The ideal yogi concentrates his attention on Krishna
→ Dandavats

“It is by great fortune that one comes to Krishna consciousness on the path of bhakti-yoga to become well situated according to the Vedic direction. The ideal yogi concentrates his attention on Krishna, who is called Shyamasundara, who is as beautifully colored as a cloud, whose lotus-like face is as effulgent as the sun, whoseRead More...
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Devprayag Yatra in Himalayas
→ Dandavats

By Chandan Yatra Das Devprayag Yatra Himalayas The holy timeless village of Devprayag is in Himalayas in Tehri Garhwal district of Uttarakhand state. It is situated on the road that leads towards Badrinath Dhama. At Devprayag is a unique confluence (sangam) of two celestial rivers Alaknanda and Bhagirathi Rivers that both form the mainstream flowRead More...
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Nrsimha-lila, Bhakti SF, San Francisco
Giriraj Swami

Giriraj Swami read and spoke from Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.9.19.

“My Lord Nrsimhadeva, O Supreme, because of a bodily conception of life, embodied souls neglected and not cared for by You cannot do anything for their betterment. Whatever remedies they accept, although perhaps temporarily beneficial, are certainly impermanent. For example, a father and mother cannot protect their child, a physician and medicine cannot relieve a suffering patient, and a boat on the ocean cannot protect a drowning man. Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.9.19

Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.9.19 (Right-click to download).

The Holy Name Heals All Wounds
→ Seed of Devotion

My alarm rang in the dark morning. Immediately, a heavy weight lodged in my gut. While I showered and got dressed and walked out the door, the weight only became heavier and heavier. 

I drove to work in the twilight, the headlights from my car still lighting up the road. That's when the dread really kicked in - facing the reality that I would soon be entering my office, preparing my classes for the day... and then teaching. 

This semester I had started my new job of teaching Freshman Composition at my alma mater, Santa Fe College. This was my dream job, the position I had been dreaming about, praying for, and working very hard to be qualified for for years. 

And there I was, morning after morning, dread settling upon me in heavy, oppressive sheets of tar. 

It made no sense. My students were kind and respectful. I loved teaching my content. The environment of my college is uplifting. My colleagues are inspiring. My supervisor believes in me and supports me. In fact, the woman who hired me was MY Freshman Composition teacher fifteen years prior. I loved every minute of attending Santa Fe College, and on a completely objective level, the dread I was experiencing made no sense. 

Then why? Why

I began to realize: past teaching experiences. 

I taught first grade, middle school, and high school in New York City in various full-time capacities. Being a teacher (and simultaneously taking graduate classes at times) is all-consuming. But teaching middle school? The experience can eat you alive. 

I taught middle school full-time for almost two years. The first year was challenging but ultimately inspiring. The second year... let's just say that I could feel myself being mashed up while being eaten alive. This is no secret - that year was a tough year for almost every teacher, student, and even the principal. The most difficult part for me was the experience of disrespect I received from the students, no matter how many books I read in order to manage a classroom, how much advice I received from other teachers, the principal, instructional coaches, and more. I tried everything. A method would work for a couple hours, maybe a couple days, and then the chaos would set in again.

Duty-bound to finish the year, I would wake up to my alarm in the dark morning. Sure enough, the dread would settle into the pit of my gut in that first moment of consciousness. While I brushed my teeth, showered, and rode the subway to work, the dread would make its way into every fiber of my being.  

The helplessness and hopelessness began to permeate my life. I wore my glasses and dark clothing often in a subconscious desire to hide and dissolve. 

The only relief was to drown myself in grading and planning, but the disrespect and lack of self-discipline from 12, 13, and 14-year-olds was eating away at my sense of value as an educator and self-worth. Why put all this time and energy into planning a lesson that would fall apart within the first five minutes because students would start chatting and chatting and chatting to each other, or throwing pencils, or making dismissive comments about the text or the activity, or would refuse to follow a direction, or (worst of all) be mean to each other, or whatever? Of course I had heard it a million times to not take what they said and did personally. They're middle schoolers, what can you expect?

But I could not teach. These students were a difficult bunch, as confirmed by every other teacher and supervisor of the school. The negative behavior spread like a virus, infecting even the nicely behaved ones. Besides, the school itself was in disarray.  

By the time the school year ended, we were all so very, very done. 

I felt like a shell of an educator, wondering if I would ever be competent enough or strong enough or good enough to teach again. I considered leaving education, but deep down I knew it was my dharma (occupation) in this lifetime, and so I shouldered on. And of course, I knew that teaching middle school was simply not a fit for me. I needed to teach adults. 

So there I was, three years later, teaching (young) adults in my dream position, and that dread and self-doubt and and exhaustion was coming back to haunt me. 

I was at a total loss.

Then, on YouTube I discovered a recording of the 99 Names of Allah (Asma-Allah). I was entranced. I read a comment on this video that said, "I play this on my way to work and I don't even know exactly what's being sung at each moment but I feel more peaceful after."

Huh. 

Of course, I understand the power of  the holy name and how it can give peace and love to the heart and soul. I've experienced this countless times in my own tradition of singing and chanting the Hare Krishna mantra as well as other powerful prayers. That said, I've also experienced this kind of peace and fulfillment with the Asma-Allah, especially while I dedicated myself to memorizing the 99 Names. 

So I tried it. 

I played the recording on my way to work. 

One twilit morning, over and over again, I played the recording and sang what I could recall. The names of Allah filled my car and I was bathed in peace and courage. 

Then, in soft and gentle tones, I chanted the Hare Krishna mantra.  

I did this two times on my way to work, maybe three, and the dread dissolved forever. 

Did I have "dumpster fire" days where so much went wrong because I was on a steep learning curve? Yes. But I was no longer battling a foe that kept getting resurrected from my past. I dealt with the current reality of being human and making mistakes. They were fair fights.  

Will the dread return, maybe next semester? 

Maybe. 

But now I know what to do. Or rather, I know who to turn to.  

The holy name dissipated the darkness and lit up my heart. So often we struggle with past demons and patterns and impressions, seemingly endless cycles of pain and hurt and sadness and anger and violence and destruction. And while doing the needful to get the healing we need (such as therapy, etc.) is essential, ultimately there's no way out of those patterns by only fighting them on a material level. The only way out is to take shelter of a higher principle, to take shelter of the Lord. And the easiest way is to call out His name. 

My thanks go out to that commenter on YouTube. You showed me that the holy name is like medicine - it works even if we don't know or understand how it is healing our hearts. 

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna

Krishna Krishna Hare Hare

Hare Rama Hare Rama

Rama Rama Hare Hare 

Dear Lord
→ Dandavats

“Dear Lord, when You appear in Your different incarnations, You take different names and forms according to different situations. Lord Krishna is Your name because You are all attractive; You are called Shyamasundara because of Your transcendental beauty. Shyama means blackish, yet they say that You are more beautiful than thousands of Cupids. Kandarpa-koti-kamaniya. AlthoughRead More...
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A life-altering experience
→ Dandavats

By Matthew Learning

My spiritual adventure in Krishna consciousness was, and still is, life-altering and life-enhancing. It showed me that God is very, very real. I attribute it all to the Hare Krishna mantra, Krishna’s blessings, following the precepts and principles, studying the language of Nature, God and the Vedas—and by being humble to the pure path of Bhakti. So much of this was made available to me in the past 18 months thanks to John Griesser, his spontaneous Facebook message, and my watching his brilliant film. Continue reading "A life-altering experience
→ Dandavats"

The transcendental beauty of Krishna
→ Dandavats

“No one can appreciate the beauty of Krishna by properly discharging his occupational duty, or by austerities, mystic yoga, cultivation of knowledge or by prayers. Only those who are on the transcendental platform of love of God, who out of love engage in devotional service, can appreciate the transcendental beauty of Krishna. Such beauty isRead More...
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1,700 Ukrainian Devotees Saved from Catastrophic Danger
→ ISKCON News

Acuyta Priya das, regional secretary for ISKCON Ukraine and Moldovia gives thanks to our international society for helping  1700 Ukrainian devotees flee Ukraine.   Our team is very grateful for the overwhelming response of the devotee community throughout the world, by joining in prayers and extending financial support for Ukrainian devotees during these critical times. […]

The post 1,700 Ukrainian Devotees Saved from Catastrophic Danger appeared first on ISKCON News.

ISKCON RELIEF FOR UKRAINE — Report Week 11
→ Dandavats

By Kamala Priya Devi Dasi

Last Sunday May 15th, devotees all over the world got together to pray and hold kirtans for the safety and protection of the devotees and people in Ukraine. Praying also that this terrible war will soon come to an end. A special and protective Narasimha Yajna was conducted on the morning of His appearance in Mayapur for the peace and well being of all those affected. We would like to express our deepest gratitude to HH Jayapataka Swami Maharaj and His disciples for donating $11,000 towards the Ukraine Crisis in Europe. The donation will be used for basic necessities. Continue reading "ISKCON RELIEF FOR UKRAINE — Report Week 11
→ Dandavats"

Madhavendra Puri Appearance
→ Ramai Swami

Before Lord Caitanya appeared He sent His eternal associates like Sri Advaita Acarya, Sri Jagannatha Misra, Saci Mata, Madhavendra Puri, Isvari Puri to earth. Sri Madhavendra Puri took initiation from Sri Laksmipati Tirtha in the Madhvacarya sampradaya. 

He had many but Sri Advaita Acarya and Sri Isvara Puri were the chief disciples of Madhavendra Puri. In one way or another, all the Vaisnavas in Bengal and Ksetra mandala (Jagan­natha Puri) were connected with Sri Madhavendra Puri. After Lord Caitanya came many of his disciples joined Mahaprabhu’s sankirtana movement. 

 “Madhavendra Puri’s body was completely full of divine love; so were his followers. He displayed uncommon love of God. Seeing a dark blue rain cloud, he would fall down unconscious. Day and night he was intoxicated from drinking the ambrosia of Krishna prema.” (Vrndavana Dasa Thakura)

 After making an extensive pilgrimage of Bharata-bhumi (India) he passed his life in Vrndavana and Orissa. He began the restoration work of Vrndavana that Sri Rupa and Sanatana Gos-vamis continued later. Wandering from grove to grove, remembering Radha-Krishna’s sweet Vrndavana pastimes, Madhavendra Puri would faint in ecstasy.

In a dream, Sri Gopala ordered Madhavendra Puri to uncover a buried Gopala Deity and install Him atop Govardhana Hill. Madhavendra Puri celebrated Gopala’s installation with an annakuta (grand festival offering a mountain of foodstuffs to Krishna). This Annakuta festival, also called Govardhana Puja, is one of the most important Vaisnava festivals in Vrndavana, in India, and around the world. The original Gopala Deity, known as Sri Nathaji, is now worshiped in Nathadvara, Rajasthan. 

