Brahmotsavam 2017

Brahmotsavam 2017

ISKCON of Centeral New Jersey  Plainfield

August 5 @ 3:00 pmAugust 7 @ 9:30 pm

 

This is perhaps my favorite ISKCON center in North America.  There is a nice mood of service and devotion, and everyone there is very friendly.  I would encourage anyone who has not been there to visit next time you are in the area.  Hare Krishna!  -V

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Rupanugaus / The Mercy of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu

The Sankirtan Movement of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu

The Sankirtan Movement of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu

Devotees acknowledge Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s special mercy upon Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī in the following words:

śrī-caitanya-mano ’bhīṣṭaṁ-
sthāpitaṁ yena bhū-tale
svayaṁ rūpaḥ kadā mahyaṁ
dadāti sva-padāntikam

“When will Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī Prabhupāda, who has established within this material world the mission to fulfill the desire of Lord Caitanya, give me shelter under his lotus feet?”

The special function of Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī is to establish the feelings of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. These feelings are His desires that His special mercy be spread throughout the world in this Kali-yuga.

pṛthivīte āche yata nagarādi-grāma
sarvatra pracāra haibe mora nāma

His desire is that all over the world everyone, in every village and every town, know of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and His saṅkīrtana movement. These are the inner feelings of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī committed to writing all these feelings of the Lord. Now again, by the mercy of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, the same feelings are being spread all over the world by the servants of the Gosvāmīs, and devotees who are pure and simple will appreciate this attempt. As concluded by Śrīla Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī, however, those who are on the level of hogs and dogs will never appreciate such a great attempt. Yet this does not matter to the preachers of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s cult, for all over the world they will continue to perform this responsible work, even though persons who are like cats and dogs do not appreciate them.

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Hari-kīrtana

Hare Krishna Mantra

harer nāma harer nāma
harer nāmaiva kevalam
kalau nāsty eva nāsty eva
nāsty eva gatir anyathā

In this Age of Kali there is no other means, no other means, no other means for self-realization than chanting the holy name, chanting the holy name, chanting the holy name of Lord Hari.
[Adi 17.21]


This hari-kīrtana was started five hundred years ago in Bengal by Lord Caitanya. In Bengal there is competition between the Vaiṣṇavas and the śāktas. The śāktas have introduced a certain type of kīrtana called kālī-kīrtana. But in the Vedic scriptures there is no recommendation of kālī-kīrtana. Kīrtana means hari-kīrtana. One cannot say, “Oh, you are Vaiṣṇava. You can perform hari-kīrtana. I shall perform śiva-kīrtana or devī-kīrtana or gaṇeśa-kīrtana.” No. The Vedic scriptures do not authorize any kīrtana other than hari-kīrtana. Kīrtana means hari-kīrtana, the glorification of Kṛṣṇa.

So this process of hari-kīrtana is very simple: Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. Actually there are only three words: Hare, Kṛṣṇa, and Rāma. But they are very nicely arranged for chanting so that everyone can take the mantra and chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare. Since we have started this movement in the Western countries, Europeans, Americans, Africans, Egyptians, and Japanese are all chanting. There is no difficulty. They are chanting very gladly, and they are getting the results. What is the difficulty? We are distributing this chanting free of charge, and it is very simple. Simply by chanting, one can have self-realization, God realization, and when there is God realization, then nature realization is included also. (from The Science of Self Realization)

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The Expansions of Lord Nityānanda

Nityananda

Today we honor the Appearance Day of Lord Nityananda. It is advised that devotees observe a half day fast, and meditate on some of the glories of Lord Nityananda. With this in mind we are posting one nice chapter from the Sri Caitanya-caritamrta describing the Lord and his devotees.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta 1975 Edition
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Adi-lila Chapter 11

The Expansions of Lord Nityānanda

As the branches and subbranches of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu were described in the Tenth Chapter, in this Eleventh Chapter the branches and subbranches of Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu are similarly listed.

