ISKCON Derire Tree's Posts (13060)

Mohini Ekadasi

Sri Yudhisthira Maharaja said, “Oh JanArdana, what is the name of the Ekadasi that occurs during the light fortnight (sukla paksha) of the month of VaisAkha (April-May) ? What is the process for observing it properly? Kindly narrate all of these details to me.”

 

The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krishna replied, “Oh blessed son of Dharma, what Vasishtha Muni once told to Lord Ramachandra I shall now describe to you. Please hear Me attentively.

 

“Lord Ramachandra asked Vasishtha Muni, ‘Oh great sage, I would like to hear about the best of all fasting days – that day which destroys all kinds of sins and sorrows. I have suffered long enough in separation from My dear SitA, and so I wish to hear from you about how My suffering can be ended.’

 

“The sage Vasishtha replied, ‘Oh Lord RAma, Oh You whose intelligence is so keen, simply by remembering Your name one can cross the ocean of the material world. You have questioned me in order to benefit all of humanity and fulfill everyone’s desires. I shall now describe that day of fasting which purifies the whole world.

 

“ ‘Oh Rama, that day is known as VaisAkha-sukla Ekadasi, which falls on DvAdasii. It removes all sins and is famous as Mohinii Ekadasi.NOTE   “ ‘Truly, Oh dear Rama, the merit of this Ekadasi frees the fortunate soul who observes it from the network of illusion. Therefore, if You want to relieve Your suffering(s), observe this auspicious Ekadasi perfectly, for it removes all obstacles from one's’ path and relieves the greatest miseries. Kindly listen as I describe its glories, because for one who even just hears about this auspicious Ekadasi, the greatest sins are nullified.

 

“ ‘On the banks of the Sarasvati River there was once a beautiful city named BhadrAvati, which was ruled by King DyutimAn. Oh RAma, that steadfast, truthful, and highly intelligent king was born in the dynasty of the Moon (Chandra-vamsa). In his kingdom was a merchant named DhanapAla, who possessed a great deal of wealth of food grains and money. He was also very pious. DhanapAla arranged for lakes to be dug, sacrificial arenas to be erected, and beautiful gardens to be cultivated for the benefit of all the citizens of BhadrAvati. He was an excellent devotee of Lord Vishnu and had five sons: SumAna, DyutimAn, MedhAvii, Sukriti, and Dhrishthabuddhi.

 

“ ‘Unfortunately, his son Dhrishthabuddhi always engaged in greatly sinful activities, such as sleeping with prostitutes and associating with similar degraded persons. He enjoyed illicit sex, gambling, and many other varieties of acts aimed at gratifying the senses. He disrespected the demigods (devas), the brahmins, the forefathers and other elders of the community, as well as his family’s guests. The evil-hearted Dhrishthabuddhi spent up his father’s wealth indiscriminately, always feasting on untouchable foods and drinking alcohol to excess.

 

“ ‘One day DhanapAla kicked Dhrishthabuddhi out of the house after he saw him walking along the road arm-in-arm with a known prostitute. From then on all Dhrishthabuddhi’s relatives were highly critical of him and distanced themselves from him also. After he had sold all of his inherited ornaments and become destitute, the prostitute also abandoned him and insulted him because of his poverty.

 

“ ‘Dhrishthabuddhi was now full of anxiety, and also hungry. He thought, “What should I do ? Where should I go ? How can I maintain myself ? “ He then began to steal. The king’s constables arrested him, but when they learned who it was, and that his father was the famous DhanapAla, they released him. He was caught and released in this way many times. But at last, sick of his arrogance and total disrespect for others, and their property, the ill-mannered Dhrishthabuddhi was apprehended, handcuffed, and then beaten. After whipping him, the king’s marshals warned him, “Oh evil minded one ! There is no place for you in this kingdom???.!!!”

 

“ ‘However, Dhrishthabuddhi was freed from his tribulation by his father and immediately thereafter entered the dense forest. He wandered here and there, hungry and thirsty and suffering greatly. Eventually he began killing the jungle animals, the lions, deer, boars, and even wolves for food. Always ready in his hand was his bow, always on his shoulder was his quiver full of arrows. He also killed many birds, such as chakoras, peacocks, kankas, doves and pigeons. He unhesitatingly slaughtered many species of birds and animals to maintain his sinful way of life, the sinful results accumulating more and more each day. On account of his previous sins, he was now immersed in an ocean of great sin that was so relentless that it appeared that he could not get out.

 

“ ‘Dhrishthabuddhi was always miserable and anxious, but one day, during the month of VaisAkha, by the force of some of his past merit he chanced upon the sacred Ashrama of KauNDinya Muni. The great sage had just finished bathing in the Ganges River, and water was dripping from him still. Dhrishthabuddhi had the great good fortune to touch some of those droplets of water that were falling from the great sage’s wet clothing. Instantly Dhrishthabuddhi was freed of his ignorance, and his sinful reactions were reduced. Offering his humble obeisances to KauNDinya Muni, Dhrishthabuddhi prayed to him with joined palms; ”Oh great brAhmana, please describe to me some of the atonement I may perform without too much endeavour. I have committed so many sins in my life, and these have now made me very poor.”

 

“ ‘The great rishi replied, “Oh son, listen with great attention, for by hearing me your life will change, and you will become free of all your remaining sins. In the light fortnight of this very month, VaisAkha (April- May) there occurs the sacred Mohinii Ekadasi, which has the power to nullify sins as vast and weighty as Mount Sumeru. If you follow my advice and faithfully observe a fast on this Ekadasi, which is so dear to Lord Hari, you will be freed from all the sinful reactions of many, many births.”

 

“ ‘Hearing these words with great joy, Dhrishthabuddhi promised to observe a fast on Mohinii Ekadasi according to the sage’s instructions and direction. Oh best of kings, Oh RAmachandra Bhagavan, by fasting completely on Mohinii Ekadasi, the once sinful Dhrishthabuddhi, the prodigal son of the merchant DhanapAla, became sinless. Afterwards he achieved a beautiful transcendental form and, free at last of all obstacles, rode upon the carrier of Lord Vishnu, Garuda, to the Supreme abode of the Lord.

