Narottam Das Thakura’s Appearance Festival in Vrindavan (2021) (Album of photos)
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One of the six Deities established by Srila Narottam Das Thakura in the Kheturi Festival, Sri Sri Radha Braja Mohan, preside in an area of Vrindavan known as Gyan Gudri. Today being Srila Narottama Das Thakur's Appearance Day, we made a pilgrimage to this holy place and sang Narottama bhajans, had Narottama katha, followed by aratik, and relished a wonderfully delicious feast at the lotus feet of Sri Sri Radha Braja Mohan and Narottam Das Thakura.

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TOVP Book of the Week #3
- TOVP.org

Cosmology on Trial: Cracking the Cosmic Code

by Pierre St. Claire (Vaiyasaki Dasa)

What if you knew the anomalies that cosmologists don’t discuss in public?

Cosmology on Trial – a remarkable study of unexplained and unsolved mysteries of the universe. New discoveries challenge the Big Bang model, General Relativity, Quantum Mechanics, String Theory, Gravity, Black Holes, and Redshift interpretation. Bestselling author, Pierre St. Clair, examines the latest theories like an attorney in a court of law. The author speaks without complex jargon. “Just the facts, please. Show me the evidence.”

Author: Pierre St. Claire (Vaiyasaki Dasa)
Published: February 12, 2017
Book size: 246 pages
Formats: Kindle, Paperback
 
BUY ON AMAZON  

 Note: All purchases through Amazon.com (US only) provide up to 10% royalty to the TOVP through the Amazon Affiliates Program.

  Residents of India will have to search for this book on www.amazon.in

Interview – H.G. Dina Sharana Devi – Books are the Basis (video)
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“Don't take books that ‘I am member. It is my duty to take books and keep it in the almirah.’ No. Read it thoroughly. Nityaṁ bhāgavata-sevayā. By regular reading of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, then our this material contamination becomes vanquished. Naṣṭa-prāyeṣu. Naṣṭa-prāyeṣv abhadreṣu nityaṁ bhāgavata-sevayā (SB 1.2.18). As soon as it begins to diminish, then it will diminish finally, and then you will be situated in your pure, original constitutional position, Kṛṣṇa consciousness, bhakti-yogataḥ.” Srila Prabhupada Lecture on Srimad Bhagavatam 03.26.41 -- Bombay, 16 January 1975

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God Helps Those Who Help Themselves
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By Virabahu Dasa

As an institution representative of Krsna and the parampara, we have the duty and obligation to be an example of responsibility and caring concern for everyone. Thus, in the present context of the coronavirus pandemic, we must strictly take all recommended precautions and strictly follow all official indications. Continue reading "God Helps Those Who Help Themselves
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First Gaura Purnima festival in Kheturi-What does it teach us? (video)
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Sitala dasi moved into the ISKCON temple in Detroit, Michigan in 1970, and was initiated by Srila Prabhupada in 1971. The first years of her devotional life, were spent in daily Harinams, book distribution, preaching programs, cooking, sewing and transcribing of Srila Prabhupada tapes. She also assisted in opening temples in Cleveland, Ohio and Bloomington Indiana.

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TOVP Gaura Purnima Special Campaign
- TOVP.org

If you have not yet sponsored a Brick or other higher level TOVP seva option, there is still time to do so and get your name included in the magnificent TOVP Book of Devotion offering to Srila Prabhupada at his grand murti installation ceremony in October. Fully sponsor a Nrsimha ($1,000 / ₹51,000) or Mahaprabhu ($1,600 / ₹1 Lakh) brick by Gaura Purnima, March 28 and your name will be included in the Book of Devotion, and also inscribed on the brick and placed under the respective altar.