Madhavendra Puri introduced the conception of madhurya bhava (conjugal love) in the Madhvacarya sampradaya. Mad­havendra Puri sowed the seed of prema bhakti. And Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu became the towering tree dropping honey sweet fruits of prema upon everyone. He also revealed viraha bhava, the mood of love relished in separation from God. His branch of the Madhva sect distinguished itself by this ecstatic love of God. It is known as the Madhva-Gaudiya sampradaya.

Monthly Media – Apr 2022
→ KKSBlog

Rama Navami and Vyasa-puja celebrations (Appearance Day of HH Kadamba Kanana Swami)

Lord Rama is one of the principal forms of the Lord. It is mentioned in the Vedic scriptures that there is an uncountable number of incarnations of Lord Krsna. Lord Rama appeared on Earth in the treta-yuga in a place in northern India called Ayodhya, on the ninth day of the Chaitra month. He ruled the Earth as the ideal king more than two million years ago. Under the order of His father, Lord Rama lived in exile in the forest for fourteen years, along with His wife, Sita, and His younger brother Lakshmana. After the powerful demon Ravana kidnapped Sita, Lord Rama rescued her, with the help of His faithful servant, Hanuman, and killed Ravana along with Ravana’s armies. The history of Lord Rama’s pastimes are recounted by the sage Valmiki in the Ramayana.

Kadamba Kanana Swami was still in South Africa at the beginning of April. Please see the link to his lectures and kirtan below.

1 April 2022 – Srimad Bhagavatam 3.7.23

3 April 2022 – Caitanya Caritamrta Madhya-lila 7.110

10 April 2022 – Rama Navami Lecture

 19 April 2022 – Kirtan

https://www.facebook.com/kadamba.swami/videos/1103742166991943/

Later in April 2022, HH Kadamba Kanana Swami travelled back to Europe and celebrated the King’s Day in Amsterdam. Please see the link below.

27 April 2022 – King’s Day in Amsterdam, Netherlands

After Amsterdam, Maharaj arrived at the Simhachalam temple in Germany, where he had his Vyasa-puja festivities. During these celebrations, many devotees got initiated. Please see all the links to classes, offerings, kirtan and initiations below.

29 April 2022 – Vyasa-puja festival

Vyasa-puja 2022 Offerings

 Vyasa-puja Evening Kirtan

30 April 2022 – Vyasa-puja – Caitanya Caritamrta Class

30 April 2022 – Initiation Ceremony

30 April 2022 – Vyasa-puja Drama by UK Devotees

30 April 2022 – Vyasa-puja – Nrsimhadeva Homa and Kirtan

Weekly Zoom Meetings

1 April 2022 – Bhagavad-gita 13.8-12

https://youtu.be/i0a_quccCiQ

8 April 2022 – Krsna Book Chapter 20

https://youtu.be/ohjtLrW_5OA

15 April 2022 – Spirit of Sacrifice

https://youtu.be/cxmL1MflOEc

22 April 2022 – Find the juice and anchor yourself

https://youtu.be/tN2WhpZ8fqA

Kadamba Kanana Swami will travel to the United Kingdom in May 2022. Please stay tuned in and follow his adventures.

The article " Monthly Media – Apr 2022 " was published on KKSBlog.

Kṛṣṇa means “all-attractive.” 
→ Dandavats

Kṛṣṇa used to steal butter from the stock of His mother’s butter stock; therefore Kṛṣṇa’s name is Mākhana-cora. So in this way Kṛṣṇa’s name are varieties. Lecture Excerpt — Los Angeles, February 9, 1969: Kṛṣṇa is the perfect name. God has no name; some philosophers say like that. No name means that His name isRead More...
(This post has been viewed 25 times so far)

Meditation and the Self Within
→ Dandavats

Can meditation solve our everyday problems? Is there life after death? Can drugs help us achieve self-realization? During a recent visit to South Africa, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada discussed these questions with Bill Faill, a reporter for the Durban Natal Mercury. Srila Prabhupada: “Krsna” is a name for God which means all-attractive. UnlessRead More...
(This post has been viewed 13 times so far)

The Lord’s Merciful Appearance – Narasimha Caturdashi
→ Mayapur.com

Hare Krishna Dear Prabhu/Mataji Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada. Jai Sri Mayapur Dham Ki Jai!! Sri Prahlad Narasimhadev Ki Jai!! It is with great pleasure and humility, we wish to inform you that this year Narasimha Caturdashi was an epic apocalypse of the Lord Himself descending to totally eradicate the […]

The post The Lord’s Merciful Appearance – Narasimha Caturdashi appeared first on Mayapur.com.

A Look at Mayapur Nrsimhadeva’s TOVP Temple
→ ISKCON News

Mayapur Nrsimhadeva’s TOVP Temple is scheduled for completion and opening in 2023. While Lord Nrsimha will not be relocated into His new home at this time, this milestone event will herald the Grand Opening of the TOVP in 2024. The video displays computer-generated images of the completed altar as well as the finished Nrsimha Temple […]

The post A Look at Mayapur Nrsimhadeva’s TOVP Temple appeared first on ISKCON News.

The form of Krishna
→ Dandavats

“My dear friend, if you still have any desire to enjoy the company of your friends within this material world, then don’t look upon the form of Krishna, who is standing on the bank of Keshi-ghata. He is known as Govinda, and His eyes are very enchanting. He is playing upon His flute, and onRead More...
(This post has been viewed 3 times so far)

Mayapur Nrsimhadeva’s Most Beloved Servant Sriman Pankajanghri Prabhu: In Memoriam
- TOVP.org

On the most auspicious occasion of Nrsimha Caturdasi, May 15 2022, we wish to honor and remember Mayapur Prahlad Nrsimhadeva’s most dearmost servant, His Grace Sriman Pankajanghri prabhu, who left this material world for the Lord’s eternal abode one year ago, through this video presentation of the future TOVP Nrsimhadeva hall and altar, and the glorification of this gentle and beautiful soul, beloved by all.

Video Producer Prananatha prabhu has described the video thus:

“This video pays homage to His Grace Pankajanghri Prabhu, who served Lord Nrsimhadeva for many, many years in Mayapur. In 2021 he passed away, but because he is so dear to Lord Nrsimhadeva, he will never be forgotten.”

This breathtaking, spellbinding and emotionally charged video will astound you. Your heart will be moved and your hairs stand on end. You will want to watch it more than once, maybe even five or six times. It will bring tears to your eyes and an outpour of love from your heart for this great servant of Lord Nrsimhadeva.

We can best honor and serve Pankajanghri prabhu by helping to fulfill his heart’s desire to complete Prahlad Nrsimhadeva’s new home in the Temple of the Vedic Planetarium. The completion and opening of this East Wing of the TOVP is scheduled for the Fall of 2023. Please support this important effort by going to WWW.TOVP.ORG and sponsor a Nrsimha Brick with your name inscribed and placed under the Lord’s altar, or give a donation of any amount.

The TOVP has recently released two Nrsimhadeva related flipbooks on our website. These online flipbooks are readable, downloadable and shareable. Please have a look at the links below:

Sri Shanaiscara-krta Sri Narasimha Stuti flipbook

Lord Nrsimhadeva ISKCON Mayapur and Sri Shanaiscara-krta Sri Narasimha Stuti Prayers by Shani (Saturn) to Lord Nrsimhadeva from the Bhavishya Purana.


 

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Gaura Vani Releases Armor of Nrsimha Song
→ ISKCON News

Today on Sri Nrsimha-caturdasi, Gaura Vani releases a new single, Armor of Nrsimha In celebration of this, Gaura Vani and friends told the story of the half-man, half-lion form of Krishna and His child devotee Prahlad on Facebook today. This epic story from the Srimad Bhagavatam (arguably the greatest collected work on Bhakti) draws us […]

The post Gaura Vani Releases Armor of Nrsimha Song appeared first on ISKCON News.

The struggle between the atheist and the theist
→ Dandavats

Srila Prabhupada: So this is very instructive struggle between the atheist and the theist. This story of Prahlāda Mahārāja is eternally true. There is always a struggle between the atheist and the theist. If a person becomes God conscious, Kṛṣṇa conscious, so he will find many enemies, because the world is full of demons. WhatRead More...
(This post has been viewed 11 times so far)

Secrets of the Mayapur Nrsimha Caturdasi Maha Abhisheka Ingredients
- TOVP.org

ISKCON Mayapur Management and the TOVP Team would like to invite all ISKCON devotees to watch the live Mayapur Nrsimha Caturdasi Maha Abhisheka celebration, May 15 on Mayapur TV from 4:30-9:00pm IST. The celebration will include an ecstatic abhisheka, a special movie premier, drama, guest speakers and more. The annual Maha Sudarshana Yajna will also be held on May 13 for the pleasure of Lord Nrsimhadeva.

This video by TOVP Co-Chairman Braja Vilasa prabhu and Mayapur Head Pujari Krishna prabhu explains the history and development of the annual 3-day Mayapur Nrsimha Caturdasi Festival which includes a Maha Sudarshana Yajna, Adivas observance, Mayapur procession, various offerings to Nrsimhadeva and the final Maha Abhisheka bathing the Lord with hundreds of ingredients.

This year the entire festival will be broadcast live on Mayapur TV, especially the Maha Abhisheka of Lord Nrsimhadeva on May 15 from 4:30 – 9:00pm. Tune in to watch this extraordinary event.

This also coincides with the #GivingToNrsimha 12 Day Matching Fundraiser going on now until May 15 to complete Mayapur Nrsimhadeva’s new altar and hall by 2023. Every dollar will be matched by Ambarisa prabhu who is matching a total of $250,000. Sponsor a Nrsimha Brick with your name inscribed and placed under the Lord’s altar, a Prabhupada Medallion or Award, Prabhupada/TOVP Trophy or make a Pledge Payment or General Donation of any amount.

Let’s show our love and devotion for Mayapur Nrsimhadeva, the Divine Protector of ISKCON, by completing His new home in 2023. Below are links to make a donation TODAY!

 

TOVP #GIVINGTONRSIMHA 12 DAY MATCHING FUNDRAISER

May 3(Akshaya Tritiya) – May 15 (Nrsimha Caturdasi)

YOUR DONATION TO MAYAPUR NRSIMHA WILL BE MATCHED!

GIVE $10, $25, $51 OR MORE TO OPEN LORD NRSIMHA’S TEMPLE!


 

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(please indicate pledge payment in Notes or by emailing us at tovpinfo@gmail.com)

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TOVP NEWS AND UPDATES – STAY IN TOUCH

Visit: www.tovp.org
Support: https://tovp.org/donate/
Email: tovpinfo@gmail.com
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Sri Nrsimha-caturdasi
Giriraj Swami

We shall read from Srimad-Bhagavatam, Canto Five, Chapter Eighteen: “The Residents of Jambudvipa Offer Prayers,” from the series of prayers recited by Prahlada Maharaja to Lord Nrsimhadeva. Text 8 is a very important prayer, or mantra, and in it many words are repeated, which gives them great emphasis.

