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Gaudiya

touchstone

The Magazine of Sri Narasingha Chaitanya Ashram Premier Issue

Consciousness is not just an issue for biologists; it’s a problem for physics.

Muddy Universe

page - 39


Gaudiya

touchstone

“As soon as a single person will have conceived the sincere desire of undertaking the promulgation of the tidings of the Gaudiya literature to the peoples of the world, he is thereby enrolled among the agents of divine mercy with power to forward the fulfillment of this expressed wish of the Supreme Lord.� (Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura)


Senior Editor

Swami Narasingha

Associate Editors

Swami Giri Swami Srirupa Madhava

Science Editor

Swami Vishnu

Layout and Design

Rasikananda Gaura-Gopala Daruka

Art Department

Dhira-lalita

Photography

Rupanuga Gaura-Gopala Daruka Swami Giri Satyaraja Kirtanananda

Webmasters

Advaita Acharya Kirtanananda


Contents 01

Editorial

02

Griha Pravesha Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Goswami Prabhupada

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Religiosity Srila A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

20

Pandita Sri Gadadhara Goswami Srila Bhakti Rakshaka Sridhara Deva Goswami Maharaja

27

Raga-patha is Above All Swami Narasingha

39

Muddy Universe Robert Lanza MD

47

Quantum Consciousness Kingsley Dennis ph.D

51

Swami Sadananda Interview - Dasadasanudasa Kishordas & Kalakanthidasi

75

What is Rasa? Swami Sadananda

85

The Ideal Vaishnavi Dhira-lalita

105 113

Indica

129

Words of Wisdom

135

Culinary Magic

145

Poem

Art


Editorial W

elcome to the world of the electronic magazine and the premiere issue of Gaudiya Touchstone. To bring the knowledge of Krishna consciousness to the world with the least environmental impact as possible is our goal. Since the invention of the printing press a flood of books and magazines have inundated the world, contributing to the destruction of forests everywhere, but for the rarest exceptions, with very little spiritual benefit to Earth’s residents. The Gaudiya Touchstone electronic magazine is now available to you tri-annually, bringing you interesting and spiritually inspiring articles from an age old tradition of Krishna consciousness, but in a new dress. In our premiere issue there are ten articles, the cover story being Muddy Universe wherein consciousness as the cause of the universe is discussed from a scientific point of view by leading scientist Robert Lanza. Other articles of interest from our archives are those by Saraswati Thakura, Swami B.R. Sridhar and A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. In this issue and future issues of Gaudiya Touchstone you will be pleased to find articles on Vaishnava philosophy, science, archaeology, biographies, interviews, history, culture, art, music, tidbits of practical wisdom, photography, culinary magic and more. All this promises to make the Gaudiya Touchstone an interesting and inspiring read. The editors of Gaudiya Touchstone will try to bring you something of interest and profound spiritual benefit with every issue and we invite you journey with us in this new adventure. Literary contributions are also invited from those who harmonize with the objectives of the Gaudiya Touchstone and who would like to see this publication flourish. Sincerely, Swami Narasingha


G a u d i y a To u c h s t o n e

Griha-pravesha Entering the New House

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Goswami Prabhupada On the morning of Friday, April 10, 1931, Sriyukta Nitya-Gopala Ghosh Mahashaya, one of the most important helpers of the preachers of Sri Gaudiya Matha, who has great faith in the Vaishnavas and who is dedicated to the Holy Name of the Lord, having finished constructing his new home, sanctified it with the foot dust of His Divine Grace Om Vishnupada Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Goswami Prabhupada, only entering it after the Guru and his pure Vaishnava servants. Those who perform griha-pravesha, following the rituals of the materialistic karma-kanda Smarta paddhatis, certainly fall down into the dark well of materialistic household life; but that householder who reject such common conceptions and is always entertaining spiritual topics, maintaining a mood of humility and submission, always inviting the paramahamsa mahabhagavata and the pure devotees to his home and filling his new home with hari-bhajana benefits his town and indeed the whole world.


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For this purpose, filled with causeless mercy, the saviour of the fallen Sri Srila Prabhupada and his associates stepped into the home of Sriyukta Nitya-Gopala Ghosh Mahashaya and spoke hari-katha and performed kirtana with the understanding that entering a spiritually surcharged house and entering the matha are non-different. In this place Srila Prabhupada manifested some ambrosial instructions. That morning, Srimad Ananta Vasudeva Paravidyabhusana B.A,Sriyukta Haripada Vidyaratna MA. BL. and Pandita Sriyukta Pramoda-bhushana Chakravarti Pratnavidyalankara Mahashaya performed sankirtana for the satisfaction of Gauranga. At the request of Sri Srila Prabhupada, the Gaudiya editor Sripada Sundarananda Vidyavinoda Prabhu read and explained the precepts of the duties of grihastha-ashrama from the Srimad Bhagavatam, 4th Canto, 22nd Chapter, wherein Maharishi Sanat-kumara’s gives instructions to Maharaja Prithu. That same day in the evening, Sri Srila Prabhupada and his associates came to the home of parama-bhagavata Sriyukta Nitya-Gopala Ghosh Mahashaya and delivered instructions concerning the griha-pravesha performed by the spiritually minded householder. At that time we had the chance to hear that and we consider ourselves to be most fortunate. We have published some of that here.

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B

y the powerful association of the representatives of a paramahamsa, one removes the risk of falling into the dark well of family life and the same powerful association with liberated family members allows one to become a paramarthikagrihastha. When one does not constantly deliberate upon Srimad bhakta-bhagavata and Srimad grantha-bhagavata, then there can be no auspiciousness in that house. Those who do not live every moment by the mercy of the Bhagavata, will not be able to understand the meaning of the two instructions of Sri Gaurasundara – these two commandments serve as a guiding light towards the ultimate goal of life:

anasaktasya vishayan yatharham upayunjatah nirbandhah krishna-sambandhe yuktam vairagyam uchyate prapanchikataya buddhya hari-sambandhi-vastunah mumukshubhih parityago vairagyam phalgu kathyate Things should be accepted for the Lord’s service and not for one’s personal sense gratification. If one accepts something without attachment and accepts it because it is related to Krishna, one’s renunciation is called yukta-vairagya. When persons eager to achieve liberation renounce things that are related to the Supreme, though they are material, this is called incomplete renunciation. (Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu 2.253-542)

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Griha-pravesha is the duty of every Vaishnava, because the house will become conducive for hari-bhajana. It is not possible for those that follow griha-vratadharma. It is better to enter the house and make the vow that, “I shall serve Krishna.” It is incomparably better than those that follow futile monkeylike renunciation (markata-vairagya). Firstly, one who follows such useless renunciation is not a good sadhaka. If family life is favorable to hari-bhajana, then one should accept the grihastha-ashrama, and if family life is unfavorable then one should certainly reject the dark well of household life. If one shows aversion to family life simply to demonstrate the gymnastic feats of useless renunciates, then the rejection of household life will never be beneficial. It will only be a matter of a couple of days before such immature vairagis will fall down. There is no difference between entering a spiritual household and entering a matha; but do not mix the griha-pravesha of the griha-vrata and the griha-pravesha of the krishna-vrata together just as you would mix muri. Those that belong to the school of the griha-vrata cannot understand these words. For those whose life is governed by the Srimad Bhagavatam, their attachment to griha-vratadharma is completely destroyed. Those who enter household life following the laws of the external world will be increasingly absorbed in griha-vratadharma. Just as the acceptance of the sannyasa-ashrama is most essential for the Lord’s devotees, similarly entering the grihastha-ashrama and griha-pravesha are also essential for the Lord’s devotees. Griha-pravesha should only be performed by the Lord’s devotees, the nondevotees should not perform it. When the Lord’s devotee performs the griha-pravesha, we should understand that he has actually entered his matha. Performing griha-pravesha is for creating a conducive environment to constantly serve Krishna. Collecting more than necessary (atyahara), over endeavoring (praya), gossiping (prajalpa), neglecting the scriptural injunctions (niyamagraha), bad association (jana-sanga) and mental restlessness (laulyam) – a spiritually minded householder should always keep these things far away. With enthusiasm (utsaha), determination (nishchaya), patience (dhairya) he

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should constantly cultivate such various divisions of bhakti such as hearing and chanting etc; he should completely reject female association which is not according to scriptural law, association with those who are attached to women and those who are dominated by a feminine nature and he should abandon the bad association of non-devotees of Krishna. He should perform his activities by following the virtuous examples of Prithu, Ambarisha and other mahajanas, all his ordinary and spiritual activities should be done while cultivating a favorable mood of hari-seva. The spiritually minded householder should curb the impulses of speech, mind, anger, tongue, stomach and genitals. That man who is totally indifferent to all the instructions given in Sri Upadeshamrita and is obsessed with household affairs almost has the nature of an animal. He deviates from grihastha-dharma and becomes firmly attached to griha-vrata-dharma. “I will not accept griha-vrata-dharma nor useless renunciation and for the sake of hari-bhajana I will perform the spiritual activities of grihasthadharma and act as a caretaker for

Things should be accepted for the Lord’s service and not for one’s personal sense gratification. If one accepts something without attachment and accepts it because it is related to Krishna, one’s renunciation is called yukta-vairag ya. 6


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The present business of Sri Gaudiya Matha is to engage all of mankind in the service of Sri Hari

Krishna by earning money honestly to perform Krishna-bhajana” – in this way one who is spiritually minded will make this vow when entering the house. Immorality makes hari-bhajana impossible, only when one is moral can haribhajana be performed. It is not possible to serve Hari while collecting a multitude of sins, and it is also not possible to serve Hari by performing various works of piety. For those people who think about the limited boundaries of their piety, who wish to enjoy the fruits of their own heroic works and who desire to nourish their crooked mentality, there is no other way for them to be freed of their misconceptions except by the exclusive worship of Sri Hari through the execution of grihasthadharma. By the endeavors of trying to satisfy his senses, the sensual griha-vrati

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will fall down; but by completely endeavoring to serve Krishna, he acquires auspiciousness. By niyamagraha (infatuation with ritualistic ceremonies) and niyama-agraha (disregard for the scriptural injunctions), one becomes a grihavrata. Many people think, “I will enter my new house, shut the doors and chant japa! That will be auspicious and I will also be recognized as a spirituallyminded householder.” But after many days chanting on beads they will fall into the dark well of the basest pleasures. If they did not perform kirtana after hearing the words delivered from the divine mouth of the associates of the paramahamsas, if they do not construct their lives properly, they will descend into griha-vrata-dharma. Grihastha devotees will try to do everything possible to help those who have given up everything and who constantly perform krishna-bhajana. The present business of Sri Gaudiya Matha is to engage all of mankind in the service of Sri Hari – to this end Sri Gaudiya Matha is willing to spend many, many gallons of blood. Those who are reluctant to take up this opportunity of service and are immersed in griha-vrata-dharma, are aware of this. The spiritually-minded householder works hard for his wife and children, and works just as hard to serve Hari. Knowing that his wife and children belong to Bhagavan, he feeds them and takes care of them. Otherwise, just as one does not feed a snake bananas and milk, if the association of family members is unfavorable then one should remain aloof from them. Such spirituallyminded householders have absolutely no interest in material pleasures, he only tries to serve Hari twenty-four hours a day. He is krishnarthe akhila-cheshta (‘Serving Krishna’) at all times and in various ways he is busy serving Hari. Grihastha devotees fully respect the spiritual concepts of duty and morality, but as regards mundane ethics, they have neither love nor hatred towards them. For one whose consciousness is always immersed in divine service, all his mundane obligations are concluded by his performance of spiritual duties. Tirumangai Alvar took birth in the Kallara tribe. Even though he preached hari-bhakti, influenced by his past samskaras, he was involved in robbery. Yet his heart was moved by spiritual ethics, and he even managed to make

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robbery favorable to serve Lord Hari. Only the devotees of Bhagavan know the art of utilizing any activity in the service of Hari. When Jagad-bandhu Bhakti-ranjana Mahashaya could have done many things with his wealth, he made his accumulated money favorable by engaging it in the service of Hari. He mastered the spirit of service in such a short time! Amongst unlimited multitudes of jivas, one can scarcely comprehend how one came to the Lord so suddenly. He surrendered everything to the service of Hari. He decided that, “This family and home is His, and if I perform service to Hari, whatever will be left will be His prasadam and I shall accept His remnants.” He had only to realize that his losses and gains were all connected to the service of Hari; he was not involved in either sin or piety. By trying to deceive the Supreme Lord by one’s sin or piety, exploitation or renunciation, morality or immorality, one will be forced to reap the fruits of good and evil. But if all results go to the Almighty, the jiva will not be involved in the consequences of good and evil. A man robs others to enjoy for himself, but Tirumangai Alvar robbed others for the service of Vishnu, and thus he did not have to pay for the results of his plundering. All the ways by which Jagad-bandhu Babu had to resort to in order to earn his fortune and all the difficulties he encountered found their true meaning when he offered the fruits of both morality and immorality in the service of the Supreme Controller. But relying upon the Holy Name is no reason to sin. “Since Tirumangai Alvar served Hari by robbing people, then let all looting be used to serve Hari” – such arguments come from the desire to commit sinful activities on the strength of chanting the Holy Name. Jagad-bandhu Babu’s material activities were unexpectedly used to serve Hari. The idea that, “First we should become good materialists and then we will become servants of Hari” – this sort of argument is unfavorable in cultivating devotion. Even if the divine will utilizes activities that are due to one’s previous samskara, in the service of Hari, such acts cannot be considered as the rule or as an example for ordinary people. Although Tirumangai Alvar was committing crimes, although Jagad-bandhu was facilitating service by inappropriate ways sometimes, through the results

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of their extraordinary sukriti, they considered everything as the property of the Supreme Lord, and being utilized in that way, it became beneficial. Engaging in karma is futile. The path of karma-kanda never brings the jiva any auspiciousness – they are just like a football. One minute the jiva is up, the next minute they are down again and they are constantly moving around. By receiving a good thrashing for his sins, the jiva gradually takes to the path of piety, then once again when he has been deceived by the illusory flowers of piety, he again turns to the path of sinful activities. Due to this he takes to the path of renunciation – the desire to renounce everything up to the point of moksha. These are known as the specific activities of devotion to the Lord. Whether a devotee resides in the house or he resides in the matha - the result is the same. A devotee is always vigilant; every act he performs is for worship of the Almighty, and not for the worship of Satan or an attempt to enjoy for himself.

Glossary Griha-pravesha Griha-vratadharma

The ceremony of entering a newly constructed house for the first time Following materialistic household life

Jagad-bandhu Bhaktiranjana

The spiritual name of Sri J.B. Dutta, a wealthy businessman of Calcutta and disciple of Srila Saraswati Thakura

Muri

Dried puffed rice mixed with spices

Paddhati

A text describing the performance of various rituals

Samskara

The results of one’s previous actions

Tirumangai Alvar

One of the twelve Alvar saints of the Sri Vaishnava sampradaya

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Religiosity real & apparent

Srila A.C . Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada is an artificial nescience covering of the living entities’ pure consciousness effected under certain unfavourable conditions. Real religion remains in dormant condition when artificial religion dominates over the mental plane. The dormant religion is awakened by hearing in pure heart. But the inborn quality is never killed.

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n the Srimad Bhagavatam a distinction between ‘Religion Pretentious’ and ‘Religion Real’ has been clearly made. According to this original and genuine commentation of the Vedanta-sutra, there are a number of pretentious religious faiths which pass on by that name but actually there is nothing in essence which can be accepted as real religion. Real religion is the natural inborn quality of the living being and pretentious religion

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For example, it is sometimes experienced that a person professing a particular faith of mundane religiosity changes his own and embraces another kind of religious faith. In India many such changes have taken place in the social life in different circumstances. During the Mohammedan rule in India many Hindus changed their faith in ‘Hinduism’ and embraced Islamism on account of many circumstantial pressures. Later on many such Hindus and Mohammedans changed again into Christian faith and so on. There are many educated gentlemen who profess practically no particular faith of religiosity and yet they are passing on under the shadow of a certain type


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of religious faith. All these different circumstances prove it definitely that professing a particular faith of religiosity is completely different from the natural inborn religious quality of the living being. What is the inborn quality of the living being? Let us first of all understand the nature of inborn quality. We can understand the inborn quality of the five elements. The inborn quality of earth is solidity. The inborn quality of water is liquidity. The inborn quality of fire is burning heat and light. The inborn quality of air is mobile humidity. The inborn quality of ether is all-pervading entity. The inborn quality of mind is determination and rejection. The inborn quality of intelligence is thinking and feeling and the inborn quality of ego is identification of Existence. The living entity does not belong to either of the above eight different elements of material nature. These eight elements are called products of the inferior nature of Godhead. But there is another superior spiritual nature of Godhead, of which the living entity is made. Both the inferior and superior qualitative nature of Godhead are non-different from Him but the actions of the two different natures are completely different. The all-powerful Godhead has innumerable different energies out of them the para-prakriti is known as His internal energy. The internal energy is always personally associated with the Personality of Godhead and therefore the inborn nature of the living entity is to remain personally associated with the Supreme Being. The Supreme Being is eternally existent along with His associated internal energy and therefore in the shruti mantras it is said that the Supreme Lord is the Primeval Eternal Personality amongst innumerable other personalities of living being. In other words every individual living being is an individual person. Everyone has his personal separate existence and nobody is equal with another living being, that is the variegatedness of the living world. The Supreme Lord is also the Supreme living Personality with His separate identity, Form, existence and mode of life. The living entities are therefore equal in quality of the Supreme Lord, but the Supreme Lord is one and the Absolute while the living entities

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are innumerable and relative. The Absolute Personality of Godhead has expanded Himself in his differentiated parts and parcels who are called by the name ‘jiva’ or the living being. Being one in quality, the living being has the proportionate fraction of the quality of overlordship propensity. When this relative overlordship propensity is manifested disproportionately in the living being, he falls in contact with the external energy of Godhead, called by the name material nature, and his ego is misidentified with the inferior nature. An appropriate example may be given here in connection with the disproportionate independent action of a state citizen. A citizen of an independent nation cannot be absolute. His independence is relative in terms of the state laws. When the citizen therefore disproportionately exhibits his independence, it becomes an act of civil disobedience and he is put under police action an inferior state of citizen life. The false ego is given to the material mind and sense-perception thereof and as such, material sense-perceptions contact with material objects by form, taste, smell, sound and touch. That makes it possible for the living being to drag on a material existence with hard struggle for life. The hard struggle for life is manifest because the living entity is fallen in the material existence, a foreign and inferior quality of nature for the living being. It is something like a living being of the land thrown into the ocean of water, and thus a hard struggle for existence for the overthrown living being. The overthrown living being can be happy only when he is picked up from the ocean of material existence and reinstated again in his normal spiritual existence by the grace of the Supreme Lord. That is his ‘Religion Real.’ Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu therefore teaches us to pray like this: ayi nanda-tanuja kinkaram patitam mam vishame bhavambudhau kripaya tava pada-pankajasthita-dhuli-sadrisham vichintaya O my Lord who is born out of the body of Nanda Maharaja, please consider me who is fallen in the ocean of birth and death, out of Your

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immense and causeless mercy, as one of the particle of dust remaining at Your lotus feet. That is the idea of sincere religious prayer. One must know himself as the spiritual entity eternal associate of the Supreme Lord. Somehow or other he is now thrown into the ocean of material existence where there is a perpetual hard struggle for existence to get rid of the disease of birth and death. Treatment for disease is accepted in order to get a temporary relief from the cruel hands of death. Why there is such vast arrangement of Health service both by the government and the public also? The medical practitioner out of a false egoistic identification considers himself too much busy in the research work for curing disease. When he is approached with a request to become a subscriber for Back To Godhead, very gravely he says that he is too busy. But he does not know why medical treatment is at all required. It is required for the relief of pains out of diseases and to avoid the cruel hands of death temporarily. But is it possible to get relief from the pains of diseases or to avoid the hands of death permanently by the help of such advanced mode of medical science? We say most emphatically on the strength of the message of Bhagavad-gita that man can never get relief from the following unwanted items. They are as follows: (1) The pains of birth. (2) The pains of death. (3) The pains of old age and (4) The pains of diseases.

