Category Archives: Festivals

The auspicious Purushottam Month comes to an end

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Purushottam Month, which had started on 17th of June, 2015 has come to an end today, the 16th July, 2015.  Purushottam Month is also known as Adhik Maas (Extra Month). Vaishnava Calender which follows the Lunar route usually has 28 or 29 days in a month which results in roughly 10 less days in a year. So, after every 3 years, comes an extra month of 30 days which is considered to be highly auspicious. This entire month is considered highly auspicious to express deep love and devotion towards Lord Shri Hari as he is the Purushottam and the month is dedicated to Him. Vaisnavas, all over the world take great advantage of this highly beneficial month and completely immerse themselves in devotional services with complete surrender of mind and soul.

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Purushottam Month is considered to be the best of all other months in Hinduism. This month is dedicated towards worshiping of Lord Vishnu and his Avatars. Vaishnava devotees follow many rules and disciplines this month as an offering of their love and devotion towards the Supreme Lord. Most of the devotees give up all sorts of materialistic pursuits and completely immerse themselves in faith and devotion. Everything that they do, they do it with only one motive and that is to raise in spiritual life. These are a few of the disciplines they follow during this month. I’m not an expert in this vast nectar of knowledge. I wish to write down all that I have learnt from my visits to Temple and attending classes there.

1. Reading of Bhagwad Gita, specially of chapter 15, which is also known as Purushottam Yoga and also of Srimad Bhagwatam and Chaitanya Charitamrita.

2. Offering of ghee lamp to their Lordships and singing of the Chaurashtam, throughout the month.

3. Singing of Jagannath Ashtakam (Rath Yatra – The Chariot Festival of Lord Jagannath falls on 18th July, 2015)

4. Offering of donation and charity to the Vaishnavas, Brahmanas and also to the poor and needy people.

5. Waking up early in the morning and offering prayers to Lord Krishna and Goddess Tulsi.

6. Attending Mangal Arati (Morning Prayers) everyday in the Temple.

7. Eating of prasadam (Food after having offered to God).

8. Singing of Vaishnava bhajans like ‘Jaya Radha Madhava Kunja Bihari’, ‘Radha krishna Pran Mora jugala kishore’, Radha-kripa Kataksh, Nandanashtakam etc

9. Taking a dip in a Holy River like Ganga, Yamuna or Godavari specially when Jupiters transits to Leo zodiac sign. When it is not possible for people to take a dip in any of these holy rivers, they can also sprinkle water form any of these holy rivers or also of water from Radhakund from Vrindavan.

10. Chanting of the Holy Name with divine consciousness.

Many devotees eat only one meal a day and many others eat only fuits and milk. They completely dedicate their time towards  chanting of the Holy Name of the Lord and in singing the glory of the Lord.

As this month is specially loved by Lord, all the prayers surely reach him and all are devotees are blessed by him which results in more love and devotion for the Lord.

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This year, something very interesting has happened. The dates of Purushottam Month has coincided with the date of the Holy Month of Ramadan. Purushottam Month will be celebrated next in May, 2018.

Finally, I would like to say that I’m the most ineligible person to write anything on such a huge topic. I have made an attempt based on all the articles that I have read the entire month and attended classes at our temple – ISKCON Bahrain.

Anyone interested in knowing on this topic can visit: http://www.iskcondesiretree.com/profiles/blogs/the-glories-of-purushottam

Shri Krishna Jansmashtami Celebrations at ISKCON Bahrain

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Last 10 days, we were in a mood of bliss and celebration. The celebration was of Shri Krishna Janmashtami, the appearance day of Lord Shri Krishna. All the 10 days, classes were held, at our Temple, on the appearance of Lord Krishna on Earth. There were cultural programmes held. There was a dance by small children, where my little daughter participated as Radharani. There was Quiz based on the book, ‘Krishna- The Supreme Personality of Godhead’ and ‘Acting Competition’. All devotees had an enjoyable time, completely immersed in divine bliss.

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His Grace Hari Shauri Prabhuji had come all the way from Mayapur, India to grace the occasion. He was present here for the final 4 days. He is a library in himself. He has been the secretary of Srila prabhupada and has shared many memorable moments from the life of Prabhupada and his association with him. It was a great opportunity for us to have him with us in bahrain and just to listen to him gave a feeling as if Srila Prabhupada himself is always there with us.

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On the first day of his arrival, he took a class on Srila Prabhupada and then he spoke about Scientific Evidences of the Existence of God. It was a highly intellectual class and would be understood by very senior devotees. This topic was explained on Friday morning class. Friday evening, he spoke about Bhakti Vinoda Thakur. He showed images of the house, temples of Shiva, his hand written books etc. Saturday morning, he discussed about the poems written byBhakti Vinoda Thakur.

 

Saturday evening, he showed us a slide show of the latest library which he has started in Kolkata. The primary aim of the library  is to preserve the Vedas and Vedantic literature for the future generation, which will also act as evidences.

Sunday, the 17th of August, 2014, was the day of Shri Krishna  Janmashtami. Evening after the aarti, Prabhuji took a class. Later, there was abhisekam of their Lordships followed by Archana. Abhishekam is usually done with panchamritam which includes milk, honey, curd, coconut water, mango pulp juice etc. After that, their Lordhips are decorated int he best of clothes, jewellery and flowers. Temple was over-crowded andSankirtan too was going on. The best part was the 12 am aarti. As Lord appeared at mid-night, devotees observe fast till mid-night. When the curtains were removed for darshan, Lord appeared so magnificently beautiful. The darshan, after fast is holy auspicious and wonderful. I had tears of emotion in my eyes. I felt, this fast is completely worth as I got such a beautiful darshan of my Lord.

On Monday, Nandotsav was celebrated. It was also the appearance day of Srila Prbhuapada. Evening, after abhishekam, Prabhuji took a class on Srila Prabhupada. After that, there was a song presentation by all the young girls followed by aarti of PrabhPada. During the aarti, a prayer song offred to Guru was also sung.

There was a small round of Dahi-Handi which was enjoyed by children. The evening concluded in prayers offered to Lord Narsimha Dev, followed by honouring of Mahapprasadam.

Rath Yatra – The Chariot Festival of Lord Jagannath

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Rath Yatra celebrations at ISKCON Bahrain

Rath Yatra celebrations at ISKCON Bahrain

Rath Yatra is a festival celebrated in Jagannath Puri, Orissa in India. Puri is famous for the Jagannath Temple situated there. Jagannath Temple is one of the Char Dhams which means one of the four Holy places or shrines of Lord Vishnu. Thousands of devotees visit the town of Puri in Orissa to have a darshan or glimpse of Lord Jagannath, Subhadra and Balaram.

Lord Vishnu or Krishna is worshiped here in the form of Lord Jagannath -The Lord of the Universe. Once in a year, it is believed that the Lord along with his brother and sister, come out of the Temple and meet his beloved devotees.

On the auspicious day of Akshaya Tritiya, the construction work of the Chariots start. On the day of Rath Yatra, the chariots are decorated with beautiful flowers and the idols of Lord is brought out with proper rituals and worship. The tender heart of the devotees melt to see the beautiful form of the Lord. It is believed that anyone who receives a glimpse oft he Lord on this very auspicious day will be always blessed by the Lord.

ISKCON [International Society for Krishna Consciousness] centers all over the World celebrate this day with devotion and with proper accordance to the rules, in almost all the centers.

Rath Yatra -The Chariot Festival of the Lord

Rath Yatra -The Chariot Festival of the Lord