Happy Gaura Purnima!
Below is the Sri Gauranga Ashtottara Shata Nama Stotram with 108 names of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu accompanied by beautiful pictures of the Golden Avatar in various ISKCON centres. It is recommended to chant this prayer with full faith and devotion on this special day.
Be sure to visit you local ISKCON center today (in many cases tomorrow) to partake in this transcendental festival!
by Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya
1) namaskritya pravaksyami deva-devam jagad-gurum namnam-ashtotara-shatam caitanyasya mahatmanaha
After offering my respectful obeisances unto the Lord of Lords, Who is the spiritual master of the entire universe, I will now narrate 108 holy names of Lord Chaitanya, the great soul.
2) vishvambharo jita-krodho maya-manusha-vigrahaha amayi mayinam shreshto vara-desho dvijottamaha
Vishvambhara--He sustains the universe
Jita-krodha--He is victorious over the influence of mundane anger
Maya-manusha-vigraha--He assumes the illusory form of a human
Amayi--He is bereft of fraudulent behavior
Mayinam Shresta--He is the foremost of (transcendental) cheaters
Vara-desha--He appears in the best of lands
Dvijottama--He is the ultimate brahmana
3) jagannatha-priya-sutah pitri-bhakto maha-manaha lakshmi-kantah shachi-putrah premado bhakta-vatsalah
Jagannatha-priya-suta--He is the dearest son of Jagannatha Mishra
Pitri-bhakta--He is the devotee of His father
Maha-mana--He has great mental power
Lakshmi-kanta--He is the beloved husband of the Goddess of Fortune
Shachi-putra--He is the son of mother Shachi
Premada-He is the bestower of ecstatic loving devotion
Bhakta-vatsala--He is very affectionate to His devotees
4) dvija-priyo dvija-varo vaishnava-prana-nayakaha dvi-jati-pujakah shantah shrivasa-priya ishvaraha
Dvija-priya--He is dear to the twice-initiated brahmanas
Dvija-vara--He is the best amongst the brahmanas
Vaishnava-prana-nayaka--He is the hero of the devotees' life & soul
Dvi-jati-pujaka--He is the worshiper of the brahmanas
Shanta-He is peaceful and saintly
Shrivasa-priya--He is very dear to Srivasa Pandita
Ishvara--He is the supreme controller
5) tapta-kanchana-gaurangah simha-grivo maha-bhujaha pita-vasa rakta-pattah sad-bhujo 'tha chatur-bhujaha
Tapta-kanchana-gauranga--His complexion is like molten gold
Simha-griva--His neck is like the lion's
Maha-bhuja--His arms are very muscular
Pita-vasa--He wears yellow cloth (when a householder)
Rakta-patta--He wears red cloth (when a sannyasi)
Sad-bhuja--He exhibits a six-armed form
Chatur-bhuja--He exhibits a four-armed form
6) dvi-bhujash cha gada-panih chakri padma-dharo 'malaha pancha-janya-dharah sharngi venu-panih surottamaha
Dvi-bhuja--He exhibits a two armed form
Gada-pani--He holds the mace
Chakri--He holds the discus
Padma-dhara--He holds the lotus
Amala--He is sinless
Pancha-janya-dhara--He holds the Panca-janya conchshell
Sharngi--He holds the bow
Venu-pani--He holds the flute
Surottama--He is the foremost of the demigods
7) kamalaksheshvara prito gopa-liladhara yuva nila-ratna-dharo rupya-hari kaustubha-bhushanaha
Kamalaksheshvara--He is the Lord of the lotus-eyed Lakshmi Prita--He is beloved to all living beings
Gopa-liladhara--He is the abode of cowherding pastimes
Yuva--He is supremely youthful
Nila-ratna-dhara--He likes to wear sapphires
Rupya-hari--He likes to wear silver necklaces
Kaustubha-bhushana--He is adorned with the Kaustubha gem
8) shrivatsa-lanchano bhasvan-mani-dhrik kanja-lochanaha tatanka-nila-shrih rudra-lila-kari guru-priyaha
Shrivatsa-lanchana--He is decorated with the mark of Shrivatsa
Bhasvan-mani-dhrik--His form is embellished with many beautiful jewels
Kanja-lochana--He has lotus petal-shaped eyes
Tatanka-nila-shri--His majesty is enhanced by sapphire earrings
Rudra-lila-kari--He sometimes enacts the pastimes of Lord Shiva
Guru-priya--He is very dear to His spiritual master
9) sva-nama-guna-vakta-cha namopadesha-dayakaha achandala-priyah shuddhah sarva-prani-hite rataha
Sva-nama-guna-vakta--He is aware of the attributes of His own holy name
Namopadesha-dayaka--He imparts teachings about the holy names
Achandala-priya--He is dear even to the lowest outcastes
Shuddha--His character is totally immaculate
Sarva-prani-hite-rata--He is engaged in the welfare of all living beings
10) vishvarupanujah sandhyavatarah shitalashayaha nihsima-karuno gupta atma-bhakti-pravartakaha
Vishvarupanuja--He is the younger brother of Vishvarupa
