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  1. Around two hundred years back, when Gopal Das Mukherjee was the temple pujari. One morning when he was doing Madan Mohan’s shringar, he found it difficult to put the deity’s turban on him. He couldn’t put the turban even in after several attempts. Annoyed by the difficulty, the pujari slapped Madan Mohan with his left hand and did not bother trying to put the turban on afterward. That night Madan Mohan himself appeared to the then Mahant, Shri Chandra Das Goswami, and told him what had happened. He complained, “When Yashoda Maa dressed me up before I went off to gocharan (cow grazing), she would give me kheer or butter to eat. I was thinking of my mother’s love while the pujari was putting the turban. While remembering the mother I shook my head, which made it difficult for the pujari to put the turban.” The next day, the mahant went to the temple to see if the turban had been put on the deity. He found that it was missing from Madan Mohan’s head. When interrogated about the missing pagri, the pujari said that the bhandari (the storehouse manager) had not been able to get a good turban from the market, and this one was too small. Then the Mahant asked him if he had slapped Madan Mohan and the pujari shamefully admitted his misdeed. So the Mahant immediately sacked the pujari after paying him off. The pujari was so disappointed that he went to the Pushpanandan Ghat and began a hunger strike to the death, as he could not bear to live without serving Madan Mohan. With each passing day his condition deteriorated. All this was too much for Madan Mohan, who could not bear to see his devotee in trouble. He appeared again to the mahant in a dream and pleaded with him to re-employ the pujari. Madan Mohan excused the pujari’s offense as he had been in haste to perform his father’s shraddh ceremony that day. When the pujari was asked about it, he admitted that he had been late for the shraddh and was in hurry and that is why he had been frustrated. Pujari was finally given his job back and the tradition to offer kulia after shringar was established in the temple. The samadhi of the Pujari Shri Gopal Mukherjee is still there in the temple grounds. Many similar stories are told about the deities of each of the Sapta Devalayas and the temples of the contemporary times. When narrated by the Acharyas, these stories seem to be as real as if happening just in front of us.
  2. 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.
  3. Site Admin

    Dhama Nistha Dhama Seva

    Barsana, 2015.07.01 I have been ordered by the residents of the dhāma to speak about the dhāma. How can I talk about dhāma? I am unable to do this because I do not understand the dhāma. Even Brahma Ji cannot describe the dhāma then how can I possibly do so? Since there is a formality here in this program I shall try. I will share with you my first lesson when coming to Braja and talk about this incident as it concerns Śri Priya Sharan Das Bābājī for whom you have organized this annual celebration. That day was the point when my relationship with the dhāma began. Bābā (Śri Priya Sharan Das Bābājī) had come to Mān Mandir during a parikrama around Braja. In those days I, although not knowing much, used to frequently lecture in many places like Jaipur, and Alwar. On one very hectic day, running around in a car, I delivered 33 lectures, and people followed me to the various places till 2am. In the final lecture, I had answered 12 questions in a very authoritative manner, and people listened with great interest. Then came the 13th question; “How can one realize God?” It was a big crowd and suddenly I felt quite awkward. My tongue stumbled and I could not reply, it wasn’t that I felt sick physically. I thought to myself whether I could even answer this question? “Have I personally realized Śrī Ji myself?” Later, while I was resting, I asked the owner of the house to just to take me back to Braja. I insisted that if he did not, I would immediately walk back myself. He finally agreed and brought me to Barṣāṇā, however there were a lot of followers who wanted my lectures and to keep in contact. We were busy preparing pamphlets for my discourses when Priya Sharan Das Bābā had come to Mān Mandir on his passage through Braja. He questioned me whether at such a young age, had I actually given up my previous habits of lecturing and intermingling to do bhajan? I appreciated his comment and then started