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The Audio Srila Prabhupada Lilamrita
Please find enclosed details a being launched on Gaura Purnima day 2008.
It is a simple audio rendition of sections from "Prabhupada, your ever well-wisher" by Satsvarupa dasa Goswami.
It was recorded here in the UK back in the mid '90's by Bhagavat-Asraya prabhu (ACBSP) at my studio and I edited it into 8 short instalments for inclusion on my weekly radio programme "Nectar of Devotion".
We had such a good response from listeners that it was decided to add "The Audio Srila Prabhupada Lilamrita" to the Nectar of Devotion website archive page.
In doing so I felt it might be nice to create a very simple,
seperate website for the Lilamrita.
The result is http://www.lilamrita.page.tl
It will be officially launched on Gaura Purnima day 2008 for the pleasure of Srila Prabhupada and all the Vaishnava's.
I hope this humble attempt will add to the growing appreciation
of Srila Prabhupada's remarkable achievements.
If other Krishna conscious radio stations would like to broadcast this Lilamrita series they can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can send them mp3 copies.
Srila Prabhupada Vyasa-puja book 2007
Vyasa-puja is an annual celebration by the devotees of Lord Krishna to offer homage to their guru, or spiritual teacher.
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If you are unable to open the file, download Acrobat Reader.
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Vyasa-puja Book 2007 (no pictures) [PDF/ZIP, 2.11MB]
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Srimad Bhagavad Gita AS IT IS
Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 7 - Knowledge of the Absolute
apareyam itas tv anyam
prakrtim viddhi me param
yayedam dharyate jagat
WORD FOR WORD
apara--inferior; iyam--this; itah--besides this; tu--but; anyam--another; prakrtim--energy; viddhi--just try to understand; me--My; param--superior; jiva-bhutam--comprising the living entities; maha-baho--O mighty-armed one; yaya--by whom; idam--this; dharyate--is utilized or exploited; jagat--the material world.
Besides these, O mighty-armed Arjuna, there is another, superior energy of Mine, which comprises the living entities who are exploiting the resources of this material, inferior nature.
PURPORT by HDG Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupad:
Here it is clearly mentioned that living entities belong to the superior nature (or energy) of the Supreme Lord. The inferior energy is matter manifested in different elements, namely earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence and false ego. Both forms of material nature, namely gross (earth, etc.) and subtle (mind, etc.), are products of the inferior energy. The living entities, who are exploiting these inferior energies for different purposes, are the superior energy of the Supreme Lord, and it is due to this energy that the entire material world functions. The cosmic manifestation has no power to act unless it is moved by the superior energy, the living entity. Energies are always controlled by the energetic, and therefore the living entities are always controlled by the Lord--they have no independent existence. They are never equally powerful, as unintelligent men think. The distinction between the living entities and the Lord is described in Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.87.30) as follows:
aparimita dhruvas tanu-bhrto yadi sarva-gatas
tarhi na sasyateti niyamo dhruva netaratha
ajani ca yan-mayam tad avimucya niyantr bhavet
samam anujanatam yad amatam mata-dustataya
"Supreme Eternal! If the embodied living entities were eternal and all-pervading like You, then they would not be under Your control. But if the living entities are accepted as minute energies of Your Lordship, then they are at once subject to Your supreme control. Therefore real liberation entails surrender by the living entities to Your control, and that surrender will make them happy. In that constitutional position only can they be controllers. Therefore, men with limited knowledge who advocate the monistic theory that God and the living entities are equal in all respects are actually guided by a faulty and polluted opinion."
The Supreme Lord, Krsna, is the only controller, and all living entities are controlled by Him. These living entities are His superior energy because the quality of their existence is one and the same with the Supreme, but they are never equal to the Lord in quantity of power. While exploiting the gross and subtle inferior energy (matter), the superior energy (the living entity) forgets his real spiritual mind and intelligence. This forgetfulness is due to the influence of matter upon the living entity. But when the living entity becomes free from the influence of the illusor material energy, he attains the stage called mukti, or liberation. The false ego, under the influence of material illusion, thinks, " am matter, and material acquisitions are mine." His actual position is realized when he is liberated from all material ideas, including the conception of his becoming one in all respects with God. Therefore one may conclude that the Gita confirms the living entity to be only one of the multi-energies of Krsna; and when this energy is freed from material contamination, it becomes fully Krsna conscious, or liberated.
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Copyright 1983 The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International. Used with permission.
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(here's some nectar, sometimes it comes in the form of Srutakirti prabhu's diary, other times from Govinda dasi's diary, Hari Sauri prabhu's Transcendental Diary, Bhurijan prabhu's book, or sometimes from a letter, or other related source, but still nectar...)
It is all your mercy, Guruji
Nikhilananda Dasa: "During one morning walk, Srila Prabhupada showed us the jovial side of his personality. In a jolly mood, he told the following story: 'Once, a disciple arranged a grand reception for his guru. He offered him many costly gifts and an opulent feast. Surprised, the guru asked him how he could afford all these arrangements.'
"Prabhupada stopped, laughed, and imitated the disciple: '"It is all your mercy, Guruji." But he didn't tell his guru that he spent his spiritual master's funds.' The devotees burst into loud laughter."
- From the "Srila Prabhupada and His Disciples in Germany" by HG Vedavyasa dasa
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Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
"The Greatest Bewilderment"
Vrndavana, November 14, 1976
Listen to the entire lecture on-line:
Pradyumna: "The true activity of the sense organs -- mind, sight, words and all the knowledge-gathering and working senses -- is to engage fully in My service. Unless his senses are thus engaged, a living entity cannot think of getting out of the great entanglement of material existence, which is exactly like Yamaraja's stringent rope."
saksat-krtam me paribarhanam hi
vina puman yena maha-vimohat
krtanta-pasan na vimoktum iset
So the entanglement is made by the senses. Bhaktivinoda Thakura has sung that sarira avidya-jal, jodendriya tahe kal, jive phele visaya-sagore. This body is covering of ignorance, sarira avidya-jal. Everyone has got a material body, and according to the different proportion of ignorance (aside:) This child is so crying. From three miles we can hear. Balanam rodanam balam. This is strength of the children, crying. They can disturb the whole world (laughter) simply by crying. So just see. This is the body, immediately. You cannot cry like that. Even if you are aggrieved, you cannot cry so loudly that up to four miles one can hear. That is not possible. Why it is not possible? Because he has got a different body and you have got a different. Everything is going on according to the body. This is maha-vimoha. This is going on, 8,400,000's of different forms of body according to mano, vaca, drk, karana, etc. This body is the entanglement, and the senses are the instruments, and we are acting with the senses and we creating another type of body. This is going on. Sarira avidya-jal, jodendriya tahe kal.
Therefore the first business is how to purify the senses. Bhakti means that. Bhakti, devotional service, means purifying the senses. In the Bhagavad-gita it is said... What is that verse, the body and the senses? I forget now.
Hari-sauri: Indriyani parany ahuh?
Prabhupada: Ah, very good. Thank you. Indriyani parany ahur indriyebhyah param manah, manasas tu para buddhih [Bg. 3.42]. These are finer. This body means indriya, and finer than the indriyas is the mind. And finer than the mind is intelligence. And finer than the intelligence is the soul, very minute part and parcel of the Supersoul. That is also mentioned: kesagra-sata-bhagasya satadha kalpitasya ca [Cc. Madhya 19.140]. So minute, you cannot imagine. Kesa agra, the tip of the hair, it is a small point. Divide into ten thousand, then you can get an idea what is the measurement of the soul. Kesagra-sata-bhagasya satadha kalpitasya, jiva bhagah sa vijneyah [Cc. Madhya 19.140]. Everything, measurement, is there. It is not that without body. It is. There is body. And the impetus is coming from there. Intelligence is working, then mind is producing the senses, and the senses are transforming into a gross body. This is material existence. How finely it is. Where is the science? The rascal do not know except this body. Dehatma buddhi.
Therefore one who sticks to this body only, gross body, atheist class... Just like in our country the Carvaka, he says, bhasmi-bhutasya dehasya kutah punar-agamano bhavet: "Why you are thinking of next birth? It is not possible. We see this gross body is burnt into ashes. And where is the soul? Who is coming back again? Don't care for all these things. Live happily. Eat, drink, be merry and enjoy." Yavaj jivet sukham jivet. This philosophy is going on: "There is no mind, there is no intelligence, there is no soul, only this gross body, and so long we possess this gross body, let us enjoy the senses." But this is called, it is described, maha-vimoha. This is the greatest bewilderment, maha-vimoha. So because people have no education how we are existing in this material world, vimohana, vimudha, prakrti, how nature is working Prakrteh kriyamanani gunaih karmani sarvasah, ahankara-vimudhatma [Bg. 3.27]. Vimudhatma. Maha-vimoha. This rascal is thinking that there is no other life. That is not the fact. It is very great entanglement.
So intelligent person, they will try to get out of this sarira avidya-jal, jodendriya tahe kal, to get out of these gross senses. Senses are there. The spirit soul is a person. Person. As Krsna is person... Just like the father is person, the child is also person. It cannot be otherwise. Or if the child is a person, the father must be a person. Krsna says, aham bija-pradah pita [Bg. 14.4]. So all living entities, we experience it, that we are all persons. Even a small insect, a small ant, it is a person. An ant is going this way. If you stop, it will struggle: "Why you are stopping me?" That is person. It will try its best to go this way and this way to avoid your checking. You will find it by practical experience. Even a small ant, it has got all the propensities. Ahara-nidra-bhaya-maithuna, these propensities, eating, sleeping, sex, and fearing, you will find everywhere. Visayah sarvatah purusya(?). Visaya. Visaya does not mean to become rich man. Visaya means enjoyment of the senses. That is called visaya. Visaya chariya, se rase majiya, mukhe bolo hari hari. This is instruction, that we can chant the Hare Krsna maha-mantra, we can chant the holy name of the Lord, purely, without offense. Because if we can chant Hare Krsna maha-mantra once only -- if it is pure -- then immediately you become liberated. Ekara hari name yata papa hare, papi haya tata papa karibare nare. Hari-nama is so powerful that once chanting, immediately vanquishes the accumulated sinful reaction of millions of lives. Papi haya tata papa karibare. Every papi, sinful man, is very expert in committing sinful activities. But hari-nama is so expert that once chanted, the papi, the sinful man, will be failure to commit sin anymore.
But the difficulty is that we cannot come to the pure stage of chanting Hare Krsna mantra. Due to our past habits our mind is disturbed. We cannot concentrate. Therefore we have fixed up the minimum. We cannot imitate Haridasa Thakura. That is not possible. If somebody imitates Haridasa Thakura... We can see this chanting Hare Krsna and smoking bidi. We can understand what is the position. The offense is going on. Therefore we should try to avoid the ten kinds of offenses. Of course, in the beginning the offenses will continue. But chanting, chanting, chanting, chanting, as soon as we become purified Ceto-darpana-marjanam bhava-maha-davagni-nirvapanam [Cc. Antya 20.12]. By chanting, chanting, chanting repeatedly, when our, the core of heart will be cleansed, ceto-darpana-marjanam, then immediately bhava-maha-davagni-nirvapanam, this maha-vimoha... This is maha... This is bhava-maha-davagni. They do not know that what kind of position we are now passing through. Krsna says the same thing, mrtyu samsara vartmani. Mam aprapya nivartante mrtyu samsara vartmani [Bg. 9.3].
So we are rascals, we do not know what is that mrtyu samsara vartmani. We have dismissed everything, all instruction of the sastra, all instruction of Krsna, all instruction of guru. We have all dismissed, "Oh, these are all mythology. There is no life after death." This is going on, maha... Ahankara vimudhatma. Vimudhatma. This is the position. We should understand that what is our position. But they have become so dull, just like a stone or a tree. You cut it; it does not respond, does nothing. But if there is life, little pinching -- immediately, "Why you are pinching?" That is the difference between life and dead body, or jada and cetana. So long one is not conscious, he's as good as the stone or the wood. Therefore sometimes Vaisnava poets say that amara lid pasanta bolo na, pasan hole bolo yato(?). We have created such a strong heart of material existence that it does not respond even after suffering so much. This is our position.
So Krsna consciousness movement means to bring him to the right position of consciousness. Consciousness we have got. The more it is covered, dull, it cannot respond. But it can be brought into the proper existence, and the process is hearing, hearing. Go on hearing, hearing. Krsna has given us one chance, this ear. If we properly use it... Therefore Vedic knowledge is to be heard, hearing. Listen. It is therefore called sruti. The Vedic instruction has to be gotten from the right person through aural reception.
srnvatam sva-kathah krsnah
hrdy antah stho hy abhadrani
vidhunoti suhrt satam
So this is the process, that we should engage our ear to receive the knowledge, Vedic knowledge, very attentively. And therefore we have to approach to the proper person and inquire and hear. Sravanam kirtanam. Tad viddhi pranipatena pariprasnena sevaya [Bg. 4.34]. Not to hear like animal, but pariprasnena sevaya. Then our knowledge will be developed. This is the process.
So mano-vaco-drk-karanehitasya saksat-krtam me paribarhanam hi. So we can worship the Lord by mind, by words, by seeing, and all senses. Hrsikena hrsikesa sevanam bhaktir ucyate [Cc. Madhya 19.170]. (aside:) You sit down. Yes. Hrsikena hrsikesa sevanam bhakti ucyate. Bhakti means hrsika. Hrsika means the senses, karana. Mano-vaca. Mind is the king of the senses. So mind is also one of the senses. Manah sasthanindriyani prakrti-sthani karsati [Bg. 15.7]. Mind and the indriyas combined together, we are trying to be happy in this material world, but there is no happiness, simply struggling. Prakrti-sthani karsati. Purusah prakrti-stho bhunkte prakrti-jan gunan. He is put into this prakrti, bhumir apo 'nalo vayuh kham buddhi, bhinna me prakrtir astadha [Bg. 7.4]. So we are put into this prakrti. Bhumir apo 'nalo vayuh kham buddhi mano. These are material. There is also mana. Mind is subtle matter; it is not spirit. So in this way, separated energy and the jiva, the living entity, although he is part and parcel of Krsna, he wanted to enjoy life separately or independently without Krsna, and that is called material world, struggle for existence. Without Krsna. Therefore he has to come to Krsna if he wants to stop his struggle for existence with mind and senses, then he must come to Krsna. That is the natural position.
But these rascals are not taught about Krsna, but they are already in ignorance and they are kept into ignorance. Na te viduh svartha-gatim hi visnum [SB 7.5.31]. The rascals, they do not know that his real self-interest is how to approach Visnu or Krsna. Krsna, Visnu, therefore comes personally just to show His causeless mercy upon them, to exhibit Himself, how He can be friend to everyone. Suhrdah sarva-bhutanam jnatva mam santim rcchati. If you want santi, then you must accept Krsna, suhrdah. Bhoktaram yajna-tapasam sarva-loka-mahesvaram, suhrdam sarva-bhutanam [Bg. 5.29]. He is friend of everyone; therefore He comes. He is not only friend of Arjuna. Arjuna is symbolic friend. He is instructing Arjuna, Bhagavad-gita, His friend, but He is friend of everyone. Suhrdam sarva-bhutanam.
So we must take advantage of the instruction of Bhagavad-gita. It is not meant for... Arjuna is already liberated, but he is placing himself as one of us just to take the lessons of Krsna for the benefit of the whole world. And Arjuna, who is living with Krsna as friend not only in one life... Bahuni me janmani vyatitani tava carjuna. So Arjuna is always with Krsna. He cannot be in ignorance. Krsna-surya-sama, maya andhakara, yahan krsna tahan nahi mayara adhikara [Cc. Madhya 22.31]. Who is constantly living with Krsna, he has no ignorance, but he's putting himself as ignorant. Just like Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. He is asking question from Ramananda Raya. Does it mean that Caitanya Mahaprabhu did not know, Ramananda Raya No. Just to make a scene that how we can get knowledge from hearing from the authorities Similarly, Arjuna placed himself. It is a theatrical stage, that ignorant. But actually he is liberated. When Arjuna was advised to practice hatha-yoga, he said, "Krsna, it is not possible for me."
cancalam hi manah krsna
pramathi balavad drdham
tasyaham nigraham manye
vayor iva suduskaram
"I cannot do this." He was frank enough. Or on behalf of us he said frankly that "It is impossible," at least in the Kali-yuga, "to control the mind." Yoga indriya samyamah. It is not possible. Cancalam hi manah krsna pramathi balavad drdham [Bg. 6.34]. Five thousand years, Arjuna is denying to accept this yogic process. "It is not possible to give that. I am a politician. I am a military man. I have to fight. I have to see so many things. How can I control my mind? It is not possible."
So that is fact. This controlling the mind by the yogic process, by meditation, is impossible. [break] ...read so many sastras, the essence of the sastra. That is the duty of the acarya. The essence of the sastra should be presented to the fools and rascals so that, just like Caitanya Mahaprabhu, he presented himself before His guru that guru more murkha dekhi' karila sasana: [Cc. Adi 7.71] "My guru found Me a great rascal." Caitanya Mahaprabhu was not a rascal, but He presented Himself as a rascal because we are rascals. These people of this age, they are all rascals. Therefore he presented Himself, guru more murkha dekhi' karila sasana: "My guru saw Me a great rascal; therefore he has asked Me, chastised Me, that 'You rascal, You cannot understand Vedanta. You cannot read even.' " Murkha tumi nahi tomara vedanta adhikara: "You cannot read Vedanta." That means the rascals of this age, what they will understand Vedanta? He will simply misrepresent. They will simply mislead the persons. You see so many big, big politicians, scholars, simply misleading people from Bhagavad-gita. Bhagavad-gita is spoken on the battlefield, and they want to prove that it is nonviolence. In this way people are being misled.
Therefore avoid this rascal process, to read something and interpret in a different way. Caitanya Mahaprabhu wanted to do that. Guru more murkha dekhi karila sasana. So we should not try to become very learned scholar by misreading the Vedic literature. Take the instruction of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Not Caitanya Mahaprabhu -- the sastra, the Brhad-naradiya Purana. Sadhu sastra guru vakya. Sadhu will not speak anything which is not in the sastra. That is sadhu. Sadhu cannot manufacture anything. So Caitanya Mahaprabhu has said that,
harer nama harer nama harer namaiva kevalam
kalau nasty eva nasty eva nasty eva gatir...
[Cc. Adi 17.21]
Chant Hare Krsna as many times as possible and be liberated.
Thank you very much. (end)
>>> Ref. VedaBase => Srimad-Bhagavatam 5.5.27 -- Vrndavana,
November 14, 1976
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© 2001 The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International. Used with permission.
SRILA PRABHUPADA'S QUOTE OF THE DAY
"The good reports are coming and we are being highly appreciated for introducing this pure spiritual life, but everything must be done very intelligently - we must not lose our own status of advancement."
1971 March 18 : Prabhupada Letters :: 1971
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PApankushA - Paashunkushaa EkAdasii
Yudhishthira maharaj said, Oh MadhusUdana, what is the name of the EkAdasii that comes during the light fortnight of the month of Ashvina (September - October)? Please be merciful and disclose this truth to me."
The Supreme Personality of Godhead Sri Krishna replied, "Oh king, please listen as I explain the glories of this EkAdasii - PApankusha EkAdasii - which removes all sins. On this day one should worship the Deity of Padmanabha, the lotus naveled Lord Vishnu, according to the rules of archana viddhi (regulations). By so doing, one achieves whatever heavenly pleasures one may want in this world, and at last attains liberation from this world thereafter. Simply by offering one's humbly obeisances unto Lord Vishnu, the rider of GaruDa, one can achieve the same merit as is gained by performing great penances for a long time restraining and controlling the senses. Although a person might have committed unlimited and abominable sins, he can still escape hellish punishment just by paying his obeisances to Lord Sri Hari, the taker away of all sin."
"The merits gained by going on pilgrimage to the Holy Tirthas of this earthly planet can also be achieved simply by chanting the Holy names of Lord Vishnu. Whosoever chants these sacred names - such as RAma, Vishnu, Janardana or Krishna - especially on EkAdasii, never sees YamarAj, the king of death's punishing abode. Nor does such a devotee who fasts on PApankusha EkAdasii, which is very dear to Me, see that plutonic abode."
"Both the Vaishnava who criticises Lord Shiva and the Shaivite (Saivite) who criticises Me certainly go to hell. The merit obtained by performing one hundred horse sacrifices and one hundred Rajasurya sacrifices is not even equal to one sixteenth of the merit a devotee is able to attain by fasting on EkAdasii. There is no higher merit one can achieve than that attained by fasting on EkAdasii. Indeed, nothing in all the three worlds is as pleasing or as able to purify one of accumulated sin as EkAdasii, the day of the lotus-naveled Lord, Padmanabha.
"O king, until a person observes a fast on the day of Lord Padmanabha named PApANkusha EkAdasii, he remains sinful, and the reactions of his past sinful activities never leave him like a chaste wife. There is no merit in all the three worlds that can match the merit that one gains by observing a fast on this EkAdasii. Whosoever observes it faithfully never has to see death personified, Lord YamarAj. One who desires liberation, elevation to the heavens, good health, beautiful women, wealth, and food grains should simply fast on this PAshunkushA EkAdasii. O king, neither the Ganges, Gaya, Kashi, nor Pushkara, nor even the Holy site of Kurukshetra, can grant as much auspicious merit as this PApankusha EkAdasii.
"O MaharAj Yudhishthira, protector of the earth, after observing ekadasi during the daytime, the devotee should remain awake through the night, absorbed in hearing, chanting and serving the lord - for by so doing he easily attains to the Supreme abode of Lord Vishnu. Not only that, but ten generations of ancestors on his mother's side, ten generations on his father's side, and ten generations on his wife's side are all liberated by a single observance of a fast on this EkAdasii. All these ancestors attain their original, four armed transcendental Vaikuntha forms. Wearing yellow garments and beautiful garlands, they ride to the spiritual realm on the back of GaruDa, the renown great enemy of the snakes. This is the benediction My devotee earns simply by observing one PApANkusha EkAdasii properly.
"O best of kings, whether one is a child, a youth, or in old age, fasting on PApankusha EkAdasii frees him from all sins and makes him immune to suffering a hellish rebirth. Whosoever observes a fast on the PApankusha EkAdasii becomes free of all his sins and returns to the spiritual abode of Lord Sri Hari. Whosoever donates gold, sesame seeds, fertile land, cows, grain, drinking water, an umbrella, or a pair of shoes on this most auspicious of Holy days will never have to visit the abode of YamarAj, who always punishes the sinners. But if a resident of earth fails to perform spiritual deeds, especially the observance of a fast on days such as EkAdasii, his breathing is said to be no better, or of as much use as the breathing/puffing of a blacksmith's bellows.
"O best of the kings, especially on this PApAnkusha EkAdasii, even the poor should first bathe and then give some charity according to their means, and perform other auspicious activities in accordance with their ability.
"Whosoever performs sacrifices and benefits the people, or builds public ponds, resting places, gardens, or houses does not suffer the punishments of YamarAj. Indeed, one should understand that a person much have performed such pious activities as these in the past life if he is long lived, wealthy, of high birth, or free from all diseases. But a person who observes PApANkusha EkAdasii goes to the abode of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vishnu.)
Lord Sri Krishna then concluded, "Thus, Oh saintly Yudhishthira, I have narrated to you the glories of the auspicious PApANkusha EkAdasii."
Thus ends the narration of the glories of the PApANkusha EkAdasii,
or Ashwina-shukla EkAdasii,
from the Brahma-vaivarta PurANa.
These stories have been summarised and slightly changed or abbreviated from how they are found in the celebrated book, "Ekadasi: The Day of Lord Hari" 1986. HH Krishna Balaram Swami. Bhaktivedanta Institute Press, pages 125-128.
The Supreme Lord, Sri Krishna then spoke as follows, “O
lion among kings, please listen as I narrate to you; The Ekadasi that occurs
during the dark part of the month of Karttika is called Ramaa Ekadasi.
It is most auspicious, for it at once eradicates the greatest sins and
awards one the passage to the spiritual abode. I shall now narrate to you
its history and glories.”