 

“ ‘Oh RAmachandra, the fast day of Mohinii Ekadasi removes the darkest illusory attachments to material existence. There is thus no better fast day in all the three worlds than this.’ ”

 

Lord Sri Krishna concluded, “?and so, Oh Yudhishthira, there is no place of pilgrimage, no sacrifice, and no charity that can bestow merit equal to even one sixteenth of the merit a faithful devotee of Mine obtains by observing the Mohinii Ekadasi. And He who hears and studies the glories of Mohinii Ekadasi achieves the merit of giving away one thousand cows in charity.

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Sri Madhu Pandit - Disappearance Day


There is no mention of Sri Madhu Pandit in Caitanya Caritamrta. Only it is mentioned in Bhakti Ratnakar that Sri Gopinathji manifested Himself before Him. [B. R. 2.473]

Oh Srinivas! What more can I say? The Lord reveals Himself to his pure devotee, who then preaches his glories to the world. Who can describe their incomprehensible activities by which the Lord becomes subservient to their love. Thus did Sri Brajendra Kumar reveal himself to Paramananda Bhattacarya and Sri Madhu Pandit, who is the abode of many wonderful qualities.

"Thus has Sri Gopinathji, who is an ocean of mercy, and who sports on the enchantingly beautiful banks of Bansibat, become manifested by the grace of Sri Madhu Pandit." [Sadhan Dipikayam]

Thus Sri Madhu Pandit became the servant of Sri Gopinath, whose bodily luster steals away the minds of everyone. Hundreds and thousands of people came running to see Him, famed as He is as sweetness personified. When the soothing sweetness and coolness of his charming form entered their hearts through their eyes, they found that the burning fire of material existence which had previously been burning there, was now extinguished.

The Deity of Sri Nanda Dulal which was fashioned from the same sila as Sri Shyamsundar (Khardaha) and Sri Ballabajiv (Ballabhapur), and which was brought from the Nawab's palace, is considered by some, to have been worshipped previously by Sri Madhu Pandit.

Sri Nanda Dulal is still residing in the village of Saibona, which can bereached by bus from Khardaha. One has to get down at Matarangi Mor, and then proceed by rikshaw to the temple of Sri Nandadulal. The seva-puja is at present being conducted by disciples of Srila Omkarnath.

When Srinivas and his companions were preparing to depart from Sri Brindavan Dham with the bullock cart of books, Madhu Pandit presented him the flower garland of Sri Gopinathji as his blessing.

Madhu Pandit was the disciple of Sri Gadadhar Pandit.

 

Note: Special thanks to Jaya Tirtha Caran prabhu from NZ for allowing us to use some of the content from his site to compile these pages.

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Sri Sankaracarya - Appearance

SRI SANKARACARYA

In order to establish his doctrine of non-violence, Lord Buddha flatly refused to believe in the Vedas, and thus, later on, Sri Sankaracarya stopped this system of religion in India and forced it to go outside India.

Sri Sankaracarya wanted to establish the predominance of one's spiritual identity; therefore he wanted to convert the atheists through an imaginary interpretation of the Vedic literatures. These are the secrets of the acaryas. Sometimes they conceal the real purpose of the Vedas and explain the Vedas in a different way. Sometimes they enunciate a different theory just to bring the atheists under their control.

It is stated in Padma Purana:

Lord Siva speaking to Parvati foretold that he would spread the mayavada philosophy in the guise of a sannyasi brahmana just to eradicate Buddhist philosophy. This sannyasi was Sri Sankaracarya. In order to overcome the effects of Buddhist philosophy and spread Vedanta philosophy, Sri Sankaracarya had to make some compromise with the Buddhist philosophy, and as such he preached the philosophy of monism, for it was required at that time. The mayavada philosophers refuse to accept the spiritual body of the Supreme Absolute Person and refuse to accept that the living entity has an individual existence separate from that of the Supreme Lord.

Mayavadi philosophers had propagated the slogan "brahman satyam jagan mithya", which declared that the Absolute Truth was a fact but the cosmic manifestation and the living entities were simply illusions, or that all of them were in fact the Absolute Truth and that the material world and living entities did not separately exist.

Sri Sankaracarya, who preached mayavadi philosophy and stressed the Impersonal feature of the Absolute, also recommended that one must take shelter at the lotus feet of Lord Sri Krishna, for there is no hope of gain from debating. Indirectly Sri Sankaracarya admitted that what he had preached in the flowery grammatical language. The interpretations of the Vedanta sutra cannot help one at the time of death. At the critical hour of death one must recite the name of Govinda.

Then Sankaracarya came and he preached this almost Buddhism. Lord Buddha preached that there is no God there is no soul. This body is combination of matter and if we dissolve this material combination then there is no more perception of misery or happiness. That is nirvana. That is his philosophy. But later on Acarya Sankara, he appeared and he preached that brahma satyam jagan mithya. This bodily combination is temporary, or mithya. He said flatly that it is false. False means... Of course, Vaisnava philosophy, they say temporary. Temporary or false you can take on the same category. But Sankaracarya said that brahma satyam. That spirit soul, Brahman, that is reality, and this external feature of the Brahman, or the body, that is false.

Sri Sankaracarya, by the order of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, compromised between atheism and theism in order to cheat the atheists and bring them to theism, and to do so he gave up the direct method of Vedic knowledge and tried to present a meaning, which is indirect.

It is with this purpose that Sri Sankaracarya wrote his Sariraka-bhasya commentary on the Vedanta sutra.

One may argue that since Sri Sankaracarya is an incarnation of Lord Siva, how is it that he cheated people in this way?

The answer is that he did so on the order of his master, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is confirmed in the Padma Purana.

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Poem on Lord Krishna!!

I came accross the following poem by complete chance - absolutely beautiful!

