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Saturday, January 22, 2011

Sadhu Baba's Ashram 2011

Entering the beautiful and sylvan Pracheen Mayapur, the abode of Sadhu Baba.

Newly built Nat Mandir in front of Madangopal's Sri Mandir, to protect the kirtaniyas from the elements.

Gopeshwar Mahadeva, Sadhu Baba's Shiva Mandir under the Bael tree, freshly painted.

Newly erected Mandir to commemorate where Sadhu Baba enlightened us with His sermons, under the Bael Tree, a tree sacred to Shiva worshipers.

Back side of Sadhu Baba's Ashram

Sadhu Baba ashram's humble goshalla

Sadhu Baba's Samadhi Mandir

Tapo Broto Mohanta, senior Disciple of Sadhu Baba.
Many thanks to Indurekha Dasi for making the trip and making the high resolution photos.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Going west, Rādhā's elephant, playful beasts of prey and Krishna Bhava Tadatmya

Bhakta: "Is it not said that the further west one goes the more degraded things get?"

Advaitadas: "No that is nonsense. The writers of shastra either did not know of regions outside of India or they did not care. You must be referring to Adi Lila 10.89 of Caitanya Caritamrita: paścimer lok sab mūḍha anācāra ['western people are all fools who are impure'] which refers to residents of Western India. Look at the context of this statement: - anupama ballabha śrī rūpa sanātana; ei tin śākhā vṛkṣera paścime gaman (verse 10.84) mātṛ icchāy dui śākhā bahut bāḍhilo. bāḍhiya paścim deśa sob ācchādilo (verse 86)  āsi sindhu nadī tīra āro himāloy; vṛndāvan mathurādi joto tīrtha hoy (verse 87) - "Anupam and Ballabh, and Śrī Rūpa-Sanātana, these three branches, went to the west. By the (Gaur-) gardener's wish these branches grew, so that they covered all of the west. The Caitanya-tree reached the bank of the Sindhu-river (the far-west, now in Pakistan) and the Himalaya, as well as all the holy places in Vṛndāvan and Mathurā."

It is clear that 'the west' here means western India, not Europe or America. Not that I consider the western hemisphere culturally superior to the east....."

Bhakta: "I heard that Rādhā has a pet elephant."

Advaitadas : "I have not seen this in any śāstra. The Vrajabasis do not even ride horses. Horses and elephants are used in Dwarka and Mathurā but not in Vraj. In fact Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa walk all over Braja day and night, very long distances, in order to meet each other. That is the mādhurya of nara-līlā [human pastimes]."

Bhakta: "I was reading in the Garga Samhita that in Vraja the fawns play with the tiger cubs, the does play with the eagles and the snakes play with the mongoose. There is no enmity, no hunger and no envy. Is this true?"

Advaitadas: "Yes this is true. Though I doubt the validity of Garga Samhita we should not throw the baby away with the bathing water. It is confirmed in Srimad Bhagavat 10.13.60, which is quoted in the story of Mahāprabhu making the wild animals dance and embrace each other in the Jharikhanda forest - "Vṛndāvana is the transcendental abode of the Lord, where there is no hunger anger or thirst. Though naturally inimical, both human beings and fierce animals live together in transcendental friendship."
There can be no hatred and no bloodshed in the spiritual world. Yet, to preserve a human atmosphere, there may be fear of tigers or lions. For example, in Padyāvalī a verse is quoted which says that Kṛṣṇa roars like a lion from within the kuñja, where He enjoys with Rādhā, to scare away unauthorized cowherdboys who come too close. Like domestic dogs that bark but are not allowed to bite."

Bhakta: "We know about bhāva tādātmya of the kiṅkarīs, in which their feelings become one with Rādhikā's feelings. Is such a thing also possible with Kṛṣṇa?"

Advaitadas: "Not without becoming a complete advaita-vādī or sahajiya - Rādhā is aśraya tattva [the enjoyed, the servant] and Kṛṣṇa is biṣaya tattva [the enjoyer, the served]. bhāva tādātmya with Kṛṣṇa would mean one would assume the position of enjoyer or biṣoya tattva, whereas our theology says 'jīvera svarūpa hoy kṛṣṇer nitya dās' - the innate position of the soul is to be the eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa."

Bhakta: "But then at least the cowherd boys should have some bhāva-tādātmya with Kṛṣṇa?"

Advaitadas: "Why? Because they are the same gender as Kṛṣṇa? No - whether boy or girl, everyone tries to please Kṛṣṇa only as the āśray tattva. Though it is true that the gopas share Kṛṣṇa's love for sporting, frolicking and fighting, they do so with the intention to please Kṛṣṇa with their service while Kṛṣṇa's spirit is one of enjoyment." ekala īśvara kṛṣṇa - āro sobāi bhṛtya - There is only one Lord and that is Kṛṣṇa. Everyone else is His servant."

Saturday, January 08, 2011

My You-tube channel

25 videos uploaded to my Youtube channel - including my Govardhan Parikrama of November 2010, Kunja Bhanga lila kirtans recorded at Radhakund in Kartik 2010, Sudevi's Goshalla in 2007, and some of my favorite other youtube clips. I hope to upload more kirtans there later.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Kāmadeva trivia


Kāmadeva's (Cupid's) bow is made of sugarcane - that is why brahmacārīs are not allowed to eat too many sweets. This is the cause of sugar according to the Purāṇas.

Kāmadeva's bow-string is made of honeybees. Kāmadeva's consort Rati carries a disc and a lotus in her hands, and her arms are compared with the stalks of that lotus.

Goddess Vasanta [spring] also accompanies Kāmadeva, but unlike Rati, whose very essence is desire, Vasanta emerges from a sigh of frustration.

In Hindu traditions for the marriage ceremony itself, the bride's feet are often painted with pictures of Śuka, the parrot vahana [vehicle] of Kāmadeva.

Kāmadeva's companions are a cuckoo, a parrot, humming bees, the season of spring, and the gentle breeze. All of these are symbols of the spring season, when his festival is celebrated as Holi, Holikā or Vasanta.

Viśvanātha Cakravartīpāda comments on Śrīmad Bhāgavat 10.55.2 that Kāmadeva is actually Pradyumna but when he was conceived in the womb of Rukmiṇī, the mundane Cupid entered into him as Droṇa entered into Nanda Mahārāja and Dharā into mother Yaśodā.

Blog originally composed in summer 2010