Pannihati Chida Dahi Utsav – 15th June 2019

Pannihati is a village located on the banks of River Ganges near Kolkatta. Chida means chipped-rice and Dahi means curds. Pannihati Chida-Dahi Utsava means a festival which was celebrated by one of the six primary disciples of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami on the banks of River Ganges in Pannihati with preparations made out of Chida-Dahi.

Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami was a devotee of the highest order. He displayed a spirit of renunciation and detachment from the material world at a very early age. He wanted to leave home and join Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in His mission. But Chaitanya Mahaprabhu asked him not to do so and assured that Krishna would deliver him soon from the clutches of maya. Two years later, Nityananda Prabhu came to Panihati and stayed there.
At Panihati, he saw Nityananda Prabhu sitting on a rock under a banyan tree on the banks of the River Ganges. He was surrounded by many devotees. Raghunatha dasa was hesitant to approach the Lord and paid obeisances from a distance. But some of the devotees noticed him and informed Nityananda Prabhu. Nityananda Prabhu called Raghunatha dasa and said “Raghunatha dasa! You are hiding like a thief. Now I have caught hold of you. Come here. I shall punish you today.’’ Then Lord Nityananda forcibly caught him and put His lotus feet on Raghunatha’s head. He ordered Raghunatha to celebrate a big festival and serve all the devotees – with yogurt and chipped rice.

Raghunatha dasa immediately sent his men to the nearby villages to purchase all kinds of eatables. They brought chipped rice (chida), milk, yogurt, sweetmeats, bananas, sugar and other eatables. The chipped rice was soaked in milk. Half of that was then mixed with yogurt, sugar and bananas. The remaining half was mixed with condensed milk and flavoured with clarified butter and camphor. All the devotees received two earthen pots, one with chipped rice mixed with yogurt and another with chipped rice mixed with condensed milk.

The Chida-dahi Mahotsava is celebrated every year in commemoration of this wonderful pastime. This festival is also known as Danda Mahotsava (the Festival of Punishment).

Every year on the occasion of Pannihati Chida Dahi Utsava, along with the Deities of Sri Sri Gaura Nitai more than 400 devotees from ISKCON, Mysuru go on a pilgrimage to a holy place on banks of sacred rivers like Cauvery, Kapila, Kabini etc…to celebrate the festival. Srila Prabhupada and Sri Sri Gaura Nitai are taken on a boat ride (Theppotsava), followed by a dip in the holy river. The Deities are then given a Grand abhishekam with milk, curds, ghee, honey, jaggery water and fruit juices. Sri Sri Gaura Nita are then bathed with Nava Kalasha’s filled with water from sacred rivers all over India. After the Abhishekam, while the Deities are offered varieties of preparations are made by mixing chipped rice with condensed milk, yogurt, sugar, bananas, mangoes, there is a discourse elucidating the pastimes of Pannihati Chida Dahi Utsava . After honoring feast Chida-Dahi Maha Prasadam, all the devotees visit some more holy temples before returning to Mysuru.

Sri Krishna Janmashtami

The day when Lord Krishna took birth is called as Janmastami. The Janmastami festival is celebrated by millions of people every year all over the world. During the birth of Lord Krishna, the whole atmosphere became filled with prosperity and joy. The trees were laden with fruits and flowers.

The rivers were overflowing with water, and the lakes were beautifully decorated with lotus flowers. The birds in the forest began to sing with sweet voices, and the peacocks began to dance. The wind blew very pleasantly, carrying the aroma of different flowers. All the people’s minds became filled with peace and joy.

The denizens of the heavenly planets began to sing, offer prayers and dance on the auspicious occasion. The heavenly residents being pleased also began to shower flowers. At the seashore there was the sound of mild waves, and above the sea there were clouds in the sky which began to thunder very pleasingly.

