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Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Rādhākund Snān

I meet my Gurubhāi Ṛtu Vijay, who says he lived with me in the āśram, but that escapes my memory. He lives in Bahulā-van with Brajabāsī Gurubhāis.

October 25
There is a clear decline in the number of Bahulāṣṭamī-bathers - it's much less than last year.

October 24
A new concrete casing is made around Bābā's smṛti-phalak.

The eve of Rādhākuṇḍa-Snān is cosy. In the Samādhi Mandir an unlikely alliance of Aindra's Iskcon kīrtan-group with Brajabāsīs raises the roof there, while Anup Gosai enters the village from the other side with his supporters holding a banner with his name on it. Like most other devotees, I don't bathe at midnight but just go to bed.

October 23
In Kṛṣṇa Bhāvanāmṛta, Śrī Rādhikā complains that after the light has shone, the darkness gets even deeper. I experience that in the material sense when I drive back to Rādhākuṇḍa on the bike in the dark. When a tractor with its big light on drives towards me I get blinded and when it passed by I see even less in the dark than before.

Studies - Rādhā Govinda Nātha commentaries on Caitanya Caritāmṛta -

CC Antya 14.45 - dwādaśa is the name of a yogi's daṇḍa.

CC Antya 14.67 - Now the object has outgrown its vessel. Rādhā's bhāva is able to tolerate the whirlwind of rādhā-bhāva, but Kṛṣṇa (as Gaura) isn't. Rādhā is a solid gold vessel and Kṛṣṇa a gold-plated copper vessel. mādana mahābhāva is like nitric acid, which a solid gold vessel can easily handle, but a copper one cannot. Rādhā's complexion is a protective shield. In Braja Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa are separate entities, but in Gaura līlā they are joint, that's why Gaur's bones slacken (?) From here on Rādhā-Govinda Nāth gets very confusing. Rohiṇī-nandan calls it 'unnecessary comments'. The point is, Gaur isn't Rādhā but Kṛṣṇa with Rādhā's bhāva, going through a learning process - He discovers Mahābhāva. Hence Rādhā-Govinda Nāth's bewildering comparisons (not mentioned in this blog) don't work. Why is there otherwise Gaur-līlā? The vikāras take place because Kṛṣṇa learns mahā-bhāva for the first time.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

A land of thieves

In the evening Navadvīp Gosvāmī, the grandson of Tinkuri Gosvāmī, shows me he only got a tiffin with some prasād and no dakṣinā from Mathurā Prasād. He affectionately consoles me that in a 'corer desh', a land of thieves, this is a donation to a Brajabāsī. At least Giridhārī, Bābā, my mother and myself get a big feast today. Navadvīp Gosvāmī invites me for a kīrtan in front of Tinkuri Bābā's āśram. They do sing the name of the Guru in kīrtan, like in Iskcon, too.

Studies -
CC Antya 5.82 - Rādhā Govinda Nāth - nija labhe mane - It's an exchange of love between the Lord and the bhaktas as in Gītā 4.11 - ye yathā māṁ prapadyante.

CC Antya 5.118 - Once a rich devotee had abhiṣekh done of his deity as a part of its installation. He asked the pujārī to do the abhiṣekh for the 2nd time, and only when he saw the deity blinking His eyes, as ordinary people do when they are showered, he had the abhiṣekh stopped, knowing that now Kṛṣṇa was really present in the deity.

CC Antya 6.9 - Mahāprabhu is only occasionally in Kṛṣṇa-Bhāva - His Rādhā-bhāva is predominant. Also, the gopis went into Kṛṣṇa-bhāva when Kṛṣṇa left them during the Rāsa-dance.

CC Antya 6.47 - Nitāi called Raghunāth Dās Goswāmī a thief because he tried to attain Gaura without first taking shelter of Him (Nitāi).

October 21 - Vaiṣṇava pada Dās tells me that Ānandī is not the same person as Prabodhānanda - he lived in the 18th century. He didn't write a tika to Rādhā Rasa Sudhānidhi because that, plus Vilāp Kusumāñjali, was locked up until just 50-70 years ago!

