Past program news:
January 19, 2002
The weather was bad. It was snowing and there were warnings
for the freezing rain. However, it didn't make the true
devotees abandon their regular ritual. And surprisingly
everybody was present on time. It was a very illuminating
experience. Mahashakti Prabhu lead the bhajan singing and
everybody participated. The bhajan singing continued for
a long time. With the presence of good singers like Pratap
Dash, Nrusingha Mishra, Brahmapriya Sen, the bhajan and
kirtan were very enchanting.
Nrusingha Chaitanyaji talked about the power of devotion.
He told that God took a test with the unfavorable weather
condition, but we all came to the temple for our bhajan
program and passed the test. This is called true devotion.
He also told that for something to happen three main elements
are needed. They are "utsAha" (encouragement),
"nischaya" (determination), and "dhairjya"
(patience). He poited out that devotion or bhakti is a sort
of cultivation. You put effort and it takes time to grow.
But for a crop to grow, it needs sunshine, water, air etc.
In similar way, devotion needs the above three elements
to grow. In describing the true devotion and true love he
explained the stanza:
tat dukhe dukhitam
iti prema lakhyanah
He also told that in the materialistic world a person advances
from his/her doubt. But in the spiritual world it comes
from faith. He then described the nine different ways one
can express his/her devotion for the Lord. They are:
The children were first tested on their knowledge of previous
month's "sLoka". We also started Odia lessons.
The material can be found from the jogaworld.org page by
clicking at "Learn and Fun".
Nrusingha Mishra started the Jagannatha tatwa discussion.
Also there were discussions on Hori arrangement.
Today's prasad was sponsored by Meera and Shashadhara Mahapatra
of Silver Spring, MD.
Bhajan Mandali welcomed Drs Kailash and Meena Sahu and their
December 15, 2001
Today's program focussed more on bhajans. All the devotees
sang beautiful bhajans and joined the Arati.
The dinner discussion focussed on Hori planning. This year's
Hori will be celebrated at Murugan Temple on 23rd of March
(4th Saturday of March).
The children were taught the "sLoka" on Lord Bisnu.
The "sLokas" will be available from Bhajan webpage
very soon. Please discuss the "sLoka" with your
The prasad was sponsored by Jhunu and Indu Mishra of Columbia,
Maryland. They are now proud grandparents of a grandson.
Our heartfelt congratulations to jhunu Mausi and Indu Babu.
Bhajan Mandali welcomed Asim and Sangeeta Dey and their
November 20, 2001
Today's program was very different. The temple had arranged
to have 24 hour kirtan during this weekend and the bhajan
group continued this kirtan from 6-10 pm with people alternating
the roles of chanting "hare krishna.........."
with different tunes of Oriya songs.
There was no dinner discussion.
The children were taught on the concept of "dharma".
After the teaching, they were tested on their understanding.
In the Dec. 15th program, they will be asked questions on
the last class's topic. They will also taught on further
information about "dharma".
The prasad was sponsored by Illa and Arun Ojha of Towson,
October 20, 2001
Mahashakti Prabhu lead the bhajan singing and everybody
participated. The bhajan singing continued for a long time.
With the presence of good singers like Surendra Ray, Binod
Nayak, Bandita Nayak, Pratap Dash, Nrusingha Mishra, Brahmapriya
Sen, the bhajan and kirtan were very enchanting.
We were fortunate to have Sukanti apa (Sukanti Ray) with
us who had the direct experience of the trauma caused by
Sept 11th attack on Pentagon. She had lost some of her friends
and she discussed her feelings and the feelings of her family
members after the attack. It was very emotional presentation
on her part.
Today's prasad was sponsored by Bandita and Nrusingha Mishra
of Germantown, MD.
Bhajan Mandali welcomed Mitu, the new baby daughter of Illa
and Arun Ojha.
September 15, 2001
Mahashakti Prabhu lead the bhajan singing and everybody
Children told stories on religious characters. Alok Mohanty,
Philadelphia talked on Krishna's childhood and Kansa badha.
Bagmi Das talked on Arjun's illusion and Lord Krishna's
advice, Sidhharth Mohapatra told the story how the bandit
Ratnakar became Balmiki, Mrunali Das told the story how
Bhima killed the Ekarakhya asura and saved the villagers,
Shashwati Das told the story of churning of the Ocean.
Instead of Prabachan, Krishna Kirti pravu arranged to teach
"Tulasi Puja" to all of us. He had made the slides
of the puja steps in very organized manner and he informed
the roles of different circles and which circles have to
be offered Arati how many times. He told the story of Tulasi
Devi and why Tulasi worship is important. Then he installed
one Tulasi plant in the middle of the prayer room and the
priest Sudhansu Dasa performed the puja and showed us different
steps that was explained in Krishnakirti prabhu's presentation.
Then we all chanted Tulasi Bandana that was lead by Mahashakti
prabhu and we circled around the Tulasi Puja site. It was
a very instructive lesson that Krishnakirti prabhu lead
and we all learnt a lot.
Today's prasad was sponsored by Jaigopal Mohanty and Sulochana
Mohanty from Philadelphia.
Bhajan Mandali welcomed Prachi and Sibaprasad Mohanty of
Philadelphia, Jhinu and Shantanu Chhotray from Virginia
and Mausumi Pattanaik from Virginia.
June 16, 2001
We had a good gathering today. The bhajan songs continued
for a long time. There were many people who enjoy bhajan
singing and most of them participated.
Prabachan was given by Krishnakirti Dasa. He is originaly
from Ireland and has stayed in India for 6 years in the
cities of Baroda and Bombay. He talked on vedic costum or
way of life. He told that this world can be used in many
different ways. It depends on who uses it and how. An iron
rod put in the fire can itself become a fire. Similarly
people engaged in certain activities regularly with determination
as a piece of iron can convert themselves to those entities.
