Blog Entry06 June 2015When a natural disaster strikes killing thousands of fellow humans who do we blame?
Do we blame God? If there is no such thing as God, do we just accept that earthquakes, tsunamis, wild storms and other destructive vents are merely unavoidable aspects of life? Is it nature retaliating or is it simply a case of bad luck –of being at the wrong place at the wrong time?
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Q&A Portal06 June 2015We are glad to present to you ISKCON Sandton’s ‘Up Your SQ’ Portal.
Spiritual Quotient, SQ, represents our capacity to embrace higher principles. ‘Up Your SQ’ aims to put clarity to any questions you have in Krishna consciousness or Spirituality in general. If you have ANY QUESTIONS please feel free to ask us on this portal. This way we will be able to create a group where active members can share their views and ask questions.
Click here to access the portal.
Picture Gallery27 APRIL 2015We keep sharing with you the pictures of events taking place at ISKCON Sandton.
Added is the gallery capturing His Holiness Bhakti Ashraya Vaishnava Swami's visit.Although some of us were not fortunate to be present to take personal association, but as the scriptures say - "Merely the sight of a Vaishnava purifies us."
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Blog Entry27 APRIL 2015Presented in this article is the vedic perspective to understand the unfotunate incidents such as Xenophobia.
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Seminar on God, Demigods & Incarnations27 APRIL 2015One of the finest dispositions on God, Demigods, and Incarnations delivered by His Holiness Rama Govinda Swami and captured on 5 part (20mins each) video series.
Beware ! this might just become your favorite seminar series.
Click here for the video section.
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Hare Krishna Hare Krishna,
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare,
Hare Rama Hare Rama,
Rama Rama Hare Hare.
Krishna Consciousness is a cultural presentation for the re-spiritualization of the entire human society and ISKCON Sandton will present a diversity of activities from the performing arts to seminars and workshops based on the eternal principles outlined in the Bhagavad Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam. This diverse presentation establishes openness to and appreciation of Krishna Consciousness and these two attitudes make the heart a fertile field in which the seed of devotion can take root.
How can you get involved ?
If you are wondering how can you get involved with any of the departments/ activities, you need not think more. We have done some homework on your behalf and put together 4 simple ways shown on the right.
Pick one (or more) based not only on your interest(s) but also on the kind of commitment you can give to the team.
Got some Skills?
There are many skill based activities/ services that need enthusiastic volunteers like you.
Please talk to the respective department/ activity head so that your skills can be best used in the service of the Lord.
Have an Interest?
If you feel that you would like to work in an area, please feel free to speak to the department representative and express your interest.
More than material qualifications, genuine desire to do a service is considered superior.
Can spare Time?
We understand that you might be busy in your studies or jobs, etc. But if you still feel that you can take some time out of your busy scehdle to do some devotional service, please explain your time limitations together with your desire to the department representative and you'd be surprised to know how much can you contribute.
If you feel you cannot volunteer in any of the earlier three ways still there is no reason to depair. Most of the activities require financial assistance to achieve results and we would welcome your support in terms of financial commitment (once off or monthly).
Kindly contact the temple president, HG Nanda Kumar Prabhu and register your interest.
Here you will find brief answers to some common questions about spirituality, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, our faith and our practices. For more information, also see our blog articles here.
What Is The Purpose Of Life?
The purpose of life can be found in the everyday things we do. Why do we eat? Why do breathe? Why do we want to live? Why do we have goals in life? If we add up all these, we’ll find a direction of some sort. We don’t just want to survive, but to survive well. This means trying to be happy. This sought-after happiness is the direction. But, where to?
As we try to stay happy in all respects, while eating, breathing, and living with goals, these purposes show symptoms not found in dead matter. Dead matter cannot live like us, or have purpose. There is something animating dead matter to give it purpose, like our human bodies for example. Is this source of animation different from inert matter?
If it is different and is able to use dead matter to give us happiness, then it must show the direction to perfection. Perfect happiness, perfect success, and perfect health – perfect everything. We know the quest for perfection will always be an ‘almost there’ effort. But, if we strive for it and never get it, then what is the driving force in this direction?
Do we want happiness in the company of those we love? Aren’t all of our purposes in life for this end? Perfect love, however, is always a quest. Our tendency to love is the direction to the ultimate goal. When love remains far from perfect because we try to express it through dead matter – our human bodies, all other of our purposes in life stay unfulfilled.
Our fulfilment in love can only be experienced when we see beyond dead matter and link up with the source of all matter and beyond in Bhakti-yoga. Without knowing it, we are trying to love in the absence of where all love comes from. We are moving in that direction, but are hindered by our bodies that cannot experience the love we seek, in full.