Amidst such a wonderful atmosphere, Lord Krishna in order to protect his devotees took birth as the eighth child of Devaki and Vasudeva, bringing boundless joy to both of them.
Srila Prabhupada on Lord Krishna’s appearance
“Although the Lord appears on schedule, namely at the end of the Dvapara-yuga of the twenty-eighth millennium of the seventh Manu in one day of Brahma, He has no obligation to adhere to such rules and regulations, because He is completely free to act in many ways at His will. He therefore appears by His own will whenever there is a predominance of religiosity and a disappearance of true religion.” – BG 4.7, Purport
Sri Krishna Janmashtami Celebrations begin at ISKCON, Mysuru from early morning 4.15 am onwards and continue up to 1 am the next day. Sri Krishna Balarama, the presiding Deities of ISKCON Mysuru are be bedecked in a special decoration for the occasion. Darshan is open throughout the day. The special attraction during Janmashtami celebration is the elaborate Maha-abhisheka to Sri Krishna Balarama which begins at 10 pm and culminates with Maha Mangala arati & Sankirtana at 12 Midnight, coinciding with the time of Krishna’s birth.

As part of the Janmashtami celebrations, throughout the day many singers perform Sangeethotsava seva during festival in the main temple hall. In the evening, a devotional musical concert and a special dance drama is arranged based on pastimes of Lord Krishna. A special feature of the festival is the HARINAM MANTAP, were thousands of visiting devotees are introduced to the chanting of the Hare Krishna maha mantra.

 

Shilanyas

SHILANYAS, foundation stone for the Nava Brindavan Dham, ISKCON Mysuru Cultural Centre was laid by Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Rudabhai Vala on April 2. Designed in neo-classical style, the 60 meter structure of the temple will integrate the old charm of Hoysala architecture and ultra-modern hi-tech architectural forms, creating an exotic blend of ethnicity and abstractness.
Speaking on this historic event, His Excellency mentioned that “in these days of degrading values, the time tested support of culture and heritage are the recourse for the peaceful existence of humanity. Thus it is of utmost importance that ISKCON has conceived to present this centre as a cultural project for the re-spiritualisation of the entire human society.” Further he added that “the absence of this essential element in the modern society, has created a vacuum, a sense of dissatisfaction and unrest. People are unable to find inner fulfillment and the ever increasing need for peace and happiness. It was this condition that was rectified by the efforts of His Divine Grace A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Through his teachings Srila Prabhupada has emphasized the need of encouraging cultural as well as spiritual growth, through such centres, so that society can fulfill its urge for everlasting happiness and peace”.
Sriman Madhu Pandit Das, President of ISKCON Bangalore and Chairman of Akshaya Patra Foundation presiding the ceremony said that “Nava Vrindavan Dham will be an abode of the Lord, wherein visitors will learn to look at our heritage from a very rational and a scientific point of view. The Nava Brindavan Dham cultural center though architecturally a monument, the essence of its existence is to promote learning of  Indian philosophy through scriptures like Bhagavad-gita, Bhagavatam and other Puranas and promoting traditional Indian arts, dance, music. Nava Brindavan Dham, besides being a cultural center will be hub for many more social initiatives like Akshaya Patra.” 
Appealing everyone to support this great cause, he also announced on setting up free residential schools for 50000 underprivileged children all over the country, under which a school to house 2000 children will be set up in Mahadevapura, near Mysuru as yet another social initiative of ISKCON.”

PWD and Mysuru District In-charge Minister Dr.H.C. Mahadevappa, Her Highness Dr. Pramoda Devi Wadiyar, MLA M.K. Somashekar, Mayor M.J. Ravi Kumar, ISKCON Hubballi President Rajiv Lochan Das, President of Hare Krishna Movement Chennai, Stoka Krishna Dasa and ISKCON Mysuru President Jai Chaitanya Dasa were present.

After the foundation laying ceremony, an enthralling music performance “Krishnanjali” was rendered by Vijay Yesudas, son of legendary singer K.J. Yesudas.

