Anecdote of Boat Festival in ISKCON

Anecdote of Boat Festival in ISKCON

Lord Krishna’s pastimes are divine and pleasing, and we cannot understand these great pastimes with tiny material intelligence. Therefore, to understand these great pastimes and follow them in our lives, we need bonafide disciplic succession.

Lord Krishna says in Bhagavad -Gita

जन्म कर्म च मे दिव्यमेवं यो वेत्ति तत

janma karma cha me divyam evaṁ yo vetti tattvataḥ
tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti mām eti so ’rjuna (BG 4.9)

Hey Arjun, Those who understand the divine nature of my birth and activities upon leaving the body do not have to retake rebirth. Instead, they come to my eternal abode directly.

Chronicle of Boat Festival

In ISKCON (International Society For Krishna Consciousness), many festivals are organized. Thus, we can remember the Lord’s great sacred pastimes and purify our tainted hearts.

Among all these saintly Leela’s of Lord Krishna Nauka Vihar is one of them. This Leela is mentioned in a transcendental scripture named “Gopal Champu”, written by Srila Jiva Goswami. It is also mentioned in other scripture.

About Goloka

Goloka Vrindavan is Lord Krishna’s eternal abode, and there the pastimes go on continuously. So the root of this religious festival is also linked with the land of Krishna- ” Goloka Vrindavan”.

Anecdote of Boat Festival

Once all the gopis, their pots filled with yoghurt and butter, came to the shore of river Mansi. They had a desire to cross this Mansi Ganga. They met with a boatman and asked him to take them on the other side of Mansi Ganga. That boatman agreed. As soon as the boat reached afar, the boatman stopped.

The gopis asked the boatman what happened to you, why you suddenly stopped? The boatman replied I am hungry. I want to eat yoghurt and butter. The gopis gave him all the curd and butter they had with them so that boatman did not stop sailing. After eating, he sailed for a while. After covering some distance, he again stopped. He said I was exhausted, wanted to take a rest. Gopis told if he does not start sailing, they will throw him from the boat.

How Radha Rani spotted Sri Krishna

Suddenly the whole sky got filled with clouds. Winds started blowing, and the boat started shaking and moving. Gopis got scared. At the same time, Radha rani’s eyes fell on the boatman. She noticed a flute with him. She identified, it is no one else other than their beloved Krishna. All the gopis were extremely happy, knowing that this was their Krishna’s wish. It is an example of extreme reciprocating love between Lord Krishna and his devotees.

Bond Between Gopis With Krishna

Gopis are immense devotees of Lord Krishna. Their love for Krishna is of utmost and can not be mentioned in words. Those who reached an enormous level in spirituality can understand the love and bonding between Krishna and gopis and appreciate them. 

About Boat Festival Commemoration

The Boat festival is astonishing which will be celebrated this year at Sri Sri Radha Parthsarthi temple. This year it is also significant because due to covid we had not observed this festival last year. So this is the eleventh boat festival we are commemorating. Kaliya Krishna pond area inside the temple campus is decorated with attractive flowers, fruits, balloons and different colours. And the decoration of this place fills the heart with exhilaration. In this, many decorations and paintings are done inside water using beautiful flowers and colours.

How Boat Festival Will Be Celebrated At ISKCON

Sri Sri Radha Parthsarthi’s festive deity (Utsav Vigraha) is taken in a boat with Sri Lalita Ji and

Sri Visakha Ji. That scene is ineffable. Lord is taken to a boat ride along with kirtan, and many preparations are offered to Lord as Bhoga. Thousands of devotees assemble and do kirtan boomingly. Lord is seated in a decorated beautiful boat and takes a ride that scene is pure bliss for devotees.

We are inviting you all to come and take part in this auspicious occasion. When we participate in such a festival, our hearts thrive with darshan, kirtan, remembrance, and the company of advanced devotees makes us feel ecstatic.

So come, let’s celebrate this festival together and acquire the Lord’s blessings by chanting –

Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa

Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Hare Hare

Hare Rāma Hare Rāma

Rāma Rāma Hare Hare

  • Sri Sri Radha Parthasarathi Boat Festival ki Jai
  • Srila Prabhupada ki Jai

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Sins liberating Papankusha Ekadashi

Sins liberating Papankusha Ekadashi

According to Vedic scriptures, fasting on the Ekadashi day makes Lord Hari happy and bless his devotees. The Ekadashi day occurs twice a month. One is a dark lunar fortnight, and the other one is a darker fortnight.

According to the Almanac, every 11th date is suitable for Ekadashi fasting. Therefore, fasting on an Ekadashi day holds great importance.

