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.
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.
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!
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.
26th of May, 2008 - 9:27
Brief reflections on the nature of bheda-abheda --- dvaita and advaita --- with their roles and consequences in Gaudiya Vaishnavism and overall spiritual practice.
22nd of May, 2008 - 11:00
Cross-posting from Gaudiya Repercussions: Objectives and methods in brief.
Anatman - Exploring the non-self
21st of May, 2008 - 6:33
The doctrine of anatman (Pali: anatta), a central concept in Buddhist philosophy, is sometimes juxtaposed with the Hindu belief in atman. The fundamentals on both sides of the debate deserve a good, careful look.
Journal Goes Retro
14th of May, 2008 - 9:52
With my laptop tucked away in my backpack somewhere in the dusty corners of a certain temple in Sarnath, and with increasing reluctance to spend time in internet cafes and amidst technology and civilization in general, the journal mutates temporarily into a retro-format.
Base Shivapuri - Scriptures secured
14th of May, 2008 - 9:23
There was to be no lengthy solitary retreat, thanks to forest officials and a number of other causes. That notwithstanding, I am still at Bagdwar, the source of the sacred Bagmati river near the peak of Shivapuri.
Varanasi to Kathmandu - A Synopsis
28th of April, 2008 - 11:27
The blog has been silent ever since my departure for the grand pilgrimage... I am withdrawing for a month's silent retreat to the solitude of the hills surrounding Kathmandu after posting this synopsis of the journey so far.
Sanchi and Onwards
1st of April, 2008 - 14:02
This is a summary of our visit to Sanchi and a note to let everyone know I'll be for the most part off the grid during the two to three weeks to come.
The Peak of Arunachala
1st of April, 2008 - 13:00
A visit to Arunachala, the sacred mountain of Tiruvannamalai, and the ashram of the late Ramana Maharshi of Advaita-vedanta fame.
Sai Baba Magick and Puttaparthi Mountains
31st of March, 2008 - 12:33
A few days back, as our route took us to Bangalore, we also spent a few days in Puttaparthi, the ashram of Sathya Sai Baba, the famous Hindu teacher, considered by his followers to be an avatar.
Taoist-Maoist Indiana Jones
31st of March, 2008 - 12:29
The gurubhai seers of Radhakund have now realized that I have become a Tantric and a Buddhist Sannyasi, and concluded that my fame deserves to be spread...
Theravada 4 Eva
27th of March, 2008 - 13:41
To adopt a new conceptual framework, to revise the old, or neither, or both? Thoughts in principle on evolutions, revolutions and renunciations, on current emphases and future possibilities.
Shankara, Bhagavata-purana and Advaita-vedanta
25th of March, 2008 - 4:08
The first installment in exploring earlier themes of Vedas, Advaita, Buddha, Brahmanas and so forth in some further detail.
24th of March, 2008 - 16:14
With my recent writings on the evolution of my views on Hinduism, featuring a departure that to many is irreconcilable and to some also unforgivable, expressions of anger have again become a theme of some contemplation to me.
Question to Readers
23rd of March, 2008 - 5:30
I don't really have a very clear picture of the demographics of the current Vraja Journal readership. Here's a question to the readers.
Gods Forsaken, Paradise Lost
22nd of March, 2008 - 19:44
Being a Buddhist means I no longer believe in god. Right? Well, let's be a bit more nuanced here.
Buddha, Vedas and the Brahmana culture
21st of March, 2008 - 13:30
Buddhism earned the nastika (atheist or infidel) label owing to the Buddha's rejection of Vedas. However, rejecting the Vedas isn't as black and white an issue as one might assume. This is a look at the Vedas the Buddha knew of.
From the Sahajiya Watcher
20th of March, 2008 - 13:03
A gem from recent feedback from Harry Krishna, a self-appointed sahajiya watcher.
18th of March, 2008 - 10:45
I wish to write a few words on the "exclusive devotion" theme of an earlier entry to clarify my views on bhakti.
16th of March, 2008 - 10:41
Yesterday, Advaitadas commented on my exit in his blog. These are some reflections on his message.
16th of March, 2008 - 5:52
Following the change of spirit, the form of the journal has undergone a due transfiguration.
Vraja Journal - Disclaimer
15th of March, 2008 - 15:57
What's the future of Vraja Journal? It'll continue, albeit in a somewhat different spirit. Please read this disclaimer before reading any further.
14th of March, 2008 - 18:37
Many readers of this journal have been wondering about the evolutions in my slant on things and my spiritual direction in general. Time has come to address matters in definite terms.
Vilasa Kunja Status
12th of March, 2008 - 16:13
I'm aware Vilasa Kunja and the rest of the sites (except for Vraja Journal) are down. Here's the latest on that.
