Sri Radha Ashtami (Srimati Radha Rani Appearance Day)

Sri Radha Ashtami (Srimati Radha Rani Appearance Day)

Sri Krishna is the fountainhead of all incarnations. Similarly, Radharani is the source of all goddesses such as Laxmi Ji, Rukmini Ji and Satyabhama. She is the ultimate source who serve with endearment to the Supreme Lord in both the material and spiritual world. When in someone’s heart there is a flow of Krishna’s love, devotion and rasa then it becomes a shrine. When Triveni of love, devotion and rasa flows in someone’s heart, that gesture is known as Radha Bhava. This surpassing devotion and love for Krishna are known as Radha bhava in the heart.

Story Of Radharani’s Appearance-

The story is of when Nanda Baba and mother Yashoda lived in Nandgaon, and Vrishbhanu and mother kirtida Lived in Barsana. Both families were very close and intimate friends of each other. Both the couples were not blessed with a child at that time. So, Nandbaba and Maharaj vrishbhanu decided to settle at the bank of the holy river Yamuna. Yamuna Ji is very loving and kind. So, on staying close to her at the bank of river Yamuna, we will unquestionably be blessed with the child. So, in this way, Nandbaba got settled at the sacred land of Gokul and Maharaj Vrishabhanu at Rawal.

Later, Krishna appeared on Ashtami tithi of Bhadrapada month of Shukla Paksha. We celebrate that momentous day as Janmashtami. On Ashtami tithi of Bhadrapada month Vrishabhanu Maharaj went to take a dip at the pond during dawn which is known as Arunodaya Bela he noticed a dazzling light. That gratifying light was pleasing his eyes. When Sri Vrishabhanu went near that light, he saw those golden light rays coming from a glaring lotus. When he went close by, he noticed that the sparkling light was not coming from that bright golden lotus. It was coming from the utmost beautiful girl present inside it.

On watching that girl, Vrishabhanu Maharaj’s love strings were overflowing. Brahma Ji appeared at that time, and one prophecy occurred.

Prophecy You did severe penance in previous births to get the internal potency of Supreme Lord Krishna in the form of a daughter.

Lord Brahma’s Utterance

Srimati Radharani is appearing as your daughter. So, you take Her to your house and do Her upbringing. On hearing this, Vrishabhanu Maharaj, being pleased, took her to his house. But after reaching home, he noticed that the girl neither opened her eyes nor spoke or listened to anything. He got upset.

Narad Muni’s word

Then Narad Muni comes there disguised and asks him to celebrate the appearance of Shri Ji herself on the attainment of Kanyaratna.

So, Vrishabhanu Maharaj arranged a grand ceremony to celebrate the appearance of his daughter. In that function, Lord Sri Krishna, Balrama, Mother Yashoda and Nanda Baba appeared. In this way, Nanda Maharaj has got Sri Krishna, and Vrishabhanu Maharaj has got Shri Ji.

Celebration of Radharani’s Appearance

People were playing instruments; All the guests were welcomed with scents, butter and mishri. People were singing a song, and boon companions were dancing, wearing new dresses. Everyone appeared to get a glimpse of Vrishabhanu’s daughter. All the guests were served various delectable dishes.

How Lord Krishna Met Srimati Radharani in the house of Vrishbhanu Maharaj

Everyone was indulged in their work. That time baby Krishna crawled and came near Radha rani. With the support of the cot, he stood near Radharani and touched her. As soon as he touched Radharani with his sacred hands, Radharani opened her eyes and started crying. On hearing Radharani’s screech, everyone spurted. Vrishabhanu Maharaj and Kirtida were delighted that their daughter could speak, see, and listen.

Conversation Between Lord Sri Krishna and Srimati Radharani at Goloka

At Goloka Vrindavan Dham, Lord Sri Krishna said to Srimati Radharani :
Hey Sakhi, it’s time to appear on the earth. Radharani answered that if Sri Vrindavan Dham, Govardhan and Sri Yamuna Ji were not present, I don’t want to go there. On hearing this, Lord Krishna replied I knew it, so I already sent some part of Vrindavan Dham, Govardhan and Yamuna Ji together to the material world. So, you can stay there forever. Then Radharani replied I have one more issue to discuss. Until the time I get sight of your face, I will neither watch anything nor hear or say anything. So, she was waiting for Shri Krishna.