From an early age, Lord Krishna stole butter
In Gokul, he always did create a flutter
He broke earthen pots with a flourish
For the Lord, there was no need of cup or dish

The village of Gokul was surrounded by meadows
Around Mount Govardhan and its shadows
The Yamuna swept past in slow undulation
The pastures green with verdant vegetation

The cows and calves frolicked all day with Lord Krishna,
Their friends, the gopals, the gopis, and Lord Balarama
The cows of Gokul gave forth milk in plenty
For all the folks, there was peace and prosperity

The gopis and damsels of Gokul
Always had their pots full
Of milk and curds and cream
Like an idyll, as in a dream

While walking along, the gopis looked here and there
To see if the Lord was hiding nearby anywhere
Lord Krishna used a sling shot
To make a hit on the selected pot

The pot shattered to the ground
The butter thief and His friends collected around
While the gopis fled from the spot
In case Lord Krishna took another potshot

Why were the gopis’ pots always full ?
Why this bounty so benign and plentiful ?
Why were the children so happy and pleased ?
Why were the folks so carefree and satisfied ?


Why was the breeze so laden with scent ?
Why were the clouds so lazy and indolent ?
Why did the dawn bring its promise with rosy light ?
To bring forth another day, so sublime and bright ?


Why were the cows and calves so happy ?
Why were the gopals and gopis so carefree ?
Why this eager anticipation of another day ?
The simple rustic life, full of joy and play ?

Lord Krishna shared the spoils with his allies
With the gopals, the gopis and the monkeys
Whilst Lord Balarama complained to mother Yashoda
Of the Lord’s mischief he fully briefed mother Yashoda


The gopis also brought in their grouse
Of broken pots and stolen cream in their house
They assembled and derided the Lord Krishna
Fully supported and corroborated by Lord Balarama


On hearing their complaints, mother Yashoda duly recognized
She was certain, the Lord had to be suitably chastised
She proceeded to make amends for His naughty impudence
With fearful eyes the Lord pleaded His innocence


Mother Yashoda brought in a rope
To tie Him up was her simple hope
She tried rope after rope, sweaty and diligent
But the rope was ever short, somewhat deficient


Mother Yashoda just could not tie up the Lord with the ropes
Each and every one was too short, till she gave up all hopes
At long last, the Lord took mercy on Yashoda, His fond mother
The ropes fell into place and mother Yashoda was saved from further bother


Whatever we get from the Lord is by His mercy only
Not from our toils, our cleverness, or dexterity
The Lord gives to us what we deserve
Everything else He keeps in reserve

He knows what is best for us as He is the eternal father
Of all living entities the only sincere well wisher
The Lord of all worlds and material features
The friend and benefactor of all creatures


The Lord is a friend to all living entities
He showers goodwill and many mercies
This bodily connection, and kith and kin, are only temporal
Our relationship and journey with Lord Krishna is eternal


The Lord descended to earth to give us pleasure
Not wealth, but His love, is the real treasure
That is the lesson we learn from Gokul and Brindavan
The eternal playful pastimes of the Lord of Govardhan !
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Festival of Kirtan


Durban, South Africa

14 April 2012, 10.00am - 10.30pm 15 April 2012, 10.00am - 10.00pm

"Everybody, together now. A little louder, with your heart."

Srila Rupa Goswami glorifies the holy names of Krishna:

"I do not know how much nectar the two syllables 'Krish-na' have produced. When the holy name of Krishna is chanted, it appears to dance within the mouth. We then desire many, many mouths. When that name enters the holes of the ears, we desire many millions of ears. And when the holy name dances in the courtyard of the heart, it conquers the activities of the mind, and therefore all the senses become inert." (Cc. Antya 1.99)

For the first time at Radha Radhanath Temple in Durban will a gathering of some of the ISKCON world's foremost kirtan singers guide us in accessing the deep treasures of Krishna's holy names.

Together with BB Govinda Swami and Madhava prabhu, taking us through twenty four hours of relishable meditation will be: Bhakti Caitanya Swami, Indradyumna Swami, Kadamba Kanana Swami, Yadubara prabhu and many other stalwart kirtan worshippers.

It is recommended to participate in the yajna for at least eight hours daily, if not the entire day. Your life will be transformed!

The schedule for the two day festival is attached.

For those unable to travel to Durban and participate in person, a live broadcast will be available on:

http://www.ustream.tv/channel/kirtan-festival

Check out out Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Festival-of-Kirtan/334060406649745

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Dear Devotees,
Please accept our humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

VIHE is heartily inviting all the serious students to our transformational Bhakti-sastri course. Bhakti-sastri course is a systematic study of Srila Prabhupada's books. Srila Prabhupada wanted all of us to deeply study his books, so that we could be better preachers, teachers and, very importantly, achieve a clear understanding and application of the beautiful science of devotional service. Sri Vrindavan Dham mercifully provides a unique environment to enhance one's taste and appreciation of the treasures of direct bhakti.

This year the English Bhakti-sastri course in Vrindavan is scheduled to take place from July 19 to November 12.

Requirements for the course: Good sadhana, brahminical tendencies, voluntary service, proficiency in English and a recommendation/character sketch from a senior devotee who knows you well. Assessment criteria include attendance and personal conduct.

Assessment : Essays and closed book exams accompanied by exemplary conduct and sadhana.

Contribution to the running costs of the course : Rs. 9,000/-. Lunch prasadam is served in the VIHE, sponsored by the alumni students and other well-wishers. A few scholarships are available.

Admissions close on : July 1, 2012.
 

Classes:  
Bhagavad-gita (all 18 chapters) – 17 weeks
Nectar of Devotion (first 19 chapters) – 6 weeks
Isopanisad – 3 weeks
Nectar of Instruction – 3 weeks
An introduction to Deity Worship - 10 hours
Sanskrt pronunciation and meter - 6 hours


For more detailed information please contact:

E-mail: vihe@pamho.net; Web site: http://vihe.org
Phone: +919897528032 (Vishal Das)
 

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"Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada immediately took up the land. He continued that 'There is no need of establishing many temples. Better we publish some books.' He said like that.

