Wednesday, October 18, 2017

SRI AMRITSAR YATRA PUNJAB INDIA

Sri Amritsar Yatra
cid:image009.jpg@01D32CAF.E6A4B810

The Holy city of Amritsar derives its name from Amrit Sarovar, literally a Pool of Nectar, the holy tank that surrounds the fabulous Golden Temple. Historically also known as Ramdaspur and colloquially as Ambarsar, Amritsar is in Punjab state in north-western India, 25 km east of the border with Pakistan. Amritsar is home to the magnificent Harmandir Sahib, commonly known as the Golden Temple, the spiritual and cultural centre for the Sikh religion. The Golden Temple “gurudwara”, as Sikh temples are called, is a serene place and the holiest of shrines, radiating a calm that makes people bow their heads in reverence. Amritsar was founded in 1577 by the fourth Sikh guru, Guru Ram Das. The fifth Sikh Guru, Guru Arjan, designed Harmandir Sahib to be built in the centre of this holy tank, and upon its construction, installed the Adi Granth, the holy scripture of Sikhism, inside Harmandir Sahib and is regarded as the abode of God's spiritual attribute. This sacred shrine is equally revered by all faiths. Harmandir Sahib Temple is open 24 hours, and inside the Temple there is constant Kirtan.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

UJJAIN YATRA SRI AVANTIKA DHAMA INDIA

Ujjain Yatra
Sri Avantika Dhama

Ujjain is an ancient holy city on the bank of the Kshipra River, today part of the state of Madhya Pradesh in central India. Ujjain is the place where Lord Krishna, along with Balarama and Sudama, received education from Maharishi Sandipani. Ujjain is one of the four sites in India that host the Kumbh Mela (also called the Simhastha Mela), once in 12 years. On the occasion of Simhastha Kumbh Mela the divinity and spiritual aroma of Ujjain meets its highest peak when millions of pilgrims take dips and worship sacred River Kshipra. The Garuda Purana enumerates seven sacred cities (Sapta Moksha Puri) as giver of Moksha (Ayodhya, Mathura, Maya, Kasi, Kanchi, Avantika, Dwarka); Ujjain or Avantika is one among these seven sacred cities. Lord Ramacandra along with Sita-devi and Laxmana also came to Ujjain. Lord Ramacandra performed the ‘Pind-dan’ ceremony for His father Dasaratha at the Ram Ghat on the bank of Kshipra river, which is the famous holy site of Kumbh Mela. This simple and peaceful city is famous for its principal deity Sri Mahakaleshwar who is one of the 12 self-manifested Jyotilingams of Lord Siva. Lord Krishna's principal queen Mitravinda was from Ujjain. Ujjain is one of the 52 Shakti peethas in India. Lord Siva killed demon Tripurasur here in Ujjain. International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) has a gorgeous Temple in Ujjain with exquisitely beautiful deities of Sri Sri Radha Madan Mohan, a flourishing Tulsi garden and attractive lush flower gardens, Goshala, gift shops, restaurant and a Guest House.

There is an interesting pastime behind the sanctity of the city. Its origin is ascribed to the legend of Sagar Manthan (churning of the primordial ocean to discover the pot of nectar). After the nectar was discovered, there was a quarrel between the demigods and the demons to have the nectar first and thus attain immortality. Demigods and demons fought in the sky for the pot of amrita. As Srimad-Bhagavatam (Bhagavata Purana) Canto 8, chapter 9 states, the Supreme Personality of Godhead Lord Sri Krishna incarnated as Mohini-Murti and flew away with the Kumbh of elixir spilling drops of amrita at four places: Allahabad, Haridwar, Ujjain and Nashik. So, a drop of amrit nectar spilled and fell on Ujjain, thus making the city sacred.

Since Ujjain is one of the oldest cities in India, it has been known by many names: Avantika, Padmavati, Kushasthali, Bhagavati, Haranyavati, Kandakatringa, Kumudvati, Pratikalpa, Ujjayani, Udeni Vishala. In the Mahabharata, Ujjayini was the capital of the Avanti Kingdom. To the western astronomers Ujjain was known as "Arin", which was used as the centre of ancient and medieval world maps. One of the most famous kings of Ujjain of his time was king Vikramaditya. He was famous for his kshatriya spirit and also great intelligence. His encounter with the Vetal demon and his special simhasan are well known. The throne of Maharaja Vikramaditya, known as the "seat of judgment (salabanjika throne)" is said to be still there in Ujjain.

Ujjain is 55km (1 hour drive) from Indore. Indore is well connected by Air, Rail, Bus transport.

