Tag Archive | Appearance day

For Sri Syamananda Prabhu’s Disapearance Day

srilasyamanandaprabhu

Sri Shyamananda Prabhu was a servant of a servant of Subala in Krishna-lila. He was the disciple of Hridayananda or Hriday Chaitanya, who was a disciple of Gauri Das Pandit. Gauri Das was Subala in Krishna-lila.

yam loka bhuvi kirtayanti hridayanandasya shishyam priyam
sakhye shri-subalasya yam bhagavatah preshthanushishyam tatha
sa shriman rasikendra-mastaka-manish citte mamaharnisham
shri-radhapriya-narma-marmasu rucim sampadayan bhasatam

Sri Shyamananda was known in this world as Hridayananda’s dear disciple; he was the grand-disciple of Subala sakha, the most dear friend of the Supreme Lord; he was the crest-jewel of the enjoyers of sacred rapture. May he appear day and night in my mind, bringing an appreciation for the essence of the joys of the beloved of Sri Radha.
(Shyamananda-shataka)

While in Vrindavan, he was given the name Shyamananda because he brought great joy to Shyamasundar. When Jiva saw his charming activities, he kept him nearby and instructed him in the Vaishnava scriptures.
(Bhakti-ratnakara 1.401-2)

Radharani’s Special Mercy on Shyamananda

SyamanandaPrabhu04findsanklet

Even though Shyamananda Prabhu was Hriday Chaitanya’s initiated disciple, his guru had entrusted him to the care of Jiva Goswami Prabhu. Through the association of Jiva and service to him, Shyamananda developed a taste for serving Radha and Krishna in the conjugal mood. Hriday Chaitanya Prabhu himself was a disciple of Gauri Das Pandit, who was one of the twelve Gopals, Subala sakha. He worshiped Gaura-Nitai in the mood of friendship. Those who think that Shyamananda committed an offense to his initiating spiritual master by abandoning his mood and trying to directly serve Krishna in a higher mood, are wrong. The mood of friendship is contained within the conjugal mood. If a disciple makes further progress in spiritual life it enhances the reputation of his teacher.

An extraordinary incident, which took place in Vrindavan prior to his being ordered by Jiva to return to Orissa, demonstrates how dear Shyamananda was to Radharani. One day, Shyamananda Prabhu was sweeping the Rasa-mandala in Vrindavan, absorbed in ecstatic trance. Suddenly, by Radharani’s transcendental mercy, he found her ankle bracelet lying on the ground. In his excitement, he touched the ankle bracelet to his forehead, where it left a mark which is preserved to this day as the tilaka marking of the disciple descendants of Shyamananda. It is known as nupura-tilaka.

 

Shyamananda Prabhu’s Preaching

Narottama Thakur and Shyamananda primarily preached the message of Mahaprabhu through kirtan. Srinivas sang kirtan in a style called Manohara-sahi, Narottama in Gariana-hati, and Shyamananda in Reneti. He would enchant the listeners with his heartfelt singing of kirtan. These styles of kirtan are no longer extant.

As a result of his preaching in Orissa, many Muslims also became Shyamananda’s disciples. The most important of his innumerable disciples was Rasika Murari. Rasikananda was the son of Achyutananda, the zamindar of Rohini village. He had another name, Murari, and was thus most commonly known as Rasika Murari. He was a very powerful preacher and his fame is still widespread through the villages of Orissa. A list of some of Shyamananda’s prominent disciples is given in the Bhakti-ratnakara:

Shyamananda made disciples all over the place. A person can be purified by hearing their names: Radhananda, Purushottam, Manohara, Cintamani, Balabhadra, Jagadishvara, Uddhava, Akrura, Madhuvana, Govinda, Jagannath, Gadadhara, Anandananda, and Radhamohana. Shyamananda was constantly immersed in the joys of kirtan in the association of these disciples. Poets have described his wonderful pastimes for the pleasure of everyone.
(Bhakti-ratnakara 15.62-66)

Other than these disciples, Shyamananda converted a yogi named Damodar. Narahari Chakravarti has written the following account of that conversion:

