Vrndavana, Krsna’s Transcendental Abode

I always enjoy going back through our collection of Back to Godhead Magazines and re-reading some of the old articles. We share with you the original article with photos just as it appeared in BTG in 1974.

Vrndavana, Krsna’s Transcendental Abode

by Visakha-devi dasi

Ninety miles southeast of New Delhi, India, is a railway station known as Mathura. From Mathura, a bumpy seven-mile ride by horse-cart brings one to a unique town called Vrndavana. This simple village is unlike all other places in the world, for when Lord Krsna, the Supreme Godhead, comes to earth with His associates to display His pastimes, He comes only to Vrndavana. Indeed, Krsna never leaves Vrndavana-and, by His grace, pure devotees can appreciate the Lord’s presence in Vrndavana even today.

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THE ESSENCE OF EVERYTHING IS THE SUPREME LORD

Sometimes when I am sitting and reading from Srila Prabhupada’s Srimad Bhagavatam, a verse or sentence from the purport just jumps out from the page almost like it is in 3D, and I catch a glimpse of what the Spiritual World must be like. It is beyond even my imagination, but sometimes I catch a glimmer of light, through a transcendental window, by the grace of my spiritual master His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

…The transcendental abode of the Lord where the trees are all desire trees and the buildings are made of touchstone. The Lord Govinda is engaged there in herding the surabhi cows as His natural occupation.

“I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, the first progenitor who is tending the cows, yielding all desire, in abodes built with spiritual gems, surrounded by millions of purpose trees, always served with great reverence and affection by hundreds of thousands of lakṣmīs or gopīs.” (Bs 5.29)

…The Lord Govinda is engaged there in herding the surabhi cows as His natural occupation. And those who are artists, overtaken by the beautiful creation, should better see to the beautiful face of the Lord for complete satisfaction. The face of the Lord is the embodiment of beauty. What they call beautiful nature is but His smile, and what they call the sweet songs of the birds are but specimens of the whispering voice of the Lord.

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Month of Damodara: Kartik

Yesterday was the start of the month of Damodara, or as it is otherwise known, the month of Kartik.

Kartik, or the month of Damodar, is considered the best of months and is most auspicious for spiritual advancement. In the Skanda Purana it is stated:

“As Satya-yuga is the best of yugas, as the Vedas are the best of scriptures, as Ganga is the best of rivers, so Kartik is the best of months, the most dear to Lord Sri Krishna.”.

Also in the Skanda Purana it is stated:

“A person who offers a ghee lamp to Lord Krishna during Kartik burns away a collection of sins as big as Mt. Meru or Mt. Mandara, will not take birth again in this world and attains to the eternal spiritual realm where there is no suffering. Even if there are no mantras, no piety, and no purity, everything becomes perfect by such an offering.”

The Padma Purana describes the month of Kartik as Krishna’s favorite month. Devotional activities performed during this holy month are rewarded with greater spiritual results than usual so devotees often take vows to increase their spiritual practices or to simplify their material needs for the entire month. It is a way that they can remember Krishna more and increase their service to Him.

We sing the following song morning and evening and offer a ghee lamp.

Sri Damodarastakam
By Sri Satyavrata Muni
From the original 1974 “Songs of the Vaisnava Acaryas” songbook

This eight sloka prayer is sung morning and evening during the month of Damodara, which begins Friday Oct. 19, 2013

namāmīśvaraḿ sac-cid-ānanda-rūpaḿ
lasat-kuṇḍalaḿ gokule bhrājamanam
yaśodā-bhiyolūkhalād dhāvamānaḿ
parāmṛṣṭam atyantato drutya gopyā

1) To the supreme controller who possesses an eternal form of blissful knowledge, whose glistening earrings swing to and fro, who manifested Himself in Gokula, who stole the butter that the gopis kept hanging from the rafters of their storerooms and who then quickly jumped up and ran in retreat in fear of Mother Yasoda, but was ultimately caught-to that Supreme Lord, Sri Damodara, I offer my humble obeisances.

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His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda

His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda

Brief Biography

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.

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Janmastami

srila-prabhupada-2-2

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.

Full Lecture

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Jaya Radha-Madhava

I love all the “Songs of the Vaisnava Acaryas“, particularly the ones written by Bhaktivinoda Thakura. Śrīla Prabhupāda was also very fond of this song and sang it just before his lectures. We share it with you today.

Jaya Rādhā-Mādhava
by Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura

(jaya) rādhā-mādhava (jaya) kuñja-bihārī
(jaya) gopī-jana-vallabha (jaya) giri-vara-dhārī
(jaya) jaśodā-nandana, (jaya) braja-jana-rañjana,
(jaya) jāmuna-tīra-vana-cārī

Kṛṣṇa is the lover of Rādhā. He displays many amorous pastimes in the groves of Vṛndāvana, He is the lover of the cowherd maidens of Vraja, the holder of the great hill named Govardhana, the beloved son of mother Yaśodā, the delighter of the inhabitants of Vraja, and He wanders in the forests along the banks of the River Yamunā.

Śrīla Prabhupāda was very fond of this song and sang it just before his lectures. In Allahabad and Gorakhpur Śrīla Prabhupāda fell into a trance after singing the first two lines, and after some time he came back into external consciousness and said, “Now just chant Hare Kṛṣṇa.” Śrīla Prabhupāda said that this song is “a picture of Vṛndāvana. Everything is there—Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, Vṛndāvana, Govardhana, Yaśodā, and all the cowherd boys.

Om Namo Bhagavate Narasimhaya

In honor of the appearance day of Lord Nrsimha, we are posting a beautiful verse and purport from the Srimad Bhagavatam 5.18.8 glorifying the Lord and his devotees.

Om Namo Bhagavate Narasimhaya

oṁ namo bhagavate narasiṁhāya namas tejas-tejase āvir-āvirbhava
vajra-nakha vajra-daṁṣṭra karmāśayān randhaya randhaya tamo grasa
grasa oṁ svāhā; abhayam abhayam ātmani bhūyiṣṭhā oṁ kṣraum

TRANSLATION

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.

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Beautiful Krishna

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)

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Month of Damodara (Kartika)

mother-yasoda-krishna

” Upon seeing His mothers whipping stick, He cried and rubbed His eyes again and again with His two lotus hands. His eyes were fearful and His breathing quick, and as Mother Yasoda bound His belly with ropes, He shivered in fright and His pearl necklace shook. To this Supreme Lord, Sri Damodara, who is bound with His devotee’s love, I offer my humble obeisances.” (Damodarastakam)

We are now in the month of Damodara (Kartika). In honor and in celebration of the month of Damodara, we will be focusing our attention on the pastimes of Krishna in Vrndavan. Especially Krishna’s childhood pastimes. The following song is sung morning and evening and it is customary to offer a candle or gee lamp as well to a picture of Lord Krsna and Mother Yasoda.

Following song lyrics is a link of Vishnujana Swami chanting the Damodara Prayers

Full song

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