All posts by Vamandeva Das

Shri Shri Jagannatha Rathayatra 2016

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When the multi-colored mammoth chariot of Their Lordships Jagannath, Baladev and Subhadra will roll through the roads of Pune, its sheer majesty and beauty will at once stun and charm the hearts of the deluge of Puneites gathered to witness the grandeur plus extravaganza of Lord’s sweet and historic stroll. For the first time, after the stupendous installation ceremony way back in Feb 2013, the all merciful Lordships will set out in a castle like chariot to bestow their sidelong glances on on-lookers to inundate their lives with divine love and joy. We heartily invite you all to become a participant in this memorable journey and thus be blessed with an opportunity to pull the ropes of Lord’s Rath.

Lord Jagannath, Lord Baladeva and Subhdra Devi will be enthroned on the magnificent chariot reverentially. Rath Yatra would be inaugurated by performing Maha Arati and by sweeping the road with gold plated broom. With loud chants of Jay Jagannath, the huge ropes which are tied to the chariots will be pulled. The chariot would then roll through the streets wherein Thousands of people would be waiting en route to welcome the Lord and pull the rope; many witnessing the mega procession from their roof tops. Throughout the journey, the melodious kirtan of Hare Krishna Mahamantra accompanied with mrindanga and kartal (cymbals) will keep everyone enthused. People will chant, sing and dance together for the pleasure of Lord Jagannath. Prasadam will be freely distributed in large quantities. It is one of the biggest display of universal brotherhood under the banner of Lord Jagannath.

SRI SRI RADHA VRINDAVANCHANDRA TEMPLE OPENING’S 3rd Anniversary

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ISKCON New Vedic Cultural Centre will be celebrating the 3rd anniversary festival of Sri Sri Radha Vrindavanchandra temple opening on forthcoming 23rd February. The festivities will start the day before with Adhivas (Preparing for the festival) ceremony. We heartily welcome anyone and everyone to be a part of joyous celebration and feast upon the rare fortune of witnessing the purifying Yagya, melodious Kirtans, enlightening Discourse and most certainly, sumptuous prasadam.

 

 

 

Gaura Purnima Mahamahotsav

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Lord Chaitanya, the golden avatara, is none other than the Supreme Lord Krishna, who appeared on the full moon evening in the month of Phalguna. He inaugrated the yuga dharma for this age – Hari-Nama Sankirtana, the congregational chanting of the Holy Names of the God. His apperance day is celebrated all over the universe as Gaur Purnima Mahamahotsava, the day when Shyamsundar (Lord Krishna) appeared as Gaursundar (Lord Chaitanya).

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Srila Vrindavan Das Thakur writes in his Chaitanya-Bhagavata “These two days (Nityanada Trayodasi & Phalgun Purnima) are most auspicious because all favorable planetary conjunctions are present on these days. Therefore whoever observes these two days attains devotion to Lord Krishna and freedom from the bondage to ignorance. (CB, Adi-khanda, 3.45-47).

In his Chaitanya Chandramrita, Srila Prabodhananda Saraswati glorifies the advent of Lord Chaitanya in following words – “The advent of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is like an expanding ocean of nectar. One who does not collect the valuable jewels within that ocean is certainly the poorest of the poor.” He further describes the beautiful form of Lord – “O Lord Chaitanya chandra, Your form is full of blissful pastimes, Your beautiful complexion is as splendid as gold, and You give the nectar of pure love for Krishna in charity. O Lord, again and again I offer my respectful obeisances unto You.”

We are celebrating this holiest of all holy ocassions on 5th Mar and would like to extend a warm invitation to one and all to be a part of grand festivities filled with fasting, abhishek, kirtan, katha & feasting. The schedule of events is enlisted below:

March 4th, 2015 (Wednesday) Adhivas Ceremony @ 7:30PM at NVCC – Kirtans by HH Lokanath Swami Maharaj

March 5th, 2015 (Thursday) Gaur Poornima festival.

