Akshaya Tritiya/Chandana-yatra of Lord Jagannatha/Anniversary of Shri Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti’s Inauguration/ Opening the doors of Shri Badrinarayana

Skype, 29 April 2017

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Today is a super excellent auspicious day known as Akshaya Tritiya. Today is also the day of Shri Jagannathadeva’s Chandana-yatra, the first opening of the door of Badrinarayana and today, Bhakti Prajnana Keshava Gosvami Maharaja established our Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti.

Shrila Gurudeva would say today is a super excellent auspicious day because if you start any material or spiritual project, you will be successful. Gurudeva explains what Akshaya and Tritiya mean. Akshaya means not perishable and tritiya means the third day from the new moon. For this regard, today is called Akshaya Tritiya.

According to the shastras, this tithi is very auspicious. Meaning, any new project started on this day, the third day from the new moon, will be successful. Tritiya is also called Vijay and vijay means victory. If you begin any journey on the day of Akshaya Tritiya, that journey will be victorious. So for this regard, today is a super excellent and auspicious day, Akshaya Tritiya.

According to shastras, Guru and Vaishnavas – especially Gurudeva would say, “Actually, Brahmaji created this brahmanda on this day, brahmanda-srishti. Brahma is called the creator, Vishnu is called the maintainer and Shivaji is the destroyer.”

sṛṣṭi-sthiti-pralaya-sādhana-śaktirekā

(Sri Brahma-samhita 5.44)

Lord Krishna is the Supreme and He gives His potency to Brahmaji so he can create this material world. Brahma is known as the creator, but everything is actually created by Lord Krishna.

sṛṣṭi-sthiti-pralaya-sādhana-śaktirekā

The Brahma-samhita also explains the concept of srishti-sthiti. Srishti means creation and sthiti means to nourish and also destroy everything. Krishna is the Supreme, but He gives His potency to create this material world to Brahmaji. This is why Brahmaji is referred to as the creator of this material world. In the form of Narayana, Krishna provides nourishment to all the living entities. Krishna also gives His potency to Lord Shiva and only with His potency can Lord Shiva destroy everything. Our Upanishadas explain everything is created by the Lord, everything is nourished by the Lord and everything is also destroyed by the Lord.

yato vā imāni bhutāni jāyante
yena jātāni jivanti
yat prayantya-bhisamviśanti
tat vijijnāsasva tat brahmeti

(Taittirīya Upanishad)

Again, this shloka found in the Upanishadas state everything is manifested by the Lord, nourished by the Lord and destroyed by the Lord. In accordance with the lilas, Lord Krishna manifests different forms to perform each pastime. Brahmaji creates the material world with maya’s guna, called raja-guna. Raja-guna is known as the mode of passion. With this raja-guna, Brahmaji creates this material world. Tama-guna is the mode of ignorance and with it, Shivaji destroys everything. In actuality, Lord Krishna Himself gives His power to Brahma and Shiva. Due to this, some think, “Brahma is the creator and Shiva is the destroyer.” But this is not true, they are just like puppets; sometimes, even their own (Brahma and Shiva’s) false egos arise. Lord Krishna is the Supreme Controller and the Supreme Maintainer.

So, today is a super excellent, auspicious day known as Akshaya Tritiya. Today, Lord Brahmaji created this material world. Once, Gurudeva very nicely explained in his lecture, “Once a year, there are four days which are super excellent auspicious days, and during these four days, you have no need to go to astrologers.” If you do anything, you should do it according to an astrological chart – what are the auspicious times, which is the auspicious day, auspicious nakshatras, constellations, etc. But, during four days of the year, there is no need to go to an astrologer. Just close your eyes and perform your duties on these days.

These four days are very important. One day is Vijaya Dashami, the appearance day of Madhvacharya, which occurs before the beginning of Kartika. The second important day is Vasanta Panchami, occurring five days from the new moon, during the spring season. The third day is Rama Navami, the appearance of Lord Ramachandra, and the fourth is the mentioned Akshaya Tritiya.

During any of these four days, you can perform any material or spiritual endeavors and you will attain perfection and be successful. This is 100% guaranteed. Gurudeva told, “Today is ideal to start your business, buy land, buy a house or buy gold, etc. Many people especially buy gold, on the day of Akshaya Tritiya, suvarna kraya. Our shastras also explain, on the day of Akshaya Tritiya you should buy gold. Actually, people do not understand the real meaning behind the Vedas stating today, on Akshaya Tritiya, you should purchase gold. But what is gold referring to here? The external meaning is actual gold, suvarna. This is true. But the deeper and true meaning of purchasing gold today means, today you should receive diksha-mantras from Guru.

