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    Vibrant Green Vrindavan

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    On 28 December 2014 ; Jaya Varusha Margazhi Poortathi, Thiruadhyayana Utsavam Pagal Pathu Day-7 was celebrated grandly at Mylapore SVDD Srinivasa Perumal Temple .On this occasion in the evening Sri Srinivasa Perumal had Sevai in Kannadi Arai along with Azhwar and Acharyas and asthanam took place. Krithika Parayanam is concluded in a grand manner. Several devotees participated in the utsavam and received the blessings of Perumal, Azhwars The following are some of the photos taken during the occasion
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    On 28 November 2014, Jaya Varusha Karthikai Sravanam Pushpa yaga Mahotsavam was celebrated in a grand manner at Thiruchanoor Shri Padmavathi Thayar Temple. On this occasion in the morning Shri Padmavathi Thayar had Thirumanjanam and in the evening Pushpa yaga Mahotsavam took place at Shri Krishna Swamy Mukha Mandapam with tonnes flowers like chamanti, sampangi, Arali, lotus, roses, tulsi, maruvam, davanam. Several devotees took part in the Pushpa yaga Mahotsavam and had the blessings of Shri Padmavathi Thayar. These are the some of the photos taken on this occasion:
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    Jaya Varusha Brahmotsavam took place well in grand manner at Sri Ahobila Mutt Sri Balaji Mandir ,Pashan, Pune, Maharashtra. on 30 & 31 October 2014 are the days 9 & 10 of the annual brahmotsavam. On the day 9 of brahmotavam Perumal Thiruveedhi Purappadu took place on Kudhirai vahanam and Golden Chariot ( Ther) in the morning and evening. On day 10 of brahmotsavam theerthavari took place in grand manner in the morning and in the evening Purappadu on Ananda Viamanam. Lot of vedic pandits took part in the veda parayanam and Many Srivaishnavas took part in the Prabhanda Parayanam. Lot of astikas took part in the first four day of the Brahmotsavam and had the blessings of Divyadampatis. Some photographs from the event...
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    Yesterday, 27 October 2014; was the second day of Veda Parayanam and Prabhandha Parayanam being done at the Brindavan of 41st Srimadh Azhagiasingar whose aradhanam will be done on 28.10.2014. Aippasi Shukla Panchami is when SriLakshmi Nrisimha Sathakopa Yatheendra Mahadesikan(41stJeer) known as Karakurichi Azhagiasingar attained SriVaikuntaprapthi. Thiruvaymozhi parayanam was continued and the 4th-6th Centums were recited alonside with Veda Parayanam. Swami Desikan’s Amrutha Swadhinee was recited followed by Adhivan Sathakopan swami’s Adaikalapathu. This was done between 8.00A.M. -11.00 A.M. The evening session started at 3.00P.M. Thiruvaymozhi and Vedic chanting took place and the recital of Swami Desikan’s Mumani kovai and Navamani malai was the highlight of the evening. It was almost 5.30P.M. when the theertha-shatari and Prasada distribution was over. Morning prasadam was dadhiannam and evening was kadambam.Tommorrow Tirumanjanam for Azhagiasingar is scheduled for 8.00 A.M. followed by Purapadu, Veda, Prabhandha parayana satrumurai. After this aradhanam and Thadeearadhanai will take place. The following are some of the photos taken during the occasion
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    A108-AI

    Braj saints leave for Kumbh

    Vrindavan, 10.01.2019 Kumbh Mela, the mass Hindu pilgrimage and also the world’s largest religious gathering, has started in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh. Millions of pilgrims will attend the event over the course of approximately 48 days to bathe at the sacred confluence of the Ganga, Yamuna, and Sarasvati. Sadhus and saints of Braj have also reached Prayagraj to attend this auspicious event. The first ‘Shahi Snaan’ will be held on ‘Makar Sankranti’ (January 15). Karshni Guru SharananandJi Maharaj, Swami Swaroopanand Maharaj, Swami Govindanand, Swami Maheshanand and Acharya Ashok Joshi from the Raman Reti ‘Karshni Udasin Ashram’ left for the Kumbh on Wednesday. Religious discourses and cultural programmes have been organised by the Karshni Shivir at sector 7, Prayagraj Kumbh. Chote Thakur Harivallabh Sharma will perform ‘Raaslila’. Mahant Ladlisharan Das said that the glories of Prayagraj Kumbh are as eternal and pristine as the spiritual and cultural heritage of Braj. Prominent religious personalities such as Yog-guru Swami Ramdev, The Dalai Lama, Jagadguru Rambhadracharya, Govind Dev Giri Maharaj, Bhagvat Bhaskar Krishnachandra Shastri Thakurji, Maluk Pithadheeshwar Mahant Rajendra Das Maharaj and Achraya Pundarik Goswami have been invited to address pilgrims at the Karshni Shivir. Braj saints will forcefully demand the construction of Ayodhya Ram Temple at the ‘Kumbh Dharm Sansad’ which will be held on January 31 and February 01. Recognised as ‘Intangible Cultural Heritage’ by UNESCO last year, Kumbh Mela is the largest public gathering and collective act of faith. It is held every three years in one of the four places including Haridwar (Ganges), Ujjain (Kshipra), Nashik (Godavari), and Prayagraj by rotation. At any given place, the Kumbh is held once in 12 years. A special Kumbh fair is held in Vrindavan, on the banks of the Yamuna every 12 years, whenever the main Kumbh is at Haridwar. There are several lilas relating the Kumbh to Vrindavan. One popular belief is that while flying with the pitcher of amrit (nectar) obtained after ‘Samudra Manthan’, Garud Dev sat on the Kadamba tree at Kalidah.
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    A108-AI