going to his lectures. He then told me, “That since I had left home for Kṛṣṇa, it is better that I take the shelter of the dhāma, and be dependent on the dhāma.” This changed my life. I started reading a lot of scriptures about the dhāma like the Śataks and other texts. From that point I withdrew from all outside connections, affiliations, reading, and writing, with any world outside the dhāma. As a result, I had to face a lot of opposition from my followers. Today, you are glorifying my guru Mahārāj, the one who taught me about the dhāma so I will speak about the dhāma. This brings back fond memories of him, as he was the one who gave me a great lesson. Bhagavān’s nāma (names), rupa (form), dhāma (abode), līlā (pastimes), guṇa (attributes) and jana (pure devotees), are all on the same platform. However, it has been declared by rasikās (experts in tasting rāsa) that the most simple and easy way to approach Bhagavān is through the dhāma. Even though the nāma is very easy, it cannot be chanted 24 hours a day as one needs to sleep. It is neither possible to chant harināma during sleep, as the jīva is not situated in such an elevated state, to perpetually meditate on the rupa, or continually glorify the qualities of Bhagavān. Again, it is not feasible to uninterruptedly sing the glorious līlās of the Supreme, and is difficult to have uninterrupted access and serve the jana. Hence, the saints clearly advise that one should take shelter of the dhāma, and be reliant on it. While in dhāma, you are there in all conditions. When you sleep you in the dhāma, when you wake up you still are in the dhāma. The Śataka-karas have mentioned hundreds of ślokas in this regard. They have gone to the extent of saying; dūre caitanya-caraṇāḥ kalir āvirabhūn mahān |[/b] kṛṣṇa-premā kathaṁ prāpyo vinā vṛndāvane ratim ||[/b]4.29|| All the ācāryas have already left. The very air that touched them could deliver a jīva. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, Śrī Vallabhācārya Mahāprabhu, Swami Haridāsaji, Śrī Hitharivanshji Mahārāj, Mahavānikār Hari Vyāsaji are all gone. How can one obtain Kṛṣṇa prema now? The author of the Śataka says that the only available resort now is the Vṛndāvanaraja (dust of Vṛndāvana), the dhāma raja. Even in the Śiva Upāsanā it is stated: kāśyām maraṇān muktiḥ. If you cannot do much, just go and die in Kāśi. The same is found in Rāma Upāsanā also. baṁdauṁ avadha purī ati pāvani sarajū sari kali kaluṣa nasāvani These are the bare facts. The glories of the dhāma hold true in all yugas including Kali-yuga and even at the time of the pralaya (devastation). It destroys the vices of Kali-yuga. A visual proof is the number of people visiting the dhāma every year. In one day of Moodia (Guru) purnima in Braja, over 400 thousand people visit Govardhan, according to the newspapers. It is not inaccurate to say that millions visit Govardhan throughout the year. Similarly, millions come to Vṛndāvana, Gokul, Barṣāṇā (during Holi & Rādhāṣṭami), Nandgaon, Dauji, Kamyavan (Kama), and Mathura. Millions upon millions visit the dhāma to reap the benefits of its potencies. This is a practical proof that the dhāma is alleviating the devotees from the vices of Kali yuga. The same holds true for Awadh dhāma also. pranavauṁ pura nara nāri bahorī mamatā jinha para prabhu hi nā thorī RCM 1.15.2 One should pay obeisance’s to the people who live in the dhāma. They are the ‘transformed loved ones’ of God just by the virtue of staying in the dhāma. A very special aspect of the dhāma is that even the most unpardonable/unforgiveable offence turns pardonable by the mercy of the dhāma. For example, a mere rajaka (washerman) had made a great offence towards Bhagavatī Sītā by commenting that Rāmā could not be Rāmā for accepting His wife Sītā Ji back. He was not alone, as he had encouraged an entire community who harbored such feelings. However, all of them were pardoned of their deplorable offence by the mercy of the dhāma, as how a mother pardons the many offences of her child against herself. siyā niṁdaka agha ogha nasāe lok visoka banāi basāe The merciful dhāma destroyed this great wave of transgressions by this group of offenders against Sita Ji, they were pardoned by the dhāma. This is the greatest proof of the unimaginable potencies of the dhāma, as they all remained and lived in the dhāma. majjahiṁ sajjana vṛṁda bahu pāvana sarajū nīra japahiṁ rāma dhari dhyāna ura suṁdara syāma sarīra daras paras majjan aru pānā | hara i pāpa kaha beda purānā nadī punīta amit mahimā ati | kahi na saka i sāradā bimala mati RCM 1.34 Merely by staying in this dhāma, one obtains the Nitya dhāma without even trying for it. rāma dhāmadā purī suhāvani loka samasta bidita ati pāvani cāri khāni jaga jīva apārā avadha tajeṁ tanu nahiṁ saṁsārā If one cannot do much, one can at least simply go to the dhāma and die there. The glories of the dhāma are even sung by the Lord Himself. Lord Rāmā glorified Awadh dhāma to his beloved associates when he was returning from Laṅkā. He said that although Vaikuṇṭha is most absolute and is glorified by the Vedas and the Purāṇas, Awadh is far superior even though it is just a puri and appears mundane on bhurloka. The same has also been said about Braja. aho madhupurī dhanyā vaikuṇṭhaś ca garīyasī jadyapi sab vaikunth bakhana, veda puran bidit jagu jana avadhpuri sam priy nahi sou, yah prasang janai kou kou This concept is beyond the grasp of most to have such śraddhā, and such niṣṭhā. One may be a true scholar or even a truly renounced man, but such niṣṭhā is very difficult to achieve. Lord Rāma himself says that such niṣṭhā can be attained by only a very few. janmabhoomi mam puri suhavani uttar disi bah sarju pavni In this dhāma, the Lord performs unlimited past times; even the līlās of birth are found here which are not present in the nitya līlās. ja majjan te binhi prayasa, mam samip nar pavhi basa ati priy mohi ihan ke basi, mam dhamda puri sukh rasi Merely by staying in the dhāma, one is blessed with affection from the Lord Himself. One becomes His beloved. One who sees any difference between the Lord and His nāma, His dhāma or dhāmi (God Who performed līlās there), cannot be considered a devotee, no matter what. Even if one is a highly learned scholar it does not make a difference. He is certainly not a devotee. jā majjan te binahin prayāsa, mam sameep nar pāvahin bāsa One realizes the Lord just by dint of just living in the dhāma. To bathe and live in the dhāma will bring one to the Lord without effort. This is one of foremost aspects of the dhāma. This has also been declared by the rasikās of Braja and is a universal siddhānta (truth). One achieves perfection in the dhāma. It is a simple solution to realize God. This belief is important when one arrives in the dhāma, and stays in the dhāma. When one has no astha (belief), one still realizes God but the time duration is greatly extended. One surely realizes God, be it this birth or a later one. Even the one without astha shall receive pure satsaṅga some day, though it might be billions of years or kalpas in the future. There are several proofs to this statement and I shall talk about them later. This is important for people like us who are living in the dhāma. koaoo janam awadh bas joaee, ram parāyan avashya so hoi I shall narrate to you some stories about the dhāma’s potencies wherein even after many kalpas people have realized God. It is a sure fact that all the dhāma dwellers shall realize God one day, however, time durations may differ. Some day every dhāma-vasi shall have āsthā (faith) in pure satsaṅga and hence shall be able to realize God. There is however, a catch; one needs to maintain faith. There are several people around who mislead, distract and eventually bring down the āsthā. It is not only gṛhasthas but even sādhus who often bewilder people and make them fall spiritually. I do not say this because I detest anyone. Many people who visit me, often talk about dhāma niṣṭhā (devotion) in a rather undesirable way. They do so as they need to justify their travels outside Braja. I say, if you need to travel outside Braja, do so but do not speak about dhāma niṣṭhā in a poor light. Say, if one has conviction in the nāma and someone else confuses and weakens his faith, it is a nāma aparādha. Similary, in the case with the dhāma, it is people like me who incur dhāma aparādhe. I speak from experience as I have observed many people visiting scholars, even renounced ascetics, commit dhāma aparādha by speaking in an undesirable way. One cannot rebuke them as they have neither inquisitiveness nor eagerness to learn, and will not accept any advice. Such people shall get the dhāma’s mercy at a very later point of time. avadha prabhāva jāna taba prāni Why does it take so long to get the dhāma’s mercy? What is it that stops the dhāma from performing its miracle? The answer is; jaba ura basahiṁ rāma dhanupānī It shall happen only when you have the lotus