Sandhyavatara--He incarnated during the time of dusk
Shitalashaya--He is desirous of cooling the burning sufferings of living beings
Nihsima-karuna--His compassion is limitless
Gupta--He is very secretive
Atma-bhakti-pravartaka--He preaches devotion unto the true Self
11) mahanando nato nritya-gita-nama-priyah kavihi arti-priyah shuchih shuddho bhavado bhagavat-priyaha
Mahananda--He is absorbed in the greatest bliss Nata--He behaves as a dramatic actor
Nritya-gita-nama-priya--He is fond of dancing, singing & chanting the holy names
Kavi--He is a learned scholar and poet
Arti-priya--He is dear to those who are suffering Shuchi--He is meticulously clean
Shuddha--He is spotlessly pure
Bhavada--He confers ecstatic loving emotions
Bhagavat-priya--He is intimate with the great devotees
ISKCON Hong Kong
12) indradi-sarva-lokesha-vandita-shri-padambujaha nyasi-chudamanih krishnah sannyasashrama-pavanaha
Indradi-sarva-lokesha-vandita-shri-padambuja--His divine lotus feet are worshiped by Lord Indra and all the rulers of various heavenly planets
Nyasi-chudamani--He is the crest jewel of renunciates
Krishna--He is the all attractive Supreme Personality of Godhead
Sannyasashrama-pavana--He is the purifier of the renounced order
13) chaitanya krishna-chaitanya danda-dhrig nyasta-dandakaha avadhuta-priyo nityananda-shad-bhuja-darshakaha
Chaitanya--He is the living force of all creation
Krishna-Chaitanya--He is the all-attractive living force
Danda-dhrik--He carries the staff of the renounced order
Nyasta-dandaka--He abandons the staff of the renounced order
Avadhuta-priya--He is dear to the divine madman (Srila Nityananda Prabhu)
Nityananda-sad-bhuja-darshaka--He shows His six-armed form to Nityananda
14) mukunda-siddhi-do dino vasudevamrita-pradaha gadadhara-prana-natha arti-ha sharana-pradaha
Mukunda-siddhi-da--He gives perfection to His devotee Mukunda
Dina--He behaves with meek and humble mannerisms
Vasudevamrita-prada--He gives nectar to this devotee Vasudeva
Gadadhara-prana-natha--He is the Lord of the life of Gadadhara
Pandita Arti-ha--He removes the distress of His devotees
Sharana-prada--He bestows ultimate shelter to His devotees
15) akinchana-priyah prano guna-grahi jitendriyaha adosha-darshi sumukho madhurah priya-darshanaha
Akinchana-priya--He is dear to those who possess nothing
Prana--He is the life and soul of all creation
Guna-grahi--He accepts only the good qualities of others
Jitendriya--He is victorious over the influence of the material senses
Adosha-darshi--He is blind to the faults of others
Sumukha--He has a pleasant face
Madhura--He is supremely sweet
Priya-darshana--He is very precious to behold
16) pratapa-rudra-samtrata ramananda-priyo guruhu ananta-guna-sampannah sarva-tirthaika-pavanaha
Pratapa-rudra-samtrata--He delivers Maharaja Pratapa Rudra from obstacles
Ramananda-priya--He is the beloved of Ramananda Raya
Guru--He is the spiritual master of every living being
Ananta-guna-sampannah--He is endowed with limitless good qualities
Sarva-tirthaika-pavana--He is the sole purifier of all places of pilgrimage
17) vaikuntha-natho lokesho bhaktabhimata-rupa-dhrik narayano maha-yogi jnana-bhakti-pradah prabhuhu
Vaikuntha-natha--He is the Lord of the spiritual world of no anxiety
Lokesha--He is the Lord of all the material planets
Bhaktabhimata-rupa-dhrik--He assumes different forms according to the desires of His devotees
Narayana--He is the supreme shelter for all living beings
Maha-yogi--He is the greatest performer of yoga
Jnana-bhakti-pradah--He imparts intellectual knowledge of devotion
Prabhu--He is the Lord and Master of all
18) piyusha-vachanah prithvi-pavanah satya-vak sahaha oda-desha-jananandi sandohamrita-rupa-dhrik
Piyusha-vachana--His words emit showers of pure nectar
Prithvi-pavana--He is the savior of the earth
Satya-vak--He speaks truthfully
Saha--He can endure all forms of misery
Oda-desha-jananandi--He delights the people of Orissa
Sandohamrita-rupa-dhrik--He embodies the form of all universal nectar
ISKCON San Diego
19) yah pathed pratar utthaya chaitanyasya mahatmanaha shraddhaya parayopetah stotram sarvagha-nashanam prema-bhaktir harau tasya jayate natra samshayaha
It is recommended that upon rising in the morning, one faithfully approach and recite this transcendental sin-destroying prayer to Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the great soul. One who does will feel the awakening of ecstatic loving devotion unto Lord Hari; of this there is no doubt.
