FESTIVAL

Balaran Jayanti

The appearance Day of Lord Balarama

The appearance of Lord Balarama

Devaki and Basudev's six children were born sequentially in the prison of Kangsa, and Kangsa killed each of them grimly before their eyes. But the seventh child heavenly appeared, the first incarnation of Lord, Sankarshan, appeared in the womb of Devaki. With the advent of Balaram in Devaki's womb, Devaki was flourished with effulgent. At that time, Lord Krishna called Yogamaya and instructed her, "I want to transfer my beautiful baby-like Balarama, my manifestation and the first incarnation of all incarnations, from Devaki's womb to Rohini's womb."

Among Basudev's wives, Devaki and Rohini are one of them. At that time, Kangsa had kept Basudev and Devaki captive. Rohini would lived in Gokul in the house of Nanda Maharaj, an intimate friend of Basudev and was under the protection of the Vrajavasi. Yogamaya transferred this baby to Rohini's womb. This beautiful baby was born in Gokul on the full moonlit night of the month of Sravana(Bengali Month); He is Sri Balaram.

When we talk about Vishnu Tattva. In the Bhagavata, Brahma Samhita, Sri Chaitanyacharitamrita, it has been described as–

Krishnastu Bhagavan shyam.”-Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself.

Govindamadi purusham tamaham vajami”.-Govinda is a primitive Supreme Lord.

When Krishna wanted to arrange transcendental pastimes in the Goloka Vrindavan, he first revealed himself as his eternal manifestation, Baladeva. Baladeva is the actual representative of Lord. He is Krishna himself as the servant of Krishna.

How does he serve Krishna?

Balarama served Krishna in 5 Mellows (Rasa)

Balarama is matchless. There is no one like Balarama who intimately participates with Sri Krishna in 5 mellows. As a Devotee in the Shanta Rasa, Balarama has spread himself through his energy by creating Gokul Vrindavan.

Golokadham is the manifestation of Balaram's potency. It is one kind of perfect place to offer our devotional service to Lord adequately. Balarama reveals Himself by Krishna's crown, flute, footwear, costume and all of Krishna's ornaments. He thus appeared to offer service and pleasure to Sri Krishna. And Balarama helps Him to attract all other creatures to his beautifully arranged appearance.

Everything of Krishna is supremely attractive. Krishna attains the most pleasure by attracting everyone's heart. So when Balarama reveals himself as Krishna's beautiful crown, beautiful flute, beautiful ornaments, golden bright colored dhuti, He decorates Krishna so that He can be more attractive and conquer the hearts of all. In this way, Balarama appeared in the Shanta Rasa.

Balarama always served with the mode of a real servant to give pleasure to Lord Sri Krishna.

Sakhya rasa (Devotee as a friend), He has appeared as Krishna's friend. They would joined in wrestling together, played together, danced together, fought together. Why? Just to please Krishna. Just to serve Lord. Again, as Krishna's eldest brother, He would also associated himself with Devotee as  parents (In Batsalya Rasa). He used to say frequently, "Krishna, you have done so many things, go home now, Krishna, Gopal today is your birthday, So You can't go out and play. Obviously, You must stay home. " When there was a danger in the forest, he was in the proper protection of Sri Balarama like a parent.

Balarama could not be seen directly participating as conjugal lover (Modhur Rasa). Because when Krishna is dancing with the Gopis, if Balarama goes there as an elder brother will create an uncomfortable situation, So He manifests Himself as a Anangamongory.

How clever Balaram is ! Because Radha-Krishna's conjugal love is the ultimate point of exchanging this relationship.

Since Krishna had an exclusive relationship with Radharani; That is why Radharani was afraid of Balarama. Again, since Balarama knew about Krishna's absolute relationship with Radharani, Balarama was also too feared to Radharani. But Balarama always wanted to help Radha Krishna meet. For this reason he manifested as the younger Anangamanjari of Radharani. He would lived in the same house with her. He was extremely loyal to Radharani. He would play with Radharani and made outstanding arrangements to meet Krishna.

And thus, Balarama served Krishna in five mellows. That is why Lord Balarama is awesome.

Balaram is the source of all incarnations

Krishna appeared as Balarama for the purpose of creating the Golok Vrindavan. Balarama reveals Sangkarsana, Aniruddhya, Pradumna and Basudeva. From these quarters, Vaikunthapatti Narayan was revealed. For the second time from this form created Sangkarsana, Aniruddhya, Pradumna and Basudeva.

From this Sangkarsana, Adi Shankar, who is the original Shiva. ”Vaisnavanam jotha shomvu”. This Shiva is the best of all Vaisnavas, the peak of Vaisnava. Because He is the manifestation of the original Balarama and that Sangkarsana revealed as Mahavishnu and then Creation of Brahma from Maha Vishnu. In every universe, He enters as an Garvadakshayee Vishnu. He then enters the heart of every creature in the form of a khirodakshayee Vishnu. There are various types of avatars(Incarnations) on the earth – Matsa avatar, Barah avatar, Nrisingha avatar, Rama avatar. They are all manifestations of the khirodakshayee Vishnu. Thus, we can understand that Balarama is the source of all incarnations. He is always in the mode of the Maha yogi. He is the representative of God. He is considered to be the main Guru.

The earth plows on the plow of Balaram - the Guru plows our hearts

Why does Balarama carry plow? What do we do with the plow? We make the land to grow the seeds. As a primitive Guru, Balaram plows our heart-shaped field through His plow. His words suit our heart-shaped land as a plow so that the seed of Krishna bhakti can germinate there and become attracted to Krishna's flute.

We know that when the soil gets dry, it has to be cultivated. And harvesting is not very pleasant to the world. Yet the land has to be cultivated. Land is repeatedly cultivated, so the purpose of the Guru is to continue the cultivation as long as the heart becomes soft. All the obstacles, false prestige, pride, illusion, lust, anger, greed have to be repeatedly rubbed out to be removed. We need to be soften our hearts so that the seeds of love can grow. That's why Balaram's plow. He removed all obstacles in spiritual life as a Guru.

Balarama Sangkarsana serves by appearing as last snake. Lakshmi Devi is serving the lotus feet of Lord and Balarama.

The best Guru is the best Servant

It is said that the best servant is the best Guru. The Guru does not consider himself a Guru. Guru considers himself as a servant. Even Lord considers Himself a servant. Krishna is the source of all pleasure. What is that pleasure? Giving  joys and happiness to His devotees. So in spiritual perspective, Everyone is servant, No one  is the Guru. But Balarama tattva teaches how to serve.

The mysterious path of joy of Krishna and His devotees

Srila Prabhupada used to say, Force means power; Spiritual power, not physical power; And Rama means one who enjoys pleasure. Therefore, we should pray to Sri Balarama for the power to remove the obstacles in our spiritual path, to serve Vaisnava, Guru and Sri Radhakrishna.

Hare krsna

Chandan Yatra

Chandan Yatra Festival

Chandan Yatra Festival:

Lord Sri Krishna is the ocean of mercy, a friend of the fallen soul. He wants to

distribute his undeserved mercy to fallen creatures. The suffering of the creature will

come to an end Only after receiving the grace of God. The festival of the destruction

of those suffering is the festival of Chandan Yatra.

 It is described in Utkal-Khanda, Sri Jagannath Dev said to Maharaj Indradymna that-

Baiśākhasya mitē pakṣē tr̥tīẏākṣaẏasan̄jñikā.

Tatra māṁ lēpaẏēdagandhalēpanairatiśōbhanama

That is, on the third day of the holy month of Baisakh, named Akshay Tritiya will impregnate my limbs with aromatic sandalwood.

‘Anūlēpana mukhyanta candanaṁ parikīrtitama’, Supreme Personality of Godhead Jagannath ordered His best servant Sri Indradumnya to impose aromatic sandalwood on his beautiful body on the third-most famous date of the month of Baisakh, as Chandan was the best of the rubbing products. Accordingly, from the beginning of Akshaya Tritiya to the Shukla Eighth Tithi of the month of Jaithya, Chandan is implanted in the Sri Anga of Sri Jagannath Vigraha every day for this long 21 days and every day is offered various nice Bhoga. At this time, a regular periodic boat rally was held in Srinarendra Sarobar along with the triumphant deity of Sri Jagannatha Dev in Puridham. Then the hot dress of light and floral garland is frequently worn. The sandalwood of Sri Vigraha in the Daytime is called 'Chandan Besh'.

