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Festival of Punishment

The Festival of Punishment


The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna, appeared as Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu at Sridhama Mayapura (a quarter in the city of Navadvipa) in Bengal, in the year 1486 AD. The purpose of His incarnation was to establish the Yuga-dharma – the congregational chanting of the holy names of the Lord. Lord Balarama appeared as Nityananda Prabhu, and many other eternal associates of the Lord appeared at that time to join His mission. Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami was one of them.

srila raghunatha dasa goswami

Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami was a devotee of the highest order. He displayed a spirit of renunciation and detachment from the material world at a very early age. He wanted to leave home and join Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in His mission. But Chaitanya Mahaprabhu asked him not to do so and assured that Krishna would deliver him soon from the clutches of maya. Two years later, Nityananda Prabhu came to Panihati and stayed there. Raghunatha dasa, who was staying in the nearby village of Srikrishnapura took permission from his father Govardhan Mazumdar and went to Panihati to meet Nityananda Prabhu.

srila raghunatha dasa goswami

At Panihati, he saw Nityananda Prabhu sitting on a rock under a banyan tree on the banks of the River Ganges. He was surrounded by many devotees. Raghunatha dasa was hesitant to approach the Lord and paid obeisances from a distance. But some of the devotees noticed him and informed Nityananda Prabhu. Nityananda Prabhu called Raghunatha dasa and said “Raghunatha dasa! You are hiding like a thief. Now I have caught hold of you. Come here. I shall punish you today.’’ Then Lord Nityananda forcibly caught him and put His lotus feet on Raghunatha’s head. He ordered Raghunatha to celebrate a big festival and serve all the devotees – with yogurt and chipped rice.

Raghunatha dasa immediately sent his men to the nearby villages to purchase all kinds of eatables. They brought chipped rice (chida), milk, yogurt, sweetmeats, bananas, sugar and other eatables. The chipped rice was soaked in milk. Half of that was then mixed with yogurt, sugar and bananas. The remaining half was mixed with condensed milk and flavoured with clarified butter and camphor. All the devotees received two earthen pots, one with chipped rice mixed with yogurt and another with chipped rice mixed with condensed milk.

The Chida-dahi Mahotsava is celebrated every year in commemoration of this wonderful pastime. This festival is also known as Danda Mahotsava (the Festival of Punishment). It is celebrated on the thirteenth day of the bright moon in the month of Jyeshta (May-June). To this day, pilgrims visit Panihati to celebrate the Chida-dahi Festival.

Panihati Chida-dahi Utsava – June 7, 2017

Panihati Chida-dahi Utsava – June 7, 2017


Panihati is the name of a village located in the state of West Bengal, on the banks of River Ganges (10 miles north of Kolkata). It was one of the leading trade centres in earlier days when the river route was the main means of communication. A special rice variety called Peneti was imported at this place from Jessore in East Bengal. Probably the name Panihati might have been derived from this trade connection. Once upon a time this place was the centre of worship of the Buddhist Tantrics and the Kapalikas. But later, in the sixteenth century, when Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu appeared to propagate the Sankirtana Movement, Panihati became a major centre of the Gaudiya Vaishnavas. The residential quarters of Sri Raghava Pandita (one of the associates of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu) still exists in Panihati.

srila raghunatha dasa goswami

The Festival of Punishment

The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna, appeared as Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu at Sridhama Mayapura (a quarter in the city of Navadvipa) in Bengal, in the year 1486 AD. The purpose of His incarnation was to establish the Yuga-dharma – the congregational chanting of the holy names of the Lord. Lord Balarama appeared as Nityananda Prabhu, and many other eternal associates of the Lord appeared at that time to join His mission. Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami was one of them.

Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami was a devotee of the highest order. He displayed a spirit of renunciation and detachment from the material world at a very early age. He wanted to leave home and join Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in His mission. But Chaitanya Mahaprabhu asked him not to do so and assured that Krishna would deliver him soon from the clutches of maya. Two years later, Nityananda Prabhu came to Panihati and stayed there. Raghunatha dasa, who was staying in the nearby village of Srikrishnapura took permission from his father Govardhan Mazumdar and went to Panihati to meet Nityananda Prabhu.

srila raghunatha dasa goswami

At Panihati, he saw Nityananda Prabhu sitting on a rock under a banyan tree on the banks of the River Ganges. He was surrounded by many devotees. Raghunatha dasa was hesitant to approach the Lord and paid obeisances from a distance. But some of the devotees noticed him and informed Nityananda Prabhu. Nityananda Prabhu called Raghunatha dasa and said “Raghunatha dasa! You are hiding like a thief. Now I have caught hold of you. Come here. I shall punish you today.’’ Then Lord Nityananda forcibly caught him and put His lotus feet on Raghunatha’s head. He ordered Raghunatha to celebrate a big festival and serve all the devotees – with yogurt and chipped rice.

