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December 31, 2015

Animals are Conscious

While attending a 2012 world-class event, many "big gun” scientists such as Christof Koch and Stephen Hawking attested to an extensive research's conclusion that animals have consciousness.

From Scientific American:

This privileged state of subjective awareness in fact goes well beyond Homo sapiens, according to the new Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness (pdf), which was signed last month by a group of cognitive neuroscientists, computational neuroscientists, neuroanatomists, neuropharmacologists, neurophysiologists who attended the Francis Crick Memorial Conference on Consciousness in Human and non-Human Animals at Cambridge University in the U.K.

January 6, 2016

Sri Gaurangadeva, the deliverer of the fallen souls, preached humility through Rupa and Sanatana, detachment through Svarupa Damodara, tolerance through Haridasa Thakura, and self-control through Ramananda Raya.

According to the statements of some devotees, Mahaprabhu preached about His pastimes through Sri Rupa, devotional service through Sri Sanatana,the glories of holy names through Haridasa Thakura, and love of God through Raya Ramananda.

We have no argument in this regard.

Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakura (Sajjana-tosani 2/8)

May 8, 2016

Hare Krishna.

Audio recordings of a 6 part series on Prayers of Queen Kunti can be accessed at the link: http://www.romapadaswami.com/taxonomy/term/3611

May 11, 2016

Last weekend, two academic conferences were held, one in the US and one in the UK, in honor of ISKCON's 50th Anniversary. Both were impressive and note the growing impact of ISKCON as a global movement, as well as demonstrating the attention our society still garners among scholars of religion.

One event was a 3-day program at Harvard University's Center for the Study of World Religions. The opening night was held in the very room where Srila Prabhupada spoke at Harvard nearly 50 years ago. The program included comments by a Muslim scholar who was present as a young Harvard student when Srila Prabhupada spoke. An academic book will be published next year from the twenty plus papers presented.

May 17, 2016

Improving Sanskrit Pronunciation in ISKCON: [Statement]

The GBC hereby recognizes the importance of improving Sanskrit pronunciation in ISKCON and encourages all ISKCON devotees to improve their Sanskrit pronunciation. The book, Samskrtoccaranam: A Complete Guide to Sanskrit Pronunciation, by Lokanath Swami, is a good resource and we encourage devotees to take advantage of it.

http://sanskritpronounciation.com/Samskrtoccaranam22Feb2009.pdf

Q: In speaking with a friend recently about free will, I explained that a living entity at each moment can choose to go after asat or choose to follow devotional service. The friend asked me, "Does Krishna know already what choice we will make?" I said, just like a mother is familiar with a child's tendency, Krishna is familiar with our inclinations and tendency, but He does not impose and say, "choose this." Then, my friend insisted, "But does Krishna know what choice we will make? If He does, then, actually there is no free will, because our choice is already pre-destined. And if He does not, then, how can there be a God who does not know the future?" I felt stuck in answering this question.

 

HH Romapada Swami in Vrindavan 2009
May 2, 2016

Q: What divides animals and humans in Hinduism? How are animals perceived in Hinduism? Are they treated differently?

Q: Experiencing happiness within devotional service: Is that considered selfish?
  I get so much happiness with devotional service. However, I fear that if it is a selfish desire rather sincere motivation to please Krsna.  How can I differentiate and improve where I am not focusing on my happiness, but rather making Krsna happy?

Q: You have well explained the phenomenon of jiva's fall into the material world. Some points comes to mind.  How come this very desire originates in the jivas if they are part and parcels of the supreme LORD? Do they have the choice of choosing between doing Krishna's service or coming to the material world even at that stage when they do not have a material body itself?
 Who decides to send them to different different material worlds and on what basis since they do not have any past karmas at this stage?
 Are these jivas 'sent' to the material world as a "punishment " of their desires of enjoying?
 Is the material world always bad? How come there are pure souls who attain highest levels of devotion as Srila Prabhupada?