It is mentioned in the Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita, once in a dream in Sri Dham Vrindaban, the Great Vaisnava Sri Madhavendra Puri, that his adorable Sri Gopal Vigraha said, “Heat of My body is not pacifying. So bring sandalwood from the mountains of Moloy ​​and rub it on my limbs, then it will appeasing my heat.” Then, when Jagannath Puri came to the temple, the old Madhavendrapuri came to Sri Gopinath temple at Remuna, when he came to Vrindavan with Maloyas Chandan and Camphor from the servants, he dreamed that night when he was sleeping, Gopal said, "Gopinath and I are identical." If you put sandalwood on Sri Gopinath's limbs, my limbs will be cool. ” In the summer season, Lord Sri Hari was very pleased when Camphor Chandan was implanted on Sri Hari's body. 

Srila Madhavendra Puripad applied sandalwood to Gopal for 21 days to remove body heat. As a result, Gopal's heat was removed. If we can cool Gopal then we too will be cool. And if we do not cool Sri Krishna, that is, we will continue to burn in Bhavdabagani(Fire of Material sufferings).

The significance of sandalwood is-

  1. Provide cooling,
  2. Sri or beauty increases and
  3. Spreading the scent.
  1. Cool: The coolest thing in the world is camphor. But sandalwood is a cooler object than camphor. That is why sandalwood with camphor mixed pulp is used in the surface of the Lord’s body. But the moon's rays are billions of times cooler than sandalwood. This helps to release all the heat of the human mind.

When a snake accumulates too much poison, it is attached to the sandalwood tree to cool off the poison. But the poison of the Material existence is far more poisonous effect than the poison of the snake. The way to escape from there is to put offering Chandan on your body. Godliness arises in the cool heart.

  1. Beauty increases: Like the water-filled cloud of Sravana, the sandalwood is added to Krishna's Shyam color body and thus beauty is increased. Seeing the beauty of God, the devotee's Spiritual beauty increases. Just as seeing the beauty of Krishna, the beauty of Sri Brajagopika also increased.
  2. Aroma: Chandan smells all the forest with its smell, in the same way, a pure devotee influences another person by his devotion to become a pure devotee.

Lord’s body is Sat-Chit-Anandamoya and beyond the three modes of material nature. It cannot contain any heat. However, the purpose of such a Lila of God is to increase one's glory by serving him. To pay him back to return to Godhead. In the case of pure devotees, the joy of the devotee is to be saved and the world is saved by hearing it.

To commemorate the Lila of Sri Madhavendrapuri a 21-day Chandan Yatra Festival is held every year at the ISKCON Swamibag Ashram.

Śrī Kr̥ṣṇēra Basantalīlā

Candanacarcitanīlakalēbara pītabasanabanamālī

Kēlicalanmaṇikuṇḍalamaṇḍitagaṇḍayugasmitaśālī.

Haririha mugdhabadhūnikarē.

Bilāsinī bilasati kēliparē. 1.

Pīnapaẏōdharabhārabharēṇa hariṁ parirabhya sarāgam.

Gōpabadhūranugāẏati kācidudañcitapañcamarāgam. 2.

 Kāpi bilāsabilōlabilōcanakhēlanajanitamanōjam.

Dhyāẏati mugdhabadhūradhikaṁ madhusūdanabadanasarōjam. 3.

 Kāpi kapōlatalē militā lapituṁ kimapi śrutimulē.

Cāru cucumba nitambabatī daẏitaṁ pulakairanukūlē. 4.

 Kēlikalākutukēna ca kācidamuṁ yamunājalakūlē.

Mañjulabañjulakuñjagataṁ bicakarṣa karēṇa dukūlē. 5.

 Karatalatālataralabalaẏābalikalitakalasbanabanśē.

Rāsarasē sahanr̥tyaparā hariṇā yubatiḥ praśansē. 6.

 Śliṣyati kāmapi cumbati kāmapi kāmapi ramaẏati rāmām.

Paśyati sasmitacāru parāmaparāmanugacchati bāmām. 7.

 Śrījaẏadēbabhaṇitamidamadbhutakēśabakēlirahasyam.

Br̥ndābanabipinē lalitaṁ bitanōtu śubhāni yaśasyam.  8.

 

 

 

 

Gaura Purnima

Gaura Purnima

 

Five hundred and thirty-three years ago from today, the auspicious advent of Sri Krishna Chaitanya at Nabadwip in Nadia district, West Bengal, India, is a memorable and astounding event. The treasure of the heart of the Bengali, Chaitanyadev is also known as - Nimai, Gauranga, Gaura Rai, Gora, Gaura, Gaurahari, Sachinandan, and yours. His unspeakably beautiful form and genuine love has made all masses of people together whether he is rich or poor, educated or ignorant and go beyond all caste, creed or religion & bound themselves in a chain of love, leading the way in the course of human life. This is called the Golden Age. Then a wonderful auspicious change took place in the sphere of society and individual life, marking the marvelous progress of national life.

Examples of this are the American War of Independence, the Industrial Revolution in France, the Golden Age of the Gupta Dynasty in India and even the most recent nineteenth-century Bengal Renaissance. Similarly, the history of the renaissance of medieval Bengal under the influence of Sri Chaitanya witnessed such a wonderful change. At that time, there was a strong tide in the field of education, in the movement of religion, in the use of art, literature, social rules, and reform.

But one of the special features of this change is that in all other Renaissance cases, a large number of talented individuals emerge in the world of contemporary art, literature, education, society, civilization, culture and religion. They carry forward the society and civilization with the responsibility and leadership of progress in their respective fields. All of those prominent people are shining with pride. No one is waiting for anyone. As a result of the overall effort of all of them, these Renaissance took place.

The impact of their unique thinking, originality, hard work, reform, and change of

organizational power, creativity, and traditions on the people suggests a huge change in society and national life.

In the land of Bengal, Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, Sri Ramakrsnadev, Swami Vivekananda, Great literaturer Bankim Chandra, Sharat Chandra, Rabindranath Tagore, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose, Prafulla Chandra Roy, Rishi Arabinda, Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das, Abanindranath Tagore, Nandalal Bose such renowned people were the initiators of the Renaissance of that day.

On the other hand, many of the most talented personalities have contributed greatly to the progress of the Middle Ages, but all of them are Chaitanya centered. All the leaders are mainly influenced by Chaitanya. Therefore, this Renaissance is not multi-faceted, rather than singularity centered i.e. Chaitanya.

The Supreme Personality of Godhead Sri Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita(4.8),

paritrāṇāya sādhūnāṁ vināśāya ca duṣkṛtām

dharma-saṁsthāpanārthāya  sambhavāmi yuge yuge

i.e. To deliver the pious and to annihilate the miscreants, as well as to reestablish the principles of religion,

Sri Krishna has discose to Arjuna by coming to the Dwapara Yuga - man-manā bhava mad-bhakto mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru", (BG-9.34), Engage your mind always in thinking of Me, become My devotee, offer obeisances to Me and worship Me." sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja", (BG-18.66) Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me.

Sri Krishna was disassociated from this world by providing theoretical knowledge to Arjun. But how will he apply that knowledge in his life, that is, how can he become a devotee? How to be his refuge? To impart education to him, Sri Krishna advent in the month of Falguni Purnima in February 1486 in Nabadwip, Nadia, West Bengal, India as devotees like feature in the lap of his father, Jagannath Mishra and mother Sachi Devi. 

Sri Krishna established the religion by killing Hiranyakashipu in the form of Sri Nrisimhadev in Satya Yuga. In the Treta Yuga, Ravana-Kumbhakarna as Sri Rama and He came in Dwapara Yuga as His Original form Krishna and killed many of the asuras including Kamsha; But in the age of Kali Yuga, the most merciful incarnation of the Supreme Lord Sri Chaitanya, he did not kill the demons this time, they killed their instincts.

One of the biggest obstacles in life is its bad instinct. Chaitanya Dev changed the demonic nature of human beings by giving rise to good instincts, giving them the rare Krishna Prema or Love God which is very rare even to Brahma-Shiva like gods, using a special weapon. And that weapon is Hari Nama weapon. Through Hari Nama, the living entity has become purified and gifted love.

