230,000 Schoolchildren Learn Environmental Values From Bhagavad-gita
→ ISKCON News: Latest Stories

With the recent COP26 climate conference in Glasgow a current hot topic of discussion, ISKCON will be holding the Felication Ceremony for its biggest Value Education Olympiad yet on November 22nd. There it will recognize hundreds of thousands of schoolchildren from across India and the world who studied environmental values based on the teachings of the Bhagavad-gita.

MAN-tra Retreat for Devotee Men Explores The Hero’s Journey
→ ISKCON News: Latest Stories

This year’s MAN-tra Retreat, held from November 12th to 14th, explored “The Hero’s Journey,” a common story template that involves a hero who goes on an adventure, is victorious in a crisis, and comes home transformed. The retreat applied the template to the life of devotees, who often see a similar awakening or call to adventure, followed by trials and transformation.

ISKCON Scarborough – "What Causes extremism – And How To Deal With It"- Class by HG Chitanya Charan das – Sunday – 21st Nov 2021
→ ISKCON Scarborough

Hare Krishna!
Please accept our humble obeisances!
All glories to Srila Prabhupada!
All glories to Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga!

Date: 21st Nov 2021

Day: Sunday

Time: 11 am to 12 noon

Topic: "What Causes extremism - And How To Deal With It"

Speaker: HG Chitanya Charan das


Link to join the class from your desktop or laptop:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/9150790510?pwd=Wk5GYXVRMkJmdk84MzZJRXBKYUgwUT09

HG Chatanya Charan das

Chaitanya Charan is a monk, mentor and spiritual author. He has done his Electronics & Telecommunications Engineering from the Government College of Engineering, Pune. He subsequently served as a software engineer in a prominent multinational software corporation. He also secured 2350 out of 2400 in GRE, gaining the top rank in Maharashtra.

Seeing the prevalent problems of stress, depression, addiction and overall misdirection – all caused by a lack of spirituality – he felt inspired to dedicate his life to the cause of sharing the spiritual wisdom of the Bhagavad-gita under the aegis of ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness).


He travels all over the world from Australia to America, giving talks on spiritual subjects in universities such as Princeton, Harvard, Stanford and Cambridge and companies such as Intel, Google, Amazon and Microsoft. See Chaitanya Charan’s talks across the world


He is the author of the world’s only Gita-daily feature, wherein he writes daily a 300-word inspirational reflection on a verse from the Bhagavad- Gita. Till now he has written over seventeen hundred Gita meditations that are posted on www.gitadaily.com and are read through daily feeds by thousands from all over the world. He also answers questions by seekers on his site www.thespiritualscientist.com, where his over three thousand five hundred audio answers and several hundred articles are available.


His articles have been published in many national newspapers including Indian Express, Economic Times and Times of India in the Speaking Tree column. His writings in English have been translated into several foreign languages including German, Chinese and Romanian and several Indian languages including Kannada, Telgu, Bengali, Hindi and Marathi.


He is a member of ISKCON’s leading intellectual body, the Shastric Advisory Council, and is the associate-editor of ISKCON’s global magazine, Back to Godhead.

He has authored several wonderful books


ISKCON Scarborough

3500 McNicoll Avenue, Unit #3,

Scarborough, Ontario,

Canada, M1V4C7

Website: www.iskconscarborough.org

Email:

iskconscarborough@hotmail.com
scarboroughiskcon@gmail.com

𝑺𝑹𝑰 𝑲𝑹𝑰𝑺𝑯𝑵𝑨 𝑹𝑨𝑺𝑨𝒀𝑨𝑻𝑹𝑨
→ Mayapur.com

The Purnima or full moon of Damodar month is the second full moon of the autumn season, and rasa lila is again celebrated. This second rasa yatra is celebrated more in Bengal, whereas the first one is celebrated more in Sridham Vrindavan. ISKCON Mayapur celebrates this day by decorating beautiful dancing deities of Srimati Radharani […]

The post 𝑺𝑹𝑰 𝑲𝑹𝑰𝑺𝑯𝑵𝑨 𝑹𝑨𝑺𝑨𝒀𝑨𝑻𝑹𝑨 appeared first on Mayapur.com.

Tulasi- Saligram Vivaha
→ Mayapur.com

This festival which falls on the bright half day of Kartik. Tulasi devi descended as the daughter of King Kushadvaja the faithful wife to demon Jalandhar. Being born in water Jalandhar claims sovereignty over the ocean and demands the 14 treasures churned out of the ocean in Vishnu’s second incarnation. He declares war and becomes […]

The post Tulasi- Saligram Vivaha appeared first on Mayapur.com.

