• Sri Gurvastakam

    Sri Gurvastakam

    I want to give an explanation of Sri Guru – what are the symptoms of a bona fide guru – and to show you examples that have been given in the epics [Vedic scriptures]. You can apply this to your own guru. Our Sri Guru is akhanda-guru-tattva, Sri Baladeva Prabhu or Sri Nityananda Prabhu, so all teachings should be applied to him and to others who are following this... Read More
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bhakti discourses
  • Our Master - His Life

    A most endearing hallmark of his preaching was the heart-stealing affection he showed to all. As an uttama-bhāgavata, he entered the deepest recesses of the heart to give the unmistakable reassurance that he is one's eternal well-wisher. The depth of his affection is a tangible reality for all who have experienced it, and this in itself bears subjective testimony to the fact that he was a true emissary of the Supreme Lord.

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  • Namah

    As long as Śrīla Gurudeva, the beloved of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, is physically manifest, it is wise to render intimate service to him, and thereby attain perfection. But if we are not able to attain perfection because we have failed to develop attachment to him, attachment wherein we consider him to be the lord of our heart; if we have failed to serve him by giving him our full heart in complete sincerity and selflessness, then we have certainly been deprived...

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  • The Most Compassionate

    Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is certainly more intelligent than each and every one of us, and He knows how to make the fallen souls of Kali-yuga best understand His high-level teachings. Indeed, His teachings are comprehensible by all. Still, our misfortune prevails. First, we do not accept His teachings. Second, to impress others with our prowess we mix something of our own with them...

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Rays of The Harmonist

  • Chanting the Names of God and See Him With Eyes of Love
  • No Worldly Matter Should Engage My Thought
  • Men act like infants

tn srila bhakitsiddhantaby Śrīla Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura Prabhupāda

If a man desires to see God’s form, or beauty, he should know that it is not visible to the material eye. Form or beauty that can be perceived by the material sense of vision is an object of enjoyment. But it is God, Kṛṣṇa, who is the enjoyer and not an object of enjoyment...

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tn srila bhakitsiddhantaby Śrīla Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura Prabhupāda

The devotee says, “God may either accept my service or reject it, but I must serve Him.” This is bhakti...

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tn srila bhakitsiddhantaby Śrīla Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura Prabhupāda

Those who want to remove their desires by means of enjoyment hanker for emancipation. But the devotees of God hanker neither for enjoyment nor for emancipation. When, because of a lack of exact knowledge about the truth, we rely only on relative knowledge, our desires are not removed therewith, and all of our acts evaporate like camphor...

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Featured: The Butter Thief

butter thief

This small book, “The Butter Thief,” is a summary study of one of the most remarkable and illuminating pastimes of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This pastime is found in the venerable Bhāgavata Purāṇa, considered by self-realized authorities and scholars as the ripened fruit of the vast tree of Vedic literature.



In the 2004 Vraja Mandala parikrama two devotees discovered that American Express traveller's cheques can be impossible to replace.  Read about their tale of woe.

Thomas Cook cheques are also widely accepted, so I would recommend them instead.

American Express Travellers Cheques Horror Story

An encounter with American Express in India yields frustration and anxiety for devotees in the 2004 Vraja Mandala Parikrama.

Dear Devotees,

Though we have recommended American Express travellers cheques (checks) for years on this website, we must now recommend against purchasing them.

Imagine you are in India and you discover that you have lost your American Express travellers cheques.

At this time you are supposed to feel smart for having bought American Express traveller's cheques. After all, the TV Police Detective Karl Malden told us for decades "It could happen to YOU! If your American Express traveller's cheques are lost or stolen, they can be replaced within 24 hours, anywhere in the world. American Express traveller's cheques — Don't leave home without them".

BUT the reality is a bit different.

In the Vraja Mandala Parikrama in 2004, a couple from Germany and a devotee from England each lost all of their American Express traveller's cheques

In both cases the cheques had not been stolen as far as they knew, so they were not required to file a police report. They may have fared better if they had, though the American Express office never requested them to do so.

Though the devotees apparently lost their cheques at different times and circumstances, they came to know about each other's predicament from other devotees.

At some point they were asked by American Express "Do you know anyone else who has lost traveller's cheques" and the fact that they answered "yes" to the question put them under a great deal of suspicion. Apparently the only "correct" answer to this question, even in a tight-knit religious community like ours, is "NO".

On the American Express traveller's cheques website, the small print says "*All refunds are subject to compliance with terms and conditions.  Not all services are available at all locations, and are subject to local laws and cash availability."

I searched for the details of their "terms and conditions" but found nothing. Apparently this is stated in a vague way which allows them to interpret it any way they please, which is illegal in many places. In our devotees' case, they were required to provide job and family references and an itemised list of expenditures for their India visit.

In each case the New Delhi American Express traveller's cheques office "moved the goalpost", i.e. came up with new requirements after their previous request for information had been fulfilled.

It took weeks of fruitless calls to the New Delhi American Express traveller's cheques office, only to be told curtly "We think you still have them. Look for them some more and we will re-validate them".

Apparently American Express suspected the devotees of some sort of scam, though it is hard to imagine what that might be. Every transaction using American Express traveller's cheques is tracked, must be signed in the presence of the merchant, and positive identication (passport) is required to cash them.

The last I heard from the English devotee, who had by now returned to England practically penniless, was that he was denied refund. "Finally denied, and without any ability to appeal", or so he was told curtly by the Office of American Express New Delhi. The reason? "It is our internal policy and therefore we are not required to tell you the reason". He called American Express in the UK and with some difficulty had his case transferred there. I have suggested to him to send them a letter demanding an immediate refund. If they send him a letter denying refund in England he has various legal remedies available under UK and European Union consumer protection laws.

American Express has a right to try to limit their loss exposure, but their policy in India, to treat the customer like a common criminal, seems to me quite outrageous, if not illegal.

Meanwhile the devotees who relied on their marketing slogan are cheated out of their money, thousands of dollars!

American Express traveller's cheques. Leave home without them!