The Glorious Appearance of Lord Nityananda
By Ambika Devi Dasi
Sri Nityananda Prabhu made His divine appearance in Ekachakra, West Bengal in 1473, some thirteen years before Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu appeared in Navadvipa, West Bengal in 1486.
His family were Vaisnavas, headed by His father, a learned brahmana named Hadai Pandit and His mother, the pious Padmavati Devi.
His serene disposition and high intelligence, along with His charming beauty, made Him attractive to all who met Him. His performances of Lord Balarama’s and Laksmana’s divine pastimes as a boy were stunning to those who witnessed them, due to the depth of knowledge, inside information and the great intensity with which He performed them.
Lord Nityananda travelled all over India with a sannyasi while still young, visiting many, many holy places. This culminated years later in a visit to Navadvipa, where He united ecstatically with Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Together They began propagating the sankirtan movement of the congregational chanting of the Hare Krishna Mahamantra.
This mission of spreading the sankirtan movement continued throughout the holy life of Lord Nityananda, in Orissa and Bengal.
He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, non-different from Ananta Sesa, and Lord Balarama.
He is wonderfully merciful, is always joyful and is the reservoir of all pleasure.
His face is more beautiful and cooling than the autumnal moon. His body is completely composed of pure spiritual energy. He moves like a maddened elephant due to His intoxication from Krishna-prema. He is the reservoir of all transcendental mellows.
He is an incarnation of mercy, and those who fall down before Him will be delivered, despite being unworthy. His transcendental attributes are unfathomable.
If we can attain even a slight touch of His mercy, we will never be forsaken by Lord Krishna. The shelter of His lotus feet will save anyone from the endless cycle of birth and death.
On the auspicious day of His divine appearance, we have the opportunity to glorify His wonderful attributes and to beg from Him His compassionate mercy.
Taken from Sri Caitanya Bhagavata.
Srila Prabhupada Uvaca
“My name, ‘Advaita,’ will be fitting if I am able to induce Krishna to inaugurate the movement of the chanting of the holy name.”
The non dualist Mayavadi philosopher who falsely believes that he is non different from the Lord is unable to call Him like Advaita Prabhu. Advaita Prabhu is non different from the Lord, yet in His relationship with the Lord He does not merge in Him but eternally renders service unto Him as a plenary portion. This is inconceivable for Mayavadis because they think in terms of mundane sense perception and therefore think that non dualism necessitates losing one’s separate identity. It is clear from this verse, however, that Advaita Prabhu, although retaining His separate identity, is non different from the Lord.
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu preached the philosophy of inconceivable, simultaneous oneness with the Lord and difference from Him. Conceivable dualism and monism are conceptions of the imperfect senses, which are unable to reach the Transcendence because the Transcendence is beyond the conception of limited potency. The actions of Sri Advaita Prabhu, however, give tangible proof of inconceivable non dualism. One who therefore surrenders unto Srī Advaita Prabhu can easily follow the philosophy of inconceivable, simultaneous dualism and monism.
Chaitanya-charitamrita Adi-lila Chapter 3 Verse 102 and Purport.
Marriage of Caranaravinda dasa and Vaisnavi devi dasi
On Monday, 6 November at New Govardhana farm, residents Caranaravinda dasa and Vaisnavi devi dasi were married. Everyone who attended their wedding was very happy to see the lovely couple take their vows in front of Radha Govardhanadhari. Keeping it in the family, Prana dasa was the officiating priest, as he was for Vaisnavi’s sister’s wedding.
by Kisori dasi
Bhusaya dasa began associating with the devotees when he was 17 years old and formally joined ISKCON by the age of 18 in Colo River, NSW.
He had obtained a degree in Horticulture but spent his last few years working as a security officer and selling devotional items.
Bhusaya was a steady devotee with great love for the Holy Names who always had his hand in his chanting bag. His kirtans were very joyful and demonstrated his genuine love for Krishna. He was expert at playing all musical instruments.
It was an immense loss to the New Govardhana community when he passed away suddenly on the morning of 3 November. His departure was very auspicious and he uttered ‘Krishna’ at least 6 times as his final words. He passed in the presence of devotees chanting, having just returned from holy pilgrimage and at an auspicious astrological time of the day, with cows close by.