Sri Nimbarkacharya Appearance
→ Ramai Swami

Accurate biographies are difficult to find, yet authorities agree that Shri Nimbarkacharya preached Krishna consciousness about three-hundred years before the adventure of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. 

In Navadwipa Dhama Mahatyam, Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura says that Nimbarka had previously worshiped Lord Shiva in Bilva Paksha, Rudradwipa (Navadwipa). Lord Shiva appeared before Nimbarka instructing him to take initiation from the four Kumaras, who were meditating nearby.

Nimbarka received Radha-Krishna mantra and continued living in Navadwipa. Following the teachings of the Sanat-Kumara Samhita, he worshiped Radha and Krishna with great love. Soon Radha and Krishna appeared before Nimbarka. Then the Divine Couple displayed Their unified form as Shri Gauranga Mahaprabhu. 
 
Lord Gauranga said, “Nimbarka, in the future when I begin My sankirtana movement I will personally preach the perfect transcendental philosophy of achintya-bheda-abheda-tattva. I will take the essence of the philosophies of Madhva, Ramanuja, Vishnuswami. From you, Nimbarka, I will take two important principles: (1) The necessity of taking shelter of Shrimati Radharani. (2) The high esteem of the Vraja gopis love for Shri Krishna.”

Lord Gauranga disappeared after instructing Nimbarka. Shedding tears of ecstasy, Nimbarka left Navadwipa to begin his preaching mission. In Chaitanya lila, Nimbarka appeared as Keshava Kashmiri and received love of Godhead directly from Nimai Pandit.

In Vrindavana, about one mile from Govardhana, there is the village of Nimgaon, named after Nimbarkacharya, who lived there from childhood and later performed bhajana there. Many of Radha-Krishna’s pastime places in Vrindavana are now maintained by the Nimbarka sect.

In Mathura-Vrindavana, innumerable Devotees follow Nimbarka’s path of bhakti. The Shriji Mandir, just off Loi Bazaar in Vrindavana, serves as the center of Nimbarka sampradaya. 

Emotions in bhakti
→ KKSBlog

(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 17 November 2018, Prema-Sarovara, Vrndavana, India, Parikrama 2018 Lecture)

The word bhakti can be translated to devotion, devotional service. Bhaja is the root form of bhakti. Bhaja dhatu includes love, service and worship. The very essence of bhakti is emotions. When we speak of rasa, it implies emotions.

Whilst we are in this material world, we become conditioned, therefore we have a lower and a higher nature. There are two sides to our nature. The lower nature has become attached to the temporary and things of small significance, like when I lost my teddy dog as a child. I got over it. I grew up. When I was five, however, that was a tough moment. Emotions that are too affected by the temporary are not to be given much importance. Our emotions have to be awakened to the eternal. As we are advancing, we awaken our emotions to the eternal, towards Krsna, and then these emotions become favourable. When connected to temporary things, these emotions will bind us to them, and because it is temporary, it will make us broken hearted.

The dhama remains after the whole world is destroyed. After the dissolution of the universe, when England, Brazil and Holland will be no more, the dhama will still be there. Not exactly as we see it now, but in a spiritual, eternal form. Let us connect our feelings to the eternal and that will liberate us. It is an advanced state to have feelings for Krsna!

The article " Emotions in bhakti " was published on KKSBlog.

Srila Bhugarbha Gosvami’s Disappearance Day
Giriraj Swami

Today is the disappearance day of Srila Bhugarbha Gosvami, who is described in Sri Caitanya-caritamrta (Adi 12.82):

bhugarbha gosani, ara bhagavata-dasa
yei dui asi’ kaila vrndavane vasa

“The eleventh branch of Gadadhara Gosvami was Bhugarbha Gosani, and the twelfth was Bhagavata dasa. Both of them went to Vrndavana and resided there for life.”

Purport: “Bhugarbha Gosani, formerly known as Prema-manjari, was a great friend of Lokanatha Gosvami, who constructed the temple of Gokulananda, one of the seven important temples of Vrndavana—namely those of Govinda, Gopinatha, Madana-mohana, Radharamana, Syamasundara, Radha-Damodara and Gokulananda—which are authorized institutions of Gaudiya Vaisnavas.”

“Bhugarbha Gosani, a disciple of [Gadadhara] Pandita Gosani, was always engaged in topics regarding Lord Caitanya, knowing nothing else. Among his disciples were Caitanya dasa, who was a priest of the Govinda Deity, as well as Mukundananda Cakravarti and the great devotee Krsnadasa.” (Adi 8.68–69)

May Srila Bhugarbha Gosvami bless us all.

Hare Krishna.

