Today is Lord Nityananda’s appearance day, we honor it with a half day fast, followed by a feast at noon. We also like to read and remember the glories or Sri Nityananda who donned the role of Lord Chaitanya’s principal associate for spreading the chanting of the holy names of Lord Krishna in the form of Harinama-sankirtana.
Narottama Dasa Thakura, one of the acharyas in the Gaudiya Vaishnava Sampradaya writes in glorification of the Lord that one will get the soothing moonlight of millions of moons when one takes shelter of Lord Nityananda’s lotus feet. If one really wants to enter into the dancing party of Radha-Krishna, he must firmly catch hold of His lotus feet.
In the age of Kali-yuga, Lord Krishna advents in this material world as Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu along with Balarama appearing as Lord Nityananda. Lord Nityananda is also known as Nitai, Nityananda Prabhu and Nityananda Rama. He donned the role of Lord Chaitanya’s principal associate for spreading the chanting of the holy names of Lord Krishna in the form of Harinama-sankirtana. He distributed the mercy of Lord Krishna to all the fallen, materially conditioned souls of this age by congregational chanting of the Lord’s holy names. According to the teachings of the acharyas, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu cannot be approached or understood without taking shelter of Nityananda Prabhu, who is the original guru of all the universes. He serves as an intermediary between Lord Chaitanya and His devotees. He is the second body of the Lord, manifesting as Balarama to Sri Krishna, Lakshmana to Sri Rama and Nityananda to Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
The word yoga has become very popular in todays vocabulary, but we understand from the Bhagavad-gita the real definition of the word, and its ultimate goal.
A yogī is greater than the ascetic, greater than the empiricist and greater than the fruitive worker. Therefore, O Arjuna, in all circumstances, be a yogī. (Bg. 6.46)
And of all yogīs, he who always abides in Me with great faith, worshiping Me in transcendental loving service, is most intimately united with Me in yoga and is the highest of all. (Bg. 6.47)
When we speak of yoga we refer to linking up our consciousness with the Supreme Absolute Truth. Such a process is named differently by various practitioners in terms of the particular method adopted. When the linking up process is predominantly in fruitive activities, it is called karma-yoga, when it is predominantly empirical, it is called jñāna-yoga, and when it is predominantly in a devotional relationship with the Supreme Lord, it is called bhakti-yoga. Bhakti-yoga or Kṛṣṇa consciousness is the ultimate perfection of all yogas (from purport to Bg. 6.46)
The culmination of all kinds of yoga practices lies in bhakti-yoga. All other yogas are but means to come to the point of bhakti in bhakti-yoga. Yoga actually means bhakti-yoga; all other yogas are progressions toward the destination of bhakti-yoga. From the beginning of karma-yoga to the end of bhakti-yoga is a long way to self-realization. Karma-yoga, without fruitive results, is the beginning of this path. When karma-yoga increases in knowledge and renunciation, the stage is called jñāna-yoga. When jñāna-yoga increases in meditation on the Supersoul by different physical processes, and the mind is on Him, it is called aṣṭāṅga-yoga. And, when one surpasses the aṣṭāṅga-yoga and comes to the point of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Kṛṣṇa, it is called bhakti-yoga, the culmination. Factually, bhakti-yoga is the ultimate goal (from purport to Bg. 6.47)
Today, being Monday, and the start of another workday week, I wanted to focus my mind, not on all the work ahead, but rather, on some Krishna Nectar from Srila Prabhupada’s Srimad Bhagavatam. We share with you a few of Srila Prabhupada’s divine ecstasies. As we mentioned is a previous post, there are two kṛṣṇa-kathās; narrations spoken by Kṛṣṇa, and narrations spoken about Kṛṣṇa. Please note text 5 & 6 which is spoken by Krsna.
…devotees who have accepted the essence of life, are attached to Kṛṣṇa in the core of their hearts, and He is the aim of their lives. It is their nature to talk only of Kṛṣṇa at every moment, as if such topics were newer and newer.
Like the whorl of a lotus flower surrounded by its petals and leaves, Kṛṣṇa sat in the center, encircled by lines of His friends, who all looked very beautiful. Every one of them was trying to look forward toward Kṛṣṇa, thinking that Kṛṣṇa might look toward him. In this way they all enjoyed their lunch in the forest.
