Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

The method of chanting the holy name involves deliberating on the meaning of the syllables along with sincerely crying for the Lord. Success in any yoga system involving mantra meditation depends on remembering the meaning of the mantras being chanted. Patanjali stresses this point in the in the Yoga-sutra 1.28: “The sacred word Om connotes Isvara (Supreme Controller). One should chant japa of Om along with understanding its meaning (tad-japas tad-artha bhāvanam). Vyasadeva, the first commentator on the Yoga-sutra, says:

“The yogi who fully understands the relation between the word and the meaning must constantly repeat it, and habituate the mind to the manifestation therein of its meaning. The mind of the yogi who constantly repeats Om, and habituates the mind to the constant manifestation of the idea it carries, becomes one-pointed (ekagrata).”

For yogis of devotion, achieving the state of ekagatra, or one-pointedness of the mind, means to become absorbed in the transcendental sound of Kṛṣṇa’s holy name.

In Nāma Bhajana, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura tells how to become absorbed in chanting japa: “While chanting the name you should continuously remember Kṛṣṇa’s spiritual characteristics, and also explain the meaning of the name to your mind. While recollecting the meaning and form of the name you should pray to Kṛṣṇa with a piteous cry.

“This practice will attract the mercy of Kṛṣṇa, and lead you

forward on the path of devotion. The repeated remembrance of the meaning of the holy name will gradually purify the heart of all material contamination. Then the name will appear in person before the spiritual eyes of the devotee. When the svarūpa (personal form) of the name fully appears, it is identical with the blissful form of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa. The appearance of the svarūpa of the name is the appearance of the svarūpa of Lord Kṛṣṇa.

“The more clearly and purely that the name is visible, the more one’s bhajana will proceed in the presence of Kṛṣṇa’s svarūpa. At this stage of chanting the holy name, the three modes of nature quickly disappear, and Kṛṣṇa’s spiritual qualities (guṇa) appear in the heart of the devotee. While doing bhajana, if the devotee can see the happy union of the name, form and qualities (nāma, rūpa, guṇas) of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, then by the grace of the Lord he will see the pastimes of Śrī Kṛṣṇa within his heart.” (Nama-bhajana)

The practice of remembering the meaning of the mantra with affection is also mentioned in Hari-bhakti-vilasa:

manaḥ saṁharaṇaṁ śaucaṁ maunaṁ mantrārtha-cintanam
avyagratvam anirvedo japa-sampatti-hetavaḥ (33)

To be attentive, purification of the heart is required. This means keeping silence and avoiding unfavorable talking. While chanting, one must affectionately remember the meaning of the mantra. Steadiness, patience, and attachment to chanting are all treasures of chanting.

An excerpt from the book Art of Chanting

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das


Purusottama month or adhika masa (extra month) is also called mala masa, which means the dirty or useless month. In India, the sadhus, sadhakas and pious people of all sampradayas undertake serious penances (vratas) during Purusottama Month. Now let us examine the name, history, benefits and method of practice of this age old “King of All Vratas” or month long penances.

WHY IS IT CALLED MALA MASA? (dirty or useless month)

This is because all forms of karmic activities i.e. karma-kanda (reward seeking) pujas and yagnas will not produce any results this month. Therefore, it is a useless month. Gaudiya Vaisnavas say the dirt or filth indicated by the word mala refers to the fact that devotional activities performed in this month quickly and easily destroy the mental dirt, filth and contamination caused by sins, ignorance and aparadhas. Thus for Krishna bhaktas this is the most purifying and beneficial month.


It is called adhika (extra) masa because Sri Krishna has placed not only extra but ALL HIS potencies, mercy and blessings in this month, which supercharges this month beyond all others. Thus a sadhaka will receive extra or more results from any religious actions performed.


The Puranas say that Purusottama Month is the favorite month of Bhagavan Sri Krishna. Sri Krishna personally created this month and named it after Himself. Purusottama Month, which only comes once every 36 months, is the most powerful spiritual reward giving month among all the months.

It is far superior to the pious months of Magha, Vaisakha and Karttika. On the earth planet and all over the universe the Purusottama Month is honored and worshiped by devotees, sages, gods and Laksmi Devi Herself.


Different months of the year have different ista-devatas, worshipable Personalities. But for Adhika Month, Radha-Krishna Yugala are the ista-devatas. If one sincerely worships Radha and Krishna in Purusottama month, he will attain whatever he wants. Observing the Purusottama vrata burns up the reactions of all one’s bad karma and gives the direct service of Radha and Krishna.

Purusottama month is the best month to make spiritual advancement because Krishna overlooks all aparadhas. Residence in the holy dhama in this month yields 1000 times the benefit of living elsewhere!!! We invite all the fortunate to quickly book a room in Radha Kunda or Vrindavana to worship Radha-Krishna Yugala in the prema giving holy abode of Sri Vrindavana Dhama.

Come and join the thousands of pilgrims doing dandavat parikrama of Giri-Govardhana this month!!! Giriraj Dharan ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!


All quotes come from the Padma and Skanda Purana.

1. Bhagavan Sri Krishna: “Purusottama Month has all the power I have to bless its observer. One who follows Purusottama vrata will destroy all his past sinful reactions. Without performing Purusottama vrata, one cannot perform pure devotional service.

The value of Purusottama month is far more valuable than all other types of austerities and religious activities mentioned in the Vedas. Anyone who observes Purusottama vrata will go to My abode, Goloka, at the end of his life.”