Yours in service,
Giriraj Swami

𝘿𝙄𝙎𝘼𝙋𝙋𝙀𝘼𝙍𝘼𝙉𝘾𝙀 𝘿𝘼𝙔 𝙊𝙁 𝙆𝘼𝙎𝙄𝙎𝙑𝘼𝙍𝘼 𝙋𝘼𝙉𝘿𝙄𝙏
→ Mayapur.com

Today is the auspicious disappearance of Kāśīśvara Paṇḍita. He was a disciple of Īśvara Purī and son of Vāsudeva Bhaṭṭācārya, who belonged to the dynasty of Kāñjilāla Kānu, was sent to Jagannatha Puri by his spiritual master to humbly serve Lord Chaitanya there. Kashishvara along with Govinda Pandit used to bring Yamuna water to Lord […]

The post 𝘿𝙄𝙎𝘼𝙋𝙋𝙀𝘼𝙍𝘼𝙉𝘾𝙀 𝘿𝘼𝙔 𝙊𝙁 𝙆𝘼𝙎𝙄𝙎𝙑𝘼𝙍𝘼 𝙋𝘼𝙉𝘿𝙄𝙏 appeared first on Mayapur.com.

𝑫𝑰𝑺𝑨𝑷𝑷𝑬𝑨𝑹𝑨𝑵𝑪𝑬 𝑫𝑨𝒀 𝑶𝑭 𝑩𝑯𝑼𝑮𝑨𝑹𝑩𝑯𝑨 𝑮𝑶𝑺𝑽𝑨𝑴𝑰
→ Mayapur.com

Today is the auspicious disappearance day of Srila Bhūgarbha Goswami, a disciple of Gadadhar Paṇḍita Gosāñi, was always engaged in topics regarding Lord Caitanya, knowing nothing else.He is therefore considered to be Gadadhara’s branch. He along with his intimate friend Lokanatha Goswami located lost sacred places in Vrindavan by the order of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. To […]

The post 𝑫𝑰𝑺𝑨𝑷𝑷𝑬𝑨𝑹𝑨𝑵𝑪𝑬 𝑫𝑨𝒀 𝑶𝑭 𝑩𝑯𝑼𝑮𝑨𝑹𝑩𝑯𝑨 𝑮𝑶𝑺𝑽𝑨𝑴𝑰 appeared first on Mayapur.com.

TOVP Book of the Week #23
- TOVP.org

Stephen Hawking on Trial: Confronting the Big Bang

By Pierre St. Claire (Vaiyasaki Dasa)

The wee Doctor behind the electronic voice on trial?

Stephen Hawking’s influence was significant. Nonetheless, renowned cosmologists have detected serious errors in his Grand Design theory of the universe.

Stephen Hawking On Trial documents the flaws in the final theory of an elder physicist.

Inconsistencies in Hawking’s thesis:

  • Hypotheses vital to his theory lack supportive data
  • Three major questions he glossed over deserve real answers
  • What we factually know, but more importantly, what Hawking’s theory fails to explain

 
Author: Pierre St. Claire (Vaiyasaki Dasa)
Published: December 13, 2015
Book/File size: 202 KB, 144 pages
Formats: Kindle, Paperback

 
BUY ON AMAZON  

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

  View other books by Pierre St. Clairre (Vaiyasakdi Das) and other authors at the TOVP Book Marketplace.

 

TOVP NEWS AND UPDATES – STAY IN TOUCH

Visit: www.tovp.org
Support: https://tovp.org/donate/
Email: tovpinfo@gmail.com
Follow: www.facebook.com/tovp.mayapur
Watch: www.youtube.com/c/TOVPinfoTube
View at 360°: www.tovp360.org
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TOVP2022
Telegram: https://t.me/TOVP_GRAM
WhatsApp: https://m.tovp.org/whatsapp2
Instagram: https://m.tovp.org/tovpinstagram
App: https://m.tovp.org/app
News & Texts: https://m.tovp.org/newstexts
RSS News Feed: https://tovp.org/rss2/
Store: https://tovp.org/tovp-gift-store/

Virtual Puri Paraikram Address By HH Jayapata Swami
→ Mayapur.com

Beautiful Address to all those that attended the Virtual Puri Paraikram By HH Jayapata Swami. Maharaj gave us such a wonderful opportunity to take his darshan yesterday on our zoom virtual puri parikrama. He gave his blessings to all attendees and encouraged the team for such wonderful service. HH Jayapataka Swami Ki Jai!

The post Virtual Puri Paraikram Address By HH Jayapata Swami appeared first on Mayapur.com.

Srila Prabhupada’s New Home in the TOVP
- TOVP.org

This short video by Mayapur TV and the TOVP presents Srila Prabhupada sitting on his Vyasasana in his quarters at the TOVP located on the Pujari Floor. He receives daily Guru Puja and offerings of foodstuffs, while he views the construction work on his personal CATV video screen.