    Even Radha's sakhis are constantly chanting Radhe Radhe

    In the earthly realm of Vrindavan and in the spiritual sky, Radha Rani known as Vrindavanesvari, the Queen of Vrindavan, which means that Radha Rani is the one and only controller of everything including the heart of Shri Krishna. In Vraja Gokula, there are two instances wherein Radha’s sakhis will sometimes chant the Hare Krsna Mahamantra to nourish Radhika’s taste in sambhoga vilasa: When She meets with Krsna and to soothe Radha’s searing heart in times of separation from Her beloved Shyam. At other times, the sakhis will sweetly sing “Radhe Radhe!” as they serve Shri Radha throughout the day. Now let’s consider the reality of the present day Vrindavan where I have been living for the last 27 years. In Vraja Dhama, everyone chants “Radhe Radhe” from the time they wake up until the time they take rest. For Vrajavasis, the name of Radha is inseparable from their breathing. They hear the name of Radhe in the wombs of their mothers; they are born with the name of Radha in their ears; they move with the name of Radha in their lives; they dream with the name of Radha in their minds; and they die with the name of Radha on their tongues. By continually hearing and chanting “Radhe Radhe” in this way, every Vrajavasi automatically becomes full of Radha-bhava or gopi-bhava. And this is the goal that all Gaudiya Vaisnavas hope to attain especially by residing in Vrndavana. In Radha-rasa-sudha-nidhi, verses 95-97, Gaudiya rasika Acharya Shrila Prabodhananda Saraswati glorifies Radha’s completely pure and ecstatic Holy Name thus: “The name of Radha is the liquid rasa of blissful love (premananda rasam). Radha’s name give the greatest joy when chanted with tender loving affection (mahasukha karam uccharitam prematah). The two syllables Ra and Dha, contain all divine knowledge (vidya para dvakshara). Shri Krisna becomes supremely pleased whenever He hears someone chanting “Radhe Radhe!” (japa mudha gayati). “Even once chanting of Radha nama will immediately attract Shri Krishna (japa sakrid gokulapati akarshak). Lord Madhava Himself lovingly chants Radha nama (mantra japa priti svayam madhava). Sometimes, Hari sits with the sakhis and chants Radha nama until tears run down His lotus face (ali svayam japa ashru mukha hari).” “Sometimes, Krishna goes along the banks of Yamuna and enters the bowerhouse alone (kalindi tata kunja mandira gato). Shyama sits down like the King of Yogis to mediate on the radiance of Radha’s sweet lotus feet (pada jyotir dhyana). Krishna starts chanting Radha nama and soon becomes drenched in tears of love (sada japa prema-ashru purno hari) as He relishes the amazing blossoming mellows of Radha’s blissful loving enchantment (adbhutam ullasad rati rasananda sammohitah). “May the most amazing two syllables (Ra and Dha) become manifest to me forever (tad adhbhutam me radheti varna dvayam). The embrosial elixir “Radha” is my life and soul (tad amritam pradeti me jivanam).” Jai Jai Shri Radhe!!
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    A108-AI

    Sri Radhastami, The Day of Her Advent

    There is one person whose name is never mentioned in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. And yet Bhāgavatam’s steadfast readers constantly nurture the ardent hope of becoming that person’s devout, one-pointed servant. May that person, who means everything to Śrī Bhagavān, kindly destroy our false ego in all its various forms and bestow upon us the shelter of Her lotus feet. Today is the day of Her advent.
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    Vrindavan, 2018.06.12 Listening to Shri Laxman Das Maharaj’s katha fills people with hope and joy. He reassures people that once Shri Krishna listens to you, he will always be with you, just like He stayed with the Pandavas. Once that connection is made, it is never broken, he says, giving the example of Kunti Devi. Kunti Devi’s wish that things would keep going wrong so that Shri Krishna would keep coming to help shows how a person ceases to be troubled by the difficulties of this world once the connection is made with the Supreme. Yesterday, on the second day of the katha, Maharaj also spoke about Karn who complained that he frequently suffers insults and is considered to be of low birth. Maharaj said that Shri Krishna reassured Karn by reminding him that his birth also took place in unusual circumstances, in a prison. Maharaj said that there are mountains of sorrows that we have to tolerate and we have to be careful to stop ourselves from getting involved with people who are engaged in sinful activities. Maharaj told the audience that there is no hope of meeting with the Supreme without first doing some good deeds. His organization, the Krishna Kripa Seva Mission Charitable Trust, engages in a variety of charitable works including supporting children’s education, cow seva and help for the aged. Maharaj has established his headquarters on the banks of the Ganga at Devbhoomi in Haridwar. Filled with awe and reverence for Shrimati Ganga Devi, Maharaj tells the audience that tears of Prem are even more pure than Ganga jal. Shri Laxman Maharaj belongs to the Ramanuja sampradaya which was founded by Ramanuja Acharya(1017–1137 CE). Ramanuja Acharya wrote commentaries on the Brahma Sutras and the Bhagavad Gitain Sanskrit and helped to popularize Vaishnavaism in India. In the last five years, Laxman Maharaj has been constantly engaged in giving Katha in different parts of the country. He is a devotee of Banke Bihari and frequently visits Vrindavan. He gave katha in Vrindavan only three months ago and now, as Purushottam Maas draws to a close, is making use of this auspicious time for katha and pilgrimage. The katha program began on 9th June with a kalash yatra from Banke Bihari temple to Fogla Ashram. In order to bring auspiciousness to the katha stal, one hundred kalash pots were carried by women through the streets of Vrindavan. The program will continue until 15th June, from 3 to 6pm. On 14th June, Shri Krishna and Rukmini’s wedding will be celebrated; needed items will be distributed to the poor and the audience will present their Laddu Gopal deities for a ‘fancy dress competition’. [It is very common to see pilgrims and devotees carrying a Laddu Gopal deity on a small singhasan with them while they visit the temples and attend Harikatha in Vrindavan.]
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    Video - A day in Vrindavan

