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    A108-AI

    Kusum Sarovar and Raja Suraj Mal’s Chattris

    Kusum Sarovar, which means a lake of flowers, is also known as Sumana Sarovar. It is believed that long back a beautiful forest once ran all around the kund, which was filled with sweet-smelling flowering trees. Standing near the two well-known pilgrimage towns of Mathura and Vrindavan, this place is located on the holy Govardhana hill that is famously associated with Shri Krishna. Among the lesser known historical monuments in the state of Uttar Pradesh are a group of 18th century memorial chattris or cenotaphs with a pretty water-body or kund in the foreground, known as Kusum Sarovar. Standing near the two well-known pilgrimage towns of Mathura and Vrindavan, this place is located on the holy Govardhana hill that is famously associated with Sri Krishna. Near this group of monuments also stand the Radha kund and Narada Kund, the latter being the place where it is believed that Bhakti Sutra was written by Narada. The recently renovated Kusum Sarovar group of chattris was built as a memorial for Maharaja Suraj Mal and his wife Kishori Rani in 1764 by his son Maharaja Jawahar Singh, the Jat ruler of Bharatpur, who reigned the region from 1707 to 1763. The central structure of the memorial is a large square with a high stone terrace, prettily carved domed bastions at corners, and lateral bays. The main chattris are built at the centre of a raised, ornamented high platform with two staircases to reach the top. Maharaja Suraj Mal, in whose name the chattris were built, was the famous Jat king who had successfully defeated the Mughal army stationed at Agra, causing much damage thereafter. According to some historians, Suraj Mal was later killed in Delhi in 1763 in a Mughal ambush, somewhere near the Hindon River. Later during the colonial era, members from this dynasty died while fighting against the British. The pretty kund that stands in front of the famous Jat king’s chattris also has an interesting history. The name of this kund is supposedly derived from an episode in the Kilakinchita Lila, where it speaks of Radha and the gopis gathering flowers to offer to Surya in a closely situated Surya Temple. It was on the banks of this sarovar that they would regularly meet Krishna and his friend Madhumangala. Kusum2-620x413.jpgKusum Sarovar chattri P.C. Monidipa Dey, Financial Express Kusum Sarovar, which means a lake of flowers, is also known as Sumana Sarovar. It is believed that long back a beautiful forest once ran all around the kund, which was filled with sweet smelling flowering trees such as mallika, chameli, juhi, champaka, bel, among many others. Set beautifully against the exotic sandstone memorial chattris, the 60 feet deep sarovar also holds a replica of Radha and Krishna’s feet in a separate monument. The chattri ceilings hold remnants of beautiful frescoes that depict scenes from various Krishna-gopi leelas. According to folklore, Muni Ashtavakra had once performed penance on the banks of Kusum Sarovar for a darshan of Sri Radha-Krishna. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is also believed to have visited this sarovar, and taken a dip in the cool waters of this holy kund.
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    A108-AI

    Video - Bhaktisiddhanta's Innovations for Preaching

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    Video - Shri Radha Naam Kirtan (part-4)

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    Devotees thronged Ghats, temples in Braj on Mauni Amavasya

