Appearance Day of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur

Today we celebrate the Appearance of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur with a half day fast, and one of my favorite songs written by Thakur Bhaktivinoda.

The dust of the lotus feet of pure devotees, enthusiastic devotional service, and service to the pure devotees of the highest order are the roots of the creeper of devotion.

When I hear the sound of the mrdanga in my heart I always desire to join in kirtana; and when I hear the bonafide songs describing Lord Caitanya’s pastimes, my heart dances in ecstasy.

Suddha-Bhakata
by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

Full song and lyrics More

The Appearance Day of Srimati Radharani

Radha and Krishna

Today marks the Appearance of Srimati Radharani.  We honor it with a half day fast, puspanjali, discussion on the glories of Srimati Radharani, followed by a feast.

The following are just a few of the many quotes from Srila Prabhupada which encourage us to approach Krishna through the mercy of Srimati Radharani, Krishna’s eternal consort. For those of us who feel that there is no hope of making spiritual progress in this lifetime, Srimati Radharani, Who is compassion personified, kindly comes to our rescue if we can humbly invoke Her divine blessings.

tapta-kancana-gaurangi radhe vrndavanesvari
vrsabhanu-sute devi pranamami hari-priye

“I offer my respects to Radharani whose bodily complexion is like molten gold and who is the Queen of Vrndavana. You are the daughter of King Vrsabhanu, and You are very dear to Lord Krishna.”  (Sri Radha Pranama)

“So this is our philosophy, to please Krishna through Radharani, and just today is the auspicious day of Radharani appearance. So we should offer puspanjali and pray to Radharani that ‘Radharani, kindly be merciful and tell about me to Your Krishna. To Your Krishna. Krishna is Yours.’ Krishna, Radha-Krishna. Krishna is not independent. Krishna is Radharani’s property. So you have to approach Krishna through Radharani. That is, today is the auspicious day. Worship Radharani very nicely and be happy.”  (Srila Prabhupada Lecture, September 5, 1973)

“The beauty of Srimati Radharani’s eyes forcibly devours the beauty of newly grown blue lotus flowers, and the beauty of Her face surpasses that of an entire forest of fully blossomed lotuses. Her bodily luster seems to place even gold into a painful situation. Thus the wonderful, unprecedented beauty of Srimati Radharani is awakening in Vrindavana.”  (Caitanya-caritamrita Antya 1.169)

“I emphatically say to you, O brothers, you will obtain your good fortune from the Supreme Lord Krishna only when Srimati Radharani becomes pleased with you.”(Prayer to the Lotus Feet of Krishna, September 13, 1965)

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Radhaballabha Kachoris

Today we celebrate the Appearance Day of Srimati Radharani [Radhastami] with a half day fast followed by a feast cooked in honor of Srimati Radharani. She appears at noon so we begin our day with songs in praise of Srimati Radharani and time in the kitchen cooking up a nice vegetarian offering. Since She is fond of Kachori’s, we share with you this nice recipe from “The Hare Krishna Cookbok”; Radhaballabha Kachoris.

“This preparation is one of Srimati Radharani’s favorites and is always prepared for Her appearance day. There is nothing in the material world to compare with the flavor of Radhaballabha Kachoris”.

Radhaballabha Kachoris Recipe

ghee for deep frying
1 cup of cleaned, split urad dhal
2 cups white flour
cayenne pepper
asafoetida
2 T. freshly ground anise seed
butter or ghee solids

Wash urad dahl thoroughly. Soak in water overnight. Drain, leaving a tiny bit of water. In a blender, grind urad dhal untill it is a smooth paste, adding a little more water if necessary. The past should ve very thick. Set aside. Add ground anise seed to paste. Using white flour, butter or ghee solids and water, make a soft dough, like puri dough. (not wet.) Let the dough sit for one hour under a dampened cloth. Meanwhile prepare three very small bowls in the following manner:

1. Put in a mixture of 1 T. water and 1/2 t. asafoetida.
2. Put plain salt in the second.
3. Put cayenne pepper in the third.

Pinch off balls of dough one inch in diameter. Roll them out into circles of 2 1/2 inches in diameter. Pinch off a ball of kachori paste about one inch in diameter; dip into each of bowls in succession, and place in the center of the circle of kachori dough. Gather up the dough around the paste as you would gather a paper bag. Make sure all the urad dahl paste is covered, and seal the top edge very well using a little water. Flatten the sealed kachori with a rolling pin and then roll gently as you would apuri or chapati.

Be carful not to break the surfaces. If necessary, pat them out by hand. Deep-fry the kachori in fairly hot ghee as you would a puri. Stand up kachoris on paper toweling to drain. Before offering them, re-fry very quickly, but do not brown.

“This preparation is one of Srimati Radharani’s favorites and is always prepared for Her appearance day. There is nothing in the material world to compare with the flavor of Radhaballabha Kachoris”.

