Astakrosh Parikrama
→ Mayapur.com

We invite worldwide devotees to come & take part in the 3 days Asta Krosh Parikrama at Mayapur from 05 to 08  November 2019. A golden opportunity to spend at least few days in Kartik month at Mayapur dhama. “Then Lord used to wander around, with sankirtan, on evvery Ekadashi day.Sometimes, He used to go […]

The post Astakrosh Parikrama appeared first on Mayapur.com.

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A very special darshan of merciful Balaji!
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A very special darshan of merciful Balaji! How it happened.
Bhakti Chaitanya Swami: Two days ago we visited the main temple of Balaji on top of the Tirumala Hill at Tirupati. The local devotees arranged very special darsana for us, so we were able to come right before Balaji, about 3 meters from Him, and stay there for about a minute, and in that way savor the amazing experience of being in His presence.

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Mexico City Ratha Yatra Festival (Album of photos)
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Mexico City Ratha Yatra Festival (Album of photos)
Lord Jagannatha is an ocean of mercy and as beautifull as a row of blackish...

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KARTIK INSPIRATIONS 2019 – DAY 4. 16 OCTOBER, 2019. By HH…
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KARTIK INSPIRATIONS 2019 - DAY 4. 16 OCTOBER, 2019.
By HH Sacinandana Swami.
When you give your full attention to your spiritual practices, a profound shift in consciousness takes place!

To help you establish a divine connection I will recite an ancient verse now:

“My dear Lord Krishna. Although I have forgotten You for so many long years in the material world, today I’m surrendering unto You. I’m Your sincere and serious servant. Please, engage me in Your service.”

Take a few deep breaths. You might like to end this meditation with words of your own spoken in the mind.

Thank you, you are done. This simple meditation can be done at any time, in any circumstances. It can be done before you offer your light, or before you read or chant. It will help you enter into the presence of the Lord.

The Helpful Meditation

We are now into our fourth day of the Kartik month. Have you noticed that when you give your full attention to your spiritual practices, a profound shift in consciousness takes place? I would like to speak about this.

When I went out yesterday, I came to my favorite holy place and somehow there was not a single disturbance. No dog, no raging bull, not any of the unpredictable things that happen in India. It was calm and peaceful and I could enter the atmosphere.

Entering. That is what you need when you do your spiritual activity. Fully entering the activity with your consciousness. To help you do this I would like to offer you something practical today - a simple meditation. You can either do it now, or if you are not in a situation suited for meditation, you can replay it in the evening before your Kartik ritual.

Sit down in a peaceful place where you will not be disturbed. Sit upright and imagine you are completely on your own. Let everything around you slowly and gently disappear. If you have any thoughts or concerns, put them on a parking place. Take a few deep breaths, in and out, to relax yourself even further. Tell yourself: “I’m calm now. I’m ready to enter.”

Bhakti is not about a distant god, it is about the close god.

Krishna’s Message to You

In an interesting episode from the Damodara pastimes the demigods observed how Krishna was tied up and controlled by His mother. They wondered, ‘What is Krishna doing being bound by a rope?’ Krishna looked at them and explained, “Listen, I like it when my devotees bind Me out of love. Mother Yashoda thought, 'If I don’t control my boy, He will become restless and too cheeky. Now He only steals butter, but what will He do in the future?’ It’s love which motivates Yashoda. I don’t like ceremonial puja with golden and jeweled articles. I don’t appreciate the hymns which are spoken to Me in Vaikuntha. I do not really like the sacrifices which people do on altars made of gold. I want the love of my devotees.” This was Krishna’s message.

The Lord is hidden within our hearts as the greatest secret. But when He sees that the devotee approaches Him with a genuine attitude, genuine bhakti, He can no longer stay in the heart. He comes out, ready to interact with His devotees.

Yesterday I rode my red bicycle to a holy place where I could chant a bit in seclusion. On the way, I saw a devotee I knew and he stopped me and asked, “Maharaja, just a minute. How much time do you think will pass before I reach spiritual perfection? Will it be in the next life or the life after that?”

I reflected and then answered, “See, I don’t think your approach is proper. So many spiritualists are occupied with the afterlife. When will I go back to Godhead? When will I take up my eternal form and go into the direct service of the Divine Couple? Or in other religions: What does paradise look like? Will there really be milk flowing in rivers?”

These spiritualists are so concerned with their afterlife that they forget the now. Bhakti has to happen in the now, in the present moment. Bhakti is not about a distant God, attained somewhere at some distant time, in the future. No, it’s about the close God.

Krishna makes it very clear in the Gita that He is situated in everyone’s heart and that by bhakti alone one can come to know Him. And bhakti has to happen now. I have to act for Krishna now. I have to use my body, mind and heart now and I have to have the desire to please Him now.

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Thank You, Tribhuvanatha Prabhu
→ Dandavats

Padmapani das: An important feature of Srila Prabhupada's mercy is the association of devotees which he has so kindly provided for our spiritual advancement and friendship. One such notable devotee and servant of His Divine Grace is our dear godbrother, Sriman Tribhuvanatha Prabhu.

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Dallas to Houston and Back
Giriraj Swami

Tomorrow I will drive to Houston, where I will stay for two weeks, including Rama-ekadasi, Thursday, October 24; Dipavali, Sunday, October 27; and Govardhana-puja, Monday, October 28. On Tuesday, October 29, I will return to Dallas, for Srila Prabhupada’s disappearance day on Thursday, October 31—and to catch my return flight to Santa Barbara on Tuesday, November 5.

I hope to serve you along the way.

Hare Krishna.

Yours in service,
Giriraj Swami

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Photos from Kartik 2019 at ISKCON-London
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Please find below photos from Kartik 2019 at ISKCON-London

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Hyderabad, Secunderabad and Bangalore TOVP Tour Visits a Grand Success
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By TOVP staff

From October 12 – 14 Their Graces Ambarisa and Braja Vilasa prabhus, lead by Lord Nityananda’s Padukas and Lord Nrsimha’s Satari visited the Twin Cities of South India, Hyderabad and Secunderabad, as well as Bangalore, for TOVP fundraising events. Aside from the fundraising events, they also met with local government officials and received a great deal of attention from the print media. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tribhuvanath Das Leaves (October 16, 2001)
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Tribuvanatha Prabhu left his body early on Tuesday 16th October 2001. Earlier in the year, he had been diagnosed with stomach cancer while on a preaching tour of Africa, and had made several trips to Brazil for alternative treatment.

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How can we help someone who is in coma?
→ The Spiritual Scientist

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Hyderabad, Secunderabad and Bangalore TOVP Tour Visits a Grand Success
- TOVP.org

From October 12 – 14 Their Graces Ambarisa and Braja Vilasa prabhus, lead by Lord Nityananda’s Padukas and Lord Nrsimha’s Satari visited the Twin Cities of South India, Hyderabad and Secunderabad, as well as Bangalore, for TOVP fundraising events. Aside from the fundraising events, they also met with local government officials and received a great deal of attention from the print media.

