We have often seen people wearing T-shirts which read ‘I lost my ❤ in Vrindavan’, and the backside of the same T-shirts would read ‘And found it in Mayapur’.
But surprisingly, we couldn’t find it in Mayapur as well. With every darshan of Sri Sri Panchatatva and Sri Sri Radha Madhav Ashta Sakhi, with every dance and every kirtan, we lost it again to this holy land of the Holyname, ‘Sri Sri Mayapur dham’.
The Mayapur trip with HH Kratu Das Ji Maharaj became an unforgettable one for each one of the devotees on board. The trip began with an enthralling journey of non-stop kirtan in the train where devotees kept a track of every passing station as none of them could wait to have darshan of the beautiful land.
As ISKCON turned 50 this year, a lot of people from around the world decided to attend the kirtan mela, making it difficult for our group to get an accommodation space in or around the temple. However, Krishna had better plans. With the mercy and efforts of HH Kratu Das Ji Maharaj this year, the devotees received the opportunity to have a stay in the most auspicious Surabhi Kunj. HH Kratu Das Ji Maharaj personally visited the place before the arrival of the devotees to make sure that all arrangements were made.
The trip started with a peaceful bath in the Holy Ganges. Everyone spent four blissful days in the shelter of the Holy name, singing and dancing in the Kirtan mela. Every morning began with a soothing mangala arati, followed by a motivating discourse on the holy name and chanting some Vaishanava bhajans in the temple vicinity. Not even a single moment was spent without engaging one’s senses in Gauranga.
The following two days, HH Kratu Das Ji Maharaj showed around his disciples and followers the beauty of the golden land. On one of these days, the group became a part of the ISKCON Parikrama groups. They visited the prominent lila sthalis like Yogapitha, Srivas Angan, Khol Banga danga, Godrumadvipa and ISKCON Rajapur.
After the kirtan mela and parikrama, HH Kratu Das Ji Maharaj wanted to take advantage of the the devotees’ stay at Surabhi Kunja. Therefore, he organised a Bhajan Sandhya on the last evening where the youth of IYF-C2C and other devotees sang only the bhajans by Sril Bhakti Vinod Thakur. Not only was everyone drenched in the love and separation for the Lord, this last evening left everyone with a feeling of separation for the Holy Land too.
HH Kratu Das Ji Maharaj made the necessary arrangements for prasadam on the way back to Delhi. Each one of them returned back with tears in their eyes with separation from Sri Sri Panchatatva, singing and listening to Kirtans, trying to keep the spirit of the Kirtan mela alive.
All Glories to Sri Sri Guru and Gauranga!
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There are many shortcomings in this day and age of Kali. From greed to envy to anger. However, the one thing that sets Kaliyuga apart and makes it special is that anyone can attain the perfection of life, that is obtaining love for Godhead, by simply chanting the holy names of god, and performing Harinaam sankirtana, that is the loud congregational chanting of “Hare Hrishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare”.
On the blissful occasion of the 5th appearence of Sri Sri Radha Shyamsunder, Yadukula organised its 3rd kirtan mela on 8th May’2016 at Mehrauli. It was only possible by the necessary guidance, support and the divine presence of HH Kratu Das Ji Maharaj.
Perplexed were the devotees who witnessed the extremely magnanimous altar with the most beautiful Sri Sri Panchatatva. To everyone’s eye, it looked like Mayapur, coming to life in New delhi. Not only was it the altar and the presence of Panchatatva that created the mirage of Mayapur, but also the non-stop ecstatic Harinaam Sankirtan by the youth of Yadukula which transported everyone to Mayapur.
Also, HH Kratu Das Ji Maharaj performed an opulent Pushpa Abhisheka Of Sri Sri Radha Shyamsunder, as the kirtan got more and more intense and sweet. Yadukula’s kirtan mela managed to attract devotees from all over Delhi NCR, and the embellishments gave one the nostaligia associated with Sri Mayapura Dham. Endless dancing and delicious prasadam was a delight for everyone.
The purpose of human life is to purify ones own self, and performing Harinama sankirtana is the most authentic and bonafide way of doing the same.
As Srila Prabhupada Quotes in a purport on Srimad Bhagvatam 7.4.25-26,
“Performing kirtana and hearing the vibration of the sound Hare Krishna is actually seeing the Supreme Personality of Godhead directly”.
All glories to the blissful vaishnava sanga
All glories to Sri Harinam prabhu!
All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga!!
