Category Archives: Meditations

Amazing pastimes of Bhaktivinoda Thakur | Vaishnava Acharya

Bhaktivinoda Thakur yogpeeth

Sri Saccidananda Bhaktivinoda Thakur, who is sometimes also referred to as the seventh Goswami, is an eternal associate of the Supreme Lord. His contribution to the Brahma-Madhva Gaudiya Sampradaya is invaluable.At a time when the science of pure devotional service (Bhakti)  had almost become lost due to the cultural and religious chauvinism of the ruling British, and the essence of Vaishnavism largely discredited due to the perverted actions and lifestyles of a few non bonafide Vaishnava sects, Srila Bhaktivinoda was largely responsible for rescuing and unearthing the timeless teachings of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. In Fact it was he who ,after conducting a painstaking research, had rediscovered the long lost birthsite of Sri Gaurasundara (refer – YogPeeth, Mayapur, Navadvipa – The birthplace of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu). Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur, was not only a magistrate, but also a renowned and recognised scholar in his days, with vast knowledge in english,bengali,hindi,oriya and sanskrit.He was also a member of the royal asiatic society of London. Such was the degraded state of affairs during those days, that Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur could not find a bonafide copy of Sri Caitanya Caritamrta, the most important literature for understanding Lord Caitanya’s life and teachings, anywhere. It was only after several enquiries and a long wait, that he received a copy of this book. He subsequently published it along with his commentaries (Amrta-pravaha-bhasya). Likewise, he was instrumental in unearthing several ancient manuscripts like Caitanyopanishad ( portion of Atharva Veda) ,Sri Krishna Vijaya, etc.We consider ourselves insignificant servants of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur, whose causeless mercy has enabled us fools to get a glimpse of his elevated stature and pen a few lines in his glorification.

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Discover Lord Nityananda’s Date of Birth | Nityananda Trayodashi special

nitai gaura nityananda trayodashi

In this article, we intend to ascertain the exact year of Lord Nityananda’s birth. Lord Nityananda was none other than Lord Balarama who had appeared to assist Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (who was Krishna Himself) in manifesting His magnanimous sankirtana pastimes. Though it has been well established that Lord Nityananda had appeared in the village of Ekachakra situated in the Birbhum district of West Bengal and that He was born on a trayodashi (thirteenth day of the Lunar fortnight), yet the exact date or even the year of His birth remains unconfirmed till this day. After examining the subject in detail, we have narrowed it down to two possible outcomes based upon the information contained in bonafide texts. If one goes by the valuable information presented in Sri Chaitanya Bhagavata and Bhakti Ratnakara, Lord Nityananda’s year of birth is ascertained to be 1478 AD (or the year 1399 of Saka era). On the other hand, the information provided in ancient texts like Advaita Prakash and books by some other authors infers that Lord Nityananda was born in 1474 AD ( year 1395 of the Saka era). We shall address both of these scenarios below in detail.

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Nabadwip ashtaka – Glorification of Nabadwip by Rupa Goswami

ndm nabadwip navadvipa

Srila Rupa Goswami glorifies the transcendental exalted abode of Nabadwip (also spelt as ‘Navadvipa’) in these following eight verses.

Nabadwip stuti

Sri gauda deshe suradirghi kayas
tire ti ramye pura punya mayyah
lasantam ananda bharena nityam
tam sri Navadvipam aham smarami

Yasmai paravyoma vadanti kecit
Kecic ca goloka itirayanti
Vadanti vrindavanam eva taj-jnas
Tam sri navadvipam aham smarami

Yah sarva diksu sphuritaih su-sitair
nana-drumaih supavanai paritah
Sri gaura madhyahna vihara patrais
tam sri navadvipam aham smarami

Sri svarna dhi yatra viharita ca
Suvarna sopana nibaddha tira
Vyaptormibhir gaurava gaha mayyes
Tam sri navadvipam aham smarami

Mahanty anantani grhani yatra
Sphuranti haimani manoharani
Praty alayam yam srayate sada sris
Tam sri navadvipam aham smarami

Vidya daya ksanti makhaih samastaih
Sadbhir gunair yatra janah prapannah
Samstuyamana rsi deva siddhais
Tam sri navadvipam aham smarami

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Worshiping the Pancha Tattva – Chaitanya, Nityananda, Advaita, Gadadhara, Srivasa

Pancha Tattva – The Absolute truth (Supreme Lord) in five features :

pancha tattva

Pancha Tattvatmakam Krishnam
Bhakta rupa svarupakam
Bhaktavataram bhaktakhyam
Namami bhakta saktikam

I offer my obeisances unto the Supreme Lord, Sri Krishna, who is non-different from His features as a devotee (Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu), devotional manifestation (Sri Nityananda Prabhu), devotional incarnation (Sri Advaita Acarya), devotional energy (Sri Gadadhara Pandita) and pure devotee (Sri Srivasa Pandita).

