Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Overcoming Obstacles

bhakti utsahit das: hare krishna prabhu !

bhakta sanga prarthi das: hare krishna prabhu ! I was just looking for some devotee association.

bud: oh! jai! you are so pure that you always seek devotee association.

bspd: Krishna bada dayamaya, Krishna is very merciful. He fulfilled my desire by sending you.

bud: How is sadhana going on ?

bspd: Goes up & down. My situation is precarious as I have no devotee association. :(

bud: oh! That is a reason for concern. Indeed devotee association helps us keep determined.
bspd: Yes! Had I had devotee association, I would have been up there in my sadhna chart.

bud: Jai! I am sure Krishna will inspire you. Do you read Srila Prabhupada books regularly?

bspd: Prabhu keeps fluctuating as I have no devotee association.

bud: But I heard there is a temple in your city and lot of devotee association is available

bspd: It's too far. Moreover I don't have devotee association to keep me enthused and accompany me.

bud: Hmmm... You may read Srila Prabhupada buks at home & hear lectures. These activities give a lot of enthusiasm.

bspd: But prabhu, you know naa... without devotee association it is so difficult to continue these things. I wish I had devotee association. I would be diving deep in the ocean of bhakti.

bud: I have heard from senior vaishnavas that when one gets devotee association,one should safely assume, Krishna is pleased.

bspd: What do you mean? Krishna is not pleased with me...?

bud: Not like that. But you can please him more by chanting more.Like. How many rounds are you chanting?

bspd: What to say? No devotee associaiton naa....

bud (fearing the worst): Prabhu, pls do not avoid the question. Pls tell me honestly.

bspd: Zero. :(

bud: Oh!


This is a real conversation that happened between two devotees. Bhakta Sanga Prarthi Das' dependence on devotee association may be very heartening at the surface, but deep down the mite of pride is at work. The pride of being perfect, but not able to act perfectly due to circumstances (external) caused by Krishna.

To be fair, Bhakta Sanga Prabhu is quite new to this process of devotional service and this fault can be accorded to his innocense rather than any demoniac intentional desire to ignore Krishna's mercy.

A particular situation forced me into contemplation and I realised myself stuck in the same web. May be a different set of complexities. But nonetheless somewhere in the little corner of my heart I was hoping for Krishna to work, without putting the much needed effort myself. Guilty as charged. Perhaps even now I am not completely rid of that sentiment.

For ease of my own understanding I thought that the first step to overcome any obstacle is:


Accepting our fallen position. Accepting that our heart is full of anarthas, pride of being a high class devotee being the foremost. Accepting that it is our own doing that we have landed in this position, where progressing in spiritual life is a big challenge.


The extent of Krishna's mercy is unlimited. Understanding that Krishna has been causelessly merciful on us. That he has given us all the instruments to come out of our quagmire - Srila Prabhupada's shelter (Guru Maharaja's shelter), Srila Prabhupada books & devotee association. The weapons are enough to wage a war against our enemies.

The Sri Shikshashtakam v2 perfectly describes this sentiment.

nāmnām akāri bahudhā nija-sarva-śaktis
tatrārpitā niyamitaḥ smaraṇe na kālaḥ
etādṛśī tava kṛpā bhagavan mamāpi
durdaivam īdṛśam ihājani nānurāgah

O my Lord, Your holy name alone can render all benediction to living beings, and thus You have hundreds and millions of names like Krishna and Govinda. In these transcendental names You have invested all Your transcendental energies. There are not even hard and fast rules for chanting these names. O my Lord, out of kindness You enable us to easily approach You by chanting Your holy names, but I am so unfortunate that I have no attraction for them.

The verse says that Krishna has left no stone unturned to facilitate our success. That it is our own Misfortune that we are not able to encash on Krishna's freely available mercy. This Acceptance & Acknowledgement naturally leads to HUMILITY. A natural progression to the above verse in Shikshashtakam that emulates Humility

tṛṇād api sunīcena
taror api sahiṣṇunā
amāninā mānadena
kīrtanīyaḥ sadā harih

One should chant the holy name of the Lord in a humble state of mind, thinking oneself lower than the straw in the street; one should be more tolerant than a tree, devoid of all sense of false prestige, and ready to offer all respect to others. In such a state of mind one can chant the holy name of the Lord constantly.

This is the humility that Great vaishnava Acharyas are also reflecting in their Songs. These songs are full of transcendental sentiments of utter humility. Especially Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur's songs. Such as
Gopinath mama nivedan suno, ami visayi durjana...
Amar jivan sada paperata, nahi ko punyera lesha....
and others.

This very humility leads us to kirtaniya sada harih..incessant chanting of the holy names of Lord Hari.

But Acharyas do not leave it at this. They recommend us something. What is that ? Rupa Goswami's Nectar of Instruction verse 3. lists the six items which help us advance in Krishna Consciousness. This includes the final step we can take to overcome the obstacles.

