Sri Narasimha Caturdasi 2006

Syamasundara - May 11, 2006 10:58 pm

I was lucky enough to make it to Audarya this year for Narasimha Caturdasi.

This morning the guests were Guruseva, Vaisnavananda, Taruna Krsna, Forrest and me.

Guru Maharaja had just come back yesterday from NC with Gauravani and Narayana, Arcanasiddhi's son.

After mangala arati GM read from Navadvipa Mahatmya and Navadvipa Bhavataranga about Sri Narahari and his lilas in Navadvipa. After that the puja of the Narasimha salagrama sila was initiated. He has a big mouth with teeth; I hope he's going to leave us something after the feast.

At 7:30 we started a kirtana as per GM's instructions. GM told us at mangala arati to sing arunodaya kirtan, so we began with that; the funny thing is that after that song he'd tell us the title of the next one from his room upstairs. Then GM told us to chant japa while waiting for Dhanurdhara maharaja to arrive, driven by Nandatanuja who also brought a throne for the sila from Nepal. Nice silver Simhasana with ananta Sesa incorporated.

Sometime after the Lord had his breakfast (halava and fruit) we heard the car approaching. Some of us were on the deck waiting and GM told us to ring the prasadam bell for the others who may be not there if we hear the car.

I particularly liked to see the smiles and excitement on all my godbrothers' faces because a Vaisnava is coming.

When I started going to Iskcon temples in '92 it was very common to have some GBC or another visiting and coinciding with the Sunday feast, and since they were always the gurus of someone or other in the temple, they were received with pomp, but at the same time it was such a frequent scenario that people would pay obeisances to this or that maharaja and go on with their lives.

Now I don't know what it's like in Iskcon, but I know big devotees (for lack of a better term) don't come see our GM very often, although now they come more often than ten years ago in Eugene, so when they do come it's always an event.

To us our Gurudeva is all there is, because he is the acarya of his own mission and because there is no one of his caliber around, but just because we are under the shelter of such a true Vaisnava we have these natural feelings when a Vaisnava comes to see him.

GM welcomed Dhanurdhara maharaja who had never been here. He showed him Gaura Nitai (who are particularly beautiful this week) and then introduced maharaja to us and glorified the Vaisnavas.

Maharaja was asked to say a few words; he was visibly happy to be here and said he could already tell that this place was non-different from Navadvipa, which we know to be the truth.

Two hours before the lunch offering I was asked if I could cook lunch for Narasimha. Apart from some stress factor I really like to cook just for the deities on a fasting day and on a short notice. No premeditation on what to cook, no desire to cook it because I'll eat it after and I did it as if it was the only chance to do seva I was being given this life. I wanted to make a luch for a king, but I couldn't use the ingredients for the feast, so I came up with rice, sweet potato and coconut dal, panir and cauliflower kofta and maple walnut halava.

In 15 minutes the talk will start, so I'll go and post the pictures later.

Forrest - May 12, 2006 4:10 am

Here's some pics from the Nrsimha Caturdasi festival:











Syamasundara - May 12, 2006 4:28 am

Aaaah everything is twice as effulgent here with two Vaisnavas. Vaisnavas are the best.

The talk was quite inspired and potent, and quoting bits of it would just ruin everything.

Maharaja's presence is making everything sweeter, like that example of the parrot pecking a mango and making it even sweeter; all this was underlined by GM repeating "Gaura bhakta vrnda! Gaura bhakta vrnda!" during the kirtana.

The feast was unprecedented, featuring a double-deck ekadasi cake, recipe courtesy of Ksirodakasayi Visnu dasi, which was like a big frosted macaroon, besides the tapioca kitchri, palak sak, carrot halava, lemonade, coconut catni and tomato curd soup.

And this was just day one, what can I say...


Gaura bhakta vrnda!