Real Purpose of Human Life

The main aim of our life is to surrender unto the Supreme Lord Sri Krishna’s lotus feet. Therefore, we should have dedication, concentration, determination to serve Lord Krishna and the best example is Radharani. Lord Sri Krishna himself came to this world 500 years ago to show the love and devotion of Radharani to people. To spread it, Sri Krishna appeared as Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and propagate Harinam sankirtan.

According to Srimad Bhagavatam, in Kaliyuga, the best and easiest way to uplift humankind is Harinam sankirtan.

So, In this Radha Ashtami, let’s get a unique darshan of Sri Krishna and Srimati Radharani. Along with it, adopt the maha-mantra which is itself given by the lord as an essential part of our life.

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

There is nothing more important and influential than this maha-mantra given by Supreme Lord Sri Krishna itself. And to spread it for the benefit of people, He came to this world.

So, let’s chant the Hare Krishna maha-mantra on this Radha Ashtami to get the blessings of the most loving, tender-hearted Radharani.

 

  • Fasting till noon

Your Smallest act of Charity can make a difference and bring smiles to Needy Faces.

Balaram Purnima

Balaram Purnima

Lord Balaram appeared on the full moon day of Shravan Month. This day is celebrated as Balaram Jayanti every year. This year it is celebrated on the 12th of August. During this festival, ISKCON Temples are beautifully decorated. Devotees assemble from various regions to get a glance at deities. This day has great significance as Lord Balaram is very dearest to Lord Krishna. Lord Balaram associates Himself with Hal (Plough) and Mace, so he is also known as Haldhar.

Lord Sri Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead among all avatars. Balaramji is the first expansion of Sri Krishna.

Difference In Appearance of Krishna & Balaram

Balaram Ji and Sri Krishna only differ in appearance. The appearance of Sri Krishna is blue or Shyamwarna, like dark clouds. So sometimes, He is also called Ghanshyam. Sri Balaram Ji’s appearance is white as pure milky clouds.

Role of Sri Balaram

Balaram Ji cooperates with the Supreme Lord in various ways and enjoys the ecstasy of the service of Sri Krishna in the form of Sheshnag. When Sri Krishna appeared in this materialistic world, he comes along with His associates and paraphernalia.

Lord Balaram’s Advent

When 5000 years back, Lord Sri Krishna appeared on this worldly planet. Sri Balaram preceded in this world. When Baladeva stayed in the womb of Devaki as the seventh child, she presumed that this child is not an ordinary child. He is a divine child, which bothered her about his safety.

Kansa became alert by spotting a glow in Mata Devaki, thinking the prophecy may have fooled him. Instead of the 8th son of Devaki, he will be slain by the 7th son.

Kansa’s Fright

Even Kansa became fearful by sensing his potency, thinking the prophecy may have tricked him that he will be slain only by the eighth child of Devaki. At that time, Lord Sri Krishna enjoined Yoga Maya, His internal potency, to transfer the unborn from the womb of Devaki to the house of Sri Nanda Maharaj at Gokul in the womb of Rohini. In this way, Balaram Ji appeared in Gokul at Nanda Baba’s house.

Forecast of Gargamuni

This newly born child is loaded with extraordinary body strength, so this child will be called Balaram.

The Moniker of Sri Balaram

This newly born child is loaded with extraordinary body strength, so this child will be called Balaram.

Since, He got brought from the womb of Devaki to the womb of Rohini so, He will also be known as Sankarshan. As He appeared as Rohini’s son, He will also be known as Rohini Nandana. He is the elder brother of Krishna, So He is also recognised as “Dauji”.

Lord Balaram’s Appearance

Sri Balaram ji is white as crystal in appearance. Balaram ji is a 16-years old boy, full of zeal glistened with supernatural powers.

He wears blue clothes and garlands with vanamala and kunjamala. Ruby and Pearl neckpiece beautifully placed in his neck, armlets in his strong arms, and wears beautifully crafted anklets in His lotus feet, He looks even more attractive. His broad chest is ornamented with a garland of Gunja Mala, and he has a harsh and soft voice. His long arm touches His knee. His beauty is similar to millions of glistening rising moons. His boundless strength is equal to the minimal amount of force sufficient to destroy many armies of demons.