There was a practitioner of yoga named Damodar. Shyamananda mercifully flooded him with devotional rasa. After becoming Shyamananda’s disciple, Damodar cried and chanted the names of Nitai-Chaitanya. Who could remain untouched by his ecstatic absorption. He danced, crying out “bhakti is the best of all!” After delivering Damodar, Shyamananda continued to travel about, distributing the jewel of devotion to all.
(Bhakti-ratnakara 15.55-8)

Shyamananda put on a large festival at Dharenda with Rasika Murari and Damodar which is still remembered today. When he left the world, Shyamananda turned over the service of Govinda at Gopivallabhapura. Shyamananda’s disciples and their descendants still worship his deity Radha-Shyamasundar in Vrindavan. This temple is still one of the principle pilgrimage sites in Vrindavan.

Shyamananda Prabhu lived the last part of his life in Nrisinghapura in Orissa where he continued preaching Vaishnavism. His earthly pastimes came to an end on the first day of the waning moon in the month of Asharh in 1552 of the Shaka era (1630 AD).

—-Excerpted from “Sri Chaitanya: His Life & Associates” by Srila Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Maharaj

 

 

 

Advertisements

For Srimati Gangamata Gosvamini Appearance

Ganga Mata Goswamini was initiated in the line of Gauranga’s shakti, Srila Gadadhara Pandit Goswami, by Hari Das Pandit Goswami. Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami himself has described this Hari Das’s character in his Chaitanya Charitamrita:

The chief servitor of the Govinda temple was Sri Hari Das Pandit. His qualities and fame are known all over the world; he was gentle, tolerant, peaceful, magnanimous, grave, sweet in his words, and very sober in his endeavors. He was respectful to everyone and worked for the benefit of all. Diplomacy, envy and jealousy were unknown to his heart.The fifty general qualities of Lord Krishna were all present in his body… Ananta Acharya, a disciple of Gadadhara Pandit, was always absorbed in love of Godhead, magnanimous and advanced in all respects. He was a reservoir of all good qualities. No one can estimate how great he was. Pandit Hari Das was his beloved disciple.
(Chaitanya Charitamrita 1.8.54-7, 59-60)

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Goswami Thakur writes in his Anubhashya: “During the advent of Lord Sri Krishna, Ananta Acharya was Sudevi, one of the eight gopis. This is stated in the Gaura-ganoddesha-dipika, verse 165, as follows: ‘Ananta Acharya Goswami was formerly Sudevi-gopi in Vraja [Vrindavan].’ According to the disciplic succession descending from him at the famous Ganga-mata monastery, he is known as Vinoda manjari. One of his disciples was Hari Das Pandit Goswami, who is also known as Sri Raghu Gopal and as Sri Rasa manjari. He had two important disciples: Lakshmipriya and her niece, Ganga-mata, daughter of the Raja of Puntiya.”

More is learned about Ganga-mata’s holy life from Hari Das Das’s Gaudiya Vaishnava Abhidhana and, in more detail, from Sundarananda Vidyavinoda’s Shrikshetra, where an elaborate account is given.

Excerpted from “Sri Chaitanya: HisLife & Associates” by Srila Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Maharaj

Available here from Mandala Publishing

For Srila Vrndavana dasa Thakura Appearance Day

vedavyaso ya evasid daso vrindavano’dhuna
sakha yah kusumapidah karyatas tam samavishat

Vedavyasa became Vrindavan Das Thakur. Krishna’s friend Kusumapida also entered into him for special purposes. (Gaura-ganoddesha-dipika 109)

Vedavyasa described Krishna-lila in the Srimad Bhagavatam. Non-different from Vyasa, Vrindavan Das described Mahaprabhu’s lila in his Chaitanya Bhagavat. His book was first called Chaitanya Mangala, but when Locana Das gave the same name to his biography of the Lord, it was dubbed “Chaitanya Bhagavat”.

