Friday 30 January 2015

Vaishnava Calendar FEBRUARY 2015

Download HD Desktop Wallpaper:
Click to OPEN > Right Click to 'Set As Background' or 'Save Image'

Varaha Dvadashi - Appearance Day of Lord Varaha Dev

After describing the appearance of the white Boar Incarnation that had appeared during the Svayambhuva devastation, Maitreya next described the red Boar Incarnation that had appeared during the Chakshusha devastation. Maitreya related these pastimes to Vidura in the same manner in which he had heard them long ago when Lord Brahma had narrated them to the demigods.

Once upon a time, at sunset, Kashyapa, the son of Marichi, was offering oblations to Lord Vishnu into the sacrificial fire. At this time, his wife, Diti, approached him due to being greatly afflicted by sex desire. Without trying to attract him gradually by her bodily expressions, the beautiful Diti frankly begged her husband, "O learned one, Cupid is forcibly distressing me with his arrows, just as an elephant troubles a banana tree. I want to have sons like my co-wives and so you should be merciful to me." "My father, Daksha, had separately asked each of his daughters, whom we preferred to marry. Then, after understanding our intentions, he handed over thirteen of his daughters to you, and we have been faithful to you ever since that time. O lotus-eyed one, when someone in distress approaches a great person, his pleas should never go in vain."
The hen-pecked Kashyapa could have strongly refused his wife, but because he was also sexually inclined, he tried to pacify Diti, who had become very poor-hearted and talkative, due to the contamination of lust. Kashyapa said, "O afflicted one, I shall soon gratify your desire. It is only due to having a good wife that a man like me can cross over the great ocean of material existence. Indeed, a wife is so helpful that she is called the better half of a man's body. Just as a military commander can easily conquer invaders while remaining protected within a fort, so a man can conquer his senses by taking shelter of a good wife. For this reason, a man could never repay his wife for all the benefit that he derives from her, even if he were to try to do so during his entire lifetime, or even after death."
"My dear Diti, although I cannot sufficiently repay you, I will satisfy your sex desire for the purpose of begetting children. I only request you to wait for a few minutes so that I may not become subject to criticism. The present moment is most inauspicious because at this time Lord Shiva rides upon his bull carrier, accompanied by his horrible ghostly companions. He gives such ghosts the chance of getting a gross material body by placing them into the wombs of women that indulge in sexual intercourse during this forbidden period. Lord Shiva is your sister's husband, and with his three eyes, he will see your forbidden act."
In spite of receiving such good instructions from her husband, Diti was so oppressed by sex desire that she caught hold of Kashyapa's clothes just like a shameless prostitute, and thus she practically forced him to gratify her lusty urge. After offering obeisances unto worshipful fate, Kashyapa lay down with Diti in a secluded place. After finishing the forbidden act, Kashyapa purified himself by bathing and once again sat down to chant the Gayatri mantra, while meditating upon the impersonal aspect of the Absolute. Meanwhile, after having gratified her lust, Diti came to her senses. With her head lowered in shame, she approached her husband and said, "My dear brahmana, please insure that my embryo is not killed by Lord Shiva, because of the great offense that I have committed against him."
Diti then prayed for Lord Shiva's mercy in a very clever manner: "Let me offer my obeisance unto the angry Lord Shiva. He is so great that he can immediately destroy my embryo, but at the same time he is so merciful and forgiving. Lord Shiva is known as the lord of all women, who are excused even by uncivilized hunters, and therefore I beg him to spare me from his wrath."
As Diti stood before him, trembling due to fear of his anger, Kashyapa said, "Because of your polluted mind, the improper time, your disobedience, and your neglect of the demigods, your conception will produce two abominable sons who will create havoc within the world by killing innocent persons, torturing women, and enraging the great souls. As a result, the Supreme Lord will incarnate to kill them, just as Indra smashes mountains with his thunderbolt."
Diti replied, "O my husband, it is a great relief for me to know that my sons will be killed by the all-merciful Supreme Lord, rather than the wrath of the brahmanas. One who offends the brahmanas or causes fear to others is so condemned that even those who are already in hell, or who are of the degraded species in which he will later on appear, feel no compassion toward him."
Kashyapa then informed Diti, "Due to your repentance and firm faith in the Supreme Lord, as well as your adoration for Lord Shiva and myself, one of your grandsons will be a greatly exalted devotee whose fame will rival that of the Lord Himself. Because of his great devotion for the Supreme Personality of Godhead, others will follow in his footsteps, and because of his having satisfied the Supreme Lord, everyone will become pleased with him. As a first-class devotee, your grandson will be able to see the Supreme Lord, within and without; he will be a reservoir of all good qualities; and he will feel very pained to see the suffering of the conditioned souls in this material world."
After hearing about the glories of Prahlada, Diti became very pleased. But, because she could understand that her sons would cause great disturbances to the demigods, she continued to bear the powerful embryos for one hundred years without giving birth. Still, the force of Diti's pregnancy disturbed the entire universe, and the light of sun and moon became impaired.
After observing this fearful condition, the demigods approached Lord Brahma and submitted, "O lord, just see this darkness that is expanding in all directions. O sustainer of the universe, who knows the intentions of all living entities, Diti's pregnancy has caused this great disturbance, and thus our work has become suspended. Please be merciful unto us, for we have fallen into a very miserable condition."
In response, Lord Brahma informed the demigods of what had happened long ago. After having travelled all over the material creation, the four sages Sanaka, Sanatana, Sanandana and Sanat-kumara, entered the spiritual sky, wherein the Vaikuntha planets are situated. They were able to do this due to being freed from all material contamination. In the abode of Lord Narayana, the residents have forms similar to that of the Supreme Lord, and everyone is engaged in His unalloyed devotional service. There are many forests full of desire-trees, and throughout all seasons they are filled with fruit and flowers.