CC Antya 6.169 - chale - Mahāprabhu earlier told Raghunāth Dās Gosvāmī (Madhya 16) that Kṛṣṇa would show him the trick to escape. That is now happening. Kṛṣṇa made Yadunandanācārya forget the possibility that Raghunāth could escape.

CC Antya 6.198 - śuddha vaiṣṇava nohe - They tried to tie Raghunāth down by marrying him with an attractive teen and they withheld 8 lakhs of Rupees from the Governor for their own use.

Antya 6.236 - One should not eat nicely, because prasād is for honoring, not enjoying. The sun-rays are straight, but may get crooked when they are reflected on a crooked object. Similary prasād is pure, but the way in which we eat it may not be. Haridās Thākur honored prasād by just taking a little piece (Antya 11.20)

Antya 10.8 - Disobedience can be pleasing. If I am sick and I tell my relative to go to sleep but instead my relative stays up all night to nurse me, that is very pleasing. Nitāi's example should not be imitated by ordinary sādhakas, though.

Antya 12.118 - 'I actually brought the oil for you, but since you don't accept it, it is as if I didn't bring it at all."

Antya 14.23 - According to Rādhā Govinda Nāth Mahāprabhu didn't mind the Oriyan woman mounting his shoulder because he hadn't yet returned from an āveśa in Rāsa līlā. Whereas he was grateful to Govinda for stopping him embracing the deva dāsī who sang Gita Govinda.

Antya 14.34 - Kṛṣṇa held no flute and Subhadrā and Balarām were there, so Mahāprabhu's vraja-āveśa was broken.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Bābā's tirobhāva

My feast for Bābā's tirobhāva and my mother's memory is more or less a feast for Mathurā Prasād and his clan. I don't see any other invitees taking prasād. First rabari, then puris - Brajabāsī style! Rādhā-charan Pānḍā doesn't show up. I present sweets to my friends too.

Gauḍīya Maṭh's B.P. Puri Mahārāj says that mediating on a gopī-body in an unripe stage results in a material woman's birth, but Kṛṣṇadās Kavirāj writes in his Sāraṅga Raṅgadā-ṭīkā to Kṛṣṇa Karṇāmṛta that one should meditate on one's own desired siddha deha also before rati (the stage of enlightenment) is there. So what will happen with all those who follow Kṛṣṇadās Kavirāja then?

October 19, 2005
Rādhācharan Pāṇḍā isn't pleased that I hold Bābā's virahotsava in Mathurā's place. When I tell him we can do it in his place next year he says: "Who knows who will be around then?" It's embarrassing.

Studies -
CC Antya 4.221
Rādhā-Govinda Nāth thinks that Gopāl Bhaṭṭa Goswāmī had already compiled a Vaiṣṇava Smriti, so Sanātan Goswāmī was satisfied that Mahāprabhu's order to him (Sanātan) was already fulfilled and he just wrote a ṭīkā.

CC Antya 5.17
abhyaṅga, according to Viśvanātha Cakravartī, is a massage with oil and turmeric - abhyaṅgena taila haridrādinā mardanam.

CC Antya 5.20
Rāmānanda Rāy projected the role of Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa upon the dancing girls, to keep them in respect, just as Braja's audiences worship the Rāsa-līlā-actors as swayam Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa. He projected a maidservant-mood upon himself, in order to render all the intimate services to the girls - being another girl serving girls.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Candragrahan - Rādhā-Govinda Nāth Antya 4

This time, for the candragrahaṇa, it's easier to finish puja in time. The grahaṇa is now in the early evening, for just 24 minutes. The Brajabāsīs jump into the kund afterwards with all their clothes on. This time it's dark during the snāna. After this, all is illuminated by a strong full moon.

Studies -
Rādhā-Govinda Näth, CC Antya 3.260
Previously Brahmā was deluded by māyā and ran after his own daughter, but now, in Gaura-līlā, as Haridās Thākur, he was the heir to prema-bhakti and defeated Māyā, becoming her Guru.