Vrindavan Das’s Mother, Narayani

Vrindavan Das was born on the Krishna-dvadashi of the month of Vaishakh in 1429 of the Shaka era (1507 AD). Some say he was born in Mamgachi in the Nabadwip area, others say his birthplace was in Kumarahatta. His father was Vaikunthanatha Vipra, who originally came from Sylhet (Sylhet), his mother Narayani Devi. Narayani was the daughter of Srivasa Pandit’s elder brother, Shrinalina Pandit. Kavi Karnapura has also mentioned her name in his Gaura-ganoddesha-dipika:

ambikayah svasa yasin namna shrila-kilimbika
krishnocchishtam prabhuïjana seyam narayani mata

Kilimbika, who used to eat Krishna’s remnants, was the younger sister of Krishna’s nurse Ambika (Srivasa’s wife, Malini). In Mahaprabhu’s lila, she became Narayani.

Narayani also achieved fame because she received Gaurasundara’s mercy when he gave her his remnants. When the Lord displayed his divine form in the Mahaprakasha in Srivasa Angan, Narayani was only a small child of four, but the Lord made her intoxicated with the ecstasy of prema. Whether born in Mamagachi or in Kumarahatta, Vrindavan Das later lived in the village of Denuria, within the Matreshvara precinct of Burdwan district. Thus Denuria is considered to be his Shripata. He spent some of his childhood with his mother in Mamagachi, at the home of his maternal grandparents where Narayani was married. Vrindavan Das’s Gaura-Nitai deities are still worshiped at the Mamagachi home. When his father died, he and his mother moved to Srivasa’s house where he received Mahaprabhu’s special blessings.

Vrindavan Das Writes Chaitanya Bhagavat

Because of the copious blessings he received from Nityananda Prabhu, Vrindavan Das is said to have been his initiated disciple.

Vrindavan Das is the recipient of Nityananda’s blessings. He is the original Vyasa of Chaitanya’s pastimes. (Chaitanya Charitamrita 3.20.82)

He wrote Chaitanya Bhagavat in 1535 AD. Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami, the author of Chaitanya Charitamrita, has written the following in praise of Vrindavan Das Thakur:

Vrindavan Das, the son of Narayani, wrote the Chaitanya Mangala. Vedavyasa described Krishna’s life in the Srimad Bhagavatam and Vrindavan Das is the Vyasa of Chaitanya-lila. (Chaitanya Charitamrita 1.11.54-5)

Just as Vyasadeva compiled Lord Krishna’s pastimes in Srimad Bhagavatam, Thakur Vrindavan Das depicted Lord Chaitanya’s pastimes. His Chaitanya Mangala annihilates all misfortune. From it, I learned the wonders of Lord Chaitanya and Nityananda and came to know all the most subtle doctrines of devotional service to Krishna. Vrindavan Das Thakur has summarized the essence of the teachings of the Srimad Bhagavatam in his Chaitanya Mangala. If even a Muslim or an atheist should listen to Chaitanya Mangala, he immediately becomes a great Vaishnava. An ordinary human being could not have composed such a sublime work; Lord Chaitanya himself has spoken through the mouth of Vrindavan Das. I offer millions of obeisances unto the lotus feet of Vrindavan Das Thakur who has delivered the entire universe through his book. He was born in the womb of Narayani who eternally enjoys Sri Chaitanya’s remnants. How wonderful is his description of the activites of the Lord, simply by hearing which the three worlds have become sanctified! (Chaitanya Charitamrita 1.8.34-42)

Vrindavan Das became so absorbed in the description of Nityananda Prabhu’s lila that he did not elaborately relate all of Mahaprabhu’s activities, only summarizing them in abbreviated form. Krishnadas then elaborated on these undescribed activities in his Chaitanya Charitamrita.

Vrindavan Das the authorized biographer of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and equal to Srila Vyasadeva. He has described the Lord’s pastimes in such a way as to make them sweeter and sweeter. I shall try as far as possible to fill in the accounts he left out out of fear of excessively enlarging his book. (Chaitanya Charitamrita 1.13.48-9)

The original Deities Srila Vrindavana Das
Thakur worshiped at the village of Denur

Vrindavan Das’s Criticisms of Vaishnava Aparadha

Vrindavan Das primarily Mahaprabhu’s early activities such as his pastimes as a student, his childhood, his chastisement of the Qazi, his departure from Nabadwip, as well as some aspects of his life in Puri. Vrindavan Das Thakur demonstrated infinite mercy on the fallen souls by warning them:

eta parihare-o je papi ninda kare
tabe lathi maron tar shirera upare

Even after being told how objectionable it is, if someone still blasphemes the Vaishnavas, then I will kick him in the head.