While flying in their airplanes, along with their consorts, the inhabitants of Vaikuntha eternally sing of the character and pastimes of the Supreme Lord. Although the consorts that crowd the airplanes have large hips and beautifully smiling faces, they cannot stimulate the passion of the residents of Vaikuntha. This means that in Vaikuntha there is the enjoyment of the association with the opposite sex, but there is no sexual relationship, because everyone is fully absorbed in Krishna consciousness. When the king of bees hums in a high pitch, singing the glories of the Lord, the cuckoos, cranes, chakravakas, swans, parrots and peacocks temporarily stop their singing to listen. Although flowers, such as the champaka, bakula, parijata and lotus are transcendentally fragrant, they are still conscious of tulasi's austerities, and of how the Lord prefers to garland Himself with her leaves. The ladies of Vaikuntha are as beautiful as the goddess of fortune, and yet they are sometimes seen cleaning the marble walls, just to receive the grace of the Supreme Lord, even though there is practically no dust.
Upon reaching the outskirts of Vaikuntha, the four Kumaras felt an unprecedented transcendental happiness. Then, after easily passing through six gates, the sages saw two doormen at the seventh gate that had similar bodily features and carried strong maces. They were four-armed and of bluish complexion, and due to their arched eyebrows, discontented nostrils and reddish eyes, they appeared somewhat agitated. The four Kumaras had opened doors everywhere without any conception of "ours" and "theirs", and so they innocently began to pass through the seventh gate. The sages, who had nothing to cover their bodies but the atmosphere, looked just like five-year-old boys, although they were the oldest created beings, next to Brahma.
Due to possessing a disposition quite unpalatable to the Lord, the two gatekeepers rudely blocked the Kumaras' entrance with their staffs. The Lord is always anxious to serve great sages, and thus the Kumaras were never to be prohibited from entering Vaikuntha. The boy-sages had been very eager to see the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and so upon being checked by the Lord's two chief doorkeepers, they immediately became agitated. Their eyes red with rage, the Kumaras exclaimed, "Who are these persons who are engaging in the Lord's service and yet have developed a discordant mentality? They must be imposters, and so they suspect others to be just like themselves. In Vaikuntha there is perfect harmony between the Supreme Lord and the other inhabitants. These two persons are dressed like the residents of Vaikuntha, but where has this seed of disharmony come from? Because of seeing duality, they have become contaminated. Therefore, they should be put into the material world, where everyone is conceived of as being either a friend or an enemy."
When the gatekeepers realized that they were being cursed by the brahmanas, they at once became very afraid. After falling down at the Kumaras' feet, they begged, "You are correct in punishing us for having neglected such great souls as yourselves. Still, in consideration of our repentance, we pray that you mercifully insure that the illusion of forgetting the Supreme Personality of Godhead will not overwhelm us as we fall down."
Just at that moment, the Supreme Lord, having learned of this incident, came there on foot accompanied by the goddess of fortune. Thus, the four Kumaras saw Lord Vishnu before them, Whom they had formerly seen only within their hearts while being absorbed in the ecstatic trance of meditation.
The Lord's beautiful blackish body was dressed in bright yellow cloth, and around His neck hung a garland of fresh flowers that was encircled by humming bees. While resting one of His hands upon Garuda's shoulder, the Lord twirled a lotus flower in another. Indeed, His beauty was so excellent that it defeated the pride of the goddess of fortune, and thus the Kumaras looked at Him with unsated eyes.
As the Kumaras joyfully bowed their heads, the breeze that carried the aroma of tulasi leaves from the toes of the Lord's lotus feet entered their nostrils, causing a spiritual transformation in their body and mind, even though they had been fully attached to the impersonal Brahman. In other words, the Kumaras became converted from impersonalists that had desired to merge into the Lord's brahmajyoti, to devotees who desire to render service to the Lord.
After seeing the Lord's transcendental body, the Kumaras advanced to the stage of constant meditation upon His personal feature. Their anger having subsided, the four sages prayed, "Our dear Lord, whatever we had heard about You from our father, Lord Brahma, has now been confirmed by Your kind appearance before us. We now understand that the most elevated transcendentalists are those that constantly engage in hearing about Your pastimes, without caring for any other benediction, including liberation." "O Lord, we don't mind being born in any hellish condition, as long as our hearts and minds are always engaged in Your devotional service."
By dint of the Lord's presence, the Kumaras realized that it had been improper for them to curse the doorkeepers, in spite of the offense that had been committed.
The Supreme Lord then said, "These attendants of Mine, Jaya and Vijaya, have committed a great offense against you by ignoring My desire. I approve of the punishment that you have awarded to My servants. Indeed, since these doormen are My servants, I consider Myself to be the one that has offended you, and for this reason, I seek your forgiveness. Whatever wrong a servant commits causes people in general to blame the master, just as a single spot of white leprosy is considered to pollute the whole skin."
"For Me, the brahmanas are the most worshipable personalities, and so I am prepared to cut off My arm if its conduct proves to be hostile toward you. Because I am the servant of My devotees, My lotus feet have become so sacred that they immediately purify one of all sins. I do not enjoy the offerings that are made into the sacrificial fire with as much relish as I enjoy the delicacies cooked in ghee that are offered to the mouths of the brahmanas who have dedicated their lives unto Me." "The Ganga is the remnants of water left after washing My feet, and it sanctifies the three worlds. If I can take the dust of the Vaishnavas' feet upon My head, then who would refuse to do the same? These servants of Mine have offended you due to not knowing My mind. Still, I will consider it a great favor if you allow them to return to My presence soon, after reaping the consequences of their transgression."