Even being well informed about the supernatural power of His younger brother, Balaram ji never left Sri Krishna alone in the jungle. As an elder brother, Balaram ji was a symbol of Sri Krishna’s love and respect. Therefore, Balaram ji is very dear to Lord Sri Krishna, and He is the nectar ocean of many sweet pastimes. There are some such pastimes in which Balaram ji has a special mention.

Lord Balaram’s Pastimes

Balaram Ji slays Dhenukasura and Pralambasura. They were demons sent by Kansa to chastised Yamuna Devi.

Sri Balaram also freed Samba from the captivity of Kauravas. Balaram Ji married Revati. Balaram became angry with Bhima for killing Duryodhana by trickery and killed Romaharshana for not deserving esteem to Vyasdeva.

Creator of Spirituality

Due to the first expansion of the Supreme Lord, the entire spiritual world has originated from Balaram Ji. All the material and conscious things engaged in the service of the Supreme Lord are expanded from Sri Balaram Ji. He is the original Guru Tattva, the original Guru of all living beings. When Balaram Ji roams in the forest, a few trees crouch towards Him to greet Him.

Lord Krishna’s Words

Lord Krishna says all the demigods also want to do sewa of lotus feet of Sri Balaram and please Him. Lord Balaram is the eternal companion of Lord Sri Krishna. He always appeared with Lord Krishna as Lakshmana with Rama and later as Nityananda Prabhu with Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Consistently, He always stayed with Supreme Lord Krishna in His pastimes to provide service to the Lord. So Balaram Ji is like a retainer of Lord Sri Krishna. His only mission is to please Krishna by providing assistance to him.

He is the original spiritual Guru. Anyone who has the impulse to make spiritual progress has to acquire the mercy of Sri Balaram. Thus we should pray and please Lord Balaram that He provides us strength to give service to Lord Krishna with complete devotion and dedication.

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Shri Krishna Janmashtami (Appearance of Lord Krishna)

Shri Krishna Janmashtami (Appearance of Lord Krishna)

Krishna Janmashtami this year is celebrated on 19th August, 2022. Devotees of Lord Krishna celebrate this auspicious festival by keeping fast, night-sankirtans, holding bhakti events, etc. Sri Krishna’s devotees celebrate this day to express their love for Lord Krishna.

Though Krishna Janmashtami is celebrated worldwide, It is chronicled with the most enthusiasm in the ISKCON temple. The appearance of Lord Krishna is significant. Krishna’s Janam Leela is divine and sacred. The reason for the advent of the Supreme Lord is to end the cruelty of evil Kansa and give the pleasure to the devotees.

Lord Krishna appeared in the prison of Mathura at midnight on the eighth day of Krishna paksha to Mother Devaki and Vasudeva. That night was remarkable. During the manifestation of Lord Krishna, all the places were irradiated to portray the Advent of the Supreme Lord.

Prophecy of the “Downfall of Kansa”

It is believed that King Kansa made splendid arrangements for the marriage of his beloved sister Devaki. But at the same time, prophecy took place that the eighth son of Devaki will be the reason for the end of the dictatorial rule of Kansa and will be the reason for his ruination.

Why Kansa killed all the children of Devaki?

When Kansa came to know that Devaki’s child will be the cause of Kansa’s death, he forgot all the bonds and love for his sister, and in a rage, he held Devaki’s hair and was going to kill her. Then Vasudeva advised the situation with his patience and wisdom to save the life of his wife, Devaki. He stopped Kansa wisely, saying that “why are you taking the stigma of killing a woman and that too your sister on your head. We will hand over our eighth son willingly to you.”

After hearing this, the evil Kansa left the idea of killing his sister and decided to spare her life, imprisoned his sister and her husband, and waited for their eighth son’s birth.

On observing the delay of Lord Krishna’s descent (birth), representing all demigods Devarshi Narada said to Kansa that lord Krishna is very clever. So Lord Krishna doesn’t need to take birth as their eighth son; He can appear anytime. And in this way, the evil Kansa brutally killed all seven children born to Devaki and Vasudeva.