This recipe I copied from;The Hare Krishna Cookbook” [click on link to down load the entire book]

Editorial: “GBC Suppressed The Truth” Officiating Acaryas

The following is an older article but one of great importance, with perhaps the only remaining document of the GBC summary report of the meeting that took place between May 27-29, 1977.

Officiating Acaryas

Editorial: “GBC Suppressed The Truth”
by Locanananda dasa

EDITORIAL, Dec 13 [1999] (VNN)

New evidence has just been discovered that suggests a GBC conspiracy to suppress instructions given by Śrīla Prabhupāda concerning how he wanted initiations to be performed after his departure.

In May of 1977, the members of the GBC were summoned to Vrndavana, India to meet with Śrīla Prabhupāda when His Divine Grace thought his departure from this world was imminent. His Divine Grace revealed to a committee of GBC members that he was going to recommend some of his disciples to act as officiating ācāryas to perform first and second initiations when he would no longer be with us. As evidenced by the following document, the GBC decided at the time that devotees throughout the world should not be informed of this most important revelation made by their beloved spiritual master.

The repercussions of the decision to suppress the truth and the subsequent deviation from Śrīla Prabhupāda’s instructions have left devoted followers of His Divine Grace deadlocked over the issue of guru succession and initiations in ISKCON for more than two decades.

The document in question is a summary report of the GBC meetings held during the three days from May 27-29, 1977. The report was sent out to all ISKCON temple presidents and begins with a list of names of the GBC members in attendance. The first point mentioned in the report is that a list of trustees of all ISKCON properties was submitted to Śrīla Prabhupāda. The second point states that committees were formed to improve the original charter and expand the Bureau of Management in India. Point number three deals with the questions posed by the GBC committee concerning how Śrīla Prabhupāda’s mission was to be continued under the direction of the GBC after his departure. It is this third item that is of great significance.

A review of the document shows quite clearly that the GBC deliberately omitted from the report Śrīla Prabhupāda’s answer to the question concerning initiations. This intentional omission was apparently made to conceal Śrīla Prabhupāda’s wishes from his disciples worldwide concerning the initiation procedures he wanted followed after his departure. Had this been an honest presentation of the facts, the report would have stated:

“When asked how first and second initiations would be performed after he was no longer with us, Śrīla Prabhupāda said that he was going to recommend some of his disciples to act as officiating ācāryas.”

The text of Śrīla Prabhupāda’s conversation with the GBC committee was not disclosed for many years, which has created a credibility gap between the leaders of ISKCON and ISKCON’s general membership.

Six weeks later, a letter issued on July 9th, 1977 bearing Śrīla Prabhupāda’s signature was sent to all temple presidents to explain changes that were being made in initiation procedures. It was the outcome of a discussion that had taken place two days earlier between Śrīla Prabhupāda and his secretary. In that conversation, to resolve the problem of an initiation backlog, Śrīla Prabhupāda first recommended that senior sannyāsīs could again perform initiation ceremonies as had been done before his illness. However, when the secretary reminded Śrīla Prabhupāda of the May 28th meeting with the GBC, this historic conversation evolved into the naming of the officiating ācāryas, referred to in the letter as “ritvik representatives.”

Śrīla Prabhupāda had said he was going to recommend some of his disciples to perform initiations on his behalf after his disappearance, and the July 9th letter was the fulfillment of that promise. According to the May 28th announcement to the GBC, those initiated during his physical presence by representatives of the ācārya would be considered his direct disciples, while those initiated after his disappearance by officiating ācāryas would be considered his second generation of disciples, or granddisciples. The difference was considered to be one of formalities, since all members of ISKCON throughout the course of its history would perpetually serve, worship and follow the teachings of their great preceptor ācārya, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda. That is the principle that unifies the International Society for Kṛṣṇa Consciousness.

The document presented below was transcribed exactly from the original which accounts for any spelling or grammatical errors. Because the only remaining copy may be the one in my possession, I recommend that devotees save copies in their files for future reference.

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Krishna Janmastami

Joyous Celebration at Krishna’s Birth

Today we celebrate the birth of Lord Krsna, or Krishna Janmastami, with a full day fast and a feast after his appearance at Midnight tonight. We honor this auspicious day with a post from the Krsna Book.

The joyous vibrations at Krsna’s birth ceremony could be heard in all the pasturing grounds and houses.

