iskcon_logo_yellow11

ISKCON Dumdum

Pushya Abhishek

Pushya Abhishek is the first festival of the year celebrated in January. Most festivals celebrated in the temple involve the Abhishek of the utsava murtis (small brass Deities); but on this special festival, the mula vigrahas or the main Deities of Sri Sri Radha Govinda are showered with colorful flower petals.
Many little mounds of flowers, of different colors and varieties, each with devoted hearts sitting around, plucking out tender petals: the preparation looks as festive as the festival itself. The pujaris dress the Deities in colorful flower garments and decorate them with exquisite floral ornaments. Series of flower decorations all over the altar and the temple hall add to the splendour of the festival.
As the festival spirit intensifies during the course of the preparations, the real spectacle starts after dusk. Accompanied by melodious kirtans, the flower bathing of the Deities lasts for an hour. As petals of various colors are showered upon their Lordships, the delight in the faces of the devotees is a

sight to behold. instructed us that the pastimes of Sri Sri Radha Krishna are going on eternally in the spiritual world. By celebrating these festivals, we can engage ourselves directly in the service of the Lord. Especially the Pusya Abhiseka festival, where the Lord is bathed in soft, cooling petals of fragrant flowers. These festivities bring us closer to the mood of Vrindavana.This is a festival of joy, as we get a chance to offer some personal service to the Lord. We invite all devotees to come and take part in offering their personal service to the Lord by plucking the flowers.

Sri Nityananda Trayodasi

Lord Nityananda is the eternal associate of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Mahaprabhu cannot be approached or understood without the mercy of Nityananda Prabhu, who is the cardinal guru of all the universes and serves as an intermediary between Mahaprabhu and His devotees.
He is the Lord’s active principle in both creation and lila. He is the second body of the Lord, manifesting as Balaram to Sri Krishna, Lakshman to Sri Ram and Nityananda Prabhu to Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Nityananda Prabhu in His role as the original spiritual master was instrumental in spreading the Yuga-Dharma of Sankritana all over the Gaudadesh (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 DandaMahotsava festival of Panihatti, a tradition that continues to this day, and was thus able to serve Caitanya 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 Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Srila Prabhupada on Lord Nityananda Kavi Karnapura describes in his Sri Gaur Ganodesa Dipika about Lord Nityananda, “Lord Nityananda Avadhuta is actually the Personality of Godhead Lord Balarama. Always staying among the devotees, He shines with the splendor of thousands of suns. Lord Nityananda incarnates as His plenary expansion as Ananta Sesa. As Lord Sesa, He transforms His body to become the garments, bracelets, and other ornaments worn by Lord Visnu and Lord Krishna. Expanding again as the pastime potency, lila-sakti, Lord Sesa is aware of all the details of Lord Krishna’s confidential pastimes.”

At ISKCON, Mysore on the day of Nityananda Trayodashi, devotees fast till noon and pray to Lord Nityananda for spiritual strength. Evening program begins with a grand abhishekam to The Deities of Sri Sri Gaura Nitai with panchamrita (milk, curd, sweetened water, ghee and honey) and panchagavya. The Deities are then bathed with exotic fruit juices and water mixed with herbal extracts. The sarvaushadhi snana is followed by 64 kalasha snana and concludes with pushpa-vrishti After the abhishekam, the Deities are given a special offering of 28 food items. This is followed by Video Presentation depicting the pastimes and life of Nityananda Prabhu.

Sri Guru Purnima

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is the Supreme Person, Krishna Himself, appearing as His own devotee, to teach us that we can gain full enlightenment simply by chanting the holy names of the Lord. Gaura Purnima means “golden full moon,” signifying that Lord Chaitanya was “born” during a full moon, and the Lord blesses everyone with the soothing, moonlike rays of his sublime teachings.
Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu advocated a universal religion for everyone. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is the Supreme Person, Krishna Himself, appearing as His own devotee, to teach us that we can gain full enlightenment simply by chanting the holy names of the Lord. Gaura Purnima means “golden full moon,” signifying that Lord Chaitanya was “born” during a full moon, and the Lord blesses everyone with the soothing, moonlike rays of His sublime teachings.
Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu advocated a universal religion for everyone, a scientific process of spiritual awakening and gave an opportunity for spiritual emancipation to all regardless of religion, caste, creed or colour.