After hearing with wide-open ears, the Lord's extremely humble and beautiful speech, which was difficult to comprehend due to its profound import, the Kumaras pondered over its meaning for some time. Although the sages could not understand the Lord's actual intention, a thrill passed through their bodies due to the delight of simply beholding Him. Understanding their fault in cursing the Lord's faultless servants, the Kumaras said, "O Lord, we cannot understand Your plans, for You have spoken as if we had done something good for You. Your adoration of the brahmanas is meant to teach others, for it is You who are the supreme worshipable Deity." "O Lord, whatever punishment You wish to award to these two innocent persons, or to us, we shall accept without duplicity."
The Lord replied, "O brahmanas, I have already ordained the punishment that you inflicted upon Jaya and Vijay, and thus they will have to accept birth in a demoniac family. But, by concentration of their minds upon Me in anger, they will always remain connected with Me, and soon thereafter, they will return to My abode."
It is to be understood that the Lord Himself engineered the cursing of Jaya and Vijaya. Ordinarily, there is no possibility that the Kumaras could become so angry, that the Lord could neglect His gatekeepers, or that anyone could return to the material world after reaching Vaikuntha. Sometimes, the Lord desires to fight, and because there are no enemies in Vaikuntha, He incarnates into the material world for this purpose. The Lord only likes to perform His pastimes along with His associates, however, and so He chooses a devotee to play the part of His enemy. Then, after making a temporary show of fighting, the Lord recalls His devotee to the spiritual world.
Thereafter, the four Kumaras circumambulated the Lord, offered their obeisances, and departed from the gates of Vaikuntha. The Lord then ordered Jaya and Vijaya, "Depart from here, but do not be afraid. I could have nullified the brahmanas' curse, but I chose not to do so. Lakshmi, whom you had once stopped at the gate while I was sleeping, already predicted your fall. Although seven births in the material world are your designated punishment, I want you to accept three demoniac births instead. By practicing mystic yoga in anger, you will become quickly cleansed of your sinful reactions, and thus be able to return to Me in a very short time."
After saying this, the Lord departed, and Jaya and Vijaya, who had become morose and pale because of the brahmanas' curse, fell down from Vaikuntha. As they were falling, the Kumaras reassured them that after three demoniac births, they would once again return to Vaikuntha. The demigods, who were observing all of this from their celestial airplanes, let out a great roar of disappointment, and thereafter, Jaya and Vijaya entered Diti's womb, after being covered by Kashyapa's powerful semen.
Lord Brahma then concluded by informing the demigods, "It is the prowess of these twin demons that has disturbed you, by minimizing your own potency. I have no remedy for this situation, however, for all of this is taking place by the desire of the Lord. Rest assured that the Supreme Lord will come to our rescue, and so do not bother to speculate any longer about the dense darkness that is covering all directions."
After hearing this, the demigods became relieved from their fear and returned to their respective abodes. Meanwhile, after bearing her embryos for one hundred years, Diti gave birth to twin sons who were great demons. At this time, there were many fearful natural disturbances, such as earthquakes, and raging fires were seen burning everywhere. The inauspicious planets, such as Saturn and Mars, outshone the auspicious ones like Venus and Jupiter; and comets, meteors and thunderbolts appeared in the sky. Fierce winds made a displeasing hissing noise and uprooted great trees; and due to the covering of clouds, all became shrouded in darkness. The ocean became highly agitated, and all of the lotuses that grew within the rivers and lakes withered.
Solar and lunar eclipses occurred repeatedly, and from the mountain caves came sounds like the rattling of chariots. She-jackals vomited fire while crying out ominously, and asses ran here and there in herds, striking the earth with their hard hooves and braying loudly. Being frightened by the braying asses, birds flew shrieking from their nests, and cows passed stool and urine due to fear. Indeed, the terrified cows yielded blood instead of milk, and the clouds rained puss instead of water. The deities in the temples shed tears, and trees fell down even though there were no gusts of wind.
Upon seeing all of these evil omens, everyone except the four Kumaras became seized by fear. Not knowing about the fall of Jaya and Vijaya and their subsequent birth as demons, everyone thought that the dissolution of the universe was at hand.
Kashyapa named the first-born, who was formerly Jaya, Hiranyaksha and the one who was conceived first, who was formerly Vijaya, was named Hiranyakashipu. Soon after their birth, the demoniac twins exhibited uncommon bodily features, and their steel-like frames became so tall that they seemed to touch the sky. Indeed, they blocked the view in all directions, and as they walked, the earth shook with every step.
After performing great austerities, Hiranyakashipu received benedictions from Lord Brahma, and as a result, he became unafraid of death and very proud. Being most powerful, Hiranyakashipu was able to bring the entire three worlds under his control. His brother, Hiranyaksha, had also received Brahma's benediction of near-immortality, and so he became similarly powerful and conceited.
To satisfy his elder brother, Hiranyaksha took his club and began to travel all over the universe, with a fighting spirit. Because no one was able to kill him due to Brahma's benediction, even the demigods fearfully hid upon seeing Hiranyaksha, just as snakes hide out of fear of Garuda.
When Hiranyaksha thus saw Indraloka vacant, he roared loudly, understanding that the demigods had admitted defeat without even fighting. After returning from heaven, Hiranyaksha sportingly dove deep into the ocean, and upon seeing him, all of the great aquatics panicked and fled. Finally, after moving about in the ocean for many years, Hiranyaksha reached Vibhavari, Varuna's capital. Just to make fun of the lord of the waters, Hiranyaksha fell at his feet and smilingly begged, "Give me battle, O supreme lord!"
Upon seeing Hiranyaksha's arrogance, Varuna became enraged. Still, he curbed his anger by means of intelligence and replied, "O dear one, I have given up fighting because I am too old. You are so skilled in battle that I can see no one else but the most ancient person, Lord Vishnu, who can satisfy you."
"O chief of the Daityas, I suggest that you approach Him, and thus become rid of your pride by lying down dead upon the battlefield, surrounded by carnivorous animals."

