In the Blog World:|
The Stories of Vrindavan
by Aniruddha, aniruddhasowale.blogspot.com
Posted July 14, 2012
Just back from Vrindavan…what a feeling! It’s a very cool and calm feeling that I am carrying within in my heart ever since I came back. Vrindvan is a spiritual wine you would love to drink again and again. It has completely intoxicated me, I feel so satisfied, happy, cheerful, sacred and ecstatic inside. While I was there I didn’t know what I am going to get out of this tour, I was visiting temples, doing Parikrama’s, chanting and praying everyday but I did not have this feeling there which I am having right now.
Of the all the evenings of my life, the best evening I ever had was the one I spent on Keshighat. It is such a great feeling to be at this place. Watching Yamuna Devi is like watching god, you don’t understand what is happening with you when you look at Yamuna devi - the pap-nashini (Washer of all sins).
You feel like watching Yamuna Devi for a long long time and you remember all the leela’s that Krishna performed near this most pious river. The sister of the god of death Yamuna Devi removes the fear of the death. Yamuna Devi was first to touch the lotus feet of Krishna and bath in Yamuna Devi does help you to understand Vrindavan and Krishna.
Vrinda Kund: Vrinda devi temple is the temple of Tulasi maharani situated near Nandgaon. The atmosphere around this temple is mesmerizing there is absolutely nothing except trees near the temple; it’s a zero crowd place, all you will see around the temple is fields, birds and peace that billions of dollars can’t buy. The only voice you get to hear is the humming of birds 24/7….unbelievably cool and calm place.
The temples of Vrindavan: There are about five thousand temples in Vrindavan among them all the old temples stand out. There is separate story and importance attached to each temple established by seven Go-swamis who lived in Vrindavan. If you walk into the Govind dev temple you become entitle to enter in heaven, if you take the darshan of Govind dev, Madan mohan and Gopinath temple in a day you can get the darshan of Krishna in your life time.
Sankirtan and the arti at the Krishna Balram makes you feel life can be such a great, people get mad to hear the sankirtan, they dance, they laugh, they cry during sankirtans. Never miss the sankirtan of Krishna Balram temple. I was fortunate to witness “Phool Bangla” festival of Shri Banke Bihari temple. Banke Bihari came out that day and it was quite a magnificent look banke bihari had that day…amazing!! Those who go to this temple once, feel like going there again and again.
The Sadhus I met: Krishna would climb on Kadamb trees and gather all his cows, that place is called “Ter Kadamb” Ter means to call. There was this sadhu babaI met, who is staying there from past 15 years. I was amazed to see his enthusiasm and cheerfulness, the way he was speaking about Krishna. He was staying at a place where there is absolutely no medical help, no shopping malls, no daily needs shop, absolutely zero crowd and the only thing accompanied him from past 15 years is peacocks....unbelievable.
Another sadhu baba I met was during Vrindavan parikrama, he was saying he has no house to stay and he doesn’t know what he is going get to eat next day. He had stayed at places like radha kund, Govardhan, Haridwar and Mayapur for months like this. These sadhus walk bare feet in 48 degree temperature and have bath at 4 am in the morning in 0 degree winter of Vrindavan without demanding anything in return from Krishna. What to do with those who sit in the Ac office and talk about devotion? What to do with those who throw away poor people thinking that they are presidents and trusties of some temple? What to do with those who are just interested in building big ashrams, gathering money, travel in a luxurious vehicle and increase their number of disciples.
Well finally…those who are serious about self realization and devotion must at least go once to Vrindavan after while the truth will be close to them.
The first phase of the Baladeva Vidyabhusana Project was highly successful and digital copies of nearly 90 editions of Srila Vidyabhusana’s books were acquired, including some important manuscripts. Their front pages can be seen here: www.vidyabhusanaproject.blogspot.com
For several months, I travelled around Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, West Bengal and Odisha, visiting many relevant places. The main acquisition was soft copies of two manuscripts so far unknown to the world: “Tattva-dipika” and “Brahma-sutra-karika-bhasya”. This last work is a concise commentary on the Vedanta-sutra written by Srila Vidyabhusana at the request of King Jai Singh. Important contacts were also made, among which is Sri Avadesh Acharya, the Mahanta of the Galta temple, the place where Srila Vidyabhusana wrote the Govinda-bhasya, and where they still have a manuscript library. Another great contact was Ram Kripalu Sharma, who owns the largest manuscript collection in the world with around 125 thousand titles, most still unclassified. He enthusiastically promised to put at our disposal any of Srila Vidyabhusana’s work he might locate there. Also among the supporters of the project is Sri Krishna Gopalananda Goswami, the head pujari of the Sri Sri Radha-Syamasundara Temple the home of Srila Vidyabhusana in Vrndavana. He belongs to the Syamananda-parivara, the same as Srila Vidyabhusana, and has taken the initiative of mobilizing the members of his line to locate the lost manuscripts.
