Today is Parsva Ekadasi (fast from grains and beans) and also a fast till noon for appearance of Lord Vamanadeva. His appearance is tomorrow but the fast is today so that the Edadasi Break fast can take place between 6:54 – 8:37 tomorrow. With His appearance day in mind, as we are fasting today, we offer in Honor of Lord Vamanadeva, a select verse from the Srimad Bhagavatam, and a chapter summary. Hare Krishna!
Srimad-Bhagavatam By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada Canto One, Chapter 19, Text 19
pañcadaśam—the fifteenth in the line; vāmanakam—the dwarf brāhmaṇa; kṛtvā—by assumption of; agāt—went; adhvaram—arena of sacrifice; baleḥ—of King Bali; pada-trayam—three steps only; yācamānaḥ—begging; pratyāditsuḥ—willing at heart to return; tri-piṣṭapam—the kingdom of the three planetary systems.
In the fifteenth incarnation, the Lord assumed the form of a dwarf-brāhmaṇa [Vāmana] and visited the arena of sacrifice arranged by Mahārāja Bali. Although at heart He was willing to regain the kingdom of the three planetary systems, He simply asked for a donation of three steps of land.
The Almighty God can bestow upon anyone the kingdom of the universe from a very small beginning, and similarly, He can take away the kingdom of the universe on the plea of begging a small piece of land.
The following is a chapter summary from Srimad Bhagavatam, eight canto, chapter 18, entitled “Lord Vāmanadeva, the Dwarf Incarnation”, describing the Lord’s appearance and activities.
My wife shared this with me, it was a post on Facebook, that she found interesting.
Letter by Srila Prabhupada
16 June, 1969 New Vrindaban
My Dear Arundhati
“Regarding your question about offering Prasadam, whatever is offered to the Deity actually it goes through the Spiritual Master. The Spiritual Master offers to Lord Caitanya, and Lord Caitanya offers it to Krishna. Then Radha Krishna eats, or Jagannatha eats, then Caitanya Mahaprabhu eats, then the Spiritual Master eats, and it becomes Mahaprasadam. So when you offer something, you think like that and chant the Gayatri mantra, and then everything is complete. At last, ring the bell, take out the plate and wipe the place where the plate was kept.”
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda appeared in this world in 1896 in Calcutta, India. He first met his spiritual master, Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Gosvāmī, in Calcutta in 1922. Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī, a prominent religious scholar and the founder of sixty-four Gauḍīya Maṭhas (Vedic institutes), liked this educated young man and convinced him to dedicate his life to teaching Vedic knowledge. Śrīla Prabhupāda became his student, and eleven years later (1933) at Allahabad he became his formally initiated disciple.
At their first meeting, in 1922, Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura requested Śrīla Prabhupāda to broadcast Vedic knowledge through the English language. In the years that followed, Śrīla Prabhupāda wrote a commentary on the Bhagavad-gītā, assisted the Gauḍīya Maṭha in its work and, in 1944, without assistance, started an English fortnightly magazine, edited it, typed the manuscripts and checked the galley proofs. He even distributed the individual copies and struggled to maintain the publication. Once begun, the magazine never stopped; it is now being continued by his disciples in the West and is published in nineteen languages.
Today, being Janmastami, we thought we should include a lecture given by Srila Prabhupada on Janmastami. The following lecture given on August 16, 1968, in Montreal Canada, is very sweet and reminiscent of how this society grew in a very personal and organic way. With Srila Prabhupada inviting his students and guests to speak on their realizations of Krsna, and Krsna Consciousness.
…So today is that auspicious day, Janmāṣṭamī, when Lord Kṛṣṇa appeared five thousand years ago in India, Mathurā. Those who are Indian ladies and gentlemen present, they know very well where is Mathurā. It is about ninety miles south of New Delhi. Mathurā is still existing and it is eternally existing. Kṛṣṇa appeared in Mathurā in His maternal uncle’s house in a very precarious condition. That birthplace, Lord Kṛṣṇa’s birthplace, is now maintained very nicely. One who goes to India, they see.