Morning – Gaur Katha at 8:30 AM by HH Loknath Swami Maharaj at NVCC. Evening – Abhishek @ 6:30PM; Lecture @ 7:30 PM & Prasadam @ 8:30PM in both temples

SRI SRIMAD JAGANNATHA DAS BABAJI MAHARAJA’S DISAPPEARANCE DAY

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Om Visnupada Sri Srimad Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja appeared in this world sometime around 1750 A.D. in a remote village in the subdivision of Tangail, in the district of Mayaman Singh, in what is now known as Bangladesh. He belonged to a very aristocratic family. The Gaudiya Vedantacarya Srila Baladeva Vidyabhushana’s initiated disciple was Uddhava dasa Babaji, and his initiated disciple was Madhusudana dasa Babaji, and Jagannätha dasa Babaji accepted Babaji initiation from Madhusudana dasa Babaji Maharaja. According to the Gaudiya-vaisnava-jivana, the diksa-guru of Jagannatha dasa Babaji was Jagadananda Gosvami of Sringarvat, Vrindavana, whose vesha-guru was Krishna dasa Babaji of Govardhana fame.

Jagannatha dasa Babaji’s life and soul was the chanting of the Holy Name and rendering service to Vaisnavas. Although he was almost bent double in his old age, still, during the time of kértana, his body would expand to well over six feet, and his appearance would replicate the dancing figure of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. His favorite disciple was Bhagavat dasa Babaji, who had accepted Babaji initiation from him. Gaura- kisora dasa Babaji took Babaji initiation from Srila Bhagavat dasa Babaji Maharaja.

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Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji’s personal servant and disciple, Sri Bihari dasa, was very stout and powerful. Due to Babaji Maharaja’s advanced age he could apparently not walk. Sri Bihari used to carry him everywhere on his shoulder in a bamboo basket. He used to strictly and regularly follow the vows of Caturmasya (the four-month-long rainy season). In the first month he would take only four bananas each day in the evening. In the second month he would only take guavas. In the third month he drank some buttermilk. And in the fourth month, he consumed only the flowers of the banana tree. He once went to Rishikesh to purify his chanting, which involved the performance of the purificatory practice called purascarana. This penance had to be performed with extreme rigidity. He used to bathe at three o’clock in the morning and chant inside a closed room until sunset without speaking or eating. In order to complete the vow properly one is expected to take bath after each call of nature and even after passing air. Once, after observing this regimen for two months, he inadvertently spoke to Bihari däasa. He began the entire process again and completed his vow in three months’ time.

Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji used to stay six months in Vraja and six months in Navadvépa-Dhdma. According to Gaudiya-vaisnava-jivana, at the advanced age of 146, when he was set to travel to Navadvipa from Radha-kunda, many Brijbasis and other Vaisnavas went to him to inquire why he was leaving Vraja-Dhama at such an advanced age. In a very humble and transcendentally depressed mood he replied, “You can all stay here in Vraja-Dhama because you are all pure Vaisnavas. I am very offensive, and therefore it is better for me to stay at Navadvipa. Their Lordships Sri Sri Gaura-Nitai do not count one’s offenses, as They have appeared to liberate all offenders. But here in Vraja-Dhama offenses are counted and reactions thereto are strictly enforced.” This was his last journey to Navadvipa-Dhama. A few months after his arrival, on the first day of the new moon in the month of Phalguna, a fortnight before the anniversary of Lord Caitanya’s appearance, he entered the Lord’s eternal pastimes.

SRI RASIKANANDA THAKUR’S DISAPPEARANCE DAY

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RASIKA MURARI PATNAIK, also known as Rasikananda Prabhu, appeared in 1590 on the first day of the bright fortnight of the month of Karttika, fifty-six years after Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu had ended His earthly pastimes. Rasikananda was born into a powerful zamindar (landowner) family in Royni, on the Suvarnarekha River in what is now the Medinipur district of southwest Bengal. His father was Sri Acyuta Thakur, the king of Rohini. His mother’s name was Bhavani. As he grew up, shining qualities appeared by degrees in his person causing the further exaltation of his family, just as the waxing moon gradually expands its influence in the night sky and causes the sea to rise. At a very young age he became quite proficient in all of the scriptures.