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As such, unqualified path of religiosity is that which can bring in real relief to the above invincible sources of pains so much unwanted by the human society. The goal of religious path is therefore to achieve the status of relief from pains. The path of religion which does not offer this highest benefit to the mankind is certainly a pretentious religion and Srimad Bhagavatam deprecates such process of religiosity as a matter of cheating the public. Srimad Bhagavatam begins therefore its real form of religion in the following manner. dharmah projjhita-kaitavo ‘tra paramo nirmatsaranam satam vedyam vastavam atra vastu shivadam tapa-trayonmulanam Srimad-bhagavate maha-muni-krite kim va parair ishvarah sadyo hridy avarudhyate ‘tra kritibhih shushrushubhis tat-kshanat In this scripture of beautiful Bhagavatam which is compiled by the great sage (Vyasadeva) paths of religiosity which are full of cheating process are completely rejected. Herein is mentioned the supreme beneficial subject matter of the Substance in reality. It is understandable by the liberated souls of the highest order because it can alone uproot the threefold miseries. Because it is compiled by the great sage (Vyasadeva) by His mature knowledge, what is the necessity of other scriptures? The Supreme Lord Personality of Godhead becomes at once locked up in one’s heart by such fortunate creatures who are constantly engaged in this transcendental service. (Bhag.1.12) The path of religion as chalked out by Srimad Bhagavatam is different from all other types of imperfect religiosity. The paths of religiosity can be divided into three divisions as follows: (1) The path of fruitive work. (2) The path of culturing knowledge and mystic powers. (3) And the path of devotional service and worship.

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O my Lord who is born out of the body of Nanda Maharaja, please consider me who is fallen in the ocean of birth and death, out of Your immense and causeless mercy, as one of the particle of dust remaining at Your lotus feet.

(1) The path of fruitive work, karma-kanda, because under the cover of religious ceremonies and with the purpose of elevating one’s material conditions, are all cheating process because they can never reach to the highest status of relief from the material existence. As mentioned herein before, the living entity is perpetually struggling hard to get rid of the pangs of material existence because he wants the supreme relief from material pains. The path of fruitive work leads one either to happiness or to distress of the material existence. By pious fruitive work one is placed in the position of temporary material feelings of happiness whereas acts of vices lead one to the distressful position of material wants and scarcity. Even if one is put into the most perfect order of material happiness, one is not able by that way to become free from the pains of material existence as birth, death, old age and diseases. The materially happy person is therefore in need of the eternal relief which the path of religiosity of fruitive work can never award to such religionist.

(2) The path of culturing knowledge known as jnana-marga and that of mystic powers known as yoga-marga are equally hazardous and nobody knows where he is going by culturing such uncertain procedures. The empiric philosophers in search of spiritual knowledge may endeavour by mental speculations most laboriously for many, many births but unless and until he reaches to the stage of the purest form of the quality of goodness or until he has transcended the plane of material speculation, it is not possible for him to know everything emanating from the Personality of

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Godhead Vasudeva. His attachment to the impersonal feature of the Supreme Lord makes him unfit to rise up to that transcendental stage of Vasudeva and therefore due to his unclean state of mind he glides down again into the material existence even after an ascendance to the highest stage of liberation. This fall down is made possible due to his want of locus-standi in the service of the Supreme Lord. And so far as the mystic powers of the ‘yogins’ are concerned, they are still more full of juggleries in the path of spiritual realisation. One German scholar who became a devotee of Godhead in India said that so far mystic powers of the ‘yogns’ are concerned, the German scientists have made laudable progress by the aid of material science. He therefore came in India not to learn the method of Yogi’s mystic powers solved by material science but what he needed most was to learn the path of transcendental loving service of the Supreme Lord mentioned in the great scripture of Bhagavatam. The mystic powers of the ‘yogins’ make the student materially powerful for a temporary relief as much as other material science can give. But such mystic powers can never be the permanent source of relief from the abovementioned four items and therefore according to the Bhagavata school, this path of religiosity is also a method of cheating the followers. In the Bhagavad-gita, it is therefore clearly defined that the highest mystic powerful yogi is the one who can constantly think of the Supreme Lord within his heart engaged in the loving service of the Lord. (3) And the path of worship of the innumerable devas or administrative gods is still more hazardous and uncertain than the abovementioned two items of karma-kanda and jnana-kanda. This system of worshipping many gods such as Durga, Shiva, Ganesha, Surya or impersonal Vishnu is accepted by persons who have been made blind by the intense desire of sense gratification.

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Worship of gods, as above mentioned, when it is properly made in terms of the rites mentioned in the shastras which is now very difficult to prosecute in this age of want and scarcity, can certainly fulfill the intense desire of sense gratification, but the success obtained by such methods is certainly very transient and befitting a person of poor fund of brain substance. That is the verdict of Bhagavad-gita. No sane man should be satisfied by such temporary benefit, driven by a sense of enjoying this material world. None of the above mentioned three methods of religious path can deliver a person from the law of material existence called the threefold miseries. But the process of religiosity as mentioned in the Bhagavatam is able to give permanent relief to the followers from the laws of threefold miseries. Herein the highest standard of religious form is described by which one can be reinstated in his original position of transcendental loving service to the Supreme Lord. Loving service of the Supreme Lord is free from the infection of sense gratificatory desires, fruitive work or culture of knowledge-seeking merging in the Absolute to become one with the Supreme Lord. All such methods are pretentious religiosities because they are unable to give perfectual relief to the followers. The word projjhita is significant. Pra means complete and ujjhita means reject. Any process of religiosity based on sense gratifications gross or subtle must be accepted as one of the pretentious religions. The process of religiosity in the shape of fruitive work is directly a method of gross sense gratification while the process of culturing spiritual knowledge with a view to merge in the Absolute is a method of subtle desire of sense gratification by becoming one with the Absolute. Therefore all such sense-gratificatory methods of pretentious religiosities including the path of culturing knowledge to become one with the Supreme or the idea of liberation and everything like that are completely rejected in the process of bhagavata-dharma, or the transcendental process of religion the inborn quality of the living being.

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The bhagavata-dharma or the religious principles described in the bhagavata of which the preliminary study is The Bhagavad-gita is meant for the liberated persons of the highest order who give very little value to such sensegratificatory pretentious religiosities. The fruitive worker or the elevationist and the empiric philosopher or the Salvationist all of them want to raise their material position first and foremost but the devotees of Godhead have no such desire for themselves. They serve the Supreme Lord for His satisfaction only. Sri Arjuna at first decided not to fight and wanted to satisfy his senses by becoming a so-called non-violent pious man but when he was fully situated in the principles of bhagavata-dharma culminating in complete surrender unto the will of the Supreme Lord, he changed his decision and agreed to fight for the satisfaction of the Lord. He said like this. nashto mohah smritir labdha tvat prasadan mayacyuta sthito’smi gata-sandehah karishye vacanam tava I am now freed from all illusions by Your grace. I have now revived my pure consciousness. I am now situated in my real position without any doubt and as such I must now do as You desire. (Gita 18.73) Anything that hampers this unadulterated spiritual position of the living being must be taken therefore as the process of pretentious religion. Real form of religion is spontaneous loving service of Godhead. This relation of the living being with the Absolute Personality of Godhead is eternal. The Absolute Personality of Godhead is described as the vastu or the ‘Substance’ and the living entities are described as the vastavas or the innumerable samples of the ‘Substance’ in relative existence. This relation of the Substantive with the ‘Substance’ can never be annihilated as it is in the case of inborn quality. By contact with material nature, the ‘substantive’ living entities may exhibit varied symptoms of the material disease but to cure this material disease is the supreme object of human life. The process which helps such treatment is called by the name as bhagavata-dharma, sanatana-dharma or the Religion Real. We shall try to describe the form of real religion in the pages of “Back to Godhead.”

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Pandita Sri Gadadhara Goswami Srila Bhakti Rakshaka Sridhar Deva Goswami Maharaja

A

mongst the dear associates of Sri Gauranga, Sri Gadadhara Goswami is the topmost. Just as the position of Sri Radhika, in comparison to others, is undisputedly the topmost in the madhurya pastimes of Sri Krishna, similarly in the most magnanimous pastimes of Gaura-Krishna, in the service of audarya-madhurya-rasa, the character of Sri Pandita Goswami, in comparison to others, is the topmost object of attraction for Sri Gauranga – the embodiment of sweetness with magnanimity. The mahajanas see radhatattva within Pandita Gadadhara.

The appearance day of Pandita Gadadhara is during the summer time, on the new moon of the month of Jyeshtha (May/June); his disappearance is one month after on the new moon of the month of Asadha (June/July). The specialty of the character of Pandita Goswami as an intimate companion is the offering of silent and complete selfsubmission. Only those that are capable of relishing within their hearts the incredible bliss of seeing the astonishing contradiction of a begging-bag upon the shoulder of Lakshmi-devi, are qualified to directly experience the extraordinary glories of the personality of Srimat Pandita Goswami. During his childhood he was very simple, indifferent, modest and extremely courteous, devoted to the Lord and the brahmanas and affectionate towards his friends. He was polite, yet timid; he was surrendered to the Lord, yet he felt offensive; he was fully realized, yet he felt ignorant; he was a leader, yet

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considered himself an obedient servant. Though he had firm faith in his dear Lord Sri Gauranga, the sidelong glances of the ordinary followers that had taken shelter of Gaurasundara made him hesitant and timid. Being madly engrossed in thoughts of his guru, Gaura, caused him to forget His Deity mantras. Even a little faith in Sri Gauranga attracts His heart – so much so that due to His affection towards such a person, he accepts even an insult from him as an honour. Basically, Sri Pandita Goswami’s character is the neglected personification of one who has willingly accepted a beggar ’s garb after giving away all his personal wealth. Sri Gadadhara’s wealth is not like the external wealth of Harishcandra’s kingdom nor is his sacrifice like that of Shibi’s or Dadhichi’s sacrifice of their material bodies. It is not like the sacrifice made by the nurse Panna of her dear son, nor like the self-immolation of Queen Padmini etc. Similarly, it is also not like Socrates’ reason for propagating self-realization or Jesus Christ’s bodily sacrifice for the sake of the delivery of the world. For the knower of the self who is situated on a higher plane, bodily sacrifice is a very ordinary thing. The wealth that is derived from the svarupa or inherent nature makes any other type of sacrifice seem futile. Even if the devotional wealth of the liberated souls or even the nature of the object of prema is realized in our hearts – still, deeply understanding and conceiving the cordial nature of the incontestable sacrifice of the inner wealth of Pandita Goswami is only possible through his compassion and that of his intimate associates. It is not possible for all these esoteric subjects to be immediately understood as if they were ordinary mundane topics. Nevertheless, considering the necessity, we are giving a general overview. Moreover, just as it is a responsibility to ascertain particular limits while considering what substance is worth giving, similarly it is certainly wise to ascertain the specialty of a gift while considering the qualification of its recipient.

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As much as the recipient of the gift is highly qualified, that much is the glory and the result of giving the gift. In the same line of thought there is no comparison of objective and subjective excellence of Pandita Goswami’s selfsurrender. After all, the wealth of Sri Radha’s love is the topmost substance and Sri Krishna-chandra, the son of a brahmana (as Sri Chaitanya), is the topmost recipient. While reflecting on this subject, we are reminded of the tale of Sri Yajnavalkya. Having studied the highest knowledge of the self and after reaching the final stage of questioning, in answer to the curiousness of the curious of even higher truths, Yajnavalkya Rishi, in a serious way, declares it as being the limit of curiosity. We are incapable to fully comprehend the glories of Sri Pandita Goswami, therefore the mahajanas have left us that divine knowledge concerning the true identity of Gadadhara. Yet due to our misfortune, we are unable to establish our faith in this matter. We commit offenses due to our lack of faith and become absorbed in our own selfish pursuits. Moreover, some claim that Gadadhara, the very wealth of Sri Radha’s form, is a part of Nityananda-Baladeva, while others say that he is concealed within a part of Gadadhara Dasa. But by flying one’s own flag of mental speculation one will become an offender to sambandha-tattva and one’s attainment of svarupa-siddhi will be obstructed. Some people are unable to understand the method of Gadadhara’s worship of Gaura-Krishna, and consider the Lord of Vishnupriya, Gaura-Narayana, as being influenced by a mood of enjoyment and sambhoga, addressing Narayana as one who takes the role of a nagara. Sri Gaura is Sri Krishna with the mood of Radha, and Gaura without Radha is Sri Krishna. Sri Krishna is the object of worship for all rasas beginning with madhura. He is not in the same category of bhagavata-tattva as Sri Rama etc. Sri Gaurasundara, as the son of a brahmana or as the best of sannyasis, Sri Krishna Chaitanya, never accepted the mood of a nagara, nor did He ever enter into

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discussions and the like with the wives of other men at any time. The notion that He was an example of parakiya-sambhoga is rasabhasa, it is an offence, it is against the conclusions of the mahajanas and is an atheistic misconception. In Sri Chaitanya-bhagavata, Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita and other authorized works of the mahajanas there is absolutely no example of Gaura-nagara philosophy. This ideology is not mentioned and does not exist therein. A husband engages in Deity worship and his dutiful wife serves him by trying to help him in his worship. But at that time, she will not think of conjugality and engage in amorous talks with him, as this will impede his worship of the Deity. Similarly, when He is in the bhava of Sri Radha, the only concern of Krishna-chandra is selfless service to Sri Krishna – in other words, Sri Gauranga’s nature is to worship Sri Krishna through His own lila, and Sri Radhika’s form as Sri Gadadhara devotedly worships His adorable Lord accordingly throughout his whole life. Thus, Gadadhara’s form is an eternal manifestation. Sri Radha-Krishna eternally personify the divine pastimes of Vraja, and Sri Gadai-Gauranga, eternally residing in Navadvipa, personify the mood of audarya (magnanimity). When there is the sweetness of Vraja, that is Sri RadhaKrishna – when there is the audarya of Navadvipa, that is Sri GadadharaGauranga. By being fully absorbed in one or the other, all other conceptions are eliminated. Sadhakas reject all types of common ideologies and should accept that revered path prescribed by the mahajanas. Sri Gauranga is the Lord of love divine. Sri Krishna is also the Lord of love divine, but because His predominant rasa is sambhoga not everyone has the

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qualification to fully understand Him as such. However, Sri Gauranga, who is the shelter of the rasas of vipralambha and audarya, is the Lord of love divine even for the ordinary fallen souls who have cultivated faith in Him. Sri Nityananda Prabhu distributes that Lord of love to even the lowest of mankind and in the form of Sri Guru, he wanders door to door for the sake of the living entities. Also Sri Advaita Prabhu invoked the prema-avatara, Sri Chaitanya-chandra, and brought Him down to earth, showing the path to that supremely benevolent Lord. Srivasa Pandita and others participated in the sankirtana pastimes of the Lord of Love, Sri Gauranga, and were valuable assistants that served the Golden Lord in His pastimes. Sri Svarupa, Rupa, Sanatana, Raghunatha. Jiva etc. were the currents springing from the fountain of ambrosial prema who enlivened the entire world (this fallen and most hopeless soul begs and yearns for just a single drop of that ambrosia. His one and only hope is the mercy of Sri Guru and the Vaishnavas). Sri Gauranga, the Lord of Love Divine, accepted that form in order to sing the glories of the topics of divine love of Sri Krishna. Amongst all the treasures of prema, the dearest to Him is the bhava of His most beloved, which He fully accepts. When this realization dawns on Him and Sri Radha is in His proximity then He plunders Her bhava. Sri Krishna does this in order to worship Himself in the same mood as Sri Radha. But even when Sri Krishna is amongst the devotees in gaura-lila, He is the same Sri Krishna. This means that the subordinate gopi-priti of Sri Radha’s must also fully manifests there. Gadadhara’s love for Gaura is extraordinary. But the form of his love is the opposite. When Krishna adorned Himself with the garment of Radha’s bhava, Sri Radha became bereft of Her bhava. That is the form of Gadadhara.

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Hidden behind Gaura’s worship of Krishna in the bhava of Radha is the beloved of Sri Gadadhara – the One for whom everything is dedicated, whose direct and most glorious form the eyes hanker to see, in whom is reflected the look of the most close associate – a exceedingly eager and thirsty look hankering for prema. The One who is worshipped accepted the role of a worshipper. The worshipper offers to the Worshipped (who has taken the role of a worshipper) everything up to the very award of worship and appears as the personification of the greatest fortune of sarvatmarpana – completely offering the self to Godhead. Therefore, one who has attraction or love towards the worshippable Worshiper and strongly desires to attain the invaluable wealth of the shelter of Gaura’s associate, Sri Gadadhara, should follow his type of bhajana for Sri Gauranga and thus they will discover the results of such bhajana. The followers of Sri Gadadhara becomes the relishers of Sri Radha’s vipralambha-rasa which is greater than the highest form of bhava.

gadai-gauranga jaya jahnavi-jivana sita-pati jaya Srivasadi-bhakta-gana 25


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The Raga- patha Is Above All S wa m i

N a r a s i n g h a

Question: “I have read numerous translations and comments about the ‘pujala raga-patha’ verse on the Internet and there seems to be a lingering controversy about who wrote the verse, what it means, etc. Can you provide me with a broader overview of the topic so that I might clarify my understanding?” Swami Narasingha: My answer below may seem a little tedious at times, but if you bear with me on the details you may find what you are looking for. Regarding the verse that you have quoted, it is part of a six-line Bengali song that reads as follows in the Roman transliteration: matala hari-jana vishaya-range pujala raga-patha gaurava-bhange bhramala chadi’ bhoga chinmaya bange dhaula pathi-pathi bhakata-sange chadla para-ghara arcchite gange bujhala rasa-niti nachata dange The controversy that you speak of only surrounds the meaning of the

first two lines and particularly the second line. As for the translation of verses 2 and 3, we are not aware that any controversy exists. The translation of the song by our ashrama, Sri Narasingha Chaitanya Matha is as follows: matala hari-jana vishaya-range pujala raga-patha gaurava-bhange The servants of Hari are engaged in lavish affairs, handling material wealth and engaging all manner of things in the Lord’s service. They worship the path of spontaneous devotion with gaurava-bhange (in a mood of awe and reverence) and to show that the raga-patha is above all (above our heads), they remain as servants, being a little distant and below, praying for that of a servant’s duty, not for that of a confidential nature — not to bring that highest divine love down here, but to hold that upon their heads.

