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
On Becoming Free
Posted: 13th of February, 2007 - 17:52
From correspondence a few months back, written to a young friend seeking to commit himself to a life of bhajana amidst a life filled with adversities. Slightly revised and updated for general consumption.
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.
As an example, a young man wishing to leave the world behind, becoming an ascetic immersed in a life of bhajana. In the view of the Bhagavata, one becomes independent of debts to parents, forefathers and gods through complete and unreserved surrender. With that surrender, one becomes automatically free of obligations, for that is the principle of the nature. Yet, noble attempts to surrender, breaking free from the worldly shackles, may also take place before their due time.
Practical renunciation is feasible where liberation from bondage has already been established through complete surrender and renunciation within. Relationships exists both in attachment and in aversion. Liberation is attained with the vanishing of disposition, when a neutral state becomes the status quo. Aversion to the unholy is expressed through a lack of positive interest in their company; it need not take the form of express negative feelings, as negative feelings are a powerful captor of consciousness.
As for embracing the emotion of the gopis; reflect on the fact that none opted for a life in the forests in the end, even if they were ready for the same. Yes, responding to the flute's call they ran and met him in the midst of the dark night â€“ only to again return to their houses before the rising sun. Viraha and milana are both nourishers of the great bhava. Run to Vraja when the flute calls for you â€“ but do not respond to every instrument's mental play, for that could only make everything much worse and contribute to the tightening of your practical bondage. Cherish the spirit of detachment in your heart.
We are all bound, in a position to learn patience in waiting for a better tomorrow. Myself; though I have finally been given shelter at Vraja-dhama, I have a number of debts to clear away, I have a kutir to build, and I have pre-existing ties to a hundred directions I need to gracefully dissolve or bring to fulfillment. I will not find satisfaction in my model of sadhana until it assumes the shape of that of the mahatmas of the yore; yet my heart's fulfillment will have to wait for a favorable situation unfolding in the due course of time.
Then the bottom line for us all, stuck in diverse situations: As long as we can see light at the end of the tunnel and we walk in its way our level best, we are well situated. Or as I recently noted to a friend in plight, "As long as hope survives, there are survivors in the end."