20) asadhya-roga-yukto 'pi muchyate roga-sankatat sarvaparadha-yukto 'pi so 'paradhat pramucyate
Even if one is afflicted with an incurable disease, one becomes freed from all danger of the ailment. Even if one has committed all types of offenses, one becomes freed from their effects.
21) phalguni-paurnamasyan tu chaitanya-janma-vasare shraddhaya paraya bhaktya maha-stotram japan purch yad yat prakurute kamam tat tad evachiral labhet
If one chants this great prayer with faith and transcendental devotion on Lord Chaitanya's appearance day (the full moon day in the month of Phalguna), then one perpetually attains the fulfillment of their each and every pure desire.
Jaya Gaur-Nitai (our Home)
22) aputro vaishnavam putram labhate natra-samshayaha ante chaitanya-devasya smritir bhavati shashvati
If a devotee couple wishes to have a child but are unable, then they will obtain a Vaishnava child without a doubt. And at the time of death, they will attain remembrance of Sri Chaitanya-deva and enter His eternal pastimes.
Today marks the arrival of Srila Prabhupada to the shore of America to save the fallen souls. 46 years ago Srila Prabhupada, aboard the now famous Jaladuta ship arrived in Boston and then onto New York. They say "the rest is history" but in fact the impact of this historical moment is still being felt and history continues to be made.
From this landing Srila Prabhupada went on to grow a worldwide movement of devotees, temples, restaurants and spiritual centres touching millions of people on every continent around the globe. Srila Prabhupada in establishing this worldwide movement and writing and translating so many timeless books continues to touch countless souls and in the coming years this movement will expand more and more to fulfil Srila Prabhupada's wishes and allow for the golden age of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's sankirtan movement.
Of course this requires the service of all of Srila Prabhupada's servants to cooperatively carry out his instructions and missions. In many lectures I have spoken about the struggle that Srila Prabhupada faced to save us fallen souls. This included heart attacks and sea sickness on the Jaladuta. Thus, I have chose the below note written by Srila Prabhupada indicating the struggle he faced. Srila Prabhupada's diary falls silent for 6 days and on the 7th day there is a note “Passed over a great crisis on the struggle for life and death.” We cannot forget this struggle Srila Prabhupada went through and to serve him we must struggle through tests and obstacles we may face.
The diary entries from Srila Prabhupada aboard the Jaladuta as he arrives in America...
Today is the 35th day of our journey and yesterday night at about 10/30 p.m. we have
turned one wheel towards north eastern corner from the Bermuda latitude towards
Boston port. In the morning the atmosphere was fairly cleared and the ship was plying
very smoothly. The first officer told me that they never had such experience of the At
lantic ocean and he ascribed the good luck to me. I said yes it is all Lord Krishna's Grace
because due to my severe type of sea−sickness, He has Himself taken charge of the ship.
In expansion the Lord is rowing the oars. We shall certainly reach to America port
The whole day was clear sun−shine but at 4 p.m. the sky all of a sudden became foggy.
The sun became dim covered by foggy weather. The horizon is still visible. Let us see
what is still ahead. The ship is stopped completely at about 6 p.m. on account of dense
fog. Be Lord Krishna pleased to get out this fog. By the Grace of Lord Krishna the fog
was cleared after 2−3 hours and the ship started. The whole night was non−disturbing and
today on the 36th day of our journey we reached safely at Boston Port at 5/30 a.m.
We are now on the dockyard of Boston and at 10 a.m. the custom officers and others
came on the ship. They have now issued the admittance permission after due checking
etc. I saw the Boston Town with captain It is very nice and I shall describe it in a separate
note. 36th day from starting from Calcutta Port To−day we are expected to reach Boston
Port U.S.A. in the morning ACB −−/9/65
We stayed the whole day &night at Boston till 4.p.m. next day
To−day is the 37th day of our journey &at 4 p.m. we left Boston Port for New York. In
the morning I had telephonic talks with Gopal P. Agarwal in Butler and he said that his
man will receive me at New York &dispatch me to Butler by Bus or train as convenient. I
tried to contact Dr. Misra but he was not available both yesterday and to−day. I do not
know if he is coming to receive me. To−day I met two American nice gentlemen Mr.
Gardiner &Fryer. We passed a beautiful canal and crossed underneath two
overbridges. But at midnight there was considerable fog disturbance and the ship moved
very slowly. The fog persisted till we reached late at New York Port at 12/30 on 19/9/65.