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bhramala chadi’ bhoga chinmaya bange dhaula pathi-pathi bhakata-sange

kirtana. The day of the procession was Sunday 5th, October 1930.

Having given up all senseenjoyment, one should wander through the divine land of Gauda-desha, running along the paths and roads in the association of the devotees.

In that month’s edition of the Bengali magazine Gaudiya, the six-line song was printed above a photo that showed the ratha of the Deities with Saraswati Thakura and the devotees standing in front. The first two lines of the Bengali read as follows:

chadla para-ghara arcchite gange bujhala rasa-niti nachata dange Leaving that previous house forever to worship the Deity on the banks of the Ganges, one will understand the science of rasa by the process of dancing (i.e. sankirtana). The history of this song, its origin, and its later alteration from the original is very interesting. The original author of the song was Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura, who composed the verses in 1930. It was on the occasion of moving the Deities of Sri Gaurasundara and Sri Sri Vinoda-Anandajiu from the old house at Ultadanga Junction Road to the new temple in Bagh Bazaar, Kolkata. Saraswati Thakura especially composed the six-lines of song for the occasion and requested the devotees present to sing it during

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matala hari-jana vishaya-range pujala raga-patha gaurava-bhange Herein begins the controversy. The first line reads matala harijana vishaya-range. In later years the first line became popular as matala hari-jana kirtana-range. The original composition by Saraswati Thakura however reads vishaya-range, and not kirtana-range. How this came to pass is indeed interesting. But before mentioning how kirtana-range came to replace visaya-range, we should first mention that some leading contemporary Vaisnavas such as Swami B.V. Tripurari Maharaja, Swami B.V. Madhava Maharaja and others are quite comfortable with the implementation of kirtanarange. Both these personalities that I have mentioned have at least on one occasion quoted the first line


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The nat-mandira of Sri Chaitanya Sarasvata Matha

of the song in their writings and discourses as matala hari-jana kirtanarange. Swami B.V. Tripurari Maharaja translates the first two lines as: The devotees, intoxicated by the kirtana of the Holy Name that consumes the entire world, worship the raga-marga at a distance until the time when by such kirtana their hearts are cleansed of any charm for the world and the distance between themselves and their Deity is bridged as reverence for the Deity breaks down and is replaced by love.” (Sanga of Swami B.V. Tripurari, disciple of Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada)

Swami B.V, Madhava Maharaja translates the same two lines as: “The servants of Hari revel in the chanting of the Holy Name. They worship the path of spontaneous devotion, whereby awe and reverence is overthrown.” (from the website of Swami B.V. Madhava, disciple of Swami B.V. Narayana Maharaja) In our humble opinion, the translation of Swami B.V. Tripurari Maharaja is in consonance with a deeper understanding of the verse, whereas that of Swami B.V. Madhava relies solely on a reading based on the meaning of gaurava-bhange as ‘to overthrow awe and reverence’

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focusing on the word bhanga (breaking or splitting). However, when it is understood that the root of bhange is actually derived from the noun bhangi (a mood, a distinction of style, way or attitude), then gaurava-bhange means ‘in a mood of awe and reverence’. Thus, pujala raga-patha gaurava-bhange is to worship the path of raga-patha with awe and reverence.

kirtana replace vishaya in order to make the verse more understandable or clear to the devotees. Sridhar Maharaja welcomed the suggestion. Govinda Maharaja recalls as follows:

In the controversy that we are discussing this is then the ultimate question – when composing the verse pujala raga-patha gaurava-bhange, did Saraswati Thakura intend gauravabhange to mean ‘to break awe and reverence’ or ‘a mood of awe and reverence’? It will be seen later on in this essay that his intention was gaurava-bhange – a mood of awe and reverence. It has recently been suggested by some devotees that it was Srila B.R. Sridhar Deva Goswami Maharaja who changed visaya-range to kirtanarange, but from the history of Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Matha it is said that the disciple of Sridhar Maharaja, namely Sripad B.S. Govinda Maharaja suggested to Sridhar Maharaja that

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Matala hari-jana vishaya-range. Originally Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura made that poetry. Later it became matala hari-jana kirtana-range, pujala raga-patha gaurava-bhange. Kirtana-range – this word I


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gave and Srila Guru Maharaja accepted it very happily, ‘You can change this for us.’ Hence it is engraved on the wall of the nat-mandira at Sridhar Maharaja’s temple, matala hari-jana kirtana-range, pujala raga-patha gaurava-bhange. The controversy that is addressed in the beginning of this essay is not actually about vishaya-range or kirtana-range. The real controversy is about pujala raga-patha gauravabhange. Does this simply mean as Swami B.V. Madhava points out that, “They worship the path of spontaneous devotion, whereby awe and reverence is overthrown” or is there another meaning to pujala ragapatha gaurava-bhange that suggests a completely different approach to raga-patha, the path of spontaneous devotion? We should mention here that contemporary preachers outside the following of Srila Sridhar Maharaja rarely if ever quote the song we are discussing. In fact, Swami B.V. Madhava Maharaja only ever referenced the song that we are discussing in response to a video

production that expressed the opinion of Srila Sridhar Maharaja, that ragapatha is worshipable and should always be kept above our heads. However, Srila Sridhar Maharaja quotes pujala raga-patha gauravabhange again and again throughout his discourses and in his books. What to speak of those words being engraved on the wall at his temple, they are engraved in the core of his heart as the essence of the teaching and mission of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura. Srila Sridhar Maharaja speaks about the song in question in several places as follows: Pujala raga-patha gaurava-bhange – composed by Guru Maharaja himself when from the hired house in Calcutta, the Deities and the matha was removed to his own constructed matha. The Deities were carried in a chariot and we were dancing and singing just in front of the Deities. At that time he composed some six lines perhaps. ‘You should sing this and direct the chariot from the hired house to our own matha.’ Matala hari-jana vishaya-range pujala raga-patha gaurava-bhange. It is currently seen that the devotees have made

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themselves mad in handling so much material wealth. Generally the devotees should engage themselves in the subject of the Lord, but here in Gaudiya Matha we find they are handling money, motor car, this, that – everything here, lavishly, visaya range. For what purpose? Pujala raga-patha gaurava-bhange. Gaurava bhange – to show that the raga-patha is above all. Those that are followers of raga-patha, their position is very high. Not that they cannot be masters of this mundane world. So, they have left everything and are taking the path of worshiping Him, in their heart. But all this grandeur, all reverence everything should go to serve them. Pujala raga-patha – everything will have its fulfillment with their connecting in any way with the feet of those that are engaged in their worship exclusive of these worldly things with his heart. (Darshan with Srila Sridhar Maharaja, 14-08-81) Pujala raga-patha gaurave-bhange — that is always upon our head, that the prospect of our life’s future, life after life, cannot be finished.

We shall rather foster the hope, the pure hope that we may be taken in one day in that camp. With this idea. (Follow The Angels, Part 2) But we must be ready to pay for it, and our Guru Maharaja came for that purpose. Pujala ragapatha —don’t go hurriedly. Fools rush in where angels fear to tread. That experience is for the highest minded. It is the highest. One must go step by step. If we omit any step, we will be nowhere. (Follow The Angels, Part 2) Pujala raga-patha gaurave-bhange — very sweet. The raga-patha is on the head. We are servants of the raga-patha. We are in vidhi-marga, under sastrika rule. We must live and move under shastric rule, and always keep the raga-patha upon our head. The whole tenor of Guru Maharaja’s life was such: “That is high, very high, and from below we are to honor that.” We must establish this conception, the proper regard for that higher lila, throughout the entire world: “That is too high.” (Follow The Angels, Part 2)

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In madhurya-rasa, the highest conjugal relationship, even Radharani’s own tendency is always to serve Krsna. Her inclination is towards dasya-rasa, service. Is sakhya-rasa, intimate friendship with Krishna, a very small thing? No, it is too high for me. Pujala raga-patha gaurava-bhange. From a distance I want to show my respect to sakhya-rasa, but I really crave dasya-rasa. That should be the inclination of a real devotee. If we disregard all these things, we are playing like children. (Follow The Angels Part 2) First understand the degree of purity in Krishna consciousness. The followers of form are only imitationists; they want only to exploit Mahaprabhu and not to serve Him. They are our worst enemies. They are traitors; they have taken the garb of Mahaprabhu’s sampradaya, and they are saying something bogus. This is cheap marketing; they are extensively selling adulterated things very cheaply. They have no inner necessity to attain the purest thing (pujala ragapatha gaurava-bhange). Although he was such an exalted Vaishnava, our Guru Maharaja never presented himself as a great devotee. He always used to say, ‘’I am a servant of the servant of the Vaishnavas.” That was his claim. And he would say, “The higher devotees are my guru, they are so exalted.” First come and practice all these things, and then you can hope to reach the goal. It is not so easy, or so cheap. (Sri Guru and His Grace, Ch.3) And to take our stand in the negative position is the strategy of remaining in the relativity of the highest quarter of service to Krishna, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura once composed a verse expressing the proper attitude. Pujala raga-patha gaurava bhange, matala hari-jana vishaya range. ‘The path of divine love is worshipable to us and should be held overhead as our highest aspiration.’ (Loving Search For The Lost Servant, Ch.6) Pujala raga-patha gaurave-bhange—The whole tenor of his life was such: “That is high, high. And from below we are to honor that.” We are to establish in the whole world this sort of posing: the proper regard of that higher lila, “That is too high. Pujala raga-patha gaurave-bhange, Guru Maharaja, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura, preached exclusively this madhurya-rasa, but with great precaution. What is not that thing, he used perhaps 90% of

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his energy to point out the negative side —“This is not madhurya-rasa”— and clear away the negative side. He had to spare, in his words, “gallons of blood to establish what is not that madhurya-rasa. (Darshan with Srila Sridhar Maharaja, 14-08-81) Srila Sridhar Maharaja preached extensively from the verses of the song that is under discussion and supported the idea that gaurava-bhange is derived from the root bhangi. Thus gaurava-bhange means a mood of awe and reverence — of this there can be no doubt. And that Sridhar Maharaja represented the adage: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” in his explanations, also goes without question. Equally, we can say that since the time of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura no second person has given a clearer or more pronounced understanding of the pujala raga-patha verse than Srila Sridhar Maharaja. His depth of understanding was profound and his respected Godbrothers never hesitated to accept his deep realizations. As Saraswati Thakura had said of Sridhar Maharaja, “At least one man is left behind who will be able to represent my conceptions.” This brings to mind a pastime that occurred in the time of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu during the annual Ratha-yatra festival in Puri. During the procession Chaitanya Mahaprabhu sang a verse from the Kavya-prakasha of Sri Mammata as follows: yah kaumara-harah sa eva hi varas ta eva chaitra-kshapas te chonmilita-malati-surabhayah praudhah kadambanilah sa chaivasmi tathapi tatra surata-vyapara-lila-vidhau reva-rodhasi vetasi-taru-tale chetah samutkanthate That very personality who stole away my heart during my youth is now again my master. These are the same moonlit nights of the month of Chaitra. The same fragrance of malati flowers is there, and the same sweet breezes are blowing from the kadamba forest. In our intimate relationship, I am also the same lover, yet still my mind is not happy

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here. I am eager to go back to that place on the bank of the Reva under the Vetasi tree. That is my desire.’ (Cc. Madhya 13.121) Taken at face value [mukhya-vritti], the devotees could not understand the internal purpose of the Lord. However, Sri Rupa Goswami, being a super caliber devotee could understand the Lord’s internal purpose (gauna-vritti) and thus he composed another verse revealing the Lord’s heart. priyah so ‘yam krishnah sahachari kurukshetra-militas tathaham sa radha tad idam ubhayoh sangama-sukham tathapy antah-khelan-madhura-murali-panchama-jushe mano me kalindi-pulina-vipinaya sprihayati My dear friend, now I have met My very old and dear friend Krishna on this field of Kurukshetra. I am the same Radharani, and now We are meeting together. It is very pleasant, but still I would like to go to the bank of the Yamuna beneath the trees of the forest there. I wish to hear the vibration of His sweet flute playing the fifth note within that forest of Vrindavana. (Cc. Madhya.1.76) In this way we cannot help but express our conviction that when Saraswati Thakura composed the six-line poem for the ratha festival of the Deities in Kolkata in 1930, that Srila Sridhar Maharaja being a super-caliber devotee, dear to Sri Rupa Goswami, could unequivocally understand the internal purpose of his Guru Maharaja. Thus it is our lasting determination that the explanation of the pujala raga-patha verse as given by Srila Sridhar Maharaja should be accepted in the hearts of all the devotees desiring to follow in the footsteps of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura.

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Articles

Travel L

og

To read more articles and travel log by Srila Bhakti Gaurava Narasingha Maharaja, visit his personal website www.narasingha.net

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Muddy Universe by Robert Lanza MD

The universe is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we can suppose. —John Haldane, Possible Worlds (1927) The world is not, on the whole, the place described in our schoolbooks. For several centuries, starting roughly with the Renaissance, a single mindset about the construct of the cosmos has dominated scientific thought. This model has brought us untold insights into the nature of the universe — and countless applications that have transformed every aspect of our lives. But this model is reaching the end of its useful life and needs to be replaced with a radically different paradigm that reflects a deeper reality, one totally ignored until now.

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Excerpted from the book ‘Biocentricism – How Life and Consciousness are the Keys to Understanding the True Nature of the Universe.

This new model has not arrived suddenly, like the meteor impact that changed the biosphere 65 million years ago. Rather, it is a deep, gradual, tectonic-plate-type alteration with bases that lie so deep, they will never again return whence they came. Its genesis lurks in the underlying rational disquiet that every educated person palpably feels today. It lies not in one discredited theory, nor any single contradiction in the current laudable obsession with

devising a Grand Unified Theory that can explain the universe. Rather its problem is so deep that virtually everyone knows that something is screwy with the way we visualize the cosmos. The old model proposes that the universe was, until rather recently, a useless collection of particles bouncing against each other, obeying predetermined rules that were mysterious in their origin.

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The universe is like a watch that somehow wound itself and that, allowing for a degree of quantum randomness, will unwind in a semipredictable way. Life initially arose by an unknown process, and then proceeded to change form under Darwinian mechanisms that operate under these same physical rules. Life contains consciousness, but the latter is poorly understood and is, in any case, solely a matter for biologists. But there’s a problem. Consciousness is not just an issue for biologists; it’s a problem for physics. Nothing in modern physics explains how a group of molecules in your brain

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create consciousness. The beauty of a sunset, the miracle of falling in love, the taste of a delicious meal—these are all mysteries to modern science. Nothing in science can explain how consciousness arose from matter. Our current model simply does not allow for consciousness, and our understanding of this most basic phenomenon of our existence is ritually nil. Interestingly, our present model of physics does not even recognize this as a problem. Not coincidentally, consciousness comes up again in a completely different realm of physics. It is well known that quantum theory,


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while working incredibly well mathematically, makes no logical sense. As we will explore in detail in future chapters, particles seem to behave as if they respond to a conscious observer. Because that can’t be right, quantum physicists have deemed quantum theory inexplicable or have come up with elaborate theories (such as an infinite number of alternate universes) to try to explain it. The simplest explanation— that subatomic particles actually do interact with consciousness at some level—is too far outside the model to be seriously considered. Yet it’s interesting that two of the biggest mysteries of physics involve consciousness. But even putting aside the issues of consciousness, the current model leaves much to be desired when it comes to explaining the fundamentals of our universe. The cosmos (according to recent refinements) sprang out of nothingness 13.7 billion years ago, in a titanic event humorously labeled the Big Bang. We don’t really understand where the Big Bang came from and we continually tinker with the details, including

adding an inflationary period with physics we don’t yet understand, but the existence of which is needed in order to be consistent with our observations. When a sixth grader asks the most basic question about the universe, such as, “What happened before the Big Bang?” the teacher, if knowledgeable enough, has an answer at the ready: “There was no time before the Big Bang, because time can only arise alongside matter and energy, so the question has no meaning. It’s like asking what is north of the North Pole.” The student sits down, shuts up, and everyone pretends that some actual knowledge has just been imparted. Someone will ask, “What is the expanding universe expanding into?” Again, the professor is ready: “You cannot have space without objects defining it, so we must picture the universe bringing its own space with it into an ever-larger size. Also, it is wrong to visualize the universe as if looking at it ‘from the outside’ because nothing exists outside the universe, so the question makes no sense.”

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“Well, can you at least say what the Big Bang was? Is there some explanation for it?” For years, when my co-author was feeling lazy, he would recite the standard reply to his college students as if it were an after-business-hours recording: “We observe particles materializing in empty space and then vanishing: these are quantum mechanical fluctuations. Well, given enough time, one would expect such a fluctuation to involve so many particles that an entire universe would appear. If the universe was indeed a quantum fluctuation, it would display just the properties we observe!” The student takes his chair. So that’s it! The universe is a quantum fluctuation! Clarity at last. But even the professor, in his quiet moments alone, would wonder at least briefly what things might have been like the Tuesday before the Big Bang. Even he realizes in his bones that you can never get something from nothing, and that the Big Bang is no explanation at all for the origins of everything but merely, at best, the partial description of a

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single event in a continuum that is probably timeless. In short, one of the most widely known and popularized “explanations” about the origin and nature of the cosmos abruptly brakes at a blank wall at the very moment when it seems to be arriving at its central point. During this entire parade, of course, a few people in the crowd will happen to notice that the emperor seems to have skimped in his wardrobe budget. It’s one thing to respect authority and acknowledge that theoretical physicists are brilliant people, even if they do tend to drip food on themselves at buffets. But at some point, virtually everyone has thought or at least felt “This really doesn’t work. This doesn’t explain anything fundamental, not really. This whole business, A to Z, is unsatisfactory. It doesn’t ring true. It doesn’t feel right. It doesn’t answer answer my questions. Something’s rotten behind those ivy-covered walls, and it goes deeper than the hydrogen sulfide released by the fraternity rushers.”


