Gaura Purnima is one of the most auspicious festivals of the Gaudiya Vaishnava Sampradaya. In Sri Sri Radha Gopinath Mandir, the deities manifest in new beautiful outfits in the Mangala Arati darshan; and again in gorgeous breathtaking attravtive garments in the Shringara darshan. Devotional fervor permeates all over throughout the day in the form of melodious kirtans which touch the heart, ecstatic dancing, and enlightening discourses on the teachings of Lord Chaitanya. At dusk, an Abhishek ceremony is performed for the utsava murtis of Nitai-Gauranga. A Maha-arati is offered to their Lordships after the Abhishek, and the day’dcelebrations end with the distribution of sumptuous prasadam.]]>
Nityananda Prabhu appeared in Ekachakra, a small village in present West Bengal, around the year 1474. His birthsite is commemorated by a Temple named Garbhashva and is visited by throngs of pilgrims today. His father, Hadai Ojha and mother Padmavati, were pious Brahmans originally from Mithila. Nityananda Prabhu was born on the auspicious thirteenth day of the bright fortnight of the month of Maga. As a child, Nitai (as Nityananda Prabhu was called), loved to enact the pastimes of Shri Krishna or Lord Rama. He did this so authoritatively and with such rapture, that the entire village would be immersed in the love of Godhead.
Nitai’s favorite part was that of Lakshman, and He enacted it with so many apparently authentic scenes not described in the Ramayana, that people would wonder if He was making it up or actually relishing His own pastimes. The village of Ekachakra was completely absorbed in the love of little Nitai, where He spend the first 12 years of his earthly life. In the 13th year, a travelling sannyasi, said to be the famous Lakshmipati Tirtha, enchanted by Nitai’s devotion and service, requested Nitai from his parents, as a travelling companion. His parents, bound by Vedic culture, could not refuse the request of a guest and reluctantly parted with Nitai. However, devastated by the separation with Nitai, that Hadai Pandit soon gave up his life.
Nitai traveled with Lakshmipati Tirtha for about 20 years, during which He visited all the holy places in the country, reminiscent of the manner that Balarama traveled while the battle at Kurukshetra raged on. Nitai is said to be later on initiated by Lakshmipati Tirtha. He also associated with another of Lakshmipati Tirtha’s famous disciple, Madhavendra Puri, who although his godbrother, was revered by Nitai was as a spiritual master. Madhavendra Puri is famous for establishing the sweet truth of Madhurya-rasa which later become an integral part of Gaudiya Vaishnavism. Among the other disciples of Madhavendra Puri is Advaita Acharya, and Ishavara Puri (the spiritual master of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu).
Nityananda Prabhu met Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in 1506, when He was 32 years old and the Lord 20 years. It is said that when Nityananda Prabhu reached the land of Nadia, He hid in the house of Nandanacharya, to heighten the ecstasy of meeting through separation. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu aware of the arrival of His eternal associate dispatched Haridas Thakur and Shrivas Pandit to search out Nitai, but they failed. Finally unable to bear the separation any longer, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu Himself went directly to Nityananda Prabhu and the ecstasy of the meeting was so transcendental that every one witnessing it were awed by the sublime experience. A Temple called Shri Gaura-Nityananda commemorates this meeting place in Nadia.
Nityananda Prabhu in His role as the original spiritual master, was instrumental in spreading the yuga dharma of sankritana all over the Gaudia desh (Bengal, Orrisa). His mercy knew no bounds, and people fortunate to come in contact with Him were inundated with the love of Godhead. It was by His mercy that Raghunatha dasa, one of the six Goswamis started the famous Danda Mahotsava festival of Panihatti, a tradition that continues to this day, and was thus able to serve Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. He extended His mercy to even fallen souls like Jagai and Madhai, delivering them from the sinful lives and protecting them from the wrath of even Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Indeed His mercy knew no bounds, and fortunate were the people who tasted the nectar of His instructions.
When Nityananda Prabhu returned to Bengal at the request of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, He decided to abandon His avadhuta status and become a grahastha (householder). He married Jahnava Devi and Vashudha, the two daughters of Suryadasa Sarakhel, who the brother of Gauridasa Pandit (an intimate associate of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and the spiritual master of the famous Shyamananda Pandit). Nityananda Prabhu had a son (Virchandara) and a daughter (Ganga Devi) from Vashudha. Soon after Vashudha passed away and Jahanva Devi looked after the children. She later initiated Virchandra, and also became an instructing spiritual master to the likes of Shyamananda Pandit, Shrivasa Pandit and Narottama dasa Thakur. Jahnava Devi is revered as a Vaishnavi and she established the pre-eminent positon of women in the Vaishanava tradition.
Lord Nityananda wound up His earthly pastimes, by merging into the Deity of Krishna, known as Bankim Ray, not far from Ekachakra. Vaishanava acharyas emphatically state that people who try to understand Chaitanya Mahaprabhu without getting the mercy of Nityananda Prabhu will never succeed. One must pray very sincerely to Lord Nityananda Prabhu as the adi-guru (original spiritual master) to be delivered to the Lotus feet of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. The presence of Nityananada Prabhu is always felt in the presence of one’s own guru, for the guru is considered to be the living manifestation of Nityananda Prabhu’s love and mercy, and his shakti (power) is what gives the disciple the ability to perform devotional service and experience spiritual bliss.]]>
To mark the commencement of this project a Bhumi Puja – Ground breaking ceremony was held on 20th January at the site of the future temple. The event was attended by several senior ISKCON Sannyasis and leaders, bureaucrats and prominent businessmen. Of the nearly 6,500 people who participated in the festival, three fourths of the attendees turned out to be neighborhood residents, a clear indication of the overwhelming support this project has from the local residents.
