sábado, 24 de octubre de 2009


Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja
Mathura, April 13, 2000

[This year, 2009, September 28th is Rama Vijayotsava. which is the day commemorating Lord Rama’s killing Ravana. In honor of this day, we are sending out Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja’s lecture in glorification of Sri Sri Sita-Rama:]


After Ravana was killed, Sita devi had to undergo the agni pariksa, fire test. Of course, Maya-Sita entered the fire, and the real Sita devi remained unharmed – proving that she was completely pure and chaste. Rama then gave the kingdom of Ravana to Vivisana, Ravana's brother, and after that he took Sita devi and all their associates to Ayodhya on a mystic airplane. There were millions and billions of associates, but this airplane was able to expand so that they could all fit on it.

On their journey, Rama pointed out to Sita all the places where they had enjoyed pastimes together, or where He and Laksmana had killed various demons. For example, Rama would say, "Oh look, here is where we built the bridge to Lanka. Do you remember?" When they reached Kishkinda, where all of Rama's monkey associates lived, they stopped. Sita devi then invited all the wives of the monkeys to come aboard the airplane, as they were also very interested to see Rama's coronation.

The party stayed one night and then went to Citrakut. Hanuman took the form of a brahmana and went to the place where Bharata was staying in Nandigram. Bharata was living the life of a renunciate, wearing simple cloth, with matted hair and living on fruits and roots; and all of his ministers lived in the same way. In the guise of a brahmana, Hanuman approached Bharata and said, "Oh Bharata Maharaja, Rama has come. Prepare to welcome him!" Upon hearing that his dear brother had finally returned, he was overjoyed and fainted. When he came to consciousness he said, "I want to give you many gifts. So please accept 18,000 cows, as many beautiful women as you desire, horses and other wealth. Still I cannot give you anything equal in value to the news you have given me." Hanuman then returned to his original form, and Bharata said, "Oh, you are Hanuman!"

After Rama’s abhiseka ceremony, he wanted to give many gifts to everyone. Sita devi thought of a very nice gift to give Hanuman, so she gave him her most beautiful pearl necklace. Hanuman took it, examined it and broke it, and the pearls scattered all over the floor. Sita devi was surprised and asked, "What are you doing?" Hanuman replied, "Oh, I was just seeing if 'Rama' is written anywhere here." "But don't you know Rama is in your heart?" she said. Then Hanuman tore open his chest. In this way, Rama’s associates teach us that whatever is given to others should be in connection with Krsna.

Lord Rama and Sita devi stayed together for many years, and everyone was very happy within their kingdom. Some people, however, criticized Rama for accepting Sita back after she had been in the palace of Ravana. According to Vedic principles, it is unacceptable to accept one's wife after her being away for one night – what to speak of one year. One evening, the wife of a washer-man came home late. Her husband immediately told her that she could not enter the house. He threw her out saying, "I am not like Rama, who accepted his wife back after she'd been with another man."

This news spread and the story got back to Rama. He was most disturbed, and realized that he had to do something. How could he rule a kingdom in which some of the people did not have faith in him? He called a meeting, asking all his brothers to come; but none of them could give him any advice. He himself then realized what to do. He remembered that Sita had desired to visit all the sages in the forest and shower them with gifts. He asked Laksmana to take her to the asrama of those sages, deliver his sorrowful message to her, and then leave her in the forest. Laksmana was devastated that he was called upon to do this, but he could not say anything, as he was Rama's younger brother. He therefore had to accept that responsibility.

Sumanta was Laksmana's chariot driver, and moreover a very great minister of Rama. Laksmana told everything about Rama's order to Sumanta and said, "My life is full of miseries. Now, today is the biggest misery of my life!" They passed Prayag and went across a river. "Valmiki's asrama is here," Laksmana told Sita. Then, with a heavy heart he told her, "Everyone is accusing Rama of accepting an unchaste wife. Many people don't have full faith in him now; so how is it possible for him to rule the kingdom and guide the citizens properly?"

