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: 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 experience wouldn't have been complete without a small twist at the end. I had a car waiting outside, as Malati couldn't have handled a rickshaw ride at this point. Yet, we had to pay the balance of the bill before being discharged, an unknown amount that no-one except one particular clerk could take, and he happened to be on a lunch break since one and half hours. In the end, we found him wandering about the hospital yard in search of a better future, having lost the keys to his dear little office.
Overall the hospital experience was good, much better than I would have expected of a hospital trip in India. The treatment was adequate, and that really is all you need. If someone needs medical facilities in the Vraja area, you can find Brij Healthcare by coming from Ramana Reti along the parikrama-marga to the Mathura-Vrindavana road crossing with the large Mahanambrata Pravesh Dvara on the right side. The hospital falls to the right side of the road after some 200 meters as you go through the gate towards Mathura direction along the main road. There are a number of hospitals in the area, including the Ramakrishna Mission hospital; I don't have any experience of them.
We're now staying at Madhuvan Colony in the Hare Krishna Dhama. A peaceful place, much more so than Ananda Dham where I spent my first week. The place itself was great, but the kirtana that blasted out through loudspeakers day and night — starting at 4:30 am — wasn't exactly favorable for any kind of bhajana except hearing theirs. There was a lady doing kirtana around mid-day who had a pleasant peaceful approach to it, but most of the rest of it was of your typical passion-filled, over-fast yelling with the lead kirtaniya sometimes singing the lead and then inattentively shouting half the response to the mic, his voice going up and down and breaking amidst the shouts. All kirtana is good for someone, don't take me wrong, but much of it should never, ever go out through loudspeakers for so many reasons.
I met Dhanurdhara Swami one more time yesterday noon before his departure back to the States. While our previous meeting also covered a number of practical issues concerning events that surrounded our having coming in touch with each other in the first place, this time over we were content spending the bulk of our time in swapping notes on nama-bhajana, which is really what Vaisnavas ought to be talking about. We also spent a moment talking about the culture many Western Vaisnavas are embracing, a hybrid of bhakti, material life and distorted values, a combination in many ways antithetic to progressive spiritual life. Something I might be blogging a bit more on in the future. I've jotted down a long list of themes I've had inspirations to write on, but haven't in absence of time.