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Appearing as the son of a king, Shri Narottama Dasa Thakura (Shri Thakura Mahasaya) showed all the bodily symptoms of a mahapurusha (an exalted divine person). He had long arms, a deep navel, golden-complexioh, beautiful eyes shaped like the lotus petals. In school, he was a sruti dhara (able to memorize whatever he hears) Although he quickly mastered Sanskrit and the Vedas, he hankered to serve Krishna. He was a lifelong brahmachari. By the mercy of the Holy Name Gaura-Nitai, Narottama became detached, left his opulent family, and ran to Vrindavana. He took diksha from Shri Lokanatha Goswami and siksha in Gaudiya philosophy from Shri Jiva Goswami.
When he arrived in Navadwipa-dhama all the Devotees asked him about the health and activities of the Goswamis in Vrindavana. They were eager to hear the news from Vrindavana. After visiting all of Gauranga’s pastime places in Gaura Mandala, Narottama Dasa did the same in Shri Kshetra Dhama (Jagannatha Puri). Then he went to see the Devotees and Shri Chaitanya’s pastime spots in Shantipura, Shri Khanda, Kanthak Nagar, Ekachakra, and Kheturi Gram.

In Kheturi, Shri Narottama Dasa Thakura arranged the famous Kheturi Mahotsava. This was the first “Gaura-Purnima” festival to honor the divine appearance day of Shri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. During the festival six Deities were installed: Shri Gauranga Deva, Shri Vallabhi Kanta, Shri Vraja Mohana, Shri Krishna, Shri Radha Kanta, Shri Radha Ramana. .

With his sweet voice Narottama Dasa began a wonderful kirtana. His chanting filled the heavens, and brought down tears of prema from the eyes of the Devotees, who were all sporting in the ocean of ecstasy. “In the midst of their kirtana, the munificent Shri Chaitanya Himself and all His personal associates appeared and joined in the sankirtana. Like a flash of lightning in the midst of a mass of beautiful blue clouds, Shri Chaitanya Himself appeared in the crowd of Devotees through a divine manifestation.” (Bhakti-ratnakar)

“At that time, although Mahaprabhu had ,left this world years before, many different devotees saw Mahaprabhu in different ways. Those of Sri Navadvipa dhama saw Him more intimately as Nimaicandra or Visvambhara, as they knew Him during His youth. Those devotees were attracted to Mahaprabhu in sakhya and vatsalya rasa. The followers of the six Gosvamis, who only knew Mahaprabhu as a sannyasi, related to Him in the mood of dasya rasa. And hundreds of devotees also worshiped Lord Caitanya in an aisvarya mood of awe and reverence.

Narottama Dasa Thakura
With his sweet voice Narottama Dasa began a wonderful kirtana. His chanting filled the heavens, and brought down tears of prema from the eyes of the Devotees, who were all sporting in the ocean of ecstasy. “In the midst of their kirtana, the munificent Shri Chaitanya Himself and all His personal associates appeared and joined in the sankirtana. Like a flash of lightning in the midst of a mass of beautiful blue clouds, Shri Chaitanya Himself appeared in the crowd of Devotees through a divine manifestation.” (Bhakti-ratnakar) (In the image: Harinaam Sankirtan, Siberia, Russia).

“This festival is considered a major achievment in Gaudiya Vaishnavism. Hundreds and hundreds of Devotees were invited, including direct disciples of Mahaprabhu, Nityananda Prabhu, and Advaita Acharya. At this time, many differences existed in the interpretation of Gaudiya Vaishnavism. Acharyarani Jahnava Devi came from Kardaha with her entourage. Presiding over all the Vaishnavas, she resolved their diverse conclusions into one consistent Gaudiya Vaishnava philosophy.

“For the first time, the festival featured many kirtana styles which integrated the glorification of Lord Chaitanya with the glorification of Lord Krishna and His pastimes. And because so many Vaishnavas were present at one place, it automatically made the Kheturi festival extraordinary. It also acted as an important step toward unifying all the Gaudiya Vaishnavas.” (Shri Navadwipa-dhama parikrama)

Narottama Dasa Thakura wrote many devotional songs about the spiritual master, the Devotees, devotional service, the six Goswamis, Gaura-Nityananda and Radha-Krishna. Although composed with sweet melodies in simple Bengali language, Narottama Dasa’s songs give shastric siddhanta and devotional inspiration. Shrila Prabhupada often sang these bhajanas. Considering them non-different from Vedic shastra, He quoted them in his Bhagavatam lectures. Prarthana and Prema-bhakti-chandrika are Narottama’s most famous works.

The following excerpt comes from Prema-bhakti-chandrika: “Radha and Krishna are my goal in life and death, and They are the masters of my breath. Performing my bhajana only for Them, I rise and fall in the ocean of prema. I pray that I can always maintain this conception within my heart as my highest ideal.

“Let me serve the lotus feet of Radha-Govinda. Let my mind be filled with dedication to Their divine forms that defeat the beauty of Cupid and Rati. With a straw between my teeth I fall at Their divine feet and present my humble appeal: ‘0 Kishora-Kishori! 0 son of Nanda Maharaja-Shyamasundara! And 0 daughter of King Vrishabhanu, Shri Radha. You enchant even Hari, and Your bodily complexion is the color of a golden lotus. 0 Krishna, with a bodily color like an indranila gem (blue jewel), Your beauty mocks Cupid.

‘0 topmost dancers Shri Radha and Shri Krishna-please dance within my mind. 0 You whose beauty increases the charm of Your dazzling ornaments, day and night I only wish that I shall go on singing Your glories in great ecstasy.”

