April 2012 Archives

Jagadguru Kripaluji Maharaj's disciple speaks of Duty vs. Attachment from Bhagavad Gita

Gita Chapter 1, Part 8 (Duty Vs. Attachment) - by Swami Nikhilanand, disciple of Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj and sanyasi teacher at JKP Radha Madhav Dham

Chapter 1 is mainly the poorv pakch or question part of the Gita. In it, Arjun makes his confusion known to Krishn, Who then takes the next 17 chapters to clear Arjun's doubts and answer all of his questions. In fact, Shree Krishn did not speak a word in the first chapter. He listened and allowed Arjun to express whatever was in his heart before He said anything. Krishn's discourse - the uttar pakch or answer part of the Gita - did not begin until the second chapter.

Arjun's Duty
In the first chapter, we see that Arjun is not sure what his duty - or dharm - is in this situation. His ability to reason is clouded by his attachment to those against whom he is going to fight. In fact, if he was not related to or attached to any of the warriors in the other army, his duty would have been very clear to him.

What was Arjun's duty? In our modern terms, it can be compared to that of a police officer. The police officer has the duty to enforce the laws of the society. That means that he is supposed to protect those who follow the law, and prevent others from breaking the law. If someone does break the law, he is supposed to capture him and bring him to justice so he cannot keep doing it. If the one breaking the law refuses to obey the police officer and continues to break the law, then the officer may use force to stop him. If the criminal threatens the officer's life or the life of another citizen, the police officer may be justified in using lethal force - although he will exhaust all other options first. The use of force by the police officer is the last option.

In just the same way, Arjun had a duty to uphold the laws of the society in which he lived. This was his physical dharm. Duryodhan was breaking those laws. In order to protect the laws and the citizens, Arjun had a duty to stop him. Arjun and the Pandavs were on the side of dharm, and Duryodhan and the Kauravs were on the side of adharm. Before coming to the point of war, Arjun had exhausted all other options to resolve the situation; but Duryodhan would not compromise and demanded a war. So Arjun had only two options remaining: fight the war or allow Duryodhan to continue his evil ways unchecked. If a police officer finds himself in such a situation, then it is obvious what his duty is: he must use force to bring the criminal to justice.

Duty vs. Attachment
When Arjun's duty is so clear cut, then why was he confused? Only because of his attachment. When he saw the people against whom he was going to fight, his heart melted, because many of them were part of his extended family or were his elders who had educated him as a boy. Because they were dear to him, he became confused about his duty.

Is it right to fight against his own family? Although this may seem like a confusing situation, from the point of view of dharm, it is still perfectly clear. Ask yourself: if a police officer sees someone from his own family breaking the law, is he supposed to take his relation to them into consideration, or is he supposed to enforce the law equally, regardless of his personal attachments? The answer is obvious: he is required to enforce the law against a family member or loved one in the same way he would against a stranger. In fact, if he gives a family member or loved one any special consideration, he may be punished by his superiors or viewed as an accomplice in the crime.

Arjun's situation highlights this conflict between duty and attachment, which is something every person faces on a daily basis. Every day we are met with situations where we have to weigh duty versus attachment. If your own son was breaking the law, would you call the police or would you try to cover it up? Duty says to call the police. Attachment says to cover it up. It is for this very reason that Dhritrashtra was unable to do his duty as king. His attachment to his evil sons was so great that it made him helpless. Even though he knew what Duryodhan was doing was evil, he was powerless to stop him because he was unwilling to see his son get punished. In the end, Dhritrashtra was as responsible for all of his son's evil deeds as he was.

This is one of the central themes of the Gita, and is very relevant in our daily life. In the next article we will begin Chapter 2 and see how Shree Krishn began to resolve Arjun's confusion.

Note: The entire Bhagavad Gita series by Swami Nikhilanand will continue, once or twice a week, for more than a year and will be an incredible study aid in learning the deepest aspects of Bhagavad Gita from one of the most profound and prolific speakers of Bhagavad Gita in the English speaking world today. 