TEXT 8

om namo bhagavate narasimhaya namas tejas-tejase avir-avirbhava vajra-nakha vajra-damstra karmasayan randhaya randhaya tamo grasa grasa om svaha; abhayam abhayam atmani bhuyistha om ksraum.

TRANSLATION

I offer my respectful obeisances unto Lord Nrsimhadeva, the source of all power. O my Lord who possess nails and teeth just like thunderbolts, kindly vanquish our demonlike desires for fruitive activity in this material world. Please appear in our hearts and drive away our ignorance so that by Your mercy we may become fearless in the struggle for existence in this material world.

TEXT 9

svasty astu visvasya khalah prasidatam
   dhyayantu bhutani sivam mitho dhiya
manas ca bhadram bhajatad adhoksaje
   avesyatam no matir apy ahaituki

TRANSLATION

May there be good fortune throughout the universe, and may all envious persons be pacified. May all living entities become calm by practicing bhakti-yoga, for by accepting devotional service they will think of each other’s welfare. Therefore let us all engage in the service of the supreme transcendence, Lord Sri Krsna, and always remain absorbed in thought of Him.

PURPORT by Srila Prabhupada

The following verse describes a Vaisnava:

vancha-kalpa-tarubhyas ca
   krpa-sindhubhya eva ca
patitanam pavanebhyo
   vaisnavebhyo namo namah

Just like a desire tree, a Vaisnava can fulfill all the desires of anyone who takes shelter of his lotus feet. Prahlada Maharaja is a typical Vaisnava. He prays not for himself, but for all living entities—the gentle, the envious, and the mischievous. He always thought of the welfare of mischievous persons like his father, Hiranyakasipu. Prahlada Maharaja did not ask for anything for himself; rather, he prayed for the Lord to excuse his demoniac father. This is the attitude of a Vaisnava, who always thinks of the welfare of the entire universe.

Srimad-Bhagavatam and bhagavata-dharma are meant for persons who are completely free of envy (parama-nirmatsaranam). Therefore Prahlada Maharaja prays in this verse, khalah prasidatam: “May all the envious persons be pacified.” The material world is full of envious persons, but if one frees himself of envy, he becomes liberal in his social dealings and can think of others’ welfare. Anyone who takes up Krsna consciousness and engages himself completely in the service of the Lord cleanses his mind of all envy (manas ca bhadram bhajatad adhoksaje). Therefore we should pray to Lord Nrsimhadeva to sit in our hearts. We should pray, bahir nrsimho hrdaye nrsimhah: “Let Lord Nrsimhadeva sit in the core of my heart, killing all my bad propensities. Let my mind become clean so that I may peacefully worship the Lord and bring peace to the entire world.”

Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura has given us a very fine purport in this regard. Whenever one offers a prayer to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one always requests some benediction from Him. Even pure (niskama) devotees pray for some benediction, as instructed by Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu in His Siksastaka:

ayi nanda-tanuja kinkaram
  patitam mam visame bhavambudhau
krpaya tava pada-pankaja-
  sthita-dhuli-sadrsam vicintaya

“O son of Maharaja Nanda [Krsna], I am Your eternal servitor, yet somehow or other I have fallen into the ocean of birth and death. Please pick Me up from the ocean of death and place Me as one of the atoms at Your lotus feet.” In another prayer Lord Caitanya says, mama janmani janmanisvare bhavatad bhaktir ahaituki tvayi: “Life after life, kindly let Me have unalloyed love and devotion at Your Lordship’s lotus feet.” When Prahlada Maharaja chants om namo bhagavate narasimhaya, he prays for a benediction from the Lord, but because he is also an exalted Vaisnava, he wants nothing for his personal sense gratification. The first desire expressed in his prayer is svasty astu visvasya: “Let there be good fortune throughout the entire universe.” Prahlada Maharaja thus requested the Lord to be merciful to everyone, including his father, a most envious person. According to Canakya Pandita, there are two kinds of envious living entities: one is a snake, and the other is the man like Hiranyakasipu, who is by nature envious of everyone, even of his father or son. Hiranyakasipu was envious of his little son Prahlada, but Prahlada Maharaja asked a benediction for the benefit of his father. Hiranyakasipu was very envious of devotees, but Prahlada wished that his father and other demons like him would give up their envious nature by the grace of the Lord and stop harassing the devotees (khalah prasidatam). The difficulty is that the khala (envious living entity) is rarely pacified. One kind of khala, the snake, can be pacified simply by mantras or by the action of a particular herb (mantrausadhi-vasah sarpah khalakena nivaryate). An envious person, however, cannot be pacified by any means. Therefore Prahlada Maharaja prays that all envious persons may undergo a change of heart and think of the welfare of others.

If the Krsna consciousness movement spreads all over the world, and if by the grace of Krsna everyone accepts it, the thinking of envious people will change. Everyone will think of the welfare of others. Therefore Prahlada Maharaja prays, sivam mitho dhiya. In material activities, everyone is envious of others, but in Krsna consciousness, no one is envious of anyone else; everyone thinks of the welfare of others. Therefore Prahlada Maharaja prays that everyone’s mind may become gentle by being fixed at the lotus feet of Krsna (bhajatad adhoksaje). As indicated elsewhere in Srimad-Bhagavatam (sa vai manah krsna-padaravindayoh) and as advised by Lord Krsna in Bhagavad-gita (18.65), man-mana bhava mad-bhaktah, one should constantly think of the lotus feet of Lord Krsna. Then one’s mind will certainly be cleansed (ceto-darpana-marjanam [Cc Antya 20.12]). Materialists always think of sense gratification, but Prahlada Maharaja prays that the Lord’s mercy will change their minds and they will stop thinking of sense gratification. If they think of Krsna always, everything will be all right. Some people argue that if everyone thought of Krsna in that way, the whole universe would be vacated because everyone would go back home, back to Godhead. However, Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura says that this is impossible because the living entities are innumerable. If one set of living entities is actually delivered by the Krsna consciousness movement, another set will fill the entire universe.

COMMENT by Giriraj Swami

vancha-kalpatarubhyas ca
   krpa-sindhubhya eva ca
patitanam pavanebhyo
   vaisnavebhyo namo namah

Srila Prabhupada quoted this verse in the purport because it describes a Vaishnava and because Prahlada Maharaja, who recited the prayers that we are reading and discussing, is an excellent example of a Vaishnava.

Hiranyakasipu, the father of Prahlada, was a great demon, and he performed such severe austerities that the entire universe became disturbed. Eventually, Lord Brahma went to Hiranyakasipu personally to ask him what benediction he wanted, so that he would cease his austerities and stop the disturbance within the universe. Hiranyakasipu asked for the benediction to become immortal, but Lord Brahma replied, “I myself am not immortal.” So Hiranyakasipu asked for various boons that he thought would indirectly make him immortal. He asked that he not be killed inside a building or outside; that he not be killed in the day or at night; that he not be killed on the land or in the sky; that he not be killed by any human being or animal, demigod or demon, or any other creature; and that he not be killed by any weapon. He asked for such benedictions that he thought would make him immortal and give him absolute supremacy in the universe. And Lord Brahma agreed to all of the requests: “So be it.”

In due course, Hiranyakasipu had a son named Prahlada, and Prahlada was a devotee. Earlier, the Lord in the form of Varahadeva had killed Hiranyakasipu’s brother Hiranyaksa, and Hiranyakasipu was determined to avenge his brother’s death—he actually thought that he could kill Vishnu. He knew that Vishnu had appeared as Varaha and killed Hiranyaksa. Later, Diti, the mother of Hiranyaksa and Hiranyakasipu, desired a son who would kill Indra, because she thought that Indra, with the help of Vishnu, was responsible for the death of her sons.

We know from scripture—sadhu-sastra-guru-vakya—that Vishnu is God. So we might consider, “How could anyone imagine that they could kill God?” But if God came into this room and we didn’t recognize Him by the features that are described in the scriptures, we wouldn’t know that He was God, because God looks like a human being. As the Bible says, “God created man in His own image.” God has arms and legs and hands and feet and eyes and ears and a nose and mouth and all the different bodily features we have. His body looks like ours. What distinguishes Him from us is that He has immeasurable potencies. For example, the president of the United States looks like a human being like the rest of us, but he has immense powers (more than some might like). If he wants, he can order the army to invade a country or send the police to arrest a citizen. He looks like us, but we don’t have that power. We might want to do certain things, but we don’t have the power. He has the power. Still, he looks like one of us.

When someone performs great austerities, he can get great powers. Even demons, if they perform the required austerities, can become very powerful and attain various mystic perfections. So, although Lord Vishnu has all power and mystic potency, demons can also get powers. And Hiranyakasipu thought that by his austerities and the powers he derived from them and the benedictions he got from Lord Brahma, he could become immortal and conquer the universe. He had created a great disturbance in the universe by performing severe austerities; now he did so by waging war against the demigods and conquering their territories.

Although he was a demon, Hiranyakasipu had natural affection for his son, and he wanted him to be like his father, a great materialist, and had him educated accordingly. He engaged teachers to instruct the boy to be expert in politics and diplomacy. And as parents sometimes ask their children, “What did you learn in school today? What is your favorite subject?” Hiranyakasipu asked Prahlada, “What is the best thing you have learned?” He thought Prahlada would say something cute, something sweet. But Prahlada gave what was for Hiranyakasipu the worst answer imaginable. He said, “The best thing I have learned is sravanam kirtanam visnoh smaranam pada-sevanam/ arcanam vandanam dasyam sakhyam atma-nivedanam”—to hear about and glorify Vishnu. Vishnu, whom Hiranyakasipu considered to be his worst enemy. So, Hiranyakasipu became furious, and when nothing else worked, he decided to kill Prahlada. He applied the logic that if a part of your body becomes infected, the disease may spread throughout the body and kill you, so even though it is part of your body, you have to amputate it, for the sake of the rest of the body. He thought, “Although Prahlada is my son, he has been infected by the disease of Vaishnavism and we have to cut him out before the disease spreads and finishes us.”

Hiranyakasipu tried to kill Prahlada in so many ways. He had conquered the demigods, and he occupied the throne of King Indra and ruled over the inhabitants of all the other planets. Except for Brahma and Shiva, all the demigods were engaged in his service, offering him obeisances and praise. He was so powerful. But he could not kill Prahlada. He had horrible demons try to pierce Prahlada’s body with tridents. He threw Prahlada beneath the feet of elephants and in the midst of venomous snakes. But no matter what he did, he could not kill him. He hurled him from a mountain top, gave him poison, starved him, and threw heavy stones on him to crush him. Nothing worked—nothing affected Prahlada in the least. Hiranyakasipu was astonished. He had triumphed over the armies of the demigods, but he could not subdue his five-year-old son.