These same words are repeated in the Adi, Madhya and Antya-khandas of the Chaitanya Bhagavat. Some foolish and arrogant persons misunderstand such statements and criticize Vrindavan Das for having made them. Such criticism leads them into the mud of offensiveness. In this connection, the remarks of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Goswami Thakur, the founder of the Sri Chaitanya Math and all the Gaudiya Maths, are well worth studying: “‘I am ready to kick the heads of those envious and hellish persons who blaspheme Nityananda Prabhu, if by so doing I will be able to forever prevent them from repeating their attempts to show disrespect for the Supreme Lord. Not only that, but if by so doing I can bring about a clear conception of the truth, I will be performing them the greatest service.’

“So says Vrindavan Das, the incarnation of Vyasa and acharya of the Vaishnava faith. If even a single fleck of dust should fall from his foot on the head of a sinful blasphemer, then that person will be blessed and all his sinful conditioning will inevitably be eradicated. In words which embody the Goddess of Learning and a flood of pure devotion, the Thakur reveals compassion for even the most atheistic blasphemer with the unswerving faith appropriate to a servant of Nityananda Prabhu, the supreme guru. He tells them that though they should be the object of indifference due to their foolishness, nevertheless, because of their ignorance of the truth of Nityananda, their insistence on rushing headlong on the path to hell, and their reluctance to act in their own real self-interest, he and other compassionate Vaishnavas like him who practice and preach the Lord’s doctrines unselfishly and disinterestedly act for their welfare. The compassion which is manifested in Vrindavan Das’s statement is beyond the comprehension of those who have no understanding of what is truly in their own self interest. Anyone who follows in the footsteps of Vrindavan Das, the incarnation of Vyasa, and both practices and preaches the Vaishnava religion is always engaged in an effort to bring about the ultimate well-being of everyone. Though he may make a superficial show of wishing to punish the enemies of the Lord, in fact he harbors a compassion toward them which knows no limit.”

Vrindavan Das Thakur’s disappearance day is the Krishna Dashami of Vaishakh. There is some dispute the exact year of his disappearance which was likely 1511 Shaka (1589 AD).

[Excerpted from “Sri Chaitanya: His Life & Associates” by Srila Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Maharaj]

For Lord Sri Balaram’s Appearance Day


Sri Balabhadra-stava-raja
The King of Prayers to Lord Balarama
>From Chp13, Sri Garga Samhita

Text 1

duryodhana uvaca

stotram sri-baladevasya
pradvipaka maha-mune
vada mam krpaya saksat
sarva-siddhi-pradayakam

Duryodhana said: O Pradvipaka, O great sage, please kindly tell me the prayer of Lord Balarama, which grants all perfection.

Text 2

sri-pradvipaka uvaca

stava-rajam tu ramasya
vedavyasa-krtam subham
sarva-siddhi-pradam rajan
chrnu kaivalyadam nrnam

Sri Pradvipaka Muni said: O king, please hear the regal and beautiful prayer of Lord Balarama, a prayer that brings liberation and all perfection.

Text 3

devadi-deva bhagavan
kama-pala namo ‘stu te
namo ‘nantaya sesaya
saksad-ramaya te namah

O master of the demigods, O Supreme Personality of Godhead, O fulfiller of desires, obeisances to You! O Lord Ananta Sesa, obeisances to You! O Lord Balarama, obeisances to You!

Text 4

dhara-dharaya purnaya
sva-dhamne sira-panaye
sahasra-sirase nityam
namah sankarsanaya te

O Lord who maintains the earth, O glorious Lord, O perfect and complete Lord, O Lord who holds a plow in Your hand, O Lord who has a thousand heads, O Lord Sankarsana, eternal obeisances to You!

