|From the Editor's Desk|
On Valentine's Day, we are so thrilled to receive gifts - a bouquet of flowers, a basket of gourmet sweets, an eye-catching piece of jewelry, a bottle of perfume, etc.
- that we deem as an expression of deep love. What name do we give to
the profound and perpetual loving gifts that God has been showering upon
us from time immemorial?
love and causeless mercy is the foundation of this universe. This human
form, which is a vehicle to reach the goal of life, and the opulent
nature that nourishes this body, are His gracious gifts.His love is
unparalleled; there is no gift we can give to our Divine Beloved in
return. How then are we to respond to His love? "One of the most
graceful ways to show our love for God is to trust Him in His ways, His
wisdom, and His will," says Swami Mukundananda.
one trusts Him, one aspires for Him like the way Kodhai/Goda Devi
(Bhakti Ras column) pined for Him every moment; or one serves Him like
the way the exalted gopis of Vrindavan (Inspirations for Living
column) lovingly attended to Him, completely oblivious of their personal
inconvenience or sacrifice. In return, He granted His Divine Love!
This month, we reflect on how
"it is in loving that we are loved."
Radha Krishna Temple Update
Temple Construction Moves into New Phase
temple's construction continues to progress and is now moving into a
new phase. The city required the temple to add a turning lane onto the
road in front of the temple's main entrance. The construction of this
turning lane was recently completed. One lane of the existing road had
to be closed during the construction period.
construction work involves excavating the area and bringing it to the
proper elevation so that the concrete contractor is able to move
in and lay down steel reinforcing bars and build temporary forms. This
allows the concrete to be formed into the proper shape, angle and
contour to align with the existing road.
This was the first concrete poured for the temple project - the
beginning of a new phase of construction. In a matter of weeks, much of
the temple ground encompassed with rich history will be covered with
concrete to form the parking areas, fire lanes, sidewalks and building
foundations. Stay tuned!|
"Albelo hamaro yaar prem ke bandhan mein,"
sings our beloved Maharajji, describing the unpredictable nature of
Shree Krishna, when he is bound by love. This becomes apparent to
us through His leelas in the life of Kodhai, who later
became known as Sri Andal, the only female Alwar, among the 12 Alwar
saints of Tamil Nadu. Kodhai's father, Vishnu Chittar was himself a
great Alwar saint and a devotee of Shree Krishna.
grew up in a household filled with devotion, drinking the nectar of
Krishna's leelas. "How did Krishna walk, Appa? How did He dance? How
did He play the flute? How were His eyes? What was His complexion
like?" she would ask her father endlessly. Even as a little child, she
meditated on her Lord for days at a time. Months and years passed by
and Kodhai grew up into a beautiful maiden. Every passing moment
increased the intensity of her longing to marry her Lord. She composed
literary gems in Tamil describing her divine love and agony of
separation from the Lord. She would talk to her Lord in her dreams and
their conversations flowed like poems:
With each fife of your flute, Govind, behold I raise and fall!
I'll hold you like a flower, Kodhai; we shall dance in an eternal ball!
With every sway of your feather, Govind, behold, I am blown away!
I'll pick you up, swift as wind, my love, with not even a moment's delay!
day, Kodhai saw a flower garland, made by her father to offer to the
deity of Lord Krishna. She wondered how it would look on her Govind.
Innocently, she decided to test it by putting it on herself and looking
in the mirror. Vishnu Chittar, who saw this, snatched it from her at
once and scolded his daughter for her blunder.
the garland as unfit to be offered to the Lord, he quickly made another
flower garland for his puja. But every time he put the garland on the
deity, it kept falling off. Vishnu Chittar became deeply disturbed
thinking that the Lord was angry with his service because of his
daughter's action. Suddenly, the Lord appeared and told Vishnu Chittar
that He only wanted the garland that had the fragrance of Kodhai's love
in it, along with the strand of her hair that had got stuck in it!
Vishnu Chittar hurriedly brought the garland for the Lord. At once the
Lord accepted it and ordered Vishnu Chittar to bring Kodhai to the
Srirangam temple, where He would marry her.
with immense joy, Kodhai dressed herself as a beautiful bride.
Accompanied by her father, she entered the inner sanctum of the temple.
With her heart filled with love and devotion, Kodhai touched the feet of
the deity. At once, she turned into a flame and merged into her Lord.
Her father and others, who were present, were wonderstruck on
witnessing the events. Thus, the merciful Lord reciprocated the divine
love of Kodhai. From that day, she came to be known as "Andal," the one
who rules the Lord!
Inspirations for Living
Embark on the Journey to Everlasting Love
we stand on a beach, watching the gorgeous sun setting over the ocean,
we see the waves rising, falling, and receding. While traveling to the
shoreline or back into the ocean, the waves meet for a short time and
break away. We, the humans, are like these waves, says Jagadguru Shree
Kripaluji Maharaj. While the relationship of the waves with the ocean
is permanent, the relationship between any two waves is transient.