feet of the Lord in your heart. (RCM 7.96) The above few examples have been given from Rāmāyaṇa on purpose. I do not claim to be a scholar on Rāmāyaṇa as I hardly understand it at all. I merely speak from Rāmāyaṇa to establish the fact that dhāma niṣṭhā is a universal truth, be it Awadh, Kāśi or Braja. We shall talk about Braja now. The same dhāma niṣṭhā has been emphasized for Braja also, that one cannot understand Vṛndāvana’s true svarupa (real form) just because one is staying in the dhāma. One shall understand the glories of the dhāma only when one has Rādhārāṇī’s lotus feet in his heart. As also mentioned earlier about Awadh: jaba ura basahiṁ rāma dhanupānī, Only when the bow wielding Lord Rāma takes a seat in your heart shall you realize the potencies of the dhāma, not before that, ever. Being scholarly does not help at all. Only when one’s istha dhāmi takes seat in one’s heart, can one obtain dhāma niṣṭhā. Prior to this, it’s a vacuum. People are fond of debating “Is God not all pervading and omni present?” Where is He not? They come up with such ideas and one is forced to remain silent. They say that we are trying to prove that God is not all pervading. All I want to say to them, “Oh dear ones, we absolutely agree that God is all pervading but all we are doing is embracing what has been declared by true saints of the past. If you want to sue me, you would had better sue those maha purushas (saints).” I am a mere parrot and have memorized these facts by heart and keep repeating them. God, the all pervading is like a tree. It happens that a fruit appears on this tree. You tell me, what is better to eat, the tree or the fruit from the tree? Of course, it is the fruit. I shall explain everything with scriptural evidences. If I eat the fruit, it does not mean that I have denounced the tree or have chopped it down. The relished fruit has appeared from the tree and the fact is that by my eating it, my niṣṭhā for the tree only grows in the process. The one who sees the tree and its fruit as different entities is a deluded person. God, the master of infinite universes stays only in Braja; they say that by saying this we are limiting Him, under stating His glories. They keep coming up with big arguments. Hear this; bhovan anek roam prati jāsu yeh mahima kachu bahut nā tāsu People say that we have reduced the master of infinite universes to just a master of a small place like Awadh. No we did not. One should ask the tree why it bears fruit. Why does tree not turn into a big fruit? Should one eat the whole tree? Should one eat the bark of a mango tree? soaoo jāne kar phal yeh leela kahe hi mahamunivar damsheela It is not that we have reduced God or placed a limitation on Him. We have only portrayed Him as ‘nectar fruit’. This is so as only fruit can bear nectar and not the tree. Hence, one should understand the glories of the dhāma. If one does not understand these glories then he shall not obtain the nectar of the dhāma and is a fool no matter how brilliant a scholar he may be. It is not me saying this, it is Gosvāmī Tulsidasji saying it and if you wish to sue somebody it should be him and not me. Even He put up an admonition as he actually said this principal has been declared by the great saints of the past. You never know when a critic may come up with an undermining detraction. Hence, he said that the true great saints have countered with this concept, that when God becomes a ‘dweller of one place,’ only then does true nectar manifest. It is after understanding these glories can one come to relish the nectar of God. so mahima khagesh jin jāni phir yehi charit tin hi rati māni Oh Garudaji, people who have understood these glories then relish the nectar that follows while (Bābā says) people like me only come up with counter questions, doubts and arguments and also claim to be learned scholars. They, after having understood all the glories, accept the supremacy of the dhāma. It is very difficult to understand this concept. The same has been said about Braja Vṛndāvana. Let us now talk about Braja now. It is declared by the Rādhā Sudhanidhikar’s that one cannot understand the glories of Braja Vṛndāvana. One can counter claim that he has studied a lot on the subject. But that is not important at all. One can claim to be a complete renounced ascetic. Well, renunciation can go to a choolah (oven). Even a Brahmānandi (a person in a state of Brahman/supreme beatitude) cannot perceive Braja. Radha Sudha Nidhikar