Sri Ramanavami

Lord Ramachandra – the worshipable Deity of millions, the ideal son, husband, brother, master, king, administrator and above everything, the direct incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead appeared on the ninth day (Navami) of the waxing moon (Shukla Paksha) of Chaitra masa in Treta yuga. The appearance day of Lord Rama, Sri Rama Navami will be celebrated in many parts of the world as SRI RAMA NAVAMI

The Srimad Bhagavatam and the Ramayana give us vivid portrayals of the state of affairs during Lord Rama’s reign that they can make us hanker for such a situation just by hearing those narrations. The following description of the rule of Lord Rama from the Srimad Bhagavatam can fill anyone with wonder and delight.

“jugopa pitrvad ramo
menire pitaram ca tam”

“After accepting the throne of the state, Lord Rämachandra cared for the citizens exactly like a loving father, and the citizens, being fully satisfied and pleased, accepted Him as their father. When Lord Ramachandra, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, was the King of this world, all bodily and mental suffering, disease, old age, bereavement, lamentation, distress, fear and fatigue were completely absent. There was even no death for those who did not want it. During the reign of Lord Ramachandra the forests, the rivers, the hills and mountains, the states, the seven islands and the seven seas were all favorable in supplying the necessities of life for all living beings.” (Srimad Bhagavatam Canto 9 chapter 10)

The main significance behind the celebration of this festival is that the character of Lord Rama signifies someone who follow the right path against all odds in life. He was also the true embodiment of humanity. So celebration of Ram Navami is a special way to remember all the noble deeds performed by Lord Rama.

At ISKCON, Mysuru on the occasion of Sri Rama Navami, the Deities of Sri Sri Krishna Balarama are decorated as Rama and Lakshmana. The evening program begins from 6 pm onwards with Sri Rama Taraka Homa, followed by a special Video presentation on the pastimes of Lord Ramachandra. A special song which narrates the entire Ramayana “NAMA RAMAYANA” is also sung. The program ends with the chanting of Sri Rama ashtottara shata namavali, arati with sankirtan and prasadam.

All modern research finally comes back to the Vedic conclusions.

Excerpts from Srimad Bhagavatam 7.7.40 class given by H G Rasika Shekara Prabhu on 21st August, 2016
Translation : It is learned from Vedic literature that by performing great sacrifices one may elevate himself to the heavenly planets. However, although life on the heavenly planets is hundreds and thousands of times more comfortable than life on earth, the heavenly planets are not pure [nirmalam], or free from the taint of material existence. The heavenly planets are also temporary, and therefore they are not the goal of life. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, however, has never been seen or heard to possess inebriety. Consequently, for your own benefit and self-realization, you must worship the Lord with great devotion, as described in the revealed scriptures.
  1. Prahlad urging all his classmates to take up KRISHNA consciousness seriously by serving the Lord and derive the highest standard of happiness and also solve all their material problems.
  2. Everyone in the material world is trying to engage in different attempts to increase their standard of happiness, but all their attempts are resulting only in misery.
  3. All modern research finally comes back to the Vedic conclusions.. For example…Companies are now advertising customers to go back to charcoal toothbrush and toothpaste as it was used in the vedic times. Therefore Shastras should be used as manual & guiding tool for mankind.
  4. Lord appears as many incarnations to protect this knowledge of the Vedas..e.g. Lord came as Matsya avatar to protect the vedas from devastataion, Lord came as Hayagriva to bring Vedas stolen by demons madhu and kaitbha.
  5. There are certain class of people called Karma kandis..who read the Vedas, follow the Vedas to advance to heavenly planets, but miss the ultimate conclusion of Vedas of surrendering to Krishna. Even life in heavenly planets is temporary and full of miseries. All post occupied by demigods are also temporary.
  6. More a devotee sacrifices material things, more he gets mercy of the Lord. A renunciant is called Maharaj, because he has become master of his senses and has the treasure of transcendental knowledge and happiness.
  7. Tue religion doesn’t propagate violence, violence is propagated only when necessary. But, when people were killing a lot of animals based on wrong understanding of Vedas, Lord appeared as Lord Buddha and totally disregarded Vedas and preached Non-Violence as the topmost religion..
  8. But the Vedas are central to Vedic Culture, so  in order to bring back the Vedas, the Lord appeared as Shankaracharya and preached “Bhaja Govindam”.
  9. Greatest contribution of SRIMAD Bhagavatam. All kinds of tapa-trayas(three-fold miseries) will be removed and all material tribulations is ended. It takes a soul and makes him connect with KRISHNA.
  10. Dissatisfaction in life becomes of because of not being connected to Supreme Lord who is fully satisfied.
  11. Srila Prabhupada’s greatest contribution was translating the Vedic literatures to English language applicable to the current modern context.
  12. By hearing SRIMAD Bhagavatam from the mouth of pure devotee, philosophy of KRISHNA consciousness is deeply ingrained in the heart.
  13. Guru can see beyond the externals and guide the disciple about the future reality. By coming in touch with a pure devotee, one gets a clue to go back to Godhead.
  14. Nature of this world anityam asukham, dukhalaya ashashvatam.
  15. Self-realization means understanding KRISHNA and our relationship with Him.
  16. The best purpose of Vedic literature is served by chanting Hare Krishna as recommended by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Anybody who is doing this is called a Vedantist, one who has understood the ultimate conclusion of the Vedas.
  17. Chanting and devotional service is not an option, one has to take up Krishna consciousness seriously for his own benefit to come out of the repeated cycle of birth and death.
  18. By regular hearing and focusing on the ultimate goal, one does not worry too much about day to day material disturbances.

