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Importance of Worshiping Govardhan Hill

 
            Formerly, at the end of Dvāpara-yuga, all the cowherd men of Vṛndāvana had arranged to worship King Indra, but they gave this worship up, following the advice of Kṛṣṇa. Instead, they performed a ceremony whereby they worshiped the cows, brāhmaṇas and Govardhana Hill. At that time Kṛṣṇa expanded Himself and declared, “I am Govardhana Hill.” In this way He accepted all the paraphernalia and food offered to Govardhana Hill. It is stated in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (10.24.26, 31-33):
pacyantāṁ vividhāḥ pākāḥ
sūpāntāḥ pāyasādayaḥ
saṁyāvā-pūpa-śaṣkulyaḥ
sarva-dohaś ca gṛhyatām
kālātmanā bhagavatā
śakra-darpaṁ jighāṁsatā
proktaṁ niśamya nandādyāḥ
sādhv agṛhṇanta tad-vacaḥ
tathā ca vyadadhuḥ sarvaṁ
yathāha madhusūdanaḥ
vācayitvā svasty-ayanaṁ
tad-dravyeṇa giri-dvijān
upahṛtya balīn sarvān
ādṛtā yavasaṁ gavām
go-dhanāni puras-kṛtya
giriṁ cakruḥ pradakṣiṇam
          “Prepare very nice foods of all descriptions from the grains and ghee collected for the yajña. Prepare rice, dāl, then halavah, pākorā, purī and all kinds of milk preparations like sweet rice, sweetballs, sandeśa, rasagullā and lāḍḍu.’
“The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, therefore advised the cowherd men to stop the Indra-yajña and begin the Govardhana-pūjā to chastise Indra, who was very much puffed up at being the supreme controller of the heavenly planets. The honest and simple cowherd men, headed by Nanda Mahārāja, accepted Kṛṣṇa’s proposal and executed in detail everything He advised. They performed Govardhana worship and circumambulation of the hill. According to the instruction of Lord Kṛṣṇa, Nanda Mahārāja and the cowherd men called in learned brāhmaṇas and began to worship Govardhana Hill by chanting Vedic hymns and offering prasāda. The inhabitants of Vṛndāvana assembled together, decorated their cows and gave them grass. Keeping the cows in front, they began to circumambulate Govardhana Hill.”
 
Ref >> Srila Prabhupada Vani.
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Kṛṣṇa will always be with His Sincere Devotees

           The Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement has spread all over the world within a very short time (within five years), and mundane people are very astonished at this. However, by the grace of Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, we understand that everything is possible by the grace of Kṛṣṇa. Why does Kṛṣṇa have to take five years? In five days He can spread His name and fame all over the world like wildfire. Those who have faith in and devotion to Kṛṣṇa can understand that these things happen so wonderfully by the grace of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. We are simply the instruments. In the fierce Battle of Kurukṣetra, Arjuna was victorious within eighteen days simply because Kṛṣṇa’s
grace was on his side.
 
yatra yogeśvaraḥ kṛṣṇo
yatra pārtho dhanur-dharaḥ
tatra śrīr vijayo bhūtir
dhruvā nītir matir mama
 
           “Wherever there is Kṛṣṇa, the master of all mystics, and wherever there is Arjuna, the supreme archer, there will also certainly be opulence, victory, extraordinary power and morality. That is my opinion.” (Bg. 18.78)
 
            If the preachers in our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement are sincere devotees of Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa will always be with them because He is very kind and favorable to all His devotees. Just as Arjuna and Kṛṣṇa were victorious in the Battle of Kurukṣetra, this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement will surely emerge victorious if we but remain sincere devotees of the Lord and serve the Lord according to the advice of predecessors (the six Gosvāmīs and other devotees of the Lord). As Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura has stated: tāṅdera caraṇa sevi bhakta-sane vāsa, janame janame haya ei abhilāṣa. The Kṛṣṇa consciousness devotees must always desire to remain in the society of devotees. Bhakta-sane vāsa: they cannot go outside the Kṛṣṇa conscious society or the movement. Within the society we must try to serve the predecessors by preaching Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s cult and spreading His name and fame all over the world. If we attempt this seriously within the society, it will be successfully done. There is no question of estimating how this will happen in the mundane sense. But without a doubt, it happens by the grace of Kṛṣṇa.
 
