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Svasti No Gaura-vidhur Dadhātu (May the Moon-like Gaura Bestow Auspiciousness)Svasti No Gaura-vidhur Dadhātu (May the Moon-like Gaura Bestow Auspiciousness)
By Published On: March 15, 2024Tags: 16.2 min read

Overview

In verses 56 to 60 of 'Prema Dhāma Deva Stotram', Śrīla Śrīdhara Mahārāja describes the various remarkable ecstatic transformations of Śrīman Mahāprabhu such as his kūrma-dharma (becoming like a turtle), as well as His pastime of running into the ocean at Cakra-tīrtha, mistaking it to be the Yamunā River.

Prema Dhama Deva Stotram – Verses 56-60

by
His Divine Grace
Śrīla Bhakti Rakṣaka Śrīdhara Deva Gosvāmī Mahārāja

with the
Narasiṅgha Sevaka Vivṛtti
by Tridaṇḍi Swami Bhakti Vijñāna Giri

Verse 56
sāttvikādi-bhāva-cihna-deha-divya-sauṣṭhavaṁ
kūrma-dharma-bhinna-sandhi-gātra-puṣpa-pelavam
hrasva-dīrgha-padma-gandha-rakta-pīta-pāṇḍuraṁ
prema-dhāma-devam eva naumi gaura-sundaram

Word for Word

sāttvikādi – the symptoms of sāttvika etc; bhāva – ecstasy; cihna – signs; deha – body; divya – divine; sauṣṭhava – beauty; kūrma – tortoise; dharma – nature; bhinna – separated; sandhi – joints; gātra – limbs; puṣpa – flower; pelava – tender; hrasva – short; dīrgha – long; padma – lotus; gandha – fragrance; rakta – red; pīta – golden; pāṇḍura – white; prema – love of Kṛṣṇa; dhāma – abode; deva – divine; eva – indeed; naumi – I offer obeisance; gaurasundara – Gaurasundara.

TRANSLATION

I offer my obeisance unto Śrī Gaurasundara, that Divine Personality who is the abode of pure prema. The divine beauty of His body was enhanced by various signs of sāttvika-bhāva – sometimes His form would become like a tortoise, sometimes His tender, flower-like limbs would become dislocated. When His body became shorter or elongated, it would become as fragrant as a lotus-flower, and sometimes it would appear red, golden or white.

Commentary

In this verse, Śrīla Śrīdhara Mahārāja describes some of the ecstatic symptoms manifested by Śrī Caitanyadeva in His mood of separation. He first mentions sāttvika, the eight involuntary bodily transformations. These are mentioned in the Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu (2.3.16) as follows:

te stambha-sveda-romāñcāḥ svara-bhedo’tha vepathuḥ
vaivarṇyam aśru pralaya ity aṣṭau sāttvikāḥ smṛtāḥ

(The aṣṭa-sāttvika transformations of bhāva are stambha, becoming stunned, sveda, perspiration, romāñca, standing of the hairs on end, svara-bheda, faltering of the voice, kampa, trembling, vaivarṇya, loss of colour, aśru, tears, and pralaya, loss of consciousness or fainting.)

It is said that Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī’s divine form is decorated by these eight symptoms of ecstasy, and similarly, Śrīla Śrīdhara Mahārāha has written, deha-divya-sauṣṭhava – Mahāprabhu’s transcendental body was beautified with these sāttvikabhāvas.

The next bhāva mentioned in this verse is kūrma-dharma, the nature of a tortoise. This is described by Kṛṣṇa Dāsa Kavirāja as follows:

iti-uti anveṣiyā siṁha-dvāre gelā
gābhī-gaṇa-madhye yāi prabhure pāilā

peṭera bhitara hasta-pada kūrmera ākāra
mukhe phena pulakāṅga netre aśru-dhāra

acetana paḍiyāchena yena kuṣmāṇḍa-phala
bāhire jaḍimā antare ānanda-vihvala

(Searching here and there, they went to the Siṁha-dvāra and found the Lord amongst the cows. His arms and legs had retracted into His belly and He resembled a tortoise. Foam came from His mouth, His bodily hair stood on end, and His eyes wept torrents of tears. Lying their unconscious, His form resembled a pumpkin. Although He was externally inert, internally He felt great bliss. – Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya-līlā 2.15-17)

More will be said about this pastime in the next verse.