The Pancha Tattva (Pancha means ‘five’ and tattva means ‘truth’), as mentioned above, incarnate along with Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the Supreme Lord, and in this way, He manifests His sankirtana movement with great pleasure. Spiritually there are no differences between these five truths, for on the transcendental platform everything is absolute. Yet at the same time, there are also varieties in the spiritual world and it is important to differentiate between them to taste these spiritual varieties. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and His associates, who are together known as the Pancha Tattva, had distributed the holy name of Lord Krishna to invoke the love of Godhead throughout the universe.

The three predominators – Lord Chaitanya, Nityananda Prabhu and Advaita Acharya are worshipable by all living entities. The fourth principle, Sri Gadadhara Pandita, is to be understood as their worshiper. There are innumerable pure unalloyed devotees of the Lord headed by Srivasa Pandita. The associates of the Lord in His various pastimes are all His confidential eternal devotees. Only with them does the Lord appear to propound the sankirtana movement. It is only with their help that the Lord relishes the mellows of conjugal love and then distributes this love of God to the general populace.

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Rama Ashtakam – Glorification of Lord Rama by Murari Gupta

sita haran in ramayan rama ashtakam chaitanya mahaprabhu

The following Rama Ashtakam Prayers have been composed by Murari Gupta, the great devotee of Lord Rama. Murari was a contemporary of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. He was a vaidya (Ayurvedic doctor) by profession. It has been stated that such was the nature of his treatment that his patients would not only be benefitted materially but spiritually as well. His medicines would not only heal the patient’s ailing body but would also bestow love of God for the suffering soul. The following Rama ashtakam prayers were recited by Murari Gupta when Lord Chaitanya commanded him to do so.

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Shiva Ashtakam : Prayers to Lord Shiva – by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu

shiva ashtakam prayers

‘Sri Krishna Chaitanya Carita Maha Kavya’ written by Murari Gupta cites the below captivating Shiva Ashtakam (prayers offered unto Lord Shiva) composed by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and recited at a place called Ekamraka (situated near Bhubaneswar). Murari Gupta describes that Lord Gauranga walking like a ferocious lion eventually reached the village of Ekamraka. Gaura’s heart ran wild to meet with Shiva (the great Vaishnava). Great longings filled His heart. He became wild with ecstatic loving emotions. Seeing the flag fluttering on top of the temple, Lord Gaurahari offered His obeisances. He got up and continued walking until he was able to enter the temple of Shiva. Being overwhelmed with ecstasy, Mahaprabhu recited the below prayers again and again.

(1)
namo namas te tri-dasesvaraya
bhutadi nathaya mrdaya nityam

ganga tarangotthita bala chandra
cudaya gauri nayanotsavaya

(2)
su-tapta camikara chandra nila padma
pravalambuda kanti vastraih

su-ntya rangeta vara pradaya
kaivalya nathaya va dhvajaya

(3)
sudhasu suryagni vilocanena
tamo bhide te jagatah sivaya

sahasra subhrasu sahasra rasmi
sahasra sanjittvara tejase ‘stu

(4)
nagesa ratnojjvala vigrahaya
sarddula carmasukha divya tejase

sahasra patropari samsthitaya
varangadamukta bhuja dvayaya

(5)
su nupuraranjita pada padma
karat sudha bhtya sukha pradaya

vicitra ratnaugha vibhuitaya
premanam evadya harau vidhehi

(6)
sri rama govinda mukunda saure
sri krsna narayana vasudeva

ity adi namamta pana matta
bhngadhipayakhila duhkha hantre

(7)
sri naradadyaih satata sugopya
jijnasitayasu vara pradaya

tebhyo harer bhakti sukha pradaya
sivaya sarvva gurave namah

(8)
sri gauri-netrotsava mangalaya
tat prana nathaya rasa pradaya

sada samutkantha govinda lila
gana pravinaya namo stu tubhyam

Translation

(1)
I forever offer my obesisances unto you, the controller of the thirty primal demigods; unto you, who is the original father of created beings and who is gracious, and from whose head, which is crested by the sickle moon, arises the waves of Ganga. I offer my obeisances unto you, who is a festival for the eyes of Gauri, the fair goddess.

(2)
I offer my obeisances unto you, who resembles a moon of molten gold hue, who is dressed in garments glowing like fresh blue lotuses or like radiant rainclouds; (I offer my obeisances) unto you who bestows the most desirable boons upon your devotees through your delightful dancing; (I offer my obeisances) unto you who are the Lord of the impersonalists and whose flag bears the image of the bull.

(3)
I offer my obeisances unto you, who dispels darkness with your three eyes – the moon, the sun, and the fire; (I offer my obeisances) unto you, who generates auspiciousness for all the living entities of the universe and you, whose potency easily defeats that of thousands of moons and suns.

chaitanya mahaprabhu Lakshmipriya vishnupriya shiva

(4)
I offer my obeisances unto you, whose form is brilliantly illuminated by the jewels of Ananta Deva, the king of snakes. I offer my obeisances unto you, who possesses divine potencies and are clothed in a tiger skin, who sits upon a lotus of thousand petals, and whose two arms are adorned by radiant bangles.

(5)
I offer my obeisances unto you, who carries happiness unto your servitors as you pour on them the liquid nectar flowing from your reddish lotus-feet, that rings with charming ankle bells. Obeisances unto you, who are embellished with an abundance of gems. Please endow me today with pure love for Sri Hari!

