Bilvamangala Thakura’s Pure Devotion

Bilvamangala Thakura’s Pure Devotion

“Śrī Bilvamaṅgala Thākur has said, ‘If I am engaged in devotional service unto You, my dear Lord, then very easily can I perceive Your presence everywhere. And as far as liberation is concerned, I think liberation stands at my door with folded hands waiting to serve me.’ To pure devotees, therefore, liberation and spiritual emancipation are not very important things.” (Nectar of Devotion, Chapter 3)

“Everything has some value, and one has to pay the value before obtaining or possessing it. It is stated in the Vedic literature that to purchase the most valuable thing, Kṛṣṇa consciousness, one has to develop intense eagerness for achieving success. This intense eagerness is very nicely expressed by Bilvamaṅgala Thākur in his book Kṛṣṇa-karṇāmṛta. He says, ‘I am eagerly waiting to see that boy of Vṛndāvana whose bodily beauty is captivating the whole universe, whose eyes are always bounded by black eyebrows and expanded like lotus petals, who is always eagerly glancing over His devotees and therefore moving slightly here and there. His eyes are always moist, and His lips are colored like copper, and through those lips there comes a sound vibration which drives one madder than a mad elephant. I want so much to see Him at Vṛndāvana!’ “ (Nectar of Devotion, Chapter 18)

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Appearance of Lord Vamanadeva

Today marks the Appearance of Lord Vamanadeva. We have posted the summaries of the 18th – 22nd chapters from the eight canto of the Srimad-Bhagavatam, which briefly describes the pastimes of Lord Vamanadeva and Bali Maharaja.

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam
by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Canto Eight, Chapter 18-22, Summaries

Chapter Eighteen

Lord Vāmanadeva, the Dwarf Incarnation

This chapter describes how Lord Vāmanadeva appeared and how He went to the sacrificial arena of Mahārāja Bali, who received Him well and fulfilled His desire by offering Him benedictions.

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Janmastami Celebration of the Birth of Lord Krishna

Joyous Celebration at Krishna’s Birth

Today we celebrate the birth of Lord Krsna, or Krishna Janmastami, with a full day fast and a feast after his appearance at Midnight tonight. We honor this auspicious day with a post from the Krsna Book.

The joyous vibrations at Krsna’s birth ceremony could be heard in all the pasturing grounds and houses.

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KRSNA, The Supreme Personality of Godhead
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Chapter 5, Meeting of Nanda and Vasudeva

Although Kṛṣṇa was the real son of Vasudeva and Devakī, because of Kaṁsa’s atrocious activities Vasudeva could not enjoy the birth ceremony of his son. But Nanda Mahārāja, the foster father, celebrated the birth ceremony of Kṛṣṇa very joyfully. The next day, it was declared that a male child was born of Yaśodā. According to Vedic custom, Nanda Mahārāja called for learned astrologers and brāhmaṇas to perform the birth ceremony. After the birth of a child, the astrologers calculate the moment of the birth and make a horoscope of the child’s future life. Another ceremony takes place after the birth of the child: the family members take baths, cleanse themselves and decorate themselves with ornaments and garlands; then they come before the child and the astrologer to hear of the future life of the child. Nanda Mahārāja and other members of the family dressed and sat down in front of the birthplace. All the brāhmaṇas who were assembled there on this occasion chanted auspicious mantras, according to the rituals, while the astrologers performed the birth ceremony. All the demigods are also worshiped on this occasion, as well as the forefathers of the family. Nanda Mahārāja distributed 200,000 well decorated, dressed and ornamented cows to the brāhmaṇas. He not only gave cows in charity, but hills of grains, decorated with golden-bordered garments and many ornaments.

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Govinda

The Radha Krsna Temple Album

The verses 30 and 32 from the Brahma-samita are sung in the morning Srngara Arati in all ISKCON temples, while the first track of the 1970 album “Radha Krsna Temple” is played. Srila Prabhupada enjoyed this track very much and was so moved that he said that this track will play at all ISKCON temples for the Srngara Arati. As a result, no one ever leads kirtan for this song, as it is played through that track.

