Badger, USA, May 5, 2001, pm
Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja
Before I begin my class, I want to announce that tomorrow is Nrisimha Caturdasi vrata. Out of mercy Nrisimhadeva came, saved Prahlada Maharaja, and killed the big demon Hiranyakasipu on this very day - on caturdasi of this month. We should try to observe this vrata. It is better if we follow nirjala, a full fast, and not even drink water. In India almost all devotees do nirjala, but for you Western devotees we give concession. You may take something, but not corn, wheat, rice, grains or anything made with grains. You can take some vegetables, juice, milk, yogurt and so forth, but don't take so much. And, if you are not taking anything, that will be very good. The mercy of Nrisimhadeva will come upon you.
We should also consider that Shrila Swami Maharaja gave concessions, and therefore you can observe the vrata like that, but you should all observe Nrisimha Caturdasi from the beginning of the day. After morning arati, you can also sing the kirtana of Nrisimhadeva: namaste narasimhaya prahladahlada dayine. From the beginning of our daily routine of classes, [Besides Shrila Narayana Maharaja's morning and evening classes, there are usually three other classes given by other devotees] we should try to try to explain the six of seven chapters in the 7th Canto regarding Prahlada Maharaja. Also, at midday, you should make an offering of bhoga to Lord Nrisimhadeva. You can offer grains and all else to Nrisimhadeva, because He is not bound by any restrictions. In this class we will explain so many things about the teachings of Prahlada Maharaja, and after that there will be a drama play showing the pastimes of Prahlada and Nrisimhadeva..
Then, May 7th is the disappearance day of Madhavendra Puri. We should try to glorify him - how he performed the Annakuta festival. At the time of Krishna, Nanda Baba and all the Vrajavasis performed Annakuta, and after a long period Madhavendra Puripada observed it to serve Gopaladeva, who had just been taken out of the earth. By Gopaladeva's order, Madhavendra Puri performed so many wonderful activities, and therefore we should glorify him.
We should prepare for Annakuta as we have done in past years. All the lady devotees are very expert in making various kinds of preparations, including so many different kinds of sweets, pickles, juices, and so on. They can make capatis, puris, kacoris, hallavah, malpura, khir, laddu, and many other items. There should be many kinds of preparations, but I want that the cooking be properly organized. One lady or a group of lady devotees should make one kind of preparation, and other ladies will make other types of preparations. There should be no less than 364 different preparations. The men should supply all the ingredients and you should check to make sure that all contribute something.
Those who will help in any way, even by giving just one grain for this Annakuta Mahotsava, and those who help by words, will never have to beg. It may be that Laksmi will have to beg from door to door, but those devotees will never be beggars. You should therefore try to help as much as possible. I want at least 364 kinds of preparations, but everyone should coordinate so that all will not make the same thing. There should be different, different, different, different kinds of preparations. I think that Nanda Gopala prabhu should make a team for this so that you can divide up all the seva. Puris, manohara laddus, and all other kinds of preparations should be made, so that Krishna will, out of greed, come to the festival. Then He will become Govardhana Hill, and He will taste everything. He will call out, "Anore! Anore!"
On that very day, we will do nagara-sankirtana as usual here, as well as go-puja. A very calm and quiet cow with her calf should be brought and we will worship that cow. We will also worship a qualified Vaisnava brahmana, a brahmana who is a devotee. Then we shall do abhiseka with many items - milk, yogurt, honey, ghee, sugar, and coconut water. After abhiseka, we will offer all the preparations to Govardhana. You should properly arrange for everything. We will hold nagara-sankirtana as usual at 10 o'clock in the morning, and then we will carry all the preparations from here to Govardhana Hill which is very nearby - close to the Yamuna, Syama-kunda and Radha-kunda. We will do all this. We will do parikrama of Giriraja Govardhana while dancing, and then we will take all the preparations from there and bring them back here to the pavillion. After that we will distribute the prasadam to all the devotees - not to any special persons but to all devotees. Then, in evening class, we will glorify Giriraja Govardhana - how He can give everything, who he is, and what is his svarupa (his constitutional form). We will discuss whether we should worship him in his form as God, or in his form as a devotee. We will discuss all these topics.