This month, 'Sumiran' is picking up 'Gopi Prem' as the topic of the month.  In this issue, we will also be presenting articles on 'Madhurya Bhav: Loving Sentiment of the Gopis', 'The Glories of Selfless Gopi Prem'  Readers will also find Bal-Mukund contributions, News & Updates, and Bhog Recipe.

dekho prema gopījanā, vidhi māṅge raja charanā

Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj says, "Look at the extraordinary divine love of the gopis.  Even the creator of the world and the bestower of everyone's destiny, Brahmā, desires the dust of their feet." 

Madhurya Bhav: Loving Sentiment of the Gopis
 
Rasik Saints have emphasized devotion to Lord Krishna through intimate relationships such as we have in the material world.  These relationships of the devotee and God are known as bhavas.  There are five bhavs (sentiments): Shanta, dasya, sakhya, vatsalya and madhurya.  All the aspects of Love, i.e. God as our king, master, friend, child, and beloved have been established in order to make us feel closer to God.

Each succeeding bhav is superior to the previous one.  Dasya bhav is superior to shanta bhav.  Sakhya bhav is superior to dasya bhav, vatsalya bhav is superior to sakhya bhav, and madhurya bhav is superior to vatsalya bhavShanta bhav is the lowest, as it is the relationship between a subject and a king.  Awe and reverence dominate this relationship, so it has generally been rejected by Rasik Saints.   In dasya bhav, the relationship is closer, as the devotee considers himself as a servant and the Lord as his master.   Sakhya bhav or friendship is closer than servitude, because in this bhav the devotee considers God as his friend.  In vatsalya bhav, the devotee has greater privileges than in sakhya bhav, because here the devotee loves the Lord as his little child. Madhurya bhav is the closest of all relationships, as it is that intense sweet love that exists between a lover and her beloved.

We can understand this from worldly examples.  Even in the world, the closest relationship is that of lover with her beloved, less close is that of parents with their child, even less close is the relationship between friends, the servant's relationship with the master is even lesser, and finally, the relationship of a subject with his king is the least close.  One important point to note here is that, madhurya bhav incorporates within it the remaining four sentiments.  Just as earth, water, fire, air, and space are considered to be incorporated in the element, earth, so in madhurya bhav, we can think of God as our beloved, son, friend, master, or king whenever we wish.  The highest Rasik Saints do not give much importance to the shanta bhav, therefore, we generally find devotees of other four sentiments; dasya, sakhya, vatsalya and madhurya.

Only these five relationships are acceptable in devotion.  If you look upon God as God, then you will feel "I am an ordinary living being and he is All-powerful, how can I love him?"  This will create fear in your relationship.

These feelings are also experienced in the world and one can get an idea of this even though a beloved's relationship in the world is selfish.  The wife regards her husband as her beloved, but along with this, she has a motherly heart and expresses vatsalya bhav at the time of serving food.  The wife is also a friend.  She is always ready to give an opinion on matters even where she has no right and in matters where she has a right, she boldly gives her advice.  A husband takes only the advice of his wife in confidential matters, and he does not discuss these with anyone else.  Lastly, the feeling of servitude is self-evident in this relationship.

Madhurya bhav is the most intimate of all relationships; in this, the devotee enjoys all privileges and has complete authority over Lord Krishna.  The selfless amorous divine love of the gopis is known to all.  It was this selfless love that made the Supreme Brahman, Krishna, forget his godliness and become their eternal servitor. 

Selfless amorous feelings of the gopis is the sweetest of all devotional sentiments.  Practicing devotion along these lines guarantees one attainment of the highest divine bliss.  The factual meaning of madhurya bhav is, "He is my All-in-All".  This allows you to love Shree Krishna with whichever sentiment you desire, whenever you desire.  You have complete freedom in your choice of devotional sentiment, bhav and there are no restrictions or rules governing the relationship.   This highest emotion, combined with the selfless ideal of the gopis, should be incorporated into our sadhana from the very beginning.   
In This Issue
Madhurya bhav is the most intimate of all relationships; in this, the devotee enjoys all privileges and has complete authority over Lord Krishna.  The selfless amorous divine love of the gopis is known to all.  It was this selfless love that made the Supreme Brahman, Krishna, forget his godliness and become their eternal servitor.       
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The Glories of Selfless Gopi Prem  

Madhurya bhav of the gopis and their divine love for Shree Krishna is universally known.  Bound by the love of the gopis, even Supreme Lord Shree Krishna loses his almightiness.  He willingly goes to the houses of gopis so that he can hear them call him a thief.  He is always eager to hear their rebukes.  This gopi prem is even beyond the intellect of Brahma, that is why Shree Krishna says in the Bhagavatam:

yathā sahāyā guravaḥ śhiṣhyā bhujiṣhyā bāṅdhavāḥ striyaḥ
 
He says, "Gopis are everything to me."

