The grand 84th Appearance Day Celebration of Om Vishnupad Paramahamsa-parivrajakacharyya-varyya astottara-sata-sri Srimad Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev Goswami Maharaja, one year anniversery of Sri Govinda Divya-vani Seva Ashram, and one year anniversery of Sriman Radha-Syama dasa brahmachari taking saffron from SCS Math Acaryya Srila B.K. Giri Maharaja
Photos taken by Indra Bandhu dasa and Radha-Syama dasa brahmachari. Writing and captions by Radha-Syama dasa.
Celebrating this first anniversary of the Sri Govinda Divya-vani Seva Ashram, and first year anniversary of Sriman Radha-Syama dasa brahmacari taking saffron from Srila Giri Maharaja, on this the auspicious Divine Appearance day of Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda-deva Gosvami Maharaja, Sri Govinda Ashram was filled with the wonderful sounds of seva, Hari-katha, sankirtana, and the satisfied hum of all present partaking of delightful prasadam.
The ashram was given the Name Sri Govinda Divya-vani Seva Ashram by Srila Giri Maharaja, Acaryya of SCS Math, and continues to aspire to serve the devotees in the Divine-line of Sri Sri Guru-Gauranga, following the nectarean wave of spiritual mercy of our Divine Master Srila Govinda Maharaja distributed by Srila Giri Maharaja, while further aspiring to distribute His Divine Grace’s mercy to the devotees and public, in Salem, Oregon and abroad.
Beginning Saturday the public restroom, kitchen, main room and alter space were cleaned by Radha-Syama dasa brahmacari and Indra Bandhu dasa. The bathroom and kitchen floor were stripped by hand and then polished, and the main room and alter space which has wood flooring was also polished; participating in this seva was Radha-Syama prabhu, Indra Bandhu prabhu, and bhakta Ben. Flowers were prepared for decorating the alter and alter room, and the Lord’s plate, by Radha-Syama dasa.
The morning program included sankirtana, a lecture on the Guru-parampara and sampradaya by Radha-Syama dasa, and prasadam. The morning meal was prepared and offered by Indra Bandhu dasa. The morning program was attended by Radha-Syam dasa, Indra Bandhu dasa, and bhakta-Ben having moved into the ashram this auspicious weekend from Aumsville, OR, to take up the path of bhakti-yoga.
The evening festivities were further attended by the servants of the Sri Govinda Ashram, some local friends and supporters of the Ashram, and Anuradha devi dasi and her son Krsna dasa arrived from Eugene, OR who are initiates of Srila Govinda Maharaja. The evening program included a sweet lecture via Skype to all those in attendance, the laptop seated next to Srila Govinda Maharaja’s Vyasasana, and technically assisted by Indra Bandhu prabhu. Also in attendance was Lila Sundari devi dasi accompanying Srila Giri Maharaja on camera. The program also included sankirtana, prasadam, and the offering of flowers and laksmi by guests and disciples. The evening prasadam was prepared by Radha-Syama dasa, and included: sakh, aloo-gobi, saffron white basmati rice, strawberry-guava nectar, dahl, and barbeque maple soy strips with smoked cheese; Radha-Syam dasa and Anuradha devi dasi distributed the prasadam to the guests and then disciples. The kitchen clean up and dish cleaning was done by bhakta Ben. Josh Likens swept the ashram floor (after offering a flower to Srila Govinda Maharaja and making an offering of laksmi).
One of two highlights of the celebration were the lecture by Srila Giri Maharaja including talking about our Guru-vargha, parampara, and sampradaya, as well as sweet remembrances of the pastimes of Srila Govinda Maharaja. During this lecture Radha-Syam prabhu, Indra Bandhu prabhu, and Anuradha devi also expressed their remembrances about their Gurudeva Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda-deva Gosvami Maharaja, and Krsna dasa also participated in the Skype chat, having some interactions with Srila Giri Maharaja and Lila Sundari devi.
Another highlight of the weekend was the attendance of bhakta Ben who moved in this auspicious weekend seeking shelter at the lotus feet of our Gurudeva Srila Giri Maharaja. He moved in Saturday and was promptly cleaned up by Sriman Radha-Syam dasa brahmacari prabhu who first cut his hair, had him bathe, showed him how to put on a dhoti and kurta (provided by Indra Bandhu prabhu), and how to apply tilak. After this there was further discussion on ashram rules and a continuation of previous discussion with bhakta Ben concerning the Rupanuga-Gaudiya-Vaisnava disciplic succession and Guru-tattva by Radha-Syam dasa, and further ashram rules and advice were added by Indra Bandhu dasa.