Srila Prabhupada’s presence in the TOVP cannot be taken lightly or sentimentally. He is there to oversee, direct and inspire the completion of the Temple of the Vedic Planetarium, as he personally did for the Mayapur Chandrodaya Mandir, Mumbai temple and others. For those who have faith that his followers live with him through his divine instructions, this is not difficult to understand. And the completion of the TOVP, beginning with the Grand Opening in 2024, is of utmost importance to his followers in fulfilling those instructions.

Once again, you can help with any General Donation (a link for Indian Residents) or by sponsoring one of many Seva Opportunities available on the TOVP website.

 

TOVP NEWS AND UPDATES – STAY IN TOUCH

Visit: www.tovp.org
Support: https://tovp.org/donate/
Email: tovpinfo@gmail.com
Follow: www.facebook.com/tovp.mayapur
Watch: www.youtube.com/c/TOVPinfoTube
View at 360°: www.tovp360.org
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TOVP2022
Telegram: https://t.me/TOVP_GRAM
WhatsApp: https://m.tovp.org/whatsapp2
Instagram: https://m.tovp.org/tovpinstagram
App: https://m.tovp.org/app
News & Texts: https://m.tovp.org/newstexts
RSS News Feed: https://tovp.org/rss2/
Store: https://tovp.org/tovp-gift-store/

Friday, November 12, 2021
→ The Walking Monk

St. Jamestown, Toronto

MANtra Working

Our first session of MANtra MANifested this evening and it went really well. Yogesvara from New York did a marvelous presentation of “The Hero’s Journey.” It is fashioned after Joseph Campbell’s model of how a person goes through a personal crisis in life, connects with a mentor, and ultimately succeeds in overcoming obstacles to reach a state of transformation.

What comes to my mind are the stories of Prahlada, and more particularly Dhruva; both young person on their own journey where they come to a point of reaching a successful end. Yogesvara gave these two perceptive people as examples of heroes from the Bhagavatam.

Much appreciation was delivered by viewers through chat remarks made on the virtual presentation. It was interesting to hear our host, Vallabha Hari, express how viewers came in from not only the U.S. and Canada, but India, Turkey, Australia, South America, Africa and Europe.

By the way, Vallabha Hari’s co-ordination was excellent; a pro at this type of service, he introduced the program by announcing “Gentleman” and not “Ladies.” This is not to exclude women per se, necessarily. There are retreats of a bhakti nature for the women called “Vaishnavi Retreats,” and they have been running for some time. We had to give a chance to the guys.

Our next session today started at 10 am EST. Gentlemen, if you haven’t joined yet, it’s not too late. Please register.

May the Source be with you!

5 km

https://man-tra.org/


 

Srila Gaura Kisora Dasa Babaji Disappearance
→ Ramai Swami

When Babaji Maharaja was living in the grhastha-asrama, his name was Vamsi dasa. At that time he was maintaining his life by farming corn, in this way doing honest work and living a regulated life according to the principles of the scriptures along with his chaste and humble wife.  In this way he lived for some time.

In 1849, Srila Gaura Kishora Dasa Babaji left grhasta life after the death of his wife. He moved to Vrndavana and took initiation from Sri Bhagavata Dasa Babaji, a disciple of Sri Jagannatha Dasa Babaji. For over thirty years Gaura Kisora Dasa stayed in Vrndavana performing bhajana under the trees at Giri-Govardhana, Nandagram, Varsana, Radha-kunda, Surya-kunda, Raval, Gokula.

Sitting in seclusion, he chanted 200,000 names of Krishna every day (128 rounds of japa). He felt painful separation from Radha-Govinda and cried profusely. As he wandered through the dvadasa vana (12 forests) of Vraja, he would loudly chant the holy names in a deep voice full of lamentation.

While staying in Varsana he made a flower garland everyday for Rai and Kanu (Radha-Krishna). After thirty years of rendering intimate services to Radha and Krishna in Vrndavana, Babaji felt inspired by the Divine Couple to see Sri Navadvipa Dhama.

He visited all the lila sthanas of Lord Gauranga in Gaura Mandala. In Navadvipa, he used to sing one bhajana which means, “By receiv­ing Nitai’s mercy one gets Gauranga’s mercy, which makes one eligible for Krishna prema. With Krishna prema one can attain the service of Srimati Radharani and the gopis.”

Regularly, he associated with and heard Srimad Bhagavatam from Srila Thakura Bhaktivinoda in Svananda sukhada kunja in Godrumadvipa. Constantly absorbed in bhajana, Srila Babaji Maharaja had no desire to make disciples.

On the request of Bhaktivinoda Thakura, however, he reconsidered. Upon seeing the true humility and deep attachment of Thakura Bhaktivinoda’s son for bhajana, Srila Gaurakishora Dasa Babaji accepted one disciple-Sri Varsabhanavi-dayita Dasa (Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura).