The Appearance of Lord Krishna

Sri Krishna Janma Leela

During the birth of the eighth child, the Lord appeared in chaturbhuj form and visited Devaki and Vasudeva. A beautiful divine child born as their son.

Surprisingly as soon as the divine child took birth, the shackles got unlocked and magically freed him, the iron door of their cell opened itself, and all the guards slept under a magic spell.

Vasudeva came out of the prison to rescue the newly born child and carried him across the Yamuna. Then, he gave the child to his closest friend Maharaj Nanda. Then, he came back to the cell with the baby girl born in Nanda’s house.

Kansa Arrival to the Cell on Receiving the News of Eighth Child Birth

Immediately after that, Kansa was informed about the newly born child. He reached the cell to kill the newly born girl child. As he tried to kill the baby girl, the baby slipped from his hand and went towards the sky and proclaimed, “evil Kansa, the reason for your death has already taken birth.”

Description of Lord Krishna’s Birth According to Shastra

People say Lord never takes birth, but Lord Krishna took delivery from their mother’s womb, so He cannot be Lord. But Lord Sri Krishna did not take delivery from Mother Devaki’s womb like a normal baby where the mother has to bear labour pain.

As described in Shastras, He took birth in the chaturbhuj form and later adopted a child’s form.

Srila Prabhupada, the Founder-Acharya of International Society for Krishna Consciousness classifies when sun sets and again rises. It is not considered as the sun took rebirth. The absence of the sun does not mean that it perished. It just hides from our sight. Still, going out of our site, it appears somewhere else. In the same way Supreme Lord is beyond life and death and appears in one place after finishing his pastimes in other place.

Generally, the following two shlokas of BHAGAVAD GITA are very known-

“yadā yadā hi dharmasya glānir bhavati bhārata
abhyutthānam adharmasya tadātmānaṁ sṛijāmyaham” (-Bg 4.7)

This means when adharma starts to prevail, and Dharma starts to perish. Lord Sri Krishna appears at his own will.

Now the question arises what the purpose of His self appearance is?
The purpose is-

“paritrāṇāya sādhūnāṁ vināśhāya cha duṣhkṛitām
dharma-sansthāpanārthāya sambhavāmi yuge yuge” (-Bg 4.8)

Supreme Lord constantly lives in His dham (divine abode), but when He descends to the material world, He is called Avatar. This is because He descends for the redemption of His devotees and to end evil.

Significance of Sri Krishna Avatar

There are many types of Avatars like Purusha Avatar, Gunavatar, Lilavatar, Shaktyavesh avatar, Manvantara avatar, and Yugavatar. All of these descents in this universe incarnate in order. But Lord Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead and source of all the Avatars. He can destroy evil in any way.

He does not need to incarnate particularly. So Lord Krishna takes Avatar for the particular purpose of taking away the worries of his devotees who are curious to see his actual pastimes of Vrindavan.

Hence the real purpose of Krishna Avatar is to give pleasure to his pure devotees who are devoid of fruitive activities. It is not a fact that Supreme Lord descends only to the land of India. He can appear anywhere anytime. So on taking every Avatar, He speaks about the Dharma. But the purpose remains the same: to make people filled with religious feelings and to make them obedient to religious rules.

Sometimes He appears Himself, and sometimes He sends His authentic representative in the form of His son or a follower or appears Himself in disguise.

Lord Krishna appears in Brahma’s one-day seventh Manu twenty-eighth Chaturyuga’s end of Dwapara. That is why we are fortunate that we are born in that duration of Kaliyuga when it has been just 5249 years of His disappearance.

After that, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu also appeared 500 years ago and made us familiar with Krishna bhakti (Harinam-Sankirtan). So, come, let’s celebrate this Janmashtami for our beloved Lord Krishna’s pleasure and try to bring His transcendental teachings into our life.

-> Fasting till midnight (only Ekadashi Prasadam to be taken)

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Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra

Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra

The path to Supreme Lord Krishna’s devotion is filled with joy. And when we lose our way to this delightful and blissful path, then Lord Krishna reappears on the earth from his eternal abode. He always wins our hearts with his Divine Play, like his name ‘Krishna’, which means ‘all attractive’.

He always rules our hearts with his divine qualities. With his causeless mercy, Lord wants us to meditate on his lotus feets rather than this materialistic world. This causeless mercy of Lord Krishna is signified in the form of the marvellous event ‘Lord Jagannath Rathyatra’.

