Spirit Matters

My First Janmastami

 

Back in 1972 I was a 17 year-old sea cadet. My ship had docked in Bombay and I stepped onto that exotic shore in search of reasonably priced souvenirs. Under the intense encouragement of a shopkeeper I came close to purchasing a fine ivory chess set costing most of my week’s wages before I spotted a little figurine of Krishna. He exerted a strange attraction over me and after handing over my hard-earned rupees I left with him in my pocket. The god of love, I thought. I could do

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Liberating the Liberators

It is interesting that the US and UK style themselves as “liberators” of Iraq. Subtly implied in this euphemistic term is the assumption that we are ourselves already liberated, in a position to bestow our happy state on others. And that is surely a commonly held assumption in the West. We view ourselves as having the most progressive and free societies. But how true is this?

A popular newspaper columnist recently wrote a

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The Greatest Good Fortune

Dear Srila Prabhupada,

Please accept my humble obeisance. All glories to you.

Lately, I have been reflecting on my good fortune in meeting your divine grace. Sastra tells us we have been languishing in material existence for countless millennia. I made a rough calculation for how long we in this present age have been around and found it pretty scary. We learn from the Bhagavatam that we jivas are injected into the creation at the beginning of Brahma’s life. He is now in his fifty-first year and just one of his days

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COME OUT OF THE DARKNESS

Perhaps one of the saddest parts about growing up is learning that Father Christmas is not real. I recall a few years ago hearing how a teacher had been hauled across the coals for revealing this terrible truth to his class of six year olds, after outraged parents had bombarded the school with complaints.

I was never a big believer in Santa myself. I think it dawned on me at an early age that a portly gentleman bearing a huge sack on his back somehow would not fit down the chimney,

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My First Janmastami

Back in 1972 I was a 17 year-old sea cadet. My ship had docked in Bombay and I stepped onto that exotic shore in search of reasonably priced souvenirs. Under the intense encouragement of a shopkeeper I came close to purchasing a fine ivory chess set costing most of my week’s wages before I spotted a little figurine of Krishna. He exerted a strange attraction over me and after handing over my hard-earned rupees I left with him in my pocket. The god of love, I

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The Answer Lies in our Hands

What if there was one simple solution for all your problems? Something so easy that even a child could do it? Something which costs nothing, is available to everyone and ultimately ends all suffering? Well, before you decide to follow the standard dictum that if it sounds too good to be true then it most likely is, ask yourself a couple of questions. Firstly, do you know who you really are? I don’t mean a man, woman, black, white, John, Jill or Javed—no, I’m talking about the real you, beyond

Why are we averse to authority?

It seems many of us do not like the government telling us how we should conduct our lives. The current lockdown has elicited vigorous opposition in certain corners of the media, and indeed on many streets around the world. The suggestions that a vaccine may become mandatory, if and when it is eventually developed, will no doubt create even bigger waves of resistance. Professor Ian Philip, a health expert at Sheffield University and government advisor, said, “The real challenge is that people don’t want to hear messages from government…”

I am

Vulture Civilisation

Listening today to a lecture by Srila Prabhupada, my esteemed teacher, I was struck by a brilliant analogy he gave. First, he cited a verse from Vedic literature which basically states that the attempt to improve one’s material situation amounts to nothing more than ‘decorating a dead body’. In other words, the material body is destined to die today or tomorrow. It is always dead, in one sense, as it is only animated by the soul within, which is who we are. As C.S.Lewis famously said, ‘You don’t have a