“There once lived a famous king of the name Muchakunda, who was friendly to Lord Indra, the king of the heavenly planets, as well as with Yamaraj, Varuna, and Vibhishana, the pious brother of the demon Ravana. Muchakunda always spoke the truth and constantly rendered devotional service to Me. Because he ruled according to religious principles, there were no disturbances in his kingdom.
“Muchakunda’s daughter was named Chandrabhaagaa, after a sacred river, and the king gave her in marriage to Shobhana, the son of Chandrasena. One day, Shobhana visited his father-in-law’s palace on the auspicious Ekadasi day. This visit made Shobhana’s wife Chandrabhaagaa quite anxious, for she knew that her husband was physically very weak and unable to bear the austerity of a day-long fast. She said to him, ‘My father is very strict about following Ekadasi. On Dasami, the day before Ekadasi, he strikes a large kettledrum and announces, “Nobody should eat on Ekadasi, the sacred day of Sri Hari !” “
“When Shobhana heard the sound of the kettledrum, he said to his wife, ‘O beautiful one, what am I to do now? Please tell me how I can save my life and obey your father’s strictness and at the same time satisfy our guests !”
“Chandrabhaagaa then spoke, ‘My dear husband, in my father’s house nobody – not even the elephants or horses, what to speak of consenting human beings – eats on Ekadasi. Indeed, none of the animals are given their ration of grains, leaves, or straw – or even water ! – on Ekadasi, the sacred day of Sri Hari. So how can you escape fasting? My beloved husband, if you must eat something, then you should leave here at once. Now, with firm conviction decide on what you have to do.’
“Prince Shobhana then said, ‘I have decided to fast on the sacred Ekadasi day. Whatever my fate is, it will surely come to pass.’
“Deciding thus, Shobhana attempted to fast on this Ekadasi, but he became unbearably disturbed with excessive hunger and thirst. Eventually the sun set in the west, and the arrival of the auspicious night made all the Vaishnavas very happy. O Yudhisthira, all the devotees enjoyed worshipping Me (Sri Hari) and remaining awake all through night, but Prince Shobhana that night became absolutely unbearable. Indeed, when the Sun rose on the Dwadasi, that Prince Shobhana was dead.
“King Muchakunda observed his son-in-law’s funeral, ordering a large stack of wood be assembled for the fire, but he instructed his daughter Chandrabhaagaa not to join her husband on the funeral pyre. Thus Chandrabhaagaa, after performing all the purificatory processes and procedures for honouring her deceased husband, continued to live in her father’s house.
Lord Sri Krishna continued, “O best of the kings, Yudhisthira, even though Shobhana died because of observing Ramaa Ekadasi, the merit that he accrued enabled him, after his death, to become the ruler of a kingdom high on the peak of Mandarachala Mountain. This kingdom was like a city of the demigods; very lustrous, with unlimited jewels set in the walls of its buildings that gave off light. The pillars were made of rubies, and gold inlaid with diamonds shone everywhere. As King Shobhana sat upon a throne beneath a pure white canopy, servants fanned him with yak-tail whisks. A stunning crown rested upon his head, beautiful earrings adorned his ears, a necklace graced his throat, and bejewelled armlets and bracelets encircled his arms. He was served by Gandharvas (the best of heavenly singers) and Apsaras (celestial dancers). Verily, he resembled a second Indra.
“One day, a brahmin named Somasharma, who lived in Muchakunda’s kingdom, happened upon Shobhana’s kingdom while travelling to various places of pilgrimage. The brahmin saw Shobhana in all his resplendent glory and thought he might be the son-in-law of his own king Muchakunda. When Shobhana saw the brahmin approaching, he immediately rose up from his seat and welcomed him. After Shobhana had paid his respectful obeisances he asked the brahmin about his well-being and about the health and welfare of his (Shobhana’s) father-in-law, his wife and all the residents of the city.
“Somasharma then said, ‘O king, all the residents and subjects are well in your father-in-law’s kingdom, and Chandrabhaagaa and your other family members are also quite well. Peace and prosperity reign throughout the kingdom. But there is one thing, I’m quite astonished to find you here! Please tell me about yourself. Nobody has ever seen such a beautiful city as this! Kindly tell me how you obtained it.’
“King Shobhana then began to tell his story, ‘Because I observed the Ramaa Ekadasi, I was given this splendid city to rule over. But for all of its grandeur, it is only temporary. I beg you to do something to correct this deficiency. You see, this is only an ephemeral city, a place of this material world. How may I make its beauties and glories permanent? Kindly reveal this to me by your instructions.
“The brahmin then asked, ‘Why is this kingdom unstable and how will it become stable? Please fully explain this to me, and I shall try to help you.’
“Shobhana then answered, ‘Because I fasted on the Ramaa Ekadasi without any faith, this kingdom is impermanent. Now hear how it can become permanent. Please return to Chandrabhaagaa, the beautiful daughter of king Muchukunda, and tell her what you have seen and understood about this place and about me. Surely, if you, a pure hearted brahmin, tell her this, my city will soon become permanent.’
“Thus the brahmin returned to his city and related the entire episode to Chandrabhaagaa, who was both surprised and overjoyed to hear this news of her husband. She said, ‘O brahmana, is this a dream you have seen, or is it actually a factual thing?’
“Somasharma the brahmin replied, ‘O Princess, I have seen your late husband face to face in that wonderful kingdom, which resembles a realm of the denizens’ of heavens playgrounds. But your former husband has asked me to relate to you that he says that his kingdom is unstable and could vanish into thin air at any moment. Therefore he hope you can find a way to make it permanent.’
“Chandrabhaagaa then said, ‘O sage among the brahmins, please take me to that place where my husband resides at once, for I greatly desire to see him again! Surely I shall make his kingdom permanent with the merit that I have acquired by fasting on every Ekadasi throughout my life. Please reunite us at once, again. It is said that one who reunites separated persons also obtains very great merit.’
“The humble brahmin Somasharma then led Chandrabhaagaa to Shobhana’s effulgent kingdom. Before reaching it, however, they stopped at the foot of Mt. Mandaracala, at the sacred ashrama of Vamadeva. Upon hearing their story, Vamadeva chanted hymns from the Vedas and sprinkled holy water from his samanya arghya upon Chandrabhaagaa. By the influence of that great Rishi’s rites, the merit she had accrued by fasting for so many Ekadasis made her body transcendental. Ecstatic, her eyes beaming in wonder, Chandrabhaagaa continued on her journey.
“When Shobhana saw his wife approaching him high on Mount Mandarachala, he was overwhelmed with joy and called out to her in great happiness and jubilation. After she arrived , he seated her on his left side and she said to him, ‘O dearest Patiguru, please listen as I tell you something that will benefit you greatly. Since I was eight years old I have fasted regularly and with full faith on every Ekadasi. If I transfer to you all the merit I have accumulated, your kingdom will surely become permanent, and its prosperity will grow and grow until the coming of the great inundation !’ “
Lord Sri Krishna then continued to address Yudhisthira as follows, “O Yudhisthira, in this way Chandrabhaagaa who was beautifully decorated with the finest ornaments and had an exquisitely transcendental body, at last enjoyed peace and happiness with her husband. By the potency of Ramaa Ekadasi, Shobhana found his kingdom on the peaks of Mt. Mandarachala able to fulfill all his desires and bestow upon him everlasting happiness, like that achieved from the transcendental Kaama-dhenu milch cow.
“O greatest of kings, I have thus narrated to you the glories of Ramaa Ekadasi that falls in the dark fortnight of the month of Karttika.
“Anyone who observes sacred Ekadasi during both the light and the dark fortnight of each month is undoubtedly freed from the reactions to the sin of killing a brahmin. One should not differentiate between the Ekadasis of the light and dark parts of the month. As we have seen, both can award pleasure in this world and liberate even the most sinful and fallen souls. Just as black cows and white cows give equally good quality milk. So the Ekadasis of the dark fortnight (Krishna paksha) and the light fortnight (shukla or Gaura paksha) award the same high degree of merit and eventually liberate one from the repeated cycle of birth and death. Anyone who simply hears this narration of the glories of the sacred day of Ramaa Ekadasi, is freed from all kinds of sin and attains the supreme abode of Lord Vishnu.”
Thus ends the narration for the glories of the sacred Karttika-krsna Ekadasi, or Ramaa Ekadasi, from the Brahma-Vaivarta Purana of Srila Krishna Dwaipayana Veda Vyaasa.
These stories have been summarised and slightly changed or abbreviated from how they are found in the celebrated book, "Ekadasi: The Day of Lord Hari" 1986. HH Krishna Balaram Swami. Bhaktivedanta Institute Press.
|No.||Name of Ekadasis||Vedik - Hindu Months Fortnights
|Vaishnava Month||Western Months|
|19||Utpanna Ekadasi||Margashira - K||Keshava Mase||Nov-Dec|
|20||Mokshada Ekadasi (Vaikuntha ekadasi Sri Rangam)||Margashira - S||Keshava Mase||Nov-Dec|
|21||Saphala Ekadasi||Pausha - K||Naaraayana Mase||Dec-Jan|
|22||Putrada Ekadasi||Pausha - S||Naaraayana Mase||Dec-Jan|
|23||Trisprisha Ekadasi||Maagha - K||Maadhava Mase||Jan-Feb|
|24||Bhaimi Ekadasi||Maagha - S||Maadhava Mase||Jan-Feb|
|25||Vijaya - Jaya||Phaalguna - K||Govinda Mase||Feb-Mar|
|26||Amalaki Ekadasi||Phaalguna - S||Govinda Mase||Feb-Mar|
|1||Paapavimochani Ekadasi||Chaitra - K||Vishnu Mase||Mar-Apr|
|2||Kamaada - Damanakaaropani Ekadasi||Chaitra - S||Vishnu Mase||Mar-Apr|
|3||Varuthini Ekadasi||Vaisaakha - K||Madhusudana Mase||Apr-May|
|4||Mohini Ekadasi||Vaisaakha - S||Madhusudana Mase||Apr-May|
|5||Aparaa Ekadasi||Jyeshtha - K||Trivikrama Mase||May-June|
|6||Pandava Nirjal Ekadasi||Jyeshtha - S||Trivikrama Mase||May-June|
|7||Yogini Ekadasi||Aashaadha - K||Vaamana Mase||June-July|
|8||Padma - Devasayani Ekadasi||Aashaadha - S||Vaamana Mase||June-July|
|9||Kaamaika Ekadasi||Shravana - K||Sridhar Mase||July-Aug|
|10||Putrada - Pavitraropani Ekadasi||Shravana - S||Sridhar Mase||July-Aug|
|11||Ajaa - Annadaa Ekadasi||Bhaadrapada - K||Hrisikesha Mase||Aug-Sept|
|12||Parivartini - Parshva Ekadasi||Bhaadrapada - S||Hrisikesha Mase||Aug-Sept|
|13||Indiraa Ekadasi||Aaswina - K||Padmanabha Mase||Sept-Oct|
|14||Paashaankusha Ekadasi||Aaswina - S||Padmanabha Mase||Sept-Oct|
|15||Ramaa Ekadasi||Kaarttika - K||Damodara Mase||Oct-Nov|
|16||Haribodhini (Probodhini) Devotthaani (Uttana) Ekadasi||Kaarttika - S||Damodara Mase||Oct-Nov|
|17||Padmini - Vishuddha Ekadasi||Adikamase||Adikamase|
|18||Paramaa - Shuddha Ekadasi||Adikamase||Adikamase|
Chaturmasya in Hari Bhakti Vilas
ITY ASASYA PRABHOR AGRE GRAHANIYAN NIYAMAM VRATI
CATURMASESU KARTAVYAM KRSNA BHAKTI VIVRDDHAYE
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 15/113 from NAVA-PRASNA PANCARATRA)
After properly praying to the Supreme Lord near Him, one should properly take a vow to follow the proper rules and regulations and process of Caturmasya to increase one's devotion to Lord Sri Krsna.
EKA DASYANTU GRAHANIYAT SANKRANTAU KARKATASYA TU
ASADHYAM VA NARO BHAKTYA CATUR-MASYO DITAM VRATAM
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 15/114, Sanat Kumara speaks)
In the month of Asadha, either on the Ekadasi when the Lord sleeps or in Cancer Sankranti day or a full moon day, it is the duty of a fasting person to take a vow to fast in Caturmasya with devotion, in front of the Lord.
YO VINA NIYAMAM MARTYO VRATAM VA JAPYAM EVA VA
CATURMASYAM NAYEN MURKHO JIVANN API MRTO HI SAH
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 15/116 from BHAVISYA PURANA)
Any person in this material world who performs Caturmasya without following any rules and regulations, or fasts, or without chanting any japa, such a foolish person is considered to be dead, even though alive.
SRAVANE VARJAYET SAKAM DADHI BHADRA PADE TATHA
DUGDHAM ASVAYUJE MASI KARTIKE CA AMISAM TYAJET
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 15/117 from SKANDA PURANA, NAGARA KHANDA)
(While following Caturmasya) one should give up eating leafy vegetables
in the month of Sravana (July-August). In the month of Bhadrapada (August-September),
one should give up yogurt. In the month of Asvina (September-October) one
should give up milk and in the month of Karttika (October-November), one
should give up eating white dahl.
The Chaturmasya Vrata from Haribhakti Vilasa
Bhavisya Purana- "One who passes the Chaturmasya
season without observing religious vows, austerities and chanting of japa,
such a fool although living should be considered to be a dead man."
Kanda Purana, Nagava Khunda- "In the month of shravana (July, August) one should refrain from eating spinach. In the month of Bhadra (August, September) of yogert in Ashvina (September, October) milk. In Kartik (October, November) meat and urd dall.
Various vows and austerities during Chaturmasya and Their respective results.
"O King, one who is My devotee and is fixed in vow, whether man or woman, for the purpose of Dharma, should accept these various austerities and observances. I shall now describe to you all of them along with their respective results.
1) No salt—One's voice becomes sweet.
2) No oil—One's life is prolonged and gets progeny.
3) No oil massages—One's body becomes beautiful.
4) No cooking with oil—One's enemies are vanished.
5) No licorice and oil—One becomes wealthy.
6) Give up wearing unoffered flowers—One becomes a Vidyadhara in Devapura.
7) Give up six kinds of tastes (spice, sour, bitter, sweet, salty and harsh)—One never becomes ugly, smelly, or obtains a bad birth.
8) Practice of yoga—One goes to Brahmaloka.
9) No betal nuts—One becomes happy.
10) No cooked food (raw fruits & Vegetables)—One obtains purity.
11) No honey—One becomes lustrous.
12) No yogert or milk—One attains Goloka.
13) No cooking with earthen pots—One gets ... (?)
14) No hot food—One gets offspring with a long life.
15) Take rest on the ground or on stone—One becomes an associate of Vishnu.
16) One who gives up meat & honey is a yogi and muni.
17) No intoxicating liquors—One becomes powerful and free from disease.
18) Fast for one day—One is honored in Brahmaloka.
19) No cutting of hair and nails—One gets the benefit of taking bath daily in Ganges.
20) No speaking of grama katha (nonsense)—One's order will never be disobeyed.
21) Eat food on the ground without dish or plate—One obtains a kingdom on Earth.
22) Chant the mantra Namo Narayana—One obtains the result of giving in charity 100 times.
23) Offer prayers to the Lord—One gets the result of giving cows in charity.
24) Touch the lotus feet of the Deity—One becomes a successful person.
25) Clean the temple of the Lord—If one is king he remains so for a Kalpa.
26) Circumambulating the temple three times offering prayers—At the time of death one will mount a swan airplane and go to Vaikuntha.
27) Singing or playing musical instruments in the temple of the Lord—One goes to Gardharvaloka.
28) Take pleasure in studying the sastras—One goes to Vishnuloka.
29) Sprinkle water in the temple—One goes to apsaraloka.
30) Take bath in a holy place—One's body becomes pure.
31) Worship Lord Vishnu with flowers—One goes to Vaikuntha.
32) Eat panchagavya—One gets the result of observing candrayana fasting.
33) Eat one meal a day—One gets the results of performing an Agnihotra.
34) Eat at night only—One gets the result of going to all the places of pilgrimage.
35) Eat at noon only—One attains Devaloka.
36) Take food not obtained by begging or any extraneous endeavor—One gets the results of opening water stands and digging wells.
37) Take bath daily—One will never see hell.
38) No eating on a plate—One gets the result of bathing at Pushkara
39) Eat on a leaf—One obtains the result of living at Kurukshetra.
40) Eat on a stone—One obtains the result of bathing at Prayog.
41) Giving up drinking to six hours—One will not be attacked by diseases.
42) During the Chaturmasya, garlands, caranamrta, candana and water from the conshell of the Lord, mahaprasädam, Deity garlands must be accepted.
In this way one who performs this vrata for the satisfaction of Lord Kesava becomes satisfied himself. O best of the Pandavas, among My devotees, he who accepts these vows and austerities during the Chaturmasya goes to my abode at the time of death, of this there is no doubt.
Vishnu Rahasya- Lord Brahma to Narada Muni.
Read more about vrata, sankalpa and Chaturmasya in general
Navaratri is a composite festival celebrated all over India. Depending on gauna - local tradition, but for most beginning with the New Moon (Amavasya - dark moon night) or for some on the ninth day of the month of Virgo (Kanya) just prior to the Amavasya, or on the first day of the Hindu month of Ashwina (Padmanabha - Vaishnava mase), various ceremonies are performed. T essesnce of this festival consists of fasts and worship of nine aspects of Durga, one on each of the nine days. Navaratri is known as the Festival of Nights honoring the goddesses beginning
Consequently this festival of Navaratri is popularly known as Durga Puja in Bengal. After these nine days comes the Dashami, the tenth day, which is the day of the famous festival of Dussehra or Vijaya Dashami ( the tenth day of victory ). This is the day Lord Rama had killed Ravana, signifying the victory of good over evil. Vaishnavas generally being absorbed in Vijay Dashami rather than Durga puja.
The total period of worship lasts for nine days out of which the first
three are dedicated to Durga ( the Goddess of Valor ), the next three to
Lakshmi ( the Goddess of Wealth ) and the last three to Saraswati ( the
Goddess of Knowledge ). The Deity images of Them are created, worshipped
and immersed in a sea or lake. In Gujarat, Garbha dance is performed. In
the South, houses are decorated and toys by the name of Bomma Kolam are
displayed. Durga has 1008 names or epithets but is worshipped in her nine
forms which are sometimes interchangeable since basically they represent
The following are the most popular forms of the goddess under which she is worshipped: Durga, goddess beyond reach; Bhadrakali, the Auspicious Power of Time; Amba or Jagadamba, Mother of the World; Annapurna, Giver of Food and Plenty; Sarvamangala, Auspicious Goddess; Bhairavi, Terrible, Fearful, Power of Death; Chandika or Chandi, Violent, Wrath, Fury; Lalita, Playfulness Personified; Bhavani, the Giver of Existence.
Navratri, is celebrated as the festival of nine nights, and is celebrated differently in different parts of India. In Gujarat, for nine nights, women and girls decked in finery, dance the garba around an earthen lamp or a kalash (pitcher) symbol of divine power, which is decorated with flowers and betal leaves, and has its mouth covered with a coconut. They sing and dance, clapping their hands in rhythmic movements, or do the Dandi dance (stick dance), holding two sticks and striking them to the rhyth, of the music.
In Tamil Nadu, the first three days of the festival are dedicated to Lakshmi, Goddess of Beauty and Prosperity; the next three days to Durga, Goddess of Righteousness, and the last three days to Saraswati, Goddess of Music and Learning. These goddesses are the consorts of Vishnu, Shiva and Brahma respectively. A special platform is decorated with the clay figurines of these gods and goddesses. The main room of worship contains a pitcher made of clay, silver or copper, depending on the devotee’s financial standing. The pitcher is placed in the centre of the room, its mouth covered with a cocnut and it is worshipped symbolically as Durga. Girls sing and dance before it and in the evening, gifts are exchanged.
In Andhra Pradesh the temple in the house is decorated with clay images of the Deities. A special sweetmeat like laddoos or sweet rice coloured yellow with turmeric, or khir (milk-preparation cooked in rice) is made eve3ry day and after offering to the household gods, is eaten. Everyone wears new clothes and friends drop in to see the family’s collection of images.
In Maharastra on the first day of navaratri the idol of Yogeshvari, a benign form of Durga, is installed in the house and the Haldi-Kum kum ceremony is held. Haldi (turmeric) and kum kum (vermilion) is applied on the forehead and sandalwood paste is smeared on the arms of all the invitees as these are considered auspicious.
As just mentioned, in Bengal especially where there are many Shaktas (worshippers of the female consort of Lord Shiva - Durga), it is a nine-day festival, when the Shakti or goddess Durga is worshipped, thus it is called Durga Puja. This commemorates the birth of the Mother Goddess, and has an interesting origin. An Asura, Mahisha, was troubling the three worlds of heaven, earthy and the space between. When his atrocities became unbearable, Shiva tried his best to kill him, but without success. The other gods were equally unsuccessful. Then, on Shiva’s advice, the devas / demigods performed a sacrifice and put their female shaktis (energies) into the sacrificial fire from where arose a woman of dazzling beauty. As a product of the female energies of the deavas /demigods, she was called Shakti. The demigods requested her to kill Mahishasura. For killing him, she came to be called Mahishasuramardini. Similarly, for killing the demon called Durg, she came to be called Durga.
Months before the festival, a special clay image of the demi-goddess is made showing her in the act of killing the demon Maishasura. The clay for the image is brought from ten places of work: of a farmer, weaver, painter, carpenter, musician, drummer, blacksmith, sweeper, bricklayer and a prostitute. Durga is also called Sarba Jananni, a goddess for all (common folk), and is shown riding her mount, the lion. The image of Durga is lavishly decorated. For nine days, she is worshipped and on Vijayadashami (Dusshera), the tenth day, the day the goddess was victorious over the evil asura, her clay image is immersed in the ocean or river. This immersion symbolises Durga’s return to her husband Shiva on the conclusion of her annual visit to her parental house.
During Navratri, Durga is worshipped under different names such as Shailaputri, Brahmacharini, Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Skandamata, Katyayani, Kalaratri, Mahagauri, and Siddhatri. She is also worshipped as Mahakali for killing the demons, Madhu and Kaitabha, who, for thousands of years troubled Vishnu. When they stole the holy Vedas from the hands of Brahma, who was sitting on a lotus stalk arising from Vishnu’s navel, Vishnu invoked the goddess and she killed the two demons. She is also worshipped as Chamunda for killing the demons Chunda and Munda; as Nanda for predicting the death of Kansa (Kamsa) at the hands of Krishna; as Sakhambari for protecting the world from famine; as Kumari, the eternal virgin and so on.
The culmination of the Navratri festival is Mahanavami when the goddess is worshipped as Durga in the form of Aparajita and sugarcane stalks are offered to her. Sugarcane is harvested at that time. On this day, in rural Kashmir, Punjab, Harayana, Uttara Pradesh and Bihar, Kanya Puja is performed, when nine young virgins, symbolically representing the nine forms of the goddess, are worshipped. Their feet are washed and they are feasted after each has been given new clothes by the worshipper. In some parts of Kashmir, Harayana, Uttar Pradesh and Maharastra instead of Mahanavami, the celebrations end on the astami, the eighth day, as it is the birthday of Parvati, the auspicious form of Durga.(Note, this is also the month of Virgo, the virgin - Kanya)
While in certain parts of India the cult of the Mother Goddess is strong and Navratri celebrations culminating in Vijayadashami take preceedence over other festivities, in other parts of India Dussehra celebrations are given more importance. Ramalila, the life of Rama as portrayed in the Ramayan is enacted for nine days. Jhankis (tableaux) are taken out in procession, showing on each day one stage of Rama’s life. On the tenth day, massive effigies of Ravana, his younger brother Kumbhakarna and son Meghanatha (Indrajit) are erected, stuffed with fire-crackers and set aflame at sundown. The fire is triggered by an arrow shot by the man playing Rama and thus evil in the form of Ravana is destroyed. See the page on Vijay Dashami - victory of Rama for more on this.
