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.
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....
Have the company of saints and become good!
Posted: 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 (p. 182).
bhāi re ! sāḍhu saṅga kara bhāla haiẏā /
e bhava tariẏā yābe, mahānanda sukha pābe, nitāi-caitanya-guṇa gāÃ±ā //
caurāśi lakṣa janma, bhramaṇa kariẏā śrama, bhāla̮i durllabha deha pāÃ±ā /
mahatera dāẏa diẏā, bhakti pathe nā caliẏā, janma yāẏa akāraṇe baiẏā //
mālā mudrā kari veśa, bhajanera nāhi leśa, phiri āmi loka dekhāiẏā /
mālākera phala lāla, dekhite sundara bhāla, bhāṅgile se deẏa phelāiẏā //
candana-tarura kāche, yata vṛkṣa latā āche, ātma-sama kare vāẏu diẏā /
hena sādhu-saṅga sāra, nāhi balarāma chāra, bhava-kūpe rahilāma paḏiẏā //
Hey brother! Have the company of saints and become good!
Be delivered from the world's ocean, gain the joy of greatest bliss in singing of the qualities of Nitāi and Caitanya.
Through the hardships of wandering through 8.400.000 births, I got a fine and rare body indeed.
Disregarding the great souls, I went not for the devotion's path â€“ my birth went in vain.
Wearing a mālā and a tilaka, without the faintest trace of bhajana I roam, posing for the world.
The fruit of mālāka is red, beautiful and fine it seems, yet when broken, good for throwing away.
As many trees and creepers as there are by a sandalwood tree, with wind it gives them all its own qualities.
The contemptible Balarāma, without such sādhu-saṅga of substance, is fallen in the well of saṁsāra.
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 â€” in this poem, conjointly with sadhu-sanga-mahatmya.
Balarama dasa, presenting himself as a fraud, compares himself to a red Malaka-fruit that looks tasty on the surface, but when broken is full of revolting substance and only fit for discarding. The mala and the tilaka, he says, the saint's garb, is worn for the purpose of parading around, for posing for the world.
The company of the saints he missed, he eulogizes, is like the sandalwood tree: Howsoever worthless the surrounding trees and creepers might be, devoid of any fruits, flowers or beauty, the generous candana-taru donates its attractive fragrance via the wind's medium, making them equal to itself. The divine sakti of the accomplished devotee permeates the aspirant, making him radiant like a saint indeed, just as the sun's rays reflected in a mirror shed illumination that seems as bright as the sun itself.
Tears, regret and lamentation are the first step in ascending from nescience to prema. When the heart of a sadhaka is touched deep in hearing the dainya-bodhika of the mahajanas, the gates into the garden of devotion open. As long as the heart is untouched, riddled as it is with myriads of vice, the budding sadhaka's attempts to present himself as an accomplished spiritualist are little more than the poem's Malaka-fruit.
Then, have the company of saints, brothers and sisters, and become good!