Our sincere thanks to everybody who have participated in
the bhajan program and given their feedback based upon which
it was decided to publish patrika Chirantan biannually.
This issue contains information on activites related to
bhajan program between Aug. 98 – Feb. 99. The bhajan
program by Oriya community started on August 9, 1997 and
since then this is being held every month at Baltimore ISKCON
temple. It was decided to celebrate Holi as the annual program
of this religious communion.
We are indebted to temple president Nrusingha Chaitanyaji
and the priests in the temple for their continued support
and encouragement for the program. We are thankful to Mahashakti
Dash, Sudhansu Pani, Premanjan Pani, Jagatguru Dash and
Gopal Krishna Dasa of Baltimore ISKCON temple for their
sincere help in bhajan program. Besides heart touching religious
discourse on Bhagabata Gita by Nrusingha Chaitanyaji, we
were privileged to listen prabachan from ISKCON governing
body member Ravindra Swarupji.
( Prabachan by Nrusingha Chaitanyaji on Jan. 16,
(Childrens' class under the guidance of Dr. Indu
Mishra and Mrs. Illa Ojha.)
Another important part of the bhajan program is dinner time
discussion. We thank the following people for sharing their
thoughts in different months as dinner speakers.
Bhajan by all the participants
sevan and discussion
| Karma yoga
Mana O' Sarira
Reducing the risk of Cancer
3rd Saturday (preferably) of the month
Contacts for bhajan program
and Naresh Das: (301) 498 3729
Dharitri and Prafulla Misra: (301) 384 3417
Bandita and Nrusigha Mishra: (301) 540 4641
Sikha and Brahmapriya Sen: (410) 531 1943
Email to: Obhajan@hotmail.com
POEMS / STORIES
Mother's Day (by Satish Mishra)
(by Bagmi Das)
and Squirrel (by Prerna Pradhan)
Sobhana Shyamaghana (by Bigyani Das)
(by Manoj Panda)
to "The Rig Veda" (by Durga Mishra)
of Anger (by Kanan K. Mishra)
Happy Mother's Day
You are special in every way
We think about you everyday
We hope you think the same of us
Don't worry I will not fuss
So never be real unhappy
Even though the day is sloppy
So have a happy mother's day
Satish Mishra, 5th grade,
son of Bandita and Nrusingha Mishra, MD
From the Jaganath temple of Puri
To the Sun temple of Konark
To the Shiva Vishnu temple of Maryland
Near and far
You can count one to be there
Where you wish to share your feelings with God
From the Synagogue of Jews
To the Mosques of Muslims
To the temples of Hindus
Temples always help you
When you need blessings and support from God
Bagmi Das, 6th Grade, Daughter
of Bigyani and Naresh Das, MD
Ramayana and Squirrel
Friends, you all might have seen different kinds of squirrels.
Squirrels are beautiful creatures with a lovely bushy tail
and a pair of innocent eyes. I really love watching squirrels
eat their food with their tiny little paws. I had the opportunity
to see squirrels in Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Italy and here
in America. The squirrels in these countries are uni-colored.
They can be brown, black, gray, white, red etc. But there
is one kind of squirrel that is really different. In contrast
to the squirrels elsewhere, the Indian and some Asian squirrels
have white parallel stripes on their back. There is a legend
in Ramayana, describing how the Indian squirrels got their
beautiful white stripes.
You all may be aware of Rama taking to forest to uphold
his father’s promise. His young brother Lakshman and
lovely wife Sita were with him. Ravana, the demon king of
Lanka, abducted Sita. Rama could know about Sita with the
help of Hanuman who flew to Lanka and located Sita in a
prison in Ashoka grove (vana) guarded by ferocious looking
Rama wanted to find a way to reach Lanka. But a great Indian
ocean laid ahead of them. To reach Lanka, Rama decided to
build a bridge with the help of the monkey engineer, Nala.
He also summoned Varuna, the God of the Ocean, to cooperate
by staying calm while the bridge (setu) was in the making.
Immediately thousands of monkeys set about the task of gathering
the materials to build the bridge. When the materials were
piled up in heaps, Nala, the great architect, started to
build the bridge. It was a stupendous undertaking. But the
entire monkey army worked hard and completed the bridge
in just five days.