Finally, after all his efforts had failed, Hiranyakasipu asked Prahlada, “From where do you get your power? You know that when I am angry all the planets of the three worlds, along with their rulers, tremble. But you have no fear, and you have exceeded my power to control you. From where do you get your strength?” And Prahlada replied, “I get my strength from the same source as you, from the source of all strength—from God.” Now, that really infuriated Hiranyakasipu, because he thought that he was the source of his own power. That is the demoniac mentality: we think we are the doers—kartaham iti manyate. We think, isvaro ’ham aham bhogi siddho ’ham balavan sukhi: “I am the controller. I am the enjoyer. I am perfect and powerful and happy.” Hiranyakasipu didn’t want to hear that he got his power from someone else—least of all from the person to whom Prahlada referred: the unlimited Supreme Lord.

Thus Hiranyakasipu became even more infuriated and more defiant. He said to Prahlada, “If this God of yours is everywhere, why is He not present before me in this pillar? I am going to kill you now, and let us see this God of yours protect you!” Filled with rage, Hiranyakasipu rose from his throne and with great anger struck his fist against the column. And out of the pillar emerged the wonderful form of Nrsimhadeva. Nrsimha Bhagavan ki jaya!

Nrsimhadeva is unique. He is neither a man nor an animal but has a form that is half lion and half man. And His appearance fulfilled all the conditions of Lord Brahma. He isn’t a demigod or human being or animal—He isn’t any creature. Ultimately He picked up Hiranyakasipu and placed him on His lap and with His long, sharp nails ripped apart his chest. Hiranyakasipu was extraordinarily powerful, and his chest could withstand the thunderbolt of Indra. No one could pierce his body. He was so powerful. One could throw arrows and all types of weapons at him, and they would bounce off him like nothing. So it was no mean feat to tear open his chest. Yet Nrsimhadeva ripped open his chest with His nails, tore out his heart, and thus killed this great demon.

We glorify Lord Nrsimha daily with the prayer (a line of which Srila Prabhupada quoted in his purport):

ito nrsimhah parato nrsimho
   yato yato yami tato nrsimhah
bahir nrsimho hrdaye nrsimho
   nrsimham adim saranam prapadye

Ito nrsimhah means “Nrsimha is here”; parato nrsimho means “Nrismha is also there.” Yato yato yami tato nrsimhah: “Wherever I go, there is Nrsimha.” Bahir nrsimho: “Nrimsha is outside”; hrdaye nrsimho:Nrsimha is in my heart.” Nrsimham adim saranam prapadye: “I surrender to Lord Nrsimha, the origin of all and the supreme shelter.” He is everywhere.

We also sing:

namas te nara-simhaya
   prahladahlada-dayine
hiranyakasipor vaksah-
   sila-tanka-nakhalaye

 Sila-tanka-nakhalaye. Sila means “stone,” as in saligrama-sila; nakha means “fingernails”; and tanka means “chisel.” If you want to break a hard stone, you have to chisel it. And Lord Nrsimha’s nails were like chisels that cut the chest of Hiranyakasipu—his stonelike heart and chest.

Hiranyakasipu thought that he could become immortal by his own power and intelligence. But his intelligence was not as great as that of Lord Nrsimha, who kept all of Brahma’s boons intact and still was able to kill the demon. Nrsimhadeva assumed this wonderful form—adbhuta means “wonderful”—that was half man and half lion. He sat at the threshold of the palace, which wasn’t inside or outside. He appeared at twilight, which was neither day nor night. And He killed Hiranyakasipu on His lap—not in the sky or on the land. And not with any weapon but with His nails. He kept all the benedictions intact and still killed him.

Srila Prabhupada explains that however intelligent we are, Krishna is always more intelligent. Mother Yasoda tried to bind Krishna with ropes, but no matter how many ropes she tied together, He was always two fingers bigger; she was always just a little short. In the same way, if we try to compete with God—try to outwit God, try to cheat God—we will always fall short. Srila Prabhupada says, “Hiranyakasipu was thinking only of the atomic bomb, how to protect himself from the bomb, but he forgot about the nails.” He made so many arrangements to protect himself, but he neglected to consider the nails. So, the conclusion should be “If you can’t fight Him, join Him.” Nrsimham adim saranam prapadye. Just surrender to Nrsimhadeva. Don’t try to compete with Him or fight with Him. That is the background of Prahlada’s prayers.

After Nrsimhadeva killed Hiranyakasipu, He asked Prahlada to accept some benediction, but Prahlada was a pure devotee—he didn’t want any material benediction. In today’s verse we find the word ahaituki: without any motive. Prahlada had no material motive, so when Lord Nrsimhadeva asked him to accept some benediction, he refused. He said, “Why are You trying to tempt me with material allurements? If I were to desire material benefit in exchange for devotional service, I wouldn’t be a servant. I would be like a businessman who wants profit in exchange for service. Lord, I am Your eternal servant, and You are my eternal master. We have no other relationship.” Prahlada asked only that there be no material desires within his heart.

But Nrsimhadeva insisted that Prahlada accept some benediction, and in the end Prahlada agreed: “If You really want me to ask something of You, then I ask that You purify my father.” This shows the exemplary character of Prahlada, who, as Srila Prabhupada said, is a typical Vaishnava. A Vaishnava is the friend of everyone, of all living entities (suhrdah sarva-dehinam). He never becomes the enemy of his enemy. He remains ever the friend of everyone—even his enemies. So even though Hiranyakasipu was so envious—even of his own son—that he tried in so many ways to kill him, Prahlada remained true to his character as a Vaishnava. He thought of his father’s welfare, and he wished his father well.

In this prayer to Lord Nrsimha, Prahlada is praying for his father and for all envious people, that they may be pacified. Khalah prasidatam: “May all envious persons be pacified.” As Srila Prabhupada notes, almost everyone is envious. In fact, we come into this material world because we are envious of Krishna. That is why we are here. Thus Srila Prabhupada says, “Almost everyone.” The only exceptions are pure devotees. Everyone else has some envy. It is like saying, “Almost everyone in the prison is a criminal.” Yes, in principle, all the prisoners are criminals. There may be some staff members who are not, who are there to minister to the inmates, but the prisoners themselves are criminals. So, other than the devotees who are working for the welfare of the fallen souls, everyone is envious. And no one is spared their envy. Hiranyakasipu was envious of his five-year-old son, a pure devotee. Diti was envious of her nephew Indra. She wanted to kill him, or get him killed. No one is spared.

If we want to get out of the bondage of material existence, we have to become free from envy. And how do we become free from envy? By the process of Krishna consciousness. And that is Prahlada’s prayer: bhajatad adhoksaje. Bhaja means to worship and serve. The word bhakti comes from the verbal root bhaj: to serve with devotion. Serve whom? Adhoksaja: Krishna, who is beyond material sense perception. Hiranyakasipu couldn’t see Vishnu; the Lord was beyond his sense perception. It was only when He chose to appear to him by emerging from the pillar as Nrsimhadeva that Hiranyakasipu could see Him. Otherwise, only pure devotees can see Krishna—no one else. He is beyond the perception of the materially contaminated senses, mind, and intelligence of the conditioned souls.

The process is Krishna consciousness (bhajatad adhoksaje), and as Prahlada has explained, we engage in devotional service in Krishna consciousness by sravanam kirtanam visnoh smaranam: hearing and chanting about Vishnu and remembering Him. As Srila Prabhupada quoted from the Siksastaka, ceto-darpana-marjanam: sankirtana, the chanting of the holy names of the Lord, cleanses the heart. That is the process. And when the heart is cleansed, we become peaceful and calm (bhadram).

This process is described in two important verses from the second chapter of Srimad-Bhagavatam:

srnvatam sva-kathah krsnah
   punya-sravana-kirtanah
hrdy antah-stho hy abhadrani
  vidhunoti suhrt satam

“Sri Krsna, the Personality of Godhead, who is the Paramatma [Supersoul] in everyone’s heart and the benefactor of the truthful devotee, cleanses desire for material enjoyment from the heart of the devotee who has developed the urge to hear His messages, which are in themselves virtuous when properly heard and chanted.” (SB 1.2.17)

Srnvatam sva-kathah krsnah. When we hear krsna-katha, all the abhadrani—all the material desires, all the disturbances within the heart—are cleansed by the Lord Himself, who is sitting within the heart as the well-wishing friend of the truthful devotee (vidhunoti suhrt satam).

And the transcendental sound itself is Krishna. Krishna enters the ear in the form of transcendental sound, and when we are hearing properly, the sound will enter the heart and cleanse it. Krishna in the form of transcendental sound will cleanse the dirty things in the heart (ceto-darpana-marjanam).

The next verse explains further:

nasta-prayesv abhadresu
   nityam bhagavata-sevaya
bhagavaty uttama-sloke
   bhaktir bhavati naisthiki

“By regular attendance in classes on the Bhagavatam and by rendering of service to the pure devotee, all that is troublesome to the heart is almost completely destroyed, and loving service unto the Personality of Godhead, who is praised with transcendental songs, is established as an irrevocable fact.” (SB 1.2.18)

Bhagavata-sevaya: by serving the person Bhagavata or by serving the book Bhagavata, all that is troublesome to the heart—the same word, abhadrani (abhadra, nasta-prayesv abhadresu)—all that is troublesome, all that is disturbing to the heart, becomes destroyed almost to nil at this stage. So when Prahlada prays that envious persons be pacified (bhadram), he is praying that all the abhadra, the disturbing things, the material desires within the heart, be removed. And the way they can be removed is by Krishna consciousness, by absorbing the mind in Krishna. That process is recommended in the Bhagavad-gita (man-mana bhava mad-bhakto) and in Srimad-Bhagavatam (sa vai manah krsna-padaravindayoh)—to absorb the mind in Krishna. That is Krishna consciousness, and that will cleanse the heart and make us calm and peaceful. Then, instead of being envious of others and wanting to exploit and dominate them, we will think of their welfare. We want to help them and encourage them in Krishna consciousness.

