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
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
Posted: 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.
People can debate about the substantiality of the impact of chocolate in terms of its mildly stimulating theobromine content on the psyche all they wish, but the theobromine content isn't the reason of its having or lacking the quality of being offerable. Chocolate bought in stores is not offerable to Krishna because it hasn't been prepared by Vaisnavas. Moreover, it is a product of beans, which are an ingredient that carries more "karmic weight" than fruits for example, on par with rice and other grains, and cooking is involved in the process of its preparation.
Visvanatha Cakravarti, commenting on patraM puSpaM phalaM toyam, notes that while devotion is the essential factor, considerations of purity and so forth apply. One who has love will seek to offer pure ingredients prepared with love.
I once heard a note in reply to "Should I offer or not?" to the effect of "You can try to offer anything!". However, is this an act and an attitude of love? Throw everything at Krishna without consideration of how much or little it pleases him. Heavens, don't use Krishna as a prasada machine! That is not bhakti, nor are such offerings accepted â€“ even if the item offered might be offerable in itself! The offering becomes unfit due to the offerer's unfit mentality.
Arguably, taking into account the above considerations, you could then "properly" offer chocolate if you were to prepare it yourself from the very beginning, and you would be a proud consumer of some real bonafide chocolate.
However â€“ even if Krishna might love chocolate â€“ whether he will be happy in seeing his devotees eat foodstuffs that have the potential for causing addiction and unrest is a whole other consideration. He eats tambula, and we offer it on the altar to him. He takes honey punch too, we know from the acaryas' writings! Regardless, consuming the such does not yield beneficial psychophysical effects for those encaged in material bodies subject to negative influence arising from diverse ingredients.
A worthy topic deserves an epilogue. In replying to the question posed in the title of this contribution, "If Krishna does not accept my chocolates, who should I offer them to?" â€” if Krishna doesn't accept your chocolates, and your concern is more in eating karma-free chocolate than it is in acting for Krishna's pleasure, then you could try offering your chocolates to Shiva, or to his good wife, Parvati. They accept ganja and a host of other offerings, and aren't known to be that concerned over who prepared what. I'm sure chocolate would pass as offerable. To ensure that chocolate bar offerings are accepted, a tilaka formed with three horizontal lines may be worn at the time of the offering, so say the sages.