Bhusaya’s life was dedicated to genuinely serving Their Lordships and the vaisnavas. His many services included managing the Deity worship roster, managing the temple gift shop, as well as pujari duties and cooking for the Deities.
He had all wonderful devotional qualities being mild, kind, grave, having no enemies, and no material desires.
He will be missed by his much-loved sons Kesava and Chaitanya.
by Kisori dasi
Braja Vallabhi dasi left this world most gloriously on 11 November in a fatal road accident at Govardhana, near Radha Kunda, India.
She was only 23 years old but had achieved all spiritual and material success in her short life.
Strongly spiritually inclined from the beginning, she found pleasure in devotional service. She used her skills and organisational abilities in many services, for the Youth Ministry including annual Bus Tours and spiritual retreats, the annual Sacred Sound Kirtan Retreat at New Govardhana and Polish tour as well as hosting many devotees at their home in Brisbane.
Her last service in Vrindavan was assisting her godsister Rasika Siromani in organising the annual Kartik pilgrimage run by Indradyumna Maharaja, her Guru.
She was loved by many devotees around the world and is survived by her sister and her parents.
by Padma devi dasi
Although we may not like to admit it, there is a real need for all of us to improve our green behaviour on New Govardhana farm. Green behaviour means to act in a way that is favourable to preserving this pristine natural environment. For devotees of Krishna, green behaviour means to please Krishna, the devotees and the cows by following sastric guidelines on how to interact with our natural environment. This means respecting the sanctity of our natural environment, acknowledging our duty to preserve the purity of our world, and to treat all living beings, including Mother Earth herself, with dignity. Please consider the following:
1. Using paper plates: To grab a paper plate or not … that is the question! Paper plates, cups and plastic spoons are intended to be used by guests who do not bring their own. Yet all too often we find New Govardhana residents using them. Whilst our three-partitioned plates are made from recyclable materials, purchasing them impacts on our weekly expenditures. Plastic spoons are of course not recyclable, and paper cups are often taken for minimal use only, such as having a drink of water.
Whilst it is our desire that all should have facility to honour our Lordship’s prasadam, reducing our use of throwaways such as these paper and plastic commodities, is everyone’s responsibility. These items overfill our bins, unnecessarily add to our weekly expenditures, attract pestilence and disease when not disposed of properly, and send out the wrong message to the public, namely that we are not conscious of recycling and other environmental preservation behaviours. A better approach is to bring our own plates, cups and spoons, or make use of the many stainless steel plates kept in the prasadam area at the temple. The message is there for everyone:
Recycling, reducing and reusing is cool image
Wasting our money on throwaways is for fools!
Clearly, this is a bad attempt at poetry, but you all get my drift.
2. Using yellow bins: Every time our yellow bins become contaminated, meaning that someone has placed items in them that are not listed as being recyclable, then the Council simply refuses to empty them. The contents of these unemptied bins then accumulate, resulting in us having to take truckloads of garbage to the tip, which costs us $200 each time. We are therefore appealing to everyone to learn which items are acceptable for placing in yellow bins, and that we all make a conscious effort to stick to the rules, with no exceptions. http://www.tweed.nsw.gov.au/Waste/YellowBins
3. Littering: Needless to say, we don’t want any litter spoiling the natural beauty of New Govardhana. It takes such little effort to place rubbish in the rubbish bins, instead of throwing it on the ground. Please be mindful that it is our personal duty to beautify and sanitise Krishna’s property. Rubbish that cannot be recycled, goes into bins with red lids.
4. Wasting water and electricity: Srila Prabhupada would often stress that we should not waste Krishna’s energy, such as water and electricity. We highly encourage all devotees to please turn off all taps left dripping, and please turn off light switches that have been left on either by yourselves or others. If accumulated water and electricity wasted throughout the year could somehow be quantified, we may be shocked to learn just how much we waste.
The distress of Mother Earth…
by Padma devi dasi
We are all touched by the pastime of Mother Earth approaching Lord Vishnu for protection from “conceited demons dressed like kings” (SB 10.1.17) at the end of the last Dvapara-yuga. At that time, Mother Earth, known in the Vedas as Bhumi, was overburdened by “unnecessary military arrangements”, which threatened the peace, sanctity and religiosity of all the devas.