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Prem Mandir, Jagadguru Kripaluji Maharaj's temple in Vrindavan

Prem Mandir Update

"One has to create a new word to describe this wonder known as Prem Mandir," said Vivek Daga visiting from Kolkata. "This temple is so superb that there are no words to express it. I have never seen a marvelous place like this," said Bala Kapoor of Amritsar.

News of the glory of Prem Mandir and the spiritual attraction one feels while visiting, is spreading far and wide. Journalists in India have written that the structure rivals the Taj Mahal and that Prem Mandir has become synonymous with Vrindaban.

The local people have expressed their gratitude to Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj again and again for his, "Gift to Vrindaban." The pandits and spiritual heads of Vrindaban's eminent religious institutions and temples are seen daily during the arti times. In fact, just six weeks after the temple opening, 10,000 people pass through the counters at the security gates every weekday. On weekends the crowd swells to 25,000, and on Holi 100,000 people visited during the four hours the temple was open.

The maximum crowd can be seen at 7:00 p.m. during the lighted musical fountain display when hundreds of people are mesmerized by the patterns made by the colored water twisting, twirling and shooting out from water jets in the massive fountain. The patterns follow the ragas of the blissful kirtans of Radha Krishn being played. A video image of the kirtan sometimes appears on a "screen" of water.

The darshan of the stunningly adorned Deities is ever-new, as their shringar (clothing and ornaments) are changed daily before the first arti at 5:30 a.m. Their beauty captures the heart of many of the visitors who feel the actual Divine presence of Radha Krishn in Them. "I feel the Deities are talking and moving around with me," said one deeply moved visitor.

Although the architecture of the temple is unparalleled, it is the Divine vibrations emanating from Prem Mandir that compel many to visit again and again. "I forgot myself and this world when I was in meditation and I felt completely peaceful. I wish to visit very often," H. Thara of Tamil Nadu wrote in the guest register. "I wish to stay here forever," wrote another.

Daily Schedule at Prem Mandir

5:15 a.m. ~ jagran pad (waking song)
5:30 a.m. ~ darshan & Radha Krishn arti, Shree Ram Stuti
6:30 a.m. ~ bhog offering & geet (food offering to Deities and song)
8:30 a.m. ~ darshan & arti
11:45 a.m. arti
12:00 noon ~ close
4:30 p.m. ~ darshan & arti
5:30 p.m. ~ bhog offering & geet
7:00 p.m. ~ lighted musical fountain display
8:00 p.m. ~ arti
8:15 p.m. ~ shayan pad (sleeping song)
8:30 p.m. ~ close

Prem Mandir ki Jai! Vrindaban Dham ki Jai! Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj ki Jai!

Recent Pictures from Prem Mandir, Vrindavan:

Prem Mandir, Jagadguru Kripaluji Maharaj's temple in Vrindavan

Prem Mandir Entrance Gate at Night

Prem Mandir, Jagadguru Kripaluji Maharaj's temple in Vrindavan

Panels Depicting Shree Krishn'a Appearance Leela
Prem Mandir, Jagadguru Kripaluji Maharaj's temple in Vrindavan

Visitors at Prem Mandir, Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj's temple in Vrindavan

Prem Mandir, Jagadguru Kripaluji Maharaj's temple in Vrindavan

Visitors Enjoying Depiction of Govardhan Leela at Prem Mandir

Prem Mandir, Jagadguru Kripaluji Maharaj's temple in Vrindavan

Maharas Scene at Prem Mandir, Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj's temple in Vrindavan

Prem Mandir, Jagadguru Kripaluji Maharaj's temple in Vrindavan
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Annual East Coast Intensive with Swami Nikhilanand, disciple of Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj and sanyasi teacher of JKP Radha Madhav Dham

Friday, May 18, 2012 from 5:30pm
through Sunday, May 20, 2012 at 2:00pm

Vraj Ashram,
15 Manor Rd,
Schuylkill Haven,
PA 17972

A beautiful temple and ashram on 300 acres in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains of Pennsylvania.