Antya 4.131 iha loka, para-loka - By failing to offer respect one becomes condemned in this life and thus loses one's bhakti, and this again causes great suffering in the next life.

4.159 vyavahāra - pāramārthik - Sanātan Goswāmī was senior to Jagadānanda Paṇḍit both in age and in bhakti. 4.161 saubhāgya, and 4.163 ātmīyatā sudhā-dhārā - Parents chastise their own child, but not others' children. Punishment is a sign of intimate love.

4.166 - Mahāprabhu was really angry with Jagadānanda Paṇḍit, and confirms how important maryādā is to Him - maryādā laṅghana āmi nā pāri sohite. " I cannot tolerate breach of the protocol."

4.171 - Jagadānanda Paṇḍit is Satyabhāmā, with samañjasā-rati, but Sanātan Goswami was Labaṅga Mañjarī, with (superior) bhāvollāsa rati.

SB 10.29.34 - Viśvanāth Cakravartī on vicikirṣito - nirguṇaḥ kartum ārabhyamānā eva sa śanaiḥ śanair bhaktyābhyāsavān niṣṭhā rucyāsaktir iti bhūmikārūḍha eva samyak nirguṇaḥ syāt " Getting a spiritual body is a gradual process, leading through to niṣṭhā, ruci and āsakti."

Sunday, October 16, 2005

More studies of Rādhā-Govinda Nāth

More studies of Rādhā-Govinda Nāth's commentaries on Caitanya Caritāmṛta - He considers doing kirtan for money the nāmāparādha 'considering harināma a mundane pious activity' or karma-yoga.

Antya Lila 3.164 -
The whole village had to suffer along with Rāmcandra Khān because they tacitly condoned his aparādhas to Haridās Thākur and Nityānanda Prabhu. (parokṣa anumodana) If they were afraid to stand up to him because he was in charge of the place then that was due to bodily consciousness.

Ajāmila did lots of nāmābhāsa before his death too, by calling his son Nārāyan, but that never destroyed his tendency to sin. Only his deliberate bhajan at Gangadwār after being freed by the Viṣṇudūtas purified him forever.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Meeting Līlā Dās

Rādhā-Govinda Nāth, C.C. Antya 3.87 - This verse resembles SB 10.14.38, which is spoken by Brahmā, who is again Haridās Thākur...

October 13, 2005

On the bank of the kund I meet my Guru-sister Līlā Dās; I never met her before. She joined about 3-4 years before me. She tells me how Bābā sat at the foot of the Bel-tree when the sky grew dark of rain-clouds. Bābā just stared at the sky and when the rain came down it showered all directions but would not fall within the āśram boundaries.

One time Bābā wanted to give dīkṣā to Līlā Di's younger brother at Rādhākuṇḍa, but his śiṣyas mistook the departure time of the train and Bābā missed it. He was furious. Līlā Di invited him to her home but he angrily said: " No I will stay here and wait." Finally he took the train back to Navadvip. He told her her daughters should sing for Madangopāl. They sang in her house while Bābā played the tablas.

On Rādhāṣṭamī day there was a big utsava in the āśram, with abhiṣekh, many invitees, getting the kolsis from the Ganga and big kirtan.

She confirms that Bābā used to do mauna and write on a slate.

When Līlā Di wanted to sponsor a feast in the āśram Bābā told her: " I am not anything like a Vaiṣṇava or a brāhmin, but I will invite others to partake of the feast."

October 12, 2005

For Dussera the Brajabasis treat me on puris, kacuris, halva and subji. I bring half of it to Rohini and Yadunath, who were themselves treated on puris, puas, khir and dahi, but even my half, with hot milk and cold coke, proves again too much for my stomach. A bad night follows.

Caitanya Candrāmṛta verse 16 does not imply that Mahāprabhu was chanting japa and coming and going to see Jagannath at the same time. Two separate activities may be described here.

