Friday, April 3, 2009

Rama Navami 2009

Lord Rama with Hanuman and family Today is Lord Ramachandra’s appearance day. This day is known as Rama Navami, and it marks the anniversary of when Lord Krishna descended to earth in the form of Lord Rama, to give protection to His devotees and to kill the evil demon Ravana. The best way to celebrate the occasion is to think about Him throughout the day and read about His pastimes found in the Vedic literatures. The following excerpt from the Valmiki Ramayana describes the story relating to His birth. In city of Ayodhya, many thousands of years ago, a great sacrifice had been performed in the royal court of King Dashratha, the most pious of kings, in hopes of attaining a son. In due time, his three pregnant wives, Kausalya, Kaikeyi, and Sumitra, became pregnant and were due to give birth.

“And then when the six seasons had rolled away after the completion of the sacrifice, in the twelfth month, on the ninth lunar day, under the influence of the Punarvasu asterism presided by the demigod Aditi, when the Sun, the Moon, Saturn, Jupiter, and Venus were at Arius, Capricorn, Libra, Cancer, and Pisces, and when Jupiter had arisen with the Moon at Cancer, Kausalya gave birth to that lord of the universe, bowed to by all the worlds, Rama, the descendant of Ikshvaku, furnished with excellent marks, the one half of Vishnu, exceedingly righteous, with rosy eyes, and might arms, having a crimson nether lip, and endowed with a voice like the sound of a kettledrum. Then on having given birth to that son of immeasurable prowess, Kausalya looked resplendent, like Aditi on having brough forth that foremost of celestials, Indra.

Then was born to Kaikeyi, a son named Bharata, having truth for prowess, endowed with all the virtues, and respresenting the very fourth part of Vishnu.

Then Sumitra gave birth to Lakshmana and Shatrughna, heroic, and skilled in all weapons, and endowed with the other half of Vishnu.

And Bharata of purged intelligence was born under the asterism Pushya, when the Sun had entered Pisces; while the two sons of Sumitra were born when the Sun arose in Cancer, under the asterism of Ashlesha. (The ninth lunar mansion)

Thus were separately born four high-souled sons to the king, crowed with qualities, graceful, and in loveliness resembling the constellations Prosthapada. Thereat the Gandharvas began to chant sweetly, and the Apsaras to dance. The celestial kettledrums sounded, and blossoms were showered down from the sky.

And high festivities were commenced by the multitude in Ayodhya. The spacious highways became filled with players and dancers, glittering with all kinds of gems, and resounding with the music of singers and performers on instruments. And the king bestowed gifts upon bards and genealogists and panegyrists, and he also gave away cows by thousands to the brahmanas.

When the eleventh day had gone by, the king performed the naming ceremony of his sons. Experiencing great delight, Vashishtha conferred the names. The high-souled eldest one was called Rama; Kaikeyi’s son was called Bharata; Sumitra’s son was called Lakshmana, and the last was named Shatrughna.

The king fed the brahmanas as well as the inhabitants rural and urban, and he bestowed heaps of jewels upon brahmanas.

Thus did he celebrate the natal rites of the princes. Among all those princes, the eldest, Rama, like that of Ketu, (The ninth of the planets) and the special delight of his father, became the object of general regard, even as the self-create Himself. And all of them were versed in the Vedas, heroic, and intent upon the welfare of others.

All were accomplished in knowledge; and endowed with virtues. Among them all, the exceedingly puissant Rama, having truth for prowess, was the desire of everyone, and spotless like to the moon himself. He could ride on elephants and horses, and was adept in managing cars. He was ever engaged in the study of arms, and always occupied in ministering to his sire.

Even from early youth, that enhancer of auspiciousness Lakshmana, was ever attached to his eldest brother Rama, that delight of all. Like to another life of Rama, Lakshmana furnished with auspiciousness was in everything attentive to Rama’s wishes, even at the neglect of his own person. That foremost of persons did not even attain sleep without Rama’s company, nor did he partake any sweetmeat that was offered, unless Rama partook it with him.”