2. Durvasa Muni: “One becomes sinless just by bathing in a holy river during Purusottama Month. The glory of all other months is not equal to one-sixteenth of the glory of the Purusottama Month. Bathing in a holy place, giving charity and chanting the Holy Names of Krishna during Purusottama Month destroys all miseries, awards all kinds of perfection and fulfills all desires.”

3. Valmiki Muni: “Observing Purusottama vrata brings more benefit than performing one hundred horse sacrifices. All holy places live within the body of an observer of the Purusottama Month vrata. Anyone who faithfully performs Purusottama vrata will go to Goloka Vrndavana”.

4. Narada Muni: “Purusottama Month is the best of all months, vratas and austerities. Just by faithfully hearing the glories of Purusottama Month, one attains Krishna-bhakti and immediately nullifies his sinful reactions. One who performs Purusottama vrata properly will attain unlimited piety and spiritual merit (sukrti) and go to the spiritual world.”

5. Naimisaranya Sages: “Merciful Purusottama Month acts like a desire tree to fulfill a devotee’s desire.”


General points: Observe celibacy and bathe daily before sunrise; chant extra rounds and read Srimad Bhagavatam daily; give charity.

1. Rise at brahma-muhurta (1½ hours before sunrise), and jump out of bed chanting “Jaya Radhe!”

2. Chant Hare Krishna Mahamantra and meditate on Radha-Krishna’s beautiful divine forms, qualities, and ecstatically purifying and heart stirring transcendental pastimes in Sridhama Vrndavana. Daily chant fixed number extra rounds for entire month: 4, 8, 12, 16, 20, 24, 32, 64, 108, 192 (always multiples of four rounds).

3. Observe the Vrata in Vrndavana, Navadvipa or any holy dhama to experience the maximum benefits and bliss.

4. Daily offer full puja or at least a ghee lamp to Radha-Krishna Deities or picture. Offer a row of 33 individual clay ghee lamps daily, or at least for one auspicious day this month e.g. (ekadasi, sankranti, purnima etc). 

5. Daily Tulasi Devi aratika and parikrama.

6. Daily Thakuraji Mandira parikrama (4 times).

7. Daily offer roses, lotus, and tulasi manjaris and 100,000 Tulasi leaves (or as many as you can) to Radha-Krishna Deities or photos and paintings.

8. Daily read Srimad Bhagavatam.

9. Hear Radha-Krishna Katha from advanced Gaudiya Vaisnavas.

10. Daily chant Sri Jagannathastakam (because this vrata is named after and often performed in Purusottma Ksetra Jagannatha Puri Dhama. Also chant astakams, prayers and bhajans glorfying Radha-Krishna Yugala.

11. Take a vow to remain peaceful and 100% truthful throughout the month.

12. Be careful not to blaspheme any devotees, brahmanas, saints, cows, sastras or especially anyone observing the Purusottama Month Vrata.

13. Don’t ask anyone for anything; be satisfied with whatever you have, and don’t endeavor to acquire any material thing during this month.

14. Try your best to please Radha and Krishna by performing devotional austerities according to your abilities. Don’t break your vow in the middle of the month. Be determined, pray intently for mercy and tolerate your crazy monkey mind. Take a vow, at least for this month, to remain deaf to your mind.

15. Eat on leaf plates sitting on the floor (optional).

16. No cutting of hair or nails (optional).

17. No cooking in oil or rubbing oil on your body.

18. Don’t eat mustard oil nor rub on the body.

Diets: Be your own guide and choose an eating program that is realistic within your means. The main vrata and austerity is to everyday Krishna consciously associate with serious devotees in Vrndavana who are glorifying Radha-Krishna

************If you can, it is best to EAT ONCE A DAY after sunset or at noon the following diets:

i) only milk; ii) only fruits (no milk, no veg.); iii) no grains (selected veg., fruits, nuts, milk); iv) selected foods (all categories as per caturmasya standards).

A NICE HUMILITY VRATA: Daily offer 33 dandavats to Bhagavan Sri Krishna and/or the Vaisnavas.


Observe 30 days of concentrated, one–pointed worship and service to Radha-Govinda Yugala by hearing, chanting, remembering Their divine names, forms, qualities, pastimes, and honor Sri Krishna’s Mahaprasada.


Ekadasi, Dvadasi, Purnima, Amavasya, Sravana Naksatra Day; DO offer money, gold, cloth, shoes, fruits, etc. Also offer 33 plantains or mangos plus dana and dakshina to Brahmanas and Vaisnavas.

Very Important Point: When you give dana (i.e. diff. items like cloth, land, gold, cows, books, sweets, flowers, clothing, shoes, umbrellas) to a brahmana, one must simultaneously donate dakshina (i.e. money equal to the monetary value of the dana). For example, if give a 300 rupees pair of new shoes, then must give 300 rupees in laksmi or money to that same person.


1. Day and Time: consult local calendar.

2. Bathe in brahma-muhurta time

3. Perform Deity Worship: Radha-Syamasundara Deities, personal Deities or Picture.

4. Chant this mantra: “O Supreme Lord, O Sanatana, O Purusottama, O Lord Hari! I offer my obeisances unto you. May you and your beloved Radhika, please accept my offerings. I offer my repeated obeisances unto Syamasundara, who wears effulgent yellow garments on His beautiful body.

5. Offer pushpanjali (handfuls of fresh fragrant flowers or petals) and then dandavats to your personal Deities or Deity Picture.

6. Feed and give charity to 3, 5, 7, 9, 11 brahmanas/ Vaisnavas to the best of your ability (e.g., new clothes, two pairs of shoes, umbrella, ghee, yogurt, gumsas, sweets, lotas, plates. Also donate money equal to cost of given item (ie If give Rp. 300 box of sweets, then also give Rp. 300.

