Monday, August 8, 2011




About a hundred years ago, a man looked at the morning newspaper and to his surprise and horror, read his name in the obituary column. The newspapers had reported the death of the wrong person by mistake.


His first response was shock.


Am I here or there?


When he regained his composure, his second thought was to find out what people had said about him.


The obituary read, "Dynamite King Dies."


And also "He was the merchant of death."


This man was the inventor of dynamite and when he read the words, "Merchant of death," he asked himself a question, "Is this how I am going to be remembered?" He got in touch with his feelings and decided that this was not the way he wanted to be remembered.


From that day on, he started working towards peace. His name was Alfred Nobel and he is remembered today by the great Nobel Prize.


Just as Alfred Nobel got in touch with his feelings and redefined his values, we should step back and do the same.


What is your legacy?


How would you like to be remembered?


Will you be spoken well of?


Will you be remembered with love and respect?


Will you be missed?

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sri Tulasi-pranama

Sri Tulasi-pranama

In the morning, after mangala-arati (and preferably also in the evening, before sandhya-arati), tulasi-devi should be worshiped. First we offer obeisances to Tulasi-devi with the tulasi-pranama-mantra, chanted three times:

(om) vrndayai tulasi-devyai priyayai kesavasya ca
Krishna-bhakti-prade devi satyavatyai namo nama?

I offer my repeated obeisances unto Vrnda, Srimati Tulasi-devi, who is very dear to Lord Keshava. O goddess, you bestow devotional service to Krishna and you possess
the highest truth.

Sri Tulasi-puja-kirtana

namo nama? tulasi Krishna-preyasi namo nama?
radha-Krishna-seva pabo ei abilasi

O Tulasi, beloved of Krishna, I bow before you again and again. My desire is to obtain the service of Sri Sri Radha and Krishna.

ye tomara sarana loy, tara vancha purna hoy
krpa kori' koro tare vrndavana-vasi

Whoever takes shelter of you has his wishes fulfilled. Bestowing your mercy on him, you make him a resident of Vrindavana.

mora ei abhilasa, vilasa kunje dio vasa
nayana heribo sada yugala-rupa-rasi

My desire is that you will also give me a residence in the pleasure groves of Sri Vrindavana-dhama. Thus within my vision I will always behold the beautiful pastimes of Radha and Krishna.

ei nivedana dhara, sakhira anugata koro
seva-adhikara diye koro nija dasi

I beg you to make me a follower of the cowherd damsels of Vraja. Please give me the privilege of devotional service and make me your own maidservant.

dina Krishna-dase koy, ei yena mora hoy
sri-radha-govinda-preme sada yena bhasi

This very fallen and lowly servant of Krishna prays, "May I always swim in the love of Sri Sri Radha and Govinda."

Sri Tulasi Pradakshina Mantra

While circumambulating tulasi-devi, we chant,

yani kani ca papani brahma-hatyadikani ca
tani tani pranasyanti pradaksina? pade pade

When a person circumambulates Srimati Tulasi-devi, all the sins he may have committed are destroyed at every step, even the sin of killing a brahmana.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Sri Sri Gurv-astaka - 8 prayers to the Guru

Sri Sri Gurv-Astaka

Eight Prayers to the Guru

by Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura

Srila Visvanatha Chakravarti Thakura, who appeared in the middle of the seventeenth century, is a great spiritual master in the Krishna conscious chain of gurus and disciples. He says, "One who, with great care and attention, loudly recites this beautiful prayer to the spiritual master during the brahma-muhurta obtains direct service to Krishna, the Lord of Vrindavana, at the time of his death."



tranaya karunya-ghanaghanatvam

praptasya kalyana-gunarnavasya

vande guroh Sri-caranaravindam

The spiritual master is receiving benediction from the ocean of mercy. Just as a cloud pours water on a forest fire to extinguish it, so the spiritual master delivers the materially afflicted world by extinguishing the blazing fire of material existence. I offer my respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of such a spiritual master, who is an ocean of auspicious qualities.


mahaprabhoh kirtana-nrtya-gita-

vaditra-madyan-manaso rasena

romanca -kampasru-taranga-bhajo

vande guroh Sri-caranaravindam

Chanting the holy name, dancing in ecstasy, singing, and playing musical instruments, the spiritual master is always gladdened by the sankirtana movement of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Because he is relishing the mellows of pure devotion within his mind, sometimes his hair stands on end, he feels quivering in his body, and tears flow from his eyes like waves. I offer my respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of such a spiritual master.




yuktasya bhaktams ca niyunjato 'pi

vande guroh Sri-caranaravindam

The spiritual master is always engaged in the temple worship of Sri Sri Radha and Krishna. He also engages his disciples in such worship. They dress the Deities in beautiful clothes and ornaments, clean Their temple, and perform other similar worship of the Lord. I offer my respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of such a spiritual master.



svadv-anna-trptan hari-bhakta-sanghan

krtvaiva trptim bhajatah sadaiva

vande guroh Sri-caranaravindam

The spiritual master is always offering Krishna four kinds of delicious food [analyzed as that which is licked, chewed, drunk, and sucked]. When the spiritual master sees that the devotees are satisfied by eating bhagavat-prasada, he is satisfied. I offer my respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of such a spiritual master.