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    A108-AI

    The Appearance Day of Srila Bhakti Pramoda Puri Gosvami Maharaja

    [September 23 and 24, 2017, around the world is the Divine Appearance day of Parama-pujyapada Srila Bhakti Pramoda Puri Gosvami Maharaja. In 2001, Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja dictated this presentation in Hindi for his disappearnce day, and it was translated by Sripad Madhava-priya brahmacari.] All glories to Sri Sri Guru and Gauranga The following is a holy heartfelt offering (puspanjali) at the lotus feet of Parampujyapada astottara-sata Sri Srimad Bhakti Pramoda Puri Gosvami Maharaja in his divine remembrance: In November of 1946, I left my home and came to Sri Devananda Gaudiya Matha in Sri Dhama Navadvipa. After a short time, in 1947, at the end of Sri Navadvipa Dhama Parikrama, which was held on the occasion of the divine appearance of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, I took shelter at the lotus feet of my most beloved om visnupada astottara-sata Sri Srimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja. He made my life successful by initiating me with harinama and diksa initiations. After celebrating the holy festival of Gaura Purnima and Sri Dhama Parikrama, I accompanied Gurudeva to one of the branches of Sri Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti, namely Sri Uddharana Gaudiya Matha in Chinchurah. It was there, at Sri Uddharana Gaudiya Matha, that I had the audience of Parampujyapada astottara-sata Sri Srimad Bhakti Pramoda Puri Gosvami's lotus feet for the first time. He had already accepted the renounced order on March 3, 1947 at Sri Gaura-Gadadhara Matha in Campahatti, from nitya-lila pravista om visnupada astottara-sata Srila Bhakti Gaurava Vaikhanas Maharaja, one of the prominent sannyasa disciples of jagad-guru Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Prabhupada. I was very impressed by my meeting with him, and my most beloved Gurudeva, Sri Srila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja, engaged me in his service. Every day I used to go with him to take bath in the Ganges nearby, carrying his outer garment, kaupin and kamandalu (water pot). After bathing, I carried his wet clothes and kamandalu, now filled with water, back to our Matha, and then I fed him prasadam. Moreover, I obeyed the many instructions he used to kindly give me on various occasions. I submissively put so many questions before him, and he used to reply to all my inquiries with great affection. During our discussions in those days, he used to tell me some things about his life history. His name was previously Pramoda Bhusana. His parents were religious and from the brahmana (Cakravarti) caste. He took birth on October 8, 1898 in the village of Gangananda Pura in the district of Jessore, in the present-day Bangladesa. From his very childhood he was fond of hari-kirtana, chanting the Lord's holy names. He felt so much pleasure in hearing hari-kirtana that sometimes he would become forgetful of his bodily condition. During his student life, he met a Gaudiya Vaisnava named Sri Bhaktiratnakara Thakura. Sri Bhaktiratnakara Thakura was the first person to introduce him to the books of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. After receiving the books he studied them thoroughly, and then he began to read Sri Caitanya-caritamrta in the association of that Vaisnava. After completing his B.Sc. degree at Calcutta University, he wanted to continue his education, but the burden of maintaining his family fell on his shoulders. He unwillingly left his studies and accepted employment at the Post Commission in Calcutta. It was during that period that he met jagad-guru nitya-lila pravista om visnupada Sri Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Prabhupada and was deeply influenced by hearing his powerful hari-katha. In 1923, on the auspicious occasion of Sri Krsna Janmastami, he received diksa from Srila Prabhupada at Ultadanga Gaudiya Matha and was given the name Sri Pranavananda Brahmacari. Srila Prabhupada Sarasvati Thakura was immensely satisfied by his steadiness, full surrender, loving service endowed with bhava, and especially his art of writing. Therefore, he gave him the responsibility of managing sankirtana, preaching, hari-katha, publishing the Dainika Nadia Prakasa, and writing articles for Sri Gaudiya Matha's journals. For the service of the brhad-mrdanga (book publication), Srila Puri Maharaja stayed in various places like Calcutta, Krsna Nagar, and Mayapura. For the sake of preaching gaura-vani, the message of Gaurasundara, he traveled not only throughout Bengal, but also to many places throughout India, and he met with great success. He sometimes traveled with his Gurudeva, Srila Prabhupada, and sometimes with the senior intimate sannyasa disciples of Srila Prabhupada. In this way he served his Gurudeva by internal, mano'bhista seva, fulfilling his innermost cherished desires. After the disappearance of Srila Prabhupada, Srila Bhakti Pramoda Puri Gosvami Maharaja stayed for a few months with my beloved Gurupadapadma Sri Srila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja, Srila Bhakti Dayita Madhava Gosvami Maharaja, Srila Bhakti Raksaka Sridhara Gosvami Maharaja, and other god-brothers. I had a wonderful opportunity to serve him and hear his hari-katha during that period. He had so much affection for me that he used to consider me his disciple, and I used to respect him as I respected my Gurudeva. On numerous occasions he blessed me with abundant kindness. Once, when we were at Chinchurah Matha, we went together for bathing in the Ganga. I was carrying his cloth and water-pot, and also my own lota (cup) that I still had from my previous home life. I put them down on the ghata and we both entered the water of Bhagavati Bhagirathi for bathing. After bathing I found that my lota was gone. It had been carried away by the waves of the Ganga, which was very near the ocean at that place. Pujyacarana Puri Maharaja smiled and said, "You left your home, family, wife, son and wealth to become a renounced Vaisnava, so what need is there to be attached to a lota?" I was also smiling. Taking his wet clothes and water-pot, we returned to the matha. As long as he was present, every time we met he used to remind me of this pastime, and I also cannot forget the mercy he showed to me throughout my life. After a long time, Prapujya-carana Srila Puri Gosvami Maharaja was given the responsibility of serving the Deity of Sri Ananta Vasudeva of Kalna. The King of Vardhman was unable to serve this Deity. When he observed the pure disposition and devotion of Srila Puri Gosvami Maharaja, he was immensely impressed and offered the service of Ananta Vasudeva to him. Later, Srila Puri Maharaja took charge of the temple along with his disciples. I also went to have his audience there many times at Kalna. I always saw him busy in writing. His pen never stopped. He used to spend every moment in writing articles about pure bhakti, whenever a chance came after completing his fixed number of rounds of harinama, serving the Deity, and studying the sastras. He also used to submit many articles to the journals of different Gaudiya Mathas. Especially, he was the editor-in-chief of "Sri Caitanya Vani", the journal of Srila Bhakti Dayita Madhava Gosvami Maharaja's Matha. In the last years of his life, he stayed in Sridhama Mayapura, where he established Sri Gopinatha Gaudiya Matha at Isodyana. In the last stage of his life he stayed at Bankim Muhana Cakratirtha in Sri Purusottama Dhama. Finally, he entered into nitya-lila on November 22, 1999, at 2.07 am. Whenever I used to go to Sridhama Vrndavana, Sridhama Mayapura, or Calcutta, I had the good fortune to have the audience of his lotus feet. At that time I used to present to him whatever new publications we had produced from our Matha in the Hindi language, such as Jaiva Dharma, Caitanya Siksamrta, the Teachings of Sriman Mahaprabhu, Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura's Bindu, Kirana and Kana, Upadesamrta, Manah Siksa, Raga Vartma Candrika and also some English publications. He was delighted to receive all these books from me, and in return he inspired and instructed me to publish more books of the Gaudiya Vaisnava philosophy. Whenever we would meet he would ask, "What new publications are coming in Hindi?" He was present to pacify us at the time our beloved Gurudeva entered into nitya-lila and also when the Samadhi Mandira was established at Sri Devananda Gaudiya Matha. During his visit, he told us with a melting heart, "Vinoda Da (Srila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja) was very affectionate to us. Whenever we knew that Vinoda Da was not in Mayapura, we would also cancel our scheduled program to visit Mayapura." He said that there was no one as warmly affectionate as Vinoda Da. In this way, Srila Puri Gosvami Maharaja was fully surrendered and one of the internal associates of Srila Prabhupada. At the time of performing kirtana and giving lectures he would close his eyes, which were brimming with tears, being incessantly immersed in the bhava of bhakti. He would express such deep realizations while discussing bhakti-tattva and rasa-tattva that his whole audience would be enchanted. He was the embodiment of Sriman Mahaprabhu's verse, "trnad api sunicena" (more humble than a blade of grass). He was a topmost self-realized devotee and always deeply appreciative of others' merit. Until this very day, I never saw him criticize anyone, and he even used to give inspiration and respect to this insignificant person who is thoroughly bereft of bhakti. I often saw him walking with his danda, traveling barefoot in Navadvipa Dhama and eighty-four krosa Vraja Mandala Parikrama. Even in his advanced age, I saw him doing parikrama, without eating and drinking, and always singing kirtanas and speaking hari-katha. I went to see him almost one month and fifteen days prior to his divine disappearance. At that time he was not speaking at all and he kept his eyes closed. I caught hold of his lotus feet and said, "I am your most insignificant servant, Narayana Maharaja." Upon hearing this, he caught both of my hands in his and gave me his blessings. Then he ordered his servants to give me prasadam. I do not know if he spoke to anyone else again after that moment. He entered into nitya-lila at the age of 101 years. He was expert in all siddhanta and a pure devotee in the line of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Prabhupada, and I felt so much inspiration from his blessings and instructions. Now, after his entrance into the divine transcendental pastimes of the Lord, I am bereft of the touch of that hand which used to confer upon me profuse blessings and inspiration, and thus I feel a profound sadness in his absence. In this way I am offering sri sri puspanjali at the lotus feet of such a parama-niskincana (topmost renunciate) mahabhagavata (most superior devotee), Sri Sri Bhakti Pramoda Puri Gosvami Maharaja. May he be pleased to shower his causeless mercy upon me. Vaisnava krpalesaprarthi, Tridandisvami Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja
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    A108-AI