One day, Murari was sitting in a lonely place, wondering when and where he might become so fortunate as to get shelter at the lotus feet of a guru. Just then a voice from the sky addressed him, “Don’t be in anxiety. You will become the disciple of Sri Syamananda.” Having heard this proclamation, Rasika Murari became very jubilant, and began to repeatedly murmur the name Syamananda, as though chanting japa. From moment to moment his eagerness increased without diminution, as tears flowed from his eyes by his chanting of the name of Syamananda. He was in such a state that he spent most of the night sleeplessly, calling to his master Syamananda. Finally, towards the early morning, he drifted off to the land of dreams, where he saw his spiritual master, the very figure of charm and grace. Smilingly, Syamananda informed him, “When tomorrow the eastern sky becomes tinged with pink, you will obtain me.” Then he disappeared.

The meeting of Syamananda and the youthful Rasika is retold in Gopijanavallabha’s Rasika Mangala, a standard 17th century text about the life of Rasikananda. Basically, Syamananda and Rasikananda saw each other and recognized a connection that transcended time itself. Rasika ran up to his future guru and fell flat at his feet, saying, “You are my eternal savior, and Krishna has finally sent you to redeem me.” Syamananda Prabhu smiled with great pleasure. “I have found the future of Vaisnavism!”

RasikanandaPr2Rasikananda, like his guru, was a married man, and so his wife, Iccha Devi, also took initiation from Syamananda Prabhu, receiving the name Syama Dasi.* Syamananda told them to always chant the maha-mantra: Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. Soon after Syama Dasi’s initiation, the couple left Royni for nearby Kashipur, a popular city with a large influx of wealthy people. Sometime later, Syamananda visited his two disciples in Kashipur and brought a beautiful Deity of Krishna for them: Gopijanavallabha. Seeing how much his disciples loved their newly installed Deity, Syamananda renamed the city Gopiballabhpur (“Gopivallabha’s town”) and blessed all of the townspeople to develop the same love for the Deity that Rasikananda and his wife had. He asked Rasikananda to spread Krishna consciousness vigorously and made Syama Dasi the head priest of the temple.

RasikanandaPr5According to historian Ramakanta Chakravarti, “Rasikmurari was perhaps more successful in converting people into Vaisnavism than any other Vaisnava leader of his time.” His enthusiasm was so pronounced that by the time of his passing away, the region of Medinipur had developed a distinct sect of Vaisnavas in the mood of Syamananda, his guru. These “Syamanandi vaisnavas,” as they came to be called, developed their own style of dress, cooking, tilaka markings, and temple construction. Rasikananda popularized Vaisnavism to the point of creating an entire subculture based on its principles.

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RasikanandaPr6Sri Bhakti-ratnakara 15.82-86 describes: “By the tremendous influence of Rasikananda’s preaching, many rogues, robbers and atheists received his mercy and were delivered from their sinful activities. He distributed the jewel of devotion to even the infidel Mohammedans, as he travelled from village to village, in the company of his disciples. He even converted a wild elephant, which was sent for his destruction, into his disciple and engaged him in the service of Krishna and the vaisnavas. The wicked Mohammedan miscreant who sent the elephant bowed at his feet when he realized his mistake. It is not possible to count the number of living entities that were extricated from the ocean of material existence by Rasikananda Thakur’s association. He was always intoxicated with the chanting of the holy name. Who cannot but be overwhelmed by hearing about his uncommon qualities?”

