obama lit a ceremonial diya (traditional candle) and delivered a characteristically smooth speech in which he declared that he was happy to join "some of the world's greatest faiths" in celebrating a holiday that heralds "the triumph of good over evil."
  • How Fortunate We Are to Have Seen It!
    “Over my dead body!” screamed the woman over the telephone. As I entered the office I could hear every word she was saying to Nandini dasi: “Never! I’ll never rent my school to you people! Not in a million years!” With that, she hung up.
  • Vedantic Concept of Life

    According to Vedanta an ignorance of the original conception is the cause of sufferings. But when the actual Origin of both matter and life is understood, then peace and harmony are simultaneously achieved

  • Positive Thinking

    Most of us are aware of the benefits of being positive in Krishna consciousness, and so do those who seek material success.

  • Progressive Regression
    There are almost 2.5 million people unemployed in the UK. Those at least are the official figures. Over 7% of the workforce. It’s become a job in itself just looking for a job. Even the most qualified find it hard with one in ten graduates still failing to find a job a full year after graduating.
  • Health Care Reform and the “V” Word

    Kudos to Michael Pollan. His September 9, 2009 Op-Ed contribution to the New York Times, Big Food vs. Big Insurances, raises unspoken, yet hard to ignore, issues in the US Health Care Reform debate.

  • Top Evolutionist Criticized

    For those of you Spiritual Warriors who may be a little timid about taking on a big, bad, evolutionist I’m going to push you a bit here. Yes, he’s big, bestselling author and media darling Richard Dawkins.Yes, he’s bad, a scientist and avowed evolutionist.

  • This Month in Year 1939, 1969, 2009

    This month is the month we went to war – 70 years ago. In early September 1939 Britain responded to Nazi Germany’s invasion of Poland by declaring that war now existed between us. Rationing of food, defeat in France, the nightly ‘blackouts’ and enemy bombing raids, the Battle of Britain, the Blitz – all were shortly to come. Britain would not be the same for many years.

  • Samsara in California

    As I write, California burns. Multiple wildfires continue to afflict the land.California! For so long the migratory terminus of American dreams, her own Hollywood gave those dreams back to the world crafted in dazzling pageants of lights and shadows that seemed more real than reality itself.

  • Why Do We Need a Temple?
    Like traffic laws, moral principles promote order, specifically orderly social interactions. But modern education doesn’t teach us about the goal of social transactions or the goal of life itself.
  • 9-11 Lesson: We Can't Fight Fire with Fire
    On September 11th, 2001, I was in England, and that day I happened to drop off a fellow from my faith at London's Heathrow Airport. At the curb in front of the terminal, a concerned Brit detected my accent and said, "Hey mate: Are you an American? You'd better go inside and see what's on the telly!"
  • Common Ground…err Common Space

    Finally, there’s been a breakthrough. After 50 years of endeavor and countless billions of dollars spent, common ground, or should I say, common space has been discovered in the debate between believers in the Vedic theistic worldview and adherents of the scientific worldview on the subject of travel to other planets in the universe.

  • A Résumé Builder from the Life of Bhaktivinode Thakur
    Sure the job market is tough right now. But, if you’re focused you can still be successful in finding the job that’s right for you. O Spiritual Warrior, your success will be in direct proportion to your ability to do two things: first, to meet the most pressing needs of a potential employer; and second your ability to utilize skills which give you an advantage over other applicants.
  • Part of The Conversation
    The New York Times has a great thing going. I mean besides being one of the most influential news sources in the world. They have this great feature where two of their regular columnists debate a topic. It’s called The Conversation, and recently Gail Collins and Ross Douthat debated cruelty to animals in discussing the case of fallen American football icon Michael Vick, who recently completed an eighteen month stint in federal prison for involvement in a dog fighting ring.
  • Power to Which People?

    Among the many gifts the West appears intent on bestowing upon the rest of the world – such as TV, burger bars, pop music etc — democracy is perhaps top of the list. We cherish our democratic institutions and are prepared to endure great pain and difficulty, sacrificing our soldiers and heaps of cash, to ensure that voting is embraced in far flung places like Iraq and Afghanistan. Even, it seems, when they don’t really want it anyway.

  • Compassion, Kant and Rats
    You’ve probably seen the bumper sticker. Its message, "Practice random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty!", has a natural appeal, doesn’t it? But, you probably don't know the real story behind this message. According to 18th century philosopher Immanuel Kant, the message this bumper sticker is promoting is unethical behavior, and that those who follow it should not be considered moral persons!
  • The Soul of Compassion

    It is December of 1936. Abhaya Caraṇāravinda Dāsa, a forty-year-old pharmaceutical distributor then in Bombay on business, feels a sudden impulse to write a letter to his spiritual master, Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura. It is December 9, 1968, thirty-two years later. The same disciple—now a renunciant and spiritual master himself—finds himself in the city of Los Angeles where he relates to a gathering of his own disciples the story of his 1936 letter. He is observing with them the “Disappearance Day” of his spiritual master.

  • Paternalism and the Guru-Disciple Relationship
    Paternalism is based on the premise that it better to keep people, especially those people judged from a position of superiority to be vulnerable, in ignorance rather than given knowledge and the consequent rights and responsibilities. Not only is paternalism debilitating, but its effects can linger for decades. I’m living proof.
  • Jesus, the Vaishnavas, and the Spirit of Understanding

    Sometimes – but only sometimes – I like to think my interfaith credentials are all in order. I mean, as a Vaishnava I regard all religions as paths towards the same supreme Godhead. Religion is one, but the ways we do it – and the outfits we do it in – are many.

    God Himself says this in the Bhagavad-gita. (That’s not the Vaishnava God as distinct from the Christian or Jewish God, but the one and only original creator and supreme person.) God says that “All are on my path, and as they surrender to me, I reward them accordingly.” That always sounded pretty fair to me.

  • Monsoon Parade—Queens

    The consolidated city of New York comprises five boroughs (each a county): Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx, and Staten Island. Among these, the borough of Queens is blessed with The Kṛṣṇa-Balarāma Mandir, which stands in the neighborhood of Richmond Hill.