Monday, December 12, 2016

Blowing away can​dles on ​Birthday

Little Naman arrives at his grandparents' home in Mumbai, India to celebrate his third Diwali. Mr. Sharma his grandfather is ecstatic. One morning Mr. Sharma invites Naman to participate in an early morning pooja and arti to Lord Krishna.  Naman wakes up early; brushes his teeth and rushes to the small temple room. ​ Mr. Sharma's eyes light upon seeing his grandchild early in the morning. Naman takes a corner seat, silently observing all poojas being done by his grandfather.

As soon as his grandfather light​s the lamp (diya) for arti , Naman gets up from his place and quickly blow it off. Mr. Sharma gets little shocked; he calls, Nayana, Naman's mother, to take him away.  On other day also the same thing happened; and even on the third day. Mr. Sharma decides to perform the arti alone.  The conservative members of family start looking at the boy as an atheist.

​Diwali arrives. Sharma residence is decorated with garlands and bright diyas. But Naman is at it again, blowing away every single one that it can reach out to. The family is shocked and also little irritated with the kid.

Naman​'s parents ​are very sound by nature. They are ​very concerned about their child's behavior. They know that Naman is not against God or any offerings to God. Because he sits with interest during other rituals of pooja done by his grandfather. They are trying to find out the actual cause of this kind of action. They start talking with Naman about his particular behavior by asking him various questions. They often make him understand the blowing away diya is inauspicious.

​Finally one ​​day, Naman's parents asked him directly but very softly and sweetly that why does he blow away the diyas when Grandpa is offering it to God?

The answer of this little and innocent boy ​turns out to be an eye opener. 

Naman said: "If it is inauspicious then why should we blow away candles on the birthday cake?"

The question in answer of little child speaks a lot.

First thing is, children imitate what they see.

Naman learned that when you celebrate​; you​ blow away the light.

Adopting different cultures for celebrations is not a bad idea--​as long as you understand the idea behind it; blindly following anything is nothing short of dumbness​. ​If children like a cake instead of barfis​, nothing wrong in preparing a nice, healthy and testy cake. But blowing away lights, that too without understanding the need of it, is not appropriate!

Light is an auspicious and very important aspect of each religion. Hindus light the diyas while doing pooja and a​a​arti . Christians light the candles. Parasis lamp the fire. 

​Light is a symbol of knowledge​; it removes darkness!​ Bl​owing away light is considered as ​an invitation to darkness, or to ignorance. Then what we try to convey by blowing away the candles on birthday?

When Sharma family came to know about the ​cause of Naman's behavior, they realized​ ​their own mistake. From that day​, the decided to stop blowing off cake candles. Instead blowing away the candles they started lighting them up!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Save Mother Cow

Once someone asked Swami Vivekananda as to which animal gives the best quality of milk; to which, he responded – ‘it’s buffalo’. The person who asked the question with astonishment, further sought clarification as to how it could be possible, as he was aware that the cow’s milk is considered to be the best among all the animals. To this, Swami ji said: “You asked me about the animal and that is buffalo. Had you asked me about the nectar, I would have replied, ‘Cow, the Mother!!"

Mother cow is the place of residence of all demigods and divinity. We do not say that all divinities reside in human, but we do say that they all are embodied in mother cow. 

Shree Krishna Himself sung the glory of cow and often expressed His warm bonding with cows during His childhood pastimes.

The cow is treated as mother of universe because it provides so many useful products to human beings. She provides milk, curd, butter, ghee to give nutrition to humans. Even her dung and urine are useful to us with their medical values.

But unfortunately today this most revered and pious living entity suffers unimaginably at the hands of humans who exploit it incessantly. People worship her on Gopashtami, for one day and then for through out the year she is treated as unwanted animal, especially in big cities!! It is a grave sin to torture a cow.

We as a devotee of Shree Krishna should understand the glory of this holy jeev and save her, serve her and protect her. We can set a good example to our children by treating cow with due dignity and respect.

What as common man we can do to save cows. Here are some suggestions:

1. Do not throw plastic bags on roads. Plastic bags are hazardous to cow and mother nature. A cow is most likely to loose her life, if plastic goes in her system.