RasikanandaPr8The vicious wild elephant that was tamed by Rasikananda’s transcendental influence was thereafter known as Gopala Das. Later, two jungle tigers similarly gave up their ferocious nature and became. The classic histories of the period, such as Syamananda Prakasha and Rasika Mangala, tell how he and his wife, with the help of influential disciples, put an end to animal sacrifice in non-Vaisnava areas and convinced people throughout Orissa and its bordering villages of the validity of Mahaprabhu’s message. With his knowledge, purity, and charisma, he engaged Muslims, Buddhists, and various sects of Hindus in the service of Krishna.

RasikanandaPr4Then, on the first day of the bright fortnight in the month of Phalguna, Sakabda 1574 (Christian year1652), Rasikananda quietly slipped out of the village without anyone’s notice and walked to Remuna. It is said that he would spend day and night just gazing at the beautiful Deity of Kheer-chor Gopinath. He would utter the maha-mantra and sit transfixed, stuttering, shedding tears of love. He would point to the Deity as if to say to others, “Don’t you see?” But no one could see what he saw. After having spent his life spreading the teachings of Lord Caitanya and establishing a firm basis for the future of Vaisnavism, he was content to spend his time in the company of the Lord of his life. He discussed krishna-katha with the devotees for a while and instructed everyone to serve Sri Krishna with devotion. Then, after requesting them to begin sankirtana, he entered the temple of Sri Gopinatha. After touching Kheer-chora Gopinatha’s lotus feet, which bestow complete fearlessness, he entered into their ultimate shelter.

RasikanandaPr3Sri Rasikananda had three sons: Sri Radhananda, Sri Krishna-Govinda and Sri Radha-Krishna. The present servants of Sri Sri Radha-GovindaThakura at Gopivallabhapura are their descendants. Late in his life Rasikananda wrote a Sanskrit epic about the life of the person who had taught him all he knew. It was called Sri Syamananda-Satakam, and it remains the most authoritative work on Syamananda’s life. He also composed Srimad Bhgavatastaka, as well as other hymns and songs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Understanding Lord Shiva’s service in Vraja dhama

Gopisvara Mahadeva dressed in a beautiful gopi's attire

Gopisvara Mahadeva dressed in a beautiful gopi’s attire (Above)

Bhuteshvara Mahadeva at Mathura

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Four ancient deities of Lord Shiva residing at Mathura are known as dik-palas, “protectors of the directions.” They stay in Mathura to protect the dhama. Bhuteshvara Mahadeva protects from the western side.

The tradition amongst the vaishnavas is that when coming to Vraja one must first go to Mathura to take permission from him to enter the dhama. The reasons for this are described by Srila Rupa Gosvami in his Mathura-Mahatmya (texts 234-238), wherein he has quoted the following verses from the Adi-varaha Purana recounting Krishna’s words about Bhuteshvara Mahadeva:

foto“O deva! You will be the protector of Mathura. O greatest of the gods! Whoever sees you will attain My abode. By seeing Bhuteshvara Mahadeva, all sins are destroyed. O Vasudha, one who sees him, achieves the land of Mathura. In Mathura is the deity of Lord Bhuteshvara, who grants liberation even to the sinful. This Bhuteshvara deity is very dear to Me.How is it possible for a sinful person who tries to worship Me but will not worship Bhutesvara shiva, to attain devotion to Me? Those who are bewildered by My maya, who are the lowest of men, will not meditate on, bow down before, or offer prayers to Lord Bhuteshvara.”

Also, Sri Caitanya Caritamrta (Madhya 17.191) by Srila Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami describes how Lord Caitanya visited Bhuteshvara Mahadeva in the following way:

                                                          स्वयंभू, विश्राम, दीर्घ-विष्णु, भूतेश्वर                                                                                                                                         महाविद्या, गोकर्णादि देखिला विस्तार

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu visited all the holy places on the banks of the Yamuna, including Svayambhu, Vishrama-ghata, Dirgha Vishnu, Bhuteshvara, Mahadeva and Gokarna.