Sri-radhika-madhavayor apara-

madhurya-lila guna-rupa-namnam


vande guroh Sri-caranaravindam

The spiritual master is always eager to hear and chant about the unlimited conjugal pastimes of Radhika and Madhava, and Their qualities, names, and forms. The spiritual master aspires to relish these at every moment. I offer my respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of such a spiritual master.


nikunja-yuno rati-keli-siddhyai

ya yalibhir yuktir apeksaniya

tatrati-daksyad ati-vallabhasya

vande guroh Sri-caranaravindam

The spiritual master is very dear, because he is expert in assisting the gopis, who at different times make different tasteful arrangements for the perfection of Radha and Krishna's conjugal loving affairs within the groves of Vrndavana. I offer my most humble obeisances unto the lotus feet of such a spiritual master.


saksad-dharitvena samasta-Sastrair

uktas tatha bhavyata eva sadbhih

kintu prabhor yah priya eva tasya

vande guroh Sri-caranaravindam

The spiritual master is to be honored as much as the Supreme Lord, because he is the most confidential servitor of the Lord. This is acknowledged in all revealed scriptures and followed by all authorities. Therefore I offer my respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of such a spiritual master, who is a bona fide representative of Sri Hari [Krishna].


yasya prasadad bhagavat-prasado

yasyaprasadan na gatih kuto 'pi

dhyayan stuvams tasya yaSas tri-sandhyam

vande guroh Sri-caranaravindam

By the mercy of the spiritual master one receives the benediction of Krishna. Without the grace of the spiritual master, one cannot make any advancement. Therefore, I should always remember and praise the spiritual master. At least three times a day I should offer my respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of my spiritual master.




There lived a Sage, who was very pious and was doing penance for the interest of mankind. By caste, he was a Brahmin. Lord Krishna was very pleased with his penance and asked him for any boon. Sage Uttanga told Him that he was desireless and he did not want anything, but Lord Krishna insisted for some boon to be granted to him as a reward to his penance. As Lord Krishna insisted, the latter asked for a boon that whenever he was in need of water (and since this area is a desert area) and whenever he felt thirsty, water may be provided to him. Lord Krishna granted him the boon and disappeared.


One day, the Sage Uttanga after walking for a long distance in the desert area felt thirsty, but there was no trace of water. Then he remembered that the Lord Krishna had granted him a boon that he would find water. The moment this thought was within his mind, he saw a hunter dressed in torn rags accompanied by furious dog, carrying water in a leather pouch and asked him, "Sir, would you like to have some water." Looking at the apparent condition of the hunter, being a staunch Brahmin, the Sage felt repelled. He politely refused "No, Thank you." The hunter again approached him for the water, but in utter disgust and in anger the Sage told the hunter to go away and that he was not interested in the water. The hunter and the dogs disappeared. Witnessing this, he realized that it must be God, who disguised Himself and came to quench his thirst. He felt hurt how Lord Krishna could send water to me through a scheduled caste. How could He expect a Brahmin to accept and drink water from the leather pouch?


Meantime, Lord Krishna appeared, smiled and asked him: "Do you know who was the Chandala? I had asked the Indra Devta to fetch the water, who instead of water, had actually brought nectar to make you immortal, but on one condition to test whether you could see the Divinity in all. Hence I allowed him to do so."


Sage Uttanga understood how he was failed in the test. It was his Ego, which made him refuse the nectar, which came in the form of water and through Indra Devta.


When Sages like Uttanga could fail when tested, what are we? Are we capable and fully equipped to understand the Leela or Maya of God? We, therefore, have to be constantly on guard and develop sharp sense to understand the real meaning of life, and stay away from our ego.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Upcoming events with Acharya Vamadeva and Yogini Shambhavi:

Upcoming events with Acharya Vamadeva and Yogini Shambhavi:

August 19-21: Toronto Yoga Festival - Toronto, Ontario, Canada: Dr. Frawley and Yogini Shambhavi will give a series of keynote talks and classes on Yoga, Shakti, Ayurveda, Vedic Astrology and Hinduism as part of an important conference featuring a number of important speakers and teachers from throughout the world and from Canada.