Today is the 38th day of our journey and we reached New York Port at 12/30 p.m. about
three hours later than the scheduled time.
Let's be forever grateful to Srila Prabhupada for making the journey across the ocean to save us fallen souls from this material ocean. Jaya Srila Prabhupada!
Today marks the start of World Holy Name Week and an excellent way to start this week is to glorify Namacarya Srila Haridas Thakura who's disappearance day is marked today on the vaishnava calendar.
As this story indicates, we will be fortunate to develop a sliver of the taste of the holy name demonstrated by Srila Haridas Thakura and the honorific title of "namacrya" is most appropriate for the exalted Vaishnava personality. The following is the narration of one nectarean story...
Sri Haridas Thakura is an eternally liberated associate of the Lord. The associates of the Lord are worshipable wherever they make their appearance. Haridas Thakura appeared in a family of Yavanas (Mohammedans) but from his very birth he was very deeply devoted to the Holy Names of Sri Krsna.
When he came to live by the banks of the Ganges, Advaita Acarya was very happy to get his association. The brahmana residents of Fulia were very pleased to see how he worshipped the Holy Name, and they used to come everyday to have his darshan. Gradually word began to spread of his glories. When the Mohammedan administrator came to know of all this he began to burn with malice and went to the local Mohammedan king to inform him, “Though he is Mohammedan, he behaves as a Hindu, are therefore he should be brought here for trial.” Hearing the words of that sinful man, the local king who was also very sinful, had Hari das Thakur brought there immediately. [C. B. Adi 16.37].
The Mohammedan King told Haridas, “Just give up this chanting and say the Kalma (prayer of the Mohammedans).”
Haridasa Thakura replied, “The Supreme Lord is one, though His names might be different. The Hindu shastras are the Puranas and the Muslim sastra is the Koran. Everyone acts as he is inspired by the Lord, as also do I. Some yavanas become Hindus and some Hindus become yavanas, to worship the Lord. O Maharaja, you can now judge me.”
Hearing these words the Kazi replied that it would be necessary to punish him. Hearing the decree of the Kazi, the Muluk pati addressed Haridasa, “My brother, just follow your own religion. Then you will have nothing to worry about. Otherwise you will have to be punished.”
In reply to this Haridasa Thakura exclaimed, “Even if you cut my body into pieces, I will never give up the chanting of Hari nama.” [C. B. Adi 6.94]
After hearing these words of Haridasa spoken with great determination, the Kazi declared, “He should be beaten in twenty two market places. If he doesn’t die after this, then I will know that the learned gentleman speaks the truth.”
Thus having heard the words of the Kazi, the sinful Muluk pati then ordered that Haridasa Thakura be beaten in twenty two market places. Haridasa remembered the Lord by chanting “Krsna Krsna”, and in the happiness of that remembrance, he didn’t feel any bodily inconvenience. [C. B. Adi 16.102].
As the demoniac associates of Hiranyakasipu tried in so many ways to kill Sri Prahlada Maharaja, but were unsuccessful, similarly the demoniac Mohammedans, though they tried to harm Haridasa
Thakura, were unable to do so. Haridasa Thakur was immersed in the nectar of the Name and thus gradually the Mohammedans could understand that he wasn’t an ordinary person.
Thus they humbly submitted to the Thakura, “Haridasa! We can understand that you are a genuine saintly person. No one can do anything to you. But the Mulukpati won’t understand any of this. Rather he will have our heads.” Hearing their frightened pleas Haridasa’s external consciousness ceased and he entered into deep meditation on the Lord’s Holy Name.
Then the Mohammedans carried his body on their shoulders to the Mulukpati, who surmised that he was dead. Thinking as such he ordered that his body be thrown in the Ganga. Haridasa’s body floated down the Ganga until he reached Fulia ghat, where he got out of the water and began to loudly chant Hari Nama. Seeing the greatness of Haridasa Thakura, the Mulukpati became fearful. Along with the other Mohammedans he came there and begged Haridas Thakur to forgive him for his offence.
Considering him to be a holy man, they all offered their salutations and thus were delivered from their offences. Having witnessed the pastimes of the Thakura the devotees were in ecstasy.
And in this way we can understand the exalted position of Namacarya Sri Haridas Thakura. It would be very nice that as harinam takes place in markets around the world we can remember the mood of Sri Haridas Thakura as he was immersed in the holy names.
Let World Holy Name Week be an impetus for us to honour Namacarya Srila Haridas Thakur in glorious and innovative ways so we can give more and more people the taste of this nectar.
This also serves as a reminder that with Gauranga's mercy it does not matter what caste or creed we are born with, whether we are white bodied or brown bodied, born in a Christian, Muslim or Hindu family, the Holy names reign Supreme...