He also gave example of knife in the hands of a surgeon
and a robber. He recited a verse from Gita which explains
self control and how to sacrifice senses for the self control.
He said that in a society there are many different types
of people. They have many different attributes that we may
not be able to tolerate. However, we have to share this
world, this society with them and we have to find some common
areas to interact with them. Brahmapriya Sen asked that
if humans can become animals by doing bad acts, then whether
there are chances that animals also can become human doing
good acts. Krishnakirti Pravu explained him that 'it is
possible' by reciting some stories.
Children's class was not held. And the children enjoyed
talking and interacting with each other outside in the grass
after their bhajan singing.
Today's prasad was sponsored by all. There were two types
of 'raja poda pitha' made by Meera Mohapatra and Bigyani
The dinner discussion continued on the discussions by Krishnakirti
May 19, 2001
Only 8-9 families attended today's program. Everything in
this world happen for a reason. We were so fortunate to
have the ISKCON members from North Carolina, the best bhajan
singers who made the evening a great evening to remember.
Bhajan participants became so carried away with their melodious
voice that they requested them to sing more and so the bhajan
singing continued until late.
We didn't have Prabachan session today.
Children's class was not held as the coordinator couldn't
Today's prasad was sponsored by Bandita and Nrusingha Mishra.
Naresh Das put "the future mission of our bhajan program"
as the dinner discussion topic. The topic was criticized
as very broad considering many different factors. The factors
were: commitment of people, availability of facilities,
ISKCON rules and regulations.
Some people suggested that we should keep it simple so
that it can be easy to achieve. For spreading Jagannath
culture, Srikant Nayak suggested that we should build a
Jagannath Temple. Although many people were in favor of
building the temple, but some others also pointed the fact
that without massive Odia family's cooperation, these types
of work wouldn't result anything. It's not just building
the temple, but what should be after that, how should those
things be managed, what about if the politics comes in the
way. So, some vision is needed which should not be restricted
to bhajan group, but the whole Odia community.
Bigyani Das suggested that whatever we were achieving,
let's make sure that we can achieve that in the long run.
While planning for the larger picture, let's not destroy
the simple picture, the enjoyment we get meeting each other
and singing bhajans. To get those things once in a month
is also something great in this stressful working life.
April 21, 2001
With record number of families attending today's bhajan
program, it was a great experience. There were many new
faces including Ashutosh Dutta's family from New York and
some new people from Maryland. As usual the bhajan started
at 6 pm. There were group bhajans and solo bhajans. Mahashakti
Dasa's devotion mixed with Lipishree, Deepa and other devotee's
love for the Lord made the program a memorable one.
Our Prabachan was lead by Subhakanta Behera who has obtained
his Ph.D degree on Jagannatha Dharma. He discussed on the
topic "FROM NILAMADHAVA TO JAGANNATH: EVOLUTION
OF THE JAGANNATH DHARMA". The abstract of
the discussion is given below.
No where in the world a god or religion is so exclusively
linked with a people and land as is Jagannath, and Oriyas
and Orissa. Puranic, scriptural, literary and historical
evidences not only delimit the origin of Jagannath to the
Orissa land but also provide clues as to how Jagannath was
ultimately appropriated by Oriyas as their own deity. For
this, an objective analysis of the Jagannath's origin legend
is needed. More importantly, in the legend itself, one can
find some basic principles and essences (friendship, equality,
inter-racial dialogue etc.) of the Jagannath cult. But these
are now unfortunately lost.
The Oriyas' appropriation of Jagannath as their deity is
evidenced by the fact that in popular parlance, Oriya's
religion is called `Jagannath cult' (dharma) and Oriya culture
is known as `Jagannath culture' (samskriti). This unique
phenomenon has historical reasons behind it. Right from
15th and 16th centuries onwards, a new religious trend developed
in Orissa, centering around Jagannath. Although it is, on
ultimate analysis, a part of the pan-Vaishnavite tradition,
it developed its own specifics and peculiarities, for which
it may be appropriately called as the 'Jagannath Dharma'.
After formal introduction by Dr Shashadhar Mohapatra, Dr
Subhrakant Behera made the presentation for about 25 minutes
which was followed by discussions. Almost all the people
were interested in the discussion and everybody became so
absorbed that they forgot the time. It was getting late
and so the discussion had to end.
Children sang the bhajans and then spent time in playing
and sharing stories.
Today's Prasad was sponsored by Indu and Jhunu Mishra.
Dinner discussion continued with the same topic of Dr Subhrakant
March 17, 2001
Our program for this month was the annual Hori
Jatra and it was held at Murugan Temple auditorium.
February 17, 2001
It was a very nice, but cold evening. We were fortunate
to have Karnamruta pravu with us. Together we sang bhajans,
chanted mahamantra and welcomed our youngest devotee Neha
Kar (2 months old) to bhajan mandali.
Karnamruta Pravuji gave prabachana today. He narrated his
God Realization experience in the story-telling style that
kept the audience's attention fixed. He told us the story
of the "senses" who thought they are really doing
hard work and the "stomach" is just enjoying and
eating food. They went on strike and didn't cooperate and
within a few days they found themselves weak. Then they
realized "stomach's" contribution to their well-being.
"Stomach" was not just eating, but providing nourishment
to the senses. The learning from this story is "we
are interdependent on eachother and if we think that we
are just working, but the manager is just sitting, that
is not true. The manager is thinking about you and planning
for the betterment of you".
He also said how God loves those who love them. The best
example he gave is the availability of the Jagannath temple
in Baltimore, so that the bhakta's will not miss their temple
activities that they were used to in India.
