Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

After reading a recent Srila Bhakti siddhanta Sarasvati’s article about the descent of pure name on our FB, someone wrote that he did not understand how Krishna descends from Goloka into our hearts. Our reply may help others, so here it is, all based on the following verse:

atah sri Krishna namadi, na bhaved grahyam indriyaih
sevonmukhe hi jihvadau, svayam eva sphuraty adah

“Thus, with one’s blunt material senses, one cannot understand the absolutely transcendental name, form, qualities and pastimes of Bhagavan Sri Krishna.

“But when one serves Sri Krishna beginning with the tongue (offenselessly chanting japa and kirtana), then Krishna directly shows Himself to one in a deep inner vision.”(Bhakti-rasamrita sindhu 1.2.234)Also, this verse means that if Krishna is pleased with a devotee, then Krishna personally manifests Himself on our tongue by allowing and inspiring us to chant His sweet Divine Names.

If a devotee saturates his/her mind, heart and life with pure seva bhava for Bhagavan Sri Krishna, then Krishna will be attracted to descend from Goloka in the form of the HOLY NAME to move one’s tongue in japa, and enter the heart and rest their (Govinda vishram) to accept one’s moment to moment loving sevas.

Then at the time of chanting kirtan or japa, Krishna gets excited, wakes up from your heart, comes to your tongue and dances along with you in the blissful experience of nama japa and sankirtana ullasa, Gaura nacha re.

Ah, just see Gaurahari, His long arms extended to Goloka and chanting in ecstasy…. (Caitanya Caritamrtam 1.17.122)

(hari) haraye namah krishna, yadavaya namah
gopala govinda rama, sri madhusudana

Nama dances, Krishna dances, and you dance along with Krishna enjoying and serving Him while blissfully singing in Sri Harinama Sankirtana. That is what Siddhanta Sarasvatipada is saying here. Simple: pure seva bhava, then Krishna appears along with the pure name and off you go…vaikuntha arohana.

Jai Radhe!!!

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

If you ask twenty different initiated Gaudiya Vaisnavas (aka Chaitanya Vaisnavas) to explain what is a Gaudiya Vaisnava; who is their worshipable ishta-devata; what is the goal of attainment (sadhya); and what is the practice (sadhana) or means to attain that goal—you will get TWENTY DIFFERENT ANSWERS!

Now we will cite the sacred scriptures to correctly answer these questions. First of all, who is Sri Chaitanya? Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is directly Bhagavan Sri Krishna, who, after immersing His heart in Srimati Radharani’s ecstatic loving emotions and covering Himself with Her supremely radiant golden color, appeared as Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu 500 years ago in Navadvipa Dhama, W. Bengal.

To put it simply, a Gaudiya Vaisnava is a Krishna devotee who follows the philosophy, teachings and the sadhana practices taught by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu Himself, the sole founder of the Gaudiya Vaisnava Sampradaya.

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s personal words and exact teachings on the worshipable ishta-devata, the daily sadhana practices, and the spiritual goal i.e. sadhya are clearly presented in the books of the Gaudiya Vaisnava  mahajana  acharyas i.e. Six Goswamis, Sri Baladeva Vidyabhusana, Sri Narottama Dasa Thakura, and Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti.

So, if one is not following Sri Chaitanya’s teachings and practices to attain Mahaprabhu’s definition of spiritual perfection, he/she is not really a Gaudiya Vaisnava.

Here are Mahaprabhu’s personal instructions and answers to the opening questions.

In the beginning of Chaitanya-caritamrita, Sri Krishna Dasa Kaviraja presents the basis or foundation of Gaudiya Vaisnava dharma by quoting the direct words of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.

In one of His first teachings, Sri Krishna Chaitanya said, “I have come to this world to taste the essence of ecstatic Krishna prema and TO PREACH RAGANUGA-BHAKTI to the people [what to speak of the devotees!], prema-rasa-niryāsa, kariteāsvādana, rāga-mārga bhakti loke, karitepracāraṇa.” (Caitanya Caritamrita 1.4.15)

Sri Krishna Chaitanya said, “When My devotees hear about the immaculately pure love of the Vrajavasis, they will worship Me on the PATH OF RAGANUGA BHAKTI, and there by give up their duties within the varnashrama-system, vrajeranirmala raga, śunibhakta-gaṇa,  rāga-mārgebhajeyena, chāḍi dharma-karma.” (Caitanya Caritamrita 1.4.33)

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu: “I relished the mellows of love in various ways. And through My pastimes I TAUGHT THE DEVOTEES HOW TO PRACTICE RAGANUGA-BHAKTI, prema-rasa āsvādila, vividhaprakāra, rāga-mārgebhakta bhakti, kare ye prakāre, tāhāśikhāilalīlā, ācaraṇadvāre.” (Caitanya Caritamrita 1.4.264-5)

Throughout Chaitanya-caritamrita, Mahaprabhu describes the Gaudiya sadhana of raganuga-bhakti (raga-marge)—both the physical practices and the internal mental practices of meditation on one’s siddha-deha and the eternal pastimes of Radha and Krishna.