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IYF C2C, ISKCON youth forum connect to change, is a group of youngsters enthusiastically working under the prescribed instructions of Srila Prabhupada and HH Kratu Das Ji Maharaj to expand the empire of Krishna consciousness by propagating the message of Lord Chaitanya in the youth worldwide. They have been constantly engaged in regular preaching and devotional activities in various areas in New Delhi, NCR like Bhagwad Gita classes, Harinam in public areas, Kirtan mela, Braj tours, Youth Camps, Youth Picnics, and also in other fields like dance, music, theatre, etc to engage one and all.
Inspired by the enthusiasm and dedication of these youngsters one of the very new devotees in Keshav Puram decided to give their house as a centre to IYF-C2C. It was the heartiest desire of Lt. Sri Babu Ram Goel, father of HG Pradeep Prabhu who is a regular student in one of the preaching classes conducted in Keshav Puram by HG Yaduvanshi Das. He wanted his property to be used in the best possible spiritual way.
The members of IYF-C2C worked continuously for two days and nights to welcome this day of the auspicious inauguration and to welcome their very beloved inspiration HH Kratu Das Ji Maharaj. He graced the occasion with his kind presence amongst all. He was welcomed with ecstatic kirtan, flowers showering and a ritualistic arati performed by the young matajis. He enthused the whole environment by encouraging non-stop 2 hour kirtan followed by the ribbon cutting and an extremely motivational lecture for all. The centre seemed small with the amount of new and old youngsters it was occupied with.
HH Kratu Das Ji Maharaj made the centre officially working by announcing various activities which would conducted in it and giving the surcharge to HG Yaduvanshi Prabhu as the President and HG Brajwasi Prabhu as the Vice President. To encourage the already awe-inspired youth HH Kratu Das Ji Maharaj donated some of his valuable equipments essential for the working of the centre.
The ceremony was followed by serving of sumptuous prasadam cooked by the family of these Youth members of Keshav Puram. It was surely a memorable and proud moment for Srila Prabhupada’s army and ISKCON. IYF C2C aims at materialising, actually spiritualising Srila Prabhupada’s words who said that every house should be a temple and seeks blessings to open more such centres in various areas in New Delhi.
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada and His army!
Watch Images of Event HERE
Residing on the weapons of Lord Vishnu, Orissa is the home to the Lord of the Universe, Sri Jagannath and his elder brother Sri Baldev and Sister Sri Subhadra Devi. It is mentioned in the Skanda-Purana that it is the holiest place on planet. How blessed were the souls who received the priceless blessings of Lord Sri Krishna, to visit the Sri Dham with HH Kratu Das ji Maharaj and his wife, HG Amrita Keli Devi Dasi Mataji. The journey began on 25th December from New Delhi and despite of the cold chills of weather, devotees were all fired up to reach the Nilachal Dham and witness the sacred abode of Sri Jagannath Swami. The two-days train journey filled with ecstatic kirtans by young kirtaniyas moved the spirits of all the passengers and invited them to join the Harinam throughout. The train journey ended with reaching the much awaited destination of the holy land of Sri Dham Puri, the Shankh Shetra, which resides on the Shankha of Lord Vishnu. First day of pilgrimage was dedicated to Sri Jagannath Temple where the struggle to get a glimpse of Lord’s face was unbeatable, but the plea and prayers of true devotees heart didn’t get unheard by the merciful Lord and everyone fulfilled the deepest desire to feel the attestation of his power. The next place to visit was the only Krishna deity in sitting down position known as “Tota Gopinath” where HH Kratu Das Ji Maharaj performed blissful kirtan for over an hour and the disciples couldn’t stop their feet from dancing on such pure prayers for Lord’s pleasure. Devotees also visited the sacred Samadhi of Haridas Thakur and the day was completed with the blessings of Sri Sri Radha Giridhari at ISKCON Puri Temple.
Every day at Sri Dham began with soothing Mangla arti’s, followed by japa sessions and morning lectures by Srila Gurudev. On the second day, devotees went to Siddha Bakul, the daily bhajana venue of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu where the young and devoted kirtaniyas of IYF-C2C followed the footsteps and performed some soul stirring melodies in remembrance of the Lord. Located near Siddha Bakul, the residing place of Mahaprabhu in Puri, called “Gambhira” was one of the places where the devotees were enlightened about the pastimes of the Lord by HG Sachi Devi Mataji. Moving ahead in the land of parama vaishnav’s was the beautiful and pious Sweta Ganga, where the devotees took bath and prayed to the holy water. They also took the opportunity to damp their chanting beads in the Ganges water as a symbol of devotion. In the evening everyone went to the most amazing scenery of the city, the open ended corners of the place over flowing with blue waters, unknowing of its beauty. As far as the eyes could see, it was nothing but uncontrolled waves of water, crashing into each other making the sky sink into it, marking the horizon. As the waves went high and hit the shores of beach, it drenched the visitors with its excessive water. Just like this ocean, the merciful Lord of the Universe, Sri Jagannath, residing at this holy place, has always blessed the devotees, the fallen souls who come to him. The evening at beach filled the devotees with refreshed energy and rejuvenating enthusiasm.