While our human love slips away one after the other like these waves,
our loving relationship with God, the ocean of bliss, stays forever.
that we have forgotten the truth that we are a part of this ocean of
bliss, we keep searching for love in the world. When we say to someone,
"I love you," it's because that someone has either said or done
something that makes us happy at that moment in time. If that person's
actions change and happiness disappears, our love too dissipates. So we
end up on this roller-coaster ride of love, experiencing the highs and
lows. These feelings spring out of our own ignorance of chasing the
short-lived love and happiness, believing it to be genuine and
day we realize that we are blessed with this human form not to merely
exist on this earth for a while and depart, but to love God
unconditionally and perceive Him in His creation, we embark on the
journey to everlasting divine love. The very first step towards this
journey is, as Maharajji says:
तेरी इच्छा मैं इच्छा बनती रहूँ, तेरी सुख मैं ही सुख नित पाती रहूँ |
"Teri ichha mem iccha banati rahum, tere suck mem hi suck nit pati rahum."
"May I desire what You desire and may I always be happy in Your happiness!"
We have to desire in accordance with the desire of our Beloved Lord. The gopis of Vrindavan are a personification of such nishkam prem
(selfless love). Once, all the wives of Shree Krishna began to wonder
why He forgets Himself or swoons just at the thought of these gopis. Shree Krishna, who dwells in everyone's heart, was aware of their thoughts and decided to help them realize the true love of gopis.
He feigned a headache and asked His wives for help. All of His queens
brought all sorts of medicine to help relieve His headache but nothing
seemed to work.
very day, Sage Narad happened to visit Dwaraka, and much to his dismay,
he found out from Rukmini that Shree Krishna had a headache. He went
to Shree Krishna and said, "O Leela Purshotam (Lord of pastimes),
may we know why you have fabricated this ailment? Since you have
created this whole situation, could you please tell us the remedy, too?"
With a mischievous smile, Shree Krishna said, "Devarshi Narad, I am in
terrible pain, and you say I am feigning it? The only medicine for
this pain is to swallow a pinch of dust taken from any of my devotee's
Sage Narad was relieved to hear this, as all the queens of Krishna were
great devotees. So he approached them one by one, asking for the dust
of their feet. Every one refused and said, "If we gave our foot dust to
our husband, it will slander our good name eternally; besides, we will
have to face the adverse consequences of such an act. How about you
give your foot dust, as you are an ardent devotee?"
Shree Krishna, taking pity on Sage Narad, who got into a delicate circumstance, suggested he go to Vrindavan and inform the gopis about His pain and the remedy.
When Naradji reached Vrindavan, all the gopis
gathered around him. As soon as they heard why he was there, they
extended their feet and asked him to take the dust. Surprised, Naradji
said, "Do you realize whom you are offering your foot dust? This act of
yours is bound to have negative ramifications, you might land in hell."
The gopis said, "We do know the repercussions, Maharshi, but we
are not concerned about those consequences. We neither desire the
heaven nor fear the hell. What we solely care about is the happiness of
So, to tread on the path of love, we have to gladly give up all our desires just like the gopis. It is through their selfless loving service that they attained Shree Krishna's Divine Love. The divine love that great yogis and munis find hard to attain and for which even Shankar Himself was willing to transform into a gopi!
Bal-Mukund: Playground for Vedic Wisdom
Love Begets Love
once lived a 5-year-old boy, Samir, in a village with his aunt and
uncle because he had lost his parents. Every day, he used to go to a
mango tree on the outskirts of the village to play in its shade. The
tree, out of its love for the little boy, would bend down its branches
to enable Samir to pluck the mangoes.
One day, when Samir was sitting very quietly in the shade, the mango tree asked, "Why are you sad, dear?"
replied, "I am now 6 years old, and I need to go to school, but my
uncle says he doesn't have enough money to pay for my school." The
mango tree said, "Why don't you take all my fruit, sell it, and pay the
was delighted and the next day he brought his uncle with him, plucked
all the mangoes, sold them, paid the fee and started school. Every day
when he walked to the school and back home, the tree would lovingly call
out to him, "Samir, come and play in my shade, dear." Every time Samir
would say, "I am not a little boy any more. I can't spend time playing
with you, or sit in your shade and chat with you."
In a few years, Samir completed his school and found a trivial job.
One day, he returned to the mango tree. It was thrilled to see Samir.
As usual the tree said, "It's been a long time, Samir, come and play in
am a grown man now; I don't have time to play. I have to work hard to
provide shelter for my family," said Samir. Gently patting Samir on his
back with its branches, the mango tree said, "Why don't you chop off my
branches to build a home for your family? But be careful, there are
two bird nests on one of my branches. You can cut all the other
branches except for that one."
day, Samir came back with an axe, cut the branches of the tree and
happily carried them away in a cart. The tree was glad to see Samir
happy but unfortunately he did not return for several years.
Samir returned, he slowly walked and sat down leaning his back on the
trunk of the mango tree. The tree was delighted to see him but noticed
that something was bothering him. So the tree asked why he was sad. "I
am becoming old and I can't go to work every day any more. So I was
thinking if I could buy a small boat and rent it to the fishermen, I
might make enough money to earn my living."
worry, dear, chop off my trunk and make a boat," said the kind mango
tree. Samir turned around and looked at the tree trunk. That was when
he noticed that the tree appeared to have become old as well. He tilted
his head, looked up and realized that the tree didn't have any new
branches after he had previously chopped them off to build his house.