He inaugurated the Sankirtana movement – the congregational chanting of the Holy Name of Krishna in the form of the Hare Krishna Maha Mantra –

Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare
Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare

Five hundred years ago, He predicted that the chanting of Lord Krishna’s Holy Names would spread throughout the world. This prophecy was fulfilled by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the Founder-Acharya of ISKCON and the eleventh in the disciplic succession (parampara) of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.

At ISKCON, Mysuru on day of Gaura Purnima, to commemorate the festival, devotees go for a Nagar Sankirtan, chanting holy names of Lord Krishna, in the early morning hours. The evening festival starts from 6 pm onwards with Tulasi Puja followed by an elaborate a grand 108 Kalasha abhishekam to the Deities of GauraNitai (Lord Chaitanya and His associate Nityananda) along with Arati & Sankirtan. The special feature of the evening celebrations is a special play on the Life and teachings of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu performed by students of FOLK group.

 

 

Sri Rama Navami

Lord Ramachandra – the worshipable Deity of millions, the ideal son, husband, brother, master, king, administrator and above everything, the direct incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead appeared on the ninth day (Navami) of the waxing moon (Shukla Paksha) of Chaitra masa in Treta yuga. The appearance day of Lord Rama, Sri Rama Navami will be celebrated in many parts of the world as SRI RAMA NAVAMI The Srimad Bhagavatam and the Ramayana give us vivid portrayals of the state of affairs during Lord Rama’s reign that they can make us hanker for such a situation just by hearing those narrations. The following description of the rule of Lord Rama from the Srimad Bhagavatam can fill anyone with wonder and delight.
“jugopa pitrvad ramo menire pitaram ca tam”
“After accepting the throne of the state, Lord Rämachandra cared for the citizens exactly like a loving father, and the citizens, being fully satisfied and pleased, accepted Him as their father. When Lord Ramachandra, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, was the King of this world,all bodily and mental suffering, disease, old age, bereavement,

lamentation, distress, fear and fatigue were completely absent. There was even no death for those who did not want it. During the reign of Lord Ramachandra the forests, the rivers, the hills and mountains, the states, the seven islands and the seven seas were all favorable in supplying the necessities of life for all living beings.” (Srimad Bhagavatam Canto 9 chapter 10)

The main significance behind the celebration of this festival is that the character of Lord Rama signifies someone who follow the right path against all odds in life. He was also the true embodiment of humanity. So celebration of Ram Navami is a special way to remember all the noble deeds performed by Lord Rama.

At ISKCON, Mysuru on the occasion of Sri Rama Navami, the Deities of Sri Sri Krishna Balarama are decorated as Rama and Lakshmana. The evening program begins from 6 pm onwards with Sri Rama Taraka Homa, followed by a special Video presentation on the pastimes of Lord Ramachandra. A special song which narrates the entire Ramayana “NAMA RAMAYANA” is also sung. The program ends with the chanting of Sri Rama ashtottara shata namavali, arati with sankirtan and prasadam.

Sri Narasimha Chaturdasi

Lord Krishna says in the Bhagavad-gita: pariträëäya sädhünäm vinäçäya ca duñkåtäm dharma-saàsthäpanärthäya sambhavämi yuge yuge “In order to deliver the pious and to annihilate the miscreants, as well as to reestablish the principles of religion, I advent Myself millennium after millennium”. Ages ago, Lord Krishna advented in the form of half-lion half-man incarnation Lord Narasimha to protect His devotee Prahlad from his demoniac father Hiranyakashipu. Because of performing severe austerities, Hiranyakashipu had received a special benediction from Lord Brahma that he could not be killed by any human being, demigod or animal or any other entities; he could not be killed by any kind of weapons, neither during day nor night. So, the Lord appeared in half-man half-lion form and killed him with His nails at twilight, thus satisfying all the conditions. Narasimhadeva appeared at dusk on the Shukla Chaturdashi (fourteenth day of the bright fortnight) in the month of Vaishakha.

