Sastra Caksusa

seeing through the eyes of scriptures

my dear Vaisnava friends 

Please accept my humble obaisences
All glories to Srila Prabhupada 
 Srila Prabhupadas dear godbrother HH Bhakti Pramoda Puri Maharaja once told a wonderful pastime from the Puranas related to Radhastami : 

Today is eight waxing moon circle day of ‘Bhadra’, the name of a Vedic month we, members of the Gaudiya Vaisnava community should feel fortunate to have this opportunity to observe the appearance day of the pleasure potency of Sri Krishna, Sri Vrishavanu Nandini, Srimati Radha Thakurani (Daughter of Vrishavanu Maharaj). Radharani is our main Acharya; who is teaching us how to please Krishna. She is non-different from Krishna and appeared here with us from the left side of Sri Krishna. We can see from scripture that after long prayers, towards  Kattyayani Devi (Gouri Mata, consort of Lord Shiva) Vrishavanu Maharaj and Kirtida Devi (mother of Radharani) were given Radharani.

Also we know from scripture that Radha appeared with her eyes closed and would not accept any food from any one; even mother Kirtida devi could not feed her breast milk. Therefore, Kirtida devi was lamenting in the name of Kattyayani devi that after our long prayers you gave me the child but my child has become blind and not able to eat anything. How is my child to survive. There is some history behind this, it follows:

In Golden age there was a Brahmin, named Sutapa. Sutapa once started to do meditation with the purpose of getting Lord’s consort as his consort. Naturally,  the Lord was not agreeable with the prayer of Sutapa. But the Supreme Lord’s nature is to bestow affection to all His devotees. Out of the nature of affection once the Lord accepted the prayers of the Sutapa. After the incident, the Lord explained His promise to Sutapa to His consort. Although His consort was not feeling happy inside, in order to honor the Lord’s promise, she accepted with two conditions – one was that after her appearance the first food she will take is the Lord’s remnants and another one was that the first vision she would have is of the Lord’s beautiful face. Therefore, Radharani appeared with closed eyes and not eating anything from anyone. Gradually the message came to Gokul, the place of Nanda Maharaj (father of Supreme Lord, Sri Krishna). Nanda Maharaj and Vrishavanu Maharaj were friends. Therefore, out of curiosity to see such a child Nanda Maharaj came with Yasoda Devi and little Krishna at Ravel (a place, where Radharani appeared). While Vrishavanu Maharaj and Kirtida Devi was describing their child’s present condition at the same time Mother Yasoda Devi was holding Krishna in her arms very tightly. But Krishna wanted to fulfill the conditions that Radha wanted . So little Krishna saw a nice garland made of pearls on the neck of His mother, Yosoda Devi.  In order to meet with little Radharani, Krishna ripped the garlands and Yasoda took Krishna out of her arms and started to collect all the pearls on the floor with the help of everyone. At that time, Krishna went to meet with Radharani; as soon as Krishna came He kissed Radharani then immediately Radharani open her eyes. When everyone saw that Kirshna was with the little girl Radharani; they were thinking that Krishna’s naughty nature could create lots of harm for Radharani. In order to protect Radharani, Yasoda ran towards Krishna then she became surprised and started to say, Kirtida! you said your daughter was blind with closed eyes but now I see that your daughter has very nice and attractive eyes. Then everyone came to see the same and all present persons became very happy. After the incident Krishna wanted to fulfill her second condition to give his remnants to Radharani.

Srimati Radharani’s Most Glorious Lotus Feet.Srimati Radharani’s Most Glorious Lotus Feet

Therefore Krishna was showing all of them He is hungry and started to nag mother  Yasoda for giving Him some butter.  Mother Yasoda gave little butter to Krishna and jokingly said that your little sister, Radha not eating since she appeared here on the earth. She is feeling hungry too. Please share the butter with her. Immediately Krishna replied ‘no’ with His body language.   On this issue all the surrounding members started to joke with Krishna. Then Krishna kept a little piece of butter on top of His tongue and said if you want me to share with Radha then please collect the butter from my tongue and give it to her. Then they did so and immediately Radha started to chew the butter and everyone become ecstatically happy.

