The Final Hour
29th of November, 2004 - 22:21
Crossing over the Samsara
24th of November, 2004 - 22:19
Preparations underway
3rd of November, 2004 - 18:06

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Crossing over the Samsara
Posted: 24th of November, 2004 - 22:19

Malati has crossed over a good deal of items from her breakdown of our samsara
Five more days until we hit the road! Time has been really flying. A couple of days back it was three months until takeoff. Still it seems as if we have three months worth of things to get out of the way before we are free to go.

Sri Chaitanya described Vraja-vasa, or residing in Vraja, as one among the five most important aspects in bhakti-sAdhana. Sri Vraja-dhama is filled with uddIpana, or stimuli, for the remembrance of Radha-Krishna and their pastimes. During our stay in Vraja, we'll be posting in nectarine descriptions of the various pastime-places throughout the area of Vraja-mandala.

In one of his core verses discussing the practice of rAgAnuga-sAdhana, Sri Rupa Goswami says: kUryAt vAsaM vraje sadA -- one ought to always dwell in Vraja, the abode of our eternal identity and services. As in his Nectarine Instructions (8):

smRtyoH krameNa rasanA-manasI niyojya |
tiSThan vraje tad-anurAgi janAnugAmI
kAlaM nayed akhilam ity upadeza-sAram ||

"Sweetly glorifying his name, form, deeds and so forth,
remembering in sequence and engaging one's tongue and mind,
one should reside in Vraja, following the anurAgi-jana,
thus spending all of one's time — this is the essence of all instructions."

Giridhari, too, is eager to move to a warmer climate...
Now, one bound in the chains of samsara, yet inclined towards bhakti-sAdhana, may wonder as to how he might possibly fulfill this instruction. To comfort those of us who are unable to physically live in Vraja, Sri Jivapada comments: sAmarthye sati vraje zrIman-nanda-vrajAvAsa-sthAne zrI-vRndAvanAdau zarIreNa vAsaM kuryAt | tad-abhAve manasApIty arthaH || -- Ideally one ought to physically live in the abode of Sriman Nanda Maharaja and others, but if for one reason or another we are unable to do that, we may at least mentally dwell there, hearing and reading narrations of Vraja-lila and descriptions of the various pastime-places, gathering pictures to remind us of them, and so forth.

Additionally, we may seek to perceive the elements of Vraja in the world around us, to have each tree remind us of the bowers of Vraja, and that crooked tree of Srimati's mAna, and the tree by the riverside of the turmoil of the gopis at the time of Kaliya-damana, and the ponds and rivers and all that we meet. Even when physically living in Vraja, we ought to also mentally live there!

If we cannot reside in Vraja and wander around the various lIlA-sthAnas, we should at least strive to visit Vraja now and then! Hear it from Thakur Mahasaya:

hari hari! kabe hobo vRndAvana-vAsI |
nirakhibo nayane yugala-rUpa-rAzi ||

Hari, Hari! When will I become a resident of Vrindavan? When will my eyes behold the beautiful forms of Sri Yugala?

tyAjiyA zayana-sukha vicitra pAlaGka |
kabe vrajera dhUlAya dhUsara habe aGga ||

Rejecting the joy of a comfortable bedding, when will I roll in the dust of Vraja, covering my limbs with it?

SaD-rasa bhojana dUre parihari |
kabe vraje mAgiyA khAibo mAdhukarI ||

Giving up the longing to procure the six flavours of foods, when will I roam about in Vraja, collecting mAdhukarI?

parikramA koriyA beDAbo vane-vane |
vizrAma koribo jAi yamunA-pUline ||

I will roam from forest to forest on parikramA, resting on the banks of Yamuna.

tApa dUra koribo zItala vaMzI-vaTe |
kuJje vaiThaba hAma vaiSNava-nikaTe ||

Then I will find relief from the burning separation at the cooling Vamsi-vat, sitting in a forest bower among the Vaishnavas.

narottama dAsa kohe kori’ parihAra |
kabe vA emona dazA hoibe AmAra ||

Narottama Das says -- when will rid myself of all this, when will such a situation be mine?
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