sábado, 10 de abril de 2010

Tour Report: Installation of Sri Radha-Ramana-Bihari

Janakpuri, Delhi, India: November 19 - 21, 2005

Just before leaving for Taipei, and then Hawaii for his annual writing retreat there, Srila Narayana Maharaja held a three-day festival at the new Sri Sri Radha-ramana-bihari Gaudiya Matha in Delhi.

On the evening of November 19th Srila Maharaja delivered a lecture to over 500 devotees and guests, about the various stages of devotion and how to achieve them. On the evening of November 20th there was a grand procession around Janakpuri, with thousands of devotees and tens of thousands of onlookers participating. During the procession, Srila Narayana Maharaja was seated on a horse-drawn chariot, and there were other chariots including one carrying the Deities. There was also a band and several kirtana parties. By the morning of November 21st the three-story temple of Sri Sri Radha-ramana-bihari was fully transformed, as the gorgeous decorations for the installation festivities were completed.

Yellow, orange and maroon marigolds could be seen everywhere, in the form of designs made from a variety of hanging garlands. The base of the entire carved altar was in the shape of a white lotus flower. Sculptures of heralding elephants and flying heavenly damsels were carved in white stone on top of the altar, and there were many flower canopies over and around the Deities. The vyasasana had also been elaborately decorated, with greenery and orange and yellow flowers, and with beautiful saffron colored bolsters.

A grand fire sacrifice began that morning around 10 am, and continuous lovely kirtanas filled the great temple hall. Gradually the temple filled up with almost 1,500 devotees and guests in attendance, and after some time the Deities (Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Sri Sri Radha-ramana-bihari and Srila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja) were brought to the altar. Smaller Deities had been worshipped there with devotion for a couple of years, but now large Deities would be installed as well. The Deities were bathed, and Srila Narayana Maharaja then led the congregation in performing the Deities’ arati. After that he gave a Hindi lecture on the basic tenants of Krsna consciousness and Vedic culture. He also spoke at length about the supreme reality and divinity of the Deities about to be installed, and he gave many evidences from histories in the Vedic scriptures. After Srila Maharaja’s lecture noon arati was performed, and that was followed by a large feast.

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Tour Report: Radha Kunda Parikrama

November 3, 2005

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On November 3rd the parikrama party circumambulated the short side of Govardhana Hill. The first stop was Uddhava Kunda. After seeing the greatness of the gopis' prema, Uddhava had prayed to become a blade of grass in Vrndavana so that he would be able to take the lotus foot dust of the gopis upon his head.

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Parikrama at Syama Kunda

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Srila Naryana Maharaja met the parikrama party at Radha Kunda. Speaking near Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami’s samadhi, he told the pastime of how Sri Sri Radha and Krsna manifested Radha Kunda and Syama Kunda.

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Passing Raghunatha dasa Gosvami’s well, Srila Narayana Maharaja led the parikrama around Syama Kunda and Radha Kunda.

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Taking acamana of Radha Kunda.

Tour Report: Govardhana Parikrama

October 31, 2005

Under the guidance of Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja, the Vraja Mandala parikrama has been going smoothly and blissfully. Every day more devotees arrive from various parts of the world, and there are now at least 1,000 on the parikrama. On October 30, 2005 the pilgrims moved from Vrndavana to Govardhana, where they will spend the next two weeks at Sri Giridhari Gaudiya Matha.

On October 31, the party went on the first half of Govardhana parikrama, taking darsana of Dan Ghati, Dan Nivartana Kunda (pond), Naval and Apsara Kundas, Govinda Kunda and Surabhi Kunda.

At Surabhi Kunda, Srila Narayana Maharaja mentioned that there are so many sacred places in Vraja Mandala that are not taken care of properly. The government does not do anything to help, and instead creates obstacles. Therefore, he has taken the responsibility to renovate and protect these places in Vrndavana and Govardhana, especially Surabhi Kunda. In the past couple of years, with the help of Dr. Sanjaya from Mathura, he has arranged the cleaning and renovation of this beautiful kunda.

Srila Narayana Maharaja then told the pastime of Krsna lifting Govardhana Hill ? how Indra offended Krsna, took shelter of a Surabhi cow, and then came to Surabhi Kunda to beg forgiveness. He said that one who takes acamana (sipping water from the kunda for purification) or bathes in this kunda will be forgiven of their sins and offenses, and they will get the gift of krsna-prema.