"He said that 'We started our this Gaudiya Matha in Ultadanga. The rent was very small, and if we could gather two to two-hundred-fifty rupees, it was very nice, going on. But since this J. V. Datta has given us this stone, marble stone thakurbari, our competition between the disciples has increased. So I don't like any more. Rather, I would prefer to take out the marble stone and sell it and publish some books.'

"So I took that point, and he also especially advised me, 'If you get money, you try to publish books.' So by his blessing it has become very successful by your cooperation. Now our books are being sold all over the world, and it is very satisfactory sale. So on this particular day of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura's advent, try to remember his words. That he wanted many books should be published about our philosophy, and it should be given to the English-knowing public especially, because English language is now world language. We are touring all over the world. Anywhere we speak English, it is understood, except in some places.

"So on this day, particularly on the advent of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, I especially request my disciples who are cooperating with me that you try to publish books as many as possible and distribute throughout the whole world. That will satisfy Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu as well as Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura.

From a lecture on Feb 20, 1976, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura's Vyasa-puja

As featured in "A Transcendental Diary" by Hari-sauri Prabhu
 

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Dear Devotees,
Please accept our humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

VIHE is heartily inviting all the serious students to our transformational Bhakti-sastri course. Bhakti-sastri course is a systematic study of Srila Prabhupada's books. Srila Prabhupada wanted all of us to deeply study his books, so that we could be better preachers, teachers and, very importantly, achieve a clear understanding and application of the beautiful science of devotional service. Sri Vrindavan Dham mercifully provides a unique environment to enhance one's taste and appreciation of the treasures of direct bhakti.

This year the English Bhakti-sastri course in Vrindavan is scheduled to take place from July 19 to November 12.

Requirements for the course: Good sadhana, brahminical tendencies, voluntary service, proficiency in English and a recommendation/character sketch from a senior devotee who knows you well. Assessment criteria include attendance and personal conduct.

Assessment : Essays and closed book exams accompanied by exemplary conduct and sadhana.

Contribution to the running costs of the course : Rs. 9,000/-. Lunch prasadam is served in the VIHE, sponsored by the alumni students and other well-wishers. A few scholarships are available.

Admissions close on : July 1, 2012.
 

Classes:
Bhagavad-gita (all 18 chapters) – 17 weeks
Nectar of Devotion (first 19 chapters) – 6 weeks
Isopanisad – 3 weeks
Nectar of Instruction – 3 weeks
An introduction to Deity Worship - 10 hours
Sanskrt pronunciation and meter - 6 hours


For more detailed information please contact:

E-mail: vihe@pamho.net; Web site: www.vihe.org
Phone: +919897528032 (Vishal Das)

Read more…

In this month the sun moves into Mesha rasi (Aries), and the new year begins according to many calanders.

Keshava Vrata starts; for one month one should control the senses, sleep on the earth, bath twice daily in a river, worship the Lord and give cloth, sugar, sesame, rice, and gold to the brahmanas. If one worships Madhsudana in this month one gains the benefits of one years worship.

While Keshava Vrata lasts one may hang a pot with a hole in it, fill it with water and drip water over Tulasi and a Shalagrama Shila.

This is especially done in the now hot northern hemisphere when water becomes a vital asset for the growth of Tulasi Devi. In the southern hemisphere be careful not to overwater as we come out of Summer and into Autumn.

Coloring Book

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Strange and Amazing Astronomy Facts


Even though man has studied the heavens for thousands of years, we still know very little about the Universe we live in. And as we continue to learn more, we are consistently amazed, and sometimes confused, by what we learn. Here is a collection of amazing, interesting, and strange astronomy facts, in no particular order.
 

  • Scientists believe that we can only see about 5% of the matter in the Universe. The rest is made up of invisible matter (called Dark Matter) and a mysterious form of energy known as Dark Energy.
  • Neutron stars are so dense, that a soup can full of neutron star material would have more mass than the Moon.
     
  • The Sun produces so much energy, that every second the core releases the equivalent of 100 billion nuclear bombs.
     
  • Galileo Galilei is often incorrectly credited with the invention of the telescope. Instead, historians now believe the Dutch eye glass maker Johannes Lippershey as its creator. Galileo was, however, probably the first to use the device to study the heavens.
     
  • Black Holes are so dense, and produce such intense gravity, that even light can not escape. Theoretical physicists predict that there are situations under which light can escape (which is called Hawking radiation).
  • Light from distant stars and galaxies takes so long to reach us, that we are actually seeing objects as they appeared hundreds, thousands or even millions of years ago. So, as we look up at the sky, we are really looking back in time.
     
  • The Crab Nebula was produced by a super nova explosion in 1054 A.D. The Chinese and Arab astronomers at the time noted that the explosion was so bright, that it was visible during the day, and lit up the night sky for months.
     
  • Shooting stars are usually just tiny dust particles falling through our atmosphere. Comets sometimes pass through Earth’s orbit, leaving trails of dust behind. Then as Earth plows through the dust in its path, the particles heat up, creating the streaks in the night sky.
     
  • Even though Mercury is the closest planet to the Sun, temperatures can reach -280 degrees F. Why? Since Mercury has almost no atmosphere, there is nothing to trap heat near the surface. So, the dark side of Mercury (the side facing away from the Sun) is very cold.
     