Many years ago in Mathura, on the day of Akshaya Tritiya, Gurudeva once told why people are very enthusiastic to buy gold today. He said, “Because people do not know what the actual meaning, the perfect meaning of gold is. The perfect meaning of the gold is receiving diksha-mantras from Guru.” For this regard, in his lecture, Gurudeva explained, “If you receive diksha-mantras from Guru today, then 100% guaranteed, you will be successful in your spiritual life and achieve perfection.”

Two things are explained in the Shrimad Bhagavad-gita – everything in this material world is kshara or akshara. In the Shrimad Bhagavad-gita, Krishna spoke to Arjuna about these two things, one is akshara and the other is kshara. Kshara means perishable. In this material world, everything is perishable and everything is kshaya, destroyed. Also, everything in this material world is changeable. Anything we see, will one day be destroyed and some day or even every day, will change. Another meaning for akshara is when something is eternal, not changeable. As for example, Bhagavata or bhagavata-nama. Bhagavan and bhagavana-nama are known as akshara.

In the Bhagavad-gita, Krishna tells Arjuna, “Aksharam. I am the first syllable of the alphabet.” According to Sanskrit, there is akara asmina. Krishna says, “According to the Sanskrit alphabet, the first letter is called A. ‘Akara uchyate krishna sarvalokaika nayaka ukara prakriti radha makara jiva vachaka’. The Upanishadas state, “Akara uchyate krishna.” Meaning- A is the first letter manifested from Krishna. He, Himself manifested this letter, so it is called self-manifested. ‘Akara uchyate krishna sarvalokaika nayaka’. Akara means Krishna Himself is the Supreme Controller over all living entities. ‘Ukara prakriti radha’. Ukara means prakriti Shrimati Radhika. ‘Makara jiva vachaka’.

Actually the first sound manifested from the mouth of Brahma is “Aum, aum.” What is aum? Aum is known as the aksharam brahma, also mentioned in the Bhagavad-gita. In this word aum there are three syllables. A-U-M. A- means Krishna, U- means Shrimati Radhika, the internal potency of Krishna, and M- means makara jiva vachaka, all the living entities. This means all the living entities serve the Divine Couple, Radha and Krishna. So the first word in the Vedas and the first word in gayatrimantras is aum. ‘Aum bhur bhuva…’

This word aum was manifested by Brahmaji. He only realised the word aum by the causeless mercy of Lord Narayana, and by performing hard austerities, called tapasya. Ta– and pa-, tapasya means – when Brahmaji manifested in this material world, he saw everywhere was completely full of water. He could not realise why the Lord manifested him in this material world. “Why has the Lord manifested me? What are my duty and responsibilities? And where have I come from?” thought Brahmaji. Then, Brahmaji held the stem of the lotus from which he manifested and began climbing down, but he could not reach the end of the stem. Actually, the stem of the lotus manifested from lotus navel of Lord Vishnu.

Brahmaji was drowning in the water of the ocean and held the stem of the lotus as he descended; yet, he could not reach the end of the stem, so he returned back to the lotus. For this regard, one of Brahmaji’s names is Kamala Jani, meaning – Brahmaji manifested from a lotus, stemming from the navel of Lord.

So Brahmaji was first thinking, “What do I do now?” One sound then came from the water, ta– and pa-. Brahmaji realized, “Oh, this means I have to perform austerities.” After performing hard austerities, Lord Vishnu manifested, that is Lord Krishna manifested in front of him. Then Lord Vishnu said, “Hey Brahmaji, you have to create this world.” Brahmaji asked, “How will I create this material world?” The Lord said, “Don’t worry, I will give you all the ingredients and with these ingredients, you can create everything. I will even give you all of My energy, shakti and intelligence, so you can create everything.” Through His flute, the Lord Himself manifested the gopala and kama-gayatri-mantras in the heart of Brahmaji. These things are also explained in the Brahma-samhita. Then Brahmaji said, “Oh, You have given me this gopala and kama-gayatri-mantras, now I have to perform bhajana and sadhana.” At that time, Lord Vishnu or Krishna said, “Hey Brahmaji, you have raja-guna in your heart. With this raja-guna, you have to create this material world.” Afterwards, Brahmaji went forth and created this material world.