In Kulu, Himachal Pradesh, Dussehra takes place three days later. The reason for this goes back to the time of Maharaj Ranjit Singh, the ruler of the Punjab. The hill states of Punjab, now in Himachal Pradesh were under the court at Lahore. The Maharaj expected all his tutelary kings to be present at his court during the Dussehra celebrations. The rulers with their retinues would mount their horses immediately after the celebrations were over at Lahore (presently in Pakistan), and speed back to their hill kingdoms to celebrate Dussehra there. It took them three days to reach their states. And since then the custom of celebrating Dussehra three days late has continued.
Here the unique feature of the festival is that instead of burning effigies of Ravana and his brothers Kumbhakarna and Meganatha as in other places, instead five animals - a cock, a fish, a lamb, a crab and a buffalo – are sacrificed and a pile of wood is burnt seven days later to symbolise the victory of good over evil. Why, we could not find out, even such sacrifice is not sanctioned in this age, still it goes on.
Tastefully decorated idols of village dieites from all over the valley are brought in palanquins to the venue of the festival. The main goddess Hidimbaa (Hidimbi), a form of Durga, demon wife of Bhima and mother of Ghatokacha, is brought in procession from the pagoda structure temple at Dhungri in Manali. The procession is led by musicians and dancers performing the Nati dance which is very popular.
A large fair organised during the celebrations offers the visitors a glimpse of the traditional culture of the distant tribal areas of Lahaul and Spiti, Pangi, Pin and Parvati. Since these areas get snowbound about twenty days later the fair provides the people living across the Rohtang Pass an opportunity to purchase their essential provisions for the long winter months when they are forced to remain indoors (possibly this is where the sacrifice of animals comes in, as for some in these remote and hardy lands they are their livelihood and food).
In Karnataka (South India) lemons are placed on the road in front of the wheels of cars, buses, scooters and the vehicles driven over them. It is also a symbolic representation of sacrifice whereby dhrishti, inauspiciousness is removed. Also, a slit is made in a big gourd and vermilion is spirinkled on it, then the gourd is crushed and the red extract is sprinkled on all vehicles as a symbol of sacrificial blood. Such symbolic sacrifice in this age is prefered to causing harm to other living beings. In Karnataka the great devotee Ananda Tirtha - Madhwacharya fought hard in the 13th century to replace animal sacrifices with such symbolic representations after being instructed to do so by the son of Saci, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu as mentioned in Bhavishya Purana, Pratisarga parva, Kali yuga khanda 19th chapter and similarly recorded in his establishment of offerings through the mantra idam krishnaya idan na mama (Sumadhwa Vijay).
Dussehra, associated with the burning of Ravana’s effigy, is a public celebration. In homes, the most important article of the household is kept in the place of worship. For instance, the farmer puts his plough; the housewife her churning rod; the weaver his spinning wheel; the soldier his weapons and so on. On the first day of the ten-day festival of navaratri and Dussehra, grains of barley are planted. On the last day, the nine-day old shoots called noratras are placed on the articles to be worshipped along with grains of rice and vermilion poder, all fertility symbols. Noratras are also put on the caps of men, behind their ears, and in books to bring good luck. Sisters apply a tilak (vermilion mark) on the forehead of brothers and put noratras behind their ears and bless them. The head of the family writes down the names of all the family members present on this occasion. It is a method of keeping a record of the family geneaology. Depending upon the family’s profession, the current prices are noted down, for instance the goldsmith writes the prevalent prices of gold and silver and the farmer the price of grains and so on. Soon after this festival, the sugarcane crip is harvested, and the winter crops sown (northern hemisphere). (much taken from Shakti M Gupta. 1991. Festivals, Fairs and fasts of India. Pages 124-128.)
Navratri in the
The historical background:
Navratri or the Festival of Nine Nights from Ashvin Sud 1 to 9 (sudha – shukla pratipat to the navami) is devoted to the propitiation of Shakti or Divine Mother. She represents prakriti, counterpart of Purusha jointly making possible the creation of the world according to the religious ideology of Goddess worship. Such worships were prevalent in India even before the so-called advent of the Aryans, who adopted it as a religious practice. References in Vedas and Puranas confirm this opinion. The main temples of mother goddess that are visited by multitude of devotees during Navratri are the shaktipithas, of which there are three in Gujarat. It is believed that Lord Vishnu had to cut the body of Sati into pieces to stop the destruction by Shiva who was perturbed by her death. At fifty-two places these pieces fell, the three in Gujarat being; Ambaji in Banaskantha, Bahucharaji in Chunaval and Kalika on Pavagadh hill in Panchmahals. Others were Kali ghatt in Calcutta, Kanya kumari in the far south, Menekshi Devi at Madurai, and so on.
This festival is essentially religious in nature. It is celebrated with true devotion in the various temples dedicated to the Mother, or Mataji, as she is familiarly called. In some homes, images of the Mother are worshipped in accordance with accepted practice. This is also true of the temples, which usually have a constant stream of visitors from morning to night.
The most common form of public celebration is the performance of garba or dandia-ras, Gujarat's popular folk-dance, late throughout the nights of these nine days in public squares, open grounds and streets. Females wear ethnic Chania Choli and Males wear Dhoti-Kurta and enjoy garba and dandiya ras (dance) the whole Night. The participants move round in a circle around a mandvi (garbo), a structure to hold earthen lamps filled with water and to house the image or idol of mother goddess. A betel nut and a silver coin are placed within the pot, called a kumbh, on top of which a coconut has also been placed. Pandals are erected over these madvis and decorated with asopalav, date palm leaves, flowers and electric light. As the dancers whirl around the pot, a singer and a drummer provide the musical accompaniment. The participants clap in a steady rhythm. The dance usually starts slowly. It gets faster and faster as the music too gets more rapid until the dance abruptly comes to a halt. There is a pause for a while and the dance commences once again, the singer leading with a new song.
Another dance which is also a feature of Navaratri is the dandia-ras or ‘stick’ dance, in which men and women join the dance circle, holding small polished sticks or dandias. As they whirl to the intoxicating rhythm of the dance, men and women strike the dandias together, adding to the joyous atmosphere. So popular are the garba and the dandia-ras that competitions are held to assess the quality of the dancing. Prizes are given to those judged to be the best. The costumes worn for the dances are traditional and alive with colour. The dances usually commence late in the night and continue until early morning, testifying to their great popularity.
Navratri in Gujarat:
In different parts of the state the celebration of Navratri has different emphasis. In Saurashtra, bhavai, a dance drama is played. At Vadnagar in Mehsana Vada Garbani Sheri is focus of the attention as large number of men and women participate in garba-rasa. In Ahmedabad the fusion of modern music is at its peak and youngsters have gala time. The overnight extravaganza is worth witnessing for pomp, splendour and exhilaration that permeates everywhere. Isanpur near Ahmedabad is famous for its mandvi, which is erected on the thirteenth day with arti being performed the next day early in the morning. Account of Navratri would be incomplete without reference to Vadodara, the city of art and culture. Here, a number of groups perform garba-rasa stick dancing in quite professional manner. A bhavai performance is also held at Baroda’s Ambaji temple, during Navratri. The grace and dignity of the performances of Baroda leaves nothing to chance for its perfection.
Navratri is thus the festival that combines religious, devotional, cultural and recreational activities for almost a fortnight in different places for various reasons. As one friend from the Gujarat once said, To be in Gujarat during Navratri is to witness Gujarat at her best.
Navratri in Mysore state has its own local significance
This is also the
auspicious appearance day of Sripada Madhwacarya.
Some also observe as the Buddha jayanti - birthday of Lord Buddha
See article from NASA showing
satelite pictures of the original bridge built by Lord Rama and the Vana
On the tenth day of the waxing moon of Padmanabha (Asvina) month, occurs Vijayotsava. On this day Lord Ramacandra heard from Hanuman beneath the sami tree that he had found and seen Sita on the Island kingdom of Lanka. Hearing this, Ramacandra held a festival, and then set out for Sri Lanka. On this day one may perform special puja of Lord Ramacandra and then in His honour feed the Vaisnavas. This is a popular festival in north India, where, on this occasion, large paper effigies of the demon Ravana are burned to the resounding chants of Victory to Rama, Victory to Rama.
In the pastimes of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu he absorbed Himself in the transcendental lila of Lord Ramacandra in the following manner as recorded by Srila Krishna dasa Kaviraj Goswami.
Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita Madhya-lila Chapter 15 Texts 31-35.
parama-äveçe prabhu äilä nija-ghara
ei-mata lélä kare gauräìga-sundara
In great ecstasy, Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu returned to His residence. In this way, Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu, known as Gauräìga-sundara, performed various pastimes.
vänara-sainya kailä prabhu laïä bhakta-gaëe
On the victory day celebrating the conquest of Laìkä–a day known as Vijayä-daçamé–Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu dressed up all His devotees like monkey soldiers.
hanumän-äveçe prabhu våkña-çäkhä laïä
laìkä-gaòe caòi’ phele gaòa bhäìgiyä
Displaying the emotions of Hanumän, Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu took up a large tree branch, and, mounting the walls of the Laìkä fort, began to dismantle it.
‘kähäìre rävëä’ prabhu kahe krodhäveçe
jagan-mätä hare päpé, märimu savaàçe’
In the ecstasy of Hanumän, Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu angrily said, “Where is the rascal Rävaëa? He has kidnapped the universal mother, Sétä. Now I shall kill him and all his family.”
gosäïira äveça dekhi’ loke camatkära
sarva-loka jaya’ jaya’ bale bära bära
Everyone became very astonished to see the emotional ecstasy of Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu, and everyone began to chant, “All glories! All glories!” again and again.
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Tamäla Kåñëa: You’ll
have to sit up. Is that all right? (break) These are very favorite preparations.
Today is Räma Vijaya Utsava. Also the appearance day of Çré
Madhväcärya. So you should have a feast today, Çréla
Prabhupäda. (laughter) So maybe Pisimä should do some cooking
to celebrate this day. It is a very big... Dr. Ghosh told me that amongst
the Bengali community...
Prabhupäda: No, all over India.
Tamäla Kåñëa: And also Durgä-püjä is today.
Prabhupäda: Vijayotsava. Today Rämacandra conquered over Rävaëa.
Tamäla Kåñëa: So to celebrate that, shouldn’t Pisimä do some cooking?
Prabhupäda: Hm. Lugdu.
Tamäla Kåñëa: And you’ll taste a little of each thing?
Prabhupäda: Hm. I’ll take. (break)
Tamäla Kåñëa: ...today, Çréla Prabhupäda? Maybe the medicines are having some good effect. (break) Today is Vijayotsava.
Tamäla Kåñëa: Räma Vijayotsava.
Nava-yogendra: Aj räma vijaya utsava hai.
Prabhupäda: Hard of hearing. (laughter)
Bhavänanda: (loudly) Ajke räma vijaya utsava. Aneka prasädam.
Pisimä: Aneka prasädam.
Bhavänanda: Äpne aneka prasädam korilun. (Bengali) Lugdu. Lugdu.
Prabhupäda: (Bengali) lugdu.
Nava-yogendra: Lugdu, lugdu.
Nava-yogendra: Bundi läòu.
Tamäla Kåñëa: Okay. She will cook a feast to celebrate the day, Çréla Prabhupäda, and you have to also take part. (break) (October 21st 1977. Vrindavan India.)
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Ram = raam / rAm
Ravan = raavan / rAvan
Lord Ram then ordered, "Matali, drive quickly to where Ravan is staying, but at the same time be very cautious."
Then, remembering that He was speaking to Indra's charioteer, Lord Ram felt embarrassed and so He apologized, "I am very sorry to have instructed you as if I were your master. It is just that I am eager to kill Ravan, so please excuse My offense."
Matali was very touched by Lord Ram's wonderful display of humility. As he maneuvered Indra's chariot close by Ravan's side, Lord Ram and his adversary began to exchange arrows. Soon, the fighting became very intense. Clouds rained blood upon Ravan's chariot, and a flock of vultures followed him from behind. A huge meteor fell nearby and so all the Rakshasas (the monster clan) became exceedingly despondent, while Ravan became convinced that he would soon die.
On the other hand, very pleasing signs appeared before Lord Ram, and so He became convinced that victory would soon be His. In the duel that followed, Lord Ram and Ravan gradually exhibited the entire wealth of their respective prowess. The competition became so intense that both armies became stunned with amazement. Indeed, all the soldiers stood motionless, just like paintings, and because they were so absorbed in watching the fight, they did not even think of attacking one another.
When Ravan tried to knock down Indra's flag, Lord Ram deflected his arrows with His own. Then, because He was determined to match Ravan, blow for blow, Lord Ram knocked down the Rakshasa King's flag. Ravan then pierced Indra's horses, but when the celestial steeds did not even stagger, he became angry and frustrated.
At last, Ravan resorted to the Rakshasa power of illusion to send forth mace-clubs, huge shuriken-discs, trees, and mountain peaks. Lord Ramchandra was able to counteract all these before they reached His chariot, and so they fell upon the army of monkeys. Lord Ram and Ravan continued to dispatch thousands of weapons at each other, and as they collided in the air, they fell down onto the battlefield. In this way, the fighting continued for about an hour. Lord Ram matched Ravan, blow for blow, while all created beings looked on, their minds astonished with wonder.
Both drivers also displayed great skill. But, when the chariots came side by side, Lord Ram forced Ravan's four horses to turn away by piercing them with four arrows. This incited Ravan's anger, and so he repeatedly pierced Lord Ram in retaliation. Lord Ram remained undisturbed, and thereafter, the exchange of all varieties of weapons became so feverish, that the fighting that took place was unparalleled in the history of warfare.
Sometimes Ravan fought in his ten-headed feature, and at other times he fought in his normal form, having one head. On one occasion, Lord Ram managed to sever Ravan's head with an arrow. But, as that head fell to the ground, a duplicate one miraculously cropped up in its place. Lord Ram then severed that head, but once again, another one immediately manifested itself as a replacement. Again and again Lord Ram cut off Ravan's head, until, altogether one hundred such heads lay on the battlefield.
Because each time a new head appeared to replace the old one, Lord Ram began to wonder, "With these arrows I formerly killed Maricha, Khara and Viradha. I pierced seven Sal trees and killed the invincible Vali. These arrows had humbled great mountains and agitated the fathomless sea. How is it that they are now ineffectual against Ravan?"
The duel continued at a furious pace. Both combatants were obsessed with the desire for killing the other. In fact, several days and nights passed without any break in the fighting.
At last, when Matali saw that Lord Ram was not gaining His desired victory, he inquired, "Why are you simply fighting defensively? My Lord, are You not aware of Your limitless potencies? The hour of doom has now arrived for the King of the Rakshasas. Why don't You employ the divine brahmastra?" Being thus reminded of this ultimate weapon, Lord Ram picked up the arrow that Agastya Rishi had formerly given Him at the time of their meeting in the Dandaka forest. That arrow had been constructed personally by Lord Brahma for Indra's use, and later on it was presented to Agastya. Garuda supplied the feathers of that wonderful arrow and the sharp head combined the energy of the Firegod, Agni, and the Sungod. Mount Meru and Mount Mandara contributed their gravity to the arrow's weight, and its shaft was made from the subtle ethereal element.
This brahmastra weapon was omnipotent and infallible, and its dazzling effulgence made it rival the splendor of the sun. After empowering the brahmastra with the required mantras, Lord Ram placed it upon His bowstring. As the monkeys gazed upon that flaming arrow, their hearts became filled with delight, while a dreadful fear penetrated the cores of the hearts of all the Rakshasas.
As Lord Ram pulled the bowstring back to His ear, the earth trembled and the heavens also appeared to become disturbed. When Lord Ram released the brahmastra, it sped through the air like death itself, and then violently fell upon the chest of the wicked Ravan. After piercing right through the King of the Rakshasa's heart, that effulgent arrow entered deep into the earth, taking his sinful life along with it. As that awesome brahmastra came and re-entered Lord Ram's quiver, Ravan dropped the bow from his hand and fell down dead from his chariot.
With great, transcendental ecstasy, the monkey warriors loudly proclaimed Lord Ram's victory as they attacked the fleeing Rakshasa army. From the sky, the demigods shouted, "Sadhu! Sadhu!" ("Well done! Excellent!"), as they completely covered Lord Ram's chariot with showers of flowers, and beat upon their celestial drums.
Now that Ravan was dead at last, the demigods and great rishis felt blessed relief and a peace of mind that they had not enjoyed for a long time. A cool and gentle, fragrant breeze began to blow, and the sun spread its rays very serenely, so that happiness seemed to pervade all directions. Sugriv, Angad, Vibhishan and Lakshman were the first to come and pay their homage unto Lord Ram. But, when Vibhishan saw his elder brother lying dead upon the ground, he broke down and cried in an outburst of intense grief. Meanwhile, news of Ravan's death spread throughout the inner apartments of the royal palace. Ravan's wives came out of the city and entered the battlefield, their hair disheveled and dress and ornaments in disarray. Overcome by unbearable grief and wailing aloud, some of the women rolled in the dust like madwomen, while others went and embraced different parts of Ravan's dead body.
Crying out, "O my lord! O my husband!" one of the ladies hung around Ravan's neck, while others clutched at his feet, rubbed his wounded chest, threw up their arms in despair or fainted away, being unable to bear the grief. Amidst the sounds of loud wailing, these lamentations were heard: "Oh, dear husband, by ignoring our good advice, as well as that given by Vibhishan, you have brought about your destruction. Now that you are dead, our lives are also finished, for the wife has no other support than her husband. This is the inevitable end for such a cruel and hardhearted person like you. Who else would have dared to kidnap Sita and keep her by force, against her will?"
Ravan's favorite queen, Mandodari, lamented, "My dear husband, even though you were so powerful, you could not stand before Lord Ram. You were too proud because of your acquired prowess, and so you became a great burden for the earth. You foolishly could not understand that it was Lord Vishnu Himself who had descended upon the earth as Lord Ram, in order to relieve her of that burden."
"O Ravan, your sinful passion for Sita has turned out to be the cause for the destruction of all the Rakshasas. You always masqueraded as a great hero, but you were actually proven to be a coward when you deceitfully kidnapped Sita. Still, despite your abominable character, I do not see how I shall be able to go on living in your absence." Finally, Mandodari fainted with her head upon Ravan's chest. Her co-wives then lifted her up and revived her. At this time, Lord Ram ordered Vibhishan, "You should begin the funeral rites for your elder brother without further delay. Only after the cremation of Ravan's body will it be possible to comfort his widows."
Vibhishan replied, "I do not want to perform the funeral ceremonies for a man who kidnapped the wives of others, who was merciless and tyrannical, and who was inclined toward irreligion. Of course, Ravan was my elder brother, and so it is my duty to respect him. But, on the other hand, because his actions were like those of an enemy, I feel that he does not deserve my worship."
Lord Ram said, "Vibhishan, I approve of your words because they uphold the cause of virtue. Still, I would like you to cremate your brother's body. After all, despite his faults, Ravan was a great hero. And, it is a fact, that with the death of his body, all hostilities have now ended." Vibhishan went inside the city to make arrangements for Ravan's funeral. After bringing his maternal grandfather, Malyavan, Vibhishan placed Ravan's body on the funeral carrier and then proceeded, along with other Rakshasas who carried the firewood. Going toward the south, the party arrived at a consecrated place where they cremated Ravan's body according to the Vedic injunctions. Thereafter, Ravan's wives were consoled, and then everyone returned to Lanka.
Having given up His transcendental anger, Lord Ram now assumed a gentle appearance and laid aside his bow, arrows and armor. The demigods departed from their positions in the sky and returned to their abodes, and while going they chanted the glories of Lord Ram with great satisfaction. After receiving due honor from Lord Ram, and permission to depart, Matali ascended into the sky upon Indra's chariot and returned to the heavenly kingdom.
After coming to Their camp, Lord Ram ordered Lakshman to perform Vibhishan's installation ceremony. In turn, Lakshman gave golden vessels to the chief monkeys and ordered them to go quickly and fetch water from the four seas. Soon after, Lakshman performed the installation ceremony strictly according to the Vedic injunctions, and all the citizens of Lanka came to the sacrificial arena with presentations of auspicious articles. After receiving these gifts, Vibhishan offered them to Lord Ram.
Lord Ram then told Hanuman, who was standing nearby with folded hands, "Please go and find out how Sita is, and inform her that I have killed Ravan. After doing so, return here with any message that she may give you." After taking permission from King Vibhishan, Hanuman went to the Ashoka grove. There, he found the grief-stricken Sita, surrounded by hideous Rakshasis.
Standing meekly in front of Sita, Hanuman said, "Your husband has sent me here to give you this message: 'After many sleepless months, I have finally been able to accomplish My vow to rescue you. Now that your oppressor, the King of the Rakshasas, is dead, you can give up all your anxiety.' " Upon hearing this, Sita became so happy that she could not reply for some time. When Hanuman asked why she remained silent, Sita said, "I can hardly speak because I am so elated. Hanuman, what you have told me is unlimitedly more valuable than any amount of gold or jewels."
Standing with folded hands, Hanuman suggested, "If you so desire, I can kill all these hideous Rakshasa women who have tormented you for so long. In fact, I would take great pleasure in avenging all the suffering that you had to undergo. I simply await your permission."
By nature, Sita was very kind to the downtrodden. So, she replied, "They are only foolish maidservants who had to carry out the orders of the King. Whatever I had suffered was the result of my own misdeeds, and these Rakshasis acted only as instruments in the hands of destiny." "Hanuman, perhaps you have heard this old adage that was once spoken by a bear: 'A great man never takes into account the offenses that are committed against him. Indeed, he vows that at all costs he will not return evil with evil.' The story goes like this:
There was a hunter being chased by a tiger, and so he climbed up into a big tree. It so happened that there was a bear perched upon one of the branches. Seeing this, the tiger said, "This hunter is our common enemy. Therefore, you should push him out of the tree so that I can eat him." The bear replied, "This hunter has taken shelter of my home, and so I will not do anything to harm him. To act in such a way would be most unrighteous." After saying this, the bear went to sleep.
The tiger then told the hunter, "If you push the bear out of the tree so that I can eat him, I promise that I will not harm you." Being swayed by the tiger's words, the hunter pushed the sleeping bear. But, as he was falling, the bear managed to grab onto a branch and save himself. The tiger then said to the bear, "Because this hunter tried to kill you, you should retaliate by pushing him out of the tree."
And yet, even though the tiger appealed to the bear in this manner, again and again, he refused, saying, "A great person never takes into account the sins of one who has offended him. Instead, at all costs, he keeps his vow to never return evil for evil, because he knows that good conduct is the ornament of virtuous persons."
Before departing, Hanuman asked Sita if she had any message for Lord Ram. Sita replied, "My only words are this- 'I long to see my dear husband, who is known to be always very affectionate toward His unalloyed devotees.' " Hanuman said, "Rest assured that you will see Lord Ram, along with Lakshman, this very day. Now, please grant me your permission so that I can return to Lord Ram without further delay."
Hanuman went and related Sita's message and after doing so, he urged Lord Ram to go and meet Sita at once. "Because she has suffered so much and longs to see You, You should go to the Ashoka grove immediately," Hanuman pleaded. Upon hearing this appeal, tears came to Lord Ram's eyes. Then, with His eyes cast downward, Lord Ram ordered Vibhishan, "Have Sita brought to Me, after having bathed, dressed, and decorated herself with celestial ornaments." Vibhishan went to the Ashoka grove, and through the Rakshasa women he made his presence known to Sita. Then, after very submissively approaching her, Vibhishan said, "Lord Ram would like to see you. First of all please bathe and dress yourself in these celestial clothes and ornaments. Then, mount upon the palanquin that I have brought, for that is Lord Ram's desire." Sita replied, "I want to see Lord Ram immediately. I do not want to bathe first."
However, Vibhishan advised, "You had better do as Your husband has ordered, for that will bring you all auspiciousness." Sita then went to bathe, and after dressing herself very nicely, she was placed upon the palanquin and brought before her husband. When Vibhishan came before Lord Ram, he saw that the Lord's head was bowed down, as if He were absorbed in deep thought.
