February 2, 2020: Viva Kultura 2020
Srila Prabhupada once said that ISKCON will take the world over by culture. In 2020 our contribution to this effort which we have entitled, Viva Kultura, will be performing in Ukraine in May and June, in Poland in July and August and in the USA all of September. Take a look at what we have to offer!
February 4, 2020: Glorification of H.G. Mahatma Prabhu
Dear Mahatma prabhu! Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!
I hope you won’t mind a godbrother glorifying you in honour of your appearance day celebration, which is still some days away. I’m sure the demigods sing your praises, so why not me? You are an illustrious disciple of our glorious spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, so we as his followers have a solemn duty to recognise your unique qualities and service to His Divine Grace.
Your many seminars on diverse subjects of devotional service are attended and heard by thousands of devotees. In so many ways you are a spiritual master, a life coach, a transcendental psychologist, a best friend and well-wisher of so many of us. Through various preaching programs people join this great movement. But the secret is to carefully guide them step by step through the process of devotional service. That includes educating them, helping them overcome obstacles on the path of Krsna consciousness and teaching them how to remain enthusiastic at all times. You are an expert in helping devotees in all these facets of Krsna consciousness. We all thank you from the bottom of our hearts. And I have no doubt that Srila Prabhupada is also grateful for all the service you have rendered to him through the years. He is smiling graciously upon you today!
You are a wonderful example of all that you teach. That is why devotees have so much faith in you. That is why I look up to you and try to follow you. You have an uncanny ability to see and understand what each devotee needs and you take whatever time is required to help them. You are very personal with everyone. That is very rare in this day and age.
Then there are your kirtans! You were a famous and much sought after kirtan man long before many of ISKCON’s famous ‘kirtaneers’ appeared on the scene. You were an inspiration for them as they made their own valuable contributions to spreading the holy names. Please keep watering our seeds of devotion with your melodious voice and expert musical skills.
My prayer is that your many followers and well-wishers will join together to support your services to ISKCON and the general public. You are getting older now, 70 years of age today, and shouldn’t have to be personally raising funds. That service should fall as a privilege to those who love you and can appreciate the positive changes you are making in their lives and can make in the lives of so many people in this world.
On this auspicious day I fall at your feet, my dear godbrother, and wish you well in all your endeavours. May the Good Lord grant you many more years of preaching and counselling. I also offer my obseisances to all your fortunate disciples and loved ones.
Please always keep me in your prayers, as you are in mine!
With affectionate regards,
“Radha and Krsna. Radha’s name is first. Why? Nobody can be a better devotee than Radharani. As soon as Radha’s name is there, Krsna is more pleased. That is the way. If we glorify the devotees, the character of the devotees, before the Lord, He is more pleased than to glorify Himself, directly.”
[ Srila Prabhupada, room conversation, Hawaii, April 24, 1969 ]
In the Garga-samhita there is a beautiful exchange between Nanda Maharaja and Srimati Radharani as they cross paths in Bhandiravan, one of the principle forests of Vrindavan:
Srimati Radharani spoke: “O noble one! This divine form of Mine is very difficult to see, but for one who has seen it, nothing is out of reach. Ask Me for a boon!”
Bowing his head, Nanda Maharaja humbly replied:
yadi prasannasi tada bhaven me
bhaktir drdha kau yuvayoh padabje
satam ca bhaktis tava bhakti-bhajam
sangha sada me ‘tha yuge yuge ca
“Millennium after millennium, may I have firm devotion to You and Krishna. May I always live in the company of Your pure devotees and may my devotion to them equal my devotion to both of You.”
“So be it!” said Srimati Radharani, Vrindavan’s queen.
[ Garga Samhita, Canto One, Volume Three, Chapter 16, Text 11 ]
Śrī Nityanāndacandrasya – Of the Moonlike Nityananda
[ By An Unknown Medieval Gaudiya Vaisnava ]
It is better that I die. I did not worship Nitai. Alas! Alas! I am worthless! My intelligence was spoiled! I had a priceless treasure in my hand, and then I lost it.
In the moon of His face glisten eyes that defeat lotus flowers, eyes that mercifully gaze at every living being. Spreading his arms, and calling out, “Please come! He hugs the fallen souls. To everyone He gives the treasure of ecstatic spiritual love
A garment is gracefully wrapped about His waist. His glistening hair is curly. He wears a turban that charms the heart. He walks like a graceful dancer. Tears stream down His chest. He removes the three-fold sufferings the conditioned souls feel.
He calls out, “Hari! Haribol!” His body sways to the right and left. His arms rest on the shoulders of Ramai and Gauridas. His moonlike face is overflowing with pure sweet honey. Nitai has set a trap of ecstatic love. He is tossed to and fro by the rising waves of ecstatic love.
Nitai is an ocean of mercy. He is the friend of everyone. He has plunged the whole universe into the ocean of his mercy. Only persons blinded by lust, those who are tightly bound by the ropes of material desires, will not worship Nitai.
[ Gaura-pada-tarangini Sri Gauranga Press. Calcutta. 1931. Bengali: Kusakratha Das (editor and translator). The Acaryas Songs and Poems Glorifying Lord Gauranga and Lord Govinda. Unpublished manuscript. Published in Sri Krsna Kathamrita Bindhu, issue 467 ]
After two months of recuperating from my illness here in South Africa, I am ready to start traveling again. To test my wings I went with devotees on harinam and food distribution in a poor African Township outside of Durban. Once again I witnessed the astounding glories of the holy names and the all-merciful nature of Krsna’s prasadam. Good to be “home” again.
My dear disciples: On the eve of my departure from South Africa, back to the preaching field, I gave a lecture describing the mercy of Lord Nityananda on His appearance day here in Durban. As always, it can be found now on www.narottam.com.
Dear disciples: My first class upon arriving back in Vrindavan, is available now on www.narottam.com. “Don’t Think This Won’t Happen to you.”
I am back in Vrindavan. Back on parikrama as per Srila Prabhupada’s advice to “wander” while here. And preparing for Kartika Partikrama 2020 next November! I began by visiting the most sacred of all sacred places – Sri Radha Kunda.