September 9-11: Omega Institute, Awakening Yoga Shakti - Awaken the cosmic forces of Shiva and Shakti that pervade the universe, and discover your innate powers of health, balance, and transformation. Vedic scholar and teacher David Frawley (Pandit Vamadeva Shastri) and Yogini Shambhavi Chopra share secrets of the spiritual sciences of Tantra, yoga, Ayurveda, and Vedic astrology to awaken your yogic energy from within and allow the perception, development, and understanding of all your higher potentials.

Our Special Upcoming Retreats in India and Hawaii-----
Dec. 12-19: Hawaiian Yoga Shakti Program - Kauai, Hawaii: A special retreat at a beautiful newly opened private Kerala style retreat center on Kauai's beautiful North Shore. Limited to twenty people in Kerala style rooms. Special interaction with Vamadeva and Shambhavi and visits to sacred sites on the island and the Na Pali coast. Ayurvedic treatments available. Will be our first Yoga Shakti retreat in the United States and will reflect the same teachings and practices as our India programs.

March 7-13, 2012: Fifth Annual Ma Ganga Yoga Shakti Retreat - Rishikesh, India. Now open for early registration (Retreat Registration Form). At Neemrana resort fifteen miles north of Rishikesh with private access to the Ganga. Will include the beautiful Hindu festival of Holi (festival of colors) celebrated on the river itself as well as a day off for river rafting on the Ganga, along with classes, rituals, mantra and meditation to connect with the Shiva and Shakti energies of this region that is the homeland of classical Raja Yoga. Daily Ganga meditations and rituals.

March 13-21, 2012: Yogini Yantra Sacred Himalayan Tour - Ranikhet, India (near Almora). Now open for early registration (Yatra Registration Form). Guided pilgrimage to special temples and sacred sites in the Kumaon Himalayas seldom visited by westerners, including Jageshwar Shiva complex, Dunagiri Durga temple and Mahavatar Babaji's cave, along with special teachings from Vamadeva and Shambhavi on Yoga, Vedanta, Tantra and Vedic astrology, with special rituals, mantras and initiations into Shiva and Shakti worship.

For additional information visit

Programs with Yogi Baba Prem:

Raksha Bandhana Full Moon August 13th 7:00 pm
Raksha Bandhana is common in Northern India and is a celebration. It is a celebration of brothers and sister (spiritual as well) and Santoshi Ma (the mother of contentment). This program also includes sacred strings for all participants.

Exploring the Rudram Part 1. August 24th
For the first time, Yogi Baba Prem will provide commentary on select sections of the Rudram. A very important Rudra/Shiva mantra. Learn why this mantra is important and practical selections from the Rudram. This is the first part of a multipart program. Each program is independent and attendance in all programs is not required.

Exploring the Rudram Part 2. September 7th 7:00 pm THIS PROGRAM IS ONLINE.
For the first time, Yogi Baba Prem will provide commentary on select sections of the Rudram. A very important Rudra/Shiva mantra. Learn why this mantra is important and practical selections from the Rudram. This is the first part of a multipart program. Each program is independent and attendance in all programs is not required.

Vedic Study Group "Wisdom from the Vedic Teachings" 6-week Program
September 6th, 13th, 20, 27th. Oct. 4th and 11th. 7:30 pm THIS PROGRAM IS ONLINE.
Yogi Baba Prem will explore the Vedic wisdom left for humanity by the ancient teachers. Learn important chants, philosophy and depth of the teachings of the Vedic teachings.

For more information visit

Thursday, August 4, 2011




Swami Vivekananda was a man of great wisdom. He was mature enough to meet any challenge that came before him, however serious it might have been. One of his stories is worth quoting.


His Christian friend, intending to test the Swami's mettle, invited him to his house where he seated him in a room, opposite a table on which lay piled, one on top of other, sacred books of major world religions.


They were placed in such an order that the Bhagavad Gita was at the bottom and the Bible was right on top. Would Vivekananda get provoked, the host wondered.


But before his guest could say anything, the host pointed towards the books and asked: "Swamiji what is your comment on this arrangement?"


Swamiji smiled gently and said: "The foundation is really good."

Wednesday, August 3, 2011




The famous Polish pianist Ignacy Paderewski agreed to play a concert organized by two Stanford University students working their way through school. Paderewski's manager said they would have to guarantee the artist a fee of $2,000. The boys agreed and eventually the concert was held.