3. ACT

utsāhān niścayād dhairyāt
sańga-tyāgāt sato vṛtteḥ
ṣaḍbhir bhaktiḥ prasidhyati

There are six principles favorable to the execution of pure devotional service: (1) being enthusiastic, (2) endeavoring with confidence, (3) being patient, (4) acting according to regulative principles (such as śravaṇaḿ kīrtanaḿ viṣṇoḥ smaraṇam [SB 7.5.23] — hearing, chanting and remembering Kṛṣṇa), (5) abandoning the association of nondevotees, and (6) following in the footsteps of the previous ācāryas. These six principles undoubtedly assure the complete success of pure devotional service.
Again Bhakti Vinoda Thakur's Sarnagati teaches us the six limbs of Surrender are as important:

atyanta durlabha prema koribare dana
sikhaya saranagati bhakatera prana

dainya, atma-nivedana, goptrtve varana
'avasya raksibe krsna - visvasa, palana
 bhakti-anukula-matra karyera svikara
bhakti-pratkula-bhava varjanangikara

sad-anga saranagati hoibe jahara
tahara prarthana sune sri-nanda-kumara

"In order to freely distribute the gift of ecstatic love of God, which is very difficult to obtain, He taught the path of saranagati, devotional surrender to the Supreme Lord. This saranagati is the indispensable necessity of the true devotees.

"The six ways of surrender through saranagati are humility, dedication of the self, acceptance of the Lord as one's maintainer, the consciousness that Krishna will surely protect me, execution of only those acts favorable to pure devotion, and renunciation of conduct adverse to pure devotion.

"Sri Nanda Kumar, the youthful son of Nanda Maharaja, hears the prayers of anyone who takes refuge in Him by this six fold practice of surrender.

So Let us Act as per the instructions of the Spiritual Master, Acharyas, Devotees and try our best, simultaneously accepting our precarious condition & acknoldging Krishna's unending mercy. The Prince of Vrindavan, the son of Nanda maharaja, will surely send a smiling glance towards us.

Friday, October 05, 2012

Back 2 Blogging

After a hiatus of almost 2 years, I am planning to start blogging again. Due to multiple reasons, the desire to blog had subsided. But now Krishna is again inspiring me to write.

Begging blessings from Vaishnavas, Guru & Krishna to be free from pretense, pride, malice & hatred and only write as an expression of my gratitude towards Krishna & his devotees.

Guru Maharaja's Lecture

This post was sitting in my drafts for over 2 years. Perhaps, I had uploaded the pics and was wanting to write a few lines about the lecture Guru Maharaja had given when these pics were taken. One pic reminds me that it was in December about Bhagavad Gita Marathon as he is seen handing out the sponsored Gitas to one of the Temple Visitors.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Glories of Kartik

“One of the most important of these ceremonial functions is called Urja-vrata. Urja-vrata is observed in the month of Karttika (October-November); especially in Vrndavana, there is a specific program for temple worship of the Lord in His Damodara form. “Damodara” refers to Krsna’s being bound with rope by His mother, Yasoda. It is said that just as Lord Damodara is very dear to His devotees, so the month known as Damodara or Karttika is also very dear to them.

“The execution of devotional service during Urja-vrata in the month of Karttika is especially recommended to be performed at Mathura. This system is still followed by many devotees. They go to Mathura or Vrndavana and stay there during the month of Karttika specifically to perform devotional services during this period. In the Padma Purana it is said, “The Lord may offer liberation or material happiness to a devotee, but after some devotional service has been executed, particularly in Mathura during the month of Karttika, the devotees want only to attain pure devotional service unto the Lord.” The purport is that the Lord does not award devotional service to ordinary persons who are not serious about it. But even such unserious persons who execute devotional service according to the regulative principles during the month of Karttika, and within the jurisdiction of Mathura in India, are very easily awarded the Lord’s personal service.” (Srila Prabhupada in NOD chap. 12)

durlabho bhakti-yogo me mama vasya-vidhayakah
karttike mathurayam ca vratenanena labhyate
“Pure devotional service to Me which, because it places Me under My devotee’s dominion, is very difficult to attain, is easily attained by following this vow in Mathura during Karttika.”

“To they who worship Krishna in Vrindavan, the Lord gives them their original spiritual forms. The perfect atonement to purify the sins of a lifetime is to worship Lord Damodara in Vrindavan during Kartik. The month of Kartik spent in Vrindavan brings the supreme destination.” -Srila Rupa Goswami, Mathura Mahatyam

“In the month of Kartik, which is very dear to Sri Hari, one who bathes early in the morning attains the merit of bathing in all places of pilgrimage. Anybody who offers the Lord a ghee lamp in the month of Kartik, O brahmana, becomes free from all kinds of sins, such as killing a brahmana, and he goes to the abode of Lord Hari.” (Brahma Khanda).