The next day devotees headed towards the largest temple of the city of Bhubaneshwar, Lingraj, which amazed them with its historical profile and ancient architectural statements. The kirtaniyas of IYF along with the melodious chant of HH Kratu Das ji Maharaj’s harinam filled the environment of wide temple complex with euphoric energy and attracted the visitors to be a part of it. Not so far from Lingraj was another ancient abode of Ananta Vasudeva where the devotees spend whole afternoon listening to the tales of the Lord by the temple priest and had blessed prasadam straight from lord’s kitchen. This was the luckiest afternoon as the young devotees from team IYF hopped on to Maharaj’s feet for seva and Maharaj accepted it with whole heart. Moving forward the devotees headed to ISKCON Bhubaneshwar where HG Shyamanand Prabhu signified about the next destination which was the well-known temple of “Sakshi Gopal”. Throughout the journey from one holy abode of Lord to the other, devotees kept chanting prayers and the smiles of their faces never dimmed. After the blissful darshan of the deity of witness, the pilgrimage moved forward to the last destination for the day, perhaps the most beautiful and spell bounding deities of Sri Sri Radha Krishna residing in the bewilderment of Chandanpur. Simulating as a miniature of Sri Vrindavan dham in itself, ISKCON Chandanpur holds the exact depiction of Lord Sri Krishna and Srimati Radha Rani’s physical appearance. “tapta kanchana gaurangi” Srimati Radha stands elegantly as her body appears to be made from melted gold, and beside her stands with his flute, the blue coloured, lotus eyed, Saanwale Krishna, enraptured the souls as always.
In the room next to them resided the Lord with big eyes and open arms, for whom the kirtaniya performed heart-warming melodies of harinam sankirtan, which made many eyes get moist with love and wrench of separation for lord.
The next morning started with travelling to Brahma Gaudiya Math & Lord Alarnath’s temple. Established by Srila Bhakti Siddhantha Saraswati Thakur himself, Brahma Gaudiya Math serves the deities of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Sri Sri Radha Krishna. The Alarnath Temple surprised the devotees with the evidences of pastimes of Lord’s like the burnt marks from the hot offerings and the body imprints of Sri Mahaprabhu. In the event, the devotees watched the setting sun at The Sun temple, Konark itself. Holding the passionate crafting of ancient infrastructure, Sun temple stands as a benchmark of Indian royalty.
And the last day of the pilgrimage, also of year 2015 marked its arrival, the devotees went for mangal arti darshans of Sri Jagannatha at Sri Mandir followed by chanting with HH Kratu Das Maharaj in the temple complex. Afterwards they went to Sri Jagganath Vallabh Garden followed by the Harinama through the blushful gardens behind. Later they went to Gundicha temple, Sri Narsimha Dev temple and Narendra Sarovar, performing sankirtan and dancing for the pleasure of the Lord at every step.
In the evening, by the mercy of Guru and Gaurang, an open harinam sankirtan was organised just outside the entrance of Sri Mandir where the Kirtaniyas of IYF along with a team of devotees from overseas performed some enchanting kirtan melodies and dance. The localities of Puri Dham gathered and joined the Harinama in huge numbers till sunset. At night, to mark the beginning of a New Krishna Conscious Year for all the souls, a straight 4 hour night kirtan was organised on the roof top of the residence where the devotees, despite of the chilled weather, enjoyed the last few hours of their stay at Sri Dham Puri to the fullest and celebrated New Year with Sri Krishna and his servants.
Every pilgrimage stands for not just the desire that a devotee’s heart carry throughout the journey that one sets and covers, but in actual, it’s based on the emotions one goes through when the eyes of the Lord looks into his own eyes. When those eyes crack open the materialistic covering of one’s outside and reaches directly into his soul. When one doesn’t even need to mumble a word and the Lord understands everything. This is the whole hearted aim of one’s devotion. This is the aim of a pilgrimage. With the limitless mercy of Gurudev, HH Kratu Das Ji Maharaj, the trip to Sri Puri Dham concluded on the happiest note of smiles and tears, of soul stirring kirtans and foot tappings on the way back home, and not to forget, of hearts filled with prayers: “Jagannath Swami Nayan Path Gami, Nayan Path Gami Bhave Tumi!”
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