Next, Śrīla Śrīdhara Mahārāja mentions bhinna-sandhi-gātra – the Lord’s limbs would become dislocated. Again, this is described in Caitanya-caritāmṛta:

kāhāṅ nāhi śuni yei bhāvera vikāra
sei bhāva haya prabhura śarīre pracāra

hasta-padera sandhi saba vitasti-pramāṇe
sandhi chāḍi’ bhinna haye, carma rahe sthāne

(We have never before heard of such ecstatic transformations. Such bhāva only appeared in the body of the Lord. Sometimes the joints of His arms and legs would become dislocated by eight inches and only remained connected by the skin. – Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya-līlā 2.11-12)

It is also described how Mahāprabhu’s complexion would change:

deha-kānti gaura-varṇa dekhiye aruṇa
kabhu kānti dekhi yena mallikā-puṣpa-sama

(Everyone saw the white lustre of His body become pink. Sometimes they saw His hue resemble that of a jasmine flower. – Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya-līlā 13.106)

According to the internal mood of the Lord, His bodily hue would change. This is explained by Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī:

viṣāda-roṣa-bhīty-āder vaivarṇyaṁ varṇa-vikriyā
bhāva-jñair atra mālinya-kārśyādyāḥ parikīrtitāḥ

(The transformation of a person’s complexion due to despair, anger or fear is known as vaivarṇya, or a change of colour. – Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 2.3.47)

These are just some of the ecstatic symptoms mentioned in the biographies of Śrīman Mahāprabhu. Apart from these divine bodily transformations, it is also said that while in the Gambhīra, other dramatic transformations would take place:

roma-kūpe raktodgama danta saba hāle
kṣaṇe aṅga kṣīṇa haya kṣaṇe aṅga phule

(The pores of His body would sweat blood and all His teeth would become loose. At One moment His entire body would elongate, and at another moment it would become fat. – Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya-līlā 2.6)

gambhīrā-bhitare rātre nāhi nidrā-lava
bhitte mukha-śira ghaṣe kṣata haya saba

(Inside the Gambhīrā, He did not sleep at night. He would grind His mouth and head on the wall, and become injured all over. – Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya-līlā 2.7)

In Bhagavad-gītā, we find Śrī Kṛṣṇa manifesting His awe-inspiring universal form to Arjuna which is the benchmark of actual divinity. Nowadays however, it is common to find ‘god-men’ claiming to be an avatāra of Kṛṣṇa, yet their imitation merely extends to performing some so-called ‘rāsa-līlā’ with their female followers. They never show their universal form, nor do they exhibit any of the fantastical feats of Kṛṣṇa such as lifting Govardhana Hill etc. Similarly, amongst the Vaiṣṇava community, many sahajiyās, sentiment-mongers and ‘wannabes’ try to imitate the ecstatic mood of Mahāprabhu and His eternal associates by making a public show of their ‘bhāva.’ They dance wildly or manage to squeeze a few tears out of their eyes, claiming that they are feeling great separation from Kṛṣṇa. Dancing like a madman or crying crocodile tears is very easy for a trained actor, but sweating blood, dislocating one’s limbs etc. is another thing altogether. Because such extraordinary manifestations of ecstasy can never be imitated by a charlatan possessing a body comprised of material elements, the imitationists, like the god-men, only exhibit the most rudimentary symptoms of divine ecstasy.


