Monthly Archives: June 2020

Shiva and Durga quarrel over Vishnu’s Mahaprasada | Shiva’s Tandava

shivaNarada Muni recites this wondrous pastime that took place between Shiva and Durga in Kailash. Once Narada muni arrived at Kailash and revealed to Mahadeva how he was somehow able to get a small amount of Lord Vishnu’s Mahaprasadam with great difficulty as Lord Vishnu had previously instructed Lakshmi devi not to share His food remnants with anyone. Lord Shiva expressed His displeasure when he learned that Narada had eaten all the Mahaprasada himself and did not bring any of it for Shiva. This article is a summary of the concerned chapter from Sri Chaitanya Mangala, which reveals Shiva’s love and reverence for Vishnu. Utkala khanda of Brahma Purana is the original source that records these astonishing pastimes.

(Lord Shiva asked Narada) ‘O sage, after obtaining the rare Mahaprasadam, you ate it all by yourself, not giving any of it to me. You have come to see me out of great love, but why didn’t you bring any of that great treasure ?‘ 

Hearing Lord Shiva’s words Narada hung his head down in shame and gazed at his fingernails. Then he discovered that there was still some Mahaprasada stuck in his fingernails. He exclaimed that there was still a morsel of Mahaprasada left and saying thus, he offered it to Shiva. Lord Shiva at once put it into his mouth without any hesitation.

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Vishnu Sahasranamam – Sri Vishnu Sahasranamam Stotram | Chanting the 1000 names of Lord Vishnu

vishnu

Significance of reciting the Vishnu Sahasranamam 

Sri Vishnu Sahasranamam, which literally translates to 1000 names of Lord Vishnu, has been recited in the Anushasanika Parva of Mahabharata. It is in this episode that Bhishma, who had been gloriously defeated by Arjuna in the battle of Kurukshetra, lied ridden upon a bed of arrows. Responding to the inquiries of Maharaja Yudhisthira, grandsire Bhishma revealed how the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the controller of all moving and non-moving beings and is the worshipable master of all demigods. His name, form, qualities are endless. One should always enthusiastically glorify Him, by chanting the Vishnu Sahasranamam (Thousand Names of Lord Vishnu). Regular recitation helps one free oneself from the evil effects of Kali-Yuga which is characterized by quarrel and anxiety. It helps one attain spiritual perfection.

The Vishnu Sahasranamam also confirms that the Supreme Lord appears in Kali-Yuga as Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.

suvarna-varno hemango
varangas candanangadi
sannyasa-krc chamah santo
nistha-santi-parayanah

The Lord (as Chaitanya Mahaprabhu) has a golden complexion. Indeed, His entire body, which is perfectly constituted, resembles molten gold. Sandalwood pulp is smeared all over His body. He will accept the fourth-order of spiritual life (sannyasa) and shall be highly self-controlled. He will be distinguished from Mayavadi sannyasis in that He will be fixed in devotional service and shall propagate the sankirtana movement.

Power of Chanting the Lord’s Holy name :

  • The Holy Name destroys all sins. However one should not commit offenses on the strength of chanting the holy name. That will be an offense unto the holy name of the Lord.
  • Religious rites and vows are insignificant in comparison to the Holy Name
  • Chanting the Holy Name either knowingly or unknowingly benefits the living entity
  • Chanting absolves sins of the past as well sins that are yet to fructify
  • Billions of Parayachiitas (Atonements) do not compare to chanting the Lord’s Holy Name
  • Chanting the Holy Name sincerely cures all diseases
  • The Holy Name transforms the greatest sinners into the most glorious saints
  • Chanting the Holy name dispels fear and punishments
  • Chanting the Holy Name is the foremost of all auspicious activities
  • The Holy Name of the Supreme Lord is superior to all the Vedas
  • What one cannot obtain after touring millions and billions of holy places is achieved simply by chanting the holy names of Lord Hari.
    Sitting at Kurukshetra, Visvamitra Muni once said, ’I have heard the names of various holy places of pilgrimage in this world. But none of them are even one-millionth as potent as chanting the Holy Name of Lord Hari’.
  • Chanting the Holy Name of the Supreme Lord is superior to performing all other pious activities.
  • The actions of donating millions of cows during solar eclipses, staying at sacred Prayag by the Ganges for a Kalpa (billions of years comprising a cycle of the 4 yugas), offering countless sacrifices or donating Mount Sumeru’s worth of Gold in charity does not compare to even one-hundredth the value of chanting the Lord Govinda’s Holy Name.
  • The Holy Name of the Supreme Lord evokes spiritual cosnciousness and bestows supreme spiritual bliss.
  • The Holy Name of Lord Hari easily grants one liberation from this material world. Fruitive activities are trivial when compared to the Holy Name of the Lord.
  • Even an outcast, should be deemed the best of the brahmanas, if the Holy Name of Krishna dances on the tip of his tongue.
  • The Holy Name of Lord Vishnu destroys the six enemies namely lust, anger, greed, madness, pride, envy, subdues passion and enables the execution of pure devotional service.
  • The Supreme Lord and His holy Names are non-different.
  • The considerations of time and place do not apply when it comes to chanting the Holy Name of the Supreme Lord. Also, one is not forbidden to chant if he is unclean or contaminated.
  • At the time of death, one who helplessly chants the Lord’s Names, incarnations or pastimes, is absolved of his sins accumulated over several lifetimes. He attains the lotus feet of the Supreme Lord Hari and engages in His devotional service.
  • Chanting the Holy Names of Lord Hari is the ultimate objective of life. The Kashi-Khanda states that it is the most sought after auspiciousness and the greatest treasure of one’s life. The Padma Purana also affirms the same at various places.
  • What one could obtain in Satya-Yuga by executing severe penances and austerities for thousands of years, by offering sacrifices (yajna) in Treta Yuga, by worshipping the deities in Dvapara Yuga can be attained simply by chanting Lord Hai’s Holy Names in Kali Yuga.
  • There is no limit to the glories of the Supreme Lord’s Holy Names. Continue Reading…