***According to Puranas, the best charity is to give a Srimad Bhagavatam to a qualified grhastha vaisnava brahmana. This act will deliver all your ancestors to the spiritual world and award them the association of Lord Purusottama!***


If you ate fruits, ghee, rice, wheat etc., donate the same to brahmanas.

If you slept on the floor, give a bed and pillows to a brahmana.

If you ate on a leaf plate, feed brahmanas with ghee and sugar.

If you didn’t cut nails or hair, donate a mirror to a brahmana.

If you offered ghee lamps, give new lamps and pots to a brahmana

***If you broke any rules or regulations during Purusottama vrata, feed different sweet juices to brahmanas.

***Mahadeva Lord Siva says that the best charity is to: “Fill a bell metal pot with thirty malpuas (a pancake like sweet), bind the pot with seven new threads and give to a worthy brahmana.”

Comment: many humble niskincana Vaisnavas have no money or sufficient wealth to donate substantially to brahmanas. But according to your means, donate some laksmi or a new object to a qualified person, begging for his mercy and blessings. And in your mind, (manasi-seva), you can sincerely donate generously to many good devotees.

Remember that shastras say, bhava grahi janardana, Bhagavan Sri Krishna is pleased with the purity and sincerity of one’s attitude, mood of love and purity of purpose. Try your best to break your vow by donating something within your means.

May Giridhari Syama bless you all with full success in your Purusottama Month Vrata, being performed solely for the divine pleasure of Sri Guru, Gauranga and Sri Sri Radha and Krishna.

Purusottama month vrata ki jai!

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

The River Ganga appeared in this world in the most auspicious month of Vaishakha on the day of shukla akshaya tritiya (May). Some say Ganga appears in Jyestha month on Ganga Dusshera. There is a story describing how once Maa Ganga’s rising waters threatened to engulf Jahnu Rishi’s ashrama, so he swallowed her. Then after some time, on Vaishakha sukla saptami, the rishi released Ganga from his ear or thigh according to some Puranas. Thus, this saptami day is the day that the Jahnavi Ganga appeared. On these two days, we encourage all devotees to remember, pray to, bathe and worship the sweet kind mother of all sacred rivers. Gange! Gange! Gange! Ki jai!

We can also read and meditate on the wonderful statements below gloryifying Maa Ganga, which are taken from our book Appreciating Navadvipa Dhama:

Lord Kṛṣṇa told Uddhava in the Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 11.16.20, “Among sacred and flowing things, I am the holy Ganges.”

Vṛndāvana Dāsa Ṭhākura says, “Kṛṣṇa is always present wherever these four things are found: the Śrīmad Bhāgavatam, Tulasī, Gaṅgā, and His devotees. The Deity form of the Lord may be worshiped only after doing the prāṇa-pratiṣtha ceremony [installation]. However, the Vedas say that these other four forms are the Supreme Lord Himself from the moment they appear in this world.” (Caitanya Bhagavata Madhya 21.81)

The Agni Purāṇa describes the personified form of Gaṅgā Devī as being white in color, riding on a makara [a variety of fish], and holding a pot and lotus in her hands. “In Gaura-līlā, the Ganges River appeared as the daughter of Lord Nityānanda named Gaṅgā Devī.” (Gaura Ganodesa Dipika)

Śrī Kavi Karnapura glorifies Gaṅgā Devī in his Caitanya-carita mahākavya: “Flooding Lord Śiva’s matted hair shining with the reflection of the crescent moon; pure with the touch of the Supreme Personality of Godhead’s lotus feet; beautiful, sweet, manifesting the supreme abode; restless, transcendental, eternal, flowing with pure waters; drying up the ocean of repeated birth and death though she herself is liquid; glorious, holding the transcendental form of Lord Kṛṣṇa in her embrace; destroying material illusion even though her course is winding; filled with playful waves, and bearing the fragrance of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; that sacred River Ganges, the famous river of the celestial world, is now flowing on earth, beautifying the transcendental land of Navadvīpa.”

“Seeing the fortune of the Yamunā in participating in Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes, the Gaṅgā did penance to become an associate of the Lord’s līlā. Bestowing His mercy, Kṛṣṇa appeared before Gaṅgā Devī and said, ‘In the form of Gaurāṅga I will perform pastimes with you.’ ” (NDM)

Lord Caitanya regularly bathed in the Ganges to satisfy her desire to embrace Him and serve His transcendental pastimes. As the topmost śikṣā-guru, Lord Caitanya would respectfully offer daṇḍavats to the Gaṅgā before entering. Lord Gaurāṅga purified the Gaṅgā by playing in her waters, and made her equal to the Yamunā which forever flows with vraja-prema.

Whenever Lord Caitanya bathed in the Gaṅgā, He behaved in a frolicsome manner with His devotees. They would engage in all sorts of games like splashing each other with handfuls of water. Loud shouts of “Hari bol!” would accent their sporting.

“Viśvambhara enjoyed Himself by swimming, diving, floating, playing games, and splashing water on His friends. The Lord would sometimes spend six hours playing in the Gaṅga.” (Caitanya Bhagavata)

“Once Garuḍa, Lord Viṣṇu’s giant eagle carrier, picked up a large snake when he was searching for food. While Garuḍa was flying over the Ganges, that snake’s tail happened to touch Gaṅgā’s sacred waters. Due to touching the Gaṅgā, the snake immediately attained a four-armed form resembling the residents of Vaikuṇṭha. Seeing this, Garuḍa then placed that glorious personality on his back, and personally carried him to Vaikuṇṭha.” (MD)

“A person who touches the Ganges attains an eternal spiritual form.” (Nārada Purāṇa)

“Sins perish just by remembering Gaṅgā, or even by merely looking at her. Very heinous sins perish by chanting her name. Hosts of great sins are exhausted by taking a daily bath in the Gaṅgā, by drinking her water, and by offering oblations into her waters. As cotton is immediately burned by fire, sins are destroyed in a moment by the touch of her waters.” (Padma Purāṇa) Gaṅgā Mayi ki jai!