He advent at Nabadwip and rose from childhood to young and got recognition as a well-known scholar, Nadia. He taught and preached the ideal domestic religion. He first married Lakshmi Priya Devi, but by the influence of edification while traveling to different countries to earn money and at that time she died by a serpent that resembles a separation from Mahaprabhu.

On the last funeral activities in Gaya, Sri Chaitanya became a Vaishnava with great change, by seeing Sri Vishnu Pada Padma and came in contact with Srila Isvara Puripada. Harinam Sankirtan introduced in Shreevas Tagore's house and later He married Vishnu Priya Thakurani. At the age of 24, he took sannyasa from Keshava Bharati in Katoa, Kanchan Nagar. His name then became Sri Krishna Chaitanya. He came to Puri Dham with taking sannyasa. There he made Sarbabhouma Bhattacharya a great devotee at first.

From Puri, he traveled on pilgrimage for six years. In the name of pilgrimage, Krishna gave love to all through Harinam. For the rest of 18 years, he was passed His days in Gambhira, feeling in the separation of Krishna Prema. On entering Sri Puri Temple in 1455, He closed the door of the temple, when the door was opened later, He could not be found. There is a lot of confusion in society over the disappearance of Mahaprabhu Leela. But if one knows right about the Lord, then confusion will come to an end. The common people know that there are no avatars in the Kali Yuga. How then is the Lord incarnate? In fact, He is not an Avatar, He is Krishna that means Avatari(Source of all Avatar) himself. What is the proof? There are two types of signs found in the avatar:

1. His Symptoms:2. His Marginal Energy:Then it is evident that he is not a common man or a nobleman, he is not an avatar rather than avatari(Source of all avatar). Neither Krishna is born nor death. He just emerges and disappears as the sun rises and sets down. The sun does not rise and set down. He simply goes behind the eyes and appears in front. Also, a general minister can't forgive a horrible criminal and get him out of jail, but he does not have to apologize to anyone to do this for having the power of the chief minister. In the same way, Krishna gave love to the terrifying sinners of Madhai, by which Yamaraj himself became very frightened. This proves that He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Krishna Himself. May all of us pray to Him on this glorious today to free us and lead us to His abode. Because “Patita pābana hētu taba avatāra.”

Sri Chaitanya Dev, a world-famous preceptor

About 533 years ago today, on the Navdivip of the river in West Bengal, India, in February 1486, the Falguni Purnima emerged as the glory of the Bengali nation. His genuine love for the rich or poor, educated or ignorant, beyond caste-creed-religion, uniting the masses of people in Love of God, which led to the passage of human life, marks the beginning of civilization and social emergence over centuries in history - the golden or the new age. (Renaissance).

Regarding Sri Chaitanya Dev, Rabindranath Thakur said, "From our Bengali, Chaitanya was born; he did not live in the Bigha Katha or limitedly. He made all human beings yours;  He made the Bangabhumi with enormous human love "

Not only as a world-teacher of human love, but Sri Chaitanya Dev's contribution to Bengali literature is also unknown to anyone. Despite having no writings of Sri Chaitanya Dev in Bangla literature, an era has been created in his name. That name is Chaitanya Era. The first biographical literature was started through Sri Chaitanya Dev in Bengali literature. Many of the most renowned literary writers of the post-era were captivated by Chaitanya. National poet Kazi Nazrul Islam also sang about Chaitanyadev:

Barṇacōrā ṭhākura ēla rasēra nadīẏāẏa, tōrā dēkhabi yadi āẏa

ābāra kē'u balē tāẏa gaurahari, kē'u ābāra balē tāẏa.

 Sri Chaitanya Dev was not an ordinary person with unique qualities. He is the incarnation of Lord Krishna. According to Padma Purana,  Prathama sandhyāẏāṁ gaurāṅgōhasya mahītalē.Bhāgīrathyā staṭē bhūẏō bhabiṣyati sanātanaḥ.’ That is, on the first evening of  Kali Yuga, Sri Krishna will reborn as Gouranga on the shores of Bhagirathi (Ganges) on the earth.

In the age of Dwapara, Lord  Krishna who taught the standard of Krishna Bhakti that same Krishna returned as Sri Chaitanya in this age of Kali, adopting devotee like features.

This time, however, he changed the demonic nature of the human heart by distributing love, not with weapons. His name was a unique means of distributing his love. This is the specialty of Sri Chaitanya Dev that he could defeat the enemy without his weapon, by his unique behavior. His love vision continues to illuminate the heart of the world people today, as evidenced by the globalization of His Sankirtan movement.

About 50 years ago, A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the founder Acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), went west by sea to preach the philosophy of Sri Chaitanya Dev for world humanity. In his tireless efforts, the philosophy of Sri Chaitanya Dev translated in the English language attracted the Westerners greatly, today millions of people are following his philosophy forgetting the white and black discrimination.

Today, there is no country in the world where the philosophy of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is not being aired. Because of that, westerners are getting Bengali language education only for their biographical studies on earth today.

Ultimately, this is to say that today, the life-philosophy of Sri Chaitanya Dev is a unique way of awakening the conscience of world humanity in a war-torn world, which will motivate us to create a new era by breaking the barrier of our brutality and forgetting the differences in the nation.

Gita Jayanti

Gita Jayanti

About 5000 years ago from today, in the tithi of Mokhshoda Ekadashi, the Supreme Personality of Godhead gave the knowledge of Srimad Bhagavad Gita to the best warrior of the world and his beloved devotee Arjun, in the holy place of Kurukshetra. This glorious tithi is called Gita Jayanti. Focusing on the festival, the devotees recited 700 Sanskrit verses of the 18 chapters of Bhagavad Gita at the ISKCON Swamibag Ashram. Then special sermons were given regarding Bhagavad Gita.

The Gita is the essence of all the scriptures, everything else in the scriptures is in Bhagavad Gita, besides these, there are such many theories in Bhagavad Gita that are not found anywhere else. (From the purport of Srila Prabhupada, Bhagavad Gita 1.1)

Bhagavadgita is also known as Gitopanishad. In this book, Lord Sri Krishna gave Arjun the most profoundly divine wisdom of devotional service. Indeed, this knowledge is an indispensable contribution to the absolute welfare of the entire human race so that they can attain the true purpose of human life, that is, surrender unto Lord Krishna.

ISKCON devotees celebrate the month of Gita Jayanti as "Srila Prabhupada Book Marathon" and actively participate in spreading Bhagavad Gita, the message uttered by Lord Sri Krishna, irrespective of religion, caste and creed across the globe.

Govardhana Puja

Govardhan Puja

In the twenty-fourth chapter of Ten Canto of Srimad Bhagavatam, Srila Vasyadev describes the worship of Govardhan in the twenty-fourth chapter. The inhabitant of Brajas organized a yajna ceremony to appease Indra, the God of Rain.

Lord Sri Krishna asked his father Nanda Maharaja with humble respect, “O Father, for whom is this yajna being performed? And what is the result?”

Nand Maharaj said, “We are Gopa, Our business is cow raising. Therefore, rainfall is essential for the food of the cows, including crop production. Then Lord Sri Krishna said that Devraj Indra is not the main source of rain. Because if he is the main controller of rain, why is it raining in the sea? Thus, instead of Lord Indra Yajna, Lord Sri Krishna inspired the Brajwas along with Nanda Maharaj to worship Govardhan by describing the glory of Giriraj Govardhan.

Lord Sri Krishna has appeared in the form of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, teaching us that Krishna is our god, just as Krishna's Lilabilas land Giri Govardhan is also our god. Govardhan Puja is identical to Krishna Puja.

 This Govardhan Puja has been held since the Dwapara age. It is also known as Annakut. By the mercy of Srila Prabhupada, Govardhan puja was held at the ISKCON Swamibagh Ashram as a part of Worldwide ISKCON Temples. On this day, Giriraj was offered a thousand kinds of Bhoga.

Importance of Govardhan Puja:

Govardhan mountain, known as Haridas Barjya is known for its touch of Haripada Padma. This means that Hari's servant is the best among all walks of life. One can attain the abode of Lord through Govardhan puja and rituals and satisfying Lord Krishna with infinite wealth, riches, cows and prosperity.