When Sita devi heard this she fainted, and when she revived she said, "I don't want to create any difficulties for him. I do not want him to be disturbed by the public. Please pay my obeisances to all. Laksmana, I want to pray at your lotus feet, as I have offended you twice. The first night in Ayodhya, after our marriage ceremony, I stopped you from massaging Rama's lotus feet. Though this had been your cherished duty for many years, I took this away from you. When you asked Rama about this, he could not answer. Then we asked the great sage Vasistha and he said, 'The duties now have to be divided. So Laksmana, all the duties outside of the house should be taken by you. Sita devi should now perform all the duties inside of the house.' In this way it was decided.

"Secondly, I was once allured by a deer in the forest when we were in exile. I heard Marici call out, 'Alas, Laksmana!' Assuming it was Rama's voice, I told you to go immediately to help Him. You said, 'No Sita, it is an illusion created by a demon.' I insisted and told you, 'I know. You are a spy of Bharata, and you have lusty feelings for me. That is why you don't want to save your brother!' These words pierced your heart. You replied that you always saw me as your mother and had never even seen my face; you had only seen my feet. You could not bear these harsh words. Then, when you went to see Rama, he chastised you saying, 'Why did you take heed of the words of that woman?' Then Ravana came here and begged, 'biksana dehi' three times. When I did not want to come outside of your circle of protection he threatened me, 'I curse you that your husband will die if you do not give anything to me here!' So please forgive me for these offenses."

After leaving Sita devi in the forest Laksmana lamented, "Oh, alas! I will surely give up my life!" Sumanta tried to pacify him, and told him the truth of the matter. "Once I was with Dasaratha Maharaja, and at that time two sages, Vasistha Rsi and Durvasa Muni, came to visit him. Maharaja Dasaratha served them very nicely and then asked them to kindly tell him about the future of his four children. Vasistha Rsi remained silent and Durvasa Muni responded by saying, ‘Oh, you have four sons. Very good." Dasaratha Maharaja said, "Yes, first tell me about Rama's future." Durvasa said, "Rama's future will undoubtedly be full of miseries. He will have to leave Ayodhya, and everyone there will feel unbearable separation from Him. You will not be able to bear His absence, and you will die in separation. Rama will later have to be separated from his wife, and after suffering immensely they will become reunited. Then again they will have to be apart; and Rama will rule the kingdom alone without his wife. Do not tell this to anyone." Dasaratha Maharaja was in complete shock, but he promised that he would not speak what he had heard to anyone. He said, "From today, I am your disciple."

Having heard this from Sumanta, Laksmana realized that his brother Rama is in fact the Supreme Lord Visnu. Sumanta continued telling Laksmana the story that Durvasa Muni had told to Dasaratha Maharaja: "Once, a very big battle ensued between the demigods and the demons. The demons were defeated and went to the wife of Brghu Maharaja to take shelter; and, being very merciful, she gave them shelter. The demigods went to Lord Vamanadeva and told him the situation. He then took His cakra and beheaded Brghu Maharaja's wife. Brghu Maharaja was very upset and cursed Vamanadeva saying, "You are responsible for my wife's death. I loved her very much. Now I will have to suffer so much in separation from her. For this I curse you that you will have to suffer in the same way in the future. You will have a very beautiful wife who will serve you in every way. You will be fully satisfied and completely enamored with her feminine grace and charm, and her saintly qualities. You will then be separated from her, and you will always suffer immensely from that pain of separation." Hearing this, Vamanadeva happily accepted the curse. He knew that in the future the whole world would be benefited by this. Also, this was but a pretext, as separation naturally increases the happiness of meeting.

Sita devi was walking towards the asrama of Valmiki Rsi, when some of his brahmacaris spotted her. They informed Valmiki that a lady looking like a demigoddess was coming. Valmiki came out to greet her, and immediately recognized who she was. He said, "Oh, you are Sita devi, the wife of Lord Rama. I know this because I have written the Ramayana. Please come in." The ladies there were very pleased to see Sita devi and said, "Oh, please allow us to serve you." Valmiki instructed them how to serve her in every way.

