Wednesday, August 24, 2016

'Shri Krishna-karnamrita:' One hundred and Seventh Shloka


bhaktis tvayi sthiratarā bhagavan yadi syād
daivena na
phalati divya-kiśora-mūrti |
mukti
svaya mukulitāñjali sevatesmān
dharm
ārtha-kāma-gataya samaya-pratīkā ||107||


Simple Meaning:


 Youthful Krishna

O Lord! If I am engaged in firm devotional service to You,then I can very easily perceive Your divine youthful form. And as far as liberation is concerned, she stands at my door with folded hands, waiting to serve me, and all material conveniences of religiosity, economic development, and sense gratification stand along with her.

Rasa-laden Meaning:


Shri Billavmangal ji Sees Krishna

Hearing Shri Billavmangal ji’s entreaty Lord Krishna asks that even on perceiving me standing right there in front of you why are you praying for a flash of My lila or divine play.

Billavmangal ji says in reply “Lord! This mind is extremely fickle it does not stay permanently lodged in Your lovely lotus feet therefore I am asking for firm devotional service of Your auspicious feet. Grant me unwavering bhakti. Once my religious devotion is firmly established then mukti or liberation will be ready to serve me with folded hands.


'Shri Bhakti Rasamrit Sindhu'

 yadi bhavati mukunde bhaktir ānanda-sāndrā
karatala-kalitā sā moka-sāmrājya-lakmī
(Bhakti Rasamrit Sindhu)
Anyone who possesses devotion for Lord Mukunda that is densely imbued with ecstasy holds in the palms of his hands the gifts of liberation, worldly influence, and wealth.
Shri Gadadhar Bhatt says:
ek ju meri akhiyan mein nisidyos rahyo kari bhaun
gayi charawan jaat sunyo sakhi so dhau kanhaiya kaun

The heart in which Your lila or divine play is ensconced you do not leave that heart for even a moment.



haath chhu daye jat hau, nibal jani kai mohe
hiradai tean jab jahuge, sabal badauango tohi..'

Leaving my hand You go away, knowing that I am weak. I will acknowledge Your strength when you will go and reside in the temple of my heart.

However, this bhakti is not ordinary where there is observance of religious rites and rituals, it is not even bhava bhakti. It is prema bhakti which has attained the fully mature state of intense love, the highest form of devotion to God.( supreme attachment to the lotus-feet of the Lord. This bhakti springs from the bottom of the devotee's heart, no effort is needed,  only a genuine, natural and spontaneous longing to meet God exists.)Krishna can’t flee from the heart in which it rises for even a moment.


Shri Krishna-Karshini, an Attractor for dark-hued Krishna

 ‘Shri Krishna-Karshini’( how to be an attractor for Lord Krishna) is said to be the topmost quality of the six qualities of uttama bhakti mentioned in ‘Bhakti Rasamrit Sindhu.’ Pure devotional service passionately draws dark-hued Krishna and imprisons him in the cave of one’s heart.
 shrI-kRRiShNAkarShiNI--
kRRitvA hariM prema-bhAjaM priya-varga-samanvitam |
bhaktir vashIkarotIti shrI-kRRiShNAkarShiNI matA || 1.1.41 ||

 ‘Prema Bhakti as called Shri Krishna Karshini  for possessing the power of attracting Lord Krishna, because such Bhakti charms dark-hued Krishna into complete submission through endearing love and affection for Bhagwan Krishna with His Entourage".
Shri Billavmangalji is praying for this firm devotional service. This pure bhakti is going to lead him to God realization, the realization of Brahman.


Lord Krishna Residing in Our Heart

Attracted by the fragrance of this Krishna Karshini prema bhakti, Krishna Himself reaches the lotus of one’s heart and relishes the rasa of that heart.
Apart from service to Krishna, meditating upon, hearing and remebering His sweet lilas or playful dalliances and the singing of devotional hymns other efforts made by an individual to attract Krishna are extremely worthless for the bhakta.
Therefore, the only prayer to Krishna is to grant us prema bhakti in His lotus feet which are so rare to attain. No other ardent longing exists.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Spiritual Calendar: August, 2016

1st August, 2016: Shravan Somwar Vrata

 
Lord Shiva

 The month of Shravan is dedicated to Lord Shiva in the Hindu calendar. The entire month is considered auspicious for seeking the blessings of Lord Shiva.