    Vrindavan, 06.02.2019 Devotional fervor ran high in Braj on the occasion of Mauni Amavasya which was observed on the new moon day of Magha Krishna Paksha of the Hindu calendar. Since it fell on a Monday (February 4) this time, people also received the benefit of it being a Somavati Amavasya. Mauni Amavasya has great significance in the Hindu spiritual tradition. It is said that on this day, Rishabh Dev – considered as the first sage – broke his long vow of silence and bathed in the holy waters at Sangam (confluence of the Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati) in Prayagraj. It is also the third and most important ‘shaahi snaan’ date of Kumbh Mela. In Braj, devotees took a dip in the Yamuna at Vishram Ghat during ‘Brahma Muhurta’ and performed various rituals to propitiate the gods, particularly Lord Shiva, Vishnu and the Sun God. After observing ‘maun vrata’(vow of silence) during the day, people flocked to temples and gave sesame seeds, grains, and clothes in charity. Undeterred by the cold and dense fog, many also did Vrindavan and Giriraj Parikrama. Huge crowds gathered in the Bhandira Van temple where Lord Brahma performed the marriage of Radha and Krishna. It is believed that bathing in the waters of the sacred well during the ‘Brahma Muhurta’ on Somavati Amavasya fulfills all wishes. Married women also took a dip in the adjoining pond to be blessed with a child. Krishna is holding his hand over Radha's head to put sindur in her part in Bhandira Van temple
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    For 14 days, Paramahamsa Vishwananda led 70 of His Shree Peetha Nilaya residents on a pilgrimage through South India. The group travelled to nine cities to explore the roots of our Sri Sampradaya and some of the history of Lord Rama on His trek to rescue His beloved Sita. The group enjoyed more than 30 temples, many of which are Divya Desams: the 108 Vishnu temples that are mentioned in the poetic works of the Tamil Alvars (saints). As always, traveling with the Master includes delights and surprises along the way. This time, the group was blessed to encounter three saints and enjoy the hospitality of several other gurus and acharyas. A highlight of the trip was a ritual bath in Adhi Setu (the ocean near Rameswara) and the blessing of being bathed by the sacred waters of 22 sacred tirthams (ponds) to absolve all sins. The group also enjoyed a swim in the sea where Lord Rama’s monkey army built the floating bridge to Lanka.
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    Video - Jai Jai Radha Ramana Haribol Kirtan

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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

    What’s cooking in Thakurji’s winter kitchens?

    Vrindavan, 22.12.2018 ← Radha Vallabha Temple Starting from Margashirsha Shukla Dwadashi, also known as Vyanjan Dwadashi, a month-long ‘Khichri Festival’ is celebrated in the ancient temples of Lord Krishna in Braj every year. This year Vyanjan Dwadashi was celebrated on December 20. The humble ‘khichri’ made of rice and lentils is the ultimate winter comfort food particularly when cooked in pure ghee, with lots of nuts and warming spices such as saffron, nutmeg, cloves and pepper. The ‘khichri bhog’ is mostly prepared by the temple priests/goswamis themselves. In Vrindavan’s Radharaman Temple, ‘khichri’ is being offered to the deity as ‘Shringaar Bhog’. Lord RadhaRaman savours his ‘khichri’ while enjoying the warmth from the simmering ‘angithi’ (brazier). Other winter delicacies such as ‘til laddoos’ and ‘til pattis’ made using sesame seeds and jaggery are also offered to him with the accompaniment of traditional songs sung by devotees. While Vyanjan Dwadshi approximately marks the setting in of crisp winters, not all temples celebrate ‘Khichri Festival’ beginning this day. In RadhaVallabh Temple, for instance, ‘Khichri Utsav’ will commence from January 8. However, most changes in temple rituals happen around this Dwadashi and the following ‘Margashirsha Poornima’ (full-moon, December 22) which is celebrated as ‘gaddal poornima’ – the day when thick woollen blankets are offered to the deities. Radha Raman’s Khichri Bhog → ‘Angithis’ are being lit for the lord’s comfort in various temples in Mathura-Vrindavan including Dwarkadhish, RadhaVallabh, RadhaRaman, Radha Damodar, RadhaShyamsundar, RadhaGopinath, Radhika Priyavallabh, Yashodanand Dham, Rangji, Sevakunj and Gokulanand Temple. While RadhaVallabh Lal is basking in the warmth from a ‘silver angithi’, a twist of nuts and saffron (‘kesar’) – from ‘kesar makhan mishri’ and ‘kesar halwa’ in the morning, to ‘kesar kheer’ in the afternoon and ‘kesar doodh’ at night – has been added to Banke Bihari ji’s bhog for the season. He is also being given a daily massage with ‘saffron ittr’ (perfumed essential oil)! In Mathura’s Dwarkadhish Temple, ‘Rajadhiraj’ will be served ‘saffron milk’ and ‘suha – ag sonth’ made with saffron, almonds, dry ginger and other warm ingredients. All curtains will replaced with thick ones made of cotton. The service will continue for the next 40-45 days till the next Poornima. Deities are being dressed in woollen clothes, and special ‘makhmal razaais’ (silk-velevt blankets), warm mattresses and ‘Pashmina’ quilts/covers are being used for ‘shayan’ rituals.
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    A108-AI

