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
The Specimen is Moving
Posted: 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?" It goes without saying that I was expecting her to ask whether I wanted to see the patient. Hearing her question and without thinking twice, I figured she had an, um, interesting, and rather clinical way of referring to the patient. As the doors of the operation room opened, I was presented with the object cut out, neatly placed on a tray. "Uh, okay, could I please see the rest of the specimen now?"
Today is the first day she's been able to walk around, she's off the tubes and moving around a bit. It's just liquids for now, her stomach is a bit on the weak side, as is always the case after operations like this. I've been preparing light methi (spinach) soups for her to get some more iron into her blood, it's been on the low side since a long time. Today, walking around, I found some mint and parsley, both surprise discoveries in Vrindavana. It turns out we'll be staying here until the end of the month on doctor's recommendation. The bumpy road to Radha-kunda isn't exactly your preferred post-operation treatment, nor is going up and down the most comfortable thing to do, should a need to meet the doctor prior to the end of the month surface. By the end of the month, 28th or 1st, out go the stitches of her belly and we return to our dear Radha-kunda.
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. A bit further along the way, I invited him over to visit us at Radha-kunda when he was over at Govardhana. Swami came across to me as a thoughtful, gentle and deep individual. Yes we all have a history, and his is particularly well propagated across the internet — and he's gone through nothing short of a small hell over it, experiences I gather have made him grow immensely in many ways. I refuse to believe in unredeemable acts, saints are forged in purgatory fires.
Swami invited me over to visit his place at Radha Raman Bagicha. He's staying upstairs at Gunagrahi Swami's place in a peaceful and rather idyllic environment. A bit short of two hours of quality discussion on all things sundry and bhajana in particular reminded me, once again, of the fact that valuable points of view and worthy tidbits of wisdom rarely look at the shape of your tilaka or the color of your cloth. As Dhanurdhara Swami saw me out, we bumped into Gunagrahi Swami. Realizing I had no merits worth grasping, he greeted me with the briefest haribol and moved on with Dhanurdhara Ji to wherever it was they were going to. I walked down the lane, rattling my beads, enjoying the serene atmosphere off the main streets of Raman Reti, humored by a thought on how the Swami downstairs acted true to his name.