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
Thakur Mahashaya's Disappearance Day
Posted: 22nd of October, 2005 - 15:07
Today is Narottama Das Thakur Mahashaya's disappearance day. The festival took place at Brajananda Ghera at Baba's ashram. The kirtan was originally scheduled for Radha Vinod temple, as Radha Vinod are the deities of Lokanath Goswami, Thakur Mahashaya's guru, but was moved for some reason unknown to me.
Sanatan Baba lead a beautiful kirtan featuring three songs; the first a traditional Gaurachandrika for tirobhava-festivals, the second Hari Hari Kabe Hobo Vrindavan Vasi, the last his Suchak Kirtan. After the festival, we completed our parikrama around Radha-kunda and returned home.
The festival of the Three Goswamis from a few days back. Babaji Maharaja on the right.
Babaji Maharaja is keeping busy during Niyam Seva. We haven't met him outside of lectures for several days now. Today we came around a bit earlier, but the ashran was crowded with a feast. I should let him know that Madhurya Kadambini has finally gone to press. We dated the preface to Thakur Mahashaya's disappearance, it seemed befitting as Vishwanath Chakravartipad, the author of the text, is in his disciplic line.
I wish to write a few words on how Vaishnavas disagree while remaining respectful. This is prompted by recent experiences with a respected senior Vaishnava who is also currently at Radha-kunda. He has chosen to avoid me, indeed to such a dramatic extent that when he accidentally looks in my direction, he immediately turns away — what to speak of responding to my "Radhe Radhe" greetings. This is of course born of his deep insight, in that he has realized that I am not a Vaishnava, and moreover someone whose face should not be looked at, lest one should instantly jump to a river with one's clothes on to purify oneself. For that insight, I should twice respect him as genuine seer of truths, but I would like to write on how Vaishnavas should relate to each other in an atmosphere of tension. I have noticed that some are under the misconception that I am a Vaishnava, and may therefore be puzzled by such conduct, which is in truth quite befitting from our blessed Vaishnava brother.
Vishwanath Chakravartipad has written in the third chapter of his Madhurya Kadambini that Vaishnava-ninda does not apply only to pure devotees; one should respect even a wicked, fallen, and deceitful person who has sought refuge of the feet of Govinda. Should that not be there, a negative spiritual impact will take place. Jiva Goswami cites the Skanda Purana in his Bhakti-sandarbha as follows:
hanti nindati vai dveSTi vaiSNavAn nAbhinandati |
krudhyate yAti no harSaM darzane patanAni SaT ||
There are six types of Vaishnava aparadha, all of which are sources of falldown: To kill a Vaishnava, to blaspheme him, to hate him, to not welcome him if he comes to your door, to be angry with him, and to not rejoice on seeing him.
The more extreme aparadhas aside, to not express joy at meeting a Vaishnava is also an aparadha. Now, why would that be considered an aparadha? The word aparadha means to displease (apa=dis and rAdha=please), and by not expressing joy upon meeting a Vaishnava, sorrow is caused in his heart. To cause unmerited sadness in the heart of a Vaishnava is to cause one's own joy of devotion to vanish. The story of Rupa-Sanatana and the Vaishnava who thought they laughed at him is a famous illustration of this principle.
One should also not express anger towards a Vaishnava. Sadly, especially when tending to practical matters, this is often seen, even here at Radha-kunda. The mere sight of someone acting in an angry manner towards a Vaishnava is ungratifying, a cause of sorrow in the heart. Through a public expression of anger towards another, one brings grief to the hearts of many Vaishnavas. With the presence of such sadness, Govinda will say: "I live in the hearts of the Vaishnavas -- Why have you come to pollute my dwelling? Perhaps it would be better if you were not in the company of Vaishnavas?"
An aspiring Vaishnava will long to have a tender heart, as in that heart Govinda is to recline. Acts against proper devotional principles will easily cause grief in such a tender heart. Let us all be mindful of our activities towards other Vaishnavas, and indeed towards all living entities. Even on a superficial matter that holds little spiritual essence, if one has the choice of either going about in one's regular manner and causing grief to someone, or temporarily adjusting one's ways to not inconvenience another (while holding on to his principles), there is no question over which course of action one should take. A Vaishnava does not wish to cause grief to others.