Bhakta Ben is preparing to fly to the lotus feet of Sri Sri Guru-Gauranga soon, to meet Srila Giri Maharaja in New Jersey, while training up on Vaisnava etiquette with the servants of the Sri Govinda Divya-vani Seva Ashram who are also aspiring to be disciples of the SCS Math under the auspicious, merciful, and nectarean guardianship of Srila Giri Maharaja.
(The following pictures are in chronological order from Friday evening cleaning the public bathroom, Saturday’s cleaning of the Sri Govinda Ashram, and Sunday festivities.)
Sriman Indra Bandhu dasa cleaning the public toilet.
Indra Bandhu dasa diving deep into reality… of service.
Indra Bandhu dasa cleaning the public shower.
Bhakta Ben receiving first sikha from Sriman Radha-Syama dasa brahmachari.
Radha-Syama prabhu methodically trimming the weeds.
Bhakta Ben sits patiently practicing tolerance, humility, and respect.
Radha-Syama dasa helping bhakta Ben make a gentle approach to Gurudeva.
Getting the sikha just right.
Showing sincerity a disciple should cut their hair into a sikha for initiation.
Getting around the ears.
The beard has to go too.
Yep, not close enough.
Radha-Syama dasa shaves bhakta Ben with a razor.
A crowning achievement.
Bhakta Ben is blissed out to receive a close shave.
All shaved up and… feeling groovy.
Radha-Syama prabhu assists by teaching bhakta Ben to put on dhoti and kurta.
Bhakta Ben checking out his new work uniform.
Not complete without a new Tulasi necklace.
Bhakta Ben thinking, “where’s the service, I’m too clean!”
Radha-Syama prabhu helping bhakta Ben apply tilak.
Ganges water and just the right finger will do it.
A gentle touch.
Radha-Syama prabhu describing the shastra in the library to bhakta Ben.
Bhakta Ben gets the tour of rare SCS Math scripture from his personal but public library.
Bhakta Ben taking note.
Bhakta Ben hears from Radha-Syama prabhu about a gradation of theism.
The gradation of Divine Aspiration!
Wow, this is wonderful!
Yeah, it’s wonderful!
Check this out, The Search for Sri Krishna!
Have you heard of Positive and Progressive Immortality!
This is Sri Sri Prapanna-jivanamrtam.
Indra Bandhu prabhu lays down some house rules and shares stories.
Radha-Syama dasa and bhakta Ben circumabulate the Sri Govinda Ashram.
Bhakta Ben has finally made it home.
Radha-Syama prabhu laying down some house rules, “don’t burn down the kitchen!”
Radha-Syama das and bhakta Ben by the industrial sewing machine.
Radha-Syama prabhu explains to bhakta Ben more about Pancha-tattva, six Gosvamis, and our Guru-vargha.
Srila Giri Maharaja!
Radha-Syama prabhu unveiling the Divinity of our Guru-parampara!
Bhakta Ben hand stripping the kitchen floor to be polished for the festival.
Some muscle and attention to detail.
Indra Bandhu dasa hand stripping the kitchen also.
Indra Bandhu dasa putting his back into it.
Indra Bandhu dasa not cutting corners.
Indra Bandhu dasa putting in the extra effort.
Radha-Syama dasa setting an example.
Radha-Syama dasa putting his back into it also.
Radha-Syama prabhu showing the SCS Math logo means to do service.
Radha-Syama dasa preparing flowers for offerings and decorations.
Radha-Syama dasa making the cut.
Radha-Syama dasa decorating the alter.
The alter is decorated:)
Jaya Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Deva Gosvami Maharaja
Radha-Syama prabhu gives morning and daytime lectures after sankirtana.
Bhakta Ben beside Srila Govinda Maharaja’s vyasasana.
Indra Bandhu dasa sitting beside his Gurudeva.
Bhakta Ben and Indra Bandhu dasa together.
Sri Govinda Ashram pictures and decorations for festival.
Indra Bandhu dasa and guests listen to Srila Giri Maharaja during Skype video lecture.
Anuradha devi dasi, Josh Likens, and Christine Campbell get in on the wonderful video lecture.
Bhakta Ben cleaning up kitchen and dishes after honoring prasadam.
Tulasi Maharani with flower offering.
Disciples and guests offer flowers at the lotus feet of Srila Govinda Maharaja, jaya!