    Video - Radha-kunda preaching

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    A108-AI

    Vrindavan Research Institute completes Golden Jubilee Year

    01.12.Vrindavan, 2018 This year the Vrindavan Research Institute (VRI), situated on Bhaktivedanta Marg, Vrindavan is celebrating the completion of 50 years of serving Vrindavan lovers and religious scholars. The institute is responsible for preserving hundreds of manuscripts and also has a small museum that showcases cultural relics and manuscripts. The VRI also works to promote local artists and traditional art. The Golden Jubilee celebrations gave a ripe opportunity for stage performances by several of Braj’s prominent artists. Among the performers was classical singer JSR Madhukar, who has been performing in Braj since childhood. His guru and father was the legendary vocal Maestro, Rasik Sant Hit Shri Asudaram Jee, from the Swami Haridas Parampara & Jaipur Gharana. On 25th November, Braj Rasik JSR Madhukarji and his Sahadharmini also came to the VT office. These days, he is engaged in doing something quite unique – he goes to all the samadhis and bhajan sthalis of the great Braj rasik saints and Vanikars and records their songs. He has already done quite a few and is planning more.
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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

    Confusion over Hariyali Teej dates

    ← Radha Vallabh Ji on Haryali Teej Vrindavan, 2018.08.12 The Teej tithi falling across two dates has created confusion among devotees and the possibility that some will miss out on the Hariyali darshan of their beloved Thakur. Some temples are celebrating Hariyali Teej on the 13th, while others are celebrating on 14th. The festival will be celebrated in Radharaman temple starting on the evening of Monday 13th , but, at Banke Bihari temple the darshan of Thakurji amongst greenery will start from the morning of the 14th. Due to a Supreme Court ruling, doe to excessive crowds in the evenings, Banke Bihari’s management has been told to put up flower bangalows earlier so that devotees can have this spectacular darshan in the mornings also. According to tradition, on Hariyali Teej, Bihariji can be seen sitting on His silver swing when the temple opens in the evening at 5pm, however, this year, management is considering bringing out the swing in the morning also. In the evening, the temple will open at 4pm and will remain open until midnight. Assistant manager, Umesh Saraswat, said that the final decision about Hariyali Teej darshan timings will be made at a meeting on the 13thAugust. Visitors to Radha Vallabha and Radharaman temples will enjoy special songs about Thakurji’s swing pastime, which will continue until Raksha Bandhan on 26th August. Authorities have informed that Vrindavan roads will be closed to visitor vehicles from the 13th and will stay closed until after the Independence Day celebrations on the 15th. The efforts to reduce the traffic congestion will include 80 checkpoints where visitor cars will be redirected by 800 police personnel. E –Rickshaws and tempos will also be stopped, so people will have to walk from the carparks into town. Yesterday also, there were huge crowds in Vrindavan’s temples for Hariyali Amavasya, the tithi that marks the date of the last flower bangalows of the season.
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    A108-AI

    Vishram Ghat: Where Braj Parikrama Begins and ends

    Mathura, 2018.06.26 At Mathura's famous Vishram Ghat, devotees setting out on the 40 day Braj Mandal Parikrama take vows to follow the rules and special penances of the Parikrama. After the arduous journey, devotees return to this place to celebrate the completion of their parikrama while remembering how Shri Krishna took rest here after killing King Kamsa. Along with many of Mathura's ghats, Vishram Ghat was restored in 2007. Of Mathura's 25 ghats, Vishram Ghat is considered to be the foremost. It is situated in the middle of the line of ghats and is close to many of Mathura's most elegant temples including Dwarkadhish. There are several small temples at Vishram Ghat including Mathura's Yamuna Devi temple. Mangal Aarti is held here at 4.45am in summer and 5.15 in winter. The other temples of Vishram Ghat are Krishna Balaram “Mukut” temple, Neelkanteshwar Mahadev temple, Veni Mahadev temple, Radha Damodar temple, Yamuna Krishna temple, Langali Hanuman temple, Narasimha Dev temple, Yamraj temple and Murli Mohan temple. The ghat is always crowded with devotees, but there are few amenities for visitors. There is no toilet block nearby and the water from the taps is not potable. Devotees are also disappointed by seeing drains emptying into the Yamuna here. The head pujari at Vishram Ghat, Jhabbu Chaturvedi, said that the government should help to develop the ghat so that visitors are encouraged to spend more time in the area.
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    A108-AI