Nrusingha Chaitanyaji told a story in which a scientist,
a mathematician and an engineer approached the boatman to
cross the river. While in their way they asked if the boatman
has learnt anything in life such as science, Maths. or engineering
techniques. Getting the answer as "no" from they
boatman they all commented that the boatman's life is wasted
as he hadn't learnt many important subjects. Then a small
storm approached in that area and the boat was about to
sink. The boatman asked these people if they know swimming
or how to help the boat from sinking. And in the reply they
all said "no". Then the boatman said "your
hundre percent life is wasted now. You didn't learn the
basic techniques for saving your life".
The learnings from this story is "every skill is important
and each skill has its own radius of applicability. So just
criticizing somebody's ignorance in some field is not the
right thing to do."
Children sang the bhajans and then spent time in playing
and sharing stories.
Today's Prasad was sponsored by Madhumita and Dhirendra
Hori preparation was the topic of discussion today.
Dhirendra Kar took pictures of the bhajan program.
January 20, 2001
It was dark, cold and a snowy day. But it didn't prevent
the true devotees to come to the temple for the monthly
ritual. All the devotees (bhaktas) sang beautifull bhajans
for the Lord adding more excitement to the program. Together
with the melodic voice of Mahashakti Dash, the kirtan and
bhajan continued for a long time. God probably became surprised
to see what the power of devotion can achieve.
Nrusingha Chaitanyaji gave a short prabachana. He again
emphasized on the control of the tongue. He told that love
for the Lord is not reflected only on the number of times
somebody visits the temple or offers "bhoga",
"flower" or "money". It depends much
on how people spend time there. At home people engage themselves
in many materialistic activities. If they engage themselves
in similar activities in the temple then there is no benefit
in visiting the temple.
Children mostly partipitated listening to the bhajan and
Today's Prasad was sponsored by Meera and Shashadhar Mahapatra.
Srikant Nayak discussed different "Avatara's"
of the Lord. Then there was discussion about Hori planning.
Somebody suddenly observed the heavy snowfall and so all
had to wrap up the discussion.
Dhirendra Kar took pictures of the bhajan program.
December 16, 2000
It was dark, cold and raining outside. The fog had covered
the sky with visibility very low. Inside, it was the melodic
voice of Mahashakti Dash, "adhA TALu bhangA, gAi-jagA,
Dahi chora re". It's feeling to be felt, not described.
Somebody should be physically present there, have complete
surrender to the Lord, and love for the music to feel the
real peace in the heart that such congregations can bring.
Although the attendance was low, but the effect was high.
Nrusingha Chaitanyaji was in very high spirit today as the
audience was very enthusiastic to participate in the discussion.
One of the important fact he narrated is his story of king
"Jajati" who went to heaven as he had done many
noble deeds. In the heaven also he started doing meditation.
"Indra", thinking that "Jajati" might
take away his position went to Lord "Brahma" for
the solution. Lord "Brahma" told Indra to approach
king "Jajati" and ask him about all his noble
deeds (punya karama). Indra approached Jajati and asked
about his "punya karmas" for which he was able
to come to heaven in his human form. At that point without
understanding indra's plan, Jajati started describing all
his "punya karmas". As soon as he finished talking
all this, he fell down from the heaven. The LESSONS learned
from this story is: If we have done anything great it should
be told and felt by others, not by us. When we start spreading
our great deeds ourselves, the effect of our great deeds
The second story he narrated replying to Bandita Mishra's
question was about king Janaka. King Janaka asked "astabakra
rishi" how to get rid of problems and have peace in
mind. Rishi didn't say anything. After a while the Rishi
went and hugged a pillar very tightly. Then he shouted and
asked for help to detach him from the pillar. he complaied
that the pillar had attached him so tight and he was not
able to free himself. Janaka was confused as he had seen
that the Rishi was attaching himself to the pillar. So he
went to the Rishi and asked why he was doing such type of
action. The Rishi then explained Janaka what he meant. It's
nobody, but we are binding ourselves to different problems
and we only can solve our problem, nobody else. It's because
we want happiness, we are also getting sorrows. It's because
we want to love somebody, get love from somebody, we also
learn to hate and get hatred from others.
Meera Mahapatra guided the children to finish there crossword
Today's Prasad was sponsored by Bandita and Nrusingha Mishra.
As Srikant nayak had to go to India suddenly, the jagannatha
Tatwa could not be discussed. Instead, people discussed
about the current events.
Dhirendra Kar took pictures of the bhajan program. please
check the bhajan webpage.
November 18, 2000
Mahasakti Dash with his usual melodic voice lead the bhajan
program with many songs, like "Nanda suta kala kanhei",
Jayadev's "praLaya payodhi jaLe" etc. A few bhajans
were contributed by the participants. The prasad was sponsored
Nrusingha Chaitanyaji spoke on one of the "sloka"
from Bhagabat Gita and told the story why Krishna accepted
invitation from Bidura but not from Duryadhana. This is
the same "sloka" he had recited one year before
to greet the Puri Gajapati.
He also told the story of Jaganath's prasad chori. Since
the the next day was prathamastami, gift packets with children's
cloths were given to Nrusingha chaitanyaji and Mahasakti
pravu on behalf of the Bhajan group.
After finishing their prayer, children were given word puzzle
paper with many religious names. Mira Mohapatra tought them
the concepts of bad and good through disney characters.
Jaganath tatwa, part II was presented by Sashadhar Mohapatra.
Discussion was centered on why the "navakalebar"
is held once in twelve years. Everyone participated and
enjoyed the discussion.
Starting from Nov. 2000, Bhajan pictures will be available
at the following website: http://communities.msn.com/jaijagannath
Every month pictures will be taken during bhajan program
and will be available at the above site. Please visit the
site and comment. Thanks to Dhirendra Kar for volunteering
for this noble work.
October 21, 2000
Today's program started at 6 pm as usual. Some of the temple
guests from North Carolina (original Indians from Africa)
joined us in bhajan activities. Thay sang with the children
and they sang with everybody. Although the language was
Oriya, they followed the english scripts that was put on
the overhead projector.