Celebrations at ISKCON, Mysore for Sri Narasimha Jayanthi begin in the evening at 6pm onwards. The programme starts with Narasimah Homa followed by an elaborate abhishekam to the Deities of Sri Sri Lakshmi Narasimha. During the abhisheka, panchagavya, panchamrita, sacred water, herbal water, sandal water, fruit juices, and water mixed with turmeric are poured on the Lord for His pleasure. A Video presentation based on the teachings of Srila Prabhupada, depicting the pastimes of Lord Narasimha and various holy temples of Lord Narasimha is played. The programme ends with singing of the special song on Lord Narasimha Çré Nåsimha Añöottara Çata Näma Stotram and arati with Sankirtan.

Sri Jagannath Snana Purnima

On the full-moon day, sixteen days before Ratha-yatra, Lord Jagannath is bathed. He becomes sick and is confined to rest for fourteen days. He is then offered special care until He comes out for Ratha-yatra. A special bath of Jagannath takes place on the Purnima of Jyestha month, to commemorate the appearance day of Lord Jagannath. According to Skanda Purana when Raja Indradyumna installed the wooden deities he arranged this bathing ceremony. This day considered to be the appearance day of Lord jagannath. ‘Niladri Mohadaya’, a religious text written in Oriya records the rituals of the festival. Lord Jagannath in His early form was being worshipped as Nilamadhava by a Suara chief called Viswabasu. The story is nicely told in the drama Jagannath Priyan natakam. Till now it is the Daitas and Suaras who have the exclusive right to conduct the festival. On the previous day of Snana Yatra the dieties of Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra along with the Sudarshana are ceremonially brought out from the sanctum in a procession to the Bathing pandal. It is at such a height that visitors standing outside the temple also get a glimpse of the Deities.

On the the day before the bathing when the Deities are taken out in procession, the whole process is called Pahandi orPahandi vijay.  For this festival the Bathin pandal is well decorated with traditional paintings of trees and gardens. Flags and arches strung with mango leaves are also put up. The Deities are profusely decorated with flowers. All kinds of perfumes such as Dhupa, Aguru etc. are then offered.

In Puri the bathing procedure is as follows, After Mangala Arati, the Suaras and Mahasuaras go in a ceremonial procession to fetch water from Golden well in one hundred and eight, vessels of copper and gold. All of them cover their mouths with a piece of cloth so as not to contaminate it even with their breath. Then all the vessels filled with water are preserved in the Bhoga Mandap. Then they purify the water with turmeric, Benachera, Chandan, Aguru, flowers, perfumes and medicinal herbs.

The bathing festival takes place during the morning hours of the purnima tithi. The filled vessels are carried from Bhoga Mandap to the Snana Vedi by the Suaras in a long single line procession.

After the Snana Yatra, the Deities are kept away from public view for fifteen days and during all these days the daily rites of the temple remain suspended. When Jagannatha was absent from the temple, Caitanya Mahaprabhu, who could not see Him, felt separation and left Jagannatha Puri to go to a place known as Alalanatha. As Jagannatha himself instructed, after this ceremony, he is not seen for a fortnight. The Deities are kept on a special “sick room” called the Ratan vedi inside the temple. This period is called ‘Anabasara kala’ meaning improper time for worship.  During these fifteen days the descendants of Viswavasu repaint and restore the Deities and Jagannath’s fine decorations.  On the 16th day the Deities in their new forms after renovation become ready for the public view darshan. The festival of the first appearance of the Lord Jagannath to his devotees is called Netrotsava.

Sri Ratha Yatra

The Rath Yatra festival is celebrated in Orissa with great enthusiasm and devotion. It is a very beautiful pastime of the Lord which is celebrated as Rath Yatra. 16 days before the Rath Yatra, when the moon is full, the Lord Jagannath takes bath and become sick. After that, He is confined to take rest for the next 14 days. He is then provided with special care until He becomes fit for the Rath Yatra. The special bath takes place in the month of Jyestha during Purnima. This memorializes the appearance of great Lord Jagannath. According to the sacred Skanda Purana, when king Indradyumna placed the wooden-made Deities, he organized this special bathing ceremony. The day is considered as the appearance day of Lord Jagannath. A spiritual text written in the Oriya language is known as the ‘Niladri Mohadaya’. In this text, we could find the records of this fabulous festival. The earliest form of Lord Jagannath is known as the ‘Nilamadhava’. If you are willing and curious enough to find the story of Lord Jagannath, then it is beautifully described in the Jagannath Priyan Natakam. It is the most popular drama of Lord Jagannath. From that time, Sauras and Daitas are the people who have the exclusive right to organize this auspicious festival.