Without paying any more heed to Varuna, Hiranyaksha departed. Then, when he happened to meet the great sage Narada, the demon learned the whereabouts of the Supreme Lord. After once again entering the depths of the ocean, Hiranyaksha saw the all-powerful Supreme Lord in His boar incarnation bearing the earth upwards, while keeping her on the ends of His tusks. Upon seeing the Lord, the demon laughingly exclaimed, "An amphibious beast! O best of the demigods, dressed in the form of a boar, the earth belongs to us, the inhabitants of the lower regions, and so I cannot allow You to take it away from my presence. You rascal! Today I shall enliven my kinsmen by killing You. When You fall down dead with Your skull smashed by my mace, the demigods and rishis who offer You oblations in sacrifice will also cease to be, just like a tree that can no longer live without roots."
Although the Lord was certainly pained to hear such abusive language, He tolerated it so that He could continue carrying the earth, which had become very frightened.
As Lord Varaha rose out of the water, Hiranyaksha chased Him and roared, "Are You not ashamed of Yourself for running away after being challenged by an adversary? There is nothing that is reproachable for shameless creatures like You!"
Despite these harsh words, Lord Varaha calmly placed the earth upon the surface of the water and then empowered her with the capacity to float. At this time, Lord Brahma and the other demigods praised the Lord for His wonderful act of lifting up the earth, and they showered flowers upon Him. Then, to express His terrible anger, the Lord replied, "Indeed, We are creatures of the jungle and are searching for hunting dogs like you. One who is freed from the entanglement of death has no fear from the loose talk in which you are indulging, for you are bound up by the laws of death. Now, give up your foolish talk and attempt to kill Me. One may be very proud, but he does not deserve a seat in an assembly if he fails to fulfill his promise."
Being thus challenged, Hiranyaksha became very angry and agitated, and his whole body began to tremble. While hissing indignantly, the demon sprang at the Lord and tried to strike Him with his powerful mace. By moving aside, however, the Lord dodged the blow, and then with His own mace, He attempted to smash Hiranyaksha's forehead. Being an expert fighter, the demon blocked the blow with his own mace, however, and thereafter, a fierce encounter took place.
As both combatants struck one another repeatedly with their strong clubs, the smell of blood that flowed from their wounds made them more and more furious. Being very eager for victory, both the Lord and the demon exhibited wonderful maneuvers, so that the battle looked like a contest between two powerful bulls for the sake of a cow.
Lord Brahma had been staying in the sky, along with all of the demigods and celestial rishis, so that he could witness the terrible fight that was being waged for the sake of the earth. Becoming somewhat anxious, he addressed Lord Varaha, "My dear Lord, Hiranyaksha has always oppressed the demigods, brahmanas, cows and other innocent creatures. There is no need for You to play with this serpentine demon any longer, for he is very skilled in utilizing mystic powers, and he is most arrogant and wicked." "My dear infallible Lord, please kill him before the demoniac hour of twilight arrives and thus increases his strength. The auspicious period called abhijit began at noon and has almost passed. Therefore, please dispose of Your formidable enemy quickly and thus establish peace within the world."
In response, the Lord heartily laughed, while at the same time He accepted Brahma's prayers with a glance that was laden with love. Then, as Hiranyaksha fearlessly stood nearby, Lord Varaha suddenly sprang at him while aiming His mace at the demon's chin.
Hiranyaksha blocked the blow with his own mace, however, and as a result, the Lord's club slipped from His hand. That blazing mace looked splendid while whirling around and around as it fell, and a great cry of alarm arose from the onlooking demigods and rishis. Still, even though he had an excellent opportunity to strike his unarmed foe, Hiranyaksha respected the etiquette for single-combat by refraining from doing so. This kindled the Lord's fury even more, however, and He invoked His Sudarshana chakra. As this wonderful disc revolved in the Lord's hand, while He was at close quarters with His enemy, the demigods and rishis exclaimed, "May victory be Yours!" "Dispatch him at once!" "Don't play with the demon any longer!"