Among the cowherd boys, some placed their lunch on flowers, some on leaves, fruits, or bunches of leaves, some actually in their baskets, some on the bark of trees and some on rocks. This is what the children imagined to be their plates as they ate their lunch.
Srimad Bhagavatam By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada Canto 10, Chapter 13, Text 1-12
Located between Govardhan and Radha Kund in Vrindavan, Mathura, Kusum Sarovar is a beautiful reservoir fringed by palatial sandstone building from the bygone era. The reservoir has a flight of stairs which can be used to descend in the pond. The sarovar is believed to have got its name from one of the girl attendants of Radha, named Kusum. The water is ideal for swimming and dips. Kusum Sarovar also has several temples and ashrams in the vicinity.
Filled with emerald green water, Kusum Sarovar dates back to the era of Radha and Krishna. The pond is bordered on all sides by forest containing flowers like beli, chameli, juhi, yuthi, mallika and campaka. It is believed that Krishna would collect flowers and make garlands for Radha here. Pilgrims from all over the country visit the lake to explore the magnificent structures that surround the Sarovar, the beautiful paintings depicting the life of Krishna and his pastimes and the temple dedicated to Grijraja in there. The Kusum Sarovar is perfect for quiet evening outings where one can spend a complete evening watching the sunset while resting under the Kadamb tree under which Krishna would play and hide mischievously.
This beautiful place is located about one-and-a-half miles south-west of Sri Radha Kunda. It is also known as Sumana Sarovara due to the beautiful forest that surrounded the lake formerly.
The Divine Couple Radha and Krishna performed many pastimes here.
This morning as I was heating up some hot milk to offer, I was reminded of something Srila Prabhupada said about drinking milk; ‘that we should drink milk “sipping hot” this will help develop the finer brain cells needed to understand spiritual subject matter’
I don’t have anything against vegans, rather I respect their endeavor to not promote violence against animals by refraining, but we are getting our milk from protected cows, and I view milk as one of the many gifts from God. Milk, yogurt, butter, ghee, and paneer (cheese curd), have all been used for thousands of years in Vedic cooking. And Krishna is also known as Makhan Chor (the butter thief) and is very fond of eating butter and yogurt, and is something that is offered daily in all the ISKCON temples
…Milk is compared to nectar, which one can drink to become immortal. Of course, simply drinking milk will not make one immortal, but it can increase the duration of one’s life. In modern civilization, men do not think milk to be important, and therefore they do not live very long. Although in this age men can live up to one hundred years, their duration of life is reduced because they do not drink large quantities of milk. This is a sign of Kali-yuga. In Kali-yuga, instead of drinking milk, people prefer to slaughter an animal and eat its flesh.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead, in His instructions of Bhagavad-gītā, advises go-rakṣya, which means cow protection. The cow should be protected, milk should be drawn from the cows, and this milk should be prepared in various ways. One should take ample milk, and thus one can prolong one’s life, develop his brain, execute devotional service, and ultimately attain the favor of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. As it is essential to get food grains and water by digging the earth, it is also essential to give protection to the cows and take nectarean milk from their milk bags. (purport to SB 8.6.12)
This morning we share with you this nice Study Guide on the Bhagavad-gita As It Is. It begins with the Introduction to the Bhagavad-gita, some notes on the Original Edition, the significance of the Bhagavad-gita, a philosophical synopsis, chapter by chapter summary, Q & A, and a suguested teaching syllabus. All in all ,a very nice presentation prepared by disciples and followers of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.
We are offing it here as a free pdf download that you can view, save or print, by clicking on the following link:
I just love this picture of Krishna. It is on my desktop computer so I see it every morning when I turn on my computer, and I always pause for a moment, to just gaze at the beautiful face of the Lord. We have included some nice verses which describe the Beauty of Krishna.
“O my Lord, the transcendental body of Krishna is very sweet, and His face is even sweeter than His body. The soft smile on His face, which is like the fragrance of honey, is sweeter still.” (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta: Madhya, 21.136)
“My dear friend, if you are indeed attached to your worldly friends, do not look at the smiling face of Lord Govinda as He stands on the bank of the Yamunā at Keśīghāṭa. Casting sidelong glances, He places His flute to His lips, which seem like newly blossomed twigs. His transcendental body, bending in three places, appears very bright in the moonlight.” (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta: Adi-lila 5.224)