One day before the Snana Yatra, all the Deities, including Lord Jagannath, Subhadra, Balabhadra, and Sudarshana are brought out from the room to the pandals. The height of the pandals is extremely high. All the devotees stand outside and get a glance of all the Deities.

After that Deities are taken for the Pahandi or Pahandi Vijay ceremony. All the bathing pandals are decorated beautifully and the paintings of gardens and trees will surely mesmerize you. Arches and flags are prepared with the mango leaves. All the Deities are decorated with fresh flower and then perfumes like Aguru and dhupa offered to them.

Puri is the main center point of this auspicious Rath Yatra. The whole process is as follows, firstly Mangala Aarti is held. Then, the Mahasuaras and Suaras walk off in the ritual parade to carry some sacred water from the famous Golden Well in 108 vessels of gold and copper. They also cover their mouth with cloths so that the purity will remain same. They preserved water and bring it to the Bhoga Mandap. They use Benachera, Aguru, Turmeric, Chandan, Fresh Flowers, Medicinal Herbs, and Perfumes for the purification of the water.

On the Purnima Tithi, the bathing festival takes place. All the filled vessels then moved to Snana Vedi from the Bhoga Mandap by the Sauras.

Once the Snana Yatra is done, all the Deities are kept away from the view of the public for the next 15 days. During these 15 days, all the regular activities of temples stay suspended. When Lord Jagannath is not available in the temple, Caitanya Mahaprabhu felt a deep distant as he could not see the Lord Jagannath. It is believed that Lord Jagannath instructed Caitanya Mahaprabhu himself for this ceremony. During these 15 days, all the Deities are kept in a special sick-room which is called the Ratan Vedi. It is present in the temple usually.

The 15 days time period is defined as the Anabasara Kaal, which simply means ‘improper time of worshiping’. In this particular time period, all the youngsters restore, repaint and decorate all the Deities. On the sixteenth day, the Deities become ready for the public view. This Jagannath Rath Yatra is also popular as Netrotsava. The Gaudiya Vaishnavism founder Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu lived and performed many of his pastimes in Jagannath Puri and personally participated in Lord Jagannath’s pastimes.

As a small child, Srila Prabhupada was very attracted to the forms of Jagannatha, Baladev and Subhadra, and he had his father build a small ratha cart so that he and his friends could hold their own festival. In 1976, ISKCON held the first Ratha-yatra festival outside India, along the streets of San Francisco. Since, Ratha-yatra is held along the main streets of most major cities of the world. Some cities organize Ratha-yatra with three separate chariots as in Jagannatha Puri, but in other cities, Jagannatha, Baladeva and Subhadra sit together in the same chariot.

Every year at ISKCON Dwarka,a special Rath Yatra Festival is organized.Lord Jagannatha, Mother Subhadra and Lord Baladeva are so merciful that they come out of the temple to bless the people. Amidst the roaring kirtan, a huge procession is carried out on the roads of Dwarka. Devotees sing the sacred mahamantra and dance. The Rath of the Lords is pulled by thousands of devotees to get the mercy.It is a mesmerizing sight and blissful experience.

Sri Krishna Janamasatami

The day when Lord Krishna took birth is called as Janmastami. The Janmastami festival is celebrated by millions of people every year all over the world. During the birth of Lord Krishna, the whole atmosphere became filled with prosperity and joy. The trees were laden with fruits and flowers. The rivers were overflowing with water, and the lakes were beautifully decorated with lotus flowers. The birds in the forest began to sing with sweet voices, and the peacocks began to dance. The wind blew very pleasantly, carrying the aroma of different flowers. All the people’s minds became filled with peace and joy. The denizens of the heavenly planets began to sing, offer prayers and dance on the auspicious occasion. The heavenly residents being pleased also began to shower flowers. At the seashore there was the sound of mild waves, and above the sea there were clouds in the sky which began to thunder very pleasingly. Amidst such a wonderful atmosphere, Lord Krishna in order to protect his devotees took birth as the eighth child of Devaki and Vasudeva, bringing boundless joy to both of them.