Babhru Das - May 12, 2006 6:02 am

Thank you both for the updates! It's so nice to see our Swami and Dhanurdhar Maharaj together. I have fond memories of the little time I spent with Dhanurdhar Maharaj. When the gurukula headmasters met in Vrindavan in Karttik of 1982, he was a generous, gracious host and great company. A few years later, he visited Bhaktivedanta Village for a couple of days. The last thing he said as he left BV was, "So, Babhru--when are you moving to Vrindavan?"

Igor - May 12, 2006 6:22 am

Just keep posting!!!!!!!! :o

Bhrigu - May 12, 2006 6:23 am

Sounds like a sweet festival! Recently at Radhadesh someone saw my "altar-picture" of Guru Maharaja and mistook him for Dhanurdhara Maharaja, something I can understand after seeing the pictures. They must certainly be Godbrothers! :o

Syamasundara - May 13, 2006 4:49 am

Many things happened today, some small and subjective and some not. I don't know where to begin from so I'll go in order.

Some time before or after breakfast I was strolling in the sun and I noticed that there was some fine dust where the park is going to be (and where the logs are now). It really looked like Vrndavana dust and I think I'll take some with me when I go; I am most likely the first one to do that but hopefully not the last.

Then I visited the gardens and the barn. Now that was interesting. My past experience with gardening and go seva in devotional communities was that these services were given to those devotees who weren't particularly sharp so to speak, they couldn't be on the altar, give class or distribute books, so what seva to give them?

Of course it isn't always like that, but it struck me when I realized this morning that at Audarya the services of milking the cows and growing vegetables for the deities are carried out by the two most shining exemplars of devotion: Guru Maharaja and Vrndaranya.

The gardens and the barn here are merciful extensions of the temple room that give you unlimited seva and don't even ask you to take your shoes off. You spend one day in the garden or in the barn and THEN you are able to see Nitai Sacisuta on the altar.

GM said this year the crop is going to be amazing and variegated, maybe I'll post some pictures tomorrow. My eye was caught by two plump green tomatoes; the first thought was "green tomato catni..." but I had to leave them there.

So the crop is growing, the compost is cooking, Gita is turning gray every day more and Mohan is always with her, kishori-kishor. Oh, all the cows are pregnant now, apart from Bhumi and Gita of course.

Breakfast was what GM calls cowherd rice, which is rice with yogurt and fruit.

At ten we had a kirtan and then maharaja came with GM to talk about Prahlada Maharaja. He chanted Parama Karuna right away, and nobody had the book ready nor did he know all the lyrics, so there I was struggling among the song books: to begin with they are all mixed editions, so the songs are never all on the same page, the titles have nothing to do with the first line of the song and many books had pages missing which really made me wish some householder could buy ten songbooks that are all the same.

However, as I am writing and trying to suffocate the shame for telling someone else to do seva instead of doing it myself (but I really don't have the money), I am thinking... it's about time we financed the first print of the Audarya song book. Something like the ones we have at present, plus the songs that are not there and all the purports by our gurudeva, who alas is probably still on strike until they catch up with transcribing and editing his talks. That's probably the biggest obstacle, otherwise the book can be for now just a simple collection of sheets bound together like the guide to deity worship we have, but even that has a cost if at least ten copies are to print.

Anyway, after the song maharaja started to talk. Toward the end, maharaja asked gurudeva to add something, which he did and it really reminded me of the mahants of Vrndavana we read about in the book about Narottama dasa thakura, Srinivasa Acarya and Syamananda pandita. There they were, two Vaisnavas sharing their realizations, insights and memories.

Many times during class GM starts licking his lips and relishing the hari katha that comes out of his own lotus lips. It happened a lot when he was lecturing from the rasa pancadhyaya. Dhanurdhara maharaja instead starts chuckling like Akincana Krsna dasa babaji.

The feast consisted of the best salad I've ever had (yes but how good can a salad be after all? You'll be amazed) cauliflower pakoras straight from Vaikuntha, as well as the plum catni, then matar panir, rice, lassi, chocolate cake and Vamsi's baklava.

Gurunistha knew exactly how many puris everyone wanted, like when Mahaprabhu would serve the Vaisnavas. That went straight into my heart.

