Why is a site that features the kirtans and lectures of Indradyumna Swami named narottam.com?
Narottama das Thakur was a 15th century Gaudiya Vaisnava saint who, as a child, bathed in the Padmavati River in the exact spot where Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu had deposited His prema. From the point of this divine bathing, Narottama was overwhelmed with ecstatic love for Krishna and was especially empowered to spread that love everywhere.
Narottama das Thakur is well known for arranging the first Kheturi Mahotsava, or the first “Gaura Purnima” festival in honor of the appearance day of Shri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. He is also well known for his mellifluous, bhakti-laden bhajans and kirtans. In fact, when he sang kirtan at the Kheturi festival, it’s described that his chanting was so pure and prema-imbued that Mahaprabhu Himself, along with His associates appeared and joined in the ecstatic kirtan.
Ever since meeting his Spiritual Master, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (Srila Prabhupada), Indradyumna Swami has been engaged in the attempt to spread his Guru’s message throughout the world, the very same message that Narottama das Thakur was distributing: the blissful sankirtan movement of Lord Caitanya.
In one of his diaries (Volume 5, Chapter 14), Indradyumna Swami states: “Narottam das Thakur is a great source of inspiration for me. He’s a great preacher and a deeply realized devotee. He’s one of my heroes. I often think of him while preaching his message in western countries.”
Like Narottama das Thakur, Indradyumna Swami is often associated with the grand festival programs he has organized in the past: the Polish Tour, the Sadhu Sanga Kirtan Retreat in the United States, and most recently the Discover India Tour in the United States. With these festivals, and other large-scale programs, like the Kartik Parikrama Program, Indradyumna Swami not only teaches the nonsectarian philosophy of the Bhagavad Gita in a way that people can relate, but he also engages the masses in blissful kirtan, just like Narottama das Thakur did some 450 years ago.
This website of Indradyumna Swami’s is a humble attempt to preserve, share, and inspire everyone with the timeless message of the sankirtan movement of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, as distributed by His followers like Narottama das Thakur, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, and the disciples of these personalities, such as Indradyumna Swami. Narottam.com serves as a one-stop collection of the lectures and kirtans by Indradyumna Swami and his associates, to document his activities as he travels all over the world in service to Srila Prabhupada.
The Importance of Hearing
Sound has great potency, even in a material context. We hear a siren, and we are immediately anxious. We hear a child’s laughter, and we are immediately at ease and experience joy. So how much more potent, then, is spiritual sound?
One foundational teaching that Indradyumna Swami is often reiterating in his lectures is that we understand and “see” the realm of the metaphysical—the Supreme and His abode—through hearing. We begin in spiritual life by engaging in the basics of sadhana-Bhakti, via chanting the Hare Krishna Maha Mantra, hearing transcendental discourses, honoring prasadam, and offering the results of our actions in life to the Supreme, all via Guru. Yet, we learn of these basic practices first by hearing from liberated souls who have divya-jnana, transcendental knowledge. Indradyumna Swami often explains how with these basic practices which purify the body, senses, mind, intellect, and consciousness, we can more readily determine what is actual knowledge, who possesses it, how to access it, and ultimately, how to apply that knowledge gained via hearing in active devotional service.
In one of Indradyumna Swamis classes, he spoke on the power of transcendental sound vibration. His class was inspired by the 22nd verse of the fourth chapter of the Vedanta Sutra, in which it is stated that one is freed (“not fenced in”), by transcendental sound. Indradyumna Swami goes on to explain that actually, we are liberated from material life by hearing transcendental sound: sabda brahma. By contrast, repeated hearing of mundane sounds, which are almost unlimited, condition and bind us to matter. In the class, Indradyumna Swami uses the example of starting the day by listening to a melancholy song versus an upbeat positive song or versus listening to a heated political debate. Those different sounds enter our consciousness and change it. So does transcendental sound and discourse.
Why is sabda brahma, transcendental sound, particularly powerful and liberating?
In his class, Indradyumna Swami quotes from Narottama das Thakur’s bhajan “Hari hari! Bifale” the line “golokera prema-dhana, hari-nāma-saṅkīrtana”. This line, Indradyumna Swami explains, indicates that the sankirtan movement and the Hare Krsna Maha Mantra (the great chant for deliverance) has not come from this material creation. Scriptures and the Acaryas confirm that it has been imported from the spiritual world, and not just the spiritual world—but from the highest planet in the spiritual world, Goloka Vrindavan, where the Supreme Personality of Godhead is in His original form and engaging in pastimes with His devotees.
Indradyumna Swami emphasizes that we learn from the example of the Acaryas in our lineage. The six Goswamis of Vrindavan, for example, were so absorbed in chanting and realized in the meaning of the Maha Mantra that chanting is all they wished to do. They also maintained their bodies and wrote so many transcendental literatures, but Indradyumna Swamiemphasized that they were chanting the Maha Mantra 22 hours a day. Sound attaches us to matter, Indradyumna Swami concludes, but sound can also free us.