Srila Prabhupada on Lord Krishna’s appearance

“Although the Lord appears on schedule, namely at the end of the Dvapara-yuga of the twenty-eighth millennium of the seventh Manu in one day of Brahma, He has no obligation to adhere to such rules and regulations, because He is completely free to act in many ways at His will. He therefore appears by His own will whenever there is a predominance of religiosity and a disappearance of true religion.” – BG 4.7, Purport
Sri Krishna Janmashtami Celebrations begin at ISKCON, Mysuru from early morning 4.15 am onwards and continue up to 1 am the next day. Sri Krishna Balarama, the presiding Deities of ISKCON Mysuru are be bedecked in a special decoration for the occasion. Darshan is open throughout the day. The special attraction during Janmashtami celebration is the elaborate Maha-abhisheka to Sri Krishna Balarama which begins at 10 pm and culminates with Maha Mangala arati & Sankirtana at 12 Midnight, coinciding with the time of Krishna’s birth.

As part of the Janmashtami celebrations, throughout the day many singers perform Sangeethotsava seva during festival in the main temple hall. In the evening, a devotional musical concert and a special dance drama is arranged based on pastimes of Lord Krishna. A special feature of the festival is the HARINAM MANTAP, were thousands of visiting devotees are introduced to the chanting of the Hare Krishna maha mantra.

Srila Prabhupada Appearance Day Celebration

Srila Prabhupad’s Appearance Day is a very special day for all ISKCON devotees as they joyfully glorify their eternal saviour Srila Prabhupada on His appearance day. Srila Prabhupada appeared on Nanadotsava. Nandotsava means: Nanda Maharaja’s huge festival celebrating Krishna’s birth. Nanda Maharaja dressed in luxurious garments and distributed profuse charity to everyone in his kingdom. He gave away opulent cloth and ornaments and two million richly decorated cows to the brahmanas. Vraja was alive with vibrations of Vedic hymns and beautiful decorations and everyone was experiencing unending happiness. Bursting with bliss, the Vrajavasis expressed their joy by throwing butter, yogurt and ghee all around. Srila Prabhupada was sent by the Lord to fulfill Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s prediction- Prtvithe ache yata nagaradi grama, sarvatra pracara haibe more nama: In every town and village of the world, My name will be heard.
Srila Bhakti Vinoda Thakura wrote in his Sajjona-tosani, “Soon there will be a time when the chanting of Krishna’s name will be heard in England, France, Russia, Germany and America.”

One hundred years ago, on that most auspicious spiritual occasion, Srila Prabhupada appeared to fulfill the mission of Lord Krishna. Srila Prabhupada grew up as a pure devotee of the Lord and distributed Krishna Consciousness everywhere.

Srila Prabhupada made a perfect appearance, led a perfect life and had a perfect departure. Srila Prabhupada lives forever through his books. This legacy will always provide the devotees with Lord Caitanya katha and teach everyone to chant the Maha mantra.

Jhulan

One of the most popular events in the holy town of Vrindavan, India – where Lord Krishna appeared 5,000 years ago – is the celebration of Jhulan Yatra, the Radha-Krishna swing festival. In Vrindavan among the local villagers and inhabitants this festival lasts for 13 days.
In Sri Vrindavan for five days, in many of the 5000 temples there, the small Utsav-vighraha functional Deities (Vijay-utsav bera) are taken from the altar and placed on an elaborately decorated swing in the temple room. After receiving the traditional arati worship, the Deities are pushed on Their swing.
Each person offers flower petals and personal prayers, and then pushes the swing several times as the other members chant Hare Krishna, Jaya Radhe Jaya Krishna jaya Vrindavan, or Jaya Radhe, Jaya Jaya Madhava dayite in kirtan. The atmosphere of this festival is especially sweet as everyone has the chance to intimately serve Radha and Krishna.

The same festival is observed in other parts of India too in this sacred month of Shravana. In our ISKCON temples we observe for five days in accordance with Srila Prabhupada’s instructions. This is a wonderful ceremonial function of Lord Krishna’s pastimes that reflects practically how we are to render service to the Lord for His pleasure.

These festivals are not in any way mere rituals, as they all have practical service functionality to invoke loving servitude of the devotees for the Lord. Lord Sri Krishna is the Supreme enjoyer and doesn’t have to work hard like us in this world. Everything He does is pleasurable, and He organises many situation in which He can incorporate us, His separated parts and parcels into His loving service which is our natural condition in the spiritual realm.