Also the parents of Chandana Pradhan, Mr and Mrs Narayan
Pradhan participated in the program with much enthusiasm.
They praised the Oriya community for having such types of
After Arati all the children sang the bhajan "Jaya
Jagannatha Swami" together. The children were tested
on their knowledge about Orissa and did the coloring of
The prabachan was given by Nrusingha Chaitanyaji and he
emphasized that we should control our tongue as much as
possible to avoid misunderstandings and have a good social
While the prabachan was going on, the ladies were engaged
in cooking some of the items. Today's program was sponsored
by Illa and Arun Ojha.
During dinner discussion Naresh Das started one chapter
of the book on "Jagannatha Tatwa". Different chapters
of the book will be discussed in the forthcoming programs
by different people. Next discussion on Jagannatha Tatwa
will be lead by Nrusingha Mishra. forthcoming programs by
September 16, 2000
Today's program was devoted to the children. There were
hands on activities for children for painting, drawing and
making statues of Lord jagannath with clay. Meera Mohapatra
and Madhumita Kar supervised the children with these activities.
After Arati, the children came to the prayer room to present
their items. Nrusingha Mishra moderated the presentation
activities. The stories were presented about Lord Rama (Titu
Sahoo), Hanuman (Lutu Sahoo, Satish Mishra), Laxmi (Rajashri
Mishra, Mrunali Das), Narada (Sidharth Mohapatra), Ganesha
(Bagmi Das), and Sita (Shashwati Das). Neel Sen did some
super action and Satyabati Dash sang a bhajan. After that
Nrusingha Mishra asked the children for their comments on
bhajan program. Sharmistha Mohapatra, Srotalina Nayak and
Bagmi Das suggested for more children activities.
A short prabachan was given by Jaykishan prabhu. He narrated
the story of saint Haridas. The dinner discussion was led
by Dhirendra Kar. He asked the question about the tradition
behind worshiping Lord Ganesha in the beginning of every
puja. According to him it might be that Ganesh is the God
of knowledge and so knowledge is emphasized as the first
requirement of the human being.
Bigyani Das narrated a story in which a man who was very
fond of a local town coffee shop, wanted a change, and thus
wandered about other shops of the town. However, he didn't
find the warm welcome, friendly faces, and the peacefull
atmosphere in any other places. He finally came back to
have some good time in his old place, but found the coffee
shop closed. He asked the other shop-owners nearby. They
told "like you other costomers of the coffee shop went
to other places and so the owner couldn't run the business
and had to close it". The man understood his mistakes
and repented that he didn't care for his role as a costumer
of the shop. He promised that he should never neglect anything
that counts on him and also gives him pleasure, since if
he neglects he would never get that back.
Today's program was sponsored by Naresh and Bigyani Das.
The children got prizes for their involvement in today's
August 19, 2000
It was a very special day as we completed three years of
the program. The attendace number is same as the previous
month's program, 10-12 families and some singles. Today's
prasad sponsor was Dhirendra and Madhumita Kar.
Children's bhajan started on time and continued upto 6:30
pm. As the time was flexible, it was only after 6:40 pm
that other families appeared and very soon by 7 pm everybody
was there. Mahashakti Dasa started the bhajan and then everybody
In Nrusingha Chaitanyaji's absense, Jaya-kishan prabhu from
the ISKCON temple, Gujurat gave prabachan. Among the new
families we had Dr. Pandey and his wife from Baltimore.
The 5th issue of the bhajan newsletter Chirantana was distributed.
Meera Mohapatra told stories to the children. Today's dinner
speaker was Manoj Panda from Virginia. He spoke about "Yagyan"
and he narrated the story of Nachiketa when discussing about
life and death.
July 15, 2000
It was the gathering of the most enthusiastic and energetic
group, who made the bhajan-sandhya very enjoyable. It was
a gathering of about 26-28 adults and 13-15 children. Today's
prasad sponsor Sushim Dalabera was present in the temple
before 5:45 pm. He was trying to find many different tasks
for himself and was completely devoting himself for the
success of today's program.
Children's bhajan started on time and continued upto 6:20
pm. Mahashakti Dash started the adult bhajan. In many bhajans
the singers involved everybody. The bhajan songs by Surendra
Ray had the intrinsic lyrical beauty of the pure Odia music.
Others bhajans contributed by Pratap Dash, Padmanava Pradhan,
Nrusingha Mishra and Sushim Dalabehera all had their own
spirit of awakening the inner-self.
Nrusingha-chaitanyaji was absent and so we didn't have
prabachana. Bhajan singing continued upto 9 pm. Many people
had contributed supplements for today's prasad sevana. So
the food was plenty and tasty.
Today's dinner speaker was Dhirendra Kar. Dhirendra asked
the question of the scientific explanation of Lord Krishna's
Geeta teaching during the time in the battle field. How
can such vast knowledge be given during that short time
and who can document it with absolute accuracy? The answers
given by Nrusingha Mishra, Shrikant Nayak, Devraj Sahoo
and Manoj Panda (Virginia) all had the same message, the
time scale was very different. About accuracy, many of them
gueseed the super power of the brain during that time which
might be working as multiprocessing computers. Finally Dhirendra
Kar stated the answer given by Swami Vivekananda.
Arun Ojha gave some comments on improving children's learning
during the bhajan program. Surendra Ray suggested to adopt
the methods that will attract children within a few minutes.
He suggested that we should attempt to make the multimedia
learning tool to teach the culture and the traditions.
Sushim Dalabehera also involved himself in cleaning. He
really had a great sponsor's spirit.
June 17, 2000
It was a small gathering of about 10-12 families. After
children's bhajan temple priest Mahashakti Dash presented
bhajan songs. Some participants also contributed to the
bhajan singing. Meera Mahapatra too care of the children.