Important places to visit Ujjain:
1. Sandipani Muni Ashram
2. Narayana Gaon
3. Sri Rama Janardhana Temple
4. Ram Ghat (or Kshipra River Ghat)
5. Sri Nrsimha Ghat Temple
6. Sri Mahakaleshwar Temple
7. ISKCON Ujjain (Hare Krishna) - Sri Sri Radha Madan Mohan Temple
8. Harsiddhi Temple
9. Sri Siddhwat Ghat
10. Sri Bharthari Caves
11. Sri Gadkalika Temple
12. Sri Mangalnath Temple
13. Sri Gopal Mandir
14. Sri Ram Mandir
15. King Vikramaditya Throne
16. ISKCON Indore (Hare Krishna) - Sri Sri Radha Govinda Temple

Monday, August 28, 2017

LALITA-DEVI'S APPEARANCE DAY


Lalita Devi is the best friend of Srimati Radhika, the Supreme Goddess the Eternal consort of Sri Krishna.
She assist the Divine couple in Their daily pastimes of love. She is the principal Gopi among the 8 most intimate friends of Srimati Radharani.
Of the Varistha Gopis, Lalita is the most important, being the leader and controller. She and the other eight principal gopis, are for the most part like the transcendental form of Srimati Radharani, the queen of Vrndavana.
Lalita is famous as Srimati Radharani's constant companion. Her complexion is like the yellow pigment gorocana and her garments are like peacock feathers. Her mother is Saradi-devi and her father is Visoka. Her husband is named Bhairava. He is a close friend of Govardhana-gopa. Her age is 14 years, 8 months and 27 days. Her home is in Yav and her nature is vama-prakhara. In gaura-lila, she has assumed the form of Sri Svarupa Damodara Gosvami.
The beauty of all the other gopis appears to be conserved in the form of Lalita-devi. She is contrary and hot-tempered by nature. In an argument, her mouth becomes bent with ferocious anger and she expertly speaks the most outrageous and arrogant replies. When the arrogant gopis pick a quarrel with Krsna, she is at the forefront of the conflict. When Radha and Krsna meet, she audaciously remains standing a little away from them.
Lalita-devi is full of ecstatic love for the Divine Couple. She is expert at arranging both Their meetings and Their conjugal struggles. Sometimes, for Radha's sake, she offends Lord Madhava. With the help of Purnamasi-devi and the other gopis Lalita arranges for the meetings of Radha and Krsna. She carries the parasol for the Divine Couple, she decorates Them with flowers, and she decorates the cottage where They rest at night and rise in the morning.
On the northern petal of Ananga-sukhada Kunja, there is a beautiful kunja covered with various kinds of flowers and trees. This place is known as Lalitanandada Kunja and it is the color of lightning. The lovely Lalita Sakhi always lives here. She has a beautiful bright yellow (gorocana) complexion and wears a dress the color of peacock feathers. She is adorned with celestial ornaments and personifies the type of bhava known as khandita. She and Sri Krsna are very, very dear to each other and her seva is to bring camphor and tambula to Him.

Monday, August 7, 2017

APPEARANCE DAY OF LORD BALARAMA

Appearance Day of Lord Balarama

August 7

Lord Balarama is the first personal expansion of Lord Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. All other incarnations expand from Him. In Lord Krsna’s pastimes, He plays as Krsna’s older brother. Together Krsna and Balarama enact many pastimes as cowherd boys in the land of Vrndavana.
Who is Lord Balarama?
The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna, is the fountainhead of all incarnations. Lord Balarama is His second body. They are both one and the same identity. They differ only in form. Balarama is the first bodily expansion of Krishna, and He assists in Lord Krishna's transcendental pastimes. He is the source of the entire spiritual world and is the adi-guru, the original spiritual master.
He assumes five other forms to serve Lord Krishna. He Himself helps in the pastimes of Lord Krishna, and He does the work of creation in four other forms called the catur-vyuha (four armed) forms known as Vasudeva, Sankarshana, Pradyumna and Anirudha. He executes the orders of Lord Krishna in the work of creation, and in the form of Lord Sesa He serves Sri Krishna in various ways. In all the forms He tastes the transcendental bliss of serving Krishna. No one can approach Krishna without first getting the mercy of Baladeva.
Descent of Balarama
Whenever Krishna appears in the material world, He is accompanied by His associates and paraphernalia. Five thousand years ago when Krishna descended into the material world, He was first preceded by Baladeva. Only after Baladeva give His mercy did Krishna descend, such is the intimate relationship between Krishna and Baladeva.
When Baladeva appeared as the seventh child in the womb of Devaki, she could understand that this was a divine child and this made her all the more concerned about His safety. Even Kamsa could sense His potency and he became fearful, thinking he may have been tricked by the prophecy that he will be slain only by the eight child of Devaki. At this time Krishna instructed Yogamaya, His internal potency, to transfer the unborn child from the womb of Devaki to that of Rohini, one of the other wives of Vasudeva, who was hiding from Kamsa in the house of Nanda Maharaja in Gokul.
In this way Balarama was born in Gokul under the protection of Nanda Maharaja. Garga Muni the venerable kulguru (family priest) of the Yadu dynasty revealed to Rohini that the child she was carrying was indeed that of her husband Vasudeva. At the time of the name-giving ceremony he named the child Rama, one who gives all pleasures. Referring to the immense strength of the child, Garga Muni predicted that He will also be known as Balarama (bala meaning strength). Since He was forcibly attracted from the womb of Devaki to that of Rohini, He was also be called Sankarshana. As the son of Rohini He was known as Rohini-nandan and as the elder brother of Krishna He was also called Douji.
The form of Lord Balarama