Comment : However many Gaudiya maths do not fast on Radhastami , and it is bewildering because I have been clearly informed Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Prabhupada did Nirjala fasting for Srimati Radharani untill the next day .Srila Prabhupada introduced half day fasting , I recall in ISKCON having cooked a feast on bookdistribution in Sweden for 10 devotees in early  1980th sometimes and devotees where distributing Srila Prabhupadas books and then came at 1 pm and I had cooked and offered a huge feast for Radha Krsna and Lord Caitanya and Srila Prabhupada .Other times I recall in ISKCON we fasted half day and then took ekadasi prasadam , Srila Prabhuapda for sure established that it is a half day fast . Padma Purana fills my eyes with tears: Veda sastra anurakta ye tulasi vana palakah ,Radhastami vrata rata, vijneyas ce ta vaisnavah,Sri Krsna purato ye ca dipam ,Yacchanti Sraddhaya para nindam na kurvanti vijneyas te ca vaisnavah this sloka is from Padma Purana ,Brahma Khanda 1.31.32 The translation is: Those who are attached to studying Vedic litteratures ,those who protect Tulsi forests .those who fast on Radhastami day ,those who offer a lamp to Krsna with good faith and those who do not critizise others are understood to be vaisnavas.

This is the statement by Srila Vyasadeva in the Padma Purana ,In Vrindavana some  vaisnavas fast on Radhastami as well .Fully.Padma Purana also states : ekadasyam sahasrena yat phalam labhate narah Radha janma astami punyam tasmat satagu nadhikam  :whatever result one can attain by fasting on 1000 ekadasis one hundred times greater results can be attained by fasting on Radhastami and Janmastami days Brahma Khanda of Padma Purana 7.8

I was reading Satsvarupa Maharaja memories of Srila Prabhupada  :I can remember Srila Prabhupada speaking about Srimati Radharani in the summer of 1966 at 26 Second Ave. in New York City.

I always remember Prabhupada on Radhastami because I received first initiation from Prabhupada on this day, September 23rd, 1966. Prabhupada’s qualifications for initiation were very easy in those days and so I could have been initiated at the first initiation in ISKCON which was on Janmastami day 1966. But I didn’t feel ready for the surrender of my so-called free activities. It seemed too much to give up and so I passed up the initiation.

But a few days after that I began to regret that I didn’t get initiated. Then I heard from one of the devotees that Prabhupada was planning to hold another initiation in two weeks on the occasion of the appearance day of Srimati Radharani. So then Prabhupada began to explain to us something about Srimati Radharani.

He said that on Janmastami we had to fast all day until midnight because Krishna is very strong and hard. But on Radhastami we would only have to fast until noon because Radharani is soft and kind.

I therefore decided that I would ask Prabhupada if I could get initiated  on Radharani’s appearance day. What had seemed too hard two weeks previously on Krishna’s birthday now seemed easier under the protection of Srimati Radharani.

  

So for most devotees in ISKCON they will want to follow Srila Prabhupadas standard of half day fasting . However I want to say because it is the statement of Sastra to fast on Radhastami therefore I will fast and I am teaching it to my son also ,fasting on till evening time and just taking some water and maybe some pure fruit juices in his case as he is going to school and I do not  want him to suffer ,then we will take ekadasi prasadam in the evening .Srimati Radharani is not eating ,then how can I eat ? She was fasting and not opening Her lotuseyes untill Krsna kissed Her.   Krsna was only 8 days older in this pastime ,so wether Krsna went there on His own or with the help of His parents Nanda and Yasoda is a detail .But Sri  Radha fasted for Krsna so I will fast along with Srimati Radharani .When Padma Purana states :  kadasyam sahasrena yat phalam labhate narah Radha janma astami punyam tasmat satagu nadhikam  :whatever result one can attain by fasting on 1000 ekadasis one hundred times greater results can be attained by fasting on Radhastami and Janmastami days Brahma Khanda of Padma Purana 7.8 It means fasting has to be done ,but the neophytes will find some excuses to satisfie the tongue .That is not  bhakti.