When Sri Krishna had his pastimes in rural Vrindavan with His cowherd friends together they lovingly tended the cows, and wandered in the pastures playing, frolicking, and feasting. Throughout the various seasons they all continuously enjoyed being part of Sri Krishna’s pastimes, and rendering loving service to Him as best they could.
It is a most pleasing and satisfying festival, with the swings often highly decorated with forest creepers, Jasmine (Malati) that has newly blossomed in the season, and streamers of garlands. Sometimes they use a fine spray of rose water and direct it toward the Divine couple of Radha and Krishna on Their swing.

On the last day of the Jhulan, on the Purnima (full moon) this comes Lord Balaram’s appearance day festival. Let us participate in this festival and offer our loving devotional service to Sri Krishna and Srimati Radharani.

Sri Radha Astami

Sri Radha is the Feminine Nature of Lord Krishna.. Radhastami is the appearance anniversary Srimati Radharani. Millions gather today, in India and around the world, to offer prayers, worship, and devotional songs glorifying the appearance of the Divine mother, Radha (Radharani). Radha descended from the spiritual realm shortly after Krishna, approximately 5,000 years ago.
She took birth in the small village known as Barsana, which is about 28 miles from Mathura, the birth place of Krishna. The word Radha comes from the Sanskrit verbal root radh, which means to worship, and the word rani, which means queen. Radharani can be literally translated to mean "the queen of worship." In some texts, she is described as "the supreme goddess who is worshipable by everyone. She is the protector of all, and she is the mother of the entire universe."
The answer to the question that has been on everyone's mind for millennia is, YES and NO. The question is: Is God a Man? God is not just male, and according to some Vedic scriptures, God has both masculine and feminine expansions. In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna provides a sneak preview into these feminine traits.

“Among women I am fame, fortune, fine speech, memory, intelligence, steadfastness and patience.”

However, in some of the more esoteric texts such as the Puranas and the Chaitanya-Caritamrita, it explains that the complete manifestation of God includes his feminine counterpart, Radha. They are inconceivably one and different, as Krishna expanded himself into two for the purpose of exchanging love. There’s a beautiful description in the Chaitanya-Caritamrita which gives us a window into the connection between Radha and Krishna.

“Radha is the full power, and Lord Kṛiṣhṇa is the possessor of full power. The two are not different, as evidenced by the revealed scriptures. They are indeed the same, just as musk and its scent are inseparable, or as fire and its heat are non-different. Thus Rādhā and Kṛiṣhṇa are one, yet they have taken two forms to enjoy the mellows of pastimes.”

This concept is not an easy one to grasp. If God is full and complete, why does he need to expand himself to exchange love? The next question we can ask is why does God need to do anything? God has a personality which indicates that he has preferences. Perhaps this need to expand for the purpose of exchanging love speaks of the importance love plays in the lives of all individuals.

Our desire to love and be loved comes from God. For the most part, no one wants to be alone, at least not permanently. The thing everyone is chasing after is love. We all want to know that there are people out there that love us. Simultaneously, we hanker to be able to give our love to others.

There is another passage in the Caitanya-Caritamrita that describes Radha’s qualities and love for Krishna.

“Radharani’s body, mind, and words are steeped in love for Krishna … The body of Radharani is a veritable transformation of love of Godhead. Even Krishna can’t understand the strength of Radha’s love which overwhelms Him. Her transcendental body is complete with unparalleled spiritual qualities. Even Lord Kṛiṣhṇa Himself cannot reach the limit of the transcendental qualities of Radharani.”

These are some of Radha’s prominent qualities:

1. Radha is adolescent and always freshly youthful.

2. Radharani is very sweet and most charming to look at.

3. Radha’s face is smiling and ever blissful.

4. Radharani is the most exceptional singer and veena player.

5. Radha’s words are charming and pleasing.

6. Radha is exceptionally humble.

7. Radha is the embodiment of mercy and compassion.

8. Radha possesses Mahabhava, the highest sentiment of love.

9. Radha always keeps Krishna under Her control. Krishna submissively obeys Radha’s command.

These topics of divine and spiritual love between Radha and Krishna will always remain a mystery as long as we remain on the material platform. Love on the spiritual platform is devoid of selfishness. The needs and interests on the other take precedence over one’s own needs. The kind of love that comes closest to spiritual love is the love exhibited by a mother towards her child. It’s full of sacrifice and is completely selfless; it is without expectation.