At one point Raga was going around with Brahma's bead bag on her horn. Maybe in the next birth Raga. I wasn't fast enough to take a picture.

At 4pm more kirtana and GM talked on Hiranyakasipu. Dhanurdhara maharaja had come this morning with a little piece of paper with references for his talk. He confessed he had never given talks about specific subjects before, plus at present he's studying the sandarbhas, so he had to make an endeavor to shift to Prahlada, but I appreciated that because GM also would quote constantly from the Gita and now from the Siksastakam. GM himself pointed out how nice it was to see that Maharaja had Jiva Goswami in his heart and it was hard to remove those topics albeit temporarily. I also appreciated the exemplary humility of Maharaja when at some point GM started to say a few words and he started to take notes on that piece of paper.

So this afternoon GM gave the talk and Maharaja was listening and taking notes. The forest was sooooo quiet. It really reminded me of the hermitage of one of those munis we read about, who had their ashramas and a close group of disciples. GM is a muni (silent) just like Krsna is a brahmacari: he speaks a lot of words but they don't belong to this world, not even when they refer to it.

OK bed time, which is good, so when I wake up it won't be long until the next talks.

Here are some pictures.





Caitanya-daya Dd - May 13, 2006 3:24 pm

thank you forrest & syamasundara, for the reports & photos. So nice! I really wish i could have been there! To see the sunshine--i was v jealous! it was raining here in dc.


I like Dhanurdhara M v much (his brooklyn-ese accent is quite endearing)--i was on his mayapur/vrndavan parikrama earlier this year. I am good friends with several of his disciples. He is so entrenched in the vraja mood. I told him a lot about guru maharaja while in india (gaura-krsna and i were representing) and expressed how nice it would be if he could go visit audarya because i was sure he would love it there. He had nothing but high praises for guru maharaja and told me how he admired guru maharaja's drive and dedication to establish audarya-dhama. I am v glad to know that he has finally gone. My misfortune is that i couldn't be there in the flesh, but i was there in spirit/heart. And thank you again, for providing photos.


Did the groundbreaking happen? No one has talked about that.

Forrest - May 13, 2006 5:04 pm

The septic tank guy said the rose garden was in the way. It wasn't there last time he came...




Forrest - May 14, 2006 4:00 am

Today was the sweetest day of the festival for me.


This morning after the morning program Guru Maharaja read from Caitanya-Bhagavat about Haridas Thakur. In the description of his being beaten in the market places he was compared to Prahlad Maharaja in that he did not suffer eventhough he was so severely beaten. I found it to be so nice how during the whole festival Guru Maharaja discussed Narahari in connection with Gaurahari's lila. He is always bringing Gaurahari to the front stage, showing how his lila is our entrance way to understanding the nature of the lord.


Around ten the devotees gathered together to have kirtan before Dhanurdhara Maharaja's scheduled talk. Shortly after we started more devotees arrived. Honestly I don't know all of them so maybe someone else could fill in the names later. After the devotees settled in Guru Maharaja and Dhanurdhara Maharaja assumed their seats together on the deck, as they have been doing. Dhanurdhara Maharaja started his class with appreciation of Audarya. Then he recapped the classes of the last couple days, discussing Prahlad, Hiranyakasipu, Jaya, Vijaya, etc. It was nice to get such a recap. He went on discussing Narahari lila weaving in occasional jokes.


After the class Brahma asked a question regarding doubt. He asked at what point is the devotee actually free from doubt. Dhanurdhara Maharaja made a few brief points then handed the question to Guru Maharaja. At that point Guru Maharaja gave a mini-class. It was the class that hit me the most the whole week. He first discussed selfish material consciousness at some length. In this mentality we turn everything into objects and we want to control them using them for our attempts for enjoyment. But, we encounter so many difficulties in these plans because nature doesn't agree with them. He then discussed the need for excersizing the heart, softening it, to loosen the knot of the heart. We need to give, to become selfless. It was very moving. My memory is not the best so this isn't necessarily the order and method of his talk, but it is what I got out of it. I strongly recommend listening to the recording when it comes out. I know that I want to hear it again.


