Govardhana Pūjā

Krsna lifting govardhan hill1

On November 3rd the festival known as Govardhana Pūjā is celebrated.

The sacrifice known as Govardhana Pūjā is observed in the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. Lord Caitanya has recommended that since Kṛṣṇa is worshipable, so His land, Vṛndāvana and Govardhana Hill, are also worshipable. To confirm this statement, Lord Kṛṣṇa said that Govardhana Pūjā is as good as worship of Him. From that day, the Govardhana Pūjā has been still going on and is known as Annakūṭa. In all the temples of Vṛndāvana or outside of Vṛndāvana, huge quantities of food are prepared in this ceremony and are very sumptuously distributed to the general population. Sometimes the food is thrown to the crowds, and they enjoy collecting it off the ground. From these instances, we can understand that prasādam offered to Kṛṣṇa never becomes polluted or contaminated, even if it is thrown on the ground. The people, therefore, collect it and eat with great satisfaction. (Kṛṣṇa, The Supreme Personality of Godhead, chapter 24)

…Formerly, at the end of Dvāpara-yuga, all the cowherd men of Vṛndāvana had arranged to worship King Indra, but they gave this worship up, following the advice of Kṛṣṇa. Instead, they performed a ceremony whereby they worshiped the cows, brāhmaṇas and Govardhana Hill. At that time Kṛṣṇa expanded Himself and declared, “I am Govardhana Hill.” In this way He accepted all the paraphernalia and food offered to Govardhana Hill. (from purport of Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila 4.86)

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Prasadam; The Lords Mercy

Krishna Prasadam, The Lords Mercy

Prasadam
How to Prepare and Offer Food

Food prepared for and offered to Krishna with love and devotion becomes completely spiritualized. Such food is called Krishna prasadam, which means “the mercy of Lord Krishna.”

Lord Caitanya said of prasadam…”now that they have been prepared for Krishna and offered to Him with devotion, these foods have acquired extraordinary tastes and uncommon fragrances. Just taste them and see the difference! Apart from the taste, even the fragrance pleases the mind and makes one forget any other fragrance. Therefore, it should be understood that the spiritual nectar of Krishna’s lips must have touched these ordinary foods and imparted to them all their transcendental qualities.”

Eating only food offered to Krishna is the perfection of vegetarianism. In the Bhagavad-gita Lord Krishna says that unless one eats only food that has been offered to Him in sacrifice, one will suffer the reactions of karma. He also states, “If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, a fruit, or water, I will accept it.”

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Offering Food to the Lord

Srila Prabhupada taking prasadam

…For offering prasadam simply prayers to the Spiritual Master is sufficient. The process is that everything is offered to the Spiritual Master, and the Spiritual Master is supposed to offer the same foodstuff to the Lord. When a thing is offered to the Spiritual Master, he immediately offers to the Lord. That is the system, and as we come by parampara system, it is our duty to go through the right channel—namely, first the Spiritual Master, then Lord Caitanya, and then Krishna. So when we chant prayers, we do this, Vande ham Sri Guru . . . and gradually to the Goswamis, then to Lord Caitanya, and then to Radha Krishna. That is the praying system. But offering the prasadam to present everything before the Spiritual Master whose picture is also in the altar, means that the Spiritual Master will take care of offering the foodstuff to the Lord. Therefore simply by chanting the prayer to the Spiritual Master, everything will be complete. (Letter to Harer Nama May 28, 1968)

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Reference Material / Study Guide (Free PDF Download)

Harinam Diksha Reference

Some time back I found this nice download of reference material and study guide for aspiring devotees. I printed it out, which took 80 pieces of paper, punched holes, and put it in a ring folder. It is arranged very professionally, and is broken down into eight basic areas of study.

1) Spiritual Master

2) Disciple

3) Deity Worship

4) Devotional Service

5) Chanting

6) Demigod Worship

7) Prasadam

8) General Information

For a free pdf download to view or save follow link; Harinam_Diksha_Reference_Material_for_Written_Test_new

Why Be Vegetarian?

Great Vegetarians

…On the spiritual path, there are several reasons why a person is recommended to be vegetarian. One primary reason is that we need to see the spiritual nature within all living beings, and that includes the animals and other creatures as well. Universal brotherhood means nonviolence to both humans and animals. It consists of understanding that animals also have souls. They are alive, conscious, and feel pain. And these are the indications of the presence of consciousness, which is the symptom of the soul.