Gopeshvara Mahadeva at Vrindavana

Gopeshwara Shiva

Gopishvara Mahadeva is one of the most prominent deities in the Gaudiya-sampradaya and is mentioned in many Gaudiya literatures, being a very ancient protector of Sri Vrindavana Dhama. It is said that one cannot enter Vrindavana without his permission. His glories are sung throughout the Gosvami literatures:

श्रीमदगोपीश्वरम वंदे शंकरम करुणामयम

सर्वक्लेशहरम देवम वृंदारण्यरतिप्रदम

I offer my respectful obeisances to Sri Gopishvara, who is merciful Lord shiva himself. He removes  troubles and grants spiritual love in Vrindavana. (Sri Bhakti Ratnakar 5.3741)

In the song Vraja-dhama-mahimamrta, the following line is sung:

जय जय गोपेश्वर वृन्दावन-माझ

“All glories, all glories to Gopishvara shiva, who resides in the holy dhama of Vrindavana.”

Kameshvara Mahadeva at Kamyavana

Kama means “desire”. It is said that Kameshvara Mahadeva is the fulfiller of one’s desires.

Srila Narahari Cakravarti has described Kameshvara Mahadeva in his Bhakti-ratnakara (5.841): See here the most powerful Shiva as Kameshvara.

Kameshvara Mahadeva resides in Kamyavan in the western part of Vraja-mandala. According to the tradition in Vraja, Vrishabhanu Maharaja worshipped Kameshvara to get a daughter. He already had a son, Sridama but now, he wanted a daughter. Kameshvara granted his desire and he obtained Srimati Radharani as is daughter.

Chakaleshvara Mahadeva at Govardhana Hill

Chakleshwar Mahadev

On the northern bank of Manasi Ganga, by Govardhana hill is a group of five Shiva-lingas that are famous by the name Chakaleshvara Mahadeva. These five Shiva-lingas are considered to be Lord Shiva’s five faces. They protect the area of Govardhan. This part of Manasi Ganga is known as Chakra-tirtha and because he stays at this place, this shiva-linga was originally known as Chakareshvara, but now he is known as Chakaleshvara. It is said that this place is called Chakra-tirtha because when Krishna lifted Govardhana Hill, He requested the Sudarshana Chakra to appear above the mountain to dry up all the rain coming down on Govardhana, so that the Vrajavasis standing underneath would not drown. After Indra withdrew the Samvartaka clouds that he had sent to destroy Vraja, and the danger was over, Sudarshana requested Krishna to give him a place to rest. Krishna gave him this place on the northern bank of Manasi Ganga.

The present temple of Chakaleshvara Mahadeva is recent; the original one was destroyed by the Muslims. However, the deities here are very old and are said to have been installed by Krishna’s great-grandson Vajranabha.

Nandeshvara Mahadeva at Nandagaon

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The palace of Nanda Maharaja is situated atop Nandeshvara hill in Nandagaon. This hill is a form of Lord Shiva, who performed tapasya for several thousands of years to enter into the Lord Krishna’s pastimes in Vraja. When the Lord was pleased with him Shiva asked for a boon of getting a chance to witness the Vraja pastimes of Lord Krishna by becoming a hill or a stone. Reciprocating with this desire, Lord Krishna granted him this form in Nandagaon.

Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura writes in Vraja-riti-cintamani (1.15):

तत-तच्छिरोभूतम अपार-शोभम नंदीश्वरम साधु-गण वदन्ति

नंदीश्वरम च यदीय-रूपं श्री-नंद-राजालय-राजमानम

The devotees declare that Nandisvara hill, the form of Lord Shiva now shining as Nanda Maharaja’s capital, is an endlessly beautiful crown decorating Vrindavana. Lord Shiva has stayed at Nandagaon in the form of Nandeshvara Mahadeva and even today, the carnamrta and maha-prasada of Lord Krishna is first offered to him.