states; brahmānandaika-vādāḥ katicana bhagavad-vandanānanda-mattāḥ kecid govinda-sakhyādy-anupama-paramānandam anye svadante | śrī-rādhā-kiṅkarīṇāṁ tv akhila-sukha-camatkāra-sāraika-sīmā tat-pādāmbhoja-rājan-nakha-maṇi-vilasaj-jyotir-eka-cchaṭāpi ||148|| Some in this world are uniquely devoted to the ecstasy of Brahma realization, while others are intoxicated with the joy of glorifying the Personal Lord. Some others relish an incomparable joy in friendship and other moods with Govinda. Those who are the maidservants of Radha, however, from even a single flash of the rays of the jewel toenails of her lotus feet experience the very upper limit of the essence of all wondrous manifestations of bliss. What to talk about Bābāji, Abāji, even a person who is a brahmanandi cannot realize Braja. What to do? Well, rasikas spell out the way. yad rādhā-pada-kiṅkarī-kṛta-hṛdā samyag bhaved gocaraṁ dhyeyaṁ naiva kadāpi yad dhṛdi vinā tasyāḥ kṛpā-sparśataḥ | yat premāmṛta-sindhu-sāra-rasadaṁ pāpaika-bhājām api tad vṛndāvana-duṣpraveśa-mahimāścaryaṁ hṛdi sphūrjatu ||266|| May the wondrous glories of Vrindavan, and understanding of which is so difficult to reach, which are only completely accessible to the heart that has become absorbed in service to Radha’s lotus feet, which can never be meditated upon without the touch of Radharani’s mercy, and which bestows the flavors of the essence of the ocean of nectar of Prema, be manifest even to those who are devoted to a sinful life, like me. The kripa (mercy) of the dhāma has been defined at three levels. The first are those who can see the dhāma clearly. The divya (divine) Barṣāṇā, divya Vṛndāvana. They see the divya, chinmaya (eternal), manimaya (laden with priceless stones) dhāma. Not all can visualize the true dhāma. It is not for people like me who do not have eyes. So who are the ones who can? They are the ones where yad rādhā-pada-kiṅkarī-kṛta-hṛdā samyag bhaved gocaraṁ exists. It is when you get kainkarya (affinity) towards the lotus feet of Ladali Ji (Rādhārāṇī), when the concept of I, being the body, goes. When you stop believing that you are a body of 30, 40, 70 years, young or old at age. It is when one stops seeing identities. The belief that I am Gopal das, he is Śyāma das and someone else is Rāma das should not be there. The fact is that only kainkaryas exist and all are sakhīs of Rādhārāṇī. They are the ones who see the dhāma clearly. This has been declared by the rasikās. If you have any doubt then you better keep it to yourself as I have no answers to them. I only speak from the scriptures and nowhere else. yad rādhā-pada-kiṅkarī-kṛta-hṛdā samyag bhaved gocaraṁ To understand Śrīmān Vṛndāvana, one needs the complete kripa of Kiśorī Jī (Rādhārāṇī). One understands simply nothing without Rādhārāṇī’s mercy. Only after Her mercy does one see dhāma. This is the first level of the dhāma’s mercy. The same philosophy has been declared earlier in Rāmāyaṇa. avadha prabhāva jāna taba prānī jaba ura basahiṁ rāma dhanupānī One can match both. It is the same principal for the dhāma. The difference that exists does so only in our hearts. yad rādhā-pada-kiṅkarī-kṛta-hṛdā samyag bhaved gocaraṁ
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  5. Mathura, 2014.10.18 (PTI): Pledging to keep Yamuna clean, widows of Vrindavan will offer thousands of ‘diyas’ on the ghats of the river this Diwali to raise awareness about its pollution. Widows of Vrindavan, who have continued to defy the age-old traditions by celebrating not only Diwali but Holi and Raksha Bandhan, besides taking part in Durga Puja in West Bengal, would light earthen lamps to ward off darkness in their lives. The three-day Diwali celebration would begin in Vrindavan from Tuesday. Besides lighting the colorful earthen lamps, they will sing bhajans. Around a thousand widows, mostly from West Bengal, live in Vrindavan for decades. Earlier treated as “inauspicious”, they were not allowed to take part in rituals, till NGO Sulabh International took a keen interest in their uplift. All the seven ashrams in Vrindavan will be decorated with lights and earthen lamps during Diwali. “Sulabh will continue with its nationwide campaign for the welfare of widows,” NGO’s founder Bindeshwar Pathak said. Pathak said he intended to draft a bill and hand it over to the Parliament to improve the plight of widows, who are abandoned by their families. He urged all political parties to support the proposed bill drafted by him.