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Like rats swarming onto the deck of a sinking ship, more problems keep surfacing with the current model. It now turns out that our beloved familiar baryonic matter—that is, everything we see, and everything that has form, plus all known energies—is abruptly reduced to just 4 percent of the universe, with dark matter constituting about 24 percent. The true bulk of the cosmos suddenly becomes dark energy, a term for something utterly mysterious. And, by the way, the expansion is increasing, not decreasing. In just a few years, the basic nature of the cosmos goes inside out, even if nobody at the office watercooler seems to notice. In the last few decades, there has been considerable discussion of a basic paradox in the construction of the universe as we know it. Why are the laws of physics exactly balanced for animal life to exist? For example, if the Big Bang had been one-part-in-a-million more powerful, it would have rushed out too fast for the galaxies and life to develop. If the strong nuclear force were decreased 2 percent, atomic nuclei wouldn’t hold together, and plain-vanilla hydrogen would be the only kind of atom in the universe. If the gravitational force were decreased by a hair, stars (including the Sun) would not ignite. These are just three of just more than two hundred physical parameters within the solar system and universe so exact that it strains credulity to propose that they are random—even if that is exactly what standard contemporary physics baldly suggests. These fundamental constants of the universe—constants that are not predicted by any theory—all seem to be carefully chosen, often with great precision, to allow for the existence of life and consciousness (yes, consciousness raises its annoying paradoxical head yet a third time). The old model has absolutely no reasonable explanation for this. But biocentrism supplies answers, as we shall see. There’s more. Brilliant equations that accurately explain the vagaries of motion contradict observations about how things behave on the small scale. (Or, to affix the correct labels on it, Einstein’s relativity is incompatible with quantum mechanics.) Theories of the origins of the cosmos screech to a halt

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when they reach the very event of interest, the Big Bang. Attempts to combine all forces in order to produce an underlying oneness—currently in vogue is string theory—require invoking at least eight extra dimensions, none of which have the slightest basis in human experience, nor can be experimentally verified in any way. When it comes right down to it, today’s science is amazingly good at figuring out how the parts work. The clock has been taken apart, and we can accurately count the number of teeth in each wheel and gear, and ascertain the rate at which the flywheel spins. We know that Mars rotates in 24 hours, 37 minutes, and 23 seconds, and this information is as solid as it comes. What eludes us is the big picture. We provide interim answers, we create exquisite new technologies from our ever-expanding knowledge of physical processes, we dazzle ourselves with our applications of our newfound discoveries. We do badly in just one area, which unfortunately encompasses all the bottomline issues: what is the nature of this thing we call reality, the universe as a whole? Any honest metaphorical summary of the current state of explaining the cosmos as a whole is . . . a swamp. And this particular Everglade is one where the alligators of common sense must be evaded at every turn. The avoidance or postponement of answering such deep and basic questions was traditionally the province of religion, which excelled at it. Every thinking person always knew that an insuperable mystery lay at the final square of the game board, and that there was no possible way of avoiding it. So, when we ran out of explanations and processes and causes that preceded the previous cause, we said, “God did it.” Now, this book is not going to discuss spiritual beliefs nor take sides on whether this line of thinking is wrong or right. It will only observe that invoking a deity provided something that was crucially required: it permitted the inquiry to reach some sort of agreed-upon endpoint. As recently as a century ago, science texts routinely cited God and “God’s

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glory” whenever they reached the truly deep and unanswerable portions of the issue at hand.Today, such humility is in short supply. God of course has been discarded, which is appropriate in a strictly scientific process, but no other entity or device has arisen to stand in for the ultimate “I don’t have a clue.” To the contrary, some scientists (Stephen Hawking and the late Carl Sagan come to mind) insist that a “theory of everything” is just around the corner, and then we’ll essentially know it all—any day now. It hasn’t happened, and it won’t happen. The reason is not for any lack of effort or intelligence. It’s that the very underlying world-view is flawed. So now, superimposed on the previous theoretical contradictions, stands a new layer of unknowns that pop into our awareness with frustrating regularity. But a solution lies within our grasp, a solution hinted at by the frequency with which, as the old model breaks down, we see an answer peeking out from under a corner. This is the underlying problem: we have ignored a critical component of the cosmos, shunted it out of the way because we didn’t know what to do with it. This component is consciousness.

Ab out the Author Robert Lanza MD, is considered one of the leading scientists in the world. He is currently chief scientific officer at Advanced Cell Technology and adjunct professor at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. He has hundreds of publications and inventions, and 20 scientific books: among them, Principles of Tissue Engineering, which is recognized as the definitive reference in the field. His latest publication, Biocentricism is a must-read for progressive thinkers.

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Quantum Consciousness: The Way to Reconcile Science and Spirituality

by Kingsley Dennis. Ph.D.

helping us arrive at the point where

H

uman thought in the twentyfirst century needs to work towards a new model that immerses the human being within a vibrant energetic universe. However, this need not demand that we throw away what we already have; rather, we can expand upon the tools that have brought us to our present position. There is an eastern proverb that roughly translates as: “You may ride your donkey up to your front door, but would you ride it into your house?” In other words, when we have arrived at a particular destination we are often required to make a transition in order to continue the journey. In this sense we can be grateful to a vast knowledge base of scientific and religious thought for

we presently stand. Yet it is now imperative that we move forward. As Deepak Chopra wrote his post “Consciousness and the End of the War Between Science and Religion” how we move forward is likely to be centered in our understanding of consciousness. Our physical apparatus is spectacular; consider that each of us carries around a 100-billion-cell bioelectric quantum computer that creates our realities, with almost all its neurons established the day we were born. Still, this phenomenal “reality shaper” has undergone monumental perceptual change over our evolutionary history. What is required, at this significant juncture, is again another catalyst of consciousness change. This may come about through discoveries in the field of quantum biology, and the idea, emphasized by Ervin Laszlo in his blogs (http://ervinlaszlo.com), that the form of consciousness we possess is likely to be the result of quantum coherence.


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The human body is a constant flux of thousands of inter-reactions and processes connecting molecules, cells, organs and fluids throughout the brain, body and nervous system. Up until recently it was thought that all these countless interactions operated in a linear sequence, passing on information much like a runner passing the baton to the next runner. However, the latest findings in quantum biology and biophysics have discovered that there is in fact a tremendous degree of coherence within all living systems. It has been found through extensive scientific investigation that a form of quantum coherence operates within living biological systems through what is known as biological excitations and biophoton emission. What this means is that metabolic energy is stored as a form of electromechanical and electromagnetic excitations. It is these coherent excitations that are considered responsible for generating and maintaining long-range order via the transformation of energy and very weak electromagnetic signals. After nearly 20 years of experimental research, Fritz-Albert Popp put forward the hypothesis that

biophotons are emitted from a coherent electrodynamic field within the living system. What this effectively means is that each living cell is giving off, and resonating with, a biophoton field of coherent energy. If each cell is emitting this field, then the whole living system is, in effect, a resonating field -- a ubiquitous nonlocal field. And since it is by the means of biophotons that the living system communicates, then there is near instantaneous intercommunication throughout. And this, claims Popp, is the basis for coherent biological organization -- referred to as quantum coherence. Biophysicist Mae-Wan Ho has described how the living organism, including the human body, is “coherent beyond our wildest dreams� in that our bodies are constituted by a form of liquid crystal, which is an ideal transmitter of communication, resonance, and coherence. All living biological organisms continuously emit radiations of light that form a field of coherence and communication. Moreover, biophysicists have discovered that living organisms are permeated by quantum wave forms. In her 1998 book The Rainbow

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and the Worm: The Physics of Organisms, Ho informs us that the visible body just happens to be where the wave function of the organism is most dense. Invisible quantum waves are spreading out from each of us and permeating into all other organisms. At the same time, each of us has the waves of every other organism entangled within our own make-up ... This incredible new discovery actually positions each living being within a non-local quantum field consisting of wave interferences (where bodies meet). Each person is thus not only in an emphatic relationship with each other but is also entangled with one another. Neuroscience, quantum biology, and quantum physics are now beginning to converge to reveal that our bodies are not only biochemical systems but also sophisticated resonating quantum systems. These new discoveries show that a form of nonlocal connected consciousness has a physical-scientific basis. Further, it demonstrates that certain spiritual or transcendental states of collective ‘Oneness’ have a valid basis within the new scientific paradigm. If we are willing to step down from the donkey, we will find that our new path ahead has a place for reconciling science and spirituality. We should focus on the best of both worlds: engage in cooperation, not in conflict and competition.

Ab out the Author Kingsley L. Dennis, Ph.D., is a sociologist and writer currently connected with the Giordano Bruno GlobalShift University. He is also a cofounder of WorldShift International. The author of numerous articles on complexity theory, technologies, new media communications, and consciousness, he spends his time between Andalusia, Spain, and the United Kingdom

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VEDIC SCIENCE Can science provide us with the answers to life's mysteries? Can modern scientists continue to reject the concept of a creator intelligence? Scientists have long held that the universal creation is describable by simple mathematical formulas. Recent discoveries in algorithmic information theory have definatively shown that this is not so. Where do we go from here?... Can Vedic Science help? This website is inspired by the profound Vedic culture and the many important contributions to modern science, mathematics, architecture and many other fields that are credited to it. As such, many of the scientific and other articles here are not about Vedic Science directly but lead one to the conclusions of the Vedas — they are inspired by Vedic Science and the culture of the Vedas.

www.vedicsciences.net

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Swami Sadananda G a u d i y a To u c h s t o n e

Interview with Dasadasanudasa Kishordas & Kalakanthidasi Disciples of Swami Sadananda A Brief Introduction Swami Sadananda, as he is popularly known, was the first western adherent to Gaudiya Vaishnava philosophy in the 20th century. Sadananda was of German descent. He traveled to India, became an initiated disciple of Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati and was later interned in a prisoner of war camp in India during World War II. Upon his release at the end of the war, Sadananda traveled extensively in India and eventually returned to Europe where he established a modest following in Sweden, Switzerland and Germany. That following of disciples continues to this day.

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Hard as a Thunderbolt Soft as a Flower How did Swami Sadananda come in contact with the teachings of Gaudiya Vaishnavism? In the winter of 1933, when he was 25 years old, he met Swami Bon in Berlin and through him he later got the work Sree Krishna Chaitanya by Prof. Sanyal. There he found the answers to all the questions he had nurtured for many years:

realisation of the natural function of the soul. (Letter to Swami Bon, January 12, 1934) This led him to intensive studies of Gaudiya Vaishnavism and further contact with Swami Bon and Bhakti Pradip Tirtha Maharaja, who both gave him initiation at the matha in London in the beginning of 1934. In April Sadananda wrote in his first letter to Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati:

It is since the year 1922 that my life was engaged in the search for a deeper conception of Religion, Truth and Godhead – than the religion of my confession. I have never been interested in worldly learnings. I have been studying the Comparative History of Religion and reading the best books and scriptures of the different religions – not for scholarly purpose but for finding out the way of the

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1

2 3

4

Swami Bon’s return to India in 1935 – 1) Baron Von Koeth, 2) Sadananda, 3) Swami Bon, 4) Bhaktivedanta Swami.

Blessed by Your Divine Grace I was initiated by Sree Swami Bon and received the holy Name from Sree Tirtha Maharaj. Sadananda then worked for the mission both in England and Germany until Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati invited him to join his mission in India, where Sadananda arrived in September 1935, together with Swami Bon and Baron Von Koeth from Germany. Did Swami Sadananda ever speak about his years in the Gaudiya Matha in India? What places, what

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events, and what personalities and Godbrothers did he mention? He could only serve his gurudeva in the Gaudiya Matha from September 1935 till January 1937. From his notes it seems that he followed Bhaktisiddhanta on his tours, took notes from his lectures etc. Most of the time he was certainly engaged in studying the shastrams, preparing lectures himself and writing articles for The Harmonist. Not much is known about his relation to his Godbrothers during this time but we know that he never felt at home in the Gaudiya Matha.


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Moreover already then his health was fragile. He never believed in “organized religion”, and in his article in The Harmonist, “Society – Community – Math”, one can see that his vision of the true matha was rather utopian, as it implies a society of absolutely pure Vaishnavas. He seems to have had difficulties in fitting himself into the real organisation, with all its shortcomings. In some notes from Darjeeling, July 12, 1936 one can read: You must have your own sensitive, i.e. organic system, tailor-made, no suit off the peg. It is only when you subserve yourself and your environment to the necessities and rules of living according to your personal conditions that you can render your fellow beings a service. Judges of character can see through your automatic skeleton suit in the same manner as you can see through the armour of conventions, into the corrupt “substance” of the kernel – insincerity. Only those who are truly existing (who are “sat”/prema-bhaktas) can teach – and those are the last who adopt the pose of a teacher. The others can “talk about” being

more humble than a blade of grass, but cannot live a comrade-leaderfellowship as Christ has done, because in this case they fear – with perfect justice – that they would lose the possibility to be a teacher, in other words: their “respect”. In the best possible way, you should withdraw from the marketplace and shape your life, in all expressions of your being, as a direct consequence of your true relation to God. Watch out for stereotypes, which will kill you, and what is worse, the thing itself. Be free! Did Swami Sadananda often speak about his guru, Srila Saraswati Thakura? What sort of things did he say? Everything Sadananda did was in the spirit of ‘Prabhupada’s seva’ and when Srila Saraswati Thakura disappeared Sadananda suffered immensely. Being extremely ill in India, sometimes unable to perform his shastra-seva, he often writes to Vamandas in Sweden: “When will Prabhupada finally call me back?” and in the next moment he thinks of Vamandas and his friends in Sweden and writes: “I cannot

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imagine that Prabhupada will call me back when Vamandas needs so much material from me.” In a letter from 20.9.55 he writes to his disciple Vamandas (Walther Eidlitz):

(L-R) Sadananda, Swami Bon, Vamandas

I myself would never have been where I am today, if not already as a youth I doubted what people, poets, scholars said and prepared myself to learn the most strange languages, just to be able to read a text that dealt with God and the meaning of life in the original text itself and free myself from what others read into it from their mind and heart.

Then, on the second day after my arrival here, my Gurudeva told me: “The first thing you have to do is to collect all what you learned, read, excerpted, felt, know. Put it in a big bag and throw it into the sea where the sea is deepest and start anew.” Once when I felt sad, because I hadn’t been raised as a Hindu in India and didn’t have the inner associations that every Hindu has together with the concepts deva, devi, avatara, bhakti etc., he was even angry and said: “You missed nothing. It is a blessing that you did not imbibe all these associated ideas. You would have learned only wrong things. There is nothing to be learned from people, poets etc. You have to learn from God directly – i.e. what God teaches in His Own words.” Who was Vamandas and what is his connection to Swami Sadananda? The Austrian Walther Eidlitz (Vamandas, 1892–1976) was a successful writer even as a youth. Some time before the outbreak of the Second World War, he felt an irresistible yearning for going to India to study its ancient religion, and went there with the intention to bring his family along later. The war interfered

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with these plans, however, and, as the family was Jewish, Vamandas’ wife and son were forced to flee from the Nazis, and, eventually, found refuge in Sweden. Meanwhile Vamandas, as an Austrian citizen in India, was interned in an Indian camp, where he met his guru, Swami Sadananda Dasa, who in that place began his uninterrupted teaching of him. (See Eidlitz’ book Unknown India) After his release from the internment camp and before he left India for travelling to Sweden, Swami Sadananda and Bhakti Hridaya Bon Maharaja came to Bombay to see him. Swami Bon wished to initiate him into the Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition and from him Vamandas received his spiritual name Vimala Krishna Vidyavinode Dasa. From his first guru, Sri, he had already got his name Vamandas, and for some reason Sadananda continued to call him so even after his initiation. A few days later, in July 1946, Vamandas returned to Europe and Sweden and worked there continuously to spread the knowledge of the shastrams, the revelation of God’s word-form, through lectures, courses

and books. All this time, Sadananda assisted him with untiring devotion by providing him with material and correcting his misconceptions. Some books (especially the German book Die Indische Gottesliebe, in Swedish Krishnas Leende) unfortunately contain many errors, because Vamandas was still mixing mysticism into the teachings of pure bhakti. The later books, however, and above all his work, Krishna Chaitanya, Sein Leben und Seine Lehre (Stockholm University 1968), give a brilliant survey of the essence of shastric revelation. In spite of the mistakes Vamandas had made in the beginning, Sadananda

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wrote in one of his last letters to him: “Tell your friends, that everything they do for you, they do for me as well.” We cannot be grateful enough to Vamandas. In addition to all the books he wrote, he also brought Sadananda to us, here in the West. By his lifetime achievement Vamandas broke new ground, presenting in a European language a knowledge that at that time was practically unknown in the West.

internment camp in September 1939 – due to his German citizenship. Did Swami Sadananda ever speak about his years of prison internment in India during World War II? What events did he relate?

What did Swami Sadananda do after Bhaktisiddhanta’s disappearance? After the disappearance of his Gurudeva in January 1937, Sadananda went on a study tour and pilgrimage all over India, from Badarinatha, close to the Tibetan border, to Cape Comorin (Kanya Kumari, South India). On his pilgrimage, mostly on foot, he gave many lectures at universities, colleges and monasteries, visited holy places, discussed with scholars, lived in caves with solitary sages, collected manuscripts of the Chaitanya movement, was a guest at the homes of great maharajas and industrialists, but always lived as a mendicant, till he was arrested and put in an

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From his own and Vamandas’ notes one can see that he suffered tremendously from being denied to practise his religion, to have vegetarian food, a secluded place for his worship etc. Nevertheless, he spent most of his time translating the shastrams. Several times he was on the verge of


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death but decided to continue to live for the sake of Prabhupada’s seva and to assist Vamandas. He writes: As a matter of fact, there can be no opposition against Krishna and those who want to serve Him, but opponents are deputed by Him to give us the chance to serve Him. Outwardly I might be degraded to an outcaste, but all the denial of cult and food cannot put out the fire of Divine Prema in my heart; it is rather increasing. All possible opposition from all quarters, simply to exhaust all the possibilities to obstruct my serving temper, to give me the chance (to prove), that a mleccha (outcaste)-bhakta of Gurudeva never stops and never gives up His service. (8.6.44) On another occasion, on the verge of death, he tells Vamandas: My mission this time was just this, to be born as a human being far away from India, in Europe, and in spite of countless difficulties still become Prabhupada’s friend. He told me that we have always been together since eternity.

Before his release, in July 1945, he writes about his hardships in his notes: To whomsoever it may concern The spiritual ecstasies experienced in the cult of Sri Sri Radha Govinda are of such an uncommon and extraordinary character, that though of Divine origin, the spiritual madness and intoxication appears to those who have not realised them, as symptomatic of insanity, epilepsy or lunacy. The Krishna-dedicated souls

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are, therefore, instructed to hide these experiences from the view of outsiders, nay, it is considered base and low to expose any of these experiences to the view of those who are averse to the unconditional service of Sri Krishna and indulge in the intellectual or emotional

exploitation of whatever they come across in their so-called human life, which is – in reality – only another form of bestial life – being void of the true meaning of life: to serve God unreservedly and unconditionally. [...]