…Isaac Bashevis Singer, who won the Nobel Prize in Literature, asked, “How can we pray to God for mercy if we ourselves have no mercy? How can we speak of rights and justice if we take an innocent creature and shed its blood?” He went on to say, “I personally believe that as long as human beings will go shedding the blood of animals, there will never be any peace.”

…The Buddhist scripture (Sutta-Nipata 393) also advises: “Let him not destroy or cause to be destroyed any life at all, or sanction the acts of those who do so. Let him refrain from even hurting any creature, both those that are strong and those that tremble in the world.” It is also said in the Buddhist scripture, the Mahaparinirvana Sutra, “The eating of meat extinguishes the seed of great compassion.”

Why Be Vegetarian?
By Stephen Knapp (Sri Nandanandana dasa)

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An Address to American Youth

An Address to American Youth

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…So we invite you to please chant with us it is such a nice thing; come to our temple if you like; take a little prasadam; and be happy. It is not very difficult if you just chant this HARE KRISHNA, HARE KRISHNA, KRISHNA KRISHNA, HARE HARE, HARE RAMA, HARE RAMA, RAMA RAMA, HARE HARE. That will save you. Thank you very much, and God bless you.

Swami A.C. Bhaktivedanta

An Address to American Youth
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada
Excerpted from Back to Godhead Magazine 1967, Vol 1, No.13

My dear young beautiful boys and girls of America. I have come to your country with great hope and a great mission. My Spiritual Master, Om Vishnupad Paramhansa Paribrajaka Acharya Sri Sriman Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami Maharaj, asked me to preach this cult of Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in the Western World. That was the seed-giving incident. Gradually the seed fructified, and I was prepared to come to the Western World. Still, I do not know why I was so much attracted by the land of America. But from within Krishna dictated that instead of going to Europe I should better go to America. So you can see that I have come to your country under order of superior authority. And even after arriving here, when I perceived that some of the youngsters are being misled, confused and frustrated this is not the condition in your country only, but in every country, the young people are neglected, although it is they who are the flower and future hope of everyone so I thought to myself that if I go the American youth with my message and they join with me in this movement, then it will spread all over the world and then all the problems of the world will be solved. How I would like to be with you in person today, but Krishna has prevented that, so please pardon me and accept my blessings in this written form.

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Kṛṣṇa Prasādam; The Lord’s Mercy

…By development of Kṛṣṇa consciousness one can know that everything has its use in the service of the Lord.

…After cooking is finished and when it is offered to the Deity, then you take as much as you like, as much as you like. So that means there is God consciousness, that “This thing is being cooked for the Lord.” The cooking will go on. If you don’t think of God, you require cooking because you want to eat. The cooking is there in the program. But if you think that this cooking is done for God, then your God consciousness is there. The cooking you cannot avoid. As a householder you have to cook for yourself, you have to cook for your children, you have to cook for somebody else or for your own self. Just like I am cooking. I have no here family or children, but I am cooking for myself. So cooking you cannot stop. But if you cook with the understanding that “This foodstuff is being cooked for the Lord. The Lord may be offered first; then we shall take,” this is God consciousness. This is God consciousness. But is it very difficult thing? Anyone can accept this.” (Srila Prabhupada Lecture on Bhagavad-Gita, 04-01-66, New York)

…So on the higher platform, there is nothing material when everything is accepted in relationship with Krishna or the Supreme Spirit.

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1970′s Devotee Cookbook

Ran across this fine devotee cookbook on the Sampradaya Sun this morning, and thought we should share it with our readers. The recipes did in fact remind us of the early “love feasts”, and devotee diet in the early days of the Hare Krishna Movement. Very Nice!

1970′s Devotee Cookbook
BY: SUN STAFF
Aug 02, 2012 — CANADA (SUN) —

The following cookbook manuscript, which contains a wonderful collection of vintage Hare Krsna recipes, was handed to us several years ago by a devotee, who’d been carrying an old photocopy of it around for many years. While the manuscript doesn’t bear the author’s name, we’re told that it was likely compiled in the early 1970′s by Revatinanda dasa.

A bit of the text was illegible, but the manuscript is reproduced below. Obviously the cookbook was written while Srila Prabhupada was still physically present. Judging from the language and recipes, our best guess is that it’s circa 1972-73. The recipes will be pleasurably familiar to devotees who remember the wonderful prasadam pastimes in ISKCON temples during the ‘early days’.