Vibhishan announced Sita's arrival, and in response, Lord Ram asked that she be brought to Him at once. Hordes of monkeys had come there out of curiosity, just to get a glimpse of mother Sita. Vibhishan and his four assistants began pushing them back, so that mother Sita could approach Lord Ram privately. Because of this, there was a great commotion.
Due to His strong affection for His faithful servants, Lord Ram became annoyed to see this, however, and so He told Vibhishan, "Do not harass these monkeys. There is nothing wrong if a chaste woman is seen in public during a time of adversity or war, a svayamvara, a sacrifice or a wedding. Please allow the monkeys to see Sita if they so desire." Lord Ram then ordered, "Let Sita get down from the palanquin and come to Me on foot."
As Vibhishan escorted mother Sita, all the monkey chiefs could understand that Lord Ram was in a very stern and grave mood. They were very surprised that not only was Lord Ram making mother Sita walk within public view, but that His demeanor was so severe as well. Sita innocently approached Lord Ram with great shyness, as if she were shrinking into herself. Then, when Sita saw the handsome face of her beloved husband, her miseries immediately vanished, so that her face shone brightly like the full moon.
Then, as Sita continued to gaze upon Him with great love and affection, Lord Ram began to give vent to His pent-up inner feelings. Lord Ram's heart was tormented by fear of stain to the impeccable reputation of His dynasty, and because of this, He addressed Sita as follows, in an angry tone of voice. Lord Ram said, "I have fulfilled My vow to win you back and thus avenge Ravan's insult to My honor. But, you must understand that My great endeavor to kill the King of the Rakshasas was not actually for your sake. I did this just to vindicate My good name, and that of the Ikshvaku dynasty."
"Truthfully, your appearance before Me is not at all pleasing. You are free to go wherever you like. No cultured man will accept a wife who has been embraced by another man, or who has lived in someone else's house. I am sure that no woman could have remained with Ravan for so long without having been enjoyed by Him. Ravan was obsessed by lust for you. How could he have controlled himself and refrained from enjoying you by force? By killing Ravan I have regained My honor. But there is no need for Me to have any more attachment for you. You are now free to do as you like. Fix your mind upon Lakshman, Bharat, or anyone else whom you may choose." While listening to this speech, Sita bent her head low with shame. Having formerly heard only loving words from Lord Ram, His talk seemed like arrows piercing her heart, and thus she began to bitterly weep. Being in the presence of so many spectators, it was very difficult for Sita to endure her husband's reproaches.
Finally, after wiping the tears form her eyes, Sita replied in a faltering voice. She said, "How can You dare speak about me in such an irresponsible manner? Never for a moment did I give up my chastity by body, mind, or words. My character is pure and so You should not judge me as if I was an ordinary woman. Although I am called Janaki, the daughter of King Janaka, my birth was transcendental, for I appeared from within the earth."
"Lord Ram, if all along You had cruelly planned to reject me in this way, then why didn't you inform me when Hanuman came here as a messenger? If I had known that You did not intend to take me back, I would have immediately given up my life and thus avoided many months of unbearable suffering. You could have avoided this ghastly war that has taken the lives of countless Rakshasas and Vanaras. What was the need of demanding so much service from your allies? Lord Ram, why are You acting like this? Does my pure devotion for You mean nothing?"
Sita then turned to Lakshman and said, "Please build a large fire for me to enter, for this is the only path that remains for one who has been rejected by her husband in public."
While suppressing His agitation, Lakshman looked at Lord Ram, and when He saw that His elder brother approved of Sita's words, He went to prepare the fire. In fact, Lord Ram looked so stern and intense that no one dared to even talk to Him, and so what to speak of try to pacify Him. Thereafter, when the fire blazed up brightly, Sita first of all circumambulated Lord Ram. Then, after coming before the fire with folded hands, Sita bowed down to the brahmanas and demigods.
She then offered the following prayer to Agni: "O god of fire, because my heart has never turned away from Lord Ram, please protect me. Although I have never been unfaithful to Lord Ram in thought, word or deed, He accuses me of being polluted. Therefore, O lord of fire, seer of all within the three worlds, I request you to become the witness of my purity."
After saying this, Sita circumambulated the fire. Then, as a huge crowd looked on with wonder, she entered the flames with a fearless mind. Within the blazing fire, Sita, who was adorned with dazzling gold ornaments, shone with a golden radiance. As soon as Sita was within the flames, all the women present screamed with horror and a loud cry of anguish arose from the assembled monkeys and Rakshasas. Amidst all these sounds, Lord Ram appeared to become very thoughtful. At that time, all the principal demigods hurriedly appeared before Him, riding upon their celestial vehicles. Then, as Lord Ram stood before them, with folded hands the demigods, headed by Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva, said, "O Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Ramchandra, we are very pained to see how You are neglecting Your eternal consort, Mother Sita. You are the creator of the universe and the Lord of all the demigods. Why don't You recognize Your divinity instead of rejecting Sita, as if You were a common man?"
Lord Ram replied, "I consider myself to be an ordinary human being, the son of Maharaja Dasharath. But, if there is something more to be said, then perhaps you, Lord Brahma, can disclose it."
Lord Brahma then said, "My dear Lord Ram, I will now reveal Your real identity. You are directly Lord Narayana, and thus You are identical with all the forms of Vishnu-tattva. You are a plenary expansion of Lord Sri Krishna, the original Supreme Personality of Godhead, and thus You are the cause of all causes. You are the universal form, the support of the cosmic manifestation, and all of the demigods are Your parts and parcels, or in other words, Your eternal servants. Sita is none other than Lakshmi herself, the supreme Goddess of Fortune. Both of you have appeared on the earth for accomplishing the destruction of Ravan. Now that this mission has been accomplished, You may return to Your transcendental abode in the spiritual sky, after ruling over the earth for as long as You desire."
As soon as Lord Brahma finished speaking, the fire-god, Agni, emerged from the flames, carrying Sita in his arms. As Agni placed Sita before Lord Ram, everyone was amazed to see how her body, bright red dress, ornaments and hair showed absolutely no sign of being even slightly burnt.
Then, in his capacity as one of the universal witnesses, Agni announced, "Lord Ram, here is Your dear wife, Sita. She is completely pure and devoid of even the least tinge of sin. Sita was never the slightest bit unfaithful to You by word, thought or glance, and so what to speak of action. Therefore, My dear Lord Ram, You must accept Sita without reservation and give up Your harsh speech and behavior."
Lord Ram was very pleased to hear this testimony, and as tears of joy fell from His eyes, He replied, "Agni, it was necessary for Sita to undergo this trial by fire in order to convince the masses of people of her purity. If I had prevented Sita from entering the fire, people would have criticized Me for accepting her without first proving her chastity. They would have concluded that I had only taken her back because of being under the influence of lust to enjoy her."
"Actually, I knew all about Sita's purity, and I knew that Ravan could never have polluted her, for she is fully protected by the prowess of her righteousness. It was only to prove Sita's chastity to the world that I appeared to neglect her. Factually, Sita is not different from Me, for she is directly My internal potency, the hladhini-sakti. Just as sunlight, being not different from the sun, is inseparable from the sun, so there is no possibility of My rejecting Sita."
Actually, Lord Ram felt great transcendental bliss while being reunited with Sita, for His pastimes were all manifestations of His internal potency, and had been enacted for the purpose of relishing spiritual relationships. Lord Shiva then addressed Lord Ram, saying, "My dear Lord, by slaying the incomparably powerful Ravan, You have performed a wonderful feat that will be glorified throughout the three worlds until the time of dissolution." Then, while pointing toward the sky, Lord Shiva said, "Lord Ram, look up and see how Your father is waiting, seated upon his celestial chariot. After having been delivered by Your mercy, he now resides in the planet of Indra, the King of heaven. Go quickly, along with Lakshman, and be reunited with Maharaja Dasharath, for he has come here just to see You."
Lord Ram and Lakshman went and bowed down before Their father. Feeling extremely delighted, Maharaja Dasharath took Lord Ram on his lap and said, "My residence in heaven does not give me any real pleasure. Ram, only now that I am able to see You do I feel happy. Kaikeyi's words, demanding Your exile, have always remained imprinted on my heart. Only now that Your period of exile has ended do I feel somewhat relieved. I yearn to see Your return to Ayodhya and installed as the Emperor, after being reunited with Bharat. I can now understand that You are the Supreme Lord, Vishnu, and that You had descended upon the earth for the purpose of vanquishing Ravan."
Lord Ram replied, "My dear father, I also feel greatly relieved now that My period of exile is over and My mission has been accomplished. But still, there is one thing that I wish that you would grant Me. May you now withdraw the harsh words that you had spoken at the time of My banishment, disowning Kaikeyi and Bharat."
Maharaja Dasharath readily consented, saying, "Let it be so." Then he fondly embraced Lakshman and declared, "My dear son, because of the dedicated service that You have rendered to Ram, I feel eternally indebted to You. You should know that Your elder brother is directly the Supreme Personality of Godhead, appearing in human form, for the welfare of the world. He is worshipful even by the greatest demigods, and so what to speak of ourselves."
Maharaja Dasharath then told Sita, "Please do not bear any grudge against Ram for having tested your purity. You can rest assured that your remarkable behavior will earn you a place in history as the most glorious woman the world has ever seen."
Having thus spoken, Maharaja Dasharath remounted his celestial chariot and ascended to heaven. Then, as Lord Ram stood before him with folded hands, Indra said, "My audience can never go in vain, and so I wish that You would take a benediction from me."
Lord Ram was pleased to hear this, and He requested, "King of the celestials, please bring back to life all the monkey warriors who died in My service. In addition, let all the trees in the places where these great heroes dwell become full of fruit, even when out of season." Indra replied, "Although this boon is very difficult for even me to grant, I shall happily do so."
Immediately, all the monkeys who had died in the battle began to rise up from the ground, and since all of their wounds were completely healed, it appeared to them as if they were awakening from a deep sleep. But, when they saw Lord Ram and all the demigods before them, the monkeys could understand that they had gotten back their lost lives, and so they felt supremely delighted. Indra then ascended to heaven, followed by all the demigods. Lord Ram and the monkeys passed the night at that place. The next morning, Vibhishan came to see Lord Ram, along with numerous maidservants who carried all kinds of paraphernalia for His bath.
However, Lord Ram ordered, "My dear Vibhishan, summon all the monkeys, headed by Sugriv, and let them utilize this royal luxury. As long as I am separated from Bharat, who is practicing severe austerities on My behalf, such opulence does not appeal to Me. My only request is that you arrange for My speedy passage back to Ayodhya, for to travel there by foot would be an arduous journey."
Vibhishan replied, "I can enable You to reach Ayodhya this very day by making use of the Pushpaka chariot. But, I request that You, Sita and Lakshman remain here for some time, along with the army of monkeys, so that I can royally entertain all of you before Your departure." Lord Ram replied, "I certainly cannot refuse your hospitality, and yet, because My anxiety to meet Bharat, My mother and My step-mothers is so great, I beg that you allow Me to depart without delay."
Vibhishan quickly went and brought the Pushpaka chariot. This wonderful vehicle had originally belonged to Kuvera, before it had been forcibly taken away by Ravan. The Pushpaka chariot was built by Vishvakarma and was made mostly of gold, and had seats made of vaidurya gems. This aerial chariot could travel anywhere, following the mental indications of its driver. When Lord Ram and Lakshman saw the chariot awaiting Their commands, They were astonished. But, before departing, Lord Ram requested Vibhishan to present gifts of gold and jewels to all the monkey soldiers. Then, after mounting the Pushpaka chariot, along with Lakshman and Sita, Lord Ram addressed those who surrounded Him.
Lord Ram said, "There is no way I can repay all you monkey warriors for your heroic fighting on My behalf. Your unflinching devotional service will always serve as an inspiration for future devotees. Your glories will forever shine brightly. Now, please return to Kishkindha and live there happily under Sugriv's leadership. Vibhishan, you should accept the responsibility for ruling over Lanka at once, because the citizens have become bereft of their king."
While standing before Lord Ram with folded hands, Sugriv and Vibhishan pleaded, "O Lord, please allow us to accompany You to Ayodhya. After seeing the coronation ceremonies, we will return home." Lord Ram replied, "There is nothing that would please Me more than to return to Ayodhya along with all of My dear friends. Both of you can get up onto the Pushpaka chariot, and let all the other monkey heroes and Rakshasas come along as well."
Finally, after all were comfortably seated, the Pushpaka chariot rose up majestically into the air. While the monkeys, bears and Rakshasas were enjoying the flight, Lord Ram pointed out all the sights to Sita. Lord Ram said, "Just see the great battlefield where all the heroic Rakshasas lay dead, having been killed just for your sake. There is Ravan, there is Kumbhakarna, there is Indrajit, and there is Prahasta. Over there is the bridge called Nalasetu, over which we had crossed the ocean to Lanka. There, on the far shore, is Setubandha, where Lord Shiva had appeared to Me, and where the construction of the bridge had begun. From this time on, Setubandha will be a very sacred place, capable of washing away all of one's accumulated sinful reactions."
Then, when Lord Ram pointed out Kishkindha, Sita said, "I would be pleased if I could return to Ayodhya in the company of all the wives of the monkey chiefs."
Lord Ram granted Sita's wish, and after halting the chariot, He instructed Sugriv and others to quickly go and bring their wives. When everyone was once again seated, the journey continued.
Lord Ram then pointed out, "There is Mount Rishyashringa, where I met Sugriv, and nearby, you can see the heavenly Lake Pampa, which is full of bluish lotus flowers. Further on, you can see the River Godavari, and on its banks, the ashram of Agastya Rishi. Sita, there is the spot where Ravan kidnapped you! There is Chitrakoot, where Bharat came to meet Me. There is the River Yamuna, and there is the mighty Ganga, where King Guha's capital, Shringaverapur, can be seen."
In this way, Sita, Lord Ram and Lakshman remembered Their entire forest life, in reverse order, as They retraced their way back home to Ayodhya. Finally, the River Sarayu came into view, and then, at last, the outskirts of Ayodhya. Before entering Ayodhya, Lord Ram stopped at Bharadvaj Rishi's ashram, so that He could inquire about the welfare of His relatives before meeting them. After heartily welcoming Lord Ram and receiving His obeisances in return, Rishi Bharadvaj said, "In Your absence, Bharat has been living a life of severe austerities, wearing deerskin and tree bark and keeping matted hair. He has been ruling the kingdom as Your subordinate by keeping Your shoes upon the royal throne. Lord Ram, by dint of my mystic power I know everything that has happened during Your exile. I am very pleased that You have removed the burden of the earth, and so I would like to award You with any benediction that You may desire."
Lord Ram happily replied, "Let all of the trees along the way to Ayodhya become full of fruit and flowers. Let streams of honey flow from these trees, exuding the fragrance of nectar."
As soon as these words were spoken, all the trees along the road to Ayodhya immediately became filled with sumptuous fruits. When they saw this miraculous transformation, thousands of monkeys quickly jumped down from the Pushpaka chariot and began feasting to their full satisfaction. Lord Ram was always thinking of how He could reward the monkeys for the selfless service they had rendered, and so He felt very happy to have received this opportunity to please them.
Then, turning to Hanuman, Lord Ram said, "I would like you to go and inform Guha of My arrival. After that, go to Nandigram. I want you to describe to Bharat all the events surrounding Sita's abduction and her subsequent recovery. Watch the expression on Bharat's face very carefully as He hears about My arrival. Then, report back to Me before we leave this place. If Bharat wants to rule the kingdom, whether it be due to attachment for position and its resultant power, or attachment to royal luxuries, or even because of Kaikeyi's urging, I am happy to allow Him to do so." Hanuman took a human form and departed, traveling through the air. First, he went and informed Guha that Lord Ram would come to meet him after spending the night at Rishi Bharadvaj's ashram. Then, upon his arrival at Nandigram, Hanuman saw Bharat dressed in tree bark and having matted hair. Bharat had been living in a small cottage, subsisting only upon fruit and roots, and he appeared to be very miserable and emaciated.
Hanuman approached Bharat and announced, "I have come here as a messenger from Lord Ram. He inquires about your welfare, and He wants to inform you that He will return to Ayodhya very soon."
When Bharat heard these nectarine words, his face lit up with great delight. Having become exhilarated with transcendental emotion, he suddenly fainted onto the ground. After coming to his senses, Bharat stood up and embraced Hanuman with great satisfaction. While bathing Hanuman with torrents of tears, Bharat said, "Because you have brought me this wonderful news, I will immediately reward you with 100,000 cows, 100 villages and 16 virgin girls to marry. Please sit down and tell me everything that happened during Lord Ram's exile."
Hanuman narrated everything. When he heard about Lord Ram's immanent return, Bharat exclaimed, "My long-cherished desire is finally going to be fulfilled!"
Bharat then ordered Shatrughna to make all the arrangements for Lord Ram's reception. Sumantra and the other ministers soon arrived at Nandigram, riding upon elephants, and Kaushalya, Sumitra and Kaikeyi came riding on palanquins. Engineers and work crews also arrived, to begin constructing a new road connecting Nandigram with Ayodhya.
After all the arrangements were made, Bharat picked up Lord Ram's sandals, a white royal umbrella and chamaras. Then, accompanied by many brahmanas, he went out from his cottage amidst the blowing of conch shells and beating of drums, to wait for Lord Ram's arrival.
Meanwhile, because the news had spread like wildfire, practically the entire population of Ayodhya came to Nandigram in the expectation of seeing Lord Ram. But then, after some time, when there was still no sign of His arrival, Bharat told Hanuman, "I hope that you are not exhibiting your frivolous monkey nature by joking with me."
Hanuman then pointed out to Bharat clouds of dust in the distance that were being raised by the approaching monkeys. Just then, tumultuous roaring sounds became distinctly audible as well. When Hanuman sighted the Pushpaka chariot in the distance, he shouted, "Here comes Sri Ram!" A loud clamor arose as the restless crowd of people sighted the Pushpaka chariot, appearing like the full moon in the sky.
Then, as everyone got down from their horses, elephants and chariots, out of respect, Bharat began to worship Lord Ram from a distance. With folded hands, Bharat recited many prayers to the Lord, and then He offered various articles. Finally, when Bharat could distinctly see Lord Ram, who was glowing magnificently while seated at the front of the Pushpaka chariot, He bowed down with great reverence.
When the celestial airship landed, Bharat rushed forward and climbed aboard to greet His elder brother. Lord Ram immediately got up from His seat, and after embracing Bharat with great affection, He took Him upon His lap. Afterwards, Bharat greeted Lakshman and Sita, and then, while embracing Sugriv he said, "Although We are four, you are now just like Our fifth brother." At this time, Lord Ram approached His mother, Kaushalya, and lovingly clasped her feet. Then, one after another, He greeted Sumitra, Kaikeyi and Vasishtha, as all the citizens came forward to welcome Him with folded hands.
Bharat then approached Lord Ram, carrying His wooden shoes in His hands. As He carefully placed those slippers on Lord Ram's lotus feet, Bharat said, "Here is the kingdom that I was overseeing in Your absence. By Your mercy, Ayodhya is flourishing and the treasury, storehouses and army have all increased tenfold. My duty is now over and so I hereby relinquish everything to You." After this, Lord Ram ordered the Pushpaka chariot to return to its original owner, the god of wealth, Kuvera. That celestial vehicle then ascended into the sky, heading toward the North. When Lord Ram sat down at the lotus feet of His spiritual master, Vasishtha, Bharat came and requested, "My dear elder brother, please install Yourself on the royal throne without further delay, and then resume a life of royal luxury."
Lord Ram gave His consent and so barbers were immediately summoned and His matted hair was shaved off. After bathing, Lord Ram dressed in a royal style, while the three mothers similarly dressed Sita and the wives of the monkeys. Then, at Shatrughna's command, Sumantra came to Lord Ram with a lavishly decorated chariot. Lord Ram graciously mounted upon it, Bharat took up the reins and Shatrughna held the royal white umbrella. On either side of Lord Ram stood Lakshman and Vibhishan, waving a fan and a chamara, and from the sky, the demigods and celestial rishis glorified Him with carefully chosen words. As Lord Ram proceeded toward Ayodhya, a huge procession followed Him, and all the monkeys, appearing in human form, rode upon elephants. When Lord Ram entered His capital, He saw how all the citizens had come out of their houses and lined the streets to welcome Him. Men and women, the elderly and the children gazed upon Lord Ram as if they were getting back their long-lost lives. While waving their cloths and jumping with excitement, the people shouted, "Our beloved prince has returned! All glories to Lord Ram, the maintainer of His devotees!" Amidst the playing of musicians and the chanting of Vedic mantras by the brahmanas, Lord Ram reciprocated by glancing lovingly over His subjects. While approaching his father's palace, Lord Ram greeted His ministers and described to them the political alliances He had made with the monkeys and Vibhishan.
Lord Ram ordered that His palace be given for Sugriv's use, and so Bharat took the King of the monkeys by the hand and led him there. Then, at Bharat's request, Jambavan, Hanuman, Gavaya and Rishabha brought water from the four seas while five hundred other powerful monkeys brought water from five hundred sacred rivers. These vessels of water were placed before Vasishtha. Soon after, the rishi had Lord Ram seated along with Sita upon a royal throne. Then, with the assistance of Vamadeva, Jabali, Kashyapa, Katyayana, Sujagya, Gautama and Vijaya Rishis, Vasishtha performed the abhishek, and the first bathing was done by the brahmanas. Next, unmarried virgin girls got the chance to bathe Lord Ram, and then the ministers, leading warriors, and lastly, vaishyas, one after another. After the final bathing, Vasishtha had Lord Ram sprinkled over with herbs by the four Lokapalas and other chief demigods, who were witnessing the coronation from the sky. When Lord Ram sat on the golden throne bedecked with valuable jewels, Vasishtha came and placed the royal crown on His head and decorated His body with gold ornaments. This crown had been worn by all the Kings of the Ikshvaku dynasty, and was made by Lord Brahma especially for the coronation of Vaivasvata Manu.
Then, at Indra's prompting, Vayu came and placed a garland made from one hundred golden lotus flowers around Lord Ram's neck. The god of air also presented a celestial necklace made of pearls and jewels. Shatrughna held the umbrella over Lord Ram's head while Sugriv and Vibhishan fanned Him from both sides.
At the completion of the ceremony, as the Gandharvas sang and the Apsaras danced in ecstasy, Lord Ram gave away 100,000 cows in charity to the brahmanas, as well as 300 million gold coins and all varieties of precious jewels. Lord Ram gave a celestial necklace of gold and jewels to Sugriv, and He gave Angad a pair of bracelets that were adorned with diamonds and vaidurya stones. To Sita, Lord Ram presented the necklace that had been given to Him by Vayu, as well as many lavishly decorated dresses.
Mother Sita had a very strong wish to give something to Hanuman as a token of her appreciation for all that he had done for her. With this in mind, she unclasped the necklace that Lord Ram had given her and then looked at the Lord questioningly. Understanding her intention, Lord Ram requested Sita to give the necklace to Hanuman and so she happily went and placed it around his neck. All the monkey chiefs were given valuable clothing and ornaments, and in this way the coronation of Lord Ram came to a successful conclusion. Being greatly satisfied at heart, all the monkeys returned to their respective kingdoms and Vibhishan also departed for Lanka. After all had left, Lord Ram said to Lakshman, "My dear brother, now that I have been installed upon the royal throne, I wish to install You as My successor."
And yet, despite being repeatedly addressed by Lord Ram in this way, Lakshman remained silent, for He refused to accept the proposal. Lord Ram could very well understand Lakshman's mind, and so, at last, He conferred the title upon Bharat.
Thereafter, Lord Ram ruled the earth from His capital, Ayodhya, for 11,000 years. During that period, Lord Ram performed numerous sacrifices, including one hundred ashvamedha-yagyas. During the reign of Lord Ram, there were no widows to lament the loss of their husbands, there were no diseases, and there were no thieves. In fact, even wild animals gave up their natural enmity and did not kill one another. All the citizens were fully righteous, and they considered Lord Ram their Lord and master, and beyond that, their very life and soul. Everyone lived for thousands of years and had many sons. All talk was centered about Lord Ram alone. Thus, the entire earth appeared as if it had been transformed into the kingdom of God, Vaikunthaloka. Lav and Kush concluded their narration by saying, "Anyone who daily listens to this transcendental history, known as Ramayana, will become completely freed from all sinful reactions. This sacred narration grants prowess, longevity and victory to those who subdue their passions and hear with faith."