 

KRSNA, The Supreme Personality of Godhead
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Chapter 5

Meeting of Nanda and Vasudeva

Although Kṛṣṇa was the real son of Vasudeva and Devakī, because of Kaṁsa’s atrocious activities Vasudeva could not enjoy the birth ceremony of his son. But Nanda Mahārāja, the foster father, celebrated the birth ceremony of Kṛṣṇa very joyfully. The next day, it was declared that a male child was born of Yaśodā. According to Vedic custom, Nanda Mahārāja called for learned astrologers and brāhmaṇas to perform the birth ceremony. After the birth of a child, the astrologers calculate the moment of the birth and make a horoscope of the child’s future life. Another ceremony takes place after the birth of the child: the family members take baths, cleanse themselves and decorate themselves with ornaments and garlands; then they come before the child and the astrologer to hear of the future life of the child. Nanda Mahārāja and other members of the family dressed and sat down in front of the birthplace. All the brāhmaṇas who were assembled there on this occasion chanted auspicious mantras, according to the rituals, while the astrologers performed the birth ceremony. All the demigods are also worshiped on this occasion, as well as the forefathers of the family. Nanda Mahārāja distributed 200,000 well decorated, dressed and ornamented cows to the brāhmaṇas. He not only gave cows in charity, but hills of grains, decorated with golden-bordered garments and many ornaments.

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Lord Krishna’s Appearance Day Lecture

Lord Krishna’s Appearance Day Lecture
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
(London, August 21, 1973)

Prabhupāda: His Excellency, the High Commissioner; ladies and gentlemen, I thank you very much for your coming here and participating in this ceremony, Janmāṣṭamī, advent of Kṛṣṇa. The subject matter I’ve been ordered to speak on is advent of Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavad-gītā,

janma karma me divyaṁ
yo jānāti tattvataḥ
tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma
naiti mām eti kaunteya
(BG 4.9)

This fact, that we can achieve such a stage of life when we can stop our birth and death… Sa ‘mṛtatvāya kalpate. This morning, I was explaining this verse:

yaṁ hi na vyathayanty ete
puruṣaṁ puruṣarsabha
sama-duḥkha-sukhaṁ dhīraṁ
so ‘mṛtatvāya kalpate

Amrtatva means immortality. So the modern civilization, they have no idea, either the great philosopher, great politician or great scientist, that it is possible to attain the stage of immortality. Amṛtatva. We are all amṛta. In the Bhagavad-gītā it is said, na jāyate na mrīyate vā kadācin. We living entities, we never die, never take birth. Nityaḥ śāśvato yaṁ, na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre (BG 2.20). Every one of us, we are eternal, nityaḥ śāśvato; Purāṇa, the oldest. And after annihilation of this body, we do not die. Na hanyate. The body is finished, but I have to accept another body. Tathā dehāntara prāptir dhīras tatra na muhyati. Dehino ‘smin yathā dehe kaumāraṁ yauvanaṁ jarā (BG 2.13).

This simple thing, at the present moment, they are lacking knowledge, that we, all living entities, part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa, we are eternal, we are blissful, and we are cognizant. Kṛṣṇa is described in the Vedic śāstras:

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Let the World Chant Hare Krishna!

In this present day, people are very much eager to have one scripture, one God, one religion, and one occupation.

Therefore,

ekam sastram devaki-putra-gitam: let there be one scripture only, one common scripture for the whole world – Bhagavad-gita.

Eko devo devaki-putra eva: let there be one God for the whole world – Sri Krishna.

Eko mantras tasya namani
: and one hymn, one mantra, one prayer – the chanting of His name

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

Karmapy ekam tasya devasya seva: and let there be one work only – the service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Chanting the Song Sung by Lord Śiva: Rudra-gita

Siva-Pracetas

The Supreme Lord (Viṣṇu) says: “Those who will offer Me the prayers composed by Lord Śiva, both in the morning and in the evening, will be given benedictions by Me. In this way they can both fulfill their desires and attain good intelligence.” (SB 4.30.10)

Chanting the Song Sung by Lord Śiva

Lord Śiva said to the Pracetās:

“Just execute your kingly duties with a pure heart and chant the prayer I have recited, fixing your mind on the lotus feet of the Lord. That will bring you all good fortune.” (p. 405)

The Rudra-gītā is Lord Śiva’s song to the Supreme Lord, Vāsudeva (Viṣṇu) and is known as the hymn of liberation. These prayers, which are contained in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 4.24.33-74, are presented by Lord Śiva to the sons (Pracetās) of King Prācīnabarhi for reaching the ultimate spiritual perfection.

The Supreme Lord (Viṣṇu) says: “Those who will offer Me the prayers composed by Lord Śiva, both in the morning and in the evening, will be given benedictions by Me. In this way they can both fulfill their desires and attain good intelligence.” (SB 4.30.10)

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

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The Hare Krishna Cookbook

Songs of the Vaisnava Acaryas

Bhagavad-gita As It Is 1972 Edition “Online”

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Srimad Bhagavatam Online

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Raja-Vidya the King of Knowledge

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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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A Short Statement of the Philosophy of Krishna Consciousness

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July 9th Letter

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The Hare Krishna Explosion

Reference Material/Study Guide

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