Sunday, March 1, 2015 - 13:13

Welcome to the ninth edition of Gaudiya Touchstone commemorating Gaura Purnima, the advent of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.

This issue begins with an article on the Srimad Bhagavatam by Bhaktivinoda Thakura entitled The Bhagavat, based upon a public lecture he gave in Dinajpur in 1869.

Sri Gaura Ki Vastu? (Who is Sri Gaura?) written by Saraswati Thakura for the Bengali magazine Sajjana Toshani in 1918 has been translated for the first time into English and explains the true position of Sri Chaitanya as opposed to the imaginary Mahaprabhu concocted by the Mayavadis.

Another Bengali work that has been translated for the first time into English is Sri Kusumanjali by Sridhara Maharaja, which glorifies the personality of his spiritual master, Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura.

Lord Sri Caitanya and His Teachings is an article from an early Back To Godhead magazine by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, which concisely explains the precepts of Mahaprabhu.

What is a Deity and what is a lifeless statue? This question and many more are answered in the article, Self-manifest Deities 

In This Sankirtana Movement is the Lila of Mahaprabhu, the magnanimous position of the Lord and His devotees is explained as well as the importance of participating in the sankirtana movement.

Our cover story about Dhamesvara gives the background to the oldest Deity of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu which was originally worshipped by His consort Vishnupriya Devi and tells us why, at one point in history, the devotees had to hide the Deity.

Swami Giri explains in detail the five members of the Panca-Tattva in The Tattva of Panca-Tattva, and in our regular feature,Temples of Karnataka, Rasikananda takes us to the temple of Thondanur and tells us the history of the Deities there.

How can we perform our devotional service with the proper mentality? Dhira Lalita's article Seva, gives us some hints how to improve our service to Guru and Krishna.

We also have three very interesting science articles beginning with Consciousness and Quantum Mechanics by Swami Vishnu, followed by Bosun or bust? Higgs and His Godless Particle by Professor Rajaram and Is There a God or Is There Nothingness? by Dr. Robert Lanza.

We also have our sagacious Words of Wisdom section as well as Culinary Magic where Gaura Gopala teaches us how to make a delicious quiche.

That's it for Issue 9. Happy reading and have a happy and auspicious Gaura Purnima festival!


Swami Narasingha

Sunday, August 10, 2014 - 06:22

Welcome to Issue 8 of Gaudiya Touchstone. This issue is devoted to Krishna Janmastami, the appearance of Lord Sri Krishna, which falls on August 18th this year.

Our first article, Who is Krishna? is a lecture by Srila Prabhupada explaining the position of Lord Krishna according to the Vedic literatures. Ma Muncha Pancha Dashakam is a Sanskrit prayer of fifteen verses composed by Swami B.R.Sridhara Maharaja begging for the Lord's mercy. Swami B.P. Puri Maharaja explains the esoteric origins of Devaki's first six sons in The Secret of the Destruction of Devaki's Six Unborn Sons. We continue with part 2 of Saraswati Thakura's discourse in Sri Sri Saraswati Samlapa. Bhaktivinoda Thakura's Bengali poem Vrindavana tells us something of the nature of the spiritual world and how the living beings attains it. This issue's excerpt from Bhagavad-gita deals with the eternality of Krishna's abode and the origin of the individual atma. Sri Krishna Janmastami is a lecture given in Govindaji Gardens in 2011 wherein a synopsis of Krishna's appearance is given. This is followed by a photo spread of pictures from last year's Janmastami festival in Govindaji Gardens. Swami Vishnu explains the step by step process of devotional service in Devotional Principles. The article, Real Religion is Not Man-Made explores the philosophy of religion and contrasts Vaishnavism with the Abrahamic religions of the west. Gaura Gopala gives a similar in-depth look into the various philosophical differences in religious thought in Vaishnavism and Religious Equality. Rasikananda takes us to the ancient temple of Bhu-Varaha in Temples of Karnataka and Swami Giri uncovers the truth behind The Myth of the Aryan Invasion. Dr. N.S. Rajaram goes on The Search for the Historical Krishna. On the scientific front, Dr. Robert Lanza asks Does the Soul Exist? and in our Culinary Magic section, Anuradha teaches us how to make maple and fig ice-cream.

Our next issue of Gaudiya Touchstone will be released on March 1st 2015. In the meantime, we wish all our readers a happy and auspicious Janmastami celebration.