Related books:

Valmiki Ramayana

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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Care Package – 2009-03-31


Latest care package sent to troops serving overseas.  Included items:  molasses cookies, picture of Krishna, Science of Self-Realization, Bhagavad-gita As It Is



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Bhagavad Gita As It Is with Bonus DVD

Sunday, March 29, 2009

What We Believe

Who is Krishna?

Lord Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead as described by the Vedas, the ancient scriptural texts of India.

Is Krishna a Hindu god?

God is one and is for everybody. Though He may have many different names, there isn’t a separate God for the Hindus, Christians, or Jews. The Bible, Koran, and other texts tell us that God is great, but the Vedas go one step further by telling us just how great God is, what He looks like, and How we can please Him. Krishna Himself incarnates in different forms under different names such as Lord Rama, Narasimha, or Varaha. Of all these forms, Lord Krishna is the original form of God who can be worshipped by everyone.

I’m a Christian, isn’t it against my religion to worship Krishna?

God comes to earth in different forms and teaches different things depending on the time and circumstance and the people’s ability to understand. Though different religions exist, any religion which teaches one how to love God is a bona fide religion. Worshipping Krishna and reading about Him increases our love for God. In turn, we actually become better Christians, Muslims, or Jews. Every religion has their specific dogmas and rituals, and worship of Lord Krishna doesn’t go against any of those. You’ll find that your love for Jesus, Allah, and all of your fellow men will greatly increase through devotional service to Krishna.

What does the term Vedic mean?

Vedic refers to the Vedas, the original scriptural injunctions, passed down since the beginning of time in India. Veda means knowledge, and thus the Vedas contain true knowledge on every subject, including the soul. The terms “Vedas” and “Vedic literature” also refer to any scriptural text whose teachings are in line with the original Vedas. These texts include the Puranas, Upanishads, Mahabharata, and Ramayana.

Do you worship cows?

It is a common misconception that cows are worshipped by Krishna devotees. Cows are respected in the Vedic culture. Since they freely provide sustenance to us through milk production, they are considered on the same level as one’s own mother. All religions teach people to honor one’s father and mother, and thus the cows are honored and protected in Vedic society.

Don’t Hindus worship many gods, like Shiva, Ganesh, Lakshmi, etc?

Just as the government has many deputy officers to carry out day to day affairs, Lord Krishna has many demigods who manage manage the affairs of the material world. The demigods provide material benedictions through the sanction of Lord Krishna. We respect these demigods, but we our focus is on worshipping Lord Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. By devoting ourselves to Him, all the demigods become satisfied at the same time.

How come you don’t eat meat?

According to Vedic philosophy, this human form of life is meant for understanding God. Our eating should thus be limited to only that which is necessary to maintain our body. Our bodies can be easily maintained by eating food grains and milk products, so animal killing is unnecessary. Also, we only eat food which can be offered to Lord Krishna, and He doesn’t accept any animal flesh.

Why is chanting so important?

Chanting is the easiest way to connect directly with God. An appropriate analogy is to think of chanting to be like the singing of Christmas Carols. Christmas Carols are sung during a holy time of the year and they put people in a good mood since they are pleasant songs relating to the birthday of Jesus. The Vedas tell us that we should sing songs about God all the time, not just on His birthday. There is no difference between God and His name, so the more we chant, the more we increase our love for Him.

What is prasadam?

Prasadam means the “Lord’s mercy”. It is the remnants of anything that has been first offered to God, but the term is usually associated with food. Similar to the concept of saying grace before a meal, if prior to eating, we prepare and offer food to Krishna, He eats it spiritually. He leaves the rest for us to consume and distribute to others.

So what are you saying? Somehow regular food becomes magical just by offering it to Krishna first?

That’s right. God is eating the food first, so why wouldn’t it gain special powers? Eating prasadam purifies our eating experience and we gradually become awakened to our original spiritual consciousness.

Are you the type of people that point their finger at everyone and tell them they are going to hell if they don’t listen to you?

We would love to do that, but then would be going to hell too : ) All jokes aside, we love Krishna very much and our only mission is to humbly serve Him. If you get to know Him, you will find that He is the kindest and the most merciful. Our organization exists to distribute the Lord’s mercy to everyone in hopes that they will love Him even more than we do.

So please peruse our website and don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or comments.



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