Envious of others devotional service will dry up our devotional service.

Excerpts from Srimad Bhagavatm 3.15.19 by H G Rajiv Locan Prabhu.
“Although flowering plants like the mandära, kunda, kurabaka, utpala, campaka, arëa, punnäga, nägakeçara, bakula, lily and pärijäta are full of transcendental fragrance, they are still conscious of the austerities performed by tulasé, for tulasé is given special preference by the Lord, who garlands Himself with tulasi leaves.”
  1. In spiritual world even birds and flowers are conscious of service to KRISHNA.
  2. Service attitude is central in spiritual world. Training now in service attitude very important to go Back to Godhead.
  3. Attitude of service very important in spiritual world, when other devotees are rendering better service than me, still no enviousness and jealousy.
  4. Srila Prabhupada had to face so many envious people..American government, Indian government and his own God brothers. But, he was not envious of them.
  5. Devotees should not be envious of those who are envious towards them.
  6. “Appreciating other devotees service will flourish our devotional service.”
  7. “Envious of others devotional service will dry up our devotional service.”
  8. In spiritual world there are many fragrant and beautiful flowers, still they glorify Tulasi maharani.
  9. If living entity becomes envious, he can’t get out of this material world for millions and millions of birth.
  10. Hiranyakashipu became so envious, that he was ready to kill his own own.
  11. Krishna spoke to Arjuna because he was non-envious.(Anasuya). So, was given the most confidential knowledge that Krishna is Supreme Personality of Godhead and we have to serve Him.
  12. Mayavadi’s are envious of KRISHNA. They want to become one with God.
  13. In spiritual world there is healthy competition. Spiritual consciousness makes them feel inspired by seeing other devotees doing better service. Vaikuntha world means I should try more and more to please KRISHNA. Humility is very important and appreciated by the Lord.
  14. Envy can be used on non- devotees. When somebody criticizes KRISHNA, we have to become hard and harsh.
  15. When devotees become angry on non-devotees it for their good.
  16. A devotee should be so well versed that he should destroy all arguments, or cut off his head.
  17. In transcendental world a devotee is not envious of other devotee because of excellence.
  18. In spiritual everything is absolute, no subordination..but out of humility devotees accept subordination.
  19. When we accept our inferior position, it is not because of envy.
  20. When a disciple asked Srila Prabhupada –  Why Everybody loves Srila Prabhupada? , He replied – Because he loved everybody.
  21. A devotee can check how much he is advanced, by seeing how much he has become free from enviousness.
  22. Lord.or spiritual master doesn’t see quantity of service, but how much it was done in a pure consciousness.