Swami Narasingha

Friday, February 28, 2014 - 17:10

Welcome to the seventh issue of Gaudiya Touchstone. This issue commemorates the advent of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, which falls this year on March 16th 2014, so in this edition we have many articles glorifying Mahaprabhu and the sankirtana movement.

We have two unique articles translated for the first time in English – Dharma and the Modern World by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, and Agun Jalbe by Swami B.R. Sridhara Maharaja. We also have Gaura-Gopala Prashasti, a Bengali composition by Swami B.P. Puri Maharaja glorifying the pastimes of Lord Chaitanya and Lord Krishna.

Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura explains to us what is the true nature of the worship of Mahaprabhu in Saraswati Samlapa, an article originally published in The Gaudiya magazine in 1929.

Our excerpt from Bhagavad-gita, Jnana-Vijnana Yoga deals particularly with the elusive Dark Matter that modern science is currently searching for, and Rasaraja-Mahabhava explains the ontological meaning of the title ‘Mahaprabhu’.

Our cover story is Mayapur and the Adbhuta-Mandir – a controversial topic that details with the history of the whereabouts of Mahaprabhu’s birthplace and the prediction of the construction of an adbhuta-mandir (wonderful temple). This is followed by another article, The Adbhuta Mandir that goes into more detail about this topic.

In Himalayan Pilgrimage Part 2, Swami Giri and Gaura Gopala conclude their journey to the sacred temples of the Himalayas, which ends in the tragic floods that killed thousands of people a week later. The article is followed by a photo spread of stunning pictures of the Garhwal region.

Temples of Karnataka by Rasikananda focuses on the 12th Century Lakshmi-Narayana Temple in Hosaholalu, and Swami Vishnu gives an overview of the achievements of Ancient India and explains the true history of India in From Mythology to History.

Robert Lanza asks the poignant question, What is it Like After You Die? – an article that postulates that death ultimately doesn’t exist. We then raise the question in the next article, Who is Robert Lanza? and give a brief biography of this famous scientist who has coined the phrase and concept of ‘biocentrism.’

In Traces of Vaishnavism in Early Art, artist Dominique Amendola takes us through Indian history and around the Subcontinent tracing the very beginnings of Vaishnava iconography and art.

This issue’s Words of Wisdom is taken from the famous epic, The Mahabharata, and stresses the importance of virtue.

Apart from designing Gaudiya Touchstone, our designer, Rasikananda, is also an accomplished cook. He tells us the secret how to make one of the tastiest sweets in India, the Manohar laddu.

So there you have it for Issue 7. Have a happy and auspicious Gaura Purnima festival!


Swami Narasingha

Thursday, October 31, 2013 - 22:03

Gaudiya Touchstone is now on a new release schedule — Nov. 1st (Karttika issue), March 1st (Gaura Purnima issue) and July 1st (Janmastami issue). We think that this schedule will work well for timely articles corresponding to that general time of year. For this Karttika issue we have an informative article called ‘History of the Radha-Damodara Mandira’ suggesting the proper mental state necessary to enter Vrindavana in the foot steps of the Six Goswamis.

Our cover story is part one of the Himalayan Pilgrimage by H.H. Giri Maharaja and Gaura Gopala Dasa Brahmachari. Setting out from Haridwar and Rishikesh to visit the Char-dham (the source of the Yamuna River at Yamunotri, the source of the Ganges at the Gaumukh Glacier, then Kedarnath and then Badarinath], our intrepid pilgrims take us on an arduous journey to the most sacred holy places in the Himalayas. Enduring difficult travel, encountering the masses of humanity along the mountain trails and in the end, narrowly escaping the worst natural disaster to hit the Himalayan area around Kedarnath in modern history. The photos to accompany this article and the ‘Garhwal - The Indian Himalayas’ are absolutely amazing.

In ancient times, India was a thriving spiritual culture during which many beautiful temples were constructed around the country and especially in South India. In two articles ‘Temples of Karnataka’ by Rasikananda and ‘Hoysala Architecture’ by Dominique Amendola, we take a look at just how wonderful that period was in South India. Dr. N.S. Rajaram dispels the myth of ‘St. Thomas in India’ via his well researched and scholarly article. From the archives Bhaktivinoda Thakura glorifies the sacred Ganges in ‘Topics in Praise of Sri Ganga’. From the 1935 Gaudiya magazine, we step back in time to observe ‘Sri Srila Prabhupada in Radha-kunda’.

