Interview Siddhanti Mj - Jun 14, 2005
Interview Phulamala DD - Jun 14, 2005
Rainbow Festival - Jun 7, 2005
Gift of Giving - Apr 25, 2005
Gaura-Purnima - Mar 25, 2005
Holiday Celebrations - Mar 12, 2005
Mangal arati question - Feb 16, 2005
Sri Vyas Puja - Dec 28
Heartfelt Recollections - Dec 9
Moon-like Mercy - Nov 13
Waves of Nectar: Vyasa-Puja - Nov 6
Sannyas Anniversary - Nov 5
Opening 'Via Govinda' - Oct 30

Showers of Mercy: San Jose - Oct 23

Radhastami Reflections

Reflections - Sept 26

Auspicious Assembly
The First Morning

All glories to Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga
All Glories to Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj

Holiday Celebrations with Srila Gurudev
March 12, 2005

Srila Gurudev's glorious stay at the Soquel Seva Ashram came to a close last week. Nearly fifty devotees saw him off with a tearful good-bye at the airport. They chanted the Holy Name for an hour while many offered him daksina, flowers and dandavat pranams. Despite the pangs of separation that many of us are feeling, we can't help but dwell upon the amazing times that we shared with our beloved Gurudev. Included here are two summaries of devotional holidays that we celebrated with His Divine Grace.

Lord Nityananda Prabhu's Appearance Day
By Vrindavanesvari Dasi

On this special occasion, a small gathering of devotees had the great fortunate to receive darshan from Srila Gurudev. After several weeks of rain in Soquel, the sun had finally come out and was shining through Srila Gurudev's windows that morning. He spoke with a very happy expression on his face about Nityananda Prabhu. Here is a summary of what His Divine Grace said that day:
Lord Nityananda is the divine incarnation of Lord Balaram. He can go anywhere, do anything, and He is highly respected. Even if He were to walk down the street with a woman under one arm and holding wine with the other, Lord Brahma would fall down at His feet if he saw Him. This is because Mahaprabhu Himself praised Nityananda Prabhu. He is avadhut. The Chaitanya Bhagavat can also be called the Nityananda Bhagavat because of the extreme glorification that Vrindavan Das Thakur gives to Him. In one Pastime, Abhiram Thakur told Nityananda Prabhu that He was not Balaram, and Nityananda Prabhu responded, "I will give you one slap." So to test Him, Abhiram Thakur said Nityananda Prabhu would have to catch him by the time he ran two and half steps forward. So he went, and just after the second step, Lord Nityananda caught him. Srila Gurudev said this last line with an animated gesture, reaching his arm forward as if to snatch something from the air. Then he added that at this point, Abhiram Thakur realized Nityananda Prabhu was the Lord of his life.
Later that morning, a program was held for Lord Nityananda. Puspanjali Didi brightened the temple room with tropical flowers brought from Hawaii. Devotees chanted many bhajans and heard from several sannyasis, including Sripad Goswami Maharaj. In glorifying Nityananda Prabhu, Maharaj spoke about His charming Pastimes:
As a child, Nityananda Prabhu was always the coolest kid in the neighborhood. He would use leaves and bamboo to make a figure of Kaliya. To reenact Lord Krishna's Pastime, Nityananda Prabhu's friends would pass out by the lake and He would revive them. Lord Nityananda would also steal butter and yogurt from local households, but no one was upset because they loved Him more than their own children.

Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur's Appearance Day
By Vaidehi Dasi

Around the world, devotees celebrated Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur's Appearance Day by recollecting his teachings and offering their respects to his magnanimous personality. On this auspicious day, the devotees at the Soquel Seva Ashram had the special opportunity to hear Srila Gurudev speak about the life of Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur.
His Divine Grace came down to the temple room in the morning. The devotees gathered before his lotus feet as he recounted his Pastimes with Srila Saraswati Thakur's greatest servant, Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj. Through Srila Guru Maharaj, Srila Govinda Maharaj got to know how Srila Saraswati Thakur blessed the fallen souls with his shelter and wisdom.
Srila Gurudev spoke beautifully about Srila Saraswati Thakur's life. He mentioned the many ashrams that Saraswati Thakur established in India. The Gaudiya Vaisnava leader had a strong desire to preach in the West and at last, his disciple Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupad took the initiative to fulfill that desire.
Srila Gurudev graced the devotees with his darshan for forty-five minutes, ending with the bhajan "Sri-Dayita-pranati-panchakam." After he returned to his quarters accompanied by Srutasrava Prabhu, the program continued with Sripad Goswami Maharaj, Sripad Janardan Maharaj, and Sripad Ashram Maharaj heading the discourses in honor of Srila Saraswati Thakur.


Srila Haridas Thakur - Sept 27
Srila Jiva Goswami - Sept 25
Darshan - Sept 17

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