Basics of Hinduism for adults & kids in Pasadena, by Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj's pracharak Swami Nikhilanand. California, June 2013
Date & Time:
June 17 - 23, 2013.
Mon., June 17, to Sat., June 22, 7:00 - 8:30 pm.
Sun., June 23, 6:00 - 8:00 pm.
801 Madre Street.,
Pasadena, CA 91107.
Phone: (626) 319-2064 to RSVP
Class format will appeal to both adults and kids
Dinner served daily after arti
Class will conclude daily with a fun game of Jeopardy to review the day's material
Prizes will be awarded to kids with perfect attendance
Gain a foundation in the fundamentals of Hindu philosophy
June 17th: Why have faith in Hinduism?
June 18th: Origin of the Hindu scriptures.
June 19th: One God, or many Gods?
June 20th: Where did the universe come from? The process of creation.
June 21st: The souls and reincarnation.
June 22nd: The law of karm.
June 23rd: The meaning of life. The ways of meditation.
Swami Nikhilanand studied the philosophy of Hinduism in a systematic way from Jagadguru Shree Kripalu Ji Maharaj. He is a sanyasi teacher who lives at the largest Hindu temple in North America, Radha Madhav Dham in Austin, Texas. He speaks in Hindu Temples and homes around the U.S., clarifying the true knowledge of Hinduism.
Swami Nikhilanand, a senior disciple of Jagadguru Shree Kripalu Ji Maharaj and preacher of JKP Radha Madhav Dham, will present an enlightening kirtan and lecture series called "Great Saints of India" at Hindu Center of Flushing, April 28th - May 5th 2013.
Dates: Sun. April 28th - Sun, May 5th Times: Both Sundays, 6:30pm - 8:00pm
Monday - Saturday, 7:00pm - 8:30pm
Venue: Hindu Center of Flushing
45-52 Kissena Blvd,
Flushing, New York 11355 Phone: 718-358-6726
In this series, Shree Swami Nikhilanand Ji explains the philosophy of God realization and becoming a Saint according to the teachings of Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj. He shares the life history of a few important Saints from the history of India and explains what we can learn from them to help us find God in this life. Some important Saints we'll learn about are: Bhak Dhruv, Bhakt Prahlad, Bhakt Sudama as well as the philosophy of how a Saint actually helps the souls. Swamiji has previously given this series at Radha Madhav Dham and at Hindu centers and temples around the country. Search 'Swami Nikhilanand Saints of India' on youtube to watch! Sample below:
Ram Navmi 2013 will be celebrated at Radha Madhav Dham with a week long Ramayan Katha by Sushree Siddheshvari Devi followed by a grand festival on Sunday April 21 2013. The Ram Navmi 2013 festival will be streamed live online!
Shree Ram bhaktas from throughout Texas are counting down the days to Ram Navmi 2013 which will be celebrated with traditional fervor and devotion at Radha Madhav Dham, the main ashram and temple of Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj in America.
Ram Navmi (the birth of Lord Ram) took place in Tretayug, over 18 million years ago, but Shree Ram always remains with His loving devotees as He is eternally omnipresent. All throughout India, we can still see the reminders of Shree Ram's life. There is Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh where he appeared, Chitracut, also in Uttar Pradesh, where He stayed in the early days of His exile, Panchavati in Maharashtra from where Sita was abducted, Hampi where Ram met Hanuman, Rameshwaram in Tamil Nadu from where he built a bridge to Lanka, and Rishikesh where he performed penance to atone for killing Ravan who although a demon, was also a Brahman by birth. The days of Ram's birth, of his victory over Ravan and of his return to Ayodha are known as Ram Navmi, Dusshera and Diwali festivals.
Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj, the preceptor of Radha Madhav Dham, has established a very special little Ram Mandir in Shree Shringverpur, located 25 km south-east of Mangarh on the banks of the Ganges River. It is situated on the exact spot where Nishadraj helped Ram, Sita, and Lakchman cross the Ganges during their exile in the forest. In Vrindavan, the Sita Ram darshan at Prem Mandir takes your breath away, so it is also one of the holiest sites for devotees of Sita Ram.