During those 5 days, Rama noticed that a squirrel was helping
them in his own way. That squirrel was of one color, same
as the squirrels elsewhere outside India. After taking a
dip in the water it was coming out and rolling over the
sands. In the process the sands were sticking on to his
back. He was then immediately rushing to the bridge and
shrugging off the sands. That was like putting sands on
the bridge. He was doing it tirelessly again and again till
the completion of the bridge. Rama was so happy with the
squirrel. He held the squirrel on the palm of his one hand
and caressed the squirrel’s back affectionately with
his five fingers. And that is the reason why the squirrels
in India have white stripes on their back.
Prenana Pradhan, 4th grade,
daughter of Chandana and Padmanava Pradhan, MD
Kede Sobhana Shyamaghana
Bigyani Das, Columbia, MD
The advent of spring brings in the melodious tune of the cuckoos,
blossoming shrubs, fruit-laden trees above all the soothing
breeze which gives immense pleasure to the people denoting
the end of the dreary winter. When the barns are full with
grains, the atmosphere is pleasant and the cold. foggy mornings
are transformed into vibrant sun shines, the people celebrate
various festivities to enjoy themselves. Holi or "Basantosava"
is a very important spring festival which is observed in much
pomp and gaiety all over India.
Holi is celebrated on the full-moon day of the month of
Falguna (Feb-March), which is the last month of Indian calendar.
This celebration is also known as the "Dola Purnima"
as the presiding deity of this festival, Lord Madanamohana
or Sri Krishna with Raadhaa are lovingly swung in beautifully
decorated swings. In Orissa, it is celebrated for five days.
It starts from the tenth day of the bright fortnight of
the month of Falguna (Feb-March). This day is known as "Fagu
Dashamee". On this day the people smear "Abira"
or "Fagu" or red colored powder on their heads
and take round the idols of Krishna in beautifully decorated
palanquins which are otherwise known as "Bimaana".
This colorful procession is led by the drummers, pipers,
conch-men and it halts in front of every house of the village.
Here the householders offer "Bhoga" to the Lord.
The daily rounds of the deity continue for four days and
it is known as "Chaachery". On the fifth and final
day, i.e. on the day of Dola Purnima, all the idols of the
nearby villages are taken to a predetermined open space
which have many swings on the decorated platforms. Then
the idols are made to swing with the chantings of devotional
music. It is said in the "Padma Puraana" that
the vision of the Lord Krishna on the swing, destroys all
In many places big fairs, or "Melanas" are arranged
where idols of the deity are assembled. The Bimaanas of
the surrounding villages are placed in a row for public
view. Keen competition is observed in the decoration of
the Bimaanas. When all the expected Bimaanas reach the place,
display of fire-works takes place and this is watched by
enthusiastic crowd. In the fairs agricultural equipment,
commodities, household articles and furniture are bought
and sold. Such Melanas or Fairs continue till the month
of Chaitra in different places of the district of Cuttack,
Puri and Ganjam. Generally in the urban areas the Holi is
celebrated on the Purnima or full-moon day, where people
smear each other with brightly hued powders and spray colored
water from pichkaaris. This exuberant festival is also associated
with the immortal love of Krishna and Radha, and hence,
Holi is spread over 16 days in Vrindavan as well as Mathura
- the two cities with which Lord Krishna shared a deep affiliation.
Mythologically speaking this is euphoric celebration at
the destruction of the demoness Holikaa, the sister of Hiranyakashipu,
the Rakhsasa king. Hiranyakashipu tried to kill his own
son Prahllaada, because of his great devotion to Lord Vishnu.
But he all his evil plans to accomplish that goal failed
miserably. Holikaa had a boon from Lord Shiva that she couldn*,t
be burnt. Hiranyakashipu asked her sister to enter the blazing
fire with young Prahllada, so that his son will be killed.
But miraculously Holika was turned to ashes and devotee
Prahllaada came out unscathed. To commemorate this incident,
Holipodaa is celebrated on the previous night of Dola Purnimaa.
This reminds people the victory of the good over the evil.
This maxim helps the people to lead their lives in a noble
Spring, on its trail, brings romanticism in the air. The
colorful flowers, the beautiful fruits, the cool wind, and
the lilting tunes of birds all create a very idyllic atmosphere
around. In the midst of this, the divine lover Krishna plays
with Gopees in colorful ways with his exquisite flute. The
divine love between Raadhaa and Krishna is very unique.