Especially the person who is willing to take a fast on an Ekadashi day must follow some essential rules and rituals from a day before the fasting day itself to continue the fast from the early morning before sunrise of the Ekadashi day. This is because this one day of fasting is believed to provide lifelong happiness and salvation.

The importance of Papankusha Ekadashi is mentioned in the dialogues of Lord Krishna and the great king ‘Yudhishtira’ in Brahma Vaivarta Purana.

THE CONVERSATION BETWEEN LORD KRISHNA AND YUDHISHTIRA

The great king Yudhishtar asks- hey! Janardan, what is the name of the Ekadashi occurring in the Ashwin month of the darker fortnight?

Lord Krishna says, – hey! Yudhishthira, the Ekadashi day that destroys all the sins, is known as Papankusha Ekadashi. This day is called Papankusha because it eliminates the elephant-faced corruption by the control of virtue of this fast.

Hey! King this day, a Human must worship Lord lawfully. This Ekadashi provides desired fruits to humans and helps them achieve high planets. However, the fruit achieved by many austerities is achieved only by offering obeisances to the Lord Garuda flag.

Hari named hymns to provide you with all the pilgrimage virtue’s fruit. So the person who takes the shelter of Lord Hari does not have to go through all the pain that is equivalent to death.

 The fruit that a person achieves from shastra Vajpayee and horse sacrifice is not even equal to the 16th part of the Ekadashi fast. 

Unless the person takes a fast of Lord Padmanabha’s Ekadashi day, all the sins reside in his body.

Hey! King the Ekadashi day helps provide high planets, salvation, health, etc.

Hey! Yudhishthira, this fast rescue up to the 10th generation of mother’s side and 10th generation of father’s side. He wearing a divine body, having a four-armed form, wearing a pitamber and carrying a garland in his hand, climbs Garuda and goes to Vishnuloka. Whoever takes the fast of Ashwin month’s free side of this Papankusha Ekadashi day, he at the end of his life goes to the abode of Lord and gets liberation from all the sins.

RULES THAT ARE NEEDED TO FOLLOW

In Ekadashi fast, you are not supposed to eat grains anything, and one should adopt and follow celibacy. This fast does not end with the Ekadashi day ritual, but on the next day (12th day), one must finish and complete the fast by donating food and honorarium to Brahmans early in the morning.

A SMALL NARRATIVE TO CONVEY THE IMPORTANCE OF THIS DAY

Once there was a fowler named Mahakrura Krodhan who used to live in the Vindhya Mountains.

He spent all his life committing sins, and at the last moments of his life, Yamraj approved to bring him to his court. However, all the messengers informed him of this thing before the decided time, and he got scared to death and went to Angira sage’s hermitage and started pleading so that he would not have to go to Yamaraj’s court.

Then Angira Sage suggested he worship Lord Vishnu on the lunar day of Ashwin month’s darker fortnight. The worship of Ekadashi day and fasting on this day liberated him from all the sins, and he went to Vishnu Lok.

So, we should all have fast on this sins destroyer Ekadashi day. So that along with the quenching of sins, we can chant more Hare Krishna maha-mantra, read, hear the glories of the Lord, and concentrate on the lotus feet of Krishna from the very bottom of our hearts. The ultimate goal of life is to get the devotional service of Lord Sri Krishna.  

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

·      Breakfast time – 6:23 am – 10:11 am (New Delhi)

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This Dussehra Kill Your Ravana

This Dussehra Kill Your Ravana

Ashwin Shukla Dashami is known as Dusshera. It is one of the biggest festivals, also known as Dasahara, Dussehra, or Dashain. It is observed on the day of Vijaya Dashami, the tenth day of Navaratri. It is the occasion to glorify and rejoice in the victory of good over evil. On Dussehra, we burn effigies of Ravana outside in surroundings but nurture Ravana inside our hearts. That was Treta Yuga, where only one Ravana existed. Lord Rama assassinated him and acquired victory.

Types of People in Kalyuga

In Kalyuga, every human being has the mentality of Ravana inside. But, as we all know, two types of people exist in this universe- Sur and Asura. Those who worship the Lord are counted as Sur, and those who are not devotees or do not follow the Lord’s orders are considered Asura.

In different Yugas, Sura and Asura stayed in unalike places. In one Yuga, Sura lives on one planet, and Asura lives on another planet. Later on, Asura lived in one country and Sura in the other. But now the time has changed, Sura and Asura are present in every person concomitantly in this era. We all have Sura and Asura simultaneously in ourselves.