Asubha: Meeting Corpses and Death
9th of March, 2008 - 16:51
Walking around the ghats of Varanasi, death is a common sight. The large piles of firewood tell their story of the volume of corpses daily burnt.
Our Shared Journey
4th of March, 2008 - 15:03
There was an earlier blog on misleading, commenting on the feedback of someone who came forward in a rather pointed manner about it. This is something, slightly retouched, I wrote to a friend who asked whether I truly felt I had misled someone.
Delhi to Varanasi
1st of March, 2008 - 13:25
Reaching New Delhi, booking train tickets, killing a few extra hours, observing the ominous Buddha-presence, moving towards Varanasi...
28th of February, 2008 - 13:22
Leaving within the hour. It just dawned to me that Siva-ratri is right behind the corner, and Varanasi is approximately on the way...
Bengali lessons concluded
26th of February, 2008 - 15:53
Two months of Bengali lessons with Sakhicharan and Bisakha came to a conclusion today with the last chapter of the textbook discussions finished.
19th of February, 2008 - 11:09
Notes on diverse projects as the show is winding up. The ongoing-section of Vraja Journal retires.
New section: Downloads
26th of February, 2008 - 7:55
A new section has been opened, hosting a number of media for download.
Raganuga for grabs
25th of February, 2008 - 21:26
Raganuga.Com and Raganuga.Org are available if someone wants to take the domains over and begin something anew.
Vraja Journal Digest - Newsletter discontinued
25th of February, 2008 - 7:52
The newsletter is discontinued in favor of a RSS newsfeed. I'm also heading towards Orissa in a few days, will be away for the better part of two months.
25th of February, 2008 - 3:44
I received a letter asking about the specifics of the design Visakha-sakhi draws on Radha's forehead after her morning bath, otherwise described as kama-yantra in Govinda-lilamrita. This is the reply.
Project Index - Concluding words
23rd of February, 2008 - 19:16
The project index at Madhavananda.com is indefinitely frozen. These are the concluding words posted today in the news section in announcing the same.
22nd of February, 2008 - 14:16
This is a continuation of the earlier blog entry featuring random sounds from Radhakund.
The Eve-teasing Problem
21st of February, 2008 - 15:24
In light of the recent rape and murder of Ananda-lila, an Australian girl who was staying in Vrindavan, people have asked for my comments on the culture of sexual harassment regrettably prevalent in India, sometimes labeled "eve-teasing", a rather archaic and tidy expression for an ugly social wrong.
Levels of Mantra and Meditation
17th of February, 2008 - 5:22
There are different levels on which a mantra functions or may be employed. Awareness of them, along with honest assessments of one's internal mental growth and present state, can prove to be helpful. I am also contrasting them with the theology of the four common aspects we know as nama, rupa, guna and lila.
And if you want to discuss...
16th of February, 2008 - 8:49
A few days back, my friend Jijaji told me he'd like to see a feature for leaving online comments on blog entries.
Gaudiya Discussions - Archives Reloaded
16th of February, 2008 - 8:26
These are the archives of Gaudiya Discussions, the once mighty giant of online Gaudiya Vaishnava discussions, debates, history, theology, controversy and creativity...
To Russian disciples of BVNM
15th of February, 2008 - 8:57
I keep hearing from several sources that some Russian disciples of BVNM have, as I had much predicted, employed my recent writings as ammunition in their hate campaign against the babaji tradition. Since none have contacted me in person, this is my open letter to them all.
Random soundscapes from Radhakund
12th of February, 2008 - 16:23
A while back a friend asked me to record some random bits of sound at Radhakund to get a better feel of the atmosphere. Here goes.
What I really want to say
11th of February, 2008 - 16:46
I just received a comment asking: "Do you want to stop posting clarifications and disclaimers and get down to the nitty-gritty of what you want to say?" Now, what do I really want to say? <pin drop silence follows>
My insight ventures
11th of February, 2008 - 7:15
With the occasional reference to yogic or Advaitin scriptures, or Buddhist suttas for that matter, some have been wondering about my explorations of knowledge outside the classical Vaisnava canon. Let's have a brief gloss on the why and the what to give everyone a better picture of what things are all about.
For all of you who want to spread the word
5th of February, 2008 - 19:39
Today I'm writing a note to all of you there, whether you're disciples of Narayana Maharaja, gurubhais of mine, or just random folks who want to interpret what I've written and tell all about it to your pals and all. And here's what I wish to say.
When the weather report is on
4th of February, 2008 - 19:30
I'd like to put in a note to all those who would judge me for what I am as I dive into the dark depths of my heart and pull out these horrendous blog entries. And yes, also for those well-wishers who have already concluded that I am a person with zilch spiritual authority or insight and informed me of the same. As well as for anyone else who might alter their perceptions of me because of what I have written, what I am writing and what I will come to write.