Devotee Cookbook

“This is a very limited presentation of recipes for prasadam offerings that I have become practiced in preparing over the last few years. The ingredients and basic techniques used in the preparations are according to parampara tradition. Whether the details are as Srila Prabhupada would have exactly instructed, I do not know, but I have experienced on many occasions that He has been pleased by some of these exact preparations. Also I have experienced that devotees especially, and usually karmies (non-devotees) as well, are very much attracted by my preparations. For these reasons – to increase the attractiveness of our offerings to Sri Sri Radha and Krishna, and to increase the satisfaction of both the devotees and karmies with the prasadam they take to purify their existence – I have prepared this small cook-book. It is simply an offering of one devotee’s experience in the matter of prasadam preparation.

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Sri Krishna Balarama Ratha Yatra Queens, NY

Sri Krishna Balarama

Sri Krishna Balarama Ratha Yatra on Sunday, August 5, 2012!

The devotees of Queens invite all to come and celebrate our annual Ratha Yatra parade. It will begin at 1:00 pm sharp from the corner of Liberty Avenue and 123rd Street, and will continue all the way to our Mandir at 111-14 101 Avenue at 3:00 pm, followed by a Festival of India until 8:00 pm. Free sumptuous prasadam will be served all day long and we will have a full afternoon packed with dramas, dances, bhajans, devotional talks
and fun for the entire family.

Sri Krishna Balarama Mandir
111-14 101 Avenue
South Richmond Hill, New York 11419
website: http://www.krishnabalaramanyc.org

For more info, please contact:
Sunandana Das: 917-604-1085 ; sunandanadas@hotmail.com
Govinda: 347-480-5357

Sweet Stuffed Puri

While I was visiting the Prabhupada News web site the other day, I saw this extraordinary image of a Stuffed Puri and following recipe. I thought I would wait until after Ekadasi to re-post it.

Sweet Stuffed Puri
By Joline
Stockholm, Sweden

Puri is a whole wheat bread. This is a recipe especially popular among kids.
Makes 10.

Ingredients:

1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup water (lukewarm)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon butter/ghee
Oil or ghee to deep fry

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Krishna Consciousness is for Everyone

…In order for his movement to be successful, Srila Prabhupada emphasized that there is no room for politics in Krsna consciousness: “Politics means planning for one’s own happiness. That is politics. So in our society there should be no diplomacy, no politics. Everyone should be eager how to do good for others. That is Vaisnava.”

Krishna Consciousness is for Everyone
By Sriman Padmapani Prabhu

Oftentimes those who are practicing Krsna consciousness are challenged that merely tending to spiritual life can’t possibly solve one’s problems in the real world. How can chanting Hare Krsna help someone who is constantly worried about putting food on their dinner table? So-called spiritual solutions seem vague and impractical. However, if we make the effort to study Srila Prabhupada’s teachings in full, we soon discover that he was always down-to-earth along with being committed to living and preaching a godly life.

In early 1974, Srila Prabhupada instructed his leading disciples to start organizing his movement according to the principles of varnasrama-dharma: “Everywhere, wherever we have got our centers, a varnasrama college should be established to train all divisions: one class brahmana, one class ksatriya, one class vaisya, and one class sudra” (Srila Prabhupada, Vrindavan, March, 1974). These four divisions of society are described in the 18th chapter of the Bhagavad-gita where Lord Krsna states that such divisions are naturally “in accordance with the modes of nature” (B.G. 18.41). In the varnasrama system, the brahmanas are the priests, the ksatriyas are the administrators, the vaisyas are the producers of food and the sudras are the workers. By co-operating together, these four parts of the social body are able to maintain a healthy and well functioning society. On the basis of Vedic scripture, Srila Prabhupada guaranteed that there would be no scarcity if the principles of varnasrama were properly established in human society. “Come and join us,” he said. “We shall give you food, shelter, everything. This is Krsna consciousness.”

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First Ever Ratha Yatra Festival in Las Vegas

Maha Harinam

Join in for hours of blissful chanting & dancing on the world famous Las Vegas Strip!
When: Friday, April 21, 6-9 PM
Meeting place: Govinda’s Center at 5:30 PM or the Excalibur outdoor parking lot at 6:00 PM
Harinam route: on Las Vegas Blvd. from Excalibur to Bellagio and back from Paris to MGM.