The nature and personality of a person totally depend on how strong and determined he is. The day we can kill the malicious, vicious behaviour, we can kill the Asura or Ravan from our selves and that day will be the real Dussehra for us. Do you know? It becomes very painless to do if you are a devotee and listen to Lord’s pastimes.

How You Can Kill Ravana Residing Inside You

One oil lamp is enough to end darkness, similarly to cease Ravana inside, one thought is enough, and we get that thought from our Shastra. In Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna tells us three ways to hell-lust, anger and greed. These three are clearly visible in Ravana, and by learning the lesson from his life, you can save yourself from its fury. In the 2nd chapter of Bhagavad Gita, Sri Krishna says about how declination of a person takes place, how a person starts to flunk.

A person’s declination starts by thinking about sexual desire. In creating, it is similar to a small seed. Still, if this seed slowly gets irrigated by contemplation, it becomes Asura. Ravana was also such type of giant Asura. Even many great deities palpitate by his name. He had done many austerity and Tapasya to acquire strength, but Ravana aimed to satisfy all sexual desires for an unlimited period. So his senses became the reason for his end.

Ravana had all the desirable things of this world. But on hearing about the beauty of Mata Sita from his sister Surpanakha, his mind filled up with sexual desire, and that is the beginning of his declination. He always considered himself as strongest, but he never had control over his senses.

Your Senses Could be the Reason for Your End

So it’s true that even if a person achieves victory in this whole world but if his mind is not in control of his will, he will indeed get defeated. Mata Sita is Lord Rama’s wife. If Ravana did not had any wrong intention and served her as he was a great scholar and he knew who is Sita mata, he might have become a devotee.

Still, due to lust he had chosen a wrong way and started thinking that he can get anything. Even after knowing who is Lord Ram, he had started thinking lord as his rival. He had decided to get Sita Mata and for that he was ready to stoush with lord Rama.

So in that condition, his lust  for her got transformed into anger and became the reason of his end. This only happens with us; when we get hyper, whatever we desire to get when we do not get that, we loose our temperament. Due to that anger, a person loses his ethics and morality that is the sense of thinking about what to do and what to not.

How Ravana Cheats

Ravana also forgot his ethics and made a plan and went to Marich. Marich acquired the form of golden deer. Ravana himself attained the form of a saint. He was the son of a brahmin and also was a great scholar. But lust, anger and greed deformed his personality.

Similarly, when someone’s heart gets filled with lust, his heart becomes filled with fraud. Then he starts to cheat everyone as Ravana cheats Mata Sita attaining the form of the saint. Ravana forcefully takes Sita Mata to Lanka with him. Sri Ram sends all soldiers of Hanuman Ji and Sugriva in all directions to search Sita Mata. Hanuman Ji crossed the sea and searched Mata Sita.

After reaching there, he gave Lord Rama’s message to Sita Mata. He destroyed Ashok Vatika. Later on, he burnt various places in Lanka. He gave a warning to Ravana that I am the slave of Sri Rama. So it will be better for you if you return Mata Sita. Otherwise, wait and see what Lord Rama will do with you.

Lust Leads to Declination

But Ravana was so indulged in it that he did not take that warning seriously. When Vibhisan tried to make it, he understood Ravana ordered him to get deported. His wife Mandodri kept on trying to make him understand that stay satisfied with me we have a happy family I will fulfil all your desire. Please let Sita go. Can’t you see the hanging rope on you? But Ravana was not ready to understand anyone’s advice, such as his wife, Hanuman Ji, Marich, and his own loving brother.

Such lust, anger and greed in our hearts are similar to Ravana, who steals bhaktirupi Mata Sita from our hearts. And we start to consider Lord as our enemy. And in such conditions, we don’t accept the words of saint and Shastra. There was no other way other than war. Ravan was seated on a wheeled carriage, and Ram was standing on land. In that condition, Indra dev sent the carriage for Lord along with the charioteer. It was a great war, and to witness that all the demigods even convene. It was the biggest war in history.

Lord said in Bhagavad Gita, chapter 4, verses 34

tad viddhi pranipatena pariprashnena sevaya
updeshyanti tegyan gyanistatva darshinen

If we desire to learn the truth, we have to take shelter under Guru and serve him courteously.

Lord Rama himself teaches us by showing his life as an example that if we want to defeat Ravana inside us, we have to serve a true devotee of the Lord as a guru. So, on being happy with Lord Rama, Muni awarded him Aditya Hriday Mantra.

Lord’s one name is Aditya, which means sun. As the sun vanishes all the darkness, a true devotee can acquire control over all such thoughts.