TBI - Part 3 - The factors that made me credulous
4th of February, 2008 - 19:16
From my last blog in this series, you'll remember the picture of someone rather stressed out by noise and corruption, pondering his future direction. What were my inner workings in the period that immediately preceded meeting this babaji? What made me so vulnerable to being duped? That's in turn for today's blog.
The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
1st of February, 2008 - 18:13
A word of clarification is in place, as my blogs as of late seem to have created some buzz in the blogosphere. Was Bhaktisiddhanta right about those bad babajis after all? My recent blogs were briefly mentioned in Jagadananda's recent blog, and a comment popped in: "Perhaps now its understood what Bhaktisidhanta was talking about...?" This needs some attention.
Four virtues and four methods
28th of January, 2008 - 18:58
The Buddha had some wise insights into the means for getting to know another thoroughly. While the text that inspired this blog entry is more of a chapter in general wisdom of life, the principles certainly apply in examining a prospective guru --- which has been the subject of many a discussion.
As for the misleading note
27th of January, 2008 - 9:34
My earlier note on misleading in the "Knocking on the Cocoon" entry led some to wonder what exactly I meant with that. Let's let that be clarified.
On the Siksa-guru Principle
26th of January, 2008 - 17:22
Some readers have wondered as to why one might accept a siksa-guru while the diksa-guru is still present. There are also a number of other considerations that are in place on the under-explored theme of the siksa-guru.
The Aparadha Issue
24th of January, 2008 - 15:37
With themes such as have been brought up in the last two blogs, the age-old issue of aparadha again raises its hoods. Let me clarify my position on this. First, I would like to acknowledge that I have read all the scriptural references on Vaisnava-aparadha as well as most, and have given due thought to them. When I write as I write, I write with knowledge of the said principles, making the choices that I believe are proper, truthful and righteous. I realize that not everyone may agree with my judgment calls.
TBI - Part 2 - Looking at the foundations
24th of January, 2008 - 11:40
I had initially thought of being much more reserved in over the depth in which I'd be writing of all this. However, as I realize there is nothing for me to lose in being more open, let's hear the full story. It'll certainly help people get an idea of where I'm at, and also learn of the route I've had to take. Writing is also a good form of processing the experience to ensure the removal of repressions from the subconscious. These entries seem to be becoming a bit elongated; I write as it comes. Read if you will, don't if you won't. Let's travel back in time to last spring...
The Babaji Incident - Part 1 - What blew it all
21st of January, 2008 - 14:42
Some were wondering about the details of my abruptly concluded stay with the babaji during Niyama-seva and a bit beyond. I was more than brief in my note after moving back to my own precious peace, after all. As I noted, the experience left me with many lessons in life. I have edited the earlier blog entry to remove references that would identify him by name to give me space to write more freely of the experiences, of which many may find something to learn. This is the first write-up in what I surmise will be an interesting series.
Application for 180 days of jail
18th of January, 2008 - 16:56
This is a translation of my letter of refusal from military and civil service sent to the Finnish civil service authority, should it be of interest.
Knocking on the Cocoon
17th of January, 2008 - 5:56
"Little late. You already misled many..." --- said the anonymous commentator on an earlier blog entry.
17th of January, 2008 - 5:31
Some of you have been missing philosophical writings. Here goes: Unity and difference of Atman and Brahman, doctrinal trouble with different strata of philosophy fused into a single doctrine, and God's creation of the chicken and the egg.
The Bodhisattva's Cocoon
16th of January, 2008 - 5:16
Some may have wanted to take a peek into my psyche for insight into the fundamental reasons of my present direction into solitude, the underlying impetus of my turn from the dim limelights of outreach. What has made the once almost all-permeating wish to help others subside? Is the bodhisattva now staring at the navel of his own fat belly?
An Ode to Solitude
9th of December, 2007 - 7:25
Part two of the previous blog entry. From ashram life to nirjana.
Returning to the Gostha
23rd of November, 2007 - 9:54
Back among the masses! Advaitadas asked me the other day whether I'd be ending my Internet mauna anytime soon. I realize it's been some 40 days since my last communications. Here's a quick gloss on what's been going on.
About Sahajiyas, Ogres and Other Ominousities
2nd of January, 2008 - 15:46
This blog is here to clarify my views on sahajiyas, orthodoxies, ogres, blue flamingos and any number of other such subjects and entities people might be wondering about.
Difference between ISKCON and Gaudiya
2nd of January, 2008 - 11:03
Excerpt from correspondence.
Websites future - Input sought
1st of January, 2008 - 5:33
As a careful reader will have noticed, by sometime in the summer I will be dropping out of the GV internet scene altogether (occasional e-mails aside.) It is unlikely that I am to return, this transition off the world of internet has been a long time coming and is now nearing its definite final phase. Your input is sought.
