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BloggingOn 8.1 – My Offering To This Week’s Discussion

Vaishnavism (the worship of Vishnu or Krishna) is also known as bhakti-yoga, the path of devotion. It is a several thousand-year-old spiritual tradition originating in India that has been known in the west as the Hare Krishna movement for the last 30 or 40 years. ISKCON (the International Society for Krishna Consciousness) connects practitioners of bhakti-yoga from all over the world. ISKCON devotees have been historically accepting of new technology as a means to connect with one another and to spread the philosophy of Krishna consciousness.

Here’s a long list of blogs (and blog-type-things) related to ISKCON and Vaishnavism/bhakti-yoga:

This is probably a good place to start. Basically just cut-and-paste excerpts from the books and/or lectures of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, founder of the Hare Krishna movement.

Though not blogs, for more background on Krishna consciousness, go here or here. Here’s a glossary, too.

This is the blog section of a website devoted to Vaishnava news items. This is a long list of Krishna conscious blogs of various stripes.

Click here or here or here for blogs by practicing devotees. These are closer to “proto-blogs” but contain varied content: sometimes personal, sometimes devotional, sometime culinary.

This is perhaps, as we would say in ISKCON, a little more fanatical, but if you’re looking for a little more controversy, there are a lot of cultural issues explored therein.

So, that’s a sampling. Now for some more unique uses…

Gurus in ISKCON frequently use email and the internet to communicate with their disciples (who may see their gurus infrequently). Indradyumna Swami’s “Diary of a Traveling Preacher” is read widely. Something like a series of transcendental adventure stories, this is probably not technically a blog. What about this one? Dhanurdhara Swami communicates to disciples through this thing that looks a lot like a blog. This time of year he posts more often. His Kartik diary from Vrindavana is also widely read. (For bonus points, find the entry where I make a cameo appearance… around this time last year).

The etiquette of the guru/disciple relationship makes the whole comment thing somewhat problematic. Most people communicate with Dhanurdhara Swami by email. These emails show up in his journal from time to time.

Online communities and message boards are one of many ways that devotees connect with one another. “Association” is one of the most important aspects of devotional life. I’m not convinced that livejournal communities can be considered quality association, but devotees are often isolated from larger communities. The web helps to alleviate that problem a bit.

Click here and here for general devotee communities. Devotees discuss the Bhagavad-Gita and other scriptures (as well as the lectures of various saints and gurus) here and here. Living anywhere other than India and observing the Vaishnava diet can be difficult sometimes. Devotees share recipes here.

While on the topic of communities and newsgroups, check out the bloggish Cakra and Dipika.

Having “darshan” of deities (the act of seeing, and being seen by, the deities in the temple) is a very important part of the practice of Krishna consciousness. Not blogs exactly, but sites like these two allow devotees to have regular darshan of deities (whether they’re nearby or not).

In the past couple years, blogs have enabled the worldwide community of ISKCON to share two very significant events in our recent development.

The entire process of the installation of the Panca Tattva deities in Sri Dham Mayapur was blogged on the mayapur.info website, with lots of pictures. Unfortunately, their archives are a little hard to sort through, but this page gives a taste of the live updating they were doing. Devotees all over the world could connect to daily updates and feel like they were taking part.

More recently, the passing of one of ISKCON’s most beloved leaders, Bhakti-Tirtha Swami, was blogged for the benefit of disciples and well-wishers. Bhakti-Tirtha Swami had been battling cancer for several months, and his final weeks are chronicled in words and pictures here and here.

3 Responses to “”

  1. Blogger Brett 

    All hail the linking one, for the links shall inherit the earth.

  2. Blogger coturnix 

    Link, link, link your blog, looks so very neat.
    Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, just before we eat!

    Actually, a very nice and interesting round-up of blogs and site I had no idea existed!

  3. Blogger ericdbernasek 

    a few additions... (these are mostly by ISKCON gurus, and are more bloggy than those previously mentioned):

    Devamrita Swami (currently has a nice post on the difference between material and spiritual love)

    Kavicandra Swami looks like sort of a days-events blogger

    Prahladananda Swami hasn't updated in a while

    Kurma is a world-remowned vegetarian chef. He seems to be on a reincarnation and western literature kick lately

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