Verse 57
tīvra-vipralambha-mugdha-mandirāgra-dhāvitaṁ
kūrma-rūpa-divya-gandha-lubdha-dhenu-veṣṭitam
varṇitāli-kūla-kṛṣṇa-keli-śaila-kandaraṁ
prema-dhāma-devam eva naumi gaura-sundaram

Word for Word

tīvra – acute; vipralambha – separation; mugdha – overwhelmed; mandira – the temple of Jagannātha; āgra – in front; dhāvita – run; kūrma – tortoise; rūpa – form; divya – divine; gandha – fragrance; lubdha – attract; dhenu – cows; veṣṭita – surround; varṇitāli – for describing; kūla – associates; kṛṣṇa – Śrī Kṛṣṇa; keli – sports; śaila – govardhana; kandara – caves; prema – love of Kṛṣṇa; dhāma – abode; deva – divine; eva – indeed; naumi – I offer obeisance; gaurasundara – Gaurasundara.

TRANSLATION

I offer my obeisance unto Śrī Gaurasundara, that Divine Personality who is the abode of pure prema. Overwhelmed by feelings of acute separation, the Lord ran to the front of the temple of Jagannātha, and there He manifested a form like a tortoise. His body emitted a divine fragrance which attracted the cows who surrounded Him. When He returned to normal consciousness, He described to His associates the pastimes of Kṛṣṇa sporting in the caves of Govardhana Hill.

Commentary

Śrīman Mahāprabhu’s ecstatic symptoms were mentioned in the previous verse, including His extraordinary līlā when His form became like that of a tortoise and His limbs retracted into His body. This pastime is also narrated by Śrī Murārī Gupta:

surabhī-madhya-pātena kūrmākāreṇa bhāvanam
śrī-rāsa-līlā-smaraṇāt pralapādy-anuvarṇanam

(Upon remembering the rāsalīlā, He fell down amongst a herd of cows and His body took on the form of a tortoise. When He returned to external consciousness, He spoke incoherently trying to describe that experience. – Kṛṣṇa Caitanya-caritra Mahā-kāvyam 24.5)

Similarly, Śrīla Dāsa Gosvāmī writes:

anudghāṭya dvāra-trayam uru ca bhitti-trayam aho
vilaṅghyoccaiḥ kāliṅgika-surabhi-madhye nipatitaḥ
tanūdyat-saṅkocāt kamaṭha iva kṛṣṇoru-virahād
virājan gaurāṅgo hṛdaya udayan māṁ madayati

(How amazing! He left the Gambhīra without opening three strong doors and He climbed over three very high walls. He fell down amongst the Tailaṅga cows and retracted His limbs within His body like a tortoise due to feelings of separation from Kṛṣṇa. Thus, Gaurāṅga manifests in my heart and maddens me. – Śrī Gaurāṅga Stava Kalpa Vṛksa 5)

It is mentioned in the Caitanyacaritāmṛta that while Mahāprabhu resided in the Gambhīra, the devotees would bolt the doors and stand guard whenever the Lord felt intense moods of separation. However, as Dāsa Gosvāmī has mentioned here, by His mystic potency, Śrīman Mahāprabhu was still able to evade His associates and run to the Jagannātha Temple in the middle of the night.

What were the thoughts of Mahāprabhu when He exhibited this unusual bhāva? Śrīla Murāri Gupta Prabhu states, rāsa-līlā-smaraṇāt – He was remembering the rāsa-līlā pastimes. However, the phrase rāsa-līlā is somewhat generic since all of Kṛṣṇa’s līlās are infused with rasa. Śrīla Kavirāja Gosvāmī narrates that when Mahāprabhu regained His consciousness He told His associates how He heard the flute of Kṛṣṇa and saw Kṛṣṇa taking Rādhārāṇī and the gopīs to a kuñja. However, in this verse of Prema Dhāma Deva Stotra, Śrīla Śridhara Deva Gosvāmī gives us a further hint of the location of this pastime when he writes, kṛṣṇa-keli-śaila-kandara. The word śaila means mountain or hill, and kandara refers to a cave. In this regard, Śrīla Dāsa Gosvāmī writes:

pramada-madana-līlāḥ kandare kandare te
racayati nava-yūnor dvandvam asminn amandam
iti kila kalanārthaṁ lagnakas tad-dvayor me
nija-nikaṭa-nivāsaṁ dehi govardhana tvam

