Prem Prayojan due in Auckland next week
Auckland, January 4, 2017
If you believe that you are at crossroads of life and seek the meaning and purpose of life, you should attend a series of talks to be delivered by one of the foremost masters of Bhakti Yoga.
Prem Prayojan, an expert in Vedic literature, will speak on various aspects of the Bhakti Movement and Bhakti Yoga, being organised in Auckland, Raglan, Hamilton, Whangamata, Tauranga and Whangarei from January 14 to 29, 2017.
His visit and the lectures are being coordinated by Anupama Lowe of Caitanya Academy, Auckland, which is organising his visit and seminars with a number of volunteers and supporters in various parts of the country.
She can be contacted on (09) 8172547. Further information can also be obtained on Facebook- Prema Bhakti Festival New Zealand.
A distinguished disciple of Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Goswami (in the Gaudiya Vaishnava succession of Srila Rupa Goswami and Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu), Prayojan lives in Vrindavan (or Brindavan), a town in the Mathura District of Uttar Pradesh (India) where Lord Krishna is believed to have spent his childhood.
A globetrotter, Prayojan has been a strong advocate of the Bhakti Yoga, and his ability to articulate Vedic thoughts with anecdotes, similes and humour has enabled hundreds of thousands of people to discover their inner selves. His talks and seminars held in Australia, Italy, New Zealand, Russia, Spain, Switzerland and other European countries have been a great source of knowledge for people of all faiths.
A note from Ms Lowe said that Prem Prayojan shares his extensive knowledge of Vedic literature in an enlivening way, holding people in rapt attention.
His sublime kirtans and illuminating seminars have the power to reach into the heart and intellect and awaken the desire to ask, Who am I and what is my purpose? He is able to reach across different faiths and religious practices, finding the similarities between them and asking the question: What is our motivation?
Prayojan says: Whats our motivation? If you go to a Christian Church on a cold day, of course, you will probably be wearing a hat, but as you enter the Church, you must take it off. It is a sign of respect. But if you go to a Sikh Gurdwara, if you do not have a head covering, they will give you one before you enter the precincts. Why? Does that mean the Christian respect for God and the Sikh respect for God are different? The principle of respect is the same; it is only expressed in a different way one by putting on the hat and the other by taking it off. So, we do not want to get lost in the details, we only want to ask the question Why are you doing what you are doing? The motivation.
Ms Lowe said that Prayojan has translated several books from Sanskrit to English and conducts spiritual tours of holy places in and around Vrindavan, Navadvipa, (a City known as the Oxford of the East in the Nadia District of West Bengal) and other parts of India.
The Spiritual Practice
Indias Vedic faith describes Bhakti Yoga as a Spiritual Practice, cultivating love and devotion towards God, sans expectation of the Divine Reward or the fear of the Divine Punishment.
Hindus consider Bhakti Yoga the easiest way to attain a spiritually liberated state, because its practice is not as rigorous as most other yogic schools and does not prescribe sainthood.
The origins of Bhakti can be seen in the Upanishads, specifically the Shvetashvatara Upanishad.
The Bhagavad Gita and the Puranas are important scriptures that expound the philosophy of Bhakti Yoga.
This format is followed by different branches of Hinduism including followers of Shaivism (worshippers of Lord Shiva), Vaishnavism (worshippers of Lord Vishnu) and Shaktism (worshippers of Goddess Shakti in the form of Parvathi, Lakshmi, Saraswathi, Kali and others).
The Bhagavata Purana teaches nine primary forms of Bhakti, as explained by Prahlada, one of the greatest worshippers of Lord Vishnu.
They are 1. Sravana (listening to the scriptural stories of Lord Krishna) 2. Krtana (praising God through group singing) 3. Visnoh Smarana (Focusing the mind on Lord Vishnu) 4. Pda-Sevana (rendering service) 5. Aradhana (worshipping an image) 6. Vandana (paying homage) 7. Dsya (servitude) 8. Skhya (friendship) and 9. Atma-Nivedana (complete surrender of the self).
Swami Sivananda Saraswati, a great proponent of Vedanta, said that Bhakti softens the heart and removes jealousy, hatred, lust, anger, egoism, pride and arrogance.
It infuses joy, divine ecstasy, bliss, peace and knowledge. All cares, worries and anxieties, fears, mental torments and tribulations entirely vanish. The devotee is freed from the Samsaric wheel of births and deaths. He or she attains the immortal abode of everlasting peace, bliss and knowledge.
The goal in the practice of Bhakti Yoga is to reach the state of rasa (essence), a feeling of pure bliss achieved in the devotional surrender to the Divine.