25th of December, 2004 - 6:31
Meeting Govardhan
24th of December, 2004 - 16:27
Festival of Sri Kunjabihari Das Babaji Maharaja
23rd of December, 2004 - 17:36
22nd of December, 2004 - 20:08
A foggy day at Yamuna
21st of December, 2004 - 20:21
The garden of rasa
20th of December, 2004 - 17:25
Siddha Madhusudan Das Baba's festival at Surya-kunda
19th of December, 2004 - 18:38
The lake of Sri Chaitanya
18th of December, 2004 - 18:44
In Vrindavan
17th of December, 2004 - 16:58
At Radha-Roman's house
16th of December, 2004 - 16:09
Today Delhi going
15th of December, 2004 - 17:30
Inquiries on bhajana
14th of December, 2004 - 20:01
A crash and Radha-Krishna katha
13th of December, 2004 - 18:14
A fairly uneventful day
12th of December, 2004 - 19:31
Publicity in the whole universe
11th of December, 2004 - 18:05
On bad deeds and good character
10th of December, 2004 - 16:50
Disappearances and instructions
9th of December, 2004 - 16:59
8th of December, 2004 - 17:49
Festival of Narahari Sarakara
7th of December, 2004 - 17:54
Back to Radha-kunda
6th of December, 2004 - 21:42
Visiting Vrindavan
6th of December, 2004 - 15:49
Half-way around Govardhan
5th of December, 2004 - 16:09
Electric outage
5th of December, 2004 - 15:04
Vrindavan Art
4th of December, 2004 - 17:17
Thoughts on our bhajana-marga
3rd of December, 2004 - 17:32
Meeting friends all day long
2nd of December, 2004 - 23:51
The second day in Vraja
2nd of December, 2004 - 17:39
Meeting Baba
2nd of December, 2004 - 0:20
From New Delhi to Vraja
1st of December, 2004 - 19:33
Giridhari's flute busted!
1st of December, 2004 - 7:30

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Disappearances and instructions
Posted: 9th of December, 2004 - 16:59
Today is the tirobhava of Narahari Sarakara, a dear associate of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, resident of Sri Khanda and guru of Lochan Das, the author of Chaitanya Mangala. The day had a dream start. As I was about to start working on my laptop, the hard drive crashed. "TAK-TAK-TAK-TAK" ... that evil sound ... "No operating system found." Seems to be the disappearance day of much of my data, too. Sheesh. A Delhi trip for a new hard drive, I feared the worst. Yugal was out somewhere with Ananda Hari and Braja Kishori, who had just received diksha. Alas, we set out looking for him, as time was short — I had some leftover work from Finland to finish for Monday.

Amiya Gopal and others enjoying prasad
At Baba's ashram, there is a feast going on. Dozens of people are sitting in rows. Amidst our search, Keshava Das asks whether we'd like to take prasad. "Oh no, please." "Prasad, prasad?", he points towards the big pots of varieties of sabji and rice. "Oh well, but just a little bit." We sit down with some other Western devotees, headed by Amiya Gopal and his wife Subhangada, in the room where Baba usually receives visitors downstairs. "Just a little bit," I tell Dina Das. He then serves the Bengali "little bit", "so much less than others" he says. That is, however, about three times as much as my regular sumptuous meal. Malati gets away with two sweets, as they know of her dietary restrictions. Finishing the prasad, most of it anyway, we head back home through the bazaar in search of Yugal Kishor.

A herd of cows at Gaura Dham
On the way, our path is blocked by a herd of cows. The ones with the biggest horns are on the sides, so there is no way around. Somehow we slip through the bunch, walking peacefully past the kindest looking cows. Yugal is already back, our paths seem to have crossed. We chat for a while with them, and then begin the work. After a couple of attempts, life returns to the hard drive, and I begin backing up all essential data. I do have a set of backups already, back in Finland, but they are a slim joy at the moment.

Over the following four hours or so, Yugal introduces me to some of this novel ideas about isolating ourselves from the mundane self and turning the attention to the self within. One method he has adopted is talking of oneself as a third person, thereby insulating the inner self from the outer persona. "The experiments have been highly successful," says our scientist downstairs. He has multitudes of other insights, too, that he has been working on. tasmAt kenApy upayena manaH kRSNe nivezayet, says the Bhagavata. If the method works, there must be merit to it. Finally I stick the hard-drive into my laptop, and miraculously it works like a charm. Yugal seems to have methods for every ailment. There should be a sign, "Support Center", outside his door.

Babaji Maharaja sitting upstairs
We all head for Baba's ashram, in the evening time he is upstairs. There are only a few Bengalis there as we arrive, but more and more people start flowing in. Baba is sitting on a chair, and someone is giving a treatment for his feet. He needs regular exercise. We stay there for around an hour, discussing varieties of topics. Braja Sundari has just received diksha, so Baba explains her some topics concerning diksha-mantras. I inquire further into the meaning of the constituents of the mantras, including the mantra-bijas. I remember from our last visit Baba mentioning that there is also a publication discussing the meaning of our diksha-mantras further, Baba suggests that perhaps I could get a copy and render it into English. I should really do that.

A question on smaranam leads to an inquiry on the meaning of bhajana-nistha. I ask whether there is a certain particular quota of various daily devotional practices that is the limit, upholding which one is considered to have bhajana-nistha. Baba explains that it is not a matter of this or that quota, it is a matter of not being lazy and being enthusiastically engaged in bhajana and seva. Hence, a person's bhajana-nistha is not determined by the specifics of his sadhana, but rather by his attitude towards bhajana-sadhana.

On the matter of smarana, Baba tells us, as a general principle one should not force the mind. When the mind is naturally brought to smarana, then one should remember. Once the mind rebels, one should stop and engage in other kinds of devotional practices. Gradually the eligibility for smarana increases. Little by little, we should head forward. However, he adds, the practice of yogapitha-seva we should anyhow try to daily do somehow, preferably at a time when all other concerns are dealt with and the mind is restful.

Somehow Babaji Maharaja always seems to find time for his disciples, despite the fact that he has thousands of them around Vraja-mandala and Gauda-desh.
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