Preaching is the TAPASYA for devotees

Excerpts from Srimad Bhagavatam 7.9.26 class by H G Jai Chaitanya Prabhu given on 11th February 2017.
Translation : “O my Lord, O Supreme, because I was born in a family full of the hellish material qualities of passion and ignorance, what is my position? And what is to be said of Your causeless mercy, which was never offered even to Lord Brahma, Lord Shiva or the goddess of fortune, Lakshmi? You never put Your lotus hand upon their heads, but You have put it upon mine.”
  1. Prahlad offering his gratitude to Lord Narasimha for the causeless mercy bestowed upon him, which was not even offered to BRAHMA, Shiva and Lakshmi
  2. The Supreme Lord is called the original creator, because Brahma initiates only the creation process, but doesn’t know how creation is happening…Similarly, our actions in the material world are only a starter, we are not aware how results are manifesting….
  3. Mode of ignorance doesn’t kick start anything good for the body, it gives more and more foolishness and misery to the body. Ignorance cover is very thick.
  4. Only in Sattva Guna does all Godliness comes and also knowledge about something beyond the body.
  5. “Perfection” is not quality of Sattva Guna, it is born out of Rajo guna..example.. (Duryodhana was a perfect administrator, Westerner’s are good in administration and management…)
  6. For a child born from a Sattvic womb, Sattvic Brahminical family…has all the necessary facility of becoming a Good Brahmana.
  7. Prahlad telling that his body and mind is not even sattvic, but still he came a recipient of Lord’s mercy. This was because Prahlad was a preacher…
  8. Devotees go to people in Rajo and Tamo guna..and glorify the Lord…therefore devotees are given extra mercy…because they are preaching..they are given more mercy than Lakshmi, Brahma and Shiva..
  9. Narasimha is the deity of the Preachers….Lord doesn’t see the perfection in preachers,..
  10. Srila Prabhupada’ followers have special mercy, because Srila Prabhupada declared anybody chanting 16 rounds, following 4 regulative principles and staying in the movement will be taken Back to Godhead.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
  11. In Gaudiya Vaishnavas.. we belong to Nityananda Parampara…the preaching Parampara…and the most merciful parampara…
  12. Difference between Chaitanya and Nityananda…One is declared Mahavadanyaya and other is undeclared Mahavadanyaya.
  13. Sometimes ISKCON is criticized for want of scholars, Vedic authorities, Deity worshippers,…that is not ISKCON is meant for…ISKCON is meant to preach the glories of the Lord.
  14. Devotees who are preaching to families,Folk, Congregation… have to deal with a lot of problems..Will get the mercy of the Lord. Because, the Lord is duty bound to honor the words of His Pure Devotees.
  15. Prahlad is not surprised with Lord’s mercy with pride, but with humility.
  16. Prahlad qualities…innocent, daring, tolerant, humility,…
  17. Material happiness is not good, because people who give this happiness are themselves not happy…example…Demigods sanctioning material opulences are themselves not happy and astrologers don’t even know about their future…
  18. Nothing is achieved without Tapasya…For Devotees preaching…is their Tapasya…Traveling, Staying in uncomfortable places,meeting with puffed up people, convincing them do something for the Lord, without getting pride, living amidst maya…Going out for preaching should be taken as Sadhana.
  19. Association with material world..is poisonous…It is very important for devotees to get purified daily by Chanting, Reading, Hearing & Serving devotees
  20. Devotees should Cultivate taste for holy name and have compassion for living entities by preaching.
  21. Devotees way of seeing Rich people…Rich person is not using the opulence provided for a a higher purpose, but will suffer in the future for his current actions.