Needless to say, this threat to the Earth has only increased as Kali-yuga has progressed. In the 12th Canto of Srimad Bhagavatam, Bhumi describes how kings, politicians and materialistic persons will attempt to conquer her, due to their excessive desires for political power and sense enjoyment. All we need to do today is watch our daily news to behold this phenomenon taking place. But what does this all mean, in terms of our own personal spiritual lives? What are the implications for our own Krishna consciousness?
In the second verse of Nectar of Instruction, Srila Rupa Goswami confronts us with the matter of greed. In this verse, being “greedy for mundane achievements”, “eating more than necessary and collecting more funds than required” and “overendeavouring for mundane things that are difficult to obtain” are all described as potentially “spoiling” one’s devotional life. It is this same greed that burdens Mother Bhumi, who, it is said, has enough resources for everyone’s need, but not for everyone’s greed. Greed, underpinned by materialism, inflicts an insatiable desire in human beings, which is not actually so easy to discard, even for the spiritual practitioner. Learning to be satisfied with less and to be peaceful with our own simple circumstances will improve our relationship with Mother Bhumi, who is herself a devotee of Krishna. As such, we have everything to gain, and nothing to lose, by adopting an uncomplicated lifestyle that is devoid of mundane greed.
Let us consider the footprint of Mother Cow, who has a large and heavy body, but who nevertheless places a relatively small footprint on the surface of the Earth. Cows are the embodiment of goodness, and this shows in their minimal impact on the Earth, when they are allowed to live as religious principles decree. Asking only a small quantity of grass, some fresh water and peaceful surroundings, Mother Cow lives in perfect harmony with Mother Bhumi, without causing distress to other living beings. She neither exploits the Earth, nor wastes the Earth’s resources, instead giving from her own body milk, dung and urine, all which aid human beings in their health and prosperity. We need to humble ourselves to accept this very special being, the cow, as our actual lifestyle guru.
The world today promotes a plethora of lifestyle gurus who broadcast the need for an individual to earn more, spend more, want more, eat more, be more …. without concern for the distress caused to Mother Earth. Let us not forget this lesson: happiness on Earth comes from respecting Mother Bhumi, remaining sensitive to her, and understanding her according to the teachings of the sastras!
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FOR ENQUIRIES, COMMENTS OR SUGGESTIONS
Dec 2017 Calendar
(from Vaishnava calendar www.vaisnavacalendar.com)
|1||Fri||Dvadasi Break fast 5.41 – 10.17am|
|7||Thu||Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura – Disappearance (Half-day fast)|
|14||Thu||Fasting for Saphala Ekadasi
Sri Devananda Pandita – Disappearance
|15||Fri||Dvadasi Break fast 5.43 – 10.22am|
|21||Thu||Srila Jiva Gosvami – Disappearance|
|29||Fri||Ekadasi (not suitable for fasting)|
|30||Sat||Dvadasi (suitable for fasting) Fasting for Putrada Ekadasi|
|31||Sun||Trayodasi Break fast 5.51 – 10.30am|
Jan 2018 Calendar
(from Vaishnava calendar www.vaisnavacalendar.com)
|6||Sat||Srila Gopala Bhatta Gosvami – Appearance|
|12||Fri||Fasting for Sat-tila Ekadasi|
|13||Sat||Dvadasi Break fast 9.32 – 10.37am|
|22||Mon||Srimati Visnupriya Devi – Appearance
Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura – Disappearance
Srila Raghunatha Dasa Gosvami – Appearance
|24||Wed||Sri Advaita Acarya – Appearance (Fast today)|
|26||Fri||Sri Madhvacarya – Disappearance|
|27||Sat||Sri Ramanujacarya – Disappearance|
|28||Sun||Fasting for Bhaimi Ekadasi (Fast today for Varahadeva)|
|29||Mon|| Dvadasi Break fast 6.14 – 10.44am
Varaha Dvadasi: Appearance of Lord Varahadeva
(Fasting is done yesterday)
|30||Tue|| Nityananda Trayodasi: Appearance of Sri Nityananda Prabhu
|31||Wed||Srila Narottama Dasa Thakura – Appearance|