We would like everyone to mark the date Dec 22nd on your calendars as Santa Claus is coming to our Temple. Every kid can take a picture with Santa and receive a gift. Please bring the kids and your friends and enjoy the holiday season in the Temple.
Prayers & Bhajan: We offered our
respects to Lord Krsna and learned Vaisnava Pranama(prayer to devotees.)
kṛpā-sindhubhya eva ca
vaiṣṇavebhyo namo namaḥ
Translation: I offer my respectful obeisances unto all the Vaiṣṇava devotees of the Lord. They can fulﬁll the desires of everyone, just like desire trees, and they are full of compassion for the fallen souls.
Audio Link: Vaishnava_Pranam
Sloka: We learned a new sloka from Bhagavad-Gita(9.14)
satataṁ kīrtayanto māṁ
yatantaś ca dṛḍha-vratāḥ
namasyantaś ca māṁ bhaktyā
Translation: Always chanting My glories, endeavoring with great determination, bowing down before Me, these great souls perpetually worship Me with devotion.
Audio Link: BG 9.14
Story: We heard about Maharaj Ambarish, a great devotee
of Lord Krsna.
Maharaj Ambarīsa always engaged his mind in meditating upon the lotus feet of Krsna, his words in describing the glories of the Lord, his hands in cleansing the Lord's temple, and his ears in hearing the words spoken by Krsna or about Krsna. He engaged his eyes in seeing the Deity of Krsna, Krsna's temples and Krsna's places like Mathura and Vrindavan, he engaged his sense of touch in touching the bodies of the Lord's devotees, he engaged his sense of smell in smelling the fragrance of tulasi offered to the Lord, and he engaged his tongue in tasting the Lord's prasadam. He engaged his legs in walking to the holy places and temples of the Lord, his head in bowing down before the Lord, and all his desires in serving the Lord, twenty-four hours a day. Indeed, Maharaj Ambarish never desired anything for his own sense gratification. He engaged all his senses in devotional service, in various engagements related to the Lord.
Once, Maharaja Ambarish observed the vow of Ekadashi for one year by fasting without water. On Dvadashi, there was only a short time after sunrise in which it was auspicious to break his fast. Maharaja Ambarish worshipped Bhagvan and was just about to take grains that had been offered to the Supreme Lord, when Maharishi Durvasa arrived. With great respect, the king invited the sage to jpin him. The maharishi said, "I accept your invitation, but I first need to finish my daily duties. I will go to the bank of Yamuna; please wait until I return." Saying this, the sage went to the Yamuna.
However, Maharishi Durvasa's return was slightly delayed, and the auspicious time was about to pass. After consulting with the brahmanas and his ministers, Maharaja Ambarish took a drop of the water that washed the Supreme Lord's feet in order to protect his fast.
When Maharishi Durvasa returned, he was furious, knowing well that Maharaja Ambarish had broken the fast without him. He pulled a matted lock of hair from his head and transformed it into a fiery demoness called Kritya, who was ready to burn Ambarish to ashes.
However, Maharaja Ambarish simply stood there fearlessly with folded hands. The Sudarshan chakra, the protector of the devotees, immediately appeared and burnt Kritya to ashes. Sudarshan chakra then leapt towards Maharishi Durvasa, who swiftly ran everywhere to save his life.
He even went to Brahmalok and Shivalok, but no one in those places could save him. Wherever he went, he saw the frightening Sudarshan chakra pursuing him. Finally, Maharishi Durvasa came to Narayan in Vaikunthalok and desperately cried out: "Help, save me, protect me!" Bhagvan Shri Narayan said, "I am under the control of My devotees. I am their heart and they are My heart. You should at once return to Ambarish and plead for forgiveness. Sudarshan chakra can be pacified by his prayer only, and not by any other means."
For one full year, the great devotee Ambarish Maharaja remained standing there, waiting for Durvasa and praying for the sage's welfare. Upon returning from Vaikuntha, the perturbed Durvasa begged Maharaja Ambarish for his life. Ambarish Maharaja pacified Sudarshan chakra by offering prayers to him and then satisfied the sage by respectfully presenting him an array of delicious prasadam.
Durvasa Muni became astonished to witness the glories of Maharaja Ambarish and said, "Today I have realised the unprecedented glories of Bhagvan Anantadev's devotees. I greatly offended Ambarish Maharaja, but still he always desires nothing but my welfare. This is only possible for the devotees of the Supreme Lord."
We finally concluded the class with Maharaj Ambarish and Durvasa muni coloring pictures.
Looking forward to
seeing all of you in the next class.
Gopala Class Teachers