Everybody’s CSR responsibility.. – Chanting, Service and Reading.

Excerpts from Srimad Bhagavatam 7.9.20 lecture by H G Rasika Shekara Prabhu.

Translation :My dear Lord, everyone in this material world is under the modes of material nature, being influenced by goodness, passion and ignorance. Everyone—from the greatest personality, Lord Brahmä, down to the small ant—works under the influence of these modes. Therefore everyone in this material world is influenced by Your energy. The cause for which they work, the place where they work, the time when they work, the matter due to which they work, the goal of life they have considered final, and the process for obtaining this goal—all are nothing but manifestations of Your energy. Indeed, since the energy and energetic are identical, all of them are but manifestations of You.”

  1. Everybody in the material world from topmost personality Brahma to bottom most living entity ant are influenced by three modes of nature. These three modes are the energies of Lord.
  2. Vision of a devotee – Energy and Energetic are always identical. Devotee sees only the Lord in all activities of living entities.
  3. Srila Prabhupada – A class of scientists studying nature have figured out lot of natural laws. But, they have become blind to the fact that there is A Law-maker behind these laws. Scientists have captured by effects, but are unaware of the cause.
  4. No phenomenon in this world is out of control, everything is controlled by the Lord. Out of control means… out of my control, for every action happens by the inspiration of the Supreme Lord from within.
  5. Inspiration for actions are given by the Lord, in accordance to the mentality of the individual. Similarly, thoughts are also inspired by the Lord based on past desires of the individual.
  6. Based on Upadhis(designation)…mentality of the individual is cultivated.
  7. Prahlad was a Uttama adhikari class of devotee.
  8. The three classes of devotees are.
    1. Kanishta adhikari – Have Feeble faith… Komala Shraddha. Only see themselves and the Lord.
    2. Madhyama adhikari – Have Full faith in the Lord. Even though not well versed in Scriptures, but have full faith in the scriptures. They make friends only with devotees, Feel compassionate to the ignorant and preach to them. They avoid associating with those who are envious in nature.
    3. Uttama adhikari – Have firm faith in the Lord. He doesn’t discriminate, he sees everybody as serving the Lord in different capacities.He preaches vigorously to make everybody as devotee. He  comes to the platform of madhyama adhikari to preach.
  9. Specialty of an Acharya…to convert what is material into spiritual.
  10. Chanting is a process to associate with KRISHNA and allow the pure consciousness of the Lord to influence our mentality.
  11. Everybody’s CSR responsibility.. – Chanting, Service and Reading.
  12. Srila Prabhupada created ISKCON center’s to give people a glimpse of spiritual happiness.
  13. Reading Srila Prabhupada books are meant to give relief to the mind from the pains of material existence.

Gita Jayanthi

Srimad Bhagavad Gita – the very name arouses in the hearts of millions an intense feeling of awe, reverence, and devotion. Unparalleled in its depth of content, Bhagavad Gita gives testimony as a standing monument to the greatest civilization and culture of the past. Bhagavad Gita is considered the most important philosophical treatise on the mysteries of the Absolute Truth holding a key to solve all the ills and problems of mankind. Although the classic dialogue between the Supreme Lord and His devotee friend Arjuna on the battlefield of Kurukshetra took place just before the onset of the Mahabharata war 5,000 years ago, the Gita is applicable and potent at all times, for all people under all circumstances.

The great discourse was spoken by Lord Krishna on the day known as Mokshada Ekadashi. Every year, this day is celebrated in many parts of India as the Gita Jayanthi utsava.

At ISKCON, Mysuru on this auspicious day, hundreds of devotees gather together to recite all the 700 verses from the 18 Chapters of the Bhagavad Gita in a lead and follow manner.