Our main process, specially given to us in Kali-yuga by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, is sankirtana, the chanting of the holy names of the Lord. But we have to do it in such a way that our minds are absorbed. That is Prahlada’s prayer, that our minds be absorbed in Krishna. So, when we chant, we want to hear—we want our minds to be absorbed in the sound of Lord Krishna’s holy name. But when we try practically, what do we find? Is our mind peaceful? Is it absorbed in Krishna’s holy name? Or is it wandering here and there, thinking of different things to control and enjoy, which suggests the mentality described in the Bhagavad-gita and ascribed to demons: isvaro ’ham aham bhogi—“I am the controller; I am the enjoyer”? When we analyze the thoughts we have even while we are chanting—while we are supposed to be chanting and hearing—we find that the underlying principles are “I am the enjoyer; I am the controller.” We are chanting, but we are distracted, thinking, “Oh, I have to do this. I have to do that.” What does that imply? That I think I am the controller. “I have to control all these things. I can’t hear Krishna’s name. I have to control all these things.” And why do we want to control them? Though we may also want to control for Krishna’s service, the tendency is to control for sense gratification. We want to control people and events in certain ways as to make our lives more pleasurable. We want to make arrangements to make our lives more pleasant.

This demoniac tendency that we discussed in relation to Hiranyakasipu is there in us too. As our godbrother Ravindra Svarupa Prabhu often quotes, “We have seen the enemy, and he is us.” We are the enemy. It is not out there. We are the enemy—our own bad propensities, our own uncontrolled minds and senses. The problem is not out there. It is right here inside us.

So, we have to work hard. We have to endeavor to chant and hear with attention, with feeling. Whenever the mind wanders, we have to bring it back to the sound of Lord Krishna’s holy name. And that is a difficult job. In fact, it is a futile exercise on our own strength alone. We need help. We need mercy. We need mercy from Krishna. And Prahlada is helping us. We should be praying, but he is leading us in the prayer. In Text 8 he prayed to Lord Nrsimhadeva in the heart, “Kindly vanquish my demonlike desires. Just as You destroyed Hiranyakasipu, kindly destroy my demonlike desires, kill my bad propensities, and sit on the throne of my heart.”

So, we do both: we make our own effort, and we pray for mercy. And when the Lord sees that we are making an honest effort, He is inclined to give His mercy. We don’t just sit back and do nothing and pray for mercy. We have to make an effort. But at the same time, we understand that we cannot be successful by our effort alone; we need the Lord’s help. And when the Lord sees our genuine, sincere, tireless effort, He will be merciful. Mother Yasoda couldn’t bind Krishna with all the ropes in Vraja, but when Krishna saw her tireless effort to bind Him, He felt compassion for her and allowed her to bind Him. Our acharyas explain that that gap of two fingers by which the ropes were always too short can be covered (1) by our endeavor, our hard labor (parisrama), and (2) by Krishna’s mercy (krsna-krpa). These two elements can cover that distance and make our efforts successful—by Krishna’s grace.

Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, as quoted by Prabhupada in the purport, explains that whenever a devotee offers a prayer to the Lord, he asks for some benediction. Om namo bhagavate narasimhaya is a prayer, and implicit in the prayer is a request for a benediction. But a devotee will not ask for a material benediction like Hiranyakasipu’s: “Let me become immortal so I can conquer the universe and make everyone my servant.” He will ask for a benediction related to devotional service. And that is not wrong. He just won’t ask for something for his sense gratification; he will ask for something for Krishna consciousness—for his own Krishna consciousness and for the Krishna consciousness of others.

We find the example in the Siksastaka (5):

ayi nanda-tanuja kinkaram
   patitam mam visame bhavambudhau
krpaya tava pada-pankaja-
  sthita-dhuli-sadrsam vicintaya

“O son of Maharaja Nanda [Krsna], I am Your eternal servitor, yet somehow or other I have fallen into this horrible ocean of birth and death. Please pick me up from this ocean of death and place me as one of the atoms at Your lotus feet.”

This is a very significant verse. Ayi nanda-tanuja kinkaram: “I am Your eternal servant.” We are Krishna’s servants—specifically Krishna’s, the son of Nanda. Nanda-tanuja is an intimate term. Tanu means “body” and ja means “born.” Although the Lord is aja, unborn, for the sake of His pastimes in Vrindavan, He appears as nanda-tanuja, He who was “born from the body of Nanda.” It is very intimate. “Yet although I am Your servant [kinkaram], somehow or the other I have fallen into this terrible ocean of birth and death [patitam mam visame bhavambudhau].” Bhava means “to exist” or “to come into being and then to cease to exist.” And visame Prabhupada translates as “horrible.” Literally, visa means “poison.” This material existence is like an ocean of poison. And within this ocean are ferocious aquatics like sharks, who are ready to devour us. These deadly creatures are compared to lust, anger, and greed—always ready to devour us, to finish us. And there are waves in the ocean, terrible waves that are compared to false hopes and anxieties. They are always tossing us around. And there are strong winds—gales and storms—which are compared to bad association.

The ocean is bad enough, but it becomes even worse when we are subjected to bad association. Such association acts like strong winds that push us in the wrong direction and may cause us to fall over. And while we are floundering in the ocean, drowning in the sea, we may come across some small pieces of wood and think, “Oh, here is a little piece of wood. Let me grab onto it.” Those insignificant pieces of wood are compared to the processes of karma, jnana, yoga, and so on. They can’t save us.

The only thing that can save us is mercy (tava krpa). Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who uttered these verses called the Siksastaka, prays, “By Your mercy, please pick Me up from this horrible ocean of birth and death and place Me as one of the atoms at Your lotus feet.” It is divine mercy that can save us. And He prays to be an atom at the lotus feet of Krishna. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura remarks that this indicates that we are all originally part and parcel of Krishna.  Dhuli means “dust.” Pada-dhuli: “dust of the lotus feet.” Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu prays, “Please be causelessly merciful to Me. Consider Me, Your eternal servant, a particle of dust at Your lotus feet.”

Someone might question, “Is it proper for a devotee who has taken shelter of the holy name of Krishna to discuss the miseries of material existence?” Well, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu does. So it is not wrong to discuss the miseries of material existence, and it is not wrong to pray for mercy to be reestablished in one’s constitutional relationship with Krishna. Those are things devotees do. And that should be our mood when we chant: that the holy name is Krishna and that we want to reestablish our lost relationship with Him. Thus we want to reestablish our relationship with the holy name—Krishna as the holy name. And our chanting is personal reciprocation with the holy name. When our mind wanders and all these anarthas come up, as they are prone to do, we pray for mercy: “Please save me. I think I am God, the controller, the enjoyer. Please save me from these anarthas.” That is one side of the prayer. The other side is, “Please engage me in Your service. Please accept me as Your eternal servant. Please consider me an atom at Your lotus feet, a particle of dust at Your lotus feet.”

And we have another example from Sri Siksastaka (4):

 na dhanam na janam na sundarim
  kavitam va jagad-isa kamaye
mama janmani janmanisvare
   bhavatad bhaktir ahaituki tvayi

“O Lord of the universe, I do not desire material wealth, materialistic followers, a beautiful wife, or fruitive activities described in flowery language. All I want, life after life, is unmotivated devotional service to You.”

Ahaituki. Again the word ahaituki: “causeless, without any motive for personal gain of any sort.” Pure devotional service is anyabhilasita-sunyam jnana-karmady-anavrtam. Anyabhilasita-sunyam: without any ulterior motive. Jnana-karmady-anavrtam: not covered by karma, jnana, or any other process. In His Siksastaka, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu prays in the mood of pure devotion: na dhanam na janam na sundarim kavitam. Dhanam means “wealth.” Janam means “followers.” Sundarim means “beautiful women, beautiful wife.” And kavitam means “poetry” or “the flowery words of the Vedas.” Sometimes sundarim is placed with kavitam to mean “beautiful poetry.” Some people think they can realize God through poetry, music, or art, and they are attached to such subtle, almost heavenly pleasures. They say they can experience God through hearing a symphony, for instance. So sundarim kavitam: beautiful poetry. And when sundarim is considered with janam, then beautiful women, beautiful wife, children, relatives, and friends are included in janam. And all of these gains are achieved by pious material activities—in other words, karma. So, when Lord Chaitanya says na dhanam na janam na sundarim kavitam, He means that He doesn’t want anything that can be achieved by karma. And when He says mama janmani janmanisvare, that birth after birth He wants to be engaged in pure devotional service, He tells us that He does not want even liberation, which is the goal of jnana. In other words, He is not praying for the results of karma or jnana but is asking only for pure devotional service. Such is a pure devotee. And that is what we should be praying for.

But Prahlada is asking not just for himself. He is praying for all living entities. And the same principle applies: we pray, but we also have to work. It is not enough to sit back and pray, “Please deliver all the living entities in the universe” while we keep busy in eating and sleeping, or even chanting for our own personal benefit. We also have to work for the deliverance of the fallen souls. And that combination of endeavor and prayer will be effective. We find later, in Prahlada’s prayers to Nrsimhadeva in the Seventh Canto (SB 7.9.44):

prayena deva munayah sva-vimukti-kama
  maunam caranti vijane na parartha-nisthah
naitan vihaya krpanan vimumuksa eko
   nanyam tvad asya saranam bhramato ’nupasye

“O my Lord, I see that most saintly persons are interested only in their own deliverance. Not caring for the big cities and towns, they roam in solitary places with vows of silence. They are not interested in delivering others. As for me, however, I do not wish to be liberated alone, leaving aside all these poor fools and rascals. I know that without Krsna consciousness, without taking shelter of Your lotus feet, one cannot be happy. Therefore I wish to bring them back to shelter at Your lotus feet.”

Prahlada does not have to be concerned about his own liberation, because, as a pure devotee, he is already liberated. Wherever he is, he can always immerse himself in the nectarean ocean of the Lord’s holy names and glories, and feel transcendental bliss. He explains, “For myself I have no anxiety, but I do have one concern. My lamentation (soce) is that people are suffering without Krishna consciousness, and so I am always making plans how to engage them in devotional service.”

naivodvije para duratyaya-vaitaranyas
   tvad-virya-gayana-mahamrta-magna-cittah
soce tato vimukha-cetasa indriyartha-
   maya-sukhaya bharam udvahato vimudhan

“O best of the great personalities, I am not at all afraid of material existence, for wherever I stay I am fully absorbed in thoughts of Your glories and activities. I am quite satisfied to chant Your holy name, because whenever I chant I immediately merge in an ocean of transcendental bliss. My concern is only for the fools and rascals who are making elaborate plans for material happiness and maintaining their families, societies, and countries. I am simply lamenting for them and devising various plans to deliver them from the clutches of maya.” (SB 7.9.43)

Prahlada Maharaja is one of our acharyas—one of the twelve mahajanas—and he is teaching us by his example. He is thinking how he can deliver the fallen souls, how he can induce the fallen souls to take to Krishna consciousness. At the same time, he is praying to his worshipable Deity, Lord Nrsimhadeva, to be merciful to them and deliver them, because he knows that on his own he can’t deliver them—and that on their own they can’t deliver themselves. So, to preach we need the Lord’s mercy. And to practice Krishna consciousness we also need the Lord’s mercy. At every stage, we need the Lord’s mercy. And at the same time, we have to make our own efforts.