Our ultimate purpose in life then, is to love in devotion (Bhakti-yoga), but it will find perfection when we direct it towards the Supreme lovable whose names have the power to give us an eternal loving relationship. We call Him Krishna because He can fulfil all of our purposes in life. In another way, all of our life purposes are directed towards Krishna indirectly. The next question has to be, “Who are we?”
Who Am I? What Is The Soul?
Society is awash with numerous conceptions of the soul. How to know which is right? Is there a soul within us? As we should know, dead matter has no power to show signs of life except when made to, by something already alive – life comes from life. But how to detect such life? How to see the soul? Where is the proof that a soul exists?
Because the source of life is beyond human and scientific measurements, it cannot be detected with our seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting and feeling senses. Another type of detection is required, and that is to understand. We have to infer that the symptom of life is consciousness in three different phases of wakefulness, sleep, and deep sleep.
One timeless scripture we consult is Bhagavad-gita As It Is. It describes the nature of our souls from beyond human abilities to do so. Our souls are invisible, immutable, cannot be destroyed by any weapon, nor burned by fire, nor moistened by water or withered by the wind. It is minute in size and yet powerful enough to animate huge bodies like whales and trees by consciousness. Consciousness is the symptom of life, and we are small units of it.
Our souls have eternal spiritual forms that are effulgently beautiful. In our original spiritual forms we associate with the Supreme Soul who is our best friend. Somehow, we have turned our backs towards such friendship by desiring to become Gods ourselves. God is very kind to allow us to do this and gives us a place within this world of birth, death, old age and disease, in which to be selfish controllers always thinking in terms of I and Mine.
We need to transform our lives from self-happiness to serving others and the Supreme-Self (Sri Krishna). This is where our happiness lies. At present, we are trying to get the same happiness through our material bodies which is not possible. It results in increased desires that cannot be fulfilled, causing frustration, anger and other worldly problems. At this point, we have to learn about karma.
Why Do Bad Things Happen To Good People (Karma)?
Now that we souls are living within this material world like a fish out of water, trying to remain happy, we do different kinds of activities to please ourselves. These activities may earn results for us in the future. What kind of results? Is there such a thing as karma?
Many people see the problems of the world and think, “No! God cannot allow all this to happen... If God is in control, He certainly would not allow such bad things to go on... Perhaps He has lost control, or perhaps He is cruel for allowing bad things to happen...” Such thoughts manifest as different schools of thought and philosophy that confuses people. How to make sense of it all?
We have to understand that unseen laws of nature have a tight grip over us all. Action and reaction (karma) works not just in ways we perceive now, but also in subtle ways that cause us surprise and shock. People usually blame God when terrible things happen. This is incorrect – He is not to blame. Rather, we should look at what we do and what people do collectively.
Here is an immediate example: A person drinks too much alcohol. Drunkenness arises. The drunk person drives a car and injures or kills people with carelessness. From a lone bout of drinking comes an extended form of suffering and loss caused to others. Nature records these events. Such suffering and loss will become a future event replicating the same. Who is responsible for this? God, or the drunk person? We are all responsible for what happens to us, good or bad, obvious or inexplicable.
It is a tragedy of life to witness bad things happening to good people. Who knows what careless tragedies might have been caused to others in the past? It defies our conscience to see that behind a sweet, charming innocence we see today, might have had a dark past that manifests as tragedy, in the present. Again, we are responsible, not God. Both good and bad are alien for our fish out of water soul existence here. How do our souls spend time here?
Do You Believe In Life After Death (Reincarnation)?
Once we understand that our souls are eternal, meaning no birth or death, past or present, beginning or end, we will realise that souls cannot just appear and be born or finish at death. If this energy of life continues, how does it stay around in this world? Why should there be rebirth when we are generally taught that all things begin and end?
As with karma that determines our good or bad reactions by our own doing, the type of human bodies we have now are also our doing. Studies reveal that most people are not happy with the way they look or feel. Yet these bodies are imposed on us, like it or not, rich or poor, healthy or diseased, educated or uneducated.
Like a fish out of water, we continually create new future bodies simply by desiring them. God again, is so kind to allow us to try and fulfil our desires. Those desires manifest as a female body if we constantly think about them for instance. Or, we can be granted a cat body if we are fixated on them. The eternal soul has to go somewhere.
Until we reach a stage of inquiring about why these continual miseries affect us, and how to end them, we remain trapped in life coils that do not satisfy us. This is why we need to seek out the truth of our being. Who am I? What am I doing here? Why all this misery? We have to approach persons who have made these life changes and have resolved life’s problems. We need a guru.
What Is A Guru?
Our varied knowledge sources come as music gurus, financial gurus, spiritual gurus and the rest. The term guru has lost its aura of mystique and sanctity in the clutter of commercialism and fake gurus. How to know which guru is genuine? What are the symptoms to look out for? How will we know that we shall not be exploited by one?