Goal of Gaudiya Vaisnava

The essential teachings of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s Gaudiya Vaisnava dharma is fully described in just two chapters of Chaitanya-caritamrita (adi four, and madhya eight. Every Gaudiya Vaisnava should deeply study these two chapters. By this one will get a clear understanding of the actual true goal (sadhya) and proper means of attaining it (sadhana).

Chaitanya-caritamrita, madhyalila chapter eight is titled “Sri Ramananda Raya Samvad”. Here, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, inspires and empowers His devotee Sri Ramananda Raya to answer His questions concerning Gaudiya Vaisnava sadhana and sadhya.

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu asked, “O Ramananda! WHAT IS THE GOAL OF LIFE, prabhukahepaḍaśloka, sādhyeranirṇaya?” (Caitanya Caritamrita 2.8.57)

Sri Ramananda Raya answered by describing many paths to God realization including varnashrama-dharma, karma-yoga, karmarpanam, niskama karma-yoga, jnana-misra bhakti, shuddha-bhakti, dasya-bhakti, sakhya-bhakti, vatsalya-bhakti, madhurya-bhakti, pure Vrajaprema, Srimati Radharani’s mahabhava, and lastly prema-vilasa-vivarta—the melting of Radha-Madhava’s  hearts and identities in the union of ultimate divine love.

After listening to each of these paths and goals, Mahaprabhu would say, “This is not it, go further, go further.” When Sri Ramananda Raya described the Vrajasrngara-madhurya-bhava, and the love of Radha and Krishna relished in prema-vilasavivarta, Mahaprabhu confirmed, “YES! This is the topmost goal of life, prabhukahesādhyavastura, avadhieihaya.” (Caitanya Caritamrita 2.8.196)

Means to Attain the Goal

Mahaprabhu inquired, “But without practicing the proper sadhana, no one will attain this goal (sadhya). So please tell me the sadhana to attain this goal [i.e. Radha-Krishna premaseva in Vrindavana], sādhyavastusādhanavinu, kehanāhipāya, kṛpākari’ kaharāya, pābāraupāya?” (Caitanya Caritamrita 2.8.197) 

Sri Ramananda Raya replied: “Those who develop the feelings and moods of the sakhis (sakhi/gopi-bhava) can attain the [Gaudiya Vaisnava] goal of life, Radha-Krishna’s seva in the beautiful bowers of Vrindavana. THERE IS NO OTHER WAY TO REACH THIS GOAL.”

sakhīvināeilīlāya, anyeranāhigati//sakhī-bhāve ye tāṅre, kareanugati
rādhākṛṣṇakuñjasevā, sādhyaseipāya//seisādhyapāiteāra, nāhikaupāya

Qualification to Start Raganuga Bhakti

Sri Ramananda Raya: “A Gaudiya Vaisnava who has “divine” greed to attain the gopīs’ nectareanprema (gopibhava amrita) will abandon the rites and rituals of the social/spiritual system i.e. varṇāśrama, and disregard the opinions or prohibitions of others to worship Krishna on the path of raganuga-bhakti, seigopī-bhāvāmṛte, yāṅralobhahaya, veda dharma lokatyaji, se kṛṣṇebhajaya.” (Caitanya Caritamrita 2.8.220)

Attaining Sri Krishna: Vraja or Vaikuntha? 

Sri Ramananda Raya: “One who practices raganugabhajana will attain Vrajendranandana Sri Krishna in Vraja, rāgānuga-mārgetāṅre, bhajeyeijana, sei-janapāyavraje, vrajendra-nandana. (Caitanya Caritamrita 2.8.221)

“One, who follows the path of raganuga-bhakti, after accepting the gopi-bhava of one of Sri Krishna’s eternal associates in Vrindavana, will get a spiritual body (siddha deha), and the appropriate bhava and qualification to attain Sri Krishna in Vraja, vraja-lokerakonabhāva, lañāyeibhaje, bhāva-yogyadehapāñā, kṛṣṇapāyavraje.” (Caitanya Caritamrita 2.8.222)

Then Sri Ramananda Raya explains the importance of accepting/following the mood and feeling of a Vrajagopi like Sri Rupa or Tulasi manjari. By doing this the raganuga sadhaka will attain an eternal siddha deha in Vrindavana.