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It was the order given to me by my Divine Master that I should devote all energy I can spend to the study, exposition, translation and explanation of Srimad Bhagavatam and Sri Chaitanya-charitamritam. The hostile attitude of the authorities and the cointernees in the wings towards a “renegade” of European civilisation, the complete failure to instinctively apprehend the real nature of myself and the purpose of my life made it advisable to adopt every means to pretend to be a sahib and European. I know it for definitely that had I strictly adhered to the principles of my cult, i.e. strict Hindu-diet, dissociation from atheists and non-Vaishnavas and insisted on the exercise of my cult and worship, the authorities would have been pleased to send me to a lunatic asylum to get cured of the religious frenzies. I did not care for the opinion of others but was eager to adopt any means to keep the body physically fit to provide the strength at least for a few hours of study and translation


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of the Srimad Bhagavatam. [...] Besides, wherever I was, I tried by a sort of mimicry to adjust myself to the ways of my surroundings to have the chance to come in contact with other internees for the purpose of clearing the misunderstandings about religion in general and Krishna-cult in special (Sanskrit and philosophy classes to the Christian missionaries, priests; lectures etc.). [...]

sincere in my religion, being a fake sadhu. It is time now to bring home to the intolerant mind of the authorities and cointernees that I am not a fake sadhu but a fake sahib. [...] To my own conscience I have fulfilled my task as an eternal servant of Krishna and Prabhupada, born in a European body. I am glad that I was spared no difficulty and trouble, because it fostered my will to find new and new ways to serve Him. Being released, but now afraid of being expelled from India, he writes:

To an outsider this appears as inconsequence – but what else could be done. To insist on my cult and diet – was the way of a troublemaker, “let him die if he is so foolish and fanatic” – and when apparently I followed the advice – “you adjust yourself to the camplife” – I was criticized for not being

In the dark hours, when it appears to me, that the pangs of separation from those who love Krishna – for whose service I came to India – are unbearable, I have repeated visions of living in overcrowded quarters amidst the scorching blazing heat of a fire consuming the small buildings around me. My tongue is parched and I feel suffocated. So far I’ve had the strength to overcome the depressions, vanishing like thin transparent evening clouds before the waxing moon of my hopes.

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Now I visualise the hopeless nights with heavy layers of clouds, overcasting the sky without even the chance to catch one ray of the waning moon. I visualise the day when I will be asked as one in a flock of cattle to leave the country in which I was living in the loving service of my beloved Gurudeva earlier in my life. Because others, not myself, identify my real person with the perishable covering of flesh and bones, called a German individual. Perhaps it was not practical, considered from the point of view of sound common sense, to agree to the play of identifying myself sometimes with something I was not. Yet, this was the only chance to try to carry to others, occasionally at least, the outside cover of the exoteric mysteries of the art of love for Krishna. I apprehend the day when I will know for certain not to be fortunate to bow down to the samadhi of my beloved Master or to touch the lotus feet of the few great souls left on this earth from all entourage.

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I feel if I would concede to relax for a little moment, my energy and will power utilized to the last to keep this physical and mental organism running, it would vanish as water from the open hand. Should it be really worthwhile the effort to try to make this body proceed to a country where I have to miss the invigorating rays emanating from the spiritual soil of India, cut off completely from the chance to support myself by the verbal vibrations of real bhaktas, to live after years of internment again alone with no one to talk to or exchange thoughts and experiences, without the many forms and things in this country which awaken associations with Krishna and His descents? Oscillating between the two alternatives of proceeding to a desert or leaving this body to the care of Mother Bharata Bhumi, I cannot make up my mind, and trust Prabhupada and Krishna will decide and make me realize the decision soon and unexpectedly.


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What did Swami Sadananda do after his years of prison internment? With Swami Bon’s help he got released and went to Vrindavana. He also went on some tours together with Swami Bon but most of the time he was very ill. In May 1946, he writes in a letter to Vamandas:

I spent some time in the hospital of the school of Tropical Medicine in Calcutta, but as a result of all investigations and X-rays and what not else, it is certain that I shall never be healthy in my life but remain permanently invalid. I left the hospital and decided to follow Bon Maharaja and accept the

invitation of some bhaktas in Assam where I have never been before and to visit some of the ancient Srines in the land of Tantra. After that I shall return to Vrindavana which I feel is the centre for my own religious life. I shall try to found an institution of my own in case I can get some relief from the bad physical pain from which I am suffering constantly. (Gauhati, May 3, 1946) Not much is known about what happened to Sadananda during the following years. One has to keep in mind that it were turbulent times in India then: 1949 it was declared a republic, then it was divided into India and Pakistan, resulting in heavy religious conflicts and one million people dead. But after things had settled down a bit, in November 1950, Vamandas returned to India from Sweden – where he had found a place of refuge after his release from the internment camp in 1946 – and spent five months together with Sadananda in Mayapura, Puri, Mathura-Vrindavana and Benares.

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After this period Sadananda mostly stayed at a poor friend’s house in Howrah, Calcutta, most of the time bedridden. From now on, and for ten years, he tried to gather strength to go to his friends in Sweden, who regularly sent him money for his survival. During these years he worked constantly with his translations of the shastrams, sending new material to his friends in Sweden and especially to Vamandas, for his books, lectures and courses in Europe. But to his great disappointment, he gradually realized that Vamandas could not pass on the teachings he had received from him in its pure form. Still, he continued to help him, even sending him hundreds of pages of corrections to his second book, Indische Gottesliebe, published in German and Swedish in 1955. In February 1953, Sadananda’s bhakta-friend in Howrah, Gauranga Ghosh, wrote to Vamandas: You know with great, great difficulties all of us here tried our best to snatch him from the hands of Yama. You cannot imagine how his condition was since September: severe pain, his head getting cold all of a sudden during day or night. Doctors, injections, protein, medicines from Canada, careful diets at tremendous cost somehow made him get to read. All of a sudden he decided to start on Murari’s notes. He went to a house of a man not far away from here only to sit there all the nights till dawn and write and think and write, and finishing Murari’s notes he was quite finished

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himself, as in that house there was nobody to look after him, to give him diets and medicines at hourly intervals as advised. When your manuscript came, he worked like mad night and day and did not listen to anybody. The day after it was dispatched he collapsed and with great difficulties he was brought back to my house. We nurse him by turns, but you know we can give only our time and strength and love for him. When did Swami Sadananda return to Europe from India? In 1961. A small group of Swiss had realised Sadananda’s deteriorating state of health under the deplorable living conditions in Calcutta and offered him a flight to Basel. In Basel an oral surgery operation healed his fever that had lasted for many years and – in combination with other tropical diseases and several failed surgeries in the internment camp – had often brought him to the verge of death. In the following he lived in Basel and payed periodical visits to Sweden in the summers. Did you ever meet Swami Sadananda personally? I only met him a few times before his disappearance in 1977 but these meetings changed my life thoroughly. His outer dress and behaviour didn’t reveal anything extraordinary – on the contrary. But my distinct feeling was that he was not of this world and that he could read every secret thought I had. On one occasion I spent a few days with him together with his disciple Vamandas (Walther Eidlitz) and I was appalled at seeing 80-year-old Vamandas turn into a 5-year-old boy in the presence of his much younger Gurudeva. Hard as a thunderbolt, and for two days, Sadananda criticized him severely for the many mistakes he had done in his translations of the shastrams etc. Before, in Vamandas’ book Unknown India I had read that Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura also often expressed what Sadananda

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called ‘aggressive grace’. Many years earlier, in the internment camp in India, Vamandas had asked Sadananda: – Why do they torment you? Give you the worst place in Wing II, without air and light, spread lies about you, that you once again act as a troublemaker. As if they want to catch you in a net. – To get out the extreme of seva. Yes – Yogamaya [God’s Own, internal shakti, attracting towards the Centre of all existence]. She behaves like vikarshanashakti [the external shakti, Mahamaya’s repelling force, hurling away from the Centre of all existence]. – And why do people hate you? It seems that your methods of “aggressive grace” fall back on you as karma. – Aggressive grace is ahaituki [causeless]. – You mean cit, without karma? – Yes. – And why do they hate you? – Because they feel that I am firmly rooted in something. This is what the philistine hates most of all, when someone is firmly rooted, as he is not, “he is drifting”. (Notebook, Vamandas) On the day of our departure Sadananda’s mood changed and he embraced both Vamandas and me heartily, with tears in his eyes, expressing a kind of affection I had never experienced before. Then I knew what the words qualifying the guru meant: “Hard as a thunderbolt, soft as a flower.” 20 years earlier, Sadananda wrote to Vamandas: You must not be unpleasantly affected by my severe criticism of your faults. It is because I love you so deeply, Vamandas, for your absorption in the bhakti cult, that I allow myself to be so hard on you, who has sacrificed so much for me. But you may rest assured that your sacrifices will not stay by me; they go like sunshine through wide-open windows to Him and Her. (Letter 19.7.52)

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The day before, he also showed me his great sense of humour when I suddenly, out of gratitude felt the need to kneel in front of him. Then he looked at me with a smile, saying: “Have you got some pain in your back?”. Then, when he emphasised the utmost importance of sambandha-jnanam and defined the atma and the subtle and gross body, he suddenly asked me, his eyes flashing: Do you know the meaning of the word “Radha”? It is derived from the two Sanskrit roots “ra” and “dha”. “Ra” means “to give”; like a flash of lightning Radha grants Krishna, the deep, dark mystery, insight into His own being – and then She immediately withdraws again, removes Herself, “dha”. What was Swami Sadananda’s demeanour/character and what did he stress as the most important message of Gaudiya Vaishnavism? He was very hard on himself but extremely tolerant and understanding when it came to others. In a letter to Mario Windisch, February 25, 1968, Bhaktivedanta Swami writes about Sadananda: In Bombay sometimes we lived together and he used to treat my little sons very kindly. His heart is so soft, as soft as a good mother’s, and I always remember him and shall continue to do so. Still, Sadananda could not stand distortions of the bhakti philosophy. This made him very upset.

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Regarding the universality of the message of Gaudiya Vaishnavism he writes to Vamandas: You must not forget that Eternal Power, wherever it is at work in the world, is expressed in the images of thought of the prevailing time and culture. To really be able to gain a factual and positive value from Vamandas’ lectures and bring it into one’s own life, one must try to look through the seemingly Indian attire and see the essence – for true Knowledge is conveyed to mankind and is never Indian, Asian, European or African. (19.6.61) But he was clearly aware of the difficulties: Mr. A. is of the opinion that “Sweden is too small for Sadananda”. – Tell him that the world is too small for me. I might find two or three people in a whole continent, who can understand what rasa is and who are able to appreciate a work of rasika as the Bhagavatam or Chaitanya-charitamrita. Here in India there might be two or three persons?

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To me it is as for Angira Muni in Bhagavatam VI. He came to Chitraketu and wanted to offer him the highest gift there is – but found him longing for descendents. Everyone longs for something else, not for inner freedom. Everyone wants to remain slaves, just change clothes and chains, no one wants to cast them aside. (Letter to Vamandas 1960) Bhakti is difficult, the individual is completely alone with God and it is very, very difficult for one – even if he had a guru – to actually practise bhakti in the West, i.e. to sense what is chit behind the veil of the seemingly Indian appearance and covering (externally and linguistically). 99,9 % of those who listen to you and read your books while they search will cool down after their first enthusiasm and go on searching somewhere else. People want to bring themselves, the concrete man himself, into bhakti – man, whose worthlessness they are unable to realize, because they don’t know and experience anything else than what they daily and since millions of lives before have known and experienced as their “I”.


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Even Mahaprabhu and His Own co-players came to a deadlock – when no one else was eligible to receive bhakti. Not to expect anything, not even physical and mental “shanti”, inner peace, in one’s heart of hearts, as God’s gift in return for our efforts – this is only for those few who are the noblest of the noble. [...] Haven’t I myself, before the war, given lectures, explained the shastrams? Thousands – and except a few, has anyone been able to make a 180° turn from self-centredness to God-centredness? And yet, those two or three are worth the effort. (8.11.59) He also stresses that the Gaudiya Vaishnava sampradaya is the only tradition that acknowledges the shastrams en masse, which gives their full import: Mahaprabhu did not create any new system, nor did Jiva Goswami. Achintyabhedabheda is a conclusion, a siddhanta, the conclusion drawn regarding the Revelation. When the Upanishads talk about unity and duality, distinction and non-distinction, and with this double statement want to make a statement about God’s nature, it follows that God simultaneously is form and not form, one and manifold etc. This may be contrary to the laws of human logic, but God and His nature are in no way confined to obey mundane, human laws of thinking. The word achintya-bhedabheda-vada appears only later. Mahaprabhu and His contemporaries had no intention whatsoever to create a new system in addition to the existing opposition between the monistic and dualistic systems, but wanted to show that one does violence to the Absolute, when one tries to squeeze it either into the systems of monism or dualism, and instead of accepting the double statements of the Revelation only adhere to one side of it. (Gaudiya-Sampradaya-Tattva, notebook Mayapur 1959) What do you consider the most important among the writings of Swami Sadananda?

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Sadananda never published anything himself, saying that Vamandas’ writings were for the public, his writings for the few. He devoted most of his time to translate the shastrams into German and then dictated them to his friends. These dictated and typed texts from some of the main Sanskrit and Bengali sources will gradually be checked and translated into English and hopefully published in the future. Personally, I consider his corrections to Vamandas’ second book Die Indische Gottesliebe most important, because it goes to the bottom with all possible kinds of misconceptions we all might have in the beginning. Reading it on a regular basis is a training to redirect our mind from being self-centred to becoming seva-centred. One cannot ever train this enough. From Sadananda’s own point of view, at a certain time in India, the Chaitanyabhagavata seems to have been of utmost importance to him. He writes to Vamandas (6.8.1955): Everything which you have read so far about Chaitanya Deva – from sources and books – is reduced to a pale reflection before the effulgent moon of this work. Believe me, without this

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work you cannot have any idea what lila is, especially with His Own. This is no exaggeration. [...] It presents the complete theology of Chaitanya-lila, but by way of telling the events of His life, not theoretically. I have translated word by word, technical expresssions in parentheses. It may well be my testament. With the Chaitanyabhagavatam it all started when I arrived in India – should it be the close, too?[...] This work is as much revolting to the Indian general religiosity of the past as of the present. He and His Own are no humans; They come and go, become visible in time and space and become invisible into the realm beyond time and space (Vaikuntha) again, which is omnipresent, only not perceptible directly, as long as the highest level of Knowledge and Love (bhakti) is not attained. You are my true child, Vamandas. For your sake I have translated this work the last days. You must not mix things and present/ think a sickly sweet Chaitanya.


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In what countries did Swami Sadananda preach in Europe and during what years? What type of programs did he have? He wanted to stay in the background and let Vamandas meet the public. Vamandas wrote books, gave lectures in Sweden, Germany and Switzerland and had summer courses in Sweden. Sadananda himself mainly focussed on his translations and dictating them to his disciples and friends. How many persons came to Swami Sadananda in Europe to become his disciples? Only a few who met Vamandas came to Sadananda. It is hard to say, but maybe he didn’t give initiation to more than a dozen during his lifetime, in India and Europe. But some others, who only met him briefly, now consider him to be their shiksha-guru, by listening to his vani in his texts, as well as others who never met him in person. What was Swami Sadananda’s view of Christianity or Western religion in general? He followed his guru’s view that Christ was a shaktyavesha-avatara, a great human who is permeated by Vishnu’s shakti and knows himself to be God’s servant or son. In a letter from 15.03.54 he assures that: We have no reason to doubt that actual and real Christ – not what is going on to be given as “Christ” – is the way to God the Father. In relation to Him we are like children, but this father-children relation is only one of the possible forms of relation the soul can have to Him, and it implies the great danger to look at Him as the Divine Order Supplier or Department-Store Director to whom we may appeal for redress of our moral, intellectual, physical or spiritual wants and needs. Christ has not given replies to the most burning problems of our soul and relation to God, because possibly, this was not needed or intended by this form of

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Divine Descent. Christian mystics have tried to express higher individual forms of their own realisations with the vocabulary of Christianity – but actual and real revelation expresses itself in Words and Ideas and they appear too meagre and lifeless in these mystics. Had they come in contact with Hindu Shastrams and not late classical philosophy they might have found more encouragement and scope. Yet he was working on a manuscript about the religions and philosophies of the world, calling the latter in total an aberration compared to Vaishnavism: In this manuscript will be explained, beginning with Mose to Nietzsche and Marx, from Christ to Mohammed and Buddha till the “Weiße-Käse-Apostel” [“cottage-cheese-apostle”, Joseph Weißenberg, 1855–1941] and Anthroposophy, that everything, really everything is an aberration and that even the best of it is only a portico to what the Karmakhanda parts of the Rigveda start with. The manuscript will please nobody; it is straight and hard as the Gita and Bhagavatam XI are. The manuscript is directed towards those, who are in doubt about their religion and ask, not towards those who already have decided against a God, who is not tailored to man’s needs. To those He grants, via His Maya, unwavering faith in what does not lead to the goal. (Gita 7,20–23) He pointed out that – The Western or Christian conception of world and man cannot be the basis to understand bhakti. Virtue and sin are relative terms, concerning the false ego of man. The atma by constitution belongs to the cit-realm, but as he is an atom of cit only, he requires cit-shakti to realise His and his nature. Bhakti is the shakti to know and to love. As soon as this shakti is given, the atma becomes mukta in the original sense. He does then everything from His point of view, not from the atma’s or much less from the point of view of the present ego.

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And in his corrections to Vamandas’ book Indische Gottesliebe he writes: Already for that reason – the fact that the religions outside the Vedic Word Revelation have no clear conception of the most basic principles, not even the nature of the atma, God’s form etc. – can the indistinct stammering of these religions on no account lead to God, at the very most, some time in a later life, be a preparation for listening to what real Revelation is and learn what the Divine Sun of Wisdom is compared to the mystic, smoking oil lamp. As a model of how to present Vaishnavism to the West he named the first introduction of Buddhism as a positive example: The classical Buddhism, e.g., was first presented in this manner to the West and quite objective accounts, not tied to any personality, have helped many westerners to sincerely worship and love Buddha, without externally forming a new cult, without forcing an external dramatic “conversion”. When Buddhistic groups were formed it already went wrong; and where attempts were made to bring East and West closer in the “form” of Western philosophy or comparisons with Christian theology etc. (Otto, Deussen, Dr. Radha­K rishnan), all went wrong. What did Swami Sadananda consider as his task in regard to his friends in the West? In a letter to Vamandas 12.11.54 he writes: Nirguna-bhakti has nothing to do with the Indian, the Eastern, it is beyond every human emotion, every soul, Eastern or Western. Bhagavatam and bhakti imply something completely un-Indian. Being able to appreciate them requires a complete break with the Indian and Western. […] First of all, you must give yourself and the people a clear, distinct “psychology” and “philosophy” – as a foundation. You are not Mahaprabhu who by His mere command “say Krishna!” granted the atmas bhakti-shakti, so that the disciples immediately grasped and could discern what the atma, the cittam, the world,

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God, Brahma and Krishna and their mutual relation is. If nothing but “Hare Krishna etc.” was enough, then there hadn’t been any need for Shuka to instruct Parikshit in the philosophy of the Bhagavatam etc. for 7 days and nights! 17.10.55 he writes: The correct approach to the Life and Teachings of both Sri Krishna and Chaitanya Mahaprabhu depends on the correct understanding of some fundamental principles of what is called Shastrams. Shastrams do not mean “Scriptures” but that which is meant to guide – and if necessary – “chastise” man’s intellect when he intends to approach Divinity.[...] I feel I shall write for all of you what I myself would have needed when I came to India first and tried to understand the Bhagavatam but there was nobody to get me a correct guide as to what to forget and what to keep in mind when starting for a spiritual life under the guidance of Chaitanya Deva. So that others who like myself want to go that path may have less difficulties than I had, I give a short summary of what expects us and from what ideas we have to separate us – how dear they might be to our heart – if we desire to grasp a bit of the mystery of the Bhagavatam. Please, there is nothing like “mysticism” in the shastrams, everything relating to the world, the atma and God, so far He is concerned with the world is terribly clear and leaves no place for a groping in the dark and indistinct sentimental complexes. And a few years later: It’s all about those noble-spirited ones, who are able to tread the most glorious path in this age of discord, – as a consequence of their service during former lives – and to collect those; and secondly, for the future, in words and writings establish that there are such glorious, great Divine things, completely different from what man expects and senses, to help those like Sadananda to be able to truly perceive the highest truth. (Letter to Vamandas 1959) Thank you very much! Gaura Haribol!