    Video - Serving cows

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    Live at the Radha-kunda

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    The Hunger of Krsna

    Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja 11-12 May 1996 Boven Leeuwen Srila Gurudeva: So, remember Bhagavan who will uplift you from this drain. Except for Bhagavad-bhajan there is no other means. When Hiranyakashipu’s younger brother Hiranyaksha died… among the two, both are older and younger. In the womb of the mother came… Srila Gurudeva: nānopacāra-kṛta-pūjanam ārta-bandhoḥ premṇaiva bhakta-hṛdayaṁ sukha-vidrutaṁ syāt yāvat kṣud asti jaṭhare jaraṭhā pipāsā tāvat sukhāya bhavato nanu bhakṣya-peye --Padyavali 13 [Ramananda Raya continued, “‘As long as there is hunger and thirst within the stomach, varieties of food and drink make one feel very happy. Similarly, when the Lord is worshiped with pure love, the various activities performed in the course of that worship awaken transcendental bliss in the heart of the devotee.’] He tells, “If anyone has appetite, then food that is tasteless, will in turn be tasteful. But if there is no appetite, even very tasteful food will fail to arouse our attention.” It depends on our appetite and not on tasteful, delicious, or bland food. Then a question arises here, “I will take food like bread, rice, if I have an appetite, but not otherwise.” Here, the example is opposite. Should this appetite be in Krishna or in the devotees? Are you making a note of these subtleties? He tells, “If I have an appetite, I will eat, and feel blissful.” There should be the appetite in devotees, but the example is opposite. How is it opposite? It means if Krishna is pleased, we will be pleased. But here, he is speaking oppositely. If the devotee has the appetite to be happy by himself, then it is not bhakti but rather, it is kama (lust). Do you understand this or not? Devotees: Yes. Srila Gurudeva: To have a desire like, “I am serving Krishna, so I must be happy.” To serve Krishna for your happiness is not bhakti. If you have an appetite to serve Krishna and are worshipping Krishna, then you must realize ananda (bliss). Try to go deep. Desiring your own happiness is not bhakti. Worshipping Krishna with an expectation of material reciprocity is kama and not bhakti. Whatever we do, we should do for the happiness and benefit of Krishna and not for our satisfaction. Otherwise, our bhakti will weaken. What is the deep meaning of this sloka? When you have deep affection and love filled moods, with the conviction, “I will serve Krishna.” Yashoda thinks, “I want to give milk for Krishna.” Sensing His mother’s desire, Krishna has an appetite. Krishna is atmarama and aptakama. He has no desire to have anything from anyone. If a devotee is hankering to feed Krishna, then Krishna is unable to restrain Himself and an appetite develops in Him, or else not. Yashoda Ma wants to serve Krishna by offering Him her breast milk, and weeping, Krishna runs to her calling out, “Oh mother! Oh mother! I want to drink your breast milk.” Otherwise, Krishna has no need to drink. If a devotee has the strong will that, “I want to be with Krishna,” then Krishna will indeed be with Him. When Krishna went to meet Duryodhana, Duryodhana offered Him thousands of delicious food preparations in golden pots. But Krishna said, “I have no appetite. You have no affection for Me. My mission has not been fulfilled, so how can I take what you offer?” But Krishna became very hungry when he saw what Vidurani had to offer. Vidurani heard that Krishna had come and that He had not taken anything. She thought, “He must come to me and I will feed Him.” In her desire to greet Krishna, Vidurani grew extremely restless. She would intermittently walk, in and out of the room to see if Krishna was coming. Krishna became desperately hungry when He reached Vidurani’s house. He requested Vidurani, “Oh mother, I am so hungry! I want to eat some food.” Soon, Vidurani got the bananas. Vidurani completely forgot what she held in her hands when she heard Krishna speak. In her bid to feed Krishna, she handed Him banana peels instead of the fruit. Krishna was so happy to take her offerings. At that time, Vidura arrived and asked his wife, “Oh what are you giving Krishna?” Krishna told Vidura, “Don’t disturb. I don’t consider the offering; I only accept the prema with which it is offered. And she is giving Me her heartfelt love through this offering. I was so hungry but now I am fully satisfied.” Krishna will not accept our offerings if we worship Him without prema. He will not be pleased and thus, you will also not be pleased. So anything we give Krishna, we should give with all our love and affection. He will gladly accept even a dry piece of straw, if you offer it with all your love. He will also take leaves and water, if we follow the prerequisites of offering them with all our love and affection. Otherwise, He will not take anything. But this is Vaidhi bhakti. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu said, “Yes, yes. Go on.” And then, Sri Raya Ramananda Prabhu recited a sloka. What is that sloka? kṛṣṇa-bhakti-rasa-bhāvitā matiḥ krīyatāṁ yadi kuto ’pi labhyate tatra laulyam api mūlyam ekalaṁ janma-koṭi-sukṛtair na labhyate Sri Caitanya Caritamrita Madhya 8.70 [“‘Pure devotional service in Kåñëa consciousness cannot be had even by pious activity in hundreds and thousands of lives. It can be attained only by paying one price—that is, intense greed to obtain it. If it is available somewhere, one must purchase it without delay.’”] I will explain it on another day. Gaura Premanande! Haribol! Devotees: Oh! [Maha-mantra kirtan is sung.] Srila Gurudeva: I want to finish Raya Ramananda Samvad. I wanted to come here and explain all these tattva-siddhantas and lilas for one complete hour. But I could not. I wanted to give an outline of Sri Raya Ramananda samvad that will add to our sadhana-bhajana and help us advance in our bhakti. By this, you can know the mood of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Raya Ramananda Prabhu, Svarupa Damodara Gosvami, and Srila Rupa Gosvami. I wanted to explain all these topics. Perhaps today we will have to go? Will we be here tomorrow morning? Devotee: Yes. Srila Gurudeva: Then tomorrow, I will give class for one hour. I request you all to assemble here and I will try to explain up to madhura rasa. If I give a summary, no harm, but I will try to explain more. Gaura Premanande! Haribol!
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    On 21 November 2014, Jaya Varusha Karthikai Swathi Day-3 morning of the Karthika Brahmotsavam at the Thiruchanoor Sri Padmavathi Thayar Temple Karthika Brahmotsavam was celebrated grandly.On this occasion in the morning Sri Padmavathi Thayar had Thiruveethi Purappadu in Muthu Panthal Vahanam with grand arulicheyal and veda ghosti.After the Purappadu Sevakalam and Satrumurai took place.In the afternoon Thirumanjanam took place for Sri Padmavathi Thayar.Several devotees took part in the Karthika Brahmotsavam Muthu Panthal Vahanam Purappadu and had the blessings of Sri Padmavathi Thayar .
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    On, 6 November 2014, Jaya Varusha Iypasi Aswini, ThiruPavithrotsavam Day -3Maha Poornahuti took place in a grand manner at Chembur Sri Prahaladavaradhan Sannadhi Ahobila Mutt. On this occasion, in the morning Sri Prahaladavaradhan along with Senju Lakshmi thayar had ThiruPavithrotsava Homam took place and in Evening ThiruPavithrotsava MahaPoornahuti took place. Followed by Sevakalamand Satrumurai took place grandly during this HH 46th Srimath Azhagiyasingar, Srivan Sathakopa Sri Ranganatha Yathindra Maha Desikan Performed Mangalasasanam. Prior On November 5 ThiruPavithrotsavam Day -2 was celebrated grandly evening Sri Prahaladavaradhan had Thiruveethi Purappadu during this occasion HH 46th Srimath Azhagiyasingar Performed Mangalasasanam. Several Astikas took part in the ThiruPavithrotsavam Maha Poornahuti and had the blessings of Srimath Azhagiyasingar and Divyadampatis. The following are some of the photographs taken on the occasion…
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    On, October 25, 2014; Jaya Varusha Aippasi Visakam, HH 46th Srimath Azhagiyasingar, Srivan Sathakopa Sri Ranganatha Yathindra Maha Desikan Performed Vijaya Yathirai to Jaipur .On this occasion Srimath Azhagiyasingar had Poorana Kumbha Mariyadhai.On October 26 Srimath Azhagiyasingar Performed Mangalasasanam At Jaipur Galtaji Seetha Ram Mandhir .And On October 27 Srimath Azhagiyasingar Performed Mangalasasanam At Pushkar Sri Vaikunthnath Temple.Lot of Sishyas took part in the Srimath Azhagiyasingar Mangalasasanam and received the blessings of Srimath Azhagiyasingar and Divya Dampathis. These are the some of the photos taken on this occasion..
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    Mannarpolur is a small village on the banks of ‘Kalindi’ river near Sullurpeta in Nellore District of Andhra Pradesh. There is a very ancient temple in this village, which is amost a sleepy little village. Once upon a time, this must have been an important village, certainly far more important than Sullurpeta which must have been of a fairly recent origin. The basis for saying that Mannarpolur must have been an important village is the fact that this temple is believed to date bace to the 10th century and is the only important temple in a radius of about 40 kms. There is no other important temple apart from this temple till Srikalahasti in Chittor District or till Nellore.
