December 2015

December 1,2015

From Yavat, where Radharani lived with Her in-laws, to Ter Kadamba, where Srila Rupa Goswami did bhajan, is one of the most sacred and beautiful walks in Vrindavan. It was our final parikrama in Kartika and we relished every step.

 


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December 6,2015

After visiting Yavat, where Radharani lived for some time, we walked to Ter Kadamba, a sacred place where Rupa Goswami did bhajan 500 years ago. Mother Sitala spoke on the pastimes of Rupa Goswami and Bada Haridas prabhu led us in singing the glories of the Six Goswami’s. It was our final parikrama of Kartika, and one of the best as well.

Ter Kadamba

After visiting Yavat, where Radharani lived for some time, we walked to Ter Kadamba, a sacred place where Rupa Goswami did bhajan 500 years ago. Mother Sitala spoke on the pastimes of Rupa Goswami and Bada Haridas prabhu led us in singing the glories of the Six Goswami's. It was our final parikrama of Kartika, and one of the best as well.

Posted by Indradyumna Swami on Saturday, December 5, 2015

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December 9,2015

Towards the end of Kartika our parikrama party journeyed in wooden boats down the sacred Yamuna river to the famed asrama of Durvasa Muni.There we spent a wonderful day chanting the glories of Srila Prabhupada and recounting his pastimes amongst us. All of us realized that it was by his grace alone we had the good fortune to come to Sri Vrindavan dhama.

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December 10,2015

The sacred village of Raval has a special flavor to it, for it is where Srimati Radharani displayed Her infant pastimes. The charm and mystic of Raval penetrated our hearts as our parikrama party heard and sang the glories of Radharani in that simple village setting.

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December 12,2015

Myself and Bada Haridas prabhu are on an extended break in South India, resting and recuperating from a year of extensive traveling. Most of our time is spent hearing and chanting the glories of the Lord. In my studies I came across the following description of Prahlada Maharaja from the Hari bhakti sudhodaya [15.1-2 ]. As I read it, I realized it also perfectly describes our beloved Srila Prabhupada and his transcendental influence upon fallen conditioned souls when he was amongst us.

“Upon hearing his brilliant words, some people felt an extraordinary sense of detachment from material life and began to shed tears. Others who saw him responded by bowing down to him. Others were amazed to see him playfully laugh and simply stood in groups watching him. All these persons were relieved of worldly contamination.”

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December 13,2015

I would like to thank all the wonderful devotees who participated in our Kartika parikrama in Vrindavan this past month. For all who participated it was surely one the most enriching spiritual experiences of our lives. We invite many other devotees to join us next year! To reside in Vrindavan, even for a short time, grants one the highest benediction as declared by Srimati Radharani Herself:

“Dearest Krishna!! Please grant this one benediction. To those who reside in the profoundly sweet land of Vrindavan, and who for a long time yearn with a steady heart to someday attain You, please, O master of Gokula, appear before their eyes as their youthful friend!” [ Lalita Madhava, Act 10, text 260 ]

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December 13,2015
During our recent Kartika parikrama in Vrindavan, we held an initiation ceremony at Gokula, where Krsna performed many of His childhood pastimes. In the auspicious atmosphere of that holy place we officially welcomed the initiates into our Gaudiya Vaisnava sampradaya, thus ensuring the legacy of this great movement, ISKCON, continues down the line.

Continuing The Legacy

During our recent Kartika parikrama in Vrindavan, we held an initiation ceremony at Gokula, where Krsna performed many of His childhood pastimes. In the auspicious atmosphere of that holy place we officially welcomed the initiates into our Gaudiya Vaisnava sampradaya, thus ensuring the legacy of this great movement, ISKCON, continues down the line.

Posted by Indradyumna Swami on Sunday, December 13, 2015

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December 17,2015

A few special shots of our parikrama to Vrinda Kunda this Kartika. May Vrinda Devi bless all who approach her for residence in sacred Sri Vrindavan Dhama.

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December 19,2015

In appreciation of the service rendered by his disciples, Srila Prabhupada once said that his guru maharaja, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, had sent them to help him in his preaching mission.

One disciple spoke up and said, “But Srila Prabhupada how could that be? We were so sinful before we met you.”

Srila Prabhupada replied, “That is superficial. As soon as you heard the chanting of Hare Krsna you all came running!”

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December 21,2015

The holy town of Udupi lies on the Arabian Sea in the South Indian state of Karnataka. The town is famous as a place of pilgrimage because of the temple Sri Krishna Matha. This temple was founded by Srila Madhvacharya (A.D. 1238 -1317), one of the greatest saints, philosophers, and religious reformers of India. Udupi is said to have attained the status of Vaikuntha, the kingdom of God, because the Supreme Personality of Godhead, in the form of a Deity ( Udupi Krishna ) came and stayed there in response to the desire of His pure devotee, Srila Madhvacharya. The worship of Udupi Krishna is still going on after many centuries in a very elaborate way. Yesterday myself and Bada Haridas prabhu visited Sri Krishna Math and took darshan of Udupi Krishna. We came away most inspired!