Text 5

revati-ramana tvam vai
baladevacyutagraja
halayudha pralamba-ghna
pahi mam purusottama

O husband of Revati, O Lord Balarama, O elder brother of Lord Krsna, O Lord who holds a plow-weapon, O killer of Pralambasura, O Supreme Personality of Godhead, please protect me!

Text 6

balaya balabhadraya
talankaya namo namah
nilambaraya gauraya
rauhineyaya te namah

O Lord Balarama, who carries a palm-tree flag, obeisances to You! O son of Rohini, O fair-complexioned Lord dressed in blue garments, obeisances to You!

Text 7

dhenukarir mustikarih
kutarir balvalantakah
rukmy-arih kupakarnarih
kumbhandaris tvam eva hi

You are the enemy of Dhenuka, the enemy of Mustika, the enemy of Kuta, the killer of Balvala, the enemy of Rukmi, the enemy of Kupakarna, and the enemy of Kumbhanda.

Text 8

kalindi-bhedano ‘si tvam
hastinapura-karsakah
dvividarir yadavendro
vraja-mandala-mandanah

You are the Lord who broke the Yamuna and dragged Hastinapura. You are the enemy of Dvivida. You are the king of the Yadavas. You are the ornament of Vraja’s circle.

Text 9

kamsa-bhratr-prahantasi
tirtha-yatra-karah prabhuh
duryodhana-guruh saksat
pahi pahi prabho tv atah

You are the killer of Kamsa’s brothers. You are the supreme master, the Lord who went on pilgrimage, and Duryodhana’s guru. O master, please protect me! Please protect me!

Text 10

jaya jayacyuta-deva parat para
svayam ananta-dig-anta-gata-sruta
sura-munindra-phanindra-caraya te
musaline baline haline namah

O infallible Lord, greater than the greatest, O Lord whose glories are heard in all directions without limit, glory to You! Glory to You! O Lord served by the demigods, the kings of the sages, and the kings of the serpents, O powerful Lord who holds a plow and a club, obeisances to You!

Text 11

yah pathet satatam stavanam narah
sa tu hareh paramam padam avrajet
jagati sarva-balam tv ari-mardanam
bhavati tasya dhanam sva-janam dhanam

A person who regularly recites this prayer attains Lord Hari’s transcendental abode. All the strength in the universe is his. He crushes his enemies. He attains great wealth and a great dynasty.

Varuni Beverage for Lord Balaram

Small amount:

7 litres Milk
6 litres Yogurt
1 litre Cream
5 kg Runny Honey
1 kg White Sugar
1/2 bottle Rose water  (7 Roses brand is very nice from Mumbai – 7oz)

Larger amount:

25 litres Milk
15 litres Yogurt
3 litres Cream
10 kg Runny Honey
3 kg White Sugar
1 bottle Rose Water

For Radhastami ~ The Appearance of Srimati Radharani ~ (no fasting)

All glories to His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami Thakur Prabhupada and Guru-Parampara (disciplic succession).

Please accept the blessing of my beloved Srila Gurudeva, His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Pramode Puri Goswami Maharaj and convey the same to all members in your congregation.

Today is eight waxing moon circle day of ‘Bhadra’, the name of a Vedic month we, members of the Gaudiya Vaisnava community should feel fortunate to have this opportunity to observe the appearance day of the pleasure potency of Sri Krishna, Sri Vrishavanu Nandini, Srimati Radha Thakurani (Daughter of Vrishavanu Maharaj). Radharani is our main Acharya; who is teaching us how to please Krishna. She is non-different from Krishna and appeared here with us from the left side of Sri Krishna. We can see from scripture that after long prayers, towards  Kattyayani Devi (Gouri Mata, consort of Lord Shiva) Vrishavanu Maharaj and Kirtida Devi (mother of Radharani) were given Radharani.