  • Venus is considerably hotter than Mercury, even though it is further away from the Sun. The thickness of Venus’ atmosphere traps heat near the surface of the planet.
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MP3 Audio book with background music & dramatic narration on

Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's lilas


Gaura-purnima special - Download for free

 

[mp3] Track-00_prastavna_n_prak-kathan.mp3 2.0 MB
[mp3] Track-01_janma_tatha_bal_lilayen.mp3 6.4 MB
[mp3] Track-02_yuva_pandit.mp3 5.6 MB
[mp3] Track-03_diksha_tatha_sankirtan_andolan_ka_subharambh.mp3 14.0 MB
[mp3] Track-04_sannyas_grahan_karna_aur_puri_aagman.mp3 5.4 MB
[mp3] Track-05_dakshin_bharat_yatra.mp3 5.5 MB
[mp3] Track-06_purime_lotna_evam_rathayatra_lilayen.mp3 7.7 MB
[mp3] Track-07_uttarbharatme_yatra.mp3 10.6 MB
[mp3] Track-08_puri_bhakto_ke_sath_lilayen.mp3 10.0 MB
[mp3] Track-09_antim_varsh.mp3 2.8 MB
[mp3] Track-10_upsanhar.mp3 584.8 KB
[mp3] Track-11_parishista_01_sri_caitanya_mahaprabhu_purna_puroshottam_bhagvan_hai.mp3 2.7 MB
[mp3] Track-12_parishista_02_sri_caitanya_mahaprabh_ki_shikshaye.mp3 3.5 MB
[mp3] Track-13_parishista_03_sri_caitanya_mahaprabhu_ka_shikshashtakam.mp3 1.5 MB
[mp3] Track-14_lekhak_parichay.mp3 526.8 KB

Based on book written by His Holiness Bhakti Vikasa Swami
Narration by Bhakta J P Sharma (Hollywood, National Geography, Discovery Dubber)
Music mixing by Madhav Das
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Sri Rama Navami

Lord Ramacandra’s Appearance Day
Rama Navami

Hawaii, March 27, 1969

Spoken by His Divine Grace
Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada


ramadi murtishu kala-niyamena tishthan
nanavataram akarod bhuvaneshu kintu
krishnah svayam samabhavat paramah puman yo
govindam adi-purusham tam aham bhajami
[Bs. 5.39]


This is a verse from Brahma-samhita in which the incarnation of Lord Ramacandra is described. Ramadi. Not only Rama, but there are many other, innumerable incarnations. They are compared with the waves of a river. As the waves of the river or the waves of the ocean cannot be counted, similarly, how many incarnations are there of the Supreme Lord it is not possible to count. But out of them, the principal names are mentioned in the sastras. Therefore it is said ramadi. Ramadi means Rama and also other, many incarnations. And they are existing. Not that one incarnation appeared and it is finished. No. Not like that. Just like Lord Ramacandra appeared on this planet, say millions of years before. He appeared in the Treta-yuga. Treta-yuga means... We have passed only five thousand years of this age, Kali-yuga. Before that, there was Dvapara-yuga. Dvapara-yuga means 800,000 years. And before that, there was Treta-yuga, which continued for twelve hundred thousands of years. That means at least two million years before Lord Ramacandra appeared on this planet.


So now Lord Ramacandra appeared in Ayodhya. There is a place in Ayodhya, in northern India. There He appeared. As Krishna appeared in Mathura... That is also northern India. And Mathura is about ninety miles down southward from New Delhi. You have heard the name of New Delhi, the capital of India. So Ayodhya is also situated about five hundred miles northeast of New Delhi. So Lord Ramacandra appeared on this day. Today is called Sri Rama Naumi. On the ninth day of the moon Lord Ramacandra appeared. His father was the king of Ayodhya, and he had three wives. So out of... No. He had two wives. So out of two wives he got four sons. Ramacandra is the eldest son. The life and activities of Lord Ramacandra is... [break] ...in a book which is called Ramayana. You have heard the name of Ramayana. Ramayana is also accepted as history. Vedic literatures are histories also.

The Puranas, the Srimad-Bhagavatam, Mahabharata, and Ramayana, they are counted amongst the history. The history of Ramacandra is that His father wanted to retire. Dasaratha, Maharaja Dasaratha. And he decided to enthrone Lord Ramacandra and retire. So everything was settled, but just one day before, his youngest wife turned the whole thing into different way. Sometimes Maharaja Dasaratha was suffering from what is called whitlow, some trouble in the finger? And this queen served him very nicely, and he was pleased. And he said, “My dear Sarmishtha, if you want some benediction from me, I can give you.” And she replied that “I shall ask you for the benediction when I require it. Not now.” So just one day before Lord Ramacandra’s coronation, she approached her husband Maharaja Dasaratha and reminded him, “My dear husband, you promised to give me some benediction, and I told you that I shall ask you when I require it.” Maharaja Dasaratha said,

“Yes, I remember. You want some benediction just now?” She said, “Yes.” “And what is that?” She said that “Ramacandra cannot be seated on the throne. My son should be coronated, Bharata.” He was surprised. It is a big demand. So he said, “All right. That will be done. Your son.” Because formerly, the kings... Not only formerly, even up to date, there are many kshatriya kings in India. They have more than one wife. And they are, naturally, there is rivalry between different wives. So the same thing. Human psychology is the same. Even two million years ago the same mentality was there, and she asked that “My son should be the king, not Ramacandra.” Ramacandra happened to be the son of Kausalya, the elder queen.

So Maharaja Dasaratha agreed and called for Ramacandra. “My dear boy, your...” She asked also that... She was very diplomatic. She wanted that Ramacandra go to forest for fourteen years. The idea was political, that “The king may agree to install my son just now. Now, after a few days, this Ramacandra may come with His army, and there may be some difficulty to continue the kingdom.” So she wanted that Ramacandra should go to the forest and He should not come back till the end of fourteen years from this day. So Maharaja Dasaratha agreed. Because he was kshatriya. Just see the promise.

A kshatriya never goes back from the promise, never refuses any challenge. If a kshatriya is challenged by somebody, that “I want to fight with you,” oh, he cannot refuse. This is kshatriya spirit. He cannot say that “I am now busy.” Suppose somebody comes to you, that “I want to fight with you.” You may say, “What nonsense fight? I have no time. We are in the temple.” But a kshatriya cannot deny that. A kshatriya at once must accept. “Oh, yes. Come on.” And the weapon should be, if he has no sword or weapon, he should be supplied weapon and fight. This is kshatriya spirit. They were highly charitable and chivalrous and keeping promise and with a great tendency for ruling over. They shall rule over. Administrators. Their business is...