MAHASIVARATRI FESTIVAL – LORD SHIVA – TATTVA AND POSITION

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The relationship between Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu is one of achintya-bheda-abheda i.e. inconceivable simultaneous oneness and difference. This inconceivability does not mean that we cannot use our intelligence to understand it, but our intelligence cannot understand it completely. The one absolute truth manifests in multifarious ways for uplifting the conditioned souls. The same absolute truth manifests to control the modes of goodness, passion and ignorance as Lord Vishnu, Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva respectively. In this sense, the non-difference between these three exalted deities (the abheda part) is understood. For the bheda part, they have certain specific and distinctive functions of controlling the different modes.

In this regard, Srila Jiva Goswami states in his Bhakti-sandarbha (216):

शुद्ध भक्ता: श्री गुरो: श्री शिवस्य च भगवता सह

अभेद दृष्टिम तत प्रियतमत्वेन एव मन्यते

“Whenever the scriptures describe the spiritual master and Lord Shiva as being non-different from Krishna, pure devotees understand that this is because of their being most dear to Sri Krishna.”

Lord Shiva’s Nama Bhajan with his varieties of associates ( Bhutas, Pretas, Vetalas, Pishachas, Nishacharas etc.)

After passing through the eight material coverings, and after crossing the Viraja (the river that divides the material world and the spiritual world) and the planet of Lord Brahma (the highest material planet), one comes to the planet of Shiva called Shiva-dhama one portion of which, called Mahakala-dhama, is enveloped in darkness; interpenetrating this portion of Shiva-dhama, there shines the Sadashivaloka, full of great light. This Shiva-dhama is situated on the boundary of material and spiritual worlds, its 3/4th portion lying in spiritual realm and 1/4th portion lying in material realm. Here Lord Shiva resides in his eternal form of Sadashiva.

Shiv-Parvati

Lord Shiva enlightening his ever inquisitive consort Parvati Devi.

Thus, when the material modes come into contact with Lord Vishnu, by his own sweet will, He takes on the quality of a demigod and also associates with the modes of material nature as Lord Shiva. Although ultimately He is the controller of the modes of material nature, He willingly accepts that contact and that influence. In each material universe, this manifestation of Lord Shiva, as the demigod in charge of mode of ignorance, is not eternal.

Sometimes there are statements from Siva-Sastras and Bhagavat-Sastras, that apparently appear to contradict each other. In this regard, Karttikeya, the son of Lord Shiva, says in Skanda-Purana:

शिव शास्त्र तत ग्राह्यम भगवत शास्त्र योग यत

परमो विष्णुर एव एकस तद ज्ञानम मोक्ष साधनम

शास्त्रानाम निर्णयस्तु एषस तद अन्यन मोहनाय हि

“Accept the verdict of the Siva-Sastras (like Siva-Purana etc) as long as it is in line and in accordance with the conclusions of Bhagavat-Sastras (Srimad Bhagavatam), because there is only one Supreme, Lord Visnu, the knowledge of whom is the only means for liberation. This is the conclusion of all the revealed scriptures and anything else other than this conclusion is meant only for the bewilderment of people in general.”

When Lord Chaitanya visited Lingaraja temple in Bhubaneswar, he danced ecstatically in front of the Shivalinga for the pleasure of His dear devotee and spoke eight beautiful prayers known as Shivastakam glorifying Lord Shiva. These prayers are recorded in Sri Chaitanya Charita Mahakavya, the diary of Srila Murari Gupta. Therein Lord Chaitanya addresses Lord Shiva as the Guru of whole world.

