Govardhana-puja at Audarya

Citta Hari Dasa - November 15, 2004 11:53 pm

Dandavats everyone. We had a wonderful festival for Govardhana-puja this year followed by Srila Prabhupada's disappearance observance. About 25 devotees were in attendance, with devotees coming from various locations to be here: Caitanya-daya and Bh. Chris came from Washington D.C., Guru-seva and Hari Bhakti came from Portland, and Bh. Forrest came from Manzanita (on the coast by Portland).


Due to the uncertain weather this time of year we were prepared for a somewhat cramped festival in the temple, but luckily the rain held off and we were able to serve prasadam to the devotees outside in the sunshine.


On the morning of Govardhana-puja the festival began with the devotees circling the Krsna-Balarama stone for arotika followed by Go-puja to Goloka. The devotees then gathered in the temple for the abhiseka of Giriraja, after which Guru Maharaja spoke. As always he made many deep points, but I'll stick to just a couple. The first is that within the context of explaining the meaning of 'Govardhana' he gave the meanings of the word 'go' (the earth; the senses; and cow) and mentioned that Vraja means 'to go.' Thus the Vrajavasis are 'on the go,' i.e., they are nomadic people whose entire livelihoods depend on their cows. This is why they moved near Govardhana--the hill that increases cows. In contrast to the Vrajavasis, we in this world are also 'on the go,' but in our case go refers to the senses; we are on the go in search of sensual delights, and this is why we cannot live at Govardhana. We are selfish, whereas the Vrajavasis are wholly dedicated to serving the needs of their cows, who are givers in every sense.


The other point centers on the importance of renunciation and humility. In telling the story of how Sriman Mahaprabhu gave the Govardhana-sila to Raghunatha dasa Goswami he mentioned that Mahaprabhu did so after testing dasa Goswami and examining his level of renunciation. Being satisfied with his detachment from worldly things he then entrusted dasa Goswami with the sila along with instructions for his worship. On several occasions dasa Goswami asked Mahaprabhu for some instruction, and finally the Lord relented and gave his famous instructions: "Don't engage in village talk or hear such talk by others. Don't eat fancy foods or wear fancy clothes. Don't expect honor for yourself, but give honor to others. Always chant Krsna-nama and worship Radha-Krsna in Vrndavana within your mind."


Guru Maharaja then continued to paraphrase Mahaprabhu: "And if you want to hear something more, I say this: trnad api sunicena, taror iva sahisnuna, amanina manadena, kirtaniya sada harih." Guru Maharaja then gave an in-depth explanation of this verse and mentioned that this verse is the essence of Mahaprabhu's teachings. I highly recommend listening to this when it becomes available from Audarya Audio.


The bhoga-arotika was then offered, after which the devotees took a wonderful feast sponsored by Nanda-tanuja dasa.


On Srila Prabhupada's disappearance day after the mangala-arotika Guru Maharaja read a prayer written by Srila Prabhupada on the occasion of the disappearance of his Guru Maharaja Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura. In that prayer Prabhupada called repeatedly upon his Godbrothers to give up their fighting and to preach, very firmly stating that preaching is real service to their guru. He further stated that for a sannyasi to not preach was perfectly meaningless and so admonished those who were wearing the dress of sannyasis but not preaching to get on with the work entrusted to them. This prayer was written in 1958, the year before Prabhupada took sannyasa, and several of the devotees remarked after the program that it was striking how this prayer is as relevant today as it was the day it was written.


Guru Maharaja gave a lecture later in the morning in which he explained Prabhupada's family lineage and how it is descended from Nityananda Prabhu. Another priceless gem, followed by Guru-puja, arotika for Gaura-Nitai, and another great feast, this time sponsored by Caitanya-daya dasi.


Many thanks to all who attended and helped make this festival such an inspiring and fulfilling time.


Yours in service,

Citta Hari dasa

Madangopal - November 16, 2004 12:11 am

Thank you very much for the notes on the festival at Audarya. Does anybody have some digital pictures?

Nanda-tanuja Dasa - November 16, 2004 1:31 am

I took several rolls of film and will be posting some pictures tomorrow after I will pick them up from the lab.