    It is reasonable to presume that this must have been a central place for many pilgrims proceeding in different directions. Another reason for believing that this must have been an important temple, apart from the mythological stories behind this temple to which we will be reverting shortly, is the fact that this temple has many shrines and sub-shrines, apart from having a fairly spacious temple tank. It is believed that this temple was constructed by the Cholas in or around the 10th century and was improved upon by the ‘Manumasiddi’ rulers of Nellore around the 13th century. Gradually, the temple would appear to have come under the control of the ‘Zamindars’ of Venkatagiri who endowed five villages in favour of the temple in 1800. Local belief is that in the days of old, there were 9 ‘Archakas’ who used to offer worship, every day, nine times in the day. The annual temple festival used to attract pilgrims in large numbers from neighboring villages. Over a period of time, the income of the temple seems to have dwindled, due to various historical and legislative reasons. The properties of the temple would appear to have been either usurped or enjoyed by others. Lands given on lease to tenants are being practically owned by the tenants with little or no income to the temple. The temple tower looks dilapidated with little or no attention having been paid, perhaps ever since it was constructed in the 10th century. Sthalapurana: Sathrajit performed a deep penance, offering worship to Surya Devan. Pleased with his penance, Surya Devan presented a jewel ‘Samathakamani’ and also blessed that every day the jewel would give additional quantities of gold. On an occasion, Sathrajit wore the shining jewel and visited Sri Krishna. Sri Krishna also felt that in view of the boon of Surya Deva, it would be better if the jewel were to be with him that be with Sathrajit. Sathrajit, however, refused to part with the jewel. Thinking that a request may again be made by Sri Krishna, Sathrajit presented the jewel to his brother, Prasenajit. While going for hunting Prasenajit was killed by a lion and it took away the jewel. Later, the lion was attacked and killed by Jambhavan, who presented the Samanthakamani to his daughter Jambhavathi. In the meanwhile, due to the non return of his brother, Sathrajit baselessly presumed that his brother must have been killed by Sri Krishna for the sake of the glittering jewel. Having come to know of this baseless suspicion, Sri Krishna proceeded to the forest to find the jewel. Sri Krishna was able to trace the sequence of events and proceeded to the cave in which Jambhavan was living with his daughter. Thinking that the Lord has come to take away the jewel from him and not realising who Sri Krishna really was, Jambhavan had a glorious fight with Him for about 20 days. After 20 days, Jambhavan realised with whom he was fighting and totally surrendered to the Lord. He offered his daughter Jambhavathis in marriage to Lord Krishna and presented the Samanthakamani to the Lord. It is believed Mannarpolur is the place where the fight have taken place. Originally, this place was known as ‘Mani Mandapa Kshetram’ as this was the place wherein the ‘mani’ (Samanthaka mani) was presented to the Lord. Since this was the place wherein a hand fight (Malla Yuddham) had taken place with Lord Krishna (Hari), this place was known as ‘Malla Hari Poruru’ (Poru stands for a fight and Uru for place). Over a period of time, ‘Malla Hari Poruru’ got corrupted as Mannarpolur. Special Features: The temple itself has many unusual features. The main shrine has Lord Krishna with Satyabhama and Jambavathi as his Consorts. It is believed that Lord Krishna presented the Samathakmani to Satyabhama and hence both Satyabhama and Jambavathi worshiped in the main shrine. Perhaps there is no other temple, anywhere in the country, where Jambavathi is present as the Divine Consort. As one enters the main shrine, there is a small idol of Lord Venkateswara on the left side of the Mahamandapa and just outside the Sanctum Sanctorum. To the right of the main shrine there is a separate shrine for Sri Rukmini, who is worshiped as Soundaravalli Thayar. Behind the main shrine, is small shrine with a big moorthi of Jambhavan. To the left of the main, there is a shrine for Lord Rama with Sita and Lakshmana on either side and Hanuman. An unusual feature here is that there are two Dwajasthambams and two Balipeetams within the same temple, one in front of the main shrine and other in front of Sri Rama. In front of the Dwajsathambam, is a separate shrine for Sri Ramanuja indicating the importance of the shrine for the Sri Vaishnavas. In front of the main shrine, Sugreeva and Jambhavan stand as Dwarapalakas. In front of the main shrine is an unusual idol of Garudazhwar which is unusual in the sense that it is 9 feet height and almost as high as the main moorthi inside the sanctum sanctorum. Garudazhwar was tending to become very proud, stating that it was he who was carrying Lord Vishnu on his shoulders and that there was none who was more powerful than himself. Similarly, the Consort Satyabhama began to feel that there was none more beautiful or more important that She, because She was always by the side of the Lord. Wishing to teach Garudazhwar a lesson, He directed Periya Thiruvadi to go to Himalayas and ask Lord Hanuman to come and visit Lord Krishna. Lord Hanuman was in-deep panance and being a Sri Rama bhakta, was thinking only of Sri Rama. Garudazhwar first requested and then picked up a fight with Siriya Thiruvadi while persuading Anjaneya to come to the presence of Lord Krishna to Mani Mandapakshetra. When Hanuman vanquished Garudazhwar, the later had to accept his defeat and came to Mani Mandapakshetra to receive further instructions from Lord Krishna. Lord Krishna then deputed Satyabhama as also Garudazhwar asking them to persuade Lord Hanuman to come to the kshetra, so that he could see Sita Devi. At the mere mentions of Her name, Siriya Thiruvadi was only too willing to come. Lord Krishna asked Satyabhama to dress herself as Sita and appear before Lord Hanuman. Lord Hanuman has one look at her and said that she was not his Goddess. Lord Krishna then asked his other Consort Rukmini to appear as Sita. She, in great humility bent and touched the feet of Lord Krishna and then transformed herself into the most beautiful Sita Devi and appeared before Lord Hanuman who was very pleased and went back to the Himalayas. Garudazhwar was taught a lesson and realised that he was not really the greatest or the most powerful. Because he is strong, he is sculpted as a big idol. It is however believed Garudazhwar even to this day presents his humility at having been taught the significant lesson. Local people mention that a piece of straw, if even now pressed near the eyes of Garudazhwar comes away wet,as Garudazhwar is shedding tears. Simultaneously, Satyabhama was taught a lesson and therefore the separate shrine is not for Satyabhama, but for Rukmini. Since Rukmini appeared in the most Beatific form, she is known as Soundaravalli Thayar, the most beautiful consort. The gopuram above the main shrine has features similar to the vimanam of Sri Venkateswara at Tirumala. Normally, Sri Vaishnavite shrines have on the vimanam stone depictions of Garuda. Here, as in the case of Lord Venkateswara at Tirumala, there are stone idols of the lion. Historical References: There are historical references to the fact that during the period of Manumasiddi this temple was flourishing temple with a lot of pilgrim traffic. In the 16th century, Pydipati Venkata Narasimha Kavi, wrote his two monemental works – Mannaru Krishna Sathakamu and Ramachandra Sathakamu and placed them at the feet of the Lord here. Similarly, Sri Iyalarju Narayana Kavi is believed to have offered to the deity here, his well known work “Hamsa Vimsathi”. In chapter 4, he refers to Mallariswami of Manimantapa Kshetra as Lord Govinda. Similarly in chapter 5, while describing many famous pilgrims centers like Chidambaram, Tiruttani, Kalahsti, he refers to the lovely holy temple at Mannarpolur. At this temple for Lord Krishna, Lord Krishna is beautiful and therefore He has got the name Azhagu Krishnaswamy (which got corrupted as Alagu Krishnaswamy). Clearly, it is a very important temple and an ancient temple. During the last Government, a fund of 1 crore was allocated for renovation which was so far not taken forward and is very much neglected by Govt authorities. It is time that the renovation of the temple is taken up by the higher authorities of the Endowments Department and the temple is brought back to its pristine glory. How to reach there? This village is located 3 km west of a small town called Sullurpeta (mainland for ISRO island Sriharikota, from where rockets are launched) Sriharikota and sullurpeta are separated by 17 km of Pulikat lake.
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    Photos - Nigama Nigamantha Varnita – Annamacharya Kirthana