The feeling of love is derived from the service itself. The child is limited in its capacity to reciprocate the mother’s love. Even if it increases its demands, the mother keeps on giving. Most of us can only imagine a relationship where the reciprocation of love and service is completely selfless and without expectation. It’s the kind of love our hearts hanker for.

The path of bhakti or devotional service prepares one’s heart and consciousness — by eradicating selfishness and incorporating selflessness — to understand and experience that divine love which exists between Radha and Krishna.

This is a wonderful day to meditate and reflect on the beautiful selfless qualities of Radharani and pray that we can to some degree follow in her footsteps.

 

Kartik Damodar Festival

Kathika Damodhara Deepotsava is celebrated in commemoration of an enchanting childhood pastime of Lord Krishna in Gokula. The Srimad Bhagavatam describes that once naughty little Krishna stole butter & also broke the pots containing butter and yogurt. Mother Yashoda then decided to bind Krishna to a wooden grinding mortar to restrain his naughty activities. She took some ropes & tried to bind the unlimited Supreme Lord, being unaware of His exalted position. But the rope was short by a measurement of two fingers.
Yashoda gathered all the ropes from the household & joined them to bind Krishna. In spite of exhausting all the ropes, it was still short by two fingers. Observing the exhaustion of Mother Yashoda, Krishna finally agreed to be bound although the Supreme Lord is by nature boundless & infinite. This pastime made Krishna famous by the name ‘Damodara’. ‘Dama’ means rope & ‘udara’ means belly. Hence, Damodara is the special form of Krishna, as a baby tied with rope around his belly to a wooden grinding mortar.

There are many wonderful descriptions in the scriptures glorifying this pastime. The acharyas explain that actually the Supreme Lord Krishna can never be bound by anyone or anything. Yet out of His boundless love & compassion for his pure devotees like Mother Yashoda, he agrees to become subservient to them. Hence, Mother Yashoda did not bind Krishna with an ordinary rope but with her pure love and devotion.

Devotees celebrate this sweet pastime throughout the month of kartika by offering special prayers and lamps to Lord Damodara.

At ISKCON Mysuru, Damodara Deepotsava is celebrated by observing a month long festival of lights in the month of Kartika. Every day in the evening at 7:30 pm, the entire temple is decorated with lamps and a special flower rangoli is offered in front of the altar. All the devotees sing Damodarashtaka song and offer a lamp to Krishna. There will be special Pallaki Utsava and fire crackers on the first day, Bali Padyami day and the last day.

Sri Balaram Jayanti

Balarama is the first bodily expansion of Krishna, and He assists in Lord Krishna’s transcendental pastimes. He is the source of the entire spiritual world and is the adi-guru, the original spiritual master.
Whenever Krishna appears in the material world, He is accompanied by His associates and paraphernalia. Five thousand years ago when Krishna descended into the material world, He was first preceded by Baladeva. Only after Baladeva give His mercy did Krishna descend, such is the intimate relationship between Krishna and Baladeva.
The splendor of Lord Balarama’s form eclipses many millions of glistening rising moons, and the slightest scent of His boundless strength is sufficient to destroy many armies of demons. Lord Balarama exemplifies the service attitude to Krishna. His only mission is to please Krishna by rendering service to Him, whether it is in the creation of the material worlds, maintaining the spiritual world or as His personal paraphernalia.

Srila Prabhupada Quotes on the glories of Sankirtan

“Balaräma gives one strength. Balaräma is Nityänanda. Vrajendra-nandana yei, çacé-suta haila sei, balaräma ha-ila nitäi. This bala—Balaräma—comes with Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu, and both of Them are so merciful that in this age of Kali one may very easily take shelter of Their lotus feet. If one has no connection with Nitäi, Balaräma, then even though one is a very learned scholar or jïäné or has taken birth in a very respectable family, these assets will not help him. We must therefore conquer the enemies of Kåñëa consciousness with the strength received from Balaräma.” – Purport Srimad Bhagavatam 7.15.46

Lord Balarama is the eternal companion of Sri Krishna. He came as Lakshmana with Rama and later as Nityananda Prabhu with Caitanya Mahaprabhu. He is the original spiritual master, and any one desiring to make spiritual progress must first get the mercy of Lord Balarama.