About Jagannath Rath Yatra festival

Jagannath Rath Yatra festival is centuries old and celebrated every year. Jagannath Rath Yatra is devoted to Lord Jagannath, his elder brother Lord Baldev and his sister Devi Subhadra. Rath Yatra is a beautiful pastime of the Lord. A few years back, Jagannath Rathyatra was primarily observed in Odisha, West Bengal, and nearby states with great zeal and devotion.

However, it is celebrated worldwide due to the devotional flame of Srila Prabhupada, the founder-acharya of ISKCON. Going beyond the geographical and cultural boundaries, the Rath Yatra festival signifies the meaning of spiritual love and devotion.

The anecdote behind the appearance of great Lord Jagannath is as pleasant as the context of Rath Yatra. In many temples, during Shobha Yatra, all the Deities are brought out of the temple. But downright, the purpose of Lord Jagannath is always different whenever he comes out of his temple.

Lord Jagannath is so merciful that he comes out of the temple to bless the people, especially those beings who are engrossed in material gratification and cannot pay a visit to the temple for Lord darshan. Lord Jagannath’s compassion for devotees is unmatched.

Story Behind Jagannath Rath Yatra festival

Many years after the departure of Supreme Lord Krishna from Vrindavan, the gopis meet Shri Krishna in Kurukshetra.

Many people from far-flung had gathered in Kurukshetra on the occasion of the solar eclipse. Gopis had an intense yearning for Shri Krishna the moment they met him. But gopis wanted Shri Krishna to spend time with them in the Kunj of Vrindavan rather than Kurukshetra. So gopis built a chariot in their minds, and began pulling it by their love and hands rather than by horses.

Thus, there is fervent love of the gopis in the Rath Yatra. The Rath Yatra signifies Kurukshetra as the starting point and the Vrindavan as the destination.

Significance of Rath Yatra 

It is believed that during Rath Yatra, we help the gopis in their love and labor while pulling the chariot of the Lord. The intensity of devotion in our hearts can also be felt while helping the gopis who are full of devotion. Pulling Shri Jagannath’s chariot affectionately signifies taking him to Vrindavan and inviting him again to our hearts.

On the Dwitiya of the month of Ashadh, Lord Jagannath comes out of his main temple in Puri and travels to the house of his mausi (aunt) Gundicha. Thousands of people assemble on the way for his darshan and pull the chariot.

In Puri, Lord Jagannath is worshipped along with his elder brother Baldev and sister Subhadra. All the three brothers and sisters go there to their respective places with great pomp. The Yatra starts with conch, trumpet, dhol, and drums.

How Pilgrims Recognize Chariots of Lords?

Pilgrims recognize each chariot by seeing the various symbols and signs of the three chariots. Lord Jagannath’s chariot is of red and yellow colour consisting of 16 wheels whose deity is Shri Narsingh. This chariot is known as Nandighosh or Garudadhwaja or Kapiladhwaja.

The chariot of Lord Baldev is of red and green colour in which there are 14 wheels whose deity is Sheshnaag. This chariot is known as Taladhwaja or Langaladhwaja. The Subhadra’s chariot is imprinted with red and black lotus marks whose Goddess is Jayadurga. This chariot is known as Darpadalana or Padmadhwaja or Devadalana.

Spending Time in Gundicha Temple 

According to tradition, the king or the high-grade officer of the kingdom starts the chariot after cleaning the road ahead with humility and honour. All three siblings delight in Gundicha temple just like they do in Kunj of Vrindavan. Far away from the hustle and bustle of the city and the countless servants of the temple.

Goddess Lakshmi Gets Angry  

On the Panchami of Ashadh Shukla Paksha (known as Hera Panchami), Goddess Lakshmi visits Gundicha temple to meet Lord Jagannath. But due to not getting darshan, she breaks a part of the chariot out of anger and comes back to the main temple. The Lord returns on the ninth day of the Rath Yatra, and Goddess Lakshmi meets the Lord with her servants. To appease the goddess, Lord Jagannath presents his garland to her.  

Eventually, Lord Jagannath returns on the day of Dwadashi. Showing her anger, Goddess Lakshmi shuts the door. But she opens the door after Lord accepts his defeat.