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
"If the surface of the globe is over-flooded with the chanting of the Hare Krsna mantra, the people of the world will be very, very happy." ~ Srila Prabhupada (Srimad Bhagavatam purport 4.24.11)
Happy World Holy Name week! For the next 10 days we have the opportunity to please Srila Prabhupada and expand Mahaprabhu's glorious sankirtan movement by organizing or participating in at least a few events. Spreading and chanting the holy names far and wide will resonate and wake the sleeping souls...this is our duty...
From many options, below is a selection of suggestions from the World Holy name committee :
- Nagar Sankirtan - Harinaam processions with WHNW and mahamantra banners.
- Japathon - Pledges from devotees and congregation to chant extra rounds
during this period.
- 24 hours or 12 hours Sankirtan - non-stop chanting for 24/12 hours
- Morning SB on Holy names as the theme - Morning Bhagavatam classes emphasizing on glories and importance of Holy Names.
- Japa Seminars – Seminars on japa related topics e.g japa reform, 10 offenses, types of japa etc
- WHNW Sunday feast lectures & dramas – Presentations based on importance of Holy names and related topics.
- Japa Booth – Putting a table with beads and pamphlets in the temple encouraging new comers to get the beads and chant.
- Hare Krishna on Radio - Hare Krishna Kirtans specially SP dhun on radio.
- Holy Name walks - Padyatras to nearby towns and villages to distribute holy names, Prabhupada books and Prasad.
- Video, multimedia shows and Harinam concerts for public.
Of course these are just a few ways to make World Holy Name Week the biggest yet. Your local ISKCON centre will be organizing events which you can participate in or assist in suggesting and organizing events.
For example in our home town of Toronto a jam packed week is planned including a special 12 hour kirtan tomorrow evening inside the lobby of a commercial building in the heart of downtown. It is part of a city sponsored art event called "Nuit Blanche" where ISKCON is an official part. Since the City of Toronto is providing funding, it may very well be the world's first city funded 12 hour kirtan! So far the schedule for World Holy Name Week in Toronto is:
Daily Morning Conference Call readings from the book ‘Sri Namamrta’ (7:15-7:25am)
Daily Special Srimad Bhagavatam Classes on ‘The Power of the Holy Name’ at the temple (7:30-8:45am) (live broadcast @ www.torontokrishna.com
Sat, Sep 29th - Nuit Blanche: 12-Hour Kirtan (7pm-7am) and Monthly Sankirtan Festival (7pm-midnight)
Sun, Sep 30th - Special Sunday Feast Lecture on the theme of Maha Mantra Week
Tue, Oct 2nd - Special Tuesday Sanga with H.G. Rohini Priya Prabhu
Wed, Oct 3rd - Srila Prabhupada Movie Night (7-9pm) with popcorn and juice!
Fri, Oct 5th - Downtown Harinama (6:30-8pm)
Sat, Oct 6th - Street Sankirtan (11am-2pm); Bhajan Night (6-8:30pm)
Sun, Oct 7th - Grand Finale: Special Sunday Feast Lecture on the theme of Maha Mantra Week
So wherever you are reading this from...please try to do this service to Srila Prabhupada and spread the holy names as part of this global effort.
Today marks the appearance day of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur.
How do you adequately glorify such an exalted devotee of the Lord? Do we glorify how he uplifted Vaishnava Siddhanta which had eroded significantly? Do we praise his commitment to Vaishnva theology despite being born into opulent circumstances and having government responsibilities? Do we glorify his sadhana where he kept a very regulated schedule in order to further Mahaprabhu's mission? Do we praise his discovery of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's birthplace? Or perhaps do we glorify what perhaps made him the happiest...the rapid spread of the glorification of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Krishna!
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur would stay up until the late hours of the night writing, translating, commenting and annotating vedic texts. He published in English and sent the books to other corners of the world! The first globalization of the sankirtan movement. These books landed in Britain, Germany, America and yes even in Canada at our very own McGill University. Not only were the books recieved but they were read and recieved acclaim and thus the bhrad-mrdanga started...the broadcasting of this transcedental knowledge all over the globe.
In his writings, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur stated, "Soon there will appear a personality who will preach the holy name of Hari all over the world.” And this was mere months before the appearance of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada. Meditate on that single statement for a few moments to appreciate the gravity of this prediction. And there is more...much much more. For example, Srila Bhakitvinoda Thakur avidly wrote a magazine journal called Sajjana-Tosani in which he writes, "Oh for that day when the fortunate English, French, Russian, German, and American people with take up banners, mrdangas, and kartalas and raise kirtan through their streets and towns."
And thus in the title the declaration that Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur represents the precept to ISKCON and the worldwide sankirtan movement!
Jaya Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur!