The festivities began with Go-puja and then followed by sudarshan homa wherein several sacrificial fire altars were made and oblations were offered into it by the guests and devotees present.
HH Gopal Krishna Goswami, GBC for the region and the pioneer for this project, welcomed Mr. Mahabal Misra, Member of Parliament for the constituency and Mr. Rajesh Ghalot, Municipal Councilor. He spoke on how this project along with being a temple would also serve as a cultural and spiritual hub to rekindle our lost relationship with Lord Krishna, the Supreme person.
Following the vote of thanks, an elaborate and sumptuous prasadam was severed to everyone.
The 2 acre plot which would serve as the house of Sri Sri Rukmini Dwarkadish is located in one of the arterial sections of the city and is well connect with the city through its vast road network and metro train. The plot also neighbors several landmarks of the city such Delhi’s international airport (a ten minute drive from the temple).]]>
The Bhumi Puja which would mark the commencement of the construction would be held on 20th January, 2013 in the presences of H.H Gopal Krishna Goswami, Guru and governing Body member of ISKCON. Several dignitaries and devotees from different parts of the world are expected to participate in this auspicious festival.
ISKCON Delhi invites you to join us in welcoming Sri Dwarkadhish into Dwarka.
|09:00||Melodious Vrindavan Mellows of Hare Krishna Maha-mantra|
|10:00||Welcome of His Holiness Gopal Krishna Goswami Maharaj|
|10:30||Achaman and Sankalpa|
|12:00||Welcoming the dignitaries|
|12:15||Krishna says: “Lets build Dwarka” – Play by Vaikuntha Players|
|12:45||Words of wisdom by His Holiness Gopal Krishna Goswami Maharaj|
|13:15||Vote of thanks|
Between November 20th and January 10th, they’ll also visit the Delhi ISKCON temple and receive copies of the Bhagavad-gita As It Is, as part of the 2012 Gita Jayanti celebrations.
Gita Jayanti commemorates the day, 5,000 years ago, when Lord Krishna instructed the warrior Arjuna on the Battlefield of Kuruksetra, thus creating the sacred book Bhagavad-gita. It is observed on December 23rd this year.
ISKCON Youth Forum—which also conducts outreach to colleges and universities—created the innovative program six years ago, calling it Sanskriti Darshan (“a close experience of ancient Vedic culture”).
“The first year, 2,000 students participated,” says Atmatripta Das, a congregation devotee who oversees the project. “Last year, there were 20,000, and twelve lucky prize-winners went on a sponsored South African holiday.”
This year, 25,000 to 30,000 children, aged five to seventeen, are expected to participate from 200 schools around the Delhi area.
Every day for two months, several hundred students will spend two-and-a-half hours at ISKCON Delhi’s “Glory of India” temple.
First, they’ll enter the temple room, pay their respects to Sri Sri Radha-Partha-Sarathi, and join in a ten-minute Hare Krishna mantra kirtan.
Next, they’ll visit ISKCON Delhi’s famous Vedic Expo, a multimedia museum. This includes the Mahabharata Experience, a synchronized light and sound display with narration of the ancient epic that ends in the Kurukshetra war, where the Bhagavad-gita was spoken.
Students will also be immersed in the Bhagavad-gita Experience, which uses dioramas, high-tech gadgets, interactive exhibits and sound and light shows to depict essential philosophical points of the Gita.
They will then be served a delicious sanctified vegetarian feast with traditional dishes such as rice, dahl, puri, matar paneer subji, and sweet rice.
Finally, each student will be given a copy of the Bhagavad-gita As It Is, as well as a syllabus containing a choice twenty verses with translations and purports by Srila Prabhupada from all eighteen chapters of the Gita.
“We will then send each school question papers with one hundred questions based on the verses,” says Atmatripta. “The students will answer the questions, and we’ll get the answer sheets back and check the answers. On January 15th we will announce the winners.”
First, second, and third place winners will be chosen from each school, and will receive trophies created from Srila Prabhupada’s books, as well as a large laminate poster of ISKCON Delhi’s presiding Deities Sri Sri Radha Partha-Sarathi.
Meanwhile the top three overall students will be awarded cash prizes of 1 Lakh (100,000) rupees, 75,000 rupees, and 50,000 rupees respectively. Fifty per cent of the winnings will go to the student themselves, while the other fifty per cent will go to their school.
“From reading all these verses from the Bhagavad-gita with Prabhupada’s purports, and answering the one hundred questions, the students will get so much sukriti[rewards for pious activities],” says Atmatripta.
“When they’re older,” he continues, “They may not listen to this philosophy. But if you cultivate the younger generation, they will accept it very easily. Over time, they will develop so much Bhakti. And one day, they will realize that the Bhagavad-gita is the ultimate book. In this way, they will become devotees.”
It’s an extremely effective program, he says, and one that he encourages other temples around the world—especially those with their own museums—to participate in.]]>
Born Romero Carvalho, he is the son of the current mayor of Belo Horizonte, Roberto Carvalho (PT). At age 30, besides giving his services to ISKCON Sri Krishna Murti works as a professional journalist.
The meeting with the President took place at 5PM on December 21st, 2012, in the living room of the Government Air Base. Sri Krisha Murti Das presented her with the Bhagavad-gita as it is and Science of self-realization written by A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and published by the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust.
President Dilma Rousseff was on the cover of Forbes Magazine as the third most influential woman in the world.
Former Brazilian President Lula, too, received a Gita in 2002.]]>