FESTIVALS

NITYANANDA TRAYODASI

THURSDAY, 25TH FEBRUARY 2021

THE MOST MERCIFUL

Narottama Dasa Thakura, one of the acharyas in the Gaudiya Vaishnava Sampradaya writes in glorification of the Lord that one will get the soothing moonlight of millions of moons when one takes shelter of Lord Nityananda’s lotus feet. If one really wants to enter into the dancing party of Radha-Krishna, he must firmly catch hold of His lotus feet.

In the age of Kali-yuga, Lord Krishna advents in this material world as Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu along with Balarama appearing as Lord Nityananda. Lord Nityananda is also known as Nitai, Nityananda Prabhu and Nityananda Rama. He donned the role of Lord Caitanya’s principal associate for spreading the chanting of the holy names of Lord Krishna in the form of Harinama-sankirtana. He distributed the mercy of Lord Krishna to all the fallen, materially conditioned souls of this age by congregational chanting of the Lord’s holy names. According to the teachings of the acharyas, Caitanya Mahaprabhu cannot be approached or understood without taking shelter of Nityananda Prabhu, who is the original guru of all the universes. He serves as an intermediary between Lord Caitanya and His devotees. He is the second body of the Lord, manifesting as Balarama to Sri Krishna, Lakshmana to Sri Rama and Nityananda to Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

GAURA PURNIMA

SUNDAY, 28TH MARCH 2021

THE GOLDEN AVATAR

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is none other than Lord Krishna, who advented Himself, in the year 1486, at Mayapur in Navadvipa in the state of West Bengal. His mission was to spread the universal message of loving devotion to God by initiating Harinama Sankirtana, the congregational chanting of the holy names of the Lord. His movement provided an equal opportunity of spiritual elevation for everyone without distinction of religion, caste, creed, colour, occupation or gender. After taking sannyasa, Lord Caitanya travelled all over India preaching the Bhagavata-dharma.

RAMA NAVAMI

WEDNESDAY, 21ST APRIL 2021

THE IDEAL EXAMPLE

In the incarnation of Lord Rama, the Lord acts as the ideal human being— the ideal son, ideal brother, ideal husband, ideal king. The Ramayana, the history of Lord Rama, is filled with the exemplary behaviour of the Lord and His associates, and they all show ideal examples. Sita shows the ideal of a chaste wife, Lakshmana and Bharata of faithful brothers. The Ramayana is full of ideal examples that we are meant to follow—ideal father, ideal son, ideal brother, ideal husband, ideal wife, ideal servant, ideal ruler, and so on.

APPEARANCE OF SRIMATI SITA DEVI

FRIDAY, 21ST MAY 2021

THE EPITOME OF LOVE

Sita Devi, one of the most prominent personalities in the great epic Ramayan, is an epitome of pure love and devotion and an exemplary chaste wife. Her character and her pastimes set a great example and high standards for all women in today’s world, whether in the role of a daughter, wife, mother or in fact in any role at all. It also shows the strength pure hearted women can have, and is a good warning to everyone to never disrespect a respectable woman.

NRSIMHA CATURDASI

TUESDAY, 25TH MAY 2021

THE DIVINE PROTECTOR

Lord Nrsimha is the incarnation of Lord Krsna that appeared to protect his young devotee Prahlad. He appeared as a half-man, half-lion incarnation and killed the envious demon Hiranyakashipu, who was materialism personified (hiran-gold, kasipu-soft bed). Devotees pray to Lord Nrsimhadeva for protection and to kill their material desires.

"I offer my obeisances to Lord Narasimha, who gives joy to Prahlad Maharaja and whose nails are like chisels on the stone like chest of the demon Hiranyakasipu.

Lord Nrsimha is here and also there. Wherever I go Lord Nrsimha is there. He is in the heart and is outside as well. I surrender to Lord Nrsimha, the origin of all things and the supreme refuge.

O Kesava! O Lord of the universe! O Lord Hari, who have assumed the form of half-man, half-lion, all glories to You! Just as one can easily crush a wasp between one's fingernails, so in the same way the body of the wasp like demon Hiranyakasipu has been ripped apart by the wonderful pointed nails on Your beautiful lotus hands."

BALARAMA JAYANTI

SUNDAY, 22ND AUGUST 2021

THE ORIGINAL GURU

The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna, is the fountainhead of all incarnations. Lord Balarama is His second body. They are both one and the same identity. They differ only in form. Balarama is the first bodily expansion of Krishna, and He assists in Lord Krishna's transcendental pastimes. He is the source of the entire spiritual world and is the adi-guru, the original spiritual master.

SRI KRISHNA JANMASTAMI

MONDAY, 30TH AUGUST 2021

THE SUPREME LORD

Lord Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead and is the source of all other incarnations and forms of God. He is the unlimited source of all power, wealth, fame, beauty, wisdom, and renunciation.

The birth of Lord Krishna is one of the biggest celebrations of the year, celebrated all over the world. Krishna appeared on earth over 5,000 years ago in Vrindavan, India. Krishna means "the all-attractive one". He is the cause of all causes, the Supreme personality of the entire creation, both material and spiritual, He is the God of all gods, and the Lord within everything and separate from everything at the same time. This is the day devotees celebrate His beautiful pastimes, His presence in their lives, taking time to remember their eternal loving relationship with Him and His presence within all of our hearts.