How Devotees Serve to Lord

During this war, Vibhisan reached there; he said to Rama that there is Amrita or nectar in Ravana’s heart. And on drying it, only Ravana can be killed from the heart. Here Vibhishan depicts the role of a true companion devotee.

It teaches us that while fighting with the Ravana inside us, we need devotee companions to remember what learning we obtained from Guru, Sadhu and Sastra.

Further, lord Rama used the arrow on Ravana given by Agasthya muni after reciting the mantras. As a result, Ravana falls from his chariot. The scene depicts as on beating Indra’s thunderbolt any mountain got diminished.

Ravana’s army was wailing, and Vanara Sena was Honouring Sri Rama.

In this way, Lord is teaching us how to win from internal Ravana along with external Ravana present in ourselves. We have to chant mantras because they will provide strength to us.

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare

This mantra smash lust, anger and greed as in Aditya Hridaya Mantra  Lord Vishnu’s strength is present. Similarly, in Hare Krishna, the maha-mantra concludes all the power of the Lord.

Three Things Needed To Kill Ravana Inside Us

  1. Divine the grace of devotees such as Agasthya muni.
  2. Vaishnav’s company, for example, Vibhisan
  3. Chanting of the Holy Name of the Lord

By following these three points in our life, we can defeat the Ravana inside us. And bring transformation from darkness towards light and celebrate Dusshera every day.

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Maa Durga is the presiding deity of this material world

Maa Durga is the presiding deity of this material world

Maa Durga is a revered goddess for those who follow Sanatan Dharma. Hindus worship her all over the world in the form of Mother Shakti.

Generally, we have seen Maa Durga with ten hands with some weapons and ride over Lion, who displays his infinite powers. It is also concluded that she fights against demonic power who are trying to cause damages to peace, prosperity, and religion. Durga Puja, also known as Durgotsava or Shardotsava, is an annual Hindu festival celebrated in South Asia in which Goddess Durga is worshipped. 

Who is Maa Durga? 

According to Shastra, Maa Durga is an expansion of Mother Parvati, the wife of Lord Shiva. She takes the form of Navdurga and does all the upbringing of this world. Lord Sri Krishna also tells Arjuna in the Bhagavad-Gita, Chapter 9, text 10

mayadhyaksena prakrtih
suyate sa-caracara
hetunanena kaunteya
jagad viparivartate

This material nature is working under My direction, O son of Kunti, and it is producing all moving and unmoving beings. Therefore, by its rule, this manifestation is created and annihilated again and again.

Durga Devi is the presiding deity of this material world. It is also believed that the person who is getting diverted from the spiritual world of Lord Krishna and going against the rules, they sent to this material world of Goddess Durga. The comparison of this material world is made with Durg, a type of Fort. This Fort is the correctional home of all the rebellious souls, where they spend their lives protecting Durga Devi, facing the Tritaap (Adhyatmika, Adhibhautika and Adhidaivika).

The trident in the hand of Goddess Durga is a symbol of reminding all the rebels who have come into this material world of Lord through Tritaap (Adhyatmika, Adhibhautika and Adhidaivika). Maa Durga is worshipped to get rid of these tritapas.

When a person comes to this material world, they have to face many sufferings like birth, death, old age, diseases, adhyatmika, adhibhautika and adhidaivika miseries. Goddess Durga takes care of all these things.

Therefore, worshipping Goddess Durga will help them get rid of these sufferings. However, if you want a permanent solution, you have to come out of this material world. 

To get rid of the cycle of birth and death, people worship Goddess Durga. As a result, such living beings get an opportunity to do devotion to the Lord. As a result, they get rid of Mahamaya, the potency of the Lord, and come under the protection of his own Shakti, Yogamaya. 

Srimad Bhagavatam also mentioned that the Gopis worshipped Mother Katyayani to get Lord Krishna as their husband. It is also mentioned in Brahma Samhita, Chapter 5, Text 44-

srishti-sthiti-pralaya- sadhana-shaktir eka
chayeva yasya bhuvanani vibharti durga
icchanurupam api yasya che cheshtate sa
govindam adi-purusham tam aham bhajami

The external potency Maya who is of the nature of the shadow of the cit potency, is worshipped by all people as Durga, the creating, preserving and destroying agency of this mundane world. I adore the primaeval Lord Govinda in accordance with whose will Durga conducts herself.

The Lord presides over this material world objectively, and those who do not accept it are sent to this world of duality. Therefore, by coming in contact with a pure devotee, if the living entity understands that this material world is not his real home, he becomes free from here and goes to his original home in Vaikuntha or Goloka Vrindavana and attains bliss forever.

