Indian ‘Godman’ found guilty

I saw on the news the outbreak of defiance at the jailing of another ‘godman’ in India. Gurjeet Ram Rahim Singh was found guilty of rape. After the verdict, told to a waiting crowd of 200,000 followers, there was a riot where property was destroyed, vehicles set ablaze and the police attacked. Hundreds were injured…

Sanatana Goswami on Guru and Disciple

  Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu begins his teaching to Sanatana Goswami by explaining that the soul wanders the universe, life after life, and then in one special life, by the grace of Krishna and the guru, he begins the journey of bhakti. When Srila Rupa Goswami wrote about the sixty-four elements of bhakti, the first five…

New questions same as the old ones

  I often get asked questions by people who are looking for a guru: “What sort of teacher should I be looking for?” is shortly followed by: “And where do I begin looking for someone like that?” After they’ve thought a few moments the next question is: “What sort of things do I have to…

Becoming a Disciple: Entering the Ocean of Nectar

When Srila Rupa Goswami talked about chanting the holy name of Krishna he said that he wished he had hundreds of tongues to sing it, and thousands of ears to hear it. Not for nothing is his book named the Bhakti-Rasa-Amrita-Sindhu or the Nectar Ocean of Devotion.

There are two birds in a tree…

Thus begins the famous analogy in the Upanishads. One bird is the soul, the other the eternal witness. When the soul is ready the guru appears. I wrote a book about it. After I published The Guru & Disciple Book, many readers wrote to me with extra questions and some theological challenges.

The True Value of Wood

Once, a long time ago in India, there was a poor man who lived with his wife in a small cottage deep in a forest. Every day the man would pick up sticks from the forest floor, make them up into bundles then stack them carefully in a circle. Covering them over with earth he would burn them slowly until the wood had charred black.

The Forgetful Son

Once upon a time there was a child, a young prince, who went out with his father, the king, on horseback. Returning home through a deep forest, there was a skirmish with some local bandits and the child became separated from his father. He was taken in by some kindly pig farmers who lived in the forest and the child grew up to become a pig farmer himself.

Dangerous Kite Flying

Every year on January 14th comes the Spring Equinox. Known in India as Makara Sankranti, it is a holiday that is often accompanied by gusts of wind. One on occasion, a young prince was on the flat roof of his palace, hoping to take advantage of the strong breeze. In his hands was a brightly-coloured kite made of bamboo and paper. After a few attempts to launch it, the kite lifted into the sky, dipped a few times, then soared and twisted, edging slowly upwards.