Sri Ramananda Raya: “If one follows the mood and bhava of a gopi, one will attain the spiritual body of a gopi, seibhāveanugati, gopī-deha-prāpti.” (Caitanya Caritamrita 2.8.225)

But then Sri Ramananda Raya gives a stern warning (verses 226, 230) that Gaudiya Vaisnava sadhakas WILL NEVER ATTAIN KRISHNA in Vrindavana without practicing raganuga-bhakti.

Sri Ramananda Raya: “One who just follows the path of vaidhi-sadhana will never attain Krishna’s association, taste the nectar of His lotus feet, nor attain Krishnachandra in Vraja, aṅghripadmasudhāyakahe, krishnasaṅgānanda, vidhimārgenāpāiye, vrajekrishna-candra.” (Caitanya Caritamrita 2.8.226)

The Gaudiya Vaisnava Sadhana & Sadhya

Sri Ramananda Raya concludes his teachings by presenting Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s essential instructions about the actual goal and path of practice for all Gaudiya Vaisnavas. This particular type of sadhana and sadhya is the unique gift to humanity by the Krishna Prema Avatara Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, which He only gives every 310 billion years or so!

Sri Ramananda Raya: “Listen, O Gaudiya Vaisnavas! You all must accept gopi-bhava, and day and night think about Radha-Krishna’s pastimes while mentally serving the Divine Couple in your siddha deha. By practicing raganuga-bhakti like this, you will definitely attain sakhi/gopi-bhava and the lotus feet of Radha-Krishna.” (Caitanya Caritamrita 2.6.228-229)

ataevagopī-bhāva, kariaṅgīkāra, rātri-dinacinterādhā, kṛṣṇeravihāra
siddha-dehecintikare, tāhāṅñisevana, sakhī-bhāvepāyarādhā, kṛṣṇeracaraṇa

After hearing Sri Ramananda Raya’s clear and exact explanations about His own teachings, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was extremely pleased and happy, so He warmly embraced Ramananda as they cried together in ecstatic Krishna prema, eta suniprabhutāṅre, kailaāliṅgana, dui janegalāgali, karenakrandana. (Caitanya Caritamrita 2.8.233)

Later in madhya-lila, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu Himself gave the same instructions on raganuga-bhakti sadhana and sadhya to Sri Rupa Gosvami and Sri Sanatana Goswami. Mahaprabhu empowered the divine brothers, and ordered them to describe the details of raganuga-bhakti in their books for the benefit of all Gaudiya Vaisnavas.

Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu said, “O Sanatana Gosvami! There are two types of sādhana in rāgānugā-bhakti: external and internal. In the external sādhaka body, the devotee performs śravaṇa and kīrtana. Internally, within the mind, one should meditate on one’s own siddha-deha and mentally serve Sri Krishna day and night in Vraja.” (Caitanya Caritamrita 2.22.156-157):

bāhyaantaraihāra, dui ta’ sādhana, bāhyesādhakadehekare, śravaṇa-kīrtana
manenija-siddha-deha, kariyābhāvana, rātri-dine karevraje, krishnerasevana

So…Who is a Gaudiya Vaisnava? It is a devotee who knows and follows the personal teachings of Sri Chaitanya  Mahaprabhu, the founder of Gaudiya Vaisnava dharma, regarding the goal and means of attainment. 

By reading this post, we hope all our devoted friends will now have a clear understanding about what is the Gaudiya Vaisnava siddhanta regarding the actual sadhana and sadhya needed to attain the goal of our precious human forms of life.

May all find the true path, follow it, and attain the eternal prema-seva of Sri Sri Radha Govinda Yugala in the groves of Vrindavana.

Raganuga-bhakti ki jai! Radha-Krishna nitya-sevaki jai! Jaya Jaya Sri Radhe!


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Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

Upon hearing about Bhishma-panchaka, non-devotees respond by saying, “O what a terrible vrata!” The following information comes from Padma and Skanda Purana.


Bhishma Panchaka is a 5-day vrata, vow of fasting, starting on Utthana Ekadashi tithi (which usually means Dashami when the Ekadashi tithi starts) and ending on Karttika Purnima. Pure Krishna bhakti is easily obtained by Bhishma Panchhaka Vrata. Doing Bhishma Panchaka in Vrindavana can fulfill all one’s desires and easily give one pure bhakti for Sri Krishna.