  6. On, October 20, 2014; Jaya Varusha Aippasi Pooram, HH 46th Srimath Azhagiyasingar, Srivan Sathakopa Sri Ranganatha Yathindra Maha Desikan Performed Vijaya Yathirai to Vrindavan.On this occasion Srimath Azhagiyasingar had Poorna Kumbha Mariyadhai on Her Deve Mandhir and On October 21 Srimath Azhagiyasingar performed Abhigamanam Aardhanam where Theertham Sri Satari Prasada Vinyogam taken place systamatically Theertham Sri Satari Prasada Vinyogam taken place systamatically after that Srimath Azhagiyasingar performed Mangalasasanam in Srimath Srirangam Andavan Ashramam Sri Srinivasa Perumal Sannidhi followed by Srimath Azhagiyasingar performed Mangalasasanam in Keshi ghat Janaki Vallabh Mandhir and then Srimath Azhagiyasingar made Vijayam to NidhiVanam its the place where where Sri Krishna performed the Rasalila with Radharani decorating her hair with flowers and her lotus feet. Radha and Krishna would sometimes spend the night here.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..
  7. Vrindavan, 22nd August, 2015: Jhulanotsava, the festival of swinging, is being celebrated with fervor and gaiety across Vraja and Vrindavan. The deities of the various temples are seated on a swing and gently swung by the temple priests. The deities are giving darshan to their devotees from the majestic swings made of Gold, silver and wood. Even in the small households of Vrindavan the brajwasis and the devotees are celebrate the swing festival by getting their deities of Gopal ji and Radha Krishna seated on the ‘swing’ decorated in the alters . The deities are offered the sweet delicacies of Ghevar, feni, gujias, balooshahis etc. The festival began with the Hariyali Teej, third day of the bright half of the month of Shravan, and will last till the full moon of Shravan, Raksha Bandhan. When most of the temples began celebrating the swing festival by placing the deities on the swings, some temples are yet to celebrate the festival. They will begin the Jhulanotsava from Ekadashi. The ‘hindola’ made of gold in the Banke Bihari Temple was the major attraction on the first day as the devotees from the surrounding districts and the nearby towns thronged in the temple to have a glance of the majestic ‘hindola’. The temples of Shri Radha Raman, Radha Ballabh, Radha Shyam Sundar, Radha Damodar, Radha Gokulananda, Radha Govinda, Radha Gopinath, Radha Madan Mohan are also drawing the crowd of devotees. Samaj Gayan and Kirtan is being organized according to the rainy season mood of Shravan. For the festival of swinging, special verses are rendered in the temples, as the deities are seated on a swing and gently swung by the temple priests. The ras lila enacts the event of the Jhulan lila or play of swinging, that depicts the Divine Couple, swinging in the grove – a drama full of sweet emotions and loving sentiments. Various Raas Lila troupes are performing the dance drama to represent all of the Lord’s activities or pastimes in different places of Vrindavan. Swami Fateh Krishna’s Raas Lila Mandali is performing the dance drama of Shri Krishna Lila and Gouranga Lila from the stage of Gambhira in Jai Singh Ghera under the auspices of Shri Caitanya Prema Samasthan. Every raslila consists of an initial dance followed by a one act play based on any one of the multitude of Krishna’s lilas. The entire performance receives its name from its prior element, the ras, its most sacred component and its recurrent feature.
  8. Vrindavan, 4th May 2015: Radha Raman Dev takes birth again on Monday to please his devotees. A large number of devotees thronged in the Radha Raman Temple on the appearance day of the self manifested deity. The devotees felt blessed by witnessing the Mahabhishek, which continued for three hours. Everyone wanted to have a glimpse of their beloved Radha Raman having bath with the milk, honey, ghee, herbs, fruit juices etc. amid the Vedic chants. More than 2000 litres of milk, 350 kg of curd, and 100 kinds of herbs were used for the Mahabhishek. Every Goswami took their turn to serve the Lord, by showering panchamrita. The Mahabhishek ritual was performed under the supervision of the Senior Goswamis. The sound of the temple bell of the Radharaman Mandir resonated in the old part of the town during the Mahabhishek, hearing which the devotees ran to the temple to witness the spiritual event. In the morning when the curtain of the temple was raised the devotees shouted slogans in the praise of Shri Radha Raman. While many devotees stood with folded hands during the abhishek, others were catching the event in their cameras and mobiles. The Goswamis sang the traditional songs in the praise of the Lord. The Lord was adorned with the ornaments and new clothes after the Mahabhishek, which was followed by Aarti. The Goswamis distributed prasadam to the devotees. In the evening the temple was decorated with the scented flowers by organizing grand ‘Phool bangla’. Many foreign devotees also celebrated the appearance day of the adored of Shri Gopal Bhatta Goswami. Acharya Shrivatsa Goswami, Shri Padmanabh Goswami, Shri Vasudev Goswami, Shri Padma lochan Goswami and many other goswamis were present in the sanctum sanctorum during the divine event.
