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Thought of the Week: 
The Scriptures and Their Relevance

from ISKCON, Washington, D.C.
Hare Krishna 
Hare Krishna 
Krishna Krishna 
Hare Hare 
Hare Rama 
Hare Rama 
Rama Rama 
Hare Hare

Although many of us are blessed with good fortune and have much to be grateful for, at any moment suffering, fear and grief can invade our lives. In helplessness and dependence, recognizing that our existence is as fragile as a drop of water on a lotus leaf, we may ask, "Why am I suffering?" "Why is there evil in the world?" and "Will I exist beyond this life?"

Such questions make us natural students of the scriptures that form the philosophical tradition of the East: Bhagavad-gita, Srimad Bhagavatam and Caitanya Charitamrita. These, along with many auxiliary works, are the books that the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust (BBT) has been publishing since it was founded in 1972.

Sincere Inquiry

We cannot solve our problems using the same paradigm in which they were created. Neither can we fully answer our questions with mundane reasoning. Rather, solutions to our fundamental problems and answers to our most introspective questions lie in a transcendent culture, a culture that nurtures transcendent thoughts, feelings and practices.

This culture is not an artificial imposition, but is the natural state of individuals in harmony with God and the environment. The BBT publications are, in the words of their author, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, "a cultural presentation for the respiritualization of the entire human society."

Read with a clear mind, a mind open to the unexpected, a mind willing to accept—even theoretically—the existence of a Supreme Person, these books inspire and beckon us toward a wise and beautiful tradition. Like the pristine vista of the Himalayas, their words touch us in ways beyond our imaginings, calming the troubled mind and setting vibrant thoughts in motion.

The Torchlight of Knowledge

For the sincere seeker, these words offer deep philosophical insights into the science of self-realization, sweet tastes of loving exchanges and a clue as to how humanity can become one in peace, friendship and prosperity with a common cause. Page-by-page, we grow in spiritual confidence and enthusiasm. We examine and revamp basic aspects of our character and habits—like cleanliness and austerity, charity and honesty—and we unite with an international family of aspiring transcendentalists.

Ponder any one of these books and relish the Divine within and without. Such reading, which is good for the body, the mind and the soul, is also fun. It is an opportunity to steal away from our daily concerns, an opportunity to hear the song of God, to feel the warmth of His compassion, to endure our earthly fate with unearthly fortitude, to view current and historical events with resplendent clarity. Our awareness shifts when our innate need for spiritual insight is coupled with the messages of self-realized teachers found in these bona fide scriptures of the East. The paradigm of this tradition, which culminates in untainted devotion for the Supreme Lord, is not mundane.

True spirituality is a rare commodity. That’s reason enough to open these uncommon books. Whether we have time to read one paragraph or many chapters, we will be renewed and enriched.

Festivals over the Next Week

Jan 10 2002, Thursday
Disappearance Sri Mahesa Pandita
Disappearance Sri Uddharana Datta Thakura

Jan 14 2002, Monday
Appearance Sri Locana Dasa Thakura

*** NOTE: All times are for Washington D.C, USA, EST

*** For festival information for your city please go to http://www.iskcondc.org and click on ‘Calendar’

** This and all previous digests are available on the internet, grouped by topics

** They can be accessed at: http://www.iskcondc.org-Philosophy 

You can also directly link to our Philosophy website by add the following URL to you website: http://www.prastha.com/cgi-bin/uncgi/renderphilo.pl 

This Email has been sent to you by the ISKCON temple of Washington D.C. Our contacts are:
Email: mail@iskcondc.org 
Web Address: http://www.iskcondc.org 
Postal: 10310 Oaklyn Drive, Potomac, MD 20854

CHAKRA 10 January 2002

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