 Regarding Sri Chaitanya Dev, Rabindranath Thakur said, "From our Bengali, Chaitanya was born; he did not live in the Bigha Katha or limitedly. He made all human beings yours;  He made the Bangabhumi with enormous human love "

Not only as a world-teacher of human love, but Sri Chaitanya Dev's contribution to Bengali literature is also unknown to anyone. Despite having no writings of Sri Chaitanya Dev in Bangla literature, an era has been created in his name. That name is Chaitanya Era. The first biographical literature was started through Sri Chaitanya Dev in Bengali literature. Many of the most renowned literary writers of the post-era were captivated by Chaitanya. National poet Kazi Nazrul Islam also sang about Chaitanyadev: 

Barṇacōrā ṭhākura ēla rasēra nadīẏāẏa, tōrā dēkhabi yadi āẏa

ābāra kē'u balē tāẏa gaurahari, kē'u ābāra balē tāẏa.

 Sri Chaitanya Dev was not an ordinary person with unique qualities. He is the incarnation of Lord Krishna. According to Padma Purana,  Prathama sandhyāẏāṁ gaurāṅgōhasya mahītalē.Bhāgīrathyā staṭē bhūẏō bhabiṣyati sanātanaḥ.’ That is, on the first evening of  Kali Yuga, Sri Krishna will reborn as Gouranga on the shores of Bhagirathi (Ganges) on the earth.

In the age of Dwapara, Lord  Krishna who taught the standard of Krishna Bhakti that same Krishna returned as Sri Chaitanya in this age of Kali, adopting devotee like features.

This time, however, he changed the demonic nature of the human heart by distributing love, not with weapons. His name was a unique means of distributing his love. This is the specialty of Sri Chaitanya Dev that he could defeat the enemy without his weapon, by his unique behavior. His love vision continues to illuminate the heart of the world people today, as evidenced by the globalization of His Sankirtan movement.

About 50 years ago, A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the founder Acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), went west by sea to preach the philosophy of Sri Chaitanya Dev for world humanity. In his tireless efforts, the philosophy of Sri Chaitanya Dev translated in the English language attracted the Westerners greatly, today millions of people are following his philosophy forgetting the white and black discrimination.

Today, there is no country in the world where the philosophy of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is not being aired. Because of that, westerners are getting Bengali language education only for their biographical studies on earth today.

Ultimately, this is to say that today, the life-philosophy of Sri Chaitanya Dev is a unique way of awakening the conscience of world humanity in a war-torn world, which will motivate us to create a new era by breaking the barrier of our brutality and forgetting the differences in the nation.

Jagannath Sannayatra

Snana Yatra

A Snana Yatra festival is held in the Purnima Tithi of the month of Jaistha, commemorating the appearance of Lord Sri Jagannatha Dev. According to the Skandha Purana, King Indradyumna celebrated this bathing yatra when Jagannatha, Baladev, Subhadra Devi established Sri Vigraha made of wood. Srila Prabhupada organized a bathing festival in the entire ISKCON temples 15 days before the Ratha Yatra. As part of the festival, the festival was celebrated at the premises at the ISKCON Swamibag Ashram. Jagannatha, Baladev, Subhadra Maharani were brought to the bathing altar from the Garva(Inner) Temple. Vigraha is rubbed with Panchagavya, Panchamrita, Ganga water, various types of fruit juices and coconut water. The devotees who come to Swamibag Ashram at this festival has got the rare opportunity to Abhishek Jagannatha, Master of the Universe. The program continued for several hours with the Vedic mantra reciting, blowing a conch shell, singing and chanting of Maha Harinam, the great wealth of Goloka. At the end of the Abhishek, delicious Mahaprasad of Jagannatha is distributed among the devotees and visitors.

At the end of the bathing, Lord Sri Jagannatha Dev holds elephant-like appearance. After that, Jagannatha Dev falls into illness Lila for 15 days. This time is called the year of darkness, and during this time the Lord does not allow to pay a visit to the devotees. Due to ailing Lila medicinal herbs are offered, instead of offering Bhoga. On the 16th day, Jagannatha temple is opened to see for the public, and from this day the chariot began. Lord Jagannatha come down to the highway to bless the devotees.

Sri Krishna Janmashtami

Sri Krishna Janmashtami

Supreme Personality of Godhead Lord Sri Krishna appeared in Gokula & Mathura simultaneously in the month of Shravana on the Ashtami tithi of Krishna paksha in Rohini Nakshatra five thousands year ago. In Vedic literature there are various discussions about the advent of Lord Krishna which is very amazing. In spite of that some less intelligent people do not realized those. It is very difficult to understand Supreme Lord Sri Krishna and His action. In this regard, the Lord Krishna says in BG (7/25) –

nāhaṁ prakāśaḥ sarvasya  yoga-māyā-samāvṛtaḥ

Translation: I am never manifest to the foolish and unintelligent. For them, I am covered by My internal potency, and therefore they do not know that I am unborn and infallible.

Lord Krishna speaks on this matter in BG (4/9), janma karma ca me divyam evaṁ“

Again the Lord speaks in BG (9/11), “avajānanti māṁ mūḍhā mānuṣīṁ tanum āśritam”

In the Bhagavad-gītā, the Lord says that His appearance, birth and activities are all transcendental. He is `Aja’ which means birth less. The Lord’s appearance or birth is not like that of an ordinary man, who is forced to accept a material body according to his past deeds.

At the time of the appearance of Lord, the entire world looked all-auspicious and filled with all the qualities of goodness, splendor and peace. The constellation Rohiṇī appeared. This star Rohiṇī is considered to be very auspicious and is under the direct supervision of Brahmā. At the time of the appearance of Lord Sri Krishna all planets and all directions appeared extremely pleasing which is nicely described in Śrīmad Bhāgavatam (Bhāgavata Purāṇa). When the birth less Lord Sri Krishna was about to appear, the saints and brāhmaṇas, felt peace within the core of their hearts. It is confirmed that the child born at that auspicious moment was the Supreme Brahman or the Absolute Truth.

Vasudeva saw that wonderful child born as a baby with four hands, holding conchshell, club, disc and lotus flower, decorated with the mark of Śrīvatsa, wearing the jeweled necklace of kaustubha stone, dressed in yellow silk, appearing dazzling like a bright blackish cloud, wearing a helmet bedecked with the vaidūrya stone, valuable bracelets, earrings and similar other ornaments all over His body, and beautified by an abundance of hair on His head.

Due to the extraordinary features of the child, Vasudeva was struck with wonder. How could a newly born child be so decorated?

Vasudeva could, therefore, understand that Lord Kṛṣṇa had now appeared, and he became overpowered by the occasion.

Vasudeva very humbly wondered that although he was an ordinary living entity conditioned by material nature and was externally imprisoned by Kaṁsa, the all-pervading Personality of Godhead, Viṣṇu, or Kṛṣṇa, was appearing as a child in his home, exactly in His original position.

No earthly child is born with four hands, decorated with ornaments and nice clothing, fully equipped with all the signs of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Over and over again Vasudeva glanced at his child, and he considered how to celebrate this auspicious moment: “Generally, when a male child is born,” he thought, “people observe the occasion with jubilant celebrations, and in my home, although I am imprisoned, the Supreme Personality of Godhead has taken birth.

How many millions and millions of times should I be prepared to observe this auspicious ceremony!”

The Janmashtami Vow

After the death of Kamsa, the delighted Mathura Vashi expresses their happiness to Krishna, “Oh, Krishna, our happiness has known no bound. Today wretched Kamsa died in Malla juddha. Oh, Lord be pleased to us. We want to observe your birth festival as we couldn’t able to celebrate this when you took birth. Please give us your permission. We surrender unto you with devotion, please mercy us.”

By hearing this Vasudeva became very overwhelmed and captivated by parental affection for Krishna & Balarama. Hence Vasudeva told Krishna, “All people would be very cheerful by celebrating your birth festival, please give your consent”. By the permission of His father, Krishna stated to Mathura Vashi “Oh, the human race, when the sun goes to Simha Rashi, in the month of Vadra Krishna Ashtami in Rohini Nakshatra at midnight, I born as the child of Vasudeva and Devaki out of love. Anyone brahmana, kshatriya, baishya, sShudra, even anarja from any race, from ages 8 to 80 can observe this day. By doing this Vrata everyone will be peaceful and disease-free.”

Knowing this, all people were fasting and singing the glories of Lord Krishna’s pastimes with love and devotion. The various auspicious ceremony was going on until midnight. The inhabitant of Mathura bestows different gifts to Krishna. Vasudeva satisfied all the guests and brahmana with valuable gifts who attended the ceremony.