"The reader of Ramayana, if a woman, will receive sons- if a king, will conquer the earth- if a traveler, will reach his destination- and if a sinful person, will be cleansed. This sacred narration should be repeated again and again, for not only does it bestow all material benedictions upon the hearer, but it pleases the Supreme Personality of Godhead, an accomplishment that is far beyond the limited interests of religiosity, economic development, sense gratification, and impersonal liberation. By the development of unalloyed love for the Supreme Lord Ramchandra, one ultimately achieves eternal shelter under the shade of His lotus feet in the eternal spiritual sky.
Jai Sri Ram
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(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 15/661 from BHAVISYA UTTARA PURANA)
If any Vaisnava wants victory everywhere, then he should observe the victory day of Lord Sri Hari, which falls on tenth day of the light part of the month of Asvina (September-October).
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Transcribed from lectures given by His Grace Atma-tattva dasa during Gaura-purnima 1989 in Sridham Mayapura
CHAPTER 13: THE KILLING OF MAHI RAVANA
Hanuman was flying over the ocean looking for lotus flowers. He came to an area where there were many lotuses, and he saw one particularly big lotus. "That must be the lotus," he thought. He entered it, and he was thinking, "What are those sounds? I should have asked Vibhisana. Anyway, I can't waste any time." He prayed to Vayu, and Vayu came in front of him. "What is the problem Hanuman?" Vayu asked. Hanuman said, "The problem is that I have to go inside here, and some sound is supposed to be pronounced. I forgot." Vayu said, "Don't worry. This is working by suction system. Suction system is by air, and I am that. You go." The lotus opened, and Hanuman went through very quickly, and he landed on the bottom, and looked around. What he saw was a big tank which was known as kalpa, or the desire fulfilling tank. People were coming from the city, taking a little water from there to go and worship Kali. Hanuman thought, "This is the outside of the city, and it looks so wonderful. The inside must be even more beautiful." Then he was wondering how to enter, and there was a brick fort. On top of the brick fort there were two thousand lakhs of demon soldiers walking with their bows and arrows. Hanuman saw them and thought, "I want to finish all of them together and it is very good that they are all on the fort. If they are spread out it is very difficult, but they are all in one spot. This is good arrangement. Now what should I use to kill them?" and he was looking around. Then he heard a sound. "Hanuman! I am here! Use me!" He looked back, and there was a big tall tree, very big and fat. The tree was talking. Hanuman said, "Who are you, and how are you talking?" The tree said, "I am a demigod. I was cursed by Narada Muni to become a tree. `Why will you make me a tree?' I asked him. `I will become useless.' He said, `No, I will make you a useful tree. You will grow in Mahipuri, and when Hanuman comes he will use you for the war.' Please use me Hanuman, that is what I am here for." So Hanuman took that whole tree, and then he held it up and brought it down upon the fort wall. Two thousand lakhs of soldiers were finished. Then he opened the door wide and went inside. He crossed a forest. That was the brick fort, and now there was a brass fort. So many more soldiers were there. He stood there and he slapped his shoulders, challenging them. They all jumped off and they formed themselves into an army. They were marching, left right left right. Hanuman increased his hands. His form was the same, but his hands increased. He went as much as the army was there, and he closed the hands and threw the soldiers to one side. He opened that door and went inside, and he went through a forest. Then he came to the copper fort. There was three times more soldiers there. There were eighteen thousand lakhs of soldiers. So he grew and took his visvarupa, a huge big form, and then he looked at them and he breathed. They were all finished. He opened that fort. Then he came to the white metal fort. At that fort there was one demon who was leading all of them, and he had got mystic perfections. He produced a storm, and began producing rain. He produced stool rain, bone rain and all kinds of rain. Hanuman came there, and said, "This is very bad." He looked at them, and they all disappeared. They were illusion. They couldn't stand the gaze of Hanuman. Hanuman took that demon in his hand and said, "You create all this illusion. You are so vile that even your dead body shouldn't remain here." And he ate him up. Hanuman is no vegetarian. When the soldiers saw this, they thought, "Oh, this is very difficult, we must run away." But Hanuman did not let them run away. He took them all in groups and started eating them. He was hungry for a long time and had not eaten anything. He ate some, crushed some, threw some away. He finished all of them, and then he opened that gate. Then he came to the bell metal fort, and each one was whiter than the other. He came in there, and he thought, "What to do with all this?" And then he sat in one place, and he got so angry. He looked, and the fire came out of his eyes. The whole fort just melted. In that melting, all the soldiers died. This time he didn't open any door, because it was all finished. He just climbed over. The white metal fort was finished, and he came to the golden gate. In front of the golden gate was a machine. It was a big meter, and it had a hand on a scale. When anyone passes that way, it would show whether they were a friend of Mahi Ravana, or they are inimical toward Mahi Ravana. According to your inimical feeling, it would show ten degrees, twenty, thirty degrees. It was very difficult. If it moved a little bit this way, the army was ready to come and finish you. Hanuman thought, "Now I have to do some lila," and he was waiting outside. In the meantime, Mahi Ravana was sitting in his room, and he called his sister. There is a story that his sister, who was married to another demon, they had a son. When the son was gone there was an ashariri from the sky who told them, "This son will become king when Mahi Ravana dies." Mahi Ravana did not want to die, and he did not want anyone else to become king, so he put that family in the jail, just as Kamsa did. So her name was Duratandi. This Duratandi and her son Nilamega were both in jail. But this Duratandi had a very auspicious power that any abhiseka or puja that had to be done, if you ask her to bring water then the puja was always successful. Now they had to do a very important puja, sacrificing Rama, so that is why he gave her a release. He only released her legs from the chain, her hands were still bound up. Servants would go with her and only at the water tank would the chains be opened. She would collect the water, and the chains would be locked again, and she had to bring back the water. This was the plan of Mahi Ravana, and he was telling Duratandi to do that. So Duratandi was coming to the water tank, close to which Hanuman was standing. He was behind a tree and thinking how to get in the gate. She came and while taking water she was lamenting, openly cursing Mahi Ravana. "What a brother I have! He wants to kill Rama and Laksmana." When Hanuman heard that he jumped up and came in front of her. "What did you say? You know where Rama and Laksmana are? I am looking for them!" She said, "Who are you? Are you Ravana, taking another form?" "No, no, I am Hanuman, the servant of Ramacandra." She said, "Oh, you must help me!" She gave a whole story, and he said, "Don't worry. If you help me I will help you." She said, "How will I help you?" He said, "I will become small, and I will enter a leaf. You put the leaf in your water pot and carry me inside. I want to trick these people." She said, "What happens if they find out? They have got a scale there, and if you don't like Mahi Ravana, it will show." He said, "All right, I like Mahi Ravana." "No, no, no. How can you like Mahi Ravana and Rama? It's not possible." Hanuman said, "Anyway, why don't you do it? I like a thrill, and I want to trick them." So he became very small and entered into a mango leaf. When you bring water for bathing, you put a mango leaf in it. She put mango leaves in there with Hanuman. And then very peacefully she was bringing it. The meter was there, and she was slowly coming, and she was shivering. Some demons were saying, "Hey! Why are you shivering? What is that you are bringing?" She said, "No, no. This is abhiseka water, we are going to kill Rama today." As soon as she came in front of the meter, it went right over the other side and there was no more numbers it could go to. They said, "Hey, stop! You are hating Mahi Ravana so much. You used to hate him before, but it was only thirty degrees. Now it's coming out of the meter." She said, "No, I have become friendly now, otherwise how has my brother let me out?" So then they said, "There must be someone inside the water!" And they looked in the water. Hanuman was there in the leaf. They couldn't see anything, so they concluded, "There is something wrong with this machine. You walk past, and let us check again." So she went back and then came past the machine again. "Boing!" and it broke. "Who is this who does not like Mahi Ravana?" they asked. Hanuman jumped out of the pot and said, "It is me!" and he became huge and took everyone and began to make a big mess, he couldn't wait to see Rama. He was smashing some people, crushing some people, biting some, walking on them, throwing a bunch and another bunch another way. He took a group and another group and smashed them against each other. In this way he finished them all. Then she said, "There are ten houses around Mahi Ravana's house. These are his great corporals and generals. You must kill them." "No problem," Hanuman said. He went there and stood in the middle and put his tail slowly inside each house. First one house, where one general was sitting with his wife telling her, "You look like the moon." And she was saying, "You look like the sun." In the meantime the tail came and bound both of them, pulled them out of them house and started flapping them on the floor. In the same way he went to every house and smashed them all. All the houses were finished. Then the news reached Mahi Ravana. Mahi Ravana came out in front of Hanuman and said, "Hey! I will kill you!" And he got on his chariot. Hanuman flew up and fell on the chariot. He crushed the chariot. Mahi Ravana was smashed. Hanuman said, "Jaya Ramacandra Bhagavan ki jaya!" And then Mahi Ravana came up again. Hanuman gave him a big punch on the chest, making him unconscious. Hanuman said, "Jaya Ramacandra Bhagavan ki jaya!" Again he got up. Hanuman thought, "Every time I say Jaya he gets up. Next time I'm not going to say it." So he took Mahi Ravana in his hands and tore him to pieces, and he threw the pieces everywhere. He sat down, and they all joined together and Mahi Ravana got up. He used his special martial arts techniques. He locked Mahi Ravana, and got him in a hold so he couldn't breath. Then Mahi Ravana disappeared. Hanuman said, "No-one can get out of my locking system!" Then he looked around and he saw a silver mountain, a rock. Duratandi told him, "This is not a silver rock, this is Mahi Ravana. He can take any form." Hanuman sat on it and crushed it. Again Mahi Ravana came out, and he started running. This time he was so fast that Hanuman couldn't catch him. Hanuman went to Duratandi and said, "Now what? Where has he gone?" She said, "He is performing a yajna for killing you." Mahi Ravana went inside a cave and he was quickly performing some yajna, and from the yajna, a big brahma-rakshasa came. He was saying, "Who? Who? Whom should I eat?" Mahi Ravana said, "Hanuman, over there!" So he jumped up and came to Hanuman. Hanuman got ready to fight the bhuta, but Duratandi said, "Don't fight with the bhuta, it's a waste of time. Go and spoil the yajna. Automatically the bhuta will die." Hanuman said, "Oh, that's good." So he went there and spoiled the yajna by passing urine on the fire. The yajna became contaminated, and the brahma-rakshasa disappeared. Again Mahi Ravana disappeared. Hanuman came back to Duratandi and said, "I am confused. What should I do?" Duratandi said, "Even if you crush him he won't die, because his life is in three places." She told a secret. So he came to the Kali temple and saw Ramacandra dressed up with turmeric powder, sindhu, flower garland. He was going to be sacrificed, so he had to look good. He came to Rama and said, "My Lord, You must help. I did everything that I know. This man is invincible." Ramacandra said, "No problem. At midnight he will kill Me. At that time, I will make some trick and I will shoot the arrow. At the same time, you must go and finish those lamps. I will get Laksmana to crush the diamond." Rama was the Supreme intelligence. So Laksmana got Duratandi to find out where the diamond was, and he reached that place and was waiting for midnight. The midnight was slowly coming. Hanuman was flying and flying. He was going very, very fast. Finally he landed there. He saw this cave, and he saw five entrances. They all connected inside, and there were five lamps burning. He came in there, and he blew one out. He came to the next, and he put that one out. He looked back, and the other one had again lighted up automatically. He put one off, and another lighted, back and forth. Then he said, "I will do everything at once." So he turned his head while blowing. They all went out, but all came on again. In the meantime the snakes had come out spitting poison. The poison was not doing anything to him, but they were coming and moving mystically, and Hanuman came out and said, "Oh, what am I going to do?" Again he thought of Vayu. Vayu came and said, "Hanuman, what's the problem now? You don't have much time, only three minutes left!" Hanuman said, "Well what can I do? This lamp goes out and another one starts. This lamp that lamp, back and forth. I am confused." Vayu said, "Ahh! You forgot who your father is!" Hanuman said, "I didn't forget. You are my father." Vayu said, "You know that only because of me is any light burning?" And Vayu withdrew from there. As soon as Vayu withdrew from that cave, it became a vacuum. And at that point, they all went out at once. Immediately Hanuman remembered Brahma, and he prayed to him, "I want to use that benediction, that special benediction. I want to reach Mahipuri right now." Next moment he was in Mahipuri. At the same time Laksmana crushed the diamond. Just before that, Mahi Ravana had come and told Rama, "Pay obeisances! And then I will offer you to Kali!" Rama said, "I don't know how to pay obeisances. I forgot. I was in shock. Can you teach Me how to pay obeisances?" So Mahi Ravana said, "All right, I will show you. This is how you pay obeisances." As soon as he bent down, Rama took his arrow and shot him. All these things happened at the same time, crushing the diamond, putting the lights out, and Ramacandra's arrow went inside Mahi Ravana's chest. And then he started dying. When he started dying, everything began to cave in. The jewels became powerless, the roads were cracking, the buildings were crumbling. And then Hanuman came and said, "Rama and Laksmana, sit on my shoulder!" And he broke everything and flew off. He came back to Sri Lanka. And then the war started.
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CHAPTER 14; RAVANA KILLED AND SITA RECOVERED
In the area of Mahipuri, Nila the engineer of the Vanara army reconstructed the city, and Mahi Ravana's nephew was established as the king. Now the war started. This war was different from how the Kuruksetra war was fought. Day and night the fighting was going on. Demons especially become more strong after sunset, and a lot of damage was done to the monkey army. Especially when Indrajit came to the battlefield, and when Kumbhakarna came to the battlefield, a lot of damage was done to the monkeys. Indrajit used a lot of illusory techniques. By becoming invisible he fought, and at one point he made Rama and Laksmana unconscious by using some special snake weapon. Then on the advice of one of the great doctors of the Vanara army and Vibhisana, Hanuman flew to the Himalayas and brought the Puspa-Puspa-Puspa-samjivani mountain. Puspa-samjivani means, "The flower of revitalisation." Actually they told him to bring the Puspa-samjivani leaf. But the Puspa-samjivani leaf had some sparkle or shine. Hanuman arrived in the Himalayan region and went to that particular mountain. The rishis who were meditating on the mountain, for them this Puspa-samjivani leaf was very valuable, because if you just took one leaf you wouldn't have to eat for five years. No food, no thirst, no hunger, no sickness. It was very nice. They saw that Hanuman had come. They knew if anyone came there they only come for Puspa-samjivani. There was nothing else there, just Puspa-samjivani plant and rishis closing their eyes and meditating for thousands of years. They knew that there was some danger, so they used their mystic power and made all the leaves shine like Puspa-samjivani. Hanuman was looking. "Ah, this one! But that one is also shining." He saw the whole mountain was shining. Hanuman said, "Oh, now I have a problem. I don't know which one to take. I will take the whole mountain." So he put his hand under the mountain and he lifted it up. The rishis were alarmed. "What's going on?" He flew, and before Hanuman came with the mountain, Jambavan very cleverly used the monkey army to kick all the dead bodies of demons into the ocean. He cleaned the whole place. Only the monkey dead bodies were kept. Because otherwise, when Puspa-samjivani mountain comes, then everyone will get up. They will be as before. So very cleverly Jambavan arranged that all the dead bodies of demons were kicked into the ocean, and some stones put on their head that they wouldn't come to the surface. Then the Puspa-samjivani mountain came, and all the monkeys got up. Now the demons were small and the Vanaras were more. Even when he was bringing the mountain, even before he had landed they all got up, the power of Puspa-samjivani was so much. The fight was going on and everyone had very powerful weapons. Indrajit means `the conqueror of Indra'. But he had a benediction that he would be killed only if while he is performing a sacrifice someone stops him and fights with him. Because Indrajit was very powerful, he was thinking, "Who would dare to stop me while I am performing sacrifice?" In between the war he disappeared and went to a very secret place to perform a sacrifice. But Vibhisana knew the place, and he brought Hanuman and Angada there, and they contaminated the sacrifice and pulled him out. Then there was a big fight, and finally Laksmana killed Indrajit. One by one everyone was killed, and only Ravana was left. The demigods helped a lot in the war, and Indra sent his chariot and his charioteer Matali there, which Ramacandra was using. He broke Ravana's chariot, killed his charioteer and his horses, broke the bow, broke his club and flag. And then he said, "All right Ravana, I will give you some time. You go today, and you come back tomorrow, with the good decision of giving Sita back to Me. If you do that, everyone who is dead will come back. You will get all your opulences. As if it has never happened, people will forget what they knew of you, and you will be known as a noble king. I will go back to Ayodhya, and we will have a good friendship." Ravana felt this a great insult that he was not killed, so he went back to his palace. Then he remembered that Lord Siva once said to him, "When your life is in danger, you call me. I will save you." There is a vina known as Rudra-vina, Lord Siva's personal instrument. That was with Ravana, so he took that vina and started singing songs in praise of Lord Siva. Lord Siva is easily pleased, so he immediately came before Ravana and said, "Why did you call me?" Ravana said, "My life is in danger." Siva said, "How is your life in danger? You tell me." Ravana said, "I took the wife of the son of Dasaratha, and he came here with his army of monkeys, and they have killed everybody. Even Kumbhakarna, Indrajit, everyone is gone. I am the only one left. And that king insulted me by telling me, "You go. I won't kill you today. Come back tomorrow." So over and above everything, I am insulted. Please save my prestige and my life." Siva said, "Yes, I must save your life. I will save your life. Here, I am saving your life. Give Sita back." Ravana said, "No! Oh, the same thing again! You are cheating me! You promised me you would save my life, but you are not doing it." Siva said, "No, I am saving your life. Did I say that to save your life I would go and fight with someone? I have my own method of saving your life. Just take this small piece of advice: Give back Sita. Everything will be wonderful." Ravana said, "No, I expected that you would go and fight with Rama and finish Him." Siva said, "I don't mind. I can go and fight with Rama, but I will be finished." Ravana said, "No, I am not going to give back Sita." Siva said, "All right, then you will die. Who can protect you?" Then Ravana came the next day. When he came, Ramacandra was standing there holding His bow. Even to carry that bow was very difficult. It was much bigger than His body, and very heavy. He used to hold it like he was holding some grass. When Ravana came he saw Rama and he folded his hands. Vibhisana and Laksmana said, "Jaya! Finally, he is surrendering!" Then the next moment Ravana said, "What am I doing? No, I am here to fight with you." Then Rama fired His arrow, and he finished Ravana. Then all of Ravana's queens came, and they were crying. Then Vibhisana and Hanuman came to Ramacandra, and they said, "So the war is over, and we are arranging for the cremation of Ravana. We are performing sraddha for all the ones who are dead. Please instruct us about bringing Sita." Ramacandra said, "Yes, you both go and tell Sita that Ravana is killed, and you bring her here." So they went there, and Sitadevi had already got all the news from Vibhisana's daughter. Hanuman told her, "Mother, you are being called by Ramacandra, so you must come." So she dressed in the same cloth in which she was taken away by Ravana, and which was hanging on the tree. She dressed herself up, and she came. When she came, Hanuman and Vibhisana came and said to Ramacandra, "Here is your wife, Sita." Ramacandra said, "Tell her that she can do anything she likes and go anywhere she likes. I have killed Ravana, and she has no fear now. She can go where she likes." Hanuman cried, and he was looking at Vibhisana saying, "What is this? Cross the ocean, build a bridge, kill the demons, bring a mountain, and then, `You go wherever you like.' Did He actually say this?" Vibhisana said, "Yes, he did. I am also confused." So then they went to Laksmana, and asked him, "What is this?" Laksmana said, "That's what I am also wondering. What is this?" So then they all came back to Rama, and Vibhisana was leading the party. "O Lord Ramacandra, can You please repeat what You have said?" Ramacandra said, "Didn't you hear Me? Now our work is done. You have killed the demons, so we will go back. You can tell this lady to do whatever she wants." So then Hanuman came to Sita devi, and he was looking at her face. Sita said, "Did you hear what He said?" Hanuman said, "Yes, He said you can do whatever you like." Sita told Hanuman, "You tell this king, my husband, that in going anywhere I liked, I did not have to wait all this time. I could have gone anywhere I liked. I was only waiting for Him to come. Now why is He rejecting me?" Then she prayed to all the demigods, and they all appeared there. Even Janaka and Dasaratha came. They were all present, and they said, "Ramacandra, this is Your wife, Sita. This whole program You did was to get her back. Now You take her back." Ramacandra said, "No. I don't have to take her back." Dasaratha and Janaka came and said to Him, "No, no. This will be too hard for her. Please take her back." Ramacandra said, "How will I take her back? She is not My wife." And then everyone became confused. Brahma came there and said, "This is Your lila. You just take an avatar to finish the demons and protect the devotees. But You don't do too much lila, because we will get confused. Lila is all right, but not too much lila. So here is Your wife, just take her." Rama said, "She is not My wife." Brahma said, "Why?" "How can she be My wife? She stayed in Ravana's garden for so long, four months. I may take her as my wife, but when I go back to Ayodhya, what will I say to My citizens? They will say, "Rama, You went to the forest. How was everything?" "Everything was all right except that My wife stayed with Ravana for four months." What will they think? Will I be able to keep this lady on the throne as my queen? On the simhasana, the great seat of the Iksvaku dynasty, some woman who left her husband and stayed somewhere else for four months? They will complain to Me." Hanuman asked Ramacandra, "Then what are You supposed to do?" Rama said, "You ask Sita." So Hanuman came back with Sita and said, "You solve the problem." Sita said, "Ask Him. If He wants I can go to the fire, and prove that I am pure." Vibhisana came and told Ramacandra, and Ramacandra said, "Yes, that's a good idea. Tell Laksmana to make a fire." So they made a fire and Hanuman was crying. He couldn't see Mother Sita would walk into the fire, after all that trouble. So he left that place. And Vibhisana also left that place. They couldn't tolerate. Laksmana was a thankless person all the time. He was always given the thankless jobs. So he went to Mother Sita and told her, "Please come, and go into the fire." Sitadevi climbed into the fire. She was sitting on the fire and the fire was glowing. Nothing happened to her. That's all there in Ramayana. But something did happen. What happened was that Agni came there and brought the original Sita. Sita was actually never in Sri Lanka. This was a big scandal. This scandal was arranged by Laksmana. When Marica got the arrow of Ramacandra in his heart, he shouted, "Oh Laksmana! Oh Sitadevi!" Sitadevi told Laksmana, "Your brother is in trouble! You must go and save Him!" Laksmana was smiling. Sita said, "What kind of a demoniac person are you? How can you smile and laugh when your brother is getting killed by the demons?" Laksmana said, "What problem is there? When people get a problem they chant Rama's name. How can He have problem? Anyone who is afraid of an enemy, they chant Rama's name and they get protected. How can He have any enemy? He is protecting everyone in this world. How can he have a problem?" Sitadevi said, "Now I know your plan! You always wanted to have me as your wife. Now that Rama will be dead you will be happy." Laksmana closed his ears. "Oh no! What is this?" Then she said, "If not, then you must go now." So he said, "All right, I will go." But then he thought, "I'm not just going to leave like this." So he took his Agni astra, the astra of fire, and he drew a line in front of the ashrama. He said, "You be beyond this line. Don't cross this line." So then Ravana came as a sannyasi, and he was trying to first enter the house. When he came, he touched the line and the fire came, and he couldn't go in. Then he called, "Is there anyone in the house?" Sita devi came, and Ravana asked, "Whose house is this?" Sita said, "This is the son of Dasaratha's house. He is in exile. Nobody who comes to this house goes without getting something. So I wll give you something." Then she brought some fruits. Ravana said, "I don't enter houses. I am a naisthika sannyasa. You have to come outside and bring it to me." She said, "I have been told by my protectors not to cross this line." He said, "All right, I won't take. I'm going, and I'm angry." She said, "No, no, don't go angry." He said, "Yes, all these Dasaratha and Rama, they are all just misers. They don't give any charity. I'm going, and I'll tell everyone, `This is Rama'." So Sitadevi thought, "Oh, this is very bad. I have to protect the name of my husband." So she crossed the line. When she crossed the line, the fire came again and Agni took her to his palace. He produced a Sita who was illusory, and that was the Sita Ravana took. One may say, "If she is illusory then what is the whole problem with this scene?" No, even that Sita belongs to the Lord only. She's not supposed to be in Ravana's garden. But then Ramacandra had a vow that He only married one Laksmi in that incarnation. He was not going to take the other Laksmi. He told her, "You can go wherever you like." He was not cruel, he just told her what she is supposed to be told. But this happened in a very secret manner, not many people knew. At least in the Ramayana, it is not stated. In the Kurma Purana, the story is mentioned. Agni brought the original Sita and handed her over to Ramacandra.