  9. Vrindavan, April 21, 2015: Devotees from around the country thronged in Vrindavan to have a glimpse of the Lord decorated with the sandal paste in his whole body. The deities gave darshan smearing the çhandan on Tuesday afternoon. The temples were beautifully decorated with flowers, balloons and lights. On the occasion of the Akshaya Tritiya the deities of various temples were adorned the sandal paste to bring relief to the Lord from the scotching heat of summer. The cooling effect of the sandal is very pleasing to the lord during summer. The festival of smearing sandal wood is also known as Chandan Yatra. The devotees and the temple priests started grinding the sandalwood one month ahead of this day to obtain paste from it. They collected the paste in a vessel by maintaining complete sanctity. The sandal paste wass mixed with camphor and other ingredients on the day of Chandan Yatra. The paste was applied on the whole body of the deities of Shri Krishna after the Panchamrita Abhishek. Hardly any clothes were worn by the deities. Later the deities were adorned with the garland of tulsi and scented flowers. The devotees felt blessed to have darshan of the lotus feet of Shri Krishna. Smearing the body of Lord with ointments is considered to be an act of devotion, and the best of the ointment is the sandalwood. The Lordships in the Saptadevalyas were offered with the ‘Sheetal-bhog’, which contain sattu (made of roasted grain powders), cucumber, watermelon, sprout dal etc. The Sheetal Bhog will be offered until the ‘Jal-Yatra’, the festival which will follow after a month. The temples of Shri Radha Raman, Radha Gokulananda, Radha Shyam Sundar, Radha Damodar, Banke Bihari, Radha Ballabh, Krishna Balaram were crowded with the devotees in the afternoon to have the darshan. While the sandalwood paste brought pleasure to the body of the lord, the darshan of the deities smearing sandalwood paste brought peace to the eyes of the devotees. Akshay Tritiaya, according to the Vedic calendar, is a day considered to be conductive to success in any significant endeavor. Traditionally those are aware of Akshaya Tritiya’s benefit schedule major life events – marriage, business ventures, entering in a new residence and initiations. All the marriage homes of Vrindavan were booked on this day.
  10. Vrindavan, April 21, 2015: The restoration of ‘Seva Kunj’ got disputed when the Goswamis of the temple shrine charged serious allegation against the organization which undertook the restoration work there. Several people including the Goswamis of Seva Kunj, saints, Brahmins and the local residents gathered in the shrine on Sunday to oppose the restoration work of ‘the Braj Foundation’. Shri Bhagwat Sharan Gautam who presided over the meeting claimed that the NGO had done severe harm to the original ethos of the shrine grove. “The original swaroop is lost as the whole of the grove is now covered with the metal net. It looks like a modern garden rather than an ancient grove,” said Pradyumna Pratap Maharaj of the Meera Bai Temple. According to the speakers who participated in the protest, the NGO didn’t work in coordination with the management of the temple. It implemented the project arbitrarily which resulted in the loss of the green patches for which the grove was known. The Goswamis also alleged that the restoration project took more time to be completed than it was agreed initially. The devotees had to suffer during the implementation of the restoration work. They alleged that the NGO not only challenged the natural ethos of the temple grove, but compromised with the sanctity of the temple campus. Many of its workers wore shoes in the temple campus and spitted gutka and paan on the wall of grove which is considered as sacred. Pt. Bihari Lal Bashishtha said, “They could have adjusted the restoration designs without harming the natural ambience. But they chose to go ahead with the construction work instead of planting new trees and helping the