In Visnu Purana, it is written that a person who does not observe Janmashtami, will live like a snake in the forest. Moreover, he will not get happiness in this life and the next life. Hell is waiting for him.

Bhavishya Purana mention, Krishna told Yudhisthira Maharaj in Mahabharat, “One can be relieved from all sinful reaction from one’s seven birth and will have child, can be relieved from disease and will get immeasurable good fortune.”

In Varaha Purana, Purba Khanda Sri Suta Goswami said in Janmashtami Mahatya that it is a Vaishnav Tithi. People will be purified if they remember this auspicious Tithi.

It is said in Bhavishya Purana, If somebody performs any donation, sacrifice, study scripture, chant, perform penance, such kind of activities will give a hundred time’s result.

In our society, there is some misperception when to observe the Vrata. Padma Purana say that, if it is Saptami Tithi before 1.5 hours to sunrise and all the day-night is Ashtami Tithi, such Saptami-Yukta Janmashtami Vrata should be strictly avoided.

Rather the next day, if it is Ashtami Tithi before 1.5 hours to sunrise and the rest of the day is Navami then Navami-Yukta Ashtami Tithi should be observed. If Rohini Nakshatra appears with pure Ashtami and Ashtami exists until dawn such Vrata should be performed. But Saptami-Yukta Ashtami Vrata is fully prohibited.

References

  1. https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/primer/basics/noncodingdna
  2. https://www.tasciences.com/what-is-a-telomere.html
  3. Bhaktivedanta purport of the third chapter of Kṛṣṇa, “The Birth of Lord Kṛṣṇa.”

Jhulan Yatra

Jhulan Yatra

Jhulan Yatra is one of the important festivals of the Vaishnava society is held for five days from Pabitraropon Ekadashi to Sri Balarama Purnima on the holy day of Shravan month. This Sravani Purnima is also called Jhulan Purnima or Rakhi Festival. The festival was started in the Dwapara Yuga to commemorate Radha Krishna's sublime Jhulan Lila in Sridham Vrindavan. After that, it has been going on for ages. According to the direction of Srila Prabhupada, the five-days festival is celebrated nicely at the ISKCON Swamibag Ashram as part of the worldwide ISKCON temples.

At Swamibag Ashram, Radha Govinda's are decorated with various flowers, fruits, leaves and flowers and the Sri Vigrahas are brought to the Jhulan altar. Then Radha Govinda are given a special treat (pitha, laddu, sweets, etc.). Sri Vigrahas are swing after Aarti at the end of the offering. Visitors from different parts of Dhaka city come to Swamibag Ashram to receive the Lord's immense mercy. Every devotee pushes Radha Govinda and offers special prayers. The temple courtyard becomes joyful with the Maha Harinam and Ululoid. The devotees are blessed by the mercy of the Lord and overjoy with divine love.

Thousands of years ago, this swinging festival has been observed with great love and devotion in Vrindavan. Kunjas are in the deeply planted garden, trees are flourished with new leaves and flowers, bees are humming, birds like Parakeets, Cuckooes are singing lucidly. In the deep night of Purnima, the full moon is lit with full luminosity, the gentle breeze is flowing, the devotees immerse into love in such a joyful day.

Daughter of Brishavanu Radharani who is great lover Krishna, left their temple at the Kunja way for the sake of Jhulana Festival, along with dear Sakhi.

Seeing this pastime, Vaishnava poet Govinda Das sings–

 hansa gamanē dhanī,                         ā'ōla binōdinī

sakhigaṇa kari sē'i sātha

 rasika nāgara raba,               bidagdha śēkhara

turitē milala dhanī pāśa..

Then Joy of swing started at that very moment. Sri Sri Radha Govinda was swing into an ecstasy rock - in the rhythm of music, music and dance. That trend is still prevalent in human society today. In Dola yatra, the rocker is swinging in the north-south and in Jhulan it is in the east-west. The ceremony is not held inside the temple. The yatra was held at the temple premises so that devotees of all classes would be blessed. At this time, Bhagaban left the temple with compassion. The great meeting occurs between devotees and God. At this time, anyone can take advantage of the grace of God by participating in the swinging rocks. This is a shining example of the God who comes into the world in worship. Today, this pastime is still running in Vrindaban. “Kōna bhāgyabāna dēkhibārē pāẏa.”

     Jhuki jhuki jhulāẏata,                    sakala sakhigaṇa,

 hēri ānandē mātiẏā.

Those who get perfection in their worship, they can still hear the music of the Jhulan Yatra and joyful sound.

Dhini kaṭa dhiẏā tathaiẏā rōla,           bājē mr̥daṅga mōhana rōla,

titinā titinā tātiẏā.

At the Jhulan festival, the gods and goddesses, Gandharva and heaven’s fairy are also danced in their premises. What about the people! Radha Govinda will have to be offered bhoga at Bhogmandir with the help of Sakhis after cooking the special recipe at Jhulan Festival. After completion of offering bhoga, they are to be slept with spraying fragrant water in a sleeping temple.

Dēkhi sakhigaṇē,                     katahum̐ yatanē

śutāẏala dōhē tāẏa

             Sakhira iṅgitē,            caraṇa sēbitē

                                     ē dāsa baiṣṇaba dhāẏa..

 

This swinging festival increases for Love for God. Others name for Love for Krishna. Depending on the Tithi-Nakshatra, the Yatra is held. It is also called Jhulan Purnima.

Kartik Dipavali

Kartik Damodara

One month of the Gauravda Year is named Damodar. The word ‘Dam’ refers to rope and ‘Udara’ refers to the belly. So the word Damodar means one who is tied to the rope around the abdomen. The vow of Damodara begins at full moon night and ends at the next full moon.

This verse of Lord Sri Krishna is described in the 10th edition of Lila Srimad Bhagavatam. The boy Gopal broke the bowl of butter and made the mother angry at Yashoda. So while Lord Sri Krishna escaped for fear of Yashoda's sticks, the mother grabbed her from behind and tried to tie her with Udukhul (One kind of household Utensil) by a rope. But despite hundreds of attempts, Krishna could not be tied up and the rope was always two inches shorter. Realizing his mother's efforts, Lord Krishna agreed to be bound. The highest level of Yashoda's motherly love has been revealed through this Lila. That means, ‘Ajita(unconquered) Bhagaban’ is bound to his motherly love.

Importance:

Damodar Lila is one of the special Lila among the crores Lila of Lord Krishna. Because this Lila is held for a month. If one offers lamps in this month with sesame seeds or sesame oil, Bhagaban Damodar becomes very pleased and easily attains Bhagavad Dham.

Nityanand Trayodasi

Nityananda Troyodashi

Lord Nityananda Prabhu, one of the associates of the Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, appeared in Maghi Shukla Troyodashi in 1395 Sakabda as the son of Sri Harai Pandit and Padmavati Devi in ​​Birchandrapur village or Ekchakra village in Birbhum district.

He appears to help Mahaprabhu in the widespread propagation of the religion of Kali Yuga, Harinama. He was Balarama in Braja Lila. During his childhood, Lord Nityananda Prabhu played with Harinama Japa Kirtan and used to act as a character of Lord Krishna, Ramachandra and pastimes of other incarnations.

After travelling to the pilgrimage till the age of 20, He met to Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu at Sridham Mayapur and the two brothers together flooded the entire universe with the love of Krishna. Nityananda Prabhu is more gracious than the most merciful incarnation of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. He distributes the eternal love of Krishna to living entities without justifying any qualities.

The appearance day of Lord Nityananda, the incarnation of Guru-Tattva is celebrated in the great procession at ISKCON temples worldwide. As a part of this, the transcendental glory of Nityananda Prabhu is discussed in the Srimad Bhagavad class at the ISKCON Swamibag Ashram, and the Maha Abhishek of Gour-Nitai is held at noon and the Harinam continued. At noon, a special bhoga is offered to Lord Nityananda. At the end of offering, Mahaprasad is distributed among the devotees.

Nrsimha Caturdashi

Narasimha Chaturdashi

Lord Sri Krishna appeared in this world in Shukla Chaturdashi in the month of Baisakh, taking special form to protect his beloved devotee Prahlad Maharaj. This tithi is known as Narasimha Chaturdashi. His form was half-human and half-lion form. This form of God is known as Narasimha. The word 'Nar' means man and the word 'Simha' indicates king of animal. He destroys all the obstacles in the path of practising devotional service.