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

VISITING HOLY PLACES JAIPUR YATRA - CITY OF VICTORY

Jaipur Yatra
City of Victory
cid:image002.jpg@01D2D0AF.9017F8B0
Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan (“the Land of Kings”), where Lord Krishna is the centre of devotion, is a very blessed city to be home of many principal Deities that were originally worshipped by the Gosvamis of Vrindavana.

Important Temples in Jaipur:
1. Sri Govinda Dev Ji Temple - Srila Rupa Gosvami worshiped these Deities in Vrindavana.

2. Sri Gopinath Ji Temple - Srila Madhu Pandita Gosvami worshiped these Deities in Vrindavana.
(Useful information: This temple is located in the Topkhanadesh area of Jaipur by Chandpol Bazaar. If you are on Tripoliya Bazaar Road, you go west until you get to Gangori Bazaar Road. Tripoliya Bazaar Road is the main road, right next to the inner wall. Take right turn and go down a few streets and then take left turn and go about a half-km down the road. The temple is on the left.)

3. Sri Damodara Ji Temple - These are the original Deities worshiped by Srila Jiva Gosvami in Vrindavana.
(Useful information: This temple is difficult to find as locals don’t know its location. Location is: Choti choppad and Badi Choppad ke bich ki red light par. Please ask auto-rickshaw to take you to this location.)

4. Sri Vinod Lal Ji Temple - Deities of Radha-Vinoda originally worshiped by Srila Lokanath Dasa Gosvami at the Radha-Gokulananda Temple in Vrindavana.
(Useful information: This temple is difficult to find as locals don’t know its location. Temple is very close (100 meter walkable distance) from Sri Damodara Ji temple i.e. Choti Choppad and Badi Choppad ke bich ki red light par. Please ask auto-rickshaw to take you to this location. It is on shop no. 295. Climb on the staircases and you will reach the temple.)

5. Sri Madan Gopal Temple - Srila Sanatana Gosvami worshiped these Deities.
(Useful information: This temple is difficult to find as locals don’t know its location. This is very close to Sri Damodara Ji temple on the same road. Please ask auto-rickshaw to take to Chaudi sadak near Tadkeswar mandir. Sri Madan Mohan and Sri Madan Gopal Ji were originally at this temple, before Sri Madan Mohan went to Karauli.)

6. Sri Sri Radha Madhava Temple - Srila Jayadeva Gosvami worshiped these Deities.
(Useful information: This temple is in Kanaka Vrindavana (also known as Kanaka Ghati) on Amber road in Jaipur. Kanaka Vrindavana is very close to the famous Jal Mahal.)

7. Sri Natwara Ji Temple - Deities of Amarkuar, Jaya Singh’s sister.
(Useful information: This temple is in Kanaka Vrindavana on Amber road in Jaipur. Temple is very close (next) to Sri Sri Radha Madhava of Srila Jayadeva Gosvami at Kanaka Ghati)

8. Sri Galta Ji Temple
(Useful information: Galta, about 13 km from Jaipur downtown, is a holy site which has very deep significance in the history of the Gaudiya Vaishnava sampradaya. During the attack of the Mughals, Sri Govinda ji was moved from Vrindavana to Galta under the rule of Maharaja Jai Singh. It was here at Galta that Srila Baladev Vidyabhushan established the superiority of the philosophy of Gaudiya Vaishnavism amongst all the other sampradayas, and the place where that transcendental debate happened, and by the grace of Sri Govinda Dev, he was victorious. Great saint Galav also performed his bhajan here.)

9. Sri Govardhana Nath Temple - Maharaja of Jaipur worshipped these Deities.
(Useful information: This temple is next to the boundary wall of Hawa Mahal. It is a big temple. Hawa Mahal is close to Sri Govind Dev Ji temple.)