There are numerous other articles in this issue for those with a philosophical bent of mind, last of which is an article by world renowned scientist Robert Lanza M.D. questioning if death actually exists. This, and other writings of Lanza, turns modern scientific understanding of life and the universe upside down and backwards. A must read.

Lots of good material ahead so start reading. When you get to the end of the magazine follow the recipe for the Veggie Burger by Lakshman – its a delicious mouthful.

Swami Narasingha

Thursday, May 2, 2013 - 15:55

This issue of the Gaudiya Touchstone’s cover story is Kumbha- Mela, the world’s largest act of faith. During January/February of this year news media across India and around the world turned their attention to the confluence of the Ganges, Yamuna and mystical Saraswati rivers at Allahabad, the stage of the Kumbha- Mela. An estimated 100 million devout pilgrims and onlookers attended Kumbha-Mela. Our staff writers and photographers were there and now bring you Kumbha-Mela, in full color.
Published here for the first time is an article from 1930 reporting on Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura’s visit to Prayaga, a translation from the original Bengali.
Transcribed from a lecture given at Kumbha-Mela in 1977 our acharya, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada describes Who is a Mahatma’ and lays bare the fact that only those who know Krishna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead are true mahatmas.
Sea monsters from Earth’s ancient past are talked about in the article Makara-Myth or Fact and in Has Science Failed Us, Swami Vishnu points to some interesting facts and raises some interesting questions for the scientifically minded.
Dominique Amendola has written an excellent article informing us of the history and uniqueness of Hoysala Architecture. While Priyanana continues to look out for our health and well being in her well researched article Fluoride in Water, something that every sober individual should be aware of.
And to top it off Priyanana shares some of her most delicious desert recipes in Culinary Magic. If you have a sweet tooth, then try these recipes, both healthy and satisfying
This issue of the Gaudiya Touchstone has something for everyone.
OM TAT SAT Swami Narasingha

Sunday, December 30, 2012 - 20:39

Welcome to the first issue of Gaudiya Touchstone for 2013 - now in our second year of publication. This issue has articles on a wide range of topics; Free Will of the jiva soul as the root cause of material bondage by Swami B.R. Sridhara, the third and final part of Guru-tattva and the Secret of Diksha by Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati and the secret identity of Sukadeva Goswami revealed in Sriya Suka.

In The Opulence of Bhagavan, Swami B.V. Giri reports on the great treasure of gold, silver and jewels recently found in the South Indian Hindu Temple of Sri Padmanabha, making Padmanabha the most opulent place of monotheistic worship in the world.

In the article Timingila – Myth or Reality we learn that there were indeed monsters in the ancient seas as well as descriptions of such in Vedic literature.

Our cover story, Mystical Melukote by Swami Giri, takes us on a journey to an amazing place in South India steeped in history and culture, and photographer Nila Newsom reveals Melukote to us through his lens.

Sanskrit, the language of sages in ancient India, is still alive and well today. In Sanskrit the Language of Enlightenment by Vyaas Houston and Knowledge Representation in Sanskrit and Artificial Intelligence by Rick Briggs from NASA, we learn how effective and useful the ancient language of Sanskrit is, even in our modern scientific world.

In King Poru’s defeat of Alexander at the Battle of the Hydaspes, Prof. N.S. Rajaram turns our attention to Alexander the Great’s so-called ‘victory’ over King Puru of India and tells the true story of what happened at the battle of Hydaspes.
2012 – the End of the World (Again) allows us to breath a sigh of relief knowing that we have all survived what some people thought was the to be the end of the world on December 21st, 2012. End of the world doomsayers, it seems, have been around for a very long time and we will probably see more of them in the future.

Dr. Mary’s Monkey traces the current cancer epidemic in western countries back to the 1950s when health authorities in the United States of America knowingly released a cancer contaminated polio vaccine, infecting millions of unsuspecting people worldwide with cancer.

To further our understanding about what makes a healthy diet, the article Love that Corn! tells us what we need to know, especially if we are corn lovers.

Also in this issue, Dominque Amendola gives us a feast for the eyes as she shares with us the art and life of Ravi Varma and in Culinary Magic, Ratna Chintamani shares some of her original recipes for a typical South Indian lunch.

Read on.