Govinda
The Radha Krsna Temple Album
Sung by Yamuna devi
Produced by George Harrison

venum kvanantam aravinda-dalāyatāksam-
barhāvatamsam asitāmbuda-sundarāngam
kandarpa-koti-kamaniya-viśesa-śobham
govindam ādi-purusam tam aham bhajāmi

veṇum—the flute; kvaṇantam—playing; aravinda-dala—(like) lotus petals; āyata—blooming; akṣam—whose eyes; barha—a peacock’s feather; avataṁsam—whose ornament on the head; asita-ambuda—(tinged with the hue of) blue clouds; sundara—beautiful; aṅgam—whose figure; kandarpa—of Cupids; koṭi—millions; kamanīya—charming; viśeṣa—unique; śobham—whose loveliness; govindam—Govinda; ādi-puruṣam—the original person; tam—Him; aham—I; bhajāmi—worship.

I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, who is adept in playing on His flute, with blooming eyes like lotus petals with head decked with peacock’s feather, with the figure of beauty tinged with the hue of blue clouds, and His unique loveliness charming millions of Cupids.

angāni yasya sakalendriya-vrtti-manti
paśyanti pānti kalayanti ciram jaganti
ānanda-cinmaya-sad-ujjvala-vigrahasya
govindam ādi-purusam tam aham bhajāmi

aṅgāni—the limbs; yasya—of whom; sakala-indriya—of all the organs; vṛtti-manti—possessing the functions; paśyanti—see; pānti—maintain; kalayanti—manifest; ciram—eternally,; jaganti—the universes; ānanda—bliss; cit—truth; maya—full of; sat—substantiality; ujjvala—full of dazzling splendor; vigrahasya—whose form; govindam—Govinda; ādi-puruṣam—the original person; tam—Him; aham—I; bhajāmi—worship.

I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, whose transcendental form is full of bliss, truth, substantiality and is thus full of the most dazzling splendor. Each of the limbs of that transcendental figure possesses in Himself, the full-fledged functions of all the organs, and eternally sees, maintains and manifests the infinite universes, both spiritual and mundane.

Apple Records; The Radha Krsna Temple

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Vṛndāvana Bhajana

Prabhupada Damodara

Written by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami in 1958,
Published December of that Year in Gauḍīya Patrika,
The Magazine of the Gauḍīya Vedānta Samiti.

Verse 1.

I am sitting alone in Vṛndāvana-dhāma
In this mood I am getting many realizations.
I have my wife, sons, daughters, grandsons, everything,
But I have no money so they are a fruitless glory.
Kṛṣṇa has shown me the naked form of material nature,
By his strength it has all become tasteless to me today.
yasyāham anugṛhṇāmi hariṣye tad-dhanaṁ śanaiḥ
“I gradually take away all the wealth of those upon whom I am merciful.”
How was I able to understand this mercy of the All-merciful?

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Sri Bhagavan

Krishna France

I still remember very clearly when I opened the book Raja-Vida by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, back in the early 70’s and read the first page…and Srila Prabhupada described very simply the definition of God…

śrī bhagavān uvāca

idaṁ tu te guhyatamaṁ
pravakṣyāmy anasūyave
jñānaṁ vijñāna-sahitaṁ
yaj jñātvā mokṣyase ’śubhāt

“The Supreme Lord said: My dear Arjuna, because you are never envious of Me, I shall impart to you this most secret wisdom, knowing which you shall be relieved of the miseries of material existence.” (Bg. 9.1)

The opening words of the Ninth Chapter of Bhagavad-gītā indicate that the Supreme Godhead is speaking. Here Śrī Kṛṣṇa is referred to as Bhagavān. Bhaga means opulences, and vān means one who possesses. We have some conception of God, but in the Vedic literature there are definite descriptions and definitions of what is meant by God, and what is meant is described in one word—Bhagavān. Bhagavān possesses all opulences, the totality of knowledge, wealth, power, beauty, fame and renunciation. When we find someone who possesses these opulences in full, we are to know that he is God. There are many rich, wise, famous, beautiful and powerful men, but no one man can claim to possess all of these opulences. Only Kṛṣṇa claims to possess them in totality. (Raja-Vidya, Chapter One)

This was my first real introduction to Krishna Consciousness, and it was enough to convince me that Krishna was God. And that Srila Prabhupada was my spiritual master.

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