Perspectives on Present and Future
30th of December, 2007 - 6:15
With the new year right behind the corner, some thoughts on present and future are in place.
The Great American and His Four Kinds of Devotees
23rd of December, 2007 - 3:37
The story of the Great American and his four kinds of devotees.
14th of December, 2007 - 13:22
A new e-mail address, please use for all future correspondence.
Malati and Niyama-seva
17th of October, 2007 - 13:01
Malati asked me to post a message noting everyone that she won't be available during the month of Niyama-seva.
Note About E-mail Addresses
2nd of October, 2007 - 8:26
Please note that madhava@ e-mail addresses are canceled in favor of madhavananda@ to stop the influx of spam.
Altered perceptions, sublime aspirations
6th of September, 2007 - 16:58
Ripples of thought on chanting and divine perception in the pond of reality and aspiration.
Heads up on my Kartika plans
25th of August, 2007 - 11:26
For those of you planning to come to Vraja on Kartika, if your plans involve anything concerning me, then please take a moment to read this through.
2nd of August, 2007 - 11:54
Reflections on natural progress in devotional life and on paradigms of the past that haunt us, self-imposed hang-ups stifling the evolution and growth of our spirit.
Off the Grid for 4 days
25th of July, 2007 - 17:10
I'll be completely off the grid until the evening of Guru-purnima.
Reflections: Emotional Freedom
10th of July, 2007 - 16:15
A recent visit to the Dandavats news site â€” the first since many moons â€” got me reading an article by Bir Krishna Goswami of ISKCON on the emotional dysfunctions that have followed the ISKCON paradigm. I'm copying my comments here along with a prologue (that incidentally ended up being longer than the prologued content) on why this is relevant .
Hindu Afterworlds: A Journey Across Heaven and Hell
3rd of July, 2007 - 18:58
The concepts of heaven and hell as destinations of afterlife are sometimes thought of as the exclusive domain of Abrahamic religions. However, heaven and hell are also described in the Hindu scriptures â€” and very colorfully and elaborately at that!
Guru Purnima, The Day of the Guru
1st of July, 2007 - 7:28
Guru Purnima, the full-moon day of the Indian month of Ashad, is a yearly festival where ancient sage Vyasa, the compiler of the Vedas, and all Hindu gurus, seen as his representatives, are paid homage to and worshiped.
If you are reading this blog
24th of June, 2007 - 8:42
Yes â€” you â€” if you're reading this blog, please read this post and take one or two minutes of your time to send in a comment on the Journal. Important!
Remembering Sri Krishna Caitanya dasa Babaji Maharaja
23rd of June, 2007 - 20:20
The following is a touching excerpt from a text I am working on, Paratattva-sammukhya by Sri Kunjabihari dasa Babaji Maharaja. In the following dedication of the text, the author remembers his beloved siksa-guru, Sri Krishna Caitanya dasa Babaji Maharaja, of whom we have heard little. Despite the lack of biographical information, the depth of the author's feeling speaks volumes on the exalted nature of this mahatma.
Travel Tips to Rural India
23rd of June, 2007 - 15:55
Traveling to rural India is an experience in a great number of ways. To ensure sweet memories, it is a good idea to eliminate some aspects of the overwhelming experience by remembering a number of small but important travel tips.
Introduction to Bhagavad Gita
21st of June, 2007 - 17:39
Bhagavad Gita, â€The Song of Godâ€, is one of the core religious texts of Hinduism. Its 700 verses cover a vast array of religious and philosophical themes in a dialogue between Krishna and Arjuna at the battlefield of Kuruksetra.
A Tour of Vrindavan, the Sacred Land of Krishna's Pastimes
21st of June, 2007 - 4:25
Vrindavan, located in northern India a three-hour drive south of New Delhi, is one of the most popular places of pilgrimage in India, the land where Krishna spent his youth, hosting thousands of temples and sights of nature.
How to send a parcel from India
18th of June, 2007 - 19:00
This entry belongs to a series of how-to articles meant to make life easier for people new to all those wonderful Indian complications we would never anticipate. Today's theme is sending a parcel in mail from India to the West: how to pack it, how to ship it, and how to get through the experience alive and in good spirits.
Heat wave subsides
15th of June, 2007 - 10:02
Those of you who've been following up news or discussions at Vilasa Kunja know it's been a bit intense at this end of the world with the extreme heat we've been baked in. The mercury has been hanging at an average of 45 C (113 F), with AccuWeather's Real Feel estimates routinely past 50 and even 60 on some days! Since two days now â€” god thank! â€” it's been cooling down.