In conclusion, Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura raises the question, “What if Prahlada Maharaja’s prayer is accepted and everyone becomes Krishna conscious? They all will leave the material universe and go back to Godhead, so what will happen to the universe?”

At the Ardha-kumbha-mela in 1971, I had a rare opportunity to be with Srila Prabhupada in his tent when he was giving darshan, meeting visitors in the afternoon. A man asked him, “What if everyone becomes a devotee—how will the world go on?” And Prabhupada asked me to answer. I don’t remember exactly what I said, maybe something about how will the prison go on if all the prisoners are reformed and released, but I was very attentive to what Prabhupada said after I made my attempt. He replied, “It is like asking, ‘What if everyone becomes rich? Who will be the chauffeur?’ Everyone wants to be rich. You can’t argue, ‘What if everyone becomes rich?’ to say that people not try to become rich.” And he continued, “The problem is not that too many people will become Krishna conscious; the problem is that not enough will become Krishna conscious. Do you think that is a problem—that too many people will become Krishna conscious? That is not the problem. The problem is that not enough will become Krishna conscious.”

In this mood of thinking of the welfare of every living entity, one of our godsisters, Jahnava devi dasi, once asked Srila Prabhupada, “When we chant, should we think of the welfare of all living entities?” And Prabhupada replied, “Oh, you can think of all living entities? You just think of Lord Chaitanya, and He will think of all living entities.” We may desire the welfare of all living entities, but it is not in our capacity to think of all living entities. Even in a family of four, it is hard to think of the welfare of all four at once. So, we can’t think of all living entities. But we can think of Lord Chaitanya, and He will think of all living entities. We can pray to Lord Nrsimhadeva, and He will think of all living entities. And we can pray to be a little particle of dust in Their service—a small instrument in Their mission—by Their divine grace.

Hare Krishna.

Nrsimha Bhagavan ki jaya!
Prahlada Maharaja ki jaya!
Srila Prabhupada ki jaya!
Nitai-gaura-premanande hari-haribol!

[A talk by Giriraj Swami on Nrsimha-caturdasi, April 30, 2007, Dallas]

Lord Narasimhadeva Appearance
→ Ramai Swami

shri nrisimha, jaya nrisimha, jaya jaya nrisimha

prahladesha jaya padma-mukha-padma bringa

“All glories to Nrisimhadeva, who is the Lord of Prahlada Maharaja and, like the honey bee, is always engaged in beholding the lotus-like face of the goddess of fortune.”

prahlada-hridayahladam

bhaktavidya-vidaram

sharad-indu-ruchim vande

parindra-vandanam harim

“Let me offer my obeisances unto Lord Nrisimhadeva who is always enlightening Prahlada Maharaja within his heart and who always kills the nescience that attacks the devotees. His mercy is distributed like the moonshine, and His face is like that of a lion. Let me offer my obeisances unto Him again and again.”

ugro ‘py anugra evayam

sva-bhaktanam nri-keshari

kesarivo sva-potanam

anyesham ugra-vikramaha

“Although very ferocious, the lioness is very kind to her cubs. Similarly, although very ferocious to non-devotees like Hiranyakashipu, Lord Nrisimhadeva is very, very soft and kind to devotees like Prahlada Maharaja.”

vidikshu dikshurdhvam adhah samantad

antar bahir bhagavan narasimhah

prahapayal loka-bhayam svanena

sva-tejasa grasta-samasta-tejaha

“Prahlada Maharaja loudly chanted the holy name of Lord Nrisimha. May Lord Nrisimhadeva, roaring for His devotee, Prahlada Maharaja, protect us from all fear of dangers created by stalwart leaders in all directions through poison, weapons, water, fire, air, and so on. May the Lord cover their influence by His own transcendental influence. May Nrisimhadeva protect us from all directions and in all corners, above, below, within and without.” (Bhag.6.8.34)

New Temple in New Talavan
→ Dandavats

Devotees at the inauguration of digging the ground in 2021 Just before mid-April until almost mid-May, New Talavan finished the foundation for a temple. A cow on the farm also gave birth to twins. Mother Earth probably felt pleased on both occasions. Around Earth Day, the trenchers were digging, and Dustin Pertuit, the owner ofRead More...
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Wednesday, May 11, 2022
→ The Walking Monk

Rosedale, Toronto

Big Cat

The day soon approaches when the world meditates on the Divine Lion Avatar. My poem: 


BIG CAT

(Part One)

 

He was ferocious

Yet not atrocious

Bearing a gaping mouth

Stretching from north to south

With terrifying jaws

And matching claws

Effective incisors

To intimidate all misers

He tossed His lofty mane

And exposed muscle and vein

Releasing a deafening roar

Scary to the core

You guessed it, it’s a lion

Invoking fear and a crying

Most amazing though

Is from neck to toe

The body was human

With emotions fuming

He appeared on the scene

Challenging a man who’s mean

A case of child abuse

For which there’s no excuse

Our tale begins with the mean man

Who hails from an evil clan

 

(Part Two)

 

Hiranya was born

During a devastating storm

Ill omens could be seen

Conditions were extreme

And as he grew

His ego did too

He wanted to strike a deal

With the universe – an appeal

To be the most powerful person

In which case the world would worsen

To get some attention

He entered a new dimension

Standing on toe doing yogas

His purpose – most bogus

There under the strong sun

Ants ate his flesh ’til done

Brahma, the cosmic god

Took notice, gave a nod

Hiranya thought now he’s immortal

And made his way to a portal

With a transformed body

But intelligence naughty

He became empowered

Began attacks like no coward

People cringed and curled

In a now shaken world

He conquered every planet

No question of cannot

He eradicated the thoughtful

Resurrecting the awful

Said this King of Terror

“I make no error”

 

(Part Three)

 

Sons he had – four

Naturally to adore

Hiranya loved them all

Since they began to crawl

So Prahlad from the start

Was very good at heart

He kept a major secret

One he’d never forget

When in the womb of mother

Came a sage like a brother

He said so explicit

“Identify as a spirit

And there is a creator

A spirit much greater”

This, Prahlad kept within

The sharing of this did not begin

Until he was five, at school

In what’s called gurukool

He spoke to each classmate

Being a simple-life advocate

Hiranya then heard a report

Of sessions not inclined to support

“For those wisdom talks held

The boy should be expelled

Challenging the authority

This is the wrong priority!”

Due to Prahlad’s spoiling

Hiranya’s blood was boiling

Because of this disclosure

The affection was over

This was most intolerable

Punishment was inevitable

 

(Part Four)

 

The torture had commenced

In no version condensed

Astonishingly results were nil

Hiranya just could not kill

Remembering what the sage said

The boy, unharmed, could not be dead

He came out unscathed

The father was simply amazed

“How is this possible?”

“By the power of the unstoppable

Present just everywhere

On land, in water, in the air”

Tension built like a thriller

Hiranya pointed to a pillar

“Is this power there?

Absenteeism I declare!”

He struck that pillar

Like a vicious killer

The pillar shook – was alive

It shattered and out did arrive

A lion-man massive

While Prahlad remained passive

With size and sound alone

Hiranya’s reality was blown

The lion-man hoisted him to his lap

Now caught in a trap

Hiranya was indeed a mouse

In his very own house

At the portal he did lie

Time to say good-bye

His body had diminished

Hiranya’s mission – finished

 

 

(Part Five)

 

Prahlad did love his dad

He wished him nothing bad

He also adored the Big Cat

Who gave the boy a pat

He was indeed ferocious

But not at all atrocious

-          Composed by Bhaktimarga Swami, The Walking Monk©

 

May the Source be with you!


 

Tuesday, May 10, 2022
→ The Walking Monk

Yorkville, Toronto

Learn from the Tortoise

Since surgery on my right knee almost five weeks ago, I dare not push myself too hard to walk normally; without cane or crutch. As far as possible, with minimal limp, I braved my steps south on Avenue Road, to the corner of Louis Vuitton clothes ware, then east on Bloor, through the café district of Yorkville, and back to the temple/ashram via Davenport.

I did fine and stopped only once for chanting my gayatri mantras. I surprised myself on the three-kilometre stretch. No pain really. It was an accomplishment. It was a slow, but firm step.

Two things happened today that triggered the bold steps. At noon, a familiar fellow came to visit. It was Curtis from Calgary. This young and strong person accompanied me in the state of Utah during my US walk. He was most helpful, having a good sense of massage power, particularly for the legs. He knows at least the exterior anatomy if that makes sense. So, I asked him a favour after our prasadam lunch, “Can you work on my machinery like you did in the past?” With no apprehension he applied. It felt good. Thank you. And, as he was about to leave, a shipment came in – boxes of the book “The Saffron Path.”

“Here’s a copy, my gratitude.” He left with a smile.

My second nudge for the day was our weekly Gita Chat, and today’s topic was a tortoise (Gita 2.58). Known for a slow but steady pace, the tortoise is actually fast to draw his limbs within the shell for self- protection. The lesson – be reasonable. Don’t press too hard on what needs doing. Go slow. Steady. Protect yourself from the matrix of maya. Beware of destructive sense objects.

May the Source be with you!

3 km



 

Monday, May 9, 2022
→ The Walking Monk

Ramsden Park, Toronto

Recognizing Someone’s Passing

Jagadisvara was a member of our Krishna community living in Florida. He passed away last Tuesday, May 3rd. Originally from Texas, he spent some time in ISKCON branches at New Vrndavana, West Virginia, as well as Toronto. In fact, his son, Vrndavana, resides just a block away from our temple on Avenue Road.

A very kind Madhurya Lila hosted a memorial over Zoom this night. Vrndavana came and sat down next to me as both of us participated in remembrances of Jagadisvara, who worked well with his hands. Yes, he was tall in size, had these big hands and used them well in building projects as his way of serving Krishna.

Naturally his son, Vrndavana, was teary-eyed during this session, which is an appropriate thing to do in honouring someone who contributed to the mission. You can call him one of the pioneers from the ’70s.

To cap off this memorial service our temple in Toronto took the opportunity to hold kirtan; our first one outside of the building. As was done last year, each evening we would sit on the entrance steps and share sacred sound with pedestrians and neighbours (softly). The chanting was dedicated to Jagadisvara, of course.

There is one principle that is well upheld in our Vaishnava culture. Despite a person’s shortcomings (something we all have), we are obliged to highlight all strong devotional traits in an individual. The strength in a person is in the love they demonstrate.

May the source be with you!

1 km


 

Prayers by Shani (Saturn) to Lord Nrsimhadeva
- TOVP.org

On the occasion of Lord Nrsimhadeva’s Appearance the TOVP Communications Department is please to release the Prayers by Shani (Saturn) to Lord Nrsimhadeva flipbook. The flipbook is not only readable online but downloadable and shareable, and can be bookmarked as well on your reading device. Below is a short explanation of these wonderful prayers.

