Bhajan Kutir — Bhumi-puja and a Blessed Day
30th of January, 2007 - 18:33
As our readers already know, we've been at trying to get the construction work of our bhajan kutir started for a good long while now. The land has now been paid off in total, and we are the blessed future servants of 220 square yards worth of Vraja-bhumi.

Yesterday brought us one step onward towards the attainment of our objective with bhumi-puja and Vaisnava-seva at our land. Monday, Bhaimi Ekadasi, was the day to get the work started. The day was good in every respect – we consulted Venimadhava Sila's Panjika for the best available date...
Where do we belong?
28th of January, 2007 - 9:45
From correspondence. Original question slightly re-touched.

"If I have taken diksa from an acharya in Bhakti Siddha Saraswata Matha, and I have a siksa-guru in the ISKCON Revelation Movement, and I also like to hang around with the babas at Radha-kunda – to which one of these do I belong?"
Briefly on Initiation
26th of January, 2007 - 2:17
The following are reflections sent to a seeker who asked for the bare bones of the process of getting initiated.

Initiation is a substantial commitment in one's spiritual life, well worth spending all the time you can on reflections and introspection on the how and why of it.

The gist of the process is...
Synopsis of Raga-marga
19th of January, 2007 - 5:23
These are are some reflections sent to a friend in clarifying the concepts of raga-marga and vidhi-marga:

• There are two distinct paths.
• There are identical practices.
• There are different stages on the path of raga.

Along with thoughts on what we find ourselves following in substance.
Why Enthusiasm Withers
15th of January, 2007 - 18:12
An excerpt from a letter to a friend.

Devotees come to Vraja and return, and then find their enthusiasm withering and their old interests rekindled, for two reasons.

The first reason is that the inspiration of devotion, and the solidity we have attained in our early phases on the path, is to a large extent a reflection of the spiritual strength of those who have inspired us, and as such is dependent on maintaining a good connection to the source...
Chanting: The Magical Herb
10th of January, 2007 - 19:04
1008 Friends
9th of January, 2007 - 18:26
Today's log-in at MySpace had another 18 friend requests queued up. Clearing out the junk and approving the rest, the total count settled at a round figure of 1008.

Now, the value of having 1008 friends? Little do the numbers alone add up to in the end...

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1008 Friends
Posted: 9th of January, 2007 - 18:26
Today's log-in at MySpace had another 18 friend requests queued up. Clearing out the junk and approving the rest, the total count settled at a round figure of 1008.

Now, the value of having 1008 friends?

1008 friends

My 1008 friends listed.

The numbers mean little in the end. While in theory we all know much of the nature of friendship in this world, its superficial reality becomes painfully obvious for a Western individual living in India. You won't have a shortage of people keen on making friends with you. You'll have a grand shortage of people who wish to be friends for a reason I would consider spiritually worth-while. Money, assets, services, contacts abroad – they are the honey. As it turns out the desired goods aren't going to become available, friendships come to a rapid closure. People become sordid, or better even, stop talking to you altogether. A cruel and morbid world it is.

In truth, the last option is desirable indeed. Gramya-katha na sunibe, gramya-varta na kahibe. "Hear not the village talks, speak not of the world's ongoings, Raghunatha!" For a sadhaka who is wholeheartedly aiming at sheltering the mind in the services of Radha and Krishna throughout their ever-unfolding nitya-lila, idle talks are little more than arrows piercing the heart and boiling tar poured into the ears. A torture, and a detrimental torture at that, for even slight immersion in the mundane with a sense of affection or attachment can do untold damage to smarana. With the purification of the heart, the awareness becomes more and more subtle and one begins to perceive even the slightest adverse effects; effects that in the past went unnoticed amidst immersion in the mundane.

We are practically hermits. As a matter of daily routine, we crawl out of our house into the last hour of daylight, circumambulating the two kundas, purchasing goods for Thakur's seva for the coming day, meeting saints of choice for blessed company. Walking while chanting the names, keeping the eyes off the world, towards the ground; for the visible environment of even the sacred'est of lands is filled with things unbefitting for the sadhaka's eyes, sights one will never wish to remember again. Few are the real friends, the friends who have forsaken the mundane pursuit and assemble with the sole aim of nourishing each others' spirit identities. In such company, days run into nights and nights into days with a prayer it would never end, the passing of the clock's hands a torturous journey speaking of the inevitability of departure.

If only one of the 1008 becomes more than a friend in name, spending days and nights with us in the rapture of wholehearted bhajana in the sacred land of Vraja, if only one's heart weeps with passion for the services of Radha and Krishna, then I regard him or her as 1008 times more in worth than the assembly of 1008 noble names seen today.

Where are you? That is the question.
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