Thursday, June 11, 2009
Saturday, December 13, 2008
The Brahmotsavam festival is one of the most important and auspicious functions in Tirupati. Popular stories trace the origin of this celebration to Brahma, the creator God, who first conducted this festival to Sri Balaji at Tirupati. Brahma worshiped Sri Balaji on the banks of the holy Pushkarini in Tirupati as a way to give thanks for the Lord’s protection of mankind. Hence, this utsava bears his name as “Brahmotsavam,” which means “Brahma’s Utsavam.” In Tirumala, Brahmotsavam is celebrated in the month of October.
The Brahmotsava is performed over a nine-day period. On the evening prior to the start of the first day, the rite of “Ankurarpana” (sowing of the seeds to signify fertility, prosperity and abundance) is performed along with a festival for Sri Vishvaksena (the leader of Narayana’s retinue who removes obstacles and protects worship).On the first day, the main activity is the “Dhvajarohana,” the hoisting of the Garuda flag at the Dhvajastambham. This signifies the commencement of the Brahmotsava. It is believed that Garuda goes to Devalokam and invites the Devas to attend the function. During the nine days of the festival, the religious activities include daily homas and processions for the utsava murti on different vahanas, which are the chariots that can be seen in the Temple. Every evening, the utsava vigrahas are decorated with different alankarams. The concluding day is the Janma Nakshatra (birth star) of Sri Balaji, which is celebrated in a grand way with Avabhritha Utsava (special abhishekams for the utsava murti). In Tirupati, the Sudarsana Chakra is bathed in the Pushkarini and all the devotees bathe afterwards. In Aurora, a priest takes the Sudarsana Chakra on his head and takes a holy bath near the Dhvajastambham. Afterwards, the Chakra is placed on a high platform, so the devotees can walk under it and be blessed with the water dripping down from Sudarsana. The celebration officially concludes with “Dhvajavarohanam,” the lowering of the Garuda flag. The priests pay respects to Gods and Sages with the chanting of Vedic mantras and see them off on their return to the Devaloka.
The Brahmotsavam celebration provides a unique opportunity for all devotees to participate in the festivities and utsavas and experience the “Vaikuntha Anubhava” (heavenly enjoyment and feeling) and receive the blessings of Sri Venkateswara Swami. Every year, millions of devotees witness the processions,celebrations during the annual Brahmotsavams of Lord Venkateswara at Tirumala. Every day of Brahmotsavam will be a feast for the eyes of the devotees who gather there. On the first day the Garudadhwaja (flag with the emblem of a black garuda) is hoisted near the Srivari Alaya Dhwajasthambham. A festive procession of Lord Venkateswara on the Pedda Seshavahana proceeds around the four streets of the main temple for two hours until midnight.Ankurarpana and Senadhipati Utsavam are celebrated on the day preceding the first day of Brahmotsavam.
Some interesting observations during brahmotsavas are: As incredibly as the swan which separates the water content from milk, the reigning deity of the seven hills too, on Hamsavahan, relegates the paap and blesses the bhakta based on his punya. As the powerful snake transforms itself as a vehicle for the Lord during the Seshavahan and Chota Seshavahan in the Brahmotsavam celebrations, the essence of the Sharanagati Tatva explains the moral behind this utsav. The initial prayers offered at the Dwajarohan utsav and Garudotsav is to pray for an unscathed living with high moral values, while Garuda, requested by the Lord himself to stay in the hills, guards the skies from anything untoward coming by.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Prabhavisnu Swami to Yuwaraja
By Srila Prabhupad and Guru's mercy,Taiping yatra did a record breaking of 512 houses thru out last week..bringing the cum total to 1047 houses todate. More than 6000 souls have offered ghee lamp tho Lord Damodara todate.
We reviewed the goal to 1008 last week but the devotees got so fired up and they went surpassing that goal as well.
I just told the congregation last week that we can please our beloved Spiritual Master HH Jayapataka Maharaj by doing more programmes and the news will definitely enthuse HH for speedy recovery.That's it........all the way they go... Even when we were doing the House Harinam...I can't even stopped them even they feel tired and already close to 9pm. I wouldn't be suprised..that they would even go till next morning if circumstances allowed.
Such a mercy from Srila Prabhupad and our Gurus.
There won't be any new goal after this but we will continue to do as many as possible for this week.
Thank you to all for the support and blessing.
My congratulations. It seems that there is some improvement in HH Jayapataka
Maharaj's health condition, so surely the sincere efforts of all of you
devotees is helping in that regard.
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HH Loknatha Swami Tour to Malaysia (Taiping Yatra)
nama om vishnu-padaya krishna-preshthaya bhu-tale
srimate lokanatha svamin iti namine
nama om vishnu-padaya krishna-preshthaya bhu-tale
srimate bhaktivedanta-svamin iti namine
namaste sarasvate deve gaura-vani-pracarine
om ajnana-timirandhasya jnananjana-salakaya
cakshur unmilitam yena tasmai sri-gurave namah
My dream has come true as I have been waiting very badly for Guru Maharaj present to Malaysia. With full of excitement I have gone to airport to fetch Guru Maharaj with accompany of both HG Sankirtana das and HG Kripa Sindu dasa, His flight was a bit delay. The delay has encouraged my excitement to double. Guru Maharaj had arrived after half an hour delay at about 20:30. Guru Maharaj walked out from the Airport arrival exit with a full of pride and happy smiling face just likes an Emperor.