Seeing Lord Varaha before him with the Sudarshana chakra in His hand, Hiranyaksha resentfully bit his lip and began to hiss like a serpent. Then, that great demon with fearful tusks suddenly sprang into the air while wielding his club, and while doing so, he shouted, "You are slain!"
As Hiranyaksha tried to strike Him, Lord Varaha playfully kicked the mace from his hand with His left foot and then said, "Pick up your weapon, since you are so eager to conquer Me."
Being so challenged, Hiranyaksha picked up his mace and then hurled it impetuously while roaring loudly. Without even flinching, however, Lord Varaha easily caught the mace in His hand, and so the demon felt greatly humiliated. Being reluctant to take back his weapon when the Lord offered it to him, Hiranyaksha instead picked up a flaming trident and violently hurled it. As the trident blazed brightly while soaring through the sky, Lord Varaha tore it to pieces by releasing His Sudarshana chakra. At this, the demon became more enraged, and while letting out a loud roar, he rushed at Lord Varaha impetuously. After striking the Lord on the chest with his hard fist, Hiranyaksha immediately disappeared.
The Lord was not disturbed in the least by the blow, however, any more than an elephant would feel hurt being struck by a flower garland. Thereafter, Hiranyaksha employed many conjuring tricks against the Lord, Who is Yogeshvara, and all who saw the magical display thought that the dissolution of the universe was at hand.
Fierce winds began blowing and the dust that was raised created darkness in all directions. Torrents of stones fell from the sky, along with showers of puss, hair, blood, stool, urine and bones- accompanied by lightning and thunder. Mountains discharged various weapons, and naked demonesses with their hair hanging loose suddenly appeared, carrying tridents. Hosts of Yakshas and Rakshasas were heard uttering cruel and savage slogans as they marched on foot or rode upon horses, elephants and chariots.
By releasing His Sudarshana chakra, however, the Lord was able to dispel all of these illusions, and at that moment, a shudder of terror passed through Diti's heart. While recalling the words of her husband, blood began to flow from her breasts.
When Hiranyaksha saw that his magical creations had been dispelled, he once again made himself visible. In a fit of rage, he tried to crush the Lord within his arms as a last resort. But, to his great surprise, after trying to grab the Lord, the demon found that He was still outside the circle of his arms. Then, as Hiranyaksha angrily struck Him with his fists, Lord Varaha slapped him indifferently at the root of the ear, making him stagger backwards. With his eyeballs bulging out of their sockets, his hair scattered, and his limbs broken, the great demon fell down dead, like an uprooted tree.
Lord Brahma and the other demigods quickly arrived at that spot, to see the slain body of the demon close up. Still biting his lip, Hiranyaksha's bodily luster had not faded, in spite of the absence of the soul, because the Lord's lotus foot remained touching it. Lord Brahma admiringly said, "Oh, who could meet with such a blessed death? This fortunate demon was struck by the lotus foot of the Lord, upon Whom yogis meditate in mystic trance in the hopes of gaining liberation from their unreal, material bodies."
Thereafter, the demigods expressed their great appreciation for the Lord's having assumed His Varaha form and relieving them of their agonizing fear of the demon. After receiving the demigods' praises, the Lord returned to His own abode in the spiritual world, where there is always an uninterrupted festival going on.
Suta Gosvami concluded his narration by saying, "O brahmanas, anyone who hears, chants, or takes pleasure in the wonderful description of Lord Varaha's killing of Hiranyaksha is at once relieved from the results of all kinds of sinful activities, including the killing of a brahmana."