10. Sri Sri Radha Mahatav Bihari Ji Temple
(Useful information: This temple is near Hawa Mahal, near the Post Office.)

11. Hare Krishna (ISKCON) Jaipur - Sri Sri Giridhari Dauji Temple
(Temple address is: ISKCON Jaipur, Village Dholai, New Sanganer Road, Opp. Vijay Path, Mansarovar, Jaipur. Temple is close to the airport. Temple has a Guest House and Govinda’s restaurant.)

(Karauli is 182 km southeast of Jaipur and 100 km southwest of Mathura. Nearest Railway station Hindon city 29 km which is on western railway.)

After Lord Sri Krishna left this world, Maharaja Yudhisthira, unable to bear the separation from the Lord, also decided to leave the world. Before leaving, he coronated Maharaja Pariksit as the emperor of the world, and the great-grandson of Lord Sri Krishna, Vajranabha, as the king of Mathura. Vajranabha was requested by the great devotees to restore the glories of Vrindavana. So he decided to excavate those holy places of Vrajabhumi in which Lord Sri Krishna had performed His lila, and to install beautiful and sacred Deities in principal places of Vraja dhama. He sat on the banks of the Yamuna under a kalpavriksha tree and prayed to Sri Sri Radha and Krishna. By the auspicious mercy of that kalpavriksha tree, Radha and Krishna’s mercy entered his heart and revealed to him the holy places of Sri Krishna’s lila. Later, when he decided to install Deities, he called Vishwakarma, the architect, of the demigods. The three principal Deities carved by him were Sri Madan Mohan, Sri Govinda and Sri Gopinath.

SPIRITUAL PLACES IN SOUTH OF INDIA SRI VENKATA KSETRA

Tirupati Yatra
Sri Venkata-ksetra
cid:image001.jpg@01D2D2F6.E4566260
Lord Sri Venkateswara Balaji at Tirumala, Tirupati

Tirupati is the place of Lord Sri Venkateswara Swamy, who is the all-pervading Lord of the Universe also known as the Lord of the Seven Hills. Tirupati is one of the holiest places of pilgrimage where Lord is worshiped in the mood of awe and reverence. Tirupati is the home to the world’s richest temple, where thousands of pilgrims visit daily to take darshan of Sri Venkateswara Swamy, also popularly known as Balaji. The magnificent temple of Lord Venkateswara Swamy is located on the 7th peak, Venkatachala (Venkata Hill) of Tirumala. It is by the Lord’s presidency over Venkatachala, that He has received the appellation, Venkateswara (Lord of the Venkata Hill).

‘Vena’ means sins, and ‘kata’ means to remove, to wash away, or to cut. ‘Venkat’, means he who cuts away, or removes all sins. ‘Venkateswara’ means that Lord, who removes all sins from the hearts of His devotees. It is these sinful propensities that stand between us and our ecstatic relationship with the Supreme Lord. When we approach the Supreme Lord, our prayers must be, “Venkateswara, O Lord, please cleanse away our propensity to enjoy separate from You, from within our heart. Remove this tendency for sense gratification and egoism that causes all these sins. And let me be Your unmotivated servant.” Lord is eager to give us, eternal wealth of the spiritual world. He is eager to give us pure bhakti. That treasure will bring about real happiness in our life.

This ancient and sacred temple is mentioned in the Rig Veda and Asthadasa Puranas, most notably the Varaha Purana and Bhavishyottara Purana, which describe Sri Venkateswara as a great bestower of boons. Lord Venkateswara resides in His sanctum sanctorum, which is situated in the main temple of an extensive complex at Tirumala. He is also known here as Balaji, Srinivasa, and Venkatachalapathy.

Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu visited Tirupati during His South India tour in 1510 as stated in Sri Caitanya Caritamrta Madha-lila 1.107: “Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu next arrived at Tirupati and Tirumala, where He saw a four-handed Deity. Then He proceeded toward Venkata Hill.” Purport: “Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura has actually described the chronological order of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s visit. The Tirupati temple is sometimes called Tirupatura. It is a famous holy place of pilgrimage. In pursuance of His name, Venkatesvara, the four-handed Lord Visnu, the Deity of Balaji, with His potencies named Sri and Bhu, is located on Venkata Hill, about 8 miles from Tirupati. This Venkatesvara Deity is in the form of Lord Visnu, and the place where He is situated is known as Venkata-ksetra. There are many temples in southern India, but this Balaji temple is especially opulent. A great fair is held there in the month of Asvina (Sep-Oct). Nimna-tirupati is located in the valley of Venkata Hill. There are several temples there also, among which are those of Govindaraja and Lord Ramacandra.”

SRI AMRITSAR YATRA PUNJAB INDIA

Sri Amritsar Yatra The Holy city of Amritsar derives its name from Amrit Sarovar, literally a Pool of Nectar, the holy tank that su...