First of all, we should take note of what a guru should not do: Claim that he is God. Claim to make his followers Gods. Charge fees for giving knowledge or mantras. Amass wealth. Set a bad example in spiritual standards. Compromise the teachings of genuine gurus. Show mystic powers or magic to impress. Claim to be the one and only way to salvation, and many more.
What should we expect in a bona-fide guru? He does not charge fees. Presents himself as a humble servant of God. Always sets a good example by personal standards. Always remains faithful to the teachings of bona-fide previous gurus. Never claims to be the one and only way to truth. Does not like to see the suffering of others, and much more.
Within our International Society for Krishna Consciousness we have numerous gurus who serve the Lord and mankind by strict adherence to spiritual standards set thousands of years ago. They keep alive an ancient yet living succession of knowledge, tradition, and culture. Such gurus can help and guide us in solving the problems of material life.
Can I Be A Christian And A Hare Krishna At The Same Time?
Yes. But why only a Christian? One can belong to any faith and be a Hare Krishna devotee. How is this so? Aren’t the Hare Krishna’s exclusive in their beliefs like others? The unique feature of Bhakti-yoga or serving God with love and devotion is that it is beyond material strongholds of ethnic identity, bodily colour, nationality, religion, language and all other barriers to peaceful coexistence.
God is one, and only one. Because God has no limits, whatever comes forth from God like God’s names, are also without limit. God is an understanding Being who can hear our prayers and thoughts in any language. Because God is above all material identities, God’s names can be said, from any true faith and religion, because they all address the same one Supreme Being.
We may call Him Sri Krishna, but one can also call God by names like Jehovah, Yahweh, Allah, Buddha, and so forth. Love and devotion for God (Bhakti-toga) is universal. As such, worship can be conducted from any place and at any time, especially when we chant God’s names like a helpless child crying for its mother.
Who’s That Girl With Krishna?
We might have seen images of different forms connected with the Hindu faith. Some of these appear odd and strange at first glance. Among them, a common image is of a young man holding a flute accompanied by a young lady standing to His left, or our right. They are Radha and Krishna.
Because God has no limits, He can be both male and female. If God can be a burning bush, a dove, or any other form, why not male and female? In the land where there is no birth or death or any kind of suffering, the place where our souls belong eternally, God lives there with His devotees as family members and friends.
Sri Radha is a name indicating a worshipper of Krishna. She is the Supreme worshiper who can confer upon us blessings in devotion unto Lord Krishna. She is a primeval internal energy, one and the same as Sri Krishna. Through Radha’s mercy, we can get the mercy of Krishna, just like one can get an audience with a hard-to-see Head-of-state if we know his wife.
Why Chant Hare Krishna?
Hare Krishna devotees are famous for their melodious singing of Hare Krishna. Hare refers to Radha and Krishna is Krishna. Rama is Krishna who is always happy. By singing Radha and Krishna’s names, all spiritual and material power is invested in them. These names can deliver us from the cycle of birth, death, old age and disease. The Hare Krishna mantra cleanses our hearts and minds.
Since this mantra is identical with Radha and Krishna, those names allow us to serve them through sound. In this age beset with problems, this sound can relate with us and guide us as a guru, father, mother, friend, and shelter. It is our home away from home (The spiritual world).
God has primary names and secondary names. Secondary names refer to God as a controller, maintainer, destroyer, and so forth. Such names are not as intimate and personal as His primary names. When we sing Hare Krishna we are engaging in service on a personal, primary level, in love. Depending on our level of devotion, to that extent the holy names reciprocate with us.
The Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rame, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare chant of deliverance will grant us the happiness we have been seeking since turning our backs on Krishna and falling into this world as imitation Gods. Once we realise that we are eternal loving servants of Radha and Krishna, our happiness will know no bounds.
Monday–Sunday, 9 AM–5 PM Govinda's Restaurant
Monday–Friday, 9 AM–5 PM,
Sunday, 10 AM-2 PM
11, 11th Avenue,
Rivonia, Sandton Email
email@example.com (for Restaurant queries/ bookings)
We are a bunch of very friendly and warm hearted people. Feel free to contact us !ISKCON Sandton
There is no key to open the heart of another - except curiosity.Anonymous Author
What is making contact? It is hard to define, but people do know when they have or have not made contact… Sometimes it seems that humans have lost the art.Roberta M. Gilbert Writer
Johannesburg in South Africa is the second largest city in Africa, with more than 3 million people calling this bustling metropolis home. Joburg, or Jozi as some prefer to call it, offers visitors an experience as unique and diverse as the city itself.
Nestled in a park-like garden and shaded by many trees is ISKCON Sandton on 11, 11th Avenue, Rivonia. The thatched roofs, wooden and stone buildings create a rustic country ambience that lends itself to the pursuance of spirituality, creating a mood of peace and tranquillity.
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