The Baladeva Vidyabhusana Project has the following primary objectives:
1. Search for lost manuscripts. (Such as the commentaries on nine Upanisads, Srimad Bhagavatam, etc.)
2. Digitally preserve manuscripts currently existing in different libraries.
3. Digitally preserve all editions of Vidyabhusana’s books.
4. Digitally preserve articles written about Vidyabhusana.
5. Type all the original texts in digital unicode system, which can be converted into Devanagari, Bengali and Oriyan characters.
6. Prepare a critical edition for each work.
7. Translate all the works into English.
8. Publish all translations with the original Devanagari text.
9. Investigate and verify existent biographical data of Vidyabhusana, including historical evidences of the conflict between the Gaudiyas and the Ramanandis of Rajasthan.
10. Publish a comprehensive biographical work.
There is still much to do, but I am practically struggling alone in this project and I seek your assistance. There are many libraries, research institutes, scholars and temples to visit all over India, however this will take several months and the lack of funds restricts the extent of my endeavour. I have chalked out an estimated schedule I hope to achieve with your support. Ideally I would like to visit a minimum of four places per month, spending 5 to 7 days in each, possibly more depending on what is discovered and how cooperative the local mahantas and libraries are. The estimate expenses are as follows:
1. Travel in India (by train as far as possible): US 150 per month
2. Lodging boarding expenses during travel: US 210 per month
3 Photocopying, scanning, library charges: US 80 per month
4. Miscellaneous (mail, courier, phone, etc.) : US 50 per month
Assistance in the following ways is also requested:
1. Contacting libraries and research institutes in India and abroad.
2. Locating and acquiring texts.
3. Typing devanagari and Bengali texts in transliterated Roman script.
4. Proofreading transliterated texts.
5. Editing and publishing.
I also request the help of anyone expert in website development to build a definitive and dedicated website to host all the collected material so that it may be available online for free.
This is a unique project which has been undertaken for the first time
after several centuries of negligence, and I humbly beg from all those
who understand its importance to kindly contribute to make it
thoroughly successful. All those who wish to contribute in any
capacity to this project may contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please visit: mayapurdays.blogspot.com/
Srila Prabhupada never suggested that we not use asafoetida/hing. In fact he shared with us a number of very nice recipes that included it. Here is a little "Hing History:"
Hing, asafoetida, first surfaced in the budding world of ISKCON, circa early 1967, introduced by Asha, wife of the Consul General of India in San Francisco and friend to the ragtag little group of ex-hippies who now considered ourselves devotees. She would invite the young women to her apartment for lunch, teaching us various dishes and cooking techniques as well. She showed us a little glump of resin, carefully chipping off a piece and pounding it with her stone mortar and pestle until it became a fine powder, which she added to the chaunk at the the last moment. We loved it.
I personally asked Srila Prabhupada if it was all right for us to use hing, and he agreed that it was all right. As his sometime cook, I definitely used hing in many preparations for him.
Asha also donated a harmonium to our little storefront mandir, another first for San Francisco at least. She kindly gave us real saris, setting us apart from the standard bedsheet look that was otherwise prevalent. She was kindhearted and an appreciated friend who appreciated our faulty attempts without criticism.
The ubiquitous asafoetida, sometimes spelked asafetida, finds itself in a great number of Kurma prabhu’s recipes. What on earth is it? Read on…
The aromatic resin from the root of the giant fennel, Ferula asafoetida. Asafoetida, also known as hing, is extracted from the stems of these giant perennial plants that grow wild in Central Asia, especially Northern Iran and Afghanistan.
In the spring, when the plant is about to bloom, the stems and roots are cut. Milky resin exudes from the cut surface and is scraped off. The gummy resin is sun-dried into a solid mass that is then sold in solid, wax-like pieces. Most raw asafoetida is sent to India for further processing and sale, mostly in the convenient powdered form.
Asafoetida has been held in great esteem among indigenous medicines from the earliest times in India. It is highly reputed as a drug to expel wind from the stomach and to counteract spasmodic disorders. Asafoetida is also a digestive agent and is used, among other things, for alleviating toothache and as an antidote for opium.
In the days of Moghul aristocracy in India, the court singers of Agra and Delhi would wake before dawn and eat a spoonful of asafoetida with butter to enhance their singing voice before practicing on the banks of the Yamuna river.
Asafoetida is also excellent for settling flatulence and is prescribed by Indian herbalists for respiratory problems.
Due to the presence of sulphur compounds, raw asafoetida has a distinctive pungent aroma. To cook with asafoetida, small quantities of the powdered form are sauteed in a little slightly hot oil or ghee, before adding to a variety of savoury dishes, adding a delicious flavour reminiscent of a mixture of shallots and garlic.
Kurma always uses the mild yellow asafoetida powder, not the grey variety. All Kurma’s recipes calling for asafoetida were tested using this yellow variety. If using other types, reduce the quantity to between a quarter and a half of the suggested amount. Asafoetida is available at Indian grocers and specialty stores.