“One who fasts, bathes in the Gaṅgā on Gaura Pūrṇima, and worships Lord Gaurāṅga will cross over the material ocean of birth and death along with one thousand of his ancestors, and attain Goloka after death.” (NDM)

“Puṇḍarika Vidyānidhi always drank Gaṅgā water before worshiping the Lord. By this he taught the proud scholars about the greatness of Mother Gaṅgā.” (Caitanya Bhagavata)

Western devotees often sit on the banks of the Gaṅgā, and cover their bodies with mud before bathing in Gaṅgā’s nectarean waters. Besides being beneficial for health, this playful practice purifies the soul. “He who smears the mud from the banks of the Gaṅgā on his head and body will get the lustre and glow of the demigods like Sūrya. The Ganges water can wash off all sins.” (Mahābhārata)

“Anyone who puts clay from the bank of Gaṅgā on his head or smears his body with it becomes free from all sins, even without bathing in Gaṅgā. He who chants the word ‘Gaṅgā, Gaṅgā’ even from a distance of hundreds of yojanas from Gaṅgā is freed from all sins and goes to Vaikuṇṭha.” (Padma Purāṇa)

“One becomes purified of sins by seeing, touching, or drinking the Gaṅgā.” (Agni Purāṇa)

“Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, ‘The great glory of the Ganges is that she teaches the chanting of Lord Kṛṣṇa’s holy names. The breezes from the Gaṅgā blow here. That is why I hear Lord Kṛṣṇa’s glories.’ Eager to see the Gaṅgā, Lord Caitanya walked swiftly. Accompanied by Lord Nityānanda, Lord Gaurāṅga happily dove into the Gaṅgā while chanting, ‘Gaṅgā! Gaṅgā!’

“Lord Caitanya continued, ‘Your splendid transcendental water is the embodiment of ecstatic love. Anyone who once hears your name attains genuine devotion to Lord Viṣṇu. How much greater than is a person who drinks your waters. By your mercy people chant the name “Kṛṣṇa!” There is no other reason for this. A bird, dog, jackal, worm or insect who lives on your bank becomes fortunate. You came to this world to rescue fallen souls. No one is your equal.’ Anyone who hears Lord Caitanya’s prayers glorifying Gaṅgā Devī will find love for Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya in his heart.” (Caitanya Bhagavata Antya 1.106-123)

“Śrī Gaurāṅga Mahāprabhu is like a golden mountain emanating the jewels of the highest form of Kṛṣṇa-prema. Gaurāṅga wanders here and there distributing His mercy to the afflicted. Known as Viśvambhara, the maintainer of the universe, He flooded the universe with a Ganges river of tears, flowing from His eyes in waves of love of Godhead.” (SNV)

“Lord Nityānanda said, ‘Service to the Gaṅgā breaks offenses to pieces.’ Śrī Gaurāṅga Mahāprabhu said, ‘By the power of bathing in the Gaṅgā, and chanting the holy name of Lord Hari Prabhu people attain devotional service to the Lord.’ ’’ (Caitanya Bhagavata)

“Lord Gaurāṅga felt morose and wondered why He could not attain the happiness of ecstatic love, even after chanting and dancing for a long time. Advaita Ᾱcārya, however, was clapping His hands and joyfully dancing. Thinking that He was completely devoid of Kṛṣṇa-prema, Gaurāṅga jumped in the Gaṅgā to drown Himself. Grabbing Gaurāṅga’s hair and feet, Nityānanda and Haridāsa saved Him.

“Lord Caitanya said, ‘Why should I stay alive if there is no ecstatic love for Kṛṣṇa in My life? Why did you two rescue Me?’ ’’ (Caitanya Bhagavata)

Mahanidhi Swami

A human being is very, very fortunate if he has taken diksha or initiation from a genuine wisdom teacher or illuminator, commonly known as guru. Nowadays, however, when people hear the word “guru”, they immediately think, “O some cheater, charlatan or debauchee in the disguise of a “holy man”.

This negative attitude toward the “guru” is due the influence of Kali, and the many exposures of extremely debased and degraded characters claiming to be the Absolute or representatives of the same.
On his own, a seeker on the path of enlightenment will face many obstacles and challenges created by his karmic inheritance, the environment, and other living entities. The opposition to self-realization appears before one in many forms i.e. lust, anger, greed, illusion, envy, pride, fear, lamentation, desire, mental distraction, violence, sleep, and the three modes of nature (ignorance, passion and goodness).

Alone—how will one ever conquer all these seemingly invincible foes? The secret is the power and blessings of a real guru. And thankfully, the sincere can find a properly qualified guru with the help of the sacred scriptures. The definition, symptoms and qualities of the true guru, along with his powers and activities have been extensively described in the Vedas, Puranas and Upanisads. One must read these, and then choose the right guru based on intelligent discrimination according to the dictates of scriptures.

Regarding the obstacles, in the Srimad Bhagavatam (7.15.22-15), Sri Narada Muni suggests different means to conquer the problems we mentioned above, and here’s the list.

