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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The garden of rasa
Posted: 20th of December, 2004 - 17:25

Gaurapriya with the kids, Bhaktivinod and Rasavati Rai. Cow and Braja. Rasaraja and Yugal.
In the morning, Rasaraja and Braja with his family came over for a visit at Radha-kunda. We met at our house in Gaura Dham and walked together to meet Babaji Maharaja. Baba was sitting upstairs. He had been waiting for us to arrive. Braja had been over for a visit the other day, but for the rest this was the first meeting.

After doing pranama, we were all standing and I was trying to figure out where to sit, as in front of the desk on the floor we wouldn't really be able to see Baba well, and on the left side of the desk there was really very little space for us. Baba pointed us to sit down on a long bench next to his desk, where Rasa and Braja sat. I still stood up, as I never quite feel comfortable sitting on the same level with Baba. However he had me sit down there, too. We discussed at length various matters on Vaishnava-practices. Initiation, sadachar (befitting conduct), necessary sadhana and so forth. Baba was in a jolly mood. We must have spent almost an hour there. I must have said it before, but I am always impressed by how Baba always seems to find the time for those who wish to follow our path of bhajana.

After the darshan, we head for kunda-parikrama. However, since the kids are "approaching meltdown" as Braja put it, we don't go inside mandirs, but just do a quick walk around the two kundas. With the exception of Nityananda Baithak, where we pop in for a visit. That isn't really a mandir as such, the place has a big yard with a small kutir for Nitai on one end and a small mandir for the Thakurjis at the other.

Baba offers respects to the grantha.
They've now covered the Tulasis there with varieties of bags and cloth to protect them from the cold. After the parikrama, Rasaraja, Braja and the rest head back to Vrindavan and we head back to our house.

In the afternoon, Baba gave a class again. At the beginning of each class, a flower garland is offered to the grantha (sacred text). These texts, the remnants of the rasa-asvadan (relish of rasa) of our acharyas, are most worshipable. The prasadi-garland of the grantha is then offered to the speaker. Not that fresh garlands are given to the speaker and the grantha is offered none. We are to see ourselves as servants of the teachings of our acharyas, not masters. This relationship is reflected in varieties of practical matters such as this. People often tell Baba how they appreciate his writings, and Baba frequently notes how they are the teachings of the Goswamis, and he is only presenting them. And very eloquently he dos it, indeed. When giving discourses, too, it seems as if he were stringing a beautiful garland of flowers from the rasa-garden of the acharyas.

In the evening, we pay a visit to Krishna Das and Madhavi-lata, our near neighbors. They have a new PC that they need some help with. Krishna Das has a bookstore on the parikrama-marga on the bank of Shyama-kunda, Kundeshvari Granthalaya he calls it.

Tomorrow is the adhivas-kirtan for Sri Kunja Bihari Das Babaji Maharaja's festival. This is his samadhi-pitha.
Baba had also mentioned of this earlier to us, that they would need some help in that regard. We spend an hour or so patching up various issues, and then a good while absorbed in various discussions.

I need copies of Haridas Dasji's Gaudiya Vaishnava Abhidhan and Gaudiya Vaishnava Jivani, which Krishna Das says he'll try to arrange for me. Very useful reference texts, the two. Some friends from ISKCON have inquired about the history of the Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition with respect to lady gurus, particularly as diksha-gurus. In a monastic movement such as theirs, it seems to be a major issue of contention requiring extensive historical evidence from "authorized texts" and so forth. This hasn't been an issue really in the more society-incorporated traditional Gaudiya Vaishnavism.

Just the other day we saw Prana Krishna Das Baba, who is initiated in the line of Jahnava Ma descending through the famous Pran Gopal Goswami. In their line, there are some 13 ladies acting as diksha-gurus. In general, it has been very common in our tradition. Not as much in communities of renunciates, though, as among the lines preserved among the descendants of the various associates of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, such as Nityananda, Advaita and the rest.

It seems to be ten o'clock already. Time flies...
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