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Surabhi Kund

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Offering obeisances to Giriraja Govardhana

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Dr Sanjaya and local villagers honoring Srila Narayana Maharaja.

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Arriving at Surabhi Kunda

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Taking acamana and sprinkling Surabhi Kunda water on his head.

Appearance Day of Srila Bhakti Raksaka Sridhara Gosvami Maharaja

October 26, 2005 is the divine appearance day of Srila Bhakti Raksaka Sridhara Gosvami Maharaja. At 10:00 am the 800 devotees at Gopinath Bhavan in Vrndavana began singing bhajanas. At 11:00 am Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja came to the pandal to glorify and hear glorifications of Srila Sridhara Maharaja. He called on four disciples of Srila Sridhara Maharaja to speak, and he commented that they all spoke so highly about their Guru Maharaja. After expressing his own heartfelt realizations about Srila Sridhara Maharaja's glories, he said glorifications will continue in the evening. He then performed arati to Srila Sridhara Maharaja and his guru-parampara.

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Madhavi dasi glorifying Srila Sridhara Maharaja

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Garlanding Srila Sridhara Maharaja

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Offering incense

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Offering prayers

Noida Pandal Program

India - September 23 - 26, 2005

Last year's program in Noida (just across the Yamuna River from Delhi) was very successful, with 3,000 people attending daily, and Srila Narayana Maharaja returned there this year for another four-day festival. On the first night there was a lively parade, with various kirtana parties accompanying different carts, carrying Lord Shiva and Sri Sri Radha and Krsna. Srila Maharaja sat on a horse-drawn float for most of the procession. The streets were packed with devotees and appreciative onlookers. Krsna dasa brahmacari and other chanters had everyone dancing joyfully for hours.

On the second day, huge rain clouds appeared in the Noida sky. The continuous rain caused the festival ground to flood, and on that night the festival relocated to a nearby community center. There, Srila Maharaja spoke on the true meaning of Sanatana-dharma and the importance of sadhu-sanga. He also discussed the life histories of Ekalabhya and Druva Maharaja, as an introduction to the main topic of the festival: the five kinds of pure devotees.

The last two evenings of Harikatha took place in the pandal as planned. Srila Maharaja spoke on Prahlada Maharaja, Ambarish Maharaja, Hanuman, the Pandavas and Uddhavaji. He culminated the program with the glories of the gopis' love for Krsna as the greatest love.

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A local newspaper reported on the parade in their next day's edition.

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Arriving at the community center for the first night of Harikatha.

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Giving class in the pandal.

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Watching the drama after class.

quarta-feira, 7 de abril de 2010

Tour Report - Srila Prabhupada's Sannyasa Day

September 18, 2005

In Honor of Srila Prabhupada's Sannyasa Day

Srila Narayana Maharaja has been residing in his Sri Giriraja Govardhana Gaudiya Matha for the past couple of weeks, writing and translating. On Sunday, September 18, about 300 devotees gathered there to celebrate Visvarupa Mahotsava (the day Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu found out that His elder brother Visvarupa left this world)) and the day that Srila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja and Srila Prabhupada Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja took sannyasa.

Srila Narayana Maharaja spoke about the glories of Srila Prabhupada in the morning, and also called on several of Srila Prabhupada's disciples to offer their glorification. His class was followed by Guru-puja and then a large feast. Srila Narayana Maharaja continued the glorification of Srila Prabhupada in the evening as well. Below, is a summary of his talk:

Entering the temple

Greeting the Deities, Sri Sri Radha-Vinoda-bihari

During his talk, Srila Narayana Maharaja said that Srila Prabhupada first gave Bhagavad-gita As it Is – the purport of Bhagavad-Gita. In there Srila Prabhupada taught that we are not these bodies. These bodies are made simply of blood, urine, stool and flesh, and when the body dies you get a new body. He gave everything in the Gita, up to the last teaching. He taught, "nityo nityanam cetanas cetananam" – of all living beings Sri Krsna is the Supreme, and of all eternals Sri Krsna is the Supreme eternal.