2. Dispose of broken glass in such a way that it does not go to the cow.

3. Help and encourage institutions​, championing cow-care and welfare.

4. Do not support cow-slaughtering; don't support industries thriving on flesh, leather, etc. of cows and other animals.

5.If a cow enters your garden, do not hit her. Instead just by petting her, lead her to the main gate and once she is out feed her with sumptuous food. 

6. In India people often complain about the cows on the road and the chaos created by them in traffic discipline.  Noteworthy is the fact that cows have not come to our areas. In fact we have built roads, colonies and malls on the farms by cutting trees​, etc., thus ruining the ecology that is a necessity to feed and nurture cows and other lives. It won't be wrong to conclude that due to incompetent town planning, we have created chaos in their lives. 

7. When you see a cow roaming here and there without any protector, try to contact responsible person to make her reach to her right place. Cow being a silent animal would not express what suffocation she experiences when she ​get ​hit by ​vehicles, or chased by street dogs, more so when they are scavenging for food and water.

8. Some feed cow to counter bad karma and grih doshas. ​It is very important to remember that feeding cow is meant not a drill; the feeder needs to take all the measures to ensure that the cow gets sumptuous and quality food in right quantity. It is said that by feeding a cow with moong on Wednesdays, or gram dal on Thursdays, one can get relief by the obstacles of problematic grihas. It is often seen that for these two days cows are fed so much that it results in diarrhea and for other days of the week, they keep on waiting for food!! This is utterly self centered attitude and it needs to be removed from the system.

If you want to serve cow, you feed her daily with balance quantity of healthy food which is digestible to her. Do not torture cows for your selfish motives.

9. Serve cows by taking care on terms of money, medicines, food etc. It is also a one type of worship.

Human race is already indebted to mother cow for all her contributions regarding health, wellness, nourishment etc. Our little effort to save her can give great relief to this all-worshiped living entity.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Important Teachings of Govardhan Pooja

Giriraj Goverdhan Leela is a very famous and blissful pastime. We all know this full of wonders episode of Shree Krishna childhood's Leela. This pastime teaches us very important lessons to walk and grow on the path of devotion. 

Important lessons from the wonderful pastime of lifting Goverdhan hill and pooja of this divine hill:

1. Powers are given to serve God and His people, never use them for selfish motives.

2. Do not pamper or flatter a false pride and ego of anyone.

3. Do not worship anybody out of fear or greed.

4. Never forget those who directly serve, feed or protect you. Respect them with due offerings.

5. Concentrate on your karma or action rather than flattering demigods.

6. Before following any rituals regarding worship, it is very much important to know the purpose and need of them. 

7. Be spiritual rather than merely following the rituals.

8. Do not use the powers, given by God, to harass or torture innocent people.

9. Though Shree Krishna is beyond likes and dislikes, He does not appreciate anyone's false pride or ego.

10. Have full trust in Lord Krishna's teachings. By following His instructions and guidance, no difficulties or hardships can harm you.

11. Those who follow teachings of Shree Krishna, Krishna Himself protects them.

12. God has powers beyond our imagination.

13. Shree Krishna is the original Doer. Just like the gopas - friends of Bal Mukundraised sticks to help Shree Krishna to hold Shree Goverdhan hill, we also take false pride or satisfaction of doing various services.

14. Those who negatively use their powers, finally have to accept the defeat.

15. Fully Surrender to Shree Krishna. Remember His words in Bhagwad Gita "mamekam sharanam vraja" ( Simply surrender unto ME alone).

Friday, September 9, 2016

Baby Radharani's Devotion and Love for Krishna

Once King Vrishabhanu went to the Yamuna river to take bath. He saw a golden lotus flower that shone like a million suns in the middle of the river. In the middle of the lotus flower was baby Radharani. Lord Brahma appeared before King Vrishabhanu and told him that in his previous life he and his wife, Kirti, had performed great austerities to get the consort of Lord Vishnu as their daughter. King Vrishabhanu took the child home. At that time Radhaji's eyes were closed, and She refused to open them. So they found Her to be blind. Narad Muni appeared before the king and told him that “This girl’s beauty and nature is divine.She is not an ordinary child. Nurture this girl thinking Her to be a Goddess.”

