My unpublished essays

Enlightenment: Brahma gayatri mantra

Enlightenment: Brahma gayatri mantra

Download By Urmila devi dasi I watch the sun rising over the horizon where the Pacific Ocean touches the sky. In the beauty of its red glow painting sea, sky, and clouds, I chant the Brahma gayatri mantra, a meditation on the sun. Receiving and chanting this mantra is an essential part of diksa, initiation into the succession of spiritual teachers and disciples from the beginning of universal creation. Those unfamiliar with gayatri might wonder...

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Reality is a Dance, not Bureaucratic Law

Reality is a Dance, not Bureaucratic Law

“The blissful devotional service performed by the expert devotees is like a dance. The devotee begins to learn the lessons of that dance. Taken by the hands of the dance intructress, ruci, he learns all — experiencing an extraordinary, unprecedented, unimaginable, golden bliss which cannot be described. In what blissful realm will he come to exist, when in time, he is made to dance by the supreme masters of dance, bhava and...

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The Self: Who are we?

The Self: Who are we?

Download Sanskrit Terms for Self: Definition and Use in Sacred Literature of the Vedas There are two basic words for self in Sanskrit, the original language of India, as well as the language of philosophers and theologians there today. The first term is ātmā or ātman, and the second is jīva or, both words combined as jīvātman. The former word is defined as: “1. the soul; the individual soul, 2. self; oneself” (Apte, 1988, p.78). The latter’s...

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How I came to Krishna Consciousness

Manhattan swarms with inhabitants from every culture and region. Growing up in this collage of humanity, I admired the Indian women above all, flowing down Fifth Avenue in their saris. By age four, I had traveled extensively, especially to Israel where my oldest sister lived. There I was enchanted by the simple life of my brother-in-law’s family. From Yemen, these religious people had an extended family that lived by planting crops and...

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