When Rama sent Satrughna to Mathura, he happened to come near to Valmiki's asrama on the way. He paid obeisance to Sita devi and her sons, Luv and Kush, from a distance. Luv and Kush were very intelligent children. Valmiki was very expert in archery, singing and music, and he taught Luv and Kush these arts. They could thus sing in all ragas very sweetly. Valmiki also taught them the Ramayana.

No one in the entire kingdom was there to console Rama. However, the ladies were there to console Sita devi in the asrama of Valmiki. One day Rama turned to Vasistha Rsi and said, "Will you please perform a sacrifice?" Vasistha replied, "Then you must call your wife back." "Oh, I cannot do that." "Then you must remarry," he insisted. Rama said, "It is not possible." "Then you will have to make a golden deity of Sita devi." Vasistha then performed the sacrifice. In fact, every year he performed a very big sacrificial ceremony for Rama, near Naimisaranya on the bank of Gomati, with a new golden deity of Sita devi each year.

One year many kings and sages were called, and Valmiki came with Luv and Kush. The boys were extremely beautiful, with very broad chests and slender waists. During a rest period, Valmiki asked them to sing Ramayana. They had melodious voices, and they sang in such a heart-rendering way that they captured everyone's hearts. Rama was especially touched, and tears came to His eyes. Valmiki had previously warned the boys, “If anyone asks you who you are, tell them, 'I am a disciple of Valmiki'”. Rama ordered Laksmana, "Go and give them eighteen thousand gold coins and many, many beautiful clothes and gifts. Then ask them who they are."

When they were presented with these gold coins, clothes, and gifts, they said, "What will we do with all these things? We are brahmacaris." Then Laksmana asked which dynasty they belonged to, and they replied, "You seem very learned. Why ask this? Why not ask who is our Gurudeva? We are disciples of Valmiki Rsi." For five or seven days they came and recited the Ramayana, and after many days Rama and others came to know who they were.

Rama then called Valmiki and requested that Sita devi come and prove Her chastity so that he could call her back. Valmiki said, "I have never spoken a lie in my life. I can assure you that Sita is completely pure and chaste." Rama said, "I know that. I'm quite confident of this, but I want proof for my citizens. So please bring Her here. Then we'll see what we can do."

At this time Brahma, Sankara, and many demigods and goddesses came, curious to see this event. Sita devi sent Luv and Kusa ahead to their father. She arrived thereafter, and Valmiki spoke gently to her, "O daughter, Sita devi. Come forward and prove your chastity." Sita devi said, "Mother, please prove this to one and all, that I have never served any other man. I have never even had thoughts of any man other than Rama in my whole life. Please accept me, mother." Pritivi-devi appeared from the earth and Sita sat on her lap on a golden throne. In a moment, Prthivi-devi completely covered Her. In other words, she took Sita devi with her, back under the Earth. Rama couldn't bear to see Sita leave him like this, and he fainted. Then, when he returned to consciousness, he prayed to Prthivi-devi, requesting her to bring back Sita. He told her, "One time I went with a bow to the ocean and he was very much afraid. So I can turn you into dust in a moment.& quot; Just then Brahma came and told Rama, "No. Don't do it! This is the last time. Sitaji has gone to your own abode, so you should very quickly wind up your pastimes and go there."

Gaura premanande!





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Harikatha y Purebhakti

Photo Tour-Report A Trip to Nepal - October 17-23, 2009

Photo Tour-Report
A Trip to Nepal
October 17-23, 2009

[Respected Harikatha Readers, Please accept our humble obeisances. All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga. On October 17, 2009, Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja and his party traveled from Delhi to Nepal for a five-day Harikatha festival. The following is a report on the events of that festival, written by Srila Maharaja’s disciple, Sulata dasi of Vrndavana. To view movie clips from Nepal, please logon to: www.purebhakti.tv

Since his childhood, Srila Gurudeva had nurtured a strong desire to visit Janakapura (in Nepal), because this is where Sita-devi lived with her father Janaka Maharaja and her mother Queen Sunayana. This is also where Her marriage and other wonderful pastimes took place. Before meeting his Guru Maharaja, Srila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja, Srila Gurudeva worshiped Sri Sri Sita-Rama with great love and devotion. As you can imagine, this was a very special trip for him.