Even the ones that he left had dead leaves clinging and in some areas of
the branches, the bark was peeling off. Although it was early spring,
there were no signs of budding leaves on any of the branches.
suddenly dawned upon Samir how the mango tree had grown old like him,
yet all his life, the tree had lovingly given away everything it had to
help him out. His heart sank at this thought. Samir immediately got up
and walked away although the tree did not understand why he left so
suddenly without saying a word.
next day, Samir returned to the mango tree with a cart load of
fertilizer and a small tank of water. He added the fertilizer and water
near the roots, took out all the dead twigs from the branches, and with
his arms around the trunk, said, "I will come every day to see you, to
sit in your shade and chat with you."
Joy comes in loving and giving selflessly!
We would like to hear from our Bal-Mukund friends or their parents about ways in which our
Bal-Mukunds have shown courage to face the truth or not been afraid to
risk failure for the good of someone else. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
| Holi Hangama|
Radha Krishna Temple invites you to play Holi, a
unique color-filled celebration for the whole family to
mark the advent of spring.
Melodious and Enchanting Kirtans
Holi Keynote Address by Swami Mukundananda
Delicious Indian Cuisine (to be purchased)
Splashing of Natural & Vibrant Colors
The Radha Krishna Temple Site
1450 N Watters Rd, Allen, TX 75013
and beverage vendors, large event tent, a performance stage,
music, as well as a large splash area make for a unique
not-to-be-missed event of the Holi season!
For more information, please contact us at email@example.com.
Community Event Updates
Radha Krishna Temple of Dallas is more than just a temple under
construction. It is a thread that binds the local community, providing
inspiration and support to members through various activities for the
benefit of the body, mind, and soul.
also offers abundant opportunities to volunteer and participate in
various events to uplift self and others. Do you have special talents
like writing, singing, engaging in discourse or any other? Think of the
Radha Krishna Temple of Dallas as the avenue for expressing your
talents. We do not need to wait for the construction to be completed to
increase our involvement in various activities.
weekly satsangs and chanting groups to yoga classes and intellectual
discourse, the Radha Krishna Temple of Dallas is already becoming known
for its voluntary activities for the benefit the community. Please
contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more about how to engagement.
satsangs truly propel one in the ocean of bhakti through a combination
of prayer, singing bhajans/kirtans, viewing a video lecture, and
followed by arati, and Prasad.
For local satsang information visit:
www.radhakrishnatemple.net or email@example.com.
At: 4020 Sendero Trail
Plano, TX 75024
On: 1st Sat, 3 to 4 PM
Details & Registration
Little Hands Big Hearts
RKT Volunteers Deliver Collected Items for Homeless Children
DFW community rallied in support of homeless children as could be seen
by the large number of donations that continued to pour in from all over
the metroplex. Enthusiastic support from young and old alike combined
with collaboration with area businesses which served as donation
collection points, helped to make this drive a huge success.
over a dozen volunteers came together and filled a large truck with
donations to Captain Hope's Kids. Volunteers ranged in age from 10 to 75
years, worked side by side for several hours unloading the truck and
Hope's Kids Program Director, Sam Mattox, presented the temple with a
Certificate of Appreciation and expressed the organization's deep
gratitude on behalf of the homeless children.
are doing incredible work and making a huge difference in the lives of
so many children in need. We are impressed by all the work you have done
to bring the community together, as evident by the amount of donations
you have collected. You are doing amazing work."
ranged from strollers, bottle warmers, clothing, toys, games, books and
bags to eyewear and everything in-between. The temple also donated
over 300 tubes of diaper cream which were urgently needed.
was the temple community's second visit to Captain Hope's Kids. Both
times everyone who participated found it not only eye-opening but a
heart-warming experience. One of our youngest participants Shaivan, 10
year-old, said, "It was the first time I got to learn about homeless
kids. I felt good about helping with the collection drive."
the support of volunteers, the temple will continue to create more
opportunities to serve the community. We are eager to hear from you -
please let us know if you or your family members are interested in
future community service opportunities and share with us any community
service ideas and projects you may be interested in. You can email us at
'Dollar A Day' - Pledge Continuous Support!
Donate a Dollar a Day towards the building and upkeep of the Radha Krishna temple! By donating just $1 everyday,
you'll help this noble cause!
How many of us have the opportunity and are fortunate enough to build a house for God?
Set up monthly contributions through credit card/debit card by calling: 860-605-3685 or by visiting temple website at Radha Krishna Temple of Dallas (click).
Wellness for Life
Wellness for the Heart
feature is to direct the mind of readers to the true spirit of
Valentine's Day. In the modern age, this day symbolizes love and
friendship. This Valentine's Day, here are some ways we can make
someone feel very special through random acts of kindness for wellness
of the heart. Share with us your act of goodwill and gesture of love
toward someone who may not be able to pay back.
We love to hear from you!