Brahmaji actually created this material world today, on Akshaya Tritiya. As mentioned, today is a super excellent, auspicious day. On this day you can launch any project and you will attain perfection and be successful. Whether it is receiving diksha-mantras or launching a new business, any new endeavor started today, material or spiritual, will be successful. Today is a super excellent day. With this raja-guna, Brahmaji created the material world. But all the ingredients came from Lord Krishna, Vishnu – mahatattva and prakriti. Then comes ahankara and from this came five types – karmendriya, jnanendriya, pancha tanmatra, and mahabhuta. How many ingredients came from creation? First, I will explain twenty types of ingredients – pancha karmendriya, pancha jnanendriya, pancha tanmatra, and pancha mahabhuta. Five material ingredients are called earth, fire, ether, air and water, also known as pancha mahabhuta, then pancha karmendriya and pancha jnanendriya. Pancha karmendriya refers to the five working senses and pancha jnanendriya refers to the five knowledge-acquiring senses.

Subsequently, came pancha tanmatra, which means the five ingredients of the objects of the senses – rupa, rasa, shabda, gandha and sparsha. Rupa means form, rasa means liquids – referring to mellows, shabda is sound, gandha means fragrance and sparsha means touch. So, we have pancha karmendriya, pancha jnanendriya, pancha tanmatra, and pancha mahabhuta, each containing five elements, in total four groups with five ingredients equaling twenty ingredients. Then Brahmaji also manifested the four sukshma shariras – the subtle body called man – composed of buddhi, ahankara and chit, and intelligence. Also containing, ahankara, egos and others, all in total, 24 ingredients. Still, the creation was not complete.

Then came the jivatma and Paramatma, the soul and Supersoul. With 26 ingredients the creation was still not complete, not until Purusha and Prakriti manifest would it be finished. When Purusha and Prakriti arrive, the ingredients went from 26 to 28. The creation of this material world was complete only when all 28 ingredients were combined together.

In his Siddhanta-darpana grantha, Baladeva Vidhyabhushana Prabhu very nicely explained the creation according to prakriti. Sthavara jangama, all moving and non-moving entities, in this way, are created by Brahma. Actually, Brahma is not the creator; the Lord manifests all of these energies in the heart of Brahma, sometimes causing his false egos to arise. Conditioned souls, with so many kinds of false egos are thinking, “I am the doer. I am doing.” These false egos are coming from raja-guna, rajo-guṇa-samudbhavaḥ’. In the Bhagavad-gita, Krishna also explains creation is manifested when raja-guna comes. Lord Vishnu gave everything to Brahma. So our scriptures explain, it is actually Krishna who is the Supreme Creator. With their false egos, everyone is also thinking, “I am creator.”

In this way, the material world was created today, but not just one material world. ‘Kewal ek brahmand nahi hai’ – there are innumerable Brahmas and innumerable brahmandas, ananta brahmandas are created. The Lord creates innumerable universes, innumerable brahmandas, and inspires the hearts of all living entities. This is how the Lord creates and also destroys everything. When there is no more need for its existence, He destroys the material world. Just as a farmer, who cultivates the field, plants wheat seeds, provides water and nourishment to the wheat plants. When the wheat grows, completely matures and ripens, the farmer cuts it and returns back to his home. Similarly, the Lord is the Creator, maintainer and also destroyer of this material world.

sṛṣṭi-sthiti-pralaya-sādhana-śaktirekā

The Brahma-samhita also explains this tattva in a similar fashion – Lord Krishna, with His own potency, shakti creates, nourishes and destroys. Actually, this is the accepted Vaishnava philosophy on how creation takes place. Prakriti has no own power of her own, she has no individual power, svatantra, to create anything. In the Chaitanya-charitamritam, Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami also elaborated this topic.

I have only briefly discussed how today, on Akshaya Tritiya, Brahma created the universe, and also according to our Vedic culture, today is Chandana-yatra. Do you understand? Chandana-yatra means, devotees of Lord Jagannatha put sandal wood paste on the body of Lord Jagannatha today. In India, this is the hottest season, temperatures are at their highest. It is very hot. For this regard, with so much love and affection for Lord Jagannatha, devotees put chandana, sandal wood paste on His entire body. This does not only take place in Jagannatha Puri, but people are also putting chandana on the body of Lord in Vrindavan and all over the world. The Lord as Gopala, especially gave this instruction to Madhavendra Puripada. In our guru-parampara, Madhavendra Puripada is the sprout of the highest prema, called prema ankura, prema ankura Madhavendra Puripada. Gopala directly instructed Madhavendra Puripada, “You have to bring chandana from the south and put this chandana paste over My entire body. Because for many years I have been buried under ground.” The Lord indicated He was found in His deity form, Gopala, buried under the earth.

