Bhakti Retreat – USA

Hare Krishna Dear Devotees,

Caught in Rat race?

Tired of the routine?

Don’t know the essence of your being?

Uncover these and many more answers by getting in touch with your spiritual side.
Rare opportunity to immerse yourself in ecstatic kirtans,
​spiritual ​lectures, presentations, drama, dance, movies, games and Prasadam.
“There is no greater fortune than being in the association of glorious devotee families chanting the holy names and hearing the glories of the Supreme Lord (Krishna Katha) and His devotees.”​

There could be no better way to spend your long weekend (US Independence weekend) than by getting immersed in the nectar of Krishna Consciousness. Just like past 5 years, it is going to be a spiritually intense, but extremely blissful, ​4 days of devotee association with never to forget experience. We highly recommend participating for all 4 days to get the maximum benefit and ecstatic experience that you will start feeling in the first 2 hours of the early morning on first day itself during Group Japa (Mahamantra Chanting), Morning Aarti and Various Prayers in the association of devotees.
Bhakti Retreat 2017 at Denver, CO Pictures –  Click HERE
Bhakti Retreat 2016 at York, PA Video – Click HERE
Bhakti Retreat 2016 at York, PA Pictures – Click HERE

HOW TO REGISTER

To serve you better, we require that every attendee registers by contacting us at usacanadabhaktiretreat@gmail.com
We have onsite accommodation available very conveniently located right at the retreat center only
​By registering, you will receive 4 days of onsite accommodation, 12 meals of prasadam (sanctified food), access to all the classes, seminars, kirtans, skits and many other Krishna Conscious activities — all these at a subsidized fee
The fee is just to cover the cost of the accommodation and facility.
Though we highly recommend to attend all 4 days but if you cannot attend for all 4 days due to unavoidable circumstances, please let us know what days you can attend and we will work with you to make sure you are not left out
Due to 4th July long weekend, onsite accommodation availability is limited. Please respond at the earliest to confirm your reservation

WHAT TO EXPECT

4-days Bhakti Retreat (वैष्णव मेला) with ​​His Holiness Kratu das Ji Maharaj​ ​​​includes:
Enlightening Seminars & Workshops​ based on the teachings of Bhagvat Gita, Srimad Bhagvatam, ​Chaitanya Charitamrita, ​​Raganuga Bhakti​, Prem Bhakti Chandrika​ and other Vaishnav scriptures applicable to ​​​dev​otees of all ages (Adults and Kids​)​
Group Mahamantra Japa (Chanting​) followed by Morning Aarti and Prayers (Sri Sri Gurvastakam, Srila Prabhupada Pranati, Panca-Tattva Maha Mantra, Sri Nrsimha Prayers, Sri Tulasi Pranama and Kirtan, Sri Vaisnava Pranama, Ten Offenses in Chanting the Holy Names, Sri Siksastakam) each morning
Learn how to recite and memorize Bhagvat Gita & Shrimad Bhagvatam shlokas easily and naturally (daily sessions for adults and kids)
​Special Spiritual Sessions & Workshops for Kids​
Heart-touching Bhajans & Ecstatic Kirtans
Bhajan Sandhya each night
Kids Jugalbandi on Mridanga and Kartal beats
Spiritual Treasure Hunt
Krishna Movie (Family Time after Dinner Prasadam each night)
Sports for Kids (Swimming under supervision, Badminton, Soccer, Kickball, Cricket)
Krishna Conscious Games (Shloka/Bhajan/Krishna Antakshari, Quizzes, Dumb Charades etc.)
Spiritual Picnic with Sumptuous Vegetarian Food (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Prasadam all days)
and ​a ​lot more..​.​
!!! Detailed day by day schedule will be available shortly !!!

LOCATION

Address of USA Canada Bhakti Retreat
“Shri Jalaram Dham”
222 Arsenal Rd, York, PA 17402 USA map

Very conveniently located in the heart of historic York city in southern Pennsylvania – just about 30 minutes from Lancaster airport, 35 minutes from Harrisburg airport, 45 minutes from Reading, 1.5 hours from Allentown airport, 1.25 hours from Baltimore airport, 2 hours from Philadelphia airport, 2 hours from Washington DC airport, 2.5 hours from Newark NJ airport, 3.25 hours from New York JFK airport

HIS HOLINESS KRATU DAS JI MAHARAJ:

His Holiness Kratu Das ji Maharaj was born in aristocratic Gujarati Gaudiya Vasihnava familiy and is an initiated disciple of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada, the founder Acharya of International Society of Krishna Consciousness(ISKCON). His permanent abode is in “Shri Vrindavan Dham” while He visits various places all over the world throughout the year for constant preaching activities (Srimad Bhagvatam Katha, Chaitanya Charitramrita Katha, Bhagvat Gita seminars, Bhakti Retreats, Bhajan Sandhyas, Kirtan mela and many other devotional activities).

