Author Archive

04

December

Growing through Grief

Most of us discover at a fairly young age that the world is not a bed of roses. The carefree joys of childhood were brutally interrupted for me when I was just seven and I lost my mother. Navigating my way through an uncertain world after that, I encountered much more pain in the shape of a less than loving stepmother. It was enough to make me rather circumspect about the prospects of a trouble-free life. I tried to make the best of it, of course, but it was only

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10

November

Offering on Srila Prabhupada’s Disappearance Day

I have been trying to work out if in this life I have been fortunate or unfortunate. Certainly to have come into contact with your movement and to have some small faith in your words is a very great good fortune. I really don’t know how that happened. I was just an average fool heading straight to hell, fully absorbed in sense gratification. Sure I was suffering, but I wasn’t intelligent enough to recognise that fact.  I thought I was looking for spirituality, but didn’t have the faintest idea what

02

September

My First Janmastami

 

Back in 1972 I was a 17 year-old sea cadet. My ship had docked in Bombay and I stepped onto that exotic shore in search of reasonably priced souvenirs. Under the intense encouragement of a shopkeeper I came close to purchasing a fine ivory chess set costing most of my week’s wages before I spotted a little figurine of Krishna. He exerted a strange attraction over me and after handing over my hard-earned rupees I left with him in my pocket. The god of love, I thought. I could do

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01

September

Liberating the Liberators

It is interesting that the US and UK style themselves as “liberators” of Iraq. Subtly implied in this euphemistic term is the assumption that we are ourselves already liberated, in a position to bestow our happy state on others. And that is surely a commonly held assumption in the West. We view ourselves as having the most progressive and free societies. But how true is this?

A popular newspaper columnist recently wrote a

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01

September

The Greatest Good Fortune

Dear Srila Prabhupada,

Please accept my humble obeisance. All glories to you.

Lately, I have been reflecting on my good fortune in meeting your divine grace. Sastra tells us we have been languishing in material existence for countless millennia. I made a rough calculation for how long we in this present age have been around and found it pretty scary. We learn from the Bhagavatam that we jivas are injected into the creation at the beginning of Brahma’s life. He is now in his fifty-first year and just one of his days

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10

December

COME OUT OF THE DARKNESS

Perhaps one of the saddest parts about growing up is learning that Father Christmas is not real. I recall a few years ago hearing how a teacher had been hauled across the coals for revealing this terrible truth to his class of six year olds, after outraged parents had bombarded the school with complaints.

I was never a big believer in Santa myself. I think it dawned on me at an early age that a portly gentleman bearing a huge sack on his back somehow would not fit down the chimney,

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22

November

My First Janmastami

Back in 1972 I was a 17 year-old sea cadet. My ship had docked in Bombay and I stepped onto that exotic shore in search of reasonably priced souvenirs. Under the intense encouragement of a shopkeeper I came close to purchasing a fine ivory chess set costing most of my week’s wages before I spotted a little figurine of Krishna. He exerted a strange attraction over me and after handing over my hard-earned rupees I left with him in my pocket. The god of love, I

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04

August

The Answer Lies in our Hands

What if there was one simple solution for all your problems? Something so easy that even a child could do it? Something which costs nothing, is available to everyone and ultimately ends all suffering? Well, before you decide to follow the standard dictum that if it sounds too good to be true then it most likely is, ask yourself a couple of questions. Firstly, do you know who you really are? I don’t mean a man, woman, black, white, John, Jill or Javed—no, I’m talking about the real you, beyond