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu – Biography, Teachings & the Hare Krishna Movement

Chaitanya mahaprabhu

Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, had mercifully appeared at Yogpeeth (in  Mayapur, West Bengal, India) about 500 years ago (in the year 1486 AD), to bless us with the most wonderful,deep and ecstatic pastimes of Gaura lila. In this article, we shall summarize His life, teachings and biography of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in a nutshell. Eminent brahmana, Sri Jagannatha Misra and Saci devi were the proud parents of Lord Chaitanya. The identity of Lord Chaitanya as the Supreme Personality of Godhead can be verified in a number of Vedic scriptures like Srimad Bhagavatam, Mahabharata, Garuda Purana, Nrsimha Purana, Padma purana, Bhavishya Purana, Narada Purana etc. We are quoting just two of such references below, for the pleasure of the devotees.

aham purno bhavisyami yuga sandhyau visesatah
mayapure navadvipe bhavisyami saci sutah
(Garuda Purana)

Translation – In the future, in first part of Kali yuga, I shall appear in my complete spiritual form at Mayapura, Navadvipa and become the son of Saci.

The mission of the Lord,along with a description of His golden complexion and how He descends along with His confidential associates in this age of Kali ,to inaugurate the Sankirtana Yajna is revealed in Srimad Bhagavatam (Bhagavata purana) –

Krishna varnam tvishakrishnam sangopangastra-parsadam
yajnaih sankirtana prayair yajanti hi sumedhasah
(Srimad Bhagavatam 11.5.32)

Lord Chaitanya’s life and teachings have been instrumental in uniting people across different nationalities, across different backgrounds – be it social, economic, linguistic, cultural. His teachings have been an example of such unity that the United Nations would be very proud of. Sri Chaitanya’s teachings have inspired men and women all across the world, to be united in this common cause, to forget their external differences and help each other out in their journey of life – a journey which is as important to the rich as it is to the poor, which is as important to an American as it is to an Indian; a journey which is as important to a Chinese as it is to a Australian. It is not too uncommon these days to hear the chants of ‘Hare Krishna’ ‘Hare Krishna’ in the streets of London, Paris, Tokyo or New Delhi. Congregational chanting of ‘Hare Krishna’, finds its roots in the teachings of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Eminent personalities have concluded that Sri Chaitanya’s life & teachings have no parallel in human history. Sri Chaitanya’s pastimes defy the investigative and the descriptive abilities of phenomenologists and psychologists of religious experience. 

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Depression and Anxiety – A Spiritual Solution | Self Help

stress

According to the World Health Organization, one person dies every 40 seconds by committing suicide. For each such suicide, there are at least 20 more suicide attempts. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15-29 years olds. Anxiety, depression, and other mental conditions that are a primary contributor to the global burden of diseases, often lead to suicide. According to WHO, more than 264 million people across the world are suffering from depression. And the number continues to grow every year. It is high time we take a close look at these pressing problems and find out a robust and effective solution. We believe that spirituality can play a pivotal role in this regard and come to the rescue of humanity.

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Nimai steals Gopal’s offerings | Brahmin pilgrim and Lord Chaitanya

gopal

Please listen to this wonderful pastime where the son of Jagannatha Misra, bestowed His causeless mercy upon a pious brahmin pilgrim. The brahmin was a devout worshiper of Gopala and used to chant the sixteen syllable Gopala Mantra. The brahmin did not eat anything other than the remnants of the food offered to his beloved Gopala. Salagram sila and Lord Gopala decorated his beautiful neck. He was covered with an aura of great spiritual effulgence. With his eyes half-closed the brahmin continuously relished the mellows of Lord Govinda’s transcendental pastimes. Wandering from one place to the other, the brahmin finally reached the residence of Lord Chaitanya. Seeing the exalted personality, Jagannatha Misra stood up and offered his respects. Washing his feet and offering him a seat, Jagannatha Misra enquired where the brahmin had hailed from.