This flipbook release accompanies the #GivingToNrsimha 12 Day Matching Fundraiser from May 3 (Akshsya Tritiya) – May 15 (Nrsimha Caturdasi IST) to raise funds for the completion and opening of Mayapur Nrsimha’s new altar and hall in 2023, the forerunner of the Grand Opening of the TOVP in 2024. Ambarisa prabhu is matching $250,000 in this fundraiser. Sponsor a Nrsimha Brick with your name inscribed and placed under the Lord’s altar, a Prabuhupada Award, Prabhupada/TOVP Trophy or make a Pledge Payment or General Donation. Every dollar will be matched.

Go to the #GivingToNrsimha 12 Day Matching Fundraiser page TODAY and give to Lord Nrsimha to open His new temple!

WATCH THE NRSIMHA CATURDASI MAHA ABHISHEKA LIVE ON MAYAPUR TV ON MAY 15, 4:30 – 9:00PM IST

Sri Shanaiscara-krta Sri Narasimha Stuti
Prayers by Shani (Saturn) to Lord Nrsimhadeva
From the Bhavishya Purana

From an article by Payonidhi das from ISKCON Seshadripuram.

Everyone is afraid of the malefic planet Shani (Saturn) because generally he is associated with extreme sorrow and suffering. However, Shanideva himself has devised a way of solving this problem by obtaining the blessings of Lord Nrsimha.

Shani made an agreement with the Lord that he would never trouble those who recite his Nrsimha Stuti when they are facing troubles related to dvādaśa-aṣṭama-pañcama (a situation where Shani-kata lasts for 7 1/2 births) [Sade Saati].

If one recites with devotion Shani’s Sri Nrsimha Stuti, especially on Shanivara (Saturdays) and when Shani graha (planet) comes to 12-8-5 Janma Rasi or 10th AL, one will please the Lord who is the Supersoul of Shanaishchara, and the Lord will remove all obstacles and suffering and bless His devotee.

Click HERE to read, download and share the flipbook.

 

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Saturday, 14 May 2022 – Disappearance H.G. Jayananda prabhu
→ Dandavats

Saturday, 14 May 2022 – Sriman Jayananda Prabhu – Disappearance H.G. Jayananda prabhu The test of a theory is in its implementation. While one can spend a lot of time analyzing the process of bhakti, faith readily comes when one sees the theory in action. Jayananda Prabhu is such a devotee who exemplified in anRead More...
(This post has been viewed 6 times so far)

80 days of War in Europe
→ Dandavats

Today marks the 79th day of the War in Europe. A war that continues to alter the reality of our continent and endanger the lives of millions. We expected several days of conflict that does not seem to have any real causes, meanwhile people continue to lose the stuff of their lives and even theirRead More...
(This post has been viewed 14 times so far)

Sri Rukmini-dvadasi
Giriraj Swami

Today is Rukmini-dvadasi, the appearance day of Srimati Rukmini-devi. There have been wonderful festivities all day, beginning with the special darshan of the Deities in Their flower outfits, and just now a wonderful abhiseka. During the abhiseka I really felt like I was in Vrindavan. There was so much devotion, spontaneous devotion—every time the pujaris poured another substance on the Deities, there would be gasps and cries of ecstasy and approval. It was really wonderful. And that is life in Krishna consciousness—somehow being captivated by Krishna, the beauty of Krishna, manifest in His deity forms, His holy names, and His words and descriptions, the revealed scriptures. We want, somehow or other, to be absorbed in Krishna, and that absorption, encouraged by all these different activities, will cleanse the heart naturally and make us happy.

In terms of tattva (ontology), Krishna is the Absolute Truth. From Him everything emanates. He is the cause of all causes.

isvarah paramah krsnah
  sac-cid-ananda-vigrahah
anadir adir govindah
  sarva-karana-karanam

“Krishna, who is known as Govinda, is the Supreme Godhead. He has an eternal, blissful, spiritual body. He is the origin of all. He has no other origin, and He is the prime cause of all causes.” (Brahma-samhita 5.1)

Once, on a morning walk here at Cheviot Hills Park, I asked Srila Prabhupada, “We say that Krishna is the origin of all, but sometimes people question us, ‘You say Krishna is the origin, but what is Krishna’s origin?’ What should we answer?” And Prabhupada replied, “You should tell them that according to our information, Krishna is the origin of everything and has no origin, but if you find someone or something that is the origin of Krishna, we will worship that person or thing—but until then you should worship Krishna.”

So, Krishna is the origin, but in terms of tattva, there are two basic categories: vishnu-tattva and shakti-tattva. Krishna is the source of all Vishnu forms, beginning with Balarama (Krishna’s first expansion), Vasudeva, Sankarsana, Pradyumna, and Aniruddha—so many expansions on the side of the energetic (Vishnu). Similarly, there are so many expansions on the side of the energy (shakti), and the first is Srimati Radharani. From Her expand so many gopis in Vrindavan, so many queens in Dvaraka, and so many Laksmis in Vaikuntha.

krsna-kanta-gana dekhi tri-vidha prakara
  eka laksmi-gana, pure mahisi-gana ara
vrajangana-rupa, ara kanta-gana-sara
  sri-radhika haite kanta-ganera vistara

“The beloved consorts of Lord Krsna are of three kinds: the goddesses of fortune, the queens, and the milkmaids of Vraja, who are the foremost of all. These consorts all proceed from Radhika.” (Cc Adi 4.74–75)

Of all Krishna’s queens in Dvaraka, Rukmini-devi is the principal. Ultimately, she is an expansion of Srimati Radharani. All of Rukmini’s qualities are present in Radharani, though Radharani manifests some qualities that Rukmini doesn’t.

Many of Rukmini and Krishna’s pastimes are described in Srimad-Bhagavatam, and they are relishable and instructive. When I first read the story of Rukmini and Krishna in the Krsna book, I thought that it was the most wonderful story—one that could make a fabulous movie, with romance, suspense, chivalry, adventure, and a truly happy ending. I thought, “This is amazing. You get everything in Krishna consciousness—but completely pure and spiritual.”

Rukmini was the daughter of the king of Vidarbha, and when sages and saintly persons visited the royal palace, they would glorify the transcendental beauty, prowess, and character of Krishna. Sages knew Krishna to be the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and so they were pleased to glorify Him. And because He was acting as a ruler, kshatriyas were also pleased to speak about Him. By hearing about Krishna, Princess Rukmini became attached to Him (we could say she fell in love). She had never met Him, but just by hearing about Him she developed great faith, attraction, and love for Him and decided that He would be the perfect husband for her.

This is instructive for all of us—that if we hear about Krishna without envy we will also become attracted to Him. Of course, Rukmini was a very pious, religious, pure-hearted girl. In fact, she was an expansion of Srimati Radharani. But because she was pure and religious and cultured, hearing about Krishna had an especially powerful effect on her heart. In the same way, if we lead pure lives as ordained by scripture, as taught by Srila Prabhupada, when we hear about the beauty and qualities and pastimes of Krishna, we will also become attracted.

Thus Rukmini, a most qualified princess, became attached to Krishna, the most qualified prince, and decided to marry Him. But her eldest brother, Rukmi, was envious of Krishna and forbade her marriage with Him. Instead, he arranged her marriage to his friend Sisupala, who was practically from birth envious of and antagonistic toward Krishna.

Other than Rukmi, all Rukmini’s family members and well-wishers, including her father, favored her match with Krishna. And Rukmini, Krishna’s eternal consort, could not think of marrying anyone else. Later, she told Krishna that only a woman who had not relished the fragrance of the honey of His lotus feet could accept someone else as her husband or lover. Any other suitor would be a “living corpse”—a bag covered with skin, whiskers, nails, and hair and filled with flesh, bones, blood, stool, mucus, bile, and air. “The aroma of Your lotus feet,” she averred, “which is glorified by great saints, awards people liberation and is the abode of Goddess Laksmi. What woman would take shelter of any other man after savoring that aroma? Since You are the abode of transcendental qualities, what mortal woman with the insight to distinguish her own true interest would disregard that fragrance and depend instead on someone who is always subject to terrible fear?” She insisted that she would depend only on Krishna, who has an eternal, blissful, spiritual form.

Understanding the entire situation, Rukmini, in a bold move, sent a message to Krishna through a trustworthy brahman, expressing her heart’s desire to have only Him as her husband and suggesting how He could steal her away from the assembly at her proposed marriage the following day.

Rukmini was so beautiful and attractive that not only Sisupala but many kings and princes desired her. That is what we experience in the material world: Pretty much everyone looks at everyone else as objects to exploit and enjoy, however sweetly they may act or speak. For example, at the end of almost any phone call to a large business, the company’s rep will ask, “Is there anything else I can do for you?” It’s all scripted. The ultimate purpose is to get your money, but they ask ever so politely, “Is there anything else I can do for you today?” Underneath it all, people want to get something from you for themselves. They want to exploit your body, your mind, or your resources. They are just like the lusty kings and princes hovering around Rukmini.

In that delicate predicament, that awkward situation, Rukmini reached out to Krishna, cried out to Him to save her. That was the only recourse she had, and ultimately that is the only recourse any of us has. We are in an ocean surrounded by sharks ready to devour us, and the only one who can save us is Krishna.

daivi hy esa guna-mayi
  mama maya duratyaya
mam eva ye prapadyante
  mayam etam taranti te

[Lord Krishna says,] “This divine energy of Mine, consisting of the three modes of material nature, is difficult to overcome. But those who surrender unto Me can easily cross beyond it.” (Gita 7.14)

Rukmini surrendered herself to Lord Krishna with utter, complete sincerity, and the Lord reciprocated and delivered her. Sometimes we also pray to Krishna, but with some duplicity. We want Krishna’s help but at the same time still desire to enjoy materially, without Krishna. There is a saying about soldiers in combat: “There are no atheists in foxholes [pits dug for cover from enemy fire].” There are no atheists in foxholes because someone in extreme danger will naturally pray to God, knowing intuitively that only God can save him. But after he has been saved from his immediate danger, the person will tend to forget God and again think, “I’m the controller, I’m the enjoyer, I’m the proprietor,” and return to his ordinary, self-centered, inauspicious way of life.