Also we know from scripture that Radha appeared with her eyes closed and would not accept any food from any one; even mother Kirtida devi could not feed her breast milk. Therefore, Kirtida devi was lamenting in the name of Kattyayani devi that after our long prayers you gave me the child but my child has become blind and not able to eat anything. How is my child to survive. There is some history behind this, it follows:

In Golden age there was a Brahmin, named Sutapa. Sutapa once started to do meditation with the purpose of getting Lord’s consort as his consort. Naturally,  the Lord was not agreeable with the prayer of Sutapa. But the Supreme Lord’s nature is to bestow affection to all His devotees. Out of the nature of affection the Lord accepted the prayers of the Sutapa. After the incident, the Lord explained His promise to Sutapa to His consort. Although His consort was not feeling happy inside, in order to honor the Lord’s promise, she accepted with two conditions – one was that after her appearance the first food she will take is the Lord’s remnants and another one was that the first vision she would have is of the Lord’s beautiful face. Therefore, Radharani appeared with closed eyes and not eating anything from anyone. Gradually the message came to Gokul, the place of Nanda Maharaj (father of Supreme Lord, Sri Krishna). Nanda Maharaj and Vrishavanu Maharaj were friends. Therefore, out of curiosity to see such a child Nanda Maharaj came with Yasoda Devi and little Krishna at Ravel (a place, where Radharani appeared). While Vrishavanu Maharaj and Kirtida Devi was describing their child’s present condition at the same time Mother Yasoda Devi was holding Krishna in her arms very tightly. But Krishna wanted to fulfill the conditions that Radha wanted . So little Krishna saw a nice garland made of pearls on the neck of His mother, Yosoda Devi.  In order to meet with little Radharani, Krishna ripped the garlands and Yasoda took Krishna out of her arms and started to collect all the pearls on the floor with the help of everyone. At that time, Krishna went to meet with Radharani; as soon as Krishna came He kissed Radharani then immediately Radharani open her eyes. When everyone saw that Kirshna was with the little girl Radharani; they were thinking that Krishna’s naughty nature could create lots of harm for Radharani. In order to protect Radharani, Yasoda ran towards Krishna then she became surprised and started to say, Kirtida! you said your daughter was blind with closed eyes but now I see that your daughter has very nice and attractive eyes. Then everyone came to see the same and all present persons became very happy. After the incident Krishna wanted to fulfill her second condition to give his remnants to Radharani.

Srimati Radharani’s Most Glorious Lotus Feet.Srimati Radharani’s Most Glorious Lotus Feet

Therefore Krishna was showing all of them He is hungry and started to nag mother  Yasoda for giving Him some butter.  Mother Yasoda gave little butter to Krishna and jokingly said that your little sister, Radha not eating since she appeared here on the earth. She is feeling hungry too. Please share the butter with her. Immediately Krishna replied ‘no’ with His body language.   On this issue all the surrounding members started to joke with Krishna. Then Krishna kept a little piece of butter on top of His tongue and said if you want me to share with Radha then please collect the butter from my tongue and give it to her. Then they did so and immediately Radha started to chew the butter and everyone become ecstatically happy.

Radharani once got the blessings from a great sage , Durvasa Rishi that if anyone honors her cooking then the person’s duration of life will increase. Therefore, Yasoda Devi used to call Radharani for cooking in order to feed Krishna. Today, while we cook for the festival at that time we should keep our mood that we are cooking under the guidance of Radharani for Krishna. Krishna likes milk products therefore we should cook sweet rice, Panir dishes etc as much as possible as well as all dishes should be made by ghee (clarified butter) instead of oil.

Sincerely yours in the services of the Supreme Lord and His associates,

BB Bodhayan

FOR SRIMATE LALITA-DEVI’S APPEARANCE DAY

Lalita-sakhi.jpg

Sri Lalita-Astakam
composed by Srila Rupa Gosvami.