On 19 November 1915, Srila Gaura Kishora Dasa Babaji Maharaja joined the eternal blissful pastimes of Gandharvika-Giridhari. His beloved disciple, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, established his samadhi on the banks of Sri Caitanya Matha’s Radha-kunda, near Lord Caitanya’s Yogapitha in Sridhama Mayapur.

In Vraja lila he serves Srimati Radharani as Guna-manjari. His pushpa samadhi stands besides the Radha-Kunja Bihari Gaudiya Matha near Radha-kunda.

Bhisma Panchaka Vrata Begins 15th Nov 2021
→ Mayapur.com

By following these days of Bhishma Panchaka fasting one gets the benefit of all the four chaturmasya fasting if one had been unable to follow the same. Bhisma Pancaka Fasting: The fasting starts on Ekadasi Day which is 15th November (Monday) and will continue until the 19th of November, Rasa Purnima Day (last day of […]

The post Bhisma Panchaka Vrata Begins 15th Nov 2021 appeared first on Mayapur.com.

Disappearance day of Srila Gaura Kisora Das Babaji
→ Mayapur.com

Srila Gaura Kisora Das Babaji Maharaj – Disappearance Today is the most auspicious disappearance day of Srila Gaura Kishor Das Babaji Maharaj. He is the spiritual master of Om Vishupada Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur, spiritual master to HDG A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada. In Chaitanya Math at Sridham Mayapur, we have His samadhi sthan. While […]

The post Disappearance day of Srila Gaura Kisora Das Babaji appeared first on Mayapur.com.

Bhisma Pancaka- The Passing Away of Bhismadeva
→ ISKCON News: Latest Stories

Bhisma-panchaka is five days dedicated to Bhismadev, The son of mother Ganga, and his father King Shantanu-Bhismah santanavo birah. He is the Grandfather of Pandavas, descendant of Great king Bharata in the Kuru dynasty. The period falls in the last 5 days of the month Kartik, the resounding 5 days of chaturmasya. It is said to commemorate the life of Grandfather Bhismadev, a key figure in the history of India, one who is known as a powerful warrior and commander-in-chief of the royal army who renounced his own claim to the throne of the world and instead remained celibate throughout his life as stated in Mahabharata and the Srimad-Bhagavatam.

Be Careful What You Hear
→ ISKCON News: Latest Stories

A recent study at Stanford University revealed the potent combination of science and sound. Abazz app can detect the disease a mosquito might be carrying by detecting its buzzing sound. Another discovery from the lab showed the effect of sound on one of the most compact cells in the human body, the heart cells. The idea sprung from the conception of Faraday waves, where sound would create repeals in water.

Wear it like a jewel
→ KKSBlog

(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 17 November 2018, Ter Kadamba, Vrndavana, India, Parikrama 2018 Lecture)

There are many limbs of devotional service, 64 to be precise. By engaging in these 64 aspects, we can make so much spiritual advancement. The first is guru-padasraya – taking shelter of the lotus feet of the spiritual master. The second one is to accept initiation and receive spiritual instructions. The third is serving the spiritual master with love.

Before we reach love, we may serve out of fear. Why? Well, the sastras create a lot of fear in our hearts as it is very clear that we cannot disobey the orders of the spiritual master. If you do not follow the orders of the guru, your spiritual life will be ruined. If it is not too serious, then you just dry up and become slack in your practice. This causes some fear but there is another reason why we are afraid of the spiritual master. Never before has someone had such authority over us, not even our parents; not even the government or the national leaders have the same authority over us. Sometimes we may cut a few corners or cause civil disobedience, and others are just outright criminals. And as I am saying all of this, I realise that I am looking straight at a lawyer seated in front of me! (laughter) We experience our limitations. We practice these 64 limbs and try to serve our spiritual master not out of fear but by trusting him.

We must take the desire of the spiritual master and wear it like a jewel. Take it happily and not reluctantly. This relationship with the spiritual master must become our greatest treasure and we must have full faith in it. When Lord Nityananda goes into a liquor store, we do not question his motives. We have faith that He is going in there to give mercy. In the same way, we must have faith in our spiritual master. We must offer our whole existence in that relationship. We must become what he wants us to become, not what we want to.

The article " Wear it like a jewel " was published on KKSBlog.