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Swami Sadananda with Vamandas and Srimad Bhakti Vilasa Tirtha Maharaja at Sri Chaitanya Matha, 1950 74


What is

T

he worldly rasa is dependent on a special technique of the poet, who himself experiences an aesthetic pleasure and whose work creates a pleasure in the reader. Whether the enjoyment incites sensuality or gives rise to a more subtle human emotion, it is still enjoyment (bhoga).

Rasa?

(A Letter from Sadananda to Vamandas, written in 1956) Translated into English with annotations in square brackets and copyright 2009 by Kid Samuelsson

The Divine rasa is the very opposite. The bhakta – who has got bhakti, the power to serve God, and is without a vestige of expectation of happiness or even of accepting happiness for himself – serves with his eyes, heart, ears etc. etc.; the actor here on the bhakta-stage has this very same power of service. The performance of the


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bhakti-drama or the poem is in itself service without any expectation or acceptance of happiness. In other words, the bhakta does not want to experience, to taste rasa etc., but to SERVE, nothing but SERVE. Krishna wants to serve the bhakta, the bhakta wants to serve Krishna, without expectation or acceptance of happiness. In the eternal realm, the hero is the cit-character Krishna and the heroines are the cit-shakti-characters, the gopis (observe the difference). The lila-situation changes every moment – every moment eager, new serving.

In the eternal realm, in Goloka or in Vraja (visible on earth for a while), these lila-situations arouse certain reactions for the sake of the one who is the object of service (for Krishna: the gopis, for the gopis: Krishna). This Prema-SERVING becomes rasa. Neither Krishna nor the gopis “experience” rasa as an object of their experience; their service is rasa. The reactions to certain lila-situations are forms of service; joy, sorrow, dismay etc. are not different states of mind a person gets into, like here in this world, when someone stands in front of an object of experience and experiences something, but joy, sorrow etc.

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are WAVES of rasa, waves of actual SERVICE. The bhakta in the bhakta-drama doesn’t really serve in actu, he still serves indirectly. Either he has a body formed of the gunas of Maya or he is a parshada [eternal coplayer] who believes he possesses a body consisting of gunas. At best the bhakta has got premabhakti which makes him worthy that God, attracted by this prema-bhakti, the will to serve, reveals Himself to him as the object of his service. When he listens to or performs the drama, he still serves indirectly. But when

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the lila or Krishna Himself become visible – due to the identity between the word Krishna [and Krishna Himself] or between the words that describe or express the lila [and the lila itself] – in that moment the will to serve becomes actual service, rasa. The bhakta, however, does not experience rasa as an object, but his service has become rasa. Whether he experiences joy, ananda, he is not aware of it at all as he is not busy with himself, but with his service for Krishna. Note: not with experiencing Krishna or the lila, but with serving.


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upon himself. At the best he cries, because he is not worthy to serve better and more.

He is “tanmaya”2, i.e. he is no longer aware of himself. He is only aware of the object of service and the [process of] serving. When the drama is over he does not experience: “Oh, this was a wonderful bathing in ananda”, but as serving has wholly become his nature – as his heart, his intellect, his senses, his atma are fully, exclusively aglow with the power of service (cf. the definition of bhava-bhakti in Bhaktirasamrita-sindhu)3 – he immediately continues his service, even though indirectly, and has no time to reflect

If you thought that as a result of or a reward for service the experience of bliss followed, you would forget that the bhakta, and even more the gopi, are fully identical with their service, and as you know, the gopi fully consists of service. Prema or the Love of God is nothing but service – and it is not anything in addition to it. It is service that is based on the servant’s specific personal relation to God, a relation that corresponds with the respective shape, form, dress, behaviour and character. The worldly rasa of mundane objects or of mundane poetry etc., however, is the result of the realisation of selfish desire which is realized when the object we want to exploit for the the sake of our own pleasure presents itself to our lust for exploitation. An experience that does not elevate, enrich, intensify ourselves, our feeling

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of being alive, does never become (worldly) rasa – it is simply uninteresting. While experiencing worldly rasa – during orgasm as sexual animal or in poetry [or drama] through a fictitious (imagined) identification with the hero of the play, our consciousness experiences a situation of temporary holiday from its ego. Here, experience of rasa is like oil into the fire of lust. In bhakti-rasa, however, not only the atma is awake since long, but he is uninterruptedly carried away by the stream of service. The parshada has a body and mind consisting of the power of service, which therefore cannot but serve. The prema-bhakta still on earth, and the eternal prema-bhakta, cannot do anything else but serve; while serving twenty-four hours a day, the thought just cannot cross their mind: “I want to experience, now I expect God to respond to my service and grant me joy.” Serving is happiness, even the suffering they experience when Krishna withdraws Himself from their service is happiness, because it isn’t (selfish) suffering due to the loss of one’s own happiness, as in the world, but suffering because of the fact that Krishna withdraws Himself from their service, which – as Krishna indefatigably emphasizes in the shastrams – pleases Krishna Himself. The suffering of the bhakta, when he cannot serve Krishna, is suffering due to the fact that God deprives Himself of His Own joy. While realizing an experience devoid of bhakti someone may desire rasa, but never a bhakta who serves. The bhavuka (bhakta on the stage of bhava) and rasika (bhakta on the stage of rasa), to whom the invitation of the Bhagavatam is addressed: “to drink the rasa of the Bhagavatam”, is someone who can no longer do anything but serve. He “drinks”, i.e. he listens to and understands how the bhaktas of the different stages serve HIM, he listens to and understands the rasa which is service, and in the centre of this service there is God for the bhakta and the bhakta for God. This “drinking” is a form of service; he listens, as he cannot do anything else, in order to please God. This “drinking” is not the enjoyment or experience of a spectator who enjoys and rejoices and sheds tears of joy as someone does who enjoys a drama or a poem, but the very opposite. Only those who have

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As soon as one experiences joy while reading or listening to rasa-texts one has gone astray, onto the path of sin, of God-lessness, and exploits the shastrams. reached this high stage of service can understand and estimate what SERVICE actually means. Among the others, the realization of actual service (rasa) is out of the question. It would be a fundamental error to think that as a result of service the experience of rasa follows. No, service, bhakti in itself, becomes rasa. Service as rasa is never an object of experience, because service itself is what experiences the service as rasa. Service experiences service, rasa experiences rasa. As long as a person, through his service, has not yet fully become service, he cannot know anything about service and rasa, and when he has totally become service, he can even less experience rasa, because due to his service he hasn’t got the time and possibility to think of himself and what is going on in his mind. God couldn’t care less about those who want to serve God (???) in order to experience happiness and expect that God in that way shall please them. The word bhakti means service; “nirguna-bhakti starts with belief in serving ME”. It would be fundamentally wrong to think that later, on a higher level, this

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suddenly turns into an expectation and a wish that God shall serve me by giving me joy! All those who think like this are animals, according to Krishna’s Own words (Bhag. 10.32.20).4 Rasa is SERVICE which becomes rasa when the object of service reveals itself to the service, it is REALIZATION of service. That is why it isn’t called rasa but bhakti-rasa, not just prema, but prema-bhakti. The individual bhakta only serves [God] in one way, whereas God serves the bhakta, who doesn’t want anything but God’s pleasure, in innumerable ways. He serves the bhakta not because He wants to give him happiness, but real service, which is happiness. As soon as one experiences joy while reading or listening to rasa-texts one has gone astray, onto the path of sin, of God-lessness, and exploits the shastrams. The bhakta hasn’t got any time to feel joy; his service of God is his joy and he is unsatiable in his service, because the power of service is infinite, is nirguna, God’s Own power. Daruka and others don’t curse their joy, as they don’t even know what joy actually is. They curse the fact that service in itself is joy and that the joy which is inherent in service sometimes disturbs the service; and the fact that the joy of service is experienced as disturbance of the service is a sign of genuine service. Consequently, those who have the slightest touch of the power to serve are never satisfied with themselves, and the more serving power they have, the less they think they do really serve. And this is the explanation of the fact that the bhakta normally, through the power of service, always speaks as if he wanted his own happiness. Only on the highest level of prema, called “Divine madness”, where God, in order to incite the gopis to an even higher degree of service, wants to send them away or make Himself invisible, they reveal their real attitude.

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One must keep all this clear in one’s mind, every day and twenty-four hours, until service has become one’s very nature. One must be clear about why Krishna calls the love of the gopis irreproachable and what He says to them, and about them and Himself. The person who doesn’t have a clear concept of atma, Brahma etc. and to whom the inner and outer world have not since long become colourless (vairagya), cannot understand even a line of a passage in the Upanishads that deals with jnana. Those who lack the power of service cannot have the slightest idea of the rasa that God is, and that service itself is. The Bhagavatam does not belong to a particular tradition. All Puranas etc. were delivered to the many rishis (from completely different traditions) in Naimisharanya. Each Purana has a certain subject of its own and several other Puranas praise the uniqueness of the Bhagavatam. The Chaitanya-bhaktas have accepted that the Revelation itself declares that the Bhagavatam is the highest authority of the Word-revelation. Chaitanya has rejected the philosophy of Shankaracharya and his followers, as well as all attempts to confine God to the jail of human laws of thinking, and emphasizes that Krishna and the Revelation are the only authority and not the poor human brain of an ever so advanced bhakta. When it says: HE is form, and yet this form is “Vishnu”, i.e. unlimited by space, time and the laws of reason etc., it doesn’t mean that the Revelation contradicts itself. The Revelation only expresses what and how He IS. On the other hand, the jnanis and bhaktas don’t experience different things in the One; it is always the eternal forms of being which present themselves to the jnani, yogi and bhakta, either as attributeless Brahma or as Paramatma or as Bhagavan (and also as Isha). These three are eternal forms of being of the Absolute or Brahma in the full sense of the word.

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Footnotes: tat-maya: that-made = of the same nature; as a rod of iron, glowing red-hot, has become of fiery nature itself. 1

In the translation of Swami Sadananda Dasa (into English by Katrin Stamm), bhakti as bhava-bhakti is completely independent of any mental function and yet it is revealed within the empirical character and the mental functions of man (manovrittau avirbhuya) and becomes one with his mind, character, individuality (fire takes on the form of an iron rod, even though the fire exists independently and doesn’t owe its power to any other source but itself). 2

3

naham tu sakhyo bhajato ’pi jantun bhajamyamisham anuvritti-vrittaye, yathadhano labdhadhane vinashte taccintayanyannibhrito na veda. –

“My dear friends, I for one do not serve those who live like animals without proper realization, even if they served – I do this so they may develop the proper inclination for adequate service (i.e. endeavour to serve the way I appreciate it), so that they begin to think only about this and nothing else; like a wealthy person who after losing his fortune can think of nothing else.” (10. 32,20.) Walther Eidlitz: Krishna-Chaitanya. The Hidden Treasure of India, page 130. Sadananda.com. (German: Krishna Chaitanya. Sein Leben und Seine Lehre. Stockholm 1968.) Translation by Mario Windisch 2010.

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The Ideal Vaishnavi By Dhira-lalita This article is about an ideal Vaishnavi (a woman saint) in modern times-

Srimati Krishnamayi-devi

devi krishna-mayi siddha sadhika para-bhaktida sarva-bhakti-mayi sarva-pujya puja-parayana Sri guroh sneha-patri cha paramartha prasadhika atma-nivedika chaiva guru-krishna-padambuje “Deeply blessed with the divine qualities, Krishnamayi-devi has become an  ideal example of a self-fulfilled saint, who is considered to be an  embodiment of pure devotion to the Supreme Lord. Befitting to her benevolent nature she also inspires and blesses others with the same sacred devotion to the Divine Lord. As a result of her dedicated service to the lotus feet of Sri Sri Guru-Gauranga-Radhika-Krishna, she received her Gurudeva’s heart-felt appreciation, a priceless goal of life.”


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I

t is a fact that stalwart Vaishnavas/Vaishnavis never falter - they always persevere setting the example for others to follow. Krishnamayi was one such caliber of Vaishnavi.

Great women devotees have existed throughout the ages, showing that the qualities of leadership, scholarship, intelligence, wisdom and most importantly devotion are an affair of the heart, not the gender. Though there have been examples of famous Vaishnavis in Gaudiya Vaishnava history – still the appearance of such is very rare. At the root of Vaishnavi culture, going back to ancient times, we find the divine personalities such as Parvati and especially Srimati Radharani who is the embodiment of all super excellent feminine qualities. And from that same period one hears the names of famous women such as Kunti, Draupadi and the chaste Gandhari. During the Chaitanya period the first woman to distinguish herself as a superlative Vaishnavi was unquestionably Srimati Sachi-devi, the mother of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Mother Sachi’s devotion to Mahaprabhu can only be compared to that of Mother Yasoda’s devotion to Krishna. Indeed, Mother Yasoda and Mother Sachi are non-different, as Krishna and Sri Chaitanya are non-different. When Sachi-devi was the perfect mother then it might be expected that Srimati Vishnupriya-devi was the perfect wife. After the sannyasa-lila of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Vishnupriya-devi spent most of her time chanting the holy name of Krishna. Thus Vishnupriya’s reputation as an ascetic Vaishnavi grew among the Gaudiyas of Navadvipa. It is said that Vishnupriya-devi would set aside one grain of rice for every name of Krishna that she chanted. When her utterances of nama-bhajana were completed at the end of a day, she would boil that amount of rice and take that as her meal. Because of her austerity she became very thin and frail. Vishnupriyadevi is still glorified today for her dual role as an ideal chaste wife of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and as a female ascetic of the Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition.

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Another of the prominent Vaishnavis of that time was Srimati Jahnavi-devi, the consort of Sri Nityananda Prabhu. Jhanavi-devi’s devotion was so intense that it endeared her to the pious and impious alike. By her personal example she showed how to perform temple worship and how to devote one’s life to spiritual pursuits. She even presided over large Vaishnava festivals and gave initiation to men and women alike. It was Jhanavi-devi who had the insight to keep close contact with the Goswamis of Vrndavana. In this way she sought to keep solidarity and unification between the Gaudiya Vaishnavas in Bengal and those in Vrndavana. Srimati Jhanavi-devi was an inspiration throughout the Vaishnava world and is remembered as such even today. There was also Sita Thakurani [wife of Advaita Acarya], Narayani-devi (the mother of Vrindavana Dasa Thakura), Hemalata Thakurani (the daughter of Srinivasa Acarya), Ganga-devi (the daughter of Sri Nityananda) and the two sisters Krishnapriya-devi and Vishnupriya-devi (the daughters of Ganganarayana Chakravarti) widely known for their ascetic life style and deep devotion. In the centuries that followed the Chaitanya era there were many Vaishnavis appearing in India but most were nirupadhi Vaishnavis, meaning that they were little known in the greater Gaudiya Vaishnava world. In modern times, when thinking of famous Vaishnavis, one immediately remembers the names of Bhagavati-devi [the wife of Bhaktivinoda Thakura] and even Srimati Bhavatarini-devi [Pishima, the sister of A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada]. It was at the end of the 19th century that Srimati Krishnamayi-devi, the subject of this article, appeared in this world. Krishnamayi was born in Nagpur, India on the full moon day of December 1898. Her family was of high Smarta-brahmana origins. In her early childhood Krishnamayi was educated in Calcutta. She proved early on to be of exceptional intellect. At only 11 years of age, she obtained excellence in many subjects and was accorded gold medals and honors for scholarship from the famous judge, Sir Ashutosh Mukherji. Later her family came to settle in Navadvipa-dham.

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Krishnamayi’s father was a lecturer at the local college and she was educated in the scriptures from an early age.  Her husband was a chief auditor for the Indian Railways. They had a daughter but before they could have a son her husband died.  Later Krishnamayi adopted a boy by the name of Satya Hari. Living in Navadvipa, Krishnamayi was destined to one day meet Srila Sridhar Deva Goswami Maharaja and become his disciple. She used to take her daily sacred bath in the Ganges and she traveled there via the same route each day. However, when she heard of the saintly character of Sridhar Maharaja she changed her route to the Ganga so that she could regularly listen to his hari-katha.  She would offer him flowers and Ganga water.  This went on for about two and half years and then she took hari-nama initiation from him. She was 40 years old at the time. Krishnamayi received both hari-nama and mantra initiations simultaneously from Srila Sridhar Maharaja and dedicated her life to the service of Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga. When her daughter had finished her studies and her adopted son had become financially self-sufficient, she gave up family life and went to live in the ashrama. At that time she donated her property and money to Sridhar Maharaja’s mission. This property included houses and land and was of significant value. Krishnamayi was moderately wealthy by village standards and had given all she had for the service of Sri Krishna. Her agricultural land

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yielded a plentiful supply of rice and vegetables and the money she donated enabled construction work to begin so that other devotees would have a place to stay at the ashram. Because she was from a respected Smarta-brahmana family in Navadvipa, her initiation from a Gaudiya Vaishnava guru caused an uproar in her family. As Smartas her family had always been opposed to the Gaudiya Matha and the worship of Mahaprabhu and now their beloved daughter was leaving everything to enter the ashram of her guru to serve him with all her heart. Years later when interviewed about this she told that, “I came to the ashram without telling my family members because there would have been an objection. They would have prevented me from coming. I came to live in the ashram because I liked it. I asked an uncle for permission and he said, “Yes, there is a genuine holy man there.” My father did not approve of it so I had to come without his knowledge.” At the ashram Krishnamayi was given the responsibility to look after all the other ladies, to make flower garlands for the Deities, to manage Srila Sridhar Maharaja’s room and to prepare the type of water that Sridhar Maharaja liked to drink. Sridhar Maharaja always had special affection for Krishnamayi due to her unalloyed devotion, honesty and dedication.  He also very much appreciated her writings and poetry. He, himself, wrote a brief Sanskrit poem glorifying and describing her life. He included this in his Bengali rendition of Bhagavadgita, which she helped to finance. Sridhar Maharaja stated that, “Krishnamayi is a special devotee and we must always look after all her needs”.