“There is no vow like chanting the holy name, no knowledge superior to it,
no meditation which comes anywhere near it, and it gives the highest
result. No penance is equal to it, and nothing is as potent or powerful as
the holy name. Chanting is the greatest act of piety and the supreme
refuge. Even the words of the Vedas do not possess sufficient power to
describe its magnitude. Chanting is the highest path to liberation, peace
and eternal life. It’s the pinnacle of devotion, the heart’s joyous
proclivity and attraction and the best form of remembrance of the Supreme
Lord. The holy name has appeared solely for the benefit of the living
entities as their lord and master, their supreme worshipful object and
their spiritual guide and mentor. Whoever continuously chants Lord
Krishna’s holy name, even in his sleep, can easily realize that the name is
a direct manifestation of Krishna Himself, in spite of the influences of
~ Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s Harinam Cintamani
Today is the appearance day of Lord Vamanadeva which we fasted for yesterday, tied in with Ekadasi. As is happening quite often, there is not much time left in the day to blog so the perfect solution is to simply turn to Srila Prabhupada's words to glorify this auspicious day. The following is from the summary of Srimad Bhagavatam 8th canto, chapter 18..
This chapter describes how Lord Vāmanadeva appeared and how He went to the sacrificial arena of Mahārāja Bali, who received Him well and fulfilled His desire by offering Him benedictions.
Lord Vāmanadeva appeared in this world from the womb of Aditi completely equipped with conchshell, disc, club and lotus. His bodily hue was blackish, and He was dressed in yellow garments. LordVisnu appeared at an auspicious moment on Śravana-dvādaśī when the Abhijit star had arisen. At that time, in all the three worlds (including the higher planetary system, outer space and this earth), all the demigods, the cows, the brāhmanas and even the seasons were happy because of God's appearance. Therefore this auspicious day is called Vijayā.
When the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who has a sac-cid-ānanda body, appeared as the son of Kaśyapa and Aditi, both of His parents were very astonished. After His appearance, the Lord assumed the form of a dwarf (Vāmana). All the great sages expressed their jubilation, and with Kaśyapa Muni before them they performed the birthday ceremony of Lord Vāmana. At the time of Lord Vāmanadeva's sacred thread ceremony, He was honored by the sun-god, Brhaspati, the goddess presiding over the planet earth, the deity of the heavenly planets, His mother, Lord Brahmā, Kuvera, the seven rsis and others.
Lord Vāmanadeva then visited the sacrificial arena on the northern side of the Narmadā River, at the field known as Bhrgukaccha, where brāhmanas of the Bhrgu dynasty were performing yajñas. Wearing a belt made of muñja straw, an upper garment of deerskin and a sacred thread and carrying in His hands a danda, an umbrella and a waterpot (kamandalu), Lord Vāmanadeva appeared in the sacrificial arena of Mahārāja Bali. Because of His transcendentally effulgent presence, all the priests were diminished in their prowess, and thus they all stood from their seats and offered prayers to Lord Vāmanadeva. Even Lord Śiva accepts on his head the Ganges water generated from the toe of Lord Vāmanadeva. Therefore, after washing the Lord's feet, Bali Mahārāja immediately accepted the water from the Lord's feet on his head and felt that he and his predecessors had certainly been glorified. Then Bali Mahārāja inquired of Lord Vāmanadeva's welfare and requested the Lord to ask him for money, jewels or anything He might desire.
Jaya Lord Vamanadeva!
Thank you Srila Prabhupada! We are forever grateful for all these festivals and pastimes which we are only able to celebrate and hear about with your mercy...
In many press reports and introductions, this Krishna Consciousness movement is still regarded as something relatively new and from the 60's. However in reality our ever well-wisher, Srila Prabhupada with his unlimited mercy has linked us to personalities such as Srila Jiva Goswami and beyond to Chaitanya Mahaprabhu Himself.
With the mercy of Srila Prabhupada this tree contains some undeserving leaves like myself, however it is my duty to try to honour the thick branches, trunk and roots that make this tree so sturdy and ever growing. The opportunity to honour and glorify are due to the fact that it is Srila Jiva Goswami's Appearance day today!
So in this post we will humbly submit a few words to honour, Srila Jiva Goswami...
Srila Prabhupada stated, "The Vaishnavas are by far the greatest philosophers in the world, and the greatest among them was Srila Jiva Goswami".
Srila Jiva Goswami was a prolific writer and he wrote 25 works in sanskrit with a total of over 400,000 sanskrit verses! He became a great preceptor of the Gaudiya Sampradaya, as blessed and predicted by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
Srila Jiva Goswami is one of the revered Six Goswamis of Vrindavan and the nephew of Srila Rupa and Sanatana Goswami. He is credited for establishing the prominent Radha Damodara temple which is so dear to Srila Prabhupada and his followers. Srila Jiva Goswami personally managed this temple as well as Govindaji, Madana Mohana and Gopinatha temples and also assisted Raghunatha Dasa Goswami in the excavation of Radha Kunda.