A Glorious Offering to Prabhupada at His Murti Installation. From the Makers of the World’s Largest Bhagavad Gita

  • 15” (38cm) x 20.5” (52cm) in size
  • 55lbs.(25kg) in weight
  • 4.6” (11.4cm) thick
  • 500 gold-leafed pages
  • Silver/Gold bas-relief on the cover
  • Printed on hand-made Freelife Merida paper
  • Special illuminated text
  • Printed in Milan, Italy
  • Over 6,000 donor names
  • To remain permanently on display in the TOVP

Sponsor a Nrsimha or Mahaprabhu Brick TODAY! Click on the link below:

Book of Devotion Gaura Purnima Campaign

 

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Srila Narottama Das Thakur Appearance
→ Mayapur.com

Narottama Dasa Thakura was a leading acharya in the Gaudiya Vaisnava line. He was the only disciple of Srila Lokanatha Gosvami. Srila Narottama Dasa Thakura helped bring the books of the Goswami’s from Vrndavana to Bengal and Orissa. Appearing as the son of a king, Shri Narottama Dasa Thakura (Shri Thakura Mahasaya) showed all the […]

The post Srila Narottama Das Thakur Appearance appeared first on Mayapur.com.

Srila Narottama dasa Thakura’s Appearance Day
Giriraj Swami

Today is the appearance day Srila Narottama dasa Thakura, of whom Srila Prabhupada said, he was “a great acharya of the Gaudiya Vaishnava sampradaya. He has written many songs about the Vaishnava philosophy, and they are approved as completely corresponding with Vedic instructions.  .  .  . So, we should relish the instruction of Narottama dasa Thakura.”

At the original Gaura-purnima festival held in Kheturi, in the presence of Srimati Jahnava-devi, Srila Narottama dasa Thakura, and Srila Srinivasa Acharya, six pairs of Radha-Krishna Deities were installed, and one pair, Radha-Braja-mohana, was sent to Vrindavan.

A few years ago, after Indradyumna Swami told me about the poor condition of the temple, I gave a donation to support the Deity worship, and in reciprocation, Maharaja presented me the conch shell that Narottama sent to Vrindavan for the worship of Braja-mohana. Maharaja said that it may have been blown by Jahnava-devi, Narottama, or Srinivasa, but in any case, it was part of the paraphernalia that Narottama sent to his disciple in Vrindavan.

In the photo here, you can see the conch.

Hare Krishna.

Yours in service,
Giriraj Swami

Nityananda Trayodasi 2021 – Launch of the PRABHUPADA IS COMING! Campaign
- TOVP.org

Nityananda Trayodasi in Sridhama Mayapur this year commences the official launch of the PRABHUPADA IS COMING! Installation Abhisheka Campaign, to honor Srila Prabhupada’s 125th Appearance Anniversary Year. In October, a unique, one-of-a-kind, ‘worship-pose’ murti of Srila Prabhupada, made by ISKCON’s foremost Prabhupada murti maker, Locan das, will be installed in the TOVP.

This historic and auspicious celebration brings Prabhupada into the TOVP where he will observe and oversee the completion of his dearmost project, heralding the relocation of his worshipable Deities Sri Sri Radha Madhava, Sri Pancha Tattva and Sri Nrsimha in 2023. Thus, the slogan PRABHUPADA IS COMING!, coined by His Holiness Lokanath Swami in remembrance of his physical presence when he would visit temples throughout the world, is most appropriate.

Five kinds of abhishekas and a grand Samstapak Acharya sponsorship are available for devotees of all means starting at $25/₹1600 for the Sacred Water Abhisheka consisting of water from 125 sacred rivers. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for all ISKCON devotees and well-wishers to welcome His Divine Grace and offer him a suitable Guru Dakshina in grateful appreciation for his having brought to us the topmost spiritual perfection of Krishna consciousness. We hope to present him a $1 million offering.

SPONSOR AN ABHISHEKA TODAY!