 

vāco vegaṁ manasaḥ krodha-vegaṁ
jihvā-vegam udaropastha-vegam
etān vegān yo viṣaheta dhīraḥ
sarvām apīmāṁ pṛthivīṁ sa śiṣyāt
(NOI 1)

"One who can control the forces of speech, mind, anger, belly, tongue and genitals is known as a gosvāmī and is competent to accept disciples all over the world."

My Gurudeva used to say I have not come to create disciples but to create Gurus , we must set the proper standard .Srila Narayana Maharajas standard was Srimati Radharani is merciful so no fasting . However Srila Prabhupada said half day fasting , so minimum that is followed by Prabhupadanugas .My mood is Srimati Radharani is fasting and so I will fast because She is doing so and sastra says so .At least I will observe Radhastami as an ekadasi fasting ,braking with Anukalpa prasadam ,ekadasi style prasadam.I will chant 128 rounds and I will absorbe myself in the worship of Srimati Radharani and chant Her 1000 holy names and I will read many prayers offered to Her by our Acaryas like in Stavavali and Stavamala I will read Radha Rasa Suddha Nidhi and sing bhajans for Sri Radha .

 In Vrindavan a beautiful Bhajan is often song to glorify the holy name of Sri Radha you can find it sung by Sudarshana Prabhu http://bvml.org/bhajans/index.html

Song Name: Radha Nama Parama Sukhadai
Official Name: None
Author: Traditional
Book Name: None
Language: Braja Bhasa

LYRICS:
(refrain)
rādhā-nāma parama sukhadāī

(1)
lahara-lahara śrī śyāma jīu kī mana meń mere samāī

(2)
rata-rata rādhā janama bītāūń, bṛja gopīnā ku śīśa navāūń

(3)
mahimā kahi nahi jāī rādhā nāma parama sukhadāī

(4)
braja tyāja ke maiń kahiń nahiń jāūń rasika santana ke darasana pāūń

(5)
jaga se pritī haṭāī rādhā nāma parama sukhadāī

TRANSLATION
Refrain: The holy name of Srimati Radharani is the bestower of the supreme happiness.

1) May the numerous waves of Sri Syama's love always reside in my heart.

2) In all my future births may I always bow my head to Radha and the vraja-gopis.

3) Radha's glories are indescribable and Her name bestows the supreme happiness.

4) I will never leave Vraja to go elsewhere and I will always take darsna of rasika saints.

5) Radha-nama removes attachment to material life and bestows the supreme happiness.


Even Krsna takes great bliss chanting the holy names of Sri Radha, when we chant the Mahamantra, we are constantly also chanting the name of Sri Radhe..the Mahamantra is a Yugal kisora mantra to worship Radha Krsna.
May Radha Krsna be kind to manifest when we chant the Mahamantra in our heart, and make it Their home.
your servant
Paramananda das 

 

Views: 2780

Comment by Paramananda das on August 28, 2020 at 1:06pm

Radhastami -Premika Bhakta Standard!
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Prabhupada is not an ordinary soul he is Nitya Siddha ,Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura prayed for the Rays of Visnu ,a special empowered Jiva to help him spread KC all over the world, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Prabhupada appeared ,even he was born with ambilocal court as a brahmin string ,when he was few days old Lord Jagannath Ratha Yatra card stopped at Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura house ,Bimal Prasada (Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Prabhupadas child hood name ) was placed at Lord Jagannaths lotusfeet ,Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura was the temple magistrate to who will object, and garland fell from Lord Jagannath on the infant Bimal Prasada.
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura wrote his vows in Bhakti to teach us future generations of the Premika Bhaktas like himself :
Sri Sri Sva-niyama-dasakam