So great was Srila Jiva Goswami's bhakti and mastery of Krishna Conscious philosophy that in 1573 the Moghul Emperor, Akbar came to see the Goswamis of Vrindavan and after meeting Srila Jiva Goswami he became enthralled with the works of the six Goswamis.
Jaya Srila Jiva Goswami!
Below is an excerpt of a lecture by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada from Radhastami 1968 in Montreal. It explains the song "radhe jaya jaya madhava-dayite" or Radhika Stava.
Please meditate on Srila Prabhupada's words as you watch the following video.
radhe jaya jaya madhava-dayite
karunam kuru mayi karuna-bharite
radhe jaya jaya madhava-dayite
This song was sung by Rupa Gosvami. He is the real person, actual person, to understand Radha and Krsna. So he says, "All glories to Radharani." radhe jaya jaya madhava-dayite. "She's so dear to Krsna." Krsna, everyone is trying to love Krsna, but Krsna is trying to love somebody. Now how great She is. Just try to understand. Everyone, the whole world, the whole universe, all living entities, they are trying to love Krsna. Krsna-prema. Lord Caitanya describes, prema-pumartho mahan. And Rupa Gosvami described that "You are distributing krsna-prema." Sokrsna-prema is so valuable, but Krsna is after Radharani. Just see how Radharani is great. Just try to understand the greatness of Radharani. Therefore She is so great, and we have to offer our respect. Radhe jaya jaya madhava-dayite. How She is?
Gokula-taruni-mandala-mahite. Taruni, taruni means young girls. You'll see the pictures, they are all young girls. But of all the young girls, She is the most beautiful. She is enchanting to the young girls also. She is so beautiful. Gokula-taruni-mandala-mahite, damodara-rati-vardhana-vese. And She always dresses Herself so nicely that Damodara, Krsna, becomes attracted by Her beauty. Hari-niskuta-vrnda-vipinese. And She is the only lovable object of Krsna, and She is the "Queen of Vrndavan." This "Queen of Vrndavan" you'll find in Vrndavan, if you go to Vrndavan, everyone is worshiping Radharani. Rani means queen. They are always speaking, "Jaya Radhe!" Radharani. All the devotees in Vrndavan, they are worshiper of Radharani.
Hari-niskuta-vrnda-vipinese, vrsabhanu-dadhi-nava-sasi-lekhe. And She appeared as the daughter of King Vrsabhanu, and Her companion, Lalita-sakhi and Visakha-sakhi, and the devotees. So on behalf of the pure devotees of Krsna, Rupa Gosvami is praying, karunam kuru mayi karuna-bharite. "Oh, my worshipable Radharani, You are full of mercy. So I am begging of Your mercy because You are so merciful, very easily You offer, bestow Your mercy. So I am begging Your mercy." Karunam kuru mayi karuna-bharite, sanaka-sanatana-varnita-carite. Now somebody may say, "Oh, you are so great, learned scholar, you are so great saintly person, and you are begging mercy from an ordinary girl? How is that?" Therefore Rupa Gosvami says, "Oh, this is not ordinary girl." Sanaka-sanatana-varnita-carite. "This girl's description is possible to be made by great saintly persons like Sanaka-Sanatana. She is not ordinary."
So the lesson is that we should not treat Radharani as ordinary girl, or Krsna as ordinary man. They are the Supreme Absolute Truth. But in the Absolute Truth, there is the pleasure potency, and that is exhibited in the dealings of Radha and Krsna. And Radha's expansion all the gopis, and Krsna is the Supreme Lord.
Thank you very much. Chant Hare Krsna.
~ Srila Prabhupada
Julhana-yatra continues today and thus so does the nectar. This sweet pastime will continue until Lord Balarama's appearance day tomorrow.
In Vrindavan and other dhams there are various methods and periods for which julhana-yatra is celebrated, however as presented in yesterday post, Srila Prabhupada gave us clear direction on both the period and method to celebrate this festival. Also as indicated in yesterday's post, during a Ratha Yatra address, Srila Prabhupada instructed us to celebrate this and all festivals in a grand way.
Now we promised to share some nectar to put us in a brijbasi spirit. Of course for such an occasion there is so much nectar, so we have chosen a selection from Ananda Vrndavan Campu which describes the pastimes of Lord Krishna in Vrindavana. This masterpiece has been graciously translated and dedicated to Srila Prabhupada by HH Mahanidhi Swami (a direct disciple of Srila Prabhupada) Here is an meditative excerpt which will transport you to Vrindavan...
