Sunday, December 10, 2017

SANT TUKARAMA’S DEHU DHAMA AND PUNE YATRA VISITING HOLY PLACES

Sant Tukarama’s Dehu Dhama
and Pune Yatra
cid:image005.jpg@01D36553.6E37D4C0
Sant Tukarama

Sant Tukarama (AD 1609-1650) was a saint-poet of towering stature. Tukarama was among the most prominent saints to have come out of the holy land of Maharashtra. He hailed from the village of Dehu, near Pune, and was born in the Warkari community who are devotees of Lord Vitthala (or Panduranga). Srila Prabhupada occasionally referred to this great saint, “The great saint of Maharashtra known as Saint Tukarama was also initiated by the Lord Caitanya. Saint Tukarama, after initiation by the Lord, over-flooded the whole of the Maharashtra Province with the sankirtana movement and the transcendental flow is still rolling on in the southwestern part of the great Indian peninsula.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam - Introduction)

Thursday, November 16, 2017

MADURAI YATRA MATHURA OF SOUTHERN INDIA (DAKSINA-MATHURA)

Madurai Yatra
Mathura of Southern India (Daksina-mathura)

cid:image002.jpg@01D353F4.466FBD10

Southern Mathura (Daksina-mathura), presently known as Madurai, is situated on the banks of the Vaigai River and is one of South India’s great temple towns. Madurai is synonymous with the celebrated Meenakshi Temple. On the day the city was to be named, as Lord Siva blessed the land and its people, divine nectar (Madhu) was showered on the city from Lord Siva’s matted locks. This city was henceforth known as Madhurapuri. During His South India tour in 1510 AD, Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu visited Madurai twice, once while going to Rameswaram after meeting the brahmana Ramdasa Vipra, who was a staunch devotee of Lord Ramacandra. The next time was on the way back from Rameswaram with a copy of the Kurma Purana scripture, which had a verse stating that Ravana had kidnapped an illusory Sita, and that the real Sita was safely hidden by Agnideva. Lord Caitanya personally gave this copy to Ramdasa Vipra to dispel his doubts about mother Sita’s kidnapping.

A great Vaishnava, Srila Narayana Bhatta Gosvami, who was a very close associate of Srila Sanatana Gosvami appeared in Madurai. the identity of Srila Narayana Bhatta Gosvami is revealed as Narada Muni. Lord Balarama visited Madurai during His holy pilgrimage [Srimad-Bhagavatam Canto 10 chapter 79 verses 11-15]. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura visited Madurai in the year 1904 and collected all the information about the rites and rules of Vedic tridanda Vaishnava sannyasa from a Ramanujan tridandi Swami at Perambalur. A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada also visited Madurai once during his household days for business. “It was at Madurai that Abhay showed some of his writings to Muthuswamy Chetty, another medical salesman. Mr. Chetty was impressed and felt he could persuade his wealthy friend Dr. Alagappa Chettiar, the famous Birla of the South, to finance the printing of Geetopanishad manuscript.” - Prabhupada Lilamrita. However this project could not progress ahead as Abhay found his original manuscript missing from his house which he could never ever find. Probably stolen by servants or given out for some money by family members.

This place of pilgrimage is specifically meant for the devotees of Lord Siva; therefore it is called Saiva-ksetra, that is, the place where Lord Siva is worshiped. In this area there are mountains and forests. There are also two Siva temples, one known as Ramesvara and the other known as Sundaresvara. There is also a temple to Devi called the Minaksi-devi temple, which displays very great architectural craftsmanship. It was built under the supervision of the kings of the Pandya Dynasty, and when the Muslims attacked this temple, as well as the temple of Sundaresvara, great damage was done. In the Christian year 1372, a king named Kampana Udayar reigned on the throne of Madurai. Long ago, Emperor Kulasekhara ruled this area, and during his reign he established a colony of brahmanas. A well-known king named Anantaguna Pandya is an eleventh-generation descendant of Emperor Kulasekhara. [Sri Caitanya Caritamrta Madhya lila chapter 9 verse 179]

Madurai has a rich cultural heritage passed on from the great Tamil era more than 2500 years old. Madurai was an important cultural and commercial centre even as early as 550 AD. It was the capital city for the great Pandya kings. The Pandyan King Kulasekhara built a great temple and created a lotus shaped city around the temple. Madurai is famous for Jasmine Flowers.

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

SANT TUKARAMA’S DEHU DHAMA AND PUNE YATRA VISITING HOLY PLACES

Sant Tukarama’s Dehu Dhama and Pune Yatra Sant Tukarama Sant Tukarama (AD 1609-1650) was a saint-poet of towering stature. Tukara...