So anyway, Lord Kṛṣṇa appeared on this planet five thousand years ago. Now Kṛṣṇa says, janma karma me divyam [Bg. 4.9]. Divyam means “not ordinary.” It should not be understood just like we take our birth. Kṛṣṇa does not take his birth like us.
…So we shall invite today to speak about Kṛṣṇa from our students, as well as all the members who are present here. So I shall request Janārdana to speak something about his realization of Kṛṣṇa. (pause) All right. Let him speak.
There seems to be an ongoing debate over Veganism vs. Vegetarianism amongst devotees. Even in communities like New Vrindaban, where the cow is being protected, and there is an ample supply of fresh whole milk.
I happened to run across this comment by Mahananda dasa on Facebook and decided to share part of it with you today.
Milk… Krsna’s Miracle Gift To Mankind
EDITORIAL, Jul 27, 2000 — by Mahananda dasa
“The protection of cows maintains the most miraculous form of food, i. e., milk for maintaining the finer tissues of the brain for understanding higher aims of life. ” Srila Prabhupada
In response to the article written a few days ago about the harmful affects of drinking milk, I would like to present our view of milk drinking that we have accepted from our spiritual master.
Despite the evils of modern dairies and the cruel methods of obtaining milk from the mother cows, or despite the unwanted chemicals that store bought milk might introduce into your body and cause ill effects, still, we do not condemn drinking milk nor support veganism as part of our philosophy.
Quite the contrary. The glories of drinking cow’s milk are everywhere in Srila Prabhupada’s books. And though this may cause some doubts in the minds of those who have embraced vegan-ism, we as devotees faithfully follow the advise of our teacher, though it is sometimes contrary to fads or scientific theory.
…Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī expressed to Her gopī friends how She hankers for the transcendental scent of Kṛṣṇa’s body. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu recited that same verse and made its meaning clear.
” ‘The scent of Kṛṣṇa’s transcendental body surpasses the aroma of musk and attracts the minds of all women. The eight lotuslike parts of His body distribute the fragrance of lotuses mixed with that of camphor. His body is anointed with aromatic substances like musk, camphor, sandalwood and aguru. O My dear friend, that Personality of Godhead, also known as the enchanter of Cupid, always increases the desire of My nostrils.’
“The scent of Kṛṣṇa’s body surpasses the fragrances of musk and the bluish lotus flower. Spreading throughout the fourteen worlds, it attracts everyone and makes the eyes of all women blind.
“My dear friend, the scent of Kṛṣṇa’s body enchants the entire world. It especially enters the nostrils of women and remains seated there. Thus it captures them and forcibly brings them to Kṛṣṇa.
“Kṛṣṇa’s eyes, navel and face, hands and feet are like eight lotus flowers on His body. From those eight lotuses emanates a fragrance like a mixture of camphor and lotus. That is the scent associated with His body.
“When sandalwood pulp with aguru, kuṅkuma and musk is mixed with camphor and spread on Kṛṣṇa’s body, it combines with Kṛṣṇa’s own original bodily perfume and seems to cover it.
This morning I was going through some files and came across this important verse from the Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila Chapter 22, text 100 describing the process of surrender. I always liked this verse because it describes the simple process of surrender; namely accepting things favorable to devotional service, rejecting things that are unfavorable to devotional service, and developing the faith that Krishna will give protection.“
’The six divisions of surrender are the acceptance of those things favorable to devotional service, the rejection of unfavorable things, the conviction that Kṛṣṇa will give protection, the acceptance of the Lord as one’s guardian or master, full self-surrender and humility.
One who is fully surrendered is qualified with the six following characteristics. (1) The devotee has to accept everything that is favorable for the rendering of transcendental loving service to the Lord. (2) He must reject everything unfavorable to the Lord’s service. This is also called renunciation. (3) A devotee must be firmly convinced that Kṛṣṇa will give him protection. No one else can actually give one protection, and being firmly convinced of this is called faith. (from purport)
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 demonlike 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.