Raadhaa is the symbol of Prakruti or matter, Krishna is
Purusha or Spirit and by the combination of these two, life
is created. Akin to the play of electric power on the tungsten
filament brings out the light, similarly by the combination
of matter and spirit the symptoms of life is manifested,
but each one on their own cannot do that. As the Raadhaa-Krishna
idols, on the swing are pushed from one end to another end,
to keep the swinging motion going, similarly the life is
sustained in the human body by the process of rhythmic inhalation
and exhalation process. Raadhaa became at one with Lord
Krishna by her intense love towards Him and she always lost
herself in the divine music of Krishna*,s flute, similarly
one can hear the Pranaba or OM-kaara dhwani in his body
by intense meditation and can get realization ultimately.
Although Gopees were playing with colorful powder , their
mind and heart were on Lord Krishna only. Similarly in our
present world in all our colorful happy moments we should
not carried away by emotions, rather we should always focus
on the Lord. If we could remember Him in all our activities,
may be in happiness or may be in sadness, we can surely
Manoj Panda, Detroit, Michigan
to "The Rig Veda"
The ancient Hindu scriptures are 3000 years old. The Vedas
are the initial composition of the Hindu thoughts. The word
"Veda" is a Sanskrit word which means "knowledge"
or "wisdom". There are in fact four Vedas: the Rig
Veda" or "Veda of Hymns", the Sama-Veda or
the "Veda of Chants", the Yajur-Veda or the "Veda
of sacrifice" and the Artharva-Veda, which is later in
date than the earlier three. Of the several Vedic texts, the
Rig Veda is most fundamental to Indian thought, the others
dealing with more particular matters such as the sacrificial
formulas, melodies, and magic. Composed over a long period
of time and coming into their present form, the Vedic hymns
were eventually attributed to the divine breath or to a vision
of the seers.
The first hymn of Rig Veda describes "Agni,"
the god of fire, whose name is the common word for fire,
is a terrestrial deity. He is most often compared to animals,
with wood for his food and melted butter for his drink.
He is the mouth by which the gods consume those items during
the sacrifice. He is born from wood (as two sticks are rubbed
together), but then devours his parents. As "Lord of
the House," he is a guest in human dwellings in the
form of the domestic fire.
In the hymn, it says: O Agni, the ruler of the sacrifices,
the work of the sacrifice, who gleam in the darkness by
brightly shining, keeper of the cosmic laws in the form
of universe, the invoker who has the powers of a sage, true
and most brilliant in glory we pray you with all the devotions.
Please be of easy access to us, abide with us for our well
being by removing the darkness and guide us as a father
to his children.
Durgamadhava Misra, Caldwell,
Realization of Anger
Anger arises in everyone. Considering anger as a routine
affair, not as anything extraordinary was accepted by me
for many years. Time has now come for me to realize that
there are many confusing concepts in connection with anger.
I am getting interested to find a way to dissolve these
First, I find good excuses of showing my anger and justify
each anger without having the knowledge of the consequences
of the anger. I realize, justifying each of my anger is
my ego. And my ego covers the entire arena of greatness
of me, "How great I am" and "how good I
am". Second, I do not open the space in my heart
or mind to think about avoiding the anger. The space takes
over the place of desires of material life (wealth, money,
property etc.) which is at the peak most of the time.
Finally, I do not experience any profit out of all these
years of anger temperament rather decide to live with
hurtful feelings. As the years pass by I realize these
hurtful feelings are my inner enemies. To whom shall I
blame for all these inner enemies? Shall I blame God,
the Guru and the people? I realized that "blaming
somebody will never work". Also, I understand my
ignorance and something inside me reminds me of my anger.
In reality I find that anger is sprouting out of layers
and layers of unfulfilled desires.
I forget to think that I am responsible for my anger.