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Yoga as Action

kirtan

…In the Sixth and Eighth Chapters of Bhagavad-gītā, Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, explains that the eightfold yoga system is a means to control the mind and senses. This method, however, is very difficult for people to perform, especially in this age of Kali, an age characterized by ignorance and chaos.

Although this eightfold yoga system is particularly recommended in the Sixth Chapter of Bhagavad-gītā, the Lord emphasizes that the process of karma-yoga, action in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, is superior.

…No one really wants to sit down and meditate. Why should we? We’re meant for positive activity, for recreation, for pleasure. In Kṛṣṇa consciousness, our recreation is dancing and chanting, and when we get tired, we take prasāda. Is dancing difficult? Is chanting difficult? We don’t charge anything to dance in the temple. If you go to a ballroom, you have to pay to enter, but we do not charge. It is natural to enjoy music and dancing and palatable foods. These are our recreations, and this is our method of meditation. So this yoga system is not at all laborious. It is simply recreation, susukham. It is stated in the Ninth Chapter of Bhagavad-gītā (9.2) that this yoga is susukham—very happy. “It is everlasting, and it is joyfully performed.” It is natural, automatic, and spontaneous. It is our real life in the spiritual world. (The Path of Perfection)

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Japa

srila-prabhupada-chanting-japa

This is such a beautiful picture of Srila Prabhupada with his japa bag, that we thought we would do a short post on ‘japa’.

When a mantra or hymn is chanted softly and slowly, that is called japa. The same mantra, when chanted loudly, is called kīrtana. For example, the mahā-mantra (Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare) when uttered very softly only for one’s own hearing is called japa. The same mantra, when chanted loudly for being heard by all others, is called kīrtana. The mahā-mantra can be used for japa and kīrtana also. When japa is practiced it is for the personal benefit of the chanter, but when kīrtana is performed it is for the benefit of all others who may hear.

In the Padma Purāṇa there is a statement: “For any person who is chanting the holy name either softly or loudly, the paths to liberation and even heavenly happiness are at once open.” (Nectar of Devotion Chapter 9)

Of all the sacrifices, the chanting of Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare is the purest representation of Kṛṣṇa. (from purport; Bhagavad-gita 10.25)

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Appearance of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

Today marks the appearance day of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. To honor this day, we are posting a very nice song written by Srila Bhaktivinoda entitled “Suddha-bhakta”, and are observing a 1/2 day fast.

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. The holy days like Ekadasi and Janmastami are the mother of devotion for those devotees who respect them. Let the holy places of Krsna’s pastimes be my places of worship, and bless me. May I always visit all the holy places associated with the lila of Lord Caitanya and His devotees. 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. Whenever I see the transcendental sri-vigrahas of Radha-Krsna I am in bliss, for by taking Their Lordships’ prasada we can conquer over the material elements. One day while performing devotional practices, I saw my house transformed into Goloka Vrndavana. When I take the caranamrta of the Deity, I see the holy Ganges waters that come from the feet of Lord Visnu, and my bliss knows no bounds. By seeing the tulasi tree my heart feels joy and Lord Madhava (Krsna) is also satisfied. When I eat the prasada favored by Lord Caitanya it is a new life’s experience. (Lord Caitanya was very fond of a green vegetable preparation called sak, and there is another song in this book that tells of the amazing effects of this type of prasada). Bhaktivinoda concludes by saying: “Whosoever attains the stage of enthusiasm for these devotional practices will be supremely blissful wherever he may be.”

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Importance of Hari Nama Sankirtan

Kirtan Party

Importance of Hari Nama Sankirtan
Excerpted from letters and lectures by Srila Prabhupada

…I think you should try to always have Sankirtana going on. All other things are subsidiary. This chanting is our life and soul, so we must arrange our program now so that there will be as much chanting on the streets and at college engagements as possible.