Two programs were held in Hyderabad, one for local businessmen who were eager to meet Ambarisa prabhu, the great grandson of Henry Ford, and the second for the local devotee congregation. Almost 1,000 devotees attended and enthusiastically joined in the kirtan, abhisheka and presentations. In Secunderabad over 500 devotees attended and 150+ at the Bangalore event. Over $500,000 in pledges was raised from all the participants!

Of special significance were the meetings between Ambarisa and P. Muralidhar Rao, National General Secretary of the BJP political party for all of South India, and the Governor of Telangana in Tamil Nadu, Dr. Tamilisai Soundrajan. Mr. Rao was especially enthusiastic and promised to arrange programs for Ambarisa in the future.

The media took great interest in Ambarisa’s visit and five articles appeared in the press:

The Hindu (Hyderabad):
https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/ford-heir-seeks-support-for-iskcon-project/article29675281.ece

The Telangana Today:
https://telanganatoday.com/iskcons-mayapur-in-west-bengal-temple-to-be-worlds-biggest/amp

The Telangana Today:
https://telanganatoday.com/alfred-ford-on-mission-to-fund-biggest-temple/amp?p=332450&__twitter_impression=true

Trending Telugu News
https://trendingtelugunews.com/telugu/henri-ford-great-grandson-building-worlds-largest-hindu-temple-in-mayapur-west-bengal/

The Deccan Chronicle (Hyderabad)

We would especially like to thank His Holiness Jayapataka Swami, the local GBC for his support and encouragement, and the following devotees who made all the arrangements for the programs, special meetings and press interviews:

In Hyderabad
H.G. Varada Krishna prabhu
H.G. Radhesyam prabhu
H.G. Vedanta Caitanya prabhu
H.G. Sitaram prabhu
H.G. Sarasiromani prabhu
H.G. Visnuprasad prabhu

In Secunderabad
H.G. Yudhisthira Govinda prabhu
H.G. Sahadeva prabhu

In Bangalore
H.G. Varada Krishna prabhu
H.G. Harikshetra prabhu

 
[See image gallery at tovp.org]  

TOVP NEWS AND UPDATES – STAY IN TOUCH

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The post Hyderabad, Secunderabad and Bangalore TOVP Tour Visits a Grand Success appeared first on Temple of the Vedic Planetarium.

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GBC getting Balaji Ashirvadam (3 min. video) Aniruddha Dasa: We…
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GBC getting Balaji Ashirvadam (3 min. video)
Aniruddha Dasa: We got the good fortune of seeing Balaji this morning. I was one ...

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Sri Venkata Narayana Acharya, the head priest of Tirupathi Balaji, meets with HH Jayapataka Swami
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Sri Venkata Narayana Acharya, the head priest of Tirupathi Balaji, meets with HH Jayapataka Swami. They are friends for many years ...

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Ramdas update
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Ramdas update.
After physical therapy in the morning, the doctor said Ram das is much more responsive and present. We make sure to spend time with Ram das doing some movements with him and massaging his arms and legs. He also seems to enjoy and respond a bit to hearing recordings of chanting and songs or melodies that he has written. The other day we were blessed with a wonderful surprise - he opened his eye wide, looked right at his wife Dhrti and gently smiled! He managed to do this 3 times. Then he moved his leg and foot. This has been more activity than we have seen in a couple of weeks since his infection. Needless to say, we are overjoyed by this unexpected gift!

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Seminar: Krsna Yoga – Be fit to serve Krishna (Oct. 19-20)
→ The Toronto Hare Krishna Temple!

We are excited to announce that HG Gaura Nataraj das will be visiting Toronto to conduct a seminar entiteled "Krsna Yoga - Be fit to serve Krishna". The seminar will take place on October 19th and 20th and is divided into to three parts:

1. Krsna Yoga Part 1 : Understanding discipline of yoga and structure of the self (pancha kosa) and creation.. mentioned in Bhagavad-Gita , Upadeshamrita, Srimad Bhagvatam  and Yoga Sutras

2. Krsna Yoga Part 2 : Practical application in terms Yukatahara , vihara etc and controlling Atyahara etc as in Gita and above mentioned scriptures

3. Krishna Yoga part 3 : Deeper aspects of meditation. Concentrated offenceless chanting  and maintaining mode of goodness throughout life aimed at systematically studying and inculcating Bhagavatam.


Gaura Nataraj Das is an Author, Master Yoga teacher, Astrologer, Marriage counselor, Yogic diet consultant and spiritually a Bhakti yoga practitioner. He has traveled all over India and the United States teaching yoga and counseling individuals and families using traditional sciences like Yoga and astrology.

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ISKCON Tirupati
→ Ramai Swami

Devotee leaders from around the world were invited by Revati Raman Prabhu, the TP of our Tirupati temple, to attend the mid-term GBC meeting.

The temple was opened about a decade ago and the deities of Sri Sri Radha Govinda and Astha Sakhis are so beautiful. The temple and grounds are also a cultural spiritual experience and magnificent.

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Photos from Sharad Purnima 2019 at ISKCON-London
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How can we connect with people during outreach while staying detached from the world’s illusions?
→ The Spiritual Scientist

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Vyasa-puja Celebration for His Holiness Rtadhvaja Swami, October 13, Dallas
Giriraj Swami


——————-
“Before coming here I thought of a verse of the Bhagavad-gita that describes you and because you are such an avid reader and preacher of Bhagavad-gita I would like to offer this to you.”

“One who is not envious but is a kind friend to all living entities, who does not think himself a proprietor and is free from false ego, who is equal in both happiness and distress, who is tolerant, always satis?ed, self-controlled, and engaged in devotional service with determination, his mind and intelligence ?xed on Me – such a devotee of Mine is very dear to Me.” Bhagavad-gita 12.13-14.

————————————-
Vyasa-puja Address (Right click to download)

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ISKCON Prison Ministry Showcases Inmate Art on New Website
→ ISKCON News

Run for twenty years by the late Syamapriya Dasi, then relaunched in 2009 by current director Bhakti-lata Dasi, the U.S. branch of ISKCON Prison Ministry has been working hard to give hope to the most desperate.

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Ten-Year Australian Kulimela Reunion Scheduled for 2020
→ ISKCON News

The first Australian Kulimela, held from late December 2010 to early January 2011, was a major success, drawing around 300 kulis for seminars, devotional entertainment, kirtan, water sports and nature exploration. The same team has now scheduled a ten-year reunion event, which will run for five days from October 1st to 5th 2020.

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Happy Cow Arati
→ ISKCON News

Happy Cow Arati is a happy time for the cows. Throughout the year ISCOWP offers Arati (auspicious Vedic ceremony) to their Giriraj diety and the cows. After the Arati, they offer the cows either treats or they call them to a new fresh pasture. They love this time as they love treats and fresh grass. A video by ISCOWP.