Maharaj is one of the present initiating spiritual masters of ISKCON. He has his disciples in India, Damodardesh, America, Canada, UK, Europe, Saudi Arabia and various other countries around the world. Following the most important instruction of His Guru, He made spreading the teachings of Lord Chaitanya, the prime aim of His life at an early age.

Please plan to attend this spiritual retreat to get Maharaj’s divine association, and get spiritually rejuvenated.

CONTACT US

If you have any question about this Bhakti Retreat or need more information, please do not hesitate to write to us at usacanadabhaktiretreat@gmail.com


Thank You !
We look forward to serve you in this unique Bhakti Retreat !

Why and how to perform the Shradh Ceremony?

Why and how to perform the Shradh Ceremony?

In Srimad Bhagvatam, it is mentioned that
“Devarṣi-bhūtāpta-nṛṇāṁ pitṝṇāṁ
na kiṅkaro nāyam ṛṇī ca rājan
sarvātmanā yaḥ śaraṇaṁ śaraṇyaṁ
gato mukundaṁ parihṛtya kartam” (SB 11.5.41)
Every human being is obliged and has an obligation? We are under whose obligation? Demigods – Sun God, He gives us heat and light; moon nourishes our eatables and like that Indra, Chandra, Surya, Brihaspati, they all are demigods and are supplying. They are supplying and they don’t send bill for what they are supplying so we are indebted to them.
We are obliged to cow and ox. Ox is tilting the ground and cow is giving us milk, butter, butter milk, ghee, etc. Mother Cow is nurturing us so we are under obligation to cow and ox.
We are indebted to our forefathers also. Why? because they not only brought us to this human form of life which is very rare and valuable but also nourished us, nurtured us. They provided us food, clothing and education so we are indebted to them.
Those who are cent percent surrendered and are serving Krishna, they are not under any obligation of “devarṣi-bhūtāpta-nṛṇāṁ pitṝṇāṁ na kiṅkaro nāyam ṛṇī ca rājan”. Why? Because they are surrendered and are serving Krishna. “Sarvātmanā”, the king is dependent on Krishna, demigods are dependent on Krishna and everybody else. Just by supplying food to the stomach, we automatically nourish our hands, nose, ear, whole body so simultaneously, serving Krishna, “sarvātmanā yaḥ śaraṇaṁ śaraṇyaṁ”, by surrendering to Krishna we pay up our debt.
Why perform Shradh Ceremony?
So that we can relieve our ancestors from the hellish conditions, suffering condition.
If we are not cent percent surrendered to Krishna then we must perform Shradh. Lord Ramchandra did, he performed for Dashrath Maharaj, pinda daan. There was no question of Dashrath Maharaj going to hellish conditions because Lord Ramchandra was his direct son. It is the greatest fortune to have Krishna as your son, God as your son, Dashrath Maharaj will never suffer from hellish conditions, go to hell, even then Lord Ramchandra performed shradh. Lord Chaitanya is God himself, he also went to Gaya to perform Shradh Ceremony for his departed father, Jagannath Misra. So if we are not cent percent surrendered then we must perform Shradh Ceremony to pay up our debt to our forefathers, to relieve them from their hellish conditions.
How to perform Shradh?
It is stated in Srimad Bhagvatam that one must call pure brahman and perform the ceremony. One must cook sumptuous, beautiful, tasty, rich prasadam and that one has to offer to Lord Vishnu. This is written in Srimad Bhagvatam that first one must offer it Krishna, Vishnu, Ram, Narayan, Laxman and then one must offer to the Brahmans. When Advaita Acharya performed Shradh Ceremony of his father, first, he offered to a vaishnava, not even brahmans and Srila Haridasa Thakur was the most exalted vaishnava present there; He was a Muslim, he was not within varnashrama even, not even a brahman but a pure vaishnava. After offering to the Lord, one must offer to the vaishnavas, then one must offer to brahmans and then to one’s relatives, after that one is supposed to offer to people in general, beggars and after everything is over, one is supposed to honour that prasadam and give dakshina to brahmans, vaishnavas, the best donation is to vaishnavas. One should do it with faith and that will relieve one’s ancestors from the pangs of maya, suffering.
Should we ever correct a Vaishnava ?