Shravan month is also known as Sawan in the states of North India. All Mondays which fall during this month are considered highly auspicious for fasting and known as Sawan Somwar Vrats. Many devotees observe fasting for sixteen Mondays from the first Somwar of the Sawan month.

On every Monday of this month, devotees throng to Shiva temples throughout India to worship the sacred Shivalingam.

2nd August, 2016: Hariyali Amavasya

 
Phool Bangla of Shri Banke Bihari ji



It is a monsoon festival celebrated on amavasya in the Shravan month in North India. Lord Shiva is worshipped on this day for wealth, prosperity and a good harvest. Grand fairs are held in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh. Hariyali Amavasya is celebrated with enthused fervour in Dwarkadhish temple of Mathura, Banke Bihari Temple in Vrindavan and other temples of Lord Krishna and Shiva.

  
The Phool Bangla Utsav in Banke Bihari Temple of Vrindavan, during which a house of flowers is made daily in the evening, culminates on this day. Great importance is given to green colour in this festival since it reflects the greenery of nature after the first showers of monsoon.

5th August, 2016: Hariyali Teej


 
Saint Usha Bahenji's Yugal Sarkar on a Jhulan

The first of the three main Teej festivals is observed on the third day of the shukla paksha of Shravan. Vrindavan is certainly worth a visit on this day as Shri Banke Bihariji is posited on a jhoola sinhasan, religious hymns are chanted and lilas of Radha-Krishna are narrated. Saint Ushaji's Thakurji is already resplendent on a swing from 5 to 6 pm for the entire month of Shravan.

Women fast on this day. Married women fast for their husbands and a happy married life. Unmarried girls fast in order to get a good husband in the future. This festival is known as Hariyali Teej in the eastern part of the country. Nature can be seen flourishing and women enjoy themselves with songs, swings etc.

The Teej in the Shravan month is of great religious importance. According to a legend, Parvati kept fasts during this period to impress Lord Shiva. These fasts helped Parvati in marrying Lord Shiva. It is also believed that Parvati completed hundred years of  austerities on this day.

6th August, 2016: Vinayak Chaturthi Vrata


 Lord Ganesha

According to the Hindu Calendar, a lunar month comprises two fortnights. The Chaturthi that comes in the bright fortnight of the month is known as Vinayaka Chaturthi,

Although Vinayaka Chaturthi fasting is done every month but the most significant Vinayaka Chaturthi falls in the month of Bhadrapada. Vinayaka Chaturthi during Bhadrapada month is known as Ganesha Chaturthi which is celebrated by Hindus all over the world as the birthday of Lord Ganesha.

7th August, 2016: Naag Panchami


 Dark-hued Krishna Vanquishes Kalia Naag

Naag Panchami is a festival during which religious Hindus in some parts of India either worship images or live Nagas on the fifth day after Amavasya of the Shravan Month. Traditionally, married young women visit their premarital households to celebrate the festival. A traditional aspect of the celebration involves young women swinging joyously on swings temporarily hung on tree branches, particularly in the villages of India.

According to Puranic mythology, Brahma’s son Kashyapa had four wives. The first wife gave birth to Devas; the second, to Garudas; the third --named Kadroo--, to Nagas; and the fourth, to Daityas. Nāgas were the rulers of Patal-Loka.

Lord Krishna had conquered Naga Kalia and put an end to his evil deeds on Naga Panchami. As per a myth, the Kathmandu Valley used to be a vast lake. When human beings began draining the lake to make space for settlements, the Nagas were enraged. To protect themselves against the wrath of Nagas, people gave the latter certain areas as pilgrimage destinations, thus restoring the harmonious balance of nature.

8th August, 2016: Kalki Jayanti


 Kalki Avatara

 That is when Lord Kalki will take birth in this Kaliyuga. Observed on Shukla Paksha Sashti in the month of Shravan it is the most auspicious time to purchase a new house or car.
In Hinduism, Kalki is the tenth and final incarnation of Vishnu who will come to end the present age of darkness and destruction. Kalka in Sanskrit refers to ignorance and hence denotes the "destroyer of darkness". Other similar derivations from Sanskrit - include one simply meaning 'White Horse'.
 
8th August, 2016: Sawan Somvar Vrata


 Lord Shiva

 The month of Shravan is dedicated to Lord Shiva in the Hindu calendar. The entire month is considered auspicious for seeking the blessings of Lord Shiva. Devotees keep various fasts during this month to please Lord Shiva.