  1. Lust: DETERMINATION not to enjoy, asankalpa jayet kamam.
  2. Anger: RENOUNCE desire, krodham kama vivarjanat.
  3. Greed: CONSIDERATION the trouble wealth brings, artha anartha ikshaya lobham.
  4. Fear: TRUTH and be established in it, bhayam tattva avamarshana.
  5. Lamentation & Illusion: METAPHYSICAL KNOWLEDGE, anvikshikya shoka moha.
  6. Pride: SERVICE to great devotee, dambham mahad upasaya.
  7. Mental Distraction: SILENCE, yoga antarayan maunena.
  8. Violence: RENOUNCE desire to enjoy, himsam kama adi anihaya.
  9. Suffering from others: COMPASSION express it to other living entities, krpaya bhutajam duhkham.
  10. Suffering from environment: CONCENTRATION on God, daivam jahyat samadhina
  11. Suffering from own body & mind: YOGA asana & pranayama, atmajam yoga viryena.
  12. Sleep: GOODNESS, cultivate it along with light eating, nidram sattva nishevaya.
  13. Passion & Ignorance: GOODNESS increased to prominence, rajas tamasa ca sattvena.
  14. Goodness: TRANSCENDENCE of all modes by full detachment, sattvam ca pashamena.

Although Narada Muni mercifully mentions the means to overcome these different impediments, the means themselves are also very difficult to execute. However, to show even more mercy to us, Narada Muni mentions one way to immediately conquer every single obstacle.

He says, “All these obstacles are quickly and easily conquered by guru bhakti or devotion to the wisdom teacher, etat sarvam gurau bhaktya, purusho hy anjasa jayet!”

Just see the incredible power and blessings of the true Guru! All these supremely insurmountable problems can be “easily” defeated by love, bhakti.

They say that love conquers all. But in this case, it is love for Sri Guru (guru bhakti) which enables one to conquer and transcend all material difficulties and attain the spiritual realm. Guru bhakti means fondly remembering Sri Guru, imbibing his spiritual teachings and following them, serving him, and trying one’s best to be a perfect disciple and a perfect devotee of Sri Krishna.

So if one is fortunate to have a real guru in his life, he should always remain thankful and grateful, loyal, surrendered and above all always “Love Your Guru”!

Samasti Gurus ki jai! Sri Guru ki jai! Srila Prabhupada ki jai!

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Swami


Srila Prabhupada:

“The first principle of practicing bhakti-yoga is hearing. And as you become experienced in hearing, then you become a preacher—Kirtanam.” (700312BG.LA)

“Only one who has properly grasped the transcendental knowledge from the right source by submissive hearing can properly explain the subject.” (SB 1.1.6)

Disciple: “Srila Prabhupada, “I preached good arguments and philosophy to him, but he did not accept. So I told him just chant the Hare Krishna Maha Mantra.”

Srila Prabhupada: “No, hearing is the first [practice]. Give him a chance for hearing.” (730811rc.par)

“Hearing is the first step in God realization. Thus, if we can simply convince these big men to hear, then gradually they will come to the point of accepting [Krishna consciousness].” (73-02-21 letter to mukunda)


Srimad Bhagavatam (11.3.48) says, “You should worship Sri Krishna in the particular personal form of Krishna that you find most attractive.” Commenting on this Sri Jiva Goswamipada says, “In the same way, one should AGAIN AND AGAIN HEAR DESCRIPTONS of the form of Krishna that one finds most attractive. (Bk.San. 262)

In other words, follow your taste and attraction. If you have a natural liking and curiosity for philosophy, then spiritualize it by reading Gita. If you like amazing stories with a message then read the immaculate and transcendental Srimad Bhagavatam.

And if you are crazy about Radha-Krishna, then read Srila Prabhupada’s KRSNA BOOK and other books like Govinda Lilamrita, Krishna Bhavanamrita, Krishnanika Kaumudi, Ananda Vrindavana Champu, Bhavana Sara Sangraha and many others per your adhikara.


Sri Jiva Goswamipada:

“As far as hearing about Krishna, hearing Srimad Bhagavatam is the best since its words are most powerful and it is the tastiest. (Bk. San. 260)

Srila Prabhupada:

“Hearing of the Bhagavad-gita and, later on, Srimad Bhagavatam is essential for the serious candidate who wants to attain the stage of perfection at the end.” (SB 1.9.43)

“Hearing is the first experience [of Sri Krishna]. If you want to get experience of the planet where Krishna lives, then you have to hear. There is no other way.” (661012BG.NY.)


Srila Prabhupada:

“Patient and submissive hearing is definitely essential. With great respect and attention, one should receive the message and lessons imparted by the Srimad Bhagavatam.” (SB 1.1.3)


Bhagavan Sri Krishna:

“Brahmaji, one should regularly hear the Srimad Bhagavatam with faith. Hearing the Bhagavatam is the only means of satisfying Me.” (SB Mahatyam 5)

Srila Prabhupada:

“Without hearing, nobody can understand the science of God.” (lec montreal 16/8/68)

“By the hearing process, one can realize the presence of the Lord in the temple Deity. Thus hearing is the essential point!” (SB 2.3.21)

This is our last quotation about hearing as the primary limb of devotion. For those readers who are still a little attached to their material comfort zones, we suggest you don’t read any further.

What follows are the confessions and realizations of the greatest lover of Bhagavan Sri Krishna, namely Srimati Radharani. Sri Radhika lovingly spoke this in the state of divine delirium (divyonmada mahabhava) while feeling the bitter pain of separation from Her beloved Shyama, who had gone to Mathura—never to return. This verse appears in the famous “Bhramara Gita” of the Srimad Bhagavatam (10.47).