Princess Rukmini was completely sincere. She wanted only to serve Krishna, and nothing else. Nothing else would satisfy her. And so she concluded her message to Krishna:

yasyanghri-pankaja-rajah-snapanam mahanto
  vanchanty uma-patir ivatma-tamo-’pahatyai
yarhy ambujaksa na labheya bhavat-prasadam
  jahyam asun vrata-krsan chata-janmabhih syat

“O lotus-eyed one, great souls like Lord Siva hanker to bathe in the dust of Your lotus feet and thereby destroy their ignorance. If I cannot obtain Your mercy, I shall simply give up my vital force, which will have become weak from the severe penances I will perform. Then, after hundreds of lifetimes of endeavor, I may obtain Your mercy.” (SB 10.52.43)

Now, one could argue that yes, Rukmini wanted Krishna, but along with Krishna she got a beautiful palace—there are descriptions in the Bhagavatam of the extraordinary opulence of Dvaraka—and so many nice children and servants and maidservants, and so much affluence. Actually, there is no harm in opulence as long as Krishna is in the center. The main thing is that Krishna should be in the center. A chaste and faithful wife—this is another instruction from the narration of Rukmini and Krishna in the Bhagavatam—will follow her husband. If he is in an opulent position, so be it; or if by circumstances he falls into a poor condition, still she will stay with him. And sometimes it happens that the poor husband, by the grace of Krishna, becomes opulent.

One example is Sudama Vipra. He was Krishna’s friend from when they were students in gurukula, in the ashram of Sandipani Muni. Sudama was a peaceful and learned brahman, detached from sense enjoyment, and he ended up being very poor. Krishna was a prince, the husband of the goddess of fortune, and He naturally ended up being supremely opulent. One day, Sudama’s wife, weak from hunger and distressed (more for her husband’s sake than for her own), implored him, “The Supreme Lord Krishna is nearby in Dvaraka. He is a personal friend and is compassionate to brahmans. Please approach Him, and He will surely give you, a suffering householder, abundant wealth.”

Sudama was not very keen on asking for something material from Krishna, but he did like the idea of seeing Him. In accordance with proper etiquette, he wanted to bring some gift, and he asked his wife if there was anything in the house he could take. They had nothing, so she begged four handfuls of flat rice from neighboring brahmans, tied it in a torn piece of cloth, and gave it to her husband as a present for Lord Krishna. Thus Sudama set out to Dvaraka, constantly thinking of Krishna.

When Lord Krishna caught sight of the brahman, He immediately stood up, went forward to meet him, and embraced him with great pleasure. He seated him very nicely on His own bedstead and washed his feet, while Queen Rukmini, the divine goddess of fortune herself, personally fanned the poor brahman. After some affectionate, philosophical talks about their times in service to their guru, Krishna asked His friend, “What gift have you brought Me?” Sudama felt so ashamed and embarrassed, he simply remained silent and bowed his head. Then the Lord, who knew everything, snatched the flakes of chipped rice tied in the old cloth and exclaimed, “What is this?” He ate a palmful of the rice, but when He was about to eat a second, Queen Rukmini caught hold of His hand and said, “One palmful is enough.” According to Visvanatha Cakravarti, she was thinking, “If You eat all of this wonderful treat Yourself, what will be left for my friends and servants and me?”

Rukmini told Krishna, “This is more than enough to satisfy You. Your pleasure alone assures Your devotee of opulence in this life and the next.” In Krsna (Ch. 81), Srila Prabhupada comments, “This indicates that when food is offered to Lord Krsna with love and devotion and He is pleased and accepts it from the devotee, Rukmini-devi, the goddess of fortune, becomes so greatly obliged to the devotee that she has to go personally to the devotee’s home to turn it into the most opulent home in the world.”

Sudama spent the night in Lord Krishna’s palace, and the next day, after being duly honored by the Lord, without having asked Him for any material benefit, he set off for his home. Walking along the road, he felt blissful, satisfied just by the Lord’s darshan. And he thought that the merciful Lord, considering that if he suddenly became rich he would become intoxicated with material happiness and forget Him, had not granted him even the slightest wealth.

Thus the brahman eventually reached home. In place of his former meager residence, however, he found a celestial palace with beautiful gardens and servants and maidservants. And when Sudama’s wife came forward to greet him, she looked just like the goddess of fortune herself. Without Sudama’s having asked Krishna for anything, and without Krishna’s having told Sudama that He would give him anything, He gave him more than Sudama or his wife could ever have imagined. And Sudama never forgot Lord Krishna. He concluded:

kincit karoty urv api yat sva-dattam
  suhrt-krtam phalgv api bhuri-kari
mayopanitam prthukaika-mustim
  pratyagrahit priti-yuto mahatma

“The Lord considers even His greatest benedictions to be insignificant, while He magnifies even a small service rendered to Him by His well-wishing devotee. Thus with pleasure the Supreme Soul accepted a single palmful of the flat rice I brought Him.

tasyaiva me sauhrda-sakhya-maitri-
  dasyam punar janmani janmani syat
mahanubhavena gunalayena
  visajjatas tat-purusa-prasangah

“The Lord is the supremely compassionate reservoir of all transcendental qualities. Life after life may I serve Him with love, friendship, and sympathy, and may I cultivate such firm attachment for Him by the precious association of His devotees.

bhaktaya citra bhagavan hi sampado
  rajyam vibhutir na samarthayaty ajah
adirgha-bodhaya vicaksanah svayam
  pasyan nipatam dhaninam madodbhavam

“To a devotee who lacks spiritual insight, the Supreme Lord will not grant the wonderful opulences of this world—kingly power and material assets. Indeed, in His infinite wisdom the unborn Lord well knows how the intoxication of pride can cause the downfall of the wealthy.” (SB 10.81.35–37)

Firmly fixed in his determination by his spiritual intelligence, Sudama remained absolutely devoted to Krishna, and without avarice, he, with his wife, remained in the opulent position awarded them by Him. Being completely purified by constant remembrance of the merciful, affectionate Lord Krishna, Sudama attained the Lord’s supreme abode.

So, we are not against opulence, and we are not for poverty—we are for Krishna. Sometimes, however, opulence can be an impediment. We may be tested: “Do I want Krishna more or maya more?” And sometimes poverty, in a way, can be an impediment. But whatever is destined for us will come to us. We don’t have to bother about it. It is ordained. Some people are rich automatically, and some people are poor. It is ordained. Whatever happiness is due to us will come, and whatever distress is due to us will come, but the main thing is Krishna, to have Krishna, to make Krishna—the Deity of Krishna, the holy name of Krishna, the pastimes of Krishna, the philosophy of Krishna, everything Krishna—the center of our lives. And if Krishna, the husband of the goddess of fortune (and Rukmini, the goddess of fortune herself) wants, He will give us more facility to serve Him. That is what He did with Sudama Brahman. Knowing that the brahman would not misuse the facility, that he would remain a humble, devoted servant, Krishna gave him everything.

So, if we worship Rukmini-Dvarakadisa and make Them the center of our lives, we may enjoy some of Their opulence. New Dvaraka itself is quite opulent, so we are already enjoying some of Their opulence. But material opulence is incidental, because material things without Krishna will not make us happy. The real thing is Krishna. Only Krishna can make us happy, and with Krishna we will be happy—with or without material things.

Today’s festival is wonderful because it infuses us with thoughts of Krishna, inspires our attraction for Krishna. That is why Srila Prabhupada established this temple, installed the Deities, and trained the devotees, so that they could always be busy with Krishna, busy for Krishna, and by association inspire and teach others also how to be absorbed in Krishna. Among the main processes in the present age of Kali, the foremost is the chanting of the holy names: Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. So let us chant Hare Krishna, dance, feast on krsna-prasada, and be happy in Krishna consciousness.

Hare Krishna.

[A talk by Giriraj Swami on Rukmini-dvadasi, May 14, 2011, New Dvaraka, Los Angeles]

Where Animals Chanted and Danced (Album of photos)
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In this album are close-up photos of our visit to the Jharikhanda forest in India. Being summertime the forest was dry, but the nectar flowed like water as we took darshan of Lord Caitanya’s lotus feet embedded in hard stone that had melted when He held kirtan with the animals in the forest. Their footprintsRead More...
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International Nurses Day 12th May
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By Praghosa dasa International Nurses day is today, the 12th May. Nurses’ Day is a chance to celebrate what nurses do, as well as an opportunity to say thank you to their service in our society. International Nurses Day is celebrated around the world every year on the12th of May, which is the anniversary ofRead More...
(This post has been viewed 10 times so far)

Krishna’s face
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“Krishna’s face is decorated with ornaments, such as earrings resembling sharks. His ears are beautiful, His cheeks brilliant, and His smiling attractive to everyone. Whoever sees Lord Krishna sees a festival. His face and body are fully satisfying for everyone to see, but the devotees are angry at the creator for the disturbance caused byRead More...
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Braja Vilasa Announcement: Mayapur Nrsimha Caturdasi Festival and Maha Abhisheka May 15
- TOVP.org

ISKCON Mayapur Management and the TOVP Team would like to invite all ISKCON devotees to watch the live Mayapur Nrsimha Caturdasi Maha Abhisheka celebration, May 15 on Mayapur TV from 4:30-9:00pm IST. The celebration will include an ecstatic abhisheka, a special movie premier, drama, guest speakers and more. The annual Maha Sudarshana Yajna will also be held on May 13 for the pleasure of Lord Nrsimhadeva.

Mayapur Nrsimhadeva was installed for three purposes: to protect the ISKCON gurus, to protect ISKCON and to protect the general devotees. Let us all show our gratitude to our Divine Protector in Sridham Mayapur by honoring His most holy appearance day and watch His remarkable and blissful abhisheka on May 15.

We can also show our gratitude by helping to complete Lord Nrsimhadeva’s new altar and temple hall in the TOVP by 2023. This important and critical event will be the forerunner to the Grand Opening of the TOVP in 2024 when Lord Nrsimha and all our beloved Mayapur Deities will be moved into Their new home to give darshan to the world for thousands of years to come.

Show your love to Lord Nrsimhadeva and also honor his dear servant Pankajanghri prabhu who left our vision one year ago by participating in the #GivingToNrsimha 12 Day Matching Fundraiser going on now from May 3 (Akshaya Tritiya) until May 15 (Nrsimha Caturdasi IST). Your donation will be matched dollar for dollar by Ambarisa prabhu who is matching a total of $250,000.

Sponsor a Nrsimha Brick with your name inscribed and placed under the Lord’s altar, a Prabhupada Medallion or Award, Prabhupada/TOVP Trophy, or make a Pledge Payment or General Donation of any amount. Go to the #GivingToNrsimha 12 Day Matching Fundraiser page TODAY or use the links below and support this important milestone event.
 

YOUR DONATION TO MAYAPUR NRSIMHA WILL BE MATCHED!

GIVE $10, $25, $51 OR MORE TO OPEN LORD NRSIMHA’S TEMPLE!


 

GENERAL DONATIONS AND PLEDGE PAYMENTS

(please indicate pledge payment in Notes or by emailing us at tovpinfo@gmail.com)

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NRSIMHA BRICK AND PRABHUPADA MEDALLIONS, AWARDS AND TROPHIES

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Canada: https://tovpcanada.org/index.html

ALL INQUIRIES:

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