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New North Carolina School “Goloka” Sees Rapid Growth
→ ISKCON News

Starting in 2018 with a Montessori-style multi-age classroom for three to six year olds, it opened a first through fourth grade class this year, with plans to expand to a larger building in the next school year.

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Being bound by love
→ KKSBlog

(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 8 April 2019, Amritsar, India, Srimad Bhagavatam 1.6.37)

Devotional service binds us to Krsna in responsibility. The first time we do little seva, we gradually start to develop our service and the more service we take, the more we continue to develop our service. For example, Srimati Radharani came from Yavat to Mother Yashoda’s house everyday to cook for Krsna. Radharani took that service very seriously. It was her responsibility to cook for Krsna, and she was bound to that service. So one might think, what freedom is there in such service when it looks like the duty is actually limiting one’s freedom? Heavy duty…

So this is our dilemma, because we want our freedom. We want to make our own choices. Being bound by duty or by obligation is like signing a contract… it is all too oppressive. This puts great stress on the mind and creates a disturbance. But it is out of love that one can both be bound and be happy at the same time. If you bind me with duty or with ropes or with chains, I will not be happy. But if you bind me with love, I will be happy. Oh yes, then you can bind me (laughter). When one is bound by love, one is actually not loosing their freedom.

The article " Being bound by love " was published on KKSBlog.

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Kartik Inspirations 2019 by HH Sacinandana Swami
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Kartik Inspirations 2019 by HH Sacinandana Swami.
Reach out to Krishna’s heart by intensely longing for his mercy, so much so, that it blends out all other projects.
DAY 2 . 14 OCTOBER, 2019. The Great Longing.

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World Record for Largest Addiction Awareness Festival set by ISKCON
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By Padasevan Bhakta Das

The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) celebrated an annual Mega Youth Fest ‘UDGAAR – An Expression of Goodness and Joy’, on October 6th at Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium in New Delhi. It was based on the theme ‘Anti-Addiction: Making India Addiction Free’. A world record for “Largest Addiction Awareness Festival” was awarded in the event by World Book of Records, London to His Holiness Gopal Krishna Goswami, ISKCON GBC, in presence of Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Unioun Health Minister. A total of 15,000 thousand people participated in the event Read the rest of this entry »

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Sharad Purnima, October 13, Dallas
Giriraj Swami

Giriraj Swami read and spoke from Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.9.19

Posted by Giriraj Swami on Sunday, October 13, 2019

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Do all embryos in the womb pray to God?
→ The Spiritual Scientist

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Endless Mellows
→ KKSBlog

Set amidst the rolling hills of the Ardennes, Radhadesh is an ideal setting to celebrate the holy name. Whilst the beautiful forest, exquisite deities and peaceful location all contribute to the sweetness of the festival, the most wonderful quality about the Radhadesh Mellows festival is that it attracts the most sincere and dedicated kirtan lovers around.

And Kadamba Kanana Swami has been a staunch guest kirtaneer for many Mellow years. And judging from his 2020 schedule he might just appear again for RM2020! Until that time you can relish hours and hours of kirtan by expert singers and other musicians. And yes, Kadamba Kanana swami also took part in 2018, beautifully recorded and mastered into an exquisite three piece mp3 album!

The RM2018 album (mp3 and digital) will be launched on the 13th of Oct 2019 and you can already pre-order it. Visit the Radhadesh Mellows online shop or check your local temple for a copy!

Previous years

Already since 2009 Kadamba Kanana Swami has been part of the mellows family. Here is a sample track from the 2014 album. For other years please visit the Mellows shop..

https://radhadeshmellows.com/product-category/albums

The article " Endless Mellows " was published on KKSBlog.

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Char Dham Parikrama – Yamunotri (5 min. video)
→ Dandavats

Indradyumna Swami: This video is the first in a series of four entitled, “Char Dham Parikrama”. In this segment, “Yamunotri”, we visit close to the source of the holy Yamuna river. With our eyes we see her sacred waters and with our ears we hear how she descended from the spiritual world. A special feature is beautiful footage the Himalayan mountains

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Sri Murari Gupta’s Disappearance Day
Giriraj Swami

Today is Sri Murari Gupta’s disappearance day. Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi 10.49–51, describes him:

TEXT 49

sri-murari gupta sakha—premera bhandara
prabhura hrdaya drave suni’ dainya yanra

TRANSLATION

Murari Gupta, the twenty-first branch of the tree of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, was a storehouse of love of Godhead. His great humility and meekness melted the heart of Lord Caitanya.

PURPORT

Sri Murari Gupta wrote a book called Sri Caitanya-carita. He belonged to a vaidya physician family of Srihatta, the paternal home of Lord Caitanya, and later became a resident of Navadvipa. He was among the elders of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Lord Caitanya exhibited His Varaha form in the house of Murari Gupta, as described in the Caitanya-bhagavata, Madhya-khanda, Third Chapter. When Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu exhibited His maha-prakasa form, He appeared before Murari Gupta as Lord Ramacandra. When Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Nityananda Prabhu were sitting together in the house of Srivasa Thakura, Murari Gupta first offered his respects to Lord Caitanya and then to Sri Nityananda Prabhu. Nityananda Prabhu, however, was older than Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and therefore Lord Caitanya remarked that Murari Gupta had violated social etiquette, for he should have first shown respect to Nityananda Prabhu and then to Him. In this way, by the grace of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Murari Gupta was informed about the position of Sri Nityananda Prabhu, and the next day he offered obeisances first to Lord Nityananda and then to Lord Caitanya. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu gave chewed pan, or betel nut, to Murari Gupta. Once Sivananda Sena offered food to Lord Caitanya that had been cooked with excessive ghee, and the next day the Lord became sick and went to Murari Gupta for treatment. Lord Caitanya accepted some water from the waterpot of Murari Gupta, and thus He was cured. The natural remedy for indigestion is to drink a little water, and since Murari Gupta was a physician, he gave the Lord some drinking water and cured Him.

When Caitanya Mahaprabhu appeared in the house of Srivasa Thakura in His Caturbhuja murti, Murari Gupta became His carrier in the form of Garuda, and in these pastimes of ecstasy the Lord then got up on his back. It was the desire of Murari Gupta to leave his body before the disappearance of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, but the Lord forbade him to do so. This is described in the Caitanya-bhagavata, Madhya-khanda, Chapter Twenty. When Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu one day appeared in ecstasy as the Varaha murti, Murari Gupta offered Him prayers. He was a great devotee of Lord Ramacandra, and his staunch devotion is vividly described in the Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila, Fifteenth Chapter, verses 137 through 157.