As Satya-yuga is the best of yugas, as the Vedas are the best of scriptures, as Ganga is the best of rivers, so Karttika is the best of months, the most dear to Lord Krsna - Skanda Purana

“Suta Goswami says, “If anyone fasts and observes the Kartik-vrata according to the rules and regulations, the Yamadutas, the messengers of Yamaraja, run away from him, just as an elephant runs away by seeing a lion. This dear fast [vrata] of Lord Vishnu is even better than performing one hundred great sacrifices that would take him to heaven because the person who observes the Kartik-vrata goes to the spiritual world.” (Padma Purana)

“Although one can easily reach Mathura [Vraja Mandala] on this earth, and although Kartik month is easily observable, and although in the month of Kartik all of the places of pilgrimage, oceans, rivers, and lakes come to the Mathura area, still, those human beings who are foolish and suffering in the ocean of material existence do not take advantage of it.” (Padma Purana)

Kartik is the best, the purest of purifiers, and most glorious of all months. Kartik month is particularly dear to Lord Sri Krsna. This month is full of bhakta vatsalya. Any vrata, even the smallest, will yield huge results. The effect of performing a Kartik Vrata lasts for one hundred lifetimes, whereas ordinary vratas only last for one lifetime! Srimati Radhika is the presiding deity of the holy month of Kartik. Rupa Goswami and others refer to Radharani as Kartik Devi; in other words, Radhika is the goddess or presiding Deity of the Kartik Vrata. - Padma Purana. : quoted by Srila Sanatana Goswami in his Hari-Bhakti Vilasa

Specifically in the month of Damodara, one should daily worship Lord Damodara and take bath early in the morning, give charity and follow a fasting vow. This is the duty of Vaisnavas. - (HARI BHAKTI VILASA 16/3 from SKANDA PURANA)

Oh son Narada, those brahmanas who do not give charity in the month of Karttika, perform sacrifice, chant japa and fast for Lord Hari are the lowest of mankind. - (HARI BHAKTI VILASA 16/25 from SKANDA PURANA)

There is no other month equal to Karttika and there is no other yuga equal to Krta-yuga. There is no other scripture equal to Vedas. There is no other place of pilgrimage equal to Ganges, therefore, the month of Karttika is very dear to the Vaisnavas (people dedicated to Visnu). - (HARI BHAKTI VILASA 16/39,40 from SKANDA PURANA)

Oh great sage, after giving up all varieties of religious functions, one should follow Karttika fast and listen to the narrations of Lord Sri Hari before His Deity form. - (HARI BHAKTI VILASA 16/76 from SKANDA PURANA Lord Brahma speaks to Narada Muni)

One rat (female mouse) had once burnt a ghee lamp which was offered by someone else on Ekadasi day. By doing so, she achieved a rarely achievable human form and at last attained the topmost destination. - (HARI BHAKTI VILASA 16/129 from SKANDA PURANA)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Most auspicious month of the year.......

The auspicious Month of Kartik, more popular as the Month of Damodara, is here once again heralding the spiritually enlivening ‘Festival of Lights’.
Mother Yasoda bound little mischievous Krishna with ropes to the grinding mortar for having stolen butter and thus He came to be known as Damodara. The significance is in that the Lord of the Universe can be bound only by the rope of pure love.

The Kartik Month is the period when the enchantingly beautiful child Krishna starts playing this sweet pastime of stealing butter.

During thus Damodara month, devotees will get the opportunity to personally offer Arati to Lord Damodara with ghee lamps and sing the very enchanting ‘Damorashtakam’, to receive the special mercy of the Lord.

"In the month of Kartika one should worship Lord Damodara and daily recite the prayer known as Damodarashtaka, which has been spoken by the sage Satyavrata and which attracts Lord Damodara."

(Sri Hari-bhakti-vilasa 2.16.198)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Janmashtmi 2010 @ ISKCON, East of Kailash, Delhi

2 September 2010

Mangala Darsan

Sringaar Darshan


Home Altar @ Janmashmi

The pics are not very clear. Altar decorated by HG Ajatshatru Prabhu and HG Madhurya Kadambini Devi Dasi.
Lord's dress kindly gifted by HG Avyanga prabhu.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Radha Parthasarathi Jhulan Yatra

Following are the pics of each day of the 5-day long Jhulan Yatra celebrated in Sri Sri Radha Parthasarathi Mandir, ISKCON Delhi.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Golden Times

Guru Maharaja with Srila Prabhupada

Came across this picture in Facebook. A glimpse of the older times, the golden times.

Sri Sri Radha Parthasarathi's Swing Pastimes

20 Aug 2010

Yes! For the first time in history of Sri Sri Radha Parthasarathi Mandir, Their Lordships chose to sit down on a swing for the pleasure of their devotees.

It was an unbelievable sight for the non-believers and a pleasing and awe-inspiring sight for the devotees when their Lordships Sri Sri Radha Parthasarathi appeared to give audience to the eagerly awaiting devotees. The two were nicely sitting on an installed swing. And I am not talking about the Utsava deities but the Acala Sri Vigrahas of the Lord and his Consort.

more pictures soon.....