Past Glimpses:

- Includes program, accomodations & vegetarian meals
-$150 per adult (18 yrs. & older)
-$50 per child (6 - 17 yrs.) 5 & under free
-$50 per student (not working)

Please make checks payable to JKP Radha Madhav Dham.
Mail completed registration form and check to:
2012 East Coast Intensive
c/o Swami Nikhilanand
400 Barsana Road, Austin, TX 78737

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Disciple of Jagadguru Kripaluji Maharaj presents Bhagavad Gita in Connecticut

Free Spring Break Program: Essentials of the Gita for Parents & their Children

with Swami Nikhilanand, disciple of Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj and sanyasi pracharak of of JKP, Radha Madhav Dham

Dates & Times:

Sun-Sat, April 15-21, 2012

Sun, April 15 4:00-6:00pm

Mon-Fri, April 16-20 7:00-8:30pm

Sat, April 21 7:00-9:00pm

Dinner will be served daily after the program


Hindu Cultural Center of Connecticut

96 Chapel St,


Connecticut 06614



More info:


Past highlights:


Day 1: What is the Gita?

Day 2: Who am I? Understanding the true self.

Day 3: Why do we want? The secret of desires.

Day 4: Why do we do wrong things?

Day 5: The secret of Krishn's avatar.

Day 6: How long have souls been apart from God?

Day 7: Meditation & control of the mind.

• separate instruction for adults

& youth (age 6 & up)

• prizes for top scores and perfect attendance

• for info and to register your kids:

call Dinesh Jaaswal at (203) 329-2686

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Mela 2012 at Radha Madhav Dham, US ashram of Jagadguru Kripaluji Maharaj

Austin, TX 4/6/2012: Through the months of brown drought, Austin has patiently waited for the warm, soft rains to come and tantalize the bluebonnets to blanket the meadows again. If you drive out on FM 1826 in the Hill Country, the Radha Madhav Dham wildflowers are out in abundance. Below grey skies a lazy light falls on scattered beds of mustard making room for the Golden Groundsels and the Giant purple Spiderworts. In the meadows of Radha Madhav Dham they sing: "Jai, Jai, Jai, Jai!"

Just as the sun hits Barsana Hill, you can walk down the center path past Radha Kund; just before Prem Sarovar pond and Govardhan Hill, there's a meadow of wildflowers that, if you try hard enough, you can hear them singing faintly with the warm breeze. The green is back and colors abound. "Come one and Come all!"

Radha Madhav Dham Mela: Saturday April 28, from 12:00 to 5:00 p.m.

With all the fixings and treats of Indian cuisine and culture, this year's Mela welcomes Austin to celebrate Spring and new beginnings. For starters, stop off at the famous bazaar providing its multi-colored and elaborately patterned fabrics of saris, shawls and kurtas; its intricately designed bangles, toe rings, anklets and earrings, including all the sounds of an Indian village market place.

Relax; have a chai and watch the children ride on top of ponies and camels. Get your face painted and watch Bonzo Crunch the clown juggle his spinning pizza pies. And for the cricket enthusiasts, bring your cricket bat with you to this year's Mela, for there will be a batting cage set up especially for you.

Some of Radha Madhav Dham community kids were asked this week about their favorite aspects of the Mela:

"I can't wait for the Dosas!" (Dosa is a large, thin crepe wrapping around a mound of delicious Indian spiced potato-pea mixture.)

One parent commented, "For me, I just like to see my kids enjoy the fun, the games; the little ones especially like the petting zoo."

"NO, the GAMES!" One of the teen girls said, "Rolling Down the Yamuna, that's my favorite, or no... I like throwing darts at the heart-shaped balloons!"

"The prizes! The prizes at Radha Madhav Dham are the best!" Another girl said.

Still another, "Overall, my favorite thing to do at the Mela is the Henna Mehindi hand painting."

Inside the myriad of food booths are offerings of Indian dishes, including samosas, pau bhaji, subji masala and much more. There will also be an Indian sweet stand, and ice cream and lemonade, and don't forget the delicious mango lassis (an Indian smoothie of mango).

Take a seat in our air-conditioned Temple where you'll enjoy authentic dances from around India, featuring Aparupa Chatterjee from College Station performing Odissi dance from Orissa. Other dances include Bharatnatyam Classical and fusion, Khatak and Khatak fusion, Bhangra and Dandia. In addition, Swami Nikhilanand will be leading a series of fun and interactive sessions entitled: "Hinduism: Myth vs. Fact" and "Being Good & Finding God," as well as meditation and kirtan.