Ratha Yatra Parade

First ever Ratha Yatra in Las Vegas! 
Please note: Ratha yatra is a part of the Henderson Heritage Parade and Festival.
When: Saturday, April 22, 9:30-11 AM
Start of the parade: Water St. & Ocean Ave. in Henderson, Water Street District, Map & Directions
Parade route: on Water St. from Ocean Ave. to Atlantic Ave.
What happens after the parade: Heritage Festival organized by the City of Henderson will follow the parade and will include live entertainment, international food booths, dance and cooking demonstrations, craft booths and more!
Please visit Govinda’s booth from 10:00 – 7:00 PM. We will be distributing prasadam, books and Indian gifts.
See us on the Henderson Amphitheater Stage at 1:30 PM performing live kirtan and classic Indian dance.

The Hare Krishna Cookbook (Free PDF Download)

click on link at bottom to download entire book in pdf format

The Hare Krsna Cookbook
1973 Bhaktivedanta Book Trust
Compiled by Krsna devi dasi and Sama devi dasi

“The Hare Krsna Cookbook”, originally published in 1973, was the first widely distributed book of vegetarian recipes, throughout the Movement. This was the book myself and many early devotees learned to cook from, and remains today my all time favorite cookbook, and is a constant companion in our kitchen. We offer the complete book on a PDF Format as a gift to all our readers this Holiday Season.

Dedication

Prasadam means mercy, and this Prasadam Cookbook is dedicated to the fountainhead of all mercy, the spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. He is by nature kind to every living entity, but that ocean of mercy becomes fully visible in his devotees.

Srila Prabhupada has not given us some dry, canned philosophy to chew; he has given us the nectar for which we have sought so long: he has taught us how to render transcendental loving service to the Lord in all our daily activities. This book illustrates on of them.

The Process of Krsna Consciousness is usually described as one of dinging, dancing and feasting. We have already demonstrated to the world how anyone can sing and dance to the holy names of God, Hare Krsna, and now, with the publication of this Prasadam Cookbook, we hope that the whole world will feast in honor of the Supreme Lord. That will make this world like Vrndavana, the transcendental abode of Krsna, where Krsna, Balarama and the monkeys visit every kitchen with thieving intend and bless the devotees with pure love of God. (Dedication from The Hare Krsna Cookbook)

Dwonload PDF Format 5.6MB The Hare KRSNA Cookbook

Singapore Prabhupadanugas Invite You…

(click on image to enlarge)

Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare
Hare Rama, Hare Rama
Rama Rama, Hare Hare…

Advaita Acarya Invites Lord Caitanya Home

Today being Thanksgiving, we decided to post a story of one of the “Most Famous Feasts” in recent Vaisnava history, cooked by the wife of Advaita Acarya, Sita. Followed by the song composed by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, “Prasada-sevya part 2″ honoring this event.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta – 1975 Edition
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s Stay at the House of Advaita Acarya
Madhya 3, Text 38-136

Advaita Ācārya said, “You have been fasting continuously for three days in Your ecstasy of love for Kṛṣṇa. I therefore invite You to My home, where You may kindly take Your alms. Come with Me to My residence.”

Advaita Prabhu continued, “At My home I have just cooked one palmful of rice. The vegetables are always very simple. There is no luxurious cooking-simply a little liquid vegetable and spinach.”

Saying this, Śrī Advaita Ācārya took the Lord into the boat and brought the Lord to His residence. There Advaita Ācārya washed the feet of the Lord and was consequently very happy within.

All the eatables were first cooked by the wife of Advaita Ācārya. Then Śrīla Advaita Ācārya personally offered everything to Lord Viṣṇu.

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The Importance of Prasadam

Prasadam

Bhunjante Te Agham Papam Ye Pachyante Atmakaramak. Anyone who is cooking for himself, he is eating simply volumes of sin. So in the material world, either a man is vegetarian or non-vegetarian, they’re eating simply sin, and they will have to suffer the consequence. But so far we are concerned, we are eating remnants of foodstuff which was offered to Krishna, so we are not afraid of anything. If Krishna wants vegetable foodstuff, therefore we supply Him vegetable foodstuff, and if He wants non-vegetarian foodstuff, we can offer Him also, but He does not want it, as it is explicitly stated in the Bhagavad-gita. So we are concerned with Krishna Prasadam, neither vegetarian or non-vegetarian. … There are many vegetarians animals also; the monkeys are vegetarians, the pigeons are vegetarians, so to become vegetarian is not very good credit. But to become Krishna Consciousness is the most important business of life. You should try to convince your friends in that way. They should try to learn about Krishna Consciousness. But because they are vegetarians, there is great possibility for them to understand this philosophy.