Begin with sunrise bath in holy place or at home on Dashami. Then starting the vrata, worship Bhismadeva with a bhoga offering, water and afterwards aratik. (use a painting of Bhishmadeva for puja).

Then offer obeisances and water to Bhishma along with this prayer: “I offer this water to Bhishma, who has Vaiyaghra pada gotra and Sanskrit pravara. I offer respectful obeisances to Bhishma, the incarnation of Vasu, who is the son of Shantanu and a lifelong celibate.” Worship Bhishma and pray for his mercy to complete the vow. Everyday bathe in silence at sunrise.


Daily bathe Thakurji with panchamrita. Offer new clothes to the Thakurji. Offer excellent food and cloves to the Thakurji. Offer aratika with incense, ghee lamp, water in a conchshell, napkin, flowers and camara. *also offer camphor lamp mixed with aguru oil.

Maintain an akhanda dipa near Thakurji or Tulasi for the entire five days. Offer ghee lamp in morning and evening to Thakurji. Daily offer ghee lamp to Tulasi devi.


Observe celibacy and sleep on the floor. After Thakurji puja, chant 108 times the mantra: “Om Namo Vasudevaya” [Hare Krishna maha-mantra].


Begin Dashami fasting til sunset and eat phalahara, no grains. Every day eat once only after sunset.

Eat fruits only ripe papaya, apple, mousambi, banana, all dried fruits, all raw nuts, sabzis only arbi, green banana and papaya, potato, yams (suran), and sweet potato (shakarkandi).

Ok to eat ghee, ekadashi salt, black pepper and ginger. No other spices can be taken. Continue this diet every day until Purnima.

DASAMI (DURING THE EKADASHI TITHI): Eat ½ tsp of cow dung; then eat only once after sunset.

EKADASI: Nirjala vrata; if you can’t do this, then eat muni-phala (apple, papaya, banana, mousambi) only once after sunset.

DVADASI: Breakfast with Maha Tulasi leaf and water; if you ate muniphala on ekadashi, then breakfast with charanamrit or a few cashews, almonds or raisins; then drink 50 ml of cow urine; eat the recommended foods once a day after sunset.

TRAYODASHI: Eat ghee once after sunrise. After sunset, eat recommended foods.

CATURDASHI: Eat yoghurt once after sunrise. After sunset, eat recommended foods.

PURNIMA: Drink milk once after sunrise; and follow the rules below for fast breaking.


Before you break your fast, you must first feed brahmanas sweet rice made from cow’s milk and serve them all the foods you fasted from during your vratas of Bhisma, Karttik and Chaturmasya. Give money, gifts, sesame seeds and pots of water to the brahmanas.

Now break your fast during Purnima Abhijit Muhurta (11:45 am to 12:30 pm appx.), or later if necessary, but before sunset of Purnima day. First eat panchagavya (cow dung, cow urine, cow milk, cow yoghurt and cow ghee). Then eat sweet rice.

NOW eat all foods fasted from for Chaturmasya, Karttika Vrata and Bhisma Pancaka (eg. spinach, yoghurt, urad dal, milk, sweets, honey etc.)

All the above actions should be completed before sunset or before the end of Purnima tithi.

*NOTE: Eating five things from Gomata and sweet rice on Purnima is optional.


Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

I. What is Karttika vrata?
It is a 30-day vow observed during the Karttika (Damodara) month for the sole pleasure of Srimati Radharani, the transcendental form of pure devotion to  Krishna. During Karttika, one offers daily regulated extra services (eg. pujas, dipams, prayers, sastric study, parikramas).

II. Who observes it?
Because the Karttika vrata is extensively glorified and recommended in the Puranas and other Vedas, all Vaisnavas observe it, especially Gaudiya Vaisnavas.

III. How is Karttika vrata related to Sri Radha?
In Bhakti-rasamrita Sindhu, Sri Rupa Goswamipada calls it the “Urja vrata”. This refers to Sri Krishna’s internal potency for performing pastimes i.e. Urjeshvari Sri Radha, who is the Queen of all Krishna’s powers and pastime potencies.

In Stavamala, Sri Rupa Goswamipada Gosvami says Sri Radha is Karttiki-devi, the ishta-devata of Karttika. Therefore, Gaudiya Vaisnavas observe Karttika vrata to please the Queen of Bhakti, Sri Radhika, and attain Radha’s eternal service.