श्री नारद आद्य सततम सुगोप्य जिज्ञासतयाशु वरप्रदाय

तेभ्यो हरेर भक्ति सुख प्रदाय शिवाय सर्व गुरवे नमो नमः

I offer my respectful obeisances again and again unto you, who is forever enquired of confidentially by Shri Narada and other sages; unto you, who also grants favor to them very quickly; unto you, who bestows the happiness of hari-bhakti; unto you, who creates auspiciousness and unto you, who is the Guru of everyone.(Shivastakam 7)

Lingaraj Temple

The scriptures describe that to consider Lord Shiva or Lord Brahma on the same level as Lord Vishnu is an offense. At the same time, to consider Lord Shiva as different or independent from Lord Vishnu is also an offense. Therefore, vaisnavas offer Lord Shiva all due respect as the topmost devotee of Lord Vishnu. On the holy occasion of Mahashivaratri, devotees may pray to Lord Shiva to help them progress on the path of Krishna bhakti swiftly. This is the greatest benediction that Lord Shiva is very keen to offer to all living entities.

Appearance Day Festival of Sri Srimad Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur Goswami Prabhupada

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On the sacred occasion of the appearance day of our Param-Guru Sri Srimad Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur Goswami Prabhupada, we are posting here some of his instructive quotes* and some pictorial reminiscences of his transcendental life.

  1. If to carry out the command of the Vaiṣṇava guru I have to be arrogant or brutish, or suffer eternal perdition, I am prepared to welcome such eternal damnation and even sign a contract to that effect. I will not listen to the words of malicious persons in lieu of the command of Śrī Gurudeva. I will dissipate with indomitable courage and conviction the currents of thought of the rest of the world, relying on the strength derived from the lotus feet of Śrī Gurudeva. I confess to this arrogance.SBSST2
  1. The threefold miseries cannot be vanquished without following the instructions of Bhāgavatam. There are unlimited varieties of distress, and we cannot invent a way to end even one of them. They are caused by nescience in the form of forgetfulness of the Supreme Lord. That nescience both covers the living entities and hurls them into further throes. Until we terminate the cause we will never overcome the miserable effect. If we wish to help others we must propagate devotional service. If the Lord’s message is preached around the world, then all countries and all people will achieve the greatest success of all time.SBSST1
  1. Devotional service benefits all beings in all countries at all times. Those who chant the Lord’s glories uplift every living entity on the planet, including beasts, birds, demigods, asuras, and even trees, creepers, and stones.Bhaktisiddhanta
  1. The sound pronounced by the sadhu and mahā-prasāda are not entities of this world. They are not identical with ordinary sound or ordinary food, which are merely means for gratifying our sensuous inclinations and appetites. Because they are spiritual, the word of God and mahā-prasāda cannot be enjoyed, or in other words, cannot be employed in gratification of the senses. Those who enjoy kīrtana or any spiritual discourse, or eat mahā-prasāda for appeasing hunger or gratification of the palate, are guilty of sacrilegious acts that serve only to prolong the state of sin, and ignorance of the greatest possible calamity that can befall the soul embodied in human form.

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*excerpted from “Sri- Bhaktisiddhanta-Vaibhava” by His Holiness Bhakti Vikas Swami Maharaja.

HH Bhakti Rasamrita Swami Maharaj’s Pune Visit

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ISKCON Pune is immensely glad to announce the schedule of upcoming Pune visit of His Holiness Bhakti Rasamrita Swami Maharaj. Maharaj is visiting Pune from 7th to 9th Feb. He is adored by devotees all over the world for his eloquent, lucid and succinct discourses which convey the deepest philosophical truth with a praiseworthy ease of understanding and at the same time captivate the audiences with enchanting descriptions of Lord’s pastimes.

Maharaj accepted renounced order of life on the auspicious day of Rama Navami, 24th March, 2010; before which he was renowned by the name Devamrita Prabhu. He has served as temple president in Mumbai, Belgaum and Vrindavan. In his more than 23 years of dedicated devotional life in ISKCON, he has preached in many countries of America, Europe and USSR, and continues to do so. He is overseeing the development of a “self- sufficient vedic eco village” (Gokul Dham) in 450 acres of land near Belgaum.

Commemorating the hundredth birth anniversary of Srila Prabhupada in the year 1996, he travelled widely and conducted National level theistic debate competitions in various colleges and Universities across India and Nepal, covering 250 cities and over 5000 colleges.