(6)
O, Sri Rama! O, Govinda! O Mukunda! O Sauri! O, Sri Krishna! O Narayana! O Vasudeva! I offer my obeisances unto you, Sri Shiva, who is the monarch of intoxicated bee-like devotees, who are mad to drink the nectar of these and other innumerable Holy Names of Lord Hari. Obeisances unto you, who destroys all grief.

(7)
I offer my respectful obeisances again and again unto you, who are forever inquired confidentially by Sri Narada and other sages. You also grant favors upon them very quickly. (I offer my respectful obeisances) unto you, who bestows the happiness of Hari bhakti (devotion unto Lord Hari) unto those who seek boons from you and thereby creating auspiciousness. You are thus the Guru (spiritual master) of everyone.

(8)
I offer my obeisances unto you, who is a festival of auspiciousness for the eyes of goddess Gauri (Durga). You are the monarch of her life-air. (I offer my obeisances) unto you who bestows rasa and are expert in eagerly singing songs praising the pastimes of Govinda.

Benefits of hearing this Shiva Ashtakam prayers with love and rapt attention :

etat sivasyatakam adbhuta mahat
srnvan hari-prema labheta sighram
jnanam ca vijnanam apurva vaibhavam
yo bhava purnah paramam samadaram

A person who lovingly hears with rapt attention to these eight-fold prayers to Shiva can quickly gain devotion unto Lord Hari as well as transcendental knowledge, the realization of that knowledge, and unprecedented devotional potency.


Childhood Pastimes of Lord Nityananda | Jai Nitai Jai Gaura !

jai nitai gaura

Lord Nityananda (Nitai) had appeared at Ekachakra Dham (in Birbhum, Bengal), to assist Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, manifest His most magnanimous pastimes. In the battleground of Kurukshetra, Sri Krishna broke His pledge of not using any weapons, by pulling up a wheel and charging towards Bhishma Deva, who was then fighting valiantly against Arjuna. Bhishma was a great devotee of the Supreme Lord and seeing the Lord charge at him, he at once threw away his weapons and surrendered himself. He began singing Krishna’s glories, hearing which the Lord calmed down and threw away the wheel that He had picked up. This wheel is said to have flown all the way from Kurukshetra to land here in this small village of Bengal which came to be subsequently known as Ekachakra. ’Eka’ means one and ‘Chakra’ translates to wheel in Bengali.

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Glories of Srimati Radharani

srimati radharani prema

Sri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is the Supreme enjoyer and the master of all. He is ‘Isvara’ and the cause of all causes (sarva karana karanam). Srimati Radharani is the manifestation of His Hladini shakti (internal potency). Sri Radhika is the most excellent of all His devotees and the most confidential servant of the Supreme Lord. Though Krishna is the supreme enjoyer, Radharani experiences a greater degree of ecstasy by serving Sri Krishna. This is something that puzzles even the Supreme Lord and He hankers to experience Her ecstasy first hand, to properly appreciate Srimati Radharani’s position. Hence taking up the mood (bhava) and the golden bodily complexion (kanti) of Srimati Radharani, Sri Krishna descended as Lord Chaitanya in the age of Kali. Sri Chaitanya’s heart was an image of Srimati Radhika’s emotions – greatly turbulent with the feelings of union (sambhoga) and separation (vipralambha) from Krishna. Hence, it is stated that there is no difference between Lord Chaitanya and the unification of Radha and Krishna (Sri Krishna Chaitanya, Radha Krishna Nahe anya). Sri Radhika loves and worships Krishna as a simple cowherd boy of Vrindavana. Her love does not recognize Her beloved as the mighty king of the Yadus or the majestic Supreme Personality of Godhead. She is maddened by Krishna’s sweetness (madhurya) and is willing to sacrifice anything, even Her existence, to please Her beloved. Her love for Krishna defies the boundaries of conventional logic, the frontiers of sacrifice, and the abysses of emotional turbulence.

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Lakshmipriya devi marries Chaitanya Mahaprabhu

chaitanya mahaprabhu Lakshmipriya vishnupriya

Seeing Nimai (Chaitanya Mahaprabhu) grow up into a handsome young man, Saci mata started thinking about His marriage. Vallabha acharya was a pious brahmana residing at Nabadwip during those days. Sri Vallabha acharya was equal to King Janaka (father of Sita devi) in every respect. His daughter, Lakshmipriya, was as beautiful as Goddess Lakshmi. By the will of providence, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Lakshmipriya devi met one day at the bank of the Ganges while she had gone for bathing. Recognizing His eternal consort, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (Nimai) sweetly smiled looking at Lakshmipriya. She too recognized her eternal master and mentally worshipped His lotus feet.

Daive Lakshmi ekdin gela Ganga snane
Gaura-chandra henoi somoye seikhane
nija-Lakshmi chiniya hashila Gaura-chandra
Lakshmi-o bandilo mane Prabhu-pada-padma
(Chaitanya Bhagavata, Adi, 10.49-50)

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