Maharashtra the popular and often dangerous tradition of Dahi Handi was celebrated on Sunday, marking the birth anniversary of Lord Krishna. Teams of people will form human pyramids to reach high hanging handis or pot of curd. The Maharashtra government had recently made the activity an adventure sport, barring anyone below 12 from participating. Ironically, some of Mumbai’s biggest patrons of Dahi handi, mostly politicians, have chosen to stay away from this year’s event, to express disappointment about, well believe it or not, heightened safety regulations.
Fed up with cold response from district administration to their demand to declare Devbhoomi Dwarka as drought-hit, farmers on Tuesday knocked at the God’s door for help and submitted a memorandum to Lord Krishna seeking divine intervention to alleviate their sufferings.
Dozens of farmers led by NGO Khedut Hit Rakshak Samiti submitted the memorandum to the high priest of the famous Dwarkadhish temple in Devbhoomi Dwarka district, dedicated to Lord Krishna.
In the memorandum addressed Lord Krishna, the farmers pleaded for help and said they have come to him “as a last resort” after getting tired of approaching Government officials with their list of demands.
They listed their demands before the God, which included declaring the district as drought-affected, setting up cattle camps, providing water for drinking and irrigation and reducing power connection tariff.
Recently, the BJP Government in Gujarat declared parts of district as drought-hit.
“We have come to you as a last resort…the present government, elected from farmers’ votes, is working for the industrialists. Government invest crore of rupees to organise farmer programmes but refuses to address our problems. Leaders and government officials are corrupt, and we farmers are crying for help,” the memorandum stated.
“Government is not thinking of waiving interest on crop loan for the current year. Nothing is being done to ensure water supply for irrigation…the CM calls herself farmer’s daughter, but makes hollow promises in the name of farmer welfare,” it stated.
On the auspicious occasion of the appearance day of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Dr Sahadeva Das offers two Esraj songs unto His divine lotus feet. These songs, ‘Ujjvala Varana Gaura Vara Deham’ and ‘Nava Gaura Varam’ were composed by Srila Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya. The melody has been taken from the albums of Bhakti Charu Swami.
Esraj is an important instrument in traditional vaisnava music and by the 1980s the instrument was nearly extinct. Of late, this instrument is seeing some revival. However only a handful players remain all over the world. The Esraj played here is carved out of a century old block of Burma teakwood. No effects or reverb have been added to the sound of the instrument.
A video by Devamrita Swami.
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Each of Srila Prabhupada’s disciples has chosen to love him. It is a commitment that I will always honor, and I have sealed that commitment at my initiation. We have a contract of love now. Although my love for Srila Prabhupada may not yet be free of any material tinge, he is patient. And Prabhupada himself has placed conditions of his love on his disciples. He expects them to follow him. Although he will still love a disobedient disciple, his love will not reach a disciple who rebels or disobeys his order, and who blasphemes guru and Krishna. The relationship between guru and disciple is meant to be based on honor.
I have heard people say that this “condition” Prabhupada places on his love for us is not much different than the conditions some of our parents placed on us to win their love. Many people have been hurt by parents who sold their love for high grades in school, or conformity to family rules, etc. There was no chance for people who grew up in these families to develop themselves as individuals, or to feel self-worth despite their failings to meet their parents’ standards. They grew up only with conditions and have no experience of real love. Is Prabhupada’s love for us like that? Is it a lesser kind of love because he places on it the condition of our obedience?
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The Museum of Sacred Art (MOSA) in Radhadesh, Belgium, has just published two lusciously illustrated books for devotees to feast their eyes on: “Illuminations from the Bhagavad-gita” and “Prabhupada Meditations.”
Illuminations From the Bhagavad-gita
On Sunday January 24th, MOSA Director Mahaprabhu Das presented “Illuminations…” to the murti of Srila Prabhupada at ISKCON Radhadesh. MOSA Director Mahaprabhu Das (right) presents Illuminations From the Bhagavad-gita to Srila Prabhupada
The book is in fact the fourth edition of the classic 1980 work by artist Kim Waters and Chris Murray, after the original by Harper and Row, and two in the 1990s and 2000s by Mandala.
Kim’s gorgeous, colorful, and completely charming paintings inspired by Srila Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-gita As It Is and illuminated with verses from the ancient text remain, as do the original introduction by Satsvarupa Das Goswami and preface by musician Donovan.
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