    Sri Annamacharya pleads the Lord of Thirumala to liberate him from bondage. nigama nigamānta varṇita! manohara rūpa! nagarāja-dharuḍa! śrīnārāyaṇā! Srimannarayana! You are described by the Vedas and Upanishads. Your charming form takes captive the hearts of devotees. You bore the Govardhana ( to protect Your devotees from Indra’s raging deluge). The reference to the episode of bearing Govardhana indicates that Govinda is the protector of all. The implication is “As You rescued the simple cattle folk from the rage of Indra, rescue me from the rage of samsara.” Narayana has three characteristics : (I) He is proclaimed in the Vedas and Upanishads, (ii) He has a beautiful form and (iii) He is the protector. Each one of these is sufficient reason by itself to become interested in. When all three reasons have come together, there is no doubt that the devotee is fully consumed by Narayana bhakti. dīpiñcu vairāgya divyasaukhyaṃbiyya nōpaka kadā nannu noḍabarupucu | paipaine saṃsāra bandhamulu kaṭṭēvu nā paluku cellunā nārāyaṇā ? Narayana! Without allowing me the divine comfort of enlightened vairagya (absence of worldly attachment), You posit hazards (of the world) in my favour. You bind me in the bonds of shallow relations. Do my words (of plea) mean anything to You? Vairagya is born out of enlightenment and is a divine comfort. An ignorant person perceives the lures of the world which are detrimental to the well being of the soul as pleasures. Detachment is generally perceived as penance or pain. But, the enlightened saint regards vairagya as the true comfort. Unlike worldly comforts which have fleeting presence and lead eventually to pain, the divine comfort of vairagya is a spiritual state visited before liberation. However, for those without this realization, numerous distractions keep arriving in different forms and keep them busy in painful pursuits, trapping them in the illusion of pleasure as reward. To our saint, the appearance of these distractions is a pain in itself and he has no doubt that they lead one to sorrow. He asks the Lord why he does not let him remain in peaceful vairagya. Why torment him by showing these distractions and by binding him in shallow bonds? Why are his pleas unheeded? cīkāku paḍina nā cittaśāntamu sēyalēkakā nīvu bahulīla nannu kāku sēsedavu | bahukarmula baḍavāru nā koladi vāralā nārāyaṇā ? Narayana! Instead of calming my mind that is seized with revulsion, You cause further torment by subjecting me to Your various games. Am I in the same class as those who know various remedial actions to remove their grief? All beings from Brahma to a blade of grass are trapped in the sport of the Lord. Unless one realizes the Lord, one remains bewitched by the sport and is thrown around like dice by the forces of the universe. Some people who have attained vairagya but not complete enlightenment assume that they can perform some sadhana to attain the Lord by their own efforts. Trusting their own efforts, they try to cross samsara. As they have trusted their own efforts, the Lord remains indifferent waiting for them to complete the efforts. The saint is a prapanna who is fully enlightened and has surrendered to the saving grace of the Lord instead of trusting his own efforts. So, he asks the Lord why He is indifferent to him as He is to one engaged in various efforts for self-redemption. Does the Lord think that our saint belongs to their class? Why doesn’t He save at once? vividha nirbandhamula veḍala drōyaka nannu bhavasāgaramula naḍabaḍa jeturā | divijēndravandya! śrī tiruveṅkaṭādrīśa ! navanīta cōra! Nārāyaṇā ! Forcing me into different situations, You have let me be tossed around in the ocean of rebirth. Narayana! You are worshipped by even the king of Devas, Indra. You are the Lord of Tiruvenkatam. Butter Thief! (save me from this predicament) Despite the Lord being his saviour, if the saint remains tossed around in the ocean of rebirth and faces difficult situations, it is seen as His own doing. A mother, who does not pull her baby away from the well, is accused of pushing the baby into the well herself. As much as it is her duty to protect the baby, so it is the duty of the Lord to protect our saint. Therefore, the saint lays the blame for his prolonged suffering at the doorstep of the Lord and pleads Him to intervene.
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    Year Long Celebration of 500th Begins