Raghunatha dasa immediately sent his men to the nearby villages to purchase all kinds of eatables. They brought chipped rice (chida), milk, yogurt, sweetmeats, bananas, sugar and other eatables. The chipped rice was soaked in milk. Half of that was then mixed with yogurt, sugar and bananas. The remaining half was mixed with condensed milk and flavoured with clarified butter and camphor. All the devotees received two earthen pots, one with chipped rice mixed with yogurt and another with chipped rice mixed with condensed milk.

The Chida-dahi Mahotsava is celebrated every year in commemoration of this wonderful pastime. This festival is also known as Danda Mahotsava (the Festival of Punishment). It is celebrated on the thirteenth day of the bright moon in the month of Jyeshta (May-June). To this day, pilgrims visit Panihati to celebrate the

Why No Onion and Garlic?

Why we don’t eat onion and garlic?


Image result for onion garlic no

One of the most common questions asked to me is this: "Why don't you eat garlic and onions?" Here's my short answer: As a devotee of Krishna and a practicing Bhakti-yogi, I don't eat garlic and onions because they cannot be offered to Krishna.

Here's my longer answer: You may know that onions and garlic are botanical members of the alliaceous family (alliums) – along with leeks, chives and shallots.

According to Ayurveda, India's classic medical science, foods are grouped into three categories – sattvic, rajasic and tamasic – foods in the modes of goodness, passion and ignorance. Onions and garlic, and the other alliaceous plants are classified as rajasic and tamasic, which means that they increase passion and ignorance.

Those that subscribe to pure brahmana-style cooking of India, including myself, and Vaishnavas – followers of Lord Vishnu, Rama and Krishna – like to only cook with foods from the sattvic category. These foods include fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs, dairy products, grains and legumes, and so on. Specifically, Vaisnavas do not like to cook with rajasic or tamasic foods because they are unfit to offer to the Deity.

Rajasic and tamasic foods are also not used because they are detrimental to meditation and devotions. "Garlic and onions are both rajasic and tamasic, and are forbidden to yogis because they root the consciousness more firmly in the body", says well-known authority on Ayurveda, Dr. Robert E. Svoboda.

Some branches of western medicine say that the Alliums have specific health benefits; garlic is respected, at least in allopathic medical circles, as a natural antibiotic. In recent years, while the apparent cardiovascular implications of vegetable Alliums has been studied in some detail, the clinical implications of onion and garlic consumption from this point of view are still not well understood.

Nevertheless, there are still many adverse things to say about garlic and onions. Not so well known is the fact that garlic in the raw state can carry harmful (potentially fatal) botulism bacteria. Perhaps it is with an awareness of this that the Roman poet Horace wrote of garlic that it is “more harmful than hemlock".

It should be pointed out that Garlic and onion are avoided by spiritual adherents because they

Holly name story: The best benediction – name of Krishna!

Holly name story: The best benediction – name of Krishna!


Holly name story: The best benediction – name of Krishna!

Once a poor brahmana worshiped Lord Siva for a benediction, and Lord Siva advised the devotee 
to go to see Sanatana Gosvami. The devotee went to Sanatana Gosvami 
and informed him that Lord Siva had advised him 
to seek out the best benediction from him (Sanatana). 
Sanatana had a touchstone with him, which he kept with the garbage. 
On the request of the poor brahmana, Sanatana Gosvami gave him the touchstone, 
and the brahmana was very happy to have it. He now could get as much gold 
as he desire simply by touching the touchstone to iron. 
But after he left Sanatana, he thought, “If a touchstone is the best benediction, 
why has Sanatana Gosvami kept it with the garbage?. He may be having 
something more valuable than this. He therefore returned and asked Sanatana Gosvami, 
“Sir, if this is the best benediction, why did you keep it with the garbage?” 
Sanatana Gosvami then informed him, “Actually, this is not the best benediction. 
But are you prepared to take the best benediction from me?” 
The brahmana said, “Yes, sir. Lord Siva has sent me to you for the best benediction.” 
Then Sanatana Gosvami asked him to throw the touchstone in the water nearby and then come back. 
The poor brahmana did so, and when he returned, Sanatana Gosvami initiated him with 
the Hare Krishna mantra which is much more valuable than touch stone. 
Thus by the benediction of Lord Siva the brahmana got the association of 
the best devotee of Lord Krishna and was thus initiated in the maha-mantra, 
Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ 
Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
PS: I humbly request all the devotees to please forward 
moral / instructive stories they hear so that everyone can be benefitted. 