In Bhagavad Gita, Sri Krishna says, “I am the month of Nov.-Dec. (margashirsha -aham).” The shakti always precedes shaktiman as in Lakshmi-Narayana, Sita-Rama, Radha-Krishna. Thus, the month preceding Nov.-Dec. (Krishna month) is Oct.-Nov. or Karttika (Radha month)!

IV. The Radha Damodar Lila
The Brahma Vaivarta Purana describes a lila wherein Sri Krishna arrived late for His meeting with Radhika in a Vraja Nikunja. Priyaji punished Her beloved Priyatama by using many Madhavi- latas to tie Him up to a Kadamba tree. Thus, during the month of Karttika, Gaudiya Vaisnavas focus their worship on Radha-Damodara. Jai Jai Sri Radheee!!

V. What are the benefits?
The good results of other vratas last for only one lifetime, but Karttika vrata awards one inexhaustible benefits (akshaya phala). [Hari Bhakti Vilasa 16.54] For the smallest offering during Karttika, Sri Krishna gives one a spiritual form and eternal residence in Goloka Vrndavana.

VI. When and where to observe it?
Wherever you are that’s where, but make sure your heart is in Vrndavana. Why is Vrndavana the best place to observe the Karttika Vrata? It is because all the holy places, rivers and lakes reside in Vrndavana during Karttika.

The perfect atonement to purify the sins of a lifetime is to worship Radha-Krishna in Vrndavana during Karttika. Sri Rupa Goswamipada quotes Padma Purana in Bhakti Rasamrta Sindhu (1.2.222), “Sri Hari very quickly awards pure Krishna bhakti to anyone observing Karttika in Vraja Mandala.”

Summarizing Sri Jiva Gosvami’s tika on this verse, Srila Prabhupada said, ”Even an unserious person who executes the Karttika Vrata in Vraja Mandala is very easily awarded Lord Krishna’s personal service.” (Nectar of Devotion pg. 103)

Hari Bhakti Vilasa (16.183) says, “You can start on Ashvin Ekadasi or Purnima.” Many Gaudiya Vaisnavas start on Purnima and breakfast on Karttika Purnima.

VII. How to observe Karttika vrata?
All the sevas and practices mentioned here must be done everyday for the entire month.

(Choose your diet plan, and then everyday FOR 30 DAYS DO NOT EAT:

Diet # 1
Don’t eat Urad dal (e.g. kachoris)

Diet # 2
Don’t eat #1 plus avoid the following:
1. Carrots
2. Your Favorite food items
3. Fried food
4. Hing
5. Honey
6. Kidney Beans (Rajma)
7. Mustard oil (in or on the body)
8. Pickles

Diet # 3
Avoid items in #1 and #2, plus eat only one time during 24 hours (sunrise to sunrise).

B. TWELVE DAILY SEVAS (Observe each of the following twelve sevas everyday for 30 days of Karttika )
1. Rise brahma muhurta time and offer mangala aratika.
2. Recite Damodarastakam by Satyavrata Muni.
3. Offer ghee lamp to Radha-Krishna.

4. Observe celibacy one month.
5. Chant 16, 32 or 64 rounds of Hare Krishna mahamantra japa.
6. Recite ashtakams and prayers glorifying Radha and Krishna, e.g. Radha Krpa Kataksham; Gopi Gita (SB 10.31)

7. Hear, recite or speak Bhagavad-gita or Srimad Bhagavatam, Radha-Krishna’s Vrndavana lilas.
8. Perform 1-3 hours daily Sri Hari Nama Sankirtana.
9. Thakuraji/ Mandira parikrama.

10. Tulasi—aratika, song and parikrama.
11, Deity puja– Increase offerings to the maximum level.
12. Keep ghee or sesame oil lamp burning daily near Thakuraji.

* Utthana Ekadasi Vrata: If possible you should observe the Utthana Ekadasi vrata with complete fasting including water, and remain awake all night hearing, chanting, singing and dancing for the pleasure of Radha-Damodara. On Dvadasi, break fast by giving charity and donating food to Vaisnava brahmanas.

VIII. Last Words
Before starting the Karttika Vrata you should worship your spiritual master and  take blessings for success. Upon concluding the vrata, you should again worship your spiritual master, and offer Krishna prasada to the Vaisnavas.

We sincerely pray to our Swamini Sri Radha and our Prananatha Giridhari Syama to bless you all with full success in your Karttika Niyama Seva Vrata. And remember that whatever difficulties may arise to test your heart’s determination just think: DO OR DIE, ITS ALL FOR RAI!!
Jai Jai Sri Radhe! Giriraja Baba ki jai!