So on this Durga Puja, let us pray to Maa Durga to give us enough strength to get us out of this material world and go back home, back to Godhead. 

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The Greatness of Indira Ekadashi

The Greatness of Indira Ekadashi

The Ekadashi of Ashwin, Krishna Paksha (waning phase of the moon), is called Indira Ekadashi. On this auspicious day, Lord Sri Vishnu is worshipped. This Indira Ekadashi fast helps the devotees to get free from there all the sufferings and problems.

Why is this Ekadashi fasting special

Being Ekadashi of Pitra Paksha, Ekadashi is best for the salvation of ancestors is considered paternalistic. So the ancestors get liberation from this Ekadashi, and their souls in another world find peace. 

What is the significance of this fast

According to the Puranas, Indira Ekadashi benefits the devotee even after his death. Due to its effect, all the sins of the person perishes, and by this fast, he goes to higher planets, and their ancestors get relief from all past misdeeds.

From Brahmavaivarta Purana

In the Brahmavaivarta Purana, the description of Indira Ekadashi is found, Once Pandava King Yudhishthira asked Sri Krishna to explain the significance of Indira Ekadashi. To answer all the questions regarding the fast, He wondered what its method and result are? 

Lord Krishna replied, “This auspicious day is called Indira Ekadashi. This Ekadashi destroys the sins and gives salvation to the ancestors. Sri Krishna also said, Oh! King, listen to the story carefully because the one who hears about the sacred Ekadashi achieves the great merits.

Here’s How the story unfolded

In the Satya-Yuga, there was a city named Mahismati. There was the majestic King named Indrasen, who was so powerful and followed his kingdom righteously. He took good care of his citizens. He was a tremendous devotee of Lord Sri Vishnu.

One day, when the King was happily sitting in his meeting, Maharishi Narada came down from the sky and came to his meeting. On seeing him, the King stood with folded hands and lawfully gave his seat, washing his feet, and welcomed him. 

Then Narada Muni said to the Maharaj Indrasen, Oh! King, your seven limbs are in good working order. Your intellect is in religion, and your mind resides in devotion to Sri Vishnu. Hearing such words of Devarshi Narada, the King replied, “Oh! Maharishi, by your kind grace, everything is well in my kingdom and please explain the reason for your kind visit here.

Then Narada Muni said that oh! King, listen to my words of wonder. Once I descended from Brahmaloka to Yamaloka, I glorified Yamaraj as he worshipped me with great reverence. Then I saw your great and wise father in the same assembly because of breaking the Ekadashi fast. Your father had given me a message for you.

So, your father said that I am in Yamaloka because of the sins done unknowingly in my previous birth. Suppose my son observes the fast of Indira Ekadashi of Ashwin Krishna Paksha and gives wealth in charity. In that case, I will be promoted to higher planets.

Hearing this, King Indrasen asked, Oh! Maharishi, please tell me the method of observing this fast.

Narada Muni said,

  1. The day before Ekadashi, One should rise early in the morning, take a bath and then do some service of Lord Vishnu.

  2. In the afternoon, take a bath in running water or river, then do shradh of the ancestor with reverence, and be sure not to eat more than once on this day and sleep on the floor at night.

     

  3. Then follow the rule of the fast with devotion and take a vow that I will fast on Ekadashi with giving up all sorts of bodily pleasure. Oh, Infallible Supreme Lord! Oh, Pundarikaksha, I am in your shelter, and I beg for protection.

     

  4. After performing shradh in front of the Lord’s deities, offer him the fruit. Serve qualified Brahmins and Cows by giving them Prasadam.

Narada Muni started saying that Oh! Rajan, by this method, if you fast on this Ekadashi without being lazy and with controlled senses, your father will go to higher planets. Saying this, Narada Muni has gone into deep meditation and disappeared from there.

As Narada Muni’s instructed, King Indrasen followed this Ekadashi with all rules and regulations along with his all family members. Because of this, Ekadashi, His father, was promoted to a higher planet.

Indrasen himself was able to rule his kingdom without any hindrances. In the end, he handed over the kingdom to his son, and he also went to the spiritual planet.

This is the greatness of Indira Ekadashi. By reading and hearing the glory of Indira Ekadashi, a person gets freed from all sins and finally attains Vaikuntha.

So let’s keep this very auspicious Indira Ekadashi to get freed from all sinful reactions of our past lives. On this day, by hearing & reading more and more of the Lord’s pastime and chanting his Holy names, we get the blessing of Supreme Lord Krishna and go back to godhead, where we live eternally.

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