All All Glories to the Mahimämaya Kärtika…
All All Glories to Çrémati Rädhäräné…
All All Glories to ÇRÉ GURUDEVA and ÇRÉ GURUDEVA’S Teachings…The Teachings which enlighten.. which empower… which strengthen.. and which enable devotees of KARM to welcome and celebrate the All Auspicious, All Glorious, the holiest and the purest month of the year- Kärtika, with great enthusiasm and in the right way- the Rädhä Conscious way.
Enlightened by ÇRÉ GURUDEVA’s Teachings (on the glories and importance of Kärtika) and empowered by ÇRÉ GURUDEVA’s Blessings, Devotees took this month as an opportunity to become the dearmost recipient of Rädhäräné’s mercy by rendering hådaya sparçé (Heart touching) seväs.
Like every year, Kärtika in 2017 was celebrated as a month long festival by KARM Devotees… they were blessed with the opportunity for Dhäma Yäträ with ÇRÉ GURUDEVA.. seväs were being rendered in newer and newer ways by devotees.. Dhäma Väsa, Hari Kathä, Hari Charchä (discussions), Çästra Adhyayana (Reading Scriptures) particularly Våndävana Mahimämåta etc. were done by KARM Devotees throughout the month.
Devotees did Deepdäna (Offering ghee lamps) to Çré Çré Rädhä Dämodara, recited Añöakams, Strotras etc. daily. Awareness campaigns on “what is real happiness”, continued non-stop, both in Çré Våndävana and New Delhi.
The planning and preparations for Kärtika began soon after Rädhäñöamé. While one devotee made offering of diyäs to other devotees, another served ghee dipped wicks (as ingredients to perform deepdäna)… Not just that… Våndävana Mahimämåta Grantha was also served by one. From revarés to milk cakes (from Çré Våndävana), from mixed seeds, gift pack of namkeens and drink to home-made rose flavoured coconut laddüs, the selfless devotees made innumerable offerings. Oil dispenser, torch, extension cords, green tea, narrow-mouthed bottles, etc. to name a few. The humble offering of the Grantha- Caitanya Caritämåta was also made, the grantha which is the crestjewel of scriptures and is filled with the auspicious, divine and nectarine pastimes of the most merciful Lord Çréman Mahäprabhu.
The most merciful time of the beautiful Month fell on October 10, the Day of Çréla Narottama Däsa Öhäkura’s Disappearance, when KARM Devotees were blessed with the opportunity for Dhäma Yäträ together with ÇRÉ GURUDEVA. Soon after the ever-awaited and ever-desired trip was finalized, the enthusiastic devotees began to seek permissions for different services for the trip. Moreover, devotees went out of the way to be a part of the Trip, for everyone realizes the rarest opportunity to be with ÇRÉ GURUDEVA. Nothing was a bar… a working day, school, illness, kids at home etc.
5:30 am was the meeting time…It was a cool morning… picking devotees from their places, tying up with other devotees etc., everyone headed for the meeting place. It was first time opportunity for many devotees, whose spirits were sky-high.. one of the groups (first timers) got late in reaching, not because they started late for the meeting place, but because they went the wrong way out of excitement, despite following another car.
We all started for the Rädhämayé, Gurumayé Journey.. relishing our fortune, discussing Hari Kathä, doing Kértanas on the way. We took first halt at Çré Våndävana, Jaipur Mandir where along with ÇRÉ GURUDEVA we got the opportunity to participate in the Kértana. Devotees who were staying in Våndavana also joined us. Then through Chatikara, we headed for Çré Rädhäkuëòa, stopping on the way for Breakfast Prasädam which was like a feast.
It was around 11:30 am, when the fortunate devotees got the opportunity to touch Rädhä-padäìkita Bhümi of Çré Rädhäkuëòa. ÇRÉ GURUDEVA took us to ÇRÉ BÄBÄJÉ MAHÄRÄJA ÄÇRAMA for Darçana. Offerings of fruits, dry fruits, sugar free biscuits, drinks, fire extinguisher, laxmi etc. were made to BÄBÄJÉ MAHÄRÄJA. BÄBÄJÉ MAHÄRÄJA blessed us with the Divine Message for Kärtika- “Kärtika is known as the month of niyama sevä. Every person, whether devotee, non-devotee, should fix some niyama sevä (bhajana) and regularly observe throughout the month of Kärtika. One should chant stava, stutis, do päöha, kértana, püjä etc. Especially, if one tries to observe this month in Çré Våndävana Dhäma, Rädhäkuëòa Dhäma, Braja Dhäma, then Lord bestows him prema bhakti without any consideration.” BÄBÄJÉ further mercifully guided Devotees to do Parikramä, Harinäma, Bhajana, Darçana of Dhäma.
Thereafter, we went to the place where Bhajana Kértanas on the occassion of auspicious Disappearance Day of Çréla Narottama Däsa Öhäkura were being sung. where we got the opportunity to participate in Narottama Däsa Öhäkura Bhajans, being sung beautifully by a group of devotees from Çré Navadvépa Dhäma. Our fortune shone further as we were blessed to honour Dhäma Prasädam (Daal, Rice, Chapattis, Aalu sabzi, Khajur gudh kheer and muchh more) prepared as well as served soo lovingly by Dhäma-väsés.
We then went to Rädhäkuëòa Taöa, paid obeisances and did äcamana. From there, we went for Jähnavä Mätä Baiöhaka Darçana and Parikramä and then to Çréla Raghunätha Däsa Gosvämé Samädhi and did Parikramä. It was then the time for Rädhäkuëòa Püjä, when as a family we sat closely and participated in offering milk, tilaka, flowers and performing Äraté of the Kuëòa. ÇRÉ GURUDEVA then lovingly performed the Abhiñeka of Giriräja Jé, offered tilaka, flowers and performed Äraté.
Following the footsteps of ÇRÉ GURUDEVA, we also did Rädhäkuëòa Parikramä. On the way, ÇRÉ GURUDEVA lovingly reciprocated with Dhäma-väsés (residents of Dhäma).
Thereafter we headed to Våndävana, where ÇRÉ GURUDEVA blessed us with the historic session on Karma Tattva, giving references from Bhagavad Gétä and beautifully explaining the importance of human form of life. What are the different kinds of karmas, their results and their consequences, the sole purpose of human form of life (i.e., performing yajïa), importance of niñkäma sevä (the only solution) etc. were also explained with practical examples by ÇRÉ GURUDEVA.
The Lecture was concluded with mesmerizing Kértana and narration of morning Lélä when Rädhäräné cries incessantly at 5:55 am, suffering in fire of separation from Kåñëa. The merciful day called for one more celebration as one devotee was blessed with her eternal svarüpa when ÇRÉ GURUDEVA bestowed her with Siddha Praëälé. It seemed that the more than 3-hour long Lecture got over with the blink of the eyes. Devotees made offerings of Kärtika to ÇRÉ GURUDEVA. ÇRÉ GURUDEVA, in turn accepted the offerings very lovingly, reciprocating with devotees, blessing them with instructions, sevä opportunities.
The clock struck 7.. it was the time for Deepdäna. We were blessed to witness the love-filled offering of ghee lamps to the Lord by ÇRÉ GURUDEVA. This was followed by deepdäna by devotees.
Sumptuous Prasädam was then served to devotees, after which devotees did wind up. The time we never wished for, arrived.. the time to start for New Delhi. With the boxes of Dhäma Prasädam for night in bags and the beautiful memories of the Trip in hearts, we returned back to New Delhi.