TEXT 50

pratigraha nahi kare, na laya kara dhana
atma-vrtti kari’ kare kutumba bharana

TRANSLATION

Srila Murari Gupta never accepted charity from friends, nor did he accept money from anyone. He practiced as a physician and maintained his family with his earnings.

PURPORT

It should be noted that a grhastha (householder) must not make his livelihood by begging from anyone. Every householder of the higher castes should engage himself in his own occupational duty as a brahmana, ksatriya or vaisya, but he should not engage in the service of others, for this is the duty of a sudra. One should simply accept whatever he earns by his own profession. The engagements of a brahmana are yajana, yajana, pathana, pathana, dana and pratigraha. A brahmana should be a worshiper of Visnu, and he should also instruct others how to worship Him. A ksatriya can become a landholder and earn his livelihood by levying taxes or collecting rent from tenants. A vaisya can accept agriculture or general trade as an occupational duty. Since Murari Gupta was born in a physician’s family (vaidya-vamsa), he practiced as a physician, and with whatever income he earned he maintained his family. As stated in Srimad-Bhagavatam, everyone should try to satisfy the Supreme Personality of Godhead through the execution of his occupational duty. That is the perfection of life. This system is called daiva-varnasrama. Murari Gupta was an ideal grhastha, for he was a great devotee of Lord Ramacandra and Caitanya Mahaprabhu. By practicing as a physician he maintained his family and at the same time satisfied Lord Caitanya to the best of his ability. This is the ideal of householder life.

TEXT 51

cikitsa karena yare ha-iya sadaya
deha-roga bhava-roga,—dui tara ksaya

TRANSLATION

As Murari Gupta treated his patients, by his mercy both their bodily and spiritual diseases subsided.

PURPORT

Murari Gupta could treat both bodily and spiritual disease because he was a physician by profession and a great devotee of the Lord in terms of spiritual advancement. This is an example of service to humanity. Everyone should know that there are two kinds of diseases in human society. One disease, which is called adhyatmika, or material disease, pertains to the body, but the main disease is spiritual. The living entity is eternal, but somehow or other, when in contact with the material energy, he is subjected to the repetition of birth, death, old age and disease. The physicians of the modern day should learn from Murari Gupta. Although modern philanthropic physicians open gigantic hospitals, there are no hospitals to cure the spiritual disease of the spirit soul. The Krsna consciousness movement has taken up the mission of curing this disease, but people are not very appreciative because they do not know what this disease is. A diseased person needs both proper medicine and a proper diet, and therefore the Krsna consciousness movement supplies spiritually stricken people with the medicine of the chanting of the holy name, or the Hare Krsna maha-mantra, and the diet of prasadam. There are many hospitals and medical clinics to cure bodily diseases, but there are no such hospitals to cure the spiritual disease of the spirit soul. The centers of the Krsna consciousness movement are the only established hospitals that can cure man of birth, death, old age and disease.

*   *   *

Also, as stated in the Foreword to Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, “The chief historical sources for the life of Sri Krsna Caitanya are the kadacas (diaries) kept by Murari Gupta and Svarupa Damodara Gosvami. Murari Gupta, a physician and close associate of Sri Krsna Caitanya’s, recorded extensive notes on the first twenty-four years of His life, culminating in His initiation into the renounced order, sannyasa. The events of the rest of Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s forty-eight years were recorded in the diary of Svarupa Damodara Gosvami, another of His intimate associates.”

Sri Murari Gupta ki jaya!
Srila Prabhupada ki jaya!

Hare Krishna.

Yours in service,
Giriraj Swami

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Srila Prabhupada on Deity worship by Vaishnavis
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Deity worship by Vaishnavis.
Srila Prabhupada’s letter to Amsu das on 13 August 1974:
“Regarding the worship of our Gaura Nitai by women pujaris, we worship Lord Chaitanya in His householder life when He was with His wife, and not as a sannyasi. So, it is alright for women to do this service. But, besides this, service is spiritual and there can be no material designation. In Bhagavad-gita it is stated by Lord Krsna: striyo vaisyas tatha sudras te’pi yanti param gatim. The principle is that everyone who is properly initiated and following the rules and regulations can worship. This activity cannot [be] on the material platform.“

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Kartik Month begins today!
→ Mayapur.com

Today is Sharad Purnima- Beginning of Kartik month Deep dhan festival. Kartika month is observed this year from 13 oct to 12 Nov-the most important month in our calendar, as it is very dear to Sri Sri Radha-Madhava. Just as there is no yuga equal to Satya-yuga, no scripture equal to the Vedas, and no […]

The post Kartik Month begins today! appeared first on Mayapur.com.

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Kartik and Sarat-purnima: Special Mercy and the Dance of Divine Love
Giriraj Swami

We welcome you to this most auspicious place, the temple of Sri Sri Radha-Radhanath, on the most auspicious occasion of the beginning of Kartik, in the most auspicious association of Lord Krishna’s devotees. Kartik is also known as the month of Damodara (dama means “ropes,” and udara means “abdomen”), or Krishna who allowed Himself to be bound about the waist by the ropes of His devotee’s love.

Srila Rupa Gosvami compiled the law book of Krishna consciousness, the science of devotion, as the Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, translated by Srila Prabhupada in a summary study as The Nectar of Devotion. There the observance of Kartik is mentioned as one of the sixty-four items of devotional service. Rupa Gosvami quotes from the Padma Purana that just as Lord Damodara is favorably inclined toward His devotees, so the month of Kartik, which is also dear to Him, bestows great favor upon His devotees, even for a little service or a little practice. It is even said that the benefit gained for service performed in the last five days of Kartik is equal to that gained from service performed for the entire month. In other words, for a very small performance of devotional service in the month of Damodara, one gets a very big result—especially in Vrindavan. Also, Srila Prabhupada has explained that wherever the Deities of Radha and Krishna are installed, that is also Vrindavan. So even here our devotional service will be magnified “one thousand times.”

Srila Prabhupada gave the example of a store that has a sale. Often when a new store opens they will have a sale, and a customer can get a valuable item by paying a small amount. So, the month of Kartik is like a sale, a transcendental sale. By a little investment in terms of spiritual practice and service, you can get a great benefit. Of course, the management of the store hopes that you will come to appreciate its goods and patronize the store even after the sale is over. And we too hope that you will continue with your spiritual practices, or increased practices, even after the month of Kartik.

There is a special potency to the month itself. Just as certain times of the day, such as the brahma-muhurta, which begins one hour and thirty-two minutes before sunrise and continues until the sun rises, are more auspicious for spiritual progress and enhance the value of one’s practices, so too, within the year, the month of Kartik is most auspicious. Devotees try to take advantage of the facility offered by Kartik by on the one side increasing their spiritual practices and doing extra service—they chant more rounds, read more scripture, recite more prayers, distribute more books, and make special offerings—and on the other side decreasing their material involvement, their sense gratification. As it is, we are in the four-month period of Chaturmasya, so every month we forgo a certain type of food, but in Kartik devotees may do extra austerities. They may eat only once a day, or give up sweet or fried foods, or rise earlier than usual, or whatever—work on some area of their spiritual life that they want to improve—and they get special mercy in the month of Kartik to fulfill their vows and improve their spiritual practices.

