Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

INTRODUCTION TO PURUSOTTAMA MONTH: 

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.

WHY IS IT CALLED ADHIKA MAS? (extra 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.

WHAT MAKES THIS MONTH SO GREAT?

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.

BENEFITS OF PURUSOTTAMA MONTH VRATA

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!

THE GLORIES OF PURUSOTTAMA MONTH 

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 return 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.”

HOW TO OBSERVE THE PURUSOTTAMA MONTH VRATA

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.

SRILA BHAKTIVINODA THAKURA’S Purusottama Month VRATA:

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.

BEST DAYS TO GIVE CHARITY TO DEVOTEE BRAHMANAS:

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.

BREAKING THE PURUSOTTAMA VRATA

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!***

SPECIFIC VRATA BREAKING ACTIONS

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

Translation:

“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
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.

CAUSE OF FEAR

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.

CONQUERING FEAR

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!!!

DEATH THE ULTIMATE 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:

murti-puja;
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!