"Krishna entered the swing arena with His left arm resting on Radha's shoulder holding His flute. In His right hand Krishna twirled a lotus flower while His bangles chimed happily. A pleasing peacock feather topped His reddish turban that tilted attractively to one side. Krishna's elegant earrings and ear lotuses swung in the breeze created by the bees circling His head. Fine cloth kissed His limbs, lit by the jewels of His crown and bracelets. Krishna shone attractively with His pearl necklaces tinged red from the rays of His kaustubha jewel. Light delicate footsteps accented His graceful yet playful gait. Jeweled anklets and bells adorned His lotus feet. Krishna, His splendid lips shining, appeared somewhat drowsy from chewing betel nut. Yet His effulgence easily defeated the combined radiance of all the jewels adorning the ladies in heaven. Krishna's effulgence took the shape of a jeweled mace to announce His entrance into the bower of jeweled trees. As Krishna and His servants ascended the dais surrounding the swing, the birds screeched, "Victory! Victory!"
The trees and creepers felt such rapture that their limbs erupted with tiny bumps and honey streamed down like a torrent of tears. When the peacocks stared at Radha and Krishna they thought they were seeing dark rain clouds flashing lightning. Though knowing Radha and Krishna from before, due to their unprecedented love, the peacocks madly cried out, "Keo? Keo?" (Who are these two persons?)
Different celestial denizens joined Krishna and the gopis to celebrate their jhulana lila. In attendance there were charming Caranas, male and female Kimpurusas, and the wives of the Siddhas beating expertly on madala and panava drums with their delicate hands. The spotless heavenly damsels from Svarga and the Apsaras directed by Urvasi held camaras as radiant as waves in the Mandakini River. They showered fragrant flowers from the Nanda-kanana gardens, which glittered like stars as they fell through the sky. In this atmosphere, Krishna mounted the attractive, comfortable seat of the swing. Krishna looked like a regal crest jewel sitting on the cotton seat. The cloth covering the seat was whiter than the foam that appeared during the churning of the milk ocean. Shining pillows also adorned the beautiful seat. Seeing that amazingly wonderful swing purified the vision, and empowered the eyes to see other objects in a fresher way. While the devatas played sweet music, Mukunda and Radha marveled at the intricate workmanship of the jeweled lamps illuminating the swing.
Trembling out of ecstatic love, Radhika and Her friends sat beside Krishna, who rested His left arm on Radhika's shoulder. When the Lord ascended the exquisite swing and displayed His sweet beauty, which defeated the fickle currents of a river of nectarean beauty, the devatas and their wives lost all composure. As the ardent desire of the devatas' hearts to get a closer view of the Divine Couple moved out of their hearts to express itself, it choked their throats. With that hope they left the middle sky and descended to the more favorable lower borders of the sky."
Radha-Govinda Jhulana Yatra ki Jaya!
Photo from Jhulan Yatra at ISKCON Vrindavan
And with great fortune all the assembled devotees are able to swing Radha Govinda! Today and only for the next three days we are able to participate in this pastime since we celebrate Radha Govinda Jhulana Yatra from today until the appearance day of Lord Balaram, which falls on Wednesday, August 1st.
We will have additional nectar in brijbasi spirit for Jhulana Yatra over the next couple of days. However wanted to start the posts with two nice passages by Srila Prabhupada on this auspicious and ecstatic beginning of Jhulana Yatra....
"Regarding Jhulana-yatra Ceremony, during these five days the Deities'
clothings should be changed everyday, and there should be nice Prasadam
distribution and Sankirtana as far as possible. If you are able to do it, a
nice throne may be constructed on which the Deities can be placed. This
throne may be swung gently during Kirtana. That will be very good, and
surely the Deities will enjoy the function."
~ Letter to Jayapataka (Swami), Los Angeles, 1 August, 1969
This week we have had our Annual General Meeting at ISKCON Toronto and thus this quote may resonate in the hearts of many. Srila Prabhupada has given us a full resolution to "frustration and confusion" by fully absorbing ourselves in festivals such as Jhulana-yatra and so many festivals throughout the year...
We have got Janmastami, Sri Rama-navami, Dola-yatra, Jhulana-yatra. So there
are twelve months, but we have got twenty-four festivals as big as this
Ratha-yatra Festival. So if you kindly take to them, then as advised by Lord
Caitanya, kirtaniyah sada harih [Cc. adi 17.31], you will always be in Krsna
consciousness, and there will be no scope of your frustration and confusion.
~ Ratha-yatra lecture July 5, 1970 San Fransisco
Thank you Srila Prabhupada for being the torch light of knowledge for all these nectar filled festivals.
Radha-Govinda Jhulana Yatra ki Jaya!
We leave you with fresh Jhulan Yatra nectar from ISKCON's Krishna Balaram Temple in Vrindavan...
Jhulan Yatra - ISKCON Vrindavan - Jai Gaur Nitai!
Jhulan Yatra - ISKCON Vrindavan - Jai Krishna Balaram!
Jhulan Yatra - ISKCON Vrindavan - Jai Radha Shyamsundar!