Once, a doubt arose in the minds of the Queens of Dwarka. They wondered that even though they were all extremely beautiful, cultured and talented, yet when their husband Shree Krishna remembered a gopi of Braj called Radha, he forgot all the qualities of his 16,108 wives in Dwarka. What was the quality that made the gopis of Braj exceptionally attractive and lovable to Shree Krishna?  To dispel this doubt in the minds of his queens, Shree Krishna performed a leela.  He lied down on the bed and said that his head was throbbing with pain.  The queens got worried.  They tried a number of remedies but nothing seemed to work.  Even Naradji got worried.  He asked Shree Krishna, "Dear Lord! Why don't you tell us how your pain can be cured?" Shree Krishna replied, "If I can get the foot dust of a God-realized soul and I can rub that dust on my forehead, then my headache will be cured."

Naradji thought that he needn't go elsewhere to get this work done.  All the queens were God-realized and he could simply use their foot dust to rub on Shree Krishna's forehead.  However, when Naradji approached the queens for their foot dust, they all spontaneously refused. They revolted, "How can we give our foot-dust to rub on our husband's forehead?"  Even after repeated insistence, none of the queens agreed to give their foot dust. Finally Naradji gave up and came back to Shree Krishna and asked, "Dear Lord, why don't you tell us how to arrange for a God-realized soul's foot dust?"

To which Shree Krishna replied, "Narad, you go to Braj and ask the gopis for the same thing." 

When Naradji reached Braj and explained the entire situation to the Gopis, they instantly offered their foot dust to Naradji and asked him to take as much foot dust as he could.  Naradji was startled, he asked the Gopis, "Do you even realize on whose head will this foot dust be rubbed and what will be the consequences of doing so?" 

Gopis replied, "Naradji, we understand that we will be sent to the hellish abodes; but nothing worse than that will happen.  We don't care a bit about it; we have been to the hellish abodes a countless times.  And if this time we have to go to the hellish abodes for the happiness of our beloved, then what can be a bigger fortune than that?  At least our beloved Shri Krishna will feel better.   Beyond this nothing else matters to us, we don't care about what we receive in return."

When the queens of Dwarka heard about this behavior of the Gopis they were extremely astonished.  Now they also became curious to see who these Gopis were.  Once, on the occasion of some festival, all the queens went to a place to bathe.   Even Shree Radha happened to arrived there with her group.  When the queens learnt about this they became eager to see Shree Radha.  They invited Shree Radha and warmly welcomed her and were mesmerized by her sweet voice.

During the night time when the queens sat down to press Shree Krishna's feet, Rukmini noticed blisters on his foot. She was shocked to see her husband in that condition.  Soon this news spread around the palace and all the queens started mulling over the likely reason for blisters on Shree Krishna's feet.  As everyone started gathering around Shree Krishna, he woke up from his sleep and asked the reason for which everyone was present there.  The queens enquired the reason for blisters on Shree Krishna's feet. 

He said:
śhrī rādhikāyā hṛidayārvinde pādārvindam hi virājate meṅ 
adyoṣhṇadugdhapratipānatoṅgrā vuchchhālakāste mama prochchhalanti

My feet are forever present in Shree Radha Rani's heart.  The hot milk that you served to Shree Radha, fell on my feet. 

Such is the divine nature of the selfless madhurya love of the gopis.  Only those gopis who receive this love become  the sole recipients of the bliss of maharas.
 

News & Updates

Prem Mandir Anniversary  

Prem Mandir's 3rd Anniversary was celebrated on 15 February, 2015 with Aarti, Abhishek, Parikrama and Leela by devotees from India and around the world.

Vrindavan Tour by Swamiji  

Swamiji and a large group of devotees from Delhi went for Braj-Dham yatra on Feb 14th. Two days spent in the holy land were as divine and peaceful as one could imagine. Swamiji took everyone on a guided tour of Vrindavan and visited the divine places like Vanshi Vat, Bhandir Van, Maan Sarovar, and Rangnathji Temple. For more pictures, click here 

JK University hosts International Conference on Language, Literature & Community 

To promote the importance of language learning, facilitate the understanding of literature, and broaden the knowledge of their role in serving the society, ICRD, JAGADGURU KRIPALU UNIVERSITY and  Canadian Global Society of Intellectuals organised the LLC 2015 in Bhubaneshwar, India. The purpose of the  Conference was to explore the role of Language and Literature in bringing together the World Communities and the exact theme of the Conference was: BUILDING UP A WORLD COMMUNITY THROUGH LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE.

LLC 2015 provided an interesting platform for  researchers, academicians, language practitioners, policy makers and postgraduate students, to share knowledge ,exchange ideas and establish academic relationships.

