Dear devotees and friends,
Dear devotees and friends,
All Glories to Sri Sri Guru and Gauranga!
We had a most beautiful and auspicious three day celebration in Chongqing, China for Srila Param Guru Maharaj’s, Srila Sridhar Maharaj, Vyasa puja!
What can I say? I was completely melted by the sweetness and the earnestness of our devotees there. Under Sripad Yudhamanyu Prabhu Seva Vikram’s guidance, they have created a space for sincere seekers to come and present their questions, honor prasadam and have good association!
One time when Srila Gurudev, Srila Govinda Maharaj was arriving in Caracas, Venezuela he was driving through the tunnels that take you from the airport to the city and seeing them he said that Srila Swami Maharaj, Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupad, had blasted a tunnel through the western ego, just like the ones we were driving through, and thus allowing him, Srila Gurudev, and so many devotees to go through them to reach the west. While sitting at our Ashram in Chongqing I couldn’t help but remember these words of Gurudev and think that by Sripad Yudamanyu Prabhu’s service and surrender he had also blasted a tunnel in China and now we were all going there to witness the sweetness of our devotees.
Srila Gurudev was always so happy with our Chinese mission and it is no wonder when we see how are devotees are carrying on working so hard to have a place to give others some shelter.
For Vyasa puja day, and with Srila Janardan Maharaj’s guidance, we made aloo dam, a curd subji, sak, mango chutney, dahl, rice, pakoras, fried rice, sweet rice and puris, which were some of Srila Sridhar Maharaj’s favorite preparations. Sripad Yudhamanyu Prabhu spoke of how he had come to the math in the days of Srila Sridhar Maharaj and by Srila Gurudev’s mercy he had gotten some connection. Sripad Hasyapriya Prabhu read a beautiful passage from Srila Guru Maharaj’s biography written by Sripad Sagar Maharaj and Srimati Kelikadambanana didi spoke of how our connection comes through the devotees. Afterwards, everybody offered flower petals to Srila Sridhar Maharaj while we sang Sri Guru Charana Padma. It was indeed very sweet!
Throughout our visit many people came to the temple with really sincere questions: How do we practice Krishna Consciousness in our day to day life? What is Bhakti Yoga? What is the best of all yogas? What is the nature of the soul?
It is my good fortune to have some connection with our Chongqing Ashram! All glories to our Chinese Mission and our Chinese devotees!
Scroll all the way down to see photos.
The most Holy Sri Radhastami Festival
My dandavat pranams on this most Holy Day, the Appearance Day of Srimati Radharani!
Today 14 of us accompanied Srila Acharya Maharaj on a bus to celebrate the Holy Radhastami Festival in Sri Hapaniya Dham!
The significance of spending this special day at the Holy Birthplace of His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Rakshak Sridhar dev Goswami Maharaj is not lost on us.
The line of Rupa Goswami, the line of Seva to Srimati Radharani, which is the line of das anu das anu das, was embodied wholly in Srila Guru Maharaj and we are celebrating and honoring the festival here, in His Holy Birthplace.
The land of sweet waters is also the land of sweet breezes today. The air is heavy with the approaching rains and sticky and muggy, but as we drove there, it cooled down and when we departed the bus and entered the beautiful temple grounds, the breezes started and relief came.
The small Nat Mandir was filled and Srila Acharya Maharaj started the bhajans. The sentimental fool that I am–I love this day for many reasons–but I remember coming to Srila Guru Maharaj and hearing that this Name of Sri Radha is so special, so Divine and so Intimate, that only once a year on Her Divine Appearance are we to chant Her verses. So, I wait and when the chanting starts, I am loudly singing like Madhurapriya Didi! Most of the local devotees are staring at me and I don’t even care. All these songs are so special and when Srila Ashram Maharaj leads the “Radhikastakam,” I am remembering Srila Guru Maharaj even more as that is the only tape we had for years to listen to of His Divine Grace’s beautiful singing. Each bhajan is more and more special and I think how is it that I am here and with these special devotees and on this day? Well, that is a no brainer–by the Divine Mercy of Srila Gurudev! In His infinite wisdom and kindness, he is allowing me into this pastime of “service at a time of need.” I am ever grateful and humbled to be allowed to be here.
