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

HEAR THEN PREACH:

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)

WHAT SHOULD I HEAR OR READ?

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.

BEST TO HEAR AND READ SRIMAD BHAGAVATAM

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.)

HOW TO HEAR SRIMAD BHAGAVATAM

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)

BENEFITS OF HEARING

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 760816rc.bom)

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…

SRILA PRABHUPADA GLORIFIES RADHARANI:

HER GLORIES

“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.)

SERVING RADHA KUNDA

“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.)

BATHING IN RADHA KUNDA

“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.)

RESIDENCE

“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.” (760816.rc.bom)

BOOK PUBLISHING

“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)

SRILA PRABHUPADA’S CONCLUSION:

“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.)

THE LAST INSTRUCTION

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.

By Mahanidhi Swami

For a brief period of my devotional life I wore a Nrsimha kavaca. One hearty well-wisher pointed out that my guru, param guru and paratpara guru never wore such a thing. He further reminded me of Srila Prabhupada’s famous quote: “The reason for my success is that I had complete faith in the holy name of Krishna and in the words of my spiritual master.” Off came the kavaca!

Seeing many devotees wearing nrsimha kavacas, we decided to describe the principle that Krishna alone—specifically in His nama rupa avatara is the only ONE we need. Sri Krishna’s Holy Name is our ONE AND ONLY source of protection and shelter. Surrender means believing this and following this. Hare Krishna!

Without surrender, saranagati, our sraddha will never grow and develop into nishta, ruci, bhava and prema. Our humble request to you and any other souls hearing our words is to please cast aside all kavacas and take exclusive shelter of Krishna’s ambrosial holy names.

In the words of Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura, “The holy name of Krishna is the only shelter in the fourteen worlds.”

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare

Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

Surrender, sharanagati, is the very life of the true devotees. Srila Rupa Goswamipada describes six aspects of surrendered in Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu:

anukulyasya sankalpa, pratikulasya varjanam

raksisyatiti visvaso, goptrtve varanam tatha

atma-niksepa-karpanye, sad-vidha saranagatih

“The six divisions of surrender are the acceptance of those things favorable to devotional service, the rejection of unfavorable things, the conviction that Krishna will give protection, the acceptance of the Lord as one’s guardian or master, full self-surrender and humility.

PURPORT

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 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 Krishna will give him protection. No one else can actually give one protection, and being firmly convinced of this is called faith. A devotee wants to remain always in the Lord’s service. In this way, Krishna is merciful to His devotee and gives him all protection from the dangers found on the path of devotional service. (3) One should firmly believe that KRISHNA WILL PROTECT HIM, and that no one is a better protector than Krishna, one should always think that Krishna, or God, is great and that one is always protected by Him. [Narada Bhakti Sutras: NBS]

(4) The devotee should accept Krishna as his supreme maintainer and master. He should not think that he is being protected by a demigod. He should depend only on Krishna, considering Him the only protector. The devotee must be firmly convinced that within the three worlds he has no protector or maintainer other than Krishna.

(5) One should always remember that one’s activities and desires are not independent. In other words, the devotee should feel completely dependent on Krishna, and thus he should act and think as Krishna desires. (6) The devotee is meek and humble. (7) One should always think himself the poorest of the poor and feel totally dependent on the mercy of Krishna. [NBS]

“A devotee who follows these six principles of surrender always thinks, “O Lord, I am Yours in every respect; I am Your eternal servant.” [NBS 12]

“The six symptoms of surrender are divided into a whole and parts. Accepting Lord Krishna as one’s guardian or master is the whole or main principle; the other five items of surrender are parts or assistants of this one item.

There are three stages of surrender: 1) Initial conviction that by following religious principles, going on pilgrimages and surrendering to Lord Krishna, Krishna will protect me from the reactions of past sins. 2) Intermediate stage is the conviction that I shall give to Krishna my wife, child, friends, wealth, and other things that are my property. 3) Highest stage of surrender is the conviction that I shall place at Lord Krishna’s lotus feet, my self, my body and everything that is mine.” [Satvata Tantra]

Surrender to Sri Krishna manifests in three forms; with the body, mind, and words. This is explained in Hari-bhakti-vilasa (11.677):

“One who with words and thoughts says, “O Lord, I am Yours, and who surrenders in his body to Lord Krishna, becomes filled with bliss.” One who surrenders his entire body to Bhagavan Sri Krishna at once attains all good fortune.

