Dissapearance day of Jayananda Thakur

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)

Pilgrimage to Ahovalam

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.

Ahovalam—Revisited

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.

Continue reading

Bhava; Transcendental Love

Radha Krishna Bhava

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.

Continue reading

The Lotus Feet of Lord Nityananda

Today we honor the Appearance Day of Lord Nityananda. It is advised that devotees observe a half day fast, and meditate on some of the glories of Lord Nityananda. We share with you this nice song “Nitai-pada-kamala” by Narottama das Thakur.

Nitai-Pada-Kamala
The Lotus Feet of Lord Nityananda
By Srila Narottama dasa Thakura
Purport By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

nitai-pada-kamala, koti-chandra-susitala,
je chayay jagatu juray
heno nitai bine bhai, radha-krsna paite nai,
dridha kori’ dharo nitair pay

The lotus feet of Sri Nityananda are as cool as millions of moons. The whole universe gets peace by the shade of those lotus feet. Without the mercy of Sri Nityananda, nobody can get Radha and Krishna, the aim of human life. Therefore, catch hold of the two lotus feet of Sri Nityananda Prabhu very tightly.

se sambandha nahi ja’r, britha janma gelo ta’r,
se pashu bodo durachara
nitai na bolilo mukhe, majilo samsara-sukhe,
vidya-kule ki koribe tara

One who has not established a relationship with Sri Nityananda is a two-legged animal. A great beast! His whole life is finished. He cannot be called a human being. He never utters the name of Sri Nityananda. He is always immersed in enjoying material happiness and has forgotten Sri Nitai. He may have acquired all material scholarship and learning, but what is the value of such education? This will never help.

ahankare matta hoiya, nitai-pada pasariya,
asatyere satya kori mani
nitaiyer karuna habe, braje radha-krsna pabe,
dharo nitai-charana du’khani

They are so puffed up with their mundane education and scholarship. They are never humble at all. They have forgotten the lotus feet of Sri Nitai because of their false ego and pride. They are completely under the clutches of Maya. They accept the untruth as truth. If Sri Nityananda showers His mercy upon someone, he will get Sri Sri Radha Krishna in Vrajabhumi. So catch hold of the two lotus feet of Lord Nityananda very tightly.

nitaiyer carana satya, tanhara sevaka nitya,
nitai-pada sada koro asha
narottama bodo dukhi, nitai more koro sukhi,
rakho ranga-charanera pasha

The lotus feet of Sri Nityananda are eternally true. And those followers or servants of those lotus feet of Sri Nityananda are also eternal. Always aspire for the lotus feet of Sri Nityananda. Srila Narottama dasa Thakura says, “I am very distressed, and an unhappy person. I am drowning in this dreadful ocean of material exis­tence. O Sri Nityananda Prabhu, please make me very happy! Please keep me at Your lotus feet.”

Purport by Srila Prabhupada

Continue reading

Appearance Day of Lord Varaha

So today we celebrate the second incarnation of Krsna, Lord Varaha, with a verse from the Srimad Bhagavatam.

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam
by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda

Kṛṣṇa Is the Source of All Incarnations

First Canto, Chapter Three, Text 7

dvitīyaṁ tu bhavāyāsya
rasātala-gatāṁ mahīm
uddhariṣyann upādatta
yajñeśaḥ saukaraṁ vapuḥ

dvitīyam—the second; tu—but; bhavāya—for the welfare; asya—of this earth; rasātala—of the lowest region; gatām—having gone; mahīm—the earth; uddhariṣyan—lifting; upādatta—established; yajñeśaḥ—the proprietor or the supreme enjoyer; saukaram—hoggish; vapuḥ—incarnation.

TRANSLATION

The supreme enjoyer of all sacrifices accepted the incarnation of a boar [the second incarnation], and for the welfare of the earth He lifted the earth from the nether regions of the universe.

PURPORT

The indication is that for each and every incarnation of the Personality of Godhead, the particular function executed is also mentioned. There cannot be any incarnation without a particular function, and such functions are always extraordinary. They are impossible for any living being to perform. The incarnation of the boar was to take the earth out of Pluto’s region of filthy matter. Picking up something from a filthy place is done by a boar, and the all-powerful Personality of Godhead displayed this wonder to the asuras, who had hidden the earth in such a filthy place. There is nothing impossible for the Personality of Godhead, and although He played the part of a boar, by the devotees He is worshiped, staying always in transcendence.

Appearance Day of Advaita Acarya

Today we honor the appearance day of Sri Advaita Acarya with a half day fast and readings from the Sri Caitanya-caritmrta

Advaita Ācārya was a contemporary of Lord Caitanya’s father. He felt sorry for the condition of the world because even after Lord Kṛṣṇa’s appearance, no one had interest in devotional service to Kṛṣṇa. This forgetfulness was so overwhelming that Advaita Prabhu was convinced that no one but Lord Kṛṣṇa Himself could enlighten people about devotional service to the Supreme Lord. Therefore Advaita requested Lord Kṛṣṇa to appear as Lord Caitanya. Offering tulasī leaves and Ganges water, He cried for the Lord’s appearance. The Lord, being satisfied by His pure devotees, descends to satisfy them. As such, being pleased by Advaita Ācārya, Lord Caitanya appeared. ( from introduction to Adi-lila chapter 3)

Continue reading

Topanga Canyon Pyramid House Talks


This is an older conversation that took place many years ago at the Pyramid House with some of the senior devotees to discuss Srila Prabhupada’s finial instructions on initiation. Very interesting!

Topanga Canyon Pyramid House Talks
Tamal Krishna talks about Srila Prabhupadas Ritvik instruction

In late 1980 Tamal Krishna Goswami and Hansadutta Swami were travelling around ISKCON, having been suspended as gurus and GBC’s by the GBC body for activities unacceptable to them, such as demanding that his godbrothers must approach Srila Prabhupada through him. They had been relieved of their zones. TKG called for an open discussion at Nrsinghananda’s Pyramid House in Topanga Canyon, CA. on December 3, 1980. Hansadutta, Dhira Krishna, Kirtiraja, Jayadwaita and others were present, and the talk was recorded. Below are some of the interesting statements made therein, where Tamal Krishna frankly admits, that Srila Prabhupada never appointed any gurus.”

Tamal Krsna Goswami: Actually, Prabhupada never appointed any gurus. He didn’t appoint eleven gurus. He appointed eleven ritviks. He never appointed them gurus. Myself and the other GBC have done the greatest disservice to this movement the last three years (32 now) because we interpreted the appointment of ritviks as the appointment of gurus.

Continue reading