Good to Talk

The average person spends 23 days a year on the phone. Ironically, we seldom use them for the purpose they were invented – to audibly speak to people. Messaging, social media, browsing and entertainment apps have officially taken over. It’s another development in the impersonalism of the information age; not only are our interactions faceless,…

Vision of Eternity

On 13th July 1966, exactly 50 years ago today, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada founded the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. It was a humble beginning with a grand vision. Dear Srila Prabhupada, I often look at your photos and wonder what you were seeing. What does the world look like through the lens of a…

Hear the Unheard

Looks can be deceiving, and often far from the full story. It is said that one who laughs too much, even at small and insignificant things, may well be harboring dissatisfaction and sorrow within. A person who feels impelled to keep talking and communicating, could be experiencing loneliness and lack of meaningful camaraderie. The insensitivity…

The Inside Job

The ungrateful, inappropriate and irrational ways in which people act can infuriate us to no end. We deal with our anger by letting it loose (passionate and vengeful outbursts) or locking it up (emotionally disconnecting). Both expressions, however, are indicative of our own shortcomings. Allowing someone else’s negativity to displace our own consciousness, means there…

Friendly Fire

With genuine spiritual advancement comes the capacity and capability to have friendly relationships with one and all. Equipped with spiritual vision that penetrates beyond externals, one remains undisturbed by annoying idiosyncrasies, ideological differences, unpredictable personalities, and sticky character traits. We’re able to see something deeper, see the spirit, the underlying sincerity. We can see the…

Comparitive Religion

It seems a natural instinct to measure success by comparing and competing with others. When Swami Prabhupada met a top Japanese manager at the Dai Nippon Press, he asked him what his goal in life was. Without saying a word, the corporate cat looked at a stack of business cards of all his acquaintances, carefully…

Divine Intervention

On recent travels around the country I met a lady who expressed frustration in her attempts to find God. She told me her story: two years of spiritual travels, countless nights of prayer, careful scriptural exploration and persistent introspection, but still no sign! “Will I ever find Him?” she asked. “I’m beginning to question whether…

Mechanics of Spirituality

At 4.30am each morning the monks commence their 4-hour spiritual workout. Each and every day, 365 days a year. To an onlooker it may seem like a monotonous and mechanical regime; somewhat of a holy ‘boot camp.’ Seasoned practitioners, however, will testify that these tried and tested external practices open up an internal world of…

The Missing Link

Last few days in India. With no local SIM card and patchy internet access, I’ve been ‘off the grid’ for the best part of the month. A blessing indeed. When the external world becomes a distant reality, it helps bring the internal life back into focus. Re-aligned and refreshed; reminded of what really matters, where…

Puzzle of Life

Progress on the spiritual journey is like putting a puzzle together. We pick up different pieces from different places. The people we contact, namely family, friends, colleagues, critics, mentors, managers, and others, are not simply there by chance. These individuals are strategically placed by providence to make a unique contribution to our development. They craft…

Don’t Look Back

Yesterday I went on Parikrama, which literally means to “walk around.” Circumambulation of holy places has a symbolic meaning – to always keep our spiritual aspirations central and close, regardless of where we are in life (whatever point on the circle, one is never further away from the centre). There is also a transcendental benefit:…

The Lone Mendicant

I’m back at home base – the holy town of Vrindavana. Here we periodically return to reassess, refine and refresh. This spiritual hub, almost inconspicuously, helps one shed the illusory layers of lamentation and hankering, reminding us of the real business in life. In 1958, while residing as a lone, penniless mendicant in this remote…