Narottama Dasa serves Shrimati Radhika as Chamaka-manjari. His samadhi is in Radha Gokulananda’s Temple courtyard.

Premanjana Das from ISKCON Punjabi Bagh participated in a session organized in for a group of doctors and Medical officers at ESI Hospital, Punjabi Bagh on the topic of ‘Spirituality and Psychiatry’. For the spirituality part, Premanjana prabhu spoke on COMMUNICATIONS AND HEALTH CARE. The entire event was organized by Dr Rakesh Jangid (Head of Department- Psychiatry).

The participants were also introduced to the Japa meditation on Hare Krishna Mahamantra. If doctors who witness so many deaths become aware of the process of transmigration of soul, they can render best service to dying patients by chanting Hare Krishna Mahamantra at the most critical time.

The crowd was inquisitive, as well as objective and rational in analyzing the subject matter and the session received much appreciation from the authorities

Vartalaap – The Journey of Inspiration Dec 2019

17 Dec 2019, Posted by VANI Group in Vartalaap

ISKCON Punjabi Bagh released 2 new episodes of the unique talk show Vartalaap on its new Jigyasa youtube channel and across other social media platforms. This month’s episodes were very special, with special guests – HG Pankajanghri Prabhu and HG Gauranga Prabhu.

The devotee community are feeling extremely nourished and enriched by the experiences being shared by the leaders on this show and are feeling really inspired to further improve their personal practices and services. The next month will have 2 new episodes with esteemed devotees – HH Sachinandan Swami Maharaja and HG Amogha Lila Prabhu.

Sports Day for Teenage forum 8th Dec 2019

17 Dec 2019, Posted by VANI Group in IYF

ISKCON Punjabi Bagh organised a sports event for Teenagers forum on 8th Dec. The program began with Aerobic dance on madhavas tracks. This was followed by an engaging and creative activity, with devotees making an organ out of waste (making one sense organ) using stones and leaves. After the activity, there was a small discussion about the usage of that organ and its role in spirituality.

The event also comprised of fun-filled games – lemon spoon race, leg tie race, kho kho, calling out krsna names etc. and the participants thoroughly enjoyed the experience. The program concluded with ekadashi prasadam for everyone.

Devotees of ISKCON Punjabi Bagh participated in a mammoth Gita Yagya which marks the anniversary of this most historical conversation between Lord Krishna and Arjuna on the battlefield of Kurukshetra. Over 500 devotees recited the entire Bhagavad Gita and offered fire sacrifices with every sloka.

The event was made more special by the divine presence of HH Gopal Krishna Goswami Maharaja, HH Sachinandan Swami Maharaja and HH Bhakti Madhurya Govind Swami Maharaja and other Prabhupada disciples. The Yagya was followed by gratitude to various sponsors and contributors who help temple during Marathon each year.

This was followed by Prize Distribution of the Value Education Olympiad organized by ISKCON Punjabi Bagh, with participation from more than 6,000 students of 22 schools in Delhi. The Top 10 winners of the Olympiad were felicitated and handed over attractive prizes (Laptops, Bicycles and Kindles). The students also shared their experiences while preparing for the Olympiad and their parents were happy that their children could learn important values of life through this initiative.

The devotee community of ISKCON Punjabi Bagh was fortunate and elated in hosting HH Sachinandan Swami Maharaja for a special kirtan and discourse. The two-day visit was packed with thought provoking wisdom and heart touching kirtan by Maharaja. Maharaja’s lecture on the evening of 6th December focused on the urgency of Bhakti in the fleeting timespan of life.

Maharaja, who is known to be a “japa scientist” within the community of devotees shared his experiences and realizations in respect of holynames as well as Srila Prabhupada and also stressed the importance of book distribution. The session left devotees highly nourished, happy and enthusiastic to for devotional service.

ISKCON Punjabi Bagh organized a special discourse by HG Gauranga Darshan prabhu, Dean of Bhaktivedanta Vidyapeeth at Govardhan Ecovillage.

Gauranga Darshan pr, who is known for his deep philosophical understanding and easy to understand presentation discussed the importance of propogation as a tool to preserve. The devotees really felt enriched with the enlightening and encouraging wisdom shared by Gauranga Darshan prabhu.

ISKCON Punjabi Bagh devotees are excited and upbeat for another year of the greatest event – The Bhagavad Gita Marathon. Book Distribution is the service that pleases Srila Prabhupada more than any other service as it is coming from a direct instruction of his spiritual master HDG Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur Prabhupada. Book Distribution is a chance for all ISKCON devotees to express their compassion to the suffering world by giving them hope in the form of Srila Prabhupada books which can free them from all miseries of material world.

ISKCON Punjabi Bagh community has set a target to distribute 2.5 lac Bhagavad Gitas this month by the blessings of Srila Prabhupada and motivation of his book distribution pillar HH Gopal Krishna Goswami Maharaj. Maharaj personally visited the temple on 17th Dec to motivate the devotees to enthusiastically take up this service thos month. There are several book distribution teams from the temple including temple sankirtan team of 12 devotees who are traveling to different cities like Jaipur, Chandigarh, Ludhiana, Hisar etc. and have distributed more than 15,000 books.

The devotees of ISKCON Punjabi Bagh celebrated the appearance day of HH Bhakti Madhurya Govind Swami Maharaja on 4th Dec. The evening program consisted of ecstatic Vaishnav Bhajans, maharaj welcome and lamp lighting, pushpanjali and cake cutting.

The highlight of the program was devotees sharing their personal experiences and realizations with Maharaj. Maharaj has been most merciful to Punjabi Bagh devotees and has been staying in the temple for last 15 years, giving his valuable feedbacks and viewpoints on every temple activity. The program concluded with special feast for all devotees.