Srimati Radharani:

“To hear about the pastimes that Krishna regularly performs is nectar for the ears. For those who relish just a single drop of that nectar, even once, their dedication to material duality is ruined.

“Many such persons have suddenly given up their wretched homes and families and, themselves becoming wretched, traveled here to Vrindavana to wander about like birds, begging for their living.” (SB 10.47.18)

Srila Visvanatha Cakravartipada Sarartha Darshini tika:

In these verses, Srimati Radharani is saying, “Just hearing about the pastimes Krishna performed at every moment (anucaritam) is nectar for the ears, what to speak of the joy one gets by understanding their meaning. Even one drop of this nectar completely destroys (vidhutah:visheshena khanditah) the propensities of duality, and the propensities of mutual friendship between women and men.”

Sri Radha continues, “If a wife hears discussions about Krishna, she immediately gives up affection for her husband. And if a husband hears them he gives up affection for his wife. The same is also true for a child in connection with his mother and father. If a mother hears about Krishna, she loses all affection for her children. Thus, by this mutual rejection they all become totally ruined (vinastah).” (tika: SB 10.47.18)

Srimati Radharani Uvaca ki jai! Vraja Prema Bhikhari ki jai!

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

By: Mahanidhi Swami

Guru bhakti is the basis of Krishna bhakti. If a disciple is fully absorbed in pleasing the spiritual master, he can very easily attain the eternal service of Radha-Govinda Yugala in the groves of Vrndavana. This point is confirmed in the ninth sloka, or benediction verse (phala-sruti), of the famous mangala arotika Samsara prayers. [note: Although many may not be aware of this, most Gaudiya Vaisnavas daily chant and heartly meditate upon this important verse.

srimad-guror ashtakam etad uccair, brahme muhurte pathati prayatnat

yas tena vrindavana-natha-saksat, sevaiva labhya januso ’nta eva

“That person who very attentively recites this ashtakam to Sri Gurudeva during the brähma muhürta period (4:30 a.m.) is sure to achieve the direct service to the lotus feet of Sri Krishna, the very life and soul of Vrindavana (vrindavana-natha), upon attaining his vastu-siddhi, or pure spiritual form.” (Sri Gurvashtakam, Srila Visvanatha Cakravartipada)

Glorifying the spiritual master goes on eternally. With every breath, thought, word and action the dedicated disciple tries to please his beloved Gurudeva. In this world, I serve Sri Guru in my sadhaka rupa, practitioner form. In the divine realm of sweet love, I serve Sri Guru in my siddha rupa, ecstatic form of spiritual mellows.

The divine realm is far far beyond the purview of our material perception. It is the plane of Goloka, Vraja Gokula wherein all live in harmony, sweetly cooperating to please Sri Krishna.

Now let’s consider, can love be seen, measured or weighed on a scale? With words I try my best to pay a debt that cannot even be calculated. Sri Guru has given me everything but it may take many lifetimes to realize this and finally surrender to his will.

But what is the will of the master? Sri Guru wants every disciple to love the holy name, to love Mahaprabhu, to love Radha-Govinda, and to love all; seeing the benign center within all beings. Sri Guru desires peace and happiness for all creatures, viçvaà pürëaà sukhäyate. “Let the whole world love Kåñëa! What is the difficulty?” proclaimed Çréla Prabhupäda as he gazed compassionately upon one and all.

On this most auspicious day of our Holy Masters appearance, Srila Prabhupada’s wonderfully blissful Vyasa-puja Celebration, I pray to Radha-Giridhari that all of you will deepen and increase your attachment,

dedication, surrender and service to His Divine Grace and your own spiritual guides, the emissaries of love divine!

Sri Guru ki jai!

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

During the arati, first and foremost the devotee offers himself. In so doing, he removes ahankara, the material ego. He identifies no longer as the material body and mind. He identifies not with his personality derived from material association and experiences, rather with the notion that he is a servitor of the Deity. Thus in preparation for performing the arati, the devotee will often perform bhuta-suddhi, a ritual in which one adopts the ego of a servant. He may think of himself as such in a general sense or, in more advanced stages, in terms of his particular awakened siddha rupa, the perfected spiritual body in which he will participate eternally in Krsna’s lila. A typical mantra chanted during the bhuta-suddhi in the Gaudiya Vaisnava lineage is one that Sri Chaitanya himself chanted.

nähaà vipro na ca nara-patir näpi vaiçyo na çüdro

nähaà varëé na ca gåha-patir no vana-stho yatir vä

kintu prodyan nikhila-paramänanda-pürëämåtäbdher

gopé-bhartuù pada-kamalayor däsa-däsänudäsaù

ByMahanidhi Swami

Often devotees ask, “Is it okay to wear Radha Kunda tilaka?” The bhava and purpose behind all actions is the most important element in all movements on the bhakti marga. So let’s take a closer look at these points and discover the answer to this question.

Our Gaudiya Vaisnava raskika poets and acharyas state that Srimati Radharani is very pleased to see and likes all things that are dark blue or black in color beginning with Her Priyatama Shyamasundara.

Because the dark blue or black color reminds Sri Radha of Her darling sweet heart Sri Krishna, Kishori jeu also likes black deer, kajjala, blue sapphire bangles and necklaces, nilambari saris, sakhis named Shyamala, monsoon clouds, Amavasya, the ratri deep night, the shimmering blue Yamuna river, the dark forest, and so on.