In the beginning of his first discourse, Srila Gurudeva explained that although he has circled the globe many times preaching Sanatana-dharma in countries like Australia, Brazil, England, America, and all over Europe, he had never been to Janakapura. Now, by the assistance of Somnath prabhu, he would be boarding a plane to go there on the 20th morning.


Katmandu, at the City Cultural Center where the two-day program was held.

During his discourse, Srila Gurudeva explained the perils of living in Kali-yuga and the means to escape them. He said that nowadays most people labor to accumulate wealth and acquire a good position, but these things do not benefit the soul. Monetary earnings cannot help the soul. Everyone is thinking, “I am this body,” but this is a false idea. Our real identity is the soul within the body. Both Paramatma (the Supersoul) and the atma (individual soul) reside together within the body. The atma is like the passenger and the Paramatma is like the charioteer. Most people do not understand these truths because they have forgotten Krsna.

These days, if a wife does not please her husband’s senses or vice versa, they divorce and get a new partner. They do not care how much pain their actions cause their children.

Then Srila Gurudeva posed the question, “How can we solve the problems we face in Kali-yuga?” He then answered that one should take full shelter of Sri Guru, continuously serve him, try to give up all material attachments, and develop love for Krsna. These are our topmost duties, and by carrying out these duties we will receive Krsna’s causeless mercy.

He said that one should understand and have faith that all sastras (Vedic scriptures), including Srimad-Bhagavatam, reside within Sad-Guru, the bona fide Guru.

By serving and associating with that type of Guru, we will get bhakti. What kind of bhakti do we want?

anukulyena krsnanu-
silanam bhaktir uttama

["The cultivation of activities that are meant exclusively for the pleasure of Sri Krsna, or in other words the uninterrupted flow of service to Sri Krsna, performed through all endeavours of the body, mind and speech, and through the expression of various spiritual sentiments (bhavas), which is not covered by jnana (knowledge aimed at impersonal liberation) and karma (reward-seeking activity), and which is devoid of all desires other than the aspiration to bring happiness to Sri Krsna, is called uttama-bhakti, pure devotional service." (Sri Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu 1.1.11)]

He explained in simple words the meaning of this verse. All sastras recommend that one have an uninterrupted devotional mood and that all of one’s activity should be performed with the aim of pleasing Krsna and Sri Guru. To illustrate this point, He very narrated the pastime in which Mother Yasoda threatened to hit Krsna with a stick because she wanted Him to stop stealing butter.

To clear away any confusion in the minds and hearts of the listeners, he explained that although externally Krsna was crying, within Himself He was feeling great pleasure from hearing His mother call Him a thief for stealing the butter. Mother Yasoda was thinking “He is only a small boy. He is not stealing anything more valuable than butter. Still, if I don’t punish Him now, He may become a big dacoit in the future.” This ‘punishment’ was accepted by Krsna as uttama-bhakti, or pure bhakti, because Mother Yasoda’s actions were motivated by the desire to make Krsna’s life successful and happy. Her sweet, loving mood (madhurya) was so strong that it completely covered Krsna’s opulence (aisvarya). She was not thinking that Krsna is God, but that He is only her beloved son.

Srila Gurudeva then described the five types of devotees and devotion. As I looked around at the audience, I could see that everyone present was listening with rapt attention. It was quite amazing to witness how, by his powerful harikatha, he so quickly captured their hearts, which is part of his process for loosening the knot of material attachment.

The next morning, as we were all sitting in the airport waiting to board the plane for Janakapura, torrents of heavy rain began to fall. I began to wonder if the airline staff would allow us to take off in such terrible weather. Miraculously, just before we boarded the plane, the rays of sunshine began to push their way past the dark clouds and the rain stopped. After we were all seated comfortably on the plane, I was surprised to see that the sky had turned pale blue Suryadeva, the Sun-god, was bathing everyone with his warm rays.