Sri Rama Chandra Bhagavan ki Jaya, Sri Rama Vijayotsav ki Jaya, Sri Vijaya Dasami Mahotsav ki Jaya.
The full Transcript can be downloaded from Com from the Katha conference.
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As described in Bhagavad-gétä
(7.23), antavat tu phalaà teñäà tad bhavaty
alpa-medhasäm: men of meager intelligence desire temporary happiness.
We have actually seen that one of the disciples of Bhaktisiddhänta
Sarasvaté Öhäkura wanted to enjoy the property of his
spiritual master, and the spiritual master, being merciful toward him,
gave him the temporary property, but not the power to preach the cult of
Caitanya Mahäprabhu all over the world. That special mercy of the
power to preach is given to a devotee who does not want anything material
from his spiritual master but wants only to serve him. The story of the
demon Rävaëa illustrates this point. Although Rävaëa
tried to abduct the goddess of fortune Sétädevé from
the custody of Lord Rämacandra, he could not possibly do so. The Sétädevé
he forcibly took with him was not the original Sétädevé,
but an expansion of mäyä, or Durgädevé. As a result,
instead of winning the favor of the real goddess of fortune, Rävaëa
and his whole family were vanquished by the power of Durgädevé
(A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Srimad Bhagavatam 5:18:22 purport.)
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vänara-sainya kailä prabhu laïä bhakta-gaëe
vijayä—victory; daçamé—tenth day; laìkä-vijayera dine—on the day celebrating the conquering of Laìkä; vänara-sainya—monkey soldiers; kailä—arranged; prabhu—Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu; laïä bhakta-gaëe—taking all the devotees.
On the day celebrating the conquest of Laìkä—a day known as Vijayä-daçamé—Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu dressed up all His devotees as monkey soldiers.
laìkä-gaòe caòi’ phele gaòa bhäìgiyä
hanumän-äveçe—in the emotion of being Hanumän; prabhu—Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu; våkña-çäkhä laïä—taking a large branch of a tree; laìkä-gaòe—on the Laìkä fort; caòi’—ascending; phele—breaks down; gaòa—the fort; bhäìgiyä—dismantling.
Displaying the emotions of Hanumän, Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu took up a large tree branch and, mounting the walls of the Laìkä fort, began to dismantle it.
prabhu kahe krodhäveçe
‘jagan-mätä hare päpé, märimu savaàçe’
kähäìre rävëä—where is the rascal Rävaëa; prabhu—Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu; kahe—says; krodha-äveçe—in great anger; jagat-mätä—the mother of the universe; hare—kidnaps; päpé—sinful; märimu—I shall kill; sa-vaàçe—with all his family.
In the ecstasy of Hanumän, Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu angrily said, “Where is that rascal Rävaëa? He has kidnapped the universal mother, Sétä. Now I shall kill him and all his family.”
dekhi’ loke camatkära
sarva-loka ‘jaya’ ‘jaya’ bale bära bära
gosäïira—of Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu; äveça—ecstasy; dekhi’—by seeing; loke—all people; camatkära—astonished; sarva-loka—all people; jaya jaya—all glories; bale—speak; bära bära—again and again.
Everyone became very much astonished to see the emotional ecstasy of Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu, and everyone began to chant, “All glories! All glories!” again and again.
The Ramayan in RealAudio Story form - by Amala Bhakta dasa
See article from NASA showing satelite pictures of the original bridge built by Lord Rama and the Vana army:
The pastime of Udupi Krishna appearing for Madhwa:
The Passing - Disappearance pastime
Where Sripad Madhwacharya fits into the Brahma-Madhwa-Gaudiya Vaishnava Sampradaya:
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu Visits Udupi:
Some Facts about the Tattwavadi line:
Support from Madhwa mutts that Gaudiya line origins are from Madhwacharya:
Some interesting articles on Madhwa and the relation to the Gaudiya line by our brethren of the Gaudiya math
According to the Sri Kurma inscriptions of Narahari Tirtha, his direct disciple, Sripad Madhvacarya was born between 1238 and lived for 79 years, until 1317 A.D. This is confirmed in the Anu-Madhva-Carita. According to the authorized biographies compiled by his disciples shortly after his passing away, Sripad Madhva was born in the village of Tulunada, which is located about 8 miles to the southeast of the city of Udipi in Karnataka. He came from a family of sivalli-brahmanas and was the son of Madhyageha Bhatta and Mother Vedavati devi.
In his Caitanya Caritamrta commentary (CC Madhya 9.245),
Sripad Bhaktivendanta Swami Prabhupada Comments as follows: "Çrépäda
Madhväcärya took his birth near Uòupé, which is
situated in the South Kanara district of South India, just west of Sahyädri.
This is the chief city of the South Kanara province and is near the city
of Mangalore, which is situated to the south of Uòupé. Near
the city of Uòupé is a place called Päjakä-kñetra,
where Madhväcärya took his birth in a Çivällé-brähmaëa
dynasty as the son of Madhyageha Bhaööa, in the year 1040 Çakäbda
(A.D. 1118). According to some, he was born in the year 1160 Çakäbda
In his childhood Madhväcärya was known as Väsudeva, and there are some wonderful stories surrounding him. It is said that once when his father had piled up many debts, Madhväcärya converted tamarind seeds into actual coins to pay them off. When he was five years old, he was offered the sacred thread. A demon named Maëimän lived near his abode in the form of a snake, and at the age of five Madhväcärya killed that snake with the toe of his left foot. When his mother was very much disturbed, he would appear before her in one jump. He was a great scholar even in childhood, and although his father did not agree, he accepted sannyäsa at the age of twelve. Upon receiving sannyäsa from Acyuta Prekña, he received the name Pürëaprajïa Tértha. After traveling all over India, he finally discussed scriptures with Vidyäçaìkara, the exalted leader of Çåìgeri-maöha. Vidyäçaìkara was actually diminished in the presence of Madhväcärya. Accompanied by Satya Tértha, Madhväcärya went to Badarikäçrama. It was there that he met Vyäsadeva and explained his commentary on the Bhagavad-gétä before him. Thus he became a great scholar by studying before Vyäsadeva.
By the time he came to the Änanda-maöha from Badarikäçrama, Madhväcärya had finished his commentary on the Bhagavad-gétä. His companion Satya Tértha wrote down the entire commentary. When Madhväcärya returned from Badarikäçrama, he went to Gaïjäma, which is on the bank of the river Godävaré. There he met with two learned scholars named Çobhana Bhaööa and Svämé Çästré. Later these scholars became known in the disciplic succession of Madhväcärya as Padmanäbha Tértha and Narahari Tértha. When he returned to Uòupé, he would sometimes bathe in the ocean. On such an occasion he composed a prayer in five chapters. Once, while sitting beside the sea engrossed in meditation upon Lord Çré Kåñëa, he saw that a large boat containing goods for Dvärakä was in danger. He gave some signs by which the boat could approach the shore, and it was saved. The owners of the boat wanted to give him a present, and at the time Madhväcärya agreed to take some gopé-candana. He received a big lump of gopé-candana, and as it was being brought to him, it broke apart and revealed a large Deity of Lord Kåñëa. The Deity had a stick in one hand and a lump of food in the other. As soon as Madhväcärya received the Deity of Kåñëa in this way, he composed a prayer. The Deity was so heavy that not even thirty people could lift it. Yet Madhväcärya personally brought this Deity to Uòupé. Eight of Madhväcärya’s sannyäsa disciples became directors of his eight monasteries. Worship of the Lord Kåñëa Deity is still going on at Uòupé according to the plans Madhväcärya established.
Madhväcärya then for the second time visited Badarikäçrama. While he was passing through Maharashtra, the local king was digging a big lake for the public benefit. As Madhväcärya passed through that area with his disciples, he was also obliged to help in the excavation. After some time, when Madhväcärya visited the king, he engaged the king in that work and departed with his disciples.
Often in the province of Gäìga-pradeça there were fights between Hindus and Muslims. The Hindus were on one bank of the river, and the Muslims on the other. Due to the community tension, no boat was available for crossing the river. The Muslim soldiers were always stopping passengers on the other side, but Madhväcärya did not care for these soldiers. He crossed the river anyway, and when he met the soldiers on the other side, he was brought before the king. The Muslim king was so pleased with him that he wanted to give him a kingdom and some money, but Madhväcärya refused. While walking on the road, he was attacked by some dacoits, but by his bodily strength he killed them all. When his companion Satya Tértha was attacked by a tiger, Madhväcärya separated them by virtue of his great strength. When he met Vyäsadeva, he received from him the çälagräma-çilä known as Añöamürti. After this, he summarized the Mahäbhärata.
Madhväcärya’s devotion to the Lord and his erudite scholarship became known throughout India. Consequently the owners of the Çåìgeri-maöha, established by Çaìkaräcärya, became a little perturbed. At that time the followers of Çaìkaräcärya were afraid of Madhväcärya’s rising power, and they began to tease Madhväcärya’s disciples in many ways. There was even an attempt to prove that the disciplic succession of Madhväcärya was not in line with Vedic principles. A person named Puëòaréka Puré, a follower of the Mäyäväda philosophy of Çaìkaräcärya, came before Madhväcärya to discuss the çästras. It is said that all of Madhväcärya’s books were taken away, but later they were found with the help of King Jayasiàha, ruler of Kumla. In discussion, Puëòaréka Puré was defeated by Madhväcärya. A great personality named Trivikramäcärya, who was a resident of Viñëumaìgala, became Madhväcärya’s disciple, and his son later became Näräyaëäcärya, the composer of Çré Madhva-vijaya. After the death of Trivikramäcärya, the younger brother of Näräyaëäcärya took sannyäsa and later became known as Viñëu Tértha.
It was reputed that there was no limit to the bodily strength of Pürëaprajïa, Madhväcärya. There was a person named Kaòaïjari who was famed for possessing the strength of thirty men. Madhväcärya placed the big toe of his foot upon the ground and asked the man to separate it from the ground, but the great strong man could not do so even after great effort. Çréla Madhväcärya passed from this material world at the age of eighty while writing a commentary on the Aitareya Upaniñad. For further information about Madhväcärya, one should read Madhva-vijaya, by Näräyaëäcärya.
The äcäryas of the Madhva-sampradäya established Uòupé as the chief center, and the monastery there was known as Uttararäòhé-maöha. A list of the different centers of the Madhväcärya-sampradäya can be found at Uòupé, and their maöha commanders are (1) Viñëu Tértha (Çoda-maöha), (2) Janärdana Tértha (Kåñëapura-maöha), (3) Vämana Tértha (Kanura-maöha), (4) Narasiàha Tértha (Adamara-maöha), (5) Upendra Tértha (Puttugé-maöha), (6) Räma Tértha (Çirura-maöha), (7) Håñékeça Tértha (Palimara-maöha), and (8) Akñobhya Tértha (Pejävara-maöha). The disciplic succession of the Madhväcärya-sampradäya is as follows (the dates are those of birth in the Çakäbda Era; for Christian era dates, add seventy-eight years.): (1) Haàsa Paramätmä; (2) Caturmukha Brahmä; (3) Sanakädi; (4) Durväsä; (5) Jïänanidhi; (6) Garuòa-vähana; (7) Kaivalya Tértha; (8) Jïäneça Tértha; (9) Para Tértha; (10) Satyaprajïa Tértha; (11) Präjïa Tértha; (12) Acyuta Prekñäcärya Tértha; (13) Çré Madhväcärya, 1040 Çaka; (14) Padmanäbha, 1120; Narahari, 1127; Mädhava, 1136; and Akñobhya 1159; (15) Jaya Tértha, 1167; (16) Vidyädhiräja, 1190; (17) Kavéndra, 1255; (18) Vägéça, 1261; (19) Rämacandra, 1269; (20) Vidyänidhi, 1298; (21) Çré Raghunätha, 1366; (22) Rayuvarya (who spoke with Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu), 1424; (23) Raghüttama, 1471; (24) Vedavyäsa, 1517; (25) Vidyädhéça, 1541; (26) Vedanidhi, 1553; (27) Satyavrata, 1557; (28) Satyanidhi, 1560; (29) Satyanätha, 1582; (30) Satyäbhinava, 1595; (31) Satyapürëa, 1628; (32) Satyavijaya, 1648; (33) Satyapriya, 1659; (34) Satyabodha, 1666; (35) Satyasandha, 1705; (36) Satyavara, 1716; (37) Satyadharma, 1719; (38) Satyasaìkalpa, 1752; (39) Satyasantuñöa, 1763; (40) Satyaparäyaëa, 1763; (41) Satyakäma, 1785; (42) Satyeñöa, 1793; (43) Satyaparäkrama, 1794; (44) Satyadhéra, 1801; (45) Satyadhéra Tértha, 1808.
After the sixteenth äcärya (Vidyädhiräja Tértha), there was another disciplic succession, including Räjendra Tértha, 1254; Vijayadhvaja; Puruñottama; Subrahmaëya; and Vyäsa Räya, 1470–1520. The nineteenth äcärya, Rämacandra Tértha, had another disciplic succession, including Vibudhendra, 1218; Jitämitra, 1348; Raghunandana; Surendra; Vijendra; Sudhéndra; and Räghavendra Tértha, 1545.
To date, in the Uòupé monastery there are another fourteen Madhva-tértha sannyäsés. As stated, Uòupé is situated beside the sea in South Kanara, about thirty-six miles north of Mangalore.
Most of the information in this purport is available from the South Känäòä Manual and the Bombay Gazette."
From Bhaktivedanta Vedabase
There are literally hundreds of incidences, stories, to be relished, but here we have just placed a few to give a taste of the nectar to be had in “The Life and Legacy of Sripad Ananda Tirtha – Madhwacarya” by Jaya Tirtha Charan dasa – that is waiting to be published.
Lamenting, and in separation from such detailed pastimes,
let us continue on……
When he was only 12 years old, Madhvacarya left home but his mother insisted that she would leave her body if their only son left. So Madhva then blessed them to have another son, he was born and then after taking his parents permission went off to the ashram of Acyutapreksa, his sannyasa-guru. Madhva's sannyasa name was Purnaprajna Tirtha. His deep study of the scriptures was unparalleled, and had convinced him of the uselessness of the Advaita interpretation of Vedanta. He was inspired to revive the original and pure interpretation of Vedanta which promotes personal theism. He was to do this on the basis of a profound and innovative interpretation of the scriptures, for which he was to become famous. This interpretation is known as Dvaita-dvaita-vada, or pure dualism.
After his initiation, Purnaprajna spent some time in the asrama of Acyutapreksa where he carefully studied the Vedanta commentaries of different acaryas, beginning with the Istasiddhi of Vimuktatman. But soon, Purnaprajna's expertise in scriptural argument and his determination to establish personal theism as the conclusion of Vedanta grew to the point there he could defeat Acyutapreksa in argument. Recognizing Purnaprajna's superior scholarship, Acyutapreksa made him the head of his asrama. Purnaprajna was also awarded the title Ananda Tirtha, by which he is often referred to in various scriptural literatures.
After he became the temple authority in the asrama of Acyutapreksa, Purnaprajna began training disciples, preaching his interpretation of Vedanta and defeating many scholars from different schools of philosophy, including Buddhists, Jains, Advaitins, and various impersonalists, agnostics, logicians, and the practitioners of materialistic religion. His success in defeating all opposing scholars inspired him to tour South India in an attempt to preach the philosophy of personal theism and devotion to Visnu far and wide. At this time, he had completely formulated all the details of his philosophical system, but had not yet committed his system to writing.
His tour of South India was quite extensive: it took him from Udipi to the southernmost tip of India, (Kanyakumari) and from there to Ramesvaram, Sri Rangam, and many other important holy places of pilgrimage. Wherever he went he debated the prominent scholars of the impersonal school, smashing their interpretations of Vedanta with his brilliant advocacy of dualistic theism. His scathing criticisms of Sankaracarya's impersonal Vedanta met with stiff opposition, but no one could overcome him in scriptural argument or logical debate. It is said that when Madhva was at Kanyakumari he was challenged by a great impersonalist scholar of the Sankara school to write his own commentary on Vedanta if he disagreed with the teachings of the master. At that time, it is said that Madhva promised to write his own Vedanta commentary, fully elaborating the proper conclusions of personal theism. At Sri Rangam he also expressed a certain degree of dissatisfaction with the conclusions of Ramanuja's visistadvaita-vada, in that he felt it did not go far enough to refute the dangerous speculative philosophy of Sankaracarya. This further added to the young Madhva's firm determination to someday compose his own commentary incorporating his own unique interpretation.
After completing his South Indian tour, Madhva decided to tour North India as well. With his resolve to complete his own Vedanta commentary growing day by day, he was eager to begin the work. But Madhva wanted to have the blessings of the author of Vedanta, Vedavyasa himself, before beginning such an ambitious project. He set out for North India and the Himalayas, then, in order to achieve the benedictions of Vedavyasa, for it was said the Vyasa, being immortal, still resided in his asrama at Badarainatha, although he never made himself visible to mortal eyes.
After a long journey by foot, Sripad Madhva finally arrived at the Anantamatha at Badarinatha. There he remained for seven weeks, absorbed in fasting, prayer, and devotional meditation. Inspired from within, he hiked further up into the, to Badarikasrama, in upper Badari, where Vyasadeva has his hermitage. There he met Vedavyasa and explained his commentary on Bhagavad-gita to Vyasa himself, who approved. When he met Vyasa, he was given eight Shalagrama-silas which are known as Astamurti. After discussing the scriptures with Vyasadeva, Sripad Madhvacarya's understanding of their inner meaning became even more profound. He remained at Badarikasrama for some months until he finished composing his commentary of Bhagavad-gita, whereupon he returned to the Anantamatha. At that time Madhva's companion Satya Tirtha wrote down the entire commentary. At this time, Madhva also wrote his commentary on Vedanta.
Bidding farewell to Badarinatha, Madhva began the long journey home. On the way, he again met with and defeated many scholars of various philosophical schools. He traveled through Bihar, Bengal, Orissa, and Andhradesa. Bhavishya Purana and Navadwip Dham mahatmya depict how he went to Navadwip and mystically met and discussed with Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who residing in His eternal abode was due to appear some 250 years later to preach a similar message to Madhva, and so he, the Supreme Lord discussed with Madhva to prepare for His own divine appearance in due course.
The Madhva-vijaya describes how when Madhva reached Ganjama, on the banks of the river Godavari, he met two prominent scholars, who were well-versed in all the important scriptures: Sobhana Bhatta, and Swami Sastri. After converting them to his school, these scholars became renowned as important followers of Sripad Madhva. They became famous at Padmanabha Tirtha and Narahari Tirtha and are regarded as the principle acaryas of the Madhva school after Madhva himself. Narahari Tirtha is famous for his commentaries on Madhva's Gita-bhasya and Karma-nirnaya. He was the Prime Minister of Kalinga between 1271 and 1293. Padmanabha Tirtha wrote commentaries on many of Madhva's works, including Madhva'sBrahma-sutra-bhasya, his Anuvyakhyana, and his Dasa-prakaranas. He was the first commentator on many of the major works of Madhvacarya.
After converting Sobhana Bhatta and Swami Sastri, Sripad Madhvacarya journeyed through Andhrapradesa, Maharastra and Karnataka arrived at last in Udipi. Upon his return to Udipi from North India, Madhva confronted Acyutapreksa, who had refused to accept his ideas previously. Note the roles were reversed guru became disciple and disciple became guru. Some say that Madhva converted Acyutapreksa from Sankara's Vedanta to the cause of Vaisnavism and accepted him as a follower, but they do not know the full picture behind the gurus who remained in hiding in which Acyutapreksha came in the line of for fear of attacks by the mayavadis. There were over four hundred years of gurus and disciples who couldn’t dress as Vaishnavas, but instead had to go undercover as impersonalists. (full documentation is in Jaya Tirtha Charan dasa’s “The Life and Legacy of Sripad Ananda Tirtha – Madhwacarya”)
As a result of Madhva's success in defeating opposing scholars and gurus, his reputation spread, and enthusiasm grew for his new system of Vedanta philosophy. As his commentaries on Bhagavad-gita and Vedanta gained wider and wider acceptance, followers and new converts began to join his camp from all over India, attracted by his charismatic personality, invincible logic and scriptural knowledge, and his inspired faith.
While he stayed in Udipi, it was Madhva's regular habit to bathe in the ocean. One day, he was sitting on the beach absorbed in contemplation upon Sri Krsna. At that time, he spotted a ship, bound for Dvaraka, that was about to founder on a sand bar. He signaled the ship to safety, and it was able to safely approach the shore. The captain of the ship wanted to bestow some present upon Sri Madhvacarya , and he accepted a large chunk of gopi-candana-tilaka. As it was being presented to the acarya, the large chunk of Tilak broke in half, revealing a huge deity of Balaram. This deity was installed in the temple on the beach at Malpe, and Madhva carried the rest to the temple tank and submerged it there where it was revealed that there was also a beautiful deity of Lord Krsna. (these deities were originally carved by Vishvakarma and given to Rukmini Devi Krishna’s consort in Dwaraka to worship prior to His leaving this world) Everyone was astonished to find a Krsna deity within the block of Tilak, but Madhvacarya was not unaccustomed to miracles and accepted it as the Lord's grace. At that time he composed some beautiful prayers glorifying Sri Krsna, and soon after that the Deity was installed at the temple in Udipi where it remains today. The Deity weighed so much that even thirty men had difficulty moving it. Madhva, however, was superhumanly powerful--it is said that he was an incarnation of Vayu, and managed to personally carry the Deity to Udipi.
After installing the Deity of Krsna in Udipi, he revised the system of Deity worship, establishing a strict regimen of ceremonial ritual and proper conduct among his followers, imposing among other things the rigorous observance of fasting on Ekadasis.
Having achieved such great success at home, it was time for Madhva to one more travel afar. He began a second pilgrimage to North India, where he once again visited Badarikasrama. The Madhva-vijaya, written by the son of one of Madhva's disciples describes how Madhva used his sharp wits, his knowledge of many languages such as Turkish and Persian, and his courage to overcome great obstacles in his preaching. While on his North Indian tour, Madhva and his disciples arrived at a place in the province of Ganga Pradesh where political tensions between Hindus and Muslims prevented them from crossing the river. The Hindus were on one side of the river and the Muslims on the other side. No one dared cross, and no boat was available. Madhva and his followers, without regard for the Muslim soldiers who guarded the crossing, swam across the river. The entire camp was placed under arrest. Madhva himself was taken before the Muslim King, Sultan Jalal-uddin-Khilji, who demanded an explanation. When Madhva was finally allowed to speak on his own behalf, he spoke in high class “chaste Persian”, addressing the king at length on devotional theism. Seeing the intensity and saintly purity of Sripad Madhvacarya, the Sultan's heart was softened. So impressed was he with Madhva that he wanted to offer him land and money, but Madhva set the example of renunciation by humbly declining the Sultan's offer.
Where wit would not help, Madhva would sometimes use his superhuman strength to save a situation. Once his traveling companion and sannyasi disciple Satya Tirtha was attacked by a fierce Bengal tiger. Fearless, Madhava went to the rescue. After wrestling the tiger away from Satya Tirtha, he sent it away with its tail between its legs. Another time, while walking on pilgrimage through a dangerous part of India, we was attacked by murderous dacoits, but he easily held them off.