Radhanama Dasa - November 17, 2004 5:11 am

I just wanted to take a moment to thank everyone for an amazing weekend at Audarya. It was really nice to meet all those devotees I hadn't meet yet, and to see again those I had. Getting to hear from Guru Maharaja day and night was absolutely incredible. I must admit it was hard to leave, feeling separation while packing the car, but has really lit a fire to go back as soon as possible, and as often as possible. Thanks again everyone!!!


Guru Maharaja Ki JAYA


Audarya Dham Ki JAYA

Nanda-tanuja Dasa - November 17, 2004 6:53 am

Vrindaranya dasi performing Go-puja near Krsna-Balarama stone:


Nanda-tanuja Dasa - November 17, 2004 6:54 am

Go-puja and kirtan:


Nanda-tanuja Dasa - November 17, 2004 6:55 am


Nanda-tanuja Dasa - November 17, 2004 6:56 am

Citta Hari dasa performing Abhiseka of Giriraja:


Nanda-tanuja Dasa - November 17, 2004 6:57 am

Guru Maharaja and Dayal Govinda dasa singing during Abhiseka:


Nanda-tanuja Dasa - November 17, 2004 6:58 am

Kirtan during Abhiseka:


Nanda-tanuja Dasa - November 17, 2004 6:59 am

Giri Govardhana ki jaya!


Nanda-tanuja Dasa - November 17, 2004 7:00 am



Nanda-tanuja Dasa - November 17, 2004 7:13 am

Sunrise over Ganga


Caitanya-daya Dd - November 17, 2004 9:59 am

Nanda-tanuja-ji, what beautiful pictures! You captured the weekend perfectly! :lol: Haribol!

Madangopal - November 17, 2004 1:34 pm

:lol: I'm dumbfounded. We have got to get to Audarya sometime soon. Chris, you drove out there??!!


Thanks Nanda Tanujaji for the great pictures. It looks like it was a wonderful festival.

Radhanama Dasa - November 17, 2004 6:50 pm
Chris, you drove out there??!!


No, Caitanya Daya and i flew out to Oakland and then drove up to Audarya from San Francisco with Vamsidhari.

Forrest - November 19, 2004 5:20 am

Great pics Nanda-tanuja! Makes me want to run back to Audarya and the sweet association that is found there. Did you get any pics of Gaura-Nityananda? I would like a nice high res one for my altar at home. I have a few now, but I am looking for the "one" :lol:

Nanda-tanuja Dasa - November 19, 2004 9:59 pm

Forrest, what is your email address?

Caitanya-daya Dd - November 20, 2004 1:06 am

why is forrest the only one who gets the nectar? :lol:

Forrest - November 20, 2004 9:29 am

hehe Caitanya-daya. I suppose it is because I asked for it. It seems the nectar is there for all of us, we just have to ask for it :lol:


Nanda-tanuja, my email is vcd108(at)mac.com

Vamsidhari Dasa - November 20, 2004 5:25 pm
I'm dumbfounded. We have got to get to Audarya sometime soon.

Even though I am not an official resident of Audarya I feel I can say "Come on over do not wait!"

The beauty of Audarya is far beyond any photoes we can post. I'm finding myslef less able to talk about my experiences there because words seem insufficient. I guess when you are home you at home; the heart is peaceful and happy. What else can one say?


Jaya Sri Audarya Dhama and her residents!!!!!


In service,

Vamsidhari dasa :lol:

Nanda-tanuja Dasa - November 20, 2004 6:47 pm
why is forrest the only one who gets the nectar? :(

Forrest asked for hi-res images which are ~ 17MB in size each, but the forum accepts only 300KB, so I cannot post them for everybody. I can email them to anybody who asks, just check that you have enough space in your mailbox. ;)

Bijaya Kumara Das - November 21, 2004 8:21 am

once again it is like I was there. Thanks so much for this cyber experience.


The reality shines forth.


So this is what spiritual means that there is no time or place it is ever fresh and flowing ? It sure feels like it.


We were there in spirit and you are all in our prayers.


Thanks for the association. It was nice to hear how Krsna Balirama appeared thank you Chittahari.


Your servants,


Bijaya and family