Every Hindu knows why every murti of Sri Hanumanji, the great monkey of Lord Rama, is covered head to toe in red/orange sindur. Bhagavan Ramachandraji once commented that He felt very happy to see the sindur in Sita Thakurani’s hairpart (simanta).

Hearing this and wanting to please His Lord Rama, the innocent bhakta Hanuman went out and covered his entire body in red sindur. When Hanuman returned, Lord Rama was very surprised and amused at Hanuman’s unusual appearance. Thus henceforth, all Hanuman murtis are colored sindur red/orange.

So this is the same devotional principle behind wearing Radha Kunda tilaka; it pleases Radharani, reminds Her of Shyama, and thus attracts Radhika’s compassion and mercy upon the wearer of black tilaka.

Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was the first Gaudiya to wear Radha Kunda tilaka. Srila Krishnadasa Kaviraja explains, “Mahaprabhu marked His body with tilaka made from the mud of Radha Kunda, collected some of the mud and took it with Him”, kundera mrttika lana tilaka karila, mrttika sange kari laila (Cc. 2.18.14).

Now let’s hear what the founder acharya of Iskcon says about wearing Radha Kunda tilaka. Thirty-nine years ago, Srila Prabhupada said, “There is no harm in wearing Radha Kunda tilaka.” (BBT Folio

So the conclusion is that Radha Kunda tilaka is worn by those devotees who desire to gain the favor of and to please Srimati Radharani. It is especially used by those rare souls on the path of raganuga bhakti hankering to serve within Radha’s inner circle of sakhis.

Radha Kunda tilaka ki jai! Syama-kunda Radha Kunda ki jai!

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

ByMahanidhi Swami

Forty years ago, in Mayapura, West Bengal, Srila Prabhupada wrote the following words in glorification of Sri Radha Kunda. Manifesting as his comments to Srila Rupa Goswamipada’s Upadeshamrta (Nectar of Instruction), these ambrosial words gushed out of Prabhupada’s heart like a waterfall to inundate the desert dry hearts of thirsty souls hankering for love divine.

Please read them again and again. After sometime, they will magically move your mind, and then captivate your heart. And if Kundeshvari Radha glances upon you, you may find yourself living here serving the eternal sweethearts of your soul—Radha-Govinda Yugala.

First of all what is Radha-kunda?

Radha-kunda, situated at Govardhana Hill in Sri Vrndavana Dhama, is the eternal bathing place of Srimati Radharani. Sri Krishna spends six hours a day here, enjoying blissful confidential pastimes with Radhika and the Vraja-gopis. The sacred lake was created by Radharani and her gopi companions atmidnighton Bahulastami in Kartika month. It is the topmost of all the holy places in Vraja and the most exalted holy place for all Gaudiya Vaisnavas.

The eight major Gaudiya Vaisnava temples of Vrndavana (Govindaji, Madan-mohana, Gopinatha etc) also exist at Radha-kunda, as well as the bhajana-kutiras of Sri Jiva Gosvami, Gopal Bhatta Gosvami, Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami, and Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura.

The beautiful transcendental waters of Radha-kunda are considered non-different from Radharani, and easily grant one love of God, Radha-Krsna prema.

Please carefully read below how beautifully and powerfully…



“There is no limit to the glory of Sri Radha-kunda.” (NOI v.11pur.)

“The importance of Radha-kunda cannot be realized by other Vaisnava sampradayas. Radha-kunda is mainly worshipped by the Gaudiya Vaisnavas.” (NOI v.9 pur.)

“Radha-kunda is very rarely attained, even by great personalities fully engaged in devotional service.” (NOI v.11 pur.)

“Sri Radha-kunda, is the most exalted place.” (NOI v. 10 pur.)

“Radha Kunda is so exalted because it belongs to Srimati Radharani, who is the most beloved object of Sri Krsna” (NOI v. 11 pur.)

“Krsna’s love for Radha-kunda and Srimati Radharani is the same in all respects.” (NOI v. 11 pur.)

“Radha-kunda is superior to all [places of Krsna’s pastimes] because there love of Krsna overflows.” (NO I v 9 pur).

Radha Kunda is the site of many memories of the eternal loving affairs between Krsna and Radharani, rati-vilasa” (NOI v.9 pur).

“Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura says that Sri Radha-kunda is the most select place for those interested in advancing their devotional service in the wake of the lady friends (sakhis) and confidential serving maids (manjaris) of Srimati Radharani.” (NOI v. 11 pur.)


“By serving Radha-kunda, one can get an opportunity to become an assistant of Srimati Radharani under the eternal guidance of the gopis.” (NOI v. 11 pur.)


“A devotee will at once develop pure love of Krsna in the wake of the gopis if he once takes a bath in Radha-kunda.” (NOI v. 11 pur.)

“Srila Rupa Gosvami recommends that one should take a bath in the lake as many times as possible. This is a most important item in the execution of devotional service.” (NOI v.11 pur.)

“If, by great fortune, one gets an opportunity to come to Radha-kunda and bathe even once, he can develop his transcendental love for Krsna, exactly as the gopis did.” (NOI v.11 pur.)

“One should bathe there regularly and give up all material conceptions, taking shelter of Sri Radha and Her assistant gopis. If one is thus constantly engaged during his lifetime, after giving up the body he will return back to Godhead to serve Sri Radha in the same way as he contemplated during his life on the banks of Radha-kunda.” (NOI v. 11 pur.)


“It is also recommended that one should live on the banks of Radha-kunda and should be absorbed in the loving service of the Lord.” (NOI v. 11 pur.)