In this and other lectures, Indradyumna Swami notes that hearing, not just the Maha Mantra, but from the Spiritual Master and from the Sadhus is very important. Considering that sound vibration and hearing from bona fide spiritual authorities is so purifying for our consciousness, Indradyumna Swami wanted to make his lectures and kirtans accessible to one and all. Whether he is on Polish Tour, in Vrindavan for Kartik Parikrama, or at other temple and festival programs, Indradyumna Swami ensures that all of the lectures given will be recorded, as well as all the kirtans.
What will you find on narottam.com?
On this website, you will find the lectures of Indradyumna Swami covering topics like:
- The Guru-Disciple relationship
- Dedication to Guru
- How to maintain a service attitude
- The benefits of sincere surrender in spiritual life
- How to attract the Lord’s Mercy
- The glories of Sri Vrindavan Dhama
- Understanding the Siksastakam prayer of Lord Caitanya
- The Teachings of the Acaryas: Haridas Thakur, Jayadeva Goswami, the Six Goswamis, Srila Prabhupada, et al.
You will find lectures Indradyumna Swami has given at initiations, on the occasion of Vyasa Puja, at various festivals (like Polish Tour), in Vrindavan Dhama (as during Kartik Parikrama), and at various temples (for Srimad Bhagavatam classes and other classes).
You will also find the kirtans Indradyumna Swami has led at the Polish Tour, at various kirtan festivals around the world, and during his Kartik Parikrama programs, as well as the kirtans of many other devotees.
If you’d like to help out with transcribing Indradyumna Swami’s lectures, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to join the transcription team.
About Indradyumna Swami: His Holiness (Adapted from Indradyumna Swami is a disciple of A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada following in Lord Chaitanya’s disciplic line. He is a traveling preacher, a Sannyasi (a renounced monk), a spiritual master, a guide and a well wisher of the humanity. For the last 45 years he has been preaching extensively and dedicated his life in spreading the message of Love and Peace throughout the world.
Indradyumna Swami has been organizing festival programs in South Africa, Russia and especially in Poland (Festival of India as well as Woodstock festival) to help hundreds and thousands of people solve their personal and social problems by adopting the values of the ancient Vedic culture.
Some of Indradyumna Swami’s adventures in distributing the spiritual message of Love and Peace include the native tribes of the Amazon jungle, Zulus of South Africa and the gypsies of Siberia, Tsunami victims in Sri Lanka.
Every year hundreds of devotees from across the world come, participate and take pleasure from Indradyumna Swami’s spiritual tour of Holy places in India and in particular Vrindavan.
Indradyumna Swami has been helping many families across many countries, in leading happy and healthy married life. The care and love he shares with the children around the world is phenomenal and he dedicates special time for children in encouraging them to grow up in a peaceful environment by practicing spirituality, respecting the elders and in becoming good citizens.
Traveling extensively in many parts of the world, Indradyumna Swami happily shares his experiences and realizations with others in the form of his diary – Diary of a Traveling Monk which is available at www.travelingmonk.com.
About Srila Narottam Das Thakur: Srila Narottama Dasa Thakura is one of pure devotes in Lord Chaitanya’s disciplic line.The following excerpts from Indradyumna Swami’s Dairy Chapter 5.14 give a brief introduction of life and glory of Srila Narottam Das Thakur:
“Once while having kirtan with His associates in the village of Rama Keli, Lord Caitanya began calling out, “Narottam! Narottam! Narottam!” and fell to the ground unconscious. When He awoke He revealed that soon a great devotee named Narottam das would take birth and would be instrumental in carrying on His mission. Mahaprabhu told the devotees that He would deposit his prema (love of God) in the Padmavati, and at a certain time Narottam das would take bath there and attain pure love of God. Years later, when Narottam das was still a boy, he bathed in the exact spot where Mahaprabhu had deposited His prema and immediately he was overwhelmed with ecstatic love for Krsna. Imbued with that mercy, he was constantly floating in the ocean of love of God and was empowered to spread that love everywhere.
One of Narottam das Thakur’s major contributions was organizing the inaugural Gaura-purnima festival, the yearly observance of Lord Caitanya’s appearance, at Keturi, with many important Vaisnavas of the time attending, including Lord Nityananda’s wife, Jahnava mata. At that historic event, Narottam das Thakur installed six Deities – five Krsna Deities and one pure gold Lord Caitanya Deity.”
About Narottam.com: Narottam.com is a humble attempt to preserve, share, and inspire the World Wide Web community with this timeless message. This website intends to be a one-stop collection of Lectures/Kirtans, Videos and Photos of Indradyumna Swami following him in his travels all over the world.
As Indradyumna Swami says in Dairy Chapter 5.14: “Narottam das Thakur is a great source of inspiration for me. He’s a great preacher and a deeply realized devotee. He’s one of my heroes. I often think of him while preaching his message in western countries.”
We dedicate this website as an offering unto Lotus feet of Srila Narottam Das Thakur to inspire everyone with his message as delivered by his dear most follower.