Srila Prabhupada taught:

man-mana bhava mad-bhakto
mad-yaje mam namaskuru
mam evaisyasi satyam te
pratijane priyo 'si me

["Always think of Me and become My devotee. Worship Me and offer your homage unto Me. Thus you will come to Me without fail. I promise you this because you are My very dear friend."
(Bhagavad-gita, 18.65)]

He gave the conclusion of Bhagavad-gita, and then he taught Srimad-Bhagavatam.

Srila Narayana Maharaja said that Srila Prabhupada wanted to preach Sri Ujjvala-nilamani (a very elevated scripture by Srila Rupa Gosvami, explaining the pastimes and philosophy of the love of Sri Sri Radha-Krsna), but there was no one qualified to understand it. Therefore he taught the principles of Varnasrama-dharma, how to perform acamana, etc. He knew that the Westerners could not understand higher topics. Even now, people are still trying to be established in Varnasrama, but in Srila Prabhupada's translation of Srimad-Bhagavatam and Caitanya-caritamrta there are higher subjects. The five rasas are discussed there.

Srila Narayana Maharaja explained that Prabhupada came to give Gaura-vani. "Aradhyo bhagavän vrajesa-tanayas tad-dhama vrndavanam…" – the gopis' worship of Lord Krsna is supreme. Prabhupada didn't express this elaborately in his speeches, but he did so in his books. Prabhupada knew that later on, if his disciples would read his books and become qualified in bhajana, they would realize what is in his books.

Srila Narayana Maharaja said, "When I would go to the West, some people say there is a difference between Srila Prabhupada and myself. Yes, there is definitely a difference. He was shorter, and I am taller and thinner. These are the differences. Sometimes there are differences in our words, but not in our mood. Now when I go to the West, people are gradually understanding this more and more and coming to hear from me.

"Bhakti is like a current, it cannot stop. If it stops it will become stagnant. Some people say, 'Srila Swami Maharaja didn't give more than varnasrama. And he said, "Don't read the 10th Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam." ' My Guru Maharaja also said this, but he didn't forbid me to read it. I have seen Srila Swami Maharaja's personal copy of Ujjvala-nilamani, and I saw the marks that he made in it. He wrote here and there on the pages, 'Most important' and 'Very important.' He didn't speak about these subjects very much; but he wrote about them, and after some time people will understand what he wrote.

"Don't think that I am different from him. Don't have a doubt. Srila Swami Maharaja didn't use the same words as his Guru, Srila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, or his parama-guru, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, but his moods are the same as theirs.

"Today is his sannyasa day, and I bow down to his lotus feet. I also bow down to my Gurudeva who gave him sannyasa. Sannyasa is not a formality. Don't think that there is no importance of sannyasa. It is for gopi-bhava.

"We must understand this. Now time is over. Again, I pray at their lotus feet."

Arati to Srila Prabhupada and the guru-parampara

Villagers singing beautiful bhajanas of Vraja

Srila Maharaja had ordered Syamarani dasi and the art department to create paintings for the covers of his upcoming Hindi books, Camatkara-candrika and Prema Samput. Here, before the evening class, the artists showed him the cover of Camat-kar-candrika and he gave his instructions.

Chanting japa in the garden of Sri Giridhari Gaudiya Matha before giving the evening class.

Tour Report - Sri Krsna Janmastami Eve

August 26, 2005Mathura, India

On the evening before Janmastami, Srila Narayana Maharaja organized a large parade with three harinama sankirtana parties, brass bands, floats portraying Lord Krsna's pastimes, camels and elephants. During the three hour procession, Srila Maharaja rode on a horse-drawn chariot. Tens of thousands of spectators watched in awe.

Sri Kesavaji Gaudiya Matha

Tour Report - East of Kailash, Delhi

August 13-14, 2005

On August 13-14, 2005, Srila Narayana Maharaja gave classes at the Sri Radha-Krsna temple in East of Kailash, Delhi. Over 500 devotees and guests came to hear his hari-katha and receive his blessings. His talks were filmed by Indian National Television, which is viewed by hundreds of thousands.

