Traditional Life in India

Mantras and Yantras from Bygone Ages

Mesmerized by the old houses of the brahmans we visited outside of Udupi the other day, we returned to learn more. In one home we were fascinated to find Vedic mantras, in the form of colorful yantras, painted on walls throughout the house. The beautiful designs, with their ancient inscriptions, brought prosperity, protection and blessings [...]

Old India

Yesterday we visited several ancient temples near Udupi. We also took the opportunity to visit centuries old houses of Brahmans who serve in such temples. We were amazed by many of the artifacts and paintings we saw in those homes.

Simple Living, High Thinking

Govardhan Eco Village, situated in the Sahyadri mountains near Mumbai, is a model ISKCON farming community and retreat center. Yesterday my festival team and I took a break from our preaching and visited the community. We were treated to a 4-hour tour of the 75 acres, which include a beautiful temple, a gurukula, a center [...]

Never Terrified!

Mysore, in the state of Karnataka, is often referred to as the, “City of Palaces.” Most prominent is the Mysore Palace, built by the royalty of the Wodeyar dynasty in 1897. It attracts over 3 million visitors a year. True to spirit of the dynasty which traces it’s ancestry back to the 14th century, the [...]

A Look Into Ancient Times

Present day Humpi in Karnataka, India is located in the vast ruins of the Vijayanagara Empire, which flourished in the 13th and 14th centuries. The many stone temples, gardens, palaces and ancient market places are protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Of particular importance to Krsna and Rama bhaktas is the fact that Hanuman [...]

Hari Hara in Karnataka

During our 8-hour drive from Udupi to Hampi we passed through the town of Hari Hara and took darshan of the combined form of Visnu and Siva in the Hariharaesvara Temple. The left side of the deity is Visnu and the right side is Lord Siva. The temple was built in 1224 AD by Polalva, [...]

Downtown Vrindavan

Usually when someone mentions the downtown area of a city it conjures up images of big buildings, traffic jams, bars and discos. But downtown Vrindavan is a different story. The center of Vrindavan is full of ancient temples, deities, sadhus, stores selling devotional paraphernalia and cows and monkeys meandering through the streets. The other day [...]

Simple Living And High Thinking

This morning in our travels we came across an ashram of 6 sadhus living a simple life in the jungle. The ashram was near a small pond, where the sadhus get their water. They have a vegetable garden full of vegetables and a goshala with 10 cows and a bull. They worship Jagannatha Deities with [...]

Three more days..

Three more days left in Bhutan. Bhutan is a country with a mosaic of cultures, lifestyles, languages and spiritual traditions. Unlike many countries, spiritual values, traditional arts, age-old ceremonies, festivals and social conduct are not remnants of a bygone age. I have learned a lot here and hope to use the knowledge in service to [...]

The Glory of India

“Such is the magnificent land we call Hindoostan which, lying under a gentle serene sky, warmed all the year by the beneficent rays of the sun, enjoys days almost without interruption. Such is Hindoostan, of all regions of the globe the most fitted to unite all the advantages of nature and of civilization.” [ Collin [...]