Today also is sarat-purnima, the full-moon night of the sarat season, the night on which Krishna played upon His transcendental flute at Vamsivata by the Yamuna River in Vrindavan and called the gopis to dance with Him. Now, we may take it that He played on His flute and in a figurative way called the gopis to dance with Him, but actually Krishna’s flute is one of His messengers, and so the gopis not only heard the beautiful, melodious sound of the flute, but they actually received the message that Krishna wanted to meet them. And because their only desire was to please Krishna, to fulfill His desires and make Him happy, they all went to Him—not with the aim of fulfilling any selfish desire of their own, but with the sole aim of fulfilling Krishna’s transcendental desire to dance with them.

Because the rasa dance superficially resembles the dancing of men and women in the material world, it can easily be misunderstood, and there are critics of Lord Krishna and Srimad-Bhagavatam and Krishna consciousness itself that find fault with the rasa-lila. I know religious groups outside of the Vedic tradition that criticize and challenge: “Oh, Krishna is a womanizer. How can you worship a god that enjoys with women?” They do not understand the pure love exchanged by Krishna and the gopis. In Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Srila Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami explains the difference between love, or prema, and lust, or kama. In lust, the person wants to gratify his or her own senses, whereas in pure love, the devotee wishes to satisfy Krishna’s transcendental senses. The two may resemble each other, but actually they are completely different.

kama, prema,—donhakara vibhinna laksana
lauha ara hema yaiche svarupe vilaksana

atmendriya-priti-vancha—tare bali ‘kama’
krsnendriya-priti-iccha dhare ‘prema’ nama

“Lust and love have different characteristics, just as iron and gold have different natures. The desire to gratify one’s own senses is kama, but the desire to please the senses of Lord Krsna is prema.” (Cc Adi 4. 164–165) Iron and gold are both metals, but there is a great difference between them, between their values. The pure love of the devotees for Krishna is like gold, and the lust of people in the material world who want to gratify their senses is like iron.

Another point of contention related to the Tenth Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam is that the name of Radha is not mentioned. Some people challenge, “You are worshipping Radha and Krishna, Radha-Radhanath, but on what authority? We don’t find the name of Radha in the Bhagavad-gita or Srimad-Bhagavatam.” But in the five chapters that describe the rasa-lila, we find that after Krishna called the gopis and began to reciprocate with them, He disappeared. The gopis then plunged into separation from Krishna, and they began to search all over the Vrindavan forest for Him. In time they found two pairs of footprints: Krishna’s and a gopi’s. Then the other gopis, in their separation, exclaimed:

anayaradhito nunam
bhagavan harir isvarah
yan no vihaya govindah
prito yam anayad rahah

“Certainly this particular gopi has perfectly worshiped the all-powerful Personality of Godhead. Therefore Govinda was so pleased with Her that He abandoned the rest of us and brought Her to a secluded place.” (SB 10.30.28) “Because She worshiped Lord Hari better than all of us, She has gotten to be with Krishna now.” The word aradhito, which means “worshipped” or “perfectly worshipped,” refers to Radha, as confirmed by Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura and other acharyas. They explain that Her name does appear in the Vedas, Upanishads, and other Puranas, and that in this verse, although Her name is not mentioned explicitly, the superexcellent glories of Sri Radha are nonetheless proclaimed.

Ultimately Krishna also left Srimati Radharani, and when the other gopis came upon Her, they found Her in such a state of intense lamentation in separation that they felt, “Actually, She loves Krishna more.” There is a technical discussion of what actually took place in the rasa-lila, why Krishna left with Radharani and why eventually He left Her too. But His ultimate purpose was to reunite all the gopis, and when the other gopis saw Srimati Radharani in such a state of ecstasy in separation, they felt sympathetic toward Her. They did not feel any envy at all.

Thereafter they all searched for Krishna together. But they could not find Him anywhere. Finally they decided, “We cannot find Krishna unless He wishes to be found. We cannot force Him to come before us.” So they considered, “How can we attract Krishna’s attention? How can we move Krishna to come back to us?” And they concluded that the best method was sankirtana, chanting the glories of Krishna together, along with crying.

So they returned to the banks of the Yamuna where they had originally met Krishna, and they began to sing His glories—very beautiful songs in separation, known as the Gopi-gita. And when Krishna heard the loving prayers of the gopis, sankirtana, His heart was moved and He could no longer stay away from them. He came to them, reappeared before them in His most attractive feature:

tasam avirabhuc chaurih
smayamana-mukhambujah
pitambara-dharah sragvi
saksan manmatha-manmathah

“Then Lord Krsna, a smile on His lotus face, appeared before the gopis. Wearing a garland and a yellow garment, He directly appeared as one who can bewilder the mind of Cupid, who himself bewilders the minds of ordinary people.” (SB 10.32.2)

Then followed an interesting dialogue between Krishna and the gopis. The gopis felt some transcendental anger because Krishna had abandoned them. After all, He had called them to Him, they had risked everything to go to Him in the dead of night, and then He had left them. So they wanted Krishna to explain why.

In a most tactful and intelligent way, they began, “There are three kinds of lovers.” They presented three categories of lovers, three different ways that lovers deal with others, and asked Krishna to explain them. Indirectly, they were asking Krishna, “In which category do you fit?”

In one category are people who reciprocate exactly with the other party. In other words, “If you are kind to me, I will be kind to you; if you ignore me, I will ignore you.” Krishna said, “They are like merchants. They give only with the expectation of return, and they give only as much as they expect in return. Actually, they are selfish.”

In the next category are those who love the other even though the other does not love them. For example, at least in principle, parents love their children no matter what the children do. The children may not even appreciate the parents’ service, but the parents go on loving and serving them. And even better than parents are devotees, because although parents serve their own children, devotees love and serve everyone. Whether others appreciate them or not, they try to help everyone. Krishna said, “Those who love others even if others don’t love them in return are following the true path of dharma and are the true friends of humanity.”

In the third category are those who don’t reciprocate even when others love them. The first category is “I reciprocate only if you love me.” The second category is “Even if you don’t love me, I love you.” And the third category is “Even if you love me, I don’t reciprocate.” So, the gopis wanted Krishna to admit that He was in the third category. They did not want to say it themselves, but they wanted to hear it from Krishna’s own mouth. They wanted to trap Him with their subtle network of wise and clever words.