(O Govardhana! Kindly grant me a dwelling place near to you which will surely guarantee me a glimpse of the ever-youthful Divine Couple engaging in intoxicating amorous pastimes in every cave of yours. – Śrī Govardhana-Vāsa-Prārthanā-Daśakam 2)

These divine caves are not the dark, damp residences of bats and insects as they are in this world.

yatra govardhano nāma sunirjhara-darī-yutaḥ
ratna-dhatu-mayaḥ śrīmān supakṣi-gaṇa-saṅkulaḥ

(That place called Govardhana is where there are beautiful waterfalls and caves full of gems and minerals, and multitudes of charming birds. – Kṛṣṇa Sandarbha, Anuccheda 106.69)

Thus, by the grace of Śrīla Śrīdhara Mahārāja, we can understand that Mahāprabhu was remembering the mādhurya-līlā of Rādhā-Govinda in the caves and kuñjas of Govardhana Hill.


Verse 58
indu-sindhu-nṛtya-dīpta-kṛṣṇa-keli-mohitaṁ
ūrmi-śīrṣa-supta-deha-vāta-raṅga-vāhitam
yāmunāli-kṛṣṇa-keli-magna-saukhya-sāgaraṁ
prema-dhāma-devam eva naumi gaura-sundaram

Word for Word

indu – moon; sindhu – ocean; nṛtya – dancing; dīpta – light; kṛṣṇa – Śrī Kṛṣna; keli – pastimes; mohita – bewildered; ūrmi – waves; śīrṣa – crest; supta – unconscious; deha – form; vāta – wind; raṅga – quickly; vāhita – carried; yāmunāli– for the Yamunā; kṛṣṇa – Śrī Kṛṣṇa; keli – pastimes; magna – immersed; saukhya – bliss; sāgara – ocean; prema – love of Kṛṣṇa; dhāma – abode; deva – divine; eva – indeed; naumi – I offer obeisance; gaurasundara – Gaurasundara.

TRANSLATION

I offer my obeisance unto Śrī Gaurasundara, that Divine Personality who is the abode of pure prema. Becoming bewildered by seeing the moonlight dancing on the ocean, the Lord was reminded of Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes. His unconscious form was quickly carried by the wind on the crest of the ocean waves as He was immersed in an ocean of bliss remembering the pastimes of Śrī Kṛṣṇa at the Yamunā.


Verse 59
rātri-śeṣa-saumya-veśa-śāyitārdra-saikataṁ
bhinna-sandhi-dīrgha-deha-pelavāti-daivatam
śrānta-bhakta-cakratīrtha-hṛṣṭa-dṛṣṭi-gocaraṁ
prema-dhāma-devam eva naumi gaura-sundaram

Word for Word

rātri – night; śeṣa – end; saumya – calm; veśa – form; śāyita – lying; ardra – wet; saikata – beach; bhinna – separated; sandhi – joints; dīrgha – elongated; deha – form; pelavāti – delicate; daivata – divine; śrānta – tired; bhakta – devotees; cakra-tīrtha – at Cakra Tīrtha; hṛṣṭa – rejoice; dṛṣṭi – seeing; gocara – perceiving; prema – love of Kṛṣṇa; dhāma – abode; deva – divine; eva – indeed; naumi – I offer obeisance; gaurasundara – Gaurasundara.

TRANSLATION

I offer my obeisance unto Śrī Gaurasundara, that Divine Personality who is the abode of pure prema. At the end of the night, the tired devotees rejoiced upon seeing Him calmly lying on the wet beach at Cakra Tīrtha. His divine, delicate form was elongated and His joints were separated.