When we arrived in Janakapura, Srila Gurudeva told the Mahant at Sri Sri Sita-Rama’s temple complex how he had prayed to Sita-devi to ask Indradeva, the god of the rains, to stop the rain, and by Her mercy he did so. The Mahant, who treated Srila Gurudeva with the utmost respect, replied, “How could Janaki ignore a prayer from you? Your arrival has brought us so much auspiciousness.”


Janaka Pura, The wedding hall next to the Mandir. This is where Lord Ramacandra and Srimati Sita Thakurani's wedding ceremony was performed.


Circumambulating Sri Sri Sita-Rama, along with six sages, in the Lord's wedding hall.


Outside the wedding hall there are four small kutirs, one in every corner. In each one there is one pair - Lord Ramacandra and Srimati Sita Thakurani, then Sri Satrughna and his consort Srimati Srutakirthi, then Sri Laxmana and his consort Srimati Urmila, and finally Sri Bharata and his consort Srimati Mandhati.

Srila Gurudeva then proceeded to the main temple where Sri Sri Sita-Rama were being worshiped. We circumambulated the main temple, stopping at a smaller temple of Janak Maharaja and Queen Sunayana.


Worshipping Lord Ramacandra and Srimati Sita Thakurani

When we finished our parikrama, the Mahant invited us for prasadam. The prasadam hall was up a steep flight of stairs, so Srila Gurudeva stayed outside and sent the rest of us upstairs to take prasadam.

After some moments the Mahant came to Srila Gurudeva and begged him to come upstairs so that he could show him
“something very special.” To please the Mahant, who had treated Srila Gurudeva and all the devotees with so much honor, he obliged and was carried by the devotees up the steep stairway.

The Mahant took us to a large room which housed over 125,000 salagram silas, which was really an amazing sight.

The Mahant showing Srila Gurudeva the 125,000 silas - mostly covered by the white cloth - in the main Mandir in Janakapura

The Mahant shows Srila Gurudeva the goracana covered with red powder

Srila Gurudeva was seated in a room next to the prasadam hall, and the Mahant brought what looked like a small pebble covered by red powder. He explained that it was gorocana from the hoof of a cow, and a pearl from the head of an elephant, both of which are produced by rainfall during the auspicious stellar constellation called svati-naksatra. We all gathered around, fascinated.

I cannot speculate on the deep moods in which Srila Gurudeva was immersed in on that day. I do not have the good fortune to understand all these things. I do know that I felt very privileged to accompany him on such a journey. I had the great opportunity that day to observe a very remarkable, humble, merciful, soft personality who was filled with devotion for his worshipful Lord and full of compassion for those souls who are suffering in separation from the Soul of their soul. Although all tattva (established philosophical truth) is manifest in the heart of our beloved Srila Gurudeva, still, he listened to the words of the Mahant with humility and interest, treating him with respect and kindness.

The Mahant was quite moved, and when Srila Gurudeva offered him daksina, he refused to take it. At one point, when some beggars were trying to disturb
Srila Gurudeva, he calmly told Sripad Madhava Maharaja to give them some rupees. I never saw him get angry or frustrated.

After taking prasadam, a small group of us accompanied Srila Gurudeva to Dhanush-dharma, where one part of the bow that Lord Rama broke can still be seen in the form of a large stone which grows one mustard seed in size every day.


Darsan of the bow that was broken by Lord Rama.

The next day, in his final class, Srila Gurudeva briefly explained the Tenth Canto Srimad-Bhagavatam and ended with narrations of the glories of the Vraja gopis, and especially the glories of Srimati Radhika.

About twenty-five people took initiation, and from the family of Ramacandra Prabhu, the organizer of the festival, another fifteen people. As always, the local devotees were left with a mixture of happiness and sadness when Srila Gurudeva departed, happy that he had blessed them by visiting their country, but also sad to see him leave so soon.

The highlight of this trip for me was to witness Srila Gurudeva’s good qualities, and to see him in such a relaxed atmosphere distributing his smile and mercy to all. The thought came to me that it is not possible for an ordinary person to manifest such exalted behavior. We are all so fortunate to be accepted by such a personality.


Returning to Katmandu

Sri Sri Guru Gauranga Jayatah!

Pictures courtesy of Savitri dasi

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