Dealing with indignations
10th of June, 2007 - 15:38
A recent detour to different corners of the cyberspace has yet again brought before my eyes things long absent from my horizon. The intense online debates between devotees. You know, those with friends and enemies, pharisees and heresies, yes, and the apostate and the witch too for a full cavalcade. My eyes and heart have grown since the days of my last encounters with the such, and a reflection or two are in place.
Have the company of saints and become good!
26th of April, 2007 - 12:56
The following is a touching poem by Balarama dasa, a medieval Gaudiya Vaisnava poet, found in Manohara-bhajana-dipika. Poems of this genre are known as the dainya-bodhika, expressions of one's own wretchedness. The expressions of one's pitiable condition are generally drawn against the canvas of the glory of that which was to be attained.
Diversity in Gaudiya Vaisnavism
27th of May, 2007 - 11:45
A fellow Vaisnava wrote to me, asking about the flavor of Gaudiya Vaisnavism I followed since joining the Gaudiya Kutir. (Not that the Kutir is a movement to join!) He understood, reading my profile and the faq page at the Kutir's website, that there must be a fair deal of plurality among the Gaudiya Vaisnava tradition, and wanted to hear more. Here's what ensued.
The Meaning of the Word Guru
25th of May, 2007 - 22:16
Today I ended up browsing the website of Alan Kazlev, a prolific author who has written some articles of interest concerning guru, guru-hood and related challenges. This blog entry, originally an e-mail to him, concerns a misgiving I had about objections on the meaning of the word "guru". Some of his writings were of substantial interest in reflecting my past experiences with guru-figures â€” expect to read related reflections in the future.
Madhukari and discovering prema
14th of May, 2007 - 12:00
These are some notes I wrote to a friend concerning madhukari, the practice of collecting almsfood from houses, and especially from the houses of Vrajavasis â€” which is the way most bhajananandi-mahatmas of the past would sustain their lives.
Doing madhukari, dainya awakens in the heart and the svarupa of the dhama begins to unveil...
Aksaya-tritiya - Entering the New House
19th of April, 2007 - 17:43
While much would have merited writing, the blog has been dormant as of late for absence of time and presence of distractions (or rather, attractions!). Today, however, a note must be put in as the time has come when we're finally moving into the new house. With the help of several kind Vaisnavas who have extended themselves in lending us the missing balance required for the house, a great deal of work has been accomplished over the last two months.
4th of April, 2007 - 5:44
From recent correspondence.
Being preoccupied with the flaws of others is not edifying for a sadhaka. Where one perceives flaws, from there one should keep a respectful distance. What is the meaning of a respectful distance, or the meaning of respecting from a distance? It means that you should go as far as it takes for you to be able to maintain a respectful attitude. We gain nothing from fostering disrespect in our hearts, it does nothing but eat our bhajana away, mouthful by mouthful....
27th of March, 2007 - 8:26
My forced holiday from online presence and in general computer related work keeps extending. Since the last blog entry, the electric cables have fallen of the pole on two occasions, and repairs have resulted in erratic voltages forcing me to unplug ourselves altogether from the main line until it gets fixed so as to not fry any further equipment.
Solar Eclipse and Double Electricity
20th of March, 2007 - 17:30
My last blog entry from a week back featured the fused laptop adapter after the erratic electricity following the thunderstorm. I got the adapter fixed in a matter of a day at Apex Computers, Raman Reti. However, electricity wouldn't tone down...
Monday morning featured a solar eclipse. As on Gaura-purnima, I ended up doing a night parikrama around Govardhana with Sanatana Baba. We started from Radha-kunda at 11 PM, took some rest on a wooden bench at Puchari on the way and returned to Radha-kunda at 6 AM...
Laptop adapter fused
13th of March, 2007 - 4:46
Last night I woke up to a small blast sound accompanied with a flash on my desk, about a meter off where I was sleeping. We had had thunderstorms the last two nights, and electricity had been erratic. I rushed to turn on the light and to unplug all electric cables, and poof went the energy saving lamp as well.
I then plugged in a socket I had with a current meter, only to see the meter shoot straight to 300 volts as if it had only began measuring the power of the incoming current. Judging by the extreme brightness of the bathroom bulb, it must have been in the range of 350 to 400 volts. We heard a series of explosions that night, I am assuming I am not the only one whose equipment took a hit.
Gaura Purnima and Eclipse
2nd of March, 2007 - 18:04
Tomorrow is Gaura Purnima, and incidentally also a full lunar eclipse just as it was with Mahaprabhu's appearance, the Moon hiding in shame at the sight of the Moon of Nadia. Krishnadas Kaviraja describes...
While the eclipse on this particular day is a rare occurrence and blessed in its timing, the attack of Rahu is also considered inauspicious, and as such there are a number of observances Vaisnavas undertake during eclipses, whether lunar or solar. Then, a few related words on all that for those eager to observe the day properly...