Plant based Dietary Lobby groups bring attention to the cow in the room by proposing less cows and other animals
→ Dandavats

By Syamasundara Das

In Jennifer Mishler's article she mentions ‘environmental harms of animal agriculture, often left out of climate change discussions—and most importantly—not addressed in climate policy or action.’ At first glance we might think yes, we would agree with that, we have heard it so many times that it practically rolls off our own tongues. But I ask you to hold on for a minute and pick out the various issues and wonder if we agree with the premise then. In the article the environmental harms are not specifically sited and hence we don’t know what is being referred to. It is clear throughout the article that the drive is towards a plant-based diet and a reduction if not elimination of animal agriculture. In this article I am not going to talk about all the many types of animal agriculture as that is not my focus, here I want to bring our attention to Cows or specifically Cow Protection or Gorakshya and how this might be affected by articles like this. So let me restate then my understanding of the article with cows in mind. The lobbyists are proposing a reduction in dairy production and consumption. Continue reading "Plant based Dietary Lobby groups bring attention to the cow in the room by proposing less cows and other animals
→ Dandavats"

Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji’s Disappearance Day
Giriraj Swami

Today is the disappearance day of Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji Maharaja. Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji was a great devotee—a maha-bhagavata. He was a disciple of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura and was very renounced. Earlier, he lived for many years in Vrindavan, roaming the twelve forests, chanting the holy names of Krishna, begging alms, and sleeping under trees. Later, after Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura discovered Lord Chaitanya’s birthplace in Mayapur, Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja, the siksa-guru of Bhaktivinoda Thakura and parama-guru of Gaurakisora dasa Babaji, instructed Gaurakisora to move to Navadvipa-dhama.

There Gaurakisora resided on the banks of the Ganges and practiced devotional service with intense devotion and renunciation. Because materialistic men would come and disturb him with their desires for mundane blessings (asirvada), the babaji began to stay by a municipal lavatory, where the filth and obnoxious smells would discourage unwanted visitors. There he would chant in peace—in ecstasy. He would beg alms and cook in discarded clay pots, or eat parched rice with green chilies, or just ingest Ganges mud. Sometimes he would collect the discarded cloth from the crematorium, wash it in Ganges water, and use it to cover himself. His only desire was to be absorbed in the mellow of the holy name—in Krishna consciousness.

Gaurakisora was a siksa disciple and intimate friend of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. The Thakura arranged a bhajana-kutira for him on the same property as his own house in Godruma-dvipa. When the time came for Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura to take diksa, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura advised him to approach Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji Maharaja. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura was the father of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati and his first instructor in the spiritual science, but the etiquette was that one would not take diksa from one’s biological father. So Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura sent him to Gaurakisora dasa Babaji Maharaja.

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura was highly literate. By the age of seven, he had memorized the entire Bhagavad-gita and could even explain its verses. He had a photographic memory, and in school he read all the books in the library. Just by reading them once, he could remember every word, and so the library purchased new books just for him. By the age of twenty-five, he had written numerous articles and published one book, Surya-siddhanta, for which he was awarded the title Siddhanta Sarasvati. So, he was highly educated and literate, and Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji Maharaja was hardly educated or literate at all.

The first time Siddhanta Sarasvati approached Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji Maharaja, the babaji refused to accept him. He didn’t directly say no, but he said, “I will ask Mahaprabhu.” When Siddhanta Sarasvati returned and told his father what had happened, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura encouraged him to persevere: “You must go back and beg him with all humility and earnestness to accept you.” So, he went back, but Gaurakisora dasa Babaji again refused, saying, “Oh, I forgot to ask Mahaprabhu. I am so sorry.” When Siddhanta Sarasvati returned home, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura was most upset. He knew that Gaurakisora dasa Babaji was a pure devotee, a maha-bhagavata, and he urged Siddhanta Sarasvati to persist. He again instructed his son to beg Gaurakisora for his mercy, and he added, “If you fail this time, don’t bother to come back home.”

So, Siddhanta Sarasvati left the house and went to the Ganges. He felt so hopeless, he thought he might as well just drown himself in the river. Just then, Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji Maharaja appeared; he knew what was in his future disciple’s heart. Siddhanta Sarasvati just threw himself at Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji’s lotus feet in abject humility and complete surrender. Finally, Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji accepted him. Siddhanta Sarasvati had shown that he was free from any tinge of false pride for being so learned and literate when his guru was uneducated.

Srila Prabhupada remarked that Gaurakisora dasa Babaji was illiterate and could not even sign his name, yet he became the spiritual master of Sarasvati Thakura, the best scholar of his time. And thus he proved the statement of the Vedas:

yasya deve para bhaktir
  yatha-deve tatha gurau
tasyaite kathita hy arthah
  prakasante mahatmanah

“Only unto those great souls who have implicit faith in both the Lord and the spiritual master are all the imports of Vedic knowledge automatically revealed.” (Svetasvatara Upanisad 6.23)

Although Gaurakisora dasa Babaji was hardly educated or literate, learned scholars and public servants would approach him with their questions on Srimad-Bhagavatam and other shastras, and with his realized knowledge he would answer their questions to their full satisfaction. Sometimes devotees would read various scriptures for him and he would comment on them from his deep spiritual realization.