…Outdoor kirtana must be done, even at the cost of suspending all editorial work. That is your first and foremost business. Temple worship is not so important. If need be, the whole temple can be locked, but the outdoor kirtana cannot be stopped.

…Your business is not to, I mean to say, satisfy the crowd. Your business is satisfy Kṛṣṇa, and then crowd will be automatically satisfied. We are not going to please the crowd. We are going to give them something, Kṛṣṇa. So you should be very much careful whether you are delivering Kṛṣṇa in the right way. Then they’ll be satisfied. Your only business should be to satisfy Kṛṣṇa.

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Sri Nama Sankirtana

…The Lord ordered all the citizens of Navadvīpa to chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, and in each and every home they began performing saṅkīrtana regularly.

[All the devotees sang this popular song along with the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra.] “Haraye namaḥ, kṛṣṇa yādavāya namaḥ gopāla govinda rāma śrī-madhusūdana.”

When the saṅkīrtana movement thus started, no one in Navadvīpa could hear any sound other than the words “Hari! Hari!” and the beating of the mrdaṅga and clashing of hand bells.

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SRILA PRABHUPADA’S BOOK DISRIBUTION: INITIATING THE WORLD WITH THE HOLY NAME.


SRILA PRABHUPADA’S BOOK DISRIBUTION: INITIATING THE WORLD WITH THE HOLY NAME.

This series of Quotes was taken from http://www.prabhupada.org.uk/diksa.htm The author is unknown. Some editing was done by me -V

Srila Prabhupada’s transcendental books are his loud chanting of the holy name. Such loud chanting is giving the people of the world Harinama diksa.

Regarding Sankirtana and book distribution, book distribution is also chanting. Anyone who reads the books that is also chanting and hearing. Why distinguish between chanting and book distribution? These books I have recorded and chanted, and they are transcribed. It is spoken kirtanas. So book distribution is also chanting. These are not ordinary books. It is recorded chanting. Anyone who reads, he is hearing. Book distribution must not be neglected. (S.P.L. to Rupanuga dasa, 19th October, 1974)

When a devotee is perfectly qualified in chanting the transcendental vibration of the holy name, he is quite fit to become a spiritual master and to deliver all the people of the world. The chanting of the holy name is so powerful that it gradually establishes its supremacy above everything in the world. The devotee who chants it becomes transcendentally situated in ecstasy and sometimes laughs, cries and dances in his ecstasy. Sometimes the unintelligent put hindrances in the path of chanting this maha-mantra, but one who is situated on the platform of love of Godhead chants the holy name loudly for all concerned. As a result everyone becomes initiated in the chanting of the holy names–Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. (T.L.C. Chapter 18)

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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…

Soul Struck (Chapter 10)

The Hare Krishna Explosion
by Hayagriva das

Part II: San Francisco, 1967
Chapter 10

Soul Struck

During April and May, tourism and hippy fantasy soar to rare heights in the Haight-Ashbury. Like a Mardi Gras carnival, the celebration is cresting, rushing toward some indefinite Ash Wednesday.

Kirtans are wild and uninhibited. We often chant at the Fillmore and Avalon ballrooms, during intermissions between rock groups. A “Summer of Love” festival is organized, and we chant at be-in’s in Golden Gate Park, at the YMCA and Psychedelic Shop, and with hippy sun worshipers at Morning Star Ranch.

The spring passes so quickly, perhaps because its days are filled with long hours of sunshine and festivity. Youths from all sections of the nation roam and lounge throughout the park, barefoot and dungareed, leisurely creating what they hope is a new community of love and peace, a world where no one is over thirty, where there is no violence, ignorance or death. And they chant Hare Krishna because they see ISKCON as an exotic flower in the hippy bouquet, something even further removed from twentieth century America, from the political activists and their endless strife. Generally, activists and Negroes shun us, considering us on far-out trips, dabbling in the cultures of undeveloped nations.

But what do they know of Krishna? Or of Swamiji? What do any of us really know?