 

TOVP NEWS AND UPDATES – STAY IN TOUCH

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Narottama Das Thakur Appearance
→ Ramai Swami

Appearing as the son of a king, Sri Narottama Dasa Thakura (Sri Thakura Mahasaya) showed all the bodily symptoms of a mahapurusa (an exalted divine person). He had long arms, a deep navel, golden-complexion, beautiful eyes shaped like the lotus petals. In school, he was a sruti dhara (able to memorize whatever he hears) Although he quickly mastered Sanskrit and the Vedas, he hankered to serve Krishna. He was a lifelong brahmacari.

By the mercy of the holy name Gaura-Nitai, Narottama be­came detached, left his opulent family, and ran to Vrndavana. He took diksa from Sri Lokanatha Gosvami and siksa in Gaudiya philosophy from Sri Jiva Gosvami.

When he arrived in Navadvipa-dhama all the devotees asked him about the health and activities of the Gosvamis in Vrndavana. They were eager to hear the news from Vrndavana. After visiting all of Gauranga’s pastime places in Gaura Mandala, Narottama Dasa did the same in Sri Ksetra Dhama (Jagannatha Puri). Then he went to see the devotees and Sri Caitanya’s pastime spots in Santipura, Sri Khanda, Kanthak Nagar, Ekacakra, and Kheturi Gram.

In Kheturi, Sri Narottama Dasa Thakura arranged the famous Kheturi Mahotsava. This was the first “Gaura-Purnima” festival to honor the divine appearance day of Sri Krishna Caitanya Mahaprabhu. During the festival six Deities were installed: Sri Gauranga Deva, Sri Vallabhi Kanta, Sri Vraja Mohana, Sri Krish­na, Sri Radha Kanta, Sri Radha Ramana. 

With his sweet voice Narottama Dasa began a wonderful Idr-tana. His chanting filled the heavens, and brought down tears of prema from the eyes of the devotees, who were all sporting in the ocean of ecstasy. “In the midst of their kirtana, the munificent Sri Caitanya Himself and all His personal associates appeared and joined in the sankirtana. Like a flash of lightning in the midst of a mass of beautiful blue clouds, Sri Caitanya Himself appeared in the crowd of devotees through a divine manifestation.” (Bhakti-ratnakar)

“At that time, although Mahaprabhu had left this world years before, many different devotees saw Mahaprabhu in different ways. Those of Sri Navadvipa dhama saw Him more intimately as Nimaicandra or Visvambhara, as they knew Him during His youth. Those devotees were attracted to Mahaprabhu in sakhya and vat-salya rasa. The followers of the six Gosvamis, who only knew Mahaprabhu as a sannyasi, related to Him in the mood of dasya rasa. And hundreds of devotees also worshiped Lord Caitanya in an aisvarya mood of awe and reverence.

“This festival is considered a major achievment in Gaudiya Vaisnavism. Hundreds and hundreds of devotees were invited, including direct disciples of Mahaprabhu, Nityananda Prabhu, and Advaita Acarya. At this time, many differences existed in the interpretation of Gaudiya Vaisnavism. Acaryarani Jahnava Devi came from Kardaha with her entourage. Presiding over all the Vaisnavas, she resolved their diverse conclusions into one consis­tent Gaudiya Vaisnava philosophy.

“For the first time, the festival featured many kirtana styles which integrated the glorification of Lord Caitanya with the glorification of Lord Krishna and His pastimes. And because so many Vaisnavas were present at one place, it automatically made the Kheturi festival extraordinary. It also acted as an important step toward unifying all the Gaudiya Vaisnavas.” (Sri Navadvipa-dhama parikrama)

Narottama Dasa Thakura wrote many devotional songs about the spiritual master, the devotees, devotional service, the six Gos­vamis, Gaura-Nityananda and Radha-Krishna. Although composed with sweet melodies in simple Bengali language, Narottama Dasa’s songs give sastric siddhanta and devotional inspira­tion. Srila Prabhupada often sang these bhajanas. Considering them non-different from Vedic sastra. He quoted them in his Bhagavatam lectures. Prarthana and Prema-bhakti-candrika are Narottama’s most famous works. 

