Jairam Prabhu and Abha Didi are very popular and committed members of our local community. They recently took second initiation from Srila Janardan Maharaj. There was a fire sacrifice as part of the initiation ceremony. Here are photos from this very auspicious occasion.
A link to a lecture given by Srila Govinda Maharaj on the Installation of Their Lordships Sri Sri Guru Gauranga Gandharvika-Giridhari “And today we have received the feeling that a supremely beneficial day has come to us. Reality the Beautiful, the Supreme Personality of Godhead Kṛṣṇa, has manifested in this Soquel Āśram in His own non-different form, with His paraphernalia and with His power, through the devotional mood of the all the devotees here. All the devotees are very happy. We are seeing their mood and we can understand just how happy they are.” Read full article…
A link to an article written by Vaidehi Devi Dasi on the Installation day of Their Lordships Sri Sri Guru Gauranga Gandharvika-Giridhari. Read full article here.
One of the most beautiful festivals we celebrate at the Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math is Sri Nrsimha Chaturdasi, and this is so for many reasons. One is our devotees naturally feel much joy and hope by hearing how the Lord so lovingly protected His devotee, and also by hearing the beautiful devotional qualities of Sri Prahlad Maharaj whose faith is unwavering. Read full article…
Srila Govinda Maharaj describes how Sri Gadadhar Pandit was always like Mahaprabhu’s shadow. He was always with Him. During their childhood they were both students together, so when Mahaprabhu took sannyas Gadadhar Pandit also took sannyas. Likewise when Mahaprabhu decided He would stay in Puri Dham, he also decided to stay in Puri Dham.
Srila Govinda Maharaj explains to the devotees who have come from all over the world, the importance of practicing spiritual life with love & affection and how harmful enviousness will be for the sincere devotee.
When we think about the beautiful pastimes of Lord Ramachandra we remember how our Guru Varga always praise Hanuman’s unflinching devotion. Hanuman’s devotion for Lord Ramachandra has always been a guiding point of what we aspire to as servants of the divine. We have heard that in Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita Sriman Mahaprabhu asks his devotee Murari Gupta, who is Hanuman himself, to embrace the worship of Lord Sri Krishna above all, abandoning any other worship. Murari Gupta tries heart and soul to follow Sriman Mahaprabhu’s advice, praying and praying to the lotus feet of Lord Ramachandra and crying through the night. The next morning, however, when he returns to Sriman Mahaprabhu he desperately prays to his lotus feet to just let him die–for he cannot abandon the service of the lotus feet of his dear Lord Ramachandra:
ragunathera paya muni veciyachon matha
kadhite na pari matha, mane pai vyatha
(Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita: Madhya-lila, 15.149)
“Murari Gupta said, ‘I have sold my head unto the lotus feet of Ragunatha [Lord Ramachandra]. I cannot withdraw my head, for that would give me too much pain.”
Seeing his devotion to Lord Ramachandra, Sriman Mahaprabhu is actually very pleased. He embraces Murari Gupta and praises his beautiful mood, revealing that He was only testing his faith in Lord Ramachandra. Sriman Mahaprabhu then addresses His other devotees,
saksat hanuman tumi sri-rama-kinkara
tumi kene chadibe tanra carana kamala
sei murari-gupta ei–mora prana sama
inhara dainya suni’ mora phataye jivana
(Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita: Madhya-lila, 15.156-157)
“In this way, I congratulated Murari Gupta saying, ‘Indeed, you are the incarnation of Hanuman. Consequently you are the eternal servant of Lord Ramachandra. Why should you give up the worship of Lord Ramachandra and His lotus feet?’ Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu continued, ‘I accept this Murari Gupta as My life and soul. When I hear of his humility, it perturbs My very life.’”
Such is the nature of Lord Hanuman’s devotion. Param Guru Maharaj, Srila Sridhar Maharaj, says that “When it is necessary for Hanuman to burn the golden city of Lanka, his humility is not disturbed. He is as humble as anyone can be in carrying out the order of Lord Ramachandra. He is fully given, wholly surrendered.” He also explains in the Search for Sri Krishna: Reality the Beautiful, that during his comparative study of the devotional world, Narada Muni converses with many devotees including his disciple Prahlada Maharaj, who glorifies Hanuman’s devotion:
“Approaching Prahlada Maharaj, Narada said, ‘I have come to see you, Prahlada, because Lord Shiva also appreciates your position. You are really a devotee of Lord Krishna. You are so fortunate! I have come to see how you are.’ Prahlada Maharaj told him, ‘Gurudeva, you are all in all. Have you come to test me? Whatever fortune I may have, I have received by your grace. I was born in a family of demons, so the demonic qualities have not exclusively left me. Don’t you know that in Naimisaranya, I went to fight with Lord Vishnu? I repent for that, but what can I do? He has given me such a position. I cannot have the privilege of direct service to Him, but only mentally I think of Him. I think that He is everything, but I do not have the great fortune of rendering service to Him. Hanuman is really a devotee. How fortunate he is! What grace he has received! He gave everything to Lord Ramachandra. I envy his situation, but what can I do? God’s dispensation is absolute. We must accept that. Hanuman’s position is really enviable. How attached to his master he is, and what a great magnitude of service he has done for Lord Rama.’
From there, Narada Muni went to visit Hanuman. He approached Hanuman’s residence, playing on his vina the mantram: Rama Rama Rama Rama Rama. When Hanuman suddenly heard the name of his master, Lord Rama, he jumped towards that direction, and even in the sky, embraced Narada Muni. Hanuman said, ‘Oh, who is helping me to hear the sound of Lord Rama’s holy name? After such a long time, the sound of Rama nama is enlivening me. I was dying without hearing the name of Rama.’ Ecstatic tears were running down the eyes of both of them. Then Narada Muni went to Hanuman’s quarters, and began to praise his fortune, saying, ‘How fortunate you are! Oh, Hanuman, you serve Lord Ramachandra so intimately; you do not know anything but your master, Lord Rama. You rendered such great service to Him that your service has become the ideal for the whole of human society.’
Hanuman told Narada, ‘Yes, by His grace I was able to do something, but it is all His grace; I am nothing, I am worthless. But I hear that now Lord Ramachandra has come as Lord Krishna. Although I don’t like any incarnation other than Lord Rama, I have heard from a distance how Krishna, who is Ramachandra Himself, is showing His favor to the Pandavas. The Pandavas are very fortunate because the Lord is dealing with them like an intimate friend. So, I have great appreciation for the fortune of the Pandavas.’ In this way, Hanuman began to praise the Pandavas for their fortune.” Narada Muni then went to meet the Pandavas.
We can can understand from Param Guru Maharaj’s words that the beautiful and sweet example set by Hanuman is instructive for us as aspiring servitors. He served his Lord with full love and affection. In fact he knows nothing but his Lord’s lotus feet and his service is millions and millions of times greater than our meager attempts to serve. Still, on this auspicious day of Rama-navami, we can always pray to the lotus feet of Hanumanji to mercifully help us become better servants of our own Gurudev.
Srila Sridhar Maharaj explains in this excerpt from Sermons of the Guardian of Devotion the beautiful and unique quality of distribution that is found in Sri Chaitanyadev, the most generous Absolute. Read full article…
What is the seva ashram? These days we hear words like ashram, kirtan, bhakti, yoga, very easily and very freely. And to discern what is what may not be so easy since everything sounds like a drop of a mystic, far away India. Yet a part of us can feel we are lacking some substance. Read full article