As soon as I saw Guru Maharaj coming out from the arrival I just ran towards Him without waiting a single moment to welcome him. There is no word on how do I describe my happiness on that moment after saw Him coming out. Once I completed my obeisance to Guru Maharaj, He asked my name.
As scheduled, we were heading to our first visit, Seremban Center; devotees in the temple are waiting for His arrival. We have arrived to the temple about 22:00; Guru Maharaj gave a short speech to the devotees. All the devotees were listening to Him very patiently and had acquired lots of good information delivered by Him in that short moment.
We have settled down for the night in Seremban Center. On the next morning, devotees were got prepared for Guru Maharaj’s bhajans and kirtanas, exactly 09:30 Guru Maharaj came down to the Deity Hall. All the devotees had gathered up and paid their obeisance. Guru Maharaj sung wonderful Kirtanas for a short moment; though that was a short moment all the devotees were paid their full attention and enjoyed the Kirtanas.
The main reason of Guru Maharaj Tour to Malaysia was for ISKCON, Taiping Ratha Yatra. Therefore, on the 19th July 2008 we left Seremban after Guru Maharaj took prasadam to Taiping for the glories ceremony. I am the one who drove to Taiping where Guru Maharaj was sitting just beside me, which for am moment I felt it like I am in dream. I should be really gifted to had such opportunity having Guru Maharaj sitting beside me just like a “Garuda” who carries Lord Sri Krsna to His destinations.
On the way to Taiping, I was a bit disappointed as I was not able to fulfill Guru Maharaj’s need as He wants coconut but on my way there wasn’t a coconut shop available. That incident was bothered me a lot. We have arrived to Taiping at Legend-In Hotel at about 14:30, soon after check-in to the hotel; I left the hotel quickly, hunting for coconut for Guru Maharaj. I have managed to bought one for Him which was really satisfied me after.
After rest in Hotel, I brought Guru Maharaj to Ratha Yatra Processions although the ceremony has started a while ago; we manage to join the Processions. A massive crowd waiting for Guru Maharaj present, as soon as all noticed His arrival, the crowd screamed as “HariBol” and His Holiness Lokanath Swami Maharaj Ki….. Jai.
ISCKON Taiping temple president, HG Yaduraj prabhu and ISKCON Malaysia secretary, HG Simheswara Das welcoming Gurumahaj.
The Processions was a fabulous ever as everyone was enjoying the Kirtanas by Guru Maharaj. The crowed were dancing and singing along with Guru Maharaj with extreme energies, which were fantastic moment ever I could describe as the vibration on each and everyone was very constant till the end of the Processions.
Soon after Processions, Guru Maharaj led the Kirtan for almost an hour in the Hall. Prasadam were started to distribute but the crowd were still along with Guru Maharaj’s Kirtans by forgetting the Prasadam. The devotion sincerity was proven as Kirtanas could also be Prasadam for devotees!
After the Kirtanas, Guru Maharaj was asked to give away the presents to coloring contest winners.
The mood of Sangkirtans was continued with Guru Maharaj’s Bhajans after the prize giving ceremony and it continues till 22:30. HG Simeswara Prabu also announced as this is the ONLY occasion in Malaysia history ever that the huge crowd of devotees stayed for very long hours till end of the Ratha Yatra Festival.
We were done for the day after served Prasadam to Guru Maharaj and took Him to Hotel to rest.
Bhakta Perkash Rao
Monday, October 20, 2008
K a r t t i k a M a s a
THE MONTH OF DAMODARA
In ISKCON temples, centres, and homes worldwide devotees gather for the entire month of Damodara (Karttika) to offer lamps and in great joy sing the glories of Lord Damodara. Krishna is known as Damodara ‘the one whose belly was bound’ due to one of His pastimes:
While mother Yashoda was allowing Krishna to drink her breast milk, she was forced to stop because she saw the milk pan boiling over on the oven. She stopped allowing Krishna to drink from her breast and immediately attended to the overflowing milk pan. Krishna became very angry because of His mother’s behavior and devised a means of breaking the pots of yogurt. Because He created this disturbance, mother Yashoda decided to bind Him. These incidents are described in this chapter.
Having turned the mortar upside down, He was stealing butter hanging from a swing and was distributing the butter to the monkeys. As soon as Krishna saw that His mother had come, He immediately began to run away, and mother Yashoda began to follow Him.
After going some distance, mother Yashoda was able to catch Krishna, who because of His offense was crying. Mother Yashoda, of course, threatened to punish Krishna if He acted that way again, and she decided to bind Him with rope.
Unfortunately, when the time came to knot the rope, the rope with which she wanted to bind Him was short by a distance equal to the width of two fingers. When she made the rope longer by adding another rope, she again saw that it was short by two fingers. Again and again she tried, and again and again she found the rope too short by two fingers. Thus she became very tired, and Krishna, seeing His affectionate mother so tired, allowed Himself to be bound.
