If we desire prema-sevā, divine loving service, we will make a firm vow to Śrīmatī Rādhikā and Her prominent sakhīs like Lalita-devi, Viśākhā, Rūpa Mañjarī, and so forth. We will pray, “I will not take shelter of any other. I only seek and wait for Your blessings and mercy. I will only associate with those who similarly seek Your shelter and who have vraja-niṣṭha. I will sternly avoid any other association.”
If the living entities have no love, they will not be able to change. They will chant any other names. Give them prema.” “Yes,” Mahāprabhu said, “I will give. I have not given this in a very long time.”
Where does the day pass by? Time is only running. In your mind, go to Giriraja Govardhana, offer pranama and bhoga, perform parikrama, offer obeisance, take prasadam and share it with others. What do you have to spend? The only thing you need is a little time to engage your mind. If you do not give this time to yourself, then the day is passing, the years are passing, and your life will pass by uselessly…
“No! I am great and superior to all. I am more qualified than everyone else. All must spread my glories far and wide.”
“Mahārāja, you are not being honest with yourself. You do not know how to offer proper respect. You are not very competent and are in fact quite ordinary.”
My Guru Maharaja would never tell anyone where he would go; he would go to any bhakta’s house without any prior notice. He would never announce this. Once, he went to Laksmi-Janardanapura in Sundarvana. The area is a jungle. Many poor people live there in straw-huts nearby the river. In the morning and evening all the villagers did kirtana and worshiped their Guru Maharaja. On their Guru Maharaja’s birthday, they desired to make a big feast…
We can be connected to Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa through these books of our Guru-varga. By honoring our ācāryas, their books, and their instructions, we can realize the essence of Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa’s sweetness and beauty. Even if you cannot understand these books, you must respect them and try to memorize and repeat even just one or two words from them. This is called puṣpāñjali.
What to do? His hair and his beard were filled with the glue of the jackfruit. He had to go to court in the morning, but how could he go in this state? At night, he tried to comb his hair out, but he could not. Finally, he cut all his hair and beard with a razor. He was completely shaved clean. In the morning, he went to the court. The convict came before the judge, also completely shaven. The judge said, “Oh, you have also eaten jackfruit..?”
“An old Bābājī Mahārāja once lived in a village called Raṇavāḍī in Vraja-maṇḍala more than a hundred years ago. At one point, the desire awakened in him to have darśana of Dvārakā. A brāhmaṇa family came who were going to Dvārakā and offered to take the Bābājī along, paying the full cost of travel. The Bābājī agreed and they took him along with them.
The case caused quite a stir in India. After going to the Kolkata High Court, it was transferred to the Bombay High Court. In danger of losing all ISKCON properties and assets, ISKCON leaders begged Śrīla Gurudeva to testify for them in court. They remembered Śrīla Svāmī Mahārāja telling them, “If you have any difficulty, go to Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja for guidance and help.”
What is Bhaktabandhav
Sri Krsna says:
asmakam bandhava bhakta
bhaktanam bandhava vayam
“I am the dearmost friend of the devotees, and the devotees are My dearmost friends.”
The title ‘Bhaktabandhav – dearmost friend of the devotees’ was given to our Srila Gurudeva, Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja, by his spiritual master. Bhakta means devotee and bandhav is the Sanskrit word for superlative friendship, indicating a loving bond that cannot be broken.
Krsna teaches that serving the devotees is more important than His own worship. Moreover, that those who consider themselves His devotees are not His real devotees, but those who are the devotees of His devotees, they are the real devotees. Therefore, our focus at Bhaktabandhav is serving the devotees and helping all people attain their true, spiritual identity, as pure loving devotees of the absolute, loving reality, the Divine Couple, Sri Sri Radha-Krsna.
We help people develop their ultimate, spiritual potential, by personal guidance in applying the principles of pure bhakti-yoga. Our mission is not to change or save the world, but to help the individual transcend it. The world is a training ground, the university of life. We help people graduate to a higher ground, the spiritual plane of existence. Once we’ve trained the next generation of spiritual leaders, we guide them in training the next generation of spiritual aspirants, helping them transcend bondage to materialism. Thus, the mission of the world is fulfilled.
Our Headquarters and Daily Schedule
People of over a dozen nationalities and disciples of a dozen gurus reside harmoniously together in our mission headquarters, Sri Radhe Kunj, Vrindavan, India.
Our doors are always open, welcoming everyone for daily free feasts and programs full of illuminating classes, japa, meditation, guided pilgrimage, singing and dancing in kirtan, and courses on existential truths, the process of spiritual progress, and attainment of the ultimate goal of life, pure love of the absolute, loving reality.
Our morning services began at 4:30 a.m. with a half hour of prayers to the saints and the Divine Couple, Sri Sri Radha-Krsna, followed by the first of five daily aratis. Senior monks wake hours before this, and go on daily pilgrimage of various holy sites, returning in time for the 4:30 prayers and mangala-arati.
After the pre-dawn arati in the temple, residents and guests perform their morning meditations, gayatri-mantras, and japa chanting of the mahamantra: Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.
From 6 to 7 a.m. the monks sing kirtans, followed by the morning class until 8 a.m, and the arati to the ascended line of pure gurus. After breakfast, the monks attend to their various duties and services, including outreach work, preparation of a free lunch feast for our hundreds of daily guests, publication work, temple maintenance, and so forth. In the evening, we have a program of kirtana, class, and aratis, beginning from 5:30 p.m. and ending at 9:30 p.m.
“Rasik Mohan Das and the Bhaktabandhav team are doing an invaluable service publishing the hari-katha of Sripada Premananda Prabhu, Srila Gurudeva B.V. Narayana Gosvami Maharaja, and the books of the acaryas. Books like Sri Guru Darsana, Krsna-karnamrta, Radha-rasa-sudha-nidhi, and so on, provide a wealth of information and purification: these volumes make one feel as though they are in Gurudeva’s presence, imbibing pure bhakti as only he could provide it.”
— Steven J. Rosen, Satyaraja Dasa (acbsp), author of 30 books on Gaudiya Vaishnavism, editor-in-chief of the Journal of Vaishnava Studies, and associate editor of Back to Godhead
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- Publication of a book about Srila Jiva Gosvami 90%
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- Publication of a book about Srila Jagannatha das Babaji Maharaja 40%
- Publication of a book about Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura 40%
- Publication of a book about Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Prabhupada 15%