Madhva was a multi-faceted personality who lived a long and healthy life. He was a natural leader who believed in physical culture as well as intellectual, moral, and spiritual culture. He took part in many athletic activities, such as wrestling, swimming, and mountain-climbing, which served him well in the Himalayas. As he came from a family of brahmanas that had descended from the warrior brahmana and incarnation of Godhead, Parasurama, he was tall, strong, and robust. It was reputed that there was no limit to his bodily strength. The Madhva-vijaya records how a strongman named Kadanjari who was said to have the strength of thirty men once challenged Madhvacarya to a contest of strength. Madhvacarya placed the big toe of his foot firmly upon the ground and asked Kadanjari, the famous strongman, to see if he could lift it. Straining with all his brawn again and again, the mighty Kadanjari was unable to move even the big toe of Madhvacarya. According to Trivikrama Pandita, Madhvacarya was endowed with all the thirty-two bodily symptoms of a great personality. He had a deep, sonorous, and melodic voice and was an expert singer. His recitation of the verses of Srimad-Bhagavatam was regarded as being especially sweet.
In this way, Madhva traveled extensively throughout the whole of India. He returned to South India after having visited Badarinatha, Delhi, Kuruksetra, Benares, and Goa. After this, his travels were mostly limited to those provinces of South India near Udipi. After Sankaracarya, who had also traveled extensively, He was the second important Vedanta acarya to travel throughout India, and his broad preaching campaign had a lasting effect. Gradually, his following grew, as great personalities from all parts of India accepted him as guru. The Madhva-vijaya mentions that he had disciples from many lands, and his present day followers still include the speakers of eight different languages-Tulu, Kannada, Konkani, Maratha, Telugu, Southern Saurastri, Bengali, and Hindi.
After returning to Udipi, Madhva once again immersed himself in prolific literary activity. He wrote commentaries on the ten major Upanisads. He wrote ten major philosophical treatises, the Dasa-Prakaranas, as well as what many consider his most important work, the Anu-Vyakhyana. He wrote a summary of Mahabharata called the Moksa-dharma, and he also commented on Srimad-Bhagavatam.
Madhvacarya's dedication to the Lord and his deep scholarship made him a feared and hated enemy of the followers of Sankaracarya, who had a vested interest in maintaining their position as the only bona fide Vedantists. It has been said, "Of all the plagues with which mankind is cursed, ecclesiastical tyranny's the worst." The tyranny of the acaryas of the Srngeri-matha founded by Sankaracarya led them to attack Sripad Madhva with every means at their disposal. They employed various means to harass the followers of Madhva. They tried to prove that Madhva did not come from any authorized disciplic succession. Finally they challenged Madhva to a debate.
The Sankarites chose as their champion pandita a highly learned scholar named Pundarika Puri, who was famed for his erudition and expertise in argument. In the debate with Madhva he was humiliated. In arguing with Madhva Pundarika was like a schoolboy facing a professor. Aching for vengeance, the defeated pandita arranged for one of his cohorts, a sannyasi named Padma Tirtha, to steal a priceless collection of ancient Sanskrit scriptures from the library of Sripad Madhvacarya. The books were later recovered with the help of King Jayasimha of Kumla.
After Jayasimha Raja recovered the books of Madhvacarya, an audience was arranged between the Jayasimha and Madhva. The pandita, Trivikrama Pandita, a resident of Visnumangala, was the foremost authority on impersonal Vedanta in the land of Kumla and an expert poet. They met in the temple of Kudil. At the end of the day's discourse, Trivikrama Pandita had failed to defeat Madhva, but he refused to surrender. The debate was continued on the following day. The next day, Trivikrama Pandita used all of his learning, his wit, and his power of argument in an attempt to embarrass Madhva, but after exhausting himself was again unable to defeat him. This went on for fifteen days, when Trivikrama Pandita, his intellect spent, his doubts destroyed, recognized Sri Madhva as his guru. He surrendered to the lotus feet of Sripad Madhvacarya and was accepted by him as a disciple. Madhva ordered him to write a commentary on Vedanta. Trivikrama Pandita's commentary is called the Tattva-pradipa. His conversion was a turning point in Madhva's preaching mission. After his conversion, Trivikrama Pandita's own brother and seven other important scholars took sannyasa from Madhva and became the first directors of the eight Madvhaite monasteries in Udipi. Trivikrama Pandita's son, Narayanacarya who later wrote the Madhva-vijaya.
In the final years of Madhva's life, he wrote further commentaries on the scriptures, including the Nyaya-vivarana, the Karma-nirnaya, the Krsnamrta-Maharnava, and others. By this time, Madhvacarya was growing old. He had completed what he set out to do. He had preached his message far and wide, elaborated his philosophical system in numerous commentaries, and had many trained missionaries who could carry on his work with great energy. He had written original works of such a profound character that they would continue to influence devotional theism well into the 20th century. He had established the worship of Krsna in Udipi and had given sannyasa to expert scholars and veteran preachers such as Padmanabha Tirtha, Narahari Tirtha, Madhava Tirtha, and Aksobhya Tirtha, who would succeed him in promoting the philosophical ideals of pure dualistic theism. As he finished his commentary on the Aitereya Upanisad, on the verge of his eightieth birthday, Sripad Madhvacarya passed away from this world and entered the eternal Vaikuntha realm with Srila Vyasadeva at Uttara Bhadri on the ninth day of the full moon in the month of Magh (corresponding to January-February) in the year 1317.
The essential principles of Sri Madhvacarya's teachings-where they run parallel to the teachings of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu-have been summarized by Baladeva Vidyabhusana in his Prameya-Ratnavali. These points are as follows:
shri madvhah praha vishnum paratamam akhilamnaya vedyam
cisvam satyam bhedam ca jivam hari carana jusas tartamyam ca
tesham moksham vishnv-anghri-labham tad-amala-bhajanam
tasya hetum pramanam pratyaksadi trayam cety upadisati hari
Shri Madvacaharya taught that:
1.Krishna, who is known as Hari is the Supreme Lord,
2.That Supreme Lord may be known through the
3.The material world is real.
4.The jivas, or souls, are different from the Supreme
5.The jivas are by nature servants of the Supreme
6.There are two categories of jivas: liberated and
7.Liberation means attaining the lotus feet of
Krishna, that is, entering into an eternal
relationship of service to the Supreme Lord.
8.Pure devotional service is the cause of this
9.The truth may be known through direct
perception, inference, and Vedic authority.
In his Caitanya Caritamrta commentary, Srila A.C. Bhakdivedanta Swami Prabhupada comments, "For further information about Madhvacarya, one should read Madhva-vijaya by Narayana Acarya."
We obviously do not have time or space to include all of Madhwa's wonderful pastimes on this page, what to speak of go into each pastime in detail as I have in my manuscript. Then that would only be a part of Madhwa's pastimes, as he appeared as the Triple incanation of Vayudev called Mukhyapran; first as Hanuman; then as Bhima; then as Madhwa.
Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu Visits Udupi:
Madhwacharya's Disappearance pastime:
Sripad Madhwacarya's Disappearance
Sripad Madhwacarya, now felt that his mission for which he was sent, was now completely complete. He had smashed 'mayavada', 'shunyavad' and all other atheistic philosophies of the time. He changed the mood of the whole planet, he firmly established through his life and teachings, his books, and his disciples the timeless truths, the glories of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Who is known by unlimited names of which Krsna (all attractive), contains all of their individual potencies being all attractive.
In Madhwa Vijay's (16:50-51.) closing verses it states that these glories of Sripad Madhwacarya Bhagavatapada are continuously sung by the Gandharvas, resounding the airways with melodious rapture, due to their expertise in singing the 'pancama' ('nishada', 'rshabha', gandhara', 'sadja', 'madhyama' and 'dhaivata'). Producing the most wonderous songs glorifying Sri Mukhyaprana (Madhwa) free from all defects, 'kaaki'. and are heard by hosts of demigods like Indra, Candra etc., who instigated his coming by approaching the Lord. The 'dvas' also having firm devotion for Madhwa bent their heads forward in salutations, and appreciative smiles. As in the disappearance of Bhismadeva, when the inhabitants of the different higher planetary systems heard that Madhwa was about to depart they all assembled in the skies above that place.
It states that those 'devas' who have full faith in the
Lord and who worship the Lord's pure devotees stand now in the clouds before
Madhwa with folded palms, their crowns tilted forwards in obeisances showing
their recognition of his greatness. In a stance of victory, and deep respect
they raise their folded palms which are tinged with red-like lotuses, above
their heads. Their lotus like faces resplendent with smiles.(Madhwa Vijay
16:51.; D.R.Vasudeva Rau.1983. page 243.)
This is all unknown to the devotees of Madhwa in Udupi.
Picture this scene in your "minds' eye", Madhwa is now seated in his favourite seat at the Anantasana (Ananteswar) Temple in Udupi, just off to the side of the main Deity's altar. Surrounded by hundreds of his faithful disciples in a wonderfully festive mood, Madhwa's eyes are bright and wide like lotuses, his charming face smiles pleasingly as he recites his favourite Upanishad, Aitareya Upanishad. His voice is so sweet, powerful and pure.
"After hearing the recital (song) of Sripad Madhwa Muni,
and honouring his festival, which proclaims Sri Purnaprajna's victory over
the many varieties of disputants. The 'devas' who have very pleasing smiles,
and who are wonderstruck at the ability of Vayudeva incarnate, went to
see him along with hosts of sages and 'gandharvas'.(Madhwa Vijay 16:52.)
Suddenly a tumultuous sound is heard in conjunction with the end of Madhwa's recital. Chants of, "All glories to you, Oh Vayu, Oh lord who enlivens the Jivas."
"All glories to you who is dear to Lord Rama."
"All glories to you, o most powerful one Bhimasena, salutations to you."
"Oh Madhwa who has saved us all from the bad Kali Yuga philosophies.
All glories, all glories to you."
"You who are adorned with thirty-two and more auspicious
All glories to you, all glories to you!"
"Oh Preceptor, Purnaprajna! You have dispelled the darkness of the wicked 'shastras' by the presentation of Vyasa's true rendition of Vedanta Sutra, and your own parot-like embellishment, so nectarean! All Glories to you, all Glories to you!"
"You have expounded the truths about the pure personalistic
forms of Lord Narayana,
All Glories to you, all glories to you!"
"You who have conquered the fourteen worlds by your attractive,
pure Vaisnava qualities,
All Glories to you, all glories to you!"
"By your kindness, please always be our preceptor, and protector!"
"Oh Sri Vayu, who are the lord of the Jivas (and the senses), You have come to the Earth for the good benefit of the virtuous people, you have given a wealth of knowledge now we salute you. Salutations unto you, all glories to you!"
"You are eternally dear to Lord Rama, Oh Hanuman of great
Salutations again and again unto you!"
"Oh most powerful! One who is so dear to Lord Yadava-Krishna! Oh Bhimasena, salutations repeatedly unto you!"
"Oh pleaser of the three worlds, bestower of sweet asssociation to those who are in need of association, Oh Madhwa Muni, Sri Ananda Tirtha Bhagavatpad, Victory to you! Victory to you!"(Madhwa Vijay 16:55-57.)
As these glories resounded from the heavens above, kettle
drums resounded from heavenly musicians too, all Madhwa's disciples looked
to the sky to see showers of flowers coming from the hands of celestial
beings. At this sight everyone was in a jubilant mood and their ecstacy
filled the air.
As the rivers of fragrant heavenly flowers covered Sripad Madhwacarya's head to the point that he could no longer be seen, a couple of intimate disciples came forward to brush away the flowers from Acarya Madhwa. As they, Satya Tirtha, Hrshikesha Tirtha and some others, brushed away the flowers they found, to their dismay, that Sripad Madhwacarya, Mukhyaprana that liberated air, had gone. He had wound up his final pastimes in this world to again return to be with the Lord of his life, Srila Dwaipayana Vedavyasa in His Uttara Badri 'ashrama' for eternity.(Madhwa Vijay 16:58.).
In Mahabharata Tatparya Nirnaya (11:42-43.), Madhwa pre-empts his own disappearance saying that, "...the 'devas' customarily do not spend much time on earth after their missions are fulfilled or their celestial nature is revealed."
This final pastime took place on the morning of the ninth day in the bright fortnight of the month of Magha in the year 1317 A.D. (Kali Yuga 4418). ('Pingala samvatsara magha suddha navami'.)
While there is nothing lamentable for the pure devotee of the Lord when he winds up his final pastimes, for those who remain behind it is another thing. The separation that is felt is almost intolerable, it is as if one's very life has departed. Though it is a fact that the 'guru' and the disciples are never separated, because the spiritual master always keeps company with the disciple as long as the disciple follows the instructions of the 'guru'. Still for some it is too much to bear!
In the Marathi language a nice saying is found;
marawe pari kirti rupi orawe
"Though your body lives with for very few years with us,
your glories and fame live on long after that time."
(JTCd. The Life and Legacy of Sripad Ananda Tirtha - Madhwacarya. Chapter 7: 32.)
Copyright (c) Jaya Tirtha Charan dasa 1995-2001. All Rights Reserved.
Anyone wishing to assist in this work please send an e-mail
Other Vaishnava sites:
About Govardhan Puja in brief:
Worshiping Govardhana Hill - Krsna Book:
- Devastating Rainfall in Vrindavana - Giriraj give shelter to the Vrajabasis:
The Worship of Giri-Govardhan:
Worship of Giri-govardhan - Garga samhita
on Sripad Madhavendra Puri's Govardhan-nathji at Nathdwar:
Another Version of Govardhan Puja Overview:
Srila Vishvanatha Cakravarti's Govardhanastakam:
Prayers for residence at Govardhan - Raghunath dasa Goswami
Prayers to appeal for shelter of Giriraj - Raghunath dasa Goswami
The Meeting of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Raghunatha dasa Gosvami (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Antya-lila 6.287-309.)
Various Slokas and Passages in Praise of Sri Govardhana
Back to Kartika mase page:
Where Govardhan puja fits in during the Diwali period
The places of Krsna's lila surrounding Govardhana - from Bhakti Ratnakara by Sri Narahari Sakar dasa
Pictures of the offering of foodstuffs - Annakut:
Pictures of Govardhan Hill
Pictures of Govardhan hill and surrounding places of interest
Different kinds of Govardhan shilas:
Giri Govardhan's tongue at Radha Kunda
Giri Govardhan's mouth at Manasi Ganga
Dhoka Dauji - Lord Balaram's place
Govardhan Hill Parikrama:
More on Govardhan Hill, Silas, Parikrama and so - from Mayapur -Vrindavan Trust site
Srila Jiva Goswami's Govardhan Sila at Radha Damodar temple in Vrindavan:
Hamsadutta of Rupa Goswami describes Krishna laying on Govardhan hill
Sri Shaligram Tirtha
Pradashini - all bout Shaligrams, Govardhan (Giriraj) Shilas,
and Dwaraka Shilas.
This site has pictures of hundreds of different Govardhan silas from all over the world that devotees worship daily.
Silas of Radha Kunda or of Govardhan, and of Vrindavan, or famous Silas of India
Sri Prahlad dasa takes us on a tour of Govardhana Hill.
He relates to us many stories of
Krishna's pastimes at different locations on the Hill.
Taken at the Laguna Beach Temple on Govardhana Puja. (41 minutes)
Govardhana Puja Kirtan with Sri Prahalad dasa (22 mins)
In the western coast of India, in the island of Salmali, lived Dronachala, the king of the mountains. Once a sage by the name of Pulastya Muni, came to him to take his son Giriraja with him to Kashi (Varanasi). After offering some initial resistance, Giriraja, somehow agreed to go with him only on condition that he should not put him down on the earth in between. If he does so, he would stay there forever.
When they were flying over the Vraja bhumi, Giriraja increased his weight to the extent that Pulastya had no option but to put him down. Pulastya understood the mischief of Giriraja. He became furious and cursed him that he would decrease by a grain everyday. But then repenting on the curse he gave to Giriraja, he assured him that he would be blessed in the Dvapara Yuga and everybody would start worshipping him since then.
This happened in the Satya yuga. Brahmaji wished to create the Dvapara Yuga but because of the portentous phenomenon of Ravana, he had to create the Treta Yuga. In this yuga, Hanumanaji on the instructions of Lord Rama, came to take Giriraja for the cause of constructing a pull on the ocean.
Giriraja at once agreed to go for the service of Lord Rama. But before they reached, the pull was ready and there was no need of additional stones. Giriraja was very dissappointed on not having the darshana of Lord Rama.
On knowing the sorrow of Giriraja, Lord Rama sent a message saying that, "...by the end of the Dvapara Yuga, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna will Himself appear and play on you and will also worship you. In the kaliyuga, the devotees shall attain numerous divine supernatural powers by worshipping you.''
In Sarasvata Kalpa, i.e. the end of the Dvapara Yuga, Bhagavan Sri Krishna stopped the worship of Indra and started the Govardhana Puja by doing Himself. It was a wonderful sight. Being worshipped by Sri Krishna, Giriraja himself became like Sri Krishna. It was like He (Sri Krishna) worshipping Himself. Since then all the six seasons resided permanently on Giriraja.
Besides this, the eight gates of the Asta Sakha's from where they entered the nitya lila, are also on the Govardhan hill. The Asta Sakha's, who reside on the Govardhan hill are in differrent places, each of which were passionately attached to their respsctive Deities of those places.
Thousands of devotees bring offerings for Giriraj
Foodstuffs placed before Giriraj
This festival is in commemoration of the lifting of Mount Govardhan by Krishna. According to a legend, before Krishna was born, Indra, the god of Rain, was the chief deity of Vraj. Then Krishna instigated the people to stop worshipping Indra. Indra wanted to show his power over Krishna and brought about a cloud-burst which flooded the countryside for many days. People were afraid that the downpor was a result of their neglect of Indra. But Krishna assured them that no harm would befall them. He lifted Mount Govardhan with his little finger and sheltered men and beasts from the rain. This gave him the epithet Govardhandhari. After this, Indra accepted the supremacy of Krishna. (Shakti M Gupta. 1991. Festivals, Fairs and Fasts of India. Pages 145-146.)
replicas of Govardhan Hill are made by devotees all over the world and worshipped in the same way as at the original Hillside, Govardhan Silas are bathed and honoured by devotees also, it is a wonderful festival. See more on Govardhan Shilas HERE
or on a smaller scale like here in Katikati New Zealand 2000
or in Auckland NZ 2001
....or like here in Italy
While engaged with the brähmaëas who were too much involved in the performance of Vedic sacrifices, Kåñëa and Balaräma also saw that the cowherd men were preparing a similar sacrifice in order to pacify Indra, the King of heaven, who is responsible for supplying water. As stated in the Caitanya-caritämåta, a devotee of Kåñëa has strong and firm faith in the understanding that if he is simply engaged in Kåñëa consciousness and Kåñëa’s transcendental loving service, then he is freed from all other obligations. A pure devotee of Lord Kåñëa doesn’t have to perform any of the ritualistic functions enjoined in the Vedas; nor is he required to worship any demigods. Being a devotee of Lord Kåñëa, one is understood to have performed all kinds of Vedic rituals and all kinds of worship to the demigods. One does not develop devotional service for Kåñëa by performing the Vedic ritualistic ceremonies or worshiping the demigods, but it should be understood that one who is engaged fully in the service of the Lord has already fulfilled all Vedic injunctions.
In order to stop all such activities by His devotees, Kåñëa wanted to firmly establish exclusive devotional service during His presence in Våndävana. Because He is the omniscient Personality of Godhead, Kåñëa knew that the cowherd men were preparing for the Indra sacrifice, but as a matter of etiquette He began to inquire with great honor and submission from elder personalities like Mahäräja Nanda.
Kåñëa asked His father, “My dear father, what is this arrangement going on for a great sacrifice? What is the result of such a sacrifice, and for whom is it meant? How is it performed? Will you kindly let Me know? I am very eager to know this procedure, so please explain to Me the purpose of this sacrifice.” Upon this inquiry, His father, Nanda Mahäräja, remained silent, thinking that his young boy would not be able to understand the intricacies of performing the yajïa. Kåñëa, however, persisted: “My dear father, for those who are liberal and saintly, there is no secrecy. They do not think anyone to be a friend, an enemy or a neutral party, because they are always open to everyone. And even for those who are not so liberal, nothing should be kept secret from the family members and friends, although secrecy may be maintained for persons who are inimical. Therefore you cannot keep any secrets from Me. All persons are engaged in fruitive activities. Some know what these activities are, and they know the result, and some execute activities without knowing the purpose or the result. A person who acts with full knowledge gets the full result; one who acts without knowledge does not get such a perfect result. Therefore, please let Me know the purpose of the sacrifice you are going to perform. Is it according to Vedic injunction? Or is it simply a popular ceremony? Kindly let Me know in detail about the sacrifice.”
On hearing this inquiry from Kåñëa, Mahäräja Nanda replied, “My dear boy, this ceremonial performance is more or less traditional. Because rainfall is due to the mercy of King Indra and the clouds are his representatives, and because water is so important for our living, we must show some gratitude to the controller of this rainfall, Mahäräja Indra. We are arranging, therefore, to pacify King Indra, because he has very kindly sent us clouds to pour down a sufficient quantity of rain for successful agricultural activities. Water is very important: without rainfall we cannot farm or produce grain, and without grain we cannot live. Therefore rain is necessary for successful religious ceremonies, economic development and, ultimately, liberation. So we should not give up this traditional ceremonial function; if one gives it up, being influenced by lust, greed or fear, then it does not look very good for him.”
After hearing this, Kåñëa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, in the presence of His father and all the elder cowherd men of Våndävana, spoke in such a way as to make heavenly King Indra very angry. He suggested that they forgo the sacrifice. His reasons for discouraging the sacrifice performed to please Indra were twofold. First, as stated in the Bhagavad-gétä, there is no need to worship the demigods for any material advancement; all results derived from worshiping the demigods are simply temporary, and only those who are less intelligent are interested in temporary results. Second, whatever temporary result one derives from worshiping the demigods is actually granted by the permission of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. It is clearly stated in the Bhagavad-gétä: mayaiva vihitän hi tän. Whatever benefit is supposed to be derived from the demigods is actually bestowed by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Without the permission of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one cannot bestow any benefit upon others. But sometimes the demigods become puffed up by the influence of material nature; thinking themselves all in all, they forget the supremacy of the Personality of Godhead. In Çrémad-Bhägavatam it is clearly stated that in this instance Kåñëa wanted to make King Indra angry. Kåñëa’s advent was especially meant for the annihilation of the demons and protection of the devotees. King Indra was certainly a devotee, not a demon, but because he was puffed up, Kåñëa wanted to teach him a lesson. He first made Indra angry by stopping the Indra-püjä, which had been arranged by the cowherd men in Våndävana.
With this purpose in mind, Kåñëa began to talk as if He were an atheist supporting the philosophy of Karma-mémäàsä. Advocates of this philosophy do not accept the supreme authority of the Personality of Godhead. They put forward the argument that if anyone works nicely, the result is sure to come. Their opinion is that even if there is a God who gives man the result of his fruitive activities, there is no need to worship Him because unless man works He cannot bestow any good result. They say that instead of worshiping a demigod or God, people should give attention to their own duties, and thus the good result will surely come. Lord Kåñëa began to speak to His father according to these principles of the Karma-mémäàsä philosophy. “My dear father,” He said, “I don’t think you need to worship any demigod for the successful performance of your agricultural activities. Every living being is born according to his past karma and leaves this life simply taking the result of his present karma. Everyone is born in different types or species of life according to his past activities, and he gets his next birth according to the activities of this life. Different grades of material happiness and distress, comforts and disadvantages of life, are different results of different kinds of activities, from either the past or present life.”
Mahäräja Nanda and other elder members argued that without satisfying the predominating god one cannot derive any good result simply by material activities. This is actually the fact. For example, it is sometimes found that in spite of first-class medical help and treatment by a first-class physician, a diseased person dies. It is concluded, therefore, that first-class medical treatment or the attempts of a first-class physician are not in themselves the cause for curing a patient; there must be the hand of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Similarly, a father’s and mother’s taking care of their children is not the cause of the children’s comfort. Sometimes it is found that in spite of all care by the parents, the children go bad or succumb to death. Therefore material causes are not sufficient for results. There must be the sanction of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Nanda Mahäräja therefore advocated that in order to get good results for agricultural activities, they must satisfy Indra, the superintending deity of the rain supply. Lord Kåñëa nullified this argument, saying that the demigods give results only to persons who have executed their prescribed duties. The demigods cannot give any good results to the person who has not executed the prescribed duties; therefore demigods are dependent on the execution of duties and are not absolute in awarding good results to anyone. So why should one care about them?