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Sevotsarga-patra (Seva Dedication) (1) Sriman-navadvipe dhamni teghari-vipra-vamshajah  sva-namadhanya-sammanyo-vadanya atmavan kriti  Sri vaidyanatha-sharmasit dharmanishtho jana-priyah Born in Teghari district of the holy land of Navadvipa, in the family of brahmanas, valuing honor as his only wealth, Sri Vaidyanatha Sharma  was firm in dharma and dear to all.

(2)  tat kanya punya-karmanya dhanya dharmanuragini  tapasvini pati-prana vidushi vratacharini His honorable daughter, whose happiness was in performing virtuous deeds, was yearning whole-hearted for dharma – renounced from all mundane, she dedicated herself to her husband, being very wise, and fulfilling all religious vows.

(3-4)  deva-dvija-guru-shraddha pujya-puja-parayana  Sri-kiranamayi namni devi tat pati-daivatah  

kalikata-nagaryam yah talapalli-nivasakah  vidvan vidvadvaren-yascha Sriman sambhranta-vamshajah

Having faith in God, the brahmanas and Sri Guru, worshiping that One who is highly worthy of worship, she was named Sri Kiranamayi (Krishnamayi’s birth name which means “radiant like the sun”). She was inseparably related with God, as well as her husband who was from the village of Talapalli in Kalikata. She was learned and appreciated by learned men; she was decorated with beauty herself, and high-born. 90


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(5-6) dhimanadhyapakas-chaiva matiman naya-kovidah pratibha-bhava-gambhiro charu-narma-supanditah Sriman makhana-lalas cha vandya-vamsha-vibhushanah evam bhutasya satasya svadhama swaminas tatha  

Sriman Makhana Lal (Krishnamayi’s husband) was the worshippable ornament of his family. He had sacred knowledge and was also able to teach it; full of devotion and prudence, self-sacrificing and deep in understanding, Loved by all, their family was blooming, up to her husband’s sudden departure to his eternal abode.

(7) putrasya sneha-patrasya paramartha-prasadhika utsargi-krita-sarvasva guru-krishna-padambuje mandira-bhogacharyadi-nana-seva-parayana  

And then, although filled with maternal love, by the call of spiritual life, she abandoned everything she owned. To the lotus feet of Guru and Krishna, she devoted herself, showing the way by engaging in different kinds of service in Their temple for Their pleasure.  

 

(8) veda-sarartha-samgita gita-samjnita-pustika tan mudrane cha mudrada sadhuna sadhunarthita

Now she is publishing the Bhagavad-gita, which is the essence of all Vedic knowledge. For the joy of the sadhus we present this example of her saintly life, with a desire to achieve the same saintly aim.

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Krishnamayi-devi recalls about her life in the ashram, “I prepared foodstuffs in the kitchen of the ashram and I offered puja. Only the ground floor had been constructed when I first came there. On one of my earlier visits, I had a quarter of a rupee with me that I donated. I commented to Srila Guru Maharaja that I would like to have given more – a full rupee if only I had one. Srila Guru Maharaja replied that it was not easy to give in full.” Krishnamayi narrates at that time that she was requested to perform a most memorable service for her Gurudeva. Srila Sridhar Maharaja’s temple had recently been established in Navadvipa-dhama town itself in an area known as Koladvipa. This was the place where Jagai and Madhai had their famous pastimes with Sri Nityananda and were delivered. Sridhar Maharaja had made arrangements with a Murti-walla in Jaipur to prepare Radha-Krishna Deities for the newly constructed temple. When the Deities of Sri-Sri Gandharvika-Govinda-sundara were completed, They were brought from Jaipur to Navadvipa by Krishnamayi and Govinda Maharaja. When the Deities arrived, Krishnamayi felt very blessed to have been instrumental in escorting the Deity to the holy dhama and her Guru Maharaja’s temple. But wonder of wonders, just as she thought that the service was done, she witnessed a most inspiring happening as Sridhar Maharaja and his exalted godbrother, Bhakti Dayita Madhava Maharaja began the installation of the Deities. The two godbrothers performed a roaring kirtana of immense proportions that culminated in the two dancing and chanting the holy name for the pleasure of Their Lordships. Krishnamayi was astounded and as a witness to this most ecstatic event, her heart became filled with the mercy of the Deity and she reports that she actually envisioned at that instance that Sri Sri Gaura-Nitai were in fact, dancing before Sri-Sri Gandharvika-Govinda Sundara. After witnessing this other-worldly event, she told that her commitment to the service of the Supreme Lord deepened through Sri Guru and His Grace.

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Bhakti Dayita Madhava Maharaja knew Krishnamayi well and when meeting her he would often quote a verse from Chaitanya-charitamrta that mirrored her divine qualities. krishnamayee krishna jar bhitare bahire janha, janha netra pade tanha krishna sphure “Krishnamayi” means “one who always thinks of Krishna both within and without, who always remembers only Krishna wherever they go or whatever they see.” (Chaitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila, Ch 4.85) When Srila Sridhar Maharaja went on pilgrimage to Badarikashrama with some of his followers, Krishnamayi went with them. She also went with Sridhar Maharaja one year to Ramesvara although she was advised not to go because her son-in-law was very ill and it was feared he might leave his body anytime. Still, it was her heartfelt desire to go on pilgrimage with her Guru Maharaja and so she did. When she returned, amazingly, her son-in-law was still alive. The area of Navadvipa where Krishnamayi’s family lived was called Tegharipara and used to be famous for its abundance of Tantra followers. The neighbors were entrenched in their tantric way of life but despite this Krishnamayi preached to them and converted many of them to Gaudiya Vaishnavism. Srila Sridhar Maharaja greatly appreciated this. At this time, he proclaimed that Krishnamayi was a shuddha-bhakta, a pure devotee of Lord Krishna. When interviewed about this she humbly said, ”I do remember receiving my Guru Maharaja’s genuine love and blessings.” Although qualified in many ways Krishnamayi was self-satisfied and humbly remained in the service of cooking for the Deities and serving the other devotees at the ashram. The departure of her Guru Maharaja was very painful for her. She felt great separation for the rest of her life. After his departure she took shelter in another ashrama in the Tegharipara district of Navadvipa. Later her pain of

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separation from Srila Sridhar Maharaja increased so much that she moved to the Gopinatha Gaudiya Matha in Mayapura to have the close association of his affectionate godbrother, Srila Bhakti Pramoda Puri Maharaja. Here she spent much time in her deep bhajana. In her old age Krishnamayi was lovingly cared for by Jahnava-devi and a surrendered soul named Gaura Krishna Dasa who served her just like he had served Srila Sridhar Maharaja. They took Krishnamayi-devi to Radha-kunda for a glimpse at that holy place before she left this world. They carried out this service with great affection until her very last moment in this world. Srimati Krishnamayi-devi passed away on the 19th July 2002 to enter the eternal lila [pastimes] of her Lord and Master. One of Krishnamayi’s greatest contributions to the Vaishnava world was her Bengali composition of 34 verses glorifying her Guru Maharaja, presented here in Roman transliteration with English translations. Srimati Krishnamayi-devi ki jaya! (We would like to thank www.bhaktiyoga.org.uk and Srimati Kundalata Dasi for the information used in this article)

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Sri Guru Prashanti by

Srimati Krishnamayi Devi (1)

Sri gaura-mandala-majhe hapaniya grama yanhi avatirna mora prabhu guna dhama My lord and master, the abode of all divine qualities, appeared in the village of Hapaniya in Sri Gaura-mandala.

(2)

patita pavani ganga tira sannihita nyaya-ratna-vidyapitha’ bhuvana-vidita The Nyaya-ratna Vidyapitha was a renowned place of learning, situated on the banks of the Ganga who purifies the most fallen.

(3)

tanhi vaise vipra-vara prashanta udara Sri upendra candra ‘vidyaratna’ nama yanra At that place there lived the best of the twice-born, who was known as Sri Upendra-chandra ‘Vidyaratna’, who was composed and magnanimous.

(4)

bhattacharya-kula-ravi parama vidvana nirantara seva para lakshmi-narayana This outstanding scholar was the sun of the Bhattacharya dynasty, always preoccupied with the service of Lakshmi-Narayana. 95


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(5)

tanra patni gauri-devi parama pavani maha-sadhvi jagan-mata prabhura janani His wife was the most pure Gauri-devi. She was most saintly, the mother of the universe and the mother of my master.

(6)

atharasa shatera shake shaurasvina masa shanivara, chhavisa divasa parakasa He appeared on 1817 Sakabda, on the twenty-sixth day of the month of Ashvina, on a Saturday.

(7)

budhaditya-jiva yoge tunga graha gane ramachandra-rashyashraye virachandra-dine At a time when the Sun and Mercury were in conjunction and the planets were all in their most powerful positions, he took shelter of the same astrological sign as Lord Ramachandra and appeared on the same day as the appearance of Sri Virachandra Goswami.

(8)

shubhankari pusya anke karttiki navami dharani haila dhanya prabhu-pada chumi At the auspicious moment during Pushya-nakshatra, on the ninth day of the month of Karttika, Mother Earth became most fortunate as she kissed the lotus feet of my lord.

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(9)

uthila ananda-rola acharya-bhavane shankha-ghanta jayadhvani deya narigane Great joy ďŹ lled the house of Acharya Vidyaratna as ladies blew conches and rang bells.

(10)

ajanu-lambita bhuja purata sundara devi anke shobhe divya jyoti manohara His long arms reached to his knees and his form was beautiful and of the hue of molten gold. As he lay in the lap of his mother, a wonderful divine effulgence shone forth.

(11)

heriya putrera rupa mugdha pita mata mugdha haila putra rupe yata pati vrata Seeing their son’s beauty, mother and father were struck with wonder. Indeed, all the virtuous ladies who were present were also charmed.

(12)

ramachandra-janma kshana smari vipra-vara rakhila putrera nama ramendra-sundara That best of brahmanas recalled the appearance of Lord Ramchandra, thus he named his son Ramendra-sundara.

(13)

apurva balaka-shobha vyapila bhuvane anindya ramendra-chandra bare dine dine 97


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The unparalleled beauty of the child pervaded the whole world. Day by day the pure moon of Ramendra grew.

(14)

dekhite dekhite prabhu labhila yauvana parama samriddha kari vidya uparjana All could see as my master became a youth, that he enriched himself with the supreme wealth of knowledge.

(15)

divya su-vimala tanu maha-jyotir-maya nirakhi sakala loka sadhvasa manaya All those who saw his divine and pure form which was most effulgent showed him the utmost respect.

(16)

vairag ya bhavita bhakti-purna kalevara saivala-pihita yena maha-sarovara He was completely full of devotion and steeped in renunciation, like a great lake covered by moss.

(17)

maha-jnani shuka praya virakta pradhana heri mata pita mane chinte anukshana Seeing his great detachment towards the material world which resembled that of the great jnani Shukadeva Goswami, his mother and father were in constant anxiety. 98


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(18)

sannyasi haibe putra na rahibe ghare maha-yogi maha-tyagi lakshana sharire “Our son will become a sannyasi; he will not remain at home. All the symptoms of a great yogi and a great renunciate can be seen in him.�

(19)

antare ananda, bahye duhkha parakasha kata dine kaila vipra Sri vaikuntha vasa Feeling great bliss within, but externally manifesting sadness, after some time the brahmana (Upendra-chandra) passed away and became a resident of Sri Vaikuntha.

(20)

krame krame prabhu mora apana prakashi svechchhaya bandhana khandi haila sannyasi Gradually, my master revealed himself, and by his own sweet will, he broke all connections with the world and became a sannyasi.

(21)

griha-tyagi mayapura karila vijaya gauranga-janma bhumi chidananda maya Leaving home, he arrived in Mayapura, the place of Sri Gauranga’s appearance which is comprised of supreme bliss and spirituality.

(22)

Sri bhaktisiddhanta sarasvati prabhu-sthane laila sannyasa dina uddhara karane 99


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In order to deliver the fallen, he accepted the order of sannyasa from Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Prabhupada.

(23)

Sri bhakti rakshaka sankirtana-murti-dhara sei hetu guru nama rakhila Sridhara He is the Guardian of Devotion and the personification of sankirtana, therefore his guru gave him the name ‘Sridhar’ (one who possesses the greatest wealth).

(24)

patita pavana rupe tridandira veshe nama-prema vitariya bule deshe deshe As the saviour of the most fallen, he took the form of a tridandi-sannyasi and wandered from place to place to distribute love for the holy name.

(25)

dina-hina papitapi sabare uddhari amrita sinchila vishve yena gaurahari Delivering the most wretched sinners, he showered nectar throughout the world in the same way as Lord Gaurahari.

(26)

jaya jaya patita-pavana prabhu-vara nyasi-chudamani bhakti rakshaka Sridhara All glories, all glories to the savior of the most fallen, the best of masters, the crown-jewel of sannyasis, Srila Bhakti Rakshaka Sridhar Deva Goswami.

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(27)

asankhya pranati tava pada-padme mora kripaya karaha nasha karma-bandha ghora I offer unlimited obeisances unto your lotus feet. Be merciful unto me and destroy my terrible bondage of karmic reactions.

(28)

bhavarnave pade sudhu habudubu khai e adhame uddhariya deha pade thani I am drowning in the waters of this material ocean. Kindly deliver this fallen soul and give me a place at your lotus feet.

(29)

vandi avirbhava-tithi Sri krishna-navami yenha dhanya haila prabhu-pada-padma chumi I offer my obeisances unto the holy day of your appearance – the ninth day of the dark moon, who was most fortunate to kiss your lotus feet.

(30)

vandi hapaniya grama maha-tirtha-maya vandi prabhu Sri upendra-chandrera alaya I offer my obeisances unto the village of Hapaniya, where all the great holy places reside; I offer my obeisances unto the home of Sri Upendra-chandra.

(31)

vandi nitya bhattacharya-kulabja-bhaskara vandi vidya-ratna putra ramendra-sundara 101


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I offer my eternal obeisances unto the dazzling sun of the lotus-like Bhattacharya dynasty, Sri Ramendra-sundara, the son of Upendra-chandra Vidyaratna.

(32)

savadhane vandi mui gauri-devi mata yanra anka alokari prabhu prakashita I attentively offer my obesisances unto Mother Gauri-devi, whose lap was effulgent with the appearance of my lord and master.

(33)

prabhura sambandha dhari yateka sujana sanande vandana kari savara charana With great bliss, I offer my obeisances unto the feet of all the auspicious personalities who have a connection with my master.

(34)

sabe kripa kari more kara ashirvada nirvighne hauka labha prabhura prasada All of you please be merciful and bless me so that, without any obstacle, I may attain the mercy of my lord and master.

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PRAKRTA RASA SATA DUSANI This book by Srila Saraswati Thakur with the commentary of Swami B.G. Narasingha clearly illuminates the immature misconceptions of imitative devotees known as Prakrta-Sahajiyas.

IN SEARCH OF THE ULTIMATE GOAL OF LIFE Probably the first literary work of Srila Prabhupada after he accepted sannyasa in 1959, this book is a commentary on the divine conversation between Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Ramananda Raya.

FOLLOW THE ANGELS Sridhara Maharaja speaks to his readers from the depth of his subjective experience of the Absolute Truth. The guidance we receive in Follow the Angels is indeed of incalculable value in the soul’s march toward Eternity.

PRAKRTA RASA ARANYA CHEDINI A compilation of twenty-one articles by Swami B.G. Narasingha touching on various misconceptions prevalent in the modern Vaishnava world.

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UPADESAMRTA This essential work by Srila Rupa Goswami is presented along with the deep realizations of Srila Sridhara Maharaja.

OUR AFFECTIONATE GUARDIANS This book by Swami Vishnu documents the intimate relationship of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Sridhara Maharaja from their early days together, sharing quarters during the difficult days in the Gaudiya Matha and after Srila Prabhupadas’ successful world preaching campaign.

EVOLUTION OF THEISM This book delineates the progressive evolution of theistic thought starting from Buddha and Adi Sankara to the great Vaishnava teachers Ramanuja and Madhva, and culminating in Sri Caitanyadeva.

To order these books, go to www.devavision.org 104


The India Stock Photography Resource Welcome to our Indica photo archives. This issue we are featuring a few images by our staff photographer, Rammohan Paranjape. Rammohan recently made a photo tour of Rajasthan around the time of the Pushkar Camel Mela. He also visited Jaipur and Udaipur. The richness of the culture of Rajasthan is indeed a feast for all photo enthusiasts. To view more of Rammohan’s photography, please visit his personal photo site www.rammohanphotography.com or INDICA, our online India photography website at www.indiastockphotography.com

Lake Palace of Udaipur 106


Udaipur Mural

Rajput Man 107


Tribal Feet

Dancing Lady 108


Sadhu

Pushkar Camel 109


Dancing Girls

Dancer 110


Turban Clad

Prince’s Sword 111


The India Stock Photography Resource

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Art Devotional Art The background history of some very well-known devotional paintings.

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Dominique Amendola Painting has been my lifelong passion. When I was living in France, at age sixteen I enrolled in a preparatory school for Ecole Nationale Superieure Des Arts Decoratifs de Paris and studied there two years. After passing the examination successfully I entered Ecole Des Arts Decoratifs School. I studied for four years there and afterwards went to Italy for a year of specialized studies at the Vatican and Villa Borgese. Altogether I studied art for almost eight years and was then ready to fulfill my desire as an artist.

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Some time later I met and took initiation from my spiritual master A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, (hari-nama in 1973 and diksha in 1974). At first I rendered all different types of services including distributing Prabhupada’s books in France, Switzerland, and Italy. Srila Prabhupada had told me to paint for his mission the day I first met him, before my initiation. He said, “You can do big paintings for our movement”. It was not long before I was sent to paint for Prabhupada’s books at the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust (BBT) in Los Angeles. I painted in Los Angeles for the BBT for ten years, along with seven other artists. While working for the BBT, I also went to India and spent four months at an art school in Madras where I learned transcendental proportions. When painting devotional art the main thing is the spirit of devotion and the order of one's guru or higher Vaishnava, but there are also specifications mentioned in the Vedas that regulate the appearance of the devotional personalities that one is painting. Among the many interesting things that I learned at the art school in Madras is that the bodily proportions for Vishnu differ from those of Shiva, other demigods, men, goddesses etc. Those studies helped me understand a bit more about traditional Vedic art and devotional painting. Before that, my work was always rooted in European art education. I spent many hours in Paris studying masters at the Louvre and going to many art exhibits. There is nothing better for an artist than seeing art physically, rather than in books or online. My goal as an artist is to give people, and westerners in particular, a glimpse of the spiritual world. This statement could be interpreted as proud, but in reality, because I was painting on the order of my spiritual master, I felt that he was the one painting those pieces, not me. Therefore, whatever spiritual spark was showing was his doing and not mine.