“Srila Rupa Gosvami has given much stress to Radha-kunda because of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s desire to find it. Who, then, would give up Radha-kunda and try to reside elsewhere? No person with transcendental intelligence would do so.” (NOI v. 9 pur.)

“Everyone interested in Krsna consciousness should ultimately take shelter of Radha-kunda and execute devotional service there throughout one’s life. This is the conclusion of Rupa Gosvami in the tenth verse of Upadesamrta.” (NOI v. 10 pur.)

“Living entities who are eager to return home to Goloka Vrndavana, by means of attaining their spiritual bodies (siddha-deha), should live at Radha-kunda, take shelter of the confidential serving maids of Sri Radha, and under their direction engage constantly in Radha’s service.” (NOI v. 11 pur.)

“There is no harm [in wearing Radha Kunda tilaka], but devotees should understand what is Radha-kunda and how to deal with Radha-kunda.

Raghunatha dasa Gosvami showed how to live in Radha-kunda.Sankhya-purvaka-nama-gana-natibhih kalavasani-krtau. Raghunatha dasa Gosvami was circumambulating Radha-kunda, falling down making a mark [dandavat parikrama]. That is Radha-kunda vasi. Sankhya-purvaka-nama-gana-natibhih. Not only did Raghunatha dasa count the holy names, but he was offering obeisances so many hundred times, that is Radha-kunda. So much vairagya (renunciation) Raghunatha dasa Gosvami showed. He can take bath in the Radha-kunda.

First of all, do this like Raghunatha dasa Gosvami.Sankhya-purvaka-nama-gana-natibhih kalavasani-krtau nidrahara-viharakadi-vijitau catyanta-dinau ca yau.” (


“In my last meeting with Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati in Radha-Kunda he advised me to print some books if I get money. I took it very seriously and by His grace we have now published many translations.” (letter 15/11/76)


“The conclusion is that to live on the banks of the Radha-kunda, and to bathe there daily constitute the highest perfection of devotional service.” (NOI v.11 pur.)

“If one is thus constantly engaged during his lifetime, after giving up the body he will return back to Godhead to serve Sri Radha in the same way as he contemplated during his life on the banks of Radha-kunda.” (NOI v. 11 pur.)


On November 10, 1977, just four days before His Divine Grace left this planet to enter the eternal pastimes of Radha-Govinda, Srila Prabhupada told his disciples to bathe in Radha Kunda on his behalf:

Srila Prabhupada said, “So you [Prabhupada’s disciples] will take bath in Radha-kunda on my behalf.” (RC 10/11/77)

SUMMARY OF KEY POINTS: In his illuminations quoted above on Rupa Goswami’s Upadeshamrita (Nectar Of Instruction), Srila Prabhupada makes four supremely significant points:

1) Glorifies the supreme position of Radha-kunda and Srimati Radharani.

2) We Should Serve Radha-kunda.

3) We Should BATHE DAILY IN Radha-kunda.

4) We Should live in Radha-kunda.

Sri Shyama-kunda Radha-kunda ki jai!

Srila Prabhupada ki jai!

jai jai sri radhe

By Mahanidhi Swami

Devotees often ask, “If the Vrajavasis loved Krishna so much, then why didn’t they go to Mathura to meet their dearest after Akrura whisked Krishna away from their hearts one dismal day in February? After all, Mathura is only eight kilometers from Vrndavana.”

For the following five reasons, the Vrajavasis did not go to Mathura:

1) Sweet Intimate Pastimes:

Mathura and Dvaraka are filled with opulence and grandeur (aishwarya), formality and social etiquette which generate an atmosphere of awe and reverence that creates a bridge between loving hearts. Vaikuntha is God’s office and Vrndavana is God’s playground. Only here in Vrndavana, and nowhere else, can Krishna experience the sweet and natural, free-flowing, uninhibited love of the Vrajavasis. In Vrndavana, Krishna carries Nanda’s slippers on head; Yasoda bathes Krishna in cow urine and dung; Govinda carries the winning gopas upon His shoulders; Madhava massages Radha’s feet and bathes them with His tears to mollify Hermaan; and Krishna sometimes dons a female disguise to meet Radha in Her in-laws home. In nowhere else but VrajaDhamacan such inconceivably close and warm loving exchanges take place. Thus the Vrajavasis could not leaveVrndavana, and visit Krishna in Mathura.

2) Faith in Krishna’s Promise:

Because of their innocence and simple love, the Vrajavasis had full faith in Krishna’s promise that He would returnsoon. Thus they patiently awaited Krishna’s arrival.”

3) Memories

Although the Vrajavasis were all burning in separation from Krishna, they sustained their lives by remembering Krishna’s lilas in the fields, forests and towns of Vraja. Memories connect separated hearts.

4) News Reports

The regular visits of Narada Muni and Uddhavato Vraja, bringing the latest news of Krishna’s activities in Mathura, gave immense pleasure. Thus the Vrajavasis remained in Vrndavana, because for them, Vrndavana was Krishna and Krishna was Vrndavana.

5) Prevent Suffering for Krishna

The Vrajavasis felt so distressed without Krishna that they wanted to give up their bodies. But they didn’t, because they thought it would cause too much pain to Krishna when He finds out. So they dragged on somehow maintaining their lives.

Our goal is Vrndavana and VrajaPrema; to lovingly serve Radha and Krishna like the Vrajavasis do in Vrndavana. I have revealed here just one drop from the unlimited ocean of attachment for Krishna that the Vrajavasis swim in. By hearing this, we can get a little understanding of the degree and depth of their absolutely selfless, totally self-sacrificing pure divine love for Krishna.