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Disappearance Day of Srila Narahari Sarakara Thakura 23rd Nov 2019

November 23

Sri Narahari Sarkar Thakura was born at Sri Khanda. Sri Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami describes that the residents of Sri Khanda formed a branch of the desire tree of love of God. "Sri Khan davasi (the residents of Sri Khanda) Mukunda and his son Raghu nandan were the thirty ninth branch of the tree, Narahari was the fortieth, Chiran Jiva the forty first and Sulocana the forty second. They were all big branches of the all merciful tree of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. They distributed the fruits and flowers of love of Godhead anywhere and everywhere. Srila Jagannatha das Babaji Maharaj once stated - "Navadwip is the abode of Goloka. Vrindavana is the abode of Gokula. And Sri Khanda is the abode of Vaikuntha." Sri Narahari Sarkar Thakura participated in all of Sri Gaurasundora's pastimes. Bhakti Ratnakara states: "Sri Sarkar Thakura's glories are most uncommon. In Braja he is known as Madhumati, whose good qualities are unlimited." (thus proving he was not the author of it) One day, Nityananda Prabhu arrived at Sri Khanda and said to Narahari, "All right, we know who you are. So where's the honey, Madhu' ?" In Krsna-lila, Narahari is the sakhi Madhumati, whose service is to supply honey for Sri Sri Radha-Govinda and Their associates. So he immediately went to a nearby pond and filled a pot which immediately turned into honey of the most nectarean kind. Nityananda Prabhu and His associates drank from this pot to their full and unlimited satisfaction. Narahari dasa Sarakara was a very famous devotee. Locana dasa Thakura, the celebrated author of Sri Caitanya-mangala, was his disciple. In the Caitanya-mangala it is stated that Sri Gadadhara dasa and Narahari Sarakara were extremely dear to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, but there is no specific statement regarding the inhabitants of the village of Srikhanta. (A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Chaitanya Charitamrita Adi-lila 10:78-79.purport) Sri Locana dasa Thakura was the dear disciple of Sri Narahari Sarkar. In his book Caitanya mangala he introduces his guru in this way: "My Thakur (spiritual master) is Sri Narahari das Thakura, who is very influential amongst the medical caste. He is continuously absorbed in Krsna-prema, and in fact his body knows nothing but Krsna. To his followers he speaks about nothing other than love of Krsna. He was previously known in Vrindavana-lila as Madhumati and was a storehouse of sweetness (honey), and very dear to Radharani. Now he is now present in Kali-yuga with Sri Gaurasundara as Sri Narahari. He is the keeper of the storehouse of love of Radha and Krsna." This is supported in Gaura Ganod-desh dipika of Kavi-karnapura 177., wherein it is said: pura madhumati prana- shakhi vrindavane sthitaa adhuna naraharya-akhyah saarakarah prabhoh priyah "Srimati Radharani's dear friend, the Vraja-gopi named Madhumati-devi, appeared as Narahari Saarakaara, who was very dear to Lord Chaitanya". Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, in his Gaura-arati kirtana, sings of some of that intimate service to that he performed for Lord Chaitanya: 'kiba narahari adikari chamara dhulaya' "Narahari is fanning Gaurasundara with a yak-tail (chaumara) fan." Sri Narahari Sarkar Thakura was a very expert singer as well as poet. He has composed many songs about the pastimes of Lord Caitanya and Lord Nityananda. He composed a Sanskrit work entitled Sri Bhajanamrta. Gaurviraha-gita pada kalpataru is also attributed to him, although some scholar devotees doubt whether it is really his own composition. Most of Narahari Sarkar Thakura's songs have gotten mixed up with Narahari Chakravarti Thakura's compositions (Narahari Chakravarti Thakura is the author of Bhakti-ratnakara). Therefore is difficult to ascertain which are actually his. Before the appearance of Sri Gaurasundara he also composed many songs about the pastimes of Sri Sri Radha and Krsna. Narahari was the only devotee who had the adhikara (right) to do Gaura-kirtana in Gaurasundara's presence. Ordinarily, if anyone would praise Mahaprabhu in His presence, or chant His Holy Name, He would block His ears and call out "Visnu! Visnu!" Narahari, however, enjoyed the special privilege of being able to sing about Mahaprabhu in a very unique mood and with sweet descriptions of His transcendental beauty without objection from Mahaprabhu.

