Disappearance Day of Jayananda Thakur

Today marks the disappearance day of my dear friend and God brother, Jayananda das. He was such a beautiful devotee, the perfect servant of our Srila Prabhupada, and friend to all. His death was glorious as stated in a letter to Ramesvara das shortly after his death:

 Jayananda’s death is glorious. It is very good that he had stated,what is the use of such a useless body, better to give it up. He has left his body very wonderfully, and he has been transferred to Vaikuntha. I have already sent a condolence letter for publication in Back To Godhead. Everyone should follow the example of Jayananda. I am very proud that I had such a nice disciple. If possible Jayananda’s picture should be hung in the ratha of Lord Jagannatha, and in all of our temples a day may be set aside for holding a festival in his honor, just as we do on the disappearance day of the other great Vaisnavas. (letter by Srila Prabhupada 77-05-11)

We have included a personal letter by Srila Prabhupada to Jayananda

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Appearance Day of Lord Nrsimhadeva

Today we honor the Appearance day of Lord Nṛsiṁhadeva, with a fast till sunset and the following text from the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. So shortly after the Lord killed Hiraṇyakaśipu, and his armies, the Lord sat Himself on the throne of Hiraṇyakaśipu, and was offered prayers by all the assembled saintly persons and demigods.

…The Lord not only killed Hiraṇyakaśipu, the King of the demons, but also killed many of his followers. When there was no one else to fight, the Lord, roaring with anger, sat down on Hiraṇyakaśipu’s throne.

The entire universe was thus relieved of the rule of Hiraṇyakaśipu, and everyone was jubilant in transcendental bliss. Then all the demigods, headed by Lord Brahmā, approached the Lord. These included the great saintly persons, the Pitās, the Siddhas, the Vidyādharas, the Nāgas, the Manus, the prajāpatis, the Gandharvas, the Cāraṇas, the Yakṣas, the Kimpuruṣas, the Vaitālikas, the Kinnaras and also many other varieties of beings in human form. All of them stood not far from the Supreme Personality of Godhead and began offering their prayers unto the Lord, whose spiritual effulgence was brilliant as He sat on the throne. (from the chapter summary)

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Mothers Day, Seven Mothers

Here in the West Mothers Day is being celebrated; a day to honor our Mothers.

…According to scriptures also, there are seven mothers: (1) the real mother, (2) the wife of the spiritual master, (3) the wife of a brāhmaṇa, (4) the wife of the king, (5) the cow, (6) the nurse, and (7) the earth. All of them are mothers.

Srimad Bhagavatam
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swaim Prabhupada
from Canto 1, Chapter 11, Text 28-

Seven Mothers

praviṣṭas tu gṛhaṁ pitroḥ
pariṣvaktaḥ sva-mātṛbhiḥ
vavande śirasā sapta
devakī-pramukhā mudā

praviṣṭaḥ—after entering; tu—but; gṛham—houses; pitroḥ—of the father; pariṣvaktaḥ—embraced; sva-mātṛbhiḥ—by His own mothers; vavande—offered obeisances; śirasā—His head; sapta—seven; devakī—Devakī; pramukhā—headed by; mudā—gladly.

After entering the house of His father, He was embraced by the mothers present, and the Lord offered His obeisances unto them by placing His head at their feet. The mothers were headed by Devakī [His real mother].

It appears that Vasudeva, the father of Lord Kṛṣṇa, had completely separate residential quarters where he lived with his eighteen wives, out of whom Śrīmatī Devakī is the real mother of Lord Kṛṣṇa. But in spite of this, all other stepmothers were equally affectionate to Him, as will be evident from the following verse. Lord Kṛṣṇa also did not distinguish His real mother from His stepmothers, and He equally offered His obeisances unto all the wives of Vasudeva present on the occasion. According to scriptures also, there are seven mothers: (1) the real mother, (2) the wife of the spiritual master, (3) the wife of a brāhmaṇa, (4) the wife of the king, (5) the cow, (6) the nurse, and (7) the earth. All of them are mothers. Even by this injunction of the śāstras, the stepmother, who is the wife of the father, is also as good as the mother because the father is also one of the spiritual masters. Lord Kṛṣṇa, the Lord of the universe, plays the part of an ideal son just to teach others how to treat their stepmothers.

tāḥ putram aṅkam āropya
sneha-snuta-payodharāḥ
harṣa-vihvalitātmānaḥ
siṣicur netrajair jalaiḥ

tāḥ—all of them; putram—the son; aṅkam—the lap; āropya—having placed on; sneha-snuta—moistened by affection; payodharāḥ—breasts filled up; harṣa—delight; vihvalita-ātmānaḥ—overwhelmed by; siṣicuḥ—wet; netrajaiḥ—from the eyes; jalaiḥ—water.

The mothers, after embracing their son, sat Him on their laps. Due to pure affection, milk sprang from their breasts. They were overwhelmed with delight, and the tears from their eyes wetted the Lord.

When Lord Kṛṣṇa was at Vṛndāvana even the cows would become moistened by affection towards Him, and He would draw milk from the nipples of every affectionate living being, so what to speak of the stepmothers who were already as good as His own mother.

Preaching in Russia

The following is a wonderful article written by Govinda Dasi and published in Dandavats in 2016. It was recently posted on Facebook. I thought this was an especially good time for presenting this once again.

Back in New York, in early 1967, Srila Prabhupada often sat in his room and slowly turned the world globe, studying the geographic demarcations of various countries on the Earth planet. He would sometimes say, “Brahmananda, you will go to Russia, Goursundar, you go to Japan, Rayarama, you will go to Europe…” and so on. Even though he had merely a handful of sincere American youths, most of them in their late teens or early twenties, he had big plans. Clearly, he wanted to open preaching centers in every country on Earth. His vision was huge–he planned to spread the Hare Krishna movement all over the world! But he was especially concerned about Russia.

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