Ref >> Srila Prabhupada Vani.
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Does God eat the offerings given by His devotees?

Although Lord Śrī Gopāla eat everything offered, still, by the touch of His transcendental hand, everything remains as before. The atheists cannot understand how the Supreme Personality of Godhead, appearing in the form of the Deity, can eat all the food offered by His devotees. In the Bhagavad-gītā (9.26) Kṛṣṇa says:
patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ
toyaṁ yo me bhaktyā prayacchati
tad ahaṁ bhakty-upahṛtam
aśnāmi prayatātmanaḥ
“If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, a fruit or water, I will accept it.” (Bg. 9.26) The Lord is pūrṇa, complete, and therefore He eats everything offered by His devotees. However, by the touch of His transcendental hand, all the food remains exactly as before. It is the quality that is changed. Before the food was offered, it was something else, but after it is offered the food acquires a transcendental quality. Because the Lord is pūrṇa, He remains the same even after eating. Pūrṇasya pūrṇam ādāya pūrṇam evāvaśiṣyate. The food offered to Kṛṣṇa is qualitatively as good as Kṛṣṇa; just as Kṛṣṇa is avyaya, indestructible, the food eaten by Kṛṣṇa, being identical with Him, remains as before.
Apart from this, Kṛṣṇa can eat the food with any one of His transcendental senses. He can eat by seeing the food or by touching it. Nor should one think that it is necessary for Kṛṣṇa to eat. He does not become hungry like an ordinary human being; nonetheless, He presents Himself as being hungry, and as such, He can eat everything and anything, regardless of quantity. The philosophy underlying Kṛṣṇa’s eating is understandable by our transcendental senses. When our senses are purified by constantly being engaged in the devotional service of the Lord, we can understand Kṛṣṇa’s activities, names, forms, qualities, pastimes and entourage.
ataḥ śrī-kṛṣṇa-nāmādi
na bhaved grāhyam indriyaiḥ
sevonmukhe hi jihvādau
svayam eva sphuraty adaḥ
“No one can understand Kṛṣṇa by the blunt material senses. But He reveals Himself to the devotees, being pleased with them for their transcendental loving service unto Him.” (Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 1.2.234) The devotees understand Kṛṣṇa through revelation. It is not possible for a mundane scholar to understand Kṛṣṇa and His pastimes through research work on the non-devotional platform.
 
Ref >> Srila Prabhupada Vani.
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What is Abhisheka Ceremony?

In the Hari-bhakti-vilāsa (sixth vilāsa, verse 30) it is stated that the Deity should be bathed in water mixed with yogurt and milk, accompanied by the sounds of conchshells, bells and other instruments and the chanting of the mantra oṁ bhagavate vāsudevāya namaḥ, as well as the chanting of the Brahma-saṁhitā verses beginning cintāmaṇi-prakara-sadmasu kalpa-vṛkṣa-lakṣāvṛteṣu surabhīr abhipālayantam.
 
After all inauspicious things are driven away by the chanting of the mantra, the Deity’s bathing ceremony is started. First the Deity is massaged with a large quantity of oil, so that His body became very glossy.
 
After the first bathing, further bathings are conducted with pañca-gavya and then with pañcāmṛta. Then the mahā-snāna is performed with ghee and water, which is brought in one hundred pots.
 
The ingredients of pañca-gavya are milk, yogurt, ghee (clarified butter), cow urine and cow dung. All these items come from the cow; therefore we can just imagine how important the cow is, since its urine and stool are required for bathing the Deity. The pañcāmṛta consists of five kinds of nectar-yogurt, milk, ghee, honey and sugar. The major portion of this preparation also comes from the cow. To make it more palatable, sugar and honey are added.
 
After the mahā-snāna is finished, the Deity is again massaged with scented oil and His body made glossy. Then the last bathing ceremony is performed with scented water kept within a conchshell.
 