The festival is celebrated pompously in the courtyard at Swamibagh Ashram, like the all ISKCON temple around the world. The significance of various transcendental Lilas of Lord Sri Narasimha Dev is discussed in the Srimad Bhagavad class. In the twilight, Sri Bigraha is anointed with the Panchagavya and Panchamrita, various fruit juices and other valuable oils. Abhishek was finally ended by offering arati to Lord Sri Narasimha Dev. Thousands of devotees came to visit Swamibagh Ashram to do Abhishek and see Arati. Finally, Anukalpa Prasad is distributed among the devotees, that is, Ekadadi Prasad.

 Significance of Narasimha ChaturdashiIn the Brihannaradiya Purana, Lord Narasimha Dev told His devotee Prahlad –barṣē barṣē tu kartabyaṁ mama santuṣṭi kāraṇam.mahā guhyamidaṁ śrēṣṭhaṁ mānabairbhababhīrubhiḥ.  "Every year, perform Chaturdashi vows to my pleasure. People fearful of life and death will observe this most confidential and superior vow. " As Lord Narasimha Dev appeared in Shukla Chaturdashi of the month of Vaishakh, he had to worship and celebrate it on this date. Lord Narasimha Dev said anyone who violates to observe this tithi will suffer the torture of hell as long as the moon and sun exists. Even though my devotees generally observe this vow, but everyone has a right to do this vow.  Prahlad said, "O Lord, O Narasimharup, O adorable Lord of all the gods, I offer my obeisance unto you. I ask Lord, How did my devotion to you originate? How did I become your favourite devotee? " Lord Narasimha Dev said, "Oh Intelligent, Listen to me. In ancient times you were a Brahman but did not study the Vedas. Your name was Basudev and you were addicted to prostitute. You had no good, except did only one vow unto me. As a result of this vow, you have become so devoted to me. "Prahlad said, "O Narasimha, O infallible, Lord, what have I done to be a son? How did I perform this vow being addicted to prostitution? Please tell me. "  Sri Narasimha Dev said that in ancient times there was an uneducated Brahmin in Avantipur. His name was Basu Sharma. He was very religious and expert in Vedic activities. His wife was virtuous, decent and addicted to her husband. They had five sons. The four were virtuous, scholarly, and patriarchal. But the youngest son was an ill-mannered, always addicted to prostitute and wine. You were the youngest son. You used to live in a brothel.  Once in a forest, you and your girlfriend went for a walk. You thought that the day was going to be a great one. But there is a conflict between you and her regarding character. Due to this conflict, you went to a separate place. There you saw some old bricks as a symbol of the old ruins. The two of you were crying on your own, sitting separately in that isolated place. You were hungry all day and didn't even drink water. You were awake all night.  In a tired body, sadly in your heart, you were lying there praying, "Oh my God, Sri Hari, how beautiful are the people of this world! How wonderful my parents are. How beautiful my brothers are. They are devoted, devout. But I'm down. I'm a big fool. I'm characterless. Worse than the mad of a road. God, good people take shelter unto you. I so fool that I do not surrender to anyone. I'm so lonely. I pray to you in a great helpless condition, "O God, give me a pure life." Thus you cried.  And your girlfriend, she was also praying privately, "My God, I am the worst living creature in society. I am isolated and isolated from civilized society. There are many devoutly beautiful women in this world. And, I wasted life just by the sinful arrogance. We have only increased the burden of sin every day. What a hell it is waiting on this burned forehead. No one in the civil society ever wants to look at me. I also can't find a way out of this world. Oh, merciful God, if your undeserved kindness is toward me, please change my life!"  Lord Narasimha Dev said, "O Prahlad, that place was my ancient temple. That day was my appearance day in Shukla Chaturdashi tithi of the holy month of Vaisakh. You were fasting, waking at night, praying for your life. In this way, you ignorantly obeyed my Chaturdashi vow. Under the influence of this vow, you are born as my beloved devotee. And that prostitute who has got a happy harlot life in heaven. " O Prahlad, hear the effects of my vow, "Brahma performed this Charturdashi vow of me to gain creative power. Mahadev did this vow to kill Tripurasur. For the sake of heavenly pleasure, the gods had performed this vow in the previous birth. The vow had brought good fortune for even the prostitute. The people who will perform this great vow, have not to return to the world for millions of Kalpa. Influenced by my vow, the person who has no son will beget devotee son, the poor become wealthy, the luminaries get enlightened, the person desires kingdom will get the royal kingdom, and gain an increased lifetime. If women obey my Chaturdashi vow, she becomes fortunate, can give birth an honest son, have not to be widow, pacify son death’s agony and also bring spiritual happiness. To the men and women who observe this great vow, I give them the fruits of happiness and liberation. O Prahlad, the demons do not follow my vow. Their intension is always towards sinful activities. "  What are the rules for a vow? Lord Narasimha Dev said, "Those who observe the vow of Baishakhi Shukla Chaturdashi will not talk to the sinners, will avoid false talk, will abstain from woman, will avoid gambling and remember my beauty." We should take a bath in holy water in the afternoon. Then he would come to the house and affix the pavilion with cow dunk and he would draw an Ashtadala Padma. A copper bronze pitcher should be kept on the Ashtadala Padma. You should put a vessel on it with full of paddy. Narasimha Dev along with Lakshmi must be placed on the paddy. Or, the temple should be decorated with the sacred flower and worshipped Lakshmi-Narasimha after bathing in the Panchamrita. Prahlada is worshipped before worshipping of Lakshmi-Narasimha. This Abhishek and worship are to be completed in the evening. We have to pray with dancing, music and Harinam Sankirtan, Narasimha Stuti(a verse for praising), waking the whole night with recitation and hearing of Narasimha Lila and in the next morning, after finishing bathing worshipping with care and praying for the good of all. Then Dakshina and Prasadam should be offered to Brahman. People who have less capacity to do fasting can receive some anukalpa Prasadam after dusk. One can stay up to ten at night. The next day, Narasimha Stab is performed in Mangal Arati.

Sri Radhastami

Sri Radhashtami

Lord Krishna is the ultimate source of all forms of this world, even incarnations of God. Similarly, Radharani is also the source of all the goddess, namely, Lakshmi Devi, Rukmini, Satyabhama etc. He is the original nature. The common man has no idea about the Radharani. Radha Tattva is one of the most important things that is hidden in the Vedas, called Veda-Goppa. As a result, many misconceptions about Radharani have been created, or many have no idea. Srila Prabhupada said, "The two Tattvas Srimati Radharani and Sri Krishna" are completely unknown to the materialists. Therefore, Radharani's theory needs deep spiritual knowledge to make the mystery heartbreaking. Radharani is not an ordinary or special woman in this material world, she is known as Lord Sri Krishna's Hladini Shakti or Ananda-Daini Shakti or Chit Shakti. There are three divisions of this energy- Sandhini, Sambhit and Hladini. The essence of Sandhini energy is Suddhasattva. Lord Sri Krishna's Mother, Father, Dham, House, Beds, Asanas are the various expansion of  Suddhasattva. Sambhit Shakti is Chit Shakti or the knowledge power of Sri Krishna. The essence of this energy is to know that Lord Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The essence of Hladini Shakti is 'Bhagavat Prem' or ' Pure Love of God' which is stated in the verse (CC Adi. 4/68,69) –

hlādinīra sāra ‘prēma’ prēmasāra ‘bhāba’.

bhābēra parākāṣṭhā nāma, ‘mahābhāba’.

mahābhāba sbarūpā śrīrādhā-ṭhākurāṇī.

sarbaguṇakhani kr̥ṣṇakāntā śirōmaṇi.

 The appearance of Srimati Radha Rani in this Earth

In the context of the emergence of Srimati Radharani on earth, different texts are seen in different scriptures. This is because, in different Kalpas, she emerges in different ways. Puornamasi Devi told to Gergi, the daughter of Garagamuni the appearance tattva of Srimati Radharani, what Sri Rupa Goswami mentions in his book 'Sri Lalita Madhava'. Puornamasi Devi also spoke to Mother Yashoda and Rohini Devi about this, because she is the one who organizes and manages all the Lord's Pastimes. Once King Vrishavanu was meditated on God immersing in the water of river Jamuna. At that time, a thousand petal lotus came floating in the water stream and touched his body. When he unleashed his eyes, he saw a hot-golden coloured infant daughter lying in the lotus performing her hands and feet. Since the king had no children, he was very happy to have this daughter, and he took the daughter and gave it to his wife Kirtida. In this way, Srimati Radharani appeared in the house of his eternal parents Kirtida Sundari and Maharaja Vrishavanu in this earth at Shukla Ashtami Tithi in Vadra. This appearance day of Srimati Radha Rani is called Radhastami Tithi.