The full story can be read in the Srimad Bhagavatam 10th Canto, 9th chapter "Mother Yashoda Binds Lord Krishna"
and daily recite the prayer known as Damodara-ashtakam,
which has been spoken by the sage Satyavrata and which attracts Lord Damodara."
(Sri Hari-bhakti-vilasa 2:16:198)
Just as there is no yuga equal to Satya-yuga, no scripture equal to the Vedas, and no place of pilgrimage equal to the Ganges, so there is no month equal to Kartika. Even unserious persons who execute devotional service according to the regulative principles during the month of Karttika, and within the jurisdiction of Mathura (or Vrindavana) in India, are very easily awarded the Lord's personal service". During the Kartika month millions of devotees worship Damodara Krishna with ghee lamps and devotional bhajans, glorifying His playful childhood pastime of stealing yogurt. (H.H. Mahanidhi Swami)
"When one offers a lamp during the month of Karttika, his sins in many thousands and millions of births perish in half an eye blink."
"Please hear the glories of offering a lamp during pleasing to Lord Kesava. O King of brahmanas, a person who offers a lamp in this way will not take birth again in this world."
"By offering a lamp during the month of Karttika one attains a pious result ten million times greater than the result obtained by bathing at Kuruksetra during a solar eclipse or by bathing in the river Narmada during a lunar eclipse."
"O Tiger among sages! For a person who thus offers a lamp burning with ghee or sesame oil, what is the use of performing an asvasmedha-yajna? "
"Even if there are no mantras, no pious deeds, and no purity, everything becomes perfect when a person offers a lamp during the month of Karttika."
"A person who during the month of Karttika offers a lamp to Lord Kesava has already performed all yajnas and bathing in all holy rivers. "
"The ancestors say: When someone in our family pleases Lord Kesava by offering to Him a lamp during the month of Karttika, then, by the mercy of the Lord who holds the Sudarsana-cakra in His Hand, we will all attain liberation."
By offering a lamp during the month of Karttika one burns away a collection of sins as big as Mount Meru or Mount Mandara. Of this there is no doubt."
"A person who offers a lamp during the month of Karttika attains a result that cannot be obtained with even a hundred yajnas or a hundred pilgrimages."
"Even a person addicted to all sins and averse to all pious deeds who somehow offer a lamp during Karttika becomes purified. Of this there is no doubt."
"O Narada, no sin exists anywhere in the three worlds that will not be purified by offering a lamp to Lord Kesava during Karttika."
"A person who offers a lamp to Lord Krishna during Karttika attains the eternal spiritual world where there is no suffering."
"As fire is present in all wood and may be extracted by friction, so piety is always present in the offering of a lamp during the month of Karttika. Of this there is no doubt."
"O King of brahmanas, when someone offers Him a lamp on the full-moon day of the month of Karttika, Lord Krishna, finding that He does not have sufficient money to repay that gift, gives Himself in exchange for that lamp."
"One who offers a steady lamp to Lord Hari during the month of Karttika enjoys pastimes in Lord Hari's splendid spiritual world."
Even one who never performs religious rituals or even the worst sinner will surely be purified by this offering. O Narada, in the three worlds there is no sin that can stand before this Kartika dipa. In fact, by presenting this dipa before Lord Vasudeva, the eternal abode can be reached without obstruction.
"All the results acquired by donating grains during pitri-paksha or by distributing water in the hot months of Jyeshtha or Ashadha are easily gained in the course of Kartika merely by reviving (relighting) a dipa offered by someone else."
Monday, October 13, 2008
Monday, June 16, 2008
Mood: Craving to taste Cida Dahi Mahaprasad
Listening to: Sri Venkatesa Mangalasasanam
Please allow me immerse myself in the mood of ecstatic as the devotees at panihati honours and observed the jubilant festival of feeding all the Vaisnavas with cooling Cida-Dahi on the order of Sri Nityananda Prabhu, remembering this pastime of Sri Nityananda Prabu who instucted Srila Raghunatha and observed this festival where He personally honored Cida-dahi.
A Sweet pastime of the Lord about how Srila Raghunatha dasa pleased Lord Nityananda and how the Lord reciprocated with His devotee, in a very wonderful and pleasing festival called the Panihati Cida-Dahi Mahotsav. For more information on this festival please kindly visit :
Jai Jahnava Jivita Pati
Jai Vasudha Prana Vallaba
Jai Srila Raghunatha dasa
Jai Panihati Cida Dahi Mahotsav
Listening to: Hey Govinda [As Kindred Spirits]
Hey beautiful devotees! Happy Nirjala Ekadasi!... kind of....? Complete fast today... it's hard but tolerating it is super beneficial! Anyone who can do the complete fast today will attain liberation. If anyone wanted to know the history of today, go to [link] and read the story.I am in a super good mood today because I've been busy taking some of the karmi music off my ipod and replacing it with soothing devotional bhajans and kirtans. Hope i could oberve a full fast....
Jai Ekadasi Mahostva
Jai Sriya Bhumi Nayaka Jaganath Svami