1. The Real Spirit of Janmashtami

    Janmashtami is the festival commemorating the appearance of Krishna in this world. He is believed to have appeared 5,000 years ago in a prison cell in Mathura. Janmashtami represents the appearance of hope in the dark night of hopelessness, of virtue in the fortress of vices, through the appearance of the Absolute Truth, Krishna. The sun rises in the East each day. Not that it is born that time, but it comes to our relative vision and with each setting, it no longer appears to our vision. My spiritual master,...
  2. What Matters is Our Consciousness

    The famous writer Paulo Coelho once said, “There is always a gap between our intention and action.” This holds true in our lives. How we present things or in what ways we present is definitely important and critical, but if we deeply analyze the matter, it’s the intention or consciousness behind it that matters. In Vedic scriptures the nature of the God is defined as bhava-grahi, i.e. he is interested in the consciousness that we have invested in the service rather than the externals of exactly how it is done....
  3. God is Revealed Through Devotion

    Spiritual practice involves distinguishing between that which is temporary and that which is eternal. Through the sacred texts, such as the Bhagavad-gita, we can understand what this material energy is. It is God’s energy. The energy itself is eternal, but its manifestations are temporary. These manifestations are always in the state of transformation. They change by the will of God under the influence of three modes of material nature—Goodness, Passion, and Ignorance, and by the power of the element of time. Thus, everything in this universe is constantly changing. Everything...
  4. On Peace vs. Love

    In the year 1971, as a young spiritual seeker, I attended a yoga peace conference where the different speakers fought to grab the microphone. As the yogis rambled aggressively like politicians, I was disappointed and shocked. A kind hearted saintly person who had maintained grace and dignity throughout the chaos consoled me, explaining how all are struggling at their respective level of progress. He revealed to me that instead of fighting for peace, we have to find peace within ourselves first. Later, I discovered a sacred teaching from my guru,...
  5. The Fruits of Good Qualities

    The Srimad Bhagavatam describes how the trees in Vrindavana are bowing down due to their heavy fruits. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu explained this by describing how a person who has the fruits of good qualities is like a tree with good fruits. The weights of the fruits cause the tree to bow down to everyone. But a tree that doesn’t have good fruits stands up very straight, doesn’t bow to anyone. A person who has character, amanina manadena, is eager to offer respect to the divinity, the spiritual essence within everyone, everywhere....
  6. Understanding Truth Beyond Temporary Designations

    To understand the greatness of God is a very special, sacred ornament to our lives. It carries us above all sectarian differences and illusions. The constitutional position of the spirit soul is that we are servants of God, the Absolute Truth. In this world we have each become so forgetful of our true spiritual nature and of our relationship with the Supreme. We act in so many ways by which the bondage of illusion is more and more perpetuated. Very few people truly endeavor to understand the truth. Oftentimes, intelligent...
  7. On Unity

    One of the greatest powers in all fields of life is unity. But there is a fundamental problem – that there are so many diversified distinctions between living beings. Everyone has their own conception of their identity, and this creates a natural conflict amongst those who look different from one another, think differently, or act differently. There has always been conflict between the castes, not only in India but all over the world. They may go by different names. There is the educational class, administrative class, working class, and there...
  8. The Special Feature of Human Existence

    According to how we invest in our karmic life, we will get a particular type of body. There are millions of species of life. Each one facilitates a particular opportunity to get the reactions of our particular karma. The law of nature is that we become who we associate with. So according to the modes of nature we associate with, our consciousness is influenced, which creates the destiny of our soul to live in a particular species of life. After travelling through all those species of life, one is given...
  9. Need for a Strong Foundation

    Everyone seeks happiness. True happiness is a product of inner fulfillment. Through the ages, sincere people have turned to spirituality to find a higher quality of life. The tendency in today’s world is to be trapped in a life obsessed with quantitative rather than qualitative values. This tendency can imprison the mind in endless superficialities. Today, stress and anxiety are often daily realities, and even those who excel are often prisoners of their own success. The more we have, the more work it takes to sustain it, and the more people try to take it away from...