In the Blog World:|
Why to Worship Yashoda Nandan Krishna?
by Aniruddha, aniruddhasowale.blogspot.com
Posted July 13, 2012
Peacefulness, self-control, austerity, purity, tolerance, honesty, knowledge, wisdom and religiousness — these are the natural qualities by which the brāhmaṇas work. (BG 18.42) Those who do not have these nine qualities can not be called as Brahmins; in fact those who get Brahmin diksha should have these qualities otherwise the whole diksha process turns out to be total waste of time.
According to 17th chapter, the conditioned souls who do not perform austerities of mind, body and speech can not be called as humans. They are animals. Krishna describes the qualities of “Demons and the Divines” in the chapter 16 and clears the fact that those with demoniac qualities do not perform any of the three austerities in 17th chapter.
The conditioned souls under Rajo and Tamo Guna become entitle to enter in hellish planets. Those who have unnecessary pride, arrogance, anger, ignorance and harshness are thrown into material pool. As Krishna says in Geeta, these people take the shelter of insatiable lust and are always busy in gratifying their senses. In 7th canto of Shrimat Bhagwatam Prahlad maharaj praises lord Narsinh and says” I am worried about those idiots who are running after sense gratification, name, fame and money”. These people are expert in insulting and hurting devotees of the lord. Not only they are jealous about good people but also they plan to cause some problem to the devotees of the lord. They want people to bow down to them, give them respect and their only job is to say “I did this, I am good at this, and how I am better than others” which causes complete degradation of the soul.
Devotees of Krishna
Lord Narsinh after killing the demon Hiranyakashyap had to tell lord Bramha that don’t give blessing to the people who are not worthy of it. People who worship demi-gods do not change. Their demoniac qualities remain attached to them. The demon Vrukasur worshipped Lord Shiva but after pleasing him he wanted to take away Parvati devi from Lord Shiva and he also tried killing Lord Shiva as well. Banasur pleased Lord Shiva but he made Lord Shiva fight against Krishna. After loosing to Krishna in a battle, Lord Shiva declared that “Those who do not worship Radha and Krishna actually drink poison”.
Gandhari who worshipped Lord Shiva cursed Krishna when she lost her hundred sons and gave Duryodhan all her power during the battle of Kurukshetra, whereas Kunti Maharani who worshipped Krishna said” hey Krishna “Vipadaha santu taha” let me have more and more problems in life so that you will be with us. As Krishna helped Pandava’s during all the difficulties. Arjuna pleased Lord Shiva to win “Pashupatastra” which he needed during the battle but he worshipped Lord Shiva to actually help Krishna attain his aim of punishing the “adharmis”. This is how we are supposed to worship Lord Shiva so that it will help us to serve the supreme god head Krishna.
Krishna the purifier
Krishna is not the god who will give his devotees material pleasures even if they want them. When four types of devotees like depressed, desirer of wealth, the inquisitive and curious start worshipping Krishna sincerely, they end up becoming saint. Krishna gradually removes demoniac qualities of his devotee, purifies him and make him such a wonderful soul that he is even worshipped by demi-gods.
Dhruva, who was the son of King Uttanpad went to jungle to please Lord Krishna in order to get kingdom of his father but when he pleased Lord Krishna he said “I was such a fool to ask for material pleasures from you”. Krishna removes the thirst for material gains and make his devotees desire less and selfless.
Rishi Valmiki, who was a killer in his early life was turned into sage and adi kavi by simply meeting a pure devotee Narada. Dev Rishi Narada told him to chant “Ram Ram” and thus he changed the heart of a robber. There is quite big list of villains who were turned into heroes by simply chanting Krishna name. These killers after purification do not even kill an ant.
According to Prahlad Maharaj those who start worshipping Krishna gets rid of “Pashubudhirvibhidyate”- an animal mentality of you bite me and I will bite you. It will be an achievement for the man kind not to behave like an animal. In the age of Kaliyuga where it is very easy to be a devotee of Maya, where it is very easy to be a servant of lust greed and anger, Krishna is the only solution.
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Ram Hare Ram Ram Ram Hare Hare
Srila Prabhupada taught the principles of yukta vairagya: not to reject something of this world as material, but suitably engage everything in the service of the Supreme Lord Sri Krishna for the upliftment of humanity. These principles of yukta vairagya that he taught underlie the Krishna Lila Park project, where modern technology, commerce and management practices converge for the execution of this mega endeavour in the service of God and mankind.
The purpose of Krishna Lila Park is to present, preserve and promote the cultural heritage of India as described in the ancient Indian classics, to the contemporary society, in an interesting and captivating presentation. We want to impress upon the younger generation the glorious pastimes of our vedic heroes like Krishna, Rama and Hanuman. Today, our children’s minds are obsessed with Superman, Spiderman and such other characters and legends coming from the West. We want to introduce the great characters of our Indian epics and instill in the minds of our children the deep values they represent. This is an unprecedented and historical project being attempted for the first time in our country.
The narrative strategy used known as technology assisted multi-sensory immersive and experiential story telling. This is the kind of communication strategy that the worlds best Theme Parks like Disney World, EPCOT and Universal Studios use.
For more information on Krishna Lila Park or ISKCON Bangalore please visit; www.iskconbangalore.org/