Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How do you pronounce Bhakta Bandhav?
A: The phonetic guide for the pronunciation of Bhakta Bandhav is /ˈbhəktəˌbandhəv/.
Q: What does Bhakta Bandhav mean? Where does the term come from?
A: Etymology: from Sanskrit भक्त– (ˈbhəktə-, “a devotee”) + बान्धव– (ˌbandhəv-, “a dearmost friend”). Noun, male, in combination these two words mean “the dearmost friend of all devotees”.
This title was giving by Sri Srimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja to his disciple Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja (our Srila Gurudeva) in 1947 (on the day of Gaura Purnima).
Sources: 1. Acarya Kesari Sri Srimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami – His Life and Teachings (the 3rd Part – Preaching in Bihar); 2. Gopi-gita – (About the Commentators – Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja); 3. Journey of the Soul – (Part Five About the Authors – Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja).
The term Bhakta Bandhav is found in the 10th part of the Hari-bhakti-vilasa, in the section detailing the characteristics of the devotees of the Lord, as spoken by Sri Krsna to Arjuna in the Adi Purana. Sri Krsna says:
asmakam bandhava bhakta bhaktanam bandhava vayam
asmakam guravo bhakta bhaktanam guravo vayam
“I am the dearmost friend (bandhav) of the devotees (bhaktas), and the bhaktas are My dearmost friend (bandhav). I am the guru of the bhaktas, and the bhaktas are the gurus of the world.”
Thus we see that the original Bhakta Bandhav is Krsna. He is the Bhakta’s Bandhav, dearmost friend. And in another sense, the Bhakta is the Bandhav or dearmost friend of Krsna.
Sources: 1. Adi Purana (mentioned in Sri Caitanya-bhagavat, Madhya-khanda, text 79); 2. Sri Radha-Krsna-sahasra-nama (Thousand Names of Sri Radha-Krsna), text 58; 3. Hari-bhakti-vilasa, 10th Vilasa.
Q: What is Bhakta Bandhav International (BHAKTi) or the Bhakti Mission?
A: Bhakta Bandhav is a name for the Loving Reality Sri Krsna and His pure devotees. Our Gurudeva was given this title, meaning dearmost friend of the devotees, by his Guru. Now it is the name of our worldwide Bhakti mission, founded on the principles of love, compassion, and service to the devotees and all people.
Q: How to join the mission?
A: There are many ways one can get involved in the mission. The best way to start is to reach out to us by email, by writing to [email protected]
Q: What is Bhakta Bandhav Publications?
A: This is a publication founded by disciples of Srila Gurudeva, focused on spreading his message through publishing his teachings, as well as the writings and lectures of his followers.
Q: What is the Gaudiya Vedanta Publications?
A: The Gaudiya Vedanta Publications was founded by Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja with the purpose of protecting and promoting his books, which are primarily translations and commentaries of Sanskrit and Bengali scriptural texts.
Q: What is Radhe Kunj?
A: Sri Radhe Kunj, Bhakta Bandhav Dham, is a center to preserve and inculcate the teachings of our Srila Gurudeva. It was inaugurated in 2013 and has since quadrupled in size and become established in Vrindavan as a well-known oasis of bhakti culture and open-hearted prasada distribution.
Q: What is Hare Krishna?
A: The Hare Krishna mahamantra:
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
is presented by the authentic Vedic scriptures as the great chant for deliverance, which can awaken pure love and relationship with the Divine.
Q: What is Bhakti?
A: Bhakti-yoga is the process to achieve the highest goal of life and the ultimate destination in the spiritual world. There is a comprehensive definition of pure bhakti given in the Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 1.1.11:
“The cultivation of activities which are meant exclusively for the pleasure of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, or in other words, the uninterrupted flow of service to Śrī Kṛṣṇa, performed through all endeavors of the body, mind and speech, and through the expressions of various spiritual sentiments, which is not covered by jñāna (knowledge aimed at impersonal liberation) and karma (reward-seeking activity), and which is devoid of all desires other than the aspiration to bring happiness to Śrī Kṛṣṇa, is called uttamā-bhakti, pure devotion.”
We have many books available to help in complete understanding and immersion in this topic.
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