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Monday, August 14, 2017

Gokulashtami 2017



Dear Members:




Sri Krishna Janmaashtami also known as Gokulaashtami is one of the most widely celebrated Avatar days in Sanaatanic vedic traditions. Smaarthas celebrate the Gokulashtami (here Ashtami of the Chaandramaana month - Sravana is the deciding factor for the celebration, and so, the 8th day after upaakarma would be Gokulashtami by smaartha traditions), while Sri Vaishnavaas (of Shri Raamaanujaachariyar lineage) celebrate it as Sri Jayanthi where the star Rohini is the deciding factor, and they observe it per Solar calendar (where Sun must be in Simha rashi).  The typical consideration is the operation of the deciding factors described above at the time of midnight - though some take the evening time for reckoning. So, there could be some differences in the dates on which Lord Krishna's birthday is celebrated by followers of different sects of Sanaatana Dharma - like Smaartas, Shri Vaishnavas (Pancharaatra and Vaikaanasa aagamic celebrations sometimes differ even among shri vaishnavas).

This year, Gokulashtami is to be observed by those in India (Smaartha traditions) on August 14, 2017.  Those observing Vaishnava traditions observe it on September 13, 2017.  Interestingly, even in Vaishnava traditions, Tirumala temple observes Shri Jayanthi this year on August 15, 2017, and Udupi vattaindi celebration (connected to Shri Krishna leelas celebration on His Jayanthi day) will be today only:)  So, people may follow their respective Aachaaryas/ traditional Mutt affiliations while observing Shri Krishna's Jayanthi celebrations.  For the Supreme Lord Who took Avatar as Krishna - all these will be acceptable (as long as the observance of the austerity is per any of the accepted criteria per one's lineage):)

Lord Krishna's avatar leelas are a live example of a karma yogic path - complete detachment from the results and perfect performance of one's duties as per one's station in life. Remembrance of how He playfully enacted various leelas and in the process decimated demonaic forces in various garbs is sure to inspire us to achieve great things in life. He taught us the efficacy of "effortless perfection". His Bhagavad Geeta is a magnum opus that can be a friend, philosopher, guide, counsellor, all rolled into one - it carries the essence of the whole Upanishadic Wisdom.

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The following are some of the charities/ meritorious religious deeds that you can do on this day to get His Grace......






  • Those who follow religious traditions in the family will perform a sampradaayic pooja to Shri Krishna on the above days as per their traditions.


  • Recital of Gopika Geetam, Gopala Hrudayam, portions of Bhagavad Geeta, etc. will be auspicious on this day.


  • Those who are initiated into Gopala mantra may recite it number of times today praying for Universal Welfare (for propogation of Dharmic principles and for subjugation of evil forces in various forms).


  • Do what you can to promote the welfare of cows in your locality (by contributing what little you can to organizations that are involved in providing shelter to aged cows), as this is sure to bring His Grace to you.


  • Offer respects to children - if possible, try to bring happiness to at least one child in a destitute home.


  • Try to honour scholars who are involved in propogating the doctrine of Bhagavat Geeta or other vedic principles of living. If possible try to donate copies of the Holy Bhagavad Geeta to some children or aspirants thereby contributing to the spread of the Doctrine.


  • Try to contribute at least some amount to vedic scholars who are involved in performing various homams/ yagnas throughout the year for the welfare of the Universe (the donation can be to any scholar who in your opinion is performing such acts in your locality, or to any respectable Pandit anywhere in the world).


  • Try to select one slokha from Bhagavad Geeta and let that verse be your guiding principle in all activities throughout the year (This is putting philosophy in action and is sure to win you His Grace).




You need not worry if you are currently not in an economically sound position to grant liberally to charities or scholars. Lord Krishna was satisfied beyond words on the soulful offering of just "aval" (flattened puffed rice) from His poor friend KusElaa! What you offer does not matter to Him....it only matters whether you are offering it with Devotion. Recital of kusEla Charitra from Srimad Bhaagavatam is sure to bring prosperity to you.




Our paaraayanam group members may listen to audio recitals on Shri Krishna or Naaraayana from our group - listening to hymns is as efficacious as actual recital of the hymns. Especially, the hymn "Naaraayanam  Bhaje....." and "Guruvaayurappan Pancharatnam" are very powerful hymns that can be found in our files section.




Sri Krishna Paadaaravindam sadaa smaraamii


Krishnam VandE Jagat Gurum.


Blessed be.


Pandit R. DAKSHINAMOORTHI.

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