Srlia Acharya Maharaj begins speaking by telling us all of the finding of this special temple. He reminds us how Srila Gurudev begged Srila Sridhar Maharaj to just show him where it was, and when this spot was located, the most beautiful temple was built. (I was so happy and honored to see Yudhamanyu Prabhu here and remember his collecting party that helped to fund this very temple). Srila Acharya Maharaj went on to say that at that time, many of Srila Guru Maharaj’s Godbrothers came to this place and declared it non-different from Sri Barshana Dham!
After that, Srila Ashram Maharaj spoke of the line of Sri Rupa, which we all know was Srila Guru Maharaj’s special identification, and the fact that we are all servants. In this line, we bow to Seva Personified, who is Srimati Radharani. And this is our identity as servants of the servants of the servants.
Srila Janardan Maharaj spoke on an incredible and deep level touching the point that yesterday was Sri Lalita saptami and how Sri Lalita cannot tolerate even one drop of sweat on the brow of Srimati Radharani. Her whole being is to serve Srimati Radharani. He reiterated that our line is one of service and we have no other life aside from serving. He then said, that is why I am here. I had no other reason to come. But, I want to show my support for Srila Acharya Maharaj. I support what he is doing and standing for and I cannot tolerate this anti party behavior. This is not the time of year that I usually come, but basically, the call was made and I am here. And now (he did not say, but because of him and his strength, courage and fortitude) Srila Ashram Maharaj, Yudhamanyu Prabhu, Sanatani, Madhuchanda and we are all here for the same reason. We are servants.
This was such an intimate and special program. Yudhamanyu Prabhu said it was a watershed moment, a time when you see the markings of historical change. The beautiful sweet mood was overflowing.
Of course no report is complete without mentioning the prasadam! Super opulent! Three different sabjis, kittrie, fries, dahl that was a little sweet, rasagulas and sweet rice! All delicious! All served sweetly! All happy!
I’m including some photos with this report. All Glories to Sri Radhastami! All Glories to Sri Hapaniya Dham! All Glories to Srila Acharya Maharaj! All Glories to Srila Ashram Maharaj! All Glories to Srila Janardan Maharaj! All Glories to Sripad Yudhamanyu Prabhu Seva Vikram! All Glories to Pitambar Prabhu! All Glories to Madhuchanda, LaksmiKanti, Krsna PremaTarangini, Sruti, Indira, and Sudevi Devi Dasis as well as Gadadhara , Nilamani and Purnapragna Prabhus.
All Glories to the beautiful devotees of Sri Hapaniya Dham!
My dandavat pranams to all the devotees and please forgive my offences and of course, paraphrasing of the most beautiful and sweet words of our Gurus.
Scroll down for photos from the first leg of our preaching tour this summer. They were taken in April and May 2016 all over Northern California as a small group of devotees from our mission made a point of visiting old and new friends. Since then we’ve been many more places and are still on the road.
Sripad Tyagi Maharaj and Abhinava Sundar Prabhu from Australia are our inspirational kirtan leaders. Shanti Moyi joined us from Italy. Several ladies from the San Jose and Santa Cruz temples joined us as well including Divya Shakti, Kalindi, and Vimala Devi Dasis. Braja Mohini Devi Dasi from Salt Lake City is dedicated to organizing these outreach programs. To follow the tour and see more recent photos keep up with her FB page Bhakti Connect.
Cinmoy Dev Das
All Glories To Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga
Sripad Bhakti Ranjan Madhusudan Maharaj and the devotees have recently returned from a 10-day preaching tour starting in Arcata, California and ending in Fairfax, California at the house of Anukulchandra Prabhu and his wife Jenna. We also visited Eugene and Ashland in Oregon as well as Chico, Davis, and Penngrove in California where Maharaj distributed the mercy of Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga to many sincere seekers. We would sincerely like to thank all the wonderful people who helped to make this tour a great success.
P.S. Click on the images below to see them at full size.
This Autumn Sripad Hasyapriya Prabhu visited Thailand, China, and India. Here are some photos from the celebration for Srila Bhakti Rakshak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj’s Divine Appearance Day with Yudhamanyu Prabhu and the Chinese devotees in Chengdu.
vande guroh sri-caranaravindam
I worship the lotus feet of the Divine Master, who is the ocean of auspicious qualities. Just to deliver all planes of life that are suffering in the forest fire of the material world, he, as the rain-cloud of mercy, melts to shower down the waters of compassion.
This past winter Braja Mohini Didi hosted a class for the young devotees of our community with Vishakha Didi. These pictures were taken by Braja Mohini Didi.