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

Why do we offer obeisances before taking Sri Krishna prasadam? Srila Prabhupada answers, “Because the prasadam is also Krishna. So by taking prasadam, I am contacting Krishna.” (Folio 661205CCNY)

The standard is to first offer obeisances to Krishna prasadam, and then glorify Krishna’s grace food with selected prayers. Most Vaisnavas utter the following Skanda Purana verse:

maha-prasade -govinde
-nama-brahmani -vaishnave
svalpa-punyavatam -rajan –
vishvaso -naiva -jayate

“A person with little piety can never develop faith in Krishna’s maha-prasada, Bhagavan Sri Govinda, Krishna’s transcendental Name, or the Vaisnavas.” (Caitanya-caritamrta 3.16.96)

Srila Prabhupada often quoted Bhagavad-Gita (2.65) to glorify Sri Krishna prasadam, the sanctified food remnants of Radha and Krishna.

In Paris (1974), when he saw a plate of Krishna prasadam brought in by a disciple, Srila Prabhupada excitedly uttered, “Hare Krishna! Prasade -sarva-duhkhanam hanir-asyopajayate!” (Folio 740610R1.PAR)

Once an Indian gentleman asked, “What is the importance of Krishna prasada?

Srila Prabhupada answered, “Yes, prasada! Very good! Prasada is Krishna’s special favor. That is prasada. Prasade -sarva-duhkhanam hanir-asyopajayate. If we simply eat Krishna prasada, without any culture, we can get spiritual knowledge.” (Folio (660812.BG.NY)

By reciting the following Gita verse before honoring Sri Krishna’s sacred food remnants, devotees can simultaneously glorify the tremendous power of Krishna prasadam, and remember our “ever well-wisher”, Srila Prabhupada:

prasade -sarva-duhkhanam
hanir -asyopajayate
prasanna-cetaso hy -ashu
buddhih –parya -vatishthate

“Krishna prasada destroys all miseries, fills the mind with happiness, and establishes the intelligence in self-realization.” (Bhagavad-gita 2.65)

Devotees doing raganuga –bhakti –sadhana often recite the following verse while remembering the sweet compassion of Kishoriju Srimati Radharani:

sri –radhaya -madhura –madhur -occhishta -piyusha -saram
bhojam -bhojam -nava -nava -rasananda -magnah -kada -syam

“When will I be absorbed in relishing ever-new blissful rasa by repeatedly chewing Sri Radha’s sweeter than sweet remnants which are the essence of nectar?” (Radha Rasa Sudhanidhi 87)

Jagannatha maha-prasada ki jai! Radha Raman maha-prasada ki jai!

Srimati Radharani’s nectarean prasadi ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

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

Since many devotees enjoy dancing (nrtya-seva) to please Sri Sri Radha and Krishna, we thought to share some treasures from Sri Rupa Goswamipada’s Bhakti-rasamrita Sindhu chapter describing bhava bhakti and attaining it by practicing raganuga bhakti.

Sri Rupa Goswamipada says that bhava bhakti appearing from sadhan-abhinivesh, which means intense practice of raganuga sadhana, is illustrated in the Padma Purana:

ittham -manoratham –bala -kurvati -nrtya -utsuka
hari-pritya- ca –tam- sarvam- ratrim –evat yavahayat


“A young girl named Chintamaini, having great joy in her heart and being very enthusiastic to dance (nrtya utsuka), spent the whole night dancing in order to please Bhagavan Sri Krishna.”

Second translation by Sri Pandit Baba:

“Thus determined in her mind that Damsel Chandrakanti being eager to dance with Krishna spent the whole night in dancing before a murti of Sri Hari for His pleasure.”

Sri Jiva Goswamipada tika:

The word manoratham (with joy in the heart) indicates raganuga sadhana. By the influence of the murti of Sri Krishna, Chintamani developed raga similar to that of Krishna’s dear associates like Radharani.

While dancing the night away, Chintamani was thinking:

bahvishv- anyasu -narishu -mayy -evadhika-pritiman
nrtyaty -asau -maya -sardham kanthashleshadi-bhava-krt

Translation: Chintamani thought, “Among many women [gopis], Sri Krishna has the greatest affection for me. Krishna is dancing the Ras with me while embracing my neck.” (Bhakti-rasamrita Sindhu 1.3.14)

Radha decided to make that girl Chintamani Her sakhi when the girl reached the final stage [of prem]. By Her own mercy, Radha considered that the girl, having achieved all perfection by that sadhana [of enthusiastic dancing], was non-different from Herself.