Tough the two student promoters worked hard, they took in only S1,600. Discouraged, they told Paderewski of their efforts and handed him the $1,600 with a note promising to pay him the balance $400. But the artist tore up the note and gave them back the $1,600. "Take your expenses out of this," he said, "give yourselves each 10% of what's left for your work, and let me have the rest."


Years later, Paderewski was faced with feeding the people of his war ravaged Poland. Amazingly, even before a request was made, thousands of tons of food were sent to Poland by United States.


Paderewski later travelled to Paris to thank Herbert Hoover, who headed up the US relief effort. "That's all right, Mr. Paderewski," said Hoover, "I knew that the need was great. And besides, though you may not remember it, I was one of two college students whom you generously helped when I was in need."


The story illustrates a law of successful living; sooner or later we will reap what we sow. Paderewski reaped a harvest of kindness he had sown years before. Those who sow love will eventually reap love. Those who sow goodness will reap even more. Those who sow fear and mistrust will reap an unwanted harvest later.


Tuesday, August 2, 2011




A man was walking along the street when he saw a beggar, blind, hungry and shivering from the cold, crying for alms. The passer-by simply turned their faces away from him.


The man became angry and said to God, "What kind of father are You that You allow such misery on earth? Why can't You do something about this?""


God's answer came to him, loud and clear, "I certainly did something. I made you!"


Attitude counts! Instead of blaming others, blaming ourselves or blaming God, let us face each situation squarely, and do the best we can!

Monday, August 1, 2011




There was an illustrious devotee in Guruvayur by name Poondhaanam. He was so devoted to the Lord that Lord Guruvayurappan would converse with him everyday.


In the same town, there was a person who was afflicted with a grave disease. Any medicine could not cure his disease and this made him a dejected individual. One day, he approached Poondhaanam and told him about his disease. He requested Poondhaanam to ask Sri Guruvayurappan if he would be cured of his disease.


That night, when Poondhanam spoke to Lord Guruvayurappan, he asked the Lord if the person's disease would be cured. The Lord told Poondhaanam that the disease would not be cured.


The next day, Poondhaanam met the ailing person and told him what the Lord had said. No sooner did he hear about Lord's word that he would not be cured than he burst into tears. He cried all day that even the Lord had forsaken him.


That was when he met Kroorammai.


Kroorammai was a very humble devotee of the Lord who hailed from a very poor family. Although she did not have any status in the society, she possessed special status in Sri Guruvayurappan's heart. Lord Guruvayurappan would talk to her regularly as He did to Poondhanam.


Kroorammai heard this person's story and assured him that she will take his case to the Lord. The next morning, with an enthusiastic mood she came down to greet the ailing person. She said, "The Lord spoke to me. When I asked Him about you, He has asked you to chant the Divine Names, 'Achyuta Anantha Govinda, continuously and your disease shall be cured!'


The ailing person's joy knew no bounds when he heard that he could be cured. He immediately caught hold of the Lord's instruction and chanted the Names incessantly. As the Lord had predicted, eventually, he was cured.


He went to the residence of Poondhaanam and told him what had happened. He said, 'You lied to me! Lord Guruvayurappan has indeed cured my disease!'


Poondhanam felt very sad on hearing this. He could not bear the allegation that he had lied. He wept to the Lord, 'Oh! Guruvayurappa! Was it not you who had told me that he would not be cured? Today, I am being blamed of uttering falsehood. Did I really utter a lie? Is this fair?' He kept crying at the feet of the Lord.


That night, Sri Guruvayurappan spoke to Poondhanam and pacified him. He said, "It was I who told you that he will not be cured. There is no doubt about it! You had come to me and bluntly posed a question that whether that ailing person will be cured or not, as one would do to an astrologer and I replied to you appropriately.


But what did Kroorammai do? She asked me, 'Oh! Guruvayurappa! Today a devotee came and asked me if his disease would be cured. Lord! with your grace, is there anything that is impossible in this world? Pray tell me what he should do to be cured!' and I told her the way!"


So often in prayer, we ask God for "easy things" which is usually a list of medical needs, or sustenance for people going through some form of loss or making some demands for God to fulfill . This demand list becomes longer and longer everyday and we get disappointed if they are not fulfilled.


But the most important prayer would be to ask God for His blessings and guidance and chanting His divine name and singing His praise simply because of our love or bhakti flowing towards Him. If we have this attitude, He would surely guide us. God definitely hears everyone of us and answers our wishes when we pray to Him sincerely.


So, whenever we chant the Lord's name and say our prayers, we should be careful of what we ask and also the right way to ask! We need to linger in our prayers, thinking over what we're asking, listening for the Lord's discernment and insight. The more we understand about prayer, the less disappointed we'll be.