After the class we all went to the temple for a wonderful kirtan led by Agnideva. It was wonderful to see the temple room packed with devotees all absorbed in the kirtan. It made me think of a point that Guru Maharaja makes in the recently released Siksastakam:


"... The word sankirtana implies comprehensive glorification that is both quantitatively and qualitaively so. Glorification is quantitatively complete if it is unanimous - if everyone present participates. Thus sankirtana suggests glorification in unison with other like-minded persons, and thereby the association of saintly persons - sadhu-sanga."


With this feeling in mind I participated in the kirtan deeply.


After the kirtan we had prasadam, wonderful prasadam.


Around four we had the abhiseka of the Narasimha salagram sila. It was really a pleasure to help prepare for the abhiseka together with Syamasundar and Citta-hari. I suppose I didn't practically do much, but I helped find the proper order the panca-gavya and panca-amrita are to be offered and making some suggestions here and there while I was washing the dishes (one of which was suggesting offering fruit juices in addition). It made me feel good because for years I served as a pujari in ISKCON, but for the last year or so I've been practically struggling trying to get some sort of devotional life together outside the temple. At any rate, it was heart warming to have some connection with a service that was so dear for so long.


In the end the abhiseka was panca-gavya (five items from the cow - urine, dung, ghee, milk and yogurt). We offered these all mixed together with only a very small amount of urine and dung. Then milk, yogurt, ghee, honey, sugar water, saffron water, fresh coconut juice, banana puree, and flower water. During the abhiseka we sang prayers written by Bhaktivinoda Thakur directed toward Narahari. They are quite wonderful. I will try to get them later in full and post them. At one point Guru Maharaja and Agnideva led together, which was very sweet.


Then we had class by Guru Maharaja. He discussed the place of worship of Narahari in the line of Bhaktivinoda. First he discussed Bhaktivinoda and his line. Later he mentioned that Narahari is worshiped in the homes of Srivas Thakur and Nanda Maharaja. He also pointed out that when Gauranga hears Srimad-Bhagavatam from Gadahara Pandit it is mentioned that Prahlad Maharaja was often a subject of discussion. Guru Maharaja ended the class with the translation of the prayers that we sang during the abhiseka, which I will try to get posted here...


now it is late and I need to get myself to bed. It was a pleasure to go through the day here. It reminded me of many things which I had forgotten.


Tomorrow I'll post some pics and hopefully the prayers I mentioned.

Dhiralalita - May 14, 2006 2:45 pm

SRI NRSIMHA VANDANA Prayers to Lord Nirshinghadeva by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur


e dusta hrdaye kama adi ripu chaya

kutinati pratisthasa sathya sada raya

hrdaya-sodhana ara krsnera vasana

nrsimha-carane mora ei to' kamana


Within my sinful heart the six enemies headed by lust perpetually reside,

as well as duplicity, the desire for fame, plus sheer cunning. At the lotus

feet of Lord Narasimha, I hope that He will mercifully purify my heart and

give me the desire to serve Lord Krsna.


kandiya nrsimha-pade magibo kakhana

nirapade navadvipe jugala-bhajana

bhaya bhaya paya yan'ra darsane se hari

prasanna hoibo kabe more daya kari


Weeping, I will beg at the lotus-feet of Lord Narasimha for the benediction

of worshipping Radha and Krsna in Navadvipa, perfectly safe and free from

all difficulties. When will this Lord Hari, Whose terrible form strikes

fear into fear itself, ever become pleased and show me His mercy?


yadyapi bhisana murti dusta-jiva-prati

prahladadi krsna-bhakta-jane bhadra ati

kabe va prasanna ho'ye sa krpa-vacane

nirbhaya karibe ei mudha akincane


Even though Lord Narasimha is terrifying toward the sinful souls, He offers

great auspiciousness unto the devotees of Lord Krsna headed by Prahlada

Maharaja. When will He be pleased to speak words of compassion unto me, a

worthless fool, and thereby make me fearless?


svacchande baiso he vatsa sri-gauranga-dhame

jugala-bhajana hau rati hau name

mama bhakta-krpa-bale vighna jabe dura

suddha cite bhajo radha-krsna-rasa-pura


He will say, "Dear child! Sit sown freely and live happily here in Sri

Gauranga-dhama. May you nicely worship the Divine Couple, and may you

develop loving attachment for Their Holy Names. By the mercy of My

devotees, all obstacles are cast far away. With a purified heart, just

perform the worship of Radha and Krsna, for such worship overflows with

sweet nectar."


ei boli' kabe mora mastaka-upara

sviya sri-carana harse dharibe isvara

amani jugala-preme sattvika vikare

dharaya lutibo ami sri-nrsimha-dvare


Saying this, will that Lord delightedly place His own divine lotus-feet

upon my head? I will experience sublime love for the Divine Couple

Radha-Krsna and undergo the ecstatic transformations called sattvika.

Falling on the ground, I will roll about at the door of Sri Narasimha's



Sri Navadvipa Bhava Taranga, 36-40

Syamasundara - May 16, 2006 11:55 pm

OK while waiting for Nandatanuja to post his pics, here are the ones Forrest took. We also have mini videos taken with his camera but they are too big for here. Feel free to email me through here if you want to see them and I will upload them on yousendit.com

So, the guests that came to the morning talk and stayed all day were disciples of Srila Prabhupada, of Satsvarupa mj and Raghunatha dasa, a disciple of Dhanurdhara mj who is or was part of the band Shelter.

The feast was amazing and it made me soft and mooshy; when prasada brings tears to your eyes it's always a good sign. I believe Vrndaranya did most of the cooking.

I remember there being, rice, kadhi, a sabji that GM created, some pumpkin fritters that were like spongy pakoras, catni, lemonade, and a caramel chocolate crumbly cake.

GM's class started so softly, which usually makes me freak out because I don't want anybody to miss not even a word, especially when the guests are not from the closest congregation.

Luckily GM's tone became progressively higher and the content more and more intense thanks to the presence of maharaja and those devotees.

The kirtan was also wonderful, as if to celebrate the talk; it was so special that it invoked the presence and blessings of Seva the bull first, and GM himself toward the end.

In the pictures you'll only see Seva but in the video you can see GM.

After the kirtan we had a wonderful banana bread, but soon after all the Vaisnavas started to leave, one after the other in a very short time; that was the toughest part. It was around sunset and Dharma and Kishora were fighting and purifying everybody with the dust of their hooves and reminding us of Krsna and Balarama coming back from pasturing. I tried to get some consolation in that, some japa I had to finish, and some go seva (Dharma's collar went over his horn and ear and I put it back).


The last picture is Sri Narasimha after the abhisekha. Please note the maine and ear, and be happy.








Guru-nistha Das - May 18, 2006 8:42 pm

A couple of more pics:



This is how the feast plate looked like on Friday: rice, matar paneer, pooris, cauliflower pakoras, salad, plum chutney, chocolate cake and baklava.



Kishor and Dharma are crazy for human food. The cows surely got fed well during the festival.




Narayan waited for over an hour to get some cow urine for the abhiseka.

Nanda-tanuja Dasa - May 18, 2006 8:59 pm

Some more pictures to share. I took 4 rolls but it would be too much to post it all here, so I pick and choose some to give you a little taste of the festival, but truly, you just must attend it yourself. The resolution is obviously low, so we don't use all of the server space, but if you want just email me and I will send you the once you like in higher resolution.




Nanda-tanuja Dasa - May 18, 2006 9:42 pm

more pictures


































Syamasundara - May 20, 2006 9:34 pm

Gorgeous pics! I think it's time we made an album like with Prabhupada.

I wouldn't mind having a copy the 4 rolls, if you don't mind either; do I have to write you a separate email?

Nanda-tanuja Dasa - May 23, 2006 2:13 pm

All four rolls are available for download via this link. Be warn -- the size of the file is 81.4 MB. You don't need to register or pay for the service to get the file, just click on "Free" button and follow the instructions.