Recently in December Category
|Albany Hindu Temple, Loudonville, New York, December 9 - 15, 2012|
The Essence of the Gita: Chapters 1 - 6
Discourse & Kirtan by Swami Nikhilanand
Sun Dec 9, 1:30 PM - 2:30 PM in the Temple
Mon, Dec 10, 6:30 PM - 7:30 PM in the Cultural Center
Tue-Thurs, Dec, 11 - 13. 6:30 PM - 7:30 PM in the Temple
Fri, Dec 14, 6:30 - 7:30 PM in the Cultural Center
Sat, Dec 15. 6:30 - 7:30 PM in the Temple
Venue: Albany Hindu Temple
450 Shaker Road
Loudonville, New York 12110
|Ramayan discourses and |
kirtan by Swami Nikhilanand,
pracharak of Jagadguru
Nov 30th - Dec 1st
Friday & Saturday
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
256-09 Hillside Ave,
New York 11004
O my supreme beloved Bhagwan Ram, the crown jewel of the dynasty of King Raghu! I am the most fallen and humble soul of this world, and You are the most kind friend of all such souls. Your Graciousness has no compare. So, please lift me up from this unlimited cosmic ocean and make me Your own forever." Selfless devotion to God with such feelings of devotional humbleness are constantly expressed in the Ramayan and also in the Vinay Patrika.
Please share this page with your family and friends in New York!
The Essence of the Gita: Chapters 7 - 12
Discourse & Kirtan by Swami Nikhilanand
December 2nd - 7th, 2012
Sun, Dec 2nd: 2pm - 4pm
Mon - Fri, Dec 3rd - 7th: 7pm - 9pm
Location: Shri Shirdi Sai Baba Mandir
46-16 Robinson St.,
Flushing, New York 11355
Oh my beloved Krishna! There are thousands of gatherings the world over, but none compares with Yours.
Whether the king of the celestial abodes, Indra, or a pauper, everyone is treated equally by You.
The one who knows the truth of Your Divine personality, can't find happiness from anyone or anything but You.
If some exhausted soul who has been rotating in the 8.4 million species of life comes knocking at Your door,
You give him the sweet nectar of Your Divine glance to drink, and this nectar is impossible to explain in words, yet its effects are impossible to hide from the eyes of the world.
You say that You alone are ours and that we should form all our relationships only with You.
There is no bigger fool than the one who knows this and still fails to love You.
Those who live and die for You, and who remain in the fire of feeling separation from You...
Oh, Krishna, they have full faith that You are merciful, never merciless.
He who becomes addicted to Your Divine love nectar, finds even God's almighty Vaikunth abode bland and tasteless in comparison.
He who drowns in the ocean of Your Divine love never again surfaces, for there is a whirlpool in this ocean and no shore.
In love there is only the desire to give and give; a true lover never thinks of taking anything.
One who desires something from the Beloved is ignorant, and is certainly not a Rasik Saint of Braj.
The only thing you have to do is accept Him as yours and learn to long for Him.
He will embrace You. He is seated in your heart and noting your thoughts and feelings.
Give me just a drop of Your Divine nectar to drink. Will your treasure decrease if you give me this much?
After receiving Your love if a soul leaves You, there is no one as foolish as he.
by Vyasar Bhaiya, senior at Allegheny College in Meadville, PA, JKP Radha Madhav Dham devotee, camp instructor and official blogger for Radha Madhav Dham's upcoming new official blog (to be announced later)
The first day of Camp is a unique thing. There are people who you've never seen before, walking around the grounds with their jaws dropped and their big suitcases bursting everywhere. The seasoned Campers are all moved in, lounging in chairs, trading stories about past Camps and the past year. Volunteers frantically scuttle from the office to the classroom, stocking last-minute supplies and making copies of everything. The air is heavy with anticipation at Radha Madhav Dham, for the December Hindu Family Camp.
My lessons are all planned, filed and ready to go. I look at the stack of papers I will have to distribute to the teen class over the course of the next week, and shake my head in wonder. I got here the weekend before and I'm already done? There has to be something left to do: sharpen some pencils, set up an altar, fine-tune a presentation. But of course, it's all being taken care of by the huge army of sevaks that have swarmed about the mandir, preparing it for rambunctious five-year-olds and devotional parents alike. Being at Radha Madhav Dham makes us all more industrious than we really are, because we have the more direct experience of Radha and Krishn watching us as we work.
I go through my list and check off the activities that will need further work, designs that must be monitored to come to fruition: burning Ravan, leela improv, kirtan, parikrama, team-building activities, trivia contest, art project, seva project. All of these things will happen during the course of the Camp. From the morning call of arti at 5 a.m., to late night warm milk at 10 p.m., every member of the Camp will have something to do, some activity in which to partake. Youth, teenagers and adults all have a set schedule - planned to the fifteenth minute - with classes, presentations, physical activities, games and service work; so much that by the end of every Camp, I have to wonder how we manage to do it all.
- Vyasar Ganesan
I am thinking about the drive up.
It is Friday, December 23rd, and Texas is marvelously warm compared to the rest of the country. The rolling Hill Country is still a little green, clinging to summer in anticipation of spring. As the car takes the sharp turns and deep drops, bits and pieces of buildings rise and fall in the windshield. A ranch here, a gas station there. The only constant bit of man-made edifice I see are chicken wire fences.