Shravan month is also known as Sawan in the states of North India. All Mondays which fall during this month are considered highly auspicious for fasting and known as Sawan Somwar Vrats. Many devotees observe sixteen Mondays or Solah Somwar fasting from first Somwar of the Sawan month.

10th August,2016: Goswami Tulsidas Jayanti

 

Goswami Tulsidas

Gosainji was a dedicated devotee of Lord Rama and the writer of 'Shri Ramcharitmanas,' a great Hindu epic. He was born on Shravan Shukla Saptami of 1498 AD in Rajpur, Chitrakoot district and was a Sarayuparina Brahmin by birth.

Tulsidasji intensely loved his wife Buddhimati and she enlightened him by saying that if he loved Lord Rama half as much as her he would attain eternal bliss. Thereafter Tulsidas became an ascetic. He got a vision of Lord Rama through Hanumanji and began composing the Shri Ramcharitmanas. On Tulsidas Jayanti one must read or hear the Ramcharitmanas, visit shrines of Lord Rama plus Hanumanji, and feed Brahmins.

14th August, 2016: Putrada Ekadashi


 Lord Vishnu Being Propitiated

This Ekadasi is specially observed by married couples for getting healthy children. A popular legend mentioned in the Puranas indicates that a King was able to beget a son by observing Putrada Ekadashi. After bathing early in the morning, the idol of Lord Vishnu should be bathed with curd, milk and water. Prayers should be done using roli, chandan, dhoop and deep.

It is also highly commendable to feed poor children and old people on the day.

The significance of Putrada Ekadashi was narrated to Yudhishtira by Lord Krishna and is found in the Bhavisyotara Purana.

Ekadasi is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is observed on the 11th day of the waning and waxing phase of moon in the traditional Hindu calendar.

15th August, 2016: Independence Day


 Wishing all Indians at home & those living abroad, a very happy independence day.


15th August, 2016: Som Pradosh Vrata


 Lord Shiva

All Mondays of Shravan are dear to the gods, especially Shiva. On every Monday of this month, devotees throng to Shiva temples throughout India to worship the sacred Shivalingam.

Pradosh means dusk and this fast is kept on the 13th day of each lunar fortnight for propitiating Lord Shiva. With His blessings all desires are fulfilled and one attains spiritual enlightenment. It is said that on this day all gods and goddesses assemble at Mount Kailash to worship Lord Shiva.

18th August, 2016: Raksha Bandhan


Lord Krishna Saves Draupadi's Honour

Rakhi is a very famous festival for brothers and sisters. At Vrindavan, the one-month long sawan stuti of Lord Shiva and jhulan utsav of Thakurji that started on Guru-Poornima comes to an end.

According to Hindu Calendar Rakhi falls on Shravan Purnima (full moon day) which corresponds to July-August in the English Calendar.

Krishna and Draupadi: An incident concerning Krishna and Draupadi from the epic Mahabharata is centred on this festival. Draupadi, the wife of the Pandavas, had torn a strip off her silken sari and tied it around Krishna index finger to stop the flow of blood. Krishna was so touched that he promised to repay the debt and did so during the Vastra Haran of Draupadi. In the assembly of King Dhritarashtra when Yudhishthir lost her in gambling, Krishna indefinitely extended her saree, to save her pride.

The legend of Lord Yama and his sister Yamuna: Raksha Bandhan was a ritual followed by Yama, the Lord of death and Yamuna his sister. Yamuna tied a rakhi to Yama and bestowed immortality. Yama was so moved that he declared that whoever got a rakhi tied from his sister and promised her protection would become immortal.

21st August, 2016: Ganesh Sankashti Chaturthi


 Lord Ganesha

 This day is celebrated every lunar month on the fourth day (tithi) of Krishna Paksha (dark lunar phase or waning phase).

Many devotees of Lord Ganesha observe a fast (vrata) on Sankashti Chaturthi for the entire day and this Sankashti fast is broken after taking darshan of Moon followed by worshiping of Lord Ganesha.

When Sankashti Chaturthi falls on Tuesday, it is known as Angaraki Chaturthi and it is considered even more auspicious.

23rd August, 2016:Hal Shashti


 Lord Balarama

 This is the appearance day of Lord Balarama, the first expansion of the dark-hued Krishna. Devotees offer special prayers to Balarama, the icon of duty, honesty and simplicity to receive spiritual strength from Him.He incarnated on the full moon day of Shravana.