According to Narada Muni's advice, Vrishbhanu nurtured Radha with great love and care. A few years went by, Vrishbhanu had a grand function in which he invited the neighbouring villages. Little Krishna also came along with His parents to the function. When baby Krishna crawled before Radharani, She could smell the wonderful aroma of His body, 

When HE reached by the side of Radharani, She opened Her eyes for the first time and had Darshan of Her Beloved Shree Krishna. The first person She saw on this earth planet was Her eternal consort,Shree Krishna, for whose pleasure She had descended in the world.

Radharani is the Goddess of Devotion and Her love for Shree Krishna is the highest ideal of selfless devotion.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Major Divine Events Related to Krishna Janma!

It was foretold by a voice in the sky that Krishna will take birth from Devaki and kill Kansa. Hearing this, Kansa immediately tried to kill Devaki, but her husband Vasudev intervened.

When Devaki became the residence of divinity as Lord Krishna entered in her womb, Lord Shiv and Lord Brahma accompnied by great sages like Narad and followed by many other demigods, invisibly appeared in the prison. They began to pray to t heir beloved Shree Krishna.

When eighth child was born, the Supreme Lord appeared in His Divine form; the prison was filled with brightness of a myriad suns. Both Devaki and Vasudev prayed to the Supreme Being. On Devaki ji's request, the Supreme Lord assumed form of a little baby. Simultaneously, the divine energy of Lord Vishnu was born in Gokul, as a Baby girl to Yashoda maiya.

A divine message came to Vasudev soon after the birth of Lord Krishna, "Take the special Child across the Yamuna River to Gokul at Nand Maharaj's home, where another special Child, Yogamaya, is waiting; leave Baby Krishna there and bring that special Child here. You will return to the prison before anyone comes to know about the birth of this Child."

As soon as Vasudev ji took Baby Krishna in hand to move to Gokul, the shackles on his body fell off; the prison doors opened automatically and surprisingly the guards yawned into a deep sleep.

Heavy rains and violent thunder storm were raging down the village as Vasudev approached Gokul. He thought, "I have a basket keeping Krishna on my head and that protects me from the rain but what about this little boy? How should I protect Him from this rain??" Suddenly Sheshnag came to serve his Lord and spread his many hoods, covering the baby Lord!!

As soon as Yamunaji came to know that her Lord had been born on earth and passing through her water, she hurriedly raised her waters to touch the lotus feet of Baby Krishna! Yamuna's water almost reached to the neck and face of Vasudevji.

Looking at the devotion of Yamuna and the difficulties of His father, Baby Krishna took out the thumb of His leg and allowed Yamuna to touch it. Yamuna, being a devotee, immediately decreased the level of her water and cleared the path for Vasudev.

Vasudevji reached Nand Maharaj's home where Baby Yogmaya was waiting. As per the divine voice, Vasudev left Krishna by sleeping Yashoda maiya's side and carried baby Yogamaya to the prison.

On other day, when Kansa came to know that eighth child was born, he came to kill the child. But as he tried to kill the child, Baby Yogmaya sleeped from his hand and announced, " O fool Kansa! Your killer is already born in Gokul!: Speaking this She disappeared.

Here in Gokul, Devakinandan became Yashodanandan!!

Years passed by....and finally after killing Kansa, Krishna and Balaram freed their parents Devaki and Vasudev from the prison. To fulfill the desire of Mother Devaki, Krishna returned her six sons!

Friday, July 1, 2016

Shree Krishna's Ten major promises in Shreemad Bhagavad Gita: Part Two

Continuing from the previous post:

6.पत्रं पुष्पं फलं तोयं यो मे भक्त्या प्रयच्छति |
तदहं भक्त्युपहृतमश्नामि प्रयतात्मन: ||

patraṁ puṣhpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ yo me bhaktyā prayachchhati
tadahaṁ bhaktyupahṛitam aśhnāmi prayatātmanaḥ

BG 9.26: If one offers to me with devotion a leaf, a flower, a fruit, or even water, I delightfully partake of that article offered with love by my devotee in pure consciousness.