Others attain different degrees of good fortune according to the degree of their surrender. Surrender to the Lord is glorified in the following words (Srimad Bhagavatam 11.19.9):

“My dear Lord, for one who is being tormented on the terrible path of birth and death and is constantly overwhelmed by the threefold miseries, I do not see any possible shelter other than Your two lotus feet, which are just like a refreshing umbrella that pours down showers of delicious nectar.” This verse means that the showers of Shyama’s sweetness chase all miseries far away from the surrendered souls.

My dear friends, think over the discussion so far. If you are ready—then solemnly take the following vow:

“O my beloved Lord Sri Krishna! I will do whatever is favorable for pure devotional service unto You, and I will reject whatever is not favorable for it. In all circumstances, times and places, You my Lord Sri Krishna are my one and only protector. I cannot protect myself.

“I will serve You my dearest Lord Shyama as far as I am able. I believe and I know that You will always protect me. In this way I will be protected. Who am I? I am Your property—Your own part and parcel. Whatever You wish, that I will do. In this way, I offer myself to You My eternally beloved, sweet master and Lord Sri Krishna.”

Jaiva Dharma says: “What does it mean that in every condition a devotee should be surrendered soul?” It means to think, “O Lord Sri Krishna, I am Yours” and “O my Lord Krishna, I surrender unto You”!

In his purport to Bhagavan Sri Krishna’s “surrender verse” in Gita (18.66), Srila Prabhupada says: “With faith and love, one should surrender unto Krishna. One should be confident that in all circumstances Krishna will protect him from all difficulties.”

Conclusion: We need no other shelter besides Krishna and His holy names. At all times and in all places we should always chant the holy names for all protection, shelter and perfection. Within the Hare Krishna maha-mantra all the other avataras and incarnations are contained.

Millions of years ago, Lord Nrsimha immediately manifested from the stone pillar to protect Prahlada Maharaja. Similarly, today in any place at any moment, the Lord Nrsimha form of Bhagavan Sri Krishna will also instantly manifest from the syllables of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra to protect any sincere devotee.

Srila Prabhupada describes this point in his Nectar of Devotion thus: “When Narada Muni was chanting the Hare Krishna mantra, he chanted so loudly that it was apprehended that Lord Nrsimha had appeared. Thus all the demons began to flee in different directions.” (NOD cp. 27)

The Four P’s of Srila Prabhupada:

Srila Prabhupada started the Hare Krishna Movement; personally always chanted the Hare Krishna maha-mantra; and Srila Prabhupada inspired millions worldwide to chant the Hare Krishna maha-mantra. He repeatedly instructed us to just depend on Krishna, and always chant the Hare Krishna maha-mantra for purity, peace, PROTECTION and perfection!

The Chandogya Upanisad (8.13.1) sums up everything beautifully—both the practice and the goal: “To attain Lord Sri Krishna, I surrender to Sri Radha. And to attain Sri Radha, I surrender to Lord Krishna.” BAS!!! (shyamac chavalaà prapadye shavalac chyamam)

O Lord Damodara, sharanagati Prabhu!

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

By Mahanidhi Swami

The soothing flute song of Shyama sweetens everyone’s heart and maddens all beings. Streams of nectar ragas emanate from every hole of Madhava’s murali. With one tune, Krishna breaks Brahma’s meditation; one tune reverses Yamunaji’s flow; and another tune turns rocks into liquid streams.

Nandarani hears Gopala’s flute saying, “Ma, bring Me butter.” Nanda Baba hears Lala’s flute calling, “Pitaa! Make Me some new ball bats!” “Come let’s go to the meadows“, says Krishna’s flute to the gopa boys. For Priyasundari, Kanu’s vamshi implores, “O Rai, come quickly! I waiting impatiently for You in the kunja!”

Vamshi Dhari Shyama ki jai!

Rasavati Rai ki jai!

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!