Now, within the third category there are four divisions. There is the atmarama: he is completely self-satisfied. Even if you love him, he won’t reciprocate, because he is self-satisfied; he is situated in transcendental bliss. Then there is the apta-kama: he has desires, but they are already satisfied, so he doesn’t need you. Even if you love him, he won’t reciprocate. Then there is the third division, akrta-jna: he is ungrateful. And then there is the last division, guru-druhah. In the first three, “You love me, but I don’t reciprocate; I remain indifferent,” but in this last category, guru-druhah, “You love me, and I am not just indifferent to you; I am inimical.” Actually, the gopis wanted Krishna to admit that He had been ungrateful.

Ultimately Krishna had to respond to the gopis’ question, and His answer was, “I did not neglect you, nor was I indifferent to you. I was always thinking of you. But in order to increase your love for Me, I hid Myself from you.” Krishna gave the example of a poor man who gains wealth and then loses it. He will be so anxious that he can think of nothing except his lost treasure: “What happened to my money? How can I get it back?” Krishna said, “So I was reciprocating with you, because your desire was to increase your love for Me, and by hiding Myself from you I created a situation by which your attachment for Me would increase. So I was reciprocating with you.” Although Krishna’s argument sounded good, it did, however, contain one defect: the gopis’ love was already unlimited, and even so, by its very nature it was always increasing. So that could not have been the real reason.

Again, there is an intricate and elaborate discussion by the acharyas about the dialogue between Krishna and the gopis, but at the very end Krishna admits defeat. He says,

na paraye ’ham niravadya-samyujam
sva-sadhu-krtyam vibudhayusapi vah
ya mabhajan durjara-geha-srnkhalah
samvrscya tad vah pratiyatu sadhuna

“Actually, I am unable to repay My debt for your service to Me even with the prolonged life of Brahma, because you have given up everything for Me. You have given up family ties, which are so difficult to break. You have given up the dictates of the world, of the Vedas, and of your relatives. You have forsaken everything for My sake—which I could not do for you. You have given up all other relationships for Me, but I could not do that for you. I still have My father and mother and friends. You came running out of your houses in the middle of the night, but I sneak out and return in the morning so that no one catches Me. But you, with complete abandon, have come to meet Me without any consideration of the consequences. And I have so many devotees with whom I reciprocate: devotees in madhurya-rasa, in vatsalya-rasa, in sakhya-rasa, in dasya-rasa, and in santa-rasa. I also reciprocate with the sadhakas in the material world who are struggling and trying to become devotees. I reciprocate with everyone who approaches Me. But you love only Me. So I cannot equal your love. I admit it: I can never repay My debt to you.” He concluded, “I am defeated by your love.”

The gopis were so touched by Krishna’s words that they thought, “Now He has defeated us! We could not admit to Him that He defeated us, but He has admitted to us that we defeated Him. So He has defeated us.” Of course, this is all on the platform of transcendental love. And it is said that later, when Krishna left Vrindavan to go to Mathura and Dvaraka and the gopis were left in separation from Him, they would think of His words to them—na paraye ’ham—and that would give them solace to bear the separation. Here we come to another subtle and intricate discussion, because even in separation from Krishna they experienced His presence.

After hearing Krishna’s reply, the gopis were appeased, and so He began the pastime of the rasa dance. All of the gopis were dancing in a circle, and Krishna expanded Himself to be next to each one. Each gopi felt, “Krishna is with me alone,” and each was completely satisfied by Him.

One of our devotees has envisioned the image of the rasa dance as a symbol for interfaith harmony. It is a symbol that is most appropriate, especially for a diverse country such as South Africa.

The idea is that there were so many gopis, and each was individual, but that Krishna was by the side of each one, reciprocating with each perfectly. He accepted all of them, and all of them accepted each other, and there was complete harmony—not only between Krishna and the gopis, but also among the gopis themselves—in this dance of divine love. So, different worshippers serve God in different ways. They have different practices and rituals, and different scriptures and languages. But God reciprocates with all of them. And if they can come into harmony, not only with God but also with each other, in the dance of divine love, there can be complete harmony in the world.

So, today is a most sacred occasion: the beginning of kartik-vrata, and sarat-purnima, the night Krishna enjoyed His rasa-lila with the gopis—after removing Himself from their presence in order to demonstrate to the world, in their separation from Him, their supreme love.

Thank you very much.

Hare Krishna.

[A talk by Giriraj Swami, October 17, 2005, Sri Sri Radha-Radhanath Temple, Durban, South Africa]

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Why does the Gita not mention the word guru and refer in plural to seers of the truth in 4.34?
→ The Spiritual Scientist

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How our strength and our faith are integrated in bhakti
→ The Spiritual Scientist

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SAVE YOUR CULTURE, By Stephen Knapp
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After touring the area of Northeastern India in late 2002, I can more easily understand the value of the culture of that region, and the need to protect and preserve it. The people of the area are some of the nicest, simplest, and most friendly people I have ever encountered. They show a high degree of respect toward others and for life itself. It would be a real shame if that should ever change.

On the other hand, I come from America, a land rich in facility, technology, wealth, business, global enterprises, and the desire in most everyone to climb the social ladder to increasingly better positions and higher pay. It also has the high crime, the pollution, as well as the selfishness, competition, lack of respect for others, and the impersonal relationships that come with such an environment. Now I ask you, is this real progress? Is this the kind of progress we should be making? Obviously, as we can see from the results of the economic difficulties the whole nation is facing in 2009, it does not always provide the kind of results we expect from it.

We have to have the foresight to see that opulence without culture and time for introspection leads to a shallow life, even a meaningless life. These days in the West, people look for culture, but since America is so young, we have to look for it from outside our borders. And people in the East may be surprised that Westerners often look toward them for culture. Westerners often look to the East for a deeper understanding of life, of who they are, and to learn what is their connection with the universe and God. There are more Westerners than ever before who practice yoga, study Eastern philosophy, and who are adopting dietary and health disciplines of the East for improving their lives. So the people of India should not think that giving up their own culture or spiritual path to adopt some new technology or Western religion is going to be the answer to their problems. That is not the way it works.

As I have traveled all over India, I have seen that one of the prime reasons for many of the social and environmental problems of the country is not the culture itself, but it is the distancing or even a disconnection from it. Remaining fixed in the true principles of your own indigenous culture, which has gone on for thousands of years, is often the means of keeping social problems to a minimum. But that also means staying educated in what your culture actually teaches and handing that knowledge down to younger generations so that it never becomes lost.

This is something that is important to understand. The Vedic and indigenous cultures of India are the oldest in the world. They have been developed by some of the wisest sages the planet has ever seen. This culture has given some of the most profound knowledge and deepest insights and understanding of life that mankind has ever known. It has existed for thousands of years. So who is to tell me that it is not good enough to last for another several thousand years? Who is to tell me that its philosophy is backward or not up with the times? Do not accept another person coming to tell you that your own culture is not good enough, especially a foreigner who mostly wants you to convert to his Western form of religion, or who tells you that what you do is evil. Since when did it become evil? Who is he to tell you this when his own culture or religion does not have the many years of development as your own?