7. तेषां सततयुक्तानां भजतां प्रीतिपूर्वकम् |
ददामि बुद्धियोगं तं येन मामुपयान्ति ते ||

teṣhāṁ satata-yuktānāṁ bhajatāṁ prīti-pūrvakam
dadāmi buddhi-yogaṁ taṁ yena mām upayānti te

BG 10.10: To those whose minds are always united with me in loving devotion, I give the divine knowledge by which they can attain me.

8. ये तु सर्वाणि कर्माणि मयि संन्न्यस्य मत्पर: |
अनन्येनैव योगेन मां ध्यायन्त उपासते ||
तेषामहं समुद्धर्ता मृत्युसंसारसागरात् |
भवामि नचिरात्पार्थ मय्यावेशितचेतसाम् ||

ye tu sarvāṇi karmāṇi mayi sannyasya mat-paraḥ
ananyenaiva yogena māṁ dhyāyanta upāsate
teṣhām ahaṁ samuddhartā mṛityu-saṁsāra-sāgarāt
bhavāmi na chirāt pārtha mayy āveśhita-chetasām

BG 12.6–12.7: But those who dedicate all their actions to me, regarding me as the Supreme goal, worshipping me and meditating on me with exclusive devotion, O Parth, I swiftly deliver them from the ocean of birth and death, for their consciousness is united with me.

9.मन्मना भव मद्भक्तो मद्याजी मां नमस्कुरु |
मामेवैष्यसि सत्यं ते प्रतिजाने प्रियोऽसि मे ||

man-manā bhava mad-bhakto mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru
mām evaiṣhyasi satyaṁ te pratijāne priyo 
'si me

BG 18.65: Always think of me, be devoted to me, worship me, and offer obeisance to me. Doing so, you will certainly come to me. This is my pledge to you, for you are very dear to me.

10.सर्वधर्मान्परित्यज्य मामेकं शरणं व्रज |
अहं त्वां सर्वपापेभ्यो मोक्षयिष्यामि मा शुच: ||

sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śharaṇaṁ vraja
ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo mokṣhayiṣhyāmi mā śhuchaḥ

BG 18.66: Abandon all varieties of dharmas and simply surrender unto me alone. I shall liberate you from all sinful reactions; do not fear.

These promises or pledge of Shree Krishna is not to encourage laziness, carelessness or arrogance​; it is to encourage the self to move toward Shree Krishna through His continuous Bhakti.

To read the Book, Bhagavad Gita: The Song of God" By Swami Mukundananda, click here.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Shree Krishna's Ten major promises in Shreemad Bhagavad Gita : Part One

In the Bhagavad Gita, Lord ​Shree Krishna ​reassures His devotees several times, encouraging them to continue to keep walking on the path of bhakti.
  • ​Those who absorb the essence of these encouraging words of God would never leave the path of Krishna bhakti!
  • These ​words provide guidelines to neophytes on bhakti path.
  • They ​also ​help to accelerate those wh​o, after the start, have somewhere slowed down on their journey.
  • They help maintain the speed of those who are speedily progressing toward their goal.
Following are the ten promises from Lord Krishna.

1. यदा यदा हि धर्मस्य ग्लानिर्भवति भारत |
अभ्युत्थानमधर्मस्य तदात्मानं सृजाम्यहम् ||

yadā yadā hi dharmasya glānir bhavati bhārata
abhyutthānam adharmasya tadātmānaṁ sṛijāmyaham

BG 4.7: Whenever there is a decline in righteousness and an increase in unrighteousness, O Arjun, at that time I manifest myself on earth.

2.परित्राणाय साधूनां विनाशाय च दुष्कृताम् |
धर्मसंस्थापनार्थाय सम्भवामि युगे युगे ||

paritrāṇāya sādhūnāṁ vināśhāya cha duṣhkṛitām
dharma-sansthāpanārthāya sambhavāmi yuge yuge

BG 4.8: To protect the righteous, to annihilate the wicked, and to reestablish the principles of dharma I appear on this earth, age after age.