Hanuman Chalisa Predicts the Distance between Sun and Earth

Hanuman Chalisa predicts the distance between Sun and Earth


Hanuman Chalisa was composed by Gosvami Tulasidasa. He was a great devotee of Lord Ramachandra who lived in the 16th century. He composed the Rama-charita-manasa, the epic story of Lord Rama retold in the vernacular language. Many devotees regularly recite Hanuman Chalisa, a prayer glorifying Shri Hanuman, composed by this great saint and poet.

Hanuman-chalisa

It is believed that in one of these verses of Hanuman Chalisa, Tulasidasa had given an accurate calculation of the distance between the Sun and Earth.
The Quest of Astronomers to find the distance of Sun

The Greek Astronomers were known for their contribution to the scientific field in understanding the heavenly bodies.

    Archimedes, an ancient Greek Mathematician and Philosopher of the 3rd century BC, estimated the distance of Sun from Earth as 10000 times the radius of Earth.
    Later, Hipparchus (2nd century BC) gave an estimate of 490 times the radius of Earth.
    Ptolemy considered the distance to be 1210 times the radius of Earth.

However, Johannes Kepler (1571 – 1630), a German Mathematician and Astronomer realized that these estimates were significantly low. Kepler’s law of Planetary Motion allowed astronomers to calculate the relative distance of the planets from Sun. This was also aided by the invention of telescope in the beginning of the 17th century which helped them to get more accurate measurements.

However the most modern calculations in 20th century estimate the distance to be somewhere around 23455 times the radius of Earth (149,431,805 kms assuming radius of Earth to be 6371 kms).
Srila Prabhupada writes in one of his purports:

Modern scientific calculations are subject to one change after another, and therefore they are uncertain. We have to accept the calculations of the Vedic literature. These Vedic calculations are steady; the astronomical calculations made long ago and recorded in the Vedic literature are correct even now. Whether the Vedic calculations or modern ones are better may remain a mystery for others, but as far as we are concerned, we accept the Vedic calculations to be correct.
According to modern calculation:

Average distance between the Sun and Earth =149 million kms = 92 million miles.

However, the orbit of the Earth is not a perfect circle, but an ellipse. Sometimes the Earth is closer to the Sun and sometimes it is farther.


distance-sun-moon

Shortest distance between Sun and Earth (perihelion) = 91 million miles = 147 million kms (early January)

Longest distance between Sun and Earth (aphelion) = 94.5 million miles = 152 million kms (early July)

It is surprising to note that Tulasidasa who lived in 16th century could give the most accurate

Sri Hanuman Jayanti – May 21, 2017

Sri Hanuman Jayanti – May 21, 2017


Deity of Sri Hanuman

Hanuman Jayanti is the celebration of the auspicious appearance day of Sri Hanuman, an ardent devotee and eternal servitor of Lord Sri Ramachandra.

In India, there are hundreds and thousands of temples dedicated to Hanuman. In all the Vaishnava temples, there is at least a shrine dedicated to him. Devotees worship and pray to him to remove the obstacles in the path of their devotional service. In our temple there is a small shrine for the Deity of Hanuman near the entrance of Prahlada Narasimha Temple.

Abhisheka to Sri Hanuman

In various parts of the country, Hanuman Jayanti is celebrated on different days. In some places (especially in Maharashtra) it is observed on Chaitra Purnima. In Tamilnadu and Kerala, it is celebrated in the month of Margazhi (December – January). As per the Odiya calendar it is celebrated on the first day of Vaishaka month. In Karnataka and Andhra