Significance of Radha Ashtami

Srimati Radha Rani appeared on the Shukla Ashtami Tithi of Vadra month. In the Vaishnava society, this Ashtami is celebrated pompously. By observing Radha Ashtami vow, one can eliminate the great sin of billions of births. This vow gives the same results of observing One Hundred Thousands of Ekadashi vow.

Ram Navami

Ram Navami

Whenever and wherever there is a decline in religion and the rise of irreligion the Lord appears millennium after millennium.
When the Lord comes to this world he doesn’t take birth like ordinary human beings but appears out of His own sweet will. Whenever there is a need for the protection of devotees the Lord appears. The Supreme Lord incarnates in many forms like Matsya the fish, Varaha the boar, Narsimha the half man half lion.

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Ratha Yatra

Rath Yatra - A festival of receiving the love of Krishna

His Devine Grace Srila A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

The Rath Yatra festival began five thousand years ago when Sri Krishna, along with his eldest brother Balaram and younger sister Subhadra Devi, came together from Dwarka to Kurukshetra by pressing on a chariot. Both Kurukshetra and Dwaraka City are still present. In fact, all baths take place in the sacred river during any form of Waning like Sun or Moon. And so people go to a sacred place Kurukshetra. Just as Krishna, His brother, and sister came to Kurukshetra with family members. On receiving the news, all the Gopis and other residents of Vrindavan all went to see Krishna, where Sri Krishna revealed his childhood deeds. Srimati Radharani was one of the Gopis. When she visited Sri Krishna with all his opulence, she said, “My dear Krishna, you are here too, and I am there too, but we are all worried about you in Vrindaban. So, I wish you would come to Vrindavan with me again and reveal your pastimes in the Kunjabans.”

These feeling of separation were presented by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. In these days, this Ratha Yatra festival is still celebrated at Jagannath Puridham in India. About five hundred years ago, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu also participated in the festival, and he was in such mode that it was as if Radharani was taking Krishna back to Vrindavan. And so this Ratha Yatra is a festival for feeling separation to the Vaisnavas. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has taught us the disadvantage of God. He feels the mode of separation from Krishna. Likewise, his disciples, the six Goswamis, have progressed in their devotion in the mode of separation-

“hē rādhē brajadēbīkē ca lalitē hē nandasunō kutaḥ

śrīgōbardhana-kalpapādapa-talē kālindī-ban'yē kutaḥ.

ghōṣantābiti sarbatō brajapurē khēdairmahābihbalau

bandē rūpa-sanātanau raghuyugau śrījība-gōpālakau.”

Participating in a chariot Festival means the progression of one step closer to self-realization. Attending this festival means getting in touch with Krishna directly. Lord Jagannatha Dev rides in the chariot and comes down on the highway to pay a visit to those who do not visit the temple. If anyone sees Lord Jagannatha Dev on a chariot for once, he is not to be born again. Even if someone pulls a chariot or touches a chariot, then his release is sure. Anyone who participates in the Ratha Yatra can slowly develop the inner love for Krishna.

Lord Jagannath is Lord of all the worlds

His Devine Grace Srila Abhaycharanarbrinda Bhakti Vedanta Swami Prabhupada

sajīẏāṯ kr̥ṣṇacaitan'yaḥ śrīrathāgrē nanartayaḥ.

yēnāsījjagatāṁ citraṁ jagannāthōhapi bismitaḥ.

Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who danced in the forefront of the supremely beautiful chariot of Sri Jagannatha, and in whose dance all the devotee and Lord Jagannath, Himself, also marvelled. All glories to that Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.

Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu got up at night and went to visit Lord Jagannatha Dev's 'Pandavijaya' after bathing with his devotees. On this occasion, Lord Jagannatha left his throne and ascended to the chariot. Maharaja Prataprudra himself, along with his son, visited the 'Pandavijaya' festival of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's followers. Advaita Acharya, Nityananda Prabhu, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu along with prominent devotees visited chariot riding Lila of Sri Jagannatha Dev. Like a drunken elephant, the giant dayitas have taken and carried Sri Jaganatha Dev from the throne. Some dayitas held the shoulders of Lord Jagannatha Dev, and some dayitas held his Sri Pada-Padma. A very thick and hard silk rope was tied to Jagannath's belly, and pull from both sides holding the rope.

Lord Jagannatha is the Lord of all the worlds. Who can take him from one place to another? He was moved by His own will for showing Lila. When Sri Jagannatha Dev was being taken from the throne to the chariot, Maharaja Prataprudra started to clean with swiper made of gold the path of Sri Jagannatha Dev. Chandan was irrigating on that route. Despite being a king, he started to clean the path of Jagannath. Water mixed with Chandan was spraying on that route. Despite being king, he was serving Jagannatha Dev considering himself trivial. So he was the deserve for Lord Jagannath’s mercy. On seeing that service of the king, the Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was felt happy, and as a result of that service, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was gracious to the king. Without the grace of God, God cannot be known or involved in His service.

The devotee who has received little compassion of God, he can understand God. One can try to get to know God through their intellect and personal efforts, but no one can know God by any day. Although Maharaja Prataprudra was desperate to visit Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, He refused to pay his visit. However, when the Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu saw the king do some menial service of Lord Jagannatha, He was overjoyed. In this way, King was able to receive the grace of Mahaprabhu. If a devotee accepts Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu as Krishna, then he is successful in attaining the spiritual strength under the combined grace of Guru-Krishna. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu mentioned this while teaching Sri Rupa Goswami

brabhāṇḍa bhramitē kōnō bhāgyabāna jība.

guru-kr̥ṣṇa prasādē pāẏa bhakti latā bīja.

Then the seeds of Bhakti germinated and became Bhaktilata, and gradually increasing it finally reached Sri Padapadma of Sri Krishna in Goloka-Vrindavan. By the grace of Sri Krishna, Sadguru can be found, and by the grace of Sadguru, we have got the chance to serve God. Godliness moves the creature from the material world to the spiritual world.

Ekadoshi

Ekadashi

It is described in the Padma Purana, once the great sage Jaimini Rishi asked his spiritual master, Srilla Vysadeva, “Oh, Gurudeva! Please bestow your mercy upon me and tell me about the Ekadashi in detail, as you are the only one to do so.”

Great sage Vysadeva said that “At the beginning of material creation, the Supreme Lord created moving and non-moving entities made of five material elements. At the same time, He created papa-purusha to punish the wicked people of the world. The body of papa-purusha was made of various sinful activities. The head of papa-purusha was made of sin of killing a brahmana; his mouth was made of the sin of stealing gold; his eyes were made of the sin of drinking intoxicants; his ears were made of the sin of having illicit sex with the spiritual master’s wife; his nose was made of the sin of killing one’s wife; his arms were made of the sin of slaughtering a cow; his shoulder was made of the sin of stealing properties and wealth; his throat was made of the sin of killing embryo (abortion); his chest was made of the sin of having sex with another’s wife; his abdomen was made of the sin of murdering of one’s relatives; his navel was made of the sin of killing refugees; his waist was made of the sin of egotistical self-praising; his thighs were made of the sin of slandering the guru; his genitals was made of the sin of selling one’s daughters; his buttocks was made of the sin of expressing confidential matters; his legs were made of the sin of killing one’s father and his hair was made of less sinful activities. Thus, a terrible personality, an embodiment of all sinful activities, the papa-purusha was created.

The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Vishnu began to contemplate to Himself that, “I have created the terrible form of papa-purusha who gives punishment to all sinful persons. Now I must create someone to control this personality.” Therefore Lord Vishnu created the personality of Yamaraja and different hellish planetary systems.

One day, on the back of Garuda, the Supreme Personality of Godhead Lord Sri Vishnu went to the house of Yamaraja. On seeing the Supreme Lord, the Yamraja offered obeisance prostrating on the ground and worshiped the Supreme Lord washing His feet and properly offered Him a golden throne.