Swami Mukundananda was the keynote speaker at the event. Other notable speakers at the event were Dr. Ramaratnam - Vice Chancellor Jagadguru Kripalu University, Dr. Donathan L. Brown from Department of Communication Studies Ithaca College, USA and Dr Lesley Ljungdahl from Faculty of Arts & Sciences University of Technology, Sydney NSW, Australia.

Click here for more pictures of the conference 

Little Hands Big Hearts:  JKYog & Radha Krishna Temple Help Homeless Children of DFW 

Little Hands Big Hearts - a collection drive benefitting homeless children - began from the desire to fulfill the mission of selfless service and uplifting those in need. At the outset, volunteers sought the cooperation of area businesses to serve as collection points for donations so that the drive would be accessible to a greater part of the community and found that businesses were eager to help.

Some volunteers had interoffice collections within their place of work, while other businesses welcomed the general public to bring their donations.  A myriad of businesses, from grocers to print shops and pharmacies & convenience stores committed to support Little Hands Big Hearts across the entire DFW area.

Volunteers uniformly painted, decorated and made displays for posters and flyers for donation boxes for each collection point. The businesses kept the bright yellow boxes of hope for the needy children in prominent locations within their establishments, encouraging customers to make donations.   

Using various media, and word of mouth, before no time the interest in the collection drive took off. Volunteers collected donations at public holiday events, even offering face painting in exchange for donations.   

Little Hands Big Hearts developed into a great learning experience for the temple youth.  Young volunteers visited and volunteered at Captain Hope's Kids, the organization benefitting from the collection drive.  "My experience with Little Hands Big Hearts Collection drive has been a very eye opening one.  I have 4 kids of my own and I cannot bear to think of kids being homeless", said Aarti Soni, whose family participated in the collection drive.

Finally, the heaps of donated items grew beyond expectations and donations continued to pour in till the last moment as the drive finally came to a close.  Volunteers filled a large truck full with donations and delivered them to Captain Hope's Kids.  Close to 20 volunteers from the temple community, young and old side by side, worked for hours unloading, sorting and categorizing the items so that they could be distributed to the homeless children.

Sam Mattox, Program Director for Captain Hope's Kids, presented a Certificate of Appreciation to JKYog and Radha Krishna Temple volunteers for their outstanding efforts and expressed the organization's deep gratitude on behalf of all the homeless children. "You are doing incredible work and making a huge difference in the lives of so many children in need.  We are impressed by all the work you have done to bring the community together, as evident by the amount of donations you have collected.  You are doing amazing work."

The Little Hands Big Hearts initiative demonstrated the commitment of JKYog and the Radha Krishna Temple of Dallas to making a positive contribution to the upliftment of the local community.  We hope the successes and experiences of this effort will inspire more outreach to help the needy in our local communities in the days to come.


Satsangis Celebrate Gopi Prem Diwas

Satsang centers in San Jose Bay Area and Dallas-Ft.Worth areas were among the many centers around the US and the world which recently celebrated Gopi Prem Diwas, immersing in the sweet nectarine sentiments of divine love.  The Love of the Gopis for Shree Krishna is the highest form of love - it is totally selfless, without a shadow of self-interest.   With Valentine's Day being a day that lovers express their love to each other, remembering the Love of the Gopis for Shree Krishna is the ideal way to celebrate the occasion of Valentine's Day.  On this occasion we reminded ourselves of how Shree Krishna was enslaved to the Gopis because of their selfless love for him and thus how striving to make our love be more selfless attracts him to us.

Regularly attending satsang is a great boost to our happiness. Singing melodious and enchanting kirtan and immersing ourselves in the Lord's divine attributes and pastimes brings inner joy to the heart.   

Kirtan is followed by a short lecture which helps us to find ways to put to practice the ancient Vedic knowledge in our modern day busy lives and thus help us make progress on the spiritual path.  Lively discussions help us to benefit from the sharing of experiences and clarifying any questions.  Satsang usually ends with sharing a potluck meal together.

JKYog has satsang centers all over the US and India actively meeting on either a monthly, bi-weekly, or weekly basis.   To learn about a satsang center near you, please visit www.jkyog.org for details or email us at info@jkyog.org. 


The Lover, The Beloved, and Divine Love

by Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj 

 

There are three entities: the lover, the beloved and love.  That which unites the lover and the beloved, is called love.  In other words, love is the intimate union of the lover and the beloved.  

 

There are three entities: the lover, the beloved and love.  That which unites the lover and the beloved, is called love.  In other words, love is the intimate union of the lover and the beloved.  You know the meaning of the word lover.  And the beloved is he towards whom love is directed.