First Rath Yatra Held Outside India in 1967

In this way, Puri’s custom Rath Yatra is executed which is meant for bringing people close to Supreme Lord. This Rath Yatra takes out the divine love of the Supreme Lord from the temple and sprinkles it not only in the whole town but in the entire world. It gives us an opportunity to take our devotional love from separation to union.

It’s all because of the deep devotion His Divine Grace Abhay Charanarvinda Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada, founder-acharya of ISKCON, that this festival has become worldwide. ISKCON held the first Ratha-yatra festival abroad in 1967 along the streets of San Francisco and sanctified its soil.

Celebration of Rath Yatra Worldwide

Today, other than India, the Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath is taken out in every corner of the world, including London, France, Germany, Boston, and Australia. Due to which many people are moving on the path of devotion to the Supreme Lord. Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra is organized in all the temples of ISKCON with great enthusiasm.

After the Rath Yatra, the mahaprasad of Lord Jagannath is also distributed to the devotees. If they receive it with reverence, the devotees will indeed receive his blessings. Therefore, all of us should be a part of this event and invite the very kind and pious Lord Jagannath into our hearts.

Rath Yatra Procession at Delhi

A special Rath Yatra Festival is organized at ISKCON Delhi every year. A huge procession is carried out on the streets of Delhi amid the roaring kirtan. 

Devotees perform the sacred maha-mantra and dance. Then, thousands of devotees pull the rath of the Lords to get mercy. It is an intriguing sight and a joyful experience.

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Story Behind Panihati Cida Dahi Festival

Story Behind Panihati Cida Dahi Festival

Panihati Cida Dahi festival

Panihati cida dahi festival, also known as chippad rice festival or Danda Mahotsav (festival of punishment) is celebrated yearly on thirteen days of the full moon in the month of Jyestha (May-June). 

Behind this festival of punishment, there is an intriguing story of Srila Raghunatha Dasa Goswami and lord Nityanand Prabhu. This story narrates the ecstatic love of God and his benevolence toward his devotees and religious maniac. The votary’s devotion and ecstasy of loving god are transcendental. 

The Godly ‘Raghunath Dasa’

Srila Raghunatha Dasa was born 1495 in Krishnapur near Saptagram. His father was a wealthy opulent Zamindar Govardhan Mazumdar whose family’s affluence and prosperity were equivalent to that of Deva Indra. 

Raghunath Dasa was one of the six Goswamis of Vrindavana who was not interested in the mundane and materialistic world. He always found himself detached from this materialistic world and wanted to abandon all the material pleasure of this world at a very early age. He was looking for a life full of spirituality. 

First meeting of Nityanand Prabhu and Raghunatha dasa

Then the time arrived when Raghunath Dasa ran to meet the lord Nityanand Prabhu for the first time when he came to stay in Santipura after renunciation. 

Raghunath Dasa expressed his desire to leave home and devote his life to the serve lord in front of Nityanand Prabhu but he denied him to do so and said, “Within your heart, you should keep yourself very faithful, but externally you may behave like an ordinary man. Thus Krishna will soon be very pleased and deliver you from the clutches of Maya. You may see Me at Nilacala, Jagannatha Puri when I return after visiting Vrindavana. By that time you can think of some trick to escape. What kind of means you will have to use at that time will be revealed by Krishna. If one has Krishna’s mercy, no one can check him.” (By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda. Madhya-līlā Chapter 16, Text 236-239)

By hearing this, he gave up the idea of renunciation and engaged himself in his routine without any interest. 

The reason calling it ‘Dand Festival’ or ‘Festival of Punishment’

In this way, two years passed, and one day, Raghunath Dasa heard that Nityanand Prabhu had come back again and stayed in a nearby village named Panihati. Raghunath took the permission of his father and went to see him. 

He reached Panihati village and saw that Nityanand Prabhu was sitting on a rock under a Banyan tree which is next to river Ganga and was surrounded by his devotees, many kirtana performers and followers. Raghunath Dasa was surprised to see the magnificence of Nityanand Prabhu.