Swami Narasingha

Friday, August 31, 2012 - 19:58

This third issue of Gaudiya Touchstone completes our first year of publication and we are happy to announce that our reader reception has been exceptional and we are anticipating even more success in the coming year.

The cover story of this issue explores the possible reality of the UFO phenomena and it is followed up by two short articles by prominent scientist Robert Lanza — Where are all the Aliens and Why do you Exist?

From the archives and words from our Guardians, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada dismisses the importance of varnashrama, Sarasvati Thakura explains Sri Guru-tattva and Bhaktivinoda Thakura writes about A Dispute About Sri Sri Mahaprabhu — all excellent articles filled with spiritual knowledge and revelation.

In mathematics, Swami Vishnu completes part two of The History of Numbers.In The Colour of Renunciation, Swami Giri takes us on a journey in antiquity and uncovers the real colour of clothing for those in the renounced order of life, sannyasa. In Star of David or Star of Goloka we learn that the symbol of Judaism (the Star of David) used by Jews for centuries is a much older Vedic symbol and has been used in India by Hindus, Buddhists and Vaishnavas for several millennia.

The photo spread by Nila Newsom highlights the colours for which India is so famous and brings us there thru his amazing images. Dominique Amendola gives a beautiful description and history of Krishna in Tangore Art. And keeping us ever aware of the dangers to our health, Priyanana uncovers The Dangers of Aspartame — let the healthy-minded be advised.

We hope our readers will relish this issue of Gaudiya Touchstone and continue to give us their support during the upcoming year.

Swami Narasingha

Wednesday, April 25, 2012 - 18:04

Welcome to the Gaudiya Touchstone. In this
issue we have an interesting selection of articles
on traditional philosophical topics such as Sri
Guru Tattva, The Heart of Krishna, Buddhism and
Mayavada and more, as well as updates as scientists
progress in their understanding of consciousness
and discover in True Nature by Dr. B.M. Bhaumik
the true nature of reality.
The History of Numbers by Swami Vishnu tells us
how contributions in Mathematics from India in
ancient times make the world what it is today, and for the arts enthusiasts
we have the story of the development of Rajasthani Art by Dhira-lalita
chronicling royal patronage of art in Rajasthan.
Our cover story takes us on a journey through time to discover a remarkable
region in the Himalayas and how India got her name from the Sindhu River.
This article is also augmented by an amazing photo spread of Ladakh by staff
photographer Rammohan Paranjape.
We have packed a lot into this issue for our readers to digest in one sitting.
And speaking of digesting we almost forgot to mention Got Raw Milk? If not
then you certainly will after reading Priyanana’s informative health article,
Got Raw Milk? And in Culinary Magic the Carr twins Bhakta-priya and
Vraja Kishor share with us some of their secrets from the Vermont Kitchen.
Lots of good things to digest in this issue of Gaudiya Touchstone — spiritually,
intellectually and physically. So please read on.
Swami Narasingha
Sri Guru

Saturday, October 1, 2011 - 22:36

Welcome to the world of the electronic magazine and the Premiere Issue of Gaudiya Touchstone. To bring the knowledge of Krishna consciousness to the world with the least environmental impact as possible is our goal. Since the invention of the printing press a flood of books and magazines have inundated the world, contributing to the destruction of forests everywhere, but for the rarest exceptions, with very little spiritual benefit to Earth's residents. The Gaudiya Touchstone electronic magazine is now available to you quarterly, bringing you interesting and spiritually inspiring articles from an age old tradition of Krishna consciousness, but in a new dress.

In our Premiere Issue there are ten articles, the cover story being Muddy Universe wherein consciousness as the cause of the universe is discussed from a scientific point of view by leading scientist Robert Lanza.  Other articles of interest from our archives are those by Sarasvati Thakura, Swami B.R. Sridhar and A.C. Bhaktivedanta Svami Prabhupada.

In this issue and future issues of Gaudiya Touchstone you will be pleased to find articles on Vaishnava philosophy, science, archaeology, biographies, interviews, history, culture, art, music, tidbits of practical wisdom, photography, culinary magic and more. All this promises to make the Gaudiya Touchstone an interesting and inspiring read.

The editors of Gaudiya Touchstone will try to bring you something of interest and profound spiritual benefit with every issue and we invite you journey with us in this new adventure. Literary contributions are also invited from those who harmonize with the objectives of the Gaudiya Touchstone and who would like to see this publication flourish.

Swami Narasingha