Verse 60
ārta-bhakta-kaṇṭha-kṛṣṇa-nāma-karṇa-hṛd-gataṁ
lagna-sandhi-suṣṭhu-deha-sarva-pūrva-sammatam
ardha-bāhya-bhāva-kṛṣṇa-keli-varṇanāturaṁ
prema-dhāma-devam eva naumi gaura-sundaram

Word for Word

ārta – anxious; bhakta – devotees: kaṇṭha – chanted; kṛṣṇa-nāma – the Name of Kṛṣṇa; karṇa – ear; hṛt – heart; gata – entered; lagna – met; sandhi – joints; suṣṭhu – beautiful; deha – form; sarva – all; pūrva – previously; sammata – accustomed; ardha – half; bāhya – external; bhāva – state; kṛṣṇa – Śrī Kṛṣṇa; keli – pastimes; varṇana – describe; ātura – afflicted; prema – love of Kṛṣṇa; dhāma – abode; deva – divine; eva – indeed; naumi – I offer obeisance; gaurasundara – Gaurasundara.

TRANSLATION

I offer my obeisance unto Śrī Gaurasundara, that Divine Personality who is the abode of pure prema. The anxious devotees chanted the Name of Kṛṣṇa, which entered His ear and reached His heart. His joints then reunited and they all saw the beautiful form of the Lord that they were previously accustomed to. In a semiconscious state, He described the pastimes of Kṛṣṇa that had made Him so afflicted.

Commentary

These three verses describe the pastime of Mahāprabhu mistaking the ocean for the River Yamunā, which appears in the Antya-līlā of Caitanyacaritāmṛta. This chapter opens with the following śloka composed by Śrīla Kavirāja Gosvāmī:

śaraj-jyotsnā-sindhor avakalanayā jāta-yamunā-
bhramād dhāvan yo ’smin hari-viraha-tāpārṇava iva
nimagno mūrcchālaḥ payasi nivasan rātrim akhilāṁ
prabhāte prāptaḥ svair avatu sa śacī-sūnur iha naḥ

(Seeing the ocean in the Autumn moonlight, He mistook it for the Yamuna, and feeling the pain of separation from Hari, ran towards it and plunged into it, remaining there unconscious for the entire night. In the morning He was retrieved by His associates. May that Son of Śacī protect us. – Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Antya-līlā 18.1)

Similarly, Śrīla Murāri Gupta writes:

vṛndāvana-smārakāṇi vanānyupavanāni ca
śrī-kṛṣṇānveṣanaṁ tatra yamunā-smārakeṇa ca
samudra-patanañcāpi svarūpādyair nidarśitam
kṛṣṇa-pañca-guṇe naiva pañcendriya-vikarṣaṇam

(Remembering all the major and minor forests of Vṛndāvana, He would search for Śrī Kṛṣṇa. By remembering the Yamunā, He fell into the ocean and was eventually found by the devotees led by Svarūpa. Indeed, His five senses were always attracted to the five qualities of Kṛṣṇa. – Kṛṣṇa Caitanya-carita Mahākavya 4.3-4)

Walking on the beach at night, Mahāprabhu was discussing the rāsalīlā with His associates, and reciting all the verses pertaining to that pastime from the Śrīmad Bhāgavatam. Seeing the shimmering ocean waves in the Autumn moonlight, Mahāprabhu was reminded of the water-pastimes (jalakrīḍa) of Śrī Kṛṣṇa and the gopīs during the Autumn nights in Vṛndāvana. Thus, when the devotees were distracted, He dove into the ocean mistaking it for the Yamunā. While being carried by the waves, Mahāprabhu lost consciousness. Śrīla Kavirāja Gosvāmī describes the Lord as becoming like a piece of dry wood (śuṣka kāṣṭha) floating on the surface of the sea.