Or for those who just want to tour the land of Radha Madhav Dham, there will be tram rides throughout the day, as well as walking tours through the Holy Places and the beautiful wildflower meadows.

Finally if you're interested in what the moon was doing when you were born, there will be an authentic Vedic Jyotish astrologer who will be available to create your birth chart.

Bottom line, Mela at Radha Madhav Dham will be a bonanza of joyous, wholesome fun for everyone. And guaranteed you'll leave feeling uplifted and looking forward to coming back again soon.

Past mela glimpses:

   Mela 2012 at Radha Madhav Dham, US ashram of Jagadguru Kripaluji MaharajMela 2012 at Radha Madhav Dham, US ashram of Jagadguru Kripaluji Maharaj

Mela 2012 at Radha Madhav Dham, US ashram of Jagadguru Kripaluji Maharaj

Mela 2012 at Radha Madhav Dham, US ashram of Jagadguru Kripaluji Maharaj

Mela 2012 at Radha Madhav Dham, US ashram of Jagadguru Kripaluji Maharaj

Mela 2012 at Radha Madhav Dham, US ashram of Jagadguru Kripaluji Maharaj

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Free Spring Break Family Program: Krishn Leelas of the Bhagwatam

Discourse & Kírtan for adults by Swami Nikhilanand of ]KP, Radha Madhav Dham.

Separate Bhagwatam Classes provided concurrently for youth age 6-18


Sun - ­Sat, April 8-14, 2012

Sun, April 8 6:00-8:00PM; April 9-13 7:00-8:30PM;

Sat, April 14 Dinner served daily after arti.


Vaishnav Community Center

100 Lakeville Rd,

New Hyde Park, NY 11040


To register your kids: Call Rohit Sharma (516) 582-1113


Adults- The main leelas of Krishn's life in chronological order according to the Bhagwatam.

Youth- Youth will also study the leelas of the Bhagwatam, watch videos of Krishn leelas, play Ieopardy, and take an exam on the final day. Prizes for perfect attendance & high score on exam.

Having taught many family Gita classes in the New York area, this February Swami Nikhilanand is returning to deliver a series of discourses explaining what is beyond the Bhagwad Gita. This program, to be held at the Asamai Hindu Temple in Hicksville, New York from Feb 19 - 26, will introduce listeners to the philosophy of the Bhagwatam. The program will combine a discourse and kirtan in the main hall for adults with a youth Bhagwatam class in a separate room. It will also differ from most other Bhagwat saptah programs in that listeners will not only hear the stories of the Bhagwatam, but will learn the actual philosophy of the Bhagwatam, how it relates to other Hindu scriptures, and how to apply it in their own practice of devotion.

Swami Nikhilanand is a disciple of Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj. He was born in Canada in a non-religious family and learned about God while attending a Catholic school in his small hometown. Although he knew nothing about Hinduism at the time, his spiritual questions led him to search beyond the conventional religious education he received in school, and he read many religious books of other traditions. As a young man, his quest brought him to a Hindu religious center in Austin, Texas by the name of Radha Madhav Dham. Radha Madhav Dham is the main U.S. ashram of Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj. While visiting the ashram, Swami Nikhilanand learned the Hindu concepts of God, soul, reincarnation, karm, and liberation and found many of the answers he had been seeking since his childhood. Soon after, Swami Nikhilanand moved to the ashram in Texas and also started making regular visits to India to learn more about Hinduism. He learned Hindi, and also studied the main Sanskrit scriptures with the guidance of Jagadguru Kripaluji Maharaj. After several years of study and meditation, he was given the order of sanyas, which is a renounced order of living similar to being a monk. He now travels around America giving discourses on the philosophy of Sanatan Dharm to adults and youth, and teaching the path of bhakti as he learned from his Guruji, Jagadguru Kripaluji Maharaj.