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Krishna Consciousness-The Yoga for the Modern Age

Krishna Consciousness-The Yoga for the Modern Age
The Science of Self Realization by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
from the chapter “Practicing Yoga in the Age of Quarrel”

harer nāma harer nāma
harer nāmaiva kevalam
kalau nāsty eva nāsty eva
nāsty eva gatir anyathā
[Adi 17.21]

“In this age of Kali there is no other religion than glorifying the Lord by utterance of His holy name, and that is the injunction of all the revealed scriptures. There is no other way, there is no other way, there is no other way.” This verse appears in the Bṛhan-nāradīya Purāṇa. Harer nāma harer nāma harer nāmaiva kevalam. Simply chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. There is no other alternative. Kalau nāsty eva nāsty eva nāsty eva gatir anyathā. In this age, Kali, there is no other alternative for self-realization. So we have to accept it.

There is another similar verse in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. In the Twelfth Canto, Third Chapter, Parīkṣit Mahārāja was informed by Śukadeva Gosvāmī of the faults of this age, and now all the symptoms of the age of Kali are apparent. In the conclusive portion, however, Śukadeva Gosvāmī said, kaler doṣa-nidhe rājann asti hy eko mahān guṇaḥ: “My dear king, this age, Kali, is full of faulty things, but there is one good opportunity.” What is that? Kīrtanād eva kṛṣṇasya mukta-saṅgaḥ paraṁ vrajet: “Simply by chanting this Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra one can become liberated and go back to Godhead.”

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KIRTAN Ancient Medicine for Modern Man

KIRTAN Ancient Medicine for Modern Man
by Hansadutta Swami

Rare out of Print book written by one on the famous Kirtan Leaders of The Hare Krishna Movement.

“The singing and dancing of Hare Krsna is known as kirtan. My spiritual master Srila Prahupada said; “This is not ordinary dancing: this is the dancing of the soul, a soul awakened to his original consciousness, Krishna consciousness.” There is no motive in performing kirtana. It is the song and dance of ecstasy, the dance of the soul. The soul is dancing: therefore the body is dancing. Actually, the body cannot dance without the soul. A body without the soul is a dead body” (excerpt from book)

This is a beautiful Softbound book that is beautifully illustrated with Color and B & W Plates throughout.

Limited supply! Get one while they last!

* 6 x 9
* 105 pages Softbound cover
* Foreword, Preface, Introduction, Appendixes, About the Author, Supporting References from Vedic Scriptures, Glossary, and Index

This book can be purchased on-line at; http://www.theharekrishnamovement.com

On Chanting the Hare Krishna Mantra

Bsn

You can chant these holy names of the Lord anywhere and at any time, but it is best to set a specific time of the day to regularly chant. Early morning hours are ideal.

The chanting can be done in two ways: singing the mantra, called kirtana (usually done in a group), and saying the mantra to oneself, called japa (which literally means “to speak softly”). Concentrate on hearing the sound of the holy names. As you chant, pronounce the names clearly and distinctly, addressing Krishna in a prayerful mood. When your mind wanders, bring it back to the sound of the Lord’s names. Chanting is a prayer to Krishna that means “O energy of the Lord [Hare], O all-attractive Lord [Krishna], O Supreme Enjoyer [Rama], please engage me in Your service.” The more attentively and sin¬cerely you chant these names of God, the more spiritual progress you will make.

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Kirtan: Ancient Medicine for Modern Man

Kirtan: Ancient Medicine for Modern Man
By Hansadutta Prabhu 

 The singing and dancing of Hare Krishna is known as Kirtan. My spiritual master Srila Prabhupada said, “This is not ordinary dancing; this is the dancing of the soul, a soul awakened to his original consciousness, Krishna consciousness.” There is no motive in performing Kirtan. It is the song and dance of ecstasy, the dance of the soul. The soul is dancing; therefore the body is dancing. Actually, the body cannot dance without the soul. A body without the soul is a dead body.

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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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