We extend you a warm welcome to take full advantage of his rare and uplifting holy association. The schedule of his visit is delineated in the picture attached herein.

HHBRSM Visit to pune

NITYANANDA TRAYODASHI MAHA-MAHOTSAVA

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GaurNitai

Srila Vrindavan Das Thakur, who is accepted as the incarnation of Maharshi Vedavyasa in Lord Chaitanya’s pastimes, writes in his Chaitanya-Bhagavata:

नित्यानन्द-जन्म माघी शुक्ला त्रयोदशी, गौरचन्द्र-प्रकाश फाल्गुनी पौर्णमासी

सर्व-यात्रा मंगल ए दुइ पुण्य-तिथि, सर्व-शुभ-लग्न अधिष्ठान हय इथि

एइ थेके ए दुइ तिथि करिले सेवन, कृष्ण-भक्ति हय खंडे अविद्या-बंधन

Lord Nityananda appeared on the thirteenth day of the waxing moon in the month of Magha, and Gauracandra appeared on the full moon evening in the month of Phalguna. These two days are most auspicious because all favorable planetary conjunctions are present on these days. Therefore whoever observes these two days attains devotion to Lord Krishna and freedom from the bondage to ignorance. (CB, Adi-khanda, 3.45-47)

Kavi Karnapura describes in his Sri Gaur Ganodesa Dipika about Lord Nityananda, “Lord Nityananda Avadhuta is actually the Personality of Godhead Lord Balarama. Always staying among the devotees, He shines with the splendor of thousands of suns. Lord Nityananda incarnates as His plenary expansion as Ananta Sesa. As Lord Sesa, He transforms His body to become the garments, bracelets, and other ornaments worn by Lord Visnu and Lord Krishna. Expanding again as the pastime potency, lila-sakti, Lord Sesa is aware of all the details of Lord Krishna’s confidential pastimes.”

On 1st Feb and 5th Mar this year, we will be celebrating these two all-auspicious festivals, Nityananda- Trayodasi and Gaur-Purnima, respectively. On 1st Feb, we will be fasting till noon and the day will be filled with Katha, Kirtan, Abhishek and nectarean prasadam.

NityanandaAstakam

Srila Vrindavan Das Thakur in his beautiful series of prayers known as Nityananda-Astakam glorifies Lord Nityananda as “the limitless root of the tree of devotional service.” He blesses at the end of this prayer, “May the two lotus feet of Lord Nityänanda appear eternally in the hearts of those who read these verses and remember the Lord.” For reading entire Nityananda-Astakam, Please click  Sri_NityanandaAstakam.

Srila Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya has also wriiten two beautiful prayers called Nityananda-Dvadasa-Nama and Nityananda-AstottaraSata-Nama. One who early morning regularly recites the former is blessed by the author “to become a quick recipient of Lord Chaitanya’s mercy along with fulfillment of all his desires” and the benediction for doing the same for latter is that “one truly achieves the love of Krishna.” For reading these prayers in full, please click on following links:

Sri_Nityananda_Dwadasa_Nama_stotram

Sri_Nityananda_AstottatraSata_Nama_Stotram

We are posting here some pictures from Sri Ekachakra dham, birth-place of Sri Nityananda Prabhu. You are most welcome to feast your eyes on these transcendental glimpses of birth and pastimes sites of Their Lordships.

 

We would also like to extend a hearty welcome to one and all to participate and achieve divine blessings on these two Maha-Mahotsavas in our temples at Camp and Katraj-Kondhwa by pass. The tentative schedule of the festival is as follows:

Morning Katha  by His Grace Ram Nitai Pr from  8:40 AM to 10:00 AM and

by His Grace Rasa Vigraha Pr from  11:00 AM to 12:30 PM

Evening Abhishek from 6:30 to 7:30 PM

Festival Class from 7:30 to 8:30 PM by His Grace Swetadwip Pr

Dinner Feast Prasadam at 8:30 PM