Radha-mukunda-pada-sambhava-gharma-bindu
nirmanchanopakarani-krta-deha-laksam
uttunga-sauhrda-visesa-vasat pragalbham
devim gunaih sulalitam lalitam namami

I offer pranama unto Sri Lalita-devi who is charmingly endowed with many beautiful, sweet qualities (sulalita). She has natural expertise in all arts (lalita), thus her seva self-manifests. She wipes away the glittering drops of perspiration which appear upon the lotus feet of Sri Radha and Madhava when They meet; and she is perpetually immersed in the most elevated mellow of sauhrda-rasa, or undivided absorption in fulfilling the heart’s desire of her intimate friend Srimati Radhika.

raka-sudha-kirana-mandala-kanti-dandi
vaktra-sriyam cakita-caru-camuru-netram
radha-prasadhana-vidhana-kala-prasiddham
devim gunaih sulalitam lalitam namami

I offer pranama unto Sri Lalita-devi whose beautiful face mocks the brilliance of the full moon, whose eyes are ever-restless like those of a startled doe, who is famous for her extraordinary expertise in the art of dressing Srimati Radhika, and who is the treasure-house of unlimited feminine qualities.

lasyollasad-bhujaga-satru-patatra-citra
pattamsukabharana-kanculikancitangim
gorocana-ruci-vigarhana-gaurimanam
devim gunaih sulalitam lalitam namami

I offer pranama unto Sri Lalita-devi whose body is adorned with a splendid sari as brilliant as the multi-colored tail-feathers of an ecstatically dancing peacock, whose breast is covered with an exceedingly attractive blouse (kanculi), whose hair part is decorated with shimmering red vermilion, and who wears various necklaces and other jeweled ornaments. Her golden complexion defeats that of even gorocana and she possesses innumerable good qualities.

dhurte vrajendra-tanaye tanu susthu-vamyam
ma daksina bhava kalankini laghavaya
radhe giram srnu hitam iti siksayantim
devim gunaih sulalitam lalitam namami

I offer pranama unto Sri Lalita-devi, the charming treasure-house of all good qualities, who instructs Srimati Radhika in this way: “O Radhe! Listen to my good instructions which are favorable for you! Vrajendra-nandana is very crafty (dhurta). Don’t display Your mood of gentle submission (daksina bhava) to Him; instead, in all circumstances be contrary.

radham abhi vraja-pateh krtam atmajena
kutam manag api vilokya vilohitaksim
vag-bhangibhis tam acirena vilajjayantim
devim gunaih sulalitam namami

I offer pranama unto the abode of all good qualities, the supremely charming Sri Lalita-devi, who, upon hearing Sri Krsna speak even a few sly words to Srimati Radhika, immediately becomes furious and shames Krsna with her biting, sarcastic remarks, “You are so truthful and simple-hearted, and such a chaste lover!”

vatsalya-vrnda-vasatim pasupala-rajnyah
sakhyanusiksana-kalasu gurum sakhinam
radha-balavaraja-jivita-nirvisesam
devim gunaih sulalitam lalitam namami

I offer pranama unto the supremely charming Sri Lalita-devi, who possesses all divine qualities; who is also the recipient of Yasoda-devi’s parental affection; the guru of all the sakhis, instructing them in the art of friendship; and the very life of both Srimati Radhika and the younger brother of Baladeva.

yam kam api vraja-kule vrsabhanu-jayah
preksya sva-paksa-padavim anurudhyamanam
sadyas tad-ista-ghatanena krtarthayantim
devim gunaih sulalitam lalitam namami

I offer pranama unto the supremely charming Sri Lalita-devi, the treasure house of all good qualities. Upon seeing any young maiden anywhere in Vraja and discerning that she is inclined towards her priya-sakhi Srimati Radhika, Lalita immediately tells Radha that She must accept this person in Her own party (svapaksa). Radha obeys Lalita, who thus fulfills that maiden’s desires.

radha-vrajendra-suta-sangama-ranga-caryam
varyam viniscitavatim akhilotsavebhyah
tam gokula-priya-sakhi-nikuramba-mukhyam
devim gunaih sulalitam lalitam namami

I offer pranama unto Sri Lalita-devi, the embodiment of all divine virtues and the foremost of all the favorite sakhis of Gokula. Her primary task is providing pleasure for Sri Radha-Govinda by arranging Their meetings – this delightful seva surpasses the enjoyment of all the best festivals combined together.

nandann amuni lalita-guna-lalitani
padyani yah pathati nirmala-drstir astau
pritya vikarsati janam nija-vrnda-madhye
tam kirtida-pati-kulojjvala-kalpa-valli

If a person with a cheerful and pure heart recites this astakam in praise of Lalita-devi, he will be affectionately brought into Srimati Radhika’s own group of sakhis. Lalita-devi is superbly ornamented with beauty, grace and charm, and, along with Srimati Radhika, is the effulgent wish-fulfilling creeper (kalpa-valli) of Vrsabhanu Maharaja’s family that winds around the kalpa-vrksa of Krsna.