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It is also a fact that art is a very individual activity and as such each artist will eventually develop his or her unique style. My style can be called NeoVedic in the same way that the painting style of the 19th century in Europe was called Neo-Classical. The 19th century artists painted from old Roman and Greek frescos and wax paintings, as well as ancient Greek and Roman sculptures. At the BBT, Prabhupada’s artists were getting their inspiration from Vedic temple architecture and India’s texts such as Srimad Bhagavatam. Srila Prabhupada often gave his disciples direct instructions on how to prepare the BBT paintings and sometimes instructed them through letters. For example:

“Suta Goswami is not a very old man, but that is all right. Krishna in a boat with the gopis, that picture is all right. He is enjoying. This is spiritual rest and enjoyment. That is the real feature of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Why should he work? So finish the picture nicely. The idea is all right. The monkeys with Lord Rama are greyish with black face. Why Ramacandra has only one ankle bracelet? They should be on both legs. Painting of Sukadeva is all right. Nara Narayana has four arms and they are bluish; Datyatreya, Prithu and Dhanvantari are yellowish; Lord Buddha is flesh colored; Yajna is bluish; Mohini is extraordinarily beautiful woman. There is no comparison to her beauty, so much so that Lord Siva is captivated by her beauty, what to speak of others. Vyasadeva did not speak all the Vedas to Ganesha. He simply dictated. But the picture is all right. Ravana has twenty arms, ten heads, and he is blackish in color. The tortoise incarnation, his head portion should be Visnu, as I have told you in my last letter. Kalki should be on the horse’s back with sword in hand. It is not clear in the picture.” (9th July 1971) 115


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There are many stories behind the BBT paintings of which mine are just a few. At first, when I arrived in Los Angeles to help the artists paint for Srila Prabhupada, I was not permitted to paint directly for the books. However, since I was almost the only one who had been to European art schools I was put in charge of teaching drawing classes to the other artists. Shortly after I was asked by the main BBT artist at the time to do the preparatory sketches for all her paintings. Finally, according to my cherished desire, I was allowed to have my first individual painting (The Gopis Embracing the Tamala Trees) published in the Nectar of Devotion, one of Srila Prabhupada's most important books.

The Gopis Embracing the Tamala Trees The Gopis Embracing the Tamala Trees was viewed by Srila Prabhupada in person and he kindly qualified it as “Very nice�. At the time, the artists did not know much about devotion or how to depict transcendental emotions, but we made the attempt based on Prabhupada's order and it turned out successful.

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The Court of Yamaraja My next commission was to paint the Court of Yamaraja, but how do you depict Yamaraja's court for a western audience? Since Srila Prabhupada’s books were destined mostly for western countries, this was my dilemma. I chose to give this painting an architecture with a subtle message. This setup will remind people of old European churches, yet it is embellished with Indian architectural designs. Unconsciously the viewer may feel that this is a dark gothic church –but simultaneously he may also think that he is looking at the interior of some Asian temple. The figures taken to Yama, the god of death, are ghostly. Yamaraja himself has a green complexion according to the descriptions of him found in Srimad Bhagavatam. His servants, the Yamadutas, are described as terrifying. The main ghostly figure resembling a scientist was actually based on a homeless person who was wandering around our neighborhood. I asked the wandering man to pose for me in exchange for a sumptuous plate of Krishna prasadam and he agreed. I chose him as a model because he had a lost air about him, which was necessary for this character to convey in my painting.

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Narada Muni Instructs Vyasadeva The painting Narada Muni Instructs Vyasadeva was a real challenge for many reasons. In this painting Narada is instructing Vyasa to begin writing the Srimad Bhagavatam. The setting is Vyasa’s cottage in the Himalayas near the source of the Sarasvati River. The setting was quite static, i.e. there was no action going on in the picture. It is almost like a portrait. But like all master portraits, the painting had to convey a very subtle meaning in one frame. It had to be mystical and interesting. So with the help of what we call ‘secret geometry and the golden section’ I designed a mystical background. Vyasa is described as blue in complexion and very ugly. However he is also a great sage. That was also a challenge. I therefore made him ugly, but gave him the same type of regal stance that I observed in Srila Prabhupada. I did not have any other model for a transcendental figure other than to think of Srila Prabhupada. The completed painting was successful because of all these combined elements.

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Yashoda and Krishna Yashoda and Krishna was a painting involving more than one artist. Initially I did all the sketches for this painting and I designed a beautiful palace for the background and later there came to be a tree painted in the foreground which covered much of the palace. This was one of my earliest paintings. However, one night the leading BBT artist suddenly decided she wanted to make some changes to the original and she painted a tree in front of the palace. Additionally, more changes were made to Yashoda’s dress. This was often the case for the BBT paintings because more than one artist would sometimes work on any given canvas. Egoism aside, which is often prominent among artists, the BBT artists worked as a team to please guru and Krishna.

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Nara-Narayana Rishis Encounter Cupid The Nara-Narayana Rishis Encounter Cupid painting was completed while I was in Florence, Italy. For this picture the description of Cupid's bow was especially enchanting. His bow is made of sugarcane, the string is made of bumble bees and the arrows are flowers. I also had the challenge of trying to make very beautiful heavenly damsels, and above in the sky there were other apsaras that were created by Narayana just by slapping his thigh. These Apsaras had to be more beautiful, so I portrayed them with their long hair flying out wildly — but a final decision was made to paint braided hair on the Apsaras so that they would appear more chaste.

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Markandeya Rishi For the painting of Markandeya Rishi, I could not find the correct model for a rishi. One of the artists had a photo of a yogi and that was all I had as a reference. That was a time when there was no internet and the local library did not provide much help. So I read the description and began to meditate on Markandeya Rishi according to the description in Srimad Bhagavatam and this helped me immensely. The environment was the Himalayas, but it was described that he lived on a plane where the setting was tropical — a seeming contradiction. I did my best to create such an environment. After the painting was finished it became the standard for any BBT artist needing to paint a scene involving the pastimes of Markandeya. After some years I concluded my career with the BBT and in the early 90’s I came in contact with the writings of Srila B.R. Sridhar Deva Gosvami Maharaja through Sripad Narasingha Maharaja. At the time I was living in North Carolina, USA and my spiritual master had already departed from this mortal world. I had started a family and had three young children. I was very busy taking care of them and home schooling them as well as continuing my art practice through local galleries. I had listened to all the lectures of Srila Prabhupada for years as well as reading and re-reading his books. I had attended many lectures from many of his disciples (mostly my godbrothers). At that time I had some questions that nobody around me seemed able to answer.

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A friend advised me to read Srila Sridhar Maharaja’s books and write to Sripad Narasingha Maharaja. This turned out to be very good advice as it broadened my perspectives of Krishna consciousness beyond institutional borders and institutional conceptions. In Srila Sridhar Maharaja, I found an incredible Vaishnava philosopher and a wealth of expanded thoughts on all the topics that I had heard from Srila Prabhupada, except that he took them one step further and I felt totally fulfilled in my spiritual quest. I relished his writings instantly and began to share those with others. In Sripad Narasingha Maharaja, I found a very knowledgeable Vaishnava and follower of both Srila Prabhupada and Srila Sridhar Maharaja, who gave me and my family great support. We met for the first time in North Carolina and since then we have been attempting to help him and his disciples with his mission. Of course, right away, Narasingha Maharaja also became my mentor for creating new pieces of devotional art. Here are my latest paintings done under his guidance:

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Krishna and the Cowherd Boys Taking Lunch

In Krishna and the Cowherd Boys Taking Lunch, Sri Krishna is seated in the forest with His friends taking their midday meal. This painting is quite large – 64 inches by 50 inches and now adorns the wall in the Prasadam Hall at Sri Narasingha Chaitanya Ashram in South India. My two most recent paintings have been those of Krishna and Arjuna at Kurukshetra. These were painted for Sripad Narasingha Maharaja’s recent edition of Bhagavad-gita — due to be released during Karttika, 2011. My life has been most fortunate and I consider myself blessed to have met Srila Prabhupada and to have been engaged by him in painting devotional subjects for his books. I am also happy to have met Sripad Narasingha Maharaja and thank him for continuing to engage me in such service and inspiring me to create devotional artwork for his mission. Devotional art has been my main service to guru and Krishna for most of my life and I am delighted to continue that for their pleasure as every new day dawns. 123


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The Story of the Blue Jackal

O

nce upon a time, in the jungle, there lived a jackal by the name of Chandarava. One day he was very hungry, so he went into the city to find food.

There, barking street dogs surrounded him and bit at him with their sharp teeth. To save his skin Chandarava ran into the house of a cloth dyer. A big vat of indigo dye was lying there. In he jumped and consequently his whole body was dyed indigo (bright blue) and when he emerged from the vat he no longer looked like a jackal. When Chandarava came out of the dyer’s house, the dogs were unable to recognize him as a jackal and being terrified of the strange looking creature, they ran off in all directions. Chandarava, the strange looking creature that he now was, then hurriedly went back to the jungle. When the lions, tigers, elephants, wolves and other inhabitants of the jungle, saw the strange blue jackal, they ran in terror and said to one another, “Let us run away and hide for we do not know the strength of this wonderful looking beast or what to expect of him.” 130


When Chandarava saw the frightened animals, he called them back and said, “Stop! Animals! Why are you running off in fear? Don’t be afraid. The creator of this world has made me with his own hands, and he said, “The animals have no king, so I have crowned you king, with the title, Kukudruma. Go to the jungle and protect them well for they shall be your subjects. So that is why I have come here. You may live in my kingdom, under my protection. I, Kukudruma, have been made King of all the jungles of the world!” When the animals, the lions, tigers and the rest of them, heard this, they surrounded the blue jackal and said, “Master, we await your commands.”Kukudruma assigned specific duties to all the animals, but fearing detection from those of his own kind, he ordered that all the jackals be chased away. For Kukudruma all went well as the newly self-appointed king of the jungle. The lions and the tigers used to go out hunting and bring their prey before the jackal. He would then distribute it amongst the other animals. Thus, he discharged his kingly duties. In this way, quite some time elapsed. One day, Kukudruma heard in the distance the howl of a pack of jackals. He was spellbound. Separation for his kith and kin entered his heart and he remembered his old friends and his old habits. His eyes filled with tears of joy, he stood up and began to howl. When the lion and the other animals heard him howl, they realized that the strange blue creature that the creator had sent


to rule them was indeed only a jackal. Realizing how they had been so easily deceived, they lowered their heads in shame. For a few moments they remained mortified and did nothing. Then suddenly they said angrily to each other, “This despicable jackal has fooled us all! It is intolerable. We should kill him!� When Chandarava heard this, he jumped from his seat and tried to escape. But the jungle animals were fast and set upon him, tearing him limb from limb with their sharp teeth and claws. Torn into a hundred pieces on the spot, Chandarava was dead. The moral of this story is that the populace is made foolish when they elect or accept unqualified persons as their leader. Such leaders are the cause of social unrest and ultimately bring upon themselves their own doom.


Words of Wisdom

Revealing the hidden treasure of India’s ancient Vedic wisdom and culture

www.devavision.org

visit www.archaeologyonline.net

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Culinary magic This month our Culinary Magic is brought to you by the Hernandez sisters, Senorita Shyamala and Senorita Krishna Kirtan. The four simple and useful recipes presented are traditional and guaranteed to please! We highly recommend you use organic, natural and whole food ingredients as much as possible.


AGUA DE HORCHATA Rice/Oat Milk INGREDIENTS: Âź cup rice Âź cup oats 2 liters of water 1 tablespoon vanilla 1 tablespoon cinnamon Half cup powdered milk 1 cup Sugar

PROCEDURE Grind in a blender to pulverize the rice, oats, cinnamon separately and mix it with milk powder and some water into a paste. Take 2 liters of water and vanilla and mix well with the paste. Pour through a strainer into a jug or jar and add the remaining water and sugar. Chill and serve.

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FRIJOLES REFRITOS Traditional Refried Beans

PREPARATION

INGREDIENTS 2 1/2 cups dry beans 3 1/4 quarts of water 4 tablespoons of olive oil 4 jalapeno peppers 1/2 cup  grated cheddar cheese salt

Rinse the beans in water (pre-soaking the beans overnight beforehand will reduce cooking time). Put the beans into a pot and cover them with at least 3 inches of water [about 3 quarts for 2 1/2 cups of dry beans]. Bring to a boil then simmer and cover for about 2 1/2 hours. The cooking time will vary depending on the beans you have. The beans are done when they are very soft and the skin is breaking open. Alternatively a pressure cooker can be used. After cooking, strain the water from the beans. Add the olive oil to a wide, sturdy frying pan and place on medium heat. Add the strained beans and about 1/4 cup of water to the pan. Using a potato masher mash the beans in the pan while you are cooking them until the consistency is of a rough paste. Add more water if necessary to keep the fried beans from becoming too dry. Add an addition hit of chopped jalapeno peppers or green chilies as desired. Add salt and mix in. Then add 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese. Additional cheese may be added as a topping. Your Frijoles Refritos are now ready to serve as a single dish, served as a dip or as a topping for your favorite nachos. 137


BUÑUELOS  DE RODILLA Fried Tortillas With A Warm Spicy Sweet Fruit Topping

Topping INGREDIENTS 9 tablespoons  of brown sugar 1 cup water 1 cinnamon stick [3 inch] Pinch of anise 5 fully ripe, finely sliced guavas [remove seeds] PREPARATION Place the brown sugar, cinnamon stick, anise, seeded guavas and water in a saucepan and bring to a simmer after boiling. Simmer until slightly thickened. Stir occasionally. When the syrup is the desired thickness, cover and keep ready to serve warm as a topping.

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Tortillas INGREDIENTS 3 cups sifted wheat flour 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder 1 tablespoon sugar ½ teaspoon salt 2 tablespoons corn starch 4 tablespoons melted butter 1 cup milk Oil for frying PREPARATION Place 2 cups of sifted wheat flour in a large mixing bowl [save the final cup of flour to add later]. Then mix in throughly all the other ingredients – first the dry ingredients, then the butter. Lastly you should slowly add the milk. Mix your ingredients well until you have the consistency of a wet pastrydough. Then add the remaining 1 cup of flour and mix until a firm dough is formed. If necessary add slightly more milk or slightly more flour to get the desired consistency and knead throughly. When the above process is completed, divide the dough into a dozen or more round balls and brush on a little melted butter to keep the balls from sticking. Place the dough balls on a tray and let them stand for 15 to 20 minutes. Roll each ball out evenly with a rolling pin until they are the desired size and thickness (preferably very thin until the tortilla is about 8 inches in diameter). After rolling, let the tortillas lay in a tray for 10 minutes before frying. 139


Preheat the oil for frying and then begin. Fry each tortilla separately until golden brown and crispy (do not allow the tortilla to fold over on itself while frying). Lay each fried tortilla out on a towel or a paper towel to absorb excess oil. Placing them on a dish or serving tray, cover the tortillas with the topping before serving. Tip: To make nice Bu単uelos de Rodilla the secret is to roll the tortillas very thin and even and to fry them at the right temperature. Experience here is your best guide.

Tamales INGREDIENTS FOR BATTER (for 30-40 portions) 40 pieces of dry corn husks 1 kg of corn husks 1.5 liters of warm oil 2 tablespoons of salt 2 tablespoons of baking powder 2 tablespoons of ground coriander 2 tablespoons of chili powder 1.5 liters of water 1 kg of paneer cut into cubes

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PREPARATION Mix all the dry ingredients Add the oil and water little by little Mix everything with the hands or use a mixer until it is soft. INGREDIENTS FOR SAUCE 1 kg of tomatoes 7 dry chillies Asafoetida Oil for seasoning PREPARATION Boil the tomatoes with the chillies until they are well cooked, then strain and season. ASSEMBLING THE TAMALES Wash the corn husks and soak in hot water for one hour then drain them. Take one husk and place some of the batter inside, spread the batter. In the center put the cheese and the sauce. First close the wider side of the leaf, and immediately bend the other side. Finally, bend the tip of the leaf to avoid the sauce from overflowing. In a pot or a steamer with water put a bed of corn leave in the bottom, Set the tamales in an upright position to avoid spillage of the sauce, Cover the tamales with a wet cloth, plastic bag and cover the pot with a lid very tightly so that the steam does not escape.

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Cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour Tips. - Inspect that the pot always has water - If the batter comes out of the leaf easily without sticking to it then the tamales are ready

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Cerrada Hermosillo # 1 colonia Juarez, Huejutla de Reyes Hidalgo C. P 43000 Telephone: (01789) 89 60879

el pan que en la mesa no falta

The delights of home made bread bolillos besos barquillos orejas carteras bagette conchas ojos de buey capitas bisquets rollitos de pina cuernos

peinetas rosca de reyes pan de muerto huarache volcan tacon campechana polvorones pan de agua


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Kurukshetra Swami Bhakti Srirupa Madhava O Kur uk shet ra Field of war Grand arena Fa t e i n s t ore Di s m aye d Ar ju n a Help implored Unto Sr i Kr ishna O Supreme Lord O Kur uk shet ra Sacred ground Place of dharma Most profound Song of Krishna Tr u t h r e s o u n d s For p r i n c e Ar ju n a Shelter found He a r Ar ju n a Spoke the Lord Learn of Ishvara

In all cont rol Know the atma Spirit soul And Prakr it i The material Jiva-Souls Al l e t e r n a l L o r d S r i K r i s h n a’s Par t and parc els Reincarnating Into the car nal But die ne ver As body mor tal Not for the liv ing Nor the dead Do the wise feel grief Nor lament Fixed in knowledge Ve d a s r e a d 146


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Equipoised They remain instead

Ta k e u p B h a k t i Pure devot ion

Understand Eter nal t ime Ac t i v i t i e s Those that bind That which frees Frees the mind Frees the soul For all mankind

Rise above The modes mundane Nescience, passion And good – t he same It is pure goodness One must attain For e nt ranc e to The spiritual plane

Ta k e u p y o g a L i f e ’s p e r f e c t i o n Jnana-yoga Pe r fec t w isdom Karma-yoga Pe r fec t ac t ion Dhyana-yoga Meditat ion

Be purified Of enemies H a t e , A n g e r, G r e e d Lust and Envy Stand and fight Be a yogi Self realized soul This is Buddhi

Know thy dharma Innate posit ion Ac c e p t i n g g u r u Wit h c onv ic t ion Free from Maya Wo r l d ’s i l l u s i o n

Know I am Al l Di v i n i t y Know all beings Are i n Me Soul Supreme In e ver y thing 148


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I a m t h e Ab s o l u t e Realit y As the cause of all Wo r s h i p M e As the end of all S acr if ic e for Me As the friend of all Belie ve in Me At t h e t i m e o f d e a t h Re me mbe r Me Surrender Unto Me alone Al l re l i g i o n s Yo u m a y f o r g o Have no fear I’ ll take you home To G o l o k a The highest realm

In bliss supreme For t he y love Me As I love them Greatest knowledge Once concealed Bhagavad-gita Tr u t h r e v e a l e d Now delivered And most re v e red Sacred scripture Of all sincere O Kur uk shet ra Sacred ground Place of dharma Most profound Song of Krishna Tr u t h r e s o u n d s For t he ear nest Tr u e L o v e f o u n d

This deepest secret Sovereign In whom Bhakt i lives I proclaim 150


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