So don’t think you have to give up your own culture in order to meet someone else’s definition of being “civilized”. Some of these Western religions have been a part of some of the worst wars and most brutal carnage in world history. And so many are divided into numerous sects, like the Catholics and the Baptists, all of which fight among themselves for converts. This should make you ask, how can unity come from such disunity? How can social harmony come from such disharmony? How is this a sign of advanced civilization?

So do not give up your culture or feel that you must convert to some other religion. Do not be tempted to think that your ways are backward. As my own spiritual master, Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami would say, and as Vivekananda has also said, that we only need to combine the Western technology with the Eastern philosophy. This is what helps makes for a progressive society. Develop yourself on all levels, the material and the spiritual. Simply broaden your education. You don’t have to give up your culture or spiritual path to do that. Merely learn and keep up with the modern developments in the world, and use the latest technology when it’s applicable to further enhance your development in your economy, ecology, agriculture, transportation, communication systems, construction of roads, and in your health systems. But there is no need to become so influenced by it that you should feel that you need to give up your own culture, your own values, or your own spiritual practices in the name of progress.

So what should you do?? These are some of the solutions that can be followed not only by the people of Northeast India, but by people of the indigenous cultures from around the world.

 

SOLUTIONS

 

  1. Practice your own culture and spiritual path. Be proud of what it offers.
  2. Learn it deeply. Stay familiar with your traditions, rituals, and holy days, and pass it along to the youth.
  3. Make sure the traditions and stories are recorded in books so they can be studied, remembered, practiced, and handed down through the generations.
  4. Compile the books of prayers, songs, and stories, and with translations, and make them available to everyone.
  5. Make the proper and benevolent images to worship where and when it is helpful.
  6. Construct centers for prayer, worship, and practice. Such centers are the basis of preserving the culture and offering education in them.
  7. Congregate together regularly, and be supportive toward one another.
  8. Celebrate and enjoy your festivals, and know and discuss the meaning of them so they are not lost, and be willing to share the beauty and joy of them with all others.
  9. In a friendly way, encourage others you know to participate as the basis of a united community.
  10. Recognize the need to be pro-active in working to keep your culture. Join or form the organizations that help you preserve and protect your culture.
  11. Establish the means or campaign that will assist people to realize the value of their own spiritual heritage.
  12. Form political action committees to (A) make sure politicians are aware of your issues, (B) to make sure that they are representing you properly, and (C) to unite voters to bring in a better political representative for the indigenous culture or vote out those who are ineffective.
  13. A group should be established in every town and village, if possible, to encourage people in this way.
  14. Come together in groups regularly to participate in and discuss your culture, and develop the ways of defending it, especially when it is under attack or threatened by conversion groups who are under a foreign influence.
  15. Also recognize the need for true harmony and unity, and know that a true religion or spiritual path does not create disharmony by dividing people into the “sinners” and the “saved” simply because of following different religions or spiritual traditions.
  16. There must also be the maturity to balance the old traditions with any new modifications.
  17. Unite with other organizations, groups, or village tribes who have similar interests and concerns for cultural preservation, and share information and support with other groups.
  18. Start your own schools. Write or compile teacher’s guide books on ways to teach children and others the culture. In this way, the culture will more likely be preserved and passed down through the generations.
  19. Work on ways for economic self-sufficiency to be free from the need of support from organizations or religions that actually disdain your own original culture.
  20. Followers of Vedic Dharma, Hindus, must be ready and willing to stand up and distribute knowledge to overcome misconceptions, false media reports, the false history of India, and any social or religious injustices that take place toward its people.
  21. All foreigners who enter India, especially under a tourist visa, and are seen to be engaged in converting people from their own culture, traditions, and religions, which is illegal in India, must be reported to the government or other groups who will do something about this.
  22. Know how to work within the legal system and do not be afraid to take organizations and people to court in order to resolve issues, or delay their activities of denigrating and distorting the truth of your own culture. Bring in lawyers who are willing to help you and who share your concern.
  23. Approach the wealthy who will help contribute to do something about these wrongs, and assist in various projects to facilitate the spiritual development of all Sanatana-dharmists and people everywhere.
  24. Acharyas or local spiritual elders must also reach out to the villagers and tribals to show them welcome into the Vedic family, and that they are respected as members of the Global Vedic Community.
  25. Encourage all Hindus and people of the indigenous traditions to participate in politics as a vote bank to oust the politicians who improperly represent the Hindu/Vedic community, and to vote in and support those political leaders who will. This must never be taken for granted. Also, learn how to run for office and get involved in politics to better defend your culture and bring particular issues to the fore.
  26. Report or write to newspapers immediately when errors or unfairness or discrimination appear in their reports. Also, learn to write to the editor on these issues, some of which may get published to offer a different view.
  27. When the government or politicians provide laws that favor minorities, or add holidays to the calendar year at the expense of the majority population in India, or refuse to recognize the holidays or traditions of the growing Indian community in countries outside India, then act in ways that will show support for your view and cause in order to make the government realize the importance to change what it is doing, and to provide more support for your own community. Be ready and willing to take such cases to court if necessary.
  28. Learn to use and control the media to defend against any misconceptions of the culture. Be ready and learn how to establish radio stations, or radio and television shows and programs to broadcast what is of interest to the community, along with spiritual knowledge that is of interest to everyone. You may be surprised at how many people become regular listeners, or how you become the connection between people and the Vedic and indigenous tradition. This is a strong way to present correct conceptions and understanding of the culture, or keep people informed regarding what is actually happening in the district.
  29. All Hindus and people of indigenous cultures must become more united in this way, and show their unity. They must also take a stand on important issues together, such as the Rama Sethu issue and others. I have often said, if the Hindus or Sanatana-dharmists could ever really unite, they would be a force that could change the world, and keep India as the homeland of a dynamic and thriving Vedic tradition. Remember, that the Global Vedic Community represents one billion people. That is no small number.
  30. Hindus, Sanatana-dharmists, Vedic devotees, and people of the indigenous traditions must be proud to be what they are. They should not feel afraid or embarrassed to be Hindu, or from India, and must be able to defend their culture and correct misconceptions that other people may have. They must become a collective voice of one billion strong and join in the Global Vedic Community.
  31. They can also participate in community activities, and open their temples to the increasing number of Westerners who are curious and interested in the Vedic culture and its traditions. The Vedic community is looking for support and new participants, and the West is the biggest marketplace for their culture than anywhere else right now. So, why not work together to provide enhanced spiritual knowledge for everyone? If we want punya or spiritual credit, there is no way of getting it faster than assisting others in their spiritual development. So, what are you waiting for?
  32. Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) must also do their part to preserve, protect, and promote the true understanding of Vedic Dharma, especially in India, and contribute toward the well-being of India’s future. They must also help support those who are working in a similar way, such as writers, lecturers, or Swamis who can help create awareness of current issues and find resolutions for them, and help wake up Hindus of India to become pro-active for the protection of Vedic Dharma. It is not enough simply to work for enlightenment, but NRIs most also help to preserve the freedom so that we can continue to follow the path of enlightenment without obstacles.