“12 Verses of My Own
Self-imposed Regulative Principles”
by Srila Saccidananda Bhaktivinoda Thakura
The 1st Verse
(The Objects of Devotion Birth After Birth)
gurau sri-gaurange tad-udita-subhakti-prakarane
saci-sunor-lila-vikasita-sutirthe nija manau
harer namni presthe hari-tithisu rupanuga-jane
suka-prokte sastre prati-jani mamastam khalu ratih
No matter whenever and wherever I happen to take birth, let my loving affection and attachment remain anshaken throughout each and every lifetime for the following things:

for my divine spiritual master,
for Sri Gauranga,
for the detailed topics of pure devotional service (and the methods of its execution) as personally instructed by Him,
for the holy places of pilgrimage such as Sri Navadvipa, Sri Ksetra, Sri Vrndavana, etc. , which are all blooming with divine sanctity due to His performance of wonderful pastimes therein,
for the diksa mantra bestowed upon me by the divine grace of my spiritual master,
for the holy name of Sri Hari,
for the most beloved eternal associates of the Lord,
for the sacred days of celebration throughout the year such as Sri Ekadasi, Sri Janmastami, Sri Radhastami, and the appearance/disappearance days of the great Vaisnava acaryas etc. ,
for the Lord’s dear most devotees who strictly follow in the sacred footsteps of Srila Rupa Gosvami,
and for the holy scriptures narrated by Srila Sukadeva Gosvami such as the Srimad Bhagavatam, etc.

So from discussing with devotees with devotees in the line of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura for example at his house in Godruma Dvipa they will tell you he used to fast on Radhastami and all Visnutattva days ,even of the Acaryas apperance and Disapperance I do not have a list for those he fasted for I wish .But for Sri Gadadhara Pandit who is Srimati Radharani he also fasted.Srila Prabhupada made things very simple .But over time Pure bhakti gets lost so at least for historical records you want to know.And if you can apply the standards given by the Premika Bhakta then your life is perfect.Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Prabhupada gave us 64 rounds to chant so did Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura Srila Prabhupada also tried to introduce into ISKCON ,because it is Lord Caitanyas standard .Lord Caitanyas stadard was also to do Nirjala fast for Radhastami and Janmastami they are the mothers of devotion ,just like Ekadasi , Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Prabhupada used to teach 2 slokas all this sannyasa disciples knew by heart :

ekadasyam sahasrena yat phalam labhate narah Radha janma astami punyam tasmat satagu nadhikam :

Whatever result one can attain by fasting on 1000 ekadasis one hundred times greater results can be attained by fasting on Radhastami and Janmastami days Brahma Khanda of Padma Purana 7.8

Veda sastra anurakta ye tulasi vana palakah ,Radhastami vrata rata, vijneyas ce ta vaisnavah,Sri Krsna purato ye ca dipam ,Yacchanti Sraddhaya para nindam na kurvanti vijneyas te ca vaisnavah this sloka is from Padma Purana ,Brahma Khanda 1.31.32 The translation is:

Those who are attached to studying Vedic litteratures ,those who protect Tulsi forests .those who fast on Radhastami day ,those who offer a lamp to Krsna with good fait

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura is Sri Kamala Manjari ,Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Prabhupada is Nayana Manjari .This is the correct standard,Srila Prabhupada gave is half day fasting on Radhastami ,this is the official ISKCON standard.If you wish to improve your devotional standard , you might otherwise be happy and continue your bhakti.Srila Narayana Maharaja taught no fasting on Radhastami , in Mathura people do not worship Sri Radha so he gave them a big feast and glorified Sri Radha ,if you are his disciple you can follow this .I hope you will not be angry with me for sharing the mercy of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura/Kamala Manjari and Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Prabhupada /Nayana Manjari
Om tat Sat
Hare Krsna
Jaya Sri Radhe

I urge all of those of you who do NOT want to fast the way given by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Prabhupada and Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura and Padma Purana that you do not make offences about this matter ! The standard for ISKCON remains half days fasting on Radhastami then feast, the standard of Kesavaji Gaudiya Math is No fasting ,the disciples of Sri Bhaktivaibhava Puri Maharaja and Srila Pramoda Puri Maharaja follow the standard given by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Prabhupada. This is to educate not to offend anyone .

Comment

You need to be a member of Sastra Caksusa to add comments!

Join Sastra Caksusa

© 2021   Created by Paramananda das.   Powered by

Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service