Srimati Lalita-devi is the wish-fulfilling tree of the prema-seva (service in love) of Sri Sri Radha and Krsna. Whoever chants this Lalita-astakam will make Radha and Krsna happy.

Srimati Lalita Sakhi Ki Jai!

For Krishna Janmashtami

Accept the Superior Knowledge of Ishwar

by Srila Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Goswami Maharaja

THE TIMES OF INDIA [WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 05, 2003 12:01:47 AM]

The Bhagavad Gita says: Bhagavan uvaca – the Supreme Lord said…, indicating that it is the Supreme Lord Himself who is speaking.

Krishna is referred to as Bhagavan in the Gita. Bhaga means opulence, and van means one who possesses. God or Bhagavan is des-cribed as one who possesses all opulence, knowledge, wealth, power, beauty, fame and renunciation. There are many rich, wise, famous, beautiful or powerful men, but no one man can claim to possess all of these opulences. Only Krishna claims to possess them in totality.

Bhaga also signifies shakti or potency. So Bhagavan is Sarvashaktiman, one who possesses infinite opulence. Ishwar or God means One who has power and wealth. To disbelievers I’d like to ask that when in every worldly sphere of activity we are willing to submit to and get enriched by experts in their respective fields, why not accept and submit to the all-encompassing wisdom of the Almighty?

By our refusal to accept the Almighty, He will lose nothing, says the Ishopanishad. That is, if you subtract Purna from Purna (the whole from the whole) the remainder will be Purna, it will not be zero. Infinite minus Infinite is also Infinite.

I once invited the Nobel prize-winning scientist C V Raman to preside over a function on the occasion of Sri Krishna Janmashtami at Sri Gaudiya Math, Bagh Bazar, Calcutta . The scientist declined the invitation on the ground that Krishna was fictitious and he had got no intention of wasting valuable time on such functions.

Dr Raman said that if I could reveal Krishna to him, he would go to attend the function, as he did not believe in something that could not be comprehended by observation and experiment. Behind the northern portion of his laboratory was North Calcutta . I asked him: I am unable to see anything beyond this wall. If I say there is nothing outside this wall, will it be correct? Dr Raman said, I can see through my instruments.

When I pointed out that there is a limit to the power of instruments for you can see only as far as your instruments allow you to see, Dr Raman said: I will not give my attention to anything that is not within my sense-experience. Can you show me your God? I said: If your students say to you, they will study your scientific findings only if you make them realised first, then what would you say? Dr Raman said, No, they are to take my process through which I have rea-lised the truth. I said, If this is true for you and your scientific knowledge, can the seers of ancient India not say exactly the same thing? Why not follow their process and see whether you experience God’s existence or not.

The Supreme Lord is Asamor-dha – there is no equal to Him and no more than Him. Nothing, not even a dust particle can be outside the Infinite and Absolute. As there is no equal to Him and no more than Him, without His will nobody can realise Him. He is One, so realisation of Him is also one – to submit to His will. Service means to act according to the will of the served. This is Bhakti or devotion.

Bhakti is the best way to attain God. While the Karmis want non-eternal benefits in this world and in the higher worlds, Jnanis want emancipation, merging into Formless Imperso-nal Brahma. The ultimate goal of Yogis is to attain 18 kinds of Yogasiddhis or Kai-valya (merging into Paramatma). Shuddha Bhakta or Krishna Bhakti is scarce.

(The writer is President Acharya of Sri Chaitanya Gaudiya Math and President, World Vaishnav Association )