If Hindus can work together in this way, this can certainly and quickly change the view and the support the world will have toward Hindus at large.

India’s civilization is the oldest in the world. It has withstood the test of time when others have crumbled. It has weathered the onslaught of many foreign invaders and has still retained its religious and spiritual values, along with its original customs and traditions, which are unique in nature. It is the Eastern culture which has shown itself to be the most respectful and tolerant, allowing all forms of deities and spiritual paths to remain, and permitting the expression of every form of spirituality. It has given liberty of individual thought as the ultimate freedom, which other tyrannical civilizations have denounced, which has also brought about their own demise. Therefore, you have every reason to value what you already have and continue practicing it.

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ISKCON Scarborough- The Holy month of Karttika (Damodar) starts on Monday!
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Hare Krishna!
Please accept our humble obeisances!
All glories to Srila Prabhupada!
All glories to Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga!


Srimati Radharani is the personification of the holy month of Karttika, which precedes Lord Krishna’s month, Margasirsa

According to Bhagavad Gita 10.35:
Lord Krsna instructs Arjuna “Of months I am Margasirsa [November-December]”

The holy month of Kartik(Karttika) begins on Oct 14th(Monday) and ends of Nov 12th (Tuesday).

Gaudiya Vaishnavas consider Smt Radharani to be the presiding Deity for the month of Karttika, which, significantly, is also called Damodara. Srila Rupa Goswami, in his Sri Utkalika-vallari, proclaims Radharani as Kartik-devi, the goddess of Kartik.

First is Radha, then Krishna. Therefore, we say "Radha-Krishna", "Radha-Shyam" or "Sita-Rama".

Krishna's shakti always comes first and is always glorified as the dearest to Krishna.
We approach Krishna through Radha, who also represents the greatest devotee of Krishna.
In the Adi-Purana it is said: "My dear Partha [Arjuna], one who claims to be my devotee is not so. Only a person who claims to be the devotee of my devotee is actually My devotee."
So during this month, we can more easily obtain the favour of Smt Radharani.

If Smt Radharani recommends us to Krishna, we can be sure he will take notice.

Srila Prabhupda- Sept 18,1969, London: Radharani is Hari-priya, very dear to Krishna. So if we approach Krishna through the mercy of Radharani, then it becomes very easy. If Radharani recommends that, "This devotee is very nice," then Krishna immediately accepts, however foolish I may be. Because Radharani recommends it, Krishna accepts. Therefore, in Vrndavana you'll find all the devotees chanting Radharani's name more than Krishna's. Wherever you'll go, you'll find the devotees are addressing one another, "Jaya Radhe." They are glorifying Radharani. They're more interested in worshipping Her. This is because however fallen I may be, if somehow or other I can please Radharani, then it is very easy for me to understand Krishna.


Whatever one does for Krishna–at any time, at any place, under any circumstance–is to one’s eternal benefit:

According to Bhagavad Gita 2.40:

In this endeavour, there is no loss or diminution, and a little advancement on this path can protect one from the most dangerous type of fear.

Such is the benefit of devotional service in general.

Sale of the year:

However, during the month of Damodar, or Karttika rewards for service to Krishna are greater than at any other time of year.

Glories of offering a lamp in Kartika

In the Skanda Purana, Lord Brahma and Sage Narada, converse that "the month of Kartika is very dear to Lord Krsna".

• When one offers a lamp during the month of Karttika, his sins of many thousands and millions of births perish in half an eye blink.

• Even if there are no mantras, no pious deeds, and no purity, everything becomes perfect when a person offers a lamp during the month of Kartika.

• A person who during the month of Karttika offers a lamp to Lord Keshava has already performed all yajnas (sacrifice for the pleasure of the Lord) and bathing in all the Holy rivers.

• The ancestors say "when someone in our family pleases Lord Keshava by offering Him a lamp during the month of Karttika, then by the mercy of the Lord who holds the Sudarshan-Chakra in His hand, we will all attain liberation.

• To one who either at home or in a temple offers a lamp during the month of Kartika, Lord Vasudeva gives a great result.

• No sins exist anywhere in the three worlds that will not be purified by offering a lamp to Lord Keshava during Karttika.

• A person who offers a lamp to Lord Damodara during Karttika attains the eternal spiritual world where there is no suffering.


As quoted in the Sri Hari Bhakti Vilasa, "In the month of Kartika one should worship Lord Damodara and daily recites the prayer known as Damodarastaka, which has been spoken by Sage Satyavratra and which attracts Lord Damodara. (Sri Hari Bhakti Vilasa 2.16.198)"

Observing the Kartika Vrata or Urja Vrata as it also called, is glorified in the Vedic scriptures.

1. Japa – Chanting the holy names of Krishna 2. Worship of Krishna by offering ghee lamps, flowers, incense, Bhoga, etc. 3. Practice brahmacharya (celibacy) 4. Worship of Tulasi devi 5. Give in charity 6. Perform austerities 7. Read scriptures 8. Associate with the devotees


2019 Kartik month events:
October:
Oct 14th Mon- Damodar month begins
Oct 18th Fri - Disappearance day of Sri Narottam Das Thakura
Oct 21st Mon - Appearance of Radha Kund- Bahulastami
Oct 22nd Tues - Appearance of Sri Virabhadra
Oct 24th Thus - RAMA EKADASI
Oct 27th Sun – Diwali (Damodar Lila took place on this day)
Oct 28th Mon - Govardhan Puja/Appearance of Sri Rasikananda
Oct 29th Tues - Disappearance day of Sri Vasudeva Ghosh
Oct 30th Thus - Disappearance day of Srila Prabhupada (fast until noon)

November:
Nov 4th Mon - Gopastami/Disappearance day of Sri Srinivasa Acarya/ Sri Gadhadara das Goswami/ Sri Dhananjaya pandita
Nov 7th Thus - UTTHANA EKADASI/Disappearance of Gaura Kishora das Babaji (fast until noon)
Nov 10th Sun – Disappearance of Sri Bhugarbha Goswami and Sri Kasiswara Pandit
Nov 12th Tues – Tulasi Saligram Vivaha/Appearance of Sri Nimabrkacarya- Last day of Damodar month


We warmly welcome you and your family to ISKCON Scarborough on Sundays (10.30 am) to offer ghee lamp to Lord Damodar during the month of Damodar


ISKCON Scarborough

3500 McNicoll Avenue, Unit #3,
Scarborough,Ontario,
Canada,M1V4C7

Email Address:
iskconscarborough@hotmail.com
scarboroughiskcon@gmail.com

website:
www.iskconscarborough.org

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