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Topic: History

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
In recent years interest in reincarnation has grown, with new advocates, theories, and discoveries. Testimonies by persons who have returned from the verge of death after supposedly glimpsing the hereafter have intrigued modern parapsychologists, as well as researchers like Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, author of On Death and Dying, and Raymond Moody, author of Life After Life and other bestsellers....
Reading Complexity: Easy
July 11, 1966. 26 Second Avenue, New York City: A few sympathetic, interested people gather in a small downtown storefront to help an Indian swami's mission by adding their signature to a legal document. Today, ISKCON has branches all over the world. Millions of lives have been transformed by the Hare Krishna mantra and the philosophy of the Bhagavad-gita—thanks to the vision of Srila Prabhupada...
Reading Complexity: Easy
This ancient Vedic text gives an accurate map of the planetary orbits known to modern astronomy. Today we take for granted that the earth is a sphere, but the early Greeks tended to think it was flat. For example, in the fifth century B.C. the philosopher Thales thought of the earth as a disk floating on water like a log.1 About a century later, Anaxagoras taught that it is flat like a lid and...
Reading Complexity: Easy
In the sixteenth century, the Muslim governor of Bengal loses two of his best men to the recently founded Hare Krishna movement. Nawab Hussain Shah, who ruled Bengal from A.D. 1509 to 1532, had two expert and trusted ministers in the brothers Dabhir Kas and Sakara Mallik. The Nawab had recruited the brothers from the aristocratic Karnatic brahmana community, given them Muslim names, and taken...
Reading Complexity: Easy
One of the original leaders of the Hare Krishna movement uses his diplomatic skills to free himself for the Lord’s service. Sanatana Goswami resigned his ministerial post in the Muslim government of sixteenth-century Bengal, having decided to dedicate his life to Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s mission. The Nawab, or governor, imprisoned Sanatana, angered by his resignation. We now hear how Sanatana...
Reading Complexity: Easy
In the year 1513, the Festival of the Chariots held a special meaning for Maharaja Prataparudra, the king of Jagannatha Puri. The King’s Aspiration ON Ratha-yatra day in the summer of A.D. 1513, Lord Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and His associates rose in the dark and bathed. The predawn streets were busy with last-minute festival preparations as the Lord and His party hurried to the temple...
Reading Complexity: Easy
One of the greatest scholars of his day is about to meet the source of all knowledge. The city of Varanasi lies four hundred miles northwest of Calcutta on the northern bank of the Ganges River. Terraced stone landings, or ghats, leading down to water’s edge extend for four miles along the riverbank. Throngs of pilgrims descend to bathe in the sacred water or climb to explore narrow, winding...
Reading Complexity: Easy
In visiting Varanasi, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu chose a city that had historically played a key role in the gradual unveiling of Vedanta, the perfection of knowledge. Early in the year 1514, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was staying at the home of Chandrashekara Vaidya in Varanasi, India, then a great center of learning. Lord Chaitanya's associates heard that one of the chief scholars of Varanasi, a...
Reading Complexity: Easy
Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu points out Sankaracharya’s error in contradicting Vyasadeva. Early in the year 1514, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was staying at the home of Chandrashekara Vaidya in Varanasi, India, then a great center of learning. Lord Chaitanya’s associates heard that one of the chief scholars of Varanasi, a sannyasi named Prakashananda Saraswati, was complaining to his followers that...
Reading Complexity: Easy
These are notes found in a handwritten diary kept by Srila Prabhupada, outlining of how he intended to present the teachings of Krishna consciousness to the Western world [bracketed material added for clarity]: 1. Krishna consciousness means clear consciousness. 2. Material existence means hazy consciousness. 3. Identifying the body as self is hazy consciousness. 4. One has to understand himself...
Reading Complexity: Medium
Modern science tells us that anatomically modern man has been around for only about 100,000 years. The Vedic writings say he has been here a lot longer. Now a book from the Bhaktivedanta Institute takes a new look at the scientific evidence. That evidence, says the book, has been fudged. The authors are Michael Cremo (Drutakarma Dasa) and Richard Thompson (Sadaputa Dasa), both regular...
Reading Complexity: Medium
In The Late Eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, European scholars and scientists began to come in contact with the culture of India. Many were impressed by the antiquity of Vedic civilization and the deep spiritual and material knowledge contained in the Vedic literature. But other European intellectuals were dismayed by these developments. For example, in 1825 the British scholar John...
Reading Complexity: Medium
Lord Chaitanya clarifies, among other things, the origin and evolution of the species. As related in the last issue, Rupa Goswami and his brother Sanatana Goswami have resigned their ministerial posts in the Muslim government of sixteenth-century Bengal, having decided to dedicate their lives to Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s mission. Now we follow Rupa Goswami as he travels to meet Lord Chaitanya in...
Reading Complexity: Medium
Thieves working for the king of Vishnupura stole priceless manuscripts Srinivasa and his friends were bringing to Bengal. Srinivasa therefore sent his companions ahead while he stayed in Vishnupura. He recovered the manuscripts, made the king his disciple, and inspired him to spread Krishna consciousness throughout the kingdom. Now Srinivasa needed to see his dear friends Narottama and Syamananda...
Reading Complexity: Medium
The seemingly ordinary activities of Lord Chaitanya as a child are entirely transcendental. Who would have thought that a child at play could topple the bastions of monism and pantheism? One day shortly after He learned to walk Lord Chaitanya was playing with other small neighborhood children when His mother, Srimati Sacidevi, brought Him a dish filled with rice and sweets. After asking her child...
Reading Complexity: Hard
Summary of Part I: In the early eighteenth century, after a vigorous study of Vedanta philosophy, Baladeva Vidyabhushana accepted Lord Chaitanya’s teachings as the highest revelation of the Absolute Truth. Meanwhile, a sect in Rajasthan known as the Ramanandis was challenging the authenticity of Lord Chaitanya’s movement. Although the Ramanandis were flourishing under the patronage of King Jai...