Meanwhile, the devotees became mad with anxiety and began looking for the Lord. They went to the temple of Jagannātha, the various gardens in Purī, Caṭaka Pārvata, Guṇḍicā etc. but were unable to find Him. Thinking that the Lord had ended His pastimes on earth, all the devotees became devastated but continued searching for Him. Eventually they came across a fisherman on the beach who was acting as if he was possessed by a ghost. He would laugh, cry, dance and sing, constantly shouting the Name of Hari. When Svarūpa Dāmodara questioned the fisherman, he learned that he had caught a ‘dead body’ in his net that night and after dragging it onto the beach, he touched it and became “possessed by a ghost.” He then described the corpse as being extremely long with separated joints. Svarūpa Dāmodara immediately understood the situation and pacified the fisherman and told him that he had not encountered a ghost, but Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya. He asked the fisherman to show them where the Lord was and he took them to where the Lord was lying on the beach.

Indeed, the Lord’s form was elongated and the joints were separated. All the devotees began to chant the Holy Name loudly in Mahāprabhu’s ear. He eventually awoke and immediately His body became normal again. Semiconscious, the Lord looked around at everyone. This state is called ardha-bāhya (half-external). He began to excitedly describe to the devotees in detail how He had seen Kṛṣṇa engaged at the Yamunā in water-pastimes with the gopīs headed by Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī.

Elsewhere in the Caitanya-caritāmṛta, we find instances when Mahāprabhu was unconscious and the devotees chanted harināma loudly to wake Him. When the Lord returned to external consciousness, He complained:

gopī-gaṇa-saha vihāra hāsa parihāsa
kaṇṭha-dhvani-ukti śuni mora karṇollāsa

hena-kāle tumi-saba kolāhala kari
āmā iṅhā lañā āilā balātkāra kari

(Kṛṣṇa was with the gopīs and they were performing pastime, laughing and joking with each other. Hearing the sound of their voices brought joy to My ears. Then suddenly, at that time, all of you made such a clamour and you forced me to come back! – Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Antya-līlā 17.27-28)

Who was it that made such a ‘clamour’? None other than Svarūpa Dāmodara, Rāya Rāmānanda, Govinda, Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī and other intimate associates of Śrī Caitanyadeva, who are all gopīs and mañjarīs in the eternal līlā of Rādhā-Govinda. If the Lord considered the pure vibrations of harināma emanating from the lotus-mouths of such exalted personalities to be kolāhala, a disturbing, purposeless noise, what then can be said about our feeble attempts to please the Supreme Lord with our chanting? If we are able to chant even one Name with a drop of sincerity, then we can only pray that our insignificant endeavours will be graciously accepted by Mahāprabhu.

Related Articles

Further Reading

Śiva-tattva – the Position of Lord ŚivaŚiva-tattva - the Position of Lord Śiva
Svasti No Gaura-vidhur Dadhātu (May the Moon-like Gaura Bestow Auspiciousness)Svasti No Gaura-vidhur Dadhātu (May the Moon-like Gaura Bestow Auspiciousness)

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Prabhupāda Śrīla Sarasvatī Ṭhākura’s Visit to Ayodhyā

By |April 12, 2024|Tags: |

With the forthcoming observance of Śrī Rāma Navamī, we present 'Prabhupāda Śrīla Sarasvatī Ṭhākura’s Visit to Ayodhyā' written by Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura Prabhupāda from The Gaudīyā magazine, Vol 3. Issue 21/ In December 1924, after visiting Benares and Prāyāga, Sarasvatī Ṭhākura visited the birth-site of Śrī Rāmācandra in Ayodhyā.

  • Ātma Samīkṣā – The Value of Introspection

Ātma Samīkṣā – The Value of Introspection

By |March 29, 2024|Tags: |

In this article, "Ātma Samīkṣā – The Value of Introspection" Kalki Dāsa highlights the importance of introspection in the life of a devotee and especially in relation to the worldly environment that surrounds us. He also explains how transcendental sound influences our capacity to introspect.