    Vrindavan, 2014.11.07 (VT): The fifth centenary year celebration of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s first time arrival in Vrindavan formally begun in the Swami Vivekananda Auditorium in the Ram Krishna Mission Sevashrama. Saints, mahants, and intellectuals presented their views on Chaitanya Mahaprabhus coming to Vrindavan. The youths performed the Harinam Sankirtan during the event. Prem Das Shastri, the working president of the 5th Centenary Celebration Committee, said in his welcome address that Chaitanya Mahaprabhu rediscovered Shri Dham Vrindavan five hundred years ago. Shastri said, “It was his mercy that we all are here today. We have decided to build a huge gate in the entrance of Vrindavan in Akrur.” “This is the 499th year of Mahaprabhu’s arrival in Vrindavan. We enter in the 500th year of his arrival from today. Nagar Sankirtan, Preaching on Chaitanya’s life and works, Nam Sankirtan, padavali kirtans, procession etc. will be organized throughout the year, which will end in next Kartik Purnima,” informed Shashtri. Pradeep Mathur, the representative for Mathura in the Uttar Pradesh legislative assembly, announced a contribution of five lakh rupees for the construction of the gate from his discretionary fund. Rajendra Das ji Maharaj said that Chaitanya Mahaprabhu didn’t belong to Gaudiyas only, but his life is an example for the devotees of all the sampradayas. Sadhvi Ritambhara said that Mahaprabhu was the source of bhakti in his contemporary time. Vineet Narain, President of the Braj Foundation declared that his NGO will spend Rupees ten crores to build a ghat on Yamuna in front of Imli Tala in the name of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Madhu Pandit Das, Chairman of the Akshay Patra Foundation said that without Mahaprabhu’s mercy we wouldn’t know about Vrindavan Dham. Swami B.A. Paramadvaiti from the Vrinda Mission said that the best way to pay our respect to Mahaprabhu is to preserve the Dham which his followers six Goswami’s left for us. Vrindavan Municipal Chairman Mukesh Gautam, Baba Chaitanya Charan Das, Mahant Sutikshan Maharaj, Baba Haribol Das, Fuldol Bihari Das, Nirmal Chandra Goswami, Smt. Krishna Goswami, Tamal Krishna Das, Mahant Sacchidananda Das, Jagannathananda Das, Bihari Lal Bashishtha addressed the event. Girraj Nangia, Vinod Banerjee, Madhumangal Shukla, Mridul Kant Shashtri, Jagannath Poddar, Bal Krishna Gautam, Ramesh Chandra Vidhi Shashtri etc. were present in this occasion.
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    Radharani Braja Yatra, Day 3: Nandagaon