There are different prescription for different classes of men for their livelihood. The brahmanas, they can pull on their livelihood by six ways. Pathana pathana yajana yajana dana pratigraha. Six. And they must be qualified with twelve high qualities. We have many times discussed. Out of that qualification, truthfulness is the first item for a brahmana. A kshatriya may speak lies. That is allowed, because he has to be diplomat, politician. But a brahmana, oh, he’s not allowed to speak lie.

 This is the system, caste system or varnasrama system. Everyone was trained. Because these four classes of men are required in a society. For proper upkeep of society, one class of men must be very intelligent, highly qualified, with all good qualities. They must be trained in that way, ideal character so that people can see and follow them. Therefore brahmanas were taken to so much respect because they’re ideal character, learned, and godly, knows the science, spiritual science. Therefore they’re held in high estimation and topmost of the society. The next, the administrator, administrative class, kshatriyas.

They are trained how to kill. The kshatriyas were allowed to hunt in the forest to learn the art of killing because that was necessity for the kshatriyas. Kshatriya, if he... If the king, if he finds somebody is doing wrong, he can immediately chop off his head if he likes. The king was so powerful. And it is not that if there was some war, it is not that the president or the king shall sit down comfortably at home and ordinary soldiers will go and lay down their life. No. Formerly, the king or the head of the state, he should first of all go there in the fight. You see in the picture, the chief men of the fighting in the Kurukshetra, both sides, they were arrayed, this side, that side, with their chariot.

Not that the head man, the chief man, or the commander is taking shelter back side, protecting himself, and poor soldiers are (chuckles) thrown into the fighting. No. These were kshatriya spirit. And it is necessary that a class of men should be trained up in that way, kshatriya, fighting men. In India, because this training was there since a very long time, so there is no difficulty in recruiting soldiers there.

There is a class of men, they are very much forward in fighting still. They are called... Just like the Gurkhas, the Nepalese. You have heard the name of Nepal. Still a small state, independent state. They are not within India. Between China and India. The whole Nepal population, they are kshatriyas. Oh, they are very good fighters. Similarly, the Sikhs, the Jatas. There are classes. So they’re always forward for fighting. And you’ll be surprised that the British Empire was voluntarily liquidated because they lost India. The Britishers, they understood that because we are now losing India, there is no more possibility to keep our eastern empire. Therefore they liquidated. Why? Actually, the whole British Empire were being administered or managed by Indian soldiers, these Sikhs and Gurkhas. They extended their empire. After taking their position with India, they extended British Empire in the Middle East and Far East simply by these Sikhs and Gurkha soldiers. They got supremacy on the Burma and everywhere.

So there is necessity of a class of fighting men. You are finding in your country difficulty in recruiting because the recruiting process is wrong. You are recruiting from persons... You are training persons just like sudras, and you want them to fight. How they can fight? It is not possible. So as it is stated in the Bhagavad-gita, that catur-varnyam maya srishtam guna karma vibhagasah... [Bg. 4.13]. Lord Krishna said that “The four classes or orders of the society, brahmana, kshatriya, vaisya, sudra, is planned by Me according to work and quality.” So this kshatriya quality men is also required, the brahmana quality of men is also required, the mercantile community, they are also required, and the laborer class, they are also required. Of course, laborer class, they do not require any training. Laborer class means one who cannot do anything, neither become brahmana, nor become kshatriya, nor become vaisya. That means the last balance of the population, they are called laborer class, sudra. Sudra means one who has no training. Sudra has no samskara. Samskara means training. Everyone is accepted as sudra by birth. Janmana jayate sudra. Janmana means by birth. By birth, everyone is born a sudra, a fourth-class man. It is to be accepted, and actually so. Just like a child, innocent child, what does he know? He has to be trained. Either you train him as a brahmana or train him as a kshatriya or train him as a vaisya. Or otherwise, he is sudra already, born sudra. Sudra has no training. Everyone, the basic principle, basic foreground, everyone, it is accepted sudra. Now, if you train him as a brahmana, then he becomes a brahmana. If you train him as a kshatriya, then he becomes a kshatriya. If you train him as a vaisya... So I think this is, this system is very scientific so that if you want help of a really intelligent man or God realized man, it is ready, the brahmana class. Just like if you require the help of a lawyer, we have got so many lawyers. If you require the help of medical man... Because there are trained men. Similarly, the society requires to train a certain class of men to become brahmanas. Just like we are training the Krishna conscious. The Krishna consciousness is meant for the brahmanas.

They are not meant for fighting because they are not being trained for fighting. They have been trained for becoming brahmanas. Who is brahmana? Brahma janati iti brahmana. The four divisions are described like this. Janmana jayate sudrah, everyone is born sudra. That is accepted. Samskarad bhaved dvijah. Now if you train him, never mind in which family he’s born, you have to train him. Just like boys are sent to school for being trained. So everyone is accepted as sudra, but you now train him. He goes to the guru-griha.

Guru-griha means teacher’s house. Formerly, for being trained, there was no such big scale school and colleges. Every village... Still, fifty years before in India, in every village there was a small school conducted by the brahmana, and the village children would be trained up there. So he was sent for training. And there was no school fee. The boys will go there, and on behalf of the teacher or spiritual master, they will go, brahmacari, door to door, and beg and bring forth alms, rice, dahl, grains, and everything. That was the system. There was no school fee. There was no problem how to send a boy to the school. Samskara. Now he’s trained up. The teacher sees the psychology of the boy, in which way he should be trained. Either he should be trained as a vaisya or he should be trained as a kshatriya. So everyone was trained like that, but generally, the son of a kshatriya... Just like Maharaja Ramacandra or Arjuna, from the very beginning they were trained as kshatriya.