October 11, 2005

Nirapekṣā, means, according to Rādhā-Govinda Nāth  CC Antya 3.23, that if a rich man comes to your door when you are doing sādhana, you don't interrupt your sādhana to speak to him.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Tīrtha-svarūpa and tilaka

October 9, 2005

Viśvanātha lectures on S.B 10.36.15, saying that Kṛṣṇa is called cakrī not because He wears a disc in His hand, but because He has one on His foot-sole. It removes all obstacles of the bhaktas.
He also says that each tīrtha has two svarūpas - jalamaya svarūpa (the visible liquid form) and deva/devīmaya svarūpa, the presiding god or goddess.

On the bank of the kuṇḍa I have iṣṭagoṣṭhi with Madanmohan. He says that in Caitanya Candrāmṛta Prabodhānanda Saraswatī wrote more verses like Rādhā-rasa Sudhānidhi 9, which warn against bhakta sanga. He also feels that mahābuddhaya in Rādhā-rasa Sudhānidhi verse 82 means ' highly intelligent', despite the socio-ritual ramifications. One can wear tilaka and neckbeads either for profit, adoration and distinction or out of obedience. Fact is that Bābā rarely wore tilak, though he had huge neck-beads. Also the words guror bhajana vikramāt, on the strength of the Guru's worship, are mysterious.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Racing on the bike / Haripriya / Rādhā-Govinda Nāth

I notice Rādhā-Govinda Nāth's svakīya vāda-blunder in his tika of CC Antya 1.81, where he claims that Mahāprabhu endorsed it by empowering Rūpa Gosvāmī to write Lalita Mādhava, in whose final act Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa get married. He completely overlooks that just a few verses earlier Mahāprabhu told Rūpa Goswāmī that Kṛṣṇa in Vraja and Kṛṣṇa in Dwārkā are separate persons and that the parakīya-Kṛṣṇa never leaves Vraja.

October 7
Viśvanātha says in the pāṭh that Mahāprabhu wanted to go to Vraja alone or with just one servant because with or in a crowd on cannot relish or realise the place.

Courtesy visit to Hari Priyā Ma and Jay-kṛṣṇa Dās Bābā. Jay-kṛṣṇa Dās Bābā says the bindu in the kāma bīja stands for Goloka, because it is round like a planet (?). He also says that (Rādhā's) meghāmbara can mean many colors, not just śyāma blue, because autumn clouds are white f.i. (I don't necessarily support this. In Holland clouds are usually boring grey!) He does say one nice thing though - calling oneself narādhama, the lowest of men, is still proud because it leaves all animals plants and birds below you. The real humble thing to say is jīvādhama, the lowest of creatures. For the time being I won't say anything like that about myself, though.

Haripriyā says that Bābā gave her (mañjari svarūpa) a śyāma-complexion because she's more inclined towards Kṛṣṇa.

October 6
Two young bābājīs dig up a few buckets of Rādhākuṇḍa-clay from the bottom of the kuṇḍa and give me a full plastic bag of it. That will last me for years.

October 4
Going around Girirāja by bike is a gas! On the open road it's speedy, but in markets its quite an adventure to get through the crowds, especially without a bell to ring! If you say Rādhe Rādhe instead people just say Rādhe Rādhe back! Also to keep to the left must be remembered. In Govardhan town I sink wheel-deep into a sewage canal, but manage to stay clean myself. It takes about 75 minutes to complete a bike-parikramā.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

On the bike

Renting a bike in Rādhākund is cool! It's a gas to speed over the road to Govardhan, which I tread so many hundreds of times on foot in the past! Only be careful that the traffic is on the left of course. Blogs of past days -

October 3 -
Sūrya grahan

After 74 minutes of japa in a corner of my room where the sun doesn't enter, I take a loṭā-snāna at the kuṇḍ (I don't enter the water for health reasons and because Bābā also did not do it). There is a large crowd gathered to take a bath, Brajabāsīs and Bengalis alike. It's my first bath this trip. During the eclipse all the temples are closed but the Vaiṣṇavas are out and about.