    Barsana, 2014.10.10 (VT): Places visited on Day 3: Gulab Sakhi Samadhi, Prema Sarorava, Sanket, Purnamasi Bhajan Gupha (Kutir), Uddhava Kyari, Nandagram, Tera Kadamba, Asheshvara Mahadeva Gulab Sakhi Samadhi The party left from Barsana progressing towards Nandagaon. On the left off the main road is Gulab Sakhi’s chabutara or raised platform, which is his samādhi. Gulab Sakhi was a Muslim and a great devotee of Radharani. Once he was sitting beneath the tree behind the Shriji mandir when a temple pujari asked him, “What are you doing here?” Gulabji said, “I have the seva of offering pan to Thakurani.” The pujari asked, “What is the proof?” Gulabji opened his hand and said, “Well, here is the pan that you just offered to Shriji.” The pujari was astounded and could understand that this devotee is very dear to Radharani. Prema Sarovar Next we came to Prema Sarovar. This lake manifested from the tears of Shriji in her complete mahā-bhāva relation with the Lord. This is such a beautiful kund with many steps where the pilgrims can take darshan and snana. Here Thakurji was placed on a table and bhoga was offered. Nrisingha Baba led another rasiya kirtan. Sanket Vana Sanket Vana, came after this. The word sanket refers to signs, through various hidden indications the Divine Couple would come and rendezvous here. This place was the field of their early loving exchanges. One time Krishna said, “Oh you are a very beautiful girl, where are you from? Where is your father and mother? I have never seen you before? I am none other than Nanda-nandan.” Radharani asked, “Are you the same fellow who is always stealing the butter?” Then Krishna becomes embarrassed and felt that on the first meeting this was not an impressive start. He replied, “What it may be , but don’t worry I will not steal any thing from you. Why don’t you just play with me?” Surdas wrote this conversation in his poetry. Also Gopal Batta Goswami’s samadhi is located here. Here Sanket Bihari, the presiding deity which was returned just a few days ago after being abducted one year previously. Such a beautifully deity carved from fine hard stone is nearly impossible to make in these modern times. Uddhava Kyari Then we arrived at Uddhava Kyari, where Uddhava met with the gopis, he was sent by Krishna to give a message and here he witnessed the exalted stature of their love for Krishna. Uddhava was a great jñāni pandit, a disciple of Bṛhaspati, the guru of the demigods, however before the gopis he felt ever so unqualified in his relation with the Lord. Here he spoke his verses glorifying the gopis. He told the gopis, “Krishna is the Supreme Soul and you are the part and parcel souls, so there can no be any separation between you and the Lord. Just meditate on him and you will feel his presence.” But the gopis replied, “You say to meditate on him but we are trying to pull him out from our minds!” They are always remembering him because they do not have anything else but him. Nandagaon From there the long line of pilgrims could easily see Nandagram manifesting in the distance, a mount that has the main white temple on top. Nandagram is the home of Shri Krishna. Krishna would cow graze his cows here and have pastimes with his cowherd boy friends. Many other pastimes took place here. The mountain of Nandagram is known as Nandishwar, the head of Lord Shiva. One time Śaṅkara came to take darshan and he was wearing matted locks, skulls, and snakes on his body. Yashoda Mayi was thinking that if my little boy sees this form with its extraordinary dress and ornaments he will be frightened. So she asked Shiva to stay some distance away. Shiva was saddened and stayed at a distance came here and sat here and hoped that one day he could get the darshan of the Lord, from which he gets the name Asheshwar (“one who sits with hope”). In this mood, Mahadeva and began to play his damaru, his drum with a ball. Krishna knew he was there playing and he started to cry. Yashoda Ma wondered why her Lala was crying and the other gopis asked her, “Did you sent a guest away? Perhaps he has done some black magic?” Yashoda told them, “Oh, one baba came to see Krishna and I did not allow him to enter because he looked so strange. After he left my Lala began to cry.” Then the gopis said, “Oh then you had better go quickly and call that baba back. He must be the reason behind all this crying.” Mother Yashoda order them, “Jao jao! Go get him!” The gopis looked for him, and found Shiva with his eyes closed in meditation on Krishna. The gopis asked Mahadeva, “Hey sadhu, are you sleeping? Mother wants you to come and solve a problem with Krishna.” Shiva said, “What does she want of me? She has already told me to go away.” The gopis replied, “Don’t worry just come.” When he arrived, Yashoda explained the condition of the child and Lord Shiva said, “I am expert in the healing arts.” When Krishna saw Shiva, he became silent. Then both Lords were satisfied Lord Shiva with mantras and put some ashes in his navel and asked the gopis to lift the child and place the lotus feet of the Lord on his head. Yashoda then begged Lord Shiva to always reside in Nandagram. Lord Shiva’s prayers had been answered. This is the pastime behind Lord Shiva taking the form of Nandishwar mountain in Nandagram. Ter Kadamba We walked by the pandal setup to Ter Kadamba.After cow grazing, Krishna climbed the kadamba tree and called the cows to return to their home. Here Krishna and Balaram would play with the sakhas, cowherd boys. This place was also Rupa Goswami’s bhajan-sthali (place). He would perform his bhajan here. Once when Sanatan came to meet Rupa. While they were engaged in Hari katha, Rupa was thinking, “My elder brother is an elevated Vaishnava. How can I serve him?” He had nothing to give him. He himself used to only eat madhukari by begging from the local Brijvasis and had no possessions. At that time a beautiful little girl came with some milk products and rice, and said, “You make some kheer (sweet rice) with this, my mother sent this to you. You appear to be busy in sādhanas and discussion, so I can prepare this offering.” So while the two brothers were absorbed, she started to cook and completed it. “You can now offer to your Thakur, I am going.” and left. When Rupa offered the prasad to his brother, Sanatan, after tasting experienced aṣṭa-sāttvika bhāvas, ecstatic symptoms on his body. The Sanatan asked, “Where did you get this prasad?” Rupa replied what had happened and then Sanatan said, “No ordinary being can make such a preparation.” Rupa told him, “I was thinking how to give you some gift and then this girl just came to me.” Rupa described what she looked like and Sanatan, “Oh Radharani has come herself and served us. We have given some difficulty to her, we should be careful our of desires.” And he told Rupa never to accept Radharani’s servants, as we are all her servants. In the pandal program, Baba Shri mentions how Shri Radharani is much more merciful than Krishna. The milk goods supplied to Madhavendra Puri by Krishna cannot compare to the opulent kheer supplied to Rupa by Shrimati Radhika. As we have unlimited material desires, it is very difficult for us to understand this elevated mood of Sanatan, to never inconvenience the Supreme. Of course in this situation, is the nature of the Lord; the satisfaction in serving the selfless devotee.
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    The Opportunity for Seva: Untouched Braja

    Barsana, 2014.10.05 (Save Braja Forum): Sadly, many major areas in Braja Mandal have today become nothing more that cement habitations, especially catering to the well-to-do and selfish visitors, who bring great material wealth to the area, at the cost of sacrificing the pristine beauty of this land. Trees and sacred grounds have disappeared, being ravaged and ignored amidst the rush of selfish and temporal concerns, while the panoramic history of the Supreme Lord’s prakaṭa (manifest) pastimes 5,000 years ago is we ignored. But are we wholeheartedly aware of the aprakaṭa (unmanifest) pastime presence of the Lord of this very day? If we did, then how would we be able to reside here without a semblance of sensitivity to the supreme feelings (bhāva) as we destroy their domain with indifference? Have we become simpleton armchair philosophers, lamenting, “Oh the age of Kali-yuga is upon us, and so the Dham is depreciating. Nothing can be done to stop it.” Even if this appears to be the case, perhaps we should recognize that the revolving yuga cycle gives us an opportunity for seva, and that we actually can do something about it. The time is now upon us to truly honor the Divine Couple in their abode. After all, are we not being observed? Under the inspiration of Sri Ramesh Babaji Maharaj at Maan Mandir, Gahvarvan, Barsana, a humble effort has begun to protect and preserve the hills of Barsana. After many years of struggle, fighting for the sanctity of this sacred land, these holy grounds have been finally given governmental protection. Just look at the hills of Barsana, especially behind the Jaipur and Shriji mandirs, where a hidden forest of untouched Braja has survived, including 70 foot trees. This garden, unknown even to most locals, is a fitting backdrop and playground for the Lord’s present pastimes. This is just a beginning. What can you do? Touch the Dham in seva and be touched by your Lord as you care, at least enough to secure the holy natural environment in Braj for the future generations. Link: www.facebook.com/brajdhamseva
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