The following excerpt comes from Prema-bhakti-candrika: “Radha and Krishna are my goal in life and death, and They are the masters of my breath. Performing my bhajana only for Them, I rise and fall in the ocean of prema. I pray that I can always maintain this conception within my heart as my highest ideal.

“Let me serve the lotus feet of Radha-Govinda. Let my mind be filled with dedication to Their divine forms that defeat the beauty of Cupid and Rati. With a straw between my teeth I fall at Their divine feet and present my humble appeal: ‘0 Kishora-Kishori! 0 son of Nanda Maharaja—Syamasundara! And 0 daughter of King Vrsabhanu, Sri Radha. You enchant even Hari, and Your bodily complexion is the color of a golden lotus. 0 Krishna, with a bodily color like an indranila gem (blue jewel), Your beauty mocks Cupid.

“’O topmost dancers—Sri Radha and Sri Krishna—please dance within my mind. 0 You whose beauty increases the charm of Your dazzling ornaments, day and night I only wish that I shall go on singing Your glories in great ecstasy.'”

Narottama Dasa serves Srimati Radhika as Camaka-manjari. His samadhi is in Radha Gokulananda’s temple courtyard. 

Don’t toucha my rounds!
→ KKSBlog

(Kadamba Kanana Swami, Kirtaniyah Sada Harih)

My life is hectic, going from one program to another and one place to another. It never stops! But one thing that is sacred and is untouchable are my rounds. “Don’t toucha my rounds!” You know how they say, “If you smasha my car, I smasha your face!” Well, in my case, “If you toucha my rounds … ” So the rounds become sacred and gets close to the heart!

If you wish to purchase this book, please go to the KKSBlog Shop here: https://www.kksblog.com/shop/kirtaniyah-sada-harih/

The article " Don’t toucha my rounds! " was published on KKSBlog.

Covid Vaccine Statement
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By the GBC EC

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted and caused the deaths of millions of people globally. As of February 2021 it shows no signs of slowing down. Many members of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, including sannyasis, gurus, and other senior devotees -- as well as some younger devotees -- have passed away as a result of COVID-19 infections and related complications. Numerous other devotees who contracted and have recovered from COVID-19 continue to suffer from its weakening effects. Continue reading "Covid Vaccine Statement
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In a Pandemic is there a Secret of Health?
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By Prahladananda Swami

In this unprecedented period in the world’s history where health has become a constant source of concern, a pure devotee can give us some secrets of health. What is the most important secret of health? Srila Prabhupada reveals it in his purport to Srimad Bhagavatam 1.1.10: “In Kali-yuga, the duration of life is shortened not so much because of insufficient food but because of irregular habits. By keeping regular habits and eating simple food, any man can maintain his health. Overeating, over-sense gratification, over-dependence on another’s mercy, and artificial standards of living sap the very vitality of human energy. Therefore the duration of life is shortened.” Continue reading "In a Pandemic is there a Secret of Health?
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Health and well-being advise for these challenging times, made by devotees
→ Dandavats

By Radha Mohan das

The videos are a collaboration between devotee health professionals, mainly alumni of the Pandava Sena youth group and the management of Bhaktivedanta Manor. The human connection has been a huge part of the yatra and its community are missing the opportunity to connect. Bearing this and the multiple physical challenges posed to devotees in the UK and beyond, they decided to try and reach out in an alternative way by each sharing some advice. Continue reading "Health and well-being advise for these challenging times, made by devotees
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Sunday, February 21, 2021
→ The Walking Monk

The Balcony at 243

 

Go Slow

 

“Slowing Down in a Fast-Paced World” was the theme chosen for the Mauritian Zoom crowd. I started off with everyone doing a boogie snap of the finger and singing Simon and Garfunkel’s first stanza to 59th Street Bridge song, “Slow down you move too fast/you’ve gotta make the morning last…”

 

Arjuna slowed down. To process. To listen. Only then to pick up due to the empowering words of Krishna. Further still, to go in high gear; into the battle of Kuruksetra. For us ordinary folks it appears that a day’s balance is situated in high and low tides. “Low” as in downtime. Then to run when the rush of high tide comes in. Have you ever been at the Bay of Fundy? That is an exciting place for strolling on the ocean floor that’s all dry. Within minutes it fills up. Quite the experience! An actual rush!