At ISKCON, Mysore on this day we decorate both Sri Sri KRISHNA BALARAM with new set of dresses and jewelry. Evening program begins at 6:00 p.m with a grand 64 Kalasha abhishekam to the utsava Deities of Krishna and Balarama. Abhishekam include panchamrita snana (milk, yoghurt, ghee, honey, and sweet water), panchagavya snana, varieties of fruits juices and milk shakes, aushadi snana (herbs) and tender coconut water.

A number of varieties of arati is offered with accompaniment of Sankirtan. While the sanctified water from the 64 Kalasha is offered, Purusha Sukta is chanted. Abhishekam ends with the showering of multitude of flowers.

Srila Prabhupada Book Marathon

Dear devotees, please accept our humble obeisances! All glories to Srila Prabhupada and his invincible movement! Who has any doubt that Srila Prabhupada was so pleased when the devotees distributed his books? We don’t need to put here any quote, isn’t it? Most of the devotees are hearing and reading this all the time.
On Srila Prabhupada’s disappearance day, most of the speakers were speaking about book distribution and preaching. So why do they emphasize this so much, and why do we spend very little time trying to awaken other conditioned souls from their dreams?
We can say, that first of all we need to apply very seriously the process to ourselves, then after understanding our position in this world, we will feel the necessity to call out others “Please come to the platform of reality, we are not this body, all of our efforts related to material subjects (gross an subtle) will finish and consequently our body will die again and again”

Actually the order to spread Krishna consciousness through book distribution came from Srila  Bhaktivinoda Thakur. During his speech on the Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur’s appearance day in the Surabhi kunja, Sankarshan Nitai prabhu explained that Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur was teaching Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur all about books, how to edit, how to translate, how to write and print books.

In the famous letter to Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur he requests:

“…Please try very hard to make sure that the service to Sri Mayapur will become a permanent thing and will become brighter and brighter every day. The real service to Sri Mayapur can be done by acquiring printing presses, distributing devotional books, and sankirtan- preaching. Please do not neglect to serve Sri Mayapur or to preach for the sake of your own reclusive bhajan..”

From this information we can understand that Srila Prabhupada  was requested by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati and he himself was requested by his father and siksha guru Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur to distribute devotional books.

Book distribution is not an invention; there is no plan behind it to make profit. It is a completely transcendental activity, and those who take up this mission will feel a sweet connection with Guru and Krishna.

Preaching through the books can give us so much bliss and spiritual knowledge, which will be revealed for us in our heart. All doubts will be dispelled, and by mercy of Guru and Krsna we will be able to surrender and become happy for ever.

So, how to make it happen?…..It is simple, all you need is  sincere desire.

  • You can buy books and distribute in the villages
  • You can join book distribution with many devotees every weekend
  • You can join preaching programs and distribute books during nagar sankirtan
  • You can join Sri Mayapur nagar sankirtan (every day!) and distribute books during the kirtan.
  • You can do it yourself with some friends

There are so many creative ways to get the mercy of the previous Acharyas and Srila Prabhupada. One thing is for sure, on the path of bhakti we cannot make advancement without pleasing the acharyas, and, the way to do it is very easy available by book distribution.

We are planning to have at least 10 days of book distribution during December in the cities and villages nearby Sri Mayapur (maximum 40 minutes).

There will be support from Sankirtan department for cars and prasada etc. We will let you know of the full details of the programme as soon as they are finalized.

 

iskcon_logo_yellow11

ISKCON DUMDUM
(International Society for Krishna Consciousness)

To systematically propagate spiritual knowledge to society at large and to educate all people in the techniques of spritual life in order to check the imbalance of values in life, and to achieve real unity and peace in the world.

Useful Links

About Us

Dumdum New Temple

Shop

Courses

Gallery

Donation

Festival Calender

Pilgrimage Tour

Address:
Iskcon, Motijheel Avenue, Dumdum, Kolkata
Area Pin - 700074

Phone No:
916310 5555/842000 2662

Email:
contact@iskcondumdum.com

Our Social Media Links: