Editor's Message

  
Dear Readers,

Wish you all a very Happy 'Guru Poornima'.  On this auspicious occasion we offer our humble obeisances to the Supreme Spiritual Master of the world - the 5th Original Jagadguru - Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj.  We are eternally indebted to Shree Maharajji's grace which we received in the form of his association, pastimes, literature, kirtans, etc.  To this moment and for eternity Shree Maharajji will continue to causelessly grace us souls, so that we may attain divine love and bliss of God.

In this Guru Poornima special edition, we firstly ask ourselves an important question - Do we value the grace of our Guru?  Shree Maharajji has left no stone unturned to ensure that each one of his children find their way back to their eternal home, but have his children valued his love and grace?  Further, from Maharajji's lecture, we will understand why is the Guru more important than God.  Also we will share with you latest updates of Satsang Centers, Bal-Mukund Centers and the recently concluded JKYog Retreat at New Jersey.  Finally, don't miss the beautiful pad, "Bali Shri Gurudev Kripal Ki" sung by Swamiji and our bhog recipe of the month - Green Papaya Salad.

Best Wishes,
Editor's Desk
editor@jkyog.org
 
In This Issue
   
tad viddhi praṇipātena paripraśhnena sevayā
upadekṣhyanti te jānaṁ jāninas tattva-darśhinaḥ   
(Gita 4.34)
 
"Learn the Truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him with reverence and render service unto him. Such an enlightened Saint can impart knowledge unto you because he has seen the Truth."
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HAPPY GURU POORNIMA  


bali śhrī gurudeva kṛipāl kī 
I sacrifice myself upon my merciful Guru.

jinake divya vachana suni chhooṭata,  granthi avidyā-jāl kī  
By listening to whose divine words, the soul is released from the knot of mayic ignorance forever.

jinake varada hasta ke sanmukha, chala na chāla kalikāl kī 
Whose gracious hands protect the devotee from the powerful influences of this age of darkness (Kaliyug).

jinake banata bigāri sakata nahiṅ, māyā śhakti gupāl kī 
By surrendering to whom, one remains absolutely safe from all-powerful Maya, the external potency of God.

jinake yugala charana parasata mana, pāvata rati nandalāl kī 
By merely touching whose lotus feet with devotion, the mind is blessed with the divine love of Shree Krishna.

lakhata 'kṛipālu' anugraha guru ke, līlā lāṛali lāl kī 
Says Shree 'Kripalu' in the words of a devotee, "By the grace of my Guru, I am able to drink the nectar of the ever-new pastimes of Radha Krishna."  

Click here to listen to this beautiful pad composed by Shree Kripaluji Maharaj and sung by Swami Mukundananda.

Click here to listen to a Hindi lecture delivered by Swami Mukundananda in which he tells the importance of a Guru.

Do we value the grace of our Guru?
The grace bestowed by the spiritual master is beyond description.  If only we could realize and value how the Guru graces us from the beginning till the end of our spiritual journey, it would be sufficient to attain our goal.  However, we are ungrateful to the Guru and we don't realize his grace.  The Guru works hard for us day and night, he suffers for us, yet we harbour ill feelings for Him.  We repeatedly commit transgressions.  Yet due to his causelessly merciful nature, he forgives us time and again.  The Guru thinks, "He's my child, he will improve with time, let me forgive him."

But the disciple commits transgressions yet again.   He commits transgressions against the very same Guru who works tirelessly for his eternal welfare.  The disciple thinks, "My Guru is greedy, he wants money".  This is such a big transgression.  The disciple does not think that this creation belongs to God, you had come empty handed here, and therefore whatever wealth you possess belongs to God.

Every day we commit the same sin.  Having committed a sin, one at least feels remorse that he or she will not commit the same sin again.  But we continue committing spiritual transgressions.  There is no sin in this world bigger than a spiritual transgression.  After committing spiritual transgressions we wonder, "Why has the Guru not made me God-realized yet?"

We are not surrendered to our Guru.   The day we will feel, that our Guru whom the Lord of the universe follows, has asked us insignificant souls for something, what a great fortune we have, that day our surrender to the Guru will begin.  However, we refuse to improve ourselves.  And look at the mercy of the Guru, even after all this, he never leaves us, he continues to guide us. 

Once, a saint was sitting close to the bank of river Ganga.  A scorpion fell into the river because of which he was struggling in the water.  The Saint saw the scorpion suffering and out of his compassion helped the scorpion out of the water.  The moment the scorpion came out he bit the Saint.  Again the scorpion made its way back to the river and again it began struggling for its life.  Again the Saint picked it up from the water, again the scorpion bit him.  The Saint says, "We will not leave our work, you don't leave yours."

If only we can realize, "That Guru whom, millions of people long to meet, that same divine personality is speaking to me, he is looking at me, he hugged me. I have received his association", we will attain our goal of God-realization.

Think again and again, "My Guru looked at me, he spoke to me, am I worthy of this?"   I have been a sinner for countless lives.  My Guru who forever relishes the bliss of Lord Krishna's association looked at me.  When we will think in this manner, our love for the Guru will increase and our heart will become purified.  In the beginning, we will not meet or see God.  He is imperceptible; however the Guru is present before the eyes. 

Think about it yourself; is a worldly person worthy enough that a God-realized Saint should even look at him/her? That Saint who sees Radha & Krishna, why should he look at material beings?  In the world when people look at attractive clothes and other things and at the same place find a dump of human excreta, they immediately remove their eyes from that direction.

Similarly, it is a miracle if God and Guru look towards us.  Why should they look at us?  The Guru who forever remains intoxicated in the divine bliss of Radha & Krishna, if he looks at us; it is nothing but his grace.  Are we worthy of his glance? And then if he talks to us; there is no bigger grace than that.

When in the world, somebody meets the President or the Prime Minister, that person takes great pride in it.  Then if a personality who has met God and relishes God's touch, form, fragrance etc, comes and interacts with us - it is a true miracle.  The Guru does all of this out of his grace so that we can walk on the path of eternal welfare. 

In a way, the Guru flatters us.  Just like someone flatters the other person to get his own work done.  Similarly the God-realized saints flatter us so that we can walk towards God.  But a person progresses on the spiritual path only in proportion to his realisation of this fact.  If somebody does not realize the importance and thinks, "What is so great in it if the Guru spoke to me?"  Then the heart will never get purified.

Till the time we don't realize the importance of things we receive in life, no matter what we receive, we will not value or appreciate anything.  Let us say the Guru gives someone a simple string of beads.  If that person can realize the importance of that string, if he can value it every day, that person will progress rapidly.  Whereas if that person simply wears the string of beads, without realising its importance; he will not be sufficiently benefitted. 

Guru - More Important than God

by Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj 

 

gururbrahmā gururviṣhṇuḥ gururdevo maheśhvaraḥ

guruḥ sākṣhāt paraṁ brahma tasmai śhrī gurave namaḥ

The Guru performs the roles of Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh.  Playing the role of Brahma, he gives us divine knowledge.  As Vishnu, he protects that knowledge; and as Shankar or Mahesh, he destroys or dispels ignorance.         
 
 The Vedas declare: 
guṅ rautīti guruḥ, guru meṭata adhiyāra
 The Guru is one who dispels darkness.  Only a sadguru is able to dispel the darkness of ignorance and give us   divine knowledge.

 

yasya deve parābhaktihi yathā deve tathā gurau (Shwetashwataropanishad)
"To that disciple who worships the Guru as he worships God, by the grace of God residing in the heart, all the knowledge of the scriptures is automatically revealed."

 

You must love your Guru as you love Shree Krishna. Only then you will you benefit spiritually and progress in the spiritual path and attain God.   

 

Narad ji, who is the greatest scholar in bhakti (devotion) said:

 

tasminstajjane bhedāvābhāt

"There is no difference between God and Mahapurush (God-realized Saint). Both are one."  After God-realization, God himself is seated inside the Mahapurush and governs his activities. Thus, God performs every action of a Mahapurush and that is why God and the Mahapurush are considered one. Therefore, all the Vedas and shastras collectively declare God and Guru as one.

 

Although the Vedas and other scriptures declare that God and Guru are one and the same, and both are capable of gracing us with divine love, yet it is the Guru alone who can help us achieve our goal.  The Guru is actually more merciful.

 

A Saint or Guru is particularly important to us, because like us individual souls, he too has undergone all forms of suffering prior to attaining God-realization.  He is therefore, well aware of our pitiable situation.  Like us, he has already experienced all miseries and humiliation in countless lifetimes, but God remains ever blissful.  Therefore, Guru is best suited to help us.  We cannot approach God.  Moreover, even if he were to appear personally before us, we would not be able to understand him with our material intellect.   

 

God declares in Ramayan:  

nirmala mana jana so mohiṅ pāvā
"Only when you completely surrender to me, and your heart becomes completely purified, I will come to your rescue."

 

This job of purifying your heart and teaching you how to surrender to God is done by the Saint.  God's grace is the natural consequence of the grace of the Guru.

 

God accepts only those individuals whose hearts and minds remain fully attached to him alone.  If any worldly relation - even any celestial being - were to attract your mind, God would immediately reject you.  It is the Guru who purifies your heart by removing the dirt of all your worldly attachments.

 

Therefore, from our practical point of view, the place of the Guru is higher than God, because it is Guru who stands by us from the beginning until the end.  It is by the grace of Guru that we receive the gift of divine love of God.    

 

News & Updates

Yoga, Meditation and Lecture Programs 
Swamiji conducted yoga, meditation classes and also delivered enlightening discourses at Albany, Denver cities. Swamiji's program is currently going on in Frisco and will conclude on July 31st.  See pictures

The devotees of Radha Govind Dham, Jajpur and Patan conducted the Ratha Yatra procession throughout the town.  See pictures
 

NJ Retreat with Swamiji

 

The 2015 JKYog East Coast Retreat with Swami Mukundananda ji was Nourishment for the Soul!  The divine presence of Shree Swamiji, the grace of Shree Maharaji and Shree Radha Krishna poured into our hearts. It was a weekend of renewal -- amongst like-minded souls, a harmonious gathering; filled with tears of Bliss, true laughter and true learning. All who participated were very grateful!!

The weekend centered around the Yoga Sutras of Maharishi Patanjali, translated by Swamiji, and included a sweet and lively celebration of Janmashtami, and an exceptionally precious gem, Shree Maharajji's Charan Poojan, as well as delectable vegetarian meals throughout the retreat.

This is what devotees had to say:

The logistics were flawless! Everything was just beautiful and so smooth. We will come to the JKYog Retreat every year! Swamiji helps me understand and really motivates my Sadhana! As parents, we are so grateful. Our children had inspiration and FUN in Bal-Mukund! The meals have been delicious and it's so well organized. The Bhajans and musicians are incredible!  This retreat is the best investment I have ever made in myself! With Swamji, something happens -- my devotion is like never before!  
                                                                              Cynthia Bjork, CT

 

My spiritual experience at the retreat was beyond my expectations. It was a spiritual elevating experience to be in the presence of Swamiji whose divine knowledge enlightened us all. It was also an experience to know other people who attended the retreat. Swamiji's depth of knowledge of our vedic scripture is amazing. But what impressed me the most was his ability to simplify and related to real world examples the seemingly difficult subject matter so anyone can understand and apply the principles in real life. The yoga sessions and bhajan were also very helpful in setting the mind right to absorb the divine knowledge. The best thing, I liked was Swamiji down to earth demeanor and getting down to the level of common men
                                                                             Sanjay Mehta, NY

My spiritual experience at the retreat was very fulfilling and enlightening. He is the greatest spiritual leader in the world. I bow my knees in front of him.
   
  Ahmed Ibrahim, NY      
 

Up-coming Events 2015

Aug 15th to Aug 21st  

  Allen, TX 

 Aug 29th to Sept 3rd

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Aug 22nd to Aug 28th

Centennial, CO

  Sept 12th to Sept 18th

   Kendall Park, NJ

Up-coming Retreats 2015

Sept 5th to  Sept 7th

Dallas, TX

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 Bal-Mukund at NJ Retreat

The Bal-Mukund sessions at the East coast retreat was a great success. The kids made three crafts in the retreat. They created a beautiful hand painted aarti thali. They decorated a beautiful diya to keep on the aarati thali and also made a nice paper flower to offer to the Supreme Lord. They learned the bhajan 'Natawar nagar nanda". They had very interesting story time and philosophy time. They also watched a spiritual movie and played games with their friends. Overall, it was a fun session and they enjoyed every bit of it. They also got to meet and make new friends. Both the kids and the volunteers enjoyed it thoroughly and together were able to put together a great performance for Swamiji when he visited the Bal-Mukund class.  

 

In parallel, kids of age 12 and above had special youth club session where they had group discussion, bhajan session, learned about public speaking & communication and worked on a project. As part of their project, they prepared a presentation together on what values they learned and presented it to Swamiji. They enjoyed the youth club thoroughly and got to learn some important values that will help them in their life.Swamiji visited the Bal-Mukund center in Cromwell, CT on Sunday, June 14th.  Bal-Mukund's of CT were excited to welcome Swamiji and present their learning from Bal-Mukund session. The performance was a great combination of sloka recitation, bhajan, dance, surya namaskar demonstration and presentation on India. Swamiji enjoyed the complete performance and was very happy to see the extent of knowledge gained in these kids through the Bal-Mukund session.  Kids were super excited when Swamiji mentioned that they had put together a "top class performance'.   

 

Bhog Recipe

Green Papaya Salad

  Ingredients:  
  • 5 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons (packed) palm sugar or golden brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons soya sauce
  • 3 Chinese long beans, halved crosswise or 15 green beans
  • 1 1 1/2- to 1 3/4-pound green papaya, peeled, halved, seeded
  • 10 large cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 fresh red Thai chile with seeds, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped salted peanuts

Directions:  

Whisk lime juice, brown sugar and soya sauce in a medium bowl. Set dressing aside. 

Cook beans in medium saucepan of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Rinse under cold  water.   Cut into 2-inch pieces. Using julienne peeler, peel enough papaya to measure 6 cups. Place in large bowl.  Add tomatoes, cilantro, chile, and green beans. Pour dressing over; toss. Sprinkle peanuts over and serve.

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