 He was hesitating to go forward to see him as he thought himself to be unqualified and paid his obeisances from a distance. Some of the devotees noticed Raghunath Dasa and informed Nityanand Prabhu about him. Lord Nityanand called him and said, “You are a thief. Now you have come to see Me. Come here, come here. Today I shall punish you!” (CC Antya 6.47) 

Raghunath Dasa was hesitating to go near the lord. Nityananda Prabhu ordered his servant to catch him and present Raghunath Dasa in front of him. The gracious lord put his lotus feet on the head of Raghunath Dasa and said, “You are just like a thief, for instead of coming near, you stay away at a distant place. Now that I have captured you, I shall punish you”.( CC Antya 6.50) 

“Make a festival and feed all My associates yoghurt and chipped rice.” Hearing this, Raghunath Dasa was immensely pleased by heart. (CC Antya 6.51) 

Arrangements did for the celebration.

Raghunath Dasa instantly sent his men to bring all the ingredients and eatable items and made arrangements for the celebration. Chipped rice, Bananas, Milk, sweet dishes, yoghurt and many more edible items were brought.

As the people heard that a fabulous festival would be celebrated, all the Brahmans and villagers started coming to enjoy this festival. A great number of people arrived from the village itself and also from nearby villages too. Seeing the crowd, Raghunath Dasa ordered more items and large earthen pots to put those items. 

At one place, chipped rice was soaked in hot milk in large earthen pots. Half of the rice was mixed with yoghurt, sugar and bananas, and the remaining half of them got mixed with condensed milk flavoured with camphor and butter. 

 A blissful festival scene

After all this delicious food was ready to eat, lord Nityanand returned wearing new clothes and sat down on a raised platform. Seven Large pots with chipped rice were brought and placed in front of him. On that platform, other prominent associates gathered him with succulent chipped rice. Lord Nityanand honoured other learned scholars, Brahmans and priests and invited them to sit with him on that raised platform. 

Two earthen pots served with two kinds of chipped rice given to all other devotees and associates who were present there. Other devotees sat on the ground around a raised platform surrounding lord Nityanand. When the place became full, and people did not get to sit, they went to the bank of river Ganga with their two pots. When the river bank also got filled, and there was no vacant place to sit and eat, people got down into the Ganga water and began eating their chipped rice. Twenty men were employed to serve food. Such was the scene of the festival celebration. 

Divine pastime of Nityanand Prabhu with Chaitanya Mahaprabhu

When chipped rice was served to all, Nityananda Prabhu meditated and brought Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. As Chaitanya Mahaprabhu arrives, lord Nityanand stood up. They were both standing together and watching how the people were enjoying the festival with chipped rice. Then, experiencing transcendental bliss, they both moved around among the devotees. 

Nityanand Prabhu took morsels of chipped rice from each devotee’s pot and fed Chaitanya Mahaprabhu with his own hand. In the same way, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu also pushed some morsels of chipped rice in the mouth of Nityananda Prabhu. People could not understand what Nityananda Prabhu was doing because no one could see the Chaitnaya Mahaprabhu. Only some fortunate could see the presence of lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu there. 

Manifestation of Krishna and Balram

Experiencing the pleasure of this scene, a smile came on the face of Nityananda Prabhu. Then he sat down with Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and offered him a full pot of chipped rice to eat. They both together were eating the chipped rice as if Krishna and Balram themselves are eating. Then Lord Nityananda Prabhu ordered, “All of you eat, chanting the holy name of Hari.”

Suddenly the whole universe reverberated with ‘Hari Hari’. The remnants left by the lord were distributed among devotees, associates and followers as Prasad. 

In this way, Nityanand Prabhu blessed the Raghunath Dasa and showered his grace upon him. 

Raghunatha Dasa was fortunate that the Lord himself came to eat chipped rice served by him. The leniency and mercy of the lord are enigmatic. Remembering the mercy of Lord Nityanand on Raghunath Dasa, we celebrate this chipped rice festival or festival of punishment every year. Devotees visit the Panihati on this festival, which is today’s West Bengal near Kolkata city. Chipped rice is distributed among visitors and devotees as Prasad on this festival. 

Do visit the Panihati with your family at this coming cida rice festival and enjoy this celebration. Surrender yourself in God’s devotion and experience the pleasure of ecstatic love of God. 

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 twelveth 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

Your Smallest act of Charity can make a difference and bring smiles to Needy Faces.