Krishna is very pleased when we call on Him by His Names, which are associated with His devotees, qualities and pastimes. This song by Bhaktivinoda Thakura is composed of the Nanes of Krsna in different aspects. (from the Songs of the Vaisnava Acaryas)
Today also marks the appearance day of Srila Bhakrivinoda Thakura which we honor with a half day fast.
Śrī Nāma-kīrtana Chanting of the Holy Names by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura
Today marks the disappearance day of my dear friend and God Brother, Jayananda das Thakur.
My Dear Jayānanda
Please accept my blessings.
I am feeling very intensely your separation. In 1967 you joined me in San Francisco. You were driving my car and chanting Hare Krishna. You were the first man to give me some contribution ($5000) for printing my Bhagavad-gītā. After that, you have rendered very favorable service to Krishna in different ways. I so hope at the time of your death you were remembering Krishna and as such, you have been promoted to the eternal association of Krishna. If not, if you had any tinge of material desire, you have gone to the celestial kingdom to live with the demigods for many thousands of years and enjoy the most opulent life of material existence. From there you can promote yourself to the spiritual world. But even if one fails to promote himself to the spiritual world, at that time he comes down again on the surface of this globe and takes birth in a big family like a yogis’ or a brāhmaṇas’ or an aristocratic family, where there is again chance of reviving Krishna Consciousness. But as you were hearing Krishna-kirtana, I am sure that you were directly promoted to Kṛṣṇa-loka .(Srila Prabhupada Letter to: Jayānanda — Bombay 5 May, 1977)
I offer my respectful obeisances unto Lord Nṛsiṁhadeva, the source of all power. O my Lord who possesses nails and teeth just like thunderbolts, kindly vanquish our demon like desires for fruitive activity in this material world. Please appear in our hearts and drive away our ignorance so that by Your mercy we may become fearless in the struggle for existence in this material world.
I found this interesting, something my wife shared with methis morning, about the brain and intelligence.
…The conclusion is that it is the particular consciousness of an individual soul which acts. The brain substance is only an instrument which has nothing to do with real intelligence. The real intelligence, mind and consciousness are part of the particular individual soul.
…Therefore it is definitely concluded that the brain substance is not the center of intelligence; it is the consciousness of a particular soul that works intelligently. The whole movement of Kṛṣṇa consciousness is to purify the consciousness. It doesn’t matter what kind of brain one has because if he simply transfers his consciousness from matter to Kṛṣṇa, his life becomes successful. (from purport SB 4.7.5)
Years ago I remember reading this article in Back to Godhead Magazine, and thinking what a brave young man this was. Years later I meet Dhruva das and was very impressed with him, he was very genuine and devote. For some reason, I always remembered this article and planed to revisit again someday.
A young Krsna devotee sets off on a dangerous journey to ancient temples of his lifelong deity.
by Dhruva Dasa
In 1980 I was born to devotee parents in the large Hare Krsna community of New Vrindavan, West Virginia. From my infancy my parents brought me to the temple each day. Gradually, as a young child I grew attached to the large, fierce-looking deity of Krsna’s form as Lord Nrsimhadeva (Narasimha) and His foremost devotee, the boy-saint Prahlada. When I was six, Prahlada’s age, the priest allowed me to assist him in the temple worship of Lord Nrsimhadeva. Although the Lord looked frightening, I always felt protected when I stood before Him.
When I was sixteen my family visited India. I fell in love with the spiritual atmosphere there and decided to return as soon as possible. By the time I turned eighteen I had decided to make the journey on my own. I worked hard to save for the trip and agonized over my itinerary. India is so big—where should I go?
One day I visited the Hare Krsna temple in Miami. As I glanced over a large stack of old issues of Back to Godhead, a stray breeze blew open the top one to a full-page photo of Lord Nrsimhadeva. The picture seemed to beckon me. Reading the accompanying article, I was amazed to learn about a young sannyasi, Indradyumna Swami, who had made an incredible journey to Ahovalam, a remote South Indian holy place said to be the very spot where Lord Nrsimhadeva dispatched the evil Hiranyakasipu. His article inspired me so much that I set my mind then and there on making the difficult pilgrimage to Ahovalam.
Here is a new word for your Vaisnava Vocabulary: Bhāva. In the Glossary in the back of the Bhagavad-gita As It Is, 1972 Edition, the word Bhāva is defined as; the preliminary stage of transcendental love of Godhead. Bhāva is a big word and has various meanings
…The last stage of the devotional life is called bhāva, or transcendental love of Godhead.
“In the beginning one must have a preliminary desire for self-realization.…This taste leads one further forward to attachment for Kṛṣṇa consciousness, which is matured in bhāva, or the preliminary stage of transcendental love of God. Real love for God is called premā, the highest perfectional stage of life.” In the premā stage there is constant engagement in the transcendental loving service of the Lord. So, by the slow process of devotional service, under the guidance of the bona fide spiritual master, one can attain the highest stage, being freed from all material attachment, from the fearfulness of one’s individual spiritual personality, and from the frustrations resulting from void philosophy. Then one can ultimately attain to the abode of the Supreme Lord. (Bhagavad-gita 4.11)
So it seem that bhāva is not only the preliminary stage of transcendental love of Godhead but we find that this preliminary stage of transcendental love is also the path to the highest perfectional stage of life, pure love or premā. There are two ways to approach the Lord, one is with awe and reverence and the other is with affection; bhāva. One who approaches the Lord with affection, is sure to advance spiritually.
In the Srimad Bhagavatam we find many references to the word Bhāva and highlighted some of them here.
Today we are celebrating Śrī Rāma-Navamī, Lord Rāmacandra’s Appearance Day. We are honoring it with a fast until noon, followed by a nice vegetarian feast. We are including a lecture by Srila Prabhupada on the appearance of Lord Ramachandra
…So Rāmacandra’s life, God’s activities, pastimes, if we hear, that means we are associating with Rāmacandra. There is no difference between His form, His name, His pastimes, and Himself. He’s absolute. Therefore either you chant the holy name of Rāma or you see the statue of Rāma or you talk of His pastimes, transcendental pastimes, everything, that means you are associating with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. So we take advantage of these days when the incarnation of God appears or disappears, and we try to associate with Him. By His association we become purified. Our process is purification. Kṛṣṇa consciousness means simply we are purifying our consciousness. (Lecture by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada Recorded in Hawaii, March 27, 1969)
“As soon as I remember that you are trying to fullfill my desire of trying to open ten centers, it gives me renewed vigor and life. Please do it nicely. I have got confidence in you because Krishna has given you special talent for chanting Hare Krishna Mantra. When you were chanting in L.A. temple in the evenings, or in the mornings, I enjoyed your chanting so nicely that I thought myself immediately carried to Vaikuntha. So I am always thankful to you for your activities in announcing the interest of our mission. Thank you very much. Most probably when I return to L.A. I may call you back just to hear your chanting of Hare Krishna Mantra. I am very anxious to meet you also. “(Srila Prabhupada letter to “My Dear Son, Vishnujana Maharaj,” 4th April, 1971)