The prabachan by Nrusingha Chaitanyaji was very good. He
talked about the story in which a person was trying to clean
the well by removing the dirty water which was caused by
the dead bodies of the dogs who fell on the well. Then the
Rishi suggested him to remove the dead bodies of the dogs
first which was the cause, i.e. eradict the cause first,
then plan about the effect.
The bhajan was sponsored by all. There was a silent prayer
for Mrs. Koutuki Patnaik who left the world for heaven.
Bhajan participants donated money for a tractor to be bought
for the temple.
Dr Nrusingha Mishra talked about Alternative Medicine during
the dinner discussion.
May 20, 2000
10-12 families joined the bhajan program. Temple priest
Mahashakti Dash presented excellent bhajan songs. Meera
Mohapatra engaged the children.
Dr Lipishree Nayak was the dinner speaker. She spoke about
regular health care needs. There was question-answer session
that followed her speech.
Shreekanta Nayak invited everybody to attend the Rathayatra
ceremony at Shiva Visnu temple, Lanham, Maryland on July
April 22, 2000
It was a good gathering with 10-12 families. The bhajan
started at 6 pm although people took their time to join
the program. Many people had to drive about an hour to join
the program. There were many good singers in the group and
they sang many beautiful bhajans. Temple bhajan singer Mahashakti
Dasa's family was present and his five year old son Krishna
participated in bhajan singing. Bhajan group welcomed Mahashakti
Dasa's familly, the newly weds Pratap Dash and his wife,
and the visitor from Michigan, Manoj Panda and family.
After the children's bhajan they colored Krishna picture.
During the bhajan by adults, Meera Mohapatra took care of
the children's activity. The children joined us during prabachan.
Nrusingha Chaitanyaji and Mahashakti Dasa were gone for
a house program in Germantown. In Nrusingha Chaitanyaji's
absense Manoj Panda talked to us during Prabachan. He was
introduced by Dr Shashadhar Mohapatra who knew him from
the time Manoj was a student in Oklahoma 10-12 years back.
In his talk Manoj discussed the teachings of Gita in a
very different way. He related the Mahabharat story with
our day to day life activities. He told that our mind is
the blind king as Dhritarashtra who is married (has relationship)
to Gandhari who has eyes, but covers them. He related Gandhari
with our conscience which has the ability to analyze wrong
and right, but always gets carried away by the desires of
He also told that in our individual kingdom we have 100
sons (kauravas) or wrong desires; these desires are the
product of our 10 senses in 10 directions. There is always
war between these 100 wrong desires and 5 good qualities
(pandavas) within us.
He narrated a story in which a rich man used to have a
sitar in his showcase. He didn't know how to use that, but
just wanted to keep the instrument. Once it fell down and
broke. The rich man didn't know what to do with a broken
sitar and threw it. A beggar who was passing by found the
instrument and took it home. He fixed it and started playing
it. Listening the beutiful music it played, the rich man
claimed the instrument, but the beggar refused and then
finally the beggar got the sitar. The reason of telling
this story was some people just want outside recognition
that they are very religious and so they collect all religious
books, remember 2-3 slokas, but never read it properly.
They don't try to understand it and never follow the rules.
They just keep the books with them and become content that
they are very religious. That's not the way the ancient
scriptures should be used.
After his talk, many children and adults asked questions
to him. He tried his best to give the convincing answer
to each question.
During dinner discussion also the question-answer session
continued with Manoj.
The prasad was sponsored by Pramod Tripathy.
March 25, 2000
Check for the Holi Report
page for our Holi 2000 function on March 25, 2000.
February 19, 2000
It was a medium size gathering. The bhajan participants
sang beautiful bhajans. Mahashakti Dash was absent.
The prabachan was very good. Nrusingha Chaitanyaji gave
many good examples of human behavior development. He emphasized
that when a baby gets nutrition from mother's milk his/her
development in the later stage are according to the attributes
of a human being. But when the baby's initial nutritional
needs come from cow's milk, goat's milk, bufallo's milk
and milk powder, the brain will be developed accordingly.
That's one of the several reasons that now-a-days the children
are out of control and don't want to listen to the parents.
Meera Mohapatra took charge of the children and read stories
During dinner discussion Naresh Das discussed about Holi
and took suggestions/comments of the participants. Some
participants volunteered to take some responsibilities such
as food, cultural etc.
It was decided to observe the Holi festival on March 25,
Kanan Mishra updated the benefit dinner news and requested
everybody to join the dinner and help Orissa cyclone victims.
January 15, 2000
About 18 family members joined the program. The temple bhajan
singer Mahashakti Das was absent. But we had a very good
bhajan program. Many participants took part in bhajan singing.
Also Nrusingha Chaitanyaji sang two, very nice bhajans and
we followed. We also had good "kirtana" during
All the participants together recited Bissnu Sahasra Nama.
Niva Kodelikar gave the news from the Greater Baltimore
temple about their interest to celebrate Rathayatra.
Kanan Mishra made the announcement about fundraising dinner
and Naresh Das made the announcement about the workshop
for discussing various ideas about rebuilding procedure
after the super cyclone.
Indu Mishra reached late as he had gone to the Greater
Baltimore temple, but still he worked with the children
and prepared them to recite the sanskrit "slokas".
During dinner discussion the comments were taken whether
to celebrate Holi or not. Mostly everybody expressed their
interest to continue the celebration.
People expressed their vision about themselves and the
community for the new millenium. Almost everybody expressed
their interests to be involved in the community efforts.
They also commented that in community efforts we should
look for common interests that could bind us and try to
avoid the divisive subjects.