For this reason, the Padma Purana says that the young girl Chintamani thought herself as the only lover of Krishna by identifying herself as Radha.

Sri Pandit Baba translation of Sri Jiva Goswamipada tika on this verse of Bhakti-rasamrita Sindhu 1.3.14:

“Sri Jiva Gosvami comments in this shloka that in the instance of Chandrakanti, the very fact of her mental determination for dancing before Krishna for His pleasures is itself raganuga bhakti.

Because at that time, the form of Krishna before her mind aroused in her heart the longing for the way of the eternal damsels of Braja, who were engaged in the Dance-sport with Sri Krishna. Thus she attained similar feelings in her mind.

Chandrakanti herself said: ‘Beloved Krishna is more attached for me than any other damsels, because Krishna is expressing His fondness for me and is dancing with me by embracing my neck!’

“Sri Radha Herself was graciously pleased with Sri Chandrakanti both during Her stages of spiritual practices as well as in Her state of final attainment of Sri Krishna.

“Thus Sri Radha accepted Damsel Chandrakanti as Her own friend Sakhi and made all Chandrakanti’s feelings towards Krishna identical with Her own feelings or Bhava toward Krishna. It is for this reason that in some places of the scriptures Chandrakanti has been identified with Sri Radha.”

We hope this inspires all devotees to keep on dancing before Radha and Krishna while blissfully chanting

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Hare Hare!!!

Nrtya seva ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

Dear devoted friends and students.

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Please be happy knowing that Sri Guru and Sri Krishna are always beside you to protect, guide and love you.

We want to share some Krishna conscious philosophy to help everyone deal with the fear surrounding today’s pandemic. This presentation has three parts; 1- cause of fear; 2- conquering fear; 3- overcoming fear of death.


Fear is part of material existence. Fear is based on insecurity and due to worrying about the future. Actually all fears boil down to the basic fear of death. It is only when one identifies oneself with the external material body that one fears death.

Fear is therefore due to ignorance of one’s real identity. Surely a fearful situation stirs up emotions within the body of a devotee, but a devotee relates to these emotions in a Krishna conscious manner.


We can conquer fear by constantly analyzing the spiritual truth. Krishna arranges fear of death for a transcendental purpose: it should inspire us to turn to Krishna and take shelter in Krishna. In one sense fear is a state of mind. Factually there is nothing to fear, since Krishna guarantees protection to all souls surrendered to Him.

Rani Kunti prayed that fearful conditions would come to her again and again so that she would remember Krishna again and again. A devotee becomes peaceful through  transcendental knowledge. One who understands the meaning of life, knows that death is simply a change of body. For a devotee, however, the greatest fear is to forget Krishna, or to somehow lose the opportunity to serve Krishna. This should be our only worry and fear.

When one surrenders to Krishna in love, material fearfulness goes far away. Trust in Krishna overcomes all fear.

Overcoming fear and becoming free from worry is the subject of the Gita’s opening lines, where Sri Krishna admonished Arjun and told him not to lament (Bhagavad Gita 2.11). And in his concluding words, Krishna stresses exclusive worship in surrender unto Him. By this one will overcome all fear. One whose heart is saturated with faith in Krishna’s closing instruction in Gita will be fearless.

sarva-dharman -parityajya
mam -ekam -sharanam -vraja
aham -tvam –sarva -papebhyo
moksha -yishyami -ma -shucah

Sri Krishna says, “Forgoing all religious injunctions, take exclusive shelter in Me. I will deliver you from all sinful reactions. DO NOT FEAR!” (Bhagavad Gita 18.66).

If we have any fears, we can remove them by perceiving the love in Krishna’s voice as He speaks this verse to the grief stricken devotee Arjuna and to all of us. Trust in Krishna’s love requires no reasoning and vanquishes all fear.

When we come to understand that we are eternal, we will no longer identify with the body and have nothing more to fear. Thus fear can be defeated by knowledge of Sri Krishna and our dependent relationship with Krishna. A devotee is confident and fearless in this world, because even the prospect of death won’t interrupt one’s loving exchanges with our beloved Shyamsundar. If our minds are always fixed on our merciful Sri Krishna, we have nothing to fear!!!


Actually there is no death for the spirit soul, but due to our absorption in the identification of body as self, the fear of death develops. When one is fully convinced that one is not the body, there is no question of fearing death, since the spirit soul never dies.