    Vrindavan temples will be closed on Guru Purnima

    Braj, 2018.07.17 The management of Radharaman temple has announced that on, Guru Purnima, the temple will remained closed after 2.50pm due to a lunar eclipse. Many other temples are likely to remain closed on th evening of the 27th, which is disappointing news for the hundreds of thousands of visitors who manage to get away from the daily grind come to Vrindavan. Darshan of Vrindavan’s Thakurjis is not something that is easily achieved. The eclipse will no doubt also decrease the number of people doing parikrama in the evening as it is thought that the best thing to do at such times is to stay inside and sing or chant. The eclipse is being described as the longest eclipse in the century. The Lunar Eclipse Starts – 23:54:26 on 27th July and ends at 3:49am on 28th. During this time, the moon will appear red as the earth’s shadow blocks the other wavelengths of light. Precautions are taken at this time because evil influences are said to be more prominent and it is not recommended to sleep during an eclipse as such prominent celestial events can cause nightmares. The clash of Guru Purnima and the lunar eclipse is unfortunate although perhaps some will take advantage by having their own jagran (fast from sleep) program. Dwarkadheesh jhula Dwarkadheesh temple has announced that Lord Dwarkadheesh’s Jhulan Yatra (swing festival) will begin from the evening of 28th July. During the month of August, Braj’s temples will all hold Jhulan Yatra festivals. The swing festival is held for several days, even weeks in some temples. Many temples begin the festival from Hariyali Teej (13th August) by installing Thakurji’s swing among decorations made from greenery. The festival continues until Raksha Bandhan (26th August).
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    Описание облика Кришны

    Текст из "Брихад Бхагаватамриты" Санатана Госвами: "Затем я увидел на расстоянии луноподобное лицо Шри Пурушоттама Бхагавана, украшенное огромными лотосоподобными глазами, на чьем лбу сверкала тилака цвета драгоценных камней, чья кожа светилась как заколдованное облако (читай - грозовое облако), чьи красные губы великолепно сияли, и чья мягкая улыбка была подобна лунному свету, дарующему безграничную милость каждому." Текст из "Шри Шри Радха-Кришна-ганодеша-дипики" Шрила Рупа Госвами: Сладостная, подобная нектару красота тела Господа Кришны сияет, словно черная краска для подводки глаз. Его тело цветом напоминает цветок синего лотоса или цейлонский сапфир. Его тело очаровательно как изумруд, дерево тамала или скопление прекрасных темных облаков. Он океан нектарной красоты. Он одет в желтые одежды, а на Его шее гирлянда из лесных цветов. Он украшен различными драгоценными камнями и подобен сосуду, хранящему нектар многочисленных трансцендентальных игр. У Него длинные вьющиеся волосы, а тело умащено многочисленными ароматными маслами. Его дивной красоты корона окрашена множеством разнообразных цветов. Его прекрасный лоб украшают знаки тилаки и локоны, вьющихся волос. Игривые движения Его вздернутых черных бровей чаруют сердца гопи. Его подвижные глаза прекрасны, словно цветы синего и красного лотоса. Кончик Его носа красив, как клюв Гаруды, царя птиц. В ушах Его, свисающие до самых щек серьги, осыпанные различными самоцветами. Его прекрасное лотосное лицо великолепно как скопление миллионов лун. Он так и сыплет милыми шутками, а Его подбородок просто неподражаем. Его чарующей красоты шея имеет три плавных изгиба. Обитатели всех трех планетных систем заворожены красотой Его шеи, украшенной жемчужным ожерельем. Грудь Кришны, украшенная ожерельем из жемчуга и сияющим, подобно молнии камнем Каустубха, жаждет наслаждений в обществе прекрасных гопи. Украшенные браслетами на запястьях и выше локтей, руки Кришны простираются до самых Его коленей. Его красноватые словно лотос ладони украшены различными благоприятными знаками. Ладони Кришны украшают благоприятные знаки булавы, раковины, ячменного зерна, зонта, полулуния, стрекала для управления слоном, флага, цветка лотоса, жертвенного столба, плуга, кувшина и рыбы. Прекрасный живот Кришны – обитель самой красоты. Его небесного очарования спина словно сама приглашает гопи игриво прикоснуться к ней. Бедра Кришны, подобные напоенному нектаром цветку лотоса, сводят с ума самого Купидона. Ноги Его словно чудные деревья платана. Они чаруют женские сердца. Колени Кришны полны очарования, красоты и великолепия. Его лотсные стопы украшены драгоценными ножными браслетами. Стопы Кришны прекрасны как розы, их украшают различные благоприятные знаки: диск, полумесяц, восьмиугольник, треугольник., ячменное зерно, знак неба, зонт, сосуд для воды, раковина, отпечаток коровьего копыта, свастика, стрекало для управления слоном, цветок лотоса, лук и плод джамбу. Прекрасные стопы Кришны, словно два океана, наполненные счастьем чистой любви. Словно полные луны, собравшиеся в цепочку, чудесные ногти украшают их пальцы. Хотя мы порой красоту Кришны сравниваем с различными предметами, с ней ничто не сравнится. Здесь мы просто слегка касаемся красоты Кришны, чтобы пробудить привязанность читателя.
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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