Although unrelated to the bhajan program, personal comments
about the proper methods of utilizing the fundraising money
December 18, 1999
We had a small gathering. The bhajan was as usual. The prabachan
emphasized on considering everybody as a whole package rather
than criticizing one aspect of anybody and comparing with
them. According to Nrusigha Chaitanyaji many people have
misconceptions about Lord Krishna and criticize the Lord
for his "Gopalila" and other activities relating
to women. He emphasized that criticism of any aspect of
anybody shouldn't be made unless other attributes are also
matched. He gave the example that a person was using "bhanga"
and glorifying that act as the act of Lord Siva. But Lord
Siva also drank the poison which the person would not dare
Nrusigha Chaitanyaji was more concerned for Y2K problems
and he requested if some of the bhajan participants could
offer any help. Pramod Tripathy offered to help with dry
food preparation and Bandita Mishra offered to provide gas
Indu Mishra taught some sanskrit slokas for Lord Ganesha
and the children chanted the slokas.
Brahmapriya Sen offered to provide an eraser board to be
used during discussions.
The dinner discussion started with the eye wittness news
of the cyclone situation from Alok Praharaj. He informed
that the "Utkala Bipana Sahaya Samiti" members
were really great who handled the dirty work of removing
dead bodies and burning them. He also informed about the
bad practices of some greedy authorities who take bribe
to write down people's name for getting relief and help
for rebuilding their houses. Some people who are also in
good condition bribe these people to falsify their cases.
We then started with the topic "vision for the coming
year for the self as well as for the community". Everybody's
answer included their concern for the cyclone and their
part in the rebuilding procedure. Kanan Mishra wanted to
take a semester off and teach in a school. Indu Mishra wanted
to devote his time in "adopt a village" plan.
Nrusingha Mishra wanted to help his villagers. Pradeep Pattnaik
with his other three brothers had planned to make a school/shelter
at Chhatrapur, Ganjam. He also gave some information how
Y2K problem could me minimal as all essential utility company
employees would be busy in working on the new year's eve
as well as new year to make sure about the normal operation
Alok Praharaj had already helped 4-5 families in their
village to reconstruct their houses. Padmanava Pradhan had
to help his relative's village in Jagatsinghpur. Bandita
Mishra along with her cousins had helped some of the villagers
in her uncle's village.
Mahashakti Dash was concerned about the improvement of
the Baltimore ISKCON temple. Bigyani Das wanted to work
for popularizing the use of Oriya language. Naresh Das wanted
to be involved in cyclone related activities considering
the do-able and realistic projects. Brahmapriya Sen's personal
dream for the new century was to go to Orissa as they have
not gone for more than five years and as regards community
he wanted to contribute for improving the school and educating
the common people in his village.
Kanan Mishra discussed the fundraising dinner plan with
Illa Ojha, Chandana Pradhan and Sikha Sen.
November 13, 1999
We had a huge gathering because of Puri Maharaja Divya Singh
Dev's presence. More than 20 families participated in the
bhajan program. We started at 6 pm. with children's bhajan.
Mahashakti Das sang some heart touching bhajans. Everybody
was simultaneously sad for Orissa's cyclone aftermaths and
excited to meet Puri Maharaja.
Puri Maharaja joined us at about 6:50 pm and participated
in the regular "Arati". After the "Arati",
bhajan singing also continued for a while as there were
many interested singers in the crowd.
We had a very good discussion session
with Puri Maharaja.
After the discussion Dr Indu Mishra and Jhunu Mishra accompanied
the children to meet Maharaja. The children sat in a circle
in front of the Maharaja and sang the prayer to natural
forces and to the Lordess "Mahalakshmi". Prerna
Pradhan sang oriya bhajan. Maharaja offered his garlands
to the children.
Anu Biswal distributed "Jagannath Prasad" to everybody.
Then we had dinner. The dinner discussion was based on the
current cyclone effects.
Pramod Tripathy spoke about his relative the news of whose
wife and children is still unknown. The cyclone had also
affected many people's villages and distant relatives; fortunately
not anybody's direct relations.
Many bhajan participants had brought packages of cloths
and Dr Indu Mishra collected them to take the next day to
New York for sending to Orissa through AIR INDIA.
October 16, 1999
We missed many regular bhajan participants becasue of several
programs coinciding the date and time. However, the program
was very enjoyable as we got the opportunity to have more
personal interaction with other participants. Mahashakti
Dash sang the heart touching bhajan "Prabhu Keun bAnA
udaila" with his melodious voice. Dr Indu Mishra taught
the old age religion to the children when people used to
pray the essential elements of nature, not the "Avatara's"
We all prayed the same hymns with the children.
Our prabachan session was conducted differently in which
the meaning and explanation of two first slokas of "Gita"
was read by different people. We also prayed together in
the school prayer style. Dhirendra Kar volunteered to collect
good prayes during his forthcoming trip to India. Nrusingha
Chaitanyaji also emphasized that the present day events
(Kaliyug events) were visualized by the Rishis of India
before so many Yugas.
September 18, 1999
Today's special was children's program. About 15 families
and a few singles participated. Some of the children were
dressed in costumes and presented their religious characters.
The children who participated were Mrunali Das (Mahalaxmi),
Suman Ojha (Durga), Bagmi Das(Saraswati), Rajasri Mishra
(Princess Laxmi), Silpa Das (Sita), Sweta Das (Parvati),
Shashwati Das(Narayana), Prerna Pradhan (Savitri). We had
more children today, but they were not ready to present.
The children program was coordinated by Dr Indu Mishra.
We missed Prabachan as Nrusingha Chaitaniyaji was absent.
The dinner discussion was started by Kanan Mishra who asked
the question "how our thoughts determine our destiny?"
People were divided into four groups and discussed among
themselves each other's experiences. Then the group representatives
presented the summary of the outcome from their group.
Some of the significant points came out of the discussion
negative thoughts come to you during critical moments,
visualize it in a broader sense and then your own sorrows
will go away and you will find a path to get rid of
are accelerated by visualization power. If you want
to be a doctor always visualize yourself in a doctor's
backed up by strong will power and action always come
out with positive results.
bring you everything. You need to have faith on the
supreme power for getting peace and respect for the
fellow human beings to avoid confusion and be directed
change as we grow and some of the thoughts deviate to
other directions being directed by the circumstances.