Thursday 29 January 2015

Festival of India 2015

Festival Of India 2015 was celebrated on 25th January in Jaipur. 5,000 people attended and more than 3,000 books of Srila Prabhupada and 8 Srimad Bhagavatam sets were distributed.


The festival started with Hari Naam Sankirtan being led by Vansharama College students of BIGVC

The life-size image of Sri Chaintanya Mahaprabhu .Many images of deities from all around India were placed within the festival zone

Large hoardings were placed depicting Srila Prabhupada's teachings

Dayalu Nitai Prabhu, president of Hare Krishna Community gifted Srimad Bhagavatam to Dr. Pravin Togadia (International Working Presdient VHP) chief guest for this event

Discussion on Varnashrama with the guests


 Various scenes from the play 'PK Bola Oh My God!'

Dayalu Nitai Prabhu, president of Hare Krishna Community addressing people on this occasion

Students performed the 'Kaliya Daman' through classical dance performance

People enjoyed watching various videos of Srila Prabhupada

Cooks chanting Hare Krishna. Most of the cooks chant regularly and are associated with Hare Krishna Community for cooking large scale prasadam

People relished the various traditional dishes offered to the Lord, at the different stalls 

People were keenly interested in various gift products and especially Srila Prabhupada's books

There was huge crowd on this occasion. More than 5,000 people attended this program

Thursday 15 January 2015

Kitchen of Jagannath Temple

Sri Jagannath is the Lord of the Universe. His kitchen is considered as the largest and the biggest kitchen in the world. It is situated south-east direction of the outer compound of Srimandir. The length of the kitchen is 150 feet, breadth is 100 feet and height is about 20 feet. It consists of 32 rooms with 250 earthen ovens within these. Around 600 cooks (Suaras) and 400 assistants serve here everyday for preparing Lord's food. There are three types of hearths in the kitchen of Srimandir such as Anna Chuli, Ahia Chuli and Pitha Chuli. The dimension of hearths where rice is prepared are 4' x 2.5' x 2'. The rectangular space created between two rice hearths is called Ahia. All types of Dal and Curry items are cooked in Ahia Chuli. There are only ten numbers of Pitha Chuli in the temple kitchen which are made of cement. The fire of this kitchen is known as Vaishnava Agni, because it is the fire in the kitchen of Lord Jagannath and used to serve Vishnu Himself. It is never put out.

It is believed that Mahalaxmi cooks in the kitchen Herself; all are felt to be Her servants. As she is not attentive to the cooking on the days when Lord Jagannath is said to be sick before Rath Yatra, the food is less tasty. During Ratha Yatra when Lord Jagannath is in Sri Gundicha Temple, She is said to have no zeal to cook and so the food is tasteless. It is also said that if mother Laxmi is displeased with the preparations by the cooks, a dog will appear mysteriously on the temple grounds. If the dog is seen, all the food must be buried and prepared again. As no dog is allowed to enter the temple, this dog is said to be Kutama Chandi, a tantric goddess in charge of purification of food.

Four types of cooking are prepared in the kitchen of Srimandir. Those are Bhimapaka, Nalapaka, Souripaka and Gouripaka. The items of Bhimapaka consist Badatiana, Gudakhuara, Pakala Nadia Rasa, Purapitha, Biripitha and Gudakanji. In Nalapaka, items like Sakara, Tianalapara, Adanga and different types of sweet drinks are prepared. Souripaka items include Mahura, Deshialubhaja, Kadalibhaja, Adapachedi, Ghialabanga and varieties of cakes. In Gouripaka, Mugatiana, Leutia, Kosala and Madhura Lalita Saga items are cooked.

In the kitchen of Srimandir, four types of rice are prepared. These are Salianna, Khiraanna, Dadhianna and Sitalaanna. Sunakhila rice cooks along with ghee and Phalatabha Kharada Lavana to get Salianna. For getting Khiraanna alongwith Basumati rice; cow milk, ghee and Kharada Lavana are mixed and cooked. Similarly plain rice mixed with curd; Dadhianna is prepared and rice mixed with Tabharasa and Kharada Lavana; Sitalaanna is prepared.

The food in the temple kitchen is prepared in such a pure way and with deep devotion; great spiritual impact is felt, both by those who cook and those who eat. The unique feature is that, clay pots are placed in a special earthen oven, five in numbers, one on the top of another. Yet the one on the top is cooked first.

There are two wells in the temple complex for the purpose of supplying water to the kitchen. These are named as Ganga and Jamuna and both are near the kitchen itself. The radius of the wells is more than 10 feet and depth is 100 feet each.

All the necessary commodities for the temple kitchen are brought from Mahalaxmi Bhandar, which runs by Suara Nijoga Cooperative Society. The earthen pots used for cooking foods are provided by Kumbhakara Nijoga Society. The potters of Kumbharapara and nearby areas supply these pots the temple kitchen. The required timber for the kitchen was previously supplied from different forests of the State. But after nationalisation of forests, the State Forest Corporation is providing timbers for cooking purpose. Daily 5,000 persons may be fed, but on big festival days, one to ten million may be accommodated. The temple kitchen of Lord Jagannath is therefore considered to be the biggest hotel in the world, serving all without reservation or previous notice.

Saturday 10 January 2015

Manifestation of Dharma in Human Being

The word dharma translated into English as religion is not perfect. The exact meaning of dharma is characteristic. The living entity is constitutionally part and parcel of supreme personality of Godhead, mamaivamso jiva-loke jiva bhutah sanatanah manah sasthanindriyani prakrti-sthani karsati (Bg. 15.17) as such, the characteristics of the Supreme personality of Godhead are present in the living entity as natural sequence. But the Supreme Personality of Godhead is vibhu or great, whereas the living entities are anu or the minute part. Therefore the characteristics of the living entities and the Lord, although qualitatively one, they are quantitatively different. The characteristics of the Lord are present in unlimited quantity, where as the same are present in the living entity in very very minute quantity. In this connection, the example of the vast ocean water and a drop of it can be given. The taste of ocean water is salty. In the drop of ocean water this salt is present in minute quantity, whereas the amount of salt in the vast ocean is of unlimited quantity. In English, religion means a kind of faith, but dharma does not mean a kind of  faith, but it is a fact. A faith may be changed if the follower so desires, but dharma cannot be changed. When it is changed artificially, it becomes troublesome. therefore we learn from Srimad Bhagavatam that dharma is given to the living entities, especially the human being by God himself, and any other kind of dharma which is not given by the Supreme Personality of Godhead is rejected. In the Srimad Bhagavatam, 6th Canto, 3rd Chapter verses 19-22, it is said, dharmam tu saksad bhagavat pranitam  na vai vidur rsayo napi devah  na siddha-mukhya asura manusyah  kuto nu vidyadhara-caranadayah (19) svayambhur naradah sambhuh  kumarah kapilo manuh  prahlado janako bhismo  balirvaiyasakirvayam (20) dvadasaiye vijanimo dharmam  bhagavatam bhutah  guhyam visuddham durbodham  yam jnatva-mrtam asnute (21) etavan eva loke'smin  pumsam dharmah parah smrtaha  bhakti-yogo bhagavati  tan-nama-grahanadibhih (22)