APPEARANCE OF SRILA PRABHUPADA

TUESDAY, 31ST AUGUST 2021

THE SAVIOUR OF THE WORLD

This is a very special day for all ISKCON devotees as they joyfully glorify Srila Prabhupada, the Founder-Acharya of ISKCON, on the anniversary of his appearance in this world. Devotees honour him by reading aloud heartfelt appreciations and homages of his profound influence in their lives and pray for blessings from him.

RADHASTAMI

TUESDAY, 14TH SEPTEMBER 2021

THE QUEEN OF VRINDAVAN

Radhastami is a very special day for all the Gaudiya Vaishnavas, as by obtaining the mercy of Srimati Radharani one can easily achieve Krishna-prema.

The loving affairs of Sri Radha and Krishna are transcendental manifestations of the Lord's internal pleasure-giving potency. Although Radha and Krishna are one in Their identity, They separated Themselves eternally". Srimati Radharani, as the highest devotee of Sri Krishna, derives the greatest pleasure in serving Him. She is the origin of all the Gopis and of all the Goddesses of Fortune (Lakshmi devi) who are engaged in the service of the Lord. She is the mainstay, the ideal and the ultimate refuge of all devotees embarking on the path of devotional service. Without first getting the mercy of Srimati Radharani it is impossible to even approach Sri Krishna.

MONTH OF KARTIK (DAMODARA)

THURSDAY, 21ST OCTOBER 2021

A SPECIAL MONTH

During the month of Damodar, or Kartik, rewards for service to Krishna are greater than at any other time of year.

It was during Kartik that Krishna allowed Himself to be bound with ropes by His mother, Yashoda. Out of loving anger at her transcendentally naughty child, she tied Him (dama) around the abdomen (udara) with ropes. Thus the month of Kartik is also known as the month of Damodara, “He Who was bound around the abdomen”.

DIWALI

THURSDAY, 4TH NOVEMBER 2021

THE LORD'S RETURN

Diwali can be observed by illuminating hundreds of candles in different parts of the temple and offering various preparations of food to the Deity. This ceremony was observed by the inhabitants of Ayodhya while Lord Rama was in exile, away from His kingdom. The joyful day on which Lord Rama returned is observed as Diwali, or Dipavali (“dipa” means candles, and “vali” means numerous). During a different era, this was also the day on which Lord Krishna performed His childhood pastime of breaking the pots of yogurt and letting Himself be bound by Mother Yashoda.

GOVARDHANA PUJA

FRIDAY, 5TH NOVEMBER 2021

THE MOST AMAZING FEAT

The glories of Govardhan are endless and the importance of his worship was established by Lord Krishna himself in the most amazing pastime. The Lord picked up Govardhan Hill and held it on the little finger of His left hand for seven days to give shelter and protection to the inhabitants of Vrindavan from the wrath of Lord Indra.

On this day, a hill of sweets is made from food prepared by the devotees, which is then offered to the Deities, and subsequently distributed to everyone. This is known as the “annakuta” ceremony.

DISAPPEARANCE OF SRILA PRABHUPADA

MONDAY, 8TH NOVEMBER 2021

THE PERFECT EXAMPLE

His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada departed from this world on November 14, 1977, in Vrindavan, India, in his rooms at the Krishna-Balarama temple, surrounded by hundreds of his disciples chanting Hare Krishna. Up until moments before his passing, he was dictating commentaries on the tenth canto of the Srimad-Bhagavatam.

"As part of his instruction and example, Srila Prabhupada knew he would have to show people just how to die. He had escaped death a number of times-by Krishna's grace, by the prayers of his disciples, and by his own pure and powerful will to propagate his movement. But from the signs given to him by Lord Krishna in 1977, Srila Prabhupada began decisively and conclusively ending his mission in the material world. And among his final duties was his giving complete guidelines on how to die. He was perfectly showing how to do that which everyone has to do, but which is most difficult to do successfully: die."

From Srila Prabhupada Lilamrita, by Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami.

GOPASTAMI

THURSDAY, 11TH NOVEMBER 2021

COMING OF AGE

On Gopastami day, Nanda Maharaja performed a ceremony for the cows and Krishna (and His friends) in Vrindavan, as He reached the pauganda age. This was the day Nanda Maharaja sent his children Krishna and Balarama to herd the cows for the first time.

PRABHUPADA BOOK MARATHON

WEDNESDAY, 1ST DECEMBER 2021

PLEASING PRABHUPADA

Every December the entire ISKCON world focuses all attention on distribution of transcendental literature, something we all know was so close to Srila Prabhupada’s heart. Indeed, he said it gave him life. When a new book was printed, Prabhupada felt as though he had conquered an empire. He told one disciple – “the best of me is in my books.”

GITA JAYANTI

TUESDAY, 14TH DECEMBER 2021

THE BEST GIFT

Gita Jayanti offers the opportunity to celebrate the appearance of Bhagavad Gita and to distribute this gem to many others. You are invited to sponsor Bhagavad Gitas and distribute them to your friends, family and colleagues.