For one who knows that the body is temporary and the soul eternal, what meaning does death have? Death is simply a change of dress. A devotee who takes shelter of merciful Krishna has nothing to fear. Even if the devotee dies, Krishna being kind upon His dear servant, either brings the devotee to Goloka Vrndavana or arranges a good next birth for serving Krishna again.

Krishna states in Bhagavad Gita (8.5), “And whoever at death remembers Me alone at once attains Me. Of this there is no doubt.” A devotee is never afraid of death because one is always secure, being protected by the lotus feet of Bhagavan Sri Krishna.

As Sri Krishna says in Bhagavad Gita (9.31), kaunteya pratijanihina me bhaktah pranasyati: “My dear Arjuna, you may declare publicly that My devotee will not be vanquished under any circumstances.”

So why be in anxiety about whether you live or die. If you live, what will you continue to do? Krishna bhakti bhajan! And if you die, what will you do? Krishna bhakti bhajan! A devotee is established in Krishna consciousness not body consciousness. Because devotees have knowledge of the next life they are never in anxiety.

So relax my devoted friends, and be peaceful knowing that Sri Krishna’s invincible loving arms are wrapped around you in an eternal embrace of friendship and protection! Just go on practicing bhakti bhajan with redoubled enthusiasm and sincerity. Keep your faith strong by trusting Sri Krishna’s words in Gita.

And live your days serving Shyam with joy in your hearts and smiles on all your pretty faces.

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

To attain siddhi or perfection in chanting of the diksha mantras i.e. gopal mantra, Sri Sanatana Goswami says the one must observe the purashcaran process which he and Sri Rupa did before meeting Sri Chaitanya. (Bhakti-ratnakara I.647)

In over 220 verses, Hari Bhakti Vilasa describes the details of purashcaran

Puja- traikaliki- nityam- japas -tarpanam -eva -ca
Homo- brahmana-bhuktish- ca- purashcaranam ucyate
Guror- labdhasya -mantrasya -prasadena -yatha-vidhi
Panchanga upasana-siddhyai –purash- caitad -vidhiyate

“The purashcaran process is as follows:

‘In the morning, afternoon and evening of each day of purashcaran, one must do:

murmur the gopal diksha mantra;
offer tarpana, oblations to ancestors;
perform homa, fire sacrifice; and
feed brahmins.

‘To do purashcaran vrata, one must do these five activities daily for as many days (20, 30, 45) it takes to chant one’s diksa mantra 18,000 times or whatever number one vows to murmur (sankalpa). To attain siddhi in the gopal diksha mantra received from Sri Guru, one must observe the purashcaran process.’” (Hari Bhakti Vilasa 17.11–12)

Hari-bhakti-vilasa (17.4–5, 7) says:

vina -yena -na –siddhah – syan -mantro -varsha-shatair -api
krtena -yena -labhate -sadhako –vanchitam -phalam
purashcarana-sampanno -mantro -hi -phala-dhayakah

“Without doing purashcaran, one cannot attain mantra siddhi even by chanting the diksha mantra for hundreds of years. But one who does purashcaran can very easily attain mantra siddhi.”

At the end of the description of the purashcaran process, Sri Sanatana Goswami describes a samkshipta-purashcaran, a brief or “short cut” form of it.

“During a solar or lunar eclipse, one should fast, remain in a pure state of mind, and chant the gopal diksha mantra from the beginning of the eclipse until the end (sparsha time to moksha time), while standing in the water of a river that flows into the sea up to his waist.” (Hari Bhakti Vilasa 17.235-236)

Regarding this point, Pandit Sri Krishna Das Babaji said that according to Hari Bhakti Vilasa (17.17-21), one may chant in other places also: “Purashcaran may be done by the side of a river, underneath a bilva or banyan tree, within water, in a holy place, before murti of Sri Krishna [best place], on the seashore, or any place where you can easily concentrate your mind.”

Before observing a purashcaran vrata one should receive blessings from Sri Guru. After bathing, dress in clean cloth (dhoti & chadar or sari), sit on a pure asana, and chant the gopal mantra without stopping or getting up for the entire eclipse period.

The Moon eclipse on June 5-6th is not mentioned or observed in the Radha-kunda Babaji Panchangam. But the Sun eclipse is described, and one can do purashcaran then.

Sun eclipse June 21
Chanting time 10.20 a.m. to 1.50 p.m.

After doing purashcaran, one must bathe, change clothes, worship Sri Guru and take maha-prasad after full Thakurji puja.

Jai Jai Sri Radhe! Mantra siddhi ki jai!