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December 22,2015

The other day a devotee asked me what is my favorite prayer from our Vaisnava scriptures. I replied with the following verse by Narada Muni, who was requesting a benediction from Lord Krsna. In service to my spiritual master, I would like to follow in his footsteps.

“O swan gliding in the lakes of the Vraja-vasis’ love, I wish that I may wander everywhere always chanting and drinking the nectar of Your names. Those most sweet names arise from the ocean of Gokula and spread the glories of Your infinitely varied dress and ways of acting. As I wander, behaving like a madman, may I distribute joy to everyone in all the worlds.”

[ Sri Brhad Bhagavatamrta, Chapter 7, Text 143 ]

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December 24,2015

This photo just surfaced. Srila Prabhupada is giving prasadam to my son, Gaura Shakti das, in New Mayapura, France in 1975. One greatly fortunate soul, for sastra says …

“The remnants of food offered to Lord Krsna are called maha-prasädam. After this same maha-prasadam has been taken by a devotee, the remnants are elevated to maha-maha-prasadam.”

“The dust of the feet of a devotee, the water that has washed the feet of a devotee, and the remnants of food left by a devotee are three very powerful substances. By rendering service to these three, one attains the supreme goal of ecstatic love for Krsna. In all the revealed scriptures this is loudly declared again and again”.

“Therefore, my dear devotees, please hear from me, for I insist again and again: please keep faith in these three and render service to them without hesitation.”

“From these three one achieves the highest goal of life—ecstatic love of Krsna. This is the greatest mercy of Lord Krsna. The evidence is Kalidasa himself.”

[ Sri Caitanya Caritamrta, Antya-lila 16. 59 – 64 ]

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December 26,2015

The other day myself and Badahari prabhu visited an ancient Siva temple in Koteswara, Karnataka. The temple was very clean and well organized. The brahmana priests were friendly and curious at to how we, as westerners, had adopted Vedic culture. We felt very much at home there and spent several hours observing how nicely the various deities were worshipped.

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December 27,2015

My dear boy, whatever you desire while chanting your mantra, by its power you will fully receive. Indeed, you will attain more than you desire. This chanting, please understand, is another form of service to Lord Jagannatha. Have faith in this and never give up your japa. By the potency of this mantra, may you live a long time, may you always have the form of a cowherd boy, and may you develop the right mentality for tasting the mantra’s fruit.”

[ Sri Brhad Bhagavatamrta, Srila Sanatana Goswami, Volume Two, Chapter one, Texts 189 – 191 ]

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December 29,2015

This final video of our Kartika parikrama 2015 consists of highlights of the many places in Sri Vrindavan dhama that we visited. No doubt all devotees who participated hold memories of that month very dear to their hearts. We are grateful to Ananta Vrindavan dasa for capturing the special moments of the parikrama on video. No doubt so are the many Vaisnavas around the world who eagerly followed our sacred journey around Vrindavan through his work. We invite all such devotees to join our parikrama next year! Sastra speaks unequivocally about the importance of visiting the places of Lord Krsna’s pastimes:

“Certainly no means of perfection is superior to the worship of Sriman Madan Gopala’s lotus feet. That worship yields results far beyond what one could expect. It should be performed mainly through nama-sankirtana, along with reverence and affection for the many places of Sri Gopala’s pastimes, places which one should regularly visit.”

[ Sri Brhad Bhagavatamrta, Volume Two, Chapter One, Texts 104 – 105 ]

https://www.facebook.com/indradyumna/videos/10205318670029211/

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December 31,2015

“It is true that a mantra with names of God is effective only when received from a bone fide representative of God in disciplic succession through proper initiation. It is also true that in previous ages, out of fear of the adverse effects of offenses against hari-nama, generally only those who were already purified worshiped the names of Krsna and His internal potency. Therefore the Hare Krsna mantra in particular is almost never mentioned openly in sruti or smrti. Nevertheless, in the current age Caitanya Mahaprabhu has given a special concession, a kind of automatic or informal initiation to everyone, by ordering every man, woman and child in the universe to chant the Hare Krsna maha-mantra. In doing so, He has offered to take on His own head the reactions of our offenses against hari-nama when we chant according to His order. Thus even before being fully empowered by formal initiation to chant the mantra, persons of this age can chant the maha-mantra and make tangible spiritual advancement. ” [ Sri Tattva-Sandarbha, of Srila Jiva Goswami, Text 15, purport. Translated from the original Sanskrit, with the author’s Sarva-samvadini commentary, by Gopiparanadhana Dasa. Giriraja Publishing. ]

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