After seating on the throne, the Supreme Lord heard very loud crying from the southern direction. Then Supreme Lord became surprised and inquired to Yamraja “Where is this loud crying coming from?” Yamraja replied, “O my Lord, the sinful people of planet earth are suffering in hell for their deeds. They are crying horribly from the inflictions of their sinful activities.”

Visiting the sinful creatures’ agony, the merciful Supreme Lord thought compassionately by Himself, “I have created all these people; they are suffering in hell in the guiltiness of their action, and now I will arrange for their welfare.”

Then, suddenly Lord Sri Hari appeared in Ekadashi Tithi in the form of a Goddess. He told the sinners to accept Ekadashi Vow. As a result of Ekadashi Vow, they were freed from sin and immediately went to Vaikuntha.”

Sri Vyasadeva continued, “O Jaimini! Therefore the lunar day of Ekadashi is the manifestation of Sri Hari and the best of all vows.

After seeing the influence of Ekadashi, papa-purusha approached to Lord Sri Hari in folded hands and began to pray: “O Lord! I am your created progeny. It was my job to give miseries to those who are very sinful. But currently, under the influence of Ekadashi, I have become destroyed. Because almost all the sinners are living in Vaikuntha because of Ekadashi. If everyone elevated to Vaikuntha, what will happen to this material world?”

The papa-purusha said again – “Lord if you have a desire to continue this manifestation of your past times, please protect me from the fear of Ekadashi. O Kaitava-nashana, Out of fear of Ekadashi, I have fled and seeking shelter everywhere in humans, animals, insects, water, fields, forests, mountains, oceans, trees, rivers, paradise, and earth. But I didn’t find any place to reside. Please direct me to a place where I can reside fearlessly.”

Upon hearing the prayer of the papa-purusha, Lord Sri Hari smiled and began to speak – “O papa-purusha! Do not lament. When Ekadashi emerges to sanctify these three worlds, you will take shelter within foodstuff in the form of grains. There my form Sri Ekadashi Devi will not impede you.” Saying this the Supreme lord disappeared. Therefore, those persons who are serious about the benefit of the soul will never accept grains on Ekadashi.”

What is Ekadashi?

'Ekadashi' is a Sanskrit word. According to the astrology or Vedic calendar, it is held on the 11th lunar day of the two Paksha of the month (One Paksha = 15 days). That is, there is two Ekadashi tithi in each month. From the beginning of the new moon to the full moon, this period is known as Shukla Paksha and from Purnima to the new moon, this period is called Krishna Paksha.

Thus in twelve (12) months, there is twenty-four (24) Ekadashi - Varuthini, Mohini, Opara, Pandava, Yogini, Shayana, Kamika, Pabitraropani, Annada, Parsvai, Indira, Pashakusha, Roma, Utthana, Utpanna, Mokhsoda, Saphala, Putrada, Shattila, Bhaimi (Jaya), Bijaya, Amalaki, Papamochini and Kamada Ekadashi. However, if there is an extra months in the year or Purushottama month (Malamas), then there are two additional Ekadashi - Padmini Ekadashi of Shukla Paksha and Parama Ekadashi of Krishna Paksha.

Ekadashi is called Madhava Tithi or Haribasar Tithi. Madhava means the Supreme Personality of Godhead Lord Sri Krishna and Tithi means a special time. That is, Madhava Tithi is associated with Lord Krishna or his favorite Tithi. For the welfare of the world, the Supreme Lord appeared in the form of Ekadashi Devi on this lunar day. Therefore, the devotees celebrate Ekadashi Tithi especially for the sake of the satisfaction of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Lord Sri Krishna. Because it is the crest jewel of all vows.

The Scientific Aspect of Fasting in Ekadashi

DNA, a deoxyribonucleic acid, contains genetic codes or instructions for making all the proteins of our bodies. But there is another type of DNA which does not carry any information, they are called junk DNA or non-coding DNA. During the cell division when the DNA splits, the junk DNA is lost. "But what is the purpose of this junk DNA? Why did the creator create an unnecessary element in the body?”

Initially, scientists thought that junk DNA is unnecessary for the body. Nevertheless, this is a fundamental part of the cell. Such as, repeated noncoding DNA sequences at the ends of chromosomes form telomeres which affect how our cells age. Our cells replenish by replicating themselves continuously throughout our lives. Telomeres get shorter each time a cell copies itself. This means the amount of junk DNA or telomere indicates one’s life expectancy. The more junk DNA is lost in cell division, the people will die faster and the less junk DNA loses, the people will live longer.

Scientists consider various factors to increase longevity. One is to reduce the rate of cell division, where junk DNA loss is minimum. Because if a large amount of junk DNA is lost, then a lot of calories are wasted. As a result, more energy is consumed, which decreased longevity.

Two things came out in this experiment. People, who eat meat, take illegal drugs, get intoxicated, they lose large amounts of junk DNA due to rapid cell division. As a result, their longevity is reduced. On the other hand for vegetarians, their cell division rate is slow, hence their longevity increased.

The experiment was conducted with 14 students, where they found unpredictable results for 15 days. The students became very weak. However, later they found that if starvation was done properly, there will be no weakness such as starving for 36 hours every two weeks. Therefore, the Vedic scripture that speaks about Ekadashi is completely reasonable for our bodies. Therefore, fasting in Ekadashi is important not only in spiritual consideration but also in material viewpoint. When we starve for a certain period, our cell division will decrease and our longevity will increase.

Ekadashi Vow

The best provision of fasting is to remain without water, Nirjala. But that may not be possible for everyone. In that case, one can only accept water. If that is not possible, then one can accept the Ekadashi prasada such as fruits, milk, and ghee or vegetables cooked in sunflower oil. All other types of oil must be discarded. Nirjala fasting can be broke with water or fruits, vegetables. In Srimat Bhagavata, we find that, Maharaja Ambarisha broke the fast by taking water in Dadwashi.

Why Ekadashi Boycott Grains?

According to Newton's gravitational theory, each object in this universe draws each other to its center. This attraction depends on the mass and the distance between the objects. Therefore, the moon has a gravitational effect on the earth. According to astrology, the rays of the moon make the grain mature and the moon influences the tides in the ocean.

Studies have shown that the lunar attraction increases most between the tenth to the twelfth day of the moon and especially in the waxing moon. Moon influences the liquids and gases more than solid objects in the earth. Again, a special feature of the crop is that it retains water in the body, which means that it does not allow water to drain from the body as it consumed a lot of water to digest. Furthermore, water is only 70-75% of our body. Therefore, if the grains are taken in the Ekadashi, then the body becomes over hydrated and it may cause many diseases.

But if one fast without water (Nirjala) or taking some fruits during the Ekadashi, the excess water in the body can easily be reduced which will eliminate all the toxins from our body and give some rest to our stomach and have fewer influences by the moon.

Thus, the Vedic scriptures, suggest avoiding grains like rice, wheat, barley, corn, pulses, mustard, etc. in Ekadashi. Recently, medical science is also telling us similar things. Hence intermittent fasting proposed by them (once in every 2 weeks for 36 hours etc) which also increases the life span is getting popular. Therefore, the Vedic Scriptures are entirely scientific.

The Age for Preforming the Ekadashi

Concerning the age limit for observing the Ekadashi, Hari Bhakti Bilas (12/75), in the Kaitayana Smriti, says that- “Ashtabarshadhika Marta Apurnashitibatshar.  Ekadasamupabatashet pakshaurvayopurupi”, means, from the age of eight till eighty, humans should fast on both Shukla and Krishna paksha. This is also confirmed in the Narada Purana.

The Ekadashi is not Just for Widows

Religious practice is only for the elderly people - such doctrine is still prevalent in our society. Moreover, many people think the Ekadashi vow is only for widows. To remove this false prejudice from the society Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has taught us through His mother Sachi Devi.

“One day Sri Caitanya Mahāprabhu fell down at the feet of His mother and requested her to give Him one thing in charity. His mother replied, "My dear son, I will give You whatever You ask." Then the Lord said, "My dear mother, please do not eat grains on the Ekādaśī day." Mother Śacī said, "You have spoken very nicely. I shall not eat grains on Ekadashi." From that day, she began to observe fasting on Ekadashi.”

mātā bale,--tāi diba, yā tumi māgibe

prabhu kahe,--ekādaśīte anna nā khāibe

śacī kahe,--nā khāiba, bhāla-i kahilā

sei haite ekādaśī karite lāgilā

(Ch. Ch. Adi. 15/9-10)