3.ये यथा मां प्रपद्यन्ते तांस्तथैव भजाम्यहम् |
मम वर्त्मानुवर्तन्ते मनुष्या: पार्थ सर्वश: ||

ye yathā māṁ prapadyante tāns tathaiva bhajāmyaham
mama vartmānuvartante manuṣhyāḥ pārtha sarvaśhaḥ

BG 4.11: In whatever way people surrender unto me, I reciprocate with them accordingly. Everyone follows my path, knowingly or unknowingly, O son of Pritha.

4.दैवी ह्येषा गुणमयी मम माया दुरत्यया |
मामेव ये प्रपद्यन्ते मायामेतां तरन्ति ते ||

daivī hyeṣhā guṇa-mayī mama māyā duratyayā
mām eva ye prapadyante māyām etāṁ taranti te

BG 7.14: My divine energy Maya, consisting of the three modes of nature, is very difficult to overcome. But those who surrender unto me cross over it easily.

5.अनन्याश्चिन्तयन्तो मां ये जना: पर्युपासते |
तेषां नित्याभियुक्तानां योगक्षेमं वहाम्यहम् ||

ananyāśh chintayanto māṁ ye janāḥ paryupāsate
teṣhāṁ nityābhiyuktānāṁ yoga-kṣhemaṁ vahāmyaham

BG 9.22: There are those who always think of me and engage in exclusive devotion to me. To them, whose minds are always absorbed in me, I provide what they lack and preserve what they already possess.

(To be concluded in the next post)

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Winners!!! Chhote Kavi Contest, 2015

Bal-Mukund's Chhote Kavi 2015 Contest Results are out! We had budding poets from various states send in entries.  We would like to thank each and everyone of them for submitting their poems! The choices were many, and the decision tough, but the following children's submissions earned them well deserved wins! Congratulations to them all! Click on the topics and enjoy the children's creative writing skills.
Ria Patel
Rachana Tanksali
Shyam Sivasubramanian
Subject: I Love God
Saloni Aggrawal
Sonakshi Bhatia
Ashlita Lodha

CKC 2015: Winning Poem on “India is a very diverse country and has a vast and rich heritage”

“India is a very diverse country and has a vast and rich heritage”
By: Ashita Lodha
Prize Won: 3rd
Age Group: 12-15

“India is a very diverse country and has a vast and rich heritage”

How do you describe your Culture, your People, your Land, your Love?
Can words actually tell the story of a land, one that’s a true gift from above?
The languages are so hard and people say they are inexhaustible,
Yet today in India their languages are much more scarce and can also be impossible

So here is my attempt to describe My Land,
Its Tribe, Its Nation, Its People, Its Clan!

India, its vastness, mind blowing,
Its beauty, everywhere showing!

Its rivers, swift and flowing,
Its mountains, tall, mighty and glowing!

 Its valleys, deep and colorful,
Its plains and plateaus, breath takingly beautiful!
Its desert, large and endless,
Its overwhelming springs in its wilderness!

Its color and brightness,
The very mark of life,
The people's politeness
The truth about strife!

Its people, colored and many,
Hearts filled with love and hospitality!
Its people separated by distance and city,
Yet all Indians, a colorful family!

 It’s Religion, completely religious,
Often you’ll find religions that seem prodigious!
North, South, East, West,
Truly, All equally, the Best!

 Besides its beauty,
It has remarkable history!
History that proves braveness,
And marks humanity!

India, has come a long way,
Today, so different and yet set in its way!
There are things about India that may never change,
But these are the very things, we Indians would never exchange!

We might grumble and look green eyed at other nations,
But we truly adore our country and its unique relations.
To sum it up, India is Vast, Beautiful and Grand,

I’m glad it is our Home, our Love, our Land!