Rādhā-govinda Nāth's CC

Rādhā-govinda Nāth suggests that Rāmānanda Ray, Svarūp Dāmodara, Śikhi Māhiti and his sister were considered 'Rādhikā's party' instead of Rūpa and Raghunātha because they preceded them historically (I don't necessarily support this).

He also says that Śivānanda Sen considered the dog a great Gaura bhakta who was on his way to see Gaura, like them, so he gave him full respect. On the strength of Vaiṣṇava saṅga Mahāprabhu took the dog to Him before even the Vaiṣṇavas arrived from Bengal.

October 2, 2005

Viśvanātha lectures brilliantly on uttar goṣṭha, precisely in time, at 4 pm, SB 10th canto chapter 35. 'Just as moss increases the beauty of a lotus flower in the water, the dust of Vraja beautifies Kṛṣṇa's lotus feet."

After path I meet Madanmohan Dās, whom I have known well for 12 years but never met in the flesh. We have a nice iṣṭa-goṣṭhī on the bank of the kuṇḍa.

Rādhā-Govinda Nāth on CC Antya 2.13 - yogya bhakta means that only a heart purified by viśuddha sattva can be the receptacle of the Lord's empowerment.

Antya 2.5. The jīva uses its aṇu svātantrya, minute independence, in the material world to act whimsically, and its indepedence is eternal, so in the spiritual sky it can decide which flowers to string a garland of in mañjarī svarūpa. (I don't necessarily support this, but it sounds sweet)

Rādhā-Govinda Nāth says there's no question why the jīva has its minute independence, otherwise it could not be anādi, beginningless. (I do not necessarily support this)

Antya 13.7 Jagadānanda Pandit could not tolerate Mahāprabhu sleeping on the banana-leaf bed, hence he went to Vṛndāvana (Interesting, but also not necessarily true)

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Sūrya grahaṇa

The panch announces the times of the upcoming sūrya grahana (solar eclipse) next monday. From 4.20 to 5.34 p.m. But, they say, all deity service must be completed by 4.20 a.m. Since I have just taken 10 days to recover from my jetlag I am not able to go through yet another vigil again, so I ask Amiya to take care of my Giridhārī for that occasion. He will do a vigil to complete his own deity service. I find interesting things in Rādhā-govinda Nāth's Caitanya Caritāmṛta. He says that though harināma is the yuga-dharma for Kali yuga, the name has its efficacy in all other yugas as well, because it is transcendental and thus eternal. It is the best thing to do in all yugas. But since the people of Kali-yuga are so low and uncontrolled it is the only way in which they can be saved, so that is why it is especially recommended for this age. The strongest medicine is needed.

Speaking of Kali, this is what Mahāprabhu says about today's weekend-sannyāsīs:

tabe śrīnivāsa tāra vṛttanta kohila;
yaiche sankalpa kori triveṇī praveśilā
śuni prabhu hāsi kohe suprasanna citte;

prakṛti darśana koile ei prāyaścitta

Then Śrīvāsa Pandit told Mahāprabhu that Choṭa Haridāsa had drowned himself in the Triveṇī. When Mahāprabhu heard that he was very satisfied and said: " This is the atonement for (a sannyāsī/vairāgī) looking at a woman (what to speak of going all the way with them)." (Caitanya Caritāmṛta Antya 3.162-163)

And for those who give up Vaiṣṇava-sanga for a beef-eating college professor there is this merciful advice of Svarup Dāmodara:

yāo bhāgavat poro vaiṣṇavera sthane;
ekānta āśray koro caitanya carane
caitanyer bhakta-ganer koro nitya sanga;

tabe to jānibe siddhānta samudra taranga

" Go and study the Bhāgavat from a Vaiṣṇava. Take exclusive shelter at Caitanya's lotus feet. Always associate with Caitanya's devotees, then you will know the waves in the ocean of our philosophy." (Caitanya Caritāmṛta Antya 5.123-124)

rasābhāsa hoy yadi siddhānta virodh;
sahite na pāre prabhu mone hoy krodha

"If there are mixed mellows or bogus philosophy the Lord cannot tolerate it but will get mentally angry."
(Caitanya Caritāmṛta)