“My dear father,” Lord Kåñëa said, “there is no need to worship the demigod Indra. Everyone has to achieve the result of his own work. We can actually see that one becomes busy according to the natural tendency of his work; and according to that natural tendency, all living entities—either human beings or demigods—achieve their respective results. All living entities achieve higher or lower bodies and create enemies, friends or neutral parties only because of their different kinds of work. One should be careful to discharge duties according to his natural instinct and not divert attention to the worship of various demigods. The demigods will be satisfied by proper execution of all duties, so there is no need to worship them. Let us, rather, perform our prescribed duties very nicely. Actually one cannot be happy without executing his proper prescribed duty. One who does not, therefore, properly discharge his prescribed duties is compared to an unchaste wife. The proper prescribed duty of the brähmaëas is the study of the Vedas; the proper duty of the royal order, the kñatriyas, is engagement in protecting the citizens; the proper duty of the vaiçya community is agriculture, trade and protection of the cows; and the proper duty of the çüdras is service to the higher classes, namely the brähmaëas, kñatriyas and vaiçyas. We belong to the vaiçya community, and our proper duty is to farm, to trade with the agricultural produce, to protect cows or to take to banking.”
Kåñëa identified Himself with the vaiçya community because Nanda Mahäräja was protecting many cows and Kåñëa was taking care of them. He enumerated four kinds of business engagements for the vaiçya community, namely agriculture, trade, protection of cows and banking. Although the vaiçyas can take to any of these occupations, the men of Våndävana were engaged primarily in the protection of cows.
Kåñëa further explained to His father, “This cosmic manifestation is going on under the influence of three modes of material nature—goodness, passion and ignorance. These three modes are the causes of creation, maintenance and destruction. The cloud is caused by the action of the mode of passion; therefore it is the mode of passion which causes the rainfall. And after the rainfall, the living entities derive the result—success in agricultural work. What, then, has Indra to do in this affair? Even if you do not please Indra, what can he do? We do not derive any special benefit from Indra. Even if he is there, he pours water on the ocean also, where there is no need of water. So he is pouring water on the ocean or on the land; it does not depend on our worshiping him. As far as we are concerned, we do not need to go to another city or village or foreign country. There are palatial buildings in the cities, but we are satisfied living in this forest of Våndävana. Our specific relationship is with Govardhana Hill and Våndävana forest and nothing more. I therefore request you, My dear father, to begin a sacrifice which will satisfy the local brähmaëas and Govardhana Hill, and let us have nothing to do with Indra.”
After hearing this statement by Kåñëa,
Nanda Mahäräja replied, “My dear boy, since You are asking, I
shall arrange for a separate sacrifice for the local brähmaëas
and Govardhana Hill. But for the present let me execute this sacrifice
known as Indra-yajïa.”
But Kåñëa replied, “My dear father, don’t delay. The sacrifice you propose for Govardhana and the local brähmaëas will take much time. Better take the arrangement and paraphernalia you have already made for the Indra-yajïa and immediately engage them to satisfy Govardhana Hill and the local brähmaëas.”
Mahäräja Nanda finally relented. The cowherd men then inquired from Kåñëa how He wanted the yajïa performed, and Kåñëa gave them the following directions. “Prepare very nice foods of all descriptions from the grains and ghee collected for the yajïa. Prepare rice, dhal, then halavä, pakorä, puré and all kinds of milk preparations, such as sweet rice, rabré, sweetballs, sandeça, rasagullä and laòòu, and invite the learned brähmaëas who can chant the Vedic hymns and offer oblations to the fire. The brähmaëas should be given all kinds of grains in charity. Then decorate all the cows and feed them well. After performing this, give money in charity to the brähmaëas. As far as the lower animals are concerned, such as the dogs, and the lower grades of people, such as the caëòälas, or the fifth class of men, who are considered untouchable, they also may be given sumptuous prasädam. After nice grasses have been given to the cows, the sacrifice known as Govardhana-püjä may immediately begin. This sacrifice will very much satisfy Me.”
In this statement, Lord Kåñëa practically described the whole economy of the vaiçya community. In all communities in human society—including the brähmaëas, kñatriyas, vaiçyas, çüdras, caëòälas, etc.— and in the animal kingdom—including the cows, dogs, goats, etc.—everyone has his part to play. Each is to work in cooperation for the total benefit of all society, which includes not only animate objects but also inanimate objects like hills and land. The vaiçya community is specifically responsible for the economic improvement of the society by producing grains, by giving protection to the cows, by transporting food when needed, and by banking and finance.
From this statement we learn also that although the cats and dogs, which have now become so important, are not to be neglected, cow protection is actually more important than protection of cats and dogs. Another hint we get from this statement is that the caëòälas, or the untouchables, are also not to be neglected by the higher classes and should be given necessary protection. Everyone is important, but some are directly responsible for the advancement of human society and some are only indirectly responsible. However, when Kåñëa consciousness is there, then everyone’s total benefit is taken care of.
The sacrifice known as Govardhana-püjä is observed in the Kåñëa consciousness movement. Lord Caitanya has recommended that since Kåñëa is worshipable, so His land—Våndävana and Govardhana Hill—is also worshipable. To confirm this statement, Lord Kåñëa said that Govardhana-püjä is as good as worship of Him. From that day, Govardhana-püjä has been going on and is known as Annaküöa. In all the temples of Våndävana or outside of Våndävana, huge quantities of food are prepared in this ceremony and are very sumptuously distributed to the general population. Sometimes the food is thrown to the crowds, and they enjoy collecting it off the ground. From this we can understand that prasädam offered to Kåñëa never becomes polluted or contaminated, even if it is thrown on the ground. The people, therefore, collect it and eat with great satisfaction.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kåñëa, therefore advised the cowherd men to stop the Indra-yajïa and begin the Govardhana-püjä in order to chastise Indra, who was very much puffed up at being the supreme controller of the heavenly planets. The honest and simple cowherd men, headed by Nanda Mahäräja, accepted Kåñëa’s proposal and executed in detail everything He advised. They performed Govardhana worship and circumambulation of the hill. (Following the inauguration of Govardhana-püjä, people in Våndävana still dress nicely and assemble near Govardhana Hill to offer worship and circumambulate the hill, leading their cows all around.) According to the instruction of Lord Kåñëa, Nanda Mahäräja and the cowherd men called in learned brähmaëas and began to worship Govardhana Hill by chanting Vedic hymns and offering prasädam. The inhabitants of Våndävana assembled together, decorated their cows and gave them grass. Keeping the cows in front, they began to circumambulate Govardhana Hill. The gopés dressed themselves very luxuriantly and sat in bull-driven carts, chanting the glories of Kåñëa’s pastimes. Assembled there to act as priests for Govardhana-püjä, the brähmaëas offered their blessings to the cowherd men and their wives, the gopés.
When everything was complete, Kåñëa
assumed a great transcendental form and declared to the inhabitants of
Våndävana that He was Himself Govardhana Hill in order to convince
the devotees that Govardhana Hill and Kåñëa Himself are
identical. Then Kåñëa began to eat all the food
offered there. The identity of Kåñëa and Govardhana
Hill is still honored, and great devotees take rocks from Govardhana Hill
and worship them exactly as they worship the Deity of Kåñëa
in the temples. The followers of the Kåñëa consciousness
movement may therefore collect small rocks or pebbles from Govardhana Hill
and worship them at home, because this worship is as good as Deity worship.
The form of Kåñëa who began to eat the offerings was
separately constituted, and Kåñëa Himself, along with
the other inhabitants of Våndävana, offered obeisances to the
Deity as well as Govardhana Hill. In offering obeisances to the huge form
of Kåñëa and Govardhana Hill, Kåñëa
declared, “Just see how Govardhana Hill has assumed this huge form and
is favoring us by accepting all the offerings.” Kåñëa
also declared at that meeting, “One who neglects the worship of Govardhana-püjä,
as I am personally conducting it, will not be happy. There are many snakes
on Govardhana Hill, and persons neglecting the prescribed duty of Govardhana-püjä
will be bitten by these snakes and killed. In order to assure the good
fortune of the cows and themselves, all people of Våndävana
near Govardhana must worship the hill, as prescribed by Me.”
Thus performing the Govardhana-püjä sacrifice, all the inhabitants of Våndävana followed the instructions of Kåñëa, the son of Vasudeva, and afterwards they returned to their respective homes.
Thus ends the Bhaktivedanta purport
of the Twenty-fourth Chapter of Kåñëa, “Worshiping Govardhana
When Indra understood that the sacrifice that was to be offered by the cowherd men in Våndävana had been stopped by Kåñëa, he became angry, and he vented his anger upon the inhabitants of Våndävana, who were headed by Nanda Mahäräja, although Indra knew perfectly well that Kåñëa was personally protecting them. As the director of different kinds of clouds, Indra called for the Säàvartaka. This cloud is invited when there is a need to devastate the whole cosmic manifestation. The Säàvartaka was ordered by Indra to go over Våndävana and inundate the whole area with an extensive flood. Demonically, Indra thought himself to be the all-powerful supreme personality. When demons become very powerful, they defy the supreme controller, the Personality of Godhead. Indra, though not a demon, was puffed up by his material position, and he wanted to challenge the supreme controller. He thought himself, at least for the time being, as powerful as Kåñëa. Indra said, “Just see the impudence of the inhabitants of Våndävana! They are simply inhabitants of the forest, but being infatuated with their friend Kåñëa, who is nothing but an ordinary human being, they have dared to defy the demigods.”
Kåñëa has declared in the Bhagavad-gétä that the worshipers of the demigods are not very intelligent. He has also declared that one has to give up all kinds of worship and simply concentrate on Kåñëa consciousness. Kåñëa’s invoking the anger of Indra and later on chastising him is a clear indication to His devotees that those who are engaged in Kåñëa consciousness have no need to worship any demigod, even if it is found that the demigod has become angry. Kåñëa gives His devotees all protection, and they should completely depend on His mercy.
Indra cursed the action of the inhabitants
of Våndävana and said, “By defying the authority of the demigods,
the inhabitants of Våndävana will suffer in material existence.
Having neglected the sacrifice to the demigods, they cannot cross over
the impediments of the ocean of material existence.” Indra further declared,
“These cowherd men in Våndävana have neglected my authority
on the advice of this talkative boy who is known as Kåñëa.
He is nothing but a child, and by believing this child, they have enraged
me.” Thus he ordered the Säàvartaka cloud to go and destroy
the prosperity of Våndävana. “The men of Våndävana,”
said Indra, “have become too puffed up over their material opulence and
are overconfident due to the presence of their tiny friend, Kåñëa.
He is simply talkative, childish and unaware of the complete cosmic situation,
although He is thinking Himself very advanced in knowledge. Because they
have taken Kåñëa so seriously, they must be punished.
They should be destroyed with their cows.” In this way Indra ordered the
Säàvartaka cloud to go to Våndävana and inundate
It is indicated here that in the villages or outside the towns, the inhabitants must depend on the cows for their prosperity. When the cows are destroyed, the people are destitute of all kinds of opulences. When King Indra ordered the Säàvartaka and companion clouds to go to Våndävana, the clouds were afraid of doing this mischief. But King Indra assured them, “You go ahead, and I will also go, riding on my elephant, accompanied by great storms. And I shall apply all my strength to punishing the inhabitants of Våndävana.”
Ordered by King Indra, all the dangerous clouds appeared above Våndävana and began to pour water incessantly, with all their strength and power. There was constant lightning and thunder, blowing of severe wind and incessant falling of rain. The rainfall seemed to fall like piercing sharp arrows. By pouring water as thick as pillars, without cessation, the clouds gradually filled all the lands in Våndävana with water, and there was no visible distinction between higher and lower land. The situation was very dangerous, especially for the animals. The rainfall was accompanied by great winds, and every living creature in Våndävana began to tremble from the severe cold. Unable to find any other source of deliverance, they all approached Govinda to take shelter at His lotus feet. The cows especially, being much aggrieved from the heavy rain, bowed down their heads, and taking their calves underneath their bodies, they approached the Supreme Personality of Godhead to take shelter of His lotus feet. At that time all the inhabitants of Våndävana began to pray to Lord Kåñëa. “Dear Kåñëa,” they prayed, “You are all-powerful, and You are very affectionate to Your devotees. Now please protect us, who have been much harassed by angry Indra.”
Upon hearing their prayer, Kåñëa could also understand that Indra, being bereft of his sacrificial honor, was pouring down rain that was accompanied by heavy pieces of ice and strong winds, although all this was out of season. Kåñëa understood that this was a deliberate exhibition of anger by Indra. He therefore concluded, “This demigod who thinks himself supreme has shown his great power, but I shall answer him according to My position, and I shall teach him that he is not autonomous in managing universal affairs. I am the Supreme Lord over all, and I shall thus take away his false prestige, which has risen from his power. The demigods are My devotees, and therefore it is not possible for them to forget My supremacy, but somehow or other he has become puffed up with material power and thus is now maddened. I shall act in such a way to relieve him of this false prestige. I shall give protection to My pure devotees in Våndävana, who are at present completely at My mercy and whom I have taken completely under My protection. I must save them by My mystic power.”
Thinking in this way, Lord Kåñëa immediately picked up Govardhana Hill with one hand, exactly as a child picks up a mushroom from the ground. Thus He exhibited His transcendental pastime of lifting Govardhana Hill. Lord Kåñëa then addressed His devotees, “My dear brothers, My dear father, My dear inhabitants of Våndävana, you can now safely enter under the umbrella of Govardhana Hill, which I have just lifted. Do not be afraid of the hill and think that it will fall from My hand. You have been too much afflicted from the heavy rain and strong wind; therefore I have lifted this hill, which will protect you exactly like a huge umbrella. I think this is a proper arrangement to relieve you of your immediate distress. Be happy along with your animals underneath this great umbrella.” Being assured by Lord Kåñëa, all the inhabitants of Våndävana entered beneath the great hill along with their property and animals, and they all appeared to be safe.
The inhabitants of Våndävana and their animals remained there for one week without being disturbed by hunger, thirst or any other discomforts. They were simply astonished to see how Kåñëa was holding up the mountain with the little finger of His left hand. Seeing the extraordinary mystic power of Kåñëa, Indra, the King of heaven, was thunderstruck and baffled in his determination. He immediately called for all the clouds and asked them to desist. When the sky became completely cleared of all clouds and there was sunrise again, the strong wind stopped. At that time Kåñëa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, known now as the lifter of Govardhana Hill, said, “My dear cowherd men, now you can leave and take your wives, children, cows and valuables, because everything is ended. The inundation has gone down, along with the swelling waters of the river.”
All the men loaded their valuables on carts and slowly left with their cows and other paraphernalia. After they had cleared out everything, Lord Kåñëa very slowly replaced Govardhana Hill exactly in the same position as it had been before. When everything was done, all the inhabitants of Våndävana approached Kåñëa with feelings of love and embraced Him with great ecstasy. The gopés, being naturally very affectionate to Kåñëa, began to offer Him yogurt mixed with their tears, and they poured incessant blessings upon Him. Mother Yaçodä, mother Rohiëé, Nanda and Balaräma, who is the strongest of the strong, embraced Kåñëa one after another and, from spontaneous feelings of affection, blessed Him over and over again. In the heavens, different demigods from different planetary systems, such as Siddhaloka, Gandharvaloka and Cäraëaloka, also began to show their complete satisfaction. They poured showers of flowers on the surface of the earth and sounded different conchshells. There was beating of drums, and being inspired by godly feelings, residents of Gandharvaloka began to play on their tambouras to please the Lord. After this incident, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, surrounded by His dear friends and the animals, returned to His home. As usual, the gopés began to chant the glorious pastimes of Lord Kåñëa with great feeling, for they were chanting from the heart.
Thus ends the Bhaktivedanta purport of the Twenty-fifth Chapter of Kåñëa, “Devastating Rainfall in Våndävana.”
Sri Giri Govardhan ki jaya, Giriraj Maharaj ki jaya
Sri Sri Krishna Balaram ki jaya
Govardhana Hill was about 16 miles (29 km) high 5,000 years ago. Govardhana is formed in the shape of a peacock. The following places; Radha Kunda and Syama Kunda are the eyes, Dan Ghati is its long neck, Mukharavinda is the mouth and Punchari is its back and tail feathers. As a peacock often curves its neck and puts his head under its stomach. Govardhana Hill is shaped in this pose of a peacock.
Due to the curse of Pulastya Muni, it is sinking the height of a mustard seed daily. In Satya Yuga, Pulastya Muni approached Dronacala, the king of the mountains, and asked him for his son Govardhana. Dronacala was depressed and pleaded the sage that he was unable to bear the separation from his son. Govardhana then went with sage, under the condition that wherever the sage would put him down, he would remain.
Pulastya Muni then took Govardhana and then started for his ashrama. While passing through Braja Mandala he put Govardhana down to answer the call of nature. On his return he found that he cannot move Govardhana. He became very angry and then cursed Govardhana to shrink to the size of mustard seed daily. At that time it was 115 km (64 miles) long, 72 km (40 miles) wide and 29 km (16 miles) high. Now the hill is only 80 ft. high at the highest point.
Another story about Govardhana Hill is that the monkey army of Lord Rama was carrying different stones to construct a bridge to Lanka. Sri Hanuman was carrying Govardhana from Himalayas to help built the bridge. As Hanuman was carrying Govardhana over Vraja, Nala and Neela, who were incharge of building the bridge declared that it was completed and no more stones were needed. Hanuman was in Vraja Mandala and he put Govardhana there. Thus it would appear that Govardhana was then lost in two ways. He was away from Lord Shiva and Lord Rama. Sri Rama heard about Govardhana crying and said that in Dwarpara Yuga he would make His appearance as Sri Krishna and would have His pastimes in that place, and would hold Govardhana up for seven days and nights to save the residents of Vraja.
It is believed that Lord Krishna lifted “Govardhana Giri” (this huge hill) with his little finger of His left hand, and gave shelter to people under that huge hill from a big storm presented by Indradev. A Parikrama (that is going around the hill) is a sacred ritual performed by many devotees. It is approximately a 24-mile Parikrama. Govardhana is set along the edge of a large masonry tank known as the “Manasi Ganga”, believed to have been brought into existence by the operation of the divine will. Close by is the famous red sandstone temple of Haridev and the Kusum Sarovar.
The parikrama starts by taking bath in Manasi Ganga. One then takes the darshan of Harideva, Manasi Devi and Brahma Kunda.
The actual circumbulation of the Govardhana Hill starts from this point. There are eleven main Silas on the Govardhana parikrama like bhuma sila, sindura sila, etc, that have some special significance. One of them is the dasavati sila. Knowingly or unknowingly if anybody commits a sin then he should pay obeisance to Sri Girirajaji over here.
The sacred tank known as Rinamochana Kunda is near the Govardhana power station and according to shastra if one bathes in this kunda they are freed from all vices, usually only after it rains will there be water in this kunda. There are several important places in the vicinity of Govardhana Hill, which are not visited on the normal parikrama. Many of these places are close to Govardhana Hill (within 5 km) and can be visited by taxi easily. Some devotees prefer to walk from each place and spend many days in the area doing so.
Nearby is Papamochana Kunda. It is said that anyone who bathes here has all his offenses removed. After this normally one returns to the road to Mathura and then goes in the direction of Mathura, passing the government bus stand on the right. Here is a small hill on the right, and next to this hill is a small pond - Indra-dhwaja Tila. This is where the cowherd men would normally come to worship Indra.
Govardhanaa hill puja proper:
As previously mentioned within this page, during the Dwapara Yuga, Lord Sri Krishna convinced the cowherd men to worship Govardhana, instead of doing a sacrifice to please Lord Indra, the king of heaven, who is in charge of the rain. His reasons for discouraging the sacrificial ceremony to please Lord Indra were twofold. First, as stated in the Bhagavad-gita there was no need to worship the demigods for any material advancement. Secondly, whatever temporary result one derives is actually granted by the permission of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This act of stopping his puja angered Lord Indra and in return he sent torrents of rain upon Vrindavan. The residents approached Lord Krishna for help. It was then that Sri Krishna then lifted Govardhana Hill and held it over the residents like a giant umbrella. Seeing extraordinary mystic power of Krishna, Indra, was thunderstruck and immediately called for all the clouds and asked them to desist. He then worshipped Lord Krishna. Since Lord Krishna is worshipped, His Land Vrindavan and Govardhana Hill also need to be worshipped. Since then, Govardhana puja has been going on. In all the temples of Vrindavana huge quantities of food are prepared in this ceremony and are distributed to general public. According to the Vedic scriptures Giri Govardhan is greater than even the transcendental kingdom of Vaikuntha, the eternal abode of Lord Vishnu.
Overview of detailed story here:
Govardhan Parikrama with HH BV. Narasingha Swami
Sri Giriraja's Tongue as normally seen
While circumbulating Radha Kunda - Shyama Kunda, one can do the darshana of Sri Giriraja's tongue.
At Radha Kunda - Shyama Kunda, you can also have the darshana of the
five Pandava's and the Narayana tree. This is also the place where Radha
and Krishna enjoyed their pastimes in the Jhulan (swing). There is also
a Kadamba tree whose branches are in the shape of a Mridanga (Pakhavaja
- an instrument played while singing kirtans). Near to this are the ponds
of the Astha-Sakha's. At this spot is where you can get the darshana of
the Lotus Feet of Sri Giriraja.
On the banks of the Manasi Ganga is a temple of Sri Giriraja, who appear in the shape of a mukuta. One should bathe Him with milk and offer bhoga. According to legends it is said that one can attain highest fruits in life by circumbulating Sri Giriraja and by drinking the waters of the Manasi Ganga.
What is the reason it is called Manasi Ganga ?
Sri Krishna killed a demon by the name of Vatsasura. His sakha's told him that you have killed a cow. You will have to bathe in the Ganges to purify yourself. So Krishna mentally (manasa) produced the Ganges to bathe in it.That is why it is called as Manasi Ganga. At Manasi Ganga, Sri Giriraja is submerged in the water.
The village Govardhana comes twice during the parikrama. Every year there is a big fair held over here on Diwali. At that time thousands of devotees burn and float the candle-lights in the waters of the Manasi Ganga. There is a great importance of having bath in the Manasi Ganga on Diwali. It is said in the Puranas that the Manasi Gangi is milky in colouration. One who has bath in it for six months continuosly is blessed with the divine vision of the milky Manasi Gangi.
Here you will need to express great tolerance and transcendental vision, as the pandas who perform the pujas are somewhat over zealous. Best is to go there with the idea that you are giving to the Lord and His devotees and have a bundle or two of two Rupee notes at the ready, as all pujas here have a fee.
Sri Govindadevaja is also one the four vyuha who was incarnated with Srinathaji for His pastimes. In the Sarasvata Kalpa, Indra had performed the Govindabhisheka of Sri Krishna over here.
Once, Sri Krishna had a bath with all the vrajabhakta's in this kunda. Sri Radhika was on the left while Sri Chandravali on the right of Sri Krishna along with their particular groups (left wing or right wing). But while bathing, the hands of Sri Swamini as Radha is known here, and Sri Krishna got separated so they could not bathe fully with all the vrajabasis.
At that time Srimati Yamunadevi was also present there. On request of all the vrajabasi's, they both had bath with all of them giving immense joy. During this the water of the kunda became milky coloured as it remains today.
Lord Sri Balarama used to hide and watch the divine sports of his younger brother, Krishna from this place. This is also the place where Krishna took rest in the afternoon while grazing the cows.
Once Lord Balaram fell unconscious after having the darshana of the Rasa lila here. At that time his mukuta and stick fell on Giriraja. Sri Giriraja is so delicate that the marks of the mukuta and stick became inscribed on him.
Darshan of many Govardhan Shila pages at www.salagram.net/
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