Balaram, Balarama and Sankarsana are some of Lord Baldev's other names. Balaram had incarnated as Lakshman in the Treta Yuga which came before Dwapar.

He is considered the incarnation of Sheshnaag, the thousand-headed snake on whom Lord Vishnu sleeps throughout periods of dissolution of the world.Because he was drawn from Devaki's to Rohini's womb, He is known as Lord Sankarsana. It is a common belief that he bestows riches on this materialistic world.

Balaram is also famed as Haldhar, the god of the farmers.They devotedly worship the plough, his weapon, before undertaking any task.

25th August, 2016: Shri Krishna Janamashtami


badhai ho, badhai ho, badhai ho sabhi ko bhagwan Shri Krishna ke
 janamotsav ki badhai ho !

Celebrations are to be held at Sri Banke Bihari ji Temple, all the temples of Vrindavan, Gokul, Mahavan, Mathura, ISKCON and the world over.

 
Lord Vishnu Incarnates as Krishna

The main purpose of the Lord’s incarnation is for the salvation of saints, destruction of evil and installation of righteousness as explained in the 'Bhagwad Gita.' Towards the end of the Dwapar Era, in the Hindu month of Bhadra, Mathura had the great fortune of witnessing Lord Krishna’s birth on Krishan Ashtami. Atrocities were on the rise, religion had become a mere farce and the deities were great pained. King Kansa terrified of his own death had imprisoned Vasudev and Devki, having killed six of their earlier children. The seventh child was to be the Lord Himself.


 Shri Radha-Krishna, Our Yugal Sarkar at Gaura Colony

Parampoojaya Susheela Bahinji shall lead the utsav at Gaura-Colony in front of our Yugal Sarkar or Thakurji.The search of the impassioned soul for union with god is centred within earthly Vrindavan. Its enraptured village girls representing Krishna's hungering devotees are passionately drawn to dark-hued Krishna's lyrical softness, innocent pranks, beautiful adornments and serene sensuality which add to His madhurya or sweet love.

Krishna's playful dalliance is nitya or eternal. One aspect of Lord Krishna’s enigmatic persona which distinguishes him from all other deities is his lila or divine play which makes him both human and divine at the same time, and becomes him ,most of all.Delighting in play he endears himself and brings joy to all his devotees.

26th August, 2016: Nandotsav


 Thakur Radharamanji on Nandotsav

 Krishna Janamashtami is followed by a day full of pomp and joyous abandon where Nandotsav or Nanda Mahotsav is observed in various temples all over the country. In the morning after Janamashtami or navami, Bihariji continues to sit in the jagmohan showering his blessing and loving tenderness to all. Priests and devotees distribute sweets, fruits, clothes, toys, utensils and coins as part of the celebrations. Devotional songs congratulating Nand Baba on the birth of Krishna are delightedly sung in unison.Everybody feels that the dark-hued Krishna has been born today and revels with enthused exultation.


  Footprints of Child Krishna

The ladies of the house mark the entrance of their homes with rice paste so as to form small feet of infants. They are always made pointing towards the house which is believed to mark the entry of child Krishna to their abodes and bring prosperity along with happiness.

28th August, 2016: Jaya Ekadashi


 Raja Harishchandra & Rani Taramati

 Aja Ekadashi falls on the eleventh day of Krishna Paksha in the month of Bhadrapada (August – September).

As the legend goes once there lived a great King known for his truthfulness and popular as Satya Harishchandra. The King was passing through difficult times and sought shelter of the great Shri Gautam Maharshi.The sage asked the king to keep the fast of Aja Ekadsi with utmost devotion.

King Harishchandra observed the fast of Ananda Ekadasi. Soon after, he got back his wife, son and kingdom which he had lost in the past. Above all, the King ruled the kingdom happily and went back to God.

29th August,2016: Som Pradosh Vrata




Lord Shiva

All Mondays of Shravan are dear to the gods, especially Shiva. On every Monday of this month, devotees throng to Shiva temples throughout India to worship the sacred Shivalingam.

Pradosh means dusk and this fast is kept on the 13th day of each lunar fortnight for propitiating Lord Shiva. With His blessings all desires are fulfilled and one attains spiritual enlightenment. It is said that on this day all gods and goddesses assemble at Mount Kailash to worship Lord Shiva.