But the main thought or desire still glows in the heart.
August 21, 1999
Today was a very special day as we completed two years of
Bhajan Program. This second anniversary day of Bhajan Program
was also colored by participation of 18-20 families. We
also had the third issue of bhajan newsletter "Chiranatana"
came up this day.
We missed the prabachan part as Nrusingha Chaitanyaji had
gone to the ISKCON temple Philadelphia. But we made up with
more bhajan songs. The classic Kirtans by Dr Surendra Ray
were very enjoyable. Most of the audience participated in
bhajan singing. This month's special was "couples sing
together". Among the couples who sang together are
Dr Nrusingha Mishra and Bandita Mishra, and Pramod and Liza
Today's dinner speaker was Dr Nilakantha Pattnaik, principal,
Talcher Engineering College, who was visiting from Orissa.
He shared his expriences with the educational evolution
in Orissa from the time of his schooling to this time. He
presented the problems faced by the Private Engineering
colleges and how the task of providing jobs to so many Engineering
graduates had become a problem. The follow-up comments by
Dr Indu Mishra and Dr Surendra Ray were also very interesting.
According to Dr Ray Orissa politicians always thought of
following examples of other developed states instead of
thinking some new ideas and doing some new plans and that's
how the state was always lagging behind the other states
in every aspect.
Dr Indu Mishra explained the tradition of Rakhi Purnima
to the children. The children were put rakhi in their hands
by their siblings (or friends) and enjoyed singing together
the prayer and "Mahalaxmi Sloka". He also distributed
the roles to the children to play during the coming September
month program (the month is dedicated to the children).
July 17, 1999
We had a gathering of about 30 adults and 13 children. Mrs
Illa Ojha introduced Oriya alphabets to the children and
then discussed vowels and consonants.
We introduced the use of overhead projector for displaying
the bhajan songs. Dhirendra Kar had taken charge of buying
the projector with the contribution from bhajan participants.
The overhead projector was also helpful for displaying
the "sloka" which was discussed during prabachan
session. We started with the first sloka of "Karma
Yoga" chapter of Gita. Everybody recited the "sloka"
and then the meaning was discussed.
Dinner discussion was started by Dr Pinaki Panigrahi. His
topic was "The Uniqueness of Hindu Religion".
He started with his first question to the audience about
their views on the uniqueness of Hindu religion. Dhirendra
Kar gave one interesting reply. According to him all other
religions are based on one person theory. But in Hindu religion
anything which is vital to human life is given the name
"God" to signify its importance. So evenif we
take out the usual Gods' names from Hindu Religion, still
we have many other resources.
His second question was "what was the basis of the
individual people to leave their own country and settle
in America". Among the responses many people stated
"freedom of choice" and "availability of
opportunities". Some people stated "sincerety
He then summarized all the answers and gave some of his
own statements. He said that Hindu Religion is the only
religion where the disciples have the freedom to ask questions
freely to the teacher which is not seen in any other religious
discourses. According to him the usual concept that people
have chosen to stay in USA for money is not the complete
truth. The truth is "The Freedom".
June 19, 1999
We had a medium size gathering on June 19th program. It
was a very interesting program as everybody participated
in singing the bhajans. Dr Indubhusan Mishra coninued his
story telling and sanskrit teaching to the children. By
narrating a story from "purana" he taught them
how positive thoughts help us in acheiving our goals and
negative thoughts bring misery.
We had a very informal Prabachan session discussing the
future Prabachan plans to involve everybody in the discussion.
According to the plan one person should take charge of selecting
some "sloka" or "slokas" from "Gita"
and inform everybody. Everybody should read about those
"slokas". During the prabachan session everybody
should chant the "slokas" together. Nrusingha
Chaitanyaji will start the explanation of the "slokas"
and then everybody could discuss their own thoughts on those
"slokas". This will enhance our understanding
of the subject more than just listening the explanations.
During dinner discussion Dr Lipishree Nayak presented some
important facts about exercise and health. She suggested
that every exercise should start with easy steps, then go
to the highest level and should end with easy stretches.
The transitions between lowest and highest levels should
be smooth. This will prevent muscle soreness which is usually
a problem if somebody suddenly starts faster exercise or
suddenly rests after doing faster exercise.
May 15, 1999
We had a big gathering on May 15th program. About 14-15
families including 4 new families (new to the bhajan program),
and some singles participated in the program. We were fortunate
to have the music director from ISKCON temple Bombay who
entertained the audience with many heart touching bhajan
songs of their production "Krishna Krishna". We
also had many people in the group with very good singing
skills and singing interests who participated in the adult
bhajan program. Due to lack of time we postponed the formal
"prabachan" part as many discussions on "Ramacharita
Manasa" and other religious facts took place alongwith
the bhajan songs.
It was also an auspicious day for the ladies for "Savitri
brata". So during dinner discussion Dr. Naresh Das
suggested everybody to talk about their favourite "Devi"
or favourite female character from the "purana"
including the reason. Among the discussed were "Sabari"
(Dr Naresh Das), "Gandhari" (Dr Dharitri Mishra),
"Sita" (Srikant Nayak), "Chandi" (Dr
Braja Mishra), "Savitri" (Liza Tripathy), "Khulana
Sundari and Maa Mangala" (Bandita Mishra), "The
old lady who gave the idea of Konark temple foundation"
(Bandita Nayak), "Saraswati" (Binod Nayak and
Dr Kalpana Panigrahi), Sarada Devi (Dr Pinaki Panigrahi)
and "Meera" (Punamji, wife of Nrusingha Chaitanyaji).
Kanan Mishra and Dr Lipishri Nayak discussed their mothers.