    Video - The Progress of the Soul

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    Although Hit Dhruva Das is already giving the example of how to reside in Vrindavan, as we saw in the previous installment of Vrindavana-sata-lila, here he specifically takes the voice of the teacher and advises those who have been attracted by the glories of the Dham on how they need to behave, in other words, he tells us about the nature of Vraja-vasa sadhana. He describes an amazing spiritual practice that seems contrary to logic – The material vision is to see Vrindavan as a part of this material world. But, in fact, it is the bridge to the spiritual world of Divine Love. It is impossible to convey this to someone who has not experienced the bliss of chanting the Holy Names, who has not experienced the joys of singing the glories of the Divine Couple. Such acts of devotion open the doors to grace, and bestow upon one such powers of perception that when the devotee lies flat in sashtanga dandavat pranams in Vrindavan’s dust, s/he can feel the power of unlimited millions of devotees’ love for the Lord penetrating every atom of the body. How can one explain this to the uninitiated, whose minds and hearts are filled with desires for the fleeting pleasures of this world? And how to explain to the materialistic that only by giving up the pleasures of this world can one’s mind become capable of entering that mystical paradise that exists just beyond the eyes and mind of flesh? वृन्दावन इह विधि बसै तजि कैं सब अभिमान । तृन तैं नीचौ आपकौं जानै सोई जान ॥८७॥ vṛndāvana iha vidhi basai taji kaiṁ saba abhimāna | tṛna taiṁ nīcau āpakauṁ jānai soī jāna ||87|| The rule for residing in Vrindavan is to give up all false ego; Think of yourself as lower than grass, for that is true knowledge. कोमल चित सब सौं मिलै कबहुँ कठोर न होइ । निस्प्रेही निर्वैरता ताकौ सत्रु न कोइ ॥८८॥ komala cita saba sauṁ milai kabahuɱ kaṭhora na hoi | nisprehī nirvairatā tākau satru na koi ||88|| Deal with everyone gently, don’t ever be hard-hearted, give up material expectations and hostility, so that you make no enemies. दूजै तीजै जो जुरै साक पत्र कछु आइ । ताही सौं सन्तोष करि रहै अधिक सुख पाइ ॥८९॥ dūjai tījai jo jurai sāka patra kachu āi | tāhī sauṁ santoṣa kari rahai adhika sukha pāi ||89|| Whatever leaves or grains come to you every second or third day, be satisfied with that, you will find greater happiness living in that way. देह स्वाद छुटि जाइँ सब कछु होइ छीन सरीर । प्रेम रंग उर में बढ़ै बिहरै जमुना तीर ॥९०॥ deha svāda chuṭi jāiɱ saba kachu hoi chīna sarīra | prema raṁga ura meṁ baḏhai biharai jamunā tīra ||90|| Give up attachment to the sense of taste, and even if you become emaciated, increase the joy in your heart by wandering on the banks of the Yamuna. जुगल रूप की झलक उर नैंननि रहै झलकाइ । ऐसे सुख के रंग में राखै मनहि रँगाइ ॥९१॥ jugala rūpa kī jhalaka ura naiṁnani rahai jhalakāi | aise sukha ke raṁga meṁ rākhai manahi raɱgāi ||91|| The form of the Divine Couple will appear suddenly to your eyes like a flash, keep your mind colored with the colors of joy from that vision. आवै छबि की झलक उर झलकै नैंननि वारि । चिन्तत स्यामल गौर तन सकहि न तनै सँभारि ॥