In his Bhagwatam discourse this July, Swami Nikhilanand will be going beyond what he has taught in his past Gita classes. Swamiji tells, "It is commonly said that where the teachings of the Bhagwad Gita end, the philosophy of the Bhagwatam begins. The Gita gives general knowledge about who God is, who Krishn is, and how a person should lead their life. The Bhagwatam reveals things about God that are only hinted at in the Gita, and tells secrets about the ultimate goal of life which you could not know by reading the Gita. That is why the Bhagwatam is considered to the crown jewel of all the Hindu scriptures." The satsang will conclude each evening with singing bhajans of Krishn leelas which are based on the stories of the Bhagwatam. This helps participants to engage their mind in remembering God for a longer time, whereas normally the mind is too fickle to allow a person to meditate for more than a few minutes.

While the adults attend the satsang and discourse in the main hall, the youth will be learning the philosophy and stories of the Bhagwatam in a separate class. Youth will also play a fun game of Jeopardy every day to test their knowledge of the Hindu scriptures. Dinner prasad will be served after the arti every day.

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Disciple of Jagadguru Kripaluji Maharaj teaching Bhagavad Gita chapter 1 to devotees

Gita Chapter 1, Part 7 - by Swami Nikhilanand, disciple of Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj and sanyasi teacher at JKP Radha Madhav Dham

Having understood the qualification for studying the Gita, we are now ready to start learning the main topics of the first chapter of the Gita, starting with the first verse. 

The first word of the Gita (chapter 1, verse 1) is 'dharmakchetre', which means 'in the field of dharm'. At the time Shree Krishn spoke these words, He was in the Kurukchetra battlefield; so it might seem obvious that He was referring to Kurukchetra, where a dharmic war was about to take place, as the 'field of dharm'. However, the 'field of dharm' refers not only to Kurukchetra, but also to the world as a whole. The whole world being the field of dharm is an integral concept of Hindu philosophy. You could also say that the whole world is the field of karm - both ideas are interrelated. 

The Field of Karm

The world we live in is the field of karm because as long as we are here in this world, we are bound by the law of karm. The law of karm means that whatever actions we perform, anywhere in this world, we must receive the consequences. We are 'bound' by this law, because there is no escape from it and no way to circumvent it. Wherever we go in this world, the spiritual government (God) is watching our every thought, word and deed, categorizing all of it as good or bad (according to the intention behind it) and then arranging for us to receive the consequences in the form of good or bad destiny (in our future lives). Thus, this world is the field where we perform our actions, and it is the field in which we receive the consequences, so it is the field of karm.

The Field of Dharm

This whole world is also called the field of dharm, because not only are we being held accountable for all our karm, but there is a recommended course of action for us. That recommended course of action is called dharm. If we follow dharm, then we move in a positive direction - we improve ourselves. If we do not follow dharm, then we move in a negative direction. So living in this world is an opportunity to improve ourselves by following the path of dharm as recommended in the Vedas. Thus, it is called the field of dharm (for more information on the Vedas and dharm, see "The Gita Chapter 1, Part 1").

Dharm is of two kinds: the recommended actions for living a good life in the world, and the recommended actions for attaining God. The first kind of dharm is called apar dharm and leads to peace of mind in this life and improved prosperity in the next life. The second kind of dharm is called par dharm and leads to God realization, the attainment of ultimate Bliss, and freedom from rebirth. While apar dharm is limited to this transitory world and can only give temporary happiness, it is nonetheless important because it regulates people's behavior so there can be peace and harmony in the family and society. Yet, it is still only a preliminary dharm. If someone wants everlasting, perfect happiness, then they must graduate to the par dharm. This is the path to God, also called bhakti. It is the supreme dharm of all the souls, and it is the main topic of the Gita, which will be discussed in detail in later chapters.

In the next article, I will discuss why Arjun was confused about what his dharm was, and what the relationship is between duty and attachment.

Note: The entire Bhagavad Gita series by Swami Nikhilanand will continue, once or twice a week, for more than a year and will be an incredible study aid in learning the deepest aspects of Bhagavad Gita from one of the most profound and prolific speakers of Bhagavad Gita in the English speaking world today. 

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This page is an archive of entries from April 2012 listed from newest to oldest.

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