Jagadguru Shree Kripalu Ji Maharaj offering his respects to Sita Ram at Prem Mandir
Devotees standing in front of the Ram Mandir established by Shree Maharajji in Shringverpur Dham
Darshan of Sita Ram and Lakshman at a small Ram Mandir in Shringverpur, founded by Shree Maharajji
Radha Madhav Dham in America is one of the best places to feel part of the Shree Ram tradition. The three main Shree Ram celebrations are celebrated in such beautiful and devotional ways that can hardly be matched. This year Radha Madhav Dham will celebrate Ram Navmi with week long Ramayan Katha led by Sushree Siddheshvari Devi Ji, culminating with the Ram Navmi celebration on Sunday, April 21 from 11 am - 1 pm.
In the weeks preceeding Ram Navmi, the devotees are busy preparing for the Ram Navmi celebration. They create wondrous backdrops and props to be placed in the temple and shrine. The event coordinators are in full swing, choreographing the reenactment of the leelas, with the actor kids and adults rehearsing and the costume crew making sure everything is perfect. Radha Madhav Dham's team of talented techies have been hard at work over the past few weeks to give us something extra to inspire our devotion this year: Live streaming of the whole Ram Navmi celebration!
Scene from a Ram Navmi leela jhanki at Radha Madhav Dham accompanied by lively singing of chaupai from the Ramayan. Ram Navmi 2013 leela will be the best one yet!
Beautiful leela jhankis accompanied by singing of the chaupai from the Ramayan, abhishek ceremony of Shree Ram's lotus feet, jhula celebration of baby Ram, continuous singing of the best Sita Ram kirtans revealed by Jagadguru Shree Kripalu Maharaj, along with frequent outpourings of Ramchandra Ki Jai! reverberating throughout the entire temple and surroundings of Radha Madhav Dham... This is the traditional Ram Navmi vision at Radha Madhav Dham. Afterwards, everyone partakes of a delicious celebratory prasad lunch prepared and served by the Austin community.
Precious, personal moment swinging the cradle of baby Ram on Ram Navmi 2013
We would be doing a great favor to all interested friends and family to share the link as well as the timings. The devotees are always conscientious of making us feel part of these events, through new and innovative technologies. There is a lovely feeling of connectedness, knowing that you are part of the event, watching live and joining in, as other devotees do the same, feeling the same feelings as the crowds that are actually present on the day. The date and international timings and URL of the Live Stream are as follows:
Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj sanyasi pracharak, Swami Nikhilanand, to deliver FREE week-long series of Bhagwad Gita classes for parents and kids at Hindu Cultural Center of Connecticut
RSVP via Swami Nikhilanand's official facebook page: Click here
Free Spring Break Program with Swami Nikhilanand, sanyasi disciple of Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj and teacher at JKP Radha Madhav Dham
Sun, April 14th 4:00-6:00pm
Mon- Fri, April 15-19 7:00-8:30pm
Sat, April 20 7:00-9:00pm
Hindu Cultural Center of Connecticut
96 Chapel St.,
Connecticut 06614 www.HinduCulturalCenter.org
Phone: (203) 375-9898
Day 1: Four ways to surrender to God.
Day 2: What happens at the moment of death.
Day 3: Is the soul the same as God.
Day 4: The general & special Grace of God.
Day 5: The origin of the universe & the omnipotence of God.
Day 6: Arjun's Divine Vision.
Day 7: Devotion to personal of formless God.
In this 7-part lecture series on the Bhagwatam, Swami Nikhilanand, disciple of Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj and sanyasi peacharak of Radha Madhav Dham, relates the Krishn leelas from the first part of the 10th canto. It covers the from time of Shree Krishn's appearance and birthday celebration in Gokul, up until the Govardhanleela and Shree Krishn's crowning as the real Indra by Kamdhenu and Indra himself.
Along with describing the leelas, Swami Nikhilanand explains how one should listen to the leelas, the danger of applying one's intellect in Divine leelas, and the reason why hearing the leelas is so important for a devotee. He tells that listening to, chanting and meditating on Shree Krishn's leelas are the easiest way to purify the heart; thus, it is an integral part of the path of bhakti.
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.
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.
"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 Entrance Gate at Night
Panels Depicting Shree Krishn'a Appearance Leela
Visitors at Prem Mandir, Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj's temple in Vrindavan
Visitors Enjoying Depiction of Govardhan Leela at Prem Mandir
Maharas Scene at Prem Mandir, Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj's temple in Vrindavan
Step 3. Visiting www.JKP.org and www.RadhaMadhavDham.org to learn more about the teachings and national and international activities of Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj and JKP Radha Madhav Dham or to purchase books and DVDs by Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj and JKP Radha Madhav Dham.