 

The overall message is SLOW DOWN. Pause. Take a moment or two or three, a hundred even, and simply reflect. Remind yourself that you are a spirit, a servant of Him and that it is ok to stop, to pause, to inhale. Let that stretch and also stretch it out on the exhale. It is fine to just pause and be calm; as a service to family, friends and faith.

 

Let’s not forget that when Krishna Himself arises from slumber He meditates. He has His calm before being very active for the day. He sits down and pauses.

 

For today’s motorists we would like to say “Slow down!” Hasty drivers often topple.

 

May the source be with you!

2 km

 

Please view our new film, Rolling the Dice:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IF3legHdMgI


 

Sunday, February 21, 2021
→ The Walking Monk

The Balcony at 243

 

Go Slow

 

“Slowing Down in a Fast-Paced World” was the theme chosen for the Mauritian Zoom crowd. I started off with everyone doing a boogie snap of the finger and singing Simon and Garfunkel’s first stanza to 59th Street Bridge song, “Slow down you move too fast/you’ve gotta make the morning last…”

 

Arjuna slowed down. To process. To listen. Only then to pick up due to the empowering words of Krishna. Further still, to go in high gear; into the battle of Kuruksetra. For us ordinary folks it appears that a day’s balance is situated in high and low tides. “Low” as in downtime. Then to run when the rush of high tide comes in. Have you ever been at the Bay of Fundy? That is an exciting place for strolling on the ocean floor that’s all dry. Within minutes it fills up. Quite the experience! An actual rush!

 

The overall message is SLOW DOWN. Pause. Take a moment or two or three, a hundred even, and simply reflect. Remind yourself that you are a spirit, a servant of Him and that it is ok to stop, to pause, to inhale. Let that stretch and also stretch it out on the exhale. It is fine to just pause and be calm; as a service to family, friends and faith.

 

Let’s not forget that when Krishna Himself arises from slumber He meditates. He has His calm before being very active for the day. He sits down and pauses.

 

For today’s motorists we would like to say “Slow down!” Hasty drivers often topple.

 

May the source be with you!

2 km

 

Please view our new film, Rolling the Dice:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IF3legHdMgI


 

Saturday, February 20, 2021
→ The Walking Monk

243 Avenue Rd., Toronto

 

Getting Messages Out There

 

At noon we had a Zoom. “Mindful Trinity” is a regular broadcast/podcast from South Africa and I had the pleasure to be interviewed on one of those “Tales from Trails” by an elegant host, Vaishnavi Carana.

 

It certainly puts me back on the road when recalling and conveying the stories from the trails of past walks. It will be 25 years ago that I began my first marathon walk across Canada. In April 1996 I took that journey, which lasted seven and a half months, starting in British Columbia and finishing in Newfoundland in December.

 

Vaishnavi was multitasking with the interview in the sense that she was Zoom-ing, YouTube-ing and, to my knowledge, utilizing Instagram all at the same time. I don’t know how she got the technical side to behave in her favour. Anyway, the interview went well according to her.

 

A second Zoom for the day occurred with our Oakville group as we completed our reading and discussion of chapter 16 from The Gita. We had determined once again that a good substitute word for “demonic” (as in a person’s character) is “whimsical.” Several times the purports of Prabhupada make use of this word. Whimsy implies a sense of being confused, casual, directionless and scattered. They are treats that you are not necessarily to be proud of.