९२॥ āvai chabi kī jhalaka ura jhalakai naiṁnani vāri | cintata syāmala gaura tana sakahi na tanai saɱbhāri ||92|| May the image of the Divine Couple appear in your heart, tears in your eyes, May you think constantly of the Dark and Fair forms and forget your connection to the body. जीरन पट अति दीन लट हियैं सरस अनुराग । विवस सघन वन में फिरै गावत जुगल सुहाग ॥९३॥ jīrana paṭa ati dīna laṭa hiyaiṁ sarasa anurāga | vivasa saghana vana meṁ phirai gāvata jugala suhāga ||93|| Wear old rags, take on the appearance of a beggar, but in your heart love’s juice will brim, and you should wander in the forest, carefree, singing songs of the Divine Couple’s love. रसमय देखत फिरै वन नैंननि वन रहै आइ । कहुँ कहुँ आनँद रंग भरि परै धरनि थहराइ ॥९४॥ rasamaya dekhata phirai vana naiṁnani vana rahai āi | kahuɱ kahuɱ ānaɱda raṁga bhari parai dharani thaharāi ||94|| Your eyes should look at the nectar filled forest until it remains printed on your vision, and you will sometimes be so overwhelmed with the flow of joy that you fall to the ground in ecstasy. ऐसी गति ह्वै है कबहुँ मुख निसरत नहिं बैंन । देखि देखि वृन्दाविपिन भरि भरि ढारै नैंन ॥९५॥ aisī gati hvai hai kabahuɱ mukha nisarata nahiṁ baiṁna | dekhi dekhi vṛndāvipina bhari bhari ḍhārai naiṁna ||95|| Will that destiny ever be mine, when no words come from my mouth, when just looking at Vrindavan Dham, my eyes will fill with a rush of tears? वृन्दावन तरु तरु तरै ढरै नैंन सुख नीर । चिन्तत फिरै आवेस बस स्यामल गौर सरीर ॥९६॥ vṛndāvana taru taru tarai ḍharai naiṁna sukha nīra | cintata phirai āvesa basa syāmala gaura sarīra ||96|| When I will take shelter of the trees, tears of joy flowing from my eyes, and I wander under the control of absorption in the beauty of the Dark and Fair Couple. परम सच्चिदानन्दघन वृन्दाविपिन सुदेस । जामें कबहूँ होत नहिं माया काल प्रवेस ॥९७॥ parama saccidānandaghana vṛndāvipina sudesa | jāmeṁ kabahūɱ hota nahiṁ māyā kāla pravesa ||97|| This lovely land of Vrindavan is the supreme manifestation of existence, consciousness and bliss, where the illusory power and Time can never find entrance. सारद जो सत कोटि मिलि कलपन करैं विचार । वृन्दावन सुख रंग कौ कबहुँ न पावैं पार ॥९८॥ sārada jo sata koṭi mili kalapana karaiṁ vicāra | vṛndāvana sukha raṁga kau kabahuɱ na pāvaiṁ pāra ||98|| If I were to live for ten million years, using the best of my imagination, still I would never be able to find the limits of the blissful world of Vrindavan Dham. वृन्दावन आनंद घन सब तें उत्तम आहि । मो तें नीच न और कोऊ कैसे पैहौं ताहि ॥९९॥ vṛndāvana ānaṁda ghana saba teṁ uttama āhi | mo teṁ nīca na aura koū kaise paihauṁ tāhi ||99|| Vrindavan is the place of intense bliss, greater than any other, No one is a more lowly creature than myself, so how can I ever attain it? इत बौना आकास फल चाहत है मन माहिं । ताकौ एक कृपा बिना और जतन कछु नाहिं ॥१००॥ ita baunā ākāsa phala cāhata hai mana māhiṁ | tākau eka kṛpā binā aura jatana kachu nāhiṁ ||100|| Such aspirations are like imaginary fruits that are desired in a hungry man’s mind; only Radha’s grace will bestow it on me, efforts themselves are as nothing.
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