23 May 2019
Number of participants 596 so far! So, we are almost there. May be another five ten steady chanters! We have ten more days to go to achieve our target of 600 steady chanters of this conference till the end of this month. Encourage others and keep chanting!
Keep chanting the holy names of the Lord regularly constantly and you will be with Him, right then and there, and here. The Holy name is the Lord.
So, I am here in Pandharpur. Pandharpur is known for chanting also. Or it is said here locally and in shastras that this holy abode Pandharpur is known as Nada brahma. Nada is vibration of the names of the Lord, the sura, tal or nada, the note they indicate the name of the Lord. Of course, we know Anna Para brahma, the food that is offered to the Lord also becomes brahma, becomes Lord’s prasad is same as Lord. In Jagannath Puri, Lord is known as Anna brahma. So, at different holy places Lord is known by different features, His Personalities or His manifestations.
In Srirangam He is known for His sleeping pastimes, Bhuktam madhuram, in Jagannath Puri He is relishing lot of food and suktam madhuram, and likewise Lord is known as Nada brahma here in Pandharpur. That is always chanting the Holy names of the Lord here or Lord’s bhajan and kirtan is constantly chanted here in Pandharpur dham.
So, every Ekadashi or one of the two ekadashis, I think Sukla paksh, fortnight, devotees of Panduranga Vitthala come from long distances, many of them come walking and they just don’t walk, come singing and chanting, come towards Lord. And Srila Prabhupada compared these chanting parties coming to Pandharpur from different destinations, in large numbers of course they come, he compared these parties with Gaudiya Vaisnava sankirtan parties. As we Gaudiya vaisnavas use mridanga and karatals, which are the main instruments for them also which they play. And they always dance in kirtana like Chaitanya Mahaprabhu did and all the Gaudiya vaisnavas, as soon as they chant, they are dancers. So Srila Prabhupada appreciates the mood of the singers and chanters and dancers, they called Warkaris, on pilgrimage to Pandharpur while performing sankirtan. Now the devotees and associates of this dhama, they all sing the glories of the Lord, Vitthala Panduranga, who is Krishna and they compile so many abhangas and hundreds and thousands of them, which are sung regularly in every town, every village of Maharashtra.
And of course, 500 years ago Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu visited Pandharpur and He spent here quiet some time. Chaitanya Charitamrta describes, for 11 days Mahaprabhu stayed in Pandharpur. So, Lord has said He stayed here. Lord doesn’t stay in some guest house. He was busy and mostly He was busy with two things. He was chanting and dancing on the streets of Pandharpur and also chanting right in front of Panduranga Vitthala in darsana mandal. He was chanting and dancing with great ecstasy that is one thing. Hari Hari! He spent another seven days in association of Srirangapuri, disciple of Madhavendra Puri and they spent time in nityam bhagavat sevaya and that was also kirtan sravanam kirtanam hari katha, so this was second thing, one was kirtan and other was also kirtan, the glories of the Lord, they were sharing and hearing in Pandharpur.
We have ISKCON here, ISKCON Pandharpur and we have Radha Pandharinath and we consider this dhama non different from Vrindavan. We have Radha Pandharinath here. Others consider this Pandharpur as Bhuvaikuntha of the earth or they consider Pandharpur as daskhin Dwaraka or extension of Dwaraka. But we consider it as Vrindavan dhama.
I have written a book, of course we are calling it Bhuvaikuntha and there is lot of glories of Pandharpur dhama, mahatmya, glories of Pandharpur dhama. In that book we are making this point or explain this point by giving evidence, how this Pandharpur is not just Vaikuntha, it is Goloka Vrindavan.
So, this book was written in Marathi around 10 years ago and this book is in big demand. We have published this book I think in seven editions, seven times, some more than 40000 copies have been distributed, mostly in Marathi and Hindi also. And now I have the next festival here in July, the Prabhupada ghat opening and also my birthday is coming up. By that time, we wish to make this book available in English language first time, so you could all, the devotees from around the world would also hear and understand the glories of Pandharpur dhama.
Of course, on the altar besides Vitthala Rukmini, I am talking about Pandharpur dhama deities, of course we have ISKCON, we have Radha and Pandharinath, but the Vitthala altar also has Rukmini and Radharani is also there. So that’s very clear indication that this dhama is not just Vaikuntha or Dwaraka but this is Goloka Vrindavan. And part of Pandharpur dhama is another dhama that is Gopalpur, there is Pandharpur and Gopalpur. And Gopalpur is exclusively, that is Vrindavan, Krishna’s cow herding pastimes took place there. And there are footprints of cows and calves, Krishna’s flute and all that symbols, markings reminders of Krishna’s Vrindavan pastimes. Some days, four five days of Ashadhi ekadashi festival, all the pilgrims they go to Gopalapur and they have festival called Gopalkala meaning, the cowherd boys or the pilgrims are in mood of cowherd boys, they sit around in circles and they honor Prasad called Gopalkala and they re-inact the pastimes of Krishna enjoying His meals or food, lunch on the bank of Yamuna. Near there is also the hill which is considered as the Govardhan hill of the Vrindavan and at the foothill of this Govardhan hill, Yamuna flows and enters into the Chandrabhaga river, there is the confluence of Yamuna and Chandrabhaga. So, these all manifestations, features of Pandharpur dhama exists, we also had explained in the Pandharpur book.
So, keep chanting, the dhama reminds also the glories of the Holy name and all saints associated with the dhama. One of those saints is Tukaram, who is known for his bhajans and kirtans and chanting and this also considered, it is said that Tukaram was initiated by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Tukaram has spread glories of chanting Holy names of the Lord as well as the holy glories compiled and recited by him.
Okay, so you are welcome to Pandharpur for the festival in July month. Here devotees are doing arrangements for receiving you and giving you prasadam and specially chanting and dancing and some hearing program has been planned here. So, you all are welcome to Pandharpur dhama opening. Join us and see yourself or hear and understand the glories of the dhama here and glories of the holy name here.
Okay keep chanting!