On the first night of the program, Srila Narayana Maharaja spoke about sanatana-dharma, and on the second night he discussed the five relationships with Sri Krsna, and an example of an associate in each relationship. He explained the five rasas and their successive excellence. He explained how, as we go from one rasa to the other, the prema (transcendental, ecstatic love of God) becomes thicker and thicker. The more mamata (sense of possessiveness) one has for Sri Krsna, the higher their prema will be. Srila Narayana Maharaja gave the examples of Prahlada Maharaja in santa-rasa (neutral love), Hanuman in dasya-rasa (love with service), the cowherd boys in sakhya-rasa (fraternity), Mother Yasoda in vatsalya-rasa (parenthood), and the gopis and Srimati Radhika in the highest, madhurya-rasa (conjugal love). After the classes there were dance performances, kirtanas and delicious krsna-prasadam.

Giving class

Sri Sri Radha-Krsna temple

Bharata-natyam dancing

Tour Report: Holland

July 8 - July 15, 2005

The European Festival was held in The Hague, Holland on the coast of the North Sea. 1,200 devotees and guests from around-the-world attended the grand hari-katha festival with Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja.

In the evenings, Srila Narayana Maharaja spoke about Ratha-yatra and Sri Raya Ramananda Samvad. During the day he met with devotees, performed initiations, marriages and first grain ceremonies.

On the last evening of the program, guru-puja was performed. After that the organizer of the festival, Ashok Krsna dasa, honored Srila Narayana Maharaja with a trophy and plaque, and he gave thanks to the sannyasis and other organizers.


Performing a Vedic marriage

Grain Ceremony


Sita Thakurani dasi

Srila Narayana Maharaja called on his spiritual daughter, Sita Thakurani dasi (one of the leaders of the Gangamata Temple in London) to explain the verse beginning, “nanopacara-krta-pujanam arta-bandhoh…,” quoted by Sri Raya Ramananda to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. After Sita dasi spoke, Srila Narayana Maharaja said, “I fear that she may take the position of Syamarani. If women are not intelligent, how could she speak like this? Although she is a baby (young), she is speaking like this. I want all my daughters to be like her – very bold.

“Also, my sons should be more bold. They should learn all the things she told, and they should preach everywhere as boldly as she is doing. She has given me a proposal that a male can not easily give. She said, ‘Next year, please come to London. The whole world can come, and I will manage everything.’ She is able to manage. How strong she is.

“My blessings to you, and to my daughters who are with you. All should take lessons from her. If you know that you don’t want to be hogs, dogs, cats, donkeys and honkeys, then you should be bold enough to be brahmacari. Why again become dogs and pigs? You have tasted all these things in your previous millions of lives. Now you should control your minds.”

Srila Narayana Maharaja then called on his young spiritual son, Jiva-priya dasa brahmacari, to speak something more on the same topic. After he spoke, Srila Narayana Maharaja said, “All my brahmacaris in France, Germany, England, and everywhere in Europe and other countries should be bold like him. They should try to know all these teachings and preach my mission boldly. I am very happy that he expressed the points very well, with no fear at all. Thank you.”

Leaving Holland to go to Delhi, India

Tour Report: Houston

June 29 - July 3, 2005

Srila Narayana Maharaja arrived in Houston on June 24th. He stayed there for a few days before going to West Columbia, Texas (an hour outside of Houston) for a five day hari-katha festival. While still in Houston, he spoke about sanatana-dharma, the occupation of the eternal soul, on two radio stations, for 45 minutes each. He also gave darsana in the evenings.

On June 29th, Srila Narayana Maharaja arrived at the Columbia Lakes Resort, a beautiful scenic resort with a river and quaint bridges and even some friendly alligators, situated on a golf course. On the first evening he performed worship of the Srimad-bhagavatam along with the assembled devotees. Then, for five nights he gave a summary of the Srimad-bhagavatam beginning from the First Canto and working his way up to the Tenth Canto, which included Sri Krsna’s childhood pastimes and the glories of the gopis. After each hari-katha, the local devotees performed traditional Indian dramas, including a colorful drama of the Ramayana.

By the end of the festival over 70 devotees were initiated, some receiving harinama initiation and some receiving diksa mantras, and they all found their lives being transformed.

Radio Show

Greeting the Deities

Carrying Srimad-Bhagavatam and circumambulating the altar

Offering tulasi to the Srimad-bhagavatam

Leaving class

Morning walk