So dharma for the human society cannot be manufactured by any great saintly persons or the demigods or the sidhas or the asuras or  the human beings and what to speak of others. The word "Hindu dharma" is not exactly derived from Vedic version, actually the dharma practised by the followers of the Vedas is called Varnasrama dharma. Later on this Varnasrama dharma, as it was practised in India, was given the name "Hindu dharma" most probably by our neighboring Mohamedan countries. It is said that the people living on the other side of the river Sindhu, now flowing in Pakistan, were called hindus. So we cannot exactly follow what is the meaning of "Hindu dharma", but we can understand what is Varnasrama dharma. But this Varnasrama dharma can be applicable anywhere throughout the universe. The whole universe or the material cosmic manifestations under the influence of the three gunas or material modes, as such the Supreme Personality of Godhead has given us the system of four Varnas-catur-varnyam maya srstam guna-karma-vibhagasah (Bg 4.13) Therefore according to Visnu purana, every living entity or human being especially, has to follow this Varnasrama dharma. In the Varnasrama dharma, the principles are in terms of associating with the different modes of material nature. This is also confirmed in the Bhagavad Gita, how a living entity gets a particular type of body by associating with the modes of material nature. As it is already described, every living entity being part and parcel of God, the Supreme Personality of Godhead (Krishna), is the original father of all living entities. It is confirmed in the Bhagavad gita as follows

sarva yonisu kaunteya
murtaya sambhavanti yah
tasam brahma mahad yonir
aham bija pradah pita
(Bg 14.4)

The Lord says, "My dear son of Kunti, all species of life in different forms are all my sons." Now, here it is clearly stated that forms of the living entities (murtayah) are the sons of the Lord. The Lord also must have His transcendental form as it is described in the Brahma Samhita. Without the Supreme Father being the form, how can He have sons with forms?

isvarah paramah Krsnah
sac-cid-ananda vigrahah
anadir adir govindah
sava karana karanam
(Bs 5.1)

So the original Father, (isvarah paramah krsnah) has His original form. His form is, however, different from the forms of His innumerable sons in the material condition. In the material conditions, the spiritual sparks, namely, the living entities, are differently presented in different material forms, but none of them are sac-cid ananda vigrahah. In other words, the living entities are begotten by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, as the supreme Father, and the seeds discharged within the womb of material nature and at the time of creation they come out in different forms of material bodies and then they are divided in different species of life. In the Bg. it is clearly stated that these living entities have different types of bodies and the cause is the living entities' association with the different modes of material nature, karanam guan sango'sya sad-asad-yoni-janmasu. (Bg 13.22) It is also stated in the Bg.:

mama yonir mamad brahma
tasmin garbham dadhamy aham
sambhavah sarva bhutanam
tato bhavati bharatah
sarva yonisu kaunteya
murtayah sambhavanti yah
tasam brahma mahad yonir
aham bija pradah pita
(Bg 14.3-4)

The conclusion is that we are all sons of God, it doesn't matter in what forms we are existing in at present. Our present existentional position is material concept of life. This material concept of life, namely thinking that I am not this body, is sheer ignorance or to remain in the modes of darkness. The whole world is now covered with darkness on account of this ignorance that I am this body. Anyone who is under such a concept of life that I am this body is called an animal.

yasyatma buddhir gunapetri dhatuke
sva dhih kalatradisu bhauma ijyadhih
yat tirtha buddhih salile na karhicij
janesv abhijnesu sa eva gokharah
(SB 10.84.13)

Go means cow and khara means ass. So this go-khara civilization thinking the body as the self, is very much strong at the present moment. Therefore combinedly, all intelligent persons throughout the world must try to awaken the real dharma or characteristic of all human beings. Everyone is under the bodily concept of live and is thinking that he is Indian, American, European, Hindu, Moslem, brahmana, ksatriya, or in greater conception, I am a human being, I am an animal, I am a bird, I am a beast, I am a tree, etc. Factually the living entities being in contact with material nature and born in different species of life, from the very beginning of creation, they are differently situated in different forms. Darwins theory of evolution is simply speculation and is therefore not correct. He has taken the idea from Vedic literature, but on account of his poor fund of knowledge, he could not explain the matter perfectly. He wanted to become a co-called scientist, independent of Vedic literature, and therefore he has missed the point and has misled the whole human society especially the Western world in the grossest way of material existence. The real evolutionary science is described in the Vedic literature, namely Brahma-Vaivarta Purana:

asitim caturas caiva laksan tan jiva jatisu
brahmadbhih purusaih prapyam manusyam janma paryayat
tad apy aphalatam jatam tesam atmabhimaninam
varakanam anasritya govinda carana dvayam