In his commentary on this occasion, Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura quotes from the Hari-bhakti-vilāsa. Barley powder, wheat powder, vermilion powder, urad dāl powder and another powder preparation called āvāṭā (made by mixing banana powder and ground rice) are applied to the Deity’s body with a brush made from the hair at the end of a cow’s tail. This produces a nice finish. The oil smeared over the body of the Deity should be scented. To perform the mahā-snāna, at least two and a half mānas (about twenty-four gallons) of water are needed to pour over the body of the Deity.
 
After the body of the Deity is cleansed, He is dressed very nicely with new garments. Then sandalwood pulp, tulasī garlands and other fragrant flower garlands are placed upon the body of the Deity.
 
After the bathing ceremony is finished, incense and lamps are burned and all kinds of food is offered before the Deity. These foods included yogurt, milk and as many sweetmeats as are received.
 
The Deity is first offered many varieties of food, then scented drinking water in new pots, and then water for washing the mouth. Finally pān mixed with a variety of spices is offered.
 
After the last offering of tāmbūla and pān, bhoga-ārātrika is performed. Finally everyone offers various prayers and then obeisances, falling flat before the Deity in full surrender.
 
Ref >> Srila Prabhupada Vani.
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Crying in Separation of Family Members

Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura explains, the word nirapekṣa means not being affected by anything material and remaining fixed in the service of the Lord. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu did not very much care for the roaring tumult and cry at the house of Advaita Ācārya, which He heard when starting for Jagannātha Purī. Worldly moralists may criticize Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu for being very cruel, but the Lord did not care for such criticism. As the world teacher of this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, He actually showed that a person seriously engaged in Kṛṣṇa consciousness should not be affected by worldly affection. The best course is to engage in rendering service to the Lord and to become callous to material objectives. Externally everyone is attached to material things, but if one becomes entangled in such things, he cannot make progress in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Therefore those who are engaged in Kṛṣṇa consciousness should not care for the so-called morality of the material world if that morality opposes the service of the Lord. As Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu has personally shown, one cannot properly execute Kṛṣṇa consciousness without being neutral.
 
Ref >> Srila Prabhupada Vani.
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Distributing prasādam

              Advaita Ācārya set an ideal example for all householder devotees in His receiving of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu and His devotees and in His execution of a daily festival at His home. If one has the proper means and wealth, he should occasionally invite the devotees of Lord Caitanya, who are engaged in preaching all over the world, and hold a festival at home simply by distributing prasāda and talking about Kṛṣṇa during the day and holding congregational chanting for at least three hours in the evening. This procedure must be adopted in all centers of the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. Thus they will daily perform saṅkīrtana-yajña. In Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (11.5.32) the daily performance of saṅkīrtana-yajña is recommended for this age (yajñaiḥ saṅkīrtana-prāyair yajanti hi su-medhasaḥ). One should worship Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu and His four associates, the Pañca-tattva, by distributing prasāda and holding congregational chanting. Indeed, that yajña or sacrifice is most recommended in this Age of Kali. In this age, other yajñas are not possible to perform, but this yajña can be performed everywhere and anywhere without difficulty.
 
Ref >> Srila Prabhupada Vani.
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Temple at Home.

The cult of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, the Hare Kṛṣṇa movement, is very nicely explained by Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu authoritatively. It is not that everyone has to take sannyāsa like Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Everyone can execute the cult of Kṛṣṇa consciousness at home, as ordered by the Lord. Everyone can congregationally chant the holy name of Kṛṣṇa, the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra. One can also discuss the subject matter of the Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and install Deities of Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa or Gaura-Nitāi or both and worship them very carefully in one’s own home. It is not that we have to open different centers all over the world. Whoever cares for the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement can install Deities at home and, under superior guidance, worship the Deity regularly, chanting the mahā-mantra and discussing the Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. We are actually teaching in our classes how to go about this. One who feels that he is not yet ready to live in a temple or undergo strict regulative principles in the temple-especially householders who live with a wife and children-can start a center at home by installing the Deity, worshiping the Lord morning and evening, chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa and discussing the Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Anyone can do this at home without difficulty, and Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu requested all the devotees present there to do so.
 
Ref >> Srila Prabhupada Vani.