I need to look at my anger, must analyze my anger and
last of all dissolve the anger. How do I start? It comes
to me "Control the mind". I can’t let
my mind wander in any direction it wants; I have to hold
the reins so that my mind stays focused. If anger comes,
let me experience it and also learn from it. In other
words controlling mind demands discipline. The first discipline
in my experience is to lead a life that is filled with
divine virtues. To acquire divine virtues I need to think
of achieving freedom from desire and anger and the victory
over craving and delusion. External actions reveal the
real quality of our minds. Consider the clear surface
of water in a pond. Throw a stone into it and at once
the mud rises up. Our minds are just like that. Karma
is the mirror, which shows us our true form. This means
the mind must stand united with the action. Example: I
worship the Sivalinga, the symbol of Lord Siva and perform
ceremonial bath by bathing the Linga in a continuous stream
of water and chanting mantra simultaneously. If I keep
pouring water as an outward action and not engage my mind,
then the external act of pouring water on the Sivalinga
and pronouncing the mantra are meaningless. The yoga of
desireless action is achieved only when the outward performance
of external action and attitude of the mind are much needed
to action is combined with the purity of the mind within.
The gist or the essence is "We need a pure heart
and a pure mind". Studying the Bhagawat Gita and
getting a thorough knowledge from my reverend Guru I understand
the essence of the Gita which helps me to gather the meaning
and the quality of disciplines I shall seek. Getting up
early, doing daily chores and retire at night do not describe
the true meaning of discipline in this context. Disciplining
the mind requires steadfastness of watching what is coming
up and what is hiding in any corner of my mind. If I could
gain the power of understanding the very initial stage,
the seed of desire and anger, then I become witness to
both desire and anger. Additionally, it is important to
trace the footsteps of anger and unfulfilled desires without
following them as they advance in a path. Power of understanding
the anger and desire is the secret to oneself. Thus the
truth of pure heart and pure mind shines as sun’s
rays and brightens our heart.
The scriptures give me a good lesson - the lesson is
whatever or how many austerities I must have performed,
my tiny bit of anger would set a fire to all the merits
to dust. Same way, it does not matter how many pure actions
and pure thoughts fill our days, if there is even a spark
of anger alive in our hearts, all that purity burns in
Having this knowledge, why not I practice chanting God’s
name repeatedly with a melodious voice? Then I can listen
to my own voice inside. The rhythms naturally would connect
the sound to my mind and to my heart. Chanting is a delight.
As chanting takes place in the inner heart, slowly the
divine virtue arises. You know I feel _____, I am light-hearted,
relaxed and most of all ecstatic. Thus the magnitude of
anger and desire in me start dissolving as I cultivate
this divine virtue inside me.
Kanan K. Mishra, Columbia,
Temples and Religious centers
ISKCON Baltimore: 200 Bloomsbery Ave., Catonsville, (410)
ISKCON Potomac: 10310 Oaklyn Dr, Potomac, (301) 299 7205
Shiva Vishnu Temple: 6905 Cipriano Rd, Lanham, (301) 552
Hindu Temple: 10001 Riggs Rd, Beltsville, (301)445 2165
Shri Mangal Mandir: 17110 New Hampshire Ave., Silver Spring,
(301) 384 8193
Chinmaya Mission: 46 Norwood Rd, Silver Spring, (301) 384
We express our heartfelt thanks to all who have participated
in the bhajan program during Aug. 98-Feb 99.
Bigyani and Naresh Das, MD
Nameeta and Chitaranajan Das, PA
Niharika and Prasant Das, MD
Sulekha and Santosh Das, NJ
Pratap Dash, MD
Itishree and Deepak Dhal, VA
Madhumita and Dhirendra Kar, MD
Soumyajeet Kar, VA
Ulashi and Mahendra Kar, NJ
Bandita and Nrusingha Misra, MD
Brahmansu Mishra, MD
Dharitri and Prafulla Misra, MD
Jhunu and Indu Misra,MD
|Gita and Sushant
Sulochana and Jay gopal Mohanty, PA
Lipisree and Srikant Nayak, MD
Rajashree and Sukumar Nayak, MD
Ila and Arun Ojha, MD
Kalpana and Pinakhi Panigrahi, MD
Chandana and Padmanava Pradhan,MD
Asha Sahu, MD
Urmila and Devaraj Sahu, MD
Sikha and Brahmapriya Sen, MD
Amar Senapati, VA
Anusuya and Ravi Tripathy, PA
Liza and Pramod Tripathy, MD
Thanks to all the families for their contributions for bhajan
Special thanks to the following families for sponsoring the
feast on different months.
Bigyani and Naresh Das, MD
Nameeta and Chitaranjan Das, PA
Anusuya and Ravi Tripathy, PA