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

Offer with love or follow the rules?

Offer with love or follow the rules?

Krishna answers this in a particular verse-
“patram puspam phalam toyam
yo me bhaktya prayacchati
tad aham bhakty-upahrtam
asnami prayatatmanah”
He says you have to offer me love and devotion, that love and devotion, if it is not there in your heart right away, then you have to practice to create that love and devotion.
That means you have to offer with mudras, mantras, with rules and regulations and everything.
But once that love and devotion to Krishna is developed, like Mother Yashoda or other pure devotess, then Krishna can eat, not banana, but even the peel of banana or He can even give up Chappan Bhog of Duryodhana. He can eat spunach, some simple leafy vegetables, cooked or uncooked.
Because the ingredients are not what you offer, the ingredients are love and devotion, how much you offer with love and devotion, that is what He loves to have from us.

भक्ति में भाव का महत्त्व

भक्ति में भाव का महत्त्व

भाव हो या न हो, भाव से ही माला करनी चाहिए । लेकिन हमेशा तो वह भाव रहता नहीं है ,न आता है हमेशा। अगर आए तो बहुत अच्छा है । यही हम चाहते है कि नाम-जप के बाद हम रसास्वादन कर सकें, भाव। हमें भाव भक्ति चाहिए और बाद में प्रेम भक्ति। तो वो भाव भक्ति होगी साधना भक्ति ।

तीन प्रकार की भक्ति हैं – साधना भक्ति, भाव भक्ति और प्रेम भक्ति । साधना भक्ति इसलिए करते हैं कि हमें भाव भक्ति मिले, भाव भक्ति इसलिए करते हैं कि हमें प्रेम भक्ति मिले, प्रेमाभक्ति मिले। साधना भक्ति करनी चाहिए। साधन- हरे कृष्णा मंत्र ,कम से कम सोलह माला। भाव से ही नाम करना चाहिए ,लेकिन ऐसा नियम मत करो कि बस भाव से अगर एक माला हो तो फिर सोलह माला करने की ज़रुरत नहीं है, ऐसा नहीं। यह प्रभुपाद जी का नियम है कि कम से कम हमें सोलह माला करनी है, तो सोलह करनी है ,चाहे भाव हो या न हो । भाव हो तो बहुत अच्छा है और भाव के लिए ही तो माला करते हैं । नाम-जप हम इसलिए ही तो करते हैं कि हमारा प्रेम जाग्रत हो ।

हरे का अर्थ है, “हे राधारानी! मुझे श्रीकृष्ण की शुद्ध प्रेमाभक्ति प्रदान करें और उनकी सेवा प्रदान करें । आप सेवा माँग रहे हो, सेवा करोगे तो ही प्रेम पैदा होगा। उदहारण के लिए हम कुत्ते की सेवा करते है। जैसे कि कुत्ते की सेवा करोगे, कुत्ते को नहलाओगे, बाहर ले जाओगे , खिलाओगे ,तो कुत्ता किससे प्यार करेगा? आपसे । क्यों? क्योंकि मालिक सेवा कर रहा है। नौकर सेवा करेगा तो? है मालिक का कुत्ता, लेकिन नौकर उनकी सेवा करेगा तो , किससे प्यार करेगा? नौकर से? क्यों? क्योंकि वो सेवा कर रहा है ।

तो ” हरे कृष्णा महामंत्र सेवन मुखे ही जिह्वादो” ,यह मुँह से और जिह्वा से क्या है? श्रीकृष्ण की सेवा है । मुँह और जिह्वा से श्रीकृष्ण की सेवा हम करेंगे तो हमें क्या होगा? कृष्ण का प्रेम, भाव ह्रदय में जाग्रत होगा ।

तो यह मुँह और जिह्वा से श्रीकृष्ण की सेवा है और सेवा करने से ही उनका प्रेम हमारे हृदय में जाग्रत होगा। तो इसलिए भाव से अगर हो एक माला, तो बहुत अच्छा है ,सर्वश्रेष्ठ| लेकिन अगर भाव न भी हो तो सेवा करते रहो, मुँह से, जिह्वा से नाम की । तो वह सेवा से भी प्रेम और भाव जाग्रत होगा ।
कई बार लगता है कि हम नाम-जप मैकेनिकली करते हैं , कई बार लगता है लेकिन वो मैकेनिकली नहीं है । आप देखोगे तो वो माला करने वाला भक्त मैकेनिकली लगता है लेकिन थोड़ा सा कृष्ण के बारे में कुछ खराब सुनते ही भक्त को बुरा लगता है क्योंकि वो माला कर रहा है क्योंकि भाव अन्दर है। जैसे माता रसोई-घर में है और बच्चा सो रहा है तो इतना भाव नहीं आएगा। लेकिन जैसे ही वह रोने लगता है खान पान के लिए , तुरंत ही माता का प्रेम जाग्रत हो जाता है क्योंकि भाव अन्दर है, प्रेम अन्दर है। इसी तरह भाव अंदर है, प्रेम भी अंदर है और ऐसा लगता है कि माला मैकेनिकली हो रही है परन्तु होती भाव से है।
भगवान का नाम हमेशा नियम से ही करना चाहिए, प्रभुपाद जी का नियम है इसलिए हमें सोलह माला करनी ही चाहिए ,by hook or crook. There is no hook or crook because यह स्वाभाविक है, लेकिन हमें पहले hook or crook इसलिए लगता है कि जैसे हमारी जीभ का रस पीलिया से बिगड़ गया है। तो अगर हम उस समय मिठाई खाएंगे तो वो कड़वी लगती है जबकि मिठाई या मिश्री का गुण कड़वा नहीं है लेकिन बिमारी के कारण वो हमें कड़वा लगता है। तो जैसे हम मिठाई खाएँगे, मिश्री खाएंगे तो वह रोग मिटता जाएगा। तो बाद में वही मिठाई, मिश्री हमें मीठी लगेगी । मिश्री का गुण मिठास है तो जीभ उस मिठास को अनुभव करेगी।

इसी तरह भगवान का नाम मधुर है और हमारे अंदर भगवान का भाव है। तो जैसे हम नाम लेते रहेंगे, लेते रहेंगे , तो वो भाव जाग्रत होगा, प्रेम जाग्रत होगा और अंत में प्रेम ही बच जाएगा, प्रेम ही बच जाएगा ।

Guilt of not serving Krsna properly

Guilt of not serving Krsna properly

How to overcome the guilt of not serving Krsna properly?

Nothing is more purifying than the holyname so you have to purify your external and internal senses, so just remember, meditate on holyname and Krishna then you will be perfectly purified, internally and externally.

om apavitrah pavitro vā sarvāvasthāṁ
gato api vā yaḥ smaret puṇḍarīkākṣaṁ
sa bahya abhyantaraṁ śuciḥ
śrī viṣṇu śrī viṣṇu śrī viṣṇu

When you chant the holyname then bahya and antar, external-internal shudhi happens.
bahya abhyantaraṁ śuciḥ, purity, one becomes pure. So remember and chant Krishna’s holyname. On top you can ask for His forgiveness. Anything that we cannot do, “Krishna, please forgive me. I’m duty bound.” So you can say

aparadha-sahasrani kriyante ‘har-nisham maya
daso ‘ham iti mam matva kshamasva madhusudana

You pray to Krishna, “Please, forgive me for my short comings” and Krishna is very compassionate. Our God is very compassionate, His whole existence is compassionate. Krishna is the embodiment of compassion. When you pray to Him for your shortcomings, immediately, He helps you, forgives you, He comes to you and doesn’t mind anything, very compassionate.