 

In two weeks this group will dwell on chapter 17, which is most interesting.

 

May the source be with you!

1 km

 

Please view our new film, Rolling the Dice:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IF3legHdMgI


 

Friday, February 19, 2021
→ The Walking Monk

243 Avenue Rd., Toronto

 

At the Pots

 

There is bliss in service. That bliss is demonstrated by those in the devotional realm of bhakti. One person, whom I snuck up on, who characterizes this joyful practice, was a person in the kitchen of our ashram. Uttamananda is a kind soul — and a kind soul is usually a happy one — and in the early hour of 6 a.m. he was immersed in pot washing. That’s how I was able to get in from behind him. The pot sinks are against the wall, so anyone who has that designated role of pot washing has a wall in front of him. In front of that wall is a stack of pots, bowls and an assortment of cooking utensils. That stack diminishes in size as you tackle the darlings.

 

For the one who faces that stack of bliss (if you have the right attitude), as you embark on the task it becomes an act of exhilaration. It is like looking at a gorgeous mountain, snow-capped and all. For mountain climbers it becomes an act of ecstasy, a rush, even just thinking about ascending it. For the kitchen optimist it becomes an anticipation of releasing karma, and getting clean. As you scour away at the foodstuff stuck to the base and walls of a pot, both inside and outside, you can really feel good. The heart can savor in the cleanliness of it all. Such a feeling is genuine and real.

 

When our guru’s guru welcomed new recruits to the ashram,for training in monkhood, he would direct them to the kitchen and more particularly to the pots. It was the best service for a novice.

 

As I approached Uttamananda from behind I caught him in a blissful mood. He was busy working away at a large Chinese wok. I asked him if he was wok-ing. He liked that.

 

May the Source be with you!

2 km

 

Please view our new film, Rolling the Dice:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IF3legHdMgI


 

Thursday, February 18, 2021
→ The Walking Monk

243 Avenue Rd., Toronto

 

Another Reminder

 

Texas got hit hard by a winter storm; residents are not used to such weather. Snow, cold and more Arctic dynamics put the whole state into unpreparedness.

 

“Get your winter coat on!” a northerner might say.

 

“We don’t have any!” answers a southerner.

 

While we do share empathy for the people of the big state, it is always important to pay heed to the reminder which nature is trying to reveal about our fragility.

 

Not just the extra chill but power outages and other non-expectations are something we should now see as part and parcel of material existence. It might not even be a bad idea to connect with higher powers capable of shedding a certain light on this world. Nature and its operator are there to help. Prayer is powerful. We simply need to test it. Some good will come out of its utility, guaranteed.

 

In the group call that we have on Thursdays, 5 to 6 p.m. EST, we discussed, once again, our futility in this world; that we are led to believe that we, as individuals, are so much in control of ourselves. I mean to say that beavers may make a dam but nature, with a storm, can destroy it. The things we attempt can be frustrated very easily because, while we aretiny movers and innovators, we are not God.

 

I’m sure that many Texans, of whom many are Christian, understand the point about our vulnerability. Let us take shelter. The world, with its unpredictable forces, is humbling us.

 

May the Source be with you!

0 km

 

Please view our new film, Rolling the Dice:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IF3legHdMgI


 

 

Historical impact of Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta (video)
→ Dandavats



Krishna Kshetra Swami is, since 1972, a disciple of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. From 1973 to 1975 he distributed Shrila Prabhupada’s books and served as a pujari in Amsterdam and Schloss Rettershof, Germany. Between 1977 and 1979 he traveled and preached with Bhakti Tirtha Swami, Harikesha Swami, Bhakti Sudhir Goswami, Dvarakesha Prabhu and Devamrita Swami throughout eastern Europe. From 1982 to 1985 he oversaw Lord Nrisimhadeva’s worship in Simhacalam, Germany

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