In distress I prayed out loud: “If there is someone behind all this, I want to know You. I will be obedient to Your will.” I prayed from my heart, with every bit of sincerity I could muster. At the time, I thought that if there actually was a God, He must have heard me.
Everyone in New York City thinks he’s a philosopher. And who do they talk with about politics, religion, traffic, and the weather? Not their psychiatrists, business associates, or even their families as much as the New York cabbie.
In college I had delved into the thoughts of the great philosophers and literary personalities of the past. Echoing my godless upbringing, I would argue with my logic professor, a devout Catholic, against the rationality of the existence of a God.
When I came to New Zealand in 1972, the farthest thing from my mind was opening a Hare Krsna temple. I was on a world surfing safari and the closest idea I had to spiritual life was finding “the perfect wave.”
When Vicki Overton was growing up in Auckland in the 1950’s, duly attentive to her studies at St. Cuthbert’s College for girls, no one would have imagined she would one day be among the most sought-after fashion models in the world.
At the end of each day, after trading in his Gucci suit for a simple cotton dhoti, Marco spends the evening hours chanting Hare Krsna on beads, reading Bhagavad-gita, and speaking with visitors about the philosophy of Krsna consciousness.
Srila Prabhupada’s message to the world was not one of artificial renunciation but of devotion. Whatever you may be—family man, businessman, professional—add Krsna to your life and be happy. Business, after all, is an essential element of society.
A million dollars and three dozen magazine covers later, Anne had wealth, fame, and apartments in most European capital cities. Anne Schaufuss had everything. Except, maybe, happiness.
I finished the school year, bade farewell to my family, girlfriend, and other intimates, and set off for Japan to practice Zen in earnest.
The other doctors never call him Samika Rsi dasa. Most of them don’t even know he is an initiated devotee of Lord Krsna. In the hospital—St. Joseph’s Hospital, Carbondale, Pennsylvania—he is Shyam Sundar Mahajan, director of the emergency ward.
I was brought up a Catholic. I went to church every Sunday. As a young woman my only understanding of God was fear. I was told I had to do things, but nobody ever explained why. Even when I went away from the church, I suffered from fear.
Before I came to Krishna consciousness my life was completely impure. I was confused and indecisive about spiritual life and couldn’t help myself. But after I read that book, I lost my taste for materialistic activities. And now I understand that I was being cheated by maya, illusion.
Early one evening, I answered the phone. “Hello, Mom? I just want to tell you I’m at the Krsna temple in Potomac, Maryland. I live here now.”
Sivananda had not been in the temple more than a year when Srila Prabhupada came to Montreal. After a short meeting, Srila Prabhupada requested Sivananda to go to Europe to try to open a center there.
We stood on a rooftop in Manhattan, gazing out over the East River and the Brooklyn Bridge toward Brooklyn. I asked him, “Do you actually love Krishna?” He thought for a second. “I love pleasure,” he said finally. “To be truthful.”
I couldn’t find any reason for living the way people do. Because their death is just inevitable. They’re all just going to die anyway. And it makes everything kind of useless. All these things people are so caught up in—but they could just die at any second.
It so happens that 1971 is the year that Srila Prabhupada initiated me. He explained to me then that to become qualified to go back to Godhead, one must hear about Lord Krsna, chant His holy names and serve Him and His devotees.
Without Making Yourself Miserable by Sita devi dasi In college I was a would-be humanitarian, always getting myself into one altruistic group or another. I leafleted with grape and lettuce workers, read books to blind people, demonstrated against the war in Vietnam, and quit jobs when it became clear my employers were discriminating against minorities. […]
Bahudaka dasa has been the president of the Vancouver ISKCON center for six years. When he first joined, in 1970, the center had only four full-time devotees. It is now a community of more than ninety.
There’s nothing so sublime and pure As knowledge of the soul. And loving service to the Lord As part unto the whole. Of knowledge ’tis the ripened fruit For which the mystics long. Whoever tastes it finds a joy Which makes the spirit strong.