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Marxism and Atheism | Atheism vs Spirituality

Marxism Atheism spirituality

Marxism and Atheism

Does Marxism promote Atheism? Atheism vs Spirituality – What is their difference and how it can affect our lives? Well, let us discuss. In his work ‘Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right’ Karl Marx expresses his fundamental philosophical perception of the world and life in general. After going through his work, we have come to believe that Karl Marx was fundamentally opposed to the idea of the divine. For instance, he mentions that criticism of religion is the prerequisite of all criticismand Religion is, indeed, the self-consciousness and self-esteem of man who has either not yet won through to himself, or has already lost himself again’.  In this work of his, Karl Marx professes how Man should do away with religion which is an inverted consciousness of the world’, in order to dispel his illusions and seek his ‘true reality’. In fact, he was of the opinion that ‘The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness’.

Asserting that ‘Religion is only the illusory Sun which revolves around man as long as he does not revolve around himself’, Karl Max designates the religious pursuit of man as only a figment of his imagination. He goes a step further and expresses how –
‘Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people’. His theory promoted the idea that the ‘state and this society produce religion’ and that ‘Man makes religion, religion does not make man’.

Another famous socialist Friedrich Engels wrote In Ludwig Feuerbach  that “religion arose in very primitive times from erroneous and primitive ideas of men about their own nature and that of the external world around them,… ”

Vladimir Lenin, a follower of Karl Marx, appropriately summarized the thoughts of Marx in his book ‘Religion’ where he stated – ‘Atheism is a natural and inseparable part of Marxism, of the theory and practice of scientific socialism’

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Jagannatha Misra’s dream | Witnesses Nimai as a sannyasi (renounced)

ramkeli

By the arrangement of providence, Sri Jagannatha Misra saw a dream one day, that swelled his heart with mixed feelings of happiness and pain. When his dream broke, he fell prostrated  and prayed as follows –

Svapna dekhi staba pari dandavat kare
‘He Govinda, Nimai rahuka mor ghore
Sabe ei vara, Krishna magi tor thaain
Grihasta haiya ghore rahuk Nimai’

He bowed down and prayed, ‘O Govinda, let Nimai remain at my home. O Krishna, I only beg for this benediction – Let Nimai become a householder and continue to stay at my house’.

Saci Mata was taken by surprise and asked Jagannatha Misra as to why he was praying for such benedictions? To this Jagannatha Misra replied that he had just witnessed a dream where Nimai had shaved off His Shikha. He was unusually and stunningly dressed in the robes of a sannyasi. Incessantly chanting Krishna’s holy names, Nimai laughed, danced, and cried in ecstasy.

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Kolavecha Sridhara’s residence, Vishrama sthala, Rajapur, Mayapur Nabadwip dham

sridhar angan

According to Sri Gaura Gannodesha Deepika, Kolavecha Sridhara is none other than the incarnation of Kusumasavah, one of the twelve famous cowherd boys (Dvadasha Gopala) of Vrindavana. Sridhara was his name and he was nicknamed ‘Kolavecha’, as he traded banana and banana products for a living (‘kola’ translates to banana’ in Bengali). In Mahaprabhu’s nectarean pastimes, Kolavecha was a very poor man, who wore shredded clothes and lived in a broken hut with leaks in the roof. Kolavecha was so impoverished that he slept on the floor and drank from a broken water pot. Lord Chaitanya was very fond of Kolavecha and devised new means of teasing him daily. In this way, Nimai engaged in mischievous pastimes with His beloved servant.

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Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s Nishkramana and Naming ceremonies | Naming the Lord ‘Viswambhara’ and ‘Nimai’

Jaya jaya kamala nayana Gaurachandra
Jaya jaya tomara premera bhakta-vrinda
Heno shuvodristi prabhu karaha amayaya
Aharnish chitta yeno bhajaye tomaye
(Chaitanya Bhagavata, Adi, 4.1-2)

All glories, all glories to the lotus eyed Lord Gaurachandra. All glories to Your loving devotees. O Master! Kindly bestow Your merciful glance upon me so that I may engage in Your worship day and night.

With every passing day, their young child (Nimai) carried great joy to Saci Mata and Jagannatha Misra. They floated in an ocean of bliss. Viswarupa picked up His younger brother and smiling gleefully, played with Him. Friends and relatives surrounded the Lord affectionately all the time. Everyone was concerned with protecting the young boy. Some invoked Lord Vishnu’s prayers while some chanted Goddess Durga’s mantras. 

When the Lord would cry, tears would glide down His lotus eyes. Only chanting the Holy Name of Krishna could pacify Him during these times. Everyone understood this and chanted the holy name of Krishna to appease Nimai whenever He would cry. In this way, the Lord induced others to chant the holy name of Krishna since His very childhood.

The demigods played jokes with the devotees who encircled Nimai at all times. They roamed about without being noticed by anyone. But when the people saw shadowy figures move about the house, they thought they had seen thieves. Alarmed, some chanted ‘Nrsimha, Nrsimha’ while others murmured the Aparajit stotra (prayers to Parvati devi) for the child’s protection.

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