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Knowing Truths Philosophy Religion

The Hierarchy of Yoga Systems

The Bhagavad-Gita describes various yoga systems called karma-yoga, jñāna-yoga, dhyāna-yoga, and bhakti-yoga. This post discusses the differences between the various yoga systems and how these systems are based on different causes of our experience. With this, we can also discern which system is superior to the others, to construct a hierarchy of yoga systems.

Knowing Truths Philosophy Religion

What is Vedic Science, Really?

In the introduction to the Bhagavad-Gita As It Is, Śrīla Prabhupāda writes, “The subject of the Bhagavad-gītā entails the comprehension of five basic truths. First of all the science of God is explained, and then the constitutional position of the living entities, jīvas. Prakriti (material nature) and time (the duration of the existence of the …

Knowing Truths Religion Sociology

What is Daivī Varna System?

The previous post identified two impersonalist tendencies—i.e. “we are one” and “we are equal”—and discussed their respective impacts on Indian and Western societies. The post also discussed how a personalist system based on hierarchical thinking (rather than equality or oneness) is necessary for social organization. This post carries forward that topic and identifies two kinds …

Knowing Truths Overview

The Inception of Bhaktivedānta Institute

In late 1997, H.H. Bhaktisvarūpa Dāmodara Maharaja told me that he wanted to compile Śrīla Prabhupāda’s instructions on Bhaktivedānta Institute into a book. With that intent, he and I made some recordings, where Maharaja narrated the early history of the Institute and I transcribed the tapes. Following this, I searched for quotes, letters, conversations, etc. …

Economics Knowing Truths Religion

How Culture Influences Religion

We generally think of religion as something that pertains to transcendence beyond the current material existence. The reality, however, is that the day-to-day practice of religion involves societies whose cultural norms must be compatible with the tenets of the religion. If there is a misfit between culture and religion, then most likely the religion would …