8th of March, 2007 - 18:07
A quick note to let everyone know that most things computer are running late as of the last ten days or so. These days, so it seems, we are no longer talking about electric outages. We are talking about electric availability. Frequent, unscheduled and extended outages have turned into a routine event, lasting up to 24 hours on occasion.
Evil Rahu and the Lord's remnants
5th of March, 2007 - 19:01
Today, visiting Vrindavana with Gaurangadas, I met with Advaitadas and, amidst a discussion on some of his old translations, touched on the theme of Gaura-purnima's eclipse, also featured in a recent blog entry at his Madan Gopal journal. The following are some notes and reflections on the themes brought up in his contribution and in the comments that ensued, featuring purity of prasada and so forth.
The Dark Side
1st of March, 2007 - 17:54
Things I have done and said over the years have undoubtedly effected many, for better or worse. Some may have been wondering about my recent notes on being geared towards a life of nirjana-bhajana.
The following is a letter I wrote two weeks back to a dear friend in response to something he wrote me. I thought of sharing it with everyone with hopes that it'd help others better understand who I am and where I'm coming from, and with that look at me with a sense of understanding, offering me the benefit of doubt if nothing else in meeting what may seem like my darker sides, which are many without a doubt.
25th of February, 2007 - 2:51
With a note on how Malati's been recovering at a substantial pace, the doctor let her leave the hospital on Friday afternoon. Four nights of rest in a 5Â½ feet bed for a 6 feet tall person makes you feel a bit stiff in the end, I'm glad it's over! The atmosphere there was extremely dozy, as much as you can expect of a place where most people are lying down and taking medications --- not exactly your bhajana-asrama of choice.
The Specimen is Moving
21st of February, 2007 - 11:19
After the operation, the doctor came in and informed me of the operation's having been successfully concluded. Then she asked, "Would you like to see the specimen?" ...
The other day I bumped into Dhanurdhara Swami as I walked across the Krishna Balaram yard to get a canister of filtered water. Through a twist of destiny we had been in touch last fall, once via phone and then over several e-mails, both related and unrelated to the original reason of our touching base. ...
Quick update on Malati
19th of February, 2007 - 10:52
It's 4 PM and I'm back from the hospital. The operation went well, even if she's still in quite some pain after the spinal anaesthesia is wearing off and as she's gradually becoming more and more aware of all that's changed within her...
Malati's health and being temporarily less available
17th of February, 2007 - 11:33
I'll be participating less, and will in general be less available over the following month or so, as Malati needs to go in for an operation to fix some health issues that have been bothering her since some time now, and as I will need to be tending to her needs and to all the housework during her period of recovery.
Clean clothes and ucchista
15th of February, 2007 - 7:42
The following was written to a friend who is puzzled over the undefined subtle issue on account of which he is told to change into fresh clothes before serving prasada to devotees.
When you eat, more often than not some food remnants end up touching your cloth, making them what's called ucchista (also called jhuta), something seen as contaminated due to contact with saliva. Such clothes are unfit for use during deity service, cooking and other services requiring full external purity...
On Becoming Free
13th of February, 2007 - 17:52
The adverse situations we find ourselves in are the consequence of our ill deeds and thoughts, we are caught in webs of our own weaving. Yet the situations are not deplorable inasmuch as deplorable suggests worthlessness, for they have been put in place for us to grow and to learn.
To let us take deep looks into our psyche, to firmen our natures, to make our hearts grow. To cultivate the field so as to let the crops flourish when the time is due. And when the time is due, events will unfold naturally â€“ of their own accord...
9th of February, 2007 - 18:06
A few days back, I came across a site called Dandavats where Vaisnavas discuss all varieties of pertinent matters, even if not as critically important as many of those ongoing at Chakra. An ongoing debate is about the bonafideness of chocolate.
Filled with lofty divine inspiration, I found myself writing a comment on a contribution titled "If Krishna does not accept my chocolates, who should I offer them to?". Here's what ensued.
Magic and Mystery
6th of February, 2007 - 18:52
Questions on avenues for sharing of one's experiences as a matter of proving the substantiality of the path of devotion to others ensued from an earlier blog entry dealing with hiding dreams and special experiences.
The core question, paraphrased, reads as follows:
"People wish to find a path that is substantial and can provide deep experiences when followed. If no contemporary practitioners are willing to elaborate on their experiences in penetrating into the mysteries of devotion, how can anyone ever gain faith enough to follow the way of bhakti? Indeed, even many practitioners have left the path behind over a scarcity of examples as nourishers of faith!"
Dreams and Special Experiences
6th of February, 2007 - 13:40
We sometimes come across Vaisnavas who are fond of liberally sharing of their experiences, gained in dreams and in wakefulness all the same, and we may also find ourselves puzzled with inspiration ensuing from experiences gained.