Gopaladeva directly instructed Madhavendra Puripada, “For many years I have been buried under the ground. So much heat is coming from My body. You have to bring sandal wood from the south and put it over My whole body.” According to instruction of Gopala, Madhavendra Puripada went to the south and traveled first from Govardhana to Remuna. Then he took darshana of Gopinatha, where Gopinatha enacted His lila of stealing the khira. Because of this lila, Thakuraji is known there as Khira-chora Gopinatha.

As instructed, Madhavendra Puripada went south and brought sandal wood. But when Madhavendra Puripada returned, Khira-chora Gopinatha was very old. At that time, Gopinatha told him, “Put this sandal wood paste over My whole body, then My Gopala form will appear.” The Chaitanya-charitamritam explains Madhavendra Puripada smeared the sandal wood paste over the whole body of Gopinatha, and in Govardhana Gopala they now do the same, the tradition is ongoing. Jagannathadeva Chandana-yatra, Lord Jagannathadeva is also non-different from Gopinatha and He is non-different than Gopala. His body is one, He just performs various lilas with His different manifested forms. So, today also is called Chandana-yatra. In India, today is very hot and in Vrindavana and Mathura this is the hottest month. Because of this, every temple with a Thakuraji follows this tradition and they also apply sandal wood paste on His whole the body. This is especially done in Vrindavana, in the Banke Bihari temple, where today, they still decorate and very nicely smear the sandal wood paste on the entire body of Thakuraji. Even in our Rupa Sanatana Gaudiya Math and Mathura Gaudiya Math, they remove Thakuraji’s clothes, and put sandal wood paste over His body and decorate Him very nicely.  A pujari very nicely decorates His entire body with the sandal wood paste. You cannot even recognize Thakuraji on this day, they do not put any clothes on the body of Thakuraji nor any ornaments. But they smear the paste very nicely and decorate Thakuraji with sandal wood as it were clothes or ornaments.

It is very beautiful. For this regard, people are going to the temple to take darshana of Thakuraji in this beautiful form. Every temple has to apply sandal wood paste on Thakuraji on this day. According to the traditions in our Vaishnava-parampara, today, you have to apply sandal wood paste on the forehead of the Vaishnavas. Actually this stems from our guru-parampara and it is proper Vaishnava etiquette. Most of you forget to follow Vaishnava etiquette. I remember in Mathura, how Gurudev would engage and show us the correct way to offer proper respect to every Vaishnava.

This sweet lila, Chandana-yatra is performed by Lord Jagannatha today and today is also Badrinarayana dvara udkhatana. Badrinarayana dvara udkhatana means – in Badri Kedar, Badri Narayana is there and today is the first day they open the door for His temple. During six or seven months, from around November until now, there is so much ice falling there. After the ice melts, on the first day, they open the door to the temple of Lord Badrinarayana. If you cannot go to Badrinarayana, then you may also go see Him in Vraja, the original Badri Narayana is there. We used to visit Badrinarayana in Vraja with Gurudev. Badri Kedar in India can be a very dangerous place, you should be careful not to go. But if you have time, you can take darshana of Badri Narayana in Vraja. Lord Krishna Himself, took all the Vrajavasis to this Badri Narayana, who is currently still there.

Today is also a super excellent, auspicious day, because today Shrila Bhakti Prajnana Keshava Gosvami Maharaja first established our Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti along with three people. First was Nrisimha Maharaja, the god brother of Bhakti Prajnana Keshava Gosvami Maharaja and the disciple of Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Praphupada. Second was Vamana Gosvami Maharaja and third was Abhaya Charana Babu. Gurudev would say that actually our Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti was established by Abhaya Charana Babu. Do you understand who Abhaya Charana Babu was? A.C. Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja. Our Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti was established by these four great personalities. Shrila Bhakti Prajnana Keshava Gosvami was the fourth. So, today these four personalities established our Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti, pratishtha devas. Jay Srila Gurudev Ki Jay!

Today you can chant more holy names and read more shastras and listen to more hari-katha, this is best. If you recall, I just mentioned what akshara and kshara are. In this material world everything is destroyable; the only thing akshara, meaning – eternal and transcendental, is Bhagavata-nama.

So, today you can chant more and more holy names.

“Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare

Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare”

Transcriber: Candrika (UK), Shyamapriya dasi (India)

Editors: Navin Krishna dasa (Netherlands), Sanatan dasa (USA), Divya Premamayi dasi (Slovakia)

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