Page two of pictures from Bhakti Pavan Janardan Maharaj and Bhakti Ranjan Madhusudan Maharaj’s recent visit to China. These pictures are of the two new initiates of Bhakti Pavan Janardan Maharaj.
Pictures provided by Nilamani Prabhu
Page one of pictures from B.P. Janardan Maharaj and B.R. Madhusudan Maharaj’s recent visit to China. Yudhamanyu Prabhu Seva Vikram welcomed them to China along with Nilamani Prabhu and the Chinese devotees. More pictures to follow, including pictures of the initiations of two new devotees.
Pictures provided by Nilamani Prabhu
On Sunday, February 1st we celebrated Sri Nityananda Prabhu’s Divine Appearance Day. The festival included lots of kirtan and reading about the divine qualities and pastimes of Lord Nitai from the holy scriptures Sri Chaitanya Bhagavat and Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita. The program was wrapped up with a roaring arotik for Their Lordhips Sri Sri Guru Gauranga Gandharvika Giridhari and a sumptuous pradadam feast.
All glories to Sri Nityananda Prabhu!
All glories to Sri Nityanada Trayodasi!
All glories to Srila Bhakti Pavan Janardan Maharaj!
All glories to Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj!
All glories to all the world devotees!
Nitai Gaura Premanande!
Here are some pictures from the Thanksgiving day lunch at the Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Seva Ashram in Soquel, California. We were very thankful this year to have the association of Madhusudan Maharaj.
An unbelievable feast was prepared for the Deities and Their prasadam was welcome by everyone!
Tofu turkey, gravy, stuffing, mashed potatoes, fresh cranberry salsa, candied yams, green beans with slivered almonds, cream corn, raspberry trifle, pumpkin pie with whipped cream, buttered rolls and Martinelli apple cider!
Pictures provided by Krsnapriya Didi.
Here are some pictures from the Christmas lunch at the Ashram. This year many devotees participated in cooking and preparing a prep for the opulent feast. We also had our own Mrs. Clause at the temple with Sureshwari didi who gave out presents to all the devotees!
Pictures provided by Swarnangii didi.
Another successful kids camp has come and gone. Under the affectionate guidance of Srila Bhakti Pavan Janardan Maharaj and with Braja Mohini didi facilitating the event everything went smoothly. Here is the last installment of pictures from the four day festival at the Ashram commencing on the Grand Appearance Day Festival of Lord Balaram. We are looking forward to another kids camp festival next summer.
Here are more pictures from the annual kids camp held each summer at the Seva Ashram. This past summer Braja Mohini didi, along with the help of many devotees, facilitated the camp.
This past summer we had another auspicious gathering of vaisnava families coming to the Ashram for the annual kids camp. Braja Mohini Devi Dasi graciously facilitated the four day camp festivities. Of course many devotees stepped up to offer their knowledge and expertise for the benefit of all the children (and adults!) involved. All of this was possible under the affectionate guidance of our beloved Srila Bhakti Pavan Janardan Maharaj. A huge thank you to all who participated!
Thanks to everyone who worked so hard to nourish all the fruit trees at the orchard nourishment work party on July 4th and 5th. And a special appreciation for those devotees who came back the second day, including Dinartihara Prabhu who is not shown in the photos below but has been working hard.
Special thanks as well to the cooks who prepared a feast for a couple dozen people including two different kinds of coleslaw, corn of the cob, vegetarian Bhima burgers, ice cream sandwiches, fries, and more!
An excerpt from Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita about the pastimes of cleansing the Gundicha Temple, Madhya Lila 12.
“Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu washed and cleansed the Gundica temple with His devotees and associates. In this way He made the temple as cool and bright as His own heart, and thus He made the place befitting for Lord Sri Krishna to sit.”
Here at the Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Seva Ashram in Soquel California, the devotees enthusiastically joined in to clean the Lord’s temple…
The devotees all gathered on November 29th, 2013 at the Soquel Seva Ashram to celebrate Thanksgiving together and honor a wonderful Prasadam feast.
The Bhakti Yoga Club meets every Wednesday at Cabrillo College. Braja Mohini Devi organizes this weekly sankirtan program with many of the other devotees helping. They distribute prasadam, chant, read, and speak informally to the students, many of whom have visited our Ashram for the Sunday Feast program.
Hemant Prabhu has been helping our Seva Ashram for many years. With Sureshwari Devi’s encouragement, he and his family invited Srila Janardan Maharaj and all the devotee to his home for an evening of Kirtan, Krishna Katha and Prasadam.