April 17, 1999
During the prabachan Nrusingha Chaitanyaji asked us to decide
the topic of discussion. We requested him to talk to us
about the principles discussed in our Hindu Religious books
those can be applied to build the strongest community. He
discussed about the four main divisions based on caste.
He made it clear that the division is not based on our birth
as we all are born as "sudra's". Then according
to our education level and our performance level we rise
to the level of Brahman, Khyatriya, Baishya or Sudra. God
has said in Gita that for the proper maintainance of the
creation he creates people dividing them into these four
main castes which means he makes the non-uniform distribution
of different knowledge among the people to carry out various
activities in this earth.
Mrs. Anapurna Biswal discussed her plans and different requirements
for making sandwiches and delivering them to the shelters
for homeless people.
March 20, 1999
Check the report of HOLI celebration
for more information.
February 20, 1999
During the prabachan Nrusingha Chaitanyaji discussed about
our sufferings which result from our strong desires to satisfy
the requirements of our senses. He gave examples such as:
1) the deer who loves the hunter's music that brings him
closer to the hunter, 2) the fish who can't resist the temptation
of tasting the food that is used as a trap, 3) the male
elephant who can't resist the touch of the female elephant
(used by the traders); the female elephant tricks him and
puts him in the mud from which the male elephant fails to
escape and is caught by the traders, (4) the bees who become
so much attracted by the smell of the lotus flower and enjoy
staying inside the flower; after sunset the flowers close
and the bees die without finding the way out, (5) Ajambila,
the great brahmin who became the most sinful person after
seeing the activities of a prostitute.
During our dinner discussion Dr Nrusingha Mishra talked
about some preventive actions to be taken to reduce the
chances of getting cancer.
January 16, 1999
As there was power outage in the temple, the program was
held at 9535 Ridgeview Drive, Columbia. We did our best
to inform everybody who had informed us before to attend
the program about the place change. Thanks to everybody
who adapted to the change very quickly and participated
in the program. Also thanks to the volunteers who cooked.
The program was very successful with the usual temple traditions,
bhajan, prabachan, prasad, dinner discussion and childrens'
Our sincere thanks to the temple priests who came that
day. Also thanks to Dr Indu Mishra and Mrs Illa Ojha for
working with the children. At the end of the program the
children recited the sanskrit "sloka" for "Matta
Laxmi". Brahmapriya Sen started the dinner discussion
on keeping positive attitudes even during most disstressful
moments. He gave examples of the power outage problem which
in fact helped people to trace the true friends and take
help of them. The discussion was very live with comments
from Jhunu Mishra, Pinaki Panigrahi, Srikant Nayak, Nrusingha
Mishra and Nrusingha Chaitanyaji. Of course everybody participated
in the discussion.
The important truth that Nrusingha Chaitanyaji stated in
his "prabachan" is that people always complain
of being neglected while others getting more share. But
it's better to analyze our restoration capability before
we complain. When rain drops fall in an area it falls on
the land uniformly. But the highlands drain the water and
become drier and the wetlands restore all the water.
December 19, 1998
On Dec. 19, we mostly discussed about the survey results
which were sent on November 21. Thanks to everybody who
responded to the survey. All of us who were present during
the dinner talk decided to celebrate Holi as the symbolic
program of friendship, good wish and devotion to the Lord
in a grand way. This could be achieved by inviting friends
who stay within driving distance in a concept similar to
invite a "Sangata" from a different village for
"yatra", "pala" in our own villages.
Thanks to Illa (Illa Ojha), who started working with the
children. She started teaching them about Orissa, the temples,
the culture etc. as an introduction. From the next class
she plans to start teaching Oriya, starting from alphabets
to translations. There are other three volunteers for teaching
Please watch this page to get more news on survey results.
October 17, 1998
On Oct. 17, Dr Indu Mishra gave a nice talk on 'MANA O SARIRA'.
We are thankful to him for sharing two interesting stories
from Ramayan to us and specifically talking in Oriya. He
talked about how to control (or utilize together) mind and
body to achieve our goal. We also heard from Dr Anusuya
Choudhury about her recent research work on finding cost
effective drug for AIDS patients which was very highly praised
in the Chemical Scientist community.
We would very much appreciate if you can share such a story
which gives strong messages applicable for the peace and
prosperity of our daily life. That way BHAJAN SANDHAYA will
be enjoyable to everybody.
We are planning to involve kids more and more in the program
activities. We also encourage kids talking in Oriya (it
might be difficult, but if they could practice talking two
sentences and then increase to four, six, eight successively
to our next programs it will not be difficult). If any kid
can present a good story before the gathering and point
out what good things everybody should learn from it, it
will be great.
Your suggestions about how to improve the quality of the
program so that everybody can enjoy it is always welcome.
September 19, 1998
The childrens' program on September 19th was a great success.
We thank our children Ananya Tripathy (Durga), Anjana Mohanty
(Saraswati), Bagmi Das (Krishna), Kunjrani (Prahlad), Mrunali
Das (Prahlad), Ramulu Nayak (Rama), Rajashree Misra (Laxmi),
Satish Misra (Hanuman), Shashwati Das (Baby Krishna) and
Subhashri Nayak (Hanuman). Thanks to the parents for encouraging
and preparing the children. The prabachan of Nrusingha Chaitanya
prabhuji was very interesting with the story of "Sulakhyana"
and "Baki (Putana)".
As Nrusingha Chaitanya prabhuji said and we all know that
we could construct the shapes of our choice when the clay
is wet. Once it's dried, we don't have any control over
its shape. Similarly childhood is the best time to teach
the values. If we neglect this moment the time will never
come. We are very fortunate to have Mahashakti prabhu (his
voice has its own charm of devotion mixed with melody) and
Nrusingha Chaitanya prabhuji (a great speaker's voice with
depth in various religious topics) to add spice to our program.