Naturally, if somebody is the son of a medical man his father trains him to become a medical man in future. That is the natural tendency. If the boy is different altogether that is another question, but naturally, that is the tendency. So a kshatriya’s son was trained as kshatriya. A brahmana’s son was trained as a brahmana and a vaisya’s son was trained as a vaisya, and sudra had no training. So gradually this became a caste system. Brahmana’s son became brahmana. Because formerly, the training was there. But when it is vitiated, although a person born in the family of a brahmana, he is doing the work of a sudra. So according to Vedic scripture, one is classified according to his work and quality, not by birth. That is the classification of sastra. Just like in the Bhagavad-gita the Lord says catur-varnyam maya srishtam guna-karma-vibhagasah [Bg. 4.13]. Guna means quality and karma means work. One must be qualified for the work and he must actually work. Then he is counted classified into that, I mean to say, category. Just like if you are simply trained or educated as a lawyer, and if you are not practicing in the court, nobody comes to you to consult as a lawyer.

Nobody cares for you. You must be practicing also. Similarly, to become a brahmana means first of all, he must know what is Brahman and he must be actually situated in the activities of Brahman. So devotional service are activities of Brahman. Activities in Krishna consciousness means activities in Brahman. Brahme carati iti brahma brahmacari. Carati means acts. Actually, he acts in life, applies the principles of brahmana in his life, he is called brahmacari. So these were the trainings.
So just see how the training was, that a kshatriya cannot refuse his promise. So Maharaja Dasaratha, he fulfilled the promise of his youngest wife and asked his son, eldest son Ramacandra, “My dear boy, You’ll have to go to forest for fourteen years. That is the desire of Your youngest mother. And I promised that I shall fulfill her promise, uh, request. So please accept.” Ramacandra said, “Yes father, I am ready.” Just see. This is the quality. Out of the six opulences of God, this is one quality.


aisvaryasya samagrasya

viryasya yasasah sriyah
jnana-vairagyayos caiva
shannam bhagam itingana
(Vishnu Purana 6.5.47)


How one becomes God? God is not manufactured by vote. There are definition who is God. God must be the proprietor of all the riches. Aisvaryasya samagrasya. Samagra means all. Nobody can compete with Him. Here, in this world, material world, I am rich man, and there is another rich man who can compete with me. There is another rich man who can compete with him. But nobody can compete with God in richness. That is one qualification of God. Nobody can say that “I am richer than God.” You can say “I am richer than Ford or Rockefeller” or this or that. You can say. But nobody can say that “I am richer than God.” Therefore in the Bhagavad-gita it is said mattah parataram nanyat asti kincid dhananjaya. Mattah parataram nanyat kincid asti dhananjaya [Bg. 7.7]. Dhananjaya is a name of Arjuna, and Krishna said that, “My dear Arjuna, there is nobody greater than Me.” So if anyone claims that he is God, he must prove by practical example that nobody is richer than him. That is the first. But unfortunately, we are accepting so many Gods. A rascal in the street, he also claims that “I am God.”


So similarly, the other qualification, nobody can be stronger than God, nobody can be wiser than God, nobody can be more beautiful than God, and nobody can be more renouncer than God. So here Ramacandra, Lord Ramacandra exhibited the quality how He renounced the whole kingdom simply on the order of His father, His obedience to father. He could have argued with His father, “My dear father, you, simply for keeping your promise and actuated by the dictation of a woman, you are doing this. Let us stop it. Everyone is expecting that tomorrow My coronation will be there, and they love Me so much.” Because He... Just like Krishna was so much loved, similarly, Lord Ramacandra was the life of the people. They were very much expecting that Ramacandra was going to be enthroned tomorrow. So how they were celebrating, how they were decorating the whole city. Everything. He never argued. He accepted immediately: “Yes, father. I am ready.”


 Lord rama & Sita in Forest

 So then one of the brothers, Lakshmana, He also requested Ramacandra, “My dear brother, You also take Me. I am Your constant companion. I must go with You.” So He said, “That’s Your wish. Voluntarily, if You want to come, You can come with Me.” Then Sita, His wife, young wife, She also said, “I’ll go with You.” Ramacandra requested His wife, “Oh, you cannot go with Me. It is very difficult. You are a king’s daughter, and you are brought up in so nice way, and you are so beautiful. You cannot go. You cannot take the trouble of living in the forest.” So she said, “Oh, I am Your wife. Married wife. So I must go even if You go to hell.” This is ideal wife. She could have refused: “Oh, Your father has ordered to go to forest. You can go. I shall go to my father’s house or I shall remain here.” No. This is ideal wife. She must be prepared to accept any circumstances of the husband. Not that when the husband is rich the wife is very faithful, and when he has come down to be poor or he’s going to forest the wife gives up his company. No. Wife means better half. She must abide.

Just like, it is said, just like a shadow follows the reality, similarly, the wife is the shadow of the husband. Wherever the husband goes, she must go. Whatever the husband wants, she must carry out. Of course, in this country this interpretation is taken differently, that wife is made a slave. But actually, it is not so. When Sita was kidnapped in the jungle, Ramacandra expected that, that she was beautiful, she was young, and “We shall be in open jungle. It may be some demons may come,” and actually it so happened. So for Sita, Lord Ramacandra massacred the whole family of Ravana. Only for Sita. So as the husband, so the wife. The wife was so faithful that she could not remain alone. She must accompany the husband even in the forest. And the husband was so faithful that, “Oh, my wife has been kidnapped.” So He massacred the whole family of Ravana.

So these are ideal history how... Ramacandra, Lord Ramacandra appeared on this world to educate or to place ideal example of a king. How the king should be. Therefore when there is good government... The example is given, Rama-rajya. Rama- rajya. It is the kingdom of Lord Rama. Because everyone was happy, everyone. There are so many instances in the life of Ramacandra. One brahmana... Not brahmana exactly. Somebody came to Ramacandra. Because at that time there was no court like this, that you have to go to a court and apply with stamp fee. Then your judgment will be delivered after six years. It is not like that. Anyone who has got some complaint, he should... The king used to sit in the open audience, and the citizens were allowed to approach the king and place their complaints. Because there was no complaint practically. Everyone was happy. Very minor complaint. So somebody came to Ramacandra, and he charged Ramacandra, “My dear king, my son has died. How is that, in the presence of his father, son can die? There must be something wrong in Your government.” Just see. The charge is “Why my son has died before my death? This is unnatural.” So there was nothing unnatural. The king was responsible even for severe cold, severe heat. That we get from history of Srimad-Bhagavatam. That is stated. So the kings were so much responsible. They were always thinking of the happiness of the citizens, and the citizens were also so nice.