Then, at the crest of the highest hill, with a grand parting of the trees and flourish of the sky, the topmost bit of the shikar flies into view. Radha Madhav Dham, one of the largest Hindu temples in America, a beacon in the hills and in my heart.
It has been a long time.
I was here more than four months ago, mumbling a hasty prayer in the hall the day before my flight back to school. The night was hot, an oppressive force on my back, pushing me wherever I went. I remember feeling rushed in my thoughts, mentally weighing the clothes, snacks and books I was taking with me to school. My whole memory of summer, in a way, feels somewhat like this: rushing to pack away good feelings, good memories, to take with me to college.
But in winter, things slow down. The trees behave less like living, breathing organisms, and more like statues left out in the cold. Animals and insects huddle together for warmth, lowering their heart rates and taking their time in foraging, nesting, surviving, understanding their environment. Winter is a season that gives us all pause, room to feel out our sense of self in relation to the larger world. And for our spiritual guidance, nothing is more important than having the time to actively practice faith with that tempered mindset.
I am traversing the hills to Radha Madhav Dham to attend the 2011 winter Hindu Family Camp, something I have done since I was sixteen. Every year, more than 100 people from across the country do the same thing; old and young, rich and poor. Some have been coming as long as I have, but many of the attendees this year are coming for the first time. Not all of them are families, either: some single adults and, in my case, college students, come without their families. But from everyone, I have heard the sentiment expressed multiple times that "if you can't be in India, you should be here."
Attending a Family Camp at Radha Madhav Dham is not accurately comparable to being in India, but it is certainly an experience you're unlikely to have anywhere else in America. Who else spends their day after Christmas lost in prayer, dreaming of God? Where else are you going to find a tightly massed crowd crammed into a temple on New Year's Eve, chanting until noon the next day? What people do you know who spend the days in between learning about scripture, religious festivals, and the path of devotion?
What pushes a Family Camp beyond the normal temple experience, though, isn't just the prayer hall. It's what people bring into the prayer hall, the totality of the divine experience they have at Radha Madhav Dham. We remember staying an extra half an hour outside to finish a seva project, of our own volition; the smiling faces of children as they perform heart-wringing leelas of Radha and Krishn; the smell of prasad being cooked in the community kitchen; kabadi being played on the front lawn of the temple; adults and kids alike running out of breath as they are surrounded by hugging arms. When you have all of that to take into the prayer hall, and you look at the loving forms of Radha and Krishn, you are transformed, transported to place you didn't think existed.
The temple is just around the next bend, and I find myself thinking of all the work that needs doing, in preparation for the next semester, and even in preparation for the Camp. The weight is very sudden and swift, and I can feel the gears beginning to heat up and spin in my mind. I smile as I pass through the gates. I have to remind myself that it's winter.
[Registration for JKP Radha Madhav Dham's Summer Hindu Family Camp is now available. Visit www.HinduFamilyCamp.org for details]
Soon our children will be grown, getting married and having children of their own. Who is responsible for teaching your grandchildren about the greatness of Sanatan Dharm? How will they know about the great heritage they are being born into? What will they do in school when they are learning about 'Hinduism' and are confronted with derogatory misinformation that is in their textbooks? How do your children feel now? Are you equipped with Scriptural knowledge to help them feel proud to be a Hindu in America?
With the blessings of Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj, Sushree Diwakari Didi and Nikhilanand Bhaiya, sanyasi teachers of JKP Radha Madhav Dham are bringing the Scriptures to life during our Hindu Family Camps.
Once a year families from all over the country choose to invest in their children's future by attending the winter family camp. While immersing in devotional, educational and family fun activities, everyone is given the opportunity to have their questions answered, spend quality time with their family, meet new friends and enjoy the serene atmosphere of the temple and beautiful grounds.
Families of all ages are invited to attend. Adults, teens, youths and children learn devotional philosophy that provides answers to fundamental questions such as, "Who am I? Who is God? Am I separate from God? How can I meet God?" As the answers to these core questions of our life are unfolded through the teachings of the scriptures of Sanatan Dharm, participants gain a firm faith and pride in the Hindu heritage.
"My teenager learned about all the great world discoveries that came from India and told me he was proud of being a Hindu for the very first time. Bonding with other Hindu youth and families made even my Camp experience not only enjoyable, but I sincerely gained a lot.„
Kids activities include devotional stories, arts and crafts, cooking, leela performances, kirtan, meditation, creative movement and dance, parachute play, peacock walks and much, much more.
Youth activities include interactive knowledge sessions, learning shlokas, leela plays, devotional 'Jeopardy', scriptural storytelling, arts and crafts, dholak, harmonium, cymbals, yog and outdoor activities.
Adults will learn the basics of Hinduism and how to practice meditation. They will also choose electives such as gentle yog asanas, harmonium, dholak or cymbal playing classes. The schedule includes enjoyable family activities like ras garba, historical Saint reenactments, campfire, water Holi, holy dip in Radha Kund and family olympics.
"My family gets more understanding of Hinduism, which strengthens our trust and faith in God, every time we attend the Radha Madhav Dham Family Camp. The most important teaching we learned is to love God and form a relationship with God. This knowledge carries us through difficult times. It strengthens our practice of Hinduism at home.„
- Ashay, Austin, TX