6th of July, 2008 - 9:33
Vraja Journal has grown old, long white beard and all. It's time to retire.
57 kilos of food
27th of June, 2008 - 13:24
As of late, I've been spending a good deal of my time working with the Angel's Heaven orphanage in the neighborhood, near the Kathmandu Durbar Square.
Jijaji is an Osho lover!
26th of June, 2008 - 2:40
This is an important notice from a friend concerning the preceding Pretty Woman blog.
Pretty Woman
25th of June, 2008 - 14:51
It's a pity the world wasn't made of neuters. Would have solved many problems. Instead, we have to keep coping with the cumbersome men and women business. Ick.
Religions Re-weighed
13th of June, 2008 - 10:46
Some evolutions since the last time around, taking BeliefNet's Belief-O-Matic. Frankly I wasn't expecting Theravada to show up first, I assumed my views to be too cynical and universal to get a proper orthodox score. It's a wonder in its own right that anything crossed the 90% line!
Ego Asserting
11th of June, 2008 - 15:22
Ego, the ever-vigilant and constantly self-asserting pseudo-self, forms the heart of our troubled existence. Today being the 28th anniversary of my present incarnation in a long series of egotic absorptions, I can think of no subject more suitable to touch on than that of the ego.

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Contact and Information
Vraja Journal documents the ponderings and wanderings of a certain seeker whom many have come to know as Madhavananda over the years.
    Entries spanning from November 2004 to March 2008 focus on my life and studies in a devotional Hindu tradition called Gaudiya Vaisnavism. Writings from March 2008 onwards explore a serious spiritual quest with a broader base.

How do I contact you?
By writing e-mail to , by clicking the "comment" button at the end of each blog entry, or getting in touch at Facebook – if I'm around.

Are you a teacher or something?
Far cry from a teacher, I probably wouldn't even qualify for a student. I have a long history of occasional delusion and stupendous cluelessness. So please don't consider me someone you would want to seriously consult with critical existential dilemmas or finer nuances of spirituality.

Then what's the site all about?
The blog section is where I write about my personal exploration, adventures both inner and outer. It'll also contain reflections on my past in Gaudiya Vaisnavism, sharing experiences and conclusions some may find valuable. The photos section is, well, for photos.
      I believe in the free availability of information. Practical experiences are also a form of information, and can often be quite helpful to people who are studying the correlations of theory and reality in a spiritual quest. My clamberings are a contribution towards this philantrophic objective.

Where do you live?
I can't really say I'd have roots anywhere at the moment. Born in Finland, the last decade has brought me to India a great many times. From the fall of 2006 until the spring of 2008 I lived at Radhakund, a small Hindu place of pilgrimage south of Delhi in the district of Mathura.
      From March to mid-summer, I am roaming on pilgrimage across northern India, covering a number of places of pilgrimage, many with bearing in both Hinduism and Buddhism. In August I'm heading towards Myanmar and Thailand to explore my Buddhist interests. By the end of 2008 I'm returning to Finland to serve a 195 day sentence for my conscientious objection. How future unfolds after that is anyone's guess.

What does Vraja mean?
The word vraja has a dual meaning. The meanings many are more accustomed to are "cattle-shed", "station of herdsmen" and so forth, meanings tied with the actual geographical location of the place where Krishna lived in his childhood some thousands of years back. The primary dictionary meanings of vraja however are "way" and "road", as also "wandering" and "roaming" — which are very much on the mark as far as the journal's current emphasis goes.

Is this site affiliated with someone?
Beyond myself – no. Yet rather than speaking of someone, I'd look at something, as in the ideals that have formed me and guide me onward in my search for enlightenment. Honesty and integrity would be the greatest of the factors contributing to my progressive journey. Loving kindness and compassion, goodwill towards all, is also an integral element in my set of values.
      Many of the ideals I embrace are eloquently presented in Theravada Buddhism, a tradition with the greatest depth of wisdom I have come across to date, even if they are undoubtedly also universal goods extolled by most spiritual traditions. Then, even if there is no single person to tell me how to run the site, I bow to these grand ideals and subject my writings to their guidance.

Recommended websites?
Sure. These are some sites that have provided materials particularly helpful in my explorations beyond the Gaudiya Vaisnava tradition.

  • Access to Insight hosts almost a thousand Sutta translations from the Buddhist Pali Canon along with a great deal of commentarial work and even entry level materials.
  • Divine Life Society, the organization founded by Swami Sivananda, offers a vast selection of literature by its founder, covering subjects of yoga, vedanta and spirituality, for free download.
  • Sri Ramanasramam offers for free download all of the main works of Sri Ramana Maharshi, the insightful giant of Advaita-vedanta from the early 1900's.

Got anything in Finnish?
In fact I do. Please browse to www.valaistuminen.com. The site explores the four traditions that have most influenced me over the years: Advaita-vedanta, Sri Caitanya's Bhakti, Patanjali's Yoga and Theravada Buddhism. You can read a number of introductory essays and translations of some interesting titles from each of the four traditions there. I translate and publish more as time permits.

Shut down this bad website!
I might – but not because someone so demands. You are however welcome to close your browser and never return to this site if its contents have disturbed you. I cannot possibly please everyone with my writings, especially not the faint-hearted of pliable faiths who are preoccupied in securing and guarding the comfort and solace of their particular religious or spiritual beliefs.
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