In the Padma Purana also, we get information that there are 8400000 different forms of life. Janma-paryaya means transmigration of the soul. The fact is that there are three material qualities, sattva, rajas and tamas, and when these three qualities are multiplied by three, they become nine qualities, and similarly nine multiplied by nine become a mixture of eighty-one qualities exactly like a color combination. Originally there are three colors, red, blue and yellow,and if you mix them together, they become green, orange, pink and so many other colors. Similarly the combination of three qualities of material nature, sattva, rajas, and tamas, has created so many forms of living entities. Bg 14.5, it is clearly explained, sattvam rajas tama iti gunah prakriti sambhavah, the material nature consists of three modes, goodness, passion and ignorance. When the living entity comes into contact with material nature he comes out in different forms of body. These forms of body are just like dream or likened to the forms of body in a dream. Sometimes the question is put forward as to when the living entity first contacted the material nature. There is no need of tracing the history of such contact as much as there is no need as tracing the history of dream. The SB says:

atma-mayam rte rajan
na ghatetartha sambandahah
svapna drastur ivanjasa
(SB 2.9.1)

So this atma maya means conditioned life. As soon as one forgets his constitutional position, he becomes illusioned by his own action, or in other words, as soon as the living entity forgets that he is part and parcel of the Supreme Personality of Godhead or His son, he is supposed to be in a dream. Therefore real propagation of religion or dharma should be how to get out the pure soul or living being from the cluthes of maya or illusion. The whole world is suffering under this illusion and therefore the most important task before the human society is to educate every human being that he is not this body but he is spirit soul, part and parcel of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. All living entities are entrapped by this illusion and by the evolutionary process, namely by transmigration of the soul from one body to another. When the living entity comes to the status of the human being, it is the opportunity for his becoming free from this continued birth and death and again going back to home, back to Godhead. The matter is simplified in the statement of Bg.:

daivi hy esa gunamayi
mama maya duratyaya
mam eva ye prapadyante
mayam etam taranti te
(Bg 7.14)

That is to say, that the modes of material nature, known as gunamayi maya are very strong and it is very difficult to get out of the entanglement. But the Lord gives the remedy at the same time that anyone who surrenders to Him, mameva ye prapadyante, or anyone who surrenders voluntarily unto Krsna (isvarah paramah Krsnah), he becomes out of the clutches of the material entanglement. The surrendering process is actually the human civilization and that is real dharma of the human society and that is the basic principle of the Vedic culture as it is confirmed by the statement of the Lord. Vedais ca sarvair aham eva vedyo (Bg. 15.15) This Vedic culture is now being propagated under the name of the Krsna consciousness movement. It is scientific, authorised and practical. We have got practical experience of this fact. Four or five years ago in the material world, nobody knew what is Krsna. Since many hundred of years, Bg. was known to the Western countries and almost all scholars and religionists are interested in reading the great book of knowledge Bhagavad Gita. But such Knowledge, being presented by the Mayavad School, Krsna as never been appriciated. At the Present movement, we are presenting Bhagavad Gita As it is, without any so called scholarly mal interpretation. And in all parts of the world, this movement is being accepted, especially by the younger generation, which means that this movement has a great future for been accepted by everyone. In the Bhagvatam it is recommended that dharma in its confidential and essential form should be preached as follows:

etavan eva loke'smin pumsam
dharmah parah smrtah
bhakti-yogo bhagavati
(Bhag. 6.3.22)

This is the first class way of preaching dharma, namely, bhaktiyogo bhagavati, which begins by chanting His holy name, tannama-grahanadibhih. The same thing is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gita,

satatam kirtayanto mam
yatantas ca drdha-vratah
namasyantas ca mam bhaktya
nitya-yukto upasate
(Bg. 9.14)

So we are preaching the essence of dharma, namely chanting the holy names of the Lord, the mahamantra, "Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare."
This movement is now known generally all over the world as the Hare Krsna movement. This is confirmed in the Brhan-Naradiya Purana:

harer nama harer nama
harer namaiva kevalam
kalau nasty eva nasty eva
nasty eva gatir anyatha

So anyone who is serious to preach real this movement. It is being accepted in America, Europe, Japan, Australia, Africa, South America and even in Russia. If India wants to be glorified, she must take to her original spiritual culture, namely to know the goal of life. They are thinking that they can be happy by material adjustment. But it has been proved that they have never been happy in the past by such attempts and therefore it is to be concluded that they will never been happy in the future by such attempts. We are attempting to spread this Krsna Consciousness in our humble way and if one conditioned soul is delivered from the clutches of Maya, we shall think our movement is successful. We think therefore that all religious communities from all over the world should take part in this movement. If not easily, they can take advantage of our dozens of voluminous books, such as :

1. Bhagavad-gita As It Is
2. Srimad-Bhagavatam
3. Teachings of Lord Caitanya
4. Nectar of Devotion (Bhaktirasamrta-sindhu)
5. Krsna, the supreme Peronality of Godhead
6. Sri Isopanisad
7. Easy Journey to Other Planets
8. Krsna Consciousness: The Topmost Yoga System,
etc, etc.

But our only request to all religious communities is to understand this movement and take part in it.

(Manifestation of Dharma in Human Being - Feb 1972
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda)