e-Magazine, Issue No. 85
This year, Navratra's are from Sept 21 - Sept 29 with Dusherra on
Sept 30th. Dusherra is a major festival, signifying the victory of good
over evil. Let us use this opportunity to focus on the hard work of
removing the evil that resides within ourselves. To encourage us to stay
on this path, the theme for this issue of Sumiran is 'Benefits of Practising Devotion to God'
Maharajji guides us to do this via the first article titled 'Why is
Bhakti Considered Auspicious?' The second article titled 'Devotion leads
to Manifestation of Divine Qualities' continues with the same topic as
it elaborates more on the core theme.
The last US retreat of the
year was held during Labor Day weekend at Denison, TX. As a part of this
retreat, Swamiji gave a lecture on the occasion of Radhashtami at the
recently inaugurated Radha Krishna Temple at Allen, TX.
Swamiji is on his final leg of the US tour visiting each city briefly. Children
attending Bal-Mukund sessions at the Labour Day Retreat in Texas had a a
great experience. Scroll down to read more in our BM Contributions
section. Lastly, enjoy the bhog recipe of Malpua for this festive season.
जीव लक्ष्य भक्ति से मना, मन की है शुद्धि करना |
jīva lakṣhya bhakti hai manā,
mana kī hai śhuddhi karanā
goal of the living being is to attain divine love (prema bhakti). To
that end the mind needs to be purified (by devotional practice or
- Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj
Why is Bhakti Considered Auspicious?
requires engaging the mind in the divine realm- abodes, forms, names,
pastimes, virtues, and saints of God. In the Bhakti Rasāmṛit Sindhu,
Rupa Goswami writes:
sadguṇāḥ sukhamityādīnyākhyātāni manīṣhibhiḥ
meaning, bhakti is considered śhubhadā
i.e. it brings
auspiciousness to all, the divine virtues are exhibited to a greater
extent, and it bestows happiness. The natural question that arises is
how. Let us dig into the details to fully appreciate the nature of bhakti
and the three ways in which it brings about auspiciousness to all.
Bhakti is pleasing to all of creation
When we engage in bhakti, we satisfy all of creation.
yenarchito haristena tarpitāni jagantyapi
rajyante jantavastatra sthāvarā jangamā api
In this verse, Ved Vyas states that when we worship the source of
all creation, Shree Krishna, it satiates all moving and non-moving
beings, just as when we irrigate the root of a tree, the water
automatically reaches its branches, twigs, leaves, fruit, and
There are two points to note here. First is that
we should worship Shree Krishna with all sincerity. When we do this,
then all the celestial gods and goddesses are also satiated.
Second point to note is that by worshipping Shree Krishna, the mind
becomes pure. Thus, we become everyone's well-wisher and stop harboring
negative sentiments towards all. Once others realize that we desire the
best for them and do not harbor any ill-will against them, the
sentiments are reciprocated. In this manner, bhakti starts bringing
about auspiciousness to all.
Bhakti manifests the divine qualities easily
yasyāsti bhakti bhagavaty akiñchanā
sarvair guṇais tatra samāsate surāḥ
harāv abhaktasya kuto mahadguṇā
manorathenāsati dhāvato bahiḥ
(Shreemad Bhagavatam 5.18.12)
When we engage in bhakti, the divine traits of compassion, empathy,
forgiveness, gratitude, non-violence, respect for others, tolerance,
truth, etc. that are inherent within the soul begin to manifest to a
greater extent. God is the ultimate epitome of these qualities and as
tiny parts of Him, these virtues are inherent within our soul as well.
To the extent our mind is purified
, these qualities are exhibited in our behavior as well.
When we exhibit negative behavior, repeated chintan
(contemplation) of it will not bring about a change. To change it, we
have to become aware of our current behavior and take steps to change
it. This is just as when we are sick. Repeated chintan of the fact that we are sick will not bring about any change. We must take the appropriate medication to see the change.
Similarly, our negative behavior stems from ignorance or faulty knowledge. Repeated chintan
of the correct knowledge
coupled with affection for Krishna attracts His grace which then brings
about the change we seek. To the extent we practice bhakti, our sins (pāp
), the seed of the sins (bīja
), and ignorance (avidyā
) are destroyed thereby making room for the divine virtues to be exhibited.
Devotion Leads to Manifestation of the Divine Qualities
to Lord Krishna is the primary purpose of human life. The more we allow
our love for Him to grow, and the more we see Him in everyone, the more
we notice a change in our behavior towards others. This is typically a
change for the better as the divine qualities of compassion, empathy,
forgiveness, gratitude, non-violence, respect for others, tolerance,
truthfulness, etc. start manifesting to a greater extent. This is
because devotion leads to purification of the mind
. To the extent the mind becomes pure, the natural divine qualities of the soul shine through.
Compassion and forgiveness towards all
of separation from Krishna is transformed into compassion, empathy, and
forgiveness for others as our mind is purified and we are better able
to recognize their pain. This was clearly evident in the life of King
Sage Durvasa was the son of Sage Atri and his wife Anasuya. He was
born as an incarnation of Lord Shiv and was known for his terrible rage.
According to the legend, King Ambrish was maintaining the Ekadshi fast
and had invited Sage Durvasa to dinner to break the fast. The Sage went
to the river Yamuna for a bath before partaking the meal. The
appropriate time came to break the fast but the Sage had not yet
To break the fast in the absence of the Sage would be great
disrespect to the Sage. And to not break the fast during the appropriate
time would result in a loss-it would undo everything the fast was kept
for. The King was in a deep dilemma. Finally, at the bequest of his
minister, he broke the fast with a sip of water before the Sage came.
The Sage became aware of this act and became angry at the perceived
disrespect from the King. Consequently, he decided to punish the King by
killing him. As soon as he thought so, the Lord set off this Sudarshan Chakra after the Sage.
The great Sage ran to Indra, Brahma, Shiv, and finally to the Lord
himself to beg forgiveness but to no avail. The Lord instructed him to
seek forgiveness from the King himself. The Sage finally went to the
King to seek his forgiveness. Despite the fact that the great Sage had
tried to kill the King, the King forgave him. It was only then that the
Lord recalled His disc.
Hatred is transformed into love
Just as carbon
stored deep within the layers of the earth is transformed into a
beautiful diamond due to the unrelenting pressure it faces, hatred
within is transformed into pure love. This love is directed towards all
as we become increasingly aware that Krishna resides in everyone and
This point is exemplified in the story of Prahlad, a five-year-old
devotee of Lord Vishnu, whose father Hiranyakashipu, a demon king, was a
sworn enemy of the Lord. Hiranyakashipu had repeatedly ordered his son
to be killed. And yet, after each attempt, Prahlad would walk away
unscathed and unharmed. During all these trials, not once did Prahlad
fill up with hatred, anger, or resentment at his father, not once did he
seek the consultation of a therapist on the grounds of emotional
distress, and neither did he run away from home to escape his father's
Finally, becoming exasperated Hiranyakashipu asked Prahlad: kva sau? "Where is this Lord Vishnu whom you worship?" Prahlad answered: sa sarvatra.
"Father, He is everywhere." However, Prahlad pointed in four
directions: "God is in you (a demon); He is in me (a child); He is in
this blade of grass (living entity); He is also in this stone pillar
Hiranyakashipu sniggered, "If God is in the stone pillar then why
can I not see him?" He hit the pillar with all his might. And lo and
behold! To prove Prahlad's faith, God manifested in the form of Nrisingh
Bhagavan, from the pillar. One of the twenty-four descensions of God
mentioned in the Shreemad Bhagavatam is Lord Nrisingh, who appeared from
the stone pillar of a demon king, thereby proving that God is
all-pervading and omnipresent. And when we truly start believing it, our
hatred starts getting transformed into love.
Anger and resentment are churned into gratefulness and tolerance
The anger and resentment at unfulfilled
desires is churned into gratefulness for everything we have and thus
tolerance for others as we realize that everything we have is not due
the justice (nyaya
) He metes out to us rather due to His grace (kripa
). Shree Kripaluji Maharaj states this beautifully in his hymn, Dayamaya! daya chaya nahi nyaya
"O Merciful One! I seek your grace not justice." We come to understand
that if God were to truly mete out justice based on our endless past karmas
we would not have this human form and all the material comforts and
success we enjoy. We have all this because He looked beyond our past and
desires that we move closer to Him. As our sense of gratitude and
tolerance increases, our relationships become a joy instead of a burden,
which in turn leads to greater humility. And, as we are well aware, humility is the basis for devotion
Thus, the effect of devotion is very noticeable in our daily life.
Most of all, there is greater harmony in our relationships to the extent
the mind is purified and the divine qualities manifest.
Three important points of devotion
read in the above two articles that as our devotion grows so does the
extent to which the divine qualities manifest in our behavior. In this
video, Swamiji specifically explains the qualities of humility,
forgiveness, tolerance, and to always respect others but not seek it for
Click here to watch this enchanting clip by Swami Mukundananda.
Labor Day Weekend Retreat in TX with Swamiji
The 2017 Labor Day Spiritual Retreat with Swami Mukundananda
was an amazing blissful experience for everyone. The event kicked off
with prayer and arati followed by bhajans and Swamiji's lecture on the
Bhagavad Gita. The theme of the lecture series was Chapter 4 of the
Bhagavad Gita. While adults were immersed in spiritual bliss from the
kirtans and lectures, children and teenagers were getting enriched with
Vedic wisdom in the Bal-Mukund and Youth programs that were held
simultaneously. Devotees practiced Roopdhyan meditation each day under
the guidance of Swamiji.
The most auspicious occasion of Radhastami, the appearance
day of Radha Rani, was celebrated grandly in the Radha Krishna Temple.
Devotees from in and out of state participated in this wonderful event
that included kirtans glorifying Radha Rani, devotees dancing for the
pleasure of Barsanewari, cake cutting, cultural performances, and
more. Click here for photos
Chicago hosted a very successful week long program on Seven
Mindsets for Success in Life and Beyond. Swamiji's engaging lectures
drew a crowd of nearly 200 people everyday! The crowd was excited to
learn from him about the approach to problem solving and adopting a
positive attitude to overcome life's challenges. As they understood,
staying motivated and disciplined was the key. Click here for photos.
Immediately after the TX retreat, Swamiji headed over to CT
for the lecture series on the topic, "Seven Mindsets for Success in Life
Prasad Srinivasan, four time State Representative,
was the Chief Guest on the first day of the program. He warmly welcomed
Swamiji back to the state. "Our community owes so much to what we learn
from you," he said. He admired how fluidly Swamiji speaks on a range of
topics like Shri Krishna Bhakti & Mind Management, and swiftly
moves from one to another. He praised Swamiji's consistent efforts to
spread divine wisdom and said that the community was looking forward to
seeking Swamiji's blessings in all the years to come. Click here for photos.
honorable Mayor of Newington, Roy Zartarian also known as Mayor Z, was
the Chief Guest on Day 2 of JKYog's Program in Newington. He warmly
welcomed Swamiji to his city and said, "Swamiji. You Sir, you are a rock
star! And on behalf of the town of Newington, I want to formally
welcome you and thank you for adding immeasurably to our town's cultural
and spiritual diversity by your presence here this weekend."
Swamiji is revisiting all the centers and conducting house
satsangs in the last leg of his US tour. He visited FL, NY, NJ,
PA, MD, Houston, Chicago. Devotees feel blessed to have Swamiji's
darshan and hear him reinforce the devotional message before he leaves
for India. Click here for photos.
Arrrival in Delhi
Oct 18th to 27th
Arrival in Vrindavan
Nov 9th to 10th
Nov 14th to 20th
Personality Development Classes for Children
attending Bal-Mukund sessions at the Labour Day Retreat in Texas had a
blast. They learned a sloka and bhajan in the short time at the retreat.
They also learned about Respect and made a Respect pledge that they
took back home as a souvenir! They also learned about Janmashtami, why
it is celebrated and how it is celebrated in different parts of the
world. The icing on the cake was when they presented to Swamiji all that
they learned and also got to ask him questions and get them clarified.
The children also made a lovely card for Swamiji! They were excited to
make new friends and enjoyed being part of this beautiful program
at the retreat.
Health Benefits of Bananas
Bananas are one of the most popular and widely consumed fruit all
over the world because of its rich potential health benefits. It is
rich in potassium and best value fruit around. It is the number one
fruit with leading athletes because it gives an instant, robust and
substantive boost of energy.
Banana is rich in carbohydrate and packed with natural sugar like
sucrose, fructose and glucose. Unlike common myth, banana helps in
weight loss, the insoluble fiber in it helps in smooth bowel movement,
aids helpful nutrients that keeps the heart healthy and the vitamins
keeps the eyes healthy. Two bananas can give sustained energy for a
rigorous one hour workout. Besides being a number one energy booster
it saves us from a number of illness. That is why it is recommended as
must have in our daily diet.
Banana is known to uplift depressed mood.
It contains tryptophan, a protein that the body converts into serotonin
which relaxes tensed nerves, uplifts mood and makes one feel happy.
PMS (Pre-menstrual syndrome)
Banana is a must have for women during PMS. The B6 in banana regulates blood glucose level which eases PMS symptoms.
The high iron content in banana increases the hemoglobin in the blood. It is a must have for anemic people.
Banana is also known to reduce the risk of blood pressure and stroke because it is rich in potassium and low in salt.
Banana is known to enhance brain power. The potassium packed fruit assist learning by making students alert.
to read the entire article.
- 2 glasses of milk approx less then a litre
- 5 -6 tablespoons flour
- Sugar syrup
- 1 glass water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- Pinch of Saffron and Cardamom
- Crushed Pistachios and Almonds
Method for syrup:
- Boil water with sugar till one string (chasni)
- Garnish with Saffron, Pistachios, Almonds and Cardamom
- Boil milk till it is half.
- Cool and add flour.
- Pour mixture with a spoon in hot ghee and fry on medium heat.
- When golden put in syrup.
- Serve warm
The Editor JKYog: XVII/3305, 1st Floor
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New Delhi - 110008, India
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