One citizen approached Lord Ramacandra and His next assistant, His brother, Lakshmana, informed Him that “He is a brahmana. You were absent on Your tour for, I think for a fortnight or a month, and this brahmana has not eaten even a drop of water during Your absence.” Why? “Because he comes here to see You, darsana.” Just like we come here in the temple to see the Deity. So Lord Ramacandra was present personally. So he used to come. After seeing Ramacandra, offering his obeisances, then he would go home and take something, his breakfast. That was his vow. And because he could not see for a fortnight or a month Lord Ramacandra because He was out on political tour, he did not eat even. Just see. The citizens were similar to the king. So at that time, there was a statue of Ramacandra which was being worshiped in the family from Maharaja Ikshvaku. Maharaja Ikshvaku, the son of Manu, happens to be the forefather of the family in which Ramacandra appeared. So he was devotee of Lord Rama, and he was worshiping the statue of Lord Rama. So that statue was being worshiped by the family one after another. But when Ramacandra was actually present He kept that statue in the closet of the room, and when this brahmana approached and Ramacandra was informed by Lakshmana that he is so steady and strong in his vow, so Ramacandra ordered that he may be delivered that statue so that in My absence he can offer respect to the statue and do with this. That form, I mean to say, statue, or arca of Ramacandra is still existing in South India. It is being worshiped from that time.

So these were the dealings of Ramacandra. Then He, His younger brother Lakshmana and His wife went to the forest, and His wife was kidnapped by the diplomacy of the demon Ravana, and there was fight between Rama and Ravana. Ravana was very, materialistically, he was very strong. But the thing is for fighting with Ravana, Ramacandra did not come back to His kingdom and take His army. No. He did not come back because He was ordered to live in the forest. So He organized army with the jungle animals, the monkeys. The monkeys. He fought with Ravana, an organized materialist, with the monkeys. You have seen the picture. And He constructed a bridge between India’s last point to the other side. Ceylon is considered to be the kingdom of Ravana. So there was a bridge, and the stones were floating.


So there are so many historical incidences in the life of Ramacandra, and we should remember, because if we remember why we are observing today fasting for Ramacandra... There were many kings like Ramacandra. Because the kings were trained in that way. Maharaja Yudhishthira was also as good as Ramacandra, and Maharaja Parikshit was as good. There were many such kings. But we are not concerned because He was a king. He is the King of all kings, paramesvara. Because He is God, therefore we are observing today. Ramadi-murtishu kala-niyamena tishthan [Bs. 5.39]. So He is not original form of God. The original form of God is Krishna, and Krishna expands Himself in various other forms. Advaitam acyutam anadim ananta-rupam [Bs. 5.33]. Ananta-rupam means millions and millions. The Manu is also incarnation of Krishna. So in one day of Brahma there are fourteen Manus. So Brahma lives for one hundred years. Just see how many incarnation of Manus are there even for one Brahma, and there are innumerable Brahmas also. So, as stated in the Srimad-Bhagavatam that nobody can count how many incarnations are there, but some of the chief incarnations are mentioned, and Lord Ramacandra is one of them. So Lord Ramacandra, He killed Ravana and He installed his brother.

His brother was devotee, Vibhishana. So He did not go to conquer Ceylon, because He was emperor. He went to punish that culprit Ravana, and He installed his younger brother Vibhishana in that... And He came back with Sita, and again He was installed after fourteen years, and His brother was so faithful that so long His eldest brother was away, Ramacandra requested Him that “Your mother wants that You should be king, and I also wish that in My absence You should be king.” Bharata, He was so faithful brother, He replied, “No. You are king. So long You are living, nobody can be king. So I cannot be king.” Then He requested, “At least You administer.” Because after the departure of Lord Ramacandra, Maharaja Dasaratha died out of the shock because Ramacandra was very pet son, eldest son. He was going to be king, and by his order He was sent to the forest. The father could not tolerate the shock. He died.

 

So Ramacandra’s life, God’s activities, pastimes, if we hear, that means we are associating with Ramacandra. There is no difference between His form, His name, His pastimes, and Himself. He’s absolute. Therefore either you chant the holy name of Rama or you see the statue of Rama or you talk of His pastimes, transcendental pastimes, everything, that means you are associating with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. So we take advantage of these days when the incarnation of God appears or disappears, and we try to associate with Him. By His association we become purified. Our process is purification. Krishna consciousness means simply we are purifying our consciousness. From the birth, as I have explained, everyone is sudra.

Sita, Rama Lakshmana worshipped by Hanuman

Sudra means one who laments. That is called sudra. For a slight loss or slight inconvenience, one who laments, he is called sudra. And brahmana means one who tolerates. A sudra has no toleration. So kalau sudra sambhava. Kalau means... This age is called Kali. So it is the statement of the sastras that in this age the whole population is sudra. And formerly also, by his birth, everyone was considered sudra, but there was training, samskara. At the present moment, there is no samskara, there is no training. The training is only for earning livelihood. No other training. How one can earn money and enjoy senses—that is the training at the present moment. But actually, to make successful the human life or the mission of human life, the Vedic culture is very nice. And by spreading Krishna consciousness, by adopting the process of Krishna consciousness, you can revive that cultural life, sublime life. If not wholesale, if there are a few people trained up in this line, and they become ideal examples to the society, immense benefit can be derived from their examples of life. What is time? [break] (kirtana) (end)

(A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada 27th March 1969. The Appearance day of Lord Rama - Ramanavami, Hawaii, USA.)

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