Should we ever correct a Vaishnava ?

We can only correct a Vaishnava,  if he is surrendered to us, otherwise, we may incur a Vaishnava Aparadha or we may get into a Vaisanava Aparadha.

The line is if he is surrendered, if he is ready to listen to us, ready to obey us.

‘Tad viddhi praṇipātena paripraśnena sevayā’ 
 BG 4.34

First is ‘praṇipātena’, Is he surrendered to us?  Is he going to listen to us? If not, then leave it to his Guru, to his superior and to his Krishna, Maya and everybody else.

Everybody has a different level. If we are on the same level or if somebody is surrendered to us, then we can instruct him, he will hear, he will listen and there would not be any aparadha but if he is not going to listen to us and if he is thinking that he is above us (he may/may not be), equal to us and we try to instruct him, then Vaishnava Aparadha may happen. Also because he is dear to Krishna, if he is a devotee and we are also dear to Krishna and both of us start fighting, then Krishna will never like it, Krishna doesn’t appreciate this.

If someone is ready to listen that means he is surrendered to us and we can instruct him but if he is not surrendered and doesn’t want to listen to us, then we should not get into any offence. Read More Teachings

Krishna doesn’t keep, He only gives !!

Krishna doesn’t keep, He only gives !!

Do not think that Krishna will give us less than what we give Him.
If we take 1 step towards Krishna, then He will take 10 steps towards us. 
Krishna’s most important Dharma is that He is Bhakta Vatsal, He is Kripalu, He is Karuna Sindhu, Krishna gives us more than what we deserve but we have to learn to dovetail it with Krishna. Like Srila Prabhupada, He left everything and then Krishna gave Him more than He could earn in pharmacy or any other business.
So we should not be afraid to dovetail everything to Krishna, not that Krishna will run away with our money, house, family or friends, He will just purify and give it to us back in many million folds. This is Krishna’s nature, He doesn’t want to see His devotees suffer and no devotee suffers.
Dhruva Maharaj, he left his father, mother, kingdom and family and at the end, Krishna gave him everything.
Gopis, they gave up everything for Krishna and at the end Krishna says, ” I am yours and I cannot repay your debt, I am eternally indebted to you”. Same thing with Hanuman, Ramchandra couldn’t pay His debt to Hanuman, He eternally remained indebted to Hanuman.
So when we give it to Krishna, do not think that Krishna will snatch it away or run away with it. No ! He is Kripalu and His most important Dharma is that He is Bhakta Vatsal.
Krishna doesn’t keep, He gives, this is His nature, His Dharma, Bhakta Vatsalta.
Mother’s Day !!

Mother’s Day !!

Our real mother is of course Krishna and we must thank Him today.
“aham sarvasya prabhavo
mattah sarvam pravartate
iti matva bhajante mam
budha bhava-samanvitah” [Bg. 10.8]
Everything is produced from Krishna, Krishna is the source of everything and that is why He is the original mother. The Supreme Personality Of Godhead, even though everything emanates from Him, He also desires that He should also have a mother, so that He can enjoy the motherly love and affection.
Though Krishna is the original mother but He also likes to have a mother and that is why He has the original mother, Mother Yashoda. Both in the spiritual and the material world, He accepted Mother Yashoda and Mother Devaki as a mother, not only one mother because Krishna is very greedy for motherly love and affection.

In the Tenth Canto, Bhagavatam, Lord Krishna says that in this material world if we look for pure love, close to pure love (pure love cannot be found in the material world) then it can be found in a mother. That is the closest pure love, which we can find in the material world. A mother is so caring, protective and she serves the child so well, that makes a strong bond between the mother and the child.  Just like if we come between a mother and the cubs, we are finished because the mother loves her offspring so much , this is the real bond or loving reciprocation between a child and the mother. A mother might be 10,000 miles away but a mother would be knowing what her child is going through.

Padavas, they were so grown up but when Mother Kunti would see them after a long time, immediately she would emanate parental love and affection. Same thing can be seen in Krishna’s past times, Krishna was so grown up and when He would see Mother Yashoda or Mother Yashoda would see Him, immediately parental love would be emanated. So this is a very affectionate, loving and intimate relationship between a child and the mother.
This is unparallel in the material world, we cannot compare the mother’s love towards the offspring to anything in the material world. Since she loves us so much, it is not enough to thank her only one day , we should thank her everyday and every moment.