Still, out of his great humility Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji Maharaja refused to accept any disciples; Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura proved to be the only exception.

Gaurakisora dasa Babaji enjoined Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati never to go to Calcutta, which he considered “a bastion of Kali-yuga.” So Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati remained in Mayapur. In 1905 he took a vow to chant the Hare Krishna mantra a billion times. Residing in a grass hut near the birthplace of Lord Chaitanya, he chanted the Hare Krishna mantra day and night. He cooked rice once a day in an earthen pot (or just parched the rice in the sun) and ate nothing more. He slept on the ground, and when the rainwater leaked through his grass ceiling, he sat beneath an umbrella, chanting. Locked in a small room, he chanted japa day and night, day after day, month after month, year after year. Finally, when he had completed his quota, he felt that he was ready to come out and preach. And to preach he went to Calcutta.

In a talk at the Ardha-kumbha-mela in Allahabad, Srila Prabhupada raised the point that Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji had instructed Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati never to go to Calcutta but that everyone knows he went to Calcutta. So, Srila Prabhupada questioned whether Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati had disobeyed the orders of his spiritual master. “No!” Srila Prabhupada declared. “He was never in Calcutta; he was always in Vaikuntha!”

We pray to Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji:

namo gaura-kisoraya
  saksad-vairagya-murtaye
vipralambha-rasambodhe
  padambhujaya te namah

He is saksad-vairagya-murtaye, the personification of renunciation (vairagya); and vipralambha-rasambodhe, always merged in the ocean of the mellow of separation from Krishna (vipralambha-rasa). Padambhujaya te namah: “I offer my respectful obeisances unto his lotus feet.”

That was the mood of Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji Maharaja: he was always merged in that nectarean ocean of devotion in separation, and he had no care for his body or for anything material—just hari-nama.

He wrote a beautiful song that is completely in the mood of Raghunatha dasa Gosvami. It is said that of the Six Gosvamis, Raghunatha dasa was the most attached to the service of Srimati Radharani—that he had the most intense desire to serve Srimati Radharani—and Gaurakisora dasa Babaji wrote a beautiful song in that mood. He begins with a refrain: kotai go premamayi, radhe radhe, radhe radhe—“Where is Radha, so full of love? Radhe, Radhe, Radhe, Radhe!” Then he proceeds to express the mood of Raghunatha dasa Gosvami in separation from Radharani, desiring and aspiring for Her service.

When Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji Maharaja left this world, there was some dispute over what would happen to his body. His samadhi, of course, would become an important place of pilgrimage, and some of the heads of the local Vaishnava centers saw this as an opportunity to raise money—for their mathas and even for their own sense gratification. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati ran to the site, but when he arrived, some of the local babajis objected: “You are not a sannyasi; how can you give samadhi to such an exalted and renounced personality?” But Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati responded forcefully: “I am the only disciple of Babaji Maharaja, and although I have not accepted sannyasa, I am a celibate brahmachari, not secretly addicted to abominable habits or involved with illicit activities. Who among you can say that in the last year he had no sex or illicit contact with a woman? Please step forward.” Everyone was silent. Then he challenged, “Who has refrained for the last six months?” Everyone was silent. Next, “For the last three months?” Again, silence. “For the last one month?” Silence. “The last three days?” Still silence. They had been exposed and humbled. Not one of the babajis was fit to even touch the transcendental form of Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji Maharaja, and one by one they walked away.

But even then there remained some question about how to handle the body, which was still lying on the ground. Out of his great humility, Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji Maharaja had instructed that when he departed, his body should be dragged through the streets of Navadvipa so that it would be bathed in the dust from the feet of the Vaishnavas who had walked the holy ground of the dhama. So some of the townspeople proposed to take the body and drag it through the streets of Navadvipa. Such fools! Such rascals! But Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura stopped them. “Although we are fools and offenders,” he said, “still we can try to understand the true meaning of Babaji Maharaja’s humble request. After the departure of Thakura Haridasa, Lord Chaitanya Himself took the spiritually blissful body of the Thakura on His lap and danced. Following the divine example of Mahaprabhu, let us also bear Babaji Maharaja’s blissful body on our own heads.”

So, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati took charge of the body and placed it in samadhi on the western side of the Ganges, across from Mayapur. In time, the course of the Ganges changed and its waters threatened the area of the samadhi. So Srila Bhaktisiddhanta brought the samadhi to Mayapur, to his matha. There he had created a replica of Vrindavan, with tamala trees and kadamba trees, with Syama-kunda and Radha-kunda, and with a small Govardhana Hill made of govardhana-silas. Most appropriately, he placed the new samadhi by the side of Radha-kunda, and that is where the transcendental remains of Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji still rest today. One can go there and pray to him and feel his presence and get his mercy.

Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji Maharaja is an ocean of mercy (all pure Vaishnavas are). I pray that he will help me to chant the holy name, to chant with taste. When I prayed to him earlier—and this may just be my speculation—I imagined that he said, “You must give up your offenses.” Then I was thinking, “What offenses? What offenses?” And then I imagined that he answered, “You must chant with attention.”

Of course, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura does state that inattentive chanting is the root of all other offenses and that, conversely, attentive chanting will destroy all the other offenses. “But how do I do that?” I asked. And the answer came: “You must try. You just have to make the effort.” And I suppose that is always the process—that we make our honest effort and depend on the mercy of the acharyas and Krishna.

In my case, however, my chanting sometimes becomes such a routine that I do not even make the effort to hear every word or every mantra. I just do it. I just go through the motions. So, I guess that is my challenge, my special order—to chant with attention.

Devotees often raise the question of chanting with quality. When on a morning walk a disciple asked Srila Prabhupada, “How can we chant with quality?” His Divine Grace replied, “The quality will come. For now, just chant as a matter of duty; chant your sixteen rounds. When the quality comes, there will be no force. You will have taste, and spontaneously you will desire, ‘Why sixteen rounds? Why not sixteen thousand rounds?’ Rupa Gosvami desired, ‘How shall I chant with one tongue and hear with two ears? Had I billions of tongues and trillions of ears, then I could enjoy it.’ ”

Srila Prabhupada said that quality means asakti, attachment, and that Chaitanya Mahaprabhu showed that quality: “Sunyayitam jagat sarvam govinda-virahena me: ‘Oh, I do not see Govinda. The whole world is vacant.’ Sunyayitam jagat sarvam govinda-virahena me. This is quality.” When one feels viraha-bhava, when one feels separation from Radha and Krishna, one is chanting with quality.

 Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji is an ocean of mercy, and we pray for his grace.

Hare Krishna.

[A talk by Giriraj Swami on Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji’s disappearance day, November 22, 2004, Dallas]

ISKCON Scarborough – "The Great Awakening" – Online Class by HG Rohinipriya das – 14th Nov 2021 – 11 am EST
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 Hare Krishna!

Please accept our humble obeisances!

All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

All glories to Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga!


Date:14th Nov 2021

Day: Sunday

Time: 11 am to 12 noon

Topic: The Great Awakening

Speaker: HG Rohinipriya das


Link to join the class from your desktop or laptop:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/9150790510?pwd=Wk5GYXVRMkJmdk84MzZJRXBKYUgwUT09



HG Rohinipriya das

His Grace Rohinipriya Prabhu is a BACHELOR in MEDICINE & a BACHELOR in SURGERY (M.B.B.S) from BYRAMJEE JEEJEEBHOY GOVERNMENT MEDICAL COLLEGE AND SASSOON GENERAL HOSPITALS (B.J.M.C), PUNE, INDIA. In the early 90s, he came in contact with ISKCON and consequently, joined the ISKCON Pune temple as a fulltime brahmacari. In 1995, he moved to ISKCON Chowpatty, Mumbai, India. He served as the Director of ISKCON YOUTH FORUM (IYF), ISKCON Chowpatty for many years. Then, he served as a Temple Management Committee(TMC) Member at ISKCON Chowpatty. He also served as a Member of the Committee for Spiritual Vision(CSV) at ISKCON Chowpatty. From 1996, he started travelling to Aurangabad, Maharashtra, India, in addition to his services in Mumbai. He fills the lives of people with the joy of Krishna Consciousness, by his practical, mesmerising, scriptural discourses. He also counsels & guides many people, specially, the youth. He currently serves as the General Manager at ISKCON Aurangabad, Maharashtra, India. Under his able guidance ISKCON Aurangabad is a dynamic and flourishing offering & tribute to Srila Prabhupada’s legacy and glory.


He visits North America regularly, especially, the USA & Canada and shares the message of the Bhagavad Gita & the Srimad Bhagavatam. He, also, travels worldwide for serving the people of all denominations. He has been actively distributing the message of the Bhagavad Gita to 1000s of Engineering & Medical students and other professionals all over India. He is an inspiration to many professionals & youth all over the world. He presents the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita & the Shrimad Bhagavatam in a very attractive, eloquent and practical manner.


ISKCON Scarborough

3500 McNicoll Avenue, Unit #3,

Scarborough, Ontario,

Canada, M1V4C7

Website: www.iskconscarborough.org

Email:

iskconscarborough@hotmail.com

scarboroughiskcon@gmail.com

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