One should know that visions and dreams with special spiritual significance are private matters one should cherish within the chamber of the heart. By airing them out in the public, their impact on the self fades and vanishes over time.
On Cultivating Sattva
6th of February, 2007 - 4:48
These are notes written after reading an article by Muniraja Das, an old friend of mine from my brahmacari days in Finland, on the cultivation of sattva.
â€¢ Conquering sleepiness
â€¢ Sitting in proper asanas
â€¢ Purity of circumstances
â€¢ Japa techniques
â€¢ Purity of eating
Bhajan Kutir — Bhumi-puja and a Blessed Day
30th of January, 2007 - 18:33
As our readers already know, we've been at trying to get the construction work of our bhajan kutir started for a good long while now. The land has now been paid off in total, and we are the blessed future servants of 220 square yards worth of Vraja-bhumi.
Yesterday brought us one step onward towards the attainment of our objective with bhumi-puja and Vaisnava-seva at our land. Monday, Bhaimi Ekadasi, was the day to get the work started. The day was good in every respect â€“ we consulted Venimadhava Sila's Panjika for the best available date...
Emotional Quality in Nama-bhajana
2nd of February, 2007 - 18:41
From recent correspondence â€“ question rephrased.
"I am chanting a regular quota of names on a daily basis. Nonetheless, I find that I am yet to overcome some very basic vice, lust and anger to name a few. Why so, and what can I do?"
â€¢ The essential "why" of chanting
â€¢ Cultivating emotion and relationship through nama-bhajana
â€¢ Gradations in invoking a feeling for the name
Where do we belong?
28th of January, 2007 - 9:45
From correspondence. Original question slightly re-touched.
"If I have taken diksa from an acharya in Bhakti Siddha Saraswata Matha, and I have a siksa-guru in the ISKCON Revelation Movement, and I also like to hang around with the babas at Radha-kunda â€“ to which one of these do I belong?"
Briefly on Initiation
26th of January, 2007 - 2:17
The following are reflections sent to a seeker who asked for the bare bones of the process of getting initiated.
Initiation is a substantial commitment in one's spiritual life, well worth spending all the time you can on reflections and introspection on the how and why of it.
The gist of the process is...
Synopsis of Raga-marga
19th of January, 2007 - 5:23
These are are some reflections sent to a friend in clarifying the concepts of raga-marga and vidhi-marga:
â€¢ There are two distinct paths.
â€¢ There are identical practices.
â€¢ There are different stages on the path of raga.
Along with thoughts on what we find ourselves following in substance.
Why Enthusiasm Withers
15th of January, 2007 - 18:12
An excerpt from a letter to a friend.
Devotees come to Vraja and return, and then find their enthusiasm withering and their old interests rekindled, for two reasons.
The first reason is that the inspiration of devotion, and the solidity we have attained in our early phases on the path, is to a large extent a reflection of the spiritual strength of those who have inspired us, and as such is dependent on maintaining a good connection to the source...
Chanting: The Magical Herb
10th of January, 2007 - 19:04
9th of January, 2007 - 18:26
Today's log-in at MySpace had another 18 friend requests queued up. Clearing out the junk and approving the rest, the total count settled at a round figure of 1008.
Now, the value of having 1008 friends? Little do the numbers alone add up to in the end...
New Year, New Commitments
31st of December, 2006 - 12:27
New year calls for new commitments. Well, any auspicious, remarkable or blessed day serves for an excuse for that, really. The human mind is fond of dealing with entireties, and so being, one can harvest substantial benefits in the way of determination from making commitments conjointly with particular periods of time, and so forth. Of course, devotional commitments run from here to eternity, but from here to eternity is a very long concept for a small mind to cope with. Hence, commitments for a new year.
The Daily News
19th of December, 2006 - 8:59
The Fresh Seedling
9th of December, 2006 - 4:27
Culture, Sadhana and Inner Transformation
23rd of November, 2006 - 3:25
A friend recently inquired about religion and cultural taints, the universality of Gauranga's path and related topics. The following are some thoughts I jotted together to gloss the themes involved:
â€¢ Religion and sadhana
â€¢ Culture and identity transformation
â€¢ Preaching and conversion
11th of November, 2006 - 17:50
Why Learn Bengali
7th of November, 2006 - 10:55
Tests of Tolerance
1st of November, 2006 - 13:27
What the Journal will feature
31st of October, 2006 - 6:10
Phase B of Migration
13th of September, 2006 - 6:53
28th of October, 2006 - 16:58
Journal Gone Way North
23rd of April, 2006 - 23:58
Arriving at Radha-kunda
16th of September, 2006 - 6:47
Thoughts for Radhastami, Radharani's festival!
31st of August, 2006 - 16:17
Catching up with the world...
