Articles about Philosophy and Spirituality

Articles on spirituality and the philosophy of Krishna consciousness.

Can One Who Has Sinned Be a Saint?

A discussion on a controversial point. Can one who has sinned be a saint? Can one who has sinned be a saint? (part 2) Can one who has sinned be a saint? (part 3) Can one who has sinned be a saint? (part 4) Can one who has sinned be a saint? (part 5) Can one who has sinned be a saint? (part 6) Can one who has sinned be a saint? (part 7) An accidental falldown is one thing, but. . . More about Saints and Sinners Don’t badmouth sadhus … [Read more...]

Dying in the Material World

  by Jayadvaita Swami from Back to Godhead, May-June 1991   "Life is amply long for him who orders it properly."      --Seneca (8 BC–AD 65)   Scientists of various disciplines are working hard to discover the principles of the biological clock within the human body that sets the pace for aging and finally signals the time for death. Thus they hope to learn how to prolong man's life, and apparently they are making some progress. How successful their efforts will prove remains to be seen, but perhaps even more important: If they do … [Read more...]

Diving into “The Nectar of Devotion”

A review of Dhanurdhara Swami's Waves of Devotion Waves of Devotion comes close to my ideal of what a commentary should be. It is illuminating yet unpretentious, systematic but not dry--and you can read it. As Srila Prabhupada's subtitle indicates, The Nectar of Devotion is a summary study. It gives us the essentials of Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, with considerable detail, and in one sense it is complete; one need not go beyond it. Yet one can go deeper into it, and Waves of Devotion helps us do just that. It does not try to surpass Srila Prabhupada's book; rather, it tries to assist us in … [Read more...]

Hinduism: God and gods

While I was editor of Back to Godhead, we published a series of articles called "The Glories of the Demigods." The articles praised the demigods as great servants of Lord Krishna. Not everyone was pleased. The Federation of Hindu Associations objected. So did the President of the Cambridge University Hindu Society. Here's what they wrote, along with my replies. Quick Links From the Federation of Hindu Associations My reply to the Federation From the Cambridge University Hindu Society My reply to the Cambridge Hindu Society From the Federation of Hindu Associations The … [Read more...]

“The Ways to God Are Numberless”

  In January and February of 1982, Back to Godhead published this exchange between a reader and Jayadvaita Swami, who was then the magazine's senior editor.     To Back to Godhead You guys are really sad. For millennia religious sects have claimed to have the only way to God, and they have always been wrong. So are you wrong. As Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan says, "The ways to God are numberless as the grains of sand, unceasing as the rains of Dharma." It's too bad that you close your minds to everything except what your Almighty Guru tells you. For example, I read in Back … [Read more...]

From Darkness to Light

  Remarks at a rite of passage for my nephew, Liam Golightley, on Liam's thirteenth birthday.   I congratulate you,  Liam, on this rite of passage. And I invite you, Liam, just for a moment--I invite all of us, just for a moment--to think about who it is that's passing. We pass into this world at birth, we pass from childhood through school and into adulthood, we marry, we pass further, into old age, and then, as the language has it, we pass on, we pass away. But who is this "we"? Who is this person? Or, in our present ceremony, who is this Liam? Some would tell us, … [Read more...]

Invocation for a Conference on Spiritual Relationships

  An invocation for a conference on relationships among Hare Krishna devotees      Alachua, Florida, August 14, 1993   An invocation is "a calling for," traditionally a calling for God, or these days more often a summoning forth of desired qualities within ourselves. I wouldn't suppose that you expect me to summon forth something valuable on my own. Rather, since this is a gathering of devotees--devotees of the sankirtana movement--I'd suppose my role should be to help us get started in doing that work of invocation together. To that end, I'd like first to suggest that we … [Read more...]