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Utpanna Ekadashi 23rd Nov 2019

November 23

Suta Goswami said, "O learned brahmanas, long ago Lord Sri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, explained the auspicious glories of Sri Ekadasi and the rules and regulations governing each observance of fasting on that holy day. O best of the brahmins, whosoever hears about the origins and glories of these sacred fasts on the Ekadasi days goes directly to the abode of Lord Vishnu after enjoying many different kinds of happiness in this material world. "Arjuna, the son of Prithaa, asked the Lord, 'O Janardana, what are the pious benefits of complete fasting, eating only supper, or eating but once at midday on Ekadasi, and what are the regulations for observing the various Ekadasi days? Kindly narrate all this to me'. "'The Supreme Lord Krishna replied, 'O Arjuna, in the beginning of winter (northern hemisphere), on the Ekadasi that occurs during the dark fortnight of the month of Margasirsha (November-December), a novice should begin his practice of observing a fast on Ekadasi. On Dasami, the day before Ekadasi, he should clean his teeth nicely. Then during the eight portion of Dasami, just as the Sun is about to set, he should eat supper. " 'The next morning the devotee should make a vow, according to the rules and regulations, to observe fasting. At midday he should bathe properly in a river, lake or small pond. A bath in a river is most purifying, thsat taken in a lake is less so, and a bath in a small pond is the least purifying. If neither a river, lake nor pond is accessible, he may bathe with well-water. "'The devotee should chant this prayer containing the names of Mother Earth: "O Asvakrante! O Rathakrante! O Vishnukrante! O Vasundhare! O Mrttike! O Mother Earth! Kindly remove all the sins I have accumulated throughout my many past lives so that I may enter the sacred abode of the Supreme Lord." As the devotee chants, he should smear mud over his body. "'During the day of fasting the devotee should not speak to those who are fallen from their religious duties, to dog-eaters, to thieves, or to hypocrites. He should also avoid speaking with slanderers; with those who abuse the demigods, the Vedic literatures, or brahmanas; or with any other wicked personalities, such as those who have sex with forbidden women, those who are known plunderers, or those who rob temples. If any such person is spoken to or even seen during Ekadasi, one must purify oneself by looking directly at the sun. "Then the devotee should respectfully worship Lord Govinda with first- class food, flowers, and so forth. In his home he should offer the Lord a lamp in pure devotional consciousness. he should also avoid sleeping during the daytime and should completely abstain from sex. Fasting from all food and water, he should joyfully sing the Lord's glories and play musical instruments for His pleasure throughout the night. After remaining awake all night in pure consciousness, the worshipper should give charity to qualified brahmanas and offer his humble obeisances unto them, begging their forgiveness for his offences". "'Those who are serious about devotional service should consider the Ekadasis that occur during dark fortnights to be as good as those that occur during bright fortnights. O king, one should never discriminate between these two kinds of Ekadasi. Please listen as I now describe the results obtained by one who observes Ekadasi in this way. Neither the merit one receives by taking a bath in the sacred place of pilgrimage known as Sankhoddhara, where the Lord killed the Sankhasura demon, nor the merit one receives upon seeing Lord Gadadhara directly is equal to one sixteenth of the merit one obtains by fasting on Ekadasi. It is said that by giving charity on a Monday when the moon is full, one obtains a hundred thousand times the results of ordinary charity. O winner of wealth, one who gives charity on the day of the sankranti (equinox) attains four hundred thousand times the ordinary result. Yet simply by fasting on Ekadasi one obtains all these pious results, as well as whatever pious results one gets at Kurukshetra during an eclipse of the sun or moon. Furthermore, the faithful soul who observes complete fasting on Ekadasi achieves a hundred times more merit than one who performs an Asvamedha-yajna (horse sacrifice). One who observes Ekadasi just once earns ten times more merit than a person who gives a thousand cows in charity to a brahmana learned in the Vedas. "'A person who feeds just one brahmacari earns ten times more merit than one who feeds ten good brahmanas in his own house. But a thousand times more merit than is earned by feeding a brahmacari is achieved by donating land to the needy and respectable brahmana, and a thousand time more than that is earned by giving away a virgin girl in marriage to a young, well- educated, responsible man. Ten times more beneficial than this is educating children properly on the spiritual path, without expecting any reward in return. Ten times better than this, however, is giving food grains to the hungry. Indeed, giving charity to those in need is the best of all, and there never has been or ever will be a better charity than this. O son of Kunti, all the forefathers and demigods in heaven become very satisfied when one gives food grains in charity. But the merit one obtains by observing a complete fast on Ekadasi cannot be measured. O Arjuna, best of all Kurus, the powerful effect of this merit is inconceivable even to the demigods, and half this merit is attained by one who eats only supper on Ekadasi. "'One should therefore observe fasting on Lord Hari's day either by eating only once at midday, abstaining from grains and beans; or by fasting completely. The processes of staying in places of pilgrimage, giving charity, and performing fire sacrifices may boast only as long as Ekadasi has not arrived. Therefore anyone […]

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