26th of August, 2006 - 16:15
CA (Aug 15th-16th): An Evening in Sacred Vrindavan
14th of August, 2006 - 16:14
Krishna's Wonderful World
1st of August, 2006 - 16:11
The Emerald, the Leaf and the November
30th of July, 2006 - 16:08
Kirtan Madhuri Mela
27th of July, 2006 - 22:13
The Dawn of Spring
3rd of February, 2006 - 12:06
Today is Vasanta Panchami, the first day of the spring. The atmosphere is full of celebrations. The spring of Vrindavan is a charming time. Coinciding with Vasanta Pancami is Sarasvati-puja, worship of the goddess of learning, as well as the appearance days of Srimati Vishnupriya Devi and Sri Pundarika Vidyanidhi, as well as the disappearance of Srila Vishwanath Chakravarti Thakur.
At Radha-kunda, the first Holi-kirtan will take place at Gopinath Mandir. There will then be a break, and two weeks of Holi-kirtans will go on from Amavasya onwards. The kirtan will begin in the morning at around ten, followed by parikrama of the two kundas...
26th of January, 2006 - 1:49
Yesterday's Shattila Ekadashi was viddha, or mixed with dashami. Therefore, fasting takes place today, on dvadashi. We have been doing nirjala-vrata for a bit over a year now.
The observance of nirjala-vrata creates great power on the path of devotion. It clarifies the mind, it purifies the heart, and it provides an opportunity to wholeheartedly engage in acts of bhajan while forsaking the call for bodily comforts.
She wouldn't let us go!
11th of January, 2006 - 3:05
14th of January, 2006 - 2:52
The Blind Monkey
6th of November, 2005 - 14:07
Crossing over the Samsara
24th of November, 2004 - 22:19
Appearance of Radha-kunda
29th of October, 2005 - 6:57
Thakur Mahashaya's Disappearance Day
22nd of October, 2005 - 15:07
17th of October, 2005 - 22:54
Niyam Seva Begins
14th of October, 2005 - 15:21
The Controlled Chaos
3rd of October, 2005 - 3:19
Heat of Vraja
29th of September, 2005 - 15:17
28th of September, 2005 - 23:45
Mumbling and muffled thoughts
28th of September, 2005 - 0:04
The latest news
9th of April, 2005 - 14:28
Update on the situation
17th of February, 2005 - 21:59
Sands of Raman Reti
2nd of January, 2005 - 18:47
1st of January, 2005 - 17:21
31st of December, 2004 - 18:32
"He will speak to you."
30th of December, 2004 - 16:46
Spiritual mayor of the town
29th of December, 2004 - 13:17
28th of December, 2004 - 17:53
Meeting with Baba
27th of December, 2004 - 17:02
Parikrama of Radha-kunda
27th of December, 2004 - 16:56
The new initiates - Evening
26th of December, 2004 - 18:13
The new initiates - Morning
26th of December, 2004 - 18:12
25th of December, 2004 - 6:31
24th of December, 2004 - 16:27
Festival of Sri Kunjabihari Das Babaji Maharaja
23rd of December, 2004 - 17:36
22nd of December, 2004 - 20:08
A foggy day at Yamuna
21st of December, 2004 - 20:21
The garden of rasa
20th of December, 2004 - 17:25
Siddha Madhusudan Das Baba's festival at Surya-kunda
19th of December, 2004 - 18:38
Inquiries on bhajana
14th of December, 2004 - 20:01
The lake of Sri Chaitanya
18th of December, 2004 - 18:44
17th of December, 2004 - 16:58
At Radha-Roman's house
16th of December, 2004 - 16:09
Today Delhi going
15th of December, 2004 - 17:30
A crash and Radha-Krishna katha
13th of December, 2004 - 18:14
Disappearances and instructions
9th of December, 2004 - 16:59
A fairly uneventful day
12th of December, 2004 - 19:31
Publicity in the whole universe
11th of December, 2004 - 18:05
On bad deeds and good character
10th of December, 2004 - 16:50
8th of December, 2004 - 17:49
Festival of Narahari Sarakara
7th of December, 2004 - 17:54
Back to Radha-kunda
6th of December, 2004 - 21:42
6th of December, 2004 - 15:49
Half-way around Govardhan
5th of December, 2004 - 16:09
4th of December, 2004 - 17:17
5th of December, 2004 - 15:04
Thoughts on our bhajana-marga
3rd of December, 2004 - 17:32
Meeting friends all day long
2nd of December, 2004 - 23:51
3rd of November, 2004 - 18:06
The Final Hour
29th of November, 2004 - 22:21
Giridhari's flute busted!
1st of December, 2004 - 7:30
From New Delhi to Vraja
1st of December, 2004 - 19:33
2nd of December, 2004 - 0:20
The second day in Vraja
2nd of December, 2004 - 17:39