This article includes both the Bhagavad-gita verse 3.13 and a letter written in 1968 to Nandarani dd which both help explaine the importance of Prasadam

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How To Offer Your Food To The Lord

How to Offer Your Food To The Lord

Everything comes from God (Krishna), the air we breath, the water we drink, and the food we eat. But this process of Krishna Consciousness or bhakti-yoga, is the method for re-awakeing our dormant love for God. When you love someone, then there is service. Isn’t this so? A mother loves her baby, and cares for the babies needs; she baths the baby, dresses the baby, feeds the baby etc. So this process of Krishna Consciousness is giving back to the Supreme Lord, in the mood of loving devotional service. Although the Supreme Lord is providing everything, still a devotee thinks, “I want to give something back. I want to offer something to the Lord” Not that we just take from the Lord, ‘O Lord thank you for our daily bread’. No, a devotee wants to bake some bread for the Lord, cook some rice and offer it to the Lord, offer some fruits, and flowers, and water for the Lords pleasure. This is the begining of Love, through service.

A young boy meets a young girl, and he gives her a flower, carries her books, gives her gifts and offers her service. Similary, we want to love God, so we begin with gifts and service, to develope our love and devotion. So this process of offering very nicely prepeared foods to the Lord is Bhakti Yoga. Yoga means ‘union’, and Bhakti means through loving devotional service. It is a very blissful process. I want to Love God, so let me offer some service, some flowers, some nicely cooked food,etc. And we can link up with God (yoga) by thinking of Him, offering prayers, chanting His holy names, and offering the food we eat.

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Preparing and Offering Prasadam

By His immense transcendental energies, Krsna can convert matter into spirit. If we place an iron rod in a fire, before long the rod becomes red hot and acts just like fire. In the same way, food prepared for and offered to Krishna with love and devotion becomes spiritualized. Such food is called Krsna prasadam, which means “the mercy of Lord Krsna.”

Eating prasadam is a fundamental practice of bhakti yoga. In other forms of yoga one must artificially repress the senses, but the bhakti-yogi can engage his or her senses in a variety of pleasing spiritual activities, such as tasting delicious food offered to Lord Krsna. In this way the senses gradually become spiritualized and bring the devotee more and more transcendental pleasure by being engaged in devotional service. Such spiritual pleasure far surpasses any kind of material experience.

Lord Caitanya said of prasadam, “Everyone has tasted these foods before. However, now that they have been prepared for Krishna and offered to Him with devotion, these foods have acquired extraordinary tastes and uncommon fragrances. Just taste them and see the difference in the experience! Apart from the taste, even the fragrance pleases the mind and makes one forget any other fragrance. Therefore one should know that the spiritual nectar of Krsna’s lips must have touched these ordinary foods and imparted to them all their transcendental qualities.”

Eating only food offered to Lord Krsna is the perfection of vegetarianism. In itself, being a vegetarian is not enough; after all, even pigeons and monkeys are vegetarians. But when we go beyond vegetarianism to a diet of prasadam, our eating becomes helpful in achieving the goal of human life–reawakening the soul’s original relationship with God. In the Bhagavad-gita Krsna says that unless one eats only food that has been offered to Him in sacrifice, one will suffer the reactions of karma.

Tommorow we will feature an article entitled “How to offer Your Food to the Lord”. So stay with us!

A Short Statement of the Philosophy of Krishna Consciousness

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July 9th Letter

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Bhagavad-gita As It Is 1972 Edition “Online”

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Srimad Bhagavatam Online

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108 Imporant Slokas from the 1972 Bhagavad-gita As It Is

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Important Slokas from the Brahma-samhita

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Slokas from the Sri Isopanisad

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Prayers By Queen Kunti (Slokas)

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Gajendra’s Prayers of Surrender (Slokas)

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The Hare Krishna Explosion

The Hare Krishna Cookbook

Songs of the Vaisnava Acaryas

Reference Material/Study Guide

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Raja-Vidya the King of Knowledge

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