 

This love is God's most intimate personal power, which can be attained only by the grace of a Rasik Saint.  It cannot be attained through personal effort. This is why even the greatest yogis, paramahansas beg for divine love.  The treasure house of this Love is Shree Krishna and his associates alone.  No one else can lay claim to owning this power called love.  No personality controlled by Maya, not even the king of heaven, can occupy the seat of the beloved.  Therefore, no material personality can be the beloved.

You may be thinking, "I have always known this because I have loved countless mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, husbands, wives and children in infinite lives."  But no, you have never known what love is.  You have never accepted the definition of love, nor have you ever loved anyone.  If you think you have, you are mistaken.  There is neither any lover nor any beloved in the world, and as long as one is under Maya, it is not possible to be either, even if one endeavors for countless lifetimes.  Why?  Because the definition of the word beloved is so profound that it cannot apply to anyone in the material world.  Beloved means, "one who is a treasure-house of divine love," and the person who begs for this love from the beloved, is the "lover."  No one who is under the control of Maya, not even Indra, the king of heaven, possesses true love.  Seeing that no one is worthy of becoming the beloved, who will then become the lover?  And if someone does become a lover, without a proper beloved, what will one gain?  You can only gain from a person what he himself possesses.  You can acquire wisdom only from the wise.  You can gain wealth only from the wealthy.  If someone has no wealth, what can you get from him, even if he gives all that he has?  You can hope all you want, but all that worldly people have to offer is broken begging bowls.  They are beggars themselves, devoid of love, even if they hold such exalted positions as those of Indra, Kuber, Varun, and Yamraj.  What then to speak of ordinary human beings!  The celestial gods may have extraordinary powers compared to humans, but they do not possess love.  And it is love that our soul is craving.  How then can we get it from material personalities, even if they wish to bestow it upon us?

This treasure called love, is the property only of Saints.  By Saints, I mean those who have received the power called love from some lover of God.  God does not transmit this power directly.  Pay close attention to this point.  From where can you get love?  The divine beloved does not bestow love himself.  Radha and Krishna are the treasuries of love, but they do not distribute it themselves.  It is given by the lovers of God.  No individual soul can have direct contact with Radha Krishna.

So, the treasuries of divine love are Shyamsundar and the Saints.  The rest of the world, whether they be yogis, gyanis, Sages, ascetics, or aspiring devotees cannot become the beloved, because they do not possess love.  No one controlled by Maya can be a true beloved.

 

Now, you understand who is to be loved - Shree Krishna and his devotees, the Saints.  That is all.  We must not go anywhere else.  Not to any celestial god, or goddess.  These celestial gods and goddesses are all under the control of Maya.  The only ones worthy to be loved, worthy of the designation of beloved, are God and his divine associates, because they possess divine love.  The main reservoir is God, and the soul upon whom God grants love, is called a Saint. 

 

JKYog Presents

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Personality Development Classes for Children

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Come! Discover Bal-Mukund!  
January delighted Bal-Mukunds with Saffron, White and Green! Centers invested time and effort to do Republic Day Crafts which were enjoyed by one and all as they made a slew of crafts that were carried home with pride and delight! Denver, CO Bal-Mukunds sang the National Anthem to a captivated audience! February was the month where LOVE was in the air at all our Bal-Mukund centers! Delight featured on every face as our Bal-Mukunds worked hard to enchant the ones they love with souvenirs and creative projects done in class! Singapore Bal-Mukunds dedicated love notes at the lotus feet of Radha and Krishna.

Perseverance in January will give way to the KRIPALU value of Accountability in March - the month where there will be sprinklings of color in the air as the spirit of Holi enraptures one and all! As chilling Winter make way for beautiful Spring, Bal-Mukund centers look forward to joyous weekends! Come! Discover Bal-Mukund and let your child's creativity, wonder and imagination take flight! For information e-mail info@bal-mukund.org 

 

Bhog Recipe

Pineapple Eggless Cake

Ingredients: 
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cups oil
2 cups water (or milk)
2 tsp. lemon juice
4 tsp. crushed pineapple 
Method
Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Sift 3 cups flour, 2 teaspoons baking soda, and t salt into bowl. Add sugar and stir well.  Add oil, 2 cups water or milk to flour mixture and mix well.  Add 2 tsp. lemon juice and crushed pineapple. Pour into 2 heart shaped sprayed baking pans.  Gently place cake in heated oven.  Cook 30 - 35 minutes or until tooth pick comes out clean. Cool cake.
Contact us

The Editor JKYog:  XVII/3305, 1st Floor, Ranjit Nagar
(Near PUSA), New Delhi - 110008, India

Contact us

The Editor JKYog:  XVII/3305, 1st Floor, Ranjit Nagar
(Near PUSA), New Delhi - 110008, India

7405  Stoney Point Dr, Plano
TX 75025, USA