old groves to prosper.” “Many trees have already been destroyed. The ancient look of the grove has already been finished. It will take many years to revive the original swaroop. We shall do our best to revive it,” said Sevait Prem Kumar Goswami. They also blamed the NGO for not following the terms and conditions of the actual agreement to implement the restoration project. Sevaits and the devotees were also disappointed with the NGO for inviting the high profile dignitaries without their consent for ‘the handing over ceremony’ after the restoration is completed. Sevait Prem Kumar Goswami, Dr. Puneet Goswami, Rajeev Goswami, Sunil Goswami, Sanjeev Goswami, Chandan Goswami, Hitendra Goswami, Anil, Pt. Biharilal Vashishtha, Mahant Sacchindananda Maharaj, Mahant Narayan Das, Pradyumna Pratap Singh, Dr. Om ji, Vishnu Prasad Sharma, Dr. Laxmi Gautam, Vishnu Prasad Sharma, Vinay Gopal Goswami, Ram Baby Sharma, Anand Gopal, Rakesh Pandit, Sanjay Gautam, Keshav Dev Chaturvedi, Acharya Shri Hari Sharma, Acharya Ramesh Chandra Vidhi Shashtri, Radha Raman Gautam, Girdhar Kishor etc. were present there.
  11. Vrindavan, April 7th 2015: As a part of the celebration of the appearance day of Saint Maluk Das, a scholars’ convention was held at Maluk Peeth on Monday. Several spiritual leaders attended the convention, which was inaugurated by the current Mahant Shri Rajendra Das Devacharya. Speaking at the convention Karshni Guru Sharananda, said, “Maluk Das ji inspired all of us to have faith on Shri Hari. The saints take birth to look after the welfare of the world by propagating the message of the Lord.” Swami Ramdevananda and Jagadananda Maharaj said, “there are many types of people in the world. Everyone is living in misery. But if the devotees of the Lord Hari are in problem, He takes birth to protect them.” Mahant Fuldol Bihari Das said, “Lord Krishna sends the saints like Maluk Das ji and Rajendra Das Devacharya to this world to show the path of spiritual perfection.” On this occasion Guru Sharananda released a book named 'Paramarth ke patra pushp'. Raja Ram Mishra, Bihari Lal Bashishtha, Saint Raja Baba, Kishori Raman Acharya, Rasiya Baba, Acharya Badrish, Ram Gopal, Ram ji Das Maharaj, Ram Pravesh Das, Swami Aniruddhacharya Maharaj, Madan Mohan Das Maharaj, Vasant Sahashri, Abhiram Das Maharaj, Swami Haribol Maharaj, Ful dol Bihari Das ji Maharaj also addressed the convention.
  12. Vrindavan, April 4th 2015: “Bhakti is spontaneous attachment to God. The devotee is entirely possessed by Him. He is absorbed in the God. Bhakti is the supreme stage of love towards the God. It is the slender thread of Love that binds the heart of a devotee with Super soul. When a devotee attains bhakti, he forgets the three worlds and only thinks about the supreme. Thus he doesn’t have any worries,” said Maluk Peethadhishwar Mahant Rajendra Das ji. Maharaj ji was giving discourse at Maluk Peeth on the occasion of the 441st birth anniversary of Jagatguru Maluk Das ji Maharaj. Elaborating further on Bhakti, Maharaj ji said, “Bhakti is the eternal love for love’s sake. It has to be sincerely experienced by a devotee with higher emotion and sublime sentiments. This divine experience unites the devotee with the Lord. Divine love is infinite, pure, all pervading and everlasting. Thus the relationship between God and a devotee is also everlasting.” Baba Dina Bandhu Das focused on the life of Maluk Das ji Maharaj. He said, “Maharaj ji had deep faith in the Divine. He believed in complete surrender on the lotus feet of the Lord. We should celebrate his appearance day every year, which gives us an opportunity to discuss his teachings. He gave a new direction to the devotion, which is being practiced by the present acharya and his followers.” Mahant Fuldol Bihari Das, Dinabandhu Das, Ganga Das, Rasik Das and many other saints and devotees were present while Rajendra Das ji Maharaj was giving discourse on Bhakti.
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