CKC 2015, Winning Poem on “My Prayers to God”

“My Prayers to God”
By: Sonakshi Bhatia
Prize Won: 2nd
Age Group:12-15

“My Prayers to God”

I fold my hands and bow my head
And sit up straight beside my bed
I close my eyes and focus my mind
And pray to God for He is kind

To Lord Ganesha I pray
To show me the way
And guide me to the door
That leads to many more

To Lord Shiva I ask
To help me with the task
Of taking my negative qualities
And sending them away with the breeze

 From Devi Saraswati I seek
To not be at all weak
And to bestow on me
The knowledge to be free

 I pray to long lengths
To send others strength
And also for world peace
So any wars would cease

 Our fate is blessed by God’s graceful hands
But it’s up to us to follow the right commands
I pray to follow the right course
And choose it willingly without any force

So God knows best
Though it may seem like a test
He will always guide us

It’s His job; so don’t lose trust

CKC 2015, Winning Poem on “The 3 Keys to Perseverance — The Greatest Strength”

“The 3 Keys to Perseverance — The Greatest Strength”
By: Saloni Agarwal
Prize Won: 1st
Age Group: 12-15

The 3 Keys to Perseverance — The Greatest Strength
Someone tells you to persevere,
This may seem hard
But 3 keys will keep you on guard
With them success will appear

Patience is a key that opens many doors
It is bitter
You may feel as if you are on the floor
But you won't be a quitter
The more you wait
The sweeter the outcome
The better the income
Patience is an important character trait

Good attitudes bring success
It feels like adrenaline pumping
And fog clearing
Also it removes stress

You plant a seed of inspiration
The seed will thrive
Joy will be alive
Other are quickly put to action

Setting goals
separates wads
Into different squads
That play an important role

When an obstacle comes up
Make the goal pop
For all obstacles will drop
A big thumbs up

Remember to set the goals low
Not achieving a goal
Will cause things to go out of control
Victory will seem as if lost long ago

Following these three keys
Will drop all negativity
And pick up positivity

Life will be a breeze

CKC 2015, Winning Poem on “Krishna is my friend”

“Krishna is my friend”
By: Shyam Sivasubramanian
Prize Won: 3rd
Age Group: 8-11


He gave me shelter from Indra,
From the secret love mantra
He danced on top of a snake,
To send away venom from a lake
He killed Kamsa for the greater good,
And many times saved his neighborhood
He helped destroying kauravas,
Brought peace on earth by Pandavas
He enhances our lives
By his magical music in our believes
He makes our life fun, funny, rhythmic, protective
Who is that magician “HE”, do you know?
            Do you know?

That is none other than my beautiful, lovely Krishna, Krishna!!

CKC 2015: Winning Poem on "My Best Friend Krishna"

My Best Friend Krishna
By: Rachana Tankshali
Prize Won: 2nd
Age Group: 8-11

My Best Friend Krishna

He’s my heart
He’s my soul
He is my part
To help me reach my goal
My best friend Krishna |

Without him the world would be incomplete
As nobody could ever match Him
He makes my life complete
My best friend Krishna |

He’s my partner
Flute playing with joy
The world would be impossible without Him
My best friend Krishna |

Submerging his hands in the butter
Licking his fingers with joy
O naughty Krishna
Happy with joy
Life is in him
Even the world as well
My best friend Krishna |

 Tricking the Gopikas
Naughtily chuckling away
Ducking down to prevent the smile
That shines like sunshine through his eyes
Nobody is naughtier than him
My best friend Krishna |

Not just being naughty, but good as well
Being affectionate to Balarama
He handled all the life’s drama
 My best friend Krishna |

 Got to learn a lot
Perfect example of leading a blissful life
Eternity love to all

My best friend Krishna |

CKC 2015: Winning Poem on "I Love God"

CKC 2015 Winning Entry on:  I Love God
By: Ria Patel
Prize Won: 1st
Age Group: 8-11

I  Love God

Radha and Krishna,
A beautiful sight,
They control the world,
With all their might.

 They help us out,
On them you never doubt,
On God we should trust,
In life that is a must.

Always remember God,
More than your iPod,
Instead of playing a game,
You should take God’s name.

Never do bad work,
Or you’ll be a big jerk,
Accept what you are,
Or you won’t get that far.

Remember you’re just the soul,
Don’t ask for much more,
God’s teaching has no end,
God is my best friend.

So just follow these things,
To be a nice human being,
And that’s not odd,

That I love god!